Tuesday, April 28, 2015

April 27 - 30, 2015, AZ

Monday, April 27.  Happy 67th birthday to me, and a very nice day it has been.  It was filled with birthday song (breakfast FaceTime with the grandkids), many phone calls, cards, and shopping and delicious lunch with Jan and Connie.  

I saw these pretty blooming cactus on my walk this morning.

The flower is huge compared to the branch it was on.

Wednesday, April 29.  This damned rash just isn't going away, so I called and scheduled an appointment for this morning.  They gave me no answers, pretty sure it is a reaction to the Cipro, and the suggested solution is steroids - a shot in the butt followed by an oral regimen of Prednisone and a topical treatment as needed.  I HOPE this is the end of this crap.

Last night was Kathy's retirement party at Nando's patio.  Everyone raves about that place and I think I had the worst ever margarita - me and 3 others in our party sent them back and had a beer instead.  It was so bad, tasted like gasoline.  I'm not convinced that their food is that good either.  I'll take Tia Rosa over that any day.  It was a nice place to hang out with friends and to celebrate the beginning of Kathy's new chapter - they are off to Seattle in their motor home for the summer. 

No photo of Kathy, but Connie, Jan, and I had a good time.

I'm making progress on being ready to be away for several months again.  The pile of stuff to take with me is growing and I hope I have room for everything.  It's just not as simple as packing a bag for a flight and a short stay. It will all come together in the end.

I was able to get in to see a doctor about my rash today and she said it was very difficult to determine the cause of most of them.  So, since this has been with me for a week now and is not improving, I got another steroid shot and also a cycle of oral steroids.  This doesn't make me happy, but I don't think my body would fight it off.  It itches like hell and certainly looks like it too.

Monday, April 20, 2015

April 21 - 26, 2015, AZ

Monday, April 20.  Windshield replaced - check.  This is the week to get the car in shape for traveling.  The windshield was so pitted that I put in a claim to get a new one and it cost me nothing (not true - $22/year for the coverage on my insurance) plus I got 4 free movie tickets out of it.  Not bad!

I had a crappy night of sleep and woke up with itchy red welts on the back of my left leg.  I have no idea what caused the, but it could have been bug bites as I sat under the trees in the back yard for a while yesterday.

Thursday, April 23.  The itchy blotches on my leg must be a reaction to the Cipro that I have been taking for a UTI.  When I called the doctor back on Monday regarding the rash, I learned that Cipro will not work on the Infection that I have and the prescription was changed.  Today, I still have the rash (treating with oral and topical Benadryl, hydrocortisone cream, baking soda and vinegar soaks) but nothing seems to be working and will have to call again tomorrow. Grrrrrr!

I worked on a sewing project today and made 2 pillows from Mike's shirts that I will give to Pat and Ben.  A tag in the pocket says "This is a shirt I used to wear, and when you hold it, I'll be there.  Love, Dad".  They turned out very nice, so I made one for myself too but have to buy a pillow form for that one.  I can check that one off my list.

Saturday, April 25.  I was contacted earlier this week by a person interested in seeing my house this morning. I'm got up and got everything spiffed up and they never showed up.  Oh well, I guess I'm sticking to plan A.

This rash on my legs is driving me nuts. I almost had a panic attack last night, thinking that it was spreading to other parts of my body, but the Benadryl I've been taking knocked me out and I was able to get a good nights sleep.  I did wake up itchy again and have been wiping it with a vinegar water solution off and on throughout the days taking the B every 4-5 hours.  The puffiness and tenderness are better, redness remains.

I just went to take Frisco out for a walk and it is really cloudy and windy here.  We got a lot of rain yesterday and it looks and feels like more is on the way.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

April 13 - 19, 2015, AZ

Wednesday, April 15.  I have been so busy this week, doing projects that need to be done before my summer travels start.  Speaking of travels, I have my trip routed, including the rv parks wherei will stay along the way, taking about 8 days getting to Florida, staying for a couple of weeks and then another 4-5 getting to Stoughton, where I will stay a few days and then move on to Minneapolis, about 4,000 miles.

