Archive | January, 2015

Happy Birthday to me

29 Jan

Below is an email from my Mom I received tonight. She is telling me about the night I was born. She is going to be 95 soon and she still remembers my birth clearly, of course it was dramatic. I love celebrating my birthday because I am always very grateful I am still on this earth. Plenty of times I could have messed that up. I am 62 and will get my first social security check on March 2.
It is 1 am and I a supposed to be up at 5 am because Denny, Gayle, Dale, Mary, Mike and I are going to the Phoenix Open. We want to get there early and head to the 16th hole and be part of the craziness on that hole. I have my tiara to wear all day so I will fit right in with the crazies. I’m also awake because I have the squirmies and restless legs. We played 18 holes yesterday with Dale, Mike, Denny and I. Mary rode along with us. She isn’t able to play yet as she heals up from bunion surgery. My back is bothering me and I took a muscle relaxer so I think it is also making me squirmy. Feels good to be laying on heating pad. Yesterday was a full day of exercise and bicycling also. Even though my back hurts I broke 100 today and shot a 99. I’m also squirmy because we have a lot coming up. Finalized golf plans and dinner with friends next week while we are in Naco and Bisbee.
Beginning to get several calls a day for reservations. My waiting list for monthly’s is getting bigger. Also received a call for an order of bowl holders. That is making me squirmy not having my sewing machine with me but I am glad I don’t because I really want to feel like I’m on vacation.
The No Junk Food Challenge continues. I had a several hour binge of pumpkie pie with whipped cream on Sunday. That was day 22 of the 21 day challenge. Mary made the yummiest pie and I could not resist it. I don’t know why I had to eat 6 pieces but even if I wasn’t on the challenge I would have eaten that many. Back on track and am now on Day 26. Still have some other doing it with me so that helps a lot. Denny is off of it but still watching what he is eating. I am now under 150 pounds and would like to keep it that way. Trying to lose that tummy to take pressure off of my hiatal hernia. I do feel some difference.
Don and Mitzi joined us for dinner on Sunday night but they are back in Colorado now. I’m wondering if La Veta will get hit with snow soon. We are going to have a lot of rain on Friday and Saturday. It’s funny. It hasn’t been really warm here until today. But…when it is cloudy it feels chilly even though it is in the 70 s. The other day it was in the mid 60’s and a lady had on a winter coat and winter hat.
I love this area of Goodyear that Mary lives in. A very active community. The pickle ball courts were packed today. We hope to play a little while here. Gayle will go with us and help us remember how to play. People are always out walking or bicycling. The Zumba class was full the other night.
Just a little health tip for those who IBS. Mary sells Arbonne and she has this powder you put in your morning drink that really helps the regularity. Best I have used. Probiotic, prebiotic and enzymes. It’s an Arbonne product and she can order it.
Hope to see Selma on one of the rainy days. Also going to go to a gigantic quilt show at the Fairgrounds on Friday or Saturday. The “Loft” is also opening on Friday and I may have to see that too. It is a scary movie.
That’s it for now. Still squirmy, still awake, but may get a couple of hours in before our big day.

Happy Birthday Jay
I am writing this the day before your birthday while I am thinking about your birth. You were curious about everything before you were born. The night before we had company and I was sitting on the famous old green couch when suddenly my water broke. I crawled off the couch and yelled at Jack to call the Dr. He got flustered and called the Dentist. Then he took me to St. Francis hospital in Topeka and we had to stand at the admission desk and fill out forms and my shoes were full of water. You were getting impatient. We finally got to the delivery room and you arrived safely. They made the husbands stay in the waiting room during all this time. things have changed. I finally got back to my hospital room and Jack came in and then they brought this cute little baby in . You stared at us with big brown eyes and you had lots of black hair. I think you had a little smile . Probably wondering who the heck we were.
Mom and Ree were staying with Judy, Jolene and John. Mom and Ree got the flu and we had to stay at the hospital 12 days and Children could not to visit. Jack would bring them to the hospital yard and I would hold you by the window so they could see you. All the nurses got well acquainted with you. We finally got you home.
This was during the Korean War and Ree and and Dona and Chuck were staying with us while Don was at war.. John and chuck were still babies n diapers. You slept in a baby basket up on wheels in our bedroom. The first day the big cat jumped up in the basket and cuddled up to you. You always loved cats after that.
You are still cute and curious.

