Sunday, October 28, 2012


I guess I have been pretty inactive on the blog lately.  I suppose I need to think about doing more.

Monday, September 3, 2012

23 Days

So, it has been about 23 days.  Several days ago I dropped down to 15 cigs a day.  It hasn't been really hard to cut back by even more:)  Yeah!!!!!

It's the e cigs.  Vaping [as they call it] is so much like smoking but without any of the tars or carbon monoxide in cigarettes.  Thousands of chemicals comeout of  a burning cigarette.  Vaping has very few chemicals.  The vape materials are pretty darn safe.  It has been estimated that e cigs are 99% safer than real cigs.

Looks like there is a campaign to stop e cigs in many countries.  In some countries they are banned including Mexico and Singapore.  That seems like a real shame.  I feel better and I have a lot more energy.  One can only hope that here in the USA we get our heads out of our a$$es and decide that a safer nicotine delivery system is a great idea.

I want to be smoke free by the time we go on vacation.

Thanks Gandolf for the nice comment.  That was very sweet.

Monday, August 27, 2012

E Cigs and Me

Okay, the e cigs are great.  I have amassed about 20 flavors and three nicotine strengths.  That would me 24mg, 18 mg and 12 mg.  Finding the right flavors and balance in nicotine strength can be a bit of a challenge.

You want enough nicotine to stave off the cravings for cigarettes.  Yet, not so much nictine that you feel jittery or sick to your stomach.  I have been a heavy smoker for years.  The 12 simply isn't enough to stop the cravings in the daytime but...I really wanted less nicotine in the evening so it is like this.

24mg mornings and afternoons

18 mg for a lot of the afternoon

12 for evenings with a booster of 24 or 18 if I feel I need it

So, how successful is this.  Pretty successful.  I have cut down by half or more.

Some people quit smoking right away and other, like me, keep smoking but manage to smoke less and less.  It is also tru that once you find the e cig set up you like it gets a lot easier.

There is still a transition away from cigs that can be a little tough but it really is okay to go at this gradually.  I feel really good about smoking at least 20 cigarettes a day less.  After all, in three weeks I have smoked 420 less cigarettes.  And that is a pretty minimal figure.  I have saved at least $84 in cigarette costs although I have gone a bit overboard on products and have spent at least $300 on batteries, different flavors and strengths of nicotine juices, cartridges of various types to put the juices into, a super battery charger that you can take with you to keep your batteries charged up during the day while you are away from home and some fun accessories like the lanyard to hang your e cig around your neck so you aren't always setting it down somewhere and worrying about losing it.

The good news is that costs go way down after you get your system set up the way you like it to be.  Since I was spending at least $160 per month on cigs [yes, the price of cigs is outrageous now-a-days] and this will cost me less than half depending on what I buy in terms of juices and cartridges and accessories:)  So, if I spend $60 and I save $100 per month, I get my costs back and then some pretty quickly.

Wish me luck as I continue on my journey to quit smoking.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

E Cigs...Day 4

When I get the time I need to talk about my e cig purchases but, real quick,  I want to document that I have received my first order of supplies on August 11th.  I seriously tried e cigs on August 12, 13 and 14.  I will be using e cigs again today.

For three days I have cut down by about half on smoking without going nuts.  That is 60 cigarettes not smoked.  So far, I am very happy with my decision.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

What's Up...the Temperature, That's What!

Still hot and going to be 100 plus again all week.  I have to get everything done outside by about 10am and then I start melting andhave to come into the house.  The A/C is keeping up and I am so happy about that.

Wiseguy and I went for a nice drive today.  We encountered a dog that kept barking and coming towards us but I kept saying "Bad Dog!" and it finally left.  Wiseguy was fine.

We are still having a bit of trouble on turns.  I really think he gets it into his mind where he wants to go and then doesn't want to do the turn.  Anyway, we worked through that nicely and did some tight circles and some good work on listening and we had a great drive.

Hubby is the best.  He is trying to get an antennae onto the Toy 4 runner.  Turns out it is a bigger job than he thought but he is valiantly giving it his best shot.

I am fertilizing using the pressure pot for the next few days.  It is so convenient.  One of the  best ideas I ever had:)

Friday, August 10, 2012

In laws suck but Hubby is a Keeper

The in laws are really sucking but my Hubby is a keeper.  We went out for my Birthday.  Did a little shopping.  Found a roo up aluminum table for our hunting/camping trip this fall.  Picked up a trailer wheel for the horse trailer.  We didn't notice when we bought the trailer that there was no wheel.  Guess we didn't give it much thought but it is nice to be able to jiggle the trailer onto the hitch.  Without a wheel you have to back up perfectly.

Anyway, as we were eating our Godzilla sushi roll [it is the cooked kind of sushi since I'm not eating anything raw!], I told Hubby how I was thinking his dad sounded like he would only be in camp with us for maybe two days.  I felt that was disappointing, darn it!  I told him would also have been nice if we could have all seen his Grandma and Grandpa together.  [Grandma is 88 and has melonoma cancer so she may not be overly long for this world.]

He let me know that he thought his dad was acting like that, too.  He said that he thought dad really wanted to go antelope hunting with the rich couple.  I told him, "Yeah, but are B&G going to take care of your folks in their old age?  They don't seem to want to spend time with us but you watch, they are going to spend every dime the have and then expect to live with us after hardly spending any time trying to be a family."  Hubby said that's true.  I told him I am definitely not trying to make waves but the whole situation is frustrating.  He feels the same way.

Typical Hubby [when I think about it] says,  "I don't care what my folks do.  We are going to have a great trip!"  I agreed whole heartedly. We always have a great time when it is the two of us and the trips with his folks are really about him getting to see his family.

Hubby is more observant than I think sometimes.  And he is hearing what I am saying about the tea party and hating all Democrats and such.  He has been doing some fact checking on his own.  Not that I think he is going to turn into a Democrat is nice for me to feel more accepted with my views being different from his on a number of issues.  He noted that it is hard for me to talk to his parents when I know they think I am a communist, fascist non capitalism worshiping liberal.  We were both laughing.

Anyway, he told me that the most important thing about the trip is that I feel good about going.  He loves me and wants me to have a great time.  He doesn't care if his parents aren't going to be there for only a couple of days.  That is their loss and their problem.  We will go sight seeing and have a blast.  And we will.  I actually don't mind not being with his folks for more than a couple of days.  They get on my nerves anyway.

His mom cleans the trailer for hours and complains about dust getting into the trailer.  Camping is dirty and she is getting worse than ever about cleaning and she has always been ridiculous.  I freeze up when I am around them and have a hard time talking since I hardly know what to say to some of the ridiculous and weird and nasty things they say.  I don't think we should be using the N word when we are talking about the president.  Dad listens to Rush Limbaugh and the watch Fox news because Fox news isn't liberally biased like all the liberal news makers who can't get the facts right.  Geez, does nobody in America think for themselves?

