Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Dreaming of Pink Cars

Jimmy's surgery went perfectly and he is now in the 2 weeks of reduced exercise and recovery process.  He is doing great. Just a fat tumor nothing to worry about so that is good news. Mom got the news her fractured arm is now healed so she is trying to resume a more normal life.  The weather has warmed up some; we had a cold spring.  A lot of our spring bloomers got frost bitten, the dogwood trees are trying to open up now.   

 The "shed"  is coming to a slow conclusion, what a long drawn out project.  I bought my x out in 2011, I started the make over of the house in January of 2012, then it came to almost a halt in the fall of 2013 when I had the accident, and finally I moved into the house in 2016.  The actual shed project sort of started back here.  Jun of 2013, four years ago when I demolished the east end that I called the Old Greenhouse.  
It was November when I started to rip down the rest of the old shed and salvage what I could to reuse.  This cut the cost of this project by A LOT! It took longer and made it more difficult to build due to using what I had but I recently priced a "site built" shed of  9 x 12, cost $3290.00!!!  I figure my total cost will be 1/6 of that figure and my shed is twice that size.  Of course the site built would have been prettier, and probably just as strong, but it would have been a cookie cutter like so many others this is a one of a kind. Yeah the tin is a little wiggly here and there but it is keeping the building dry.

Now the door has been remade and you guessed it, with wood I salvaged from the old shed.  It's now back in place... my scrap pile has dwindled to almost nothing. The back and sides will be done with exterior wood siding that I have to buy it will be the single most expensive purchase of the whole project.  We put in another skylight in this side too.  We are getting ready to hang the doors on the mower storage side. I wanted to do sliding barn door, but that is way too expensive. The whole thing will look a lot better when it's painted the same color! 

I have plantar's fasciitis! Right foot, OMG the most painful thing I've ever feels like a knife is stabbing the bottom of my's okay-ish in the morning, but by 1:30 or 2 pm pain and limping sends me to my resting spot to put my foot up.  My son taught me some stretches that help, and I roll my foot on a golf ball when I'm watching TV in the evenings... and I'm taking otc pain killers...WHAT caused this? I think going up and down the ladder so much and standing on the narrow little ladder steps with my arch supporting my weight while stretching up and out and in my old worn out shoes!  I see a pattern here with me and ladders!

Story Time:
So since I have to rest my foot in the afternoons, I'm using the time for some intense daydreaming! I've been sitting on the deck nursing an adult beverage, enjoying the bloom of all the dogwood in the front yard, and browsing my Arizona Highways Magazines.   I love every issue and start flipping through the photos the minute I take one from the mailbox! I have subscribed for many years and I keep every issue!  One of my BIG DREAMS is to one day spend an entire winter in AZ and use these books as a guide to do as many of the Scenic Drives as I can. They highlight a particular one in each issue. 

 I imagine myself traveling those dusty roads and capturing wonderful images of the desert, or wandering those rolling hills of sagebrush, camped under large stands of Ponderosa Pines, or admiring the last bits of golden fall color drifted under tall stands of cottonwood trees in the riparian zones.  

Is it silly to have so many dreams? Not that I'm over the hill but I'm def enjoying the view from up here...this issue I read today is the current one, April 2017.  They picked Prescott Lakes Loop in the Prescott NF near the town of Prescott to highlight this month.  The loop winds 26 miles around paved and unpaved roads.   Along the way is Lynx Lake Rec area with 2 campgrounds.  Some cool sights along the way are the Lynx Creek Ruin, a mile hike off the main road and farther down the loop is the Pink Car.  A vintage 30's car that has been there since a Dr. crashed and rolled it off the road way back in 1939.  The forest service painted it Pepto Pink and the road was named the Pink Car Hill Road. It's all right there on page 53.

Eleanor Roosevelt: You must do the thing you think you can not.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

A normal kind of week.

