Monday, December 29, 2014

Three Months in a Nutshell

Jim's bone scan and PET scan showed return of prostate cancer in bone in 2 places. He is on hormone therapy injections every 6 months, worst side affect is the hot flashes.

Getting ready for the Christmas shopping season at work in October. It's a constant moving around of merchandise.  Lots of wasted hours, but hey it's work.

Moved my potted plants into the "plant cave" located in the carport.  All snug as plant bugs together in the two layer "cave".  Had a fall blooming iris still blooming at Thanksgiving.

Discovered, what I thought were deer droppings in our front yard. Found out from neighbor we had an elk (she didn't say if it was the male or one of his 2 female companions) that ventured thru our yard.  Suppose to be several herds around the area.

Put up a solar powered security light up at the back door for night-time emergency purposes, finished painting the step edges in a bright safety yellow so Jim can see them (well, me too).

Son came down from Socorro and we took Jim to the Veterans Car Show on Nov 8th.  Sure are some beauties there.
Don't these two look like they came from the "Cars" movie?
Sand Hill Cranes at Bosque.

Jim and I visited the Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge near Socorro. Son met us there and then we went up to Socorro to have a scrumptious lunch at the Twisted Chile Brewing Company.  When there and in season, try their pumpkin beer!

Tried to get grand doggie in, but he was camera shy.
Daughter Juno joined us for a week in late November to spend Thanksgiving with us, with her brother Jim joining us on The Day and we pigged out on all kinds of goodies prepared.  She brought our grand-doggie Buster too but left the cats at home, where a friend took care of them.


Put Christmas decorations up inside and out taking advantage of the really nice weather. Hope to be able to buy some
more strings of lights to add next year.  I am covering the lights with chile pepper covers, makes for a prettier overall look. (Have the additional light strings bought for next year - love after Christmas sales!) Oh, and due to a blown fuse last night and the 50 amp size not being sufficient enough to carry current electrical loads, nor meeting current State minimum amperage requirements, I will be able to light the place up like a 4th of July firework next year with the larger amp fuse box.

Finally moved my little trailer over to my yard from across the street - thanks to neighbor willing to try it with his little jeep.  So nice to look out kitchen window and see "him" every morning.

Casita trailer friends Jeff and Glenda
Casita trailer friends, Glenda and Jeff, stopped by for a visit and we got to catch up over lunch.

Son came down Christmas Eve afternoon and spent the night with us.  We opened presents together on Christmas morning, including daughter via FaceTime.  That was the neatest experience for me since she couldn't be with us. (Forgot to take a picture, darn)

Tomorrow is daughter's birthday and was hoping to have her birthday present in her hands by then, but alas when an artist is creating something one must allow time.

Decorations will be coming down on the 1st - my tradition.  I bought some flower plant seeds, seed pots and starter fertilizer today!  Think spring fever is hitting me already; but will have to wait awhile.
My winter jasmine plant has been sprouting blooms since late November, one at a time.
I forgot to include a day-trip Juno and I took to Mt Park NM.  On the way there we stopped at White Sands
and then continued up to the Old Apple Barn to buy some green chile chocolate fudge.

Green chile fudge is on the right and I did have to indulge in some other delectable tasting fudge too!

Speaking of the New Year 2015 - I wish all the readers a very good year, a healthy year for continued good health and recovery if you are on the mend.  And may peace and brotherhood thinking and acting prevail.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Just Shut the Dang Phone Off

The poor techies never did find out what the glitch was in the phone system (phone is - VoIP Voice over Internet Protocol for you non- techies) something in the incoming call features; so they just did what you do when your computer gives you the fizzies - you shut the dang thing down and then start it up again. They cut our phone service off and then gave us new phone service - oh, with the same phone number.  Now we can get all those unwanted calls - at least the answering machine still works!

Found a few more boxes of old mementos I had to tenderly put in the trash, that got soaked when the storage shed roof leaked a couple of weeks ago.  I managed to save a few pictures.  Have a guy who could put a temporary roof over the shed for me, coming by with a quote tomorrow afternoon.

