Tuesday, February 24, 2015

February 23 - 28, 2014, AZ

Thursday, February 26.  It was an ordinary, hectic, week at work that included some customer service training on Wednesday morning that was a good refresher.  Sometimes, we get so busy that we forget to even have eye contact with our customers and it always helps when you engage them and acknowledge that they may have had a long day of driving and are just ready to settle in.  We were so busy on Wednesday afternoon that I didn't even take a potty break.  Not only that, I had unfinished business at the end of the day and had to go back for a couple of hours this morning.  Whew!  I'm glad that week is behind me.

All week long, I have been getting updates on Patty's son, AJ's progress on his trip here to surprise his Mom.  He pulled it off in a big way this afternoon when I met Pat and Rog at Garcia's.  She and I were sitting at the table when his 2 dogs came up to her and AJ was just outside the patio. I tried to get a picture of her crying with excitement but it all happened way too fast.  She didn't have a clue, in fact, she was getting upset that he told her that he wasn't going to be able to make it this winter.  All is good.  She is one happy Mom right now.

I had to leave Garcia's in time for Lois, Dennis, Cathy, and Dave to pick me up and we went to Organ Stop Pizza for dinner. That place is always entertaining and we timed it just right, got a table right up front.  They are heading back to the Midwest on Saturday, have really enjoyed the weather and the outdoor activities that they have been able to do while they were here.

Friday, February 27.  Today's big activity was happy hour at Val Vista Village.  AJ thought it was so funny when I told him that I didn't have anything going on until happy hour.  What a life we live.  We had a group of 11 friends from WI and MN gathered around for some good conversation, music and, of course, cocktails.  As always, it was a good time.

Saturday, February 28.  I had a haircut appointment at noon today - kind of messes up the whole day, so I made sure to schedule my next appointment ahead of time.  I was off to the clock shop this morning because I couldn't figure out how to access the battery on Mike's wall clock.  I even had Pat look at it on Facetime this morning and we couldn't figure it out.  It has to just slide off, right?  The clock expert wasn't in his shop when I got there, so I decided to go have coffee with Nan and Dale and welcome Nan's Mom, Karen, back to AZ.  I just missed Monica because she got there shortly after I left for my haircut appointment.  It's too bad, because she announced that she is engaged to Loren - he proposed to her last night!  I hope she doesn't mind me posting this photo (probably not because it was on Facebook).

After my haircut appointment, I went back to the clock shop and learned how it works.  I wrote the instructions on a sticker and put it on the back of the clock for the next time.  I'm sure I won't remember.  

Another month just flew past.  Still no bites on the house and it's listed on MHVillage and Craig's list.  Patience, Rose, patience.  

Sunday, February 22, 2015

February 17 - 22, 2015, AZ

I Sunday, February 22.  Somehow, writing in my blog has not been a priority this week and the days have flown right by.  I worked the usual Monday through Wednesday and on those evening I don't accomplish much, other than watching some TV.  Patty has been talking about how much she enjoyed the series, Parenthood, and I happened to see that it was available on Netflix, so I started watching it on Tuesday night and I'm hooked already, and watched the first 4 episodes this week.

On Thursday, I hung around the house, did some cleaning and got groceries.  I joined Jan, Connie, and Nancy for dinner at Jan's house and then we all went to the clubhouse to meet the bus that took us to the Golden Sun Resort in Apache Junction to see a band called "56".  They were really entertaining, playing lots of lively tunes from the 50s and 60s.  They interacted with the crowd a lot and that really made it fun.  The guy playing the bass was 20 years old, self-taught, and danced with that thing like it was a person.  He reminded me of Jerry Lee Lewis.  The only thing lacking was a dance floor, since the music really made you want to get up and move.

I know, the photo isn't good, but you get the idea.

Jill sent this picture to me the other day and I studied and studied it, then realized that the sweater that she is wearing was made by me, a gift to my niece, Christel, about 30 years ago.  Rita sent a box of clothing to the girls and this was in it.  It made me feel good! 

On Friday morning, Jill's parents, Lois and Dennis, and her aunt and uncle, Cathy and Dave picked me up in the morning to head out on a hike.  I made 3 suggestions; the Salt River where we might get lucky and see wild horses, the Boyce Thompson Arboretum, and Usery Park and we chose the Salt River.  It was a good choice because they hadn't hiked on rough terrain before.  We all enjoyed the path that goes around the side of a mountain followed by a dry wash that led us to an overlook where we had some spectacular views.  We didn't see any horses but did see an eagle perched on a branch on a tree.

