Friday, March 22, 2019

Friday, March 22, 2019, AZ

It has been a very social week, and we both knew it would be this way as our stay is winding down and we have lots of folks to have one more visit with before we go.

Monday’s activity was a drive to see Pat and Roger near Casa Grande, so we stopped by to pick up 
Jim and Sue and headed that way.  The Sunscape RV Park that they are in is very nice and Roger’s first news was that they rented a spot there for next November-April at half the price of Val Vista Village. So we walked the dogs and swung around to see which site he rented and it is very nice and the neighbors all seem quite friendly.  It was lunch time, so we drove to Casa Grande to McMashers Sports Bar and had a beer and some tasty lunch.  Back at their site, we found some shade and visited for a while before we headed back home.

Tuesday was a work day for me and after that, I shopped at Costco, Petsmart, and Tuesday Morning before heading home.  Tom spent the day emptying out his storage unit and taking things to Chaneyks garage to be stored.

Wednesday was a good day to take a nice walk and to get our laundry out of the way and clean up the house a bit. The new vacuum cleaner that I bought a couple of months ago makes it a whole lot easier to control the dog hair that piles up every couple of days.  I also spent some time grooming the little hair ball, giving him a good brushing, including his teeth.

We arranged a gathering of mostly Wisconsin friends for a picnic at Castillo Nuevo with Pat & Rog, Sue & Jim, Chris & Norm, Carl & Vianne, and Gerry & Jeanie on Thursday afternoon.  It was the coolest day of the week, so we gathered in long pants and jackets at the courtyard where we were protected from the wind.  Tom and I picked up Sub sandwiches and everyone brought a dish to pass - we had plenty of food and drink and lots of great conversation and laughter.  And then we said goodbye until we meet again, either in Wisconsin or Minnesota during the summer or back here in the fall.

Gerry, Jeanie, Chris, Pat, and Norm

Carl and Viane

Sue and Jim 

Me and Tom

And today, we picked up Arlene and Sharla and headed to the Lakeshore Restaurant at Saguaro Lake. We had a nice table on the outdoor patio overlooking the lake and a good lunch of fish and chips, although the fish was a bit over-cooked and slightly dry.  While there, we noticed a bit of activity in the parking lot with several Sheriff’s department vehicles and an ambulance with flashing lights on. And then a Sheriff’s department helicopter landed on the pad, but took off again shortly after, heading over the lake and disappearing behind the mountains.  It wasn’t long and another helicopter landed on the pad and the pilot and an attendant unloaded a stretcher and some other gear.  We watched for quite a while as they attended to someone and then loaded the injured person into the helicopter and took off.  As we were leaving, Sharla learned that a lady had fallen at the restaurant and gotten a head injury. The first helicopter landing was unrelated to the injury.  It sure gave us something to talk and speculate about - not like we ever have a problem finding things to talk about. We sure did have a nice time and talked about how much we appreciated each other as neighbors at Highlands and kind of miss those days.

Sweet Arlene and Her sweet daughter Sharla

Saturday, March 16, 2019

Saturday, March 16, 2019, AZ

What a fun day today! Jim and Sue came over at noon and we all went to the Superstition Blues and Brews Festival at Flatiron Park here in AJ.  A crowd of about 2,000 was expected and we had n trouble finding a parking spot.  We found a spot to park our chairs and then wandered around to check the place out.  There were 4 bands that each played for about an hour each,  4 beer stands, each with brews from different local breweries, and several food vendors and craft sales.  I tried 2 Amber Ales and a Blonde Ale, all were good.  

We also met up with Wisconsin friends, Craig and Diane and their WI visitor, Carrie.  It was a fun afternoon with lots of good conversation and laughter and great music too! 

Friday, March 15, 2019, AZ

I took off and did some thrift store and consignment shopping yesterday. I found a couple of summer tops but didn’t really need much of anything else. It felt good to get my shopping fix. And then today, we did our grocery shopping that is a 2-hour activity. 

We made reservations for our first 2 stops when we leave here in a couple of weeks.

Temps are warming up around here and it looks like we will see 80s by the end of the week. Yippee! Might even get some pool time in before we take off on the 1st.

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Wednesday, March 13, 2019, AZ

I sure do love my little dog, but it was nice for the last few days, to get up in the morning, have coffee, and NOT have to scurry outdoors for his potty break.  After breakfast, Tom and I walked to the gas station and got his newspaper and then I went to Bark Avenue to rescue Frisco from his boarding adventure.  He was one happy guy, panting and lying in the seat next to me getting his belly rubbed most of the way home and then when we pulled into Shiprock, he actually cried and whimpered.

I cleaned for Jim and Shirley this morning and when I got back home, Tom had the trailer hooked up and I organized and secured the inside. He took it to Frontline Suspension to have the axles checked and left it overnight.  We spent the night at Karen’s house in Highlands, in exchange for the cleaning work that I have been doing for her.  The house is for sale and has minimal furnishings, but it worked out fine for us.

Tom picked up pizza and salad from Papa Murphy’s and we took it over to Connie’s for dinner and drinks. It sure was nice to hang out with her and it felt like old times.

