Eastern Utah
EMAIL ME AT: mgypsy97 at aol dot com

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Almost ready!

I'm having a leisurely early moring, enjoying my coffee and the last computer time for a while.  The family all met yesterday for the photo taking session, and it looks like they turned out to be exceptional.  I wore a pair of sandals I rarely use and was awake all night with leg cramps.  The photog studio is located in a large mall, and while we were waiting for the photos my d-i-l Meg became very thirsty.  She is pregnant and had started to develop a headache from dehydration, so I walked halfway through the mall to get to a place that sold bottled water!  I'm a good walker to begin with but those sandals were terrible!

After hearing that Sarah's relatives think it's cold in Alaska, I decided to add a couple of items to my suitcase, such as a sweatshirt.  I think I will be warm enough, and since we will be leaving Saramento in 104 degree heat, I am sure I'll love the Alaskan weather.

Yesterday morning I made a trip to the UPS store and they packed up and mailed back all the TV equipment I had to return to AT&T.  i'm glad that is over with.  I wonder what it is going to be like to be without internet for a while.  I get several regular mailings each week from various sources I subscribe to, and i'm sure it's going to overload my inbox.  I could cancel most of the subscriptions and then re-subscribe when I get back home.  Maybe by then I won't care about any of that stuff.  I can't remember what filled my life before the internet came along, but I'd sure like to find out.

With the state of the country (and the world) today, I have come to the conclusion that Facebook, Twitter, Pokemon, etc., are diversionary devices to take our minds off what is really important.

So I need to get a move on, eat something for breakfast, and pack the last minute items.  I'll be back in a couple of weeks, hopefully with some spectacular photos of my time in Alaska.


Thursday, July 21, 2016

Becoming stressed

As I always do before travel, I am becoming very stressed and emotional.  I'm lucky it didn't happen sooner, although all the family get togethers probably helped.

I have dropped my camera so many times that the battery compartment won't close properly.  I just drove to Costco, where the cheapest point and shoot is $180!   Best Buy is almost as bad and I don't feel like driving in that direction.  I filled up the gas tank at Costco at $2.249/gal, which is down a few cents from the last time.  I also stopped at the car wash and got the car looking decent.  I didn't wash it at all during the drought and it looked awful.  With the dirt that blows into my driveway I have no illusions about it staying clean, but at least all the old grime is gone.

I don't know what I will do about the camera - maybe try duct tape.  I would like to buy a new one but need to look around a bit.  It's not something I want to buy at Target or Walmart, although their products might be just as good as anywhere else.  I want a model that is simple to use, has understandable icons and print that I can read.

I'm mostly packed although I have to gather the small sizes of toiletries that I'm taking.  Thank goodness for the KonMari method of folding clothes.  It's simply amazing how much easier it is to pack and how much less space everything takes.  I wrapped the 2 bottles of champagne in bubble wrap plus a rubbery type of wrap, and hope it doesn't explode in my luggage, which I'm checking on the plane.  Without my laptop I can easily pack a much smaller and lighter carryon.

I have dismantled my TV connection and think I have all the equipment described except for one item - what AT&T refers to as the Wireless Access Point (WAP).  They include diagrams of all the pieces to be returned but I can't find anything that looks like the WAP!   I have been careful to not mess with the modem and related wires, and it hasn't been easy even using a flashlight to try to see everything.  I have come to detest technology, and it isn't going away.  Everything is so much more complex and harder to understand, although I acknowledge it has more features and does more.   Thankfully I don't have a big flat screen to worry about.  Maybe when I get back I'll try to do something to get the local news channel I watch for weather reports.  It would really be retro to go back to rabbit ears!

I may do a short post tomorrow and then that's it until I get back from Alaska!

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Fun at Straw Hat Pizza

We had a great evening; the kids spent much of the time at the various machines playing games and trying to win stuff.  Everything was very leisurely, the food was delicious, the beer was great, and of course, the companionship made it a super fun time.  My sister and her husband came down from Nevada and had hoped to stay several days, but Paul started experiencing pain from recent dental work so they left fairly early this morning (they were staying at my house).

