Eastern Utah
EMAIL ME AT: mgypsy97 at aol dot com

Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Another quick post

I thought I'd write a quick few words.

I returned the heart monitor today after wearing the dumb thing for 48 hours.  Now I'm all itchy where the electrodes were placed.

Which reminds me of something I read recently:

Being old is like being a dog.  The high points of the day are scratching, peeing, and waiting for the mailman.

Have a good remainder of the week, and I'll be back soon.

Tuesday, July 30, 2019

I'll try it again!

I don't know what I did but I lost my computer screen and everything on it, which includes a nearly complete blog I wrote this morning.  I don't remember a thing about what I said.

One thing I might have written about is my trip to the cardiologist yesterday, and how I somehow walked out with a heart monitor that I have to wear for 48 hours!   

Also, I think I wrote something about the temperatures dropping 15 degrees or so during the past two days.  From 105 to 90 is a wonderful improvement, although I've never been happy to see 90 degree temps before. 

I've kept myself busy with my house plants, and have them in just about every room of the house.  I think the  fact that plants clean the air and promote sleep is certainly true, because I know I'm much calmer and happier lately, and I certainly have been sleeping well!

This is it for today, folks.  As soon as I publish I will remember what I had written and lost earlier.  Have a good day!


Friday, July 26, 2019

Enjoying a lazy day

I have done very little today, and don't really feel bad about it.  I tried to repot some of my aloe vera which I let grow way too big.  I had dirt all over the place when I finished the job.  The job  still isn't finished actually, because I have another aloe plant that needs to be repotted.  I have to find a better place to do it than my kitchen countertop though.

My house is situated perfectly to avoid the worst of the sun, as are most houses in Sacramento.  I believe I talked about this in a prior post.  Sometimes it's hard to find a perfect spot for a houseplant because of this placement.

Speaking of houseplants, I'm running over with coleus, which is one of the most beautiful plants I have.  I bought two of them in very large pots which I placed on either side of the front door.  The afternoon sun was brutal to them, so I've brought them indoors.  I've also taken off some of the growth and started them in other pots.  I may never get the dirt from under my fingernails, and I have coleus in just about every room of the house!

I just had the nicest nap.  Instead of falling asleep in a chair or on the sofa, I came in and took my nap on my bed.  Rocky follows me everywhere, and he is still sleeping over on his side of the bed! 

After a great supper of - you guessed it - zucchini stir fry,  I'm still not tired of it.   This time it was a little mushroom-heavy, because I decided to use the rest of the mushrooms from the box I bought.  They are still good and fresh, but I know they wouldn't last for long.  I have two small zucchini left, but I notice two yellow squash on the plants that I will pick tomorrow.  By the end of the harvest I probably won't want to look at a squash for a while!

Is another weekend upon us already?   Tomorrow is predicted to be 105 degrees, and Sunday 106!  I will be staying indoors as much as possible this weekend.  I have a lot of yard work piling up, but it will have to wait.

Have a good weekend, and stay cool!

Thursday, July 25, 2019

As if it isn't hot enough

I just looked ahead at the forecast for the next 2 weeks and see that this weekend the temps will rise to 104-105 degrees.  I don't do well in the heat, nor does my mood or frame of mind.  I can barely spend more than a few minutes at a time in my garden, and early in the morning would be a good time except I walk Rocky then before it gets too hot.  He spends most of his time indoors during the day, "resting" on the couch or the cool bathroom floor tile!

I just watered all my house plants and used a bit of liquid fertilizer.  They are looking spectacular, and some have grown so well I've been able to propagate  a few cuttings for other rooms in the house.  I get a lot of pleasure just looking at them, and have a dozen or more varieties that I'd like to add - but a little at a time.

 Last night Jeannie and I went to the gym for about an hour, and left Rocky at her house with Donald and the girls.  They spent most of the time splashing in the pool, and they told me Rocky will stand in the water on the wide steps, but he hasn't taken a plunge yet.  If I was there and he was at the edge of the pool I think I'd push him in.  At any rate he enjoyed the water and the camaraderie, and managed to get all wet.  I bought a small kiddy pool for the back yard and he sometimes likes to stand in it and splash.

