Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Update time

It's been a busy few weeks. Chuck was here for the first of the month and he was extremely busy getting our outside ready for Kris and Heather to have a graduation party for Kristopher here at our place.  It is a little different for me since I am not throwing this party and will essentially be the venue for it.  We have a lot of outdoor space and with all the lights and tables and stuff it is a good place to have a big party.  I just wish our deck was finished. We are planning on installing flagstone but just couldn't afford that before the party. 

I am making new covers for the outdoor furniture to brighten it up and draw it together. Chuck moved some of the fencing to make it easy to flow from the front to the back. They are going to take advantage of almost all of the outdoor space. I am so honored and happy they have chosen to do it here.

Chuck and I have been thinking about, and are in the beginning stages of having a yard sale. It's been a while since I've done one and I'm trying to figure out how to proceed: what is first? how to get it ready? where to hold it? do I advertise or are "day of" signs enough? and so on. We have a shed full of stuff designated for yard sale items and once those things are gone we can get rid of that shed. This is one of the steps in trying to get things cleaned up in the back half of the acre.

Chuck had a crazy experience with his flight back to Dickinson this past Sunday. His flight left from Phoenix on time and stopped in Denver for a layover. He sent me a text that he was there and settled in to wait. I heard from him that he was boarding.  Later he sent me a text that they were returning to the airport and delayed due to "maintenance issues" but hadn't deplaned. Then another text that they were deplaning, then the text that the flight was cancelled!! He was stuck in Denver and there were no more flights Sunday night. It took him two hours to get a hotel voucher and by the time he was settled down it was nearly 2am. Then he was up in time to be at the airport to be on standby for the earliest flight out. When he didn't get that one he called me and we spoke for a while and I told him I would pray that he would get on the 2:30 flight which was the next one to Dickinson. It was already overbooked and he had no idea he could get on it.

After I spoke to him I stopped right then and prayed that God would make it possible for him to catch that flight and because Chuck needed the travel stress relieved before he went back to work. It was about thirty minute later he called me and I could hear that he was having a conversation with someone in the background. When he spoke to me he said he met this guy that had been through the same thing as him and had a flight booked for the next day (Tuesday) and had spoke to the gate personnel who told him they would easily put him on the 2:30 flight. He told Chuck to go over and talk to them and once he did he was booked on the 2:30 flight! Thank you God.

Time to start on the covers for the outdoor furniture. I have four days to get them ready!


Saturday, April 25, 2015

Finding my groove

Greetings all!

Yes I am actually putting something on this blog. I has been a while, a month I think, since my last post. That was after Nick and Darlene's wedding. Things for us have been busy but ok. So far I have been lucky that the heat has held off in Catalina. As I write I am sitting on my back porch with a cup of coffee enjoying a nice cool breeze. I'm a bit nervous about it getting warmer.

Here's why.

It looks like I won't be moving back to North Dakota any time soon. The cost of living there is so high, and we were essentially making two mortgage payments with the RV rental, it didn't make sense for me to live up there when I had a perfectly good house down here. When Chuck was relocated three hours away and I was spending two weeks alone every month I thought "Why? I could do this much cheaper in Catalina." It's actually cheaper for him to fly home every two weeks than for me to live up there!

But I miss North Dakota, especially Tioga. I really loved that little town. I discovered so much about myself while I was there and expected to live there the whole time Chuck was employed at PDI. I had started making friends, actually looking for work, blogging and being a stay-at-home wife. I enjoyed it so much.  Tioga was welcoming and sweet. I loved the church I went to and the weather was right up my alley. Now I am back.

One thing I began while living up there was my second blog. Steviawithcream.wordpress.com is my writers blog and has been taking up much of my time and blogging creativity. I hope to make some contacts within the writing and blogging communities with it and perhaps get an audience for my writing. I know several of you are following both and for that I am grateful. And as with any blog, be sure to sign up as followers. It helps my visibility. It will be more of my focus and consequently I won't be doing as much with this one. More than likely I will post here a couple of times a month, unless big personal news happens.

