Eastern Utah
EMAIL ME AT: mgypsy97 at aol dot com

Monday, May 31, 2010

Natural Air Conditioning

My outdoor thermometer was showing 80F in the shade this afternoon, and it was much hotter out of the shade, at least 90. The indoor thermometer in my bedroom registered 68F. I sure hope this holds up as I definitely don't want to run and pay for air conditioning in the heat of the Sacramento summer. Just walking inside from the patio felt like I was entering an air conditioned room. My electric bill for the past 30 days was $31.50, just slightly over a dollar a day, and that is with everything running off electric including the water heater. Not bad at all.

I will be much warmer tomorrow when I go to Jeannie's for a bbq, but I plan to dress for it, probably capris and a tank top. They recently got a hot tub which I won't be getting into, nor will I swim in the pool. For those of you who don't know, I have a phobia against getting into water, on a boat or raft, etc. It gets worse as I get older, but I just stay away from situations that I know will trigger the anxiety. When it comes to boats, I don't think I could get on a cruise ship any easier than into a canoe or rowboat, and I definitely prefer the mountains to the sea. That makes it all the more surprising that I enjoyed Savannah as much as I did.

I have a lot to do tomorrow morning before I leave, and I should be getting to get a little earlier tonight. However, I got engrossed in Bayfield Al's recommendation for a website called "Closer to Truth", and have spent a lot of time (and no doubt, bandwidth) watching it this evening.

I think I am experiencing an improvement in my eye, although it varies throughout the day and I still can't focus very well. At least I can hold out hope of returning to decent vision in the future. I will never again take eyesight for granted.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Internet access

I checked Verizon's internet as well as Comcast - in both cases you either have to be a current customer and/or get at least two different items - phone service, cable TV, etc. in order to qualify. I'm not sure any of the major companies would even sell you just internet access, though I may be wrong. I don't want to bother paying for a land phone line right now when I have a few more months on my Verizon cell phone commitment; I don't have or want to buy a TV, and it wouldn't make sense to get one just so I could get internet access. I think I'm outta luck!

I guess I'll continue with the air card until it breaks or my contract expires. While MiFi sounds good, I'm not sure it would be any better in this location. Better the devil you know than the one you don't know.

The hummingbirds continue to provide entertainment, and the nectar goes steadily down. This morning I saw a squirrel in the tree outside my patio, looking directly at the other feeders. A bit later I caught him hanging to a post and barely reaching the bird seed. I chased him away and moved the feeder over a bit so that he can't reach it in that way. I'm sure he will eventually go on the roof and hang upside down while eating his fill. That's when the feeding is over. I wish they didn't have to ruin everything. With all the oak trees around I can't believe they can't find enough acorns.

It's a beautiful day today, with the temps in the shade at about 70. Perfect! I just can't get up the energy to do anything, but I will go to the bbq at Jeannie & Donald's house on Monday.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Sometimes I get so fed up with computers I feel like just giving up on them. The connection here is so off-and-on, and it is frustrating to try to do anything. I need a new USB hub so I can connect the mouse and printer along with the air card. My arthritis was back this morning after using the touch pad all day yesterday.

Then I couldn't figure out why my mail was so slow loading that it times out once in a while. Today I noticed the bar at the bottom of the screen that says things like "Waiting for Google mail", etc. I couldn't believe my eyes when I read "Waiting for Goodle Ad Services", as well as a couple of other ad-related items they load along with the mail. So I'm going to seriously start looking for a gmail alternative. I will even go so far as to pay for service if they can assure me my privacy and promise no invasive ads. I did a google search a while back on Stone Mountain handbags, as well as one for Rachel Perry cosmetics. Now I am getting ads for both on web sites I visit - just tucked in with all the other ads.

I read a couple of newspaper articles lately about young adults removing pictures from Facebook, canceling Twitter altogether, and cutting way back on the use of technology that could later embarrass them when applying for a job (or maybe running for Congress?). If the younger folks "get it" - that our privacy should be valued more than it has been, that is saying something about the trends in their use of technology, as well as their personal savvy.

I was surprised in talking to my granddaughter that she still hadn't gotten her laptop fixed, and did without it the entire past year of college. She didn't seem concerned, and said she used the library's computers when she needed to. She told me how liberating it was to get un-addicted to the computer. We are alike in a lot of ways because she also doesn't watch or have a TV. There are times when I'd like to turn the tv on to relieve boredom, when in actuality I think tv is the most boring thing in the world.

Maybe I will get out this weekend and have something more cheerful to write about the next few days. My son dropped by today, pushed open the door and yelled in "Census calling!" I think he read my blog. I actually feel quite virtuous that I've now been counted.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

In response to several readers who asked, I will more than likely NOT be going to Lassen this summer. About a month after surgery, when I realized things were not going so well, I wrote to the folks at Lassen giving them an update. At that time I still had hoped to see a great improvement soon, and that I would be able to work at the campground as intended. As soon as I saw the surgeon and realized I had quite a while to go before I could go anywhere on my own, I again wrote to Lassen explaining the situation. It's just not meant to be, at least this summer.