I had some finishing touches to do on the curtains for the trailer, and I got them done.  The curtain rod stops and buttons to hold the tie backs are made out of wine corks and that goes well with the wine cork bulletin board that I made from glueing half corks to a yardstick - I now can have a few photos with me.

I also replaced the window and door screens with UV protection screens that have a dual purpose- privacy (I can see out, they can't see in) and they will help to keep it cooler.

Today, I shopped for summer outfits to take to the grandkids.  I made several stops and then ended up ordering them online, got a much better deal, free shipping, and got $50 to spend the next time.

Saturday, April 18.  My friend, Connie, has been in poor health all this week, suffering terribly from a rheumatoid arthritis flare-up. Jan took her to the doctor on Thursday and I have been helping with meals, groceries, picking up prescriptions and whatever I can do to help out.  I hate to see her hurting so.

Tonight, I joined my neighbor, Betty, and about 25 of her family and friends to celebrate her 80th birthday at the Olive Garden.  What a bunch of great people and a fun, fun, time.  One of the wait staff, Anthony, sang happy birthday to her and was he good!  He will go on to a successful career as a singer.

Sunday, April 19.  I stopped by Connie's house this morning to check on her and asked if she wanted to get out of the house for a while.  She was able to get a good nights sleep and is feeling better except for her shoulders and hands that are still swollen and painful.  And, yes, she wanted to get out of the house.  She called when she was ready and we stopped for a breakfast sandwich and then found a nice table under a large tree at the MCC Rose Garden.  We then strolled through the gardens and admired many of the beautiful roses.


I dropped Frisco back at home, gave him a bath, trimmed his nails and cleaned his ears and then took Connie to the grocery store.

Tonight, I joined Arlene's family again for dinner at Pier de'Orleans - this time to celebrate her sister, Marilyn's upcoming 80th birthday (December), because her family won't be around then. The food was delicious and I was in great company once again.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

April 6 - 12, 2015, AZ

Tuesday, April 7.  I arrived at work this morning at the usual time, 8:00, only to see a sign on the door that said the new office hours were from 9-4.  It was a sloooow morning, then Tary came and asked if I wanted to reduce my hours to just a couple each day to cover the desk at lunch time.  No problem for me, so I will still only work until next Wednesday but reduced hours.

I just had to watch the final March Madness basketball game between the Badgers and Duke, one of those back and forth exciting games that ended 68 to 63 in favor of Duke.  Darn!  It's cool that the Badgers went all the way.

I got a lot done this morning; a good walk, a 3-mile bike ride, my kitchen cleaned, hummingbird feeders cleaned and filled, liver treats made for Frisco, and plants watered - all before it was time to get ready for work.  I like not having to rush to work.

Thursday, April 9.  I'm a retired woman again!  After working 2 hours a day for the last 3 days, and having very little to do during those 2 hours, I decided today was it and said goodby.  I like the folks that I work with, but I sure won't miss the cranky old people that think it is ok and right to yell at people and treat them rudely.  So, goodbye Mesa Spirit.

I have been keeping busy, getting little projects done around the house, catching up on phone calls, and, today, helping Arlene get rid of the weeds in her yard.  In fact, I met another neighbor while spraying Arlene's weeds this afternoon.  She started drilling me about using pesticides and I explained that I was uncomfortable having Arlene use the chemicals, so I was doing it for her.  She watched me, shaking her head in disgust.  I finally told her she should go in the house so she didn't breathe the chemicals.  Why do I keep meeting these strange, confrontational people these days?

Arlene and I went to a new Chinese restaurant this evening, the Sunny World, and what a bust.  We were unable to order ala carte and the waitress was rude when telling us this, we had to ask for silverware and napkins, the hot and sour soup was good but everything is was over battered and over fried and had no flavor.  It was such a bust that we had to stop at Baskin Robbins for a treat on the way back home.

Sunday, April 12.  I have been working on my road trip travel plan and I have it all mapped out with overnight stops planned too.  It's too bad that my ROD and Western Horizons memberships do not help me out at all on this trip, but Passport America (gives a 50% discount) will help.  Also, the cost of gas has gone down a lot, so that will also keep my costs down.

