Eastern Utah
EMAIL ME AT: mgypsy97 at aol dot com

Thursday, March 31, 2016


I had to make another trip to the dreaded Walmart today, as I needed more of the drawer and shelf liner that I bought there last week.  I never have a good trip to Walmart, but this one was only half bad!  All the people I came into contact with were friendly, but it's irritating when I can't find what I'm looking for.  In my cleaning frenzy I threw out a bottle of rubbing alcohol and one of hydrogen peroxide, because they were years beyond their use-by dates; I've looked for replacements twice now at Walmart and don't know where they hide them.  I'll get them at Target one of these days.

I got up in a great mood today - have felt happy all day and even have joy in my heart, so I didn't let the Walmart experience bother me too much.  As I got into my car I noticed a man who probably was in his late 20's to mid-thirties, swinging a small plastic bag in one hand.  He was pretty close to my car and for some reason I knew he was going to ask for money.  He was decently dressed and didn't have that down-and-out look at all.  I drove off without even fastening my seat belt, and when I was driving up to the exit I turned and looked to see if he was still hanging around, and darned if he didn't wave at me.  The big twerp!  I just don't trust a person wandering in an aimless manner in a parking lot, never actually going anywhere, and trying to make eye contact.  That wave told me I was right on about my suspicions.  About halfway home I just laughed out loud at the scene.  (He wasn't just looking for his car, as I always park as far back in the parking lot as I can - few vehicles and I get a nice little walk to and from the store!)

I was planning to work on the kitchen drawers and cabinets this afternoon, but have wasted so much time that I need to start cooking dinner.  I've cooked chicken which I'll save half of in the freezer, including the broth, for another meal.   Chicken vegetable soup it's going to be, and I think I'll throw some rotini in for good measure.  I don't eat pasta anymore because of the high carb content, but I think a few rotini in a soup that should last me three meals won't amount to many carbs.

I almost forgot that I bought two bottles of red wine at Costco, so I think I'll open one and have a small glass, "to help me cook".

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Still battling weeds!

When I went to pay my April rent this morning I told the Park manager that I was trying to keep up with weed & grass removal, but that I planned a complete redo of the yard later on in the summer.  I worked at the library this morning, and when I came home I went to pull some weeds on one side of the house - Leslie, the mgr. drove up in her cart and comiserated with me on the weed problem, so I guess I can just keep pulling until I leave for NY.  I divide my yard into 3 main sections, and by the time I'm back at the first, the weeds & grass have taken over again.

I worked out at the gym last night and am just now beginning to feel the soreness in my shoulders.  It's a "good ache" though.

You may remember that two months or so ago I commented that the sun wasn't setting in the place it normally set.  I've been reading that many people have noticed that the sky and moon don't look right, and don't seem to be in the right place.  The answer was that the planet has tilted just enough to make it noticeable.  Whether that's entirely accurate or not, it makes me feel that I'm not imagining things.  The sky doesn't look right, nor the movement of sun and moon.  

Maybe the earthquakes happening in places that they never used to occur have changed things.  With all the fracking wells, some in unimaginable places (middle of commercial orchards for example), plus the preponderance of fracking wells, I wonder why the states are still allowing it.  I wouldn't want to live in Oklahoma these days - I believe I heard a few months back that OK topped the list of all 50 states for earthquakes in one month.  They also have wells everywhere they can drill them.

Oh well, I didn't mean to get into a controversial subject, but of all natural disasters, I worry about earthquakes the most, followed by volcano eruptions.  Even some long dormant volcanos are becoming active.  You can run but you can't hide from all this scary stuff.

Friday, March 25, 2016

Shopping Trip

Steve, his sidekick Liam, and I went to Home Depot and Lowe's yesterday.  I made all my selections, not too difficult for me because I don't like things elaborate but prefer simplicity.  We brought home the wall tile, mostly white with some marbling, and floor tiles, brown with lots of mottling and other colors splashed in.  Since I'm doing everything with white fixtures and will use a light paint color on the walls, I hope the darker floor tiles sort of anchor everything.  The tub, toilet, shower fixtures, and vanity top plus incidentals will be picked up when Steve can borrow his friend's truck.  

