Monday, October 31, 2016

filthy windows

Good morning.
The weather is starting to cool down. We're forecast for mid to upper 70's this week. Lows around low 50's. It'll be the first 70's we've seen since arriving.
And yesterday was window cleaning day.
 We've finally figured out how to get the screens out so we can clean the windows.
They have springs on one side and tabs you pull on the other side. We tried to do that, but couldn't pull them over enough to get them out. We finally discovered that the track was packed with very fine dust that had actually set up like cement, preventing the screen from moving. Had to spray water in there to dissolve all that, flush it out, then the screens came out easily. It does get windy out here occasionally and that dust must have been building up in the track for 10 years. From the looks of the house when we bought it, I don't think the previous owners every cleaned, much less wash the windows.
Craig has a 'special' window cleaning solution he uses with a squeegee that makes the windows crystal clear. We got the patio door and bedroom windows done yesterday and plan on doing the living room and kitchen today. Even the screens were dirty. I sprayed them with a soap solution and rinsed them with the sprayer on the hose and you should have seen all the brown/grey stuff running off. But like I said, they probably haven't been cleaned for 10 years. That's how old the house is.
And I know your probably getting bored with my mountain pics, but here's another one I took on a recent walk....
This one is from the main street that goes through our community.
And we've upped our walks to 2 a day. Morning and late afternoon. And not just a casual stroll. We brisk walk for 30-40- minutes, which equals 2-3 miles.. We actually work up a sweat. I needed to get more calorie burn and this seems to be doing the trick. I think we've finally found a good balance between eating, drinking, and exercise. My weight is finally getting back to where I want it.   :-)
And that's all for today.

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Voted. And it was easy!

Good morning.
We voted yesterday.... :-)
Nevada is a lot different from Michigan in how they prepare and vote. First off, every registered voter gets an Official Sample ballot in the mail. Inside is the ballot for all the offices and proposals that you can fill out and use as a cheat sheet.  Then there are articles on where each candidate stands an numerous issues, And articles for and against each proposal. Gives you time to read it all over and make an informed decision.  There were 8 proposals on the ballet. Then, they tell you to bring it with you when you vote so it takes less time in the voting booth. And although they don't have absentee voting, they do have early voting. Voting in Nevada starts on Oct 22nd and over the course of 3 weeks have various polling places available. A resident can go to any early poling place in the valley to vote. Everything is computerized and online. You go in, give them your name, they pull your info up, you sign a form, they program a card with your info, you take it to a machine and insert it like a credit card. You use the touch screen to vote, it has you check the summary when you're done to make sure you are voting how you want, prints out your choice to confirm and your done. You pull out the card and give it to a worker when you leave. Quick, easy and really convenient! We saw that 3 early voting days were going to be at our community center on the 27th, through the 29th. So we went in yesterday and got in and out.  Good for Nevada! it so nice they make it easy and convenient!
Then here's a pic I took on our afternoon walk.
We had more rain again yesterday and the clouds were giving away to sun on the Sheep Mountains that lie behind our community. I never seem to tire looking at the mountains.
We found a local orchard a few miles west of here where you can go and pick your own veggies. They have very good prices and are open 3 days a week. We were surprised at the variety they offered that they grow on site. They don't have much left at this point, but looking forward to going there a lot next spring and summer.
Talked to a neighbor yesterday. Asked about Halloween and if we needed to buy candy. They said no. We get no trick or treaters here. I was wondering, being an age 55 community.   :-)
And that's all I have for today.

Friday, October 28, 2016

more on our community

Good morning.
Here's a few pics I took on my afternoon walk yesterday...
We had an overcast day, so it was a good day for outside pics. Here's the main water feature in our community
2 small ponds cascading into a very large pond. Attracts all sorts of birds I've never seen before.
That's the Sheep Mountains behind the golf course and community
Another view towards the hotel.
This is a map of most of our community showing the large pond almost right in the middle. The golf course snaking through the community. Our house is at the northern end of the street just to the right of the pond. The golf course gives us some nice greenery to look at on our walks.
Haven't been doing a lot. House cleaning and such. Deadheaded the autumn sage bushes. Planning on a trip up to Zion and Bryce National Parks in the near future.
That's it for now.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

