Sunday, July 5, 2020

Lots Of Changes In Two Months

This is 1/2 of the backyard of the house where we live now.  It is the only grassy area on 130 acres of mountainside.  Oh there is a grass of sorts on the mountain.  The cows love it.  But let me back up.

When I last posted, I wrote that we were preparing to move to a mountain property in California.  It's located in the Sierra Nevada mountains and is south east of Bakersfield.

I was packing boxes like crazy because a semi was coming on May 2nd to be loaded and my grandson was on his way to pick us up to drive across country to our new home.

Well, if something can go wrong, it will.  On April 30 I developed a 103 temperature.  My daughter called the ER to see if my husband could take me there.  The news has said to call the ER before going due to the Corona virus situation.  Upon arrival I was given a test and because of the high fever they admitted me to the ward reserved for the virus treatment.  They told me the results would be back the next day.  However, a local hospital had been having daily drive through testing which caused a backlog of test results.  My test took 4 days to return a negative result. Even though they moved me out of the ward to a new room, I really had to push to be released.  One thing I will say is that Elkhart General Hospital really did have what seemed to me to be a good system for keeping me and their employees save from the virus.

I went home to my family who worked diligently to finished packing what I had left undone. I had been allergic to the antibiotics that were given to me in the hospital which gave me a heck of a rash.  They gave me a different med to take at home with an order to rest and instructions to boost my immune system.

I have pretty much been off line because my computer stuff was last to get set up.  Then when it was unboxed I could not find my monitor cables.  I drove myself crazy looking and relooking in boxes.  Finally I just ordered a new one because I could not deal with the anxiety of looking anymore.  I miss Comcast.  We have Direst TV and Viasat which I will learn to live with.  Before we moved in Alyssa got Hughes and a Land Line so now we have two internet services but no cell service.  They tell us AT&T is going to put up a tower and if and when they do we'll have to switch from Verizon.  It's funny, if you have Apple can talk to others with Apple but no one else.

When the packing was done and the truck was loaded and gone off we went in a 15 passenger van.  4 adults, 3 children and 5 well behaved dogs.  Sounds crazy huh!  But it all worked out.  We traveled only a few hours each day and stayed in Air BNB houses along the way.  Our route took us through the Rocky Mountains.  My granddaughter in law bought Terry cans of Oxygen to use in the higher altitudes. I had never been west of Illinois so even though the trip was tiring, it was also exciting to see places I had never seen or imagined I WOULD ever see.

Meanwhile, the realtor was sort of overlooking some of the contracted work that was supposed to be done on the house.  Our land is a 1/2 hour drive off the highway on a twisty turning mountain road.  Two of the contractors that were supposed to be refinishing the floors in the entire house and painting decided to quit.  Our house is too far a drive.  There is a Air BNB house just down the road from our property so we contracted to stay there for two weeks after new contractors were located.

My grandson had electricians do several repairs and changes to the electric system. The seller had left a lot of things that had to be removed from the property.  The creek that runs along the road had flooded a few years ago washing a lot of debris from properties above us on the near mountains and a lot of that had to be removed.  The new contractor that was hired to paint and apply epoxy to the floors was way behind schedule and had done an inferior job so they were asked not to return.  We still have to put new cabinets in the kitchen.

Our home is built of cement and built right into the side of the mountain.  All walls inside are cement.  Needless to say I won't be hanging much on the walls.

Our bedroom is actually a suite.  An outside door opens into our bedroom which has almost an entire wall of windows that look out to a mountain across the road.  We have a 7 x 12 walk in closet.  There is another room off the bedroom that could be another larger walk in closet but I chose to use it for my sewing room.  There is a large bathroom.  All that is closed off for privacy with a hall way door. 

We have a large kitchen and will be putting new cabinets in and a booth kitchen table.  There is a laundry room and VERY large pantry off the kitchen with a door that opens onto the cement deck and walk way that surrounds the main upper level.  There is another bathroom which is smaller and a small bedroom that will be for the boys.  This hallway has the door to the lower level.  The hall and kitchen have doorways to the second living room which have yet to be refinished, though the walls are painted.  There are HUGE windowed sliding doors that open into another open room that will become the dining room.  It is open to what I call the Entertainment Room. We have a huge sectional and TV there and behind it the kids have a play area.  That room is about 25 x 30.

