Monday, December 28, 2009


Do you have a neighbor that is close to the family and requires a gift a little bigger than the normal "Neighbor Gift"? It makes life just a little more stressful! Should we get him a beer stein? Some Backwoods cigars? We have another friend from our Air Force days that makes homemade Moonshine! Mind you, we've never tasted it---but it smells like fermented apples!

I'm sure he'll end up with the usual dinner and a movie gift card...but I always try to be just a little more creative than that!

Husband Woes

Speaking of insurance...I would like to take this opportunity to send my husband a HUGE "I told you so!!!!" I'm not sure I've gotten it out of my system...but it will have to do! I just wrote about working on getting an insurance quote and something I didn't want to do--but that the husband wanted to do...has finally come back to bite us in the butt! Last year, there were several siding and roofing companies coming around giving free quotes on hail damage on our house. I was opposed to all of it. Our house was fine! No one comes over to see it--and unless the roof is caving in on me....I don't need a new one. But not my husband. They got him...hook, line, sinker! Last fall we had all of our siding replaced...and they've never come back to re-hang my shutters!! But I digress!!! Now hear I am looking into new insurance companies---and low and behold---every quote is at least $50 more per month because of our claim last year. Now---I couldn't afford the $60 a month it was on earth will we afford the additional $50? But hey...the house looks great...if you ever come over to see it! Oh, and don't mind the fact that we are the only house in the neighborhood without shutters!!! grrrrrrrrr

Life Insurance

Am I silly to be looking into wholesale life insurance? Honestly, as long as it gets the job done in the end---should I care how much of a bargain it was to get? I've been up to my ears in insurance paperwork for the past week. Medicare is pure craziness!!! I've been looking into policies for my husband and I, not millions, we're old! Just enough to help defray the costs of our final preparations. How's that for speaking all politically correct! I'm just trying to cut the amount that my children have to pay when I die....there---a little dose of reality for ya...but there it is!

Christmas Gift Ideas

Oh how I wish we had gotten our kids rain barrels for Christmas! It has rained NON-STOP for the past week or two for them. Imagine the water savings that could have taken place, had we only been prepared! Live and learn right.

We are spending this Christmas apart for the first time ever! It's odd to be celebrating Christmas at the same time--but in different places. But like I've always said--the holiday will be whatever day we get to spend together, even if it isn't the same day as the calendar!


Do you ever feel like you live in a really bad place? I mean, we live in an amazing place. Our neighborhood is beautiful, and safe and new. But it feels like someone is always trying to take something that doesn't belong to them! We have two neighbors on either side of us, and both have been victims of identity theft. How is that? I mean, we do our best in regards to identity theft protection. We shred almost everything that comes to us in the mail, but what if someone took something out of our mail before it reaches our house? I'm sure there is a lot more that we could do to protect ourselves. I just hope our kids taking some of the same measures.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Keeping Everyone In The Loop

We have family spread all over the west! Some we get to see for the holidays, some will come see us after the holidays. We are thinking of starting an online newsletter that we can send from family to family to have them update what is new in their life and pass it on to the next sibling. They will read what the person before them wrote--and add their own family news after the first. It would work it's way around the family with everyone adding what's new. Then when it gets back to you--you read everyone's update, erase your entry and add what is new in your family--and send it on. It's not the greatest text alert system, but it's a fun way to get everyone up to date, and keep them there. I'm excited to get it started come January 1st.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Home Spa

I just saw my sister the other day. She has turned 50 and she looks better than she did 20 years ago. I asked her what was new, expecting her to talk about some new diet pills or health food item, but she just talked about daily skin care and different products she'd been using. It was amazing. She has this little spa thing that she keeps in her purse, and does this nightly facial and it keeps her face firm and wrinkle free. She does have wrinkles, but they are greatly diminished with this little machine. I may just have to invest in one of these for myself!

Keeping Up With The Joneses

I have a friend on Facebook who keeps asking questions about Disney World. What are some of the less expensive walt disney world hotels? How much would you plan to spend on food for a family of 6 for a week at Disney World? How long does it take from Disney World to the nearest beach? Yeah, we got it---you are taking your family to Disney World! It really may simply be the quickest way to get your questions answered by a number of people who may have the experience, but come on...15 questions in a 2 hour period is just showin' off!

Growing Up

We are quickly growing out of our need for preschool furniture. It's kind of sad to see, but it will be nice to send all of it off to good will, or to share with other family members. It was hard to see the baby furniture go when we moved a couple of years ago. No more cribs, or baby bath tubs. I do still have a Pack 'n Play, but that will come in handy someday I'm sure. To see the desks that my little ones were thrilled to play with be out grown, it's sad. They are all quickly moving into the age where computers and games become their favorites over the dolls and trucks of the past. Where oh where are my babies going???

Holiday Fun

This is the time of year when the Christmas party invitations start rolling in. We usually have invites to several every year, which is nice, but I find we tend to eat a lot at each place we visit---and not all of it is healthy! I think the first party we have this year is the first week of December. Nothing like getting a rush on Christmas, eh? The last one, get this, is January 4th. That is for work, and since they cater to feeding people during the holidays, they decided to wait until their rush was over, and celebrate then. That's a full month of holiday celebrations...I'm not sure my waistline will survive!

Weight Is Still An Issue

Everyone around me seems to be looking for a good weight loss supplement. I'm actually looking for something to add a little weight. All of my life, I never thought there was "too skinny", but you know--the older you get--the more you need a little weight. Especially in your face. You can start looking skullish--and then the wrinkles can get really emphasized, so yeah, a little weight is good. I'm not sure my body will accept it, and I really don't need it too badly--but it's worth a try!

Learning New Stuff

I have been working with a business plan consultant. Mostly I'm just her personal web master getting her blogs and websites up and designed. But it has been a lot of fun. She has so many amazing ideas that I can really see why she's successful. But what she knows and brings to the table makes the people she works with successful too. I have been drowning in all of the stuff she wants done. From dynamic widgets in her sidebars (still figuring those out) to the actual design of a website, other than blogs and blogging software, all of this is very new to me!

