So freaking hot!

I’m sitting here inside my air conditioned home, drinking an iced coffee with Bailey’s thinking of why did anyone in their right mind stop and settle in Tucson or Phoenix? Okay, so Tucson does have beautiful mountains that get snow every winter and offers a cool respite from the damnable heat. A hundred years ago there were rivers that ran year round. But Phoenix?? The Salt River ran, but the hills are black volcanic rock.

Had to have been in winter.

June is hell in Southern Arizona. No rain, hardly a cloud, humans and animals hide inside, underground, in shade, wherever it is cooler. Folks who live where it gets very cold do the same thing during the winter – find warmth and shelter and hunker down.

There is a point in the day where nothing can cool me but to get wet. If I had a pool it would be ideal, but I don’t – so – I turn on the cold water in the shower and get drenched. It works, and I can make it through the day. In one of my books* I described the way evaporative cooling was done in this part of the state.  Fabric was soaked in water and draped over windows, the breeze would be cool as the fabric dried. June is perfect evaporative cooler month. They work great unless the temperature is too hot and the humidity is too low. In that case you will spend the day hosing off the cooler pads.

Years ago my son and I house-sat in Phoenix for my sister during the summer. It was my first experience at how ineffective a “swamp” cooler could be in the hot and dry Phoenix summer. My brother-in-law showed Aaron how to climb up the ladder holding the hose and wash down the cooler pads. Wet the pads worked great. Fortunately they had a pool so we spent hours in the water. It’s 120 degrees of dry heat!! That’s bull shite.

I hope one day to live in a home either at the ocean or on a lake, in a place that gets four seasons.

It is my dream, it is my fantasy.

Cheers!

-N

*https://www.amazon.com/Blame-Whiskey-Tombstone-Nancy-Vaughn-ebook/dp/B01CQ4S8R4

It’s getting hot-again!

The heat is building here in Southern Arizona. I know I’ve said it before, and I will most likely repeat myself in the future, but…I hate the heat. I am clinically heat intolerant. Thus, the arrival of the heat is a bad thing for me. It makes me grumpy, lethargic, nauseous, and constantly in the mood to move to Alaska.

One thing hubby and I do when it starts warming up is to stock the freezer with an assortment of ice cream products. We will keep it stocked until November. There is nothing like a frozen yummy at the end, the beginning, or the middle of the day during the summer.

We headed into the grocery store, quickly found the frozen foods area and spent at least ten minutes deciding. We bought three kinds of ice cream, two tubs of orange sherbet, a box of banana pops, a bag of cherry-mango pops, and a popsicle variety pack. Topped it off with a can of whipped cream, Irish Whiskey, and Baileys Irish Cream.

Well balanced. Agree?

We have a spa that is not heated during the summer and it is so refreshing when the temp is 110. Chuck planted a bunch of trees around the house over the years, which is great shade during the summer. Most are at least 20 years old and huge. When the thermometer rises, we tend to stay inside all day unless necessary. Kind of like northern states do during the winter snow storms. I am a water drinker all year round, but when it gets hot I regularly drink 2-3 liters of water a day. I generally don’t want anything but water.

Millie and our new GSD Jake (Millie’s brother) have staked out their resting spots outside. Jake lays on the the front porch. I guess the brick is cool in the shade. Millie lays in the back, which is a large shaded porch. They are content to nap, that is unless a rabbit or cat comes in the yard, then all bets are off.

So all you followers up north, remember me during your nice cool days. I will be jealous.

Cheers!

-N

PS The Expanse was renewed for a third season! Awesome.

 

A mind walk

It will be 107 degrees today. I know it’s summer in southern Arizona and it is to be expected, but it reinforces my feeling that I don’t belong here. I’ve lived here for 47 years, so you would think I would be accustomed to it. But it seems as though the older I get the less I am able to tolerate it. The only redeeming part of this season is the monsoon rain storms that visit in the evenings, though those have been AWOL for the last several weeks!

My fantasy home will be in a place that enjoys four seasons, with lots of green in the summer and lots of white in the winter, near a mountain lake or the ocean. Water is necessary.

I have a lot of books. My last estimate was 1300-1500. So I would need a house with an attic and basement, a large room for books and my writing space. I’ve always wanted to live in a Victorian two story house. More dreaming would be large fireplaces and maybe a friendly ghost.

As you can see I am finding a place in my mind to hide from the stress of the hot weather.

