Friday, June 28, 2019

At least it wasn't a REALLY hot day.

Still having cooler than normal weather. Love it. A rather pretty sunset a few night ago. Look towards the west. 
 Even pretty looking east towards The Wetlands and mountains out back. 
Wednesday Bill had an appointment with the cardiologist. It was at 3:00 - We were out of there by 3:20! Amazing. Doctor already had all the records from Bill's trip to emergency room a couple of weeks ago. He wasn't concerned as since then there has been no swelling of Bill's legs or feet. But he does have appointments for a couple of post stent -last June - tests but not until September.
Yesterday we got our new AC/Furnace. They were supposed to be here between 8 and 10. I left to meet friends at 9:40 and they weren't' here. My friends are two women I worked with at Los Angeles School District - we all retired at least 15 years ago. They both live here now. 
When I got home a little after 12:00 the truck was out front. Bill said they got here just before I came home. 
 Ugh I wouldn't want to be the guy who crawled under here. Probably no one has been under there since the house was put here. 33 years ago. 
The old AC. It is the kind that needs freon to function. If it went bad after the first of the year there would be no fixing it. It was still working but really groaning and growling. And we've had to have freon put in it once already. So no brainer when we were offered a good deal from our home warranty company.
Taking out the furnace part. I asked the guy if he could tell how old it was. He said older than me and I'm 32! 
 The new system partly installed. 
 Getting a little hot inside. At least it was a relatively cool day for the end of June in Vegas - high was only 99!
 Installed, but some one will be out to put up some framing and dry wall - some day...The old one was ugly gray metal. so this looks a whole lot nicer. 
The new AC unit. Don't have a very big actual back yard do we. One reason we got this home was because of the nice side yard and view of the desert. 
Took a while for the house to cool down. I kept checking the vents to see if cool air was coming out because now we can't hear the unit running. The old one was LOUD.
Bill continues to work on his bridge project. 
And I have finished my quilt. So now have to think of something else I can do to stay busy inside. Still have to work on my lamp shades, but that has to be done in the garage when it is cool early in the a.m. 
Might bake some banana muffins later today, or not. 

Monday, June 24, 2019

We are enjoying a COLD SNAP with the weather

Weather here has been delightful the last couple of days - yesterday's HIGH was 89! today 95! ]Started writing this yesterday - today it will be 101, but getting back down to 99 in middle of week - the day the AC will be installed. Hope they work fast.] And it will continue to stay a degree or two below normal for a while. 
Been doing very little exciting lately. Just thought this cloud out over the desert was pretty.
A couple of years ago the place we live had someone come in and trap all the bunnies and relocate them. Lots of bunnies back in the area, guess they've been reproducing. They are so cute. I know we shouldn't feed them....
This tree bloomed a second time with more flowers then it had the first time a month or so ago. Really pretty when flowering.
Our black palm tree with the setting sun shining on the under leaves.
Guess Bill was being sneaky with the camera. This is one of the hardest puzzles I've done - finally finished it though. Except for one piece that was missing. Looked all over for it. Couldn't find it. Finally the next day I discovered it under the table between two chair legs.Good thing I decided to mop the floor. 
Bill continues to get up early and go out in the garage to work on his bridge. 
Really making progress. Love the date on it. 
Lots of tedious work on the roof and windows. 
All this still has to have lots of work.
My quilt is almost finished. Just doing the hand work on the binding. Then need to make a label for it. Update - finished the hand work yesterday while watching the NASCAR race yesterday. The last 20 laps were really good. Rest of the race - well I was sewing...
We are still waiting for our medical insurance to reimburse us for Bill's surgery in Mexico in January. Seems like every time I send them something they need something else. But they don't bother to tell me unless I call them!!! Finally last week I was told it is "processing." Hopefully that is good news. Still have not figured out how our new insurance works - Though I was told NOT to use our Medicare card anymore, the Blue Cross is our primary insurance. Then why does Medicare still deduct money every month from our checks??? 

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Enchanted Highway, North Dakota

We haven't been doing much lately so I've been going through some old photos. Came across these from 2003 when we were in North Dakota. I whined enough that Bill gave in and took me for a drive along The Enchanted Highway. It was awesome. 
Here is an article from USA Today about the highway and the man who imagined it. The pictures are mine. If you go online you can find a lot of information about it and more pictures of the sculptures. They are HUGE.