Day 6, Goodyear AZ

25 Jan

We left Green Valley around 1:30 on Friday.Had a great time and we was fun to see friends there. Met up with Lorne and Marilyn at a Cracker Barrel and visited for about an hour. They are friends we me through our RV park. We arrived at Mary’s house on Friday evening. Even experienced major traffic since we drove into Phoenix right at rush hour. We were able to totally unpack the jeep, get the bicycles off the racks, and do laundry, take a shower, get my nails painted. We celebrated somebody’s birthday last night at the Blank Angus. I think that person enjoyed it and we also met one of Mary’s new friends, Mike. Basically, Saturday was just a relax and chill out day.
Today I am starting my exercise program. Just do something everyday, i.e. walk, ride bike, do workout tape, golf, etc. I am entering the 4th week of No Junk food challenge. I did lose 6 pounds the last 3 weeks. Total weight loss since Nov. 1st is 12 lbs. My goal is around 145, maybe 140, we’ll see. Exercise today was a combo pilates/yoga tape and rode bicycle for about 30 min. It is so nice to be in flat country.
It would be nice if it was tad warmer. It actually gets warm about 4 pm and then it cools right off.
We are waiting for Mitzi and Don to come over. They are in the area visiting their kids. We are making kabobs, and mashed cauliflower, sweet potato casserole.
It is supposed to rain tomorrow and we are going to go to an afternoon movie. Probably will see American Sniper but I would like to see Selma also.
Lots of plans during the week.
Still feeling okay emotionally but can still tear up talking about Billie. It feels good to be around some sunshine which really warms my heart and I don’t feel as sad. I think there is a lot to that lack of sunshine sydrome. Of course, what syndrome don’t I have :)).
That’s it for now.

Day 3, Green Valley, AZ

22 Jan

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Photos are golf buddies and then trying not to drool over Bill and Diane’s yummy desert. I have added another week to my No Junk Food challenge because Konnie just joined 2 days ago. That puts on the challenge until February 7. Denny is looking forward to coming off it on Saturday. How time flies when you are eating healthy.

Finally we were able to get out and play golf. Of course, we brought some cold weather and winds from Kansas. We played with Doug, Kathy, Bill and Diane. Doug and Kathy from Lake Wabaunsee, Bill and Diane from Colorado. We played at Kino Springs and it was in great shape and I actually had a pretty good game. Diane was the winner from the 3 ladies. Afterward we had a nice dinner at Wisdoms which is a local landmark Mexican restaurant.
Our first bed surf is with Jim and Jeannie. They are friends from La Veta who also have a home here. When we arrived last night they were having birthday party for our friend Paula who is the most gorgeous 71 year old I know. We saw other friends from La Veta and met new people. Fun evening. We are also here tonight. Funny story. It was dark when we got back here and we pulled in front of their house. We both walked up to the front door and I opened it up, walked in and said “Mom and Dad, we’re home!”. A little gray fuzzy dog comes running out and it turns out we were at the wrong house!!! We got out of there fast because in AZ you can open carry weapons. I was afraid we would get shot. We still hope that they didn’t have a security camera and that the police won’t come knocking on the door.
Tomorrow is visiting friends here in Green Valley, having lunch with Lorne and Marilyn-friends from the RV park-and then off to Goodyear, AZ to stay with Mary for about a week.
Beginning to get calls everyday for reservations. That eeeees guud!

Day 1 of our couch/bed surfing adventure

21 Jan

Tonight we are staying in a hotel because we didn’t know anyone in Albuquerque. We are staying at the Isletta Casino hotel. It can be pricey but I went on Priceline and saved $60. Unfortunately I lost some of that in my favorite slot machine Zeus. He failed me on 4 different machines but it did take care of my gambling yen. We had a great day of driving through the back highways of Kansas, Oklahoma and New Mexico until we hit I-40. I slept a few hours because I had a late Monday night going to the KU/OU basketball game. It was an 8pm game and one of the most exciting I have been too. My friend Judy treated me and we had such a good time.

Feeling a little tense leaving Topeka and all the sadness that is still there. Dave’s funeral was Saturday and the inturnment was in a little cemetary on Sunday afternoon. It was a very nice funeral with lots of old friends of Denny’s and the motorcycle racing crowd from back in the day. Also, many of Dave’s friends who rode dirt bikes and 4 wheelers in the mountains of Colorado and all over the country. We’ll miss Jackie but will check in on her as we travel. She took such good care of Dave.

