Tuesday, March 20, 2018

This morning I served our "guest" some apple, which was appreciated.

Unfortunately once Pokey woke up, she turned out to be a less gracious hostess, pushing the smaller tortoise around in quite an aggressive manner.  While I knew the smaller one would not be happy if it got tipped over, what I really worried about was Pokey pushing it into the pool... where it would sink like a stone and drown!

I made a number of phone calls, and eventually arranged for it to hang out in Joy & Dick's yard.  So once I got home from the gym (where I worried the whole time about its safety) Tom and I delivered it across the street, to a yard that is even more of a tortoise paradise than ours... especially since there is no resident Meanie!

We're still hoping to find its family, but the good news is that Joy and Dick sound willing to keep it should it remain homeless.

Spring has definitely sprung... it's going to be in the 80s this week,
with a predicted high of 89 one day. 

Meanwhile, back home in Maryland,
they're expecting snow today and tomorrow.

I didn't get my big aloe transplanted yesterday because I was awaiting a call from Wanda, and figured as soon as I got in the middle of it the phone would ring.  She's teaching a class on machine binding at one of her groups this week (she'd forgotten all about it) and they want her to bring written instructions.  (Had to laugh when she wondered out loud why anyone would need written instructions, and I had to remind her that not everyone is as talented as she is... which is why she is doing the demo!)  When she asked me if I'd help write them up for her, I readily agreed, but thought it would be "helpful" <g> if I actually watched her do it on her demo piece since I don't know how to do it myself. 

We agreed that she would call me in the afternoon when she was ready (she still had to make up a little quilt first) but other things got in the way; her grandson is in town, and he ended up taking her to lunch.  So we're going to do it this afternoon instead.

Yesterday Tom dropped off his car at John's, a neighbor who has a mechanic shop in his back yard, for an oil change.  Shortly thereafter, John appeared on our front porch (sans Tom's truck) and I watched through the window and listened (it's lovely being able to have the front door open) when he explained the latest crisis.  Tom's truck was stuck up on the lift, which had stopped working; something about the hydraulics.  Naturally everything he had tried didn't work, so he was waiting to hear back from someone to come repair it.  In the meantime, Tom's truck would remain in limbo.  John was beyond frustrated, but Tom took it all in stride.

Marcie got her design wall installed yesterday!  It's way beyond tall - remember that Marcie is pretty tall herself! - but not wide enough.  Her current quilt is folded over on the right side.  

 I got the bindings made and attached for Sandy's gift yesterday, so I'm all ready to do the hand-stitching at the Busy Bees meeting on Wednesday and then can get it into the mail.  I also got the Flying Pig towel graphed out, and about half of it cross-stitched before bedtime last night.

Around 8:00 last evening I got a call from Lisa Lane.  She was on her way home and about a half block away when she came upon a tortoise cruising in the road.  Naturally she assumed it was Pokey, but a quick check by me confirmed Pokey was safe and sound in the backyard.  I walked over to help her, and then called Tom for a little help. 

After 'we' put it in my car and then relocated it in the backyard, I set about trying to find the owner.  It's too small to be Rosebud (though did text Shelley to see if she knows who is missing their sulcata) so I called Mimi, but their escape-artist tortoise was also safe in her burrow. 

Then walked over to Dave & Neva's (the phone number I have for them is no longer in service), but theirs was also safe in its (deep! steep!) burrow.  Lisa posted a Found message on the neighborhood site last night (Marcie saw it, and contacted me right away, also thinking Pokey had escaped) so hopefully we'll be able to reunite the wanderer with its people today.  Somebody is missing it! 

Naturally I worried that our newest occupant of the backyard could fall into the pool in the dark, so I was relieved to find an "empty" pool this morning.

Should get ready for the gym now.  Hope I'm not too sore after "horseback riding" last night!  It's been 30 years since my back let me ride; where do dreams come from?!

Sunday, March 18, 2018

Happy Birthday, Marilyn!

Gave her a call this morning to wish her a happy birthday, and caught her on her morning walk with Frannie.  It's antler searching season, though they weren't having as much luck today as they had a few days ago.

