Thursday, October 17, 2013

On The Road Again


Yesterday began with us walking with Doug and Kathy to Hotcake Emporium for a delicious breakfast. Then we did some quick errands and put the finishing touches on our packing. We'd parked the RV next door at Jim and Kathy's, which made it really easy to pack.

We got the house nice and clean and ready for the renters, and then off we went!

We left at 3:40 and dined at Jonathan Byrd's in Greenwood before heading south. Clarksville, Indiana, Louisville Metro KOA was our camp for the night and it was perfect.

Yesterday we decided to wait out the rainified day by doing some Louisville touring. Our first stop was Schimpff Confectionary in Jeffersonville, Indiana. There, we got to watch them make lemon drops and bourbon balls. We toured the candy museum, talked with the Schimpffs --Warren is great grandson of the original Schimpff -- and even bought a few yummies!

Next we headed into the city where were planning to tour a brewery we had read about in a local tour guide. We got there and ...no tours, we were told by the security guy! LoL he said they never had tours. The book was just wrong.

Next we drove down to Churchill Downs and visited the track. We did the walking tour and got a good taste of the Derby history before we perused the museum. What a fun experience this was! We really want to go now. :-)

This morning is chilly and I don't want to come out from between the blankets. But it's time to make it a day!

Monday, September 23, 2013

Wonderful Summer


This has been a summer for the books. I have accomplished much, including finally moving back to Indiana for my summer home!

I just reread my last two postings and I'm sorry for not having posted more about all of this. The move went very smoothly. We had contracted with Morse Moving out of Mt Pleasant and Indianapolis. Sarah went with us from room to room and evaluated our stuff, offered an estimate, and gave us tips on packing and the move. August 5 was the date upon which we decided.

The time between the offers being accepted and the closing dates were comfortably long, permitting us time for leisurely packing, time with friends in Michigan, and other fun.

Closing for the condo was on July 29. We took all the vehicles down at that point, stopping at Keyboard World in Grand Rapids along the way. I had made arrangements to trade in my large digital grand piano on a tidier spinet model which fit nicely into the back of Jack's van. The Rv and car were loaded with the other musical instruments, cleaning supplies, lp tanks, and some art which I didn't want to try to have moved. And off we went!

Because we'd left at 1 on that Saturday, and the KW stop was not as brief as we'd hoped, we planned an overnight in Niles. This worked out well and we even found a nice church there for Sunday morning.

We arrived on Sunday afternoon, the 28th of July, at Indy Lakes campground which was our overnight resting place for the next few nights.

My mortgage company gave us a long delay on closing day. While we were all set to close at 10 am, after making us wait 45 days, they still could not get it together to close on time. At all. It was 7pm before we left the title office with the keys.

We got some kfc and went to our new home for a picnic, to discover that the people to whom we'd paid all this money had had the gas and electric turned OFF. Sooo ...we had a fine little picnic in the fading daylight and headed back to Indy Lakes.

Tuesday morning I made the calls, securing my electric, gas, water, and sewer accounts. We used our cleaning supplies and began cleaning in the condo. No, the people had not cleaned up for us.

We also shopped, arranging for a mattress to be delivered the following day. (The people who'd bought the MI house had also bought much of the furniture, including the guest bed, so we needed a mattress.) This was enough for us to move what we had in the rv into the condo so we could stay there for the next few days.

We'd made arrangements, meanwhile, to store the rv at a facility close-by. And that week went by blissfully slowly, with us cleaning, shopping for furnishings, stocking the house with food, and getting to know our new neighborhood.

Then, on August 3, we got back into the rv with Eddie the cat and drove back up to Big Rapids. We got to say good-bye once again at the United Church, and we finished our last bit of packing.

Monday morning, right on schedule, Morse Moving arrived. The gentlemen packed and loaded our things, assuring us that they were going to be delivering them...not in a week or two, as we'd been told, but the very next morning! Yikes!

After they left, we scurried around the house doing last minute cleaning before heading out to close on that house. This went swimmingly, and I stopped at the bank on our way out of town!

Arriving in Avon at midnight, we camped in Annette's driveway till morning. And we made it back to the condo, reparked the rv in storage, and were waiting when the men arrived with our things, promptly at 9am!

As they were bringing things in, I unpacked boxes, because they offered to recycle for us any packing materials. So, by the time they were gone, we'd unpacked all but maybe 20 boxes.

I should say something about our moving company. During this process, we got probably 6-8 calls, wanting to know if all was well, or if we had any questions or problems. The men were polite and gentle with our things...and with me, during what could have been a difficult time. Nothing was damaged in the slightest--not a scratch. And the bill was almost $1000 LESS than we were quoted! Morse Moving and Storage. I could not be happier with them!

In the weeks since, we've been settling in here, getting deliveries, putting up lighting, picking out paint, and building a wall unit.

I bought some fabulous pots at the Fourth Street Art Fair in Bloomington, and I found some neat wall things at Godby's. Almost everything is up on the walls now.

We had met many of our neighbours before our furniture even came, and we like them! We are enjoying the White Lick Presbyterian Church, which we attended back in 2010 when we built Annette's deck here.

And we had our first houseguest! Jack's brother Ken came and stayed two weekends before and after he visited Michigan last week.

I will be posting photos soon. I've been waiting till things are "perfect." ...Silly me!

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Summer in Michigan


It has been a fun summer so far! It has been punctuated by showing of my house, ending with a big exclamation point this past weekend -- an offer!

Jack and I were taking a little vacation up to Mackinaw Island when we got the news. We stayed in the rv for a night in Mackinaw City. It was during our stay there that we got Karla's text that we had an offer.

She asked if there were a fax machine available in case we came to an agreement. I checked and there was.

.

So the negotiations began. The initial offer was pretty low, the buyer was slow to respond to my counter, and I wondered if we'd ever come to a sensible truce.

We drove into town, parking the little car along the main drag. We explored the countless t-shirt and fudge shops, listened to a local band in the bandshell, and munched popcorn and ice cream. (Yes. I k.ow.)

So night passed, with my sleeping fitfully. Not only did I have the excitement/burden of this pending negotiation hanging over me, but the foul campfire air gave me asthma.

On Thursday we ferried over to Mackinaw Island. Our night at the Grand Hotel was fun. One dresses for dinner and the food was delicious and creatively prepared. Service was startlingly fast and friendly, to boot. Back and slowly forth went the negotiations. We had made arrangements with the hotel to get and transmit this fax, should it come, but it kept not coming.

We packed our bags and left them for the porter and headed out to rent bikes. We'd taken our own helmets, so we were ready. The bikes were $8/hour and so worth it for the splendid time we had cruising found the island. We discovered that everyone else goes counter-clockwise, so clockwise gives you far less traffic in the form of other bikes.

Upon our return, we waited some more in one of the hotel lobbies, walked around a little, and had some lunch at the little cafe in the hotel. Checkout time came and went, but they told us that we could still get a fax. But there was to be no fax.

Then it was time to head into town to ferry back. Our luggage was right where it was supposed to be, and we shuttled back to the koa on Shepler's shuttle.

Another night of smoke and asthma for me.

We decided to go on Saturday to Petoskey -- just 30 minutes away. This is a wonderful little town, lined with quaint shops, only a few of which we had visited when...the call came in. They had accepted my counter! We happened to be in the Ace Hardware which, yes, had a fax machine. I got the offer papers, signed them, and faxed them back.

We had a nice lunch at a healthy food market on Mitchell Street, before heading out to visit a couple of Jack's long-time friends in their lovely condo overlooking the beautiful bay. We had a good talk with them before we drove back for another smoky night at the koa.

