Thursday, January 26, 2017

Are We Really in Arizona?

Wednesday we hiked the Saguaro Lake trail with our friends Ron and Barbara. The temps have been really cold for Arizona, as you can see in these two pictures.

The trail, which is 4 miles out and back, goes along the lake but sometimes we could see it and sometimes we couldn't. When we could see it, there were great views.

We also saw folks fishing and ducks, including these lesser scaups.

The views weren't too shabby when we were away from the lake, either. There were incredibly green hillsides because of all the rain we have had, great rock formations and beautiful saguaros and other cactus plants.

We also saw snow on some mountains on the horizon

It was a fun trail and a good time with good friends.

Monday, January 23, 2017

Winter in Gold Canyon

Most of the country wouldn't think it has been cold here in Gold Canyon but those of us who came here for warm weather are whining. The high temps have only been in the 50s recently and we've had over an inch of rain in the past week. Where's the sun?

Today we walked for exercise inside the Superstition Springs Mall. We weren't the only people doing it, either. Notice that everyone is in long pants, not shorts. We know that people who spend the summer in the Phoenix area walk inside the mall to get away from the heat. We don't expect to have to do it in winter.

Last spring shortly before we left for the summer, we went into Mesa Marketplace, the home of recreational shopping. Open year round, the facility has canvas walls so it is experiences all sorts of weather. In late April and May it is getting pretty hot. Though the swap meet is open, very few of the vendors were trying to sell things. We visited this Sunday and found almost all the vendor stalls open and the crowds of shoppers was increasing. In February and March the aisles will be so crowded it will be hard to move through them.

I keep think of the song from "Annie," "Tomorrow, tomorrow, the sun will come out tomorrow." We certainly hope so.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

It's Out of Control

At least that is how it feels. We had only 1 appointment--our annual physical check-up. We knew that meant we would have to get some blood tests done. That always happens. But now it seems like things are really out of control. Since our primary care doctor is a member of a cardiology office, they do a electrocardiogram each year. Well, it seems one little irregularity in that squiggly line means something. Our doctor came in and said, "John, I've got bad news for you." They call it afib--atrial fibrillation. That has resulted in 8 more appointments for John. Yikes!

From what we have read so far, that isn't too unusual when you are 'our age.' It seems everything becomes more prevalent after the age of 65. The main issue seems to be the greatly increased risk for a stroke. The first of those 8 appointments was with a cardiologist--really her physician's assistant. It led to a prescription for a blood thinner. A baby aspirin no longer does the trick.

Still to come are an echo cardiogram, wearing a heart monitor for 24 hours, a 4-hour stress test, an ultrasound of the carotid artery and an abdominal aortic scan. Then, of course, there is a follow-up appointment to go over those blood tests and another to look at all the heart tests.

What ever happened to the days when we could spend all morning in the pottery shop or wood shop? When we could hike whenever we felt like it? When we had free time and were really retired? I guess those opportunities flew away just like the years have. We have lived nearly 74 years. Where did all that time go?

On the positive side of all this, we are grateful we have a primary care doctor who discovered the issue, we have excellent medical testing facilities and care facilities nearby, and we have really good Medicare supplemental insurance, thanks to the Episcopal Church Medical Trust.

At the end of the appointment at the cardiologist's office, we were nearly overwhelmed with doctor's appointments and with questions. Now it is just an inconvenience. And our goal--and that of the doctors, I am sure, is to see it is only an inconvenience for as long as possible.

And all the while John says, "but I feel just fine!"

Monday, January 09, 2017

Silly Mountain

Silly Mountain is really kind of silly. It isn't what we would call a mountain in Colorado and it doesn't have interesting trails. Everywhere you walk on it you can either see US Highway 60 or nearby housing developments. That doesn't mean no one goes there. Every morning, especially, and throughout the day we see cars in the parking lot. We did hike on the mountain once--that is the reason I can tell you about the views.

This is what the mountain looks like from the west.

What is good about the mountain is the fact it is very near our resort. Since we try to walk at least 10,000 steps a day we are always looking for new places to walk. We quickly bore walking the roads in our resort. Last week we decided to walk to Silly Mountain, not on it. We were able to get about 8,000 steps walking to and from the mountain.

Obviously, there were some recent rains. Just look at the green grass along the path we walked.