Gotta go.  It will be over 100 degrees again today.  I have to clean a house.  They have no A/C.  Fortunately, theay have been leaving by 11:30 so my plan is to get everything accomplished as quickly as possible.  Hopefully they will leave at 11am and I will leave at 11:30am.  Cross your fingers for me since it is already pretty close to 97 degrees that time of day and I still have to drive 40 minutes to get home.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

E Cigarettes

I am trying e cigs.  I have been a two pack a day smoker for years.  Frankly, I like smoking but the health problems that occur from smoking worry me.  I know my lungs wish I would knock it off.  I have been researching e cigs.

I have tried the nicotine gum and the patches.  They are incredibly expensive and they have not helped me quit.

I bought two different brands at the drugstore.  The Blu and the Cig2o.  The Blu tasted like dirty socks and the Cig2o wasn't bad.  Looks like I will be sending for the starter kit for the Volt e cigs.  Seems to be highly recommended.  There seems to be far fewer health side effects from the e cigs.  They eliminate all the tars and such that a regular cigarette has in them.

I ordered some V2 disposable cigs and will let you know how I like them when I get them in the mail.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

The out, I mean the in laws

Really, this whole mess got started when we were hunting with the in laws and their dreary friends - the rich people.  Honestly, despite the accusations by the in laws about Democrats hating rich people, I don't and I am technically not even a Democrat.  I have known a number of well to do persons and probably could have married one or two of them.  Some well off/wealthy persons are very nice and some are not.

The rich couple, who just plain got lucky and marketed a new check writing process that is netting them gazillions of dollars at just the right moment in history, [IMHO] have been hanging out with the blue collar set for hunting trips.  That would be the in laws.  Of course, the rich couple don't ever think that they are lucky to have this item work out well for them.  After all, I have known very talented people who have patents on different items who are not wealthy.

The in laws are retired but don't try to drive the hour and a half to see us.  We generally see them for Thanksgiving and Christmas.  You'd think they lived in another state instead of another town.

Anyway, the rich couple who are Christians and go to church are also tea party types.  So, we are on a hunting trip and they are talking like we don't need a heath care policy that includes everyone being covered and other trite bull about not needing a Social Security program and such.  I said, "Doesn't it seem a bit like worshiping Mammon?"  That is money for you non-Christians.

I was being really gentle and trying to point out how money isn't everything and that I don't mind if some of the taxes I pay go to make sure people have decent healthcare.   Also, that unions may have their place since many businesses have been neglectful of worker safety and don't care if their workers aren't making a fair living. I probably threw in that Social Security seems like a good thing to me since I wouldn't want old people standing on street corners begging like those poor widows in India.

They started acting like I was some ignorant piece of dirt that just didn't get it.  I finally lost my temper and gave them what for. I told them the trickle down theory has always struck me as seeming a lot more like  being peed on from above than money raining down into the economy and it certainly doesn't hurt the wealthy to pay a bit more in taxes. Those rich people absolutely benefit from living in a politically stable country with an educated populace and a decent police force and fire protection.  Let's not forget the good roads and ports that allow them to send their goods easily to market.  Then, I was so upset at myself for losing my temper that I just sat there while these selfish, prideful people - the in laws and the rich couple - lectured me for an hour on the joys of capitalism and how I just don't understand the trickle down theory of economics.

Here are people that have totally benefited from Social Security, being in a union and their extra pensions and health care now that they are retired on top of that  They also take advantage of Medicare health benefits.  They went on and on and on explaining capitalism to me like I didn't understand anything.

I couldn't even spit out that although doing business is a fine thing it should not come at the expense of the environment and workers health.  Doesn't anybody remember just how polluted the waters of America used to be?  How about workers losing their lives and/or health because management finds it cheaper to hire more workers than to care about the people that work for them?  Surely there has to be a balance here.

Ever since then, the in laws have figured out I really don't believe in their sacred tea party crapola and they are not even trying to be nice to me any more.  That is the way it is.  I really hate being confrontational.  I don't want to talk about politics and the government take over. I don't believe that the Republicans have regular people best interests at heart.  The Democrats aren't much better.  I don't like being around them.  There is no balance in their thought processes when it comes to capitalism, Republicans or guns.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

The in laws are now my outlaws

Really, it is hotter than all get out.    The veggie garden is barely putting out any veggies.   I   don't feel like weeding since it is hot and there aren't all that many veggies to protect from the weeds.

Even though there are worse in laws than mine, my in laws suck.  They only talk about politics and are total tea party advocates.  I tend to be a bit more liberal although I am by no means a communist, fascist, wimpy, give up all my rights to the state, Democrat.  I am so sick of the wacky "facts" that are clearly not factual that I want to go into a head spinning, vomiting split pea soup, Linda Blair imitation.  You remember the scene from The Excorcist?  But they are my in laws and I have to be nice.

For years I haven't said a word but I am starting to say a little something here and there and now they don't even want to be around me at all.  I can't think of anything to talk about when I am around them.  We have a hunting trip coming up and I need to make a list of topics to discuss that aren't about death panels and Muslim take overs of the White House.

The hunting trip is really for Hubby.  I told him "Sure, let's go to Wyoming and hunt with your Dad."  It is going to cost us a small fortune since we have to drive so far.  The fees are $325 for a tag and $500 for getting a deer on the ranch.  That is already a full hunting trip of dollars spent and we haven't even paid for gas or a couple of hotel rooms and food.  All right, money isn't everything.

Here is the kicker.  His dad is making it sound like he will only be at the camp with Hubby for two days.  Hubby was doing this to spend time with his dad and his dad isn't even going to stick around to hang out with him.  That is so pissing me off.

This is so not going to be very much fun.  I always get stuck at camp while his mom cleans the trailer for hours at a time.  Then, even though they are both quite healthy, she talks about how they are planning on being sick since they are older now.  I keep saying "You guys are in great health, enjoy it." but apparently cleaning the trailer and not enjoying any of the time you are camping and bitching about how dirty it is to camp are her favorite hobbies.

I  can't moan to Hubby about his parents so, I am saying it here on the blog.  I hate being around his parents.  I've tried for twelve years to build some sort of bridge but there is nothing to build on at this point.  I am going to have to try calling more often to see if there is something we can build a relationship on.  For awhile, I thought mom and I were getting a bit closer but apparently not.

That's that, I am stuck with this situation.  I can only hope that I can find a way to express myself without getting flustered and not being able to say anything at all.  I am just going to have to find a way to work with these people and see if we can't get a little closer as a family.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Horse and I are working it!

My miniature horse and i have been really getting out and about lately.

MIL and FIL came over.  FIL and MIL both arrived way late.  It was really hot out by then.  The horse and I had been ready for quite some time so I took the little guy out for a short spin and they were already arrive by the time I got back.  MIL said sure take her for a really short ride.  Didn't sound enthused at all.

Got back and Hubby had already shoved the food onto the table and rushed us to eat.  The ribs could have cooked another hour so they were good but not great!!

FIL barely glanced at my little horse.

What a disastrous day with the in laws.

Oh well.  They are so dreary anyway with all their talk of liberal commie    fascists taking over America.  I'm not actually sorry they left early.

Still don't know what their problem was.

