Category Archives: desert

Losing a friend meanwhile, getting lost. Grief and Life.

 

Well, it was a long week.  And, I reached out a few times and many posts were not posted.

 

I’ll start with this so you may understand my absence.

 

 

And in the words of Mr. Gump.  That’s all I have to say about that.

 

The weekend she passed … here’s what I was doing.

A hike to Richardson Ranch.  This was the beginning of our adventure.  A friends dog stayed with me, probably because she knew I was the weakest link.

 

Part Two:

The ‘noose tree’  – We found it like that a long time ago.  I truly hope it wasn’t used for it’s intention. I truly hope it was designed to haul folks out of the dirt road.

Part Three: I explore Richardsons’ Ranch.

 

Moved on from there and …

Then this happened.  You know, they say ‘Don’t hike alone’ for a reason.  You could sprain an ankle, be struck by a snake, lose yourself.  Which, in this case, happened.  The lose yourself part.

We got home.

One more thing.  I’m watching ‘A Beautiful Mind’ and the doctor is telling John, “You can’t reason your way out of this!”.  Almost verbatim to my doctor telling me “You can’t smart your way out of this.”  Meaning, the anxiety.

But, I’ve made so much progress.

I can drive home.

I can drive to work.

I still do the rituals – my OCD is not going to leave me soon, but will.

I ask myself, things like:  How many times have you HIT a coyote?

How many times have you been in a crash?

How many times has a steer or rock fell off of the pass onto the road (yes, I thought about those things.)

I used logic, even while panicking.

I still acknowledge the unknown, as well as the very known – every cross on that road I take twice a day – but, now I make things practical in my head.

I don’t know what my friend went through in her last days, but I’m betting she didn’t see a light.  I’m betting no phone call or visit would have changed her state of mind.

 

I am here.

I want to be here.

I am making strives without medicinal help.

 

And – Bye for NOW.

 

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Birdhouse

I have a sparrow annoyed with me.

bird

Its previous nest is blocked (literally, with … blocks) and alights on the wind chime directly in front of me and chirps and chirps.

I pretend I understand. I pretend it understands me and I say things like, “Yes, I know!”  “Yes, I’m sorry.”  “I will build you a home, but it can’t be there.”

Well, today was the day.

Butters had me up twice in the night – she’s not getting any younger and it worries me when she’s out of sorts.

I got completely up at 5.  (Meaning, I had the wherewithal to use all of my faculties at the same time.)

The land around was enticing.

Tangent: I was sharing with a friend yesterday that, while I was glad it was Friday, it was suddenly again Friday.  Life is just ticking away!  Every single day, should count.  So, that in mind, make the moments count right?

Sunrise hike was in order!

A grainy picture of the first of many.

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A less grainy picture of the same spot with more light.

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Somehow ‘grainier’ photo of the same place in more light.

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Sun coming up.

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And, brighter.

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Butters

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And some pretentious ‘artistic’ shots.

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Mysterious alien circle or … maybe a tire was there for a while.

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On the way back.

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Butters was exhausted (and, shaking which was scary).

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Then came part two.  Gardening.

Gardening is so relaxing and rewarding – is a sentence I will NEVER say.  LOL!

My mother, my Grandmother, my Son are all excellent gardeners.  They have thumbs greener than envy.

I reluctantly do it and have little to no expectations of survival.

I could probably, literally, waltz by a plant and have an adverse effect on it.

However, as Jeff Goldblum will attest to, “Life, um, finds a way.”

New ‘cones’ on the Pine trees.

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Strawberry basket still blooming.

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My onions, (that I planted entirely too close to each other) survived the snow!

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Freshly transplanted Malabar Spinach.  God be with you – because, you can’t count on me.

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My potatoes are thriving on top.  God only knows what’s going on where they are supposed to be growing.

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Alright, so, now to the bird box.  And, as this picture shows, apparently I have no problems growing weeds/grass.  But, this was what I collected from the barn to create my promise.

 

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Had some problems but, managed somehow.

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Open for business.

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I was trying to be funny on my page – and how the f&$* did Facebook turn it into an ad???  Anyway, I guess if you can fit in there, I can let you rent it.

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Thing is – the bush to the left of it used to be peppered with birds.  Now, they’re wary.  Only had a couple show up at the open house.  And one assumed that the beverages were included.

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I may have scared them off rather than made amends.

Makes sense.

Life.

It finds a way – and – finds a way out.

 

Navigating blocks & Desert Gardening

Okay! Well, this is a turn. WordPress went and changed on me. Has it really been that long since I posted? I am faced with a screen (literally) telling me they welcome me to the ‘wonderful world of blocks!’ WTF? Alright, I’ll bite. We’ll try this. (I didn’t read the directions – and evidently, ‘see next tip’ might be part of a direction. I have not clicked on it.) I’ll pout for about a minute, then click it.

