Wednesday, March 26, 2014

March 24 - 30, 2014, AZ

Wednesday, March 26.  I'm looking out the window at a gorgeous sunrise - the sky is various shades of pinks and purples.  It's going to be a good day.

Yesterday evening, a dust storm came through but it was short-lived and not a bad one.  Jim, Sue, Pat, and Roger were here for dinner and we were watching the sky change while we had cocktails out on the patio.  I out some baby back ribs on the grill about 1:00 and they turned out to be yummy.

I've been working on my project - have got all of the trim painted (ended up having to do 3 coats - 1 coat of primer and 2 of paint).  The wood just really soaked it up.  I finished putting the paint on the walls and got the cabinet doors and fixtures back up - it sure is bright and might just be too bright.  Like my niece, Stella, says "it's only paint, if you don't like it, repaint it".

Tonight, Jim and Sue fixed dinner - kind of a farewell for Pat and Rog who are leaving tomorrow.  What a fun night with lots if laughter and silliness and many reminders of Mike - he came up in our conversation many times.  We talked about how strange it is with only 5 of us in the gathering as it was always the couples and about how much we have all missed him.  

Friday, March 28.  Yesterday, Pat and Rog dropped off their car where it will be stored in my carport until they return in the fall.  We said our goodbyes and I wished them Happy Trails and they were off and down the road.  I spent the day just hanging out in the yard trimming the Palo Verde trees (the branches get weighted down from the yellow flowers).

This morning, Frisco and I went with Jim and Sue to Lost Dutchman State Park where we hiked for 2.5 miles - very enjoyable with beautiful views.

Then tonight, we all went to Dirtwater Springs for fish fry and my neighbor, Arlene joined us.  It was a fun time and thanks to Pat and Rog who bought the first round of drinks.  Cheers to great friends!

Saturday, March 29.  Today was the day to putz around the house, clean up the yard, clean up the dog, and just hang out.  I did fit in some grocery shopping and a stop at Tuesday Morning to look for accessories for the bathroom.  Looking back, I probably should have picked them out first, then decided in colors - but no, I tend to do things the hard way.

Tonight, several of us single women who also happen to be widows (nobody likes that word) got together at Kathy's house for Margaritas, some snacks, and lots of conversation.  We talked about doing something together every couple of weeks and also came up with some ideas of things to do together. 

Sunday, March 30.  Jim and Sue came by this morning to help me install vinyl tile in my bathroom.  After discussing several options, Jim laid down the first tile and went from there.  He was very meticulous about the placement and I worked on getting the patterns laid out and Sue was the gopher.  We took a lunch break but kept at it until 3:30, the toilet was back in and we were done.  It looks so nice!  I still have to out some trim along the floor and some finishing touches, but it is mostly done.


Wednesday, March 19, 2014

March 17 - 23, 2014 - AZ

OTuesday, March 18.  The last 2 days have been busy, mostly hanging out with Frisco and giving him a lot of TLC.  I got my bags unpacked, the mail sorted and dealt with - of course, there were a few bills to pay, and I cleaned the patio.

Last night, I got together with Pat and Rog and Jim and Sue (long-time Wisconsin friends) for Corned Beef and Cabbage, then we sat out on my patio having drinks and catching up.  Jim and Sue just bought a motorhome and this is their first winter escaping the cold.  

Tonight, I met up with Janna and Bruce from Stillwater, MN - a couple that we met in 2008 at On The Beach RV Park in Port Aransas, TX.  They were able to escape some of the winter and come here to visit with friends.  I reflect often on what great friends we made during our RVing years - and continue to be in contact.  I kind of miss the lifestyle.

Me, George, Bruce, Janna, and Pat at San Tan Flat

Wednesday, March 19.  What a nice day!  Much of it was spent enjoying my yard, doing some cleanup and pruning a shrub that was looking pretty bad.  This afternoon, I sat under the Palo 
Verde trees and just had a relaxing time of reading and a short nap.

Tonight I went to Nan and Dale's for dinner and also got to see Monica, Dylan, and Hailey and their puppy Wyatt - a darling little Goldendoodle who is rambunctious and tired Frisco out.  It's always great to see family and we had Mrs. Gumtow's casserole - it was one of Mikes all time favorites.  

Thursday, March 20.  What got into me this morning?  I ripped the carpet out of my bathroom - a project that I have thought of doing for years.  Right now, I'm kind of waiting for Jim to come by and help me get the toilet out of there and to give me some advise on how to approach this project.  In the meantime, I patched nail holed, took all of the fixtures down, including the cabinet doors and the furnace vent in the ceiling.

