I may chat about my books, what I'm writing or reading, or just general thoughts. You may read posts about my cats or just my crazy life in general. Comments are welcome, if anyone wants to interact with me. Maybe we can share war stories, whether it's writing related or just about life in general.

Sunday, August 5, 2018

Critters in the desert

Somehow all these little creatures thrive here.  I’ not sure how they do it with the extreme heat and the cold in the winters.  We’ve had lots of visitors.  I even saw a baby squirrel yesterday, but by the time I got the camera it was gone.  So I put peanuts out in hopes it would come back.  I had to go to work so I don’t know if it did or not.  I hope so.

We even have a huge grasshopper now that I’m sure is feeding on my few living plants.  Where are the roadrunners when you need them?  LOL

Enjoy the pictures.

Birds at the water bowl

Desert toad


Quail family



Thursday, July 26, 2018

A helpful hint

At my new place of employment there’s an older lady who transferred from another store.  I can always tell when “Mary” has worked because there will be price stickers stuck on everything.  I’ve tried to help her out by giving her some hints on how to avoid this, but she isn’t interested in any constructive criticism, no matter how much it’s sugar-coated.  And she seems not to care if there are stickers all over our department.  She’s oblivious to any kind of mess.

All this stuff looks crappy around our workplace and so I set out trying to scrape it all off.  These things must have super glue because it takes me several hours between customers to get them all up.  I know the next time “Mary” works it’ll be the same situation.  I keep hoping she’ll get better.  The price tags come out of the printer sticky side up, so I’m not exactly sure how she manages to get them sticky side down and stuck onto everything.  It takes good old elbow grease and a wet rag to get them off after scraping with my fingernail.

Hand sanitizer - not a real clear shot

A young man working for us told me to try hand sanitizer on them, so I did.  Guess what?  It works!  Who knew?  So I have a tiny bottle in my pocket.  If I squirt that on it and smooth it around, it’ll come off after sitting a few minutes.  I thought this may come in handy to know when we bring things home with those stickers that leave behind tons of sticky glue to remove.  Try this some time.  I think you’ll be surprised.

Monday, July 23, 2018

Who knew such beauty grows in the desert

The desert is a very harsh place, as I’ve said before.  It’s so hot and dusty in the summers that it’s a wonder anything survives.  I always feel bad for the critters who call this home.  Somehow they endure, although I’m sure some of them parish in the heat, or the extreme cold when food is hard to find.

There are very few plants that stay alive here.  We all think of cactus and sagebrush when we think of the desert landscape.  Today I wanted to share the Texas sage plant with you.  

These pics are from the Texas Smart Scape website.  I couldn't find the ones I took and downloaded.  They are vibrant purple.  These pictures don't do this plant justice.

These bushes thrive here and get loaded with flowers like this about four times a year.  This plant is so stunning it takes my breath away.  They can be spotted all over when in bloom like this.  The blooms last quite a while too.

Sunday, July 15, 2018

Do you believe in ghosts?

To set the mood - photo from unsplash

This might be a controversial subject because I think people either do or don’t and there is no middle ground.  My husband is one of the don’ts, but I definitely do.  I know at least some of my family members’ do, as well, having seen ghosts themselves.

The reason I’m even bringing this up is because I think my sister-in-law visited me about three weeks ago.  She was such a wonderful person and has been gone a number of years now.  She came to see me the day she died.  I was sitting in the closet putting on my makeup when she appeared in the doorway, a ghostly shape dressed in white.  I think she came to say goodbye.

This is my sister-in-law not long before she passed away.  RIP

Since then I’ve seen shadows out of the corner of my eye but I’m not really sure if the light is playing tricks with me, or she’s just checking on me.  Anyway I was in the shower about three or four weeks ago and a small jar of eye cream went flying off the shelf in my closet.  My closet doesn’t have a door so I can see in there while in the shower.  That bottle was at least six inches from the edge.  I just couldn’t figure out how it tumbled to the floor all on its own.  Then I thought it might be her checking on me again.

