Eastern Utah
EMAIL ME AT: mgypsy97 at aol dot com

Sunday, February 27, 2011

It takes a 4 year old

to keep a Grandma humble! I went shopping with Jeannie & her family today - Costco and Target. As has become our custom, when I've gotten everything I need to buy at Target (and Jeannie still has a long way to go), I take Autumn over to the Pizza Hut counter for a snack and an icee. Today she wanted a bag of popcorn, so I was holding the very warm bag of popcorn while pouring the icee. For some reason I spilled a lot of the icee, so I cleaned up what I could and topped it off.

I carried the popcorn and icee over to the Starbucks area so we could sit at a table. Autumn looked me in the eye and said, "The last time we were here you spilled your coffee". What a long memory that girl has - it's been at least a month. I guess she's the only one in the family who will be seen with me at the Pizza Hut/Starbucks in Target.

Since I ate my small package of Oreos in no time flat last week, I didn't hesitate to get the big Costco size box today. For some reason I've been snacking a lot lately, which is something I don't do often, but it's like I can't get filled up. It must be the iron supplements I've been taking, which I've cut down to a half dose by now.

I've avoided driving more than a couple of miles at a time since my surgery, but I need to refuel my truck as I'm down to about 1/4 tank, and I have to drive to the eye surgeon for a follow up on the 3rd. I get diesel at Safeway as they have the lowest price I've seen in this area. The Safeway is well on the way to the surgeon, but as my appointment is at some ungodly hour of the morning I don't want to have to stop and fuel up, to say nothing about smelling like diesel for the rest of the morning. So tomorrow I will see how well my eyes are doing. I can notice a very slight improvement over the past week, but I'm ready for 20/20 vision! (Haha, as if that will ever happen.)

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

My faithful helper

Other than mentioning her in passing once in a while, I don't often write about my dog. She is so eager to be helpful, and is right now chasing a plate around the kitchen floor. I bought a bag of Wild Alaska sockeye salmon fillets at Costco a few days ago, and this is the second time I've fixed one of them. They are individually wrapped, and the package contains about 10 fillets. Easy to thaw, you can put them in the fridge to thaw or place the wrapped fillet in cold water. I marinate them in olive oil & seasonings for a short time and then bake in the oven.

To say they are delicious would be an understatement. Tonight is the second time I've enjoyed this delectable fish, and the plate was left with the skin and a few odd flakes of salmon, so I set it down on the floor for Lady to clean up. Earlier she had seen me remove a fillet from the package and waited patiently for the job she was sure she had to do - polish the plate, and polish it she did. She was practically drooling while I was eating (and ignoring her), but she's a good girl and doesn't bother me while I'm eating and keeps her distance. As an added bonus she got some of the buttery juice from the fresh spinach, as well as the cheesy remains from the baked potato. I tried not to leave her too much.

I didn't do much today, but finished one of the books I checked out of the library yesterday. It was a fairly large book (although in large print), and I could barely put it down once I started reading it. I'm ready to start on the second book which will probably be more difficult as it is in regular size type.

I'll need to buy half & half tomorrow, so at least I will get out of the house for a bit. It is supposed to rain, and I certainly won't drive far. There are a lot of small items I need to get at KMart or Target, but being that it's close to the end of the month I don't want to spend what money I have left,

Sunday, February 20, 2011

In need of comfort food!

I made a quick trip to the grocery this morning to pick up milk, and came home with 4 bags of groceries. Included were: a pkg of Oreos; a loaf of Cinnabon bread; bag of pretzel rods; bag of tortilla chips; and a few other staples. The oreos have almost ruined my appetite for dinner, but I already thawed chicken so I will go ahead and cook it. I also got a bag of sugar to make my hummer friends their nectar. I'm tired of sharing my organic sugar with them.

I also got cornstarch as I plan to make a lemon meringue pie before the lemons go bad. Normally I don't eat sweets but there are just some things I crave once in a while!

Nothing else today - it's been a lazy and uneventful day here.

Embarassing myself at Costco

Jeannie, Donald and the girls picked me up this afternoon because they knew I needed to go to Costco to get some eyedrops. I went to the pharmacy and then to look for them. I could swear I saw Donald pushing a cart with a couple of kids, and he was going so fast I couldn't catch up with him. I kept following him and even called out a couple of times. The guy seemed to go faster when I did that. When I eventually got close enough to see it wasn't Donald I was so embarrassed I just turned around and split. When I finally found my family I told them they should keep an eye on me.