The hot weather has subsided and monsoon season is over.  Now getting our southerly afternoon winds and they feel good.  And guess what?  Today is our ONE YEAR ANNIVERSARY of being in Truth or Consequences and our new home (actually yesterday, but was busy with other issues and didn't pay attention to the date).

Jim and I haven't seen any hummingbirds for 3 days now but will leave the feeder up for another week or so as there could be a few stragglers on their way southward.  The last one I saw, on Sunday, came over to the truck as I was getting out of it and fluttered around my face just a few feet away for a little bit and then took off.  Maybe he was saying goodbye until spring - I like to think so.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Remember When Land Line Telephones Were Simple?

That is all we have - no cell phone, would you believe?  Well, that may change.  For the last several weeks our phone has been wringing a half ring and then would quit.

Son told us that our calls are being diverted to voicemail.  We don't have voicemail, although it is a service of our phone provider, as we have an answering machine which has just worked fine thank you.

Finally, tonight I called the phone provider and eventually talked to a technical person.  They are trying to find "the switch" to disconnect the "voicemail" on our line. Grrrrr.  We just use to pick up the phone and answer the call or make the call without worrying who was calling you and screwing you out of something. 

Hate using the answering machine as a screener, but that is life nowadays. 

Friday, September 19, 2014

Made it Thru the Hurricane

Hurricane Odile left us some nice moisture - very little downpours but nice, gentle rain showers.  The flooding that happens around here could have been worse; although the remnants coming into AZ and NM tracked southward and really dumped the rain on Las Cruces and El Paso areas.  Unfortunately, there were some some bad road washouts - mainly 152 that travels over the Black Mountain Range to Silver City and it will be awhile before that road is open.

Update on Jim's prostate cancer.  He had his first hormone therapy injection of Lupron yesterday Thursday. It will be another month before the urologist determines the frequency of injections - monthly, every 3 months or every 6 months. The Lupron slows the growth of the cancer and eases the symptoms of the cancer.  Unfortunately, because the Lupron knocks out his testosterone, he'll get to experience "menopausal episodes".  Oh Lord! Meanwhile, before his next injection next month he'll have a full body scan to be the doc's base line and then 10 days later he'll have a PET scan.  Two good things - prostate cancer is slow growing to begin with and the Lupron will slow it down even more; and Jim's attitude is very positive as he wants to hit 80 years of age (he's 73 now). Thataway to go Jim.

There are fewer hummingbirds around now as many have started their migration southward. I'll be taking down the feeders when the current supply of syrup is depleted and start putting out the birdseed in awhile.  The mourning doves sit on the electrical lines and keep asking me when that day will be. . . .

Am becoming of more value at work!  Am being taught about changing displays now that the garden center area with the plants is winding down.  Halloween items are up and more comes in every week.  Other holiday stuff will start showing up before long.

House hasn't sold and I just recently learned FEMA is raising the premium on my flood insurance by at least 25% - primarily because it isn't my principle residence; and my homeowners insurance is going to be dropped for the same reason - I am not living there so house doesn't qualify for "homeowners" insurance. I do have an option, to rent the house out and just get rental insurance on the property.  Not really what I want to do, living 900 miles away.  So my blogger friends who are putting their house on the market and will not be living in it - heed my situation, you may eventually lose your homeowners insurance.

Had to have a couple of pictures added: Barrel cactus in bloom. Bought some ornamental grass and put them in pots and rescued some mums from work that needed some TLC.

Friday, August 8, 2014

The Good and the . . . .

Well, it has been awhile since I posted.  Had a great time with ye old college days roomies visit.  Jean and Dotty spent one night in town, coming in before I even got off work.

I was explaining something to a fellow garden center co-worker when I heard this voice behind me talking and turned around and there was Jean!  Fortunately I didn't have too much more time to put in, so they killed a little time shopping.
My college roomies Dotty (left) and Jean (right).
Dinner was at Sunset Grill and the girls got their sopapillas the way they liked them. Oh boy, was catching up fun and we had breakfast the next morning at Denny's before they headed out. They were headed toward Tucson and Phoenix to see more friends.  It was a fast trip for them as they did it in 2 weeks.  So glad they included Jim and I in their visit.  Jim was best man at Jean and Jess's wedding 51 years ago, they are still going strong.

