An on the fritz type of day

Vine cactus or ocotillo in bloom in my front yard

Have you ever had a day where things aren’t working? Well, today is one of those days. It began when I was in the shower and my husband walked in to tell me that the microwave blew up.

Not exactly blew up, but it has arcing sparks from the metal plate inside. We decided not to use it anymore. I found a folder labeled “Microwave Oven” that the previous owners left us. It had receipts, the model and serial numbers and a phone number to call. How handy was that? And lucky us the microwave is less than a year old and under factory warranty.

I went into the casita and called the number for the microwave manufacturer. I spent an hour on the phone mostly on hold. When I finally got transferred to the right person, his phone began to mute out. I caught about every three words. He said it was his headset, so he put me on speaker. But he continued to mute. I said, “Please stay on the line. I’ve got too much time invested in this.” He put me on hold while he fixed his phone. The end result is that they will send someone out to replace and install a new microwave. The bad news is the backorder wait of six weeks, which must be COVID related, right?

While I was on hold, I noticed it was strangely dark in the casita. I flipped on and off all the light switches. Only two of the eight ceiling lights turned on. I found out where the fuse boxes are since the microwave muting man told me to turn off the microwave breaker. The prior owners labeled all the fuses neatly — which is a nice change from the house we lived in for almost 30 years. I not only turned off the microwave breaker but I flipped the casita ones as well. Lights still don’t work.

Maybe I should call it a day and go back to bed before something else stops working. Instead I decided to go for a walk to our development’s gate and test out the fobs to open it. For some reason they quit working. Our name was removed from the directory and the keypad code doesn’t work either. I reported this yesterday and hoped that they got us “unerased.”

A view walking to the gate to test out the fobs. We’re going to hike up that mountain when my son visits.

Have you ever had a day when everything goes on the fritz? These are really small problems but it’s weird when they happen at once. My daughter would call these white people or first world problems.

A bit of paradise — Palm Springs

Palmsprings


I was fortunate to live in Palm Springs, California for 30 plus years. I was in the backyard of major golf tournaments like the Dinah Shore and the Humana Challenge — formerly known as the Bob Hope Classic. Tennis tournaments, too. (I don’t follow tennis, so I can’t elaborate much except to say they bring in crowds.) I wrote about my favorite things to do in Palm Springs in April 2018:

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We are in the midst of three major weekends: two consecutive weekends of Coachella followed by Stagecoach. So now what?

Here’s my top 5 locals’ list of what to do in Palm Springs.

  1. Hike
  2. Swim
  3. Eat
  4. Read
  5. Golf

My two favorite hiking trails in Palm Springs are the South Lykken Trail off of South Palm Canyon and Murray Canyon in the Indian Canyons. The Tram is my hot-season favorite, with temperatures in the perfect 70s in the summertime when it’s 110 plus degrees in town.

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The Palm Springs Swim Center boasts one of the most gorgeous public pools on the planet. Go for lap swim, or drop in on a Masters session with the Piranha Swim Team — the team my kids swam with for 13 plus years. There’s nothing like swimming across the pool and looking up at the majestic San Jacinto Mountain view!

Palm Springs Pool

We have serious food! My favorite restaurants in Palm Springs include — but are not limited to — Spencer’sJake’s and Johnny Costa’s.

Relax! Sit out by the pool with a good book. The resorts around town are gorgeous, from private luxury suites at the Ingleside Inn to larger trendy hotels like Riviera Palm Springs or Hard Rock Hotel. Soak up the sunshine, wearing suncreen of 50 SPF or better, and take a quick dip in the pool between chapters of your book.

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Pool view at Melvyn’s Ingleside Inn. Photo from their website.
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Golf. Yes, we have lots of it! My favorites in Palm Springs are the muni courses at Tahquitz Creek. The Legends Course is an older, more traditional course with a great price. The Resort Course is a little pricier, but more challenging. The Indian Canyons Golf Resort is spectacular, too!

Enjoy our blue skies, mountain views, and wide open spaces. It’s all here in Palm Springs. It’s a tough life, but someone’s got to live it!

What I miss most about living in Palm Springs are my friends. Of course this past year, I wasn’t able to spend time with them in person. But I also miss my hairdresser, the checkers at the grocery store, the postal workers, the lifeguards, my fellow walkers in the park all the people who made up the fabric of my life.

We’re in full bloom — desert style

Living in the Sonoran desert for my first Spring, it’s exciting to see flowers and growth sprouting everywhere. Here are some of the highlights I’ve seen the past few days: cactus, flowers, wildlife and grass I bought for our cat.

A cactus in bloom.
Pomegranate flowers.
Somebody is munching on our plants.
Quail outside my bedroom window.
Cactus exploding with Spring growth.
Grass for the kitty.
She loves it.

What she thought about our new home

It was a relief. My daughter spent a few days with us in our new home. She likes it. She likes the area where we live — even though it’s not California. It’s in Arizona.

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Waffles, my daughter’s pug.

Her first job out of school was in Arizona and she has terrible memories. She took the job because the company flew her to Scottsdale from Utah. They put her up in a hotel, they took her out to dinner. She was swept off her feet. It was in her father’s field of investments So, it all seemed perfect to her. But it was far from it. It turns out taking a job to get your parent’s approval may not work out.

