Eastern Utah
EMAIL ME AT: mgypsy97 at aol dot com

Monday, August 31, 2015

Fueling up

I went to Costco this morning and first went into one of the lines for the gas pumps.  The pumps can be accessed from both sides, but all traffic drives one way in and one way out.  The hoses are longer than usual so if your tank is on the left side, as mine is, the hose will still reach.  Just barely.

I used to avoid the pumps on the left but decided I would just take what will be the quickest way through the station.  Today I was trying to stretch the hose, hold my sunglasses in my hand (which I had taken off in order to read the instructions on the pump), and also my Costco card and debit card.  I wanted to get rid of something so tried to put on my glasses, but nearly dropped the cards.  There is always an attendant there, and the female attendant came up and took over holding the pump.  I got myself straightened out but she insisted she would pump the gas for me, and told me that when I come back I can just toot the horn and an attendant will come and pump the gas for me.  

I was really pleased with Costco - I don't know if that is standard with all of their stores or just the one I shop at, but it was so nice to stand and chat with the attendant while she was pumping the gas.  Costco really tries to be good to its members, which is certainly a big difference from some of their competitors - B.J.'s comes to mind.  

I am trying to get off the sweets I've been craving, and safely got past the biscotti and the box of 24 Danish.  But further along, dang if I didn't go past another display of biscotti and my guard was down.  I haven't had one for a long time and enjoyed it after my lunch.  Mmmmm good!

Sunday, August 30, 2015

A Wasted Trip

I had plans to go to Costco early this morning before the crowds arrive, and pulled into the parking lot at about 10:30.  I reached in my purse for my wallet so I could get my membership card out to show at the entrance.  No wallet!  Well, that was that.  Not only could I not get into Costco, shop and pay, get gas, etc., I also was driving without my license.  When things like this happen to me I take it as a message from the Universe that I shouldn't try to shop at Costco today, and just came back home.

I've ordered a couple of books to read on the plane to and from NY, with one of them being shipped to my son's address just in case it might not arrive here in time.  Ironically the book has already shipped to NY, while I haven't heard anything yet on the one I'm expecting to be delivered here.  I still have a week for it to arrive.  I wish I knew what to expect weather-wise for NY in September and early October.  I can go by previous years and/or forecasts for this year, but I don't think the forecasters know any more than I do.  It's probably a crap shoot!

Speaking of weather, Sacramento is finally looking pretty good for a change, with the coming week in the high 80's and maybe into the low 90's.  I am truly sick of the heat, but know it's not over.

I note that an old sports hero of mine, Johnny Bench (catcher for the Cincinnati Reds) is now making commercials.  I would never have recognized that gorgeous sex symbol of the 1960's as the guy doing the commercial.  I just shake my head and realize if anyone remembers what I looked like in the 60's they wouldn't recognize me now.  No one is lining up to pay me to make commercials!

The moon has shone in on my bed in the exact spot I've been sleeping in (to avoid washing the sheets last week).  It has been a spectacular sight as well as comforting to be in the moonbeam.  I think last night was the actual full moon, and it seemed to be a little larger than usual.

Speaking of changing sides on my bed, it is working out quite well and I'm glad I did it.  The mattress will have a chance to recover from my weight on the same spot night after night, and the new side feels like a new mattress.  I've always turned the mattress at least a couple times a year but the last time I had a very difficult time maneuvering it by myself.  So instead of moving the mattress around, I'll just move Gypsy around.

Saturday, August 29, 2015


I was sitting at a traffic light on my way to the market this morning and happened to observe the vehicles around me.  I'm sorry to say that I think there are a whole lot of ugly cars out there these days.  I don't like the square, boxy look, and remember fondly the curves of the 50's.

My dad drove a car with a manual transmission until 1956, when he bought a car with automatic as I was turning 16 in November and would be learning to drive.  Our dads or someone else taught us to drive in those days as the schools didn't have driver's ed.  My dad was a supreme teacher.  He could often get excited and yell, but when in the car with me at the wheel he was perfectly composed - at least outwardly.  There were times we got in traffic in a place I wasn't familiar with and begged him to take over, but he calmly made me go on, and never raising his voice, talked me through it.  I miss him so much!

But I got off track.  The cars back then had beautiful curves and looked so sleek and aerodynamic, not like all the boxy angles that were around me in traffic this morning.  My dad, in his wisdom, wouldn't take me to the DMV on my birthday, which was the dream of every 16 year old.  He told me I wasn't ready and needed more practice, so I practiced every chance I got until March of the following year.