Sunday, March 10, 2019

Saturday, March 9, 2019, AZ, NM

I sure slept good in this quiet little place.  We took our time getting ready to leave and just as we had the truck all packed up, the owner of the AirBnB called to offer us another night stay at no cost, just because it was a beautiful day and we had kind of missed out weather-wise.  We declined, as we were ready to hit the road at that point. Her next text offered a free night if we should come back and spend 2 more - a definite consideration for the future - we liked it there!

We had breakfast at the Bear Wallow in Alpine (Rhonda and Mike’s recommendation) and because Rhonda highly recommended their delicious pie, I ordered an egg and a slice of bacon and a piece of cherry pie and was quite satisfied with my choice, it was yummy. And the owner had made apricot pie (Rhonda’s favorite) today, so we bought a couple of pieces to take back home to her.

Plan B was to drive southeast on 
US 180 and 75 along the western border of New Mexico and it turned out to be a beautiful drive on a winding, scenic road through the Apache and Gila National Forests.  A side road led us to a scenic area called The Catwalk Recreation Area  (a man made structure along the rock cliffs), but when we got to the parking lot after a 5-mile drive, we learned that the Catwalk was closed. Originally, the walkway was part of an Ore Mining Operation.  Water from the river was pouring over the roadway and you couldn’t get back to the access point. We were heading to Safford where I had made a reservation for the night but when we got there around 2:30, we decided to cancel the reservation and go back to AJ. We got back home around 6:00.

Saturday, March 9, 2019

Friday, March 8, 2019, AZ

Yesterday morning, we dropped Frisco off at Bark Avenue for a break from his people and headed north to Eager where we have a private room and bath rented through AirBnB.  It was a cold and windy day and we pulled over a few times to enjoy the scenery, but scurried back to the car quickly. It had been several years since I drove through the Salt River Canyon and it is just as pretty as I remembered. This time, there was a lot of water and it was flowing quickly.  There was a lot of snow on the ground at the higher elevations.  A short drive off the beaten path took us through Greer, a quaint little mountain town with the hillsides dotted with log cabins.

For some reason, my texts to the owner of the unit were not going through and she didn’t get my message as to when we would arrive, so it was still locked when we got there. We drove around Eagar and Springerville to get the lay of the land, then checked in.  The place is decent - a large room with king size bed, 2 recliners, a tv, bath with a whirlpool tub, and a kitchenette and is in the back of the house with a private entrance - all for $59/night plus a few fees.

We had dinner at the Trailriders Cafe and the burgers and fries were delicious and my Bloody Mary was yummy too.

I filled the whirlpool tub and took a nice, long, hot bath and then filled the tub for Tom but realized there wasn’t enough hot water for his bath. He waited patiently until almost 11:00 before there was enough to fill up the tub.

I managed to spill my coffee on the light carpeting this morning and scrambled to get the large, ugly blotch cleaned up. In the process, I dirtied 2 bright, white, bath towels, so then they had to be cleaned too - I certainly didn’t feel right leaving a mess for the owner.

After breakfast at Aliberto’s, we went to the well known Western Drug, the historical drug store in Springerville that also has clothing, sporting goods, ammunition, liquor, groceries, souvenirs, office supplies, shoes, and who knows what else. A well known and very fun place to browse.

Our next stop was the Visitor Center, we like to stop there because they usually are full of local information and many times, a museum. This one is housed in an old school house (none of the original building remains) and it has rooms with artifacts and art.  We learned about Casa Malpais, ancient ruins near here but we did not visit the ruins as it was cold and windy with gusts up to 50 mph - tours were not operating.  We did talk with the tour guidefor quite a while and he provided a lot of information to us.  It is an archaeological site that features an astronomical calendar, a great kiva, ancient stairways and rock art from the Mogollon culture.  The museum contains many artifacts that were found at the site; pottery, baskets, tools, bones, art and lots of other items.

And then we drove south to Nutrioso and Alpine (our neighbors Mike and Rhonda have a place there) and learned that the road we were planning on taking tomorrow is closed due to a bridge being out.  Darn, that route has been on my bucket list for a long time, but on to Plan B.  We also drove down a long, dirt road to the Sipe Recreation area and found that the facilities were closed and the road that goes beyond them is also closed during the winter months.  It started to snow while we were there and continued into the night.

As we drove out, a break in the clouds resulted in a beautiful rainbow off in the eastern sky.

Tonight’s dinner was at Avery’s Waterhole and we had some really good BBQ.

Thursday, March 7, 2019

Wednesday, March 5, 2019, AZ

Yesterday was my brother Rocco’s Birthday, he would be turning 70 this year and it’s hard to believe that he has been gone for 17 years.  It’s been a busy week, as I have had 3 cleaning jobs.

Our park had a Mardi Gras party on Tuesday and Tom and I both had chiropractor appointments.  He found no kinks, lumps, or spots to work on me at this treatment - I guess I am in balance.  We have 1 more appointment before heading out for the summer.

The party was fun, but again, they played nothing but country music and that means 2-step dancing and Tom doesn’t do it. That is one thing I really miss in this park - at Highlands, there was always someone to dance with and the entertainment was more variety and played good dance tunes. I made a comment to the activities person to request more variety in the future. 