Polaris Optics PrecisionView 10X42 HD Professional Bird Watching Binoculars. Phase Correcting Laser 10X Focus Closes in to the Sharpest, Brightest, Clearest Detail. Waterproof. FogproofI got a new pair of binoculars.  Polaris 10 x 42. HD  I tried them in the back yard, a huge improvement to my oldies.  Sharp and easy to use.  I dropped my old ones on concrete and they have not worked smoothly since.

 Friday: Mom's bathroom faucets had to be changed due to leaks, so I did that for her.
Saturday & Sunday
We framed the "mower storage side of the shed", and have the roof almost finished.  We started putting up some trim and it is a big improvement to the over all look of the building.  Now it sort of looks like a shanty that needs to be torn down. LoL....but its very strong, in fact it's probably the strongest shed in SC, no in the USA, no make that the World, it's like very, very, very strong, it's the strongest, and we are the very best shed builders, the very best!
Just a little fun with some words...there it is cuter than it looks in 

Monday the Carolina Wren started sitting on 5 eggs, she used the same house she had her last yrs nest in, she added some more dog hair to the lining...we know that because she has some fresh Jimmy hair in there too. 

And 4 deer were wandering around in Sundance's  old pasture...can you pick them all out? 2 does' with 2 yearlings. You have look hard for that last one. 

In the Afternoon:
I put up this new very spacey looking antenna. It rotates with a remote control.  It was a blast to assemble. Actually I enjoy a challenge. It's fun, tinkering, is my favorite thing to do when I'm hanging around home.

This Friday:
Jimmy has to have a fat tumor removed! I was playing with him a couple weeks back and felt this large lump...its irregular in shape, and about the size of a small summer squash. It's located just between his front legs at the base of his chest.  The vet suggested it be removed, he said  normally it just pops out pretty easy. Hope it's that simple...keep Jimmy in your good wishes. 


Story Time:  Was that a plane or superman?

I love to go birding, or just birding in my yard or along whatever path I am traveling.  But before I got seriously interested in birding I didn't know jack about birds.  I knew a few of the birds that hung around in my yard, like Cardinals, Blue Jays, and the Northern Mockingbirds.  But that was about it.  I was more into horses most of my life and I knew about horses more than I did birds.   Sundance, was the last horse I had (1975-1996)  and we enjoyed our rides, he would nearly run over me to get his bridle on, he loved going on trail rides as much I did.

Sometimes we met up with other riders,  a couple neighbors who also rode,  we would arrange to meet on the trail and ride together.  Sunny liked hanging out with another horse for a couple hours and getting out of his pasture.  I enjoyed being on the trail and enjoying being in nature it's from a very different perspective up about 5 ft from the ground on the back of a horse.  

We went out a couple or three times a week.  He was a good natured and happy go lucky horse. He was also a spooky horse.  I don't mean he had a "dark side", I mean he spooked easy! When you talk about a horse spooking it means he will quickly jump to the side, because something surprised him.  He would normally spook and jump sideways then stop, raise his head and have a good look at whatever scared him before loudly swishing his tail.  Once he was satisfied nothing was wrong he would move on like it never happened!

Horses are born with this instinct to run as fast as possible if some prey gets after some horses will spook, whirl, and run.  Sunny didn't go that. When he spooked he would literally jump out from under you to one side or the other, away from whatever spooked him. I had to always be ready for anything to happen! He could jump 6 ft to the left in a blink of an eye...and if he caught me off guard, I could end up on the ground! I rode him for 20 yrs and he never threw me! He was not trying to throw me, if he really wanted me to fall off he could have easily made that happen.

One day we headed down the dirt road on the way to our favorite woods trail.  Sunny was  taking long relaxed sure footed strides, swishing his tail happily as we made our way down the lane.  He knew where we were headed and he was excited to be on the way.  THEN IT HAPPENED! Some huge gray "thing" that looked like a flying dinosaur suddenly burst out of the trees and flew right in front of us.  Sunny spooked so hard I had one foot out of the stirrup and was way off center, one more centimeter  and I'd be on the ground.  He swooped left and stopped dead, lifted his head up and starred at the monster flying away from us.  I was in shock, I'd never seen anything like this huge grey winged thing, and it squawked loudly as it took flight clumsily. 