 The zucchini is starting to come in, and since someone else is giving Jeannie a lot of it from their garden, I'm stuck with all of mine.  I'm going to do a stir fry again and try to use most of it.  I don't like it soggy or overcooked, so I add it last so as to get it just warmed up a bit.  If I make a lot of stir fry, I can probably save some to eat cold.  The squash plants are so beautiful I was thinking I'd grow a much larger patch of them in the future, but I'd better think about how I can use them.  It's not like how you can freeze a carrot or make sauce with tomatoes.  I found my recipe for zucchini quiche but have to get in the mindset to make the crust and have flour all over the place.  I haven't made pie crust in years, but I'm sure I won't ever lose my touch!  There is not much incentive to bother with it for one person.  Yes, I could buy a ready-made crust, but I wouldn't be happy with it.  I learned to make pie crust from watching my grandmother and my mother, and I'll have to say I could hang in with the best of them!  I've taught my daughter-in-law (in NY) and my daughter, and theirs is right up there with the pros!  It would break my heart if I tried to make it now and it wasn't perfect, so maybe I should just let it go, and forget zucchini quiche or chocolate pie!

Talking about food makes me hungry, so I'll just go fix my stir fry and get rid of some zucchini before I have more to harvest.  

 Ms. Belinda, here is a photo of my snake plant.  My phone doesn't take the best pictures, but you get the idea.  The leaves, or spikes, are sort of thick and leathery to the touch. 

Hope everyone can stay cool!

Monday, July 22, 2019

Speaking of house plants

I am just trying to maintan the tomatoes and squash in my garden, and I'm looking forward to expanding it next month to include other veggies.  In the meantime, I am getting such enjoyment out of my indoor plants.  I've been able to take cuttings and grow extra plants from most of them.  I bought two coleus plants in really large containers which I placed outside my front door, but with the dog brushing up against them now and then I've found stems that were broken off.    I brought them indoors to place them in water for a couple of days, and am amazed at how easy it is for them to grow roots.  In fact, I've decided to take some other cutting from the coleus because they are outgrowing the pots they came in.  I've been reading about how much indoor plants can purify the air around them, so I'm placing plants and cuttings in all my rooms, and they cheer me up just looking at them.  I bought a gorgeous snake plant that looks as if it is outgrowing the pot it came in, but I'll have to research what I need to do to separate it and give it room to grow.

I wanted to mention that after the fiasco with Rocky and his crate last week, I moved the crate back into the living room.  I left him in it when Jeannie and I went to the gym on Friday and he was just fine.   He gets excited when he hears the car pull up however, and if we are too slow getting in the house he pees in the crate every time!  As long as he doesn't destroy things I don't mind cleaning up after him.  He tries to be a good dog and is getting better at it all the time.  I bought a new pad for the crate that looks like it has a tougher fabric than most, and he won't  be able to get at the stuffing.

Time to go to bed, so I'll say goodnight and see ya again soon.  


Sunday, July 21, 2019

Great Weekend, so far

My weekend started late Friday afternoon when Jeannie & I spent about an hour at the gym.  I tried to ratchet up my exercise just a bit, and hope I can continue to do so as I get stronger.  

I had an appointment with the groomer today for Rocky, and again, he looks like a million dollars!  His beautiful coat is shiny and black, and can almost take my breath away it is so gorgeous.  With him getting into nooks and crannies in the yard that he shouldn't be getting into, his coat wont stay nice and clean for long.  I was so disappointed to hear that he fought having his nails clipped or filed.  He didn't give them trouble the last time he went, and I don't know why all of the sudden he wouldn't allow them to finish.  I think one of his paws and a couple of nails on another paw didn't get finished.  Next time I'm going to give him something to calm him down before I take him to be groomed.  I know the groomers don't really like to clip his nails to begin with because they are completely black and you can't see where the blood line is.  For that reason they encourasge me to have them file his nails rather than clip them, which I can agree to, but he wouldn't let them use the file this time.

During the 2+ hrs he was at the groomer, Jeannie took me to Home Depot where I picked up some more garden supplies, plus flowerpots and supplies for my indoor plants.  I've been able to buy just a few plants and propagate cuttings from those to give me a lot more.  For years and in several different houses I've lived in, I always loved beautiful house plants.  In the years I lived in an RV and then in a mobile home I didn't keep many plants, except for the aloe vera given to me by my grandmother years ago.  Now I'm really enjoying having houseplants, and of course, the aloe vera is still with me.  I think fondly of my grandma when I see it every day.