Looking over the past year I am amazed at the times that I've been driven to do something or to change plans, not knowing why but trusting completely in my strong intuition. A case in point was leaving Georgia for the west coast, when I initially had planned to make a leisurely trip. As the time got closer I got frantic to be here as soon as possible - the birthday party for my son was a good reason - but there was an urgency in my trip.

Deciding to settle into a fixed location - that came out of the blue for sure. At first I didn't understand it but thought I might like to be up in the foothills. I nearly rented a house there when I developed an unexplained desire to be in Sacramento - first a little closer to the downtown area, and then at the last moment found this place in Fair Oaks, which is just about 2 miles from the eye clinic, and surprisingly off the beaten track for Sacramento while close to everything I need. I know this area, having lived nearby for six years, and that is probably why I feel comfortable enough to drive short distances during non-rush traffic times.

I certainly have no peek into the future. But I have learned in my later life to trust my intuition implicity. As far as the events of the past few months, I have actually had little say in the matter - I "feel" I should do something and can't possibly do anything else. It's an interesting trip I'm on, and I'm looking forward to whatever awaits me down the road. I just hope I can "see" whatever it is!

The bird feeders have suddenly become a little more active. The thistle sock has had what I think is a female goldfinch quite a number of times today. She is still in the drab colors of winter so it's hard to say. The goldfinches I saw in NC were the most beautiful bright yellow I've ever seen, and maybe these finches will brighten up when their mating season begins. I've tried to get photographs looking out of the window, but they didn't turn out very well and you can't see much detail on the bird. I may take my camera out on the patio some day when the weather warms up and see if I can snap them closer up. The camera doesn't seem to bother the hummingbirds, nor does my presence or the dog's.

It has rained off and on all day, with several very loud thunderclaps. This is so odd for the end of May in Sacramento.

I am still having problems with my internet connection, although I have figured out that it has a lot to do with the USB hub I've been using. I use it because the aircard is too wide to allow anything to fit in the adjacent usb port, so I can't even have a mouse connected. I disconnected the hub and plugged the aircard directly into my laptop and the service is marginally better. No doubt the weather has something to do with today's connection problems.

I would be interested in hearing from readers who use the MiFi for internet. In your travels do you find many places where the connection is non-existent or not so good? I'm thinking seriously about renting the MiFi equipment from 3G stores - with no contract to sign it might be worth it to just terminate my air card (at a $90 penalty) and try something else. If I cancel the rental before two years is up there is no fee but I would have to return the equipment or pay $200 to keep it. No contracts, no credit checks, no social security number required - and at least $10 less a month than what I'm paying for an aircard that doesn't work half the time.

I wouldn't change over without discussing the pros and cons with a customer rep from 3G, but would like to hear of actual experiences with the MiFi. I know there isn't anything that is perfect, but there has to be something better than what I now have.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Some good news and some less than good

I just returned from the doctor's office. He told me that the surgery looks good and is healing well. The less than good news is that the pressure in my left eye is still high due to swelling in the center of the cornea, which is why my vision is blurred in that eye, and is pulling the other eye out of focus.

More good news is that it will improve, and I came away with three more medications to continue using, one to reduce swelling. This condition is not uncommon with surgery such as I had.

More less than good news is that I am not going anywhere soon, say in the next couple of months. I still hope to be able to drive to NY in mid-September, but I'll just see how things go. I won't be buying any kind of camper in the immediate future - there is no sense getting anything until I can determine if and how well I can handle it. So any camping I do this summer will be in a tent which isn't so bad, at least to me. At present I don't want to go anywhere because of the aggravation with my eyes constantly going in and out of focus.

I go back to the surgeon in July. It's amazing how much confidence that man inspires, and I'm happy and feel things will eventually improve. What more can I ask? There are many people with much worse problems than I have, and I'm learning patience.

I know several readers are facing cataract surgery, and I'd like to say by all means go for it! In most cases your recovery will be quick and easy. I would do it all over again, even knowing what I would experience with the second eye, because I know it will at least get better. A cataract not operated on is NOT going to get any better!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Aerial display

Late yesterday I watched from my window as the reincarnated Red Baron and another World War ! fighter pilot buzzed and dive-bombed each other. I think they were having a grand time and no one got hurt. It seems one tries to buzz past the other one as close as he can get, but not touching. The whole show was a stunning display of the hummingbirds' incredible abilities in flight. I love to watch them and am happy to provide refreshments.

It wouldn't have been a good day for driving anywhere, so I stayed home and did laundry, including the bed sheets. I have a great system worked out - sleep on one side of the bed for a while, then in the middle, and then on the other side. That way I can go longer without having to change the sheets. That's a job I really dislike anyway.

It has been looking like rain today, but I think it will hold off until just before my appointment time tomorrow, so I can drive in it. I may not see any better in the rain, but I doubt I will see any worse.