I decided to keep the vanity base I have and just get a new top (the old one is difficult to keep clean and feels dirty even after scrubbing).  I've reduced and reorganized the items I keep in the vanity itself, so I don't want a larger one or anything fancy.  It is a wonderful feeling not to have to be concerned with always getting more storage units and using every bit of space available.  

I'm coming along with the decluttering although it still looks like a yard sale inside my house.  After walking on the treadmill this morning I went shopping for a few small items and bought some liner for the kitchen drawers.  Now I have to take everything out of the drawers, remove the old liners and scrub everything clean, and then I'll be ready to call that job finished.  I've reorganized most of the upper cabinets, but will have to take everything out to clean them properly.  If I sound like a cleaning freak, I'm not.  Once it is all cleaned I won't obsess about it at all.

All this work and exercise keeps me hungry!

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Looking back

I love to plan, and I especially love to plan a trip.  I have to give myself a pat on the back because I do a helluva great job on it!  I went through my maps and brochures today, took a deep breath, and probably discarded well over 50 or 60 maps.  You may wonder how and where I could keep that many, but let me tell you the organization of them was a work of art.

I saved a few from surrounding states; I know I won't be driving to the east coast again (but I should never say "never"), but something hit me in the gut and I decided I'm not finished, not by a long shot!  

I have two 3 ring binders with information tabbed by site I planned to visit, campground info, attractions, etc.  The trip started off well except that I had just started taking a statin drug to lower my cholesterol, and by the time I reached Lake Superior I was really ill.  I recovered after sleeping close to 18 hrs. and throwing the damned statins away, but cut the drive a bit short.  On the way back to the west I had plans to visit all the southwestern National Parks, and that was the year the government shut down and closed the parks.  I can't bring myself to throw the binder and all that info away, so I'm keeping it just in case I get a spurt of energy and an overwhelming desire to see those parks.  If that doesn't work out then I plan to do something closer to home, maybe in N. CA.  I wasn't born being strong-willed and hard-headed for no reason, and I ain't giving up now!  (I'll just slow down a little and make slightly less ambitious plans.)

Tomorrow Steve and I are going shopping for some of the items to remodel my bathroom.  Ceramic tile will replace the ugly formica wall board, a new tub and fixtures will be installed, a new toilet - one that is a bit higher rather than the kindergarten sized one that most builders like to use - new floor tiles, sink and vanity base.  I will also paint the walls a very light color, and oh, I almost forgot, Steve is going to install a new, slightly larger window.  My house tends to be dark (which also keeps the summer sun at bay), so the larger window will be a plus for letting in more light and air, while the sun is blocked by the house next to me.  I can't wait to get started.  I'm not sure I'm courageous enough to show a "before" photo, but I'll certainly show an "after"!

The Gypsy may be on the road again one of these days!

Tuesday, March 22, 2016


I worked for a bit at the library this morning and was thinking on the way home about my oldest son.  In going through my house trying to tidy up I found several letters from organizations and people who complimented me on my son's volunteerism.  He worked at charitable events even before high school.  I'm going to give him the letters when I get to NY, and hope he is inspired to encourage his two sons to eventually do volunteer work.  It was a bit different in the old days when everything was close enough for a kid to rid their bike or walk to most events.  Now they have to be driven everywhere - for distance as well as safety reasons.

I've been working on the kitchen, although technically I'm supposed to be purging and tidying up paper.  My brain works differently and doesn't do well when required to go in long sequences.  I can't believe how a little bit of discipine in throwing things out, plus a reorganization of what is left, has given me empty drawers in every room, including the kitchen!  

