Arizona

Arizona

Thursday, April 03, 2014

Don't Have To Live Like a Refugee

At some point in my younger life I heard that song, really heard it, and attempted to apply it to my life.  I tend to live in a mess.  Too much stuff for the room I have.  I keep moving into smaller and smaller places as I get rid of the stuff.  So, the level of clutter stays the same.  I hit a tipping point lately.  It is time to clean up.  The fact that my winter neighbors are neat freaks is a part of this.  Like I've heard the Germans and Swiss do, they actually sweep the sidewalk in front of their mobile homes, which I tend to find a bit odd.  However, it does tend to make my place stand out. 

I've started at the front of the mobile home, inside, and am putting away clutter.  It is to the point now that I need to shift everything as I'm running out of 'other' places to put things.  So, today I'll take the large empty cardboard boxes to the dumpster bins back in the corner of the park.  I'd like to recycle them, but they don't fit in my recycle container, and since the containers are emptied automatically by an arm that reaches out from the truck as it stops, there is no allowance for anything outside of the container.  This will allow me to then finish moving the empty large plastic storage containers sitting outside of the storage room behind my carport into the storage room.  Which then lets me take the empty ones on my screened porch and (hopefully) put them inside there as well.  Which makes room on the screened porch.  Which gives me someplace to put some of the stuff sitting around that I unpacked from all those containers.  I'll sweep out the carport and sidewalk someplace in there.  I also hope to clean out the Jeep while I'm at it.  Right.

The trip to Mexico and Dr. Rubio's office went without a hitch.  It was different than I expected.  No judgement either way, just different.  I was nervous about the border crossing, and I need not have been.  Park, walk down a sidewalk and through a one-way gate, and I was in Mexico.  The clinic was right where I was given directions to find it.  I got my teeth cleaned for $30.  I was not a good patient, as I was nervous and edgy and the vibrating(?) metal pick he used didn't help my attitude, rather than the US version with an ultrasonic water pic.  He did what I'd asked the US dentist to do, which is just get what you can cleaned while my nerves allow it.  I'll go back soon and get more done, although this was a big improvement.  The US dentist gave me a look of disgust when I suggested that and I was assured that she would do NOTHING else until I had a complete scaling (which they really need to rename...).  In between these visits was the whole Honduran dental work, so that my have helped.  At any rate, that was the good.  The part I will reserve judgement on is that it was very much a 'clinic' atmosphere in that I was shown in in a timely manner to a chair, my teeth cleaned, and I paid my $30.  I didn't have any real discussion or overview, other than to be told that to have all the x-rays and such to determine if I can get the implant is $150.00 and is in another room of the clinic, presumably with a different doctor.  No sense of on-going relationship (or not).  I went in, got what I came for, paid for it, and left.  No x-rays as part of the checkup, although he did two at my request to check a couple of my crowns.  He showed them to me, and I had to ask if it looked ok.  He shrugged and said yeah.  So, unlike in the US (what few times I've been) where you give them enough information to almost become family, and sign up to give them large chunks of your income for the foreseeable future before even seeing the dentist, here you go in, tell them what you want, they give it to you, you pay, and leave.  Better?  Worse?  I'll have to get used to it.

Wednesday, April 02, 2014

Off to Mexico

I'm off to see Dr. Rubio in Algodones, Mexico this morning.  I'm putting off getting ready to go for some reason.  Not too worried as this visit is just for a cleaning and look-see.


Tuesday, April 01, 2014

Happy April Fools Day

Just that.  And hopes that reminding you it is April Fools Day will keep you from getting sucked into an April Fools joke.

No joke.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

I think I got lost again

I always mean to update things here. I can't keep up to my self-imposed quality of blog posts so I end up not posting anything. A blog is an interesting thing. I believe it is mostly a good force in my life, so I keep posting. However, it also is a reminder that I'm not organized enough to do it as well as 'everyone else' and so it becomes a chore I put off.

I now have 2 cats, one really an adolescent of 7 mo or so. Bosley has become an adult cat in the few weeks I've had him, filled out and grown up. Rasta is still a kitten, skinny and showing signs that he has been not so well. I'm hoping that now that he is healthy and with good food and attention he will sleek up and his coat will get shiny. So far so good, although mornings it is WWIII here as the cats battle and chase and wrestle. I am by necessity getting to be a better house keeper. Anything not nailed down goes flying when the guys start their antics.

No changes at work, and it is getting more and more difficult. April 1, I keep being told, just hold on till April 1. We are short staffed and the work load hasn't dropped. Even my boss says we are running on duct tape and bailing wire. He grins when he says it. I don't.

