Saturday, December 24, 2016

Well I did it again! One month to the day since my last post! I definitely need to get some discipline! 

Anyhoo... Lots of news and progress on the house. Hint: Jump ahead and look for the red date if you can't stand the suspense! 

Thursday 11/24

Quiet morning in Denver, Laurie hard at work cooking the turkeys. Joan flew in from Chicago at mid-day and Nancy and I picked her up at the airport. Then the whole group of family and friends gathered at our niece Emily’s house for dinner. Laurie had butterflied two turkeys and cooked them during the day. We had around 22 adults and a 7 kids under five for dinner and it was a delightful time. The food, everyone brought something, was great and good companionship among the whole group.

Friday 11/25

I woke up with a sore throat this AM! Bummer! It turned into a fairly good cold over the weekend. Nancy and Joan took the kids to MacDonald's play land this morning. I’m staying away because of my cold. I spent the morning balancing checkbooks and paying bills. Blackhawks game in the afternoon on TV here. Nancy and I took Joan to the airport in the afternoon.

Saturday 11/26

Quiet day for me. Others running some errands and shopping. Lawrence (our nephew), Emily, Greg and Miles went to Boulder for the University of Colorado football game in the evening. Blackhawks game tonight, but not on TV here. I listened to the first period on my app and then hit the sack.

Hawks finished their circus trip with 7 of the possible 14 points. Not great, but acceptable, especially since they played the last two games without Jonathon Toews.

Sunday 11/27

Connie and Laurie and their family off to Boulder first thing this morning to cut a Christmas tree on their property up in the mountains. Nancy and I stayed home, watched CBS Sunday Morning and then the F1 race that we recorded early this morning. Happy that Nico Rosburg won the championship. Thrilling finish to the race, but Nancy and I were not happy with the tactic that Hamilton used late in the race to try to push Nico back into the competition.

Monday 11/28

Quiet day for me, still feeling kinda punk from cold. Nancy went with Laurie to pick up kids from school.

The four of us went to Tag Burger Bar for dinner. One of our regular spots, Cherry Cricket, had a kitchen fire over the weekend and is closed indefinitely.

Tuesday 11/29

In spite of my cold I did go over to see the kids this afternoon as this is our last day here.

Laurie made another delicious dinner tonight, they have really spoiled us this trip.

Late flight tonight, leaving 9:55. Had a bit of a problem, Nancy had her phone with her when we went through security since she had her boarding pass on it, but it was gone when we got to the gate! She hustled back to security, but no luck finding it. She had to go back to the ticket counter and get a new boarding pass, but she was helped by a 20 minute delay in our plane coming in. Nancy called the Lost and Found at the airport and found out they have an on-line registry.

Uneventful flight, but the temp in Tucson when we arrived at 12:30 AM was the same as when we left Denver! Only a 20 minute drive home in the middle of the night.

Man was it cold in the trailer! Not expecting it to get so cold while we were gone I had not left the furnaces on!. The trailer warms up fast, but the memory foam topper on our bed was cold and hard as a rock!

Nancy managed to sleep, I ended up spend the night cat napping in my recliner.

Wednesday 11/30

Slept in this morning, too cold to walk in addition to my cold which has come back with a vengeance!

Nancy went on line and registered her lost phone at DIA. Sounds encouraging, they said they often don't show up for a couple of days. Hoping it got left in one of the bins and will show up in the next few days.

I tried to use the locate my phone app to see where her phone is, but it appears that location services are turned off on her phone, I did suspend the account so if someone took the phone they cannot use up our data.

Late morning we drove over to the house, progress really noticeable after ten days away! Outside has been painted; Support posts and beams for the porches on both sides have been stained; Danny installed the Mexican tile on the cross beam above the garage door and it looks great!; granite countertops and sinks have been installed; wood look tile for the master bedroom has arrived and Danny is starting installation there. Everything looks really good!

Thursday 12/1

I woke up sick as a dog this morning, enjoying being babied by my wonderful wife! There are advantages to being sick!

I basically did nothing all day today. Nancy did laundry. Received notice from SwissTrax that the RibTrax flooring for our garage has been shipped, should be here on Friday. Thirteen boxes weighing 37 lbs. apiece and one a little lighter! 19x17x17 boxes, so it may take two trips with the Jeep to get them to the self storage!

Blackhawks game tonight. 

Friday 12/2 to Monday 12/5

So the cold I picked up in Denver has segued into a sinus infection which has put me out of commission almost completely. Been feeling a bit up and down today, but moving in the right direction.

I did manage to get the SwissTrax flooring moved into the self storage locker. Took two trips with the Jeep and one with Nancy in the smart to get it done.

The house is coming along nicely. This morning we went by to check on the kitchen backsplash which looks very good, electrician is there installing lights and fixtures, yeah! Getting close!

Made a run to Costco today and had lunch at Aho Cafe, Nancy went to a yoga class here at the RV Park. I’m still under the weather but feeling better.

Tuesday 12/6 and Wednesday 12/7

No idea at all what we did these two days - sorry.

Thursday 12/8

Managed to get out for a walk in the desert this morning, I’m feeling a bit better - this has been a miserable two weeks! First a cold, then a sinus infection or whatever. One day better, the next miserable again! Really getting tired of this.

Talked to the lady from Ferguson Appliances this morning, she had a question on the ceiling fans we ordered. We’re putting upgraded fans in the great room and master, with the standard fans going into the guest room and den. She says appliances are scheduled to go in on Monday! Yeah!

Drove by the house on the way into town after lunch, starting to do grading work on driveway. 

