Tuesday, August 23, 2016

New steps, finally!

The steps still aren’t quite done, but they are in place. He still needs to shim under the top deck part and then enclose the front of the steps. That needs to be done so that I don’t have any nasty surprises from any local critters - namely rattle snakes, and for appearances. The brick steps are undamaged and just waiting for someone in the future to unearth them. 

The first time I opened the door after they brought the steps in, was quite an experience. I had forgotten they were there and it startled me. Was kind of funny. Hoping they will be complete today. Will cost a little extra because he needs to buy more lumber for the fronts.

I didn’t do much yesterday. Slept, like I always do on Monday’s lately. In fact, Mark and his guy got here, opened the front gates, took both shade sails down and rolled up the side of the patio enclosure before I even realized someone was here. I had been snoozing. But in my defense, I can’t hear anything over the big fan in the living room. 

I will need to rearrange the little wall, curtain, and cool tub area. I will loose space. Haven’t quite figured out how I am going to do that yet. I’m going to loose about three feet, so the space will be considerably smaller. I may have to buy some more blocks, but we’ll see. 

The guy in the red shirt is Mark. The other guy is someone he got to help him move the steps. As you can see, the original steps are still there and untouched. That will be covered up later today hopefully. I should have a picture of the completed steps tomorrow.

My black rug that I have on the patio will fit pretty much perfectly on the top. I think it looks pretty good and will be much safer. It is already easier going in and out the door. I did have to take the original safety rail down as it was in the way of the new railing. I have some screw holes to fill and some paint to fix, but there is no rush on that. Will have to find my wood filler.

I splurged on some dishes this week. I found them on Amazon originally, but after some searching, found them for less at Walmart. I don't really need them, was looking for a fruit bowl, but really, really liked this set. Nice coffee mugs...would have bought just the mugs if they were affordable separately, but I would have paid more for four mugs than I paid for the whole set. They will brighten the place up considerably.

Work is still work. Lately I have been doing back to backs on Saturday and Sunday and it is exhausting. Not enough time between shifts to rest and for my body to recover. I sleep a good part of Sunday afternoon and Monday after my work week. It's a crap job, but it is a paycheck. I'm hoping something better comes along soon. I would love a Monday thru Friday work week with set hours. I hate the fact that I can't plan ahead and that my hours are constantly changing. In fact, I went in on Wednesday and found out they had changed the schedule and I had to sit around and wait another half hour before I could start. That wasn't very nice.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Still hot and dry

Last week I approved the plan for the steps and gave him the materials money. I am still waiting for them. This has been the longest simple project I have dealt with. Not pleased with the amount of time this has taken. I am hoping they will be in place before the week is out.

Not much happening around here. Glen and Diane are back, Lois and Rusty took off for a couple of weeks. It has been hot and humid and very uncomfortable and I am past ready for the heat to break. We still have a few more weeks before that will happen though, probably more like four to six weeks.

I have been watching DVD's all summer. Started with Gilmore Girls and moved on to McLeod's Daughters. Since I only have about two nights a week at home, it is taking a long time to get through them. I have the final season of Castle on the way and season 8 of Heartland. I had to buy a region free DVD player for McLeod's Daughters, and my Heartland DVD is coming from the UK. Isn't available here yet.

Thinking about buying a subscription free TIVO for over the air TV. It is pretty pricey tho, almost $400. I am in a spending moratorium right now tho. So I am still thinking about it. It is on my wish list.

I still haven't found a decent affordable unlimited internet service. I look about once a month. At some point, something should become available. I prefer prepaid as I hate monthly bills. I have almost enough money set aside for the winter bills...park dues, taxes, etc.

Work is work. The new manager is OK. Patsy is back from vacation but is thinking about transferring. The store is finally in decent shape, just in time for the busy season. We are still short handed, but I have been working fewer hours the last week or two. Figure that one out. Makes for tiny paychecks.

I have several projects that are waiting to get done. I have the light bar for the front of the golf cart and more work to do on the stealth camper, but it is way too hot to be doing anything outside yet.

Kay took me for a ride in her side by yesterday. That was something I hadn't done yet. It was freakin hot (115 degrees) add engine heat and sun to that and it was quite uncomfortable. Especially around my lower legs and feet. But it was still fun and I am glad I got to experience that.

I'm still loosing weight. Yay. Lost another pound last week. I exceed my daily exercise goal at work almost every day I work. Sunday I hit 139%. That is about three miles of walking. Add weight lifting to that and it is a full body work out five days a week. I should have my A1C checked, it should be back down around 6.0, where it should be.

We haven't gotten any rain. All the storms seem to just go around us. We have had two small monsoons and one dust storm so far this season and the season will be over next month. A very dry summer. The trees I have been watching over on C Street are turning yellow and I have had to adjust the watering system. I need to go check on them this morning to make sure it is working. I would hate for either of them to die. 