The vehicles around me this morning may have been ugly as sin, but they provided me with a beautiful trip down memory lane!

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Laziness Reigns

I am doing a load of wash this morning before it gets any hotter (going up to 100+ today), and have been wanting to wash the sheets on my bed.  Just before I took them off the bed I realized that the sheets on the other side of the queen size bed are in pristine condition.  That settled it!  I will sleep on the other side and hold off on washing them this week.  I am also conserving water, and my halo is just a bit more shiny!  I hope I don't fall and hurt myself trying to get to and from the bathroom from the far side of the room and I'll need to make sure the way is clear enough to walk in my sleep.

The chiropractic visits are going well and getting a little more intense.   I've been given exercises to do at home, and with the walking I try to do at the gym, it seems like I'm always doing something.  Actually I sit a lot which isn't good for anyone!  I will be doubling up on the visits before I leave for NY and after my return.  A month is a long time to be away from it.  I can honestly say that finding and going to a good corrective chiropractor has been the best thing I've ever done for my total well being and health.  (A corrective chiro restores normal curves to the spine and aligns the vertebrae.  Spinal corrective care can be compared to orthodontic corrective care. It is a process of slowly changing the spine to a more anatomically correct position, similar to changing the position of teeth through multiple visits. Once optimal position has been accomplished, periodic maintenance adjustments are required to maintain that position, which is similar to using a retainer after an orthodontist removes braces.)  Of course, proper nutrition and elimination of medications, Rx and OTC, have me feeling like a new person.  I hope I never have to go back to a regular MD again.

At 9:30 am it's already hot.  I just hope New York is cooling off for the fall season.  I might see some changing of the leaves, but will probably return before the true autumn colors emerge.  I often get confused with NC, where spring arrives earlier and autumn comes along much later than the Northeast.

Monday, August 24, 2015


Last night presented one of the most beautiful sunsets I've ever seen from this house.  I took a lot of photographs, but none do it justice.  For one thing, the photos show up a lot of yellow glow but miss the gorgeous blue in the sky.

A couple of evenings ago, before sunset, I happened to look out the front door and saw a huge red ball in the sky.  I'm sure it was the sun, but I've never seen it that color or that big, so I grabbed my camera and took a couple of photos.  I was so disappointed that the sun didn't even show up on the photos.  I was telling some people about it and one suggested it might have been a UFO.  Could be, but from what I've heard you don't see the "UFO" until you look at your photo and there it is!  This would have been the other way around.

I watch the sunset every day, and have to close the vertical blinds a little so that I don't have the sun glaring in my eyes, and I'm sure the sun is in a much different location by the time it comes into my view.  This was in the same general direction, but much more to one side than it usually is.  It no doubt has something to do with the smoke in the skies, although I honestly don't smell smoke lately.  I think the winds blew it to the north, and we can breathe easy again.

I realized after I had gawked at the sun for a while and taken several pictures of it, that I had no eye protection!  Here I am with macular degeneration which is surely worsened by the sunlight, and I'm looking straight at it!

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Birthday Party

Meg took some photos when we first arrived - Donald, Jeannie, Sarah, me, and Joe:  (There is much more detail if you click to enlarge the photos).

The tables had some of Liam's small dinosaurs with party hats they made for them:

Liam enjoyed opening his gifts:

Donald outdid himself (as always) on the cake.  This was a dino, with two big eggs one of which had little dinos hatching out of it.

It was a good day, with good food, good company, and a fun time for all the kids.  There was a bounce house that kept them occupied for a while, although I didn't take a picture of it.

I was sleepy when I got home from being in the warm outdoors, and fell asleep while watching a YouTube video!

I was grateful to get a ride with Jeannie and Donald so I didn't have to tackle the traffic.  It's having to change lanes that bothers me the most, and I can do it when I have to.  I just hope I don't have to from now on.

Friday, August 21, 2015

I'm glad it's Friday

I try to do as little as I have to on weekends so I hit the gym and Target this morning. Now I'm ready to relax for a couple of days, and am looking forward to Liam's birthday party tomorrow.  I finally got the present wrapped and the card signed.  I try to print so the kids can read it but I normally print in capital letters and have to concentrate when writing in lower case.  When Liam opens the book I gave him last birthday, he always turns first to the little note I wrote in the front of the book.  He knows it by heart, and always starts by reading it out loud.  Sure pulls at my heart strings.

