Sunday, December 30, 2018
Tom was helping Chaney yesterday with a project at his house, so Pat and I went girl shopping - for shoes, swimsuits, and bedding at the Superstition Mall, and at Kohl’s, Tuesday Morning, and DSW Shoes st SanTan Village. It was a good afternoon and always fun to hang out together.
Tom ended up going back to Chaney’s again today to finish their project and I spent the day doing my own projects - submitting a bill to my health insurance for reimbursement before the end of the year deadline, making phone calls to wish my brother, Ron, a Happy 57th Birthday and to my sister, Rene, for a girl chat, a couple of walks with Frisco, cleaning the coffee pot, making oyster cracker snacks for New Years Eve, and grocery shopping.
Tom and I are both gearing up to try a Ketosis diet to lose a few pounds, starting next week. I can’t really say that it is a New Year’s Resolution but we have kind of had that goal for a few weeks but didn’t want to start over the holidays. The worst part will be cutting out carbs and I just realized that the Tonic that I use for my cocktails is 2/3 of my future daily intake. I guess I will be finding something else to drink at happy hour - one thing that I am not willing to give up.
Thursday, December 27, 2018
Wednesday, December 19, 2018
I have also been scurrying to get Christmas gifts packed and sent to Wisconsin and Minnesota before the deadline. Unfortunately, a gift for the girls that I had shipped to me did not arrive until Tuesday, so I finally got that package in the mail this morning. It should arrive in time.
Today, Tom and I both had appointments with Dr. Roland this morning. I am amazed at how much better I feel, almost like I am getting psychological treatment rather than chiropractic. He says that he helps to reset the circuit breakers and I am becoming a believer in his methods. An alternate focus or distraction from the hurting area somehow leads to its feeling better. And then he gives a homework assignment that has you focus on some stressor in your life and then to let it go gets you feeling less stressed and the muscles, nerves, joints, and mind feel so much better.
We decided to go see the movie, “The Mule”, Clint Eastwood’s latest. We miscalculated the traffic and got to the first theater too late (and it was fully booked), so went to another theater and got there in plenty of time. The movie and the soundtrack were enjoyable.
Sunday, December 23. Early morning coffee and the weekly presentation of activities and updates started the day off on Thursday. I had a haircut appointment scheduled for the afternoon, but they called and changed it to Friday afternoon. No problem.
One of our neighbors delivered a package in the afternoon, a ‘giving plate’ that started out with our managers on November 9 and has been passed from site to site since then, each person keeping a gift and replacing it with another, then passing it on. I did have to shop for something, as there is no extra space for keeping ‘in case’ things in this trailer.
We did our grocery shopping yesterday, after taking a nice, long walk around the neighborhood. The days have been beautiful, in the low 70’s but the nights dip down to the upper 40’s - perfect for sleeping.
Thursday, December 13, 2018
Friday, December 14. We ran errands and finished up our Christmas shopping today, mostly gift cards, wrap and a timer for the lights around our RV. Many of the lots in the park are decorated to the hilt.
We met Pat and Roger at What the Hell, a bar in east Mesa, for fish fry. The food was pretty good, but my usual cocktail, a Vodka Tonic was served in a tall glass rather than a tub, and it tasted a lot more like tonic than vodka. After that, we went to the Gilbert Riparian and walked through the natural areas where the walkways were all lit up with luminaries and there were lots of lighted Christmas figures and music along the way. It was definitely geared for the kids, but we enjoyed it.
We decided to head into downtown Mesa to check out the lights at the Mormon Temple but there were none. And then I remembered that a brand new temple was built in Gilbert a few years back and that must be where the lights are. Another contributing factor is that downtown Mesa is all under construction, as they are extending the light rail lines farther to the east. So...we took a long ride and didn’t get a Christmas light display as a reward.
Regardless, it is always good to hang out with good friends.
Sunday, December 16. Our weekend was pretty busy. On Saturday, I really felt the need to go to some estate sales, so I spent a couple of hours doing that in the morning. They were both great sales, but I walked out empty handed - no room at the inn.
We met up with Ron, Linda, and Manual for breakfast on Sunday morning, another good time.
Back home, it was a relaxing afternoon and I was able to finish my crochet projects for the girls, leg warmers in their favorite colors.
