Eastern Utah
EMAIL ME AT: mgypsy97 at aol dot com

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

A new toy

I bought myself something I've been wanting for a long time - a Waterpik water flosser.  I got it yesterday at Best Buy, plugged it in to recharge it overnight, and tried using it this morning.  I followed all instructions to the letter but I still got water everywhere!  There wasn't a dry spot left.

I had one of those devices in the 1970's and it didn't seem to do that.  I think now and then one of my kids, probably my oldest,  would take a shot at the others  and I'd find water all over, but I never caught them in the act.  (Mike, my oldest, got by with a lot because he was somehow able to rarely get caught)   I'm not giving up on the water flosser and am determined to make it work!

I got ice cream today - Skinny Cow brand, although I'm not fond of the idea of low-fat ice cream.  I wondered "how bad can it be".  I wouldn't call it bad, but it isn't good ice cream.  It will suffice though through the two boxes I bought, but I'll probably have to treat myself to Haagen Dazs ice cream bars next time.  When I looked at the total carbs and sugar in some of the better brands I nearly fell over.

I've read Jo Wishnie's blog to the end of their Alaskan journey and at the point of them crossing back into Canada.  I noticed that in photos of Jo the last 2 or 3 days there is a sadness in her eyes.  I really think she hated to leave and i can surely understand that feeling.  I really want to go back some day, but the odds are against it, and that may have been the way she felt.  I'm so glad I decided to go back and read the blog again, especially so soon after my own trip.  I had a much different experience - much less time in Alaska, and not a lot of my own choices of what to see and do.  I really didn't want to make the choices at my stage of the game though - my son and his family paid for the trip and I was just happy to go along with whatever they wanted to do, they had two young daughters with them, and our hostess made some very good choices of things to do and see.  For me it was like a family vacation.  

I notice the 5 day forecast for my area calls for temps in the 80's.  That sounds good to me and hope we won't have much more of the sizzling heat, although Sacramento isn't finished with summer yet, I'm sure.  The sunsets have been gorgeous lately - a most beautiful color of blue sky overlaid with the red, orange and gold streaks, plus some very dark clouds overhead.  I don't know what's in those dark clouds - it certainly isn't rain.

Now I'm going to start on the Wishnie's journey through Canada.  That is an incredible trip in itself!


Tuesday, August 30, 2016

More blog reading

 I have reached the end of August in the Wishnie's blog, and the next entry will be about Talkeetna where we also spent an afternoon.  I can see some differences between Jo's photos and what I saw just a month ago.  I think the playground in Seward is still the same, and my granddaughters enjoyed it like all the kids do.  The harbor seems to have been greatly enlarged by now and there are a great many more boats moored there.  We took the same Kenai Fjord tour although I'm not sure if it traveled the same route.  The Wishnie's saw the "Exit" glacier which had greatly receded, whereas we saw the Ailik glacier which we were were told is about a mile wide at the mouth.  We actually heard cracks in the ice, soon followed by chunks  falling into the sea.  Standing on the deck of the boat so close to the glacier, plus all the icy sludge in the waters around the boat, made it the coldest place I've been in years! 

I wasn't disappointed in the wildlife seen - and the many birds viewed were impressive as well.  The biggest problem I had is that I could never take a photo because everywhere I tried I had arms sticking out holding cell phones.  They don't just take a few photos and then back off so someone else can do the same - they just stay there prepared for something new to pop up.  I'm too polite to push my way through, which is why I missed photos of the Orcas.

The Wishnies are avid birders as well as excellent photographers, so bird lovers will enjoy their photos.  I don't know how Jo Wishnie found my blog post about hers and Fred's trip to Alaska, but she commented on my last post.  It made my day to hear from her, and she confirmed that they had  moved to Tuscon and no longer have their RV.  I enjoyed reading about their travels for several years.

I asked our hostess on our recent trip to Alaska, Sarah's Aunt Pam,  about how cold it gets in the winter.  She seemed to think 12 below zero was about right, although I'm sure it gets colder than that from time to time.  The thing to consider is the constant twilight in winter.  You can call it darkness if you want, but I reckon it is usually not the pitch black of night we might think it is.
I've heard from several people who have been there and of course it is so beautiful you wonder if you could live there year around.   It is a tempting thought, but I don't think I could deal with the lack of sunlight and the extreme cold, although you can dress warmly enough if you plan it right.  I think to be a permanent resident you have to have a sort of "edge" to your personality.  I'm talking about the grit it would take to make it, and to do what you have to do to survive the elements.  Most of us are so spoiled in our everyday lives and the availability of whatever the whim of the hour might be.  Everything is available there, but if you live further out of town it might not be as easy to access during the winter.   I sure would like to spend some more time in Alaska, seeing my favorite (so far) places and discovering new ones.

Jo Wishnie mentioned the Sea Life Center in Seward, and that was one of my favorite places.  There was so much to see, but I was there with my son and his two girls - we took the tour after the boat trip - so i couldn't take as much time to look at some of the exhibits.   Everyone else was out fishing so we had time to kill before we all met back at the duplex.

For weather watchers, this morning when I got up it was 57 in Sacramento, and 67 in Wasilla; it is still 67 in Wasilla but has risen to 91 in Sac.  Dang, I love the Alaskan weather, but things will soon change, both here and there in Wasilla.

 I got my beer today at Costco, and will crack one open about 8:00pm.  (If I drink one earlier than that I'm liable to want a second one before I go to bed.)   I didn't get ice cream though and need to make sure I get some tomorrow.   Costco's ice cream comes in too large quantity packages; I have more self control over my beer consumption than I have with ice cream!

