Saturday, January 19, 2019

Bob’s Health Scare

A lot of things have been happening here so it’s time that I catch everyone up. About two weeks ago Bob noticed a little swollen spot on his inner left calf. Not only did it not get better over the next couple of days, it got worse, and the pain now went up into his inner thigh. So he went to the local Urgent Care and they sent him to get an ultrasound. Shortly afterwards he got a call from the Urgent Care doctor telling him to go immediately to the emergency room. It was a blood clot in his saphenous vein and he was thrombosed from calf to groin. Bob picked me up and together we went right over. After several hours he was discharged on blood thinners. Two days later he was seeing a vascular surgeon who told Bob the good news that no surgery was needed. He’ll follow up with another ultrasound in two and a half months and at that time should be able to stop taking the blood thinners.  Bob will be wearing compression socks from now on when he drives long distances; we are assuming that’s why he developed clots in his leg. The swelling has disappeared and Bob feels good.

The other big news is that we have returned Howie to the animal rescue. He had shown aggression towards children twice over the last month and since we spend our summers around grandchildren we felt our family was not an appropriate placement for this dog. It was very hard to make this decision, and it really helped that when I brought him back Howie appeared very happy to see all the people at the rescue. Plus, a man came by and upon hearing that Howie was available to adopt he told me he wanted him. So hopefully that worked out for him.

It is so strange to be back to just one dog again!

I am learning to play the harmonica and am having a lot of fun with it. A friend has given me my first lesson and I’m already able to play simple songs. There’s a harmonica band here in the park that I’ll be joining next week.

Ta ta for now!

Monday, December 31, 2018

2018 Reflections, Part 2

Summertimes are always full of family and good times. Bob and I took the train into Philadelphia and enjoyed wandering around the old city.
We had a very successful GrandCamp in Cape May Courthouse.

This year Bob and I decided to tour New England, while we waited for the arrival of grandchild #8. We started out in Rhode Island where we gathered with family.
Bob and I moved on to Monson, MA, where I saw my friend Jeen and spent some time visiting Vävstuga and then hung out together.
We toured Sturbridge Village.
Bob and I continued west to Rhinebeck, NY and visited the FDR Library.
We also had a chance to visit Bob’s cousin, Beth, and her guy, Gary.
From Rhinebeck we moved on to a West Chazy, NY, saw the site of the Battle of Plattsburgh, and hopped over the border to Montreal for the day.
We spent a couple of days in Williamstown, VT and then went to Montpelier, VT, the only capital city without a McDonalds.
Bob and I went up to the top of Mount Washington.
Then we drove to Orono, ME, where we had a pretty memorable two weeks, but not in a good way. At least the scenery was pretty, and we did take day trips to Castine, ME, to Moosehead Lake, and to Acadia National Park.
We also took a trip to Macomber Looms. 

From Maine, we returned to NJ to await our grandson, Silas’s birth. He arrived with a rush of joy, as babies usually do.
We hung around for a week before heading west towards Arizona, stopping for the night in Virginia, Tennessee, Arkansas, and then Oklahoma City. We spent a day in the National Cowboy &Western Heritage Museum.
From OKC we drove to Vega, TX, then to Vaughn, NM before spending two nights in Las Cruces, NM and seeing our friend, Joan. We continued on to Tucson for the night (and a visit with Chuck and Linda,) before finally arriving in Mesa, AZ for the winter. We made the trip from NJ to Mesa in 12 days, with a two day layover in a OKC and an extra day in Las Cruces. 

Howie is settling in very well and he and Auggie are becoming good friends.

Yesterday we got a new refrigerator, which completes our kitchen except for the cabinet over the fridge. This is the old fridge, with cabinet doors removed just before demo.
And this is the new one.
Bob is going to have to rebuild that since he had to tear out a wall and a cabinet to get this big fridge in. But what pleasure to have a new refrigerator with lots of room in it.
Bob and I want to wish you a very HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Sunday, December 30, 2018

2018 Reflections, Part 1

I enjoy looking back on our year at the end of each December, so please join me in my annual retrospective.

In January of 2018 we were still dealing wth the kitchen/living room renovation; finishing and putting in countertops and replacing the stove and microwave. I was in Mesa with “the boys” for the month. It was fun to see the kitchen shape up.
In February I returned to NJ to help out my daughter with recuperation following surgery. As an end-of-year update, she is cancer-free and feels great!

In March we had the pleasure of a visitor, Bob’s niece Emily, who traveled with us to Texas before flying home. We left Mesa, AZ for Tucson, visited with friends Chuck and Linda, saw the Mini Time Machine Museum and visited Saguaro National Park.
From there we traveled to Las Cruces, NM, ran down to Puerto Palomas, Mexico for a few hours, and went to White Sands National Monument.
We spent the night in Fort Fort Stockton, TX before moving on to San Antonio. It was so much fun seeing these places through Emily’s eyes! We met up with my sister and her husband as well as some of our nieces and nephews and their children for a fun day at the Botanical Gardens.
We also were able to visit with friends Ron and Kathy, who live nearby.
Then we headed east to Beaumont, TX and then went on to New Orleans, LA.
We visited Biloxi, MS and stopped in to see our son-in-law, Jason who was taking a course at the Air Force base nearby.
We visited Pensacola and toured the historic district. From there we moved on to Saint Augustine to see the sights there.
Then, it was on to Walt Disney World for a magical week. That was such fun!
After we left The Magic Kingdom we visited my friend, Ellen, in Sun City.
It was then time for a sisters’ weekend in Porta Gunta, FL, where my sister Wendy has a condo.
From there we stopped in Carrollton, GA to see Retha and Mike.
Bob and I headed steadily north, stopping after about 250 miles each day but not sightseeing, until we reached our daughter’s house in NJ.