It took a few minutes for us to regain our composure and shake off the scare.  The rest of our ride went off without a hitch and when  Sunny was back in the barn groomed and relaxing afterwards I told my husband about this huge bird that had spooked Sunny and surprised me.  He seemed to not believe my identification of the monster, so I drew a picture of it!!  He agreed he had never seen anything like it either.

So one day after work I headed to the library to find out what this monster was I had seen...The World of Birds was the title of the heavy reference book I plopped on the table and began my first bird ID search.  I compared my drawing to the amazing birds in full glossy color.   I turned a few pages and was enthralled at just how many kinds of birds there were.  THEN there it was, the huge monster, the gray dinosaur, the bird that put a 900 lb horse and me to quivering...not quite a speeding bullet, but the Great Blue Heron.

That was the first bird I used a book to track down and the interest sparked from that encounter.  My friend Sunny opened up a whole new world for me and I am never disappointed by the world of birds!

Eleanor Roosevelt: You must do the thing you think you can not.

Monday, March 13, 2017

...a little snow must fall

We had snow this past weekend...soggy wet and heavy.  It snowed for about 6 hours, started out as rain then turned to snow about 4 am...then it kept snowing till about 3 pm. 

The big pines kept lots of it from hitting the ground, so the dogs had some areas to go where they didn't have to deal with the snow...Casey balked at the door so I had to put his coat on and go out with him...Brrr it was so cold, nothing colder that a damp wet cold.  It was right at 32 when I went out with him. I lost most of my photos so here is a video of the snow..

This Camilla has been blooming profusely for about 2 months now, I hope this cold spell doesn't deter it from continuing!

there is something about seeing flowers in snow it is kinda sad, but they don't seem to mind it too much..

So since I'm stuck indoors in inclimate weather think I'll begin to make my plans...JIC I do get to take my I'm dealing with some health issues,

 I had to have a Heart Catherization done last Thursday so no work for a while either...I'm kind of bummed out and a little depressed about it, but what can one do except like I said, catch that cow pie and toss it back, or substitute a snow ball! 

Eleanor Roosevelt: You must do the thing you think you can not.

Saturday, March 11, 2017

A rant about cow pies...and God bless the Animals

I guess it's about time to make a blog although not much blog worthy is going on, the shed work continues...kinda of
Here she is up to now:
You can see I was able to use the siding I cut into 12" pieces on the front and the side, sort of patch work now...a paint job will even that out.


The window is not in the center because I decided to add  a window after the framing was up so its off center, but this is justa shed....

I think it's looks kinda like an old RR depot...If I added some Arts n Crafts roof supports, a couple of old wanted posters, and a water tower, and some track, who knows?... Anyways the hefty overhang will serve me well. Think I have room for a potting table under the front side.

Now the addition is under way that is where the lawn tractor and other yard machines will live. Once that part is framed and roofed, then we can put the wall across the entire back, and the left side, then it will be ready for painting and moving day!  

                                                                                                  My newest daffodils

I am a Libra...balance, and not just balance,  but perfect balance and harmony are the key to my happiness.  Trump, the GOP, and Google (not necessarily in that order) are trying to destroy my everyone's balance.  I finally got Verizon off that list.  

Figured I'd just toss that out and see your reaction...Why you ask?
  • Trump has disrupted my balance by creating all this stress in the world with his constant whining, spending, taking undue credit, nagging and lying, I would send him to solitary with no iPhone for eternity if I could.  
  • The GOP are like Foxes who sneak into the hen house suck the eggs and kill the chickens while you sleep, they must be trapped and dealt with...before they ruin freakin' everything.
  • Google won't update the Win XP that I have nursed and kept alive all these years. It was not on life support but Google put it there.  I have protected it like a fledgling for many years and now Google is trying to make me pull the plug...I refuse.  There is no balance or harmony in that! My computer is purring like a perfectly oiled machine, and when I say that you know it's the truth not like when DJT says that about the Executive Branch.