Even with all the progress that has been made, it is only visible behind closet and cabinet doors and in drawers, but in general it still looks like my house had a collision with a train!  It will all come together eventually, and I am feeling really good about myself in the meantime.

My 3rd (out of 5) brother, his wife, their daughter and baby grandson are here on their way from a trip to L.A. back home in the north.  My niece's husband flew because he couldn't take the time off work to do all the stopping and visiting along the way.  We had dinner at Jeannie's last night - Donald made chateubriand, baked potatos, asparagus, french bread (toasted with cheese and seasonings), and a wonderful blueberry cobbler with whipped cream topping.  I think he could easily get into catering in addition to his baking business.  What an absolute genius the man is!  Tonight we will see the visitors one last time at Steve's house.  I thought I wouldn't go, but since I don't see my brother that often I feel like I shouldn't miss the chance.  They are in the Seattle area, which is too far for me to drive.  It was fun holding a baby again, and fun to hand him back!

I need to get ready as I'm going to catch a ride with Jeanne and Donald across town to Steve's.  I've driven there before, but as it requires driving the freeway through town I just can't bring myself to do it any more.  I have done a pretty good job of driving home from Jeannie's in the dark the past few times I've been over there.  There is hardly any traffic after the rush hour subsides.  

Monday, March 21, 2016

Stayed home today

I had thought I'd run some errands but when it gets to the 2nd half of the month I try to not spend any more money than necessary, so I stay home and avoid temptation!

I did get into some of the papers today.  I searched the retention of tax returns and found they should be kept for 7 years.  I am playing it safe and keeping 10 years' worth, although I might go back and shred a couple more years.  I took a bag of shredded paper out to the recycling bin, along with a whole lot of paper that didn't need shredding.

I have a huge number of 3 ring binders with genealogical info and papers, and I don't know who will ever be interested in it, or even understand it all.  I'll leave it intact for someone to take care of after I'm gone

I have several plastic bins with maps for every state and region of the country, and I'm going to toss them all!  I might keep the Northern CA map but that's it.  I also have a lot of National Forest/Park/BLM/etc maps, which I hope Steve will be interested in.  I got the state maps free from AAA, but paid for the National Forest and other federal land maps.

The green St. Pat's milkshakes went over pretty well, so fast that I didn't get a chance to take photos.  The corned beef and cabbage was superb, as is everything Donald cooks.  Someone made adult shakes containing various liquors but I didn't try them.  I drank two bottles of beer in 6 hrs., and even drove home in the dark.  There wasn't a whole lot of traffic out, but enough to keep me alert.  I wish I had a beer now!

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Update on decluttering

Some of you have expressed an interest in the KonMari method of decluttering, and I thought I'd show you some photos of what I've done so far.  Those who aren't interested or who are tired of hearing about it, be warned and just go to another blog to read:-)

Since I am in the early stages I will warn you that the process itself can create more clutter than you can imagine, and once you've decided what to keep and what to donate or throw away, you are still left with temporary chaos.  In a previous post I showed how I refolded and arranged my t-shirts - after watching a youtube video (of which there are many) on how to fold clothes for this method, I re-did the t-shirts as you can see.

In addition to the built-ins (4 lg and 2 small drawers each on opposite sides of the room, I also have a big chest of drawers that belonged to my late husband.  (There is also a huge triple dresser that I probably couldn't get through my front door or the bedroom doors, so it resides in Jeannie's garage!)  Click on a picture to enlarge.

This drawer is used for pajamas, and I am able to get summer and winter pj's in the drawer.  Before I started decluttering this drawer was crammed with odds and ends which I discarded.  In fact, all the drawers in this piece of furniture were crammed to the brim!

Some sweaters and scarves.

The updated t-shirt drawer, followed by a photo of two empty drawers.  Now I have excess space.

