Remember that God allows U-Turns

Month List

December 2011

December 31st. After church this evening, we met friends at the Macaroni Grill for dinner and then over to Paul and Louise's house to welcome in the New Year. There were 17 of us at dinner and a few went to the dance at the clubhouse while the rest of us told jokes and played a few games. This is the third year in a row that we have celebrated the New Year with this group of friends.

December 30th. Bridge at the clubhouse this morning. I finished second and Shirl finished with a share of the pennies. We had play practice in the afternoon. It was a pretty good session and we are starting to get a good grasp on our lines and our stage movement. We'll be going into high gear next week as the play will be at the end of January. This evening, we went to Cracker Barrel with Barb and Myron for the fish. Afterwards, we played some Cribbage and Shanghai Rummy.

December 27th. We stayed in last night and watched the Phoenix Suns get beat by one point in their opening game of this shortened season. We played Cribbage at the clubhouse this morning. Shirl and I started and ended at the same table and had the same score - very interesting.

December 26th. We had a wonderful Christmas Eve get together at Terry and Mari's home. Yesterday we had a really nice Christmas service at the clubhouse and then a great turkey dinner that Shirl fixed. It was a three movie day as Shirl, Kerri and I watched Midnight in Paris and two other tear jerker Christmas movies. December is bittersweet with both memories of our loved ones and the joys of God's gift of Jesus to us at Christmas. This morning Jim and Karen called to wish us a Merry Christmas and told us that they had gone to see Mission Impossible at an IMAX theater, so we decided to go and see it today. Lots of action in this movie and a few scenes that take your breath away.

December 20th. Yesterday, after the SVdP activities, Shirl and I went to lunch with Arlene, Marty, and Cesar. We had a nice visit. Today we play cribbage at the clubhouse and tomorrow I have a dental appointment, which is always "fun". There's a show at the clubhouse tomorrow night which we are going to see, so we have a fairly busy week..

December 17th. Time sure flies now that everyone is back in the park for the season. Play practices and card games abound and this coming week there will be a lot of park activities for the folks here. Last night Shirl and I went to Cracker Barrel for the fish fry and our friends Don and Verna showed up to join us. We had a nice dinner together. Today is the first day this week that we have had some down time and we are enjoying it. We just switched from Dish TV to DirecTV and I'm getting used to the nuances of the new remote.

December 8th. We had a really nice pot luck lunch up at the clubhouse today. Afterwards we had a two and a half hour play practice session. We had a great bible study at Mari and Terry's tonight.

December 7th. On what would have been Bunnie's and my 55th wedding anniversary, our 6th great grandchild was born today. Her name is Emma Frost Jordan and she weighed in at 9lbs 4oz. Jason and Kelly are the proud parents and my son Chip is the proud grandfather.

December 3rd. At last Sunday's church service, Shirl was lay leader and we had a small tribute to Wilbur Mann. It would have been his 92nd birthday. About 15 of his family members were at the service and his daughter, Kathy, provided cookies after the service. Wilbur was well known in the park for providing cookies in the lobby. This past Thursday we went out for dinner with friends Don and Verna at the Time Square restaurant. We had lunch with Mari yesterday at the Shangrila restaurant and, as usual, had too much food.

November 2011

November 26th. Busy time over the past few days. We had a wonderful Thanksgiving Day with two dinners. One at Shirl's grand niece's home and the other over at Chip and Diane's home. Both dinners were superb and so was the company. We had a nice visit with Neal and Cletus at Shirl's niece's and a great visit with Mike and Bob at Chip's. Yesterday we played Bridge at the clubhouse and tonight we're going to the dance.

November 22nd. As we approach this year's Thanksgiving day, we realize that we have so much to be thankful for in spite of the difficulties of the past year. Thank you Lord for all of your blessings! Today our church St Vincent de Paul conference is going to deliver 110 Thanksgiving food boxes to needy families within three or four miles of the church. We are thankful that God has provided us the resources to do this.

November 18th. We went to the Celebrity Theater last night to see country singer Don Williams. We were among some of the youngest people there. Oxygen tanks , walkers and canes abounded but it goes to show you how much this man is loved. This morning, Shirl won first place at Bridge and I finished somewhere in the middle.

November 16th. This morning we picked up the Thanksgiving food donations from the clubhouse and brought them over to the SVdP pantry. We also got the bulletins printed for next Sunday's service.

November 15th. Cribbage at the clubhouse in the morning and Church meeting in the afternoon. I got to do a little software maintenance on the Pioneer spreadsheet. I believe that it's working properly now.

November 11th. Veterans' Day. Had lunch with my retired Bull friends and participated in a very nice Veterans Day program at the park later in the afternoon. We honored all veterans with a patriotic service.

November 10th. Yesterday, we went to see Tower Heist. Drags a bit at first but is pretty funny later on in the movie. I had my bladder check today and thank the Lord that the cancer has not returned. Bible study continues this evening at Terry and Mari's home. Planning to have lunch with some Bull friends tomorrow at Anzio's Restaurant.

