Sunday, July 31, 2022

Lost in Costco

 You can't beat this morning view while enjoying your coffee and your dog.  I never seem to be able to get far from the ball.  The good news is Cooper is happy as a clam if you are throwing or kicking that nasty slimy thing his direction.  Just be sure and wash your hands before breakfast.  We've been running in the high 90's with occasional cloud cover.  In fact, it's supposed to rain tomorrow.  You and I both know that's not going to happen.

With a list of errands to run, I decided to get an early start.  Saturday at Costco is never a good idea, but my brain said all I had to do was have my glasses checked.  In order to read my phone, I have to look at the bottom of the frame and hold them up a tad.  Mr. Ed said I should take them back ....

The lady was as nice as could be.  It is an unusual experience to find an employee who likes their job as much as she did.   She found the problem immediately, but sadly, they have to be remade.  That's another seven days (maybe more) that I have to keep gluing my old glasses together.  The actual lens is broken now and I glued my hair to the frame.  Note to self ... let it dry longer.

Since I was in Costco, I might as well cruise the aisles and pick up a huge roasted $4.99 chicken.  That's not the smartest thing for me to do.  Somehow I got lost in the wine section looking for tortillas.  I veered quickly to the left when I saw the cookies and pastries and ended up in the fish aisle.  These shrimp caught my eye instantly.  They just FLEW into my basket.  Who knew shrimp could fly?  You can't tell me you wouldn't do the same as you waited on the cluck clucks.

The Cooper-approved chicken came out just as my eye wandered over the pork loin.  They were surprisingly cheap and will cook up great on the BBQ, using less electricity in the house.  I think I've become obsessed with never giving PG&E another dime.  I never did find the tortillas.

What I originally wanted to check out, and obviously got terribly sidetracked, were the shorts purchased by a friend.  SQUIRREL!!  That's when I spotted the shirts.  I never buy clothes at Costco, but as of now, it's almost the only place in town.  Yes it's long sleeve, but if you're horseback riding in the California sun, you need "coverage".  

Once home, I tried it on.  OMG it fits PERFECTLY!!!  For $12.99, I'm heading back this morning to buy three more.  That's how it is with us hard-to-fit gals.  If you find one that fits, you buy one in every color.

Dinner time had me standing at the bowl of veggies.  Not my usual fare, but I had just dropped off three big garbage bags full of clothing that didn't fit at St. Vincent De Paul.  I won't be going there again, even if it is the only one besides Goodwill (whose CEO makes a ridiculous salary).  Yikes ... I'm sure the wife-beater-shirt guy inside was a homeless dude.  None of the lights were on, although they may have the same electricity problem I have, and he had no tags to give me for donations.  The place smelled terrible.  I dropped the bags at the door and hightailed it out of there.

SO ... I wanted to eat something that wouldn't stick to the inside of my skin.  I know, that's never going to happen at this age.

Dinner was leftover fajita chicken with those amazing tomatoes.  I just can't help singing the praises of home grown.  Maybe I can find some kind of farmers market around here.

I spent the rest of the night working on the puzzle.  Not many pieces left, and I'm sure I tried every single one of them in every single hole.  Maybe I can finish it up today while I watch the rodeo finals.

My gardeners are official fired, so please say a little prayer that the new guys show up this week.  I just don't need another problem to solve besides the one that just popped up.  After walking around outside and actually LOOKING at the house, I have a paint peeling trim problem.  Big sigh!!!!  Oh the joy!!!!  The good news is when they move me to the old folks home, I won't have any house repairs to make any more.

Saturday, July 30, 2022

It's The Cheesiest!!!

 The patio is entering the realm of hot in the mornings.  😳  Sitting drinking hot coffee isn't as pleasant as usual, although the good news is NO shooting and NO sirens.  It's quiet as a mouse.

Here's the fire update for today ... the Oak Fire has burned over 19,000 acres and is 48% contained.  They are blaming the entire thing on global warming ... no surprise.  Does that mean the leaves got so dry they just magically ignited?  At this point it's still "under investigation", but they are claiming global warming.  

It has been noted however, that the original settlers of this region, the Indians, also practiced control burns.  In my lifetime (let's just say well over 50 years), there were no huge destructive fires like this until the decision was made to stop control burns and shut down the lumber industry.  We've been going downhill ever since.  Maybe when some big politicians house burns down, their policy will change.

