Monday, June 27, 2016

Catching up

It has been a week since I updated. I worked seven days in a row. I got called in on Monday because one of the cashiers was sick, and it has been an absolutely crazy week. I'm dropping weight really fast. I'm eating less and moving a lot more, so my new jeans are already too big. I tried on the pants that were too small when I bought them, and they fit. No surprise really since you are constantly on the move and it is so hot at work there is water running down your face constantly. My cool tub has gotten a real workout this last week.

I did my first solo closing last night. I almost made it without screwing up, but not quite. I'm hoping the next one goes better. I close Thursday thru Sunday this week. I have plenty more chances to figure out what I did wrong. There are a few other things I am doing wrong that I need to figure out too. Plus, I need to learn how to do no receipt returns. I had to ask a customer to come back today because I couldn't figure it out last night.

I got caught up with Howard the other day. Barbara is having more issues. They keep finding tumors and cancerous spots. This time she has some areas in her head. Not good.

I managed to get the sewing machine out the other day and caught up on all the little sewing projects I had waiting. I made the purple pillow covers, put a pocket in the beach towel I have on the chair, remade the neck pillow for the chair, shortened the body pillow cover so that it fits now, and a couple other little things. I think I am going to leave the sewing machine set up on the desk for a while since the desk isn't really being used other than to hold the laptops. I never sit at my desk when I am using the little one which is the one I use unless I am doing web site work. The few times I use the big one I can set it on the table.

Yesterday morning I ordered a bench and a little amish wagon for the yard. Assembly required. But I had about $35 in store and AMEX points, so it reduced the cost, and the wagon was basically free. The green wagon was twice the price, good thing I wanted the red one. 

The bench is going to go at the front end of the house. It needs a little somethingthere. I will put the two little red plant stands on either side. Not sure where thewagon is going to go, but I will find a spot. It was my splurge for the week.

I have also turned the AC down a little. Since I am now working and bringing in a paycheck I can be a little more comfortable. I had it at 80 yesterday and was comfortable, but turned it back up to 84 before I went to work. I may go a happy medium to 82 and just leave it there. Supplement with fans. Last year I kept it at 80, but since it was my first summer, that was warm.

I am so tired of being hot all the time. I thought when I went to work that one of the bennies would be good AC. Boy was I wrong.

I have a few chores to do today, but I cleaned yesterday so I don't have to do that today. I need to go to the post office, Sal's and maybe Roadrunner for some produce. The rest I will wait to buy when I finish work on Wednesday. I want to stay as far away from DG as I can on my days off. I plan to relax, read, soak in the cool tub, nap and generally relax for the next two days. Get my chores done early in the day so I can do just that.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Not much of a weekend

Sunday I ended up driving the neighbors to the emergency room in Parker. Rusty was having some serious trouble with his hernia. Lois can't drive because of her eyesight. Left here about 9:30 and got back at 1. Just in time for a quick soak in the cool tub and then lunch/dinner at Silly Al's at 2. The rest of the day I just relaxed.

Nice sculpture outside the emergency room.

I was supposed to have yesterday off too but I got called in to work. I did a five hour shift of stocking shelves. This store is way, way behind in stocking and has a back room just full of inventory. Literally. Inventory is due in three weeks and we will never be caught up and every week another shipment comes in. Thus the new store manager.  I didn’t even put a dent in it. I am getting the hang of stocking, only had to ask a couple of questions. Today I am supposed to do some more training modules which means I will be in the office which is cooler. The thermometer on my car read 127 degrees when I got in it after work. The coolest it got over night was 90 degrees.

We hit 123 degrees on the patio yesterday, in the shade. 

My tank water hit 92 degrees and wasn’t refreshing, but it was wet which did help some. Still slightly lower than body temp. Although it drained on me last night so I had to refill it. The return tube popped out because the shade cloth got blown around in the wind. I slept OK thanks to my swamp cooler. Glad I decided to try it in the bedroom, it makes a huge difference. Keeps the room about 78 degrees. 

The neighbors pulled in last night. Not sure how long they will be here. I like it better when they are gone.

