Newest posts are first. Scroll down on the right to see a list of Archive posts and also subject posts.

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.

Monday, March 27, 2017

morning update

Good morning.
It's a nice crisp 55 out this morning so I put on a hoodie for my early morning walk. I usually go out around 7am just as the sun is coming over the rooftops. Should reach 75 today.
Here's a few roses that are in full bloom here.....

Most of these rose bushes are 5-8 ft tall. They seem to really like the desert weather.
And here's the bougainvillea plant I bought for the backyard....
 It had a lot more flowers on it when I bought it but between re-potting and separating the stalks to tie to the trellis, a lot of them came off. But I added fertilizer to the soil and watered it good so it should bounce back nicely. It's in a pot as the HOA doesn't allow plants in the ground any closer than 3 ft to the wall.
It's on the north wall so should get a good amount of sun.
And here's a special treat....
You might need to click on the pic to see it better, but that's a Road Runner on the roof of our neighbor. He came down the top of our back wall, around the corner and hopped up on the roof. Later, we saw him/her out in the front yard.
Cooked our last of 4 turkeys yesterday, and today will be a leftover dinner. I just love turkey!
Not much else going on so later!

Saturday, March 25, 2017

And they ate them up!

Good morning.
After a few 80 some degree days, we are going back to normal temps of only low 70's.   :-)
Yesterday we bought a bougainvillea for the back yard.  I'll get a pic once I get it situated with a trellis. They are hardy to 20, so even though we can get lower than that, it will usually die back and regrow from the base. I've seen a few in the community and they look rally nice so I thought I'd give it a try.
Thursday, we went to a birthday party. I decided to take fruit kabobs with a special added ingredient.
I made them with cantaloupe, strawberries and kiwi. And added, that's right, the item in the top left corner are Twinkies! Cut each of the Twinkies into 4 pieces and placed them between other fruit.
Most people who took them didn't realize what they were until they ate them. And eat them they did! Every single one got eaten. They were a surprise hit! Mostly healthy with a little bit of decadence.
Craig and I first had these at a camping pot luck back when we had our mo-ho. I was very impressed then and wanted to try them in another setting. Happy everyone liked them.   :-)
It was a nice party, not too big, and we even got to meet some new neighbors. Everyone seems really nice.
Went to the ARC meeting Friday morning, and as expected, my surveillance cameras were approved.  I'll call Monday and get the ball rolling on installation.
And that's it for now.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

a little catch-up

Good morning. Well, my absence doesn't mean I won the Mega Millions and disappeared.  I didn't.   :-)
I guess I just get busy and forget how much time has whizzed by since my last post.
Anyway, here goes......
Here's a pic from one of our daily walks...
I forget what they are called, but we get these strange cloud formations over the valley from time to time. They are caused by how the air comes over the mountains. Anyway, they are pretty freaky looking.
And here's a few things starting to flower in my back yard...

They are still pretty small and I'm anxiously awaiting for them to grow.   :-)
I also did a little craft project.
Wanted a little something extra on the stand below the TV.
Got a long 'pot', added some Styrofoam, covered that with a moss like material, and then stuck assorted fake succulents in it.
Simple, colorful, and no watering!
I also submitted an application to the ARC committee for the surveillance cameras and will go to the meeting tomorrow. They should be approved but you have to go through the formalities.
Had brunch yesterday at the Aliante Casino/Hotel just outside our community. Haven't had the buffet there before. It was really good! A very good selection and very tasty. And we get a mailing every month from them for a buy one get one, so for a $9 bill for both of us, we may be eating there more often. You just can't beat the price and selection. No wonder so many of our neighbors go to buffets. The only problem is I go there and see all this food and want to sample everything. I eat way too much. I'm going to have to try and restrain myself if we're going to eat there often or I'll look like the Pillsbury dough boy when I go back to Michigan this summer.  I have been walking 2-3 times a day, so that has been working very well, but not if I eat like I did yesterday too often.   :-)
And, we got a quote for the security film we want on the windows. We're going to have the sliders done first to make sure it looks good, then probably the rest of the house.
We haven't had any break-ins in our community since that couple was caught back in Jan. But it doesn't hurt to be a little proactive to make sure your not a viable target. And it'll be cheaper in the long run than having an alarm system.
Today, there's a birthday party for a neighbor. I'm taking fruit/Hostess Twinkies kebabs. I'll try to remember to take a pic of them when I make them later. Someone brought them to a camping trip potluck several years ago and they were good! Healthy fruit with a little sinful indulgence thrown in.   :-)
I think that's everything right now.

Saturday, March 18, 2017

maybe a little luck?

