Friday, December 30, 2011

Hi, I'm Back!

Hi everybody!  Did you figure out that I am not the best blogger in the universe?....but maybe in my home since I am the only one! Well, we have enjoyed a spring, summer, fall and now a winter in our new hometown.  We hadn't expected it tobe soooo cold! Today it is warm! Up to 72!! Wow, the sun feels so intense....we didn't even talk about how sad it is that our car heater decided to die before the winter weather set in.  No, we drove/rode along enjoy the sun's heat coming through the windshield with no reference to how glad we are that our Volvo at least has working seat warmers...nope, we just enjoyed the warm rays! We have talked a lot about the weather since the fall.  We have had rain, snow and sleet.  Rob and I have both concluded that we are not very fond of cold weather.  We admit that living in a 100 year old house with no insulation is a drawback.  Our heat pump is pretty ineffective in heating the house.  We have researched space heaters and will be buying some.  Our heart was set on buying an Edenpure heater or the Surge Amish heater that looks like a real fireplace but the cost is about $400.  Space heaters will cost less.  Our oven has, forget the baking to warm the house idea. Our house warms up to a lovely 63 degrees or so on the cold days. Our historical house has original wood floors in the living room and bedroom which was "quaint" when we first saw the house.  Those original floor wood slats are not flush so they allow the cold air to come on up into the house.  My last two homes have had saltillo tile floors but I was able to walk barefoot on them during the winter months in Tucson.  My "quaint" floors here prohibit walking barefoot in the morning.  We are now robe and slipper users.  I always thought these items were just extra stuff people bought to clutter their lives but never used.  I was wrong.  At this moment in my life I am dreaming of owning a pair of Ugg type boots...ones that are cozy and keep your feet warm...who cares that it is an animal product...or maybe I could just get some Walmart ones.... I am torn by buying affordable but guaranteed to last only one season because it is made of inferior materials and shoddy workmanship or buying a better brand that will last...but hurts the pocket book.  Decisions.  We use lap blankets in the car while driving on the cold nights and mornings.  Robin has started wearing a black "Russian" type hat that a friend gave him because she probably didn't want her husband using it! He wears it and gloves in the car!!  Rob's sister Terry sent us scarves she had knitted.  Rob has added that to his winter weather gear.  Seeing snow has been delightful.  We also saw ice on all the plants and trees one morning and it was beautiful to see.  If we are here next winter, we will be prepared! All in all we are glad that we moved here.  Being our grandkids and their Mom and Dad makes it worth it!

Friday, July 1, 2011

Rob's Miserable Week....

Okay, moving is a lot of work; a lot of adjustments.  Our friends have moved to Michigan which is many states from here...but I have to say adjusting to Clifton has been harder than I had anticipated.  Love living by the grandkids and their parents.  Good times! I actually love my new old house...lots of quirks but always surprising and interesting! Lots of character. For once, it was not me who was battling disappointments but my ever agreeable soulmate, Robin.  It started with unplanned food poisoning from stopping at a truck stop.  The general consensus is that you should commit to eating at truck stops on a regular basis or forget about it. We were coming home from Tucson after the quickdraw weekend.  Rob thought we might be a little adventurous and try a new culinary seemed acceptably clean, which I did comment about to the cashier who let me know that they are trying very hard ever since they had been closed down by the health board....I try to fight reading into things as if it is a sign of some future happening...but I felt sure that it might be.  We both got the chills, fevers, body aches and other related unpleasant body function problems. It was pretty pathetic and horrible.  It was during this time that Rob's watch stopped working.....then computer showed the blue screen of death...which led to it going to the computer miracle fix-it man who told us that it was not a software problem but a hardware problem and that it was not even possible to access the hard-drive at all so as to save files.  He is still figuring out how much a repair would cost us.  Then yesterday, Rob's beloved volvo refused to start up.  The car was towed to the only bonafide car repair business in town that is not run out of someone's garage.  Since it is a holiday weekend...(note this was on Tuesday) they would not be able to look at it until next Tuesday.  During all of this a friend had offered Robin the exact phone that he had been drooling over....a smart phone...the HTC something android phone...but it was for Sprint and we are with Verizon so Rob set about his quest to find out if a Sprint phone can be used by a Verison customer....answer= no! So, Rob said that he would be willing to change services and was told that Sprint is not in our area!!  But one of the most shocking items was that Rob was told that unemployment had stopped because the state of Arizona is not in compliance with the federal laws and regulations regarding unemployment extensions.  So, Rob has had a very disappointing week so far..hope it gets better.  We did have our first monsoon rain today!!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

