Archive for the ‘Arizona’ Category

Well, not everything went as planned!

Monday, April 25th, 2016

After a wonderful evening with friends we said our goodbyes fully intending on one more morning of tennis and then a show our last evening.  The rest is history!  I had a bit of a fainting spell and cracked my brain open at 3 o’clock in the morning.  I was woken up on the floor by Paul who had no idea what had happened.  Fortunately I knew I had passed out.  I actually went back to bed but realized that I had really done a number on my teeth!  So at 9 am we get me dressed and head to ER.  Even the doctors thought things were ok but because I take Warfarin they decided I needed a CTScan.  As the saying goes the rest is history.  An ambulance ride to Barrow’s Neuro in Phoenix and many more CTScans they finally decided it wasn’t going to stop itself so they reversed the Warfarin and took a couple more scans,  all along talking Brain Surgery.  The good news is the reversal worked and I only have blood and swelling which should take care of itself.

That all went well,  I stayed 5 days in the hospital and then got released, bought a plane ticket to get back to SJ and get to my regular doctors to begin the healing process.  A brain bleed takes about 30 days for your body to process the blood.  So Paul dropped me off and returned to the RV,  loaded it and headed to Iowa!  He arrived on Monday and on Monday evening I had a set back that sent me back to ER!  And then another ambulance ride to Kaiser Redwood City which is Kaisers Northern CA NeuroSurgery hospital.  A beautiful facility that is just about a year old.  So while Paul stayed with the RV,  I spent the week in the hospital with a bunch more scans,  lots of new information, and friends and family stepped up for support.

Things I learned while in the hospital is your brain is really important and when you have a Tramma your body does weird things.  The second day there I was told my sodium was too low and I needed to eat salt!  What?   I have been avoiding salt since my very first heart surgery at 26!  Now they are encouraging to eat salty foods, even giving me salt tablets 3 times a day!

Just when I was feeling better, almost myself on Monday and Paul was almost home!  He took 3 days of all day driving with our friend Dennis who flew to Iowa to ride home with him.  The problem happened on Monday evening just as Paul was arriving in Santa Clara.  I had another set back that actually I was very fortunate because I was walking with the nurse and she caught me!  So I’m thinking we are back another week.  The next morning we did a CTScan and then an MRI to see if they could find anything.  MRI!  That is pretty scary.  It takes about 30 minutes inside a tube where the magnets make noises like Jack Hammers, drills, etc…  You have to stay perfectly still or it doesn’t work.  I had a emergency bubble that I could squeeze.  I didn’t have too so I didn’t have to put myself through that again.  The good news is they couldn’t find anything and they just think it is the blood putting pressure.  The bad news is now they are adding another medicine for a couple months to see if it helps.  So far so good!

Learning a new skill!  Coloring!  Very relaxing and actually pretty addicting.  Thanks Annie!

Learning a new skill! Coloring! Very relaxing and actually pretty addicting. Thanks Annie!

I was overwhelmed by the Creative Sensations Coloring Book but once I got the first one done it was a good thing I had it.  Reading wasn’t so good, too distracting and TV gets boring even if you have favorite shows so coloring was definitely a good way to rest my brain!.

So I got out of the hospital on Wednesday and got to return to my own bed!  I am very week but each day I see improvement so I think I am finally on my way.  We will be here until the middle of June with follow up appointments and then there is the Dental work that I will be needing.  I am dreading that but I can get through this also.

The whole time I was in the hospital I wanted to get to the coast!  I love the sand, wind and of course the waves!  That is how I survived the MRI, focus on what you love and you can do anything!

Watching the surfers and loving the ocean breeze.

Watching the surfers and loving the ocean breeze.  Day one after 8 days in the hospital.

So things aren’t as we planned but the good news is we get to spend some extra time with the girls and spend more time with our friends.  We will make the most of it and hopefully get to Estes Park by July for Pauls neices Wedding Reception!  Thats the plan so far,  we will see how it goes.