Good morning.
Weather has been beautiful! Walking twice a day now. Morning and evening. Been a little hot during the day with temps getting close to 90. But we're expected to return to 'normal' next week with highs around the low 70's.
Our entertainment is just about over. It's taken a good 5 days, but the new driveway/yard work across the street is just about done. It's looking really nice! I'll take a few pics when I get a chance.
 And we got this in the mail a few days ago. Our realtor, that helped us buy our house 2 1/2 years ago sent this nice card signed by everyone in the office.
The card says.....
Rainbow, Leprechauns, and some wee other folk, Hope they make your St Patty's Day joyous and hope you find a pot of gold!
Happy St Patty's Day!
And inside the card was a Mega Millions ticket.
I haven't checked the numbers yet as I'm waiting for Craig to get up so we can check together.
And our realtor has done other things besides. Every Thanksgiving, we get a Pumpkin or Apple pie. Once a month they do an e-mail Funday Monday. It's a question with 4 answers. You reply with the correct answer and your name is put in a drawing for an Amazon $25 gift card. Over the last 2 years, we won it twice. Any of you have a realtor that does things like this?
And we received a quote for the surveillance system and decided to go ahead and have it installed.
Here's a pic of the type of cameras they will put in...
There will be 4 cameras, hard wired and connected to a DVR. We'll be able to 'see' with them from my puter, TV and phone. It will all be connected to our wi-fi. Of course, first thing is to get ARC approval. They meet next Friday. Shouldn't be a problem as we've seen similar cameras around the community.
And as tradition, Craig did his delicious corned beef for St Patty's day and I think it turned out good as usual.
Well, that's all for now. Wish us luck on the Mega Millions!  :-)
ps.... just checked. We lost. how surprising.  :-)

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

2 days in a row!

Good morning.
I know, 2 days in a row! Don't get too excited as it most likely won't happen often.   :-)
But one of our neighbors has decided to tear up their driveway and redo it with pavers.
So, since we don't have much excitement in our neighborhood we took our patio chairs out front to watch.
Two of our neighbors even joined us.
They had the entire driveway and sidewalk to the front door torn out yesterday.  They had 5 people working and they worked hard! I can't imagine spending the money to tear out a perfectly good concrete driveway if there is nothing wrong with it, but he's got a big pickup truck and she wants more room to get in and out of the garage. So they wanted to widen both sides of the driveway but didn't like the looks of adding pavers to both sides so thought it would look a lot better all redone. And it will. We've seen a few other driveways that have been done like that and they look real nice. Now we don't have that issue with needing a wider driveway as both of our cars fit nicely in the garage, but his big pickup is to long for the garage so has to sit in the driveway. So by making the driveway 2 ft wider on both sides, she'll have an easier time getting in and out of the garage. So it's suppose to be a 3 day job, so we'll have a little extra entertainment for a while.
Also, Craig went to his doctor yesterday so they could order the tests he needs to have before his finger surgery. While there, they discovered his ears were impacted with wax, so it took an extra half hour to soften and remove the excess wax.  He had this done a year or 2 ago in Lansing, so he must have some wax issue going on, so I guess it's good that they caught it because if it gets too impacted it gets harder to remove.
And, we had lunch at the golf club for the first time in months! Except for the occasional buffet and Taco Tuesday at the casinos, we haven't eaten out much. We both had the Avocado BLT. One with fries and one with onion rings so we could share. Their menu isn't very extensive, but what they have is very good, reasonably priced as we get coupons out of our community magazine for buy one get one half off, and we love the view of the golf course in front of the mountains.
So, that's it for now...

Monday, March 13, 2017

Monday, Monday

Good morning.
It's been absolutely beautiful outside! We're currently running nearly 15 degrees above normal. Mid 80's expected all week! I've been busy 'planting' flowers.....
 After a suggestion from Gene to plant a whole row of flowers along the wall, I sat, looked, and thought about it. Craig and I then decided on this.
It's not an entire row across the wall, but I think a grouping does look better than a single. And I was even able to incorporate a pretty hummingbird that one of Craig's customer gave him for a going away present. All that helps to add a little interest to the far side of the back yard.
All the bushes in the backyard are starting to bud up with a couple of flowers opening. With all this warm weather expected, I think we'll have full bloom in a couple of weeks. I fertilized everything a month ago so I hope that helps.
And, I'm having another issue with the United States Postal Service. A package of signed documents and a check we mailed priority mail to our Accountant a week and a half ago has still not arrived. According to the tracking number, it left Vegas and was expected to be delivered on the 6th of March. Nothing since. I have to wait a full 10 business days after expected delivery to file a missing mail report. So that will be Wed.
But if they 'lost' it, I don't know how they'll expect to 'find' it. I should just do everything Fed-ex. Oh well. At least the accountant can send me new documents and we can write a new check. We'll see. But it is a big pain in the butt!
And last Friday a rep from Sting Alarm came out. We talked about the surveillance system I'd like and she wrote down all the info. She said she'd e-mail me a quote this week.
Well, that's all for now....

