Wednesday, February 28, 2018


Winter is back, or, winter is here. It turned cold again about a week ago. Nights in the low 30's, days in the 60's. Just after I planted. Seeds aren't doing much of anything. I hope I haven't lost them all.

Started my geraniums indoors this year, and it has been too cold to put them out during the day and they are all leggy and some have died.

Even the enclosed garden is suffering, have lost several tomato plants.

Yesterday was just nasty. Cold, windy, cloudy. We got some sprinkles for about five minutes, but that was it. We didn't get our usual January rain, so the cactus bloom this year isn't going to be as good. Won't be much green in the desert at all.

My job has been frustrating. Lots of people calling in sick leaving us short handed. HUGE truck deliveries, so we are also way behind in stocking. Constant stress the minute I walk thru the door. I just discovered that my 20 hours vacation time isn't on my pay stub. Should have shown up at the end of the year. We get 20 hours for every six months, and the end of December would be a year and a half. It should show 20 hours vacation time. That will probably be a fight.

Monday was a sad day. It was the anniversary of Jake's death. I just started my ninth year without him. Hard to believe it has been that long, I still miss him each and every day. I guess my grief has reached the point where it is as good as it is going to get.

Today I am not feeling all that great. I think I am coming down with something. Last night I woke up off and on, either too hot or too cold, then too hot and then too cold. Funny taste in my mouth. Not really hungry, but needing to eat, and my coffee tasted terrible. Hopefully I will kick whatever it is trying to grab me before it gets too bad.

I finally made it over to the Farmers Market yesterday and was very disappointed. Only two vendors, fruit and honey, and no customers. I didn't buy anything as I still have grapefruit and don't use honey.  Went from there to the Salvation Army as I haven't been there yet this year, and there were no parking spots, so I just drove thru and came home. Wasn't worth getting showered and dressed. A wasted trip. Keith and I were supposed to go out to eat, but he started coming down with something and canceled. I ended up just putting my jammies on and tried to get warm. I had gotten chilled and couldn't get warm.

So this week I am a bit low.  Not happy with my job, no prospects in sight, not happy with my life as it is right now and not happy with the weather. I am discouraged and a bit depressed. OK, a lot depressed. It will pass. Always does.

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Pruning the grapefruit tree

I finally got the grapefruit tree pruned. It had a good run this year, lots and lots of grapefruit, mostly on one side, but they sure were good. I picked the last of them yesterday.

Gave a few away, and will eat the rest of them. I seem to be loosing weight a bit faster when I eat one per day. I will be sorry to see them go.

I didn't take a before pic, but there were three and four foot or more suckers growing at the top, those are all gone along with some shaping and cut back the sides to stay within the generous drip ring. It looks pretty sad right now, but will look good in a couple of weeks as it is already starting to leaf out.

I would have liked to have taken more off the top, but my pole pruner won't cut thru the thicker branches and I can't reach them with anything else, so this will have to do. Will have to make a trip to the landfill sometime soon to get rid of the brush.

When putting the ladder away I discovered this. Mourning doves will nest just about anywhere. 

It is a good thing I don't use that clothesline or clothes pins much. Too much of a pain to get wet clothes back there and I don't hang my work clothes out in the sun. I always hated hanging out clothes and then having to go take them off the line. Now I just hang them indoors. Same process, just easier. Sometimes I even use my clothes dryer.

Planted a few more seeds yesterday. Pulled up the overgrown mesclun mix and planted three types of lettuce. Also started the coral vine seeds indoors and discovered my geraniums and gazania seeds have sprouted.

Hope they all survive. I have probably lost the annuals that had poked their heads above ground, the tub they are in were iced over this morning and we went below freezing last night. Our one week of winter is late this year. Sigh...I didn't cover anything, probably should have.

Back to work today. My two days went way too fast.

