Monthly Archives: January 2019

Weathering the Weather

I missed a week.  I started writing blogs on April 29, 2017, and have never missed my own personal deadlines of posting on a weekly basis.  I missed this past week, and I didn’t fire myself, nor did I call myself into a conference to discuss missing my deadline.  I decided I didn’t have to be so rigid that if I was too busy, too tired, too uninspired, it would be okay to miss a week.  I know that is not what people who encourage bloggers tell us to do.  They say you lose part of your audience if you are not consistent.  Well, sorry, I needed a break.  Actually, I needed some time, and I didn’t have any.

Moving to Arizona for the winter has messed up my internal clock.  The days move quickly, and I feel like I don’t have a routine set.  My house needs little cleaning, and making the bed doesn’t take over 5 minutes.  We had guests all of last week, so once again, the routine that I don’t really have, was disrupted.

I have been looking at my Facebook this week and all I see are postings about the crazy cold weather my friends and family are experiencing in the midwest.  It’s inconceivable to me what that is like.  I have to go back into my memory.  I remember snow more than I remember cold.  In February of 2011, we had a big snow in Missouri.  It started with freezing rain, and then snow.  Schools closed and most places of employment closed, including where I was working.  My son called, concerned he would lose electricity which seemed to happen at his home whenever there was severe weather.  He wanted to come to my house with his two children to sit out the storm.  I was happy for the company.  When they arrived, I told the kids that we were going to bake homemade cinnamon rolls.  I had all the ingredients except for the powdered sugar to make the glaze on top.  I asked my son to run up to the store and pick some up, and he laughed at me.  He said the roads were terrible, and he wasn’t going out.  So, I put on my coat and boots, and decided to hit up the neighbors for some powdered sugar in exchange for a few hot cinnamon rolls when completed.  Two homes didn’t answer their doors—kind of funny since most people did not attempt to get out that day.  The third home I got to, a young man answered the door, and I made my pitch for powdered sugar for future hot cinnamon rolls.  He immediately went to his kitchen and started rummaging through the cabinets.  His mom came down the steps and asked him what he was doing.  When he replied, she turned to me, and happily found the box of powdered sugar.  I spent the rest of the morning making cinnamon rolls with Paige and Jack.  I happily delivered a few to the neighbor.

That was snow.  Super cold is not in my immediate recollection.  I remember really cold at the funeral of my best friend’s husband, and standing in the cemetery wishing the priest didn’t ask for people to share about their memories with the deceased.  Or the cold when my son was in a very major car accident and I went to the scene of the accident as the wind was blowing and encountering the snow flurries.  But cold with wind chills dropping into the minus teens, I don’t remember.  I do think no one should go out in that kind of cold.  Of course, people in Alaska probably laugh at us and how we don’t handle that well.  We don’t own the same heavy duty outer clothing that one in Alaska would own.

I recall a snowy day when people at work were dragging in, and my coworker from Wisconsin just laughed at all of us who struggled with the snowy streets.  I didn’t get it, until I was on a business trip in Charlotte, North Carolina.  On the 10 p.m. news, the reporter announced that schools in Charlotte would be closed the next day due to the snow that was coming their way.  It hadn’t even started snowing.  When I woke up in the morning, there was a dusting of snow on the ground and on the streets.  I got a call from the person I was supposed to meet, and she said to hold on and wait until she called me back to let me know if the office was going to open.  Really, it was just a dusting in my opinion, but Charlotte apparently doesn’t have the equipment to clear the roads or salt the roads.  I was finally told to come in a 1:00 p.m., and we worked until 5:30 p.m.  Needing something to kill time that evening, I stopped at the local mall.  I thought it looked pretty empty.  Upon asking someone working there, I found out the mall was closing at 6:00 p.m. due to the inclement weather.  Oh, there had been no extra snow since during the night, and most major roads were clear of snow due to rising temperatures and traffic.  Now I understood why my Wisconsin coworker laughed at how we handled snow in Missouri.  I was laughing how Charlotte was handling their snow.  It’s all in perspective.

I didn’t mind snowy days when I lived in mid Missouri.  I was retired and living in the country.  My husband would build a big fire in the fireplace, and I would watch nature at its best from the warmth of my living room.

I am concerned for everyone in the midwest who must deal with this arctic freeze because they are not equipped for this kind of cold.  My friend’s daughter has a ranch back home where the frigid weather will make for additional issues in caring for her horses, and the farmers having to care for their livestock is an issue in this weather.  This deep freeze is only going to be happening in the midwest for a few days.  That makes me glad, because Friday I am flying into St. Louis to watch my grandson in his last musical of his high school career.  The forecast is much better for the weekend while we will be there.

I know there will be bad consequences of the frigid weather in the meantime.  I think of the accidents and fatalities that happen during inclement weather, and the next day, you would never know this bad weather was there.  

