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Sunday, February 27, 2011

Sunday Bridges - Suspension Bridge at Boyce Thompson Arboretum


This is a suspension bridge at the Boyce Thompson Arboretum in Superior, Arizona. It's the kind of bridge that moves when you walk on it, and really sways if you are, perhaps, the kind of person who likes to really jump and make the person behind you feel queasy and a little scared (like me!)

Here's a closer shot so you can get a good look at the ropes.





Ready for a walk?




For more shots of Sunday Bridges, visit Louis La Vache here.

Friday, February 25, 2011

A Man, A Can, and a Plan

It is OFFICIAL.

We have TRULY earned the name "Trailer Trash".

And I'll tell you why.

It's all because of my husband, Jim.

Our Wi-Fi here in the park is iffy on a GOOD day.

It can be quite frustrating.

Jim said that he was going to try something to get a better reception.

Yep.

It's what I call

A man, (I wanted him to stand in a Superman pose - with his hands on his hips and his legs spread, but he absolutely refused. He's no fun.)


a can,



and boy did he have a PLAN!

He was going to make a "Cantenna".....an antenna out of a can AND stick it on top of our trailer.

I was NOT happy about this.

My one friend suggested we glue feathers to the can so it would look like a bird.

My other friend thought we were putting up something like this:


Uh, no.

And thank GOD it was nothing like THIS.


Because I would have flat out left him.

So Jim began working on "The Plan".

Measuring to see what size drill bit he needed.

Drilling the hole for the connector.


Thankfully he has removed the "Maxwell House" label from the can, and is now attaching the connector.


The next step is to attach the can to some PVC pipe. Jim found this neat Velcro tape at Home Depot that breaks off in three inch increments.

He thinks two straps ought to hold the can.


Jim climbs the ladder on the back of our trailer with cantenna in hand.



He scouts around looking for the nearest Wi-Fi antenna so he will know which direction to point the can. (Inside the can is a wire that acts as an antenna).


Oh-oh. We have a problem. The can falls off the pipe.

Jim determines that the horizontal pipe is too short.


No problem. He measures a longer piece from the bottom of the pipe,


and cuts it off!



The longer length is perfect! Notice the lid on the coffee can. This is to keep birds from nesting in the can and goofing up our antenna!


Jim goes back up the ladder with the new, improved cantenna.


He attaches it to our ladder.


Done!


So there you have it. A cantenna on my candominium. Thankfully it's at the rear of our trailer so it's not noticeable from the street.

Jim said the cantenna has upped his wi-fi signal three times to what it used to be; mine is still so-so. I just might have to tap into that cantenna myself!

If you are interested in the plans for the cantenna, email me and I would be happy to send them to you.

Monday, February 21, 2011

If you plan it, they will come

When my son, Jason, came down to visit us, I decided to have a bocce ball party so that my friends could meet him.

We have a beautiful bocce ball court here in the park. Looks like something straight out of Italy.

Not that I've ever BEEN to Italy, but it's what I imagine it would like look.

Here are the bocce ball courts.


That patio is quite nice, too.

I invited about 40 people; maybe 32-35 showed up. Everybody brought something to share whether it was an appetizer, side dish or dessert. We were providing the hot dogs.

Just look at the gorgeous stone bar that we set the food up on.


Jim was the official wiener cooker. There was a huge gas grill set up behind the bar.

He grilled up 60 hot dogs, and only 2 were left over!

Some people just sat around, relaxed and talked.


Some people played bocce ball.

Here is Shannon giving it a whirl for the first time.


I'm not sure if Don had just released that ball, or if he was watching as it crossed the white line and came towards him.


This is Harold throwing the ball. What's so significant about that? He is blind. Ray was coaching him as to where to throw the ball. Last year Harold BEAT ME in bocce ball. Does that tell you how much I suck at this game?


Serious business. Viv helps Jim measure the distance of the red ball while Pat stands in the background. (Whichever ball is closer to the yellow ball gets the point.)


And some people cheered. This is Sandy cheering someone on. I didn't realize that bocce was a spectator sport!



So this just proves one thing.

If you plan it, (a party), they will come.

(Before) photo:


(After) photo:

Friday, February 18, 2011

Tidbits from Trailer Pat



It's that time again for me to bestow some helpful hints to you, my lovely followers.

