Tuesday, May 31, 2022

Winner Winner PORK Dinner

I woke up yesterday morning.  In my book, that's the best thing that can happen.  I'm still here, able to thank those who gave their lives for us, and have my cup-o-joe on the patio.  What a fabulous morning it was ... cooler than normal, probably due to all the snow up North.  Snow ..... and it's basically JUNE!

Having actually thought ahead, I went to the store late Sunday, hoping everyone had already done their shopping.  I was so very wrong.  It was packed to the gills, but luckily I was able to snag one slab of baby back ribs.  It's time to get my smoking on!!!

I drug the smoker from the garage, not an easy task, and got her plugged in.  I love this box.  It's a Bradley Smoker that almost doesn't need any human intervention.  Almost!!!  She has become a little slow to warm up, but I know how that is.  I attached the controls to the side where the foil is at the bottom, and set her temperature to high.

Here it is ... my ONE little baby back rib that cost me $17.00.  I get six meals out of it, so I suppose I can't complain.  Whole chickens were up to $15.00.  Big sigh.  HAMBURGER IS $8.99 A POUND!!!  

Anyway, I smothered this baby in Pig Powder, the best rub I've ever used and let it sit in the fridge overnight.  Yes Pig Powder cost a pretty penny, but you don't really need to use all that much and the flavor is the BEST I've ever had.

Two full hours of smoke at 225, wrap them in foil and back in they go for another hour to cook.  If you want them saucy, take them out, sauce them up and back in the smoker they go for 30-60 minutes more.  I just left them in, to sauce when I eat.  Really, these are so good you can do without the sauce.

OH YEAH .... winner winner Pork Dinner!!!  They were amazing.  Too bad I forgot about having anything with them, not that I needed anything.  I finally made a small green salad so I wouldn't eat the entire thing in one fell swoop!!!

What I didn't forget was DESSERT.  Patsy Richards mentioned in her blog that she made pineapple cheesecake.  It sounded wonderful and it WAS ... until later.  I found this no-bake recipe on the web and whipped it up in a flash, sticking it in the freezer to set up.  Oh boy ... my mouth was watering!!

I didn't do much else, trying to keep an eye on the ribs.  At last I decided to plant the gazanias Cyndae had sent home with me.  Don't laugh, but she has collected parts and pieces from all around her city ... the Walmart parking lot, next to the gas station, Home Depot ... and filled planters in her back yard.  I won't tell you where she lives so she doesn't get arrested!!

This corner holds all the crazy driftwood I've collected over the years, including a big chunk from one of the moorings for the boats that landed in Alaska during the gold rush.  Nothing else seemed to grow here, but I did find out why.  The Gardeners had run their mower through and drug the drip line back under another shrub.  Good Grief!!!  I repaired that and added several lines to the new plants.  Hopefully they will grow.  If not, I'll pick up something to replace them.

Full of WAY too many ribs and cheesecake after dinner, I waddled to bed.  I should have known better.  Two hours later I was up with a horrible stomach ache.  That'll teach me!!!  It was an awful night, fraught with nightmares of being on an Air Force base, trying to get home by stealing a B-52.  Oh I tried sweet talking those good looking guys, but to no avail.  At last, whoever was with me (I've no idea) got to fly while I stole the pickup truck.  SO NO MORE RIBS AND CHEESECAKE FOR ME!!!

Hopefully I heal up quickly because it's BINGO TIME!!

Monday, May 30, 2022

Remember on Memorial Day

It's a day to remember everyone who lost their lives giving us the life we have in this great country.  Without their sacrifice, we would not have the freedom to do what we want, to make a living, to travel freely and to raise families.  We owe them EVERYTHING!!  Please take a moment to remember them today.

 A change of scenery is always nice, but when it includes a hot tub, it's even better.  The weather could not have been more perfect on Sunday.  Luckily I did sneak in a bathing suit, not knowing whether we would be in hot water or not.  When Cyndae said we're going in, I was ready!!

