Remember that God allows U-Turns

Month List

December 2010

Friday, December 31st. Last day of the year. Shirl and I went to a memorial service for the daughter of one of our pastors this morning. They had a beautiful service for her. We are going to a New Year's Eve party at a friends house tonight. Shirl and I have each prepared a little skit to entertain the folks. Tomorrow, we will do our normal New Year's Day brunch over at Denny's on Deer Valley Road.

Wednesday, December 29th. The rain is coming down heavy and the window is still leaking. So, we have re-rigged the bucket to capture the drippings. Surely we will need to leave this up permanently during rainstorms. We need to go to Michael's and get some foliage for the bucket to use as an ornament.

Tuesday, December 28th. Larry and Liz came over last evening for a game of pinochle and cribbage. Lots of laughs. We had breakfast with Chip this morning at Cracker Barrel and then went on to play Cribbage at the clubhouse. Shirl took third place so we recovered our investment. Church meeting this afternoon and a quiet night at home. Yesterday, our neighbor Ray came over and worked on fixing the leak above our dining room window. He found several things wrong with the roof above the window and he fixed them all. There must be $40 worth of caulking up there now.

Sunday, December 26th. We had a wonderful surprise yesterday when we returned from having Christmas dinner at Shirl's niece's home. Our friends Liz and Larry have arrived back in Phoenix and invited us over to play cards. We had a wonderful visit and caught up on all the things that have happened to us since we were last together. Today, Shirley was Lay Leader at the church services here in the park and afterwards we spent a quiet day at home.

Saturday, December 25th. Merry Christmas everyone! Shirl and I had a busy day yesterday. We played bridge in the morning and went to Mari and Terry's in th afternoon. Lori and her family were there too and we had a nice time there. After mass in the afternoon, we went to Kerri's for the evening. Shirl's nephew Denny was there as well. After dinner we watched Despicable Me - cute movie. When we got home there was a message on our answering machine from one of our pastors that they had found their daughter dead in her bed when they woke up that morning. What a tragedy! They are such nice people.

Thursday, December 23rd. Our neighbors, Ray and Delores, came by and looked at the leaky area this morning and we believe that they have discovered the problem. The leak was up on the shingled part of the roof above the "eyebrow" that I had installed. Now we have to wait til the next storm to see if it's fixed. Shirl and I had lunch with Mari today at Anzio's Restaurant. Later, we went to Walmart and Costco to finalize our Christmas preparations. Each place was a mad house - people everywhere buying and returning stuff. It looks as though the economy is picking up.

Wednesday, December 22nd. Bunnie died three years ago today and this is a sad time for all of my family. She was a wonderful woman and is very much missed. As I have said before, December is a sad month for all of us. Shirl's husband, Howard, also died in December three years ago and Chip's wife, Rebecca, died on December 12, 2002. Tonight the rain is coming down hard and heavy and we have developed a leak over the dining room window. We have rigged a nail and bucket to capture the drippings. This problem has been ongoing through two professional roofer attempts to fix it and three tries by me and the neighbors. At last we know exactly where the leak is and when the rain stops perhaps we can fix it this time.

Tuesday, December 21st. Play practice yesterday went very well. We won't be meeting again until January 3rd when everyone gets back from holiday travel.

Sunday, December 19th. After church this morning, we went to breakfast with Kerri, Myron and Barb at Denny's. We had not been to Denny's for quite a few years. The last time I was there the place reeked of cigarette smoke but know that odor is gone and the place is fairly pleasant.

Saturday, December 18th. At our play run through yesterday we decided to reduce some of the longer soliloquies to make the play a bit shorter. We're not sure that we can keep a group of seniors awake for more than two hours. We're trying to find some loud sound effects to startle them from time to time. Shirl and I are going over to Lori's this afternoon for pizza and beer prior to going to church.

Friday, December 17th. Last Tuesday was Kerri's birthday and we went to Valle Luna in celebration. They have a very good Margarita there. Shirley cooked a turkey breast this week because neither one of us had enough on Thanksgiving. Mmm, good! We played Cribbage twice this week - we missed our card playing but are back at it now. We have approval from Samuel French to put on the play, so now we have to get busy learning our parts. We'll have a run through of the play this afternoon. This morning, we had a great breakfast with Chip at Cracker Barrel and played Bridge at the clubhouse afterwards.

Friday, December 10th. We went to Syd's Choir concert last night over at Horizon High School and truly enjoyed the performance. We stopped by Chip and Di's beforehand to pickup our tickets and found that Mike and Bob were there. It was good to see them and they rode over with us to the school. Earlier in the day, we had a meeting of the play committee for the park and picked the cast for the play. We will be putting on the show in late January. This morning we are playing bridge for the first time in quite a while.

Wednesday, December 8th. It was nice of Michael to use his mother's and my picture as his Facebook icon yesterday in honor of what would have been our 54th Anniversary. Today was a busy day at the SVdP pantry and Cesar and I worked until 1 PM delivering food boxes. At 2PM Shirl and I went to Bible study at the clubhouse. Afterwards we saw about 20 people that had moved into our RV park from Pioneer RV Park. We finally received our priority mail copy of the script that we will be using for our play in January here at the park.

Monday, December 6th. This is always a sad month because of anniversaries and losses that we have suffered. Bunnie and I would have been married for 54 years tomorrow. Shirl's husband passed away on the 11th and Bunnie passed away on the 22nd.

Saturday, December 4th. We went to see Tangled yesterday morning. What great animation, especially the horse. We both enjoyed it thoroughly. This morning we went over to Terry and Mari's to see their new computer. It's really a nice one. Mari and I had our first eggnog of the season. After church, we had our usual classic Margarita at Chili's and tried the Mexican Egg rolls along with our chicken crispers and burger bites.

Friday, December 3rd. We had a nice time at the art show last Saturday and a farewell spaghetti dinner at Mari's that night. Shirl was Lay Leader at the park church service on Sunday. We presented a family to the church committee for Adopt-A-Family and a few ladies will be getting together with the family on Saturday.

November 2010

Friday, November 26th. We had a wonderful Thanksgiving Day with most of our kids over at Chip and Di's place. Rick is in from NYC and Jim and Karen from Orlando. It is so great to see them again. Kerri came too and it was nice to have her there with us all. On Wednesday, we had dinner at Carlos O'Brien's in Scottsdale and Rick had a balloon lady make him a Turkey, which turned out to be the centerpiece of the Thanksgiving table. Di did a fantastic job with the cooking and we all brought additional food. What a wonderful visit. You know, as I get older, I am more appreciative of the blessings that the Lord has given me. I have never been as grateful as I should have been and I now know that I could have been a better father and instilled the love of and gratitude to God more deeply in all of my children.

