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


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


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. 

Friday, December 23, 2016

Short but sweet

Mike arrived around 5:30 last night. We hung out, had salads for dinner, and hung out some more. This morning we went out to breakfast and now he has headed to Phoenix. He had a business meeting in Colton CA yesterday and drove thru Quartzsite from the airport to CA, and again on the way back. I'm happy that we got to visit as I hadn't made any plans to go to Phoenix this year since I didn't know what my work schedule was going to be, plus the expense of a hotel room was prohibitive this year. I could do a day trip, but it is a two plus hour drive and when I drive that far, I like to stay a while.

Here are some fun photos from breakfast this morning. Playing with our phones.

The only thing on my agenda for today is to try and catch up on some sleep. I have today off and open the store tomorrow. Then I am off until Wednesday afternoon. A mini vacation. Plus the post office and I want to wait until this afternoon for that so I can get whatever might come in today's mail in addition to whatever is already there.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Dinner and lights

I have missed breakfast out with the neighbors the last three Sunday's. I was sick, then Glen and Diane went to Mexico and this last Sunday they were still in Phoenix waiting for their daughter to arrive. She was having trouble getting here due to the horrible weather and they had to wait four days for her to finally arrive. Anyway, I didn't feel like dealing with food and cooking yesterday so I asked Keith if he wanted to go get something to eat. I am also trying to make more of an effort do do something fun each week other than sleeping and working. 

We went to the new restaurant, La Casa Gold, and weren’t impressed. We both had the taco salad, Keith’s was chicken and mine was ground beef. They were very stingy with the sour cream and salsa, should have been at least double what they gave us and they put the meat on the bottom! I have never had one with meat on the bottom before. Took a while before we actually got to it. The ambiance is ok, lots of wood, the tables were beautiful polished wood, didn’t notice the chairs. Still smells a little musty because the building had been closed up a couple of years. And the service was just OK. Nothing really bad to write about it, but nothing really nice either. 

This was at the restaurant. Very pretty.

After dinner we took a ride over to Olinger Ave to see the light display I had been reading about. It was pretty impressive. You get to walk around this guy’s yard and see everything. We ran into Connie and Bob my neighbors when I was out in the desert. I see them at least once a year. We drove around a little more and looked at more lights.  I did not take pictures, there was just way too much to look at. All in all, it was a fun evening and it was nice to get out. I’m glad I made the effort even tho I didn’t really feel like going by the time dinner time came around.
On the negative side, when I went to bed I kept hearing this ticking noise. I have a water drip under the building somewhere and it is dripping on the heating ductwork and is being amplified. I really don’t need a water leak or a loud drip. I had heard it once before a year or so ago and it went away. I’m hoping it will this time too. Could be the result of the cold weather, something loosening up enough to drip, or condensation or something. I’ll deal with it next week if it is still dripping. I did manage to go to sleep in spite of that. Maybe Mark can fix it for me. I keep expecting the water heater to die. It is quite old and with the water here the life on those things is shortened considerably. So far so good tho.

Today I have to make a dumpster run and I tracked my innersoles for my work shoes, they won’t be at the post office until tomorrow, so I will probably wait until tomorrow to go there. 

When we got back last night UPS had been here and I still have the two boxes to open. One is the recoil pad for my shotgun and the other is the two floor lamps. I’ll get those assembled and in place this morning so I can get rid of the cardboard when I go to the dumpsters. I need to move the golf cart to the other side of the trailer so Mike will have a place to park when he is here. I’ll do that if I use the golf cart for the dumpster run.

Haven’t checked on the garden this morning. It wasn’t quite as cold last night. It had the added light and was quite bright.


Monday, December 19, 2016

Garden update

It has been cold here the last few days. Freezing cold...literally. I got some string lights in the garden enclosure and things were good yesterday morning, but this morning I discovered the zucchini lost a few leaves to the cold, but not the whole plant. So I added a 60 watt incandescent light to that corner since the string lights didn’t reach over there. Everything else looks good tho. Gonna be lighting up the neighborhood...

My amaryllis are getting closer to blooming and the xmas cactus are starting and all three should be blooming by Sunday.

I’m not doing a whole lot today. It is my only day off until Friday and I am going to enjoy as much of it as I can. It is still cold here.The sun is up, but isn’t giving off a lot of warmth and it is breezy so it is cold. My fingers are complaining. I still spend as much time outside as I can even when it is cold like this. I need the sunlight. I haven’t used the heater part of the fireplace yet, but those days aren’t far off. Supposed to warm up a little for a few days then get cold again. It is only in the low 50’s again today. Winter! Ugh! I know, I shouldn’t be complaining, I could be in the upper half of the states. Seems like everyone is getting hammered with winter this year.

My new floor lamps are supposed to arrive today. I also ordered a recoil pad for the 20 gauge. They shipped UPS so I don’t have to go to the post office. Yay. You should see the bruise I have on my shoulder from firing the shotgun only three times. The pad should help. I don’t remember having this problem with the full sized one I had before. Hope we go target shooting again soon. I enjoy that. I also enjoy showing up the “boys”.  Jake would be proud. 😊😊😊😊😊

I did not buy the christmas pillows I mentioned the other day. I didn’t bring any money or a credit card to work with me. They are still there tho….I might get them tomorrow if they haven’t sold. I really don’t need them, but they are snowflakes and can be used after the holidays too. The back side is solid red, so that would work any time.

I’m hoping that I am not so beat Thursday that I can’t enjoy what few hours Mike and I will have. Hoping we go out to eat, and then we might fire up the stove on the patio. That would be nice. I haven’t used it since last winter. Too much trouble for just myself…Although I should make more of an effort to do stuff like that. I have the little one for the trailer that my neighbors gave me last year. I could use too that one too.

Mark is supposed to work on the trailer next week. Get that back wall built and the door in. Going to ask him to help with the vent cover on the roof. Might as well since he will be here. Getting the wall and door in just might motivate me enough to finish up the trailer. Then I could take it out for a weekend or an overnight. That is it’s whole purpose. I have had it a year already and haven’t even used it.

Thinking of taking a ride around the park some night with the golf cart to see the Christmas lights. I guess there are a couple of places in town that are pretty impressive that I should check out too. It just isn’t the same by myself. Maybe I can talk Mike into doing that with me.