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Carine’s Blog

  • Cold You Say?

    Posted on Thursday, January 16, 2014

    Cold you say?

    I've never understood how folks in the "four seasons" areas of the country survive.  Especially when they declare their love of snow.  Maybe it's because I've never been fond of any temperature below 65.   But what exactly do those of you east of let's say, Arizona get out of below freezing  marks on your outdoor thermometers, blizzards, shoveling your cars out (okay, I'm sure the last mentioned gives you a great workout) and wearing outerwear that makes you look like Frosty getting ready to stand guard for the night?

    I both admire your stamina and feel amazed at it at the same time!

    Steve and I watched the news reports on Minnesota's population being able to throw water up in the air and having it come down in solid form-How no one could be outside and take a drink before the water froze in the bottle.

    While it may have looked "cool" (sorry about the groaner of a pun here) I cannot fathom why anyone would not be looking for ANY way out of the entire state!  I also saw the amount of people who did want to leave and couldn't because it was too dangerous to fly and too slippery to drive on the roads.

    This won't be a popular blog, I know.  Our daughter Sarah always loves to take the boys on a snow weekend during our brief winter weather.  Flagstaff is only a short drive and there's plenty of snow there and in nearby Williams.  The boys love sledding down a slope all bundled up to the point where they can barely roll off their make shift snow sleds.  

    A few years back we came out for a visit and went with them to do the Polar Express.  It was COLD.  I couldn't move any joint in my body.  It hurt.  And then we had to sit on a 100 year old train and visit "the North Pole". Felt exactly as I imagined it would, let me tell you.

    Thank goodness the delight on those two little munchkins faces almost made up for the fact that it took me two days to thaw out once we came back to Anthem!  

    This year, while we've had a few days of 32 degree nights and mornings-the rest of the time we've thankfully been in the mid 60's-70's.  Lots of sun, little rain and that's fine by me.

    In fact, today had me venturing out to our local Wal-Mart to pick up a few things and I went into my car without my hoodie. I arrived at my destination to realize that the howling wind was swirling so hard that our trash cans had blown over and my car let me know that it was a mere 56 outside.  Checked my phone and it told me that the wind-chill factor was making the air feel like it was 42.  

    Brrrr.  It's supposed to warm up quite nicely later on, about 77.  Lucky's waiting for her walk.  She's been wearing her hoodie since Steve put her out potty at 7 this morning.

    Nope, I'm not a fan of cold.  Glad our so-called winter is coming to an end.  In fact, Steve was already thinking we should start using those coffee ground "logs" he bought for the fire pit next week.  If we wait too much longer we'll be back to having 112 during the day and skimming 100 at night.

    Good.  My 15 year old leather coat has been worn twice in the last 3 years and I don't want to have to find a specialty cleaner to correct its overuse.

    10 Replies
  • Computers

    Posted on Thursday, January 9, 2014


    We all know that I have a love/hate relationship going on with computers.  This "thing" allows me to write/submit/get paid (no matter how little) and perform my personal form of art.  However, it also causes me great amounts of frustration!

    Okay, maybe it's the age of my current co-worker-I've been using it since 2008 and I think that unfortunately may be the answer for my problems.  What's been going on now you might be curious enough to ask?

    1-It has deemed as a possibly dangerous site.  (No, I'm not kidding)
    2-Some cyber friends and I, upon the magazine site we found each other on shutting down, formed our own private site and have continued to enjoy our relationship/friendships-until about a month ago. That's when my computer decided that it was "dangerous" and began bouncing me off and closing my internet use!
    3-As if that's not enough, it has declared that my own Word attachments and anyone else who sends them to me are "corrupt, dangerous and have been de-activated".
    Now as for what Steve has tried to do to correct these sudden anomalies: First off, he cleared my cookies out. He re-ran the security scans and defragmented the entire thing-despite it being done on its own at least once a week. He checked to be sure that a virus and any spyware didn't somehow get by that said security program and last (at least with Blogger) he followed the trail that they said might help.
    It didn't. In fact, none of it helped. And no, I did not have any nasty things latching on to anything in the entire universe of this computer!
    I had to send e-mails to my friends and let them know that I'm no longer allowed on our site. Darn, I'm missing all the good stuff and no longer am able to share my latest events either. Not the same when you send out a blanket e-mail.
    In desperation, I posted a thread on my FaceBook page hoping someone on my friends list might know of something I could do-I received sympathy, but little else.
    Personally, I think when you're a totally inept person in the world of technology that these items feel your fear and prey on them.
    Whatever it is, if anyone feels my pain and wants to commiserate OR better yet, have a suggestion or two as to how to correct what's been going on SPILL IT AND SHARE!

