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Sunday, December 31, 2017

Closing Out 2017!

Greetings all... and best wishes to each of you for this holiday season! It has been a bright and sunny time here in Tucson as we put this update together and close out the year. Hope  you have had joyful gatherings with family and friends! We have enjoyed receiving cards and a variety of notes via email and Facebook... good to stay connected!

The following is a recap of the past two months.

In November, Tom continued with our carport enclosure project, and it turned out great! He poured a small cement pad outside the door to the yard, and wrapped the outside wall around at the entrance, enclosing the end for additional storage. High windows provide light, and the wall blocks the sun that always shined in the carport. Also, we no longer feel like we are in a fish bowl. 😀

Next came the fence! This is just a privacy fence, and we still enjoy our beautiful arroyo views to the south, north and west. But, we can now enjoy a private side yard!

This also offers a bit more privacy for our neighbors to the south with yards previously visible to us. We are loving this new space, and are most pleased with the end result!

Thanksgiving dinner with Mom & Dad  (Bev & Mac)

We so enjoy time in our yard... the birds and wildlife, and this great view of Golden Gate Mountain!

While Tom worked on projects at home, I traveled west to be with my parents for the Thanksgiving holiday. We attended a variety of events at their retirement complex, including a sing-along and a happy hour.
Dianne & Dad
We enjoyed a delicious Thanksgiving dinner in their apartment, delivered by the dining staff, and Mom made mimosas. A special time together!

An bonus while visiting my parents in Fallbrook, is enjoying time with other family and friends there. Had a couple good visits with my brother, a short visit with Sharon & Jerry, visits with my mom's cousins, and frequent visits with Gloria & Steve.

Dianne, Bev, Gloria... my mom said she got a kick out of  taking us "senior girls" to a movie!

Steve & Gloria... my dear friends since 6th grade! 😍😍

Tom & Mary Jane, Carol & Steve

On the return trip from California, I stopped for an overnight and visits with RV friends in Yuma. We had a fun and delicious dinner at a beautiful restaurant, Julieanna's. Good time, all around! Thanks, friends, for the hospitality!

Looking forward to visits in January when Tom & I can both visit and see everyone's "new digs."
Mary Jane, Tom, Dianne, Steve, Carol

It was good to be back in Tucson following my travels, and to be with Tom and Maggie again! Also, fun to see the progress Tom made on so many projects while I was away! He continues to amaze me, and I am forever blessed by his talents and ambition! He replaced ceiling fans in the den and our bedroom, added a new floor lamp in the den, continued working on the carport, etc., etc., etc.!!! Also, with Nancy & Dave now in their new home just five doors away, we do a lot of back and forth for "show & tell" each time one of us adds and/or changes something. Great fun! 

Oh, and for himself... Tom built rolling cabinets for his rock saws and other lapidary equipment! He has joined the Old Pueblo Lapidary Club here in Tucson, and has started doing a bit more silversmithing and rock polishing. 

We so enjoyed a long-overdue visit with Jean & Skip! They didn't make it down last winter, as they sold their home on Vancouver Island and moved to a new location farther east in BC, sold their motorhome and bought a larger one, and got settled in with all their changes as they became "fulltimers." We crammed in every minute together we could for the few days they were parked nearby in Tucson! Looking forward to more time together in Quartzsite in the new year! So happy to enjoy their good company again!!
Jean & Skip

We enjoyed having their sweet pups here, too. Sophie & Louie are wonderful, and provided us a bit of a "dog fix" since we are still missing Nell so much!

And, we even got Skip in on digging to help locate the water line before the new fence project was to begin!

In early December we took a trip south with Nancy & Dave... our first time to cross the border to Nogales, Sonora, Mexico! Great to have Gini & Andres meet us "on the other side," and we had brunch with them at a nearby hotel, and then did a bit of shopping and looking around. Thank you, Gini & Andres, for taking time from your busy schedules for us! 
Andres, Dianne, Tom, Nancy, Dave, Gini
Other fun visits here in Tucson in November and December included Sandy & Paul, Diane & Dave, Marilyn & Brad, and Shoko & Harry. We do so love and appreciate time with our RV friends!

