Saturday, October 31, 2015

October 25 - 31, 2015, AZ

Saturday, October 31.  I realized that I hadn't written for a while when my sister in law, Sharon, sent me a message asking if I was all right.  That led to a very nice conversation with her that lasted a while this afternoon.  It was nice chatting with her again.

I have stayed busy this week, gathering items for our upcoming garage sale, getting them priced and ready for the big day.  I also spent some time cleaning up and trimming one of Arlene's trees that had become quite overgrown.  Since she has a hard time seeing, I offered to help her out.  While I was working on it, Tom came back from his walk and helped me with some of the taller branches and with the cleanup.  We still have another tree to trim but have to wait for available trash cans since we filled Arlene's and Betty's to the brims.

On Wednesday, Connie, Kathy, and I headed out to the library to get free culture passes to Arcosanti, an arcology project near Cordes Junction, about 70 miles north of Phoenix.  It is the work of Paolo Soleri who died about 2 years ago.  His dream was to create an urban community that was self sufficient and made a small footprint on the earth, thereby reducing pollutants such as roads, cars, etc.and creating a sense of community.  Some of the housing units looked like honeycombs to me.  Our tour guide, Mary Claire, or MC was very knowledgeable and informative, after fifty years of involvement, who wouldn't be.  The project is funded by the sale of sand cast windbells and has been for many years, since 1970 to be exact.  Its a little odd but kind of cool too. 

This morning was busy.  I checked on Jan and Jim's cat (a few days of cat sitting) and then walked to the clubhouse for Saturday morning coffee.  It was enjoyable, I will try to do it more often.  When I got back home, I emptied my shed and scrubbed all of the shelves and floor and then put everything back together again - a project that took me until 1:00 to complete.  All is good, it no longer smells like the latest dust storm just went through there.

The Halloween party at the clubhouse was lots of fun, as the folks in this place know how to have a good time.  I dressed as Rosie the Riveter, got favorable comments but no prize and no photos either.  There were lots of good costumes; Sonny and Cher, school girl, witch, black widow, pirate, a "pizza is messy", a beer keg, and lots of other originals.  

Here'sy grandkids, all dressed up for Halloween.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

October 18 - 24, 2015, AZ

Monday, October 19.  The back yard forest is getting cleaned up, little by little.  I tackled the Palo Verde trees again this morning.  I had one large pile of brush, wrapped in a sheet, ready to load into my car when the community maintenance man, CW, came by in his cart and hauled it to the dump for me.  I probably have 2 more loads to get rid of and then will be done with that project. 

Chris and Norm picked me up this evening and we went to Painted Mountain Golf Club for their 2 for 1 happy hour special.  As we got close, Gary and Jeanie called to say that they had just arrived from Minnesota, were quite hungry, so Norm went back to pick them up and they joined us, as did Norm's brother Carl who also just got back here from the north country.  Good time.

Friday, October 23.  A lot has happened this week, but not a lot to write about.  I finally finished cleaning up the tree trimmings in the back yard, gave the house a good cleaning, started staging for the upcoming garage sales on November 7, had a doctor appointment and met with my financial advisor, taking walks, hanging out with friends - the usual activities of my retirement life.

I saw Norah and Camille on FaceTime and had a nice phone conversation with Charlotte.  I miss the interactions with them on  a regular basis - hearing their voices and watching them play - it's just not the same when I'm away, but it sure is better than nothing to see them now and then.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

October 12 - 18, 2015, AZ

Wednesday, October 14.  It feels good to be getting things cleaned up and set to be lived in for the winter.  I've connected with some friends and have talked with lots of folks while out walking around.  

Yesterday, I took inventory and got the clubhouse supplies restocked.  I can't believe that someone stole napkins of all things.  I don't get it.

I went to see the movie, "The Intern" starring Robert De Niro and Anne Hathaway with .connie, Jim and Jan.  I thought it was quite entertaining and a good story about a 70 year old man who goes back to work as an intern in a large startup corporation.
My big project his week has been cleaning up the yard, spending a couple of hours each morning and working my way from front to back.  This morning, I had a major allergy attack when I trimmed the 2 Texas Sage shrubs that had grown a good 2 feet over the summer.  

I also got my oil changed today but was unable to retrieve the keys that fell in the hole on the console - they would charge at least $50 to retrieve them.

Saturday, October 17.  As you can tell, I'm getting back in the swing of things here in Arizona and I'm not writing nearly as much.  I've been connecting with friends, most of whom were gone for the summer too, so it is fun to hear their stories and to share adventures.  Little by little, I am getting the house and yard cleaned up.

My dear niece, Monica got married in a private ceremony in Sedona on Thursday.  I'm so happy that she found the man of her dreams and I wish them a long and happy life together.

Nan, Loren, Monica, Dale,  and Scooter

I haven't cooked in days.  Friday was the TGIF pot luck at the clubhouse, yesterday was dinner at Jim and Jan's with Chuck and Kathy, Connie, and Kathy K - a fun and enjoyable time.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

October 5 - 11, 2015, MN, IA, NE, CO, NM, AZ

Tuesday, October 6.  I took off yesterday morning after breakfast and after walking Charlotte to school.  I then made a stop at the grocery store before hitting the road.  The trip to the West Des Moines KOA was uneventful and I really like the park - it has become a regular stop off spot when going through Iowa.  I couldn't help thinking so much about my brothers, Ray and Russ and the time I recently spent there with family.  Such a tragic thing.