This week I got the horse out for a four mile drive.  We had a few issues turning but we did great.  Wiseguy saw a billy goat on a rope and was pretty intense.  I said whoa and then he started dancing.  I told him "no you don't" and then "whoa" and then "stand".  He did really good!  How exciting to be pulling it together with my little guy.

The next day Wiseguy hauled me and Hubby around the neighborhood.

Then on Wednesday we trailered to Stagecoach and drove with a nice older lady.  She has a horse that is taller than mine so Wiseguy had to do a fair amount of trotting to keep up. We did several miles and the horse pulled me and Hubby for the distance.  The road was pretty rough but our little horse did great.

Today I got the little guy out on my own today and we worked on turns.  Fantastic morning.  He and I had very few problems and we weaved through the tires, we backed.  We did a few pivot turns in the cart.  We can't quite do a real pivot but we are getting close.

I have to take the next three days off form driving but I am thrilled with our progress.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Rain and Horses

Well, looks like we got the rain we needed to put out the fire in the Pinenut Mountains.  It flooded on Johnson Lane.  I don't think it was too bad but we do tend to get flash floods if we get a lot of rain.  In this case, the area of rainfall looked very small on radar but very intense.  It rained around here a bit and we had just enough thunder to upset the corgi.  She doesn't like thunder.  It was much cooler yesterday due to the cloud cover.

Today has some puffy clouds and I hope it stays a bit cooler today, too.

I have a pressure pot for fertilizing the plants right on the drip system.  You hook it up to the line with fertilizer in it and it fertilizes while you are watering.  It has been a life saver.  So much easier than carrying buckets.  I have all the zones fertilized except the fruit trees and the street zones which I will do tonight and tomorrow night.

The neighbor came out to see my little horse and help me hook him up to the cart.  We kind of got side tracked onto breeching which we weren't able to do up because it doesn't look like all the parts are there.  We took the little horse for a spin after deciding that the harness looked pretty good.

Nobody does this but he left the halter under the bridle.  That way you can hook up a lead rope to the little guy if you have to open a gate or something and have some sort of control over him.   I like the idea because otherwise you have to get an over sized alter onto his head while he is wearing the bridle if you need to have him stand while you do something like open a gate. I am undecided as to whether this is a great idea due to not having seen it done before.

The guy said I was doing good at talking to the little guy while he had his blinkers on.  The neighbor drove the horse and his style was quite a bit different than the show ring style of driving.  Frankly, I think it was more relaxed and much better than the show ring style.

In the show ring style of driving you are constantly trying to gather up the reins as you get the horse to trot and then loosening them up when you walk.  You are really on his mouth.  The neighbor says he thinks that just creates a hard mouth.

Cliff didn't try to steer the horse constantly like the trainer was telling me to do.  I think I will lighten up a bit when we are out.  Of course, the neighbor emphasized that you must have enough play in you arms to pull back on the reins for a whoa moment.  You don't want to be pulling the reins back in an emergency and have your elbows up to your chest with no more room left to pull.

The little horse did great.  Wiseguy really is sweet and I just need to keep working at this.  The in-laws are coming over today and, if the weather holds, I am taking them for a ride.

Mom in law originally said that she was from a ranch and that having a worthless mini horse went against the grain but she now sounds excited about coming out and meeting the little guy.  Go figure.

Monday, July 23, 2012


It rained!!!  I am so thrilled.  Okay, it didn't rain much but it did rain.  I am so hoping that the clouds stay and it doesn't get too hot today.  Wouldn't it be nice to have a reprieve from the heat.  Yes, the last several days have been in the high nineties and it is getting old.  

The air smells delicious.  However, the dry lightening yesterday sparked at least one fire in the Pine Nuts and I think I still see it burning.  There seems to be smoke headed our way from the southwest.  Let's hope some of that rain falls down there.  This rain is definitely hit or miss and there isn't much in each cloud burst but there are plenty of clouds out that way.  Crossing my fingers.  No wind so far.  Yeah!!!!

Gotta get busy.  A neighbor is supposed to be coming by to help me with my little horse.  He has done a lot of harness driving in the past and I hope he will be a good resource.  He sounded like a nice guy on the phone.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

A Bowl of Cherries and an '87 Chevy

First, a large bowl of pie cherries.  10 cups total.  Our very first real crop of fruit.  I am so excited.  I baked a pie with half and sugared the other half and froze them.

Now that we have another trailer and yet another truck, Hubby spread out some road base and made us a parking area on the right side of the garage.  My Toyota and Hubby's Honda Fit will both park here nicely.  They will be near the back door where we load and  unload the vehicles.  They are both a bit smaller so we can back them out easily even though it is a lot tighter here than on the other side of the garage since we have  fencing and a covered breezeway right behind me where I took the picture from.

As you can see in the photos, it was totally overcast today and it was only 83 degrees.  Wonderful!  We cleaned the goat pen and did quite a bit of work outside.  Tomorrow, it starts getting hot again but I sure was happy for the reprieve from the heat even if it only lasted one day.

Finally, here are the pics that are being clamored for of the new used truck we bought.  Okay, one guy said, "Pictures, please."  You know who you are, Bruce.   An '87 Chevy.  Dual gas tanks.  Yeah, with a 454 we are going to need the dual gas tanks:)  Oh, and the A/C actually works. 

It is a long bed and there is a heavy duty bumper to hitch up the trailers to. 

The vehicle has had one owner.  The title was 25 years old and of a different style than the newer titles.  Very cute.

A little light rust on the body but nothing to be concerned about.  I think it looks pretty good and I am not ashamed to be seen driving it:)  The color also matches my new used horse trailer.

The interior is in great shape.  The bench seat is awesome.  Loving that.

The door panels are in basically perfect condition.  

The truck features a hydroboost clutch so it isn't a son of a gun to shift.  Power steering so I don't have to hurt my arms turning the steering  wheel and it is easy to park.  The tranny has a granny gear as well as first, second and third.  

The truck is easy to drive, cruises nicely at 70MPH without having to adjust the gas pedal constantly, steers easily.  I like it.

There is a cracked windshield which the cops don't stop you for out here and the glass seems pitted.  That is really common because of the blowing sand.  I can probably replace the windshield for about $150.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Our New Used Truck

We went a got the new used truck today.  It is a dream to drive and I am very happy with it.  I will practice driving it tomorrow ... with the trailer hooked up:)

Hubby followed me to the gas station  and between the two empty tanks in the new truck, his car and the stocking up of 15 gallons of gas for around here, well, all I can tell you is it is a good thing he worked a day of  over time and it is showing up on this paycheck!

We are going to Carson City to see if we can buy some ramps for the truck.  I need ramps to get the cart into, and out of, the back of the truck.  I need to practice that,too.  We need to have all this working since Wiseguy and I have a play date next week on Wednesday.

Our play date is just over the hill in the next valley and the lady is an experienced mini horse driver.  Can't wait.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Bought a Truck!

