Friday, January 13, 2017

More Salad, Please

Now that we've been in some real honest to goodness California Winter weather, I haven't been getting enough exercise.   I've been cooking with my relatively new Instant Pot, trying recipes that sound warm and filling.   And now, I need more salad.   I haven't been eating enough fruits and vegetables.   I'm craving salad.   No more beans for a while.   Probably never again split pea soup.   Definitely more chicken adobo.   And salad.   Lots and lots of salad.

This afternoon I took a nap.   I needed one because one of our dogs was skunked last night.   We went ten years with these two and no skunking.  I wasn't sure that's what it was at first because it didn't really smell like a skunk.   So I was a bit worried when I went to bed.   The odor wasn't too too bad this morning,  but enough to drift through the house a bit, especially after I left for a while today and opened the door when I got home.   And so I had to give her a bath.   We don't often give our dogs baths at home because we don't have warm water outside.   They are 50 and 75 pounds, a little large for bathing in the house.   But as it was only about 45 degrees outside today, I had no choice.   I looked on Bee Haven Acres blog because she has what she calls her skunk kit.   I didn't have enough hydrogen peroxide but used what I had.   Zoey has long hair so it's not an easy task and took some time.   Lifting her into the tub and bending over made my back sore.  So I dried her off the best I could, cleaned up the mess, changed my clothes, and hit the bed.   I feel much better now.   But she still needs another bath.   

Now it's 3:45 and normally I let the dogs run around out on the property this time of day.   The grass is getting long and it's staying pretty wet from all the rains we've had over the past week or two or whatever it's been.   I've lost track.   I hate for Zoey to get wet again because once the sun starts to sink, the temperatures start to drop and her bed is still wet from being washed so she has no place to lie down and keep warm.   That's sometimes what happens to my brain when I have a problem to deal with.   It starts working overtime, over thinking whatever is going on.    I think it's because I haven't been eating enough salad.

I hope I sleep well tonight.   Have a nice weekend.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Nowhere To Run

The ground is saturated.   I feel so sorry for the people in flooded areas.   People are starting to complain about the days of rain, but all I can think about is that water going into the ground, filling reservoirs, helping the aquifers in some areas, watering our thirsty trees, bringing up the lake and creek levels for the fish, and improving the drought conditions in a large portion of our state north of here.   And the wildflowers that should be abundant in a few months.   

All Erik is thinking about is that he needs the John Deere mower serviced and sharpened.

Tomorrow we will start to dry out for a few days.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Wild and Crazy

We had a wild weekend of storms.   The wind was raging all day Sunday,  and I was a little concerned about trees and branches.   When the ground is so saturated after drought years, it's not unusual for the wind to take down the trees.   And it's happening all over California, causing roadways to close, power lines downed, and at times cars or houses to be hit.   We had a tree land on our garage about 8 years ago so I'm always wary.   Then the rains came and absolutely poured for a few hours Sunday evening.   We got close to 2 inches in those hours.   The local weatherman said California, specifically our area, now has a surplus for this season.   It's so very welcome but with more to come, also hazardous.   It really is feast or famine, isn't it?   

There is a creek in Cambria that breaks through in heavy rains, rushing into the ocean and causing locals to rejoice.   This is Moonstone Beach which I've shown several times in photos on this blog.   The creek is rushing so hard that it hit the beach, splitting it in half and creating a little sand island for the ever present gulls.   

We couldn't drive Highway 41 over to Morro Bay because it's closed due to a rockslide.   I read that it will likely be closed for a week.   So we headed over Highway 46 and fought the high winds.   We stopped at the vista for some photos and I could barely hold the camera still.   I finally ducked behind a boulder and rested the camera to attempt some shots of the hills and Morro Bay.   Holy cow, I thought the wind might snap off the door of the truck when I opened it.   

The hills are greening fast.   There are cattle down there, maybe you can see the black dots.   I bet those are the happy cows of California that have been featured in milk commercials.   Well, they aren't dairy cows, but you get the idea.

Then Sunday evening we had no hot water.   We had a new water heater installed two years ago when we had the kitchen and more remodeled.   The previous water heater was maybe 8 years old, still working, but close enough to the end that we opted for a new unit when we relocated it.   The relatively new unit was leaking.   It was under warranty which sounds good until you pay a plumber (two guys) to diagnose/talk to Rheem for an hour, remove the old water heater, take it to Home Depot for a new unit, return and install it.   Home Depot didn't really honor the warranty because they tried to charge an additional $150 due to the old model being upgraded and therefore demanding a higher price.  WHAT??   The plumber got them down to $76 and I'll have to take up the issue with Rheem.   With that and all the plumber's time, the replacement of the two-year-old unit cost us $800.   So now I can send all pertinent information to Rheem and they may reimburse $250 of that.   Great warranty program, huh?   Thanks Rheem and thanks Home Depot.   I am not a happy customer.

So I missed out on a no rain/no wind day by having to stay home with plumbers.   I accomplished a few things outside, managed not to get too upset about the water heater, and that was that.   Now the rain is coming back today.

