Tuesday, December 4, 2018

December 3 - 9, 2018, AZ, CA

 Sunday, December 9.  The early part of the week was routine, other than an appointment with Doc Roland and a Vet appointment for Frisco.  My appointment went well, the discomfort in my left side is relieved and I feel I should continue through the winter.  My plan for treatment is to increase circulation, therefore relieving stress in joints and nerves, while keeping the mind healthy too.  A vegetable only detox is in my future but not during the holidays. 

Frisco has another bacterial infection in his right ear, and has been shaking his head a lot recently.  I'm not sure why, but this has been the only health issue that he has had throughout his life and it affects only the right ear.  The vet was surprised when I told her that he was 14.5 years old and felt that he is generally in good health for his age.

Shiprock RV Park had their annual residents meeting on Thursday morning and we learned a lot about the governing structure of the place and some of the benefits for residents.  After that, we loaded our bags into the car, dropped Frisco off at the Bark Avenue Pet Resort and headed to Blythe, CA to visit Tom's sister Geri for the weekend. We checked into the Emerald Inn, a very basic but clean and tidy motel room and then headed to Geri's house.

Geri fixed us a nice spaghetti dinner, we visited, and played with the cat, Smokey, a lovable 7-month old gray tabby who gave us lots of laughs. We stopped at the lounge at our motel for a drink before settling in for the night.

We took a drive to Parker, AZ along the California side of the Colorado River and returned along the Arizona side on Saturday afternoon and then to the Steaks and Cakes restaurant for dinner. We all opted for the fish fry, although Tom and Geri both had liver and onions on their minds, changing at the last minute.

It was scary Saturday morning when my phone slipped out of my back pocket and dropped into the toilet as I was sitting down. I quickly grabbed it and dried it with a towel and everything worked as it should. Lucky for me, it could have been a dirty and costly disaster.  

Geri had something on her calendar for the day, so Tom and I headed to the Blythe Intaglios for some hiking on Saturday. We hiked a couple of miles along a 4-wheel drive road, then along the top of a huge mesa, before stopping to see the Intaglios. They are geoglyphs (pictures) drawn on the ground by ancient peoples. They were made by scraping the surface of the ground and tamping it down to prevent weeds overtaking, and the stones that were cleared away form a border. A few are surrounded by fences but there are many scattered throughout the area, although we only saw the fenced ones. There were 2 human figures, that of a 4-legged animal, a swirled design, and some arrows. They are much better viewed from the air, so my photos didn't turn out very well.

   This sign was lying on the ground and we built up the rocks to hold it upright.

   Tom loves to photo bomb.

   Evidence of erosion on this rock.

Geri met us at Rebel BBQ for dinner and then she stopped by the hotel to chat for a while. After she went home, Tom and I walked to Courtesy Lounge for a drink. The bartender, Dominique, was a fun gal to talk with and the lounge decor is preserved from its creation back in the late 60's. There are several large circular booths upholstered in tufted red Naugahyde (it may have been manufactured in Stoughton at Uniroyal), all in very nice condition.  The tufted Naugahyde went half-way up the walls and there were a few walls covered in rock - all very dated, but cool.

This morning, we walked to McDonalds for breakfast, then stopped for a short visit with Geri before heading back home.

December 1 - 2, 2018, AZ

Pat and I went to Monica's annual Jingle and Mingle Christmas ornament exchange on Saturday night.  The drive is about 45 minutes longer, as I am much farther to the east.  I got to Pat's and realized that I left my gift sitting next to the door at  home, so that made it an even longer drive. Regardless, we got there only a half-hour late.  The turnout was good, with Nan, Lindsey and her mother plus many of Monica's long-time friends and co-workers in attendance.  

We had lots of good food to eat, a glass or two of Sangria, and lots of fun with the ornament exchange.  I had stolen a couple of great items that would be nice for the trailer and at the very end, they got stolen from me.  I ended up with a fancy, girlie ornament that doesn't fit me or any of my decor, so I will be passing it on to someone. The party broke up pretty early as several people had obligations in the morning and Monica had an early flight out to NYC.

    Scooter had fun opening gifts too.

Tom and I met Manuel and Linda for breakfast on Sunday morning at the Black Bear Diner. It was nice to see them again and we had plenty to talk about as they are approaching retirement age and always have lots of questions.  It was fun.

Later in the afternoon, we went to the Christmas Tree lighting event at the clubhouse, complete with punch, cookies, and Christmas music.

