Eastern Utah
EMAIL ME AT: mgypsy97 at aol dot com

Thursday, June 30, 2016

No camping trip?

It may not happen this year.  I knew there were fires burning in southern Cal, but now there are some that are closer to home.  Right now they are closer to I-80, but the smoke and the fires could travel east to US 50, which is the route I would choose for travel to a camping space.  So much for all the rain we had during the spring months.

I keep the firefighters in my thoughts, as the terrain is so mountainous with no roads in and out of the area, they are mostly fighting it from the air at this point.  Eventually they will need "boots on the ground" though.  I'm afraid this is what the future holds, and will get worse if we don't get rain to replenish the reservoirs and ground water.  With rain and no trees to hold the ground in place, it can lead to mudslides that are devastating also.

Regarding my book on CD, it is called "Chestnut Street" by Maeve Binchy.  Like most of her books, they are collections of stories about individuals, and by the end of the book she pulls all these people and stories together.  The people in the stories will all end up interacting with each other in surprising and lovely ways.  I can't say anything about other audio books, but this one is extremely easy to listen to.

The Park maintenance manager just came to tell me he was replacing my electric meter.  (The gas meter was replaced last year, or maybe the year before.)  I guess it is scheduled maintenance.  

There has been constant shrill barking by a dog who is quite close, and in fact sounds like he is next door to me.  I didn't think Ed, my next-door neighbor would ever have a dog as he can barely take care of himself.  I asked the maintenance guy and he confirmed it's Ed's dog, and Ed is trying to find a home for him.  It might be a perfectly lovely little dog but I can tell from the shrill barks that I couldn't deal with it.  Besides, I like large dogs.

I would bet that one of Ed's young relatives gave him a dog to keep him company, give him something to care for, etc., which is always a bad idea.  No one should ever decide that someone else needs a dog and then arbitrarily find one for him.  One of my brothers did that to my Mom in her older years - a Yorkshire Terrier - who was cute as can be but never stopped barking.  It was worse when I visited my mom as the dog did not want us talking to each other.  He also barked constantly when she was on the phone.  My kids loved him but I could barely stand to be around him.  That probably cemented my feelings about small dogs.

Today and tomorrow are in the upper 90's range, and then we are scheduled for some low 90's temps.  If I believed in hell I would think I'm at the gates!  But as Sacramentans are fond of saying, "At least it's a dry heat."

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Listening to the book on CD

I took the boom box/CD player back to Best Buy this morning.  Unfortunately I didn't get it back within their allotted time, so they could only give me my refund on a store card (that doesn't have an expiration date).  Not much else I could do, so I accepted it.  I wandered around the store looking for the GPS section and finally asked a clerk.  They have very few models on display but they do carry more on their website.  I don't know if I want to get another one or not - it certainly won't be a Garmin if I do.  I saw one online, a TomTom, that looked good to me, but so far I've been able to hold off on buying it.  

I rarely need a GPS in town as I don't drive in unfamiliar territory if I can avoid it, and I'm not sure how much driving I'll be doing outside the city.  Not any that involves getting on an interstate, for sure.

I put the first CD of the audio book into my laptop, and it works perfectly.  The only thing is that for some reason iTunes lists the selections in reverse order.  The computer automatically tries to listen from top to bottom of the list, which is ok if it's musical selections, but with sections of a book they must be listened to from bottom to top.  That means I have to watch the progress of each section, and jump to the selection above to listen to the next one.  It's irritating - I'm on CD-1 out of about 12 CD's, so it's going to get more bothersome.  It's really easy to listen to - I selected a Maeve Binchy book - I've always loved reading her books and they are written as narratives which lend themselves well to being read aloud.  Even when reading the books I always read (to myself) in an Irish lilt!

I have been thinking I need to go camping, and maybe will do it after Labor Day when the crowds thin out.  Last year the forest fires prevented camping in any part of the state, although I'm sure some people did camp out.  I don't want to have to smell the smoke or run from a fire, which can spread fast especially if the wind changes directions.

I'll see how I feel after I return from Alaska, but I may think about getting a black lab puppy (or young dog).  I'd love to take a dog camping with me again - it was never the same after Lady died.  I could always change my mind, but I really want a young male black lab.  I won't be satisfied until I get one. 

I look forward to my Alaska trip, and will have something exciting and new to write about.  I sure hope I get to see a grizzly, a whale, catch a few nice salmon, enjoy the cool weather and have to wear jeans and a jacket, among other things.  I don't know how many photos my memory card will hold as I always upload them right after taking them.  Not sure if I'll take my laptop or not - it gets heavy when carrying it through an airport!  It would be a challenge to do without the internet for two weeks.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

The Long Wait is Over

The dermatologist removed my stitches this morning, and all is well even though she gave me somewhat of a shock.  The urgent care doctor said right away the growth was not cancerous.  The dermatologist assured me the same thing when I had it removed, although they send it away to be tested just to be on the safe side.