 

The last Harah!

Wednesday, March 30th, 2016

We made a quick trip home for Easter, 12 hours each way and only two days in California.  Stephanie just bought a new Townhome and I thought we should see it before we leave for the East Coast for the summer.  We loved it but it was definitely long trip.

Grapevine covered in Poppies

Grapevine covered in Poppies

Spectacular poppies along I5!  I don’t think I have ever seen this many poppies.

Brody, Duke & Tucker

Brody, Duke & Tucker

Photos of puppies instead of my kids?  We had a great Easter.  Amy made us baskets from mason jars with a little of each of our favorites chocolates.  The girls and I colored eggs.  Amy and Nick made us Sushi!  It was so good.  Easter dinner was perfect with all the fixings along with homemade Ice Cream.

Back to Mesa and we had friends from home visiting and a bunch of our new friends over for a campfire on our last free night.  Oh yeah,  we had the guys help push the slide in so that we can leave on Friday and head to Iowa.

 

 

Perfect spot to spend January, February & March

Wednesday, March 30th, 2016

The plan was to stay put for 3 months.  Denise loved it and spent her days learning to play tennis again.  I played 8 matches at the 1.5 level which is beginner and only lost my first match.  I even bought myself a “real” tennis racket, a fancy skirt, a couple cans of balls and throughly enjoyed my 3 months.  I plan to pick it back up when we return to the same resort in December.  Next year I have a 4 month reservation!  Hopefully Paul is still on board.  Paul played a lot of pickle ball, some tennis and even went Snow skiing.

 

Check out that serve!

Check out that serve!

 

We also enjoyed  serveral shows; magic, illision, rock n roll venues,  show tune venues and even an evening of Lazer Lighting show at the Phoenix Botonical Gardens.  This was simply amazing.  Paul was not on board to go but I think he enjoyed it more than me.  When we first got there it was still daylight so you couldn’t see the lights, but when the sun went down there were lights everywhere,   all lazers, all changing colors!

Bottles contained in a plastic tube.  The lights continued to change colors.

Bottles contained in a plastic tube. The lights continued to change colors.

PomPoms

PomPoms

Street Lamps

Street Lamps

This was my favorite thing I think because it was so functional and what a way to really embrace the evening lighting.

 

Chihuly Glass

                        Chihuly Glass

Chihuly Glass art is one of my favorites and we have seen much of it.  This was a permanent dis[lay and looked so real.

We didn’t get out too much to hike but we did get to see the desert wake up to spring which was just amazing.  I am always amazed at the cactus that bloom every year and this year because of the rain the desert is really blooming.  Because of the extremely warm February the snakes turned out in March.  I am definitely not a fan so hiking was pretty much out of the question.  We didn’t see any snakes so I was very happy.

Spring has sprung

                                    Spring has sprung

And,  the sunsets!  AWEEEEE

One of the few sunsets we actually caught

One of the few sunsets we actually caught

Then of course their is Spring Training.  We didn’t work this year,  mostly because their just wasn’t time.  Paul’s sister, Cindy came with her Daughter Sarah and new husband Grant.  They are from Denver so of course we went to see the Rockies play.  Spring training is so much fun because the stadiums are beautiful and lawn seating is usually less than $20.

Rockies win at home

Rockies win at home

So,  three months in the desert went very fast and it was time to pack up and move east!

 

Wow, I did that?

Tuesday, February 23rd, 2016

With a lot of instruction and patience I made two rings!

I simple textured band

I simple textured band

Kind of looks like a wedding band,  It isn’t perfect and is only a stepping stone to what I will be making this winter!

Setting a stone

Setting a stone

Using the skills I learned with the first ring, soldering, buffing, polishing and a couple of new skills, second solder, setting I made a real ring that someone might buy from a street vendor!

