Eastern Utah
EMAIL ME AT: mgypsy97 at aol dot com

Sunday, June 30, 2019

Tomorrow is July!

It's hard to believe that half the year is over.  We've had some very nice weather lately, but it's sure to get hotter and more uncomfortable.

Jeannie and I shopped at Target and Costco yesterday, and of course I always bring a treat or two home for Rocky.  He's so good about going into his crate when I leave, which I don't do very often, but he seems to be maturing a lot lately.  Here are a couple of photos of Rocky with his new basketball (small size, as you can see).  Now I need a hoop, and might just get one soon so when the kids come over they can play  basketball with him.

I think maybe he is trying to play soccer with the ball. 

My garden is coming along nicely, but I'm impatient and want to see some squash and zucchini on the plants!  I picked several cherry tomatos and a couple of regular sized ones yesterday, and they are so tasty.

I've decided to turn on the a/c now (at 12:30pm).  I really can do without it except for a few hours in late afternoon, but I may as well get it going and cooled down rather than have it use the electricity to cool a very warm house.

See you later, and  have a good week ahead.

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Yard clean-up day

Since we can call the city where I live and request a special trash pickup, my daughter arranged for a pick up today of yard waste - the former tenants left a huge bin of tree limbs and pieces of wood, plus they had stacked various wood along  the fence line.  The landlady and her brother came over with Donald, and the three of them took all that junk out to the street and piled it neatly for pickup tomorrow.  It is a huge pile!  After a couple of hours' work, Carmen and her brother left, and Donald started trimming the big apple tree in the back corner.  It looks so much better now - I picked up a lot of the small green apples to put in the trash, but the yard still has a lot of them plus there are probably hundreds of them on the tree ready to fall.  I've already picked up several garbage bags full of apples and set them out for pickup every week.

I showed Carmen the boards in the fence that are loose where Rocky can breach it to go visiting, and she said she had planned to replace the fence on that side of the lot, which will be a relief.

I think she was very impressed with my garden.  It does look good, if I do say so myself.  It wears me out just maintaining and watering it, and I sure hope I get a decent amount of vegetables.  I know there are things I would do differently if I was planting today, but this is a trial and error learning experience for me.  I hope I have the stamina to do it bigger and better next year, plus I have planting fall crops to look forward to.

Ara is back home in Missouri and has been sending me photos of her garden that she is working on.  I bought so many heirloom and organic seeds this year and shared a lot of them with her.  Hopefully, we can collect seeds at the end of the growing season and save them over te winter until planting next spring.

The weather wasn't as hot today, and I think it might be even a bit cooler tomorrow.  I didn't need to turn on the air until after 1pm.  I think I mentioned in a previous post that I don't need to leave the a/c on constantly.  There is absolutely no humidity here, or very little of it, and it gets chilly overnight and stays cool until Noon on most days.  Of all of California I think I'd rather live in Sacramento than any other area of the state.   

Rocky is wanting to go out so I'll just say bye for today.

Sunday, June 23, 2019

Looks more like "home" now

Jeannie spent the day with me yesterday, and first took me to Home Depot's garden department.  I bought two hanging plants for the living room.  The woman at the register told me I shouldn't transplant them for 2 weeks, but to leave them in the original pots.  As you can see I put the original pots with plants, right into the pots that I bought for them and will replant them in 2 weeks.  This shows one of the pots as well as the photos over the mantle.  Having pictures up makes it finally look like home.  Incidentally, where the dog's crate is in the corner of the living room, is where the recliner will go.  It matches the couch, and I sure wish I didn't have to keep it covered but it's a favorite napping place for Rocky!  (Not sure when the recliner will be delivered but Beck's Furniture assures me it won't be long now.)  (Click on a photo to enlarge it.)

 This is my dining table with a beautiful cross stitch over it.  The cross stitch was done by my daughter-in-law, Sandy, from New York.  She also makes the best fried rice, ever!

I am having difficulties with posting photos, so I think I will stop for now and go ahead and publish what I've already written.  Maybe by tomorrow I can figure out what I'm doing wrong.

I wish everyone a good week ahead.

Friday, June 21, 2019

Turned Over a New Leaf!

That's what my dog has done.  Is he finally maturing a little?  I love it now when he comes as soon as I call, no matter what he is doing.  His behavior has improved so much in such a short time and I'm not certain what happened!  It is a welcome change.

Today was beautiful here, and I didn't even turn the a/c on although I run the ceiling fan in the living room.  There was about a half hour when it became a little warm, but it was late in the afternoon and I know the temperature goes down as soon as the sun starts to drop.  

I was having some dizzy spells and when I mentioned it to my daughter she reminded me that the cardiologist told me to drink more water the last time it happened.  I didn't even remember that I have had these episodes before, and the extra water I drank today helped greatly.   I have about 5 thermos bottles of cold water in the fridge, and always have one of them out that I'm drinking from, but I guess I'm not getting enough.   