It almost happened...

(sorry about this break from my move story) but one of my fears in life almost came true.  I being semi-normal am not looking forward to suddenly dying.  There are many things wrong with dying but my deep fear associated with dying is not dying naked.  That would be horrible! I had a friend whose husband fell out of the shower dead from a sudden heart attack.  Horrible but especially so because he was not dressed! So, last Tuesday I did stuff around the house rather than take my morning shower so my morning shower became my afternoon shower and by that time Robin had left to run some errands. So, I enjoyed my hot shower in our just-a-bit-better-than-an-
outhouse bathroom listening to country music which is the only station we get in there.  I got out of the shower, grabbed my smaller towel for my hair and made the usual turban with it.  Then I grabbed my nice newish large sheet  towel off the rack and went to wrap it around me when something poked me on my left forearm.  It hurt so bad! I dropped the towel and saw the brownish curved tail and knew.....scorpion!! Ughhhh.... Here I might really and truly die naked. No this must not happen! So I leaped over the fallen towel to where my clothes were and shook them out and quickly dressed making the decision that at least I would be dressed even though I might be found dead but dressed with dry skin since I did not know if I had time to moisturize or not.  Then I leaped back over the towel out the door to call Robin and tell him what had happened and that he should come home.  I thought about rather or not I should use my epi-pen but the puncture site did not look especially red or terrible, it just hurt a lot.  By the time Rob came home with the benydral he found me doing okay with an ice "piggy" that stays in our freezer waiting to cool down booboos. The only really odd thing was that my hands and feet felt tingly, as if they had fallen asleep and by the end of the evening the tip of my tongue felt numb.  I did research it on the internet and my symptoms were in the normal range.  Yesterday my hands and feet still felt numb until the evening then everything felt normal except the area around the puncture.  Today the area is red and swollen and hurts to the touch. It itches too.  The problem is....I did not kill the scorpion!! In my haste to dress and call Robin I did not try to kill it.  I thought it would wait for Robin to come home and end his miserable life.  I was wrong.  The scorpion was no where to be found.  On the plus side I am alive and clothed.  I also do not take going to the bathroom casually...we have obtained a black light to help find the critter.....hope we do very soon.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

I think I have come to the realization....

I think I have come to the realization, at least I am pretty least a 90% certainty, that I am more of a "blogger" than a "facebooker" and definitely not a "twitter." I have never twitted and I want to keep it that way. Call me close minded or electronically challenged, which very well may be the case but I really, really am not interested in learning how to "twitt."  I hate seeing everyone constantly looking down at their phones and busily typing on their stupid little keyboards.  I am glad that the "change-of-life" phrase is patience level was extremely low during that time period...I do believe I would have been tempted to yank a phone out of someone's hand and throw into traffic or over a cliff.  I don't imagine that spontaneous action would have been received well by the phone's owner.

So, now I have decided to pretty much give up facebook other than the family groups that I am the admin over and of course, to do my therapeutic virtual farming.  If anyone really wants to know what is happening with Robin and me, they will read our blog or email us or.....actually use their phone to call us.  Did I tell you that I hate texting too?!! Robin on the hand has become a avid "texter" he does it with his chunky little fingers is quite impressive in itself. 

