Sunday, January 31, 2016

Not So Nice Weather...

It was a beautiful morning when I got up. The sky was clear and blue, it was warm and the sun was shining. It was so nice I even left the door open and took my coffee outside.  Then gradually as the day went by, the clouds started moving in. At first, they were just wispy white things. But as the day went by, they got thicker and darker.  By the time we went for our walk, there were occasional black clouds going over and we even were blessed with a few scattered fat raindrops.

By late evening we were getting wind gusts that shook Auntie Violet. We had brought in the awning earlier and I even brought in the little awning that goes over the door. By 10 o'clock, it was beginning to rain fairly hard and a half hour or so later, we got a NOAA Broadcast with Severe Thunderstorm Warning. The radar map shows some thunder cells moving north from Tempe sitting right over the top of us. We were watching Castle reruns on television until the dish lost its satellite connection.

So for now, we'll sit and watch the rain and the lightning and listen to the thunder.

Saturday, January 30, 2016

They're Back!

After an odyssey that took them to Florida for the holidays, then shows in Texas and Colorado, our friends Dennis and Colleen are back in Arizona. We met up tonight for dinner at one of the Outbacks in Mesa. When I called the restaurant yesterday, they told me they didn't take reservations, but if I wanted to be put on their table list... It seems that puts you ahead of the folks who just walk up. So I said sure.

We arrived ten minutes or so before the 5:30 time I had told her. I checked in at the front desk and was given a beeper. We had barely sat down on the porch when it went off. We got to our table and ordered drinks just as Colleen and Dennis arrived. Colleen said she heard the hostess telling folks it would be a 30 to 45 minute wait. I guess if you are going to eat at an Outback, you want to get on their table list.

Forry and I split one of their bone-in rib eyes - it was so good!  Plenty for both of us, with some left to bring home. And of course, we shared one of those Bloomin' Onions with our friends.

Forry had brought back a VERY fat box of mail when he walked over to the office. It's a good thing Daughter MM had double-taped it. We hadn't gotten any sent since the box they had brought down before Christmas. It took me over an hour just to open it and sort it. There were even a few Christmas cards in there.

It was another gorgeous day today. It got up to 91 degrees on the outside thermometer in the warm sun. We've heard rumors of a cold front coming through next week. I hope they're wrong!

Friday, January 29, 2016

Today

I got a lot accomplished today (for a change). A couple of loads of laundry; new cartridges installed in the printer; all of the bank statements downloaded and printed; and two months worth of them entered into Quicken. It felt good to get started on getting the tax stuff done.

I spent some time on-line checking out the Outback Steakhouses in the Scottsdale/Fountain Hills/Glendale area. For some reason I've been thinking about Bloomin' Onions lately. We were planning to get together with our friends Dennis and Colleen tomorrow and I was sure there must be an Outback Steakhouse in the area somewhere. Come to find out, there are nine! So we'll meet them in the middle at the one in Mesa.

We took our walk late this afternoon. It is so nice that sunset is getting so much later and it's now still light until almost six o'clock. We could watch the mountains turning pink, then purple, then black. Another gorgeous day.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

That World Out There

I am sitting here in my burgundy wall-hugger recliner thinking about all the places I've been today. A few minutes ago, I was watching the video the FBI provided of the roadblock and shooting in Oregon of those domestic terrorists last night on my iPad. We were watching the Gonzaga basketball game on TV from Spokane, Washington. I texted early this morning with Daughter Mary Mae in Mount Vernon, Washington about the box of mail she was sending. Later I chatted a bit via text with my friend Tina in Farmington, New Mexico. And this evening, I have been playing Words With Friends (internet scrabble) with a friend on the other side of Arizona.

All from the comfort of my RV's living room! I wonder what my grandmothers would have thought of our ability to connect so casually with far away places? When my Grandmother Kubik came out to Washington territory to homestead from Minnesota, she never got to see her parents again. Even phone calls were dreadfully expensive and were by necessity very seldom and very brief. I wonder what she would have thought of Skype?

It was another beautiful sunny day here.


Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Costco...

