Monday, October 31, 2022


In spite of it being Halloween, it's just another morning on the patio.  I never stay long since the cold weather chills my coffee too quickly.

There were no trick-or-treaters last night since the Trunk or Treat idea showed up.  Doesn't seem like much fun to me, just walking car to car in a parking lot and picking up candy.  Pretty soon you'll just deliver it to their door.  Too sad the kids are missing out on the real tradition.

HOWEVER ... the wedding participants arrived in style, wearing the most beautiful dresses you can imagine.  There was much tradition displayed, a real sight to see.  The music began about 6:00 and by 8:00 there was screaming and yelling to be heard around the neighborhood.  I just smiled!!!  Karma!  And to think it will continue for a whole week.  I'm lovin' it!

I did get a little scare when I pulled up this first video yesterday.  Look familiar?  Yeah, I sure thought so, but I was surprised.  

Then THIS!!  I've never EVER seen them together.  Over the first 3 hours of video, there were four different kitties who came to visit.  Oh yes ... I had 55 videos to wade through from one night of frolicking.  The kids were busy that night.  

The behavior of the fox surprised me.  Apparently kitties are not on their menu, which is a good thing.  Obviously the kitty wasn't the least bit afraid. 

This one just made me laugh out loud.  Oops ......... not paying attention!

There are many more with some crazy things you aren't going to believe, but I won't inundate you today.  I'll spread them out over a few days.  

I moved the dog box over to the farthest corral and fluffed up the old bedding.  We shall see if they find it acceptable.  

For Halloween, Cooper decided to dress up like a pirate, peg leg and all.  Pssst Cooper, wrong leg!!!  It's the OTHER leg!

Actually, he's still chewing that ant bite and I ran out of horse wrap, so I had to substitute some Halloween fabric.  I tried Benadryl like the Vet said, but getting it down his throat is a major problem that I have not yet conquered.

In other news, I didn't mention my friend Cyndae came to visit, bringing with her some Thai Tom Yum soup.  Lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves and spices that we cooled down with coconut milk made for a tasty dinner, with enough left over for breakfast.  What a treat!

I also figured out I should have had the overhead fan on during that frying episode.  Today a pot of coffee is brewing on the stove.  So far I don't notice much difference, so I'll let it boil away.  I do love the smell of coffee!

My big box of butterfinger candy bars is waiting in the wings in case anyone shows up tonight.  If not, I'll have treats to last an entire year.  I suppose that's the best part of Halloween nowadays.

I've saved up all my errands to be run today, probably lasting all day long.  Hopefully I'll get my outside light fixture fixed, a new toilet seat installed, pieces of string for that cowboy quilt ... and on and on.  In the meantime ...........


Sunday, October 30, 2022


 Are you ready for some Halloween?  I rather imagine it will begin tonight, since ACTUAL Halloween is on Monday, a school night.  I can't believe October has slipped away so fast.  I have always been a big fan of Halloween, dressing up in crazy outfits and convincing my fellow workers to do the same.  

This particular year I was the Dead Bride, with worms coming out of my eye, glued to my face of course.  There was Dracula Bride, Miss Piggy Bride, Harley Bride ... the list goes on.  That's my Boss Steve on the far right who got a big kick out of all of this.  We are downstairs in the "wedding" room where he officiated MANY real weddings.  Steve now works with me at the Elks Lodge.

I guess I'm a little too old for that now, as my favorite pastime has become sitting on the couch with Cooper.

Oh wait ..... another fox video!!!  I'm trying to cut back, but this one is fascinating.  You'll have to watch until the end.  I really think I should box him up and take him to Arizona with me!!  He would certainly have plenty to eat around there!!  This .....  THIS is why there are no critters invading my house here!!

So yesterday was EXPERIMENT day.  Let it be known I won't be doing THAT again!  These groceries ... just this little bit here ... came to a heart stopping $74.00.  That block of cheese?  $7.29.  The eggs?  $5.49.  I guess it's back to the discount stores for me!

I didn't even want to know what the Pepsi cost.  I'll make it last a couple of months at the current prices.

Fried chicken!!  That was my experiment for the day ... "the most crispiest chicken you've ever eaten" was the claim.  Luckily I already had the chicken or this would have cost me over $100.  

Here's the secret.  Marinate the chicken for at least three hours in a bag of buttermilk (which I've done before) and pickle juice.  Yes really!  The problem that arose may be because I'm not a dill fan and it called for dill pickle juice.  I used Sweet Gherkin juice.  

Next, I mixed up the dry ... then mixed up the wet.  Dry - wet - dry (what a mess THAT made) and on to a rack for five minutes.  That actually took fifteen minutes since I got distracted by a phone call.

As I turned on the gas stove, I had a fleeting thought of flames and oil not being in my wheelhouse together.  This may not have been such a good idea after all.  I was extra careful, using a candy thermometer to be sure I didn't overheat the oil.  In went the first piece.  Hmmm this is working out okay ..... so far.

