We Weak Is Almost Gone; The Strong Isa Here!

Traveling on a flying carpet is a rugged experience.

Mary is back to work today, so I am at home doing much-needed jobs around the house.  At 11:15 AM, I hoped in The Silver Fox and headed to the Elks Lodge for the weekly “Girls Night Out.” the five of us just jabbered about everything.  I told them about the trip and said we would have pictures out pretty soon.

After the vacation, I was up a few pounds, so I took it easy at lunch, NOT!

After the meeting, I went to MAry’s and got the baby Scout as we don’t want to leave him alone that long.  He came to my house and stayed with me.  He helped with the chores.

We had a dinner reservation at Patty’s Place, and when Mary departed the VA, she came over here.  We hurried out and made our 6:00 PM reservation.  Filet Mignon was the order of the day.  We had a load of fun and visited with Chuckie, our favorite bartender.

Good groceries!

I showed Miss Mary, my bandaging job, and she disapproved.  Well, it was a tad messy.  She said she would do a proper job later on.

It looks like an explosion in a tape factory!

We watched a little TV before saying goodnight to each other.

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Off To Lunch And The Dentist!

What does a marching band member use to brush her teeth? A tuba toothpaste.

It’s a full day, which began with checking on the veggies.  They are doing quite well, but this weekend I plan to adjust the water sprinkler heads slightly for a little more coverage.

Mary, the organizer, made a list of “to do’s” and updated the shopping list.  We have cooking plans this weekend.

Oh dear, I had better be good!

At 10:30 AM, we headed to the Yucatan Grill to meet up with Miss Robin.  Mary was off from work, so it was the three of us.  Beautiful ladies surrounded me.  I had a margarita and was wound up.  I do not remember what I said, but I got a double “na-na-na-na I don’t want to hear it” from the girls.

What in the world did I say???

We talked and talked, and it would have been perfect had Colleen been here to join us.  We will talk to her later on.

I love my family!

Mary thought their tamales were good and of course, I went for the shrimp diablo!

While taking the pictures, Robin pointed out the lizard on the ceiling above us.  We decided he was fake after the initial shock wore off.  Then little guys began to stare down at our meals.

He looked hungry!

After lunch, we stopped by my house to move things around in the washer/dryer and check on the pool pump.  Fortunately, the pool fellow was there, and the noise Vicky heard was the pump reacting to the hose being filled with leaves.

Now it off to the dentist where I got a crown put in and made arrangements for a second crown in the next two weeks.  I had let my teeth “go” during the last two years as I was busy taking care of Sue.  Now I am catching up on all that stuff.

On the way to the dentist, we relived the zip line adventure, and I found this picture of us all harnessed up just before we began the adventure.  Mary forgot the Depends” she planned to put on me.

It took twenty minutes to unfasten all the ropes, belts, handcuffs, harnesses, etc.

We visited “Annie the Dentist,” and I got the new crown installed.  Mary joined me as she and Annie are friends.  Mary mentioned we should go to the dentist more often, it was the only time I had my mouth open, and nothing came out…peace and quiet!

Mary yelled, “Hallelujah, it’s a miracle! He is quiet!”

We headed for home, but we stopped at the Rib Trader to visit Jim The Bartender and get something for dinner.  Well,  Jim sees us and has a “never leave a glass half empty” policy.  I had at least two glasses of wine, at least.  Mary was the supervising adult this evening. We got ribs for us and a half-cow for Zack!

We got home, and I took a pain pill as the arm was acting up from yesterday’s surgery. I promptly went horizontal, awaiting my bon-bons, but no bon-bons were forthwith.  I did, however, get two LARGE beef ribs and then crashed, augered in.

Zack came over and fixed two of Mary’s TVs that we didn’t know how to make work.  Mary sent him home with a full rack of beef ribs.  I did not move until after 5:00 AM.  Whatever the pain pills were truly worked.

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Doctors, Chores, and Errands Oh My!

Do you know which chore sucks? Vacuuming.

How very appropriate:

Not a great year!

