Saturday, September 14, 2019

Middle of September - Already!!

My blogging mojo has left the building. Or the heat melted it into a puddle of nothingness. I've also taken a sort of break from social media. I took FB off my phone and only check into it occasionally on the computer. I'm not on any of the other social sites. I've been reading blogs but seldom comment. Maybe when the sun quits shining so brightly and warmly I'll get back in the groove again.

Loved this cloud formation at the end of our street.


Our monsoon season has been a bust. There have been a few storms around us but the only thing we've seen is wind and more wind. We had one storm at the beginning of the season that came through while we were at dinner and we missed it. We sure could use the rain. But the good news is the super heat seems to be gone. The forecast is showing temperatures below 110 and even only in the upper 90s on occasion. We actually have had a couple of nights that got down to 78. Love it. I told Jim today that I'm going to freeze to death this winter if it gets below 70. 

Jim is doing really great. Back to normal or whatever normal is for him. We both had some good news. Last May when we saw Jim's oncologist, he told us that Jim had a couple of nodules in his right lung that hadn't been there before. That is not good but the doctor thought that maybe they were caused by all the problems Jim had with his health. So he wanted to wait for three months and see if they grew or changed. When we went back for the three month follow up both nodules have disappeared. Great news. Don't need to go back for six months.
When I saw my kidney doctor three months ago my potassium levels were really really high. I had to go on a low potassium diet which meant that I had to give up all the foods that I loved. I can't have chocolate, peanut butter, whole grain bread, chocolate, nectarines (but peaches are okay), cantaloupe (but watermelon is okay), chocolate, ice cream, potatoes, sweet potatoes, apricots, potato chips, and on and on - oh and did I mention CHOCOLATE.!!! But I behaved myself and when I saw the doc this week, my kidneys are stable and my potassium level is back down to where it belongs. So I can now occasionally have some of those things on my do not eat list. 

Another beautiful sunrise


Jim celebrated his 80th birthday on September 8th. We had cake and ice cream at the club house for everybody who was around. It was a good time.

He got this tee shirt for his birthday.  It says - Personal Stalker - I will follow you wherever you go - bathroom included. And you can see two little heads at the bottom of the picture because they followed him down the hall so I could take the picture.

Paula (Shadowmoss) stopped in to see us the other day. She was really really bored and came down to the valley to go to Costco to get coffee. We're making plans for some sight seeing when she moves back down for the winter. 

People are starting to return. I figure by the middle of October things will really be in full swing here in the park. 

I saw two new critters this summer that I've never seen before. I had heard on the news about the Palo Verde Beetle and that it was their mating season. They are harmless but they are really ugly. They look like a giant cockroach. One morning I took Skittlez out about 5:00 a.m. and one of them is walking across our patio. I'm sure glad I had heard about them on the news or I would have woken the whole park with my screaming.

I also saw my first scorpion. It was actually in the women's bathroom at the clubhouse. Somebody said it was dead and then it moved. Nobody could believe how fast I could move.

 So that's about it from here in AJ. It's been a really good summer and it has given both Jim and I a chance to recover from the tough winter we had.

Saturday, August 3, 2019

Gail in Buckeye

Wasn't sure how to get hold of you so I'm hoping you will see this post.

Rocky had his cataract surgery done by Eye Care for Animals. They have three locations - Scottsdale, Gilbert and Phoenix. They are specialists for both eyes and teeth. And I think dermatology. They also did Rocky's surgery for the fistula in his mouth.

Hope this helps. He has done really good with the surgery. We have to give him eye drops every day and I get them at Costco.

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

This, That, and Nothing

Apache Junction AZ - hot, hot, hot

Mostly nothing.  The hot Arizona summer keeps us inside in the air conditioning most of the time. We hit 115 yesterday but cooling down to 110 today. It really isn't as bad as it sounds because our humidity has been really low. We also haven't had any monsoon storms yet but the weather people keep telling us that they are coming - someday. 

Fluffy clouds are pretty scarce during the summer so we really appreciate them when they do show up.

They also make for a pretty sunrise over the Superstition Mountains. 

Jim has made great strides in his recovery. He is almost back to his old self. Makes me very happy. He's riding his bike around the park every morning and I'm walking. We get it done early in the morning before the heat settles in. (I just want everyone to know - I HATE WALKING!!) I have always hated it even when I was young and spry. It is so boring. I'm looking into getting some ear bud thingies so I can figure out how to listen to a book or music or something. 

There are still 9 of us who meet every Tuesday morning for treats and company. We have a few people returning to the park in August so our little group will grow. It really helps to break up the week and gives us something to look forward to.

