Saturday, May 1, 2021

April Showers - I Don't Think So

 AJ, AZ    High 97  Lows in the 60s

Spring ????? hit with a vengeance as far as temperatures go. Easter Sunday we reached 97 degrees. I am NOT ready for 100 degree days yet.  It cooled back down in the middle of the month. On the 26th it was only in the 50s when we got up and only warmed up to 69. By this Saturday - May 1 - we should see our first 100 degree day. Temps are all over the place.  We had a couple of brief showers. We need all the rain we can get. The desert is so very dry.

An April sunrise


Easter was another quiet day for us. As are most of our days. A special day to thank our Heavenly Father for giving us the gift of His son and eternal life.

April 5th we received more news to be grateful for. It was time for Jim's six month visit with his oncologist, Dr. Gordon. For those of you who may not know, back in 2012 Jim was diagnosed with lung cancer. The surgeon removed his lower left lobe and he did not have to have chemo or radiation. A couple of years ago a nodule appeared in his right lung and the doc has been keeping an eye on it. For the last two years there has been no change in the nodule or anywhere else in his lungs. We will see the doctor again in six months and then hopefully we can go to yearly visits. The only bad news is that we are losing Dr. Gordon. He has been selected as the Head of Honor Health Research for cancer, covid, and cardiology. We are really excited for him. His partner will be our new oncologist.

Dr. Gordon also made the statement that he did not expect Jim to ever have any more lung cancer. What better news could we get.

(I started this post the beginning of April)  Skitz is having breathing problems. Dogs are supposed to breath about 28 to 30 times per minutes. She is taking double that amount of breaths.  Her appetite is good - some days better than others. 

I think she looks so uncomfortable, but this is how she usually sleeps.

We had x-rays taken and they found that her heart was so enlarged it was pushing on her sternum and her diaphragm leaving her lungs no where to expand so she couldn't take a deep breath. We had to make the hardest decision ever.

As most of you already know, we lost our Skitz on April  16. We are slowly adjusting to life without a dog. It is very sad and lonely but we will not be getting another dog. At our age, taking care of each other is about all we can handle. And the heartache of losing another dog is more than we can endure. This will be the first time in almost 33 years that we have not had a dog.

Our next door neighbor, that is just here temporarily, made the mistake of asking me how I was doing the day we came home without Skitz. I burst into tears and explained why. They had to say goodbye to their 18 year old shih tzu a week and a half earlier. They were very kind and a little later she brought me some beautiful flowers to let us know they were thinking of us. Nice people. They still have two rescue shih tzus but both of them are getting older.

 Jim decided to get out of the house and went to a car show which was being held outdoors here in Apache Junction. There weren't very many cars but he enjoyed getting out. He wore his mask and stayed socially distanced.

He didn't realize he had taken this picture. 😃

 The Cars

 We finally went out to eat. For the first time in over a year. We went to Los Gringos Locos here in AJ with friends Paul and Paula. We sat out on their patio and had a wonderful time. Arizona has opened up and I will admit that seeing the servers without masks made me nervous. Wonder if going inside a restaurant to eat will ever be a comfortable experience for me.

We are planning to head out on May 12 for our summer travels. We will wander around until we get to Canyon Ferry MT for the months of July and August so Jim can do some fishing. 

We've been getting necessary work done on the truck and the Bungalow. Roof of the Bungalow needed new coating - check. Wheel bearings on the Bungalow needed to be greased - check - but - they showed Jim that we needed new tires. So new shoes on the Bungalow - check. 

 Our truck has been getting louder so Jim took it to a muffler shop and we needed two new mufflers - check.  The only thing left is having the transmission serviced on Monday.  

The Bungalow needs to be cleaned and packed and Jim needs to replace a dump valve and replace the anode rod. Then we will be ready to go. I will definitely be doing more blogging once we get on the road.

Saturday, April 17, 2021



March 30, 2004 to April 16, 2021

No words can express the depth of our heartache.