Life has been a whirlwind of activity. The move to Clifton was about 10x the amount of work, expense and hassle that I had imagined it would be.  We decided to rent the smallest U-Haul truck because "we-don't-really-have-that-much-stuff" thinking had planted itself firmly in our innocent aging brains.  We were very wrong.  Three moving van rentals later we were back in the U-Haul office renting a covered trailer to finish moving my very large collection of plants and pots.  Yes, moving was way more than I had expected.  Oh, I mustn't forget to mention the wind...the wind that would become a "strong/severe wind warning" whenever we would be all packed up and ready to start out.  I never rode with Robin in any of the moving vans but keeping my loaded down Volvo on the road became a struggle during some of my trips to Clifton.  Robin not only had the wind but also darkness and fatigue to contend with...he usually was ready to drive up to Clifton around 6pm or thereafter.  Once he did not make it to Clifton until about midnight.  The van had trouble with the steering so he could only go about 30 mph...bummer.  The move was an ordeal but it is a done deal and we survived, vowing never to have so much stuff to move ever again!! You may have to remind us of this we will be older and may be forgetful.

Clifton, Arizona.  What can I say? It is our new home.  There is natural beauty in the area that I had not noticed during my visits.  It is this natural rugged beauty of the mountains that continues to surprise me.  The change of moving from Tucson to Clifton has been challenging.  The pluses are that our daughter, Megan and her wonderful family live here.  Spending time with Megan, Blaine and my grandchildren is wonderful.  I love being able to see them at meetings, to go out in service with them. to go to the movies together, etc.  This is the reason why we moved here and we have no regrets.  It is great to see them on a regular basis and to share everyday activities with them.  We are making new friends in our new congregation, as well as developing friendships that we have had for years into deeper ties, stronger friendships. 

I do miss the commercial aspect of big city living...stores, restaurants, movies, etc.  Clifton has about 3,500 residents.  There are about 8,500 residents in all of the county.  Greenlee county is the most sparsely populated county in the state of Arizona.  Most of you know that I am not a shopper.  I actually thought that I might even hate shopping but now I am rethinking that.  To have options, choices is a luxury that I took for granted.  There is a grocery store in the next town of Morenci as well as a mercantile with a Radio Shack. Morenci also has the movie theater which changes the one movie once a week.  A medical clinic and pharmacy (not a drugstore...imagine your CVS, Walgreen's with only the pharmacy counter) are also located in Morenci.  There are restaurants and we still have some to try.  So far the asian restaurant is on the top of the list. The bowling alley actually has pretty good food in comparison to the restaurants. The bowling alley was a fun experience...clean, good food, good set-up and like most places so far, staffed with friendly people. We have gone-to-the-circus in Morenci.  There was a small traveling circus that stopped in Morenci.  It was nice to see the community support it.  My grandchildren were excited and had a great time seeing the circus performances.

I will continue this later....gotta go get some things done! Make it a great day!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Better Day.....windy day...winds of change?

Much better day today.  I know both Martha and Manuel are not hurting and both of their families are not waiting for the end of their loved one's life.  Windy day... packed a moving van...driving it up to Clifton tomorrow.  Mind boggling to think that we are actually moving.  I know many of you will not be surprised by this but I have decided that I have a great deal of stuff!! I will sort what I want when I am unpacking.  I would have liked to have done it while I as packing but time has gotten away from and all I know is that I need to move and then take my time putting away.  I will be leaving for the funeral services soon.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