I wanted to clarify that my eye surgeon didn't recommend that I see the retina specialist yet, but he offered me the opportunity to do so if I wanted to.  He said that if I decide I want to between now and my next appointment, I should just call the office.  So I don't feel bad not going to the specialist at this time (and maybe never).  I can remember my mother-in-law had surgery for a detached retina which was not successful.  I know times and surgical procedures have changed since then, but I doubt I will ever follow through on this. 

I thought I was going to be feeling really down for a while, but watching how Jimmy Carter is approaching his medical issues with such grace, I feel like I can do the same with my much less serious issues.  He is an inspiration to me.

So I'm feeling great, just ate a delicious supper which I topped off with some ice cream!  It was the second serving of ice cream today.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

"Down" time

I've been feeling "down" since my visit with the eye surgeon yesterday.  They took many pictures of both eyes, including several of the retinas, and it doesn't look good.  He suggested that when I am ready, I can see a retina specialist, who will take tons of tests and probably do surgery.  I said "No thanks", at least for now.  At my age the last thing I want to do is have any more surgery, especially eye surgery.  I will see the doc again in 6 months.

It looks like I will be flying to NY in September and return in October.  I'll be there about a month.   It just so happens that my youngest New York grandson's birthday falls within that time frame.   (My youngest grandson, Liam, has a birthday next week and his birthday party is this coming Saturday.  I'm hitching a ride with Donald and Jeannie as I no longer want to drive through downtown Sacramento or any city, for that matter.

I went to Costco on the way home from my chiro appointment today and I now have a gallon of ice cream in my freezer, actually a gallon minus about 5 spoonsful.  I had to test it, you know.  Now I need to go to Target for a couple of items.  I have pretty much stayed out of the stores all month, and I'm afraid I might get reckless with the amount in my checking account with only about a third of the month to go.

I think it is nice enough to sit out on the driveway and see if there is any fresh air to breathe.  We've had breezes that are blowing the smoky stuff further north - sorry for that, Judy "Birdlady" Bell.   The effects of the fires that are not only devastating so much land in CA, but also in WA and ID, will be evident for a long time.  I've heard it said that we can expect many trees to fall from being weakened by lack of water.   

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

My grandson was here

My grandson Liam was here for a few hours today - Steve dropped him off and Meg picked him up later.  His sitter was suffering from a migraine at the last minute.  He doesn't start school until September so needed to be with someone for a few hours.  Meg works part-time and I knew I'd only have to "play dinosaurs" for a while.  We also looked up questions on the internet and watched a NOVA repeat of "What's bigger than T-Rex" on my computer.   I have a huge puzzle of the world with magnetic pieces, and he wanted to do the puzzle today.  He knows an amazing amount about geography for a 4 (soon to be 5) year old!  I think he is very familiar with the places where dinosaur fossils have been located - Mongolia, China, Germany, England, Russia, Argentina, etc., and of course Montana, Wyoming and Utah!  It boggles my mind observing and listening to him.

We drove to the Park clubhouse where I parked the car, and then we walked the short distance over to In-and-Out-Burger.  I didn't have his car seat so I figured I'd be ok if I kept to the private roads of the Park.  The traffic at In & Out is so heavy I was worried if someone hit me and I didn't have him in a child carrier, I could be in trouble.  He wanted to bring the burger & fries home, and I ate half the fries.  Their food is pretty good for a hamburger place but I still don't like eating out.  I haven't had a chance to go to replenish my food supplies because of the heat, and didn't have anything suitable for lunch.

Tomorrow I see my opthamologist and as my vision is getting much worse I will be glad to see what he has to say.  The chiropractor says the bones in my neck that are also giving me trouble with my heart are interfering with the optical nerve as well.    I think I will get relief on both counts, but all in good time.  Not much happens overnight, and I'm happy with the fact that I'm seeing such good results.  I need new reading glasses, but since I got a pair for distance early this year before taking my driver's test, I'm sure my insurance won't pay for another pair of glasses this year.  I'll have to see what I might have to pay for new lenses only.

There are programs I like on the Science channel today although I think I've seen some of them before.  I didn't like Science when I was in school, but I sure love to learn about it now.  I hate it that I wasted so much time when I was young and learned things so quickly.