    3 Replies
  • Taking a Breather

    Posted on Tuesday, December 24, 2013

    As most of you have gathered, our family holiday festivities were over by the end of the first week of December-but that doesn’t stop the errands and such from being hectic around here!

    At the moment, Steve took the boys off my hands and treated them to a movie and popcorn with grandpa.

    I’m here catching up on e-mails and setting up appointments from 3 days back!  Plus I’m pet-sitting our son’s shelties.  Quite a job since Billy is leaving deposits on our brown area rug (ew) and our Lucky is basically telling her friends “don’t go near here-it’s mine, all mine” with deposits of the liquid kind near the water bowl. (ew)

    Lily is refusing to come in off the patio.  Sigh.

    The worst of it all?  My shoulder is completely blown.  Yes, seeing the shoulder surgeon on Thursday morning and having an MRI on it Friday morning.  I’m  requesting a hand surgeon while I’m at it-no sense leaving those latest trigger fingers out of the surgical mix since this time they‘re all on the same side.

    Don’t actually know what they will or won’t suggest, but I’m thinking that since I’m unable to raise this arm without provoking blinding spasms that something past a steroid shot (both haven’t worked) and physical therapy (which also hasn’t worked) is in desperate need.

    I don’t do this often, but I’m taking the rest of the week off to enjoy my family and pain (yes, I’m totally sarcastic about the later).

    May you all have the happiest of celebrations with nothing but good health.

    And, if I wind up taking New Year’s week off-see you next year in 2014!

    0 Replies
  • Something to be Said about a Good Wash

    Posted on Thursday, December 19, 2013

    Nothing Wrong With a Good Wash
    A couple of weeks ago our older grandsons, Dylan and Aidan, had a half day at school and I picked them up before lunch.  It was cold!  One of our very rare 47 degree days and they asked to go to the park.

    Not wanting to sit in the house myself, but not wanting to sit at the park in the cold and wind either I made the ever famous parental promise of "let's have lunch and see if it warms up.  If it does, then yes, we'll even take Lucky!"

    After lunch was eaten and dishes put away-we took the "temperature" check while Lucky took a potty break in the yard.  It was still pretty cool-my phone said we had now hit 52 at 1 p.m...

    It was either we all bundled up or (Lord help me!) sit in house while the boys played PBS kids games on my computer, colored or watched TV.

    I opted for the first.  We put on coats and gloves (Lucky just her jacket) and we walked across to the pocket park.  I looked at the boys and said, "you know, I've lived here a year and I don't know what's in the wash-why don't we take a hike?"
    They thought this was a good idea and off we trucked down to what was the closest thing to a path. At the fork, Aidan decided we should go left-as long as the next time Dylan could pick to go right.
    Off we went.  It was beautiful out there.  Lots of Saguaro cacti, lots of other desert flora.  We also saw a few teenagers who were going in the opposite direction.  And one very retro dune buggy.  We all just kept walking.

    Then I looked left and realized that I could see our friends' backyard!  Uh-oh.  In "beeline" terms-we were at least 2 or more miles from home!  I didn't tell the boys.  But I did say we need to look for the path back to home.  

    Thankfully Aidan found one a few minutes later.  Yep, there was our friends home-about a ΒΌ of a mile going back toward our home!  Then it happened.
    First, the 1-1/2 year old Chihuahua gave up and cried to be picked up.  Then the 6 year old said he was tired and wanted to rest, followed by his 5 year old brother.

    I just kept saying things such as:  "If I can make it, so can you", "You mean the two of you are going to let your arthritic and old grandma out walk you?"  And, "Listen boys, we don't have too much farther to go and it's hot chocolate with whipped cream and chocolate chip cookies when we get there."

    It was working, in spurts.  Except Lucky didn't care.  I wound up carrying my 6-1/2 pound pup all two miles.
    I thought they'd take a nap.  No.  Warned our daughter that they'd probably be willing to go to bed really early and would sleep well too.  No.

    All in all, the 4 of us had a good time, enjoyed finding out what was on the "other side of our street" and yes, we're looking forward to going toward the right very soon.

    This time though-I'm setting a timer for 20 minutes.

    2 Replies

    Posted on Thursday, December 12, 2013


    Here's something I learned this week:  Just because you delete something out of your e-mails on your Android phone that does NOT mean they have "left the building".

    I'm certain many of you already knew that little piece of information, but remember I am a complete techno-disaster.

    How did I make this discovery?  Just messing around while waiting for my husband to stop saying he was ready to go and actually BE ready to go.

