Saturday, July 13, 2024

Winnemucca ... Land of HEAT

 Well that was fun ..... NOT!  So even though my spidey sense said I should stay home, I told myself to put on your big girls pants and just GO!  And so I did.  

The first problem was not having a clue about all those buttons and rollers on the steering wheel.  The steering is VERY touchy and it has the rock and roll of a big motorhome.  Not bad, just different.  I ended up switching Cooper and Jonathan, because Jon can take the heat better ... Cooper needed the AC.  He slept almost the entire way.  What a good boy!!

It was all laughs and giggles until I hit Sacramento.  First it was the section that goes by Cal Expo.  Twenty miles an hour for about four miles.  Not too bad after that though, in spite of all the big warning signs of traffic where I-5 meets I-80.

We cruised right along until there was a rumble ... a big vibration ... and my dash went crazy with flashing red lights.  What the heck was that?  It seems they have some crazy thing on here called Lane Assist.  If you get too close to the white line, it actually drags you BACK into your lane with a big vibration.  That scared the heck out of me.  Oh but wait .......

In no time as we headed over Donner Pass, we ran into construction.  Well actually there was NO construction, it just looked like it.  This guy was taking advantage of the slow traffic.

TWELVE MILES at 4 mph.  No kidding ... this was just ridiculous.  Suddenly my control panel started beeping like crazy ... like when you are going to bump into something?  It went ballistic every time I got within 50 feet of the car ahead of me.  The lanes were narrow, so the side vehicles set it off too.  It was so loud I couldn't think!

I called the dealer ... how the heck do I turn this blankety blank thing OFF?  They had no clue.  I pushed buttons right and left until it finally quit ... sort of.  

At long last, TWO HOURS behind schedule, I pulled into 107 degree Reno for fuel.  No kidding ... it was HOT!  Diesel was $4.08 a gallon.  I filled up since I didn't know where the next station would be.  No stopping however, it was too hot for the kids ... so we kept going ... and going ...

Out of Reno and into the heat.  It stayed around 109 most of the way.  Suddenly the van jerked to the right, made the most horrible noise, sounding like the engine fell out!   Not kidding here ... I about had a heart attack.  What the heck was THAT?  

Well ... it seems this rig also has a Wind Gust Assist, along with the lane assist and the "you are too close" assist.  I was sure the engine blew up, but it kept going.  I wasn't even driving fast, nor did I even SEE any bushes move.  YIKES!!  I'm turning that thing off too as soon as I can figure out how.

OH BUT WAIT .... there's MORE!!  Every ten minutes a screen popped up saying ATTENTION ASSIST. Well what the heck is THAT?  It shows a cup of steaming coffee.  AHA ... so it thinks I've been driving too long and I need to stop.  Well if there WAS a place to stop, that might be an idea, but alas, there was none.  

And so, 8-1/2 hours later, we arrived in Winnemucca.  Should have been 6 hours.  I was exhausted, trying to think of what to do first.  Plug in, start AC.  Put heavy window sunscreen up to keep it a little cool.  Lucky for me, I am in the shade of a tree, but the AC is still screaming away trying to get it down to 85.  Me thinks that's a pipe dream.  

It was a very rough night, to say the least.  Here's the next problem that raised it's ugly head.  I noticed on the control panel a red line by the sliding door.  It's closed ... I closed it three times with a slam.  Now, as I tried to lock up for the night, the sliding door and the two BACK doors will not lock.  These things are supposed to be foolproof!!

And so I spent the next two hours trying everything I could possibly think of to get the doors to lock.  Nothing.  Only the two front ones would cooperate.  I'm sure my neighbors loved me slamming the doors until 10:30.  I called Renate and I went on-line to the PleasureWay group.  A very nice gentleman tried to help me out, but to no avail.  

Okay then .... I dosed off here and there, sitting UP with my arm draped over the back seat because if anyone tried to sneak in, I would feel it.  Yeah, it was a miserable night.  This trip is one for the record books.

And so we survived ... barely.  Mr. Cooper ate a bit, drank a lot and is napping while I sip my cup of Joe.  It's 72 this morning ... not exactly cool but better than 109!!

