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 20, 2017

Entertainment and other things from the desert




Living in the desert brings a ton of wildlife to the backyard because we have desert behind us and no neighbors.  Our lawn has died long ago.  We’ll replace it with rock once the weather cools off.  You don’t have to water rock and it won’t be a constant struggle to keep it alive.  This summer has been very hard on all the plants and trees.





 Quail and other birds



A quail family


But the birds are having a blast in the dirt that was once home to our lawn.  They peck away out there and take dirt baths.  I have no idea why they like to roll in it while flapping their wings.  We’ve also seen lots of baby quail this month.  Everything seems to be off schedule.  This is also true for us, as work has become a full time job this month.  Usually August is slower for us.  At least it’s cooled off to the low 100’s, or the upper 90’s, so this is a good thing.






 Here's a baby roadrunner
As you can see the baby roadrunners are still alive so they must be catching enough food to survive.  I don’t know if you can tell this is a young one or not, but he’s about half grown.  The day I took this we had four roadrunners in the yard.  I’m not sure if the parents were here with the “kids,” but I think that must have been the case.  Unfortunately, I was unable to get all four of them in one picture.  In years past we’ve never seen this many at one time.




 Laser cat toy


Koki and Raven waiting for the laser


About a month or so ago, I bought a laser for the cats at Walmart.  It was the best $1.98 I’ve ever spent on them.  But I suspect it’ll cost me a lot in batteries to keep this thing going.  It did come with a spare set, which I had to install already.  Raven cries waiting for me to get it going.  He and Koki will chase it all over the place.  My hands seem to wear out before they do, but I play with them about fifteen minutes a night with this thing.  Raven will bat it all over the place, or knock it off the counter trying to tell us it’s time for laser play.  I imagine he’d turn it on if he knew how.



I want to apologize for my erratic posting.  I’m so beat when I get home from work that getting on the computer is the last thing on my mind.  I do good to get dinner ready and the kitchen cleaned up.  There isn’t a lot of time left before bed.  I still have to soak my feet every night and put on my ointment.  I go back to the foot doctor next Wednesday.  By then my orthopedic shoes should be here.  People sure do have to put up with a lot of crap when they get older.  I never think I’m that old, but it seems to be one ailment after another.  Thank goodness I have a positive outlook and try to keep a happy attitude about all this stuff.



 Beautiful clouds we've had lately with thunderstorms at night

On another note, I’m excited for the solar eclipse that’s coming on Monday.  I imagine I’ll be inside working though, so won’t even get to see it.  That’s a bummer.  This is the first time in 99 years that it will be seen by all of the US.  This probably won’t happen again in our lifetimes.  Total darkness will envelop a path throughout the US while the rest of us will see a dusky sunlight for a full two minutes.  When this happened centuries ago, it’s no wonder people used to think the world was ending.



I still have some vacation posts to write and pictures to share from my time in Texas in May.  Hopefully, I’ll be able to do that soon.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Raven can be very destructive



He chews on us all the time, but he loves to chew on everything and reminds me of a puppy sometimes instead of a cat.  My arm isn’t a bone.  But he seems to think so.



 The new toy started out like this

This is what the toy looks like now
 
I ordered him a new cat toy and he tore the thing up in about 30 minutes.  It didn’t take him long at all to dismantle it.  I thought I might try to glue it together for a while, but its way beyond that now.  I still haven’t thrown it away.  I put it on the floor in the pantry and tucked the little yellow ball back in there too.  He loves to go in there and dig that yellow ball out every night.  He knows I’m playing a game with him because he’s so smart.  If I don’t put the ball back in there, he leaves it alone.  He has fun so I really don’t care what he does to his toys.

Sometimes he’s too smart for his own good.  I got a new laser pointer at Walmart and he knows where the red dot comes from because he brings the thing over and wants you to shine it so he can chase it.  I’m sure he’d turn it on himself if he could.

He’s really something else.  He still flops over at my feet in the kitchen when it’s dinner time.  Somehow he never hurts himself.  I love watching him and Koki after a tiring day.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Is there such a thing as too much thinking?