And here we are, back at the River Mist house, enjoying our time and making lists as we pack for our upcoming move. Closing here will be just a little bit later than I'd have hoped. I still will need short-term financing to pay for the Indiana condo for the week till I get this money up here. Oh well. I look at all of the for sale" signs along my road and feel so very fortunate!

Location : 22000-22448 23 Mile Rd, Paris, MI 49338,

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Back Home Again in Indiana


I have decided that, as much as I love the River Mist house, I want to move back to Indiana. So, since I can't just replant that house, Jack and I have spent the last few weeks in a house-hunting expedition.

I decided that I want to live in the Indy area, because I have always loved Indy. And I chose the west side, because my sister Annette and her family are settled here. It is also easier to reach for Jack's family, and a wee bit closer to Tucson!

I chose a condo just outside the city limits of Avon, in a development called Oxford Park. It is one of the Parks of Prestwick, located right near a golf course and country club.

The condo stands out because of its size -- 3004 sq ft-- and because of its versatile floor plan. I have not worked out exactly what all the rooms will be, but I know that I'll have a master suite and two guest rooms. The "forest room" with twin beds will be upstairs, while the other two will be on the main level. Each bedroom has its own bath.

There is an office with glass French doors to the entry and with large windows facing the road. This is likely to be my music room and library.

Just inside the front door to the right is an open room which would be suitable for a small sitting room, dining room, or even a game table. This room is divided from the next by a three-sided gas fireplace.

The main living area is bright and open to the kitchen and a sunroom. This will be where I'll have my tv.

The sunroom is large enough to make into another seating group. It is next to the breakfast room, which is probably going to be home for my dining table.

The galley kitchen is open to both dining and main living areas. There is a peninsula with a bar dividing the kitchen from the living room. The kitchen, while a little cozy, seems like it will be adequate. It houses a desk, pantry, double ovens, and solid-surface countertops.

The bonus area upstairs has, besides the forest room, a full bath and a large ping pong area.

The laundry room is quite nice, with an area for clothes-hanging, a folding table, and a place to iron.

Flooring in much of the condo is hardwood. The bedrooms are carpeted, and there is tile-patterned linoleum in the bathrooms. My view from the sunroom and breakfast room is a grassy slope which goes down toward the golf course. I guess that the condo has a golf-course view in the winter.

The neighborhood is very nice, with two condos in each building. Every condo has its own two-car garage. Sidewalks line the curving streets.

One good thing about the condo will be that I am no longer going to be responsible for my own snow removal or grass mowing. I'm going to be on city water and sewer. I will have cable access. I will be a short drive to all of the shopping I need in Avon and just a few minutes more of a drive to Indy.

Negotiations went smoothly, and my financing arrangements are being handled. Now begins the waiting period until my closing on July 29. So yay!

Meanwhile, we are going to leave Annette's today to return to River Mist, which is now on the market. I am hopeful that it sells soon, now that my new plans are in place!

Location : Frosty Rose Dr, Avon, IN 46123,

Friday, May 24, 2013

River Mist


People who live in special houses often name them. I believe a good name for this house on the Muskegon would be "River Mist" or its Norwegian or Welsh equivalent. :-)

Jack and I arrived here yesterday in the early afternoon after a 3-hour drive from Elkhart. The drive was not particularly easy, with both wind and rain pounding us, but we arrived without incident.

The house is lovely-- just as we left it nearly 9 months ago. It still smells like a new home, and there was no evidence of anything amiss. The folks who stayed here in our absence kept it up well!

The only weird thing is the weather. OK, I've never been in Michigan this early, true. But the oaks are still bare and it is 33° this morning!¡! Color me surprised!

Location : 22001-22999 220th Ave, Paris, MI 49338,

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Tall corn


The RV park where Jack and I stayed last night used to be the Tall Corn KOA. In those days, it was modern, shiny and new. Now it's called Kamp Komfort -- a nod to its KOA roots. But it's showing signs of neglect. I think that there is still some dirt in the bathrooms which may have been left when ownership changed hands.

Sigh. The leaves that are green turn to brown and the life we used to have cannot be brought back. This life has its joys and its share of fun, but it cannot be the old life. I'm allowing a tear to fall for the Tall Corn KOA ...and for the times I had here before. Ily M.

Location : 1530 Julie Dr, Bloomington, IL 61701,

Tall corn


The RV park where Jack and I stayed last night used to be the Tall Corn KOA. In those days, it was modern, shiny and new. Now it's called Kamp Komfort -- a nod to its KOA roots. But it's showing signs of neglect. I think that there is still some dirt in the bathrooms which may have been left when ownership changed hands.

Sigh. The leaves that are green turn to brown and the life we used to have cannot be brought back. This life has its joys and its share of fun, but it cannot be the old life. I'm allowing a tear to fall for the Tall Corn KOA ...and for the times I had here before. Ily M.

Location : 1530 Julie Dr, Bloomington, IL 61701,

Tall corn


The RV park where Jack and I stayed last night used to be the Tall Corn KOA. In those days, it was modern, shiny and new. Now it's called Kamp Komfort -- a nod to its KOA roots. But it's showing signs of neglect. I think that there is still some dirt in the bathrooms which may have been left when ownership changed hands.

Sigh. The leaves that are green turn to brown and the life we used to have cannot be brought back. This life has its joys and its share of fun, but it cannot be the old life. I'm allowing a tear to fall for the Tall Corn KOA ...and for the times I had here before. Ily M.

Location : 1530 Julie Dr, Bloomington, IL 61701,

Monday, April 29, 2013

Canton, Mississippi


Yesterday was good. We very intelligently got the rv unhooked before the rains came to Baton Rouge. And when it rained, it poured and there was lots of lightening  and thunder! It didn't last long, though, and we were heading out.

We stopped early at a little church, Faith Presbyterian, in Baton Rouge, and their parking lot was fine for our rig. This church was special for lots of reasons, one of them being that they had really nice snacks for before and after church -- finger sandwiches, tiny pizzas, little cinnamon rolls, grapes, strawberries, blackberries...  I found the sermon tedious and mostly pointless, but the congregation was really welcoming and happy to have us there.

Then, well-fed with church snacks, we were on our way northward. It was an easy <4 hour drive to Canton, Missouri, where we ended up in a "worker bee" park.

I have nothing against working folks. I know that they run the world. But they also tend to start their day far earlier than I want to start mine. The first car left here at 5:00 am and there has been a steady stream since. Of course the roads in the park are gravel. And now, at 6, the people next door are outside talking, slamming doors, and coughing a lot. :-/

Location : 1437 W Peace St, Canton, MS 39046,

Friday, April 26, 2013

Baton Rouge


We have decided we love B R! Yesterday we went to visit and go up to the top of the magnificent State Capitol building. Although there were hundreds of schoolchildren all around, we were nearly alone at the top. And the children were quiet and very well-behaved. We were surprised!

We had a fine lunch at a place called Shucks, after finding a free parking garage behind the Belle Casino. Then we went the short walk to the USS Kidd - a retired but well-restored destroyer from WWII. We enjoyed our self-guided tour there, and the museum as well.

Weather has warmed and cleared,after a few days of somewhat chilly. Today will be 81°!

Location : 4, LA,

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Lordsburg, New Mexico


We actually did make it out of Tucson, even though the "where is Janee now" hasn't updated. We stopped here attending the koa because we wanted to, but, even if we had wanted to go on, we would have been stuck here. Because of fierce winds and dust storms, I-10 is closed immediately east of here, all the way to Las Cruces.

