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.

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Ready for Christmas



When the holidays get here, the cats get excited over all the hustle and bustle.  There’s so much activity in the house that it’s beyond the normal state of affairs in their worlds. 

The baby, Raven, especially likes all the happenings.  He likes to be right in the middle of all that goes on, lending a helping paw.

This cat is so tolerant of everything I want to involve him in.  He just loves attention, no matter what he has to do to get it, so he lets me dress him up and puts up with my silly notions.  How many cats do you know that would pose in a hat of any kind?

Raven

I’ve been dressing him up in hats all his life though so he expects such stuff from me.  He is such a dear and if I can put up with him chewing on my head at night I guess he can pose in the hats I make for him.

Here are Koki and Tootie also in the holiday spirit.

Koki

Tootie

Merry Christmas to all of you, dear readers.  Enjoy your loved ones as you get together with family and friends.  Have a happy and safe holiday.

Sunday, December 20, 2015

A ray of sunshine in the dark clouds



I’m still plagued by car problems and now hubby also has to have a windshield replaced in his vehicle.  It had a pit in it from his trip to Oregon in October and a few days ago it split all the way across due to the cold weather. We had to scrape a quarter inch of ice off the windshield before we could get on the road.

I just got my car back out of the shop again, this time for an electrical problem that the mechanic thinks is in the front door panel.  This could be up to a $700 repair but he replaced a fuse and so far it’s working.  I’m crossing my fingers it continues to do so for the long term.  The tech told me he didn’t know how long it would last, a week, a month or a year or longer.  There was no way to know since everything showed up fine when he scoped the car on the machine they use.

The ray of sunshine in all this is that the guy came to my house to get my car and take it to the shop about ten miles away.  That evening he gave me a loaner car that he delivered to my house at 8:30 PM.  I would like to know what other mechanic does this?  He made sure the car was an automatic too and had gas so I could get to work and back while he had my car in the shop. 




 This is the loaner car, which reminded me of a demolition derby car
 
Now I have to say this loaner car was like driving a tank and not the prettiest thing in the world but it was wheels and got me where I needed to go.  Beggars can’t be choosy, right?  Also the car was definitely a smoker’s vehicle.  It about knocked me over to stick my head in there so I emptied half a bottle of Fabreeze in the car and let it sit overnight so I could breathe driving to work and back. But again, beggars can’t be choosy.  I was extremely grateful he loaned me the car because he didn’t have to do that.



 This thing had dings everywhere and you could view the trunk from inside the car
 
Be thankful for all your blessings, big or small.  There’s always something to be grateful for, even when a dark cloud hovers over your head.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Mopping the floors

Industrial mop bucket

Seriously, does anyone still do this regularly today?  I forgot how strenuous this is.  I vacuumed and then mopped my whole house today.  Tonight I’m worn out and have a sneaky suspicion that I’m going to hurt in places tomorrow that I haven’t thought about in some time. 

I live in a 3300 sq ft house and about half of it is tile.  I wish the whole thing was tile but, of course, that would have meant more work for me today.

I don’t think my neighbor has ever mopped her house and she’s been there about nine years I would guess.  My other girlfriend never mops her house either.  I don’t do it as often as I would like because it wears me out, but at least the place does get mopped about four or five times a year.  It’s nice to have the place clean and get rid of all the red sand and dust.

Now tomorrow it’s back to work.  I hate spending my entire day off doing chores but sometimes that’s how it is.  I did catch a beautiful sunset through the front windows, so propped the mop in the corner and stretched over to grab my camera and not touch the wet floors so I could snap a pic.  I can’t let a good sunset go by.



 Sunset from my courtyard
 
My cats follow me about and roll on the wet floor.  I have an industrial mop bucket.  I use hot water and add a bit of Clorox and lavender Fabulosa to it.  That smell drives them crazy I guess.  Someday I’ll Google it as I do everything else I have a question about.

Sunday, November 29, 2015

She wants to join the family



We live in a place where we’re lucky to see a lot of wildlife coming by at various times.  The last few weeks this female roadrunner has made it clear, she wants in the house. 



 Not the greatest pic but I had to hurry
 
She jumps up on the top of the bench we have on the back patio and pecks at the window.  This sends the cats into a frenzy watching with wild eyes.  I’m not sure what this lady has in mind because I don’t think her or the cats would actually want to meet face-to-face. 

