Saturday * July 23rd 2016

Let There Be (Solar) Light…

As many people know, I’ve decided to stay home for the summer and give Casa de Cheryl some much needed attention…

I have to say I’ve been “very good,” and have put a major dent in home repairs and upkeep.  Even though I miss my summer travels (that will start up again in the fall), it’s been nice re-discovering Las Cruces.

I’ve even taken up Zumba and try to go three times a week.  I haven’t gotten there yet, but I plan to take Spanish two days a week too.  There are TONS of classes at MountainView Senior Circle, and EVERYTHING is “gratis” after you pay a yearly fee of $15.00.  There are exercise classes, games, movies, special interest groups, and even a monthly free luncheon.  It’s also good for me in that it gives me an opportunity to meet new people.  🙂

It seems that having a “daily task” brings meaning and purpose to my life…

I “dug in” (no pun intended) to clean up my yard, and make a soothing resting space.  My latest “project” was making a cactus garden with cinder blocks.  I have to say it was fun and gratifying – although my “mature” body talked back after I lifted all that cement from Home Depot to my car and eventually to my backyard.

cactusgarden

Colorful Cactus in Cement!

Squirrel problem…

If you look to the far left and just above the middle of the above photo, you’ll see a drainage hole.  I have three such holes in my rock wall for drainage when it rains (which isn’t often).

I had a couple of bird feeders up, and started having a problem with squirrels.  I took the bird feeders down, but the squirrels have “tunneled” through the drainage holes and there are mounds of dirt directly underneath.  My neighbor told me she saw one jump from the rock wall up to the drainage pipe on my townhome.  Now, at about 6:00 a.m. (daylight) I hear a “tap dance” on my roof.

I’ve plugged the rock wall drainage holes with rocks until I can fabricate some sort of chicken wire cover.  As for my house, I really started to freak out.  However, today I found that Las Cruces Animal Control will lend “live traps” for squirrels (and other rodents) and will pick up the traps.

Back to SOLAR!

I like to be creative, and I just have this “thing” about solar power.  I live in an environment where there’s lots of sun, and it makes sense to me to harness that power.  So, when I’m out and about and near Harbor Freight I stop in with my 20% off coupon (and another for a freebee) and buy a two-pack of solar lights.  I like the ones at Harbor Freight because the body is brushed nickel, and the globe is glass that doesn’t etch in the sun like plastic.  A good deal at a total (including tax) of $5.09 for two.

I always carry a solar light in my car so when I visit thrift stores I can see if the light will fit the “object” I’m considering.  A little spray paint, some heavy duty glue, and some “bling” from Hobby Lobby can make an interesting “re-purposed” project.

solar01

Total Materials – $7.50

solar02

Total Materials – $6.00

solar03

Total Materials – $7.00

solar04

Total Materials – $4.50

solar05

Total Materials $6.00

solar06

Total Materials – $5.00

Re-Purposed Solar Lights are Fun to Make!

I plan to keep some, make some to give away as gifts, and possibly sell some when I go to Mexico for the Fall/Winter.  What do you think?

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Let’s Go to the Farmer’s Market!

fm09

Happy Sunflowers!

It’s Saturday morning – come with me to the Las Cruces Farmer’s Market…

One of the things I love about Las Cruces, is the weekly Farmer’s Market.  It’s always a delight to all of the five senses.  As the seasons change there are different items to be purchased, as well as regular sellers of interesting items.  Yesterday I went to Dunkin’ Donuts for a large iced coffee (and a complimentary donut for flashing my AARP card) 😉 , and then on to the Farmer’s Market.  In cooler weather I sometimes take Cali because the market is pet friendly, but it’s July and she’s much better off in her favorite chair in the air conditioning at Casa de Cheryl.

