Monday, December 11, 2017

Clouds and Sun, Post Office, Pet Smart, Puzzle, Cacti, Mailboxes and Pickle Juice

On Monday, Dec. 11th I was up at 7:15 and after letting Clemson out for his morning piddle, headed out for a walk. It was a calm morning and hovering around 53F/12C. The sky was cloudy but I could see that the sun was going to make an appearance anyway. I walked a different route today, taking the suggested one by George. Down Kibbey to Barite, Arroyo to Palo Verde, Griffin and home.

Catching the sun come up
This involved some hilly climbs which encouraged me to push the limits but nothing too strenuous and it was a mile and a half route. Today when I was out there, I thought I’d take some pictures of the neat looking mailbox creations. 

blurry but original with horseshoes

Some are very professional, some are not and others are quite original. As well, I’m going to bore you with some cactus photos instead of homes in the area. You’re welcome!

this one is interesting
The walk felt great and when I returned home, Bill was moving and about ready to make his appearance too. With our tea and coffee, we read blogs and then played a few turns on Facebook Scrabble. Nice to be able to take our time on line without using our hotspot. We figure the free one is a business in the area.

Now a few cactus pictures
One of our favourites on the left the Ocotillo (Oc-a-teeyo)

I see this shrub a lot

I love the colour of this Beavertail cactus

A nice display of a few cacti
As long as we don’t use it to do anything in our bank, this free Wifi works great! Bill had a bowl of cereal and I had a banana right after my walk so we drove to the U.S. Post Office on McCullough. This is a huge building and the parking lot was almost full. Oh-oh. Long wait. I told Bill to hunker down while I went in to buy stamps and mail our cards.

There were 4 attendants behind the counter and 14 patrons in front of me in line. It moved fairly quickly, surprisingly, but I was blown away that by the time I was 5th in line there were at least 20 people behind me. Unbelievable! I got my stamps, put them on the envelopes and dropped them in the outgoing box. We’ll make a note that we mailed them on this day and hope that they arrive on time.

I wanted to share 4 pics of Clemson

He's saying 'haven't we been here before?"

Does anyone else remember this place?

He is really trying to understand where we are

From there we went to Pet Smart at the north end of town and made an appointment for Clemson to get a haircut and groom. They found us in their system so he is good to go on Wednesday. We got a deal on his Cesar’s soft dog food by buying a 12 pack. Our coupon gave us a 2nd one for free. Love free. There was nothing else on our list to do so returned home. Still cloudy with lower clear skies and the sun doing its best to make me happy.
Puzzle in the works
I decided to try the puzzle on their patio table today. Fingers crossed. We made another hot drink as it was only 11:30. Still morning and that, for me, constitutes time for another tea. When Donna was here we would have one in the early afternoon together.  

In my heading today, I mentioned pickle juice and I’m sure you’re dying to know.
It was this past summer when I was on line searching for home remedies to relief from ‘leg cramps’. Bill would periodically get them so bad that none of the old ‘cures’ would work. I don’t get the same kind of cramps, mine are more like an irritation in my left leg when riding in a vehicle or sitting in my recliner. 

So cool, the sun preparing to set over the lake
Can that be the moon also in the picture?
I’d read about so many home cures for restless legs but not one of the 10 was something I was willing to commit to. Okay, so I’m lazy and would forget to do it. I didn’t want a preventative so much as an immediate result. I came across one that mentioned pickle juice. So, I tried it one night. Voila! 

Within seconds, literally under a minute, of sipping 2 or 3 tablespoons of the juice (now called ‘miracle juice’) the ache disappeared. I’ve never paid attention to how long the relief lasts but long enough for me to fall asleep or watch television for a couple of hours. When Donna was visiting, she explained how she has issues with a similar pain in her legs.

while I was working on the puzzle, Bill was getting familiar with George's toy
I told her that I had pickle juice in a jar in the fridge and she should try it. It stunned her how quickly it worked and proceeded to take it every evening when she felt the ache. Her sleep was not disturbed by the pain at all during the 9 nights she was here. One day, I felt a kink in my neck from sleeping wrong or maybe from our water aerobics that morning. Before bed, I took some juice and before I was dressed for bed, it was gone! 

Bottom line, it doesn’t cost me anything and we always have pickles in the fridge. Maybe olive juice would work too but here is what it says online: 
It soothes muscle cramps. ... Pickle juice relieved cramps more than drinking the same amount of water. It also helped more than drinking nothing at all. This could be because the vinegar in pickle juice may help with rapid pain relief.

I guess if you could stand drinking vinegar (yeuch) it would work too but I happen to prefer the pickle juice taste. If you experience any kind of muscle cramp, try it once and decide for yourself. I know Donna got home and opened a jar of pickles. 😊

At 12:30 I opened a can of New England Clam Chowder for us to share for lunch. I wish they wouldn’t put so much salt in their canned soups but it was quite good all the same. I should write to Progressive and suggest cutting it back by half. Yah right, as if they’d listen. We quickly tidied up the dishes so they weren’t sitting in the sink all afternoon.

