Thursday, November 30, 2006

Christmas in Arizona

It doesn't look, feel, or smell like Christmas! We go to the mall and other stores where Christmas decorations are everywhere.

We drive around with the air-conditioner running looking at Christmas decorations, and it's 75-80 degrees and sunny. This is new to us.

We like how they put Christmas lights around the palm trees, bushes, and cacti. I'm sorry but the huge blow-up snowman does look a little out of place on the brown grass and gravel. In spite of all this, you can't help but get into the spirit of Christmas.

We went to Mesa Temple and enjoyed the festivities there. Next year we want to go to the Zoo. I hear it is spectacular! We also want to go with George and Nancy, to a church that has the Nativity in real life! A camel can walk right up to you. I've only heard about it, so next year, I will have pictures and more to write about.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Our first day of church

We missed the first two weeks of church here. First week was two days after we moved here and we were not only exhausted but we were both sick with a sinus infection. Mike left Utah with it and shared it with me the day after we arrived.

The second week the infection was still holding on and I didn't want to share it with the whole ward.

It was really nice going and meeting new people. At least three had either lived in Utah or had Utah connections. Two others were from Washington state.

The ward is large, which is different than our ward in Clinton. They divided our ward seven years ago and it still looks like a branch.

We were happy about several things. One: It's a very pretty new building. Second: We have a good organist which wasn't the case in Utah. Third: It didn't freeze me out. I am cold in church in Utah summer and winter. They don't keep it warm enough in the winter and over air-condition in the summer.

Actually, I freeze in this church too. I am cold under 80 degrees.

In Clinton I literally wore sweatpants under my long skirt, and layered sweaters, then a coat with a fur collar that I pulled over my face. It was so cold that I had earaches every week.

I know it's just me though, because some people were fanning themselves. I have post-polio and have been cold since I had polio at age 8.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

We love the weather here

So far it is just beautiful here.

I know it will get cooler but for now it's 75-89 degrees.

We love the temperature in the morning, the afternoon, and at night. It's amazing!

We keep the windows and doors open all day.

We especially love the Superstition mountains east of our home. We love our Utah mountains and feel lucky to live in two places that have beautiful mountains.

Both turn pink when the sun sets.

We haven't had time to go to the pool yet, or take advantage of things to do in the clubhouse. We are anxious to play pool, and work out in the weight room. But for now we're too busy getting settled in. It seems like we go to WalMart everyday. There's always something we need.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

First meal out after moving

We are so lucky to be blessed with such fun friends. We, George and Nancy, my brother John and Sherri, and a two young men we hired to empty our Budget truck went to a Mexican restaurant here in Apache Junction that George introduced us to. "Los Gringos Locos." I love that name! You crazy lost white people!

After lunch we put paint rollers in the hands of our Mexican helpers and while we were moving our things from place to place they painted the inside of the house.

They didn't have time to cut in the corners, and I wouldn't let them do the kitchen or bathrooms. I didn't want any paint on the cabinets or floor. They were worried about the carpet, but when I made a wave with my hand and said throw away, they understood, and went to work. It takes a brave-unbalanced person to paint her way out of one house and into the next.

Many years ago in the sixties my friend Judy Fisher named me, "Paint Can Annie." Years later after she had moved to another state and I had moved 7 miles away to another city she and her husband stopped by for an unannounced visit. As soon as I opened the door she turned to her husband Jim and said, "see I told you, she always has a paint brush in her hand." It was true. I did.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

First night in Arizona

Our new park named Rancho Mirage is a gated community and the gates close at 6:00 PM.

We had of course, just our luck, packed the remote, but luckily pulled through the gate at 5:58.

We left the truck in front of the home, inspected the home trying to remember what it looked like, and drove 15 miles west, back the same direction we had come from to spend the night with my brother John and wife Sherri.

Sherri had a wonderful stir-fry dinner ready for us, and after another grueling 9 hour drive from Vegas the good meal and good night sleep was wonderful!

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Arizona Trip-or was it the trip from Hell!!

It was 3 pm when we pulled out of our driveway. A late start to begin with coupled with construction, afternoon traffic, and to make it worse Mike was already exhausted and had recently caught a sinus infection.

The 24’ Budget truck and red Prism I drove were both jammed packed.

We’ve worked especially hard the last several days moving belongings to a storage unit in Riverdale.

We purchased a condo in Ogden last summer to live in when we return in April. Mike and Susan are the owners and we'll buy it from them when things get settled.

I keep joking that we have three homes don’t actually own any of them. That's a bit disconcerting!

When we sell the Clinton home we will pay cash for the Arizona home and put a good down payment on the condo, leaving us with a small loan.

We’ve also worked our tails off cleaning, painting, and getting ready to leave.

I didn’t expect to find anything except empty cabinets when I starting opening doors, but whoops, found water coming from a leak under the kitchen sink.