On December 21st she celebrated the Winter Solstice with a small gathering of friends gathered around a fire in our back yard. It was a cold evening, and we all eventually gathered around the food (of course!) inside for visits.

We enjoyed a turkey dinner with Donna & Matt on Christmas Eve, and then rode around in their golf cart to see the lights in our neighborhood. Tom commented to his brother on the phone that he still can't wrap his head around the idea of holiday lights and decorations on saguaro cactus! But, we enjoyed it all and it was a lovely evening! Thanks!

And, from our hearts... lots of things and people come to mind here at the close of the year. We remain mindful of the loss of family members and friends, and of others still dealing with illness... keeping good thoughts each of you!  And, we celebrate new babies in our family... such blessings, and best wishes for their futures! We continue to hope for more love, peace and compassion in the coming year... more integrity and responsible governing, and less political drama! Feeling so very blessed and grateful for our good health and all that we enjoy!

Though we do not know the origin of the following words, they seem some good thoughts for beginning the new year... 
Recognize your uniqueness
Offer your support to someone who needs it
Keep going
Focus on love, forgiveness, and peace
Keep growing
Steer clear of people and things that wound you
See the love around you
Strive to be happy
Speak and be heard
Support what is right in the face of what is wrong
Look forward and live today

Promote Kindness and Love!!!

With all good wishes to each of you!  Happy New Year!
Love, Dianne & Tom

Saturday, November 4, 2017

Returning To Our Winter Home

After a good summer in Wyoming, it's great to be back in the Arizona desert! 

We traveled for two weeks on our return trip from Pinedale, Wyoming to Tucson, Arizona... many miles, and great visits with family and friends. 

This is quite a long post, with many photos... 

The motorhome backed out and ready to roll!
 After some cold temps the last week before leaving the campground, down to 18 degrees one night, the weather was clear and and we were ready to depart on Monday, October 2nd.
A "thumbs up," and goodbye to Warren Bridge Campground!

After dropping off the keys and our summer supplies at the BLM office, we hit the road. Good traveling until west of Laramie, and then we drove for a couple of hours in snow! 

Turned to rain by the time we got near Ft. Collins, Colorado. The drive and poor weather conditions were worth it for a bit of time with son, Loren! We parked at the Elk's Lodge, and Loren came for a visit and, of course, breakfast burritos! 

Next stop was North 
Platte, Nebraska! Time to catch up with our youngest son, Ryan, and his family there. And, to meet our new grand-daughter! We had a wonderful visit, and sure wish we could all be together more often!

Our first morning there, Ryan came by with the three youngest while Kate was at work and Lucy was in school. Little airplanes were a hit! 

Adorable granddaughter, Zelie! 
Ignatius, Lucy, Obie... baby Zelie held by Ryan
Putting together airplanes with Grandpa

Fun visit and lunch with Kate & Ryan, while older two in school!

It was soon time to say goodbye and head south to Rexford, Kansas for a visit with Tom's aunt and cousin there! We had good visits and meals together... thanks to all for the meals and hospitality!
Tom and Joan
Sharla & Dwight

Tom and Sharla... special cousins!
From Kansas, we headed to Colorado Springs for some time with daughter, Kayla. We parked at the Elk's Lodge, and went back and forth to Kayla & Weston's house... enjoyed a nice dinner there our first night in town. One day, Kayla and Tom worked on some home projects, and we went to an early dinner with Kayla one evening while Weston was at work... didn't get much time with him, sadly, due to all our schedules. 
Have enjoyed time in the kitchen with Kayla since she was just a little girl!

Weston... this is a necklace he made.
He does some beautiful work!

Having some good German food at Edelweiss.

A bit more snow while in Colorado Springs, and we continued south to Roswell, New Mexico... finally out of cold and snow! We parked at the Elk's Lodge in Roswell, and visited with several friends there! 
Fun to see "Dan's Shop"

Dan & Barbara were our across-the-road neighbors for our four years in Roswell, 2008-2012... and for several years I worked for them at Family Furniture. Fun to visit and catch up a bit... thanks for lunch, and for returning the Christmas Cactus and yard art you had saved for us!

