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



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. 


Wednesday, March 16, 2022

Our Last Fun Adventure Together

 Apache Junction. High 83. Low 46

Following radiation, Jim was feeling pretty good and we took one last drive together and I want to record it in my blog.

We decided to make a loop drive going east through Superior, on to Globe and then south on highway 77 and back north on highway 177. 

Our first views were of Superior were as we were coming down into the town on Highway 60. 


Superior is located at the base of Apache Leap Mountain and was originally started as a supply center for the Silver King Mine. When silver was impacted by the change in the monetary standard in 1893 from $1.50 to $.20 per ounce, the town almost became a ghost town. But thanks to the discovery of copper Superior was able to survive.

Main street

The following are scenery pictures as we continued on towards Miami (Arizona that is).

We had one stop we wanted to make in Miami, another copper boom-town:

The Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament Church

 This Roman Catholic Church was dedicated in 1917. In 2008 it was added to the National Register of Historic Places. It is beautiful and worth a visit if you are in the area.


By now it was almost lunch time, so we wandered into Globe looking for some place unique to eat. But first we drove by the Globe Courthouse which was built in 1906. It always amazes me how they could build such beautiful buildings without all the machinery and technology we have today.

After reading lots of Yelp reviews, we decided to try Nurdberger's.  "Nurdberger is a local hamburger spot with a menu tailored to your favorite comics, superheroes, and anime cartoons".

 We ordered our selections to go and ate in the truck. Jim had a burger and I had a chicken sandwich. They were sooo good.  And the fries were really good. 

 A few more scenery pictures on our journey back home.


Jim was my proof reader so hopefully I found all the typos. I miss him so much but I am doing okay. My friends are amazing.

Monday, February 14, 2022

I Am Filled With Gratitude

AJ AZ.   high  80. Low 48

I am so very blessed to have people who care so much for Jim and I. I am surrounded by love even from those I've never met. It's amazing how true friendships grow through our blogs. 

Our neighbors here in the park have been so supportive. All I have to do is ask and it's done. I am so grateful I live in this community that is a family. And the church members have been amazing. They have helped me plan everything. I truly am blessed.

I am having a memorial service for Jim on February 26th at 11:00 a.m.  It will be held at the LDS Church  454 North Crismon Road in Mesa, AZ. If you are in the area, I would love to have you join us.

I know some people have asked about sending flowers but I would prefer that you make a donation to your favorite charity in Jim's name. 

And speaking of his name, most of you don't know what it is. He didn't care for his first name so he always went by Jim. 

"Harry James Dixon, Jr".  

It wasn't until we got married that I learned his first name was really Harry.

 I sure do miss him. The house seems so empty and its sooo quiet. Thank you again for all your kind, wonderful words.



Tuesday, February 8, 2022

Goodbyes Are So Hard

 I had to say goodbye to the love of my life, my whole world tonight. Jim, I miss you so much. Hopefully it won't be long before we are together again. You are my everything. 

Sunday, February 6, 2022

Jim Update

 AJ. High in the 50s and 60s.  Low in the 30s and 40s.  Lots of wind.

Not sure where to start. Jim has been in the hospital for the last week. He seemed to do just fine with the radiation but about two weeks later he started feeling short of breath and was coughing up a lot of phelm and small amounts of blood. 

He talked to the radiologist and his pulmonologist and they weren't too concerned.  We had an appointment set up with his GP and the radiologist in a week and a half.

His appetite came back and we thought everything was good. On Sunday  he started to get short of breath and by Monday he couldn't walk from the bedroom to the living room without being totally exhausted and out of breath. I asked him if he felt like he could get in the truck to go to the ER but he couldn't. 

I called 911 and they took him to Banner Goldfield. This is an emergency hospital with very limited resources.  They had to find a bed in a hospital that could treat his lungs, heart and kidneys. Not easy to do in this time of Covid.  

At 8:30 that night they transported him to Banner Boswell ICU. Boswell is in Sun City which is on the other side of Phoenix.  60 miles from home.  I drove over to see him on Tuesday and we got conflicting information about what was wrong. They started treating him for pneumonia only to find out later he didn't have it. However, his heart and kidneys are in pretty bad shape.

The hospital moved him out of the ICU on Wednesday to the heart ward. Then on Friday he got moved to what he called "a broom closet". Two patients to a room and less hands on care.

Finally on Saturday they released him to come home with oxygen. Took several hours to get him sprung but he is now home and much happier.

Tomorrow we start making doctor appointments especially with the cardiologist and kidney doctors. We also need to see the radiologist about the cancer. That appointment with a couple of others had to be canceled. So that is what we will be doing this next week. Jim will also be working on getting his strength back.

Wednesday, January 12, 2022


Apache Junction. High  63. Low  38

I'm sure you're all tired of reading about our medical issues but that is our life right now and I need to document it. 

Radiation day 1 - Tuesday, January 4th, was Jim's first radiation treatment which lasted exactly 20 minutes from the time he went back to the time he walked into the waiting room. I know because I timed it. Yes, I was nervous and scared for him. 

In fact our drive to Scottsdale takes longer than his treatment.


Absolutely no problem.  He didn't feel a thing and had no side effects.  He did say that laying on the hard metal table with his arms above his head is uncomfortable, but that was it. 

He has four treatments to go with the last one on Monday, January 10. 

Radiation Day 2 - Wednesday - today's session took longer and I was getting a little concerned. Jim told me that for some reason the machine did not want to line up correctly and they had to reposition him. Once again, he felt nothing and feels fine tonight. 

Radiation Day 3 - Thursday - three down. Two to go. Feeling great but worried that it isn't working because he doesn't feel anything.

Radiation Day 4 - repeat of the other three days. One more to go on Monday.

Saturday and Sunday-experiencing some upset stomach. Not bad but uncomfortable. 

Radiation Day 5 - done. Stomach still upset but hopefully that will go away in a couple of days. We go back in a month.  


While sitting in the waiting room I observed people coming in who were doing their best to be brave as they fought this horrible disease. The lucky ones had someone with them to support them. My heart went out to those who were fighting by themselves.  My hope is that all of them come out victorious.