I fried each piece separately for the required five minutes before taking them out and setting on a wire rack to cool.  Hey .... these look pretty tasty as my mouth began to water.  I tapped them to hear a nice crunchy sound.  

Okay, they do look a little dark, but really, they are not burned.  My advice is to leave out the smoked paprika.  That is what gives it the too-done look.  It also gives it a terrible flavor.  AND they forgot the salt!!  Chicken needs salt.  My first bite, though crunchy, left much to be desired.  

Nice tender chicken and nice crunchy crust, but honestly, I'll stick with Colonel Sanders for flavor.  

The sad part is now my kitchen smells HORRIBLY of frying oil.  Ugh ... I spent all that time making my house smell "normal" and now it smells like greasy oil.  I won't be trying this again any time soon.  I'm thinking if I chop it up for a salad and smother it in dressing, it will be just fine.  So much for experimenting.

On another front, I haven't heard one bit of loud music, nor seen ANY cars lining the road.  I'm beginning to wonder what happened to the wedding .......

Saturday, October 29, 2022

Well That Was Fun!!

There's nothing more fun than running around outside in your short jammies, screaming at your dog to COME HERE!!!  Those words are not in Cooper's vocabulary.  They never have been.  He's always been a runner at heart, but really never brave enough to chase a cat.

Today however, in the pitch black of darkness, he and I both spotted the shiny fox eyes at the same time.  It wasn't an I'm-going-to-kill-you race, he just wanted to know WHO was in his back yard.  I'm sure the neighbors appreciated all that screaming at 4:30.  Oh well, it just prepares them for the wedding dance music to begin tonight. 

The fox ran off and Cooper finally turned around to see where I was.  That's when I say something like OH NO ... and run the other direction.  Cooper follows every time.  Well that was fun!!  I'm awake now!

It was also a fun afternoon at the University.  I don't know how this little podunk town was selected as the site of the University of California, but it was, some years ago.  Every year they add more and more buildings until it's become a huge complex.  Bring your bicycle.  In years past, you could park in several different locations close to the buildings.  Now you are relegated to a huge parking lot and a half mile walk to get anywhere.

I did take note of this beautiful grass blowing in the breeze.  I was sure it would be pokey, like cactus, but it's soft as can be.  Anyone know what it is?  It stands about three feet tall.

The occasion was the gifting of all those quilts people have been making this last year.  I quilted six of them for the Guild and donated two of my own.  The group receiving them is called Guardian Scholars.  they are all first year students who are foster kids, now basically kicked out completely on their own.  I'm pretty sure they get absolutely everything paid for them, but they also have to work for it, as in get a job.  

The University is way out in the boonies, but provides lots of hiking trails, a lake full of Canadian geese at the moment, and many places to hang out.  Our group finally found parking spots and began the long hike to the building carrying about 100 pounds of quilts.  As you know, they can be heavy.

It took twice around the building before we ran into two young men who grabbed the bags from us and carried them to our appointed room.  How nice!!!  We laid them all out on the tables.  I'm guessing there were maybe 40 or more.  The one sitting on top of the orange one pictured here, is one of my own I donated.

There were many beautiful ones, and some not so pretty, but they are all warm and cozy.  One gal had to leave for a class, so she got to pick first.  Wasn't I surprised that she picked my blue and white striped one. She came back later and modeled it for us.  

They went around the room and asked everyone to introduce themselves and give a little info.  You know me, I said my name is Nancy and I'm addicted to fabric.  Since I'm not an actual member of the Quilt Guild, I was surprised to find that most of those quilters who came were actually former teachers.  

Come to find out, they also make up huge bags full of sheets, pillows, bandaids, blankets, toothbrushes, toothpaste ... everything the kids need since they bring absolutely nothing with them other than the clothes they have.  Now this is an organization I can get behind.  

The kids all stood up and told us about themselves too.  Interesting that most of them were psychology majors, along with a couple engineers and a cyber security major.  I almost jumped up and down, but kept my composure when the second quilt picked by the kid in the white jacket, was also mine.  Woohoo!  Note to self ... make more "manly" quilts and use minky for backing because it's so soft.  

This kid was so funny ... he picked the minky quilt.  He was SO excited to have a warm quilt to wear, he modeled it for everyone in the room.  As the kids get out of class, they will stop by and pick from the remaining quilts.  We saw about ten kids make their selection.  They were all so happy because they said it's cold here, so now they have something to wrap up in!!

Yup ... this was a REAL fun day.  I'm going to go through all my quilts and start stacking them up for next years donations.  

I spent the rest of the day watching the World Series, though I have no pony in that race.  Somehow it's just not as fun as it used to be.  Especially since the only way I could watch it was to add the local channels back on to my programming, increasing the cost to $90 a month for TV.  Oh well, its only money.

