Tuesday, October 31, 2023


 It is absolutely my most favorite time of year.  I'm one of those crazy people that would surround the front door with creepy characters, cackling witches and loud haunted house scary music.  Picking out my costume was the best ... I could be anybody!!  

I've been the wicked witch of the west, even painted my face and hands green, I've been the Dead Bride (in a real wedding dress) with worms coming out of my face, and Captain Hook (including the hook) with an 8' stuffed crocodile dragging along behind me ... if it was creepy, I loved it.

Kids came to the door by the carload, whereupon I doled out 4 to 5 boxes of full sized candy bars.  It was so much fun in the old days.  Sadly things have changed.  Now the small towns and churches have stolen all the fun.  There's no trick or treating ... heck, there aren't even costumes any more.

They set up trunk or treat in their parking lot.  Park your car and fill it with candy.  Kids just walk by without any costumes at all and fill their bags.  Believe it or not, they aren't even allowed to wear masks to school on Halloween because it will interfere with class time.  Wait .... didn't they just wear masks for something like two years??

It's too sad to see.  We used to have so much fun going to the neighbor's houses, ringing the doorbells ten times ... and if you weren't home, we turned all your patio furniture upside down, maybe even TP'd your front lawn.  Oh for the days of yore!!

On with my day.  I made it to my first appointment, to find the Docs won't do much of anything anymore unless they drain you of blood.  Appropriate for Halloween I guess.  That will happen at a later date.  We adjusted my meds (there's only one) and I was off to get fuel.

It was a heart wrenching task.  I admit I worried a bit since I was on less than 1/8 tank.  I'm a half-tank-fill-it-up girl, mostly because it's not so traumatic to see the dollar amount.  I was completely shocked to see the price at the cheapest station was $5.62 a gallon for diesel.  This picture represents me perfectly!!

I was shaking my head.  Someone is making a bundle, and it's not the American people.  Anyhoo ... I got out my credit card and went to pumping.  It wasn't five minutes when the limit on the card was hit and it quit.  I hate it when that happens.  The tank was only half full.  I probably could have drug out another credit card and filled it up, but I decided not to.

I imagine things aren't going to change for awhile, what with Thanksgiving and Christmas coming up when people travel a lot.  The prices will just continue to rise.  I'll just have to keep shopping Walmart so I have money in the bank when I head south in January.

Here's one of my costumes I found in the closet yesterday.  Jack is another of my favorite characters.  Yup .... a Halloween fanatic!!

Just before leaving the fuel station, I happened to check my email.  You're not going to believe this.  I GOT A CHP APPOINTMENT!!  And it says the location IS MY HOUSE!!  I'm pretty much in shock, and I hope it's true ... they are coming to my house to check off the vin number on the truck and fifth wheel.  This should be fun ... I don't even knew WHERE it is on the RV.

Why that's necessary since they didn't require it for my jeep, I'll never know.  But NOW ... there's a list of things a mile long that I have to have.  Good grief ... I did this once in the old days when we just drove up with the truck, they signed a paper and gave it to us.  I have one week to gather all the paperwork.  What a pain in the .............

My kind of pumpkin carving here.  I always wanted to try something like this and actually finished one once ... this is SO much harder than it looks because the pumpkins are hard as a rock!!  On occasion, the blood running down the front was REAL!

On to the next stop.  With half a tank of fuel for $130, I headed off to have it smogged.  I wasn't worried because in Arizona you have to smog it every year if you live near the city.  The state does it for $12.00.  The only place in this little town charges $62.00.  Yessireeeee ... $62.00 for less than 5 minutes work.  It passed.  I knew it would.  

By now I'm pretty done with the whole process.  I just keep telling myself that at least I don't have to paint the house in Arizona for $7,000, nor do I have to put in French drains.  It makes me feel better!!  I headed home to be greeted by my one and only puppy who acts like he hasn't seen me in years.  I love it!!!