No word from the Denver airport on Nancy’s phone, so afraid it is a goner. Nancy was just going to file an insurance claim, pay the deductible and get a replacement of the same iPhone 6. I convinced her to go by the Verizon store that we like at Speedway and  Campbell. Worked out well. We’re still going to pay for a new iPhone 7, but because the current one was with in a month of being paid off we can just roll into the new one with no change in our bill.

In addition to the new phone she also decided to spring for the special deal on an iPad Mini 2, same as the one I have. So a successful trip.

Lunch at Beyond Bread of course!

On the way home we stopped by the truck looking for the little ceramic Christmas tree we use in the trailer which we cannot find! Not there either! Thought we would have left it in the trailer last year, but not there!

Back home I started sneezing and my nose was running like crazy! Felt better most of the day and then I went through most of a box of tissues during the evening! Feels like I just got a cold! This is crazy!

Friday 12/9

Still feeling pretty punk this AM, we wanted to go to the 4th Ave Winter Street Fair this morning. I tried to get up and get going, but Nancy ended up going by herself. 

Saturday 12/10

Finally gave in this afternoon, just not getting better, so we went to a doc-in-a-box (NextCare Urgent Care). Made an on-line appointment, one available in 30 minutes, just enough time to get there. Really efficient and nice personnel. In to see a med tech within ten minutes and then a Doctor’s Assistant. She said a sinus infection is usually viral, but when they last this long it is probably bacterial, so she gave me a prescription for a antibiotic. Turns out my blood pressure is also quite low due to dehydration! A pretty common problem around here!

Nancy made a stop at the new Fry’s grocery on Valencia that opened yesterday, then a stop for my meds and home.

Sunday 12/11

Feeling a bit better this morning, slept better last night. Trying to get a lot of fluids in me today. 

Took it easy all day, Nancy did laundry. I loaded the bikes on the Jeep in the afternoon as we want to go with the bike group tomorrow if I can do it. Feeling better in the afternoon. Yeah! It’s about time!

Monday 12/12

Managed to get out with the bike group this morning. Beautiful day. We went to the trail near the YMCA where there is an option of heading off down the long bike trail or just a 3 mile loop around the lake. Nancy and I opted for the lake loop, I made it around twice then bailed. Nancy did another loop. 

We skipped the group lunch since we were done early. Stopped at Ajo Cafe for lunch, then Camping World to pick up some holding tank treatment, then back home for the afternoon.

Tuesday 12/13

Had appointment to have a recall done on the Wrangler. Jeep dealer is on far East side, a little over 20 miles away. A bit chilly in the open Wrangler early in the morning! Wore a hoody and gloves and had the heater on!

My Jeep Wave membership is great: free oil change and tire rotation and a free rental car when in for warranty work! So I dropped the Wrangler off. Never been to this dealer before and I was very pleased. Nice facility and personable service writers. Got there about 8:40 for 9 AM appointment, out the door with the free rental by 9:20!

We went by the house late in the morning - things moving fast! All appliances except the cook-top are in. Plumber working away!

We both had dentist appointments in the afternoon and then Nancy had a meeting with her Spanish group here at Desert Trails.

I went to the self storage place and finally found the little ceramic Christmas tree we had been looking for. Then I headed on into town anticipating the call that the Jeep was ready, which came about the time I went past the University. Picked uno the Jeep and was home in time for dinner.

Blackhawks beat the Ranger tonight in another really good game. These two are really equally matched - potential Stanley Cup final pairing?

Wednesday 12/14

Had an e-mail this morning from Paulette Herder, the chandelier we had purchased was damaged when the electrician went to install it! Bummer! Dug out the receipt, picked up the chandelier from the house and headed into town. 

We had bought the fixture from Lowes, simply because we did not like the standard one and could not find one we really liked. This one is pretty much a place holder until we find one that really turns our crank.

Fortunately Lowes had another chandelier on the shelf, so we did not have to mess around picking out another one. Easy exchange and on our way. Stopped at Penzy’s spices, then lunch at Beyond Bread (of course!). After lunch a stop at Trader Joe’s, then Albertson’s - our favorite frozen pizza on sale.

Another beautiful day so we took the Jeep, really a pleasant drive.  Back home mid-afternoon.

Thursday 12/15

By the time we got home yesterday the house was locked up, so we had to take the new chandelier over there first thing this morning. We took our hiking gear, went over and dropped off the chandelier, then took a hike up the side of Golden Gate Mountain. Only about a mile and a half, a lot more up and down than there is in the BLM land here at Desert Trails. Beautiful views from up on the hillside!

Here is a picture (not mine!) from the peak of Golden Gate Mountain:

If you look directly to the right of the unknown girl's elbow in the picture you can see the corner of our street and the empty lot where the house is being built. This picture is looking to the South, so you get an idea of the wilderness between us and the City of Tucson, which is to the left. We are only eight miles due west of the University, but it is about 18 miles by road!

Back home for a light breakfast, then headed into town. Stopped by the house again. Danny finishing the backsplash tile in the kitchen. Cooktop and exhaust hood are installed. Kitchen finished! Electrician is installing lights.

Went over to BK Tacos for lunch and then a quick stop at the grocery store. Took the open Jeep as it was another beautiful day. Hate to mention it to the folks suffering through the brutal cold up North, but the official high in Tucson today was 84 degrees - new record for the the date and close to a record for December!

Stopped  by the house again on the way home and the master bathroom lights are in! We have been worried that the four light fixtures the we ordered when the three light ones were discontinued would be too much - they are not! They look great! We are really happy with the way things are coming together!