Coupon Shopping

I have found some online coupon sites that have been so helpful. Especially with Black Friday sale listings and items like Medifast coupons. You can find coupons for any store you can imagine-and this holiday season you will be amazed at what you can save on.

It's funny you grow up having everyone buy you presents. Then you get married and it's just the two of you and your parents that you purchase for. Then you add kids in and then slowly their spouses and maybe you get to drop the parents off of the list (sniff) and then you start adding grand kids. By the time your my age---you have to save up all year just to pay for Christmas!

Monday, November 02, 2009

Eagle Country

I have been planning to fly back east to meet a friend of mine for the weekend. She normally works in Washington DC, but has these odd little philadelphia jobs every couple of months. I thought it would be really fun to be able to see all of the amazing historical sites around Washington DC with her--but then to also enjoy a weekend soaking up the history and culture of Philadelphia. Plus, the Eagles have LONG been my favorite football team, and I'm thinking we could catch a game while I'm in town---you know, catch a little team spirit--or at least a sweatshirt from the home of the Eagles. I do want to wait until the craziness of the World Series is over---just to avoid any "scene" that can come with either winning---or losing!

Sunday, October 04, 2009


Do you have a technologically minded husband? I mean, for the most part, it's awesome. But there are times, like when I'm in a hurry, that it really can start to get on my nerves. We were shopping the other day--something I usually enjoy and usually take my time doing. I enjoy the process that is shopping. But last week we were late. And on this particular shopping trip---nothing was going right. The woman at the customer service counter couldn't get her scanner to work. And if it did work---it would beep that the coding was wrong. We tried and tried to get the codes in and finally she starts to enter all of the numbers by hand, then look through her little discount book to subtract the sale percentage from each and every item. THEN....there's a clearance code that needed to be input as well. She was frustrated. I was frustrated and a bit stressed and my husband is chirping on and on about how they should have the new Symbol LS2208 bar code scanner or this data entry software that would automatically calculate the percentages off---mindless chatter that really meant something---but not at that moment...and not with the sales girl! I nearly turned and asked him to head up stairs to the executive offices and speak with the GM. THAT would have gotten him out of my head!!!

Loving Life

When we bought our house they were converting it from the model home to a normal "neighborhood" home. Because of this, we have a lot of fun little upgrades that the other neighbors had to pay extra for when they built their homes. We have a pool, beautiful wall and window treatments. Huge 18 x 18 tile that goes throughout the entire "public" areas of the house. The bathroom fixtures are amazing--and you know what? I just don't know how we got so lucky! I LOVE everything about this house---and I didn't have to pay nearly as much for it as everyone else. Which is really lucky for me---cause we wouldn't have been able to afford a 10th of it!


I was pulling into the drive way last week, and I clipped the side wall. It's the outer wall---which in comparison to the one attached to the house--I felt lucky! There wasn't much damage to the wall---a little stucco falling off and the sconce light is now askew. But the wall definitely fared better than my car. It totally took my mirror off of the drivers side door---and ya know....I really like to look at that mirror!

Double The Bandwidth....It's Good

I was looking up what ddr memory was--and you know, they say it achieves nearly double the bandwidth of the SDRAM!

Now---doesn't that sound better? Honestly--I had to look it up in Wikipedia, cause it's one of those things that I leave for my husband. Usually I leave him a little sticky note saying that we need more memory---and then he does a little research and comes back with three options and the scientific explanation of each one. As my eyes glaze over and I start to drool---all I can manage is..."Whichever one you think is best, Dear!"

Holy Cannoli, makes my head hurt!

Birthday Ideas

Why is it when you ask a man what he wants for his birthday it's either truck accessories or Harley accessories? Really--I'm not sure I've ever gotten a different answer from the hundreds of times I've actually asked the question. In fact, I think from now on---I'll just save the hassle of asking--and just get them a gift card!

Me---I always have a laundry list of things I'd like. Mind you, no one ever asks me!!

Homes Away From Home

My sister and her husband have been looking at real estate here in Arizona. They are true "snowbirds" who come down every winter in their RV and stay for 2 months in Yuma. They love it but thought that with the real estate market so depressed here--that it might be worth putting the used rv for sale and actually buying a brick and mortar!

Do you know what stopped them??? Scorpions! The fact that we find them in our house all time was the deal breaker. So they will just continue to pull their RV home to Yuma every year until they can't pull it anymore---then they'll just park it and leave it---and then drive to it from then on.

Not too shabby, eh?

Fastin' & Prayin'

This week is the first week of the month. Which means I was supposed to spend the day Fastin'! Not so much fun I have to say. But you know, if I would just buckle down and do it--I'm sure it would get easier.

We didn't do much today. We watched Conference--and then a football game. How is that for Sabbath entertainment? It wasn't so bad---we did manage to sneak in our leisurely Sunday afternoon naps as well. What good is a weekend without a nap??

Catching Up

Are you on Facebook? I'm LOVING it! From all of the people I get to catch up with to their chat software where I can have immediate contact with others, it's heaven!

I have been a member for nearly 2 years now, and I have to say that it only picked up about a year ago. Before that I had like 7 friends and they were never on. Now I have nearly 500 and am finding new ones everyday!

The most fun I would have to say, is catching up with family members that I knew growing up but that gone on to get married and have their own families and not really get a chance to keep in touch. We are all connected now, and it has been amazing to catch glimpses of their everyday lives----really, if you aren't a member.....go sign up right now----it's awesome!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Needs Me A Steamer

Have you seen those cute Lady Bug steam cleaners on TV? Oh I WANT one!! Especially for the areas that are hard to get to around the faucets in the sinks in kitchen and bathroom---and ugh, especially around the base and seat of the toilet. That has got to be the hardest thing to clean EVER! But with the cool wand like handle---it's steam cleaned in seconds---and it just looks so simple. We have a vapor floor cleaner in the kitchen--and I would be happy to replace that with this--because it does everything that one does---plus it will clean that nasty toilet!!

