Saturday, April 30, 2016

Chores are done

I have been busy this morning. So far I have walked, swept the patio, cleaned the patio work bench, spray painted a mailbox that I bought a few weeks back, cleaned out the fridge, made the bed and have scootered the garbage to the dumpster. It is just hitting 7:30. I love productive mornings. Now I won’t have to feel so guilty the rest of the day. :) I think I am ready for a nap!

Yesterday I did laundry, read a little and then went to the pot luck. Keith came over after and we are putting together a plan for a little road trip. This time a couple of days - a little further afield. He has already been everywhere, this will all be new to me. San Diego will probably be in the mix, San Francisco is too far to the north for a leisurely couple of days trip. Will be interesting to spend that much time with him, wonder how that will go. But I appreciate him being willing to take me on tour. :)

Last night I put together an Excel work sheet with all the electric bills that I have paid since I have been here. March and April are the first overlap months, and so far I have used less power than I did in those months last year. I am hoping this will be a trend. And that is with my dryer. I haven’t run the AC or the ice machine as much and I’m sure that has made all the difference. I have been wanting to do the spread sheet for a while and we started reading our own meters for the summer. They usually give out slips to record on, but I didn’t get mine for some reason so I made my own. Paid that this morning, dropped it off when I went for my walk. 

Not sure what is on the agenda for today. I have my chores done so I will play it by ear. I didn’t make it to the post office yesterday and there is no sense in going today because if I have any packages, I can’t pick them up since it is closed on Saturday. Might as well wait until after coffee on Monday now. It is the last coffee for the season. Tomorrow the last Sunday breakfast….everyone (almost) is leaving or has left.

Think I will go finish up that mailbox. I am going to hang it by my back door for notes or whatever. I haven't decided if I am going to dress it up so I will just hang it for now. I also need to finish putting up the clear shower curtains over the rest of the windows to help keep the AC cooled air in and the hot desert heat out. I think it actually helps and the clear liners allow me to see outside and let in the light. Don't really know they are there until it gets dark, then the light reflects off them.

Friday, April 29, 2016

Los Algodones

I rode along with Keith and Lafarr to Mexico yesterday. Lafarr needed some meds before he heads back to CA for the summer. I went along for the company and to get out of the house and do something. I hadn't been down Yuma way in over a year. I really do need to get down there and visit with Howard and Barbara before they head northeast.

I finally got one of the cotton jackets I have seen people wearing. I didn't barter on the price as I thought it was a fair price. I did, however, barter on a couple of bags and got them for half of the original asking price. One I will keep, one will be an xmas gift.

We had a great lunch at the Asian Buffet in Yuma. I ate way too much. Good thing I exceeded my walking goal for the day.

I get a kick out of this sign every time I see it. 

Of course, the one day I'm not here, UPS Freight tried to deliver my stock tank. Now I have to wait another week since they only come to Q once a week. I have been waiting for that. It is going to be my cool tub (as opposed to a hot tub) for cooling down when it is hot since there is no pool and I don't have a bathtub.

Today is laundry and chore day. There is a pot luck this afternoon. My contribution is a tub of potato salad I picked up while we were in Yuma yesterday.

Keith and I are mulling over a road trip before he heads back to the UK. I would like to get out and see something new. There is so much I haven't seen yet, and won't on my own. I can't spend the whole summer closed up in this little place. Maybe San Francisco. I wouldn't mind seeing some water and some greenery. It has been a while.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

The broad side of a barn

Turns out that I CAN hit the broad side of a barn with a hand gun. And I had a good time.

Keith, me and Lafarr. Taken with my selfie stick.

Showing off.

This is the setup the guys have, we just added my Ruger to it.

Now I know what I look like from behind.....Ugh!

I fired the following and had about a 70 to 75% hit rate, some better than others. 

Two different Ruger .22
Browning .22
Glock 9mm
Sig Sauer 9mm
Smith & Wesson 357 and 38 Special

I did better further away from the target - go figure.