A rainy day

Good morning.
I almost forgot to post about an unusual thing about our hotel room on Sunday. There was a window in the bedroom that looked into the shower!
It had etching on it, but you could easily see in or out.
Above is a pic inside the bathroom, and  through it you can see the TV and window in the bedroom.
I have no idea why that was there.   :-/
We drove home in rain, and it pretty much was a drizzly rain all day. A very unusual weather pattern for this time of year. But the sun came out again on Tuesday.  :-)
So spent the day cleaning and finally getting around to replacing the last 2 ground fault plugs. If you remember, we had a bad one last year and discovered the builder put in cheap ground fault plugs. They would keep tripping. We had 2 replaced, but hadn't gotten to the other 2. So a rainy day was good.   :-)
For the most part the weather has been very nice. Upper 50's to low 60's in the morning and near 80 in the afternoon.
They are getting all the Christmas stuff in the stores. It seems way to early since we are still wearing shorts. Of course it is still just October.  I'm sure we will eventually get in the mood as it gets colder here.
And we have early voting in Nevada. It started Oct. 22nd. There are different poling places every week. They are going to be here at Aliante at the community center Thursday, Friday and Saturday. We will be voting one of those days. They don't have absentee voting here like in Michigan, but with early voting, it's still pretty convenient.
And that's all I got for now....

Monday, October 24, 2016

A mostly fun day

Good morning.
We've just returned from an overnight stay at the Rio Hotel/Casino on Flamingo Rd just over the highway from the strip. One of the reasons for this was we had a very generous gift card for Smith and Wollensky's as a going away present from a good friend/customer. A very high end steak house. We each chose the 14 oz. New York strip. We had sides of scalloped potatoes, marinated mushrooms and duck fat veggies. It was absolutely delicious! We both ate everything!
The restaurant is right on las Vegas blvd and we got a nice table on the patio facing the strip. We decided to walk the distance from Rio to the Restaurant, which was across from Monte Carlo, since we were eating such a calorie laden meal. The walk was about 2 miles each way and with all the people took us about 45 min each way.  Here's a pic on the way back to Rio with all the people out and about.
The main reason we stayed at the Rio, was we had a groupon for the Voodoo Zip Line.  It goes from the top of the 51 story Rio Hotel. Craig really wanted to do it after doing the Slotzilla zip line downtown on Fremont street.
Craig loved it! I barely managed to do it.  It was terrifying! I don't know how I managed to even get on. But it's done and over now and I'll never do it again!
Here's a view from our room on the 35th floor...
The pool area below and the strip across the highway. We actually had a very cloudy day and this morning rain! First rain since we've been here.
We could even see the zip line from our room!
We even did some gambling! First time since we've been here. We lost. That's why we don't go very often.
But it was a very nice room, a nice hotel, great dinner and an overall good time.

Friday, October 21, 2016

backyard progress

Good afternoon.
It's been easy carefree few days. We walk pretty much every day for about 2-3 miles.  We also work out at the fitness center 2-3 times a week. Thursday, was the ARC meeting where we got somewhat approved for my latest additions to the back yard. Here's the Wall art we put up....
  And here's the wall water fountain.....
We received that by Fed-X the same day as the ARC meeting and spent the afternoon putting it together. The entire thing is stone! Not just the slate bevels the water runs down, but everything! Very well constructed. Easy to put together, and works beautifully. wanted it placed next to the wall, but when I went to the meeting, I discovered water features along with plants need to be 3 ft from the lot line.
So, here it is, 3 ft from the lot line. It look 'okay'.
Now, the head of the ARC committee, whom I've had quite a few conversations with over the last couple of months due to all the stuff going on in our yard, came up to me and confidentially told me that after the inspection, I can do pretty much what I want. Which means I'll be than able to move it back next to the wall.
It was very nice of him to disclose that to me. 
So, we are liking the yard as it develops further.
That's it for now....

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

a little update.

Good morning.
Here's the latest goings on......
 Been walking every morning. Doing about 2-3 miles each day. Getting to know the street names better.   :-)
I've also been busy putting together another proposal for the ARC committee that meets this Friday. I want to put a couple of things on the back wall across from the covered patio......
These colorful geckos......
And this 49 inch tall water fountain.


They would go on the wall as marked.
So I have the paperwork together and will submit that today for Fridays meeting.
I also got around and finally took off the 2 satellite dishes that were on the edge of the house from the previous owner. One was wired to the house and the other wired to the second bedroom.
Once we got the patio extended and started sitting out there, they really started to 'bug' me.
And much better now. Will have to store them in the garage until next weeks bulk pickup.
We've also been on little driving trips around the valley doing more exploration. Discovering there are a lot of interesting things to do in the Vegas area. We will be staying far away from the UNLV campus in central eastern part of the valley, as the last Presidential debate is going to be there Wed.  I'm sure they will have a ton of roads closed and traffic will be a mess.
It's now been over 8 weeks since we 'retired' and we don't miss working one bit!   :-)
We do miss some of the people, but not enough to move back. Like the weather here better.   :-)
And with that, time to go.

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Making the backyard my own.

