Monday, March 30, 2020

Writing, Writing, Writing

I have been writing for years and years and years.  It all began in grade school, writing for a small newsletter.  In junior high, I received my first byline--on a story in the school newspaper.  The love of writing continued in high school, where I was on the staff of the school paper--the South High Confederate.  In college, I majored in journalism and worked on the Colorado Daily.

After graduation, the writing continued. I was an intern for the Longmont Times-Call, I wrote for  church newsletters and edited the Episcopal Church Women's page in the Colorado Episcopalian.  When we began RVing, I decided to blog about our life.  Then I learned I could have the blogs printed in a book.  Just look at the stack!

The blog books are filled with color photos, so they became our scrapbooks.


About three years ago, I began working on writing the stories of my life. John had already been attending the life story classes here in our winter resort home. When he published his own life story, he encouraged me to do the same thing.

Here I am, holding the proof copy of that story, Not What I Planned:  Even Better.  I am so excited to get it done!  I can add it to the stack.

When I wrote in my blog about completing the print version, Gumo commented he would read it when it came out in the Kindle version.  Guess what, I did it!  Not without a struggle.  That format requires a different format.  You can see both versions for sale on Amazon in this screen shot.

Thursday, March 26, 2020

Bloomin' Beauty

There is beauty everywhere in the Arizona this year.  We have had rain and the cactus is gorgeous!  What a bright spot amidst Covid-19, quarantines and shelter in place orders.

The Argentine giant cactus blooms have started to open.

Prickly pear are loaded with buds and blooms.

I'm not sure of the name of this one but I know there will be either flowers or new growth soon.

Even the non-native plants are loving the warmth and putting on blooms.

These look like very small sunflowers.

The runoff wash near our entrance gate is full of yellow flowers.

There are so many things we can't or shouldn't do right now, but here in Arizona we can go outside and enjoy God's beauty in creation.

Thursday, March 19, 2020

What's Going On?

The world has been turned upside down.  We are all practicing social distancing and staying home.  But our personal lives here in Superstition Views really haven't changed much.  When we are here in our home for a long time our focus always changes.  We don't to places because we have already seen most everything in the Phoenix area there is to see.  We don't go out to eat very often.  And we don't take part in the activities here in our resort.  The only thing closed that really affects us is the locked door of the exercise room.

Also, we try to grocery shop less frequently--buying everything we need for a week or so at a time.  We don't want to be around others more often than necessary.

Oh yes, my hands are cleaner than then have been since I had a newborn in the house.  Also, I am using copious amounts of hand lotion to combat the frequent hand washing.

So, what are we doing?  John has been working in our shop.  Right now he is constructing this intarsia picture of a barn and cattle.  The cutting phase is about half-done.

He made these two scroll saw pictures representing the two states we spend time in.  They will be hung in our Airstream trailer.

Before everything in our resort was shut down, I learned how to do lapidary--shaping rocks for jewelry.  After learning how to use the machines, I bought these two slices of rock.

I have made them into three pendants for necklaces.

I have also finished writing the book of the stories of my life.  I have sent it to the publisher(Kindle Direct Printing on Amazon) and am waiting for a proof copy to arrive, hopefully tomorrow.  After I make the necessary changes, it will be ready to publish.  That is exciting.

While I have been busy at the computer, John was busy in the shop--cutting out scroll saw sayings like this--"I can do all things through Christ."

He also make this sign to hang on the front of our trailer when we are staying in RV parks.

Unfortunately, John fell 10 days ago, injuring his elbow and tearing some ligaments nearby.  It doesn't stop his work in the shop, but it does hurt when he tries to bend his elbow or lift something heavy.  It is getting better each day.

Saturday, February 29, 2020

Eagles and Family

We spend our winters in Arizona to avoid the snow and cold.  So, why did we get in our truck and drive north in January?  Seems there was something going on that was more important than avoiding winter weather.

