Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Coming Home Soon

The countdown is on--2 more days and then we start the journey home. I have started cleaning the condo and getting things together to be packed. Part of me is wanting to come home and part of me doesn't want to. I am anxious to see grandchildren. Pudge wants to get back to his hockey team. Jim is dreading going back and Gloria is like me--she is anxious to see grandchildren but the ugly weather up there is a deterrent. There are no complaints about the weather here--it has been great all month.

We are meeting with a realtor tomorrow to make arrangements to rent a condo for next year. This time for 3 months. We looked at it last week and there are many things that I like about it. It is right on the golf course and only a little way from our friend's John & Shannon. Also not far from the condo that Jim & Gloria bought. Yep--I guess it is pretty much official. The deal has not been completely sealed but pretty much. There are things that I am going to miss about this place that we are in. Most of all the people we have met and I like the location.

Yesterday we spent the day at a gorgeous golf course. It was the practice round of many famous pro golfers for a big tourney starting tomorrow. I got to see Shaq O'Neill. They had an event that involves Special Olympics and he was there. He is difficult to miss--he stands well above everybody. Reminded me of a big, gentle giant. When he spoke it was very quiet and nonchalant. His feet are huge. Someone asked him why he slam dunked so many balls and his response was "because I can." There is no doubt that is true. Also at this event there were many of the pro golfers. They had someone going around with a mike asking the audience if they had any questions for the celebrities. Most everyone asked Shaq questions. I raised my hand and much to my surprise they came to me. Now I was not sure who or what I was going to ask. I quickly looked at my pamphlet and noticed J.B. Holmes was the defending champion of this tournament so after the mike was pushed into my face I said I wanted to ask him a question. Commentator said "well, he is right here" so he came over to me and into the mike I said, "Let's say it is the last day of the tournament and you are tied for first--will you be able to sleep the night before and what is one thing you will do to help you win the tournament?" First thing I noticed is that he looked to be about 12 years old. He answered, "sure I will be able to sleep and the one thing that would help me win the tournament would be if my putting game is on." I also asked if the pressure got to him during tournaments and he replied, rather nonchalantly, "everyone has pressure." This was fun and I was able to tell P, G, & J about my experience because they were not there. Now it will be fun to watch this FBR tournament on TV and see how my friend J.B. Holmes does. Pudge wished I would have asked this question--"what was more pressure--putting for the Masters or the Ryder cup?" Too bad he wasn't there to coach me. I would have asked that but I didn't even know he was in the Masters or the Ryder.

Anyway, it was a neat experience wandering around this gorgeous golf course in Scottsdale on a beautiful day. I do have to say that golfers are beautiful dressers and most were very nice looking. It was fun to people watch also. Oh, and the talent these golfers have is phenomenal.

I am going to have to ban myself from going into Steinmart. I am telling you people that the buys in that store are incredible. Like my friend Julee says, "they are practically paying you to take it out of their store." At least that is what I tell my husband. He doesn't quite buy into that concept yet but I still keep trying.

This evening we all went to John & Shannon's for a wonderful dinner. It was so much fun. Pudge & I took their dogs for a walk on the golf course and then we took their golf cart out for a ride while the others played cards. It was a beautiful evening--stars everywhere and a sliver of a moon. Everything is so quiet. There is nobody out and about at all after 6 pm anywhere. We have noticed this from Day 1. It is actually very quiet even in the day time. Today the neighbors have grandchildren visiting and it was delightful to hear them playing in the pool. I liked it.

Well I am going to close. It never fails that when I do lots of other things come into my head that I should have blogged about. Oh well, such is life.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Saturday, January 24th

Just got back from Dillards. Got in on some good sales. Love that store. Tomorrow Gloria and I are going to go to a different Steinmart and then have lunch at MiMi's which is a darling French restaurant. We ate there when we were here about 4 years ago and still remember it. Guys are going to Tucson to meet up with one of Pudge's co workers from 3M and of course, they plan to play golf. They would not like MiMi's anyhow. Too much of a chick place for them.