Female roadrunner trying her best to adopt us

She makes her rounds of the backyard near the house, hopping from chair-to-chair and perching on the table.  Last week she even tried her best to fly up and land on the ceiling fans out there.  Maybe she got into some loco weed, or ate some juniper berries.



 Here she is on the patio chair
 
Today, she jumped off the patio roof and took her place on the bench to peck at the window.  Her eyes scan the place from floor to ceiling.  I imagine she’s looking for food and expects me to provide it.  I don’t have any lizards or bugs lying around to give her.  Right now I’m not sure what else she’s trying to tell me, but she looks plump enough and not starving.

At this point, I’m not sure how long this activity will last.  The bird of prey that was taking a daily bath here has gone to other areas.  I haven’t seen him in a while.

Other than that, I hope everyone had a nice Thanksgiving and spent a relaxing day being grateful for all we have. 

Below are a few pics from our Thanksgiving drive along the back highway to Mesquite NV and back.  These are taken from the car window so aren't the best photos in the world.  This country passes through an Indian reservation and is mostly sagebrush and Joshua trees.  But the day was beautiful and about 50 degrees.


 
It’s onward toward Christmas now.  Some neighbors already have their lights up.  I’m only perturbed at the one who put his up a week before Thanksgiving.  That’s disgraceful!  These days everyone rushes things. 

We have a few leaves left on our trees, but they’re quickly littering the ground.  I watched some flutter down in a gust of wind this morning and wished I had the camera ready.  I did spend the next half hour trying to capture some but didn’t have much luck.  I guess things like that are better in person.



 Most of these fluttered to the ground today
 
I hate to see winter coming but that’s beyond my control.  All I can do is count the days until spring – and I shall be doing that – in the near future.  December and January are in the deep freeze here some years.

Now that those awful ulcers are about gone from my mouth, I have a raspy cough to take their place.  I attribute this to working near the coolers all day at work last week.  I was chilled to the bone from head-to-toe by the end of my shift, so I’m now stocked up on all sorts of cold products and extra vitamin C to get me through the winter months without becoming too ill.

Added to all this was another car problem, a dead battery this time, but I can’t say my mechanics didn’t warn me about that when they replaced the radiator.  So I spent part of yesterday getting that fixed.  

Now if I can just fix the garage door, which has gone on the blink lately, I may be able to sit back for a while.  I’ll be opening it manually for the time being because the openers and the opener have become enemies apparently.  They aren’t talking to each other now and the batteries are fine.  It’s back to my old friend, Google, to see if I can find a solution.  What did we do before the internet?  It’s too bad they didn’t teach courses like this in high school – something we could really benefit from as adults.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Happy Thanksgiving




It’s so important to be thankful for all our blessings everyday.  I’m glad there’s a day set aside to do just that. 

I know many times life hands us lemons, but that’s just part of living.  Heaven knows I’ve had my share lately, but I believe all these set backs make us stronger and we enjoy the good times more with those lemons thrown in there occasionally.  But remember, even when things are crappy, we all still have many things to be thankful for.  Think about this.  Many people in the world are in wheelchairs, deaf or blind, or impaired in some other way.  Perhaps they don’t even have clothing or shelter and little food. 

My heart goes out to all those folks because anyone of us could be in that position.  We should never take anything for granted in this life because things happen and these established things could be taken away in an instant.  We all have to meet challenges because that what life’s all about.  How we handle those challenges is what counts.

I have great respect for people who are handicapped and not letting it get them down.  They do the best they can with what they’ve got.  We could all learn from this.

So today, as everyone sits down with family and friends to enjoy a meal together, take a moment to give thanks for all we have.  We still live in a free country, so far, and can enjoy independence many don’t have.  We have the Earth’s bounty before us, a roof over our heads, a closet full of clothes and we enjoy the privilege to drive wherever we want to go.  Give thanks for your health because without that, you’re greatly limited and any endeavor is harder to achieve. 

Things can always be worse in almost any situation, so we must always strive to look on the bright side when dark clouds hang over our heads.  The storm eventually moves away and we’re in the light again.

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone other there.  Be safe, healthy and happy.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Is it Botox or something else?


From Web MD website


I swear guys; the last couple of weeks have been a total mess.  A week and a half ago I woke up a week ago Saturday with lips twice their size.  What’s going on?  Seriously, it looked like I had Botox injections.