Last night a storm hit us coming in from the north east. It made it’s presence known when a large brown patio umbrella broke in half and struck the house making Millie and I jump. She went to the window and barked like crazy. The wind was powerful and once the heavy rain started everything got soaked. The storm moved quickly and then it was over. The humidity was 60% and the temp was 80. Sticky and still.

So here I sit, hidden in the air conditioned house, regularly getting wet to cool off, and a fan blowing on me. I imagine snowy mountains, cool breezes and temperatures that require a sweater and scarf.

Cheers!

-N

Yeah I’m ranting.

Greetings all!

It’s been a bit of an emotional roller coaster these last several days. A member of my family is struggling with mental illness and it has been a test of patience and enduring emotional highs and lows. It’s chased away my muse and now that things are improving I am on the search for it.

One exciting thing to share is I will be a great aunt again. My niece is in labor with her second child right now. She is one of those women who is very fit and I expect her to do well, especially since it is her second. Can’t wait to meet the wee boy she is having.

Just finished the edits on the first draft of my newest story. I have to revise and rewrite a scene that will add at least 10 pages. It comes from a discussion I had with my hubby about a question I asked him. The more we talked about it the more I realized I had to trash a bunch of words and start over. His suggestions were perfect and gave me a great scene but requires some character building I wouldn’t have recognized previously. Now I have some historical research to do on costumes and vehicles. Also have to flesh out a character who revealed themselves during the edit. He showed up and I knew I needed more backstory, so there it goes.

So its time to go through the manuscript and fine tune before handing it to my beta readers.

My writing combines two things I enjoy: romance and history. The historical accuracy is important to me. I love the feeling of immersing in a specific time and place in history. If I can add a bit of spicy romance to it then mores the better.

Two more months until fall in most places, four more months until it shows up here. Southern Arizona has two seasons: hot and not so hot. Although where I live is a higher elevation than Tucson, and we are up next to the 9000 ft mountains when it is 110 in Tucson it is 107 here in Catalina! Gaaah, hate heat. I loved Misawa, Japan, with its 10-12 feet of snow, blizzards and earthquakes. It worked for me. I am still a cold weather fan. When Chuck and I were living in Tioga, ND it was perfect. I loved bundling up and tromping around in my fur lined snow boots. If it’s going to be hot then there should be a lake or ocean nearby.

Well enough ranting, time to get to work.

Cheers!

-N

Feeling insecure

I’ve been having second thoughts about Facebook and the security of my online connection. My phone is requiring I install Messenger even if I am logged in through the internet. When I looked at the permissions it requires to run it made me extremely nervous. I don’t have to have it yet on my laptop to use it.

I have a FB friend who had been off and then came back claiming she had been hacked. Earlier I had received a friend request from her that surprised me yet I accepted it, and now I have received instant messages from this person very late in the evening. It isn’t clear to me if it is her hijacked account. The messages are vague and one or two words. I was suspicious. Is this the hacker or my friend?

I hate when it feels as though technology runs my life.

Chuck and I rescued a hummingbird! It had somehow fallen into our fish pond and Chuck found it floating on the surface. Not knowing how long it had been there he picked it up thinking it was drowned, but its body twitched. We brought it inside and using a 1ml syringe we started trying to get it to drink some sugar water. It took a while but I noticed it open its beak, then its tongue flicked out several times and it started drinking. It opened one eye, then the next and started trying to move its wings. Suddenly it flew up and away, while we chased it to keep it from the ceiling fans. That was pretty funny seeing Chuck moving, hands in the air, chasing a wee hummingbird. It did get a little bonk by the fan, so we took it outside and set it in a planter. After a few more drinks it flew away to a nearby tree. Needless to say there was a lot of human high fives.

We were blessed with rain off and on yesterday that helped to cool things a bit from the 100’s to mid 90’s. The 100’s will be back with a vengeance along with the increase in my electric bill.

Cheers!

-N

 

 

 

Right hand butt wiping

I’ve been out of commission for the last two weeks after surgery on my right hand. Typing is easier now and I can use all my digits but the hand is still a little sore and if there are mistakes you will understand. I hope.

This surgery changed some everyday things for me. I am mostly ambidextrous(sometimes shockingly so) but there are some things that took a bit of practice to acquire the left hand skills-teeth brushing and butt wiping weirdness.