I am leaving in a few minutes for my visit with the eye surgeon.  I'm not too hopeful about the future of the macular degeneration, although I always keep an open mind that something might help or at least stop the progression.  I'll finish the blog when I get back from the visit.

I have recently been watching youtube videos of RVers, new & used RV's, refurbishment, etc.  The thing that surprises me the most is that everyone who does the videos seems to be young people - in their 20's and 30's, opting for the vagabond lifestyle.  I don't know what the proportion really is, and maybe the older RVers just aren't as likely to want to be constantly filming themselves.  We are no doubt more likely to write blogs.  I just thought it was an interesting find that so many younger folks are able to do what most of have to retire in order to live the lifestyle.  More power to them, although it could eventually change the whole RVpark and campground scene.

I'm back from the visit with my eye surgeon.  I told him I had two things to discuss:

1.  At the beginning of my macular degenerative process he told me I would not go blind although my vision would be impaired.  I asked if this still held.  He said it did - and explained I would have a "hole" in my vision but that I wouldn't need a seeing eye dog, or to walk with a cane, etc.  I'm satisfied with that answer and will deal with what I am handed.  It's aggravating to me, but many people have much more serious things to deal with and I consider myself fortunate.

2.  I asked if I would be considered too old for stem cell implants.  The answer to that one is that this procedure is still new and that they don't know much about long-term benefits.  I knew the procedure is in its infancy, and I may ask about it again down the road.

I go back to see him in 6 months.

It's starting to get hot, on the way up to 90.   It sounds like we will be seeing the glaciers in Alaska, and I will think about that and feel a bit cooler!


Monday, July 18, 2016

The fun begins

Mike and family arrived yesterday and I met them for lunch.  I can't believe the two boys have grown so much since I saw them in April!  All the family went to Joe & Sarah's house in the afternoon and the kids had so much fun in the pool.  Mike's boys love to tussle with Joe and Steve, and Joe admits he doesn't know when to quit.  Kids were thrown into the pool lots of times but they could never get Joe or Steve in.

This morning we all met at a great donut shop for breakfast, although I didn't stay long as I had an appointment with my chiropractor.   It was the same thing - the boys (and the girls at times) trying to get the best of Joe.

Today is Donald's birthday and we are meeting at their house for dinner and swimming in the pool.  The NY boys have been to summer camp  where they had to take swimming lessons.  Both are becoming very good swimmers.   All the kids can swim, from the youngest to the oldest, and it's a wonderful skill to have.

I just got an email from Mike asking if I could make it to the Mall on Friday where we will have a family photo taken.  I love having the portraits made when we are all together, although Ara won't be on this one - probably the first she will ever miss.  We all cherish the one taken just a week or two before Bill died.  He didn't feel well at all, but made it without complaining and it's the last picture we have of him.

I called and confirmed our dinner plans at Straw Hat tomorrow evening.  It should be another fun gathering.

I love these family gatherings.  This old Grandmother Hen just loves having her chicks (and their chicks) around her and watching them interact with one another.  I hope they always remain this close.

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Another fall

Her Grace, Lady Gypsy, made it into the house through the side door carrying a package of 40 bottles of water, when something happened to make her lurch forward.  I hit my knees, the pack of water hit the floor, and we slid a few inches towards the wall.  After some very bad language I managed to get myself up, which isn't easy in the best of circumstances.  I think one of the bottles is leaking now but I can't figure out which one.

Why did I buy 40 bottles of water?  It was the only spring water being sold, and I don't pay for purified water.  I have a Pur pitcher in my fridge, as well as a Brita on the countertop, and I purify my own water.  But I will be having company in and out this coming week and it's easier to hand someone a bottle of water than to get a glass out of the cabinet.