Thirty minutes later we were getting ready for breakfast at Sandy's house.  I met her years ago at an RV gathering in Modesto.  She and her husband belonged to the same group.  For one reason or another, none of us have husbands left, so we women need to band together!!  

It was like an up-scale hotel buffet!  We filled our plates and headed for the patio where Kitty Buddy was waiting.

Let's just say Buddy is a Fat Cat and it's not by money.  He made the round of everyones feet so you had the chance of rubbing his back with your shoe while we ate bacon, eggs, fruit, croissants and things I didn't know the name of.  They were all delicious!!

We talked for another hour since Sandy and I feel the same about PG&E, as she read the latest note saying they can only water their lawns at certain hours and only three days a week.  Maybe if they quit allowing all those 1100 houses to be built, they would have more water for everyone already there.  How can you do that?  Literally built a town right next door, then demand you use less water???  It makes me crazy!!

Back to Cyndae's house, Cooper and I went for a nice walk before packing up to leave.  These walkways criss cross the neighborhood.  Cooper had a great time watering the concrete.

Here's an example of "no lawn" across from Cyndae's house.  I might think about this for part of my front yard, except I know from experience, all that shredded wood ground cover will end up in the trash cans as the gardeners blow everything around.  At one time I actually had heavy rubber mulch in every flower bed.  It's all gone now ...

We met lots of these guys on our walk.  It seems they grow a huge crop of slugs.  Cooper was very interested in these guys!

Back at the house, we began to pack up.  Cyndae's not aware of how sneaky Cooper can be.  He was in panic mode because he thought he was going to be left behind.  He slipped out the door and ran right by me straight for the street!  I called him several times as I ran after him, but he never looked back.  

He went straight to the truck door and tried to jump in.  He was NOT going to be left here!!!  Poor Baby ... I put him in the truck and locked him to the seatbelt.  He was a happy camper!

Traffic wasn't bad, but there were even more crazies on the road.  In 2-1/2 hours of driving, although I looked everywhere, I did not see one single CHP (California Highway Patrol) the entire way ... NOT ONE!!  And we wonder why people drive like they are in a video game.  

To prove my point, I drove 75 and 80 for about an hour, just to see if I would get stopped.  Nope ... not a single cop car the entire way.  They complain they have no financing ... well maybe if the guys they do have were actually on the highway, they could make enough money from tickets to PAY for more!!!

That's my California rant of the day!!  I'm off to smoke some Pig Powder covered ribs for my dinner!

Sunday, May 29, 2022

A Cooper Adventure

 I can't help it .... I love this picture of Cooper.  Best laid plans go awry, which is what happened with my picture taking adventure yesterday.  

This is me getting up at 4:30 after laying awake for 30 minutes, navigating the dark hallway while trying to be quiet as a mouse.  Cooper goes out first thing in the morning.  Then we roll around on the floor a bit with the ball before heading back to the bedroom for computer time.  It's hard to see the ball when it's this dark.  Even harder to keep Cooper from barking and waking up our hostess.

Oh ... and don't forget the tile floors.  Tile is not Cooper's friend.  If he gets scared due to new surroundings, he runs, slipping and sliding all over the tile.  The end result is he will never step foot on that tile again.  Any movement from place to place has Mom carrying him.  Yes I could drag him, or just leave him, but that results in barking.  Lots of barking!!!

After a quick breakfast, we went out for breakfast.  Yes you read that right, although Sun Chips probably aren't considered breakfast food in most places.  When I mentioned taking Cooper for a walk through the neighborhood, Cyndae suggested we walk to Solano Baking Company.  She called and invited two of her single friends from the neighborhood to meet us.

I wasn't sure if Cooper was going to make it, being 3/4 of a mile and crossing a noisy street.  There was lots of tugging and pulling since he wanted to smell every single bush along the dog walk to get there.  When he freaked out from the traffic, there was a little carrying involved, but we made it and even garnered a table to sit at.

It's a pretty popular place.  That's the line out the door above, which never went away.  I quickly walked inside with Cooper to see what they had, then held the table down while Cyndae did the ordering.