Friday 12/16

Early morning walk in the desert, then Nancy ran into town for a  pedicure and I did some cleaning.

In the afternoon we drove up to the library in Oro Valley for a Master Gardeners talk on Growing Fruit Trees in Arizona. Another very interesting talk by the same lady that we have seen in two previous Master Gardener sessions.

Saturday 12/17

Stormy night last night, a lot of wind and then a fairly good rain. At about 4:30 I looked out the window and saw that the cover had blown off the Jeep - and it was raining hard. Put on a jacket and went out and dragged the cover back on in the rain.

By morning it had cleared off and by mid-morning the cover was dry so I took it off and let the Jeep start drying out. By Sunday it was completely dry, nice to have 10-15 percent humidity when you want something to dry.

Sunday 12/18

Nancy’s birthday. Took walk in the desert first thing and then watched the Sunday AM shows. Went to Mi Nidito for lunch, then stopped by Karen and Gary’s with a bottle of champagne and Nancy’s home made apple pie to celebrate her birthday.

Stopped in the park office and Andrea was really helpful and shuffled some reservations so we can stay in our space until January 15th! Hopefully that will give us enough breathing room!

Good Blackhawks game tonight.

Monday 12/19

Planned on ride with the bike group this morning, but the ride was cancelled as the leader and his wife are both ill and apparently the rest of the group decided it was a little chilly - in the 50’s.

We went over to the house about 10:30. Nobody working! Bummer. Took a short walk around the neighborhood and when we got back Paul the Painter was there starting the final interior painting! Yeah!

We took some measurement of the kitchen, looking at Wellness Mats for the kitchen. Standing on the hard tile floor while working in the kitchen is a no go.

Headed into town and had lunch at Beyond Bread, then stopped at the big Ace Hardware and Trader Joe’s, then back home. Nancy went to the yoga class here in the park.

Tuesday 12/20

Morning walk in the desert, I ran into Tucson Estates for a haircut at Pedro’s Barber shop, Nancy and a friend spent part of the morning reviewing Spanish. Ran by the house to look at some colors, but no one there at 1:30! Picked up mail. On Wednesday our next door neighbor told use the painters had been there later in the afternoon. 

Quiet afternoon and the Blackhawks lost tonight.

Wednesday 12/21

Morning walk and then swung by the house, a beehive of activity this morning! Painters, tile guys, electricians, guys installing there furnace and air conditioner. Carpeting in in guest room, outside light fixtures and electrical outlets in. Painters getting ready for outside finishing and working on final interior paint.

Nancy’s sister Joan came in from Chicago today for Christmas. Unfortunately the weather has turned cooler and drizzly. Joan says 65 is still a lot warmer than Chicago!

Lunch at Mi Nidito, then we went to Reid Park Zoo for a brief walk around. 

Back home the three of us had dinner in the trailer, left overs from lunch mostly.

Thursday 12/22

E-mail from Paulette Herder first thing this morning - WE HAVE A DATE! She says the walk through is scheduled for January 4th! YEAH!! 

It has been really frustrating being in limbo on the date the last couple of weeks. Now we can make firm plans, schedule the mover, let Andrea at the park know when she can have our site, schedule utilities, etc.

Joan came over to our place and we went over to the house so she could see the progress. Lots going on, ceiling fans are hung, almost as many guys working as yesterday.

Went to Beyond Bread for lunch, then up to Ferguson’s Appliance up North on Orange Grove Rd. to pick out the built-in ironing board that Nancy had specified. We all overlooked the fact that there were choices when we were spec’ing things out!

Stop at Trader Joe’s later in the afternoon and then back to our place. Left over sandwiches for dinner.

Friday 12/23

Nancy and Joan ran into town first thing in the morning and then they went over to the Desert Museum, they said it was crowded! I stayed home and started contacting utilities to get account transferred over. Spent close to an hour on the phone getting the new homeowners insurance policy set up (we have had a construction policy in place to cover liability issues since construction started).

I met Joan and Nancy at Coyote Pause for lunch, then they stopped by Karen’s house and I made a run to Samrose Market to fill a propane tank.

Dinner at our place again.

Saturday 12/24

First thing in the morning we met Joan at Beyond Bread on Speedway for breakfast. We wanted to be there when the Back Dough store opened so we could get pies for Christmas Eve dinner at Karen and Gary's house.

On the way home Nancy & Joan stopped at the store, I stopped at Summit Hut to get a new plastic clip for my computer bag.

Back home we had a light lunch, some champagne and opened our Christmas stockings.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

So I Did It Again!

Over a month between posts this time! Discipline Dennis! Discipline! (Hi Ruth Ann!)

Thursday 10/20

Out in the desert first thing, puttered around in the AM. Truck is ready for pick up so we drove over to Culver’s for lunch, stopped at our storage locker to pick up the larger Bose Soundtouch 20 to see if that will work without a “software upgrade.” I had gotten the smaller of the two, Soundtouch 10, out of storage a while back and it needs an upgrade that cannot be done on-line (!). Tried to figure out how to do it, but I guess I need to run it back to the Bose store. Want to check out the bigger one before I run all the way up to La Encantada.

Quick stop at Wal-Mart after lunch, picked up the truck and brought it back home. Good news! No sign of the pack rat! It’s been sitting at the Volvo dealer for two weeks, so looks good. Need to do some rewiring on the battery and then it can go back in storage with the solar powered lights in place.

Closed the truck up an put sticky traps in two locations where the pack rat had been.

The larger Bose Soundtouch 20 updated just fine once it was connected to WiFi.