USA Today  Lisa Meyers McClintick, Go EscapePublished 11:58 a.m. ET Aug. 2, 2013
Standing in the shadow of a 40-foot-tall metal grasshopper on North Dakota's grasslands, it's inevitable: Travelers suddenly cower, strap on a look of terror and strike their best B-movie pose.

Cameras click, families giggle and then it's off to the next super-sized scrap-metal sculpture along this 32-mile stretch of highway in southwestern North Dakota. The two-lane road doesn't have a name or number, but it's nickname aims to entice: Enchanted Highway.
The sculptures along the highway add a welcome dose of whimsy to the wide-open horizon. Most of them also offer a free slice of Great Plains history and culture. Those grasshoppers symbolize the plague that devastated wheat crops and pioneer homesteads in the mid-1800s.
Fast-forward a century and a half, and farming remains challenging and populations sparse in this section of the state.
"I saw the town was a dying community," says sculptor Gary Greff, who grew up in Regent, N.D., population about 200, and returned in 1989 after working as a teacher and principal.
The self-taught artist decided to draw attention to his hometown by building the "World's Largest Tin Family" out of scavenged scrap metal, old oil drums and pipes. Colorful and folksy, they've waved to travelers since 1993.
Notice the size of our Jeep compared to the sculptures.
 I thought I had pictures of the father too, but can't find them. 

 Love her hair. 
Increasingly complicated sculptures followed about every five years, including Teddy Roosevelt on a bucking bronco and giant pheasants, the state's famously abundant bird. Greff soon realized he needed to go even bigger to coax travelers from nearby Interstate 94 onto the quiet highway.
What became the world's largest scrap-metal sculpture (earning a spot in the Guinness Book of World Records) "Geese in Flight," towers 110 feet above the exit, about 40 miles east of a section of Theodore Roosevelt National Park. Weighing 78 tons, it makes a minivan feel like a mini Cooper.
It's hard to get people to steer up to North Dakota, but he's really made it into a destination," says Doug Kirby, publisher of Roadside America, which catalogs 9,000 roadside attractions on its app and website. "I haven't seen anyone else do anything on that kind of scale without a budget."
Greff lives frugally, something pioneer ancestors would appreciate. He hit another goal last summer when he opened The Enchanted Castle, a 19-room inn built in a renovated former elementary school. The inn in Regent gives road-trippers a place to rest.
"Twenty-two years later, I'm still at it," says Greff of the quirky art project that spun into a lifelong endeavor. "I just made up my mind I was going to do it."
Additional pictures I took. 

I understand there are more sculptures now. Well worth driving through the peaceful farmlands to experience this. 
Hope you enjoyed this. 

Monday, June 17, 2019

Happy Days - mostly

Time has been passing so slowly - I've forgotten to blog. But then not much to blog about any way.  Had a nice quiet Father's Day. Didn't do any thing special.
Our weather is still being strange. Only a couple of days of real warm. The rest below normal - normal being 100 for this time of year. Had some very strong wind last night, guess there was a storm on the mountain and we got the "down force wind."  [Air conditioning just came on and it is 10:30 - a couple of days last week it was on by 7:30.
Had a couple of pretty sunrises that one or the other of us was up for. Bill has been getting up around 3 a.m. so he can work in the garage before it gets too hot.
 Our Palo Verde tree is blooming again. Never had it bloom twice in one year. Maybe it wasn't done blooming when the winds came and blew all the pretty yellow flowers off it. Nature is a wonder.
 Just a look at our rocks edged with colorful flowers. The lantanas are really flowering and getting big.
Another little bush that just got flowers. The gardener trimmed the lower branches off the tree so these plants could be seen.  
It is just amazing how much the hummingbirds manage to drink/eat. Seems like I'm making sugar water every week. I've only seen three of them coming here.
 They like this feeder better because they can stand on it while sipping. The one above has no where to land. 

My Mexican cactus is going crazy growing. Need to put it into a bigger pot. Wondering if I'll still be able to stick it under the sink in the RV so it can travel back to Mexico this winter.