You never know what you’ll see…

As I previously mentioned, the Farmer’s Market is “animal friendly,” but you don’t see many tortoises – especially on a skateboard!

fm10

Love the July 4th theme…

Speaking of regular items…

fm02Who can resist fresh homemade baked goods?  Living Harvest Bakery mills their own flour just before baking and brings an assortment of delicious breads, pastries, and fresh ground almond butter.  The family is about as “New Mexico Nice” as they come, and will gladly engage in a conversation about their baking process.  My all-time favorite is the green chile cheese bread, but I’m trying the sprouted sourdough this week.

fm03

A nearby grower comes over from Deming, New Mexico every week to sell hydroponic tomatoes and other assorted vegetables.  The tomatoes (on the vine and cherry) are especially delicious as well as lovely.  There’s always a little line because the produce is excellent quality.   (Yes, I purchased some yesterday.)

fm04

Although I’ve never sampled the meat (I’m not a big meat eater) lots of people line up to this “carniceria” for fresh beef.  The owner also sells farm fresh eggs, but I’m usually not there early enough before he sells out.

The Farmer’s Market “Star”…

fm01I’ve venture to say that the “star” of the Farmer’s Market is Southwest Kettle Corn.  An interesting “aside” is that the owner was a former assistant principal at one of the elementary schools here in Las Cruces.  I once asked him at which position he earned the best salary – hands down the kettle corn business.  He eventually left education for a position with Apple Computers, but still keeps his “weekend gig.”  🙂

fm05You can barely walk ten feet through the Farmer’s Market without seeing someone munching on some kettle corn.  However, to “get the gold” you usually have to wait in line.  However, the owner wisely provides individual umbrellas for shade as you wait.  How nice is that?

Did you bring lots of cash?

You did?  Great!  Now we can visit the vendor who “re-purposes” antique flatware into beautiful jewelry.

fm08

Bright and shiny objects…

No dinero? 

That’s OK, we’ll just take a little break and listen to one of the many buskers playing great tunes…

fm11

Serious musician…

Thanks for tagging along and have a safe Canada Day/July 4th weekend…

I promise next time we’ll pig out on breakfast burritos and kettle corn, and see EVERYTHING!  🙂

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Making a Golden Dome of Protection…

unconditional

Not very many people read my blog since I don’t post often…

However, something happened recently that I can’t/won’t let slip by.  Many times, people that I get to know via my blog I develop a relationship with on FaceBook.  Sometimes, I feel isolated and sad so I welcome people into my life.  Up until now, this has had “up’s and down’s,” but basically I’ve had no regrets.

OK, until recently…

A man I’ve know for a while (and previously respected) recently crossed the “invisible line” between supportive friend and questionable stalker.  I know that his wife is in ill health and he is the primary caregiver.  He’s vented, I’ve vented, and although sometimes the interactions were sad I admired him.

I feel stupid because it’s in my nature to inherently trust people – at least until they’ve proven they’re no longer worth of my trust.

Bluntly, in a private chat I was asked a very personal sexual question by this person.  I’m not a prude by any sense of the word, but my stomach flipped and I was quite taken aback.

It was inappropriate…

Why did he do it?  I have no idea.  However, I was both saddened and shocked.

What now?

I “unfriended” this person on FaceBook and also blocked him so he can’t contact me there.  As for my blog, I have less control but for the time being posts will be “moderated.”  I hate to this, but I feel I need a “layer of safety” – probably unnecessary, but previous experience with evil and malicious people dictates my actions.

Yes, it hurts…

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Summer in the Desert Southwest…

butterfly

It’s a “not too hot” summer here…

I made a decision to stay home this summer in Las Cruces.

Lawn Care Man?

My back yard was a train wreck.  My palm tree was long overdue for a trim, and I had a couple “expired” plants.  I hired a guy in my neighborhood (recommended by my next door neighbor) to do the work.  At first, the man said “pay me what you think it’s worth.”  Then it became (on my part) a “let’s settle on a fee.”  It was one of the strangest transactions, as a day or two later he wanted part of then money, then he said he “low balled” himself and needed MORE money.  He completed the work, and I’ll never hire him for anything again – especially after he scoped out items in my garage he wanted to “buy.”

