Thursday, September 24, 2015

Thrift Shopping - The Thrill of the Hunt

For anyone who really knows me it’s no secret that I enjoy thrift shopping.  Our youngest son also enjoys thrift shopping (more than me).  I’m not sure if it is the thrill of the hunt for whatever we are searching for on our list, if it is to find that bargain that you just can’t resist (whether you need it or not) or if we are just cheap.  It is more than likely a combination of all three.

We go to many different thrift shops in the area but I have one that I prefer to go to. The reason, well I’m not sure, maybe because my mom and I would go to this one a lot when I was growing up, I think thrift shopping it’s been brainwashed into us, or if I am just lucky and find stuff there A LOT. 

So over the weekend, I let our son know I could be persuaded to go thrift shopping since it had been awhile.  I honestly don't pay attention to discount days, and prefer to stay away when they have the BIG holiday 50% off everything sales.  This day just happened to be on a day when they were having a 50% off sale on certain color tag items, okay cool, if I find some I find something, if not well, I wasn't planning on any big discounts.  I NEVER get lucky at finding anything I want that is marked or special tagged.

We normally start in housewares, for some reason I always search out black frames, (for my pictures, that I have yet to print and organize, we have no family pictures on our walls, it’s really pretty sad, I have big plans...but that is for another time) white plates or other dishes that we can use for the holiday’s and those elusive large clear glass jars or clear glass canisters with lids…WHY OH WHY are they so elusive???

Next we move on to the furniture, normally nothing catches our eye, I cannot tell a lie, we are wood furniture snobs, we go after REAL solid wood.  We were just browsing, our son had already done a scan of the furniture and didn't see anything, I said, well, let me give a look and I turned the corner and it was like a light was shining down on this one end table.  It was marked $14.99, it was a Lane, I hummed and hawed and thought well for the brand that really is a super price, do we need it, where would we put it, we already have so much furniture...yadda yadda yadda, we pulled it out and wiggled it, it seemed relatively steady, the drawer opened nice, not too many nicks or scratches except the top...and then I realized and said out loud to my son not the whole store, HOLY CRAP....THAT’S A GREEN TAG, which was the 50% off color tag, we both got excited, I felt flush and giddy at the same time….Oh My Goodness …. simultaneously my son and I said “That is going home with us whether we need it or not”… we paid $7.49 for this treasure.

Our son is treating it like it is a brand new piece of furniture, if he catches a glass on it without a coaster under it we get the evil eye and he puts a coaster under it…it is pretty funny.

NOW do we paint it or just refurbish it?

I’m thinking it will be a weekend project while the hub is working regardless of what we choose to do! 


M & S
Uptown Grange

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Happy 1st Day of Fall

HaPpY 1st Day of Fall! One of my most favorite seasons…next to Spring. 

Granted where we are there is a very real possibility that we will still reach over 100 degrees, but the nights will eventually start cooling down and the mornings will be beautiful, it was 71 degrees this morning when I left for work, what a beautiful morning.

The hubs and I are not normally bothered by the summer heat, this year for me was an exception, I am ready for the cooler weather.  This year was a rough summer so for us, it's a time for change, a time to wash away the summer’s hiccups and start fresh with a new season and new beginnings. 

Yes, it would be nice to see the season's change, (we were just discussing this at lunch today) at least once in my life time, but with a quick trip up north to Flagstaff that can be accomplished to satisfy me...I am a native to Arizona and I do not cope well in the cold.  I thank my parents every winter for moving down to Arizona from Montana a month before I was born.  I'm sure the Montana weather wouldn't phase me if I was raised in it, but let's face it...In Arizona, we don't have to shovel sunshine.

Life starts all over again when it gets crisp in the fall ~ F. Scott Fitzgerald.

What does fall mean to you or what is in store for you this fall? 

For us this year it means:  my nieces wedding, family visiting, a family member coming for life saving surgery, a big elk hunt….and last but not least our baby turning 17 years old. 

What fall always means:  soup weather, a fall garden, no more worrying about pedicures and chipped toe nail polish, Columbus Day, Veteran's Day, Halloween, Thanksgiving, baking, using the fireplace, no more re-runs because new TV seasons are starting, and football, if you watch.
Enjoy your first day of fall!

M & S
Uptown Grange

Fall Garden Time

We decided since our neighbor gave us lemons by turning us into the city for our chickens we would make good use of our "former" chicken run by putting in a garden.

The soil had sand and chicken manure in it so what better place.  We decided to put in beets (I LOVE beets) swiss chard, carrots, radishes, kale and long beans.  We planted some cucumbers back in late July, and only one is left standing (some critter decided they liked them) so hopefully we will also have some fresh cucumbers this fall.

Now is the time to plant, the window of opportunity to have fresh veggies for your Thanksgiving meal is slipping by very quickly.  You can plant really anytime before it starts freezing, yeah right in Arizona, but the farmer's almanac was pushing me and so was the hubs.

We already have some of everything come up, hopefully the soil isn't too rich because then we will only get a pretty greens with no veggies at the bottom...urg...that would be our luck.

We rescued 2 x 4's and sandstone from two of our neighbors who were throwing them away, (not exactly dumpster diving) the hubs made nice flower beds using the 2 x 4's and since I am short and have stubby legs the sandstone steps make it easier for me to get into the garden bed to harvest the veggies.