The eyedrops were for my "good" eye, and they didn't have them. I'll have to go back to Costco again on Monday or Tuesday, so I hope I will be ok for driving by then. This has been a very long ordeal for me, nearly a year since my second cataract operation. Patience isn't my strong suit, but I'm trying.

I am gratified by the response from some of the readers who have said they are organ donors. Like Jeannie of Where's Eldo I have the organ donor designation on my driver's license, and just hope there is something usable by the time I expire!

I sure wish Lady didn't aggravate me like she does. When we go out in pouring rain she inevitably has to sniff longer and in more spots than usual, or she sees another dog in the distance and completely forgets what she's out there for. I'm probably not as nice to her as I should be, but I just can't stand around in the cold wind and rain. I notice I feel the cold much more lately than I normally do. Maybe it has something to do with having surgery, but whatever it is, she is stuck with me for now.

I bought two new pair of sandals to wear with all those capris I bought last summer - that is, if it ever gets warm enough to wear capris. The sandals are made by a company in Buford, GA called Okabashi, and were delivered yesterday. They have tons of flip flops plus sandals, (also men's sandals) and supposedly they are reflexology based, supportive footbed, 100% recyclable (in fact you can send them back to the company and they will take care of the recycling). They are anti-microbial, slip resistant, and dishwasher safe. I never thought of putting a pair of sandals in the dishwasher, but I guess you could. They are inexpensive, $15 for 1 pair and the other was on sale for $10. I think I'm going to love them, and the best part is that they are made in the USA!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Hungry Hummers Hurting!

I drove back home this morning and the welcoming committee buzzed me to remind me that the feeder was empty. So the first thing I did was to refill it, and there has been at least one hummingbird feeding whenever I look. There were two for a while who shared, but then it must have been the big daddy who came along and just his presence and body language caused the others to flee. Instead of quick sips they seem to be drinking long and deeply. I worry about what they will do when I leave, but I guess they will do whatever they did before I moved here.

In response to my question "When can I drive", the doctor said "Whenever you want to." I decided I wanted to this morning so I did. I loaded up the truck (making lots of little small trips) and drove the 5 miles home. I probably shouldn't have, but I'm stubborn and want to do things for myself. Now I think I will hang up the keys for at least a few days.

I still have blurry vision in my left eye, but am able to see a little more each time I check (by covering up the good eye). One thing that I am totally amazed at is the vibrant color - the intensity of color is simply fantastic, and unexpected.

I have been thinking a lot lately about folks who are organ donors, as well as blood donors. It is something you never quite appreciate until you are the recipient. In my case I think I am forever changed. The donor of my cornea (or the donor's family) made the decision to help a stranger if possible, without knowing the gender, nationality, cultural/ethnic group, religious views (or lack thereof) or race of that stranger. It is an act of unconditional love, and when you think about it, that is rarely found in people. Very few things are truly unconditional these days, and probably never were.

I also feel that the donor and I are bonded, physically and spiritually - it's a great feeling, sort of like I always have someone with me now. Someone that I will be eternally grateful to.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Quick update

If I was to have written this the evening of my surgery (Tuesday) it would have said:


By yesterday afternoon things had greatly improved. The post-op showed that the cornea was adhering - one of the biggest potential problems, it seems. The Dr. said everything looks fine and I will be seeing him again March 3.

If I cover my good eye I can see shapes which are getting more clear all the time, although I still don't see any detail with that eye.

I'll write more either later today or tomorrow. This is the first time I've turned my computer on, and the first time I've used my reading glasses. Other than feeling really tired (maybe because of the pain medication I'm taking) I feel great. And speaking of pain, I would call it that rather than "discomfort". Msybe it's because I'm getting older but I felt more pain than I expected to, especially during the surgical process. Oh well, it's past me now and I'm just going to concentrate on getting better every day. I hope that when I have the other eye done I can be completely "out" or at least more sedated.

I have lots of thoughts to pass along, but will hold them for later.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Cloudy skies

After a really nice week, weather wise, the clouds are beginning to roll in for the coming week of rain. I went out to look at the evening sky and all I could see is the Moon and Jupiter. I was armed with information of what to look for that I got from a great website provided by Al of the Bayfield Bunch, but the clouds will mean I'll have to wait at least another week.