I have invited my sister and her husband to just stay here through the following weekend.  They will be here overnight for the pizza party, but my niece is in town from New York and my other sister is having a party for her on Saturday.  I'll be at the airport ready to board a plane.  So rather than Julie stay over on Tuesday night, travel back to Nevada and then return on Saturday which just seems like a waste of energy, I asked her to stay here.  I haven't heard back from her yet, but I went ahead and got a few things in for breakfast and lunch that they can fix.  I was trying to empty my fridge as I usually do when I will be traveling, so I may send her back home with the stuff left over.  I'm not going to cook a dinner for myself or anyone else, as I usually become a little crazy before I travel and I would no doubt create a disaster if I turned on the stove!

It's a bit cooler today but still hot especially coming from an air conditioned store.

I am pretty sure I won't take my computer with me to Alaska.  It will be good to be without it for a while, and I hope I have lots to do so that I won't  even think about it.

Friday, July 15, 2016

Ed's back, dog's gone

Poor Ed - someone brought him back home yesterday and he could barely get out of the car.  He should definitely not be living by himself.  I haven't heard the dog since Ed's return, so I hope someone is giving him a permanent home.   Bruce (who found Ed lying on the driveway) told me that when he went to help Ed the dog tried to defend and protect him.  What a saga!

I spent the entire morning cleaning the kitchen, mainly the floor.  I have a Swiffer mop which doesn't really clean very well, but I don't have room for a lot of cleaning equipment, and it's just used on the kitchen floor.  I used quite a few cleaning pads and after I finished I filled a bucket with water and Pine Sol, got a rag and a scrubber pad, and did the whole floor again!  It looks a lot better and I always did like the odor of Pine Sol.  I have two really wide windows in the kitchen and after washing the sheer curtains, one of them fell apart so I threw it away.   I'm sure these curtains are the original ones , going back to the 1960's.   The other set is so wrinkled I won't put it back on the window.  The larger window of the two has venetian blinds (with thin slats) and they really need to be taken down and cleaned out on the driveway.  That won't happen until I get back from Alaska!  I'm sick of cleaning, and it isn't good for my knees to be down on the floor, even though I have a good pad to kneel on.  Getting up is almost impossible!

The most disheartening thing is that with the prevailing winds the dirt blows constantly straight into my house, and the "clean" won't last long.

I've been so hungry all day long and don't know why.  It's going to be almost too hot to cook, and I'm debating just going to Chipotle and bringing something home.  Their carnitas are soooo good.

I found another Resident Questionnaire for Emergency Evacuation in my mailbox.  I'm sure I turned one in, and now they want another one?  I wonder what emergency they are most concerned about.  They want to know if I have a "workable vehicle".  In case of emergency I will be happy to assist neighbors getting out of the Park, but then I'm heading for my kids!

Upon my return from NY my suitcase fell apart, so I am driving over to Jeannie's house this evening to borrow one of hers.   I wish I knew what clothes to take.  The next 5 days there will be in the mid to upper 70's and I don't think I'll need a swim suit!

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Trouble next door

At 10 pm last night I heard Ed's dog barking non-stop.   Soon after, my neighbor from the other side knocked on my door and told me that they had gone over to see what was the problem with the dog, and found Ed lying in the driveway, incoherent.  They called 911 for assistance and the fire department arrived soon after.   After quite a while they brought Ed  out on a stretcher, but he was propped into a sitting position so I felt he must  be coherent at least.   Everyone finally left and I closed the windows on that side of the house to try to drown out the barking, to no avail.  The neighbor who helped told me he went over at 6:30 this mornning and walked the dog but it stayed inside alone for most of the day.  A young woman, maybe Ed's daughter or granddaughter drove up and helped him out of the car, so I assume he is doing better.   I don't know if the heat got to him or what but I feel bad for him.  He's younger than I am by a few years.  Thank goodness for Bruce and his partner.  I know the constant barking from there and from the dog park is really irritating to him , but he sure came through in an emergency.

I got an email this morning to confirm the changes to my AT&T account.  It was written in the way the techs speak - around in circles - so I called to make sure what I was getting and was assured everything is fine.

I was on my hands and knees this morning cleaning the floor in the living room, so it will just be a matter of clearing the clutter.  The kitchen is a total mess and that's my goal for tomorrow.  The problem is that if I stay in the house for even a day the clutter starts to appear.  I think I have some mischevious fairies!

