Sunday, April 27, 2008


Yuma weather: Sunshine, 68 degrees, blue skies and breezy at 6:52 a.m.

The forecast for the next week is from the high 80s into the 100s and lots of sunshine! Phil and I are so acclimated to these temperatures we manage quite well with a little help from our air conditioners on occasion. However, for Penny’s sake (wink, wink), we are getting ready to move westward into a cooler clime. Actually, we do realize the hot sun is not good for her long term any more so than too much rain and moisture. So far, we have not had any significant sun damage or leaks in the three and a half years we have lived in our wonderful little home on wheels and we’d like to keep it that way.

Aunt Elaine and Aunt Beverly will be leaving Yuma early this morning. We will miss them a lot! As two ladies traveling alone, their biggest concern is whether or not the car will handle the trip without incident. Of course, gas prices are also on all our minds but as Phil and I say, 'it is what it is." Remember 9-11? We all wanted to crawl under the covers and hide from the terrorists but quickly we realized that if we did that, THEY win and for most rational people, life eventually returned to normal. So—we can beat our chests and cry long and loud allowing gas prices to immobilize us and control our lives or we can make adjustments in our lifestyle to handle the increase in price. No one likes paying more for gasoline and we all have strong opinions about why this is happening but the bottom line is, we let it have power over us or we do not. Phil and I choose the latter.

Sister update: After checking in with my sisters yesterday, I found both of them doing well. Dixie is upbeat and awaiting news and decisions from more doctors. It seems everything takes so long … consultations, blood work, HEALING and whenever I talk to her, she is always waiting for some kind of news. Frustrating at best! She told her doctor she would sure like to just once go into his office and hear something positive and his response was non committal. Sound familiar? Robin is recovering well from her surgery and is busy moving out of her big house in Shelton into the much smaller space of an apartment in Olympia and according to her husband Walt’s last e-mail they will sign the final papers on Monday and turn over the keys to the realtor on Wednesday. Then the big job of unpacking in the new place begins.

Sunday, April 20, 2008


Yuma weather: 6:52 a.m. 50 degrees with sunshine and a gentle breeze in the palms.

Spring has sprung; trees and plantings are in bloom and the birds in Yuma are doing what they do … making baby birds and chirping up a storm. Aunt Elaine has a pair of nesting doves just out her window in the gutter of the carport next door that keep us entertained. Something is always going on. We watched them build the nest and now it appears they are taking turns sitting on it. Yuma residency is shrinking daily as the exodus continues to places and points more northern. An occasional "overnighter" stops by while passing through but our RV Park is getting quieter each day. The temperatures have been between 80 to 100 degrees the past week or so but as you can see from my weather report above, it cools down nicely at night—perfect sleeping weather. Waking up to sunshine each morning is like an intravenous shot of vitamins for me … I just feel so good living where it is sunny every day. People who enjoy living with four seasons probably think it might be boring but to you I say, if the opportunity presents itself, give it a try! You just might be surprised.

Sister report: Robin and her husband, Walt have begun their trek to Washington today and since I have heard nothing to the contrary, I assume she is doing fine. Dixie has nothing new to report except that her family is getting her out and about a couple times a week which boosts her spirit tremendously. She is a long way from the finish line but she has no pain and really appreciates these breaks in the nursing home routine.

Aunt Beverly arrived safe and sound on a two step flight from Seattle/Salt Lake City this past Wednesday. Phil and I have been saturating ourselves with their wonderful sense of humor and loving family presence. We enjoy every minute of the time they share with us. Aunt Elaine is feeling better every day and they will most likely close up the house and head north the end of this coming week. Cousins, Shannon and Jonelle surprised Phil and I with wonderful “thank you” gift cards for one of our favorite restaurants, The Olive Garden and we are going to share these gifts by taking the aunties out to dinner this coming Tuesday. Thanks a bunch cousins! Although Phil and I truly feel we did nothing beyond the ordinary your generosity was an unforeseen gesture and we appreciate it very much!

Our dear Aunt Elaine waiting patiently for her sister to arrive at Yuma International Airport.

Commuter plane waiting for take off ...

Whimsical airplane sculpture suspended in mid-air.

Flight of fancy #2.

Aunt Beverly arrives in Yuma!

Sunday, April 13, 2008


Yuma weather at 8:45 a.m.: 72 degrees and sunshine with a gentle breeze rustling through the palm trees! Lovely!

