a bench with a view

a bench with a view

Thursday, August 25, 2016

its subtle, but its there

Myra might or might not agree with me, after all I've barely been in Phoenix for 5 months and she has lived here for a few years, but there is a subtle (albeit very subtle) change in the temperature over the past week.  Temps here were hovering around 100 not the 105-110 mark or higher.  Nights were in the low to mid 80s as opposed to high 80s low 90s.  There was even a refreshing cool breeze the other night that made sitting on the back patio a bit comfortable.

The pool water, previously around 93 degrees, has settled at just about 89-90 over the past few days.

There is forecast next week of highs back in the mid 100s and I'm sure there will be the day that is over 110 degrees before summer is over.  But there is a bit of relief, albeit bit, in the extreme or even hot days of summer.

Never did I think I would say "105 degrees isn't that bad out" (or really anything under 110 isn't that bad as long as there is not much humidity).

I heard on the news the other day that on that particular day it was 55 more days until temps would be in the mid 80s.  That has us about mid October.  Probably right in time for the snow birds to arrive.  

We moved down in March.  May it started getting a little hotter.  June and July were really hot months, I will not lie about that.  August had its ups and downs and as it fades away, the nights are coming quicker and the sunrise later in the morning, all helping a bit with the temps.  

I won't lie. The electric bills over the past few months I haven't been pleased about BUT I'm never happy about electric bills and compared to when I lived in Montana with the extreme cold, despite using the heater a lot, I was never comfortable, always cold for 8 months of the year (October til June).  Here with air conditioning (albeit higher than I want to pay bills) I'm comfortable.  

So now we go into the last quarter of this year (how did this year go by so fast?) And with it will be that gradual change of temperatures.

I'll look forward to the 80 degree days in February.

I promise I won't brag (too) much about them.

Monday, August 8, 2016

every week it comes

The weekend.

We look forward to it the minute we wake up on Monday morning.  "Can't wait til Friday." "Is it only Wednesday?" "Will Friday ever get here?"

And of course Friday gets here. Closing timing. No matter what it might be. Two days of bliss. No schedules, no alarm clocks to wake us up. Freedom (temporary that it might be).

We celebrate Friday. A dinner out. After all, it is Friday. A bottle of wine shared. Perhaps another glass or two down the way. After all, its Friday.

We drift to sleep, content we will awake up to Saturday. A day to ourselves. Sure, we will run errands. Sure we will have to do something but its what we choose to do. Not the mundane of a work schedule

Saturday 8 a.m. looks so promising. So much day ahead. Saturday 4 p.m. Where did the day go? But yet we still have the evening and there is always Sunday.

Saturdays here are a bit of errands, a little of fun, a movie, a museum, an adventure. Then later in the afternoon the kids come over. We watch while their parents work. We make a meal, we share a meal, we open a bottle of wine, we enjoy the comforts of the pool. We say goodbye, they text when they get home. we settle in for the night. Saturday is over.

But Sunday looms ahead.

We open our eyes to Sunday. A new day and we aren't having to clock in.

We repeat the process. Get up, eat, get ready, head out.

Church today. And we rejoice because we have found that church we want to connect with. We enjoy the sermon, the worship, the fellowship.

Sunday is starting to fade away, but there is still a lot of hours ahead.

Lunch out and then perhaps another errand and then we settle back home figuring out when we have to start cooking this and cooking that knowing they will all be over either now or a little bit later when.

We all converge. A meal put on the table. Simple sometimes, a bit more complicated other times.

We pray. We pass the dishes. We talk. We laugh. The end of the weekend looms ominously ahead but there is still time to do this and do that. A dip in the pool, a dessert shared. Always laughter. Always talk. Stretching out the last of the last of the last.

Until it is time to say "enough is enough is enough." We must get ourselves ready for Monday.

A new school year.

An hour commute.

A cleaning of house.

A workday (for more than one).

And so we gather up that, that needs to be gathered up.

We sort out. We categorize.

We toss that out and keep that for another day.

We kiss goodbye.

Text us when you get home.

We'll see you next week.