I'm going to need ice cream Cindy and Ray ..... LOTS of ice cream!!!!

Friday, July 12, 2024

And I'm OFF!!

 Well I think I'm off anyway.  It's very daunting this panel.  I need an expert to explain everything.  I actually had a glitch yesterday and so had to call PleasureWay in Canada.  Here's the bad news.  The dealer did NOT update the inverter before they let me drive off.  According to the nice guy I talked to, it needs to be done, as I may have problems with it.  No, there are no dealers in Utah.

Since I really don't know exactly how this system works ... what charges what or what uses electricity from what, it's rather scary to take off into the blue.  The only thing I'm absolutely sure of is the fridge is BATTERY ONLY.  No electricity, no propane ... only battery runs the fridge.  

Electricity runs the microwave, A.C. and cooktop.  So either plugged in or generator.  Maybe the cooktop runs on battery?  See ... I have no idea and here I am taking off on a trip.

To add to the tension, my neighbor wanted to come over at 8:30 last night to change out the easy to use AC control to this crazy complicated device that hooks up to your phone, only it won't hook up to mine because I don't have internet other than a hot spot.  90 minutes later I gave up trying to figure it out.

And so I guess I'm taking off this morning, though I'm as nervous as a cat on a hot tin roof.  Not for me, but for my kids!  No problem if I didn't have to worry about 15 year old Mr. Cooper getting overheated.

Wish me luck!!!

Thursday, July 11, 2024

Starlink and Starry Eyed

It was a rough day ...  

And that's pretty much what I looked like after running around yesterday.  People drive so crazy I can't believe it.  One guy tried to run me off the road.  He was in the Must Yield lane right beside me.  Did he slow down or stop until I got by?  Of course not ... he kept right on going until I had to run into the curb to keep him from hitting me.  Did he know I was there?  Yeah I'm pretty sure that constant horn honking was a clue.  I swear, next time I'm going to let them hit me.

That was AFTER I had to sit through an employee discussion at the Elks Lodge.  It turned out not to be so bad, but truly ... if I was that employee who got called on the carpet, I think I would have showed up on time, not 20 minutes late.  All's well that ends well.

In the meantime, I've been contemplating Starlink.  I have a Verizon MiFi that rarely works at my house, and so I use my AT&T phone hot spot.  I've been RV traveling for almost 14 years now.  The MiFi has served me well for a cost of $90 a month.  

What I'm finding out however, is their towers don't work so well any more unless you camp out underneath one.    The solution might be getting Starlink.  Talk about complicated ... if you've ever done any investigation into this, you'll find it to be controversial.  

You can buy Gen 2 with a dish that automatically moves to find one or more of 6219 satellites, or Gen 3 which has a wider view and does NOT turn automatically.  That's assuming you are not parked near any trees or "obstructions".  Apparently it takes some time for it to determine the obstructions before it finds the satellites.  Here are the trails left by said satellites, which seem to bother scientists a bit.

There are two "plans" to acquire.  One is for your house and runs about $130 a month.  It has your address as the location.  Apparently as of now, you can move it wherever you go, as long as you enter another address.  You have priority use on this account.

The other plan is Roaming.  This one is for RV's who travel, but cost $150 a month and you do NOT have priority use.  So you can get throttled down (or dropped completely) depending on how many folks are using their internet, AND you pay more for it.  At some point I'm sure Starlink will stop folks from getting the HOME unit and traveling with it.  The good news is if you get roaming, you can put it on hold any time you want, for as long as you want, and not pay at all.  

For me, I would use it on the road AND at home, so that's $150 a month versus a questionable MiFi for $90 a month.  So what's a gal to do???

EAT ... that's what I'm going to do.  This big box of tika masala came in my Hello Fresh box for free.  It was a taste tester I guess.  There was enough chicken for one serving, and rice for twelve!  The bag of sauce was huge considering the tiny amount of chicken involved.  

It was quite tasty, but I won't show you a picture because you would probably lose your lunch.  It was pretty disgusting looking ... nothing like the picture here.  No, I won't be getting it again.