Today I'll see about fixing up that dog box.  In the morning light, I discovered that little fox had been marking my entire concrete walkway every ten feet!!!  Won't Cooper just LOVE that!!

Friday, October 28, 2022



I'm a day late and more than a dollar short.  I thought about it being THE birthday, and like any good old fogey, I completely forgot about it until AFTER I finished the blog.  Lucky for Dan, he missed my rendition of the infamous Happy Birthday song.  Hope you had a great day.  No worries, I won't tell anyone how old you are, because I'm so very grateful you and Patty have been my friends for so many years. 

It was actually warm enough to have coffee on the patio ... a nice change of pace.  It doesn't make Cooper all that happy since he's not allowed to be out in the dark.  Too many things you cannot SEE, can cause havoc.  We all know what I'm talking about.

The fox video of the day is something I've never seen them do before.  I think this is one of the older females, maybe looking for a nice den.  It's an old dog box with a rotten pillow inside.  I may just have to set it up in the corral to give them a safe place to snuggle down.  

I got a phone call late Wednesday night that company was coming.  It's no big deal since she's such a good friend, she doesn't care if the house is clean or not.  BUT I spent four hours cleaning anyway.  Of course the sheets had to be washed, which meant another sheet struggle, this time on a king-sized bed.  It went a little better, but now I'm going to check for those tags in the corner.

Once that was done I set about making a little sweet treat.  Easy peasy .. I've made this peanut butter pie many times.  But on THIS day ... it was disaster after disaster.  I was just in too much of a hurry.  I spilled melted butter everywhere, whirled graham cracker crumbs around the entire kitchen and used a 9" pan when I should have used a 7" one.  

Still .... there's not much better than peanut butter pie in my book!!  Of course I tested it before she showed up ... you know, in the interest of not making anyone sick.  Just to be sure, I tasted it again about an hour later!!

We spent most of the afternoon talking since she just returned from a month-long trip.  It's always so overwhelming to return home to a million things to do, so she escapes to this part of the woods.  Suddenly, there was a knock at the door. 

No one knocks at my door, so wasn't I surprised to find a nice young girl with her younger sister.  THIS IS A FIRST!  They live two doors down from me and she is getting married.  Gosh, she looked like she was 16 years old.  The celebration will last one full week, meaning lots of dancing and partying in their back yard.

She actually gave me this card and a box of candy (don't ask me what Airheads are) to describe the party and notify the neighbors that lots of cars will be parked around and they will have loud music.  WOW!!  I can't believe I have such a nice respectful neighbor as to notify me there is going to be a party going on.

The note even gives her father's phone number.  It says if there is absolutely ANYTHING, to call them immediately so they can take care of it.  I told her they could make as much noise as they wanted because most of it will be heard by the house between us ... you know the one, the PARTY house.  She laughed since they have experienced the same thing.

She made my day when her little sister turned around as they walked away and said "she is such a nice lady" and they both agreed!!!  Wow ... TWO nice neighbors in my little part of the world.

It's interesting they picked the week of Halloween for the wedding, but I imagine India doesn't celebrate that holiday.  

Cindy brought some Thai soup that went really well with peanut butter pie.  Quite tasty and not something I would normally eat.  She will be off this morning, as I'm going out to the University to see those quilts I quilted given away to the foster kids.  It's going to be an awesome day. 

LET THE WEDDING PARTY BEGIN!!!!   Now to find my earplugs.

Thursday, October 27, 2022

A Day Of Rest

Ahhhhhhhhhhh ... I finally feel better.  I caught up on my sleep with a solid seven hours.  That's probably because I spent the good part of an hour tearing the bedding off and replacing it with comfy flannel sheets, my electric blanket and one of my favorite quilts.  I fell into bed totally exhausted!  You know how those fitted sheets can be!!

This video is what I've been looking for.  I wanted to see the nature of the fox.  How does he hunt?  He's crisscrossing the corral, maybe looking for the smell of gophers or eggs, marking his territory EVERYWHERE.  In the next two videos she did it like eight times!!   It amazes me that my little critter cam can put out so much light as to see them in the pitch black of night.

Here's one of the images from my on-line group in Arizona.  The gal had thrown a chunk of carpet on the lawn to use as a softer kneeling cushion when she was gardening.  The coyote took it and trotted off.  It was never seen again.  Going back to their den?  Warm for the babies?  Who knows.

Just in case you didn't see my post on-line, this was from two days ago.  I just wanted to be sure you knew it was coming around the bend.  Better order those gifts soon or you will be on Santa's list of coal receivers!

I really did try to rest up.  Cooper was very appreciative of the Mom time, but DON'T TOUCH ME!  Good grief ... if you have a moment of oh-what-a-sweet-puppy and happen to give him a soft pet, thereby waking him up, he growls a horrible I'm-going-to-rip-your-arm-off growl.  