Friday, November 30, 2018

November 26 - 30, 2018, AZ

Thursday, November 29. I cleaned Karen's house on Monday morning and learned that it was my last day, as she is moving next week and her new place provides the cleaning service.  I will stop and check her house and clean on an 'as needed' basis before it sells. So my cleaning jobs have dwindled down to 3 and I will continue to have jobs on Tuesdays and every third Wednesday. I'm not sure about Carl, as I have heard that he will only be coming for 3 weeks in January and his daughter will probably handle the cleaning. We shall see.

I went for a drive through the Tonto National Forest yesterday along the river, pulling into several parking lots in hopes of catching a glimpse of some of the wild horses.  I got lucky when I spotted a band of 5 next to the parking lot at Blue Point, one of them was a  young one asleep on the ground and the others standing guard around it.  Later on, I pulled into the Coon's Bluff recreation area and spotted another band that was meandering toward the river.

The views are spectacular and I never get tired of seeing them, especially Red Mountain.

We took Arlene to Zur Kate's German Restaurant for dinner tonight. We hadn't gotten out of the gate when she said that she didn't have a house key and we would have to break the lock on her front door.  Dinner was very good, we all opted for the saurkraut special, chose various sides, good beer and shared an apple strudel for desert.   Of course, we had some nice conversation.

Back at Highlands, I pulled up to the gate, entered the code, and nothing happened. I tried 3 more times and it still didn't work. So when I saw a guy coming  up, I scurried through that gate and proceeded to Arlene's house.  Another car pulled up next to me and the lady checked if I (we) belonged there, asking why I pulled into the park the way I did, who lived there, and why Arlene didn't have her key.  She sped off, threatening to report it to the office tomorrow.

Arlene remembered that the lock on one of the bedroom windows was broken and she had just removed the screen, so Tom climbed in and came around to open the door.

Friday, November 30. I saw Dr. Roland Phillips today, Tom's long-time Holistic Chiropractor. For several months now, I have had aching in my left side - neck, shoulder, hip, and knee and just felt like it was time to take some kind of action. Doc's approach is definitely 'out there' but it all makes sense to take care of the whole thing - nerves, muscles, brain, so I plan to see if it helps over the next few months.

Thursday, November 22, 2018

November 19 - 25, 2018, AZ

Thursday, November 22.  Happy Thanksgiving to all of my readers!  We baked a mincemeat pie this morning (Tom's favorite), had phone conversations with a few family members, went for a nice walk, and then headed to Chaney's for dinner.  Chaney wasn't there when we got there - it turned out that his Mom, Kathy (Tom's ex-wife) fell and broke her hip while prepping for dinner and he was at the hospital with her.  By the time we got back home, she was scheduled for surgery in the morning and they were trying to keep her comfortable.

Our dinner was excellent and there was lots of good company there.

  Hunter (Melissa's son) and Tom took over the turkey frying duties in Chaney's absence.

Back on Monday afternoon, we went to Val Vista Village, met up with Pat and Rog and some of their friends at happy hour.  Harry Mathews, a fun dj and entertainer had the crowd on the dance floor for a whole 2 hours, us included. What fun!

When I got home from my cleaning job on Tuesday, Tom asked if I was interested in seeing a movie. We decided on "Old Man With a Gun" starring Robert Redford and many other good actors.  It was fun and a good change of paste.

Last night when I took Frisco out around 10:00, I noticed the almost full moon in the sky and as I watched it, I realized there was a ring around it.  Wikipedia tells me thathey are caused when moonlight passes through thin clouds of ice crystals high in Earth's atmosphere. ... The shape of the ice crystals causes the moonlight to be focused into a ring, similar to the way water droplets in the lower atmosphere can bend sunlight to create a rainbow.  I called Tom out and we stood and watched for a while.  This is the 2nd time in my life that I have seen this phenomenon.  Unfortunately, my photo didn't turn out very well.

Saturday, November 24.  We had a very nice hike today, along several paths near the Bulldog Floodway, in a huge green space just a mile to the north of us.  I'm thinking it is part of the National Forest, but within the Apache Junction borders.  We started out with 

Frisco but only a half-mile into the hike, he was lagging behind me and trying to lead me back in the direction of the parked car. We took him back home and then went off by ourselves.  We hiked a total of about 2.5 miles - a very nice walk on another beautiful, sunny Arizona day.