I continued to pack a few things here and there in the rig, but most of what is left cannot take the heat.  It was 112 inside yesterday, so definitely an RV cover is required.  I would just turn on the air and the fridge, but I'm sure both will run constantly the entire day and half the night trying to keep it halfway cool.  I'm not worried about the electricity ... but the motors running continuously when it's so hot.  Seems like that can't be good for them.  107 today they say.  I'll turn on both this morning and see how it goes.

Dinner was going to be killer I thought.  I mean just look at this burger!  It rivals Habit burgers to say the least!  

At least I can show you a picture of how this one turned out.  Not bad, eh?  Okay, I admit I toasted the bun a little too much.  I got distracted by Trey Kimsey riding that crazy bucking bull!!  What I was NOT fond of was frying the "smash" burger until my entire stove was completely covered with grease.  No kidding, it was running off onto the floor.  

The best part was the grilled onions ... YUM ... and the ketchup/dijon/mayo sauce.  Two such simple things to make this burger the best I've ever made.  Add bacon and I would be starry eyed!!!  The fries ... I don't know.  Why they keep adding BAKED fries to the menu instead of something more tasty, I'll never understand.  They do not come out crispy like their picture, but they were edible.  Why?  Because they had Old Bay Seasoning sprinkled on them.  Who knew?  I may have to try that again!

Stuffed to the gills, I spent the rest of the night reading reviews on Starlink.  At the moment, what I have is less expensive.  If I get frustrated enough with it, I'm sure there will be a Starlink living at my house.  In the meantime ... stay cool.  Today is my final packing day!!

Wednesday, July 10, 2024

The Infernal Machine Wins Again!!

 Oh what a day .... there's a song in there somewhere.  102 on the schedule for today, 106 tomorrow, meaning I'm not going to get much packing done.  I'm going to turn on the fridge Thursday night and hope it gets cold enough to keep my food frozen by Friday morning.

Speaking of which ... remember the beautiful golden brown chicken pot pie that I cooked in the oven?

I took the recommendation to just cook it in the microwave.  It takes SO much less time.  Notice the difference?  It looks like me at the end of winter before I get any sun.  Didn't they used to put them in a box with a weird lid that would brown it?  No such thing any more.  I ate it, but it wasn't crunchy or all that tasty.  On the other hand, I didn't have to MAKE it, so there's that.

My company was off early to an appointment, and though she volunteered to work Bingo, I think she had second thoughts and went home instead.  Or maybe she remembered all the things I've told her about being a volunteer!!

It was hot once again, so Coop and I stayed inside most of the day.  These temperatures are wearing on me.  I went in to the lodge early, only to find the accountant was out for the afternoon, so I got nothing done.

The knights met upstairs as usual, where I sipped a cold one (Coke) and they ate popcorn!!  I was feeling pretty good because this is the last one I work for THREE weeks.  Oh YEAH!!!!

So here we are, getting ready for the rush.  I handed over the blue quilt to its new owner, who was very happy with it, as was all her seat mates.  That was good because I was a little worried about it.  

I opened the doors at 4:20 and right off the bat we had BRA money.  Really?  It's a hundred and something out, everyone is sweating up a storm and you hand me BRA money?  I declined and she had to use her debit card instead.  Not that it made much difference, because you KNOW where THAT was kept.  At least I didn't have to hold the card.

I got some good news from the King of the Castle.  Those little red tickets?  We give out pull tabs if your number is drawn.  Well they are not printing those pull tabs any more, and anything else will cause us to lose too much money.  SO .... NO MORE LITTLE RED TICKETS!!!  The other cashier and I did a big HIGH FIVE!!  She's not thrilled I will be gone for the next two bingo nights, but she can handle it!!

There weren't too many complaints on this night, except for when the caller decided to tell some lame DAD jokes in the middle of calling a game.  The pitchforks and flaming torches came out, but lucky for him, he was able to dodge MOST of them.  I don't think he'll do THAT again!!

For the first time in a long time, I decided to take a chance on the payouts.  I upped them to the max.  Sadly, our floor guys didn't sell much, so I knew I would be short.  When I finally rang out the register, I went into shock.  $250.00 short!!  What?  NO WAY!!!  Yes WAY!  That's a payout amount, so maybe we paid someone twice?