The other news .... THERE IS NO BINGO TONIGHT!!!!  That's a surprise!!  What in the world will I do?  Two things come to mind ... make sure all the parts and pieces of my longarm are within reach because they are coming tomorrow morning to set it up and make sure it works ....... and ........ I may just wander on down to the Verizon store to check out a new JetPack MiFi.  

By the way ... does anyone know how to activate the hotspot on my phone?  I see it ... I clicked the button, but nothing works.

In the meantime ..... HAPPY HALLOWEEEEEEN!!!!!!!

Monday, October 30, 2023

Short and Sweet?

Greetings from chilly but sunny California.   This is going to be a short one today since I have two early appointments.  One is with the fuel station North of town.  I'm taking a box of Kleenex with me to sop up all the tears when I fill that 50 gallon tank that is now practically empty.  Oh the pain.

On the other hand, I was pleasantly surprised yesterday when I walked outside to see my rosemary bush in full bloom.  She must be sick.  The flowers usually come out late spring to early summer.  Maybe this means summer will be here in January?  

I don't know what variety this is, but it's the best smelling one I've ever had.  Cooper rubs up against it all the time and smells delicious when he comes in the house.

I had great plans (as usual) to get lots of stuff done, but I defaulted on everything.  I noticed a few birds hanging out and decided to post this nice reminder if you are in to feeding the kids.  Fresh coconut?  Ummm yes, just let me climb to the top of my palm tree and hack a couple off.  Cat food?  Yucky poo.  Maybe some oats, some Cheerios or better yet ... raw sunflower seeds since that's what Jonathan eats.

I'm still trying to upload the latest foxy video, with no success.  I guess it's time to get really frustrated and head on down to Verizon to see how much money I can spend there.  All this technology stuff is expensive!!

So what I REALLY did all day was cut and sew.  Yup ... it took me ALL DAY to cut the fabric for four squares, and I only got TWO stitched up.  No one said being a quilter was easy.  Though the pattern looks pretty intricate, it's not too bad, you just have to be really accurate.

By the way, my quilting machine will be put back together on Wednesday.  I'm so excited .. I've got four quilts in the closet to get started on.  If I can find them that is ... I completely cleaned out that closet, but it seems it has become the dumping spot for everything I can't find a place for.  Hiding stuff doesn't always work.

And so I'm off to the first appointment ... then I'm checking out the latest and greatest Jetpack from Verizon.  It seems I can now use the Hotspot on my phone (I didn't have one before), but I can double down with a Verizon Jetpack when AT&T doesn't have coverage.  I'll let you know what happens.

Sunday, October 29, 2023

Weird Photography

 Woohoo ... the frost was on the pumpkin on this day!  Winter has arrived as it gets colder and colder in the mornings.  That makes for a second cup of coffee while waiting for it to warm up before going outside.  Now is the time we start praying for rain, because it's WARMER when it rains.

Time for Nancy to put on her big girl pants and climb UP ON THE ROOF ... where all your cares just drift into space ... up on the roof.  Yup that's the song I was singing as I put the slide out.  Gosh ... it grumbled, stuttered for about a foot (luckily kept going) and finally stopped.  Well at least it went OUT.  Hopefully it comes back IN.

Then I got out my Quartzsite extend-o-ladder and set it up alongside.  I thought that might feel safer than climbing the ladder in back.  I was wrong.

I made it up on the roof, but it was a little shaky.  Good grief ... nothing about this roof is flat.  It tilts off to the side, the front and the back.  I crawled on hands and knees ... buck up girl, you can do this ... until I had made the rounds.  It all looked pretty good, but then again, I didn't get very close to the edge.  DARN ... when the guy was here cleaning my solar panels, I should have had him clean these too.  

The climb down wasn't as fun as the climb UP.  There's just nothing to hang on to.  Next time I'll wait until I'm in Quartzsite where I can sweet talk someone into holding the ladder for me.  On the other hand, I didn't die, so there's that!!

