Tuesday, January 24, 2017

January 23 - 29, 2017, AZ

Wednesday, January 25. I have only one cleaning job this week and I had planned to use my time wisely.  Guess what? I have shopped and worked on a jigsaw puzzle and that is about it - other than a nice walk along the Velda Rose Nature trail with Pat and Roger and the dogs on Monday morning.  I was leading out pack when I saw 2 coyotes only 30 feet ahead of us - they quickly walked away in the other direction.  We had heard some yipping and it sounded like coyotes but we weren't sure.  A bit of excitement to start the walk.

That afternoon, we went to the outlet mall in search of new walking shoes but we all came home empty handed, as I was unable to find either of my favorite brands.

Today was a full day with a cleaning job, physical therapy, dog sitting for Louie, and I got the dent on my car repaired. Nan had referred Sergio to me, the husband of her co-worker, as a guy who works in a body shop and does repairs in the side at his home,  He told me he would charge me $50 to pop out the dent and then I could decide if it looked ok or if I wanted more work done to it.  I'm thinking it looks ok and I will keep the insurance settlement in my savings account for other necessities.  He is a nice guy, knows his work well, and we had a nice chat while waiting for the bumper to warm up.  Life is good.

Friday, January 27.  Yesterday, Pat, Roger, Frisco, Louie, and I took a roadtrip to Jerome, an old mining town about 100 miles north of Phoenix.  It was a nice, sunny day like we haven't seen for a few days, but cold, topping off at about 42 degrees.  When we arrived, we walked with the dogs around town, deciding on places that we wanted to check out. There was no problem leaving them in the car, since it was plenty cool and they would just nap.  We stopped at a few artsy shops, had some lunch, and took a few photos.

When we left Jerome, we took the route through the mountains toward Prescott and it was true to their claim of 151 turns in an 11-mile stretch of road. It felt like the Tail of The Dragon in South Carolina that we drove in our Miatas many years ago.  We just had to stop to check out the foot of snow on the ground and it was so pretty resting on the branches of the trees.  In the bright sunshine, it really didn't feel that cold.

The magnetic pull of the Rock Springs Cafe drew us in for a piece of the "Best Pie in Arizona".  I'm not sure if it was the best, but it sure was good.  It was another great day with good friends.

This morning, as I was heading out to an estate sale in southeast Mesa, I sent a text message to Diane to see if she would be around.  I haven't seen her for a year and I was going to be right near her house.  She replied back quickly, saying that she was working from home, would take a break and change out of her pjs and go with me.  By the time we finished at the sale, it was lunchtime, so we stopped at Fat Willy's right there in her community for a bite to eat, chatting the entire time.  Gotta do that more often, it is always nice to connect with old friends.

Talk about connecting with old friends, TGIF was in order for tonight, an evening of good conversation and dinner with my friends in the community.

Sunday, January 29.  What a perfect day today was.  Topping it off was the weather - a warm and sunny 72 degrees.  A slow paced relaxing morning, drifted into a slow paced relaxing walk around the Gilbert Riparian Preserve with Pat, Roger, Connie, and the dogs. There were lots of birds a twittering in the trees and bushes, the large ponds filled with ducks, geese, egrets and shore birds.

Back at home, I got to see the grandkids on FaceTime which always makes for a good feeling in my heart.  I did my good deed for the day and helped Arlene get her TV and internet back - she was having trouble following instructions by the technicians because she couldn't see to do what they were telling her to do.  It wasn't long and she was back in shape and can now watch something other than Channel 3.

Tonight, Chris invited me and Connie to her park to see a presentation on The Salt River Wild Horses.  Cindy Shanks has been visiting the Salt River since 1988 and, although this presentation was about the horses, she has witnessed and recorded and photographed the other animals and plants in that area.  She knows it like it is her own back yard and has become up close and personal (from a respectful distance) with the horses.  I totally enjoyed her stories and slide show and walked away with 2 of her books that I will share with the grandkids when I go to visit.

What a week! I talked with both of my sons, the grandkids and my sister, Rita and I did a lot of stuff.  I love it!

