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Thursday, September 29, 2016

hauling stones

Good morning.
Well, it's been another couple of busy days.  The landscapers are coming out Sat. to start the excavation process so I wanted to salvage as much of the stone in the back yard as I could. Because of the high mineral content of the soil, the stones eventually break down and have to be 'refreshed'. So, wanting to save a little money, I've been shoveling up buckets of stones and hauling them to the front and top dressing what I have out there. It looks real nice, but heavy work. I'm doing most of it in the mornings when it's nice and cool. We are still getting up to near 90 in the afternoon. Very pleasant to sit on the patio, but a little warm to do strenuous stuff. I've also filled 7 buckets with stones and have them in the garage. I'm thinking of having the 3 large Rosemary bushes in the front yard torn out next spring and would need those to fill in the area around the new plants.
And here's a few pics i took coming home yesterday...

Coming off the highway. Across the highway is the large Aliante casino Hotel. Our community is right behind it.
And a couple of roads coming up Aliante Boulevard. We do have a lot of greenery here. Just not a lot of grass.
And I've picked out the plants I want for the backyard. When I get a little time, I'll post pics and names of them.
Well that's about it for now.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

too much yard work

Good morning.
It's been a busy couple of days. Trimmed 4 bushes and 2 trees. Guess I still have too much yard work to do.   :-)

Filled 8 bags with trimmings and leaves bundled up 2 groups of branches, and 2 piles of broken down boxes from stuff we've bought. Wanted to get this done as today is bulk pick-up day. Twice a month they have bulk pick-up. That's the only time you can put out stuff that doesn't fit in your trash cans.
Sorry for the dark pics, but took these early this morning.

The dark area underneath this bush is where the branches had grown so long they covered the ground (kinda like the neighbors bush next to it) and the access panel for the drip irrigation system. I'll need to add some fresh stones around the bush. And I have plenty in the back yard that will soon be torn out so I might as well use some of them.
We have 2 trees in the front yard and one in the back.
We also bought a small chest freezer so we can take advantage of sales and stock up. Especially turkeys when they go on sale for Thanksgiving.
Went to one of the area farmers market on Sunday and was greatly disappointed. Only about 12 booths and just one of veggies.  I did get some very tasty jerky though. We'll try another market next Saturday. That one sounds like it'll be bigger. But it's only on the 1st and 3rd Sat. of the month.
Well that's it for now.

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Yet, another post.

Good morning.
Another busy day. Didn't plan it that way, but once we got going....
We have 3 bushes along the side walk to our front door that had gotten way to big, sooo

We got out there and went to work. Bulk trash pick-up is Tuesday, so we wanted to get it done before then.
We pruned them back, and pruned them up. I've got a little more cleaning up to do on them, but they are going to look much better. Filled 3 very large trash bags.
Another view, before and after.
Also got a couple of tool racks for the garage.....

For the blower, hose, rakes and nippers.
So we continue to get slowly organized. Need to get a couple of cabinets for the garage sometime.
Today we're going to check out one of the many farmers markets in the valley.

Saturday, September 24, 2016

another update.

Good morning.
Well, we did the DMV thing yesterday, and it took a little over an hour. Craig spent a good part of the afternoon, putting plates and frames on the cars. In Nevada, your required to have a plate on the front and back if the manufacturer  makes the car for one. Neither of our cars have existing mounting holes so I said forget it. But, Craig being a by the book guy, wanted plates on the front too.

So he did.   :-)  
 He bought brackets online and mounted them on the front of the cars. They look pretty good!
So we are now Nevadans. But we are still Spartans!
And we also have Craig's little office put together.
It's a cabinet that sits in the corner of the master bedroom. You open the doors and there's a little waste basket on the lower left door, and magnetic/eraser boards on the other. I added strip lighting to the top of the cabinet to give him enough light. He likes it real well.
So we're done with the DMV. In the future, we should be able to do everything online.   :-)
I also have a guy coming out to measure a window for a solar screen. It's a mesh vinyl type fabric stretched over a frame and fits over the outside of the window. A lot of home out here have them. They reflect up to 90% of the heat rays. We have one window, my bedroom, that gets afternoon sun. Also, the neighbors house next door, has a widow right across from mine. The shade will also give me privacy by blocking their view, but still let me see out and let light in. It'll be like our security door. We can see out, but no one can see in. I don't know how that works, but it's pretty cool.
I think today is going to be a play day. We'll see.