I was getting ready to go this morning hen I dropped my RV keys into the little hole in the console where the emergency brake is.  I could see it but I couldn't catch it with a bent hanger - afraid that I might pull on something that shouldn't be tugged.  It's a good thing that I have a spare set and I can wait until I get someone who can get to it for me.

I had hoped to see some Sandhill Cranes today, as I chose this route because of the migration route (I guess that is more of a spring event) but I didn't see a one.  I did see a flock of White Pelicans though and that as pretty special.

I'm sitting under a nice pine tree at the Holiday RV Park in North Platte, NE right now.  It was like a long drive today, 8 hours with stops.  Now, I have to figure out the which way to go and how far to go tomorrow.

Wednesday, October 7.  Happy 2nd Birthday to Camille and Norah!  I made the decision to get off the interstate this morning and it was a mistake, in the sense that there was absolutely nothing of interest to see along the way.  Time wise, probably the same.  I headed south on US 385 and there were miles and miles of nothing, interrupted by a crappy little town about every 30 miles.  As I got closer to La Junta, CO, the GPS routed me on state and county roads that zigzagged to my destination.  I had an old red pickup truck with a white hood following me for the last 150 miles - got a little spooked with that, but haven't seen it since.  I thought there would be some elk or other wildlife to see but nothing but cattle, corn, maize, and sunflowers - oh, and a tarantula crossing the road.  I do think Mike was with me today because the Monarch butterflies were fluttering everywhere - unfortunately some are in my grill.  I also felt his presence when I couldn't get a radio station except one AM station that played old country and trucker tunes - he would have loved it.

With the time change (I'm on Mountain time now), I arrived at the KOA around 2:30.

Thursday, October 8.  Today I travelled along some of the original Santa Fe Trail, a major trade route between the US and Mexico.  It made me think about how it must have been back in the 1800s traveling on foot or horseback or by covered wagon - treacherous.  And I was getting tired and restless in my comfy little Toyota pulling my comfy little house behind me.  It was a 7-hour drive and I was so relieved when I got to the KOA in Grants, NM.  At checkin, the friendly gal gave me the "little rig" discount and took $7 off the price.  Frisco got a cookie and so did I.  And to top it off, they had a home-cooked turkey dinner with all of the trimmings plus a few other dinner selections.  I had stopped for a late lunch this afternoon and wasn't too hungry.  I opted for a piece of "fruit of the forest" pie that was excellent - definitely home made and topped with ice cream and delivered to my door.  Yummy!

 This is what I mean by a lot of nothing to see in Colorado.

I have about 5 hours to go tomorrow and I'm looking forward to it - most of it is such a beautiful drive.

Sunday, October 11.  I made it back to my house by 2:00 on Friday afternoon and started the process of unloading.  All is good with my house, although there is a lot of yard cleanup to do.  The back and side yards look like a forest things are overgrown in in need of a good trimming.

I spent the day Saturday cleaning the inside of the trailer and then I was off to the car wash to take care of the exterior - they both had a costing of bugs that took some serious scrubbing effort to clean them off.  I got the trailer tucked back in the storage lot and then learned from Tom that I was in the wrong one, so had to go back this morning and move it over one spot.

Connie had me over for dinner on Saturday night - so good to talk with her again.

I stopped by Nan and Dale's this afternoon to say hello and got to see Monica too.  They are all in preparation for Monica and Loren's wedding this Thursday in Sedona, a small private event.  I will help them celebrate when they have a reception at a later date. 

It feels good to be back here.

Saturday, October 3, 2015

October 1 - 4, 2015, MN

Saturday, October 3.  What a busy week and it has just flown by so quickly.  Ben is SF for his work until tomorrow so my role with the kids has been even greater the last few days.  Also, the twins have both had colds and haven't been feeling up to par - they are much better today.  I took Charlotte to her swim class on Thursday evening and she has improved so much since the last time I went.  Her confidence and skills are much improved. She is also taking ballet and gymnastics now, she seems so grown up at times - until tonight at bedtime when I was asked to sing Hush Little Baby, Rock-a-bye Baby, and Twinkle Twinkle before she nodded off to sleep.

We've been getting ready for the birthday party tomorrow and birthdays are very special around here - that is definitely why I'm still here.  It is 10:20 pm and I am relaxing in bed while Jill is downstairs putting frosting and decorations on 2 lemon blueberry cakes in the shape of butterflies.  I just know that they will be beautiful.

Sunday, October 4.  Happy Birthday, dear brother Bob!  It was a busy day in the Bridge household, my last one here for a while.  I kept an eye on kids while Jill prepared the spaghetti sauce for birthday dinner and then we all headed off to the playground.  Those guys are really getting agile - Charlotte was sliding down the pole and the twins were climbing like crazy.  Good times.

This afternoon I went and had my propane tank filled (no wonder my fridge wouldn't work) and then went to pick Ben up at the airport.  When we got back home, I hooked up and got ready for morning take-off.

The birthday party was lots of fun and I don't think Norah and Camille got it until Jill and Lois came in with the lit birthday cakes and we all sang Happy Birthday.  Their eyes just lit up.  Gifts were all a big hit - trucks, building blocks, outfits, and the stepping stones that I bought.  Dinner was yummy too.  The neighbor, Rosanna and her 4 kids joined us for cake and it really made it feel like a party, then.