I hope to have good news to report in tomorrow's entry. I hope it's good because I am getting a severe case of travel-itis!

Monday, May 24, 2010

I'm counted!

I decided to call the help line and give the census info over the phone, with my residence being the one in SD. If the lady who visited me yesterday had not been so rude I might have decided to be counted in CA, but this is the way I did it. It didn't seem right not being counted, although I did refuse to answer questions on race and national origin, which is entirely permissible.

Having dealt with the census from its inception in connection with genealogy research, I think this one is pretty dismal. I guess it's ok though because it can't be accessed by the public for over 70 years, and by then a researcher will only have to google my name and get much more info than the census could ever provide.

Late yesterday afternoon my bird feeder was visited for the first time, by two lovely birds that I couldn't identify. I was looking through the window from my living room and didn't want to make any quick moves and frighten them away, and it was really difficult to see them enough to even get a good description. I thought I saw a bit of reddish orange on the head and also in the tail feathers. With my sight, who knows - it might have been the sun shining in such a way as to change their color. Other than what I perceived to be the reddish color, they were a dull, mottled tan. I sure hope they come back and bring their friends and relatives.

I have a "sock" with thistle hanging as well but so far no finches have visited it. The hummingbird feeder gets a lot of traffic. I love watching the birds and wish I had a bit more space for a birdbath and a couple of other feeders.

I realize how negative I've become lately, and I hope I get back to a more positive outlook once I can see better. This is like living in a very dirty glass house that you can't clearly see out of. I'm thinking about suspending the blog entries until I see the eye surgeon on Wednesday and get some sort of idea what I can look forward to.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Moving day for my neighbor

My upstairs neighbor, Brandi, the woman who is moving to Oregon to have yet another cornea transplant, had the movers come today for the things she is taking with her. I am going to miss her, and hope they don't find a tenant who likes to turn the base up on his or her stereo, or otherwise make a lot of noise. This is a very quiet little spot in the apartment complex, and I would hate to see it change.

I got caught by the census lady this afternoon. Someone opened the gate and then shut it quickly as Lady went to check it out. But unfortunately I was sitting on my new lounge chair and didn't know she was from the census. She really ticked me off - I only answered a few of her questions, and I think she rolled her eyes at everything I said. I am sure her supervisor will make a follow up call, and I just won't answer to anyone I don't know from now on. A nicer person would obtain a lot better cooperation.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Friday's venture onto the roads

I drove into Rancho Cordova today, taking great care with my route. I didn't have any problems with traffic, but I had plenty with concrete barriers in parking lots. Have I said how I hate those things? I got my dog some biscuits for treats at PetsMart, and then drove to a store to get myself some little odds and ends. I feel so much more useful when I can do things for myself, and it is easy to become lazy when you allow others to chauffeur you back and forth.

We are invited to Steve & Meg's for a bbq tomorrow evening so I have no choice but to ride along with someone. Driving in the dark would be a killer for me.

Yesterday evening I watched my granddaughter's dance lesson, which is an hour and consists of ballet, tap, and jazz. I am so glad she is taking tap dancing - I showed her how the shoes can make lots of noise and how much fun it is. She picked right up on that!

After the lesson we went next door to El Pollo Feliz - the Happy Chicken - for a wonderful meal. It is a small family owned place and they do everything they can to please the customer. I ate about half a jalapeno pepper and thought I was going to go completely blind! Several glasses of water later, I could see and talk again. I love that spicy stuff.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Is it Thursday already?

I went through half the day before I realized in wasn't Wednesday! This is scary and I'm too old to have time speeding up like it has been doing.

According to my "get out at least once a day and drive somewhere" plan, I drove to the convenience store that is close to my house. I didn't have anywhere else to go, and going anywhere else would probably have involved spending more money than I spent at the convenience store. I was pleased that I had no problems at all with driving - the only problem was a group of 5 or 6 young teen-aged girls that were horsing around at the edge of the roadway. Do they realize the risk they take of getting hit? (There really isn't an answer to this question.)

A reader who uses Good Sam Trip-Journal for blogging wants to know how she can get notices of blog updates. I only know how I can tell if the Blogger friends have updated their posts, and it requires me checking on my own blog page. With trip-Journal I can subscribe and get an email when the blog has been updated. Are there any suggestions as to how to tell when I've posted a new blog other than going to my blog website?

Maybe something exciting will happen tomorrow for me to write about, but for now there really isn't anything interesting. I didn't meet the man of my dreams today!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

A short trip and some research

I drove over to the RV storage lot this morning and found a few things to bring back. The RV interior looks pretty good, although I only let out the bed slide, but I don't miss living in it. I can see how someone might love it as their rolling home, but I just don't care for it as a permanent lifestyle. It's my hope to find the right person to buy it, and now that Steve is back from NY maybe the ad can go back up and he can get calls again. He told me that the guy in Washington state keeps calling about the truck, which I'm plenty glad to let go after I sell the 5ver.

