Monday, March 28, 2016

March 28 - 31, 2016, AZ

Monday, March 28.  I just had to go shopping for the grandkid's this morning as I got some great coupons in the mail for Gymboree and they were also having a great sale.  I spent $100 and got each girl a summer dress and play outfit plus a fall dress that I will give for their birthday gifts.  Without the coupons and sale prices, I would have forked out $248 - I'm happy.

I heard from Kathy this morning and Chuck was doing well after his surgery, but they still don't know if there is any cancer - at least that part went well.  Hugs, Chuck and Kathy!

Thursday, March 31.  Not much happening around here, although I did have a few friends over for happy hour and pulled pork sandwiches last night.  Chris and Norm, Gerry and Jeannie, and Jane and Peggy came over, Pat and Rog donated the pork (didn't have room in their freezer when they left here), Chris made a yummy salad, and Gerry and Jeannie brought dessert. We had a great time, sitting in the sunny back yard (it's been chilly and windy here) watching the birds and telling stories.

Chris captured this photo of 2 Peach Faced Lovebirds kissing.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

March 21 - 27, 2016, AZ

Tuesday, March 22.  Spring has sprung and it has brought us a bit of a cool down with lots of wind.  

Today would be my Dad's 103rd birthday. I've thought a lot about him since going to Italian Fest on Sunday, about his immigrant parents and their struggles, about him growing up in the rough streets of Brooklyn, NY, about his lying his age (he was too young) to be able to enlist in the Army-Air Corps, about his living with injuries from a plane crash during World War II, and about his struggles with alcohol addition throughout his life.  He wasn't the best of fathers but his influence helped to teach me to be a good person and to be who I am, and he gave me a family that I love.

I learned today that my neighbor, Al, passed away this morning from complications of Cystic Fibrosis.  His roommate and caretaker, Kirk, got him out of a nursing home in Minnesota, moved him here so he could have a better quality of life for the last year and a half.  I've got to hand it to Kirk (a paraplegic himself) for all that he did for his friend who was also confined to a wheelchair, could no longer speak but communicated via a spelling board and text messages, and fought with the medical staff to keep him going and to get the care that he needed. Sad, sad, story.

I stepped outside this evening and caught the moonrise and the sunset - gorgeous!

This would be such a great view, if it weren't for that darned utility tower.

Saturday, March 26.  The 46th anniversary of my marriage was on Wednesday and, of course , that brought memories of 2 kids falling in love, me driving 2,000 miles across the country to marry my sweetheart, starting our lives together in Long Beach, CA, a year after the summer of love, the Vietnam War killing off many of our young men, Bobby Kennedy's assassination, and then a stormy, snowy road trip back home in December that year.  There was a lot going on. 

My good friend and neighbor, Chuck, was taken to the hospital yesterday, a mass was found near his brain, and he was transferred to a neurosurgeon in Glendale for surgery that is scheduled for Monday.  I hope and pray that he is all right and has a quick recovery.  

I met up with the Wisconsin friends, Chris and Norm, Gerry and Jeannie (actually Minnesotans), Jane and Peggy at Simpletons last night - had a fun time and the usual good fish fry.

This morning, I just felt like getting away from here, so I asked Connie and Loretta if they were interested in a drive to Globe to explore the historic district and maybe see some wildflowers along the way. We lucked out on that in Miami where there were drifts of colorful poppies along the roadside.  We stopped at the visitors center and museum, learned a bit about the town, got a recommendation for a quilt show, art exhibit, and the Copper Hen for lunch.  The quilts were beautiful and I loved the architecture of the historic building where the show was held - the former courthouse.  And the Lunch was delish.  It felt good to get away.

Sunday, March 27.  Happy Easter! 

Thursday, March 17, 2016

March 14 - 20, 2016, AZ

Thursday, March 17. 

It has been a busy week with Jo and her friends; the pool, the flea market, dinners, happy hours, and even a night of dancing at Painted Mountain with Harry - a great entertainer who really gets the house moving.

Jo and Susan

Jo and I

Jo, Loretta, Susan, and Kathy

Susan and Jo leave in the morning, headed back to Wisconsin, so I invited them for dinner tonight.  No, I didn't serve corned beef and cabbage but made lime chicken tacos instead.  We started with home-made margaritas (so much better than any mix I have ever had) and ended with apple crumble for dessert and had a nice evening that ended early since they are heading out tomorrow.

Saturday, March 19.  James showed up early this morning to put a paint coating on my roof - I'm so thankful that he was willing to do the job.  I was able to pay him a respectable hourly rate and still save myself about $200, and that job is done for the next several years - maybe a selling factor.  While he was doing that, I headed over to Sunland Village for their community garage sales and I did find a few things - a beautiful duvet cover with matching pillow covers for $5, a new bed for Frisco, and some really pretty vintage necklaces, one that had the bracelet and earrings with them for a buck each.

This whole week has been Brentwood Days in our community, with some type of competition each day and tonight was the finale.  The competitions were Golf (Battle of the Sexes and Canada vs US), Bingo, Bunco, Bridge, Shuffleboard and then today, a poker run and golf cart parade.  Everyone had a great time and prizes were awarded this evening at happy hour which was followed by dinner and then a dance with Guilty Pleasures providing the entertainment.  The crowd really thinned out early with the exception of a few die hard dancers, including me, and just a few others.  I was home by 8:30.

Sunday, March 20.  A morning conversation with Ben and the grandkid's really started my day off nicely.  Ben was having a hard time getting the twins to keep their clothes on. Charlotte and I shared our coloring books and she told me about the warm and cool colors and how she likes the warm colors (yellow and orange) the best.  Norah and I talked about owls and she told me that they live in nests, in the trees, and they say hoot, hoot.  Camille just looked into the computer and didn't say much.