This was a whole new adventure for Cooper.  You can tell by the look on his face he wasn't sure what was going on.  That's Cyndae, still waiting in line.

The other two ladies showed up and we scarfed down ham and cheese filled croissants that were amazing.  I would be in big trouble if I lived close to this place.  Maybe it's a good thing there is absolutely nothing around my house for ten miles.

There would be more pictures if my phone hadn't died a horrible death in the twenty minutes it took us to get there.  I definitely need a new battery, or a new phone.  Ugh .......

Back home, we binge watched (now there's some words I never thought I'd hear about me) The Lincoln Lawyer, based on several books.  I would not normally be interested in anything like that, but I have to say it was a really good series.  No way did we even come close to figuring out "who done it".  

Later, one of the gals came over for dinner ... leftovers from our cooking frenzy.  We had artichokes, Brussel sprouts, fajita meat, huge bowls of fruit, a beet salad and whatever else we could scrounge from the fridge.  It was different ........

Then we played Rummy.  It's like Gin Rummy, but with tiles instead of cards.  It seemed I always found the "move" after I had passed my turn.  With beginners luck, I won the second game.  It was a great way to pass the time.  I should have gone to the local casino since I also won the third game, but only because Cyndae couldn't find a spot for her last tile.  

I'm heading back home this morning.  No use pushing my luck with the Monday end-of-weekend traffic.  It's been a great weekend with great friends.  Cooper and Jonathan will be happy to get back home.

Saturday, May 28, 2022


 When you're on a different schedule than most everyone else in the world, it's hard to fit in quietly.  If you have your own little home you tow around with you, it's SO much easier.

There's no early morning coffee to wake me up and make for better blog writing.  There's just fuzzy headed me trying to type on my computer while sitting on the edge of the bed.  The word is always QUIET.  Be quiet so you don't wake up Cyndae, while chasing Cooper who is chasing his ball around the living room.

I try to sleep in, but it's not happening as I lay awake staring at the ceiling.  Bad Nancy also forgot to take pictures of just about everything yesterday.  I promise I'll shape up ... after a couple cups of coffee, maybe around noon.

The weather couldn't be more perfect.  A slight breeze all day long with temps in the mid 70's.  Cooper chased his ball in the back yard for an hour.  I think this totally new-to-him kind of life has him a little bit nervous since he's refusing to eat.  I was hoping walks would help, but it was only the roasted chicken from the store that brought him around.  He's a nervous Nelly.  Hmmm sound familiar?

We finally got going about 10:00, headed straight to the quilt store.  There are several around here and this one was fabulous.  I was so mesmerized by the gorgeous fabric I've never seen before that I didn't take ONE SINGLE PICTURE!!!  

I tried hard not to buy anything, but with beautiful cowboy-ish backing fabric on sale, how could I resist.  It's now resting peacefully in my truck .... with no pictures.  I'm shaking my head.  At least I did remember to snap a photo of this aloe plant in Cyndae's back yard.  This is something I've been looking for to grow in Arizona.  Weird it shows up in central California.

After the quilt shop, we made a detour down the road a bit to check out the new 1100 houses they are building ... yes 1100 ... in several different subdivisions side by side.  I have to admit the houses are really nice and set far apart, unlike the 10' apart ones in Arizona where you can hear your neighbor's toilet flush.

These also had all tile roofs and many had RV parking structures attached to the house.  This might be a really nice place to live!!  The most interesting part .... there was no grass to be seen at any of the houses.  There was only some shrubs, maybe one tree and lots of pampas grass.  It gave me several ideas for my back yard ... maybe even my front yard

A trip to Safeway garnered lots of fun Memorial Day Weekend stuff to eat ... fajitas, chips and salsa and lots of fresh fruit.  How nice to have a great place to shop just down the street.  There was one caveat ... the chicken I buy at Safeway in Vail at $2.99 a pound is $6.79 a pound here.  YIKES!!!  

I'm also impressed that this neighborhood is so quiet.  No big parties, no street racing, no loud music all night long ... amazing!!