This morning when she walked into the treatment room she was all smiles and said something to the effect, "Well, it wasn't cancer.  I was certain it was, but the test came back negative."  Whoa, there.  I don't recall her even hinting that there was a chance it could be malignant.  Thinking about it on the way home I realized she probably had confused me with another patient.  I'm satisfied with that explanation and won't give it another thought.  I'm so glad this is over and I don't have to do any more bandaging!

This time I followed the printed directions sent to me before my first visit, and all went well!  It was so easy, and why google mapped it in such a difficult way is beyond me.

I stopped by the library to return a book and to pick up one I recently ordered.  The new one is a book on CD's.  I've never listened to anything like that before and hope I can follow it with no problems.  I am reminded of the very old days before TV when I listened to Sky King, The Lone Ranger, Cisco Kid, etc., on the radio.  When they all switched over to television I think the Lone Ranger was the only one who bore any resemblance to what I pictured from the radio series.  Sky King certainly was different.

I hope to go to the gym this evening, and really don't want to leave the swamp cooler running.  After coming home last week to a house that was 99 degrees inside, I think I may just let the electric meter roll and try to keep it somewhat cool inside.

I feel great and even 103 degrees or higher isn't going to change that!

Monday, June 27, 2016

Trying not to melt

It was another 100+ day so I made a quick trip to the grocery before it got too hot.  I find the Bel Air employees to be so friendly and I don't remember that from when I first started shopping there.  It occurs to me that maybe they were always friendly, and it's me who has changed.

There wasn't much I could do at home and stay cool, so I worked on my photograph project.  I finished another album that holds something like 300 photos, and it covers our lives from our first house in Cincinnati where our children were born, to the house in Sacramento up to the time my husband and I separated.  He remained in Sac with Mike (who was in his first year of college, and I moved east with the other three kids.  Mike finished two years of school here and then moved to Washington DC where he got his undergraduate degree from George Washington University.  There was a lot of travel back and forth between our homes, as we tried to celebrate holidays together.  They were trying times, with single parents attempting to raise teen-agers - not easy even when you are on the same page!  Looking at the photos brings a smile that goes all the way to my heart. 

So with another hot day tomorrow I will probably sit and sort photos from the 1990's.

At 9:30 pm my desktop westher widget tells me it is 99 degrees; by contrast, it is 63 in Alaska!  I think I'm going to love Alaska!

Thanks to those who wrote me that I should leave the bandage on my stitches rather than expose them to the air.  I have become pretty good at wrapping my arm, and I'm going to be delighted when this ordeal is over with.  I've followed the directions explicitly even though following directions doesn't come easily to me unless I really believe them.

I hope you all have a great week ahead, and try to keep cool!

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Coming home to a hot house!

I left home a little after Noon today for Jeannie's house, where they were holding a birthday party for Arianna.  I left a fan circulating air through the kitchen, but turned off the swamp cooler.  I just came home at 6pm to 99 degrees INSIDE the house (it's only 100 outside), and of all things, the heater was running!  I'm really not sure how to turn the darn thing off, as it's usually something I ask Donald to do.  This is awful!  (I think I finally got it turned off.)

It was nice in Jeannie's air conditioned house, but even outdoors by the pool wasn't bad sitting in the shade with a mister gently spraying cooling moisture.  The heat was making me sleepy so I left early.  Also my arm hurts off and on.  Just 3 more wake-ups until I get these damn stitches out and I hope she doesn't tell me to keep a bandage on the wound.  I'm ready to give up the bandaging!

Things are going well with the photographs.  I've decided to keep two categories (each with lots of pictures) in one of the storage boxes.  That still leaves me needing to sort photos from when we lived in Sacramento from Oct 83 through Aug 89, and Northern VA for the rest of 1989 through my move to Ireland in 1990.  I'm making progress even if it is slow going.  And I'm sure I'll find other categories to just add to the photo boxes - much easier than putting them in albums.

This feels like a "go to bed early night", although it might or might not happen.  I don't even bother checking to see what is on TV these days. 

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Company this afternoon

My son had to go to the hospital (where he is a Certified Respiratory Therapist) this afternoon for a staff meeting; he took Alyssa with him as she could sit for a couple of hours and amuse herself but Keira would just get into boredom which spells trouble.  So he dropped her off at my house.

She colored in some of the coloring books and we talked; later we went to Chipotle (best food ever), and then to Baskin Robbins.  I've been craving ice cream and it was as good as I thought it would be.  Afterward, I drove through the residential area where we lived when we moved to California, and I showed her where her daddy lived and played when he was her age.  We finally came back home and I caved in and found a suitable cartoon station on TV so she could watch it.