I'm freaking out ... the din from the Bingo room is LOUD so I can't think, and the infernal machine kept ringing up one penny instead of $25.00.  To make it worse, three men were standing there saying ... is she done yet?  Is she done yet?  Can we put the stuff away?  

NO she is not done yet because nothing is balancing.  To make it worse, the tiny calculator I have to use doesn't work like any other calculator.  Frustration ensued.  At long last I just counted up the money and was $15.00 short.  That's acceptable, but it didn't match the numbers on the printout.  The Infernal Machine WINS AGAIN!!  

To finish out the night on a high note, I completely forgot to wipe it's memory clean.  And so today I get to go back once again to make sure it's little brain starts over from scratch next time.  At least I won't be there when that happens.  Better luck to the OTHER cashier!!

Tuesday, July 9, 2024


 Yup ... it's still hot enough to fry an egg on the sidewalk.  As I saw on my phone yesterday ... I better start being nice because there's no way I could survive Hell when I can't even stand 105 degrees here!!  I admit part of that is because I'm being super careful with the AC.  This is my true-up month, which up to this point has always been ZERO.  This year however, being home and running the air when it's this hot is going to cost me!

To help out, I noticed (literally overnight) that my solar panels were more than dirty.  I keep a close eye on it's production and it is slightly below normal.  Time to call the Bathtub Crew to clean them up.  It's cheap ... $5.00 a panel ... for him to use a small soft rotating brush and tons of treated soft water.  Definitely worth it in my book.

And here we are ... shiny and purdy ... free of the big splats from overhead hawks and buzzards.  My production jumped up quite a bit.  Doing this three times a year instead of twice, would probably be prudent.

Since one set of panels are on the other side of the garage, I had to move the RV.  I'm sure at some point it will become automatic, but right now, I really have to think about how to start it up.  Shifting gears is another thing ... there's no gear shift.  Just a little thing sticking out that you TAP for reverse and TAP for drive.  Tap the little button and you are in park.  That's going to be really hard to get used to when I'm an old gear shifting granny used to double clutching!!

Hooking the electrical back up was a hassle.  Here's the first cheesy thing I've found on this rig.  A cheap plastic ring to secure the electrical cord that would not thread on straight no matter what I did.  After much frustration, I finally just left it.

Then I was off ... in my easy to drive Chevy truck ... on the hunt to find DEF in a smaller container that I MIGHT be able to find a space for.  Trust me, space is 100% more limited than I realized.  If I find it, it will live with my clothes in the closet.

I actually ordered two containers like this from Amazon.  Apparently they dropped them, or smashed the containers because I got a message saying they were damaged.  I hit up every truck stop and auto supply within 30 miles and NO ONE carried the small containers.  That's a problem since the big ones are really heavy ... and I have to lift it up chest high to fill the tank.  

I actually have a 2.5 gallon jug of the stuff, so if I can find an empty smaller container, I'll just transfer it over.  Maybe even a one gallon water jug?
That was a wasted trip since the only thing I came home with was a bag of seed for Jonathan.  I paid $28.00 for a bag that used to cost me $10.  Cooper's dog food that was $18.00 is now $35.00.  I may soon be living off of Van Camps pork n beans!!!

Lunch was interesting ... not that this diet stuff is working ... it's a TLT.  Turkey, lettuce and tomato with a little cheese thrown in for good luck.  

While scrounging in the freezer for something to eat, I discovered I was OUT of Jonathan biscuits.  That can't happen ... and lucky for me, I found a can of yams without having to go back to town.  These parrots have to have orange stuff ... because that contains the vitamins they need to stay healthy.  Of course Jonathan hates anything orange.  This batch has yams, sunflower seeds, crushed peanuts and an egg, which is probably why he's still alive.

Company showed up around 5:00 with a smiling face.  She brought lots of food, but I just wasn't hungry.  I think the heat is wearing on me.  We spent the rest of the evening watching the Calgary Stampede from cooler than cool 70 degree Canada.  

Today I have nothing on my plate until 2:00 ..... because it's time for BINGO!!!!  This is when I tell all the nice ladies that BRA money is not allowed.  I'm sure you can figure out why!  Yessirree ... there'll be no stealing their purse as they walk down the street ........