My mind has been all over the place lately.  Thinking has to be good, right?  But it can be distracting too.  Some crazy questions come to mind all the time.  Among them are “Why do lizards do pushups?”  And “What is the difference between regular shoes and orthopedic shoes?”

I’ve been off work a few days due to bad blisters on my feet caused by my shoes.  I’m not one to go to the doctor for every little scratch and am most likely to look up a way to treat myself over the internet.  This foot condition escalated fast.  When I got home from work last week and got my shoes off, I knew I had to call in sick and make a doctor’s appointment.  Lucky for me, they had a cancellation and I was able to get in the next morning.

Now, I’m on foot soaks, medicated ointment three times a day and some antibiotic tablets.  I was instructed not to wear any closed-toed shoes for a week.  That was music to my ears because I hate closed-in toes, especially in the summer.  I went and talked to my boss and offered to come in, if I could wear sandals with socks for the week.  Of course the answer to that was no.  I hated missing the hours, but I figured it was best to follow the doctor’s orders.  The first four or five day I couldn’t have gotten my feet into a sneaker anyway.  They were too sore for that.

 Orthopedic shoes go here

The doctor also wrote me a prescription for orthopedic shoes.  Oh my.  Am I that old already?  I always thought this type of shoe was for old people. 

I went to a place in town I’d never been to before because I had to do my research and find out how much extra all this was going to cost me.  I also called my Medicare provider to see if it was covered.  It sounds like it’ll be a 20/80 kind of deal, but only if the right codes are used when ordering the shoes.  Hmmm…I guess I’m about to find out pretty quickly what that is.  I have to see a foot doctor on Wednesday the ninth.  He wants to x-ray my feet.  I hope I’m not in for all sorts of ailments now that I’m old enough for Medicare.  I’m thankful I’ve been healthy most of my life except for a few strange things that have happened.  Luckily, I had enough sense to go to the doctor for those.  I usually ignore the situation and think it’ll get better on it’s on, or with my help from some natural remedies I come up with.

My research told me that orthopedic shoes can be worn by people of any age and they give more support than regular shoes.  The support is geared to the problem each person is facing, so the shoes make walking and standing easier without the wear and tear on the feet, ankles and legs.  They provide more support.  The toes on these shoes are wider than most footwear and the heels are lower and sturdier.  I sure couldn’t tell that by the wall of shoes he had in the store.  They measure your feet for the right shoe.  That makes me feel better that they won’t be too darn ugly and medical looking.  I’m not too old to not care what I look like.

 Lizard goes here

As far as the lizard doing pushups, they always do that here.  We see them all over the place.  They have to stop and do pushups every few feet.  I’ve always wondered about this so I looked it up too.  My research told me that lizards do this to show strength to others in their territory.  They likened it to going to the gym to keep in shape.  This behavior is supposed to avert physical confrontations between male lizards.  They are showing any other competitors that they’re superior.  They can also do pushups to increase their body temperature.  Very interesting, huh?

I’m also very worried about a friend who had a motorcycle accident a couple of weeks ago.  He’s still in ICU.  Things look good and then they go downhill again.  I’ll be devastated if he doesn’t make it out of this.  I’ve known him too long.  He’s a good guy.  I’m so glad I got to visit with him while in Texas in May.  Right now he has a brain bleed they’re working on.  All prayers would be appreciated.

Aside from that, the weather has dipped down into the upper 90’s, so it’s a lot more pleasant than our triple digits.  We’ll take the break.

I'm posting without pictures because that area doesn't seem to be working right now.  Sorry about that.

Monday, July 31, 2017

Hot, hot, hot here



How much hotter can it get?  All the plants and animals are suffering from this heat.  Our yard is shriveling up before our eyes, even though we water and water some more.  It does little good.  I imagine we’ll have to replace almost everything in the fall.  The triple digits started a month early this year and you can sure tell it too.

The baby roadrunner appeared in the yard about three days ago.  He perched on the table out back and looked around a great while.  I hope he found some dinner in the desert.  He’s on his own now.  I imagine it must be rough trying to hunt in the beginning.  I almost wanted to go out and try to catch a lizard to give him.  Poor thing.  He’s the carbon copy of his parents and I would post a picture, but you can’t tell he’s about half their size unless you see him in person.

