Falling into Fall.

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That time of year is upon us and as many would agree it has arrived quickly. This is such a beautiful season. No one can deny the absolute gorgeous colors that come with the dying leaves and vegetation. The cooler weather is a welcome relief to those living in AZ and areas that are hot and dry and dusty all summer long. There was a nice little breeze as I took my walk this morning. It even feels like I’m breathing cleaner air…which I am sure that I am.

It has been so interesting to see that in Phoenix and its surrounding area that new grass has to be planted every Fall season. There is the winter grass and the summer grass. This new seeding has to happen every year if you want to have a nice green lawn. So, the water was shut off for a week or so in the middle of October. I watched as the grass became browner and drier looking every day and wondered….how is this going to work. When the summer grass became dead enough then along came the lawn specialist with new seed. They aria ted the lawn and then spread the new winter seed throughout the yard. Next the water came back on to irrigate the new seed. After a week I was happily surprised to see the new grass sprouting up. It was so nice and green. After two weeks it is full and looking like a lawn should look. It took one more pass of reseeding to fill in the areas where the birds had enjoyed an amazing fall feast. Those birds know how to find easy food. So now this new grass will last all winter and when next summer comes around the summer seed from last year will reproduce on its own without having to reseed. It’s quite interesting to see all this happen . There is a lot of work that goes into making a yard beautiful, and having green grass is a vital part of that equation. I’ve noticed that most of the neighborhood has concrete and rock as the landscaping of choice, but it is so nice to be able to walk barefoot in a nice green lawn and it is so much cleaner. Much can be said for the fact that it helps tremendously in keeping the dust down. It’s also great for the kids. So after all the expense of water and seed, it is well worth it in my opinion. But of course you need to be around to take care of it also. I think that a lot of the houses in my neighborhood are vacation homes. So if that is the case it would make more sense to have an easy yard with no upkeep.

So as we head into winter and see new life in the lawn it is a real contrast. The new and the old. The beginning and the end. A change of pace for nature and for we humans as well.

Water in The South West

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Tire shop Glendale Arizona
Arizona Desert by: George’s Tire Shop in Glendale, AZ

One of the biggest concerns in the Phoenix Arizona area, also known as the Valley of the Sun, is water. If it wasn’t for water there would be no ability to live in the hot desert. People are dependent upon water and access to it. That is especially noticeable in the middle of a hot desert. No life can survive for long without water and no city can continue to grow and even become one of the top destinations without a good water source.

Luckily for the Valley of the Sun, there are amazing canals that run throughout the valley. Water is diverted from the Colorado river over 200 miles away and is used to irrigate the otherwise dry and barren lands. The lands that now produce some of the best citrus crops in the world. Grapefruit and Oranges and Lemons and Tangelo are some of the sweet and juicy fruit that is grown in abundance in the valley. In addition to the water from the Colorado river, there are vast reserves of runoff from rain and snow stored behind the great Roosevelt Dam.

You might wonder where your drinking water comes from if you live in Phoenix. That is a very important topic and most people don’t know that answer. There are about 3 sources of drinking water in the area. The first is Groundwater. Groundwater is can either be a private well or one that is operated by the city or some other company. So some areas are lucky enough to dig down into the earth and find an underground source of water. The next source is either the Salt or Verde River. Now I’m sure there must be a really good filtration system on this source before it is piped into your kitchen. Although I feel the need of re-filtering my water as I’m not sure of the process. And, of course, the Colorado river is the other water source. Because of the drought of these past few years there have been a lot of worry about having enough water to go around.

We continue to hope for rain and lots of snow in the Mountains to keep us supplied with water. We often take water for granted. But, it is a basic essential need and should not be taken for granted. It is wonderful that there are people that are focusing on how to supply our great community with water. We also begin to really appreciate the modern ways of filtering out the impurities in our water supplies as well as having enough water. There are so many things that we can be thankful for but the basic need of water has got to be one of the top things on our lists of things to appreciate every day. When we live in the desert and don’t have more than 9 inches or rain in a year than we must stop and say Thank you for all the amazing work put into providing us with the necessary water we need for our existence.