My garden looks better every day, and tomorrow I'm going to thin the row of zuchini plants, hoping I can transplant them to a new row.  It may or may not work, but the plants are really looking healthy now.  I need to try to remember to save eggshells and spread them around the plants.   There are so many things I would love to do with the yard, garden, etc., but I just don't have the energy.  The yard itself is in terrible shape and I can't do much to improve it on my own.  I need to have a gardener come in and get it started, but I have to remind myself that I'm renting and don't own the place.  There are some loose fence boards that I was thinking I should replace, but then I remembered - hey, that is the landlady's responsibility.   I will try to maintain everything to the best of my ability, but as far as fixing things like the fence - nope.  That fence has been deteriorating for a long time, but I have to worry about Rocky wandering across when he hears kids playing. 

I sure miss my granddaughter, Ara.  She arrived safely back home yesterday.  Life is a series of "welcomings" and "see ya laters".

So that's it for tonight.  I'm going to try to turn in earlier than I usually do, as Rocky wakes me up pretty early in the morning.

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

The heat is getting me!

I'm not happy with the weather at all, but it could be worse.  It's so hot that Rocky doesn't even want to go outside.  We just came in from checking out the backyard, where I turned the sprinklers on.  Steve set them up yesterday and as they moved around in an arc, they kept getting Rocky and me wet!  I finally brought him indoors when he decided to make war on the sprinkler!  He is getting to be so good about coming when called - he's working hard on his behavior and I am very pleased.

My plants are looking really good, but I can't decide whether to use a trellis for the squash plants to grow vertical, or to thin out the plants and let them sprawl.

I sold my house in NC about 10 years ago and went on the road pulling a 34' trailer.  For the first two years I found volunteer jobs at various national parks, and since I have always loved visiting the national parks on my cross country trips, I have dozens of t shirts that I've accumulated.  Today I decided that enough is enough - I got all the t-shirts out and selected approximately 20+ to donate, and 10 to keep.   (That's not counting the ones that are in the laundry basket!) They filled a brown paper grocery bag!  I now want to figure out what to get rid of next - I just have too much stuff and too many clothes.  I have nothing dressy to wear if I should need it, but jeans, shorts, capris, t-shirts, etc. are filling the drawers and closets.  I've been watching some youtubes of people who decided to become minimalist, and that appeals to me because I will never go back to my former life style.  And if I need something to wear for a special occasion, I can simply go buy it.

I got rid of a lot of my possessions to be able to live in a 34' 5th wheel trailer, so I know I can survive with much less than I have right now.   I may start thinning out the kitchen utensils and items in that category that I don't use anymore.

If any readers have experience in cutting down on possessions and clothing in order to live a more minimalist lifestyle, I'd be interested in your comments and suggestions.

Saturday, June 15, 2019

Peaceful Evening

I'm sitting on my back deck which is shaded now and so peaceful.  Rocky is also taking it easy for the moment.  I just can't get over how many birds of different species there are perched in the trees, and their beautiful songs.  I don't know if I mentioned that Steve noticed a nest of baby birds in the big tree, so I'm trying to stay away from it.

 Rocky found a loose board in the fence yesterday afternoon and since he could hear lots of children playing over there, he had to go join the fun.  The fence is in really bad shape on that side and needs to be replaced.

Things are coming up in the garden that I'm not quite sure about yet - I planted carrots and red peppers but they must have a much longer germination period than the squash and I just gave up on them.  Something is coming up now although the plants don't seem to be in even rows - I remember Rocky getting into the plant bed and disturbing the soil, so it's likely that I will be surprised about what comes up.

All my family are in Los Angeles for the wedding of my niece, so my day has been pretty quiet.  I fell when I was walking Rocky this afternoon - still don't know what caused it as Rocky has never gotten the "Heel" command right, or at least he doesn't follow it when I'm the one giving the comman, and he may have gotten too close for me to keep out of his way.  Luckily my hands hit the pavement first and broke my fall, saving my poor battered knees and legs.  

Several years ago I would have described myself as a minimalist and got rid of a lot of things I didn't need or use.  "Things" have slowly crept into my world to take their place, and I'm determined to start getting rid of things I rarely wear or use.  I have WAY too many t-shirts, but over the past few years I picked up a lot of them from my trips across the country.  I have a t-shirt I especially love that I  bought at a state park in Minnesota, and when I wear it people will invariably ask me if I'm from Minnesota!  It's going to be difficult to decide what clothes to let go of, although I've already divested myself of most  of the dressier items since I always wear casual clothes these days - jeans, t-shirts, shorts, capris, etc.   I also need to get rid of a lot of things from my kitchen since I rarely cook anything that requires a lot of preparation or utensils.  I cleaned out one cabinet this afternoon - not much, but it's a start.