Monday, August 29, 2016

Reading an old blog

I'm referring to the blog that inspired me to travel full-time in an RV with the hopes of eventually driving to Alaska.  Of course, that never happened, but I decided I want to re-read Fred & Jo Wishnie's blog, 


Their blog is written in a different format than is Blogger, but it's easy enough to maneuver.  I selected a place to begin shortly before they crossed the border from Canada into Alaska.   They covered much more of Alaska than my 10 days in the state, and of course they were younger then and had more energy to get around, so their blog is the most informative and interesting when it comes to Alaska as far as I'm concerned.   I look forward to some good reading, and hope that some of you will enjoy it as well.  It can't easily be read in one "go", so I will bookmark my stopping places along the way.

In just the first few posts of the Wishnie's trip to Alaska they ran into road work, delays, etc., mostly because the extreme winters cause upheaval to the roadways and pavement.  These delays are a certainty and happen through Canada to Alaska, from what I saw in the several Alaskan blogs I read.  That was one reason (among many) that I realized I had no business hauling a 34' 5th wheel on that long arduous trip, alone.

I got an email from Jeannie asking if I would like to go to the gym this evening, and the answer is a resounding YES!  I have been pretty faithful about walking at least 6 days a week, but it's been well over a month since I've worked out.  I need to get back to it and welcome the chance to go tonight.

I'm debating a trip to Costco, but since I will go to the gym late this afternoon I think I will postpone the Costco trip until tomorrow.  I'm out of beer, but that's no biggie and I will do without it until then.  I have some bottles of IPA on hand for when Steve or Joe visit, but I can't stand that stuff and would rather drink water!

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Day of rest

I've been feeling pretty tired and low-energy today, although I did manage to walk at the gym this morning.   I had intended to get a few items on my shopping list afterward, but came on home.   I never did like to go into the stores on weekends - it's much quicker and easier to shop during the week.

It has been cool enough to sleep with the sheet and comforter on me lately.  I slept like a log last night so I shouldn't feel so exhausted today.  I know I feel much better when I have things to do, but today is the day I'm going to just lay around!

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Mystery Solved

While I was eating my lunch I looked out the window and noticed a yellow & black panel truck pull up across the road.  I could see the name "Gilmore" plastered all over the truck, but nothing to indicate what type of service they offered.  I'm normally not nosy, but this kept bothering me.

Along with the name "Gilmore" there was a drawing of a big bird that looks familiar but that I can't identify (maybe someone with better eyes and a better knowledge of birds can help me.)  Well, it just got to be too much so I took my camera into the kitchen and photographed the truck through the screen.  I also used the zoom on the camera, and when I looked at the photo I could see that the company does heating and air conditioning.  To me, that should be the most prominent lettering on the truck, or at least on a par with Gilmore!

After walking at the gym I drove to the Farmer's mkt and came back with a lot of good stuff.  The brussel sprouts looked so good and I am going to have them with whatever I decide to fix for supper.  I haven't gone to the Saturday market since before I left for Alaska, I think.  The only thing I didn't care for were the two whiney folk singers that are supposed to entertain the patrons while they shop.  They just make me want to buy only what I need and then leave!

I just took another look at the photo and think I see the  bird has sunglasses on (please tell me you see sunglasses!).  When first looking at the photo it looked like a dog's floppy ears, which I didn't think it could be.  If I bought a snazzy new truck as nice as this one is, I think I'd figure out a better way to advertise my trade.   Just sayin' .....

I feel so good today, it must have been the gym!  I can overlook the area where the personal trainers work out their patrons.  Only one was there this morning, working with a young woman, but what he had her doing is what I often see the trainers who are working with really old folks who have much less mobility than this girl does.  I would feel pretty irritated if I paid the price for an hour of personal training, and was doing some of the old-person mobility steps, and if I'm not an old person then I'm close!  I could certainly do better than that.

I was outside sweeping up some of the pink flowers & berries from the front yard tree, including big piles of it on the curb.  Ed, next door, has the same kind of tree and the same kind of debris, so I just swept along the curb in front of his driveway & house.  He caught me!  I told him when I use the leaf blower I'll do a more thorough job, although it's useless until the stuff quits falling from the trees.  I saw Ed walking in the driveway a little earlier and he doesn't look so good - very stooped over.  He sounds ok to talk to though, and was very happy with the job my son (Joe) did trimming some of the bushes in his yard.

I found the leaf blower and extension cord in a bin outside, but didn't think to look for the earmuffs to deaden the sound.  The more I think about it the more I believe I will try to con one of my sons into the job.  Steve is the only one who reads my blog, so he is already on alert!

I thought I'd just write a short blog today, but it seems I just can't help myself once I get started.

Finally, happy 6th birthday, Liam!

Friday, August 26, 2016

Fizzled out on Friday!

After changing the sheets on my bed, doing two loads of laundry, and cleaning the second venetian blind in the kitchen, I'm plumb worn out!  Oh, and I walked at the gym first thing this morning.

The second set of blinds was closest to the street and maybe that is why it was so much dirtier.    I know I dusted them before, but don't remember washing the slats and they really needed it.  I eventually want to replace that huge window with a more modern set - maybe two windows side by side, with decent screens and easy to wash inside and out.  The jalousie windows have screens (that are full of holes), but the knobs that turn the windows out and closed fit through a hole cut into the screen (I'm not kidding).  I'm afraid if I take the knob off to get the screen out to clean it, I'll never be able to open or close the window again.  Half the windows in this house don't work, and half don't have screens anymore.  The handles that turn the windows are mostly shot!

In my walks around the park I noticed another vacant space - there are two within close proximity to my house that recently had the houses removed and hauled away, leaving huge piles of debris that still hasn't been cleaned up.  I have the feeling the Park owner's want to sell the property and of course they want rents to be high and everything looking fairly modern and well kept.  The older units from the 1960's and thereabouts can be well taken care of but they certainly show their age.  I would think once you try to move an old model it would just fall apart and I'm not sure you could set it up somewhere else, provided you could find a place that would allow it.  If I was ever told my unit was too old I would just move to an apartment and be done with it, although I hope that doesn't happen.  My utilities are really low here because I buy them from the Park, who purchases them at a much lower rate from the utility.   My total utilities usually run around $100/month, more or less, but I am very conservative with usage.  The new water-saving devices in my bathroom are wonderful and I don't notice a lack of sufficient water for any reason.