I spent the next hour wiping down the slide seals with special slide stuff.  I thought about doing the same with the slide gears or rails, whatever you call them ... but didn't have the correct spray.  I ordered a can of Lippert stuff especially for the occasion, although some people swear you don't need to do anything.  I breathed a big sigh of relief when the slide went back in.  Am I the only one who holds their breath??

There was lots more time on the new phone and computer, trying to get my four email addresses to work.  At this point my computer doesn't want to recognize any of them and they go straight to the junk folder.   One doesn't work at all.  I can't get it to like the one that involves the CHP truck registration, which I'm sure is going to result in NO inspection.  It's been a week and I haven't heard back from them.

In the meantime, I thought I might experiment with some weird images.  This is infrared photography.  I've never done it before.  This is my back yard on a bright sunny day.  Look for contrast they said.  Well really, there's not much of that in my back yard, but there is this beautiful green tree.  

Does this look all out of focus?  That's because it is.  When you put the filter on the lens, you can't see anything at all.  They forgot to tell me that part.  You have to focus the camera first, THEN put the filter on.  My first five images came out as black as night ... maybe blacker!!  Cool for Halloween though!

Then you download those images into your computer program and start messing with the colors.  Obviously this isn't great ... but for a first shot, I'm happy I got anything at all!!  Terribly out of focus ... because, well you already know, but the tree looks pretty cool.  It looks like a tornado is coming through.   Much more practice is required.

Since it was a full moon night, and the tripod was already set up, I went out after the sun went down.  I don't do that very often!!  The moon was just coming up over the trees next door.

It always surprises me just how fast the moon rises.  It's going great guns!!  Too bad it wasn't HALLOWEEN last night.

This is the Hunters Moon, but also known as the Dying Grass Moon.  The Native Americans in the North and East named the moons so they could track the seasons.  This month it gets cold and the grass dies off.  This month they need to hunt for winter food.

The moon always amazes me ... what are the dark spots?  What are the tiny light spots?  Look down towards the bottom right and it looks like a stem was attached there.  Too bad the astronauts didn't put a big X  so we could see where they landed.

Anyway, pretty cool when you think about this being another planet spinning around in space.  Even more amazing that we are doing the same thing.

It's Sunday, a day of rest, but I will probably still be chipping away at the piles of STUFF throughout the house ... after I fix my email accounts.

Saturday, October 28, 2023

The Stories He Could Tell

 It was a solemn day.  This is the funeral of Frank, Francisco Valenzuela Peredes, better known as Red Feather to his friends.  Oh the stories this man could tell.  I would not normally post a funeral on my blog, but this one was extra special.  I mean who gets to have FOUR funerals?  I'm sure Frank was smiling the entire time!!

First off we all met at the Catholic Church for service number one.  I don't happen to be Catholic, but this was a beautiful funeral. They had a choir that sang amazing songs.  I have to admit however, the Priest apparently wasn't from the U.S. originally, and his accent was so strong I could only make out a few words here and there.  Yes the service was in English!  Frank was smiling!

Interestingly enough, Frank was in the Korean War.  So was the Priest.  He made the service even more special by thanking Frank in the Korean language, for saving them and their families.  You could hear the tears.  Frank was smiling!

Frank will be buried next to his wife and son who both proceeded him.  While waiting to begin, a very long freight train came by, blowing his horn the longest I have ever heard.  How nice of them to do that ... a tribute to Frank and the American Flag.  That was followed by a helicopter that flew overhead and hovered over the funeral.  Frank must have orchestrated that one, because it's never happened before that I know of.

The next one was the official Elks Lodge service.  Frank loved being at the lodge.  Not able to go alone, one of our members drove him every Tuesday night to Bingo.  Yessirree ... Frank was a bingo aficionado.  He didn't play, but he helped sell tickets.  I'm sure Frank was smiling.

The THIRD service was something you've probably never heard before.  This lady ... I don't know her name ... sang the National Anthem amazingly.  Then she sang the Indian Warrior song.  Red Feather was smiling BIG here!!