Billie is continuing to get her life in order. Still many things to get straightened out but plans are in motion. So far it doesn’t seem like the kids miss having Grandma Birdie around. 🙂

Even though we were only in Topeka about 6 days, it seems like we did a lot. Denny put a new vanity in Billie’s bathroom. I taught Torrie how to make micro bowl holders. We had a little sweat shop set up in her basement and made 12 of them. She was a fast learner. We gave them to Billie for some more thank you gifts. I ran into a few buddies, Bruce, John and Mark. Also have reconnected with some very nice friends from school which has been fun. Plan on having lunch soon with some of them.

Looking forward to the next several days. Our first bed surf will be with Jim and Jeannie in Green Valley. We will arrive late afternoon tomorrow and they are having a birthday party for one our friends. Many La Veta buddies will be there too. We’ll spend 2 nights there. On Thursday we are playing golf with Doug and Kathy who were friends from Lake Wabaunsee. Bill, a bicycle buddy and his friend will join us also. We’ll play golf with Jim and Jeannie on Thursday morning and then we will head further west toward Goodyear where Mary lives. On the way we are going to have lunch with Marilyn and Lorne, friends who stay with us at our rv park. They even offered us a bed! That’s what we are up to the next 3 days.


I was supposed to be in Namakkal, India at this time but due to all the circumstances of life I had to cancel. Don, in the center, is my mentor. He is visiting Murgan and Gomathi in there little house that our mission built for them. For those who donate to my Friends of Namakkal mission, this is the family we take care. They are thriving and I believe the sister will begin college studies soon.


Here is the cinder block house that Friends of Namakkal built for the children when we discovered a huge hole in their thatch roof. Many things have been upgraded since 2008. So many positive projects have been happening since I was there. The CARE health center continues to give medical care to those who cannot afford the government hospitals. I stay in contact with a couple of the employees from the clinic. I love this mission.

That’s it for now. We don’t have to leave at the crack of dawn, so I can sleep in until at least 8 am.

Our junk food challenge continues on. We had apples and popcorn in the car plus some ice tea and energy drinks. I hate when we stop for gas to walk by the Klondike bars and all the pop and candy. I pretty much go right to the bathroom and go right back to the car. Denny only has 5 days left so he is looking forward to being done with it. I shall continue to support the participants who started a week late. It has been an easy challenge but feeling the benefits does help keep me motivated.

Good night. Please take care of yourselves, get affairs in order as we will while on this trip. Take care of issues that cause your heart pain.

We just roll with the punches

12 Jan

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Love this photo of a drawing Elliott did telling her brothers and the dog Easton that they cannot come into her bedroom. She just cracks me up and I’m thinking those may be swear words???? My dad used to be so proud of the way I cussed. Does that sound a little crazy? Dad had a very dry sense of humor and most of my school friends didn’t think he had any humor. I loved it when I made him laugh.
Denny and I arrived in La Veta Friday evening. A total junk free/soda free trip. I even stayed awake the whole time. Of course we had to run into heavy fog and light icy the closer we got to La Veta. Something very cool happened. As we were coming down the last hill in to town the fog magically lifted. All of the sudden we could see the shadows of the Cristos and the Peaks. A few planets in the sky. Very surreal but very welcoming. Just another sign that this is where we are meant to be.
We were back in the car Saturday morning to attend Jenni Mead’s wedding in Denver. What a wonderful ceremony. They are both devoted to Jesus, mission work and to each other. There were many people from other countries that Jenni has helped as they relocated to the Denver area. It was fun being with our friends Becky,Kevin, Rick and Anna who drove in from Topeka. We drove back that night. Do you believe that we have over 6 thousands miles on the Jeep that we bought in October.
Speaking of the Jeep, Denny is preparing it for our couch surfing trip that we will be taking this winter. There are logistics in play due to the bicycle rack and how we will get our things out. One idea is to fold the back seats down and load everything from side door. Of course this means that there will no sleeping in the back seat for me but that is okay. When I am done writing today, I must get up and be productive. I feel we are going to be leaving tubs all over the country and then pick them up when we come back home in the spring. I have golf clothes to pack, swimming suits, bicycle clothes-warm and cold weather-plus repack winter clothes. Next I need to pay campground bills, order a wig, send a couple of cards, do tons of laundry and stay on my no junk food eating, which by the way we are on day 8.
Speaking of the no junk eating we had 4 more start it up today. It really does help doing this through facebook and everyone can comment on their struggles and successes.
My roll with the punches is due to the incoming snowstorm that could keep us here a little longer than originally planned which seems to happen to us a lot with our winter travels. We really just deal and go on and it also gives us a day to feel a little less rushed. We were going to leave tomorrow to try and beat the storm but we’ll see.
We are working on getting tickets to the Waste Management golf tourney in Phoenix at the end of the month. Mary, Gayle, Dale and us are trying to get it to all work out. Even though it would be fun to actually go to a playing round it’s economically more feasible to just go to a practice round.
I actually woke up today and didn’t feel like crying. I’ve started back on liquid Vitamin B12 and I think that is helping. Still have a lot of sadness around us and I think a lot of people do right now. I may just embrace it, deal with it, feel the love that also comes from it, be as much support as possible and go on. So many incredible life changes have happened these last couple of months. To have the chance to be a grandma, a shoulder to cry on for my brave and strong daughter, to have a renewed relationship with my amazing son KC who has the ability to survive so many challenges and some of them very scary, to feel closer to Denny and to know the depths that he will go through for others and to do it with such grace and kindness. I love him so much I actually stop breathing sometimes when I think about it. I know this is beginning to sound like a mantra from me, but please make things right with as many loved ones as possible. Try not have regrets, anger, resentments hanging over you. That was one of the blessings that I blogged about awhile back regarding some people in my life that I was dealing with those issues inside of me and I can tell that letting go of those feelings regarding them has helped me feel so much better.
It is beginning to snow, I am going to Zumba with my bestie Mitzi tonight. Had a wonderful massage with my bestie masseuse Diana yesterday. Hope to see a few more friends before we head out.
Hasta la vista

