Tuesday, February 16, 2016

February 15 - 21, 2016, AZ

Monday, February 15.  I jumped the gun this morning and wished my son, Ben, a happy 39th birthday, a day early.  Oh well.

Jim and Sue picked me up this morning and we headed to Saguaro Lake to take the Deset Belle cruise.  We met Jill's parents, Lois and Dennis and her aunt and uncle Kathy and Dave there.  It was so nice to see those guys again and we picked right up where we left off the last time we saw each other. The boat cruise was very educational and informative and the beauty was endless.  We did spot some Bighorn sheep on the side of the mountain and on our way back home we saw several wild horses.  A stop at Red, White, and Brew for lunch topped off that part of the day.

When I got back home, I had to go to the clubhouse to get setup for the Maggie Mae concert, reserving seats for my 12 guests, many Wisconsin supporters.  As usual, she and Stevie Ray put on an excellent 2-hour concert that had folks tapping toes, clapping, and singing along.

Thanks, Mike R for the photo.

Tuesday, February 16.  Happy Birthday to my youngest son, Ben who turns 39 today - dang, time flies.

Today's big event was a home safety seminar at the clubhouse with a free lunch.  I learned a lot but a a few major takeaways.  First is the storage of 9-volt batteries-they should never be stored where the contacts can be touching any type of metal.  They should be stored in the original packages or else held together and a piece of tape placed over the contacts.  She demonstrated how quickly sparks can be generated if they just touch a piece of metal - coins, paper clips, steel wool or something in your junk drawer.  The second biggie is timing - you have less than 2 minutes to escape once a fire breaks out - mostly due to the materials your home is constructed from and the fabrics and products in your home are made of - mostly petroleum and synthetic based materials.  Thirdly - your smoke detector may not go off if the cause is a smoldering fire (most are these days because of electronics that we use in our homes). 

Naturally, they were selling their alarm systems and Arlene and I had them come to our homes for the sales pitch afterward.  Yes, they appear to be incredible products but the cost is $1,800 for 3 alarms and $899 for 2 - way beyond my budget so I just have to take my chances.  I did get a free extinguisher and fire bat for listening to the sales pitch plus I won the drawing for a $25 gift card to Olive Garden.

Thursday, February 18.  A good news day!  A breathing test and follow up appointment with a pulmonary specialist this afternoon had me leaving there feeling really good.  The x-ray that I had last week showed my lungs were clear and the breathing test today showed minor obstruction - that, after more than 30 years as a cigarette smoker is good with me.  So...the breathing problems that I'm having are allergy and environment related and can be treated with medication and not treated when I'm away from here.

I stayed home yesterday except for a trip to Costco - walked 2.5 times around the park and went to the pool - the first time I've done so, since last fall.  It felt so good and I'm going to try to do that more often.
Friday, February 19.  A hiking we will go, a hiking we will go.  I picked Jim and Sue and Pat up this morning and we headed to the McDowell mountain preserve in Scottsdale to meet up with Lois, Dennis, Dave, and Kathy to hike the Lost Dog Wash Trail, a 2.5-mile upward climb to the Taliesen Overlook.  As usual, the views were gorgeous, especially at the summit, with Scottsdale surrounded by mountains in clear view.  Going back down was easy and quick.  We spotted a few Desert Poppies and Lupine along the trail - spring is coming.

We asked a gal to take a group photo, I'm not sure how she captured this one, but it's funny.

Beers and fish-fry at Simpletons resulted in lots of good conversation, some even political, and of course, much laughter.  I acquired a new nickname of Alacarte (since. I'm solo) from the waitress, Malicia.  Us girls got the giggles again on the way home - it feels so good to laugh so hard that you get tears in your eyes.  We sat in the patio and had an after dinner drink of Peppermint - more good conversation and laughter.  Life is good.