It is in the 3-digit temperature range now but I'm planning to go to the gym.  I need to do something for me right now.  We have had two evenings with no Delta breeze, so it is just plain uncomfortable.  Thankfully next week when all the company comes we'll be back in the high 80's/lower 90's.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Dealing with AT&T

I called AT&T back this morning and got a representative who was so helpful and understood what I want and need.  I arranged to cancel my TV and house phone (the phone I could never use because all I got were telemarketing calls) as of July 23.  I will keep my internet for $50/month, which is hard for me to believe and suspect they might try to raise the price later on.  I will be on a one-year contract - there is no way around it as even the Verizon MiFi has a 2-year contract.  I have mostly been satisfied with my internet service from AT&T.  

I have to return the receiver box plus the cord by taking it to a UPS location where they will box it up and send it back to AT&T.  I won't be here then, but I hope to get Donald or Steve to take it to UPS for me.  Every one of my dealings with AT&T has been fraught with disappointments and irritations, but maybe this one will go smoothly.  I hope.

This morning I began clearing my kitchen countertops and cleaning them by sections.  At one point I walked into the living room where I saw the Dirt Devil (vacuum) sitting by the front door.  So I plugged it in and started vacuuming the front porch - about a third of the way through I remembered the kitchen countertops, left the vacuum on the porch, and resumed my kitchen cleaning.  After another section was cleaned I returned to the porch and finished it.  Why in the hell can't I stick to one thing at a time!  It is so frustrating.  I finally finished the countertops which are looking much better, but now I need to tackle the floor.  That is the worst job because all the finish on the linoleum is worn away and it gets dirty immediately so I know I'll have to do it again before company comes next week.

I keep an eye on the weather in Alaska and just now checked the 1st 5 days we will be there.  Low 70's and precipitation/cloudy conditions.   I know what low 70's feels like here in Sacramento which is usually dry, but wonder how I can determine what clothes to take for 70's with rain.    If anyone has advice or suggestions, I'm open. 

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

A few comments

I don't watch much TV, but for some reason I turned it on last night and caught most of a program on D.B.Cooper, the man who demanded $200k and parachuted out of the plane somewhere over Nevada.  He has never been found, and after 45 years or so, the FBI is calling it quits to spend their resources on other cases.  It's about time they called it quits.  I think probably half the people in the U.S. were secretly hoping Cooper got away with his scheme, and he became a sort of "Butch Cassidy" figure.  I'll admit I always secretly hoped they wouldn't find him and put him into prison.  Someone with the nerve he had, jumping out of a plane in the rain, in the dark, over Nevada, in street clothes and shoes, with a satchel of money, shouldn't go totally unrewarded!

I washed the new sheets I bought yesterday, and don't like them at all.  They feel too silky!  I like cotton sheets, dried on the line, that feel crisp and clean.  That's the way I prefer my towels also, but the ones you buy now are made with some sort of process that keeps them eternally soft.  Yuk!

This afternoon I called AT&T to see about cancelling my service, and to find out what they would charge me for internet only.  My contract runs until July 23rd, so it was agreed I would wait until then and call back.  (If they enter a date into the computer now, it will cancel as of today and I will be charged an early termination fee!)  I only want internet and don't want a contract if I can find a plan without itNot sure if I mentioned it, but AT&T has everything in this mobile home park locked up, with no competition allowed.  How they worked that out I'll never know, but I would guess someone in management lined their pockets!  I believe DirectTV is available here but it is owned by AT&T.  

I looked online at the Verizon MiFi hotspot and while it would be difficult limiting myself to 5GB a month, I think I could get used to it but don't really want to.  Besides, they want a 2 year contract.  If anyone has a suggestion please let me know.  