The weather is better today, "only" in the 90's, but the haze and smoke from all the fires is giving a lot of people respiratory distress.  I haven't noticed that it's bothering me, although it might and I just don't realize it.  What you don't know can't hurt you, as they used to say.  Of course that's not true!

Monday, August 17, 2015

Trying to beat the heat

Ok, so if a few readers happen to be a bit chilled because you live on the Pacific Coast, especially if you're lucky enough to live on the coast in Oregon, let me try to warm you up.  Or at least make you appreciate the chill.  Since about noon the temperature has been 100F (and rising to 106 for today).

I like to get up early and enjoy what coolness there is in the mornings, so I went to the gym and to the chiropractor this morning.  Since I've been back I've thought about going to Costco and Home Depot, and even gathered up my phone, keys, and purse several times.  Then I think of the awful heat out there and come back and sit down in the flow of air from my swamp cooler. 

This is terrible because I'm out of ice cream!   Fortunately I have a few cans of beer in the fridge, although the canned beer is just the rot-gut stuff (PBR).  I bought a quart of Miller Hi Life last week and nearly choked when I actually started to open it.  The bottle is made of plastic!   It's bad enough to pour it into a plastic cup at a picnic or while camping, but from a bottle in the fridge?  I swear it didn't taste at all like Miller Hi Life.  I need to make a trip to my local craft brewery and buy a few bottles to bring home, although that means I'll stand around talking to the staff and have a couple of glasses while I'm there.

So I don't know if it's worse to be out of beer or out of ice cream on triple digit evenings.  I think I'd vote for the ice cream to tell the truth.

Sunday, August 16, 2015


Reading Al Bossence's post about their winter travel plans got me to thinking about my own travel choices.  After years of getting "hitch itch" at a certain time of year, I realize it never really hit me this year.  I still love going to other places, but I am not interested at all in driving anymore, nor do I like to fly.  I have no choice about the flying as it's either that or drive.  I used to love the cross country Amtrak trip until the last one, where I found that service had deteriorated to the point that I no longer want to be subjected to bad service in light of the high cost of 1st class train travel (and there is no other way to ride the train for 3 days, in my opinion).

I've done a complete run through of the thousands of photos we have, and yesterday Jeannie gave me a box she found of her dad's photos and papers.  I remember seeing his pictures of when he was in Korea and in Germany.

Bill graduated high school in 1959, and since all 18 year olds had to sign up for the draft and most had to serve 2 years (3 years if they enlisted), it was a given that he would go into the Army.  He served in the Medical Corps, and a couple of the photos from Korea show the tent in which the medics had to work.  Actually, they lived in tents, had restroom and shower facilities in tents, and just about everything else took place in tents.  Korea gets extremely cold in the winter and I can't imagine having to live like that, unless of course, you are backpacking for the fun of being deprived of all comforts!  He spent one year in Korea, came home for a  short visit, and then went to Germany to finish out his commitment.

I believe he told me he was assigned temporary duty (TDY) to a hospital in one of the nearby cities, so he was at least in a building some of the time.  In looking at the pictures several times previously, it never struck me that some of them showed bombed out buildings that still hadn't been rebuilt from the war.  He would have been in Korea in 1960-61 (I'm estimating here), so it would have been 1962 that he was in Germany, roughly 17 years after the war ended.  I'm stunned by the number of buildings that were still not rebuilt, and the extent of the damage on many of the adjoining and nearby buildings. 

Today is the start of a run of triple digit weather, and I'm hating it already.  I usually never have to turn on the swamp cooler until mid afternoon, but today I didn't make it until 12 noon!  I am so glad it is working well, but I have several places I wanted to go today and can't get myself to venture out in the heat!

Friday, August 14, 2015

Quitting time for today

I was sitting in my comfortable office chair sorting photos & misc., and when I swiveled in the chair I somehow knocked over a nearly full can of beer I had just opened.  Fortunately for me the beer didn't get on any of the pictures - that would spell disaster!  It was all over the floor though but I think I got it all with a big bath towel.

There are a lot of duplicate photos but they aren't together, so I look at a picture and know I've seen it in a different bin.  When everything is gone through, then Jeannie and I can look for duplicates.    I've thrown a lot of my pictures away - anything that I can't tell who is on it or where it was taken, pictures where the flash leaves a big orange blob, and many photos that weren't taken with a flash and are so dark as to be unuseable.     I hope I can convince Jeannie to do the same.  There are also lots of cards and letters she has saved.  I faced the same dilemma and went through each one I had been saving and discarded most.  I did save a couple of sweet letters from my kids though.

