Sunday, September 18, 2022

Red Is The Color

 AJ, AZ   High 98   Low 70

Today was a really special day. Todd and Michaela's friend, Kalli (thank you), threw a gender reveal for them.

I wasn't able to go to Montana for it so they did it on FB for us to be able to join in.  They did not go for the traditional pink and blue (thank goodness). Green has always been Michaela's color and Red is Todd's. 

 

So, naturally, Red was for a boy and Green was for a girl. I loved how they had the box rigged. When they finished the countdown a little remote control Mickey Mouse (they are Disney fanatics) car came out of the red box towing a small red banner. It was fantastic.
 

 



 

 

Now I can hardly wait to meet Eli James in person next February.
 
 I sure do love these two and I know they are going to make fantastic parents. And, course, I will make a marvelous grandmother because I can really spoil him.  And then give him back.
 
 
 


 

Saturday, September 3, 2022

The Happiest News Ever

 AJ, AZ   High 106  Low 83 

 My son and daughter-in-law posted this announcement on FB.

Just when some of you had given up hope or thought it would never happen . . . We are so excited to finally announce we will be welcoming the newest member of the Dixon family in February 2023!!!  After ten years of coming up with new excuses, we can't wait for our next adventure in life together, parenthood.

 

I am beyond happy to welcome my first grandchild. I am also heart broken that Jim isn't here with me. I know his spirit is rejoicing with us and I also know that he has already filled our grandchild in on all kinds of things about this family that has been chosen for him/her. But it still hurts. 

I guess they are going to have a reveal party of some kind so hopefully before too long, I'll know if I'll have a grandson or a granddaughter. Personally I'm hoping for a grandson. Truthfully, all we want is a healthy baby.

I did tell them they didn't really plan this very well because that means I will be traveling to Montana in the winter. I don't even own a winter coat anymore. But trying to survive the cold will be worth it.    

Todd just announced that he will now be known as 

                            THE TODDFATHER

I'm so excited!!!
 

Friday, September 2, 2022

A Long Long Summer

AJ, AZ   Highs somewhere around 95 to 100   lows finally in the 70s for a few nights

I started this post several days ago and the heat is back. Headed towards 110 for the weekend. I am really looking forward to some cooler days.


This is exactly how my life is at this point in time.  I'm getting through one day at a time. I belong to a FB group called Road Widows, Road Warriors. These woman have really helped me through my tough days of missing Jim. They understand my devastation and tears even when I am not rational. 

 


I also have very special people who go out of their way to check on me and brighten up my life with their calls or texts.  I am so blessed to know them.

 


I disconnected Jim's cell phone and I had no idea how hard that would hit me. It took me over a week to even feel like I was recovering. Turning off that phone was like losing Jim all over again. I didn't know it was possible to shed so many tears.

 

I don't go anywhere except to the store for a grocery pick up or the pharmacy occasionally. I'm hoping to get out more when the weather cools down. July and most of August really weren't horrible but next week as we head into September the temperatures are on the rise. Looking at 108 to 110 for a few days. But hoping Fall isn't too far behind.

 I love our Superstition Mountains with the clouds.



We did get some monsoon storms which are welcome because of the rain they bring. I could do without the wind but that is part of the monsoon package. About the only pictures I've taken are of clouds. We've had some really spectacular lightning shows and I'm grateful they haven't set off a lot of fires. 

 


 



I've been putting out a water dish for my bunny neighbor. As hot and dry as it has been, I think he and the birds are enjoying having the water.  (The white thing is my awning post)

 



I don't think I posted this picture of my neighbor's cactus blooming earlier this summer. It is so beautiful but the blooms only last a day.

 

We had 16 at our breakfast outing. We went to a place in Mesa called What The Hell. Good food and good friends.

 

My next post will be more exciting.

Friday, June 17, 2022

Its Hot, REALLY HOT

 

 AJ, AZ    HOT HOT HOT   Highs up to 112 and Lows hopefully in the upper 70s but mostly in the 80s.

We've set a couple of record highs and we're way above average temperatures.  If you want to get anything done, get up early and get out and do it. 