Evidently the tip was ‘Add title’. Wasn’t it just easier before when I had that at the top?

This whole blog is going a different direction. LOL!

Want to share my past week with y’all, as we never say in rural desert land.

Damn. There are more plus signs on this version than any of my school tests. I’m giggling. This thing is writing itself.

Okay, pressed enter and we seem safe enough to begin what I intended to write.

Oh, no. ‘start writing or type/to choose a block.

What is a block?????

Shall I try it?

Okay, so, a ‘block’ is either another paragraph, media or … a bunch of other stuff.

I truly had this down, didn’t need remedial directions. But, thanks I guess?

Let’s being shall we?

Me this morning – #nofilter (lol) Seriously though – just really good light and black and white.

That, my friends, was a block. I’m literally laughing out loud now. Sorry, I can’t get over this. When did this happen??????????????????????? Why was it needed?

I wanted to chat about my rural adventures. And, I shall.

So, last weekend, my brother-in-law was in town visiting.

Here’s us. Me, “look guys! It’s our last name!” Them: We shall look off into the distance and be majestic.

Truth be told, my long underwear was pink and I looked like a hermit crab without a shell. Have you ever seen that?? I have. My son used to have some and anytime they shed their shell, they wouldn’t make it into the plethora of ‘new choices’ and end up all crabby and shriveled and pinkish – kinda like a toe that had been in the bath too long and, yeah. Then, they died. I survived obviously, but did change this pic to black and white. Because, ew, shriveled hermit crab legs.

Let’s get back to rural living eh?

My guy went shopping and brought home some new plants.

Butters checked them out, approved and moved along.

Then came the day I lost any kind of ‘girly’ I had remaining on my hands. We gardened.

Wait! FIRST! I had cleaned the kitchen and cleaned. Let’s talk about this ‘life hack’. Fabric softener sheets on grease.

I took the oven top completely apart. Then soaked the um, thingies, in the sheets.

Worked fine for the ones that had seen less combat. But, after pouring boiling water on the other ones, still had remnants, so, I’m giving that experiment a 5 out of 10. Oh, and about the boiling, yes, I had to be creative because, after all, my stove was in fact ‘apart’.

But! Here’s a very clean oven and some quiches I made.

Plus, a Mexican lasagna.

So, I was Ms. Clean and cook. THEN the plants needed attention.

I know how to plant a tree. And, easy peel navel orange tree needed introducing into our world.

I wanted to do it – after successful trees at my other home, but, my guy is a go-getter and my non-girly hands had already suffered many blows. Go ahead.

Watering time.

Prior to all of this – you’re probably not going to be able to sleep wondering how my phalanges lost their decorative claws. So, here are the planters that were meticulously made by (not me.)

I added the flowers. I’m nothing if not a team player. (insert squinting laughing emoji here).

We also (he) planted more potatoes.

And we added to our seedlings.

I’d like to share now, after (unsuccessfully searc;hing for the spell check feature) that you can flip back and forth from ‘Block’ to ‘Document’. So – there’s a thing I learned.

In between writing this thrilling post, I bathed Butters. Which, brings me to my next set of pics.

I am trying to get her out and about more. Because I hadn’t already done enough yesterday, I decided to hike with her into what we call ‘the square’.

She did very good at ‘wait’. (Mostly when she was navigating areas like a freaking mountain goat, and I was trying not to lose my balance/teeth/in tact bones.)

Okay! Let’s go!

Very deep hoof imprints! Must have been muddy when that happened.

Always something captures my attention – this was hard to take with Butters excited about moving on.

A moment of “Wait!”. (This was before I fell on my arse because she was mountain goating.)

Another pretty spot – still don’t know how I managed this shot either. I think she was being very good at “Wait!”

Waiting.

It was only after getting home and reviewing pictures that I found this amusing and was a tad confused. I think it’s a feather? But, by happenstance, looks like – well, um, anything you can conjure up lol!

She handled it regardless.

I let her lead the way – and she was sure to mark plenty of territory. Hopefully won’t be long before she can be off leash, at least there. But, with coyotes, steer, burros and snakes – not sure I want her to have that much freedom.

She’s definitely living her ‘best life’ out here though.

Not living on a ‘block’ anymore.

(See how I tied that in? Brilliant.)

The Grand Solar Minimum … in Arizona – and Clem.

Oh Clem. I’m still mourning him.

I originally created him with only a little mouth and two little rock eyes.

My husband insisted he at least have arms.

Here he was at his best – happy!   I mean, after all, it was his birthday!  (Snowday?)

I woke this morning with trepidation, was Clem still around???

He was, but, the weight of the snow had laden his arms, and he looked a lot less happy.

Clem had seen some shit.

I arrive home tonight and … Rest in Pieces dear Clem.