We did purchase the Chevy truck with the 454 engine.  It has 67,000 miles on it and had one owner. It has a bench seat.  It has something called a hydroboost [I hope I am getting the name of that right] clutch which means that it isn't a hard to use clutch.  It has power steering.  Two wheel drive.  Plenty of tie downs on the bed.  It is a long bed.  It is already set up to tow.  The interior is really nice.  The dashboard is like new.  They have one of those dashboard covers on it.  The bench seat has no rips and tears.  There is just the littlest bit of surface rust on the body.

Hubby and I talked about gas mileage.  After all, a 454 is not going to get good mileage.  The son says the truck gets about 12 MPG but I am thinking 10.  On the other hand, Hubby's old Chevy truck ['78 ??] gets about 15 MPG.  So, if I have to drive 100 or so miles to go to Carson City and back, that will be about $40 in gas.  Reno and back will probably cost me closer to $70.  That could add up fast but...I probably won't end up driving the truck very often.

All of our older vehicles cost about $400 a year to insure and about $50 to register.  That will be an additional expense.

This truck drives completely differently than Hubby's short bed four wheel drive pick up and I think I will enjoy driving it.  It has a low gear so I should be able to take off with the little horse without jerking him.  The clutch engages way at the top of the pedal so it will take a little getting used to.

Obviously there is more than enough power to pull my little horse trailer or even a large load of firewood.

We go back to pick the truck up on Tuesday morning.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Looking at a Truck

I'm headed out to look at a 1987 Chevy with a 454 engine and already set up to haul a trailer.  In fact, when we called on the truck, it turned out to be a lady I spoke to about finding a farrier.  She is in the next valley over from here.  It doesn't have an automatic transmission but Hubby keeps insisting he could put one in if I don't like the clutch in this one.  We shall see.

A truck like that would get terrible gas mileage but would allow me to go places with the little horse and haul the cart I need to take with me.

It has had one owner.  It is tan just like almost all of our vehicles end up being.  The eighty year old just got a load of two tons of hay with it last week.  If she can drie it, then I can drive it:)

The high today, only 96 degrees.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

102F Yesterday and 99F Today

Let's hope this is a trend.  The mini horse looked fine all day.  The goats looked super.  Anything under 100F isn't so bad.  We had 16% humidity today which is not high by national standards.

It still feels pretty warm by 10 or 11am and that is that!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

105F ... Briefly

We hit a high of 105F but the clouds were forming and the wind came up so the temp started going back down a bit almost immediately to 102F.  The goats and the horse actually look like they are doing okay.

I took off early from my cleaning job.  I told my client it was so hot I would try to push hard and get out a bit early.  I got home at about 1pm.  It was 102F and still rising.

I set up a sprinkler on a post that holds up the fence dividing the goats and the horse.  I ran some cool water into the water troughs and let them overflow to get some fresh cool water into the animals.  Then I ran the sprinkler for about 20 minutes.  I do think it at least gives it a cooler feeling on that side of the pens.  The little horse and the goats hate rain and probably won't play in it but at least I can try to cool it down a bit, especially if it gets even hotter on any given day.  100F is hot but 105F feels like you are in an oven.  I used to live in Las Vegas so I know all about hot but I worry about my goats and horse.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

104 F ... Again

Yep, super duper hot again.  Trying to get things done by 11am and then stuck in the house except for brief forays out to make sure the animals are fed and have plenty of water and the garden watering stays on proper rotation.  Towards 7 or 8 pm the temp has dropped back into the nineties and going out for a bit is doable.

Looks like it is going to be  a long summer.

Everyone's veggie gardens took a big hit this spring and ours was no exception.  I did get three young crooknecks off one of the two summer squash plants that are growing pretty good.  I also seem to have tomatoes coming on.  I need to put some calcium on them as I usually have problems with the fruits if I don't.

Some of the beans are trying hard.

The corn is tasseling and it is only 18" tall at best.

Some of the melons are starting to get going but it doesn't look good over in that section of the garden.

The miniature horse looks okay but he was panting a bit when we went out to feed him.  I have been making sure the animals have fresh cool water twice a day.  I am concerned that we are being threatened with even hotter weather like 111 degrees.  That might be a bit much for the goats and the horse.  Let's hope the weather forecast is wrong as usual and that it is actually cooler than that next week.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Hay, Hay, Hay!

Okay, we got our hay.  We managed to get 30 bales at $10 a bale.  They are 2 twine bales.  The grass is fine and the little horse is loving it.  Yes, prices really are high out west although it is even higher in much of California than it is here.  Not much consolation, I realize but we simply pay more for almost everything because we live in Northern Nevada.

I was on a website for miniature horses and our prices out here are high but in some parts of the country they are paying as much as we are.

So, I made the mistake of telling one of the mini horse people I was having my neighbor X come over to take a look at my harness and talk about carriage driving with me.  I talked to the guy and he seems really nice.  The one lady told her friend and they are both facebooking me to tell me to be extremely careful of X.  I finally ended up writing a nice note to them both stating that the words they used of "working with" X was kind of misleading.  I am not paying him to come over.  I am not hiring him to train my horse.  He is simply a neighbor who wants to come over and give me his opinion on how the harness and bridle look on the horse and to talk about carriage driving.  I said I they know a lot about minis and I totally respect their opinions and that I appreciated their concern.

Geez, no wonder I call them the old biddies.  And I really actually hate facebook. Of course, I have gotten lots of advice but I am doing what I think is right for the little guy.  We are doing great and that is that.  I think they thought I was trying to replace the trainer I have [which I am since the trainer I have hasn't managed to come out in 10 weeks of owning the horse] and/or that I would let someone treat my horse roughly.  Which will never happen.  Sheesh.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Hotter than the Fourth of July

The Fourth of July was a beautiful day.  If you were in the shade it was in the nineties and it didn't feel too hot although I wouldn't have run a marathon in the sun or hoisted hay bales or anything like that.  We ended up going to a neighbor's place for a rib cook off.

The last two days have been ridiculous hot.  104F yesterday and 100F today.  I had to go to town for some groceries and believe me I was sitting at the front door when Costco opened.  Fortunately, they opened at 9:30 which is half and hour early.   They do that when it is going to be ridiculous hot out.  Yeah!!!!

Of course, even though I said I was on a tight budget, I saw something I couldn't live without as I came in the door.  A four slice toaster.  When I looked at toasters at Christmas time, I didn't buy one because they were around $80 for a four slice toaster.  WTF? You say. Yeah, that's what I said, too.

Well, a Kitchenaid toaster was $40.  Our old four slice toaster has been a two slice toaster for quite some time now.  Like a year.  So, like any frugal person, I said, "Hey, so it is a little inconvenient and one person has sort of cold toast, bagel or bun by the time I get done with two sets of bread."  Not anymore:)

Hubby likes that protein powder but it has gotten to the point where I don't know if I want to buy it anymore.  A bag was $50.  I am not kidding!  It has more than doubled in price since he started drinking it several years ago.  The good news is that he drinks it for breakfast and it does last a couple of months.  Since he has to wait a full hour after taking his thyroid medication, this has been the best way for him to eat breakfast on the way to work.  So efficient and cost effective on that level.