I probably could have put off a trip to Costco another week or so, but I want to get started on getting the tax stuff done. I needed to new cartridges for the HP printer plus we were running low on Vitamin E. As usual, Costco was crowded, but not nearly as bad it was when we went right after New Years.

I took a good look around the prepared foods area trying to get some new ideas for meals, but must not have been in the mood to be inspired. I did buy a bag of nicely trimmed large Brussels sprouts, but didn't even think of looking for more pine nuts to go with them.

The sun was beautiful today, nice and warm. We drove through the park after we got back from Costco - there was one empty site! And within the hour, we saw a rig pull in and then head in that direction.

We talked about maybe going over to the Crab Feed at the Casino tonight, but Forry was worn out by our trip to Costco, so we stayed home and had frozen PF Changs. Maybe tomorrow night...

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Drivers!

I think my laptop issues are under control! (Fingers - and toes - crossed.) techie4hire.com to the rescue! I had sent an email to Scott yesterday telling him my laptop was not "seeing" my UBS ports. He replied that he had a bit of time and would stop by sometime today. How nice to find someone right here in the park. No traveling to town, no paying mileage for someone to come here.

It took Scott just a few minutes to figure out what the issue was - as soon as I said I had recently upgraded to Windows 10. It seems that the USB drivers weren't upgraded at that time. Scott went on-line and got and installed the new drivers. Problem fixed.

Then we talked about the old AT&T  and Cradlepoint setup we had. I haven't used it since it petered out a few years back when some tree limbs damaged the antenna on the roof. Scott thought we could replace the antenna and then utilize my existing Verizon hotspot SIM card with it. It would then be usable in places where our AT&T doesn't work well. I think that's probably what we'll do.

After Scott left, I did some trouble-shooting with H-P online about the printer. Turns out they have new software for it. Once it was installed, the printer started talking to the laptop again. Now I need to replace the ink cartridges and I guess I'm totally back in business and can start working on the tax stuff.

Today was a day or taking care of housekeeping issues. I emptied the tanks and Forry changed the water filters. We ran the vacuum and shook all the rugs outside. We walked around the loop to the west and even chatted with neighbors on both sides.


Monday, January 25, 2016

DUST!

We've not had any of the big dust storms this year (crosses fingers) since we've been here, but the RV is certainly dusty. There are paved roads within the park and the pads are paved. The ground between sites is covered with a coarse gravel and the ground between the sites and the fence is covered with a pea gravel type covering. So we don't get visible dust even when the wind is blowing.

Regardless of all that, there is a coating of dust in all the window sill grooves and any cupboard areas.  I spent most of the afternoon taking apart my desk and computer station and cleaning the area. I could not believe how many dust bunnies I cleaned up. Now I am wondering how long it has been since I thouroughly cleaned that area?

While I was doing that, Forry took off by himself to the office to pick up the mail. I had encouraged him to go alone and was pleased until I realized he had not taken his cell phone. Then I worried until I heard the wheels of his walker as he was returning. I scolded him, but he said it was such a nice day, there were people out all over that would have helped him if there had been a problem...

The last week has been gorgeous. The sun is out and it's quite warm until the sun starts going down. It almost makes me feel guilty when we watch the news and see everyone digging out from the horrendous snowstorms that have been hitting the eastern US. Almost, but not quite!

Sunday, January 24, 2016

A Trip to Town

Forry still needed water for his CPAP machine, so we finally made that trip into town this afternoon. We took a few detours on the way, checking on some spots where people had seen the feral horses. Alas, there was evidence of them having been in the area, but we did not see a single one.

We also drove around Fountain Hills a bit. It is larger by far then what we have so far explored. We did find the gated complex where Diane and Cherie live. After wandering around for a bit more enjoying watching the fountain erupt, we finally made it over to Safeway.

Since we were there and since I enjoy shopping o much - NOT! - I went ahead and did my weekly grocery shopping. Sunday afternoon seems to be a good time to shop. There were lots of carts in the corral (last time I had to retrieve one from the parking lot); the produce bins were full; and there was actually room to maneuver in the aisles. The only negative I noticed was that the doughnut cupboard was pretty empty. There were very few left and none of the chocolate sprinkle-covered bars that Forry likes.

He did convince me that we needed to stop at Starbucks for a mocha and a latte'. And of course, one cannot have such a drink without a croissant to go with it...


