Wednesday, October 29, 2014

October 27 - 31, 2014, AZ

Tuesday, October 28.  Yesterday was a normal workday, and I started at 8:00, so I was up at the crack of dawn in order to get enough coffee drinking time in, get Frisco walked, and get myself ready.  It is nice to get back home at 2:00.  On my way home, I got to thinking that I had a dentist appointment on Tuesday, so I called to remind my boss of the arrangement that we had made, I would work on Thursday instead.

Today started out strange, because I realized during the night that my dentist appointment is next week.  So I called work and told them I would be in at 10, as scheduled.  She had gotten someone else to fill in for me, so I made up booklets for guests, did some filing, and sat with another trainee and worked through reservations together. When she left for the day, I finished up.

Kathy arranged a ladies night out tonight at the Grandview at the Painted Mountain Golf Club and we met up with some of Connie's friends that she line dances with, so there ended up being 12 of us.  Harry Mathews was quite entertaining, interacting with the crowd, teaching line dances, and just plain being crazy.  It was a fun night out, full of dancing and hanging out with friends, and a great workout too.

Friday, October 31.  This is weird.  I am typing but the letters on my keyboard are not visible (ipad) - something spooky is going on here.  I am having my coffee, looking out the window, and the sky is gorgeous.  

Hey, my keyboard is back, it must be a problem with the app that I'm using.  Yesterday was my day off and I spent most of it at home, just trying to get a few things done.  I cleaned up the carport where Pat and Roger's car has been stored and that led to rearranging the shed.  I have to find a way to store the garden tools so I don't have to move several of them every time I need one.  Guess I'll have to check Pinterest out.  I did manage to get organized and set aside a few things for our community's upcoming patio sales.

I had a nice conversation with Jill while the kids were napping and got to see a rug that she just bought and the fence that they had installed between the house and the garage.  Ben has been working hard on the back yard and has it all leveled and seeded, ready for beautiful grass next spring.

Connie and I went over to Pat and Rogers for happy hour, had a nice chat and a good Old Fashioned.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

October 20 - 26, 2014, AZ

I Wednesday, October 22.  It is 5:30 and I'm up having my coffee and catching up on the news before heading off to work.  I'm still in training mode, but actually took and entered 4 reservations yesterday by myself with only a few questions.  Today, I am starting at 8:00 and will be sitting up front at the reception desk.  Processes haven't really changed much, it's just the computer system that has been updated and seems to be pretty user friendly, but not as flexible where fixing errors is concerned.

Connie loaned me her electric hedge trimmers and I got most of my shrubs trimmed in less than half  the time it usually takes.  Hopefully, she will sell it to me, as I don't think she has a use for it.  Being a master gardener, I have always liked the more natural pruning and shaping methods over the more formal shapes that you get with this, but it really saves time and energy.

At work today, I took a reservation from a guy named Charles.  I had trouble with the reservation and had to call him back 3 more times to ask questions or get additional information.  I explained that I was in training and we had some laughs and all was good.  The phone rang and it was Charles.  He asked me if I ever watched Two and a Half Men. Did I know Charlie?  Did I know Rose?  He said, "I go by Charlie - your name is Rose - are you stalking me?"  We laughed again and ended the call. So ... the job is kind of fun at times - especially when people are happy and not so serious.

Friday, October 24.  The last 2 days have been busy with appointments.  My annual wellness checkup was yesterday and all is good.  My only followup is to have a mammogram.

My car had a checkup too.  I took it to AAA for an oil change and everything checked out with that.  I was struggling with making a decision on where to take my car for maintenance, then I got a coupon from AAA for a $14.99 oil change and decided to go there.  I have no regrets, I feel I was treated fairly and the offered a good price for what was included and I will definitely go back there again.  Thanks to Randy & Julie for the birthday gift membership.  

Today, I had it in to the local dealer for some recall work, there were actually 3 recalls - nothing serious, but all were taken care of and I left there without paying a cent.  They replaced a fuse and washed it too.  

I finally finished the collage of the camping trip that I took with Charlotte.  What great memories!

Saturday, September 25.  Right after my walk with Frisco this morning, Connie and I headed out to community sales at Palmas del Sol.  We both found some good deals and enjoyed the search.

I had an appointment for a haircut with Kelli this afternoon - really needed it and it was nice to see her again and catch up with the news of the summer.

When I got back home, I started to prep for dinner, as I invited Chuck and Kathy and Connie for Ben's pasta, Italian sausage, Caesar salad, and pumpkin pie.  Chuck brought his yummy peppered dinner rolls and we had a great time, drinking a cocktai, talking and eating.  It really felt good to cook and to share a meal.  We're watching the KC Royals play the SF Giants in the 4th game of the World Series.  It looks like they will be tied 2/2 after this one - 11-4, SF at the bottom of the 8th and I'm going to bed.  Exciting stuff.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

October 13 - 19, 2014 - AZ

Wednesday, October 15.  It has been a busy week and I am getting back into the "home in Arizona" routine.  My morning walks include meeting up with the other regular walkers and their dogs in the cool part of the day.

