Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Water heater, garden, and foot pain

I spent some time last week potting up and transplanting my seedlings. I had wanted to do window boxes on the front of the garden, but couldn't justify spending the money. I used pots that I already had. I also potted up some lemon cukes that a friend gave me and he also gave me three rhubarb seedlings that I put in the garden. I have pulled the peas, turnip greens and the radishes, way too warm for them now. I did get about seven tasty pea pods off my four pea plants. I will replant those when it cools off again.

The baby zucchini rotted. There are a couple more there, I'm hoping to get at least one squash off the three plants. The tomato plants are spindly but have a lot of green tomatoes on them. I'm thinking of trying the eggplant seeds I saved from my last eggplant. They are supposed to be a warm weather crop. I also saved some pepper seeds that I can try too.

I rolled back the plastic on the sides of the garden and put the shade cloth on the top and back. Seems to be keeping the temp down a few degrees in there. I still have the fan running on solar power. I have no idea if that is helping any, but in theory, it should. I have also changed the watering from twice a week to daily. Soon I will have to up that to twice a day and get the misters installed.

The cukes in the hanger are doing well. Started those from seed. Nasturtiums are doing good too. 

Had an appliance crisis last Thursday. Woke up to a wet rug in the kitchen. The water heater crapped out. Thanks to Herb's and Keith, it got replaced and back up and running before I had to get ready for work. Yay! It was pricey tho. 

The previous owners had that compartment literally packed with newspaper and cardboard. Two garden carts full of folded newspapers and a box full of cardboard. The only good thing is that the paper and cardboard soaked up a lot of the water and it gave me a date when the heater was last replaced. The date on the newspaper was 2007. It was a definite fire hazard tho. What were they thinking? Granted, it was an electric heater, but still...I should have taken a picture.

It is now insulated with reflectix. Three layers between the door and the compartment, one around the compartment. I may have to put in an outlet so I can run a lightbulb to keep it warm when it gets really cold, but most likely it will be just fine as is. 

Keith did an awesome job and I owe him big time now. There was a tiny leak in one of the joints when I went out to finish the insulation yesterday. I put some CPCV cement on it. Hoping that takes care of that. If not, the joint will have to be redone.

Foot update. After being on my feet Thursday morning for the water heater repair, I went to work wearing my new Sketchers for work. BIG mistake. Thankfully I had the foresight to bring my Teva's with me. I was close to tears as my feet hurt so much. It was enough for me to start making calls to have it looked at. I am now wearing my Teva's to work as they have no back on them and are a lot more cushioned than my Merrells. I wrap the heel with sports wrap before I go to work, and stay off my foot as much as I can when I am home.

I had to have a primary care referral to see a podiatrist, so yesterday I had that appointment. I have the referral but have to wait three to five days to make the podiatrist appointment. Not sure why I have to wait that long with today's technology, but he said it was to make sure all the paperwork had been forwarded. So I am still looking at several weeks before I can get any input on my foot. In the meantime, I will just do the best I can with my Teva's and sports wrap. He did say it sounds like heel spurs tho. Sigh....The last time I had heel spurs I had to have them surgically removed. It was a very long recovery. I won't be able to work, and it isn't a disability approved illness. Not sure how I am going to survive if I can't earn a paycheck. This also nixes the post office job if it got offered. I need to find a decent paying job here in town where I am not on my feet eight hours a day. Those kinds of jobs are few and far between here in Quartzsite

I have moments when I wonder what my purpose is. I work my ass off for practically nothing, haven't done anything fun in a very long time, and have nothing to look forward to at this point. So, what IS the point? I had a purpose with Jake, then had an adventure for several months on the road, and was pretty content until I ran out of money and had to go back to work. My job is not a career job. It is hard physical work and pretty much controls my life. I work, I sleep, and that is about it. The schedule is ever changing and I can't make any plans for anything. That is no way to live. I haven't done anything creative since I started working. The job screws with my diet, my sleep, my exercise and anything fun I might want to do but can't because I am working or need to sleep before going to work. And the pay is barely enough to live on. If I didn't own my car and my home, I wouldn't be able to survive on what I bring home. I have no supplemental income, just what I earn from week to week. There has to be more to life. 

It has warmed up finally. Upper 90's during the day. I haven't turned on the AC yet and it looks like I won't have to for at least another week or so. We are having a cooling trend which will be nice. The house gets warm and takes a long time to cool down at night even when it is really nice outside. I setup the little swamp cooler this morning and we will see if that helps. It worked quite nicely in the bedroom last summer when I could close the room off, but I am now sleeping in my chair in the living room and I think the space might be too large for the cooler. I may have to get a bigger one. Of course any one I get will get destroyed by the calcium in the water. I was going to toss this one because I couldn't clean it up, but will see if I can get another season or part of a season out of it first.

I also have a fan out on the patio where I sit and read. That keeps the air moving at least. Soon I will get the cool tub setup and working. The nights are still too cold to bother since the water would cool down at night. Will wait another week or two. Although I have wished for it a couple of times.