A Court of Honor ceremony for our grandson, John Andrews II, was scheduled for that Saturday to formally award his Eagle Scout rank.  These are the ribbon and medal and patch that mark his ascending to the highest rank in the Boy Scouts.  We learned that only 4% of the members of the scouts reach this level.  We are so proud of him!

The prayer at the beginning of the service was offered by Grandpa John Andrews I.

Lori Hardy, a neighbor as John was growing up, was one of the people talking about John's character, hard work and accomplishments in Scouts and his community.

There was a live American Bald Eagle in the ceremony, as well.  It is seen here behind John, his parents Eric and Liz and sister Kylie.

John reflected on his experiences as he worked his way through the Scout ranks.

John and Kylie are shown here talking to their Aunt Ann Portarf.  She was a manager of Father Woody's, the homeless day shelter where John did his Eagle Project.  He supervised the constructions of storage shelves at the shelter, which had been established by his other grandpa, Jay Gould.

John is not the first Eagle Scout in our family.  Two of his cousins on his dad's side also attended--Craig Walker and David Gilbreth.  Craig issued the challenge and charge to the new Eagle Scout John Andrews. 

This cake was served with refreshments after the ceremony.


John's cousin, Mike Andrews, and his son Cody also attended the ceremony.

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Family, Animals and Cactus in Tucson

We had a great time Tuesday exploring the Tucson Desert Museum with Tina and Vance, our niece and her husband.  They are spending this month in Arizona in the RV and we decided to meet at the museum.

I saw something new before we even paid our entrance fee.  A cell phone charging station!

Next, we saw these bronze statues of an adult javelina and 2 babies.

The museum has a number of Sonoran Desert native animals.  I sure wouldn't want to encounter this mountain lion on a hike.

This black bear would be equally as frightening.

This is a wolf.

Here is a cold, wet roadrunner.

A bobcat

This mountain sheep ram kept butting this log, then licking it.  We couldn't figure out why.

The Rufus hummingbird was one of several in the aviary.

Of course, a desert museum also includes cactus, lots and lots of cactus plants.

We were most impressed with the cactus gardens in Tucson.  The animals were interesting.  And we had an enjoyable lunch in the on-site grill.

Tuesday, January 07, 2020

What a Fun Way to End 2019!

Our son Eric, his wife Liz, and our grandchildren Kylie and John came to visit just before New Year's Eve.  We had a fun time. 

We played cards for a while before dinner.

The next day we had lunch at the Cactus Grill here in the resort.

But only after we all worked out in our gym and took a selfie in the mirror. 

We joined the resort's happy hour--otherwise known as music on the patio--the first evening.  Since the weather was cold (for Arizona) the event was held in the ballroom.  Kylie and John played corn hole for a while. 

 Kylie had used her parents' money to buy raffle tickets, one for each of us.  When the winning number was announced, it was the one on my ticket!  You can see the woman in red at the table in the background.  She is standing in front of the Cancer Drive fundraising table.  The raffle was held to benefit them.  As soon  as I picked up my winnings of  $24  I took it over and donated it to the cancer drive.

The next morning we all went to breakfast at Kneaders before they left to have lunch with some other members of their family.

The visit was a lot of fun, but way too short.  Now we have to wait until summer when we are in Colorado to see them again.

Thursday, December 26, 2019

Christmas Dinner with Neighbors

Many of our neighbors in Arizona return home or to their grandchildren for Christmas.  We have done that numerous times, as well.  This year we remained in somewhat sunny and warm Arizona for the holiday.  (It rained off and onTuesday and Wednesday.)

On Christmas Eve we worshiped at Our Savior's Lutheran.  Christmas day some neighbors invited the "left behinds" to join them for dinner. Rose, who is Italian, made a delicious lasagna.    Susan and Randy were two of those attending. Rebecca was across the table from them and somehow I cut her out of the photo. 

Rose and John are near the windows.

We shared a table with Helen and Steve.

With only 9 of us, we had a quiet afternoon and the chance to talk at length.  In fact, we were there for 4 hours.  What a good opportunity to get to know other snowbirds better.