I was craving ice cream last night but avoided going out to get some, and I still crave an ice cream sandwich or a Klondike bar.  Wonder if I will be able to outlast the cravings for another day.

When I was at the laundry room folding the clothes that I had hung out, a neighbor from one street over (right across the dog park) said hi to me and then told me, "You have a very nice family.  I see them there a lot".  I thought that was so thoughtful of him to say it.

My electric bill was just under $40 for the past month - I've had to run the swamp cooler from early afternoon into the evening hours lately.  I try to unplug all appliances overnight, which eliminates most of the phantom power.  When I get up it has been in the mid-50's this week, which is deliciously cold!  Then it goes and ruins the feeling by rising up close to 90!

I still haven't gotten the leaf blower out to clean up some of the mess in my yard but I'm not going out in the heat of the day, and I think more of my neighbors than to run that loud thing early in the day.   Maybe tomorrow, although I should probably wait until next Wednesday or so when it's expected to go "down" into the mid-80's.

A great weekend to all of you!

Thursday, August 25, 2016

My favorite place

As most of you know Barnes & Noble is one of my favorite places to browse, especially with grandchildren.  I had never taken Liam and since his birthday is coming up  real soon, we went birthday present shopping.  He realized very quickly how easy I am when it comes to buying  books, and he made a haul.  Add to that the two books I brought back from Alaska that he can read to his baby sister when she arrives, and he is all set.  Liam is 5, soon to be 6, and reads like a child much older than his years.  I found a really good atlas of the U.S. for kids that has so much good info in it, but couldn't find a World Atlas.   He has enough to keep him busy for a while.

After selecting the books we went into the Cafe; he pointed out some scones on a plate and I got one for him, after which he told me he always eats three.  So back to the counter to get two additional scones.  I don't know what beverage to get a kid at Starbucks, so he ended up with something called a frappucino.  He noticed somewhere on the cup the word "decaffinated".  I thought, Oh lord, don't let me be giving him coffee at his tender age!  A sip or two would be ok but this was a big cup of frozen slushy goodness with a shot of chocolate on top.  He drank every drop of it!

After enjoying our refreshments and driving back to my house, he read me part of one of the new books.  Then he wanted to get the kids dinosaur site on my computer and play some of the games and quizzes.  The kid is really knowlegeable and good at it.  When his dad finally came to get him I think I was ready for a short nap!  What a fun day.

I'm debating going to the gym this evening for my walk, although I have been walking around my neighborhood in the evenings, and always meet a man coming in the other direction who tells me I am good looking!   His eyes are worse than mine, evidently.  He is one of the few people in the Park that even speaks to me.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Dental Visit

I sure am glad to have that over with until my next cleaning & check-up.  He filled one cavity on a front tooth (gratefully they use a white filling in front rather than the metal kind), and you can't even tell it's there.  As for the molars that I was going to have pulled rather than undergo getting crowns, it was decided they would check them in 6 months and as long as nothing worsens, we'll just leave them as they are.

I've never met a dentist who didn't want to reduce or eliminate the space between my front teeth, and I think he sort of moved one of the teeth although I don't know how.  I told him that the space is what makes me look like me, and that if I ever have to get a full upper denture I'm having a space between the front teeth!    I was always self-conscious about it as a child and even a young adult, but one's ideas about your looks changes somewhat as you get older.     Now I appreciate the uniqueness in people and am content with my own quirks.  I'm glad I preceded cosmetic dentistry although I'd have a better smile if they'd had it back in the day.
I was up early and ready with some time to kill before Joe came to pick me up, so I looked at the box containing the new Swiffer.  I had planned to ask one of the boys to assemble it for me, but then I thought,  damn, I can do it myself!  I did and then it wasn't long before I had a wet Swiffer pad attached and began cleaning the kitchen floor, which really needed cleaning .  The pad kept slipping off and I ended up using the old mop which I'm glad I didn't throw out!

I also assembled the fluffy venetian blind duster, and what a waste!  When I got home from the dentist I filled a bucket with Pine Sol and water grabbed a rag, and went to work on one of the venetian blinds.  There are two fairly wide sets of mini blinds and I just cleaned one of them but the difference is so striking i'll have to do the other one in a day or two.

Not tomorrow though.  Tomorrow I'm taking Liam to Barnes and Noble for his turn.  We have a coupon for him to get a birthday treat at the Starbucks Cafe, and I'm going to let him browse the books to his heart's content and get what he wants for his birthday.  Meg told me he is very interested in maps and geography now - a man after my own heart!  He will be turning 6 on Saturday.  (I am still pulling out my Alaska map periodically to try to figure out what I want to see on my next trip!)

I slept for a while after the attempt to clean the blinds and feel pretty good.  I have never yet met a dentist who has such great equipment (and is so good at using it) that you cannot feel the novocaine shots.  Usually getting them in the front part of the mouth is excruciating, but not so this time.
 I think I'll take it easy for the rest of the day.  Going to the dentist is always a little traumatic, and I'm glad Joe could drive me and pick me up.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Sleepy-Time Gal!

I hope it's just the residual effect of the floor cleaning I did the day before yesterday, but I'm feeling tired and totally devoid of energy.  So much so I just got up from nearly a 2-hour nap.  The only thing I did this morning was to walk a little over a mile and a half!

I called the dentist office this morning to ask about making another appointment, as the only appt. card I came home with is the one for my next cleaning 6 months from now.  After making arrangements for next week I had only hung up for a few minutes when they called me back to let me know I am scheduled for tomorrow morning.   I emailed Joe to see if he could take me and pick me up, and he will.  After the strong effects of either the antibiotics or the valium -  probably the combination - I'm afraid to drive myself.