Monday, July 8, 2024

Sprinklers ... I DESPISE THEM!!

 I love Texas.  What cowgirl wouldn't?  On the other hand, I don't think I could ever live there.  April, May and June is tornado time, when storms come through and devastate the state.  July, August and September is hurricane season, when storms come through and devastate the coastline.  There's one hitting the coast right now.  Say a little prayer for Texas on this morning.  I think I can live with the heat here just fine.

Sprinklers ... the bane of my existence.  There must be a gremlin that goes around at night messing with them just for fun.  No matter how hard I try, I cannot seem to get the entire lawn green at one time.  I just put in a new sprinkler for the BROWN at the top left of this picture.  Now all of a sudden I've got THIS!

The sprinkler is in the flowerbed, so I can't blame the Gardener, though the top has disappeared off this one too.  I must say, there's nothing as refreshing as trying to fix THIS one when the one next door slaps you in the face with enough water to soak your hair and shirt.  How can that be?  That much water and it's STILL brown!!  

I messed with this thing for ten minutes, getting hit in the face, until I THINK I got it fixed.  At least it was cool, but a dip in a swimming pool would have been better!!  We will see if it worked.

I didn't even know this one existed.  It was completely overgrown with grass and NOT working.  I'm guessing gophers are the reason most, if not all, of my sprinklers are sinking into the sand.  It was 102 at 8:30 when I began digging this one out.  I added an extension to bring it up higher, but may have overdone it.  I'm guessing this will get eaten by the lawnmower, so a stake of some kind is in order.  

I spent the next two hours paying bills.  Seems like a lot of time for so few, but when your computer is old and tired, you have to be patient.  Plus, it seems they like to almost HIDE the due date.  California DMV send it out two months in advance so you will pay it early.  Sorry Charlie ... not happening.  On the other hand, my Verizon internet account sends theirs out ten days before it's due, sometimes making me late.

Cooper and I spent most of the day on the couch watching Cowboy Christmas with some of the craziest bucking horses and bulls I've ever seen.  How those 2,000 pound bulls can do that is beyond me!  I worked on sewing the binding on this quilt until it was finished.  Done at last!!!

AND ... I have company coming to the hotel for one night.  This is what I think I look like after washing and drying the sheets.  Just fling them out there (like on TV) and VOILA the bed is made.  

This is what it looks like when I'm done.  It's a King size ... and hard to FLING over.  It's also in the hottest room in the house.  Maybe she won't notice!!!

Today I have to chase down a jug of DEF.  I picked up a 2.5 gallon container, but quickly found I have no room to carry it in the rig.  I'm on the hunt for the smaller one.  I suppose I could just wait until I run out, but my stress level won't allow for that, especially since I have no idea at this point how much it will use.  

Then I'm off computer hunting ... for that elusive creature that will run all of my photographic software and not cost two arms and a leg.  It will be hard to type with my nose!!

Sunday, July 7, 2024

Work Work Work .......

 HOOWEEEE it was another HOT HOT day.  I just keep thinking about my electric bill as my air conditioners hum along.  I'm pretty sure there's going to be a true-up in my future ... and it will be this month.  You can tell I'm looking forward to THAT!

I deposited myself on the patio for a time in the early morning, the better to check out my sprinklers.  Sure enough I found two not working at all.  No wonder there are such big brown spots.  It went on my Honey-Do list.

But first, while it was only 90 degrees, I did some work on the RV.  I think I figured out the AC.  I turned it on and messed with the controls until I understood what the little red and blue circles meant.  This is not your normal thermostat.    My plan was to leave it running for a couple of hours and see how it goes.

In the meantime, Renate gave me this curtain to use as a privacy screen.  Really, since I'm using the front windshield screen, I don't need it.  On the other hand, I had read where it actually provides just a little more separation from the hot front area.  I decided to put it up.  By golly, it helped ... but that leaves Jonathan in the passenger seat in the heat.  Down it came.

Next I went to work on the Reflectix.  This stuff is awesome.  I've been using it my entire RV life.  If you buy the REAL stuff and not the "looks like" kind, it works really well at keeping the heat and cold OUT.  I reused several pieces from the other RV and recut them to fit.  