Be careful any of you who will be in the areas of this frigid weather.  Stay inside.  Bring your pets inside.  If you have to go out, dress appropriately, and give a helping hand to anyone who may be in distress.  Fortunately, the weather will change, and in a few months, those affected will be complaining about the heat of the summer.  It never ends!

Still Can’t Sleep

Sleep defies me tonight.  I have tossed and turned all night.  This has not happened in a long time.  Thoughts go rushing though my head on nights like this.  I plan things.  I recall old memories.  I think about projects.  I think about trying to fall asleep, which is the worst, because it keeps me from falling asleep.  Tonight I have planned a trip.  I have planned the meals for our first houseguests arriving tomorrow.  I checked the temperature here, and also in Missouri.  That is just a partial list of what my brain has been thinking on instead of sleeping.

What usually gets me to sleep is when I get out of bed, get my computer and write (like now).  This also helped me back on March 15th of last year.  I wrote one of my most favorite blogs—about sleeping—on a night I couldn’t fall asleep.

Here it is. Sit back and enjoy.  It really is a fun blog. Click on the link below.  I’ll get back on schedule sleeping and blog posting next week.  in the meantime . . . .

In The Home Stretch

I have uncluttered my world.  In Missouri, in preparation to sell our home, Dennis and I cleaned out every closet, and every nook and cranny.  We sold, gave away, pitched, and donated a ton of stuff.  Yes, it was stuff.  Our house is pretty much cleared out of what is extra in our lives.  When we get an acceptable offer on our home, it will be fairly simple to move our furniture and the last of our “stuff” out.

We also bought a home in Arizona.  We would like this to be our main home.  The location is at the foot of a mountain with several hiking trails.  We have wonderful neighbors, although to tell the truth, we have only met one set of neighbors!  We had some furniture put in place during our last two visits—one in June when we closed on the house, and in September when we came back for three weeks to prepare the house for our winter arrival after Christmas.  We had the last of our furniture delivered this week, since it was on back order in September.  

Our new home

The contractor has completed the indoor corrections, and we have started hanging the artwork and pictures.  I look around and I see gaps in the room.  Do I put a plant there?  No, they would die while we are back in the midwest during the summer and fall.  I realized that some of the gaps in decorating are actually opportunities to purchase new “stuff,” which I thought I would not be doing.  Don’t get me wrong.  We didn’t get rid of “stuff” from the Missouri home we could use in the Arizona home.  It’s just different kind of stuff that is needed to fill in and make the house look warm.  

Today I followed up on a piece of pottery I have owned for around 30 years at least.  My mom brought it back from one of her many trips to Arizona.  She told me not to throw it away or just get rid of it because it was very expensive.  It is signed on the bottom, so I googled the name.  To my surprise, this pottery may be from New Mexico rather than Arizona.  The artist is P. Iule Acoma Designs.  Apparently the Iule family are all artists in pottery, silver, and turquoise.  The P stand for Phillip, and his style seems to be these animals and bugs rather than geometric designs you see on a lot of Native American pottery.  I love this piece, and thought it was most appropriate to bring to Arizona from Missouri.  Since my mom is no longer with us, I cannot ask her if she bought this in Arizona or New Mexico.  It really doesn’t matter, it’s still a beautiful piece of Native American art residing back in the Southwest.

Howdy Doody & me
My mom & her camera

We arrived in Arizona in my car that was loaded with “stuff” for this house, and next week Dennis’ son will be bringing our other car which is an SUV loaded with more “stuff” from Missouri for this house.  Howdy Doody along with my photo is on its way, along with my mom’s camera from the 1940’s—it’s not valued at a lot, but it has a lot of sentimental value to me. All of our vintage photos of our families (mine and Dennis) are here to cover a wall along with a vintage photo of these women who we have no idea who they are.  Dennis’ wife, who passed away, had bought this picture when they lived in Virginia.  It is in its original frame.  Our framer in Missouri, as he re-matted the picture, took a look at it and said that it is an actual photograph.  These women are all dressed in black sitting around a table with a photograph of another woman.  We assume she was part of this group of whoever they were, but possibly deceased.  It’s just such a neat photo.  I am still trying to figure out who they are, so any ideas from those who read this, please let me know.

Who are these ladies?

What does one do with empty corners?  Maybe once the artwork and photos are hung, they won’t be so noticeable.  It will probably take 6 months to a year to have this home completely as I envision.  I am okay with that.  