After, I feverishly set forth repainting plastic lawn chairs, putting in rubber mulch, and buying lots of cacti at the 1/2 price garden sale at Wal*Mart.  I even put in an array of solar lights, and my yard is looking like someone lives there now.

Skylights?

My next project was to go to Goodwill to buy some blackout curtains to be re-purposed by a local seamstress to cover my skylights.  I used tension rods on each side, and I’m quite pleased with the effect – both to reduce heat and light.

Not so Handy Man…

My next door neighbors were having their evaporative (swamp) cooler set up by a local “handy man” in our neighborhood.  I hired himnd had him replace my three faucets in the bathrooms, the two outside hose bibs that were leaking, my air conditioner/furnace filters, and a toilet plunger thingy.  All well and good – EXCEPT that he apparently chipped one of the sinks in my master bath.  No, I didn’t see him do it and I called him with the news.  He (of course) denied it, and instead of freaking out and ruminating over the issue I went out and bought something that resembles fingernail polish to paint over the chip.

RV and Las Cruces Codes…

I’ve never had a problem parking my RV in front of my house (even though I’m not supposed to).  There are other people that do the same in my neighborhood.  However, my “neighbor” saw a car facing the wrong way parked on our street and called Las Cruces Codes.  She TOLD me she told the representative that my RV was fine (duh), but of course I got a warning ticket.  Now my “casa on wheels” is parked at a storage facility outside for $35.00/month.

I May Need a Vacation Soon…

Seriously, I’m questioning my need for even having a stick house.  I’ve always traveled in the summer and am finding it difficult to stay at home.  I plan to winter again in Puerto Penasco, but I may have to take a “little trip” before then…

 

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Blogging – or not…

It’s been a long time…

I’ve been struggling for quite some time whether or not to continue blogging.  I don’t never wanted to consider blogging a “job” – rather, I wanted it to be a vehicle to express feelings and ideas I have.

My life isn’t that exciting…

I travel sporadically in my RV, and at the moment I’ve been home since mid-March.  I have mixed feeling about “taking an adventure” this summer.  I’m definitely not returning to volunteer to camphost for Oregon State Parks.  I’m sure that some people love the experience, but for me I felt isolated and lonely.  I did my job, and then returned to my RV for the evening.

The world is filled with couples and families “making memories” during special summer times…

In addition, I equated volunteering with “slave labor.”  Seriously, some days you work your a$$ off just for your basic campsite.

Not thrilling I.M.H.O.

This summer I’m somewhat at odds on what to do.  The Spirit hasn’t moved me to explore and travel new environs.  I spent the latter part of January until mid-March in Puerto Penasco.  I “do” love Mexico and plan to return in the Fall.   In the meantime, I feel like staying close to home and renewing my New Mexico State Park pass for short jaunts.

Shameless beauty…

Last October, I took an inventory of my face and decided after ignoring my face for a lifetime I should “do something.”  I started on a skin care regimen that includes serums in the daytime and retin-a creme at night.  I was tired of seeing the “droop” of marionette lines around my mouth and finally “bit the bullet” for some injected filler.  I felt like the first thing people saw when they looked at me were the severe lines that made me look angry and/or sad.

It’s worth every single penny…

See?

cherylbokeh05

I’m a little, OK mega depressed because tomorrow I have to have my right, top, end molar extracted due to something called internal resorption.  I went to an endodontist who said it was too late to save the tooth by doing a root canal and having a crown.  Strangely, my teeth are normally “good” as I’ve only had three cavities in my whole life.  However, trust me to have every freaking weird dental trauma know to man.  (It would take too long to go into detail here…)  There’s just something about having part of your body “ripped out.”  (Again, that’s another “can of worms.”)

So there you have it…

An update on my “not so exciting” life and the angst of the recipient.   Treading water comes to mind…

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