The pups are definitely showing signs of old age. Skittlez's back legs give out frequently and she is deaf. This picture shows how she stands most of the time. She spends most of the day sleeping. 

Rocky is going blind and deaf. It really is sad to see him get stuck in a corner and he can't find his way out. But he's learning to cope and is still a lot more active than Skittlez. He loves his Dad but doesn't feel the need anymore to spend all his time in Jim's lap. Which is a good thing since it is so hot. (Our air conditioning really works great in our trailer but all of our front windows face west and it still gets a little warm about 4:00 p.m. with the sun beating down on us.)

We've really been enjoying all the coverage on the moon landing 50 years ago. It's still amazing to me when I look up into the sky at night and realize that man has actually walked on that moon.

The moon setting this morning.

Our talented daughter-in-law, Michaela, painted a mural in the cat room at the vet's office where she works.

She has an Etsy account showing her work.

That is the news from here. We are doing just fine. Life is good.

Sunday, June 23, 2019

Summer Fun in Arizona

  Apache Junction, AZ   Highs  104 to 112  Lows  in the 70s

Its been forever since I posted anything to the blog so I figured I'd let you know how exciting our lives are.

We discuss the weather quite frequently. It's actually been a pretty normal weather pattern this year. Our average at this time of year is 104/105 and we actually had one day that didn't get over 99. Most days are average. The mornings and evenings are beautiful.

We finally were able to meet up with Jan and Bill for lunch at American Way Market. It was sooo good to see them again. Seems like it has been forever. They sold their truck and fifth wheel and are planning a trip to Portugal and Spain later this summer.

We also went out for dinner with a few of those still left in the park. We went all out that night. We went to Costco for hot dogs and pizza. Actually it was a really fun time. 

Here's part of the group. Carol, Melva and George. 

I cannot believe I didn't get a picture of Greg and Tracey (our park managers).  So I "borrowed" their picture.

The other big topic of conversation is the Woodbury Fire. Huge fire in the Superstition Wilderness area. It has burned over 90,000 acres and is only 24% contained. It is burning in an extremely rocky area of the mountains and is almost impossible to fight on the ground. We've also had a few windy days which haven't helped. The winds are blowing the fire east and north of us towards Roosevelt Lake. They have evacuated the marina and people living near the lake. The road from Apache Junction to Tortilla Flat and up to Apache Lake is closed. The firefighters are working to save structures by starting back fires to get rid of any fuel near them and also installing sprinkler systems where they can. We can see the smoke pouring over the top of the Superstition Mountains. It is really sad. (Not a very good picture but it gives you some idea of the smoke.)

Jim spent a couple of nights in the hospital this week. They discovered that the artery in his left leg was blocked with plaque in two places. His blood was not flowing down his leg and when he tried to walk his leg would cramp on him. It was an outpatient procedure but when they checked his blood, they discovered that his kidney function couldn't handle the dye they use. So they kept him that night to flush out his kidneys. Did the rotor rooter on his leg on Wednesday afternoon and I was supposed to be able to take him home that night. This time his blood refused to thicken up so they could take the sheath out without him bleeding to death. So they kept him another night and I finally got to bring him home Thursday morning. 

Not sure if you can see this, but in the picture on the left you can see the white spots in the artery which are the plaque blockages. On the right is the artery after she cleaned all the plaque out. There was also a blockage higher up the leg that she fixed for him. Dr. Daliman also took a look at this right leg while she was in there and it is just fine. Thanks goodness for that.

He feels really great and after we see the doc next week, we will start doing an early morning walk. 

Rocky had his yearly eye checkup which he needs because he had cataract surgery. His doctor said his eyes are really looking good especially for his age.

 I loved the eye chart in their office.

That bring us up to date. Quiet and peaceful here in our world.

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Seafood in Arizona

AJ, AZ -  High 76  Low 54 

This has really been a strange month weatherwise. Not that I'm complaining because it has been a fantastic Spring.  We've had a couple of storms go through but most of the days have been perfect temperatures in the 70s or low 80s and cool evenings. Who knows what the summer is going to bring.

On May 17 we celebrated our 33rd wedding anniversary. It was a wonderful day. We went to the movies to see A Dog's Journey. A really good family movie even though I cried. 

We also went out to dinner to celebrate.  We decided to try Seafood Restaurant and Market. Reviews were mixed but I really wanted crab cakes.

My crab cakes were really good. I even had one to bring home.

Jim ordered the Maine lobster tails and said they were excellent.  He didn't have any leftovers to bring home.

We would definitely go back for another meal. A wonderful way to celebrate with my love.