Saturday, January 23, 2016

Lazy Day

We're sitting here with very full tummies watching the PBR (Professional Bull Riders), who are in Oklahoma City this weekend. I fixed steak and pilaf for supper tonight with some sliced beets. I had a package of sliced almonds I was going to brown for the rice, but just as I was going to pour them into the bubbling butter, I noticed a small puncture in the packet. Darned if the nuts weren't rancid smelling! So I used some of Brother Pat's hazelnuts instead. They were okay, but would have been better if I had chopped them before I browned them..

There were some individual Caramel Apple Tarts that came with the boxes from Omaha Steaks we got for Christmas. To make everything fit in our freezer, I had taken them out of their box and tucked them away in corners. Which meant of course, that I hadn't kept the instructions. Wondering whether to bake them or nuke them, I decided to check the Omaha Steak website. Sure enough, in the ad for the tarts, they had the cooking instructions. With a couple of squirts of whipped cream, they were pretty good.

We didn't even get out for a walk today. Forry had used the last of the gallon of distilled water he has for his CPAP machine last night, so we planned to make a grocery run today to get more. But first, we  had to watch the Gonzaga basketball game. Then Forry fell asleep in his recliner (and I may have dozed off in mine) and it was getting pretty late in the day to be able to get groceries and get back in time to watch the bull-riding. Remembering I had a ribeye in the refrigerator that I was going to grill yesterday (when we decided we weren't that hungry and ate onion soup instead), so we decided we would go another day.

Friday, January 22, 2016

It is NOT Saturday

I woke up this morning knowing that it was Saturday. I don't know why, but I was convinced it was. I couldn't understand how Forry could be watching both The View and The Chew on Saturday, until I finally agreed it was only Friday...

But, that kept me off balance all day. I don't know what I planned to do on Saturday that was so important...

Our Great Granddaughter Kahlyn is now six months old! Gdaughter Havela posted a nice batch of pictures on Facebook this morning, showing her new teeth as well as her ability to sit by herself. She is a little darling. When Havela and I were talking this morning, Kahlyn pitched right in. She was "chattering" right along with us. The really good news is we'll finally get to see her in person in June when we're all in Oregon for Gdaughter Kyra's high school graduation.

Our walk today took us up by the office, then around the first loop of RVs and back. It was actually quiet at the office today, Sandy said it was the first day in almost three weeks that the phone wasn't driving her crazy. She even got the Christmas tree and the Christmas decorations down and put away and put up a few for Valentines Day.

We stopped at the neighbors on the way home and visited with them and another couple from down a few spaces. It was interesting to hear the guys say that they had both worked for the railroad in Minnesota (one as a conductor and one as a dispatcher) had talked to each other over the radio, but had never met. Then last year they ended up parked next to each other here at Eagle View.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Thursday...

It took us both some extra energy this afternoon to get going on our walk. We were fine once we got going, but the getting started was the hard part. We made a loop over to the right and walked around a  couple of the lanes going in that direction. When we get back, we usually sit outside for a while. Today our newer neighbors stopped by for a visit. We had met him and chatted a time or two, but this is the first time we've talked with her. She seems very nice.

While we were chatting with them, another couple stopped by asking about our Alpine Coach. Seems they also have an Alpine - and a big black and white collie-like dog. They had just come in from Quartzite where they had been boon-docking with some other Alpines.

I made spaghetti and meatballs for inner tonight. The meatballs were part of the Christmas package of Omaha meats from Daughter Dawn and Todd. I don't recall ever making meatballs myself, so this was a bit of a treat.

The Gonzaga Bulldogs are playing St. Mary's tonight on television. They are ahead at the moment, but we shall see...

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Routines

We are finally getting into a better routine. Forry's getting used enough to walking that he now asks when we are going not if. Today we took a route that took us up and around the office compound. We didn't see any of the road runners today even though we walked by the saguaro with the remnants of last year's nest. It may be too early for them.

We did see a pair of bald eagles playing in the wind and the sunshine this morning. There are supposed to be five or six pairs nesting on the Yavapai reservation.

