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, March 31, 2013

Just another Day in the Desert

Palo Verde Tree - Sunni's Photo's

Palo Verde Blossoms - Sunni's Photo's

There is not much going on here except LOTS of yard work. The winter was very hard on everything. Sadly, we lost a large Palo Verde tree and possible some palms as well. They aren’t looking too great now. Neither is my elephant’s foot that I brought with me from CA. I wrap it every winter and keep it pulled up close to the house and it has been fine until this year. I would hate to lose it after all these years. I rescued it from the trash back in 1979. I am thankful that I always put my purple clover and my plumeria in the garage. It is still there, as it isn’t supposed to be in temperatures less than forty degrees. I’ll put them on the patio soon, as it is around fifty now at night.

Elephants Foot - Flower Shop Garden Website

At least we have buds and small leaves on some of the trees. Others won’t come out until late in April.

After taking yesterday off to relax our tired muscles from all the physical labor, we will be trimming the palms trees this weekend. My husband always gets the chainsaw out. That is quite a job because we have to cut the fronds up to fit them into the trashcan once they are off the tree. They don’t allow you to take them to the landfill either because they don’t disintegrate like other yard clippings. It takes a long time, so you can see why island people use them to make thatch roofs. It will take several weeks to get rid of all of them because there will be no room left in the trashcans. Luckily, one year they let us take them to the city dump that they set up for certain types of yard waste. It amazes me that they totally filled the bed of my husband’s truck. We had to squash them in there, even then.

Starting tomorrow, you will see a different post on here everyday because I am using this blog for the A to Z Challenge. I’m writing about a broad spectrum of subjects. Please stop by and leave a comment. Thank you for reading, posting, and following me.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Fond Memories of the Hay Meadow

This is a repost from April 2012

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Yes that is what comes to mind when Easter rolls around. I guess we probably had a different childhood than most people. We grew up on a farm and things were very tight when you tried to raise a family of seven on a farmer’s income. I’m not sure how my parents managed it at times.

But we had plenty of chickens and would color eggs before Easter. Somehow my dad always managed to find the money to get a package of that La Paz Easter egg dye every year. We would mix the different colors in cups or bowls and then “ooh” and “aah” as we moved the eggs around with a spoon until they were just the right color. You can imagine the five of us girls crowded around a small kitchen counter to do this. My two brothers weren’t all that interested in coloring eggs.

On Sun rnorning we would all pile into the old pink and white station wagon and my parents would drive us all down the road to the hay meadow to look for eggs. At some point daddy must have gone out to hide them in the clumps of hay. He was always gone tending the crops so we probably thought nothing of him leaving the house. He would get a couple packages of those candy eggs too to mix in with the bunch of chicken eggs we colored and all of us kids would squeal with delight as we stumbled over each other to get out of the car and attack the hay meadow. You have to understand we never did much at all growing up, so this was definitely an event.

That afternoon we would sit around and look at our treasures as we ate the stuff and “oohed” and “aahed” again at all the beautiful colors. We rarely had any sweets either so we gorged ourselves on those sweet eggs and practically got sick every year, but it was worth it. That stood out as a high point in our lives growing up. We still talk about it today as adults.

I guess it’s a good thing that hay was never harvested until after Easter. It gave us kids something to look forward to every year. There was certainly no other place on the farm to hide Easter eggs. That spot was perfect.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

What’s going on? It’s been Slim-pickings in the Food Department Lately

Tootie - Sunni's Photo's

I’m sure this is exactly what is going through Tootie’s mind, as she begs for food every night at dinner. The last few days we’ve had soup, or hummus and flatbread. This is nothing she would want. I’m sure that she is wondering where the piece of chicken or fish is.

Our vet in CA years ago used to say it was okay to give the cats people food, as long as it was lean chicken, fish, or meat, not fried or spicy, so we got in the habit of giving them a few bites. The other two cats rarely want any, but Tootie has always been the gourmet, even since she wondered up to our door. I think she’s had “people food” all her life and she expects it. However, this cat will eat about anything. She is particularly fond of Italian food. One time we had spaghetti and she gobbled up big chunks of stewed tomatoes. I’ve never seen a cat eat tomatoes, but it didn’t seem to hurt her. However, I am careful about what she gets and how much.

Lately, she has just had this dejected look thinking she is deprived. But it is cold here again, so soup is back on the menu. Things froze again last night and the wind was awful, slamming things against the house all night and howling under the eaves and around the corners. It is still blowing today, but not as bad as last night. It is very chilly out and you would never know it is almost the end of March around here, if you didn’t look at the calendar. I hope it gets nice soon. This is unheard of for where we live.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Happy Spring!

Bradford Pear Tree - Sunni's Photo's

Spring is here and a not a minute too soon for me. It comes with sneezing and coughing. I can’t avoid the allergies and my asthma acting up, but I am so glad winter is over! It’s worth it to me to stay up a few nights sneezing and coughing my head off.

I want to share some pictures with you. Sadly, we lost some plants this year due to the harsh winter, but this tree in the corner offers hope and new beginnings of warmer weather coming. So far, it is the only thing with blooms on it here in our yard.

