Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Still Bumping Along...

I'm still alive even though I haven't written in this blog in a loooong time. It took "Margaret's" comments to inspire me to write in it again. Thank you, Margaret!

I retired in May 08 and in October 09 we moved out to DeAnza Springs Resort near Jacumba, CA, full time and we are now involved in the daunting project of constructing a 20 ft x 20 ft addition to our home. We are not doing the actual building, we have a contractor, but it is still a full time job, I think. And it's exciting to watch it take shape.

Oh, one big change happened in March 09--we adopted a darling little 13 lb dog from San Diego Humane Society. They say she is a Chahauhau (sp?) mix but she looks like a tiny Husky and she runs like a greyhound at the Pet Park off leash. She is a great addition to our little family! She's never had an "accident" in the house. Her only difficulty (for us, not for her) is that she takes her job of guarding our property very seriously and wants to bark at anyone who drives by or comes to our door. Otherwise, she's great! And she's just the right size for us! Her name is Ren, which means elegant and dignified, according to my stepson, who helped me pick her out and named her.

Friday, December 07, 2007

Inspiration from Comments...

I have really been remiss in writing here on this blog, mostly because so few people leave comments. Today I received a lovely comment from one of my fellow desert dwellers. She found me through a comment I left on another blog. I was very touched and look forward to meeting her when she comes back down here. Many people live here only in the summer.

I can understand that. One of the things that's interesting about spending some time out here all year around is that we are much more aware of Mother Nature. Somehow, in the city, we are more isolated from Mother Nature. Anyway, I feel that way. Here today the winds are blowing at about 40 MPH gusts. The clouds are rolling in over the mountains.

The wind has been so strong that it has blown all the hummingbird food out of it's little container. It actually blows it out through the "flowers" that the hummers drink from. We put a bird feeder out, too, and those birds are having a good time eating and even taking baths from the bird bath.

Thank you, Maureen, for your comment. See, one never knows how one inspires another.

Friday, September 21, 2007

New Adventures with The Seasons in the Desert.

Okay, we read the weather report while we were still in San Diego. Yes, it was cool for San Diego--70s. Pleasant, of course. And it was supposed to be 71 in Jacumba on Thursday morning. Now, we had seen weather reports of 85 in Jacumba; my husband laughing, "Yeah, right!" when it felt like 95+ in the sun.

When we drove out on Wednesday night and opened the car window, we were both shocked at how cold it was. Not cool. Cold! It was probably 50 and windy. And when it's windy in the desert, it's colder. Anyway, no lovely sitting outside sharing enjoyment of the stars, the lovely coolish air. No, we were shivering inside, eating our snack prepared by my lovely husband, snuggled in bed, watching a dumb movie. We had never had the heater on inside the trailer and besides, we had a cozy comforter on the bed, so we were nice and snuggly warm--while under the covers.

The next morning, it was really cold! 48 degrees inside. Overcast outside. No sun that day! Jack started figuring out the heater. He was able to get it on, but it didn't appear to have warm air coming out of the vents that used to have air conditioning coming out. We called the air conditioning repair man who had come out here in July to fix our air conditioner. The heater is fueled by propane tanks and the hot air vents were the ones we had covered with cardboard to keep the flies out because we could see daylight when we looked into the vent. Jack went under the trailer to see what the problem was. There was a gaping hole, chewed open by some animal, probably a rat in the piping which was like dryer exhaust. He duct-taped it up and--voila--all the warm air came inside as it was supposed to. What did the world do before duct tape?

Then he turned on the hot water heater. we hadn't needed it before because when it was hot here, the water was warmed by the sun enought to take quick showers and wash dishes. But now, with the cold weather upon us, the water out of the faucet was c.o.l.d!

I expect it will warm up again before it really stays cold by November. At least we had a plan-ahead adventure before it got too severe. Didn't see much of Stars and Stripes this weekend. I guess it's too cold for lizards and the lack of flies was wonderful!

Friday, September 14, 2007

Life in the Desert with Flies, Fires, and Lizards…

Wednesday evening as I was driving out I-8 to Jacumba, CA, I saw off in the distance huge, red billowing clouds east of Pine Valley, CA. I couldn’t see any flames from the freeway, but it was a bit scary. My husband, who was about 15 minutes behind me said he did see flames from the freeway.

Fortunately, it was contained by the next day and didn’t get close to us. I learned from the Pine Valley News online that it burned 1750 acres of Cleveland National Forest. Wow!

It’s a tad bit cooler here now, 85 degrees, rather than 105 degrees, but the flies are still in full force. Both our Fly Zappers died from overuse. Fun as they were, they were too flimsy to withstand the constant use we put them to.

Yes, we now have two pets—Stars and Stripes, two small lizards that hang around to catch the flies. First there was Stripes, a tiny lizard that kept showing up and could fly on and off the first step. Then, this weekend, he/she was joined by a slightly larger brother/sister. We decided to name him/her Stars since we already had Stripes.

