Friday, December 15, 2017

a trashcan snitch and a painful day

Good morning.
When we went down to the strip on Tuesday and spent the night, I asked our neighbor across the street to put away our trash cans. Tuesday is trash pickup day in out community. Well, we get home Wed. and one of our trash cans isn't in the garage. I assumed the neighbor couldn't get the door opened and put the can in her garage. But when I saw her she said she completely forgot all about it. So, what happened to the trash can?
I decided to look at our camera system recordings to solve the mystery. And here's what I saw....
At 6:45, neighborhood watch drives by. Look how our Christmas lights make the tree look ghostly.
Then, at the 7:04 mark, here comes our neighbor....

Grabs our can and takes it to his house.
Yep! It was our next door neighbor!
So, I went over to retrieve it. Apparently, they arrived home that evening and saw the can sitting there and all our shades were closed. They figured we must be gone and the trash can sitting out there would advertise that, so they put it in their garage for safe keeping.
Have I said how many nice neighbors we have?
So case solved! We do like our surveillance system.
Then, on Thursday, I decided to add another shelf in our pantry. It was getting pretty full and another shelf higher up would help. We went out and got a shelf, I cut it to fit, got the supports in and put the shelf in to check the fit before securing it. Well, it got a bit wedged, and as I tried to lift and twist it out, I did something to my arm that caused extreme pain. I couldn't move it in hardly any direction without pain. I iced it and and even later it was still extremely painful. Craig insisted I go to an urgent care facility. Long story short, After 3 1/2 hours, it was determined I have soft tissue damage between my elbow and wrist. That means a lot of rest and no activity for a while. If it's not starting to feel better in a week or so, I may need an MRI to determine if I have a complete tear, which hopefully I don't. I guess time will tell. I have it in a sling to help minimize movement.
So, I'm laid up for a while unable to do much with just one good arm. I guess it's good I'm retired an not working.   :-)

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

a trip to the strip.

Good afternoon.
We've just returned from an overnight down on the 'strip'.   We stayed at Ellis Island Casino/hotel on Koval, about a long block from the strip. Nice little motel with 300 rooms and a cozy casino. Stayed there because the price was good, it's a Wyndham member, and I needed one more night this year to reach Platinum. Rooms had been recently remodeled so was really quite nice.
Walked up and down a good part of the strip, people watching and checking out the Christmas displays. Here's the every popular display at the Bellagio Conservatory....

They do such a beautiful job every season. Definitely worth the trip! And here's a pic of the High Roller at the end of the Linq.
And no, we haven't been on it yet. It's billed as the worlds tallest observation wheel. Takes a little over half an hour for a full rotation.
Strip wasn't as busy as other times we've been there, but their slow time is between Thanksgiving and Christmas. So it was nice not having to fight the heavy crowds. 
And it was a nice overnight diversion from our quiet little community.    :-)

Monday, December 11, 2017

another post

Good morning.
I've just returned from my morning walk. it's a nippy 37 out this morning. But going to reach 67 today.   :-)
Here's a couple of pics. The first is the entrance to our community center....
And the second a pic of the shuffleboard, tennis and pickle ball courts.
 We did Sunday brunch at the Aliante casino with a few neighbors yesterday. I ate way too much! But everything is good and there are are lot of choices. That's why we don't go often. I can't just eat a little. And part of me wants to get my money's worth, which is crazy, since we always have buy one get one coupons. The Sunday buffet, with unlimited champagne, is only $10.99. So that means each of us is eating and drinking for just $5.50 each. Where can you eat and drink for that price?   :-)
I also got my letter acknowledging acceptance into my new insurance plan. Made my first payment and now I can go online and find a new doctor. And just in case it takes me a while to get in, I was able to get another refill for my blood pressure meds. I'm good there now for another 3+ months.
We also got and assembled our new shoe rack.....

 It holds 6 pairs of shoes.
We had a bench type shoe cabinet back in Michigan, but didn't think we'd have enough room in our cube to bring it out. Unfortunately, we ended up having quite a bit of extra room in the cube, But we had already gotten rid of a lot of stuff. Oh well. We do like this style better, and got a real good price online.
Well, that's all I know for now....