Rockhounding buddies, Tom and Jeri :)
Enjoyed an evening visit and dinner with Jeri! She hates photos... thanks for indulging me, Jeri! Really good to catch up after all this time, and Tom is thrilled to have back the lapidary equipment he had donated to the rockhounding club when we left town in 2012. Thought someone might need it, but guess it was supposed to return to him :) Plus, an additional saw... we were loaded down returning home!

Music festival buddies... Dianne, Tom, Bill, Nancy

Always a good time 
with Nancy & Bill... our summers in Wyoming keep us from the music festivals with them that we have so enjoyed in the past.
Again, one day! 

We made one last stop... this time in Midland, Texas with Tom's brother, Rob, and his family. Just couldn't figure a time we would be any closer, and it had been way too long since we were together... so good to see everyone, and "meet" Rae's son, Aiden. We parked at a nearby rv park and ran back and forth daily... delicious enchiladas by Sydney our first evening! The next day started off with breakfast burritos, a deli meat/cheese lunch, and fabulous smoked ribs for dinner! We never cooked while in Midland... we were treated royally! Thanks, y'all!
Tom and Rob... brothers together again, and always fun!

Rae, and her son, Aiden, Sydney, Athena... special nieces!

Breakfast before saying goodbye... Aiden, Rae, Sydney, Athena,
Dianne, Tom, Rob, Rebecca. Special time together!

Our drive from Midland to Tucson included a stop in a rest area just west of Deming, NM to sleep. Headed on home early the next morning, and arrived to blue skies and warm temps... so beautiful back in the desert! 
The beautiful, welcoming view from our back yard!!!
A couple of "oh, dears" to deal with upon our arrival... our kitchen refrigerator had quit working. Because we had no food stored in it while away, it was no loss. We called a repairman who had it up and running again that afternoon! Also, we knew there was a problem with our air conditioning thermostat, and had had a friend turn it off back in early July. When we turned it on again, found that no air was blowing. The same man who fixed the fridge looked at the A/C unit and found that the blower fan was broken... don't know all the technical terms... Tom and he took care of that :) But, I can tell you that it was a bit warm in our house! Expected it might be a week of discomfort, as we unloaded our motorhome and settled in again... pleasantly surprised when he called the next day to say he found all needed parts locally, and we were up and running that second evening! Hallelujah! 

So grateful to Carol & Jeff for having us to dinner after a busy day of unloading the rig and getting settled in our home again! Thank you, friends!

October finished out with getting organized, lots of time sitting on our patio and taking in the views and soaking up the warm weather! Tom began the project to partially enclose our carport... materials delivered and a great start!

Will be wonderful when completed... added privacy and shade! Once that's done, on to the fence project!

And, finally... on Monday, October 30th... Anna, and her 9-year-old son, Viggo, arrived from Sweden! For those who don't know, Anna was an exchange student with our family in Fallbrook, CA in 1988. Nathalie, from the Netherlands, was with us for the entire school year 1987-88, and Anna joined us for the spring semester. Both girls returned in 1990 for Brian's high school graduation, and moved with us to Colorado, staying into the summer. Nathalie and her finance, Wybren, visited in 2001, but I had not seen Anna since 1990. 

Anna and Viggo @ Pima Air & Space Museum
Anna and Nathalie have given me a card of inspirational words that are convincing me and Tom that it's time to begin making plans to visit their homes and families! 
It WILL happen!💗💗

It's been wonderful to be with Anna again after all these years! There has been much catching up this week... visiting, looking at old photo albums, tapping her Ikea decorating expertize, touring, etc.! 
Dianne and Anna. Staying connected is a wonderful thing!

Viggo carved a pumpkin with Tom and went trick-or-treating, U.S. style at a few of our neighbors' homes, and a nearby a "Trunk Or Treat" event at a nearby church!  

Silly Tom and Viggo
Anna and Dianne... hearts don't forget!

Taco Time!
Then it was time to wash the rental car and say goodbye :(

Thank you, dear sweet Anna and Viggo, for taking the time to come and visit us! We look forward to visiting Sweden and meeting Johan and Max one day, also! 💕💕 
****Be ready, Nathalie, Wybren, Sarah and Bram, also!💕💕

Be well, everyone!

Fondly, Dianne & Tom