In the meantime, I have a new project.  The last time I was out with the fifth wheel, looking to see who was at my door was like wearing a blindfold.  You can't see the steps out any window.  This will make it much easier to differentiate between a known good guy and a possible bad guy.  

I discovered too late it requires at least four hands to install.  It's easy they say, but I'm not Vishnu.  Don't ask me who that is, I just looked up four hands.  I'm hoping when I get to Quartzsite in January, I can sweet talk some nice person into helping me.

Back to my company, I tried not to wake Cyndae who's a late sleeper, while Cooper barked every time his ball rolled under the chair.  Finally up and at em, we headed out on a quick trip for gas and a quilt-store pickup.  Let's take the easy back road and not the ridiculous freeway!

Our first stop needed to be for fuel since the light was on.  Cyndae forgot to tell me that until AFTER I missed the turnoff.  I was thinking quilt store, not gas.  We were by then 12 miles out and still had 12 miles to go to get gas.  Panic set in.  Just how much fuel do we have, Cyndae?  When she said the light had been on for some time, I resigned myself to walking a very long way.  

Lucky for us, we made it to the station on fumes.  Regular gas is now $4.89 a gallon, up quite a bit from Trump era $2.89.  Although the government has stated they have NO control over fuel prices, they are now taking credit for the recent 50 cents a gallon drop.  

Anyway, after dropping $80 to fill her tank, we headed off to the quilt store for a quick pickup of the next months fabric for my block-of-the-month project from Hell.  Even the gal who works there said she would NEVER try making that one.  I wish she had told me that sooner.

Lunch time came around quickly, so I directed Cyndae over to Hilmar Cheese.  In case you didn't know, they make REAL cheese for Sargento, or at least they used to.  I haven't checked on that recently.  

They carry lots of specialty stuff, along with their own brand.  Although they usually have many types of cheese to taste test, they only had two on this day.  Squeakers and cheddar.

The reason for stopping is their lunch counter.  They make the best sandwiches I've ever had.  Although everything seemed to be pared down since Covid, the quality has not changed in the least.  This is a Monterrey Jack grilled cheese with sweet tomatoes and pesto.  It was the cheesiest!!  I could eat this every day.  The potato salad is like mine, red potatoes with the skin on, along with dill and lots of crunchy things like onions and celery.  It's also huge ... half my sandwich was already gone before I took a picture.

Stuffed to the gills, we made it back home in time for a little rodeo and some puzzle piecing.  Although I wanted this puzzle to last me a week, Cyndae made quick work of it.  It's okay, I'll just squash it all up and start it again.  I was hoping it would keep me out of the fridge.

In the afternoon, Cyndae took off for a hair appointment and came back with these from a thrift store that I thought was completely closed down.  YIKES ... 1,000 pieces?  This is NOT a big box, so I imagine they are tiny tiny!!!  That should keep me busy for quite a while!!  What a great friend she is.

Cooper is chomping at the bit for his morning walk, so we'll be off shortly.  Yes I've been keeping track of the solar production, and the last three days have been high usage, over 10 kWh per day.  I imagine that's because of having another body in the building, along with running the AC a lot more to keep it cool while she's here.  I've since moved the settings back up and am back to salads.  YAY!!  No cooking!!  We'll see how it goes.

Friday, July 29, 2022

Look Familiar?

 Here I sit on the cool patio, soaking up the quiet.  At least it was quiet at 4:30, after the multitude of gunshots were fired off around 3:00.  I can't tell exactly whose house it's coming from, but I think it's about half a mile away.  That guy must not like his neighbors.  I mean really, who fires off twelve rounds at 3 am just for fun??

Do these pictures look familiar?  Yes, yes they are because I was delirious from riding for three hours again, while we both related stories of old, and didn't take one single picture.  Sandy and I have a lot of people in common, many of whom have little horse sense, which means there are ALWAYS stories.  I mean truly, we never stopped talking.  It's probably not a good idea to use your phone on the back of a horse anyway.  The beeps and rings might just set them off.

This time we took off down a narrow trail through a deep canal full of blackberry vines, dodging cottonwood branches overhead, followed by pistachio tree limbs.  I never knew pistachio limbs don't bend until I hit one with my head.  You can't just shove them out of the way either!!  Lesson learned. 

