Friday, May 20, 2022

Well That Was Fun!!!

 I was a little bleary eyed this morning as I sipped my coffee on the patio, almost blown away by the wind that has come up out of nowhere.  Gusts of 40 mph are ripping through the trees causing a lovely brown dust storm.  It also rattled everything that can move most of the night long.  The good news is the night temperatures are back to 60 degrees, so my built-in air conditioner (just open the doors) is working like a charm.

I spent most of the day outside, digging out dying plants.  At least this time it's not because of my black thumb.  I've finally given up ... thrown in the towel.  I'm not spending any more money on drip lines the gardeners cut in half every other week, causing the plants to die.  I dug out all the dead stuff and plugged the lines.  I'm going with the minimalist look.  The good part of that is I will use less electricity $$$$ to water everything.

As you can see, in spite of the Weed Man's promises of making my lawn look fabulous, their efforts have failed.  Of course the gardener says I just need to water it more.  Sorry, but that's not happening.  My little one person income is already strained.

There's still more to do, so it's on my list for today.  It doesn't seem like that does much towards the inflation we are dealing with money wise, but at least I won't be so mad from cut water lines.  

While roaming around the yard checking out what needs to be cleaned up next, I spotted my next neighbor problem.  Is it just me over reacting?  These guys put in a pool next door, with the pump set up right next to my fence.  I mean within two feet.  You could see that water was running under the fence and into my horse stalls.  

At first I thought it was just a fluke ... a one time thing.  After it happened several times, I asked them if they had a leak.  I knew what it was ... their back flow that cleans the filter ... but it should be going into their septic system, not out on the ground literally 12" from the fence.

They said they fixed it, but of course they did nothing.  It's happened many times now, causing weeds to grow in areas I'm paying to have sprayed so there are NO weeds.  

I grabbed a shovel and tried to fill in the big gap under the fence.  I'm pretty sure this isn't going to work in the long run.  I'm trying to be a good neighbor and not get in a big argument.  I just can't believe they don't do something about it.  Boy do I HATE having neighbors!!!!!  They are SO inconsiderate!

I hid inside most of the afternoon, sewing more blocks.  There are 702 pieces in these six.  At least it keeps me off the streets!

At last it was time to dress up and head out to the Elks Lodge.  They require a uniform of sorts, white shirt, blue blazer and gray pants.  I doth protest!  You knew I would!  I'm not looking to impress anyone, least of all the ten people who show up for these meetings.  I mean really, NO ONE shows up!!  WHY do we have to wear "the uniform"?

So I'm sitting on the couch with my white shirt, blue blazer and LEVIS, when this sweety climbs in my lap and throws up all over me!!  OH HOLY COW!!!  Poor baby jumped down while I tried to stand up without making a bigger mess and began throwing up all around the kitchen island.  Well that was fun!!   Big sigh!!  I felt really bad for him, having no idea why this was happening.  

Needless to say I didn't make the meeting and spent about 45 minutes cleaning up.  I'm sure that smell will go away eventually!!  His tummy troubles kept us awake until 11:00, WAY past my bedtime.  His face is so expressive, I knew he was feeling bad.  He looked nothing like this picture!

We finally got to sleep about midnight, just before the big winds came to wake us up.  We are running rather late this morning and seem to be in first gear low.  Maybe a little walk outside in the fresh dust storm will breathe a little life back into the two of us.

Thursday, May 19, 2022

Patience is a VIR-TUE!!!

I hear that phrase in my head constantly.  Anyone ever watch The Mummy?  Not the 1930's version, but the one with Brendan Fraser and Rachel Weisz.  It's one of my all time favorite movies.  I've probably seen it 20 times, which is why those words stuck to some portion of my brain.  Yesterday, it played like a broken record.

It's 70 degrees this morning.  YIKES!!!  There's no cool to be had.  This is not going to be a fun day since I refuse to turn on the air until June.  I may have to relent on that since it's predicted to be 95-100 for at least the next week.  With PG&E's increase in charges, my bill is now $250 with only the well and lights.  The same time last year it was $100.  People ask my why I go to Tucson in the summer.  It's because I can run my air conditioning 24-7 for $150 a month.  SO ---- I guess I'm going to have to tighten my belt even more!  