By 4:30, I was hungry and tired, so I heated up some minestrone soup that I thawed out, took 
Frisco for a walk and went to bed before 8:00.  

Friday, March 21.  And then I was awake at 2 am and reading until about 4.  It doesn't pay to go to bed so early.

Connie and I went to a few garage sales this morning, an activity that I have missed.  I found a nice little basket and a good book to read in the future.  

I was going to get started on my bathroom project when I got back home but Pat called to see if I was interested in going with them in a tour of Saguaro Lake on the Desert Belle.  Roger's daughter Shawn is here with her husband Rick, daughter Taylor and son Derek (their first visit to this area).   So I went and had a great time - we even saw some Bighorn Sheep on the side of the mountain.  It is a beautiful ride and I was in such great company - a very enjoyable time.

I did make some progress on my project - got everything washed down.

Sunday, March 23. 2014.  Forty-six years ago today, these 2 kids were married in San Bernardino, CA, far from our family and friends, but we had each other and that is all that we really cared about.  

Most of those years were good ones and we used to say we were thankful for many more good times in our lives than there were bad times.  It was a great roller coaster ride and I still miss so many things about the man that I chose for a lifetime partner.  I wish we were still sharing the ride together.  What a guy - there is so much that I miss about him - thankfully, I am surrounded by so many reminders.  I look at his photo many times every day and tell him that I love and miss him so.  I'm thankful for the 45 years we shared together.  I love you, Mike.

Monday, March 10, 2014

March 10 - 16, 2014 - SF.

Monday, March 10.  It is another anniversary for our family today - we lost my brother-in-law, Dan a year ago and I truly know what his family is going through.  I love you all and miss him dearly - although we didn't see each other all that much, our frequent phone conversations were always a joy and when we did get together, it was always like we had never been apart.  He was a true friend.

Charlotte was a real fireball today.  She and I did the grocery shopping this morning and she was quite the conversationist when we checked out - very well behaved.  We dropped the groceries off and headed to the playground, she was very well behaved and we had lots of fun.  When I looked at the monitor after her nap, she laid naked in her crib and yes, she had peed.  She told me it was too late to go on the potty.  At dinner time, she snuck the treat container from the kitchen cabinet and then she wouldn't eat her dinner. 

This evening, when Jill and I were getting the twins ready for bed, she snuck into one of the cribs and took the pacifier.  She came running into the living room, all excited and happily announcing "I did it" - then proceeded to pretend she was a baby.  Again, she took her diaper off and was putting her pjs on without one.  And ... she climbed on the chair by the computer and started playing with the mouse.  This all happened in about 10 minutes.  Then, after tooth brushing and videos, she threw a tantrum about going to bed.  WOW,  no wonder we are all exhausted by 7:30 each night.

Tuesday, March 11.  Marta picked me up this morning and we went to the deYoung Museum to see  an exhibit of Georgia O'Keeffe's works from Lake George.  I have such respect for her - a woman who grew up in Sun Prairie, Wisconsin - an independent woman who walked her own path and created some of the most beautiful paintings that I have ever seen - real and abstract.  I'm borrowing one to post here.  Of course, her paintings of flowers are some of my favorites.

After seeing the exhibit, we went to the Park Chalet and had lunch, seated at a table overlooking the ocean, and watched the surfers, dogs running around, and lots of people frolicking around.  It was a nice time spent with a good friend.

This afternoon, we found time for Jill to give me a much needed haircut.  I think my hair grew an inch and a half since the 1st of February.

Wednesday, March 12.  I'm sitting here watching the twins, lying on their tummies on a blanket on the floor.  Every time they look at each other, they smile and jabber.  It's so darned cute!  I can't wait to see what their relationship is like later in life.

Sunday, March 16.  My last week with family was another busy but good one.  Ben took me out to dinner to Tommy's Mexican Restaurant on Thursday night and we had a really nice time.  Six weeks is a long time to be here, but we sure don't find a lot of one on one time, so this was a very nice evening.  I stayed with the kids on Saturday night so they could go out for dinner to celebrate their 6th wedding anniversary (they have been together for 20 years).

Sunday morning playtime for Ben and his girls.

And today, it all wound down.  Charlotte was real cuddly with me this morning but she wouldn't give me a kiss before I left.  Some how's Grannies planned this one right as Jill dropped me off at the airport and went right to arrivals and picked up her Mom.  

Connie picked me up at the airport in Phoenix and as soon as we turned off the freeway onto Val Vista Drive, I could smell the sweet, sweet scent of citrus blossoms in the air.  I love it!  I was smothered by kisses from Frisco when I walked in the door.  He's such a sweet little guy - I'm going to have to spoil him after deserting him for all of this time.