No kidding, it makes me jump every time.  I've since learned to not touch him at all until he wakes up!!  It's the weirdest thing.  He picked that up from Miss Jessie when he was a puppy.

Since I just can't sit still, I worked on the binding of this quilt until it was done!  I just love this pattern, it's so easy to make and you can see quick results.

With the ugly meatloaf finally gone, I decided to create this chicken pot pie soup again.  It's cold enough outside to enjoy something nice and hot.  This time I used half and half with some milk instead of the cream.  It came out much better, not to mention it's ready to eat in 30 minutes if you use roasted chicken from Costco!!

Of course throwing in a Red Lobster cheese biscuit also helped!!  I could eat the entire pan, those things are so good!!

Every so often I would wander into the sewing room and cut another piece for the current quilt, getting the boots finished up.  I love how they turned out.  

I should have made a trip to town.  I think someone is trying to tell me something.  I broke yet ANOTHER toilet seat.  How can that happen?  Cheap plastic I guess, or maybe I need to be more attentive to that diet plan.

It doesn't help that I abhor cleaning toilets.  Bleach tablets are my best friend when it comes to that chore.  I imagine the fumes can get to cheap plastic.  The problem now is that company is coming this morning.  Should I tell her to "sit carefully"????  A homeowner's job is never done.

The good news is she is bringing soup for us to eat, so there will be no frantic thawing of something to cook.  Instead, I'll go through the gyrations of changing the sheets on THAT bed!!  Does anyone remember the old days of short-sheeting?  

My Dad had a different sense of humor.  I think he liked to see people's shocked expressions.  He used to short sheet someone every time we stayed at a relatives house for Christmas or Thanksgiving.  That and make P B & J sandwiches out of axle grease.  Yeah, you haven't lived until you've bitten into that awesome sandwich!!!  Us kids quickly learned to check, but the caterpillar drivers he worked with got stung every time.  I guess my Dad was lucky he could run fast.

Time to pick up the critter cam!!

Wednesday, October 26, 2022


 My morning cup of phony joe has become even more all consuming.  I discovered a bigger cup in the back of my cupboard just for morning-after-bingo relaxation.  And boy do I need it today!!

Some nights are just worse than others by a long shot.  Is it a full moon?  I mean truly, that's when the peasants come out in full armor loaded to the gills with pitchforks and torches, while honing their rock throwing skills.  This night was one of them.  

It didn't help that I got home at a late-for-me 11:00 with a horrible hot-dog stomach ache.  I know better, really I do, and this time I think I learned my lesson.

It started without my libation of coke since none of the Knights showed up for our usual meeting of the minds.  Instead, I started right to work organizing the huge stash of cards kept in the safe and making up a list of shortages.  

Immediately upon starting up sales, we were accosted by two ladies who wanted RED dobbers.  Not just ANY red mind you, but THE red.  After close inspection, it appears they have run out of MAGENTA caps and so used the RED ones.  That meant while I thought we had plenty of RED, we had NONE!  The torches burned bright and we were appropriately reprimanded for our mistake.  There is another red, but it's not THE one that wins the big prize at Bingo.  

Since I'm training a new girl to take over in emergencies when no one shows up, the infernal machine rebelled about every other transaction.  Some things are so simple, yet others set it off with bells clanging. Nothing will appease it unless you hit the right buttons in the right order.  After five minutes of angrily tapping, I finally hit the right combination.  It needed a CLERK # .... which we don't use.  

I finally took over the register to run them through since we had 138 people.  Not a record, but that's a lot of paper picking, dropping stuff on the floor, taking things they aren't supposed to and explaining all of the rules.  

There was of course a "you-didn't-give-me-my-red-ticket" peasant or two.  Yes I did, I gave TWO tickets to your husband.  That didn't fly and she was very upset.  What the heck, is it a full moon or something?  Cranky was the word of the night.  Even my ever-so-helpful card counter who never gets upset at anything, was rolling her eyes and giving me the LOOK.  

At last the party began as numbers were called and players ran to their seats like playing musical chairs.  When one lady slammed into the table, all the dobbers went flying.  Ooooohhhh the pitchforks!!!  There was no hesitation with the bad words!!!

Finally it was dinner time, although I had a fleeting thought about skipping it this time.  I should have listened to the angel on my shoulder instead of the devil who said .... YUM ... HOTDOG!!  If you don't want it right out of the boiling water pot like any good castle would have, you ask that it be "burned".  That means rolled on the grill for a little color.  They even have BURNED in the order-taking machine.

Unfortunately sometimes that actually does come out with quite a bit of black on it.  No matter, they taste delicious.  On the other hand, they KILL my stomach!  Most of which I'm still experiencing this morning.  So lets just dump a bunch of fake coffee on top!!!  I swear ... NO MORE HOTDOGS!

At least this time no one threw anything at me, but some just take things and leave money on the table.  I can hear the knives clicking as I insist they stay until the money is counted.  Many times I've come up short.  