I have only one beer left, a craft beer called "Golden Naked Ale", but I think I'll wait until the sun goes down to open it.  I'll pour it into a glass (and get about 2 glasses from the bottle), so at least I won't lose the entire thing by being such a klutz. 

Thursday, August 13, 2015

I'm One for One!

I'm one for one with Costco.  I just got my bill for membership which amounts to $110 for the coming year.  I have the Executive Gold Star membership, which gives me an annual rebate of a certain percentage of my purchases for the year.  So along with my bill for $110 I received a voucher for $120.80 which I can redeem at Costco for cash, goods, or services.  I guess that's a little above a one-for-one.  (A regular membership at Costco is $55)

I have been going through photographs, and have literally thousands of them to sort, eliminate doubles, throw away the not really good pictures, etc.  I have come up with an initial sort that I will probably refine.  Right now I'm separating the ones I'm sure are mine from those that are obviously Jeannie's.  If I'm in doubt I make an executive decision!  I will probably have some CD's made that I can give to other family members, and I will attempt to put the originals in albums or other storage medium.  Some of these old pictures are absolutely priceless, and some could be good for "hush money".   

One thing that surprises me is how young I looked when I was young!  In fact, in some of those old pictures I looked damn good!   (That's my opinion and I'm sticking to it!).  The childhood pictures of my kids are a joy to look at.  Gosh, they were (and are) gorgeous!

The weather was so nice by 6pm that I took a bin of photos outside along with a comfortable camp chair and sat on the driveway for about an hour while sorting.  I said that I didn't think I would want to sit out on the driveway, but when occupied with an interesting task you don't notice the surroundings all that much.  There was such a nice breeze.

After another gorgeous day the next two coming up are going to be in the low 100's, but then it should go back down again, if only just a little.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Through the car wash!

I had so much dirt and grime on my car from the trip as I hadn't had it washed since I was in New York.  You couldn't even tell the color of the vehicle because it had so much of a dusty film.  I don't like automatic car washes, but $7 is easier to choose right now than my usual $25 plus tip for the hand washing of the car, vacuuming the inside and cleaning the dash and other surfaces.  The selection at the automatics is very difficult to read, and I'm not sure why dark grey print on a light grey background is the choice of any I've seen.  I realize this is probably a problem with my eyesight and those of you with good vision wonder what I'm griping about.

I woke up this morning with a pretty bad pain in the side of my abdomen, but I just lived through it since I don't take NSAIDs or aspirin any more.  It eventually went away, and I was able to walk on the treadmill this morning.  Now I feel just great!

After all the problems I've been having with unwanted calls, I've received two from different area codes on my cell phone this morning.  I didn't answer either of them but looked them up and people have reported both to be a scam.  Why in the world should they have access to cell phones now.  I did add my cell number to the DoNotCall registry, but I have little hopes that it will have any effect.  There are so many exemptions and loopholes, and I suppose the only answer is to pay extra to have your number unlisted.  I'll try to do that if the cell phone gets many more unwanted calls.  

I washed two loads of clothes very early this morning, and when I took them over to the laundry room to dry I found two magazines in the rack - "Saturday Evening Post".  I had no idea they were still publishing.  I brought both magazines home to look at them, and will return them the next time I go back.  I was surprised to find them because someone, or probably more than 1 person, is loading up the racks with religious tracts and magazines - there used to be a little more variety but not lately. 

I went outside last night to see if I could find any early meteors (about 11 pm).  The newscaster said Midnight to 2 am should be the prime viewing time, so I was to early to see anything.  I'm always surprised at how much I can see in the skies over Sacramento, and I know like any city there is a lot of light pollution.  But I've always found I can see more stars in the sky here, than say back in Falls Church, VA.  Rural Ireland was the absolute best, and I could actually see the Milky Way, when it wasn't raining, that is.