Saturday, November 20th. Let's see... where have we been for the last two weeks? Shirl's Monday bridge group has restarted, so that takes care of Monday mornings with me being at SVdP as well. Cribbage on Tuesday morning and the Church committee meeting in the afternoon. We had a Welcome Home dinner on Wednesday, the 10th, for all returning park residents and a Potluck on the 11th with cribbage in the afternoon. I was Lay Leader at Patriotic Sunday service in the park. Bible Study started on Wednesday the 17th. On Thursday, the 18th, Shirl and I had our blood drawn in the morning and in the afternoon we had apple pie and ice cream with friends. Ruth made three apple pies and they were delicious. Yesterday, Larry and Marianne were here from Iowa and we had a nice visit with them in the morning. There was a soup and sandwich late lunch up at the clubhouse in the afternoon with excellent appetizers and desserts. In the midst of yesterday, we were also setting up for a yard sale which took place this morning. Mari and Terry dropped by on their way to see Terry's Mom who is not doing well. At noon, we went to lunch with Larry, Marianne and Kerri up at Mike's Rigatoni Grille - fantastic! Church at 4PM and a dance tonight at 7PM to round out the day...

Saturday, November 6th. We downloaded Skype onto our new notebook computer this past week and had a nice video conference with our friend Kay in Omaha. It was so much fun that we plan to do this once a week. The new notebook is really neat because it weighs less than 5 pounds and has Lithium batteries which last a whole lot longer than earlier batteries. Shirl won first place at Bridge yesterday and I placed last in the Shuffleboard activity. The SVdP food drive is on this week and Shirl and I will be collecting food bags at the 4 o'clock mass this afternoon.

Thursday, November 4th. One would think that it would be easy to replace a toilet seat, right...? Well the other day, Shirl thought that it would be nice to have a wooden seat in the main bathroom of our home. I thought so too. We needed to replace an old seat in the other bathroom anyway, so we went to Ace Hardware and bought a very nice oak seat and brought it home. I went to take off the old seat from the main bathroom and the first bolt came out really easy, but the second one wouldn't budge. Finally, with a lot of twisting I managed to get it turning but unfortunately the anchor sleeve that the bolt was in broke loose and the whole deal just spun. Now this particular toilet is a Kohler Rialto model and there is no access to the bottom of the seat bolt as there is on most toilets. You have to screw this one out of the anchor which is glued to the commode in order to get the old seat off. Anyway, I went online and found out that Kohler has a $46 repair kit for this bolt/anchor situation which seemed excessive, so after googling a few sites I found that there was a workaround using a rubber expansion plug and accompanying bolt that would cost less than $3.00. Obviously, this problem had occurred to others as well. I went and asked a neighbor for help getting the old bolt and anchor out. He ruined a few Dremmel tips getting the top of the bolt off and finally was able to drill out the anchor so we could remove the seat. Great... now all we had to do was go back to Ace and get the expansion plug, which we did. I removed the old seat from the other bathroom and installed the main bathroom seat on that toilet and then went to install the oak seat in the main bathroom. When I looked at the seat, I almost cried because the only way to install this seat was to attach the washers and nuts from the bottom, which, of course, you can not do on the Kohler Rialto model that we have. So we had two choices -- I could bring the oak seat back to Ace for a refund or install it in the second bathroom. We opted to install it in the second bathroom. So after removing the original seat from the main bathroom and installing it in the second bathroom, I now had to take it back off and reinstall it in the main bathroom using the expansion plug workaround, which thankfully worked. After all that activity, five hours later, the only difference in the seat arrangement is that we have a new oak seat in the second bathroom. The main bathroom has the same old seat. Moral of the story - Don't buy a Kohler Rialto commode.

October 2010

Sunday, October 31st. This week flew by with lots of new activity here in the park. Cribbage games have started as well as Shuffleboard and today was the first church service of the new season. Shirl was Lay Leader for the service. After church we went to breakfast with the Roses and Ulricks. We've been to two dances so far and tonight we will be going to a Halloween party at the clubhouse. Shirl and I will both be going as clowns.

Saturday, October 23rd. We went to a Horizon High School choir musical production last night. Syd was in it and she did really well. The kids in this show are amazing and it's very much like a Broadway production. Before the show we went to Tutti Santi for a great Italian dinner and a bottle of Pinot Grigio. Going to an 85th birthday party for a resident here at the park this afternoon. Also getting ready to host the first dance of the season here tonight. We went to see RED on Thursday and really enjoyed it. It is a fun, comedy action movie.

Tuesday, October 19th. We went to see Secretariat today. What a great movie! We highly recommend it. Chick-Fil-A afterwards for a chicken sandwich and strawberry shake.

Sunday, October 17th. On Friday we went to a birthday celebration at Bill Johnson's Big Apple Restaurant for a lady here in the park who turned 90. We had a great time and actually got to dance a few numbers for the first time this fall. The dances here in the park are starting up again next weekend and Shirl and I will be hosting the dance along with another couple. Yesterday we went for donuts at the clubhouse and a luncheon for the same lady at the clubhouse. Also went to church last night and stayed afterwards for a Chili dinner fund raiser for the Needy Kids in Uganda. Our pastor is from Uganda and he started this ministry a few years ago. Almost everyone that we expect back for the winter has returned this past week, Just a few more coming in within the next few weeks. We had a little scare this past week when Chip had to go to the Emergency Room for some work on a hernia. Fortunately, they were able to help him at the hospital and he returned home the same night. He may have to have an operation to fully correct the problem and he will be seeing the surgeon soon to discuss the options.

Thursday, October 14th. We pulled the trailer up to Prescott for three days to enjoy the forest before it gets too cold up there. The temperatures dropped into the 40s at night so the furnace ran quite a bit. I managed to pull my right bicep muscle while lifting a 6 gallon water container up to add it to the trailer water, so now I have a big bruise on my right arm. That's the first time that's ever happened to me. We stopped to see Paul and Louise in Dewey on the way back for a short visit. This morning we ran some errands all over the area. Post Office, Library, Dollar Store, Great Clips and Frys market. Shirl got her haircut from our favorite beautician, Rehab. After the haircut, we went to Alexis for lunch and bumped into three people from the park. While we were in there this roving comedian with a microphone and children's karaoke amplifier came in and told a few stale jokes. Very interesting. He left everyone a slip of paper to Google him on the internet - "JimHolland8". So now we are exhausted and will lay down for a nap. I want to spend a little time later today working on my lighthouse painting.