Friday 10/21

Very windy during the  night, as had been forecast. Still quite breezy in the morning so we skipped our morning walk. No sign of the pack rat in the truck this morning! Good News. While it was still relatively cool I repaired all the wiring around the batteries, reinstalled the solar battery charger, and installed the solar powered lights. I was able to place one underneath above the batteries shining under the cab and one above the engine without actual fixing them in place. Just tucked them under hoses, no issue with heat with LEDs. Solar panel will sit on the deck next to the Battery Tender panel. Strong enough sunlight here that the panels can just lie flat. The starting problem was a good test of the Solar Battery Tender since we had to really crank the engine to get it started and there was plenty of juice, even after sitting for a month plus.

Late in the morning we drove over to the storage locker to put back the Bose Soundtouch 20. Drove by the house, nothing happening. The drywall guys finished up yesterday. The “Hock & trowel” plaster skim coat still needs to go on, followed by the painting, then Danny can start laying tile! Things should go pretty quickly after that!

Stopped at Tucson Estates Hardware, then had lunch at the Korner Cafe in Tucson Estates, nice little luncheon place.

Puttered around home in the afternoon, hockey game in the East, so it starts here at four PM!

Saturday 10/22

Up early, 45 minute drive to Sky Islands High School for the Tucson Cactus and Succulent Society novice workshop. Four excellent presentations. Learned a lot of stuff and came home with a half dozen cactus and succulent cuttings for planting, along with some seeds.

Learned about tools and procedures for propagating plants in one presentation, how to keep our landscape plants alive in a stressful environment in another, basics of the Sonoran Desert and an example of a class that the Society gives to school kids in the other two. Finished up after 1 PM, stopped at Barnes and Noble to get a couple of maps and Rick Steves travel books for Belgium and the Netherlands. The Beyond Bread for lunch and back home in time for the 4 PM hockey game.

Interesting tidbit about landscaping in Tucson, the issue is not the summer heat, it is the winter cold! Because overnight temps in the desert can get down below freezing at least once each winter, and sometimes into the teens, plants that will flourish in Phoenix will not survive here. They need to be cold tolerant as well as heat tolerant and survive on minimal water. Tough requirements!

Blackhawks came from behind to tie and win in overtime AND the Cubs won the League Championship - good night for Chicago sports! After the hockey game we watched the F1 qualifying that we recorded this morning.

Sunday 10/23

Nice morning for a walk, as many have been lately. Watched the CBS Sunday Morning, then the F1 race from Austin. Pretty much took it easy the rest of the day.

I have been procrastinating about straightening out my iTunes. Some time ago, probably related to my hard drive crash, all of my music (over 5,000 tracks!) vanished! Searching around in my backups I was able to recover a substantial portion, but there were some obvious gaps, including The Beatles Anthology! And guess what, iTunes has no record of my purchase! Teddy Wilson was gone! Sidney Bechet was gone! Plus others.

I knew that 99% of the missing music was on my iPod, but there is no way to select and move individual cuts from the iPod to the Mac Book! A search turned up iMazing. Turned out to be a great application, a bit pricy - $39.99 - but it really works slick! Able to plug in the iPod, put the music lists side by side and go through and find missing tracks. Three or four clicks to copy the selected track(s) from the iPod into the iTunes file on the Mac Book!

Spent a good part of the afternoon and evening updating the music.

Monday 10/24

After our morning walk I went back to working on my music. I want to get the Mac Book back where it belongs because once we are in our new house I will be able to play my music library through our new Bose speakers with either WiFi or Bluetooth.

Finished the music update in the afternoon, I now have 5,240 track in my iTunes! Almost 12 full days of music!

Late in the AM we ran into town for lunch at BK Tacos and a stop at the grocery store. By the time we got home it was starting to cloud over a bit and we got a pretty good light rain late in the afternoon. RV park is starting to fill up a bit. Almost every day another couple that we know comes in for the winter.

Tuesday 10/25

Nancy took a walk around the RV park this morning, I slept in a bit after a restless night.

Headed out a little before 9:30 in the morning. Nancy had an electrologist appointment, then we stopped at Summit Hut. I wanted to get a Tilley hat. I picked up a cheap knock-off in Alaska and have been happy with it, so now it’s time to bite the bullet and get a real one. They did not have the style I wanted in stock, so I will order it on-line now that I know the size I need.

Nancy wanted to look at hiking boots and it turned out to be a good time to do so. First she worked with a manufacturers rep who was working the store, then a really knowledgeable sales lady who spent a very long time diagnosing Nancy’s fit issues. She came up with a pair of boots that Nancy really likes and that fit her really well.

Lunch at Beyond Bread (naturally) then up to La Encantada. Nancy hit AJ’s grocery while I stopped at the Bose store to see if they could update my SoundTouch 10. Turns out you can do the update on line, just need to know the secret code of which buttons to push simultaneously  to put it in update mode!

Stopped at Pep Boys on the way home for a couple of things, including Mother’s Back to Black aerosol. Lots of adds on TV but I had not been able to find it. Got it this time. I wanted it for the honeycomb black plastic grille on the smart. Smooth plastic is easy to do with Meguire's vinyl and plastic cleaner, which I like for the satin finish it leaves. The Mother’s Back to Black looks pretty good on the smart, we’ll see how it stands up. The plastic and vinyl on the cars really suffers in the Arizona sun!

Cubs start the World Serious tonight. Fingers crossed!

Wednesday 10/26

What a gorgeous morning in the desert! I know I sound a bit like a broken record, but one of the best things about living here is walking out into pristine desert right outside our door. We’re looking forward to exploring the trails around the new house! It will be a bit hilly there.