Bad Skin

Do you remember back in the olden days when they would put a girl on birth control pills for acne treatments? Yeah---I was one of those girls! It's amazing how far we've come in the last 20 years. There are so many new and amazing products for this problem. I always had bad skin, and I don't think there has been anything so self esteem shattering as that. So I'm glad that my kids and grand kids will have an easier time getting through this period in their lives!

Living Life

We are retired, and I have to say we have enjoyed every facet of retired life! We've been able to travel and see many parts of the world that I never dreamed I would get a chance to see. In the coming weeks we will be in Chicago, New York, New Hampshire and South Carolina. Last year we had the chance to visit Canada, and if I can book us a great rate at one of the Isla Mujeres hotels maybe we'll have a chance to hit Mexico this year!

Growing up I always thought that once the "Empty-Nest" stage started there was nothing left. But truly--Grandparent status is wonderful--and the freedom to roam is un-toppable!!

Can't Wait For Winter

When we first moved into this beautiful house, we didn't worry about changing any of the air filters or swimming pool filters. No one had lived in it before--it was a model home---how bad could they be? Well, with the cooler weather coming on here, it was time to tidy up the yard, and get things ready for our fabulous Arizona Winters. So we changed all of the filters in and out of the house. And to our amazement...they were FILTHY! We knew we were late in changing them, but truly thought that with no one around they would be fine. We never took into account all of the dust from the neighboring subdivisions under construction. It was shocking to see them in such bad shape!

Just A Few Nerves

In our new home we have one of those wireless alarms. The coolest part is, since we have a pool--it actually talks to us and lets us know when a door opens. Now this new contraption has been the source of much entertainment---and many heart skippings as well. You see---our TV is in the front of our family room, the speakers for the doors just outside the door in the hallway-and the voice, is male.

So the other night we were watching a murder mystery show full of suspense when all of the sudden--there is a man talking outside of the room. It startled me immediately--until I realized what it was. The door was a jar to let in a little of the cool night air. It did it three or four more times before we had had enough and had gone in and bolt locked the front door. It was only funny that we love this little alarm/reminder about the doors---until it just starts talking to you in the middle of a murder mystery!!! Then it's just creepy!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Lots of people want our home

All the prospective buyers love our home, and many said they would write us a check on the spot if their homes were sold.

There were only about two or three that really looked like they might be interested enough to write an offer.

One couple came back twice and said they definitely want it. The man is suffering from three different cancers and is in and out of the hospital often.

They are too worried too commit to an offer at this time.

We expect them to make a decision soon.

Sunday, September 06, 2009

Selling Our Clinton Home

We just signed papers to buy a home in Arizona and unfortunately haven’t sold the home in Clinton, Utah. Got the cart before the horse, as it seems.

We've been trying to sell the home in Utah since August. I sold Real Estate for 15 years and along with selling homes for others I’ve sold several of my own homes. I feel more confident about selling this home myself than any I’ve sold previously since the home and subdivision we live in are very desirable.

We feel certain that it will sell quickly, that it will bring a good price, and that in fact, it will sell itself.

I hope I’m not being complacent or over-confident since I didn’t put a contingency clause in the contract stating that we need to sell our home in order to have the funds to buy the new one.

This negligence could cause us a lot of trouble in the future. In spite of this neglect we both feel everything will work out well.

Monday, August 10, 2009


Have you seen the commercials on TV for mesothelioma? I've seen them, but never really paid much attention to it until last week. The announcer said that if you had a loved one whose life was affected by lung cancer, it could have been caused by this. It then went on to list all of the different occupations that come in contact with asbestos--and it was amazing how long that list was.

My sister in law passed away after a struggle with lung cancer. She'd been a 20 year smoker--so we just assumed that was the cause (and it probably was), but these days--how can you know? There are so many extenuating circumstances surrounding everything we do--who knows if we turn around in 20 years and Diet Coke causes some other huge illness..........well.....then you'll just have to shoot me--cause I'm NOT giving it up!! ;)

She's Coming Home

A family that has been really close with our family over the decades just found out that their daughter's family is finally calling the moving companies Los Angeles and coming home! Of course, home to her is in Utah, and we are all in Arizona--but it seems a lot closer when it comes time to be a part of the grandkid's lives.

None of our grandchildren live near us. But with the cheap airfare between here and there and the relative ease of driving--we get to be there for all of the super important moments in their lives. Nothing is better than family.

DNA Don't Lie

I walked into the family room last week only to find my grandson watching the Maury show. It was about, of course, DNA testing. I was just amazed at all of the different things going on on the stage. From a girl not sure if her husband or his nephew was the father--to a girl that had come back for the 12 time--and still got negative tests!

We had the unfortunate opportunity to go through 2 different DNA tests with two of our relatives--neither turned out how we have wanted--and the choices made by the mother's of these children was just astounding. I'm glad we have the opportunity to have our questions answered--but holy cow---the questions just seem to keep coming and coming. Even in the best of families!

Backing It Up

Have you heard all of the radio talk show hosts talking about free online storage? It's really made me stop and think about looking into it. We have a ton of stuff on our computer that we don't want to lose. Pictures and video that would leave me heart broken if it was ever lost or destroyed.

I lost about 16 digital pictures once, and as minor as that is--I stewed over it for 2 weeks. Even now (several years later) I still feel bad remember back to those pictures. I have a few burned into my memory--but so many are just gone. So this week--we will be finding a back up storage site that is perfect for us. I suggest you do the same!

It's In The Air

I have now talked with three different people who are all taking the same weight losss supplements. How coincidental is that? They seem to be having tremendous success--and really quite quickly. My sister is one, and she's dropped 11 pounds in a month and has never had so much energy before.