This morning, before our hike, I had a nice FaceTime call with Ben and the girls.  They were all dressed in their gymnastics leotards, ready for their Saturday class.

Yesterday, we had a nice, long walk through the nearby neighborhoods and did a bit of shopping - not much else.

Thursday, November 15, 2018

November 12 - 18, 2018, AZ

Thursday, November 15. Another week with little to write about.  We are falling into our 'landed' lifestyle; my cleaning jobs, grocery shopping, laundry, errands, etc.  We haven't even been walking much other than to walk the dog and take him to the dog park here in the park - and a very nice space it is with plenty of room for the dogs to run, a comfortable bench to sit on and a supply of doodoo bags and plenty of water.

We did take a walk through the desert on Tuesday afternoon.  You can park along the road and enter through access points in the fences ('V' shaped cutouts for horses and people).  We managed to follow a horse path that meandered along, resulting in a walk of almost 2 miles.

Yesterday, I went to Val Vista Village and met up with Patty. We walked to the activity building where we attended a Celebration of Life for Nancy Anderson who found out that she was full of cancer while on her summer travels to Canada.  She died shortly after her diagnosis. Nancy's husband Richard is a guy that I knew from Stoughton and has some family connections along the way - it's a long story.

This morning, we set the alarm and got up in time to have coffee and donuts at the clubhouse, some good conversation, and we heard the news of upcoming events and activities - well worth the early wake-up.

I went shopping with Rhonda (our next door neighbor) for clothes at Beall's.  She liked the store and found 3 new outfits and I found a pair of jeans.  She treated me to lunch at McDonalds for going with her and introducing her to Beall's.

Sunday, November 18.  Pat and Roger came over for a drink on Friday afternoon and then we went to the Dog Run Saloon for their fish fry. The drinks, food, service, and company were all good. 

Saturday night's highlight was our community's welcome back dinner for residents. They had a Beerfest, complete with free beer, bratwurst, green beans with bacon, red cabbage and apple cake. A polka band provided us with music, although 3 hours of that was a bit much, so we left around 8:00.

Sunday was a good day to hang around the house, take a nap, and just take it easy.

Sunday, November 4, 2018

November 5 - 11, 2018. AZ

TThursday, November 8. My lovable brother-in-law, Dan, who passed away in 2013, would be turning 69 years old today. I hope you're dancing in the sky, Dan!

There isn't much to write about this week.  My cleaning job for Jim and Shirley started up on Tuesday again and it was nice to see them.

Tom and I went to Little Dealer Little Prices (where he bought his Wildwood) and looked at comparable travel trailers - he is considering an upgrade to one with a slide-out that would give us a little more room. 

We hung out at the pool this afternoon - a good thing since a cool down is predicted over the next few days.  It got real windy this evening.

Sunday, November 11.  We were unable to participate in any of the Veteran's Day events because they were running new wifi through the park and we had to be here for it.  We actually met one of the park owners yesterday as she was touching base with the folks in each site who were getting the new wifi.  This was new for us, as the owners/managers of Highlands were never available and didn't participate in any f the park activities.  

For years the park has had Tengo Wireless provided at no cost (common in many RV Parks, although there is usually a fee for the service), but it is no longer meeting the needs of the residents, so they are updating the service. Now, each site will have its own hard-wired hookup and modem and speedy wifi will be furnished to each site at no cost. Occupants are required to put a $75 deposit on the modem and the check is held at the office and returned when you turn the modem back in when you depart the park.  

We took Manuel and Linda out for dinner at La Casa de Juana tonight and it was a good time and nice to see them again.  We really like the place, had dinner there twice last year and wanted to return.  They serve a Mexican rice that is green and has corn, peas, and bits of onion in it - delicious!

    Our site - I love our view of the Superstitions!

November 1 - 4, 2018, AZ

Sunday, November 4.  Thursday was anothet early day, starting with coffee and doughnuts at the clubhouse at 8:00 am - a weekly activity to keep everyone informed of the news of the park.  After that, we did laundry, opting for a nearby laundromat rather than the park laundry - multiple back and forth trips between our site and the laundry, versus getting everything done at once and costing less.  The laundromat is spotlessly clean and has multiple options for both washing and drying - all very efficient. We were out of there in an hour and even did some browsing at the St. Vincent de Paul store next door.  

On Friday, we both went in different directions to run errands, me for some shopping and a touchup on my recent haircut and Tom to see his chiropractor.  While shopping at Beall's Outlet, I found a very expensive $168 swimsuit on the rack for $30 - and it fit well and felt real comfortable.  A bargain, for sure.