Location : W Railway, Lordsburg, NM 88045,

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Goodbye 2005


Today I did my after-tax-filing shredding party. This means that I moved all my 2011 folders into long-term storage, moved 2012 from immediate to short-term storage, and I took 2005 out of long-term and shredded all those papers.

Everyone has different ways of keeping stuff and different timetables for purging. Michael basically never purged anything. So when I was preparing to sell the house in Bloomington, I had to shred 50 + years of documents. I had the shredded going for literally days. So this one-year-at-a-time thing is a piece of cake. Fun, actually.

Location : E Centrepark Dr, Tucson, AZ 85710,

Saturday, April 06, 2013

Well again


Finally I am indeed healthy once more! It was only 2 full days that I lay about doing nearly nothing besides watching my temperature go up, but it felt like far longer. At its peak, it was 102.0, my neck glands were quite swollen and sore, and I was blowing aliens out of my nose.

I made a point of drinking lots of water, took some tylenol on day 2, and just took it very easy. Today I am a bit stronger --not up for zumba this am, but maybe tomorrow.

Location : 201 N Pantano Rd, Tucson, AZ 85710,

Monday, April 01, 2013

Two paper cuts


...in two days! Ouch!! I hate paper cuts because I tend to replay their creation over and over in my mind.

Location : E Centrepark Dr, Tucson, AZ 85710,

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Beautiful Easter Day


This day began with sunrise service at church. It was a lovely time with birds serenading us as the sun slowly lit the Catalinas, before creeping up over the Rincons. What a beautiful town this is, and how fortunate I am that Michael and I found this place in January of 2006!

This afternoon, Jack and I went to a nice party at Nancy's. There were only fun people there, and the best of things to eat and drink. Need I say that a good time was had by all?

Having arrived so early at church, neither Jack nor I was inclined toward exercise until late in the afternoon. We took a slow walk over to visit our rv in storage, and around the Pantano wash, back around to our garden.

What the javelinas have not rooted up or trampled looks great! Our lettuce is 4-5" high, and we've enjoyed several salads from it already. The zucchini plants look healthy, and they should bear fruit for who/what-ever wants to harvest them. The radishes are already producing. Parsley looks good. Peppers , carrots, and the rest of the herbs seem, so far, to be javelina casualties. Ah well, we can always get nice vegetables at Fry's. The Javelinas can't.

Location : E Centrepark Dr, Tucson, AZ 85710,

Friday, March 29, 2013

I'm not sure


That is, I'm not sure what I've been doing. I've stayed busy, but can't really say I've accomplished anything.

I was going to travel east to visit with a family member, but my mind was changed for me at very literally the last minute. This left me out (just?) $600 but I never missed a night sleeping in my own bed. I had still looked forward to the visit, though, and will do it another time.

Jack's plumbing in his cottage stopped draining, so he will have it repaired on Monday. It is a park problem, though, so that is good for him.

I got a somewhat clean bill of health from my doctor, but he does want me to do some follow -up with a psychiatrist in Michigan to see if we can't get better control of my depression. Three different docs have talked to me about electro-convulsive therapy. (I think that's what it is called.) Life-changing, my doctor says. I will do more study, but the idea scares me more than thoughts of suicide, and that's a lot.

Location : E Centrepark Dr, Tucson, AZ 85710,

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Very close


I was driving behind another vehicle this evening, through a light where we both turned left, down a little way, and then the other vehicle signaled for a left turn just as I also did.

From my vantage point, I could clearly see that the oncoming traffic was quite close. The first vehicle was a motorcycle, the second was a car with its left headlight out, and it was followed by another motorcycle.

The vehicle ahead of me made the turn, though, only a very short distance from the front of that motorcycle. I know that driver misjudged the oncoming traffic, perhaps not even knowing that the first thing was a motorcycle. And I know that the biker is feeling lucky tonight. <shudder> I am very grateful that there was no bloodbath on that street this evening.

Location : E Centrepark Dr, Tucson, AZ 85710,

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

No Regrets


That was the fabulous play we attended on Sunday. It happens that our Pastor Lesley was its star, but every aspect of it was well done and entertaining. Afterwards we had a St Patrick's Day feast at our church and that was lots of fun.

Oh, and did I mention that I got up and played my penny whistle for church on Sunday? I played "Let All Things Now Living" and "I Danced in the Morning." While I'm confident that my next performance will be better, I did it, got through it, and everyone applauded me and came up afterwards to ask me about the whistle and how I learned to play it. I was pleased.

Then last evening we had the last of our ballroom dance lessons for the season. What fun we've had with that this year! There is just one more dance here, and we're excited to strut our stuff again.

Jack made the best pie today -- cherry with chocolate and a bit of orange zest. He's mastered pie crust making, too. No one will need me now!

I am feeling better now. I talked with an ent Dr friend who looked at me and doubted I had mastoiditis after all. My doc said my blood work was normal, too, which makes it unlikely that there was an infection. My friend said he thought it was a muscle thing, and to take aleve and put heat on it. So I have been doing that since Sunday and it's almost like it was before. I even wore a headband out to dinner tonight and no pain. :-)

Location : E Centrepark Dr, Tucson, AZ 85710,

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Feeling a bit better

I started coming back to myself late in the day yesterday, and today, I actually felt a little bit creative! I celebrated by doing my B:
I'm still taking the antibiotic, and I had blood drawn for testing just yesterday. My doctor wants to do a CT scan, but insurance is balking, and, if I'm feeling much better on Monday, I may say "never mind" on the CT. That is a lot of radiation, and I don't want to turn into the Hulk for nothing.

Weather here has turned suddenly hot. Yesterday, we hit a record high for the date, of 93. Actually, compared to what we know that Tucson WILL be getting, 93 is a nice cool day. :) The pool is full of people who are tired from packing to go back north. It's still a bit too soon for us. And we have some things to do here before we go. We are NOT spending the summer of 2013 here, however.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Playing along


I'm trying really hard to feel better, but I'm afraid I'm not doing so well at faking it. I did enjoy a fun afternoon of games with the girls. And later, we went to a very large party at the pool. Now I'm just trying to think about something other than how my mastoid hurts. At least I know what that thing is called now. I just must feel better tomorrow, or it's back to the doc.

Location : E Centrepark Dr, Tucson, AZ 85710,

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Mastoiditis?


That's what my doc is treating in me. I'm on a course of amoxicillin for 10 days. I am very hopeful that I'm on the mend now. Today was not a total loss for me, as I did all the puzzles in the Star, had a shower, went to the doc, and picked up and began my medicine. Enough for this day. Tomorrow will be better.

Location : E Centrepark Dr, Tucson, AZ 85710,

Monday, March 11, 2013

Working through the pain


I know that most of my pain is not real -- that it has no real cause and will go away on its own. Fibromyalgia or overactive nerve endings or whatever, I have to just learn to live with variable pain in unpredictable locations.

It does seem that my current pain is real though. It's behind my right ear in that sort of bulging area. It hurts to touch that region, it is not pulsating pain, and it is not accompanied by dizziness, as I'd expect from an inner ear problem.

It started when I was wearing a not-tight headband 8 days ago, went away after a couple of days, and returned just yesterday, with a vengeance, when I was wearing sunglasses which push gently in that region. Last night was difficult and today it has been a challenge to carry on and remain cheerful.