The lower level needs to be painted etc.  There is a HUGE room with french doors that open into a cover patio. (It is covered by the deck on the upper level).  This area has a bathroom and walk in closet and another finished room that could be another bedroom and also has french doors to the outside.

There is a workshop outside that is as long as the home.  There is a rather small grass back yard which is shown in the picture.  It only shows the left side of the yard.  It's the only "grassy" area I have seen.  HOWEVER, Terry and I have not been to the top of the mountain, though Alyssa and Corey have and plan to build a home at the top.  Our home is at about 2500'.  The top of the mountain is about 4200'.

We need to fix a couple breaks in the fence.  Cows from the land that is kitty corner from us (probably 600 acres) wander the road and our mountain.  They come to the side where one of the creeks are and hang out.  One of our dogs is good at chasing them off.  The other dogs except Tyson do a good job of dodging hoofs.  Tyson has learned to keep his distance.

These mountain people can be friendly but not friends. The custom is to keep your gate closed and locked if you don't want company.  We keep ours locked because we have heard since the Covid outbreak there are a lot of strangers around.  We have heard they are stealing mail.  Since Terry gets his meds via mail, we have taken a PO box.  A bit of an inconvenience since the Post Office is a 1/2 hour drive of twists and turns.   We got one of those Gater/Kaboto kind of off road vehicles but ours is a Polaris.  It's meant for off road driving but really, no one cares what you do up here on the mountain.

There is wild life here.  LOTS of different birds.  There are also mountain lions, coyote (which Max has already met and was smart to come back to me) bobcats and who knows what.  The other side of our mountain is government land.  I am told there are bears there.  We were driving the Polaris on the property and a just gigantic bird swooped down at our windshield.  Max was running along beside us and we think he might have been the target.  We didn't get a good look at what it was but the wingspan was huge.  It wasn't a condor because it had a yellow beak.  We are going to keep our eye out.  One of the first things I did was order a bird book for California.

We have been to Bakersfield several times.  It is supposed to be the eighth largest California City.  I don't like it much because of the traffic and don't like to navigate the Hummer in small car thick traffic.  But we have also been to Tehachapi.  It's the kind of small town Terry and I loved when we were younger.  But I do like the Walmart there better than Bakersfield.

Gosh, there is so much more to tell.  For now I just wanted to document some of my thoughts on being here and to let you know we are alive and well and loving living in isolation so far.

Grateful:  Grateful to be alive.  We have chickens.  We had two goats that wondered off and most probably became Coyote Supper.

xx, Carol


Friday, May 1, 2020

A Scene From A Book

This is how far I got on the May 1 theme before I had to get serious about packing for the move.  Can you tell it's the scene from Gone With The Wind where Scarlet gets the idea to use the drapes to make a new dress.  When I think about it, my mind sees the scene from the movie with Scarlet wearing the dress and hat. Missing here is Scarlet herself.  She is packed away in the project box waiting to be completed.

Gone With The Wind has always been one of my favorite books as the movie is too. I didn't read the sequel book because I just didn't think a different author  could capture the spirit of GWTW.

Being of the Baby Boomer generation, I grew up watching old movies.  I loved all the old actors especially the dashing Clark Gable.  I read ALL THE TIME.  One of the things I loved best about the book was exploring each character's personality.  What influenced the women to be the way they were.  I couldn't identify with any one of them.  There wasn't much about Scarlet for me to like.  My favorite line from the movie anyway was Prissy  saying "I Don't Know Nothing About Birthing Babies".  It's been my reply to many questions I have been asked.

I don't have much more to say about this piece.  My first start on this Challenge was Stephen King's IT.  I don't recall why I switched gears to GWTW. I didn't get stalled on it, but like a lot of people around the world right now, we had a lot of illness at home these past 3 months.  Terry's illness looked a lot like C19 virus. He really did think he was going to die.  I was then sick for about a week, but nothing as bad as Terry.  We both would have been tested if there was a test to be had here at the time.

Grateful:  REALLY grateful to be moving to a wonderful place to shelter in place.

Be safe and stay healthy.
xx, Carol

Monday, April 20, 2020

This Is Where We'll Be

This is where we are moving. We are leaving a little sooner than we thought and the race is on to finish packing before the container gets here. This property is 150 acres full of creeks with a spring fed pond.  It even has a mountain top.  It was a ranch at one time and still has a cowboy bunk house and the once used cattle trails. This picture is the upper deck. There is a covered walk-out deck below it. The lower one is like an outdoor room.  My grandson found this property for us.  He will build a home there soon. 

