Monday, October 17, 2016

October 17 - 23, 2016, AZ

Monday, October 16.  I did it! I got myself in gear to go to water aerobics this morning - I really need to keep this body moving, especially after the physical challenges I've had the last couple of months. It was a great time, nice bunch of ladies, and a great workout.

Wednesday, October 18.  My first week at home has been busy, taking on a few tasks a day, and so far I have got the inside dusted and vacuumed and the patio and carports cleaned off.  I also got the patio furniture outside and the swing in the back yard so I can enjoy the birds and the nice weather.  Naturally, the Pablo Verde trees needed a good trimming and I cut them back only enough to allow me to walk under them without getting bonked in the head - a job that will need to be continued at a later time (after the trash can is emptied).

I've also connected with some of my community friends: had drinks and dinner with Jan, 
Jim, Jeanne, Connie, and Jacki on Monday night to celebrate Jacki's 87th birthday. Arlene and Tom joined me for a drink on Tuesday night and we never tire of things to talk about.

Tonight, I watched the final presidential debate between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton and there is no doubt in my mind who to vote for.  Trump even said that he didn't know if he would support the elected president, he said he would wait and see what happens.  What a total slug of an example of humanity. I don't understand why anyone would vote for him - he is unethical and not qualified for the highest responsibility that a president carries.

I also got a call from Jan, inviting me to go see Michelle Obama speak tomorrow at the convention center - you darn right I want to go.

Saturday, October 22.  I arranged for Arlene to let Frisco out on Thursday so I could go see the First Lady.  Jan and Connie picked me up at 9 am and we headed to the light rail station where we met up with Jodi and Montana (Jan's daughter and granddaughter), Sandy (Jodi's sister-in-law), and Pam (her friend and coworker). The train took us right to the convention center and we  were directed through the lines to get to security and it all worked pretty efficiently. 

We ended up sitting in the cheering section - not necessarily because we should have been there - you were supposed to have a wrist band - but they let us on the bleachers and that is where we stayed.  We were handed banners to wave and instructed to cheer at various times while we waited for her to come on - at least a 3-hour wait.

Michelle Obama came on and she said all of the things that we expected her to say - stay above the crap that is going on in this election, encourage everyone you know to cast their vote, and pray that Hillary gets more votes than Donald Trump.  My picture of her didn't turn out too great, but it documents that I was there!

I have spent the last 2 days appreciating my home, not wanting to wander too far.  I did some cleaning, laundry and more yard cleanup.  

Arlene invited me to a wonderful dinner last night with Sharla and Tom, James, Betty, Tom K and I.  For a woman with poor vision, she sure cooked a heck of a meal - ham, roasted veggies, warm bread, corn, and cranberry sauce with apple and grapes.  We had lots of laughs and a great time, as always.  A great bunch of folks to hang around.

Today, I wasn't feeling too great - stomach has been upset all day.

Sunday, October 23.  I was off to the grocery store this morning to get ingredients for a broccoli salad to take to Nan and Dale's house for dinner - a smoked pork loin that they put on the smoker at 3:30 this morning.  Monica joined us and it was so nice to be with that part of my family again.  There is always lots to talk about and plenty to eat.  Sad thing is - I forgot to put the salad out when dinner time came around.  We divvied it up so everyone can have it with their leftovers.

I did go hang out with Connie at the pool for a while this afternoon - we had it all to ourselves.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

October 10 - 16, 2016, MO, OK, TX, NM, AZ

UWednesday, October 12.  Happy Birthday to my dear friend, Hoovey!

I arrived at Bob's house in KC around 3:00 and got set up in my usual parking spot. Later on, he and Penny had an appointment, so he dropped me off at Rita's and we visited until it was time to go to Waldo's Pizza.  Stella, Josh, and Barley, Aaron, and Bob and Penny all had dinner together and Joel stopped by so Lincoln and Harlow could say hello too.  It was a pleasant, although short visit with the family - to be continued at another time, probably next summer.

Rita picked me up Tuesday morning and we headed for Costco, then Brookside to do some shopping (lots of little boutiques and a modern day dime store) and we had lunch at Charlie Hoopers Bar and Grill.  When we got back to her house, we laid down on her king sized bed talking, then both fell asleep for a nice nap.  Bob picked me up and we went back to his house and when Penny got home from work, we all had a nice dinner together.

I was on the road by 8:30 Wednesday morning in order to meet Randy and Julie in Joplin for lunch at Cracker Barrel - they drove from Springfield so we could hook up - how nice is that?  Our lunch visit was very nice and then they headed to a nearby casino and I headed west on the Will Rogers Turnpike.  I only drove as far as Claremore because it would be another 2.5-3 hours to the next KOA.  It was a rainy drive, sometimes visibility was poor, and I saw several accidents along the way.  No problem stopping sooner than I had planned.