I think I've mentioned that when I planted my garden I wanted to grow a row of marigolds around the perimeter because they emit an odor that keeps many pests away.  At least that's what "they say".  I also planted carrot and bell pepper seeds, but Rocky found his way into the newly planted garden and lord only knows what happened to the carrots and peppers.  Also, marigolds are probably one of the easiest flowers to grow, but I've never seen one yet this year.  I do have a plant that is growing here and there in the garden, but has never produced so much as a bud  or a flower.  I took a photo of one of the plants and will post it so maybe someone can enlighten me on this plant.  Is it a weed, a carrot top, or a marigold?  

I'm referring to the plant in the lower portion of the photo. 

What a beautiful day this has been!  I think the temperature got up to 90, but there was a breeze to maintain a comfort level all day.  When I walk Rocky around 8am, I am actually cold!  That is a great feeling in Sacramento in the hot summer months. 

Enjoy the rest of the weekend, and I'll be back in a day or so.

Thursday, July 18, 2019

Great workout!

Jeannie and I spent about an hour at the gym last night, and I loved it!  Just like old times.  I was conservative in the machine settings - nothing too strenuous but still a good workout.  I thought my legs might be sore this morning but I feel great all over!  I knew my arms could take it because of walking a dog who pulls on the leash sometimes.  I hope to go back on Friday and will up the bar a little.  We finished off the gym visit with the massage beds - Jeannie tried a massage chair but I felt like just lying there and letting the machine do its work.  Wonderful!

After a great time at the gym I came home to disaster.  Because of the new recliner in the living room, I moved Rocky's crate to the big spare room (which they converted from a garage).  I opened the drapes a bit so he could see outside, and left him plenty of toys and treats.  I came home to find out he practically destroyed the crate - I will have to buy a new tray for the bottom of the big crate as he chewed a lot of it and broke it into pieces.

In the future I might temporarily bring the crate back to the living room for the time I'm gone and see if he gets back to normal, but I'm not going to let him keep me confined to the house when I want to go out.  

I picked the first zucchini this morning.

I should have waited a couple more days and let it grow just a bit more, but I'm a little too impatient.  There are several more that should be ready to pick in a day or two.

I've been trying to get this blog written all morning so I'll just call it quits now and hit the "publish" button.

Have a good day.

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Back to the Gym

I always enjoyed working out at the gym, even though it's been a while since I exercised very strenuously.  After a break without membership, Jeannie and I went to sign up again, at the Planet Fitness closer to this neighborhood.  It looks like a beautiful place, although I sort of miss the layout of our old one.  This evening we are going to go work out for a while and I am so looking forward to it.  I'm hoping that getting out and moving more will enhance my mood, my attitude, and my life.

What a delight the first squash from my garden turned out to be!  I did a stir fry, using a pork chop I had thawed, cutting it into small cubes; added a taste of just about every vegetable I could find in my fridge, and then added the squash last so it would be hot but not overcooked and soggy.  Seasoned salt over the whole thing, and I was set.  I ate every bite of it, to my surprise.

It looks like our extremely hot weather is going to last for the rest of July, and probably through August as well.   Rocky and I don't like to go outdoors except for early in the morning and after the sun starts descending.  When I take him outside during the day he beats me back into the house!  Smart boy.

So not much else is happening with me, but I am looking forward to going to the gym later on.  Hope you are all staying cool and comfortable, and dry if you happen to be where there is wet weather!

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

First One!

I finally got to pick my first squash of the season.  It's a yellow one and is the perfect size!  It looks like the next two will be zucchini.

I have a busy day ahead of me so I might not get a chance to add more to this post.  If I do, I will write a 2nd one for the day.  Meanwhile, have a great day!

Monday, July 15, 2019

Worth the Wait

I ordered a matching recliner when I bought my sofa 3 months ago.  The recliner finally came in and Donald picked it up for me yesterday.  I love it, although it makes the room seem a little more crowded.  I'll have to move Rocky's crate back to the big spare room on the other side of the kitchen.  Donald tried out my new Smoky Joe grill last night and while he was cooking Jeannie emptied all the boxes that I never got around to since I moved.  I really appreciated all the help.