At least I know what I’d look like now if I ever got them.  It’s so unnatural and I can’t drink out of a glass because I spill it on myself.  My lips are too big to feel the glass edge.

I had been dealing with mouth ulcers for the previous three days and this was an extension of that.  You know the kind you get from eating tomatoes and other foods that are too acidic.  I’ve gotten in the habit of washing all the seeds out of tomatoes because I love them so much, but I don’t always do it.  I guess this will teach me.

You have no idea the ordeal I’ve been through with this.  I never get half a dozen in my mouth at the same time.  I probably don’t need to tell you how painful this is.  So, I started out using some Kankar on them because I had that in the medicine cabinet.  That wasn’t doing it, so I got on my old friend Google and searched for a solution to this issue.

Everyone was shouting out praises for alum, yes the pickling spice.  So, I decided to give that a whirl last Sunday and Monday nights.  Now warning, this is not for the faint of heart.  This stuff burns enough to send you through the roof for a few minutes.  Hubby helped me apply it.  The instructions were to count to one hundred and then spit, but not rinse and then go to bed. 

The next morning, things weren’t improved at all so I had another dose on Monday night.  On Tuesday morning, my lips were stuck together, so I gently wiped them with a wet paper towel and then rinsed my mouth.  I felt like crap, but got ready for work, hoping no one would notice.  I stuck some moisturizer in my jeans pocket and used that all day because it felt like my lips would crack at any moment.  That day I also used campho phenique recommend by the pharmacist at Walgreens.  Hubby was a bit concerned at this point, went down there, and talked to him.  The pharmacist said it was the best over the counter medicine for ulcers in the mouth. 

Does anyone remember this stuff?  We used it on mosquito bites as kids.

I had Wednesday off, so I decided to go to the doctor and have this mouth situation checked out.  I’m not one to run to the doctor for every little thing, but I was sick of fighting this.  I really wanted it gone by Thanksgiving.  I was down to eating bland mashed potatoes and scrambled eggs.  Those eggs reminded me how much I hate plain scrambled eggs, but almost everything burns my mouth.

My regular MD is on vacation until December 1, so I had to see the on-call doctor at the office.  He told me I had a virus going on that I most likely got from a water fountain.  Excuse me.  What?  I don’t drink from water fountains and certainly not with my lips right on them.  To make a long story short, he gave me an anti-viral pill and “magic mouthwash.” 

The next two days I had to spend talking all day at work, so that hasn’t helped things at all.  I also can’t just take off to doctor my mouth when I want to.  I did take my prescriptions to work and used the “magic mouthwash” on my breaks, applying it with a Q-tip.  This mouthwash deadens your whole mouth for a while.

Now on Sunday night as I’m writing this, my mouth is better.  I’m almost out of my anti-viral medication but the ulcers are still there (the swelling is gone.)  So, it’s back to the doctor in the morning before my shift at work to see if I can get a refill or if he’ll give me something else.  At this point, I figure what is still left in there will get worse because I have to talk at work for the next three days and then Thanksgiving is a holiday, so best to take care of this now.

I’ll be seeing a different on-call doctor this time because I couldn’t get an appointment, so I have to go in, wait until they call me, and hope it’s before I have to leave for work.

Hopefully, I won’t be having scrambled eggs for Thanksgiving.

Has anyone else out there had this situation?

Sunday, November 15, 2015

More of life’s issues


My Caddy - I love this car and I'm going to have to love it a lot longer


As the old saying goes – when it rains it pours.  That seems to be the case right now with my car issues.  Of course, it is a sixteen-year-old car so I don’t expect things to be perfect.  I just hope this is the end of an expensive list of repairs for a while.

It all started out with the A/C, which had to be repaired this summer.  I could have let it go for a while if it wasn’t in the triple digits here.

Things went smoothly for a month and then the starter went out.  That happened when hubby was in Oregon taking care of his dad’s affairs, so I borrowed my neighbor’s car so I could get back and forth to work.  Thankfully, she has two vehicles and one sits in the garage most of the time.  After three days in the shop and about $500, I was able to get my car back. 

Now the car still had a shifter issue, which I’ve been nursing along for a year or more.  I wasn’t ready to shell out another couple hundred to have that looked into, so I’ve been putting up with it, although it’s getting to be a very sore spot having to fight to get the car out of park every time I get into it.  I think this is a brake switch and not a solenoid, which is a good thing because the brake switches are the cheaper of the repairs.