Service number FOUR was provided by the Veterans Honor Guard.  Yes, I started out taking pictures in front of these guys who suggested I stand a little further back.  Why I asked?  You're not using real bullets are you???  We laughed ....  and I'm sure Frank was laughing too.  

And then they played taps.  I don't think there was a dry eye in the cemetery.  

The last celebration was at the Elks Park outside of town.  There was food, an entire Mariachi Band and Corona beer because that was Frank's favorite.  Well, except for the fire water he drank quite often, Fireball.  

He lived an amazing 103 years and survived three wars, not without injury.  Before the Air Force actually became the Air Force, they would put anyone up in a plane.  He volunteered to be a gunner.  The plane got shot down, whereupon he had to jump out with a parachute.  Frank had never done that before in his life.  He got hit on the way down, but lived to fight another day. 

He was at Pearl Harbor in the barracks when they got hit.  Instead of running away, he ran towards the ships, grabbed a machine gun and began shooting.  He picked up a few extra bullets that time, one of which stayed in his chin for twenty years.  He's a hero this guy!!

So God Bless You Red Feather and may you Rest In Peace.  I know he's in Heaven, I mean really, he had FOUR funerals in one day and watched a big celebration with his family and friends, which he would think was just dandy.  I know Frank is up there smiling!!!

Friday, October 27, 2023

Can You Hear Me Now?

 Brrrrrrrrr ... seems I got those solar panels cleaned at just the right time.  It's a chilly 43 degrees this morning, heading on down to 39 real soon.  Oh yeah, I already have my electric blanket ensconced on the bed.  Cooper needs the warm, don't you know.

First off ... a big HAPPY BIRTHDAY to someone who lives in Arizona close to my old house.  I won't name names ... you know who you are.  Have a big bowl of ice cream for me!!!!

It was a rather slow day ... it's the only Thursday of the month that I don't have an Elks Meeting.  I was just relaxing on the couch with that second cup of coffee, when I got extremely frustrated.  You all know I'm cheap.  My phone is a very old iPhone 6s from 2015.  That's a dinosaur when it comes to electronics.

Even though I updated it constantly, it's still a dinosaur and doesn't play well with the current apps I have on it.  I would type in three letters, then have to wait for them to show up on the screen before typing in three more.  Sometimes the hesitation was several seconds long.  

So get a new phone Nancy.  Except that always involves getting a new PLAN so they can abscond with more moola from your bank account.  Not to mention, it seems the people who work there never tell you the truth.  It's SO frustrating! 

Buck up girl ... it's going to cost you more, but you really HAVE to have a new phone.  So off I went to the local store where I met Diego.  If only I was 50 years younger!!

Here she is ... my new iPhone 14 Pro.  After discussing all the models and what I would use it for, this was his suggestion.  Why not the latest and greatest iPhone 15?  Because they basically didn't change anything on the 15 but the camera (and not much at that) and the price, according to Diego.  So here she is ... meet my new phone.  Can you hear me now on this fabulous 5 G network?  

I admit, I'm a phone person.  I do absolutely everything on my phone.  The good news is this one, although it has newer faster options, basically works the same as my old one.  That meant it took no time at all to get acquainted.  The problem was getting everything from my OLD phone to the NEW.  I had to pay $1 to get iCloud space (I hate iCloud) to upload all my old data, then download it to this new phone.  

We sat and talked for 30 minutes while he showed me all the pictures he took at the ocean with his iPhone 15.  Wow ... this camera is epic!!

That ring thing?  That's magnetic.  You can place the charger anywhere, even in your car, and the phone will stick to it and charge.  That's a nice feature.  Of course everything costs, right?  In the end, I got the phone for $800 (that gave me chills) and a new GUARANTEED unlimited data plan that will never be slowed down due to the amount of data I use.  Yahoo!!!  That of course remains to be seen.  