I want to thank Moonfly for the suggestions about my ATT service.  There would be a problem telling them I didn't understand about the contract, as I had a contract last year and my renewal was the beginning of my difficulties.  I decided I didn't need the number of channels I had access to but would never in my life look at, but when I downgraded the service I didn't get the few channels I DO like to watch.  So a lot of my problems with TV are my own doing.  I don't ever watch movies, cooking, talk or game shows, sports, CSI type programs, and so on.  I like history and science (I've been watching a lot of "NASA's Unexplained Files" for the past couple of days).   I am totally sick of politics and thankfully my local news stations don't spend too much time on the circus currently going on.  I can imagine what watching CNN of Fox News for a couple of days could do to your head.  Barbara D., your methods of getting rid of unwanted callers made me laugh.  I may try one of them next time I hear from a telemarketer.

I'd really love to sit outdoors when the evenings get cool enough, but the area around my house is so dreary I don't know where I'd sit.  The back yard is rocks and the front porch is too close to the street with no privacy at all.  Last year my attempts to hang a roll up shade turned out to be laughable.   The driveway is probably the best bet except that for some reason the wind blows straight into my property, and the driveway is always covered with leaves and palm tree debris from across the street, as well as the junk that falls off my flowering tree.  To make matters worse, the drought keeps me from getting the dust off everything outdoors - I'd love to just hose down the driveway for a change. 

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

The last straw!

More about my ATT service:  I again called this morning to have my land line svc removed, but first I wanted to know what the difference would be in my bill.  The reps talk in circles and never give you a straight answer, so I kept at this guy until he told me that as it is now, my monthly bill will be $113.85; if I have the land line disconnected the bill will be $127.  Does this sound ludicrous?

I believe to cancel the entire ATT service - tv, internet, and phone, would cost me about $185 in penalties.  I did get him to admit that this amount will reduce each month, so I will keep in mind that in 3 or maybe 6 months I will cancel the entire ATT service and find an alternative.  The TV package and programs available are so poor (for the kinds of programs I watch), that I could get used to doing without TV.  Internet is another matter although I could reduce the amount of time I spend on it, so maybe a "spot connection", such as a Mifi, might be okay.  That way when I travel I could take it along with me, and it may or may not get a connection.

I know that all the major providers are essentially the same, and I wouldn't hope to get anything better by switching to another one.  Thank goodness I have my jitterbug phone, which for $38 a month incl. taxes, gives me 700 minutes, and the unused minutes roll over to the following month.  I don't text and don't use my cell phone for anything except to talk on the phone, so it's perfect!  And if I call with a question, my call is answered by a real person!!  I wish a company would do the same for TV and internet - but I'm such an idealist!   

I had to keep telling the ATT rep to quit talking in circles and give me the straight facts.   How can I make a decision if you tell me I will lose the "bundle discount" by cancelling the phone service, when you don't tell me how much the discount is and what the cost would be without it.  I would love to sit in on a training session for telephone reps.

Enough of my ATT woes - even though I'm listed on all the Do Not Call registries I still get calls, but they are down to 2 or 3 an hour.  I may just disconnect the damn thing entirely!

I'm going to go walk off my stress at the gym, and then allow myself a trip to Target.  I need a bunch of little things and can't avoid it any longer, so I'll just have to stick to my list.  We are in for about 3 more beautiful, tolerable days, until the weekend when the triple digits are back.  I really do hate the hot weather.



Monday, August 10, 2015

A beautiful day!

It's been a gorgeous day from beginning until now, a little after 6 pm.  It never got really hot and I was able to find parking spaces under the trees at all the stops I made!

My chiropractor and hairdresser are in the same general direction and I didn't want to come all the way home in between appointments, so I fooled around at a different Costco, spent a lot of time at REI, and bought a sandwich to eat in the courtyard by the hairdresser's salon.   I think I wandered every aisle at REI except the sports aisles such as water sports, rock climbing, cycling, etc.  I love looking at hiking and camping equipment, and while I don't need another item I think about my granddaughter, Ara, and what she might need.  When we were backpacking in May our tiny little stove failed and the water pump took eons to fill a small bottle with filtered drinking water.

Since I'm a member of REI, I have a fair amount of dividend I never used this year and I'm waiting until Ara comes back to Sac for a visit to take her over there to see what she might want to spend it on.  It won't buy a big ticket item but the smaller items add up.   One problem is that most of the merchandise in stores in the west have products that are better suited for the western mountains, while the Appalachians are better supplied from the east coast.   But strolling around any kind of outdoors equipment store is my idea of heaven!

I am again yearning for a dog, a young male black lab.   I'd even consider a puppy.  Call me crazy, and I probably will never get one, but I think about it all the time.

