Giants Lose! Giants Lose!

Giants loseTuesday: No, not those Giants! The San Francisco Giants. Lost to the Chicago Cubs. This very hot afternoon, at the Giants home park in Scottsdale. Lawn seats $15 each. Full house. Sat on beach towels. By the time we left the temperature read-out in the van said 36 degrees.

Rudy and Sue at the ball gameWent for a walk to Walgreens in the morning, returned our DVD rental. Had an early lunch so that we could get to the stadium in Scottsdale before 1:00. Hoped to buy scalpers tickets for cheap. Walked all around the stadium — scalpers were asking face value or better. Finally Sue bought $15 lawn seats from the ticket booth just as I found a pair of seats over the dugout for $20 apiece. It was lucky that we found a spot on the lawn not far from a tree — so after the first few innings I actually was sitting in the shade.

Reading in the shadeThe Cubs were in control of the game early on. I read my book for the last few innings.

Got home and had happy hour. Then we barbecued bacon cheeseburgers and had some more of that delicious leftover potato salad. Watched Daily Show reruns and 60 Minute reruns. I tried to read some more of my ‘shipwreck’ disaster story on my Kindle. Wiped. Went to bed at 10pm!

Pi Day

Sue in her gloryWednesday: Did nothing again today. Too hot to spend any length of time outside. In the morning I downloaded a whole library of ebooks again — I now have over 4000 books! I finished reading my eBook on my kindle (10 Degrees of Reckoning, a book about a sailing accident near New Zealand). I started my next book, Unbroken, another sea disaster book. By late afternoon we were ready for happy hour. Then Sue made manicotti for supper. After supper we watched our usual shows, followed by my download of the HBO movie “Game Change” (the Sarah Palin for vice president story). It was pretty good. We watched some late night TV before going to bed. And that’s how we spent 3.14 of 2012.

Ides of March — the day, not the movie

Thursday: Another hot day coming up today. Got up before 8. Read a bit. Went for a bike ride at 10, and picked up a movie at Walgreens for tonight. Read some more. Really am liking my book, “Unbroken”. Sue finished her book club book, “The Rain Before It Falls”.

Sue on hole number nine.Then at 4:15 we teed off at Mountain Brook — hadn’t golfed now for quite a few days (Sunday). It was great! Last ones on the course, hardly had to wait for anyone, had some good holes and some bad ones, shot 51, Sue 52.

Sue finishing hole number nine.When we got home I lit the barbecue. Sue talked on the phone with Alex a bit. Had BBQ chicken and mashed potatoes and asparagus. Yummy. Then we sat down to watch our movie, “Young Adult”.

Tonight after 10pm Ed and Val and Bev and Lyle are arriving here in Gold Canyon. Weather is pretty hot here — and unseasonable warm in Manitoba too. Sue says it’s supposed to cool down (and rain) on Sunday and Monday. We’ll see.

Pizza Night!

Friday: Because it was supposed to be another hot day, we went for our morning hike early today. Actually, I got up early today — 6:00am. So I had time to finish reading my Louis Zamperini (Unbroken) book. Then we went for a hike up Silly Mountain. In the afternoon Sue read, I talked to Koop on the phone for a bit. At 4:30 we went to pick up our next DVD at Walgreens and then headed to the golf course. We golfed the back nine today — Sue thought it was great. I played poorly, lost too many balls, had way too many terrible shots. But the scenery was great. We were done at around 6:30. Stopped by at Bashas on the way home — Sue picked up a few groceries and some cheese for tonight’s ‘cheeseburger’ pizza; I picked up some Guinness. Sampled a few of the beers with my pizza. Then we watched two episodes of Kitchen Nightmares and one episode of 20/20. By the time that was done (10pm) I was nodding off in my chair. Went to bed. It’s supposed to be windy tomorrow, then cold and rainy on Sunday and Monday. Not quite the weather we’ve sort of come to expect here.

Wearing green in Gold Canyon

Saturday, St Patrick’s Day: Bacon and eggs for breakfast. Skyped with Alex. Read all morning. Watched some golf on TV in the afternoon. Ed Peters called to invite me to go golfing Sidewinder with him and Lyle — I declined. We’ll get together tomorrow.

Golfing on St Patrick's DayIt was windy and a bit cooler today. Forecast for the next few days is rain and cold. (At home in Steinbach it hit 19 degrees!) So at around 3:30 we called Mountain Brook Golf Course and got an immediate tee time. Sue and I walked the front nine, shooting pretty good. When we were done we re-did holes 1, 2 and 9. Still not dark at 6:30. We headed to the Firehouse Bar for a Guinness to celebrate St. Patty’s Day.

Had leftovers for supper. It was 8 o’clock by the time we sat down to watch one of my downloaded movies. We watched Ikiru, A 1952 Japanese film. Subtitles. Black and white. Not bad, not great. We were tired and went to bed soon after that.