Beginnings of a pendant

Beginnings of a pendant

This will be my 4th and final piece that I make this winter!  It will be a pendant that I will definitely wear once I get it done.  So far I have spent $100 on silver and classes, giving me two rings, a bracelet and a pendant that I made all by myself!  Where else can you have this much fun.  The hardest part of going to class is it is in the morning and I miss tennis and the weather has been spectacular so I really don’t like to be inside.  It is only 3 hours so I have time for a good walk or hanging out at the pool in the afternoon.

The activities are endless in the resort and outside the park there are lots to do also.  We finally got out for a hike!

Saquaro Cactus

Saquaro Cactus

We took a short hike on a very warm afternoon up 900 feet elevation over 1.5 miles to Wind Cave in Usery Mountain County Park.  The park is very close to Mesa but definitely in the desert.  The views from the top of the hike are beautiful.

Wind Cave

The trail is very rough and my ankles were definitely sore, Duke was extra thirsty and we were running out of water on the way up!  We met a guy on the trail going down who overheard me telling Duke that the water was getting low.  He was on  his way down so he filled our bottle from his and off we went up the trail.  The cave is really only an alcove and for some reason there are lots of bee hives in the walls of the cave!  I saw no flowers anywhere so I wonder where they get their food?  At least they were more interested in their hives and left us alone.

We also have been enjoying some local entertainment.  Paul gets me out at least once a week to square dance and we have noticed the crowd is quite young compared to other activities in Mesa.  I wonder why?  We also have seen a great magician and a George Strait Tribute

GeorgeST

This guy was young but definitely had done his homework cause if you watched him you might think it was George!  Most songs were right on, a couple not so much but still good entertainment for  $20.  We have also gone to a couple of concert venues like what you would see in Branson.  Fun entertainment

Friday we played Bingo in the hall.  It’s real Bingo, for real money.  It cost us each $12 for the evening and we took home $369!  First I won the big split pot of $279 and then a couple games later Paul won a Bingo pot of $90!

Then some days we just do ordinary stuff!  Like yesterday I played Tennis for about 1 hour, then went shopping!  I think I spent all my winning on more clothes!  It was a lot of fun knowing it was bonus money.

We have a new addition to our home.

Coffee/ottomans and a new soft rug

Coffee/ottomans and a new soft rug

It makes our home seem more cozy to me, Paul says “Whatever!”  They work great for somewhere to put my drink and feet when I’m watching tv.

Today was Tennis, tonight is Square Dancing, tomorrow is Silver and Tennis, Thursday is Tennis League play, and Pinocle, Friday is Silver, Golf, and Bingo again!  Never a dull moment!  I have to squeeze in writing my blog cause I would rather be at the pool than infront of the computer..

 

 

Summer Camp for Grown Ups!

Thursday, January 28th, 2016

Thats the best description of what happens in Mesa, AZ in January, February and March.  There is so much going on!  We are staying at Monte Vista Village RV Resort and the activities are endless; Tennis, Pickleball, hiking, biking, shuffleboard, swimming, softball, dancing, silversmithing, bootcamp, arobics, yoga, card making, quilting, jewelry, rock stuff, every card game you can think of, movie nights, shows, dinners, breakfasts, ice cream, happy hours, and so on, and so on!

Paul and I are not new to the resort lifestyle but we are new to this park, having visited it for events in the past we decided to give it a try for three months this winter.  So far we have been to a steak fry, a pancake breakfast, happy hours, a show out in town, a magician, dancing at the Legion Hall,  pinnocle, cribbage, dinner at friends, pickleball, tennis and Denise has been doing bootcamp.  I am not sure why I put myself through bootcamp but it feels good afterwards until the pain sets in!

I took a class in silversmithing and made a really cute bracelet.

All by myself!

All by myself!

I made this from a single strand of some sort of metal!  Lots of bending and I even made the jump rings from scratch!  It took about 2.5 hours and was really interesting how a single strand of wire can actually end up as something I can wear.