Wednesday, December 06, 2017

busy time

Good morning.
It's been a busy few days since my last post.
First off, I made another apple pie...
 I must be getting better as they are looking a bit more professional.   :-)
I also put burlap over the gate going into the back yard....
We get some strong winds and they blow right between the buildings and through the gate.
The reason for this is along that side wall, just over half way down, I planted a Bougainvillea vine in a pot. It's technically not hardy to the Vegas area, although I've seen a few that look pretty good size.
It all depends on the 'micro climate' it has. They recommend planting it in the ground, next to a south facing wall. Mine is against a south facing wall, but in a pot. We're not allowed to plant anything within 3 ft of the lot line. But pots can be put anywhere. So, to try and get it through the winter, I put burlap on the gate, and I wrapped the pot and lower stalks with Christmas lights then put chicken wire around that and then a good wrapping of burlap. Supposedly, the lights will keep the pot and soil just a bit warmer than the surrounding air. We'll see if that is enough to survive our winter. Of course, it'll also depend on if we have a warm, normal, or cold winter. But it looked so good this year, I'd like to keep it. We'll see!
And today, after our free senior slot tournament, we're going to Big Dog's Tavern for lunch. They have delicious Wisconsin Kielbasas. Found this place using a coupon from our Las Vegas book....

We bought this book for $37 last January, and it has loads of coupons. We've used coupons for free slot play, discounted buffets, and drinks and dining. It's a real good value for the price. We're trying to use up a few more coupons before the book expires on Dec. 31st.
And with that, time to go....

Saturday, December 02, 2017

3 posts in 3 days

Good afternoon.
I know! 3 posts in 3 days!
Anyway, Craig saw this package while we were shopping at Walmart last week......
Caramel Apple cake mix with Caramel frosting. He wanted to try it, so, one of our neighbors was having a pizza patio party yesterday, so he thought it was a good time to try it out. We made cupcakes instead of cake, and they turned out pretty good! Wouldn't want to eat too many as there is a ton of calories in the frosting. We did use applesauce in the mix instead of oil to cut the calories there, but the frosting comes ready in a can and no making that better. But they were good!
And I went to the fitness center this morning and took a couple of pics....
Unfortunately, this pic doesn't show the golf course and mountains we get to look at while exercising.
It wasn't very busy this morning, maybe 5 other people there. That's why I thought it would be okay to take a couple of pics. As you can see, a lot of equipment.
And I received my new Chromebook yesterday and after playing around with it I'm very satisfied.  I was even able to load Crossover on it which allows me to play windows games on it besides games from the Chrome Store. It'll be perfect for what I need it for.
 And I finally got my letter from my new insurance company, so after I pay my first premium, they'll send me a card. And now I can go online and find a new doctor. Fortunately, my blood pressure meds should last into January.
Well, that's it for now...

Friday, December 01, 2017

Craig's a winner

Good morning.
Slot tournament update.....
Went to the casino Thursday morning and found that Craig had won $25.  Out of 100 people they give prizes to, he ended up 6th from the bottom, but that was still good enough for $25. Nice! That's the 4th time in a year Craig or I have won . It's not a lot, but it doesn't cost us anything either. We walk in the casino, over to the tournament area, play for 3 min. and leave. Of course, they're hopping people stay and play or eat, but we don't. I imagine a lot of people do though. When we checked the results on the paper they post by the cashier booth, there were 852 people that played the tournament between 10am and 7pm that Wed. so I would imagine a good number also stayed and played and/or ate there too.
In other news......
Here's a couple of pics people posted to our neighborhood Next Door website.......