Since it has gotten so hot I picked up some easy and fast to cook foods.  I got laundry soap and automatic dishwasher soap.  Bagels and ham for sandwiches.  Cheerios and milk for breakfast.  TP because if I have less than a two month supply I seem to go into panic attacks:)    Nothing too fancy this trip.  

No 7-up sodas.  I have been mixing up the lemonade from powder.  Not only is it not fructose, I drink less of it and it is cheaper.  Trying to lose weight or at least not gain anymore.  Now if I could only cut back on/quit smoking.

I bought a bale of timothy and it was $18.75 but it was a little over $20 with tax.  The last bale of orchard grass I bought was pretty crappy.  Rocks in it and weeds with large stick stems.  I don't want the mini horse eating that.  I'll feed the rest of that bale of orchard grass to the goats.  They think they are getting a treat.

Naturally, the absurd price of timothy at the feed store motivated me. When I got home, I got back on Craig's List.  We had two twine hay lined up in Washoe Valley for $7 a bale but that fell through.  I called on the eighth since they were supposed to be baling on the seventh.  She got really weird, asked me how I found out she had hay.  I told her Hubby called her from CL and she said she would be baling on the seventh.  She said the equipment broke and don't call us we'll call you.  Okay??!!!  I get it, you are getting a better price or you are just paranoid.

I called on some hay in Washoe Valley that is $10 a bale but it is fairly heavy two wire bales so at least as good a deal as the other stuff. It is grass hay with a little bit of alfalfa mixed in.  He feeds it to his horses.  I like the smaller bales better than the big ones because they are easier to move around.  He said call him tomorrow morning and come get it tomorrow evening.  Looks like he will help Hubby load.  Let's hope this works out since even if we pay $50 in gas it will be $12.50 per bale instead of $20 per bale.  I'll still need to pick up some alfalfa but it looks like I might be able to get that for a better price this year.  One load of hay at a time, I suppose.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Happy Feet

Wiseguy, the cutest miniature horse in the world, just had his first hoof trimming while in my care.  The farrier said he had nice feet and they were not as long as I thought they were.  The wind didn't blow and the farrier showed up on time, so it was all good.  He was expensive, though.

It was $45 to have his feet trimmed.  Now, I heard that it is $25-40 around here.  Still, he was good, he showed up on time and I am happy so, since I only own one horse and since this only has to be down every 8 weeks, I think I will keep him.

Wiseguy was a perfect gentleman and stood nicely for the farrier.  He backed up when asked and held still for the nice man.  He sniffed all the pockets on the farrier for carrots including the apron pockets.  Wiseguy is such a cookie monster.

The farrier thinks that it is no problem for Wiseguy's feet that he goes on asphalt, road base gravel and dirt.  He did say to make a mud puddle for him to stand in the day before he comes so that the inner part of his hoof can soften up.  I told him that just wasn't possible in our sand.  So, he suggested that we put lanolin or pine tar on his feet for the three days prior to the pedicure appointment.

Because it is so dry here, I have been moistening the area in front of Wiseguy's  water trough most days by dumping the water into the sand and refilling the trough from the hose.  Maybe even sprinkling the dirt a little extra.  The farrier thinks that is great.  So far, so good with my cute little guy.

I have been taking the little guy for walks and he is a most curious little horse.  Makes me realize that he had a certain environment in the boarding stable and this is a lot of new stuff around here for him to see.  He is a real people person [okay he is a horse but you know what I mean].  Once he meets a neighbor, he looks for them when we are walking.  It is very cute.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Wiseguy and Wheels

I am thinking about getting Wiseguy out of the cart for a few weeks and working only on making sure he isn't spooking at cars and motorcycles going by him and that we are on the same page with reining.  I am setting up a tire drag so we can pull that around.

I have been walking him around the neighborhood on a lead so that we can see new things and have cars go by without him being hooked to a cart.

Honestly, we have been doing great in the cart except a couple of times but last time we went out was one of those days that we couldn't pull it together.  I thought I was going to have to lead him home with his cart!  We finally got turned around and made it back home.

I think we will keep working on whoa while being led and then while dragging a tire.

I can't get a hold of the trainer and I will have to get through this on my own.  I have a message in to one of the nice ladies in a town up north hoping to ask her a few questions and I posted on a forum for minis to get a little advice.

I think Wiseguy and I can work through this even if I am a beginner.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Hot and Cold

95 degrees day, 49 degrees overnight.  Today should be around 90 degrees.

We open up the house and let it cool off overnight and then close it up.  We did run the A/C  from about 5pm until about 8pm  last night.  By 10pm the outside was 74 and the inside was 74 and we opened the house up and went to bed.  60 degrees inside the house this morning.  If I get lucky I won't have to run the A/C at all today.

I took the little horse out for a nice walk of about 1 1/3 miles yesterday.  Wiseguy did really well.  He was quite curious about the neighborhood.  He walked fine.  No spooking or anything.

I think I haven't had the cart set up quite right after reviewing some info in a post on the major miniature horse website so when I put him in the cart again I think I'll do a bit better with it.

In the meantime I am going to take him for walks and try to get a tire drag going.  That way he can pull something around the neighborhood with his harness and blinders on and not have a set of wheels hooked up to him.  I got a little more info on the tire drag and the rein set up for the tire drag online yesterday.  I'll be reviewing that as I go along.  I need to make a singletree for the tire drag.  When I go to town I will need three eye hooks and some snaps or caribeeners  for clipping the harness to the trace chains and the tire to the singletree.

Okay, we did not run the A/C at all yesterday.

We worked on the final two shutters for the front of the house.  I'll have to get some photos.  We have the one glued and screwed but we were a bit short on materials so we ran into town.  We picked up a redwood 2x4 and 3 redwood fence boards plus 3 eye bolts and three snaps.  The eye bolts and snaps are so we can build the little horse a singletree and have him drive around with a tire on it.  That should be a great training tool!

I still have to take the tire with me on Friday and get the rim taken off the tire from the old pick up truck we sold.  That little Toy tire should be just the right size for a little horse like Wiseguy.

I took almost all the plastic buckets from planting trees and shrubs in the yard to the State Nursery while I had Hubby with me to help.  It was a lot of buckets, for sure.  I am trying to get the place cleaned up.  Not that it looks that bad but if you don't stay on top of the junk, the junk is soon piled up all over the place.  Now I can re-stack what I am keeping and throw out some more items, like old plant six packs, that we aren't going to use.  That will leave me with quite a bit of usable pots and six packs for next spring.

I told Hubby we are only 20 minutes from the Red Lobster by the time we are at the State Nursery.  Let's go out to eat in Reno.  So we did.

We then went to dinner at the Red Lobster.  Yummy.  They have a dinner special for $14.95 right now.  Soup, salad, entree, cheese biscuits AND desert.  Not a bad deal.  We both got the coconut shrimp and grilled pineapple shrimp combo plate that included plenty of broccoli, wild rice and our shrimps.

Today is supposed to be 93 degrees.  We are at 64 in the house this morning.  We will close it up and see if we can avoid running the A/C again today.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Veggie Garden

First of all the fire is out!  Yeah.