I'm showing two shelves of my bookcase.  Four shelves were crammed to overflowing with books, papers, and other junk.  I have stacks on my coffee table waiting to be donated, amounting to about 40 books.  I also have about 10 books to add to the "Keep" shelves which I want to show to Steve - they are some camping books he might be interested in.  There are still two shelves on this bookcase that are filled with junk (not books) that I need to throw away.  I found a box of little shells that I brought back from Ireland, and that is what are strewn in front of my retirement certificate!

 I still have some refolding to do, including all my gym clothes.  As you can see, nothing is crowded or crammed, and I am loving it already.

The KonMari system recommends starting with clothes, then books, based on experience that these two categories are easier to decide what to keep - what gives you joy.  Papers, on the other hand, are going to be awful to decide.  That category includes everything from tax returns (keep) to cards and letters, to warranties and "how to use" books, and of course there are so many other categories of papers.  I'm going to keep working on the clothes and books until I'm finished with them before starting on the dreaded paper category.

I was surprised and happy to find that there are lots of YouTube videos, from those showing Marie Kondo folding various items of clothing, to videos from folks who have followed this method, their experiences, likes and dislikes, etc.

So that is a big part of what I did yesterday, when I wasn't out pulling grass and weeds.

(I just posted this blog entry and see that the finished result is inconsistent in the use of fonts.  I have no idea why that is or what to do about it.  It's Google's fault!)      

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

It's magic!

I've written several times about the book "The Magic Art of Tidying Up", which I finished and returned to the library.  The sequel was waiting for me yesterday, "Spark Joy", and I've read a few pages of it.

One of the things the author stresses is how to fold and place your clothes in the drawer.  I have a lot of T-shirts, which I stack and shove into whatever drawer has space.  I have matching closets on opposite sides of the bedroom, each with rod space above and 4 large and 2 small drawers below.  If I was looking for a T-shirt or a pair of jeans I usually had to open several drawers to find the one I want.  Although I didn't think I'd like the book's suggested way of putting clothes away, it has provided me with a lot of extra space.

I haven't even started to do the "tidying up" in the manner suggested by the author, but I have been doing a lot of laundry and that is as good a time as any to pick out things I probably won't wear again, and to begin storing the remaining items in a space where I can find them easily.

Here are a few photos showing my T-shirts and capri pants.  My jeans, sweat pants, etc. are on hangars which means less wrinkles and more drawer space.

The first photo is out of sequence and I don't know how it ended at the top of the download, but it's just a picture of a rainy day, and you can see the dog park across the street.  The former view was so much better without the fence and gave the feeling of open space.  The second & third photos are of my new method of putting my clothes away.  They are supposed to be arrayed from light colors up to dark, and I probably need to do a little reorganizing on that score.  (Click pictures to enlarge)

It's a lovely day today and will be even warmer tomorrow - up to a balmy 75!

I made a trip to Costco this morning where I filled up the gas tank at 2.279/gal.  The last time it was down around $1.82 or so.  This is our "summer blend" which is supposedly cleaner during the hot summer, but which costs outrageously more per gallon.

I also got the ice cream and whipped cream for the St. Pat's day milkshakes, and found some organic weed killer (2 spray bottles per pack).  I've emptied nearly an entire bottle on the weeds, and if it doesn't work to my satisfaction I will return the unused bottle and get a full refund.  

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

I'm still around

I worked out at the gym last night with Jeannie, and noticed they had made available some recipes for St. Patrick's Day milkshakes.  Since it contains delicious things that I like, including ice cream, milk, and whipped cream, as well as the green coloring and sprinkles, peppermint flavoring, I took a copy of the recipe to try.  The family is getting together for corned beef and cabbage (we talked Joe into making it), and I'm providing dessert!  I will wait and buy the ice cream the day before or else I might eat half of it as is.