November 8th. Shirl and I had dental appointments this morning for our six month checkup. We had PME Air Conditioning come out today and check our heater unit. It has been making a noise like you hear when you are boiling eggs. Of course the noise stopped when the tech pulled off the cover panels. They checked it out and could find nothing wrong. Shirl went to the Church meeting this afternoon and we will be having a Patriotic Sunday service this weekend.

November 4th. We had three tables for Bridge this morning. Didn't win anything but had a nice visit with some returning people. There is supposed to be a good storm coming our way this evening and a cold snap overnight.

November 2nd. Today was a miscellaneous errand day. We went to the Dry cleaners early this morning to drop off some cleaning and then stopped by Lamar's Donuts for coffee and a donut. Then on to Fry's for the monthly senior discount shopping day (first Wednesday of the month). Then over to Discount Tire for two new tires and then on to the Dollar Store for a few items. We stopped at Gaston Jewelers and had an adjustment made to Shirl's rings. About that time, they called me from Saint Vincent de Paul to see if I could help with deliveries for today. Busy day there with over 17 food boxes out the door. I was thinking about the great time that we had in France last month and the chance to see our friends Claude and Francy. Here's a picture of Joe and I taken with them in Versailles.

October 2011

October 31st. Our good friend Ruth fell at church yesterday and broke her hip and shoulder. She had a successful operation today but now will have to go through a long period of rehab.

October 29th. We met Chip for breakfast yesterday and had a nice visit. Later we played Bridge at the clubhouse and Shirl and I finished second and third. In the afternoon we turned in our vehicle plates for the big van and the trailer at the MVD. This morning we had some good friends over for coffee and sweet bread. Mari came over later and we delivered some food to the SVdP food pantry and did a little "shopping" at the Rummage Sale while Kerri and Shirl trimmed the grapefruit tree out back.

October 24th. The students at Horizon High did a great job in putting on their musical this past Saturday evening. Syd did a wonderful job in her performance and had a short solo. Today we had a productive morning delivering food boxes for St. Vincent de Paul. Sister Gloria came along and gave us and the clients a spiritual lift. We had lunch afterwards at Arriba's Mexican Grill. We've finally solidified the dates for this year's play and talent show at the Clubhouse. The play will be on January 31st and February 1st. The Talent show will be February 21st and 22nd. This evening we watched game 5 of the World Series. The Texas Rangers won 4-2 and lead the series 3 games to 2.

October 22nd. Finally recovered from jet lag and almost back to normal. Earlier this week we started our seasonal card playing here at the park ... Cribbage on Tuesday and Bridge on Friday. Bible study on Thursday night. Chip is now the proud owner of my travel trailer. We are going to see Syd perform in Broadway Under the Stars at Horizon high School this evening.

October 16th. We had the first dance of the season last night and we really enjoyed the band and meeting old friends that have returned for the "winter". We are still suffering a bit of jet lag so we left early.

October 14th. Today is World Egg Day. Check the Egg Day link

October 13th. It's great to be back home. Many of the winter residents have returned in our absence and it's great to see them. The season's first potluck lunch was held today and Shirl made spaghetti and meat sauce which went over well. In the afternoon, we went to see the movie Abduction which was kind of OK but no academy award winner.

October 10th. Took an early flight back to Phoenix and Rick R. picked us up and delivered us to our door. We were both very tired but it was a wonderful trip.

October 9th. We drove to St. Augustine to see Deb and John. We had a nice visit with them and they took us to the Outback Crab Shack, where I tried the soft shelled crab - very good! John's sister Nancy came by afterwards and we showed them our Paris pictures. Drove back to Orlando and Jim and Karen provided some good pizza for dinner.

October 8th. Karen fixed us a great breakfast and we watched some TV while we waited for the cable guy to come and install a jack for a TV in the kitchen. Because of the rain, he didn't get there til quite late and then discovered he didn't have the right tool to install the outlet. We went to see Killer Elite in the afternoon and then Karen fixed us a great steak dinner.

October 7th. We had a short night's sleep because we had an early flight to Orlando to see Jim, Karen, Deb and John. Everything went smoothly and Jim was waiting for us at the Orlando airport when we arrived. Shirl had developed laryngitis by the time and wasn't able to talk much but we had a nice visit. We went out to Carrabba's for dinner and had a real nice meal. Lots of rain in Orlando.

October 6th. Checked out of the hotel and on the road by 8:00 AM. When we reached the Périphérique, the traffic was barely moving and we were concerned that we wouldn't be at the airport in time to catch our flight. Finally, the traffic opened up and we had clear sailing to the airport. The flight back to Boston was over 8 hours long and very tiring. We got a rental car in Boston and drove out to Joe and Carol's.

