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, July 28, 2013

The Weather Changes Fast in the Desert and other Crazy Events

Stormy Skies - Sunni's Photo's
Thursday it was 107 around here and Friday was 100.  The coming week is supposed to be in the 90’s.  In the late afternoons, we’ve been having a bank of very black skies roll up over the mountains.  We usually get thunder and lightning, but no rain, or very little.

 Friday afternoon the same thing happened, however, within minutes the wind was blowing about 60 MPH.  I’m not kidding!  The dust kicked up all around.  The red sand was so thick that it blocked out the black clouds in a dusty haze.


Stormy Skies - Sunni's Photo's
I was fixing dinner and we were about ready to serve up when the barbeque went whizzing past the kitchen window and off the patio.  It landed in the grass on its side.  This all happened so fast, within seconds, and this is no small barbeque either.  We got it up-righted, back on the patio, and pushed up against the wall of the house.
Of course, in all the commotion, a tree bent over near the breaking point, having come loose out of its tie, so we had to take car of that before it snapped off.  This kind of thing always happens with the wind around here, but is usually in the wintertime when we have to bundle up and try to stay warm at thirty degrees.  Naturally, after all this, we are very windblown and dinner is cold.
Then the wind stopped as suddenly as it started.  The dark clouds returned after the dust settled.  We had a thunder and lightning show. The good news is it brought the temperature down to 80 degrees.  This was a relief.


Cloud Rainbow - Sunni's Photo's
On Saturday, it was about 85 for a high, which is unheard of for July around here, so we decided to make use of this and work out in the storage area to see what we can weed out in preparation for our move later this year.  This turned out to be a trip into the world of nostalgia because I found a couple boxes of stuff I had moved with me when I left Alaska in the late 1970’s.  The mementoes have travelled with me to Oregon, then California, and most recently to Utah.  It will go with me to the next place as well because I cannot part with this stuff now.  Someday, I’ll post more about my nostalgia boxes.  Needless to say, we had to tape those back up and there was no time for reminiscing now, if we were going to accomplish anything.
When we came in a little after four in the afternoon, we were both hot and sweaty so we dug into the ice cream to cool off.  So what happens?  The ice cream scoop breaks!  We’ve had it for at least twenty years, so I wasn’t all that surprised.  I don’t think they even make that type anymore so that has to go on the shopping list.
Later when I’m cleaning up the dishes after dinner, I spot a shirtless man up on the bluff behind the house carrying a rifle and holding a can of beer.  Of course, no one is supposed to have guns back there in the desert land behind us.  We have to chase off teenage boys now and then with their pellet rifles because they go out there to hunt the wildlife.


Our neighbor - Sunni's Photo's
So my husband goes out and shouts at the man, who promptly tells him “he will blow his head off.”  Oh dear!  My husband comes in and calls the police.  The man comes toward the house with the rifle.  When he gets to the back wall, my husband recognizes him as our neighbor who hooked up our TV.  What to do now because the police are on the way?  My husband informs the neighbor and he says he is up there with his family.  He proceeds to drop the gun and his ammo over the wall and into our backyard.  Of course, the neighbor was joking; however, he quickly learned not to say something like that to anyone.  He walked back up the hill and soon his wife and three sons joined him on their bicycles.  They all waved at us.
The guy and his family went home and when the police arrived, we explained the situation.  Then my husband took the gun and ammo back down to the neighbor’s house after the police left.  I’m glad this doesn’t happen often.  Usually we have a quiet life compared to most.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Into Elephant’s Anyone?

Picture by Franz in Botswana
I thought this was a beautiful picture.  I like reflection pictures and the pink hue here is really nice.  Just wanted to share that.

 It’s been quite stormy here lately with thunder and lightning almost daily, but at least it’s cooler.  That’s a relief, even if it’s short-lived.

 I was at my neighbors a couple of days ago and she was so intrigued by the lightning show that we couldn’t even carry on a conversation.  I have to admit that the red rocks against the very black sky did make a stunning picture with the lightning forks coming down and branching out.  It is very hard to photograph lightning, almost impossible to click the camera at the right time.

