Friday, April 29, 2011
I’ve gathered a few more pictures on my walks around the neighborhood since it’s such a colorful time right now. I am still waiting on the emergence of the hoped-for wildflower abundance earlier rain should be bringing. Right now though we are gearing up for our second bout with 100 degree temps of the year—a harbinger of many more to come. Marc finally finished getting the large a/c unit back into the bedroom window for more comfortable sleeping at night. He had thought about cutting holes in the side of the park model to permanently mount the two a/c units but there just really isn’t a conducive wall space to do so, so he just hung them more or less on a temporary basis again in the only two windows into which they would fit. Everything is minuscule scale in a park model.
We spent the past weekend finalizing the total enclosure on the front porch which makes a nice little retreat from which our cat cannot get out. It’s a great spot to watch the mountains and catch a breeze with a cup of morning coffee. Next up will be a permanent set of stairs with a landing. We spent a quiet Easter with Marc taking on cooking duties by smoking a large ham and two whole turkeys. These we cut up and break down for freezing, making for quick and efficient meals later on. In fact, do tonight’s smoked turkey tostadas sound good?
Of all the colorful yards around here, this home takes the cake! I just happened to catch it perfectly one morning with a steady breeze making the flag fly. One wouldn’t think roses would do well in such a merciless climate but this guy has hundreds of them.
I always love these purple flowered trees. This one blooming alongside the Palo Verde caught my eye.
Chollas, of which there are many varieties, are some of the nastiest of cactus, growing reproductive balls of thorns which literally jump off the plant when anything brushes near. The needles are so fine they are like hair and virtually impossible to remove, remaining finely imbedded in skin like the slenderest of splinters. Their vibrant fuchsia flowers are sure pretty though.
The same holds true about some of the prickly pear type cactus as you can see the fineness of the “hair” thorns.
Life in Yuma remains on the same trajectory for us, albeit a little warmer. Too soon, it will have us existing inside almost exclusively.
Friday, April 22, 2011
The cacti have awoken and put forth the start of their magnificent blooms lately. It’s a relish now on my morning walks since they prove so fleeting; some bloom for only one day. The Palo Verde trees are also awash in color as the bees and hummingbirds swarm to their sweet smell. The neighborhood is nearly empty now, with only an occasional couple still left to wander the streets during early morning and take it all in.
Marc has become quite the bread maker on his days off. Mom taught him this winter—unfortunately a skill not passed along in the genes to me. These loaves are a fairly heavily textured mixture of white and wheat flour flavored with a little butter, onions and just a hint of garlic, fully risen and ready for the oven. It made for a terrific combination. He has stopped buying any bread for himself but since he hasn’t gotten the hang of the California sourdough yet, I still buy most of mine. With really good bread (the only kind we’ll eat—forget the damn “air” bread that mostly passes for bread these days) costing upwards of $3-4/loaf we’re saving a ton of money since Marc makes his for about 35 cents/loaf and just a little of his time. Besides, beating down the bread in between rise cycles reduces his stress!
I ended up volunteering quite a bit this past week; with many of the volunteers gone north but no drop in business of the seniors who need help (since for the most part they stay all year round), the ones of us left are shouldering many more requests. It’s all good though since I received three referrals for my new business and had my first income! There will still be much to be done to build a business and have it become as active as I want it to be, but this gives me hope. Even the temperatures haven’t been too bad, staying in the 90’s and of course, under constant Yuma blue skies.
Happy Easter everyone!
Thursday, April 14, 2011
We got a short reprieve from Yuma’s torrid pace of summer-like heat after setting a record 101 degrees on April 1st. One night we even enjoyed a gentle rain falling most of the night which will surely bring a surge of wildflowers in about a month. I’ll look forward to that since it looks like we will still be here!
I’ll repeat to you my pleasure at working with the seniors that I meet, transporting them around town, mainly to doctor’s appointments. They never cease to amaze and tickle me. It is a true honor to work with them helping them in my own little way, so to that end I have decided to test the water with my own business. Naming my service, “Like a Great Neighbor” Housekeeping and Senior In-Home Care I hope to gain enough referrals to maintain some sort of income stream. Only time will tell, of course, how this will turn out or become a complete flop but since I am here and think I see a need, I might as well try, yes?
My own senior mother celebrated her 84th birthday without us but at least my daughter was able to drive over from Portland for a visit and nice dinner, even though Mom had to bake her own birthday cake! She maintains she is doing well all considered, but also says that she is very lonely and without purpose. I see that a lot with the seniors I work with—I sure wish there was someone like me in Bend to stop by and check in on my mom. Maybe it is some guilt that now drives my passion to work with these seniors but all I know is that it feels good. What I can't do for my own mother, I can do for them. That’s enough for now.
Wednesday, April 6, 2011
It was party time again last evening, as Ron and Jan, our neighbors across the street, threw happy hour for the last time this snowbird season. You will note Jan holding a drink her daughter-in-law invented for their sports bar, Brewers. Liking jalapenos a whole bunch, Courtney decided to slice a couple up and throw them into a bottle of Limon Bacardi Rum. Let steep for a few days. Then drink straight shots. It is surprisingly smooth and delicious! So under warm Arizona desert air, we enjoyed margaritas, bourbon slushies, and various other adult beverages and had a merry old time.
I am still engaged with helping the seniors in my volunteer position with Helping Hands and watching the parade of RVs now taking flight and snaking their way across all compass points as they leave Yuma for another year. I now understand how we came to the term “snowbirds” since they really do appear to all take flight at once, just like a flock of birds. Within a few weeks our neighborhood will once again be almost barren of life.
Yes, we are still here and likely will be at least for a few more weeks. Marc got a referral to help a guy out with some remodel work and he’s also engaged in doing a welding project on a gate for a friend of a friend. And, the axle project still needs more tweaking. As long as there is work to be had, we’ll remain. After that, we still don’t exactly have in mind where we will head; only a vague generalization until we do further “heart to heart” conversations about what comes next with our mixed up life.