Looked at 2 condos today to rent for next year. Waiting to hear back from one of them.

Nice day--although a little cooler than last week. I think it was about 65 today. People are out splashing in the pool. I like hearing that.

G & I are going to have lobster for dinner tonight. We bought some from a road side stand. Guys will have steak.

Went to "cup & a buck" today. Everybody around the complex meets at the club house at 9 am. You bring your cup for coffee and donate a buck for donuts. It is a very social gathering. There are parts of it that make me chuckle under my breath. Today we had to wear name tags. Lots of people from Minnesota, N. Dak., Iowa, & Wisconsin. Everybody is retired and considered "seasonal."

Time for happy hour.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Random Thoughts and Things

Took Mom to airport this morning. She should be back in the frozen tundra by now. She had a good time here but missed her rocking chair. We did a lot and everybody around here was so kind to her.

Found out a week ago that Obama selected Alejandro Perez (Naomi's husband, Gemma's son-in-law) as special assistant to the President for Legislative affairs. He is now working in the White House.

Went to some famous golf course for lunch. This course is going to be having a big tournament with big name golfers starting next week. Tiger will not be here for it but some of the others will be.

Found out that Gloria & I really like Dillards dept. store. The sales are terrific!! It seems that we get in there and have a hard time getting out. It is big and so many depts.

I know I am in the land of old people. In most women's restrooms there is a sign posted about not flushing any sanitary items down the toilet. I went into a restroom here and there was a sign saying " Do not flush any Depends down the toilet."

Tuesday, Mom & I spent most of the day glued to the TV watching the inauguration. It was great. Now you all know that I voted for him and I do think he is terrific and he gives me hope. However, some people are looking at him as the Messiah. I think a lot of their expectations are unrealistic. I think that not one person is going to be able to solve this mess we are in and also it is going to take time. I think he is going to help but let's be realistic. It is going to be so interesting to see what happens and how he is going to go about doing it. I am pleased so far with some of the things he has already done. It is going to be fun to watch the little girls. I was not crazy about either of Michelle's outfits. I think she could have done better. I got permission from Mr. Blackwell to say that.

1 more week and then we have to pack up and head north toward home. In a way I am looking forward to it and in a way I am not.

For those of you wondering if Gemma really did almost drown (this info was from a previous post) --I am going to say it could have been very possible that she could have. The poor thing was floating around on a noodle and I am not sure what happened but her face went under the water. Now if she would have lifted her head all would have been OK but she really panicked and made things all the worse. She was really losing it because of being so frightened. I was not far from her in the water and I grabbed her and pushed her over to the side which was not far away. She was scared and sputtering. She mentioned that happened once before and they had to pull her from the pool and do CPR. I had a hard time relating to what happened because it looked to me if she would have just raised her head that would have solved everything and I am not that afraid of the water.

A little cloudy today and some raindrops and it is a little cooler--68 degrees. Because of that I am able to wear some other clothes. I did not bring enough cool stuff but plenty of warm clothes. Went to Goodwill and got some shorts, capris and light slacks and have been wearing those a lot. Today was able to wear a light sweater and heavier slacks.

We have decided that we will probably come back next year.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Still Here In Arizona

Have to quickly make a post. Not much time.

Last Wednesday--Gemma got lost around the complex and had to have some stranger in a pick up truck help find her way back to our condo. She was gone over an hour. She was looking for a rock to bring home and that's how she got lost.

Thursday - Willernie people -- Joan & Jack Casserly picked Gemma up to come to their house for a visit. The rest of us did some exploring. We went to a state park I think it was Central Mountain Park. We went up into the mountain and was able to overlook the whole valley. It was awesome. Got a call when we got back and Gemma was going to stay overnight at Casserlys

Friday--Gemma came back and we all visited for a short time. Took Gemma to airport. She left with tears in her eyes. Later, Jim, Gloria, Pudge & I went to Scottsdale. We were in some very nice neighborhoods. Also walked around Old Town Scottsdale. Enjoyed it very much.

