Letting go….or not

My daughter’s pug Waffles on our “chaise and a half” at our old house.

When we moved, we debated about moving the chaise lounges we’d bought decades before. To me it wasn’t a debate at all. They were coming with us. I had memories of the kids piling on me when they were young. I’d sit and stare at the stars from the chaise lounge with Angus our yellow lab laying next to me.

My husband had other plans.

The chaise lounges arrived in our new backyard and I was shocked when I removed the weather covers. The upholstery was starting to shred. A friend of mine had re-covered them twice through the years. The third time, she made slipcovers from Costco towels (see photo above). You didn’t need a towel, because the covers were towels!

Those were starting to shred also. It was time to get them redone, but unfortunately my friend with the upholstery/sewing business didn’t move with us. Since we moved out of state during the shut down, I didn’t know where to get the work done. They sat for another year under weather covers.

One day, I was sitting by the window writing and I saw a chipmunk running back and forth with a big white fuzz ball in his mouth.

I went outside to see where he was going and what the fuzz was. I saw him run under one chaise lounge.

I took off the cover and there was a giant hole where the chipmunk had been busy stealing the stuffing for their nest somewhere in the surrounding desert.

This week is bulk trash pick up. I decided to get rid of the chaise lounges. We obviously haven’t sat in them once since moving.

But then I thought, I’ll get rid of the cushions and get new ones made. If I don’t get around to it, I can take the chaise lounges to the curb on the next bulk trash date.

I dragged the cushions down to the curb. I was wearing work gloves but cactus spikes went right through the gloves into my fingers. That little chipmunk dragged bits of cactus onto the cushion with the hole.

My friend with the sewing business told me where to go in Phoenix to get the cushions made. She suggested keeping the undamaged cushions to have them recovered and then only having the one with the chipmunk hole thrown out and replaced.

So I dragged the salvageable cushions back up the driveway…

My extra wide chaise lounge with the Coscto towel cover.

Sometimes it’s hard to let go of inanimate objects that hold dear memories.

Do you have trouble letting things go? Or not?

Creatures in my backyard

metal gecko on the fence
We have two geckos climbing our fence.

The people who built our house and lived here for 15 years prior to us buying it, took good care of the backyard. They filled it with landscaping, potted plants and creatures.

It was cool enough to be outside last night to barbecue. While the tri tip was grilling, I took photos of the critters the prior owners left.

Here are some of them:

statuary in back yard of birds
Not sure if these are owls or birds?
squirrel statue
Squirrel!
rabbit and raccoon statue
Cuties.

aligator statue
This gator guards the pool.
baby alligator statue
Baby alligator
stone frog
I like this frog.
roadrunner statue
Roadrunner.
metal roadrunner statue.
My favorite roadrunner.
metal javelina
Javelina.

I had a friend over to hike last spring. She commented “You sure have a lot going on in your backyard.”

She’s right. All the statue critters are not exactly my taste, but they are growing on me. I’m not going to get rid of them, but I doubt I’ll add to the collection. The cactus and succulents are growing on me, too.

boot planter
Here’s a boot with a cactus growing inside.
group of statues.
Coyotes with a steer’s head and metal aloe.

What are your thoughts about statuary in the yard? Are you a fan or not?

Looking for art

The top of the bar in our living room.

Today my husband and I went looking for art, stone or something for two 16 by 16 inch spaces at the top of our bar. We found a few things including glass, natural stone and geodes. But we have different ideas of what will work. I want a bright contrasting color like orange or red. He wants green or blue. I like green and blue, but I feel those colors will get lost.

I have a feeling those spaces will remain empty.

It was very hot and humid outside. We walked around our little town of Carefree and then Cave Creek going in and out of consignment stores and art galleries. When I got back home I felt dizzy with vertigo. I have gotten vertigo twice in the past year. Hopefully this time it goes away quickly without having to see the doctor or going on prednisone like the last two times.

I’m sitting in bed typing this and finishing my neighborhood’s newsletter — hoping I don’t fall off!

Have you had vertigo? What has worked for you to get over it? Happy August First!

What about that weather?

Sunset after a storm in the Arizona desert
Sunset last night after a huge storm.

I got back home from running errands right before the storm hit. My phone gave that loud alarm with a flash flood warning stating to shelter in place, that it was a matter of life and death. For hours the rain poured and the thunder was constant. It was exciting but the noise level was exhausting.

Sunset views.
When the rain began, while there was still visibility.
Sunset view
The view from our driveway after the storm passed.

After the storm, we had a beautiful sunset. Today the rain should be here at 11 a.m. and last until the sun goes down again. I guess this is the Monsoon season I’ve heard so much about.

Have a great weekend everyone!

What are your plans for the weekend? Are you having any unusual weather?

Do vacations motivate you?

When we moved in the closet was perfect.