    I went and discovered that my e-mail has folders.  I clicked on it and that's when this knowledge struck me.  Yep, there it was:  

    Inbox:  17
    Sent: 468
    Trash: (OMG) 8,586

    Thank goodness I've only had the phone since May.  I asked my dearest better half why I had all those things in the trash when I, in fact, deleted them?

    I'm sure you know the look I received.  He tried to get that number down.  Phone froze.

    "I hope you're happy. Why didn't you empty your trash?"
    "Why?  Because when I asked the guy at the store he never mentioned that little known piece of information that would've been nice to have AND neither did you!"

    Guess where we went to the next morning?  One of the other sales people said, "Well I haven't emptied my phone in a year.  I've got almost 5,000."

    Now I'm not bragging, but I've only had the phone for about 5 months.  I'm obviously more popular than him.

    The nice salesman asked if we had any other errands to run in the area.  So we left my phone with him and then went to go find a mirror for the new dining room set.  Found it!  That was quite the project as well.  We needed one with a frame that matched both the table top and the new clock.  

     Wouldn't you know-Ross had just the one and because it had a few tiny scratches on it they gave us an extra 10% off.
    Then Steve measure the trunk opening, put down the back seats of my 200S and the mirror should have fit-perfectly.  Too bad the mirror didn't get the memo.

    So a quick trip to Lowe's was made for some bungee cord.  Done.

    Then we had a coupon for Lucky's dog food.  That stuff is EXPENSIVE and we had a coupon that was expiring.  We used that.

    Off we went to retrieve my phone.  Steve stayed in the car with the mirror and dog food while I went to see if I now had a "clean" android.

    The guy did work a bit of a miracle-he managed to get 5,000 of them off and showed me how he re-configured the trash list to break the area down into smaller units so I could keep on erasing things.

    By the time we got home 20 minutes later-I was down to only 1,000 in my trash box!  Woot, woot!

    It took a total of 3-1/2 hours, but I got it all cleared.  At least until I realized I now had another 25 messages in my inbox.  Ack!

    But now I know-read them, trash them and then go into the trash file and delete them.

    May this be a lesson to everyone-DELETE, DELETE AND DELETE.

    2 Replies
  • Strange Happenings Afoot

    Posted on Friday, December 6, 2013

    Strange Things

    I've been thinking-you know that means that some weird things have either occurred to me or have happened.

    This week we had our new dining room and reclining sofa delivered.  That's not very weird, but it did get me to thinking about a couple of things:

    When we bought our "old" set it had two leaves.  We only used the second one about three times.  After all, we were never big at having dinner parties and when we did-the count ended at either 6 or 8 and since children were involved-we used the kitchen table.  

    Hey, the upholstery was white and so was the rug in the dining room.  No sense tempting fate.

    Anyway-after the last time we used it, Steve put it away and when he went back a year or so later to the spot where we thought it was stored-it was GONE, BABY GONE!

    Looked all over for that leaf and never found it.
    Besides that leaf, Steve lost the original keys to his crossfire fairly soon after he bought it in 2004.
    Our belief was that when we were moving last year we'd find both the leaf and the keys. We didn't.
    Plus when we unpacked all the boxes-the corning ware soup mugs for Steve's lunch were gone along with my brining "tub" and our travel coffee mugs.
    Strange. They were in that moving van when we got here and they were put in the middle of the family room.
    So now we're donating the very beautiful but extremely dated white wash dining set with only the one leaf. It will still easily hold a family of 8-as long as whoever buys it has four extra chairs. You see, the table was our anniversary present to each other for our 11th celebration. Just the table. The chairs came as our gift for our 12th anniversary.
    We are planners, no denying that!
    This time though we went "whole hog"-yep, bought the table AND 10 chairs. ALL AT ONCE.
    That qualifies as another strange thing in my book of life. Even at employee discount pricing-we'll be paying for this for a long time. No anniversary trip for us for the next couple of years.
    As with most update projects we had extra expenses: the artwork no longer matched and neither did the standing lamp. They were all in Southwest pastels and the new set is dark wood. We found a clock on sale at Bed, Bath and Beyond and then used our 20% off coupon. And the new throw rug was purchased in the Clearance Bin at Lowe's. So we're doing okay there.
    The now very large blank wall will have to be filled. We're thinking a nice long mirror would be nice. Steve's looking in the clearance area of his store now. Plus, the store's designer is there and will hopefully have some ideas.
    Last strange thing I'd like to add for your pondering pleasure:  Do any of you have a problem with breeding coffee mugs?

    I swear when I put everything in the kitchen away I had room to spare in the cabinet I put those mugs in and now it's overflowing with mugs I've never seen before!

    2 Replies