As I have mentioned, I bumped up my visit to the eye surgeon by about 2 weeks, and I finally got up the nerve to do some research on the internet. I almost hate to do that for any ailment, because it normally isn't a good idea to diagnose oneself (which I do anyway). I found that cataract surgery is the most common surgery in the world, as well as the most perfected procedure.

Most people's vision is noticeably improved within a few days, and that's how I remember it from last year. But having cloudy vision in the newly operated eye is not uncommon by any means, and can last up to several months. They figure it can take up to a max of 6 months for recovery, and lord I hope I don't have to wait that long.

Once in a while a procedure is required using a laser, which is supposedly very quick and painless, to "tweak" the eye. If that is required for me, then I'm ready for it to be done. I know I've complained way too much about this, and I apologize sincerely to anyone who is facing the surgery. In almost every case there is no problem at all, and I wish you a speedy recovery. For some reason this is my lot and I will deal with it, maybe not as gracefully and as graciously as I could. I am relieved that there may be a simple fix that will result in my vision returning completely.

Besides my Dell XP disk, I brought back my Coleman lantern from the RV, and the air mattress. I'm ready to go camping! I still have a telescope under the bed, plus the contents of the basement, most of which I will probably toss. I never want to look at any kind of a hose again, except for possibly a car washing device!

And finally, I again did a flawless job of backing into my parking space here at the apartment. Many thanks to the folks who suggested I do that, because it's so much easier to get into the space and to pull out of.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

I ventured out today

I went to the library this morning as soon as it opened at 10 am. The books are in such disarray compared to how they should be shelved. I found a book on CD, plus another in large print, which is much easier to read until my eyesight improves. I don't know how I'll do with the book on CD - the only other one I ever tried was James Joyce's "Ulysses", which is as difficult to listen to as it is to read. I think I remember getting through the first chapter!

When I got in the check-out line a lady behind the desk asked if I wanted her to show me how to use self-check-out. First the home improvement stores and Walmart, then the grocery stores, and now the library. I said "no thanks, I'll just wait", and she then told me she would check me out anyway. She said the library wanted them to begin trying to get patrons to use self-checkout, no doubt so they can reduce their staff even more. I told the librarian that I had recently had eye surgery and didn't see that well to begin with - she could see that by what I was checking out.

I detest self-checkout as I feel if a company wants me to spend my money they can at least check me out with my purchases. It is hard enough to find an employee to ask anything beyond the simplest question as it is. I often wonder what this country is coming to - when a store that sells goods mostly made in China won't even hire an American at the cash register.

I intended to do some shopping in an area I've been in before but am not very familiar with. I find it is difficult to tell at a glance what stores are in a particular grouping, so I never did find what I was looking for. Realizing that I shouldn't take my eyes off the road long enough to identify all the stores around me, I decided to head for the Bel Air grocery that I usually shop in. I had taken the dog with me so I noticed some parking places in good shade - when I got there I noticed two dog catcher vehicles. The guys in uniforms were standing outside their vehicles talking, and I didn't dare leave my dog in the truck that close to them, so I found another part of the lot that was still relatively cool. It was probably the quickest trip through the grocery I've made for a while, but I worried about the truck getting warm. It was fine when I got back, and she was sleeping, as usual.

Tomorrow morning I am going to make a trip to my RV and look for a couple of items that I'm missing - one is the original XP disk that came with my Dell desktop. The Dell actually came with a couple of printed instruction books, so I just might read up on formatting the hard drive and see if I can possibly do it myself. I would like to be able to get it functioning fairly well, as it was completely awful right before I got my Mac. There isn't a lot of memory, although I did add some to it. It's been a long time since I've understood computers, which were much simpler when they ran on the DOS operating system.

I've decided I'm going to drive somewhere at least once a day, not far, but I'm going to get out and about. I can't stand it when I get depressed as I have been lately. When I got back home and backed into my parking spot, I did it perfectly on the first try. That isn't an easy thing to do with concrete curbs all over the place, and all I could say was "Damn, I'm good!"

Monday, May 17, 2010

Monday Blues

Yes, I have the blues today, but not because it's Monday. I quit dreading Mondays the day I retired and have never looked back.

I only accomplished two things today: I did my laundry (big deal); I called the eye doctor's office and set my appointment up a couple of weeks, so that I will see him a week from Wednesday.

Tomorrow I am going to get in my truck, fire up that diesel engine, and drive to somewhere. Nowhere far, maybe only to the library, but I'm going to get out on my own for a while.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Shopping Sunday

I left home really early this morning - Jeannie called me at 7:30 to see if I wanted to walk. Of course I'll take the exercise when I can get it, and after an hour of it we went back to her house for breakfast. She offered to take me to a couple of stores that I needed to go to, and Donald and the little girls decided to come too. It was a delightful family outing. For an older person, being with younger folks can help your perspective from a young person's point of view; while you might not always agree with it, it certainly doesn't hurt to keep an open mind.

