mothers day

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

A Day in the Life of a Desert Rat

It is supposed to be 74 here tomorrow - another beautiful day in the desert.  Ed is going out with friends four wheeling while I take myself to the doctor...its hard being 600 miles away from your own doctor.  I will be glad when I am finally on Medicare in May so I can go to any doctor anywhere and not have to call HAFB for permission.  Anyway, I have a boil on my right shoulder that has gotten bigger and uglier and more painful every day for the last week.  I am going to try to get in to the medical clinic here in Quartzsite tomorrow - if its not overcrowded (or if it is even open on Wednesdays!)  If I can't then I will drive 30 miles to Parker to the hospital that has an insta-care facility in its ER.

I didn't think I would ever be so excited to have someone put a big needle in my shoulder and cut me open with a knife but there you go.

My knee is at a standstill.  I still have full range of motion with it but I can't walk more than 20 steps without using my crutches.  I have a small brace that I wear a lot of the time...if I am not going to be going anywhere I will take the brace off and let the knee rest...and the ankle swelling because of the brace, go down.  I am so thankful I have my keeps me busy when I can't go out walking every day.

The days are pretty lazy.  We get up about 8:30 or 9...Ed will usually get up a little earlier and turn on the catalytic heater so the temp is warmer in the trailer.  We eat breakfast and I wash the few dishes and set them to dry in the drainer.  A couple of times a week I clean the toilet and sinks, vacuum the rugs in the trailer and sweep the floor.  Making my bed is the only thing I do every single day.  One day a week we usually go into Quartzsite and do laundry - a couple days a week we go on nice long 60-70 mile ATV rides with friends.  By the time we get back in the Razor my knee feels pretty shook up but I just ice it and take some Arthritis Acetaminophen and I feel good enough to fix dinner.

About 10:30 you can find me laying on the chaise lounge outside.  As soon as the temp gets up to 55 outside I go.  Ed has built a wind break along the Northwest/West side of the trailer so you can sit outside and enjoy the sun without the cool wind hitting you.  Most days the wind is only about 5-10 mph but that can feel cool at 55 degrees.  Now with the wind break we actually can only sit outside for maybe 45 minutes before we get HOT.  So its back in the trailer and that's when I work on my jewelry.  Then and in the middle of the night when my knee gets to aching (and my shoulder too).  Then I quietly get out of bed, shut the little cloth door to the bedroom, get out a warm robe (we turn the temp down to 60 at night to save on propane) and make pretties.

There are several ladies out here who make jewelry daily too so we have lots of ideas to share around.  I am hoping that I can be back out here in the desert by 1 pm tomorrow as that is our weekly Wedn craft day....sometimes someone teaches us something new, sometimes I have taught a class also.  Sometimes we all bring our own projects and work on them together---knitting, crocheting, quilting, beadwork, beading, cutting t shirts to make darling blouses.  I got busy tonight while watching the news on TV and laid out the beads I need for my turquoise pair of foot bracelets.  We are having a dinner and party for Marty Gras Saturday night at the tent and I brought along my Halloween costume with the long turquoise sari to wear.  I don't know if the guys are dressing in costume for Mardi Gras but most of the ladies are.  The days that we aren't out on an ATV ride, or off to Parker or Blythe for fun then we meet at the tent at 4 pm for happy hour with our soda's or water.  Ed fell in love with Diet Coke with Lime in it and was drinking three or four of them every day.  So its back to Sams Club Cola for him.  I have found that I can almost enjoy the new diet coke with Splenda...the diet flavor isn't quite as strong.  I still have one pepsi a day - then I will either have a Splenda coke or water.  We are drinking cases of water...which is much better for us.

I do miss the walks...if I want to go over to visit neighbors (our trailers are pretty spread out) I have to crutch it or hop in the Razor.  When we get home I will go up to the clinic and get a referral for a good orthopedic doctor and figure out first of all WHAT I did to my knee and then next, how do I fix it.   I elevate it, I use my crutches and brace regularly, and I ice pack it.  and it healed to a certain point and STOPPED!  However I took an ibuprofen last night because I was aching all over and when I woke up this morning both my shoulder and my knee felt better.  The doctor wants me to continue taking ibuprofen for the next few days to keep the swelling down in my boil area.  YAY!!

Friday, February 17, 2012

Jane's Jewelry

A month ago we drove over to New River Arizona to visit some friends that we met on the cruise.  Ken and Jane were good friends of Kitty and Larry who went on the cruise with us last Fall.