Her mom came by when she got off work and we visited for a while, and when they left the dog park people all sat around talking and laughing while their dogs rushed the fence. I know I complain frequently about this situation on my blog, but so far have hesitated to say much to the people in the office.  I'm not a complainer and I do believe in karma, or "what goes around comes around".  Most aspects of my life are so good right now, and I don't want to rock the boat.  Plus, I just want to treat others as I'd like to be treated, but sometimes it seems like I get the short end of the stick.

I'm really tired and hope I can stay awake at least until dark!  

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Small favors

Like the old saying goes, thank god for small favors!  I did my errand running this morning and couldn't believe how pleasant 68 degrees can be!  I really had hoped to go to the gym yesterday, but after going out to get my mail I didn't feel well at all, so ended up staying home.  I always knew that extreme heat is worse for older people, and I guess "now I are one!"

It's a few degrees cooler today and I hope Jeannie can make it to the gym.  I need to get out and move some muscles!

My arm hurt most of the day yesterday and I wonder if I wound the bandage too tightly.  Today I used a lot less gauze and flex wrap - I looked at Rite Aid for extra large band-aids but couldn't find them.  I know they exist because I've had them before.  I need to do an attitude adjustment because I'm halfway through the aggravation of the stitches, and hope things will be better when they are removed.

We are celebrating Arianna's birthday this weekend and I picked up some project and art supplies yesterday morning.  I was sure I had birthday wrapping paper but can't find it.  I found some that is red with what looks like colorful confetti on it - I'm sure it's Christmas wrapping but it's going to do.  I tried to buy washable products and hope I don't get in trouble over them.  I hated it when my kids got paints, play-doh, etc.  The play-doh was always the worst and ended up in the carpet and in the dog's stomach!

I haven't heard the dogs today, unless they did all their barking while I was at Rite Aid.  It was terrible yesterday - lasting until after dark.  The group of adults sit and talk among themselves and don't seem to notice or care that their dogs are a nuisance to those who live here.

I still dream of getting a little black lab puppy.  They are so easy to train (will do anything for treats).     

I just took my hummingbird feeder down when I saw it dripping.  There was some sort of leak so I need to get a new one.  There haven't been many birds visiting this year, although I've seen one now and then.  Maybe the climate has something to do with it, although Sacramento always had hummingbirds year around.   It feels pretty hot out there, but it is "only" 91 now.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Beat the Heat

There is no way to beat it except to stay indoors.  I went out to bring the garbage cans in and thought I would faint!  It's 98 and going up one more degree to 99.  I'd like to turn the swamp cooler up to "high" but it makes so much noise and I don't want to hear it.  So I'll just refill my glass with cold water and hope the temp drops a bit in a couple of hours so I can go out and get some ice cream!  (If I can't get ice cream I'll just have to drink a cold beer!)

My thoughts are with you Phoenix, L.A. and the rest of the southwest.  I know many of you are have worse heat than Sacramento.  Think cool!

Monday, June 20, 2016

The heat returns!

I sure don't like this hot weather, but it's going to get worse during the coming week.  I plan to just stay indoors and if I need to venture out it will be early in the day.  Except of course, when Jeannie can get to the gym in the evening.

The dermatologist's office called me this morning with the biopsy results on the growth removed from my arm.  Of course it was negative.  I had no doubts as both doctors I saw knew what the growth was from the first look, and they didn't worry at all about it.  One more week until the stitches come out and I will be so happy about it.

I haven't touched a photo or an album today.  I needed a break from it, but during this hot spell it is something I can work on without breaking a sweat.

Does life imitate art, or is it the other way around.  It would be more rational to think that art imitates life, but it doesn't in many ways.

I am admittedly a believer in UFO's and alien visitation, technology, etc.  I've never seen one with my own eyes and probably won't ever see one, but I believe nevertheless.  It really irritates me that lately when I listen to some of my favorite researchers on this subject, I hear them say, "Oh, that's just like in Star Wars where xxx did yyy."  Or, That is the same as in the X Files, when zzzzz".  What the heck is this, that Hollywood and the movies become the models for activity that has probably been around for eons.  No, I should be able to watch Star Wars and say, "Oh, that is just like the UFO that appeared over Missouri, or Texas, or wherever."

I feel great today and am in a wonderful mood, but have to be pissy about something!

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Bathtub finished!

Steve, Meg, and Liam came by today and Steve got the length of pipe needed to hook up the faucet in the shower.  I could get water from the showerhead fixture but couldn't run it into the tub via the lower faucet.  That meant when I cleaned the tub I had to rinse it by filling & dumping cups of water - a time-consuming task.

Steve looked at a few photos where I couldn't see well enough to be sure which one of my own kids it represented.  Ah, to have the strength and eyesight of youth!  I had a really nice visit with Megan who is looking good.  I don't remember exactly when she is due and forgot to ask her.