Good morning.
We added a little art piece to the garden...
It's a dragonfly given to us by Colleen, a co-worker from the Salon as a going away present. We hung it on a branch in our one backyard tree.
And here's pics of the plants we chose for the backyard...
This first plant is called Red Bird of Paradise. It gets brilliant orange/red flower in the summer.
Next is Bottlebrush. In the spring and sometimes fall, they get red bottlebrush like flowers.
Then, Coral Autumn Sage. They get kinda hot pink flowers.
This next plant is called Baja Fairy Duster. It gets delicate fan like red flowers.
And last is a purple spreading Lantana.
Every plant we chose attracts hummingbirds so I expect to see them a lot.
We also bought a couple of pots and planted cactus in them.
I can't plant anything within 3 ft of the lot line according to our HOA, but I can put pots anywhere I want.
The left cactus is called Silver Torch and the right one San Pedro.  In between, if I get ARC approval, will go a wall water fountain. I'll know next Friday.
So, we're starting to add our own personal touches to the yard to make it 'ours'. It's very nice sitting our there and soaking in the sun and watching the humming bird.
My Mom wrote and was concerned about wildfires she heard about on the news. I explained they were nearly 7 hours north of us up by Reno/lake Tahoe. Nevada is a big state, and Vegas is in the southern tip.
Also Thursday, a visit from Vice President Biden really messed up traffic. He flew in to Nellis Air Force base which is in the north-eastern part of the valley. His motorcade came down the 215 and got off right at Aliante. They closed the overpass, and Aliante Blvd from Elkhorn to Centennial. We were at Smiths grocery store and had to go our the side street and take back roads to get home. Good thing we've gotten to know a lot of the roads around here. He was going to a union hall for a speech with one of the local politicians.
Don't know why he came by us since the union hall is near downtown and we're at the northern edge of the valley, except they said he made a few stops on the way, but didn't say what they were.
So that caused a big traffic mess for a short time.
And I guess I've talked enough for today.....

Thursday, October 13, 2016

a few pics

Good morning,
It's been a couple of beautiful days. Starts out in the mid 60's and gets to near 90.
Here's another pic we took on a morning walk this week...
There were clouds hanging over the Sheep Mountains. I never seem to tire looking at them. The mountains that is.   :-)  Although I do like seeing the clouds too, as we have very few days of them so far.
Here's a rabbit taking a siesta on out front walk. At first I thought it might be injured as I've never seen a rabbit 'lay' like this before, but a noise  scared it and he was up and gone in no time.
And here's a pic of a hummingbird that comes to our newly landscaped yard several times a day. Every bush we planted will have flowers that attract hummers, so I expect to see a lot of him. And apparently he doesn't think we have enough to share as he's constantly chasing away other hummers that try to come in.
We found a couple of pots we like and are buying some cacti for them today. We have no restrictions on where we can put pots in our back yard. We are going to put them between the second patio and the wall, and in between them a wall fountain. As soon as we get ARC approval for the fountain. That will be next week.
And that's it for now.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

a nice birthday

Good morning.
It's been beautiful weather! Mostly sunny and very mild. Around 90. And really, 90 feels more like 75 when the humidity is low. It's at 24% this morning and 68. Here's a pic of us relaxing on our new patio yesterday afternoon.
Had a very nice birthday yesterday,  Did our usual approx. 2 mile walk, then went to the fitness center for a little workout, then we drove all over the outskirts of the valley to a few landscape/patio stores. We were looking at fountains, pots and wall art. Want to add a personal touch to our newly done back yard. I'll post pics when we find something.
Then we had lunch at the Aliante golf club grille.
Here's a pic of our new patio extension from the living room.
And they came over on Sunday and finished the walkway to the side gate.

I love the way they designed the concrete borders around everything. A lot more work on their part, but a really nice effect. Helps it to look like a patio extension instead of an addition. And yes, the walkway isn't centered with the gate. We decided it would look better centered between the patio and the wall. And the gate opens from the left. Besides, we don't use the gate hardly at all, and you can't see the gate from the patio.
Now time to shower and get on with the day....

Sunday, October 09, 2016

backyard nearly complete.

Good morning.
Here's the yard pretty much done! And no grass!
The dry riverbed adds some nice interest.
The cement borders with the paver stone inserts turned out great!

And they did a great job capping the wall.
Now we just need to add some decorative touches and we'll have a nice cozy courtyard.

Saturday, October 08, 2016

backyard progress.

Good afternoon.
It's been a busy couple of days!
The plants, pavers and stones to cap the wall were delivered yesterday.


This morning, bright and early at 7am, the crew showed up and got to work.
Preparing the area for pavers.
Planting plants and getting ready to cap the wall.
Laying pavers...
One section done and starting the next. Worker in the background capping the wall.
Delivery of the yard stone. We chose a color called Cappuccino.   :-)
Putting down weed block and installing the dry riverbed.
Everything is looking like I envisioned it!
I won't be able to get good pics of the rest of the job until morning. The late sun washes out all the pics.
Keep tuned!
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