Tomorrow I will finish the year’s retrospective.

Monday, December 24, 2018


It’s the day of Christmas Eve! Bob and I have had a very full week. A week ago we brought this little guy home and we have been working on getting to know one another and on improving his housebreaking skills.
Meet Howie, a sweet little terrier mix who is about 9 months old. He is from a local animal rescue and came with the name of “Prince.”  The first few times we brought him to the dog park he was recognized by the dog park regulars. Apparently one of the volunteers at the shelter lives nearby and had brought him here to the dog park to socialize him. So here Howie is “the dog formerly known as Prince.”

He was pretty much housebroken when we got him, thank goodness, and after 3 or 4 nights of crying he settled in and is now a perfect lamb in his crate. He sleeps from 9:00 to 6, too. Oh my, getting an older pup is so much easier than a tiny baby one!

He and Auggie are getting along better, too. Each has his spot on my recliner; Auggie is tucked under my left arm and Howie snoozes by my knees. There have been a few squabbles but nothing too violent, and Howie has accepted the fact that Auggie is “first dog.” Bob and I are surrogate parents because Howie will be traveling to our daughter Catherine’s house in NJ in the spring to live with her and her family. Until then, we will be working on making him a well behaved dog and giving him lots of love.

The deck is so close to being finished. We had to place one more order from Lowe’s and sometime in January it should be done.
This photo doesn’t show the gate, but there is one now and it’s so nice to sit out with the dogs. Temperatures have been in the low 70s but a cold snap is coming and in a few days the highs will only be in the mid 50s to mid 60s. Our cold season here is from end of December through January. I’m sure our family in New Jersey and New England won’t feel sorry for us one bit!
Tonight Bob and I will go to see a modern Nativity play in the park. Two of our friends who are sisters, Kathy and Rhea, play a Jamaican girl and a Wise Woman, so it should be very interesting and a lot of fun.

Bob and I want to wish all of you a very merry Christmas!

Saturday, December 8, 2018

A Belated Update

It has been weeks since I last wrote to you, dear blog reader. So here is what has been happening in our lives since the middle of November.
The deck is almost finished (yes I heard you exclaim, “It’s not done done yet???”)  Our local Lowe’s did not carry the railing parts in stock so we are still waiting for some of them to be delivered, as a matter of fact. But we can use it and we love it. Bob has been crafting storage compartments, often referred to as “coffins” by the over-55-crowd (oh, those wacky seniors!). Aren’t they great?
Our neighbors are very impressed with Bob’s handiwork and stop in regularly to tell him so.

My birthday fell on Thanksgiving this year and with a little digging I discovered that, due to leap years, I will not have another Thanksgiving birthday again until 2029. Ordinarily the two coincide about every 5 or 6 years.

Finishing the deck has been pretty much the focus of our lives lately but we have had some fun, too. Our friends Linda and Chuck, with their dog Tucker, drove their motorhome to the park to visit for a few days and we enjoyed their company very much. I’ve been weaving and have finished my grandson Silas’s baby blanket, except for the binding which I may redo because I’m not entirely happy with it. I’ll show a photo when I finish it to my satisfaction.

I’ll try and be a little better about keeping up with my blog in the future.

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

The Deck Progresses

Work on the deck has been slower than anticipated but Bob is pushing onward and it is looking good. The manufactured decking material is a bit fiddly. Plus, every few minutes a passer-by stops to comment, ask questions, or simply strike up a conversation. While it is nice to have such a friendly park, this is not exactly conducive to productivity. It’s a good thing we are retired!
As you can see, Auggie and I are already sitting on it!

The other project that is continuing is my work on my grandson’s baby blanket. I finished warping this week and have started weaving. I think it’s looking quite nice! The warp and weft is 8/4 cotton and the draft is from Tom Knisely’s book, Handwoven Blankets.
I have to say that I love this loom. I’m weaving on my Big Macomber loom as I go along I’m learning just how well it works. This is truly a workhorse of a loom and it is a joy to use. 

The park has had electrical power outages this week as workmen upgrade the electrical service. Because of the outages, Bob and I went antique shopping today to see if we could find a kitchen table  that we like better than the one we have been using. We haven’t found one yet but it was sure fun to look!

I’ll report back with more deck photos as the project progresses.

Friday, November 2, 2018

The Loom Room is Finished

Bob and I have been settling into our little park model home. There has been so much to do! We joined Costco for the first time and have been exploring what this store can do for us.  I got my flu shot there, and today got passport photos from Costco’s photo department. Apparently, this is the place with the best prices for things like that.

I checked with the Activities Department here about when the Fiber Arts group was starting up, and was told that there was no coordinator so the group was cancelled. “I’ll do it!” I immediately responded, so now I am the group coordinator. I really don’t think there’s much to do as coordinator of this group other than be the official contact person. I can handle that.

My big project so far has been the organization of my loom room. Bob and I went to Lowe’s yesterday and purchased 4 eight foot long wire shelves, plus the upright holder thingies and metal arms that hold the shelves. Bob had them up in no time, and then it was my turn. We had gone to the Container Store for bins, so all I had to do was place like things together. Here are photos of how it came out.

Bob’s plans for a deck were signed off on by the manager so that is our next big project. Hopefully it will all come together quickly so we can sit around on our deck all day. Ha! Ha! That’s not going to happen because after the deck will be the painting of the bedroom and remodeling the bathroom.