I did discover one other small problem.  See that black thing on the counter?  That's the induction cooktop.  If you even barely brush your arm, or anything else across the top, it turns on.  I know nothing about these, but I assume (and you know what happens if you do that) they don't get hot unless you have a special pan on top?  I freak out every time it turns on.  It also seems to work on temperature, not low, medium, high.  Something else to learn.

I also discovered that the pull down shades have magnets that keep them from flopping back and forth.  Nice touch!!  Every window is now covered, so I headed inside the house, leaving the AC running.

My plan was to head out for a new computer, since I'm now getting several messages every day that my programs are too outdated.  That means I won't be able to use them much longer at all.  That's not good when it's your banking and internet apps.  

Instead, I decided to get this quilted so I had time to hand stitch the binding before Tuesday.  The pattern I just paid for would not work.  It just would not size correctly, so I went with my favorite bubbles.  Everything was going along just great until I walked to the end of the machine to grab my phone.  

My tip of the day is ALWAYS walk around.  I accidentally hit the machine with my arm ... hardly a bump ... and it made the most awful squiggle right in the middle.  Big sigh!!!  Ok Nancy ... think ... how can you fix this.  I let it finish out the row, then went back and removed the stitching before giving it a new start spot.  You could have heard me across the street when it stitched it perfectly ... well almost perfectly.  I don't think anyone can tell but me.  I had to completely reset everything for the last row, but it's done.

I no more sat down than this arrived at my door.  It's supposed to be a "smaller" collapsible crate for Cooper in case it's too hot where I'm going ... so he can be inside a cool house instead of a hot RV.  It took a bit for me to get it set up.  Cooper was not impressed.  

When he was a puppy, he had to live in a cage while I was at work.  He hated it, and he hates it still.  In two seconds he was madly scratching and crying to get out.  It made me feel awful, but it's for the best.  Now let's fold it back up.

Good grief ... I was almost in tears after 30 minutes and I STILL could not get it right.  I blame it on the heat.  This is the only picture I had to go by.  At long last I GOT IT.  Oh the relief!!  So I took this picture which will remain in my camera for the next time I have to fold it up.  

What about the AC in the rig you ask?  Well here's what I found out.  It only screams like a Diesel truck pulling a trailer load of horses uphill when you first turn it on.  I went out an hour later when it was 100 degrees outside and it was a lovely 85 inside.  Yes the AC still make a LOT of noise.   There won't be any sleeping with it on three feet over my head ... but it's much more doable for inside during the hot part of the day.  Maybe it was the AC, maybe it was the reflectix ... but it's better.  My plan is to never go anywhere except the ocean when it's hot.

By now I was pretty tired of work work work ... fixing this, fixing that ... when I heard a commotion next door.  Well looky here who came to visit.  There must be a gazillion of these guys roaming around.  I see them everywhere now, but was very surprised to find one here.  I watched a video yesterday of one trying to cross a river.  It couldn't get out the other side (too steep) and it couldn't back up the side it just came from.  I guess they weren't made for off-roading.  

And so ended another hot as Hades day in central California.  This did used to be a desert after all, and now that they have removed so much agriculture land for housing and asphalt, it's expected.

What about the sprinklers you ask?  Ummmm yeah ... I'll try to get those fixed this morning.

Saturday, July 6, 2024

Have Some Watermelon Tea

In case you were not regaled enough on the Fourth of July ... here's only one of the thousands that exploded one house down.  TURN UP THE VOLUME. 

I do think Elva was right ... even as bad as it was, it could have been worse.  She was thinking no one really had any spare money to blow this year, and that's why this didn't last all night long.

I was up extra early, waiting for the tree guy to arrive.  He had previously said he should spray before it got to be 85 degrees and when there was no wind.  When he called and asked how the wind was, I did the Farmer Thing.  I went outside, grabbed a pinch of grass and threw it up in the air.  It fell straight down.  No wind I reported.

He arrived right on time and began to spray ... for ten seconds ... because nothing was coming out of the nozzle.  Uh oh ... 

