Friday, December 25, 2015

Two Miracles......

Casa Grande, AZ
Sundance RV Resort

I know I haven't blogged much this season.  I've had mixed emotions this time of the year.  As many of my blog readers know, my 95 year old dad is under Hospice care.  I just didn't feel like having our annual Christmas party or for that matter other events we were invited to attend.  This is the first year in my life, I haven't sent out Christmas cards.  

We've accepted the fact that Dad will be leaving us in the near future.  He's told us that he's ready.  The saddest thing being around him is that his mind is pretty much gone.  He's packed everything in his apartment and is waiting for "them" to come and take him.  This past year he thinks he's being deployed on a carrier in the Navy where he spent most of his life.  Other times he thinks he's on a cruise ship sailing to different ports.  All of these are good memories, but I don't think Dad's ever thought of anything that wasn't a positive attitude.  

I've heard how people complain about assisted living facilities, but the Garnet has such caring employees, you'd think they were caring for their own family members.  

Last night my sister, Sherry, and her husband joined Bill and I for Christmas eve dinner with Dad.  Hospice had advised us that we should go to the Garnet rather than have him with us at our home as it would confuse him less.  He talked about a lot of things and some of them we couldn't figure out.  Some I don't think I could even post on the internet or big brother would be around to check on what he's saying. 

Today we went over this morning to see him.  He has no idea that it is Christmas.  I know there was no reason to even think about a gift for him, but I did anyway.  

I had talked with the activity director, Victor, and suggested that he liked to take things apart and put them together.  A great example is the number of pieces about 10 electric razors have when they are taken apart.  

I found on Amazon, a Lego set to make of Trevi Fountain.  Dad has traveled the world and been in many more countries than Bill and I.  The back of the box, showed Trevi Fountain in Rome.  The front of the box showed what it would look like built with Legos.  He opened the box and offered me some of the "candy".  Legos didn't mean anything to him and he thought he had a box of candy.  I had been so hopeful that I'd be able to reach him.

Now comes the best part of my Christmas.  He looked at the back of the box and recognized Trevi Fountain!  He then opened the book and there was a booklet with a  picture  of the aqueduct and the Spanish steps.  All of a sudden it triggered something, and he began telling Bill and I all about his travels around the world.  He described his visit at the Vatican where he met the Pope.  He could remember all of them.  He kept jumping around from one country to another but remembered the things he did and saw.  

We visited with him longer than usual as we were enjoying listening to him tell us his adventures.  By the time we left he had remembered that Sherry and Dave live near us.  

I know in all reality this will be the last Christmas with him, but it couldn't have been a better day.

There's also another reason that this Christmas means a lot to me.  Bill has struggled so hard with his hearing.  Last week I finally convinced him to try a different hearing aid place.  He's been to many and has a drawer full of hearing aids.  Our government will pay to have lap band surgery so a person can weigh and eat less but Medicare won't pay for hearing aids.  He hasn't been able to hear even with the phone on speaker phone.  He can hear noises, but can't make out the words.  

Bill's first thing he did with the hearing aids was to call his friend in Florida.  He always struggles with trying to piece together what he says using the speaker phone.  Bill talked for almost a half hour.  He could understand every word.  I'm so happy for him.  I can't imagine what he's been enduring all this time not being able to hear.  With Sherry and Dave in the back seat last night, he could hear everything that was being said.  

Polly and Vern invited us up for Christmas dinner with nine others.  Vern had a turkey breast on the grill outside and a prime rib in the oven.  Boy did it ever smell good when we entered the house.  The meal was perfect and the evening couldn't have been any nicer.  It was a very long and enjoyable day.  
Look at the beautiful wooden boots wind chime from Polly and Vern.  Polly liked her gifts too.  

Today was truly a beautiful day and that big beautiful moon made driving home at night not so bad.  
When we were driving home we had a call from daughter, Shay.  Bill was driving so I told her we'd call back when we arrived home.  I think she was surprised to hear Bill make the return call.  Bill hasn't been able to hear the grand kids on the phone before today.  He spent a lot of time enjoying talking on the phone to each of them. 

Merry Christmas!

Turtle Safely..........