At 2 o’clock I went outside with the puzzle I ‘borrowed’ from Ridgeview clubhouse. It is a 500 pc. puzzle with heavy, good connecting pieces for a reason. I wanted to be able to finish it within the 11 days I’m here, and I wasn't sure what good weather days I’d have. If it was going to be at all windy, I didn’t want the flimsy light pieces of some jigsaws to blow off the table. I chose well, I believe.

I first put a piece of clear packing tape across the umbrella hole then dumped the pcs. onto the table to sort the border pieces. I tested a bunch at a time with the table at the edge of the patio. The wind blew and a few gusts at 10 mph didn’t seem to affect the pieces as long as I kept them flat, not stacked at all. So, I spread all the pieces out evenly. When I lost the sun there, I moved the table further out and then when Bill came out, he helped me pick it up and put it in the middle of their back yard. Full sun.

I worked away and made great progress until almost 4:30 when I was shaded from the house and the wind cooled me down. Bill had found a couple of plastic grates beside George’s shed that worked well to cover the puzzle. 

Covered for the night
I placed them over the table with a heavy decoration on top in case the wind crept underneath. I think the puzzle is safe for the night and I can set to work on it tomorrow morning and still be in the sun.
sitting in my chair reading, this was my view
It was too early to start supper even though I was hungry. I took my next book outside and sat in the chair at the front of the Suite facing the sun, and the street. It is a Jack Reacher story so I was hooked on the first page. I read a couple of chapters and came inside to wash a few little potatoes for supper. Once they were cooked, I cooked an eighth of a large spaghetti squash. They didn’t have any small ones today at Smith's. I will get a lot of meals out of this one.

Next was corn for Bill and we warmed up the last of the roast beef and gravy. This was a nice supper and it cleaned up a few things from the fridge. With dishes done up I sat to download pictures and write my post. Bill had an NCIS rerun on while we ate, recorded an episode of Murdoch Mysteries and when that ended he put The Voice on. They are into the semi finales and down to 8 contestants. We have our 4 favourites pegged.

This has been another great day. We have nothing to complain about, life is pretty darn good. The weather is great and we truly believe we’ve made the right decision with our lifestyle. Coming to the southwest, with no possibility of snow and cold temperatures only confirms that for us each and every day.

Pretty sky tonight

I hope you are somewhere warm, even if it means inside your homes back home with your blankets and fireplaces. 

Thank you for stopping around. Feel free to leave a comment if you are able.


  1. I was wondering if you drink dill, sweet pickle or what kind of juice? Hubby has bad leg cramps at night. Love reading your blog! Thanks in advance for your answer to my pickle juice question. ~Pam in Louisiana~

    1. I use dill pickle juice but I would imagine if you have sweet pickles in the fridge that would work too. Good luck! I used it again last night while sitting in my chair and it took about 5 minutes or so to work.

    2. I would suggest a shot glass or a little more for his leg cramps. Mine are never that bad.

    3. I would suggest a shot glass or a little more for his leg cramps. Mine are never that bad.

  2. Good tip of drinking pickle juice to stop leg cramps. I'm sure lots of people will take it to heart. You are lucky to be where you are right now, so enjoy. It's snowy with strong winds and biting cold temps where we are, but then you knew that ;-) Take care and tell us of all the nice things down there.

    1. thank you, I certainly hope it works for others as well as it does for us.
      We are very lucky and only hope you can stay warm and safe where you are.
      I'll do my best to keep you informed of the 'nice' stuff. :)

  3. The pickle info is sure something to know! What a great day you had, starting with the walk. Love the photos of both the cactus and the mailboxes..very clever. So agree with your comment on soups, even the reduced sodium are still really high and spaghetti sauce, don't understand why they think they need so much! We don't even use salt here at home, even though we have it available for anyone else. A lot of pepper and siracha sauce gets used.haha..Gorgeous sunset once again! Here we're waking up to 5 degrees...brrrrr..

    1. Thank you, wasn't sure if anyone would enjoy the mailboxes the way I do. Yes spaghetti sauce too. No wonder many people make their own. Aaah siracha sauce, I remember it well!! ha ha
      Stay warm, will you be heading south for January?

  4. Do you remember the old pickle factory in Durham?

    1. Actually, no. I guess we haven't been in the area long enough but that is ironic! Ha!

  5. Interesting information about the pickle juice. Nice view you have while reading your book. Clemson is a bit confused but I'm sure he's happy to be 'home' where it's parked. Good luck with the puzzle. I enjoyed the mailboxes, certainly a lot of work and thought went into them. The cacti are always interesting, aren't they?

    1. I try to find new things to write about especially on days when we don't go anywhere.
      Clemson is really happy as long as he is with us but it is funny watching him try to figure it out sometimes. A lot of thought was put into some of the mailboxes