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. 

Sunday, January 29, 2017

The start of something new?

I have been sitting here this morning thinking about what I would like to do with my life. I would love to have another shop. Here in Q. But this one would be an internet cafe/consignment type of deal. It would have coffee and pre made pastries or something (packaged to avoid food handling issues), and the usual crafts by local artisans. It would have to be quite large to fit in tables and chairs plus the store side. I would call it the Cyber Coyote or the Internet Saloon with a southwestern theme. Being a seasonal town tho, don’t know if it would be profitable enough to keep me going year round. Thus the coffee shop/consignment side of it. I would need to have something to bring people in throughout the year.


I was happiest when I was my own boss. Would love to be in that place again. But I don’t have the funds for this, or Jake for the technical side of things. I would need to find an investor or investors, plus legal aid and technical help. And a bookkeeper as I am not proficient enough to do all the book work. Basically, I would need a team plus a lot of money to get setup and going. I don’t know if I am that ambitious. It would take a lot of research and reaching out to investors and I can’t guarantee it would be successful. But it was fun thinking about it. 

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Catching up

Not a whole lot to write about. Work is absolutely crazy now that it is January in Quartzsite. The Big Tent opened on Saturday, and the Pow Wow started the Sunday before. Not enough time in a shift to get done what needs to be done, shelves are empty even tho all the rolltainers that were delivered on Tuesday have been stocked. 13 and 14K days. Not enough cashiers on at night making that shift more difficult, especially since that is the shift that has to fill the coolers, bread and clean up at night. My shift. Of course. I have been working two day shifts during the week, and those are crazy too. I will be glad when January is done. It should level out a bit once the big events are done. We will still have a lot of people, but the ones that come for the shows will leave.

The weather has been miserable. Cold, windy and rainy. Very little sun. People are complaining about it. This time last year I was in shorts, not this year! It will be a few weeks before I break them out still. We haven't had many nights below freezing tho, and should be past that point.

The new cover on the garden is holding up. Having an issue with humidity, but it is too cold to open it up and let it air out. I may have to put a fan in there.

I have buds on one of the lupines.



The desert willow is still alive and growing - very slowly. I'm hoping this one will survive.


Here are a few more garden pics. Carrots, walking onion, greens, lettuce, etc.









Tomatoes are looking good, nice and green, the big one is blossoming, but nothing is getting pollinated. 



The zucchini is also blooming, but again, no pollination and it is too humid and the leaves are mildewing. I may have to put a fan in there. That might help with the pollination too. 


My geraniums need to be separated and potted, but I haven't managed to get out there to do that. Plus, I'm not sure where I am going to put all the individual pots. I need to put in another shelf and will have to lower this one to make room for another one. 


I have the pots and the soil, just lacking the time. 

Living in a 55+ park, this is something we all hate to see...



They were here twice within an hour for my next door neighbor. The second time they transported him. He was transported last week some time too, not sure what his illness is, possible heart attack. We had several people in the hospital this last weekend for various illness.

I went to the little gun show here in Q at the Senior Center yesterday with Keith. My first gun show. I am looking for a small pocket sized revolver or automatic that will fit in my pocket. I saw one, a .38, that caught my eye, but really isn't what I am looking for. I am also in a spending moritorium right now. The end of the year wiped out my accounts, and I need to build them back up. I did start the new year debt free, and am going to try to stay that way. I already have too much stuff and don't need any more. Just need to keep reminding myself of that. 

I also need to find a way to make additional income. Something that I like to do. Or find a better paying job that doesn't stress me out like this one does. Full time, year round jobs are few and far between here in Quartzsite.

I was sick all day yesterday and was feeling better this morning. Until I got called in to work. I get a nervous stomach every time I have to go to work. I usually work myself out of it within an hour or so after starting, but dealing with this five days a week isn't good for me. I don't remember ever having this problem with any other job. Every single work day. You would think after ten months that I would be over it, but I'm not. It is a very stressful job. 

My golf cart isn't working. Went to take it to the spud feed last week and it wouldn't start. It is acting like it is out of gas, but the gauge says it is half full. It turns over, but won't fire. I haven't had the time (or the weather) to deal with it. Thinking about selling it and trying to find a side by side I can afford. Wishful thinking...But I would like something I can take out on the road and the desert that goes faster than 11mph. Gotta save my pennies. And have to get the golf cart running again first.

So, I'm curious...How many people are still reading my blog even tho I am no longer traveling. My life is pretty boring and I don't get many responses. Is it worth continuing? Let me know.











Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Day trip to Cibola National Wildlife Refuge

It was a fun day yesterday, but the refuge wasn’t what I was expecting. I was thinking more wilderness as opposed to cultivated. But there were a lot of birds and we even saw a coyote. My photo taking abilities have suffered since I haven’t taken any in so long. I took a lot of pictures and only a few are good enough to share. Here are a couple of my favorites, and the rest can be seen at https://www.facebook.com/holly.bonville/media_set?set=a.10209816177853592.1073741980.1006638889&type=3&pnref=story

   





    
Being the dead of winter, there were a lot of critters we didn’t see. I got a free walking stick too. That is still in the car.

I drove to Cibola and Keith did the rest of the driving. :)  After Cibola we went to Glamis CA. Did you know we had our own Sahara Desert? It was pretty impressive. There was also a film shoot going on. Supposedly it is going to be part of a new Star Wars movie. The guy didn’t come right out and say that, but hinted at it. 




Apparently that is where all the big desert films have been recorded. That was fun in itself. 
We headed back to Blythe and had lunch at Wang’s. Chinese food. And since we were right there we went to Kmart so I could grab another pair of jeans for work. I actually grabbed three since they had been marked down and it looked like they were discontinuing them. I got one more pair of my current size and two pair of the next size down. I should be good for a while now. All three pair only cost me $23. And since they are for work, that is more than enough.

A lot of the desert is still sopping wet from all the rain we got. We saw lots of mud, puddles and wet spots. The hills were dark with the water in the ground. It’s surprising since we never get rain and you would think the ground would just suck it all up. 

By the time we got back I  was really, really tired. I had been up since about 4 AM, and not a lot of sleep before that. I downloaded the photos and tried to organize and edit a few, but was too tired to deal with it so I just uploaded them as they were to FB. There were a lot that got deleted since they were crap. I’m out of practice, and I have always had trouble with editing and then finding my photos on the computer once they had been edited and saved. They go somewhere, then I have to try and find them. I wasn’t up to that last night and I don’t think I am going to bother. On my windows machine that was never a problem. It has caused a lot of frustration both past and present.

Back to work today. But it is only tonight and tomorrow night and then I have Friday off. After that I don’t know since I haven’t seen the new schedule yet.

Spotted a nice little camping spot on the Colorado River in Cibola. I think it is the Oxbow Camping Area. It is a fee spot, but there is access to the water and bathrooms. Looks like it could be a possible spot for the shakedown for the trailer. Not too far away, but far enough to feel like I am getting away. Only bad part is that I would have to do about 35 minutes on the highway. Unless I could find a long way around. Not sure I want to haul that on the highway at 65 MPH. 

Nothing on this morning’s agenda except maybe a little more sleep. I did fairly well last night as I fell asleep in front of the TV, woke up and then went back to sleep about an hour later.  My sleep monitor says I got about 76% which is really good for me. I’m usually under 50%. I was really tired. 

I’m glad I got to do something fun yesterday. As always, Keith was good company. Neither of us had been to Wang’s. Found it on google. Was pretty good. I had the mongolian beef, he had orange chicken. The iced tea was really good too.

Monday, after coffee, I removed both the first tarp and the clear vinyl on the roof of the garden and put the new, much larger one on. It is all one piece and should be a lot more effective and a lot easier to get the water off the roof without getting soaked or drowning parts of the garden. It even looks better. 




I pulled the rest of the radishes as they were ready, mixed in some worm castings and reseeded the radishes. Yesterday morning I ordered some more seed online. Endive, mustard greens, romaine lettuce, and some red pansies, burning bush and purple statice. Not sure if any of them will do well, but they were half price and with my eBay bucks, all of those only cost about $5. Considering a bag of greens runs about $3, that is a pretty good savings. 




Sunday, January 8, 2017

Not much going on

It has been cold and rainy here in the Sonoran Desert this winter. Cloudy, breezy and nippy for a couple of weeks now. Another week or two and it will start to warm up thankfully. Those of us that live here year round find the day time highs in the 50's quite chilly. Brrr!

Lets see...I worked Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday nights, and then a day shift yesterday. Today I will wrap up my work week with another night shift. I'm still trying to catch up on my sleep from the night before. Fell asleep in my chair after dinner last night of course, and then was up in the wee hours for several hours.

My pink and white amaryllis has finally decided to bloom. Looks like it will have three total. No where near as prolific as the red one was, but it was also a smaller bulb. Took almost two extra weeks to bloom. The paper whites did pretty much nothing. They all grew some leaves - sort of - and only one put up a bud which promptly turned to seed instead of blooming.  It was very disappointing. They will go out in the garden on the shelf when I get the new tarp on the roof.