I have always been on the "little" side--so I haven't had to worry too much about those kinds of things. But for so many people out there suffering with weight--I'm hoping they find this. It may just help them too!

Muffin Is Queen

I think it's funny that in our new house we have three different pet beds for the same dog. I've never had a bed for her before, but this house is so big and we spend so much time in it--that she needs to be able to sit near us at all times. Her thing---not ours! So we have a pink bed at the foot of the computer. A green one in the den. And the blue one is out next to the couch.

She is completely welcome to come and snuggle with us on any of our furniture, but she really just wants to be with us--not on us. I'm setting up a genealogy room down the hall--and I can just see my husband coming home with a red one for that room!

Silly Brain

Do you ever psych yourself out when you are out late at night? The other night I was walking into a perfectly well lit grocery store and suddenly in my mind it was stormed by gunman and we would all soon be hostages. I don't go too far into my little 'twisted' thought--but every time it enters my head (usually when I'm out shopping late at night) I always have to check for the nearest exit signs. Either that or weighing out the possibility of me hiding behind the display of potato chips without being seen or popping all of the bags to give my hiding spot away!

Silly I know--but you can't always stop your head from heading down some paths. Don't even get me started on psyching myself out while I was babysitting late at night---egads!!

It's Just Too Hot

What is with all of these young starlets and their Ugg shoes in the middle of the summer. HELLO??? I live in Arizona, and I realize that not all places on the planet are as hot as the sun---but every time I see them in their shorts and midriff baring t shirts with their feet all bundled up in Uggs, it just makes me hotter! Honestly, I think my feet sweat every time I see it!

Now---move them all to my native Utah--during the Sundance Film Festival in January--and I'm totally game with their super cute foot wear!!

Thursday, August 06, 2009

The Rees's Are Coming

We got to spend time with some really dear friends this week. They are newly retired (after years in the software development industry) and have come to town looking for homes to buy around here. I'm so excited. We've lived by them in 3 of our last 4 homes. Once they followed us, and twice we've followed them. So it's their turn to join us, and I couldn't be happier!

I have taken a ton of pictures, and I will get them up as soon as we sit down for longer than 5 minutes!!

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Arizona Home

It's kind of confusing because the front of the home doesn't face the street. It will face the home next to it, when there is a home next to it! We hope that will be soon!

This is what the home looks like since we painted it, and after we attached fake windows. Yep, fake windows. See the windows facing the street. There were no windows when we bought the home. And technically, there still aren't any windows there. We just made it look like there are. The reason the windows look dark is because we used dark sunscreens. Every house on the street has dark sunscreens, so it doesn't look strange.

There was no landscaping in front except for a very young cactus. Mike and I made the little river, that I would like to bring to life this fall by installing a little fountain that flows in the river.

We've planted 2 bougainvillea's, my favorite desert plants. two Gardenia plants, a Pigmy palm tree, and a yellow Lantana.

These pictures were taken when the plants were first put in, we are going to Arizona in a week, and will take more pictures to see how different the yard looks. Maureen says the plants have really grown!

It will be 110 degrees, so we will shoot pictures fast, and get back inside!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

J J's Birthday Party

These pictures were taken at a bowling alley on J J's birthday party December 2005, on JJ's sixth birthday.

We had a ball (excuse the pun) bowling! I had fun since I love to bowl. I didn't do well that day, but I had fun, and really had a lot of fun watching the little kids push the ball down the alley. Gwinney was only about two and a half, and she kept running back to get another ball to push it down the alley again. She didn't see why she had to wait any turns. She never threw a fit about it though. She's the one in the purple.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Vacation Plans

Our dear friends just left on a late summer/early fall trip. They got a great deal on one of those Outer Banks rentals and I'm so jealous! They are spending a lot of time there, but then also travelling down to Florida to meet their kids and grand kids at Disney World. To be honest, I don't know which I'm more jealous of.

We are heading to Utah later this week for a big family reunion. I can't wait. What a great group of people I happen to be related to--and although it isn't North should be a really fun trip!

Friday, July 24, 2009

Driving Habits

I was talking to my sister the other night and reminicing about past vacations. She reminded me of the time our other sister, with no motorhome insurance, took her rv down to southern Utah. As we were driving home up and down mountain passes, this motorhome seemed to keep up with us just fine. As we pulled in to a rest stop for a few minutes she had the thought to pop the hood on the thing and see if it needed a bit more water. Shock of all shocks the engine was glowing a bright RED! A few minutes later (after a couple of more hills) I'm sure it would have caught fire due to the extreme heat! Not so funny then...totally hilarious now!

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Elyse's First Birthday Party

Sherri and Steve's youngest child, Elyse.

We have 19 grandchildren and Elyse is the second to the youngest. This is her first birthday party. It's amazing that we have pictures of it, because I was in the hospital and missed it.

Mike had absolutely no sleep that night because we were putting things away in our new condo, and he was still awake at 2:30 A.M. when I went into the living room where he was putting the sound system together in the entertainment center, and told him that my heart was racing.
It only took us a few minutes to decide that we needed to get to the hospital.
It took the doctor and lots of medicine 8 hours to bring my heart rate back to normal. I am wheat intolerant and have blood sugar problems also. I had been eating wrong all week, and earlier that night had a small piece of a homemade cinnamon roll that our new neighbor Pam brought over as a welcoming gift.

It sent my blood sugar up to diabetic numbers, and then dropped to hypoglycemia numbers, and when it fell it took my potassium with it, which in turn made my heart race.

Mike didn't get any sleep while we were in the hospital. In fact, he only had a hard chair to sit in, and couldn't even get comfortable.

He finally went home to get a little sleep at 6:00 and had just gotten to sleep when R. C. Willey called and woke him up, to tell him that they were bringing our new kitchen set. He stayed awake waiting for them, and they didn't show up until several hours later.