You may remember my mentioning a book, "The Magic Art of Tidying Up" by Marie Kondo.  I finished it and am now starting on the sequel, "Spark Joy".  The theory is that you hold each item and determine if you find joy in it, otherwise, get rid of it.  I have already done that with several pieces of clothing I have - they are in perfect condition but I just don't care about wearing them.  I'm probably going about it all wrong as far as the sequence of what to tidy first, but I have already collected quite a few bags of things to donate.  I also have several empty drawers in the bedroom!

The rest of the week looks good with temps rising into the 70's and sunshine.  I will have to get back to working on the weeds before the next bout of rain.  I wish I could afford to have a lawn service take care of it for me as well as to trim some of the bushes (including the damn killer oleander), but I'm committed to putting some money into remodeling the bathroom, and later on in the summer or fall, remodeling some of the kitchen.

The dog park across the street is driving me crazy.  There are two dogs - I won't hazard a guess as to what kind they are, except they growl and bark pretty loudly for being small dogs.  I walked past them on the way to the laundry this afternoon and you'd think they'd like to kill me.  I tried talking gently to them, but next time I'm going to yell "Go lay down!!!".  Their owners let them go at it for a while and then pretend they are trying to tone down the noise level of the dogs, but I'm not buying it.  I'm all for a safe place to let dogs run off the leash, but not in such close proximity to people's houses.

With all the activity and planets/stars in the eastern sky, I've been unable to view most of it due to fog and cloudy skies.  I think I got a quick look at Arcturus last night, but it didn't last long.  I would hope for some good sky viewing in NY, but there are so many tall trees that it's doubtful I'll see much of the sky except what is directly over the back yard.

I'm not sure when I'll be back.  There isn't much to write about.  If the green shakes are pretty I might post a photo of one.

Sunday, March 13, 2016

It was a dark and stormy night!

Hey, that sounds like a good opening line for a great novel I should begin writing!

Last night, or early this morning (it's hard to figure out when it was because of the stupid time change), I woke up to the rain hitting the house in sheets and the wind howling, and it actually made me wonder if something terrible was going to happen.  Fortunately I like my sleep and was able to drop back off almost immediately.  I figured either something is going to happen or it won't, and worrying won't change it.  I mentally blessed the house and dropped back into my dreams.

I haven't done much lately - my son and his two girls dropped by one afternoon, I drove my sister to a medical appointment one day, etc., etc.  Last night Jeannie and I went to the gym and I enjoyed a good workout, although I didn't push myself up to the max.  I haven't been exercising a lot lately and I don't want to suffer even a minor injury.

Today it has been raining heavily but the forecast for the next week or two looks pretty good, eventually climbing up into the 70's with sun shining.  I have three baskets of laundry waiting for me to be able to take it across the street to dry.  I will probably just use the dryer to speed things up, although I might end up taking the clothespins along with me.  I do love line drying my laundry. 

I cross the American River when I visit Jeannie, go to the chiropractor or to my sister's house, etc.  Over the past few years I have watched the water drop so low that islands have formed and even trees growing across the river in the lowest spots.  Now with all this rain the water has broken through the obstructions and I can see a free flowing river.  Also, with Folsom Lake at 125% of normal they have been releasing water to make room for the continuing rains.  Just before the snow melt starts the reservoir will undoubtedly be lowered again and our rivers and creeks will become torrents.  It's just a shame we can no longer count on good rains in the future.  I doubt we will see another season like this until the next El Nino, and that is if Central CA is lucky enough to be in the "goldilocks zone".

Tuesday, March 8, 2016


I've been doing some online reading about the subject of chemtrails, and am providing some links to YouTube videos on it.

If you only watch one of the videos, this is the one to see.  It features pilots, doctors, and scientists speaking at a meeting of the Shasta Co. (CA) Board of Supervisors.  Their explanations are very concise and easy to understand.  The video runs a little over 15 minutes, and is really worth your time.

This one is a little over 12 minutes and contains a lot of scientific explanation, but enough practical info that anyone should be able to understand that the chemtrails are not good for us.

When you watch a YouTube video there is a list of similar topics on the right side of the page, so you can access more information on the subject if you so desire.  