I diid get everything done yesterday morning that I wanted to get done. Had done my watering, gotten rid of the garbage and checked in on Rusty and Lois. Rusty seemed to be a lot better.

My cactus bloomed over night. I wasn’t expecting it this soon so I didn’t get the time lapse camera set up.

Today I work 8 to 2. Tomorrow 5 to 11 AM. The store is open from 7 AM to 10 PM. I much prefer the morning shifts. I have two days off next week.

There are clouds in the sky this morning. Monsoon season started last week. We haven’t gotten any rain yet but probably will very soon.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

1st day

This will be a quickie this morning as I have to be at work at 6 AM. It is stocking day. We will have two hours to get as much on the shelves as possible before the store opens. Starting Saturday the store will open at 7 AM. I’m a morning person, but even that is a little early for me. I guess I will adjust.

Yesterday was fine. I spent four hours on training on the computer and two hours on the register. There is a lot to learn and even more since I will be a key holder. Hard to say after only one day, but I think it is going to be OK. I’m only about a third of the way thru the online training. Get this, instead of counting money when the drawers are opened and closed, the money is weighed, including the bills. What a time saver! And cashiers don’t count out their own drawers.

After I got home I changed the water in the cool tub. The morning bleach did not clear up the tank. The whole process took about two hours. The tank was emptied in about an hour with the sump pump, and then refilled in another hour. The water coming out of the hose was 92 degrees, so it was more like a bath than cooling off. 

I wore the lighter pair of jeans that I got which was good because I was warm. I wonder if they would be willing to put a little fan behind the register? It was comfortable in the office, but the register is right by the door which is open a lot. I’m glad I bought four shirts, I think I am going to need them.

I am certainly going to get my exercise. I will be wearing my tracker, so it will be interesting to see how much. Being a key holder means I will be spending most of my time on the floor.

Guess that is about it for me this morning. Not much else to write about. My back hurts this morning - it is the change in shoes. And my feet hurt last night after only two hours of standing. Good thing I have a huge bottle of Aleve.

Looking forward to my first paycheck.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Starting a new job

Today I start my new job at Dollar General. I was hired as a full time lead sales associate. What that means is that I will be a head cashier. Need the money, the job was available. I have been dealing with the lengthy hiring process for about two weeks now. Even had to do a drug test.

I hope I like the job. It pays a hair better than the hardware store and has bennies. I'm not due to go back to the hardware store until October, so I should know by then if I will stay at DG or not. It isn't anything to write home about, but it is a job and it is close to home. I could walk if I wanted to. But it is another job on my feet, so that probably isn't going to happen. Looking for a bicycle that I could ride to work. Could use the scooter too. Today I will be bringing the car. It is too hot right now to be out in the sun dressed head to toe in black.

I had to go buy some black pants and polo shirts as my uniform. That in itself was a screw up. Went to Walmart first, 70 mile round trip. But I didn't try on the pants before I bought them, had tried a different size and went up a size since the ones I tried on were tight. When I got home, the ones I bought didn't fit either. Sigh...Since I am starting work today and need the pants, I got back in my car and went to Blythe, 44 mile round trip. I hate the trip to Parker and didn't want to do it twice in one day. Got what I needed at Kmart. So the uniform thing took pretty much the whole day and a lotta miles. I would have gone back to Sal's but they closed at 1 and I didn't look at black pants while I was there earlier. I oculd have left it for this morning, but there was a good chance I wouldn't find what I needed. It was stressing me out.

I did pick up a few other things while I was at Walmart in the morning. Grabbed a couple of beach towels for the cool tub, some fruit, batteries, etc. I did not get a bunch of stuff that was on my list as this isn't a full Super Walmart and they don't have a lot of stuff. I will have to go somewhere else or order the rest of my list online.

The problem with the beach towels is that they are almost a perfect match to the blanket I have on the couch. I didn't realize that when I picked them up. They were the least offensive design that was there. Now they are being re designated to my chair. It needed sprucing up.

I picked up some pretty purple satin material at Sal's for the two gray pillows on the couch. You can see it to the right on the couch. Looks really nice in person. And the new towels are on the chair. I will have to haul out the sewing machine soon and do some sewing. I have several things waiting to be stitched.