I had my annual vision checkup on Monday and learned some ways to keep my eyes lubricated and also learned that I have cataracts forming, the right eye is worse because of the location of the cataract, but it still doesn't require surgery.  I am sick and tired of the frames that I have, so will be shopping for new glasses soon.  I am definitely returning to Costco for glasses as I have been 100% satisfied with my last prescription and frame.

Yesterday, I started training for my part-time job at Mesa Spirit RV Resort.  They are willing to give me the hours that I want (Monday-Wednesday, 6 hours/day), although I will be paid minimum wage.  The convenient location makes it worthwhile in my eyes.  Training went well and I think I will be able to learn the new reservation program fairly quickly.

Connie called me this morning to see if I was interested in going to see the movie, "The Judge", with Robert Downey, Jr. and Robert Duvall.  Five of us went and it was a good but very sad story about a successful lawyer who returns to his hometown when his mother dies, and he discovers that his estranged father, the town's judge, is suspected of murder. He reconnects with his brothers that he walked away from years before, although the relationship with his father is pretty sad.

After the movie, Arlene and I went to Costco so I could look at glasses frames and restock the club house supplies.  We had a cocktail together when we got back home.

Friday, October 17.  This month is flying by, I guess it helps that I have been staying busy.  I went in for more training on Thursday, but they didn't have a lot of actually reservations for us to work with and the training module wasn't cooperating either.  I think that after a few "hands-on" entries, it will come back to me, even though the program is a little different.  We have talked about a lot of familiar things.

I went to a few estate sales this morning, got a few things done around the house, and then went to TGIF to socialize with neighbors.  As usual, it was a good time.

Saturday, October 18.  This evening, I joined Nan and Dale for dinner and then we all went to see "1964: A Tribute to the Beatles" at the Celebrity Theater in Phoenix.  It's good to see them again, after a long summer away.  As we were going to our seats, Nan slipped on something and fell - she seemed ok but was getting stiff and sore as the night went on.  Our seats were good, as was the show, with the stage in continuous rotation.  I'm usually not a big fan of tribute bands but these guys have been doing this for 31 years and weren't bad.  It definitely brought back memories of my late teen years.

Sunday, October 19.  When I passed the clubhouse this morning, I went in and stood on the scale - it is truly time to get serious about taking some weight off.  I have been really good about not eating bread, pasta, or sugars but more has to be done.  So, when I finished my walk, I did a half- mile Walk Away The Pounds.  It's a start.

Diane invited me to her house in Queen Creek for a brunch/Packer party, so I headed out there.  She lives right at the base of a mountain (not sure which one) but it is a beautiful setting.  I met several of her friends, had a great breakfast burrito and chatted for a while before heading back home to get some things done around the house. 

Diane, her granddaughter Ava, and horse, Tiana.

When Connie called to say that she and a few other folks were heading to the pool, I went to join them.  It was nice to just hang out and relax in the pool for a while and chat with Connie, Jeannie, Bill, Vicki, and Kathy.

The sky has clouded over and was rumbling with thunder, but I don't think it brought us any rain.  I was having a phone conversation with Ben while the thunder was going on, then there was a show of fireworks off in the distance, so Frisco was adding his sound effects to the evening.  The sky was gorgeous!

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

October 6 - 12, 2014, AZ

Wednesday, October 8.  It's raining here this morning!  It feels good.  The windows are open and I've spent the morning cleaning to remove the light covering of dust on everything.  I'm thankful that I got all of my yard waste taken to the dumpster.  I've been working on trimming the Palo Verde trees that grew so much over the summer that they looked like Weeping Willows.  I never thought they would grow so prolifically in this climate.  Next year, I think I will not provide supplemental water and see what happens.  There was a lot rain here, so I'm sure that has had an effect.

Norah and Camille had their first birthday yesterday and I attended the party via FaceTime and had tears in my eyes the whole time.  Wow! A year old and what a year it has been.  I'm so thankful to have  been involved in their first year.

Connie and I are heading to Mt. Lemmon tomorrow to camp with Jim and Jan who are hosting at the Whitetail campground for the season.  We are just going for one night.  Since they were predicting rain today, I hooked up the Pipsqueak this morning, rather than in the mud tommorow - gotta admit that I'm getting pretty good at it.

Sunday, October 11.  Connie and I had a really nice time visiting Jan and Jim at their beautiful campsite on top of Mt. Lemmon.  It was a 4-hour drive to get there, hitting some rain along the way.  Then as we climbed to about 7,000 feet, it was sunny and nice - after that, we hit rain and it continued until late afternoon.  It had rained there since Monday, so there were waterfalls coming off the rocks and little riverlets everywhere.  They work at the Whitetail Campground - with 5 group campsites, all of them have a firepit and ramada and tent sites for 40-90 people.  Weekdays are quiet but weekends fill up.  We stayed Thursday night and came back home on Friday afternoon.

Our camp hosts, Jan and Jim.

This point was on top of the mountain, overlooking the Tucson Valley.

It is beautiful up there - hard to believe that it is Arizona.