I'm in need of getting a move on with doctors and dentists and new glasses. I'm going to call (really, I mean it this time) Dr. Rubio, the dentist in Algodones, when I finish this post. The medical doctors I found a few weeks ago, but then decided they are too far away across town? I'm going to call them and make an appointment as well. Maybe not today, though.

UPDATE:  Made my appointment for next week.

Thursday, March 06, 2014

Where was I...?

Mom left for home yesterday.  I talked to her this morning and most everything went well with the trip.  So, now, where was I before she came to visit?  When I don't get a lot of alone down time whatever can be put aside, is.  Now I'm picking up the pieces.

One of the things I'm doing is getting ready to add to the family.  No, I'm too old for what you are probably thinking.  I'm going to talk to someone about adopting a couple of cats.  Full grown or kittens, don't know yet.  I'm going to try to arrange it so I can get them after work on Monday, when I then have 3 days to stay home with them.  More on that next time.

Some things going on, but nothing worth mentioning.  I was to make a transfer at work, but that has been put off.  A bunch of stuff was going on there this week while I've been off, so I have no idea what I'm walking into tomorrow (or, later tonight).  Guess someone would have called me if any of it was important to me.

Now, off to Petsmart to talk to the nice ladies that run the no-kill adoption center hosted there.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Tour Time

Yesterday Mom and I did a tour of the Verde Valley. In the library here at the park someone left some Arizona Highways magazines and Mom had picked up one on the Verde Valley. I said 'hmmmm, want to go there this week?' and she said sure. When I mentioned leaving at 5am, she paled a bit, but said ok. So we pulled out in the dark at 4:58am yesterday morning. Spoiler alert, no pictures posted. So what's new, right?

Anyway, I headed up I17. Mom mentioned Montezuma's Castle as a place she would like to see. That hadn't been in my plan, but we stopped on the way up to check out the hours. It wasn't open yet, and it was 40 degrees outside. I pondered, and headed on up I17. By the time we got to Flagstaff at around 7,000 ft (more or less) it was 25 degrees and sunny. I was thinking of the almost 80 degrees due in Phoenix that day. Hmmmm. I say that a lot.

We started the tour by driving down Oak Creek Canyon from Flagstaff to Sedona on 89A. It is pretty, but I admit I'm spoiled. Hanging around in the Southeastern US for so many years I take such drives for granted. Or did until I moved to Phoenix. I'm thinking I'll be more impressed with it in the summer when the temperature in Phoenix is 118. I'm sure all of Phoenix will be right there with me as well, which may make it interesting. As it was most of the campgrounds and picnic areas were blocked off.

As we got into Sedona the rocks turned red and there were more buildings. I had come to Sedona last summer and wanted to find the Forest Service office to get some maps. So, we rolled through north Sedona and out 179 almost back to I17. I'm efficient like that. The views at the office were as great as I remembered. Mom was snapping photos and I was snapping photos of her snapping photos. She got a senior pass for $10 (lifetime). I was going to get an annual pass for $80/year but decided to just use her pass on this trip. We asked for suggestions of a place to get breakfast and where the thrift shops are. Having those pinpointed on a map they gave us, we headed back up 179 and had breakfast at the Red Rock Cafe. It was ok, but as most restaurants are here (compared to Tennessee or Honduras) I considered it a bit expensive.

We checked out thrift stores on our way to the Sedona airport. I think Mom bought a small something at one of them. We drove up to the airport and I noted that even at 10am there wasn't any room to park at the pulloff to the vortex. With Mom I wasn't going to hike to the vortex anyway (that's my excuse this time). Mom took obligatory pictures of the view at the overlook while I basked in the sun and just enjoyed the view. Then we went to the actual airport. The landing strip is on top of the mountain. It must be a real trip to land there. Small airplanes only, or helicopters.

We then worked our way on south on 89A, stopping at the McDonalds on our way out of town. Yes, we are heathens, well, I am. The arches are small and are green instead of yellow on the small sign out front. The place was packed and needed to be at least 3 times as large as it was to handle the crowd. I figure even in Sedona, whether they want to admit it or not, McD's has a place to fill. For me it was a large sweet tea. We drove to Cottonwood and I looked around for RV boondockers and saw one small grouping.

The original plan had been to go on the train ride that starts in Clarksdale. I do plan to do that at some point. However, it leaves the station at 1pm and is 4 hours long. While we could have made it to the station in time, it meant that we wouldn't get to Montezuma's Castle. I also weighed the $50/each price tag of the train trip vs. free with Mom's pass at the Castle, and suggested that we just drive to Jerome, Tuzigoot, and head back to see the Castle. Mom was ok with that. She hadn't been too excited about the train ride anyway, which is why when she actually wanted to see the Castle I changed the plan. We went to the Jerome Historical Park and toured the visitor's center at $5/each. Then we drove around Jerome. We didn't stop in town as we weren't hungry and didn't need either antiques or wine. Again, I'm a heathen. Having been to Gatlinburg, TN many times and Mom living around Weston, MO most of her life, there isn't a lot that tourist towns hold for us.