I'm not sure exactly what's in store for today ... it will be hours before anyone else wakes up.  If nothing else, I'm determined I will NOT be Bad Nancy again ..... I WILL take pictures!!!

Friday, May 27, 2022

How I Became An Accountant

 Sometimes your plans work out, sometimes not.  I thought maybe if I called it Labor Day, I could skip all the heat this summer is going to bring.  Just skip all the days of fans running 24-7 and slide right into the REAL Labor Day.  It almost worked, but you guys caught me!!

I left about noon, knowing traffic was going to be a bear.  Sure enough, it was a cross between a grizzly and a polar bear.  I drive like a bat out of hell ... but those guys on the freeway put me to shame.  I've never seen anything like it.  I came real close to creaming a guy who jumped over two lanes to end up on my bumper because I was already moving over.  He has no idea what that thing is on the steering column.  It's called a turn signal.

At any rate, I made it without screaming my head off or honking the horn for two minutes at some idiot.  Jamming in front of me at 75 mph without signaling when there isn't enough room, will land you on my HONKING list, not that it does any good.

This is a pretty different trip for the two kids.  They don't quite know what to do, not being in THEIR house.  Cooper wouldn't settle down at all, in spite of the nice soft blanket Cyndae offered him.  Finally five hours later, he crashed.

So with nothing to really write about and no pictures, I'll just give you a quick answer to the question how did I become an accountant.

In high school, so many moons ago, girls were not allowed to wear pants of any kind.  We were forced to wear dresses every single day.  You can imagine how that went over with me, the Levi Queen.  That also meant girls were not allowed in FFA .. Future Farmers of America, the only classes that had anything to do with agriculture.  

Girls had two choices ... home economics (cooking and sewing) or secretarial work.  Having been cooking since I was about ten years old, I passed on that and went into secretarial classes.  Typing and shorthand were the mainstays.  

Literally the day I graduated high school, they changed the rules.  Women could wear pants, but still not take any ag classes.  Off I went to Junior College, hoping to become a veterinarian.  That's all I wanted ... was to work with animals.  That's when I found out they didn't allow women either.  I was stuck with math and secretarial duties.

Fast forward through many years of crazy adventures, I ended up in the construction industry putting my math skills to good use getting a company out of bankruptcy.  I married the owner, became a Licensed General Engineering Contractor (bet you never thought you'd hear that about me) and ended up divorced, taking my horses with me.  

Earning a living and feeding those horses became pretty difficult, so I decided to go to the closest State University and get my degree in what I knew best at that point ... math and accounting.  I was 46 years old at the time.  I spent every minute studying and graduated with honors ... an accountant!!

Thankfully I got a great job at twice the pay with that degree and the greatest retirement ever.  And that's how I became an accountant.

Hopefully tomorrow I'll have more to write about.  Happy Memorial Day!!!

Thursday, May 26, 2022

Side Yard Revealed

No drum roll today .... this isn't all that spectacular, but it's Cooper approved.  With eight less sprinklers running a total of 60 minutes, it should save me a bit on water and electricity.  Part of that "bit" will go back on the front to try and keep it looking as decent as possible.   The rocks are big enough I can blow the leaves off if necessary without moving the rocks at all.

My morning lounge on the patio revealed two sprinklers that required attention.  A homeowners work is never done.  I don't know how they start out straight up, yet end up at a 45 degree angle.  I dug clear down to the bottom of two, about ten inches, made them stand straight up, then put a few rocks at the bottom to hold them in place.  Don't you just love all that dirt under your fingernails that doesn't want to come out?

Next I went out front and dug up four plants that have died.  I think they are called Lady of the Nile.  Why they passed on to the flower garden in the sky is beyond me.  I'm sure part of it is because the gardeners kept cutting the drip lines.  

Wasn't I surprised when I dug them up to find a billion ants.  Really??  Do ants kill plants?  I've never seen anything like it.  They spread like wildfire, right up my legs.  In an instant I had bites everywhere.  I'm guessing they set up housekeeping because there was water there?  All four plants went in the garbage bin.  