SWAMP

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I understand that The White House, the very center of American Politics, was built on an old swamp. It’s been said that they couldn’t figure out what else what to do with a piece of property that was not worth anything. So to give it value and not waste a piece of property they designed and built what we know today as The White House. That is what became of the old swamp. And little did our founders know that a few centuries later the old swamp would become a proverbial swamp for a lot of dishonest and criminally minded politicians. It has become more and more obvious that the American people are not being represented honestly at the center of our government. No, not our thoughts our ideas our hopes or ambitions. We send people to the swamp to represent our communities only to have them default on their end of the bargain. And this has been going on for far too long.

So, that is why this idea of draining the swamp of Washington D.C. Became a phrase that resonated with so many ordinary citizens. Because, if we believe that our voices can be heard again we know that first the corrupt politicians have to be dealt with and so the swamp has got to be drained. And after it has been drained it needs to be cleaned up so that we can send in people that are honest and good and that have our backs. It’s been so long since we the American people have had hope that government, the way it was meant to be, will become what it should be again. By the people and for the people. Is that too hard to understand? Have we degenerated to the point that we don’t have what it takes to understand the basic concepts that our forefathers set up for us? There has been so much misinformation coming at us for such a long time that it is a full time job to decipher if something is genuine or if its just another thought from some platform that has no legs to stand on. We will need an honest and wise historian to write our history books again the way history happened. It is written now in such a way that our children think they are reading and understanding the facts of history but in fact they are very misled.

No matter how the draining of the swamp takes place, I firmly believe that it is going to be one of the most important things that need to take place in this new administration so that the will of the people can begin to focused on again. And we can hope that there are no parasites left behind to begin the building of a new swamp, but that there is fresh water (so to speak) added and continual circulation. No more stagnation and no more slime. We will be nervously watching to see what happens in the new year, but we also are confident that things will get done…just like we hope.

Perfection

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It is one thing to like to have things neat and clean but it is a whole different ballgame to be a perfectionist. I have always liked a clean house and a clean working environment. Often I’ve stressed over the fact that it wasn’t quite as clean as I wished it was. But, I didn’t let it get to me, I just did what I could and continued on with life. But having to have things absolutely perfect is beyond extreme. Unless you can afford to hire someone to follow you around and clean up after it just won’t be possible to be perfect. I’ve had the experience in my life of knowing people that were obsessed with cleanliness. When I’ve actually been invited into their homes it has felt more like being in a museum where you can look but don’t dare touch. It is extremely awkward because I didn’t know if I should sit or stand, leave my shoes on or take them off, cough, sneeze or even breath. Another words it was a place that I dreaded to visit and couldn’t wait to leave when I got there. Humans aren’t perfect and it’s not even practical to strife for that. It’s only stressful and unfulfilling. It does give you plenty to do if there is nothing else going on, though.

Organized

I have noticed that a perfectionist may have other symptoms of compulsiveness. Because in all reality having a perfectly clean environment is really a form of being compulsive. It is a way to control your environment and those that enter into it without having to announce that is what you are doing. That of course is not a hard and fast rule but there seems to be at least a ring of truth to that statement. I’m not saying that it is terrible to be a perfectionist, but it may well consume your time and thinking and really come back to be a huge burden to yourself and to your loved ones. It may well be the opposite extreme of a person that is a hoarder or someone that is morbidly obese. Those examples are clearly out of control instead of being overly in control of everything. However, I am not a psychologist but I imagine there have been some studies with these comparisons made.

Maybe all these thought provoking words are just a way to excuse myself from not being as good at keeping things clean as I should be. Although, I am disagreeing with myself about that sentence even as I’m writing it down. I’m actually quite satisfied with my cleanliness. I’m also happy to invite friend

s to come and visit even when my place isn’t perfectly wonderfully clean. I like to think that being well-rounded and balanced in life is much better than being a perfectionist. I have a lot of fun ans to come and visit even when my place isn’t perfectly wonderfully clean. I like to think that being well-rounded and balanced in life is much better than being a perfectionist. I have a lot of fun and a lot of friends and that means much more to me than a spotless window or a dust free end table.

What is so addictive about popcorn?!