Speaking of the house, we stopped by this morning and the interior painters are getting ready to do their thing and best of all - Danny the tile guy was there doing his prep work! He expects interior painting to be done by the end of the week and then he will start laying tile! Hooray! Things should go pretty quick once the floor tile is done.

Quick trip into town to do a bank deposit, stop at Albertson’s for frozen pizza and then back home. Back home Nancy relaxed while I spent part of the afternoon paying bills and getting the books up to date. Then I loaded a couple of new cd’s from the Alaska cruise into Nancy’s laptop (her’s has a cd drive, mine does not), then copying them to the iPod so I could copy them into my iTunes!

After some false starts I got the Bose SoundTouch 10 to play music from my iTunes.

Cubs lost game one last night, but they won game two tonight, so they go home with home field advantage!

Thursday 10/27

Really pleasant morning, but you could feel the heat in the the breeze this morning. Another record hot day, hit 97 today. Supposed to cool off next week.

We did some housecleaning this morning. Once I had some shade outside I took the spare tire off the Jeep and put on the CB radio antenna bracket. While I was doing that Nancy was putting Liquid Gold on a lot of the wood in the trailer.

The Tilley hat I ordered Tuesday evening arrived today - and it was the wrong one! Bummer! The order and the tags on the hat said TN10B, but the label in the hat said TM10! Checking with the actual Tilley company Nancy found that the TM10B replaced the TM10 and has a more flexible crown. Color is better as well. Called The Summit Hut and they were really responsive, will order a new one and I can just bring the wrong one in to exchange it. Easier than the hassle of shipping it back. Will take more than a week though.

Karen and Gary got back this afternoon and we had a nice visit. They are going to stay here at Desert Trails for a couple of days so they can clean the trailer. They don’t have a hook-up at their house that will run the AC in the trailer and it is HOT.

Friday 10/28

After our morning walk I decided it was time to take the truck back over to the storage lot. No sign of our pack rat in over three weeks. When I was pulling out Nancy asked me what the “puffing noise” was from the air system. When I got out I checked it and found out the new air governor was popping off constantly. SO we headed back over to Vanguard Truck Center and dropped the truck off.

Back home for lunch and in late afternoon we headed into town for the Tucson Roadrunner’s first home game. Got there about 5:15 and there was a line of cars waiting to get into the Convention Center parking lot for the 7:05 game!

There were spaces on the street though, so we grabbed one of them and went to El Minuto for dinner. Food was good and the service was really fast. We walked right in, but 15 minutes later there was a line at the door!

Got into the arena about an hour before game time. Same seats as we had for the scrimmage. The Roadrunners fell 3 goals behind in the first 8 minutes! Then they recovered to a tie and it was back and forth until the took the lead for good late in the third period and won 6-5! Good crowd, announced as a 6,200 sellout, but the paper said there were about 5,700 people there. Great turnout!

Only drawback to the whole evening was the earsplitting music that they played for the entire hour before the game and during every stoppage! Both of our ears were ringing! It was so uncomfortable we are wondering about going back!

Game also took three hours with a lot more stoppages than were necessary. Only took us about 20 minutes to get home though. Nice to be so close to downtown.

Nancy went to bed, but I watched the Blackhawks game that we recorded during the evening.

Saturday 10/29

Just as we were starting out on our walk this morning Gary came by with Margo and asked if we were going to the pancake breakfast at the Tucson Estates clubhouse. Oops, we forgot.

Quick showers and then we rode over to the clubhouse with Karen and Gary and had a good pancake breakfast. 

Vanguard called Friday afternoon so we after we got home from breakfast we went into town to pick up the truck. Turned out the lines to the air governor had been plumbed wrong. All fixed, no charge.

Took the truck back to the storage lot and set up the solar lights and the solar battery tender.

Early in the evening (the sun sets here at 6 PM this time of year, penalty for not going on daylight saving time!) we drove back over to the storage lot to make sure the lights were working. All good.

Sunday 10/30

Beautiful morning for a walk in the desert. After that it was a busy day of watching TV!

Sunday AM shows - CBS Sunday Morning and Fareed Zakaria - then the F1 race from Mexico, followed by a Blackhawks game! Whew!

Monday 10/31

Quick walk this morning as we had to get back and dressed in time for the first Monday morning meeting. Lots of regular residents back here already.

After the meeting Nancy spent some time visiting with Karen and doing her on-line Spanish lesson, then we headed into town. Decided to go to the Roadrunner’s game on Wednesday. I called Gary and asked if they wanted to go, he said yes so we stopped at the Convention Center and picked up four tickets for Wednesday night. Pretty good deal, $68 for four!

Stopped at Food Conspiracy and Nancy joined the Co-op. Then Beyond Bread for lunch and Trader Joe’s.

It clouded over a bit during the day, so when we got back home we started in on our cleaning project on the outside of the trailer. Cleaned a lot of the back part and it is cleaning up quite well. Spent a couple of hours at it with Nancy's help and then relaxed.

Tuesday 11/1

A bit cooler today after the hottest October ever in Tucson. After our morning walk Nancy did some laundry while I did nothing. Headed into town late in the morning. Lunch at BK Tacos and a stop at Walmart to pick up meds and a few groceries.

Back home I did some more cleaning on the outside of the trailer, going to be a long process I’m afraid.

Blackhawks game tonight, Hawks won and the Cubs won as well!

