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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