It’s been a high tension week here in Yuma. Two family members we love very much endured a personal health crisis and we burned up some mega cell phone minutes. One was scheduled but the other involved a trip to the emergency room and hospitalization for two and a half days.

Last November, in Washington State our Aunt Elaine had a painful attack of shingles and cellulites. She spent a few days in the hospital after a ride to the E-room with the EMTs. Pretty sure she was fully recovered, and tired of the cold weather, her son, Casey drove her south to Yuma in January to get some sunshine and relax in the warm winter weather in the southwest. Last Sunday night the misery came back with a vengeance and by Tuesday, Phil and I insisted she go to the doctor. As expected, after she was examined, they put her in the hospital, again. She came home on Thursday after massive doses of intravenous antibiotics and antiviral medications, and orders to continue the regime with several oral prescriptions. I am happy to report, she is doing well—getting better daily and hopefully, is at last finished with this insidious virus. We expect her sister, Beverly to arrive this next week and the two ladies will begin their drive north as soon as Elaine is ready to go.

Then on Thursday, my sister, Robin in California had a scheduled lumpectomy, or partial mastectomy which proceeded routinely according to her husband, Walt. The pathology report next Thursday will tell the tale as to where she goes from here in her treatment. Robin is feeling pretty good and they plan to head north to Washington on the 20th spending the next 10 days removing their belongings from the second home they recently sold in Shelton. Robin tells me their plans are to rent an apartment in Olympia (20 miles east of Shelton) for now so they have a landing zone for their possessions and a homey place (without the responsibilities of home ownership) to stay while on their numerous trips north to spent time with the grandchildren.

Sister Dixie report: This woman has mystified her doctor and his colleagues according to the latest visit and X-rays. Dixie said the screw they were so sure was going to back out and cause havoc has not moved now for four weeks. Why its position has not changed as expected is confounding the medical community that is taking care of my sister. More conferences are scheduled to determine whether the hip replacement surgery is still a viable option or whether recovery should continue with the status quo. Stay tuned!

Phil has been working at cousin, Nada’s place and he took a few pictures of his handy work. It is looking good and she plans to put it on the market before the end of the month!

Updated light fixtures over the double sinks in the master bathroom.

Well-done design work from tile in master bath into carpeted walk-in closet.

One of the two new sinks and fixtures in the master bathroom after installation

Intricate floor tile work transitioning from the master bedroom into the living room.

All new plumbing and garbage disposal under the kitchen sink.

New kitchen sink and faucet.

Guest bathroom with new light fixture and framing around the mirror to camouflage the silvering deterioration.

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Just another day of blue skies and sunshine!

Hello from sunny Yuma, Arizona! Our neighbors are, and have been steadily, pulling out by the dozens heading for all points north and we can’t help but wonder … “what’s the hurry?” The weather is just about perfect here and for goodness sake, it is still raining and snowing in the upper half of the good old USA. We hear people say, “It’s starting to get hot!” Well, yeah! Isn’t that why we are all here? And, the white stuff is still coming down in northern Arizona for crying out loud (she exclaims euphemistically)! However, that said, Phil and I are also feeling the urge to travel but since our ultimate destination is above the 38th parallel good sense prevails and we will stay where we are for a few more weeks until that region has warmed up—like to at least 70 degrees—okay?

Sister Dixie update: Not much news. Her spirits remain pretty good and I was happy to hear that there is not much pain anymore. I have no medical background but that would seem to say she is healing and her body is winning the battle against the Staph infection. More than one person has told me that the staff at the nursing home hangs out in her room and takes very good care of her. A big bowl on the dresser in her room, heaping full of candy might have something to do with that—did I tell you my sister is very smart?

At the risk of jumping the gun (I am not certain she has told her mother yet) I have some unexpected family news. I have still not adjusted to it being “great” news, but for sure, it is surprising. My granddaughter, Megan and her husband, Joshua called night before last. They wanted me to know that I am going to be a great grandmother for the second time in mid-November! These newlyweds (married one year in January 2008) made many exciting plans that must be put aside and tucked away in the “what if” files for now because someone else has joined them in their journey called “life”. This new little person was not planned for … but this new little person will be loved and nurtured by two very special people. I know my granddaughter and she chose Joshua so there is no doubt this baby will be considered a blessing and treated accordingly. Congratulations to Megan and Joshua!
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