Just my luck, the pump wouldn't work.  An hour later he was still working on it when I went outside and asked if he wanted to reschedule.  I GOT IT he proclaimed.  Let the spraying begin!

By now it was 90 degrees and the wind was coming up.  It looked like enough stuff got on the trees and none (or at least very little) on the cars next door.  Yes, I did ask them to move them, just in case.

As he was wrapping up, we talked a bit.  Turns out he's an old cow hand, raises cow dogs and a few cattle just for fun.  At least he didn't dump all his chemicals on the lawn like the other company did!

So for the next hour, I tested out the AC in the rig.  It's huge and it's LOUD, as in 85 decibels LOUD.  It did blow cold air, but it never shut off.  It's set on auto, so it should shut down when it finally gets to temperature.  Figuring out how to work the thing is another case of trial and error.  Absolutely everything is controlled by the touchscreen on the wall.  I'm still figuring all that out.  It's hard to think when it's so darn hot!!

Time for a little refreshment.  I ran over to Wally World, mostly because I had Amazon packages to return, and stopped in for a small cutting board.  I got completely distracted ... SQUIRREL ... by this!  I used to drink Arizona tea way back in the day.  I tried my hardest to walk away, but WATERMELON??  I had to try it.

And then I failed completely ... not only fell off the diet wagon, but was dragged in the cactus for a mile.  I love these little treats.  And LITTLE they now are.  Anyone notice how much smaller they are than one year ago?  No kidding ... this is a DRUMSTICK from the smallest chicken I've ever seen.  Even the CONE is smaller, despite its higher price.  How very sad ... but boy did it taste YUMMY!!!!

Walmart being what they are now ... Checker-less ... has recently come to my attention as being one who must be losing a LOT of money.  I watched the guy in front of me use the little gun thingy to charge up his entire basket FULL of items (never removing any from the basket) ... as the Blue Vest guy watched too.  He missed at least SIX big ticket items by moving things around in the cart, paid and walked right out the door.  

I rang my stuff up, having to use the thingy myself to ring up the case of water.  It rang up twice.  Of course I had to call the girl over, who quickly deleted one.  You rang it up TWICE she said, not too happy that she had to be bothered.  

I got home and checked my receipt.  She deleted BOTH ... and so I got a free case of water.  Am I taking it back?  That would be a NO, mostly because of her attitude.  So can you imagine just how much stuff goes out the door without being paid for??  They could probably hire six part time checkers for what they are losing.  Yup I feel guilty ..... but I'm sure no one else does.

Lunch turned out to be so much more than I expected.  This is Hello Fresh gazpacho.  I am definitely NOT into cold soup, but the shrimp caught my eye.  Here's the should-look-like picture.

This was a cinch to prepare.  Tomatoes, cucumbers, a green pepper (hot if you don't take the seeds out), a slice of bread (??), a tad bit of sherry vinegar and some vegetable stock.  You KILL it all in a food processor.  Fry up the little shrimp and let it all sit in the fridge for about two hours.

WOW ... I could have eaten the entire thing in one sitting all by myself.  It was so perfect to have this cold, very thick, delicious lunch on such a hot day.  There was so much, it lasted for FOUR meals.  I'm definitely making THIS again!!

It's Cowboy Christmas, so Mr. Cooper and I spent the evening on the couch.  Cowboy Christmas is the week surrounding the Fourth of July when many of the rodeos with the biggest payouts are held.  The boys drive crazy miles and hours, many even flying, from rodeo to rodeo to try and make the most money, which will qualify them for the National Finals Rodeo.  It's crazy.  Some of them may ride as many as 30 broncs in a week.  

We are already up to 83 degrees this morning and the sun just came up.  You will find me sitting on the patio sipping my sweet Arizona tea ......... though I should probably get packing instead, while it's still under 100 degrees!!

Friday, July 5, 2024

It's A Convection Oven

Good Morning California!!  I know you are all still awake, having been serenaded by fireworks until 1:00 am.  I expected it ... but I did NOT expect them to sound like grenades hitting my back lawn.  There's no such thing as "normal" fireworks around here ... they are all the BIG ONES that rattle the windows!  