Sunday, March 3, 2019

Sunday, March 3, 2019, AZ

Today was a busy, fun-filled day spent with Manual and Linda. We met for breakfast at their house and when his 2 daughters, Avery and Minnie and son-in-law, Jason arrived, we all headed out in their Jeeps for some off road driving in the Tonto National Forest.  We started at the Bulldog Canyon trail, about 12 miles through pretty rough terrain and gorgeous views of Four Peaks and Weaver’s Needle. Jason has a beefed up Wrangler and he took off on some very pitted, hilly climbs and descents. Manny got brave and followed and ended up with only one wheel in contact with the road in a really rutted descent.  He managed to wriggle his way out of it, but Jason was at the ready in case he had to hook u his winch and pull him out.

The next trail we took was the Butcher Jones trail (Forest Roads 1813 & 1814) and it wound up at the beach on Saguaro Lake. On the way back, Tom and I were a bit timid about a hill that those guys climbed and we tried to find an alternate route. We ended up turning back and while pondering the situation, the rest of the group came back to guide us through.  Linda and I walked up the hill to meet them and several folks stopped to offer help if we needed it. 

We stopped to eat at the Lakeshore Restaurant before heading back home. It was a long, fun, dusty day with good folks!

Saturday, February 2, AZ

Happy Birthday to my sweet niece, Stella! 

It felt good to sleep in this morning and have a leisurely start to the day.  We took a nice walk around the neighborhood.  The breeze is slightly cool, but the air felt warm. We both noticed it and agreed that we like it. Temps are supposed to get up to 74 today and we may get a little bit of rain.

There was a presentation in our park today by the Wild at Heart raptor rescue group.  They told us about the birds that they rescue and how they are treated, all with the hope of getting them rehabilitated so they can go back in the wild.  They had several species to show us - all birds that had injuries that wouldn’t allow them to recover sufficiently to ever be released. We saw a Saw Whet Owl, a Burrowing Owl, a Screech Owl (they don’t make a screeching sound), a Harrier’s Hawk, a Red Tailed Hawk, and a Great Horned Owl.

Tom got together with Chaney this afternoon and I stayed home and did - well, not much of anything.

Friday, March 1, 2019

Thursday, February 28, AZ

Since Joyce was not town, we went to meet up with her after the Thursday morning coffee, donut, and meeting here at the park. We went to Village Inn for breakfast and I would care if I ever went back there. Joyce noticed an unpleasant odor just as we walked in, it took a long time to be seated, to order, and for our food to come.  The menu did not include any individual items, so I ordered way more than I could eat and it wasn’t very good (my vegetarian omelet came with a yucky, sauce that was meant to be a salsa).

I felt under the weather most of the day, tired, lifeless, with sniffles and coughing. I sure hope this is the last of it - I’ve never felt sick until today, just had some unpleasant symptoms.

Thursday, February 28, 2019

Wednesday, February 27, AZ

Happy 70th Birthday to my man, Tom! And I think it was a very nice day for him. I fixed him a nice breakfast and then we went on a 2.5-mile hike on the Meridian Trail. The sun warmed up to about 70 while we were out and continued the climb to about 75 that day.

 The desert is quite green after all of the rain we have gotten this winter.

I managed to pull off the surprise birthday party until an hour ahead of time, when I had to get the supplies from the trailer and my car over to the game room which I had reserved for the event. It was then that I told him about the party and he was thankful that I didn’t just spring it on him (gave him a chance to clean up after our hike). Pat and Roger and Jim and Sue met me at the game room and we set up the food and a few decorations. Tom’s 2 sisters (Geri drove in from Blythe, CA and Joyce flew in from Colorado Springs) surprised him at the trailer and then joined the rest of us. As the evening went on, we were joined by Tom’s daughter, Trina, his son Chaney and grandson Lakin, former coworkers Ron and Mary and Manuel and Linda, and our friends Connie, Rhonda, Terry and Pat. It all made for some good laughs and conversation and some funny gifts too.

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Tuesday, February 26.

It was easy to get back n the swing of things here in AJ.  Tom set up a breakfast meetup with his former coworkers and friends on Sunday morning, but I opted to stay home in bed.  That didn’t last too long, I was up by 8:15.  We did go grocery shopping in the afternoon and had a nice steak dinner in the evening,

Last night, our park had a Reverse Raffle event and a quite yummy spaghetti dinner.  The raffle as interesting. It cost us $30 for 2 tickets that included dinner and a raffle ticket for each of us.  All of the money collected for the tickets went into the raffle, a total of $1,000. They gave several small $ prizes and the final 4 numbers called qualified for $800. They could decide to split and each take $200 or go for the big prize of $800 and only 1 of the 4 would win.  They chose to split. Our next door neighbor, Rod, was one of the winters.

Sunday, February 24, 2019

Saturday, February 23, MN, AZ

I got an email from Delta Airline yesterday, notifying me that the prediction of blizzard conditions in the Midwest (8-10 inches of snow and 40+ mile-per-hour winds) could affect my flight that is scheduled for tomorrow at 2:30. So, this morning when I checked the weather and the advisories, I decided to change my flight and was able to get on an 8:00 pm flight today, so I took it.  

I stayed home while Ben took the girls to gymnastics and did some laundry and cleaned the bathrooms (one less job for Jill to worry about). She and I had an opportunity to have a nice conversation while the house was quiet and we had no interruptions.

