November 30, 2010 - Boredom Sets In

As if only three days of library internet connection each week wasn't bad enough, I haven't been able to get on at all since last Wednesday! Normally I can park in front of the building when they're closed, and access my blog and all of yours. Not any more. Now they've put a block on personal web pages, and the librarian has to sign me in for access! Let's hope we have an early warm spring, so I can go back home early and lead a normal life. Mr. Granny says weather willing we can head back in February instead of waiting until March.

It's been cold and windy here, with lows down to 31F. It hasn't bothered the lettuce, spinach and radishes, but it did kill the basil and froze the flowers. The Meyer lemon tree lives inside now, and has put forth another growth spurt. It not only got about six inches taller, it began branching out at the tips so it's looking bushier. Daytime temperatures have hovered in the low 50s all week, but are expected to get back into the seventies by Thursday.

My friend, Esther, picked me up last Tuesday and we went to Phoenix for a day of shopping at Costco. It was nice to get away for a while, as boredom has really set in. I was glad to see my Idaho friends come in this week. Marge is my travel partner when I want to head for Mexico, and I'm due for a dental appointment again. This time I'm prepared, as I have my enhanced driver's license. That works like a passport for land travel to Mexico or Canada, so I won't get in trouble with the border patrol like I did last year!

Mr. Granny and I are going to Lake Havasu City tomorrow. He needs to get the oil changed in the Ranger, and we've been wanting an excuse to pig out at the Golden Corral's buffet. Maybe I can also find some good holiday bargains, since I missed out on Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

I hope all of you had a wonderful Thanksgiving. Mr. Granny and I stayed home, and I roasted a turkey with stuffing. We also had mashed potatoes, gravy, baked butternut squash (from the WA garden), cranberry sauce, olives and pumpkin pie with whipped cream. Annie and Otto got turkey for their dinner, and they are still eating the leftovers!

November 20, 2010 - Saturday at the Library

YAY! The library has begun to open on the first and third Saturdays of each month. I didn't realize that when I drove here last night at 10 o'clock, parked out front so I could access the WiFi to publish the Nov 18th. blog, opened up the laptop and found the battery was dead.

November 18

Sitting in the pickup, in the dark, after the library closes isn't so bad. It's cool in the cab, unlike the house which was 81F right after dinner. I can see the laptop monitor just fine in the dark, which is much better than trying to see anything at all in the glare of the daylight. Mr. Granny drove so that I could be comfy in the passenger seat and didn't have to fight the steering wheel. He didn't protest much, as I promised him a maximum of 10-15 minutes, just long enough to answer Debiclegg's email, Shawn Ann's comment about whether Cricket mobile is available here (in short, no, nothing is available here!), publish today's comments and download a dozen blogger's web pages for reading off line. I'll never completely catch up, but I am able to spot check most everybody's posts so as not to be completely in the dark about what all of you are up to.

I had my daughter check on getting a laptop connect card from ATT, but it's way too expensive. Unless I commit to a two year contract, at $60 per month (plus taxes), the card alone is $249. I'm sure not going to pay that much for about 3-1/2 months of service! I'll just continue to use the library. Once I get used to it, it won't be so bad.

I guess it's time for garden pictures. It doesn't seem as though things are growing much, but then I compare it with photos taken a couple of weeks ago and see that it is. I'm wondering if the radishes will ever develop bottoms. I squeezed them today, and so far there's nothing.

This bed was full of volunteer lettuce, and took a lot of thinning. I've tried to leave 3-4" between the seedlings, and will do more thinning out as they reach an edible size. I had broadcast some mixed lettuce seeds here, before I realized I was going to end up with self sown ones, so I have no idea which are from my seeds or from self sowing. I'm quite sure I didn't plant Red Romaine, and I do see some of that in there. It looks like I ended up with quite a bit of Red Sails, but my seed mix was heavy on that variety. Whatever grows, I'll be happy with it.

The grocery store purchased green onions are growing well, and can be used as I need them now. The flowers are just kind of sitting there doing nothing spectacular.