I'm getting irritated with having my arm bandaged as the bandage slips, probably because I don't wrap it tight enough to nearly cut off circulation in my arm.  The stitches look fine but the skin around them is not so great looking - probably from being bound by the damn bandage.  I'm going to look tomorrow for a large band-aid that won't stick to the hair on my arms when I take it off.  Not sure if they even make something like that but it would be a lot more comfortable.  I feel like my arm needs to be exposed to the air, but if it did the doctor wouldn't have told me to bandage it for 2 weeks.  Here is where I usually part ways with a doctor and do my own thing, but I do want this to be over with soon so I won't have to go back.

Steve is trying to get the other guys together to trim some of the bushes in the yard.  I was considering contacting a landscaper, but he nixed that idea.  I want to get my backyard looking good but almost need to see how much of my travel savings account will be spent for the trip to Alaska.  I guess I should just estimate the travel and blow the rest on the yard!

Mike & his family are visiting CA soon, and Steve was jokingly figuring how we could get Mike into doing some work on the yard.  That is really funny and I told him that Mike, being the oldest of his siblings, as well as holding a commanding officer position, always determined how he could get others to do the actual work!  Actually, he is a very hard worker and has been since he was a little kid delivering papers.

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Uneventful day

I'm getting a little tired of dealing with all the photos, and especially considering that I have so many more to sort.  It takes so much more time to apply those photo corners and place them on the 4x6 card - I'm sure I've placed some of them a little crooked but it's too late to do anything about it.  I'm working on the 1st 13 years of my married life, my children and our activities in Cincinnati, OH.  I can see how enthralled I am with my grandchildren - my own kids were beautiful!  I hate having a photographic record of the 1970's clothing styles though.  Yuk!

Going to the market this morning was my only outing.  I did end up going to the gym last night and had a great workout.  I think Jeannie was hoping I would say I was too tired, but I really wanted to go and we both were glad in the long run.

The west is evidently in for some killer heat within the next few weeks.  The swamp cooler is working pretty well and certainly costs less than running an A/C.

I'm back on the lemon in my morning glass of warm water, not every single day but maybe 4 days/week.  I can't explain what it is, but I feel so much better when I add the lemon.  Now if I could only find a magical energy potion!


Friday, June 17, 2016

Last beautiful day for a while

Tomorrow will be in the 80's, and then it climbs every day to 100+ for a while.  There is a good breeze, so I hung two loads of laundry on the line.  Carrying the laundry baskets over and back is not friendly to my back!

I took a short nap in hopes Jeannie gets off work early enough that we can go to the gym this evening.  I wish there was an exercise I could do to make myself look good in a bathing suit, as we are going to Joe & Sarah's to celebrate the 4th of July and if it's hot I might want to take a dip in their pool.  I need to find a swim suit that fits me before then!

I bought some more photo corners at Michael's today but couldn't find index cards, so I stopped by Staples and got them.  If you want unlined cards  the smallest pack they sell is 500 cards!  I have no doubt I will be mounting that many more photos, if I live long enough!  I was in a great mood today, and at the Post Office, Michael's, and Staples ran into like-minded friendly people.  It seems like the better I feel the friendlier and nicer the people I meet. 

My arm is doing well and I'm getting better at wrapping the bandage, but now the itching has started.  For now it's mostly on the underside of my arm rather than at the site of the wound (?), but I'm sure I will go crazy before I finally get to go back to a normal life.

Right now it's quiet, but from time to time the noise at the dog park is ridiculously loud and irritating.  Yesterday evening the adults got into the act and were throwing the ball, calling out to their dogs in a way that gets them excited, and I don't know which was worse - the people or the animals!  I would like to know if the city has any restriction on how close a dog park can be to residences, but I'm sure they have themselves covered.  I couldn't find anything online.

I spent a few moments yesterday sitting on the patio after the sun moved away from it, but to me it's depressing.  Such a tiny little space, with nothing really attractive in any direction.  Maybe when I get some kind of rug, a small table, and fix up the back yard a little it might be more conducive to relaxing.  I found a card left in my mailbox from a landscaper, but I want to ask my son's opinion before I call the guy.  He doesn't have a regular business card, but wrote his specialties out in long hand.  For some reason I like the sound of him, but I'd like to know what Steve thinks.  I wish he could be here if and when I meet with the guy.

I think I'll go find something to eat just in case I end up going to the gym later.  I need to keep my energy level up.  It sags like everything else,!

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Love that technology! UPDATED

NOT!  I have tried for an hour to get photos from the card in my camera, to my iMac computer, to a device that I can transfer to my laptop.  Supposedly the photos are on the flash drive but I sure haven't been able to find them.  The iPhoto that I used to use and loved, has been updated to the point where it's just trash to me now.  The photos are on the iMac where I can see them, but I can't transfer them for some reason.  It's maddening!

