Eastern Utah
EMAIL ME AT: mgypsy97 at aol dot com

Saturday, September 28, 2019

Always looking for trouble!

Of course, you know who I'm talking about.  I'm so mad at Rocky right now I can barely suppress it.  Yesterday I worked in the garden planting peas, and I even got some carrot seeds in the ground.  This morning Rocky tore up the entire bed - I don't know whether to wait and see if anything comes up, or to replant.  When I first planted in early summer he did the same thing, and the only seeds I planted that came up were squash & zucchini.  I think I am going to look for established plants from now on rather than try to grow from seed.  

Donald and I were discussing how I could fence in the new garden area, but we should have done it a few days earlier.   It is so disheartening that my first thought was the heck with it all.  But now I have all these tilled garden beds and was so looking forward to seeing results, I just can't let it go.  I'm really mad at Rocky but he long ago forgot what he did wrong - and he'd do it again if given a chance!

So it's later now and Donald finished working on the garden - we went to Ace Hardware to get more stakes and fencing, as well as topsoil.  Just finished a minute before the first thunderstorm of the year - Rocky doesn't seem to like the thunder!

This is about halfway through the day.  Still have a lot to do.

I just looked at the weather for the next two weeks - a few days in the 60's, several days in the 70's, then more in the low 80's, and then back down again.  I'm not sure how my garden will do.

I hope I sleep well tonight - I sure worked harder than usual today.  I'm hoping for all of you out there to have a good day tomorrow, followed by a great week as we move into October.

Friday, September 27, 2019


Thanks goodness for being able to listen to music, especially since I don't have a TV.  Back when I was a child my dad loved music and on weekends would play his 78 records.  Some of his music was classical but many were Latin music.

Both my parents are of   nearly 100% German heritage, but I learned from my dad to love Latin American music, especially the music of Cuba.  Lately I've been watching youtube music videos, and today when listening to Cuban music I realized I was grinning from ear to ear.  Cuban music has always made me smile and feel happy.  And close to my dad.

I've always wanted to travel to Cuba but never got to go.  If there is consciousness after death, I hope my spirit can fly over that beautiful country and join a group of street musicians!


Thursday, September 26, 2019

A few hours to myself!

I dropped Rocky off at the vet for several hours.  He was poked and prodded and received a number of vaccinations and shots, and finally returned to me.

I started to sit down and relax when I got back home after dropping him off, and immediately realized I needed to make good use of the time I had.  I accomplished a lot of cleaning and am paying the price for it now - total exhaustion.  And to tell the truth, I missed my little troublemaker!

It was way up in the 90's today but has finally turned cool.  I am looking forward to spending some time in the yard tomorrow, although I have a lot of physical labor to accomplish, and I don't know how long I can work without taking frequent breaks.  Actually, the daily forecasts for the next week are slowly inching upwards, and I'm still waiting for the lovely 70 degree days to come.

I'm relaxing now with a glass of Dewar's (scotch) and water.  So satisfying and refreshing.

Monday, September 23, 2019

I love to plan!

You might have guessed I love to plan get-togethers and my favorite place in the whole world to hold these events is Straw Hat Pizza.  So I'm at it again, and I couldn't be more excited!

I have mentioned before that I am the oldest of 8.  The 5 after me are brothers, with two sisters bringing the total to 8.  Many of us have gravitated to California and western Nevada, while two are in states outside the area, Washington and Wisconsin.  My next-in-line sibling is my brother Bill, and he and his wife Wilma are planning to visit me for a week in November.  You all know my favorite place to get together in the Sacramento area is Straw Hat Pizza.

I'm starting to make plans for such a get together, and it has grown in the past 24 hours.  My brother Phil and his wife live in Washington state, and I've confirmed that they can make it, which will mean that all eight of us will be present if everything goes according to plan.  So this Straw Hat event is growing by the hour, and I am so excited and looking forward to it.  I'm even looking for a photographer to come and take pictures at our event.  There will be so many of us present, so I'm looking at generational pictures - the original eight, their children who can be present, and their grandchildren who can be present.