On this night, one of our loudest troublemakers was short $1.00.  He SWORE he would just run to the table and bring it right back.  I usually keep the cards to be sure they return, but in this case he grabbed them and ran off.  I called the King.

In no time he had the culprit by the nape of his neck back at my table.  He scrounged through his pockets and came up with ten dimes.  I hate change.  It's a big pain to deal with, but nonetheless, he paid, so he was released and not thrown into the dungeon.  Is there a full moon??

One of our Castle Personnel happens to be the head of the Lodge.  She runs around like crazy, trying to do everything, so I give her credit for that.  I heard she wanted to learn the infernal machine.  YAY ... another VICTIM .... er I mean HELPER!  

All I showed her was how to make payouts, which she thought had to be done at blazing speed.  Slow down I said, the infernal machine doesn't like speed!!  Sure enough, it had another fit which took me fifteen minutes to straighten out when she wasn't looking.   Lucky for me, I programmed this monster, so I know the inner workings of it's gut and can fool it into coming up with the correct total.

At long last, WAY past the normal departure time, I was out the door, but got caught by my boot straps by the King who wanted to discuss our Senior Dinner coming up in November.  The King and I cook up a Thanksgiving dinner for 100 seniors, take it to their housing facility and serve each and every one.  But that's a story for another day.

Aren't you glad?  No foxy videos today!!  Since I'm working on barely four hours of sleep, I'll be on the couch with my big bottle of tums, hoping to fall asleep.  Thanks so much for stopping by!

Tuesday, October 25, 2022

When Grass Is Not Green .....

As I sit at the kitchen table and gaze out the window to complete darkness, I ponder scraping all of the mud dauber wasp nests off the patio ceiling.  I'm not sure what possesses them to think that's a good spot, nor have I EVER seen them building said nests.  They just seem to appear out of nowhere.  That's where the long-handled RV scrubber comes in very handy.

It was Monday ... and I usually do nothing, trying to gather up all my extra strength for Tuesday Bingo.

I moseyed through 25 fox videos, trying to pay attention to the times.  They first arrive at 7:30 to 8:00, just after dark, then disappear for several hours.  They come back around 2:00 and again an hour before the sun comes up.  I could watch these guys all day, because ... well I'm weird I guess.  I'm just fascinated with critters and their habits.

This little female is easy to identify.  Check out her not so pretty tail.  It appears to have been broken, poor baby.  

It's their behaviors that make you wonder.  No more eggs, but I threw out a couple pieces of Pupperoni snacks that Cooper refused to eat, thinking they would scarf them up.  Instead, this is what they did.  Pretty funny.  No wonder Coop didn't like them ... neither did Foxy.  

It seems these guys are not scavengers at all, but prefer REAL food.  I thought they probably ate all the dog food in the neighborhood, but apparently not.  Thankfully, even though I got a whiff of a skunk, none were on video.  It's possible the fox troop is keeping them at bay.

Also being Monday, it was gardener time.  Honestly, I try to hide when they come around.  That way I can keep my mouth shut!!  I've finally given up the ghost!  There's no way any of them are going to do a really good job.  At least now I'm not paying as much for mediocre work.  

He promised me when I left last time that he would make all the lawn GREEN.  He didn't say what SHADE of green, just green.  He said he would sow grass seeds and I would see.  Well yes, I saw.

This was a large bare spot.  I can't complain .... it is green.  However, it's no where near the same type of grass as the rest of the lawn.  It sticks out like a sore thumb.  BUT ... I'm keeping my thoughts to myself.  It's grass ... I should be grateful!!  I actually laughed when I saw it.  I've decided to let it go ... it looks just fine from a distance, as does the rest of the yard.  Perfect is unattainable!!

I went back in the house and began to work on this quilt.  The new roll of stick-um seems to be working, although it took some time to figure it out.  You trace the pattern upside down, then glue it to the BACK side of the fabric before turning it over and angrily try to peel off the backing before gluing to the quilt.  Yup this is fun!!! 

Once the pieces are in place, it will be sewed together, then more pieces glued on, including real pieces of leather and jewelry.  We shall see just how far I get!!

By the end of the day, I was tired ... mostly from not exercising enough me thinks.  That's my excuse and I'm sticking to it.  I've been trying to use up all those cans of stuff in the cupboard that are close to their pull date.  Be glad you are not invited to dinner at my house.  This was an epic fail.  It's an enchilada casserole.  Doesn't much look like it, eh?

Didn't much taste like it either.  Here's my tip of the day.  Do NOT use GREEN SAUCE in this casserole.  It may work just fine on individual chicken enchiladas, but this?  It was a big fat NO!!!  

Sadly, I now have an entire pan of this green sauce stuff I have to eat.  No, the foxes won't partake of it either!!  At least in Arizona the javelina would eat anything!!

I'm gearing up for Bingo today ... a good distraction from the lawn!  Now where are my rubber gloves for the critter cam?

