Happy New Year!

Greetings dear readers!!

I sit here with a glass of wine, a plate of cheese and football on the television waiting for 2016. My heart is happy because I have spent the last week with my kids laughing and eating, talking about everything and everyone (insert winking emoticon here,) doing a bit of house hunting for a possible move to the area and visiting extended family in the area.

Oh by the way I am in Texas. Thank God for Petsmart Pet hotel and very observant Catalina AZ neighbors making this possible.

Melissa and I made the trip out by car through Winter Storm Goliath. That was a bad move. I had been watching the forecasts and thought we were going to be following it, but no, it waited for us and hammered us the whole way. We woke up after a middle of the night stop to sleep with a 1/2 inch of ice encasing the car. Between snow, sleet and rain it was slow and steady all the way. The weather has been much better since our arrival.

Do you make New Year’s resolutions? I do, sort of, they are more like New Year’s ideas for self improvement with no real commitment involved. My personal direction this coming years remains pretty much the same yet there are big things in the works, things that would change my life dramatically. They have nothing to do with joining a gym or similar promises.

Chuck and I are seriously considering a move from Arizona. We want to reduce debt and expenditures by this process. It will make it easier for Chuck to retire and I want that for him. It’s time for the man to stop working so hard. In this process I met a very fun realtor for Century 21 named Brenda Stewart. She is so typically Texan-there are no strangers and everyone gets hugged. I’m really happy that  I am working with her because it is like hanging out with my Texas cousins and they are SO fun.

We have plenty to do to get our place ready to sell and with luck it won’t take long. The best part of this is that my husband will have to clean up the back half of our acre that holds all his stuff. The house is pretty well kept clutter free by me but that back part of the yard where he has years worth of stuff he has brought home before I could stop him now sits collecting pests and is disguised in tall grass. My own personal Sanford and Sons yard.

My daughter, who is great at planning things like this gave me some great ideas about getting it done. Also, her dad will listen to her and not argue like he will with me. I will have her talk to him and send him detailed email instructions so I’m out of the picture except to do my part. This is how we have stayed married for 36 years!

I hope the new year brings great things for all and that plans will be fulfilled to the benefit of all.

Cheers!

-N

 

 

Sitting here

Yes I am sitting here trying to figure out what to write.

This weekend is coming quickly and there are multiple things requiring my attention. Some I am ready for and some I would prefer not to deal with. The last minute to-do’s before Chuck has to fly back to ND on Sunday to start his two week stint (not ready), our neighbor’s son is getting his engineering degree from the University of Arizona so they are partying Saturday night (woo hoo), and my wee girl Melissa will be joining me Monday for the holidays (so ready for that!)

I’m trying to decide if I want a part time job. I tend toward being a recluse if I don’t have something that will make me get out of the house and interact people so a job will have two-fold advantages. Extra money to offer the retirement gods and forceing me out of my comfy cocoon at home. Both of these will be improvements.

One thing that I am really going to miss this year is singing “Mary, Did You Know?” with my friend Danny Dunning. It was a tradition for us at the church we used to both attend. He is one of those people I have total confidence singing with. I never worried about him carrying his part and our instincts singing together made it so fun. Another great thing was we had no resonance when we sang together so our blend was very smooth. We are both pretty good singers also. Mary did you know pic

Singing is a family gift. My mother’s family, for the most part, are good singers. We grew up in acapella church services which tends to give you an ear for harmony parts. I have a strong voice and this led me to choir and musical theater in high school. If you heard me speak you would think I was an alto but my singing voice is a soprano. Singing low strains my voice. I can’t hit the lyric soprano high C and D but my range tops out a few notes below that around an F and G.

I’ve always wanted to sing with a combo. Me singing Ella Fitzgerald and Billie Holliday with a back up combo of piano, drums and sax with some guitar in there and just sit down and sing for hours. I would love to back up someone doing that as well since I really love to harmonize and I’m good at it. To be a Diana Krall or Jane Monheit, that would be a dream.

Dreams.

-N

Where that feeling comes from

I have been avoiding the news. This isn’t a new thing for me since I rarely watch news other than weather news, but all of the conflict, accusations and battling in this country is having an impact and I am thinking about it. Where does this feeling come from? Why am I afraid and what can be done about it? My best and only tool are words. It takes me a while to find the human perspective on all of this.

My human perspective, my human take and my human response. Each of us react based on our own history and experience. For me this is tinted by patriotism. I love patriotism and I love being patriotic. Living in a military home, with a father proud to serve his country is the basis for my patriotic fervor.