Monday, July 11, 2016

Countdown starting

I'm counting the days now for my son & his family to arrive and our gathering at Straw Hat Pizza.  I've invited my sister and her husband (and dog, Tallulah) to stay at my house Tuesday night.  I will have them take my bed, and as I've always complained when having to wash the sheets and put them back on the bed in the same day, I only have one set.  Today I bought a set of queen sized sheets, so I will have a nice new set for them, and then it will be much easier for me in the future.   I don't really need 2 sets of sheets for myself, but it will be nice so I'll be glad I have them.

In a post I wrote several weeks ago I mentioned the chemtrails in the sky, and I did get some feedback from others about it.  I heard on the radio yesterday - and I'm so mad at myself for not writing it down - the CIA has disclosed that the chemtrails are for the purpose of spraying a metalic substance that affects the weather.  As I say, I sure wish I had written down exactly what they said - but with our weather being so screwed up it's possible that the chemtrails aren't always beneficial to us, the people.  It would also be great if the government would be upfront with the people, especially about what it being sprayed on us, but they have rarely been upfront about anything in the past and it would be a stretch to think they would change now.

The hot weather is back and will last for a while.  I just hope it stays cool in Alaska, although it seems to rain a lot.  I'll take a rain jacket with a hood and won't worry about the weather.

I need to go across the street and take my laundry off the line.  I just checked my weather widget and it's somewhere around 88 (and still rising), so I will fold the clothes indoors where it is cooler.  I hope you are all staying comfortable if the weather   is hot in your area.   I hate to wish my life away but admit to looking forward to cooler autumn weather.

Sunday, July 10, 2016

2nd Night Out

Jeannie called me yesterday afternoon and said the campers were staying out another night, and we decided to go to a new craft brewery in her neighborhood that served food.  At first we sat at the outdoor tables but moved indoors as soon as we finished eating - it was windy and very chilly!  The choice of brews was excellent - I stayed with a pilsener!  It was so enjoyable - just the two of us gabbing away a mile a minute.  For my meal I ordered pulled pork sliders - served 3 to the plate.  The pork was excellent and they topped them with crispy french fried onion rings.  I saved one of the sliders and had it cold for breakfast this morning!

I stayed at Jeannie's until Donald and the girls got back, tired but happy.  I couldn't believe the pack that Autumn carried - the same pack Jeannie took on our trip on the Appalachian Trail last summer.  Autumn will soon be as tall as Jeannie, but I still couldn't believe she could carry the weight as well.  Everyone had a wonderful time and the pictures they took shows it.  Seeing the photos I can't believe how Liam is really growing up, as all the kids seem to be.  For some reason it just struck me that Liam looks older all of the sudden.     I guess he's getting ready to be a big brother later on this year.

I have the camping/backpacking bug again big time!   Will I ever learn?

I'm tired - again we stayed up late talking last night, so I might just rest my eyes for a little bit.  

Saturday, July 9, 2016

More on the Camping trip

The boys left yesterday with their kids for the camping trip.  Keira decided not to go, and I'm surprised.  Everyone seems to love our family camping trips, but they usually don't involve having to walk any distance, and the dads & moms set up their big cabin tents.  The group was only planning to stay one night, so they should be back this evening and I'm anxious to hear how it all went.  

Jeannie invited me to stay with her last night, and she picked me up after work.  We drove to a specialty shoe store that carries quality athletic shoes, and she found a pair that fit well and were comfortable.  From there we went to a very nice pizza place close to her home, ate a leisurely dinner of delicious veggie pizza with artichokes (my favorite) and shared a pitcher of beer.  Back at her house we stayed up talking until 12:30 am or so.  We were both tired this morning, but she had an appointment to get a message so by now she's probably feeling pretty good.  I'm back at home and it's almost certain I'll take a nap today.

My eye vitamins arrived, and I've started taking them.  I hope I can see a difference in a couple of months.

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Enjoying the cool weather.