Yes, they are Coyotes roaming our community. Now, in all my morning walks I've done, I've never seen any, but I have neighbors who have. I've even seen other walkers in the morning carrying sticks or golf clubs which I suppose is to possibly fend off an attack. But from what I've read, there have been no reports of Coyotes attacking people. They're here for the rabbits and quail, which we have a crap load of. So I'm not concerned. They're looking for an easy meal, and I'm a lot bigger than they are.    :-)
So lucky you! I did 2 posts in 2 days.     :-)

Thursday, November 30, 2017

weekday update

Good morning.
A chilly 44 this morning, but going up to 70 this afternoon.   :-)
I just got back from the fitness center. I did 20 minutes on the elliptical machine.

  They have top quality equipment at the fitness center. The elliptical has a digital screen where you can program different trails to 'virtually' walk on , set different parameters for you workout, and even watch TV to pass the time. That's what I usually do.   :-)
And here's a pic of the morning sun I took of our Sheep mountains yesterday morning when I did the neighborhood walk.
And here's another pic of our outside Christmas lights when it wasn't so dark...
And a few pics of our indoor decorations....
Had to go to 4 different places to find decent looking 4inch poinsettias.

And our only Christmas Tree. Just 3 ft tall sitting on our Kitchen counter.  That's all the Christmas Tree we need/want.    :-)
As more neighbors are back for the winter, we've been doing a bit more socializing. Had drinks with a couple on our patio last Sunday, and was at a patio party across the street on Tuesday. But neighbors come and go out here. We have one couple currently in Jamaica  and from there they go to Germany. They'll be back later next month. Another couple is in Houston, then go to Illinois until later next month.
And there's been talk of expanding our community center. I'll be interested to see the plans for that. We have a very nice center with a kitchen, swimming pool, exercise room, class rooms and a small ballroom. It's a nice benefit to our community. And best of all, the expansion wouldn't cost me a dime. They wouldn't need to do a special assessment for it because of our large reserve we currently have. Every home in our community that's bought or sold has to pay a fee to the HOA. We paid when we bought our house. It's a fixed percent of the sale price. So the buyer and seller pay. That money is used for improvements to our community. Like the Pickleball courts they put in 3 years ago and the expanded kitchen last year. And with over 2000 homes in our community, the fees add up!
It's an added expense when you buy or sell, but it helps our community stay looking up to date without having to ask for a special assessment which no one likes.
And with that, it's time for a shower and head over to the Fiesta Casino. Yesterday during their Wed. free slot tournament, Craig made it over the threshold! Now we go back to see if he made it high enough to win any money!

Monday, November 27, 2017

getting ready for Christmas

Good morning.
Our warmer than normal temps are just about over. Yesterday we hit a record high of 78. Today we'll be around 71. Tomorrow...64. But during that beautiful weather, I did manage to get the outside decorated....

It's so nice to be out putting up lights without my fingers getting numb from the cold.    :-)
The downside of putting up lights out here is it's hard to see where I'm placing them from all the brilliant sunshine. It was easier to place strings of lights back in mostly cloudy dreary Michigan.   :-)
But, after it got dark and I lit the lights, I think I did okay.   :-)
In other news.....
I use my phone now for taking most of my pics. This phone has a good camera, and I always have the phone and not so much the old Sony Cybershot camera.  Anyway, I had noticed that when I go to download the pics to my puter, I'm getting less and less storage left on the phone. I was down under 1 GB of storage. Now, I do delete the pics off my camera when I'm down loading them into the puter, so I couldn't understand what was using so much storage. Well, I finally figured out it was the cached data! I had over 2 GB of cached data! I didn't realize I need to clear it regularly. And I don't access the internet with my phone that much! But I'll have to keep an eye on it as I just checked and in 4 days, I already have 20 MB of cached data.
So anyway, today is haircut day. I'm getting shaggy. Or as shaggy as one with thin fine hair can get.   :-)
So that's it for today.

Friday, November 24, 2017

more pics again! and my new Chromebook

Good afternoon.
Absolutely beautiful weather this week as we are running around 80 all week. Nearly 15 above normal!  Here's some more pics from this morning's walk....

The rising sun lighting up these odd looking clouds. The cloud formations here in the valley are a lot different from back in Michigan. They say it's because the valley is nearly surrounded by mountains and they affect how clouds form.
And I know I post way too many pics of our Sheep Mountains, but over a year later, I still don't get tired of looking at them as they change throughout the day.
We had a very nice Thanksgiving with Turkey and all the regular fixins. And our free Pumpkin Pie from our Realtor.
And today we bought some Pansy's and Ornamental Cabbage.

