Thursday, May 10, 2018

A season of flowers........

I keep debating the value of keeping up with the blog.    It has interest to us in that I refer to it more often than I should to jog our memory of where, when and who.     I don't mind that I don't reach the masses and gain peer admiration and comments.   I don't care that I don't have ads to generate income (I've always wondered how much they make...maybe I am missing lots of $$$).....but wait, you have to have readers to make $$$.   

 I don't need a following as then I would have to reciprocate with comments and use up my retirement time slogging thru countless stories of other's days.    I do enjoy the blogs that I subscribe to and follow and I admit, I'm not much good at commenting, but I am loyal and I look forward to their updates.     Several have become friends and I would miss the connections if I/they  were to fade away.   Fortunately, I don't have to make a decision.....someday, I will fade away but maybe I can get a few more under my belt before that happens.    Maybe I'll even get better at updating it....


 This is not a good picture but you get the idea.     The Black Canyon of the Gunnison is just 30+ min away.    A national park, it is noted for this extreme chasm carved by the Gunnison River.    It is breathtaking and on a still day, you can hear the rushing river far far down the steep walls.    The South rim is accessible from Montrose and has the trails, visitor center and camp grounds.    We opted to search out the North rim.   It is not a short ride and we meandered thru high desert, lots of cows and then just came across this deep rupture in the ground.   I always wonder what the first inhabitants of this land must have thought when, without warning, this fault just appears and there is no easy way across.       Only a few have managed to navigate the waters and lived to tell about it.

 A birthday came and went and the flowers appeared .    The rainbow tulips were stunning in their color and size.    It's hard to describe these huge parrot tulips.    Everyday, they were a different color, and shape.   They started out green, gradually opened up and added yellow and then, when fully opened, the red was revealed.    All the flowers lasted a full week !!

I didn't mind this birthday.    Turning 75 is an achievement not a diminishment.    We have many friends who are leading the way in age and remain vibrant and active and I intend to do the same.    One friend is building a large home here, spanish will take at least a year before she is in it.   Meanwhile, she has bought a Bernese Mountain dog/poodle mix puppy (read LARGE).    She hauls him around in her Porsche SUV...... I consider her a wonderful optimist at 81  !!!

On that note, I have a new grip on my putter.     It is one of those large ones and today I will try it out along with my other new  grips.    Another friend, almost 81, just bought a full set of high end golf clubs.....I opted for grips and a used 5 wood from the  Second Swing online store.     My poor arthritic fingers are getting more and more painful and gnarly.   I don't have any other joint pain in the rest of this old body but these fingers are reminding me how miserable it would be if I did.   The mary jane cream, while very effective,  only lasts a couple of hours.    So I take Motrin before playing.   I'm hoping that the new grips, 

in a larger size, will help as well.  

And more flowers arrived late yesterday.    Gorgeous peonies in a beautiful vase.....minus the ants.    I've always encouraged the family to defer the gifts on Mother's Day and just tell me how wonderful  I am !!    But these flowers are very welcome.

Monday, April 9, 2018

Home !

We were one of the last of our 'group' to leave Palm Creek this year.     The place empties out dramatically the last week of March.     It is a very popular winter home for Canadians....mostly from Alberta and British Columbia.     Most of our friends and neighbors are from Oregon.....I think half the small town of Tillamook shows up.... minus their cows.       We hung around a bit longer to get some new tires.    Sorta like spending lots of $$$ on something that you can't show off but is great for the confidence of driving a bus down the road.   

 We ended up playing the most golf in the last 2 weeks.   It's an 18 hole Par 3 course.    Very pretty with an annoying creek meandering through it.   It was getting hot and we were ready for hydration after walking the 18 holes ( no carts allowed).   The game needs work, as usual.  

This year we went to the 'end of season' party .    Pretty good music and fun with friends.

 Travis came to town for Easter weekend.    Such a busy young man, traveling the world.   Interesting to hear of the safari in Africa and his impressions of South Africa.    I would like more time with him but his quick visit was special and we walked a bit in Scottsdale after dinner.