Friday, October 14.  I spent last night at the KOA in Amarillo, TX, after about a 7-hour drive, and I was ready for a break.  While setting up, a couple from St. George, UT stopped to chat about small rigs like mine.  They had just bought a Casita and were interested in hearing about my experiences.  Everywhere I go, people stop to comment on my trailer and that happened a few times on this trip as well.

Today's drive was uneventful, thankfully, and I stopped at the KOA in Grants, NM because of what a nice place this is.  They serve home-cooked meals and some of the best pies.  I ordered the turkey dinner and it was delivered to my site, steamy hot and delicious.  The grounds and facilities are well maintained, the staff is friendly. And there is a nice nature walk through the desert with mounds of black volcanic rock scattered all over the place. I love it and will stop here whenever it works into my schedule and route.

Sunday, October 16.  I was on the road by 8:30 yesterday morning and it wasn't long before I crossed over to the Arizona border and I pulled in front of my house at about 2:30 pm.  It is still standing, no worse for wear.  Naturally, there is a coating of dust on everything and the debris from the trees in the back yard needs to be cleaned up but I will approach it slowly. No sense in hurting myself by taking on too much at one time.

I unloaded the trailer - wow, that thing holds a lot of stuff - and then the car (Spotted Cow beer, a box of "in case" stuff, a suitcase full of off season clothes, the grill).  Several neighbors and Connie came by to say hello and welcome me back.  I warmed up my left-over turkey dinner and went to bed early (according to the Arizona time zone) because my body was exhausted.

Today, I continued putting things away, doing laundry, and running a few errands - a stop at the grocery store for meat and fresh produce, and the pet store for Frisco food.  I roasted a chicken for dinner, enjoyed a cocktail, and walked the park loop after dinner.  Home Sweet Home!

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

October 3 - 9, 2016, MN, IA

Tuesday, October 4.  Happy Birthday to my sweet brother, Bob! He is not only celebrating his birthday, but his retirement from owning and operating Windscape Apartments.  Congratulations on a very successful career.  Jill is off again, this time to Dallas for her regular job.  It is strange having full days to myself - the twins started full-days at preschool this week.  They were both tired when they got home, naps must not have gone so well.

Thursday, October 6.  My summer in the Midwest and my stay with Ben and his family is winding down and I will be leaving here on Sunday after celebrating Norah and Camille's birthday on Saturday. My time here has been busy and I'm glad that I was able to help them with the transition from at-home care to preschool .  They are still adjusting, but it can only get better from here.

Today, I got my car organized and cleaned up the camper a bit.  I had to pull it out of its storage spot in Kevin's driveway yesterday, as tree trimmer were here and they needed to pull their truck in there.  All is well, that job is done.

Saturday, October 8.   Celebrated Norah and Camille's 3rd birthday today, starting around 9:30 when the Quinn's arrived and the gift opening began.  They were happy and excited about their gifts.  Ben fixed a yummy breakfast of bacon, toast, and frittata, and then the big gifts were presented - balance bikes.  Camille figured it out right away, but it was a bit hesitant.  Her bike might be just a tad too big yet - she is so tiny.  We then all headed to Lynnhurst playground for an hour of bike riding.  Norah was more interested in Ben's skateboard than her new bike - she even shifted her body in order to balance.

Waiting for the big surprise.

While the little ones napped, Jill and her mom and Charlotte made Runzas - a traditional fall recipe for their family -  burger, onions, and cabbage wrapped in dough and baked. And then after dinner, it was time for cake and singing Happy Birthday.

Sunday, October 9.  I said my emotional goodbyes to the family and then pulled out around 9 this morning and drove as far as Des Moines, stopping for a few groceries along the way.

Sunday, October 2, 2016

October 1 - 2, 2016, MN

Sunday, October 2.  Jill took off in the wee hours of the morning on Thursday for SF. Norah and Camille had another day home from school since they require a full 24 hours after treatment for the pink eye.  They went back to school on Friday and I got a little break.

Yesterday was a good day for Ben and I, a walk to Brueggers for bagels, he took Norah grocery shopping while I took Charlotte and Camille for a walk along the lake. After naps, wee all went to woodlake nature center for a hike and then to Punch Pizza for dinner. Yummy!

This morning, we all slept in, so the day got off to a later start.  Ben took Camille for groceries today (stuff for their classes at school) and I took the others two to the playground.  Jill got back this afternoon.