Actually it's up to 85 this afternoon, but the mornings are chilly until Noon, and it's only hot in the sun.  After walking on the treadmill I drove to Barnes & Noble to pick up a book called "Serafina and the Black Cloak".   I decided to read it myself before handing it over to Autie, and my heart has nearly stopped several times.  It takes place at the Biltmore Mansion in Asheville, NC, and the Blue Ridge Mountains.  I saw the Biltmore from a distance but never did go through it.  The gardens must be  beautiful in the spring and every prom couple in the area goes there for photos.   I've hiked and camped in the Blue Ridge Mountains many times, which includes an overnight at Linville Gorge, which is notoriously haunted.  The book is full of suspense and is downright scary at times, but it's also fantasy.   I know Autumn will love it, and the 2nd book in the series comes out on July 12.  

Driving home I wasn't paying close attention and started to move forward when I saw a flash of a green light.  Well I caught myself in time - it was the left turn green light.  While I was debating backing up a little the regular light turned green and then someone had to honk their horn to get me moving.  I normally don't do things like that.

I came home and started my cleaning - I did what I had intended to do, and then quit for today.  No sense knocking myself out over something that has to be done over and over again.  I still have some deep cleaning to do in the kitchen.

I've mentioned how I really want to go camping for a few days this summer/fall.  I was thinking about various campgrounds and possibilities, and my mind came to rest on my old favorite - Butte Lake in Lassen Volcanic National Park.  I just looked at the website and checked the alerts - the first was outdated and referred to snow and ice, but the second was a mountain lion alert which have been sighted throughout the park.  I'd consider myself fortunate to see one, but not necessarily up too close.  The only drawback to this park is the distance.  I can no doubt find something much closer, but Lassen is so quiet, clean, and beautiful.  Also, there are dark skies so maybe I could do some skywatching.    (There are also lots of trees!)   I have binoculars but really need a tripod to hold them steady.  I wonder if I could adapt the tripod that holds my telescope to hold the binoculars.  I'd probably have to rig it up some way which I could easily have done in my younger years - now I'm not so sure.  How I wish I had a doggie companion to go camping with!

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Checking out camping gear

I've gotten rid of a lot of my camping and backpacking gear, some of it given to other family members but I doubt I'll ever do much except maybe set up my big tent one of these days.  The "boys", Steve, Joe, and Donald are taking their kids backpacking and are gathering gear for the trip.  Joe's daughter Keira is on the fence - she first told Joe that she didn't want to go, and when asked for an explanation she said "I don't want to get my clothes dirty".  Now she is wavering - wants to be in with the crowd and not miss anything, but not really wanting to go out in the woods and hike.

Joe decided he is going to string up a tarp which is about as light as he can go, so I gave him a lightweight tarp, plus the tent fly to my Big Agnes cabin tent.  It would be perfect because it is lightweight and large enough.  If it was up to Joe he would go "cowboy camping", which is sleeping on the ground with no tent or tarp.  I've done that a few times and honestly would rather be inside a tent.  I think Alyssa will demand to sleep inside something and not out where the bears, snakes, coyotes, lions & tigers can get her.  I know Steve wants to take his dog, but not sure if he wants to carry Sammy's food, water, etc.  I no longer have Smoky's dog pack as I gave it away years ago.

The weather has been a lot better today, and I went to the gym early thinking i would come back and do some heavy cleaning at home.  I was delaying it when fortunately Joe and the girls came, and stayed long enough that it didn't make sense to start cleaning when they left!

Joe has to work the night we are planning to go to Straw Hat Pizza, but Jeannie is pushing him to see if he can come up with an alternative date.  I think as the days go further into the week it is more likely to be crowded, which is why I picked a Tuesday.  I'm easy and will try to change the date if someone can come up with a date acceptable by all.

I think I mentioned ordering some supplements for my eye condition.  I'm starting a 3 month supply which should give me some idea if they will work or not.  If my close up/reading vision gets much worse I am going to quit blogging.  It's just too difficult to read the different print sizes, colors, etc., and I've already had to cut down on the number of blogs I read on a regular basis.  I do my best but it's becoming a losing bsttle.

If I don't post tomorrow it's probably because I'm busy with the heavy cleaning!  If I do post, I either worked fast, slacked off early, or just said the heck with it.


A much better day!.