First Day of Spring and an Anniversary

Today is usually a very happy day for me.  I love springtime! I love when seasons change! I love how Jehovah made the earth with the different seasons.  12 years ago we gained another reason to be happy on March 20th, our firstborn daughter, Megan, was married to our very favorite and only son-in-law Blaine. But today was an especially different day for us.  We woke up to a 4am phone call to tell us that our niece, Martha, who has been battling kidney cancer lost her fight.  She was a delight to all who knew her. We know that she will be remembered by God in the resurrection.  Then at 6:30pm we attended a memorial service for a 54 year old friend of ours who had just gone in for a gall bladder micro surgery and suffered a stroke that led to further complications.  Her husband greeted us with a warm hug and told us to love each other and be glad that we have each other. The services were very nice and personal, asking us to remember her, to remember her and how she loved clothes and shoes, and how she loved to teach people about God's promises.  There was standing room only in the audience and at the end we all joined in singing "See Yourself When All Is New" song #134 which was emotional.  I made my way to Robin who had given up his seat and had been standing in the back.  When I got to him, Robin said that his phone had been buzzing, so right on cue my phone started buzzing. It was from our daughter Sage who had been with my sick brother's family since last Thursday afternoon.  I answered it and asked if this was the call and she said yes, my brother Manuel had died.  He had died about 6:45pm.  He had been under Hospice care in his daughter's home.  His family was there...his children, and grandchildren. Sage said that towards the end when they knew that his end was near they had all gone into the bedroom and surrounded him.  I am so glad that he was not alone.  I know that on some level he knew that they were all there and that they loved him.  I will miss my favorite brother.  My heart is very sad right now knowing that I will not see him until the resurrection. I am proud of the way his family has handled his sickness.  On the plus side spring did not officially start until 7pm or so; so it still was "the winter of our lives" and it was a most awful end to a season that I have experienced   I will attend the services.  I will miss them both terribly.  I will take comfort from the Bible's hope of a resurrection to a peaceful world where both will be able to pursue their artistic interests.  Where no one will get sick and die.  Spring will mean a new start for me, in a new town.  The seasons are changing.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Spring is Coming!

Spring is almost here.  You can feel it in the warm weather that hints at the heat to come.  You can see it in the sudden burst of new leaves on the poplar and cottonwood trees.  But the bleakness of the cold winter still meets your gaze.  The trees that still stand in a state of limbo ..are they dormant or are they dead from the cold.  Will life "find a way?" It is almost impossible to tell.  Patience is what is required of us.  Many have given in to their impatience and have hired the gardener who cuts down the beautiful tree that has not yet shown signs of life but it might have had the owners just given it more time.  More time for the warm weather to do its magic.  More time for the little leaves that lay beneath the branch surfaces to burst forth and flutter in the breeze.  More time to stand with their dried leaves and show that there truly is no life in them...the cold did indeed kill them.  I have a brother and a niece who will probably not be greeting the spring.  I would have said that they were fighting for their life right now but I really don't know if they are. My niece is dying from kidney cancer.  She is 59 or 60 and had one child, a son, who is not in contact with her.  She is my sister's firstborn.  My sister has been her daughter's main caregiver.  The pain had gotten so bad that she had screamed at her mother not to touch her.  Today she is laying in a bed in a hospice facility.  She has had enough drugs to make her painfree and to allow her to sleep.  She may never wake again but she also may never scream out in pain again.  She is resting and may just give in to the slide into non-existence.  It would be a lie to say that she is fighting for her life.

My brother, Manuel is dying from liver failure.  He has a leak and is bleeding out into his abdominal cavity.  He is at his daughter's home where he is cared for by his daughter and ex-wife.  The love that he is being shown and treated with is truly heartwarming.  He is in a coma-like state.

Life is strange..just when I will be welcoming spring back I will be feeling the heartache of losing a loved one I will miss these two tremendously.  Life goes on and we know that it is just a matter of time before we will see them again and they will be able to enjoy the earth as it was meant to peace and harmony and with loved ones.  I look forward to that time.  I know that my Mom and Dad will be sad to learn that their boy did not live long after their deaths.  They would have been there with him.  Holding his hand, stroking his forehead and telling him to   be strong and that they loved him no matter what poor choices he had made in his lifetime. But he has had only his daughters, son, grandchildren and sibs to  love him through this. His kids have done an awesome job of caring for him and respecting his wishes.  I am sure that he feels the love that they have for him.

I have started moving.  Robin and some dear friends took a load of boxes and patio furniture up yesterday.  We now have the keys and two of the utilities are turned on.  We also have a nice new post office box because there is no door-to-door mail service.  UPS does come to our front door!!