Patience prevailed however when the gardeners finally showed up after they missed their first appointment.  They dug this sprinkler out to find the pipe 18" below to be broken.  This might be part of my high electric bill problem, running out gallons of water and making the pump run longer.  Gosh I HATE SPRINKLERS!!!  I'm trying to figure out how to landscape the back yard with absolutely no grass at all.  

With that done, I was off to the quilt store for another piece of binding that is hiding somewhere I haven't looked.  But first ... my truck needs food.  Having checked out Gas Buddy, the cheapest diesel is right on the way.  

I don't usually stop in this town.  It's the parolee and murder capital of California.  I won't name the town, but ever since I learned to drive, I've known to stay out of this area.  For cheap-ER diesel fuel however, it's worth getting shot.  Yes, there's a lot of mayhem going on here.  

I pulled up to the pump keeping a sharp eye out, and walked inside.  I immediately looked to see where my escape route would be.  No kidding, you better know your surroundings around here.  

I plunked down my $200, ever watchful of the now five scroungy looking men standing behind me, and went back outside to the truck where I would have a better chance of survival.  As you can see, the pumps are rather trashed.  It says $5.899 a gallon.  Every other station within 30 miles is $6.25.  Anyone remember my fill up in California 18 months ago at $3.69?  Just say'n .........

You know how when you begin pumping you see the numbers rolling by real fast?  That was not the case. In fact, it pumped so slow I could count even the 100 numbers.  It took a full 30 minutes to get 33.9 gallons.  All the while PATIENCE IS A VIR-TUE ran through my head as I scanned the area for anyone with a gun or knife.  No kidding ..... this is not Kansas Toto.  

Whew!!!  I survived!!  At long last my tank was full (with a whopping savings of $15.50) and I was out of there like a shot.  It just might behoove me to pay a little extra for a safer location next time.  

Off I went to the quilt store.  Not only did I find the perfect binding, but looky here!!!!  Cowboy fabric ... extremely hard to find nowadays!  How could I resist?  I even had a $28 credit, making this purchase even sweeter!!  

AND I was able to pick up this little gizzy.  I have over 50 pieces that need their corners chopped off at a specific angle.  What a pain in the patooty that is.  This little gadget will make my life so much easier.

Since this is my second birthday month (it's a long story) I decided to stop in at Micky D's for a strawberry lemonade.  They don't have it any more.  In fact, their menu has become so streamlined they didn't have much of anything.  Okay then .... an Oreo McFlurry it is!!!

Home at last, I took a deep breath, having survived the "Shoot Out" Gas Station AND not getting a brain freeze by eating that ice cream too fast.  Time for dinner.  Remember those thin tortillas I purchased?  They are really great for everything but enchiladas.  They tasted wonderful as a quesadilla, but were so tough in this dish, I could barely cut them with a knife.  

Having met my patience quota for the day, I spent the evening on the couch with Cooper, watching murder mysteries.  Appropriate, yes???  No, concealed carry would not have helped at the gas station since I'm sure everyone else had a weapon, probably bigger than mine!!!

Wednesday, May 18, 2022

It Was A LONG Night!!!

 What a gorgeous morning it was.  A nice cool breeze, lots of sunshine ... too bad it wasn't happening here.  Summer has arrived, along with lots of wind and heat, making for a convection oven morning.  I sipped my brew on the patio, thinking maybe I should try iced coffee instead.  

I admit, I was pretty bleary eyed, as that darn magpie just keeps screaming all night long outside my window.  What's wrong with that picture?  His clock is going to get clocked if he doesn't cease and desist. 

I'll tell you about last night's Bingo party, but first, I want to address the comment about me wasting so much water when the farmers and ranchers need it.  

First off, I have a dishwasher, but haven't used it in over ten years because it uses too much water and electricity.  I do one load of laundry about every ten to twelve days for the same reason.  I keep the front lawn watered so most of it stays green, but let the back yard die off in the summer because it uses too much water.  