You aren't going to believe this .... it costs $20 LESS a month than my old plan that limited the data use. Crazy, right?  I don't know ... I find it hard to believe, but I guess I'll find out.

This is the first picture of Mr. Cooper begging for more treats, which opened another whole can of worms.  I had to put in every password to every email account and game on the phone.  Who knows those???  I thought I had them written down ... but NOOOOO.  So guess what I'll be doing today?  

Actually I'll be spending literally the entire day at the funeral of Frank Peredes.  His Apache name is Red Feather.  Oh the things he saw in his 103 year life.  Rest In Peace Frank ... we miss you.

Next up .... trying to get internet at my house.  Won't THAT be fun!!

Thursday, October 26, 2023

Clean as a Whistle!!

 Aha ... I see Blogger now has a new way to upload images and videos.  This one came up in about three seconds.  Even the still photos are loading differently, but at least they are loading.  And here all this time I thought it was either me or my computer.  We'll see if it lasts!!

This is a terrible video, but it's a good example of what I go through every day.  My Security Guard is always at the ready.  The sun is coming in behind me, and that's my shadow on the wall.  No not ALL of me, just my head and shoulders.  I moved and Cooper started growling like crazy, then barking.  Mom ... MOM!!!  Someone is THERE!!!  He's so funny!!  He keeps me laughing all the time.

You would think after all this time, my honey-do list would be getting to the end.  I admit, I have been neglecting this house since I'm gone a lot.  It really hasn't required much maintenance since I bought it.  Just a few things here and there ... like every toilet seat in the house, leaky faucets ... that kind of stuff. 

I'm extremely lucky to have this house.  At the bottom of the last big real estate crash, I was able to buy this place that had 1.5 acres for my horses, for a fraction of what it was worth.  It was in bankruptcy court. The first time it came up, I lost out.  Five months later, out of the blue, my realtor friend said it was back on the market.  I'm a lucky girl I ended up with it.

SO ... getting those trees out was a biggy, and now we're on to the solar panels.  I check the app on my phone about once a month to see how they are doing.  Slowly but surely, the production has been going down.  That's because I live in the country where they grow sweet potatoes, almonds and things that require shaking and discing.  Dirt and dust here is always a problem for solar panels.  Time to get them cleaned.

I thought about a long pool sweep brush thingy, but everyone said you don't want to use your own water unless you also have a squeegee.  The water spots will cut production and are nearly impossible to remove.  So what do you do?  You call in a professional.  Just look at this rig!!!

Lucky for me, there's a guy who lives very close.  I had no recommendations, but he sounded nice ... a good sign, right??? .... and so I made an appointment.  

You never know when you're going to run into a fellow farmer/schoolmate.  Frances will understand this story.  She and I went to the same grammar school and just reconnected when she found my blog.  Arsenio came from the Azores with his family when he was very young.  He was sent to McSwain Elementary, but he didn't speak ANY English at all and back then, there were no classes to teach him.  Because of that, he hated it here.  What a coincidence ... he attended the exact same school that Frances and I did, kindergarten to eighth grade.

We probably spent the first hour talking about all the people we knew ... all the farmers and ranchers in the area.  He was there about ten years after us Frances, so we didn't know him.  What a nice walk down memory lane!!

And then he went to work.  He has this thing on a stick, kind of like a floor polisher.  Water comes out the top and it spins around washing the panels.  He used specially treated water so there were no spots at all.

Clean as a whistle!!!  I had no idea they were that bad.  Production jumped back up to when they were installed.  Check .... one more thing off my list.  He said I really only needed to have this done twice a year ... after harvest and after discing for new planting next year.  Sounds about right to me.

While that was going on, I happened to look up.  I don't look up all that often because around here things fall out of the sky, meaning it's getting close to pigeon time.  But look up I did, to see this.  Wow .... the spiders have been busy.  All the brown stuff is webs.  A closer look and they have REALLY been busy.  Good grief, almost my entire house is covered like this.  Perfect for Halloween I suppose.