Work is never ending with lots of hours and food slinging going on to all the hungry shoppers.  It makes me question if I want to do this job the rest of my life.

I guess that’s it for now.  I’m already posting this a day late.  But work and the heat is wearing me out.  This beautiful sunset is sure a nice sight at the end of a long day.

Sunset in the desert

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

When rumor becomes reality




This isn’t a pretty thing as we’re discovering at work.  I’m sorry for this dismal post.  There have been rumors flying all over the place for a month now.  Well yesterday we confirmed the boss of seventeen years is leaving.  She’s being forced out of the business, which is such a shame.  All of us love her and she’s the best boss ever, tough but fair, and who could ask for more than that?  But you know how it is when personalities and styles collide. 

Now everyone working in our division feels their jobs are on the line and there’s so much scrambling and drama going on over what to do.  I’m sure some of you out there have had experience with what happens when a new group takes over the duties in the workplace.  Unfortunately most of the older people are forced out for ones with the viewpoint of the new boss.  This is especially true for management positions, although I expect it to impact some of the rest of us as well that have been there a long time and are fans of the outgoing boss.

I’m probably not going to be keeping up my twice weekly posting here on this blog due to all the things going on in my life and in my head as I try to handle all this change.  It has caught most of us by surprise, although we suspected a big change was coming.  Right now I’m caught up in the whole mess wondering what to do myself, as I probably won’t want to work for the incoming regime.  I’m sure there will be more scrutiny put upon us and also changes we aren’t used to and perhaps a lot of us will have trouble adapting to. 

Almost everyone in my workplace is contemplating leaving and looking elsewhere for jobs.  These people are like extended family and it pains me to see everyone hurting and so paranoid about the future.  I find myself in the same frame of mind with times of anxiety that I can’t sleep or eat much.  Is this letting the regional manager win?  I hope not.  After our morning meetings at work we’re sent out on the floor with a positive attitude and the thought of not letting them when.  Them (in this case) being the hungry customers who can drive us all crazy.  If you’ve ever tried to serve food from a stainless steel cart inside a busy store you’ll know exactly what I mean.  But the customers in my state have no manners at all.  It seems their parents were absent during their upbringing, or perhaps they feel entitled to be given free food and waited on and all their messes cleaned up by us.  The food service industry can be a thankless job, except for a few who recognize what it is to serve others with a smile no matter how the day is going.

So I’m done ranting and look forward to coming home at the end of the day, taking off the shoes and all the hot clothes required for the job and enjoying the wildlife in my backyard that hasn’t got a care in the world except for looking for food and water all day and trying to stay away from the predators so they can live another day.  Sometimes I wish I only had their problems to deal with.



 Papa with his baby quail.  Both parents share equally in their upbringing.

 
On a lighter note, we’re finally seeing baby quail showing up in the yard.  They’re so late this year unless this is the second batch.  I’m told quail can have two sets of chicks in a year.  They are so cute and we’ve missed them so much.  The babies are carbon copies of their parents and mimic them in all they do.  It’s so cute to watch and adds some joy to a stressful day.

Note:  Due to the nature of this post, I can't post other pics at this time.  Thank you for understanding.

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Lots of wildlife and beautiful sunsets in the desert this week



I thought I’d share some nice sights with you this time and not delve into the chaos going on at work right now.  I’m trying to keep a happy mind and stay in a happy place.  I might fill you in next week, but we’ll see.  I know one thing – I’ve been working way too much and am so tired all the time.  But that’s enough about work.

We were lucky to have a few afternoon sprinkles here the last few days.  It didn’t last near long enough because all the plants are really suffering this year, but a few sprinkles are better than none and the winds did cool it down even if it didn’t last long.

Between all of this we were lucky to see all the wildlife we did, as everything seems to be scarce this year.  The roadrunners are out of the nest.  I did see one running around by our back gate not knowing what to do.  There was an adult in the yard; perhaps, trying to guide it to the water pans we keep filled here.  I didn’t get a pic of this because things happen so fast most of the time.  I haven’t seen the young one since.  Hubby says there are two of them. 