It was nice that at 10:00 a helicopter flew over and around, causing everyone to stop setting off the flash bombs.  No kidding ... it's gotten completely out of control.  Thankfully they ended just after midnight, or at least they ran out of the noisy ones and I was able to fall asleep.

Have you ever wondered what it's like to be a cookie in a convection oven?  Me either ... but I definitely got a good idea of what it feels like yesterday.  I think we are beating all our heat records.  It was 106 in the nice cool shade of my patio, all afternoon long.  OH MAMMA it was HOT!!!

As you can see, my lawn doesn't fair any better than I do.  Two days without water and it's dying on the vine ... like me.  I like COLD ... and this just isn't it!!

I made one trip out to the van to put up the way-too-heavy windshield sunscreen.  I must have eaten my Cheerios because it wasn't near as heavy as the last time I tried it.  That was easy to figure out.  Add to it the weight of both side screens and it's not manageable.  Keep them all separate and it's not bad at all.  They will live behind the drivers seat.  That was it ... that's the only time I ventured out except to carry Cooper to the grass.

I'm a "cold" gal.  I just cannot take the heat any more.  Thoughts and dreams of fog and rain came and went all day.  So maybe I'll pretend I'm a Chef and just cook.

Here we are with that lovely chicken pot pie I picked up on the cheap at Walmart.  I think these used to be $2.00 each.  They now run $5.00 ... for the exact same thing.  It makes you wonder if their costs went up or they are just making a huge profit.  

I started out with the last of the awful Healthy Choice meals, but it quickly went flying into the trash can.  The sad part was it took an HOUR to cook this baby.  Isn't she pretty?

I have to admit, there's not much better than Marie Callender pot pies.  I've loved them since I was a kid.  I was a little surprised to see this one had broccoli.  I don't remember that .........

A recheck of the box confirmed this is PARMESAN chicken pot pie.  It was gone in a flash.  It's not so much the contents ... it's that yummy crust!!!!  The Chef got an A+ this day.

Throughout the day, I cringed every time the AC came on.  Even with my solar, using any electricity after 4:00 pm is charged at twice the normal rate.  No kidding ... PGE isn't going to let you get away with not forking out your share to pay for their mistakes.  It was so hot out that I carried Mr. Cooper to and from the grass so as not to burn his little feeties on the 30 feet of concrete.  This is NOT fun!!

I tried a little sewing after putting a table fan in the room and turning on the overhead fan.  Sadly, it's the hottest room in the house.  The receiver of this quilt decided she wanted the surfer material backing, which I thought would be awful.  I was wrong.  It actually matches quite nicely.  If she's happy, I'm happy.  If I'm not in full blown heat stroke today, I will get it quilted.

Dinner was fabulous.  This is not it.  This is from two days ago.  Mexican meatloaf with cumin rice.  

(Ahhhhh my AC just came on ... at 5:14 am.  It's set at 82 degrees.  That pretty much tells you how hot it is!)  

Back to the meatloaf ... instead of making TWO, I made FOUR.  Portion control, yes?  It's interesting to me that I have come to learn how to make rice taste good.  All I did for this recipe was put 1/2 teaspoon of cumin in the pot before boiling.  What a difference in the flavor!!  Ginger does the same thing.  I think I'm on to something here.

So here we are ... without the lights and color enhancements.  It was okay ... I loved the rice ... but not something I would probably have again.  That's because the recipe went in the trash can.

 And so here we are at the end of the day, still roasting in my home oven while trying to finish up this small quilt.  At long last, the final stitch was made and it is done.  This one will ride in the van I think.

I've been contemplating all day about the heat and this trip I have planned.  I may have to postpone it for a few weeks.  We are now looking at 107-108 every day for the next week, with my destination over 100.  If it was just me, no problemo.  With an older puppy and a geriatric parrot, it may not be a good idea to travel.  I have three more days to decide.

In the meantime, still taking care of landscape business ... a guy is coming today to spray the sycamore trees, to clean up the powdery mildew that covers every single leaf.  CPR is required.  Hopefully they survive, though if they don't, I won't have to rake up a million leaves every fall!!  And maybe, just MAYBE, I won't be quite so allergic.  We will see how it goes!!