Ben and I played a game of UNO while the kids played school (guess who was the teacher) and then he and I went to George and the Dragon for an early dinner before he took me to the airport. I’m feeling very fortunate that he and I have had some good opportunities for conversation and hanging out together.

There were no lines getting through security and I got right to my gate without a hitch. My flight took off on time and we landed in Phoenix about 15 minutes early. Tom was there to pick me up and it felt good to be back in AZ.

Friday, February 22, 2019

Friday, February 22, MN

So, Camille and Norah still have a cold and cough, so have stayed home again the last 2 days. Charlotte did go back to school the last 2 days, so it’s been a little easier for me to deal with just 2.  Many times, they all play together well, but also there are many times that there is conflict.  And the parents are much better at conflict resolution than I am.  I also think that they try to manipulate me and bend the rules a bit more than they do the parents. Last night, all 3 put on a cute dance routine for us after planning and practicing for quite a while. Those things are so much fun, especially when they get silly and have lots of fun together.

After lunch, we went out to play in the snow and lasted almost an hour.  I can honestly say that this is the first time I have been sledding in at least 17 years.  A few hours later, I am feeling it in my joints.  At this age, I always pay for the activities that I do with the kids, but at least I have fun while I’m doing it.

I’ve been hearing weather reports from Tom and they are having a cold, wet spell again.  He has seen snow on the Superstitions another 3 days this week, so a total of 4 this winter. Amazing! I also saw pictures of Cave Creek (the northern part of the Phoenix valley at an elevation of about 2,000 feet) with an accumulation of snow on the ground. Maybe I did chose a good time to be away from there.

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Wednesday, February 20, MN

It’s a snow day for Charlotte, a sick day for Camille and Norah, and a work-at-home day for Jill and Ben. The snow has fallen steadily since about midnight and continues as I write.  I hope I can keep them occupied and getting along well together throughout the day.

And the snow continued throughout the day. We played, ate, fought, read stories, watched kid shows, and played outside. I tried the latter but my endurance was short-lived. It took Ben over an hour to clear off all of the snow when he got off work.  I’m glad this is just a visit as I am tired of it already. Spring is right around the corner, right?

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

February 18 - 19, 2019, MN

Tuesday, February 19.  Yesterday was another day off for Ben and Charlotte, so we basically hung out, did a few household chores, and played. In the afternoon, Jill and Ben had a meeting, so Charlotte and I went to the Wild Rumpus book store in Linden Hills, and of course, I splurged and bought them some books. In fact, the book that Charlotte chose, was half read before we even left the store and she finished reading it about 15 minutes after we got home. The kid is a reading machine. Later on, Ben told me that he should have warned me, as they have made the same mistake - better to get a loaner from the library because she goes through them so quickly.  For Norah and Camille, I chose a book about the instruments in a Symphony Orchestra and  “Man Gave Names to all of the Animals” by Bob Dylan - I really liked the illustrations, they are so colorful and creative.

And today, Ben’s day off without children, we had a very nice day hanging out together, starting with breakfast at Victor’s 1959 Cafe, a great little hole-in-the-wall Cuban cafe. From there, we headed to Eagan to the Le Cruiset outlet so Ben could get a 7.5 quart Dutch oven because he found one at a great price. A snack of coffee and a bite of lemon pound cake at Patisserie 44 hit the spot as we sat at a sunny window table and enjoyed the warmth. It made us feel like going for a walks, so when we got back home, we took off on a 2-mile walk around the neighborhood. It was refreshing but the snow or ice covered sidewalks caused me to use a lot of muscles that I don’t normally use and I could really feel it by the end. 

I finally had a few minutes to have a phone conversation with Tom and learned that he has been under the weather again, this time with bronchitis. I’m kind of glad that I am not exposed, although there is a bit of sniffling going on in this house too.

Tonight was swim class night for the girls at the ‘Y’ and it was fun to see how much they have improved. They sure do enjoy the water.  

Anther winter storm is coming through the area and we are expecting to see 8 - 10” of snow, starting tonight.  Lucky me. While we were heading out to swim class, Ben got a call from Charlotte’s school announcing another snow day tomorrow. Guess I will be hanging out with Charlotte.

Monday, February 18, 2019

February 14 - 17, 2019, MN

Sunday, February 17.  Way back last Thursday, Tom drove me to the airport and I boarded Delta flight 968 headed for Minneapolis. The security process went well, although the check-in line was pretty long.  I grabbed a bowl of soup and waited for my flight. It was on-time and arrived in Minneapolis a few minutes early.  Ben and the girls picked me up, although they were stuck in traffic for a while. It sure is good to see them all again. It sure is frigid in this place and the ground is covered with white.


Jill was out of town for her work, so Ben, Charlotte, and I played a game of Doodle Dice and Charlotte demonstrated her Snaptricity skills - a board that creates electronic gadgets when all of the circuits connect as they should. She made a helicopter, had some issues when it didn’t work, and then had to go back and figure out why and then fix it.  She had a sleepover with me and we told stories and giggled until sleep time.