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Sadly the baby doves didn't make it. They hatched, but I found them dead the other morning. I guess that happens a lot here.

Work is work. Our assistant manager finally quit and a coworker has taken her place. I was asked if I wanted the job and after one too many run ins with idiot/nasty customers I decided I didn't want the responsibility. Besides, I would hate to get all trained and then leave if I got another job. I'll just bide my time and do the best I can.

I finally tried out my leaf mulcher yesterday. I filled a large pot with chopped up leaves and watered it down. I am hoping it will break down and turn into nice organic compost for the grapefruit tree. I don't want to use it in the garden as I have no idea what kind of weeds it will produce. Under the tree the bunnies will keep any weeds down.

The garden is still doing well and I finally have tomatoes growing. I have been opening the door during the day, but it is still too cool at night to remove any of the plastic. The fan is on a timer and runs on solar. That will keep the air moving around in there for now. Soon I will have to cover the top with shade cloth and get the misters set up. Going to have to change the watering schedule soon too, it is starting to dry out during the day now.

The cacti are all getting ready to bloom

Cape Honeysuckle. Has been blooming for a while and is finally growing.

The Natal Plum is also growing, but very, very slowly

The grapefruit tree is blooming and it smells amazing. If the number of blossoms indicate the amount of fruit, it should be a very good harvest in January

Sunflowers, pansies, geraniums, all just about ready to pot up

I have at least three baby zucchini - finally!

And a bunch of little green tomatoes.

Cukes are up!

I have two hanging pots of mixed nasturtiums. 

I need to start my monthly spraying for ants. Saw my first one yesterday. I also saw my first lizard of the season. Love my little lizards. 

I'm getting bored with the yard. I need to spice it up somehow and am considering paving options. I had thought I would just bring in more rock, but that is boring. Plus it is an expense I really can't afford on my income. Will have to look at my options and get some ideas online. I need to do this as inexpensively as possible. Maybe desert rocks. Not sure I am into doing a pattern tho. Gonna think on it some more. 

Starting to think about my vacation that I am eligible for in June. Assuming I am still there. If it isn't too hot, I think I will do some camping. I need to get the trailer out on it's maiden voyage anyway. Trial run, test camp. I ordered a pop up tent to go with it and I got a 12v cooler at the yard sale last week. I just need to finish it up, which is mostly decorating and organizing, but I can also do that while camping in it. Most of it anyway. I still need to put the insulation on the ceiling, put the roof vent cover on, bed skirt and curtains and replace the screens in the windows. Nothing earth shattering or anything that will keep me from using it. I need a heat proof adhesive for the insulated layer for the ceiling. Am going to try E6000 since it is easy for me to get. I have the screening for the windows and I even have the screening for the back door. I did not get the back wall with the pocket door built since Mark seems to have disappeared. 

On a more personal note, I am missing Jake a lot right now. More than usual. I am also envious of all the couples that are still together and those that had more than ten years. I'm sure a lot of this has to do with the fact that I don't have much of a life now that I am working all these hours and it has so much control over everything I do. And I have so little time to do anything fun, so I spend most of my off time at home and it gets lonely.

I am also struggling with compulsive eating when I get home from work at night. It doesn't seem to be a problem during the day, just at night. I don't seem to have any will power at midnight when I get home from work. I eat whatever I can get my hands on even after I am no longer hungry. I need to work on that.

Here are a few pics from this morning. The first Argentine Giant cactus in bloom across the street and a pic of their grapefruit tree. This is what mine should look like. Not complaining, mine is getting better each season.

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Lots of stuff

Sunday was the "anniversary" of the day Jake died. I still miss him each and every day. Seems like so long ago and yet still like yesterday. We are now into year eight. Sigh...... 

The bunnies "mowed" the grass for me. It was down one day. Started out lush and full. I had to pick it up to allow it to regrow so I can put it down again.

The grapefruit tree is putting out new leaves finally and looks like it will have a lot of blossoms this year. More blossoms mean more fruit. Will be interesting to see how well it redeems itself. 

Had to go to Yuma yesterday. I worked Sunday night until 11:30 PM and had to leave here by 6:30 AM to make my appointment on time. There was rain in the forecast, but didn't worry about it too much as I had put on brand new wiper blades recently. Well...the brand new wiper blades failed. They literally came off the arms and the one on the drivers side lost it's plastic adapter. I had to drive back in the rain with no wipers. I pulled over at one point and jury rigged the drivers blade with two band aids and a paper clip. Then I used them sparingly on the whole way back. About one wipe every mile or so. Thankfully it wasn't pouring like it did later during the night. I made it all the way back to Q with occasional wipes. Then when I hit town I turned them on for real and the passenger side wiper went.  Piece of crap. I have ordered new blades from Rock Auto, reputable, well known Bosch blades with enhanced frames. I am assuming it is the blades and not the arms since this hadn't happened before and I had driven in the rain. Will get those on as soon as they get here and I will take these back and get my money back. It made for challenging driving, and I was already tired. But I got to visit with Howard and Barbara finally. It had been at least a year since we stood face to face. Was a nice visit. But I had to cut it short because I was so tired and the rain made me nervous. It is a long drive.