Hubby and I have managed to replant the veggie garden.  Let's hope we get something out of this garden this year.  Today is hot and windy.  The thermometer on the breezeway is reading 99 degrees.

Yesterday I took the little horse for a walk since my arms are sore from cleaning so many houses and I didn't want to use my arms for driving.  Today I am still very sore.

I wanted to get a lot done outside yesterday because the weather is supposed to be rough today.  I got two sets of sheets washed and hung out to dry.  Also, a couple of other loads of clothes.  Can't dry laundry outside when the wind is doing 25-40 so today will be out of the question:)

I planted the petunias I bought.  I also planted the red hot pokers I grew from seeds even though they are tiny.  I am getting tired of keeping them watered.  I hope I get some of them to live since the two I already have are really awesome.

I have three sage plants to get into the ground.  They will be a nice addition to the yard.  Hummingbirds love them.  My hummingbird yard is starting to mature and there are hummers buzzing all over the place.

So, today I went ahead and hooked up the little horse to the cart early before it got hot and windy.  He and I had a very rough time.  He didn't want to do a tight turn at all.  I don't know what his deal was.  I will have to get back out there and try again at the first opportunity.  I am not giving up on my efforts.  Every once in awhile we have a really bad day.  So far, the next time out on the road ends up being fine so we shall see.

Terry says maybe his feet are sore but he was quite happy to trot around without a cart yesterday when I took him for a walk and he is out there prancing around in the wind.  The farrier is supposed to show up in another week.  Crossing my fingers that it will not be windy since I would definitely like to get his feet trimmed and check to make sure they look okay.

I am running the water in the veggie garden for an hour this afternoon to try to keep those new seeds hydrated.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Fire on the Mountain

We had some dry lightening yesterday.  I saw a stroke of lightening and then I saw a small plume of smoke in the hills beyond the river, heading south.  We called it in right away.  So far the news is claiming one hundred acres burnt.  Sagebrush and cheatgrass.  Honestly, there isn't really any sagebrush on that set of mountains.    Those mountains are called the Desert Mountains.  Only the saddest, poorest looking desert plants you have ever seen grow over that way.  The plants that look dead almost all the time.  They don't get very tall either.

Even though it is cloudy, you can see the smoke coming off the fire in this photo.  This is about an hour after the fire started.

This magnificent cloud is the culprit that started the fire.  It tried hard to be a thunderstorm but didn't quite have the energy to become a thunderhead.  It did produce some dry lightening none-the-less.

You can see the fire towards the top of the ridge in this photo as the sun was setting and it was starting to get dark out.

It was interesting to watch the fire spread from a small plume of smoke to orange glowing rivers of flames.  You could see when a breeze came up by the flames moving and glowing orange.  Fortunately, there wasn't much wind.  Nothing grows out that way and no people live over there.  Certainly nobody hikes or 4-wheels or spends any real time at all over there.  There is nothing to see and just about no roads.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012


I bet you all thought this would be about having earthworms in the garden.  Nope, 7 years and we still don't seem to have earthworms.  We had some red compost worms last year that made it through the winter under some straw in the vegie garden but no sign of them this year.  It was too dry, I think.  Not a tiny bit of rain all winter and spring.  Oh, what an exciting day it was in Fernley when we found our first earthworm after only living there a couple of years.  Here in our sandy realm, so far not a one.

Nope, today we wormed the cat, the two dogs, the three goats and the miniature horse.  We generally do this in early June every year.  I don't recall why we do it in early June but we must have had our reasons when we first started this tradition.

We are worming the cat and the dogs specifically for tapeworms.  Penney had tapeworms a couple of years ago.  I thought is was shocking.  In all my years of dog ownership, I had never actually had a dog with known tapeworms.  There are no fleas here so we thought we were safe.  Turns out that if the cat or dog eats rabbits [and ours do] the rabbits all have tapeworms which the directly pass on to the dog or cat.  Isn't nature fascinating!  Yuck.

Any way, it is real and we are working to prevent problems.

I finally found a farrier that will come out our way.  I got a recommendation from the vet tech at the animal clinic we have been taking the dogs to occasionally.  Honestly, we worm and give the basic shots ourselves so unless your getting neutered or need rabies or are really sick, when you are a pet around here you don't see the inside of the vet's office.  Saves us a ton of money.

Monday, June 11, 2012

My Climate Sucks...So Why do I Live Here?

Yeah, I ask myself why do I live in this gardening hellhole sometimes.  Look at this.  The moon going down as the sun is coming up.  That is why I live here.  So beautiful some days.  Wide open spaces.  Plus, no fleas on the dogs and cat.

A couple of my domesticated pennestemmons. One in purple and one pink.  This variety is called Origami.

Speedwell or veronica in the front and alfalfa in the back.  Both a love purple blue.

Chocolate flowers.  Yep, they smell like chocolate.  They are a western flower and cannot take the humidity of the south and east. if I recall correctly.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Cleaning Lady!

"Cleaning lady!", I holler as I unlock the door.

There was a time when I liked being a cleaning lady.  I lived in Las Vegas.  I owned my own business. I had lots of clients and those clients treated me pretty good.  I even grew large enough to have employees.  I did advertising.  I went to business lunches.  And, yes, I cleaned toilets.

That all changed when I moved to Northern Nevada.  For some reason people here don't seem to mind living in what is basically filth.  The first job I did up here, there was a shed gopher snake skin in one of  the bottom cabinets.  Why not?  There were plenty of mice to eat in that trailer.

I didn't clean many houses and I found a "real" job.  Later on I got married and I moved to a small town.  I started a new cleaning business there.

The people were okay.  They didn't tip me a full days pay at Christmas like every single one of my clients in Las Vegas did.  They gave me a basket they had gotten at work and didn't want or $5 or a tiny jar of homemade jelly even after working for them for several years.  Gee, thanks.  They give me the key to their home and they refer me to their friends and they love having someone they can trust coming into their homes and they adore me since I am good with their pets but a tip is out of the question.

I didn't feel well respected like I used to n Vegas but I could live with that.  I had a thriving little business and I was happy enough.

Then I moved down here to this area.  Every time I get a referral, it turns out to be nasty in their home.  They all have pets that pee and poop in the house.  No offense if this the type of pet you have but I have always considered it my duty as a pet owner to devise a system where the puppy learns to pee and poop outside.  I always clean up every puppy mess with doggy deodorizer.  If you can't afford doggy deodorizer, you probably shouldn't pretend you can afford a pet.

I never, no matter how tired I am, I never let dog pee or poop sit there on the floor or the carpet.  I clean it up and then I use doggy deodorizer.  If you leave any trace of the smell the dog wants to pee and poop there again.  How hard is it to understand that and just do the right thing?

Even the nice houses I clean seem to have dogs that pee and poop in the house.  Really, people shouldn't have pets.   They don't want to learn anything about these animals and they don't want to spend the time or effort it takes to train them to be good citizens.  I am not a member of some wacko pet group.  I just don't get why you have a pet if you don't want to learn about another species and how to interact with that species and what it takes to train it to a minimal standard like not pooping and peeing in the house.

