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.

-N

Monday, December 29, 2014

On my own

I'm just kicking it right now, home by myself. We left Melissa in LA, Chuck is back in Dickinson and Aaron and Chelsea are back in Oklahoma. I'm chillin' it here getting back into a rhythm being home after a Christmas week spent in Disneyland. Melissa joined us for the week at a great hotel with a two bedroom two bath suite! No driving and parking at the park because the shuttle stopped right outside. It was a great place to stay.

We started the week seeing the Christmas program at the Great American Playhouse in Oro Valley. It was so fun and we laughed so hard and enjoyed a wonderful night with my niece Heather and mom. It is definitely fun for Aaron and Chelsea and is a must visit in the future.

Disneyland was colorful, bright, happy and packed!! There were a couple of times we were there that the crowds were a bit less and we went on our favorite rides several times. I love Big Thunder Mountain and Chuck is a huge fan of Star Tours. We really did explore the park over the week and it was super fun. We did things that we normally don't get to and Aaron experienced the Tiki Room for the first time.

We had two very special meals. Monday night Chuck and I and our kids went to Blue Bayou restaurant for our 35th anniversary dinner. During the meal we renewed our vows and exchanged some very special keepsakes. It was wonderful, mellow and romantic. We lingered over our meal and made a memory. On Christmas day we had lunch at Carthay Circle restaurant and had another very good meal. It is a very cool place with lots of movie memorabilia. Neither of these places are places we would go for daily meals-too expensive, but they made for fantastic celebrations we all enjoyed. 

I was pretty proud of myself that I only gained three pounds the whole week. I guess we walked enough to balance the amount of food we consumed.

On Friday Melissa took her dad to LAX for his flight back to Dickinson on her way back to the valley and the rest of us headed back to Catalina. On Sunday I took Aaron and Chelsea to Sky Harbor for their flight back to Dallas.

Now I am here. It is okay for me since I do well on my own, but the week with my family was wonderful. Now I have to pay off the credit card!

Happy New Year all!

-N

Saturday, December 20, 2014

A fun party!

Last night we had a great time! We had over twenty here to celebrate the season and say hi to Aaron and Chelsea who are here for a couple of days. It warms my heart to see people who are willing to come over so close to Christmas and hosting these wonderful people is so much fun!

We had family-Kris & Heather and their three kids and a cousin, my Mom and my sister Lisa. The friends in attendance were my BFF Kristen and her family, Chuck's bestie Bob and is wife Kim, Jason and Denia and their daughter, Mom's friend Bob, our next door neighbor Sergio and his son.

The food was good and the sweets even better. Lots of drinks of all kinds and Christmas music played in the background.

We discovered quickly that many of these people were acquainted in difference ways besides knowing us. Conversation never stopped, it was cheery and filled with laughter. I love the way people settle into agreeable groups that move from area to area taking the conversation with them.

Tomorrow we leave for Disneyland to spend our Christmas. It will be so special to have our kids with us. No little kids here.  Monday Chuck and I will renew our vows for our 35th anniversary in Disneyland. I am ready to get the drive out of the way and start the fun.

Merry Christmas to all and be good.

-N

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Senior what???

Reality check of self perception.

Took off yesterday afternoon to do some grocery shopping. I pulled into the Fry's parking lot to discover it was packed. What?? As I cruised through, my usual parking spots were filled. I can always get a good spot in this lot, what the heck is the deal? Finally grabbed one when someone pulled out. I got my own bags out of the car (hate plastic bags), snagged a cart from the cart rack outside and headed into the store. One other observation of the parking lot was the very slow moving vehicles and a cajillion people pushing carts.

I know this store well enough I can write my list based on aisles. I can usually cruise through the process pretty easily and fast-unless Chuck is with me.  If he is with me it takes FOREVER.

The place was a zoo, every part of the store and every aisle was packed with people and their carts. I couldn't believe how many times my cart was bumped, pushed and blocked by shoppers.  I started thinking "Did I miss some holiday that required cooking?" Maybe they wanted to stock up so they didn't have to shop Christmas week, probably a good idea.