Monday, October 24, 2022

Beware of Closeups!!

WHOA ... it's a chilly 37 degrees this morning.  Summer lasted forever and Autumn gave it five days.  It's winter time in California!!  There will be no drinking on the patio, even if it is hot coffee.  That was a pretty quick transition into Levis and long sleeve shirts.  The best part is its back to COWBOY BOOTS.

I have to admit, I've discovered it's not all roses and gravy when it comes to photographing wildlife, even if they are just in your back yard.  Something was off ... I just couldn't for the life of me figure it out.  They are definitely curious little guys ... and by little, I mean the size of my Cooper.  Soooo many closeups as they scoped out the camera every single night.

Suddenly, as I lounged on the couch after getting the camera inside and pulling out the video card ... the light bulb went on, as bright as the sun.  NOOOOOOO!!!!

The nose knows!!!  Those little buggers have been scent marking my CAMERA!!  You know, the one I've been touching all over every morning and night.  I wash my hand a lot, but let me tell you I washed them in boiling hot water with lots of soap, followed by alcohol this time!!  EEEWWWWWW!!!  Then I scrubbed the camera with bleach.  

Not that it's any different than cleaning up after horses, or Miss Jessie (bless her little Heavenly heart), but EEEWWWWW!!  BEWARE OF CLOSEUPS!!  From now on I'll be wearing rubber gloves when handling the camera!!

This guy is checking out the egg shell left from a few minutes earlier.  This is the 3rd one I've left for them.  It's not good to feed the wild critters.  I really like the new camera position so I can see them in the pasture roaming about.  I see a lot of fresh holes dug out there, but I never see them digging.  I'm just praying the skunks are not back, although I'm sure I got a whiff of one this morning.  UGH!!

As you know, I'm a big fan of Halloween.  I invited my boyfriend Skinny to come out of the closet to negotiate his part in trick or treating.  You can probably tell I'm a bad cook.  He usually hangs around on the front door next to James the Butler.  

Skinny mentioned he loves donuts.  I do too, but rarely (if ever) buy them.  How coincidental that I saw a recipe for pumpkin donuts on my phone.  I am NOT a fan of cake donuts, but wouldn't you know, I found two pans on sale for $13.  That's worth a try.

I mixed up the batter and stuffed it into a zip lok bag to deposit into the pan.  I was a little taken aback when I saw THIS!  Ummmm doesn't look like donuts to me!!

When baked for a measly 11 minutes, they fell out of the pan perfectly, looking MORE like donuts.  How quick and easy was that!!

When it came time to frost them, things went a little south.  Has anyone ever made donut frosting?  It was a new experience for me.  Always ALWAYS sift the powdered sugar so you don't get white lumps like I did.  I only made half the recipe because the rest of the bakers dozen went in the freezer for later.  Dipping didn't work out so well when it was only 1/4 inch deep.  

Nevertheless, they taste absolutely WONDERFUL!  Who knew?  Of course I flavored this with my all time favorite Canadian maple, in honor of my Canadian friends heading south.

I ate one ... then I ate one for Skinny!  This may not have been such a good idea after all.

I spent most of the day watching the baseball playoffs.  I really wanted the Padres to win because they usually lose.  I've had dealings with the Philly fans when I was a season ticket holder and went to all the Giants playoff games back east.  They were rude, threw food on us, called us names and tried to pick a fight all night long.  When we won the game, the three of us ran as fast as we could to our car to get out of Dodge before they caught up with us.  No kidding ... they are not nice!!

I'm happy to say Houston won, mostly because I would like to see Dusty Baker win a title.  Oh and in case you had not heard, Bochy is back as manager of the Texas Rangers.  It's going to be an interesting year.

By the end of the day I had finished one more Halloween quilt.  This one has probably lived in the box under my table for eleven years, having found it in a quilt shop in Long Beach Washington.  It's about time it saw the light of day!!  I'm pretty sure I even have a Jack Skellington costume in the closet.

Now to find a quilting pattern with creepy spiderwebs!!  I should probably do more scrounging around in the sewing room because I'm sure there are more panels just waiting to come alive.

But first ... let me put on my rubber gloves and go retrieve the critter cam!!!!!

Sunday, October 23, 2022

What Doesn't Kill You .......

Makes you stronger.  That was the mantra going through my mind on this morning as I sat outside in the dark.  It appears the nights are getting longer as my coffee time extends into two cups before light hits the horizon.  It's long sleeve shirt time as the low temps are now in the 40's.  

I contemplated the meaning of my nightmares, having spent the night in a scary forest chasing rabbits that climb trees, before getting lost in an old house where they served pizza, if you could find your way through the glass door maze inside.  I, of course, was starving!

