Wednesday, January 27, 2016

January 25 - 31, 2016, AZ

Wednesday, January 27.  I am dragging butt right now, it's 6 pm, I'm in my recliner and wishing the clock was saying it was bed time.  I scrubbed for 2.5 hours this morning, shopped at Costco, got gas in my car, hooked up my trailer and brought it to my house, then proceeded to give it a good scrubbing.  It was 4:30 when I finally sat down and drank a cocktail.  Now, that might be part of the reason that I'm feeling so tired too.  Anyway, I'm going to bed early tonight and then getting ready for a couple of nights of camping at Lost Dutchman State Park with the Hoovey's.

Pat and Rog came over Monday night and we made new pillow covers and a cover for the sofa for their motor home.  Pat brought everything for dinner and I baked a pumpkin pie - it was a nice evening.

Last night, Arlene came over for a drink and then I invited her to join me for dinner, as we were both having fish but hers was still frozen and mine was thawed and ready to go.  I also shared pie with her and that way, I didn't have all of the leftovers to eat myself.

Thursday, January 28.  It is 7:15, I'm sitting here having coffe and catching up on the news.  The sunrise is absolutely gorgeous this morning, streaks of pink, orange, and purple clouds streaking through the soft blue sky.  I can't wait to see it from my campsite this weekend.

Saturday, January 30.  What a great camping experience this has been.  We learned, on our arrival that there would be a free concert in the amphitheater and we had a 2 hour concert with Randy Davis, a western kind of history story teller and Brady Goss, a young and very talented piano player.  The talked with the crowd, told stories, and gave us a great show.  During their show, we could hear the coyotes in concert off in the distance.  We also saw 4 hang gliders come off the mountain and glide toward us.  A good start to our stay here.

We hung out at my campsite, struggled to get a fire going, had chili and grilled cheese sandwiches for dinner.

Yesterday, Pat and Roger's friends Gail and Rick joined us and we hiked the Treasure Loop Trail, about 3.5 miles, up to an elevation of about 2,600 feet.

Behind us, you can see the Praying Hands rock formation.

At one point, I spotted 4 elk, but my excited exclamation scared them away, although everyone did get a glimpse.  Later, at the Ranger station, we told them about our sighting and they were all surprised to hear that news - guess it is a rare thing.   

Pat fixed breakfast when we got back, scrambled eggs, bacon, English muffins, and Bloody Mary's.  Mmmmm!

I needed a nap after that exercise and drink, so the afternoon was quiet.  Rick and Gail came back in the evening and joined us for dinner and a nice campfire.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

January 18 - 24, 2016, AZ

Wednesday, January 20.  I'm pooped.  After back to back house cleanings today, my energy level is one of being pasted to the recliner and probably an early to bed night for me.  The jobs aren't bad, just very physical for 4.5 hours.  I cleaned for Carl today, a sweet 90 year old man who lost his wife about a year ago.  He went to anfitness class and then to play golf while I cleaned his condo.  I think I will enjoy my short chats with him.  I cleaned one house yesterday it am off now until next Wednesday. 

I had a beer with Jan and Jim on Tuesday night and w had some good conversation, as always.  Yesterday, Connie and I went for a little bike ride.  The days are warming up and it feels good to be outside.

Arlene and I went to see Betty and James' new house (she was my next door neighbor and moved out last May).  They sure found a nice house and have been doing little things like painting and changing window coverings to make it theirs.  We went to Lucky Lou's for a burger and did that ev hit the spot.  Mmmmm!   Good time.

Sunday, January 24.  I went hiking with Tom today, out between Usery Park and the Tonto National  Forest, parking in a small lot at McDowell and Meridian Roads.  When we got there, I realized that I had been at this place before, when Pat and Roger and Connie and I hiked last year.  We had trouble determining what trails we were on back then, so just went out and back.  Today, we kind of went back and forth before figuring out how to cross a small canyon and which trail we wanted to be on but eventually got it right and hiked about 3.5 miles on a loop that took us south of where we had parked the car.  We ended up walking the last half mile on Meridian Road.  The trail was nice, the day weather was perfect and we had a nice hike.

Yesterday, after being asked to help a neighbor out, I went to Joe's house to video him for an application for a seeing eye dog.  The application process requires him to provide a video of him walking so they can see his gait and how steady on his feet he is.  This will help them to place the right size dog with him.  I also have to video him in an interview with questions that they have provided - we will do that part next week.  Once he is approved, he will go to Palm Springs for a month of training with his new companion, he has hopes for a Standard Poodle.  An interesting project to say the least, and a great way to help a friend out.

I went to TGIF on Friday night and had a nice time with the locals and also got up in time on Saturday morning to go have coffee at the clubhouse.

Connie and I went to Gilbert on Saturday afternoon, did some window shopping and then had a glass of wine and bruschetta at Postino's.  I love that place.

I topped the weekend off with a nice conversation with Ben.  Life is good.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

January 11 - 17, 2016, AZ

Monday, January 11.  This damn crud lingers, so I saw the doctor again today.  Guess what - sinus infection and a regimen of antibiotics and steroids.  I promise to myself that I will not let these get out of hand again - it's been a rough 2 weeks.

Tuesday, January 12.  I've been hungry for soup again and while browsing through recipes today, I decided to make Zuppa Toscano, the Italian sausage and potato soup that is so yummy.  After Rose's Taxi Service dropped Arlene off at her hair appointment, I headed to the grocery store for a few things. I got the soup in the pot and invited Arlene to join me for a bowl later on.