Tuesday, February 20, 2018


Weighed myself again on Sunday. I have lost a total of 41 pounds since I was diagnosed with type two diabetes. Thinking about it, I realized that this is the least I have weighed in twenty years! I have gone down four pant sizes since I started my current job, it is a great workout every time I go to work.

I still have a long way to go, but am half way there. It has taken years to loose this weight, ups and downs, but lately, mostly downs.

Last week I got the new perennial garden assembled, filled and planted. Two trips to the store to get soil and I used up the rest of my pro mix and I had to order more.

I also got the annual garden setup and planted. I cut a soaker hose in two so both beds could get water, and it took quite a while to get the irrigation set up. It was a two day process.

I also finally got the drop cloth curtains up over the big opening on the side of the patio. Hoping it will help keep the patio cooler during the heat of the summer and it will also block a bit more of the morning sun.

We hit 32 degrees last night. I am hoping my seedlings survived. The perennial garden hasn't done much, but the annuals have poked their heads above ground and the daffodils are finally growing.

Picking the rest of the grapefruit today and plan to get the tree pruned. It is already putting out new leaves for the season, so it has to be done now or not at all. It really needs it.

One of the two desert willow trees that I got started last fall is coming back, I hope the second one does as well. They will probably go in the ground this year when I figure out where they are going to go. My lot is pretty small and the grapefruit takes up a lot of the yard. The birds love it and it gives decent shade. The bunnies hang out under it in the hot summer. Shooting for a bit more privacy in the yard. I hate that I have none. But I love my little community and have great neighbors most of the time.

The people that rented the lot next door this winter are finally gone. Can't say that I am sorry, they bugged me and I felt like I couldn't go out in my own yard. Plus they created problems in the neighborhood. That lot should stay empty until next fall now. Hopefully by then I will have created some sort of growing fence.

Work is still challenging. We are still way above last year on our numbers and we are having trouble (more than usual) getting stuff stocked. The new manager isn't doing well, and that creates more issues. Sigh...I miss Tom. And they are still sending us huge trucks every week and we are at least two weeks behind in stocking totes. They have also cut back our hours, so we don't have enough manpower to get it done. We just do the best we can.

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Still kicking

Yup, I'm still kicking. Has been a working winter so far. Haven't done much of anything fun, no gardening, no day trips, pretty much nothing but work, sleep and recovering from work. Has been a very busy season at the store and hopefully we are through the worst of it. The big tent has come and gone, so things should start slowing down now.

Gearing up for garden season. Just ordered a raised bed planter to create my new perennial garden. Have been going back and forth, considering all my options - cinder blocks, custom built, galvanized stock tank, retaining wall blocks...nothing was ideal for one reason or another. Took one more look online this morning and found this planter. It was the least expensive option and will do just what I need it to do. Plus, it will add some color to the yard.

I have another planter on the way that I was going to plant daffodil and tulip bulbs in, but may wait to plant them in the above bed instead. I can use the planter for annuals. It would look awesome with geraniums and gazanias.

The grapefruit tree did well this year. Lots and lots of grapefruit on the morning sun side. I have given a bunch away and still have plenty on the tree. Those will have to be picked soon as the tree needs pruning in the next couple of weeks. 

This year's big project is done. I bought 4 ton of pea gravel and resurfaced my yard. It wasn't as bad as I though it was going to be, took about 5 hours of shoveling and spreading.  It looks so much better! I was so sick of looking at naked ground. Everytime I did something in the yard, I lost gravel. It gets worked into the dirt and looks terrible. Plus, I needed to raise the level up to the patio to cover the mortar from the wall rework. 

There were several naked spots, this was the worst area. I brought the level up about two inches. The yard is much more even now. No more low spots.

I'm happy with the way it turned out and it wasn't super expensive. $150 for the material and the labor was free. (me)

I have also made a few changes indoors. After spending much of the winter indoors, I couldn't stand that any longer. Splurged on new curtains and a rug. 

The new rug is the gray and white, the tan one went into the bedroom once the new rug arrived. 