And the grass keeps growing and the dogs keep playing between storms, and life is good.

Saturday, January 7, 2017

A Short Break

We had a day and a half of clear weather between the January storms that may break some records.   I headed to the coast yesterday so I could at least have a few photos to play with during the upcoming deluge.   I was glad I got back early afternoon because later, a rockslide on Highway 41 closed the road between Atascadero and Morro Bay.   Getting stuck behind that would have ruined my day, I believe.   

See the hills?   They are turning green!   One thing I believe all Californians agree on is that we love our green hills.   Once these next few storms are over, the hills will be spectacular.   In the meantime, we have Netflix, Amazon Prime, a couple books, Instant Pot recipes to try, and maybe a movie at the theatre if we can find one worth the price.   

Enjoy your weekend!

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

All is Calm, All is Bright

Christmas is over and the house is quiet.   The sun is shining and the sky is a beautiful blue.   Does that sound as though I'm trying to write a poem?   Although I should find something productive to do on this pretty day, I am at the tail end (fingers crossed) of this cold that is moving ever so slowly through my body.   It hasn't been a bad nasty, stay in bed all day, kind of cold. It's just lingering and dragging me down a bit, making me want to stay inside to avoid the chilly wind that we've had.   Truly, I figure one more day (again, fingers crossed).   

Late yesterday, around 6:00, I discovered there is a Game of Thrones marathon on HBO.   I am a person who has never seen one single episode of this show.   Nary a one.   Unfortunately I missed the first six hours/episodes, but caught the last four episodes of Season 1.   Season 2 will air starting at noon today, running for another 10 hours I suppose.  All six seasons will air through this Saturday, bringing everyone up to date.   Although it's a bit confusing to begin at Episode 7, I really enjoyed it.   I'm not quite sure who is who, which brother fathered which offspring, which sister is married to which king/lord/whatever.   But I'm getting there. I'm jumping onboard the Game of Thrones adventure.

One of our girls was here for the Christmas weekend and we enjoyed her visit a lot, as always.   She had a job offer just before the weekend and is thrilled to be going back to the fashion industry after a bit of time away.   It's a brand that has beautiful fashion so I figure I'm in for a transition to silk and satin.   No, not really, but they do have beautiful clothes.   And next time I need a dress for an occasion, I'll have to tap her employee discount.   

I hope you're all finding time to relax and get back to normal days after the holiday.   Our holiday goodies are nearly gone, I am finishing leftover Chinese food today, and throughout the week I will gradually put decorations back in their boxes.   Normal is a good thing.   Thanks for stopping by.

Thursday, December 22, 2016


Baby, it's been cold outside.   I know, not Iowa cold or Upstate New York cold, but cold still the same.   

Merry Winter!

Friday, December 16, 2016

December Days

It has turned into California winter.   It's chilly and cloudy and we're having some rain.   Not a lot here on the Central Coast, but heavy rains up north.   Enough to bring Lake Tahoe back up to a normal level.   Enough to flood rivers.   Even though it brings treacherous road conditions and potential rock/mud slides, it also provides much needed relief to drought conditions in parts of our state.

I go out and ride Beau on nice days.   It's such good exercise for both of us and gets me out in the fresh air.   Inside, I've been running the heater more often, bundling up in sweat pants and other warm clothes (such a pretty look!), and finding ways to stay busy.   I've done my Christmas shopping with maybe one or two exceptions.   The only online browsing I'm doing now involves things for me/us here at home.   Nothing necessary, just thinking and browsing.   It's like window shopping without having to go out in the crowds and weather.   

I have had my Christmas gift for a few weeks.   It's a new camera.   I've wanted it for a while, it was on sale at B&H, and Erik wanted me to have it.   I'm enjoying being back with Nikon and the familiarity of it.   So of course I've been to the coast to try it out and some of the photos I've already shared.   I use it around here too, when my subjects stand still long enough for me.

Today I am going to the store(s) for food shopping.   I'm figuring out what to make for Christmas meals as one of our girls will be here and she's a vegetarian.   Truth be told, Erik is the only one here who really cares about having meat at meals.   And he doesn't like fish.   So that generally leaves chicken and beef.   I may just cook a small tri-tip and then potatoes or pasta or some such thing, as well as greens.   I haven't yet done any baking because I would have eaten it by now.   I used to have a recipe for a very good cranberry orange bread, but I have no idea where it could be.   When we remodeled the kitchen, so many things went in boxes and never found their way back to the kitchen.   

Speaking of remodeling, we are now thinking about updating our bathrooms.   We aren't going to do anything fancy or an overhaul or anything like that.   Just new vanities, sinks, and perhaps lighting.   I'll make some choices, get bids, and see how far we can take it.   It's an early 2017 project so there's no need to scurry about and get it done.   

I hope you're having a good week.   If you're in a cold region, please stay safe as the temperatures are dropping severely.   Thanks for stopping by.