Hail Sunday!

Sunday: The start of a cold and wet few days here in Gold Canyon. Woke up at 7 and watched our Sunday morning news shows. Sue made pancakes (with fruit) for breakfast. We read for a couple of hours and waited for lunch time to arrive. It was raining quite hard for quite a long time. I saw a couple of brightly colored cardinals in the tree outside the window. That was before the hard rain began. And then it hailed!

Thunder, lightning, pouring rain, snow, sleet, hail. YUCK! We watched golf in the afternoon. It continued to rain. We read.
Sun lights up SuperstitionWe went for a little ride before heading to the Peters’ place for supper. The rain had stopped and the sun was peaking through the clouds, lighting up Superstition Mountain. It looked great!

Indian foodLyle was busy in the kitchen when we arrived at the Peters’. Indian food. Three delicious dishes. Lots of food. A very fine meal. After dinner we sat in the living room and visited until around 9:30. We got home and looked online to see if a visit to Tucson would work for tomorrow. Might be too cold and rainy. Watched a bit of TV and went to bed.

Cool Monday

Monday: The rain is done. Superstition has a layer of white at the top. It’s still pretty cool for Arizona. Too cold to drive to Tucson and tour fields of airplanes and cacti. So it will be an ‘at-home’ day. We read for most of the day. By late afternoon the sun was out and the snow was mostly melted off the top of the mountain. We put on long pants and sweaters and went for a walk around the neighbourhood. Sue made chicken enchiladas for supper. We watched a couple of my downloaded movies — “Summer of Love” and the documentary “The Thin Blue Line”, both good shows. Sue skyped with her Winnipeg book club girls for a bit. We watched the Lang and O’Leary Report on CBC and then Letterman — and then off (back?) to bed.

Day trip to Tucson

Tuesday: After a quick breakfast we hit the road to Tucson. The day was a bit nicer than the weekend weather had been, but it was still quite cool.

Pima Air & Space MuseumOur first stop was at the Pima Air & Space Museum. We thought we were too late for the 10:30 tour, but we quickly bought tickets to 2 tours that fit our schedule. In fact, one tour was going to run right up to the next, so we decided we better get something to eat before our first tour left. We ordered a hot dog and fries and coffee from the museum restaurant. While we waited for our food the tram outside the restaurant window was filling up quickly. Then it left! We were still waiting for our food. Quick check with the ticket taker and we were reassured that another tram was coming. We actually gobbled up the hot dog and took the fries and coffee with us on the tram.

It was an open tram, and we were a little under-dressed for the cold wind. Our tour guide was a retired pilot, 15 years in the air force followed by a career as a commercial pilot. He was extremely knowledgeable about all the different aircraft we looked at as we circled the big outdoor yard at the museum. I think he knew everything about every type of aircraft on display — and he clearly loved to drive around and tell us about them. He was an excellent guide. He was also a war movie buff and identified many of the planes as the one that Jimmy Stewart flew in such-and-such movie. In fact, at one aircraft he stopped and told us that he himself had been a pilot of a plane like that in Vietnam and had been part of the rescue mission for a downed American pilot caught in the cross-fire in a river. The story was made into a movie, “Bat 21”, starring Gene Hackman. When we got home I looked up the movie and actually downloaded it so we can watch it sometime.

[nggallery id=5]

After our tour we were invited to visit the various hangars and buildings in which many more aircraft were on display. We were cold. We opted to sit in the warm restaurant and have another coffee before going on our next tour.

Our second tour was the Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Center (AMARG), also known as the “Boneyard.” The facility is located adjacent to the Museum at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base. The bus drove us around the 26 acres of neatly parked planes. Our tour guide was once again a retired pilot — this one had served in the Air Force for 30 years. Like the first guide, he was knowledgeable and seemed to genuinely enjoy what he was doing. It seemed that all the docents at the museum put in lots of volunteer time, many coming from other parts of the US to Arizona for the winter in order to spend time at the museum. The guide’s talk was accompanied by a soundtrack of clicking cameras. All around us were people with big cameras and huge lenses, and they were snapping hundreds of photos at each pause along the route. I’m not sure how they will cull and catalog their photos! We actually never got off the bus, so all of the photos here were through the windows of the bus. But we were happy to be sitting in the warm bus, sheltered from the cold wind.

[nggallery id=6]

After the AMARG tour we got back into our van and headed to the Saguaro National Park. The park actually has two parks, one on either side of the city of Tucson. We went to the East park because it wasn’t far from the museum and we were told it had a loop drive that we could do. It was already 3 or 4 in the afternoon and we were running out of time.