I wish I knew what this was. I wish I could find out without plunking a bunch of cash into the hands of medical people to do tests which would not show anything anyway. Ugh. I miss Michael and his wise counsel. People with assorted random - and sometimes imaginary - pain need doctors living with them. :-)

Location : E Centrepark Dr, Tucson, AZ 85710,

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Festival of books


Jack and I visited the Festival of Books today on the U of A campus. It's a huge event with probably a mile of tents, most with interesting things and people. I do look forward to a time when we can go there, maneuver easily with no road construction and park easily. That was not in the cards for us today.

Church was good and the choir received favorable comments on our song. :-)

Location : E Centrepark Dr, Tucson, AZ 85710,

Saturday, March 09, 2013

Somewhere in outer space


LoL I'm not sure whence that title sprang. Today was cold, rainy, and windy here in the valley. Urf. I'm starting to think earnestly about spring and summer.

This morning began differently! Jack and I opted to go early to the mall to walk, since it was so icky out. And after a pleasantly brisk walk about, we had breakfast at The Good Egg.

Then I went home and read Jonathan Livingston Seagull in its entirety-- first time I'd read it. I'm probably the last person who had never read it, but that's fixed now. Cute book with a strong message about dreaming and doing. ..or at least that's how I read it. I always wonder if authors really intend for us to get all these fancy messages from their works.

This afternoon was the Michigan party, and it was fun. We did the tables by pushing 3 rectangles together to make a square. Twelve people sat around each, making for lively and inclusive conversation. Jack was in charge of it and that's the last thing that he's in charge of for awhile.

Location : E Centrepark Dr, Tucson, AZ 85710,

Friday, March 08, 2013

Rainy day


...and the only even slightly creative thing I did was to pass a pleasant hour or so playing my penny whistle. I've discovered, my delight, that I've actually memorized the Irish tunes I've been playing from a couple of books.

Exercise class was abs Friday, so it was good. People are still excited about how much fun the show was.

I accompanied Jack to his cardioologist appt. He's still trying to get his pacemaker pacing correctly, and, after a cardiologically difficult week, we're hopeful that this will be the tweak that takes care of it.

Sawmill chicken dinner was this evening, and we were at a good table full of amiable people. Tomorrow is the Michigan chicken dinner. :-P

Location : E Centrepark Dr, Tucson, AZ 85710,

Thursday, March 07, 2013

Judging the Judge


I was a judge for our Far Horizons' Got Talent show for the past two nights. I was a ditsy person all decked out in Hello Kitty attire. I even had Hello Kitty shoes! I am hopeful that the photographer got a good shot of me, because I took a shot with my phone and it was not good. My hello kitty bow was not on, nor were my hk shoes. Sheesh.

Today was a good day of post-show chilling and reveling in all the compliments. Everyone loved the show, got lots of laughs, and had fun. I think that's what it's all about.

Jack made dinner tonight--meatballs and gravy, mashed potatoes, asparagus wrapped in prociutto, salad with lettuce I harvested from our garden, and a homemade cherry pie!

Location : E Centrepark Dr, Tucson, AZ 85710,

Wednesday, March 06, 2013

Bluebird

I finally have something of my own creation to post. This is not a photo, but is a digital painting. Most of it is done with a 1-pixel-wide brush, in Photoshop. I used a photo from the internet as my model.
This is a style called photo-realism, in which my goal is to come as close to getting all the details as I can, within a reasonable time frame. I add that last qualifier, because I know that I could always get more detail, if I didn't care how much time I put into it.

The show went well last night. While it was not a sell-out, the people who did come had a really good time. One more night, and then it's back to real life, whatever that is.

Today I got onto Facebook for the first time in several days. (Aren't we entitled to a break from social media from time to time?) Lots happened without my being aware. I have spent most of my life being disappointed in my family's secret-keeping. I guess now is just another one of those times.

Anyway, I hope you like my bluebird!

Tuesday, March 05, 2013

Well, heck. I guess I'm not doing well with posting something creative daily, am I? That was a lofty goal, but I thought that my creativity was going to be small stuff. I've been working on some art, though, which you will see when I deem it complete. I am sure that it will be worth the wait for you. I know that it will be for me!

Well, the show goes on tonight and tomorrow night! I have a part that began as a minor role, but has expanded to be a more important part. When the show's over, I'll post a pic of myself in my stage makeup!

By the way, I had complained about my jeans getting a little tight. Despite a most delicious onslaught of Jack's homemade chocolate chip cookies, I've gotten back to my fighting weight. :)

Sunday, March 03, 2013

Ready.... Set...

After a good church service today, and a nice lunch out with Peggy and John, I've been getting ready and set the rest of the day. Ready for ... dress rehearsal for our entertainers' show. My getting ready had included such diverse tasks as printing scripts, painting my fingernails (!), and buying shoes. I hope that I have some pix to post after the show.

Saturday, March 02, 2013

Brush your teeth


I have an automatic toothbrush from oral b which times itself to brush my teeth for 2 minutes -- 30 seconds in each quadrant of my mouth. Nice thing.

Well I was thinking...if I were to brush just the minimum twice a day, that is 4 minutes a day. That's 120 minutes -- 2 hours! -- in a month, and a startling 24 hours in a year, that I'm doing nothing but brushing my teeth!

But, truth be told -- and I always tell the truth -- I usually brush 3 or more times a day, floss daily, use one of those little pipe cleaner- type brushes between my teeth at night, and nightly I use a fluoride rinse that takes a minute. So we're talking 9 minutes a day = 270 minutes a month, which is 4.5 hours. That is 54 hours in a year! :O No wonder my dentist is pleased with me.

Location : 7100-7248 E Speedway Blvd, Tucson, AZ 85710,

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Thursday


Today was a creative day for me. I spent part of it finishing up creating a presentation for our photo club. My presentation today was on critiquing photos. I talked about why we critique, what to look for, and how to deliver a critique effectively. Then we went through a collection of photos I had along with several from group members and we offered critiques. People seemed to like my presentation.

Jack took me out to the Chinese buffet for supper, and it was good. I'm still working on assembling my costume for the show, so we did a bit of shopping for things.

Location : Mohave, Tucson, AZ 85710,

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Good day, sunshine


What a fine day this was in my life! I was scurrying around busy all day, and I could not possibly have fit in another thing. Exercise, breakfast, shower, variety show practice, lunch, variety show practice, party, supper, choir practice, dq, and falling into bed!

Location : Mohave, Tucson, AZ 85710,

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Memphis


Today was good. I am soon to have what is to me a remarkable bit of art to post here. How's that for a teaser? I worked on that, worked on my photo club presentation, and played all my penny whistle songs.

I helped Jack move the platforms we're borrowing for the Entertainers' production, ate three square meals, and went to see Memphis downtown with Arnie and Margaret. It was fabulous with a good story, great singing, and exciting dancing.

Location : Mohave, Tucson, AZ 85710,

Monday, February 25, 2013

Where did this day go?


Well, ok, part of it went for exercise. Part went to nourishing my body. Some went toward practicing my penny whistle. Some time went into doing laundry. And I spent some time working on ideas to make our church better. Oh, and we did our ballroom dance class, working on new rumba steps and the polka! It was a creative day for me, but I did no digital art.

Location : Mohave, Tucson, AZ 85710,

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Dusty and cold


Well, I am officially tired of winter and can hardly wait till mid-spring when we'll head back eastward. Hopefully it will be warmer by then. Today was bright and sunny but the air had a funny whitishness to it because of the dust which was stirred up by the fierce winds. That along with a high temp in the 40's lent a distinctly wintry feeling to the day.

Today's service was about courage and I liked it. We didn't focus so much on "don't be afraid," as on "don't worry; just do."