I made a tasty dish for dinner, a sausage and shrimp dish with zucchini, onions, and peppers.
Tuesday, December 4, 2018
Sunday, December 9. The early part of the week was routine, other than an appointment with Doc Roland and a Vet appointment for Frisco. My appointment went well, the discomfort in my left side is relieved and I feel I should continue through the winter. My plan for treatment is to increase circulation, therefore relieving stress in joints and nerves, while keeping the mind healthy too. A vegetable only detox is in my future but not during the holidays.
Frisco has another bacterial infection in his right ear, and has been shaking his head a lot recently. I'm not sure why, but this has been the only health issue that he has had throughout his life and it affects only the right ear. The vet was surprised when I told her that he was 14.5 years old and felt that he is generally in good health for his age.
Shiprock RV Park had their annual residents meeting on Thursday morning and we learned a lot about the governing structure of the place and some of the benefits for residents. After that, we loaded our bags into the car, dropped Frisco off at the Bark Avenue Pet Resort and headed to Blythe, CA to visit Tom's sister Geri for the weekend. We checked into the Emerald Inn, a very basic but clean and tidy motel room and then headed to Geri's house.
Geri fixed us a nice spaghetti dinner, we visited, and played with the cat, Smokey, a lovable 7-month old gray tabby who gave us lots of laughs. We stopped at the lounge at our motel for a drink before settling in for the night.
We took a drive to Parker, AZ along the California side of the Colorado River and returned along the Arizona side on Saturday afternoon and then to the Steaks and Cakes restaurant for dinner. We all opted for the fish fry, although Tom and Geri both had liver and onions on their minds, changing at the last minute.
It was scary Saturday morning when my phone slipped out of my back pocket and dropped into the toilet as I was sitting down. I quickly grabbed it and dried it with a towel and everything worked as it should. Lucky for me, it could have been a dirty and costly disaster.
Geri had something on her calendar for the day, so Tom and I headed to the Blythe Intaglios for some hiking on Saturday. We hiked a couple of miles along a 4-wheel drive road, then along the top of a huge mesa, before stopping to see the Intaglios. They are geoglyphs (pictures) drawn on the ground by ancient peoples. They were made by scraping the surface of the ground and tamping it down to prevent weeds overtaking, and the stones that were cleared away form a border. A few are surrounded by fences but there are many scattered throughout the area, although we only saw the fenced ones. There were 2 human figures, that of a 4-legged animal, a swirled design, and some arrows. They are much better viewed from the air, so my photos didn't turn out very well.
Geri met us at Rebel BBQ for dinner and then she stopped by the hotel to chat for a while. After she went home, Tom and I walked to Courtesy Lounge for a drink. The bartender, Dominique, was a fun gal to talk with and the lounge decor is preserved from its creation back in the late 60's. There are several large circular booths upholstered in tufted red Naugahyde (it may have been manufactured in Stoughton at Uniroyal), all in very nice condition. The tufted Naugahyde went half-way up the walls and there were a few walls covered in rock - all very dated, but cool.
This morning, we walked to McDonalds for breakfast, then stopped for a short visit with Geri before heading back home.
Pat and I went to Monica's annual Jingle and Mingle Christmas ornament exchange on Saturday night. The drive is about 45 minutes longer, as I am much farther to the east. I got to Pat's and realized that I left my gift sitting next to the door at home, so that made it an even longer drive. Regardless, we got there only a half-hour late. The turnout was good, with Nan, Lindsey and her mother plus many of Monica's long-time friends and co-workers in attendance.
We had lots of good food to eat, a glass or two of Sangria, and lots of fun with the ornament exchange. I had stolen a couple of great items that would be nice for the trailer and at the very end, they got stolen from me. I ended up with a fancy, girlie ornament that doesn't fit me or any of my decor, so I will be passing it on to someone. The party broke up pretty early as several people had obligations in the morning and Monica had an early flight out to NYC.
Tom and I met Manuel and Linda for breakfast on Sunday morning at the Black Bear Diner. It was nice to see them again and we had plenty to talk about as they are approaching retirement age and always have lots of questions. It was fun.
Later in the afternoon, we went to the Christmas Tree lighting event at the clubhouse, complete with punch, cookies, and Christmas music.