On the way back home, we stopped to wander Sedona.    Years and years ago we were there.....I had good memories of a beautiful and unique small place .    It certainly has changed.    It was overrun with spring visitors and traffic was usually at a standstill.    The flavor of it seems to have changed or maybe we just didn't see the uniqueness anymore.    We did drive Oak Creek Canyon.    It was busy busy and slow and the trees were still barren but the natural beauty could have easily persuaded us to stop and hike into the more natural areas.    I'd say that we'll do it next time but doubt we'll pass that way again.

It's just great to be home and back among the comfortable and the familiar.     I hurriedly put the feeder out as I saw reported sightings of hummingbirds in Durango.    It's still chilly and not much is blooming so I hope they stop by for a snack and stay awhile.  

Friday, March 16, 2018

QIX is not a word ......

The parents came home and then it snowed some more..... 9 more inches !   This time it was fluffier and easier to manage and we had power and I just sat with my tea and knit through it all. 

Mary Beth's office was closed and Jon was home and school was closed AGAIN ..... so, we played a boisterous game of Scrabble.    We had been playing it for several days on the XBOX but the boys requested the board game.    I went to Target and looked and looked for the familiar box.    Finally I found this skimpy red flimsy look alike.    Apparently they have done away with the nice tiles, the wooden holders and the substantial board.    I looked on Amazon and they had $199.00 !! ones but not the familiar.     Anyway, it still involves coming up with words from what you have and verbal 

sparring over ' That's not a word " !!       

Then the Ides of March came and Andy turned 15.... just how did that happen?  That's an ice cream cake with Oreo base....

Jon also celebrated many more years on the 13th.    I remember that Friday very snowed and the other two boys had the chicken pox.  

Meanwhile, while we were battling Mother Nature in CT, Alex came to AZ.     We were sorry that we missed this special young man.
He played golf with Jeff and Jen .... he's very good.....

Not sure where the next generation is getting those tall genes.... Andy is taller than most of us and Alex is towering above everyone.  

We're back in the desert...  A bit jet- lagged as AZ doesn't do the DST thing so we are trying to adjust to the 3 hr time difference.  

We played our first round of golf yesterday afternoon.    Only 9 holes on the pretty Par 3 course.   It's a good warm up for when I rejoin my league at Cobble Creek.      We felt those muscles that haven't been used in awhile.  

I have really ugly hands.    I have my mother's arthritic knobby fingers.    She always said that they didn't hurt but mine do.    It's the only place in my body that I feel the burning and aching of swollen joints.    It was especially painful after my golf.    I have the MJ cream and that helps.    I'll have to remember to use it before I go out again.     We were in Costco the other day and I always check out the diamond rings as I pass by on my way to the more mundane products.     They had a $28,000 emerald cut and P offered to buy it for me ..... not !    We've reached the point where we could probably afford nice jewelry (not the $$$ kind)  but the hands are too scary to wear it....sigh....

Saturday, March 10, 2018


I have a few......mostly due to slow WIFI at our sight.    Plus,   our daily happenings are not that blog-worthy.    We go to pottery or pickleball.    We walk, we bike, we knit, we read and when the sun begins it's evening display over the desert, we gather around the portable gas fire pit and laugh with our friends and neighbors.    It's a good life..... for a few months.   

The pickleball courts at Palm Creek RV resort are the most popular place to be.   There are 32 lighted courts with covered seating between, water stations, a pool, BBQ area and nice bathrooms.    The member tournament is always popular with the over 900 !!!!! members.    This year, Paul and his partner Tom took a medal.    They 'almost' got the top prize.

 Linda and Therese warm up early in the morning.   Our neighbors, they took Gold in their first tournament.  

Biking is the easiest way to get around the spacious grounds....some people use a golf cart but this is better exercise.    This view is just one side of the parking area....the other side was just as full at the courts.     We have baskets on our bikes and it is very convenient.   Some attach their golf pull carts to the back for trips to the course.  

