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Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Craig's crooked finger

Good afternoon.
 Just got Craig home a little while ago from a 2 hour surgery for
Dupuytren's Contracture. A condition that causes the finger to pull inward.

It wasn't painful, and really wasn't bothering him. He could still grip okay, but asked the doctor if there was any necessity in getting it fixed now or waiting until it got worst.
 His primary care doc referred him to an orthopedic doc for evaluation. The ortho doc said now was definitely time to do it. It was already so bent that if he waited much longer and it got worst, it would be harder to get it back straight.
 Surgery went well. Brace and stitches for 6 weeks then night time brace for 6 months. And Percocet for the pain.

The finger had progressively gotten worst since he retired. Good thing he retired when he did. Couldn't cut hair with that finger that bent. The surgery required an incision from the palm to the tip in a zig-zag cut so they could 'scrape' the nodules off the inside. It took longer than the projected 'a little over an hour' as the nerves were twisted around the nodules. We got to the surgery center at 6:30 and was on our way home by 11:00. Actual surgery took just under 2 hours. 
In other news....
the weather has been great! Sunny and low 80's. A neighbor has fixed  a couple of meals for us and another neighbor. Her husband has been on a couple of short trips and she likes to cook to keep busy. One day was Chicken Enchiladas and another was Spaghetti. She's a very good cook! Everything was not only real tasty, she didn't want any of the leftovers. Bonus! So we've been eating good!
Well, that's it for the time being.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

another trip to Laughlin

Good evening.
We've just returned from a 2 night trip down to Laughlin NV. It sits on the Colorado river across from Arizona.
We got a really good offer on a room, and thought it would be nice to get out of town for a few days.
On the way down we took a little detour to a ghost town called Nelson. It was about 11 miles off the main road

It sits out in the middle of really nothing. I guess it once was a mining town that didn't last long.
They do bus tours out here. After looking for a very short time I'm not sure why anyone would want to see a handful of old buildings and cars. It reminded my more of a junkyard than a town.
Anyway, 7 miles past the town was the Colorado river, or at this point, Lake Mohave.

This is the very northern part of the lake. It' was created by a dam that's down near Laughlin.
And sorry for this pic. It's me on the river walk in Laughlin. This is why you see more pics of Craig than me. He just can't hold the camera steady at all!
On day 2 we drove the short 15 minute drive over to Davis dam that makes Lake Mohave.
They had a large Marina a couple of miles down from the dam where you could rent houseboats.
The weather was very warm with highs near 90 so we spent some of the time at a river front bar taking in the sights.
Kayaks on the river.
Really large fish along the banks.
And here's a view of Laughlin from across the river in Arizona.
We gambled just the first night since we didn't do well, and I hate losing money. But we had a nice time, nice room and returned safe.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

babies everywhere

Good morning.
here's a couple of pics I took yesterday during our walk around our community....

Mommy and daddy and 8 babies.
They crossed the road from the pond to the golf course. Don't know where they think they were going. But mom and dad stopped and turned toward me as I tried to get close enough for a decent pic.
So babies all over the place. Rabbits, geese, and I've been told quail. Although I haven't seen any baby quail yet. So a lot of 'life' out here in the desert. We set some chairs out by our front door and sidewalk several weeks ago, partly to keep an eye on a neighbors house while they were away, and now, we kind of like sitting out there once and a while for a little change of scenery. We were sitting out there yesterday afternoon and our neighbor Obbie joined us. Sat for a couple of hours chatting.
Craig went in to the orthopedic office for a pre-op visit before his surgery on the 26th. They explained in more detail than he wanted to know exactly what they were going to do to his finger. They will make a zig zag cut from the palm to the tip. Then they will have to scrape the nodules off the inside of the skin. The whole thing should take about an hour and a half. Sounds intense for one little finger. Then he'll wear a brace for 6 weeks day and night and 6 months just at night. That's to make sure the finger stays straightened out. He's not looking forward to that, but his finger is getting progressively worst. I'll get a before pic when I get a chance.
And that's all for now.

Monday, April 17, 2017

a pretty picture post.

Good morning.
Gorgeous spring weather going on here. If by spring you mean sunny and 80's, instead of 60's and rain.   :-)
But here's a few pics I took on my walk this morning.....