Speaking of news, I was able to spend ten days in southern California in the end of March and first of April house sitting for Melissa. I made a discovery. I really like being by the ocean. I went to the beach at least five times and each time I spent several hours there. My heart and my spirit were calm. All of the stress of the past months left once my feet slipped into the sand of Zuma Beach. I'm sure I was smiling like a mad scientist. I had my big towel (more the size of a twin bed blanket,) a green beach chair, my favorite sun screen, my backpack with snacks, my Kindle and my phone. Good to go. What I also discovered is my husband is just like me. We are water lovers. We are the get-me-to-the-water people. Streams, lakes, oceans and pools. That's relationship symmetry. Now the future for retirement is reshaping itself.

I will do my best to keep everyone as updated as possible with the Chuck and Nancy thing.

Love to all.


Wednesday, March 18, 2015

What is family?

I was at a wedding this past weekend.

It was my nephew Nick Waldrom and his new bride Darlene. They are a loving and precious couple and the celebration was exceptional. Everyone's joy at the joining of this couple was obvious. As is typical now days there were parents and step-parents. Lots of siblings, cousins both full blood, half and step relations. There were lots of those by marriage and intimate long time friends.

As I watched the interaction of all those present, brought together by love for the couple I took the time to observe the attachments. My nephew's long time best friend Shelby was his best man. I have known this young man and remember his connection to my family. There was no difference in the way he was treated and accepted as family. It was the same familial love and attachment that the families showed to all of the others.

Cousins by marriage are the same as cousins born into the family. Aunts and uncles by blood or marriage are drawn in, given the same love and respect. My new niece's daughter Lila is as much a part of the family as their little son together Alex. She is my niece. No questions.

Everyone made a supreme effort to celebrate the wedding, to honor the marriage and have a great time together. This is probably the one time most of us from both sides of the aisle will be all together and made it important to be united. We did it by laughing, dancing, toasting and enjoying the event.

I am proud of my family-all of them. They are mine and I am theirs.

One side note, my husband really likes fireball shots!


Saturday, March 14, 2015

Role reversal

For many years I have been unhappy with the way I looked. Specifically my weight. My husband has always been supportive and loves me no matter what. I was good at making excuses and there were so many times he would encourage me to be more active, but I was a typical overweight person who would jump into exercising for a few days and then would let stress, life etc. give me the excuse to stop.

I would talk about how much I walked at work (a big facility) or I would say I was cutting back on calories (except at work) and justify my laziness. I remember my sister telling me to just make goals and go for it.

She was living in California and not working at the time and was losing and toning daily. I was jealous of her free time and envious of her daily routine. She was dropping the pounds and looking great. I was not. By the time she moved back to Phoenix she was so skinny, tan and beautiful. I was truly happy for her and she really did look wonderful. I didn't look so great.

I knew my co-workers made the time for fitness and I also knew they were just as busy as me, so what was my problem.  Solution-I was lazy.

Skip to now.

My husband's work in North Dakota has made it possible for me to "retire" and after months of not working and being a couch potato I was packing on more weight. I would do energetic things here and there like riding my bike or taking walks but not with any consistency. My brain just wasn't interested. After living in North Dakota for about seven months in a nice and fairly large RV I returned to our Tucson home. The RV is in storage and I was back home. Still not working except for blogging and working on a couple of writing projects, I began to become rather reclusive. I cleaned my house, easy without messy hubby there and didn't go anywhere. It was nice but not necessarily healthy physically or mentally.

I needed motivation.

About two months ago my niece asked if I wanted to come as her guest to the gym she goes to with her family. I thought why not? I'm not a gym rat and never have been but I like doing the weight training. The gym was not huge (no pool or spa) but was really comfortable and welcoming. I saw several other women who looked just like me-ok I can do this. I really had a good time especially being with my niece and nephew. They were encouraging and before I knew it I had been there an hour and had broke a small sweat.

I went back with her a couple more times. I talked to my husband about joining and bringing him as my guest as she had done with me and he agreed!  This began a transformation for me. Initially I was going into the gym every other day for an hour. I had an "aha" moment when the lure of the local state park walking trails attracted me and began my alternating the gym and the park. Yes-I was going everyday!