Corey wanted to fly us out to CA, but we wanted to rent a car and drive there.  The final plan is for us all to travel across country in a 15 seat van.  Plenty of seating and room for our dogs.  Lots of windows to see the country.  Terry has seen a lot of this country but I have never been anywhere but Niagara Falls and Mammoth Cave State Park.

I probably won't be on the internet much this week or for the next few weeks for that matter. 

Grateful:  Needless to say I am grateful to be able to move to be close to our grands and great grands.  To be able to see the side of this country that I have always longed to see.

Today I saw a Pileated Woodpecker in the back yard.  I have never seen one before.  Today will be a good day!

Stay well and be safe.
xx, Carol


Thursday, April 9, 2020

Easter Came Early

I usually send a box to my grands each month.  This month the Easter Bunny did it for me.  Our Easter Bunny went to the Wakarusa Dime Store to be sure he got plenty of their very special Jumbo Jelly Beans, Gummies, and other novelty Easter items.  Even though the store is closed until the Shelter In Place order is lifted, a very nice lady answered the phone when I called to see if items could be ordered and picked up at the curb.  They aren't doing that but she assured me if the Easter Bunny placed an order on line it could then be shipped directly to the kids saving the Bunny a trip across country.  From the look of this photo, it seems the delivery was a success.  Nic's big smile is because he is holding a bag of false teeth gummies.

We go to Wakarusa a couple times a year.  We never miss stopping in the store to buy and to browse.  They have just about every candy you can imagine and all of the candy you used to buy when you were a kid.  It's not really a Dime Store, it's a candy shop.  Our area is blessed with at least three great candy shops, but Jumbo Jelly Beans are a must for Easter.  I'm not sure if they are exclusive to the store, but I have never seen them anywhere else.

Well, I have good news.  Terry has recovered from his falls and no longer feels pain on his backside.  Whatever kind of virus he had is gone.  AND...wait for it....we are really moving.  The first property is still in limbo so onward and upward we went right to 150 acres with several creeks, a great house, several...yes several..historical buildings on the property which the realtor called cowboy cabins since the property used to be a ranch.  My grandson bought it.  The house is 2300 square feet with a upper and lower level fully finished.  We will share the house while my grandson builds a house for them.  The property is about 1/2 hour drive to Bakersfield.  It is definitely a great place for kids to grow up and dogs to roam.  But not MINE.  Harley needs a Super Max kennel.

So inspections need to be done which should be completed within two weeks. I started packing boxes.  I expect that we will move at the beginning of June.

Yesterday it was 71 degrees.  This morning there was snow in the air when I let the dogs out. Spring is not here yet.  I think the rodent lied.

I am limiting participation on social media. Making masks is a great cause but that seems to be all anyone is posting about on FB and also Virus news and their opinions of the mess Trump put us in.  There is just too much too read to make me angry.

Grateful:  There is a lot to be grateful for. Especially each new day and a future of seeing our great grands every day.

What happy thing has happened to you recently?

xx, Carol

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

I Am Not An Ostrich

Here is a picture of some of the fabric I have pulled to use in the next Endeavourer Challenge.  I'm pretty sure no one would guess my subject just by seeing this fabric.  Oh, I see I left a brown wood fabric out of the picture.  That clue helped you, didn't it, lol.

Typically when you think of an Ostrich, an image flashes in your thoughts.  It's of an Ostrich with his head stuck in the sand.  I am not an Ostrich but I am mighty sick of hearing about the C-19 virus.  Tired of thinking about and reading about people making masks.  Alarmed that our, and other countries, only defense seems to be a Shelter In Place defense.  I am experiencing a bout of anxiety over all this.  I am distancing myself.  Yes I am. From people.  From some news, from most of FB and from some blogs.  People posting and commenting different points of view have me stressed. Are THEY like the Ostrich?  I don't know.  It doesn't warrant an argument.  Like everyone else, I dread when I receive the quarterly  statement from our financial planner regarding our investments.

So, on a lighter, happier note I present Mr. and Mrs. M. (M for Mallard).


Just about every year we have a visit from a Mallard couple.  Last year they nested in our front yard under the Honeysuckle.