After our hike, we went to Red, White, and Brew for a delicious lunch and a beer.

The light coloring in the photo is the dry was that we walked.

Yesterday, I worked.  We were quite busy and I was still unable to print from my station (our printer broke last Wednesday, they replaced it with a desktop model, and the printer wasn't compatible with the program I was working in.  In spite of several calls to IT and to our corporate computer specialist, it didn't get fixed.  GRRRRR!

I got this very unpleasant surprise in the mail yesterday.  My first ticket ever and it isn't like me to speed like that.  I do remember talking about the flashing of a camera and hoped that I had slowed down enough to avoid getting a ticket - NOT.  This was back on January 9 when Pat and I went to have lunch with a classmate from Stoughton.

Today was a wonderful day.  My initial plan was to hang out at home by myself but then I invited Pat and Rog to join me for Reuben sandwiches, then thought that a round of golf might be fun, then invited Connie to join us too.  

This morning, I got my house listed on www.mhvillage.com and researched my options for the awful speeding ticket I got in the mail yesterday.  I learned that I can take a defensive driving course (it might be needed since I got my first ever speeding ticket) and forego the fine with no points or increase in insurance rates.  Ben called this afternoon and I had a fun Facetime conversation with him and Charlotte.

Our weather is strange.  Cloudy and cooling as the day went on.

Connie showed up with a scotch and water, Pat and Rog showed up with Margaritas (in celebration of National Margarita Day) and I had a hankering for a Cosmopolitan.  After getting primed a bit, us girls headed to the golf course and had fun playing 9 holes.  It's a good thing we didn't keep score, but we sure had fun.  Dinner was fun.  It was a good day.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

February 9 - 16, 2015, AZ

Tuesday, February 10.  Back to work yesterday and it was the first day since the 1st of January that was busy, but not stressed.  The computer systems are working, we are learning how to use them, and the day just went well.

Tonight, we met Jay and Diane (Randy's classmates from Stoughton) and Diane's husband, John, at Garcia's for a drink and dinner, and some great conversation.  It was a nice time.

Friday, February 13.  Today marks the anniversary of Mike's passing away 2 years ago and it has been so emotional. For some reason, during these periods, my thoughts are focused in the difficult last days in the hospital; how he suffered so and struggled for every breath, and then was so heavily medicated that we couldn't communicate, and how our family rallied around to be with him, still hopeful that he would recover.  I know it was will get better once again, when the calendar moves past those events, but the last few days have been rough.  I talked with both sons, saw them on FaceTime and also got to see the grandkids.

What a guy!  I am so fortunate to have him as my best friend and husband, loving father to our 2 sons. I really miss you, Mike!

Tonight, Pat and Roger came over.  Rog fixed Old Fashioneds and we drank a toast to Mike, then went to have fish fry.  Earlier in the day, we went to Costco to get my new glasses and then stopped at Julie's Aunt Jean's for a visit.

Yesterday, Randy and I took off to go see the Biosphere2 near Oracle, north of Tucson - about a 2-hour drive from here.  What an interesting facility and also the experiments that took place there.  It is an on-going ecological experiment. It is a tightly sealed glass and steel geodesic structure I in which scientists have created seven complete ecosystems or biomes that mirror those of Earth. The systems include an ocean, a desert, a savannah, a rainforest, a marsh, an area of intensive agriculture and a human habitat.The project is designed to last for 100 years, providing valuable data for research and education to help scientists better understand how our world works. On September 26, 1991, eight researchers, known as “biospherians,” sealed the airlock on this massive enclosed ecological system – and Biosphere 2 was born. Following their 24-month adventure, these men and women emerged from their mini-world on September 26, 1993. 

We both found it to be very interesting.  It is currently owned and operated by Arizona State University where they continue ecological studies and experiments.

Sunday, February 15.  We spent our Saturday hanging out, doing laundry, had a nice breakfast, went to the pool, took naps, and talked a lot with family.  In the evening we went to the clubhouse to see the Maggie Mae show - a lively, talented country music entertainer from Oxford, WI.  The show was very entertaining!

This morning, I got Randy to the airport by 6am for his flight back home.  All went well for him.  I lounged around the house the entire day and was ready for bed by 7:30.  Gotta get ready for another busy week coming up.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

February 2 - 8, 2015, AZ

I Monday, February 2.  Ray took me to work this morning and they used my car to explore some more communities and did some sightseeing at Goldfield Ghost Town and Tortilla Flat.  They both like Arizona a lot and it sounds like this is where they want to spend some time during the winters in the future.  Once we got past the rain last week, the last few days have been beautiful.  They picked up chicken and ribs and salads from the grocery store for dinner tonight.  Yay!