Vacation motivated me to clean out my closet. Seriously, every time I come home from a trip I want to throw things out. It’s because I manage to live with very few things on vacation. I love the lack of clutter and stuff. I manage to pack just what I need and live quite well without anything extra.

I decided to make a promise to myself this week. One shelf or drawer per day. That’s it. It’s doable. Like my husband says, “How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.”

What happened on day one was I did two shelves — one shelf led to another. On day two I did the entire dresser. Today I am doing the hanging clothes. It will be done before the week is over. I’m surprised at some of the clothes I moved. I wonder why I didn’t throw more out at that point? I think it was because I got exhausted with all the decision making of moving from a house of 28 years.

I feel better. I feel more organized, lighter. However my husband said he can’t tell any difference. Thanks a lot.

What motivates you to clean closets? How do vacations motivate you?

Who cheats at Wordle — and why?

Wordle from 3/7/2022
Yesterday’s Wordle. I used my son’s three starter words. Then figured out the answer.

I saw a series of articles from different news sources — from NY Post to CNBC — that said cheating on Wordle is on the rise.

Why? What’s the point?

To be totally honest, I cheated once. I couldn’t figure out the word. I had four of the letters so I googled “Five letter words with R U P E….” rupee came up which I didn’t know was a currency from India — let along a word.

How did I feel after I cheated? Like there was no point in playing the game if I had to look up the answer. I haven’t done that again. I felt like a cheater. We had a t-shirt for our swim team that had this saying on the back: “Cheaters never win. Winners never cheat.”

In the NY Post there’s an article called “‘Everyone is cheating at Wordle’ and these are most guilty states: study” by Ben Cost.

Here’s an excerpt:

These are Wordle’s biggest cheaters.
recent study by data compiler Wordfinderx found that online answer searches increased 196% since the Times acquired the puzzle, in which players get five attempts to guess a new five-letter word each day.

“Cheating for the game is at an all-time high and only growing,” read the study.

Per the research, the US state that most frequently cheated was New Hampshire with the word “swill.” Coincidentally, the Granite State ranked third among US states with the most Wordle prowess, per a study last week by Wordtip.

https://nypost.com/2022/03/07/everyone-is-cheating-at-wordle-and-these-are-most-guilty-states-study/

CNBC’s article about Wordle cheaters by Mikaela Cohen was under the category “SUCCESS” and called “It seems like a lot of you are cheating at Wordle: Study.”

The jig is up — we know you’re cheating on your daily Wordle.

Or, at least, it would certainly appear that a growing number of people have been looking online for answers to the popular five-letter word guessing game — possibly to avoid putting a stop to a winning streak.

That’s according to a recent study by Wordfinderx, a reference website for word games like Wordle and Scrabble, which used Google Trends data to determine that Google searches for the answer to Wordle’s daily puzzle have nearly tripled ever since The New York Times acquired Wordle in January.

The study found that searches for Feb. 15′s “AROMA” and Feb. 19′s “SWILL” daily Wordle solutions reached a 100 out of 100 on Google’s search popularity scale, which compares search results on a topic and then rates them on a scale of 0 to 100 “based on a topic’s proportion to all searches on all topics,” according to Google.

https://www.cnbc.com/2022/03/05/it-seems-like-a-lot-of-you-are-cheating-at-wordle-study.html

Why do you think more people are cheating at Wordle? One theory is that from the end of 2021 to today more people are playing, hence more cheating. But why does the cheating coincide with NY Times buying Wordle?

Have you cheated at Wordle or other games? Have you thought about cheating? Have you noticed a difference in Wordle since the NY Times took over? Do you have a strategy to play?

The world came crashing down

ping pong table in backyard
Right where the crash happened.

We played a lot of ping pong this past weekend. Perhaps too much. We also ran errands like going to Costco, looked at art galleries and planned a trip to the Musical Instrument Museum.

It was Sunday afternoon when we really got into ping pong and didn’t stop playing. We had completed three matches, where someone needs to win three out of five games. We were pretty much tied on each game and the matches went all five games.

So that was a total of `15 games played when we decided to play a fourth match. All of a sudden the world came crashing down and I was laying on the concrete.

It scared me so badly. My right hand and knee took the brunt of the fall. I literally was trying to return the ball to the right of me when I fell. I think what happened was my shoe got stuck in a space between concrete tiles. The patio is very bumpy and uneven.

Sitting on the sofa with my knee wrapped in a cold compress and my hand clutching a ziploc bag of ice, I was trembling.

If this is what getting old is going to be like, no thank you! I don’t want to be afraid of falling while playing a game of ping pong! I know I need to get back out there and play. But maybe be more aware of my feet or wear different shoes. Do they make ping pong shoes?

Have you ever had an experience where you got injured or fell unexpectantly? What happened? Did you feel unnerved?