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, February 26, 2017

Wouldn’t it be nice if…?

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I got to thinking about this Thursday as I scrambled around trying to get everything done before I had to leave for my citizens’ police academy.  Sometimes I wonder if my life will ever slow down.  I can think of several things it would be nice to do if I wasn’t always on the go.

Thursday I was trying to set up the printer replacement I received a month ago.  That still isn’t done, by the way.  I think I need to change the black ink cartridge and try again.  There’s plenty of black ink in the cartridge but it seems to have the same problem as the printer I sent back.  I was trying to catch up on bank statements at the same time because I got tired of waiting for things to load for the new printer.  Naturally, all the menu items for set up are in a different place too.  I don’t have the time to spare for all this stuff right now, even if it does need doing.

I finally gave up on that and the bank statements and got ready to leave for class.  As I ate a quick microwave cup of soup for dinner I texted with my sister to catch up on her news.

Then a sergeant from the police department called me to set up a time for my ride-along.  Yeah.  I can’t wait.  He told me I could do it on a Friday or Saturday evening as those days were the busiest ones.  I had written a note on my request form that I wanted action.  Now I have to work that out with work.  I don’t imagine they’ll let me take notes and I bet it’ll be too dark anyway, so I hope I can muster up a photographic memory to take everything in.

As soon as I walked into class, a fellow citizen in the class asked me to help him with his book.  Good grief!  I have no extra time for that and don’t really want to get involved in his survival book.  It sounds like he’s not computer literate, so he had someone type a handwritten manuscript he wrote ten years ago.  Now he tells me he has that on a flash drive but it needs editing and formatting and pictures inserted that he hasn’t even taken yet. Yikes!  What?  I gave him the address of a website that could help him.  I hope I encouraged him to go that route, although I doubt it.  When this academy first started we had to introduce ourselves and tell the reason we wanted to take the class.  I guess I’ll never know when to keep my mouth shut.  He says he’ll pay me, but I didn’t even go there.  Something tells me I haven’t heard the last about this.

I still have to gather all my stuff for taxes too.  Don’t you ever wish you just had a day to do nothing at all?  That thought has crossed my mind a few times lately.  Why can’t I just sit with my cats in a sunny window and read a book half the day?  

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

The splendor of nature

Sunrise under a stormy sky

I’m posting some sunsets and other odd things today.  My life has been way too hectic to write up anything intelligent.  I seem to be moving at a pace that’s much faster than I’d like.  Between working, going to my citizen’s police academy and doing all the chores around the house, there’s no time left over.

 A fiery sunset under storm clouds
Sometimes I really wonder how all the people I work with are still going strong.  Many of them have been there way longer than me, not to mention are much older too.  Maybe they go home after their shift and collapse on the couch like I do.  Sometimes it’s a real chore just to get my body out of the car once I get into the garage.  LOL  I like my job, but it can wear me out.

 Raven using this box from Costco as a new hiding place

Raven and Koki with a toy mouse. 
I’m learning a lot at the academy.  I hope it’ll come in useful when rewriting my mystery series.  

We had our gates redone.  After 12 and 1/2 years they needed it.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Working, classes, and other things

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Sometimes daily life is hard to juggle, but I’m sure most of you know that. 

Police academy classes are ongoing and will be for the next two months, twice a week.  It’s very interesting.  The last two classes were on use of force and all the weapons that are used in crime enforcement.  We watched demonstrations and listened to protocol lectures.  Along with this we had a three-hour class on dispatch.  This was the only civilian that’s spoken to us so far.  They have a battery of tests they must pass also but it isn’t quite the same as for a police officer.  You aren’t expected to leap over six-foot walls and things of that nature.  This dispatch supervisor had moved here from Los Angeles twelve years ago.  He was very passionate about his job.  I actually think he would have talked to us all night, if we let him.  He let us listen to calls that came into the center and took us up to the control room where he explained all the equipment.  This place had more monitors than NASA. 

I always thought being a dispatcher would be an interesting job.  I still think that way, but it would take a lot more fortitude than I have to have to hand out food samples.  You don’t even get a lunch break on this job, but eat between calls when you have a chance.  This center works 24/7 all the time.  There are no holidays off. This would be very intense.  What about bathroom breaks?  I think I can cross this off my bucket list.

I would also like to tell people PLEASE don’t call 911 unless you have a real emergency.  Some of the typical calls they played for us were totally ridiculous and not at all emergencies.  You’d be surprised what people call 911 for. 