Other than that, I'm working on my garden, and managed to turn over a few spadefuls of dirt this morning.  I believe we will have about 4 hot days this week and then it looks like the weather will turn cooler, so my plan is to try to get some seeds planted in the next day or two.  I'm still waiting for some shoots to sprout up from what I planted about 10 days ago.  The waiting drives me crazy! 

Rocky is taking it easy in between finding things to chew on that he shouldn't!  He is really turning into a very good boy - most of the time.  I think one of the best things he's learned is to come when called.  So far, he responds immediately, no matter what he is doing,  although if I added a few grandchildren into the mix it might take him longer to obey, or he might just pretend he doesn't hear me.

Sunday, September 22, 2019

Always waiting on something!

I seem to be forever waiting, and lately I keep checking the two flats of seeds I've planted - about 150 seeds in all, of 5 or 6 vegetables.  I have the garden beds rototilled, and need Donald to cut the wood to construct four good sized beds.  Ara will be coming back to Sacramento for a few days at the end of this month and I'm almost tempted to wait for her to help me, although I know she will want to plan her own activities for the short time she is here.

We have about 4 more hot days next week, and from then on it looks to be fairly cool (that is, Sacramento cool, which is probably much different than, say, Michigan cool).  I'm anxious to start planting although the seeds I've started haven't sprouted yet.  Maybe it will be another week.   We have a wind advisory for the next few days and I hope my garden soil doesn't blow away!  I'll try to keep it damp in hopes of holding it down.   There is so much to do, indoors and out, and I just can't get much accomplished.  No one would believe what a whirlwind of energy I was in my younger years.

Rocky and I walked over to Jeannie's house this morning.  There were kids from a sleepover last night; both Steve & Joe left their kids with Jeannie & Donald.  Rocky was in heaven with all the people around.  He spent some time out by the pool and actually managed to get in the water for about the first step or two down; when I see him standing on the steps or the edge of the pool I'd like to push him in but I haven't yet.  It's too cold to swim although Rocky has a double coat and the chilly water shouldn't bother him at all.

Jeannie and I got about a third of the Sunday NYT crossword puzzle done when I decided to start walking back home.  Rocky and I promptly fell asleep for over an hour.

On a shopping trip to Costco yesterday I bought a package containing two bottles of Scrubbing Bubbles shower and tile cleaner, and another two of bathroom cleaner.  So I don't need to use  carpet cleaner in the bathroom from now on.  All those scrubbing bubbles should do the trick!  But as someone commented, "soap is soap", although I'm sure the scrubbing bubbles will smell nicer.

I wish you all a good week ahead.  They certainly fly by too fast to suit me!

Friday, September 20, 2019

Should I laugh or should I cry

Noticing a rare burst of energy this morning I decided to do a good cleaning on the bathrooms, although it just makes the dog hair fly around.  I was looking for something to clean the tub with and spied a spray can of 409 Cleaner, and thought it would do.  After I "cleaned" the tub and read the label on the can in better light I found I had used carpet cleaner to scrub the bathtub!  I guess I need someone to come in periodically and clean my bathrooms and kitchen.  I can deal with the rest of the house, although who knows what I could be doing wrong or mis-using products there.

I was able to keep Rocky mostly quiet yesterday but he's still limping.  Donald thinks it is getting a little better.  Donald plays on a men's basketball team as well as co-ed indoor soccer, and hurt his wrist a while back, which is still giving him some discomfort.  He thinks Rocky is suffering from something similar and that it will eventually stop hurting him.  It sounds likely since the vet doesn't even seem to think he is limping although I think it's very noticeable most of the time.

I don't know whether to take my chances and continue housecleaning.  I really should redo the tub!
Wishing a good weekend to everyone out there.

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

What a Naughty Dog!

Every weekday afternoon I walk up to school, pick up my granddaughter Auti, and we walk back here to wait for her dad.  Rocky knows I do this and that I can't take him with me.  I usually take great care to remove anything from his reach that could get him into trouble.

This morning I  opened a new box of Kleenex to keep on the kitchen countertop.  When I arrived back here with Auti, the entire contents of the box of Kleenex was on the floor.  He usually never bothers with them, but I left him no choice.

