a bench with a view

a bench with a view

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

that moment

when you know you bonded with your grandchild

He still looks like a lot of newborn babies so I'll post his picture. When he starts becoming more distinct looking, I'll stop.

The young family have been coming over pretty much every weekend since we moved down here for dinner Sunday nights. A few weeks ago daughter in law went back to work and it created a gap in their schedules on Saturday when son had to be at work and daughter in law was still working so I offered to cover that gap (a few hours). 

We're getting to know each other, little one and me. I'm recognizing his cries, attention versus hungry versus tired. 

This past Saturday afternoon I put him in his swing for a bit and I was cooing and smiling, he was cooing and smiling back and it hit me "we have bonded." He is comfortable in my arms, I am comfortable with him in my arms. 

I knew we didn't have to be down here at the moment of his birth, but I knew for us to have a close relationship we needed to be down here by the time he was three or four months old. We moved when he was 6 weeks old; he recently turned 3 months old a few days ago.

I never thought I would be a grandparent. I know some people look forward eagerly to that day. I know a couple that was at the baby's shower that every other word to their adult daughter was basically "when are you going to have a child so we can be grandparents."

I never "pressured" son to have a child. In fact I went the other way. He would have friends that had children and I would say "you still have plenty of time." I figured it would happen after he was 30 years old. He turned 27 in March.

I am sorry that there are those that want to be grandparents and things turned out differently than they expected or they are still waiting for that day. I hope that day does happen down the road. 

Its an incredible type of joy. 

I started praying for him after I knew he was on his way and before I knew he was a "he". I prayed for a healthy baby, a safe delivery. Now for his health and also that he would come to know Jesus as a young one and be used mightily for God and his kingdom. In the Bible, John the Baptist was filled with the Holy Spirit even before his birth. That was my prayer too. Not sure if it was answered, but it was prayed.

He is healthy. He is doing things at an advanced age. He is loved. He is well cared for. 

I started telling him about Jesus the other day. It is my intent to continue to do so all the days I am able to do so.

Jesus loves all the little children.

Jesus loves this little guy.

Just like I love this little guy.....

but he loves him so much more

if that is even imaginable

but it is.......

Friday, May 13, 2016


......its a bit of laziness

or .......a let down after the A/Z challenge

........or this or that

but I have brilliant blog posts written in my head

but I just don't seem to have the motivation to write them down or to put pictures up regarding them

Life is going on and we are settling in.  We listed projects in priority to get them done and the last major one starts tomorrow. Then I'll probably do a before and after post with what we've been working on and include pictures of the house.  

I'm all unpacked, but then I didn't have much to unpack. Hubby has one more box to unpack in his music room and then he'll start organizing it and probably get rid of at least 30% of stuff he's been hauling around unopened for the past 15 months. 

Garage still needs to be unpacked but that's not my domain :)

Highlight of my week was reconnecting with an old friend (not in age on her part) from Montana.  There may be one or two of you still reading my blog that remember my stories about her, but I got to see her second baby born and then a few years later she came to visit us while we were still in Southern California and then a few years later I wrote when she was pregnant and lost her daughter at 26 weeks gestation.

We lost touch for a bit because of her busyness now raising five boys and the distance that separated us. We continued as Facebook friends.  She messaged me a month ago saying she and her hubby would be in town for a few days for business and a little mini getaway and wanted to get together for dinner. We met up last Saturday night at the same restaurant we held son's and daughter in law's wedding dinner back in October. Son couldn't make it because of his work schedule but daughter in law, the baby, and her daughter came along with us.  Walking into the restaurant, a sob escaped me. Ten years later since we were so close and so many tragedies and heartaches since then, but seeing her lovely smile.......precious........ We had a lovely dinner and catch up time and then she and her hubby came over the next day for dinner when son could also be there.  They have some tough decisions to make over the next few months; I am sure they will make the best ones seeking God's guidance.

It was very neat to see her.......

and just maybe one day soon I'll be motivated to actually put down on paper the posts running through my head....

until then, enjoy the weekend!

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't

This is a post about Craigslist and listing free stuff on it. Before I begin, yes I know the dangers of Craigslist and I take a lot of precautions before I post anything on it for free.  I never let the people coming to pick up things inside the house, keep my cell phone handy when they are coming by, and I always let hubby know when someone is coming by, their phone number, name, etc., and text him afterwards.  There are certainly dangers with doing business on it, but there are certainly benefits too.

Sometimes it works to post things on there; sometimes it doesn't. Sometimes people say they will be there and never show up, etc.

Craigslist worked with getting rid of the old wood from a fence we had taken down and a new brick one constructed (that is a story for another day, a lesson in patience).  I advertised it at 6:30 a.m. on Craigslist, within a half an hour I had 5 people interested. I always start with first and then move my way down the list. The first guy said he would be there around 9:30 to pick up the wood. This just represents a fraction of the wood he took. I said in my post they had to take all and he took all. Took him and his friend about an hour to load it in their trailer.