 They will do well here through the winter and add some cherry color when other bushes in the yard go dormant. They should bloom all winter through probably March or April.
Also, I shopped Black Friday!
No, I didn't actually go out to the stores.....
I went online and got a great deal!
I decided my big old 17 inch laptop was too much to take on our cruise, so I had been looking online for a larger tablet than the old 7 inch Nexus I've had for 5 years now.
Well, That's when the Black Friday previews started coming out. And, Best Buy had a great deal on a very highly rated Chromebook. This was a Black Friday Doorbuster deal only available in the store which opened at 5pm Thanksgiving, or online that day. After several online 'chats' I found out online meant 12 midnight Central time. So I stayed up until 10pm Pacific, and went online and snagged it! Lucky too, as by morning, it was sold out, and the stores didn't open until 5pm. I'm assuming they had a limited number in the store too since it was advertised in their ad. But it was nice I didn't have to wait in line to 'maybe' get one. It's a nice sized 11.6 inch screen. Has an Intel Celeron processor, 4GB Memory, and a 32 GB flash drive. All this for only $119.00 .
This will fit in my carry-on and be much more portable than my huge 17 inch laptop.  Which, I'll still take with me on road trips, but this Chromebook will be great for flying and cruising.
Well, I think that's it for now...

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

some community pics

Good morning.
When we go shopping, we often buy a pint container of pre-cut up fruit. I gave us a little variety of fruits at a reasonable price of $2.49.  Well, that price went up to $2.99 then this last week, $3.49. That's when I said it was to expensive for what we're getting. So, I decided to buy whole fruit and cut them up myself. I bought cantaloupe, strawberries, pineapple and grapes. Cleaned, sliced and put them in containers. I filled 6 of them. Here's 3....
The cost for the fruit was $11.00. That comes out to about $1.85 each. I knew doing it myself would be cheaper, but for $2.49 the difference wasn't bad since we don't always eat fruit every day. But these should last a week, and we'll eat them by then. And my cost will be $11 instead of $21.   :-)
And on my walk yesterday morning, I went out to the perimeter of our community for a change. Here's a few pics....
This is on the corner of Aliante Blvd and Elkhorn Rd. The main intersection in front of our community. Across the street, is the Aliante Casino Hotel.

And of course, these are the Spring Mountains just to the north of our community
And yesterday evening, while we were out front enjoying cocktails and the weather, I took this pic of the sunset.
Today, we pic up our free pie our Realtor gives out every Thanksgiving. So nice of them.    :-)
Well, that's it for now.

Saturday, November 18, 2017

We got an Instant Pot

Good afternoon.
It's been nearly a week since my last post, but that's because I haven't done anything.    :-)
I've been either walking every morning or going to the fitness center. Later, after Craig gets up, we walk again. Bought our 3rd turkey today along with a ham. They had shank hams for $.98 lb. We'll have that for Christmas and save out other turkeys for January and Feb. Out Realtor is again offering pies for Thanksgiving, and we'll pick ours up on Wed.  Very nice of them to do this every year. But it does keep their business in our minds.
After that delicious beef stroganoff we had at our neighbors last Sat. we decide to get us a pressure cooker. After much research, I ordered on on Amazon.
It's an Instant Pot Duo 60 6qt 7-1 programmable cooker.  Our neighbors beef was so tender and that's what she cooked it in. We'll give it a try tomorrow. I'm thawing a beef roast as I write this. The recipe booklet that came with the cooker says it'll cook in just 40 minutes. I'm anxious to see how it turns out. What's nice with this cooker is 1, it's electric. 2, it's all digital/ programmable. 3, it's a lot safer than the old pressure cookers in that it won't start unless the top is properly secured. So it should be virtually impossible for the top to blow off.   Let's hope it works as expected.    :-)
I guess that's it for right now...
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