I replanted some of the bare spots where the spinach didn't germinate. It seems to be growing awfully slow, as are the radish bottoms, but looking back at last year's garden I'd say they are right on track. This garden was started about two weeks earlier than last years garden, which produced nice radishes and lettuce after the first of the year.

My friend Esther came by today to invite me on a Costco trip Saturday. I'll be happy to go to Phoenix, where I can buy certain groceries that cannot be found in Parker's small bread flour. We went into town the other day, with a list of a dozen or so things I needed, and found at least half of them unavailable. Either they were out of stock, or they don't carry them at all. Things like peanuts, store brand ketchup, frozen sausage patties, citrus tree fertilizer, and the bread flour. I did, however, buy myself two pairs of cotton knit pajamas, for which I expected to pay $10 each, that came up at $1 each! Wow! Two pairs of winter pajamas for two bucks! We had to go back to town yesterday, so I picked out two more pairs of PJs. I figured I could either save them for next winter or give them to my daughter. I asked the cashier to do a price check, but they both came up as $10. I mentioned the $1 price from Friday, and she said "Oh, yes. They made a BIG mistake that day!" Well, they can't have them back now, 'cause they've already been worn.

September 20

Well, there was no trip to Phoenix today. Esther went on a desert run yesterday, and was too tired for another long drive today. Bummer.....I had a good long list for Costco shopping! Oh well, with the library being open and nothing else to do, I think I'll spend the day catching up on your blogs!

November 17 & 18, 2010 - A Plea For Marlie

November 17

I have been catching up with some of your blogs. Each time I come to the library I download a couple dozen to read off line, so it's slow going, but I'm really enjoying Erin's coping skills, Kate's $10 dog, Thomas' neat hoop house, Mr. H's red headed children, The Idiot's fartichokes....yes, I could go on and on! I'm getting something read from all of you!

I was talking with my daughter this morning. We were discussing cell phone minutes, and I turned to pick up my phone to check on some calls I'd made. The cell phone, however, was not on my desk where it was supposed to be. I looked all through the living room, and on into the kitchen. Mr. Granny was at the table, eating his breakfast, when I began to panic and admonished him for leaving the phone somewhere unknown. I was really quite upset with the man. He never puts things back where they belong, you know.

I was talking to my daughter.

On the phone.

I couldn't find the phone.

The phone that was in my hand.

The phone on which I was talking.

Sorry, Mr. Granny.

That's what happens when one gets older than dirt. We laughed so hard, I nearly peed.


November 18

I needed a good laugh, as I've been in a bit of a funk lately. Have any of you ever watched the story of Marlie Casseus, the teenager from Haiti who has Fibrous Dysplasia, which caused a huge, 18-pound tumor like growth on her face? There was a TV documentary made about her trip from Haiti to Miami in 2005 for several surgeries, which saved her life. Four years later there was a follow up documentary showing Marlie living a nearly normal life after suffering so many years of pain and humiliation over her condition. I've wondered for some time if she and her family were in Haiti during the big earthquake, so I did a Google search for her. I was saddened to find she had lost her home, and her family has been separated. Marlie and her mother survived to find themselves homeless and in need of another life-saving surgery for Marlie.

"Tissue is obliterating the nasal passages. That means that the lesion is growing and expanding from inside the mouth and the palate is pretty much invading the nasal cavity," said Dr. Jesus Gomez with UM/Jackson Hospital. "It's a recurrence. We need to remove the mass that's affecting her nasal cavity,'' he said. ``But she's 18 now. When she has completed her skeletal growth, the disease should stop. She's near that point now."

Janelle Prieto, Director of IKFs Wonderfund, said "She has come so far and has overcome so much - we will not let her die and we are appealing to the community for help,"

I can't imagine anyone reading Marlie's story or watching the documentary not being moved to tears. I will be making a Christmas gift of money directly to Marlie's medical fund through the Wonderfund Kids Org. website, and when my daughter asks what I'd like for Christmas, nothing would make me happier than a donation in my name.