Decided to run some errands this morning, and first stop was the bank to deposit Alex's check.  Should also have remembered to get some cash, which I realized at my next stop, the Dollar Store across the street (for exciting stuff like post-it notes, Pokey food, birthday wrapping paper and tape, Band-aids, shower cap, sun block, etc.) I'd planned pay in cash there to speed things up... but upon discovering all that was in my wallet was a $20 I decided not to 'waste' it.  After my final stop at the gas station, it was home to play in the yard, where I filled/cleaned the pool, hosed off porches and watered plants, and hauled out the hedge-trimmer and tidied up everything out front. Stuff has really started to grow, so I guess it isn't that surprising that "somehow" I managed to fill up one of the (almost) empty green cans with all the trimmings.

Lunch was the tasty leftovers from last night's dinner, and now I plan to kick back and relax - and maybe finish up The Baker's Secret.  It was a little slow getting into it, but soon I was not able to put it down. 

From the multiple-award-winning, critically acclaimed author of The Hummingbird and The Curiosity comes a dazzling novel of World War II—a shimmering tale of courage, determination, optimism, and the resilience of the human spirit, set in a small Normandy village on the eve of D-Day.

Saturday, March 17, 2018

Guess today is an appropriate day to post a pic of my shamrock plant that "came back to life".  It had survived two Phoenix summers on the front porch (no small accomplishment!) but then this past fall Mr. Peacock discovered it and devoured it down to the dirt.  I did continue to water the seemingly empty pot, though had no real expectation that it would rejuvenate.  And yet a month or so ago I was surprised to see shoots peeking up through the dirt.... and look at it now!

I happened to notice the mail being delivered today, and sure enough there was the red Netflix envelope with the wrong movie.  After I opened it and put it back in the mailer, I caught the mailman at the next house and sent it back.  Here's hoping that this time they get it right, and Season 8 of Doc Martin arrives next!

Yesterday's mail delivered a pleasant surprise.  My assumption was that the envelope from Southwest Imaging was a bill, so I was taken aback to find that they were returning my check instead:

But they had definitely sent me a bill...

Got a call this afternoon that our taxes were done.  That was sure fast!  Even better news is that we don't owe any money - so we went out to dinner, at George and Son, to celebrate.

Minutes after we got home, Wanda called to catch up (she's had company) and it turns out that they had eaten at the same restaurant tonight but left shortly before we had arrived.

Friday, March 16, 2018

Wednesday morning I remembered to bring handwork with me to the Foothills meeting so I could be productive.  I got the 'extra' borders removed from Sierra's top (which I hope to get quilted at the Flying Pig at my upcoming long-arm lesson) and most of the binding on the little heart for Teresa.  I won one of the door-prizes (second month in a row!) and came home with a little notepad (perfect for the car console) and a wrist pin-cushion.  (At least I didn't pull my own name from the basket... like Sue did!)

Marcie and I left a little before noon (unfortunately missing Louise's block resizing tutorial) because I expected the cleaning ladies at 1:00 and had a few things to do before they arrived.  The previous month, when they were also scheduled for 1:00, they had arrived closer to 1:30, so I was surprised when they showed up shortly after noon.  Glad I was home to let them in! 

I still had to join the ends of the binding together so I could finish the blind-stitching on the heart/teardrop, but got that done and was able to give it to Teresa.  When Tom found out about her son, he asked, "What can I say?"  The sad answer is there really isn't anything to say.

Tom had spent Wednesday smoking a brisket, and then Marcie and Mike joined us for dinner.  They both agreed that it lived up to all the hype. Latina did voice some objections during the meal (she thought she should be having brisket instead of "just" another T-bone) but as we reminded her:

Marcie had insisted on bringing dessert, a chocolate lava cake she'd whipped up that afternoon.  Of course with the ingredients and her serious lactose intolerance she couldn't have any, and it turned out neither could Mike (he's pre-diabetic.)  Of course it was beyond scrumptious, though I was pretty sure I'd pay for my indiscretion with "sleepus interruptus".... which I did.