October 5th. Went to the Palace of Versailles and did the tour - unbelievable - so opulent. Paintings, statues, ceilings that have beautiful paintings. It just went on and on. We had pastry and a hot drink at the Palace and then went on to Marie Antoinette's hamlet. Smaller buildings - not as ornate but more attractive with the simplicity. There were flower and vegetable gardens and grape vines and sheep, horses, cows, and goats in the Hamlet. Also several ponds stocked with fish. A wonderful way to spend our last day in France. Weather was perfect. We finished up the evening at the Hippopotamus restaurant. Good food. Back to the hotel and finished packing for our return to the U.S.A.

October 4th. Cooler today. We rode the Metro over to the Louvre and got a ride on the BatoBus, which is a boat that goes up and down the Seine River. This was my first time going for a ride on the river. We went to see Napoleon's Tomb at the Invalides. In the evening, we decided to go to another creperie restaurant and I dropped the crew off and went in search of a parking place. About 45 minutes later, I finally found a spot and by the time I got back to the restaurant, everyone was worried about me because I had been gone so long.

October 3rd. We took off for Paris in the morning and would you believe, the car developed a strange knocking sound, so we drove out to the airport to get a different car. This took just about the whole morning. We went on to the Eiffel tower and stood in a very very long line to get tickets to go up to the first level. We had lunch there and enjoyed a great view of Paris. The weather was great.

October 2nd. We took the Rive Gauche train to Paris and toured the Louvre. We wanted to see Winged Victory, Venus, and the Mona Lisa. They were difficult to find but we eventually saw them all. After several false starts, we actually found the exit as well. After the Louvre, we had tea and a sweet at a sidewalk cafe across from the museum and then went on to Notre Dame. Shirl and I really enjoyed our visit inside the church. Amazing to think of how old these buildings are and still be in use. We had an adventure eating dinner at the Gris Chapeau (Gray Hat) in Versailles in the evening. After the meal we went to pay with our credit card and after trying three different cards, none of which worked, we had to go out to an ATM to get cash to pay the bill. It seems that no one in the restaurant was able to use their cards that night. To top off the evening we went looking for a gas station and couldn't find one near the hotel.

October 1st. We went to Giverny and hit stop and go traffic all the way - it took us three hours to go 50 kilometers. Seems like everyone in Paris was headed north. We walked around the fabulous gardens and lily pond of Monet. We went through his home. Shirl especially liked the yellow dining room and blue kitchen. In the evening, we met our friends Claude and Francy at the hotel and went to dinner at a creperie in Versailles. We had a wonderful visit with them.

September 2011

September 29th and 30th. Flew to Paris on American Airlines and arrived early in the morning of the 30th at Charles De Gaulle airport. We had two nice meals on the flight. Sunrise over the ocean was awesome! Charles De Gaulle airport was a little hectic. We rented a car from Hertz and proceeded to Versailles and checked into the Hotel Mercure at Parly2. In the afternoon, we walked around the grounds of the Versailles palace and then went on a car tour of points of interest in Paris. Traffic was horrendous - motorcycles zipping in and out of lanes; bicycles and pedestrians everywhere. We gave Shirl a good feel for Paris and went by the Louvre, Eiffel Tower, Arc de Triomphe, and Notre Dame.

September 27th and 28th. Our great adventure to Paris begins today! Rick R. took us to the airport at 10:15 AM. We went through the hassle of security - got all our belongings together and pulled the handles up on our luggage and would you believe, my handle broke. We were able to drag it to the gate. Shirl got out her tweezers and I went to work to fix it, and I did! On to Boston where we picked up a rental car and drove to Lunenberg to Joe and Carol's, arriving at 1:15 AM. Crawled into bed - spent the next day finalizing plans for Paris. We took Joe and Carol to a wonderful meal at the Mile Away Restaurant.

September 24th. We've played a lot of cards for the past week. Our friends Liz and Larry love to play pinochle and we had our usual Friday Bridge game at the clubhouse yesterday. We also went to see Money Ball yesterday afternoon. Very interesting story about the 2002 Oakland Athletics. The DBacks clinched the National League West division championship last night.

September 22nd. We watched a great video tonight about the Christmas star at Mari and Terry's bible study night.

September 20th. We had breakfast with Chip this morning over at Mimi's Cafe in the Desert Ridge shopping center. Afterwards we went up to Pioneer RV Park to get some things out of the travel trailer. Yesterday we had lunch with Arlene and Marty Martin at Arriba's Mexican Grill.

September 17th. Went to Prescott for the Arizona Best Fest. The whole square around the courthouse was blocked off and there were bands playing and art being displayed. We had sausage sandwiches and the bees were out in force trying to eat our food.

September 11th. Today is the tenth anniversary of the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center Twin Towers, the Pentagon, and the crash of United Flight 93. Shirl and I got up early this morning, went for a walk, put on our patriotic shirts, went to early mass, ate breakfast at Denny's and came home and watched the "Hole in the World" video by the Eagles and cried a bit... so sad remembering. Kerri made and brought over some cookies and we felt a bit better. She also let me borrow a copy of John Grisham's recent novel, The Confession. Good story which grabs you right away.