When we met, Jane and I hit it off like we had known each other for years.   She is a zany fun talented lady.  Anyway, she gave me a bunch of her old jewelry that she asked me to bring back to life.  You know how that is…an old favorite or two that shows wear and tear or just needs something to give it zing again.  So off and on, between making other jewelry I have been working on her necklaces.  
I was going to post it on my site but then decided that is for stuff I am selling – this is just stuff that I am re-doing and returning it later to its owner.  I didn’t take pictures of the first group I sent back to her.  Most of them were simply shortening the chain and fixing the clasps etc.  But I did want to show you what I have done.  I will add several pictures of the same necklace so you can see different views 

Before we get to Jane's jewelry though, here are my creations to match her blouses...  lavender and creme

 This necklace was created for this wild and zany shirt

This sweater was my inspiration for the necklace on the right

Finally now we get to Jane's jewelry that I repaired or added to:

 This necklace was made up of blue tones only - thin square capiz can see the blue still there but I added a round shell to each link made up of the same capiz shells but of all different colors.  I kind of rainbowed them from the middle out.

 I am waiting for an order of additional round capiz stones in hot pink to add that color to the mix as Jane has a blouse that has designs of blue, hot pink, yellow and green that we are trying to match.  I changed the closure from a lobster claw to a magnet closure for easier on and off.  I also added shells to the matching earrings
 I loved this necklace - it is worn collar style...right up close around the neck.  It had a pale peach colored ribbon that connected the flowers to the lobster claw closure at the back of the neck.  The ribbon was dirty and frayed so I removed the ribbon and added a double row of brass toned chain that now closes with a toggle.
 The necklace didn't have any earrings to match so I made a pair with pearls and crystals the same colors as the flowers around the neck.  Because the necklace is so 'busy' I made the earrings simple, although I did add some more lightweight chain to dangle at the bottom.  Note the design of the ear wire itself.  I loved these when I found them.  I wish I had bought more of them!

 I added this picture as it shows a LITTLE of the chain at the back of the flowers.
 Jane bought this necklace down in Florida but decided later she didn't like it - it didn't have enough pizzazz, so I added the dichroic glass pendant with matching earrings.
If Jane doesn't like this I will just have to try again.

This next necklace I created myself for a blouse that she just got and needed to find jewelry to match it.  The blouse is a very pale lavender with cream lace...

So I picked crystals that were the same tones as the blouse along with burgandy pearls, antique gold elongated beads, and white stone beads that were a creamy tone like the lace on her blouse.   I matched it up with a striped dichroic glass pendant that I wire wrapped with antique gold and normal gold wire twisted together.  It turned out beautiful.  Again, If the color and style don't match her blouse the way I am thinking it will I will just have to take this one back and try again...I am thinking it MAY be too heavy for the blouse.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Another Busy Week

Its been a fun and busy week.  We have been enjoying increasingly warmer weather was 80 degrees here today!!  I think yesterday was just as warm but we spent the day four wheeling and were shaded by the roof of our razor all day.  I can't sleep right now so I am up on my computer at 1:30 am listening to the coyotes howl!!  Seriously!
Let's see - last Friday we drove to Blythe, California,  with Ed and Jo who are from Longview, Washington.  We found a fun produce stand and bought all sorts of fresh lemons and tangelos, lettuce and tomatoes, pistaschio's and dates!  Then we went to KMart and to Albertsons....much better prices than here in Quartzsite.  Blythe is just 28 miles from Quartzsite.
Sunday we drove to Dave and Rhea's winter home in Yuma to watch the Super Bowl. Betty and Don were there too and we had a fun time - Rhea had been cooking all day long I think and Betty brought some yummies and so did I.  (I took a small basket of dates and cut them in half, removing the pit, and then spread cream cheese on them and topped them with a half of a walnut.  Delish!!  We got the idea from the samples at the produce stand in Blythe.  I normally don't care for dates but combined with the cream cheese and nuts they were great.  So we visited and ate and visited and ate...the guys watched the ball game while we visited some more.  I was/am still gimping so they babied me along but I helped out where I could.  Finally about 9:30 pm Ed and I left and drove over to the Homewood Suites where we had a room reserved....and wonderful, wonderful, they had a BATH TUB!!!  After weeks of just showers I was able to soak to my hearts content and it sure felt good on my sore knee.
Monday morning we found a store about a mile away that rented wheelchairs and got one for $15 for the day and went to Mexico for the day.  We met Rhea and Betty and Donnie for lunch and had a fun time looking at all the stuff for sale.  Bought a few things, not too much.  Most snowbirds go for the dentists or eyeglasses or prescriptions.  It seems like they have the same merchandise for sale year after year and most of it comes from China...not Mexico!
Back to Quartzsite that evening and then we hopped up the next day and headed into town to do our laundry.  Ed carried all the bags of dirty clothes in for me and then he went looking for stuff to build a wind break (for those days that are warm except for the cold north wind) and I crutched around filling the washers with clothes and soap and bleach...then on to the seemed like it took all day but we finally got home with clean clothes, towels, sheets etc