It's hard to see this clearly because of a very large cactus behind it, but it's a very unusual plant. It has long spiny branches covered with more thorns than any rose I've seen. All winter it looks like it's dead, then in the spring it get covered with leaves from top to bottom and at the very ends bloom with big clusters of orange flowers. Quite impressive!
They even get like 15 ft tall!
I'm assuming this is some type of yucca.
This is a dwarf Bottle Brush. I have these in  my back yard. Someday my should be this large.
I've even seen a few yards with Iris in them. They seem to do pretty good here.
And this is a standard Bottle brush. This gets about 8 ft tall eventually unlike my dwarf which should top out at about 3 ft.
More roses. These were numerous bushes planted along a wall next to a house.  Again, roses seem to thrive out here.
And the newest batch of bunnies are here. I counted 41 this morning on my 20 minute walk. That's a lot of bunnies! And that's probably why we've seen coyotes around. Lot's of food for them.
We also have 2 hummers in our backyard. Usually they are very territorial, but these look like a male and female, so maybe they are a couple? We also have a birds nest in our Southern Live Oak. It's a small bird. Kind of light grey with a yellow head.  And we also see the occasional Road Runner. So a lot of wildlife out here in the desert. Of course, with all the plants and water available, it's not too surprising.
We had an Easter cocktail patio party across the street at our neighbors Gary and Obbie. We took sliced ham from a large shank ham we cooked and small buns and sliced cheese. Obbie made deviled eggs and a Mexican bean dip. People also brought a fruit bowl, chips and cake. Was a very nice get together that lasted well until sundown.
And that's the news for now.    :-)

Friday, April 14, 2017

friday post

Good morning.
Beautiful weather here. A little windy today, but it's been sunny and low 80's this week.   :-)
An electrician came out on Wed. sent by the company that put in our surveillance system. They were able to rewire the garage coach light and now it's working again. It was nice the company paid for it as in their contract, accidents do happen and they aren't liable. But I thought they would try and make it right for good pr and they did.   :-)
I also did a repair on our dishwasher.  The water out here has a very high mineral content and it can leave  a film on the glasses over time. A neighbor recommended Cascade Platinum, and it worked miraculously! Glasses came out completely spotless and crystal clear! But the packets you put in the dishwasher tend to cause a bit of suds during one cycle and I was getting water on the floor. I discovered that the seal around the door had gotten quite brittle along the bottom and wasn't staying in place. So I went online and ordered another seal. It came and was even an easy switch with the old one. Our dishwasher is now leak free!   :-)
We joined a neighbor on Wed. evening for a little patio party. Always nice to get together with them and chat.
And today marks 8 months into 'retirement'. Still loving it!
And that's all the news I have for now.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

a safer home.

Good morning.
 Here's the pic of the new bushes I planted in pots and placed on either side of the fountain.

 I moved the cactus farther to the sides and potted 2 new flowering shrubs next to the fountain.
Then I needed to add water drip line to the pots. Fortunately. I remembered that they buried the main line along the patio.
So it was fairly easy to dig up, attach new drip lines and run them to the pots. I added 2 to each pot.
And here's another pretty cactus I saw this morning on  my walk...
The flowers were nearly as large as my hand.
Also yesterday, we had an officer from the police dept come in for a home safety inspection. We signed up for this at the safety fair last month at our community center.
She was here over an hour and was extremely thorough. Left us this packet with ratings and suggestions to make our home safer from potential burglars and safer for us. I hadn't even thought about it but we don't even have a fire extinguisher.
So the meeting was very productive and we'll put in place many of the suggestions. A good one was to go through the house with your smart phone and video everything in every room. And she meant 'everything'!. If your broken into or there's a fire, You will most likely not remember everything you had.
Not much else going on. See you later.

Sunday, April 09, 2017

flowering cactus

Good morning.
It's a cool 50 out this morning going only to 70, but should rebound back near 80 by mid week.
Here's some pics I took on one of my morning walks.....

Yep, the cactus are starting to bloom. These are mostly small ones but I see buds on many of the larger ones so I should be getting more pics in a few weeks. The only cactus I have in  my yard are the tall ones I put in pots last summer. No flowers on them at this time. Maybe I need to fertilize more.
I also made another pie....
This one is an Apple, Caramel, Pecan pie. We had a piece after our home made pizza. It was tasty!
And again, I used a no cal sweetener in place of sugar, and a crumb topping to cut out the fat from a pastry top.
And this weekend is one of 2 garage sales that our community holds. We did venture out to quite a few and discovered why we don't yard sale. It's pretty much junk. Or at least, nothing we need or want. I've gotten quite picky about what we buy for our house. I don't want our house loaded with 'stuff' we seldom/never use.
Well, I guess that's it for today.

Friday, April 07, 2017

beautiful weather

Good morning.
Gorgeous weather. Sunny and low 80's.   :-)
As promised, here's the 2 new plants i added to the back yard...