We headed out on a new route towards a busy road, where we crossed a long concrete bridge.  My horse took it in stride ... it was the young Mia we were worried about.  She passed the test with flying colors.  Just the sound of their feet on a hollow-sounding concrete bridge would send a lot of horses into I-don't-want-to-go-there.  

Sandy got off to open the gate.  The hardest part of the day was finding a spot to get back ON.  Let's face it ... horses are tall and we are old.  Even a little 4" tall hump of dirt will help, but alas, the canal bank was flat as could be.  The secret, at least when you are in the mountains, is to walk your horses front legs over a log and stop them.  Step on the log and you can easily reach the stirrup.  

Always aware of our surroundings, a big cloud of dust was heading our way, meaning some idiot was spinning donuts on the canal bank.  Suddenly it stopped as we approached.  We figured he had donuted himself into the canal, which was huge by the way, but luckily he saw us and retreated.  Nothing makes a horse buck harder than a motorcycle or three-wheeler.

We made it back to the ranch with not one single incident.  That's a big plus for such a young horse.  I just can't believe how great a temperament that Mia has.  We unsaddled and washed them down, still relating stories of horse wrecks we've seen over the years.  

I had actually entertained the idea of joining the Horseman's Association again, but have since come to my senses.  I've been on a couple rides with them and it seems they haven't improved.  Let's just say there are cowboys (of which there are few) and there are wannabes, of which there are many.  I guess it comes from riding so many years and figuring things out.  

There's this thing called trail etiquette ... really, it's just common sense, which as you know can be in short supply on occasion.  Never mount your horse and take off on the run.  Every other horse around you will want to take off too, leaving lots of "cowboys" flat on the ground.  Never ride right up on the tail of a horse.  Most horses don't appreciate that, resulting in a whack to the chest of your horse with both hind feet of mine.  There's so much more, but I won't bore you.

Here's a picture I discovered in my desk drawer yesterday.  Yup that's me a few years ago at a mountain horse show where Dillon's Showboy got first place.  We didn't do this very often, since his things was working cattle.  He was my second best cutting horse.

Did I leave Cyndae home alone all morning?  Yes I did, which she appreciated so she could actually sleep in.  That's hard to accomplish around here when I'm home and Cooper wants to play.  Although I wanted the puzzle to last a week or more, Cyndae is addicted to puzzling and almost finished it in the first two hours.

I finally had to stop her because she was hoarding all the pieces, making it difficult for me to find even one!  We laughed about that.  If it gets finished today, I'll just break it all apart and start over again.

I'm pretty sure we will be riding again on Monday ... got my fingers crossed.  I have to say that very strangely, I'm not the least bit sore, but I am tired.  Maybe a nice long nap this morning will help ... if Cooper will leave me alone.  Surprisingly, Cyndae said Cooper cried and cried when I was gone, poor baby.  It's nice to be missed!!

Thursday, July 28, 2022

I'm Puzzled .....

The weather is heating up again as I park on the patio for pleasant communication with nature.  Mostly dogs barking, but there is an occasional rooster or two.  It's 70 degrees this morning and I noticed the smoke in the air is doing a number on my solar production.  That doesn't bode well for my company that just arrived, since her bedroom is the hottest room in the house.

As I came back in, I laughed at my home decorating skills.  Yes, that's a large piece of reflectix held to the window frame with duck tape, my tool of choice.  I'm not usually here this time of year, so I never noticed the heat wave that comes through this window in the afternoon.  Sticking this up has reduced the inside heat by quite a bit, helping the cooling stay cool-er.  It's Cooper approved too!

We went on a quick morning walk, the Mr. and I, so he can mark his territory 29 times.  I don't know how they do it, but now everyone knows he owns this neighborhood.  A nice surprise awaited me.  A new home is being built.  I tried to be friendly and talk to the gentleman who said he was building it himself, but he wasn't interested in talking.  This is literally the last lot in that neighborhood to be occupied.  He was on a ladder fitting tiles on the roof.  I'll probably be dead before he finishes THAT job.

I got home in time to meet Cyndae, who house woes required some girlfriend support.  Trying to close on one house is hassle enough, but selling her rental here and buying another in Tennessee where her daughter will live, has been one problem after the next.  I'm really glad it's not me ... rentals are SUCH trouble makers and buyers are even worse.