I got out my broom and went to work.  I have never seen it this bad before.  No worries, these aren't tarantulas ... they are all Daddy Long Legs, with millions of babies that scattered like fleas when my broom got close. 

Feeling a little better about the critters now NOT covering my house, I came in to check my email.  Woohoo ... I actually got a response to the CHP email.  They asked for all the specifics, but said nothing about where this would occur.   I politely requested they come to my house.  No response yet, so I guess we shall see.  I'm not holding my breath.

Sadly, I don't even know what's on the agenda for today.  I've got lots of ideas, but nothing concrete.  It's too early and I need another cup of coffee for that!!

Wednesday, October 25, 2023

What Time Is It???

 It's BINGO TIME!  But first, let's gear up for it on this beautiful 50 degree day.  Here's Mr.-Mr. hanging out on the carpet.  Everywhere I go, he provides his guard dog services.  Always ALWAYS with his back to me, keeping watch for any intruders.  No one gets to make any noise either, or he begins a barking campaign.  Yes, that's a doggy gate, keeping him off the carpet when I'm not home.

So when THIS guy gets off the perch and tries to break out of jail, Cooper is at the ready.  Sometimes I actually have to go check to be sure it really ISN'T a person!!

By the way, anyone else having trouble with Blogger?  I can't load videos and it's slow as can be.  I never know if it's my WiFi or Google ... or maybe a gremlin in my computer.  So lets get even MORE frustrated.

Let's drive my truck down to my local CHP office and see if I can get the VIN signed off.  Note ... this is NOT my local office.  I copied this picture from the web.  

So I walk in the door with a fist full of paperwork, hoping they will have someone there.  Apparently there WAS someone there, but no help was forthcoming.  You cannot just walk up and ask for verification.  You have to EMAIL the office first, in order to get an APPOINTMENT (here we go again) to have someone meet you here and verify that yes ... this is the exact same truck that was registered here for ten years.

What about my fifth wheel I asked.  What a dumb question.  Yes, you have to send an EMAIL to get an appointment to get that one looked at too.  I asked the man very politely if they could possibly come to my house.  With my back the way it is, I cannot turn enough to see the hitch in order to make a connection, nor can I lift the stairs.  He said NO, they don't do that.  Send an email.  Big sigh!!!  There is just NO SERVICE these days except for the tree cutters.

I got back home and threw some ingredients in the bread maker.  The smell that comes out of that machine calms me down.  I composed an email requesting service at my house and sent it out.  We'll see what happens.  So far I have not received a response.

The bread .... oooohhhhh the bread.  It's a loaf of English Muffin bread.  Doesn't taste like English muffins at all, but it sure is GOOD with a capital G.  In case you were wondering, that wheat bread with sunflower seeds was NOT my favorite.

At last, it's time for some Bingo at the Magic Castle.  I delivered an ice cream maker to my Fairy Godmother and three quilts to one of the nicest ladies there.  When you downsize, you end up with lots of extra stuff that won't fit in the cupboards.  I mean really ... I've now got FOUR instant pots in one house with only ONE person to cook for.  

AND WE'RE OFF!!  I had to deflect the first complaint at the table in the turret before I even BEGAN to work.  One of our "workers" began to rant and rave about how I opened the door and let the players in EARLY to buy their cards.  She was railing so much, it took me ten minutes to figure out what she was talking about.  

She kept yelling, SHE had come in at 1:45 to "work" and therefore was the first one in the building, so SHE should be FIRST in line to get her cards.  That's not how this works.  Whoever is at the door when I'm ready to go, gets first dibs.  She was mad as a hatter that she had to be TWELTH in line and WAIT for all those OTHER people to go first.  I was unimpressed.

Thirty minutes later I was tired of hearing the noise which was still forthcoming.  Look I said .... I've been doing this for THIRTEEN years.  One lousy night I open all of FIVE MINUTES EARLY and you rant for an hour.  She finally shut up, but she made sure she was FIRST in line.  She's a volunteer for the kitchen ... I don't care how early she comes in.  Maybe I'll even open early again!  Ha!!!