The garden is surviving. I did not heat it this year. Trying to keep the electric bill down. I did loose my cukes, but not much else. I will replant them as I finally got more than one off a plant for the first time ever. And they were good. Everything else pretty much went dormant and will start growing again when it warms up a bit more.

I spent a LOT of money in January. Now I need to stop and catch up. I'm shooting for a no spend February. I have plenty of food on hand and I think I have or have ordered all my garden stuff for now, so I am hoping to catch up and maybe put a few dollars away this next month. I do pretty good most of the time about not spending at work. It is the online shopping I have issues with. It is just too easy. I am also going to try to do the 40 bags in 40 days lighten up challenge. I have way too much stuff that I don't need or use. I have been doing much better about not bringing stuff home I don't need. 

I got to see Mike at Christmas. Keith and I made a day trip to Chandler to see Mike and Judy. We had lunch at Panera. Thankfully Keith did all the driving. I would have had a hard time doing both ways in one day. Especially at night, there was a lot of oncoming traffic. 

Got a new cover for the golf cart as the old one was dry, brittle and cracking. Also got some seat covers for it. But I ordered the wrong cover and didn't realize it until I got it on. I will have to live with it. The front window doesn't zip open on this one. 

I sold Snowflakes From Vermont ornaments. Minimum order was 48 and I have about 15 left. Not sure I will do it again this year. I did make my money back, but was short $150 from goal. Didn't sell them all. 

If I do sell them this year the critter is going to be either a roadrunner or a coyote.

Trying to think if there is anything else....I didn't realize it had been so long since I had written last. Not much changes from day to day. 

The park is full, lots of new owners this year. Dues went up yet again plus an additional $100 "special assessment". Electricity has gone up as well. Still driving the same car, but the blinker switch broke and I have to turn the blinkers off manually now. Too expensive to have it fixed. I have my eyes open for my next car, but haven't seen anything that grabs me yet. This one is still running and will drive it until I find the next one. Maybe another Jeep. 

Guess that is about it. I will try to write more often. But as I said before, there isn't much to write about. My life is work, sleep and wait to go to work these days. Sigh....

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Vacation is over.

My vacation went way too fast and I didn't even do anything. Sigh...

I did get more accomplished yesterday. Anna volunteers at the thrift shop and invited me over. I knew I had to do the closet and drawers, so I flew through that and filled 7 garbage bags with clothes and books and shoes. So not only did I get the closet cleaned out, I got rid of the stuff all in one day. Yay. I have room in the closet for new stuff now. I didn’t allow myself to think too much about what I was getting rid of. If I hadn’t worn it, or it had a high neck line (I have developed an aversion to stuff around my neck), or was just taking up space, out it went. Got rid of most of my hoodies, only kept the sweatshirts with collars, got rid all my t-shirts with the high necks, and basically anything that didn't fit. It felt good. I’m sure at some point I will go looking for something and I won’t have it, but I will deal. I still have a couple of small drawers to deal with, but I didn’t feel like moving a bunch of stuff to get to them. I can do them some other time.

My treat for the day was Taco Tuesday at Barbie’s Place. They were OK. Not a lot of flavor. If I do them again tho, I will break up the taco shells and eat them as a taco salad instead. But it was a treat either way. Needed more salsa and un cut sour cream. The sour cream was blended with something to make it pourable, and it lost flavor.

I stopped at the veggie truck on my way home. Most of his stuff looked awful, but I did get some onions, avocados, a couple of tomatoes and some garlic. I got two heads of garlic and planted one head in the garden. The other one is for cooking.

I spent $5 at the thrift shop, one red and one black long sleeve top with a slight v neck, a tin pumpkin, and a couple of quilted pillow shams. $5 on my tacos and $5 at the veggie stand. I hear Sal’s is having a bag clothing sale, fill a bag for so many dollars, but I didn’t stop there. I barely got rid of all the other stuff I have gotten there.

