Thursday, April 26, 2018

April 23 - 29, 2018, AZ

Wednesday, April 25.  We took a circle drive today to Camp Verde and then to Payson and back home. We were both admiring the scenery, from the desert areas of the Tonto National Forest to the beauty of the Verde Valley and then to the piney woods of the Rim Country. It felt good to get away for the day and we wanted to check out the Verde River RV resort in Camp Verde before we left. Unfortunately, it is not yet finished being completely revamped, so we were unable to see it. Originally, it was to open in February but the opening has been moved back until late May.  We were unable to even drive through the place, as it is still a major construction zone.

We continue to prepare for the big move out and departure date for our summer travels.  The house is nearly empty, the cupboards hold only what we will take with us in the trailer, and we have been cleaning as we go.

   I started this Prickly Pear with 2 paddles, about 6 years ago. Amazing!

   The Saguaro is in bloom!

Sunday, April 29.  My 70th birthday, on Friday, was a wonderful day, starting with a video of my girls sing happy birthday to me. Tom couldn't wait, so he gave me my birthday gift a week early, a nice pair of silver and pearl dangly earrings - I love them. And this morning, there were cards from him and from friends, put on the clip on the home use, lots of texts, phone calls, a flower delivery from Ben and his family, and Facebook messages throughout the day. I had a FaceTime conversation with Ben and the kids and learned that Norah and Camille can both ride bikes without training wheels now.  

To top off the day, we went to Black Angus for a yummy steak dinner and birthday dessert.  It was a wonderful day and I told Tom as we were settling in for the night that I was feeling loved by many - a very good feeling, for sure!

Yesterday was busy, starting with a burrito breakfast in the clubhouse, hosted by our HCC president, Dave and his wife Debby. The were made to order and turned out delicious, complimented with fried potatoes and coffee.

Kathy hosted a pool party in the evening attended by many of my close friends and her sons, Joey who was visiting from Alaska and Dustin. They smoked a prime rib roast, pork roast, sausages and ribs and everyone else brought sides and snacks. It was a lot of fun and the hot day was perfect for it.

Today has been pretty low key, catching up on phone calls and sorting and cleaning in preparation of our big 'move out and move on' in 8 days.

Thursday, April 19, 2018

April 16 - 22, 2018, AZ

Thursday, April 19.  We drove to Casa Grande today to meet up with a dear friend and classmate of Mike's, Jim and his brother-in-law, Pete.  It's been about 3 years since I have seen either of them and Tom got to meet some more friends of mine.  We met at the Olive Garden and had some great conversation and a good lunch.

While we were in the restaurant, the wind picked up speed and it made for a dusty drive back to Mesa.  My sinuses have been feeling the effects of the high winds and blowing dust a lot lately. I've been feeling very tired and having some respiratory problems.

Tom volunteered to be the designated driver for Connie, Kathy, and I onTuesday night when we went to the annual show featuring Dale Watson and Miss Celine Lee at the Rhythm Room.  The show was excellent, although Dale did get on a rant about a nightmare that he had about his crooked pompadour, and a few people were shouting for him to play music instead of talk.  He played a good variety and a couple of duets with Celine.

Connie gave me a few photos that she took back in 2014 when we went in a road trip from San Francisco to Minneapolis, so I put them in this collage.

Sunday, April 22.  Tom surprised me with an early birthday gift - he couldn't wait for another week.  It is a cute pair of silver and abalone earrings and I was able to wear them when we went on to a birthday party for Veronica, a friend and former co-worker of Tom's.  I didn't know anyone but had a nice conversation with a young couple, met Ron and Mary, and the only other folks that I knew were Manuel and Linda, so we hung out together for a while.  The food was yummy - smoked pork, beans, potato salad, Apple sliced dipped in a cream cheese, nutty spread, and cheesecake with blueberries.  Mmmmmm good!  A piƱata that looked like a space ship hung from a tree in the back yard and provided lots of good laughs when folks took turns whacking it to get it to break. It was filled with goodies including candies, maracas, and little booze bottles.

This morning, we met up with Ron, Manuel, and Linda for breakfast at TC Eggington's and the breakfast was yummy. It's the last time we will see these folks until we get back here in the fall.

We strolled to the pool this afternoon and hung up with Kathy and Jeanne for a while.