Friday, September 23, 2016

busy, busy, busy!

Good morning.
This first pic is of our morning walk on Wed. 

Still quite cloudy, and getting very humid. It actually got up to 73% humidity on Thursday. Never had seen it that humid before. By Thursday afternoon, the sun was back and humidity down to 13%. Much better!
I also on Thursday cleaned out my puter. With the move and all, I didn't do my July cleaning like I usually do. So I turned it off, took the side off the puter, and used canned air to spray out all the dust. It was pretty bad.
We also met with the landscapers and here's the latest drawing for the back yard....
The orange areas are pavers for the patio extension and walkway.The white edging is going to be a cement border around the pavers and along the walkway. The winding lumpy looking thingy is going to be a dry riverbed with flowering shrubs planted on either side of it.  The dark grey area is the existing covered patio.
The big white squares are the house.  The reddish brown outline around the yard is the existing wall. We have a privacy wall around our little back yard.
So the plan is looking good right now. They will start the excavation process probably in a week or so. All of the existing stone and a lot of the soil will be removed.
 Everything in this pic will go....
 The tree and  the 2 shrubs by the tree will stay. And the unfinished wall will be capped.


This is where the walkway will go to the gate.
 Add the patio will extend out into the yard from the existing covered patio.
So very anxious to get this project going. The next step will be submitting the plans to the ARC committee for approval. The next meeting is Oct. 7th.  I've been in regular contact with the Director of Standards & Compliance on every aspect so far so we shouldn't have any issues with the committee.   :-)
And here's a pic of Craig doing what he loves.....cooking!
Mushroom filled ravioli lasagna!
It was delish!
Now time to go. We have another date with the DMV. This time for license plates and registrations.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

busy time.

Good morning.
Meant to post yesterday, but was just too busy.   :-)
Sunday, after our walk, we drove down to the South Point Casino Hotel. It's way on the southern  end of the valley. Got players cards but didn't gamble. They have a free show every Thursday that our neighbor Obbie recommends but you need players cards to get the free tickets.  We haven't been to a show yet, but now we have the cards in case we decide to go. The entertainment appears to be dated for an older crowd than us, but hey, for free it might be fun.  :-)
Monday, went for our morning coffee walk, then over to the fitness center. Back home, we trimmed up the tree in the front yard, and blew out all the dead leaves from the last 2 years. Tuesday was trash pickup so got all the branches and leaves stuffed into the can. Front yard looks much better!
Tuesday, we walked again, and then over to the Nevada DMV to get our new drivers license. They have a similar setup like in Michigan. You go online and make an 'appointment'. Ours was for 9:15. But they make you go early and 'check-in'.  Seemed a little stupid, but they want to make sure you have all the documentation needed. We did. So we checked in, and went into this enormous room with what must have been 30 rows of chairs, half of them with people waiting. They also had 28 windows of people being served. We did get called to a window within 10 min. of our scheduled time. Not bad for such an enormous place and so many people.  They give you a temporary id, and punch holes in your old one.

Our new Nevada id's should come in about a week. Then, on Friday, we get to go back again! This time for plates and registrations. We first have to get a VIN identification inspection. and a smog test on his Hyundai. The Vin inspection is done at a drive through station outside the DMV. The smog test at many gas stations.
We'll do those today. We also have to surrender the old plates, which means taking tools to the DMV and removing the plates before we go in. We also stopped and ate lunch on the patio at a place called BJ's.
It was a cloudy day. Remnants of Hurricane Paine off the coast of Mexico. Made for a very pleasant day temp wise. And reminded us of Michigan, except for the palm trees and mountains.    :-)
 Then back home, we spent over an hour on the phone redoing our insurances on the house and cars. Had to drop coverage on the Honda and the apartment back in Michigan. And convert car coverage to Nevada and add the house.
 So staying pretty busy right now.