I got in a quick nap before FedEx showed up with the vent for the trailer. Of course, a simple swap out turned into a major project. Glen coated the edges on the roof with a rubber sealant. I couldn’t get the rubber off to get the screws out. Add to that that they were star screws and I couldn’t find a bit to fit…I ended up swapping out parts so the vent is half new and half old. Couldn’t use the fan part of it, so it was a waste of money. I should have just ordered the replacement cover for half the price. But I will find a use for the 12v fan at some point. I need to get a can of flex seal to cover the area that I did manage to dig out. But it won’t leak even if I don’t. Just looks like crap.

And last but not least, did another load of laundry.

I need to clean out the upper kitchen cabinets before the yard sale next month, and probably the upper cabinets in the bedroom. But other than that, weeding out is just about done. Yay. I need to find a solution for my shoes. They have been living behind a chair in the dining area, but I don’t like them there. It is handy, but they don’t belong in the dining area. I have no entry to speak of, so I can’t put them there. Maybe clean out one of the drawers under the closet, or put them in the closet itself. They just need to be easy to get to and somewhat organized.

I got rid of a lot of shoes. Some of them brand new. I can’t wear them so there is no sense in keeping them. I also got rid of my snow boots and ice cleats. Don’t need them here. I was ruthless this time. It helps that I wear a uniform to work. I don’t wear a lot of different clothes that way. I have my favorites that get used over and over. I did keep my big blanket coat as I do wear that sometimes.

Today’s projects are folding and putting away laundry, putting away stuff on the dish drainer and just generally picking up. I might even vacuum. But lets not go crazy. It is a work day and I will have to get a nap in at some point. I go in at 3:30 today. Will be putting in more hours now that it has started to pick up. I wonder how they made out the last week or so without me. I’m hoping they appreciate me a bit more now. But I am not getting my hopes up.

I need to either make or find a cloth mattress cover for the trailer. The one that is in there has turned to powder. It is that fiber type material. Learn something new every day, it doesn’t like heat. I will probably have to make one. I could use the white twin sheet I have hanging on the patio, just sew up a couple of sides….Or I could use one of my fleece blankets, they seem to hold up well to sun and heat. I should have pulled that one off while I was in there yesterday, but I didn’t.

Well, I guess it is time to get myself moving. I need to measure the wall outside the back door. I’m looking at a folding clothes dryer and need to know if it will fit. I don’t use the clothes line on the back of the garden, it is too hard to get to with an armload of wet clothes. It was a good idea in theory, but it didn’t work out. I would move them to the patio, but they don’t fold and would always be in the way. I’ll figure something out at some point.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

My last day of vacation. :(

I did fun things yesterday like laundry, garbage, etc. I did finish up the cactus. Got rid of three, two inside the fence, one out, and transplanted the fourth. I also potted up the aloe until I figure out the perennial garden. I need to regroup first and get a little money ahead. I am thinking cinderblock enclosure with red block caps. would be the least expensive version and if I kept it at one row high, I wouldn’t have to move the honeysuckle. I could also dig out some sand to make it deeper if I need to. 

One of the cactus I got rid of, the volunteer outside the fence, had the microscopic prickers. I am still dealing with them. I think they literally jump off the cactus. That is basically the reason I got rid of it because it is right behind the trailer and I had to be very careful every time I went to open the door. I ended up twisting off each paddle and dropping it in a garbage bag that was inside of a bucket. I used three bags and three buckets. That way when I went to throw them in the dumpster I wouldn’t have to touch the bags, just dump the buckets. The microscopic prickers hurt and you can’t see them to remove them. I had to scrape my shoes after I got done. I’m hoping I got them all.

Took the golf cart to the dumpster since I had the three buckets, last week’s garbage and this week’s as well, plus the stuff from the shed. It was quite a load. Glad to have it gone. There are no more cactus inside the fence. The yard looks nekkid.

The aloe came up easily. It is quite large. That is a 5 gallon bucket it is in. 

