Sunday, March 31, 2019

Saturday, March 30, 2019, AZ

I had my final cleaning job for the season yesterday morning and packed away my gear for next season, although I haven’t made a definite decision to return.  I really like the people that I work for, and I don’t spend a heck of a lot of time doing it, but it does take a toll on my body, especially the vacuuming. They definitely want me back plus I’ve been asked to pick up another house next fall.  We shall see.

I got together with Monica and Loren and Nan and Dale on Friday night at Tempe Public Market. The place was quite nice, food was good, but the noise level was high, making it a bit difficult to hear the conversation. A table on the patio might have made that better.  It was a short but sweet visit, but nice to see them all again.

We watched a new release on Netflix tonight, “The Highwaymen” with Kevin Costner, Woody Harrelson, and Kathy Bates - a good movie about the capture of Bonnie and Clyde.

Friday, March 29, 2019

Thursday, March 28, 2019, AZ

It has been a busy week with cleaning jobs (the last of the season), Dr. Roland appointments (the last of the season), and Thursday morning coffee also the last of the season), and grocery shopping.

The sunset on Tuesday night was gorgeous! The picture doesn’t do justice.

Tom had the trailer washed and waxed on Tuesday and it sure does look bright and shiny and ready for the trip.  Another preparation that he did was to get his oil changed. The appointment that he setup at Brakes Plus for Monday was messed up because  they had no appointment in their books for him and it was going to be at least an hour before they could get him in.  He came back home, called around and got another for Wednesday.  It went just fine until he got back home, checked his oil and learned that they hadn’t put on the filter that he brought with him and then, after checking farther, they hadn’t used the oil that he brought in - they used bulk oil that they kept in the shop and he didn’t want that.  So he took it back and they got it right the second time.  I’m convinced that great customer service has gone by the wayside and that ‘do it right the first time’ is easy thing of the past.

We made it to the pool a couple of times and enjoyed the warmth and conversation.  The common topic is when you are leaving and where are you going.  At least 3 units have pulled out this week and others are packing up and getting ready.

Our highlight for today was to see Lakin in his school play, “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory”.   He is the only 6th grader to have one of the lead roles, playing Barry Beauregarde, the scrappy kid who is constantly chewing gum.  He ends up eating a gum ball that causes him to turn purple and swell up like a blueberry (Blue Barry). Of course, he is the star in our eyes, but they all did an excellent performance and the soundtrack, props and costumes were great too!  

Lakin showing us the effects of eating the mystery gum ball.

Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Monday, March 25, 2019, AZ

Saturday’s activity was to meet up with Chaney and we did so at Olive Garden near Fiesta Mall. We had a great 2-hour visit and a tasty lunch.

It was time for another breakfast meetup yesterday with Manny and Linda and Ron. This time, we met at Raging Bull. Their breakfast was tasty but left a few things to be desired, such as NOT crispy bacon and potatoes and it wasn’t served HOT. We will check that one off the last and go back to some of the tried and true spots that we’ve gone to in the past. We had a very nice visit and then said our goodbyes until the fall when we meet up again. Good folks, good times.

We went to the pool in the afternoon and that sure did feel good. 

I talked with Pat, then Ben and the kids a bit this afternoon. The big news from MN is that Charlotte lost one of her front teeth.  She looks so cute!

This morning was the first time that this spring that I have walked Frisco without any kind of jacket. The days have been warming, temps reached 80 today and nights have been in the upper 50s.

Tom had some errands to run, so I did some housekeeping and cleaned the outdoor furniture so it would be clean for packing up and storing during our travels.

We met Jim, Sue, Connie and Lois at the courtyard at Val Vista Village this afternoon and enjoyed some beers, conversation, laughter and even did the electric slide on the dance floor with Connie and about 50 other folks.  Again, a few hours with good friends and good times. Tom and I stopped at the Lotus Garden for dinner before heading back home.

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.