This first one I found in Real Simple magazine. You've heard of "Beer Can Chicken" where you shove a half full can a beer up a chicken's, er, butt and then roast in the oven or on a grill?

Well, this is a little more sophisticated. Not that there's anything wrong with Beer Can Chicken, or Butt Chicken, mind you. It's delish. But this new way has a bonus. You can roast vegetables along with the chicken.


That's right. Chicken-in-a-bundt-pan. First you layer potatoes, carrots and onions on the bottom of the pan. Then season the chicken and place in the pan with the cavity over the center hole. Be sure to set the pan on a cookie sheet to collect any drippings and roast as usual.

I, myself, haven't tried this because my convection oven is too small in my trailer. So one of you try it and let me know how it turns out. I bet it would be great!

***********************************************************************
This is a problem that women don't want to talk about, but it happens.

That unwanted hair.

On your chinny-chin-chin.

It's especially bad when you don't notice it until you're sitting in the car and the sun is shining on your face and you happen to glance in the rear view mirror and let out blood curdling scream because you see a werewolf looking back at you.

Okay, maybe it's not THAT bad, but it's pretty bad when you find a hair that's about an inch long that seemed to grow overnight.

And it's BLACK.

And it has a few buddies scattered here and there around him.

Damn!

Well, ladies, don't fret. I have the PERFECT solution.

It's called "Finishing Touch" hair removal and it works like a charm. It's a little hand held, battery operated tool, smaller than a tooth brush, that you just run across your chin, upper lip, or anywhere else you have unwanted hair, and Wha-lah! Hair-be-gone!

My sisters turned me on to this little beauty secret. It ranges in price from 8.99-9.99 and is available at Ulta, Bed Bath and Beyond, Amazon, and I'm sure many other places.

I picked one up at the Ulta Store when I was out shopping with my friends. I turned them on to this little beauty trick while driving home in the car. Norma oohed and ahhed from the back seat while shaving her chin. Then I handed it our driver, Kathy, who was kind enough to wait for a red light before she trimmed up her hair! I just blew off all my friends' excess chin hairs and then ran the shaver along my face. By the time we got home we were all as hairless as this:


Let me know if you like the Finishing Touch!


Wednesday, February 16, 2011

You're Going to Stick that WHERE?

I had to have a colonoscopy recently.

In case you're from another planet and have NO idea what a colonoscopy is, it's where someone you barely know takes a long tube with a camera on the end, and sticks it up your, er, butt-hole.

Yeah. It's not pretty.

The procedure itself is pretty tame. It's the damn PREP that's the killer.

The first time I had to have a colonoscopy, I had to drink a GALLON of orange-flavored junk to make me poop. Well, it made me poop alright. Plus the other "P" word - puke. Things were coming from both ends and I didn't know whether to lean over the toilet or to sit.

It was a nightmare.

But I lived through that AND the procedure and all was well.

Fast forward to a few months ago. My doctor recommended that I have another colonoscopy.

The problem is, I am full of shit.

Both literally AND figuratively.

So the doc wanted to take a look inside. Which meant the dreaded prep. Since we are in Arizona for the winter, I'm not near my normal GI doctor. I made an appointment with a doctor from a group that Jim had used a few years ago. He only had to pop 3 little pills and drink about 4 ounces of castor oil.

That's it.

Bada bing, bada boom.

Then kaboom.

You may recall the visit with this doctor. He's the one that thought I was a doctor.

Uh, no.

For some reason it was written in my chart that I was an OB-GYN doctor.

Anyway, once that was cleared up, he talked about the procedure. The prep included drinking 2 liters of icky tasting liquid.

"What?" I practically screamed at the doctor. "What happened to the three little pills?"

"We've done away with that."

Damn it!

I was NOT looking forward to drinking that stuff. The day of the prep it was liquid only and clear foods like jello (not red colored) and broth.

I don't think liquor was on the clear liquid diet.

But I wanted it to be.

Then at 5 PM that evening I had to start drinking the prep. Every 15 minutes I had to drink about 8 ounces of it, then another 8 ounces of water.  That lasted till 6 pm.

It took about an hour before all hell broke loose.

I had to repeat the same routine at 10 PM.

It was torture.

It took all my strength to get that last glass down without upchucking in the kitchen sink.

It was hard not to eat anything substantial during the day, especially when someone nearby was grilling hamburgers and the smell was wafting into our trailer. My mouth was watering so bad! I just wanted to bite into a juicy burger!