I still have the cactus cuttings to put in the new cactus area, but those are still drying. Will probably do them next Monday and finally have that project done. 

I moved a bat yesterday. It was just lying on the sidewalk in front of the club house. It was still alive and hissed at me. I probably didn’t save it, but at least it wasn’t lying in the sun on the concrete until it died. Poor thing. He hissed at me and had quite the set of teeth on him.

That is actually the first bat I have seen this year. Usually I see them at work at night, but haven’t this year and I have been looking for them. Still have the night hawks tho.

My last day of vacation. I am already stressing about going back to work. I look forward to the day that I can leave that job.  

I just tracked the vent for the trailer. It is coming FedEx. That means it should be here by mid day and I should be able to get it installed this afternoon. Hopefully. Technically is should only take about an hour, but these things never go the way they are supposed to. Plus, I want to finally get the vent cover installed and that is a new addition and will require extra work. 

And since I am going back to work tomorrow, I need to cut and file my nails. And I still have the bedroom closet to clean out. I wore a pair of shorts yesterday that were too tight last year. Quite comfy this year. I’m not going to bother with clothes in the yard sale, they don’t sell well and I can get rid of them much faster by just taking them to Sal’s and giving them away. And since I do wear a uniform, I don’t need all the clothes that are jammed into the closet and drawers. I just don’t wear them. 

Haven’t done anything with my snowflakes yet. Haven’t sold any more of the good ones either, but I haven’t pressed the issue. But I will, soon.

Oh, I also fertilized the grapefruit tree yesterday. Supposed to do that three times per year, but this is the first time I have done it this year. Two more months and I will be picking grapefruit. They take almost a year to grow. They are getting quite large and noticeable now.

I picked a nasty little grasshopper off my garden yesterday. It was eating my rainbow chard and the tops of my radishes. I guess I am going to have to start checking every day. He died.

Not sure what I am going to do that is special today. Maybe treat myself to Taco Tuesday. But that means I would have to get showered and dressed…so who knows. I should really get started on the bedroom closet and get that done. I only got about half the things on my list done, all stuff that didn’t cost anything. Pretty much everything that is left costs money. I have no money. I couldn’t even swing an overnight somewhere this time. Guess I will have to start a vacation fund along with the bill paying account. I could do that by getting a prepaid card and just add money to it on a regular basis. Will have to think about that. One that doesn’t have a monthly fee. 

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Got some stuff done!

I got some smaller, piddly projects done yesterday. Got the reject snowflakes filled with wood filler and sanded, got the shade cloth off the garden, picked off several inch worms that were eating my onions and dusted with diatomaceous earth, set the mouse traps, aired up the tires in the scooter and took it out for a spin around the park.


Today I went to breakfast with the neighbors. When we got back Glen hooked up his trailer to the 4x4 to haul Jack's tree stump to the land fill. I took advantage of that and dug up the cactus that needed to go. I cut a few paddles to keep, the rest went to the dump.

Went from this...

To this.... The aloe will stay where it is until I figure out where it is going to go. Now I can start working on a perennial garden as the funds allow. The fountain will be rebuilt in or near the perennial garden when the time comes. In the meantime, it is a watering hole for the critters, so it will stay for now.

This is the new cactus garden outside the fence...there are a few more that need to go in but they are cuttings and need to dry out for a few days. Will put them in later.

I'm glad to have that project done. I wasn't sure what I was going to do with all those cactus and it worked out beautifully.

I do have three more cactus in the corner of the yard that need to either go or be relocated. I think I will keep all the cactus outside the fence and non injury causing plants inside the fence.

I have also sprayed the snowflakes with white paint getting them ready for whatever I am going to do with them. There were 16 rejects, I filled and sanded all of them and painted eight of them white.

The little cactus cut outs stand out more against the white. I also have the little cut outs, they sent those too.

I'm hurting from this morning's gardening, so the rest of the day is R&R. Seems like we just got back from breakfast, but I am already hungry. Time to get something to eat. Then maybe a nap.