I haven't had any projects or made anything since I started working last fall other than the stealth camper and a few things around the house. I seemed to have lost all my creativity and motivation. I was hoping the Paper Pumpkin monthly kits would jump start something, but so far that hasn't happened. With only two days a week off, it just seems impossible. I am actually thinking about liquidating some of my jewelry supplies. But that is still in the "thinking" stage. There are so many people here that make jewelry that mine isn't unique any more. 

Guess that is about it for this week. Nothing new and exciting. Pretty boring. Maybe some day I will get back to doing things and having some fun. 

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Waiting for the estimate

I had someone come look at the steps yesterday. I am now waiting for the estimate. It has to be done, so I am hoping it will be reasonable. No plywood, no lattice, and pressure treated lumber to discourage termites and other buggies.

The original plan has been revised so that I won't loose much patio space. I will loose a few inches on either side of the steps for the framework, but won't loose much in the way of depth. The top deck part will be the depth of the current steps, but the whole width of the steps, about 2.5 ft by 8 ft, and then the steps will follow the existing steps down. Basically a squared off shell over the round steps, railings on both sides of the full width stairs.

I have been thinking about the leaves on the patio situation. I put a little piece of 2x4 on the floor going into the cool tub area and it keeps out most of the leaves most of the time. Only when they are airborne do they make it into the back. I am now wondering if the same thing will help prevent leaves on the rest of the patio. Most of them blow in at ground level, so I think it is worth a try. I will have to measure the width of the opening and see how big a 2x4 I will need. If it doesn't work, I will have the lumber for another project. I hate having to sweep leaves off the patio daily. Plus, no leaves, no bugs...

I had a quiet day yesterday, slept a couple of times. Vacuumed, cleaned the bathroom, changed the muddy water in the cool tub. I filled the tub with the hose and yesterday's water temp was once again 98 degrees, too warm for cooling off so I didn't get to use it until late in the day when the water dropped about four degrees. It is amazing the difference four degrees will make.

I may actually do the dusting today, we'll see how ambitious I get.

I have no plans for today except more R&R. The temps have been a bit lower the last couple of days, but the humidity is up considerably making it more uncomfortable than the dry heat. We are running between 105 and 112 degrees with 30 to 50% humidity. It is more of a sauna than an oven right now. Only six more weeks until it cools off some. Made it through July, now just have to survive August.

There has to be more to life than work, waiting to go to work, and recovering from work.

Monday, August 1, 2016

I fell...again

Yes, the steps got me again. It is time I get serious about solving that issue. I don't want to destroy the steps, want to keep them for resale value, but I can't live in fear every time I go in and out my door. I am always very careful as they like to grab my feet, but so far, have fallen twice. Have been very lucky both times, minor injuries, but I'm afraid the next time I might not be so lucky.

The plan is to build a deck over the steps. Something that I can walk out the door, open or close it without teetering on the top step. Room enough to set something down and stairs with a railing on both sides. I hate to loose the space on the patio, but I think my safety is more important. I will have to rearrange the back end of the patio to compensate for the loss of space, but will figure it out. The deck has to be removable as the steps are what got me to look at this place to begin with.

I have feelers out for someone to build the deck for me. I could do it myself, but I don't want to. I do, however, have what I want in mind unless the builder has a better idea. I am open to suggestions.

Not much else to write about. The "job" has taken over my life. I just finished a five day week of nights and I am physically exhausted. Today is a day of R&R and maybe some household chores that have suffered.

It seems like I spend all of my time either working or waiting to go to work. That isn't what I had in mind for my life, but I can't retire for another 7 or 8 years, or until something changes. Need the income. Hopefully a better job is just around the corner.

We had our first dust storm since I moved here the other night. I didn't get the tub covered so I need to change the water again this morning. It was staying nice and clear this week too, until the dust storm. I have been using it anyway, what is a little dirt? Lakes have all sorts of things in them and I swam in them. But I do like nice clear water in my cool tub.

It is time to stop feeding the critters again. I have way too many and they have gone through a whole seed block in less than two weeks. I can't afford the amount of food they eat, so I will not put out another for a couple of weeks and hope that the critters thin out. Bumper crop of baby bunnies this year. I have several in the yard daily. I feel bad that I will loose a lot of the little birds that I like, but have to do it to loose some of the bigger birds and hopefully some bunnies.

Saturday, July 30, 2016

More of the same

My days have morphed into either work or waiting to go to work. The job has pretty much taken over my life.

I didn't do anything Monday or Tuesday, just rested. Monday's I sleep a lot and Tuesday's I usually catch up on errands and chores. This week I didn't do them until Wednesday because I didn't have to go to work until 3:30. That allowed enough time to do what I needed to do and still get in a nap before work. I have fewer hours this week, but a full 40 next week.