The Park Group decided to change things up a bit and we went to Sassy's restaurant for breakfast one Tuesday morning. It was quite good but they are short staffed like almost every restaurant everywhere. They have an area set up where you can get your own coffee or drink, silverware, condiments, etc. That helps relieve some of the stress on the staff. They really do try to do their best.


In the not so good news - a woman in the park had her car stolen one night. For some reason she left it unlocked which is not a smart thing to do any time but especially in the summer when there is no one around. The police found the car but it was totaled. The thieves were not located. They also tried to steal our manager's golf cart but weren't able to get it going.  

Still dealing with paperwork for Jim. I think (maybe) I am done with all his medical bills. But life and health insurance is still in the works with the government. (He was covered under me as a federal retiree). Who knows when that will be resolved. They can't seem to give me an answer. 

I've been doing a lot of reading this summer. I can check books out of the library on my phone or Kindle and that works really great. I also have a bunch of "regular" books that Paul has given me so I can sit inside and read with an occasional break for TV. 

I am really enjoying Emergency from the 1970's with Gage and De Soto. Both my dad and Jim were volunteer fireman.  Notice the price of fuel from 1977. Regular in our area is now at $5.69 per gallon. I truly never thought I would see the price go over $5.00. 


I am now an Arizona resident.  Got my Arizona driver's license. I used MVS which is a third party provider instead of an actual DMV. There were only a couple of people there so I was in and out quickly. They seems to be much more efficient than the AZ state run DMV. 

Something you notice when you are really bored. I have mother's hands. I remember holding her hands and noticing how the veins stuck put and the fingers were deformed. Well here's mine.

 


In the other exciting news I had to buy a new roof air conditioner. My front one gave up the ghost. Chris's Good Times Mobile Service was able to fit me in right away and he did a great job. He also got my portable air conditioner vented for me. So nice to be able to sit in the living room and not worry about heat stroke. 


We had a cloud.


 And that is the excitement from AJ.

Tuesday, May 24, 2022

Ramblings


I am starting this blog post with a picture of a beautiful Arizona sunset. We don't see too many during the summer because clouds are few and far apart.
 

The weather has been almost perfect the last couple of days. Highs in the 80s and low in the 50s, But starting Friday, we are headed up and on Saturday we have triple digits and the same on Sunday. Then next week we are in the upper 90s all week. Pretty sure summer is here.

Update: it is Sunday and we reached 104 today. Staying near a hundred but still in the 90s for a few more days.
 
The few of us left in the park are still getting together Tuesday mornings for goodies: blueberry scones, cinnamon rolls and blueberry and poppy seed muffins. We do get spoiled during the summer.

Went to the American Legion for dinner with the park group. Also had lunch with a Sidney, MT classmate, Tim, and his wife before they head out for the summer. Good times.

It's amazing how boneheaded I can be sometimes. I bought a bag of M&M peanut butter. Now I know I'm not supposed to eat peanut butter (or peanuts) because they give me gout. But I thought that one bag wouldn't hurt. How wrong can I be. So for over a week I wasn't able to walk faster than a painful hobble.  

I did make a run to Walmart to do a grocery pick up. I rarely go into a store anymore, and I felt I needed a treat. These are so good when it is so hot. Cool you down from the inside out.

Well all of sudden blogger has decided to center what I'm typing. Hasn't done this in a long time and I have no idea how to fix it so it is what it is. Jim was always able to fix it for me.

That is the extent of the excitement around my house. Hope your days are sunny for you. I know a lot of you in the north are still having almost winter. But summer should show up sometime.

Just saw the news and my heart is broken. 14 elementary school children and one teacher killed in Texas by an 18 year old kid. So senseless. I feel so sad and helpless. Hug your loved ones. If they aren't close enough to hug, call them if you can and let them know they are loved. This world needs all the love we can give.

Since I posted this I found out that 18 children and two adults are dead. It just gets worse and worse. 

Wednesday, May 11, 2022

Living in a Ghost Town

 AJ, AZ.  Highs in the 90s. Lows in the 60s

Some days are rough but most aren't bad.  Most of the time I don't mind being by myself. I do like my own company. Which is a good thing because in another week our park will be almost totally empty. There are probably 10 or 15 folks who stay year round.