 Aside from this and the usual things I have to do in daily life, I’m writing like mad most of the time, with my cat Koki by my side in the evenings.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Busy week

Free Clipart

I’ve been working on my book and trying to get a writers group going here with another writer that I met through Linked In who happens to live here.  So far, I haven’t had a lot of luck in either area, although I only have the ending to write in my novel now.  There for a while, I was making great strides with rewriting and doing about 2000 words a day.

On another note, I’m enjoying fresh veggies from my neighbor’s garden, which finally took off despite the heat here.  It’s been in the upper 90’s and low 100’s daily, however we do get very black skies around dinnertime.  The wind usually kicks up, we have thunder and lightning, but not much rain and it isn’t cooling things off at all.  The hot winds remind me of the Santa Ana’s we used to get while living in CA.

 FlickrCC - Roadhouse57
Beyond that, I have little to post today, so I’m sharing this cute kitten video.  Some of you may have seen this, but even so, it is too darn cute not to watch again.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Living in the Desert is a Trip

Jackrabbit - Sunni's Photo's
You never know what you’ll see in the desert.  Here is a young jackrabbit grazing on the bushes in my front yard.  They’re plentiful in the desert scrub behind my house.

Mockingbird - Wikipedia
Today we had three mocking birds playing around the backyard.  They were frolicking and having a good time.  Later in the day, a roadrunner came to drink out of the birdbath.  My husband chased it off before I could get a picture.  Chipmunks were running around at her feet and I think he thought she would decide to hunt.  Did you know the male roadrunner has an orange spot on its cheek where the female doesn’t?

Roadrunner - free clipart

 We have four lizards living on the patio and others scattered about the yard, so between them, the desert toads, and the bats that come out every night, they take care of many of the bugs.

Scorpion - free clipart
Last night there was a scorpion in our garage – a big four-inch scorpion.  We haven’t seen one in a long time.  Unfortunately I dint get a picture because it was on the move and we had to get it out of there.  My husband was out there barefoot and saw it right after he started thinking about scorpions and being out there barefoot.  They are cannibals, eating their own species if no other food is available.  The female eats the male after mating.  Did you know that scorpions could work their way into a sealed cardboard box?  Our garage door seals too so we think he flattened himself and got in that way.  And they can live for eighteen months with no food or water!  They are also cannibals eating their own species.  The female eats the male after mating.  It’s no wonder they live in the desert where things are scarce.

 Scorpions aren’t the only things that can flatten themselves.  We’ve seem grown rabbits get through a small space about 2 inches wide in the gate.  I swear they have flexible bones.

 About the only thing we haven’t seen lately are snakes and tarantulas.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Something of Interest to Hikers out There

Zion National Park - Subway
And you don’t necessarily have to be a hiker to enjoy these beautiful nature pictures.  Sometimes the displays of Mother Nature blow me away with their beauty.

                                             Zion National Park - Subway
I have a neighbor who is an avid hiker.  She rock climbs, rappels down cliffs, and rides rapids among other adventures.  One of her favorite places to go is to Zion National Park.  The Subway is a favored spot for hikers, but I must warn you this is not for the novice hiker.  This beautiful spot requires strength and endurance.  Not only is repelling down several cliffs involved, but it also requires swimming through two 40-degree pools.  (Year round, it is this temperature.)

Zion National Park - Subway

 There is such a waiting list to hike this canyon.  They only give out permits for 80 hikers a day and it is always booked up, despite it being somewhat dangerous.

Zion National Park - Subway

 So if you’re a hiker and are ever in southern Utah, you may want to try this adventure.  Most of us will never attempt his trip, so I wanted to post pictures of the beauty in this slot canyon.  Enjoy!

Zion National Park - Subway
Zion National Park - Subway

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Cats like to be the Center of Attention

This is okay most of the time, but can be annoying when you’re trying to read or sleep.  My cats definitely do their own thing and on their schedule.  When they want attention, they want it now.  At times like this there is nothing you can do.  Stopping everything and petting them for about ten minutes usually does the trick.  That’s all they want is ten minutes at a time usually.  After that, they are annoyed and ready to leave.