It rained a bit this morning and it has been breezy and cool all day - absolutely beautiful weather!  I even was able to spend some time in the garden this morning, but have so much to do to get it into shape for fall planting.  My son, Steve, is going to come by this weekend and rototill the garden plots.  I hope I can snag him into helping me cut the grass.  Much of it has gone away with the dry weather we've had, but it wasn't really grass to begin with just because it was green.  Weeds are green too.   I'm going to get some good grass seed to spread on the ground and hope some of it will take hold.

We're turning the bend and going down the stretch to the weekend.  Time goes by so fast these days I feel like I'm on a race horse!


Monday, September 16, 2019

What a good dog!

Rocky is still limping, and in fact I'm taking him back to the vet this afternoon.  But last night my niece came over with their new puppy, what they think is a Rottweiler/Pitbull mix.  It's a cute little 6 month old dog with boundless energy, and ran around the back yard like a mad dog!  Of course Rocky ran as well, contrary to what the vet said he shouldn't do.  Then as it got dark we came into the house, and that darn little puppy wasn't the least bit tired - he continued to try to get Rocky to rough-house with him.  Rocky didn't really want to but the pup kept after him.  I was getting really agitated about the whole situation, when Rocky, like the champion wrestler he is, pinned that puppy so tightly to the floor he couldn't move a muscle!  I have never been so secretly proud of him.  (If he could have talked he would have said, "say mercy").So I finally got my voice back and said I didn't want Rocky playing any more because of his leg and whatever is wrong with it, and my niece went home with the pup soon after.

Today poor Rocky is limping much more than he did before, and we are going back to the vet in a few hours.   I feel so bad for him because his instinct is to take it easy, which he does all day.  When the kids, or anyone else for that matter, come over his instinct is to jump with joy and want to play.  What an absolutely beautiful temperament and personality he has, and I love him to pieces.  So then, how can I get so mad at him at times I could throw him out the door and lock the door?  Of course I would never do that, but it crosses my mind for a second or two.

I really wish someone would have taken a photo of those dogs when Rocky had the other one pinned! 

We had rain this morning, and it's turning out to be a gorgeous afternoon.  I'm wearing jeans and a flannel shirt as it is cool for Sacramento.  I have the doors and windows open and am so happy not to turn on the a/c today.  We will still have some more hot days before long, but they will be few and far between! 

I'll say "so long" for now as I have to go pick up my granddaughter from school in a few minutes.  We walk back here, and then her dad and younger sister pick her up.  I guess today they will all go to the vet with me.

Saturday, September 14, 2019

Family Gathering

Our family evening at Straw Hat Pizza was a great party as always - there were close to 20 adults and 10 kids, so you can imagine the scene.  This isn't like being in a restaurant where you sit at a table for the evening - everyone was up and mingling, and of course the kids have their own entertainment at the various machines - little Quinn was so proud of the stuffed toy she "won".  Four of my siblings who live far enough away that I don't see them as often, were there with their spouses, my sister who is facing surgery at the end of this month and her daughter, plus three of my kids and their families, made for a wonderful time.

 I didn't eat or drink too much last night and got a decent night's sleep, but I feel really crappy this morning.  Haven't done a thing so far and probably won't do much for the rest of the day.  

Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Nothing seems to change

I don't know why but Rocky still seems to be limping, and it's making me mad!  I paid for a visit to the vet, plus 3 different prescriptions, (and he has no medical insurance) but he's still not getting any better.  I have to take him back soon and will request an xray to see what might be wrong.  Because we used to take several walks throughout the day, we both miss the exercise, so I've been walking him just a short couple of blocks every evening.  He doesn't mind turning around and going back home so the walk is bothering him at least a little.  Everything changes when Jeannie's girls walk in, however, and he's ready to play!

I picked two small zucchini yesterday and that may be it for the season.  Today I shredded them along with carrots and onion, added an egg, and made the mixture  into patties that I fried for my lunch.  Sooo good!  I hate to see the season end, but in a couple of months I hope to be eating lots of greens at every meal.  At least I could freeze some of the greens for use in soup, but I never did freeze the zukes.  The tomatoes will be finished soon also, so I want to get other plants into the ground and hope to be able to harvest up through November/December unless we get an early cold spell, which would be unusual.