Call if you need anything.

I love you.

A hug, and then it is silent again.

We make sure the dishwasher is ready to run in the morning.

The towels and suits in the washer to freshen up in the new day.

We look at each other and say "thanks for a great weekend.."

And then we wonder where the time went.

And we trudge to bed because we know within hours the alarm will ring

and we'll start a new week ahead

but every week it will come

the weekend we covet.

Am I the only one that feels this way?

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

he is a trooper

On a "good" day hubby's commute to work is just over an hour and his commute at the end of the day can average about 65-70 minutes.  On the "best" of days he's done the trip in the morning at about 55 minutes.  The actual distance is only about 50 miles, but a good portion of that is on major highways where everyone and anyone is trying to get to work (Myra will know the roads well, Highway 17 South and 1-10 East).  

I know he's not the only one making such a commute, but I know any commute can be taxing especially dodging traffic here and there.  He uses the GPS on his phone and keeps track of traffic hold ups and takes alternative ways to get both to and from work.  Most of the time it pays off.

Tonight though.......was an anomaly I hope not soon repeated.

Arizona is in monsoon season.  Violent at times, I'll call them, storms filled with lightening and thunder and a dumping of rain.  Flash floods possible. Monsoon season starts middle of June and I think if I remember correctly goes to the end of September (help me with this Myra if I got that wrong).

I could see the dark clouds in the direction he would be traveling from. He texts when he leaves "on my way." (Conversely in the morning, he texts "I'm here" when he gets to work).  

When he text tonight, I told him to be careful because I could see the clouds and how ominous they looked.  He text back and said he had heard of flash flooding in Phoenix.

An hour later he called and reported Highway 17 was closed due to flooding. People were being diverted to the city streets, which was causing major traffic jams all over the city. The storm hit about 5 p.m. Rush hour traffic time.

Hubby eventually made it home.  Three hours after he left work.  Two hours after he normally would have made it home.  

He kept calling and telling me of his progress (or lack of progress).  

Thankfully the 10 o'clock news said Highway 17 is opened up again so hopefully, God willing, his commute in the morning should be somewhat normal.

Funny thing part of the city got over 2.5 inches of rain.  Us where we live?? Barely a shower.  Wet the deck a bit, but dry within minutes.

He and all that traveled the roads tonight were definitely troopers.  I do appreciate his efforts to provide for his family.

(Thanks for all the great comments on my last post; I truly appreciated your input, your insight, your thoughtful words shared. I learned so much and plan to change some things on how I interact with others in the days to come. I've said it before and I'll say it again and again, you guys are all the best.)

Just stay away from monsoons if you can.

Especially during rush hour traffic.

Saturday, July 23, 2016

What say you

Okay, I want your honest opinions about this. Don't hold back, I can take it.

I belong to a Facebook group for people who live in Prescott. Granted, I don't live in Prescott any more and one day I'll unjoin the group but when I lived there it was a great source to find restaurants, learn about things going on, etc. 

People can post on it. There are a few guidelines, like no pornography, have it related to Prescott, no selling of items, etc.

Tonight a woman posted a gorgeous Prescott sunset and wrote "God is good."

A guy commented "That's just the sky. God isn't real. Quit pushing your beliefs on people. Great picture though."

She replied back "Sorry I offended you." 

(Now before I go on, she does a lot of posting on Facebook, pictures, encouragement and if people are going through a rough time she'll say she's praying for them, but I have yet to see her really "shove down" her faith and beliefs on this page. She doesn't post Bible verses, she doesn't preach, she just encourages and prays for people.)

I was a bit spunky (I usually don't post much on the page, just read what others say) so I left a comment "Actually I don't think she is pushing her beliefs, she is just simply stating a fact she believes to be true which I believe to also be true. A person can scroll past if they don't agree, but she has the right to post what she wants and she has the right to believe what she chooses to believe, which in this case is the truth. God is good."

He responded back "You too are pushing your beliefs on others. You simply don't get it." 

And he was right, I didn't get it. She simply made a statement. People have made other statements about other religions and beliefs there, just as statements. Not pushing, not evangelizing, just stating.