The main reason I went to Yuma was to take the USPS exam. I submitted an application and this was part of the process. I passed and hope to hear from someone soon. I figure it can't be any worse than DG and pays almost double. With bennies and holidays off and NO NIGHTS.

I have a mourning dove nesting behind the shed on a pallet. I startled her on Sunday and got a good look at the nest and eggs. Checked on them this morning and they survived the rain and wind. Will have to keep an eye on them.

My gauge says we got about an inch and a half of rain. It certainly poured during the night. 

Sunday night a customer gave me a gift card to Silly Al’s  a pizza place here in town. He came in last week and had fallen and cut his hand pretty badly. I helped patch him up and off he went. Well I guess he went to the hospital the next day and ended up with stitches. So he bought me a gift card to say thank you. He didn’t have to do that, I didn’t do much except give him some ointment and some bandages. But that was nice of him.

I just ordered a leaf blower/vac/mulcher. I am tired of looking at the leaves in the yard. Some are from the grapefruit tree, but most have blown in over the fence and gotten stuck here. I am constantly sweeping them off the patio. I hadn't done much about them in the past except sweep them off the patio as they make good mulch. But there are too many now and it is making the yard look messy. Time to deal with them. I had been thinking about it for a while now and had a gift card balance that I put towards the mulcher. Since my yard is so small, I chose the less expensive corded mulcher. Maybe I won't have to sweep the patio as often if I can just suck up the leaves. They gather in certain spots. Wonder if that will run on solar.....

I need to get the fan in the garden changed over to the solar power. I also will be putting it on a timer so it will come on automatically in the morning and off at night. Soon I will be able to open the garden up. I do have a couple of baby tomatoes on one plant, but the other one just keeps putting out blossoms but no fruit. 

My plan for today is to do a little house cleaning, laundry and napping. I do have to take the garbage to the dumpster as I have been putting that off for a week now. I have three bags and some boxes that need to go. I may go see if the produce guy is out this afternoon too. Other than that it is an R&R day. I'm still tired from yesterday. Was a rough drive in both directions. 

Tomorrow I go in to work at 8 AM. He is giving me more days. Wonder how that is going to work out.

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Planting flowers

This last week I planted more flowers. I got two packages of mixed annuals at work and put them in a large pot. They are called Flower Rocket. An As Seen on TV product. We'll see how they do, they got horrible reviews on Amazon. I also tossed the last of the marigold seed in the same pot. I started pansies, statice and gazanias in the starter trays.

The round pan is grass. Once that gets established, it will go on the ground for the bunnies to keep trimmed. Just thought it would be a fun thing to try. I'm sure the bunnies won't mind either. 

Both lupines are blooming. The pink one is just starting.

Now that it is warming up, I am seeing significant growth in most everything. It is in the 80's during the day in the garden so I have been opening the door and running the fan. I hope it will help things pollinate so I can get some squash and tomatoes. I will have to remove some of the plastic soon and think about adding shade cloth and get the mister set up and the watering reprogrammed. It will get hot fast.

It is slowing down a bit at work. Some days I actually get something accomplished, but it is still busy enough that it isn't much. 

I'm feeling better. Still have a cough and some congestion, but the worst of it is gone. 

Have had several salads and cooked greens from the garden. Picked some mixed greens again this week and gave them to Chad and SusAnn. Waiting for the second planting of radishes. I also planted some of the long white radishes. And the carrots are looking good. I will pull one soon to see how they are doing. I don't see any orange yet, so it will probably be a while before I get any good sized ones. 

Not much else going on here. I need to find some time and get my income taxes done. I haven't had to do that for a couple of years, and before that, I had them done. But it is back to short forms for me. Not going to pay someone if I can do them myself. Hoping for a refund since money isn't plentiful. 

I had Monday and Tuesday off, didn't do a whole lot. Back to work tonight. I do need to get some more sleep before I go to work this afternoon. I am still sleeping only two to three hours at a time and can't seem to break that cycle. I am sleeping in my recliner again too. Seems to be where I sleep the best and I did it for years in VT. 

It is finally warming up here. I have had the heat off since Sunday and wore shorts for the first time in months yesterday. Tomorrow is supposed to be in the 80's. The days are getting a little longer each day too. The nights are still cool - in the 50's, but I have slept with the slider open about six inches the last couple of nights and last night I added the ceiling fan. I over heat too easily still. 

I will have to remove some of the plastic from the garden soon and pull the lights. I want to get the misters set up and will have to think about adding shade cloth soon too. It won't be long before it is over 100 degrees in there. 

Always something to do.