Norah and Camille had school on Friday and Ben and Charlotte had the day off. Ben made us a big pot of Tuscan Bean Soup for dinner, Char played with Violet.  Pat and Tracey arrived from Stoughton early in the evening and we had a great visit together.  Pat has lost so much weight that he hardly looks like the same person, his build is much like his Dad’s was. It was an early night for us, as it has been a long week for everyone, but we did manage a short dance party and Charlotte entertained us with cartwheels and dance moves.

Saturday was another busy day, starting with a yummy bacon and egg breakfast. I went with Jill to gymnastics class with the girls and Ben, Pat, and Tracey went to St. Paul to the Hmong Village Flea Market.  We had a nice dinner of Salmon Bowls (rice, salmon, green onions, cubes, and homemade teriyaki sauce) and then we celebrated Ben’s birthday with cupcakes, ice cream, gifts and drinks.

Sunday morning, Pat and Tracey got ready to go home shortly after getting up because there is 4-5 inches of snow predicted for Wisconsin. So we all got up and said our goodbyes so they could get on the road. Five hours later, we got a text saying they made it home in mostly wet conditions until they got near Stoughton.

It was ice skating lesson day for the girls, and it was fun to watch how much they have improved on those skills over the last year. Charlotte is able to zip around the ice with good balance, doing some twirls and able to stop herself. She skated on her own for the entire half-hour wait before her class started.  Norah and Camille are steady and quick on their feet - they have gotten more experience this winter because their preschool has a small ice rink in the front yard.

We had dinner at Red Cow tonight and it was yummy, as usual.  Charlotte and I shared a fish and chips basket and I had a yummy glass of Fulton Lonely Blonde Ale.

I have had a sweet little girl in my bed for sleepovers the last 4 nights - so they each get 2 turns for story time, back rubs, and cuddling with Grandma Rose while I’m here visiting..

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Wednesday, February 13, 2019, AZ

It still happens, a heavy, sad feeling overcomes me during the week leading up to today, the 6th anniversary of Mike’s passing. I relive the events in great detail and still find it hard to believe that his life ended so abruptly and how my life changed because of it.  I’m really looking forward to seeing my sons in Minneapolis this weekend - a long awaited reunion for the 3 of us. And those granddaughters will cheer me right up.

My loving husband, father of our sons, traveling companion, and friend of 47 years.
Rest In Peace, Mike.

 Heavy snows have hit the midwest and I will get my fill of it, just hope that my travels go smoothly.

After my cleaning job this morning, we went for a nice, long walk through the neighborhood and then had a bit of a nap.  We volunteered to help serve the Wednesday evening Before Bingo dinner - sloppy joe sandwich, chips, soda, and cookie for $4.  It was a very efficient operation - Mary Lou out the bun on a plate, Bob served the sloppy joe, I collected the money, Tom passed out the sandwiches, and Sandy handed out soda. And then we joined our neighbors to eat, followed by clean-up.

Sunday, February 10, 2019

Sunday, February 10, 2019, AZ

When Tom looked out the window yesterday morning and saw some sunshine, we figured it would be a nice day. Unfortunately, that wasn’t the case and we had a cloudy, gray 52 degree day. Everyone was complaining about it and very few people were out and about.

I gave him a haircut and then we gave the trailer a good vacuuming.  It was struggling to pick up the dog hair and sure enough, the bag was full. It appeared that there was another whole dog in the trash can, judging by how much hair was there.  Like Mike used to say, “In our house, dog hair is a condiment”.

We met up with Jill’s parents, Lois and Dennis and Lois’s sister Kathy and her husband Dave for dinner at Dirtwater Springs in the evening. We ended up in a large booth and they weren’t so busy that we had to hurry away after dinner, so we talked and visited for 2.5 hours. We probably won’t be seeing them again, as I get back from MN on the 24th and they head back home on the 28th. Our next visit will have to be back in MN during the summer.

Today turned out to be a beautiful, sunny, 65 degree day that brought everyone out of the woodwork.  After breakfast, we walked to the gas station for a newspaper and that took care of our main exercise for the day, pretty close to 2 miles.  I got organized for packing for upcoming trip.  Then came Frisco’s grooming - tooth brushing, ear cleaning, nail trimming, and bath. He is such a good sport about it all and knows that lots of treats will come his way as a reward for that good behavior.

I returned a jacket that Patty had loaned me for my trip (I felt like the one that I have would keep me warmer) and she wanted it back if I wasn’t going to use it. That gave me an opportunity to sit and chat with them for a while. I do miss being close to them and seeing them a bit more frequently.

Friday, February 8, 2019

Friday, February 8, 2019, AZ

The only thing on my calendar for today was a haircut with Patty’s stylist (I am ready for a good haircut and wish I had gone to her first).  It’s a good thing, because I had an awful night, feeling little aches and pains as a result of my fall in the morning.  And because of the shot, I have been having side effects and feeling exhausted and completely out of sorts all day.  What a waste of a gorgeous day, although we did get a nice walk in this morning and were able to sit out in the sun and read this afternoon.

Thursday, February 7, 2019

Thursday, February 7, 2019, AZ

Well, it has been another busy week for us.  Some days pass and we can’t even say what went on.

Last weekend when we were having dinner with Pat and Rog and Jim and Sue, they all said that the would like to see Arlene again.  So, I arranged for us to meet for lunch and Red, White and Brew - thinking that if we met up at 1:00, we would miss the business lunches and it might be a bit more quiet - not as much as a challenge for Arlene’s hearing aids.  Tom and I picked her up and we had a wonderful lunch - she was so appreciative to get together with a group of friends.