Wednesday was crafts day for me and Ed kept busy with odd jobs all day long.  Thursday we met our group of 4 wheelin friends at the guard station coming into LaPosa South campground where we stay with our rigs loaded onto trucks and trailers and headed East on Interstate 10 about 30 miles away.  That was at 8:30 in the morning so we were all well bundled to keep warm because it was still in the 50's when we got the bikes unloaded and headed down the trails.  I should say all of us were well bundled except for Edward who was in his short sleeved shirt and knee length jeans!  I got cold just looking at him!
 We went back into the KOFA Wildlife Refuge and saw some gorgeous country.  Here we are heading up a hill with Jo on her Polaris right in front of us.
 Lots of thorny trees, bushes and Rocks....that is what we see everywhere we look around here in this Desert of Western Arizona.
 I took several pictures trying to get the three or four machines all in a line going up this hill but the sun was right in my face and I couldn't get a good again, just Jo.
 I thought this escarpment was interesting - also the fact that it continued on in front of us across the road made it even more so!

 Looking down at a desert canyon as we drive along the route.

 One of our stops at an old  cabin built in the 30's - one of the few cabins built with wood in this area from long ago.  Most were built with the easiest materials at hand...which would be ROCKS.  There were 10 rigs with 12 people in our group.
 Kathy and Carolyn - getting ready to go check out the cabin.
 Just a beautiful mountain
 or should I say cliffside

 We got to see lots and lots of Saguerros, Palo Verde trees, Yucca plants, paddle cacti, Teddy bear choya, plus a few yellow flowers and lavender flowers!  By the time the day was over we had taken off the coats and hats and gloves and sweatshirts and were down to jeans and t shirts - nice weather for four wheeling in February.  We traveled a total of 70 miles on bikes over some really rough but beautiful terrain.  It was 5:30 pm by the time we got back to our trailers.  My poor knee was just aching from all the jouncing it got over those rough roads....and that was from JUST sitting in our side by side.  I wouldn't have been able to go if I had been driving my own ATV.
 This was last months trip - you can see we were bundled.
 The Ocatilla have blossomed and now their fresh new leaves make them look so pretty - they are still covered with thorns though.
 A view up the hill

 I took these pictures from my 'front porch'....I wanted to get the skyline all lit up just as the sun is going down.  This is the view looking East.
 This is the view looking is beautiful

 This is our yard.  As you can see, Ed has spent a lot of time laying out the driveway (hence the rock lines) and it lights up at night with our solar lamps.  You can see Ed and Jo's trailer ---they are are nearest neighbors to the South of us.

...this is the 'wash' next to our trailer...I just hung a hummingbird feeder in that middle tree yesterday as the hummers are starting to show up.
Just another can see that we are well spread out here but we get together with our neighbors almost every day with different activities at the group Tent (BIG) ...dances, parties, TV, movies, karaoke, crafts, etc.

Next time I will take pictures of our trailer and 'front porch' or rather big mat that we set out chairs and chaise lounges on.

Anyway - that was the pictures (plus some) of Thursday's big ATV ride - we left our trailer at 8 am and got back home at 6 pm, so it made for a long day.  I figured that I probably redamaged my knee with all the bouncing and jouncing but my knee felt better the next day than it has in a long time!!

Friday morning we got up, ate breakfast and headed in to town to the 'QIA for their local swap meet and Ed set up his two generators that he is trying to sell plus his motorbike he wants to sell.  I added some necklaces and watches.  There are so many people here making jewelry that it is really hard to sell any necklace sets but the watches were popular.  I sold four of them.  Ed didn't sell anything.

Ed went over to K&B tools to get what stuff he needed to build us a five foot tall windbreak to go in front of our trailer while I went after groceries and the mail.  We met back up and headed back to the trailer about 2 pm - it was so warm in our trailer we immediately had to open all the windows and vents and the big back door to make it livable.

Today was a relaxing day - reading, making a new necklace, visiting with friends and then going over to the big tent tonight to see War Horse.  Goooooood movie!!  We thoroughly loved it both of us -- I cried the whole last 30 minutes of the movie.
Tomorrow is church and Monday I need to go find somewhere to get  my nails done and then Tuesday is the poker run (ATV ride) over in Brenda.  Should be fun.