Wednesday, July 15, 2020

Elinor has gotten the okay, a month post-surgery, to soak, so tomorrow she is going to come up for that.  I will of course stay at the house with Hilda and Neil while she and Terry spend some sister time together.  Since Richard has a (long-scheduled) cement pour on Friday for the latest house he’s building, Terry will be the one taking Elinor into town on the next day for her port and I’ll again come in handy to adult-sit, though obviously for a much longer period.  Hilda gets a little stressed when Terry is MIA (even just out of sight, like in the kitchen cooking) but she does know me and and is fine each time (like every 5 minutes) that I remind her where Terry is.  Kind of an endless loop.

Winnie and Brownie don’t know it, but they’ll likely get some playtime together in the backyard tomorrow afternoon when her mom, Lisa, and I have planned a socially distanced visit out there. The pooches seemed to recognize  each other from last year when our paths crossed on a walk Saturday night, and should be nice for them to an able to interact while not on a leash.

Karen now has set a date for her return, not this coming weekend but the following one.  Not sure how long she will stay this time - and Mark may be able to arrange things at home and come join her at some point.

I’m sitting here enjoying the herds of hummers out back, and (while not the zillions we had summer before last) the three 2-cup feeders are doing a constant business, with most ports full, and thus need to be filled more than once a day.  I’ve set the red peanut butter lid with sugar water on the patio table, and once this batch of feeders empties I expect the lid to attract business.  Love watching their thread-like tongues, and of course it’s always fun to have them perch on my hand.  In the meantime I’m keeping Brownie company and listening the the chipmunks complaining about “that damn dog” in their backyard.

Now I will attempt to catch up on yesterday’s events, and HOPE to be able to actually post again.

Rosie called around lunchtime yesterday to say they were going to drain the swimming pool today (the regular day) after all, so I headed up to the Party Pool with the wire brush (but without Brownie) to scrub the steps of the slippery algae.  (That way any of the copious amounts of algae flowing downstream that enda up in the pool would be removed during cleaning.)  The steps will be nice and clean “if” any of the board members want to soak when they’re here for the meeting this weekend. Obviously the major (only?) topic on their agenda will be when/if to open up again come August, even in a very limited capacity.

I did get a fright while up there when there was a horrendous noise in the trees, sounding like an elephant was stampeding through (as if I would know what that sounds like...? LOL) Over the years there have been the occasional bear wandering here, and of course with no people around for months the bears might feel even more comfortable.  So I was relieved when a couple of does came flying out onto the hill, though have no idea what spooked them.

When I finished the steps I was deciding whether to stay at the party pool (I’d stirred up the water) or relocate down to the Apple pool. That was when I heard the first rumble of thunder (had been able to see it raining over the mountains west of the valley below) so there was no decision to be made and I headed back to the house.  Brownie, of course, was ecstatic upon my return.

Elinor saw her doctors yesterday, and will be getting her port inserted on Friday, though if the date when chemo starts has been decided she didn’t share that in her message. Hope is that chemo will shrink the tumors in her colon and bladder enough that they can be removed without damaging or taking out those organs so she won’t need a colostomy bag or catheter.  Bad news from Petscan results - her heart has also been affected, which officially qualifies her as Stage 4.  Definitely tears here!

After dinner we watched the movie 2017, and Brownie was curled up next to me on the couch.  Shadow got brave around 10:00 (he has been venturing out of the basement at night once he’s pretty sure that Brownie and I have retired for the evening) and HE noticed “that damn dog” as he came past the couch though happily Brownie was blissfully unaware. Shadow did make a beeline under the bed, where he remained though Terry had hoped he would watch the last half hour from the safety of her lap.  Good movie, and amazing how it was shot in the continuous take!

Going to post this without even proofreading it because I just don’t trust things. Apologize in advance for any/all errors!

Yesterday not only wasn’t I able to access my blog on my laptop, but my iPad was squirrelly also. Seems more cooperative this morning - so HOPE this “warning” posts.  

If I suddenly disappear, it does not necessarily mean there is a problem with me,
 but most likely technology!

Monday, July 13, 2020

I was sorry I didn’t have my camera handy for the hilarious chipmunk chase yesterday.  The little critter did make it safely into a crevice in the rock wall, though chattering loud displeasure.    Brownie spent a lot of time attempting to get at it with a paw, his nose, and even tried digging.  Eventually he planted himself and sat guard for an extended period of time, just like at home after a bunny disappears through the irrigation pipe.

