Thursday, April 30, 2009

Good God! Thursday already!

How time passes when you are having fun! Actually, we are recovering from last weekend with all the family. The first day is always funny; I run to my computer and my wife runs to the tv. We eat snacks not meals. By the second day, we can manage to eat a meal together; even to do small tasks. Then we are finally close to normal; at least as normal as we ever are.

Got another shipment of bookcases on Tuesday. The others were lovely just not enough space. So now I have that to put together. We also got our new water softener. We tested the water and it was pure and wonderful however the hardness was off the scale. SO... had it installed because we just don't know anything about the darned things. Besides, I do truly believe that those of us who can afford to employ people these days ought to do so. Lots of folks are a paycheck away from disaster. If I can help them to keep the wolf away from the door for another day, well, I just have to do it. Spending an extra $100 isn't going to make any difference at all to me unless the world is a hell of a lot different than I think it is.

Right now it is almost 23:00 - a little over sixty degrees (F) outside and I have the windows open to let in the cool air. The house hasn't gotten really warm yet but being able to sleep in the cool, dry air is so great after the warm, moistness of Florida. Now if I was just smart enough to quit reading blogs and go to bed!

Be careful, it's dangerous out there!

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Almost Gone!

Our dreaded visitors are almost gone. Actually, we were really excited that they were coming but knew we'd be just as excited to see them leaving. Let's see if I can explain.

There are just the two of us living here with our dog and cat. This weekend we had my wife's birth mother & her husband; their daughter (my wife's sister) and her husband; my wife's son and his Significant Other; and our daughter. That's four couples and a spare all staying in a three bedroom home (plus our RV). Add to the mix the fact that the birth mother is far from a stable personality and you have the usual run of stress. Finally add the fact that the sister has just announced that she is suffering from breast cancer. Just a regular thrill.

Happily the whole thing went well. No one threw anything; no one got really drunk; no one went crazy. Now they are all gone except for the son & his SO. They are pretty easy to be with so things are slowing down. As for the SIL who have breast cancer; she'll start treatment next month. No one can figure out why there is such a delay but she is as hard headed as anyone you've ever met so there's no talking her into any other treatment.

Take care; it's dangerous out there!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Heating up finally

I had this misconception that it was going to be hot in the desert. We haven't been warm since last October but now it's getting there fast. We are supposed to be in the mid-nineties (35C) for the next couple of days. That's hot enough for me but I'm sure there is more to come. The happy news is that it gets into the sixties (18C) at night. The house is well enough insulated that it is staying comfortable without air conditioning. That is an unexpected pleasure!

Don't know if I've posted this before but here is a photo of the mountain in the light of the sunrise. It doesn't really do it justice but what can I say. I can't post a twenty minute video of the sunrise.

Gotta go. There is plenty of cleaning to be done before our guests show up Friday. Take care, it's dangerous out there.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Lovely morning

It's a lovely morning here in the desert. I get up about 06:00 - it just happens, I don't know why. In Florida I woke about 07:00 but here it's an hour earlier. Oh well. The good thing is that I catch the sun just touching the tops of the mountains to our southwest. The tip of the mountain starts turning pink then gradually, you can't really see it happening, the entire mountain is painted pink from the top to the bottom. It's really lovely. I've tried taking photos of it about ten times now; maybe someday I'll get one. It is certainly a beautiful start to the day.

This week we are preparing for the family. Today we'll start with cleaning up the trailer. It has been sitting since we moved into the house in January and the dust alone is formidable. It is to be the official residence of number 1 son and his SO over the weekend. She is a little shy of the family (even though they have been together over ten years!) and we hope they like the additional privacy. There is also a trip to Vegas coming up. The local markets don't have any call for some of the things we want. Should be a busy week.

Take care, it's dangerous out there!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Windy and Confused!

We had another windy day here in the valley but for some reason it didn't seem to kick up as much dust as some other days. Just one of those great mysteries! Sorry I keep writing about the weather but it is fascinating to me. I must have had an idea about what it would be like because it sure surprises me.

We got our new cell phones working after a bit of a struggle. I don't know if it is age or just some lack of mental agility but I find a new device like that very difficult. Eventually we'll work it out but right now I'm just thankful that I know how to make and receive calls! That's after a good hour reading the "manual" that was included. Some day some one will learn to lay out the user manual for technical items in a manner that is useful. So far I haven't found a good user manual for anything!

We did get our gates and landscaping finished. Here's the result:

A week from today we'll be going crazy - most of my wife's family and our kids will be descending on us a week from Friday. We'll be cleaning and polishing like crazy on the Thursday! It's almost time to start building the list of things TO DO. I joke about it but I really don't mind lists. The general disarray when you forget things is much worse than being a list nerd.

Gotta go. Be careful, it's dangerous out there!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Delivery Guys!

This was a good day for the delivery crews. Our gates finally arrived - now the dog can run free. The new china arrived - haven't had new china since sometime in the early 1980's. Our new cell phones arrived - the Shine by LG was our choice for our sins. (Had Sony Ericsson's - wife killed three of them in two years - then used an old Samsung originally belonging to our daughter for eight months to get through our two year agreement period.) I'm looking forward to a much improved cell phone camera!

Ordered a shed to cover the water well/pump/expansion tank. Ordered a building much larger than needed but we can always store odds and ends out there. The important thing is that it protect that stuff from freezing AND that it not blow away! The dealer had a sample shed out in front of their building. It was sitting on concrete and was bolted into the concrete. It was there for six years. Last week a gust came along and blew it over into a pile of metal scrap. Hmmmm.... But nothing except metal will survive the climate down here. The salesman suggested railroad ties with rebar through them and six feet into the soil. I may go another way!