Sunday, October 10th. Quite a few people have arrived back in the park for the winter. It's really nice to see the activity picking up. We'll be starting the church services at the end of the month and the first of the Saturday night dances will be the week before that. We are really enjoying the library and we picked up another 6 books on the way over to Jaidyn's second birthday party yesterday. She's a doll. Her sister, Ella, slept during our entire visit. We arrived at three and Lori's old high school friend Jennifer was there with two of her children. Good to see her. Craig's mom, Barb, was also there. We had a nice visit but had to leave for church at 3:30 at about the time that Chip and Diane arrived. The temperatures have finally dropped down into the 60s at night and the 90s during the day. That is much more comfortable than what we have been dealing with for most of the summer.

Friday, October 1st. We were going to drag the trailer up to Prescott yesterday but decided against it since it is still in the 90s up there. Maybe we can go for a few days next week. Today would normally be our bridge day but we couldn't find a fourth. Quiet day at home today with the library books that we got on Tuesday.

September 2010

Tuesday, September 28th. It hardly seems that a week has gone by since we rode the light rail down to see the DBacks beat the Rockies at Chase field. It's always fun to ride the light rail because there are so many interesting characters that you encounter. On our ride last Tuesday we had a chat with a man who brought his bicycle to the game with a flat front tire. He was boasting about how much money he wins buying lottery tickets. Among other things he said that he came to the game without any money and won $1000 dollars on a scratcher ticket. I wonder what he used to buy the ticket? More people have returned to the park this week so things will be livening up soon. We went to the movies this morning to see The Town. I don't know how people would be able to communicate if they didn't have the "f" word to rely on. Afterwards, we ate at Panda Express and then on to the library to pick up some more reading material.

Saturday, September 18th. Shirl and I went to the Phoenix Library on Thursday and reopened our library cards. We now have six books to read by October 10th. Last night we went to Mike's Rigatoni Bistro with Paul and Carla. We had a good meal but not as good as Times Square.

Monday, September 13th. We had a nice leisurely day yesterday. We went to Cracker Barrel for breakfast, which is always a treat for us and then we read the paper and watched football all day. Patriots won!! Cardinals eked out a victory but didn't look great doing it. This morning the weather is beautiful - low 70s and clear skies. We walked early and it was very pleasant. I'll be working SVdP this morning after having a few days off.

Saturday, September 11th. Today we remember that nine years ago this country was attacked on our soil by the radical Islamic group Al Qaeda. May we never forget! This morning after our normal morning walk, we supplied donuts for the park at the clubhouse. We went to a birthday barbecue this evening at Chip and Di's celebrating their birthdays as well as Terry's. Nice time... Di made a delicious apple pie - her first and a good one at that.

Wednesday, September 8th. We had a quiet Labor Day weekend relaxing and doing nothing special. We are looking forward to activity picking up in the park soon. Yesterday, we had lunch with one of Shirl's friends from Iowa. We had arranged to meet at McGrath's Fish House in Scottsdale but it was boarded up when we got there. We opted to go to the Paradise Bakery. Visit was good but the meal was skimpy and overpriced.

August 2010

Monday, August 30th. SVdP in the morning and babysitting with Jaidyn and Ella in the afternoon. Jaidyn is like the energizer bunny and she wore me out. Ella is calm and Shirl fed her two bottles of formula. Brody got home at about 4:00 and kind of took over. He is really good with his two baby sisters.

Friday, August 27th. Played Bridge in the morning at the clubhouse and went to see Get Low in the afternoon - great movie with Robert Duvall, Bill Murray, and Sissy Spacek.

Sunday, August 22nd. After a quick breakfast at the hotel, we headed for home at 6:30AM and, after an uneventful trip across the desert, we arrived home at Noon – just five and a half hours. We really enjoyed our trip, including getting wet by the wave and my shoes nearly floating out to sea.

Saturday, August 21st. We took a ride to Torrey Pines golf course at La Jolla, went to Mission Bay to stick our toes in the ocean and got soaked and sandy when a big wave washed over us up to our knees. After we dried off, we took a drive through Balboa Park and looked at some of the sidewalk artists displays. Back to Old Town for lunch at El Fandango. By this time we were ready for a nap. Later in the evening, we went back to Seaport Village and enjoyed walking around and looking at the shops. We had another fish dinner at the San Diego Pier restaurant. Very relaxing time watching the people, the bay and the sailboats and listening to the street music.

Friday, August 20th. We went to Sea World early and were surprised by the $12.00 parking fee after having already paid $59 each for our tickets – what a rip-off! We saw some great shows – Shamu, Sea Lions Live, Pets Rule, and Blue Horizons and had lunch at Mama Stella's. In the evening, we went to Seaport Village and had dinner at the Edgewater Grill. We really enjoyed the meal and the view of the bay, walking along the sea wall.

Thursday, August 19th. We left for San Diego this morning at 9:40AM. We had a clear and Sunny sky with a temperature of 101 degrees. Very desolate country as we drove towards Yuma. We saw the huge sand dunes just past Yuma. Looks like the Sahara desert. There were two Border Patrol stops on the way over. They had arrested one man at the first stop. Strange huge boulders in the mountains approaching San Diego County. Radiator water in tanks by the side of the road as you go up the mountain. The hottest temperature going across was 119. We arrived in San Diego at 3:45PM with a temperature of 75 and a cool breeze!! After checking into our hotel we went over to Point Loma to the Castillo National Monument and took some photos looking down on the city and the bay. We went to Old Town for dinner at the Casa de Reyes. Wonderful atmosphere and live music as well.

Sunday, August 15th. We got a call from Jim yesterday afternoon letting us know that he and Karen will be coming out for Thanksgiving. I haven't heard from Rick yet but Jim told me that he is coming also. Finished an additional painting of an Arizona scene this morning. Going to do a bluebird next. Marianne, Kathy, Wilbur and Kerri came over this afternoon for a nice visit and some dessert. Kerri made a great cake.

Tuesday, August 10th. We had dinner with Mari, Terry and the kids last night and then played a game of Skip-bo. Emi won. Today I worked on a painting of a mountain in Colorado and am declaring it done. Otherwise, I'll keep fussing with it.

Sunday, August 8th. We went with Kerri to see the DBacks play the Padres this afternoon. The DBacks lost 10-1. That's about the worst beating that we've seen them take. We had another interesting ride on the light rail going to and from the stadium - it's always a fun ride.

Saturday, August 7th. We went to the movies twice this week - on Tuesday we saw Dinner for Schmucks and yesterday we went to see The Other Guys. There were some funny scenes in both but we liked The Other Guys better. We are definitely becoming geezers because these kinds of films are not as enjoyable for us as they seem to be to the current generation. We heard that Mari's ceiling has been repaired just in time because we had additional rain this morning. We also fixed our leaky windows with metal RV eyebrows and caulking. This afternoon we are off to see Lori and the kids. Shirl made some shortcakes and we will bring the makings for strawberry shortcake with us.