I hadn’t bothered to schlep the CPAP into the motel Friday, and hadn’t gotten around to setting it up here Saturday, but yesterday I took care of that so I could return to using it last night. Unfortunately when I went to bed I couldn’t get it to work, and was too tired to do more than a cursory trouble-shoot.  Didn’t sleep well either night, but this morning I figured out the issue and hope for a better night’s sleep tonight.

Also in the “Tech Annoyance” category, the light in my watch has decided now was a good time to give up the ghost.  Naturally that means when I wake during the night I have no idea what time it is.

On our early morning walk today we came across numerous does, and though Brownie thinks he should be allowed to chase them he does seem to be getting less frantic.  Of course he also tried to go after the bunny we encountered.

Then I finished unpacking (that last bag was mostly cold weather clothes, which I haven’t needed yet) and am pretty well organized at this point.  With Karen and Cheryl gone, and Elinor heading home today (at least for a few days) Terry and I should settle into a ‘regular’ routine.  

Rain started around noon today, cooling things off. Before it got too serious I got the windows closed in the house and elinor’s car while Terry was busy giving Neil his shower. Much of today has involved lots of laundry and bed changes, so of course the dryer acted up.  Luckily it was just that the vent behind it had come unattached, certainly not a major problem though it was a production for Terry to find the foil tape, get the plug out of the wall, squeeze in a constricted space to reattach the hose, and then get the recalcitrant plug back in.   

Michael stopped by unexpectedly.  I gave him the RockStar hoodie, and since he started working on installing the hardware in the van he was able to claim one of the cases of RockStar (his answer to coffee) and the huge banner that Richard had moved there from my truck Friday.  Terry is holding the remaining cases ‘hostage’ <g> until he returns to finish.

Computer is being uncooperative, so no pix today.  

Sunday, July 12, 2020

I arrived at Valley View safely, 'on schedule' early Saturday afternoon, and with the gate closed I got to use the entry code - for the first time in 40 years.  

It is definitely beyond WEIRD 
that there are no cars, no tents, no people here!  

We had a "reservation" to soak from 3-5 yesterday afternoon, so (with Cheryl here to watch Neil and Hilda) Terry, Elinor, Karen and I walked up to the party pool.  Being post-surgery Elinor could only sit on the edge and dangle her feet, but we sure enjoyed our time together.

Since it was Karen & Mark's last evening here, Richard joined us for dinner (Terry, of course, had whipped up a delicious meal) and it was quite festive.  I behaved, keeping my portion size small, and didn't even join in dessert (her baked-from-scratch rhubarb/strawberry pie) even through I remember from last year how good it is - and then got "up close and personal" when I fed Neil his slice.

Neil and Hilda have both declined since last summer, which while not unexpected is still sad.  The house addition for Hilda, which was not finished by the time I left last summer, turned out lovely.  It's a little crowded at the moment with a second bed in there because Elinor has been staying here for the duration of Karen's visit.  Karen and Mark left for Denver very early this morning to catch their flight home, though Karen hopes to return again, possibly next month.  Elinor will be meeting with her doctors early in the week to schedule her port insertion and chemo treatments.  

As of yesterday a skunk seems to have relocated nearby, so we've been getting whiffs.  I really hope Brownie doesn't meet up with it; Echo's confrontation with one years ago did not end well for her (or me, either!)  Terry has added tomato juice to her shopping list "just in case."

Currently this afternoon Terry, Elinor, and Hilda are on a Zoom baby-shower (the "party" is in Minnesota) and later we're going to start listening to the book club selection so we'll be ready for the Zoom book club "meeting" later this month.  MAYBE I'll learn how to install/do Zoom?

Speaking of books, I am really enjoying my current audio book, 
The Book of Lost Friends.

The Book of Lost Friends” by Lisa Wingate is the dramatic and hopeful story of three young women searching for family amid the destruction of the post–Civil War South, and of a modern-day teacher who learns of their story and its vital connection to her students' lives.

 And finally, those pix I promised.

Sometimes Brownie rode in the front seat -

sometimes he rode in the back -

but he was always glad to get out at a pee stop, like Elephant Rocks.