Marlie's beautiful face after her many surgeries.

11/16/2010 Miami Herald article

Donate to Marlie's medical fund

You can join me in making an online donation to Marlie via the "Donate" link above. If you wish to donate, and prefer to pay by check or money order, you can mail a donation to:

International Kids Fund
P.O. Box 2020
Miami, FL 33101

Please Specify on your check or money order that you want the donation to go to Marlie's medical fund, or name another child to whom you would like to allocate your funds, and make your checks or money orders payable to International Kids Fund.

November 16, 2010 - Is it Tuesday Yet?

Hello again! This once a week library business is for the birds. I have 378 blogs to read, as well as 132 email messages. I've given up on ever catching up, and I'm not even going to try. It still doesn't look good for getting any direct internet connections for me this winter, so I guess it's a good thing I don't have a darned thing about which to blog anyway!

The spinach is growing slowly, radishes are looking quite healthy but no edible roots yet, the green onions in the pots are growing fast, I've thinned out the thousands of self-sown lettuce plants to give the remaining ones room to grow. They were all lettuce seedlings in the one garden bed for sure, but I still haven't identified the other self-sown seedlings that are growing everywhere else. I'm quite sure they must be alyssum, as they are sprouting from the soil I dumped from last year's flower pots. The few plants I had growing in pots in the garden had to be moved, as nothing that's not under the protective covering of plastic mesh is surviving. I've moved them up to a garden bench to keep them away from the lizards. All in all, I can't get too excited about gardening this winter!

I'm finding the time going way too slowly, and Granny is bored.

November 8, 2010 - Things Are Really Getting Bad When-------

-----the most exciting thng in your life is watching the spinach seedlings develop their true leaves.

I may have solved the mystery of the unknown "weeds" in my garden. My friend, Esther, brought back a planter I'd left with her last spring, and when I watered the soil in it the same "weeds" began to grow. Putting two and two together, I remembered I had dumped the potting soil from my other planters into the vegetable garden boxes. What did all of the containers have in common? Alyssum.

By the way, when we got to our winter home here in AZ, our property was crawling with big red ants from two huge ant hills. The first thing I did was mix up equal parts of 20 Mule Team Borax (from the laundry soap department at the grocery store) and granulated white sugar, and sprinkled several tablespoonfuls over the hills. Within two weeks, all ant activity was completely gone. Kaput. Nothing. I've never found that remedy to fail for eradicating ants.

Tomorrow is library day, thank heavens. Right now we are parked out in front, I cannot see my monitor because of the glare, and Mr. Granny is sighing a lot. He doesn't take kindly to sitting and waiting for more than five minutes.

November 3, 2010 - Trip to Aguila, AZ

Tuesday we made a trip to Aguila, to visit the Mexican outdoor produce stand. This is a weekly happening in this small town, 57 miles from our place, at the eastern edge of the Arizona Outback.

Along the way, reminders of days prior to the construction of the nearby freeway, Interstate 10, are very apparent. Tiny motels, boarded up and crumbling, and an old stone service station, long abandoned, can be seen.

In an area that is famous for growing delicious cantaloupe, nut tree forests and cotton fields also abound.

We spy the blue tarp covered produce market, and I do some shopping while Mr. Granny fills the gas tank at the service station next door.

Nearly everything is $1 for a plate full.

It's a long but enjoyable trip for five dollars worth of produce!

Back home, my own tiny garden is growing quite well. The spinach is up now, and I'm quite sure the weeds/lettuce are actually lettuce seedlings, as some of them are beginning to show a red blush to the leaves. I had both Red Romaine and Red Sails in that bed last year, so I'm happy to see that one or the other (or both) have self seeded.

Spinach, radishes and weeds. Tiny weeds are appearing all over this bed, and I know they aren't lettuce seedlings! I have no idea what could possibly have blown in during the summer. I'm glad the garden is so small, or I'd never be able to keep up with unwanted growth.