I looked at bikes again while I was at Walmart. Didn't think to look at KMart while I was there. But didn't find one I wanted. I want either a single or three speed simple bike, and apparently you can't buy those anymore. I found one I liked, but it is yellow. Ugh! I don't want a yellow or pink or purple bike. Red or blue would be good.
This is the one I wanted, but not yellow! Even the tires are yellow!

KMart has it in green, I could live with that but it is $50 more. 

Will have to keep looking I guess.

My cool tub murked up yesterday. Guessing not enough chlorine. I added a half cup of bleach this morning and it is finally reading on the test strips. Hoping it will have cleared up by the time I get home this afternoon as I am sure I will be ready to cool off by then. If not, I will have to change the water. I have my sump pump now so I can empty it out much faster than the first time. Probably less than an hour. It took several hours just draining it with the hose.

Saturday, June 11, 2016


Yesterday was actually quite productive. I took the cardboard and trash to the dumpster with the golf cart, cleaned out the fridge, and since I had to go to DG, I hit the post office and gas station since I didn’t fill up when I got back from Blythe the other day. It was too hot. Also picked up another bag of ice. If I am conservative, I use about a bag a week. 

While I was out with the golf cart I made my stops at the places I am supposed to be keeping an eye on. At one place I took some pictures. There was a palm tree just full of bees! I didn’t realize it until I was right under it, so I took some pictures with my phone. In one of the pictures, I got more than I expected….

Look in the lower left of the picture. See the black and white stripes? I didn’t see it until I looked at the picture, it is a King Snake. I wish I had seen it so I could have gotten a better picture of this snake 15ft up a palm tree. I had an experience and didn’t even know it. Was probably after dove eggs.

Here are a couple pics of the bees in the palm…I went back with a better camera, but didn’t dare get close enough to find the snake. Bees out here can be dangerous.

Baby bunny from yesterday..To give you an idea of it’s size, it is smaller than a mourning dove. So cute!

And a closeup of my Tarantula Hawk Wasp that comes every morning for water. It has already been here this morning.

The little lizard that hangs out under the bench by the shed…

I sliced my limes and the cherry tomatoes that were getting ready to go bad and put them in the food dryer. I still have my pineapple that I will cut today, some peppers and a cuke. I need to do something with those. Now that I have the dryer, I don’t feel so bad if I don’t get the stuff eaten immediately. It has a second chance as a dehydrated fruit or veggie.

Tossing around some home improvement ideas. Maybe enclose the back end of the patio where the cool tub is. That would give me an additional room. Lots of add on rooms here. We’ll see. Nothing I can do right now anyway. I should deal with the ugly wall paper, cupboards and floors first. And it will take time to get the funds together to do that. Working isn’t going to make me rich, but I do hope I will be able to save a few dollars. Get my stash back up to where it is supposed to be and maybe do a few things around the house.

I could make it a solar room, everything in it running off solar…that would be a fun project. Jake would have had fun with that too. Something to think about. The back set of brick steps would have to go or be modified. Not sure how that would work. Will have to think about that.

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Couch and safety rails

Not much to write about this morning as I haven’t done a whole lot this week. My intentions are good, but it just doesn't happen. I read a lot, and then started watching The Gilmore Girls again. It has been a couple of years since I have watched that and TV is so bad right now. I hate reality shows and game shows and that seems to be all that is on now that the season has ended.

Here is a picture of my new little couch. I stretched out on it and I think it is going to be fine for sleeping, and I like that I can adjust the sides. Much more comfortable than the sleep ottoman. I like to have my head raised when I sleep and I can do that with this one. It is small, but I am pleased with it. Will have to figure out what furniture to remove at some point, but it works for now. I used my mexican blanket to cover it temporarily, but will be looking for some bright jewel tone colors to put on it. Thankfully was an easy assembly once I figured out which leg went where. They were curved and not marked, so I had to play with them to figure out what leg went on what corner.