Here is the new chair:  (Click on pic to enlarge it)
 It is really comfortable and power driven - the sofa requires manual operation which really isn't much different except when closing the footrest.  Sorry for the quality of the photo - I should have turned the light on.  I really don't think I get very good pictures with my phone, but to take them with the camera and then go through all the work to be able to transfer them someplace else is more than I want to deal with.

I haven't been feeling well lately and am not sure if it is the change in my living arrangements or maybe something else is wrong.  But when I had my daughter and her family here yesterday afternoon and evening, I felt so much better.  I think I'm too alone here - at least when I walked Rocky several times a day at the mobile home park I saw lots of my neighbors with whom I at least exchanged greetings and a few words.  Not a big thing for most people, but take that human contact away, especially when you get older and don't have contact with people at your job, or traveling as many of my readers still do, it makes for a very lonely life to which you can hardly find a purpose sometimes.  I still would never want to go back to mobile home park living however, so I'm between a rock and a hard place.  I love my living space here, and feel so at home , if I wasn't so isolated it would be perfect.

The weather forecast here  for the next 15 days calls for the high 90's and sunny.  I dread it!   If I could only chop 10 degrees off of the forecast I'd be much happier and way more comfortable.  Chopping  20 degrees off would be perfect!

That's all for now - it's too warm to even think straight.  Maybe I'll be back with more tomorrow.  I wish I could figure out what I do wrong with the photos.  If I take 6 pictures I'll be lucky if I can send one or two of them in an email to my computer account from the phone.  Why does the 1st one transfer when the rest of them won't.



Thursday, July 11, 2019

Wasted Morning

Donald took me to an appointment that was on my calendar for 10 am, with the eye surgeon.  When I arrived they didn't have me down for an appointment but told me I could wait approx. 15 minutes and see a doctor.  I walked out an hour later without seeing anyone!  That's it for that medical group, and I don't intend to go back.  My sight is worsening since the surgery, which I don't blame on the surgery but just is a natural progression of my eye disease.

In a crowded waiting room I was amazed and amused at how nearly everyone held a phone in his/her hands.  Sometimes a phone would ring and a  loud voice would answer and carry on a conversation.  My, how times have changed.  To be fair I saw two people with books in their hands.

Sorry to bore anyone with my garden talk and photos, but I have 2 yellow squash and one zucchini each about 1-1/2" long.   I am so thrilled and can't wait to taste one.  I shared several tomatoes with Donald and the girls when they brought me home after the non-appointment this morning.  I know Arianna really loves the cherry tomatoes so I picked most of them for her, and left myself two.   Click photo to enlarge.  The yellow squash is in about the middle of the photo on the right.

 I've tried three times to include a picture of the zucchini that is growing, but am having difficulty downloading it from my phone to the computer.

Rocky goes into the crate very well when I have to leave him home.  I put a treat or two inside to lure him him and then close and lock the door.  He doesn't whine but just accepts it - something he has never done until just recently.  When he hears me coming back he barks frantically and pees in the crate!  I can deal with that.

Monday, July 8, 2019

My backyard in summer

This great big beautiful back yard doesn't do much for me in the heat of the Sacramento summer.  When I walk through it so I can clean up after Rocky, the "grass" crunches under my feet.  So I try to stay up close to the house and my garden, and when I water the garden I get a small part of the grass around it watered as well. I can call it grass, but it's mostly crabgrass and weeds.  I don't know what to do about it, and hate to pay a landscaper to make it better as I don't own the property.  Mainly I try to just focus on the garden, but I'm going to need professional advice on how to get rid of the "sticker" plants that grow in abundance.  I get those annoying stickers in my socks whenever I walk out there, and Rocky got one in his nose.  I saw him shaking his head frantically trying to dislodge it, and I was able to remove it before he inhaled it further.  I gave him a dose of Benadryl and he slept for most of the day!

Speaking of the garden, I am getting so impatient for something to happen.  I have lots of big yellow flowers on the squash plants, and when I was out looking at them I saw a bee buzzing among the flowers so I'm sure they are being polinated, but so far nothing I recognize as a yellow squash or green zucchini has formed.   I did notice a whole lot of cherry tomatoes that are almost ready to be picked.  This past weekend I gave Jeannie several tomatoes including some of the cherry variety.  in recent years I've noticed that I get indigestion when eating tomatoes, although not from heirloom tomatoes I've bought in the grocery.  Next year I am going to grow only heirloom seeds of everything.