Rocky is chewing a frisbee to pieces - I don't know where it came from and hope he didn't make off with a kid's toy when he went visiting yesterday.

Today has been a beautiful day in the low 80's (and I didn't run the a/c); it's going back to hot Sacramento weather tomorrow though.  I'm going to enjoy sleeping with the window open tonight. 

I hope you are all enjoying your weekend.

Friday, June 14, 2019

Back to the routine!

Everything has calmed down after the weekend, but this coming weekend everyone is headed for southern CA for my niece's wedding.  I don't travel any more so I'll be the only one not there.  I have plenty to do here, with the gardening, cleaning up the yard, etc.

I have an apple tree in the back yard that is laden with apples, plus they are all over the ground.  Steve tasted one when he was here and he said they weren't very good, so I'm picking the ones from the ground and tossing them.  I also have blackberry vines which are sprawling all over the back fence line, and I need to figure out a way to tie them up so they aren't in the grass.  I've never seen vines with that many thorns on them!   I like blackberry jelly, so if I get a good crop of them I might try making some, or else I can just have them with vanilla ice cream!

I am so happy with the way my garden is growing I'm already planning for what I can plant this fall as well as next year.  I will do a much better job next year because I can get it all rototilled at one time and get certain plants into the ground a bit earlier.  I had planted a row of carrots and a row of sweet peppers and figured Rocky messed up the dirt because they never came up.  I think they are slow to germinate and may be sprouting up now.   I can't believe how excited I am with gardening at this stage in my life.  I failed every effort at it when my kids were little, or else I lived in a condo, an RV, and a mobile home and didn't have the space to grow much of anything.   I still need to get some good fencing to keep Rocky from wandering across the plant beds.

The 100+ degree temperatures have abated for at least a few days.  I love having all the windows and doors open, and am enjoying the fresh breeze.  In CA the sun is hot when you are standing under it, no matter what the season, so I try to minimize the time I'm outdoors.  

Rocky is behaving so much better, most of the time, and it is mostly due to Ara having the patience to work with him.  Everyone is worried that I won't keep up with the discipline or not use the simple commands he now is familiar with.  I want to tell them to remember that "you can't teach an old dog new tricks", and that I am definitely an "old dog".  I was always too lenient with my kids when they were growing up so I don't know why they think I should all of the sudden  be firm with Rocky!  My kids have all grown up to be wonderful, loving, caring, adults.  My dog will grow into a good dog as well.  Actually, I'm trying to remember to be lovingly firm with him.


Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Back to Normal

We had a high school graduation in the family this past weekend and lots of folks have been around, as well as my sister & her husband from Nevada.  Julie brouht her dog (a golden labradoodle named Tallulah) from Nevada.  To say Rocky and Lulah have enjoyed playing together would be an understatement.  They rested now and then but most of the time it was sheer pandemonium!  (Click on a photo for a slight enlargement.)

They never stayed down for long!

Autumn (Jeannie's daughter) graduated from middle school and her class had a very fun and interesting program.  The kids had their silhouettes around the walls of the gym, and here is Auti's.  Typically, Auti is holding a book in one hand, and a basketball in the other.

My gardening is coming along pretty well and I have lots of plans for the coming months, and would like to make some improvements in the big back yard which has a lot of weeds as it is now.  I would like to have some nice grass for a change.   One of my tomato plants is especially growing well.  I wish I could have done this when I was a few years younger!

 Ara has been invaluable in helping me get my garden started.  She will be leaving for Los Angeles along with other family members for my niece's wedding this coming weekend.  She will come back to Sacramento to pack her car with things she is taking back home, and then will leave again.  I have enjoyed having her around but nothing ever stays the same and goodbyes never get easier!

What I was calling a salamander was actually  no doubt a gecko, and there has been no trace of him.  I sure hope he somehow got back outdoors.  I think Rocky would know if he was still in the house.

It is on its way up to 102 degrees today and I hate to even think of going outside for any reason.  I detest living in a closed up house!   Before Julie and Tallulah left, even the dogs didn't want to go out in the heat, and so they played pretty rough right here in my living room.  So far I only have the bare minimum in the living room (and everywhere in the house for that matter), so we could let them wrestle with each other all they wanted.

I'm looking forward to relaxing for a few days, so I may or may not blog for a few.  I'll be back soon enough though. 


I have a salamander in my house.  The little guy just walked in from the back deck and disappeared under the couch before Rocky or I could react.  I have moved the couch, looked in the bedrooms, and can't find him.  Unfortunately there is enough space under all the doors for him to slither from one room to another.