I have scheduled appointments for myself; follow-up with endocrinologist, cardiologist, and dental hygeinist, and a haircut in the next 2 weeks and also my car will be getting a new windshield, an oil change, tires rotated, and brakes checked.  The windshield is covered 100% by my insurance and I got a coupon for the other maintenance for $19.95.  The only thing that might cost extra is if the brakes need any work.

Jim installed my spare tire bike carrier for me on Friday and he ended up having to make some modifications since the hole on the car bracket is round but the mounting post for the bike rack is square.  From everything that I read about this rack, it should have worked on my car.  No problem, Jim was able to install it and when I got back home, I checked to make sure that I could take it on and off and also get my bike on and off.  Many thanks, Jim!

I joined Jim and Jan, Carmen and Bruce, and Jackie for fish fry and Simpletons.  We had a very nice time.

Saturday night was our community's annual Mexican Fiesta and several of us met at the clubhouse in the afternoon to chop veggies for tacos and salad and chicken for Jan's green chili chicken enchiladas and for Lois' chalupa casserole.  Mary made the taco meat and Jim picked up the Flan for dessert.  The clubhouse and each table was festively decorated and we had 2 Mariachis going from table to table during happy hour.  They also joined our table and sang Happy Birthday to Jan (today), Kathy (the 15th), and me (the 27th).  After dinner, Gary Mancini, played and sang, so we topped off the night with lots of dancing.  Another great party here at Highlands at Brentwood.

Today, I finished my curtain project on the camper and hung the wine cork bulletin board that I made by glueing the corks onto a yardstick.  It turned out cute and I now have a place to hang a few photos to make it feel a little more like home.

I got to see the grandkids on Facetime this morning and Charlotte was telling me that she was reading about silly crocodiles that were wearing clothes and Camille entertained me with wearing her cute sunglasses, and Norah said hi and then was off doing something else.  It will still be another month and a half before I see them again and I can't wait!

Friday, April 3, 2015

March 30 - 31, 2015, AZ

Tuesday, March 31.  Another person yelled at me at work today.  I will be glad when these angry old farts are gone and things start to slow down again.  The mass exodus is going on right now, with a steady stream of folks leaving the area parks.  Tomorrow is Pat and Roger's turn, so we went to Waldo's for dinner tonight.  The place was packed, we had to wait a while for a seat and then our waiter forgot to turn our order in, so it was an even longer wait.  He was very apologetic and we got a free Peach Cobbler dessert to share.  We said our goodbyes and I hope they have safe travels back home to Wisconsin.

April 1 - 5, 2015, AZ, CA

Wednesday, April 1.  Happy 48th Anniversary to Rita and Denny!

Thursday, April 2.
  It was off to Oxnard this morning to hang out with Mary and Lance for the weekend.  The trip was fine, lots of breaks, until I got just east of Pasadena and it became the trip from hell.  Easter weekend?  Who knows?  But I thought that going through there in the early afternoon hours might not be so bad.  It was 2.5 hours of stop and go traffic, less that 35 mph, and it is only a stretch of 64 miles.  I made it and it is so good to see these great friends again.  We picked up right where we left off last April, like it had been a short span of time since we saw each other.

Sunday, April 5.  Our whale watching trip on Friday morning was a bust - no whales, although we did see lots of playful Dolphins.  The weather was beautiful and it felt so good to be outside on the water, breathing the fresh salty air again, so it wasn't a total loss.  We had lunch at a nice place in the harbor and enjoyed the constant stream of boats heading out and coming in.

Mary and Lance

This is funny - most of the kids on the boat were sleeping.

I went straight upstairs for a nap when we got back and I can't believe I actually slept for 2 hours.  And then I could hardly keep my eyes open and went to bed by 9:00, thinking I would read for a while. I read 2 chapters, closed my eyes, and slept right through until 7:00 the next morning.  I think the fresh air and Meclizine that I took for motion sickness may have been what made me so sleepy.

Other than a nice, long walk on Saturday, we just hung around the house.  We jut had to watch the Final Four basketball games and we're happy that the Badgers go on to the final game on Monday night.

I hit the road by 8:30 on Sunday morning and got through LA without ever going under the speed limit.  It sure is a long drive ad I. I get just have to consider taking the train next time.