Since I always shop with a list I can usually get in and right out. Not gonna happen in this case. I got the last of the list items in the dairy section and headed to the checkouts. I came up by the pharmacy and stopped. There had to be a line of at least twelve people.

Light bulb moment! Wednesday is blue hair day!! Nearly all of the people in the store were old. Well that explained the full parking lot and crowded store. As I looked around while in the checkout line I saw people writing checks!?!? Who writes checks anymore?

It was my turn to check out and the cashier was fast and smiling-thank goodness. Just as she was totaling my purchase she asked me a question. "It is senior day, 55+ so would you like me to put in the discount?" 

Stop.

Wow! She didn't question if I was 55+. She didn't want to see my ID, but if I wanted the discount as a senior. Oh man I must have had the deer in the headlights look on my face for a second and then I said "oh sure, why not."  A discount is a discount, and it got me about $20 off my purchase. I paid, I left and once I was in my car I called Chuck. "It's official Chuck, I am old!" I told him what happened and he howled with laughter. Ok not helping.

That's it, I had been letting my lovely silver/white hair grow out but I'm coloring it, that's settled. I don't want to look too much like my mom yet. I already have her knees and square face, but I can control my hair.

I will go to Fry's again on Wednesday's. I am not a fool and the discount is good. But now I will be prepared. Ego hit without warning is hard on this "old" lady.

-N

Sunday, November 23, 2014

He's back up north

Well, Chuck has left Arizona and is safely back up north. We had a really nice time and had lots of fun going places and hanging out together. After my last blog I left you on Monday. This past week was spent for the most part in Catalina.

We did lots of work around the property and spent time enjoying visits with friends and having fires. He made sure my bike was working again, got the yard cleaned up and the grass mowed so it wouldn't need too much care while he is gone.

He also spent time catching up on all his shows that were recorded on the DVR and watching UA basketball games. Mornings were so nice enjoying coffee and breakfast together and we had hours spent sitting together while we read.

There was one downer that happened this week. I learned that an old friend had died very suddenly and unexpectedly. Donna was one of the kindest and genuinely good person I have ever known and her loss is great. Her memorial service is tomorrow.

As I dropped him off at the airport for his flight back I was glad to know that his next trip home is already set up and will be a nice one. After his two weeks at Dickinson he will be back on December 8th for two weeks in Tucson followed by Christmas week in Disneyland with our kids.

I have a second blog steviawithcream.wordpress.com. It is different from this one-not as personal and more about my writing. I would welcome anyone to enjoy it.

Happy Thanksgiving all.

-N

Monday, November 17, 2014

Making it memorable

Since Chuck arrived for his two weeks off I have wanted the days to be fun and filled with great things to remember. He arrived late Monday night the 10th so we drove the long way home from Tucson International to Catalina trying to stay awake. Lots of talking and catching up.

Tuesday we were busy. Chuck got a haircut, we went grocery shopping (remember I haven't been cooking), getting the Escape ready to be sold and me getting used to having someone else in my house!

Wednesday was so fun because we drove to Phoenix to meet Nick and Darlene to hand over the title for the Escape. This was the culmination of a God thing that gave us the opportunity to be blessed as well as blessing someone else. They needed another car for her since she has a 3 year old and a newborn. You've gotta have a car with kids. They have been sharing and that was really hard and inconvenient. So there we were with this really good extra car and the match was made.  The smile on Darlene's beautiful face when she drove the car over to put the kids and car seats in it warmed my heart.

Thursday we decided to go up the mountain, and it was spectacular. Mt. Lemmon was not too crowded, very cool and overhead bright blue skies. We stopped at the Palisades ranger station for a quick look around and then up to Summerhaven for a stop at The Living Rainbow gift shop and then next door to The Cookie Cabin. It was so nice not to be in any kind of hurry.  After that we drove up to Ski Valley and road the ski lift up, took a short hike around the top and the road it down. It was the most peaceful and serene moment, snuggled up to Chuck and watching the mountain pass beneath us. Once we were off the lift we went to The Iron Door restaurant for chili. We had the most fun waiter, he was speaking five or six language to serve us. So fun. We drove home relaxed and smiling.