The procedure was scheduled for the next morning at 9:00 am.

I got up, showered and spent several minutes fixing my hair and then it dawned on me. What the heck was I doing? Why was I spending so much time on my hair when I was only going to be lying on a bed? The doctor wasn't even going to be looking at that end anyway!

On the way to the outpatient center, I informed Jim that if anything were to go wrong and I were to die, (at this point he made a "tsk" sound and rolled his eyes), I wanted him to be sure to have my hair dyed (my roots were showing badly) and I wanted fake nails put on before he laid me out in the casket.

We arrived at the place and soon I was wisked into the patient waiting area. The nurses were real nice and tried to entertain me with stories of Chicago (one was from that area) while they hooked me up to monitors and pricked me with a needle for an IV.

Finally it was time to bring me into the operating room. They wheeled me in and said their goodbyes and wished me luck.

I saw the doctor sitting in the corner, working on a computer.

Two other nurses greeted me right away, asked how I was doing, and then went about their business.

The doctor ignored me.

I thought, "Geez, you'd think he'd at least say 'hi' seeing how he's going to get UP CLOSE AND PERSONAL real soon!"

Tick tock, tick tock.

I laid there for about 10 minutes watching the clock and wondering what's a nice girl like me doing in a place like this?

Finally everybody converged on me at once. The one nurse came by with a big needle of happy juice and injected it into my IV, and the next thing I knew, I was back in recovery.

PLUSES TO HAVING A COLONOSCOPY

  1. It can save lives. Polps can be pre-cancerous and can be removed easily.
  2. It's good to clean out your system every once in a while.
  3. I weighed three pounds less "poopless".
  4. It doesn't hurt a bit.
MINUSES TO HAVING A COLONOSCOPY

  1. The prep.
  2. You go through an awful lot of toilet paper.
  3. Soreness of the behind.
  4. The prep.
  5. If you only have one bathroom, it can cause problems with other family members.
  6. Did I mention the prep?

Don't know if you've ever seen Billy Connolly's routine on when he had a colonoscopy. It's pretty funny.


Sunday, February 13, 2011

Sunday Bridges - Canyon Lake

It's been awhile since I've contributed to Louis la Vache's Sunday Bridges. But driving down to Tortilla Flat the other day, I found the ideal photo op.

This is a one lane bridge over Canyon Lake, the lake that is featured in my header photo.


I love the large saguaro in the foreground. For more Sunday Bridges, click here.

Friday, February 11, 2011

A Day at the Flat - Tortilla Flat, that is

When visitors come to see us, one of the first places we take them to see is Tortilla Flat. According to their website, it is considered "the friendliest little town in Arizona", and with a population of only 6, presumed to be Arizona's smallest official "community" since they have a voter's precinct and post office. Click here to read more about the history of Tortilla Flat.

It is a beautiful drive out to the town, with winding roads, rolling hills, saguaros, chollas, prickly pears, and santa rita cacti doting the roadside, and Superstition Mountains looming in the distance.


I like the color of this rock, made yellow by lichen.


This is looking down at Canyon Lake.

This is taken to the left of the above photo.


A couple of hearty souls riding up the hill!


You can either eat inside the restaurant, or outside where there is a live band. We chose to eat outside and munched on grilled hamburgers and listened to the Tortilla Flat Band.


The crowd seemed to be enjoying themselves.


The walls inside the restaurant are papered with dollar bills that have been contributed by the thousands of patrons. The bathrooms are kind of fun. Here is a photo of the women's bathroom.You can see that if a woman stood up in the stall, her head would be on top of the painting.


Here are some of the fun things I found in the gift shop. Take this tampon holder for instance. Seriously?


Tell me this....why is there a GUY on a tampon case?

Here are some crazy hand sanitizers!




In need of a girlfriend, boyfriend, or therapist? How about one for the low, low cost of $2.95?



(Note the "for ages 3 and up" in the top left corner!)


Here is a rock formation right across from the saloon and gift shop.


The saloon and restaurant.


Here's the  hanging man. He used to hang from a dead tree near the road, but he was moved to over the ice cream shop. We always stop and grab a cone there. Our choice of flavor: prickly pear ice cream! The fruit from the prickly pear is a cross between a strawberry and a raspberry.


I caught this beautiful reflection as we were heading out of the area.


We had a fun time and next stop: Goldfield Ghost Town.