All this goes double if you have a cat.

Then there is the mouses in the house issue.  Sure, we get a mouse in the house once in awhile.  We have traps and we trap them out immediately.  We don't let them stick around building nests in the cupboards.  These houses have mice running around on the counters.  On the dishes and pots and pans. There are mouse nests in the cabinets.  There are chewed open boxes of food.  Ick! That is disgusting.

On top of all of that there is the weird lack of repairing faucets that seems to go on.  The one client has had a faucet that doesn't just wiggle but has come completely loose and is just hanging by the pipes underneath on her kitchen sink for a couple of years now.  Surely, a person could find the funds to buy a faucet and pay a plumber to put it in sometime in the last several years.

Another place had a hand held shower unit that was frayed and sprayed water everywhere when you turned on the water.  I suppose that is fine if you are naked but I am wearing jeans and a T-shirt and I don't want to be soaking wet from cleaning the shower.  Ridiculous.  This went on for over a year.

At one of the places I quit cleaning,  the kitchen sink was backed up for weeks.  The guy was old but he has children that live in town and they did not step up and call the landlord for him.  He had mice, too.  Fortunately he didn't own a pooping, peeing dog like all the rest of my clients.  I did finally tell him I quit cleaning since I just couldn't deal with the mouse issue anymore.

That's my rant.  Every year for the last couple of years I have said I will clean for one more year. I also said I wouldn't clean anymore of these mouse houses but here I am heading over tomorrow to clean that darn house.  I should have told my friend I wasn't interested but instead I said I would go over and see what I could do for the nice lady.  And the lady is nice but her house is disgusting.

My one more year is half over and this time it may well be my last year of cleaning even the few houses that I do now.

Cold Nights

We have had a series of extremely cold nights.  Last night was thirty four degrees but the water in the horse pen had a skiff of ice on top so it is definitely ridiculously cold.  We reordered seeds on a two day air since we have to get the veggie garden moving soon to be able to have any chance at success.  So far, it is not looking good for the veggie garden.

The rest of the yard is thriving and I am thrilled.

The winds have been bad this year.  Some years are like this.  Every year we generally get a couple of 90 MPH winds.  This year we have had some 60 MPH winds  but they are just the worst of it.  Just about every day, it seems, we are having some major winds.  We had a year like that about six years ago but I think that year was very warm.  This year it is mostly very cold.  Yesterday's high was only 70.

This area of Nevada is always weird, weather wise.  There is no really normal year.  This year is, however, exceptionally cold for June.  I am threatening to put up one of those giant hoop houses so that we can do the veggie gardening without having to worry so much about the temperatures.

I have wonderful penstemmons this year.  The trees are growing larger.  I used the pressure pot on the irrigation lines and fertilized the yard.  So convenient.

Time to get out there and clean up the horse pen.  Supposedly it will be 77 and only 7 MPH winds today.  I would take the little horse out to play but I am exhausted and have to go to town to get my hair cut.  I cleaned a house yesterday for almost nine hours.  I am getting way to old for this.  It isn't done yet and I need to go back again tomorrow to try to finish it up.  Unfortunately,  it is such a mess that that will only be the living room, dining room, den, one bathroom and the kitchen cleaned.  The gal is in the hospital and absolutely does not want me to clean the bedrooms or the other bathroom which is fine by me since this has been a ridiculous amount of work already.

This house has dog pea on the floors and mouses have been living in the kitchen cabinets.  Ick!  I keep cleaning houses because I like contributing to my family but I kind of have to make myself keep cleaning when I end up at houses like this one.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

A Tragic Day...for the veggie garden:(

The wind howled.  The weather report said 25-33 MPH winds.  What a reporting travesty.  My front trellis broke due to winds.  Those winds had to be twice what was reported.  Trees were going sideways but all the trees seem fine.  It is the veggie garden that has been hit so hard, I don't think it can recover.

The weather reports and the thermometer at our house said the low was 43 degrees but the warm weather plants - the beans, all four kinds;  the summer squash, all three kinds; the 6 or so melon varieties and the butternut squashes and the acorn squashes and the pumpkins.  Also the corn.  All wilted and it looks like they have been hit by a hard frost.

Even the onions look bad but they will continue on.  The tomatoes were protected in the walls-o'-water.

Tonight could be even colder.  This sucks.  This reeks.  Oh the horror.  We are going to try to see if we can order replacement seed really quickly but I fear that much of the garden will be hopeless.  Even if we get stuff in we will not have enough warm days to get a harvest.  Darn it.  This is the worst veggie garden disaster we have ever had.

Gardening in Nevada is he!!

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Got Fish?

Hubby and father-in-law caught some beautiful trout.

Father-in-law caught these three beauties on the final day before we left and came home.

Bringing the fish in.

The weather was fantastic and a lot of fish were caught but the small ones all went back into the lake.

There was a couple of insect hatchings going on the one evening and the little fish were leaping and gulping and generally causing a stir while the fishing was going on.  Not a fish was caught that evening.

I am having a couple of people over for dinner.  Hubby is going to cook the trout on the grill and I am going to make Rice-a-roni and an almondine sauce for the trout.  No veggies from the garden yet so I am going with canned green beans.

Yeah, I should have run to the store since we are out of everything.  No powdered lemonade mix. no sodas, no fresh veggies is hot and I am working hard around the house and yard, so we are all going to have to enjoy each others company and the food will be pretty good.

I raked up one wheel barrow load of weeds today.  Off to the compost pile.  I cleaned out the horse pen.  There's another wheel barrow trip to the compost pile.  I swept off the breezeway and cleaned out the dog kennel.  We keep straw in it to keep the dog warm in the winter.  There's another  wheel barrow load.  Then, another round of yard raking.  Wheel barrowing again.  At least that is caught up.  I took several loads of stuff to the wooden shed.  There's three more wheel barrow loads.  

I managed to get the laundry washed and hung out.  After a couple of hours I brought it all back in and got it put away.  I cleaned the kitchen counters.  I linseed oiled the maple counter top and the wooden cutting boards.  I swept and sorted and put away a ton of stuff from the breezeway. I washed off the table that sits out there.  A lot of grime builds up in a winter and a spring.  I feel like the area is "caught up" and should be easy to keep up with now that it isn't the mess that it had become.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Camping at Wild Horse Reservoir

This is an arm of the lake.  You can't see them in the photo but there are about 10 antelope on the far shore.

The area is definitely sage brush country.

Sagebrush, my new used Toyota Forunner and the lake.  The flat top mountain in the background is pretty awsome.

This is a lucky photo.  A blue heron was right by our camp when we woke up on Thursday.

Blue herons generally don't like people and this one was no exception.  He's walking off to go behind the boat and around the bend.

The weather was exceptionally beautiful and it was a lovely trip.

Fishing photos tomorrow:)

Notable Quotable

The Dalai Lama, when asked what surprised him most about humanity, he said:

“Man. Because he sacrifices his health in order to make money.
Then he sacrifices money to recuperate his health.
And then he is so anxious about the future that he does not enjoy the present;
the result being that he does not live in the present or the future;
he lives as if he is never going to die, and then dies having never really lived.”

