Monday, April 25, 2016

Jo Carol, Aunt Louise and Ronald Reagan's Underwear

The trip from Arizona to Ft Worth was terrible--wind, rain, more wind, more rain, tornadoes all around, and lots of semi-trucks spraying tons of water on little Spirit with every pass.  But Spirit and I made the trip with no mishaps.  

(Jo Carol, 2013)
However, during the trip I received word that sister Jo had fallen from her porch in Redding, Ca. and broken her hip.  She was in the hospital awaiting surgery.

And since it is not like her to be UNdramatic, after surgery to repair the damage she proceeded to form a blood clot that traveled into her lung.  She was short of breath, in lots of pain, and during the night her heart stopped!   The doctors got the heart beating again but, in true, dramatic-Jo style--she was mad.

She has a DNR and they ignored it (or didn't know about it).  She proceeded to inform the nurses, us here in Ft Worth, and all her family that she was 'ready to go', the doctors were to "remove all the tubes, stop the medications, call Hospice, she was dying, so Goodbye!" 

(Jo Carol and granddaughter Alli--2013)
Finally, someone of authority informed her that Hospice only takes 'terminal' patients and she didn't qualify--yet.  So she is now residing in a convalescent hospital in Redding with her family around her.  Two days ago Mary flew from Ft. Worth to be with her and to give us regular updates. Jo is 'grudgingly' improving and, in true Jo-fashion, giving the nurses a real challenge.

Before leaving Ft Worth, Mary, Suzanne, Aunt Louise and some bag-lady that lives in her vehicle, had a farewell meal at the Black Eyed Pea.

Just before Mary left I went with her to Aunt Louise's house to see the progress on the Estate Sale that is now scheduled for next weekend.  The irises are in bloom and everything is lush and green but it appears the ground is still too wet and more rain is coming.  There is limited parking space so I am not sure how the sale is going to take place until this weather improves.

The sale has already been postponed twice due to weather but the Estate Sale staff have needed every minute of the time to sort, clean, price and display the tons of items.

If you haven't seen the website advertising the sale, here it is and I guarantee you will hardly believe it.  It you have seen it already then look again, they are updating it daily:

The organ is in beautiful shape and, lo-and-behold, it is in excellent condition.

This is only a fraction of the number of quilts and quilt tops,


clothes (some fantastic vintage clothes), 

more dolls (Madam Alexander in boxes)

(John Brogoitti, approx 1943)
family memorabilia ,

lots of furniture, and THREE very old spool cabinets complete with all the spools of thread.

My favorite--a box of hundreds of paper doll books.  

(Jo, I thought this photo would make you smile.)

Friday, April 15, 2016

Leaving Tucson

The last two weeks before leaving Tucson have been a whirlwind of activity.  Believe it or not it rained--hard--one night and my new overhead fan started to leak onto the upper bunk where all my important papers were stored.  Ugh!  That required a day at the RV place while they resealed everything.

Then there were trips to the family doctor to have something suspicious removed from my leg.  I am waiting for a report on that but this is a reminder to USE YOUR SUNSCREEN! Then a trip to the cardiologist to find out Babe is doing her piggy valve best to keep my heart ticking. (What is it with us old folks that we feel compelled to share all our physical maladies?)  

There were chores (fill the propane tank, fill the water tank, dump the holding tanks, fix a latch on a cabinet, etc), say goodbye to friends for a while, then 5 miserable trips to T-Mobile to find out why I could not get on-line.  All of this took me from one end of Tucson to the other, almost daily.   A call to son Ron finally fixed the computer problem.  (Did I ever mention how smart I think my kids are?) 

I spent most nights at Cracker Barrel then drove each morning 1/2 mile to park in the movie theatre parking lot  because it butted up to the desert.  No one was around at 7AM and I could watch the hot air balloons while I ate breakfast.  Then one morning company moved in and my idyllic view changed...


It was all interesting but a bit noisy so I went looking for a little patch of BLM land that is right at the  southern tip of the city limits where I could stay for up to two weeks for free.