Thursday, April 12, 2018

April 9 - 15, 2018, CA, AZ

Wednesday, April 11.  Gypsy is sold.  Sandra, from Yuma called last Friday when we were on our way to Blythe, then we spoke again on Monday and she told me that she definitely wanted it.  She would send me a bank check with a $1,000 deposit and I agreed to hold it for her. Then she called on Tuesday and said that she would like to bring a cashier's check for the entire amount and purchase it on Thursday, unseen.  Thinking back to a few years ago, that is exactly what I did when I bought it. She had a few additional questions and will be coming tomorrow to get it.  I am feeling a bit sad, but then I had my mind made up and I am ready for the next adventure.

We have been busy getting things ready for a garage sale on Saturday and made great progress yesterday. The back bedroom is filling up with stuff that will be taken to the patio and large items are all going in the living room.  It seems like I just went through this - that's because I did - just last spring.

Whenever we are out hiking, or even walking, Tom is always kicking stones and rocks off the path, calling this activity 'trail maintenance.  On one of our last hikes, we were joking around and named him the Official Trail Maintenance Crew.  So, last week I designed a t-shirt for him and had it printed. It arrived in the mail today and he really liked it.


Sunday, April 15.  Sandra came by to get Gypsy on Thursday evening with a handful of cash and it was bittersweet seeing her go down the road behind someone else's truck.  Her plan is to take it to Colorado for the summer and ditch the heat of the valley.  She bought it sight unseen and had no doubts once she saw it.

We prepared for a garage sale and got up early Saturday morning to haul things outdoors.  We had lots of people coming by and sold about $320 worth by noon, then decided to close up. Tom returned the tables to the clubhouse and I delivered miscellaneous leftovers to the thrift store.

It was nap time.  We had to rest up to get ready for the Mexican Fiesta at the clubhouse.

The food, music, dancing, friendly conversation and laughter we just what one would expect from this place.  The band, "Guilty Pleasures" is a husband and wife team that really do a fun variety of tunes and they had the dance floor full most of the night.  I'm going to miss this place.

Today was pretty low key.

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

April 2 - 8, 2018, AZ, CA

Saturday, April 7. I have a few good things to write about this week.  First, Taco Tuesday at Sharkey's with Jim and Sue, followed by music and some dancing in the courtyard at Val Vista Village for a couple of hours.  A pleasant evening and then we said goodbye until we meet again next summer somewhere in Wisconsin.

A young gal came to look at my trailer on Wednesday and she absolutely loves it. She lives in Minneapolis and will be traveling solo. The drawback is that she doesn't have a vehicle to tow it with.  She said she would let me know on Sunday, one way or another. I'm hoping she comes through, as I would feel good about Gypsy going to her.

Thursday night was special. We went to the premier of "Imaginary Bullets", a 15-minute short film starring Tom's Grandson, Lakin, at the Alamo Draft House Theater in Chandler. He had a leading role and I'm sure that his family was all very proud of him. I felt proud to be included in the event.  After the movie, the writer/director, Sean Oliver invited the two major actors, Lakin and Harley up to the stage for a question and answer period. Lakin is a natural actor he fielded questions like a trooper, not afraid to be up in front of an entire theater full of people. He is quite the kid and a real cutie with the most expressive eyes!  I feel that he may go far in the field.

     Lakin is in the center, left of the blonde gal.

On Friday morning after finishing loading the trailer, we were on the road and headed for the Mayflower county campground in Blythe, CA where we will spend some time with Tom's sister, Geri for a few days.  We pulled into our site and realized that behind us was a couple with 3 very large pit bulls, so we walked around and picked out a few other spots, called the office, and moved to a different site.  We are getting the setup procedure down pretty well and we're finished in about a half hour.

The plan was to meet up with Geri for dinner, but I flew off the handle, snapped a nasty response to something Tom said, and got all emotional and blew that plan all to hell.  We talked through it, but I didn't feel like going so Tom went by himself and I stayed home to settle down and recover. I hate it when that happens - not often, but it does.

Today went much better. It got up to 94 degrees today but our site gave us lots of shade and a pretty strong breeze most of the day. Geri joined us and we went for a walk about and then sat around talking the rest of the afternoon and played a game of Farkel too.

We fixed fried chicken, rice pilaf, and broccoli for dinner.