I’m enjoying this police academy class immensely.  I turned in my paperwork for a ride-along last Thursday so we’ll see how that goes once they do more background checking to make sure we’re qualified to sit next to an officer, I guess.  We had to sign the form where it stated in big black letters at the bottom that we would control ourselves in any situation and stay in the car while the officers made their stops.  Of course it asked what shift we wanted to ride on etc.  I told them to give me the most action packed thing they had and that I wasn’t easily rattled by things.  More on this later.  I’m hoping I can bring a camera along but something tells me this is probably a no-no.

In other news, we’re working all the time, which seems strange for our status as part time people.  We’re so shorthanded and very busy at work.  That alone will wear you out by the end of the shift because it’s nonstop all day long.

To add a little more to my plate, I backed into hubby’s truck last week and dented both our bumpers and broke my tail light.  This happened right in the driveway!  How stupid of me.  I was ready to kick my own ass for being in a hurry and not thinking.  I guess all the extra money I’m making right now from working so hard will come in handy, although I didn’t have in mind to use it for car repairs.

And so life goes on here in the desert without a minute to spare.  I still have a new printer sitting here I’ve never hooked up over the last two weeks because there’s no extra time.  I sure hope it works since it’s a replacement for a defective one.

And we’ve had days and days of rain.  The Parade of Homes is an annual event held in February every year and it rains every time.  You can set your calendar by it.

Until next time…

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Pickle juice is used for what?

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Yesterday at work we got into a discussion about minerals and cures for leg cramps.  Yes, sometimes we talk about the darndest things.

Rubbing pickle juice on leg cramps in the middle of the night came up.  Apparently, an older lady who works with us uses this on her Charlie horses that strike in the middle of the night.  In fact, she keeps a jar of pickle juice on her nightstand.  Who knew?

This information was confirmed by a second employee passing by and overhearing the conversation.  What a curious thing to learn.  I just had to google this when hubby told me about it.  According to the lady’s, this has to be dill pickle juice.

After getting on my computer today, I found that it’s the mix of salt, water and vinegar in the pickle juice that stops the cramps.  Supposedly you can drink a shot of this before bed, or rub it on the muscle that is cramping in the middle of the night, or at any other time.  The older lady, who keeps the pickle juice on her nightstand, says it can also be rubbed through clothes and will soak into your skin.  The clothes can be washed, so no worries there with the pickle juice. 

The internet says that rubbing mustard on the cramps will also help but I can see this being a lot messier and perhaps something that would stain your clothes, or the sheets.  I wouldn’t recommend amassing those mustard packets from fast food restaurants on your bedside table. 

I’ve alleviated most of my cramps though by adding a magnesium tablet to my nightly regimen, but I’ll try this pickle juice also because I’m on a low sodium diet and may not get enough salt on the nights the cramps wake me from a dead sleep.

So who knew relief was just as far away as your refrigerator?

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Do you have what it takes?

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I’m talking about the passion to do something so badly that you’ll do whatever it takes to get there.  This desire can be about anything in life but, right now with two classes of the citizens’ police academy under my belt; I can see it takes great fortitude to do this job.  It’s very dangerous in the times we live in today and passing all the tests to even realize the passion of finally becoming a police officer isn’t for the average person.  I never realized what all goes into this until our meeting last Thursday.

I think pursuing this profession has to be even harder than running for the presidency of the United States.  Just the physical endurance test that comes first would knock many wannabe’s off the list.  I’m sure this would be similar to boot camp, but it doesn’t last as long.  If you can manage to pass this endurance test, then you get the opportunity to move on to the next test of 100 “canned” questions.  If you’re still standing after all that, then it’s several months of interviews and background checks that cover your entire life.  If you’ve passed all this then it’s onto the police academy for a few months of training, then back to your own town for more police training before you can become a sworn in officer.  All of this takes the better part of a year to complete.

I sure did learn a lot from the Patrol Captain who was one of our speakers during class two.  Wow!  You really, really have to want to help the community and its citizens live in safety to go through all this preparation.  And also be willing to put your life on the line daily in the course of your job.  I have great respect for these people and all they do.  I’m also glad they do such extensive training and background checking so that the ordinary citizen knows they’re being protected in the best way possible.  It should be a comfort to know that there’s also ongoing training all the time to keep the officers up-to-date on all the latest technology and procedures.

I’m learning a lot about our police department here and this class has barely gotten underway.  We’ll even get to do a ride-along.  Wow!  Now that will be very interesting to see everything in action, although we’re told we have to stay in the vehicle all the time for our safety.

Other than work and class, the weather is warming up here.  Thank goodness!  It’s so nice to see 70 degrees and sunny skies.  Happy Valentine’s Day everyone!

