The Vacation Begins

This last August, the hubbinator’s bosses finally allowed that the employees could start scheduling their vacation time for the year. Yes, you heard that right. The company was supposed to move locations and so no-one was allowed to take time off until the move was complete. The move didn’t happen because the great businessmen in charge decided it was cheaper to pay rent on two places then move before they could fly the big boss out for opening ceremonies and kiss his ass. To make things even more fun, there can only be one person out in each department at at time. 35 people in one department with 2-5 weeks off per worker. That’s Republican math right there.

Needless to say, the hubbinator will only be allowed to take 2 weeks of his 5 week allotment and the company doesn’t have to pay him for the lost time, because Republicans, greed, and rampant stupidity (the last two are redundant).

The hubbinator decided we needed a vacation away from home. Of course the water line had other plans, but still we had planned for a mini vacay in the middle of the week. And since we weren’t flat broke after the path job, we headed north.

There had been a choice of 3 vacations I offered to the hubbinator. He couldn’t choose, so I picked.

We were to go ghost hunting in Jerome, AZ and then ride the Verde Canyon Railroad to see the fall colors along the Verde River.

We arrived in Jerome early afternoon and after finding a parking spot (a true miracle), walked around and ate at the Haunted Hamburger. Yes, we had hamburgers. They were excellent with mushroom, cheese, and bacon. Yum.

We then checked into our room at the Connor Hotel, which the clerk assured us was not haunted unless we wanted it to be. The hotel was built in the late 1800s and has been sliding off the hill ever since. Even the room was sloped.:D. Still it was clean and modern. After dropping off our stuff, we explored the town, bought some souvenirs, and searched for the ghost hunting place.


We arrived early and chatted with the owners and guides. We were to be joined by two professional hunters from Wyoming. Which was cool. Alas when they asked what I did and learned I was a scientist, there was a comment made that having a hardened skeptic with them might suppress the activity. Yeah, awkward.

Still, they extended our tour and told us tales of our non-haunted hotel:D. To be fair, we didn’t experience anything during our stay, except hubby swore someone kept sitting on the bottom of his bed.

The first stop was the 3rd hospital where they’d stacked the bodies 6 feet high during the Spanish Flu. It is said to be haunted by a little girl. I got a headache but except for one hit on the ghost hunter’s energy box, we got nothing.

Fun Fact: there are about 3 thousand graves from the time the mine was active. Problem is, about 30 thousand died during the time. The rest of the bodies were cremated above the mine’s smelter, then, so rumor has it, the ashes were used to make the brick buildings of the town.

Anyway, we took a trip to the entrance of the mine, which is a nice drop that takes an hour reach the bottom. Apparently the miners who fell off the lift (which they stacked in two levels of 11 miners each) were shredded on the way to the bottom. No head, no arms, no legs, well you get the picture. If your daddy happened to be killed, the sons were able to take his place the next day. Good times.

Our last stop for the night was the high school. A beautiful Art Deco building that was integrated since before the first world war. That way the kids from the miners (some 20+ nationalities) were able to teach their parents English. Anyway, our guide took us to the auditorium/gym, art room, and the locker rooms.

As the art room in the basement was the creepiest for the guide, we started there. We got a small spike on our EMF meter but someone said Hello on the spirit box.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERANo pictures of ghosts, sadly. Here’s part of the stage.

While the professionals set up their equipment in the room next door, we headed for the girls locker room.

Hubbinator asked if anyone was there.

Jack answered. Then Dave. Naturally, I asked what were they doing in the girl’s locker room. To which we got a burst of static. Apparently there are censors on the other side:D.


I then asked if they worked there or had graduated from the school. Nothing. We stuck around a bit. Visited with a large lizard snoozing in the shower and avoided the black widow spiders. As we were leaving, we talked about how we didn’t get much then the spirit box said to focus. Guess either Jack or Dave were former gym teachers. LOL.

Anyway, we met up with the others and were surprised to learn we had more activity than the professionals:D

It was a lot of fun and we plan to do it again.

Until next time.

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On Vacation

I’ll be on vacation until Monday October 23rd.

And then you’ll get to read all about it:D

Until then.

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Visiting the Past

So, we started our vacation with a broken water line. Yep, as I mentioned in my last post, the main water line was leaking.

Which meant we turned off the water most of the time. We bailed water out of the pool to flush the toilets and used bowls and pitchers of water for hand washing. Don’t get me wrong, I was thankful to have water so close to my house. Fun Facts: most folks in the world spend hours a day searching for water and more than half the people hospitalized are from water borne diseases.

I am lucky, even if inconvenienced.