Most activities are included in the cost of staying.  The bracelet,  I had to buy the metal, and we do have to pay a nominal fee for the meals!  The pancake breakfast includes eggs cooked to your liking, scrambled eggs, pancakes, almond pancakes, sausage, biscuits, gravy, ham, orange juice and coffee for a whopping $3.00 per person as long as we wear our name tags.  See it is just like summer camp, we have badges that say our names and where we come from that we are encouraged to wear.  I forget mine most of the time!  Thats ok, I am pretty good at introducing myself.

Today I played in my first league games of tennis where our park plays against other parks in the area.  I played pretty well for a beginner but we did lose the match.  I take the good from each situation –  my serves are great and we actually won two games just from my serves, and I can scamper around the court pretty well most of the time getting the ball returned into play.  So, tennis is going to be my passion while we are here;  the weather is wonderful so why not.

Off to another game of tennis!

Getting into the swing of Resort Life

Wednesday, January 6th, 2016

So far the park is exactly what I was looking for;  lots of activities, great people and better weather!  Well the weather needs to improve but the sun was out this am and I took a short walk before I went to a new activity!  Boot Camp.  I want to get some strength in my arms so this should help!  It looked easy enough as you go through 15 stations in 1 minute intervals.  I was doing great and then at about station 14 I realized we were going to go around again!  Ouch!  But I did it and hopefully on Friday I can do it again.

 

Happy New Year

Tuesday, January 5th, 2016

The end of the year was very busy with our stay in CA.  We had great visits with friends and of course the family.  We celebrated 60 years of marriage with my parents with most of the family coming together.

60 years of Marriage!

                                        60 years of Marriage!

Christmas was beautiful. I helped Amy make a Carpenter family recipe of Lasagna for Christmas Eve Dinner with her inlaws!  Everyone approved so its a go again next year!  Stephanie is doing great and soon will be finding a new home to purchase in San Jose!  Damn the price of real estate in the area is going insane again!

With Christmas behind us Paul and I have left the state again for hopefully warmer weather!  We arrived in Mesa, AZ on New Years Eve and it was slightly warmer.  Bringing in the New Year at our new winter address and then on Friday we finally saw some great weather that lasted 2.5 days and now it is cold again with rain for the last 2-3 days!  Yuck!

West Please!

Thursday, October 15th, 2015

We decided to get a head start on our journey west and headed out Sunday afternoon taking Hwy 60 through western New Mexico into Arizona at the Salt River Canyon area.  Sunday night was spent near Pie Town New Mexico at our own private campground with the coyotes and the stars!  It was so peaceful at Halfmoon Hitch RV Park which is a bit off the highway and only 5 full hookup sites.  Definitely a spot I could have spent more than just one night but getting to California is a huge motivation at this point!

Salt River Canyon

Salt River Canyon

We made it to Arizona on Monday and it was a beautiful drive, a bit hot when we made it to Mesa!  We got to see Mike & Claudia for dinner and then in the morning had friends, Joan and Steven over for breakfast!  Yeah,  we get to entertain and hang out with friends again!

Monday night we stopped in Yuma for the night and again it was very hot.  We got a bath for the RV and car Tuesday am before heading to San Diego!  We are home!  Yeah!  Not quite but I feel home just knowing we are at the bottom of the state!  And,  on Wednesday Stephanie is meeting us in Anaheim to take me to the happiest place on Earth!

Blue Skies forever

Sunday, March 29th, 2015

We made it from San Antonio to Benson AZ in 1.5 days an it feels good to be almost home!  We have had sunshine and no rain for about a week.   Strange,  after having so much weather for the past 6 months.  Everyday I wake up and can’t believe that the sun is still out!  Yippee!

I don't care how hot it is!  Im wearing my boots!

I don’t care how hot it is! Im wearing my boots!

Tiny towns, mines and the wildwest is what it is all about in Southeastern Arizona.  Bisbee, the county seat for Cochise County, AZ  was a copper mining town in the 1800’s becoming the county seat in 1929, moving from Tombstone AZ which is mainly a tourist town now complete with gun fights, stagecoaches and saloons!