That ruined the rest of my day as now I can spend it fretting about having to get numbed for whatever he decides to do.  He has me down for an extraction, but I want to get the easier work out of the way and talk to him about the extraction and what it will mean, will I have to get a partial lower, or what.  I'm not crazy about that idea, but I'm not crazy about the cost of a crown and the work that precedes it, especially at my age.  The way I feel today I wouldn't live long enough to enjoy it.

I think I'm just grumpy because yesterday I ate the last of my ice cream sandwiches that I had stashed in the freezer, and it's way too early to drink a beer!   I had planned to spend this afternoon trying to use the leaf blower, but fortunately something always arises that overrules that idea!

Monday, August 22, 2016

Restless Night

I usually don't have a problem falling asleep or staying asleep, but last night wasn't a good one.  I feel sure it was from two days of cleaning on my hands and knees - since my gallbladder was removed it isn't good for me to be facing downward for any length of time.  It even affects gym exercises and yoga poses, so it's no wonder I had a difficult time.  I had to get up and drink some apple cider vinegar in a glass of water, which ultimately got rid of the indigestion but not the sleeplessness.  This morning I didn;t wake up until 7:30 am, so I made up for a little lost sleep.

I am back to the treadmill, and since I drank my protein shake before going to the gym I went immediately to Costco and Target from there.  I think the shakes have something to do with the fact that I'm not getting leg cramps, although I'll probably jinx it by saying so.   I first went to the Photo department at Costco and selected the pictures I wanted to print.  They told me it would be a half hour or so, and I decided to walk the aisles I usually never see - the housewares, luggage, etc.  I can't believe how many different ways they try to sell you storage devices - boxes, bins, plastic, steel, cardboard - you name it..  I think the best thing is to try to get rid of most of what you need to store, and then quit buying stuff that you need storage devices for!  Having a small house helps because I'm sure if you live in 3000 or 4000 sq ft., you'll be sure to fill it with something.

I did allow myself to walk through the women's clothing but decided there was nothing I really needed.  They have a new style of pants for cold weather (cold, as in "California cold", not "Northeastern cold".  I held a pair up to me and though I liked the color, fabric, length, etc., the waistband really irritates me.  It looks as though it sits at the waist in the back of the pants, but slightly dips in front.  Maybe the really young women like their pants slung a little lower, but for my age it only accentuates the belly!  You can't very well pull it up so that it covers a little-too-large belly, but if you wear it below then you risk the pants falling.  Do men have such problems?

I did buy a new Swiffer which includes a fuffy wand for dusting venetian blinds.  You will know that I've finally lost it when I write that I've dusted venetian blinds all morning!

Driving home from Target I realized I needed to get home soon - I made several dumb moves in my driving - nothing dangerous or accident causing, but just stupid mistakes caused by tiredness.  

That healthy cookie recipe turns out to be a gift from heaven!  I had one ripe banana this morning, to which I added a 1/2 cup of steel cut oats (with a few chocolate chips thrown in).  I made them smaller than last time so I still got 15 cookies, and I ate every one.  When you think about it, I ate 1 banana and half a cup of oats - is that a healthy breakfast or what!.  There is nothing to feel guilty about in eating 15 of these cookies for breakfast - not that I'm often plagued with guilt.

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Free vs. Free-to-Try - UPDATED!

That's what they said when I went online to download ccleaner.    I heard most of the pitch before I realized it was for Windows, but the version for the Mac is the same.   A perky voice explains that there is a difference between "Free" and  "Free to Try", so it turns out that you can only use it free for 30 days.   Maybe most of you who use it acquired it when it was truly free.    The video that I watched a part of really didn't make me want to download the trial copy because of all the disclaimers and warnings of what it leaves on your system.   Before long I will no doubt be needing a new laptop, or service on my current one, and I will ask if they have a similar product that they will give me.   Otherwise, I'll just keep doing what I'm doing, as my computer runs much faster since I started deleting cookies and most of the history every day.   Maybe if I get tired enough of doing that I'll quit spending so much time on it.

I'm hoping the art classes will give me something else to occupy my mind and my time.   To that end I am looking for possible subjects to draw and/or paint, and have selected a number of photos from my Alaska trip.   I had about 10 of them printed and have selected at least that many more for my next trip to Costco.   I'm more likely to look at and enjoy the memories of my trip if I have photos to view, rather than having to look at them on the computer screen.

Well, I stuck to my intention to finish cleaning the floor and got right at it this morning after breakfast.   It is truly a PITA to do it, moving furniture around, trying to keep my knees off the hard floor, and all.   I also notice that when I lean forward for a length of time I get indigestion.   The floors look pretty good, and I did the hallway as well.   I could see that I need to continue with the floors in my bedroom and the "catch-all room" at the end of the hall, but that's for another day.

I have an important item to put into the mail, plus there are a few things I should pick up at the grocery.   I don't remember when I've been out of butter for one thing, and that's how I fry my eggs when I don't have bacon  grease.   But I just don't feel like going anywhere - didn't even get to the gym this morning

I'm so happy to see my hummingbirds back.   I don't know how many visit my feeder, but I notice a larger one and a smaller bird, and there may be more.  

Does anyone have any experience with setting a bird bath under a tree?  Every bird bath I see in this Park hasn't had water in it since I moved here, and I wonder if it's a problem with the feral cats getting them.   If that is the case, then I would try to put it more into an open area where predators can't hide and pounce on the bathing beauties.   My tree is a small flowering tree, and for the life of me I can't remember the name of it.   It has beautiful pink flowers that drop seeds early in the season, and then the small pink petals fall everywhere.   I'd like to cut the damn thing down because no matter how pretty it is, it's the messiest thing I have ever seen.  My next door neighbor has one as well.    So the branches are low lying,  and I suspect they could hide danger until it's too late.

