Saturday, January 12, 2008

Hiking again!

What a gorgeous day this was! I think that the high temp was about 65. It wasn't that warm at 8:30 am, though, when 8 of us left the park to go on a Saturday hike! We went to a trail that was called something like Milagroso Trail. The trailhead is off Catalina Highway > Snyder > Suzinu. It was a challenging trail and we went 6.3 miles. There was considerable elevation gain and really beautiful views of Tucson, Agua Caliente Hill, various canyons, streams, and waterfalls! The group was Duane, Dawn, Lee, Pam, Jack, Barb, Lou, and me.

When I got back to town, I scraped off a bit of the sweat and went to pick up my computer from BlueChip. It was the power supply that had gone out, and they replaced it for $100. I haven't turned on that computer yet; I'll do that tomorrow.

I showered (finally!) and rode my bike to get my mail. Pam was just getting home, and invited me in for a glass of wine. Sure! She had snacks and more people arrived. More people.. and dinner! That's the way things happen around here. I so love this place!

Thanks for your feedback on my email situation. I have written a few answers that I can copy/paste. The thing is, I really type pretty fast, so i can just about type it as fast as I can copy/paste. Anyway, I'm "down" to "just" 257 emails that I need to answer.

The truth is that I'm immensely grateful to all of the people who have written to me. I hope that these people understand what I'm up against, and don't just think I'm lazy.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Cottage Photos

Finally here I am with some photos for you! As a reminder for how things used to be, here's a before photo of the front of my cottage:

Here's my cottage in the front. Notice the canopy that now covers the deck! I hope you click on this and read all my labels I made:

Here's the cottage in the back. You can see the canopy here and how it covers the back part of the house. You can also see where the new section of deck is going to go. Jack showed me the plans he's drawn up for that part of the deck and I'm all set to really like this!

And here's a self-taken photo of me on my deck. Notice that Indiana University T-shirt!

Today was a good day. I began it by making phone calls, which is something that I don't particularly enjoy. (Those of you who really know me are laughing right now at the understatement!) I called State Farm in Bloomington, because they had mistakenly billed me extra, because the multi-car discount had been removed. I disabused them of the thought that I have just one car insured with State Farm, because this one is insured with SF -- in Tucson! That counts, so Jeannette told me not to pay the bill. Yay!

I also called the Indiana Medical Licensing folks to see if I could get a pro-rated refund on Michael's medical licensing fee that he paid in May of 2007. No joy there. Now and then something works. That didn't. LOL!

I rode my bike around and talked to people, trying to find someone to go to Beaudry's for their BBQ and RV Show, which they do every month. Again, no joy, but I did talk to a bunch of people, and that's always joyful.

I did get some buzz that has been going around the park. It's been bandied about that I'm somehow something to fear for some of the less secure wives here! Again, those of you who really know me are laughing! Guess what, ladies! I'm a quality person! I'm SO good, in fact, that, when I'm ready, I'm going to have my VERY OWN man! I'll get him on weekends and holidays, too! LOL why would any self-respecting woman carry on with a married man? Duh.

I went for my walk at the Pantano River Park and talked to Dave. Please, please.. when you're done reading my post, go and read Dave's posting for today. Yesterday's is funny too, and he actually mentions me!

This evening, I went to dinner at El Paso BBQ with 18 others to celebrate Al Smith's birthday. What a great meal, and really fun company! Afterward, a smaller group (happily! LOL) came back to Al and Donna's for cake and ice cream, which provided a perfect complement to the meal.

With full-tummy-good, I sat down and did email. I have 325 things in my inbox, so I'm just about ready to declare email bankruptcy and just delete all of them. I kinda hate to do that, though, because lots of the emails are from people who were writing about Michael, and I haven't had the time/energy to write back. I feel like I should, but.. hundreds of them? I guess I could write something "canned," and then copy/paste it to the nice people? Is that proper? What do y'all think?

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Smiling in the Sunshine

Well, actually, tonight I'm smiling under the stars! Life is good!

I started the day doing unpleasant chores -- those things that I put off till I can no longer put them off. The worst of them was taking some icky stuff to the garbage. Last spring, Michael had boxed up some unused RV supplies -- hoses, electrical connectors, some gauge-type things that I don't know what they were -- into plastic lidded bins. We worked together to put the big bins into some of those huge Ziplock storage bags and we put these under our deck.

I thought nothing more about them till a few days ago, when Jack brought them out from under the deck. He was looking to see how the existing deck had been constructed. They were full... to the rim... with water! All of them! And the stuff inside was moldy and slimy, rusty and ruined. I cleaned up some of the things that I thought were salvageable, and the rest I bagged today for the trash. Gross job!

Then I unhooked my desktop computer, which will not turn on, and loaded it into the car. Pam and I went to a local computer shop and gave it to them to fix. The gentleman thought that it was likely the power supply, and, if that's the case, it'll be about $100 to fix. He's also going to clean out the inside of the puter, take out the CF card that got lost in there last winter (!), and check everything in there to see if there's any upgrading that they can sell me. That's the sort of thing that PC Max used to do for me back in Bloomington.

We then giggled our way through Goodwill before heading back home. Lunch! I was starved!

Then Ione and I went to Jones Photography to ask them about supplying us with a guest speaker for some of our FotoFun Club meetings, and they are going to be able to indulge us in fine style.