Sunday, August 1st. We had a nice spaghetti supper with Mari, Terry and the kids last night and played Hand and Foot afterwards. The heavy rains from last Thursday and yesterday have caused their bathroom ceiling and wall to be seriously damaged. They are going to have a roofer over on Monday to take a look at it. This morning I gave blood over at St. James and Shirl and I are spending a quiet day at home watching old John Wayne westerns.

July 2010

Tuesday, July 27th. We had been having this annoying vibration, only at night, after the air conditioner motor was fixed. The other night, Shirl and I went out and found that a piece of moulding holding on the park model skirt was vibrating, so we stuck some shims in and the problem is solved - no more sleepless nights. It was weird how it only vibrated at night. Tomorrow we are going up to Prescott for an early morning memorial service for our friend Ken Schulz.

Saturday, July 24th. We played Bridge yesterday for the first time in three weeks. We always enjoy that. This morning, they are having biscuits and gravy at the clubhouse, so we will check that out. Brody's birthday celebration was this afternoon at Lori and Craig's. He's now 12 years old and a really good kid.

Tuesday, July 20th. Mike's birthday! Nice breakfast with Chip this morning at Cracker Barrel and then when we went to start the car, the battery was dead. Many thanks to Norene who saved the day and came right over to give us a jump start.  We managed to make it to Shirl's' doctor appointment in time after getting a new battery at Checker.

Monday, July 19th. We got back from our camping trip to Prescott on Saturday afternoon. We had planned to stay until today but the weather was a little too hot for us without air conditioning. Our new granddaughter, Ella Raine, arrived last Monday, July 12th - she is adorable. We visited Lori and Ella in the hospital on Monday and left for Prescott on Tuesday morning. We spent the day cleaning the trailer since it had not been used for over a year and that left us both feeling overwhelmed by the heat. We spent Wednesday recovering and we slept a bit better on Wednesday evening. On Thursday, we went to the Canton Dragon and had an interesting lunch. When we arrived, a waiter came and sat us in a booth which had one side up against the wall and the other side up against my stomach. He asked if we would like anything to drink and we told him that we would like water and some hot tea. After a while another waiter came by our table and asked if were ready to order. We ordered Lemon Chicken for Shirl and Sweet and Sour Pork for me. The waiter evidently had a problem understanding me and asked if I would like Sweet and Sour Chicken. I said, No, Sweet and Sour Pork, and would you bring us some hot tea. Off he went and the original guy brought back the water but forgot the tea. He asked if we were ready to order and we told him that another waiter had come by and we had ordered through him. We told him that we had ordered Sweet and Sour Pork and Lemon Chicken and also wanted some hot tea. He left and came back quite a few minutes later (without hot tea) and told us that they couldn't find our order, so we ordered again. By this time, we were there for so long that Shirl needed a rest room break and while she was gone, a third waiter came by with the Sweet and Sour Pork and the Lemon Chicken. While he was putting the Lemon Chicken on the table, he dropped the Egg Roll on Shirl's seat, picked it up and said he would be back with a fresh one. Unfortunately, he didn't bring any hot tea either and probably forgot the egg roll too because we never saw him again. The original waiter stopped by to bring us some hot tea and was pleased that we had our order except for the egg roll. The manager came over shortly thereafter and asked how we were doing, so we told him fine but we didn't get Shirl's egg roll. He said not to worry, he would get one and bring it back, which he did. A little later another waiter came by with our fortune cookies and the bill on a small black tray but when he got to our table, he stopped and looked at the bill, frowned, put the fortune cookies on the table and went off with the bill. Several minutes later, he came back with what appeared to be the same bill and we asked him for a box for Shirl's Lemon Chicken. He brought one and when Shirl went to put the chicken in the box, the waiter grabbed the chicken from her hand and started sliding the chicken into the box, but he dropped some of the sauce and it ran down the side of the table. We had a good laugh about the whole experience. The patron at the next booth got up to leave while I was in the rest room and gave Shirl a funny look because he must have heard us laughing and talking about our experience. On Friday, we played bridge with Susy at her place and had a much more refined lunch at Genovese's Italian restaurant. Friday afternoon we went to the Forest Service office to do some work on the spreadsheets that I had developed for them when I was campground host there. That was fun since I always enjoy computer work. We packed up early Saturday and stopped to visit Paul and Louise in Dewey. We had a wonderful visit and lunch with them and headed for home. We arrived home with no mishaps along the way.

Monday, July 12th. New granddaughter Ella Raine arrived this morning at around noon MST. Mom and baby are doing fine.

Sunday, July 11th. We had a nice birthday celebration at Chip and Diane's this afternoon. All of Chip's family were there along with Mike, me and Shirl. Chip grilled hot dogs and hamburgers and Di had a lovely chocolate cake that was enormous. Chip showed us pictures of Jim and Karen's wedding in Las Vegas. We have had quite an ordeal with our air conditioner for the past few days. On Friday at about 4:30 PM the unit quit working and the temperature in the house rose to 112 degrees. Fortunately, Kerri was willing to put us up for the night and the next morning we hired a handy man here in the park to install a blower motor which Bob had already bought for us because we knew that the old one was failing. Well, he installed it and the temperature didn't go down in the house but actually went up a few degrees. On further investigation, we noticed that the fan was spinning the wrong way and wasn't exhausting the hot air, so he fixed that. We assumed that would take care of it and I went to church hoping that the house would be cool afterwards. When I got home from church the inside temperature was 115. So I called the company that had checked the air conditioner on June 17th and they told me that it would cost $275 for them to come out and look at the problem - not including parts. Needless to say, I do not recommend Hackney Refrigeration. I told them to forget it and went back over to Kerri's to discuss the situation with Shirl. Fortunately, Kerri got home from work about this time and she recommended PME Air Conditioning who had repaired her air conditioner last summer. We called them and they came over within twenty minutes to look at the problem. Within an hour the repairman had diagnosed the problem (a failed capacitor), rewired the motor to work properly and charged less than $90 for the whole deal. It took until about two this morning to get the house back to 79 degrees but everything is working just fine now. Phewww!

Friday, July 9th. I talked to Chip yesterday and he told me that he and Diane were in Las Vegas for Jim's wedding. We didn't know that. Chip and Diane got home on Wednesday evening from the trip and evidently they had a great time and lots of laughs. Shirley finished up her dental work for the year yesterday and we are very pleased with the results. We stopped at Coldstone Creamery and got some great ice cream on the way home.

Wednesday, July 7th. We got a call from Jim and Karen yesterday telling us that they are now man and wife. That is great news and we are very happy for them! They flew to Las Vegas and got married there. Unfortunately, they are not coming to Phoenix this time but Jim promised to come before the end of the year. Shirl and I went to see The A Team yesterday - a fun action movie. At last night's SVdP meeting, we found out that we are having some reconstruction done in our pantry at the church. None of us are really happy about it because our space continues to be cramped and the construction is not going to address that problem and may make it worse.