The garden is doing ok in spite of the heat loss where there is a big gap in the top. The vinyl shower curtains weren't my best idea, and the first tarp wasn't wide enough to cover the whole thing. That all has to come of so I can put the new one up. The new one will wrap down three sides and will be fastened on the fourth side to hold it in place. That should help with the heat loss and keep any major rainwater out. That was a big issue with a pieced together roof. Next year I will think about putting a clear solid roof on with a bit of a tilt to make the water run off instead of puddling between the rafters.

The peas I planted are starting to show, the bok choy has sprouted and everything else is still alive, some of it growing, some of it just waiting for it to warm up some. The zucchini has another blossom, but I don't think it is getting pollinated properly for it to produce. The celery butts are growing and so is the onion end I stuck in the garden. 


bok choy


peas


celery butts

I had picked up some curtains at work that were clearance half price. I really liked the leaf pattern. I had originally put them up on the front windows, one on either side, but they looked silly with the solid red insulated curtain on the west side. I have to keep that window covered due to the sun in the summer and the cold in the winter. So this morning I decided to see what they look like layered. I wanted to lighten up the living room a bit and I think layering them did just that. 


Doesn't look that bad. Definitely brighter.


Needed a spot to hang the Maine calendar that Susan sent. The images are all wood cuttings by a Maine artist.

I do have a job/wage rant…AZ minimum wage went up to $10 per hour January 1st, what I was earning. Our cashiers went from $8.25 to $10. That is $1.75 increase. Mine went from $10 to $10.50. I now earn only fifty cents more than the cashiers that have no responsibilities. That is just wrong and has pissed me off. I do way too much to be treated like that. It isn’t right. I don’t know what the assistant manager earns, but I’m sure it is a lot more than me and we do the same job. Plus, they have reduced my hours…..Just one more thing to hate about the job. 
End of rant.

Well, just about time to get a nap before I have to get ready for work. There isn't much else to write about. Unfortunately I have to work to pay the bills, so there isn't much of anything other than work to write about. Nothing fun, nothing exciting. Just the same old rut. Sigh...






Sunday, January 1, 2017

Rough start

It was a rough start to my new year. I am tired, cranky and just about had it with my job. I have thought several times this week about quitting, but I really need the paycheck.

Our manager quit this week because he was given some grief about being out sick all week and not having a doctors note. But he was talked into coming back. I'm glad he is coming back, but I don't know how long he will stay. But his being gone has affected my hours and my schedule. I will be working all nights this week other than yesterday and today. I had planned on going to climb Q Mtn for the third year in a row, but couldn't as I had to open the store this morning. Both yesterday and today I had to call my cashiers because the schedule had been changed and they didn't know they were supposed to be working.

The woman that is supposed to close tonight called in sick and for a moment I thought I was going to have to work a double shift, 6:30 AM to 11:30 PM, but Janet agreed to come in so I finally got out of there. Only one cashier besides myself today, so I spent my whole day at the register. Not sure what they were thinking, we really needed three registers going most of the day. Very long lines.

It has been raining off and on for about a week and it was a real challenge getting to work before 6:30 this morning. I drove through running water as all the washes were running. Getting home this afternoon was almost as much of a challenge. It took me three tries to get home. Tyson Wash is still closed and running quite strong.

Last night I actually fell asleep while eating my dinner. I didn't sleep well the night before and was really tired after an eight hour shift. Same thing today. Very little sleep since I fell asleep so early, then it was too noisy to sleep during the night between the rain, the thunder and lightening, wind, etc. I'm going to try to make it through my dinner tonight and stay up a little later if I can. I also missed Sunday morning breakfast along with the Q Mtn climb.

Tomorrow is the turkey noodle soup at the club house. I am planning on going to that and coffee tomorrow morning. I'm hoping D is feeling better and doesn't call in sick as I would be the one they call to close and it is my day off that I really, really need.

So, all in all, not the best start to the new year. Hoping it will improve as it passes. I really need to find a better job. I work way too hard for way too little money.

Happy New Year!


The above image is my amaryllis plant that bloomed for New Year's

I came home from work and crashed. Fell asleep early and was up most of the night. I did get to see the fireworks from the street in front of my house. That was nice. Other than that, no celebration for me. 

Lots and lots of rain this last week. I'm having to push the water off the garden roof with a broom as it is puddling. I ordered a new clear reinforced tarp, a larger one this time and I hope it helps. The new one will come down over three sides and will be fastened and hopefully won't stretch. The first one wasn't quite wide enough and allowed water to get under it and puddle on the original vinyl as well as the reinforced tarp, twice as much water up there. I may have to break down and put a solid clear roof up, but am hoping I don't have to spend the money.