I have been trying to get things cleaned up before next week, and I started out the door with a bag of recycling. I came back in as I thought I would take the dog with me - the recycling bin is way in the back of the apartment complex, and I know she loves to go back there - new and different dog pee to sniff! As she got up from the tiny little space she loves to scrunch up in, she walked past the coffee table where I had set a glass of beer, and of course, that huge tail of hers was wagging and knocked the glass on the carpet. I soaked up what I could with paper towels, and when we got back she went to work on the rest. That dog will lick up beer just as quickly as she will lick bacon grease off the floor.

Six weeks before I'm out of here, and I have no idea where I will go at that time, and I'm feeling overwhelmed at all I the things I have to do, pack, clean, etc. Everything is in such a state of disarray right now, and it won't be any easier to tackle when I'm recovering from surgery, but I can't stay focused long enough now to do anything.

In anticipation of successful surgery I've put two books on order from the library. I hope they come in by tomorrow or else someone will have to pick them up for me.

I hope to be back online with an update, maybe by Thursday.

(Just an afterthought: I have spilled beer before and Lady has never bothered with it or tried to lick it up. I think she knew I was upset with her for knocking it on the floor, and she was just trying to help me out and make everything ok again. Whatta doggie!)

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Keeping track of 5GB limit

In response to a question from Sherry about how I track the 5GB limit, there is probably an easier way with Verizon Manager (the little icon on your taskbar) but it doesn't work for me, so here is what I do:

Go to Verizon.com and sign in. Then, I click on Account Overview. Since I have a cell phone as well as Verizon MiFi, I have two separate phone numbers. It ALWAYS comes up with the cell phone # so I have to click and change it to my MiFi #. Over on the right side of the screen are some choices, and I click "(I Want to) VIEW USAGE.

Scroll down until you see Domestic Data Used, and you should see a green meter just below that. It shows you graphically where you stand, and to the right of that is the actual usage. For example, I am showing that I've used 2578 out of 5120 MB this billing period, which ends for me on 2/21. It's the 10th and I have 11 days to go with about half my GB left. I know I won't be using anything for at least a couple days after my surgery, so I am doing ok this month.

If you check this every few days, or at least when you know you've used a lot of bandwidth (those little videos can really use it quickly), then you can moderate your usage accordingly. Verizon sent me an email today informing me that I had used 50% of my bandwidth, but I already knew that. I think if you get dangerously close they would probably let you know, but you can't count on it, so keeping tabs on it is the best thing.

I haven't done much today except battle a plumbing problem. The toilet stopped up and over-ran the bowl. This tank uses a LOT of water! So I cleaned that up, then scooped a couple of pans of water out of the tank so it would use less, and kept trying to flush whatever clog was there. I would like to bet I haven't caused the problem - no self-respecting RVer would use too much TP, and I'm very conservative.

I have also had a problem for a couple of weeks with tiny little gnat type bugs in the corner of the bathroom that has caused me all the problems ever since the upstairs leaking pipe. I don't know where they come from, but I've killed hundreds over the past couple of weeks. They eventually fly, and I try to get them before then. I reported it to the mgmt and even took over a paper towel showing quite a few of them. Their answer was to call an exterminator, but when they started talking "fumigation" I backed off. No way do I want to have to leave while the air in this place is being poisoned, especially this close to surgery. I'll just keep zapping!

I asked the manager today for a plunger so I could unclog the toilet myself, and he brought one over to me. I had the job done in about 20 seconds flat! They took the toilet up when they laid the new tile, and I wonder if something wasn't fitted correctly, or if there is possibly a broken line further along. In one month I've had a horrible leak from upstairs, flying insects, and now a clogged toilet, all within less than 9 sq ft.

I spent the rest of the day cleaning and sanitizing everything in sight, as well as spending some time in the hot shower. I will really miss that shower - the force of the blast is an incredible luxury, and I've never even gotten close to running out of hot water.

I hope tomorrow is a better day. I need to get away from this place for a while, but have hesitated to drive anywhere, and don't really feel like going out at any rate. I can see a big difference in my eyesight, and not for the better. My son and his family will be back from Monterey this weekend to move some more things from their house, and it will be nice to see my grandson again.