Koki - Sunni's Photo's

Koki - Sunni's Photo's
This one hates me to read the paper in the morning.  This is what she does almost everyday.  So I seldom get the paper finished unless I do it later in the day.  She also has a fetish with the dishwasher and has to keep watch when I run it because it makes noise.  I have no idea what she is thinking, perhaps that some monster will show up for her to tackle.


Comet - Sunni's Photo's
This one wakes me up at night, or prevents me from getting to sleep.  This is the pacer of the group.  Whatever I’m doing, she has to get on me and pace back and forth.  Se can’t stay still for two minutes.  She loves to stand in front of my monitor and walk on the keyboard.  This can be a very bad thing when I’m writing.  This only happens with the desktop, so lately I’ve had the laptop downstairs.  It is too hot upstairs right now anyway, but working downstairs presents another problem - noise.  I need quiet to work and can’t think with the TV or videos in the background.


Tootie - Sunni's Photo's
This cat is the gourmet.  She will beg from our plates every night and has always been this way since adopting us at about six months of age.  She is now thirteen.  If we give her food, it is lean meat, chicken, or fish with no breading or spices.  Our vet in CA used to tell us this was okay as long as the meat is lean.  Of course, she doesn’t get much anyway – just a taste and she seems to be okay with this, although she got to our plates once and scarfed up a couple of big chunks of tomato in the spaghetti sauce.  I’ve never seen domestic animals eat tomatoes.  She loves Italian food.


Do you have cat stories to share?

Sunday, July 7, 2013

OMG! It’s Hot!

Free Clipart

I’m making every effort to stay inside and out of this heat.  Wow!  It is 111 today and scheduled to be 113 for the next three days, then 110, 109, and 106.  Ugh!  We keep the A/C at 83 and the upstairs A/C off, so you can imagine how hot it is up there.  Yesterday it was 97 in my office!  I’ve been working downstairs on the laptop with two fans going and ear buds in to block out the noise down here, so I can work on my book and think.  It is cooler than outside for sure.

 I had to go out there and chase a roadrunner off that was trying to eat the critters (chipmunks) that I despise at times when they are eating my plants.  So, while I was out there, I watered the poor things that are struggling right now and refilled the water bowls.  Then I was so hot and sweaty already, so I went across the street and picked some veggies out of the neighbor’s garden.  I was dripping by the time I got back in the house.

 The poor cats are lying around like limp little rags.  I’d hate to have a fur coat on in the summer.

 My husband was out running a few errands.  He brought back a berry milkshake, which was a nice surprise and really hit the spot, cooling me right off.

 Stay cool out there people, if you’re in a heat advisory zone.  Remember to drink lots of water.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

A Reminder about the Heat

Free clipart - US heat map
As you guys know, we’ve been very hot here in the desert with temps about 12-15 degrees above normal.  We’ve been setting records all over the place for this time of year.  The whole southwest US is under a heat advisory because of a stalled weather pattern.  We all know to be especially watchful to avoid heat stroke and things like that, but I’d still like to offer up a reminder and some helpful tips.  W do have a holiday coming up and people will be wanting to be outdoors enjoying activities with their family and friends.

 This was in our local paper and is good advice.

 1.  Dress light and eat light meals

 2.  If possible, stay out of the sun.  If you have to be in the sun, take regular rest periods in cool or shady places

 3.  Wear sunscreen

 4.  Increase fluid intake regardless of activity level

 5.  Avoid caffeinated, alcoholic or sugary drinks

 6.  Stay in an air-conditioned or cool environment when possible

 7.  Check on neighbors and family members, especially children and elderly people

 8.  Provide shade and water for animals

 Unfortunately, some people in our area don’t do enough for their animals.  I see horses all the time with no shade at all for them to get under.  I feel so bad for these animals at the mercy of the elements.  I’d like to make the owners sit there in the 115 degree heat all day with no shade.

 We have water pans and bushes all over the yard for the critters who come to take advantage of it in the summer.  They probably view our yard as an oasis in the desert because we have lots of activity out there.
Have a happy and safe Fourth of July everyone!

Free Clipart