There are a few folks left in the park. Tuesday morning we had coffee and cinnamon rolls. We sat around and visited for two hours. The smaller group makes it easy to hear what everyone is saying and get to know each other better.

Meanwhile at home, Rocky still carries on when Jim is gone and Skittlez keeps us entertained just by being herself. In this picture she got herself caught in the sleeve of my top and I had to go rescue her. She has also shut the door to our bedroom a couple of times with her trapped in the bedroom. 

It has been nice not having doctor appointments every few days. Life is uneventful and peaceful most of the time.

The Superstitions in the afternoon.


Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Miscellaneous Stuff

We have been having a beautiful Spring but also a couple of storms. Most of the storms have just sent us wind and no rain. But a couple days ago, we had a wonderful refreshing downpour. 

The following pictures are of clouds over the Superstitions from our trailer.

These next two pictures were taken by our park managers. I'm really glad I didn't see this first cloud formation because it's scary just looking at the picture.

Skittlez seems to think I need to be up to see the sunrise. As soon as it gets a little bit light, she wants me out of bed and food placed before her.

Ginny and Mickey took off this week headed East. Before she left she took pictures of some of the gorgeous blooms in our park.

Jim is progressing slowly. He's actually had two weeks with no doctor appointments. He's started to work on my honey-do list and that should keep him busy for a couple of months. 

A bunch of us from the park are going to Taco Bell tonight. Seems when the Diamond Backs accomplish something (I don't know what), Taco Bell offers three free tacos with the purchase of a large drink. This is about as exciting as our life is.

Sunday, May 5, 2019

A Perfect Evening

Tempe, AZ   High 89  Low 64

I know I couldn't have survived these last four months without the help of Ginny and Mickey. From taking care of the propane for me, moral support when I had a breakdown, to completely taking care of Skitz and Rocky for us - they were always right there. The night I had to call 911 for Jim, Ginny threw on a bathrobe and came over to make sure I was okay and to take care of the dogs. I can't begin to thank them for all they have done for us.

We did want to take them out to dinner and as you all know, I love Groupon. I found one for The Watershed, a restaurant located in the Lakes community on Lakeshore Drive in Tempe. Another adventure since we had never been here or knew of anyone who had ever eaten there.

I forgot to take a picture of the entrance so I found this one on the web which was taken by Dana Voigt.

 Thursday night was the night and we could not have picked a more perfect evening. The weather was incredible. 

Ginny and Jim ordered the lobster ravioli and crab meatballs. Mickey and I had the fish and chips. The food was very good. My only complaint was that the bar did not have a blender and could not make frozen drinks. I couldn't believe that a bar would not have a blender.

After dinner the Groupon also included a boat ride through the upscale neighborhood. They only allow electric motors so the ride was so quiet and peaceful. The lake is 55 acres and there were a lot of boats tied up to docks by the houses. One guy has a really unique "boat".

I bet this place is beautiful at Christmas time when they have their boat parade.

To end this wonderful evening with such good friends, we were treated to this incredible sunset.

Thanks again Ginny and Mickey. We sure are going to miss you this summer.

Thursday, May 2, 2019

Jim Update

AJ, AZ   High 90  Low 68

Our Spring has been quite beautiful this year except for all the pollen in the air. We did reach 99 last week but the nights are still cooling down for good sleeping with just the fan going. 

We have been averaging three doctor appointments or lab work every week. BUT -  Jim has finally turned that proverbial corner. Most of his doctors don't want to see him for three months. That is really great news. 

However, you notice that I said MOST. We do have another new situation to deal with. Jim's cardiologist had sonograms done on Jim's legs. Back in 2012 Jim had a femoral artery blockage in his left leg. Had to have a stent and a bypass done on that leg. Then in 2015 he had the same issues with his right leg. Now it appears his left leg has a blockage again. We meet with the vascular surgeon later this month. 

Now - back to the good. Jim really is feeling much better. He has lost 30 pounds and is maintaining that weight. His blood sugar is good, his blood pressure is good, he's not retaining fluid, and his colon is behaving itself. He's able to walk 1/4 of a mile without having to stop and rest. He still needs a couple of naps every day and he has a long ways to go to get his strength back, but it is so wonderful to see all his improvements. He's no longer "fragile" and my heart is happy.

Monday, April 15, 2019


This is such a hard post for me to write. And yet in some ways I am so relieved. Because of Jim's medical issues, we will not be traveling at all this summer. Yep - we will be spending the summer in the warmth of the Arizona sunshine.  