Saturday, September 17, 2016

adjusting

Good afternoon.
Things are going pretty good.  We are adjusting to our new retired desert life. We've been walking every day, and even worked out at the fitness center this morning after our walk.  On Thursday. I thought I might keep some of the stones from the back yard in case I need to 'freshen' up the front yard in the future. So, I scooped up three 5 gal buckets and put them in the garage. Friday morning the landscaper we decided on came and did some in depth measuring and discussing exactly what we want. They plan on coming back on Sunday with drawings and samples.
I also went to the ARK meeting on the wall art I wanted to put up. It was approved and we hung it that afternoon.

And it's been mostly a cloudless beautiful several weeks since we've been here.

These are views from out patio.
We also made 'appointments' for the Nevada DMV for Tuesday morning to get our Nevada licenses. Printed out several forms to fill out and have to take a crap load of stuff to prove we live here now. It's nice we were able to make appointments so we don't have to sit there half a day or more.    :-)
Then, after we get Nevada drivers  license we'll switch the car registrations over. Then after that, we'll start getting our health insurance switched to Nevada. I just didn't realize all the hassle it was moving to another state. But we'll get it done.   :-)
And Craig decide we need to try and stay on a weekly schedule, so that means Saturday night munchies! And tonight that means home made nachos! And with that, I'm off to help him dice and slice.   :-)

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

another post.

Good afternoon.
Another busy couple of days.
We've been extending our daily morning walks longer and into the father reaches of our community. Then on Tuesday, we hit the gym. Didn't do an awful lot as we didn't want to be too sore this morning. But got in a nice workout. Going back tomorrow morning.
Tuesday was also bulk pick-up day. The trash is picked up weekly and twice a month they have 'bulk' pick-up. That day you can put out anything that won't fit into your trash cans. I was able to put out all the broken down boxes and bags of packing material we had from the cube. 
Got our last estimate for the back yard. Picked one of the companies and they are coming out Friday for a detailed measurement and to sign contracts.
Went to Winco today, one of the grocery stores we have here in the valley. Found they have some good prices and products we can't find elsewhere. We stocked up.   :-)
Did some minor projects around the house today.  Put the ironing board on the wall in the 'laundry' closet, mended a pair of shorts, and installed an under cabinet light in the kitchen where Craig wanted a little more than the ceiling lights give.
And that's all I've got for today.

Monday, September 12, 2016

another busy day.

Good afternoon.
Another busy day.
Craig discovered while fixing dinner, our porch lights were flashing dimly. Turned out, the new LED lights we installed are not compatible with the  the wall switch that controls them. Sooo we had to go out this morning to buy a new switch. Got that installed and they work again.  :-)
Then we had the new washer and dryer delivered today. They got the old ones out and the new ones in in about 30 minutes. They new exactly what they were doing. 
Then, we headed over to the community center to drop off the ARC plans for our patio. We wanted to get approval of a wall decoration and a light. They meet Friday.
Then we took a nice 30 minute drive over to Mt Charleston.

Where we had drinks and lunch. It was a rather chilly 76 up there as opposed to 96 in the valley.
Amazing the change in vegetation and temps in such a short distance.
We got back home to get the mail and Craig finally got his official Social Security form letter  about his benefits. And we got a keypad remote garage door opener. Will be nice not to have to go in and out the front door when we take our walks.
And for dinner? Ham steaks with fried taters and honey ginger carrots.
Tomorrow, we hit the gym. All this easy retirement living is adding to my tummy.   :-)

Sunday, September 11, 2016

busy day.

Good morning. it was a busy day yesterday.
Went for our usual morning walk. Each day we take a slightly different route slowly exploring our entire community of 2026 homes. Then at 11:00 am we headed over to the community center to take the fitness orientation class.
We have very nice facilities that we pay for with our association fees. These are stock pics from the association web site as I didn't think it was appropriate to take pics of people working out.

