Saturday, November 10, 2007

The Story of Paperclip Bend

Michael and I used to walk daily on campus -- did it for years. Well, one day, we were walking around to the south of Read Center around a bend in the sidewalk. There, on the sidewalk, were dozens of colorful paper clips! It was as if someone's backpack had been open and they just dropped out. The next day, they were still there, and the next and the next! We started calling that corner "Paper Clip Bend."

Finally, the paper clips became ground into the dirt on either side of the sidewalk and it was harder to see them. So Michael and I would bring along a few paper clips and drop them when we went around that bend. After we got back from our 3 months in Tucson in 2006, there were STILL paper clips to be seen there!

We'd be walking on other parts of campus, or anywhere, and find a paper clip on the ground. We'd smile and say, "It's trying to find its way home," and pick it up. Then, the next time we went to Paper Clip Bend, we'd drop it there.

Shortly before Michael passed away, I went walking on campus, and they had PAVED that sidewalk, entombing our paper clips forever. I had some with me and dropped them along the sidewalk there. They are probably still there. I'll drop more when I return in the summer.

So yeah.. paper clips were a big deal for us, during the last 5 years we were together. :) And now, when I find a paper clip, I pick it up, because it sort of feels like Michael has dropped it for me.

Here's a map (from Google Maps Hybrid View) showing Paper Clip Bend at the tip of my arrow. The magenta trail is a small part of Michael's and my usual route through campus.

Friday, November 09, 2007

Whining about the heat

LOL yes... I'm whining about the heat! It was 88ยบ today on my porch, and that was in the shade. In the cottage, it remained a cool 75, though, thanks to my huge A/C unit! I forget what it feels like to be uncomfortably cold. :D

This morning was Computer Club. The club had discussed abandoning the Friday night movies till January, but we discussed that again today, and decided that the Village likes the movies and we sort of owe it to them to do them, even if, as a club, we are not impoverished. For similar reasons, I'm hoping that we keep having the Computer Club dinner. Even though it IS a lot of work, it is a really nice thing for the Village, and the club makes good money from it.

I got a look at the new computer room today and, while it is small, it is a dedicated room and has plenty of potential. I say that the place should be filled with computers on tables facing the front, and we can have classes in there!

I did some picking up and filing and bill-paying in the office today and the place looks much more like a real home now. I'm happy. I called and made my airline and rental car reservations for Thanksgiving, and I've arranged for care for the dog and the cat. I didn't get the call made regarding that insurance issue, but I've added that to my Monday list.

Oooh, and I got a package today! :) Dave sent me a Sox World Series Champs shirt and a multi-card reader for my computer. He knew how I struggled to get files from one computer to the other when I was putting together Michael's Memorial Service. What a nice surprise! If anyone reading this wants to send me anything, :) I am at this address:

Janee Aronoff
555 N Pantano #206
Tucson, AZ 85710

Thanks for the compliments on my pic in my last entry. That was a shot of the mirror -- one of my favorite ways to take self-portraits. I took lots of those of me and Michael together.

I didn't leave the Village at all today, except to go for my walk, and that was just in the Pantano River Wash, so it hardly counted as leaving. I didn't get the car out at all. Slow day, but a good one.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Shuffleboard, anyone?

Today was another busy, busy day. I ended it by playing shuffleboard and I did not enjoy it. I was playing with a guy who was a huggy sort of fellow, and I didn't appreciate it. Also, there was a woman who was barking rules at us and I didn't care for her, either. The main reason that I didn't like it, though, was that I just wasn't good at it at all, didn't improve during the evening, and couldn't see any way to learn what I would need to know to improve.

I took my car for servicing today. I needed to get the oil changed and also to have the radio re-coded since I'd disconnected the battery. I am thinking about trading this one in on a newer CRV.

I also went and did a zillion other errands. I went to the bank and deposited another life insurance check. Yes, I did laugh all the way. While I was there, I put the car title into my safe deposit box.

I went to Walmart and bought some stuff. And I got some things at Home Depot. Overall, a very successful hunting/gathering mission! I got a lamp for over my desk, and I like it very much. The cottage had, as original equipment, the ugliest pendant lamp you can even imagine and I, of course, loathed it. This one is sleek contemporary -- glass and brushed silver metal.

My friend John came over and helped me to put the light up, though I insisted upon doing all the hard parts myself. Then I put up the baby gate that I'd bought, making Maddy a nice enclosure under the other side of my desk. I used spring-loaded curtain rods and bungee cords to hold it in place, and it is a nice, sturdy, and completely removable installation.