So back up a couple days ago when we were running around town and I had hubby drive my car so he could see how bad the shifter was.  He was getting pretty frustrated trying to get it into gear.  It smelled hot when we came home, but he couldn’t smell it, assuring me all was fine.

So the next day I went to work and noticed I left a trail of wet splashes and drops after I locked my car.  I touched it and it looked like water on my finger.  My car had the hot smell again, plus this time my heat gauge was slightly above the center spot, which it never is, so I knew there was another issue.  Things weren’t just fine.

Hubby brought a gallon of water and filled up my radiator.  The oil was fine.  I called the shop on my break and asked to bring it over after work.  The guys are so good over there and said they’d stay late so I wouldn’t be stranded and would take a look at it for me.  They even offered to give me a ride home, but hubby picked me up.

The verdict is it needs a new radiator and new radiator hose.  The tech pressurized the radiator for me, it was leaking in the front, and the main upper hose is almost worn to the point of having a hole in it.  So this problem is now being fixed, leaving me without a car again for a few days.  The shop ordered the new radiator right away, but they sent over a defective one and the mechanic can’t get another one until Monday.  That seems to be the story of my life, but things happen and it could always be worse.  Thank goodness, that’s my philosophy in life or things could get depressing in a hurry.

So I’m also having the shifter fixed as long as the car is in the shop again anyway.  Actually, hubby suggested it after his round with the car the other day.  I don’t have the estimate on that repair yet and am crossing my fingers because the radiator job is going to cost me $480.  Yikes!  You can see where my paycheck is going.

If things happen in threes, maybe this is it for a while.  I’m keeping a positive mind.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Challenges



Rising too all the challenges in our lives…or maybe not.  Sometimes days are full of one challenge after another, evident by my lack of blog posts lately.  Simply put, I have too much on my plate.

The newest, biggest challenge for me is getting to work on time and still having the time and energy to write, read and do the things I enjoy while also doing my chores of cooking, dishes, cleaning, laundry and taking care of the cats, etc.

A stormy desert

Today was a dreary, rainy day here and colder than I’d like.  I’m already counting the days until we see 80 again.  I don’t do well with cooler temperatures at all and am grateful that we don’t have long winters here.  So, as I always say, things could be a lot worse in so many ways.  Yet in winter, I really need to remind myself of this all the time.

Naturally, the day got off on the wrong track again and I never accomplished what I had intended when I got out of bed today.  There’s always tomorrow.  I’m off work so maybe I can get a few things done.

Inside the Mad Pita restaurant

 Hubby wanted to make a few stops today so, instead of staying home to do chores, I went along.  We decided to stop at the Mad Pita to enjoy gyros sandwiches as a late lunch about 3 PM.  We love that place and haven’t been there in quite a while.  While waiting for our sandwiches, we watched a poor man with tremors trying to eat his lunch.  It brought to my mind a couple of my friends with Parkinsons.  I was thankful I’m not in that situation and made a mental note to send a short message to them to let them know they’re in my thoughts.



That lunch ended up being our dinner when another friend, who is computer illiterate, stopped by.  She needed help filling out some forms for a job I helped her apply for a while back.  I’m so glad she’ll be working and hope she’ll stick with it because she really needs to get her act together and get on with her life (she’s going through an ugly divorce).  I was happy to help and again I felt fortunate that I could understand things like computers because I know not everyone can wrap their minds around that.  Don’t get me wrong, they still frustrate me at times but I don’t let them win, not if I can help it anyway.  Attitude is so important in everything you do in life.

I’m way too busy with my job, but it’s fun, the day flies by and I enjoy the extra income.  No one’s going to hand you a stack of money on a silver platter.  Wouldn’t that be nice?

I’m way behind on my NaNo word count this year, so far.  I don’t think I’ll finish by Thanksgiving this time, as I usually do.  I’m going to have to kick myself in the rear to finish at all.  I seem to be lacking in the motivation department.  I’ve been too tired to think clearly enough about my novel.  It’s pretty bad to fall asleep when you sit down too long at one time.  I’m either getting old, not used to working on my feet and talking all day long, not sleeping well or enough, or maybe a combo of all those.  My dear sister, Tedo, I know how you feel.  She’s always falling asleep when she sits down.

