Baby Beanies!

Gold Canyon, Arizona

Oh my goodness!

I just got a wonderful thank you email and photos from a Boise hospital for the baby hats I’ve been knitting.

While Dean and Lil were visiting, Lil offered to transport 50 hats back to Boise and give them to a friend whose daughter works in the NICU (neonatal intensive care unit).

She sent me pictures of one of the hats on a newborn baby girl!

Made me  smile and made my day!

baby-1 baby-2

I’m off to knit some more…

The Procedure

Gold Canyon, Arizona

I needed a good laugh last night, so I watched a video of a comic prepping for and getting a colonoscopy.

Why this video?

I remembered it while we were talking about Blazing Saddles at the dinner party the other night…  🙂


Background Noise

Gold Canyon, Arizona

I’m working on income taxes–my least favorite activity of the year.

But watching Law & Order reruns makes it a bit more bearable.


I’ve watched each episode multiple times, and that’s what makes it perfect for watching while doing taxes.

I don’t have to pay any attention at all because I know exactly what’s going to happen.  There are no surprises.

Contrastingly I don’t know what’s going to happen with taxes… Too many surprises.  🙂

Years ago when I went back to college, Die Hard on DVD was my study buddy.  I lost count of how many times I watched it while doing homework and studying for tests.


Background talking, gunshots, and bombs seemed to work better than music as background music to help me focus.

I haven’t watched Die Hard since I graduated in 2001.

After this marathon session of doing taxes, I’m going to take an extra long hiatus from Law & Order, too…

A Rootin’ + Tootin’ Good Time

Gold Canyon, Arizona

Our friends Jan and Wayne hosted a Blazing Saddles dinner party last night.

What fun!

Blazing-SaddlesAlas, Rich is still in Boise, so he wasn’t able to join the rest of us as we focused on the feast with the Superstition Mountains in view.


We’re in the middle of a bit of a chilly spell, so neighbors Rita and Stewart provided the outdoor heater. 0224151809

Much of the menu focused on the famous farting scene from Blazing Saddles.

(Side Note: I met Slim Pickens (the guy who says, “I’d say you’ve had enough!” at the end of the scene) at the Reno Rodeo many years ago. 🙂  )

Two types of ribs smoked to perfection!


Barbecued chicken legs.


Rib sticking potatoes.


Cornbread baked in a cast iron skillet.


And, of course, two types of beans!


We all dressed the part including Mike in his cowboy hat and Brothel Inspection sheriff’s star.


A rootin’ and tootin’ good time was had by all!

Roger That

Grand Canyon, Arizona

Rich flew to Boise yesterday morning to look at some houses and property.

We’re trying to figure out what to do with the rest of our lives…

Anyway, we’re not the best of communicators over the phone because Rich can’t hear and I’m afraid of phones.


For some reason we can’t seem to decipher when the other one is finished speaking so we interrupt each other constantly.

We don’t mean to; it just happens because we’ve never really had to develop phone skills with one another. And it’s even worse now because we’re together virtually ALL of the time.

So, while he’s in Boise for a few days, we’re trying something new to help us communicate better and quit interrupting each other.

We’re using military terms to indicate that we’re done talking.

“Roger That” means “I understand” or “I hear you.”


“Over” means “I’m done talking for a bit.”  “Over and Out” means “I’m done talking forever.”

over and out 3d 2 square

Giggles… We’re actually not using those exact military terms.

But I am saying, “IT’S MY TURN.”


And it’s helping!

We haven’t hung up on each other once. 🙂

Orange is the New Red

Gold Canyon, Arizona

Sophie and I went for a long walk the other day, and several unique things happened.

To Rabbit or Not to Rabbit

Sophie lagged behind. Actually that’s not unique. When it’s sunny outside, she’d rather not exercise.

Anyway, she was lagging so far behind that I hid behind a tree to scare her a bit. Once she figures out that I am out of sight, she usually trots along the trail until she finds me.

But on her way to meet me that day, she smelled a bunny rabbit. From my hiding place, I watched her come within four feet of the rabbit. She didn’t realize she was that close…


She was torn between chasing the rabbit and finding me. I watched as she weighed the pros and cons of each side of the equation. I could tell that the rabbit was winning, so I called her and she reluctantly caught up to me.

Too Tired to Walk but Not Too Tired to Jog

If there are people around, I keep better track of Sophie than if we’re virtually alone on the trail. She’ll catch up eventually…

She was, again, lagging behind. We were at a place where there are curves and dips, so we lost track of one another.

All of a sudden I heard two sets of footsteps from behind jogging towards me. Two young women were out for a morning trail run.


And guess who was jogging right along with them?

Yep, Sophie, without a care in the world. Happy as could be. 🙂

Apparently she was too tired to walk with me but not too tired to jog with her new friends.

Cardinals Time Two

There’s a gully that we cross with lots of shrubs and trees that is perfect for bird cover.