I also worked more on the flight bit, but I remain mystified about how to get that done. I found a flight combination that uses American for part of it, but I don't know how to get the credit for the $300 that I have. I will call tomorrow, but .. LOL I don't know whom to call!!

The other unpleasant thing that I have to do is to call the Anthem people again and Dropcho's office again about the MRI charge that I got for the MRI Michael had back in July in Connecticut. $3 grand, and they are saying that I owe this. Sheesh. I know that the insurance owes us this. I so hate dealing with that kind of thing. I will call tomorrow and take care of both of these little pieces of agonizing bs.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

What did I do today?

Well... good question! I know that the day has gone, but let's think about how I spent it. I began with my walk. I walked with Maddy in the Pantano Wash. For you Easterners, a "wash" is like a river with no water in it, except when the monsoon rains come in the summer. Then there is LOTS of water in it. Tucson is ribboned with washes all over the town. The Pantano Wash is right behind my complex, and it has walking trails along it.

After our walk, Maddy and I had breakfast, and then were greeted by our friend John who asked what we needed to have done. :) He helped me to load some more stuff from the RV (amazing how much stuff one can fit into an RV that small!) and he took my 2nd office chair off my hands. I'd gotten it for Michael last spring and it was just taking up space in here.

It was still morning when I got going with the laundry, and John was doing his, too. There is a good laundromat in the Village and so that's where everyone goes. This was my first laundry since I left to come here, so ... 2 weeks! Yikes!

I went and picked up my mail, which was a big box of stuff from Bloomington -- bills, checks, magazines, cards with notes... lots of good stuff! It took me hours to sort through all of this.

I also had visits this afternoon from my friends Ione and Ardelle. This little village reminds me so much of college dorm life. You're right there with all your buds, and all you have to do is to walk outside your door, and there are folks to talk to. :) I love it!

As payback for the chair, John had offered to take me out to dinner. We went to Gavi on Broadway at Pantano, and it was a fun evening. I got delicious chicken parmigiano, and he had ravioli. I had leftovers for tomorrow, and maybe Friday night, too!

This evening after dinner, I got out my origami stuff and put together an origami box. I tried to take a photo of it, but it doesn't look like a box, so I won't post it. I'm thinking that I am going to host a class on origami boxes later this season.

I shot these photos tonight, just for y'all!
Eddie Maddy

In the pic of Maddy, notice what I have in my wine rack! LOL I do kill myself. You see stacks of things in odd places, because I have not yet put the stuff away.

Oh, and Annette, that is still my natural hair color. I chickened out, after Suzanne told me that it makes a huge mess of everything.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Another big day

I'm exhausted after another big day. Today was Tuesday and that's French for "Hiking day!" The Hiking Club did one of their traditional early-season hikes -- Cactus Forest Trail (and some other trails) in Saguaro East. Level, beautiful, but hot and dusty. If I'm going to suffer in the heat, at least I want to have a view when I get to the end of it! It was still fun, but it took me hours to cool off, once I got back.

One reason that it took awhile for me to cool off was that I worked like a dog for a few hours this afternoon, getting things moved from the RV over to the cottage, and putting things away. I moved the pets and their food and paraphernalia, my fridge stuff, clothes, HBA, electronics, ... etc..

And then I moved the RV over next to the cottage! That's right! I was going to put it in a spot near the clubhouse, for a monthly fee, but then they told me today "no RVs." So they said that I could park it next to my house, and that would be fine. Cha-ching! Dinner's on me!

I was a little worried if it would fit in the space that was left after they had built the deck last spring, but it slid right in. Harold watched to be sure that I wasn't hitting anything, I didn't have to put in the mirrors, and I wasn't even close to hitting anything. I'll know that I'm totally grown up when I can put it in there without a guide. It is a tight fit; I'll say that.

I didn't take my phone with me hiking or out to dinner, but, even with my sitting here with it this evening, I've had no calls. I hope that it's working. hmm... Maybe I'll try it out tomorrow morning. It's too late now for me to try calling any of you easterners, and I don't know what time sunlaker goes to bed. :D Ah well, being out of touch for a day won't hurt me.

I love getting comments on my blog! :) Cookies are a good thing, Karen, and I agree with your idea of freezing some and giving some away. Anne, I will take a pic of the cottage. I was kinda waiting till I got some landscaping or at least some flowers. I don't have much curb appeal going on right now!

Yes, John, I'm rather looking forward to some normal AZ temperatures for this time of year. My body doesn't do well with "unseasonably warm" temperatures, no matter where I am!