I got my geranium pots weighted and foamed and yesterday I did the arrangements. The spray foam and chain link scraps seem to have done the trick and I have a little bit of foam that I shaved off the top for future projects.

We had a dust storm last night and have a string of thunder storms going through now and both pots have stayed upright and on their stands through all of it. I guess I used enough link weight.

I had another fall on the steps - they have got to go. I need to get that dealt with now while I have an income because I don't know how long I will be able to keep working this particular job. The expectations are way too high and the pay way too little for the expectations. It physically wears me out. About three days in to my five day work week I am exhausted. Of course the temps and the constant sweating doesn't help my mood any. It is very uncomfortable the whole time I am there. It is going some when the store is warmer than my house and I keep the house fairly warm to keep the expense down. 

I am planning on building a small deck over the stairs. I don't want to destroy them, just make them safe. The next owners might like them. The deck will be big enough to cover the whole set of steps and give me wooden steps with railings to hang on to. This time I was moving the ice maker from the kitchen to the work bench on the patio and the steps caught the side of my foot. I dropped the ice maker on the way down and killed it. I had planned on selling it and getting the smaller one like I had before. Oh well, at least I didn't break anything on me. Just a good bruise and a couple of scrapes. Now to find someone to build the deck for me. Worse comes to worse, I will do it myself - but I don't want to. Too big a project. I have built one before and this one should be easier, but I suck and measuring and cutting, so it should be someone better at it than me.

I picked up some ice cube trays at Family Dollar and will try to keep ahead of my ice usage the old fashioned way for now. I had been buying ice, but I can make my own for free. I don't have to carry the trays too far and for now the shelf I use for the ice is available. That was why I was moving the ice maker, to free up the space in the kitchen that it was using by just sitting there doing nothing. 

Basically there has been nothing worth writing about. There has to be more to life besides working and waiting to go to work. It has taken over my life and it isn't very rewarding. Very frustrating in fact. I'm not having fun or even content. I do like the paycheck, it comes in very handy buying food and paying bills, but there also has to be a job out there for me that I might actually like going to, or at worst, not mind it so much. I'm still doing nights and closing and would rather be working mornings. They hired a new manager, so maybe I can get that changed somehow. Might be a little less demanding.

I bought the cooler for the trailer last night. It was one of the last things I needed before I take it out for a test run. I was waiting for the half price sale and it was this week. Of course, so were the clothing items I bought last week. Could have saved even more if I had waited, but we don't get much advance notice.

That is about it for now. Time to try and get a little more sleep. Three and a half hours just isn't enough.

Friday, July 22, 2016

Summer in the Sonoran Desert

Not much going on here right now. It is summer in the Sonoran Desert and is freakin hot. We have been running between 110  and 118 degrees with increased humidity which makes it very unpleasant. It isn't any better at work. Not sure what the temp is set at there, but it is warm when you are moving around and pretty much a constant sweat. I drink lots and lots of water.

I haven't done much except work since the last time I wrote. I did have two days off at the beginning of the week. I went to Blythe and did my shopping on Monday, including getting a smaller pair of jeans for work since I have lost quite a bit of weight since I started. In the afternoon I caught up on sleep and Tuesday I finished what I didn't get done on Monday.

Today is day three of five of this work week. I go in at 2PM. Hoping to get the opening shift sometime in the future as I am a morning person and like to have some day left at the end of the work day instead of coming home, winding down, and getting to bed shortly before midnight. Plus a more regular schedule would be nice.

I hate having to put on long pants, a polo shirt and enclosed shoes when it is so very hot. The humidity is up now too. It is very uncomfortable and I sweat a lot at work. At home I sit in front of my big fan and that helps. But I can't carry that around with me.

I have given up on keeping anything green and growing. The palm tree has pretty much died too. I think it was really an indoor plant, but way too big for my tiny place. I didn't really care for it anyway. I may just cut it all back and see if it comes back in the fall.

I got the light bar and the little solar jump starter for the golf cart, but it is way too hot to work on it. It will just have to wait until it cools off to get the light bar installed and hooked up to the jump starter.

I got my new recliner. It will do. Much more comfortable than the last ones I got. I did have to raise the front with a 2x2, small project. But that brings the foot rest up enough so that it is comfortable. Also tilts the seat back a little so I don't feel like I am sliding out of the chair. It isn't a bad chair for the price. I had to do the same thing to my $500 reliner back in VT.

My silk geraniums are at the post office. I picked up pots for them at the dollar store. Now I just need to figure out how to weight them so I am not constantly picking them up off the ground when they blow over. I also ordered a matching pair of mexican blankets for the couch and chair. These are more red than orange so will be a better fit in the living room until fall when I will use my gray fleece blankets.

I still don't have my amish wagon. It was tracked to the Q post office but the don't have it so the company sent out a new one. Hopefully I will pick that up at the post office today along with my blankets and geraniums.