It was an absolutely gorgeous day today. It was warm enough to have both windows in the bedroom open while I put clean sheets on the bed. This is the kind of weather we come to Arizona for! It's been warm at night as well. No need for the extra afghan on the bed.

I had been extremely bored with my own meals lately, so I bought a paperback book of One Dish Meals a couple of weeks ago at the grocery store. The first recipe I tried - a citrus chicken dish - was disappointing. But the one I tried tonight was really good. It had pork chops with a rub, then baked with Brussels sprouts and apple slices marinated with red wine vinegar and olive oil. Forry really liked it too.


Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Another Quiet Day

I did a load of laundry; I drained the tanks;  Forry finally used a needle-nose pliers to get the rocks out of the hole so that I could reset the peacock back up (I used little rocks to hold the rod upright as the hole is a little big and not deep enough. When the wind blows hard enough to blow the peacock out, the rocks fall in the hole, then it's too shallow...).

We went for a walk over to the office and back. My 2015 Blog2Print book had arrived. It was nice enough to sit outside while we had libations and reviewed the blog from last year. For the first time, we saw a bunch of cattle come by. A large party of folks several spaces down spooked them and they came by at a pretty good trot. I think we counted six - four cows and a couple of yearlings, before they went back down over the bank.

It got chilly when the sun went down, so we came back in. I had put a couple of Yukon Gold potatoes in the oven earlier, so all I had to do was grill some really good steaks (Christmas gifts from the Lehmans!)


Monday, January 18, 2016

Longer Walk

We had a bit of warmer weather this afternoon with the sun shining for a little while. It made for nice walking. We went the other way down the road (to the right) in front of the rigs. It's half again as far as going left. Forry only had to make a couple of rest stops on our way.

I chatted with the Season Ticket office at Mariner Spring Training this morning. I was trying to find out if they had a package of ten season tickets instead of the full package. Forry had found it just too exhausting to go to so many back-to-back games. When I had talked to the sales person last week, they told me a short set might be a possibility, but turns out Corporate said no. I would have to go on-line to purchase tickets for each game individually and there is no way we could have the same seats for each game. I went on-line to check out ticket prices. It turns out buying the ten sets of tickets individually costs as much as getting season tickets, unless we were to sit on the grass or in the backless bleachers...

I also had a chat with Sister Sherry later this afternoon. It's been more than a week since we've talked. It's funny trying to talk with her as her mastiff Keiko San thinks she's talking to him and constantly tries to get her to focus on him while she's talking. He honestly thinks he's a human!


Sunday, January 17, 2016

Where Did Today Go?

Today was one of those days. At the end of it I am left wandering what happened to it.

We did watch one of the strangest football games I've ever seen. After getting absolutely slaughtered in the first half, the Seahawks came back in the second half and made a game out of it. Only problem is they ran out of time to win it.

We did go for a walk up the road in front of the RV and back. Forry was using his walker and did fairly well, only having to take a rest break at the end of the row. We did get a chance to meet our new neighbor Jeff and visit with him a bit. They are from Minnesota and have wintered other years in Florida. They were here in January last year and decided they liked it well enough to spend the winter.

We played tag with a road runner that seemed to think we couldn't see her as long as she stood perfectly still. She posed for the longest time before she finally took off at a run and hid under a pickup on the other side of the road.

We watched the Finals of the PBR at Madison Square Garden this evening. It's incredible how many of the top riders are Brazilians.

I'm not sure what else we did or what went on. I fixed tempura shrimp and garden peas for supper and...

Saturday, January 16, 2016

When Sparrows Fall

Santa left an autographed copy of When Sparrows Fall  by Diana Blackstone in my Christmas stocking. I had set it on the cupboard by my chair and it sort of got covered up by other stuff. It reappeared yesterday when I was doing some dusting in preparation for the visit of Cher and Di. Being me, with my reading addiction, I could not deal with having an unread book in my house.

It is an interesting read, taking you back to pre-Civil War days. The story is told from the perspective of thirteen year old Susanna Stutzman, who suffers a crisis of faith following the sudden death of her father and the church-arranged marriage of her mother to his bitter and angry brother. Accidentally discovering their neighbor is a stationmaster on the Underground Railway, Susanna deals with her secret and her new family while finding out where she fits in her Mennonite world.