We are up early as I had an appointment with the surgeon at 8:30 AM in Long Beach.  The doctor did his thing, cutting out another piece of cancer from my forearm.  Mary came along to supervise, and it turns out they had medical friends in common. The opening is about four inches long, and I have to be careful with the arm for several days.

The doctor wrote me a prescription for the arm.  It says, and I quote, “Patient to be horizontal and fed cherry-flavored bon-bon’s every fifteen minutes.  If pain persists, apply pressure to feet using hands. Bon-bons and foot massage to be provided by a beautiful lady”.

My ouch is in a perfectly bad spot!

We called Irene to see if she wanted Greek food for lunch but she was heading out to the casino’s to reduce their profit margins by a few points.

Leaving the doctor’s office, we went to Party City to get things for Thanksgiving.  We got invitations and plates, and Thanksgiving napkins, etc.  Mary will be the hostess (along with Robin) at our Thanksgiving get together. I am honored to have these ladies in my life!

From there, we went to Chez Liles, where I unpacked my bags and got a load of wash started.  Mary brought her mail to go through, and we puttered around the house for a while.

Then it was off to Mary’s office, where I was outfitted with a pair of clear daytime glasses.

And we are off now to another doctor, Mary’s dermatologist.  At our age, these derm’s make a killing.  While I was waiting, I asked her doctor if this procedure was a possibility:

Hey, it was worth a try.

When Mary remembered she had a prescription to pick up at a compounding pharmacy in Los Alamitos, we headed for my home instead of going to Mary’s.  Amazingly enough, her pharmacy was the same place I went to many times to pick up special meds.  While on our way, I stopped at the shoe repair because I have been carrying around some shoes needing work for almost a month.

It’s approaching 4:00 PM, so I suggested we see if Charlotte is at Old Ranch and have a drink.  Not only was she there, but Wayne was with her having dinner. Mary and I looked at each other and decided to order only ONE item.  We learned from our road trip!

We talked with Wayne and Charlotte for quite a while.

Mary and Charlotte talked in German, which is good for both of them!  Wayne and I just looked at each other, puzzled at what they may be saying.

Mary thought the salmon looked delicious, so we got one to share and took it home.

I decided I better do a selfie, so folks will know I am really here.

Yes, I was really there!

We went VFR to Mary’s house, unpacked our treasures from today’s shopping activities, and then had our salmon.  We tried to watch Two And A Half Men, but the Wifi and TV were NOT cooperating.  We goofed around with it until frustration set in, and we needed help.  Zachary, my grandson, will come over after work and get things going for us again.

Tomorrow we are going to surprise Robin and both of us will be at the Yucatan Grill for lunch!  Then I go back to the dentist where other rare forms of torture will be performed on me.

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All Good Things Must Come To An End

I saw a mouse on the road. It was a roadent

The last day of our first road trip adventure, and all is going amazingly well.  We ordered room service, and again, we ordered too much.  I could not pass up the biscuits and gravy.  Mary’s head was cut off by request because a wild animal, possibly a raccoon, took up residence in her har during the night.

It was frightening.  So much so, the people who delivered breakfast took a look at Mary, yelled, and ran down the corridor screaming something in Spanish like, “Fue horrible. Un animal salvaje abrió la puerta.”

Note: If you see Paul in person and you have a #20 bill, the rest of the picture is available FOR VIEWING ONLY, no copies allowed.

Food and more food!

After the police arrived and determined it was just a bad hair morning, we headed out of Scottsdale around 10:30 AM.  We were asked to bring a hairnet for the next visit.  They are still looking for the waiters that brought the breakfast.  They were last seen doing thirty-five miles an hour on Interstate 10. We are off!

This image was close to the truth!

The weather was perfect, but the road repair folks put about 45 minutes of delay into the schedule. We stopped at several of the rest stops to stretch our legs and get the circulation going again.

We stopped to see Annie and Virgil before going home to get Scout.  It was a long day!

After getting home, I unloaded Mary’s bags, which took about an hour.  The four suitcases were easy, but the two steamer trunks and nine garment bags took some time.  Then there were the nineteen shoe boxes.  It’s funny; I do not remember her wearing any of the six pairs of high heels or rain boots??

