A few random thoughts

sunrise in the desert
Sunrise view from our backyard.

I turned off the ads.

Did you notice the difference? I turned off the ads on my blog. At one time, years ago, I thought I could make money blogging. So far that is not the case. Blogging is a creative release to express my personal thoughts and feelings. When I first turned on the ads, a blogger told me it interfered with her loading my blog. She said she enjoyed my writing but was no longer going to follow me because of ads.

That should have been my first clue to end the ads.

WordPress help is helpful! I entered a chat box because I couldn’t figure out where or how to control the ads. Within a minute I was given a link to make the change.

I get really upset when my kids get in a fight with me or my husband.

We’ve had a few unpleasant conversations with our kids lately. One was yesterday and it really tears me apart. I feel like a failure as a parent and everything I tried to instill in my kids is for naught. I was surprised to get a phone call this morning with an apology. I’m grateful for that.

It’s hard to go to the pool when the weather is cold.

I’m making myself go at least two days a week. But when it’s dropping to the low 40s it’s hard! I don’t want to get in my bathing suit let alone get in the pool. I do feel better when it’s over. I reward myself with a long hot shower!

I swam yesterday and I never warmed up. I was chilled. Usually the hardest part is getting in or out of the pool than after a few laps you feel warm. My face and arms felt cold the entire time I swam.

Do you have ads on your blog? Why or why not? Would you stop following a blog because of ads?

Testing my Bird Buddy

Bird Buddy smart bird feeder

My Bird Buddy arrived.

My son told me about Bird Buddy. The company he works for helped get it off the ground. It took more than a year to arrive due to supply chain issues.

I was almost ready to give up on it. I ordered one for myself and one for my dad — for last year’s Christmas presents. Now it’s here in time for this year’s Christmas.

I had difficulty with the assembly. Putting one little screw in the back of the camera to fasten it to the bird feeder got the better of me. I have shaky hands so I asked my husband to give it a try. He was able to get it done.

Also, the solar panel roof had to be plugged into the camera but the space was so tiny that my fingers got in the way. I managed after many tries.

Screenshot from the Bird Buddy website.

What so special about Bird Buddy? It’s a smart bird feeder that takes photos of birds who come to visit. It also identifies them. You can live stream from your phone, too. It sends notifications when visitors arrive. Plus, I ordered mine with a solar roof, so I shouldn’t have to take it inside to charge it.

One way to describe a Bird Buddy is a bird feeder with a solar powered Ring Camera.

Now all I need are some bird visitors.

Bird Buddy box

This is the box it came in. It was mostly assembled except for the two things I mentioned above. I had to charge the camera and pair it with my iphone. That went smoothly.

Live stream from Bird Buddy

This is a screenshot of a livestream from my phone. The Bird Buddy looks back at our home. It’s a pretty good camera. Come on birds — I’m waiting.

Have you ever heard of a smart bird feeder before? Have you ever participated in crowdfunding? For what type of product?

Gila woodpecker in my bird buddy

My first visitor. A Gila Woodpecker. Of course. They are bully birds that drain the nectar from my hummingbird feeder, create nests in our saguaro and scare other birds away.

What is going on Arizona?

Olive doesn't like it when I leave
When the suitcase comes out, Olive isn’t happy.

I was so excited about voting for the first time in Arizona. But now I’m not happy. As of Thursday, less than 70% of the ballots have been counted.

We don’t know the outcome. I remember knowing who won elections by 8 or 9 p.m. for decades.

There were 70 out of 223 polling places that had issues with tabulators and printers. How did that happen?

Unfortunately, I am losing confidence in the election results. I wish they’d at least give hourly updates of the vote count. But they are releasing one vote count at 6 p.m. each day. Then to confuse things even more, some reporters are releasing counts, but where are they getting the information? All day Wednesday they counted and they only added 6% to the vote count. Now Maricopa County announced they have 400,000 outstanding ballots and won’t finish counting them until sometime next week!

What is going on?

Do you have confidence in your state elections? Were there any snafus or weird stuff going on like in Arizona?

Are you ready for Tuesday?

I am so ready for this election to be over.

At first I was really excited to be voting in Arizona. I lived in California for more than three decades. After California initiated the jungle primary where the top two candidates run against each other in the general election — it’s Democrat vs. Democrat. Guess who wins every single time?