My real wish is that our home would sell.  It is such a wonderful home, but I would like it to be in our memories.  Our lives will be simplified when our Arizona home becomes our only home.  We will not leave Missouri completely when our home sells.  Dennis’ mom, who is 100 years old, lives in a nursing home in Columbia.  We will rent an apartment there while she is still with us.  But, an apartment doesn’t have to be as homey as our Arizona home, and we will not have any maintenance and upkeep issues with a rental (I hope).  I want my husband to be free of all that kind of work.  It is why we selected a new build in Arizona.  We want to live our senior years without a lot of work to do.  We want to relax, travel, and spend time with family and friends.  Having a lot of maintenance and upkeep is not on this agenda!

So here is to 2019—the year we can start relaxing (I hope).  A year for the sale of our Missouri home, the year new adventures and new friends!

Finding Structure

I have come to the realization that I need structure.  I actually realized this when I returned to Missouri last fall after three weeks in Arizona.  Now I am noticing it in Arizona after being in Missouri for months.  I like routine.  I like knowing how my days pretty much go.  Here I am with a week in our Arizona home, and I am struggling with what to do with myself.

This first week has been fairly easy.  Grocery shopping was on the top of the list because we literally had no groceries.  That included staples such as flour, sugar, spices, etc.  It wasn’t a cheap shopping trip.  There was work on our home that needed to be done by the builder.  Although we went over the things that needed rework, their policy is that they do not enter home to work unless the owners are present.  So, we and the builder made a list back in September of what needed to be done when we returned in January.

The biggest thing is that they didn’t properly finish the ceiling in the great room.  On January 2nd, the contractor showed up, covered everything in plastic, and proceeded to img_9397correct our ceiling.  Of course, that meant that all the artwork we have brought from Missouri cannot be hung on the walls.  It will continue to wait until after next Monday when the painter comes in to repaint our ceiling.  Then we will be able to hang pictures.  We still do not have a dining room table, or the chair for the living room.  They have been sitting in the furniture store’s warehouse waiting on our arrival.  I postponed delivery until next Wednesday to be sure all the work was completed on our house.  All our indoor work will be finished, and only the outdoor work will still be needed.  When the garage door company installed our garage door, they somehow split the board that runs along the side of the door, and in trying to fix it, they knocked off the stucco on the house.  Next Wednesday, the garage door company will come and uninstall the door so the carpenter can change out the board and repair the stucco.  Fortunately, we have work orders with dates and times of their arrival, so we are assured the work will be completed.  

I keep thinking that there shouldn’t need to be corrections after closing, but maybe the is naive. Fortunately, the builder has a person whose job it is to make our house right.  She even points out little things we could ignore, and img_9404said that when we buy a new house, it should be perfect like a new house, so she even ordered the workers to fix the little things!  She sets up the work with the various contractors, and then sends us a copy of the work orders with specifically what they are coming to do, and the date and time of arrival.

That all being said, I cannot totally get this home complete until they are out of my hair.  While that is going on, I was able to finish the binding on the quilt I made in Missouri for our guest room.  I also stuffed the pillows I made to go with the quilt.  All of that required hand sewing, so my pincushion, needle and thread was all I needed to bring across the country.  Dennis is now constructing the Ikea night stands for that room, and we will hang the artwork, and the guest room will be complete for our first visitors who are showing up in two weeks.

We arrived in the Phoenix area during one of their very rare cold snaps, and had to cover plants every night.  We have had the heat on and even had to purchase an extra blanket.  It is now just starting to warm up and in a couple weeks we should be back to their usual 60+ degree winter weather with full sunshine which makes it feel at least 10 degrees warmer.  


The snow capped mountains.

All of this goings on has kept me from getting into a normal routine.  We have walked the neighborhood but I have not yet gone on the trails on the San Tan Mountain—maybe today.  The other day when we were walking the neighborhood in the 50 degree sunshine.  It was  fun to look at the mountains.  The one behind our home looked normal, but as we looked out over the horizon to the northeast, we could see snow on the mountain tops.  These apparently are the mountains that I-60 goes through.  When I live here longer I will know the name of that mountain range.


Our mountain view

It seems like the days are really short, because we have all the projects and errands to do.  I am looking forward to completing the decorating of the house, and then kicking back and doing the stuff we want to do here, like walking the trails, visiting sites around the state, getting together with friends and family, and entertaining our friends and family from Phoenix and those who come from out of town to visit us here. img_2532I don’t know why I feel out of sorts, since I have only been here a week.  I want it to feel like home, but that won’t happen until the house is complete.

My children in St. Louis surprised us with the best Christmas gift.  They bought us really good tickets to the Phoenix Symphony for January 11.  The symphony will be performing the “Grand Canyon Suite,” and along with the music will be amazing photos of the Grand Canyon.  It will be our first outing of something we have not done here yet.  Maybe as we start going places on purpose, not as errands to run, I will feel more centered.

Here is to a great winter in San Tan Valley, Arizona!


This is the view of our street–our home is the 4th from the end at the top of the street on the right.  This gives a better perspective of the mountain that we view from our back yard.