How about the farmers who sold off their water rights just to get rich, allowing Southern California to suck the rest of the state dry in order to provide water to those thousands of new houses they are building every year?  Maybe they should talk to their representatives who allowed that practice.  Or maybe the writer should ask Southern California why they let millions of gallons of water go right down the drain into the ocean, instead of capturing it for irrigation.

The writer might even talk to the cities and counties who water THEIR green lawns literally all night long, allowing thousands of gallons to go right down the gutter.  I've seen it happen and I have filed complaints, but they continue the practice.

In the meantime, I'm doing more than my fair share when it comes to water conservation.  Okay, off the soapbox!

Here's my view from the cheap seats at the only game in town.  Every week we seem to get new people, bringing our total last night up to 125 ... on a mid month night.  That number only happens on the first and last month when everyone gets paid!

It was a fast paced night, with two different payout amounts causing havoc with the infernal machine.  The King and his men are not patient when that happens, standing over me like a vulture waiting for my last breath.  There was a last minute surge which brought the totals up, allowing peasants to win $250 for the last seventeen games.  They were happy.

Mostly ... they were MOSTLY happy.  There's always the fight over table space and "you've got MY chair" arguments.  If they won sitting in that exact spot last year, they insist on getting that EXACT spot every week.  Someone actually had the nerve to put their dobber a little too far away from their designated spot, resulting in cries of "SHE'S SAVING SEATS"!!!  That's a practice not allowed any more since there were so many hair pulling incidents.  Us old folks don't have that much hair left to pull out.

One lucky peasant won $1199, along with a $500 hot ball payout, followed by our $250 jackpot.  The screaming was epic, ear splitting I would say!!  That chair now has her name on it in big bold letters, so I expect a few fights next week as she fends off her territory against the imperialistic hoards.  No, I'm not kidding!!

Sadly, the infernal machine caused me trouble all night long.  It decided the $50 I entered should be $60, and so I was $10 over.  It's easy as pie to delete sales, but extra income is a complete pain in the patooty since it's brain doesn't work like mine at all.  It made for a long night, but I finally got it to agree with me and put it to bed.

Although Cooper and I tried to crash when I got home, the magpie had other ideas.  Even with ear plugs and a big pillow over my head, we were up most of the night.  Hopefully I can catch up because tomorrow night is another Elks meeting.  WHY are there so MANY meetings???  Sheesh ... counting Bingo, I have to be there 7 to 8 nights a month.  I'm thinking maybe I need a cot up in the attic, like my neighbor did when he got divorced.  At least there wouldn't be any magpies keeping me up!!

Tuesday, May 17, 2022


 It gets weird around here sometimes.  I woke up from a usual nightmare, not really willing to get up, but Cooper insisted.  I threw on my oldest holey Levis, an old comfortable shirt and my socks.  As I walked down the hall to the kitchen, I spotted the ball.  SHE KICKS .... SHE SCORES!!!  That dust bunny soared through the air right between the goal posts ... the legs of the tripod that holds Jonathan's heater.

I made a running slide down the hallway with my hands waving in the air, taking in the crowd as they cheered!!!!  Cha-CHING!!  I suppose it's time to vacuum.  That took up the first two hours of the day, dumping not one or two but THREE bags-o-dirt in the trash.  It's amazing how much dirt accumulates on the floor.  I really need to find a housekeeper!

These videos were from a couple days ago.  I haven't seen much traffic on Route 66 lately.  Here's the newest member of the midnight crew.  Don't you wish you had that kind of strength?  THAT is a determined kitty!

Well hello there ..... wait for it ..... since the picket fell down completely (and the neighbor hasn't seen fit to nail it back up) the kids take the easy road into the yard now.  This brought back skunk memories!

Breakfast included a review on those tortillas.  Not EXACTLY the same, but close enough for me.  Yes, it's a tad bit dark brown because I took ten seconds to pet Cooper.  That's all it took.  I'm also trying to use up that pico de gallo I made.  Boy does it have way too many onions!!

Next up ... here's those sprinklers again, and again, and again!  What a pain they are.  This one was flooding the driveway, so it was finally time to dig it up.  YIKES!!  Once I got down to the bottom, there was a huge cave.  I thought gophers, but apparently it's a broken water line.  Oh Boy!!  That's going to cost me.  