I've been working on the photos and using the little "corners" to mount the smaller pictures to card stock that will fit into the album.  I think they look pretty good - certainly not professional, but it will be fine for future viewers of the albums.  It turns out I can't use my 3 x 5 cards as the openings are 4 x 6, so I'm cutting 4 x 6 from manila folders.  I only get 5 or 6 cards from each folder, and trying to follow the lines I've drawn to cut the cards is laughable.  My eyes work differently now for close up work, but even so, I'm doing a job that satisfies me.

Another photo I took was of my bandaged arm.  I did a good job this morning and it seemed to be a lot easier.  Maybe I'm getting the hang of it, but I'm going to be pretty tired of doing it on a daily basis by the time I have the sutures removed.  My arm looks good - very little to no bruising.  It still aches but it's just an annoyance now and nothing more.

Jeannie and I went to the gym last night.  Donald had a couple of basketball games and the girls wanted to go with him, so it was just my daughter and me.  At first I thought I wouldn't do much because I didn't want to irritate the wound or pull on the stitches.  I soon forgot that and really enjoyed a great workout.  I kept the weight resistance a little lower than what I normally would use, but I felt so darn good last night and continuing through today, and I'm looking forward to going back on Friday.

It's still 66 degrees at nearly 1pm, going up to the low 70's.  By next Tuesday it will be over 100, and according to weather.com (from the Weather Channel) we can expect something like 106 by the middle of next week.  The Weather Channel is often wrong, and I really hope they are wrong this time.

I feel so good right now I wish I was a runner, as I'd go for a run.  I'm not sure where this is coming from, but I feel almost ecstatic.  It's good to be alive! 

UPDATE:  I finally got to the photos I wanted to add; my bandaging turned out kinda wrinkly!  I should have flipped the second photo before adding it, but just turn the computer sideways.  You get the idea how the manila cards look.  I am pretty weary from cutting all those 4 x 6 cards, and think that surely Michael's must have some that size in stock.  I'll look tomorrow.  Click on photo to enlarge.  (I really don't know how I got these photos on my computer, and not sure if I'll ever be able to do it again!) 

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

A better day today

Yesterday went well, and the local anesthetic didn't wear off until after 6pm.  I had a little pain which wasn't unbearable, more like an ache, and more like what I felt when I incurred the original injury.  I didn't take anything for it.  I kept thinking of my Mother, and anyone near my age who was raised Catholic will remember the words, "Offer it up!".  I hope she is smiling as much as I am.  I have to enjoy thinking that my Dad got me to my appointment on time, and that my Mom is still offering me advice!

I ended up going to bed around 8pm, while it was still daylight.  Getting the arm in a position that didn't pull on the injured site was sometimes a problem, as I am constantly turning from side to side during the night.  This morning I had to clean the site and rebandage it.  It was not easy as I am right handed, and trying to wrap a bandage around my arm with one hand is difficult.  They gave me a small packet that contained Vaseline, along with instructions that included a statement to the effect that while Polysporin and Neosporin are advertised, they are known to cause allergic reactions; that Vaseline is just as good and doesn't cause allergies.  That fits my beliefs that OTC products are over-marketed and not any better, if even as good as, the natural equivalent.

I bought a package of photo corners at Michael's this morning, and will use them to hold the small photos on a 3 x 5 card, which will fit into the album slot.  I remember photograph albums in the old days - black pages with "photo holders" at the 4 corners of a picture to keep it in place.  What goes around, comes around!  I was going to work on that project this afternoon but think I will wait until I'm back to 100% (or at least close).

The weather is beautiful today - a high expected to be 71, with a good cool breeze.  This is my idea of perfect weather, and it can't get any better than this.

I'd appreciate comments from anyone who has now, or has used a Tom Tom GPS, especially if you can compare it to a Garmin.  I loved the first Garmin I had which lasted me for years, but the last 2 have been absolute junk!  I don't want anything elaborate or that performs thousands of functions or has millions of POI's, just a plain GPS that can get me around in areas I'm not familiar with.  I doubt I will ever make any more long driving trips, but I would like to think I could get around in CA and surrounding states if I want to.  Best Buy has a Tom Tom on sale that looks like it would suit me fine, but if there is something about Tom Tom I should know, please give me a shout!  Thanks.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

What an ordeal!

I had the growth cut off my arm this morning - that was no ordeal.  It was quick and easy, and no pain whatsoever.  The Dr. anesthetized it some way, but I didn't feel a needle anywhere, nor have I felt any discomfort hours later.

My appointment was at 9:20, so I figured I would try for a 9am arrival because there is always paperwork when you visit a Dr. for the first time.  I had the directions - the medical bldg is on Elvas Ave., and I am familiar with the lower end of Elvas Ave.  The further you go however, the more tricky it gets.  I left home at 8:20 or so.  My Dad always impressed on me that you should strive to be a little early in case you run into traffic, but you should NEVER be late.  So I am always ridiculously early!