Wednesday, April 7, 2021

March - Leprechauns, Pots of Gold and Twins

 AJ, AZ   Highs in the 90s and lows in the 50s


The dove eggs hatched and we have two little ones. Our twins that we've named Mike and Ike. Have no idea how to tell male or female. Can't even figure it out with Mom and Dad. We are having so much fun watching the developments in the nest.

Jim got too close taking this picture and Mama fluffed right up warning him to stay away.

The other little one is underneath Mom or Dad.

The Twins - Mike and Ike


 It doesn't take long for Mom and Dad to throw them out of the nest. As soon as they are able to eat by themselves, it is time for them to move on. Out of the nest.


The little ones did stay around for a couple of days but not in the nest. We would see the on the ground quite often and then they were gone.

I got these eggs for Jim since they seemed so appropriate.

March 1 - I got my second covid shot. The nurse who gave me the shot needs to go back to shot school. It hurt when she put the shot in, the injection site bled, and I ended up with a bruise. Other than that the arm was sore but not bad. However, Monday night I had the mother of all headaches. I have migraines and this was definitely not a migraine. A totally different type of headache where I felt like my head was going to explode. Tylenol helped and by Tuesday night the headache was gone. Really glad that both of us have now had our two shots.

For the first time in forever and ever we had some company. Jeri and Terry stopped by after they got their second shot. We sat outside socially distanced and had a wonderful visit. Felt almost normal. 

March 11 was a sad day. One year ago Rocky Joe crossed the Rainbow 🌈 Bridge and left our broken hearts behind. We miss him.


St. Patrick's Day was spent like most our days. But we did decorate a little bit out front.

March 30 - This was a big day for us. Skittlez celebrated her 17th birthday. We have had her since she was two months old. She's always been a strange little dog so she fits into our family quite well. She does have several health issues and we aren't sure how much longer she will be with us so we treasure every moment we have. She got to share some ice cream with Dad but no cake.

Spring has arrived here in the valley and it feels like summer. Our temperatures have been hovering close to 100. April could be a very warm month. 

Thursday, March 4, 2021

February 2021 - The Month of Love

 AJ, AZ   Very warm highs in the 80s and lows in the 40s

Weather here in AJ has been beautiful this month. While most of the rest of the country is experiencing below zero temperatures, blizzards, massive amounts of snow, no electricity, no heat, no water, tornadoes and earthquakes - we are truly enjoying our warm sunny weather. However, there will come a time when those warm sunny days get up above 100 and it won't be quite to wonderful.

Night after night we are treated to incredible sunsets to enjoy.

Jim and I watched the Super Bowl in our own home. We were both really torn about who we wanted to win. Jim really likes Patrick Mahomes but Tom Brady is such a legend. It was kind of neat to see the "old" guy win again.

I got my first shot this month. Paula drove me over to the stadium in Glendale while Jim dogsat Skittlez and Callie. The only reaction I had was a sore arm for a day. Hope the second shot on March 1 goes that good. Jim got his second shot and really didn't have much of a reaction. A sore arm and a little tired. I was so happy when they stuck that needle in his arm I cried.

Love Day arrived without a lot of fanfare this year. We did celebrate with a ribeye and crab cakes from Seafood Market and Restaurant. It was so good. Jim let me have a couple of bites of his steak and it didn't cause a flair up of gout which was extra special.

Jim won't be going fishing for a few weeks yet. A pair of doves decided to build a nest on his boat. He took the nest down but the next day they had kind of rebuilt it and laid an egg. Well, we are not going to disturb babies but were worried that the egg might roll off the boat. Jim built a retaining wall to protect the egg. Both Mom and Dad left the nest for a few minutes and Jim got a look in the nest. Now we have two eggs. Hopefully they will both hatch. 

Update - we still don't know if there are babies or not but our hopes are fading.