Have just been looking at railings and things online for my steps. There is no easy fix without destroying the steps, which I like, but am afraid of. For now I am going to get another grab bar for the back side of the steps. If there had been one there before, I wouldn’t have fallen. I still have the scrapes and bruises from that.  I can’t find a rail that matches, but I did find one that I can afford. It is close, same size but chrome instead of brushed nickel. I’m thinking at some point I will just build a little deck over the steps that can be removed if I decide to sell. I hate to destroy the steps. It would change the whole appearance of the patio which is what sold me on the place to begin with. Or I will continue to look for an affordable railing that can be installed without ruining the brick work. I knew those steps would get me at some point.

While I was looking at those, I also looked at a safety rail for the cool tub. Found one I really like but it is $100. The base tucks under the tub so no hard mounting required, and would allow me to stand upright getting in and out instead of bending over to hang on to the side of the tub. I will be ordering that at some point because my tub is definitely a keeper and I want to make it safe.

My tarantula hawk (huge wasp) seems to come in every morning about the same time for a drink of water. That is pretty kool that a bug will do that. I will have to get the pictures on the big camera downloaded soon. 

My garden is just about over. Most everything seems to be shriveling up in the heat, so I think I am just going to let it all go and stop watering. I need to get some water to the palm tree, and I can get that hooked up fairly easily so that it is on the watering system. When we had those warm temps last week, the geranium that got sun for a couple of hours baked. The other one is ok, but it isn’t growing big and beautiful like I want, it is staying too compact. I guess I will have to change varieties to get the bigger plants, which means I will have to change colors too. The tomato plant is done and gone. I did save a couple of tomatoes for seed tho.

Guess that is about it for this morning. Nothing on the agenda for today. We hit 111 yesterday, tomorrow is only supposed to be about 100. Nights in the 70’s. The swamp cooler in the bedroom is working out pretty well. I fire it up about eight-ish and close the bedroom door with the ceiling fan on, and it is just about right for going to sleep. Keeps my neck from getting too warm and preventing me from falling asleep. I can’t sleep when I am sweating. Ugh!

Monday, June 6, 2016

Hit 120 degrees

We hit 120 yesterday! I think the highest I have seen was 123 and that was in August of last year. Hoping it is only temporary and not a trend for the season. I spent a little while outside yesterday trimming the tomato plants, rearranging things on the bench so that the things I want to try to last a little longer will be in the shade. I also moved the palm tree so that it gets some shade now too and trimmed off the bottom fronds. All the stuff on the left I am going to try to keep a while longer, and the stuff on the right is done for the season. Will try again when it starts to cool off. Kept a couple of the tomato cuttings and am going to dry a tomato or two for the seed.

My argentine giant cactus is finally showing some growth. It has about an inch of new growth on the top. That has taken over a year. I’m glad it is finally coming into it.

Spent some time vacuuming and dusting, cleaned the bathroom. I also made a potato salad. Not sure if I am going to finish it tho. It upset my stomach. I’m thinking the mayo didn’t agree with me. I had a similar experience the last time I used the mayo. I hate to throw it out tho. I never have potatoes in the house and I love potato salad. I ended up having oatmeal for dinner because my stomach was still unhappy. The mayo is a different brand from what I usually buy.

I only had my windows open about an hour this morning. The temp outside was briefly lower than indoors so I took advantage of it while I could. Looks like the nights might be cooling down a little for a week or so. Upper 70’s. It was 78 degrees when I walked.

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Still hot

Made it to pick up my basket on time. There is a very small window to pick the stuff up. Then I hit the post office and Herbs for a seed block. I took the dead bird to the dumpster after I got back before I parked the car.

This is this week’s haul. Happy to see a little more fruit this time.

The standard basket which is $15.

The additional salad pack which was ten something. I wasn’t happy with the romaine. I had to peel it back quite a bit. The bunnies loved it tho. Plus the spinach was a little bruised and the kale had yellow tips. I am not a huge kale fan, but I chopped it up and cooked it and cooked the spinach since it was bruised and would rot right away. The mangoes are a little soft, but everything else was in pretty good shape. The bananas this time still had their stems thankfully.