Sunday, August 9, 2015

It has been a quiet Sunday.  Although I have written the newspaper customer service several times and been assured they will resume my delivery, I still haven't gotten a Sunday paper.  It is still being delivered to Jeannie's house.  I should just cancel the thing altogether, and if next week doesn't change, that's what I'll do.  Somehow going online or emailing a company doesn't get the results that talking to a real person does.  And forget those silly answering services that pretend they can talk to you.  How many times have I heard the fake voice say "I'm sorry but I didn't understand.  Can you repeat that?"   You can bet that is when I hang up.

I entered a code into my land phone followed by the pound sign, and it hasn't rung since.  The phone sure isn't worth the aggravation I've had with it.

I got busy with something else and forgot to finish and publish the blog.  I think I'll just stop right here, right now.  Have a good week.

Friday, August 7, 2015


Yes, my phone is still ringing but I just ignore it.  A suggestion to block 800 calls wouldn't work, as a lot of the calls have the local area code.  I should call ATT to see if I can stop the service.  They are so vague and talk so fast when trying to get your order that you can't figure out which parts are for a contracted period of time or no contract at all.

Today has been cloudy which has kept the temperature down a bit.  I mentioned that I am itching to go camping for a few days but my youngest son agreed with me that it wouldn't be a great idea with all the fires and smoke in the area.  He works at a hospital off I-80 (east, towards Reno), and said that the smoke even permeates the halls of the hospital.  Everyone's clothes smell like smoke by the end of a shift.  Unbelieveable!

There are two TV channels that I don't  receive with my new service - The Smithsonian Channel and the NASA channel.  I recorded "Aerial America" from the Smithsonian, which are one hour explorations from the air of each of the states and the District of Columbia.  I have two recorded programs left and then I'm finished with that series.  Just when the NASA channel got very interesting with the fly-by of Pluto, I no longer have access to it.  I really dislike the tiers of service and don't understand why you shouldn't be able to pick a certain number of channels from the total.  I'd sure leave out all the awful cable news channels! 

Friday, Aug. 7 
My son Steve went out of town yesterday and I stayed overnight at their house with Meg and Liam.  I slept in Liam's twin bed, and in the middle of the night their boxer/pit came into the room and climbed on my legs and feet.  It became seriously uncomfortable so I finally moved my legs out of his way and let him lie on the mattress.  He must have been seriously uncomfortable too because when I moved he started wagging his tail furiously into my side!  He is such a great dog with a sweet personality, but he is a big 'un.

Liam turns 5 this month and is a future paleontologist.  What he knows about dinosaurs of all kinds would leave most adults just scratching their heads, and the names of the different dinosaurs just roll off his tongue like he was reciting a nursery rhyme.  Then he can say where they have been found, i.e., Wyoming, the Gobi Desert, etc., and go point to the location on the globe.  I sure hope he stays with this interest because it can lead to a very good career.  I can tell you that I am "dinosaur'ed out" for a while though.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

New home phone service

I had my home phone activated about a week ago and until this morning have not had an incoming call.  So far I've only given the number to my four children.   Today, it isn't even 9:30 am yet, and I've had 3 calls:  one recorded message from the IRS stating that they were filing a lawsuit against me for unpaid taxes; a sales call to sell me ADT home security services; the third call I hung up on before finding out what their pitch was.  If this is what I can expect from a home phone then I think I made a mistake ever getting it.

When I started using my cell phone exclusively I really missed the old style phone, and to be truthful I can certainly hear better on it.  But if it is going to be a magnet for sales calls then it's just a big scam.  Too bad I let nostalgia get in the way of common sense.

The cloud cover is gone this morning and we are set to have a hotter day today.

I registered my phone, which has been ringing every few minutes, on the Do Not Call list.  I sure hope it eventually cuts down on the unwanted calls.

The past 2 days I started trimming some bushes and plants in the back yard that have become way overgrown.  I now have a blister on my thumb where I gripped the clippers, so I won't be doing any more trimming for a while.

My son was here to check out the water heater this morning, and we got to talking about campers.  He said they are thinking about a tent camper which would work well for their family, space-wise, and he can raise and lower it easy enough.  I am still intent on buying a teardrop trailer, and Steve said he can do the hitch assembly for me when I'm ready.  I will wait to buy a trailer until winter sets in, unless a very good deal comes along in the meantime.  I am so anxious to do some camping but will probably end up going by myself since it's difficult to get the family together on a time and place.  The fires are the biggest drawback right now. 