We quickly rallied from couch sitting and made a trip to Target ... or Tar-zhay as we say around here.  Surprisingly there was hardly anyone present, but unlike Macys, they actually had racks of the exact same piece of clothing, in multiple sizes.  It was like a REAL clothing store.  

On the way home, we stopped in at Habit Burger to try out their salads.  They look really good in the pictures, but that isn't always the case when you get them home.  THIS however, was a fabulous tasting BBQ chicken salad.  

I can hear you saying BBQ sauce on a salad?????  Yessirree ... and it was DELICIOUS!  They offered up thousand island dressing, but I didn't want to ruin the BBQ flavor.  It was $10 and huge ... enough for two meals.  I would definitely buy this one again!  Cyndae had a Chicken Cobb which she said was also quite tasty.

Here's my latest project I found at Target.  Patsy Richards always has jigsaw puzzles around, so I thought it might be a break from sewing quilts.  I know nothing about buying puzzles and this proves it.  500 pieces really doesn't fit on my coffee table.

This should take me awhile, right?  Most of the pieces are off camera to the left.  I figure if Cyndae and I get it together, I'll just tear it all apart and start over.  We worked on it for three hours and barely got the outside border complete.  This could become a bad habit, but at least I can trade with Patsy next time I see her.

This is a short one today, as I'm off early to ride Mindy again while we work on Mia.  In the meantime, my schedule is now so messed up for the rest of the year that I don't know if I'm coming or going.  More on that tomorrow.  I'm off to horse Heaven.

Wednesday, July 27, 2022

The Macaroni Salad

Good morning sunshine!!  Even after the burning of 17,500 acres in the Sierras, we still don't have much smoke in the air.  It must all be going North.  As I sat and thought about the devastation, I've offered up my corrals to anyone who needs room for their critters.  With 21 structures and 34 outbuildings being burned to the ground, they are looking for places to move cattle, horses and any other livestock they can.  

Most of them are heading to the fairgrounds in the foothills, where one of the big dairies down here donated over two ton of hay to feed them.  High fives to them.  At this time it's 16% contained.  

Instantly my mind heads right on over to the Magic Kingdom.  Oh yes, it's time for another rousing round of BINGO!!  What could be better to wile away the hours than arguing with the peasants or trying to remove their spears, pitchforks and flaming torches.  The din can be deafening.

Somehow we hit the jackpot with volunteers.  The Knights and Ladies of the Round Table are most often in short supply.  Maybe they intuitively knew there was macaroni salad being thrown together in the kitchen.  Not particularly good salad, as it was lacking in sufficient mayo to keep from drinking a bottle of water while chomping it down.  Still ... it was a diversion from the normal fare.  It disappeared completely.

Never let it get out that I said sometimes we have TOO much help.  It means I sit back and chat rather than concentrate on my job.  

Apparently the peasants liked the macaroni salad also, as it seemed to calm the calamity of a new Piglet game.  At $3.00 a card (about twice the size of your phone), they waved them around to sounds of despair until one of them hit the jackpot.  $300 was doled out.  No, I don't know why it's called Piglet other than the picture of a smiling pig on the front, something akin to those cartoons of old.  Anyone remember Porky Pig???

Time passed slowly as I fended off the you-didn't-give-me-my-ticket folks, all of whom found their tickets in either their wallet or their pocket.  For some weird reason there were no fist fights on this night.  It must have been the macaroni salad.  

The only minor disturbance happened when I was again accused of not giving them the cards they paid for.  I never touch the cards ... they are counted by my cohort as I punch in the numbers.  Please check your cards before you leave the table is my mantra, which I say maybe 50 times a night.  

Since that apparently didn't happen, I asked for the receipt, which always tells the tale.  In this case, she didn't buy ANY of those cards, and came back red-faced to purchase three of them.  She probably didn't eat any macaroni salad.  

And so the night ended as I rang out the infernal machine, who insisted I was $100 off.  Big sigh ... that means recounting and recounting five stacks of $1.00 bills, some with half their faces gone.   I know not how that happens, unless it's become a talisman on the table.  Yes it's true.  One of these days I'll sneak around and take pictures.  There's everything from buttons to baby pictures, and throw in a Saint or two for good measure.

Finally I discovered I had counted out the last jackpot incorrectly.  It must have been the macaroni salad.  Once corrected, I balanced.  YAHOO!!  Not as good as a nice long horseback ride, but it was good none the less.