I bought a window air conditioner for my bedroom and son came down from Socorro a couple days later to install it for me.  What a blessing it has been - and oh son's help was a blessing too.

Rufous Hummingbird from
The hummingbirds continue to entertain us.  A couple of (ruthless) Rufous Hummingbirds
Black Chinned Hummingbird from
showed up and exerted their way with my fairly timid Black-Chinned Hummers - to the point it was hard for the Black-Chinned to feed.  The (ruthless) Rufous (been trying to get a close up of them as they are really a beautiful bird) are very aggressive, driving the others away and sometimes each other from the 2 feeders.  So I moved one feeder to under the carport roof, thinking that (ruthless) Rufous would get tired of "checking" the feeder to see who was there and would give the Black-Chinned birds some time to feed.  You know what happened?  It is merry, merry in feeder land under the carport roof.  Oh, there is still some chasing; but before only 1 bird would feed at a time, now I have anywhere from 2 to 5 feeding at the same time - and (ruthless) Rufouses will be there along with the Black-Chinned. They will even let me stand next to them buzzing around my head.  I ended up moving the other feeder to the south end of the house in Jim's bedroom window.  Now he is enjoying their antics.

The beautiful Texas Sage in full bloom!
Oh I forgot to mention that just before Jean & Dotty arrived, the Texas Sage bush blew out in full bloom - just for them.  It did that the day we all arrived here, back at the very end of September,  and hadn't broke out in full bloom until just before the girls arrived. Previous owner Geri said it just does it for special occasions!

House hasn't sold yet.

Jim has had a unpleasant week.  He visited the ophthalmologist earlier this week. Good news: his cataracts are "ripe"; but not so good he has macular degeneration in both eyes showing up already giving him some discomfort.  So now he is considering in having the cataracts removed to give him some fairly good eyesight for awhile, meanwhile keeping a close watch on his other problem.  He has started the eye vitamins to hopefully slow down the process.  The pits of getting old.

Then a few days later, he visits the urologist because at his annual PSA test in April, the reading had elevated considerable from "unreadable" for the last 4 years.  He had another PSA test in June and another last week.  Last week's test was 50% higher than the June reading and sending out lots of red flags to the urologist about the strong possibility of the return of his prostate cancer (he had surgery in 2006 and radiation treatment in 2008). He'll have another PSA test in mid-September and if that is close to being 100% of his June reading, then he will be seeing an oncologist. The urologist said that he will probably be started on hormone therapy. Jim is in a good mood and being positive; now me on the other hand. . . .

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

College Days Company Coming

JEAN AND DOTTY are coming for a visit and they are on a Mexican Food trek from their home states of Idaho for Jean and Washington state for Dotty.  So I have a job ahead still looking for good Mexican food places to compete with what they will have encountered on their way down here.  We haven't eaten at very many places yet, but want to check out a little cafe in Arrey and what is in Hatch - home of the best grown green chile.  These two gals were roommates way back at ASC (now NAU) in Flagstaff AZ.  Am getting excited to see them.

SON WILL BE coming down for the fireworks show at Elephant Butte Lake.  Been a long, long time since I have seen fireworks over a lake.  Elephant Butte Lake State Park waives the admission fee that night for the show.  Will probably grill something before going out and make apple pie cake for dessert.

BEEN TRYING TO fix the south side of the carport shed so that when it rains the water runs off the roof to the outside of the wall, instead of the inside!  I managed to get half fixed so the corrugated metal roof edge extends beyond the wall; but, because of the inconsistent structure on the other half, am not coming up with a solution yet.  I tried applying a strip of gutter drip guard, but it's going to take two people to fix it.  Shannon, our city trash hauler that works our area, said today he'd come help me if I needed it.  I just may ask him.

