Tuesday, January 26, 2016

January 26, 2016 Home from Yuma

Since we didn’t make it to Quartzite for the week, we went to Yuma to visit our friend Chuck. He has been busy this winter remodeling his mobile home there. 

It’s surprising how good you can make a 30 year old (or more) 14’ wide mobile home. He installed some laminate wood flooring in the living spaces and new cabinets and appliances in the kitchen. Really gave it a great update, with new leather recliners and a futon in neutral colors. Made the paneling there look good and gave it a cabin-y appearance. 

a happy shopper at the swap meet, no one I know
While we were there we went to the swap meet where you can get just about anything you want, or think you want. How’s that saying go, looking for stuff you didn’t know you wanted until you walk away with it. 

kitchy lights for your patio

a t-shirt that tells it like it is...

or how about some kitchy metal work for the garden.....

Including a Confederate flag stick for your dune buggy, or maybe some new lights for your trailer. 

On Saturday we went to old Yuma to check things out there.  Not too much happening on the renovated downtown, a few antique stores, a couple of restaurants, taverns, a movie theatre and too many empty store fronts. Just like so many towns, the sprawl took over and the downtowns with street parking and boulevards where you could walk just faded away.

We heard about the German-fest happening downtown and thought that might be fun. It was about two blocks long, most of that consisting of a very long line of people waiting for the wiener schnitzel and brats and sauerkraut. 
 People got their beers, then went to the end of a very long line to wait to order some food.

They did have some entertainment and a happy couple obliged us spectators by dancing to the music.

listening to the oompah-pahs

That was about enough for Chuck for the day so we headed back to the house for some R & R by the pool. Unfortunately it was a little cool, only about 70 degrees and the cloud cover was getting heavy. The water in the pool was fine and we had the place to ourselves until one lady showed up to spend some time in the spa. Good spa weather, not so good pool weather. We enjoyed ourselves until Chuck's beverage ran dry and I was getting cold, then it was time to head back to the house and start thinking about dinner.

catchin' some rays

Next day, we thought we should go out and check out the ‘other’ swap meet out at the old dog racing track. It’s where there are more Hispanics selling and buying and also better food. You can get shoes, pants, tools, toys, RV supplies, nuts and bolts and some really recycled goods. On the drive out there, the Community Recycling program was happening in a neighborhood and I swear some of the junk that was on the curb was possibly being gleaned to take to sell at this swap meet. There was some stuff there that looked pretty rough. 

If you weren't too particular about your clothes, you could pick up some instant fashion for really cheap, too

Nice day for a stroll around the swap meet. The loudspeaker alternated between English and Spanish every 5 minutes, promoting food booths, and reminding everyone it was Native American day at the swap meet. Be sure to visit those vendors selling authentic Native American crafts and Indian Fry Bread!

yum!! salad for miles!!

Sunday morning we just went for a drive over the state line in to California to check out some of the agriculture growing out there. Lots of cauliflower and lettuce and the fancy salad mix we all like so well. That was pretty cool, they plant it in rows, all six varieties in the same bed, as long as a football field. Then when they harvest it, they just mow it down, like you would your lawn. Then it will grow back for one or two more harvests before they turn it under and start all over again. 

On the way back we passed through the Yuma Proving Grounds and stopped to look at some old war machinery. Really kind of depressing to me, just makes me think of war and all the destruction caused by it all. Seeing the tanks up close with bullet marks on them, I think about the men who were driving those things, being shot at, wondering what was going through their minds at that time. I can’t even begin to imagine what that would have been like in a combat situation.

After that it was time to load up and head home. Yep, the cats went with us. They did well, for the most part. Seemed to have had some trouble adjusting to the new place, especially at night. Ruby was really good about walking all over my head, she wanted to check out the headboard on the bed, one of those old style ones with the built in cubbies for books and stuff. She thought it was a good place to sleep. And then of course Toby had to come up and check it all out too. 
It was a nice get away, good friends, good talks, good food, what more can I ask for.

Monday, January 18, 2016

January 18, 2016 paperwork and such stuff

On my desk I have a basket, you know the type, flat and low sided for 8-1/2” x 11” wide paper. I was calling this basket my in-basket, where I would put things that needed attention or filing or articles that I want to read later, coupons, lists of phone numbers etc. Then, I was supposed to go through this basket every week to throw out expired coupons, tend to bills to be paid, license tabs to be purchased, you know, kind of important stuff.

For Sale!!
I had overlooked the license tabs for my car back in October. No big deal, I didn’t get pulled over for having expired tabs, but I did have to pay a small renewal late fee. So I got that all taken care of and decided that the in-basket wasn’t such a good idea for important stuff like that, that has a deadline that means something. Expired coupons are no big deal, I probably don’t need any of that stuff anyway and there will always be another coupon deal. When the tabs for the golf cart came due, I didn’t toss the notice in that black hole of a basket, I left it out and went to the Motor Vehicle license office right away and got my new registration and tab. When I brought it home, Jay said he would take care of that for me, put it on the golf cart.