I was rather bleary eyed this morning, not even sure what day it was.  What I do know is that company is coming.  Maybe vacuuming the house will set my brain in gear.  Or MAYBE I should make some macaroni salad!!!

Tuesday, July 26, 2022

Back In The Saddle

It's a beautiful morning in the neighborhood as I ponder my two corrals.  Wouldn't one or two horses just look great out there?  I miss my two kids that I used to haul all over the West Coast and who hauled me around to work cattle and play at horse shows.  You get attached to horses pretty easily, a life long attraction that never goes away.

Smoke from the nearby fire is coming in, but it's not too bad at the moment.  Seems most of it is going North.  55,000 acres have burned so far with 0% (that's ZERO %) containment.  "They" are so much about the poor animals when it comes to control burns ... well you can just imagine what's happening now.  The Sierra Club and all of their members should be up there fighting the fires.

In no time I was ready to head out for the day's adventure.  My friend Sandy has had many horses over the years, several of which I've ridden with her in the mountains.  She's a hiking and riding expert, even using some of her horses for pack animals as she and friends hike into the Sierras.  Personally I would rather ride!!

Here's her latest purchase ... this gorgeous appaloosa filly named Mia.  She's a three year old with the best disposition I've ever see in a horse so young.  

Generally you begin riding horses when they are about 2 years old.  By the time they are three, you either love them or you hate them!!  This one is a peach!!  I've never ever seen a three year old so calm and unconcerned about her surroundings.  Oh she looks at everything, but acts like an old soul of 15.

Meet Mindy ... my ride for the day.  She was basically a rescue at around six I think Sandy said, with no riding experience at all.  Yikes!!!  The worst buck-off of my life happened on a horse just like that.  This one though ... she seems bomb-proof.  

I cleaned their hooves out while Sandy saddled them with her two lightweight saddles.  I think I see a new saddle in my future.  Good grief, my saddle gained 30 pounds during the last two years!!  I better get back to the gym!!

Sandy doesn't get to ride Mia out very often.  It's not exactly safe to take a green horse out alone.  Sandy ponies her around the countryside instead (leads her while riding Mindy) to get her used to trail riding, going over branches and around trees.

So this is where I come in ...  I ride Mindy and Sandy rides Mia.  Mia looks to Mindy for support occasionally, but surprisingly wasn't afraid to walk out first at all.  We rode around trash piles, over berms, down ditch banks ... everything we could to get her used to maneuvering around obstacles.  She did great!!!

I only got one pictures while riding.  You really do have to pay attention to everyone and everything when riding.  The least little thing can land you in trouble.  On this day the worst problem was keeping them from eating the leaves off the walnut trees.  They LOVE those leaves.

Sadly two hours later, way too soon, we ended up back at the barn where Mindy showed her dominance over the new kid.  There's always a top-dog animal.  With cattle, it's usually the oldest cow who takes the lead.  No one goes anywhere unless she goes first.  Get her through the gate, and you're in like Flynn.  

Same goes for horses.  One is the leader of the pack (almost always a mare) and shows her dominance over everyone with squeals and kicks if necessary.  Mindy is definitely the BOSS.

On the way out, Sandy loaded me up with vegetables from her garden.  OMG I'm in HEAVEN.  You cannot imagine the taste of those tomatoes.  

It was one of the best days I've had in months!!  I can't wait to go again, which most likely will be on Thursday.  You know what else?  I'm not the least bit sore.  THAT'S A PLUS!!!  But maybe I'll take an aspirin or two, you know, just in case.

Monday, July 25, 2022

Cow Camp Meals

 It's a tough life.  After chasing the ball on the patio while I sipped my cup of Joe, Cooper and I went for our morning walk around the neighborhood.  He completely missed the black kitty kitty hiding at the edge of the lawn.  If it was a snake, it would have jumped out and bit him, or at the least, scared hime half to death!!  This kid is not the Mohammed Ali of dogdom.

Once back in the house, I set about baking up a storm, or maybe just a squall, all to be done before the 4:00 power deadline.  For some weird reason, it appears the small cans of crushed pineapple are no longer in production.  I only need 8 ounces, not 16, so on this day my Hawaiian bread became plain old banana bread.  Even so, Jonathan loves it!!