I was reminded of when I was faced with Michael's illness and with losing him and how I dealt with all of that. Someone told me in those days, "Do what's next." I really liked that. It gave me a kind of peace. I know that I helped to make his life good and I helped to make his dying good, too. I came through for him. And, though I was scared some of the time, I did what was next, kept us going, and retained my courage.

Before church, I was talking about how I'd learned to play the penny whistle this winter, and Pastor Lesley asked me if I'd play for the offertory on 3/17. Somehow I felt the...courage ...and agreed to do that. :-) I had an extra-long and good practice session today.

Location : Gila, Tucson, AZ 85710,

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Southwestminster Dog Show


Far Horizons had its first ever (that I know of) dog show today!  There must have been 40 dogs with their people. I was one of the 5 judges, choosing the best dogs in breed categories (including unknown and mixed breeds), best costume, best tricks, and best personality. The day was splendid, and the best dogs walked off with medals, toys, and treats.

Afterward, they offered hotdog, chips, and drinks for $2, with proceeds going to the humane association. I so love this park, and I am very proud to have been part of this cool activity.

While I realize that I'm not in a good position to have a dog in my life now, I love dogs and will always carry my 4 dogs Alex, Nicky, Penny, and Maddy in my heart. I'm also thinking today about my friends John and MaryAnn and their dear Samantha. Someday I'll have another dog.

Location : E Centrepark Dr, Tucson, AZ 85710,

Friday, February 22, 2013

Action


I think that action movies are just not my genre. I can't remember one that I liked, right off the top of my head, and I surely cannot say I loved the new James Bond movie Skyfall...was that the title? Surely it had its moments-- some humor and charm -- but, for the most part, I found it so tedious, I found myself wishing I were doing just about anything else.

Jack and I went walking this am for something different. Then we had Greg's class, breakfasts, and then it was almost time for lunch! I dragged him shopping for an outfit for me to wear for the variety show and I found something I believe will be funny.

We went to a party for supper and camaraderie, and it was good fun. Thennnnn the action movie. And now bed!

I did no art today. I didn't even turn my computer on.

Location : E Centrepark Dr, Tucson, AZ 85710,

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Snow in them thar hills

Yes, there is still snow in the mountains, but it's meltinf quickly off our Tucson rooftops in the 48° sunshine. I know, it's still quite cold, particularly for Tucson in February, but it is what it is. Average high for this date is 69°, so I hold out hopes for a warmup soon!

In honor of the snow, I did this:
It is from scratch using a method that I devised in Photoshop. It's based upon our snowflake cutouts with paper we did as children. I began with a path of a triangle which has a 30° angle, the same as the folded up triangle. Then, to "cut" out the holes, I used the Pen in "subtract" mode. Once I had my triangle "cut," I "unfolded" it, by reflecting it and reproducing it around to complete the circle. For a look at a similar method I developed (using pixels instead of paths -- the difference is minor), see my tutorial at http://myjanee.com/tuts/snow/snow.htm
Today Jack and I went to a presentation on Geocaching! It was really interesting, and the hobby looks like a fun one. We will likely do some of that someday. I know... LOL just what we need: more hobbies!

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Snow?


Yes, the weather outside is frightful! We had actual snowfall here in Tucson today-- probably an inch a couple of times. It rained before, between, and after, though, so it didn't get to be 2". It was sticking to cars and cacti, pagodas and palms, but not on the roads. What a freaky winter we're having! I'm going to post art tomorrow that I began today.

Location : E Centrepark Dr, Tucson, AZ 85710,

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

A is for pAisley

Ok so maybe I'll just post one thing, but it took me much of today to do it. This took a lot of work with paths, custom shapes, and just plain fun:
I was always intrigued by those big artsy capital letters in my story books when I was a kid. I wish I still had one of those books, just to look at those letters. This is kind of a tribute to those letters. I may do more, now that I'm warmed up.

Today was consumed with a) getting a late start; b) doing this bit of alphabetical art; and c) attending the Soup Supper at church. It was good, plenty of food and nice people, but I didn't like the table arrangement. We were lined up like the school cafeteria in elementary school, except that the tables were closer together, so it was hard to walk up to get more soup!

Monday, February 18, 2013

Monday Monday


Today was going to be the day that we sold Jack's cottage. We set up a table in it, did a bit of staging with a tablecloth and simple centerpiece, cleaned some and swept the drive. Our buyers were going to go look at it and we were set to make the deal. But, before they even saw his, they bought another. I still believe it will go, but I so wanted it to be today.

In other news, I worked on some art but just didn't have time to get it done to post. So there we are. I'll put in two things tomorrow.

Location : E Centrepark Dr, Tucson, AZ 85710,

Sunday, February 17, 2013

I Heart You

Another beautiful day in paradise. Things go apace. Church was good. Spring calendar is filling up. Jack is working today on finishing up his shed, and it's looking great. Painting was the order of the day, along with burying his electrical conduit. Soon it'll be ready for pictures!

I worked a bit on my presentation that I'll be doing for our Photo Club here on the 23rd. I would have finished, but my perfectionism combined with Word's formatting has me temporarily dogged, so I gave it up for today, and decided to make you a piece of art:
Filters were Ocean Ripple and Colored Pencil, applied to a smattering of hearts that I put into Difference Mode. Oh what fun! :)

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Dancing the Night Away

Today was a busy one. After Zumba and breakfast, Jack and I worked on his siding for his new shed, and got it all done! He still has to do some trim and some painting, but nothing that he can't get done in the next couple of days.

So it was time to celebrate. Far Horizons had a dance tonight and it was very fun. The band was Two's Company, and they are the best for dancing. While the snack table was packed with delicious looking snacks, and I brought a bowl of nuts, I was personally able to resist the temptation. It's really far easier to resist temptation to snack when you just decide ahead of time that you're not going to do it. If you don't even start eating, it's much easier to just not eat. I did drink plenty of water, though, and danced nearly every song.

Today's creativity is from some months ago, actually, but I'm sharing it here now. This is a lion cub shot through the glass of his enclosure. I like the way the leaves behind me and reflecting off the glass make it look a little surreal, kind of like the cub is in the jungle.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Seventy Degrees

Finally! The day is beautiful, and I celebrated by spending a little time listening to the folks singing wonderful folk music beside the pool.

I am surprised that y'all are not bowled over by my artwork of yesterday. Well, I'll just have to try harder!

There! That's from my webcam. :P

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Be the Change

Today was another good day! It began with sleeping in till 7, Zumba, and laundry. One of my washers chose me to be the victim of its fritzing out, so I got to wash one load twice, just so I could get the rinse cycle. I finally was done with laundry by 1.

And I did some art:
This was a Paths exercise, combined with some Gradient fun and Layer Effects euphoria.

I was happily playing my penny whistle, when I suddenly remembered that Jack and I were going to leave for dinner at 5, and it was 4:59! Yikes! I undressed and redressed more quickly than I ever have, whipped on my makeup and swept my hair into a fetching bun, and off we went!

We arrived at Claim Jumper right at our reservation time, and were seated immediately. Dinner was eximious; Jack had a steak and baked potato, salad, and toast, while I feasted on a chicken cashew salad on a most delicious tomato bread, fresh fruit, and, for my vegetable, carrot cake!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Ash Wednesday

Lent began for me on a very busy note. We went to the short Ash Wednesday service at church, followed by our exercise class with Greg. Class was good, though it was hard. I guess hard is good, when it comes to exercise.

Then I showered and went to Jan's for lunch with the girls. Lunch was delish, as hers always are, and we had a good time playing cards till late afternoon.

Next I went over to help with the Sawmill Spaghetti Supper. I was serving plates of spaghetti, and that's a fun thing to do.