My son Steve may come over on Wednesday and rototill the rest of the garden plots, so I will have a lot to do to make them suitable for planting my fall garden.  It will be nice to watch for something else to grow besides tomatoes and zucchini.  I also planted marigold seeds along the sides of the garden beds as well as along the front walkway, and have never gotten a single flower bud.  The plants are growing and look healthy, but I don't think the flowers should take that long to pop out.  Like I've said, this whole effort has been a learning experience for me, and I will know how to do things better next season.

I remember the old days when I was a kid; my mom always grew tomatoes and got a great yield from the plants, although I don't remember her fussing a whole lot with them, worrying about removing the sucker shoots, or anything like that.  She always reaped a huge amount, although she might have put more effort into it than I recall.  I am the oldest of 8, so I'm sure she had several other kids on hand and I don't know how she found much time to devote to growing tomatoes.   I only have one youngster to worry about, and he eats whatever I put down around the tomato plants - coffee grounds, eggshells, plant food, etc.  Sometimes I don't know what to do with that boy!

Friday, July 5, 2019

Glad That's Over With!

I'm not a big celebrator to begin with, and I'm sure not proud of the way people are being kept in confinement the border.  I watched a news clip yesterday of some of those places, and no matter how one feels about immigration, it is a disgrace to keep children and adults confined in such horrible conditions.  I felt sadness at the holiday knowing how brutally the country can treat immigrant children - it's certainly nothing to be proud of.

I can't say I like fireworks, but they are a given at certain times of the year.  I was surprised that Rocky didn't seem to be as bothered  as some dogs are.  He was curious, obviously didn't like the noise, confused, and just wanted it to be done with.

I am thrilled every time I look at my garden and see the number of squash blossoms.  Even one of the zuchini plants  has a blossom this morning.  I've been watching youtube videos showing innovative ways to cook squash.

 And of course the tomatoes:

I've tried to grow basic herbs from seed at least twice this summer - basil, sage, and parsley.  I've never had anything even sprout, so I think I will just buy some herbs at the grocery and try to root them myself.  I am probably not patient enough as I understand that herb seeds take a long time to sprout.

We are in for a heat wave over the coming days and weeks.  This is the worst of living in Sacramento, when most of the grass turns a golden brown (thus the name "The Golden State") and the heat is so intense it becomes difficult to breathe.  Even Rocky doesn't want to go outside for more than a few minutes at a time.

I'd better get on with my day.  I hope you all have a good day today and a great weekend coming up.

Tuesday, July 2, 2019

My garden in the morning

I took some photos this morning.  The sun was behind me and I apologize for any shadows.

I took photos of my tomato plants, yellow squash, and zucchini.  I am terribly impatient to see some fruit on the latter two, and for the tomatos to turn red.  I'm hoping to get the rest of the plots rototilled and want to start a fall garden next month.  Click on photos to enlarge them.

Tomatos, a row of yellow squash, and a row of zuchinni:


And the zuchinni:

I realize that every time I  type the word "zuchinni" I spell it differently.  I really should look it up :-)

I planted a few other types of seeds but this is what came up, which is why I'd like to start a fall garden next month while hopefully harvesting the tomatos and squash.  Other rows in the garden contain plants I removed from the main row while thinning them; some of them transplanted well are are growing quickly, whereas others look puny. 

I hope I don't bore you too much with my garden and my dog, but those are the two things that bring me joy.  At least the dog brings me joy when he isn't invading my garden.  I've tried spreading some eggshells and coffee grounds around a couple of plants to see how it affects them, and I catch Rocky  eating the shells and the coffee grounds!

All of my adult life I've loved having house plants, but couldn't really deal with them when I lived and traveled in an RV,  I bought two plants as I mentioned in a previous post, and have been wanting to get a few more.  I think to avoid the hot California sun, many buildings are placed so as to not get the full sun shining in most of the doors and windows - at least my mobile home was placed that way, and I notice my new place doesn't get a big blast of sunlight.  Maybe the experienced gardeners out there could tell me if it's hopeless to nurture plants that need "full sun", or if they will grow in a well lit room but with no direct rays of sunlight.

I'm having a lazy morning - at 10am I'm still in pj's!  There is so much I should be doing, but it will wait.

I've rambled on long enough so I will wish you all a good day wherever you are.  See you again soon.