Friday, November 30, 2018
Thursday, November 29. I cleaned Karen's house on Monday morning and learned that it was my last day, as she is moving next week and her new place provides the cleaning service. I will stop and check her house and clean on an 'as needed' basis before it sells. So my cleaning jobs have dwindled down to 3 and I will continue to have jobs on Tuesdays and every third Wednesday. I'm not sure about Carl, as I have heard that he will only be coming for 3 weeks in January and his daughter will probably handle the cleaning. We shall see.
I went for a drive through the Tonto National Forest yesterday along the river, pulling into several parking lots in hopes of catching a glimpse of some of the wild horses. I got lucky when I spotted a band of 5 next to the parking lot at Blue Point, one of them was a young one asleep on the ground and the others standing guard around it. Later on, I pulled into the Coon's Bluff recreation area and spotted another band that was meandering toward the river.
The views are spectacular and I never get tired of seeing them, especially Red Mountain.
We took Arlene to Zur Kate's German Restaurant for dinner tonight. We hadn't gotten out of the gate when she said that she didn't have a house key and we would have to break the lock on her front door. Dinner was very good, we all opted for the saurkraut special, chose various sides, good beer and shared an apple strudel for desert. Of course, we had some nice conversation.
Back at Highlands, I pulled up to the gate, entered the code, and nothing happened. I tried 3 more times and it still didn't work. So when I saw a guy coming up, I scurried through that gate and proceeded to Arlene's house. Another car pulled up next to me and the lady checked if I (we) belonged there, asking why I pulled into the park the way I did, who lived there, and why Arlene didn't have her key. She sped off, threatening to report it to the office tomorrow.
Arlene remembered that the lock on one of the bedroom windows was broken and she had just removed the screen, so Tom climbed in and came around to open the door.
Friday, November 30. I saw Dr. Roland Phillips today, Tom's long-time Holistic Chiropractor. For several months now, I have had aching in my left side - neck, shoulder, hip, and knee and just felt like it was time to take some kind of action. Doc's approach is definitely 'out there' but it all makes sense to take care of the whole thing - nerves, muscles, brain, so I plan to see if it helps over the next few months.
Thursday, November 22, 2018
Thursday, November 22. Happy Thanksgiving to all of my readers! We baked a mincemeat pie this morning (Tom's favorite), had phone conversations with a few family members, went for a nice walk, and then headed to Chaney's for dinner. Chaney wasn't there when we got there - it turned out that his Mom, Kathy (Tom's ex-wife) fell and broke her hip while prepping for dinner and he was at the hospital with her. By the time we got back home, she was scheduled for surgery in the morning and they were trying to keep her comfortable.
Our dinner was excellent and there was lots of good company there.
Back on Monday afternoon, we went to Val Vista Village, met up with Pat and Rog and some of their friends at happy hour. Harry Mathews, a fun dj and entertainer had the crowd on the dance floor for a whole 2 hours, us included. What fun!
When I got home from my cleaning job on Tuesday, Tom asked if I was interested in seeing a movie. We decided on "Old Man With a Gun" starring Robert Redford and many other good actors. It was fun and a good change of paste.
Last night when I took Frisco out around 10:00, I noticed the almost full moon in the sky and as I watched it, I realized there was a ring around it. Wikipedia tells me thathey are caused when moonlight passes through thin clouds of ice crystals high in Earth's atmosphere. ... The shape of the ice crystals causes the moonlight to be focused into a ring, similar to the way water droplets in the lower atmosphere can bend sunlight to create a rainbow. I called Tom out and we stood and watched for a while. This is the 2nd time in my life that I have seen this phenomenon. Unfortunately, my photo didn't turn out very well.
Saturday, November 24. We had a very nice hike today, along several paths near the Bulldog Floodway, in a huge green space just a mile to the north of us. I'm thinking it is part of the National Forest, but within the Apache Junction borders. We started out with
Frisco but only a half-mile into the hike, he was lagging behind me and trying to lead me back in the direction of the parked car. We took him back home and then went off by ourselves. We hiked a total of about 2.5 miles - a very nice walk on another beautiful, sunny Arizona day.
This morning, before our hike, I had a nice FaceTime call with Ben and the girls. They were all dressed in their gymnastics leotards, ready for their Saturday class.