And then came church choir practice. It doesn't seem like much when I talk about it on here, but it was a busy day!

And I made this little bit of art:


I did this by making two angle gradients on different layers and blending them with Blending Modes. Then I made the cross using two reflected gradients in Difference Mode, and blended this into the background gradient layers.

I finished it by rounding the cross ends with a Layer Mask, deleting the black background, and applying a purple Outer Glow using Layer Effects.

I like the starkness of the primary colors, the surprising bits of green and yellow, and that haunting purple glow.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Another cold day in paradise

The weather here is sort of a joke, because ... well, it just doesn't seem like February in Tucson, which is usually lovely. I just hope that it doesn't go immediately from being too cold to being too hot. I do know that the hummingbirds are mightily confused!

Otherwise the day has been good. I went with Jack to Home Depot to pick up a GFI plug and then to Sprouts to lay in some supplies for supper, which I'm cooking. Tonight will be Fettucini Milano, one of my faves. It has sausage, fresh parsley, sweet peppers, green onions, garlic, and herbs all combined in a buttery-olive oil and served over fettucini, or whole-wheat rotini tonight.

I sat and played piano for a bit this morning! And this afternoon, I did a little bit of pre-VD art:

Now... I'm trying to commit myself to something for Lent. With the idea in mind that I want to do more creatively, I believe I will commit to posting some piece of art, a photo, or a recipe into this blog every day of Lent. Will you enjoy that?

Monday, February 11, 2013

Coldest day


I think that it is even colder when one isn't really expecting it. When I think of Tucson, I have come to think "sunny and warm" and not "cold, dank, and rainy." Oh well... 54 isn't...4.

I had some good indoor time today -- time to catch up on email, write thank you cards, pay some bills, play my penny whistle, edit a photo, do allll the puzzles in the newspaper, and still managed time to run some errands in the nearly freezing rain.

I keep thinking that I'll eventually snap out of this funk which has dogged me for the better part of 5 years. I want to get back into doing art.

Location : E Centrepark Dr, Tucson, AZ 85710,

Saturday, February 09, 2013

Success


Today turned out great. The bake sale was a rousing success, due to help from many people. My invitation for people to bake things brought out fantastic yummies from all corners of the park. Three tables were filled maximally with displayed goodies, while three others were packed with extras to put out as the first ones sold.

People bought, tables were restocked by a team of very capable merchandisers, and we wound up making $419 -- most ever.

I left our sale at 10, and got to the church on time...for the fashion show run-through. It began with lunch at 11:30. Quiches made by some of us, salads, and cake paired with tea, lemonade, punch, and water to fully energize us to walk the walk in our Dress Barn fashions.

Each of us had two outfits and, not only did we have a blast, the ladies in attendance loved the show. Everyone is already saying that they want to do it again next year. I'm all for that, but I do hope it's not on the same day as the Entertainers' Bake Sale!

Location : 7451 S 5th Ave, Tucson, AZ 85710,

Friday, February 08, 2013

Bake bake baking


Today reminded me of when I had Blackberry Hill Dessert Company. I made 4 different recipes, doubles of 3 of them, packaged all the things, labeled them, and kept the kitchen clean the whole time. I also helped Jack in making another recipe and sliced and packed his zucchini bread. I did Candied Cinnamon Pecans, Krave 'Ems, Date-Oatmeal Chocolate Chippers, and Peanutty Peanut Butter Brownies.

This is for the bake sale tomorrow to support our entertainers group. It is supposed to rain and be cold, but oh well. Anything of ours that doesn't sell we can take to church for coffee hour.

Location : E Centrepark Dr, Tucson, AZ 85710,

Thursday, February 07, 2013

Good day


This was a good day. Jack and I went to a discussion on gun control at church this evening. The discussion was intelligent and sane. I think we all agreed that controls on assault weapons, or an all-out ban, would be reasonable. We agreed that people need to be responsible for keeping their own guns secure, and that there needs to be more teaching of morality --though school is not the place.

Location : E Centrepark Dr, Tucson, AZ 85710,

Monday, February 04, 2013

Putting up siding


That's what Jack and I did for several hours today. I've discovered that I have a low tolerance for Jack's impatience, throwing things, and sarcasm. Oh, and my being told to get out of the way, when I'm just trying to help also tends to drive me crazy. I guess I can't hope to change him, but in trying to just put up with such behavior, I feel trampled. /rant

Location : Maricopa, Tucson, AZ 85710,

Sunday, February 03, 2013

Love is God

This day began for me early. I got up before 6 to compile the things I'd be reading as Lay Leader in church today. This was a day about humor, joy, and fun, so it was right up my alley. :D

After church, it was lunch and just chill time. I did the Sunday puzzles from the paper, played my tin whistle, and did my dishes (whoopee). At 4, Jack and I left for Jan and Dick's Super Bowl party. We had a grand time!

So here's a question: If you run out of anything before you do dishes, what would it be? For me, it's bowls and/or spoons.

And here's another: If God is Love, can it also be said that Love is God? I believe that these are two really different statements, but that both are true, at least in my reality. The first, that God is Love, seems to be a way to personalize, humanize, and soften the idea of God to people who already acknowledge the concept of God.

To me, though, it's much more powerful to say "Love is God." This gets right to the root of the question, "Is there a God?" or "Do you believe in God?" I don't think anyone would say that they don't believe in Love -- like a Love that's sort of bigger than we are, a force that's beyond our control or understanding. Well, so let's just say that Love IS God. And there we are.

Personifying the idea of God is something people do a lot. Who can say that they don't believe in Mother Nature, Father Time, the Hand of Fate, Santa Claus, Lady Luck.... or Love? All of these are just personifications of ideas that we all share. So just call it God.

Is God more than that? Does God need to be more than Love? I don't personally need a God who's going to toss me into a fiery pit, or decide that I'm ok to be with lyre-playing angels sitting on clouds. I'm good with the idea of evolution and the Big Bang Theory, and I don't need a divine explanation for that. But, if, by saying I believe in Love, I can then say that I believe in God, this simplifies a lot of things for me.

Saturday, February 02, 2013

Ceiling Joists Up


Laundry done, electrical stuff for shed purchased, dinner at Chuy's ...and tonight I fall into bed exhausted. At 8:45. LoL!

I would surely never have dreamed that dance-till-the-bars-closed-down Janee would be crashing into bed before 9...  on a Saturday night, no less.

Location : Maricopa, Tucson, AZ 85710,

Friday, February 01, 2013

More Building

We got the walls erected today, and put in 3 of the ceiling joists. It doesn't sound like much, but we worked hard on it all day.

Just now I was playing with some art, trying still to recreate that piece I did a few days ago. I ended up with another variation, which I like even better, I think!
 
 
This time, I've carefully labeled my layers and saved the layered file! Of course, it can't be recreated exactly, which is part of the beauty of this sort of art. No one else can do your art. Or mine, for that matter. :P


Thursday, January 31, 2013

Walls


Today Jack and I got the walls of his shed built. They are not entirely vertical yet, but that will come. The excitement came when we had to figure out the length of the sloping roof support piece. It is the hypotenuse of a right triangle whose base measures 107" and whose height is 10". The answer surprised us!

Other than a committee meeting for me and an errand for Jack while I did my newspaper puzzles, we built most of the day.

I also spent some time trying to recreate a piece of art I did a few days ago. I learned a lesson I used to teach my students: label your layers with what you did to them. And...SAVE your work with labeled layers. <eyeroll> Can't believe I needed a refresher on that.