I had my first cardinal sighting there, and it was a good one!

cardinal-pairI saw a pair of cardinals and they were ORANGE! Even more brilliant than the ones in this picture.

I was hoping to see some cardinals while we were here, but I was expecting them to be cardinal red.


What a pleasant surprise to see two orange Northern Cardinals. From what little bit of research I’ve done on the ‘net, the orange plumage is most likely caused by a diet that’s specific to this area.

Whatever’s causing it, they were simply amazing!

Now that was an American Beauty moment.

Crime in the Neighborhood!

Gold Canyon, Arizona

Shocking news from our neighborhood:

There is a criminal in our midst!


The victims felt that this theft was serious enough to warrant a call to the local sheriff’s office who sent a Citizen on Patrol in an official car to take statements.

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 While you might think that the criminal would be stealing jewelry or other valuables from these wealthy retirees, you’d be wrong.

He (or she) is stealing “do not poop here” signs. At least a half dozen of them.


Within our park, there are definitive pet zones. Pets are allowed in about half the park, and that’s including both cats and dogs.

I’m not sure if parakeets or guppies are allowed in no pet zones. 🙂

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There are some residents who live within pet areas that are not happy about Rover or Fluffy (a surprising number of people walk their cats daily) using their lot as a private bathroom.

I get that, but they are renting or leasing the lot. They don’t own it, so I’m not sure if they have the right to ask pet owners to tell Miss Kitty to walk crossed legged on her daily walk past the lot.

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PS No word on how the actual criminal hunt is going. I know the first person I would look into is the woodworker who is making the signs and selling them in the resort gift shop. Perhaps they aren’t selling fast enough. 🙂

Skills and Drills

Gold Canyon, Arizona

We are leaving Arizona in a little over a week, and yesterday I played in my last pickleball tournament here in the Valley of the Sun.


While there are pickleball tournaments all across the US and some in foreign countries, the Phoenix area is a mecca for tournament rats with the highest number and arguably highest quality of tournaments.

Yesterday I played with a total stranger. Nancy was a friend of a friend, and I offered to play with her at the tournament even though I would be playing up a level. I’m rated a 3.5 and Nancy’s a 4.0. Players can play up levels but they can’t play down.


I’m very thankful for all the pickleball play and tournament play I’ve had the opportunity to engage in while we’ve been in Phoenix. I used to drive 35 miles to play pickleball in Boise, and it’s been a blast to ride my bike less than five minutes to get to a game. 🙂

I’ve been very surprised at how my love of the game has shifted. I used to want to just hit spectacular shots and was pleasantly surprised on those rare occasions when I did.

Now I want to understand why a shot works and how it works. More importantly, I want to have the knowledge, skill, and consistency to make a  particular shot with a 90% accuracy.

thumbs up

That’s going to mean a change to how I approach my pickleball playing time.

I’m going to spend at least a quarter of my time working on skills and drills. I’ll be doing repetitions of particular shots over and over and over again until I feel confident that I can make them work the vast majority of the time.

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Fine tuning and perfecting, reducing variables, and going more mental than reactive.

That’s my goal…

Be the B*tch First

Gold Canyon, Arizona

As I’ve said before, Sophie’s not a very nice dog to other dogs.

She’s friendly as can be to people, but she’s a bitch (no pun intended) to other dogs.


Doesn’t matter if they are male or female. She wants to be the boss and play her way which is very aggressively.


Side story to set the punch line:

I once had a sister-in-law who I had difficulty getting along with until I figured her out. If I approached her nicely at a family gathering, she’d nail me and be a bitch for the rest of the event.

Finally out of desperation I decided to try something else. At the start of the next family gathering, I criticized her for something. Cut her right off at the knees.

Voila! She was ever so pleasant the rest of the gathering that I decided from then on I was always going to …

Be the Bitch First! 


Sophie needs other dogs to treat her exactly that way!

If all other dogs would just prance up to her and knock her right on her butt, she’d be as nice as could be and they’d have all sorts of fun playing.

Alas, very few dogs do that, so Sophie doesn’t get to play with many other dogs because she’s always in this mode:




Gold Canyon, Arizona

The Pickleball Club had their monthly potluck event last night.

Wow, was it good.

I ate so much I’m Bluto-ed. That’s what Rich and I call it when we eat way too much.


Sloppy Joes, beef or chicken, were provided for the main course for the price of $2.00 per person. Each person/couple brought one side dish to share with others.


What is it about potlucks that makes them so good?

I think it’s the opportunity to try so many different types of food without having to do all the work.

We all generally fix an item that we are comfortable making, so there’s no stress involved in trying to cook something new.


Where else besides a potluck can a person eat apple pie, chocolate cherry dump cake, Top Ramen cabbage salad, and pasta salad all at once?

Other than eating too much, my only regret is that we won’t be here for next month’s pot luck. 🙂