My last reply was "no I guess I don't, but I believe I say hope you have a nice day tomorrow. I hope that's not pushing it too far 

To which he replied "You as well, thank you." 

To which I just hit like.

So, here's my thing. Was she pushing her beliefs? She made a simple statement 

God is good with a picture of a pretty sunset.

Why would someone take it offensively and think she was shoving her beliefs down his throat? 

You guys are all respectful of me with my beliefs and I try (I know I'm not 100% perfect) to be respectful of yours and other peoples beliefs. 

I'm just curious your thoughts. Think she was over the line for pushing her beliefs? Think he was just having a bad day? 

He right?

She right for posting something?

I'm clueless here. I don't get it.

Do you?

Thursday, July 14, 2016

A Book Review Times Three

There are a lot of bloggers out there that have written and published books. I have featured a few here before, but there are more that I follow that have also written and published books and I thought for "fun" I would try to read through at least one of their books this year and write a review of it on my blog.  So, if I follow your blog and you have written and published a book and I haven't gotten around to you, hold on tight and it will be sometime in the coming months.

Today I'm featuring 3 reviews from each uniquely written books and each unique bloggers.  

I'm reviewing them in the order I read them, not in the order I liked them, because frankly, I liked them all. 

The First One is The Appalachian Trail by Jack Darnell.  Jack writes a delightful blog called Shipslog and chronicles day to day things he and his wife, Sherry, might be doing or things he has opinions about, etc., and always leaves a few pictures of cars he likes at the bottom of his blog entry.

The Appalachian Trail is a fictional account of two retired people taking on hiking the Appalachian Trail. Based on the true story of Jack and Sherry's experience with hiking the trail after Sherry had suggested it in the twlight of their lives.  This fictional couple stopped about 300 miles short and the mileage Sherry and Jack actually did when they hiked the trail.  It was a very cute book, enjoyable story with a couple of twists, and while it didn't inspire me to want to hike the trail, it at least gave me a little insight into preparations needed to be made and how plans were made to hike the trail which is over 2100 miles.  Definitely a good read.

The second is A Change of Mind by Nick Wilford.  Nick blogs over at Scattergun Scribblings. I "met" him a few years back on the A/Z Challenge.  He lives over in Scotland and isn't doing too much blogging these days.  

A Change of Mind is a book of six stories.  A Change of Mind is the longest of the stories, A Hole in One the shortest of the stories.  All were very interesting to read and made you think long after you had completed reading the story.  A Change of Mind is about a young man that needs a bit more confidence and self esteem in himself and finds a way to make that happen. The ending was not what I was expecting, but again, it gave me some things to think about, would I want to go through what he did to try to change something about myself?  Again, another good read.

The third book is Murder Has a Price by Pat Hatt who writes a charming blog It's Rhyme Time where he writes about anything and everything and usually always in rhyme. There are two things I think about Pat. He dreams in rhyme and he never sleeps because he usually has his blog posts (he posts daily) written 6 months in advance and I believe if I'm not mistaken that he already has next year's A/Z written. He also plays a "game" on his blog with bloggers trying to be the first person to comment on his blog. It took me a bit to figure out the strategy (and I won't give it away) but I've been known to be first (but only on those pesky nights of insomnia (that's the only clue I'm giving).

His book, Murder Has a Price, was a very interesting plot.  Detective Hollerin is trying to figure out who the true murderer was of Tori and Kurt Price, Andrew Price having been framed for the murders.  There is a lot of action and violence in the book, lots of people seem to lose their lives, and Detective Hollerin seems to get out of situations you don't think he'll be able to. There were two twists in the book, the first one I caught minutes before it was displayed in the book, the other one completely caught me by surprise. Again, a very good read.

I would recommend each of these 3 books. Jack's book is lighthearted but adventurous. Nick's leaves you with things to ponder. Pat's is a murder mystery that stuns you at the end. 

