Saturday, November 17, 2012
Wednesday we bought stuff to take to the New Years' Eve party and went to the party. It started at 7, Ace went home at 10, and I lasted until 10:30. I noticed that only about 1/3 of the original crowd was there, and I was tired. Annie hung in there, starting with two bottles of wine. Fortunately another woman helped her with about 3/4 of a bottle, because she wasn't moving very fast the next morning. We originally had intended to have breakfast at a nice little restaurant on Corkill and Dillon, but I went over at noon and borrowed a menu. After I called in our order, I picked everything up and we had take-out. Somewhere along in there we spent quite a while visiting consignment shops, Barnes and Noble, and TJ Maxx again. Friday Annie took off for Yakima, and made it to Weed, CA before she quit. She went 720 miles the first day, starting at 10:30 AM. It was lucky she did, because the last 500 miles took almost three hours longer than she expected because of the snow. The last 70 miles took 2.5 hours, and there were lots of cars in the ditch. In Yakima, there was ice under the snow and an idiot cut in front of her at a light 1/2 mile from home - Annie couldn't stop and turned left into a parking lot.
Friday, November 16, 2012
Wednesday I rented a rug doctor and upholstery attachment and bought all the chemicals for both floors and upholstery. Then I did the carpets (in four hours) and the BW did the recliners (in about an hour). When we hired it done it was all done in a little over an hour, but there were two guys and a big truck (no dumping and refilling every time you turn around). The problem with the rug doctor is that it's set up for a midget to run it - if I stand up the handle is about 8 inches below my hands, so my back was a big loser, even with a back brace. I was miserable after about a half hour and tried the brace, then later moved it higher - the way to make the pain go away.
Yesterday I saw Dr. Meyers for another skin cancer on the back of my right ear. With the first five Mohs' surgeries I was OK after the first pass, but this time he had to go back the second time and take out some more cartilage because there were tendrils sticking out of the bottom of the cut. I did pass the second try, and there were two other guys there who had a repeat procedure too, which was the first time I had seen anyone go around twice.
After the second try, there was one more numbing and cutting because he did a skin graft, which involved taking a piece of skin from my cheek in front of the ear, sewing that shut, and then trimming and sewing the skin onto the back of the ear. Dr. Meyers explained that about 25 per cent of his patients had an infection when he didn't graft some skin over the incision, which was fairly large. He said nobody died, but the infections were trouble.
I left home at 8:00AM, got there at 8:30, left at 4:30, and turned off of US19 at Alderman. As I was moving into the left turn lane for Belcher, the siren came on, and a Deputy stopped me for going 47 in a 30 MPH zone. After 12 miles on 19 at 55 to 60, I wasn't paying attention to how fast I was going, but I did notice on Belcher a speed limit sign for 45 MPH, which is confusing because both streets are divided four lane boulevards. The only thing I can think is the Belcher is north and sough, and Alderman is an east and west street. I'm going to be looking for speed limit signs on Alderman.
The good news is I didn't get a $252 ticket, which would have capped the day, but now have a written warning on my desk, which will remind me to slow down. My ear is taped up so it sticks out a lot and is a lot lower than my left hear. I hope it doesn't take a set while it's wrapped up for a week.
Tuesday, November 13, 2012
Everyone except Ace had a good time - she made it up the bluff and across the desert, but when we were far enough down Hidden Palm Canyon to see some palms in the distance, she dropped out and just waited on a rock until we came back. Then it was a job getting back up out of the canyon, and both the guide and his wife gave her their sticks to help get down from the bluff. Some prisoners had made the steps by laying timbers across the trail, but the drop varied from maybe 10 inches to two feet, so it wasn't all that easy to walk down. There was no hand rail, of course, and a nasty drop on the right. Before we were half way down all of the other visitors had disappeared across the valley, and in the end even the guide went ahead and waited for us in the parking lot. He had said that it was an easy hike and we would be back by 11:30, but it was almost one by the time we made it back. We left at nine.