I drove up the side of the hill and parked under these cliffs ....

and looked south toward Mexico out my window in the morning.

I finally had a chance to open the awning on the RV, then took out my rocking chair, and 

....just enjoyed the quiet while still only 15 minutes from the center of town.  I even walked a few trails around this mountain and discovered some small caves.  Hidden in some brush I found a midden complete with two rocks with deep holes, worn probably by the T' Odom Indians, from grinding corn.  Of course, I did not have my camera with me. 

While sitting there I experimented with two projects.  Firstly, I don't have an oven.  (My Nuwave that Ron gave me is buried somewhere in that storage unit.) I decided to test out my crockpot and see if it would suffice. I lined it with aluminum foil, 

mixed up a batch of biscuit mix, placed the biscuits on the greased foil, covered them with paper towels to absorb any moisture,

and produced these little rocks.  I may try something else later but this doesn't look too promising.

Project two:  The clothes in my locker all slide to one end when I am driving.  (I probably should stop hitting the brakes so hard.)  I thought of wrapping the clothes rod with some kind of rubber then this idea hit me.  I bought a package of rubber bands,

and put them on the rod in 2 inch intervals.  Voila! The clothes no longer slide to one end on the rod.  
So, finally, projects done, friends kissed and hugged and I am back on the road and headed to Ft. Worth.

Not all views are perfect--which leads me to my pet peeve with the state of Arizona.

Due to severe cost-cutting measures, the state of Az has decided to save money by closing most of its rest stops.  Each trip I make through the state I find more of them closed and mostly blocked off so you can't even park.   

As I was leaving the state I found this gem and it proved an adequate spot to stop for lunch and a quick nap.

So you can see, not all views are perfect. 

And finally,  I am heading to Aunt Louise's and will be there for her 'Estate Sale' the last weekend of this month.  Following is the website belonging to the company that will handle the sale and some photos of the beginning process of clearing, cleaning, pricing and displaying.  I will take some pictures when I get there as well, so stay tuned.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Arizona Sonora Desert Museum

I am once again fighting with my computer and have been unable to complete a blog posting in over a week. But (after 5 consecutive visits to T-Mobile) I think I am finally able to send this out into the ethersphere. 

It was a while since I had been to the Desert Museum and when Lynda suggested we spend a few hours there I was ready.  

This is a real gem of a museum-zoo-botanical garden.  The docents are all volunteers and always ready to show off the ugliest of critters. The one in front of her is not real but I had two very real ones in my yard at my house....

...that regularly scared me enough to keep my heart pumping.  I learned from a neighbor that Gila Monsters are so territorial that they cannot be moved from where they live without condemning them to depression and even dying.  Obviously I do not suffer the same malady.

Snakes are somehow fascinating to me... long as they are behind glass.

This warm winter is bringing the snakes out into the desert earlier then usual.

Hiking in the winter was relatively safe due to their hibernation but that seems to no longer be the case. Just one more adjustment due to climate change.

This guy was so moist and glisteny I felt I could get warts just by looking at him.

I consider him to be Public Enemy Number One.

It is strange how scorpions can be almost invisible until a blue light shines on them.

He did not look real--but he moved.

And I had these in my yard too.  Tarantulas became less frightening to me after a year or two in the desert.  They move slowly and are rather docile--hardly the boogiemen we have heard about all our lives.

This little guy was totally fascinated by the snake on her arm.  What resides in the genes of little eight-year-old boys that they are so attracted to creepy things?

The mountain goats paraded for us...

...then paused at the top so we could get our pictures.

It's a tough job but someone's got to do it.

The cactus are beginning to bloom--a full month early.

As we were leaving the museum I saw this sign and I mentioned that I thought it was totally unnecessary.  I put my camera away and Lynda and I got into the car and headed out.  And just as we reached the entrance a coyote strolled slowly and nonchalantly across the road in front of us.  I am sure he was hoping for a handout. And I was wishing for my camera.