The Eastern Rincon Mountain District rises to over 8,000 feet and includes over 128 miles of trails. We followed the Cactus Forest Drive, a one-way 9-mile drive just south of the Santa Catalina Mountains. We parked our van and went for a 2-mile hike along some of the marked trails. We expected to see a forest of saguaros. While the desert vegetation was very beautiful, we both agreed that we see more saguaros along the Hieroglyphic trail in Gold Canyon!

[nggallery id=7]

Sunset at Superstition MountainOn our drive back home we stopped in Catalina to refuel the van — gas was $3.68/gallon as compared to $4.00 in Phoenix. We got home just as the sun was setting. Stopped for a couple of photos of our own Superstition Mountain with the sun setting behind us. Sue warmed up leftovers and we sat in the living room and watched various reruns on TV. All that adventure tuckered us out and we were off to bed before midnight.

Read, Cycle, Golf — on the first day of Spring

Wednesday: Read all morning. I washed Sue’s golf balls after lunch. Then I discovered I had a flat rear tire on my bike. Sue was already all dressed and ready to go — but now I needed to patch the tire first. So Sue went grocery shopping while I cycled to Walgreen’s and back to rent a DVD for tonight.

At four o’clock we went golfing again. We both shot a lot of bad shots, but the day was great as usual. We let others play through so that we could be the last ones on the course. By holes 8 and 9 we had corrected many of our issues and were playing better again.

We barbecued cheeseburgers for supper. Yummy. Then we watched a bit of TV (Kitchen Nightmare shows) before our movie. The movie was quite funny — a bit like a Woody Allen story. “Carnage” was directed by Roman Polanski and starred Jodie Foster and Kate Winslet. We were zonked and went to bed early.

A day at the dentist’s

Thursday: We read a bit and I computed. Had a call from Dave Driedger (John Prine tickets?) and Chris Koop (part-time work?). Just after 10 we headed to the Mesa Fruit Market. Sue bought $46 worth of fruit and vegetables — a record! Then we headed to the dentist’s office for our 11:00 appointments.

As usual, Sue’s teeth were great — the $29 special for x-rays, exam, and cleaning were just right for her. My mouth required a ‘level 2’ cleaning — $120 extra! And it took a whole hour. In fact, we got home at 2:00pm. A late lunch.

I worked hard on a logo job for Tim — only finished it at 4:30. Sue was busy cooking for tonight’s guests. At 4:30 I went to the driving range and continued making progress on my drives. Good times.

Supper with the Peters clanOur guests, Ed and Val and Bev and Lyle, arrived at our house for a BBQ at around 6:50. Sue made rice, roasted vegetables, and angel food cake for dessert (with whipped cream and strawberries). Val is brought a salad. I barbecued the chicken. We had a nice evening, eating and visiting. Ed and Lyle and Bev had golfed at Mountain Brook today after taking lessons from the old pro, Jack Kramer. Our guests were tired and left at 10:30. We watched a bit of TV and then went to bed too.


Hike, Read, Golf, Movie — and Friday Night Pizza

Friday: Another hot day in Arizona. We got up early, had a couple of great cups of coffee. Then we added toast (breakfast). Read a bit. Did some computer work for Smitty’s. Went for a hike up Silly Mountain. Got back at 11. A bit more computing, lunch, more reading. Alex skyped — she’s home from school, ready to fly here tomorrow from Grand Forks. Spring Break. Tim is home too. Excited.

We went golfing at 4:10. Great afternoon. No one behind us. Slow pokes ahead of us. I bogied hole #1 and birdied (with a long chip shot) hole #2. And continued with mostly bogies for a few more holes. All good things come to an end. A couple of 8’s. Final score 49 on nine holes, Sue a 47. Fun times. Warm. Gorgeous sunset. Great course.

almost "home made" pizzaStopped at Basha’s on the way home and picked up a large pizza and some additives. Sue add italian sausage and a bit of mozza cheese and we called it a pretty good pizza. After supper we watched ‘Chef Ramsay’ solve another ‘Kitchen Nightmare’.  The we watched our Redbox DVD, “Martha Marcy May Marlene”.

The Kids are Here!

Wedding at the golf courseSaturday: Bacon and eggs. Cycled to Walgreen’s to return the DVD. Vacuumed the house and cleaned up. Watched some golf on TV. Called the golf course and got a 3:45 tee time. We went golfing. We both played poorly (but still had fun). No one to pressure us. In fact, as we finished the ninth hole we watched as a wedding party was taking pictures on the driving range. Came home, showered, had leftover pizza for supper.

Went to Santan Village to stock up on wine and beer. Got a birthday card at Walmart. Went to Barnes & Noble to buy a book and some chocolates for Robert Dyck’s 60th birthday (Monday). Then we hurried to the airport to pick up our kids. They were just coming off the plane as Sue went in to meet them. We also met Larry and Lynn Petkau at the airport (going to Sedona for a week). We took the kids home and had a sandwich. Very excited. Them and us. Great to see them. Got some nice gifts from them, including golf shirts, golf balls, and a very interesting (Dr Seuss) card from them. All is right in the world! They were tired although they stayed up till 11 our time before we all went to bed.