 Been managing to keep ourselves busy - me doing puzzles. This set is some of the most challenging I've done in a while. The starfish took quite a while.
And this one was fun. This is one of the bigger ones 750 pieces - starfish was 500. Wish this picture had turned out better - a really pretty picture.
I've managed to get out early enough to take a few walks this past week. On one of them I went up past where the RV is stored and discovered this VIOLATION stuck to the driver's side window. CRAP - again? We went through this a year ago. We have a parking permit on it, but the security needs to get out of his truck and walk to the front of the RV to see it.  So this morning we went to the office and showed them the violation and the permit (took pictures.) So to solve the problem they gave us another permit to put on the back of the RV. Hopefully that is the end of this. These yellow stickers are HARD to get off the window.
 So anyway I've been taking it slow with the walking only doing a mile to a mile and a half. Need to keep it up before it gets to be 90 before it is light out.
Sunrise yesterday. I was up by 5:00. Sunrise is 5:23!

 Just after it popped up from behind the mountains.
 Bill continues to work on his wood working - the covered bridge. This is one of the trees that will be part of it.
 He has also been gathering small rocks for it.  And painting them.
I got the binding for my quilt - 40% off! So need to get working on it again. Also got the lead to finish my lamps. Wish I could buy the energy - wrong word but - to get out there and finish them.
Read a couple of good summer reading books. The Beach House Hotel series. First one Breakfast at the Beach House Hotel. Then lunch and dinner.

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Just the slow lane

Continue to not do much - well except for a trip to emergency - which turned out okay.
Sunday I planned on watching the NASCAR race from Michigan but it was postponed and will be run today. Race turned out okay, Kyle took a 20th place car and finished 5th. 
Monday we waited all day for the AC installer to come by and take measurements. Never showed. I texted an unhappy message to company and got call before 8 a.m. this morning - it is now 8:20 and he has been here and is gone. With lots of apologizes. Will be back to install the units the 27th, sure hop it isn't 115 then as it will take most of the day.
I continue to work on my quilt.This is the material I had that I am going to use for the backing. Not really Christmas but festive. Bought it in  Mexico several years ago.
I've been doing some machine embroidery on the quilt. To make it more personal.

Also been doing some small appliques to scatter around the quilt top.  I love to play with the machine embroidery. Except for some reason yesterday I broke several needles. Checked everything on machine, changed needle type and changed threads - still don't know why. Hopefully it will stop 'cause I sure don't want to take it in for repair. Costs a fortune and they always try to sell me the new model by saying soon they won't be able to repair mine. 
Now I just have to figure where to put them and stitch them down. 
Bill continues to work in the garage on a new wood project. A covered bridge. Love the red cedar, it smells so good. 

This is a photograph of the same pattern that he made when we lived in Indiana - it was twice the size of the one he is making now. 
He was busy out there this morning. It will have quite a bit of dimension to it when it is finished. 
Picked up a magazine "75 Easy Chicken Dinners" some yummy recipes in it. Already fixed one. Chicken, snow peas, asparagus and orange slices.
Turned out delicious. Tonight making another one - with plums. Pretty soon we will be clucking...
So any way...why do we always get scary sick on Friday afternoons when all the doctors have left for the weekend...About 3:30 Friday I found Bill sitting at his computer looking at his very swollen lower legs and feet and hands. Oops! Not good. Called doctors - one on vacation the other gone for weekend already. Bill also said he was feeling dizzy. So into the car and to an Urgent Care facility. Discovered they would not take our Anthem/Blue Cross insurance. Dignity Health. So across the street to the hospital emergency room. Luckily within 15 minutes he was being attended to. Lots of blood work, xrays and questions and walking and breathing tests. Everything came back normal. By then, in the very cool hospital sitting down, the swelling was going down some. They gave him a choice, go home, or if he wanted - an overnight stay. But nothing was life threatening wrong with him. To make long story short. On the way home we stopped to eat in cool restaurant. By the time we got home the swelling was much better and after eating he was feeling better. By the next day the swelling was pretty much gone and he is drinking more liquids. But "just in case" he now has a doctor's appointment the end of the month. Seems to be fine since then.