Mike had done some last minute plumbing and the disposal hadn’t sealed correctly. Thank heavens, I'd left a bucket in the garage.

Once again we had to rely on Carolyn our neighbor to help us. She contacted Jack our neighbor and friend who took care of swiftly.

It was very sad saying our last goodbyes to our friends and neighbors.

We’d already said our goodbye’s to the family the night before at Anna’s 6th. birthday party. That was especially difficult.

It was hard to believe but we were really on our way. We needed to make one last stop in Bountiful before leaving the state to pick up our new dining room set.

The previous owners of the dinning set moved it to Dave and Chris’s home. We were looking forward to seeing Lydia since we wouldn’t see her for several months.

We were still waving our goodbyes when Chris called to see where we were. They needed to leave to take Lydia to the doctor. We picked up our furniture and were very disappointed to have missed them.

The truck was so full that Mike only averaged 45 miles an hour. By the time we got to Mesquite that evening he couldn't stand up straight.

As I said earlier he was sick. Now he really looked sick! I should have insisted that we just get a motel room there. However, We only had one more hour to go and I know he would have insisted we press on. That hour was the reason this post is named “Trip from Hell.”

Mike was not only sick but also extremely tired. He kept nodding off and drifting off the road.

Each time he did that I turned on my bright headlights and clicked them until he got back in his lane. I did that all the way there!

If any of you have seen the movie “Cars” you will remember Mack nodding off and drifting off the road. Mike was Mack. By the way did Cars remind you of the movie Doc Halliday? It sure did me.

I prayed all the way from Mesquite to Las Vegas and was so grateful when we finally arrived at Dee Anna’s house. It was now 1:00 in the morning Utah time. What should have been a 6-hour trip had taken us 10 grueling hours.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006


Every baby born in the USA is tested for PKU.

It was very sad when we were told that our precious little Lydia has this disorder.

Chris and David were devastated at first but with education we have all settled down. Chris had to explain it to Mike and me because though I remember my babies being tested for it. Too many years have past for me to recall what it is.

A person with PKU cannot digest protein which includes meat, milk, bean, legumes, eggs, even wheat has too much protein. I was surprised that she will be able to nurse since milk has protein. I learned through all this that mother's milk is actually low in protein.

Lydia takes a supplemental drink that replaces milk and includes protein, vitamins, minerals, etc., from the plant family.

It took a while for her to start to gain weight, but now after two months they tell us she's filling out and even has chunky little thighs. This is wonderful news because when we left Utah she has actually lost some of her birth weight.

This news was very sad to me because I can't tolerate many foods and live on a very restrictive diet.

Namely, any product containing wheat, milk, corn, soy, chocolate, caffeine, and sugars. People ask me what I eat. Plenty, I tell them. In fact, I eat like a queen. What's left? The plant family!

Vegetables, fruit, seeds, beans, legumes, sprouts, rice, and three other grains I learned I can tolerate, teff, buckwheat, quinea.

Buckwheat is not a wheat at all. Buckwheat, teff and quinea, all come from seeds. The diet is restrictive, but I'm left with the foods I love the most.

However, I will say that I miss the other foods terribly!

This is why I feel so bad for Lydia. It will be difficult at birthday parties when she can't have ice cream and cake. Imagine being a teenager and not being able to have pizza, hamburgers, shakes, and many other normal foods people eat.

I was lucky to be able to eat anything I wanted for the first 35 years of my life.

Bless her heart!

Friday, November 03, 2006

New Baby Lydia

Baby Lydia, born October 21, 2006

Baby Lydia was long overdue. Not the baby’s arrival since she came a week early, but rather, long overdue since we have waited a very long time for this occasion.

The anticipation has been exciting and we are finally celebrating the arrival of our own beautiful granddaughter Lydia Christine who arrived the last week of October.

She will be loved and properly spoiled by her parents David and Chris, brother’s Tyler and Travis, and sister Hannah. Plus, too many aunts, uncles, and cousins to mention by name.

We are very excited to start our new (winter) life in Arizona except for one thing - we will
miss our children and grandchildren terribly!

We planned on moving in October, but decided to wait until November because we were expecting a new granddaughter.

I was hoping and even prayed that she might come a little early so we could see her several times before we left.

My prayer was answered and little Lydia came a week early. She's wonderful of course! She's having a little trouble learning to nurse though. That innate skill dosen't come as natural for either the mother or the baby as one would think it should.

She has a small amount of blonde hair like both parents. Actually, Chris has lots of blonde hair, and Lydia has more than her daddy. That's at least true for the top of the head.

She has blue eyes and so far is quite small. It'll be fun watching Lydia grow.

Our new baby Lydia with Grandma, Mom, Dad, Sherri, Eylse and Lisa.