Thankfully it has cooled down some, although it is still warm in the sun.  I walked on the treadmill this morning - it's been a while since I've done that.  I find that if I slack off for a few days then it's so much harder to get back, so I'm glad I found myself at the gym at 9:45 am!  A couple of errands followed, including returning the two items to Costco that I didn't want.

My son and his family are coming in from NY in a few weeks, and I want to take everyone out for dinner.  I decided to go to Straw Hat Pizza which is a great place for families and the kids don't have to sit still in their seats.  I'll get a few rolls of quarters so they can play some of the games that are such an attraction to kids and their dads.

I went over to Straw Hat after the lunch hour and talked with the manager about arranging our visit.  I don't think they normally reserve tables but she seemed to think it wouldn't be any problem for us to have the back area.  We discussed my running a tab for the drinks (beer and wine), and a lot of other matters.  She was so nice and had several good suggestions, and also told me she would take care of me on price.  It looks like there will be about 12 adults (which includes my sisters and one brother-in-law) and 7 kids. 

The dog park was quiet last night but the fireworks made enough noise.  I don't mind them so much but they continued long into the night.

I haven't been a fan of fireworks since I was in my late teens because of something I can never forget.  I was probably 18 or 19 and had a date with a guy who was from Northern Italy.  We went to Coney Island past the outskirts of Cincinnati where a dance was held every Saturday night at "Moonlight Gardens", a beautiful pavilion.

During the intermission they held a fireworks display which was spectacular.  There was a lull when they must have been getting ready for the next round of pyrotechnics, and my date told me that when he was a very little boy he remembers Mussolini's troops gathering all the men and boys of the village and lining them up against the wall.  They made all the women and small children come out and watch while they fired at them for several minutes.  He said the fireworks sounded like the shooting, and brought that scene back to his mind.  I'm sure he could see again his father, brothers, uncles, neighbors, being riddled with bullets.  I never forgot it, and it sort of took the joy out of watching fireworks displays - after all, what are they but a re-enactment of "bombs bursting in air"!

I've discontinued adding lemon to my morning glass of warm water.  I may do it again every now and then if I happen to have a lemon, but I was starting to feel just like I did the last time I had to stop using lemon.  I never knew if the lemon and my stomach and abdominal pain were related, but I'd say I'm pretty sure by now that it's no coincidence.  I love the lemon water and hate to give it up. 


Monday, July 4, 2016

July 4th

I have done absolutely nothing today, and that's how I intend to finish out the day.   I heard a lot of fireworks going off last night but didn't even go outside to try to see where they were coming from - probably the former Mather AFB.  They used to have air shows from the base in the past, even after it was closed, but I haven't seen or heard anything this year.  The city always runs  the fireworks display from there because of the large empty spaces.  If I hear anything this evening I might go out to try to get a view of the display.

I got a terrific shock today at something I saw on Youtube.  I don't know why it bothers me so much, but it almost makes me sick to think of it.  The video was an interview, with a still photo of the person being interviewed on the right side of the screen, and the guy doing the interview from his studio on the left side.  

Now and then (actually pretty often) he would hold a cylindrical device up to his chest, with the top of it being at his mouth and he looked like he was drinking from a straw.  It just looked weird, and then I realized, he was "vaping"!  At one point the camera was still on him when he exhaled a huge amount of vapor, just like a smoker does.  I don't know why  it bothered me, but since I quit smoking I hate to see anyone taking a drag or exhaling smoke.  Especially when they get a dreamy, far-off look in their eyes as if they were really enjoying it.  I don't mean to offend those of you who smoke (or vape) but it just struck me in a bad way and I didn't want to see it.  I eventually covered up his side of the screen with another small screen!

It got warmer than predicted today, but still remained in the 80's.  I have several cleaning jobs to do inside and out, and I'd better get to them while the weather is still in the 80's.  I wish I could figure out where to begin!

Hope you all had an enjoyable day.


Sunday, July 3, 2016


Hopefully we are looking a a week of temperatures in the 80's, and I feel better already!  The extreme heat was really getting to me.