I called the gardener and he showed up immediately.  Got to give him credit for that.  He said he will be here early this morning for the repair.  My inflated SCORE ego hit the concrete.

With the weather heating up nicely, it was time for a new Cooper Doo.  Lucky for me he tolerates my terrible horse clipper haircuts.

Not exactly neat and clean, but it will suffice, and I don't think he really cares.  He always gives me a big stretch when we're done.  His payment for good behavior is of course a 30 minute ball game.  He's the one who scores there ... right between the chair legs every time.

This was my view while covered with a quilt, trying to convince everyone I was asleep.  It didn't work.  John chortled, Cooper ran to the door barking like mad at the magpie who dared to land on his sidewalk, causing Jon to go into choruses of Disco Disco and I'm hungry.  There's no peace in this house!!

Dinner was dessert.  I'm one who loves the phrase EAT DESSERT FIRST!  This is half of the little boysenberry pie.  No, that's not a dinner plate, it's a little 6 incher, now made smaller by inflation.  If I had the recipe for that crust, I'd never buy another.  Wish I knew what their secret was!

And so the day ended as I nodded off on the couch to the sweet sounds of barrel racing.  I really need to stop watching this stuff.  It's making me want a horse again REALLY BADLY!!!

Monday, May 16, 2022


 Now there's two words I really hate to hear.  I contemplated the RV Recall all morning long, hoping I would not be among those selected to leave their rigs at the shop for four or five months waiting for repairs.  With the RV industry exploding during Covid, it has caused a major backup in everything "repairs", not counting the fuel and shipping issues.  Not that the dealers care one whit ... they are only about SELLING, not SERVICING.

So here's the bad news as far as what I have on it .... over 22,000 rigs will be recalled for replacement of gas line valves.  Exactly which valves, escapes me, but I think it's where the line hooks to your tank.  I could be wrong, so google it if you think you are included.

This would be anything these manufacturers made in 2022.  Cruiser RV, D RV, Heartland, Highland Ridge, KZ RV (never heard of that one), Starcraft and Thor.  Apparently the brass used in the fittings (made inTexas) was contaminated and will crack inside the line where you cannot see it if tightened too tight.  Gas will leak, you can die.  Here's the thing though ... the official recall notice will not be sent out until July 1, 2022.

Thank the Lord I'm not in that group, but that doesn't mean they won't admit it later on.  Of course parts to make the repairs are in very short supply at the moment.  Good luck to those who have the problem.

It was a rather long day.  I don't know what possessed me to set up another photo shoot for 10:00 on a Sunday morning.  Well actually, I do know ... She that is in charge wanted them done NOW.  

I came up with the idea of using something other than the big background.  It just takes too long for setup.  Hopefully these pictures come out okay.  In the meantime, I'm cutting out a chunk of background we can duck tape to the wall.

I have to admit, it was pretty funny seeing two people dressed in a tux on top and shorts on the bottom!

I was racing home when I remembered the little Mexican store.  They served amazing tortillas at the lodge from this place.  I slammed on the brakes and went inside.  SQUIRREL!!  I was immediately distracted by the TAMALE sign waving at me in the breeze.  Corn and chicken here, which all went in the freezer.  Okay, MOST went in the freezer.  I ate two and they were yummy ... but truthfully, not as good as mine.  Why is that?

I sewed for a bit in the afternoon, but was more interested in watching the newest crop of 3-year old bucking bulls performing for the first time at a rodeo.  WOW!!  I've never seen bulls buck like that before.  Out of twenty, only two riders hung on for 8 seconds.  

Just a side note, at the Bill Picket Invitational Rodeo (said at least 900 times during that performance) only two rode the horses, even though they were allowed to hold on with BOTH hands, and only one made the 8 second bell on the bull.  It was fun to see they included kids as young as 11 years old in the roping.

Anyway ... at 2:30 I remembered I had a ticket for a free drive-through chicken dinner.  Woohoo ... winner winner!!  I drove over to the local high school for pickup.  This turned out to be much more than I expected.  It will last me at last three days!!!