I killed a fly on a flat surface and it flew off and Stripes caught it mid-air. It was so funny to watch him that we are now trying to kill flies for lizard food. It seems they like to catch them while they are flying, or at least moving. Once they are dead on the ground, they leave them for the ants to dismember and carry home. Ah, nature.

Jack and I jokingly say, “What did you do this week?” Answer: “Watched the lizards and killed flies.” My, what a life.

We drove around last night in our little golf cart we named “Hot Stuff” since it’s red and white. Just as we made a turn, a deer came dashing not 20 ft. from us. He was running in the same direction as we were going. Needless to say, he was going a lot faster than we were and took off into the safety of the hills. Every day and night some surprise comes up. Not big ones, fortunately. It’s the little ones that touch us.

Friday, September 07, 2007

My How Time Flies When We're Having Fun...

Almost a whole month has passed since I last wrote about lizards and flies. We have since named the tiny little lizard who shows up a lot, Stripes. He can fly down from the first step, which is about 3 inches. And fly up, too. Pretty cute, he is. Of course, he doesn't do it on demand, like a dog might do, but he is pretty cute flying up or down. I guess he eats flies.

I think that because there sure are a lot of flies out here in the desert in July/August. Apparently, he doesn't eat enough of them because he is pretty darn small and there are a lot of flies! They are lessening thank heaven!

We are still loving it out here, in spite of a couple of mishaps, large numbers of flies, one electrical black-out, and hot, hot, hot weather. My husband put up a metal-tubing carport with the cover made of canvas. Guess what canvas becomes in the desert--a sail!! It blew over within a week. Luckily, he was here and caught it--believe it or not. He then cut the canvas off and dismantled the mental pipes. He wanted someone to drive by and ask him what happened to his carport. He was dying to tell them he was working on a metal sculpture. Anyway, it's now all dismantled, so I couldn't take a picture of it in it's sculptural form.

Luckily, it didn't fly into the neighbor's shed, house, our gazebo, etc.

I'll try to write again sooner; this has been fun.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Education from Flies and Lizard

One of the things that we deal with out here in the desert is flies. From having a lot of them to watch and deal with, I can’t help noticing how similar they are to people in unsatisfactory relationships.

For example, they are cheerfully flying around in a large, closed in area, feeling foot-loose and fancy free (I imagine), when suddenly they get themselves in a tight spot, take, for example, a tall cylindrical candle holder. They buzz around, helplessly, beating themselves against the glass, unable to figure out that if they only would do something differently, such as fly upwards, they could be free.

Of course, I am watching them and waiting for them to figure that out, waiting with my trusty “Fly-Zapper” to get them when they do get out.
That part isn’t necessarily part of bad relationships, usually, anyway. But, in a way, it is part of life. No matter how smart, how “healthy” we approach life, none of us are going to get out of this alive.

I watched a cute little lizard come zipping into my gazebo yesterday, then he couldn’t figure out how to get out of it, even though there was a gaping space not 6" away. It took him a dozen tries to find that space before he got to freedom. I thought then, too, how that is like so many women, and men, too, in unsatisfactory relationships but unable to take effective action to get out.

Maybe I’m thinking of this because I hear so many callers to the hotline complaining either of being left by a man who has treated them badly, cheated on them, took their possessions, etc., and now they are crying because the jerk has left them. I know, I know. Grief is normal with any loss.

Another common call we get is from men and women who want to leave but who are afraid to be alone, afraid they won’t make it financially without their partner. Or afraid they will never find anyone to love them again.

How are they like the lizard and the fly? Little imagination or trust in themselves.

I probably should quit now, before I alienate everyone.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Previously delayed post...

I thought I had the problem of not writing daily to my blog solved. I was writing to my email address, thinking I could then upload it to my blog later. However, as you can see, that didn't work out exactly the way I planned it.

However, we are now on plan B. My husband, Problem SolverMan, figured out a way to be able to get on the Internet more consistently when we are out here in the desert. He added a 2.4 GHz Wireless Range Extending Antenna, so now if I don't get a new blog up on Thursdays and Fridays, I have no excuse.

Melissa wrote me a very gracious comment to my blog in which she said, "There are times to write and times to live. It looks like this is your time to sit, back, relax... and enjoy!" That was lovely of her, I thought. It made me stop and relax about pushing myself to write, instead, just stop and enjoy life. I AM!

One of the things I enjoy out here in the desert is that I get a fresh perspective on tiny things and large things. Ah, maybe that's a subject to save for another blog...

Oh, and BTW, I have been much more conscious about how I respond to people on the hotline, now mind you, I wasn't a meany before, or rude, but sometimes, it does get difficult to be kind to someone who is yelling at me for not reason. But I am getting better by being more conscious. Those pearls...