Tuesday, December 16, 2014

I Think It's Finally Over

My Christmas rush, that is. I took two bags full of packages to Office Depot early yesterday morning where I love that I can drop all my mail off, so much easier than driving to either of the post offices, both 7 miles away from the house in opposite directions. And considering that most days I don't have a car available, that would be a really really long walk or bike ride.

Then I came home and worked on more orders and made a second trip with a few more packages to Office Depot before the 3:30pm pickup, then worked on the final few orders and will take them over to drop off a little later this morning.

And no new orders in the queue.

I am ready for a little break, there are a lot of new spring things that I want to work on and the bathroom is in need of a good cleaning. Not that I'm anxious to do that, I don't mind most any type of cleaning but something about the bathroom has me putting it off day after day until you just can't stand it anymore.

We've eaten out a bunch these past two days, Keith wasn't watching his start count on trips out and ended up on forced layoff rest days yesterday and today and is lined up for an evening train tonight. We need to get the car smogged which means a tune up first so hopefully it will pass. He took the car over yesterday but they were too busy to get to it, so has taken it back over this morning and will either go get some breakfast while he waits or walk back home. We are hoping it won't cost too much money to get it all done and ready for new tags. Then of course we have to pay for the tags.

Anyway, eating out.

I picked him up from work Sunday evening and there was really nothing in the house to fix for dinner so we went to Spencers for ho hum just adequate food. He got some ribs that he did like and I had some bbq chicken that was just chicken. Then yesterday we went to Coco's for lunch and then last night took Joe and Elizabeth to Red Lobster, a place that I had only eaten at once before, it being a bit pricey and I'm not all that big on seafood.

We had a really nice attentive waitress and each of us got the two item combo but after having one of their (yum) cheddar bay biscuits and the salad that comes with the dinner it was hard to finish my two items, coconut shrimp and salmon. I shared the coconut shrimp with everyone else, good shrimp but I was just getting too full to eat it all. I don't really like the actual shrimp part of shrimp, but the coconut crispy coating was very good. I like fried shrimp but really only for the cocktail sauce that you dip it in. Kind of like a kid with a bowl full of carrots and ranch dip. Stick the carrot in the dip, lick it off and re-dip.

So, I think we've spent enough money on eating out despite my dream of eating all my meals out so that I never have to cook again.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

I'm Tired And Need Some Coffee!

I've been trying not to drink so much coffee lately, my stomach has been hurting a lot and I'm having other digestive type issues. I was taking a lot of aspirin each day for some tooth pain and arm pain and any other kind of pain and I'm wondering if I have a big hole in my stomach from all the aspirin. I did get the tooth pain figured out at the dentist. And I'm switching to Aleeve for the arm pain.

I'm trying some different more soothing for the stomach teas and today I got some probiotic pills that are timed-release. I had tried probiotics before and the brand I got gave me a stomach ache but so far so good after taking 2 of the new ones today. I got some chamomile tea and some energy and mind focusing tea (ha) and still drink some of my good old Lipton decaf at night. I only had one cup of coffee this morning but after a busy busy day I'm really really tired.

I had a bunch of orders to pack up this morning, I really though that the holiday rush was over with but not quite I guess with a lot of orders coming in yesterday. I didn't want to wait until tomorrow morning to get them ready for the mail, Keith should be home tonight and he sleeps a lot later than me in the mornings. I also got 2 more orders today that I needed to make up and then pack.

I also got out into the yard and weed whacked around all the stepping stones that I really wish we had never put in because weed whacking around them is kind of a pain but luckily the grass is pretty much dead around most of them. Then mowing the rest of the yard and I decided to take the black eyed susan that the wind knocked over completely out. It was starting to kind of creep me out a little anyway and it just needed too much maintenance or it would take over the yard, and it was definitely reminding me of Marge Simpson's hair, so...out it came which was quite a job pulling all the tendrils off of the trellis and then digging up the rest of it. I did put what was left of it in the ground by the side yard fence where maybe it will grow again and then it has a whole fence to spread out on.

See what I mean?

Anyway, out it came and I unbent the trellis and stuck it back in the ground and it looks a lot better to me now.

Our little oak tree's leaves are turning and getting ready to fall but fortunately it won't need too much raking up since there are only about 30 leaves or so on the tree. I am glad it survived the wind though!

Friday, December 12, 2014

Crazy Windy Night

The wind was pretty nuts last night, you could hear it blowing against the house and I'm really surprised that the power stayed on all night. The reports on this mornings news showed streets in town where visibility was zero because of all the dirt and dust the wind was blowing around. Kind of like gritty heavy fog, only brown not gray.

I went out front a few times and could feel the fine dirt particles in the air and the plastic chairs out there were covered in a fine layer of dirt. Our black eyed susan on the trellis was leaning further and further over with each gust of wind and was laying almost completely on the ground when I went out to check on things this morning. I propped it back up where it's now leaning the other way by about a foot.

I don't know what time the rain started last night but it did wake me up and I cracked the window open a few inches so I could hear it while trying to go back to sleep.

We bought Genie a dog house igloo the other day, an igloo that would have taken me about 5 minutes to buy but Keith went to get it and it took him about an hour for some reason. He likes to debate purchases and take up salespeople's time with questions. We put her big quilt inside it along with a cat bed with sides and at first she didn't want to get in it but finally figured it all out. She stayed pretty dry all night as far as I could tell, the quilt was a little damp by the doorway but her bed was dry. Everything else in the back yard was soaked this morning, including her other blankets that were on chairs and such, a couple of them having blown clear across the yard. One of the plastic chairs was upended and about ten feet from where it was last night.