Yesterday, I went to Arlene's in the afternoon to help celebrate her birthday.  The gathering was originally to be a picnic at Riverview Park, but she decided to have it at her house instead.  The food was great and the company was full of stories and laughter.  

This morning, I started my day with Ben and the kids over breakfast.  It was great to see them all.

After that, I got busy cleaning the patio from top to bottom.  It smells so much better out there now - I can relax and enjoy.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

October 1 - 5, 2014, OK, TX, NM, AZ

Wednesday, October 1.  As I was disconnecting this morning, a friendly woman named Marla (also recently widowed) came by to let me know about an organization called, and she handed me her card.  She is also traveling solo (in a 40' motorhome) and recently learned about the group and went to one of their rallies and found it to be a good experience.  It turns out that she is headed to Albuquerque to the hot air balloon rally and I beyond there and we will both be stopping at the same RV park for the evening.

Once we got settled in our sites, she joined me at the picnic table for a cocktail and some good conversation.  Yes, we had the recent loss of our husbands in common, but also the traveling bug, a fondness for travel and driving, a familiarity with Florida, Standard Poodles, and an interest in plants and gardening - so we had lots to talk about.  We watched a steady stream of RVs coming in for the night and the place is filling up.

I am getting close to home now, at least I am in the right time zone.  The weather is perfect as I sit and enjoy the evening, in the low 70s with a light breeze.  My only complaint is the roar of traffic on the interstate, as most of these places are located with convenient access from the interstate.  I've learned in the past that it is good to keep a fan running during the night and it blocks out the highway noise.

Thursday, October 3.  I didn't sleep very good and was awake by 6 am, so I was on the road by 8. The first thing I did was stop for guess and to check my mileage - 13.7 mpg!  Yay!  I'm not sure why I didn't think of it beforehand, but as I was driving yesterday afternoon, I realized the engine was racing at 4,000 rpm while I was using cruise control and I was only getting 10-11 mpg.  After my last fill-up of the day, I consciously watched the tachometer and tried to keep it around 2,500 (it is usually 1,500 without the trailer).  It worked!  I have Mike to thank for teaching me about that and myself to kick in the butt for not thinking of it before this.

At first, I had only planned to go as far as Grants, NM, about 250 miles.  I wasn't too tired, so I decided to push on to Gallup (another 65 miles).  I pulled into a nice RV park where Mike and I had stayed previously, and they had no sites available -  they were full because of the Balloon Rally in Albuquerque.  They were very nice and accommodating - even calling ahead to the OK RV park in Holbrook (another 85 miles) for me, so I made a reservation and that is where I landed for the night.  It's a nice, clean park and it is filling up quickly.  In most of the places I have stopped, I am the only little guy - tonight there is a Scamp, a popup, and an A-Liner behind me and a tiny teardrop next to me.  Pipsqueak gets attention wherever we go.  Tomorrow's drive is about 4 hours and then we will be home.

Friday, October 3.  The drive today was relaxing and took me through beautiful country.  As I was getting into the White Mountains, I kept seeing signs to watch for Elk and I finally saw one.  Unfortunately, it was road kill and I feel bad for the poor guy that hit it - that is a large animal to run into.  When I saw the road to Four Peaks, it wasn't long before Red Mountain (my favorite landmark that is only about 15 miles from me) came into view and I was almost home.  

My community looks good and I was happy to see a new roof on the clubhouse and the paint has been spruced up too.  Connie stopped by for a hug as she was heading out and shortly after that, Arlene came over to welcome me home too.  I got things unpacked and put away, then had to just sit back and enjoy.

Home Sweet Home!  Since my birthday on April 27, I have covered 5,700 miles traveling through fourteen states, and spending quality time with lots of family and friends.  I picked up my trailer and have been loving it and learning about it ever since - I did the right thing!  I am so happy with how easy it is to hookup, tow, and setup and take down. I envision good trips and good times in the future with it.  It was a great summer but it sure feels good to be back home. I know I'm going to miss my grandkids but will just have to use Facetime more often.

For all of my readers who I visited with over the summer - thanks for being there for me and I appreciate the time we had together.  For some, I'm sorry I wasn't able to spend more time with you.    Whenever you are ready, come on down for a visit!

Sunday, October 5.  The weekend has been busy with trying to get my house and yard back in order.  I've mostly been working on the patio and yard because that is why I live in Arizona - so I can be outdoors a lot.  Everything is covered with dust from the summer storms and needs a good cleaning.  The cover on Roger's car (in my carport) came off, the car was covered with dust, so I washed it down and had Arlene help me to get it back on.  Connie returned my blower, so I was able to get some of the dust off.

I got a lot done today - cleaned up the Century plants in my front yard, picked reeks, removed the dead part of my Barrel cactus, did some pruning in the Palo Verde trees, and got my car washed.  I don't know if the Barrel cactus will survive - the entire center of the plant was dead and the mounds that surrounded and were attached to it became separated from it.  I think that might be the parent plant.  There are very few roots and I'm hoping that they are healthy.

I invited Connie to join me for grilled peppers and Italian sausage (the yummy stuff that Bob sent home with me) and we had a nice evening.

Hey, it's good to be back home again!