Yesterday, we had a nice, long walk through the nearby neighborhoods and did a bit of shopping - not much else.
Thursday, November 15, 2018
Thursday, November 15. Another week with little to write about. We are falling into our 'landed' lifestyle; my cleaning jobs, grocery shopping, laundry, errands, etc. We haven't even been walking much other than to walk the dog and take him to the dog park here in the park - and a very nice space it is with plenty of room for the dogs to run, a comfortable bench to sit on and a supply of doodoo bags and plenty of water.
We did take a walk through the desert on Tuesday afternoon. You can park along the road and enter through access points in the fences ('V' shaped cutouts for horses and people). We managed to follow a horse path that meandered along, resulting in a walk of almost 2 miles.
Yesterday, I went to Val Vista Village and met up with Patty. We walked to the activity building where we attended a Celebration of Life for Nancy Anderson who found out that she was full of cancer while on her summer travels to Canada. She died shortly after her diagnosis. Nancy's husband Richard is a guy that I knew from Stoughton and has some family connections along the way - it's a long story.
This morning, we set the alarm and got up in time to have coffee and donuts at the clubhouse, some good conversation, and we heard the news of upcoming events and activities - well worth the early wake-up.
I went shopping with Rhonda (our next door neighbor) for clothes at Beall's. She liked the store and found 3 new outfits and I found a pair of jeans. She treated me to lunch at McDonalds for going with her and introducing her to Beall's.
Sunday, November 18. Pat and Roger came over for a drink on Friday afternoon and then we went to the Dog Run Saloon for their fish fry. The drinks, food, service, and company were all good.
Saturday night's highlight was our community's welcome back dinner for residents. They had a Beerfest, complete with free beer, bratwurst, green beans with bacon, red cabbage and apple cake. A polka band provided us with music, although 3 hours of that was a bit much, so we left around 8:00.
Sunday was a good day to hang around the house, take a nap, and just take it easy.
Sunday, November 4, 2018
TThursday, November 8. My lovable brother-in-law, Dan, who passed away in 2013, would be turning 69 years old today. I hope you're dancing in the sky, Dan!
There isn't much to write about this week. My cleaning job for Jim and Shirley started up on Tuesday again and it was nice to see them.
Tom and I went to Little Dealer Little Prices (where he bought his Wildwood) and looked at comparable travel trailers - he is considering an upgrade to one with a slide-out that would give us a little more room.
We hung out at the pool this afternoon - a good thing since a cool down is predicted over the next few days. It got real windy this evening.
Sunday, November 11. We were unable to participate in any of the Veteran's Day events because they were running new wifi through the park and we had to be here for it. We actually met one of the park owners yesterday as she was touching base with the folks in each site who were getting the new wifi. This was new for us, as the owners/managers of Highlands were never available and didn't participate in any f the park activities.
For years the park has had Tengo Wireless provided at no cost (common in many RV Parks, although there is usually a fee for the service), but it is no longer meeting the needs of the residents, so they are updating the service. Now, each site will have its own hard-wired hookup and modem and speedy wifi will be furnished to each site at no cost. Occupants are required to put a $75 deposit on the modem and the check is held at the office and returned when you turn the modem back in when you depart the park.
We took Manuel and Linda out for dinner at La Casa de Juana tonight and it was a good time and nice to see them again. We really like the place, had dinner there twice last year and wanted to return. They serve a Mexican rice that is green and has corn, peas, and bits of onion in it - delicious!
Sunday, November 4. Thursday was anothet early day, starting with coffee and doughnuts at the clubhouse at 8:00 am - a weekly activity to keep everyone informed of the news of the park. After that, we did laundry, opting for a nearby laundromat rather than the park laundry - multiple back and forth trips between our site and the laundry, versus getting everything done at once and costing less. The laundromat is spotlessly clean and has multiple options for both washing and drying - all very efficient. We were out of there in an hour and even did some browsing at the St. Vincent de Paul store next door.
On Friday, we both went in different directions to run errands, me for some shopping and a touchup on my recent haircut and Tom to see his chiropractor. While shopping at Beall's Outlet, I found a very expensive $168 swimsuit on the rack for $30 - and it fit well and felt real comfortable. A bargain, for sure.