Wednesday 11/2

Nice walk in the desert this morning, not happy with the work I did on the trailer yesterday - looks pretty bad in the sunlight this morning! Did not get all of the old sealer off and full on hairline scratches! Hopefully that is just in the sealer that remains, we’ll see.

Drove over to the house, but no one working so we could not get inside. Drove around the neighborhood again looking at walls and landscaping, our next big decisions after the window treatments are selected. Checked on the truck - no sign of any critters! Yeah! Stopped at the hardware and then back home.

Late in the afternoon we drove over to Karen and Gary’s and the four of us went into town for the Roadrunners game. When I bought the tickets we did not realize that tonight is also game seven of the World Serious. Oh well, neither of us are big baseball fans, but I think Nancy would have enjoyed watching the game.

We had dinner at El Minuto again and then the hockey game. Good game once again, although the Roadrunners lost in overtime. Pretty sparse crowd, about what we expected for a weeknight and competing with game seven of the World Series. Kept track of the Cubs game on our phones all the way along. The Cubs were in the bottom of the tenth when the hockey game ended. It was pretty funny seeing all the people coming out of the game looking at their phones. Cubs won by the time we got to the car!

On the way back home from Karen and Gary's it started to rain! We were driving the Jeep, so no windows, just the bikini top. Actually stayed pretty dry, though good thing it is not far to get back home. Covered the seats with towels when we got home, could not put the cover on as the Jeep was already wet. Stayed pretty dry even though there was fairly heavy rain overnight.

Thursday 11/3

Beautiful cool morning, low 50’s the last couple mornings. Yesterday was first day since we’ve been back in Tucson that we did not run the AC in the trailer. Dried off both of the cars before we took our walk.

Headed over to the house. Danny the tile guy there doing his layout for the tile. He is a real artist. He is drawing lines on the concrete to guide how he sets the tile. He lays out the whole house before he starts! His assistant goes along and sprays clear lacquer on the lines so they don’t get scrubbed off!

The inside looks really nice with the plaster and painting all done, shelves in the closets as well. We are really happy with the way it is coming together. Even the walls in the garage are finished just like the interior.

Stopped by Gary and Karen’s to give Gary a hand moving their patio furniture out of the garage and around to the back patio. There was a contractor finishing up a wall and patio on the house across the street from them, so I went and talked to him about our wall. He had about a half hour to go on this job today, so we did another check on the truck, then drove around the neighborhood again getting ideas. The more we think about our wall, we are leaning toward a fairly high one - 4 to 5 feet - to give some privacy in our great room. Don’t have to worry about restricting our view as it is all above the houses across the street anyway.

Carlos Costanza followed us the to house and took a quick measurement for the wall. He will work up an estimate and let us know.

Back home for a late lunch and relaxed. Sprinkling rain off and on this afternoon, but we did get home in time to get the Jeep covered up.

Blackhawks won again tonight and Corey Crawford posted his second shut-out in three games!

Friday 11/4

A bit chilly this morning, 51 degrees. Guess we are getting acclimated to Tucson if we think this is ‘chilly’, right?

Spent the morning watching the Cubs celebration parade from Chicago, thanks to WGN America for broadcasting it! We were very disappointed when they quit carrying the WGN news at Noon and Nine, but at least they carried this.

In the afternoon we went over to Landscape Cacti, which is just a mile or so away on Bopp Rd. The man who runs it was a speaker at the Tucson Cactus and Succulent Society novice class a couple of weeks ago. He sells mostly non-native flowering cacti, but they have all been raised right here in the outdoors and are cold resistant to single digits.

Had a really interesting conversation with him and he is of the opinion that we can plant a lot of unusual flowering varieties without any water issues when we are away in the summer. He had a lot of really interesting plants and gave us a ton of information. Looks like we may be purchasing most of our cactus and plants from him, especially since they were grown right close to where we want to plant. 

Saturday 11/5

Up early and off to the University of Arizona/Pima County Cooperative Extension for a Smartscape Tucson Gardening Essentials class. Smartscape is a program supported by Tucson Water in conjunction with the UA Cooperative Extension. 

A really good three hour class presented by a master gardener on the gardening basics in the Sonoran Desert. Really interesting and we picked up a lot of good tips and info that will really help with our landscape planning and installation.

Since we were right there on Campbell Ave we had to stop at Beyond Bread after the class! A stop at the grocery store and we went by the house to stop at a neighbor’s house. Clyde, our neighbor across the street, is the block captain and he needed our signature so he could include our listing in the association phone listing. Seriously … they need a signature to put your phone number on the list!

To our surprise Danny and his crew were there laying tile! The great room was more than half done! Looks really good! Spent a while looking at out yard getting some ideas about what we want to do there. Kind of overwhelming at this point, but it is starting to come together in our minds anyway. 

Back home in time for A Prairie Home Companion and the Blackhawks game.

 Sunday 11/6

The weather really took a nice turn the first of November. We have not even had the AC on for three or four days. Highs around 80 and low 50’s at night. Good sleeping weather and great for our morning walks.

Watch the Sun AM shows, and I loaded the bikes on the Jeep. After lunch we went over to the house and unloaded the bikes for a nice leisurely ride through the neighborhood. In addition to looking at walls and landscaping we are starting to think about water retention. Stopped to look at a house with rain chains (little buckets that break up the water coming off the roof scuppers - like these) The houses here mostly have flat roofs, which ours has, with tile pipes (scuppers) that direct water out away from the foundation. We have two scuppers that will dump right out where we will be building a front patio, so we need the rain chain to direct water into a couple of decorative rain barrels.