I also ordered a new refrigerator today. A small 18 cu ft model to sit in the pantry. We are having NINE people here over the weekend of the 24th. It is a big change from two. LOL There are things needing cooling: the odd case of beer; the whole ham; heaven knows how many bottles of wine. You get the idea. We may only run the refrigerator three weeks a year (for visitors) but it will earn it's living!

I'll try to post a few photos of the yard and gates tomorrow. For now it's late and dark and I've been drinking. Take care; it's dangerous out there!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Nice afternoon here

Last week we finally bought some furniture for the patio. Not the quality that we had in Florida but comfortable and available. Had breakfast this morning then went outside to enjoy the weather. It's comfortable and behind the house the wind isn't obtrusive. It's a different thing if you are where the wind can get you directly; that's not particularly nice. Anyway, the cat decided to join us & I had to share his royal lion self.

We do get a lot of enjoyment from our animals. The way they shed doubles the amount of wash we have to do but...... The only downside for us is that we aren't willing to kennel them so we can travel overseas. I suppose we could but I just don't think it would be right. Neither has ever been in a kennel so it would be tough on them. And when we make the big flight, we want to stay a while. (Well, we got the dog from the pound but that was a LONG time ago!)

BTW, one of the things on my as-yet non-existent "bucket list" is to do some nice woodworking. I've got a couple of projects around the house that need doing so maybe I can get some satisfaction here. I'd REALLY love to do some cold molded epoxy work but that is going to have to wait.

One more thing: heard this afternoon that the Navy SEALS managed to get the captain of that ship away from the pirates who had captured him, killing 3 of the 4 pirates in the process. I know those pirates are just terribly poor guys who are trying to make a living in one of the poorest areas on the globe. Having said that, I'm so glad someone had the guts to take them out. Pirates are simply criminals; just like someone who carjacks you. Now if we weren't wasting tons of money fighting Mr. Bush's War on Terror; maybe we could afford another ship or three out there keeping the pirates ashore.

Until later. Take care, it's dangerous out there!

Thursday, April 09, 2009

A Bucket List? Not yet!

One of the blogs I often read is Nick's Blog at Nick and his wife are full time rv'ers who also publish a newspaper called Gypsy Journal. He was talking about his bucket list - the things he wants to do before dying. Coming on top of having my sister-in-law diagnosed with breast cancer, it got me thinking. (Always a bad thing!)

I don't have a Bucket List; not because I'm worried about my own mortality but because I really don't think about dying. But maybe it would be a good idea to work on a list. There are tons of things I'd like to do; I should be doing one of them and not spending so much time reading blogs! (For example!) Travel is a huge one: one of the reasons we moved out west was so that we could rv to places out here. In the area of foreign travel, I'd be willing to visit almost anywhere! We've been on a couple of cruises and I don't like them, however, an Alaska cruise sounds pretty interesting.

What about you? Do you have a list? What's on it? Curious people want to know.

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

A week!

Can't believe it's been a week since I posted but why would Blogger lie?

Both nothing and everything has been happening. So let's start with the simple stuff. The landscaper is still banging away at our yard. It is becoming a rock-scape but damned slowly I think. We have from two to four guys in the yard all day. Every now and then the truck shows up with more of a certain kind of rock. The main guy was here this a.m. and said he was bringing in more of the expensive rock without cost to us, because it just needed it. (Guess we paid plenty, huh!) The work just takes a while I guess. I'll post a picture or two when we finally are finished.

Today we finally made a trip "over the hump" to Vegas. (There is a 5400 foot pass between here and there.) Bought towels and blankets for our expected family visit in late April. We also found some china we like (third or fourth time looking for it) and some silverware. The silverware we brought home but the china will be shipped to us. That was a quick $800! Then we went to another store and found a tv that should work in the guest room - a few odds and ends and there was another $400. Jeez, maybe we should stay at home and feed guests from paper plates & plastic utensils!

The real bummer of the day was waiting for us when we got home. Turns out that my wife's half-sister has breast cancer. We've been buying all this stuff partially because she, her husband and the parents are supposed to be visiting later in April. She found a lump; it's been tested and is a cancer. She is to meet her surgeon on 20 April then schedule the operation for some time in May. All we can do is offer our best wishes for her. How she can be as calm as she sounds is amazing. We are hoping that the visit will at least help keep her mind occupied for some of the time until her operation.

Hope all is well in your blogger world. Take care, it's dangerous out there!

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

End of quiet!

Ok, yesterday was anything but quiet. First we bought a Weber BBQ; just about like the one I left in Florida so now I can cook for many people. Second we dropped a $5K down payment with the landscaper. Finally, we came home to find the landscaper had already dumped a load of rock in our back yard AND another shipment of blinds had been delivered. Whew!

TODAY was even more fun. The landscaper's dump truck was here at 07:30 with the second load of rock. The guy was driving around our trailer just squeaking past so I had to run out and move the trailer. This is non-trivial since hooking up takes about fifteen minutes and unhooking another ten. Rock has been arriving hourly since the first load. Then at about 14:00 the guy showed up to deliver our bookshelves. We ordered them from IKEA; we had IKEA shelves in Europe and brought them home with us but sold them in Florida. Cheap but well made, we ordered over the internet since the nearest store in in mid-California. Now we have new shelves - twelve boxes worth and 532 lbs worth and at least a couple of days work putting them together. Why do I get myself into these things?

Have a good day and if it's quiet, don't complain! Be careful, it's dangerous out there.