They are the orange flowering bushes on each side of the fountain. They are called Bells of Fire. And they also attract humming birds. We see our hummer several times every day.
And here's a couple more pics of the yard... 
The Autumn Sage is blooming, which also attracts the hummers.
The one creeping Lantana doesn't look like it's doing much compared to the other two, but I'll give it this season and if it doesn't perk up, I'll replace it.
We very happy how the back yard is shaping up. I think it's still a work in process.
And, we met the future new neighbors that we back up to.  We back up to the side of a house that's around the corner. It went up for sale a couple of months ago. Well, it sold and the new owner was there with the house inspectors and we chatted for a bit. They seem very nice.
We also spent yesterday late afternoon/evening on a neighbors patio for drinks and conversation.
One issue we weren't planning on was apparently a by-product of having the surveillance system installed. One of our garage coach lights isn't working. The wire may have been drilled through by the tech installing the cameras. The company is going to send out an electrician to check it out. I know the light worked last Sunday evening. I even swapped the light with the one on the other side thinking maybe I had a bad light, but both lights work on the one side, and neither work on the other. So it's definitely the wiring. Sometimes one thing leads to another, right?
And that's it for now...

Wednesday, April 05, 2017

smile, your on camera!

Good morning.
Sorry for my lack of posts. Time sure flies by when your retired!   :-)
But yesterday, Sting Alarm showed up to install our new surveillance system.

We had 4 camera installed.
On the patio, above the front door,
and 2 on the garage aimed at both ends of the street.

Here's a pic of the software on my puter...
What's nice with this system is they are live cameras. I can open up the software on my puter, or the app on my phone and see whats going on in real time. Better yet, they have motion recording capabilities, so I can go back and look at anything that happened up to about a month and a half. By having motion recording and not continuous recording, it takes longer for the DVR to fill up.
And having cameras on the house will also be a good deterrent  for possible burglars. The total install and the tech 'teaching' me about the software took about 5 hours.  We're very happy with it.
I also added a couple more pots and plants to the back yard. I'll try to remember to take pics for a future post. I also ran drip lines to the pot on the side of the yard where we planted a bougainvillea vine. That was a project since I hadn't done that before and used the wrong connectors from the main line to the feeder line and had a leaky mess! But I finally got it figured out.  Maybe today I'll run lines for the 2 new pots. It's nice having a timed drip system so I don't have to manually water everything all the time.   :-)
I just have to water the succulents and cactus, but they don't get water very often.
So not much else has been going on here. Just sunny and nice. We do tend to have some very windy days here and there. According to the weatherman, that's typical of our springs. But I'll take the sun and wind over the cold and rain back in Michigan!   :-)
I guess that's all for now.

Friday, March 31, 2017

another pie

Good afternoon.
Yesterday was an unbelievably windy day.  We had sustained winds of around 45 with one gust measured at 84! Never seen wind like that! Put away the outside furniture and fortunately no wind damage or power lost here although 45,000 lost it in the valley.
So, it was a good day to stay inside and since I did so good on the first pie, I thought I'd try another. A neighbor had given us a couple of apples. They were Rome apples and they were huge! We hadn't gotten around to eating them so I thought I'd try another pie since frozen pie crusts come 2 to a package.

Found a recipe online and went to work.
Did a crumb topping again.
Popped it in the oven and waited....
And here's the finished pie. It was very good! And pretty easy to make.
Then for dinner we had some comfort food. Tacos!
And again, they were good. And yes, we each ate 5!
Today was still windy, but not near as windy as yesterday. I did manage to get a walk in and spent a good part of it house cleaning.
Well, that's all for now.

Thursday, March 30, 2017


Good morning.
First off, I was over to one of the neighbors and she was showing me around her house. Quite the place! She has the largest of the floor plans in our community and they have decorated their home beautifully!
One piece of art she showed me was this....

It's really quite beautiful in it's own right but you'll never guess what it is made of....nails! Everything except the black vase is nails! I should have taken more of an angle pic so you you could see it better. I can't imagine how long it must have taken to 'build' this piece of art, but it was truly amazing.
And here's another rose bush blooming at someones house during my morning walks...
And that's one large cactus!
And a neighbor who's on a little trip said to cut their roses so someone could enjoy them and also to encourage the bush to keep blooming.
They do look pretty on the living room table!
And remember when I was adding fruit to my glass of wine to make it healthier? Well, I've decided blueberries aren't a good fruit choice for wine. And since I had 2 qt bags of them in the freezer, I decided to make a blueberry crumb pie.

I am amazed how tasty it was! To make it a whole lot better for us, I used Splenda no calorie sweetener for baking and I Can't Believe It's Not Butter for the butter. Then Bisquick, brown sugar and some of the I Can't Believe for the topping. So very tasty and not too bad either!
So, that's my update for today.