In Arizona, there are more Republicans registered than Democrats, but the second largest party is “other.” It’s anyone’s guess who wins. It makes it very exciting to not have a foregone conclusion during an election.

But I am so sick of the ads. The signs. The emails. The texts. I’m sick of the whole thing and cannot wait for the election to be over!

Are you ready to put this election behind us, too?

What’s annoying…

hiking in the preserve
McDowell Sonoran Preserve

I like living in Arizona. I really do. I like being across the street from 130 miles of hiking trails that will never be developed. I also like the wildlife — bobcats, mule deer, coyotes, hawks, owls and coyotes.

But what annoys me are the grocery stores. It’s 30 minutes to drive to Trader Joe’s or Costco, which we make a special trip to do. There are four grocery stores much closer. But I have to stop at two to three of them to get my shopping done.

The one that is closest is very small. It’s not a national chain, but a family-owned local store.They never carry what I need. But they do have the only kitty litter Olive the cat will use — Johnny Cat. It’s the only one of the four stores near us that carries it. They also are the only store that carries Brown Cow yogurt. (If you haven’t tried Brown Cow, please give it a try. It’s amazing.)

So I start my shopping there for cat litter and yogurt. Next I go to a major chain to get mostly everything else. Specialty items I go to the upscale store down the street from the chain store.

I don’t mind driving, but I do mind going in and out of stores for what should be one-stop shopping. I never had this problem in Palm Springs. Maybe it’s still a supply chain issue?

Are you able to do your shopping in one stop? Or do you have to go to several stores to complete your list?

It wasn’t what I expected

Taliesin West

Outside the Drafting Room of Taliesin West overlooking the triangular pool.

I loved Taliesin West. We all did. Our visit was Friday with our son and his fiancée.

It wasn’t what I expected. It was so much more. I felt like I was in the presence of genius — which I was. I loved the use of space, materials, and the different feel from one building or room to another.


“Taliesin West is a look over the rim of the world.”

– FRANK LLOYD WRIGHT, 1943

https://franklloydwright.org/taliesin-west/

We did an hour-long self-guided tour with an app called Smartify with our own phones and earbuds. I appreciated the detail of the information. I could picture the people living and working there.

The tour took us from outside to inside Frank LLoyd Wright’s office, around the property to various pools and patios to inside a gathering room, dining room, cabaret where they watched movies, inside the drafting room and inside a Kiva. The Kiva is a round dark room, that feels like it’s underground with phenomenal lighting. They watched movies there and used it for storage when they returned to Wisconsin for the summer.

From the Taliesin website:

Wright’s beloved winter home and desert laboratory was established in 1937 and diligently handcrafted over many years into a world unto itself. Deeply connected to the desert from which it was forged, Taliesin West possesses an almost prehistoric grandeur. It was built and maintained almost entirely by Wright and his apprentices, making it among the most personal of the architect’s creations.

https://franklloydwright.org/taliesin-west/

Where have you visited that the experience outdid your expectations?

looking through the door of Frank Lloyd Wright's office.

Looking out from Frank Lloyd Wright’s office.

What’s your favorite color?

blue flower

A blue flower in our front yard.

This morning I was struck by several blue or purplish flowers in our yard. They stand out against a background of desert browns and greens of cacti.

“The reason why everyone likes blue is because it is universally associated with positive things (e.g. the sky, the ocean, stability, peace, purity, etc.) and has very few negative associations. Additionally, blue is a color that is present in many cultures all around the world and is linked with positive connotations in most of them.”

https://www.scienceabc.com/social-science/why-does-everyone-like-blue.html

blueish purple flower
Another blue flower in my yard.

Our preferences for certain colors aren’t determined by our DNA, but instead it’s an emotional response from associations with that color. For me, I love the ocean. I love the bright blue sky. I like the blue of city pools where I feel powerful swimming laps — knowing I’m doing something beneficial for my health.

Blue is the most popular color on the planet. My mom loved the color blue, too. So blue brings up feelings about my mom — who I’m going to visit next week in the Seattle area.

This glass blue flower stands in a pot by the front door with a cactus. I never noticed it before!

What’s your favorite color and why?

Enjoy!