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Today is a little better

I woke up several times during the night worrying that I was going to have to buy a new water heater, as the water never warmed up yesterday.  I still think something is wrong because it's only a 30 gallon tank and shouldn't take that long.  But this morning I washed my hands and was thrilled that the water was just a little bit warm.  I turned up the dial, waited a while, and then ran my dishwasher.

I can't say my shower was comfortable, especially when I washed my hair in the tepid water, but at least I have some breathing space and will see how it goes.

At 3:30 pm the weather gadget says it will go up to 87 today, but since it is currently 75 I can only hope it won't get much warmer.  It is cloudy at times (probably smoke from the fires although it doesn't smell smoky), and there is an occasional cool breeze.

I think I'll go pull some weeds while the weather is pleasant, although I doubt I'll stay out there very long.

Monday, August 3, 2015

Hot water today, maybe?

I wrote yesterday about the problem with my water heater.  I couldn't figure out how to reset the pilot light, so I just made the best of it but I will have to re-run my dishwasher today.

I went to the Park office first thing to complain about the situation.  I found the notice from back in May about wanting to replace my meter, and it says on there they will re-light all pilot lights.   I spoke to the Manager who chided me for not calling the emergency number when I found I didn't have hot water.  For pete's sake, it was an damn inconvenience but not an emergency!   I also complained about the guy walking into my house and they brought him out.  He didn't flat out deny it but said that I was sitting right in my living room and he thought I needed to have the gas range pilot re-lit.  (He didn't even ask about the water heater).

I feel like a dolt even putting up with the crap I had to deal with.  The nerve of that woman turning the situation around so that it was my fault because I didn't call the emergency number.   They did send another maintenance guy to re-light the pilot, and he knocked on the front door to tell me it was lit.

This is the kind of crap you can expect when you have a mobile home park situation, an RV park, or gated community of some sort.  I never did like rules and regulations, and I still don't.  Although it leaves a lot to be desired, I love the space inside my house.  I wish I could afford to update a lot of things in it, and could probably do it if I stayed home instead of traveling every year, and didn't have the chiropractor to pay.   On the other hand, I would just like to live in an apartment and leave maintenance up to the management of the place.  There are down sides to apartment living, though, except it's a lot easier to move.

In the immortal words of Roseanne Roseannadanna (Sat. Night Live, Gilda Radner, 1st season):  "It's always something.  If it isn't one thing, then it's another."

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Quickest shower of my life!

I arrived back in Sacramento a month ago to find a notice that my gas meter needed to be changed.  I had heard about some scam in which a different kind of meter is installed that is supposed to be more efficient, but has been unsatisfactory to those who have changed it out, so I disregarded the notice.  This is not a PG&E meter, by the way, but from some supposedly energy saving company.

Yesterday a man came to my door and said he was here to change my gas meter.  I asked him why it needed to be changed, and he said that the law requires replacement every 10 years, so I didn't ask any more questions.  After about 10 or 15 minutes, he appeared at my front door again, pushed aside the screen door, and took one step into the living room, saying "You have a gas stove, right?".  That fast I was standing in front of him so he couldn't come in any further, and told him that I had changed the gas to an electric range when I moved in.  He backed out the door after a bit of trivial conversation and I thought that was the last of it.  I went out and looked at the meter, and it seems ok.

This morning I turned the shower on and normally I get instant hot water.  In fact, the water is so hot that I had Steve turn it down to the middle point.  The hot water comes out almost instantly but it doesn't need any cold water to make it comfortable.  I take a quick shower anyway and have never run out of hot so far.

This morning, the day after the new meter was installed, I waited and waited for the water to get even warm.  It didn't so I stepped in and nearly froze, and took the quickest  cold shower I have ever endured.   Since it is Sunday there is no way to contact the office, but you can be sure I'll be there first thing tomorrow morning!  I am going to be so angry with myself if I have fallen for some kind of outrageous scam.

I have a re-exam at my Chiropractor's office tomorrow, and I hope to see scans of "then and now".   I'll also find out if I go to a twice a week schedule or keep up the 3x a week visits.  I usually mention some little nagging complaint each time I go, and pretty soon I'm not noticing it any more.  I haven't had heartburn or indigestion, and I notice my knees don't hurt when I stand up.   That's in addition to how much better my posture is.  This is turning out to be the best money I've ever spent on my health in all the years of my life.