Skittlez has had a few bad days. We did take her to the vet and they wanted to do a thousand dollars worth of tests to tell us what is wrong with her. But because of her age and heart there isn't anything they can do. So we brought her home and she rebounded and is back to doing what she does best. Eating and sleeping. Her back legs are really getting worse so we carry her back and forth to her pee pads as much as we can. She is not in any pain except her arthritis and she is on gabapentin for that. We are just spending as much time with her as she has left and letting her know how much she is loved.

 Our son Todd is really into racing remote control cars. He drove over 500 miles in -32 degree weather to raced in Jamestown, ND. I try to remember that I would have done something like that when I was his age but not anymore. I don't understand the differences in the classes but he took a third and a first place. Now he needs a trophy case. He had a great time and returned home to his very understanding wife safely.

When I think about looking, we also have some pretty sunrises but not as colorful as our sunsets.

The rest of the month has been like the last year has been. Absolutely nothing to blog about.

Tuesday, February 2, 2021

January 2021 - An Historical Month

AJ, AZ  Highs from 58 to 78  Lows down to 34

We are still in isolation due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Hopefully with the rollout of the vaccines by next Autumn we can all breathe a little easier. I've read a lot of books and watched a lot of game shows on TV. Jim has completed several projects and keeps looking for more.

Like making lemonade

Or making a cover for our large propane tank


 January 6 was a day that will go down in infamy. That is the day that a mob stormed the United States Capitol in a violent attack against the 117th Congress. This mob of thugs wanted to overturn President Trump's defeat and resulted in five deaths and so much destruction of our beautiful Capitol building. At the end of January our country is still divided and there seems to be so much hatred spewing forth from people in both political parties. Praying the Lord can help us come together in unity and an understanding and forgiveness.

Our weather this month has been interesting. We finally got some rain and everyone is overjoyed. The desert plants and wildlife are all doing happy dances. The storm has brought some cold weather into Arizona with snow in the high country (including our glorious Superstitions) and even a short snow shower down here. It also gave us a little bit of hail to keep us on our toes. But what amazing clouds and blue skies.

These next three pictures were all take within an hour and a half. In the first picture, the storm cloud is bearing down on that small patch of blue sky. The storm clouds took over the sky as they passed; then we had beautiful fluffy white clouds and blue sky.

The Superstitions covered with a sprinkling of snow. So absolutely gorgeous.

Our neighbor, Wendy, takes amazing photographs and this is one she took of our retention pond filled with wonderful rain and the Superstitions.

Skittlez had another bout of colitis and we made another run to the emergency vet. She is doing good again but keeps us up at night. Jim takes the 8 pm to 12 am shift and if we're lucky she sleeps until 4:30 when I get up with her. Often she has peed and wants to let us know that she deserves a treat. Other times it seems like she just wants company out in the living room. She won't sleep in the bedroom with us. She will be 17 in just two months and is really quite healthy for an old dog. And yes she is spoiled and we wouldn't change that for anything.




Meet Callie. Isn't she just the cutest little girl. No, she's not ours. She belongs to Paula but I got to go with Paula when she picked her up and held her on the way home. She is just a pistol - non stop motion machine and then just collapses. We do get to puppy sit which doesn't impress Skitz but sure is fun.

She is 10 weeks old in this picture.

Jim got his first covid shot but we haven't been able to schedule his second one yet. He had a sore arm for a couple of days but that was the only reaction. They do say the reaction to the second dose is stronger. My first shot is scheduled for February 8 over at the Cardinals stadium in Glendale. 

We arrived for Jim's appointment at 7:00 a.m. and were on our way home by 7:45 a.m.  That included the waiting time to see if he was going to have a reaction to the shot. Not bad at all.

Ginny Feet - our friend and neighbor knits slippers for many people. These are my new Ginny feet of many colors. I love them.