Sunday--packed an overnight bag and a cooler for a picnic and we all headed to Lake Havasu where the London Bridge is. Then went on to Laughlin, Nevada which is a small Las Vegas. Spent the night in a hotel which cost only $. Mom gambled and won $45. The rest of us explored by walking the town. We did have a little train ride around one of the casinos. It was fun. Had seafood buffet for dinner. Waddled back to room and I went to bed. Pudge gambled and won $55. This morning the J, G, P, & I went for a walk. This town is located on the Colorado river. Also the ride to this town was magnificent. Awesome scenery. Had breakfast buffet and took off to go back to Mesa and our condos. I feel like I have gained 10 lbs. because of the buffets. I am sick of eating.

Right now we are in the parking lot of a motel pilfering their internet. Library is closed and we cannot get it at our condo.

Going to close. Weather is still great!!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Pudge & Jim

I feel like I have to document about these 2 guys.

Pudge is here with me enjoying the nice weather and he is loving the golf which he makes tee times 3 times a week. All the other times he has his ear to the phone getting info about his hockey team and he has to get the viewpoint of about 3-4 people about who scored, how this play worked, how the other team played, etc...... He says he doesn't miss it but Jim, Gloria and I know better. Right now he is visiting a friend that lives here. He also is having a hard time with the sidewalks being rolled up at 6:00 at night. Everyone seems to be settled in and not much going on. He is not used to that and is struggling somewhat. We have been faithfully walking every morning for about an hour. It surprises us how quiet it is in the residential areas. Nobody seems to be up & about between 7-9am. Actually it is very quiet around our complex all day. There are a few people around the pool in the afternoon.

Jim--he is busy looking at his pages of notes with all the info about condos they have been looking at. This man leaves no stone unturned when it comes to a large purchase. He is up at 2 am thinking about all of it. I have to say he is the epitome of an informed and educated consumer. He is ready to buy here. He doesn't mind the settling in at 6 pm. He loves the weather and doesn't miss the ice & snow. I expect them to be condo owners by the time we leave here. Gloria likes it here a lot but is struggling with the idea of being separated from grandchildren more than a month or 2.

They both are golfing 3 x's a week. Pudge went to a driving range to practice his swing. We still feel like there is more exploring and want to see a lot more around here and the time is going fast.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Days 17, 18 & 19

First of all I need to say that the internet connection here at condo is somewhat iffy. Sometimes we can get on and sometimes not. I am hoping this will post and I do not get kicked off before it does.

So much to tell and I am not even sure I can remember everything.

The weather has been absolutely wonderful. We have seen the news about the frigid cold in Minnesota. Mom wishes she was back there so she can experience it--NOT.

Gemma almost drowned in the pool. I saved her.

Gemma got lost around the complex grounds today. Had to have a stranger help find her way back. She was gone about an hour. She missed happy hour.

Mom has done water aerobics twice now and boy, has she improved. First time she could not let go of the side of pool. 2nd time she only had to hang on to it 2 or 3 times. Just think, you guys, she is going to be so buff. I even heard someone call her Esther while she was in the water. (For those of you too young that would be Esther Williams--famous movie star who swam)

Today dropped Gemma off at Goodwill and the rest of us (Gloria, Mom & I) started looking for a Steinmart which we never did find. Of course, Gemma bought many treasures that she is thrilled with. The rest of us bought a loaf of bread

Yesterday we went on a journey to what is known as Tortilla Flats. It is in the mountains and such a beautiful, scenic drive. It was incredible. Lots of cacti, twisty, narrow road, beautiful Canyon Lake nestled in between mountains, narrow 1 lane bridge and at the end an adorable, western town called Tortilla Flats. We all were ohing and awing at the sights. As we were traveling through this I could picture the Indians on the high rocks midst the bushes and cacti looking down at the wagon trains. Just like what we used to see in the old western movies. The town was very charming. Very western with the boardwalks, a saloon and an outdoor eating area. They ordered hamburgers and I ordered chili which was so hot I gasped as I ate it. There was a band playing and singing all the old western songs like we used to hear. It was really neat. We went a little further up the mountain but turned around when it got to be just a dirt road. We retraced our steps still marveling at the scenery even though we had seen it. this is only about 1 hour from our condo so it made for a very pleasant trip.