Koki

Of course, I have to mention my cats.  My furry friends are my constant companions, but sometimes I wish Koki wouldn’t sleep on my legs all night.  She gives me cramps in my legs and feet, and a backache from lying in one spot all night.  This cat knows I’ll never kick her out of bed though, as well as Raven who chews on my head.  When it’s cold, they want in the covers with me.  Tootie will be back in the bed soon too because she’s doing so much better on her arthritis meds that she can jump up on the couch again by herself.  Maybe we won’t even need blankets with three cats in the bed.

Tootie

Raven

Until next time…

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

My Birthday Boy


Raven - two years old


Okay, this a few days late.  I don’t know where the time goes and can’t believe he’s two already!  Raven’s birthday was the first, but I didn’t get my camera card downloaded until last night and then had 167 pics on it.  That took a while, especially when I need a new computer.  But that will have to wait for now.  There’s a few things wrong with this one, but so far, I’m managing as is.  I have to because my car needs a few repairs too, unfortunately.

Also hubby is back so it’s harder to get an hour or two to get on the computer.  That’s destroying my NaNo project, but it’s coming along.  I’m not too far behind yet.

We had to move the tropical plants into the garage tonight because were expecting the first cold front of the year tomorrow.  After work, it will be too cold and dark to mess with that.  I’m so NOT looking forward to winter.  Ugh! 

But I spent all day Monday in the garage rearranging things out there and throwing stuff out and generally cleaning it up.  What a mess!  Now I have cracks on my feet and fingers because it’s so dry here.  I guess I shouldn’t have done the job in flip-flops though, so that was my fault.  It was just so nice.  I couldn’t help it, knowing it would be one of the last days for a while. 



 Raven birthday dinner
 
Raven had a great time on his birthday.  But I think this cat is never unhappy about anything.  Enjoy the pics.

Playtime


Saturday, October 31, 2015

HAPPY HALLOWEEN!



Be safe in your celebrations and keep your black cats safe.  



My little boy will be two years old tomorrow.  Of course, that’s an estimate.  He was found abandoned in a box in a field before he was turned into PAWS.  For all I know his birthday is today, on Halloween, or perhaps on November 2. 

It’s hard to imagine that anyone would abandon such an angel when we have animal agencies that rescue pets and find homes for them.  I’ll never understand this kind of human behavior as long as I live. 



 Here's my angel, Raven
 
Anyway, the time has flown and it’s hard to believe I’ve had him this long already.  He’s such a joy and has such a beautiful, tender heart.  I’ll never regret adopting him and giving him a loving, forever home.  Stay tuned for birthday pictures.  (And yes, humor me because the cats are my kids.)

Happy Halloween all!

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Lost words from our past



I received this email from a friend and it’s too good not to share with you, so I’m posting it here to see how many of you can remember any of this stuff.  I wish I knew who the author was so I could give them credit.

Things do change all the time, as you’ll see after reading this.  I wonder how many words and expressions we use today that will be gone in the future.

Lost Words from our childhood 

Words gone as fast as the buggy whip! Sad really! The other day a not so elderly (65) lady said something to her son about driving a Jalopy and he
looked at her quizzically and said what the heck is a Jalopy? OMG (new
phrase!) he never heard of the word jalopy!!  So they went to the computer and pulled up a picture from the movie "The Grapes of Wrath." Now that was a Jalopy!

She knew she was old but not that old...

I hope you are Hunky dory after you read this and chuckle...

*WORDS AND PHRASES REMIND US OF THE WAY WE WORD*
by Richard Lederer

About a month ago, I illuminated some old expressions that have become obsolete because of the inexorable march of technology. These phrases included "Don't touch that dial," "Carbon copy," "You sound like a broken record" and "Hung out to dry." A bevy of readers have asked me to shine light on more faded words and expressions, and I am happy to oblige:

Back in the olden days we had a lot of moxie. We'd put on our best bib and tucker and straighten up and fly right. Hubba-hubba! We'd cut a rug in some juke joint and then go necking and petting and smooching and spooning and billing and cooing and pitching woo in hot rods and jalopies in some passion pit or lovers lane. Heavens to Betsy! Gee whillikers! Jumping Jehoshaphat! Holy moley! We were in like Flynn and living the life of Riley, and even a regular guy couldn't accuse us of being a knucklehead, a nincompoop or a pill. Not for all the tea in China!