Then it was on to the Instant Pot for some some Cooper pot roast.  Little does he know he only gets two small bowls of it (stuck in the freezer) while MOM gets a bowl all to herself for tacos.  That of course requires salsa.  

There's an old story about this salsa.  When we took cattle to the mountains, we stayed at our cow camp.  Rarely did we ever take fresh meat because we had to pack the mules for the 30 mile ride.  Ice chests were unheard of, not to mention the threat of carrying delectable bear food on top of a horse or mule.  Bears were prevalent, which scared me absolutely to death since we slept outside on the ground in sleeping bags.  Unless we got lucky during deer season, we ate dried beef.  

As you can imagine, dried beef on bread (not even toast) got pretty tiring.  Trying to change it up a bit, rattlesnake was fried over the campfire.  Hey, it was fresh meat.  With the snake den out back by the outhouse (yup we were uptown with that outhouse) there was always something available to skin and fry.  It tastes like chicken if you were wondering.

The favorite was Cowboy Stew, with potatoes, chipped beef, some sort of canned vegetable and gravy, but that was only for special occasions.  

One day just for giggles, my Mom made some salsa to pour over the chipped beef.  We were in Heaven.  After that, every time we had cooked beef of any kind that was a little dry, it was smothered in salsa.  Try it sometime ... you'll love it!!

On this day however, it went on my beef tacos, completely smothered in cheese.  It's even better on deep pit barbecue.

I spent much of the day watching Rodeo finals and working on the next challenge of this quilt.  Gee I only have 92 more of these to make.  And here I thought I was home free.  These pieces make up the ribbon that runs through it.

Gee again ... I only have 42 more ribbons to go, after those 92 pieces are done.  This better be worth it in the end!!!  There will be a major celebration when it's done!

BUT FOR TODAY ..... I just got the call.  Sandy and I are going riding!  Time to gather up all my gear and hit the trail!!

Sunday, July 24, 2022

And So It Begins .....

 Everyone knows that the heat of summer brings on the fire season.  As I sit on the patio this morning cooling off in the lovely 64 degrees Mother Nature has provided, I'm breathing in the results of the ineptness of the California government.  

For many many years now ... most of my life in fact ... they have refused to allow management of the forests that would help mitigate this type of disaster that happens every single year.  FIRE.  In the old days, we ran cattle in the Sierra Nevada mountains.  Every year when the cattle were gathered up, my dad would set back-fires to burn up all the fallen limbs and dead trees.  It would burn itself out quickly because there wasn't much to burn.

Then the Sierra Club came along and decided that was such a bad idea ... burning up the trash in the forest ... and they lobbied to stop not only the fire prevention work we were doing, but the cattle leases also.  That meant for all those years, the timber and scrub brush piled up, just waiting for a match or lightning to set it off.  Here's the result of the latest incidence, the Oak Fire.  A huge fire just 30 miles from me in Mariposa.

It happens multiple times every year.  Oh yes, they have finally figured out they've been wrong all these many years, but now it's too late.  To try and convince people they are doing something about it, they began small control burns in the Yosemite National Park Valley.  That's cool ... there's nothing to burn in the valley.  It's everywhere else they should be working on.  This is from a friends front porch.

These two pictures came from the internet.  Hundreds of houses are right in the path and many have already burned.  The Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias is right in the path of destruction also.

Those are the largest living trees on earth, many over 3,000 years old ... and California does nothing for fire protection.  Yes these trees can take some fires in stride, but most likely, not this one.  Finally, at this late date, they are sending multiple troops in to help keep them from turning to ash.

Make no mistake ... your house will not survive.  The plan is and always has been, just let it burn.  They are trying to save the small towns, and so far Mariposa is safe ... sort of.   It's sad that this goes on year after year.  The Sierra Club, who professes to be all about the forest and the critters, has caused more devastation than you can imagine, due to their crazy ideas about how to manage forests.

Of course they will blame it on every human on the planet ... global warming and all that.  Hey, there's been global warming for a million years as the earth rotates around the sun.  Surely you can't think it will remain on the perfect axis forever and ever.  Things are always going to change, regardless of what you do.  It's just how things are.   Too bad California just doesn't have any common sense.

Sometimes I don't either.  Common sense would have told me NOT to make this quilt.  Here I thought the hard part was behind me, but NOOOOOOO.  I now have to make the borders for each and every square out of 20 pieces sewn to look like a ribbon ... hence the name of the quilt, A Ribbon Runs Through It.  Big sigh!!!