Location : Maricopa, Tucson, AZ 85710,

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Life Hacks

I just got this list from a Facebook friend. There's some really neat stuff in here! http://twistedsifter.com/2013/01/50-life-hacks-to-simplify-your-world/

Today Jack and I worked together to get his foundation and floor done for his new shed! Woo hoo! It's underway. Aside from a break for lunch, that's all we did after our exercising (Wii Zumba and Greg's Strength class).

The day is lovely and sunny, but still too cold for my tastes. It didn't keep the regulars out of the pool, however!

Last evening, I went to try on clothes for my church's fashion show. She looked at me and said, "Are you about a 10?" I said, "Golly, I hope not!" It turns out that she's just a bad judge of sizes. Or maybe I just look like a FAT size 4?? LOL I don't know, but I do know that I fit great into the size 4's. Everyone else has cuter stuff than I do for the show, but.. oh well. I suppose that people do buy things like navy blue pants suits.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Wood has arrived

Yes! The wood came this morning for the construction of Jack's new storage shed. It will be 12x10 and will house his tools, Christmas decor, bikes, and anything else he sees fit to put in there. We worked at moving all the wood back out of the street, where it was delivered, onto his driveway, beyond where he parks his car. I'm very hopeful that this is not a very long project. I want to get his stuff out of my 2nd shed, get that torn down, get a new one built for me, and move my things into it. That new shed of mine will serve to store a few things of mine and will also serve as a tiny guest quarters.

Once we get the sheds done, we will be set to start landscaping our backyards. :) Always fun projects to do here!

Today we're experiencing a little return to winter, with some below-average temps and a stiff breeze. The sun is out, though, and it is warm, offering a promise of spring returning soon.

I got my logo work done, or mostly done, today. The thing that most people don't understand about graphic design work is that most of the real *work* is just trying to figure out what the client wants in the art, and then what sort of file format they need. Emails back and forth are the most time-consuming thing.

I played with some more art today, making this:

And it was fun! Only fun! :) I did it with layers of Gradients in Difference Mode, these Layers put into different Blending Modes, and then a filter applied to the result. Zow, I think this is pretty. 

Monday, January 28, 2013

Swinging


Tonight's ballroom dance class was on the Swing. We did well and the class was fun. Jack and I are getting very good at beginning ballroom.

I played cards with Jan and Jane today. How's that for a group: Jan, Jane, and Janee? Jan had a good lunch for us and we had plenty of laughs.

Cold and rain returned today, but it is not supposed to last. But it was mightily unpleasant with the wet wind whipping. Brrr!

Location : Cinco, Tucson, AZ 85710,

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Good dinner


Tonight we enjoyed a really good dinner of smoked turkey! Jack made mashed potatoes, I made mixed veggies (zucchini, yellow squash, Roman tomatoes, onion and garlic), and we had strawberry pie and grilled apples and pears. To celebrate our feast we had some friends over. A fine time was enjoyed by all!

I enjoyed an otherwise relaxing day, doing puzzles and nearly napping. The rain seems to have stopped for the time being. Chance of rain tomorrow: 0%. :-)

Location : Cinco, Tucson, AZ 85710,

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Rain falls in Tucson


And when it rains, sometimes it pours! This morning's rain was reminiscent of a monsoon rain -- a real gully-washer! There was an assortment of folks talking outside my house when the deluge came, and we all sought refuge under my awning and then moved into my cottage. Sometimes bits of fun can be had even in a pouring rain.

The rain did make the powers-that- be cancel the Senior Olympics track and field events, so Jack and I were rained out of our race walking. Disappointment! We did have a good long zumba workout though, which kept us on track.

Tonight was the Mystery Dinner, and it was great fun. Supremely funny characters and acting along with good food and good company made an excellent evening.

Location : Cinco, Tucson, AZ 85710,

Friday, January 25, 2013

Pampered


LoL... Chuckling at the title I chose. Today I attended a Pampered Chef demonstration. This is only the second of these I've seen, and this one was good. She made plenty of delicious food, showing us with avid enthusiam how her products worked. While there were a few things I'd enjoy having, the space they'd occupy is just not there, in my kitchen. Most of the things are very specialized; think garlic peeler, strawberry slicer, or vegetable grill basket. Anyway, it was fun, and she did sell plenty of product to others.

Tonight's movie was "The Queen of Versailles." It was about David Siegel' s family and his rise and fall from a world of seemingly unending power and luxury to a state of deep depair and longing for the way things were. He was a timeshare mogul, having made billions from selling vacations to people who could not afford them. I think that it was karmic for him to be taken down as he was.

His wife Jackie actually owned a $17,000 pair of boots -- alligator, I believe. She had 8 children, because there were nannies to care for them (4). Riveting story, though there were many times I wanted to shake these two and point out that there is more than the money. Once you have what you need, then sit back and enjoy what you have -- like the love of your family. There was just none of that, which made the while thing surreal.

Location : Cinco, Tucson, AZ 85710,

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Rainy Day


We get a few rainy days a year here in Tucson, and today was one of them. While we probably didn't get much, it was a drizzly damp rain.

I have come to realize that my left ankle, the one I broke hiking in 2009, is a weather-indicator. I can tell pretty accurately when it is going to rain, because my ankle hurts. While I consider this to be imaginary pain, it is quite difficult to ignore, since walking becomes seriously painful.

So I took this as a day of rest. I didn't even go on Facebook.

I read in the paper today that ppl's feeling of life satisfaction declines when they are on fb frequently. And it's even more pronounced for those who read much  and post seldomly. This is because folks are jealous of what others have and do, and because others seem to be more happy in their lives.

I say that no matter how bad I'm feeling, grieving, abused, unlucky, whatever, there's someone who would happily trade lives with me. And no matter how great I feel about my life, there's someone looking at me and thinking, "Oh, how pathetic!"

Location : Cinco, Tucson, AZ 85710,

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Eighty Degrees

I love thinking that winter is over! I don't particularly like winter, but I can do 3 weeks of it. :) I remember when I was with Michael, I used to say that I hated winter, but then, when we started coming to Tucson, I didn't say I hated winter anymore. Things were different then, of course, and while I can wish all I want for "normalcy" to return, I know that life is all about learning to accept new normals. Doesn't make it any easier, though.

Jack and I got the garden planted today! We put in herbs, lettuces, and a pepper assortment. I do so hope that something is harvestable before we leave here on 4/16.

And this is where I'll be! :) I so love this house. Can't wait to see it again!

Today it's 80° here in Tucson, however, and so THIS is where I want to be now. I love the option of just going outside, no coats or even shoes, if that's what I choose.

Exercise class was good today. I love feeling like I'm developing actual arm muscles.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

The day that never got started

I guess we don't have to have super-accomplished days every day, do we? (Say no!)

I did get one thing done. I am reworking the logo for church, and I did a bit of research to remind myself how to save for printing preserving transparency. This is something that I used to know, but had forgotten. I was never that big into output. Like, you tell me what sort of file format you need, and I'll save it like that. But knowing what kind of file? Not really my forte. ;)

I went with Jack to look at materials for the storage shed that he's going to build on his lot. After he gets that done, we'll move his stuff from my right-hand shed into his new shed. His storage will include his tools and seldom-used things like Christmas decorations.

Then we'll tear down my right-hand shed and build me a nice new one there. This new shed will have room for storage of the few things I have in the lefthand shed... PLUS it will have a Murphy bed for a guest or two. I'm also going to insulate this shed, with my guests in mind. My storage will be like kitchen cabinets, so it will seem like a nice cozy room, and not like sleeping in a garage. LOL

Then my lefthand shed will be moved out and sold. And then we will work on landscaping the "estate." We're thinking along lines of an outdoor kitchen for grilling, some seating areas for parties and the firepit for those nights with smores. I will draw out the whole yard in scale and work it out so that we get in what we want. We have some leftover synthetic grass, too, and we may well use that for some color back there.