Anyway, a long winded way to say we met a nice couple when we stopped to look at their rain system. Mick showed us all about their new water retention system. The also showed us their house with was really nice with fantastic views into the desert on three sides.

After our ride we spent some time talking with our new next door neighbors who just got back in town last week. Looked at some of their landscaping as well. Danny’s crew still working on the tile today (Sunday!). Kitchen cabinet are supposed to come in tomorrow and we are meeting Paulette on Tuesday to talk about window treatments.

Back home we relaxed and the Blackhawks won again!
Monday 11/7

Monday morning meeting in the park and then off with the bike group. Good to see old friends again, still a bit of a small group. We skipped lunch at the brew pub, partly because we finished early, did close to nine miles around the lake/preserve by the YMCA. A beautiful day in the 70’s.

Back home for an hour or so then to a yoga class here at the park and home for the evening. Signed up for another Master Gardeners/Extension service class, a three parter starting in late January on designing your own landscape! Perfect timing for us!

Tuesday 11/8

Quite a breeze this morning and then it got really windy later in the day. Nancy did laundry and I vacuumed in the AM. Met Paulette at the house at Noon to talk about window treatments and a couple of other items. Kitchen, bath and laundry room cabinets going in today! Look good! Danny is working on the tile, doing showers today.

Drove through Star Ridge to look at a house painted our color and check out stain on outside wood which we had not picked out. Looked good, so we will go with that.

Zipped  by BK Tacos for lunch, then a stop at Walmart Neighborhood Market for groceries. We both got flu shots while we were there.

Back home found out our neighbor had a pack rat in his Wrangler! Check under the hood on ours and can’t really tell if those marks on the engine cover are water spots or little footprints! We did drive home in the rain the other night, so could be water spots.  Put a  light under the hood just in case!

Wednesday 11/9

Don’t blame me! I’m with her!

Nancy went to bed, but I stayed up until the bitter end last night, 2 AM MST. What a depressing night. Brian Williams looked like someone had shot his dog! Well, it is what it is. I’m afraid the folks who put him there will be the ones who suffer the most over the next four years, but I wish him the best, for the sake of all of us. Maybe he’ll fool us and do something reasonable and successful, but it’s hard for the tiger to change it’s stripes!

That said, it was really windy all afternoon yesterday and through the night, gusts up around 30 MPH. The old trailer was rocking and rolling all night. Way to much dust and pollen in the air this morning for a walk, so we vegged a bit.

After lunch we ran into the shopping center to GNC and Bed Bath and Beyond, then a stop at the big Walmart - THEY HAVE CHRISTMAS DECORATIONS OUT ALREADY! What’s that about?! Seriously, are all the ladies that work there are going to wear that stupid Christmas headgear for the next 6-1/2 weeks?!

Went back by the house to meet John Herder, our builder to discuss adding a wall and patio outside the sliders in the great room. Things are really coming together! Tile about halfway done and the guys are installing the kitchen cabinets, which really look good. John says final Dryvit color coat should go on the outside next week.

He also said he should be able to give us a pretty firm completion date by next week, but he is confident he will have us in before Christmas! Yeah!!

Back home I got out the second set of solar LED lights like the ones I have in the truck for chasing critters. This set is for the trailer when it goes into the storage lot at the end of the year.

Last night I put my trouble light under the hood of the Jeep, but that is a bit clumsy and I don’t want to leave it on while we are gone at Thanksgiving. Mounted the little solar panel on the trailer awning arm right next to the Jeep so I can just tuck the lights under the hood when I park the Jeep.

I’m pretty sure what I saw under the hood was water drops from driving home in the rain last week, but no harm in putting a light under there. Doesn’t cost anything and easy to do so why not.

Blackhawks play St Louis tonight. Will be more fun than watching those crummy election results last night!

Thursday 11/10

Still quite breezy this morning. On the way into town to meet Pauline Herder it was really windy. We took the Jeep, thinking the wind had died down! Nancy is a real trooper putting up with me and the open Jeep!

Off early to Bud’s Drapery Den with Paulette to look at window treatments. Decided on panel track blinds for the sliding glass doors in the great room; a tricky opening roller shade   for the kitchen door; regular roller shades for the other two windows in the great room; and Roman stackable, top down/bottom up shades for the guest room, den, and master bedroom.

Then we had to pick fabrics for all of those!! Whole procedure took close to two hours.

After the window treatments we stopped at Summit Hut to pick up my new Tiley hat. Turns out the new one shipped from Tiley is identical to the one I received two weeks ago! Another phone call to Tiley for clarification and it turns out the one we had in the first place was the correct model! Oh well, at least I’ve got the right one!

Stopped at a large Ace Hardware for a few items. Beyond Bread for lunch, of course, a stop at Trader Joe’s - the Christmas Jo-Jo’s with chocolate coating and peppermint are in!! Nancy stocked up them! 

Stopped by the house, shower tiling is coming together pretty good. We measured the great room sliding doors and played around with various widths of the panel track blinds to see how much of the window and the wall the stacked blinds would cover and settled on an good compromise that covers a minimum of glass without covering to much of the wall on either side.

Then we took one of the LED light bars that we had bought for the master bath and figured out exactly where they need to be placed for the best lighting and the best look.

Stopped and checked the truck, no sign of any critters! Back home and relaxed, pretty full day.

Friday 11/11

Nancy did laundry this morning, then we headed into town to Costco. Still fairly windy, so we drove the smart instead of the Jeep. Lunch at Culver’s, then home mid-afternoon after a stop at Tucson Estates Hardware.

I made a quick run down to the storage locker to put the bathroom lights back and the three bottles of Laphroig that Nancy picked up at Costco! 