My sister Maureen and brother Tom passed thru the area one chilly day.    We wandered about the Desert Museum in Tucson ..... always a favorite place.    I hope to get back to see the desert in bloom.  


And then we came to Connecticut.     And so did the Nor'easter Quinn.    We were invited to play with the grand boys for a week and we didn't hesitate.    They are delightful.    And don't we all love having a strong tall 15 year old around.    


 The snow started out slow and shoveling was fun and easy...... and made great snowballs.

 And then it came down with more intensity and weight and then it became work.....

 And then, the wind started to blow and the trees shuttered and came crashing down all over.....and the power went.    So the men pondered the mechanics of the generator.   And due to darkness, decided that the wiring needed was pretty sophisticated and  so a group decision was made to wait until morning.      We rounded up flashlights and candles and some of them had ice cream and cookies for dinner because their grandmother is easy......   We retired early.....without our customary electric blankets.   And it kept snowing.

 Saving the dogwood tree from broken branches....

It was very beautiful .... all 24" of the white stuff.      The power came back on later in the day and we all appreciate our modern conveniences and generators even more.

Now that we've shoveled it all, the parents come home today and we will start making plans to head back to the desert for a couple more weeks.      And we're getting anxious  to head home to Colorado soon......

Saturday, January 20, 2018

1200 miles / 4 days........

........found us traveling to and from  Colorado to honor and celebrate Rae's life.    The large gathering was a testimony to the live's she touched.  
The drive is mostly through tribal lands of the Navajo, Hopi and Ute.     It is barren and bleak.   But every so often, the landscape is quite dramatic.  

 The snow is sparse this year.    We scurried back yesterday to avoid an expected snow storm in the San Juans but only a dusting at our house.

Before we left, we enjoyed meeting Jeff and Jen's friends at a party to celebrate her birthday.   Pretty views at their Club altho I missed a chance to capture the sunset.

It's always fun to hang out with the young and the beautiful.....

 Did you know there is a Cupcake ATM ?    We picked up some for the party and they were large and impressive.

And now, we are back at site 562 ......    

 I'm challenging my aging brain cells and making a foray into pottery.   I have never had any interest but was encouraged by our neighbors to try it.     Interesting process  and about 2-3 weeks for a finished item.    This is my 2nd effort, a tray done in a class.     It will go to be fired today and then glazed and refired next week.      Unless it breaks.....

Monday, January 15, 2018

Rae Marie, Grandmother extraordinaire.......

I was honored to know this wonderful woman.   She slipped out of her battered body yesterday and left us much too soon.     She leaves behind two saddened grandsons who will carry her presence in everything they do.   Always a teacher, she instilled in them the love of books and nature and the joy of cats.   She encouraged them in  finding adventures  and absorbing knowledge.   Andy and Mason were the joy in her life.......   She will not be just a memory, she will be an inspiration to them and to us.  

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Onward to 2018 .....

We miss these cute kids.....even the big ones!    It was a relaxing fun family time and went by in a flash.    Not sure why this pic is fuzzy but maybe it's the image gods deciding that aging grandma's 
need a little help.  

We always bring a souvenir home with us despite  observing all my nursing techniques to avoid germs.     I do have to admit that there might have been some kissing and hugging with those cute faces.  (not that I"m blaming them but Andy was a bit feverish and ended up with a ruptured eardrum )  I seem to be on the mend and we are still on plan to launch for parts south in a couple of days.  

 I gave my golf bag it's annual cleaning.    Interesting what odd things I find in the various pockets....but not much $$.    My driver head cover was in need of a serious soaking....almost too real looking in the bubbles.     Laddie was a good dog and it's hard to forget those 17 years he kept us safe (from chipmunks), guarded the entries diligently and tried to herd all those grandkids that passed through his life.     He lives on in various forms.     This one came at Christmas and sits in the space that was meant for him.   (Maybe I'll even fill him with cookies).     Note that he is guarding the ibuprophen and Zicam.  