After that it was a drive to Tuzigoot. By this time I had the air conditioning on in the Jeep as it was very sunny. I still used my fleece when walking around outside, but it was a beautiful Arizona day. We used Mom's pass to get to visit the museum in the visitor's center at Tuzigoot. I find this to be an unfriendly place. Can't really put my finger on it, but I felt the same way last time I was there. They won't let you just walk around the visitor's center without paying up. $5/each, or have a pass like Mom did. Mom doesn't walk far easily, and I had already seen the actual ruins. I think the best view is from the road driving up anyway. It may have something to do with the fact that it was really hot when I was there last, and I had already walked all around Jerome and was tired. At any rate, after walking around and reading all the informational displays in the museum we headed out.

It was fun driving through old town Cottonwood on the way back to 89A and then heading back to I17 on 260. We got to Montezuma's Castle around 3pm and used Mom's pass again to gain entrance. This place seems much more friendly It was an enjoyable walk around looking at the cliff dwellings from the ground below and sitting on the benches. A nice ending to the tour. On the way home we stopped at Rock Springs. Mom just got some pie while I had a cup of their corn chowder. The chowder was good. Our waitress was having a bad day and Mom ended up with regular peach pie instead of peach crumb. She even put a packet of sugar on it as it wasn't sweet enough for her. As I said, we are heathens. My Jack Daniels pecan pie ended up being regular pecan, which I know because I had the JD pecan pie last time. I decided was good enough that we didn't bother telling the waitress. She had also messed up the pie order of another table and was making amends to them.

Mom had her return ticket for March 5, so we have time for a couple of trips yet. I'm thinking of driving up to Payson for lunch next week.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Cooking

No, Mom and I haven't killed each other, I just haven't felt like writing.  We are doing fine.  I took her to Tortilla Flats for lunch last week.  The food was good and she enjoyed the drive.  Yes, DD, they still have prickly pear ice cream.  Still didn't try it as again I was stuffed from my meal.  Some day I'll drive out there and just get the ice cream.  A few days ago we went to Boyce Thompson State Park, and I bought a season pass.  So far it is my favorite place to visit as they have trees there and lots and lots of interesting plants.  Mom and I each bought 4 small cactus plants to grow.  Mom has since found yet another type growing in front of some of my neighbor's places and will try to talk them out of a start of it.  They actually offered when they saw she liked it, but she was too busy looking at it to hear.

Another neighbor had recommended the Ranch Market for produce.  Actually, they were recommending Midwest Meats as a great place to eat (has a restaurant as well as a bakery and butcher shop) and mentioned that the Lutheran Thrift Shop and Ranch Market were in the same area.  Turtle Lady and Bill and I ate at the restaurant, and it is great.  I went back to the produce market a couple of weeks ago and was disappointed.   Mostly because it was so crowded at the time.  I did get a couple of yams to start my foray into cooking again.  I mean, what can go wrong with a couple of yams, right?  So they have sat there and waited patiently (mocking me) in the fridge since then.  Mom mentioned them, slightly puzzled why I would have real (as opposed to canned) yams, but dropped it when I just shrugged.  This morning I was inspired to DO SOMETHING with the darn things.  So, I peeled them (do you usually peel them?) and sliced them into the nice baking dish the casino gave me earlier this month.  They do strange things like that at the casinos here, give random gifts and we all stand in line for up to a hour to get this free thing that we wouldn't spend $30 for at Walmart.  But, I digress.  I put several glugs of Avocado Oil over them as I chopped them into bite size pieces.  The oil was something that looked interesting at Costco when Turtle Lady and I went there.  I mean, I was buying a large tub of Coconut Oil, which I have no idea what to do with, so what is another bottle of oil?  A young oriental guy in line behind me at checkout looked at me quizzically and asked me what does one do with Avocado Oil?  I said it has a high smoke temperature so it's good to fry stuff in.  I hope it is, anyway.  But again, I digress.  So, I did all this while Mom is still asleep so I didn't have to answer similar questions.  Who knows what will come out of the 350* oven in a little over an hour.  Hopefully something I can make soup with if nothing else.  I have the bag of quinoa to use up as well, because, well everyone seems to say how great it is.  Once I figure out how to use it I'm sure I'll be hooked as well.