Here's another one.  Common sense would have said to check the label on the back.  I've tried another brand of these before and they were quite tasty.  THESE about choked me on the first bite.  OH MY AUNT MAE!!!  I've never eaten anything so salty in my life!!  Something like 330 mg of sodium.  There's no way I will ever choke them down.  What a waste.  Note to self ... read the label next time!!!

Mr. Cooper is at my feet, chomping at the bit to head out for his morning walk.  Hopefully the smoke won't be too bad.  Then there will be a cooking frenzy as I do everything I possibly can before 4:00 when I shut off and unplug EVERYTHING ... except the TV of course!!  Enjoy your Sunday!!

Saturday, July 23, 2022

My Psychedelic Trip

 Ahhhhhhhhh .... I soaked in all the cool I could as I took my coffee in even smaller sips yesterday morning, trying to make it last as long as the chilly air.  It was a lovely 64 degrees ... my optimal temperature.  No matter that the guy behind me was making his rottweiler bark like a banshee, I took in a big breath and relaxed, thankful I was one of the lucky group who woke up on this morning.  

Cooper and I went for our morning jaunt around the neighborhood to find these sunflowers growing like crazy.   Not really, they are weeds, but I can pretend.

I turned on both AC units to cool down the house and watched the next episode of "kill the cowboy" bull riding from Salinas California.  They were having a pretty tough time with only two making the 8 second bell.  It finally dawned on me why those old bull riders limp so badly.  Boy do they take a beating on occasion.  

This sport, and I use that word loosely, is meant for the young kids who heal up pretty fast.  One of them even said "it's okay if you get smashed, the Docs nowadays can fix anything".  Well, almost I suppose.  No mention of the pain involved.

Here's a couple more pictures from Ladies Night.  These are a great group of ladies who can take more pictures in ten seconds than a video camera.  

They even got the Master of Ceremonies involved!!!  

I was pretty trashed yesterday, but it didn't matter.  I still had errands to run which included getting my once-a-year truck wash.  It's pretty easy to do around here since the powers that be have approved and built TEN car washes within 6 miles of me.  

I thought we were trying to conserve water?  Yes, they are supposed to reuse the wet stuff ... but how?  Isn't it full of dirt and soap??

It's always such a psychedelic trip through the tunnel of lights.  They wouldn't approve a Walmart Warehouse, but car washes ... hey, I think we need MORE.  Sure makes you wonder who is running the country, even down to the local level.

Back home I met up with the Weed Man ... supposed to kill the weeds and green up the lawn ... but it's not happening.  Nice guy, but his service doesn't seem to be working.  All this trouble just to keep the property looking like someone actually lives here.  His suggestion was to run my sprinklers 45 minutes per station.  

Ummm excuse me ... that would be running them NINE HOURS A DAY!!!!  I told him I would if he paid the bill.  FIRED .... they are so fired.  So many promises nowadays and none kept.

Next up, after reading Mr. Eds comment that I was charged incorrectly, I put on a pair of gloves and dug through my garbage can until I finally located the ticket.  I had already written my KFC speech in my head.  Sadly, there was no mistake.  A La Carte says it all ... they are just @#%$#@& expensive!!  Of course I just saw an ad on TV saying the Mac 'n Cheese bowl was on sale for $5.00.  Nope ... not being fooled.  That's probably if you buy a $7.00 drink!  And look at the price of tenders!!!

What's really sad is that I'm now congratulating people because they are actually WORKING at a job for their money instead of being on welfare ... because the majority ARE on welfare.  There definitely would not be a shortage of employees anywhere if the free money was stopped.  But then the votes would stop too.  Do you know the White House just announced they have given FREE internet access to over a million people?  I kid you not ... there's no way you can say anything other than this is paying for votes.   Sorry, I promised to stay out of the political stuff.  

The day ended with rodeo, what else.  Oh wait ... I did check on the electricity usage and was happy to see only 5 kWh used with my thermostat set at 82.  I'm a clock watcher now since I don't want to use anything between 4 and 9.  Okay, maybe the microwave.  Any cooking will now be done in the morning.  There's no changing plans when you're on solar ... you are stuck with the plan the sucks the most green stuff from your wallet.