I am not sure how I'm going to sleep tonight, so I fixed myself a tall scotch and water to calm myself down and not worry about it.  I don't think they are dangerous to people or dogs, at least I hope not.

My garden is coming along nicely, and I have several good sized tomatos on my plants.  Jeannie's plants are doing much better but since I didn't get them into the ground right away they will take a little longer to produce.  A couple of the plants are cherry tomatos.  The squash and zucchini plants are growing well also.

Today has been a really hot day, but tomorrow will be a few degrees over the 100 mark.  I hate this hot weather and having to close up the house to run the a/c.  I like my doors and windows open, but of course that is how the salamander got in.   The temps usually reach their peak by 6pm or so, and that is when I turned the a/c off and opened the doors.  I may have to rethink things a bit.

Please send me good vibes that I won't have an unwanted visitor in my bed tonight.  I think Rocky would react quickly - at least I hope he would.

Wednesday, June 5, 2019

I'm Melting!

If there is anything I dislike as much as hot weather, it's air-conditioning.  It is undoubtedly much better in the workplace as well as in shopping environments, but truly preferred the swamp cooler in my former house.  It is 94 degrees this afternoon and predicted to go up to 98 by the end of the day.  I didn't turn the a/c on early enough and I'm certainly not going to do it now as it would probably not cool off anyway.

Sacramento is cool overnight and up to the middle of the following day, so I didn't use the ac early enough so I won't bother with it now.  I really don't want to pay high electric bills but I will have to get used to it.  Rocky has spent most of the day napping on the cool bathroom tile!

My sister and her husband are going to stay at my house the next two nights, and they are bringing their golden-doodle with them.  It will be interesting to see the dogs play together.  They are about the same size, and I'll try to get a photo.  At least Tallulah doesn't shed, while Rocky sheds all over the place.  

Jeannie asked me to bring Rocky over and have dinner at their house this evening.  I would be happy to get away from here for a while - I only 
took Rocky for one walk today because of the heat.   I worry about his paws on the hot pavement.

I hope you are all more comfortable with the weather you're having than I am with mine!  I have been completely miserable and listless all day, and sure hope tomorrow is a little better.


Tuesday, June 4, 2019

Marty, Marty, Quite Contrary

How Does Your Garden Grow?  Sorry that it doesn't quite rhyme!

I love looking at the garden as I have beautiful squash plants growing well.  I don't know if they are yellow squash or the green zuchinni, but more likely they are the yellow.   No carrots or red peppers,  but that may be because of Rocky disturbing the soil.  He wanted to get into that plot of garden from the beginning - I guess there is something about the coolness of freshly turned dirt that is appealing.

I've been trying to weed the second plot completely and then add more seeds alongside Jeannie's tomato plants.  I can't stay out there for more than about 10 minutes at a time because of the hot sun.

I'm wilting and it's too hot to even think.   If anything happens later I'll add a postscript!

Here's the postscript that I wanted to write but nearly forgot about:

I recently bought a Ryobi grass & weed trimmer from  Home Depot.  Since I had it delivered I used my credit card to pay for it.  Now  my YouTube feed constantly has a video about a Ryobi product.  This is the first such product I've bought since I lived in Asheville, NC from about 2004 to 2009.  I certainly don't like the idea of YouTube being able to get information about my purchases.  It is no coincidence as the youtube vid began appearing a day or so after I bought it, and it is for the exact model.

Sunday, June 2, 2019


Every day I get a little more things accomplished, but I still have so far to go it could make me disheartened if I let it.  I've been working on the garden and have one large square of it finished - my tomatos are planted as well as some vegetable seeds.  I've since been working on the second square plot, which has Jeannie's 6 tomato plants as she doesn't really have room in her backyard which is almost all swimming pool and surround.  My son, Joe, also planted a couple of tomatos that he'd like me to take care of.  I said "Sure, bring them over!"  It is ironic that I'm the least likely to be much of a gardener and I'll end up growing tomatos for the entire family!

I wish I could add a few photos I've taken but they are on my phone and I don't have a clue how to transfer them.   To tell the truth, I don't even want to learn.  I'd give anything to have my old Jitterbug by Samsung again. While I'm typing a message or something like that, I will all the sudden have the screen switch to an ad for a program or a game, and it upsets me to no end.  What right does any company have to interrupt my business like that.  The next time I see Donald I will ask him to see if there is a way to stop it; he has a Samsung phone also and is sure to know a solution.

Ara is going to stay with Rocky for an hour or so while I go to Costco with Jeannie.  She will try to get him acclimated to his crate.  She has been working with him on being a "good dog" and has done wonders.  I think she gets irritated with me when I let him slide by on some things.

If anyone had told me a few years ago that I could get all excited about getting out of the house and going to Costco, I wouldn't have believed them.  Times sure change!