Friday, March 10, 2017

Happy Friday

Good morning.
The weather has been perfect! Sunny and around 80. It's suppose to keep going like this for another 7 days or do.   :-)
We had cocktails with a neighbor yesterday evening, and we're getting together on a neighbors patio with a few more neighbors this morning for coffee and donuts thanks to a giveaway at the local casino. Every month, the Aliante Casino gives away free stuff. All you have to do is be there at a certain day and time to get it. Most of the stuff is pretty basic like the donuts they gave away yesterday. But  it's still free!
And now on Wed. we go to a Station Casino (there are 10 different ones in the valley) for their free, age 50+ slot tournament. You get to play on a machine for usually 5 minutes trying to rack up as many points as you can. If you get above a certain threshold, you get on the list for the drawing. The top 20 point leaders at the end of the day win money ranging from $10 -$1000. And it costs nothing to play! Obviously, they are hoping if you come to the casino for the tournament, you'll stay and eat or gamble. We just go, play the tournament, and leave. Haven't got enough points to win anything yet, but it's free and gives us something to do Wed. morning.    :-)
Craig finally got our taxes done. Took 3 days thanks to being a lot more complicated due to our move out here during the year. It would have been so much easier if we would have come out at the end of the year. Everything on the Michigan return had to be prorated. The federal was complicated because of changing my insurance, starting SS, and selling the business. But Craig got it done, and surprisingly, we don't owe anything and we're even getting a small amount back.
I've been doing a few adjustments around the house. The bedroom door, for some reason won't stay open, it slowly closes about half way. I went to Lowe's and found a magnetic door stop.
I took the old door stop off and installed the new one. It works perfectly. Now the door stays open.
And on one of the laundry doors. It wouldn't stay open. It would constantly close on Craig while he was trying to fold laundry or put stuff in the dryer. So I put on a door stop..
Now the door stays open while Craig does laundry. I didn't use a magnetic one as I didn't want to see the Mag nob when the door is closed. Which it is most of the time.
It's little things that make the home more enjoyable.
Well, I think that's it for now. ...

Monday, March 06, 2017

Some more decorative bling.

Good morning.
We've had some very nice weather, though today and tomorrow is expected to be only 60 and 65. But then it will warm up to 80 by the weekend!   :-)
Most of you know that Craig and I like accent lighting. We have decorative lights all over the house. And here's another piece of bling we bought for the house.....
It's a replica of the original Welcome to Las Vegas sign that sits at the south end of the strip. The little lights around the outside edge flash and so does the star. At night it looks like the real thing!
We have it sitting on top of the fridge and can see it while sitting in the living room. helps to remind us that we do indeed live in Vegas. Being 18 miles north of the strip at the northern edge of the valley, it's easy to forget we are actually in Vegas. Feels like any suburban area in any desert community. Except of course there's slot machines in every store and gas station, which we've never played. If we want to gamble, we'll go to the many casinos situated all over the valley.
Anyway, Saturday we went to a security expo at our community center. Last fall, our community experienced a number of break-ins. The suspects have been caught, but it has heightened awareness that even relatively safe areas can be hit by crime. There were numerous companies there showcasing  many aspects of home safety. We've decided against an alarm system due to the fact that it takes too long for the police to respond. Instead, we're looking at preventative measures. One, is a plastic film that's installed over the glass on your windows. If someone tried to bust through the glass, it just cracks but doesn't break. The film is that strong. Another thing we're going to do is have cameras installed so I can see whats going on outside. As you can see from our floor plan......
Our garage sits out in front of the house. The only window toward the street is the kitchen windows above the sink. It would be nice to sit at my puter and see if anything is going on down the street. It would also be helpful in identifying cars or people. That's how the last people got caught was from a neighbors security cameras. I've read that just having cameras will deter possible break-ins. So we'll have them come out next week for estimates and hope to have it all done before our next travels. We also signed up for a home security inspection by the police dept. In case there's some security aspect we're missing.
Also sat. we went to a patio party at one of the neighbors. Everyone brings snacks and the host supplies the main dish, which was Ruben sandwiches. Very good! They invited a bunch of people from the community we haven't met, so was nice getting to know some new people. Though I'm sure I'll forget all their names.   :-)
And that's all the news I have for now.

Friday, March 03, 2017

doing a bunch of nothing!

Good evening.
It's been a fairly uneventful few days here. Weather nice, getting our long walks in, and enjoying our patio. Here's a few pics of the updated patio....
Moved the fountain back near the wall and added some succulents in pots.
Then went to a huge store called Artistic Iron Works and found a little bling to brighten up the far side wall in our backyard.
And a couple more pics of the back yard at different angles....

Spring is really coming along as more trees are flowering and some of our bushes are starting to grow.
We had lunch at a casino buffet a couple of days ago with a neighbor. The buffet at the Fiesta Casino/Hotel is $6.99. We had coupons from our book for buy one get one so we both ate a good meal for a total of $7.50 with tax. Can't eat that much food for any where near that price! The problem is, then we eat too much!   :-)
 But the food was very good. May do that again next week.    :-)
Our accountant from back in Michigan has sent us our final tax return for the business, and now Craig will get to do our individual tax returns. A little more complicated with moving to Nevada and selling the business.
But loving retirement and enjoying doing absolutely nothing! After so many years being so busy with running a Salon, working behind the chair, taking care of a huge yard, it's just so wonderful to have entire days with nothing to do!  It's nice having time to do housework.
And the bills are still coming in from my little hospital stay. Just over $4200.00 right now. Hope that's just about done. Still a little less than I was expecting, so I guess that's good.    :-)
And with that, I'm tired and going to bed. I still haven't acclimated myself to Nevada time yet. Don't know if I ever will.