Thursday, January 19, 2017

January 16 - 22, 2016, AZ

Thursday, January 19.  It has been one busy week and I'm finding some time right now to be lazy in front of the tv.  

I had dinner at Jan and Jim's on Monday night and Connie, Cookie, and Max were there too.  I was shocked to see Cookie up, active and feeling good after her heart attack on Friday night.  Unfortunately, she and Max had to get on a plane the next day for their home in Vancouver, Canada. It was a planned trip, unlike the heart attack, in order to renew their health insurance.  Now, Cookie may not be able to return to the US for 2 years because she won't be able to get travel insurance because she now has a pre-existing condition.  We had a nice evening and some of Jim's delicious Turkey soup.

Cookie, 3 days after a heart attack.

Yesterday, as I was getting ready to go hiking with Tom, my client called to see if I was coming today. I looked at the calendar and it wasn't on there, although I had it on my phone calendar.  Sylvia was great about it and I will be cleaning her house on Friday.  Another senior moment.  We headed out to some trails on the southeast corner of Usery Park, a nice, level trail and my knee gave me no trouble.  Tom and I found lots to talk about, had beautiful weather, but poor Frisco got several stickers in his paws - he just stops and waits for me to pull them out, then he is good to go.  He's such a trooper.

I just got some bad news - my friend and neighbor, Kirk, passed away on Tuesday.  I hadn't heard from him after leaving several messages for a couple of weeks, so I called the hospital to talk with him and they told me that he had passed away.  I really liked the guy - he had an incredible life story in spite of his 40 years as a paraplegic with many surgeries, many successes, and was just a really nice guy.  He has been in the hospital since the end of November undergoing reconstructive surgery on his hips.  I wondered how he could continue to win this recent battle that actually started last summer.  Rest In Peace, Kirk, I'm glad to have known you.

Saturday, January 21.  I didn't that I could stand to watch the inauguration of the 45th President, Donald Trump, yesterday but I ended up watching or listening on the radio. I only hope that he can make a favorable difference without taking away rights that are already in place.  I think the public will hold him to doing the right thing.  

And that leads up to today's activity - The Women's March on Washington - Phoenix version.  Connie, Lois, and I went, got there early and found a parking spot across the street from the capitol building.  Before I could do anything, I had to use the bathroom and, can you believe, they had 6 porta-potties for all of those people and I waited in line for 40 minutes.  I had a very nice conversation with a young, like-minded gal named Tracey and a few others.

I found my way back to where Lois and Connie were and we walked around the capitol grounds, checking out the variety of signage. Everyone was happy and peaceful.  The walk was only about a mile long, and it felt good to be part of such a large crowd of people, standing up for our rights.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

January 9 - 15, 2017, AZ

Monday, January 9.  It has been 7 years since our little grandson, Owen Quinn Bridge was stillborn in San Francisco.  What a tragic, tormenting, and sad thing for our family to go through.  I keep imagining a cute little 7-year old big brother to those 3 little girls.  So, I'm wearing the locket that has his last ultrasound photo and a lock of his hair close to my heart and I will burn a candle in his memory today.

I saw an Orthopedic doctor today to have my left knee checked out and he found nothing on the x-rays and while poking an prodding, twisting and turning, there were no hurts.  His diagnosis is arthritis and inflammation, injected a shot of cortisone in the knee and prescribed some PT that starts on Wednesday.  If it's not cleared up in 6 weeks, I will need an MRI to see if there is something internal, like damage to the miniscus.

Friday, January 13.  I started physical therapy on Wednesday and all went well and nothing was too painful except the stationary bike.  One of the machines is a vibrator where the feet are on a pad that vibrates - that one feels really good.  I tried to increase my walks this week and also managed to ride my bike around the park one day, then had PT again on Friday.

I worked on trimming Kirk's lemon tree one day and filled up his and my trash cans, so had to quit, but there is still a bit of trimming of higher branches to do.  I put a box full of lemons next to the sidewalk to give away and most of it went.  There were a few left that I took to the clubhouse for folks to help themselves.