This morning, as I was leaving to take Frisco for a walk, our rug slipped from under me and I came crashing down on the hard concrete, landing on my butt.  What the heck? I think there may have been some frost on it, as there sure was on the car windshields.  I didn’t feel any effects of the fall.

Our park is divided into 4 quadrants and ours is responsible for the events for February, all pulled off by volunteers.  Tom and I helped serve coffee and donuts at the weekly meeting this morning and then cleaned up after. Easy, peasy.

After much calling and searching, I found a source for the 2nd Shingrix shot that I need.  The pharmacies out here in AJ have waiting lists of 300+ but I found a Walgreens on Southern and Stanley had it.  After the meeting this morning, we headed out and stopped there first so I could get my shot (I got the first one back in August from my doctor).

We then headed to Peoria to an RV show and looked at several floor plans. Most of them had add-ones that we weren’t interested in - outdoor kitchens, bunk beds, insufficient storage, and huge
u-shaped dinettes.  On the way home, we stopped at LaMesa to check out the Winnebago Minnie’s. Nice units, but a bit o the heavy side for us.

Saturday, February 2, 2019

Saturday, February 2, 2019, AZ

On Thursday, we took a drive along the Apache Trail, pas Goldfield Ghost Town, Lost Dutchman State Park, and Canyon Lake to Tortilla Flat where we strolled the boardwalk and stopped at the restaurant for a bite to eat.  The place is pretty cool, with the walls lined with autographed dollar bills and historic photos. Our lunch was good and we stopped to hear the band play a tune before we headed back out on the road. After a few miles, the road became dirt and we slowed way down to avoid the washboard and to enjoy the beautiful scenery. It had been about 3 years for me and probably 10 since Tom had driven that route.  It is always a joy to me and it felt good to get off the beaten path again.

I finally found an Oreck handheld vacuum at a price that I felt was reasonable (didn’t want to spend too much since I already have one in my storage in Minneapolis). It was in northern Phoenix, so it took a good 45 minutes to get there and it was well worth the drive and $20.  I put it to good use when I got back home and Tom was impressed with the suction and efficiency.

We met up with Pat and Roger and Jim and Sue (they arrived at Val Vista Village today) at the Dog Run Saloon and had some good fish fry. Jim even ordered an Old Fashioned and thought it was pretty good. It was great to see them again and we had lots of good laughs and reminiscing.

This morning, our park had patio sales, so I walked around and checked everything out but came back home empty handed.  We decided to take a hike through the desert, the first time in several weeks and it was a very nice walk.  The nice thing is that we can drive a mile and hop on a trail and get a nice walk in through natural desert terrain.  It ended up being about 1.7 miles, just enough to get us back in shape gradually.  My butt cheeks were hurting later on.

I went to see Arlene at her new home this afternoon. She, her daughter Sharla and son-in-law bought a home in Las Sendas (Mesa) that would accommodate all of them, as Arlene’s vision continues to worsen and she felt that she couldn’t live by herself any longer.  Her home is sold and Tom and Sharla have theirs on the market.  The house is very nice and she is feeling happy with her decision.

Thursday, January 31, 2019

Wednesday, January 30, 2019, AZ

I had 2 jobs to take care of this week and Karen’s only took me an hour. Her house in Highlands is vacant so all I did was dust off the surfaces and cleaned up some weeds in the yard.  Tom dropped me off there, ran his errands, and then the 2 of us shopped for groceries. We’ve been eating lots of veggies lately and our little refrigerator has a hard time handling the volume, but we manage to fit them in.

Tom is feeling much better from the crud that he had and has been working on installing new levelers on the trailer.  I have had some sinus problems and am sick and tired of sniffing, sneezing, and snorting. I don’t think I caught what he had, though, and I’m thankful for that.

My family in the Midwest are suffering with a polar vortex that is bringing them snow and sub-zero temperatures.  Schools in Minneapolis have been closed all week. Pat sent me a picture of his thermometer yesterday, reading -18 degrees and that doesn’t count for the high winds. Mail deliver, schools, and many businesses have closed to keep people from exposure.

We had breakfast at Mickey D’s Yesterday, a very popular spot in AJ. Breakfast was good and pretty cheap too.  I gave my car a bath and a good inside cleaning when we got back home.

Sunday, January 27, 2019

Sunday, January 27, 2019, AZ

I went to a great estate sale yesterday, but walked out of there empty handed once again.  If I had a home to furnish, I would have bought several items - a beautiful, teak wood dining room table and chairs, a really cool wood rocker, and the coffee table and end tables.  There were also many beautiful glass pieces. Many of the items were Asian and not in my preferred style, but very nice.

We did laundry in the afternoon and hung around the house, sitting outdoors and enjoying the warm, almost 70 degree day.

This morning, we walked to the gas station to get a newspaper, the first time in a week that Tom has walked more than just around the park. It felt good.

When we got back home, Tom emptied the black tank and while filling up the gray for a good flush, it filled too quickly and leaked all over the floors, flooding the cabinet under the bathroom sink and running all through the living room, soaking everything in its path.  We stopped it all up with every towel that we had available and ended up with a soggy lump of wet towels.  Tom took it all to the laundry and I cleaned out the cabinet.  What a mess, although it led us to do a good cleaning.