I think I've made up my mind to do my running around after I walk at the gym, and before it starts to warm up for the day.

I found a "free" program called Clean My Mac, downloaded it and studied it, then ran it.  It ran just so far and then wanted me to buy the program to continue to clean my Mac.  I deleted the program and all references to it, but don't know if it left anything on my computer or not - I'll have to check.  These "free" programs are just scams, in my opinion, as what they really want to do is to sell you a $30 program.

It did show me on a line graph how much space I'm using for what  programs.  The most space I use is for photographs, but I'm no where even near a quarter of my total space used.  I think I'm doing ok, doing what I'm doing, and that is just deleting unwanted history and cookies on a daily basis.

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Slow Saturday

As usual I awoke way too early this morning and decided to stay up.  I like to have a leisurely breakfast and enjoy my coffee in the early hours.  

I started to tackle the cleaning of the laminate floors, which I do on my hands and knees.  I have a study foam pad of approx. 12" x 14" that I kneel on, and raise myself up a bit on my hands, and then sort of "scoot" the pad when I need to do a new section of the floor.  I know there has to be an easier way but would probably require buying some type of mop or device that I don't have room to store anyway.  I don't intend to do this very often.

This morning's effort required moving a huge recliner to the other side of the room, and also to move the HEAVY coffee table off the area rug it is on so I could vacuum the rug and pick up the crayon pieces that were under the table.  When everything dried of course I have to move it back!  Now I have a little more than half the room to clean and I just don't know if I want to start it this afternoon.  I took time off for lunch and a nap, and my momentum is completely gone now.

I wanted to look up a medical condition on Google, so after I checked out a couple of sites I went to delete the history of visiting them.  I can't believe how many unwanted records are there - anytime I click on history I see a complete record of everything I've done on the computer, including writing my blog, reading blogs, etc.  Now I check it several times a day and delete eerything but the bare minimum.

Worse than History, is Privacy, specifically cookies.  I had cleared all the unwanted cookies but after checking the medical info I wanted to look at and then going into cookies, I found some for Facebook and quite a few other social media sites, plus some I don't have a clue why they are there.  So now I'm going through them several times a day and deleting the cookies I don't want.  Do you know when you read my blog you leave a cookie on my system, as I am sure I leave cookies on yours.  Those aren't a problem to me although I delete them when I see them, but I'd just like to know WHY are they even there!  I wonder who has access to them besides me.  I know someone else must be able to find them or why would they even be there in the first place, certainly not for my benefit.  And if stuff on my computer isn't there for my benefit, then whose?

It's not quite as hot today, "just" 81 at 2:30 but going up to 91 before it starts the downward descent to the low of 59 tonight.  We should be hanging around the 92 mark for a few days, and I am looking forward to when the normal daytime temperature is in the area of 72!

I'm going to get the mail in and then return to my floor cleaning job.  The sooner I get it over with the better I will feel.


Friday, August 19, 2016

Breakfast cookies

Yes, you can have cookies for breakfast, especially when they are sugar free, gluten free and dairy free.   I made a tray of 15 last night and ate 7 of them warm from the oven.  I will give the directions at the end of the blog.

I don't know why, but I was up at 5:45 am and decided to get started with my day.  Back from the gym  by 9am, and with an hour to kill before Costco opened I washed two loads of laundry and got them hung on the line!  I didn't get much at Costco but I did have some 5x7 reprints made of 10 or 11 pictures of my Alaska trip.  Unfortunately I didn't print a couple that I really wanted.  It is fairly inexpensive so I might just go back and get some 4x6's of some others.  I thought I picked out some I thought might make good subjects for painting/drawing classes.   I can include objects from the photos and add my own creations if I want.

I've noticed driving back home from my outings that two mobile homes have been dismantled and moved out.  One seemed to be falling apart but one might have been salvageable.   I think it's odd that they both occurred at the same time, but it could have been illness or death of the occupants, and the condition of them makes it unlikely they are salable.  I think the Park ownership wants to spruce everything up and probably hates older models such as mine.

My haircut looks as good today as it did yesterday, and that is even with sleeping on it overnight.   I might have one of my kids take a photo if anyone shows up this weekend.  The selfie puts me too close to the camera and I think I'd look better at more than arms' length away!

I've been wondering:  whatever happened to "elevator music".  All I hear anymore, in any place, with any age people around, is rock - some old stuff and some new.  I can't stand either one these days.  It wasn't so bad when there was more diversity, but now it's only rock and most of it isn't worth crap.

Here is the recipe for breakfast cookies:
2 ripe bananas
1 cup steel cut (or quick oats).
(Note, I found Red Mill steel cut oats to be much cheaper in the baking section rather than in the cereal dept.)

In a bowl, mash bananas well.  Mix with oats.  They will be very moist (but not too runny - if so lightly add more oats).
Spoon into cookie size portions.
Bake 350 for 15 min.

Makes 12-16b cookies (I got 15)

Fun additions: 
Unsweetened coconut flakes
Almond butter or hazelnut butter
1 Tbs flaxseed and 1 Tbs Brewer's years (great for pregnant or nursing moms)
Dried fruit
1/2 tsp cinnamon
Dark chocolate chips

I think anyone who reads my blog can probably peg me as a lover of walnuts/chocolate chips.  They made a delicious addition to the cookies.

In retrospect I should have made them first thing in the morning as they are super delicious just out of the oven.  They are great left overnight as well, but I'd probably have eaten all 15 at one go this morning if they were hot.

Thursday, August 18, 2016


I would show you a photo of my new haircut except I can't take a decent selfie with my camera.  I took 4 photos and they all look like police line-up shots.  I am very happy with a short "bob" after that stringly long gray hair!    I stopped at Bel Air and picked up a couple bottles of kombucha to help counteract the 4 antibiotic capsules I took before the dental procedure.  I never see negative side effects from amoxycillin, but I know antibiotics kill all the good stuff in the gut, and the fermented kombucha will counteract it.