I do rather like the minimal look, but will try to find something to plant ... maybe rose bushes.  I will most likely have to replace both those plants in front for the same reason.

With the afternoon heat up to 103, I was cooped up inside sewing, but even that gets boring.  I got out my instant pot to cook up a little beef for Cooper, part of which I steal for tacos.  I was completely distracted by the Bull Fighting Championship until I heard BEEP BEEP!!  BURN notice!!!  I forgot to put in the water.  I'm beginning to worry about myself.  A quick fix and an hour later we had BEEF!

Having spent so much time in the back yard, it finally dawned on me that I had the rig plugged in to power ..... but I have SOLAR now.  I unplugged it and let the sun charge the batteries.  That won't make a noticeable difference in the electric bill, but every little bit helps.

I didn't get cake for my birthday, but I did have a bowl or two (okay three) of ice cream.  In an effort to reduce the food bill, I picked up Save Mart's brand.  Caramel butter pecan.  This is not it.  That container had pecans in it that were so rancid I couldn't eat it.  I'm not kidding ... it was awful!  I took pictures of the code numbers and will let them know just how terrible it was.

This is Tillamook brand, so you know every single bite is delicious with NO rotten nuts!!  Of course there's a little extra caramel on top.

So today I'm heading out on a road trip.  Good friend Cyndae invited all of us ... Cooper, Jonathan and myself ... to come stay for the weekend.  Since it's Labor Day weekend, traffic will be a bear, but it's worth it to go visit and see what shopping trouble we can get into.  She lives up North where there are actually clothing stores!!!

I'm not taking the rig, just the kids and I in the truck.  This should be fun, right?  Me, two kids, kid groceries and my luggage in the truck, not to mention dog toys!!!

Wednesday, May 25, 2022

What Time Is It ..... ???

It's BINGO time!!!!!!!

It was one of those long drawn out mornings where you have so much to do but can't do any of it because you are waiting on the workers to finish the back yard.  I traipsed back and forth between the sewing room and the front window, looking at that pair of Levis that needed to be returned ..... just waiting .......

Here's my tip of the day.  Never EVER buy Levis without trying them on first.  Even though you bought the exact same pair last month and they fit great, that second pair will NEVER fit right unless you try them on.  I bought them because I had a $48 credit at Boot Barn.  Basically, the Levis were free, assuming I can now find another pair that actually fit.  They sat on the counter all morning long, as did the return to Amazon.  

I'll finish up the lawn story tomorrow because BINGO was calling my name loud and clear.  

I arrived in time for a birthday short glass of white zin.  I forgot once and they brought me a glass the size of the Grand Canyon.  This time I got the small version.  You see on your birthday, the Elks Lodge gives you four drinks for free.  I usually give them away.  Now if they gave DESSERT tickets, I'd be in like Flynn.

The chaos soon began.  The peasants flooded in the door to greet the other players already ensconced in their seats.  If you are a member, you have the door code, which means they show up at 2:00 (bingo starts at 6:30) just to be sure they get THEIR lucky seat.  Fanatics I tell you!!!

After getting set up, I opened MY doors like the floodgates at Niagara Falls.  We ran them through in record time before the calling began.

Here's what the balls look like.  We have the fancy machine that blows them around with air.  Open the slot, a ball flies up, you grab it and place it in the special little spot (numbers facing the right direction) so it can be read on the monitors around the room.  As you call that number out loud and place it on the playing table, you grab another.  Your timing has to be impeccable, which of course you know doesn't happen.

A ball got dropped on the floor.  You would think Frankenstein was on the stage as the pitchforks came out in record numbers.  I salute the callers who are brave enough to get up on that stage.  Luckily this guy is a 6 foot 5 inch brute, so the peasants didn't riot TOO much.

Like my infernal machine, the bingo machine has its moments of procrastination.  If you accidentally touch one cord, it shuts down completely.  Resetting occurs by the head Knight of the Round Table while loud mumbling is heard.  You've interrupted their mojo and ye shall be punished.

