Wednesday, July 27, 2011


Well, several weeks ago, when the temperature hit 109, our air conditioner pressure switch got too hot and shut the unit down. After having the repair people out, things were working fine. Great. One disaster avoided.

Then last Saturday, Diana came upstairs. "Dad, is there supposed to be water running out of the hot water heater?" Usually Don takes a few minutes to reply if he is in the middle of reading the newspaper, which he was. Not this time. Downstairs, fast! Luckily, it wasn't rushing out - just dripping - but we knew it was just a matter of time. So I headed down to the neighbor, who happens to be a water heater specialist. Lucky for us, he was not only available, he was glad to do the work, as his week had been a little slow. So within 1 1/2 hours we had a new water heater. All it took was writing the check.

So today, it's 111 outside. Thinking we are golden because the repairman for the a/c has already been here, I don't worry. But I noticed that it was getting hot upstairs. And hotter. Yep. The a/c shut down again. Of course, the best HVAC (that means heating, ventilation and air conditioning) engineer in these parts is in a meeting and can't answer his phone. So I am spending time downstairs until we figure out what to do. I think the pressure switch has just shut the unit off, but that tells me our next big expenditure is an air conditioner. The best HVAC engineer says not, but whatever it is, all it takes is money, I guess.

Friday, July 22, 2011


On Monday, I took the manuscript for my next book to the publisher. What a relief to finally have that part finished.

It never fails, however, that once I came home, I thought of two or three things that I forgot to put in various chapters. So I re-wrote those, emailed them and a picture or two back . . . and now I think I am done!

The waiting begins. The designer has to design, then it has to be proofread and indexed . . . then printed. Mid-September is probably realistic for release of the book.

And then there are the nerves. Now I am nervous about the whole thing. I hope people like it. I hope it is informative.

Anyway, it is done. Done. Finished. El fin.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

She's Home!

For three weeks, our girl has come back home! I know she loved Madrid, and I know it was hard for her to leave. But we surely are glad she's back here, at least for a little while. Texas is a lot closer than Spain, so maybe she will get to come home a little more often.

Having Kenneth, Melinda, and Di here for a little while is much fun. If only the weather would cooperate a little and cool down!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Think Cool!

It has been somewhat cloudy all day, so the temperature has only been 98 to 100. It seems really cool in comparison. But this weekend, they are predicting 106. In preparation, I am working on thinking cool. Here goes:

Sunday, July 10, 2011

When You're Hot, You're Hot!

Well, it was 109 in Wichita today. Entirely too hot for my liking. Thank goodness for air conditioning . . .

Until at 2:30 p.m. it quit. We don't know exactly why, but as the upstairs heated up, we moved downstairs. We tried to restart it once, but it didn't work. When we got home after dinner, we tried to restart it again. Luckily, this time it began to cool.

No doubt, I am going to call the service people tomorrow. Maybe it's low in freon; maybe it's a contact. Maybe it just got too hot!

I know people live without air conditioning, but I don't know how, and today convinced me I don't want to find out!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

No Wildflowers Yet

Well, it doesn't look like I am going to be selling many of my Common Wildflowers of Northern New Mexico pamphlets this year. Between the dry conditions, the fires, and the forest closures, I have two problems:

1. The wildflowers can't grow because there's no water;
2. No one is in the forest to see the wildflowers that aren't growing.

Perhaps things will turn around for August, but I have resigned myself to staring at the boxes of pamphlets for another year or two!

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Fourth of July Fun

When the children were little, I began the tradition of having a Fourth of July parade. The neighbor children would decorate their bikes, trikes, and lawn mowers, and we would all parade around the neighborhood, flags in hand. Afterwards, we would gather for some watermelon or popsicles before going our separate ways.

I miss those days. Because the forest is closed, I couldn't go to the cabin, so I am home for the Fourth of July for the first time in several years. And there are no little ones to take on a parade. So I will share a picture of one of our early parades. Fun times.

Friday, July 1, 2011

The Joys of Electricity

With electricity, a freezer makes ice and dispenses it and water. With electricity, the air conditioner cools the house. With electricity, computers work, clocks keep time, ovens and microwaves cook, and lights turn on.

Without electricity, none of those things can happen. Today we received a brutal reminder. At 2:45 in the afternoon, when it was 107 degrees or more, ours went off. The whole neighborhood was without it. When I saw the Westar man, he said it would be between 4 and 6 hours. AAGH!

The house was heating up, and since the electricity had been off for over three hours by dinner time, we decided we had better eat the rest of the peanut butter ice cream pie first - or else it would melt. So we started dinner with that . . . after finishing it, suddenly the electricity came on! Miraculous! At least we didn't have to eat the pork tenderloin cold.