Back at the end of December, we decided to sell the golf cart and look in to buying an off-road vehicle, like a two seater side-by-side. A Polaris RZR 900 XP to be precise. (more on that later). You may recall from an earlier post that the day after New Year’s Day, we helped my friend Mavis’ son with her estate/garage sale. We thought it a perfect opportunity to try to sell the golf cart so we had it there during the sale. It was then brought to our attention that the license tab was expired! Now, I know I have been very busy and paying bills for two households. But, I am very good at that and very good at remembering things that I have done. I could swear that I paid for the tab for the golf cart. 

So the other evening, we came home and I told Jay, I have got to find that registration and the tab, I know it’s here somewhere. I had been putting off sorting my in-basket, it was just full of stuff anyway, now Christmas cards and letters piled on top, old lists, and more expired coupons. I spent about 30 minutes sifting through that, throwing out most of it. No registration form, no tab. I’m starting to get frustrated now. I know I paid for it. Maybe it got stuck in the car’s glove box. Hmmm, well I’ll be darned, there’s the registration for the golf cart. Hmmm, where’s the tab. Jay and I start comparing numbers on the tab that is on MY CAR, to the number on the registration form for the golf cart. It’s the same! Then we look at the tab on the golf cart. It’s the same! I’m starting to think I’m going nuts. I don’t remember doing that. If I switched them by mistake, where is the tab for the car? But I couldn’t have switched them because I paid for the car tab back in October, and I know I put it on the car. I didn’t pay for the golf cart until December. It finally dawns on me, the tab for the car is on MY CAR, under the tab for the GOLF CART! And I didn’t put it there, Jay did. Remember he said, I’ll do that for you. Probably said, I’ll put the tab on your car and put the registration in the glove box, meaning to put it on the golf cart. We are standing in the garage looking at each other and we start laughing as I say with a clenched fist, “Why I oughtta!! One of these days Alice, POW! right in the kisser!!” I thought I was going nuts. But the good news out of all of this is my so-called in-basket got cleaned out and is no longer and in-basket, just a basket of stuff. And, our file drawer got cleaned out too. Both needing to be done and are now done.

just the sky on fire from I-10 Saturday evening.
I told Jay it’s going to come out of his allowance, $5 each for a new tab for each vehicle. 

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

January 11, 2016 Moving forward

Santa Rita mountains with a dusting of snow
I can’t believe it’s already the 11th of January!! Where on earth has the time gone? Last Thursday and Friday Jay and I kept looking each other and asking, “are you sure we aren’t supposed to be somewhere? Do we have an appointment we need to get to?” We actually had no pressing engagement or responsibility and were able to just hang out at home. I did make my way back to the swimming pool and swam laps one afternoon. It was chilly but the water felt really good. I jumped from the main pool to the spa to warm up, then dashed to the locker room for a hot shower. It all felt good.

With all of the busy-ness of my friends’ passing, helping her son clean up the house, including an estate/garage sale, we are looking forward to some fun in the next couple of weeks. Our friends Rhys and Natalie from Bellingham are coming to visit!! We are pretty darned excited about that and are tidying up for that. Then, we will head over to Yuma for a few days to visit with Chuck. We were going to caravan to Quartzite with him and his group ‘the Almost Yumans’ but it’s just too darn cold! Yes, we are wimpy these days. Got acclimated to the warm weather pretty quick. Even though I always thought anything below 67 was frigid and would start layering fleece as soon as the mercury fell to that point. It’s nice if you’re sitting in the sun and there’s no breeze, but the air is cool. And yes, we have a generator, but it’s no fun to sit and listen to that run all the time, and besides, you can’t run it all the time. Just enough to take the chill out of the air so you can get dressed with layers of wool.

Right after Christmas, after my Wednesday 9 a.m. class at the mall, I mentioned this briefly in the last post, I was approached by a lady, her name is Fran, who wanted to know if I would be interested in teaching yoga at the Clubhouse where she lives, about 3 miles south of my place. I told her I would think about it and to keep in touch. She called again last week to see if I was still interested and I told her yes. We talked more about minimum class size, time, frequency and the cost. She said she would call around to rustle up some interest, and she got 8 people who are interested and we’ll meet once a week. Well, I showed up Monday and there were 11 women! All who were excited about having a class so close to their homes. Fran introduced me to the group, and I told them about my training in Therapeutic Yoga for Seniors and I got all kinds of Yays! and That's what we need here! I talked about my teaching style, and asked if they were interested in a Wednesday class too. They were all for it, some said they would prefer Wednesday’s. Then we settled in for a short, sweet practice. 