We met Pat and Roger at Tom's BBQ for dinner and we all had their tasty fish fry - ample portions and some of the best fish fry in the area. The manager stopped by to say hello and told us that he goes through 80 cases of fish on Fridays, compared to 10 or 20 on all of the other days of the week combined. It was great to see them again. After dinner, we followed them back to their motorhome at Val Vista Village for a nightcap and more good conversation.
We slept in on Saturday morning - the first time in days and it sure felt good! After breakfast,Tom helped his son move some things and I went to an estate sale and a few garage sales. When I got back home, there wasn't much to do, so I washed down 3 sides of the trailer. It is pretty grubby from weeks on the road.
I learned that my cousin, Larry Ganshert passed away this morning, another one who lost the battle with cancer. The poor guy had been through 5 cancers over the last several years and his odds of getting through this one were good too. Unfortunately, he had a very strong reaction to his first chemotherapy treatment and his body couldn't fight it off, even after 2 weeks in ICU. He was admitted to hospice about a week ago.
Larry and I grew up together and we spent a lot of time together. As cousins, we were best of friends. We even got married to each other in a pretend wedding when we were kids. Mike and I went to his graduation from the Navy boot camp at San Diego. Later in years when our kids were older, we would go out for dinner with him and Sue. He was one of those really nice guys who never hurt a soul in his life. He would go out of his way to help a friend, family, or neighbor. He stood by his family no matter what. He will be missed by many.
Larry's daughter posted this:
Thank you to our friends and family that have reached out to us these past few days. I never imagined all of your kind words and remembrances would comfort us the way that they have. Many of you have been asking for details. We tentatively are planning on Saturday November 10th at Christ Lutheran Church, with visitation from 10-11 and service at 11. Confirmation of the funeral will be posted in Wednesdays obituary. The following is the most important information that we pass on.
Dad loved dessert and usually ordered it first. At hospice he only ordered the dessert of the day and maybe some fruit. Funerals were hard for Dad. He told us his request for his day, but if you knew my Dad, they were clearly rules to be followed.
"Rules" were :
1 picture. Funeral Pictures are sad, and sometimes the memories are overwelming.
2 songs must be played at the visitation (What a wonderful world and Running on empty), you pick the rest, but dont make em all sad. Play the songs that remind you of me.
Be comfortable, wear your Best blue Jean's and polish your boots.,
DONT make it all sad. This is hard enough.
And then he said, are you going to have a luncheon? & we asked if he wanted us to, he shrugged his shoulders and said up to you. His evening tray came in & it was just dessert. I said, how about a luncheon, with just dessert. and he chuckled and said, "yes. Add it to the list."
Due to flower allergies, and Dads giving personality, we request that in leiu of flowers you bring a "Dory Bear" to his service. This is any teddy bear, new with tags, 10" or larger to be donated to Agrace. His Grandchildren each were given 1 to hold and cry into and remind them of their Papa. He would be honored to repay the favor of that comfort to other families.
Thank you again for all your love and support for the loss of one of the Greatest Men we have ever known.
When Tom got back home later in the afternoon, we had cocktails and dinner and nonstop talking until bedtime. Whew! What happened?
This morning, the alarm went off early again so we could meet up with Manuel and Linda for some 4-wheeling around Saguaro Lake. We got to their house and Linda had a delicious biscuit and gravy breakfast ready for us. They have 2 Jeep Cherokees, so Tom and I were in one and they in the other and we set out after breakfast, down Bush Highway to the Butcher Jones recreation area of the Tonto National Forest where we turned off onto the 4-wheel drive trail.
The roads were sandy, hilly, rocky, and meandered through the desert to a cove on the north side of Saguaro Lake where we stopped for a break. And then we meandered some more, heading off to another cove where we put out chairs and had a bite to eat. On the way back, we encountered a few steep hills that we had to climb and almost got stuck a couple of times. Tom did a great job of getting us through. The drive totaled 10.5 miles and we saw some beautiful scenery along the way.
Thursday, November 1, 2018
Wednesday, October 31. Our week has been quite busy. My cleaning jobs started uphe first one on Monday at Karen's house back at Highlands at Brentwood. It took me a half-hour longer than usual, as there was much more dust than usual. She was gone all summer too and you just can't avoid the dust seeping in. It was nice to see her again too.