At last they got it fixed, just in time for seven people to scream BINGO!!  It's hard to divvey up $200 to seven players.  Supposedly the cards are set up with only so many bingos per box of cards.  Once you win, a Castle Guard reads off the number on your card.  That number is entered into the Bingo machine which magically knows whether or not it is a legit bingo.  How, I have no clue, nor do I ever want to find out because that means you can substitute for the CALLER.  No one wants to call because you get stuck with pitchforks.

It's interesting to note that we have almost a complete change in peasants.  I recognize very few of them any more, which means my gal and I are constantly having to reiterate the rules.  Don't lose your red ticket, keep your receipt and YES I AM going to touch your cards because we have to count every single one.  Touching is bad luck.  Too bad!!  They just don't want you to find that extra card they stuck in the pack.  

They also found out we can give cash back.  We do that because they turn around and buy pull tabs by the hundreds.  I again ran out of money for payouts and had to hit the back room for the hidden stash.

One more thing you get .... if your birthday was within the last seven days, you get ten pull tabs for FREE!!  Of course we make them show their drivers license, otherwise they would be getting them every week.  I don't know why they bother, because you rarely win anything.

Take me for example .... yes, even "I" got those little cards.  There must be something I'm missing about tearing the tabs off (therefore called pull tabs) because it wasn't fun at all to get absolutely nothing on the first 9 cards.  FINALLY ... I won a whole dollar on the last one.  Woohoo!!!!  Boy was THAT a letdown!!

And so the night ended as I drove off into the darkness, happy as a clam that the infernal machine balanced yet again.  Until next week bingo .... until next week!!

Tuesday, May 24, 2022

Now You See It .........

It's amazing how time flies.  I don't contemplate that kind of thing much, but lately it's been going faster than lightning.  One minute I think I've got all day to get things done, and the next it's three days later.  I sipped my morning coffee as I remembered all the crazy things I've done in my life.  It's a miracle I survived.  It's not that I have any great instincts, just pure dumb luck!!

Like the time my Yosemite National Park roommate and I headed down the hill, only to have her car break down.  We both worked there for a couple of years.  When two guys drove up in their nice little chevy, we jumped right in the back seat, hitching a ride back to the park.  During our conversation, they mentioned they were on parole.  Panic set in quicker than you can imagine.  I told them we could take a shortcut walk to our lodge, much faster than the drive they would have to make to drop us off.  They kept driving.  

Just by pure dumb luck, a truck pulled out in front of them, forcing them to stop the car.  We opened our doors and ran,  making a quick escape through the trees.  How stupid was that of us to get in a stranger's car?  Thank goodness there were no automatic locking doors back then!!  We certainly learned our lesson!

Not really, there were so many more incidents where I could have disappeared completely.  I should write a book.

Anyway, back to the back yard ... that's a dog kennel at the far end, making this the perfect dog run when finished.

Not that it's going to be used as a dog run.  My dog has the RUN of the house.  Wasn't I surprised when the guys showed up with shovels.  Seriously, you are going to take out all this grass by hand?

Yup ... that's exactly what they did, on a hot muggy day.  I felt bad as I sat sipping my icy cold Pepsi.  They also capped off eight sprinklers.  Not that this will save me much money, it will only give me more water to throw on the front yard grass to keep it from looking like an abandoned house.

Now you don't see it any more!  They cleaned it all out and leveled it (almost) with a slight downward slant away from the house.  They sprayed it with weed killer before covering the area with heavy cloth to keep the weeds at bay. We all know that will work for awhile, but eventually I'll have to spray the weeds.  The rock will be laid down today. 

He said for $7,000 I could do that to the entire back yard.  Hahaha no thank you!!  You do have to think about resale value at some point.  Plus Cooper wouldn't have a soft surface to play the ball game.

I checked the game camera again with no results.  I'm afraid that closing the fence off will be the end of the fox trot through my yard, even if I have seen them jumping the fence.  Gosh, there are so many loose boards on that side, maybe one will just magically fall off.  I can only hope!!!!