Bisbee is right on the Copper Queen mine which you can take a tour of now as they are no longer mining due to the expense of mining.  The towns population now is mostly for tourism, full of tiny shops full of local artwork, a coffee shop an a few B&B’s.

Main Street, Bisbee, AZ

Main Street, Bisbee, AZ

Local artwork

Local artwork

If you look in the lower left of this photo you see a smalll shelf.  It looked like a sale table or trade.  It was full of wierd miscellanous stuff – didn’t look like art to me!

The town is full of tiny homes built on the hills, one on top of the other.  Very quaint but I am sure originally they were so close as to be walking distance to the mine and supplies.

Tombstone is much smaller and is famously known for the gunfight at the O.K.Corral.  They say the fight was a block away but I figure somehow the cowbows spent alot of time in the O.K.Corral.  This tiny town had several saloons in it’s day and today there are still a few.

Saloon, where guns are O.K.

Saloon, where guns are O.K.

Ready to fight!

Ready to fight!

The street is closed to cars as they still have a gun fight or two!

Need a ride?  or want to rob the stagecoach?

Need a ride? or want to rob the stagecoach?

Right next to Bisbee, actually closer to the mine is the town of Lowell which today looks very deserted except it had the most interesting mix of memorbilia.

Gas station

Gas station

Main street, Lowell, AZ

Main street, Lowell, AZ

Lowell didn’t really seem inhabited although there was one saloon that was open but facades of buildings and the number of very old automobiles along the street made it very fun to drive along.

Roadside attractions

Roadside attractions

Often when driving in the desert you might see something like this.  This is a small temple of sorts, complete with several statues inside and places to place and light a candle for a blessing.  The post outside had a slot in it and a note that you could make a donation!  There was nothing for miles around but there were lots of lite candles inside.  Hmm.

 

So long to lots of memories, A new chapter begins

Tuesday, March 4th, 2014

The end of an era,  March 4 and we say good bye.

Howmany states?

Howmany states?

So long Voyage,  it's been a great 7 years!

So long Voyage, it’s been a great 7 years!

The Winnebago Voyage has served us well and now it is time for a new owner to enjoy her as much as we did.  We drove the Voyage through all but Kentucky, Wyoming and Rhode Island in our 5 years on the road with her.  Several states we drove through but did not spend a night so they don’t get stickers.

Ready, Set, Go......

Ready, Set, Go……

Finally,  we are all loaded, the bikes and car are ready to roll.  We left the dealership about 10:30 am with us following a transport guy named Frank who wore a really big cowboy hat and headed to New Mexico where we will officially take ownership of our new home.  As soon as we made the first turn out of the dealership, Frank was taking the next right turn and cut it really short, barely missing an electrical box!  This isn’t going to work so quickly I direct Paul to turn and head for the highway while our home, our livelyhood and Frank head to the Fueling station.  We will meet Frank and the chase car in New Mexico,  following is way too scary!  As it turned out we made a stop in Payson for some lunch and decided to wait for our home.  From Payson to the New Mexico State line we lead the caravan,  probably a bit slower than Frank and Al wanted to travel but it is our home and we always travel a bit slow.

Snow in Arizona

Snow in Arizona

The drive was beautiful as we stayed off the interstate until just before the border.  Once we stopped at the Welcome Center, took a quick picture of us and Frank at the border we headed to Gallup where we will take possession of our new home!  Once we hit the interstate, Al took over and we had trouble keeping up with them!  The new rig goes up the hills really well.  We made it to Gallup,  signed the papers and in a rainstorm we took our first steps in our new home!  We only went 50 miles to Grants where we will spend a couple of days just relaxing and getting to know our new home.  We needed our new fireplace last night as it got really cold!  We need to head south again soon!

I wonder how long it will take to fill another map in our new Winnebago Journey?  Happy travels to us