Blackhawks game tonight.

Saturday 11/12

Watched F1 qualifying after our walk and breakfast. Nice this morning with a light breeze, but then the wind came back up later in the morning. We do not recall a time in the last eight winters when we have had such a string of windy days. The occasional windy day, but not four or five in a row.

Late in the morning we went over to the house to look at the placement of the master bath fixture we had bought. Not too happy with our choice for towel bars, think we will change them.

Drove through Starr Ridge looking at walls this time. Trying to decide now if we want a stucco wall (our original plan) or a slump block wall, which might add some interest to the front of the house and be lower maintenance down the road. Guys working on the kitchen tile now that the cabinets are all in.

Sunday 11/13

The desert is really beautiful on these cool mornings, lower 50’s and bright sunshine.
F1 race this morning, pretty strange race with heavy rain all the way through. Nice sendoff for Massa though and an amazing drive through the field in the rain by Max Verstapen. 

After the race I washed the outside of the trailer and then we spent a quiet day at home. 

Blackhawks won against league leading Montreal tonight! Good game.

Monday 11/14

Decided to take our regular walk in the desert this morning and skip the Monday morning meeting. 

Bike group went to the Rialto River Park today, nice 10 mile ride on a beautiful day in the mid-70’s and then lunch with the group at Sweet Tomatoes.

Stop at Albertson’s for groceries on the way home, drove by the house to pick up the mail. Tile guys still working away, but nothing going on the outside - supposed to be doing the Dryvit color coat this week. 

Back home we found a big package from Patti Rambo, our real estate agent in Geneva. Two really nice, framed Southwest pictures! Our first pieces of Southwest art.

Nancy headed off to yoga here at the park while I relaxed.

Tuesday 11/15

Regular morning walk. After breakfast we ran down to the storage locker to drop off the new pictures and some other stuff, a stop at Tucson Estates Hardware then back home.

After lunch Nancy did some shopping while I put Dri Wash ’n Guard on one side of the trailer.

Wednesday 11/16

Morning walk at the crack of dawn since Nancy had an appointment for an eye exam at 10 AM. After a stop at Costco we went to Mi Nidito for lunch. We had been looking at this place, good reviews and always packed when we drive by. Got there at 11:15 for lunch and it was already crowded. Really good food!

Stopped at Food Conspiracy and then Lowes to return towel holders we had bought for the new master bath. Still trying to figure out what we are going to do there, may wait until we’re actually in the house.

Stopped by the house, Danny was putting the driftwood tile in the den - looks great! Cabinets look good as well.

Thursday 11/17

Regular morning walk, then we went by the house to meet Alex, John Herder’s trouble shooter, to talk about an issue with the cabinets. 

Back home Nancy did laundry. A bit cloudy this afternoon so once we got back home I washed and waxed the smart and then put Dri Wash n’ Guard on the rear end cap of trailer. Hard to get to that since the trailer is pointing North so the back is in the sun all the time.

Friday 11/18

Low forties this morning! First night we turned off the vent fan in the bedroom! Put the furnace on when we got up as well! Still did our usual walk just after dawn anyway.

I stopped by Ajo Kinney self storage and picked up the house fixtures we had bought ourselves and dropped them of to Alex at the Herder office in Starr Ridge.

Took a ride by the house and Paulette was there with the curtain guy doing window measurements. He recommended a little bit wider panel drape on the great room sliders.

We drove up to the library on Oro Valley for a Master Gardeners talk, “Gardening as we Age”!!! On the way we stopped at 4 Seasons for lunch. We had been meaning to try it, but it is in an inconvenient spot, we usually go by there on our way home from somewhere and it’s hard to get there from the Westbound side of the divided street.

Interesting class with some good tips. We primarily went due to the instructor, the same lady who did the Gardening in Tucson class a couple of weeks ago. She is a good speaker and full of interesting tips.

Only took 55 minutes to get home from way up in Oro Valley, not bad for a Friday afternoon!

Saturday 11/19

After our walk we had cinnamon rolls for breakfast and then finished packing and tidying up for the trip to Denver. Left home about 2 PM and arrived in Denver at 6 PM. Cold with snow on the ground!

Emily was at Connie’s house with Hillary and Oliver when we arrived. The twins are a real pair, total chaos when they are around!

Nice dinner with Connie and Laurie after the kids left.

Sunday 11/20
Quiet day, kids stopped by for a couple of hours around mid-day. Nancy and Connie did some shopping for Thanksgiving fixings.

Monday 11/21

Happy birthday to my little brother Tim, he would have been 67 today! Hard to believe he has been gone for 34 years! Miss him.

Tuesday 11/22 

We went over to the kid's school for a Grandparents and close friend's open house. They have about 14 kids in two groups. Miles is in the upstairs group and the twins in the younger group. Quite an experience!

Nancy spent the afternoon cooking pies for Thanksgiving. Our niece Emily is expecting 22 adults and 6 or 7 kids for dinner! Should be interesting!

Received a discouraging e-mail from Paulette Herder today. For some unexplained reason the target "move-in" date is now January 4th! Bummer! Oh well, we want it done right so no point in hurrying the job! Hoping John is just hedging his bets and he will still have us in by Christmas. We need 10 days advance notice to get the furniture here from Chicago.

Wednesday 11/23

Another e-mail from Paulette last night with the quote for the window treatments - big gulp! But hey, it's only one time! Hope we like them all!

Nancy is cooking more pies this morning and I am updating the blog! Said Mr. Obvious!

I'll try to get back on a better posting schedule!