We met Pat and Roger at Tom's BBQ for dinner and we all had their tasty fish fry - ample portions and some of the best fish fry in the area. The manager stopped by to say hello and told us that he goes through 80 cases of fish on Fridays, compared to 10 or 20 on all of the other days of the week combined.  It was great to see them again. After dinner, we followed them back to their motorhome at Val Vista Village for a nightcap and more good conversation.

We slept in on Saturday morning - the first time in days and it sure felt good!  After breakfast,Tom helped his son move some things and I went to an estate sale and a few garage sales.  When I got back home, there wasn't much to do, so I washed down 3 sides of the trailer. It is pretty grubby from weeks on the road.

I learned that my cousin, Larry Ganshert passed away this morning, another one who lost the battle with cancer.  The poor guy had been through 5 cancers over the last several years and his odds of getting through this one were good too.  Unfortunately, he had a very strong reaction to his first chemotherapy treatment and his body couldn't fight it off, even after 2 weeks in ICU. He was admitted to hospice about a week ago.  

Larry and I grew up together and we spent a lot of time together.  As cousins, we were best of friends. We even got married to each other in a pretend wedding when we were kids. Mike and I went to his graduation from the Navy boot camp at San Diego.  Later in years when our kids were older, we would go out for dinner with him and Sue. He was one of those really nice guys who never hurt a soul in his life. He would go out of his way to help a friend, family, or neighbor.  He stood by his family no matter what.  He will be missed by many.  

Larry's daughter posted this:

Thank you to our friends and family that have reached out to us these past few days. I never imagined all of your kind words and remembrances would comfort us the way that they have. Many of you have been asking for details. We tentatively are planning on Saturday  November 10th at Christ Lutheran Church, with visitation from 10-11 and service at 11. Confirmation of the funeral will be posted in Wednesdays obituary. The following is the most important information that we pass on.

Dad loved dessert and usually ordered it first. At hospice he only ordered the dessert of the day and maybe some fruit. Funerals were hard for Dad. He told us his request for his day, but if you knew my Dad, they were clearly rules to be followed. 

"Rules"  were : 

1 picture. Funeral Pictures are sad, and sometimes the memories are overwelming.

2 songs must be played at the visitation (What a wonderful world and Running on empty), you pick the rest, but dont make em all sad. Play the songs that remind you of me.

Be comfortable, wear your Best blue Jean's and polish your boots., 

DONT make it all sad. This is hard enough. 

And then he said, are you going to have a luncheon? & we asked if he wanted us to, he shrugged his shoulders and said up to you.  His evening tray came in & it was just dessert.  I said, how about a luncheon, with just dessert. and he chuckled and said, "yes. Add it to the list."

Due to flower allergies, and Dads giving personality, we request that in leiu of flowers you bring  a "Dory Bear" to his service. This is any teddy bear, new with tags, 10" or larger to be donated to Agrace. His Grandchildren each were given 1 to hold and cry into and remind them of their Papa. He would be honored to repay the favor of that comfort to other families.

Thank you again for all your love and support for the loss of one of the Greatest Men we have ever known.


When Tom got back home later in the afternoon, we had cocktails and dinner and nonstop talking until bedtime. Whew! What happened?

This morning, the alarm went off early again so we could meet up with Manuel and Linda for some 4-wheeling around Saguaro Lake.  We got to their house and Linda had a delicious biscuit and gravy breakfast ready for us.  They have 2 Jeep Cherokees, so Tom and I were in one and they in the other and we set out after breakfast, down Bush Highway to the Butcher Jones recreation area of the Tonto National Forest where we turned off onto the 4-wheel drive trail.

The roads were sandy, hilly, rocky, and meandered through the desert to a cove on the north side of Saguaro Lake where we stopped for a break. And then we meandered some more, heading off to another cove where we put out chairs and had a bite to eat.  On the way back, we encountered a few steep hills that we had to climb and almost got stuck a couple of times. Tom did a great job of getting us through.  The drive totaled 10.5 miles and we saw some beautiful scenery along the way.

    Four Peaks

   Manny and Linda leading the way.

   Our first stop on the shore of Saguaro Lake

   The peak in the background is Weaver's Needle

   Linda is directing us on what path to take. The hill we came down was more rocky.

   A gnarly old Saguaro.