September 9th. We had a nice visit with Rick and Norene today. They had a video of Shirl's Dad being interviewed about his life. Very interesting. He said that the best advice he could give to anyone was to take your wife to church and also take her to sports events. This is great advice and Shirl and I already do that. Afterwards we went to the Bamboo Grille for dinner. The surgeon checked me out yesterday and everything in the thyroid area looks good.

September 7th. Had a checkup with the Urologist today and everything looks good for the next two months. We picked up our friends Verna and Don at the airport this evening. They are returning to Desert Shadows for the season. Tomorrow we have a checkup with the surgeon that removed my thyroid and if that goes well we will be through with doctor visits for a while. We went to see The Debt yesterday. Good suspense movie but definitely not a feel good movie.

September 4th. We woke up at about 5 this morning and decided to go out for breakfast at Denny's. Afterwards, we went to the early mass at St James. This afternoon we watched the DBacks win their game against the Giants in San Francisco. The DBacks now have a 7 game lead in the NL West.

August 2011

August 31st. The St. Vincent de Paul group took our friend Armand out for lunch today for his birthday at Fast Eddies. Shirl, Kerri and I went to see the DBacks play the Rockies tonight at Chase field. The DBacks won 4-2.

August 30th. We had a report from the Endocrinologist that the tumors in my thyroid were cancer free. Thank God for answered prayers.

August 26th. My thyroid was successfully removed yesterday and I am at home recuperating. My throat is a little scratchy but there is very little pain. Thanks to all for your prayers and good wishes. We won't know what additional treatment, if any, will be necessary but we feel comfortable in God's hands.

August 24th. Surgery is scheduled for tomorrow at 1:00PM. Chip and Mari are going to stay with Shirl during the operation.

August 18th. Today the Cardiologist cleared me for my thyroid operation.

August 16th. We visited the surgeon today and have decided to remove my thyroid due to the lesions on the right side. We need to get some clearances and some blood work before we set the date.

August 13th. We had donuts this morning in the rear auditorium of the clubhouse. Next week it's our turn to supply the donuts. Today we went to our fourth DBacks game at Chase Field this season. The DBacks beat the Mets 6-4 with a three run homer from Ryan Roberts in the 5th inning. We had our usual hot dogs and Coldstone ice cream.

August 11th. We had the second bladder check at the Urologist's this morning and things are still looking good. We went to see The Help this morning. Very good movie. Cardinal pre-season football started today against Oakland. Both the Cardinals and the DBacks won today.

August 8th. Headed back toward Phoenix by way of the Cortez route that we had planned for the initial trip. Stopped for lunch in Pagosa Springs and waited an hour for our meal to come out of the kitchen. We tried to get a room in Kayenta but they were totally booked. Then we tried Tuba City and they had no rooms available. Our only choice was to go on to Flagstaff. We booked a room suggested by our GPS and had trouble finding it because they had changed their name from Economy Inn to Knights Inn. All in all a very tiring day.

August 7th. Had a great visit at the Denver Science museum seeing the National Geographic Pirate exhibit. It covers the story of the slave ship Whydah which became a pirate ship and sank off the coast of Massachusetts. After lunch, we went to the Wings Over the Rockies exhibit which has a B-52 on a pedestal in front of the hangar. I really enjoyed seeing the B52 and other aircraft from the time I was in the USAF.

August 6th. We arrived at Dave's in the morning and played a few games of cribbage until Denise got home from work. We went to a great Chinese restaurant in the evening and polished off a bottle of plum wine.

August 5th. We took off for Denver today to see Dave and Denise. We had planned to travel through Cortez, CO and stay at Saguache, CO for the night. When we called ahead for the hotel, we found out that there was nothing available in town, so we decided to redirect our trip up to Moab and onto I-70. We stayed in Rifle, CO at a La Quinta hotel and had dinner at a great rib restaurant. The scenery on the trip was absolutely gorgeous.

August 1st. We went to the doctor today and it appears that my thyroid needs some work. We will be setting an appointment with a surgeon to see when we can take out the bad stuff.

July 2011

July 31st. Did a little shopping this morning and then settled in for a quiet day at home. We will watch the DBacks and the Dodgers play again today. The DBacks won last night 6-4.

July 30th. We went up to the clubhouse this morning and enjoyed some coffee cake made by Jewel. She also made rhubarb muffins but the other folks scarfed them up before we had a chance to take one. We had a priest come down from Seattle to say mass this evening. Our two priests are in Philadelphia this week for a meeting with their order.

July 28th. This morning I locked my keys in the car at church and had to call Shirl to deliver the second set. Rick R. was kind enough to drive her to the church. We only had 6 people at the hospital for communion today. Sad news today that our family friend Marilyn Quimby passed away in Florida yesterday.

July 24th. The DBacks beat the Rockies last night 12-3. Justin Upton hit a grand slam in the bottom of the 7th inning. Shirl baked a peach pie yesterday and we went over to Terry and Mari's for a movie and pie and ice cream. This afternoon we went to Brody's birthday party. He's a teenager now. Mike and Bob were there also and we had a good visit with them.