I had some of the butter lettuce with an egg and some tomatoes on a tortilla for lunch, and had some of the spinach and a baked potato for dinner. I want to make a potato salad with some of the potatoes.

We hit 117 yesterday. Today is supposed to be about the same. My cool tub was 89 degrees last night. I had to add some water as there was several gallons of evaporation. Tomorrow isn’t going to be much better. 

One of my geraniums baked yesterday. I guess it is time to let the “garden” go for the summer. It will be easier to setup watering with fewer pots to water. I may bring the surviving plants inside the patio to reduce the sun they are getting. As much as I love the color of those geraniums, the plants themselves grow funny. They stay small and I want big beautiful geraniums. I guess I am going to have to go with a different variety on the next ones. Will probably go with red. 

Todays agenda is to do a little cleaning, vac and dust. I might run some vinegar thru the washer as it is starting to smell, and I would like to figure out the plants that I am going to let go and the ones I want to try to save and rearrange accordingly. Although it is already 90 degrees and it is only a little after 6 AM. We’ll see how much I manage to do.

Saturday, June 4, 2016

It's hot day and night

We hit 112 yesterday. Will be interesting to see what today brings. Right now it is 80 degrees and it is only 5:30. I blew off walking this morning, just didn’t want to do it. I do have to shower and dress and get over to pick up my bountiful basket before 7, and I need to get a bird block for my critters. I can get that at Herbs, they open at 7 in the summer. 

I’m a little more sore from my fall this morning. I have a nice bruise on my right side and the leg hurts, but no visible bruise the last time I looked. All the skin scrapes are healing up.

I chopped up some of the green onion tops and put them out to dry in the dryer. They were getting quite tall and leggy. Didn’t do a whole lot else. Just tried to stay cool, drank lots and lots of water and read. Dipped in the tub a couple of times. Last night at 9, the water temp was 87 degrees and it was still 95 out.

Off to get my bountiful basket. Hoping for lots of good stuff.

Friday, June 3, 2016

A fall

Yup, that’s right, the steps finally got me. I am usually very careful as they scare me and I knew at some point I was going to fall on them. Well, I did late yesterday. Thankfully it was from the bottom and not the top. I have some scrapes and bruises, but all in all, very lucky. No sprains, nothing broken. Since the steps are round, I guess I tried to put my foot where there wasn’t any step, and then of course I lost my balance and down I went. I basically rolled down. My right rib and thigh, right foot, left shin, and right forearm. All sore and will be bruised. Lost a little skin on the right foot, right forearm and left shin. Nothing serious.

I just ordered a couch, or more accurately - a futon sleeper. I didn’t get the color I wanted, it was $80 more and I am planning on slip covering it anyway. I went with charcoal and pewter, still in the color scheme I have been using. Let’s hope I like it. I’m bored with the living room and I spend a LOT of time there. That is how I am justifying the purchase. I need a change.

This is the one I ordered. Same couch, just different colors than I had picked out. I will dress it up with colors from Sal’s. Or with some stuff I already have. I still have the red material that I had on the old couch. There is plenty I can do with it. Plus, it opens as a futon from the sides and makes into a bed.

I really don’t have much else this morning. Already 90 degrees at 7 AM, and this is the coolest part of the day. The heat is still building and tomorrow is supposed to be the worst, then a slow cool down to the lower 100's. 

The temps in the cool tub late yesterday was 86 degrees. Warmer than indoors, but still cooler than outdoors at the time. I may have to add ice to it from time to time. Although just getting wet cools me off. Will just have to wait and see.

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Already hot

I read most of the day again with several dips in the cool tub. Tried my yogurt. It is kind of runny, but tastes great. I’m doing much better with my eating and I think the Bountiful Basket helped with that. I had fresh produce in the house. Looking forward to this week’s basket. I think next week will be salad week since I added the salad pack. Hoping to have some stuff I can dehydrate too. If I start working, I won’t be able to do the bountiful baskets since the pick up window is so small.

Yesterday’s high was 112. Another night with closed windows and the swamp cooler going. But I had a rough night last night, woke up every two hours and ended up in the living room in the chair. My neck hurts this morning. I have to start remembering to pull my pillow away from the wall a while before I go to bed because it holds the afternoon heat and is too warm when I go to bed. Either that or just keep it away from the wall to begin with. That would make too much sense tho.