Five days after surgery I managed to sprain my right wrist! My hand surgery was healing very well and I had begun using my hand and the bandage was off. I was getting a carton of Silk from the refrigerator with my left hand and it slipped. So what do I do? I reached up with my right hand and caught it, awkwardly. I felt the pain in my entire hand and wrist and knew I was hurt.  Back to square one.

But now things are improving and I am back to my blog.

I am tolerating the heat here in southern Arizona thanks to a hurricane. Dolores sent some moisture that cooled things from 110 to 92 with 40-60% humidity. This is not a dry heat. We are halfway through the hottest time. I would rather deal with extreme cold than extreme hot. I am heat intolerant. I’ve actually managed to get nauseous and sick in the time it takes for the car a/c to cool down after coming from the house.

No writing has happened since my surgery either and I am ready to get back to my routine. Get up-coffee-breakfast-exercise-blogging/writing-finish the day productively and start again. I will be getting my German Shepherd puppy this weekend. Her name is Millie and I look forward to her companionship. My last shepherd loved going places with me. We walked the trails of Catalina State Park together. I look forward to Millie and I having the same wonderful experiences. I know she is going to be beautiful.

I’ve had two beta readers give me some great input on my historical story and I am excited to use their advice to improve the writing. Interestingly, in their varied comments, they mentioned the same scene that needed clarification. Waiting to hear from three more.

Time to head out. Oh I am getting rid of DISH. Not that I don’t like them but TV wastes too much time and I tend to watch things I don’t care about. Will just have internet as a substitute.

Saving money and brain cells.

-N

Nature vs humans

June is almost gone and the seasonal monsoon is nearly upon us here in southern Arizona and we’ve had a few teaser storms and sprinkles. It is the time of the year that we actually have weather.

I love weather. I love anything that nature throws at us. I’m pretty sure it is because we lived so many places and experienced so much variety in nature.

Humans cannot control nature. It ain’t gonna happen. We can’t predict it, transform it, alter it or have any positive impact. In fact when humans have tried we have managed to bungle it and make it worse. The only positive humans can manage is preparing for nature body-slamming us. Humans have tried to design earthquake/tornado/hurricane “proof” structures to limited success and yet when these disasters occur our efforts are usually humbled by natures truly awesome strength and power.

I am not making light of the losses of those caught in the onslaught of a natural event. My heart goes out to those who lose family and possessions. Yet the cries of unbelief at the destruction of a tornado or earthquake in the places where these things are a fact of life don’t make sense. I know that tornado’s will happen in “Tornado Alley” and earthquakes will happen on the San Andreas fault. Hurricanes will form in the warm waters of the oceans and move a certain direction pushed by prevailing winds. Blizzards bringing heavy snowfall and snowmelt flooding will happen.

What I don’t know is why humans live in these places and expect a result contrary to the norm for the location. Is this insanity? You know doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result. Southern Arizona gets nasty hot in the summer yet this heat is part of the monsoon engine that brings the afternoon thunderstorms to this part of the state. These storms can be deadly with flashfloods and lightning strikes.

Where I live the monsoon season leads into the slow cooling down time of fall. I look forward to it because I know if I endure it will cool off. 100’s can happen into early October, but they aren’t a daily occurrence like June.

A personal note: Chuck’s company is transferring him to the Midland, Texas site. It is a closer drive and it never gets -40.

Peace out.

-N

Lot’s of words

I wrote in an earlier blog that I was having issues getting started on a new story, a contemporary romance/mystery and had gone back to an old manuscript and was working it up. Well…that worked out so well for me. I have been having huge fun with the old story, you know getting reacquainted with the people and rewriting it, that during the process words and ideas for the new story started to flow. Lot’s of words and I have been having so much fun.

I also heard from one of my beta readers for the story I finished and want to get published. I was told they really liked it! This is someone who doesn’t read the genre but liked what I had written. There were a few things that out were pointed out which were excellent suggestions and will be considered. Boy was I a happy girl!!

Record breaking heat for Tucson coming our way this week so I will be sequestered indoors. As I have said before I don’t do hot unless I can get wet. So 110 and near a pool I can tolerate. Humans who live where it snows for 3-4 months of the winter do the same thing as I do when it gets this hot. I just don’t go anywhere unless I have to.

I will be getting my puppy the first of August and I am so ready and excited. I am also trying to find a part time job that will force me out of the house and bring in some spare change. Anyone need a proof-reader? I am really good at proof reading. Let me know.

Back to the stories, they are calling my name!!

-N