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Saturday, June 25, 2016


Our Golden Girl  

Pepper and Sunshine

Nice memories

Thursday, June 23, 2016


Hot Enough.. .

Aidan took advantage of our heat and his solar oven to make grilled cheese for lunch.  

How We Do Pineapples

As you can see even here in the desert we can have pineapples!  

Not a Cali Girl Anymore

Funny how much change can happen in 3-1/2 years.  I was told by a very wise young man at a Five Guys restaurant that "you acclimate after the first year".  It was August, Steve was doing his 3rd interview for his present job and I was trying to beat the 115 degree day since there were no indoor malls in that part of Scottsdale-I must have looked ready to die because the young man wouldn't even let me pay for my drink-just handed me a cup and gasped.

Fast forward to now and we're in the midst of our 4th summer, it's 115 outside at 10 a.m. and I'm just piling through the day with Dylan and Aidan.  Can't go to the water park, the pool or the splash pads-it's as the song says, "Too Darn Hot".

This week has been rather rough.  After hosting Father's Day dinner, the kids all left, dinnerware was washing and it was a mere 112 at 10 p.m..  Then IT happened.  The air-conditioning unit blew out.

Do you have even an inkling of what it's like to sleep in 95 degrees with fans blowing hot air around and sharing my side of the bed with a 7 pound cat on one side (head resting on my shoulder) and a 6 pound dog along the opposite side? 

Let me tell you:  YOU DON'T!

By 5 a.m. Steve and I realized we were in trouble.  Except Steve had the luck of going to work.  I left early for my water aerobics class and stayed late.  The pool felt GREAT.  Got home and Steve had contacted the home warranty company and set up a repair for the next day.  Between 1-5.

It's really nice to have our son and daughter living at the end of the block.  We were invited (pets and all) to stay there until the a/c was fixed.

Thankfully, the repair person came at 2 and said the heat had blown the capacitor.  He fixed it and we were able to move back in around 5.  Pepper was pretty happy about that-at 13 he isn't happy about even the slightest change in his daily routine of playing fetch, teasing Lucky and sleeping.  He peed on Jackson's rug and then did the opposite in our closet once we got home.

Which brings me to how we know that we are now Arizonans and not Cali "transplants":

1-We don't expect cold water out of any of our cold water taps.
2-We keep an ice chest in my trunk so we can buy a bag of ice when grocery shopping to make sure our food arrives home in edible condition and not cooked.
3-We know how to pronounce Cholla, Papago, Haboob and Saguaro, plus-we know what they mean to us here in AZ.
4-Even when we park in the shade, we put in a customized sunscreen in the windshield and keep a towel in reach so we can touch the steering wheel.
5-You will never see us walking around without a bottle of water.
6-We expect to use the clause in our car insurance policies that give us new windshields.  Cracks are just part of the charm of living here.
7-Just because we have a community pool doesn't mean you will see us using it after 10 a.m. because we know we can still get sunstroke.
8-We never walk barefoot.  Outside we're asking for burned feet/possible stings or inside where we could still get a scorpion bite.
9-Just because we hear the thunder, see the lightning and "feel" the moisture-this doesn't mean we expect rain.  And when we get it-we're not sure if it will dry before hitting the ground or flood the entire area.
10-We expect to lose power at least twice during the summer months.  How long?  Does it really matter?
11-When it does rain and we happen to be driving we pull off the road because we don't know how to turn on our wipers, they probably won't work and besides the rain is usually hitting so hard that it will break the hot glass.
12-We think the house is cold when it's 80 inside after we've let our dogs out to potty in 110 degrees.
13-Unless we golf-we don't know what grass is anymore.
14-Before I let the dog out, I check for rattlesnakes, owls, hawks, bobcats and coyotes.  Lucky is the perfect size snack for all of these and all of them have visited our yard at some point since moving here.
15-We don't decorate for Christmas-but those who do decorate cacti because there's not a fir tree anywhere in the community.