Oh wait ... there was another purchase at the Mexican store.  I didn't find the exact very thin flour tortillas we had previously, but I did find these.  SO much thinner than the normal grocery store version.  I'll have one for breakfast this morning and report on it later.  I have high hopes for these!!

I ended the day patiently waiting for the full moon to rise for some magnificent pictures.  Isn't this amazing?  It's not my picture.  I guess this is what it looked like somewhere in the world, but not here.  I looked high and low, but could see NOTHING.  

I finally parked out front, only to finally see just the faintest shadow behind the clouds.  The eclipse had apparently already happened behind the trees.   RATS!!  I missed it completely.  Better luck next time.

Finally, a day of rest.  I have absolutely nothing to do today except rest up for Tuesday's BINGO!!!  Cooper is a happy camper!!

Sunday, May 15, 2022

Broncs and Bierocks

 What could be better than waking up knowing you were going to a quilt store??  My name is Nancy and I'm addicted to fabric.  There really was another reason to head South ... a more important reason.  I was meeting up with good friends Barbara and Tom.  But first ... Mr. Bill Pickett!

Anyone who has been around rodeo knows the name Bill Pickett.  Born in December of 1870, he was one of thirteen children (yikes!) born to Thomas, a former slave, and Mary "Janie".  That meant his ancestry was African American and Cherokee Indian.

Bill left the fifth grade to become a ranch hand, working with the longhorn cattle of Texas.  It was known at the time that a bulldog (the real dog kind) could catch and hold a stray steer.  Bill thought he could do the same thing ... jump from his horse onto a steer and wrestle it to the ground by biting it's lip.  Bulldogging, or steer wresting was born.  It's what you see in rodeos today.

With four of his brothers, he established the Pickett Brothers Bronco Busters and Rough Riding Association.  He did his bulldogging act and became a hit!  In 1905 he joined the Miller Brothers 101 Ranch Wild West Show with Buffalo Bill, Will Rogers, Tom Mix and others.  He performed under the name The Dusky Demon.  

Unfortunately because he was black, he was not allowed at many rodeos, so he changed his ancestry to Comanche.  In 1921 he hit the movie industry, appearing in The Bull-Dogger and The Crimson Skull.  He finally retired in 1932 at the age of 62, but was kicked in the head by a bronc horse and died.  He is buried at the 101 Ranch that he loved.  

THAT is why I was watching the Bill Pickett Invitational Rodeo a couple days ago.  That's ALSO why I was watching these "bull fighters", the rodeo clowns that save lives.  All I can say is these guys are either crazy in the head, or VERY brave.  This is just a shot of my TV with my way-too-old phone.  Several got bull-mauled, but I guess it was worth it to win the $30,000 prize money.  

Finally it was time to head on off to my appointment in Fresno.  I arrived fairly early, with only one small piece of fabric in mind.  Here's my problem ... everything there is flowery.  I'm not exactly a flowery person ... I'm in to cowboy.  There was absolutely none to be found.

Did I tell you that binding for these quilts is like socks in the dryer?  They seem to disappear into thin air.  I had all those pieces in a box just waiting to be sewn, when three of them vanished.  Surely in this huge store I can find ONE piece.  I finally found it, but I'm not exactly thrilled with the match.  It only cost me $7 for half a yard (which tells you the price of fabric is now up to $14 a yard), so no big deal if I don't use it.  Just the backing material alone is usually 4-7 yards.  Uh huh --- expensive!

Hunger was setting in and it was time to meet up with Barbara and Tom.  I only saw them once at the RV rally for just a few minutes.   With Covid and all, it's been way too long.  We hit the Beerocks Shop for some bierocks and potato salad.  I can't tell you how nice it is to have something other than Taco Bell and Habit Burgers.  The food was delicious!

Barbara had these great 4" stickers made up for our Golden Spike RV Club.  That's the second reason for the trip.  We will give them out to everyone at the next rally ... whenever that will be.

In a flash, two hours went by as we chatted about everything under the sun.  All the while, I kept my eye on the pie showcase.  Hey, I wasn't the only one!!  Although I would have brought home some bierocks, I would have needed an ice chest.  These just sat on the seat of the truck and whispered sweet nothings into my ear.

It was a fabulous day with good friends.  We have to do that more often!!  