Then he came back to the hospital at 12:00 or so, and got me, and then went out to Sherri's for Elyse's party, which started at 12:30.

That's my husband. He's a trouper. Always taking care of everyone else! I'm glad he took pictures, at least I can feel like I was there!

The dark-haired little girl is Sarandon, Heather's daughter.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

What A Gift

Why is it that you have to be old to start checking out life insurance quotes? Ok, so you don't really have to be, but every commercial on TV gives the price for the average 45 year old man. Or, if you are a non-smoker over the age of 50. Mind you we fit that age range, but what about my kids. How much more do they have to pay for life insurance because they aren't even close to 40 yet?

There was a really cool moment I saw several years ago. We were at the high school graduation of our nephew. And his maternal grandpa pulled him aside and gave him his gift. It turns out the day this boy was born his grandpa took out a policy on him. He paid the premiums every month of this boys 18 years--and now as a high school graduate, his policy had matured--and this boy actually had an asset in his pocket. He could use this policy as collateral for a home loan if he wanted--I mean, that is planning ahead! I look at all of our grandchildren and even though I know nothing like that is possible with ALL of them, how nice it would have been to be able to do something like that!

Monday, July 06, 2009

Fun Back Yards

I was just over at my sisters house and you should see it! It's a children's MECCA! There are swing sets, climbing toys, trampolines and an in ground swimming pool. It's truly amazing!

I have always been afraid of trampolines, too many kids being injured on them--but the kids all seem to love it. There was a funny moment when one of the kids noticed both the trampoline and the swimming pool. You could just see the gears working inside their head on just how to get the two to work together for maximum fun. Luckily for us, they are at least 100 feet apart--and I'm thinking none of the kids have the ability to work that one out!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Family Night Party

Jake and Amy were there when we arrived. Amy was helping Lisa prepare hordevours while Lisa was busy bustling around the kitchen watching over her homemade pots of chili and vegetable beef soup, and she had a dozen other foods she was finishing. One was caramel corn.

Soon, Chris, Dave and Lydia showed up, and not long afterward was Steve and Sherri and their four children.

Kim, Clint, Zak and Kelsie were expected at 6:30. I knew they wouldn't make it that early. They were at another party at Clint's sister's house, and it's hard to make it to two parties on the same night.

Amy and Jake had a second party to go to and left before Kim and Clint got there. We were lucky though that we were able to visit everyone. The only ones missing were Mike and Susan and their children whom we will spend a few days with next week in Idaho, and Kenny who is in Connecticut. I talked to Kenny a long time on the phone and will be talking to him more tomorrow and the next day.

We crawled into bed tired but happy!

Sunday, June 14, 2009


I have had a bit of a dip in my weight this week. No, I haven't been using any weight-loss products like ephedrine, I've been sick!!! I know, you are all jealous aren't you! I even had to put off posting my Hawaii pictures for a bit while my body tried to rid itself of the nasties.

I'm usually sick this time of year, more with allergies--but this year, I have a very odd case of bronchitis. I've had it this late before, but there are all of these storms piling up one right after another--so I think I'm in for it for a while to come. But I'll be back when my lungs clear up!

Modern Medicine

This past weekend my grandson got his tonsils out. It was something to be dreaded when my kids were little, but these days it's an out patient surgery. He was home watching tv, listening to one of his ipods and playing video games far earlier than I thought he should even be out of surgery. My the modern advancements in medicine.

I do remember once getting in trouble by a nurse friend of mine. She was talking about just this topic, sending kids home after surgery to recuperate there. I thought that was barbaric. I remember after my husband had knee surgery he elected to go home, and after a miserable night with pain pills that weren't strong enough, we were both wishing he'd stayed in at least the first night in order to get some extra help with the pain. Apparently not the case with tonsils. She chewed my head off as to why it should be up to the nurses to babysit, when the parents are fully capable of doing exactly the same thing at home.

Yeah...I stand corrected!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Punchbowl Cemetery - Oahu

This is overlooking Oahu from the top of Punchbowl Cemetery.

I was in Hawaii during May in 1978, and my sister Jeri and I observed the Memorial Day services that were held at Punchbowl. It was very impressive! There were 6 gun-salutes, speeches were given by prominent people, and many traditional ceremonies were performed.

I loved that every headstone had a flag and a lei on it.This is done each year by the boy scouts. I think it's wonderful!

Punchbowl Cemetery - Oahu

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Hawaii - Day Seven - Tuesday

It had been a wonderful week, and we finished it at the north shore. We drove to Turtle Bay Resort which is beautiful. John and Karen used to live there. Wow! How would that be?

Ten years ago, Mike and Susan took Andrew who was a year-and-a-half old to Hawaii, and that's where they stayed.

We didn't see any turtles, but the beach is very nice. We waded in the water in our shorts. I should have worn my suit, but didn't. The water was warm and I would have swam if I'd had on a suit.

We then went to the Audubon center and walked a very long way. The grounds with the beautiful trees and all the birds is very lovely. We ate lunch there and a beautiful peacock came right up to us and would have eaten out of our hand if we'd fed it. But we didn't. There are signs warning us not to.

We walked most of the way to the waterfall, which is quite a long way. It's a nice hike and I could have made it. It's not at all steep. Mike's foot was hurting because one shoe was pinching his foot, and we aborted the mission. I realized that it was good because it would have been easy for me to over-do.

Next, we went over to Sunset Beach. I was wading again and whoops! The wave took me into the water. Sunset Beach is known for it's really high waves, but we weren't in high waves. We could see some white water waves a few hundred yards from us, but even those weren't very high. This picture was taken just before the wave sat me in the water.

I might just as well have swam. I was already wet. But I didn't.
In 1976 when Ken and I were at Sunset Beach the waves were huge. They say in the winter months the waves can get as high as 25 feet high. We were there in June and I know the waves weren't that high, but they were way over my head.