Sunday, July 4th. Independence Day. We went to see the DBacks play today. They lost 3-1, but it is always fun riding the light rail to and from the ballpark. The people watching is great - there are all types riding the train. This weekend is John Wayne weekend on AMC so we have captured numerous old Westerns and War movies to watch. I entered a limericks contest this week that is being put on by the Arizona Republic. Here's my two entries -
First one:
I came to the desert with a smile,
And thought I would stay for awhile.
But to my chagrin
At one hundred and ten,
My feet couldn't stand on the tile.

Second one:
I thought it would really be neat
To come to this state as a treat,
And then came the summer,
Oh my , what a bummer,
I can't find relief from the heat.

June 2010

Tuesday, June 9th. We went to see Knight and Day today. Tom Cruise and Cameron Diaz did a good job in an action packed but unbelievable show. We finally got through the dental visit ordeal last Tuesday. One follow up visit and we'll be done. On Thursday, we picked the hottest day of the year so far to put new tires on the travel trailer. Fortunately neither of us got heat stroke but we were close. We also had to get a new battery for the trailer. The old ones were 5 years old. Mike and Bob came over on Sunday after their return from the east. They had a wonderful trip and it was good to see them and hear about their trip. Everything went smoothly for them. We played Hand and Foot and, as usual, we lost. Yesterday, after the normal SVdP deliveries, we took our friend Pat out for a going away lunch at Times Square Restaurant. They have the best Italian food. We will miss Pat who is going back to California to live.

Monday, June 21st. Fathers Day was great. I heard from just about everyone and that made me feel really good. We went to Terry and Mari's for lunch and strawberry shortcake and played a game of Hand and Foot. Shirl and I both ate too much but it was wonderful. This week is busy with dental appointments for both of us.

Saturday, June 19th. We went to a Mexican food and drink party for Katie and Greg over at Kathy and Jerry's last night. Really great food! Katie and Greg flew into Phoenix from Iowa yesterday for a visit. They are getting married at the end of next month. We had a really nice time with them. Today is the 80th Anniversary of my Mom and Dad's wedding, the first anniversary of Chip and Diane's, and the 18th birthday of my grandson Cody. A special day indeed! Shirl and I went to see Killers today - cute movie spy spoof.

Monday, June 14th. What a weekend! Mari had a baby shower for Lori and we were to bring over our coffee pot. When Shirl cleaned the canister up, she found a crack in it, so we had to buy a new one at Walmart on the way to Mari's. We had a nice time at the baby shower. Also, talk about an attack of the Killer Ants! We noticed on Friday that there were several of those little tiny black ants crawling around on our calendar. Things went from bad to worse in a hurry. Not only were they around the calendar but they had invaded the cupboards above there where the toaster was. We managed to kill all of them and later the same evening when we got home from playing cards with Liz and Larry, we found that they had invaded the pantry on the other side of the room. We stayed up until 11:30 trying to get them under control. Shirley woke up on Saturday morning thinking they would all be gone and found that they had invaded the microwave. We finally thought that we had them under control but Shirl got up early on Sunday and found them in the spice cupboard. We headed over to Ace Hardware and bought ant traps, more ant spray and an indoor outdoor spray for around the house. We laid out all of the traps under the house and I sprayed the outside perimeter of the house and the inside baseboards. As their final assault, the ants got into the dish cupboard and all of the dishes had to be washed. BUT... we think that they are finally under control now. We haven't seen any since last evening. We went to see the Diamondbacks play the St. Louis Cardinals on Sunday afternoon and the DBacks won 7-5 on a 9th inning walk off home run by Chris Young. On the ride back on the light rail, we were hit up for money from an apparently homeless man who had a series of stories about how hard his life had become. According to him he had been hit by a taxi crossing the street, been robbed at gun point and pistol whipped in a home invasion, saved a woman from being hit by a light rail train by pulling her out of harms way, and saved another woman from falling over when the light rail lurched ahead. I suggested to him that he had a very hard month and should contact SVdP for help. He didn't like that idea and got off the train at the next stop.

Wednesday, June 9th. We went to see Marmaduke yesterday. We should have brought the grand kids with us. Cute movie which would have been more fun with kids around. We went to see Always, Patsy Cline at the Phoenix Theatre this week. Great show! We played pinochle with our friends, Liz and Larry, several times this week and they will be coming over tonight for some more cards and dessert. They will be going back to Illinois next week and return in October. We are planning to take the trailer up to Prescott sometime during July. We haven't decided which week yet. Rick called this afternoon and it was nice talking with him. He was just getting back from a job in Florida and was on his way home from the airport. He had lunch with Jim today in Orlando on the way back. We are hoping that Jim and Karen will be coming out next month. Rick is also planning a visit but no details yet. It's very quiet here in the park and there is hardly anyone left on our street. Things will start picking up again in October. Shirl and I had our dental checkups this week and we have a bit more work to do to get everything back to normal.

Tuesday, June 1st. Liz and Larry arrived safely at about 6:30PM last evening and we visited for awhile. After they signed the papers for their new home we played a few games of pinochle. This morning we went for a walk and a bike ride. We said goodbye to Len and Ruth who are heading off to Colorado. When we got home we did the yard work, which consisted of watering the geranium and picking off a few dead leaves. Whew! Glad that's over with!

May 2010

Monday, May 31st. Memorial Day. We had a wonderful visit over the weekend with Shirl's children. Deb came from Florida and Dave and Denise came from Denver. Friday, we went up to Prescott for the day and had a pleasant time doing antique shops. Liz and Larry will be arriving later today to look at their new place here. It'll be fun to see them again. The annual Memorial Day potluck was wonderful, with about 50 people attending. Everything was decorated in red white and blue and we sang "God Bless America" and recited the pledge of allegiance.

Tuesday, May 25th. We went to see Letters to Juliet today. Shirl and I were both crying - what softies we are. This afternoon, Shirl had her annual eye exam and we went and picked out some new glasses at Costco. We have been working with Liz and Larry from Springfield, IL to get them a home bought here at Desert Shadows. They will be here next Tuesday to close the deal. We had to make three trips over to their new place to measure whether or not twin beds would fit into the bedroom space. The first time we measured and spoke to Liz I had forgotten that she told me the twin beds were 72 inches wide when put together. The third time, we measured the entire room and explained it all to Liz with a recommendation that they get a queen size mattress and they would be better off.