When I left there, I stopped by to say hello to Arlene and to wish her a Happy Birthday, and get a hug. Again, it felt really good to see her again.
Back home, it was relax and recovery mode - hanging out at the pool and enjoying the warmth of the hot tubas taking a little nap..
On Tuesday, we went on a hike to the Meridian Saddle with the park's hiking group, only 2 couples this time - Jim and Rejane and Ray and Vi from Alberta. The hike was considered 'easy', was a total of about 3.5 miles and it took us about 4 hours to do it. The reward came at the top of the saddle where we stopped for a break and you could look out at Apache Junction to the south and Fort McDowell to the north. The route back was a path not often traveled, a bit rocky in parts, skirting a few spiny trees, and much of it was through a dry wash - that meant soft sand and a good workout for the legs.
Needless to say, the hot tub and a nap were our afternoon's activities.
Today, we made adjustments to our Halloween costumes and went to the 'Monster Bash' this evening. We met so many people that I don't know if I will ever remember names, especially since many were in costume. As we came into the clubhouse, a couple that looked homeless sat in front of the building with a sign that said "Coachless' 'Need $$$ for a Prevost'. There were some other good costumes too - the winners were Lady Godiva and her horse, Mr Bug, and a bloody guy with a sword in his hat. A couple came as an electric outlet - she was the wall outlet and he was the plug, a good cowboy, a geisha girl and laundry guy, a couple of good witches and a wizard, and one gal wore a shirt saying 'The Best Dog Sitter' but carried a Lost Dog poster and her dog was pinned to the butt of her pants. I thought they were all pretty creative.
Dinner was BBQ ribs, beans, potato salad, and dessert. That was followed by a dance with the band, "Tombstone Renegades". They played a nice assortment of old rock and roll tunes.
Monday, October 22, 2018
Monday, October 22. This morning, after hooking up and heading out, we drove the 90 or so miles to the Valley and to our destination of the Shiprock RV Resort in Apache Junction where we will be planted for the next 5 months. The manager was not available, so Sid got us settled in our site - a nice one on the back wall of the park and if we walk just a few feet, we can see the Superstition Mountains not too far to the east.
The drive was nice and I watched the thermometer go from 54 degrees at the top of the mountain to 84 when we got down in the Valley. It felt good to see the old familiar landmarks of the Four Peaks, Weaver's Needle, and Red Mountain as we neared Mesa. The last stretch of the drive was along Bush Highway and I hoped to spot some of the Salt River Wild horses along the way, but no such luck.
Thursday, October 25. We have spent the week getting settled in our new digs, meeting a few people, getting Frisco familiar with the potty areas, and running a few areas. The park has a very nice dog run that is shaded and clean.
We spent some time at the pool yesterday, the temperature was nice and the hot tub was bubbly and warm. The pool and clubhouse are a short walk along a pathway just across from our site, in fact we can see it from our site. More than once, we have said to each other that we have a good feeling about this place - it is small and has all of the amenities that we might want.
I desperately needed a haircut, so got in to see Kelli today and I went short, short, short again. I'm not 100% satisfied because it is much shorter than what I asked for, but the good thing about hair is that it grows fast.
Sunday, October 28. The highlights of the last 2 days were the Halloween Party at Highlands and breakfast this morning with Tom's former coworkers.
It was nice to see old friends with Highlands and, in spite of our costume and face masks, we were identified immediately. That was good, because we really didn't want to wear the masks for long. The band was good and played lots of rocking songs and we danced quite a few. It was a bit strange coming back home having to drive for 12 miles rather than walk 2 blocks. Since we are still members of the social club, we can continue to attend their parties - lots of friends to see.
And, it was nice to see Manuel and Linda and Ron and Mary for breakfast at Biscuits, we had good conversation and good laughs.
We did a bit of shopping on the way home and are settled in with Tom reading the newspaper and me catching up on phone calls and writing. I spoke with my brother, Russ for the first time in many, many months. He has been struggling for several years with homelessness followed by incarceration for an offense in Iowa. He is no longer incarcerated, recently moved into his own place, has a job that he likes and gets paid well, and most important, he is sober - and I'm hoping that this continues.