I’m tossing around the idea of starting a braided t shirt rug. I just pulled some tops from my drawers, but am not quite ready to get rid of them. It is an easy enough project, just have to get motivated enough to get it started.

Thinking I have enough red in the house and might start adding dark purple. I really like the bohemian color combos and would like a little bit here. Need more color.

I have nothing on the agenda for today. I am already roasting since I am on the patio in the morning sun. I didn’t walk this morning because when I finally woke up, it was after 5 and already over 80 degrees. Plus my neck hurt. That means I will have to walk on Saturday before I go get my basket at 7 AM. I try to walk 5 days a week. Sunday I usually take off and the second day is flexible. If I had walked today and tomorrow I could have skipped Saturday.

Guess that is about it. I did do a garbage run on the scooter yesterday. Stopped and got watering instructions and some frozen food from a couple that is leaving this morning. I watched their watering last year too. 

I think I will start the day with a dip in the cool tub. It is already hot out and is 80 or so degrees indoors. I need to consider a kool cover over the house. It would keep the heat off the roof and if I had it go down far enough, block the neighbors on the west side. It is pricey tho. I would also like to do some interior painting and replace the flooring...again, pricey.

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Today's high temp

Lots accomplished yesterday

So, yesterday was pretty busy. I did everything I had planned and more. I got all the zucchini and peppers cleaned sliced and roasted with onion and olive oil. They were just getting to the point where they were starting to go bad. I used the last of the three onions that came in my basket too. I did the brussels, and again, just in time. Quite a bit of waste. The bunnies will be happy about that. I should have added the last of the shrooms, but didn’t think about it until it was too late. I will do something else with those, maybe stuff them.

I went to the post office, DG and Sal’s. Dropped ten bucks at Sal’s but came out with a pretty good haul. Got some utensils for the trailer, TWO Victoria’s Secret bathing suits, a couple of tops, two wooden bowls for a project, some place mats and a cactus print place mat as well. I don’t usually spend that much, but the bowls were a buck each and I need them for a project. The bathing suits were a buck each too. Oh and I got a couple of bags. One orange zippy thing that I can carry my little camera in and a denim zip one with a painted front. 

This is what I want to make with the bowls…

I did try my hand at  making the yogurt. It took longer to get it to mix and set stage than I thought, but was very easy to do. I just heated a quart of milk in the crock pot until it hit 180 degrees, then let it cool to 120 and added a tablespoon of plain yogurt, then wrapped it in towels and let sit over night. It looked pretty good when I transferred it to a container, I just hope it will set up. I could probably do it faster on the stove than in the crock pot, but now I have an idea of the amount of time it will take for future reference.

I found some feathers yesterday that were different from any that I had collected before. I thought maybe a hawk, but Anna says pigeon.

I saw some pigeon feathers this morning and they weren't this large and were half white. So maybe something other than a pigeon.

My walk was interesting this morning. I pretty much chased a coyote around the park. I know he started out over here because Bea’s sensor light came on and I couldn’t see anything. Then I saw him at the end of A St (mine) when I started my walk. I came upon him again on F St having caught and was trying to have his breakfast (said brown pigeon), and then again back on A St when I was wrapping up my walk.

And last but not least, I got a picture of the tarantula hawk. It was a small one, about two inches. Looked like it was drinking water from the rocks near the fountain.

I did get pics with the big camera, so there will be better shots some other time. 

As for temps, I saw 106 yesterday and it will steadily get warmer through Saturday, then slowly drop into the low 100’s for another week. Then it will probably warm up again.

Not much on the agenda for today. I will probably take a scooter run to the dumpster, and several dips in the cool tub. I used it a couple of times yesterday. Last night I couldn’t open the windows because it never cooled down enough and I used the swamp cooler again in the bedroom. It makes a huge difference in there. It was quite a bit warmer in the living room than the bedroom when I got up this morning. I would be running a fan in the bedroom anyway, might as well be one that puts out cooler air.