July 21st. Went out to lunch at Anzios with Mari this noon. This evening, we watched the DBacks beat the Brewers 4-0 to split the 4 game series with them.

July 19th. We had breakfast at Cracker Barrel this morning with Chip, Mike and Bob. Lots of laughs. We weren't particularly happy with our waitress but we did have a nice visit. Later, we went to see Cars 2. Nice animation and a cute story.

July 17th. We went to Ella's first birthday party and had a very nice time. She received some really nice gifts. We bought her a stuffed Snoopy.

July 15th. We went to see the DBacks play the Dodgers tonight at Chase Field. The Dodgers were up 6-0 in the middle of the seventh inning but the DBacks scored 4 runs in the bottom of the seventh to make it a ball game. Unfortunately, the DBacks couldn't come up with any more runs, so the final was 6-4.

July 11th. Woke up this morning to a slow steady rain and without a backache for the first time in a long time. We had a real nice breakfast at Cracker Barrel with Chip and Diane and had lunch with our friends Marty and Arlene at Arriba's Mexican Grill. This evening we watched the Home Run Derby from Chase Field.

July 10th. After church this morning we went up to the trailer and retrieved the mattress support pad. I've been having some lower back problems recently and wanted to see if this will help.

July 9th. Yesterday, we watched three Charles Bronson movies on one DvD that we got from the clubhouse. They have some loaner DvDs that all residents can share. We're having breakfast with Terry and Mari this morning at 5 and Diner. We've just about recovered from the dust storm and things are getting back to normal (hot and humid).

July 6th. We had the worst dust storm to hit Phoenix in years last night. We had just washed both of our vans yesterday and they are covered with dust, as is everything on our front porch. We could even smell the dust inside the house. It's the worst that I've ever seen in my 26 years here. On a lighter note, the Diamondbacks beat the Brewers last night 7 to 3.

July 5th. We had a quiet day at home on the fourth. Watched the Boston Pops fireworks show on the Esplanade in the evening. Stayed in and watched Burlesque. Today we had the oil changed in the little van and went to see Larry Crowne in the afternoon.

July 2nd. Not much going on in the park these days. We played bridge yesterday morning and spent the afternoon at home. We are in the hottest week so far this year and it's supposed to go up to 117 degrees today. There may be a rainstorm coming in tonight or tomorrow which should provide some welcome relief. Happy birthday to Bill if you are reading this. We went to Applebees for dinner after church tonight.

June 2011

June 29th. We took Shirl's bike over to the Bike Shop for a rear wheel repair. We seem to have a lot of trouble with tires here in the park. This time a spoke wore through and into the tube. In the evening, we went to Chili's with Mari and Kerri for Margaritas and dinner.

June 28th. Started the day with a nice breakfast with Chip and Mari at Cracker Barrel. Afterwards, we stopped at Wal-Mart for groceries and then we picked up two movies at Redbox ... The Tourist and Bloodworth. They were having a special with the second movie at half price. Both movies were pretty good.

June 26th. We drove up to Dewey yesterday and stopped at an Arts and Crafts Show. Then on to Prescott for the 30th Annual Bluegrass Festival. We had a nice lunch at The Palace and saw four bands play on the Courthouse Square. Afterwards, we went out to Lynx Lake and bumped into Gary from the Forest Service and had a nice visit with him. Later in the afternoon, we went over to Paul and Louise's and then on to Sally B's Restaurant in Prescott Valley for dinner. Great home style food. It was a very nice day from start to finish.

June 22nd. Motor Vehicle Activity today. Got the Little Van successfully emission tested and renewed the registration. Also renewed my driver license for another five years. Diamondbacks won again this evening over the Kansas City Royals. Rick sent me a really nice book of paintings for Father's Day. I need to get going on my paintings again.

June 20th. We had a nice Father's Day with Mari and family. Terry fixed some chicken breasts that were very tender and good. After lunch we watched a few movies. Chip, Jim and Rick checked in to wish me a Happy Father's Day.

June 18th. On Wednesday, the 15th, we went to see the DBacks play the Giants. Good game but the DBacks lost. Wilbur's memorial service was yesterday. Shirl, Kerri and I went to see Mr. Popper's Penguins today. It's a pretty funny movie. After the movie we went to Panda Express for some lunch.

June 12th. We had a very special night with my grandson Jon on Thursday. A group of men encouraged Jon to remain strong in his faith now that he is becoming a man. Each of us gave him a gift to remind him of various aspects of our Christian faith. His 18th birthday is this coming Monday. Last night we went to Chili's for Fajitas and a Margarita like we usually do on Saturdays after church. The server Matt gave us a free dessert in honor of our second anniversary. Today we spent a quiet day at home watching the Diamondbacks beat the Marlins.

June 7th. Shirl and I went down to Chase Field this morning and had a tour of the stadium. What a pleasant experience to stand in the dugout and walk up onto the field. This afternoon, we took our friends Don and Verna to the airport and then went to the Golden Phoenix for dinner.