I wore my desert flap hat for the first time and my new hiking sandals. I want to get the sandals broken in before I actually wear them hiking. The hat I had picked up at Sal's a few weeks back. It was very comfortable. I actually forgot that I had it on.

I had to order a pistol cleaning kit. The one I have is for rifles and didn't work when I went to clean the gun. Did the best I could with what I had and will do a thorough cleaning when I get the proper tools. I also ordered my own ear protection because I do want to do this again. Next time I will take my 20g with me and test that out.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016


They call it plinking, I call it target shooting. I'm off with a couple of the guys from the park this morning to do some plinking. I finally get to fire my Ruger hand gun. I'm looking forward to seeing if I can hit the broad side of a barn with a hand gun. I can with the 20 gauge, but we'll see how I do with a smaller firearm. Hoping to get some pictures. I haven't gotten any good ones for a while.

It was very windy yesterday. I hunkered down and listened to it blow all afternoon into the evening. Even tho I had plans to do something yesterday it ended up being another reading day. I can't concentrate on anything when things are banging and clanging. Just the way it is.

I'm sneezing this morning. There is still a lot of dust in the air from yesterday and it is supposed to blow again this afternoon. But the temps are great. Was 52 degrees when I walked this morning.

Well, I'm off to get ready. Looking forward to actually doing something with someone.

Monday, April 25, 2016

I'm still kicking

I haven't had much to write about so I haven't been writing. I have spent most of my days the last two weeks reading and enjoying the fact that I don't have to go to work. But two weeks is enough time to sit around and do basically nothing. I started walking again a couple of days ago and am trying to get my diet under control as well. I would like to loose the weight I gained over the winter and possibly some extra. That means walking every day and a major change in my diet. I smoked my last cigarette a month ago and since then have done nothing but eat. Basically substituted one bad habit for another. Trying to get that under control now.

I have a new tree for the yard. One of my neighbors gave me this palm tree. I haven't decided where to put it so I potted it up and will move it around until I find a spot for it.

When I find the spot I will have to put in an addition to the irrigation. That won't be too difficult now that I know where all the lines are since I put them in myself. 

I have several projects that need completing. The trailer still needs work and the golf cart needs attention as well. I still want to do the grow bench watering system and I ordered a stock tank for the patio so I will have a cool tub as opposed to a hot tub. Will need to create a screen or curtain to put that behind and will have to do some rearranging. 

I want to try watercolor painting and metal clay this summer. At some point I need to fire up the kiln I bought last year. I had the electricity installed in the shed for that and haven't used it yet. Lots of things I can do to keep myself busy during the summer. Time to start doing some of them.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Irrigation is done.

Yup, I finished it. I got over to Herbs and bought a bunch of fittings, more than I needed, but it is a good thing. I actually used one that wasn’t on my list that looked useful in the store. I have some parts left over and will keep them as I also have some PVC left and will use it for something.

I got the last three feeds configured and glued together, flushed out the pipes and started filling the trenches back in. Then I hosed everything down, let it settle and covered everything with the rock I had raked out of the way. I need more rock, I lost some as it was mixed in with the sand, but it is nice to have my yard back. I still need to secure a couple of things, but it is basically done. My body was complaining and I just didn’t want to do any more contortions. I have blisters on both of my hands from the shovel and rake. I need to get some rock. It was already thin in some places and is even thinner now.

I picked up some push pins while I was at Herbs because my clear curtains over the front windows kept coming unstuck from the velcro. A few pins and they should be good for the summer. I may still do the windows by the table, haven’t really decided.

I ordered some iris tubers on eBay last night. I want to give them a try. There might be enough water in the little cactus garden around the fountain. Supposedly they can be grown in zone 9. Would be nice to have a perennial or two, and they are also supposed to be bunny resistant. I still have chicken wire just in case.

Of the six things I planted in the big black bin, the swiss chard is the first to show. I was beginning to wonder if anything was going to. Hopefully more will show soon. Tomato plants look good, lots of blossoms, hoping for tomatoes.