 Covid has certainly taken a toll on getting paperwork done with the state of Montana. Remember when we bought our new to us pickup back the first part of September? We, just a couple of days ago, finally got the information to pay the registration and license fee. Only took five months. Sure glad we didn't get stopped and had to try to explain that we really weren't criminals. 

February has arrived and it is the Love Month. So hopefully all of us can find someone who needs to be told they are loved.

Thursday, December 31, 2020

Seven Days of Thanksgiving

 AJ, AZ   High 61  Low 39

At Thanksgiving time, President Russell M. Nelson of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints asked us to flood social media with seven days of Thanksgiving. I originally posted these on FB but I want to preserve them here on my blog. So I wanted to end this year of turmoil with gratitude and joy.

Gratitude Day 1 - I am so grateful that Jim saw me across the dance floor and asked me to dance. In May it will be 35 years later and we are still dancing together.

Gratitude Day 2 - Our son, Todd! I can't even begin to describe the love I have for this amazing man. The Lord knew I needed this child even when I didn't. And I am so thankful for his beautiful, so very patient wife, Michaela.  

    I am also grateful for my three step-sons, Steve, David and Jimmy. They have also given us three wonderful daughters-in-law, Jen, Kelly and Jenetta. Our loves are full.

Gratitude Day 3 - My Dad served our country in WWII, He felt it was an honor and a privilege to do so. He never said much about the War but he said a lot about how great our country is. I am also grateful to live here in the good ole USA. My Dad taught me to honor our flag and the people who serve it. I truly am blessed.

Gratitude Day 4 - Butchie, Tommy Tutterbee, Ginger, Scooter, Skittlez, and Rocky Joe. My life was made so much better with the unconditional love from our pets. They have taught me patience, determination, joy and sadness. Thank you Heavenly Father for giving us these special creatures.

Gratitude Day 5 - Our beautiful world. I am grateful that for the last 12 years, Jim and I have had the opportunity to explore some of God's glorious handiwork. From the top of Pikes Peak to Death Valley and from the fall leaves in New England to the Southwest desert sunsets that I love, seeing as much as we could in between. WOW!! 

    I have been awed and amazed over and over again as we've traveled this land. And it all started with a conversation at the IRS office where I worked. Thank you Tina for the ride of a lifetime. 

Gratitude Day 6 - Friends - what would we do or be without them. A lot of friends fade away with distance and years, especially in the days before social media. But there are those who thankfully never go away.  I'm going to list a few folks who have made an impact on my life but there are so many more. I love you all.

Dianna - we went to grade school together and are still good friends to this day. She was responsible for getting me back to Montana when I had had enough of California.

Steven Bourne - its been 52 years since I sat behind you at business college and wanted to run my fingers through your gorgeous long hair. Well it was considered long at that time even though it just touched your collar. We've been through a lot together and I value your friendship.

Vaughn Jenkins - I can't even begin to describe our 40 some years of friendship. You put up with me through tacos and birds and rejoiced with me when I found Jim. Thank you.

Linda Lowenstern - we became friends when I moved to DC in the early 80s. You were with me when Jim asked me to dance and then bought our breakfast. How right you were when you told me that first time "We will be seeing a lot more of him."

Eileen Maloney - you took pity on me when I showed up late for my first day of work at the IRS in Washington DC. (I had gotten lost trying to find the building.) We definitely have had great adventures together.

Nancy and Earl - never in a million years did I think I would become best friends with the sister of the guy I was dating. But these are two enduring friendships that I appreciate.

Tom and Patsy - met Patsy at Hunter's Lodge when we used to go two-stepping. She met Tom and we became a foursome. Patsy just lost the love of her life to Covid and our hearts break for her.

Janet - one of the smartest people I've ever known as well as one of the most fun. You made working at the IRS so much more bearable. Still use the quilt you made me.

 Special Friends even if it hasn't been decades.

Ginny - not sure how I could have survived without you these last few years. You are always right there when I fall apart. You don't ask what you can do - you just do it. No Matter what time of the day or night, you are always ready to take care of the pups so that I don't have to worry about them. You understand me and still love me.