Feeling what? Sad, confused, overwhelmed, lost

7 Jan


First, here is the final room that needed to painted and I do believe it is my favorite. Billie has a finished basement that just needed to be made cheerier. It is so fun looking and was a fun project. Denny put down the carpet squares and I did the painting. Billie was so happy.
But then there were tears because Denny and I packed up and moved out to Larry and Torries last night. Billie and I hugged and cried but we both know it was time for me to leave. The kids are back in school. I know she will be strong and make it through but I also know it will feel emptier not having someone there when she comes home. Her great friends continue to check on her and have been so wonderful. Denny and I both were happy to be there for her and do the projects on her house. It looks so pretty. We love her little family very much and want to be there for her. She is even doing the 21 day no junk food challenge!!
Speaking of the challenge, it is going pretty well. I’m not quite sure how many of us are doing it, but it is fun having friends doing it with us. We are on Day 4 now.
I can’t believe how much stuff we had to pack up yesterday. I think there were 4 tubs, 3 suitcases, sewing machines, bags. It seems so long ago when I was just throwing things together to get in the car and drive all night on October 31.
We hauled a lot of it over to Torries but left some at Billie’s. Here is our new plan. Stay here until Friday and then head to Colorado. Our friend Jenni is getting married on Saturday in Colorado Springs. Then……..we are going back to La Veta and begin packing to head south. Then……we’ll come back to Topeka on Monday to hang out for awhile. We want to be with our friend Dave and Denny has a couple of things to do at Billies. Then…..we’ll head toward Texas and then to AZ. I am soooooo ready for some warm sunshine. Mary told me that I cannot bring my sewing machine into her house. She said we are not doing projects. We are going to exercise, play pickleball, go to the pool, play golf, ride bikes, etc. Can’t wait.
Today I am just in the basement. Have a sewing machine out and may do a little project. It feels good to just be. Been on the phone, texting, facebooking. Can’t believe it is already 1:17 and I haven’t done a thing. Why does that feel wrong? Denny left around nine into the blustery cold. I don’t know what the temps are but it is bitter.
It still feels easy to get teary, but trying not to. I don’t think I’m depressed, just sad. Is there a difference?
I am feeling very proud of my son KC. A friend of his had to be taken to the hospital due to an overdose. KC is there with him so he won’t be alone. KC has also been a great help to Billie and we have had some nice visits. Love him mucho.
Meeko and Jumper are still with Ruth and will be for quite awhile. We have decided not to take them south, much to Mary’s delight. Traveling with pets can be like traveling with kids. Stopping to pee a lot, needing a drink. It’s much easier to travel without them. Ruth loves them like they are her own.
One thing we will really miss in Topeka is going to Gracepoint Church. The sermon this week was on “what is going to be our wall”. Jeremiah built a wall in Jerusalem that took 52 days. He never came down no matter what was offered to entice him. He just continued building. So we were asked “what is our wall for 2015?” I think I will have different walls. Right now it is the No Junk Food challenge. That may sound trivial, but after my last physical, very necessary. I have a couple of other things I am thinking that challenge me and I need to change, but we’ll cross that wall when I come to it.
Time to begin my 3 hour quilt. It’s a flannel throw with bears and deer on it. Let’s see if it truly takes 3 hours.