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Escapees Christmas Party and RVillage

Casa Grande, Arizona
Sundance RV Resort

I'm sure any blog readers will see that this blog is about people and food and decide to skip reading it today.  What can I say?  It's been the same thing everyday this week.

First off if you are an RVer and haven't joined the free program you're missing out on a lot.  We are listed as WV2AZ.

One member that lives in Arizona City contacted us from RVillage.  It was easy to look at their profile and know they have some of the same interests as we do.  They also own a Montana fifth wheel.  They invited us to meet them for breakfast this morning.  Bob and Pam were a delightful couple and hopefully we'll see them again some day soon.  I had my camera in my purse and we were so busy talking I forgot to take any photos.  

Breakfast lasted a couple of hours and we probably would have stayed longer if we didn't have the Escapees Chapter 45 Christmas party in Apache Junction.

Brother in law, Dave, drove and there was very little traffic therefore we arrived a half hour early.  No problems, it's Escapees.  Whenever Escapees are going for food or drinks they always arrive early.  Today was no exception.

Norm and Richie Erickson knew of a good catering company and no one was disappointed in their choice.  There was more than enough food and dessert.  The members brought their own drinks from home.  

Everyone seemed to enjoy themselves.  I've added the photos below.

Turtle Safely......./

Friday, December 11, 2015

Had to see for myself

Casa Grande, Arizona
Sundance RV Resort

It seems like all we've been doing is eating.  We had an appointment up in Mesa today.  

Sandie Dixon gave us a call as we were driving up on Gilbert Ave. She wanted to know if we wanted to go to lunch.  Now is that a dumb question?  Of course, we'd love to go.  

I never seem to have a good record at a restaurant.  Even if we've been there before and had a great meal and service. The moment I suggest it for someone to meet us again at the same place, it's terrible.  

Sandie on the other hand, has never failed at finding a good place.  She did a great job today.  She suggested Sal's Pizza in Gilbert, on Gilbert Road and it was great.  I had a small antipasti salad.  It was huge but I managed to clean my plate as we were taught as kids.  

It was so good seeing Jim and Sandie.  We didn't see the truck when we pulled up as it was backed in hiding the fish on the back of it.  She sure has adapted to driving the truck.  I wouldn't have backed into the spot unless I had to.  
 I have to say I out did myself on a great photo of Sandie. Jim seemed to be doing well despite all the surgeries he has gone through.  He said he thinks his appetite is coming back.
Jim had two huge pieces of pizza.  I'm sure it's something he doesn't have very often.

We are never at a loss for words when we get together and today wasn't any different.  Bill and I haven't seen them since last spring.  Usually somewhere in our summer travels we meet up, but they weren't able to leave the valley until August this year.    

Hopefully, once Jim is able to drive again, they'll be able to drive somewhere other than a doctor's office.  

Bill had his stress test yesterday.  He completed the goal set for him and then did a little more.  Of course, you have to make another trip to the doctor to find out the results of the test.  

He was really exhausted from the test because he wasn't allowed to eat or drink before taking it.  He did mention he thought he'd turn in early for bed.  That didn't happen once he started watching the Cardinals play football which went down to the wire with a 23 to 21 score.  He felt much better today.   

This photo is for a private joke between Sandie and I.  
We were talking about the great chicken breasts on sale for $1.77 a pound I bought.  Then we talked about another subject that costs $3,100.  I'll bet Sandie is laughing.

Turtle Safely..........

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Almost 200 miles for lunch

Casa Grande, Arizona
Sundance RV Resort

If anyone knows Bill they all know how much he hates to drive.  He wasn't even excited about getting his driver's license as a teenager.  Can you imagine we went almost 200 miles round trip for lunch?  You know it had to be a special reason, and it was.  
Bill and Jan Mains and Sharon and Don Del Rosario

Now does that explain it?  

It's difficult to find a day when we are both free but we decided on today.  Sharon had a wonderful Mexican restaurant picked out with great reviews and also great margaritas.  

The best laid plans can always change.  RVer's know this well.  

Around 7:20 this morning Sharon called.  She said she forgot about the Escapees luncheon in Benson today and wanted to know if we wanted to go.  No problem, that gave us an hour and 20 minutes to get our act together and head south.  