With the cooler weather comes fluffier foxes.  Their tales just seem to go FLOOF!!  So very curious these guys are as they explore the back yard.  This one though ... this isn't a fox!!  This is a beautiful BLACK Halloween kitty!!!  I'm hoping for good luck since technically he didn't cross MY path, just the camera's path.

Two foxes seem to stand out to me, although it's really hard to tell them apart.  I'm pretty sure there are a couple of juveniles hanging out with this pair.  Still no one has touched the dog toy, so I guess that was a bust.  They prefer food to play, unlike the coyotes in Arizona who cavort around the golf course tossing the toys in the air, then stealing them.  I'll see if I can get some pictures of them.

This was the HURRAH moment of the day when I finished up this quilt top.  It's so big I don't have floor space anywhere to lay it out completely.  I can't believe I actually made this one.  I'm too impatient to finish things like this.  What kept me going was the expense.  Just the fabric and pattern came to $329.00.  No backing, no batting and no quilting.  Thus the determination to finish it no matter what.

With that done, Cooper and I headed out the door to run the gauntlet of mean barking dogs.  Rarely does he bark back, but he's obviously willing to fight as I drag him away.  I was pretty worried there for a second when one neighbor's dog tried to crawl through a 6" hole under the fence.  I'm sure they could do it too, so we will have to change our route next time.  

On the way back as I looked into the garage, I was reminded I need to put the hitch back in the truck.  I really wasn't looking forward to this since it's so dang heavy and I'm so out of shape.  I surprised myself by hefting it up on the tailgate without any problem at all.  What doesn't kill you, makes you stronger.  

From there it wasn't too hard, except I kept dropping it a little too close for comfort.  Sandals are not good for this.  Luckily I didn't smash anything and it's back in place.  YAY!!  The hitch plate is not as heavy, so that will be easier.  Not by much, but easier none the less.  I really need to exercise more.

This morning, my back and shoulders reminded me I'm old.  Aspirin is my companion today.  With the other quilt done, I couldn't sit around long.  I decided to start on this western appliqué.  

I spent about 3 hours working on it before becoming completely frustrated with the directions and the process.  So much so that I wadded it all up and threw it in the corner.  I could feel it staring at me.  I gave it the evil look every so often and told it to shut up.

Instead, I decided to whip up this little number since it IS Halloween.  I kept looking at the one on the floor, still grumbling about it, when lo and behold I found a roll of stuff you can use for appliqué that does not have to be hand sewn on.  I bought it on a whim two years ago.  ALRIGHT!!  I walked over to the corner, picked up the mass of fabric and slammed it on the table.  TAKE THAT!!!  I'm going to make you after all!!!

I like this little Halloween quilt so much I think I will hang it on my front door for trick or treaters.  I even found two more scary panels that have been hanging around for about 8 years.  I'll whip those up today and be ready to quilt them upon my return to Arizona.  Using up those old pieces of fabric mades my sore back feel much better!!

And so ..... another day has passed and it's critter cam time!  I keep moving it around so I can determine just how they are getting in my yard.  No luck so far, but maybe the black cat will change that!

Saturday, October 22, 2022

Christmas In October

Finally ... a good night's sleep to make for a nice relaxing eyes-wide-open morning on the patio sipping my favorite warm concoction ... phony coffee.  I didn't stay long though, as I am always anxious to see what the foxes are doing in my back yard.

They came back again 20 times to check out the dog toy.  I really think they were hoping it would change into a big chicken leg.   

They spent a lot of time smelling it, but never touched it or moved it.  Sly and curious, as a fox should be, this one checked out the camera up close and personal.  He leaves, but just makes a big circle and comes back.  I'm sure he was hoping another egg would magically appear.  

Every time I hook up the camera to the computer, I expect to see this.  Remember this guy?  It was just 18 months ago that I was dealing with these critters!  Oh my gosh ... when I caught big mamma, I was shaking like a leaf knowing I had to pick up the cage and haul her off.  Those little STINKERS!!!!  Luckily this year I haven't seen even one, but I have smelled two that I'm sure someone killed.  Prolific little dudettes!

Although I would have preferred to camp out on the couch, I decided to get my act together and go foraging for fridge food.  I was late, so parking was at a premium and carts hard to find.  Costco was my target for some of those yummy chickens.

Who knew it was already Christmas??  They used to wait until at LEAST Halloween was over.  Two big aisles were filled with lights and decorations, followed up by THREE big aisles full of toys.  Get your grandkids those sought after toys before they are gone!!

I was happy to see eight chickens still on the warmer.  I mean really, you can't beat a 4 pound roasted chunk of a chicken for $5.00.  I snagged two before they were all gone.  I did check out some other stuff ... like some crab for a new recipe I want to try.  Twelve ounces for $39.00 ... uh that would be a NO.  

I always wonder what happens to all this stuff that doesn't sell.  This is a welfare town and no one can afford that kind of a pricey food.  They would rather spend it on Bingo!!  I did find some Foster Farms chicken breasts for $3.40 a pound, packaged individually.  That was the best of the sales for the day.  I couldn't afford the salmon or anything else they had displayed.  I'm still paying that Vet bill.