I washed the cat’s winter throws over the weekend and put those away for the summer. While I was at it, I patched up seven kitty quilts that I have scattered around the house. They needed it after fifteen or so years. Now, as soon as I recover from all the tree and shrub cutting, we will tackle the cat tree. We have to put new rope on it once a year and it’s a big job, being about seven feet high and weighing fifty or so pounds. We have to drag it out onto the patio, take all the old tattered rope off and staple new on. It takes all day because pulling the old rope off takes a lot of muscle and pliers. It’s in too bad of shape to post a picture of it.

Kitty Quilt Repair - Sunni's Photo's

My husband also captured this bird of prey sitting on our wall the other day. He looks proud of his kill doesn’t he?
Bird of Prey - Sunni's Photo's

That is life in the desert. It can be hard and treacherous for animals, not only from the weather conditions, but also from predators. I’m sure this kind of thing happens daily, but this is the first we have seen anything quite this graphic.

Happy spring everyone for those of you living above the equator. Go out, plant some flowers, and rejoice in the birdsong. We are busy cutting back dead bushes. There is no end to that this year.

Of course, I’m still working on the posts for the A to Z too, and on the edits for my mystery novel. Then there’s all the weeding out to do, to get ready to move. Big sigh....

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Happy St. Patty’s Day!

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I hope all of you have a great day! Time to drag out your green and maybe have some corned beef and cabbage.

Last year it was raining, but it is nice this year and sunny with temperatures in the 70’s. I’m thankful for that. We have a few buds on the trees now, so spring is on the way. The desert behind us is very green this year because of all the rain we had over winter, better than snow though, although it was cold enough for it.

I am so sore from trimming bushes in the yard that I can hardly lift my arms. What’s worse is that we filled up three very large trashcans and it looks like we haven’t even made a dent in the job yet. I’m out of trashcans, so I’m taking a day off.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Finally Warm Enough to Open the Windows!

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This day was a long time coming this year. We were out trimming on bushes this morning. The cold winter really hit the poor plants hard. We are sprucing up the yard between other things, trying to get the house ready to put the for sale sign up. Unfortunately, we have to address a couple issues inside too, like the window screens.

I’m also working on taxes in between. I’m not sure if I’ll finish up this week or not.

I’m leaving the house now to meet up with a gal that I’ve been corresponding with in Panama. She’s in the States visiting. She’s going to some of the national parks, seeing friends and family. Zion National Park is close to me.

I’ll write about this later. I’m going to pick her brain.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

How Low Will You Stoop For Money?

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On the front page of Thursday’s newspaper, there was an article about a thief cutting off the tail of a local horse. I didn’t know this, but there seems to be a black-market for such items. Apparently, people use them in western wear, and in artwork.

This happened in a small town about twenty minutes north of me and sometime in the afternoon because the owner looked in on the horse earlier in the day. She discovered the tail missing when she went to feed it before dark.

The thief had the gall to do this in the middle of the day. Now the poor horse has issues because it’s embarrassed that its tail is missing. It only has a stub there now, so the vet told the woman to rig up a tail to tie on back there until his grows back. This can be a traumatic experience for horses because take great pride in their tails.

I know times are hard around here, but you would think that people could come up with some other way to make money and not pick on the poor defenseless animals.

Many horse owners don’t take the best care of their animals anyway, in my opinion. A lot of them don’t even provide shelter from the scorching sun we have here in the summers. When there are no trees to get under, you would think they would build a lean-to type structure. Every year there are numerous letters to the editor of the paper about the poor animals left to suffer in the sun.

There isn’t a lot that surprises me anymore. I do think this is animal cruelty, and I hate to see that. Let’s hope this isn’t the start of more episodes of tail cutting around here. What is your opinion on this?

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Time for Two Events Again – Taxes and the Time Change

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I always hate dusting off the old calculator to mess with the tax junk, but unfortunately, this is an unavoidable evil. Of course, I’d rather be writing than dealing with anything having to do with the government.

Getty Images

On another note, it time to play with the clocks again. The only good thing about this is that I know spring and summer are not far away. These are my two favorite seasons, and much better than changing the time back again in the fall when I know dreaded winter is next.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

I Survived Another Winter!

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This about says it all for me, once March rolls around. I know we don’t have it as bad as a lot of the country, but I am definitely NOT a winter person! Sometimes, I wonder how I was ever able to spend five years of my life in Alaska.

We are FINALLY out of the freezing temperatures for this year, I think. The weather forecast was for 70 today, but I’m just glad it’s 64. That almost seems like a heat wave right now. I know the animals are happy too. They love this sunshine, the birds chirping away, and the rabbits are hopping around in the desert out back. We must have at least two dozen chipmunks on our patio begging for peanuts.

Everything is coming back to life, although winter hit a few of the plants and trees hard this year. It will take a lot of trimming to get them in shape, on the ones that were able to survive. Once it gets a little warmer, lots of yard work is in store.

I peeked at my flowers that I push up next to the house and cover with a heavy blanket. It delights me to see that they are green. I only lost two of those and one has a large orange bloom on it. This is exciting. I wonder at the mystery of how it can bloom under a blanket with no daylight. Nature is amazing, isn’t it?