June 3rd. Wilbur passed away during the night and is finally at rest. He was a wonderful man and will be sorely missed. We went to the Q Bar and Grill tonight for the fish fry - really good. This was my first time there. Diamondbacks beat the Nationals tonight 4-0. They are doing so much better than last year.

June 2nd. Our brother-in-law Wilbur had a stroke on Tuesday and it doesn't look good for him. He is not very responsive. We went over yesterday and today to spend some time with him and his family. His daughter Marianne flew in from Iowa to be with him.

May 2011

May 29th. We spent a pleasant afternoon yesterday at Mari and Terry's with Jim and Karen. In the evening we went to a graduation party for Cody and Austin. Their dad, Dave, put on a really nice spread.

May 26th. Big surprise this evening! Jim and Karen popped in from Orlando without calling ahead. What a wonderful treat. They will be here for Cody and Austin's graduation.

May 25th. We had a nice lunch with Mari today at the Shangri La restaurant. Their Lemon Chicken is delicious. We've just been relaxing around home this week. We usually attend new movies during the week but there aren't any that we think are worth seeing this week.

May 21st. We had a nice breakfast with Chip yesterday morning at Cracker Barrel and while we there, Denny came in with Wilbur. That was quite a treat for us to see him out and about although he is still very weak. Last night we went out to Carrabba's with the Rooses and Ulricks and had a very nice dinner of Pork Tenderloins.

May 19th. We spent two beautiful days up in Dewey and Prescott this week as guests of our friends Paul and Louise. We stopped by the Forest Service office on Tuesday and had a nice meeting with the head of the Recreation group there, along with our friend Gary.

May 12th. We went camping up to Lake Pleasant Regional Park yesterday and had a great time except for the gnats (no-see-ums) which were quite plentiful. I also sat on my glasses and popped a lens out so I drove home with one eye on the road and the other in my pocket... We went to the Urologist today and got another good report. Nothing more to do until late July when they recheck the bladder.

May 6th. The Diamondbacks beat the Rockies 4-3 the other night, so we were very happy to have chosen that game to attend. The dental visit went well because neither of us had any new problems. Yesterday there was a potluck at the clubhouse and most people bought Mexican food in honor of Cinco de Mayo. Lots of good food. In the afternoon we went over to the post office to apply for our passports. This morning we are going over to a yard sale to check out what Mari calls a lot of stuff. We don't particularly need anything but we'll check it out anyway.

May 2nd. Breakfast at Cracker Barrel yesterday and then up to the trailer to retrieve a few things. We stopped at Happy Valley shopping center on the way back to pick up a map of France. We are hoping to take a trip there in the future. Today, after working at the SVdP pantry, Shirley and I went out to lunch with friends at Arriba's in the Arrowhead Center. Dental check up day tomorrow and a trip downtown to see the Diamondbacks play the Rockies.

April 2011

April 30th. Good news on the health front this week. We went to see the Pulmonologist on Wednesday and he told us that the lymph node in my chest had shrunk and that we don't need to worry about it. We went to the movies on Thursday to celebrate and saw Water for Elephants. Afterwards we had a really nice lunch at Islands in the Desert Ridge mall. We sat outside and enjoyed the warm weather and beautiful breeze. Yesterday we played bridge at the clubhouse and Shirl won first place.

April 24th. Easter Sunday. Shirl and I started the day by going to the sunrise service over at St. James and then went for breakfast at Fast Eddies. Kerri came over at 8:30 and we went to All Saints Lutheran for the 9:30 service. It was wonderful! They have a fantastic choir and instrumental group as well as a service that's quite familiar to me. At noon we will go over to Rick and Norene's for Easter dinner.

April 21st. Haircut and grocery shopping today.

April 20th. We started out today by going over to John C Lincoln Hospital at 6:00AM to get a CT Scan on my chest. When we arrived, they couldn't find the doctor's order even though they had me on the schedule. When they finally got the order, the scan requested was not the service that was approved. They finally got around to doing my CT Scan at 8:00, instead of the scheduled 7:00AM appointment. This afternoon we went to see The Conspirator - good movie.

April 19th. Good news from the Urology office today - the biopsies that they took last Wednesday came back negative for cancer. We are so grateful to God - Thank you Lord! We've seen a lot of movies in the past few days... Return to Me, Ray, and Walk the Line. We had Mari, Terry and the kids over for dinner on Saturday and played Hand and Foot. The kids won. Our street is virtually empty now that everyone has left for the summer. The next few weeks are filled with doctor appointments and blood tests. Such are the golden years.

April 14th. The doctor put me back on Coumadin today and the next checkup with him will be in October.

April 13th. We went to see The Lincoln Lawyer yesterday. Very interesting movie. Today I had a procedure done to check the inside of my bladder. Chip and Diane stayed with Shirl during the procedure and I am grateful for that. The surgeon told them that there was no tumor but they did a biopsy just to make sure that there is no residual cancer. We have an appointment in May with the doctor to get the results.