The most difficult part of it for me is the time that it takes to do anything. I'm used to jumping in the car or truck, driving to where I need to shop, quickly locating the things I want to look at and then checking out and going home. It is never simple when you add people to the equation, especially two little people. But the fun of it all greatly overrides my cranky old nature!

At Target Autumn started asking for "Dora" bandaids. If you aren't around little kids, Dora and Diego are two animated characters that are featured in a learning series on TV (as opposed to simply mindless entertainment). At least this is how I understand it. Autumn loves anything with "Dora" on it, so she wanted "Dora" bandaids. I could see that Jeannie was preoccupied, and being a grandmother just itching to spoil my grandkids, I took her by the hand and we went in search of Dora. When we found the bandaids, Autie couldn't decide if she wanted Dora or Strawberry Shortcake, so of course I bought a box of each. When we were in the car driving to our next stop Jeannie saw that she had 3 bandaids on each leg! Then she got afraid that it would hurt to take them off, which if you have hair on your legs or arms does hurt to take a bandaid off. Her dad came to her assistance, and all is well again.

When we got back to my apartment Donald assembled a gas tabletop grill that I had bought, and it took him probably 3 times longer than what the instructions predict. I took one look at the instructions a couple of days ago and told him I would throw the whole thing over the patio fence before I would even try assembling it, so he offered to do it for me. It is all assembled now and waiting for me to fire it up and cook something.

I bought a very nice lounger for my patio and for when I'm camping. It reclines enough that I can take naps on it, and I think I will try it out tomorrow unless the predicted rain falls in Sacramento.

The few bucks here and a few more there, and my checking account is getting down to where I need to stay home for a while. One good grocery shopping trip should be the biggest expenditure for the rest of May.

Welcome home!

This evening's get together at the Old Spaghetti Factory was a surprise welcome home from college for Ara. She thought it was just her Mom and family, and Grandma, but Joe & Sarah, and Amy & Stephanie, and her friend Christina were there when we arrived.

Donald made a cake that looked like a big plate of spaghetti with meatballs on top. The meatballs were made from cream filled chocolate, and the cake had strawberries in between the layers. Wonderful!

I wore my white capris (and didn't even spill spaghetti sauce on them), and my mother kept quiet about it. It is said that time and space exists only in our earthly lives, so perhaps in heaven, where my mother undoubtedly is, the old "Not before Memorial Day and not after Labor Day Rule" is not a big deal.

For some reason my hair looked more gray tonight than it usually does. That didn't make me feel very lovely. Sometimes I just hate growing older, but I'm not ready to stop dead in my tracks!

Friday, May 14, 2010


I think I should comment on some readers' comments & suggestions. First of all, I was back at Fry's today and just about all the portable hard drives are already formatted - for Windows. And of course the one expressly for the Mac and pre-formatted for the Mac is more than I care to spend. I ended up buying two 4GB flash drives. If they work, then I will copy my photos and music on one, and my genealogy database on the other. If the music and pictures don't fit on one flash drive then I'll just have to get another drive. I can't think of anything else I could lose that would be disastrous for me - and the photos and genealogy are the only two things I couldn't replace.

I have been complaining about being so tired, and I nearly always take a nap during the afternoon. I think the tiredness I have now is the sort that comes with boredom and/or depression. Not that I'm clinically depressed or anything, but I am so limited in what I can do until my sight improves, and being such an independent person, it is making me a very unhappy camper. That said, I am still planning the future. I'm also looking forward to seeing my oldest granddaughter who comes home from college tomorrow.

It got up to mid 80's again today and I didn't realize how hot that can feel until I was out of my cool apartment and into the sun. Sacramento summer - nothing like it. So far it feels like I have a/c indoors, but I wonder what it will be like 10 or 20 degrees from now.

I think I'll go sit on the patio and get buzzed watching and listening to the hummingbirds.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

How do I get so tired doing nothing?

I did nothing today, but had planned to attend my granddaughter's dance lesson at 6:30 this evening. She takes tap and ballet dancing, and looks so cute in her little leotard and tights. By the time it got to be 5 pm I knew I wouldn't be going anywhere. I seem to be ok in the morning and through the middle of the day, but by late afternoon, color me worn out!

I wish I didn't have to wait so long to see the eye surgeon (June 10th), but I don't know if he could tell me much right now anyway, or at least anything I would want to hear.

The temperature got up to 86F today but I'm wearing a lightweight jacket indoors. I tried to sit on the patio for a while, but it's not as comfortable in a camp chair as it is on the furniture inside. I need one of those (expensive) fancy loungers with attached footrest, etc. I keep watching for sales, but they are still expensive. I'll get one soon at any price.