I was close to my target when I took a wrong turn and got myself hopelessly lost, and then even worse, became directionally challenged.  I went through the campus of Sacramento State Univ., plus through other intersections of streets I know well, but I didn't know how to get back to where I went wrong.  I finally pulled over and called the medical office to get further directions.  I did make even more wrong turns but with some illegal turns I eventually got to the office at 9 am!  My dad would have been proud.  I was worried how I would find my way out of there to a more familiar place, and again, by pulling through some parking lots I did get back to Folsom Blvd and made my way home!  If I drank I would have poured myself a shot!  It was a little too early in the day for a beer however.

I have to go back to have the stitches removed in two weeks, and hope I can do a better job of getting there.  The nurse who came in to bandage my arm and I were talking, and I mentioned the trouble I'd had.  She said, "You had trouble!  When I came here for the job interview I got lost and barely got here in time for the interview!"

I wanted to stop at Michael's on the way home, but by then I just wanted to pull into my driveway.  Maybe I'll save Michael's for tomorrow.  I need some kind of adhesive for the small photos I'm putting into the album.

I was asked to bring a list of meds & OTC's I take, plus vitamins and supplements.  The Dr. expressed surprise that at my age I don't take any meds or OTC's - just vitamins.  I feel pretty good today, considering my ordeal this morning.  

Monday, June 13, 2016

Not-so-great patio

I figured I would take some pictures and show you exactly how crappy this space is.  I have been trimming, pulling, and cutting in this area, and haven't yet cleaned up all the debris, so please bear with me.  It won't be so messy for long.

This is my wonderful Tommy Bahama chair, the best thing about the patio.  That's my shed behind it.
Click on a picture to enlarge it.

The next 2 photos are the view from the chair.  Not much to look at.

You can sort of see the notch in the heather - I started removing the dead wood from beneath the plants and ended up having to take out the plants themselves.  The tall stuff is on my neighbor's property and I've been whittling away at it.  Some of the trees you see are blow-ins from the other side of the fence and need to be cut out.  They grow so fast I can't keep up with them.

This green plant sticking out pops up everywhere.  It is a horrible weed and is so prickly that it stings even through gloves.  I've tried using the salt-vinegar solution and even stronger weed killer.  It will make the leaves turn brown but the plant still grows.  If I cut it and treat the stub coming out of the ground, it will continue to grow.  I don't know what it is or how to get rid of it.

So you can tell by the pictures and my description that I am certainly no gardener.  I like to see flowers and trees, but have absolutely no interest in dealing with them.  You might see some iris plants in one of the photos - that stuff must have been planted by a former owner and it spreads like crazy.  The flowers are pretty but don't last long enough for me to enjoy them, and there have been some years when no flowers appear at all.  I've pulled many of them out and dang, some more babies appear.  I just can't win! 

I finally went to the gym this morning and walked about a mile and a quarter.  I feel so energized and in such a good mood from the exercise.  I really need to get back to doing it every day, at least on the weekdays.  Tomorrow won't work as I go to the dermatologist at 9:20, but I have my doubts she will do anything but look at my arm, so maybe I will be able to get back to the gym while it's still not crowded.

Well, I have a lot to do while I still am on the energy high.  Later.   

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Day of Rest

In true introvert fashion, I needed the day today to recover from all the activity yesterday.  From the time I got up until now I have done very little, except to fix my meals.

I decided to sit outside on a little patio that isn't very well placed, but from it I can see the oleander, heather, and a few other plants & bushes.  I thought it would be relaxing and it was to an extent, although it wasn't long until I got the clippers and started fooling around with trimming heather.  I don't know if it's even salvageable as the bottom part is all woody and looks awful.  I may just pull most of it up in the fall, saving only a small bit of it.  I have the feeling it will spread and grow bushy again, and I will try to keep up with trimming it.

Reading Sandie's blog, "Where are the Dixons Today", and hearing about Jim's fall reminds me of a gnawing fear I'm noticing lately - that of falling.  I'm not as nimble or graceful as I used to be, and together with a problem in depth perception, I am really afraid I'll miss a step, a small barrier, or anything that might cause me to stumble.  I didn't really feel old until I started thinking about falling.

The photo album I'm working on now contains my baby pictures up through high school, and I'm wondering where did the years go.  I never thought I was pretty - would have settled for "cute" - but from my vantage point now I think I was pretty back in the day!  I wouldn't go back for anything in the world though, because I'd be trading my contentment and joy for insecurity, self-doubt, and all the other feelings that plague teen agers.  I'm grateful for making it this far, and especially for the fact that I can appreciate old age.  I wish I was pretty again though :-)  Nah, just kidding.  Have all those boys chasing me?  (Note:  I wasn't really all that pretty, but "pretty" is such a relative term.)