The house is a mess as we gather up too much stuff to carry with us to the land of the sun.   I know they have bookstores and yarn shops and even Costco down there but I want my stuff around me.     Our neighbors at Palm Creek are texting and waiting for us to show at the nightly happy hours around the fire pit.    We're getting close.

Meanwhile, I love the happy color to brighten these grey days.............

And 75 years never looked so good !!!!!

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

A White Christmas in Connecticut

Before we headed east, we joined in the festivities at the Christmas party at the Club house.    Good to see everyone in their red and green.   More end of year gatherings filled our days and then we packed our bags.

 First thing on the VIP list  was Mason's Jazz band concert.    They were impressive.!   Great sound, impressive solos and all from 7th and 8th graders.     He even mastered the tying of  his own green tie !

The adults headed out one cold day and were awed by the NY Botanical Garden's train display.   All exhibits were made of natural products and the Haupt Conservatory is always breathtaking.   They have the best gift shop but I was relatively restrained and left the blooming flowers and perfect potted plants to live a life elsewhere.   I attended a few years of classes at the Garden and it made me want to get out my pencils and spend the day in studies.  


 We baked a few cookies....

And decorated a few.....

And right on schedule, it snowed............

 Not too much, just enough..........

 On Christmas Eve, we continued the tradition of going to see the latest Star Wars.   I really enjoyed it and believe that I am understanding more of the nuances.   Of course, the discussions were animated as we debated various plot lines and genealogy over dinner at Franco's, a lovely Italian family's restaurant that welcomes us each year.    I fell off the wagon and had my favorite indulgence, a meatball grinder.....oh the goodness !    I had them put just a smidgen of the meatball on it so didn't feel too guilty....Once a year it's a good thing !

Andy and Mason have the largest collection of Legos in the world.    This year, their choices were from the SW movie and after many many hours, they completed these highly detailed pieces.
So far, Andy has not changed clothes since Christmas morning when he received his hat and robe.    He has a cold so has no interest in venturing out and about.    I think he looks about perfect.

And in case you're wondering....that is a TV pretending to be a if it only put out heat !

I'm not necessarily ready to head home.     It's been a relaxing and cozy holiday, great food, good friends, the best family  and perfect days.    And when we get back, we need to gear up for our trip to AZ.    This time, packing up the RV is going to be a challenge in the cold.    

Sunday, December 3, 2017

Thanks is given...

The bird was delicious by all accounts.......all I know is that the trimmings were perfect.  

 The grand girls did some serious relaxing over the holiday and it was fun having Lizzie home from her busy college life.     (That's an aquarium behind them which didn't show up well)

We avoided most of the shopping hoards but had to search out any bargains over bagels.   I got my mall (maul) fix but didn't find much that I had to have.   Is that a sign of old age or just that fashion has passed me by ?     Even Nordstrom's couldn't take my $$.    

 The sunsets captured the end of good days............

 On the way back home, we managed to catch up with those busy CT kids who seem to be everywhere, doing everything.     Here they are posing in front of the many sculptures in downtown Grand Junction.      They made their Grandma Rae very happy and spent time with their Great grandma Mary as well.
And back at the home front, we wandered about the other day to check on the snow in the mountains....there isn't much and the ski areas are either closed or using very few trails.  The temps are warm and quite lovely.     We played 11 holes of golf yesterday and actually peeled jackets off.   And we  played well.....of course, we can't post our scores to improve our handicap since our course is considered seasonal and officially closed by the Colorado Golf Association.  


 We drove over to Ouray for breakfast and were welcomed into town by a committee of 3.   This buck was watching his harem of 2 and never moved an eyelash as we stopped the car next to him.   He did have a pair of antlers but wouldn't move so I could get a better view.     The cattle and sheep are down from the high pastures and fill up much of the open space along the roads.    The yak are growing longer coats and the local deer are wandering about our yards at night looking for snacks and foliage to destroy.     We've never been here this late and find the social scene to be busy as ever and the weather is great.

AND, we celebrated 54 years of our official pairing !!