We headed down I 10 and were pleased that the traffic wasn't bad at all.  We've made many trips in the past to take my Dad to the VA but we never  made such good time as today.  

Bill parked our car at Safeway and we hopped in Don and Sharon's new chariot.  I've never seen so many bells and whistles on a vehicle before.  I noticed that the manual was close by so they could learn how to operate them.
I don't know why I didn't get a photo of the whole truck but I'm sure there are a lot on Sharon's blog.

We made a stop at their lot in Cochise Terrace.  Bill really enjoyed riding in such a comfortable truck with someone else doing the driving.  

We arrived on time for the Escapees luncheon but everyone had already ordered and food was being served.  
 Everyone seemed to be enjoying themselves.
The luncheon was held at San Pedro Golf Course and the food was excellent.  The prices were all under $10 and the only problem was there was a great selection.  I always have a hard time picking what I want.  I picked the Reuben and there must have been 8 different sides I could have had with it.  The service was great except they were out of olives.  

David and Lynn Cross were there and it was nice seeing them again.  

It was so good spending time with Don and Sharon.  Don even looks stronger and better since we saw him when they came up here for a visit.  

There was lots of excitement talking about the Escapade and Quartzite.  

It was a long full day, but we had a great time.  It was almost dark when we returned to Casa Grande.  Glad we didn't stay much longer as neither of us likes night time driving.  

Turtle Safely........

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Electric Excitement

Casa Grande, Arizona
Sundance RV Resort

We had an electrifying evening yesterday.  Toni Laird aka Palamine blogger and Escapees member invited us to dinner last night followed by the Electric Parade.  There were to be three other SKP's joining us.  We know how much traffic the parade produces as I've been in the parade before and we've also been volunteers with the police department so we left early.  Why is it when you allot plenty of time for traffic to get somewhere, there isn't any?  We arrived about 20 minutes before 4.  I called Toni and she said the group had grown and would be there by 4:30.  No problem, we set our lawn chairs on the curb and at that time there weren't a lot of empty places. 

People started streaming in to the restaurant shortly afterwards.  There were 18 seats ready and waiting for the group.  They added a few more chairs and ended up having another table.  Escapees seem to multiply. 

Our meal was great, but due to the entire place being full, the service wasn't as great, but it was no problem as the parade didn't start until 6.

We enjoyed meeting new people and hope to see them again sometime.  

Since we know how the desert can cool down, we had jackets and gloves and were happy we brought them.  Our tummies were full, the weather was perfect, and we were surrounded by happy folks.  What more could you ask for?

The parade started right on time and we were just past the judges stands so we had a great spot.  I must say that one year I remember there were no bands in the parade.  This year there were many and the music was great.  What's a parade without young people and music?

During the parade the fire department which had small ATV's and golf carts were patrolling the parade route.  All at once one came up and said they needed to get through.  There was some kind of emergency behind us.  We immediately moved our chairs out of the way so they could drive in.  They thanked us for allowing them to get through. Another one pulled up and they parked on the curb and took two boxes of equipment with them.  The parade continued and then we noticed the golf cart came back down the street. It stopped right in front of us and thanked us again for allowing them to get through and told us how far they had to go to get back to us.  

The exhibitor's in the parade usually have people walking with the float and pass out candy to the children.  In the years' past they could throw it out, but found the kids running to get the candy.  For the safety of the children they must hand the candy to them now.  I guess they thought I was a kid because I came home with a candy cane.  One company handed out carpenter's pencils to the adults.  So it satisfied both the kid in me and the adult.  

There is no way a novice can take great pictures of a night time light parade.  The lights are flashing and there is a lot of movement but here's what Bill took of the parade.  I had my hands in my mittens, even though the temperature didn't get below the 50's so he did the photos.

Here's a few, but they just aren't the same without all the music and movement.

Oh, before I forget I must apologize to Suzy Yates for spelling her name wrong.  I have 
an equal amount of Suzy-Susie spelled friends and wasn't paying attention.  

Have you cleared your calendar for January 23rd yet? George Yates, Our Awesome Travels, will be giving details soon.  

Turtle Safely........