Back in the olden days, life used to be swell, but when's the last time anything was swell? Swell has gone the way of beehives, pageboys and the D.A.; of spats, knickers, fedoras, poodle skirts, saddle shoes and pedal pushers. Oh, my aching back. Kilroy was here, but he isn't anymore.

Like Washington Irving's Rip Van Winkle and Kurt Vonnegut's Billy Pilgrim, we have become unstuck in time. We wake up from what surely has been just a short nap, and before we can say, I'll be a monkey's uncle! or This is a fine kettle of fish! we discover that the words we grew up with, the words that seemed omnipresent as oxygen, have vanished with scarcely a notice from our tongues and our pens and our keyboards. Poof, poof, poof go the words of our youth, the words we've left behind. We blink, and they're gone, evanesced from the landscape and wordscape of our perception, like Mickey Mouse wristwatches, hula hoops, skate keys, candy cigarettes, little wax bottles of colored sugar water and an organ grinders monkey.

Where have all those phrases gone? Long time passing. Where have all those phrases gone? Long time ago: Pshaw. The milkman did it. Think about the starving Armenians. Bigger than a bread box. Banned in Boston. The very idea! It's your nickel. Don't forget to pull the chain. Knee high to a grasshopper. Turn-of-the-century. Iron curtain. Domino theory. Fail safe.  Civil defense. Fiddlesticks! You look like the wreck of the Hesperus.  Cooties. Going like sixty. I'll see you in the funny papers. Don't take any wooden nickels. Heavens to Murgatroyd! And awa-a-ay we go!  Oh, my stars and garters! It turns out there are more of these lost words and expressions than Carter had liver pills. This can be disturbing stuff, this winking out of the words of our youth, these words that lodge in our heart's deep core. But just as one never steps into the same river twice, one cannot step into the same language twice. Even as one enters, words are swept downstream into the past, forever making a different river.

We of a certain age have been blessed to live in changeful times. For a child each new word is like a shiny toy, a toy that has no age. We at the other end of the chronological arc have the advantage of remembering there are words that once did not exist and there were words that once strutted their hour upon the earthly stage and now are heard no more, except in our collective memory. It's one of the greatest advantages of aging. We can have archaic and eat it, too.

See ya later, alligator!

And lastly, a very happy birthday to my dear friend of fifty years, Charlie McBride.  

Monday, October 26, 2015

The good and the bad of working part time after retirement





I’ve done this for two months now--almost.  It’s nice to have the extra money for bills and other things and that’s definitely an upside.  But I have to say that even a part time job at my age is tough at times.  It leaves me worn out most of the time.  Would you believe it takes me about ten minutes to get out of my car once I get into the garage after driving home?  After standing up for six hours, my legs don’t want to move and are content to stay put for a while.  It’s those nights that I wish dinner would fix itself.  LOL

Of course, this standing for work isn’t helped by the fact that I’m up and down cleaning this house and working in the yard on my day off.  I declared war on all the spiders on Sunday and spent three hours in my courtyard getting all the webs up and spraying out there.  Now if I can just get up enough energy to do that patio in the back, which is twice the area of the courtyard.




The other downside to working is being called to fill in at the last minute.  “How fast can you change clothes and drive over here?”  Oh my!  I’m not used to that at all.  I don’t mind picking up an extra shift, but more notice than that would be nice.

I also about froze to death last week when I had to work outside the dairy coolers all day.  That was my fault though for not taking a sweater to work.  Luckily, someone had left a sweater in the back, so I borrowed that for my last two hours.  It was excessively big, but I didn’t care.  I would have taken a blanket or anything at that point.  My teeth were beginning to chatter and I was cold from head to toe.  I usually sweat in the store.  I never know what the job is for the day until I arrive for work, but it’s busy and the time goes by fast.




On the upside, it’s fun talking to all the people you see during the day, the co-workers are all great people and will pitch in to help me if I need it, and the boss is fantastic.  So you can’t beat that.  I learn something new everyday I’m there.

On another note, I took my car to the shop today for a new starter so will be using my neighbor’s vehicle to go back and forth to work until I get my car back on Thursday.  It’s been acting up so I don’t want to take any chances with being stranded.  Winter is coming and, along with that, the shorter days.  It’ll be dark when I get off work soon and I hate that but it’s beyond my control so best not to stress over it.  That’s all I would need is to be stranded in the parking lot after dark with a car that won’t start.