Saturday, July 9, 2016

I just can't fathom

I just can't fathom the events from this past week in Louisiana, Minnesota, and now Dallas. What I can do is pray and that is what I will do.  Its a scary world out there.  You honestly don't know if when you kiss your spouse goodbye at the beginning of their day will you kiss them hello at the end of it. 

This little guy is biracial.  Where will he align in the days to come as he grows? Will he feel he has to align with one group or another?  Will he and others be bridges that bring back the gaps together? 

My DIL is worried about her brother and friends who are people of color. I'm worried about law enforcement people who put their lives in danger every day, regardless of their nationality or ethnicity. 

Can we meet in the middle? I know we can because we love each other and have a common goal and cause in being the best we can to help raise this little one in the days ahead.  

Maybe we should just be like Ducky. He doesn't care really what color anyone is. He just gladly floats around the water and enjoys a waterfall now and then. Worse thing that happens to him is when the pump goes off and he is stuck in a particular part of the pool until the wind stirs him a bit.

All I know is, I will pray, pray, pray, pray, and then more pray for the events that have transpired this week and for comfort and for healing and for peace that transcends understanding.

And then after that, I'll start praying again.

Join me if you are one to pray.

Treat others kindly as you would want to be treated.

And be careful out there. Advice I always gave son when he lived at home. Its a jungle out there.

Just be careful. I love you all even the yellow duck.

Thursday, June 30, 2016

the tour

Finally, pictures of the house.

Before I "show" them, a little history.  Most of my long time readers know that before we moved to Prescott in January 2015 we were living in hubby's parents' house that he inherited after their passing. We sold that house in October 2015. Reality is an average house in San Diego County is worth more than an average house in Phoenix, Arizona. We chose to buy 2 houses down in Phoenix, one that we paid cash for that son and his family are living in at the present time at a reduced rent for them to get ahead and save money and then eventually when hubby retires that will become a rental house (they have the option of staying there after then if they want to but then they'll pay whatever the fair market value is).  The other house we decided to put a significant amount of money down and have a really low house payment that we could manage during retirement. There was still a chunk of money leftover; we chose not to buy both for cash to have that cash "nest egg." 

Our intent for both houses was to buy starter type homes so that when we were ready to sell they would be attractive to those looking to own their own home. We carefully chose locations, looking at crime rates (lowest), amenities close by (schools, parks, stores, etc.) and marketability in the future. Now of course things can change but we were pretty comfortable with our final choices we made.

When we were living in hubby's parents' home that he eventually inherited, we were using their furniture. We ended up getting rid of 95% of it before we moved to Prescott and had just a few pieces of our stuff. Our intent was to buy new furniture down the line when we get settled where we were going to be. That is in the works but so far we are still living very simply with what we have furniture wise, though there is a timeline for kitchen table and chairs, living room furniture, bedroom furniture, etc.

We wanted for our house something manageable, again not huge. This house is roughly 1500 square feet, 3 bedrooms, 2 baths.  The other "rental" house is 1300 square feet, 3 bedrooms, 2 baths. The other house doesn't have a pool, but a nice size backyard. The two houses are roughly 3 miles apart.

And now, a tour.......

The living room (which I call the office since it is my work area). This is the view from the front door.

The view from the kitchen. My work computer is the one by the window, that's how I can observe (spy) on the neighbors.

The kitchen from the living room area. One day the card tables and chairs will be replaced.

The kitchen from the den area.

The pantry. Its messy but it does hold a lot. I need to organize it up a bit.

The den from the kitchen. The door on the left goes out to the laundry room.

The den from by the fireplace. The door on the left goes out to the garage.

The master bedroom. It really is a big room. Again, one day there will be different furniture in it.

Walk in closet in master bedroom.

Hubby's music room (or another bedroom). Its a work in progress. I don't go into it except to vacuum around things weekly.

Walk in closet in his music room. That's where he stores his guitars.

The third bedroom. Eventually it will be a guest room. Now it is "stick anything in there you don't know where else to put."

There are 2 bathrooms, actually 1.75 bathrooms. The master bath is just a shower, the other one is shower and bathtub.

And there you have it. Our abode.