I can't do online banking without calling my bank, due to Google not updating my system! What harm would it do to allow my machine to update??  I went to their page labeled "How to Update Your Browser" I downloaded Chrome again, but it still will not update....I read all the comments posted by other souls left adrift in the virtual sea, all unhappy to say the was akin to being on the front lines of a protest rally and you're the Trump supporter there in your Make America Great Again hat... I'm comparing Google here...the F word began each comment!  I did not add my thoughts it had something to do with cow pies and all that.

 I figured if I can't get my Senator to change his mind on a Bill that threatens our environment, then how the hell can I get Google to do diddly squat for me?? This is what I hate about corporate control...and the GOP controlled gov't keeps handing out favors to Corporate's whist the population sift through looking for crumbs.  Fascism as I have reported here before is nasty business and it affects us all. When Senator Chaffetz, (the one I desdain more than most) of Utah said, "people will have to decide if they want the new iPhone or healthcare," he was so out of line with reality I wanted to give him a cow pie...instead I left him with a comment containing the words scumbag. Cow Pies were not mentioned.  I can not afford a smart phone, or a new computer, or additional health care expense, because I have to help pay for his heath care, and pay for MY OWN too...and it still does not cover all my medical bills!!  So I may have to go back to writing checks and mailing my bills out, and probably get a part time job!  Does this seem like an angry post to you? It is not, it is a dust dance.  

I will not dwell on all that as soon as the shed is done and I'm cleared for take off I hope to do some travel it will not be my original version of this years adventure but it will be a bright spot on my horizon...while sis is here to watch the dogs and care for Mom....then I will have to buckle down and pay off these mechanical  & medical bills! Life sometimes tosses you cow pies, and you have no choice but to accept  pick them up and toss em' right back...and go on as best you can, patch up what you have and live with it, although the good news is you can rant about it all day long if it helps you restore balance! :o)

Eleanor Roosevelt: You must do the thing you think you can not.

Story Time:

The Blessing of the Animals.

A little background for this story, some info  you may or may not be aware of.  In the Catholic Religion the St Francis of Assisi is know as the Saint who spoke to the animals, he was the first recorded white environmentalist!  In early October the Catholics hold a Feast Day of St Francis, and they bless the animals such as St Francis did back when he called all animals his brothers and sisters in the 13th century.  

NYC has more Cathedrals than you can imagine.  I actually attended mass there many Saturday afternoons, because it was a beautiful experience. ( I am not baptized into any religion) My Saturday in the city would normally start with a subway ride downtown to 4th st and 7th Ave a mostly gay community! I always felt safe in those areas.  I moved to NYC for many reasons one was to embrace the differences of humanity.  

As I've mentioned before I worked in the EMS system in NYC May of 2001-Oct of 2006.  I have mannnny stories of that time. In that profession we would spend our entire work day out and about in the city, mixing with the multitudes in the communities of immigrants. The city is also deeply entrenched in traditions of all kinds, even the ones where animals are sold for sacrifice.  

On this particular day I was partnered up with Mark, an immigrant from Guiana. We spent many hours in the ambulance just watching the city alive around us.  We parked on street corners of all five boroughs waiting on our next call.  Our conversations didn't always revolve around what we observed, mostly he related life back in his village, while I relayed stories of the Southern US.  I kept telling him we had to find a way to get out of NYC, the farther away we got the better life was.  By this time I had seen all I wanted of the city and was ready to get out of the rat race.  On those rare occasions we were sent out of the city it was like going to another world.  He had been to Pennsylvania once, and other than that he had never been outside of NY state after moving to the USA when he was a teen with his mother.  