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Addiction Why can’t a person stop with just one small bowlful or one bowl once in awhile. Maybe it’s the taste but maybe it’s more than that. Is popcorn loaded with some kind of toxin that makes a body crave it beyond a normal food? So I guess you might figure out that this making and eating popcorn has become an almost daily vigil in this household. For reals. It’s not me that is making it or even want it until I smell it and then I am hopeless to resist it. I’m not even positive I really like it but there you have it. I can’t keep myself from eating it when it is so clearly having an effect on my senses. Nor when it is in such close proximity to my hands and mouth. I would gladly give it back after I’ve eaten it, but alas,it is much too late. I’ve just loaded up on something that I couldn’t resist but that has very little nutritional value. What a shame because now I’ve spent calories that could have been used to actually help out the function of my body instead of create a bloated mess and not even fill me up so that I am satisfied. So for the one that actually makes this non-food item and craves it I have to wonder what is lacking that you actually crave popcorn? Maybe it is the butter and salt that are being craved more than the popcorn itself. I don’t know but back to my main point of popcorn being addictive how can a person quit eating it when it is right there in front of your nose? Short of demanding that it never be popped in this kitchen again, it would be nice to have fair warning of when this might take place in the day so that I can at least head off to do something else and away from that tantalizing smell. That is just a small appeal and it seems like it would be a fairly simple request. Just wait until I’m not around because I can’t resist this thing that I don’t even like and when I eat it I feel junk the rest of the day. So just a little common goodness is all I’m asking. Give me a break.. be kind to my weakness and I’ll do the same for you when you ask for it. Seems pretty pathetic doesn’t it? Perhaps psychologically weak as well. But whatever it takes to help oneself out of a popcorn problem is all I’m really trying to do. There are so many bigger things to worry about so just help me out with this little thing. So addictive food patterns come from many different sources, but the nose is perhaps the most obvious place to look for a cause. Smells of food can create many different reactions and reminders and memories. It’s just a fact of life and we all learn to live with our human weaknesses. Just don’t embrace them all.

Oil fiasco

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D.I.Y er’s Be warned. We have come to a point these days where you are responsible for everything. Make sure you know the manufactures recommendations before you accidentally void your auto warranty. Trust me these auto manufacturers have to do what it takes to void that warranty. Not every single person can be trusted with an oil change. Let me give you an example.

Plumber Bob has a business, and has ran it well for 13 years. When it came time to do a repair on a house or commercial building you could trust that Bob knew exactly what he is doing. Sure enough he being a certified plumber he had proven his skills and you can put your money on him. Now Bob he’s handy and probably knows how to change oil… in fact it might even offend him if you thought he didn’t know how.  Yet because he’s not certified in oil changes, and not a manufacture recommended oil change facility the auto manufacture cannot warranty the engine he has, or could have compromised.

It’s something to remember when buying a new car there will be added expense with the added hoops you have to jump through to keep your warranty. I always have recommended waiting till your expiration date to do your own.

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Be sure to look into the best most affordable ways to change your oil. and what kind of oil to use when changing you oil in your automobile. Remember synthetic isn’t always the best for new cars.

If you don’t change your oil you’ll end up changing your car!

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Do you know anybody that doesn’t change the oil? There’s always that one guy that hasn’t changed the oil in years. Why is it that all these people seem to be surprised when their car dies?

Don’t be one of these people. Oil is like the lifeblood of a car it’s what keeps the engine running and you roll’en down the road. It might seem like it would be easier to just leave it. Just let her ride. Well let me ask you this does it seem easy to walk 410 miles in the Arizona sun because he decided not to change your oil?

It can happen to anyone we can forget to change your oil and without realizing it we’re putting a lot of unneeded stress on the moving parts of the engine. With this site we want to show you the importance of changing oil, and tell you a few stories of things that have happened to us personally. Make sure you stick around and learn a few tips and tricks of how to change your own oil, or even what to look for when someone else is changing your oil. You don’t want to be left  feeling like you’ve been taken. There are a lot of terrible quick oil change type places out there that take advantage of  people. Here we  just want to be able to trust them. Which in all honesty we should be able to just drop our cars off and have our way with changed, but unfortunately we can’t. So I’d like to teach you a few tips and tricks to look for when getting your oil changed.

Listen to your gut…

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I have always felt that I have a pretty good sense of people.  In other words… I can usually tell if someone is honest or not.  There is just a gut feeling I get when I first meet people.  However, I’m not always correct or if I am suspicious I don’t always know what action to take.  For the most part I will leave if I’m uncomfortable but there are times that I feel like I want to give someone a chance and so I’ll stay…against my better judgment.

