We’re Not Crazy

Gold Canyon, Arizona

One of the great things about staying here at Gold Canyon Resort for two months is that we’ve developed friendships that have gone past the superficial level.

We’ve exchanged stories and eventually confided in one another.

The surprising thing is finding out that others, not all but most, are as unsure of what to do as we are.

Harry and Marlene are in their 80’s and they are trying to decide if it’s time to sell their 2500 square foot home that’s on the shores of Lake Almanor in northern California and move closer to their children.Almanor2

Mike and Debbie are at odds. Debbie thinks it might be time to sell their home in Ohio while Mike wants to keep it. She’s ready to try RV living full time; he’s not so sure.

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Wally and Lea are also trying to decide if they should sell one of their two homes. Maybe they will upgrade their Arizona park model to an actual home because they spend most of their time here and more space would be nice.

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(Park models are about 400 square feet (14′ by 35′), and most have an ‘Arizona Room’ added on that is either additional living space or a covered patio. In Texas they are called ‘Texas Rooms’.)

The good news for us is that hearing everyone else’s dilemmas has helped us realize that we’re not alone.

We are struggling with deciding how and when to transition back to home ownership. We ping and pong ideas back and forth continuously.

Perhaps it’s time to buy an eight ball… 🙂

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Rock ‘N’ Art

Gold Canyon, Arizona

Lots of people in the RV resort must go shopping at the Mesa Market because it’s easy to spot similar yard art that’s available at the market.

One of the types of yard art that intrigues me combines rocks and metal.

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Most are made to look like bugs like this trio of ants.

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I love this full orchestra with each bug playing a different instrument.

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And one last close up look…

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Really, the more accurate name for this post should be, “Stuff I want Rich to make once he has a shop again…” 😉

Sailor’s Delight

Gold Canyon, Arizona

Prettiest sunset we’ve seen here last night.

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Red sky at morning, sailors take warning;

Red sky at night, sailors’ delight.

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Alas, these pictures don’t do the scene justice. The blue in the sky was almost smurf turf blue in intensity. And the orange was much brighter. Maybe it’s a foreshadowing of Boise State University winning the Fiesta Bowl later this week. Go Broncos! 🙂

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I wondered where the warning vs delight saying came from. According to Wikipedia,

In the Bible at Matthew 16:2-3, Jesus is quoted as saying:

When it is evening, you say, “It will be fair weather; for the sky is red.”
And in the morning, “It will be stormy today, for the sky is red and threatening.”

With the intense colors we saw last night, Phoenix sailors must be super delighted.

MacGyver Moment

Gold Canyon, Arizona

I love broiled bread.

Brushed with just a bit of butter, heated under a hot broiler until the butter is melted, the bread is warm, the top crust is toasted, and the rest of the bread is chewy… So delicious!

Farmers-Market-Brunch-9-300x199Alas, there is no way to broil in Homer.

There is a convection/microwave combination that does it’s job well, but it’s just not geared to cook some of my favorite things the way I want.

A Facebook friend posted a link to an article in the San Francisco Globe about 7 Different Ways to Use Your Waffle Iron.

That got me thinking and having my own little MacGyver Moment…

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So we bravely went to Walmart yesterday and elbowed our way through all the other crazy people stupid enough to go there on the Saturday after Christmas to buy a waffle iron. 

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Last night we had some delicious Anasazi beans with Waffled Toast!

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It was so good that it was almost worth waiting seven months since my last broiled bread…

1227141730Stay tuned for more Waffle-Creations…

Insulting

Gold Canyon, Arizona

Woke up the other day, looked in the mirror, and what did I see?

A pimple!

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Zit, blemish, abscess, carbuncle, hickey, acne, goober… Whatever you call it, they aren’t pretty.

Like most, I had my share during my teen years.

But I never expected to have them at my age.

Pimples AND wrinkles at the same time are just insulting!

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Just doesn’t seem right to have an oily skin problem at the same time as an old and dry skin problem.

Don’t even get me started on when I spot a whisker, too… 🙁

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Fountain Hills

Gold Canyon, Arizona

We took a short drive yesterday to the city of Fountain Hills.

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Fountain Hills was a cattle ranch prior to being established in 1970 as a master planned community. The community was designed by Charles Wood, Jr. who designed Disneyland.

Fountain Hills is very beautiful. It is surrounded by mountains and lots of green desert terrain. There are a half dozen golf courses in the area all of which were getting lots of play even thought it was Christmas Day!

The centerpiece of Fountain Hills is its beautiful fountain; one of the world’s tallest man-made fountains. It serves as a focal point for the community and attracts thousands of visitors each year.

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The fountain, driven by three 600 horsepower turbine pumps, sprays water at a rate of 7,000 gallons per minute though an 18-inch nozzle. With all three pumps and under ideal conditions, the fountain reaches 560 feet in height, though in normal operation only two of the pumps are used, with a fountain height of around 300 feet. When built, it was the world’s tallest fountain and held that record for over a decade. (My guess is someone from Las Vegas came and took a look and said, “Heck, we can go higher than that!”)