Some other thoughts I've had .... today one more number has been added to my score.  I never thought I would EVER be this old.  Truly, I know how lucky I am to still be on this earth.  Time is short ... and I'm tired of sitting home trying to save a few dollars on fuel ... well, a few hundred dollars at the moment.  I'm bored to death and need a road trip, so I'm making up a list of places to go.  I'll let you know how that turns out!!

Monday, May 23, 2022

Arranging Cans .....

 Although the days are getting considerably warmer, up to 103 by Wednesday, the nights are staying cool in the high 50's.  That works really well for me since I can pull in the cool, which will last up until late in the evening.  One thing my house does have is a good bit of insulation in spite of the walls of windows. 

 I'm not sure why people put in so many windows, although it is nice to look outside to see who is stealing stuff off your front porch.  In the end, they just cover them up with lots of expensive shutters, floor to ceiling.  Those require cleaning, and we know where THAT'S going!!!  Cleaning is at the bottom of my list.

Here's the latest Fox trot through the back yard.  If you didn't read it yesterday, my faith in neighbors has been restored as the one with the pool fixed the water drain.  YAY!!!  Not only that, but they have caused some construction backup on Highway 66 here, by putting a nice pretty new board in the fox hole.  It will be interesting to see what detour the kids take.

About the ranch ... there was one early 1900's house with 640 acres of land.  After the cattle market sank below the water level, we were forced to sell out and get real jobs.  Luckily a neighbor talked my dad into growing rice.  At that time, we had our own markets for sales.  We made enough to finally pay off the mortgage and build a new house for my parents.  Then all the markets died the death of government.  We were no longer allowed to sell rice overseas.  I bet you didn't know that one!!  Rice sales died completely.

We leased out the property for farming for several years before my dad passed away.  When my mom died too, we sold the land to the company who farmed it, still keeping the two houses.  At that time, I sold my house and horse property to move back to the ranch house permanently.  

Everything was hunky dory until my brother decided to move to Montana and forced the sale of the two houses and remaining forty acres.  I didn't have enough money to buy him out since at that time the value had gone up so high, nor could I afford to buy another house with land for horses.

Sooo ... my heart broke as the last piece was sold off and I finally found this bankruptcy house I live in now, with just enough room to keep two horses.  The new ranch owners fixed up the houses and continue to farm the ground to this day.  I don't go by there any more .... it just makes me too sad.

What better way to cheer me up than FOOD!!!!  I spent a couple of hours rearranging the canned food locker yesterday.  Wasn't I surprised to find things from 2017!!  Yikes!!  I think that's just a tad past the pull date.  I should probably do this more often.  I even have room on the spice rack now, having gotten rid of things from as far back as 2005.  

Then I made a run on the freezer.  If anyone likes street corn, this one is pretty tasty.   I don't eat it like a vegetable, I just toss a small bit on my tacos.  

Obviously it looks nothing like the box!!  I mean really, not even close, but it adds a nice sweet smoky flavor to tacos and burritos.

Having reached my maximum OH CRAP weight, I opted for veggies for dinner.  The on-line pictures looked delicious, and nothing at all like this.  It's zucchini tossed in spices with some parmesan thrown in. Apparently I wasn't supposed to do the throw-in until it was cooked, making for a big mess in my air fryer. 

Then I thought ... why not toss in some broccoli?  For those that have air fryers, do NOT do that.  Those little broccoli flowerets turned black as my driveway tire tracks and ruined the taste of it ALL.  Believe me, burned broccoli is not something you want in your mouth.

So much for eating healthy.  I baked up a few loaves of Hawaiian banana bread to get rid of the bad taste.  It worked like a charm.  Jonathan was also very appreciative.  It's one of his favorites.

I spent most of the day working on this beauty.  It's a Butler saddle, most popular in this area.  I suppose every area has it's saddle maker that everyone swears by.  This is it for me.  I loved it so much I had him make another one, all fancy dancy for showing horses in competitions.  

Now that it's clean, I'll smother it in oil made just for leather to soften it up and restore it's beauty.    When that's done, I'll start on the other saddle.  