The fitness center is equipped with the most advanced equipment. The resident fitness instructor spent nearly 2 hours going over every piece of equipment and how to use them. There were 7 of us new residents attending the class. They give this class once a month.
It was a very good class. We plan on going there hopefully about 3 times a week.
They also have an Olympic size pool.
On the way back to the house, I noticed some clouds in the sky! Don't see that often.   :-)
They were throwing cool shadows on the Sheep Mountains that sit behind our community.
Then we had another project.....

 We put new coach lights on the garage.  The ones above are typical of what's on most of the homes out here. We wanted something different and fresher looking.

So we had to submit the proposed change to the ARC, (Architectural Review Committee) Who according to our HOA needs to pre approve everything that's done outside my front door. That will also include the back yard. So it got approved and it was pretty easy and quick to swap the old one out for the new ones. They are even led, so will use only 9w each instead of 60w.
Then, for dinner, I cooked pork cutlets on the grill.
Had them with roasted peppers, onions, and zucchini with long grain wild rice.  Love our natural gas grill!.
Also got another quote for the landscaping of the back yard. So far, the first 2 quotes are about $2000 less then my own estimates. Should get the 3rd quote Tuesday.
So this was a long post, and a busy day. Today, I don't think we have much to do.

Friday, September 09, 2016

some time at the strip.

Good afternoon.
We finally took some time off from the house and stuff and went down to the strip to people watch.

Here's us at New York New York having a cold one in the lobby bar.
They built a promenade between New York and Monte Carlo to the new Arena. These waterfalls really help bring down the temps.
The center piece to this 'Park' is a 40 ft sculpture called Bliss Dance.
It even lights up at night.
It was a nice diversion from all the stuff we've been dealing with since we got here. And, we didn't even gamble! Haven't been to a casino since we got here. Of course, part of that is probably because we've been spending  lot of money anyway. 
But people watching on the strip is fun. Reminds us of the times we came here many years ago to party, soak up the atmosphere and let loose. Now, I just want to relax.   :-)

Thursday, September 08, 2016

Internet, and helping a neighbor.

Good afternoon.
Well, I finally have Internet.....again!
I had Century Link come out last Saturday and get me hooked up. The tech discovered the line running from the house to the sidewalk, and the line running from the sidewalk to their box down the street was bad. He replaced the line from the sidewalk to the house,   got me hooked up, but said my speed would be slower and I'd have intermittent signal loss. They would send a tech out on Tuesday to replace the line down the street, Then I'd be full power. Well, on Tuesday, the tech arrived to discover he couldn't replace the line as it was buried and wasn't put in a conduit. The only way to replace the line would be to trench it and he said the company wouldn't pay for it. So basically, I couldn't get service with them or anyone who offers DSL. So, my only choice was Cox. I called and set up an appointment for Wed. afternoon. The 2 hour time slot came and went with out anyone showing up. I called and eventually was told a mix up in the work order was the problem. So, we rescheduled for this morning, and finally, I'm back online. And of course, Cox is nearly twice the cost of DSL. And then I had to take the Century Link modem to a nearby office so I won't be charged for it.
In between all this, I've had 3 different landscapers out to look at the backyard. The last one just an hour ago. Now the waiting game for estimates.
And we also helped out a fellow neighbor. I got an e-mail from our neighbor across the street. They go back to Minnesota for the summer. She got a form letter from the association about her landscaping  needing maintenance. She asked me to take a look to see what the problem was.

Well, they have a 5 ft rule for trees. They must be pruned 5 ft above the ground.  As you can see, hers was hanging quite a bit below that. I told her I'd prune it back for her and send her pics.
Took us about half an hour to trim and bag it up. She gave us her garage code and we put it in there until bulk pick-up next week.
So been a busy few days.
Oh, and as promised from my last post, don't buy the Kale, Mango, Blueberry salad. It was way to much Kale and not enough of the other.  :-)