Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Family comes for a short visit

Our son Eric and his family stopped by for one night on their way to California for Spring Break. We relaxed and talked outside for a while before dinner, enjoying our time with grandchildren John and Kylie and their parents Liz and Eric.  Kylie is a junior in high school and they are spending the week looking a possible colleges in California for the fall of 2018.

Here Kylie is showing her brother and parents a video she is preparing of their trip.  It was fun to be a small part in the video and we look forward to watching the finished product.  You can see her family is enjoying it, too. 

We wish they could have stayed longer but we are glad we could provide an overnight place to stay on their way.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

The Desert Blooms

It's spring and you really can't beat the Arizona desert in spring.  Desert plants are blooming all over our resort and even on the highway medians.  We love it!

This plant is in the median west of our resort near Basha's grocery store.

The bougainvillea bushes are absolutely stunning this year.

These pink flowers are so pretty.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

The Perils of Publishing

For many years John has been writing about the people and events of his life.  In January 2016 he joined a class here in Arizona about writing your life story.  The class helped him focus on putting the stories together so they can be published.  What that took was writing a few segments linking the various periods of his life into a coherent story.  Coleen, who mentors the class recommends a self-publishing web site, Create Space, a product of Amazon, as a place to publish life story books.  Over the past 5 days or so, we have been working at uploading the material so it can be published.

            Perhaps the biggest hurdle in that process is the perfectly awful Verizon internet we have here in Gold Canyon.  At times from late morning to late evening, it can take 3 to 5 five minutes for a web site to open.  I rarely have the patience to wait for that happen.  But we have uploaded a PDF file of the book, received feedback from Create Space, fixed the problems and uploaded again—for a total of three times.

            Then there is the book cover.  We worked on it, uploaded content, looked at it, changed it on our end and uploaded it again.  Then we decided we didn’t like that layout.  Today we contacted the web site, someone called us back, we learned we needed another template to do what we wanted, and finally got that uploaded! 

            The next stage is for people at the web site to review the contents and give us feedback.  When we say everything is the way we want it, they will print a proof copy and send it to us.  It everything is OK, we can move forward.  Or we can make changes again.

            I have been blogging for 11 years and publishing a blog is simple compared to this.  Each year I even get a hard cover book of my blogs for the past 12 months.  But publishing a book or stories this way is more complicated, especially when the internet is s-l-o-w to non-existent.  But we are almost done!

            This isn’t going to be on the open market for sale to anyone interested.  We will have copies printed for family, only.  Hopefully John’s brother and sisters, our children and grandchildren and nieces and nephews will be interested in the content, at least sometime in the future.  The people in the class who have put together family histories say their children will read the chapter about them but often not the rest of the book.  But we know from our own experience that these topics aren’t of much interest until we get into at least the last half of our life.  Hopefully, it will be of interest either when we die or even later.

            Oh yes, now I am working on my life story, as well. The title of John’s book is It’s All About People, Dead and Alive. I may call mine I Was There, Too.

Monday, March 06, 2017

Hiking and Eating

Spring has definitely arrived in our part of Arizona.  Friday we walked from our resort to the backside of Silly Mountain.  The poppies are blooming.

We have had above average rain and the desert is really green.  It's not often we see the ground this color here.  It is so nice.

After our walk we met our friend David and Alice and their daughter Teresa (I hope I spelled her name correctly) for lunch at Janie's Burrito CafĂ© in Gold Canyon.  We enjoyed the food and the time with friends.

Thursday, March 02, 2017

Social Gadabouts

Last weekend we were really social gadabouts--certainly not our normal routine.  Thursday we attended a party next door where our neighbors had just expanded their patio.  Friends offered to provide some music and everyone brought an appetizer to share.  Our neighbor Doug invited us, saying he wanted us to be aware of the party--either so you could come and enjoy it or to warn us it would be kind of loud.  It was both loud and enjoyable.

Saturday morning Deacon Lynn and her husband invited all the clergy and their families at the Episcopal Church of the Epiphany in Tempe to brunch before all of us who are snowbirds left for a few months.  Everything was delicious and we enjoyed time with others ministering in this place.

Saturday evening we attended a birthday party at Buca di Beppo in Chandler for our friend Karen, also a member of Epiphany.  It was a fun evening with excellent Italian food.  What a great evening!

The rest of the week has been quiet and laid-back, also a good way to spend our time.