Well I know there is a lot more to tell but I am afraid I will lose this if I do not get it posted.

Pudge, Gemma and Mom send their greetings to everyone.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

A Bit of Information

I forgot to mention in previous post that we were able to get online here at the condo. Illegally--but we won't ever mention that. It sure is nice.

Days 15 & 16 (I Think)

Mom & Gemma arrived yesterday. Picked them up under very sunny skies and warm weather. Came to the condo and they were hungry. Quicky made chicken sandwiches which we munched on overlooking the pool on the patio. Also had fresh chocolate chip cookies. Mom settled in for a nap and Gemma & I took off for the Goodwill. At last!! Someone as thrilled with the Goodwill as I am and anybody who knows Gemma knows that she is batty about thrift stores. We had the best time but we had time constraints. We were supposed to go to a 50's car show and Pudge was waiting. Back home we rushed and started off to find where this show was supposed to be. Never found it. But we had a beautiful ride as the sun was setting and the most gorgeous moon was starting to appear. Made our way through the streets of Scottsdale which were so lit up with the pretty little white miniature lights. It really was spectacular. Ate at a restaurant and came home and everyone collapsed.

Today was fun. Took Gemma & Mom to big swap meet here in Mesa. I had already been last week with Pudge, Gloria & Jim. Rented a wheel chair for Mom and I pushed her around. Lost Gemma right away but we had made arrangements to meet. My jaw dropped when we met up with Gemma and saw her purchases. She bought a big donkey and cart and 4 rugs--l large, 2 medium and 1 small. Not to mention she had a big bag of stuff. Now I knew she would not be able to take these home on the plane and I also knew that we would be taking them home with us in the van. Panic set in as I thought "how am I going to break this to Pudge." I knew he would not appreciate this big cart and donkey riding all the way from Arizona to Minnesota with us. I decided to let Gemma break it to him. I also told her to tell him that if it didn't work she could bring it back which I didn't think he would let her do that. Anyway, it all turned out OK. He handled it well. The only thing he said was "Where is the Mexican man to help pull the cart." But he did pull me aside and said "you have to tell her no more big stuff." Oh and btw--Mom purchased a robe that can also be used as a bathing suit coverup as well as a robe. She is thrilled with it. Also she got a cardigan sweat shirt and the neatest bib which she loves and has already used.

Well after all that we poured a glass of wine and sat on patio. Then the neighbors around us were gathering on another patio so we joined them and had a great time. Mom stayed back and napped. Back to the condo for spaghetti supper. Now we are all just chilling out. Mom reading, Gemma making phone calls, Pudge watching TV in bedroom and me typing my blog entry.

Time to sign off. Everyone sends their love. Good night

Friday, January 9, 2009

Days 12, 13, & 14 in Arizona

Once again a very nice day outside.

Went to a garage sale today. I got pumped--but I was the only one out of the 4 of us who did. The others do not like garage sales and they cannot understand why I do. I got a cake pan, microwave covers, a beautiful pewter oil lamp, and some measuring cups and I only spent $1.50. Now after only 1 sale I did not want to call it quits. The other 3 went on to do something different today while I took the van and sought out some more sales. It was fun going into other neighborhoods. I only went to 2 and did not buy anything. But that doesn't mean I didn't have a good time. Thank God for "Sweety" our GPS. I ducked into a few other places that I came across.

I am now at the library and just got a call from the other 3 to come home. They have been there for an hour and want to have happy hour on one of the patios.