My dog has been so funny lately, on the afternoon walk. She used to do it only once in a while, but now it's every afternoon - she gets on her back, arches and twists every which way - four paws stretched to the four directions! It occurred to me today that she is emulating me doing my stretch routine, although I don't do it like that!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Kudos to Verizon

This evening within 5 minutes I received two unwanted text messages - one advertising Bud Light, and another written in Italian. I talked to a tech at Verizon who blocked all text, photo, and animated messages, plus put me on the Do-Not-Call list. I asked if I could avoid the charges for the two unwanted messages and he said he would reverse them. Those 2 messages alone amounted to over $19!

Although I don't like the hassles of having and using a cell phone, I will say that Verizon tries to make it a decent experience, and I have never called them about a problem that I wasn't satisfied with their service. I was ready to cancel my phone altogether and pay a huge penalty, and to tell the truth I had decided I would get a jitterbug phone - not many options (which I don't need or use anyway), easy keyboard, and no external keys to get pushed by mistake or camera to get activated my mistake. I guess I'm stuck with the Verizon until approx. Oct of 2012.

Hey, that's just about 2 months short of the end of the Mayan calendar! I promise myself when this contract is up I am will get a land line phone and a basic pay-as-you go phone. In fact, if I rent another apartment or small house I will probably get a land line anyway. But for now, Verizon is as good as it gets.

I have been a recluse the past week or so, and I wish I had TV sometimes. I know if I had it I'd be either bored to death with the programming and commercials, or glued to the screen from morning til night. And no, I can't watch programs on my computer because I'm stuck with the 5GB bandwidth per month. I listen to Pandora Radio via the computer however, and the best part is that I can select the type of music I want to listen to and create a radio station for it. I have about 6 or 7 stations now with all types of music, but I still have to keep watch on the bandwidth being used.

Thanks to a comment from Judilyn, I downloaded Equinox and got it to work fairly well. Unfortunately the night skies have been somewhat cloudy the past few nights and about all I can see is the moon and Jupiter. I look forward to being on the road one of these days and not having so much light pollution.

I'm turning my telescope over to son, Steve, who lives a block or so away from the Pacific ocean now, and the stars seem to be more brilliant over the water. I hope he gets some good use out of it. I was concerned about finding the instructions for assembling it, but then had to laugh to myself - he will look at it and know instinctively how it goes. I was the same way when I was his age, although you'd never know it now.

I also want to thank Sandra for the link to FreeCell for the Mac. It works and I'm enjoying it, although I think Microsoft does the best board games. Also thanks to all who sent links and suggestions for skywatch software as well as games.

Six more wake-ups to go until the next step in my life is determined.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Frustrations abound

This is definitely off topic for RV'ing, so you can be forewarned and skip it if you like.

I have more time on my hands than is good for me, and I have been getting re-interested in astronomy. Not that I've ever lost interest - even subscribed to a year of Astronomy magazine, but that's another story in frustration.

When my ex husband gave me a telescope for Christmas 2000, there was software included that I can't find, but it is no doubt only for Windows based computers and I need something for the MAC. I want a simple backyard observer type program - nothing fancy or 3-dimensional. The software I had was absolutely perfect for me - you could set it for your location and time and it was set in memory until you moved or changed it. What it showed was a line depicting the horizon, and directions printed below letting you know what was in the sky to the N, NE, E, SE, S, etc. The stars were depicted in their proper location above the horizon.

You could move in any direction with the cursor and find out what stars were in view. You could even move the focus to straight overhead, and change from stars to planets only. It was absolutely perfect for printing out a section of what was up in the sky (to take outdoors for viewing).

I spent hours last night as well as a couple this morning trying to search for software that will allow me to see what's up in the format that I want it to be. I don't want 3 dimensional viewing; I don't want to travel through space, go to the moon or other planets and see the sky from their vantage points. I want a backyard chart for me, right here and now. Why is that so unavailable any more?

If anyone out there knows of the kind of software I'm looking for I'd appreciate hearing from you. I am nearly certain that the computer it was loaded on was the PC before my last one which I bought in about 2003. That is long gone, so my only hope is to find my original software and maybe buy a really cheap windows based laptop to load it on. I've been thinking a lot lately about getting an inexpensive laptop that I can load software on that isn't available for the MAC. Mainly games such as Mahjong and FreeCell, but also old programs that I loved and used. No web surfing, email or anything that invites scamming.