Thursday morning I made a library run (needed to pick up a couple of books that had come in) and while I was there I looked for Doc Martin.  They didn’t have Season 8 in stock, and I decided not to pick up their one remaining copy of Season 7 since I expected the second disk from Netflix to arrive any time.  Would you believe that when I got their e-mail yesterday about the disk on the way, not only wasn’t it the second half of Season 7 (sitting right at the top of my list!) but instead a kid movie I didn’t even have in my queue!?  First screw-up for Netflix…. <sigh>  I think I’ll pop back over to the library today, and hope that the Doc is still there!

Had my tax appointment with Matt yesterday afternoon.  Between what I'd brought (and the info I was able to get from Tom over the phone) it looks like all of our info is accounted for, and neither of us expect any surprises this year.  I do my best to be organized, and Matt did say that he's always happy to see my name on his schedule.  He does have some clients who arrive with a box stuffed with disorganized papers.

Irrigation went well yesterday; the water arrived right on schedule at 4:36, and we got a nice, deep watering.  But since it was cloudy, windy (and cold!) yesterday, I doubt much of it has soaked in and Latina's "park" may still be inundated this afternoon.

Tuesday was leg day again at the gym, giving my "pissed off" serratus muscle additional time to recover.  The good news is that it has been kvetching less.  It appears that my "homework" has been helping, no doubt aided by the fact that I've been conscientious about reaching forward with my other arm instead.

I went straight from the gym to the chiropractor, where he was impressed with my improvement.  I just need minor adjustments, and at this point no further appointment is necessary. Then it was a quick stop at the post office to mail off Marilyn's birthday gift; (it arrived on Thursday, in plenty of time.)  I was pleasantly surprised by the short line since I walked in during the lunch hour; must have just timed it right since the line had grown to triple its original size by the time I left.

Tuesday's mail brought the Doc Martin disk from Netflix (fast service!) so I binged on the four episodes later.  Got some raking and sweeping done before Latina came to visit.  She was extremely delighted to chew on one of the T-bones!

Forgot to mention that Monday I had stopped over at John's to see about him doing my 60,000-mile check-up.  He's swamped with work (and doesn't like working on the cars with all the digital and electronic upgrades anyway) but checked several fluids and opined that they were still quite clean and didn't need flushing.  Looking under the hood, we found that the rat poison container I'd attached on top of the battery (where some critter had built a nest) showed serious signs of being chewed - and the poison pellets were scattered on top of the battery.  Despite the rodent's return, luckily my wires seem to be fine!

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Alex called yesterday, though we didn't get to chat very long; just as I was about to pull into the hot tub store parking lot he got a work phone call he needed to take.  He'd wanted to let me know that he's about to get very busy (one of the biggest Texas schools is on break) and figured he'd call to say HI before he gets swamped. More importantly, he'd also wanted let me know that he likely will be "unavailable" for a while, not able to get a signal due to the heavy influx of students overloading the limited cell capability of South Padre Island.

Sure appreciate his thoughtfulness - and told him so. 

Before he left on this assignment he'd told me about the new (unpopular) work policy that is forcing the guys to take a day off each week - without pay, of course. His feeling is that if they're on the road and away from home they'd rather be working - and paid!

I know he's planning to go sky-diving again on his day off.  At least if I don't hear from him I'll do my best not worry and instead to blame it on faulty cell phone service!

The store I visited turned out to be another Hot Springs outlet, so there wasn't really anything new for me to try out.  Mike's price for 'my' model was $500 more than Shayne's, but we did discuss the possibility of price reductions should one arrive with cosmetic defects.

I cooked dinner last night, grilling two of the T-bones that we'd gotten as a holiday gift from Andy and Sandy.  Dinner turned out amazingly well, and everything even came out ready at the same time. Tom enjoyed his steak - and naturally was happy to be off of KP duty for the night.

In the evening we played more Rummikub, and I won all but one of the games.  However the one he did win caught me holding the wild card, which helped to even up the score substantially.