Here are some photos from the last week or so....

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

New irrigation

The new irrigation system is almost done. I need more parts and of course Herb’s is on summer hours and was closed by the time I realized this. It would have been done if I had had enough elbows. Sigh…but I will finish it up this morning. I basically dug a trench from one end of the property to the other plus three side trenches, but I had some help on the last of it. I was loosing motivation and Keith offered to help. I wasn’t about to refuse free manual labor. He finished up the digging for me, the three short ones and then proceeded to glue what I had laid out together. The spigot is done and working, but the plant system needs to be finished up, tested and then back filled and try to get the yard back into some sort of normalcy. It was an all day project and I am quite stiff and sore this morning.

Trenching is done. It goes all the way around the back of the shed. Was a lot of digging. Keith finishing up the last few sections that needed to be trenched.

PVC pipe laid out and ready to glue together.

The new hose spigot right beside the grow bench.

Tested and working, so that section has been back filled and is in use. I still need to remove the old hose I had running from the back. Will be nice to have that gone. Need some pipe clamps to tighten up the pipe and hold it in place, but a definite improvement. I need more rock for the yard, Glen says to shovel some up from the storage area but I think I need more than what I can get from there. I will check it out tho.

I want to get this wrapped up and the yard put back together today. I hate the mess. I will have to go to Herb’s first thing this morning and get the parts that I need. Surprisingly I was able to use the PVC cutters that I bought to do this project with. I thought since my hands were so small I wouldn’t be able to use them. Made the job a lot easier and made nice clean cuts.

Finishing this up will probably take at least half the day. I have no plans for anything else today. I’m not going to bother going to the store and buy food because I want to go Smart and Final in Blythe and get some good produce. I can do that now since I don’t have to worry about work. I will also go to Dollar Tree. I don’t get to go there very often.

I still have the smaller automatic watering system to setup on the grow bench. Now that the spigot is there, it will make it easier and hopefully I have all the right parts this time. So many things to do! Still have to clean the house too. I have been pretty lazy the last week or two, but now that I am actually getting things done, I might have more motivation. Need to spend some more time on the trailer too. And take it out for a couple of nights. I want to spend as much time outdoors as I can before it gets too hot. It has been cool enough that I haven’t had to start up the AC, and was cool enough to sleep with the blanket last night. I have slept a little better the last couple of nights.

There is a nest of baby doves at my neighbors on the next street over. They nested on the top of a ladder leaning against his garage. I tried to get pictures, but she was there every time I looked. Supposedly there are three babies. Starting to see more quail again too so they must be done or nearly done nesting. Should see some babies pretty soon. Lots of little bunnies around too. It’s that time of year.

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Catching up

I had a friend contact me the other day because I hadn't been writing much on my blog. Well, there wasn't much to write about. Since I have been working I haven't done a whole lot. My last day for the season was Friday and I am happy to know that I have some time off.

Yesterday, my first day off, I did absolutely nothing. I sat around and ate and read all day. Did not feel too guilty about doing nothing knowing that I have the time to relax a little and not have to worry about getting everything done in three days before I go back to work.

I'm not sleeping well again, not that I have for a very long time, but it has gotten worse. I am now waking up at 2 and 2:30 instead of 3:30, and that makes for a very long day. Of course, I then fall asleep in front of the TV way before I should be sleeping. It is a vicious cycle and one that I need to break. I have always been one to wake up when the sun comes up and be ready to sleep when it goes down. The days are getting longer, so maybe I will be able to stay awake longer and sleep better at night. Not having to get up and go to work for a while might help too.

My next project is putting in a new irrigation system. I have (hopefully) all the parts and pieces I need to put that together and I need to dig a trench to lay the PVC. Not looking forward to that, and am hoping it won't be too difficult to dig. Wherever I have dug previously has been sand, so I think the rest of the yard will be the same. I am also going to run a second line beside the first and put a spigot at the other end of the patio where I need it. Then I won't have hose running the length of the patio and nothing to trip over. The next few days are supposed to be in the 70's and low 80's, so now is the time to get that done.