All joking aside (and, I’m really not joking about the loss of my inanimate snowman, you know me by now) is that this snowfall was bonkers.

It all started on Wednesday when snow (Blizzard) was expected.

You all know also by now that I have a fear of my drive and beating the storm was top priority for me and arriving home beforehand.

I received messages from my (should have been a meteorologist) husband, predicting (once again true) the weather.

I left work early.

Woke the next day in the dark, and peered out the window – and … WOW!  Yes!  A snow day!

Texted my bosses, who already had a heads-up.  Nope, to the nopety nope, I would not be navigating ‘the pass’.

My first photos sucked.  But, then daylight arrived and I went for a little walk.  I realize I sound like Darth Vader (it was SO very cold), but also please listen for the crunching of snow, because, that’s what I had forgotten the sound of!!!!  Fresh snow, fresh footprints – complete and utter white out!!!

I felt like a kid!

A SNOW DAY!

Butters enjoyed it too – she was frisky. (This, the dog who would not go outside in the rain a couple years ago to pee.  (Thank Gawd that’s changed.)

So it was on!  Bring it!

Hubby was home, fire was stoked and Butters happy.

Here’s some more pics of the rare day.

 

OH! SO glad I planted when I did. (Insert sarcasm here)  But, it was a beautiful day.

I say that, but honestly, after a walk and many photos – it was just very white, wet and repetitive and I couldn’t stop thinking about how behind I was at work.

I went in early today – and navigated ice and ‘previous tire tracks’ (which is a thing) and totally appreciated the beauty of our area.  The mountains were majestic – and I would love to show you them, but, I kept two hands on the wheel!

When it’s in the 120’s I’ll look back on this post and appreciate how cold my fingers were whilst scraping my car’s windshield.  I’ll appreciate putting a jacket on – and I’ll look back on this beauty in awe!

Musings from a chilly laundry day

Today, I was productive.

Yesterday I was constantly convincing myself it was okay to do NOTHING.  Be a human being, not a human doing.

I watched Russian Doll, I watched Sex Education (both amazing).  I snacked and I napped.  I consider it the equivalent to plugging myself in to recharge.

What prompted this was my husband being out-of-town.

I feel guilty just ‘being’ otherwise.

That’s not on him.  It’s a psychological glitch.

I can’t even pee at work without telling myself, “Just get this one thing done, then you can go.”

So, in spite of doing nothing of import yesterday (production wise) I accomplished so very much in allowing myself to DO nothing.

This is not the topic of my post though.

I have been COLD!  It’s been freezing at night and our home doesn’t exactly remember the sunlight hours.

We have a wood burning stove and a (what seems to me) a circa 1970 hall heater.

Said heater has been groaning and moaning and whirring pathetically.  If it were a pet, I’d be doing what it trusted me to do.

However, shivering on Friday, I decided to try to ‘fix’ the heater.

I figured, it probably just needs cleaning.  I mean, I could clearly see dust abundant.

I unscrewed it – (after shaving the caulking off the edges) and to my surprise, it wasn’t independent of the grate.

Okay.

Grab something, hold it up while I work on it.

Scooted to the bathroom and didn’t want it hanging from the wires too long – first thing I came upon was a soap dispenser.

Back to my task.  Cleaned the fan – dusted the wires turned it back on and … flames.

No joke.

Flames.

After I closed it up, I tried to turn it on again thinking (in my official capacity as not only a HVAC professional but also an electrician) that it would work.

Nothing.

Didn’t even turn on.

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**TANGENT TIME**:

Was chatting with my husband while he was at the airport.

Me: I f***** something up, I guess when I was messing with the heather it blew the fuse in the bathroom

Me: Only just realized it, I tried to plug something in

Me: NVM fixed it.

Yeah – I only had to press ‘reset’.  *groan*

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I shivered the night away and spent my lazy day bundled in bed with Netflix.

 

Today I was determined but depleted.

I scavenged the land for twigs with a bucket like a babushka.  Hunched over, head covered, layers upon layers – selecting the choice sticks.

No newspapers or firestarters.

Into the ‘office’.

File folders!!!!!!!!

 

Twigs and file folders!

 

Got that started and inserted the wood that doesn’t ‘catch’ alone and …

 

This is what I’m looking at now.  SUCH a relief!

That being said, I used to think I could do Naked and Afraid.  After a weekend of freezing temps and no ability to light a fire IN A WOOD BURNING STOVE, I acquiesce.  How the hell do they manage to start a fire and keep it going in the rain????????  How do they survive nights completely naked in freezing temps?????  As I mentioned to my friends, if I WERE on naked on afraid, I would have tapped out in my own living room completely clothed that night.

But, I kept trying.  And hung in there. (Like, where am I going to go? lol)

And the fire is still roaring and I still feel rested.  Win!