Archive for February, 2017

Joshua Tree Park

When we told the family that we were holidaying down here in the Coachella valley Meagan told us we must spend a day in the Joshua Tree National Park.  So we did.

A few years ago when we had our previous visit, we did not venture into this park.  It is a high desert park (4500 to 5000 feet elevation) with much of it in the Mojave desert.  Now when I think of desert I think of the Sahara or the flat landscape around Palm Desert.  But this park is spectacular.

Mounds and mounds of gigantic granite boulders piled on each other with a landscape of cactus and the very attractive Joshua Tree.

We spent the entire day there taking lots of little 1 – 2 mile hikes and only saw a third of what the park offers.

Clear blue skies but we knew it would be cool in the park.  22 C down here in the Valley but at noon it was a cool 9 C in the park.  Great hikes and views to die for.  I will try to attach a few.


Movie Night

Oscars are on this weekend so Pat and I thought we would go and see at least one of the nominees.

Back home we have a multiplex but it is small and the seats are skinny and original to when it was built in 1969 including all the original springs that hit your butt.  Despite all the comments and the lack of people showing up because of the seats, they will not upgrade.

So as a result Pat and I have not seen any of the movies.

However we are in California and decided to go see La La Land at a new modern CineMax theater.  What an experience.  The seats are Lazy Boy Recliners with lots of space, a huge screen, you can reserve seats from your cell phone and they sell beer.

Good movie, likely will win many awards…. but the theater is the true winner.  We might go to another but the weather is just so nice, aw we will see.

Ellis Family Yacht

Unfortunatly we were outbid for the extended Ellis family luxury yacht.

And this was after Janine and Vedran started their course to get their Master’s certificates.

I know all of you were looking to the first cruise, and I know the girls had already picked out their cruisewear, but the winning bid was $425,000 which was way more than we could afford.


Nothing To Report

I pride myself in my enlightened insights that I share with my blog audience,  but since it stopped snowing nothing remarkable has happened.  Pat and I are even sharing leftover pizza for dinner tonight as we clear the fridge before departing to find the sunshine.

Only thing of note is the emails from Meagan who is with Jorg in Australia on vacation.  Australia is experiencing a record heat wave (avg temp where they are is 38 C)  Meagan apparently did not have a lot of sympathy for my snow stories.

Still the more blogs I send out the more chances that, with my followers, I could get an offer to support my site with PAID ADVERTISING.  Help supplement our fixed income retirement funds.




Those in the family have been reading about the historic high snowfall we have had in Paradise.  Apparently some Spanish guy called El Nino has been paused on the North Pacific and wrapping us with heavy snow instead of the glorious rain that we are used to.  I really do not mean glorious because the grey skies and drizzle is one of the reasons why historically our neighbours move to their alternate houses in Mexico or Costa Rica.

Anyway, whatever, we have had massive snow over the last 5 days.  Granted I have been able to earn a fairly decent income (if you consider bottles of wine and gift certificates from good restaurants as income).  The Nino guy has finally moved north and we are now enjoying the warmer wet weather that we normally have.  Problem is that we have at least of 2 feet of snow on our roof.

Our home is built with a fairly steep angle and tiles.  As the temp rises we are having avalanches schlumping down.  It is bad enough that it comes on the driveway in front of our garage doors.  It is like concrete and even my snowblower cannot move it, so I have to shovel it by hand.

But on the side yard we had a 8 foot boxwood hedge.  Planted it ourselves — been there since we moved in.  But an Avalanche from the roof has flattened it.  I heard it come down and tried to shovel off the snow but it is gone. Pancaked.  I was trying to lift out the chunks of snow and it reminded me of the stories of skiers and snowmobile guys caught in avalanches.  You might think it is just snow but once snow starts to mix and pack it turns into concrete.

Anyway we have sunshine and mild temps and the snow is melting like an ice cube in a warm rum and coke.  Paradise is returning.



Why We do not live in Texas

Article in the paper about a family in Texas that found this rattlesnake in the toilet. Sort of makes you want to check the toilet every time you use it and not just blindly turn and sit.

Apparently the family called in a snake grabber (which apparently is big business in Texas) and he found 24 rattlesnakes in or under the house.


A Snowy Day in Paradise

This is not what we signed up for when we retired to Paradise.

While we can get snow in December and occasionally a skiff in January, this is the time of year when we should have green grass and buds coming out on the trees.   A week ago there were regular golfers going by behind us.   The local stores had trays of primula annuals out for planting.  I went on a great hike in the mountains last Wednesday with our hiking group.

But it all changed.  In the last 5 days it has been snowing, and and in the last 24 hours, a full 12″.  The good part is that the temp is about -1 C and there is no wind so it is in the pretty category, but it wreaks havoc with the roads and  sidewalks (plus the suckers that bought trays of primulas last week and planted them.)

I have had lots of opportunities to take out the snow blower to clean driveways and sidewalks (earning bottles of wine from neighbours) but this is not what we expect at this time of year.

Funny story… I was clearing the sidewalk all the way down to the condos at the end of the street (for the fifth time in a couple of days).  Dog walkers use the sidewalk all the time.  I was stopped by a guy who assumed I worked for Crown Isle golf course and thought it was great that they cleared the sidewalks.  When I told him I was just a neighbour with a snow blower, he just looked at me oddly and shrugged.

Still it is pretty.  By the way, the hedge in the picture is 2 feet high and all you see is the top 8 inches.