This is a short book, probably written for a Young Adult audience. It does a good job of bringing to life the struggles of those who fled slavery and the risks both they and those who helped them took as they sought freedom. It was a good read.

Today started with sunshine, but quickly became overcast and chilly. We made a quick trip into Fountain Hills to replenish Forry's soft drink supply. Other than that, we didn't do a whole lot. But, bull-riding is on tonight, so all is good.


Friday, January 15, 2016

COMPANY!

Cherie' and Diane came to see us this afternoon. It was a delightful visit. Forry and I both used to see Cherie once a week for the most wonderful deep tissue massages. It was one of the delightful pleasures of being a working woman. After I retired and we were on the road, we continued to get an occasional massage when we happened to be in Spokane.

Then Cherie retired. She and her partner began a retired life of travel and golf. They also bought a condo in Foutain Hills for winter use. We tried to connect up with them last year while we were down here, but it didn't work out. So today's visit was very special. Cherie had not ever seen Auntie Violet, so they came out to Eagle View.

After an a couple of hours of visiting and catching up on trips and weddings, we went up the road to the casino and had dinner at the Cafe 87, where we talked some more.

I think we may be seeing more of Di and Cher - they like the sounds of the Wednesday and Thursday night crab feeds...

Thursday, January 14, 2016

House Cleaning

Since I had thrown all of the rugs in the washer yesterday, that meant I now have bare floors for the day. Therefore I could turn the robot vacuum loose. It seems to work best in our small space if I pick up most everything off of the floor. That works fairly well until it gets over to Forry's "nest" corner. Today the robot tried to eat one of his support socks - don't even wonder how that could happen.

It was another gorgeous day today. Not extremely warm, but with beautiful sunshine. We didn't spend a whole lot of time outside as I seem to have gotten caught up in some needed house cleaning.

Made nachos for supper tonight. That seems to be our go-to meal when I cannot think what else to cook. We have settled in to watch the Gonzaga basketball game. They are playing BYU tonight. It's a bit of a grudge match as BYU is the one we beat them last year, breaking their long-time winning streak.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Cucumber Sale?

Like most people I know, I check my phone when I hear the 'ping' of an incoming text. There are some folks I "talk" to entirely by text messages. Given my aversion to talking on the phone sometimes, it works out nicely for me. So, I'm peacefully reading the newspaper and drinking my coffee this morning when I hear a 'ping', so I pick up my phone and look to see who's texting me. Would you believe the text says, "Cucumbers on sale today!"?

Thinking I'm being pranked by one of my friends, I open the message. Sure enough, it's an advertisement for fresh cucumbers from Safeway's Just For U program! Now I've gotten used to my email being half ads some days. And my Facebook page being constantly hi-jacked by people using it to sell their stuff. But now I guess my texts are fair game as well...

To my frustration, it turns out that the document I tried to email yesterday did not go through. I spent some time today fruitlessly trying to get the eFax program on my printer to work. I finally gave up and took it into the Fountain Hills Post Office and sent it by snail mail. I'm going to have to figure out how to find somewhere to have my computer worked on before I need to be sending tax info back and forth to our accountant.

It was another gorgeous day today. We could almost see the snow melting on the mountains across the valley. Another day or two like today and Four Peaks will be clear again.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Industry Back?

It seems like I've finally got my energy back. After going through a couple of weeks of pure lethargy, it's nice to feel a bit ambitious again. It took a bit of the morning just to put all the laundry I did yesterday away.

I spent some time trying to finish taking care of the ranch liability insurance. I had to print off a page for Forry to sign. I've been having trouble with my printer (ink drying out, etc) and today I couldn't get it to print at all. So I went over to the office to the computer area in the club house. Would you believe the printer there was out of ink and they had no new cartridges?! Fortunately the gal in the office let me use her computer and printer.

We came back home, Forry signed the paper and I scanned it to a flash drive. Then wouldn't you know, my computer wouldn't recognize the flash drive! We finally got Forry's old computer out and used it to send the email with the attached file. (Of course, it hadn't been used for so long, it had to download all of the updates first...) A task that should have taken less than fifteen minutes ended up being a two hour project.