Coming up next ... a true Wolf Man full moon eclipse is happening tonight .... if I can stay awake that long!!  Really it's the flower moon ... just like the fabric in that quilt shop.

Saturday, May 14, 2022


 Can you hear the music from JAWS playing in the background?  It permeates my entire house every Friday the 13th.  It's why I stay home where it's safe and do practically nothing in order to survive.  That day is never my friend.

I savored my morning coffee to the very last drop before finally getting up off the couch.  There was a box in the back of my truck that was calling my name.  I had a $50 coupon for Boot Barn last week and knew exactly what I wanted.  I ordered these beauties on-line, praying they would fit when I got them.

Yesterday before the meeting, I got the call.  Of course I tried them on at the store and they fit terrible.  That would normally erupt into a refund on the spot.  Why I took them home, I've no clue.  These are Laredos.  I wore a pair of these every day for over 20 years ... and still have them.  

Since no one told me that all that marathon running would make your feet bigger, they no longer fit, although they are still in magnificent shape.  The lower heel is great for walking, yet perfect for riding.  

I tried them on again, but thought the 13th was showing it's ugly head.  Cue the Jaws music.  They were not comfortable and hurt my foot.  As I packed them up for the return, I stuck my hand inside to see what was causing the problem.  THIS is what I found, completely invisible when you looked inside.  I pulled these out and put them on again.  HEAVEN!!!  THEY FIT!!!  I wore them all day long since leather boots take some breaking in.

The first trip was outside to the concrete where I ground the edges off a tad on the heel and the sole.  It makes them non-slippery and a little easier to walk.  Those black marks on the driveway will go away eventually.  Then I picked up the critter cam.  

You should know your limitations, as in me not leaving the house on Friday the 13th.  This kitty has no limitations.  It's funny he wasn't the least bit interested in the last bit of chicken I tossed out for them.

After sewing for a bit, I doctored up my arm.  It's always amazing to me how red your flesh is under that skin.  I know, yuck!!!  At least it's healed up enough now that the aloe doesn't sting.  I have some long running sleeves I'm going to wear next time.  This is NOT fun!

The afternoon found me walking around the house looking for something, I know not what.  Boredom had set in.  Okay, I'll get on the old rowing machine.  Although it seems easy at first (and I can adjust the pull), it soon got pretty hard, meaning it was working.  In no time I was out of breath.  If nothing else, it does keep me limber.  Big surprise again .... nothing bad happened.

When dinner time rolled around, I had one of those HUGE chicken breasts in the fridge.  You know, the ones that are tough as nails?  I cut it into big slabs and got out the air fryer that has had little use lately.  I actually followed the directions and cooked it for 18 minutes on Roast at 375.  

I even put it on a REAL plate, hoping that would help it taste better.  Boy was I surprised.  This turned out to be the juiciest chicken I've ever had.  Chock one up for me ... take THAT Friday the 13th!!

A couple of small tacos became dinner.  With maybe six more of those gigantic chicken breasts in the freezer, this is the perfect way for me to cook them!

I ended the day with a little rodeo ... the Bill Pickett Invitational Rodeo ... showcasing all black contestants.  I bet you've never heard of Bill Pickett.  I'll talk about him tomorrow because I'll be heading out soon to the big city of Fresno.  

Friday, May 13, 2022

Yawn ... It Was A Good Day ....

Just another dragging butt morning in sunny California because of way too many late nights.  Who would have thought I'd get old and be this tired?  I'm on such a different time schedule than everyone else around here, it causes havoc to be up late at night attending Elks Lodge meetings that go on and on .... and on.  Try as I might to sleep in, it never happens.

Here's my every morning view.  Yup, that ball is way back under my armoire.  The kid has struck again!  It takes a long arm and a coat hangar to get it out .... every single morning.

Since I had leftover stale bread in the freezer, I whipped up the French toast casserole the afternoon before and left it in the fridge.  It was pretty easy to stick in the oven and bake.  Pay no attention to the burned pecans on top.  That was my addition, and now I know why the recipe author did NOT include them ... because they will burn.  I picked them off ... most of them anyway.