There are multiple pieces of artwork throughout the park surrounding the lake and the fountain.

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There is a wonderful section honoring veterans and the USS Arizona.

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Arizona Governor Jan Brewer ordered that flags at all state office buildings be lowered to half-staff until sunset December 25, 2014, in honor of United States Army Specialist Wyatt J. Martin, 22, of Mesa, Arizona.

1225141148bI’m always excited when I see twins, and these little guys were so incredibly cute in their Christmas gear. Mom tried to get them to stay still for two minutes so I could take a better picture, but there was way too much for them to see at the park.

1225141155The lake water and fountain water had a bit of a green tinge to it. Several signs proclaimed that the water in the lake and used to water the grass is reclaimed water.

1225141158I’m pretty sure it’s green from hundreds of coots pooping in the lake and on the sidewalk.

Ooh, and on the way to Fountain Hills we passed by beautiful Saguaro Lake.

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Wishing You + Yours . . .

Gold Canyon. Arizona

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I received three special Christmas presents among a plethora of great gifts from friends and family!

  • Richie and Melissa are spending a white Christmas together in Boise.
  • Rich told me to go play pickleball while he cooked the cioppino for Christmas Eve dinner for us and a few friends.
  • My wonderful friend Sharon knew I would be missing snow, so she sent me a couple of gifts including Instant Snow!

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I hope y’all have a wonderful holiday season!

P.S. If you didn’t get a chance, you might want to watch this <3 minute video from NBC News that aired a few days ago. It put me in a patriotic and thankful Christmas spirit.*

Snowball Express Brings Cheer to Kids of Fallen Military Heroes

*Be sure to watch until the end…

No Holding Back

Gold Canyon, Arizona

I had one of my top five pickleball sessions yesterday afternoon.

Amazing fun. Tons of sweat. Lots of learning.

I invited ten of the better players in our park to a play session when no other players would be there.

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Yep, I’m a pickleball snob. I wanted a session where we could play fast and slow, hit hard and soft, and use the two most important skills in pickleball: patience and smarts.

Interestingly, as one evolves into a better pickleball player, patience is the most important skill to cultivate.

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Patience allows a player to set up a play that will allow her to use her skills to most effectively to win the point.

What was so fun yesterday for all of us is that we didn’t have to hold back at all. Because we were all skilled players, we didn’t restrict ourselves in the ways we do with beginning players.

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We could dink (very soft hit just over the net), slam (very hard hit right at your opponent), slice (wicked spin on the ball), and lob (high and soft arc to the back of the court) to our hearts’ content.

Well, we could at least try to sink, slam, slice, and lob. Sometimes it works, and sometimes it doesn’t.

And the best thing about pickleball is that it’s fun even when it doesn’t work… 🙂

Random Stories

Gold Canyon, Arizona

We’ve heard some great stories over the last month, so I need to get the best ones down on paper before I forget…

What’s That?

Mike and Carol were lying in bed. Mike was watching TV while Carol was surfing on her iPad.

Mike tooted.

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Carol said nothing.

About five minutes later, Mike tooted again.

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Carol asked, “What’s that?” like she didn’t understand what he was trying to say.

Mike said, “I already told you twice, and I’m not going to tell you a third time.”

 

Get the Bird

Mike, our neighbor at Gold Canyon RV Resort, grew up near Buffalo, New York. Every Thanksgiving, his dad went out hunting for pheasant while his mother prepared and cooked the entire Thanksgiving meal.

Dad would leave early in the morning, hunt most of the day, and return empty handed.

Pheasant_HuntingOne year, Mike’s mom had to make a last minute run to the store to get a few things. As she was driving home, a pheasant literally dropped onto her car. It apparently had been shot by someone nearby and died. She got out and picked it up.

When Mike’s dad got home, she asked him if he got any birds. He said, “No.”

She said, “Well, it looks like I have to do everything around here.” She calmly handed him the pheasant and said, “The least you can do is clean it.”

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Wicked Hive

Gold Canyon, Arizona

We went for a great hike the other day in Usery Mountain Regional Park.

1220141038Rich had done the hike earlier with Wally, so he was my guide on the Wind Cave Trail.

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It’s a short hike at almost four miles round trip, and it’s got a decent vertical climb of almost a thousand feet.

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Rich and Wally hiked it on a Tuesday and there were very few people. Way different population count on a Saturday. I’m guessing we passed at least otwo hundred people.

The scenery is beautiful from both the bottom

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and the top of the hike.

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There’s an amazing ‘something’ above the Wind Cave.

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Turns out it’s an active beehive.

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Wicked! It looks like some alien’s brain from Star Trek.

The actual Wind Cave was okay but not as impressive to me as the beehive. I think most people hike to the cave, rest a bit in the shade, and then hike down. One hiker/runner passed us several times as he did the trail three times in succession. Impressive!

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There is a municipal shooting range under the PHOENIX sign where dozens of shooters serenaded hikers with volumes of rounds sounding like fireworks.

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As we came down the trail, we passed some of Santa’s elves…

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Guess they were taking a break from making toys.