Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Art and People Everywhere

Saturday we decided to check out the art and craft show in Fountain Hills, an upscale community near Scottsdale. The park in the center of downtown has statues of several of our presidents.

Here is Franklin D. Roosevelt

and Ronald Reagan

This fountain erupts for 15 minutes each hour between 9 am and 9 pm.  It was once the highest fountain in the world,

I love these sculptures of children.  We saw several on Saturday and we have seen them in other communities, as well.

Each artist had their own tent and the tents went on for what seemed forever.  There were lots and lots of people there.  This photo only shows a narrow edge of the crowd.

Loved this couple from a local volunteer fire department, sitting out under their umbrella.

I didn't take photos of the wares in the artists' booths. Often they frown on that. We spent the most time looking at fine wood objects and pottery. There were also photographs, paintings and drawings, all kinds of hand-made objects, and lots of specialty foods. We also saw a food court.

We showed great restraint. Really, we didn't need restraint. There is almost nothing in the world we need. Our house already has all the decorations it needs and we keep making more things and have trouble figuring out where to put them. We would have loved some food, but we are dieting.

It was a fun way to spend a few hours on a beautiful, sunny day.

Monday, February 26, 2018

A Mistake--Corrected

When we first moved in to our Gold Canyon house, we decided the washer and dryer should be located in the small shop we had added to the building.  That allowed us to use the closet in the house which was designed and plumbed for the washer and dryer to be used to store other things.


We didn't think about how much dust we would produce.  If you look closely at the lower right corner of the photo below, you can see our wood lathe.  That really makes a mess.  That meant that any clothing we happened to drop on the floor--or even wipe across the size of the washer--picked up dust.

In January we got rid of the old Frigidaire washer and dryer and replaced it with these stackable GE appliances.  When the units were delivered, they went to install them in the designated closet but saw there was no  dryer vent installed, they said all they could do was install them back in the same place in the shop.  That was not what we wanted.

We found a handyman to do the work for us. Michael came and gave us an estimate for the work. We said, "go ahead and do it." Then we had to postpone our appointment so we could return to Colorado for Kendal's funeral. Next, Michael caught the flu. Finally he came, put in the duct work, and moved the washer and dryer. This tool cabinet takes the place where the washer has been. The belt sander sitting on it's top is another reason the shop is so dirty.

And here is our newly installed washer and dryer.  They both operate very quietly, but now I can watch and see when a load is done without having to go back out to the shop several times to check.  And the floor in front of the appliances is a lot cleaner than in the shop.  Yea!  We corrected our mistake.

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Well, It works

The food isn't the most tasty we've ever eaten. But, we have been eating the food and we have been losing the weight. As I posted on January 12, we have been on the Nutrisystem diet since January 7. In the past almost 6 weeks, John has lost almost 17 pounds and I have lost almost 13 pounds. We feel really good about that.

We have not really been hungry. We eat 3 meals and 3 snacks a day. But the food we eat, especially the dinner entrees, is either like cardboard or has a spicy or peppery taste I'm not crazy about. But, again, I'm not hungry and I am losing weight.

These two boxes arrived on Valentine's Day.

Here is the contents of the top layer of food in the two boxes.

The bottom layer includes dinners and some snacks. For this second month, we ordered food for 5 days of the week, leaving 2 days each week to eat what they call flex meals, the proper combination of protein, carbs, vegetables and miscellaneous to provide a low-calorie, balanced diet. I am supposed to eat about 1200 calories a day, John up to 1500 calories. We also received guidelines for a maintenance diet. That will allow me somewhere between 1500 and 2000 calories daily, John 1800 to 2300. Both of those seem a little high, but we will begin at the lower level and only add more if we continue to loose weight.

Over the years, we have tried many different diets because weight has been an issue for both of us for more than 20 years. Weight Watchers worked the best in the past. In fact, I have been cooking Weight Watchers meals for years--but the portions kept getting bigger and bigger. Portion size, not the foods we eat, is really the issue, isn't it? With this delivery of food, we received a number of small plastic containers with different colored lids. These will be used for maintenance to control the quantity of fruit, vegetables, meat and dairy, grains and starchy vegetables, and healthy fats we eat each day. More on that when we get there.

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Mardi Gras--a Day Early

It was one day early, but our resort celebrated Mardi Gras yesterday. There was a parade--which we watched--followed by a party, lunch and later a dance--none of which we attended. The parade was fun and creative.

This guy juggled the entire time the parade passed by.  How on earth he was able to watch the goings on and not drop anything, I don't know.  But he didn't.

I guess you would call this woman the drum major for the parade.

Musicians rode in the bed to a pickup and serenaded us.

One street of residents worked together to present the Calendar Girls of Canyon Vistas.  Here we see April, May and June.

The temps were in the low 60s with a brisk breeze.  I'll bet Ms September was freezing.

This golf cart really looked like it was from New Orleans.

Here we have the November calendar entry.

There were cave men and women.

And the geocachers were very evident.  I especially like the sign being carried in the second photo below--I use million dollar satellites to find Tupperware in the woods!

Tuesday, February 06, 2018

Time With Family for a Funeral

Over the past week, we have driven to and from Canon City, Colorado, where we attended the funeral for John's sister Kendal. We saw some nice scenery on our trip north.

For two days we had lots of good family time before and after the Saturday funeral.

Kim and Jennifer talked with Cindy.

Tim, Mike and John shared time sitting on the couch.

The three Johns got together for a photo op.

Jennifer and her daughter-in-law Emily had time together.

Some of John's family came from Minnesota for the funeral. They visited with John and Todd and some of the other family in Canon City.

We spent time talking to Todd.

Scott insisted on getting some work done.

Saturday morning Mark took a group of the family to breakfast.

Becky and Tina shared a story.

Andy and Todd had some time to talk.                                                                                         

Kendal and John's grandson Brian and his wife were there.

Whenever John and his siblings get together, we take a picture of the group. This time Kendal wasn't there. Her suffering has ended and the rest of us grieve.

Now we are back in the world of saguaros.

Thursday, February 01, 2018

A New Kind of Phishing

We are traveling by car—actually truck—to Colorado, staying in motels. Wednesday we were at the Comfort Inn in Las Vegas, New Mexico.  After checking in, we never left the motel.

At a little after 11 pm, the  room phone rang.  What could that be about?  We were both sound asleep. John handed the phone to me since he wasn’t wearing his hearing aids. The man on the other end identified himself as the hotel manager and said their computer had crashed.  They are required by law to keep information on the adult registered in each room, their address and the credit card on record.  I refused to give out the information over the phone and said we would come to the front desk with the information.

“Oh, no, there would be a 45 minute to an hour wait.  Give it to me now.  We will bring you a receipt in a little while and a refund of 40% of our hotel charge.”  Again, I refused and said we could come to the desk first thing in the morning. Again he said no.  “Forget it then.  I am hanging up,” I said.  And I did.

I called the front desk and they were appalled.  The clerk said the man had called the motel and asked for Carol in our room.  That is why they put the call through.  She said they would not put any calls through to us that night and she would report it to the manager in the morning.

It was really eery, someone knew what room we were in there.  We hadn’t told anyone.  We were in a place we had never been before, no one but Expedia and the motel knew where we were.  How did that happen?

It must have been someone on the hotel staff who gave out the information.  The caller wanted our credit card number. You can bet we will never stay there again.  But it still feels like we were in the midst of some thriller novel.  And it wasn’t a good feeling.