But we did get lots of other pics.  Please enjoy the following ones.

We haven't seen the usual big families of quail so this was wonderful to see.  This family has about seven babies.
 
This coyote was hunting with two others on the bluff in back of the house about three days ago.  We don't see many coyotes in the summer at all.  In the winters we can hear them howling in the desert at night.
 
We found this unusual green lizard in one of the water boxes in the backyard.  We've never seen one like this.
 
 The squirrel paid us another visit

And we've had some magnificent sunsets that are a nice feast for the eyes after a long day.  I didn't know which pic to post here.  I always have to take a dozen.  Can you blame me?  Isn't this a gorgeous sight?
 
 
 

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Smokin’ hot here


We’ve been teased by thunder and cloudy skies the last couple of days but so far not much rain at all.  All the plants are really suffering so I wish we’d have a good old-fashioned downpour.  We really need it.




Work stays busy and the weather stays hot so no other news in that department.

I finally got to see some adult quail with a big pre-teen family.  We haven’t had many quail families this year.  I think the roadrunners have already scattered from the nest I’ve been watching too.  The other day, hubby spotted a young roadrunner in the front of the house.  It got scared and ran for the tree on the lot next door.  I imagine it feels safe there.  We think there are at least two eggs that hatched successfully.  These little guys are smaller than the adults and have some downy feathers. We weren't able to grab the camera in time to get any pics.



 VitaCoco Coconut Water
 
Today I had a demo for coconut water at work.  I don’t know how many of you know how good coconut water is for you.  It’s a natural hydrator and replaces lost electrolytes.  I actually had a gentleman ask me if he’d end up in the hospital if he drank it.  WHAT!  Wasn’t he listening to my pitch for the product?  Sometimes I really wonder about people.  I guess I’m just flapping my gums to hear myself talk.

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Why can’t we just go naked?

 Clipart


Wouldn’t that be nice in the summer when temps are over a hundred for day and days?  I have to confess that I do go naked around my house on my days off.  Why not?  It seems I’m not alone either as my coworkers and I have talked about this very thing at the end of the workday. 

Now we may not all be in tip-top shape, but who really cares when it’s this hot around here?  Our pets don’t care what we look like, or what we have on.  The only danger I can see is when it comes to working in the kitchen and then perhaps being naked could be a hazard.

I know I probably sound a bit wacky about now, but the heat is getting to all of us this year.  It was 113 today.  Yikes!  That’s too hot for anybody, don’t you think?  We have at least another six weeks of this in store too and probably a bit more than that.

Clipart

I washed my HOT white shirts for work today and hung them outside.  They dried in about thirty minutes.  Naturally a breeze came up and one fell on the patio.  So it has to be washed again since it’s full of red sand and it would be the lightest weight one of the bunch.  But you can always figure on this as it’s just Murphy’s Law, or whatever they call it.  Of course a heavy shirt would never fall off the rack and land in the dirt.

Today was my only day off for a week and supposedly I’m working part-time.  Hmmm.  What’s wrong with this picture?  I tried to take it easy because I have “ouchies” from head to toe.  I swear old age is a bitch.  I have a stye in my eye again; the deep bite wound from my cat on my forearm, a bad bruise on my shin bone from a flatbed cart at work and my constant athlete’s foot problem from wearing so many clothes and footwear at work in the summers.  I’m seriously thinking about looking for another job.  We’ll see.  All the clothes are too much, but paired with the hat, apron, gloves and hairnet it’s almost impossible to be comfortable during working hours.  I’m getting too old to have to put up with all this, although having the extra money is a nice benefit, but it’s probably the only one except for meeting new people.  Other than that we are abused by the customers all day long.  I really struggle to fathom how some of my coworkers have been there ten years or more.  I can’t see myself in that spot.

Maybe something else jobwise will turn up.  