Otherwise, the night went fairly well.  We had a new caller of the numbers, so things went a little slow.  We had a couple of red tickets that disappeared, which amazingly appeared like magic in their pocket along with their change and receipt.  It's funny how nice they become after being so rude about that ticket.

My helper wasn't there for half the night, so the Knights came to bail me out.  They don't count very well, but all the Bingo ladies are happy to see them.  It made for a fight-free night.  My dinner of one corn dog hit the spot.  Five aspirin might have been better.  My back was yelling at me like that volunteer was.

The BAD news, or maybe it's GOOD news, is there will be NO Bingo next week.  Personally, I think it's the perfect night for zombies and crabby people at a Halloween Bingo Fest ... but alas, we will be closed.  Gosh ... what will I do with two whole weeks off??

Tuesday, October 24, 2023


It looks like a fabulous morning to chop down some trees, yes?  Let's play LUMBERJACK!!   But first, we have that trip to California DMV to register my truck and trailer.  

I was NOT looking forward to this.  It's always such a hassle to get anything done, not to mention costly.  I left early, but it wasn't early enough.  It was foggy in the foothills and traffic was pretty slow.  If you've lived here for any length of time, you know it's nowhere NEAR as foggy as it used to be.  I would have taken more pictures, but as you can see, this road is pretty narrow.  

Why would I drive all the way up to Mariposa?  Because the Merced office is full of cranky, unhelpful people who are rude to the moon and back.  It's well worth the pretty drive.

I arrived with an appointment time.  Come to find out, that is California's newest way to stick it to you.  Just because you have an appointment, does NOT mean you will be seen then.  That only gets you in the door with a number at that time.  You still have to wait for everyone in the room to be served BEFORE you.

I got a not-so-helpful lady who gave me two long forms to fill out.  It asked things like what date in 2005 did I buy my truck.  I only remembered the year because it was on my registration!!  FINALLY I got called to a window with a nice young knowledgeable man.  By the way, there are only TWO people in this office.  I filled out the paperwork wrong of course, but he fixed it for me.  NICE!!  

The truck went through pretty well.  No shocker there ... the fees when registered here in 2017 were $400. Now they are $600 because it's a pickup, making it automatically a commercial vehicle.  That's crazy!

Next up the trailer, which was much more problematic.  It has a lender.  I put down the mailing address for my payment, but the paperwork had a different name and address.  The nice kid filled out another form for me.  The good news is THAT registration fee was $200 cheaper than Arizona.  WOW!!

The bad news (there is always bad news) is I now have to get the truck smogged and BOTH verified by the California Highway Patrol.  They said just call and they would come to my house. Yeah right!!!!  I doubt THAT is going to happen.  And so 90 minutes later (yup it took that long) I was out the door and racing down the hill.

It's TIMBER TIME!!  I have four of these sycamore trees on my property that I and everyone else, dislike immensely.  They grow all wonky, have a million leaves they drop everywhere and suck up water like a sponge.  

Now you see them .....

Now you don't!  

I have to say this Cen Cal Tree Service is the best group of guys I've ever worked with.  They are amazingly fast, never take breaks, and they clean up slick as a whistle.

He climbs the tree with a small chainsaw hanging off his waist.  I need that chainsaw!!  As he drops branches the two guys on the bottom slide them into the noisiest machine on the planet.  

He's all the way to the top now, his climbing boots stuck into the smallest of branches.  

Once all the limbs are off, he starts back down taking off two foot sections.

They take it right down to the ground before beginning the grind.

It's just hard to believe that machine can eat up these big stumps like they are a two inch twig.  Everything goes into the grinder and winds up sawdust in the back of the truck.