This year it's pretty cold here and we have not been outside to chase them out of the pond.  For me, there is something soothing about this pair visiting.  Terry must feel it too because he told me to let them be.  So, there they are.  They visit every day about daybreak and stay for a bit.  Swimming quickly, lounging and throwing their heads quickly under the water and back up to wash the water over their backs.  I watch for a while but when I look away for just a second...a tiny little second...they are gone.  We are wondering where their nest is this year.  I can only hope it is not where the dogs can get the chicks when they hatch.

We have been staying in and I have been rescheduling some of Terry's doctor appointments.  Yesterday Terry noticed that one of the tires on the car was very low.  So he decided to fill it. (We have an air compressor.  He fell and had difficulty getting up.  When he did get up he fell again.  It's hard for me to help him because he has no use really of his left arm and it hurts to raise it or to be pulled on as he uses his good arm to try to raise himself up.  Now his back hurts.  If this Corona thing wasn't going on, I might have convinced him to go for an xray just to be on the safe side.  We'll keep an eye on it.

Grateful.  Today I am grateful for the diversions provided by Nature and also grateful that I am the kind of person who enjoys them.

xx, Carol

Wednesday, March 11, 2020

Facebook Surprised Me

Have you ever received one of these notices on a Facebook post?  No?  Good.  Me either.  HOWEVER, my grandson has a FB presence that is just hard to explain.  He calls it his FB life which is not the same as his private life.

He posted a ...  I'll call it a meme since it is hard for me to remember where he shared it from.  Anyway, you may have seen it because I'm sure it's been viral.  It is false info that there has been a virus outbreak in every election year since I can't remember how long ago.  Being the old person that I am, I remember approximately when most of the virus that were listed occurred.

I pretty much don't comment on Facebook political posts.  I usually shake my head when I read what some people think.  Oh, why don't they have one of those SMH emoji included with the Like, Laugh, Sad, Love and Angry emoji.  I'd use That one a lot.

Anyway, my grandson received this notice regarding that virus post.   You might say GOOD.  But it only makes me wonder how FB would track who shared the original post.  How do they track who shared a shared post?  It's yet another scary thing about FB.  I had read that there were hundreds of Trump posts that were removed for the Fake News error.

I was surprised to see how long it's been since I posted.  We have been busy.  We have been lazy.  We have been waiting..patiently and not so patiently.  For too many darned things. Anxiously waiting.

Yesterday I started my next Endeavourer Challenge.  Today I'm going to set my sewing machine back up. (it's been down while I sorted and organized my room).  THAT should set some wheels in motion!

Grateful:  That we have not been sick yet this winter.

Wednesday, February 19, 2020

Have You Seen A .co?


A while ago I started seeing Tasty.co videos pop up on my FB news feed.  I had seen the Tasty brand in the kitchen utensils shelves at Walmart but I was still leary of  clicking on a link on FB.  So off I went to the Google Machine to find out about Tasty and what the heck was a .co. (You KNOW I'm technologically challenged).  Anyway, here is what I found out about .co:

1. What does .CO mean (suffix)? What is the meaning of .CO? What is .CO in a web address?

Every website lives within a domain space such as .com  .net   .biz and others.  Introduced to satisfy the need for short memorable web addresses.  CO is a new domain extension that offers you a global option for branding your online presence.  For some reason they cost more than a .com.

So, I should have guessed.

Well anyway, I found Tasty.co on line and let me just say there are a ton of recipes there that are quick and easy. If you want to try the rib recipe I tried you can see it here.  I made mine in the oven and had great results.

So, I'm still spinning my wheels trying to think of what scene from a book I want to depict in the Endeavourer Challenge.  I MAY be onto something...for the third time.

Terry had the cataract surgery yesterday.  I can tell you that I am relieved to have had it done.  For a moment I was scared when they took his BP and said it was high.  The Systolic rate was good but the Diastolic rate was high. But it all went off without a hitch.

I can't seem to make any headway on stitching when my day is interrupted with doctor appointments.   I need to set up a new embroidery project but I need to clear my head first.

Grateful:  It's hard to mention just one thing.  I'll choose Harley, Terry's Min Pin.  They love each other so much and I'm glad that Corey gave this dog to Terry.  By now he would have driven Corey crazy for all the things that Terry just overlooks.  What a dog.

Let me know if you check out Tasty.
xx, Carol