By the time I was done, hunger set in, plus I was tired.  I mustered up the last of my energy and returned to the car to get her surfboard, rock collection, barbells, basketball hoop, and the ironing board.  Mary was prepared for any eventuality, I guess.

Breakfast for dinner, one of my favorites.

A wonderful way to end the day!

We watched Two Men and a Boy, and that was it!  It was an amazing adventure which we absolutely enjoyed!

This never happened, I think we got even closer by being close!

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Day 4 – Just Hanging Around

We were in the hot tub last night enjoying the views of the incoming lightning storm, not thinking of the danger.
And then it struck us….

We got up early and had breakfast before heading over to the “Out Of Africa” park, where we had an 11:00 AM reservations on the zip line.

Mary made the selection for breakfast, and it was a lot of food.  We did a pretty good job making it disappear.  The waffle was huge.

Our eyes were bigger than our tummies!

Big smile as we laughed over all the food that suddenly appeared.  Where are the wild pigs when you need them?

Mary made sure we had plenty of food!

At the risk of blowing up my iPhone, I took a picture of myself.  The lens frosted over a bit, but I managed one reasonable photo.

Yes, I was on the trip also!

Time to get dressed.  Mary knew how to dress for the zip line.  Her britches had more pockets and zippers in them than an entire motorcycle gang.  Then, she puts on the war paint, an amazing process!

Mary puts on her “war paint” and is ready to hang upside down 100 feet above hungry lions!

Mary was kind and brought me some depends because of my fear of heights. We are off to the zipline. It was about a 40-minute drive and easy to find since we had three GPS systems onboard today.  Mary is an excellent navigator, but she has a bad habit of saying, “Right turn, Clyde.”  I accidentally punched three stop signs and a little old lady in a wheelchair.

Yes…I had to climb those stairs—twenty-two stories above the desert.

So, Mary The Brave went first, and she yelled “Geronimo” and scared two lions and a zebra to death.  The animals below us looked to the sky, thinking the world was ending.

Off she goes

I, on the other hand, jumped off the platform with barely a whimper.  That was because I did NOT want to fill my Depends on the first jump!.

“Mary! When were the lions fed last??”

It took about two hours to go on all four zip lines as we had others in the party.   When we got back to earth, I gave Mother Earth a big smooch.

We had twenty pounds of straps and other equipment fastened to us.

We departed after visiting the gift shop and headed south to Scottsdale for our visit with Hans and Kirstin.  They have a beautiful home out in the wilderness.  We killed off two champagne bottles and then headed out to dinner and the local fine dining establishment where we did in another bottle of wine between laughs and giggles.

Hans, Kerstin, Mary, and Paul

We made potential plans for a December revisit to see them and maybe with the Zaitz and the Duda’s!

Wow! She lite up the night!

After arriving at our hotel, Mary spotted a huge swimming pool, which was 95 degrees.  We decided that it would be a wonderful idea to work out the kinks.  It was a fantastic idea.  We tried to get a drink, but the bar was closed.  However, both of us had a “sad face,” a young couple came over and asked what was wrong.  Mary began to cry.  I told them our sad tale of being without alcohol.  They shared their beers with us, and we were all happy again.

Christmas decorations are already going up.

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Day Three – Out And About

Ever thought about how funny mountains are? They’re hill areas.

We were up bright and early and heard the pigs next door.  Breakfast and coffee arrived right on time, 9:00 AM sharp!  Mary ordered our breakfast and it was enough for four people.  We are both going to hide our bathroom scales when we get home.

She ordered a bigger one today!

We fed the piggies our leftovers.  Mary decided to name them.  Piggy 1, Piggy 2, and Piggy 3 were not original, but it worked.

Come and get it, little guys.

We drove for an hour, taking the long way to get there, and as we went, we talked to Jan M. and told her about the trip. Old Town Clarkdale straight ahead.  We drove the speed limit, much to Mary’s dismay, but we got there with time to spare.

We stopped in Clarkdale in a section called Old Town.  The air was nippy but comfortable.

Old Town Clarkdale was wonderful.

The gas station was an amazing find—Gilmore gasoline, same as LA Farmers Market.

The old gas station

The antique store was next door, and it was a blast to walk through the past.