I have only missed three days in the 4-5 weeks.

My husband works two weeks on and two weeks off, so he flies down here for the two weeks off. We have really enjoyed doing my exercise routine together.  We each have our gym thing we like and are exploring more outdoor trails and pushing the limits. It has become routine for me and I am realizing the effects of my efforts in pound and inches.

I have quite a way to go but my brain has quit fighting and started to embrace this new lifestyle.
Now I am encouraging my sister, who is working way too many hours at her job she loves, is becoming a bit stressed out and has gained a few pounds back.

Role reversal.


Saturday, February 21, 2015

A story to tell

The Man

By Nancy Vaughn


“Alright, everyone stay together,” the principal called out as the students slowly exited the bus. “There are lots of other people here to see the White House so keep track of our group. No backpacks needed.”

I was one of several chaperones with the eighth grade class that came from California. My daughter was the history teacher running the show and I was excited to see Washington, D.C. with her and the students. It was my first time in the nation’s capital. Boy was I ready for the adventure.

We had five days packed with an unbelievable itinerary that would help us hit most of the memorials, museums and other sites. Here I am a 60 year old woman expected to keep up with the students and the other much younger chaperones. This was a challenge I would meet fed by my joy of being on the trip.

We had just arrived at the White House and the place was loaded with lots of other tourists. Pushing our way through the crowds we made it to the fence. After we started to take photos the kids were pushing and shoving to get their shots. I moved back and bumped into a man sitting on a bench. I apologized and he smiled. He was a very handsome African American man with close cropped silver hair. I made a comment about people wanting their pics and he nodded and laughed. I moved away to find my daughter and forgot about the encounter.

Our group moved to the west to go around to the other side of the White House. As we were walking I looked up to see this same man walking toward us. He passed by never looking at us. He was tall, over six feet and wearing dark pants and jacket. I knew it was the same man.  I turned to one of the other chaperones and told her about my encounter with him. She turned to look back and said he wasn’t there anymore. I stopped and looked back-she was right. It was a long walk on the sidewalk and at one point I looked up and he was there-again-in front of us!

Then when we turned to head to the White House I saw him again. He was standing under some trees. I pointed him out to my daughter. We watched as he stood in the shade of the trees observing the stream of tourists flocking to the building.

My daughter and I went up to do some more photos and I realized he was standing near our group. He never looked at me and when the other chaperone came up she saw him also. We were getting kind of creeped out. When it was time to leave for the bus we both realized he was gone.

I noticed I had a photos with him in front of the White House behind my daughter to the right.


 I don’t know who he was and what his purpose was in being there but it was a strange experience.




Saturday, January 31, 2015

Back again

My month has been weird. Chuck was here for the first part and it was really nice, relaxing and a time of being together. We talked so much, saw some friends and worked around the house. We also sat around reading, getting up late and drinking wine for me and whiskey for him. We did lots of hugging and snuggling.

Then it was time for him to go back.  The day before I had to drive him to Mesa to catch his flight I started feeling not so good. By the time I took him to the airport and came back I was sick.  Real sick. I had a full blown flu with fever and the whole nasty works.

After a week of that I started to finally feel better.

I've been working on finishing my book. Lot's of editing. I printed it out since that is much easier to visually see it in continuity in order to make the changes and edits required. As I took my time reading the story I realized I really like the characters and their story. After I put in the corrections and adjustments I will need a very critical eye for the next step in getting it to be the best story it can be.

I am excited to share this story. I am trying to decide if I want to pursue the traditional route of publishing or go with self-publishing through Amazon or the like. Chuck is also part of this since he has been super helpful in providing the man's perspective and male response to situations.  I guess I will have to give him credit! 

Looking forward to Chuck coming back this Monday. Two weeks with him to enjoy some hikes and snuggles.

Keep smiling and don't forget Valentine's Day is coming.


Sunday, January 18, 2015

trying to push through

Didn't get any blogging done while Chuck was here for two weeks and the day before he left I started feeling yucky and now I have full blown bronchitis.  Once I shake this hopefully I can get back up to speed. Happy January.