Thursday, July 13, 2017

A little of this and that



It’s been a crazy, hot week so this has a variety of things in it today.  I didn’t have the time or energy to write up something to post earlier today.  Generally, I like to schedule ahead, if I can, but lately this hasn’t been possible.

Costco

For starters, I’m working way too many hours and between that and the heat it’s taken its toll on me.  Our big boss came in this past Tuesday to make his monthly visit.  Naturally, he had to find something wrong with each of our demos because he has to stay secure in his job.  (That’s my thoughts on it anyway.) 

Most of us, aside from some new people, have been there long enough to know what we’re doing.  Of course, this whole visit rubbed about half of us the wrong way and I know of at least a couple of other people besides me who let him have it.  Our displays looked fine to us and we had samples out and our carts were clean.  This time the problem seemed to be too many barriers across our carts to keep the wandering hands at bay.  Most of the people here have no regard for the time it takes to prep things and set up the trays.  This varies by demo, but people are impatient and don’t want to hear about the products as we work in our “kitchen.”  They want free food and they want it now. 

I hate to rock the boat about things at work and usually I don’t say half of what’s going through my mind, but this time I had to stand up for myself because I really thought I was right and that I was doing the best I could at my demo.  I hope I didn’t make things worse for our boss, but I imagine all of us had a part in that when they had their little meeting we weren’t privy to.  Oh well…life goes on and next time the concentration and focus will be on something else entirely.  I feel like it’s impossible to have every single thing running at 100%.  All of us try very hard.

The best part of going to work this past week was getting to work the clothing roadshow we have going on in the store right now.  That was fabulous.  I didn’t have to deal with food, or rude customers, and I got to actually dress like I wanted to for the most part.  At least there was no hairnet, gloves, apron, hat and those hot, collared shirts with sleeves that are required.  I had to wear white or black though, as there isn’t another choice of colors for us at this job, but I could wear my hair down, wear my earrings and other jewelry and I didn’t have to wear a collar.  Yeah!  Naturally, I chose a black, sleeveless blouse with no collar and black linen pants.  White isn’t my color and never will be.  I actually looked forward to going to work that day.  I have two more of these days to do, so I’m really looking forward to those too.  The clothes buyers are so nice and actually quite jolly about shopping.




The heat hasn’t let up around here.  One day of triple digits flows into the next.  I’m sure it’ll be that way now until mid-September.  I about die in all those clothes for work, but it’s part of the job.  I’ve started keeping flip-flops in the car, so I can ditch the socks and sneakers and I bring a tank top in my purse.  Being hot and sweaty isn’t a pleasant thing.



 Raven in our bed
 
Raven’s getting too darn smart and understands us too well when we’re talking, so we’ve started spelling things out in front of him like “food” and “eat”, etc.  Some days he gets into so much mischief around here.  He has to be doing something all the time, if he isn’t sleeping.  His favorite thing is chewing on things and he doesn’t care what it is.  I’ve tried to break him of this habit all his life, but nothing works.  Today he got me good while I was making the bed.  This time my forearm was the target.  I did slap him, which I never do, and then I held him and told him not to hurt me like that.  He didn’t try to get away, so I think he knew what I was doing and that he shouldn’t have attacked me.  I thought the wound would never stop bleeding.  Good grief.  I guess between that and the very, large red bruise on my shin bone I’ll look like a spectacle at work tomorrow.  I sure can hurt myself easy as I age.  The bruise was from moving a ton of clothing on big carts and unpacking and sorting products in a new shipment.  I didn’t realize I had hurt my leg so bad until last night when I could hardly move after getting my shorts on and sitting in the recliner a while.  I’m glad some of that pain is gone today.

But this little boy is so sweet too.  I woke up two nights ago and he was between us with his head on the pillow and under the covers to his neck.  That was adorable.  I wanted to sneak out of bed and get the camera, but thought I might wake hubby up so I didn't.




 Nothing new happening here yet
 
I finally got over to check on the roadrunner nest again.  Hubby said that someone told him you never see any baby roadrunners because they stay in the nest until they’re almost full grown so they must grow very fast because my search on google said they were out of the nest and on their own in two weeks.  I wonder how their parents convey all their knowledge to them in that short time span.