Taking all this into account I’m wondering how I’m going to work on my NaNo project in November.  I have so much on my plate this year.  A little voice in my head is telling me I can do it, but so far I haven’t listened and signed up for it.  This would be my fourth NaNo (National Novel Writing Month), but right now 50,000 words is looking overwhelming, especially since I can’t seem to get my mind wrapped around a story theme yet.  More on this later.  I promised myself I’d try to get to bed earlier and here it is almost midnight again.  Sigh… I guess that’s not happening for me.

















Thursday, October 22, 2015

Dodging curveballs can be a full time job



I know each of us has run into this situation at times, enough going on in life to make your head swim. 

If any of you keep up with my blog, you’ll know there’s always some crisis when hubby is out of town.  The last time it was the water heater.  I really thought this time it would be the washer because it’s been giving us shots across the bough for over a year now.  But I was wrong, at least for now (knock on wood).  This time it’s my car, which is refusing to start a lot of the time.  Now this issue has been going on awhile too, but you must understand we’re like most people and never fix anything until it’s on its last legs and there’s no other choice.  The car decides to misbehave a while, then it behaves itself again, and there’s no issue for months.

This is the car in question

Yesterday I had some errands to run and had to make about nine stops.  It decided not to start at a few places, but eventually did because I was patient.

I don’t know how many others out there have been married as long as I have, but I wonder if your husbands also think you can’t manage the situation without their expertise as if you have no mind for such matters and couldn’t decide what to do about it yourself.  At these times, I feel as if he thinks I don’t have a clue about life predicaments.  Somehow, it’s hard for some men (all men?) to believe you weren’t born yesterday.  Last night it was impossible to carry on a conversation with my husband who thinks I’m a six-year-old in these situations.  He was sure it was the battery and wanted me to have that checked before I left for work today.  I had already decided I’d do that, although I had a sneaky suspicion it was the starter and not the battery, but best to rule the battery out first anyway. 

Because of this whole mess, I only got four hours of sleep last night and had to stand on my feet all day to sell and demo products.  I’m wiped out tonight.  I set the alarm for before daybreak and was up, showered and dressed, so I could I make my phone calls, get in for the car check and get to work.  I couldn’t fall asleep for the life of me.

I ended up calling the garage before it was even open and was lucky the guy answered, but he has his calls transferred to his cell for work.  He told me to bring it in and he would be there shortly.  Now my car’s battery is under the backseat so that had to be taken out to get to it. Who ever heard of such a thing?  They determined it was my starter, which I wasn’t surprised about because the car is sixteen-years-old.

In the meantime, last night, I spoke with my neighbor who will lend me a car to use until mine is repaired.  So I had that base covered.  I felt good about that.  She offered, even though our conversation started out about other things.

This morning I called and added roadside service to our car insurance policy in case either of us needs it.  I felt I was ready to face the day, tired or not.  I also have my ducks lined up for what is coming later in the car saga.

I took the car from the shop to work and it started fine for the drive home.  It may well go on like that, but it’s probably wise to have it repaired.  My hubby went about calling around to get the best price for that starter job today.  Most likely, I’ll be taking it in on my next day off.

I took my chances and the car didn’t leave me stranded in the parking lot at work.  I suspect I’ll continue to press my luck until I have a day off during the week so I can take my car in and leave it at the shop.  I also have to coordinate this with my neighbor’s schedule.  Meanwhile, I have a positive attitude about it because what else can anyone do really?  It does no good to add more stress to your life by worrying over whether the car will start or not.  Things will be the way they’re going to be.  Of course it’s hard for hubby who doesn’t understand my attitude or philosophy much of the time.

This repair isn’t cheap, so I’m hoping the washer holds on a bit longer.

Does anyone else have experiences like this to share?  Can you make adequate decisions in a crisis?

Sunday, October 18, 2015

The Simple Things

From the CD they played that night


Today, as I’m writing this on the thirteenth, I’m feeling so happy for no reason at all.  I’m off work and taking it easy.  Maybe that’s reason enough for my good mood.

This afternoon hubby and I had some errands to run.  He had a new Bluetooth radio installed in his truck so he wanted to try it out.  He put in the CD by the Bar G Wranglers.  Boy did listening to those songs bring back some memories of a few summers ago when my sister and brother-in-law came to visit me a year after I moved to my new home in the desert.