Roaming around the antique store

The train station had a little museum, and it was well done. We spent half an hour reading the charts.

We loved the train museum.

We were in a car name Scottsdale, and we had a super table for two.  We shared a good BM (Bloody Mary) before cracking open our wine.

Riding the rails

We spent a lot of time outside seeing the scenery.

Yes… we danced

I was puzzled, the big camera

Come on camera, work!!

It was a four-hour trip and the time went by fast!  The scenery was out of this world; a geologist’s dream come true.  Joe should have been here to explain all the formations.

The train ride was amazing.

It was dusk when we returned to Sedona, so we stopped at The Pump House and had dinner.  I went off-roading and had a margarita while Mary settled for a glass of fine.  We did surf and turf.  The restaurant was only three blocks from our hotel, so it was easy to find our way home.

Tomorrow we are going to the “Out Of Africa” park and going zip-lining at 11:00 AM.  Great fun, and the vacation has been totally amazing.

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Friday Is Here And So Are We!

Loving this road trip, but all this driving is tire-ing!

After getting the temperature under control, all was well.  We stayed in a B&B and the breakfast was really good.  Mary ordered the meal and we put our selections in the dropbox near the front door, you know, Covid-19 and all.  Mary was amazed at how much food was delivered.

“I ordered all of this?”

We looked next door in the meadow and there was a mess of wild pigs.  I looked like an entire family of critters.  We took some pictures using the “big” camera so you will see them on the website when we get back!

We got cleaned up and took a short trip into town around noon to get a gift for the doggy sitter.  The candle shop was a perfect place to go; the artists around these parts are quite clever.

We took a walk on the property and went down by the Old Mill Stream (I made that up). There was three individual steams and little bridges.

The temperature was in the mid-60s, just perfect.

Mary went off-roading until I told her about the hoop snakes that reside in the area.  A hoop snake is one that bites himself in the tail and rolls toward his victim at nearly 25 revolutions per minute; you can’t get away from them.  I am not sure Mary bought that observation. but it was good for a laugh

mary was dressed for the occasion.

We had an appointment at 1:00 PM for a couples massage in our room!  We had NO idea of what that was but it turned out as “just” two masseuses, one boy and one girl, doing two massages in the same room together.  They played Chopin in the background and I went off to sleep after about 45 minutes.  Wow!  It was really quite an experience.

The grounds are beautiful so a walk is on order. The temperature is in the low 50s.

After the massage, we went into town and walked by the various stores. Quite an interesting collection of stuff. We also used the time to find our restaurant this evening, we had reservations for 7:00 PM.

Mary found a treasure that is coming home with us.

We decided to call the place early and see if we could get in.  Well, they said come on over and we got there about 5:15 PM and got the best seat in the house. Bella Vita Ristorante was quite amazing. It was six miles out of town and the food/ambiance was perfect.  Bella Vita’s aesthetically classic environment provides the perfect rendezvous for a romantic date

I had the best view in the house!

We sat there and jabbered for a good hour and a half.  We learned from last night, no appetizers, and she took one glass out of the second bottle of wine.

We enjoyed the dining experience.

Of course Mary, in her every creative attempt to draw attention to us ordered Peach Flambe.  Being quite naive, I thought flambe was a cereal.  Alas, the naivete was shattered when the restaurant erupted in flames and four fire sprinklers came to life.

It was a three-alarm fire required fire engines from Flagstaff to be sent.

From there we passed by the market to get some goodies and then home.  The temperature was in the low 50s so we decided to stay in and watch TV.  We watched “The Wedding Planner” and laughed ourselves silly.

We crashed early as tomorrow we go on the railway at Clarkdale, about 35 minutes down the road.

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We Are Off!

Windmills? I’m a huge fan!

Yes, we are going on a road trip and plan to spend a few days in Sedona Arizona, away from the maddening crowds.  It was decided when we went through our individual “bucket lists”.  I have not been there in over thirty years and Mary has never seen it.

We will have a magnificent time!

We departed Orange at 8:30 AM and arrived at the hotel at 6:00 PM.  We took Interstate 40.  Take a look at what we saw from Barstow to Flagstaff.

