Thursday, January 31, 2008

Carol Loves Maggie (and the Ford Five-Hundred)

The last 4 days have been a challenge, but it's all good now.

As many of you know, Max & I head south every February to get out of the cold and enjoy some warmer climates (in Palm Springs). This year has been so cold and snowy at home, I put Max on a plane to Phoenix January 21st so he could get out of the cold and enjoy some time with his sister, Connie (and her husband Bill), in Sun City West.... while I stayed h
ome and finished up some business.

Our Palm Springs condo was reserved for February 1st, so the plan was for me to leave Tuesday (Jan 29th) and drive down to P
alm Springs (yes, by myself) and Connie and Bill would bring Max over from Phoenix. Generally this is a long, laborious driving experience. I don't mind driving but Max butt gets tired when just sitting in the car ALL day for three days. Well, truth be known, my butt gets tired too however it's a bit easier for me.

Anyway, Any of you watching the weather channel lately knows the Pacific Northwest has been blasted with snow and challenging driving conditions, so I spent quite a bit of time trying to fi
gure out what the best plan of action would be for my "escape".

The distance from Wenatchee to Palm Springs is about 1400 miles and takes about 3 driving days. I had originally planned to leave on Tuesday to give myself one extra day to get to Palm Springs (because of unknown driving conditions).

Turns out I was very fortunate with my travel timing. Due to ANOTHER snow storm predicted to hit the Cascade Mountain range on Monday night, I decided to leave Monday afternoon instead of Tuesday morning. This turned out to be an extremely wise decision. I got over Snoqualmie Pass (which was already a bit nasty) without any problems. I understand it's been a mess ever since.

Having gotten a nice head start, I was able to get over the Siskiyous Tuesday just before dark, which was great. I actually arrived at the base of the Siskiyous just after they lifted a chains required period and, although it was a bit slow, no problems. That is one long stretch from Medford, Oregon (where the mountain ascent begins) to
Redding, California (where it flattens out and clear sailing begins).

I was pooped when I arrived in Redding Tuesday night, but booked myself into a nice hotel, had a nice dinner and a glass of wine... and got a great night's sleep. I felt really good for the rest of the trip. I arrived in Palm Springs about 11:30 this morning, so had some time to get the condo a bit organized before Max and his sister arrived about 3:00. The weather is beautiful, which makes the effort to get here worthwhile.

I found a drive-through car wash in Redding but Friday or Saturday would like to get it cleaned in and out! It deserves some pampering after taking such good care of me on the way down. It was a trooper through treacherous weather and California freeway traffic. I do love that car... a 2006 Ford Five-Hundred, a very underrated car on the market. The new model has been renamed the Ford Taurus, but it's the same car as mine.

Once I got out of the mountains, it was time to shift my mind set from treacherous road conditions to treacherous (southern California) "driver" conditions. Traffic is so heavy and goes so fast down here, ones mind can NOT relax for even one moment. AND, due to serious budget issues, California roads are not in good condition. They have attempted to patch them but it wasn't done particularly well and there are still plenty of holes to watch for and avoid. Through all of this maze of traffic and freeways, my GPS navigator system (Maggie Magellan) was an important, and much loved, ally.

Anyway, now we're both in Palm Spring together and the fun can begin!

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Max's Garden Update: 1-23-2008

Here is a picture taken of Max's Aero-Garden, taken January 23, 2008. This is two days short of a month after planting! I have actually snipped the Italian and Purple Basil several times to let the other plants catch up.

This garden is sooooo cool and so much fun to watch on a daily basis. Very low maintenance, just needing water and two nutrient tablets every couple of weeks. Good entertainment for a long cold winter.

Saturday, January 05, 2008

Update on Max's Winter Garden

Here is a picture of Max's garden, taken this morning, just 10 days after planting on Christmas Day. It's doing rather well, don't you think? Only the parsley still has it's dome on. The plant is peeking out but we'll let it grow another day or two before removing the dome. We've both been enjoying the watching the progress of all the plants.

J.R. came up for an overnight stay on New Years Eve. He and Max were both in bed way before midnight so I had to welcome in 2008 by myself. It's not the first time and I'm sure won't be the last. :-)

Here is Max later on New Years Day enjoying an Applebee's "Triple Chocolate Meltdown". Max loves going to Applebees. He pretends its for the food, but I know it's really because he knows he will get a Triple Chocolate Meldown for dessert, which is a miniature warmed chocolate bundt type cake with hot chocolate sauce drizzled over it and down the middle AND served with vanilla ice cream. YUMMO !

Happy New Year. May Health and Happiness be with you all year long.

You can click on any image to enlarge it.