 The Bar G Wranglers in concert - 2005
 
One of the smartest things I’ve ever done in my life was to get tickets to a Bar G Wranglers concert while they were here.  They love western music and the night included a chuck wagon barbecue dinner.  The food wasn’t that great and the weather wasn’t either.  We had to drive for forty-five minutes to the concert in the rain.  Lightning struck the parking lot while we were all in line to serve our plates for dinner, which was served buffet style on the patio.  My sister hates lightning and that scared her shitless. 



 The Bar G Wranglers in concert - 2005

The Bar G Wranglers in concert - 2005
 
I might mention here that my brother-in-law is the barbecue king.  No one in the world makes barbecue as he does.  He has the patience to stay awake all night to tend the pit while the rest of us sleep.  He’s mastered the art of barbecue, which I hope continues to be a great love of his so I get to taste some more of his cooking before he decides he’s too old to do that any longer.  I don’t know many people who would stay up all night to tend a barbecue pit.  Do you?

My sister and brother-in-law before the concert


Thank goodness the music outweighed it all and made the evening so worth it!  We were close enough to the band to reach out and touch them if we wanted to.  That made the night extra special, as if they were singing to us individually.  I don’t think my brother-in-law ever experienced anything exactly like that before and he was speechless.  It was so much fun to watch him enjoy the concert that was taking place right in front of us.  I’ll never forget the look on his face that night.  It made the ticket expense worth every dollar to me and reinforced the thought that something simple like that was one of life’s best pleasures.

I hope he still looks upon that experience today as I do.  When I listen to the Bar G Wranglers songs today, he immediately pops into my mind with flashbacks to the night of that concert.

To listen to one of their songs, click here.


How many of you have experiences like this in your life?

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

I’m really a human in this body

My sweet boy - Raven



My sweet boy, Raven, thinks he’s a person a lot of the time.  He likes to “help” me every chance he gets and is my shadow much of the day.  He hugs me around the neck when I pick him up and we rub noses.



 Raven in the dryer
 
Of course, he’s into mischief at least once a day.  Not much is safe around here.



 Raven using my laptop for a pillow
 
When I trim my nails, he wants his done so he’ll sit patiently while I clip them and then he wants them filed with my emery board.  I wish I had a picture of this.  It makes me laugh so hard.  I wonder when he’ll start wanting nail polish too.

When I use my back scratcher, he has to have his back scratched too.  He comes to the shower and paws on the door.  I imagine one of these days he’ll want in there with me.


 Raven says, "When are you going to feed me?"

Now that it’s a bit cooler, I’ll have to start taking him for rides around the block when I have time. He always wants to go.  Maybe I should take him to Petco the next time I go in there.



 Raven says, "Let's go!"
 
I love this little darling to pieces and he knows it.  I just wish he’d stop biting my feet and legs, but I know he’s just telling me to hurry up.  This usually happens when he wants to eat.



 Raven demands, "When are you coming to bed?"
 
I hope you have a little creature like this in your life.

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Big Mama Pronounced Dead



Big Mama leaning over

Big Mama getting worse
 


As sad as this is to say, Big Mama decided to give up this year and throw in the towel.  I’ve suspected she was ailing all summer when the new growth was limited.  Nevertheless, I watered her faithfully, talked to her, and told her to get with it, etc.  All of my peppiness was to no avail.  She fell over in her pot a week ago.


Poor Big Mama - RIP


Now maybe these Sego palms have a life span like most living things.  After all, she isn’t a redwood tree, so how long do these palms live.  This one is about sixty years old.  I guess she was tired.  Or maybe dreading another awful winter here.  Poor thing.  I can’t blame her for that, even if I did wrap her up in extra warm bedding every year.  I never look forward to winter myself.  I’d rather go around naked, I guess, instead of bundled up in all those clothes that never warm me up anyway.



 Interesting to see how they grow - full of fibers
 
So here’s another plant we lost since we’ve been here now, bringing the total of special plants to about five.  This isn’t southern California.  Anything will grow there.  So really, what do I expect when living in the desert?



 Here's another shot of the fibrous inside

 And a side view -  I wonder if the Indians used this mateial for thread.
 
Looking on the bright side of things, now I won’t have to get the dolly out to move her around on the patio.  She must weigh three hundred pounds in that huge pot with all that dirt.  I’m wondering how I can keep a piece of her for a future artwork project.  My wheels are still turning on that one.  Maybe I’ll find some way she can live on in my studio.