 Paula - sure glad Rod introduced us. You are always ready for an adventure and don't mind me tagging along. I want this virus to end so we can go again.

Carol M. - our hubbies, Jim and Bill, were such good friends. Liked all the same things - same truck, same trailer, fishing, fixing things and falling in love with Sidney Girls. It was so fun to get to know you and realize how many people we both knew. We still miss Bill and our meet ups to go fishing.

Marv and Donna - Marv left us this year and I'm sure he and Rocky Joe are reminiscing about all the times they went fishing together with Jim.

Bob and Jo - we didn't get to spend a lot of time together but I always felt such a connection with you guys. And you introduced us to Sal's. Thanks for that.

George and Melva -making Santa Fe RV Park a fun place to live.  

Escapee Friends

I need to give a special shout out to our Escapee friends. I had no idea when we started full timing as RVers that we would meet such fantastic people who would become life long friends. You never knew where or when you would meet up with them along your journeys.

Paul - Escapade in Gillette, WY 2008. You parked next to us and 12 years later you are still a huge part of our life.

Tina and Woody - sure glad you had an IRS question. I cannot imagine how empty our life would be if you hadn't told me that you lived in a fifth wheel. I still need to apologize to Woody for making him sit in the truck for so long.

Jeri and Terry - Mexico Beach in Florida. You had the lake outside your motorhome but you and Terry showed us how you just go with the flow. Such great times at Quartzsite and all along our way.

Toni and Doug - you opened your arms for hugs and welcomed us to Q. You and Dough showed us how to make our rig into  home. And I really miss all those great meals we had at your place.

Linda and Dave - it was really nice to meet another introvert who still enjoyed the gatherings we had. I loved hearing about Dave's love of trains.

Jan and Bill - Good Sam rally in Casa Grande. Thank goodness you guys would talk to use because nobody else would. Then an invitation to dinner in New Mexico and our friendship was sealed. We met up all across this country.

Marsha and Paul

Jerry and Janice

Freddy and Delcie

Ed and Linda

Karla and Eric

John and Diane

Jeff and Tina


IYQ - we will never forget you

Nan and John 

Carol and Doug

Tom and Dianne

Sue and Paul


Ray and Cindy

And so many more. Many have hung up their keys and we don't get to see them as often but you are in our hearts.  People who come and go from our lives and leave such a deep impact. Thank  you all for making this life a fantastic adventure.

Gratitude Day 7 - I offer my thanks and love to my Heavenly Father for my life and everything and everybody in it. Our Father in Heaven loves us beyond measure and waits for us to join with Him and our family in eternity. I am grateful for our latter day prophet, President, Nelson, who leads us and guides through the power of the Priesthood. 

May the New Year of 2021 bring us all healing and love.


Friday, December 25, 2020

Christmas in AZ

 AJ, AZ   High 67  Low 43

We don't often have presents to open on Christmas morning but Jim got a couple of surprises under the tree.

He has always wanted a 1939 Chevy so I got him the only one we could afford. Rather fitting for 2020.


Todd and Michaela also sent him a present from Santa. This one needs a little explanation. Jim is really easy going most of the time but he can get picky about the strangest things. One of these is a water bottle. We reuse our plastic water bottles and he found one that he likes the feel of it. It fits into his hand just perfectly. The only problem is, the only place we can find it is in Montana. We didn't think to stock up when we were there this summer (we did remember the fudgsicles however). So Todd sent him six empty bottles. And the cool looking fish. A perfect gift.

 He also got to open up his mud flaps but to be honest, he knew they were coming.

 Our neighbor, Wendy, took some fantastic pictures of our outdoor decorations and I want to share them with you.


 Our beautiful, creative daughter-in-law. She knows how to celebrate.

Wishing all our dear friends and family a Merry Christmas.