We body surfed for hours! It was the most fun! I didn't stop until one wave brought me down with my throat hitting the floor. Then I did a somersaults the wrong way. That was it! I was done for the day.

It totally knocked the wind out of me, and left me with no strength. I sat on the beach and talked to a man who had seen what happened. He told me that one of the military men had just died in about the same place I was, doing exactly the same time that I did. Those waves demand respect. And should be left to the experts.

We left Sunset Beach and went over to Waimea Bay. I was anxious to see all the places I had visited the last two times I was there. And this was one of my favorite beaches. We didn't stay here long because by this time I was really tired. It is a long walk on sand to get to the water, which is a lot of work. Mike and I had already had a big day by now.

We went back to the turtles. They say they come onto the beach in the afternoon. Well, it was afternoon, but they were still in the water.

We went to the little town that had the shaved ice. I think it's Wahiawa, but not sure. Mike and I had shaved ice while at Hale Koa, but this was much better.

This place is famous for the shaved ice. I had the opportunity to compare, and it's true, it's better.

We had a combination of pina' colata, (spelled wrong) and guava. It was very good. We passed on the bakery. I didn't want to get sick again.

Then we headed back to John and Karen's. They had dinner waiting for us. Tenderloin cooked to perfection and vegetables. We worked on genealogy and watched the dancers on TV again. Still routing for Apollo.

We left for the airport at 7:30 to fly out at 10:00. We called John from the plane and learned that Apollo had won. His partner (can't remember her name) has connections to Utah. Lived in Springville, or something like that.

I hoped to sleep on the plane but wasn't very successful. We watched "Something's Gotta Give" I think that's the name of the movie. The new one with Mandy Moore. It was good. I've been wanting to see it. I don't get much out of watching movies on planes though. I'd much rather be in a theater or at home.

We saw "Music and Lyrics" on the way there. I had been wanting to see that one too.
As I said earlier I ate what they gave me on the plane. It's just a lot of junk for anyone. Two Oreo cookies, two cracker with cheese, and raisons which was a good choice for me.

I've paid for that mistake up until now. And this is Saturday.

All In all, the trip was wonderful!

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Appetite Woes

I live with so many health problems and allergies it's amazing I'm alive! If I take one bite of dairy--I'm toast! The problem is, the foods that I eat happen to be natural appetite suppressants, so even when there is something that I'd like to eat, that I can eat--I'm not always able to eat it!

This was never more frustrating than during the amazing Luau's in Hawaii! How much food could I have poured onto my plates---limitless! Except--I just wasn't hungry enough to eat anything.

How sad is that?

Vacation Photo's

I have been downloading all of the photo's from our Hawaiian vacation while I sit by the pool. Sadly, I will soon be in need of a bit more notebook memory! How nice technology is, that we can take our work with us where ever we want.

I would really like a memory stick--they make it so convenient to keep all of the photos in one spot--and if I label it and keep it somewhere safe--there is no chance they will be accidentally deleted. I'm really good at that!

Past Thoughts

We just moved, so we really aren't in the looking anymore, but Mike and I were talking about his time in the military. If he were still working at Hill, the time might be coming up for us to look at Outer Banks homes rather than cute little retirement homes in Phoenix.

I have to admit, I love the East Coast. I love moving around, but the Carolinas are just a little too far east for my taste. And too far from my grandkids to get all the visits that we do!

Goin' Large

As all of you know, we recently sold our first home in Arizona and purchased a new one. We love it! That is kind of surprising since we had originally planned to downsize and instead purchased a much bigger house than the two of us need. Sadly we need to price treadmills so that our lone piece of exercise equipment won't look so pitiful in the big room all by itself. Plus, for an even better workout...we have a pool in the back yard. Can you imagine? It hasn't really hit me yet, but we are loving every minute of it!

Colonosopy Woes

As you can see, we are home! What a wonderful trip, and I have SEVERAL more posts to add to show the rest of our vacation. It's taking a while because I'm helping my sweet husband prepare for his colonoscopy tomorrow. The preparation is definitely the WORST part of the entire procedure. He's been taking a new product (I should make him get on and write a colon cleanse review) and I'm hoping this really helps out with his test results.

We come from a family riddled with colon cancer. So much so, that we are all required to have colonoscopy every year. It's not fun, but with all of our kids and grandkids to stick around for, it's definitely something we'll put up with! Till then---back to our vacation!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Hawaii Bodies

I have to admit, as we toured the beaches of Hawaii, I did have a secret desire to find some weight loss pills. No, I'm not overweight AT ALL! In fact, a few pounds probably wouldn't hurt. But when you are surrounded by beautiful women with their bikini bodies, you can't help but think something is wrong with you.

We didn't spend much time at all in bathing suits. When you're in Hawaii--why on earth would you waste so much time on the beach. There is so much to do and see! Now, if I was a local---a retired local---you'd never get me off of the beach!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Hawaii - Day Four - Saturday

I was so sad to leave the Hale Koa Hotel!

We began the early morning on our lanai of course.

We had birds all over the lanai. They fly there when they see people - hoping to get food. They did too!

I warned Mike that we are not supposed to feed the birds, but he couldn't resist. What does it matter anyway, everyone else is feeding them them. They are going to get people food no matter what. Okay, they won't live as long - but what a life while they're here.

Mike's breakfast for them was cheese and crackers. Hey, it could be worse.

We spent a few hours out on the beach and in the water again for the last time at the hotel.

There was a sign at Diamond Head that said, "Don't feed the birds. It's not a good diet for them." I thought to myself, "It's not a good diet for us. We're not feeding them salad you know."

We ate breakfast out in the beautiful sunshine at the Barefoot Bar that serves food from early in morning until late in the evening.

It's the cheapest place to eat at the hotel, and I think the nicest.

Although, the other restaurants have open areas to the outside too. This one is totally outside. There are umbrellas of course.