And that is life here in AZ.  Despite what you've just read, it's a beautiful place that I'm proud to be living in.  Finally.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016


Solar oven fun  


Boys are making solar ovens and making s'mores

Saturday, June 18, 2016


A Baby for Sunshine

A while back I won a spot in a book for my story on how Pepper came into our lives.  The book is out on Amazon:

The funny thing about this is-I've got $65 amazon gift bucks to use but can't find the way to use them and I've never bought a thing on Amazon!!!  As soon as I find them though, I'm buying a few copies!!!

Friday, June 17, 2016


Pepper is NOT Happy About Seeing the Vet

Thursday, June 16, 2016


Goose Eggs and Ninjas

When our kids were little, obviously someone was always getting a bump, bruise, scrape, broken bone or other malady.  Hey, it's part of growing up.  But when you're a grandparent, you figure you won't be too involved in some of all this-unless you are like Steve and me.

Since we are caregivers to Dylan and Aidan 2-3 days a week, we are the one's who need to handle the immediate little things-you know the items I'm talking about:  Scrapes on the face or knees (or wherever) while rough-housing after being told not to touch each other only about a dozen times.  The pokes in the eye from some hug that got out of hand and moved to hitting and annoying the heck out of each other and their grandparents.  The crying because someone's movie was 30 seconds longer than the other and "he still gets a turn". 

Ah, the fun of child-rearing.  I'd say the "second" time around, except that besides Sarah and Adam, Steve and I raised over 120 kids over the course of 10 years as day care/pre-school teachers.  So this is not the second or even third time we've heard the screams, the cries and the "it's not fairs".

This week, Steve wanted to go to the local bagel place for breakfast.  It's a hangout for many-bagels are quite good, they' carry Boar's Head meats, coffee is good and there are a LOT of choices.  Plus, for a mere $5.75 you get a bagel with your choice of meat, cheese and egg and a re-fillable coffee.  Our favorite?  Steve goes for a toasted everything with gyro meat, provolone and egg.  Me?  I'm more of either the 9 grain toasted or pumpernickel with the gyro meat and egg.   Coffee is a must if I want to be coherent and tolerable for the rest of the day.

After that, we toddled across the street to Albertson's (grocery store for those of my Euro readers)and bought the sale items we needed.  Hey, we're serving ribs for Father's Day and they had them buy 1, get 3 free!

Then we texted our older grandsons' father and let him know to have the boys ready for pick up.  That's when we were told that the eldest boy (Dyl) had managed to hit his head and that even though it looked better-he had given himself quite the "Egg". 

Sigh.  Seems other than watch him and put some ice on the knot between his eyes, Dylan just went on as usual. 

Thankfully, it was Maker Camp day and the creative work on the menu was to make their own board game.  The boys had fun and then, since Uncle Adam had the day off, asked him over to play several rounds of their version of Chutes and Ladders. 

When Sarah came we let her know of the Goose Egg story and she spent the remaining portion of the night in the ER making sure it was just a bump that needed rest.  No MRI or CTscan needed.  But yes there's a slight concussion there and she had to wake him ever 3 hours.

As I write this, we're getting ready to go to the library for Ninja Mania day.  Upon our return, there's a bit of reading (less for Dyl since he's supposed to rest) and lots of NOTHING. 

We're under yet another round of excessive heat warnings-it's presently 9:30 a.m. and the temps outside are already a mere 102.  So they know better than to ask for the pool, the water park, the splash pads or the park in general.

 Aidan is giving me quite the argument-but I'm older, wiser and maybe a slight bit more patient than I was in my younger years.  And in a minute, if I snap-he'll find out that it's in his best interest to do what grandma says and not what he wants, if he wants to survive the summer.

Now that we're back-it seems grandma was right-it was a lot of fun.  Besides the photos below of the new Jenga Masters, the boys made Ninja masks, Ninja kisses (cute jars with chocolate kisses in them), origami Ninja stars, finger puppets, wobbly Ninja masters and even got another temporary tattoo.

The boys even became "models" for the library's FaceBook page-they were proud to show off their building skills for all of Anthem to see.  

My Jenga masters

Here's just a bit of library fun!

Wednesday, June 15, 2016


The Indignity of it

Pepper isn't happy about his physical. But he is a very healthy 13 year old.

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