We worked a transport unit on this day...hopping from one facility to another. Dispatch sent us to a hospital to pick up a discharge to nursing home patient.  We rode up and down elevators on these calls as each hospital is many stories tall and the nursing homes are the same.  We always walked with me in the front and him pushing the stretcher from we waited for the elevator I had this weird feeling overcome me.  When the doors opened and we waited for passengers to exit then inside was just us two, the doors shut I suddenly had this vivid impression of rabbits! It was like this overwhelming mental rush. RABBITS!!!!

Mark asked, "what about rabbits?"
I replied, "what did you say?"
He said, "you just said RABBITS, so I'm asking what about rabbits?"
"Are you saying that I said the word rabbits?"
"Yeah, you just shouted rabbits, so what about it?"
I was shocked...
"I didn't know I had said anything out loud, but I just had the most vivid mental image of rabbits!  SO weird, I can't really explain it, like a flash that zapped into my mind."
His lips flatlined,
"You're getting weird," he replied.
"No this city is making me weird. Come on let's get this guy and get outta here," I said.

So I rolled my eyes and frowned, and we went for the patient.  Got him on the stretcher and loaded him into the "bus" as it is called in the city.  We were taking this man to a nursing home in Queens for an admission.  So off we went, me in back with the patient, and Mark driving.

He pulled the ambulance into the unloading area and we got out, unloaded the patient and headed for the entrance.  Then we noticed the cages, lots of cages....of birds and rabbits...we both stopped and stared at each other my mouth fell open, he said his skin crawled, and we were in shock.  We rolled the stretcher up to the cages and right off noticed the rabbits were panting and in great distress.  They were sitting in the blazing hot sun! Poor things!! I went back to the ambulance and got some sheets and spread over the tops of the cages to provide shade, once we got inside I told the woman at the front desk she must get  those animals some water and move them to the shade!! 

She immediately took care of the cages, and then on the way out we found out they were doing a blessing of the animals that day for the patrons at the home. She said, "thank you so much, imagine if we came out here with our patrons and a priest, to find these animals dead  of heat stroke?"

I don't profess to know what my impression was about all I can say is those animals reached out to me, in some way it was like the animals were talking to me.  Mark said his hair stood on end when he saw those rabbits...all the rest of that day we tired to figure out exactly what happened. 

Who knows, but I do believe we are part of this environment if we chose to be, and I always trust my own judgement.

Friday, March 3, 2017

Justa Bird Day

Well it's a full week since the Friday 13th that wasn't the 13th.  Anyways..we have been like everyone else just letting it be Spring already and WHAM! Frost/Freeze Gotcha Peas!  Nay I didn't plant my peas yet, hope my winter Garden makes it tho...

So I made the trip back to Bear Island just to get over the wasted trip of before.  None of the rare birds were there as I figured they would not be but wth one has to try right?
A wind chill was in play today and it got strong at times, so most of the waterfowl were sitting in the far away side of the ponds.  Photos were a challenge, but I gave it a shot anyways.  

Large flocks of Northern shovelers were in the pond across from the Entrance.  A few of the Males are in breeding plumage...

Like I said pretty far away, this was my best zoom effort on this shoveler.  Across the road in Mary's Pond lots of American Avocets, a few days ago a Black Necked Stilt was here...not seen today.  Out of the wind there was a reflection.

This Killdeer was such a good bird he waited patiently for me to snap his photo.

On the tour drive there was blue winged and green winged teals...

Saw a lot of Tri Colored Herons, 

And Little Blue Heron
Fun to watch them fish, And also fun to watch and listen to the Boat tailed Grackles fly in and out of the trees, they make some remarkable sounds! 

In the trees the most numerous was the yellow-rumped warblers, they follow every single step you take, chipping at you all along the way! 

Look who's watching ...

This is a big one! I'd say he is 7 ft long? 

At reed level I saw a few of these little Savannah Sparrows, this one sat for a while.

My complete list is here

Eleanor Roosevelt: You must do the thing you think you can not.