Once cooled down and smothered in syrup, it was delicious!!  The rest went in the freezer.  Yes, it really did, cut up into slices for that early morning sugar rush.  If sleep won't wake me up, maybe this will.

I finally got through the videos from the back yard.  It's been interesting to watch the "kids" pass through on their way to wherever.  There are big almond orchards in both directions, so I haven't determined which one is home.  Here's a good daytime image.  They must spend late nights out too, since they are coming home in the light of day.  

This is what shocked me, and I've been trying to catch it ever since.  There's no hole in the fence to the left.  Just a 7' tall brick wall.  Laying next to it is a roll of wire which they scaled with ease.  I had no idea these guys could climb like that.  

I set up the camera to capture their flight over the fence, but for some reason the camera isn't getting them. There is a one second delay (which I cannot change) before it actually turns on, meaning from this point to the fence, it takes them less than one second to disappear.  Just amazing!!

I tried to catch a few winks during the day between sewing another block and trying on every pair of Levis I have to see what still fits.  It was a futile pursuit.  Cooper ..... he got TWO HOURS of sleep!!!

At 4:30 I headed out to the secret meeting.  Who knew there was a secret club?  I was flattered they included me in the Mexican dinner before the long meeting.  I really did need something to keep me awake.  We all got a good laugh when the gal serving didn't know what White Zin was.  She finally came back with a bottle, completely murdering the pronunciation.  She got a big tip for putting up with us.

Off to the lodge we went, where the meeting went on and on.  There's discussion, we decide on something, and then that one person just goes on and on and on!!!  Or wait .... they bring up something to chew on again AFTER we've already decided and VOTED!!  You know, your normal group meeting stuff!!

It's actually three meetings in one, and I was heading out the door after only two.  Oops, my mistake.  I got an extra large coke to keep me awake.  I can't tell you what all went on, but we seem to be on the right track.  Luckily we have two lawyers in our group, one accountant, one police officer and several business owners.  We are on a roll at the Elks Lodge!!!

Although I'm still looking for western shirts, this is how I seem to feel these days about shopping.  I did a quick drive by of our local mall and discovered over half the stores closed and abandoned.  It's a complete mess with trash and debris spread out over the entire parking lot.  What a shame.

And so with nothing available locally, I'll be wearing those old holey shirts a while longer.  Of course if I'd lose 20 pounds, I would have lots of stuff to wear.  Wishful thinking.  

I'm hoping for another restful day today, as I'm heading out to a town 60 miles away tomorrow for some RV group business.  Well what do you know ... a quilt store lives there!!  

Thursday, May 12, 2022

It Never Fails

 Mr. Cooper and I tried to sleep in ... well at least "I" tried to sleep in.  Mr. Cooper is always raring to go get the ball for my morning yoga session.  It's not a bad thing.  There are lots of cracks, pops, moans and groans (all coming from me) as things get loosened up.

My coffee went down way too fast as time flew by.  I had a grocery store $10 off coupon with an expiration date burning a hole in my pocket.  So off I went to pick up whatever was on sale.  Pork is still reasonable here, but beef is up to $15.99 a pound.  The bad news is my grocery bill is up $80 a month.  That's a chunk for a single income house.

What I discovered was most of the things on my list were no longer available in the store.  Marsala wine for chicken marsala, lemon curd for lemon cheesecake, and the list goes on.  You know how they always ask if you found everything?  I couldn't wait.  Too bad nobody cared enough to even respond.

So why a picture of the Magic Castle?  There was one story I left out yesterday.  I'm telling you, it never fails.  Here's how it goes .... the girl sitting next to me counts the cards and tells me exactly what to punch in to the cash register.  It doesn't matter how many times the player tells me, I don't listen.  I only ring up what the girls says as she stacks them all together and hands them back to the player.

Thirty minutes later this player comes stomping up to the desk, cutting in front of everyone, demanding more cards.  She said we charged her but she didn't get them all.  This is one I've had trouble with before. She screamed at the top of her lungs "I AM NOT A LIAR" as she threw her receipt at us.  

I explained that those charges would not be on her receipt if she had not received the cards.  I finally gave in to keep the screaming to a minimum (this was all before the dog showed up) and gave her the cards, but told her in no uncertain terms that I would never do it again.  EVER.