Jim is doing much better but we have a long road in front of us. He still gets out of breath but nothing like he used to. He also has anemia and the doctors have yet to really address that problem. He is taking daily walks and can walk all the way around the park which is 1/3 of a mile as long as he uses his walker and stops to rest a few times.

He is on a low fiber, low salt diet. Coming up with a meal plan is quite a challenge. But he is slowly adding some fiber back into his system and everything seems to be going just fine in that respect. He has to weigh himself daily. If he gains two pounds over night or five pounds during one week, we have to immediately see the doctor. So far so good. He has lost 25 pounds but I sure wouldn't recommend doing it his way.

He can now use his left arm (cause his six weeks after the pacemaker was put in) is up. That really is a big help for me. Especially with the dogs. They both have back and leg issues so they need to be carried outside. I have trouble getting myself up and down steps let alone carrying a dog even though they are little.

We allow time for lots of naps especially after doing anything like going out to eat or doing some shopping.We are really careful not to push his energy levels too hard. We have at least two doctor appointments scheduled every week for the next few weeks so we have lots to keep us "entertained".

It's hard for me to know we won't be traveling this summer. I had already plotted out a lot of our journey north to Canyon Ferry but that is all on hold. Jim is struggling with the fact that he won't be catching any walleye this summer. However, we think that if we take this year to rest and recover, we can once again do some traveling and fishing next summer. 

I totally forgot to tell you about Todd's win in my last post. We have coffee and donuts every Tuesday morning and we drug Todd with us. They do a 50/50 drawing with 1/2 going to the Park and the other half split in half for two winners. We've been buying tickets off and on for ten years and have never won. But yup - Todd won. $20. He and Michaela are headed for Las Vegas in a few days so he's taking his lucky $20 with them. Good luck kids.

I probably won't have much to blog about this summer but I will check in every once in awhile. Hope every one has a summer full of adventure and safe travels. 

Friday, April 12, 2019


AJ, AZ   High  97  Low 64

We got a very welcoming phone call from Todd when he told us he was going to come visit for a few days. Made our day, week, month, year - well you get the idea. However, I needed to let him know that we had a list of chores he was going to do while he was here.

This is his reply - "Oh I figured you would! Feed me, house me, love me, and take me to a 7-11 at least once and I will be your humble servant!"  I think that's more than fair. 

We picked him up at the Phoenix - Mesa airport which is a breeze to get to for us. I didn't realize I got this little girl running to greet someone but I love it. I can no longer run so I waited for Todd to get to us.

 Todd and Jim

Poor Todd. Country music is really not his thing but we already had tickets to the Legends of Country show for Sunday night. So he went with us and we all enjoyed ourselves. Todd was by far the youngest person at the showThese performers do the country music that Jim and I used to listen to and Todd was surprised at how many of the songs he recognized.

The biggest project that we had for Todd was the truck. He completely detailed the truck for us inside and out. It looks beautiful. The rest of the project was changing glow plugs. (glow plugs are a heating device that aids in starting a diesel). We needed three of them changed. As you can see Jim made a really good supervisor.

Todd loves to work on vehicles as long as they belong to him or his family. He likes working in the parts department at the Ford dealership rather than out in the service shop.

His reward as a trip to 7-11 for a slurpee. Todd grew up on slurpees when we lived in Virginia. Montana doesn't have any 7-11's so when he comes to visit it is always a stop we make.

We had lots of little chores for him and he gave me a break from taking the garbage out as well as carrying the dogs in and out many times a day. Another chore he did for us was to vacuum under the loveseat. I had totally forgotten that we have a central vac system because I use my light weight vacuum. But he hauled the central vac out and got down under the love seat. Neither Jim nor I can get down or back up.

We went out to eat a couple of times and also grilled at home. It was just a most wonderful visit and we are so grateful he took the time to come down. And we are especially thankful that his beautiful wife, Michaela, was willing to stay home and take care of their four fur babies. But I'm sure hoping next time she gets to come with him. 

We are so proud of the man this son of ours has become.


Tuesday, April 9, 2019

End of the Season

 AJ, AZ   High 89  Low 61

(I started this post a couple of weeks ago. My blogging mojo seems to have disappeared.)

Last Saturday we had our end of the season party. I cannot believe it is time for people to head out already. Like Jim said "It feels like we are just getting here." We seem to have lost this entire season with all of Jim's medical issues.

The party was a great time. Hawaiian theme with chicken and pork and all the sides with more than enough desserts. We held it outside around the pool and the weather was perfect.

Jim felt up to going to the party and Marv picked him up with his golf cart. We had a good time but it really wore him out.

The chicken dance.

And a beautiful sunset to go with the party.

Thanks to Wendy for all these wonderful pictures.