After we made it home, Ace (the BW) spent the rest of the day and some of Tuesday recovering, but it was worth it. Tuesday morning we did laundry, then went to Costco to buy coffee and to ask the price of glasses for Ace. Annie spent a really long time in the pottery place and bought a few things. Later she went back and got one more cute flower pot.
PS - Annie is our oldest daughter - she was visiting us from her home in Yakima (actually, Union Gap.)
Sunday, November 11, 2012
Sunday, 4 January, 1998, paragraph 2 We also learned to recognize some of the plants. They all look like about two varieties to me, but the big green bushes are Creosote, Indigo, Desert Cedar, and Cat's Claw. There are a few Mesquite's, but fortunately not many. The Smoke Trees grow in the washes - about 10 to 15 feet high and gray, so they look like smoke from a distance. It's a real bad idea to camp where there are smoke trees, because that's where the flash floods will go. Then the little round plants, only a foot or so high, are Sandpaper plant, Brittle Bush, and Spanish Needle (very distinctive leaves look like thick green marlinspikes). The Cheese Bush is a little bigger - smells like toe cheese if you rub a fresh leaf (or blue cheese, or Roquefort). I saw just one barrel cactus, which I already knew, plenty of Golden and Silver Cholla, and a few Pencil Cholla, which was new to me. It's a cactus with full sized needles but branches the diameter of a pencil, and I'm sure I would remember if I had seen any before. We found some Arrow weed in the Hidden Palms oasis, and there were Desert Fan Palms where we started, at the Horseshoe Oasis, which we could see across the valley on our way to Hidden Palms. We didn't see any other type of Palm, but a lot of them had been set on fire by vandals and had the skirts burned off. It didn't kill most of them, but the wildlife lost a lot of habitat. One of the palms was down, and someone had built a fire on the trunk. It was interesting to see the inside of the trunk - a mass of twisted strings. Palms belong to the celery family, so as long as there is enough trunk to hold the top up, they just keep growing taller. When they get tall enough and the wind is strong enough, they fall over. They have about a 10 foot diameter ball of roots, but no tap root, so they're not terribly strong (according to the guide). I need to look up palms in the encyclopedia.
Saturday, November 10, 2012
Sunday, 4 January, 1998 - Eight days is a long time to recall, but I think I can get a fair summary. Sunday Annie lay out - soaked up some sun and soaked in the hot tub. Monday we all (Annie, Adrienne, and I, but not Harry, our dog) went on a 3.5 hour hike in the Coachella Valley Preserve. The Nature Conservancy bought the first tract, but the state and county came in so now it's a multiorganizational thing run almost completely by volunteers. It's six miles by six, and there are several oases in the preserve (five or six - I didn't take notes and the guide talked goo fast). Only two of them have large pools of open water, and Hidden Palms, which we hiked to, was not one of the two. If you don't want to walk two miles through the desert, but a bluff (they had stairs the last fifty feet or so), and through a couple of canyons, there is a one lane dirt track that comes in about four or five miles from the south. You would have to know which track it was, of course, and the sand seemed pretty soft to me, but the vandals managed to get there without walking. I liked the hike, because I had never heard of Indian Circles before (desert pavement). Part of the trail we hiked was very clear, and turned out to be an old Indian trail used for 700 years or more. It starts in New Mexico and goes to the coastal mountains, and the local tribes used it to migrate from one place to another each year. The Indian Circles were about 100 feet across, or maybe more, and were formed by the campsites. It seems that the Indians would set up their houses woven of willow branches, and make sleeping easy they would throw any big stones outside of the house. Over time the stones all migrated to the outside of the circle. The guide said that there were three Indian Circles in the area, but we only saw two. One had been vandalized by the ATV crowd, but the other looked very clean. It also had a fire ring in the center, which the first one didn't have. I don't know if that was a recent addition or something used by the Indians.
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