I know some of you are probably wondering why I put my makeup on in the closet.  I have no other place and the lights are good in there.  I keep my makeup and magnifying mirror on a shelf in the closet, so it’s convenient to sit on a stool and do my face every day.  Weird I know, but I have to work with what I have.

Have a great day everyone.  It’s to the shower and off to work for me.  I hate the night shift, but we all have to share.

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Overrun with roadrunners

This roadrunner is looking at the cats through the big windows in the back

This sure has been the case over the last month.  We’ve had five of them hunting aggressively in our yard and surrounding desert.  Most of the lizards are gone.  I imagine they probably became lunch, or dinner, for these hungry guys.

Roadrunner taking a rest on the wall

At first we were very surprised to see so many at one time because a pair is the most we’ve seen at once since we’ve lived here.  Then we began to think it was the parents showing their “kids” how to hunt. 

If you remember last year I wrote a post about a roadrunner nest in a tree on the vacant lot next door.  I think the little rascals have probably built another nest over there this year and that’s why we have so many roaming about. 

The young ones aren’t really afraid of us and jump into the tree next door quite a bit.  I haven’t had time to go out there and look around for a nest, but I bet I’d find one.  This particular tree is just like the one the roadrunners nested in last year, but it’s quite bushy and thick and hangs over our wall a bit.

Here's the lizard in the fireplace

As I mentioned, we had a lizard living in the fireplace a few years ago and another one had moved in and was entertaining the cats.  It’s since disappeared.  I suspect it’s become roadrunner food.  It’s been missing about two weeks now.  The cats still look for it in the fireplace, as do we.  I like the lizards because they eat all the bugs.  And yes, we have bugs in the desert.  There are many things that survive here, which seems incredible to me.  I know it must be a hard life, but I’m sure they don’t know any different being born here.  The same situation we all had as kids, not realizing what humidity was because it was just hot in the summers.

A roadrunner proud of his catch

These roadrunners have stopped traffic once on our street that I know of.  One had caught a chipmunk and the others gave chase hoping to get some of it, I guess.  They were actually running down the road.  Traffic going by had to stop in awe.  I was off work that day and looked out just in time to see this spectacle.  I wish I had had the time to grab the camera and take a quick video.  But roadrunners run fast and they all soon disappeared onto the vacant lot next door.  I lost sight of them in the scrub brush.

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Is there ever enough time for everything?

I think I must be kidding myself into believing this.  I’m the eternal optimist and always think I’ll get to it, but I have to admit one day goes by and then another and soon a week or two has gone by.  I still haven’t accomplished writing one post in over a month’s time.  There’s a lot going on in my life, but still you’d think I could manage one post in thirty days.  Wouldn’t you?

It’s hard to believe it’s been so long.  Impossible even for me.  I promise to get something out here in the next day or two.

One thing is for sure, it’s burning up here in the desert.  We’ve had 104 several days now.  It’s still 90 when I hit the sack at midnight.

We have another lizard in the fireplace entertaining the cats.  I have a new job, a messy house and I’m way behind in doing everything.  I’ve also had a couple of adventures.  I have some pictures I haven’t had time to download yet and a website I’m trying to revamp.  I’ve been reading too trying to get myself inspired to finish my mystery series.  Who else better to inspire one than Stephen King?  I can never put his books down.

Monday, April 30, 2018

Z is for Zirconia

Most of you know this as synthetic diamond and probably a few of you have some of these gems at home.  They are sparkly and beautiful and can be almost any color.

It may surprise you to know that the main use of zirconia is in the production of ceramics as in dentistry.  It’s used in reconstruction, such as crowns or bridges.  Stabilized zirconia is used in oxygen sensors.  It also has potential applications as an insulator in transistors.

A brilliant cut cubic zirconia - pic courtesy of Wikipedia

When used in jewelry it has a high index of refraction and the same crystal structure as diamond.  It’s very difficult to determine the difference of a diamond and zirconia by visual testing alone.  A thermal conductivity test needs to be performed.  Diamond is a good thermal conductor where zirconia isn’t.