Wednesday, May 19th. This morning, we were thinking and laughing about what a great job we did on our geranium plant this year. When it finally got over the shock of the 4 fertilizer spikes that I put into the 8 inch pot, the little rascal just kept bursting forth with new buds. It's still doing it even though we are into the heat of the spring. We thought for awhile that the leaves were going to fall off because they turned a funny color and didn't look well but now, 5 months since I fertilized it, the leaves are also looking good. I believe that next year, I'll only put in two fertilizer spikes. On the other plant front, there are only two leaves left on the philodendron that Shirl has been nurturing forever. We may have mentioned before that neither of us has a green thumb.

Monday, May 17th. Lot's of movies this past week - Iron Man 2 and Robin Hood. We really liked Robin Hood but Iron Man 2 was just a series of high tech graphics without much of a story as far as we were concerned. Lots of action though... We also captured a few movies at home as well - Maverick and True Lies. We had a very nice home made dinner with Len and Ruth last Wednesday evening. Ruth is 91 and made everything from scratch, including dinner rolls and a Lemon pie. Yum... You know, it sounds like all we do is eat and watch movies.... yep! Although we do take walks in the morning, play bridge on Fridays, SVdP on Monday and Wednesday and Shirl vacuums once in a while.

Tuesday, May 11th. A nice cool day today. Shirl and I went to Cracker Barrel for breakfast after our morning walk and rode bikes after that - a totally healthy thing to do. We went up to the Verizon store to argue our case for not having to pay a $200 termination fee for Shirl's phone but we lost the battle, so we have to wait until July to close her contract. They really misled us when we combined our phones under my plan. Shirl is off playing bridge with the ladies while I stayed home and watched some TV.

Saturday, May 8th. This morning we succumbed to the urge to have Lamar doughnuts. Afterwards, we went to Home Depot and found the valance clips. Kerri brought over another cute movie, The Tooth Fairy and it is pretty funny. This evening after mass, we went to the Times Square restaurant for penne and sausage. Wonderful food but we are both stuffed.

Friday, May 7th. We had an interesting bout with the vertical blinds in the dining room. The screws on the heavy end were pulling out from the wall and we caught them just in the nick of time. We beefed up the support with anchors and put them back up. In the process, I managed to break all of the valance clips so we need new ones.

Thursday, May 6th. Kerri fixed a nice Mother's Day dinner for Shirl and we watched Leap Year together afterwards. Really cute movie.

Monday, May 3rd. Cody had his surgery today and he came through it with flying colors. He is recovering well at home.

Sunday, May 2nd. There was supposed to be a big get together in honor of Kiersten's visit but most everyone but us did not make it. We played a little Phase 10 and then watched Iron Man in preparation for the new Iron Man movie which comes out on the 7th. We also wanted to cheer Cody up before his hernia surgery. We had a good time.

April 2010

Wednesday, April 21st to Friday, April 30th. We went to the Eagles' concert at the US Airways Center on Wednesday the 21st. We had great seats for a fantastic concert. It was a short night and we left the next morning at 5:18AM to bring Arlene and Marlyn's car back to them in Pennsylvania. Rained off and on while driving to Amarillo TX. There were storms in the Texas panhandle but they didn't bother us. Green grass and trees started showing up in Oklahoma. The cup of coffee that we bought at a Flying J truck stop leaked on my shirt and we had to stop in Oklahoma City to buy a new one. The same Walmart where I squashed my travel trailer air conditioner in 2005. I was hoping that I wouldn't spill anymore coffee on my clothes as it may have gotten very expensive. Stopped in Little Rock on the second night and left at 7:17AM heading towards Tennessee and Virginia. It rained really really hard for most of the day on Saturday and we saw several cars off to the side of the road in the ditch. We stopped in Bristol Virginia on Saturday night and made it into Pennsylvania in the early afternoon on Sunday. Lots of fog as we went through Gettysburg - kind of eerie. We arrived at Arlene and Marlyn's at 5:00PM and had a wonderful Pennsylvania Dutch dinner and then played pinochle for the rest of the evening. On Monday the 26th we went to Gettysburg and hired a guide that drove Marlyn's car around the battlefield. He was very knowledgeable about the battle and we would recommend that anyone who goes there hire a guide. More cards on Monday night and then we were off to Baltimore to get our rental car and hotel. On Wednesday the 28th, we went to Washington DC for the day. Traffic was horrible and there was no parking available in the city. We were able to get a place near the Monroe building and saw the painting of Monroe that Rick did - awesome! We found another parking spot near the Mall and got to see the originals of the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. Traffic back to Baltimore was also bad and we decided that we would cut our trip short and come back a day early on Thursday. The flight from Atlanta to Phoenix seemed to take forever but we did get home at 11:30PM. Rested on Friday and went to see Date Night with Steve Correl and Tina Fey - a very funny but raunchy movie in spots. We went over to Terry and Mari's for dinner on Friday and then watched Hachi, a dog's story. Good but sad.

Sunday, April 18th. We went to an Art Show at Emi's and Jon's school on Friday. It's fun to see Emi's work. She is a fine artist. We couldn't see Jon's work because his teacher hadn't shown up by the time we left. Yesterday, we had breakfast with Chip at the Cracker Barrel and then went over to the 500 Club and hit a bucket of balls. My first golf club swing in more than six years. The golf shots proved it to. I was reading the paper yesterday and found out that I could call in to the Census 2010 people and fill out my form on the phone. I called in and reached a pleasant lady who stepped me through the process. Only a bureaucratic government could come up with a set of questions like those. The poor lady had to ask me each and every question even though many of the questions were totally redundant. We laughed a lot as we filled out the form. For example, what race are you? Are you white? (yes). Are you black? (no). Are you Indian? (no). Are you Asian? (no). Are you any other race? (no).

Monday, April 12th. So here's something that should be fairly simple for the government to do – take a Census, a simple 10 question form. Why do I think that this won't go smoothly? For months there is a TV campaign about the importance of filling out the Census form – I actually believe this. Sometime during February, I get a form in the mail telling me that they are going to send me a census form to fill out – OK, I knew they were going to send me a form, so why not send it now and save some funds? Then I hear that some people got a second letter telling them the form was coming soon. They probably could have done without that one too. We never got that letter, but then again, we never got the Census form either. So on April 1st, I hear that it is Census Day and I should mail my form back today in order to be a good citizen, but I don't have one, so I go online to to see if I can get one and finally get to a place that tells me that millions of people didn't get their forms yet and I should wait until April 12th to see if I get one in the mail. I can't get one from this website and I can't fill out the form online. But if I really want a form, I can go to Nana's Smoke Shop at the corner of 35th Ave and Union Hills to pick up a form. I figure I'll wait for the mail. Well, today is April 12th and I still don't have a form. Am I being unpatriotic if I don't go to Nana's Smoke Shop and pick up a form? I can hardly wait till the full blown Health Care package kicks in and they partially pay for it by taking away my Medicare Advantage plan. I know that we were promised that if we liked our present health plan we could keep it, but, then again they didn't say for how long, so I guess they weren't fibbing when they promised that.