I did end up with some pretty good chicken cabbage soup for supper. I've been trying some new recipes lately, since it seems like I've gotten in a repetitive rut lately.

Monday, January 11, 2016

Finally!

The laundry is all done! With the three loads I did yesterday and the four I did today, I am finally caught up. I would have finished with one less load, but thinking I had already taken everything out of the hamper, I didn't double check. It's been so chilly since Christmas, we've been wearing sweaters, so didn't run out of shirts like we normally would.

It was a gorgeous day today! The clouds were gone and the sky was clear and blue. We could look across the Verde Valley and see the snow on Four Peaks as well as the snow covered peaks of the further away Superstition Mountains. I'm just glad all the snow was "over there" and nowhere near us! We saw a record number of people coming over to walk to the fence and take pictures of the mountains.

There was lots of bird activity on this nice warm day. There were swallows flying around after insects. We had a Says Pheobe and a pair of Ladderback Woodpeckers in the mesquite tree as well as a couple of hummingbirds checking things out. And as usual, we had lots of grackles all around the campground.

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Another Quiet Day

Overcast and not very warm. That's the succinct weather report for the day.

Unbelievable ending! That's the football report for the day! (Yea, Seahawks!)

Mediocre bulls. That's the report from the first PBR (Professional Bull Riders) of the new season in Chicago. Don't know if it was the cold or the funky dirt in the arena, but there were only a couple of outings that were worthy of this level of riding. Hopefully, things will be better in New York's Madison Square Garden next week.

Scrumptious! That was the toasted cheese sandwiches made with sour dough bread and Gruyere cheese.

Clean! The three loads of laundry that finally got done today. Forry finally has clean jeans again.

Short! The walk we took this afternoon between football games and bull riding.


Saturday, January 9, 2016

FOG - then Sunshine!

It was foggy when I woke up to this morning. Thick, soupy fog. Within a half hour (by the time I got organized enough to take a picture), it had thinned out enough for me to see the fence. By the time Forry got up, the fog was gone entirely, with no evidence of its earlier existence. If I were a meteorologist, I could probably explain it all in terms of temperature differentials and the the river vs the land, but suffice it to say, I was glad to see the sunshine! It warmed up enough to raise the temperature to 75 degrees this afternoon. I'll take it!

It's amazing to see how quickly the desert floor is greening up again after the last few days of rain. Instead of looking sere and dry as you gaze out across the hills, there is a smear of green, especially in the low places. We did see three of the feral horses near the road when we made a quick trip into the grocery store this afternoon.

We briefly thought about stopping at Cafe 87 in the Casino on the way home, but neither of us had our cards with us (I guess we should just keep them in the car.), so we decided to head on home. We could have gone back - it's a whole quarter mile away - but once you get in the house, take your shoes off and put the groceries away, it's just too much effort...

Friday, January 8, 2016

Socks

I think over the years I have made it pretty plain that I don't like to wear shoes. I would rather go barefoot. And if I have to wear shoes, I much prefer sandals. I'm not sure that my dislike of snow and my preference for sandals don't have a great deal of influence on my desire to winter in warm climes.

I got a couple of pairs - actually a pair and a "set" of three - of new socks in my Christmas stocking this year. I wasn't exactly overjoyed at the time, and set them to the side. However, with the rainy damp weather we've been having, they have become my favorite gift. These damp cold days are not the most comfortable for me or my toes. I've discovered that putting on a nice thick pair of socks in the morning makes my whole day a bit better.

It rained off and on all night again. There was a heavy overcast this morning that cleared off enough to allow some brief bursts of sunshine last this afternoon. Then we were back to overcast and occasional showers. Being the desert, the ground soaks up moisture and the numerous puddles disappear almost as fast as they form. As much rain as we've had, that's a good thing.

I was up early enough this morning to catch Sister Sherry on the phone while she was still indoors. I was happy to let her know how much we were enjoying her box of holiday sweets. There are at least three different kinds of caramels (including the new licorice ones that Forry loves), biscotti, and some baklava. It's going to take a great deal of walking to work it all off...

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Ark Building?