Friday was terrific. I had lunch with some of the women I worked with when I was at Ventana Medical. It was so fun to catch up and hear what everyone was doing, who was coming and going and all the other work talk that you do when you haven't seen people in six months. The food was good and the company was fantastic. That evening Chuck and I enjoyed the company of dear friends Mars and Kristen along with their two children and a young friend. We had a wonderful meal together laughing and talking about all the crazy things that life had thrown our way. We then enjoyed music, beer and wine outside around a roaring warm bonfire. The sky was clear with the stars shimmering brightly and the laughter carried through the cool night air. The kids had fun running in the yard and the adults enjoyed the rekindling of friendships.

Saturday was a sort of catch-up day. Laundry and yard work was the agenda with a stop in the middle for the UA football game. We won. The evening was a mellow one with reading and some movies. Splendid.

Sunday was a great day which started with a stop at Pusch Ridge Christian Church for a lovely worship and a chance to greet many friends. We were smiling brightly when we left. We made a stop at In-N-Out and headed south to the wine country of Sonoita and Elgin. The day was cool and breezy with high clouds. Perfect for a wine tasting tour. We stopped into six wineries and were able to fully stock our wine cabinet. We enjoyed visiting with another group doing the same thing and traveling in the same direction as we were. We would laugh when we ran into each other at every stop. It was a perfect day and we were both very tired and relaxed by the time we got home.

Monday-today-it was a blast from the past for Chuck. We took a road trip on the old Florence/Kelvin Hwy into Chuck's old stomping grounds in and around Kearny. We stopped at the overlook to watch the activity in the Ray open pit mine, and then cruised through Kearny as Chuck pointed out who used to live where and told me stories of life in a small mining town during the heydays of the 60's and 70's. He really loved it and I could tell there was more going on in his mind than what he was sharing with me. That happens to all of us when memories fill our hearts. We drove back through Superior and down through Florence and back to Catalina.

And here we are now.

-N

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Big things coming up

Got an interesting phone call this morning from Chuck. He told me that on his way home from work he was driving I-94 and was near Dickinson when his truck hit a stretch of black ice and he spun out and slid off the road.  He was able to get back on the road and get home safely, not truck damage or injuries. It made it clear to us that we need something for the truck tires in this cold weather. He will be home for two weeks tomorrow and we will start looking into options.

Speaking of him being home, he is more than ready to be back to relax and be out of the snow and ice. We have some things planned to do but are really going to just hang out by ourselves and enjoy the time together. I will have to start cooking again. When I am by myself I tend to not really cook very much.  Coffee and breakfast is my main meal. I usually snack throughout the day rather than have a real meal. I am not very hungry.

Chuck is an eater and is always ready for meals! Means more shopping and groceries.

Speaking of cooking-I am not cooking for Thanksgiving Day!

Well except for cherry crumb cake at the request of my nephew Kris. For the first time in many years there will be no big family feast here in Catalina. I am so glad to announce my sister Mary will be hosting at her home in Phoenix. I am so excited for it and relieved not to have to plan, shop and cook. I know that must sound selfish but I was not looking forward to the whole big thing.  The best part is that my daughter Melissa will be there for a couple of days. I am flying her out and we will spend the time enjoying food and the newest grandchild in our family.

I will however have a small Thanksgiving early for Chuck and I. Much smaller bird and fewer sides. It will be special for us and it will give him a celebration memory to take back to Dickinson. This will be the start of the Holiday Season which is going to be very special. I am happy to be part of a family who want to be together and put in the effort to make it happen.

Keep smiling and enjoy the colors, smells, sights and sounds.

-N