I didn't meet Jim until I was almost 37 and he is my first and only spouse. So I learned to be pretty independent. However it is harder to be independent when you get older and don't have much strength left in your hands and you have an ankle that doesn't like to cooperate. So thank you to all those who come to my aid when I desperately need them. 

This is a picture of part of Paul's beautiful back yard. He bought a house in Florence AZ and he invited me down for lunch. Jim and I met Paul at Escapade 2008 in Gillette WY and have spent many great times catching up across the country. He's getting ready to head to Minnesota for the summer.

See the rock to the right of the tree? That is a fountain and it was so much fun to watch the birds come by for a drink.


Still trying to resolve Jim's medical bills and life insurance. Maybe next year I'll have it all resolved. 

I have found one thing that I really hate doing by myself and that is wrestling with trying to make a king size bed.  I really am glad that we invested in the QuickZip sheets. With those I don't have to try and pull the mattress down to tuck in the sheets and then push it back into place. They were expensive but I am glad we made the investment. 

Had dinner with Ginny and Mickey at Babbos on Saturday. They left Sunday morning to head to Maine for a graduation and a wedding. Everybody stopping by to say goodbye.

 


And ready to leave.



Todd and Michaela sent me these beautiful flowers for Mother's Day. Aren't they beautiful? Michaela made the gnome for me. She is so creative.


On Monday Paul drove up and put reflective coverings in my front windows which face west. It gets really hot in here in the afternoons and these coverings should help to keep it a little cooler for me.  Jim and I are both so grateful for all the help that I have gotten from so many people.


 Wendy (the unofficial park photographer) found a hummingbird nest with a couple of babies. I love this picture that she took. This nest is only about the size of a half dollar

 

This is what it must be like to live in a ghost town. Lots of empty buildings and so very very quiet. This seems to be my new neighbor.

 
Our temps are heading into the hundreds by this weekend. I think summer is here to stay for us. Some of you out there are still having winter. But one thing we all seem to have in common is wind.
 

Hopefully I will have something of interest to post every once in awhile this summer.

Friday, April 15, 2022

TODAY

 

You are going along doing really good and then out of the blue the grief and loneliness hits you and throws you to your knees with the pain of missing that beloved someone who made your life whole. 

You can't hide or run away from it, you just have to survive through it. 

President Russel M. Nelson has said:

"Irrespective of age, we mourn for those loved and lost. Mourning is one of the deepest expressions of pure love...

Moreover, we can't fully appreciate joyful reunions later without tearful separations now. The only way to take sorrow out of death is to take love out of life".

I am so looking forward to that joyful reunion. 





Thursday, April 7, 2022

Two Very Lonely Months

 AJ AZ   High 89  Low 63

I can't believe it's been two months since Jim died. I miss him terribly but I really am doing good enough. 

These months are kind of blurry. So much has happened and is still happening with paper work and medical bills and getting social security and government pensions and life insurance and health insurance all figured out. 

Our weather has been kind of all over the place during these two months. We had snow on the Superstitions.

 


We've had some record heat already.  Most days have been absolutely beautiful with highs in the 70s or 80s and lows in the 50s or 60s. 

We did have a storm with 58 mph gusts go through and my neighbor, Wendy, took this fantastic picture of our rainbow after the storm.

 


We donated Jim's clothes to Genesis Project, a local non-profit. We (and by we,  I mean all my friends here) also had a park wide patio sale. We had a good turnout and I sold a lot of Jim's tools and equipment. 

I sold our truck and bought a smaller car that belonged to Paula's mother.  Also sold the Bungalow and I'm now working on selling the boat. It's really hard to let go of all these things but I need to move forward with adjusting to a new normal for me.


On February 26 we held a memorial service for Jim. It was a beautiful service and several people shared memories of Jim. 

This is the program I had done for him. 






The table that Michaela organized for me. 



On a sad note, Chris Mosley who was a speaker at the service, died unexpectedly on March 20th. He was a good man and I miss him. 

Todd and Michaela were able to be here with me for the service.  They also helped me clean out a lot of things and make some decisions. I'm so grateful for them. 


This is the last picture I have of Jim. He took a selfie to send to let his boys know he was home from the hospital. Two days later he was gone. 


I will be staying in Arizona for the summer since this is now home. Wish me luck with the heat.