April 9th. We just got back from the last dance of the season at the clubhouse. We had a good turnout and it was sad to see so many people leaving for the summer this coming week. Shirl and I bought a love seat recliner earlier in the day and it will be delivered tomorrow.

April 6th. We had a wonderful Florida visit this last weekend. We left here on Thursday, the 31st, and returned on April 4th, our anniversary. We spent time with Jim and Karen in Orlando and also with Deb and John in St. Augustine. The weather was absolutely perfect and we had a great time in both places.

March 2011

March 29th. Got to spend some time with my SVdP friends yesterday. I'll start being more active in the conference now that I'm feeling better. Today, Shirl and I will be playing Cribbage at the clubhouse. Things are starting to quiet down here in the park and soon Shirl and I will be the only ones left on our circle.

March 26th. Shirl and I went up to Prescott last Tuesday to work on some Forest Service spreadsheets that I had done for them earlier. We had a nice day and had lunch at the Olive Garden. We saw many of our old Forest Service friends. On Wednesday, we hosted a block party for the neighbors in our circle. Some people have left for the summer so there were less than 40 people here for the potluck. We had a good time anyway. Last night we met up with Kerri at the Cracker Barrel for their Friday fish fry.

March 21st. Today was my last BCG treatment. Next is the look inside the bladder on April 13th.

March 20th. We had a wonderful service at the Desert Shadows Church this morning. Becky Mendez dedicated a song to Wilbur and Lucille Fogel (Surely the Presence of the Lord is in this Place). There weren't too many dry eyes in the congregation. We had a church picnic after service and the food was plentiful and delicious. Shirl made a terrific cake. We bought a few pieces over to Lucille Fogel because she really loves the frosting on this cake.

March 17th. Happy St Patrick's Day to all. We had a pleasant surprise this morning. Shirl and I decided to have a donut at Lamar's and when we got there we bumped into the Calvary Teen group enjoying their donuts. Mari and Emi were there and we had a wonderful visit with them. Yesterday we went to see Cedar Rapids and were not particularly impressed. Today we will be going to see The Grace Card which we hear is very inspiring.

March 14th. Well, we finally found a replacement dining table for our family room. You may recall all of the difficulty with the first one that required shims, duct tape, sheet metal screws and brackets to keep from falling apart. We had a patio sale here in the park last Saturday and somehow one of our residents discovered that we needed a replacement table, so they called us and we went over to look at the one they had for sale. Well, it was better than the one we had so we bought it. Unfortunately, it was two inches shorter than our current one so we decided to put casters on the bottom to raise it up. "Handyman" that I am, I figured it wouldn't be much of a problem to put four casters on the bottom of the table, so I went to Ace Hardware and bought some. Unfortunately, I didn't drill two of the holes deep enough so the table wobbled. After prying off the two that weren't deep enough I made another trip to Ace to buy two more caster sets. When I got home I discovered that I had purchased the plate mount instead of the stem mount, so that wouldn't work. By the time I got over to Ace to get the correct casters, they had closed for the day. The good news is that when I got over there yesterday after three trips and bought the correct ones, they fit. Now we have a nice new table that only needs to be varnished. We'll see how that turns out soon. On another front, take a look at the skit that Shirl and I did at the Desert Shadows Talent Show. I had my fifth instillation treatment today and have one more to go next Monday.

March 7th. We went to Fast Eddie's for breakfast after church yesterday and there were at least 35 people there from Desert Shadows. It's a favorite spot for seniors because the prices are reasonable. We had a quiet day at home watching the Las Vegas NASCAR race and then watching The Hunt for Red October which I hadn't seen for over eleven years. It was like watching it for the first time. This morning Shirl is hosting a ladies's bridge game and this afternoon I'll be having the fourth instillation treatment.

March 6th. We decided to go to the clubhouse yesterday morning for pancakes and eggs and were surprised that many of the Mann family were there - Marianne, Denny, Wilbur, and Bev. It was a pleasant surprise and we had a nice visit. This morning, at church, there will be dedication ceremony for the new piano. organ and candlesticks. The candlesticks were bought with the memorial money from Shirl's sister Leone's fund.

March 4th. This week's instillation treatment was a bit painful but the side effects were minimal. I am feeling better than I have for a long time. The park owner came by a few days ago and told us that we had to move our satellite dish because it wasn't on our lot, so we are having that done today. Also, we are having our roof sealed today because there is a persistent leak over our dining room window.

February 2011

February 26th. We went to see Unknown yesterday. Very unusual plot but a good show.

February 24th. The Talent Show is over for another year. Mike and Bob came by to see the show. It was really great to see them there.

February 23rd. The show went very well last evening and people really had a good time. Mari, Terry and the kids came by for the show. This evening will be the last performance and we'll have a cast party afterwards. We had to drop the little van off at Brakes Plus because the "Brake" light was on. It turns out to be rear brake cylinders. Liz and Larry came over this noon for a few games of pinochle and cribbage.

February 21st. Full dress rehearsal tonight for the Talent Show. We both think that this year's show will be a good one. We had quite a few laughs yesterday in rehearsal. Our colds are better but we are both a little sluggish.