Need to tell this--Last Saturday we were invited to go to the clubhouse in our complex for a gathering with coffee and donuts. So we bought our cup and a buck as instructed and went over there. It was a riot right from the beginning. All the old men were at one table and all the old women at another with their crocheting and quilting books in front of them. Gloria & I found a place among the women after getting our coffee and doughnut--we knew not to go to the mens table. We managed to get in on the conversation about books and what there is to do around there. After about a half hour one of the women gets up in front of the room and blows a whistle about 3 times. She announces "we have newcomers here that need to introduce themselves." I had all I could do to keep from laughing. So all of us newcomers had to stand and introduce ourselves. But the amazing thing was this guy gets up and says his name and where he is from. I see Pudge getting up from his chair and say to the guy "Castiron." Here it was a guy he worked with for over 20 years and they played golf and cribbidge together. Pudge was thrilled and the guy was so surprised. They are staying in the complex also.

Went to dinner last night with John and Shannon. It was great. John gave us some Russian nesting dolls that he received when he was coaching Team Minnesota. They gave Gloria a Czech doll.

Pudge & Jim played cribbidge with a bunch of the guys in the complex and Pudge also golfed with some of them yesterday.

Jim & Gloria are not condo owners yet. They looked with a realtor yesterday. They have not shut the door on this but Jim said it is closing.

Tomorrow Mom & Gemma will be here. That should be fun.

Well, the other 3 are back at the condo waiting. Better close and get back.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Days 9, 10 ,11 in Arizona

Today is Tuesday, January 6th.

What I like about being here this month in Arizona:

-The weather--nice & warm & sunshiny. Chilly in evening and morning.
-Different lifestyle
-Meeting many people
-Walks every morning
-Jim & Gloria

What I don't like about this month in Arizona

-Being without my own car.
-Missing friends & family back in Minnesota.
-Being without internet access in condo.

Yesterday, Gloria & I went shopping while the guys golfed. I wanted to go to Goodwill and Gloria so graciously put up with me while shopping there. Then to our favorite store--Steinmart. Got lots of neat things there.

Went out to dinner last night to Texas Roadhouse.

It was cloudy & chilly yesterday.

Today we went to Sunland Village East to meet with a realtor to check out condos for sale. No--we are not planning on buying anything. Jim & Gloria kind of have the bug. It is always fun to see what is out there and the prices. This Sunland Village has condos and houses around a golf course. I love it because everybody has a golf cart and they are all over the streets. They have parking place and garages for them. I also like the names of some of the streets. They are flower names. I would love to live on Periwinkle Lane with a garage for the Patty Wagon. But I think I would have some issues with being around all old people all the time. I would miss kids.

Today is really gorgeous. We had lunch on our patio with Jim & Gloria overlooking the pool. The sun was shining and it felt like life could not be any better.

Saturday, Mom & Gemma will be flying in. Mom to spend 2 weeks and Gemma will be here 1 week. I know we will have fun.

Sunday we went to a big swap meet. It was fun because there are many unusual things there. It is more like a big party because there was a band playing and people were dancing.

We have done some exploring of the surrounding areas.

Oh-Oh. I only have 5 minutes remaining and I need to check out some other things. I do not like that having time limits on computers.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Days 6, 7 & 8 - Here in Arizona

Have to make this fast. I am in library in Mesa and I only have 28 minutes left.

We are in condos. Our condo is nice but Jim & Gloria's is a lot nicer. Doesn't matter--we are having a great time. The weather has been great--sun shines all the time. Has been in 70's but does cool down at night.

We have made friends and have had a lot of laughs. We are really in the world of retired people and most are from the midwest. My new friends are Dorothy, Connie, Rita, Charlis and Edie. Did water aerobics in our pool and 82 year old Dorothy was the instructor. She even borrowed me one of her suits so I could join in.

The following is for my sake. I want to document this. My New Year's resolutions are as follows:
1. Lead a happy, healthy life.
2. Simplify.
3. Enjoy time with family & friends.
4. Acts of kindness -- random and otherwise.

I wish I could go into details about everything but I am running out of time.

Pudge is here and I still need to do a print j0b. I will try to blog whenever possible.