Physically I am fine. Overweight. I didn't walk all winter, ate a lot, gained some weight. I need to start walking again and get back on my strict diet before I have to go back on meds. I don't want meds, and I don't like how I feel with all this extra weight. Have had to get some new clothes since my others have gotten too tight again. Thank goodness for the Salvation Army, it keeps me in clothes that fit.

Emotionally, I have my ups and downs. I am bored and lonely. I miss Jake and Kali Cat and the life we had together. I miss our home and all the green, the mountains and water. I find it disturbing to think that this is what my life is going to be for the next umpteen years, alone and just getting by. I will be out of money soon and will have to go back to work full time. I hated the job I had over the winter. Not so much the job itself, but all the under currents, nepotism, and the fact that I never felt like I fit in. It wasn't a good fit for me. Of course, it has been many, many years since I have worked for someone else and having someone tell me what I can and cannot do. The pay was above minimum wage, but not by much. My paychecks were less than 1k a month. Not enough to live on, but it helped keep me from depleting my savings over the winter allowing me to take some time off now. I don't like having to work. I really enjoyed being retired. I was never bored as there was always something to do, something new to learn.

I am used to being alone. I have been most of my life. Ten years wasn't enough with Jake. We had plans. I often wonder where or what we would be doing if he hadn't gotten sick. I pretty much followed through with our plans on my own, bought the motor home, sold everything and hit the road. But we would probably still be traveling if we were together.

I am disappointed that I won't be going northeast this summer. I can't really afford a trip like that, and I don't want to drive the 7k mile round trip hauling a trailer and all by myself. It was one thing in the motor home when I didn't have a destination in mind, but this isn't a trip I want to do alone. It scares me. So many things could go wrong. Now that I have the trailer almost done, I can take off for a week or two at a time and I hope that I will. At least I know I can and have the trailer sitting there waiting to do just that.

So that is where I am right now. I don't like to write about the negative, and if I don't have anything positive or exciting to write about I don't write. I am hoping now that I am done working I will have more to write about and will be happier. At least until I have to start working again. I still have several years before retirement age and not enough money to see me through, so I will have to go back to work, but plan on enjoying a little time off first.

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Argentine Giant Cactus

The Argentine Giant cactus next door is blooming. The buds just sort of popped out of nowhere, and I watched them open yesterday afternoon, and they were fully open this morning. Sadly, they will be gone by mid day.

Nine blossoms with more buds in the works.

Started out like this yesterday morning...

Opened throughout the day.....

This morning....

And the blossoms are huge!

And a close up with my phone. Nice photo, but not quite in focus so I went and took the top photos with the real camera.

I have been enjoying my weekend off. Haven't done a lot knowing that I will have all of next week to do whatever I don't do this weekend. I am looking forward to having my days to myself again. I have a lot to do, a lot I want to do, and can't do much of anything while I am working. I still don't know how I managed all those years to work full time and still have a life. 

The golf cart is back and looks a whole lot better. Keith did a good job cleaning her up. Still back fires tho. Will get that figured out at some point. Am going to try the cover on it today as it is supposed to rain Friday and I can't put it under cover. 

Chad and SusAnn left yesterday morning. I will be using their covered driveway for my car this summer. Handy, just the other side of the back fence. I am grateful to be able to put the car under cover and out of the summer sun. I don't use it much in the summer and all that sun isn't good for it or my new tires.

Today I have to go to the post office and pick up a few things at the store. I am now in "economy" mode since I won't be having any more paychecks, although I don't know how much more thrifty I can be. I don't really spend a lot of money, (Yeah, I know, the trailer and the golf cart were not necessities, a girl has to have some fun tho.) it is more about keeping expenses down at this point and keeping myself entertained indoors when it is 120 degrees outside. It just might be watercolors this year. Have had the materials for a couple of years now, time to figure out if it is something I can do.