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.