I was told I wouldn't have to take antibiotics for dental work if I bring in a letter from my doctor saying it isn't necessary.  I've been avoiding doctors for about 2 years, especially the last one I went to.  There was another doctor in the clinic, a homeopathic doctor, and I should probably see if he is still there and I can switch to his practice.  Maybe I'll just let it go for now and take the damned amoxycillin when I go to the dentist.

I feel great today, which is amazing after the traffic I had to drive through to get to the hairdresser.  There is a large area of road construction that has been going on for a long time.  Rancho Cordova recently did a major road overhaul, but they worked from 9pm to 6am, so there was minimal disruption to the traffic.  It probably cost them more in salaries but I'm sure they finished it sooner than if they had to deal with traffic.

I drove through an area of town that is interesting in that some of the streets are named after major inventors of the Industrial Revolution:

Watt Avenue (James Watt - Steam Engine)
Howe Avenue (Elias Howe - Sewing Machine)
Whitney Avenue (Eli Whitney - Cotton Gin)
Edison Avenue (Thomas Edison - Light Bulb)
Marconi Avenue (Guglielmo Marconi - Radio)
Fulton Avenue (Robert Fulton - Steamboat)
Morse Avenue (Samuel Morse - Telegraph)
Bell Street (Alexander Graham Bell - Telephone)

The temperatures should be going down from the upper 90's to the lower 90's for the remainder of this week.  "Should" is the key word here!  It is so pleasant in the morning when it's 59 or 60! 

Nothing more to write about from here - hope you all have a pleasant day!

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Dentist visit

I finally got around to doing something I absolutely hate to do, and that is going to the dentist office.  I had a cleaning and checkup by the doctor, and it seems that I have lots of work to be done.  I think that is one reason why I've been so lacking in energy or motivation during the past 2 months.  It's been almost 2 years since I've been there.

I get pretty anxious over visiting the dentist, so in addition to the 4 amoxycillin capsules I took an hour before the appointment - standard for someone with heart disease or a stent implant - I also took a valium.  I get so stressed out about the appointments that I asked for an RX for valium to take beforehand.  One tablet (low dose) usually calms me down although I don't feel any side effects.  This morning I really felt the side effects, and it was a good thing Donald drove me and picked me up for my appointment.  I hope it wears off soon because I have a couple of things to do this afternoon.

For the cleaning the hygenist used a numbing substance on my gums, which really helps.  Trouble is that some of it ends up being swallowed, and you can just imagine what that does to your throat.  I took a sip of water and didn't even feel it until it hit much lower down the tract!    I have an appointment for a couple of extractions, plus need to have a couple of new fillings.  The dentist hates to extract teeth, but I feel that at close to 76 years old I don't want to spend the money and go through a lot of work to save two molars, even though I'll have to get a partial lower denture.  He says the lowers are much more difficult to get used to than uppers.   I will talk it over with him when I go in for my appointment, and after they can check with my insurance to see how much I will be responsible for.  I'm still paying my chiropractor.  I need some money for home improvements, and some for my own projects that make me happy.

Tomorrow I get my hair cut and I am ecstatic about it.  This long gray mop of hair doesn't do anything for my appearance, and it's also a pain in the neck all the way around - from shampooing it, to styling it, to brushing it, etc.  It gets in my way when I eat, and I hate the fact that I get whipped cream in my hair from my breakfast fruit bowl topped with the frothy white stuff!

Here is a photo of the shirt I bought at Denali Brewing in Talkeetna.

It looks like the hands in the picture are holding up a roll of fat, but there is just a roll in the shirt.  She is holding the state of Alaska!

Joe was over yesterday and we reminisced about Alaska.  I had no idea the state would make a major impact on me, but it sure did.   If I had money I would travel there at least twice a year, but I don't think I'd want to live there.  I'd like to spend a week or two during the dark, cold winter months, but don't think I'd want a steady diet of it for months on end.   

I think I have my mental faculties back so I will head out to get a few items I need.  I have spent so much on art and art supplies that I will need to carefully monitor my funds up to the end of the month.  I am so happy about the art classes coming up and really look forward to having something to do, in just a small enough group, that will challenge me and hopefully boost my self esteem.  I've never had a real problem with self-esteem, although when it comes to creativity in art I have never given myself any credit at all.  Knowing I'm good in other things takes the sting at being at the end of the line when they were handing out art talent!

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Art Class

Autie and I attended our art class last night, a 2 hour class with no formal break.  We were both psyched up for it, although you get what you pay for and this class was free.  The instructor discussed the color wheel, we learned a lot about color and how to mix them to get various other colors.  I've decided I'm always going to buy the paints in the shades I want so I won't have to mix them!  I'm just lazy.  It was actually fun with only about  6 students so we could ask questions whenever we felt like it and the atmosphere was informal.  The info on the class said brushstrokes would be discussed but they weren't, and I would like to know more about that.  All in good time.

I'm looking forward to my upcoming classes on Sep. 7.  I wish I could take Autie with me to at least one of them - she is fun to be with - but she will have to figure out her school, sports, scouts, etc. schedule for the coming weeks.  

I noticed the problem with my eyes when trying to paint.  When we started out making the "wheel", we drew diagonal lines on the canvas, from one corner to the opposite bottom corner.   On one of them I was off nearly 1/4 of an inch on the bottom corner.  When I painted the sections of the wheel I had to turn the canvas so I was looking at the section straight on, rather than at the top or one of the sides of the canvas.  I think (hope) I will learn to compensate in future efforts, but it is so frustrating.  