The gardeners are coming this morning to remove that grass, so I better get busy opening up Fort Knox to allow them access.  I'll have pictures tomorrow.

Sunday, May 22, 2022

Pico, Polly, Tivio Cat, Nugget and More

#@%$#^%$(@#$%#$^@!!!  Good morning!!!!!  Yup that's all the bad words I said about my neighbor last night who had a big party, complete with microphones, big amps and screaming loud music until 2 am.  Earplugs and pillows over my head did little to dampen the noise. If my train of thought runs amuck this morning, you will know why.   

Yes I definitely need to move.  It happened when the market crashed 12 years ago and these houses sold for 1/3 of their real value, allowing younger not-so-stable people to move in.  Obviously no one teaches their kids manners any more.  I mean really, who would take their dog onto someone else's lawn to do his business and just leave it there.  Yup ... that would be one of my neighbors on my lawn.  Crazy, right??

UPDATE:  My neighbors fixed the water running on my property causing those pesky weeds to grow.  I was out spraying them when I got the text message.  They have restored my faith in neighbors!!!

Anyway, my coffee is sort of working.  There's nothing like that 2-hours-of-sleep drug out exhausted feeling.  

I did yell out this word when I saw the video.  Raccoon!!!  Who would have thought we have raccoons in this area?  Just like the fox, he's on the road to somewhere, passing by all the rest stops!!  I need to find a better location for the camera.

In case you were wondering where all the cowgirl stuff came from, I got my first horse at four years old.  This is me at 5 on my horse Pico.  I'm the one on the back.  I was forced to give up the drivers seat to a friend who didn't know how to ride. 

This horse was bomb proof, but boy could he cut a cow!!  He was a little too tall for me to climb on, so I would lead him up to the half barrel water trough, step on the edge and jump on.  There was no help in that department, you had to be self sufficient on the ranch, even at five years old.  Other days we would use his long mane as a rope around his neck, lead him up to the fence in the corral and jump on bareback.  We would ride around the corral for hours, later getting chastised for our dirty butt Levis.

After Pico came Polly (the runner who had no patience for new riders), her colt Echo, Nugget (a real cutting horse who would kick you if you touched his tail), Cricket (who would run away with you if you let her), Tivio Cat who bucked me off on her first ride because my dad jumped in front of her, scaring her into the wildest bucking scene I've ever known) and many many more.  My love of horses was all consuming.  If I wasn't in school, I was on a horse.

My love of this kid is the same.  Although his eating is not exactly back to normal, he's feeling better and his ball game is exceptional.  You can see the intensity.  He's thirteen by the way, and plays just as hard as when he was three.

Yeah, this is what my living room looks like most of the time.  He puts the ball down and pulls the rug over it.  It's how I keep in shape, kicking the rug back in place so I don't trip over it and break my neck!!

An hour later, there's this!!  The weird positions he gets his legs in cracks me up.

Finally, it was time to get something accomplished.  I had not emptied my water tanks in the rig.  Why they put that drain handle two feet back underneath the tire is beyond me.  I need to find some kind of handle, because by the time you pull it and back out, you are soaking wet.  I also dumped the hot water tank.  

For you trailer people out there ... how long do you think this plastic cap is going to last?  I try not to tighten it up too much, but I hear of them breaking.  It has some kind of yellow stuff on the threads.  Do I need to put more on occasionally?  This is all new to me since my other rig had on-demand hot water, no hot water tank.

And then I noticed this.  This is an auto leveling system.  To be level, the right side tires are off the ground.  Is this okay or do I need to add some blocks under the tires.  I have always read it's not good to let the jacks carry all the weight.  But of course I could be out in left field.

Another fifteen minutes was spent adjusting the air in the truck tires back down to normal driving.  If I don't, it feels like I'm tippy toeing down the road, not to mention it's rough as heck.  Another adjustment to the air bags and I'm good until the next trip.

As much as I want to go on a road trip, that $75 price tag for the diesel just to go to the foothills has me stuck at home.  I can be real conservative when the cost hits my wallet.  It's the accountant in me.