Our community club annual meeting was held this afternoon and was well attended - too bad that we can't get more of the new people to join us - it's always the loyal folks who get involved in everything.  I walked home with Tom and invited him to join Arlene and I for soup.  We had nice conversation, then watched President Obama give his last State of the Union address of his presidency. I think there was one non-Democrat in the room based on some comments.  I love President Obama and have great respect for a man who has been treated so miserably by some in our country.  I think he has made great strides for this country and I'm even leaning farther to the left for the next election.

Wednesday, January 13.  I worked 2 of my cleaning jobs today.  One, I was hired involuntarily by the owner of the condo and there was confusion on who's responsibility it was to pay me.  Regardless, they will work it out between them and I will get my pay from either the owner or the renter in the future.  It only took me 4.5 hours to do both jobs but I was exhausted when I finished.  I still think it's a good job, I'm making good money, working for good people, and I hope that I can continue to handle the physical part of it.

Friday, January 15.  My hiking buddies, Pat and Roger, our dogs, and I headed out this morning to Gold Canyon to hike the Peralta Trail, a 7.5 mile drive in a dirt road just to get to the trail.  Now, I've been back at the trailhead a few times in the past, but never stepped a foot onto the trail before.  Our intention was to hike to the Fremont Saddle (about 2.5 miles) where we would be greeted by spectacular views of Canyon Lake and Weaver's Needle (a famous landmark in the Superstition Mountains).  The trail was rough and with 3 folks who haven't hiked in a while, we didn't quite make it all of the way to the saddle.  Regardless, we really enjoyed the hike and saw many spectacular views including waterfalls - yes, there is water in them hills after recent rains.

A chilly start for our hike.

The trail, looking south through the canyon.

A needle - only not the one that we were looking for.

Sunday, January 17.  I had guests for dinner last night.  My friend, Lance is in town because his brother-in-law, Wes, who lives nearby had a stroke just after Christmas and is in a rehab hospital near me.  He was home alone, as they are in the process of selling the home here and moving back to Illinois and his wife, Mary, was up there.  Lance is here to help Mary out - she also had a stroke just a few days after back here to be with her husband, although hers was very mild and she recognized that something was wrong and got help right away.  Now, Mary has to go back to Illinois, so Wes' sister, Annette, arrived from Alabama to be here with him.  So...I invited them to dinner and they eye so grateful, since they had been living on sandwiches while going back and forth to the hospital.  The good news is that Wes is coming around little by little, making progress with each therapy treatment.  We had a nice visit and exchanged phone numbers so I can help out in some way, if needed.

This morning, as I was walking, I thought it might be nice to go out to the river for picnic.  I called Connie and Arlene and then Connie called Kathy and we had a plan. We picked up a Tonto Pass, stopped for Subway sandwiches, headed out to the Lower Salt River, parked in the Phon D Sutton lot and took a short hike down by the river.  Found a spot under a tree, with the sound of the water rippling along, put down a blanket and had some lunch.  A very enjoyable time.

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

January 4 - 10, 2016, AZ

Tuesday, January 5.  This week brings us rain and more rain - for the next 5 days.  Maybe it's a good things that I am still a bit under the weather or the cloudy days would really be making me crazy. As it is, I feel cabin fever. 

I headed out this morning in search of a clothing consignment shop that a lady told me about.  I think I found it and I wasn't very impressed because the focus was on the younger generations - short, cropped tops, tight jeans, and spiked heels filled the racks.  I did find a bargain on an entry mat for my back door at Tuesday Morning - I love that store!  

Back at home, I baked a batch of Frisco's liver treats and he will be set for the next few weeks.

Friday, January 8.  This crud that I came down with on New Year's Day has been a roller coaster ride.  Most of the time, I have felt fully functional but with lots of head congestion and a rattling chest, but it continues in spite of all I am doing to make it go away; hot tea, honey, lemon, mucinex, saline rinse, lots of rest, etc.  One of these days, I will feel like me again.

I did one of my cleaning job yesterday and while I was there, 2 other neighbor's came by to see if I was interested in doing their homes too.  I now have 5 cleaning jobs, 4 mornings per month with 2 houses back to back and the fifth will be every 3 weeks.  I don't think I will take on any more.

Saturday, January 9.  Our little grandson, Owen, would be celebrating his 6th birthday today.  I can only imagine what a cute and sweet little boy he would have become.  Instead, I have relived his loss that took us all from elation to grief in just a matter of hours and I will wear my locket that contains a lock of his hair and his last ultrasound photo next to my heart all day.  Hopefully, he and Grandpa Mike and Uncle Casey are hanging out together in the spirit world and Dancing in the Sky.

Monday, January 4, 2016

January 1 - 3, 2016, AZ

Sunday, January 3.  New Year's Eve was very nice, starting with a nice dinner with Pat, Roger, Connie, and myself.  Top that off with a fun party at the clubhouse that included lots of dancing, toasting, lively conversation, hugs and laughter - it all made for a very enjoyable evening.

The next day, not so enjoyable, as I have come down with a cold or sinus infection - probably a cold since there are many people around me that have had it.  Needless to say, it was a slow and lazy day, although I did get my Christmas decorations down inside the house, worked on my puzzle, and on a crochet project.

I woke up feeling pretty good, so later in the morning when Tom (my next door neighbor) came over and asked if I was interested in going for a hike, I took him up on it.  The day was beautiful, sunny and clear with temps near 70 degrees.  We drove about 30 miles north to the Ballantine Trailhead in the Tonto National Forest and hiked about half of the loop trail, then came back down to where the car was parked.  The views were beautiful and it was quiet once you got away from the road noise.  Our total hike was about 2.3 miles.  I will feel it tomorrow, as this is the first desert hike I have done since last spring and at one point, I slipped and landed on my butt.

My cold came on fast and furious later that evening and I was under the weather through Sunday night.  I did manage to take down the outside Christmas lights but didn't do much else.