My lovely granddaughter, Ara (in PA) sent me a gorgeous red Art Cargo Bag to transport all my equipment and supplies to class or wherever I want to paint.  It has many compartments and places to hold brushes and other supplies.  The bright red is so "my color", and I love it.  I'll take a picture of it and probably include it with the next post.  I'm debating going to the gym right now.

Back from the gym, I found another box from Ara on my porch.  It is a large art portfolio, for carrying art but not necessarily the brushes, palette, etc.

 Joe and the two girls got here about the same time I was arriving from the gym.  He did some caulking around the top of the tile and around the  window.   There is still work to be done but I need to get some molding for the floor around the perimeter of the room plus a couple of other spots.  Then will come the painting job, and i'm going to have to turn it over to   someone with good eyes! 

I think I will go ahead and publish this as I have a couple of errands to run right now.

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Odds n Ends

In looking over the photos on my camera I came across some I hadn't included with the relevant post.  You may remember I mentioned a pool party at Joe's house before we went to Alaska, and the cupcake contest held that day.    (Click photo to enlarge)

The kids did the judging and the last photo shows the gathering of the judges and the entries.  I sure can't remember which cupcake was the winner but they were all good.

On another note, I bought a new hummingbird feeder - the old one was leaking and when I noticed the slow drip I took it down.  I filled and hung the new one yesterday but didn't see any visitors until just now, mid-day on Sunday.  A little birdie drank like he just couldn't get his fill.  I'm so happy to see them back again.

I looked several places for a bird bath and simple bird feeder, but I think the stores are probably getting ready to set out Halloween items (Costco has already done just that), and it won't be long before the crazy Christmas retailing season.  This is mid August and I think I should be able to find a bird bath, but I haven't checked Lowe's yet.  I hesitate to get a feeder because in the past I've had so many problem with squirrels eating all the bird seed, and I won't feed squirrels!  I also want to hang the feeder where it won't draw the feral cats in the neighborhood.  I hate those things, especially when I find where one has taken a bird inside the mobile home skirting to finish it off.  I know nature is what it is, but I am not going to enable it if I can help it.  Sorry to the feral cat lovers who may read this.

All is set for my initial art class tomorrow.  I'm taking Autumn, my granddaughter, as I think she will get a lot out of the class.  She is an excellent artist for her age, and her style is bold and confident.  I can't wait to see how she does.  The first week in September come my two classes in Landscape Painting and Seascape Painting, by the end of which I should know if I should continue or not.  I am sure about my lack of talent, but if I enjoy myself then it might be worth it to continue.

I think the sunsets have been weird lately - there is a brilliant golden red ball descending below the horizon, but no streaks or color in the sky at all.  Just the sun setting.  Maybe that is common enough but I've never noticed it before.

Later:  I just spent the afternoon with Jeannie & her 2 girls, walking around Target with the lists of their school supplies needed.  It was fun to see the reactions of different parents and their kids.

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Final days of the Alaska trip

We checked out of the duplex on Sunday morning and drove down to the waterfront to get some last minute photos.  I didn't take any, but we were entertained by a big bald eagle who was holding a fish on a flat rock and and what looked like a good job in fileting the fish.   We must have crowded him too closely because he picked up the fish and flew a few feet with it before settling on another good rock and finishing the job.  Seeing things like that up close is such an experience.

The drive back to Wasilla was a long one so we took breaks now and then to look at the scenery.  This was at a boardwalk alongside some lily pads, as moose are said to love lily pads.   They were visiting another crop this morning and we saw no moose.  Click on a photo to enlarge it.

Next stop was at a market in Anchorage.  I didn't take any photos of the buildings all around - one city's buildings aren't much different from another's in my opinion.  We had lunch at one of the many food vendors, and on the way out my eye was caught by this booth.   The owner told me that his best customers come from Texas!

Back home in Wasilla, Pam fixed a gourmet meal of filet mignon and king crab legs, with warm blueberry cobbler and ice cream for dessert.  I should have put on 100# for the time I was there, but I don't think I gained a pound.

You may have noticed the red t-shirts on several pictures - Pam bought red Alaska T-shirts for all of us, and we had to put them on for group photos.  I will enjoy wearing mine here in CA.

Monday and Tuesday were spent mostly around the house, resting from the trip to Seward, getting laundry together, running to Walmart to try to get an RX filled for my eye drops, etc.  (I was probably the only one who needed to rest from the trip to Seward - everyone else hit the ground running!)  I had transferred the Rx to Alaska because I ran out, but have never used Walmart's pharmacy.  I won't ever use it again either.  I bought some last minute books and souvenirs but mainly enjoyed relaxing at the house.

I don't think I've published these photos in previous posts they are my final shots of the view out the patio door!


By Wednesday we were packed and ready to go, and left Wasilla at about 12 Noon for the late afternoon flight to Sacramento via Seattle.  No wonderful turbo prop planes on this flight, but it was certainly comfortable with all the leg room and wider seats than found in other airlines' coach seats.  Joe and I had adjoining seats on the plane, and took the time to talk about our trip and share a few beers together.  We didn't get in until about 11 pm, and Donald came to pick us up.  I was really glad to get home and fall into my own bed.

It was a totally incredible trip for me, and one that I never thought I'd be able to make.  I think my kids were all rooting for me to win the contest of "Who has been to the most States".  Now Mike and Steve will probably have a run-off.  I am so happy and grateful to have been to Alaska, and would advise anyone to not put it off until the last state.  It might be the most beautiful of them all.  Note:  I'd love to see what Bayfield Al could do with his cameras in a place like Alaska!)

Friday, August 12, 2016

Short post today

I want to apologize for the length of yesterday's post and the number of photos.  I don't know what happened, but I was on a roll and just kept going
I also would like to give a plug to the excellent customer service from Barnes & Noble.  My shopping experience in their stores has always been excellent , and recently I ordered copies of the new Harry Potter book to be sent to my grandson in NY and to my granddaughter in Philadelphia.  She was following the tracking on it and when it indicated delivery but the book was nowhere to be found, she contacted me.  It was shipped by UPS which I don't like to begin with - they just throw the package on your front porch (if you have one) and drive off.  I'm much more partial to USPS.  I called B&N and almost immediately another copy of the book was on its way via a much better shippping method.  Now both grandchildren have the book, and I'm very pleased with B&N's customer service.