We stopped for a fine dining experience at Chez Liles, sometimes called Subway!  Mary is quite flexible.  We were In-An-Out in fifteen minutes.

The buzzard had his eyes on Mary!

We stopped at the Creekside Bistro and it was perfect.  Mary went for the lamb chop lollipops while the old man went for the salmon wellington.  I made the mistake of also ordering brushetta for two as an appetizer, that could have been the entire meal!

We had a dark romantic spot in the cafe, outside, and the temperature was in the 40s.

We killed off two boggles of Cakebreak and then it was time for dessert.  Well, I should have known that Mary talked to the waiter and told him of my alergy to Creme Broulee so he cooked it for her and she got the entire thing.  I ended up with a sugar packet and a small toothpick!

Ray fixes dessert for Mary

Mary affixed her brilliant smile to the chocolate broulee just to keep it warm.  So, I blinked and like magic, it was gone…disappeared…empty plate.  I did get to smell a hint of the dessert as it was being gobbled.

“My Creme Broulie!”

Returning to the hotel, we attempted to watch TV but alas, the eight hours in the car and the tiny amount of wine we had put us to sleep almost immediately.

Knowing it was going to be cold, I turned on the fireplace and the heater.  At 3:00 AM, Mary work me up and the place was boiling!  I ended up opening the door to the outside which overlooks a meadow to get the temperature down to the 60s.

Keep tuned for more!

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Thank You Vetrans For Your Service To Our Country

I meant to look for my missing watch, but I could never find the time!

I headed over to Mary’s after I packed for the mini-vacation we have planned.  I never packed for myself, and it was a chore deciding what to bring.  Two suitcases later, I was ready to go.  I charged the cameras and got nice warm coats ready.

After I arrived, I did some errands while Mary was packing.  I gassed the car, bought water for the trip, etc.

Mary packed in the morning, and in the afternoon, we went to Annie’s doctor’s appointment.  We got there early, so Mary gave me the grand tour as she went to medical school.  We even returned to the house she bought while in medical school.  It was enlightening.

Mary said the campus had changed quite a bit since she was there in the 1970s.

We got home after dark and decided it was time for The Rib Trader.  We first dropped off Scout at his babysitter’s home. 

Jim was not on duty tonight at the Rib Trader, but we did meet the owner.  Mary wore her service hat from the American Legion.  I am very proud of this lady!

Mary is an amazing woman!

We decided to get our dinner to go so we could watch the CMA, but alas, it was over by the time we got home at 8:00 PM.  We did watch some TV, but since we are traveling tomorrow, it was appropriate to crash early.  Everything is ready to go, and we are targeting an 8:00 AM departure so we can be in Sedona before dark.

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Tuesday Has Arrived In All It’s Glory!

I was accused of being a plagiarist, their word, not mine.

It was cold again last night as I woke up to a house that was 68 degrees.  I quickly fixed that issue. Mary is at the VA today and is planning to leave early for her doctor’s appointment.  I proceeded to do chores around the house, pay some bills, and do some wash.

Yeah!  She got out real early and came by my house, so I got to drive her to/from her doctor, which is all of six minutes away.  Amazingly enough, Sue, Robin, and Mary had/have the same doctor!

When Mary was done, we decided to see Chuck at Patty’s Place and have a bite to eat and a drink.  We shared their prime rib sliders and some artichoke hearts.  I was amazed as I thought I would have to opt for more sardines, but Mary shared this evening.

Mary’s dinner

I told Chuck of Mary’s 48-ounce steak that she did not share with me, and I had just enough money to get three sardines for myself.

My dinner!  I’ll have this if Mary eats both of the sliders!

Chuck was kind and said, “If Mary does that tonight, I will find you some anchovies, and they are guaranteed to be fresh!”  He then pointed to their fish tank over in the corner of the room!  I thought he was kidding until he handed me a tiny fishing pole and a small net!

The Doctor takes a call!

I overheard part of the call, and it went something like this!

After dinner, Mary headed home, and I went my way.  Tomorrow we are visiting Annie at her doctors in Riverside.  If I go with Mary, we get to use the HOV lanes, which really speeds things up!

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