Monday, January 21, 2013

AJ's Pizza


LoL I could not think of a title for this post. And this post will be short. I'm in bed already at the end of a good but tiring day.

Things I did today: zumba, exercise with Greg, shower, played penny whistle, did newspaper puzzles, did some email,Facebook, and Photoshop, drove to Marana to pick up new house number panels --verycool and a pretty drive -- dinner of shish kebabs, ballroom dance class.  Good day all in all.

Location : Cinco, Tucson, AZ 85710,

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Sunday


Today was a mixed bag for me. The choir sang in church, which was good. Then there was a celebration to honor Glenda who died on Christmas after struggling with cancer for 4 years. Her husband Charlie is in good humor, but I know he is still quite numb.

High point had to be the Choco Cherry Love Blizzard from DQ. It's the greatest, when made with chocolate ice cream.

Location : Cinco, Tucson, AZ 85710,

Saturday, January 19, 2013

The Story of My Life

I won't name it that, but I've been thinking ... forever... about writing this down. It seems to me that I have a lot to say. But there are some issues that I have -- questions. I read someplace that we shouldn't write our autobiography as if we are the hero of the story. We should not make ourselves out to be martyrs. And, I guess, when I think of what I came through, I feel like a hero.

It seems to me like people would want to know my real feelings and about what really happened, through my eyes, but how do I deal with the stuff about which I'm not proud? I guess everyone has these things, but how do we deal with them in an autobiographical setting? It seems that, to leave them out, would be perpetuating a lie.

That is what I did in my diary, way back when. I remember writing several pages about the sexual abuse I was undergoing at the time, and then later tearing out pages and crossing parts out in such a way that no one could ever see what I wrote. I would love to see what I wrote. I know that I believed then, and for many years thence, that I was responsible for what was going on.

(I've since made peace with myself about that, realized that, as a child, I was not at fault. Men who don't know better, or who know better and don't care, will pick up on a little girl's flirting. Little girls flirt. Responsible adults tell them to run along and play.)

But anyway... things about which I'm truly ashamed, like stuff I did as a young adult, things I've done which have hurt other people, things I've thought of doing to hurt other people... How do I deal with those in my autobiography? I think that this is the stumbling block that keeps me from telling my story, much of which for I'm rightfully proud, and which I think would be good reading.

Friday, January 18, 2013

It seemed like a busy day

...but I can't really tell you anything I did. Well, I'll give it a try, anyway. I started out with 30 minutes of Wii Zumba, breakfast, and then Strength and Fitness with Greg. Friday's class always has a focus on ab work, which I guess I hate, but I hate it less than I used to!

After a shower and some playing with newspaper crosswords, at which I've discovered I ROCK, it was time for the Entertainer meeting. We're talking about this year's production, which will be in variety show format. Jack's directing again, so it'll be fun.

Lunch! I finished up my spam, along with a carrot, glass of milk, and 2 cookies! Yeah, yeah. But it's all good. The pounds are dropping off as slowly as they came on, and that's ok.

A walk to Sprouts for some veggies, and a bike ride to the corner of our park where they have a Farmers' Market set up on Friday afternoons, and I have some veggies and some frozen soup for a later time.

This was such a gorgeous day with a high in the upper 60's and a bright sunny sky punctuated by wispy clouds. While I do hate the cold, I can deal with our 3 weeks of winter. I'm happy to see that spring is here, though. (I really think that it is!) Our garden shops are all stocked with plants and seeds, which look very ready to adorn people's gardens.

Jack and I are talking about getting our garden going again. He bought some seeds already, and the soil is amended and looks pretty good.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Eat This, Not That

I love Eat This, Not That. It's a division of Men's Health, but, men or not, I find that it's refreshingly honest, hitting the food industry where it ought to be hit. We all know what we should be eating, after all, but the food industry does all it can do, with all its creativity and marketing clout, to waylay us from moving toward health. They make more money from the processed stuff than they do from fresh, wholesome stuff, I guess.

Today's posting for Eat This, Not That, in Facebook, is "6 Freaky Fast Food Creations," and it's great. Do have a look at some of this stuff that is being marketed to US.

It's warmer today. I should really go out and take down my Christmas lights, but... LOL I'm not going to do it, so there goes that "should."

Jack and I went to dinner at Olive Garden last evening with our friends John and Peggy. It was a nice time, and we enjoyed our food. We get leftovers for supper tonight, too!

After that, I went to church choir practice. I do love being part of this choir, but I do so wish that people would practice their parts. I'm not saying that I'm a talented singer, by any means, but at least I practice my part till I know it. Our practices could go for half the time, or we could do lots more, if people would just come in prepared, and manage their talking/listening skills, too. Just a pet peeve of mine.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Christmas Lights

I love my Christmas lights that I put up outside on my deck's railing. I love them so much that I still have them up! LOL. I enjoy the bit of color and extra light right now, in this darkest part of the year. Maybe I'll take them down tomorrow, when it's warmer, and put up plain white lights. Jack is shaming me into it. I guess I'm playing the eccentric old lady part a little prematurely.

Today was musical for me. I practiced my choir music for church, after a proper warm-up, of course. After that, I played my penny whistle through many of my tunes. What fun!

Dinner was at Olive Garden with John and Peggy. Food was great, and we really enjoyed our server-in-training.

Yesterday, I brought home two lamps to try for my living room, and I opted for the Tiki Arc Floor Lamp you can see here: http://www.worldmarket.com/product/tiki-arc-spheres-floor-lamp.do?camp=ppc:GooglePLA:none:goobase_filler&gclid=CPjL7vDF7rQCFUlxQgodGlUA4A . It looks great, so I returned the other one, without even having taken it out of its packaging. The lamp I had was not really tall enough for where I had it and it didn't give enough of the right sort of light.

And, finally, it's a bit warmer! We had several nights of below-freezing temps, where we were advised to leave a trickle of water running, but hopefully that's over now. I am looking forward to leaving one of my jacket layers home, and perhaps the gloves, too.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Cold Day in Paradise

It's saying 39 now, but it was just 20 when we awoke here in Tucson. Ah well, we can handle 2 weeks of winter! Now when it gets to be 3, I'll be complaining! LOL

No one asked me what the box is that's under my desk. That is my custom made-by-me footrest! In order to make the desk ergonomically somewhat correct, I had to raise my chair quite a bit, leaving my feet dangling. Thus the footrest. I had one in my old desk set up before, but it wasn't as fancy as this one. ;) When I decide for sure on the measurements, I'm going to have Jack make one for me out of wood.

Last evening, we had ballroom dance lessons, and it was, as always, great fun. Having taken... I don't even know how many .. beginner dance lessons, Jack and I are pretty darned good at beginning ballroom dancing! Someday we'll get up the courage to try something maybe... intermediate! We're a long way from Dancing With The Stars.

I did some more Photoshop work today, reworking our church's logo. I love doing logo work! There's hardly anything about Photoshop that I don't love, actually.

Another couple or 3 weeks, and I'll have my weight back where it belongs. I'm going in the right direction finally.

Monday, January 14, 2013

My New Desk


I promised pix of my new desk, and here we are! This is the desk in closed position.

 

And here it is all ready to use. I'm really enjoying this. It's the perfect size for my small space, and yet it gives me plenty of room to work! I got it from hayneedle.com and their service was excellent!