As far as Astronomy magazine goes, it drives me crazy with calling old familiar celestial objects by their numerical designation. Who the heck refers to M1 (I think that's the Crab Nebula)? I wonder why newly found objects are given a numerical code, and how memorable is that? I prefer the beautiful old melodic sounding names, such as Andromeda, or Cassiopeia-distinctive because of it's "W" shape formed by 5 bright stars. I would never remember that if it was called by an "N" or an "M" number.

Okay, I'm finished. Back to searching for old software depicting the night sky in my backyard. By the way, I'm desperately trying to not think about RVing or traveling until I know that I can do it in the future.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Lady is legal again

I'd hate to say how far behind I was in getting the rabies shot for Lady. I wasn't too worried, because I don't believe the protection for anything ends abruptly on the day it expires (except for warranties, of course), and she is an indoor dog for the most part. But just to become a law-abiding citizen again, I took her to Western Feed and Pet Supplies this morning, and for $11 got the 3-yr. shot. I had to put her age on the form and realized she is about 9 yrs old!

I am the same way when it comes to innoculations for myself - the fewer you get the better off you are. At least it works for me, and I haven't gotten a shot for anything in years.

The temps are in the 70's this weekend, and I planned to spend the day in my lounge chair on the patio. With all the TV's blaring the pre-game babble I couldn't hear myself think, so I came back indoors where I needed to turn on my little electric heater. Ridiculous, isn't it. Is there anyone who understands that not everyone is interested in sports?

I'm starting to consider where I would like to live on a permanent basis. I can always travel, and it no longer matters to me what I drive or what kind of lodgings I use in the process. If I choose New York, then I would undoubtedly spend winters in Sacramento and the west.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

The best seafood

I don't often write about food (at least I don't think I do) mainly because I don't like to eat out. Yesterday on my way home from the hairdresser I stopped at Whole Foods to see if they had sole fillets. Well they did, but not the Dover sole I'm used to seeing there, usually very thin fillets. This was a sole caught in Canada, and is normally well over $17/pound. It was on sale, so I told the clerk I would like three filets - the fairly small ones. I was shocked when he weighed them and said they were just a little over a pound - it came to over $13, but I wanted it so I bought it!

Being thicker they are much easier to fry as they don't fall apart. I fixed two of the smaller ones for dinner last night, and had the big daddy tonight. They were divine - and absolutely no fishy small. I love how they are so quick and easy to cook. But I felt really bad that they were trawled - there is so much waste when a trawler hauls up the nets, and I usually boycott it. But I'll have to say this was some of the best fish I've ever eaten.

I bought some baby spinach leaves in the salad section, and just barely wilted them, and had a small baked potato loaded with cheddar, butter, salt & pepper. I'm a happy woman right now - the wonderful dinner plus a glass of Gewurzstraminer wine - was just what I needed.

Tomorrow I'm going to cook chicken tenderloin with some fresh green beans. I guess I should try eating beef since I'm iron deficient, but I really prefer chicken and fish. Plus the cost of beef is outrageous considering it isn't my favorite meat.

I scraped the leavings from the skillet and let Lady lick the plate clean. For so little in the plate, a few crispies, a few shreds of cheddar, and the juice from the spinach kept her working a long time. I could put the plate back without washing it, but I loaded it in the dishwasher anyway. She almost never gets to clean plates or eat leftovers, so she's in 7th heaven.

I think February is going to move pretty quickly up to the 15th, and I'll be glad about that. This weekend my son (Steve), d-i-l, and grandson will be moving to Monterey. I am saddened by the move, but happy for them. It will be a great opportunity job-wise, and they have a beautiful place to live. I brought the packet of info on the camper back with me when I visited Lance in the storage lot a few days ago. Who knows, I may have to load the damn thing myself! I'd better read up on it.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Back and forth

I've spent the last couple of weeks formulating in my mind the ad I will place to sell my truck-camper combination. Today I went to drop off the check for Feb. storage, and stopped by the camper - it looks like the leak is only in the front window(which is bad enough) and is being contained by the tarp around the cabover part.

I then went to Costco and ended up coming out with a 6 x 9 patio carpet, which would be nice to have outside the camper to set up my chairs and little table. Go figure - am I going to sell it or keep it? I sure don't know at this point, but when the sun is shining everything looks a lot better and more hopeful.

My surgery is two weeks from today, and I need to start thinking about how I'm going to box up things to put in storage when I move from here the end of March. It won't be an easy task, for sure. But right now, while I have a speck of energy left, I need to do some cleaning - my most unfavorite job. With a dog around nothing stays clean for long.