February 17th. Well, both of us have colds now and we are sticking close to the house while we get well. We have a few more rehearsals before the Talent Show and I think that we will be ready.

February 15th. We got through the second instillation treatment yesterday, so we have four more to go. Unfortunately, I have come down with a cold and aren't feeling particularly well today.

February 9th. We finally got through the first BCG instillation on Monday and, I'm happy to report, the side effects are minimal. Five more to go. We went out to lunch with Mari today in honor of her upcoming birthday. We really enjoy eating at Anzio's and had a terrific visit with Mari. The Rebecca Dawn show will be at the clubhouse tonight. We really enjoyed her show two years ago.

February 7th. Today we will try again to start the series of BCG instillations. After church yesterday, Barb, Myron, Kerri, Shirl and I went to Cracker Barrel for brunch and then home for the day. The Super Bowl was fun to watch. Lots of Packer fans here in the park. I wasn't all that impressed with the ads. Maybe it's a sign of age.

February 5th. Well, we passed our auditions and we are both going to be in the talent show. It will be on the nights of February 22nd and 23rd. Tonight we went to St. Thomas More for the first time. Afterwards, we went to Chili's for Fajitas and Margaritas and then played some pinochle with Liz and Larry.

February 3rd. We called the Urologist this morning to find out about the infection and they told us that they have the results back and there is no infection... So, my weekly treatments will begin next Monday. Shirl and I played cribbage up at the clubhouse today - Shirl finished second. Tomorrow morning we will be doing our auditions.

February 2nd. We haven't heard back from the Urologist about what antibiotic to take for the bladder infection. We went to the Endocrinologist yesterday and discussed the lesion in my thyroid. We will check it again in six months to see if it has grown and, if so, we will have it removed. In the afternoon we went to see The Fighter. It was a very good movie and brought back memories of living in Lowell.

January 2011

January 31st. The bladder treatment scheduled for today was postponed because of a bladder infection.

January 28th. We played Bridge this morning for the first time in a while and neither of us won anything. It was fun anyway. Afterwards, we went shopping at the Wal-Mart at Happy Valley and bought some new walking shoes. Tonight we went to see The Gaithers over in Glendale. What an awesome concert. They performed for 4 hours, with great gospel music and comedy.

January 27th. Yesterday, we went and had the ultrasound on the Thyroid and are waiting for the results. We went to the Pulmonologist this morning and he told us that the lymph node in the upper chest is nothing to lose sleep over at this point. We will have a follow up CT Scan in late April to check it again.

January 25th. We've been to see two movies in the past two days - True Grit yesterday and The King's Speech today. After the show today, we went by Dr Skelly's office to pick up an order for an ultrasound on my Thyroid. There was a spot there on the CT scan that they took in the hospital. We'll be doing that ultrasound in the morning.

January 22nd. We celebrated the birthdays of three wonderful women tonight - Shirl, Louise and Arlene. We go out for dinner once during every January to celebrate their birthdays. We went to Anzio's, which is a fine Italian dining restaurant. We all love Italian food. Afterwards, we came home and had a piece of great cheesecake from Costco.

January 21st. I was released from being homebound today. We got some grocery shopping done. It was so good to be out and about. The emergency unit came to see Wilbur today. He had a reaction from too much insulin and the EMTs were able to fix him up. As for me, I feel so much better and I can't begin to describe how good it feels to have friends and family who have been praying for me.

January 19th. Great day today! First of all, it's Shirl's birthday and second of all, they removed the catheter today. I feel really well. I still have to remain homebound for two more days but then can resume normal activities.

January 15th. Well, I've been home for a day now and feeling better all the time. Having a catheter in is uncomfortable but manageable. I believe that the Urologist will remove it this coming Wednesday. More bad news yesterday ... I found out that my friend Joe is in the hospital with severe back problems.

January 14th. It's been a pretty rough week. On Monday, I had to go to the emergency room for some tests and they found a mass in my bladder, which they removed on Wednesday. Fortunately, it is a low grade cancer and can be treated.

January 8th. Received a New Year's greeting from my friend Francy. He sent a picture of his grandchildren. They are really great looking kids. We thought that we would have a quiet day today, but ended up going out to lunch with Liz and Larry and playing pinochle afterwards until time for church. Tonight we went to our first dance of the New Year. The band was "Country Fever" and were very easy to dance to.

January 5th. Shirl and I had a late breakfast at Cracker Barrel today. Play practice continues this evening in preparation for the January 25th and 26th performances. This will be the first practice on stage with some props and furniture.

January 2nd. Early morning church today and then out for brunch at Cracker Barrel with Myron and Barb. We watched the Cardinals get thumped by the San Francisco Giants in the afternoon.

January 1st. Happy New Year to all. We just got back home from a New Year's party at some friends. Wonderful way to start the year. We went to a late morning brunch at Denny's today with some of our friends and played cards after mass later in the day with our friends Liz and Larry.



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