You might think I stick to a healthy diet, but I'm addicted to sweets, especially ice cream!  I eat one or more Klondike bars  a day.

I've been thinking a lot lately  about hiring someone to do cleaning for me once or twice a month.  With my eyesight deteriorating I don't often see dirt (and am shocked when I sweep the floors at least twice a day at how much dog hair has been lying there), but I  wonder how it looks to visitors.   Much of my hesitation to pay someone do it for me arises because of when and where I was born, in what is called "The Silent Generation".  I don't know if I could bring myself to pay someone for doing what I should be doing.  I had a wonderful childhood although it was exceptionally frugal, and hiring a maid or cleaning staff was something only rich people could do.  It isn't the money, but the idea is so unlike my upbringing and lifestyle I'm not sure if I could do it!  Isn't that a silly way to think!

I need to go now and call Rocky back inside.  I can tell the daylight hours are getting shorter and shorter, but the best is that the temperatures have moderated.  I'll be back in a day or two.

Saturday, September 7, 2019

Blog Theme

I realize that many people know I started out with a travel-oriented blog, but my traveling days are over with.  I may do a short trip again, but not far and not for long.  My granddaughter is getting married, probably next summer and probably at the beach on the coast of California.  I hope it is a fairly close beach, and of course I will manage to go to her wedding although I will probably have to find a place to board Rocky for the couple of days I'll be gone.  I have never been a beach person but I'll "wing it".  I know I've mentioned a canoe accident I had when my kids were very young and how it affected me when it comes to water.  I certainly have no desire to go near a beach!

I started by speaking about blog orientation, and I no longer can write a travel blog, although I certainly enjoy reading blogs of others who are still leading the nomadic life.  Now I'm more oriented to my dog and my gardening efforts, and well as my kids.

With that said, tomorrow the temperatures here are supposed to go down into the 80's, FINALLY, although I wouldn't be surprised if we don't have a really hot couple of days now and then.  If it is in fact in the 80's tomorrow, I have so much work to do in my garden.  My three tomato plants have all but quit producing, and Jeannie's original 6 plants are down to 4, still producing fairly well.  I've removed several of the squash plants that weren't going to give me any more squash, so I now have enough room to begin planting some fall crops.   I've started a lot of seeds in planter pots, but would like to begin direct sowing of some plants for the fall.  I'm not sure when all those seeds will germinate, but I'm looking forward to a bumper crop all the way up to winter!

From a practical standpoint, I am looking forward to fall weather so I can go back to wearing jeans.  Wearing shorts or capris leaves my legs likely to get bruised and scratched by falls and by Rocky's claws, and long pants will give me some protection so maybe I can begin to heal.  I hope I don't fall again - I have no idea why it happens as I don't experience dizziness or disorientation - it's more like clumsiness and not picking my feet up enough.

This spring I kept the plants to a minimum of one and a half beds, but if I can get one of the guys to rototill the rest of them, I may try to plant four big beds!  I really need help getting it all started, but I've never been one to ask for help and I don't know if I can start now.

I suppose I can consider myself lucky enough to reach an advanced age, but it's not fair to have to lose my mobility, memory, and youth.

Thursday, September 5, 2019

Better weather ahead?

It looks like we will have a couple of days in the low 90's, and then head into mostly the 80's.  That suits me just fine, although it is still hot in the sun no matter what the air is like.

I walked up to school using my hiking stick when meeting Auti yesterday.  I'm not sure how it would help me if I tripped on something, so I still have to be super careful.  A very good friend of mine who has been teaching exercise classes for years, sent me some things to do to improve my balance.  I should print it out, although I might just copy it by hand.  This computer has no way to connect to my printer, so I would have to open up my old computer and do it that way.  Such a nuisance, I'll probably do it by hand.  Funny that computers are supposed to make things easier but often just cause more steps to be taken.

My daughter keeps everything on her smart phone - shopping lists, to do lists, all the information that I write on little slips of paper (and misplace half of those slips).  I can't always use my phone to even make a simple call, so keeping important info on it is out. 