Speaking of the little patio, I want to get an indoor-outdoor rug to cover the ugly cement.  Someone in the past had painted it green and while most of the paint has come off there are still traces of it.  A carpet, a nice little round patio table and a couple of chairs, and maybe even an umbrella, would make it look much better.  There is not much of a view though, and I wonder how often I would use it.  The sun is on it in the morning, so no coffee on the patio, and it is probably the middle or late afternoon when it's shady enough to enjoy.  There are so many things I would do if I had the money, but there are much more important things to do with money.

Saturday, June 11, 2016

What is it about grey hair

I'm getting ready for my outing with the granddaughters, and just did my hair.  It doesn't look grey at all, but of course you can see grey strands if you look closely.  I'm talking about looking in a mirror at about 3 ft away.  Some days it looks totally grey, but not today.  Today I could pass for a kid!  (Joke, joke)
I'm getting desperate to get a haircut as it's getting way too long.  For some reason several years ago my life-long, straight-as-a-poker hair suddenly became "bendy".  It flips up on the sides, but the back is so weird.  I'm grateful that I still have thick hair, so I should quit complaining about it.

If I'm not totally zonked out from absorbing energy radiating off two 6-year olds (one who is 2 wks short of 7), then I'll finish this post later.

I am pretty tired after having all that energy bouncing off me!  Here are photos taken before we left for the bookstore - the first is with the two younger girls; the second one is all four of them.

Click the picture to enlarge it.

We did the book thing and picked out two for each of the girls, and then went into the Cafe.  Unfortunately none of their desserts were dairy-free so Arianna couldn't eat them.  I asked if they would like to go to Chipotle instead, and they readily agreed.  I have been wanting to eat at Chipotle for a long time, but don't like to go into a restaurant by myself, even for takeout, so I appreciated this opportunity.

The food was even better than I remembered - I only got white rice (seasoned to perfection) with carnitas (beef, also seasoned).  I love the food they serve and it is made from all high quality ingredients, so I don't worry about getting GMO's, MSG, and other chemicals and additives to my food.

I think we had a great time, and there's a big difference considering their ages compared to their sisters.  The attention span isn't as long, for one thing, but I think the timing ended up being perfect.  We went back to Jeannie's house and it wasn't long until all four of them were in the pool.  Joe & Sarah had gone to a movie while they could get away by themselves, and I had a nice visit with them when they came to pick up their kids.  I just barely made it home with my eyes open!

Now I have to get my grandson, Liam, to the bookstore and have him pick out a couple of books.  I think that will do it for all the grandkids, as I bought books for the boys in NY, and I've ordered the newest Harry Potter book for Ara, and well as for Joshua (NY).  It ships sometime at the end of July but the date seem to me to keep changing.  I'm anxious to hear what they think of it, as it is written for the stage rather than in story form.

I have to hit the couch for a little while.  I'm leaving the swamp cooler on high in hopes the noise of the fan drowns out the noise of the barking dogs.  I'm going to complain to the management next week.  Last night it went on starting at 7:30pm for 55 minutes, with no break.  Obviously their owners didn't care about whether it was bothering the neighbors.

Friday, June 10, 2016

Still working in the yard

I've tried to get out in the yard for a short while each day to pull weeds & grass, and now to trim the heather.  I have heather that hasn't really been kept neat and tidy, and has even spread into my neighbor's yard.  I told him I was going to come over into his yard and try to trim it into shape, which is fine with him.  I'm going to recommend he just pull it out as there isn't much I can do with it.  It hasn't really been properly cared for in years, and I don't know enough to be able to overcome the neglect.  The past couple of years I have trimmed it on my side, about 1/3 of the way down the stalk, but underneath the plants is so much dead wood I am really stymied.  I think just before winter I'm going to get a power hedge trimmer and whack it off at least halfway down, and see what happens next year.

When it blooms it smells so good and is delightful to look at, but it is in a part of my yard I never visit much less sit in and enjoy the plants.   I'm hoping that I can have a nice little patio or "sit in" place set aside when I update the back yard.  The killer oleander is blooming very nicely, but I need to have it severely trimmed back next year and I don't know how to do it.  I probably need to find a reliable gardener to come in a couple of times during the growing season and shape everything up.

Tomorrow is the day I'm taking the two younger girls to Barnes & Noble.  B&N is also having some kind of big program for teens tomorrow, so it should be a real adventure.

Tomorrow is also the anniversary of my Dad's birth in 1910.  What a wonderful man he was and a terrific father.  There isn't a day that goes by that I don't think of him and miss him.

I can't sign off without a note on shorthand for words.  I have discovered that the younger people  have shortened the word "conversation" to "convo".  It's certainly understandable - it takes a lot less effort to text "I enjoyed our convo last night" than to use the longer form of "conversation" - which is a HUGE 7 additional letters, more than double!