It is really nice weather for wearing my capris, and I'm glad I bought several pairs. I am going out for dinner with Jeannie & family at the Old Spaghetti Factory on Saturday, and have decided what I will wear - I have a pair of white capris that I haven't yet worn. If I dare put them on I know my mother will come back to haunt me for wearing white before Memorial Day. I don't think that was ever a fashion rule in California, but it sure was in Ohio! I rarely listened to my mother when she ticked off rules such as this one, but there are a few of them from which I have never waivered. I think it's about time I set my own rules!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

A Trip to Fry's Choo Choo

Donald called me this afternoon and said he was taking his Mom to Fry's to look at a TV, and he knew I had been wanting to go. So we took the two little girls (Autumn and Arianna) and piled into the car. I need an external hard drive for backing up my computer on a regular basis. I just get confused when I see the products out there and worse, when they are explained to me. You don't just buy a drive - you have to format it on a PC for most of them. Any that are pre-formatted for the MAC just cost way more $$.

Note for those of you who might be new to my blog, Fry's theme is old choo choo trains. There are large ones exhibited inside, and one that is bursting through the walls in the front of the store. They are the old fashioned trains - not Amtrak. Autumn has always referred to my 5th wheel as "Nana's Choo Choo", and she always refers to Fry's as "Fry's Choo Choo".

The saleswoman told us that they are having a giant sale starting Friday, and suggested that if we could wait until then... When she explained about the formatting process I know my eyes glazed over - as if I don't have enough problems with my vision! Donald said he would do it for me, so I will go for that. We're going back on Friday. If I get a drive with enough space I might just have him format half for the PC and the other half for the MAC. The only thing I miss about the PC is the availability of the sort of games I like to play, and I don't spend that much time on them anyway.

Earlier today I drove to the grocery - one that is about 2 miles further than the one I usually shop at. Mistake! The traffic was light and I had no problems, but every time I do this I realize I should stay off the roads. What if I can't ever drive again? It doesn't bear thinking about.

I'm sure I will be able to drive, but I just wonder sometimes. While I was waiting at Fry's while the rest of them went into a video viewing room I found shelf of TV's featuring - WILLIE NELSON! I stood there spellbound, and he sang "On the Road Again" for me. I will take that as a good omen.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Where did the day go?

It was 39F when I took Lady out this morning, so I was glad to get back home and into a warmer apt. I did very little today and took a nice long nap, telling myself I am letting my eye heal. I hope it works.

It did warm up, but I still didn't go anywhere. I'm in the process of researching the kind of RV I want to eventually get, and have spent most of my waking hours on the net. I found a great forum for what I'm looking for, and have gotten some excellent info so far. Time will tell.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Springtime took a runner

It's currently about 45F this afternoon, which is not what I remember as typical Sacramento weather in May. I shudder to think what lies ahead when it gets hot this year.

Thanks to Rick for his advice on how to get rid of red eye in a photograph. He even took one of my pictures and fixed it for me, and I can't figure out how he did it! I have tried with Picasa as well as with other photo programs, and I remember having to point the cursor on the spot I wanted to correct - of course I always got it a little off center, which made the eye look weird. I think I'll send my red eye pictures to Rick before I post them :-)))

I must have a mental block against Picasa, or else Picasa "has it in for me". Nothing I have ever tried to do with it has worked out the way I thought it would, and as anyone can tell who has read my blog for a while, I have absolutely zero patience with technology that doesn't work for me, and quickly. I won't take the time and effort if it's a long learning curve.

I tried to join a Yahoo mailing list today. I have a Yahoo account because I have been on another mailing list for years, but I couldn't remember my exact login so I tried several iterations of what I thought it was. No good. So I tried to start from scratch and create a new account. In the first place I couldn't make heads or tails out of the silly word that you have to type in - Yahoo seems to be much worse than Google in this regard, although Google is pretty lame sometimes.

I finally opened up my cheat sheet of passwords that I created in Word, and found my Yahoo information. Fine - I was able to go forward with the membership to the mailing list. This isn't trying to get into the Pentagon or the FBI or NASA headquarters - nothing like that, although the secrecy and secret words and questions would have you believe otherwise.

I was surprised that I was asked for all kinds of information including my birthdate. I tried getting by with just the month, but Yahoo wasn't having any of that. I deducted ten years and went on to the next trap. I had to select two secret questions AND provide the correct answers for them, and the list of questions they gave me to select from was pretty dismal. What was the first street you ever lived on? What was your first pet's name? It went on in this vein, and I suppose if I was ten years younger I could remember the first street I lived on and my first pet's name, but the lie was already entered. I finally selected "Where did you go on your honeymoon?" Note, they didn't specify first honeymoon, but I gave the answer for the first anyway. Then came the worst part - another of those silly words in some sort of foreign letters - could have been the cyrilic alphabet as far as I know.

I must have passed the test because I'm "in with Flynn"! I wonder if it was worth it, and if I will ever subject myself to that sort of ridiculous exercise again as long as I live.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Mother's Day

I'd like to wish all the mothers (and surrogate mothers) out there the very best, and hope you had a good day.