Once again, work was insanely busy, even with 3 receptions on duty.  We are full, with no pet friendly sites available except for short term stays and we are also out of sites for big rigs and are unable to accommodate those requests for multiple sites that are close to each other - and those kinds of things make people be angry and not very nice to us.  I'm going to have to rethink doing this kind of work in the future.  For the most part, I enjoy doing the customer service part of the job, but when everything is messed up by computer programs that don't work, not having access to programs, working with multiple programs and having inaccurate information about availability, it is making for stressful days.  I don't need that at this stage of my life.  I am exhausted at the end of the day.

Jo and Ray at Tortilla Flat

Wednesday, February 4.  My guests left at 4:00 this morning to catch a 6am flight back to wintry Wisconsin.  It was nice that they had a couple of extra days to explore the area and they also found a community that they really like for future winter getaways.  I enjoyed their stay, but I am looking forward to having my house to myself for a few days.  My brother, Randy, arrives next Sunday for a week's visit.

Friday, February 6.  Yesterday, I ran a few errands.  Had to pick up salt for the softener, Valentine's and birthday cards, supplies for the clubhouse, and a For Sale sign for the house.  

I was supposed to join Pat, Roger, and several others at Val Vista Village for happy hour today, but their schedule changed and they canceled.  So I picked up the ball and had them all come here for happy hour instead.  Eleven of us gathered on the patio for lively conversation, drinks, and then we all pitched in for pizza.  Good times.  

Just before everyone arrived, Frisco took off after a wolf-like dog that just cruising down the street.  He would not come when I called him and I ended up going back to get the car and found him a block and a half away.  Naughty dog.  He is usually tied up but I must have forgotten to hook him on the leash.

Early this morning, I took Nan and Dale to St. Luke's Medical Center in Phoenix for a procedure and then spent the rest of the day at home.  Boy, did that feel good!  I worked on my taxes, got the guest room ready for Randy,  and spent some time just hanging out in the yard, reading and etching.

As I passed Connie's house on our afternoon walk, she had just gotten home from her job and was carrying balloons into the house.  She came out on the patio and was letting them go - they were birthday balloons for Danny.  We hugged, cried, and stood and watched them disappear into the sky. 

Saturday, February 7.   Today marks 2 years ago that Mike was hospitalized and we learned that there was no air flowing through his left lung, the start of extensive treatment to open his airways, and his last week with us.  Two years goes so quickly, but being without him seems so much longer.

A Mardi Gras party was held at the clubhouse and Lois and Jim cooked red beans and rice with sausage, chicken and shrimp, served with a salad and pralines.  The food was yummy and it felt good to hang out with my Brentwood friends again.  I haven't been very involved this winter.  Kathleen and Paddy entertained us with music from the 50's and 60's so there was a lot of dancing going on.  I could really feel it in my hips when I left there.

Sunday February 8.  The morning was relaxing, the weather was gorgeous, and after my coffee and  walk with Frisco, I spent some time outside doing some yard cleanup.  Arlene came over for a chat.  I had a fun Facetime conversation with Charlotte and got to see the twins earlier in the morning.

Randy's flight went well and I picked him up at the airport.  After having a bite to eat, we walked to the pool and lounged around for a while.  It's great to see him again, we always have a good time together ad I'm looking forward to spending the next week with him.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

February 1, 2015, AZ

Sunday, February 1.  I started to type January and then realized it is a new month. January seemed to last forever.  I'm not really looking forward to February, with all of its bad memories of 2013.  The good one that I need to celebrate is Ben's birthday on the 16th, a wonderful son, whom I love immensely and am so glad to have in my life.

This morning, I followed Jo and Ray to the airport to return their rental car, as they were going to charge them an additional $600 to keep it for 2 more days.  They also learned the other day that if they returned to the casino where they had stayed Wednesday night for $200, they would be charged almost $800.  If that isn't price gouging, I don't know what is.  It's all because of the super bowl.

The foggy morning led to a beautiful, warm, cloudless day and we enjoy it it while sitting in the back yard and enjoying a beer together this afternoon.  Connie joined us for a little while and it was nice to see her again too. Tonight, we watched the super bowl in hopes of seeing the Seahawks take the title, but a foolish play in the last few minutes of the game, led to a Patriots win.