My Friday, instead of writing, I cleared away the rock, pavers, and weed barrier to see how bad the leak was.


All the way to the pas the hose bib, which was about 50 feet.

And that was the easy part. The hubbinator became a mud dog on Saturday. He had to hand dig out the protoquicksand that the yard had begun because right next to it was our electric service line, cable service line, and heaven only knew what.


We called the blue stake folks and hope to have someone out tomorrow to mark the lines so we can dig up the rest of the line and replace it. We were not happy to see the water line dip to nearly 30 inches below the grade. Really? We live in Phoenix, Arizona. Freezing is not an issue here.

But we did have a bit of luck. Seems the morons who replaced our line with 8 foot sections of glued together irrigation pipe (this is the second connection to fail this summer), didn’t yank out all the copper piping. We found one end that our plumber was able to attach the new line to.


After the utilities are marked we’ll trench to the hose bib and find the other end of the copper line and we hope to never, ever have this problem again (at least in this house).

Until next time!

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What’s That?

Yesterday, the hubbinator and i went out to pick up gyros for dinner. When we returned, there was this sparkly thing lying near our garbage can.

I asked him if he’d broken a mirror.

He looked at me blankly.

Thinking that one of our children might have done so without telling us, I walked over.

And what did I discover?

A puddle of water. Soaked pavers. And squishy ground.

The main line coming into the house is having issues, so we’ll be spending our weekend moving rock, digging, and praying we don’t have to bust up concrete to get to the rest of the water line at the main under the RV pad.

Fun times again.

Here’s hoping you have more exciting things on your weekend schedule.

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Don’t Sit So Close to a Writer

I had to have a long talk with the hubbinator on Friday. I went to lunch with a bunch of other writers. When asked what I was writing, I happened to mention how angry I was and how I was looking for ways to destroy the world. 

Great exercise for a writer.

As I expanded at length of the marvels of anthrax, I realized not everyone would appreciate the fact that I was a writer and talking fiction. Past fiction, actually. I’d already used anthrax in the Redaction series.

Been there; done that.

I have new ways to destroy the world in the works (provided I get the butt in the chair and write instead of playing games or watching Netflix).

But, there may have been a few concerned folks who reported the crazy lady at the restaurant, traced me via my credit card receipt, and knocked on my door. Hence the talk with hubbinator.

He just shook his head.

Life is fun until the cops show up:D

Rest assured, I may be mad. I may be a scientist, but I have no plans to bring on the apocalypse outside of a book. Pinky swear.

Until next time.

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Consulting an Expert

I am a knowledge junkie. At least that’s what I tell myself when I buy that new book when I have hundreds waiting to be read. So, it is nice when a site feeds my addiction without tapping into my wallet. Enter

It’s hardly a new site and this isn’t the first time I mentioned it on my blog. I try to listen to 2 talks a day on subjects that aren’t in my scientific arena.

Recently, one talk in particular caught my attention. It talked about how children born into poverty will likely stay that way and yet, with major help from the parents 50% can rise above their circumstances.

The reason it resonated so loudly with me is because a friend and I often talk about the subject. She has 3 adopted children which she took in while two of them were over 9. Of those 2—1 is in prison, and 1 just got out of jail. The third is struggling to achieve any sense of what most middle class folks would call normalcy.

At what point does nature trump nurture? At what point does nurture no longer matter?

For those people who think folks should be able to pull themselves up by their bootstraps and make something of themselves (like me), that doesn’t seem possible. Still, there were threads of hope in the talk. If only because, should we as a society chose to invest our money in people, every generation the number of children in poverty could be reduced significantly.

Here’s the talk. Tell me what you think after you’ve watched it.


Until next time.


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No Pumpkin Spice For You

I went to a meeting today at a local restaurant. Being that it is fall, I was in the mood for something pumpkiny. Anything pumpkiny. So after ordering my salad and bread, I saw it.

A Pumpkin cookie.

Shaped like a pumpkin. Colored like a pumpkin. I could practically taste the pumpkin.

So I ordered it.

I was allowed to take the cookie with me to the table. And like I was trained by my mother, I waited for my soup and bread to eat first.

No, I didn’t eat the cookie. I may have petted it through the paper sleeve, just to make sure it didn’t get lost on its way to my belly.

Finally, I finished my soup and bread then broke a piece off the cookie. And bite into it.

I was robbed!

I expected Pumpkin spice and got sugar cookie. Ordinarily, I love sugar cookies. But I wanted pumpkin! Now, I’ll be buying pumpkin snaps from Sprouts but I have to wait until the weekend.

Well, I won’t be doing that again.

Until next time.


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