I got a 120v tire inflator for the scooter so I don't have to mess with the 12v one and the car every time I need to inflate something. Still need to air up the scooter tires tho. Can't use it until I do. Not that I have much of an opportunity to use it these days. Just too hot and not enough leisure time. Although I do need to make a trip to the dumpster, so I may take care of that this morning.

I know, I haven't been writing much, but I haven't had much to write about. My time now is either spent working, sleeping or getting ready for work. I am hoping when it cools off that I will actually do something with my free time. For now I am reading and sleeping.

Monday, July 11, 2016

A very busy week...working

This last week has been nothing but work, sleep and try to sleep. I am really worn out and exhausted by the physical demands of this job. This week I work six days as it is inventory week and everyone is on. I have today off and plan to rest. I'm getting four to five hours of sleep a night, and last Monday I slept most of the afternoon.

A few new things this last week. I ordered and received a new quilt for the bedroom. It cost a little more than I wanted to spend, but I was ready for a change and this one called out to me. I am working, so that helps with the cost a little. With the stripes in the living room on the couch and chair, I decided I had way too many stripes.

My park bench arrived and I got that assembled. Had to scramble to find a replacement for the missing lock nut and washer. I had a wing nut that fit the bolt, so I used that. Other than that it was an easy assemble. I really like the bench. I have it on the front end of the house.

I also got the new towel rack and safety rail for the cool tub. Change the water in the tub and got the rail set. Makes it much easier to get in and out now and less chance of falling.

I had ordered a hose bracket that I got installed too. This reduces the space the hose takes up in the tub and I moved it down the side a little so it isn't right behind my shoulder. Takes up a lot less space. For now it is held in place with duct tape. I am hesitant to put any holes in the tub itself, but I may mount it with screws and a bracket of some sort later.

I hung the second small shade sail on the inside of the cool tub space to block a little bit more of the sun. The water stays cooler and the whole "room" stays a hair cooler. 

I broke down and ordered a recliner online. I know I said I wasn't going to do that, but I really want my outdoor chair back outdoors and with my work schedule, I won't be able to get anywhere to try out some chairs. I haven't been able to find the equivalent of the little recliner I had to leave in VT, so I am taking a chance. This time I am keeping the cardboard box until I am sure I am satisfied with the chair. Just in case. This is a wall saver and is supposed to be a smaller chair. We'll see. 

I wanted something that looked a little less like a recliner, but it seems that you loose comfort when you go for design. So this time I went for comfort. It is black microfiber. Not crazy over the black, but it goes with the rest of the stuff I have and the other option was tan. I hate tan. It will most likely be covered with a sheet or a quilt anyway, so it doesn't really matter all that much.

I lost my large shade sail last week in the monsoon. I ordered a new one (two) the same day, but I haven't received it yet. It really makes a difference on the patio by blocking a lot of the morning sun, yet allowing me to see my yard and all the critters. I ordered a spare this time even tho the old one was about three years old. I used it two summers in VT, and it has been up in the AZ sun since I moved in. I'm surprised it lasted as long as it did. It still looked good, but ripped to shreds in the monsoon winds. Dry rot. Can't wait to get that back up so I can sit outside a little longer in the morning without getting baked by the sun.

My thoughts on the job. It isn't perfect. Too many crazy, varying hours, too much physical labor for the money I am paid. I am keeping my eyes open for a full time office or library/town job here in Q. For now, it is an income. Plus, I have lost 10 lbs since I started working there. I exceed my daily step quota each and every day. Add to that the full body sweating and weight lifting, and it is a pretty good work out. You don't need a gym when you work at DG. I am thrilled about the weight loss and am encouraging it by eating as little and well as possible. I don't have much time to cook, so I am not eating as much at a sitting. So far only one minor low blood sugar event and that was after a very long 9 plus hour day and only one small meal. The disadvantage is that my jeans that I bought when I started are already way too big and I have to wear a belt. I did get a canvas belt on Ebay that doesn't make me sweat quite as much as the leather one did, and I have started carrying a bandana to wipe my face with. My face is also clearing up and I have hopes that someday in the future I won't have to use cover up on it. 

I'm already tired of the summer heat. Maybe some day I can become a snowbird and go to cooler climes in the summer. Need to find an income source tho. Either a partner that has some money, enough to cover expenses, or a telecommuting job somewhere. I really would like to not work at all, but I do like electricity and food. Plus my online shopping habit has to be paid somehow.

I'm lonely and am not really enjoying my life as it is at the moment. But it is something that has to be done. If I am to meet someone, they will come along when they are supposed to. Or not.

I do have to go to the post office and gas up the car since I used all my gas running the AC during my meal breaks. Too hot not to. I also want to stop at Sal's as I haven't been there for a couple of weeks.