Lynell, I think that my secret to getting so much done has to be the financial incentive. They told me at the office that I'd be paying $35 a day for the site where my RV was hooked up. Of course, I was also told that I'd be paying just for the electric that I used. And I was told that we had a week to move in, and could keep our RV on a site for that time. The bosses are gone to a conference this week, so I'll await their decision before I pay anything. I think that it would be fair to charge me for the power that I used. Anyway, i worked fast so that I wouldn't have many days of $35 per. As it is, I used just 3, and it was worth the time to get myself in order gradually.

Becky, I'm with you on the blood thing. I don't think that the medical community would favor any co-mingling of blood, anyway! :D

Annette, I like what you say about "they are just men" so we give them the easy things to do! And here I thought that it was the other way around! I do know that, when I left Michael to vacuum the RV while I went and did laundry, I felt like I'd won the lottery.

Well, another day has gone. Oooh.. today there was a 360° sundog here! It's the first time that I've ever seen one that went all the way around the sun. Sooo beautiful! Here is a picture of one, which was shot in Tucson in 2006! Maybe they are not so uncommon here!

This was a tiny flower that was growing along our trail today.

Monday, November 05, 2007

Getting stuff done

I began today with a to-do list as long as my arm, and now the list is down to ... well.. about half as long as my arm. Here's what I did today (the highlights): chased down the key to the knob and got into my cottage; got the thing plugged in and the water turned back on; turned on the water heater; picked up all the stuff from the middle of the living room floor (deck chairs, cooler, stuff from under the deck that we didn't want to get wrecked); vacuumed the cottage; set up my deck chairs; put the cooler and some other stuff under the deck again; and gathered up Michael's things from the cottage to take to goodwill. That was the cottage stuff.

The next big thing on the agenda was the car. Here's what I did with the car: took off the cover and the tire covers; shook them out and folded them up; hooked up the battery again (Michael had left all the appropriate tools in the glovebox); ascertained that the tires were low; aired up the tires using the air hose at the clubhouse (figured this out by myself!) and then I got set to go to the DMV (Department of Motor Vehicles).

I decided that, since this car is going to be in AZ, it should have AZ plates, so off I went. I told the sweet chippy at the front what I needed. She looked at my papers, hesitated, and said, "Bring me the broomstick of the Wicked Witch of the West!"

Well, that wasn't quite what she said, but it was close. I had to go and get my car emissions tested, and then have the car inspected before I could get my plate. So off I went, waited, and passed. Went again, waited, and passed again.

Then it was time to wait at the DMV. This place has a unique number system. They have 20 windows with clerks working, and everyone's assigned a number based (as far as I could tell) on the sort of problem you had.

So the numbers being called by the computerized voice were in seemingly random order. A127.... E905...N954...Mine was L627, and they called many L numbers interspersed with others before they got to the 620's. By the time they called mine (at least an hour), I felt like yelling "Bingo!" I got my plate and was happy.

And then I put it on! :) It was easy to do; I'm not sure why that was always Michael's job. I'm finding out that many of the things that were his job are not really difficult.

Then I took some stuff back and forth from the cottage to the RV and the RV to the cottage. At least my site for the RV is pretty close to the cottage. I hope to have everything moved and the pets and me in the cottage... tomorrow, but we'll see.

Now.. Annette, you should know that I actually have 3 sisters. There's you, and Becky, and Angie! I'm not sure, but I think that the "in-law" stuff goes away legally when there is a death. So that would make them sisters now. More love is better for everyone. And you're my only baby sister. :)

And Becky, this is your actual birthday! Yay! Happy Birthday!

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Arrival in Tucson

Well, dang. I had hoped that my position reporting would have updated since .. Las Cruces!

I made it to Tucson today! The drive was easy, and I made it here before 2 pm. The first thing I did was to secure a campsite for the RV. I had to dump the tanks and keep the place cool for the pets, and so I did all of that.

I then went over to try to have a look at the cottage, and my key was not sufficient. I have only the deadbolt key -- not the knob key. So I hope that the office (which will open tomorrow morning) has a knob key for me, or I'll be hiring a locksmith. I had planned to stay in the RV tonight, anyway, so that's cool.

Annette, I want to tell you to tell Steve THANK YOU for putting my swivel seat in for me! I love it. This is my chosen seat for watching TV and for doing my computer work. It's so super-comfy and easy to use.

I enjoyed a get-together with Ione, Rob, Harold, and Kathy this evening. It is good to be back here, though I do wish that all my friends and family back east were here too!