Another first in a week, we went to a Chinese Restaurant for dinner, Lotus Gardens. The reviews were go, so we thought we would give it a shot - there was a line of people waiting to pick up orders and we got the only table for 2 that was available.  The service was good, the dining room was spotless, and food was generous servings and yummy with nice, fresh ingredients.  I will pass on good reviews and not hesitate to eat there again.

Friday, January 25, 2019

Friday, January 25, 2019, AZ

As I parked my car at my client’s house yesterday, I heard the chatter of the Rose Breasted Lovebirds, and I couldn’t help but stop and watch them for a few minutes.  The activity of birds is something that I really enjoyed at my house and I kind of miss it.  This event gave me a good feeling.

Today is the first day in a week that I have seen a little spring in Tom’s step. We had appointments with Doc Roland this morning and my only complaint was sinus pressure, so that is what he worked on and he sent me home with suggestions for a couple of supplements: Immuplex for boosting the immune system and Sinus Forte for the sinuses.  Funny, Tom’s diagnosis and supplements were the same, although he has been ill and I have been on the verge of illness. He only had a little nap this afternoon and actually felt like running some errands and we actually got a few short walks in today.

I finally finished the sweater that I have been working on since last November. I’m not really sure if it is something that I might wear in the future or if I should take it apart and do something else with the yarn (I really like the color and texture of it).

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Wednesday, January 23, 2019, AZ

I missed the Super Wolf Blood Moon and eclipse on Sunday night because Tom and I were engrossed in mapping out our route for our summer travels. We came up with a ‘work in progress’ plan that would take us to parts of Nevada, Northern California, the Pacific Coast, and meandering easterly toward Minnesota.

Pat and Rog joined us for a Corned Beef and Cabbage dinner on Monday night, it was great seeing them again. Unfortunately, Tom was in Day 3 of this cold or crud that he had and he was feeling ok in the morning, but not quite up to par later in the afternoon.  He’s a trooper, tho.

I had cleaning jobs both Tuesday and Wednesday this week and haven’t done much else. Tom is still not back to feeling healthy and I have felt like I’m fighting off something but haven’t developed any of the symptoms that he is having.

I made some sausage stuffed portobello mushrooms for dinner tight and they were yummy! And only 7 carbs to boot!

Sunday, January 20, 2019

Saturday, January 19 , 2019, AZ

Tom mentioned yesterday that he had a sore throat and that was followed by a poor night’s sleep and feeling pretty miserable throughout the day today.  I felt a bit under the weather too, but nothing that I could identify, certainly not the same symptoms that Tom is having. We shall see if my immune system can fight it off.

I took off for a while in the morning, hoping to spot some good garage sales, but I really wasn’t feeling much like doing that, so I headed back home and spent the rest of the day lounging around.

Here’s a photo that I took the other day, just forgot to post. These were lined up in the parking lot when we left the restaurant at Saguaro Lake on Friday.

Friday, January 18, 2019

Friday, January 18, 2019, AZ

Tom and I went shopping this morning to return the poster that we bought for the trailer yesterday because it didn’t fit. After looking and looking, we both focused on this one wall sculpture, liked it, and bought it. It looks great in the space and goes well with the upholstery and wood in the trailer.

Geri  and Joyce came over in the afternoon and we sat around talking for a while, had a snack, then decided to head out to Goldfield Ghost Town.  It was fun walking around there, checking out the views and the old buildings, and did some shopping too.  I bought a couple of things at the Apothecary Shop - a salve to relieve sinus headache pressure and one for joint pain.  I thought the shop smelled yummy but it was overpowering for Tom, so he waited outside for us.

Rancho de Tia Rosa was our choice for dinner and it was a very good choice.  Tom and I both ordered the low carb entree and were served a huge platter of marinated beef (it had to be a pound), grilled peppers and onion, and half a head of lettuce (to replace the tortillas).  It was yummy but I brought a lot of it home.

This morning, we took them out to the Saguaro Lake Marina for breakfast and the views, food, and conversation were great.  We did get a glimpse of some of the wild horses off in the distance on the drive out.

 When we got back from breakfast, us girls headed out to do some consignment shop shopping and Tom stayed back at the trailer to check out the leveling jacks that arrived by FedEx yesterday.

First on the list was Sweet Repeats where I bought a Coach wallet for $10.50 and Joyce and Geri also made some purchases.  Our next stop was at my favorite citrus shop so Joyce could load up on oranges, grapefruit and lemons, although their lemons were very small, so a phone call to my friend Carmen (I knew that she was trying to peddle lemons), resulted in an invitation to come to her house and pick as many as we wanted.  We moved on to Turnstyle where I found a pair of warm boots for my upcoming trip to Minneapolis and Joyce found some things but Geri left empty handed.  Just a few miles north, at Highlands, we picked all of the lemons that Joyce wanted to carry with her back to Colorado. And then we came back to our park, said our goodbyes and they both left - Geri to go back home to Blythe and Joyce to her hotel and will leave again early on the morning.

We sure did have a good time and it was so nice to see the Kell siblings together.