As we were finishing in savasana, the door swung open with a rather burly gray haired lady charging
you gotta be out by noon! It's noon now!
in to the room. I quickly got up and quietly said to her that we weren’t quite finished. “Well!” she exclaimed, “you need to be out of the room at noon, and it’s noon!” I quietly said, “by the clock in here, we still have two minutes,” and calmly pressed her back out of the room and shut the door. The ladies on the floor were aghast at that woman’s behaviour and took it in stride. “Well, we might as well be done after that interruption,” one lady said, but they were all in good spirits about it and laughed it off. One would think that card players, wouldn’t need to start precisely at noon. We agreed to start at 10:45 so that we can be done for anyone who might reserve the room promptly for noon. I’m also going to make a sign for the door, “Yoga in session, please do not disturb”

As you know, a new year always means tax time. This will be the first year since 1976 that I will not
not for me this year
receive a W-2 statement. Yep, it’s been over a year since I have been gainfully employed, collecting a regular paycheck. That’s not to say that I haven’t been sustaining my golf habit in other ways. There is plenty of work to be had around here, one just needs to decide what it is you want to do, if anything, to make a little on the side. Then, just bring it up in conversation and you can be a shopper, handyman, in-home care aid, bookkeeper, just about anything you want. And the beauty of it is you can be selective about what you take on. 
But I need to leave time for the other things I enjoy doing, like golf, quilting, playing my banjo and hanging out with my husband.
Mt. Wrightson observatory

Friday, January 1, 2016

January 1, 2016 Happy New Year!!


I am so glad I do not live in the midwest. I don’t know that I could ever live in a place that was susceptible to such destructive weather so frequently. Sure, there isn’t any place that doesn’t have it’s bouts with Mother Nature, she is in charge after all. We experienced a fringe of the beginning of the storm that moved east and is now dumping boatloads of rain to the midwest and southeast, and snow in the northeast. And I really mean fringe. That storm started in the Four Corners area which is about 600 miles from us. All we got was cold temperatures and a light dusting of snow two days ago morning. Then the clouds cleared away and we had blue skies and temperatures in the low 50’s. 

Speaking of tornadoes, sometimes it feels like a tornado goes through my new, small circle of friends. Not in the destructive sense, but in a way that mixes everything up, tossing people around as lives change in many different ways.

Last week was quite a mix up of changes. First off, on Monday the 22nd, my friend Mavis passed away. Then, on Tuesday I went to my Chakra Toning group. While there, I was told that the hostess and her friend who also attends this meditation group, decided to get married! And did! The previous Saturday. Another couple who come to this group are going to spend the next 4 months in Mexico at Lake Chapala, they are leaving on January 4th. The announcement was also made that last Tuesday will be our last meeting for a while as the married couple gets resettled. So when we were talking about who to notify, I found out that another of our group up and moved to Oklahoma. Just like that.

Okay, so that’s a lot right there, but that’s not all. A gentleman down the street who was friends with our neighbors, passed away. Our other neighbor across the street, fell down and broke her two front teeth and her husband is recovering from his cataract surgery. Then, I got an email from my Thursday night meditation group leader about one of our members in that group. She has not returned to Green Valley this winter because she has an inoperable brain tumor near her eye. 

To top it all off, I took my friend’s cats to the Animal League to be put up for adoption. They are very sweet cats, even the male that attacked me last year. Seems like after that incident, he knew I was in charge. That was a really sad thing to do. 
Precious Mama

So you can see, that life can sometimes be like a tornado. A big wind comes through and mixes up what I think to be life as I know it. It gives me pause to reflect on what I am doing in this life and to remember that things can change in an instant. Whether it’s something Mother Nature throws at us, or we meet someone and fall in love, or we are distracted and have an accident. All of these things could happen to anyone at any time, it’s not that they are happening, it’s how we respond to what is happening that colors our life. We like to think we can control what goes on in our life, but really, we have very little control over any of it. The only thing we can control is how we respond.

I’m not one for making New Year’s resolutions, but as this new year unfolds I plan to continue to grow and work with self inquiry. To examine some of my old patterns to see if I can make some positive changes. I also started teaching a class at a community room in the mall in Green Valley and got posted on the calendar for January which got printed in the local newspaper!! I had no idea it was going to be in the newspaper. My neighbors told me last night that my name was in the paper and gave me a copy of the page. I am so excited about that. And I was contacted by another HOA(homeowner’s association, for those of you not familiar with this type of neighborhood), to teach to a group at their clubhouse. I said for years in my head, then the last two years at my job at the city of Bellingham, that I wanted to teach yoga. I got my teacher training, then moved to Arizona. Waiting for the time to present itself and to get over my fear of failing, to put myself out there and share what I said I wanted to do. So it really works. To persevere, to live your dream, to allow yourself to be vulnerable and follow your passion.

May 2016 bring to you, my dear readers, all that you dream. 

June 15, 2018 a poem

This has been an interesting journey for me. Without having to report to a job, either paid or volunteer, my time is truly my own. Not every...