The trap you see is the try to keep the critter away from our loan cucumber plant that has survived since July.  This is where we have the long beans planted, at some point the hubs will make a trellis for the beans to climb on.

This is the garden bed that has from bottom:  kale, radishes, carrots, swiss chards and beets.

You know we've tried several times to start seeds in those nifty little peat moss pots and even disks and have not been very successful, planting seeds directly into the ground has worked the best for us. 

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Item of Special Interest - Backyard Chickens, Glendale, AZ - August 4, 2015

On the August 4, 2015 city of Glendale, AZ Council Workshop, Barrel district council member Bart Turner made backyard chickens an item of special interest.

At about 31 minutes in to the below video he is making this request:

Below is the link to the meeting minutes from August 4th of him asking to make this an item of special interest:

August 4, 2015 Council Workshop Minutes

Council member Turner asked that staff provide a report about owning chickens in the city,
including zoning and any negatives regarding this idea.

On July 23, 2015 I spoke to council and requested that they look into allowing backyard chickens in Glendale for all residents.  Below is the link to the meeting minutes of the request.

June 23, 2015 Council Meeting Minutes

Shelly Honn, a Barrel resident, said she was here to discuss backyard chickens and
wanted the city to allow, in areas that were not restricted by HOA bylaws, residents to
have a limited number of hens per household with no roosters. She spoke about the fees
residents have to pay to allow that type of zoning, with no guarantee that the zoning would
change. She said she resides in a non-HOA development and her residence is not
zoned for chickens. She said they have had chickens for over two years and have not
had any issues until recently. She spoke about the ordinances she found while doing
research about this issue. She mentioned several cities that do allow chickens. She
also discussed the benefits of having chickens and said more people desire to have
chickens at their homes. She said the city should encourage farming on a micro scale
and said people who are interested in raising chickens already have them. She said she
would like to live as sustainable as possible.

Below is the link to the video of me requesting this, I start at about 8 minutes in:

It's another step in the right direction but without more individuals who reside in Glendale also contacting their council members and letting them know that they also wish to have chickens Planning and Zoning will probably recommend that council not approve this requested change in zoning.

This issue comes up about every 18 months within the city of Glendale and it is continually shot down almost immediately by Planning and Zoning.We were told by them that they would not recommend that backyard chickens be allowed back in June when we were coded for having chickens.  The Planning and Zoning department is not sympathetic at all to this cause.

For some reason they have something against chickens, but they have no problem with them running free at Sahuaro Ranch park which is city owned.

City of Glendale council member contact info:

Councilmember Bart Turner (Barrel District)
City Council Office: 623-930-2249

Vice Mayor Ian Hugh (Cactus District)
City Council Office: 623-930-2249
Cell: 602-615-7672

Councilmember Lauren Tolmachoff (Cholla District)
City Council Office: 623-930-2249

Councilmember Jamie Aldama (Ocotillo District)
City Council Office: 623-930-2249

Councilmember Ray Malnar (Sahuaro District)
City Council Office: 623-930- 2245

Councilmember Samuel Chavira (Yucca District)
City Council Office: 623-930-2249

Mayor Jerry Weiers
City Office: (623) 930-2260
City Fax: (623) 937-2764

 Council District Boundaries

Monday, September 21, 2015

Fighting for our girls

Well, the city we live in found out we had chickens.  The ordinance was a grey area if we could have them, but they would have never know if our neighbor had not filed a complaint about the smell of chicken poop.

First and foremost, this was an false claim.  Our chickens did not smell..EVER..  The smell she was smelling was the disposable fly trap that she had hanging from her patio.

So we were ordered by the city that we had to remove our girls from our property.  We have a friend who has an acre of land that they are allowing us to use in exchange for all the eggs they collect.  We still go over daily to check on the girls and give them fresh water (ice water in some cases).  We are not happy about the situation, but are now working with the city to allow chickens as backyard pets.

The day we had to make the move we lost 2 girls within an two hours of us leaving them from heatstroke.  We received a call from our son that one of the girls "flew the coop" so we knew we needed to clip her wing.  When we opened up the hen house door, there lay 2 of our girls, one was already gone, the other was blinking, but laying on her side, very lethargic, we did everything we could to try to save her, we put her feet into water immediately, but to no avail, she died in the hubs arms.

We lost our third girl, we aren't sure exactly what happened, she either "flew the coop" or was taken out of the coop by a predator.  When we found her, she was covered in ants and completely plucked.

After these event, we knew we would have to keep a closer eye on them, they were used to our yard and having misters on them to keep them cool, and they were safe.  It was one of the most heartbreaking, frustrating and unnecessary things to happen to us.

So now the fight so to speak has begun.  We have a sympathetic council member who is also our representative and he is going to make this an item of special interest on the August 4th council workshop.  We are possibly looking at a 9-10 month process.

On August 7th our council member did make backyard chicken keeping an item of special interest. I've followed up with his assistant several times since and he says they are working on it.

This are our final 5 girls.  From L-R: Goldie (Buff), Flip Flop (white), Ginger (EE), Cricket (Black Copper Maran) and Freckles (EE).

It's been a trial having them so far away.  There are days that we aren't able to get over there so our son takes on giving them fresh water.  We know we need to find them a new home since we are still looking at a several month process and we just won't be able to keep this up.