AND OUR OLD neighborhood trash dumpster is now gone and we are using our new poly carts.  I want to build a little alcove to put ours and a neighbor's poly cart in later this fall.

FINALLY GOT AROUND to finish putting up the front sidewalk solar lights and I am pleased with the effect they give off at night.  I blacked out half of the lens so the light would only show on the sidewalk.
Here I am blocking off the light side that is not to be painted.
Spray painted the "back" side of the lens.

How they look in the daytime; and . . . .
how they look at night time. I grouped 3 lights together. 
JIM HAS HIS window air conditioner, now I want mine! Hope to have it installed this week and will be putting one either in the dining area window or a living room window later.  And of course, getting ready for a window air requires that I clean up the window - right?  Mobil home windows are different to work with.  Am learning . . . .

WE ARE IN the traditional monsoon season now, but nothing yet.  A lot more clouds float by each day than a month ago, but they have their mission over on the eastern side of the state I guess.  What rain does fall, evaporates before getting near us.  It does smell good though.

BACK TO WORK as it is my day off - "my Sunday" - and I still have laundry, mopping and napping to do today.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Too Pooped To Write Anything. . .

By the time I get home from working in the garden center at WalMart, am exhausted and my writing desire doesn't surface.  At least I don't work in the heat of the afternoon except maybe one day a week when a plant shipment comes in, then I stay and help get the plants down off the racks and water them as quickly as possible.  Not easy on those plants when they come off a refrigerated truck into 90+º weather.  Some do okay, others are hard to revive and they often become not sellable.

I spend almost 4 hours watering - at one point when the temperatures were in the 100's - around 20,000 plants!  It was hard to keep up with the heat when we had those 100º days as we learned that under the "sunshade" it often got up to 120º!  Now that the temperatures have dropped down into the mid-90's, the surviving plants are showing new growth.  But unfortunately, so many of the plants we receive will not do well here - boston ferns, gardenias, to name a few.

But, we have been told by many a customer that we have the most beautiful garden center in all of southern New Mexico!  And, it smells sooooo good when I go in in the morning.

It's been a bit tough on me physically, especially my left knee and ankle but I have wraps that help.  We are supplied with lots of cold water and suntan lotion; and, I like to spray myself once in awhile! 

Tomorrow is a long day as a shipment is due in, so it is off to bed for me.

Monday, May 12, 2014

It's Up at 5 A.M and then home around 12:30 P.M.

Yup, I went back to work part-time at my last former employer - good ole Wally World.  Except I am in the best department - lawn and garden.  I am in my element, just a different climatic environment.  I get to see so many "smiling flowering faces" in the morning.

It's been almost a year since I put the house on the market and - need I say more when one is supporting two places. No, I don't regret moving when I did.

I am still enjoying this spring so much - the cactus flowers are so beautiful.

 The SW Bird of Paradise trees have put forth such beautiful flowers.

We had a young squirrel for awhile, but haven't seen him for several weeks - he lived in the cinder block fence for awhile.  He is eating a fruit from a prickly pear cactus.

A few hummingbirds are still around. The gold finches have disappeared.

We have not had any rain for quite awhile and so the dust is frequently present.  If we can't see Mt Caballo, to our south, it is really dusty out. 
Mt Caballo is just south of Turtleback Mt, that is visible.
We stay inside.  Today, it is smoke from the Signal Peak fire - located about 10 miles north of Silver City on the west side of the state.

Well, it's getting close to bedtime - 5 a.m. comes early.  Work starts at 7 a.m. and I am the "watering" girl. Well, a 72 year old watering "girl". 

Monday, April 14, 2014

My Spring Here is Such a New Experience. . . .

Long pants today as the bitter cold front that left all the snow in the Central Plains states yesterday is here; but, alas no moisture for us.

 I have watched with such relish all the flowers develop and start to open up on the various plants here. The yuccas and pomegranate right now are the "fun" ones to watch opening up. I've pointed out the yucca stalks in their photos.

Won't be long before these open.
See the pomegranate pods opening?

The pomegranate pods opening up to flowers.