Home, Sweet, Home is feeling pretty good right now.

Monday, March 3, 2014

March 3 - 9, 2014, SF

Monday, March 3.  The good news this morning is that Camille slept all through the night and ?Norah only woke up once for a feeding but went right back to sleep.  Yay!  Although this doesn't really affect my sleep, it sure is a good thing for their parents.  

We took the girls to the Academy of Sciences and had a very nice morning. The twins were not fussy at all and Charlotte was cooperative and very interested, as always.  When we left, we strolled through the fountains at the Music Concourse and CC loved all of the seagulls begging for food as folks say around on the benches eating their lunches.  As we were loading the car (2 babies, diaper bag, jackets, and 2 strollers), Charlotte started walking backwards along the sidewalk, telling us that she was running away.  We have been reading some stories about bunnies that ran away from their moms - she doesn't miss a lick.

Tuesday, March 4.  I'm remembering my brother, Rocco, today who has been gone from us for 12 years now.  He would be turning 65 today, was just 10 months younger than me.  He was a cute guy of small build, a lover of sports, a loyal friend, and a hippie who came of age in the late 60s.  I still miss him.

Jill and I went on a 2-hour walk through Golden Gate Park with the twins this afternoon.  The weather was pretty warm, although cloudy and a little foggy.  It felt so good to get out for some much needed fresh air.  Check out this gnarly tree that we saw along the path.

Thursday, March 6.  There has been a breakthrough with the twins' sleeping habits this week.  Camille has slept through the night for the last 3 nights and Norah slept through last night.  Like I've said before, this doesn't really have an affect on me, but it sure is going to help their parents to feel better.

It seems that they have really changed in the last few days - they look bigger, are more coordinated at grabbing at things and holding onto them and Camille is on the verge of rolling over from back to belly. We assembled the Jumparoo yesterday and they both that that was great fun, although their feet don't quite touch the floor yet.

Friday, March 7.  Its a beautiful day here, with warm sunny skies.   When I got back from taking Charlotte to daycare this morning, the twins were awake from their naps already it had only been 15-20 minutes.  So, I loaded them up in the stroller and we headed out for a walk.  It wasn't long and I was shedding my jacket.

I took advantage of the quiet time to catch up on some phone calls - had a very nice conversation with my brother, Bob and also with my friend, Connie.

Feeding time.  I've got a system down now.

Sunday, March 9.  Big News!  Charlotte used the potty for the first time today.  She has had big girl undies on her mind, protesting diapers and sometime taking them off by herself, and showing a general interest in trying the potty - both at home and at daycare.  We are all hoping that now is the time - it will make our lives so much easier.

Jill took the twins for a photo shoot today (her friend just started an infant shoe business and wanted the girls' photos for her website).  While she was off doing that, Ben and I took Charlotte to 
Stow Lake in Golden Gate Park, rented a paddle boat and cruised the lake.  We saw lots of geese, ducks, seagulls, turtles, and even a fish.  Charlotte enjoyed it - we could tell by her giggles, but wasn't real talkative and eager to hold onto my hand most of the time.  Ben had to do all of the paddling as my feet wouldn't reach the pedals.  Ha! Ha! It was enjoyable.

After our boat ride, we went to Arizmendi Bakery at 9th and Irving for a slice of delicious pizza. Jill was in the neighborhood, so she joined us for some lunch.  Imagine her walking down the street carrying 2 car seats.  We were watching for her, but didn't see her until she was 3 doors away.  I struggle with carrying 1.  It was a very nice morning on a warm but cloudy day.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

March 1 - 2, 2014 - SF

Sunday, March 2.  I'm sitting here thinking that 2 weeks from now, I will be getting ready to fly back to Arizona.  The time sure does fly and I know that I will be missing family but also enjoying the "me" time at home.  It's been another year of being away from my home more than I have been there and that leads to wondering if I'm living in the right place.  And that leads to wondering where I should be living - it goes on and on and on.  The good thing is that I can really do whatever I want to do, within my financial limitations.  One thing I know for sure is that I want to be where it is warm during the winter.

I've also been thinking a lot about my brother-in-law, Dan and the struggle he was going through last year at to time.  He was fighting for his life but we were all hoping and praying that he would pull through.  I know just what his wife and family are going through right now.  For some reason, the days leading up to the anniversary of the loss of a loved one seem to be more difficult to handle than the actual day that we lost them.  Guess it's life and the process of grieving.

It was a nice, relaxing family day today, spent just hanging out together.  I did make a trip to 
Costco and Trader Joe's for groceries.