Saturday, July 11, 2020

Will miss Rachel (no TV at hot springs) but did catch part of her show last night in the motel.  Thursday evening, as a lead-in to the SCOTUS decision which says tRump is not above the law (DUH!), she’d started off with a litany of the “low”lights of the endless scandals from his 2016 campaign and resulting administration, which went on and on.  As noted, any one of them would have ended a previous presidency, which makes the current nightmare all that more inconceivable... yet here we are. And now we can add yesterday’s Richard Stone debacle (he announced he COULD HAVE FLIPPED on the president but didn’t, which sure sounds like an admission of criminal actions!) to the list.

I’ve had a quick breakfast (Brownie dumped his, searching in vain for some of the ‘good’ stuff he hoped would be hiding underneath) and soon we’ll be back on the road.  Today will be more scenic, but of course slower. Wonder if there will be any snow atop Wolf Creek Pass this year?  We did find a few patches left in the shade last year, and Brownie was not thrilled with it.  

Friday, July 10, 2020

Got on the road around 8 this morning (when the temp was already in the 90s) and easily made it to Cortez, 2/3 of the way, as planned.  Brownie again was a good traveler (I had a much better set-up for him this year) and of course I stopped and walked him a number of times - but we were both happy to be done driving for the day.

Traffic seemed a little bit lighter than in previous years, though there were still idiots weaving in and out, and (in one heart-stopping incident) passing when they definitely should NOT have!

 Listened to my current book, finishing it, and then listened to the radio.  Options were limited much of the drive, and (not wanting to listen to rap or bible-thumpers) at one point I was tuned in to a classical station.  When the William Tell Overture came on, all I could think of was the mom singing her litany of things moms say.  When it ended, the DJ said something to the effect that she guessed that the selection had reminded  most listeners of the Lone Ranger and had them thinking about horses - guess she missed that “classic” video!

Trouble at a gas station when it declined my card (both at the pump and with the cashier) and so I had to use some of my cash.  Later I saw a text from the credit card company, and got that taken care of before we checked in.

Took a few pix today (though despite the electronic warning sign outside Flagstaff I didn't see any elk) and once I get settled and my computer is unpacked I should be able to post.

Wednesday, July 8, 2020

It didn't take long for them to inspect my car, and as it turned out it didn't need much done to it - which of course was excellent news when Robert called to get approval for things.  (The mechanic apparently commented that my Acura was "obviously well-taken care of.")

Even though it wasn't due for an oil-change mileage-wise, since it'd been about 6 months I'd agreed when Robert suggested it would be a good idea change it.  Except that when they actually checked, the oil was so clean and "un-sludgy" they decided it wasn't really necessary. 

In any event, by 10:15 it was ready to be picked up. 

Which made up somewhat for this morning's printer aggravation.  

I've been constructing a Hot Springs Packing List (and checking it twice...)  

I used to have a list on my desktop computer, 
but of course lost that when it died a couple of years ago.  

Since I'm getting serious about packing today, I figured it would be nice to print out a hard copy so I could check things off as I collected them.

Guess what?

After a couple of unsuccessful tries I enlisted Tom's help, and he eventually got it to work, though he has no idea what finally did the trick.  

So I guess I'll go back to packing.  I tend to pack too much, but as long as there's plenty of room in the car it doesn't really matter.  I will have hot weather, and cold weather - and since town is a LONG way I need to make sure I have all the personal stuff I might need.

Yesterday's turkey was a success.  Alex proclaimed his "perfect", and Tom did have a little for dinner last night.  I had some for lunch, and dinner!

It was a very helpful session at the chiropractor yesterday - once I got there.  Good thing I'd left in plenty of time (as I always do), because even though I only need to be on I-10 for a few miles traffic came to a virtual standstill, in effect hemming me in.  I could hear sirens, and as I was (finally) bailing off one exit early I saw a fire engine, lights flashing, getting on.  When I got to the office and mentioned it to Stephanie, in case they had other patients caught up in the mess, she was just getting a traffic notification about the accident tie-up.  

I think we can be reasonably sure <g> it wasn't caused by icy roads...

Anyway, turns out my arm/shoulder issue was caused from that same spot in my hip/lower back being out from the 6 weeks of limping/crutches during the knee episode.  That threw other things out, eventually impinging on a nerve.  While it made sense when he described it and showed me on the diagram, I'm glad there's not going to be a quiz on it!  I left there with my pain seriously reduced, and movement increased, though it's certainly not "all better".  I do have 'homework' to do, which I hope keeps the worst of the pain at bay while I'm gone.