A week of triple digit weather is coming up and I can barely stand the thought of it.

I'll continue my account of the trip back from Seward tomorrow and give everyone a rest from ultra long posts & pictures for today.

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Kenai Fjord

We started out with outdoor seating on the boat but soon looked for seats out of the wind.  The boat maneuvered away from the dock and soon we were in open water.  Here is the a shot of all the boats in the harbor, and the wake from the stern once we broke free.  (Remember to click on a photo to enlarge)

I apologize for all the heads, hats, arms, cameras, and people in the photos.  I wasn't quick enough to get my shots when the view was clear, and there were always people in the way.

The next few are some that I'm including because of all the birds.

There are some beautiful grottoes in the rocks, which look better when the photo is enlarged.  Also, I think I caught a photo of a humpback whale that had just dived, with only the fluke visible.  My eyes aren't good enough to pick it up (even when enlarged).   There were 3 orcas diving alongside our boat but they were too quick for me to catch on film  I think that was the animal I most loved seeing, and the picture will forever be in my memory!

Some of the wildlife that I saw and identified:  Puffin, Cormorant, Kittiwake, Steller seal, Mountain goat, Humpback whale, Bald Eagles, and Orcas.  I'm sure there were many other birds, but I was often outside looking at them rather than writing down their names.  Why didn't I write down the names as I was looking?  I can't even walk and chew gum at the same time!

The glacier is spectacular.  A mile across and over 700 acres of ice - can't remember how thick it is.  The water as we got closer became slushy ice, and I couldn't stay out on deck very long because it was so cold.

And the wake of the boat as we were returning to port.  

I missed these photos when I was adding the others.  

One of the passengers showed me a photo he took of the second scene above, and it was stunning - I think he could easily have it published.  He was so proud of it I thought he was going to burst.

After spending a few minutes in the souvenir shop Joe, his two girls and I went on back to the duplex.  It was quite a while before the others showed up.  Evidently their fishing boat was in some of the same waters we traveled in, but Sarah got seasick.  She managed to hook a big salmon before getting sick though.  We all went to a very nice restaurant in Seward that evening.  Most of the restaurants had waiting lists of half hour or more, which isn't fun when children are present.  We finally went into a place that could seat us right away and I think it couldn't have been a better choice.  The food was excellent and the service was the best!

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

On the way to Seward

The dog's name is Boz, short for Bosley.  He loved to be in the house with all the people but has to stay on the deck or in the yard much of the time.  His size means that he can get in the way very quickly.  They keep his fur clipped because he gets nasty things caught in it.  I loved the dog.  They also have a cat - not sure of what kind, but it is large, has pointy ears and very long fur.  I am not a cat person but I sure loved Boz.  (Click on photos to enlarge)

Seward is a fair distance away and we broke up the trip into many parts, stopping along the way.  There were marshes with boardwalks and a side trip to an animal rescue center which held moose that had been hit by vehicles, animals caught in traps, etc.  One animal was found limping along a road dragging its foot that has been clamped in the jaws of a trap.  One moose in particular looked ghastly but everyone assured me how much he had improved since he was there.   Alaska seems to be quite concerned with injured or orphaned animals but I'm sure they can get to only a relative few of them.

Some sights along the way.  It looks like rain, but we never had any heavy downpours, just a sprinkling now and then.  I had my rain jacket and didn't care if I got wet or not!

At the rescue center:  (This guy is plumb pitiful, huh?)

Some bears:

It looks like he's scratching an itch! 


We finally arrived in Seward, and Pam had reserved a duplex with 3 bedrooms each right on Kenai Fjord.  You can see the RV's across the street that stretch for a long way in either direction.  At one time I had thought I would enjoy driving an RV to Alaska, but seeing them packed in like this makes me realize it wouldn't be my style of camping.  I guess for the joy in being in Alaska I could do it though.  I did notice many, many Class C rentals.  It seems that rather than make that terribly long drive folks are either flying in or taking the cruise, and then RVing around once they get there.  It may have been that way all along, and I invite viewers who have been there to weigh in on this subject.

The RVers kept coming late into the evening and the strip of land was soon packed with campers.

The next morning Joe, his two girls, and I boarded the boat that took us down Resurrection Bay and around the peninsula up to Ailik Glacier.  It was a 6 hr tour with lunch served followed a little later with huge home baked chocolate chip cookies!

The water got choppy in places and I enjoyed the rockin' and rollin'.  Several passengers got seasick.  I also enjoy bumpy plane rides!  The big problem is that it was too cold to be out on deck all the time, and there was not adequate seating inside for all passengers.   I will show the photos I was able to take in tomorrow's post.  It burns me up to try to get a photo and all around me are outstretched arms holding their phones; they never stop and it's very difficult to even take a decent picture.  I deleted several because all I got were people's arms.  There is too little consideration for others in this world most of the time.   

This tour was the best part of my trip - actually it is difficult to settle on one part over another, but it was spectacular.   I saw things I have never seen before and probably won't ever see again, and that has to be a big thing to me.

 My timing has been way off since I returned, but opposite to what would be normal (Sac is one hour later than Wasilla).  I wake up by 6am and am thinking about going to bed by 8pm, although I'm trying to hold off until at least 9:00.  The apple cider vinegar worked, but now I also have big red marks all over my arms and legs - they are bruises and it seems my skin is so thin it doesn't take much to look like I've been in a war, and I feel so tired all the time.  It couldn't be old age, could it?  I had begun to think of 75 as late mid-life but I guess I'm wrong.