Another thirty minutes went by and here she came again.  Oh GREAT!!  Now what?  She had found all the cards she accused us of not giving her.  Surprisingly she apologized, making my helper feel much better about the incorrect accusations, and returned the extra cards.  Yup ... that's how it goes most every week at Bingo.

Back to my kitchen, having eaten some of the best pico de gallo I've ever had at the Elks dinner, I sought to duplicate it.  It became a comedy of errors, as seems to be normal in my kitchen.

At least I got the tomato part right, chopped to perfection.  Into that I added onion, except it was the white one instead of the red.  What was I thinking?  Chopping the jalapeƱo was fun as I tried to be sure I didn't get too much.

I completely forgot the garlic, but chopped the cilantro and mixed it up.  My mouth was watering!!  Wasn't I surprised to find the cilantro had magically turned into parsley!!  And WOW ... that onion was STRONG!  I just stood there and shook my head.  What a letdown!!  Next time I'll just buy it pre-made.

In the afternoon, Cooper insisted on snoozing on the couch for a couple of hours.  Since I'm not allowed to get up, I watched more rodeo.  I'm surprised to see so many competitions around the country since I rarely ever hear of anything in California.  Another hour went by as I balanced my checkbooks, which is always a big surprise!  You would think an accountant would keep better control over those things.

And then there were four .... I was able to gather up the wherewithal to finish up block numero quatro.  I've decided to view this project as my diet.  Every time I think about that cake in the fridge, I sit down and sew for 30 minutes.  So far it's working pretty well ... at least as well as can be expected with my sweet tooth.

This morning I'll be out picking up the game camera once again.  I think I've found something rather interesting ... a WOW moment.  I'll post the videos tomorrow.  Today I'm hoping for a snooze before heading off to a long 3 hour meeting at the Elks Lodge, where I've actually put my accounting skills to good use.

Wednesday, May 11, 2022

BINGO ... Not What You Think!!

A good chilly morning to you!  I'm sitting here with my cup of Joe, exhausted from too much leg work.  I spent way too much time in my tenny-sneaks to have been wearing my cowboy boots for six hours with no sit down.  The second day is always the worst.  Add to that last night's Bingo and I'm pretty tuckered and achy.  

No worries though ... last night's antics keep us laughing and today I'll park on the couch with some gatorade.

Well hello there!!!  This bright eyed, soft muzzled kid came into Bingo last night, sliding through the back door with her nose going a hundred miles an hour.  She was followed by a second boy named Banshee who howls like ... well you know, a BANSHEE.

Let me set the stage for you.  Last week, our joke-filled Bingo caller told everyone that their Bingo proceeds went to the Merced County Sheriff's Department to purchase a dog (yes it's true).  The dog was coming for a visit to meet everyone and thank them.   He warned them all to leave their "drug stash" at home on this night and to wear fresh, clean clothes.  

Apparently he panicked the peasants because we barely made 100 folks, compared to our normal 130-150.  It seems they took him very seriously and did NOT show up for last nights festivities.

Meet 8 month old BINGO.  She's as sweet as they come!  Yessirree the Merced Elks purchased this dog and it's training for the Sheriff.  Bingo just returned from three months in Florida for CADAVER training.  She's also good at finding lost people and bank robbers.  PEOPLE sniffing folks, not DRUG sniffing.  Boy did we all get a big laugh out of that!!!

Can you imagine how big she's going to get?  She's just a baby!

This is Banshee who came with sweet Bingo to the lodge to say hello.  We got to pet both of them ... they love their scratches!  

These two hound dogs will not only be used here, but all over the U.S. whenever they are needed to find people.  

After lots of love, they both headed out.  That's when our unstoppable laughter began, because most of the volunteers on this night didn't know about the "drug" dog.  One gal even remarked how she noticed none of the players smelled like marijuana!!  More laughter erupted when Bingo kept honing in on the women's bathroom!!  Yes sweetheart, it does smell like dead people in there!!  Hopefully next week all our players will be back.  

It was a good night in Elkdom!!  I'll be on the couch trying to heal up!