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Is it Springtime Yet?

I have several days off so I have been going through the sheds and throwing things out.  You know, those old blankets and bedspreads that I was going to use for ... what?  Dog beds or plant covers or something.  I had some freeze protection row crop cover cloths that were stored for two years.  Turns out I can't use them since it is so windy here I can't keep them on the rows.  A large mouse/rat had turned them into a nest.  I threw them out.

We had a ton of rodents last year which we diligently trapped out but I hadn't really gone through the shed to see what the damage was.  I got a lot of stuff thrown away in two of the sheds.  I put out about ten bins and barrels and boxes.  The trash guy told me it was too many but he magnanimously decided to take it all anyway. Thank goodness since I will probably have more by next Friday.  I am in the mood to throw it away if it hasn't been used in awhile.

I also managed to gather up all the little odds and ends of two by fours that I can't bring myself to throw away.  We'll burn them next winter so I put them in a barrel to store with the rest of the wood out back.

Christmas lights.  We don't do Christmas and we have no children so ... I threw away some more of those darn lights.  I still have some left.  Maybe I'll be rid of them all in another year or two.  I spread all the fertilizers and such around the yard.  They aren't doing me much good just sitting in here, now are they?

The wooden shed looks much better.  The long shed is doing a lot better as well. I have some more work to do on the front wall and a shelf to install.  We have to make the sliding doors this summer, as well and I need it to be as cleaned out as I can get it to work in there.

Wednesday and Thursday were gorgeous.  Coreopsis is blooming underneath my Golden Honey Locust.

We have at least four males and one female hummingbird coming to the feeders.

Thursday the wind came up in one great gust and didn't quit for two days.  Here is an oriole clinging to the bobbing feeder.

Friday was hellabad.  This is rain/snow.  If you look closely you can see Wiseguy the miniature horse inside his shed.

Wiseguy came out briefly, decided the weather really did suck and went back into the shed to gaze out at the bad weather some more.  It rained and rained.  We needed the moisture but I got really wet working on the long shed.  I fired up the wood stove to dry off and warm up.  I love that wood stove.

Oh yeah, and the electricity went out for about 6 hours yesterday.  Bummer.

Fortunately the snow didn't stick and today, although only 55 degrees and pretty windy, isn't nearly as bad.  We are hopeful that our veggies will pull through and we won't have to replant.  Especially since we don't have any extra melon or winter squash seeds to replant with, for the most part.

Monday, May 21, 2012


We had a full eclipse of the sun yesterday at 6:28 pm Pacific Daylight Savings Time.  I met Hubby at a location in Dayton so that we could see it together.  He had to work and wasn't going to be home in time to see this solar event with me.  I left early enough to go shopping since it is a 40 minute drive so I hate to get that near a store and not get a few groceries.  

Friday I decided not to get gas on the way home and I thought that, although I would be pretty low on gas, it wouldn't be an issue.  When I hopped into the truck to leave, I saw that the gas gauge was pretty low but when I got on the road it seemed really, really, really low so I had to drive to the four corners to get gas on my way out instead of taking the cutoff and buying gas on the highway just before Dayton. I probably added an extra ten miles to this trip. That'll teach me not to be lazy:)

Anyway, here are some not-really-great photos from the solar eclipse.

This one is a photo of  the shadow of the moon moving across the sun.  We set up a spotting scope as a small telescope and reflected the image onto a piece of paper.  Bearing in mind that one cannot look directly at the sun or the eclipse without eye protection.

This is a photo of the moon sitting right in the middle of the sun.  The moon is the darker part in the middle even though you have to look closely to see it.

We had a dark piece of welding lens with us and I got this photo by holding the dark glass over the camera lens.  Pretty awesome.

An event like this will not occur in our area again for 25 years and it was a thrill to witness this natural phenomenon.

Friday, May 18, 2012

The DMV and Insurance Compliance

The Department of Motor Vehicles in Nevada has sent me a certified letter telling me I am not insured for the Toyota pickup truck.  Of course, I filled out a form online when I sold it telling them I sold it.  Then, I filled out another form online more recently at their request.  They told me I wasn't insured and asked me why.  I told them because I sold it.

So, now they have sent me  a certified letter telling me I am in big trouble for not having insurance on the vehicle and that they can't verify that I sold it.  I called and spent thirty some minutes on hold waiting to get a live person on the line.  When I did, they told me to ignore the letter since, if I sold the vehicle, I wouldn't be registering the vehicle and you only get hassled if you are registering the vehicle.  He claims that this does not effect the other vehicles I actually do own and for which I am completely insured.

What a pain and how ridiculous.


Here is a photo of one of our black chin hummingbirds.

We have at least four male black chin hummers coming in to the feeders every evening.  They are very difficult to count as they are zooming and fussing and chasing each other.  On top of that, we also get several orioles coming in to feed as the sun is going down.  Totally flusters the hummers who try to intimidate the orioles with fancy helicopter maneuvers like zooming in underneath the feeder and then going straight up to pop in the faces of the orioles.  The orioles are NOT afraid:)  

Sometimes I sing the theme for Star Wars.  Duh duh duhhh dunt.  Duh duh dunt,  Duh duh duh, duntelly duuuuhhh.  They are so dramatic and definitely each one is fighting the battle to be king of the feeders.

Their wings make a buzz noise as they zoom through the yard.  I told Hubby last night as he was going out the front door to be careful.  The hummers are chasing one another over the top of the house and you might end up with one of them stuck into your face with its long pointy needle like beak!  I swear, a couple of times I was worried they would poke my eye out.

They move so fast sometimes my slow eyes don't even see them.  All I hear is the high pitched buzz of the wings.  The guys who fly jet fighters for the Navy over in Fallon probably wish they had the speed and maneuverability of  a hummingbird.

We also have at least one lady hummingbird around here.  The male shows off as she sits sort of low in a bush or on the fence.  The guy goes buzz, buzz, buzz rapidly in front of her, back and forth, back and forth, spooning his tail out as he tries to impress her.  He then zooms up at a bit of an angle, zooms around at the bottom and then zooms up the other way in an eliptical orbit.  He doesn't complete the circle but pauses at the top and zooms back down and up the other way.  Very impressive and if I was a girl hummer, I would want him!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

More Spring Photos

Ads are appearing on this blog and I don't know why.  I am trying to figure that out.

The hardy geraniums are just starting to bloom.

The Purple Robe Locust is showing how it got it's name.  We are counting on it to shade the breezeway and it is starting to be effective.  Three years old.

The Cottoneasters have cute little red flowers.  The bees are loving this plant.

Wow!  This pie cherry is covered in blossoms this year.  

This Mountain Ash is two years old and has flowers at the end of each branch.  Hope it grows a lot this year.

I should look up the name on this one but I am going to say caryopterix.  Beautiful blue flowers that the hummingbirds love.

Our first strawberry of the year and, boy, was it tasty!