Connie had tickets to Italian Fest in Scottsdale today and that was a fun event, although it was crowded and the food lines were long.  I spoke to a young woman who had a map of Catania hanging in her booth, so I asked if she was familiar with the Ursino Castle.  She proceeded to give me a brief history and told me that it was a beautiful area and that I should visit.  Needless to say, I would love to. We had a sausage and pepper sandwich, bought some bread, and then headed back home.

Tonight, I was treated to dinner at Casa Ramos by Jim and Joe and Kathy joined us too.  They wanted to thank me for doing the video for Joe's application for a service dog and it was a very enjoyable evening with yummy food and great conversation.

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

March 7 - 13, 2016, AZ

IMonday, March 7.  What a great start to the week - a bus trip to Boyce Thompson Arboretum with 7 other people from our community and 2 from Monte Vista.  We strolled the grounds, admiring the surroundings and the many wildflowers, majestic Eucalyptus trees, Lady Banks roses (native to this area), and soon to be blooming cactus.  I recognized a woman standing in the greenhouse - my friend Chris with 2 of her visiting friends.  Small world.  We stopped at a Mexican restaurant in Superior for lunch and got home around 2:00.  

Texas Mountain Laurel
Lady Banks Roses

Me, Judy, Gwenn, Arlene, Joan, and Marlen

Just a stump, but a beautiful one.

Tonight, I was invited to dinner at Nan and Dale's - her mother, Karen, is visiting from Wisconsin and Monica and Loren joined us too.  It was a great evening with family and a good topper to this day.

Friday, March 11.  Yesterday, I picked my cousin, Jo, and her friend Susan up at the airport, took Susan to her friend, Eloise's house, then Jo and I headed back to my house.  Naturally, we sat and drank wine after dinner until about 11:00 and caught up on the events since we had seen each other last June.

The morning, after making the broccoli salad for TGIF, we headed to the pool and hung out for a couple of hours.  The Corned Beef and Cabbage tonight was very good.  

On Tuesday, at the monthly community club meeting, we learned that the health department has dictated that we are no longer allowed to cook or prepare food in the clubhouse kitchen, any side dishes that are brought to share must have the ingredients listed so all can see, and nobody can serve the food, it must be self-serve.  That really puts a crimp in our style because we have always had someone volunteer to cook the main course (usually at the clubhouse kitchen) and then everyone brings a dish to pass.  We will work something out, but for now it is just a pot-luck with nothing prepared in the clubhouse.

Saturday, March 12.  The best way I could possibly start my day - FaceTime with Ben and the Grandkids.  Love it!

It was another nice day with Jo and a few others, starting with a morning walk, breakfast, the pool, then home to get ready to go to Filly's Roadhouse to hear some good country music with Connie, Susan, and Eloise.  We sat in a sunny spot, then it soon became shady and was a little bit on the cool side.  The place was full, cowboys and cowgirls arriving on horseback and a dance floor full of folks doing the two step and line dancing.  They are known for their chicken and I thought it was very good but the service was slooooow.

Eloise, Me, and Jo

Connie and Susan

The hitching post.

Before coming back to my house, we stopped to see the house that Ray and Jo bought at Viewpoint. It is very nice, he did a great job of furnishing it but unfortunately, since they are divorcing, she won't be part of it, although he is going to let her stay there when he is out of the country. She plans to spend some time there next week.

And then we sat out in my patio and talked and talked and talked some more.

Friday, March 4, 2016

March 1 - 6, 2016, AZ

Thursday, March 3.  A farewell dinner at the Chandlers motor home on Tuesday night was nice, they head back home in Wednesday.

The Freddie and Sheila show that was held in our park on Wednesday night was very entertaining and enjoyable.  Freddie is an amazing guitar player, playing some in the style of Chet Atkins and Mac Wiseman, but he sure had a style of his own including keeping the rhythm by clogging while he sat in his stool - pretty amazing.  Sheila's voice was beautiful and she did some interesting folk songs and Patsy Cline's, "Crazy" that was beautiful.

This morning, I got to Carl's house for my first cleaning job and he was surprised an confused with the dates so I had to reschedule his, go back home and return to do Joanne's at 11:00.  Trying to find things to keep busy for 2 hours was hard, but I managed and then it seemed to fly by.  

Arlene asked if I could pick her up from a nail appointment on my way back home - no problem.  She also wanted to stop by the mattress store so we did that too, then made a stop at Walmart and then to Zupas for a yummy Cuban sandwich.

Friday, March 4.  Today is my little brother, Rocco's, birthday and he would be 67 years old, gone from us for 14 years.  He was small in stature but a fireball for sure, a great guy who got caught up in drugs and alcohol at such a young age.  I miss him.

Arlene and I joined Pat and Roger for their last Arizona fish fry tonight - Harp's Irish Pub because last week's fish at an Irish pub was delicious.  Not so good this week - I know that I won't ever go back there - flavorless and yucky batter on the fish.

Sunday, March 6.  Yesterday started out just fine with a FaceTime call from Bob and Randy - it's so nice to see and talk with them.  A little later, Rick called, so it wa a morning of catching up with my brothers - very nice!  Connie and I went to some neighborhood garage sales in the morning.

I got the guest room ready for Jo's visit next week - boy, the windows and blinds really needed cleaning - guess I haven't done that since I got back here last fall.  Today, I worked on the living room windows, pictures on the wall, and the ceiling fan.

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Monday, February 29, AZ

After another miserable night of sneezing, snuffling, coughing, draining, head aching, turning, tossing, I went to see my drug distributor today.  After the first dose of Z-pack, I'm in my way to recovery and feeling a bit better at bed time.