Check out this video that proves our story.              

   So, to get to my point, I went to have my oil changed the other day in Gilbert AZ at a well known national company that rhymes with pithy tube.  The moment I drove in I felt like things weren’t going to go good but instead of listening to my gut I continued on.  The first problem was that the young man gave me a quote for the highest priced service and for an oil that I don’t use in my car.  To his credit when I mentioned that my car doesn’t use full synthetic oil he went and checked and came back with the correct type of oil and a different price.  But still it was a lot higher than oil change prices typically are but he told me the reason for that is because they can get me in and out in a real quick hurry.  So, since I’m like a lot of people are now a days, and don’t want to wait long, I decided to proceed with the oil change.  The price included vacuuming and washing the windows so that seemed to take a little of the punch out of the price.  So, thinking that $69.00 was the highest I’ve ever paid for an oil change I set in the waiting room biting my nails and wondering what possessed me.  Well, I’m sure you know there is more to this story.  So, I waited a little while and soon I was called up to the counter.  The technician had a filthy air filter in his hand with a tear in it.  His story was that I needed to buy a new filter because when they went to check mine it was soooo dirty that when he went to pull it out it got stuck and ripped.  Of course that will be another $39.99.  I was stunned but thought that if it’s been torn of course it needs to be replaced now, and yes it does look filthy.  As I set back down in my chair waiting for them to finish up I began to feel like they had just tricked me but I had no way of proving it.  So the only thing I could think of was to ask for the old filter so I could take it home and have my husband have a look at it. The final bill was over $120 because of the taxes and my ignorance at not listening to my gut in the first place.  I left that place in Gilbert Arizona more than a little upset.  Ready to tell anyone who would listen what had just happened to me.  And oh…the icing on the cake was that I know they did not vacuum my car or wash the windows.  My car wasn’t all that dirty but I certainly would have been able to tell if they had vacuumed.  So the moral of this story is listen to your gut. Lesson learned….again.

The Ol’ Rag Trick.

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I decided to expose a few tricks of the trade so-to-speak. When it comes to getting your oil changed you can at times be uncertain about whether or not it is being done right. I thought thought the best way would be to expose a few of the ol’ tricks so you would and will know what to look for at your next oil change.

First up the ol’ rag stuffing trick. So under your car there is an oil pan. What that is is a reservoir for all of your oil to sit in, the engine sucks the oil up from the reservoir while you drive to lubricate the engine components. On the bottom of the oil pan is a port plug. If you unscrew the port you are able to drain the oil from the pan. This is how the oil change process starts.

The problem with the oil port plug is that if you wreck it when you pull it out of the oil pan you have a situation on your hands. Number one you will not be able to change the oil because it could leak out if it doesn’t seal properly. Number two if you messed up the threads on the oil pan and not just the post you might end up having to re-tap the treads and getting a different size port plug. Re-taping is when you ether chase the existing treads or make new treads of a bigger opening.

With each car manufacturer there are many different size port plugs, and you can imagine how many there might just be out there.  So naturally quick oil change type places do not carry the extra parts. Ordering them is there only option wen the mess up. problem is you came to get you oil changed quick right?

This is where the ol’ rag trick started. Here is how it goes. You go to get you oil changed. They mess up the port plug some how, probably just in a hurry, and now they have no way of adding new oil. Most mechanics would get laughed at if someone found out they did this, and the get scared. The manager is on them constantly, they need to move volumes of cars to meet there quota. So the mechanic takes a rag and stuff’s it hard into the port hold creating a temporary seal. Next he completes the oil change and your good to go. So you think.

Usually you can drive quite awhile on a rag, surprisingly! Eventually though what usually happens is the rag fails and you loose your oil pressure. This will cause engine failure. Your engine can become seized up extremely quick when this happens. You want to blame the guy responsible, but how could you prove it wasn’t a the port that just fell out on it’s own? You can’t.

So what to look for and how to avoid the scam. This on can be a bit difficult to see. What you are going to have to do is get down flat on the grown and locate the oil pan. Once you see it you will notice it is all smooth except where the port is located. Shine a flash light on that making sure the port is in place.