Archive for Retirement

Rainbow’s End

Rainbow’s End

Yesterday, we had some badly-needed rainfall here in the desert. It didn’t reach flash flood stage, but we got a fair amount of rain.

As the main part of the rain clouds passed to the northeast, conditions were perfect for a full double rainbow, horizon to horizon. I positioned myself to capture this photo of our house with the rainbow seemingly ending on it. Click on the image to enlarge.

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Household Dietary Changes

Cobb Salad

Verna and I are now on a low carbohydrate dining regimen because of recent doctor’s advice. I could stand to lose some weight and She needs to lower her triglycerides and glucose. With those criteria in mind, we are now avoiding pasta, bread, cereal, fruit and other carb and sugar laden food items.

About the diet: we’re not going to strictly count carbohydrates, but rather select food items that we know are on the “good” list. It’s not really hard to do and there are plenty of on-line help and printed recipes that support the diet.

The Cobb Salad (pictured above - click to enlarge) we had for lunch yesterday was nutritious, high in protein and fiber, and delicious. Since October 21st, dinners that we posted on the Food Blog reflect the sorts of things we are now eating.

Over the last week, we have been easing ourselves into revised eating habits and this weekend we prepared both main meals with the diet in mind. We’re just getting started and already we’re noticing subtle changes to our bodies.

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Mailbox Upgrade and Autumn Decor

Mailbox Upgrade and Autumn Decor

I finally got around to painting the milk can under the mailbox this week. I have had the paint since summer, but the instructions on the can said not to use it in temperatures above 85 degrees. Well, that isn’t possible until fall weather brings the temperatures down here in the desert. Anyhow, I painted it white this week as I have been wanting to do for a while now.

The next day, after the paint dried, I decorated it with faux sunflowers and a little scarecrow doll for the changing season. It now looks appropriate for Halloween and Thanksgiving. There will be poinsettias and Christmas decor after that. Click on the image to enlarge.

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Harris’s Hawk

Hawk in Flight

Perched on Flagpole

I noticed a large bird in the Mesquite tree up by the bird feeders while doing dishes in the kitchen. I dried my hands, grabbed my camera and went out to see what it might be. I took the top photo while this juvenile Harris’s Hawk was in flight departing the bird feeder area.

The bottom photo is of another Harris’s Hawk perched on our flagpole. This bird does not have the juvenile speckled feathers on its breast. It flew off shortly after this photo and joined five other Harris’s hawks on the large power pole and wires across the road from our place. Harris’s Hawks hunt in groups two to seven birds. I guess we have a group that hunts locally now.

Click on either image to enlarge.

Wikipedia says this about these hawks:

This species occurs in relatively stable groups. A dominance hierarchy occurs in Harris’s hawks, wherein the mature female is the dominant bird, followed by the adult male and then the young of previous years. Groups typically include from 2 to 7 birds. Not only do birds cooperate in hunting, they also assist in the nesting process. No other bird of prey is known to hunt in groups as routinely as this species.

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Retirement Anniversary Number Nine

nine.png

Yep, today is the ninth anniversary of retiring from the aerospace mill. Truth be told, I don’t miss it a bit but have occasionally dreamed about being back in the work environment. Mostly hassle dreams where I can’t find my car or someone is being stupid. Reinforcing the notion that I don’t miss it a bit!

I made the Roman numeral nine above with Xara, a 3D graphics app that I have had for years. The text texture is from an image of a stormy and sunny Grand Canyon view I lifted from the Yavapai Point Webcam which looks at a northwestern view of the canyon from that location.

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Electric Pepper Mill

Electric Pepper MillWith both of us experiencing discomfort in our hands with osteo-arthritis, we have had difficulty using simple kitchen tools like our traditional pepper grinder. The grasping and twisting motions were difficult for us to dispense fresh ground pepper without experiencing pain. Sure, the pain was minor, but, still it was unpleasant. What could we do to alleviate the pain?

Enter the OPUX Battery-operated Salt and Pepper Grinder Set! Our order arrived today which included two grinders, one for pepper and the other for salt. However, we use a salt shaker for when we dispense salt and seemed to have an extra grinder. But Wait! We could use a battery operated pepper mill for the RV. So Verna installed the batteries in both, loaded them with peppercorns and placed one on our kitchen counter in the house and the other in the galley in the RV. Perfect! Now, with the press of a button, freshly ground pepper is painlessly dispensed on our foodstuffs either at home or on the road.

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New Birdhouse Location

Birdhouse New Location

Last Saturday evening we had a microburst monsoon event that toppled our little palo verde tree out front near the driveway. We recently posted about repairing and re-hanging the little birdhouse in that tree. Fortunately, when the tree toppled, the birdhouse was not damaged.

A neighbor helped us clean up the tree mess on Sunday morning; we cut it into pieces with a chain saw and put it on his trailer for transport to the green dump. Verna rescued the birdhouse and put it in the courtyard for the time being. There is no nest inside, so no birds were involved.

Today, we went up the hill behind the RV drive where we have the bird feeders. There is a nice little mesquite tree up there that was perfect for hanging the recovered birdhouse. I took the image above this afternoon while up on the hill out back. Click on the image to enlarge.

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