We went back to lay on the beach for the last time. Mike didn't stay out as long as I did because he still had red spots and was itching.

Mike checked out at 12:00 while I went back down to the Barefoot Bar and had a delicious chef salad for lunch. I met him at 12:08.

We headed up to Punchbowl, which is the cemetery were our hero's are buried. It was a solemn experience. I talked about this in my Beautiful Waikiki blog and don't want to be redundant. So I'll just say it was beautiful up there.

Punchbowl is at the top of a mountain, which overlooks Honolulu. It's a beautiful site! The bowl is just what is suggests. It looks like a crater of a volcano. I don't know whether it is or not. It's not really a deep crater, just a shallow bowl.

Then we drove out to Mililani Town to see John and Karen. In the picture is John's son Jeremy, his wife Sotia, and their little boy.

They have a lovely home in a beautiful city. Their backyard is small, but beautiful. It's a patio surrounded by palm trees, plants, and other trees. Hawaii style!

They were wonderful hosts. I hope they will come see us in Arizona and Utah so we can extend the same comforts and great food they served us.

They are planning to retire in 3 1/2 years and move to the Portland, Oregon area. That will be a beautiful place to live also.

We went to dinner at Ruby Tuesday's and John paid. I would have loved to have treated them. But he was fast on the draw with the visa. Next time John, it's our turn to treat!

We relaxed that evening. Watched a little TV. Watched the dancers and picked Apollo, as the winner. We found out several days later that he did win.

Karen and I did a little genealogy. She and John have been made the family history leaders in their ward. I hope I was a little help for her. There's a lot to learn when you're new at it.

P.S. A few months later Mike and I were sustained in our ward for the same position.

Hawaii - Day Three - Friday

Day three was on Friday. We ate breakfast on the beach and I mentioned in an earlier blog that we took a long walk to the Royal Hotel, but actually that was today. We did take the same walk yesterday but took even a longer one today. We walked about halfway there the day before.

I was a little worried about taking such a long walk because this was the day we planned to go to Pearl Harbor, and I knew there was a little walking there too.

I did fine. I was too tired by the time we visited the Arizona Memorial to go to the Missouri Memorial. We also hadn't had lunch, so the Missouri got left out. We plan to go there next visit.

I started to tear up on the freeway miles before we got there. It is such a sad place, yet a place that's wonderful to visit. And, it's sacred! They ask you not to talk while on the Arizona. But, no one has to ask you not to talk. You already know it. You feel it! It is the burying place of about a thousand men, including 24 sets of brothers, and a father and son, all still there defending their country.

A sad note: the water is dark around the Arizona. We were told that the dark color is blood. You would think that the water would have changed by now, but because it's a bay the waves just move the same water around. It has been written that the dark color is also oil.

I'm sitting here at home on my computer typing this blog and watching Sean Hannity, Oli North, and Newt Gingrinch who are at the Arizona Memorial right now! I can't believe I missed them by two days! I would have loved to have been there at the same time they were there. Mike reminded me though that the possibility of seeing them was remote. But still!

By the way. I couldn't help thinking of Paris Hilton every time I looked at the Hawaiian Hilton. What a sad life to be that wealthy, have that many opportunities, and then mess up your life, the way she has. It's just sad.

It was about 5:00 when we got back to the hotel. We had dinner at another restaurant in the other tower. Bibas, an Italian restaurant, is open on the grounds. Mike had ribs which was tempting until I tasted his. I had a salad that was great! It was loaded with teryiaki chicken, avocado, crab, and lots of good things I love.

The couple in the picture were people who sat at our table at the luau at the hotel. We saw them everywhere we went. They watched the fireworks with us on the beach.
Afterward, we went to the beach and watched the fireworks that the Hilton puts on every Friday night.

The People in the picture at the right are waiting for fireworks to begin.

The evening ended as it began, on the lanai.

Hawaii - Day Two - Thursday

Please excuse the bed-head hairdo. I was so happy to sit out on the beautiful lanai, that I didn't care what I looked like. It was about 6:00 in the morning, and all I wanted to do was sit there and take in the gorgeous view!

Scottsdale Arizona left a comment on my Hawaii Day One blog. I didn't know a city could leave a comment.

I'd like to leave Scottsdale a comment: Not far from you in Apache Junction is my second home.

I love it there! I wish I had enough money to live in Scottsdale, it's absolutely beautiful!

I feel well when I'm in Arizona, which is wonderful, since I don't feel well in other places.

Day two (Thursday) arrived with Mike and I on the lanai watching the sun come up. What a view! We could see the ocean, large ships, sailboats, young men playing some game by the beach, surfers, surfing the waves, and birds, birds, birds.

Birds love Hawaii. Well, why not? They live in paradise.

We ate breakfast at KoKo Cafe and headed for the beach. Laying out in Hawaii is so easy. If you lay-out other places, trying to get a tan - you watch the clock - waiting for the time to end so you can get out of the sun. Not in Hawaii. You need to watch the time because you don't want to get out of the sun. It's very easy to get burned there.

I didn't burn any of the days we were there and we went to at least 5 beaches. But then, I don't burn! I can burn if I'm in the sun a really long time. But mostly, I just turn brown.

Mike gets darker than I do, but he burns first. He legs were as white as snow and hadn't seen the sun since he was a kid in shorts.

He layed out twice in Ogden before going to Hawaii, trying and brown up a bit. He really should have layed out everyday for two weeks - just 15 minutes a day. He would have browned up nicely.

Instead he tried to do it in two days at an hour a day and was a little burned before we left. He noticed not long after we were on the beach that he had red spots on his legs. He showed them to me, but I didn't know what they were. Several days later Karen my cousin John's wife said they were hives! Poor guy! He's still itching!

After laying on the beach we took a stroll along the beach toward Diamond Head. Mike wanted to get a picture of it. We had walked so far already and by the time he suggested we turn around I told him I wanted to walk over to the Royal Hawaiian Hotel.