I chose last night's movie, a comedy with Morgan Freeman and Tommy Lee Jones that neither one of us had heard of.  With that cast it should have been better than it was, and didn't help that it kept buffering and cutting out on us.  After the third time I decided to go to bed, not caring about the ending.  Neither did Tom, who decided not to finish watching it either.

I'm up way too early this morning, which means I have plenty of time before my 9:00 car appointment to play on the computer - assuming it cooperates! 

Did have a confirmation e-mail waiting for me this morning that Alex got the puzzle ordered for me.  WHAT AN ORDEAL that turned out to be!!!

When it comes to computers, I opt for a lot fewer "adventures"!

Tuesday, July 7, 2020

It's been a productive morning.  Tom mowed the backyard, then weed-ate and trimmed out front, while I collected the downed greenery for the can and swept the various porches.  The yard looks neat and tidy, and we're in fine shape for this afternoon's irrigation.

I've got a 12 pound turkey in the oven.  When Alex went shopping for us some time ago he also  picked up a second turkey for himself that has been waiting patiently in his freezer.  He asked if I'd cook it before I left so I had him take it out to thaw in the fridge the end of last week.   We'll split it in half down the center, like last time, so the guys should have plenty of meat for a while.  

Tom isn't planning on having any for dinner tonight since he's trying to "eat light" in preparation for tomorrow's colonoscopy prep.

That could be somewhat difficult to do 
as I expect the house to start smelling yummy before too long!

Made an appointment to have the car checked out tomorrow before I hit the road.  While it still has 3000 miles to go before it's due for another oil change, no doubt it's a good idea to have belts and other assorted "things" looked at.

Monday, July 6, 2020

I'm inching closer!

The picture Alex sent "works" - except each time I upload it into the rectangle on the puzzle site a larger, second picture appears superimposed behind it.  

Alex has agreed to come over later and help me through the window again.

Colleen called to see "if" I was home - lol - and stopped by with a bag of spools for me to pass along to Kathi.  She had the grandkids with her (they have gotten big!) so we chatted only briefly, while socially distanced on the porch.  She's also been busy churning out hundreds of masks, though unsure <g> if she's made any for the tooth fairy... 

And speaking of masks - below is a video of an Arizona woman (who filmed herself) throwing a tantrum over masks!  THIS is why sensible people, who believe in science and the medical  community, are stuck at home indefinitely!!!!

Texted Mike earlier to check up on Marcie and see how the surgery went, 
and just received this:

Great. She is home and resting.

Tom, on the other hand, was not resting, but out mowing.  

Both front yards are done, and the ditch, and the Back 40, where there's full sun of course.  (FYI the mower still sounds terrible and 'rough' despite two trips to the shop, both expensive, be fixed.) Naturally Tom didn't want to mow the backyard with Rod and his son our there repairing the pool pump, and will mow back there early tomorrow morning.

Yesterday I was still not able to order the next puzzle with the PDF file; this has been an on-going saga for over a month, with headaches every single step of the way.  I "may" <g> have complained about it in previous posts.... 

Alex just came over to get the thumb drive to see if he can load it in a different format and send me something useable.  However at this point I know better than to hold my breath, and despair of being able to order it before I leave,  despite starting the process over a month ago, in theory at least well in time for someone's birthday.... sigh!

On the plus side, I'd noticed last week that the bottle brush tree was getting ready to bloom again, and here it is starting.  While we virtually never use this gate, I'll still trim those branches back after they're done blooming.

Last night's movie, A Murder of Crows, was entertaining.

Last evening Tom and I covered up the hot tub with the tarp, but unfortunately many of the bungee cords from last summer were no longer useable.  This morning's trip to the nearby 99 cent store for more of those was unsuccessful, but I did have better luck at the hardware store right next door, though they didn't carry the pretty colored ones.

On the way home I gassed up the car, even though I was only down 1/4 of a tank.

In other trip prep I gave the windshield a wash 
before we start collecting a crop of highway bugs on Friday.  

Have also started gathering clothing, and washed all of Brownie's beds/blankets this morning so we can start off without too much of a doggy smell.

Rod and his son arrived to fix the pool pump, and it's a good think I wandered out there to show them where the electrical outlet is.  Rod had simply pushed the gate behind him, but of course ours doesn't latch like most of that type would.  Luckily Pokey was taking her mid-morning siesta under one of the bushes and hadn't noticed the escape route beckoning unto her.

THIS tortoise's escape attempt had me really worried!

Now I'm waiting to hear how Marcie's cataract surgery went today.