I will wait patiently for spring to arrive and then I will clean off the dead stuff from my plants.

love and hugs to all of you who read this!                  

Friday, February 11, 2011


Okay, we are really moving to Clifton!! Exciting to anticipate living closer to family.  We have been by ourselves in Tucson for the past 6 years or so ever since Sage moved to Santa Barbara.  I like our new rental home.  It offers lots of potential.  The yard is in desperate need of care...something I love to do! I must admit that I do like moving into a different place and deciding where to put my stuff or even if I still want that stuff! Simplify is my new creed...but it is all relative. So, March is the moving month.  I hate to admit that I leave Tucson with regrets...regret over the things I had planned to do but kept putting it off.  I do love Tucson.  Many Tucson residents will whine about living here.  I loved the weather.  Dramatic.  I loved raising my family here.  Good memories.  Good times.  Clifton will be a new adventure.  It has much local history to learn about.  Lots of nature trails to explore.  Nearby towns/cities to visit.  In April we are planning our first trip to Mexico. Our calendar is quickly filling up.  We plan to come to Tucson every second weekend of each month to continue our work as volunteers with the KH design/drafting group.  This will give us the opportunity to touch base with our Tucson friends and to do a little shopping, sight-seeing, culinary exploring in the big city.  We plan to stay over on Sunday night in Casa Grande so that we can join up with our regular volunteer group at the AH on Monday.  From there we plan to drive home through Globe and up to Safford.  That is the plan.  We realize that plans are subject to change.  We are also applying to work unassigned territory in the summer up north either in Montana or the Dakotas.  Busy times. But for now we will focus on the move to Clifton.  I will be going to Santa Barbara sometime soon.  My brother Manuel is not doing so well.  I want to see him and spend some time visiting with him.  Share a hug and a laugh. That's it for now. Here are some pictures of our future home

Tuesday, January 4, 2011


We have pretty much decided...about 95%...that we will be making one move before we move out of the country.  I would really like the opportunity to live closer to my daughter and grandchildren even if it is not for a long time.  I want to be able to share some everyday experiences...such as inviting them over for dinner or for a movie or a have them just drop in.  So, we are hoping to move to Clifton, Arizona.  Robin is not thrilled to think about living in a small town but he concedes that living closer to one of our children would be nice.  Moving will give me the opportunity to go through my stuff one more time and weed out what I don't really need or want.  When Rob and I dated in Santa Barbara we were friends with two couples whose children ended up marrying each other.  The children own a home in Clifton.  The renters moved in December.  The owners like to make improvements between renters so the home will not be available until mid-February.  The home is located right in the middle of Clifton so we will have to become accustomed to living with neighbors right outside our doors and windows.  We have lived in rural settings for the last 7 years. I love where I live right now but I know that I would have to move away when we move to Mexico anyway. I love the setting here, the indoor natural lighting, the privacy, the neighbors, the drive home.....I love it but I may love the life we find in Clifton more.  I want to find out. The home in Clifton will be freshly painted with new tile in the kitchen as well as new cabinets.  It will probably be larger than the homes we have lived in during the past 7 years. It is a two bedroom, one bath house.  One bedroom is upstairs...that is all that is upstairs...downstairs is the kitchen, diningroom, living room, den, bedroom, bathroom and laundry room. So we will have a room for you when you visit!!! There is a small yard that we will probably have to dog proof. The only carpeting is on the stairs and in the upstairs bedroom.  New carpeting is being installed.  It has double-paned windows and a heat/a.c. pump.  It also has a front porch and a connecting side porch. The home itself is on a hill about midway up. Parking is a premium. Think San Francisco.... I think that it is a one way street with no parking on our side but the home has parking space for two cars.  There is a library and courthouse around the corner so should we have a large dinner party our friends could park over there and walk to our home.  I had been thinking about going more modern in our home decorating but I think this home will lend itself better to our eclectic decorating scheme... I realize that moving this distance for a short time does not make good financial sense but it is what I want to do and I am glad that Robin is supportive of this adventure.  Well that is our news for now....