I never realized pomegranate flowers are so beautiful.
I hope I don't lose too many of the buds.
The Texas Sage has a few flowers -
very delicate and beautiful.

The cholla,  prickly pear

and other cactus are sprouting.

Three of the five Winter Jasmine shoots I planted along the alley are taking hold nicely.  I aim to replace the two and plant a couple more in the next couple of weeks.

The Southwestern Bird of Paradise tree/bushes are just covered with buds and close to opening up.(below)

I continue with the trimming of the cactus along the north side of the property, so
Taken at sunset.
when I do get my trailer here on the property, I don't step around the cactus when entering/exiting the trailer

To add to my further spring glee, is the arrival of the hummingbirds (who have to share the feeder with the house finches).
House Finches enjoy the Hummers feed basket. 

Sharing the hummers feeder - hummingbird on left and house finch on right.

Ah, finally to my self! Going to get 2 more feeders.

No moisture but beautiful sunsets that shows someone is getting rain west of us.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

A Visit

Jim and I, along with son Jim went out to the Trinity Site, where on July 16, 1945 the detonation of the first atomic bomb was tested.  The Site is only open one time a year now and draws hundreds upon hundreds out to see it during the hours of 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.

The Site is significant to my brother and I because my dad was there on that day.  My brother wasn't born yet - he would be in a little over 6 weeks and I was a little over 3 years old.

We lived in Los Alamos.  Mom had no idea what dad was doing or why he would be gone from time to time, because dad was a part of the Manhattan Project. 

I have lots of memories:  like nursery school and all the rabbits, rolling the metal hoops around the play yard; seeing my newborn brother through the hospital window for the first time; playing in the river (Rio Grande); that horrible poodle dog of mom's named Puffy (she didn't like me either); the day that I discovered those big metal machines that made lots of noise (tanks) and how I escaped the house unknown to mom, crawled through a hole in the chain link fence and sat in a pile of rocks (I didn't know about snakes or other bad creatures) to watch these big ole noisy machines.  I learned many years later that the town was put on alert as the thought of a kidnapping was paramount on peoples minds.  I was discovered by one of the tank crew members who saw me sitting in the pile of rocks. To this day I still am fascinated by the sound of the old tanks.

Our day started out pretty nice, slight breeze.  The drive out is across the northern end of the Jornada del Muerto valley (a part of the Camino Real Mexico City to Santa Fe route used in the late 1600's - known as the Journey of the Dead). It is easy, even today, to visualize the Spanish travelers moving across this area.  One enters at the Stallion Range Center and drives around 17 miles to the Site.

Here are pictures I took and as the wind picked up so did the dust and the dark clouds came in.
See the people walking out to the Site? Steady line.

Looking south from outside Ground Zero gates.
My son and I are standing in what is left of a large canister, that was built to - in case of failure - contain the explosion.  Since it wasn't needed it was placed on a steel tower 800 yards from Ground Zero.  Above is all that is left.  It is known as Jumbo.

I think these are the Oscura Mts and parts of the Little Burro Mts. to the east.
To the northwest of Ground Zero.
Ground Zero marker.

Son Jim at the Ground Zero Marker

Lone remaining footer of the 100 ft tower holding the bomb.
The sign says Fat Man, but I know it as Fat Boy.
And the weather starts to change with the winds picking up and the rain clouds hovering over the mountains.  Unfortunately, the McDonald Ranch Museum was not open due to some repairs.

You can see the long lines coming out to the left.

Son and Jim heading back to the car. Enough wind.

The day ended with a belated birthday lunch at Socorro's upscale burger joint, complete with white table clothes - Bodega Burger Co; and, a birthday cake made by son and some ice cream. 

It was a fun day, despite the wind, and felt good to get out.  As soon as that house back in Kansas gets sold, I am going to do some more exploring.

Thanks son for a fantastic day.

PS, if you are in the vicinty of Socorro NM, I recommend visiting the El Camino Real International Heritage Museum to learn more about the Spanish history of New Mexico (about 35 miles south of Socorro on I-25; and, to also visit the VLA, located off of US Hwy 60 west of Socorro.