Donald and the girls were here for a while yesterday after school, and one of them caught Rocky at his favorite post:

 He is still limping after a week of the meds.  The Dr. told me to keep him quiet, but when the kids come over he can't be kept quiet.

And speaking of limping, I can now walk up and down steps normally, without having to take one at a time.  If I can just remain upright until all my bruises and cuts heal, I'll be so happy!  I'm running out of band-aids so I'm hoping no more reasons to use them.

I am going to plant a row of kale and maybe one of spinach later on this afternoon when the sun is no longer overhead.  I also have planted a lot of various seeds of vegetables that I want to try to raise - carrots, yellow and red sweet peppers, and several leafy greens - into small grow pots for transplanting when they get big enough.  You may remember I planted a lot of seeds in the spring when a certain animal I won't name messed up that part of the garden.  He's never bothered with plants that are up from the soil.  At least I'm blaming it on him - it could have been a rabbit or squirrel for all I know.

I have such great plans for the garden next spring - including a trellis or two, but I'll be another year older and less able to do the things I'd like.  If I could just recover from all the falls and get back to regular visits to the gym, I think I will be ok.  Those are big "ifs"!

We are on the downhill side toward the weekend, and I hope everyone has fun plans.  Weekends are't the same for me any more and I don't make many plans!

Monday, September 2, 2019

Houseplants, computers, & Rocky!

I can't seem to find the right location for a begonia plant; I've moved it from various places around the house, including windowsills, medium and low light spots, but some of the leaves dry up as evidenced in the photo below (click to enlarge).

The large leaves in the center are healthy, but those sticking out on top and one drooping on the lower left are crispy!  I bought two plants a while back that are guaranteed for 30 days so long as you don't repot them.  I need to look up how long it's been because I'd rather have the plant in a slightly larger pot.  If anyone has experience with this plant, I could use some tips on how to care for it.

I wish I had just refurbished my old computer instead of buying this current one.  The only improvement to me is that it has a 15" screen rather than 13".  It is much lighter weight as well as thinner, which isn't that important to me.  Apple did that by removing the drive for an external disk, which means I can't copy to or from a floppy disk.  I'm sure they've slightly re-arranged the keys, because if they move them ever so slightly it will cause a touch typist to make a zillion mistakes.  I'm too good a typist to be making so many errors!  At my age it would be difficult to  look at my fingers while typing because I have rarely done that in all the years since I used an old Remington manual typewriter!

Jeannie and her girls were over this evening, and one of the girls snapped this picture of Rocky.

 No, I haven't been able to teach him how to wash the dishes yet, but we're getting close!

Sunday, September 1, 2019

Just Bein' Lazy Today

It's nearly 5pm and I can't really think of anything I've done today.  I did do a bit of cleaning yesterday, so I guess I need and deserve a day of rest.  I'm actually wondering if I need to go  back on thyroid pills.  I never did notice much of a difference while taking them, and when I went to refill my prescription that had been 86 cents for a 3 month supply, they charged me $15 for the exact same thing, I quit taking them.  That is about a 1600% increse and I didn't feel like it made much of a difference.  Speaking of increases, I noticed an incredible increase in the price of groceries just in the past two days.  I usually order online and have them delivered, which is an additional expense, but many of the items I always buy went up by as much as a dollar!  I think we are in for some tough times ahead.
Rocky is taking several pills that the vet gave us, and he is even lazier than I am.

About an hour ago somebody drove into the driveway - not unusual as there are four duplex units in this lane.  Mr. Nosy wanted to see who it was, and I looked up to find him standing at the kitchen sink on his hind legs, looking out the window!  It was the funniest thing - he is so tall when he stands like that.  I wonder if I could teach him to wash the dishes!

I recently ordered a subscription to the Sunday newspaper and received the first one today.  It makes me realize how bad my eyes are, although I can see the ad section pretty well.  It's difficult to read a large amount of print with a small magnifying glass, so I ordered an 8x10 magnifier.  I hope that helps but probably won't make it any easier to work the crossword puzzle!

So tomorrow is Labor Day but I find that holidays are just like any other days.   I hope your weekend is a lot more exciting than mine has been so far!