Pam and Tom were outside talking when I happened to walk by, and we had a few more giggles while Mike oiled and tightened my beater bike. Pam's after me to get myself a better bike, one for touring, so that I can get into some serious riding. I would really enjoy this, I think, and I'm stoked. Of course, the best part of this will be getting the bike and outfitting it with all the bling.

I have a gift card from Red Lobster that I am dying to use, so I asked Tom, Pam, and Mike, if they wanted to go with me. Tom was playing in a pool tournament tonight, so that was a "no." So we're going to make it sometime this weekend.

Pam and I did some laps around the park -- 5, I think, though it felt like 20. We went at a good pace, and it was actual work on that trashy bike I have. I'd like to think that it'd be easier on a better bike... I long to get into good biking condition. I do love riding, have always loved it. (Annette and Robert... remember our bike hikes to Clinton Falls? Those were the days before helmets became cool. I was the one who carried the cooler because my bike had the baskets.) :)

And then, as I was riding past John's house, I smelled delicious food! Sure, I would love to join you. Life doesn't get much better than that! Well.. that is, till later tonight when the phone rang...

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Hiking Day!

Today I'm using an Arizona Desert Grass Gold for my entry. Yesterday was Monday and the day was cool, blustery, and very windy! I started the day with Ione's and my first meeting of the FotoFun Club! We're going to have plenty of variety in this club, including photo shoots, photo sharing and critiquing, learning how to take better photos, and learning a bit about getting photos into our computers.. and editing them!

After that, I rushed home, riding my blue beater bike against the fierce cool wind home to get more clothes! I then worked cash at the poolside cookout. Great fun. I have always loved working cash.

I did my walk, which was difficult and unpleasant, in the cold, cloudy, windy air, but talking to Dave helped!

I enjoyed lasagne leftover from the delicious Friday night repast, and then did email to the sound of rain on my roof and canopy! Hugely intense rain! It POURED!

I looked at my clock (which works!) and thought to myself, "Janee, do you REALLY want to go OUT to the ballroom dancing lesson?"

I replied to myself, "You know, Janee, I'd rather fly straight up!" (That's something that Michael used to say frequently, and it always seemed a little odd. I think that flying straight up would be sort of fun!)

But I went! I sloshed through the puddles to the clubhouse, carrying my umbrella and wearing my raincoat, through the dark and cold. And when I got there, I felt as if I'd done something great! LOL!

The class was fun. I partnered with Richard, a fellow who lives across the street from me. We foxtrotted and we swung. And... we are the remedial students! ;)

Today was hiking day, and Duane led us up a circuitous route to Bridal Wreath Falls. We went about 7 miles. After the pouring rain, the day was windless, with clear blue skies, and 62°. And the falls were running and so beautiful! The group was big -- probably 14 of us -- but I talked mostly with Jack, and it was lots of fun.

I returned home to discover that my aluminum canopy is finished! Now I'm set to take pictures, which I have not done, and to replace my RV and my car back onto my lot! YAY!

So why did I not take pictures of my canopy? Because I had to shower and go to Casa del Rio for supper with the Hiking Club! I rode with Jack and Kathy and the evening was quite pleasant. Great day!

I came back home and got into MySpace and had a whisper or two with a gentleman named Greg who makes my heart flutter. Yep! fun!

Sunday, January 06, 2008

A Busy Weekend

Well, it was busy enough for me, anyway! Saturday night, I went out with Rob and Ione to Sauce where we had delicious pizza, pasta, salad, and wine.

Then we went and saw "The Great Debaters," with Denzel Washington, about the debate team at a small black college in Texas in the 1930's. If this one doesn't get some academy award nominations, there's a problem. We all loved the movie. I found myself riveted, interested in the movie at every moment. Not once did I think that it was long or even slow.

This morning I got up and walked early (for me). Today was a dark day, with heavy smoky gray clouds hanging over Tucson. So I got going early so I could beat the rain. But it didn't rain after all!

I had a salad for lunch and really enjoyed it. I've discovered the joys of raspberry vinaigrette dressing! Mmmm!

This afternoon, I went to Jill and Lee's for their open house party for Lee's 60th birthday celebration. What a fun group of people they had! I enjoyed talking with Tom, a fellow who lives at the other end of Mohave from me, and whom I'd remembered talking with last season, too. He just got back a couple of days ago.
I'm getting a bit of feedback about my decision not to do my classes. I wish I could say that I'm sorry about my decision, but... I just can't be at this point. I have to say that Michael's death really cut me off at the knees, folks. Life is just very different now. Before I had boundless creative energy, it seemed.

That was because Michael was there to absorb the shocks of life. He handled all the financial stuff. He took care of the taxes and bills. He took me out to dinner and figured out the tip. He put gas in my car, checked the oil, and made sure that the car got in for service at the recommended intervals. He encouraged me when I needed to be encouraged. And he was one of my biggest fans, even when it came to my Photoshop work. Oh.. and he did the laundry!

I am doing well now, and I'm adopting new routines. I'm keeping my bills paid, taking care of my own car, figuring out the tip, doing laundry, and I'm looking after myself. I smile at myself whenever I pass a mirror, which shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone who knows me! LOL! I go for whole days without crying at all. (Today has been one!) I no longer feel like there is a spotlight on me when I am out alone. And I don't feel bad when I'm out alone, or as the "three" in threesome.

But the creative spark just has not returned yet. It's a long way from changing Depends to painting flowers, I'll tell you. I'll get there, but I'm not there yet. For one thing, I have to get my big computer fixed so I can get back to using my Wacom tablet so I can paint. Man, I do miss that!