Sunday, April 11th. We had a great time at Farrelli's Cinema Supper Club on Friday. Mari, Lori and Emi all loved seeing The Blind Side. Yesterday, we went to a Diamondbacks game with our friends Arlene and Marlin. Unfortunately, we lost 6-3. After mass this morning, we went to Fast Eddie's for breakfast and I suggested to the waiter that they remove Fast from the name of the restaurant. The food is good and priced well but the service leaves much to be desired.

Tuesday, April 6th. The Good Friday and Easter Sunday services at Desert Shadows were heart warming. These were the final two services until this coming Halloween. Shirl and I were able to start playing cards again and have played Cribbage twice in the past week and Shirl played Bridge today. The final Church committee meeting was today as well. This Friday, I'm attending a Father Daughter night dinner and show with Lori and Mari. It should be fun.

Thursday, April 1st. April Fool's day. We enjoyed spending time with Mari and Emi last week at the movies and then at Panda Express for lunch. There are many people leaving the park for the summer and soon, we'll be one of the only families left on the street. Bocce ball is done for the season and it won't be long before all the card players are gone too. This Sunday is Easter and is also our first Wedding anniversary. Time goes by so quickly and we are still very happy.

March 2010

Wednesday, March 24th. Business is picking up again at SVdP. We had a very busy time this morning. Shirl and I are looking forward to going to see Alice in Wonderland with Mari and Emi on Friday morning.

Tuesday, March 23rd. Kerri was surprised on her graduation night to find out that she was her class valedictorian. She did a fantastic job in school. We had a nice brunch for her on Saturday. Mari, Terry and the kids came over for pizza and a movie on Sunday. We went out with Paul, Louise, Marlin and Arlene to Mike's Rigatoni Grill for dinner last night and played Phase 10 when we got back. Shirley won and I lost big time. This morning we went to breakfast with Chip and then on up to check on the trailer to make sure that it was not leaking with all the rain we have had recently. Fortunately, it isn't leaking. Spanish class this morning was our next to last for the season.

Friday, March 19th. Another busy week here at the old folks village. Shirl was Lay Leader at the church service on Sunday, we had a pot luck dinner for our block on Tuesday evening, Corned Beef and Cabbage dinner and a Phase 10 game with friends on Wednesday, and Kerri's graduation tonight. We will be hosting a small graduation brunch tomorrow morning and going to the dance tomorrow night. Time flies when you are having fun!

Saturday, March 13th. We went to Wickenburg yesterday for the day. Ate lunch at the Golden Nugget, toured the Desert Caballeros Museum and had Ice Cream at Chaparral's Homemade Ice Cream store. Bobbi and Warren left this morning for a visit with family in Chandler.

Thursday, March 11th. We are having a great time with our friends Bobbi and Warren from Iowa. Yesterday we drove out to Tortilla Flat for lunch. Kerri came with us too and we stopped at Goldfield for ice cream on the way back. Bobbi and Warren beat us big time at Hand and Foot in the evening. Even worse than Mike and Bob usually do. Quiet day today with a Karaoke Jam Session this afternoon. The Bocce courts were too wet from the rain to play on today, so we missed another session.

Sunday, March 7th. After service this morning, we will go to brunch with Marlin and Arlene at the Deer Valley airport. Last night we went to the dance at the clubhouse and had a great time. I think that I'm finally getting the hang of waltzing - it has taken me long enough.

Saturday, March 6th. On Thursday I had courage enough to get up and sing I Walk the Line at the Karaoke Jam session in the Clubhouse. It was kind of fun. Yesterday we went to our first Spring Training game out at the Peoria Sports Complex. The Padres beat the Mariners 9-3. We learned a lot since this was our first time out there - we learned where not to eat, where not to park, and where not to sit in the stadium. For eating - never park on the east side of 83rd Avenue. The food was great but we couldn't get out of the parking lot and had to walk over to the stadium. We wanted to sit facing away from the sun but, not having been there before, I bought tickets on the left field side and we were facing directly into the sun. Well, now we know a few things when we go next time. We played Cribbage last night with friends Rita and Joe from across the street.

Tuesday, March 2nd. Congratulations to great-granddaughter Lexi who took 2 Gold Medals in the NH Special Olympics Winter Games yesterday at Waterville Valley. Both medals were received in the Alpine Skiing, Division 1 Competition. Today we went to an "Orange Dream" party on our block. We had a really great time eating and visiting with lots of friends from here in the park. Many thanks to our neighbors, Patti and Juel, for being great hosts.

February 2010

Thursday, February 25th. Well, the talent show is over and we all had a great time doing it. Now we have to start thinking about what to do next year for an encore. This morning was busy doing chores - got a haircut, an oil change, a recharge of the car's air conditioning and two new filters for the furnace.

Monday, February 22nd. We had our first dry run of the Talent Show last evening and it looks like it will be a good show. Yesterday was quite hectic with Church Setup at 6, Choir at 8:30, Church at 9, Brunch at 10:30, Going away lunch for Mary B at 12:30, Birthday Cake at 2, and Show rehearsal at 4:30. Today should be at a bit slower pace.

Saturday, February 20th. Went to see Edge of Darkness with Mel Gibson today. Good movie set in the Boston area.

Friday, February 19th. This morning we hosted a coffee for the circle that we live on. We had about 40 people over and had a very nice visit with the neighbors. We had lunch with Mari and Terry over at Culvers by the Metro Center and took them and the kids over to Calvary Church so that they could catch the bus for their retreat this weekend up in Williams.

Thursday, February 18th. Shirl is off to see the Arabian Horse show in Scottsdale today. I stayed in the park and played Bocce ball. Our team won for the first time. The Talent Show is looming on the horizon. Next Tuesday and Wednesday for the show with practices over this weekend.

Sunday, February 14th. Valentines Day. The church service was really nice this morning. Reverend Withee was the pastor. After church, Marlin, Arlene, Shirl, Paul, Louise and I went to Sweet Tomatoes for brunch. Good as usual. Mari and Terry had locked themselves out of the house this morning, so we picked them up at Calvary after their service and brought them home.

Saturday, February 13th. Shirl and I retried our audition for the Talent Show and this time we are in. Shirl is going to do a monologue entitled Lutheran Airlines and together we are doing a Foster Brooks recreation of what it might be like after Foster retires. Yesterday was Barb and Jim Porter's wedding at the clubhouse. Very nice ceremony. In the evening we went to a dance in their honor. Went to Cracker Barrel this morning for breakfast with Chip, Terry and Mari. We had a really nice time together.