Y'all have a great weekend.  I know I'm looking forward to being entertained by convo with Arianna and Keira.  Arianna is turning 7 in a couple of weeks!

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Science matters

I am very interested in science and scientific matters, although my mind doesn't exactly run that way.  When I was in high school, liking science studies was the kiss of death for a teen aged girl, unless you were smart enough to get a college scholarship, or your parents were wealthy enough to send you to nursing school.  Most girls I knew went into clerical work, and I don't like to boast, but I excelled in it.  

I've always wished I knew a little more about science than I do, but I watch the few programs that come along with a true scientific theme:  I don't consider "How it's Made" to be real science.  But science can often come up with something to give you a reason to laugh, or to shake your head in wonder.  I did both when I read the following headline on LiveScience, an email I get every week.  The article says "Size of wineglass affects how much you drink!"  Well, duh, I could have told you that since I finished high school (with no scientific education to speak of).  The scientist who discovered this gem probably got a federal grant, and no doubt has published a paper in some scientific journal.

Another article says that fish recognize human faces.  That is no doubt why fish swim up to where I'm throwing a baited hook into the water.  I know they are communicating with each other - "Let's have some fun with her.  Steal the bait and run!"

There are a couple of terms I hear frequently when I watch science shows, including Youtube videos, or read scientific articles:  "SINGULARITY",  and  "EVENT HORIZON".  I've looked up the definitions often enough, but they still make little sense to me, and I think the same idea could probably be better expressed by a word or phrase that has been in our language and has fairly common usage for years, rather than come up with these two dumb-sounding words.

I went to Costco this morning and bought two more photo albums.  It is now becoming more clear to me how I want to organize the photos, although I should probably go through the remaining hundreds of pictures or I'll be having to rearrange the ones already in albums.  I have a small Brother label maker which I love to use but rarely have a need for, so I'm enjoying making labels for the albums. 

I also bought four colorful throw pillows for the outdoor furniture.  Right now I have them on my couch and may decide to keep them indoors.  I've often commented about the dirt and dust that always seems to blow straight toward my house and yard.  It isn't just my imagination, as I can tell by looking at my neighbors on either side of me - for one thing all the leaves and dust settle in front of my place and no where else.  I might consider getting a lattice divider to set up across my driveway to block some of the dirt, although a divider probably doesn't fall within the Park's rules.

I'm happy to say I'm back to feeling pretty good.  I still have a couple of little hamburgers left which I'll finish off this evening, although I don't feel my energy returning as much as I'd hoped.

They're back!

I haven't seen anything strange in the skies for several weeks or maybe months lately.  Today when I was walking over to the laundry room and looked up, I saw 3 perfectly parallel and perfectly spaced streams in the sky - they were so perfect I am sure they weren't from commercial planes.  The streams were all the same width and if left by a plane they hardly would have been flying 3 abreast.  I forgot to get my camera as soon as I got back home, and even forgot to look up again.  Later all I could see were some spider web-looking clouds in the area where the streams had been.  So I wonder if we are being sprayed and if so, with what.  I need to start looking up more often.

I got two baskets of laundry done, including the pillowcases.  I just didn't feel like taking the sheets off, and will have to do that tomorrow.  I probably should buy another set of sheets but it seems like a waste for just one person.  I have made do with just one set of sheets for years now.

I've accomplished a little today with the photo sorting.  I have some large, good quality photo albums and realized they are as good for storage as keeping them in a box.  I have a complete album of photos from trips to Germany which covers 3 separate trips.  I also found all my photos taken in El Salvador and put them together in an album.  I think I will do the same for my Appalachian Trail pictures and other camping trips.  I will need to get a storage unit that will hold the heavy albums, but for now I am really moving along - not very fast - but at a good enough clip for me. 

I've added a 5-day forecast for Alaska to the page where I have Sacramento, NY, and Philadelphia.  Tomorrow will be 87 here, 67 in AK.  I could deal with 67 very easily!

I have considered writing a little rant about abbreviations, and I think I'll do it now.  Where and when, and on whose authority did these collections of capital letters come to be universally known, except to me.  I kept seeing POTUS, SCOTUS, BREXIT, and other such ridiculous combinations and finally figured them out, except I want to know what is so difficult about saying "The President", or "The Supreme Court".   BREXIT took me a while longer, and although no one has ever confirmed it to me, I think it means Britain Exit from the European Union.  It seems to be totally dumb to me.  And then there are the people who write in shorthand, using R for "are", U for "you", etc.  I'm sorry, I think it's a shame that no one can write in "longhand" these days, and now they forget how to spell.  Don't mind me, this is just my Gemini rising.  (Gemini is the rising sign in my horoscope, and it's the reason I can't say anything in just a few words, get upset about poor grammar and spelling, and I'd better quit now before I really piss someone off!  (And yes, I'm aware that my grammar isn't always correct.)