The new Highlands Community Club officers met at Joe's house on Thursday afternoon to talk about how the new President wants to structure things this year.  His main interest is communication, trying to get more involvement, increasing membership, and bringing in a few more fun activities.  That meeting was followed by another at the clubhouse that included all of the area reps - lots of good discussion and suggestions.

Tonight, we had a pizza party followed by a DJ and a dance.  I met a couple of new residents, one living next door to Karen (when she gets here) and she will be happy to learn that she is a fellow Wisconsinite and Green Bay Packer backer.  Shortly after the dance started, Cookie wasn't feeling good, she collapsed to the floor and the EMTs were called. She was carried off on a stretcher to the hospital.  She was white as a ghost and had a low pulse and blood pressure.  I had talked with her briefly after dinner, she looked so pretty tonight, was sad that they sold their house today, danced a few with Max, and then this happened.  I sure hope that she is all right.

I danced most of the night and had a good time.

Sunday, January 15.   It was another cloudy day, but I just couldn't sit around the house again, so Connie and I took a drive along Bush Highway through the Tonto National Forest to see if we could spot any wild horses.  Sure enough, we barely made the first curve when we spotted a couple of cars parked along the road and people taking photos of horses.  There is so much lush, green grass for them to eat right now.  We continued along, pulling into some of the recreation areas, and saw a total of 8 of them.  At Butcher Jones Rec Area, we walked the path along the river for a while but spotted only a couple of fishermen, no horses.

This is at Butcher Jones, the Saguaro Lake Marina is behind us.

The desert is so green right now.

I got to FaceTime with Ben and his family for a while in Sunday afternoon. They had all been sledding that morning and it sounds like it was good times and fast rides.

Monday, January 9, 2017

January 2 - 8, 2017, AZ

Sunday, January 8.  Hmmm, guess it was another busy week.  Monday's weather was very nice, of course, the day that we all packed up and headed home.  It was a nice weekend of camping in spite of the weather and it felt good to get away for a few days and to hang out with my friends.

My brother-in-law, Hobe Peterson, passed away on Wednesday morning in Florida.  He was the husband of Mike's sister, Patty and had suffered from diabetes since he was a child and had been going downhill the last few years.  They were happy together in Ocala and I know he will be missed.

I cleaned 2 condos this week and on Thursday, the guy across the street backed into my car and put a good ding in the front driver's side corner.  I had been warned that he had hit my client's car in that spot, and sure enough, he did it again.  The damage is about $800 worth and he will either give me the money or file a claim with his insurance company.

I managed to get moving in time to go to Saturday morning coffee at the clubhouse and then stayed to take down the Christmas and New Years decorations.  I really should go more often, just get into the routine of hanging around, reading the news while drinking coffee at home.

 I got a text from Sharla early in the week to let me know that I had a ticket to the Hale Theater to see "I'm Not Dead", a Mark Twain comedy about a poor starving artist, who might sell paintings and get famous if he's dead.  So, he fakes his death and becomes his sister.  Arlene and I met up with Sharla and Tom and Betty and James for dinner at Barrio Queen before the show.  It was another good production there at the Hale.

Gorgeous sunset on Saturday.

This morning, while I was grocery shopping, Chris called to say that she had an extra ticket to see "Guys and Dolls" at the Tempe Center for the Arts and of course, I accepted the invitation.  I had never been to that theater before and it is modern and contemporary, sitting on the edge of Tempe Towne Lake.  The show was very entertaining, great seats, and good company.

Laura, Jeannie, Chris. And Me

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

January 1, 2017, AZ. 🎇 HAPPY NEW YEAR!🎊

Sunday, January 1, 2017.  HAPPY NEW YEAR!  Guess what? It's still raining.  I took my time getting ready this morning, took everything out of the bathroom and had a shower right here in my camper.  It's a major production, but it felt good to be able to shower at home.  It's a good thing because Pat said she had a cold shower and I'm not a fan of that.

Shelley, Jerome, and Dawn fixed breakfast burritos this morning and we all gathered under their awning to eat.  Mike and Judy had to pull out this morning, as she is having stomach issues and had to get home for medications - lots of rich food around here this weekend.

Happy New Years Eve!

Great photo of Pat and Rog