One big branch and lots of smaller ones came down from the tree out front, but everything else seems to have survived okay despite my visions of tree branches crashing through the house in the night.

I'm not even going to worry about sweeping things up out front today, it's supposed to rain on and off all day but fortunately the wind is gone. I'm also not going to clean anything up inside since we'll just track more dirt and mud inside each time we go in or out.

Keith called this morning from a siding outside of Barstow, they got a 3 am call for work and got the train running but then stopped about 30 miles later because of problems on the tracks going over the mountains back home. He'll probably sit there all day and end up getting a van ride back to town.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Unusual Scene Outside My Window

Well, first off a storm coming is unusual for us, the wind is blowing and rain is supposed to start tonight. The news last night had a story about how people are being advised to take down big holiday decorations, in particular those big blow up santas and such, otherwise they may blow on down the street. The spokesman for the CHP talked a bit about how if you see something blocking the road (big blow up santas for example) you should call 911 because it is an emergency. He was talking more along the lines of downed tree limbs and power lines, but I'm sure a big blow up santa will end up on some road somewhere in town.

So, while waiting for the storm and listening to the wind chimes bang around and a few trash cans blowing over, wind chimes that I will take down before nightfall and I'll also bring the trash can in, today being trash day and it's still sitting on the curb, I was working on some stuff in the front room and glanced out the window to see this.
Yes, that is an UPS delivery man on a bicycle with two trailers behind it delivering packages. He actually had a package for me, some glue that I ordered from an online office supply store, glue that Office Depot has not had in stock for a long time so why not just have it delivered to my door? Since he came to my door I just had to ask about the bike, never having seen a UPS guy delivering packages this way before. Apparently the truck drops the bike off and away he pedals. Or in today's case, pushes the bike because it's very windy outside and unless the wind is behind you it's really difficult to go riding off. You don't get very far with each pedal and it takes a lot of effort to go just a little ways, speaking from experience here. I try to avoid riding in the wind so it's a good thing we don't get all that windy here very often or I'd never ride the bike anywhere.
I also find my front yard flower bed a little unusual, maybe not for Bakersfield but when you think that it's almost halfway through December and winter starts in a week or so, flowers blooming away does seem a little strange.

Most of my flowers started out as those little six pack flowers with just like one bud on them and I can't believe how big they've gotten and how much they bloom. They really like where they are I guess, getting direct sun all day long. On sunny days anyway.

We also have some wildflowers in the other front flower beds, fall blooming ones that were in the mix of seeds Keith tossed in the dirt last spring. I'm glad the fall wildflowers don't get as big as the spring ones did, those were a bit much. The delicate yellow blossoms are the wildflowers. I have no idea what they are, but they are pretty.
I had a lovely surprise from one of the cats early this morning (probably Harri) when I staggered out of bed around 4:30 to go to the bathroom and stepped in something wet and soggy right outside my door and I'm so glad it wasn't poop but rather a hairball. A hairball is bad enough to step in when you are barefoot but poop is a lot worse and I know this from experience.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Let's Go RVing! And Some Sweet Stuff

We don't have an RV or camper or any of that kind of stuff, but yesterday we saw an RV park that kind of makes you want to go out and buy an RV just so you could stay in the park.

We drove just a tiny bit outside of town to a fruit stand that we had stopped at once before where I knew they carried the flavored almonds and other sweet things repackaged into their own bags with their own labels on them, intending to send them to Keith's brothers as gifts. It's really hard to think of something to send them, the past few years we've done gift cards for restaurants which seems really silly when you exchange gift cards with people. Why not just each keep that $25.00 or so and take your own selves out to eat, but hey, it's the thought that counts and all that.

Anyway, some honey orange almonds and other goodies sounded like a good gift to send, so off we went to The California Fruit Depot which is just off Hwy 58 on the way to Tehachapi and a little closer and with a better selection of sweet stuff that our usual Murray Farms fruit stand. Keith missed the offramp because he thought we were going to Murray Farms despite my telling him we were not, so we had to get off at the next one and backtrack down a few narrow country roads through the fields and orchards. Which is why we didn't see the Orange Grove RV park right next to the fruit stand until we were turning down the road to the fruit stand. Which is in the middle of orange groves. And I'm assuming also owns the Orange Grove RV park right next door. Which is IN AN ORANGE GROVE!

I first noticed picnic tables under orange trees and then noticed RVs parked next to orange trees and kind of went, hey! what is this? And how cool!

It really looked pretty, way nicer than the few pictures I found on the internet, orange trees covered in oranges and clean driveways in between them. It's not too far off of the freeway, but it seemed like it would be so peaceful to spend the night there. Then just reach out your RV window and pick some oranges for fresh juice in the morning.

Not that Bakersfield is exactly a big RV destination, but if you are passing through on your way to someplace much nicer, like Yosemite or the ocean and need a place to stop for the night, here you go.

We did buy a bunch of almonds and festive peppermint topped white chocolate coated pretzels and some chocolate covered dried apricots (something a little different) and some sunkist fruit gems, so we got the gifts covered and now all I have to do is pack them up and mail them out.

You get to sample everything before you decide what to buy, little containers are in front of each thing they sell, and the selection is huge, so you could really get full if you sampled everything. Then on the way out you can take an orange for the road for free. Not that I like oranges, I am not big on citrus fruits, but Keith likes them.