This didn't work. These are two sleeping pads that you would put under your sleeping bag while camping. We bought them when we were going to be without a bed for a bit in a move and thought it might help not have the floor be so hard.  We barely used them, maybe 10 times top. We moved them a lot though and finally hubby was ready to part with them. 

I had 25 people interested in them when I posted them on Craigslist but I could never connect with the people low on the list and after two days I was done; deleted the post and eventually just donated them to Goodwill.

The moving boxes was a success.  We had LOTS OF moving boxes and packing paper.

I would say close to 50 boxes represented here. Hubby still has about 10 boxes to unpack.  

I bound the boxes together except for the big wardrobe and odd sizes.

We had 3 boxes of packing paper. I think the movers kill several trees when they pack your stuff.

We were storing things in the extra bedroom but now it was time to get that a bit more organized. 

I really wasn't going to work on the boxes today but felt like I should so I organized this and that, put some paper in the recycling bin and felt really compelled to put the pictures of the boxes on Craigslist.  Did the posting. 

About 15 minutes later I got an email saying that someone would come and pick them up around 11 a.m. He told me to delete my ad and he would take all the boxes and packing paper. I emailed back and said I wouldn't delete the post until he picked the stuff up but I wouldn't give it to anyone else. I gave him my name, address and phone number.

He showed up 30 minutes early. He had a hatchback car and the minute I saw it I thought "there's no way he is going to be able to get everything in there." 

I was right, he didn't get everything in there but he got all the boxes, some of packing paper but not the 3 boxes of packing paper we had.

We talked a bit as he worked. I told him when he first got there to take his time, I was going to be working inside. I had moved the boxes to the garage and had locked the door from the garage to the house. He was an older man. He said "I have lung cancer, I always have to take my time." I told him when he was done with what he wanted to take to knock on the door and I would close the garage. I also told him if he needed to come back for a 2nd trip I would save the stuff for him.

Ten minutes later he did knock on the door. I thought "oh great, he's done and now I'll still have to figure out how to get rid of a lot of stuff" only to be pleasantly surprised that he had gotten all the boxes in his car.  

I asked him when he was moving and he started telling his story.

His wife will retire the 3rd week in September. She is holding in there until then so she can get medical insurance benefits. 

They are moving back to South Florida where they lived for a long time and there are family and friends still there.

She is a multiple cancer survivor.  He will not be surviving this lung cancer he has.

His main goal is to get her moved and settled in with friends and family close by before he passes.  They have a little condo area they are looking to buy into where she won't have to do outside work and there will be other services available for her. 

He talked matter of factly without remorse or regret.

And so what did I do? I volunteered to take the 3 boxes of packing paper over to their house this weekend in my van (can't do it before because of my work schedule). We're still working out the details.  He might come back for them when his wife is off work the next 2 days or we'll try to unpack more and take the paper and the boxes over to him, about a 30 minute drive.

He was meant to get those boxes. I felt restless until I started working on them, though I was tired, not having slept well the night before.  

God was nudging me. I'm glad I followed through.

They will be in my prayers.

So sometimes Craigslist is beneficial; only if one makes sure to protect themselves in their involvement with it.

Saturday, April 30, 2016

Z'Tejas Southwestern Grill

A/Z - Sights and Sites of Arizona

Z -  Z'Tejas Southwestern Grill

And now we are at the end of A/Z.  What a wild month it has been.

I hope you have enjoyed visiting Arizona on my blog.

What better way to relax but with a delicious dinner at.......

Hubby had the peppercorn steak, choice of rib eye or fillet; hubby got fillet (delicious)

I had the Santa Fe chicken enchiladas (delicious)

They also serve cornbread as an appetizer. Proceeds from it go to different local charities. This month's was a Marine organization. It was only $3.00 for the cornbread and for a worthy cause, who could resist?

Every year when I finish the A/Z challenge I always "swear" "never again" but then I usually get the "bug" in me to do it again. We'll see if this is the last one I do or not, though over dinner tonight I did mention several ideas for letters for next year and hubby came up with a few ideas himself. I have to give him thanks, he is a big help with taking pictures, driving me here and there to get what I'm looking for, and helping me with those tough letters when I'm a bit stumped. 

I do thank all the visitors who came, but especially thank my faithful readers who read and commented daily. Thank you!!

I loved getting to know you more through questions you answered.

Now back to my regular posting schedule of about once a week. And boy do I have some stories to share.........

stay tuned!!!

Friday, April 29, 2016


A/Z  Theme - Sights and Sites of Arizona

Y - Yarnell

This is a very sad one, but when I came up with the theme for A/Z, I always knew "Y" would be for Yarnell to honor those that protect others, always putting their own lives in danger. 

On June 30, 2013, 19 members of the Granite Mountain Hotshots, part of the Prescott City Firefighters, lost their lives fighting a wildfire close to the city of Yarnell, trying to protect the city from the fire potentially destroying it.  There were 20 members of the crew; one was a lookout. He survived. Can you imagine the grief he must have felt? 