Wednesday, February 10th. Took Mari to lunch at Culver's today in honor of her birthday. Great burgers!

January 2010

Friday, January 29th. Shirl and I tried out for the Talent Show this morning. Her skit was approved. Mine was rejected for being too long. We rescheduled mine for the 12th of Feb. We then went to an Iowa lunch at the Old Country Buffet at Arrowhead. In the evening we went to a Karaoke event at the clubhouse and I sang a Johnny Cash and Merle Haggard tune. Lots of people there but too many were too shy to sing.

Thursday, January 28th. Shirl went to an English Tea in honor of Barb and Jim Porter's upcoming wedding. Lots of interesting gifts were given to Barb.

Monday, January 25th. Left Pacifica for home at 3:15AM Phoenix time and arrived home at 3:45PM. Saw a beautiful sunrise and had a smooth trip home. We had a great time.

Sunday, January 24th. We went over to Shirl's great nephew Mark and Allison's home for brunch and met their precious little daughter Loren. Grandpa Larry and Grandma Marianne (Mark's parents) were there from Iowa. We finished the driving tour of the city by driving through Haight Ashbury district and over to the Coit Tower. Light dinner at Luigi's in Daly City and then off to an early bedtime.

Saturday, January 23rd. Off to see San Francisco after breakfast. We took the self guided scenic driving tour of the city which brought us by most of the famous city sites. Shirl was impressed by the interesting architecture and the pastel colors all over the city in contrast to the beige color of most of the homes in Phoenix. Twin Peaks was "very high" above the city. We went across the Golden Gate Bridge to Muir Woods to see the redwoods. Afterwards, we had lunch at the Spinnaker Restaurant in Sausalito. After lunch we drove back to the city and drove down Lombard Street(most crooked street in the US). We had Irish Coffees at the Buena Vista Pub and visited the Ghirardelli chocolate factory. We had dinner at Alioto’s on Fisherman's Wharf after being confronted by a camouflaged tree that actually was a crazy person. Parking was difficult for me at Ghirardelli Parking garage and I crunched a rubber pylon but managed to leave the van unscathed.

Friday, January 22nd. As we left Solvang we passed by many horse farms and wineries - beautiful country. We went up the Pacific Coast Hwy (CA1). Spectacular scenery - three places on the highway were down to one lane due to undermining by the ocean. We saw about a thousand elephant seals at one point along the coast. Odd looking creatures that resemble hogs. We had lunch at Lucia Lodge and arrived in Pacifica at about 4:40PM. We went to Nankings in Chinatown for authentic Chinese food in the evening. Shirl saw one of San Francisco's crazy people outside the restaurant ranting and raving to no particular audience. I parallel parked on a very steep hill and impressed Shirl with my driving skills.

Thursday, January 21st. The second night of the play was lots of fun and seemed well received. Chip, Diane, Mike and Bob came to the show. It wasn't raining, so more people came to watch the play. We left home at 4:15AM for our trip to San Francisco. It was raining pretty hard and there was a weather alert. Some people were worried that we were taking this trip in the rain. As we went into California the rain was lighter. Shirl commented on the thousands of windmills in and around Palm Springs. There were some trees along the highway, which made me chuckle because Shirl wanted to know what kind of trees they were that had the black bark. I told her "Burned Ones". Beautiful country along the coast and we arrived in Solvang at 1:30PM. I had frikadellers and sweet red cabbage for lunch. Shirl had a Danish style open face sandwich. We stayed at the Kronburg Inn. We had dinner at the Cafe Angelica Cafe with some wine that was suggested by a customer (who I later thought might be the owner). The wine was good (Epiphany Petite Sirah) but cost $50 per bottle. One of Shirl's friends had suggested that we use Oil of Oregano to ease joint pain, which I had, so we stopped and bought a $30 bottle of Oregano pills. Expensive like the wine. Shirl punctured the little 4 drop capsules with her earring so she could rub the oil on my shoulders. It worked pretty well but I smelled like pizza and her ear smelled like oregano.

Wednesday, January 20th. We've had a report that Wilbur's procedure has alleviated his back pain and we are pleased about that. He still has some rehab to do before he can come home. We had a wonderful time yesterday with our first presentation of this year's Desert Shadows Theater group play. Everyone that we talked to after the show seemed to have enjoyed it. We sure had a lot of fun putting it together. After the curtain call, Louise and Arlene surprised Shirl with ice cream and cake in the back auditorium. I was surprised too because independently, Kerri had arranged to have a small birthday party at home with family members. As it turned out, Shirl got to have two birthday parties - one at home and the other at the clubhouse. Tonight is our second and final presentation of the play.

Sunday, January 17th. Shirl is feeling much better today. The set for the play was put up this afternoon and we had another run through. One more dress rehearsal tomorrow and then two nights for the play. We stopped by the hospital to see Wilbur today. He is having a procedure done tomorrow which will correct the compression fractures in his spine. We are all praying for a good outcome. His "kids" are all here - Denny, Marianne, and Kathy.

Friday, January 15th. Shirl has been very sick this week with a bacterial infection but she seems to be getting well now. We were at the doctor's office yesterday and we picked up some antibiotics which helped a lot. We have had several play practices this week and we are closing in on the opening date, which is next Tuesday. Should be funny and we hope that people will enjoy it.

Monday, January 11th. We started a new round of Bocce ball in the park this afternoon along the lines of the way the play at Orangewood park. Sixteen people get to play all at once on the two courts here. After the game, which I lost, we had play practice. We are coming down to the wire on this. The first night is one week from today. We are still a bit rough but we're having fun.

Sunday, January 10th. Shirl has agreed to take the part of Miss Daisy in the play here at the clubhouse on the 19th and 20th. She's a bit nervous about it but has already learned most of her part. She will be great. We went to the dance at the clubhouse last night and came home early because we were both tired. I even overslept this morning and Shirl went up by herself to set up the church for this morning's service. We were at Costco yesterday and bought the new Turbotax software for this year's tax filing. I like to find out how big the tax hurt is going to be early in the year so I can save up to pay it.

Monday, January 4th. We are having a busy week preparing for the upcoming play to be put on by the Desert Shadows players. We only have two weeks to get ready but I'm sure that we'll make it. The title is "Great Smokies". It's a comedy play about a hillbilly family.

Saturday, January 2nd. Happy New Year. We had a wonderful New Year's Eve party with friends here in the park. Shirl and I got to try out the comedy routines that we would like to use in the "No Talent" talent show in February. We had our second annual New Year's day brunch at Hometown Buffet with the same group. Yesterday, we went to see It's Complicated. It's a very funny movie. Today we went to see Up in the Air and neither of us liked it very much.



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