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Wednesday, January 15, 2019, AZ

It has been a fun week so far and I’m expecting it to continue.  Back on Monday afternoon, we went to Val Vista Village and met up with Pat and Roger and some of their friends in the Courtyard to listen and dance to Dakota Kid.  Connie and Lois from Highlands joined us and we had lots of fun telling stories, joking around, having cocktails, and doing some line dancing too.

Yesterday after my housecleaning job, I went to Costco to gas up my car ($2.39/gallon) and get a few groceries.  Tom and I have been reducing the carbs in our diets and have been eating a lot of avocados (good fats). Costco has 6 large Hass avocados for $5 and it just can’t be beat anywhere else.

Our park had an entertainer, “Ron E Cash” and a huge spread of food and free beer before the show.  We heard several Johnny Cash tunes and then a woman joined him on stage and sang some beautiful harmony on lots of old country standards and they entertained us for 3 very enjoyable hours of music.   My only complaint is that the dances were 2-steps and couples only tunes and since Tom doesn’t know how, I didn’t get to dance - well, we did dance a couple of slow ones.  And I love to dance! I will have to see what I can do about that.

Back when we lived at Highlands, the entertainers were more rounded, playing a wide variety of music that everyone could dance to, even if you weren’t the best dancer. All was accepted, and especially women dancing on their own. Many times, the women would get things rolling and we would have men and couples join in. As the liquor flowed and the men got happy feet, the dance floor would fill up and it was always so much fun!

We took my car for an oil change this morning and went to kill time by browsing the aisles at Hobby Lobby. We bought a poster to hang on the wall of the trailer (we’ve been looking for just the right thing), but found it was way too big for our space once we got back home. We will just have to go back and choose something else that fits the space better.

Tom’s sister, Joyce came for a visit today and will stick around for a few days and Geri will come in from Blythe tomorrow.  I think it’s great because these siblings are rarely all together and the more I get to know them, the more I like them. We had a nice dinner together and good stories, but Joyce headed back to her hotel early since she had driven here from Yuma this morning after having dental work done in Los Algodones over the last few days - she was tired.

Saturday, January 12, 2019

Saturday, January 12, 2019, AZ

I had my usual cleaning job on Tuesday and hung around the rest of the day.

I ordered new sheets and a mattress cover last week, so when the sheets arrived Wednesday afternoon, it was too late to launder them, so that project waited until Thursday.

We attended the weekly coffee and info meeting Thursday morning and were pleasantly surprised when there was a presentation from a member of the local fire department on how to respond to cardiac arrest.  It was very informative and served as a reminder to both of us, since we had training in the past and could use a refresher course.  We learned that if someone is down and they don’t respond to your questions of  “are you ok”, call or have someone else call 911, then start compressions of 100/minute at the center of the chest, pushing a full 2” and continue until help arrives.  She also went over the use of the fibrillator. The first thing we did when we got back home is to update our ICE contacts and make sure we each had those noted as such in our contacts list.

There was a lot of laundry to do this time, so we went to the nearby laundromat where they have the big machines.  I took the new sheets out of the package and just threw them into the basket, but when we got back home and put them on the bed, I found that there were no pillowcases.  That led to making contacts to Walmart to learn what to do about it and they refunded my money, gave me an additional 10% credit and told me I would have to return the sheets and reorder, since they were out of stock.  Needless to say, they can’t be reordered at the price that I paid and will cost an additional $10 or more. I’m not sure if I will return them or keep them and use other non-matching pillowcases.  Its just another negative Walmart experience that reinforces me like them even less. Grrrrr!

Tom had errands to run on Friday, so I went to see how the annual sale at Turnstyle was and after an hour or so, I walked out of there empty handed.  Since I was so near, I stopped at Highlands to see if Jan and Jim were around and had a nice chat with them.  Connie also stopped by, so it felt like old times.  I do miss my friends and activities.

Today has been an ‘at home’ day and I have felt very bored, even after doing a few chores and taking a few 3 walks.  I guess that boredom led me to take a nice nap and then to update this journal, so it’s not a total waste.

Wednesday, January 9, 2019, AZ

Well, apparently I don’t have much to say lately. Life has been fairly routine and there are no big highlights to write about.  I spoke to both of my sons and a couple of the grandkids over the weekend. I made reservations for a flight to Minneapolis from February 14-24 and am looking forward to seeing those kids in person. It might even work out that we (Ben and his family or some of his family) can meet up with Pat and Tracey in Tomah or near there.  That is about the half way point between Minneapolis and Madison.

I went to Connie’s house for a nice visit on Monday after doing some cleanup at Karen’s house in Highlands.  It was great to see her and we had good conversation, as always!

Thursday, January 3, 2019

January 1 - 3, 2019, AZ

Thursday, January 3.  We started the new year with a party at the clubhouse with some of our new friends and other residents of Shiprock RV.  A DJ played music from 8:00 until midnight and we managed to stay up and see in the new year, having a few cocktails, dances, and lots of good conversation and laughter.

We woke up with the joy of seeing snow on the Superstition Mountain peaks on New Year’s Day and we took a nice walk in hopes of getting some good views and this is what I came up with.  Later in the day, we drove to the mountains and got a much closer view.

I was back to cleaning Sylvia’s house yesterday and Jim and Shirley’s today.