I have always admired it from afar. I wanted to go in it when I was there the first two times, but never had a chance. This time I made it. It is lovely! It has been there since 1927 and was one of the first hotels on Waikiki Beach.

There is another hotel that was there first, but I can't remember what it is.

The sad thing about the Royal Hotel is that it has been gobbled up and nearly swallowed by all the huge hotels that have crowded in around it. You literally cannot see it unless you are on the grounds, and then you see all the tall buildings that sit practically right on top of it.

I could see the hotel clearly from our hotel room 30 years ago, now you can just barely see the top of the pretty pink structure.

I think the Hawaiians made a mistake in letting the hotels crowd it the way they have. Too many of us sell our souls for money. And that's what I think happened here. Trump Towers is going in just a block from it right now as we speak. You'd think they couldn't get one more hotel in there. But it never ends.

After our long walk, we drove to Diamond Head. Mike walked to the top and took pictures. I knew I couldn't walk but stayed in the park there, read all about it, and ate lunch.

Diamond Head got it's name from people who looked down into the crater (it's a volcano) and saw sparkly things they thought were diamonds. They were wrong but the name stuck.

Then we drove over to Hanauma Bay which is a gorgeous bay where people snorkel. I wanted to snorkel badly. Snorkeling was my favorite thing to do 30 years ago. It was something I intended to do this time, but we simply didn't have time. We were expected back to the hotel for a luau. I will return! And, I will snorkel again!

The luau was great! There was pulled-pork from the earth, of course! Mike loves it. I'm not that big a fan. I ate a little of it though. There was teriyaki chicken, and mahimahi. So, plenty of meat.

There was raw salmon in chopped tomatoes and cilantro, fried banana. fresh slices of pineapple, another fruit salad with mango, and a fresh cucumber salad.

Dessert was coconut cake, and another coconut dessert. I'm sure that was not the whole menu. Oh, I forgot the poi, which is a good thing to forget. I didn't have to cheat on my diet at all, because everything on the menu was legal!

I cheated earlier that day during lunch at Diamond Head.

I had a hamburger and ate the bun. Unusual for me, but I did it. I was afraid I had cheated a second time because

I also ate a mango smoothie, that was delicious! I was happy when told that there was no dairy in it. Yeah!

I had to do something during that hour while Mike walked to the top of Diamond Head.

This picture was taken when he returned from his hike to the top.

We had a nice program at the luau with dancers from all the islands.

And the MC was a terrific singer. We didn't learn until halfway through the program that he was a singer we knew. I didn't know his name but recognized the song he had made famous. His name is Glenn Medeiros. Do you remember the name? I didn't think so, neither did I.

He made this song famous when he was just 16 years old:

Nothing's Gonna Change My Love For You. We were really impressed after that. Notice how the song comes right to your mind, when you hear, nothing's gonna change my love for you? You can't help it, You just start singing.

At the end of the program I leaned over and told Mike that I had to run to the bathroom, and that I expected him to stick around and buy a CD. I ran! I knew I had to get there first because there was no waiting!

When I caught up to Mike again he told me he couldn't find the CD's. That wasn't going to stop me. I asked everyone who worked there, and finally asked the bartender, who pointed to Glenn who was standing two feet from me. We talked to him and bought our CD. I really like it. It has lots of songs on it I love.

The luau ended late and Mike and I went back to our room, sat on the Lanai for a while. Watched a little TV. And called it a night again.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Hawaii - Day One - Wednesday

We just returned home from Hawaii yesterday.

I was so excited to talk about the fun week we had, but was sick again after returning home.

This is very discouraging. I was sick before we left, felt well the whole week there, and felt like crap after coming home. But, we're just going to talk about the fun first day we had there.

We arrived at 2:30 in the afternoon and spent the first hour and a half getting the rental car, and checking into the beautiful Hale Koa hotel.

We couldn't wait to get out to the beach but it took a while since we didn't know our way around the grounds. Which was perfect, because we had a fun time exploring the beautiful grounds surrounding the hotel.

When I was there in 1976 and 1978 there was only one tower, now there's two.

You used to be able to see out our window to the grounds of Fort DeRussy, and see grass, flowers and trees, and you could see the other hotels along Waikiki beach, and even see Diamond Head.

Now you just see the other tower. You can't see Diamond Head at all unless you're on the beach.

Our hotel room was on the other side of the tower where you can see the Hawaiian Hilton. We stayed in the same tower that I have stayed in the other two times.

The Hilton is one of the first hotels you see when you come into Waikiki. It's very noticeable because of the beautiful rainbow that goes from the top to the bottom on the ocean side of the hotel, and you see another partial rainbow on the opposite side.

We wandered around the grounds enjoying the unusual trees and plants. They are very beautiful, and one of the trees grows so that it makes a little house. The tree grows so it is enclosed at the top, but is open inside. You would be quite protected from the elements except rain would get in of course. The early islanders would have had no problem closing it in to make a home.

We finally found our way to the water, and enjoyed walking along the beach. We didn't wear our suits that first evening.

Afterward we ate dinner at the KoKo restaurant at the hotel. I had siamin noodles that I shouldn't have eaten, since they are made of wheat. But I remembered the noodles were one of my favorite things when I was there before. It's like going to San Francisco, and not having clam chowder and sourdough bread, I can't do that either.

The siamin noodles weren't as good as my memory had them. I did enjoy them, but wouldn't need to have them again if we go again. And, we do plan to go again!

We went back out to the beach and watched the sun setting, which made the sky pink and gorgeous!

We were still not tired even though it was 2:00 in the morning Utah time by the time we went to sleep. I was sure that I would sleep in, but I was wide awake by 5:30 or 6:00.

Mike was out sitting on our lanai, and I joined him. What a beautiful site early morning is in Hawaii!