One has to be careful with videos on YouTube as there is a lot of disinformation, conjecture, and downright garbage contained in many of them.  To my knowledge, anyone can get a YouTube account and put up a video, and lots of people do.  I respect the opinions of pilots, doctors, and scientists, and feel like the first video link above is important.

Somewhere in this video I heard one of the speakers refer to strange clouds in the sky that he had never seen before.  This is what I'm talking about - I am seeing such clouds lately, as well as formations that don't go together at all.  The puffy white clouds seen on a beautiful summer day just don't go with the black angry looking clouds that you see in a storm.

This is not just happening in California - it is happening all over the country.  Everyone should have some knowledge about what is causing it as well as the negative consequences already noted

Monday, March 7, 2016


I can't really say why, or exactly what it is that I'm noticing, but I can tell you that I've been observing clouds for the past year or so and they are very different lately.  I've watched clouds for many of the 75 years I've lived on earth, and there is a definite difference in them.  This is irregardless of the climatic conditions, season of the year, and so on.  I'd say the past 4-6 months or so have been striking.  Has anyone out there noticed this, and if so I wish you'd let me know.

We got a lot of rain in the past 24 hrs., and when I watched the weather report last night they were predicting 5 or 6 feet of snow in the mountains!  When I first visited Sacramento in 1983, my Mom drove me up to Reno (she loved to gamble; I hated it but went along to pacify my Mom).  We stopped at the rest stop on Donner's Summit - the high point along the way - and remember being amazed at seeing the building with rest rooms, travel info, etc., had snow up to the top of the building.  They had cleared a path from the parking lot to the front of the building, and I had never seen snow so deep!  I would love to see what it is looking like now.  The interstate (I-80) was closed yesterday evening because of the snow, and at the lower elevations traffic was narrowed down to one lane to slow people down.  Can you imagine trying to drive fast in a snow storm when the roads are slippery.  I think people who cause accidents driving too fast for the road conditions should have their driver's licenses taken away from them permanently. 

I wish I could say that the wound on my arm is looking better, but it still looks pretty ugly.  With the weather being so cool I am wearing a lightweight jacket and the long sleeves cause me some grief.  I finally took the band aid off in the shower - even wet it pulled the hair on my arm when I ripped it off, so I'm not replacing it.  Fortunately I'm healthy enough to fight off the infection and the inflammation will be gone soon.  I guess if I'd had an antiseptic ointment I would probably have used it, but in the long run it wouldn't have made much difference.

I've rationed out the first box of Peanut Butter Patties (G.S. cookies), and I finished them off at lunch today.  I'm in heaven!

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Walking wounded

I have been wounded by an oleander bush!  I was pulling some grass and weeds from around the bush and jammed my forearm into a thick wood branch that had been blunt cut.  I need to get some sort of power saw that I won't kill myself with, so I can do some proper trimming on the big bushes in my yard.  The skin on my arm is so thin to begin with from having taken daily aspirin for many years, and what this encounter did to the skin is gross.  Earlier in the morning I had driven to the gym and felt I was on top of the world -- absolutely joyous.  When I hurt my arm I only wanted to crawl back into bed and cry!  (I didn't do that, but my mood was shot for the day).

We had a lot of rain overnight that started around dinner time.  From maybe 7 or 8pm until I went to bed at midnight the wind was howling and the rain came in sheets and hit the roof as well as everyting on the driveway.  I don't mind the rain, but I don't like the heavy winds.

Today the rain has stopped long enough for me to go out and pull some of the grass and weeds that have grown up overnight.  I am so damn sick of doing this.

I have been craving sweets for months, and yesterday I picked up the Girl Scout cookies I had ordered before I got serious about my low sugar diet.  God bless the girl scouts!

I don't have much to write about, which is why the lag between this and my last post.  So I'll just wish everyone a good week ahead, and I will sure try to stay away from killer oleander bushes!