Cooper was a happy camper when I returned and he smelled the chicken.  Fresh roasted chicken is his all time favorite.  It's not the same when it's cold.  Go figure!  I spent about an hour getting it off the bones and into the fridge, whereupon I spotted the new block of cheese.  Oh yeah .... grilled cheese sandwich on the loaf of Santa Cruz Sourdough I grabbed at Costco.  I've now enough bread to last three months.

The next couple of hours were spent yet again, on Cooper food.  I picked up these packages of bony pork at the discount store some time ago for $1.99 a pound.  I threw them in the instant pot and 40 minutes later I had tender pork to chop up.  I never really know quite how long to cook it, and this came out a little dry.  No worries, he will eat it if there's nothing else around, and I get the bonus of pork tacos.

In other interesting news, our ballots for the November election were mailed out.  While cruising through Facebook, I noticed a blurb from Merced County.  It seems our illustrious Assessor is in charge of voting and registration.  That's weird, no?  

Apparently they left one race OFF the ballot for a particular precinct.  Isn't that interesting?  Yet again, more voting problems, when that office already GUARANTEED me they would never have problems or voter fraud because they are so good at their job.  Well .........

The note did not say WHICH precinct, but they would send out another ballot and contact you to be sure you filed the CORRECT one.  Does that mean we can file TWO ballots?  What if we already filed one and have yet to receive the CORRECT one?  I guess that means we are out of luck?  Just what precinct was it?

So many questions.  This is just one little podunk town ... can you just imagine how it is across the country?

So what time is it now?  Time to check the critter cam!!!!!  Thank you for stopping by.

Friday, October 21, 2022

Late Night Blues

I'm singing the blues this morning as I try to get my act together on the patio.  Coffee ... I need more COFFEE!!  It was a really late penguin suit night for me as 32 more people were initiated into the Elks Lodge.  I rather imagine I'm the only one who gets up at 4:30 am and goes to bed with the chickens.  This group ... they are the night hawks who carry on like there's no tomorrow.  

There was laughing and singing, teasing and fines given out just because you were there.  Thankfully none wafted my way because my wallet is empty at the moment.  It's all in good fun, but it makes for a late night and a very bleary eyed morning when my eyes pop open and I can't get back to sleep.  Add to that the 23 sneezes that erupt, scaring poor Cooper into the bedroom.

As I mentioned previously, I finally caught Foxy snatching the egg.  They are very wary these little guys, as the camera is in a new location on top of a large black feed tub.  Just like my horses, they can tell when one tiny thing is out of order.  Curiosity gets the best of him though .... wait for it ..... it's like candy he can't resist.  Check out that gorgeous fuzzy tail.

He knew the egg was there, but the smell of that dog toy was too much to resist.  Sadly, they never touched it, but they certainly did smell it a lot.  Then, with a click of his teeth, the egg disappears.

He (or maybe they) came back several times, not really looking for another egg, but to smell the dog toy.  I'll post a couple more videos tomorrow.

In the meantime, it was an absolutely gorgeous sunny day.  We are looking at highs in the 70's and lows in the 40's for the next week.  I think some of that cold snowy air from Canada is creeping down this way.

I spent the morning getting a quick haircut before trying to finish up that quilt.  No cigar on this day, I still have two borders left.  As I was packing up the pattern that I'm passing on to Ray and Cindy, they called to say I should definitely quilt it square by square.  I don't know, when they see the quilt, they may change their mind about making it, although they do love a challenge.

Cooper's morning walk ended up being a short one in the back yard.  I wasn't feeling it, but he's so darn happy to get outside, it's hard to say no.

Suddenly I heard it ... that lovely sound of tree rats cooing in the morning air.  Pigeons are a problem here.  There were so many empty houses in this area, they took a good hold in attics everywhere and multiplied like ... well rats.  My neighbor and I have been throwing tennis balls at them and shooting them with paint balls.  

When they put up their solar panels, the birds began nesting underneath them, requiring netting to installed.  Same for me ... I got netting strung around the entire outside so they can't get underneath the panels.  

Our neighbor to the East did not do the same.  At first there were just a few flying around.  Yesterday I saw 25 take flight from under the panels on his roof.  Pigeons carry lots of diseases.  I'm surprised he lets this continue.  However ... I suppose as long as they are on HIS house and not MINE!!

I'm running on about four hours of restless sleep, so I'll leave you with another gorgeous sunset.  We don't get these here very often, so I grab a chair and watch the show.

I should be off to hunt and gather a Costco chicken this morning, but to be honest, I'm pretty tired.  There was just too much revelry last night, but thank goodness, no pitchforks or torches.  Maybe I'll scrounge in my freezer for something else so Cooper and I can crash on the couch.  

Happy Friday everyone!!