Next up ... grind out the stumps.  These guys went above and beyond.  The tree roots are huge and spread out almost on top of the ground for ten or twenty feet.  We thought they might have broken a sprinkler, but dug around it by hand and pulled out every root they could find.  

To top it off, I didn't ask Robert to take out the second tree until they were half done with the first.  He said no problem, and even let me tell HIM what I would pay, because as you know, I'm the cheap accountant type.  I have two more of these horrible trees on the property, but they do add a little bit to the ambience of the house.  He's going to come back and trim them up pretty next month!  

It was a long day .... I'm going to go rest up now!!!  BECAUSE IT'S BINGO TIME!!!!

Monday, October 23, 2023

One Little Corner

Take a big deep breath in ... let it out.  Repeat.  I seem to be doing that a lot these days, which is obviously a good thing.  Even with my back on the mend, I'm not getting much done.  Distraction comes easy to me and suddenly I find I've been on my phone checking out new recipes and new photography ideas for two hours!!  I suppose it's cheap entertainment!   

However, it keeps me from doing what needs to be done.  Mrs. Chance send a note to me.  If you are overwhelmed with cleaning and organizing, just do ONE little corner.  Ha!!  This is a pretty big corner that looks just the same today as it did yesterday!!

The star of this little headache is my grandmother's rocker.  You've probably seen these with the strange wooden mechanism underneath that allows it to rock.  The tapestry was done by her many many years ago.  Surprisingly, it's even still sturdy enough to sit in and rock.  

Instead of being hidden in the back bedroom, it needs a place in my house where it can be seen and enjoyed.  I just haven't found that place yet.  

In case you wondered why I'm so scatterbrained sometimes ... this is it.  My sewing room is an absolute disaster.  It makes me crazy every time to go in, which is multiple times a day!!  Cleaning this little "corner" is going to take some doing!!

It being Sunday and all, I didn't do much but hang out with Mr. Cooper.  I did work on this quilt and got two more squares done.  These patterns are pretty complicated, requiring sewing, cutting, ironing, sewing, cutting and MORE ironing.  If I don't concentrate, I make mistakes, so progress is slow.  You'll see lots of different varieties of this since my wall isn't big enough for the king size quilt it will become.

Towards the end of the day, Cooper and I went out for a walk.  What??  It's RAINING?  When did THAT happen?  I never heard a sound the entire time.  No, the gardeners have STILL not trimmed all the rose bushes!!

For dinner I whipped up a dish left over from the old ranch kitchen.  When I say old, I mean OLD.  The kitchen was the biggest room in the house.  It had the stove in one corner, the sink in the far corner, and a built-in buffet/display cabinet for the fine china.  Since there WAS no fine china, it held the jelly jars we used for water glasses and the mason jars we used for canning.

When you walked in the door, you noticed a definite slant to the floor.  That was for cleaning purposes.  You scrubbed the floor with a mop and soap, then tossed an entire bucket of clean water at the highest point of the floor.  The water ran down to the low corner, where two big slots were cut in the wall at floor level.  That's where you swept the dirty water out.  

Did critters come in those inch high slots?  Why yes they did!!  A broom was kept close by to smack them.

That's where we cooked the toughest chunks of meat.  Our stove had one burner that would drop down into the stove.  It held a big pot for long slow cooking, kind of like a slow cooker today.  We would cut up the meat into chunks, chop up some onion, add a can of chopped tomatoes (for the acid) and a can of green chilis.  It would simmer on the stove the entire day, making the house smell wonderful!!

Even the toughest piece of an old cow that died mysteriously, would come out tender enough to eat.  Surprisingly, we never died from eating any of it.

It was quite tasty and brought back memories of the old kitchen floor.  It might have been better over mashed potatoes.  I may have to go to the store today.

But first ... I'm off to DMV to get my truck registered.  Why not register it out of state?  I'm basically honest and mostly afraid I'll get caught.  It only takes one time of getting detained in a jail cell in Santa Cruz at 17 years of age to make you follow the rules.  But that's a story for another day!!