It was raining hard last night when we went to bed. Every time I woke up during the night, I could hear the rain on the roof. It was raining VERY hard when we got up this morning. There were puddles out in front of Auntie Violet; there were puddles out along the fence; there were puddles down the middle of the paved roads. There are large puddles in the drainage areas by the office.

This is the same storm that hit California so hard yesterday. Today's California storm will probably arrive here during the night. This round of El NiƱo storms is bringing much needed rain to the drought areas, but it is an incredible amount of water in a very short time.

We are enjoying an incredible sweet bounty this evening. Sister Sherry's holiday package of caramels, biscotti and other goodies arrived in today's mail! I had sent her some licorice flavored caramels from Send Out Cards for her birthday in November. She liked them so much, she was determined to figure out the recipe. According to Forry, who loves licorice, she definitely succeeded!

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Visitors

We did get some pictures taken when Daughter Mary Mae and her family were here in Arizona just before Christmas!

This is Granddaughter Claire, our thespian, who is now 14 -


Our oldest Grandson Varick posed on the fence with his sister. Varick is now 17 -


They even dragged their grandparents out to get a picture -






Monday, January 4, 2016

Rainy Day

I woke up precipitously at 4:30 AM with the staccato sound of large rain drops on the RV roof. It was so loud, I thought at first it might have been hail. But when I walked out front to look out the windshield, I could see under the security lights that it was just very large rain drops.

We've had that kind of heavy showers off and on all day. We walked over to the office during one of the lulls, to get the mail, hoping our package of prescriptions had arrived, but no such luck.

I spent part of the afternoon paying the month's bills for the first time in 2016. I am pleasantly pleased to find that our health insurance coverage premiums  from Group Health have gone down almost fifteen dollars per month. I need to check and make sure our co-pays haven't changed before I celebrate.

I also spent some time conferring with my friend Diane about possible speakers for next Spring's Washington Mennonite Women's Retreat. A couple of phone calls and several texts with her, Daughter MM and So-in-law Todd, we may have found someone.

I think this rainy weather may be sticking around a while. It's coming down again pretty hard right now.

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Football! And More Football

I don't know how many football games we watched today. I swear we've watched hundreds in the last few weeks. It's a good thing I can distract myself with whatever I'm reading. I actually think I listen more than I actually watch.

It was another beautiful morning, nice and warm and sunny. As the day went on, we had more and more clouds move in until it was pretty overcast at sunset. According to the weather forecasts, we're going to be getting rain off and on all next week. California seems to think it is necessary to share some of those Pacific storms they are getting with Arizona.




Saturday, January 2, 2016

A Costco Trip

I think I have lost it! No, I KNOW I have lost it! Where was my mind today when I agreed with Forry that we should make our needed trip to Costco today? On a Saturday? On a Saturday immediately after New Years? When people are still returning/exchanging Christmas gifts? What was I thinking?

It was crowded. It was VERY crowded. There were literally NO parking spaces, let alone any handicapped spaces. We finally just waited in the parking lane until people came out with their loaded carts, watched them unload, then take the parking spot as they left. I also offered to return a cart for a lady I passed on the way into the store. She laughed, thanked me, then told me that's probably the only way I would get one! Forry said that's the way he got an electric cart as well, by returned it for a lady who had ridden it out to her car...

Forry's thought had been that if we left late in the afternoon, we could have Polish dogs for supper. It was a good idea, I guess, but I can think of better ways of getting out of cooking dinner.

I was resigned to a long wait in the check-out line, but the lady in front of me made it quick. She arranged everything in her card so that the codes were facing up. She just had the clerk come with the portable reader gun and read everything right in the cart. None of this lifting things out and putting them on the counter! I didn't have a whole lot, so I was done quickly too. It took longer to stand in line to get the Polish dogs!

Friday, January 1, 2016

HAPPY NEW YEAR 2016

We woke up to blue skies and sunshine. A beautiful day, warm enough to open the windows.

We watched the last part of the Rose Bowl parade with all of the beautiful flower floats, from then on it was continuous football! And more football!

I did have a nice chat with Brother Pat this morning. He said it was down to 2 degrees there - sure glad I'm not there!

I'd like to wish a very prosperous and happy New Year to all our friends and family! May your days be blessed and your burdens light!