I was living in California at the time and I remember hearing about the tragedy on the news.  

It devastated the city of Prescott and surrounding areas.  Most people knew at least one of the hot shots, had gone to school with them, etc.  

I'm not sure exactly how it all happened, I've read stories.  I think this one is pretty comprehensive.

Yarnell is located between Prescott and Phoenix, but you take mountain (i.e. windy roads) to get there.  It is a pretty drive.

The temporary memorial.  There are plans for a bigger one down the line.

Words cannot describe seeing the display and seeing the loss of young lives.  The actual place where they lost their lives is on private land and not accessible to the public, which I think could be a good thing.

Nineteen fallen heroes.  

People to this day still have decals on their cars remembering the 19 and lots of houses in Prescott have a display honoring them with 19 flags.  One of the Wal-Marts there have a touching memorial to them with pictures of each of the hot shots that lost their lives. I always stopped for a moment to look at their pictures when we shopped there. 

But.....God does make beauty out of ashes, no matter how painful it can be and in the midst of tragedy and sadness, healing and love emerged......

A lady who was in New York City and deeply impacted by the events of 9/11/2001 as a World Trade Center survivor ended up in Prescott to heal.

A dad who lost his son in this tragic event of the Yarnell fire.

They met.

They fell in love.

The community helped them to heal.

They were married this past December 2015 at the courthouse in Prescott at the annual Christmas tree lighting.  

She said if she ever found her soul mate, she wanted to marry in public at a happy event like the tree lighting in front of a lot of people.  

I wish them many years of happiness.

God does make beautiful things........

Thursday, April 28, 2016


A/Z Theme - Sights and Sites of Arizona

X - Xanterra

We all know how challenging the letters Q, X, and Z can be to try to get something for the A/Z challenge.  I'm always on the lookout for those hard letters.  This again could be a bit of a stretch, but it still is within the theme.

Xanterra is the company that handles all the commerce for the Grand Canyon. If you buy a souvenir, it will have a sticker on it from Xanterra, etc.  When we first went to the Grand Canyon years ago, it was the Fred Harvey Company. So obviously over time it changed owners.

And then of course all their vehicles would be appropriately marked.

Think you would like working at a national park? 

I think I would, as a seasonal worker like some hire for. It would be fun to be in the area and when not working have a chance to explore the park perhaps more in depth than just a "quick" visit to them.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Wrigley Mansion

A/Z Theme - Sights and Sites of Arizona

W - Wrigley Mansion

Wrigley Mansion was the winter cottage for William Wrigley, Jr of the Wrigley gum fame.  He built the house for a present for his wife for their 50th anniversary in the late 1920's.  Sadly, he lived in the house only one year before he died.  The Wrigley Family also had several other houses scattered across the country; I remember seeing one of them from the outside on Catalina Island in the Southern California area.

This is what it looks like; this is a painting of it.  It has four bedrooms.  Mr. Wrigley wanted it to be basically a family home, so that's why he didn't make a lot of guest rooms in it.  Guests would be invited to stay at the Biltmore Hotel right below the mansion at his expense for a period of time.  The four bedrooms were used one for he, one for his wife, and then the other bedroom for his son and wife, and the 4th for their children.

This piano is only one of two that were made back in the 1920's.  This particular one was "ahead of its time" in that the brown box behind the piano contained songs on rolls that were able to be put into the piano so that they could have like a disk change with a remote control to change music without having to get up and physically put a new roll on.  The other piano is located in the Smithsonian in Washington, DC. 

This is the switchboard operator room.  Not a good picture of the walls, but the walls were made out of silver wrapping from the gum.  Years later, there is a touch of mint smell still in the room.

The story of the owners. After the Wrigley family sold it, I'm not sure about the Talley Industries story, but when Western Savings Bank owned it, they used it a lot for executives to come and visit.  I guess there was some type of scandal with the Western Savings Bank and they lost the house.  The city was going to take it over and there was talk about tearing it down, but George Hormel (of Dinty Moore Stew fame) bought it and renovated it.  

Staircase going upstairs.

There are 11 fireplaces in the mansion and each are of a different design.

Another example of one.

Nowadays they converted the veranda into a restaurant with both outside and inside eating. As part of the tour we took, we could sign up to have a lunch there, which we did.  Very delicious food and reasonably priced. 

The tour was free and you could walk around the house afterwards for as long as you wanted.  

When the house was built, it was 6 miles out of the heart of Phoenix. Now it is basically in the middle of the city.  It holds weddings and is a popular place to eat.

Definitely a place to visit if in the Phoenix area. My advice. Valet park.  We didn't and the walk up to it was challenging with lots of steps.

Are you a gum chewer?

I'm not really; just once in awhile.  I do get irritated though when I'm doing my medical transcription work and I have a doctor dictating and you can hear them chomping on their gum.