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Class one of the Police Academy class was yesterday

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I had Tuesday off, thank goodness.  There’s life beyond handing out food samples.  I wanted to get something accomplished before the class. 

So I fixed the chain on a roller shade that broke about two weeks ago.  I haven’t had time to get to it.  And I got my litter boxes changed.  I’m sure my cats are happy about that.  Then I met up with some friends who will be going out of town for about two months so it was nice to see them before they left.  After that it was a trip to the grocery store and then it was time for class.  Naturally my replacement printer is still setting here ready to be hooked up and I never got the laundry done either.

This first class was held at the police station, which is about eight and a half miles from my house.  They have a basement classroom.  The police chief and the assistant police chief were the speakers tonight.  Basically it was a meet and greet and they went over everything that will covered in the next nineteen classes.  About twenty four people showed up, most of them retired folks.  They did have refreshments for us in the back of the room and each of us got a name badge and a big binder to put handouts in.

We all had to go around the room and introduce ourselves and where we were from, etc.  Of course being the talker I am I told them I made people smile everyday by handing out samples at Costco.  That was probably a big mistake.  We’ll see.  A couple of people told me afterwards they’d come and see me there.  That’s really all I need is more customers wanting a free sample but the assistant chief was talking about how important it is to have a good attitude and make people smile.  I serve orange juice tomorrow so we’ll see if anyone from the class shows up for that.

I think this will be a very informative class.  They encouraged us to ask all the questions we wanted and people did just that.  No one seemed very shy.  Most of the people in the classroom had moved from California.  There was a couple from Wisconsin and someone from Maryland.  Only a couple of the people were actually born in Utah.  There are three husband and wife teams taking the class and some people who are volunteers at the police department.

Overall it was interesting, but hard to hear people in the back of the room when they were asking a question.  People really need to speak louder in a case like that, but they don’t.  But I think most of us got the point as the police chief answered questions.  The two hours flew by.

Our next class is Thursday with police speakers from the administrative division and the patrol division of the police department.  This one is held up at the old airport, which I discovered last week when I was out trying to track down all these locations ahead of time.

Stay tuned.

Sunday, February 5, 2017


This was definitely one of the hardest things to get used to in the job of food demos.  You probably don’t know this but doing demos requires you to be very wasteful.  That really caught me off guard because I was always taught not to throw away food.  Growing up the way we did, on a farm in a sharecropper's shack, food was a precious thing not to be wasted for any reason.  It about killed me to dump good food into the trash at the end of the shift.  I’m used to it now, which is probably awful to say, but after a year and a half these are the rules if you want to work there.  I see new people we hire struggling with this idea now.

The main reason to throw food away is for sanitation reasons.  Some food has to be refrigerated and we have coolers with ice to keep it fresh all day.  Some of this can be returned if it’s not opened,  but much has to get tossed and it can’t be returned and put into the coolers for sale again once we've had it out on the floor for demos.  This is so wasteful.  But one good thing is we're allowed to give unopened can products and dry goods to the homeless shelter.  At least someone is getting the benefit of this food and it isn’t ending up in the landfill.

We try to salvage cooked food and give what we can to the guys on the loading dock when it’s possible.  That way it doesn’t go to waste either and end up in the trash can.  But we still have to throw away LOTS of food.  I never realized this about the food industry.  It seems so sad when there are so many hungry people out there in the world.  You would certainly think there was a better way of doing things with all the other kinds of things we can do these days.

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Thank God another January is behind us

I always feel better once we close the time out on January.  Though February is still cool here, I know we’re through the worst part of winter now and on the slide toward spring and summer, my two favorite seasons of the year.

So hurray, January is over for a while again. We can look forward to Groundhog Day or Candlemas, whichever you celebrate.  Both are early spring celebrations.  We don’t have a long while to wait now until new green shoots appear on plants and flowers.  This means more work but it’s so much better than shivering in the cold amidst brown twisted branches.

I’m always thankful the worst of winter is behind us.  Soon we’ll be off making summer plans, or fulfilling some of those resolutions, if it’s been too cold to do them. 

We continue to have the most beautiful sunsets.  I was out running errands and rushed home to grab the camera and capture some of the colors.  It was one of those evenings that started out all gold and then turned orange and pink and spread all over the sky.  I never get tired of the sunsets.

I've also received a new printer from HP finally.  I've been talking with them for a month about this as my printer doesn't work and it's not even a year old.  So I got the new one today but haven't hooked it up yet.  I wasted two hours driving to the airport and back trying to track down the places where the citizen's police academy will be held.  I'd rather know ahead of time.  So what a day.  I got nothing accomplished.

My class starts a week from yesterday, so I’ll be posting about that soon.