I spent the afternoon at Jeannie & Donald's; Joe & Sarah, and Amy were there also. Here's a picture of the mamas and the babies:

And another one

Steve & Megan are in NY visiting Mike & Sandy, and celebrated the day there. Since most of the last few years I was in Asheville and alone on Mother's Day, it's nice to be able to spend it with family.

Note: I always manage to get at least one red eye in my photos. Any suggestions?

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Worn out on Saturday

I got up very early this morning to go walking with Jeannie, but it turned out she was later than expected. The baby woke up before she could slip away, so we had company. Arianna is the cutest little girl with an absolutely sunny disposition, so it was fun having her slong. We walked for an hour, which I know is good for me, but which really wears me out.

Then it was a trip to Target where I bought an inexpensive hand mixer. I haven't had or needed one for years, but I want to do some baking so I went ahead and got an inexpensive one. Also bought a toaster on sale - I have a big toaster oven that drives me nuts because it allows eggos to curl and slip down into the oven compartment as they thaw. If I can get them out intact, they are curled up like a taco shell!

A few other stops plus a trip to the grocery rounded out the day. Now I have to stay awake long enough to get the required eyedrops into my eyes. It is still daylight but I would love to go crawl into bed. Jeannie and Donald are having a bbq tomorrow, but I will have the entire morning to just fool around, and maybe Lady will let me sleep a few extra minutes. (Yeah, right)

I had several suggestions in response to my complaint about CA pharmacies, that I could get prescriptions by mail. I have always used a local pharmacy where one was available, and I don't even care for the ones at the supermarkets or discount stores. My local pharmacy when I lived in Asheville had no turnover of personnel for the entire 5 years I lived there, and they always recognized me when I walked in the door. I know that is not the usual way of doing business these days, but I'm old enough that I don't have to change - at least without kicking and screaming about it. I try always to support locally owned businesses, and knowing and trusting your pharmacist (as well as your auto mechanic) is comforting. Some day I may find a locally owned pharmacist here in Sacramento, and I might switch if I do.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Connection problems, again!

I couldn't hold a connection at all yesterday, and it's terribly frustrating. I thought maybe my aircard/antenna setup was going bad again. So it's 8:00 am on Friday morning and I've brought the whole thing out to the patio, reasoning that my AT&T cell phone doesn't work inside the apartment, so it could be the same with my AT&T aircard. I'm sitting here in my jacket - Sacramento mornings are COLD, even when the days are warm.

I drove yesterday to get the last of my prescriptions, and then went to the library. I don't know why it is such an ordeal to get prescriptions refilled promptly in the state of CA, but I had the same problems last year, even when I had to drive 50 miles one way to the nearest pharmacy. They never have enough of what you need - "we'll give you 10, and you can pick up the rest tomorrow" seems to be their mantra. Only tomorrow they usually have an another excuse. I didn't find that in North Carolina, nor was it a problem in Georgia. It is aggravating since I only drive when my vision seems to be really good, and then it has to be a time when traffic is light, which drastically reduces my window of opportunity.

So on my 4th trip back to Bel Air Pharmacy I finally picked up the remainder of what I was prescribed. I then drove to the Fair Oaks library and checked out some books. I started one yesterday when I couldn't get connected to the internet, and read it off and on between other activities. I finally set it down at 11:30 pm with about 2 chapters to go. I haven't done that in a while!

The economy seems to have taken its toll on the library system here. Of course I compare all libraries with the branches of the Fairfax Co. VA Public Library system, and of course Fairfax Co. makes all other libraries pale by comparison - just sheer number of books, but also the staff. I don't mean to denigrate the staff at the local library here - they are friendly, helpful, and willing, but there aren't enough of them. I found books out of order all over the place, which is a "no-no" for a library. If I wasn't going to work at Lassen soon I would volunteer to come in a couple days a week and shelve (and re-shelve) books for them.

I tried my best to find something in large print that I wanted, but all books are mixed together - fiction, non-fiction, sci-fi, mysteries, etc. It is frustrating to have to look through them. I guess if I didn't have something to complain about I would have to invent something!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

I love that dog!

Lady was relaxing on the patio today, and I had the front door open so she could go in and out. I decided to make some tuna salad for my lunch, and got the can of tuna from the cabinet. When I opened the drawer to find the can opener, Lady walked in, did that shake that dogs do, and practically smiled at me expectantly. I always let her have the juice from the tuna rather than pour it down the sink, and she was ready!

But how did she know? I didn't make any noise retrieving the can, and I hadn't yet started to rummage through the drawer. It's sort of like when I'm in another room and start to tie the shoelaces on my gym shoes. They are my "going for a walk shoes", and she knows. But tying shoelaces doesn't make any sound, and I just don't understand what "clicks" for her. I wish I understood what she was thinking better than I do, although I know the signs for the important stuff.