She lived in a house we purchased in a quiet family neighborhood. Not at all the best spot for a 22 year old — unless complete isolation and living next to boomers is your thing. Then her house got broken into and ransacked. The only good thing about that is they didn’t steal her pug. They locked him in the garage. Eventually she quit her job, got another one plus nannied in the early mornings for a single mom. She got hired for dream job in the Bay Area and moved up there. That worked out fine until COVID hit.

Fast forward to December 2020 and we moved to Arizona and she told us she would never come visit. She doesn’t have good memories of her one year here. I kept telling her although our address says Scottsdale, it really isn’t. I told we were out in the “sticks” as my hometown was called growing up. We’re far enough out of the metropolitan area to have a whole different feel.

beautiful maine coon
Our queen bee Olive.

She was surprised how far out of town we live. And she loves the nature. We watched a dozen javelina cross the street including babies at sunset. She enjoyed the bunnies and quails romping through our yard. She loves our house. She’s planning on another trip soon to visit.

The only snafu was Waffles. Olive was sleeping under our bed and Waffles decided to charge her at 4 a.m. We heard the kerfuffle and Waff flew out from under the bed. Olive stayed put.

The next day our daughter wiped a booger from Waffles’ snout. It turned out to be a claw embedded through his skin. There was no more trouble from Waffles and Olive after that.

Ancient saguaro cactus with a dozen arms
The nature trails across the street. I wonder how old this saguaro is?
saguaro growth chart

My favorite views from last week…

View of Arizona back yard mountains and cactus.
View from my backyard.
colorful blue sky with rainbow sundog
I looked up from reading a book called “The Edge” and saw this. The Edge is a book written by one of my childhood best friend’s little brother. He used to follow me around when I was in junior high and he was around four or five. His nom do plume is Clark Douglas. The book is great with quirky original characters.
Pretty long haired cat sitting at the table
My beauty Olive was fascinated and sat at the kitchen counter as I prepared dinner Friday night.
I saw mule deer severals days in a row last week. Once five walked by.
Cat on top shelf in a closet
The top shelf is at least 8 feet high. Yet there she is.

Was it really one year ago?

pretty kitty with flowers
Our cool as a cucumber cat helps keep me calm.

It was a little more than a year ago that COVID-19 was hitting our daily lives. We had no idea what was heading our way. Our kids got orders to shelter in place a few days before us. They live in the Bay Area and we were in Southern California. A year later, my husband got his first shot and I’m scouring through pages on my computer to find an appointment for me. Once we are vaccinated will our world open up? Will I want to be in crowds? Or has this isolated lifestyle become something I won’t want to shed?

This is what happened to me mid-March 2020:

I was doing okay, but yesterday when my kids called me and said they were under mandatory “shelter in place,” I started to panic. I’m wondering if the world will ever get back to normal? They were working remotely in my son’s house in the Bay Area.

The mandatory shelter in place started today. Yesterday they were told to prepare to be home for at least two weeks. My daughter is working remotely and decided to get out of the city and drove home last night. It’s so nice to have her home! I wonder how long she will be here?

Waffles the pug with flowers
Waffles the pug came home, too.

My dad agreed to let me grocery shop for him and I found everything he needed except for toilet paper, of course! While I was driving from his home, my daughter called and Waffles, her pug, ate something and was trying to throw up, but nothing was coming up. I told her to call a vet and I got really stressed out again! She called back in tears and said that the vets she called would NOT take new patients in their practice due to the Coronavirus! I was in the car and while she was talking to me and I noticed a big white pick up truck on my tail! Then he swerved in the lane next to me, and started yelling and screaming, giving me the finger. He threw a milkshake at me! It hit my windshield and the car was covered. I’m still shaking.

What in the h*ck is going on, folks? Is this really the time to become completely unhinged?

White truck throws milkshake at me
This is the guy in a white pick up truck with a Home Depot trailer who threw a milkshake at me.

Let’s take a moment to breathe some fresh air, calm down, take a walk and enjoy your families. And love up our dogs and cats, too!

What are some of your memories from one year ago? Did your area shut down or did it stay mostly open?

Positive thought for the day

pink skies at sunset in Arizona
My new back yard as the sun begins to set.

 “With a few flowers in my garden, half a dozen pictures, and some books, I live without envy.”  Lope de Vega

 

I found this quote in an email from the woman’s club I left behind at my old home. While I miss my friends back home, this thought made me smile. It’s exactly how I feel. I’m very content at home with my plants, wildlife, photos and books. 

Here are some of my new friends. I enjoyed meeting them other night when we barbecued. But the jojoba bushes weren’t quite as thrilled.

 

I saw three of these large birds circling overhead this morning. Can anyone tell me what kind of birds they are?

Speaking of birds, I’m excited about a bird feeder my son’s company is helping come to life. It uses AI to identify birds who visit your backyard. Here’s a link to find out more. The creator has raised more than $5.7 million. I guess there are a lot of us who want help bird watching!

What makes your life content? What simple pleasures make you happy?