I’m still working on understanding my new smart phone too that I’ve had about two weeks now.  I’m to page 60 in the manual, but have way more to go than that.  Again, there’s the time factor in my life.

I guess that’s about it from here for now.  I hope the rest of you are having a great summer.

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Signs you’ve been living in the desert too long



When you start to worry about the critters who call this place home. 



 Roadrunner at the birdbath

Roadrunner waiting for a lizard who lives behind the shed

 
I’m very guilty here because I’m keeping a constant check on the roadrunner nest in the vacant lot next door.  The parents come to hunt and get water at our house.  When I went to check the nest tonight, there was no one there.  I’m very worried about the chicks.  I don’t know if they’ve hatched and both parents are out hunting for food, or what’s going on.  I have no idea why I’m worried about these critters as they hunt all the other critters in the yard and have been existing this way long before we came to live here and will still be doing this long after we’re gone.  We actually cut a small slice off a steak we barbecued last night for the roadrunner.  He wasn’t having any luck so we thought we’d help out.  Of course he wouldn’t touch it, so maybe they prefer to hunt their food alive, or at least aren’t hungry enough to eat that.  I’ll have to Google it and see.



 Roadrunner nest
 
When I was over at the nest twice tonight I didn’t hear a peep from any baby birds.  I don’t know if they’ve hatched, or if the parents feel it’s safe to leave the eggs alone for a short time.  I was scolding them under my breath.  It was beginning to rain and I figured the babies would be alarmed, but I imagine birth into the desert would be trial by fire.  Better to get used to it now, I suppose.  Life isn’t very kind here, especially for the animals that have to endure the elements.  I would truly miss all the critters we get to see here.

I also don’t mind sitting in my car at 100 degrees for about ten minutes before I turn the A/C on. 

I know that’s crazy!  I must be acclimated to the heat because sometimes it feels so good to me.  That is unless I’m dressed in my penguin suit for work when I can sweat buckets because of the collar and sleeves required for the job.  That’s probably the number one thing about working as a demo person that I don’t like.  That and having to “lose” the jewelry for work.  And of course, there’s no flip flops for work, so I have a constant athlete’s foot problem going on.

I look forward to the hundred degree days instead of the 30 degree ones. 

I hate to admit it, but this is so true for me.  I could almost cry when we hit October because I know by Halloween it’ll be cold for several months.  I really can’t stand the cold as much as 115 degrees bothers me.

I’m used to seeing rocks and dirt everywhere I go.

One of the many rocky mountains we have here.
 

Yes, you can get used to this.  Grass or anything else green is rare here, except for trees and there aren’t a lot of those.  I can find so much beauty in the carved rocks and mountains around me.  They’re stripped bare of any vegetation, so you can see the whole surface sculpted by nature.  There’s something magical about that.

The hot desert wind doesn’t bother me

In fact, I can find any kind of breeze refreshing even if it’s a hundred degrees outside.  It’s just so nice to have a stir of a wind once in a while to cool down the 115 we endure here in the summer.  It reminds me of the Santa Ana winds we had in CA, but they always were around in September and October and, of course, we never hit 115 there either.

Very high electric bills

Oh my!  Now this is hard to get used to, but it’s a part of living in the desert.  I can just figure one paycheck a month goes to pay the A/C bill.  And we don’t keep our house cool.  Most people come in here and remark on how hot it is.  Thank goodness for fans or we’d never make it.  Sleeping is the biggest issue.  You can always go naked around the house, if you have to, although tank tops and shorts usually work out fine even if you’re still sweating.  My office is the situation because it’s upstairs so it’s normal to be at least 95 up there in the summer months.  That’s hard to do if I sweated at work all day.   Sometimes I do turn the A/C on up there a couple of hours to take the extreme heat off.

So there you have it.  A brief synopsis of desert living.  Will I live here forever – no.  But I have no plans to move in the near future.  Slowly, we’re getting there though.



 A young chipmunk learns early how to find water
 
Be thankful for what you have because, as bad as it may be, it’s still doable and probably not all that awful when you think about it.