My internet connection today has been dismal. I haven't been able to keep a connection for longer than ten minutes, and rarely that long, and I don't think I can do anything about it. I am really trying to stay with this air card until the contract expires (next January), rather than pay the early termination fee. Plus, I'm hoping there will be something superior to MiFi by the time I'm ready to buy another connection device. My neighbor back at Fort Pulaski had MiFi and it was great, but she said the drawback is that you can't connect it to an antenna as you can with an aircard.

I have a big gripe with the cell phone and internet service providers - with the giant leaps in technology I just don't believe they couldn't give us something better, and probably for a lower price.

Terminal laziness

That's what I'm afraid I'll soon have. I didn't do anything today but sit at the computer - mostly doing genealogy. It's addicting, especially since I've been away from it for over a year. But I have a lot of other things I should be doing, like I can no longer convince myself I can't clean the floors, or empty the remaining boxes.

Come hell or high water I'm going to the village tomorrow and get some quarters at the bank so I can do laundry. That's a long walk on pavement so I might break down and drive the truck. It is amazing to me that, although I still don't see a clear image in my operative eye, it gets much better by late in the day. You'd think I'd wake up with good eyesight that would get worse as the day goes on. Right now I am seeing just fine. Well, at least it's not too bad.

I'm still loving apartment living, although I can sense the vibrations of the road just singing out my name. I realized today that I don't have to defrost my freezer, and my hair dryer won't conflict with any other appliance. Not that I have many appliances, but I was always having to go reset the circuit in the 5th wheel because I would forget - it was mostly the hair dryer causing the trouble. Also, the water pressure is superb, and I especially love the shower. Having a dishwasher is a luxury I didn't think I would miss, nor did I think I would ever have one again. I am quickly getting used to it, and appreciate having a clean coffee pot.

I miss the traveling, but I hope to be doing some in the future. I just don't know yet how I'll be doing it, although I want to be able to go over back roads and into areas that aren't congested. Maybe I can get a family camping trip going for some weekend before I head off to Lassen.

Right now I need to head off to bed! Nite y'all.

Monday, May 3, 2010

On the patio

I sat outside on the patio with Lady for awhile this evening. I'm sure she would like it much better if I would bring her comfy dog bed out on the concrete, but that's too bad because I'm not.

It is a very small patio, and when I look out, I see - NOTHING! Actually, what I see is the beautiful trees all around me.

I like it that way. I rarely hear any traffic, and once in a while a child is laughing or crying, but mostly I just hear birdsong. Then comes the roar of an engine and a hummingbird shows up at the feeder! Try as I might I cannot get a picture of one. When my camera isn't pointed at them they will hover slightly away from the feeder in plain view, as if to show off their skills. As soon as the camera is ready they hide.

From where I usually sit they show off for a few seconds and then feed from the other side so I can't see them. I moved my chair this evening so I could see the "back" of the feeder, and wouldn't you know they moved out of sight again. They're playing with me.

I found out yesterday that I'm losing my neighbor who lives in the apartment over mine, and I will be sorry to see her go. She came by the day I first looked at the apartment and we talked for a minute, and I've enjoyed brief conversations with her ever since.

She is almost totally blind, although when I describe what I see out of my left eye she told me that is about all the vision she has in hers. Born with glaucoma, she lost one eye and has had three cornea transplants in the other. The first lasted 18 years, but the next two only lasted 6 months each. She visited her sister in Oregon last week and found an eye surgeon there who she really has confidence in, and who definitely would like to do another transplant. I'm so glad she is going for it, but she will be moving to Oregon; her sister and b-i-l have built a very large home, and Brandi will add on an apartment for herself. At least she will be with someone as she undergoes this surgery.

She will be moving soon, and her account of clearing out her apartment sounds like RVers who sell their homes and go fulltiming in an RV. She is getting rid of mostly everything, including furniture. I am the recipient of a very beautiful floor lamp which I desperately need. She also gave me some dishes, which will mean I don't have to go out and buy a set or add to the Corelle I already have. Four place settings served me nicely in my RV, but now that I have a dishwasher I need a bit more. She also gave me some Oven King bakeware - actually made in the US!

I will miss her baking as well - she does a lot of baking and I have been the recipient of some of it. Enrique, the man in charge of Maintenance, carried the lamp downstairs for me, and he will definitely miss her. She keeps his sweet tooth mollified. For being visually impaired as she is, she has about the sweetest nature and cheerful personality of anyone I know.

When I am tempted to complain about my own slow progress I realize I don't have a problem at all compared with what some people have. It's a very humbling thought.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Nothing to report

The past couple of days have not produced anything to write a blog about! This morning Jeannie and I walked for an hour, and was I ever glad when she called "time". My legs were sore, but I didn't feel the soreness for long. I spent the afternoon at her house, and we were joined by my sister, Amy.

So nothing new on the seller's front, and I know it will come about in good time so I will try to wait patiently until it happens. I am okay with it because I know if it doesn't sell in time I will just tow it to Lassen for 6 weeks. Of course I would prefer to take something much smaller, but it's good to have a backup plan. I have much less patience with my eyes.