I know that anything run by humans is flawed because we are flawed. My guard goes up when it sounds like our leaders want to control what I think, who I am and how I conduct my personal life. This applies to both sides.

Humans should take care of the children, elderly and infirm. We need to be wise in decerning who is truly in need and being  aware of those whose desire is to take advantage, control and make victims.

Trusting is important, but blind faith is reckless. The heart needs to hold others close, without fearing it will be abused. Wisdom is what humans require. Wisdom to know what is best and to do what is right.

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-N

 

Tis the season

Yesterday the weather started to change in Catalina with clouds and cool breezes. The Christmas music was playing and the tubs of decorations were brought in. The day was spent making the inside of my house glitter and sparkle with the spirit of the season.

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My Christmas theme is Santa Claus and the Nativity.  I’ve got the secular and Christian covered.

Chuck has his decorating tasks which are tree assembly  (yes we have an artificial tree) and lights. For the last several years we haven’t been home for the holidays so a real tree didn’t make sense. He also takes care of the top part of the tree ornaments since he is over six feet tall. I put the rest of the ornaments on the tree and put out all if the room decor. I like it just so, kind of like loading the dishwasher.

Millie is not sure what to think but she’s leaving it alone.

Watching soccer, what a trip-the crowd is singing. Coffee is ready so time for homemade mocha.  It’s been raining so will be frosty over night. Be sure to drop a dollar in the Salvation Army bucket, buy a toy for a child, give the food bank money for Christmas dinner and tell you family you love them.

-Cheers

-N

Crazy living this last two weeks

Since my last blog things went a bit crazy, everywhere.

I started to get ready to go visit my daughter over in California. She lives in the Valley in a cute little guest house and no room for Millie. Thus began the effort to find a kennel. I had previously used a place and they always had room. However…when I called them their number was not in service and I found out they closed down! Yikes now what? That began a the staggering process of finding a place that I was comfortable leaving my puppy. She is 6 months old and hadn’t been apart from us, and especially not for a week. I was starting to get concerned.20151012_092404

The search was hard because it was the holiday. No duh! After calling, leaving messages, asking friends and  neighbors and coming to the conclusion I might not be going I had a thought. Maybe there would be someone in the Valley I could use! I got online and in one night of searching I found a woman who is part of co-op of home kenneling. I got it set up and was back to my plan to leave the Sunday before Thanksgiving.

It was great.

So-Millie and I left by 7am Sunday morning after a not so good nights sleep but that’s why there is Starbucks right? Millie was not traveling well in the front seat of the Explorer. I was bringing a bunch of stuff to Melissa and there wasn’t room for her so she had to ride in the front. She had become a drooling mess, whining and wiggling around. I knew she wasn’t remotely comfortable and this was going to be a 7 hour nightmare. I was just to the outskirts of Phoenix when I got a text from Melissa saying she was terribly sick with a stomach bug. I spoke to her and found out this was going around her landlord’s house. Everybody was sick.

No thanks.

I was able to reschedule with the kennel, thank God, and turned back toward Tucson. Travel plans were changed to Wednesday to give everyone time to recover. One good thing, it reduced the amount of clothes and things I needed to bring.

Three days later I left for California with a much better bed for Millie. I made great time and was able to get Millie to the kennel, and stop for dinner with Melissa and get back to her place in time to take it easy. Thanksgiving was wonderful. A nice variety of food, though I was missing Chuck, Aaron and Chelsea, but the company was very relaxed and friendly.

Then Friday showed up. We ate breakfast at Weiler’s (yummy) and came back to her place to exchange her entertainment cabinet for my smaller one. That was a really good idea and it fit her place so much better. We had to take her big cabinet apart to fit it into my car but we had Jeff’s (her landlord) help with that. We decided to visit friends and then go to the movie, even paid in advance for a seat reservation. After about an hour at their house I started to feel ill. It didn’t take long before I was sick, and I mean sick!! The thing I thought I had avoided was happening! Ugh!! We went home and I literally crawled into bed. Melissa managed to get a refund for the tickets and took care of me. It was an awful night.

I still had to drive back to Tucson.

Saturday morning I was better. Not well but better. This was one of those suck-it-up-old-lady moments. We picked up Millie, filled up the car and went back to Melissa’s to pack up my car. I left California with my tail between my legs and counting the miles to my own bed.

But I did it.

I spent Sunday thinking about doing things, that’s pretty much how far it got. The cursed bug came back with a vengeance that night. I lost most of Monday trying to recover.

Today is better and all you fine readers are up dated. I know you wanted the latest details.

-N