It's okay so far ... I'm not sweltering as before ... and I'm smiling because I know I'm going to have lots of overages when the weather cools off that will wipe out that FIVE.  Everyone I've talked to lately has said their bill jumped up 150%.  Who ever thought I'd be extolling the benefits of solar!!!  Must have been too many trips through the psychedelic chamber of cleanliness.

Friday, July 22, 2022

Winner Winner Chicken Dinner!!!

 Dreams do come true.  No,  Prince Charming is not sitting on the patio with me this morning ... not THAT dream, but the dream of being COOL has finally arrived ... kinda sorta.  Having received that email I wasn't going to assume anything.  I checked my PG&E account to see that only 3 kWh had been used versus the usual 45.  Woohoo it's working!!

HOWEVER ... there is always a way PG&E will stick it to you.  They have now changed my "plan" to Peak Use.  That means I can't even turn on a light between 4 and 9 PM without getting charged double for what I DO use.  That's what solar gets you in California.  Guess I'll set the AC unit timers and see how it goes.  I'm not exactly feeling like a winner winner here, but it's definitely better than it was.

Breakfast was another veggie omelet smothered in salsa that actually came out quite tasty this time.  I cut WAY back on the onion.  I have so much stuff in there you can't even see the egg.

With lots of errands to run, I was in high gear almost immediately.  I had an appointment with my 90 year old client to get her bookkeeping done.  What a treasure she is, and smart as a whip.  To make it an even more exciting time doing accounting work, her daughter stopped by.  She's the one I've ridden horses with over the years.  

Hey hey hey ..... I'm back in the riding business.  She just purchased a young horse and has no one to ride with.  I volunteered LOUDLY!!  I'll ride her other horse while she rides the colt.  It's always better to have a horse with common sense along when you're riding something young.  I can't wait!!!!  That MADE MY DAY!!

Not nearly as exciting, I stopped by Costco to pick up my new glasses.  They are taking a bit to get used to, but I can't complain because the price was so good!!

On the way back home, I got the crazy idea of picking up some KFC.  The Colonel cooks some pretty tasty chicken.  This is a Mac n Cheese Chicken bowl, along with some chicken tenders.  Wasn't I surprised to see they are now cutting the chicken tenders in half lengthwise ... I mean they are barely 1/2" thick.  

I was additionally shocked when I heard the price.  You talk about inflation ... for the last two years, this country has been going down the tubes.  Are you ready?  $17.95 for this food.  I expected $10.  Can you imagine feeding a family of four?  I hope everyone is ready for fast food places to go out of business.  I wondered why every time I went by the place there were no cars around.  Now I know.  There won't be any more of these chicken dinners at my house.

That's when I got the call.  Want to go to the Italo Lodge Ladies Night?  HECK YEAH!!!  Bottom left is my friend Diane who I worked with for 12 years at the County.  For this, just leave the cameraman a tip and you get a free picture!!  We got 13 free pictures!!

Tammy decorates up the table like you can't believe, although you don't really see it here.  She even decorated the plastic cups with rhinestones!!  Apparently the last time they held this, they weren't able to serve until something like 8:00 ... so everyone now brings tons of appetizers.  I was full before we even GOT to dinner!!

The place was packed!!  See that red ticket above?  They have a huge raffle right after you eat, which is how they make money for the lodge.  I bought two packs.  Boy was I surprised to see these gals buy three and four packs!!

The stack of prizes was huge with entertainment provided by a local DJ.  He would play a theme song from some really ancient show and you would have to text him the answer.  The shows weren't quite old enough for our dinosauric table.

At long last the chicken dinner arrived, and I have to say it was quite tasty!!  The pasta was delicious, with lots of basil.  That white thing is fresh homemade bread.  I cleaned my plate like a good girl.

Winner winner .... our table won a surprising three raffle prizes, including this beauty that we all thought was fake.  I mean really, I've never in my life seen this many succulents stuffed into one bowl.  Turns out it was all real plants.

With all the prizes gone, it was time to head on home.  No winner winner for me, other than the chicken dinner and a great night out with some really fun gals.  And oh yes, she is counting money.  Everyone puts a dollar in a cup ... whoever at the table wins the first raffle, wins the money too.  

Since I ran out of time yesterday, I have more errands to run today before crashing on the couch for some shuteye.  It was a late night and I'm beat!!  Then I'll shine my boots and gather up my riding gear!!