We had a great time and Joe & Sarah's pool party yesterday, and the day ended with fireworks in the street.   A cupcake contest resulted in tons of cupcakes made by most of the families who came, and the two oldest kids (Alyssa and Autumn) were the judges.  I could only sample one.

I was so tired after dinner so when I saw Arianna asleep in her daddy's lap I offered to lie down with her in the downstairs bedroom.  I don't think I went to sleep, but it was nice to be able to rest my eyes!   When Donald came in to wake her up before the fireworks show I was amazed that a lot of folks were wrapped in blankets.  Sitting outside watching the show I sure appreciated the warm blanket Sarah gave me.  The saving feature of Sacramento is that no matter how hot it gets during the day, most evenings get chilly when the breeze blows in from the ocean in San Francisco, and up the delta.   Not always, but most of the time.  

I've listened to only two CD's in the audio book I got from the library, but don't think I'll stay with it for the 10 more CD's in the set.  I am a very fast reader, and while I really enjoyed the stories up through the first two, I just can't imagine sitting through the rest of them - too slow.   I have another audio book waiting for me at the library, plus a book  I ordered.  I'll check them out, but in the future I need to visit the large print section and stick with those books.   The audio book waiting for me is fiction and is entitled "Maine".  I think I ordered it because it sounded cool to me - cool in the sense of temperature!   

I haven't felt like doing anything so far today, but it will soon be Noon and I should probably make a trip to Costco.  Last visit I bought 3 items and I want to return 2 of them!   

Years ago when I lived in Ireland and traveled to California for Christmas, my ex husband gave me a telescope.  I took it back to Ireland and set it up.  I lived by the sea and there was little or no light pollution, so I could see the Milky Way on every clear night.  You can imagine what it would be like with a telescope.  The only problem is that the weather was always extremely windy and chilly, so I would dash out the front door and look through the scope for a minute or two, and then dash back inside to warm up by the fire.  

So when I moved back to the U.S. I lived in the mountains of NC and couldn't see much of the sky through the trees.  I gave the telescope to my son Steve, and last night he returned it to me, all boxed up.  I don't know if I can read the instructions for setting it up, but I think I will try.  It is very difficult for me to see anything in the sky, and binoculars aren't much help.  I think the telescope on the tripod will be great if only I can assemble it.   Sounds like I may be asking Donald for help!

Update on Ed's dog:  Evidently he still has the pooch as I can hear it barking night and day.  I am halfway tempted to offer to walk the dog around the Park and wear him out a bit, but Ed  is a big talker and once you start it is almost impossible to break away.  Plus I don't think I would enjoy walking a little yapper!

Friday, July 1, 2016

The heat goes on

Even though it's about 10 degrees cooler than a few days ago, I feel about the same.  I'm kind of lazy to begin with, but now I'm almost catatonic!

I went to Costco and Bel Air while it was still cool, and filled up the gas tank at Costco.  I dislike that job so I'm glad to have it out of the way.

I was getting desperate to buy a razor as I haven't shaved my legs in about a year.  Now to just get down to using it without cutting myself up!  I bought a package of 10 cheap ones with only one blade each - I read somewhere that 5 or 6 blades don't work any better than one.

While waiting in the deli at Bel Air, a guy came in and I overheard him talking to one of the servers there.  He told her that he mostly gave up eating bread, and lost 23# so far!  I got to talking to him and he admitted he cheated on weekends, but he sure looked pretty good and had no gut at all.  I still try to curb my intake of carbs and sugar and most of the time I do pretty well.  I don't count anything though - whatever I eat is what I eat.  I check all packages before I buy anything and don't buy foods high in carbs, but after that I don't keep track of my intake.

I can notice the difference between swamp cooler cool and a/c cool.  The cooler leaves a bit of humidity in the air, which is more comfortable in one way but has less of a chill.  Right now I could go for the big chill.

I haven't heard the dog next door today, so hopefully Ed found someone to take it and love it.  I'm sure Ed is relieved!

The pool party is tomorrow and I never did get a swim suit.  I don't like to swim so I won't miss it as long as I can find some shade to sit in.  Hope everyone has a great weekend.