Sunday with Tim & Alex

Sunday: We got up at around 7am. Alex got up soon after we had the coffee going. Tim got up a bit later. Tim had not really slept well, although he said it was NOT because it was too hot. Windows open, ceiling fans going, trying to keep it cool in here without the air conditioner.

After breakfast Sue and Alex went for a walk to the pool. Then at around 10:30 we went for a drive around Gold Canyon and then on down to the Mesa Swap Market. We walked around it once. Tim and Alex bought a wall hanging for their dining room which we’ll take home for them in the van.

We went home and had lunch at around 12:30. Then the boys sat down in front of the TV and watched golf (and Rudy had a nap). The girls sat outside and read. I woke up just in time to watch Tiger Woods win his first tournament in almost 3 years. I called the golf course and got a 4:15 tee time. Alex decided to go for a nap and not join us on the golf course. Sue opted out too. So Tim and I went by ourselves. We hit a bucket of balls on the range first. Tim was hitting the ball a mile.

At 4:15 we teed off on hole 1. It was slow going — the foursome ahead of us was very slow. But the temperature was not so hot, the wind was not at all, and the sun was behind the clouds — a perfect day for golf. And although we started off a bit rough, we made great progress and improved hole by hole. And we had a good time.

We got home at 7pm. Late. The girls were hungry. We had happy hour. Then I went out to light the barbecue. Out of propane! So we went to refill the tank. Salmon for supper. Very good. We sat in the living room and listened to iTunes and waited for dessert. At 10:30 Sue served us angel food cake with whipped cream and strawberries. Tim and I had G&Ts for a nightcap. We visited until nearly 11:30 before we all went to bed. I left the windows open so we’ll get a cooling breeze in the house tonight.

Robert turns 60

Monday: Alex and I went to Basha’s to pick up pastries for breakfast. Then, after a bit of reading outside, Sue, Alex, and I went for a hike up Silly Mountain. Tim stayed back and checked out the golf course layout on the iPad maps app.


After lunch we read a bit more and then we went to Walgreens to rent a couple of movies for the kids tonight. Ed Peters called an we arranged a golf date for tomorrow afternoon. At 4pm Sue and I left for Goodyear, to celebrate Robert Dyck’s 60th birthday.

We had a bit of traffic on the way, but got there in time for happy hour. Reg, Bob, and Robert were still enthusiastically discussing their just-completed golf game. We had supper with the Penners, Schinkels, and Dycks. Bob and Dorothy are planning to drive home tomorrow. We’ll probably go back to Goodyear to golf with the Dycks and Penners a week from today.

We got home just after 11pm. The kids were watching their movies. They had barbecued sausages and had pasta for supper, with lots of snacks during the movies. We all went to bed around midnight.

A busy day in Gold Canyon

Tuesday: Made coffee before 7 in the morning. Alex was up soon after that. It was already getting a bit warm outside. After breakfast the girls went on a bike ride and returned the movies to Walgreens. I worked on a logo for Oakleaf. Tim watched cooking and golf on TV.

After lunch the girls were getting ready for a big shopping trip to Chandler Fashion Mall. Ed Peters came by at 2:30 to pick Tim and me up for golf. Tim and I shared a cart. Great start. First hole Ed got a little upset about missing some putts. After that, we all played pretty good. I had some good hits, and some not so good hits. But no real disasters. By the time we stopped to pick up some beers before the second nine, none of us had scored an 8. So that was good.

Tim and Ed and Rudy golfing Tim and Ed and Rudy golfing Tim and Ed and Rudy golfing Tim and Ed and Rudy golfing Tim and Ed and Rudy golfing Tim and Ed and Rudy golfing Tim and Ed and Rudy golfing Tim and Ed and Rudy golfing Tim and Ed and Rudy golfing Tim and Ed and Rudy golfing Tim and Ed and Rudy golfing Tim and Ed and Rudy golfing Tim and Ed and Rudy golfing Tim and Ed and Rudy golfing Tim and Ed and Rudy golfing

The second nine were not as kind. First hole, a ‘9’. Next one, a ’10’. But the day was fantastic. And the golf course was eerily quiet. No one ahead of us, no one behind us. Perfect. It was getting to be around 6pm by the time we stopped for photos on hole 16. Then at 17 Val pulled up with her ‘Cyclematic’ electric bike. She took a few more photos, of the group. And okay, after scoring 53 on the front nine, my back nine score of 64 made for a total of 117 for the round. Tim had 105, Ed shot 99.

Back at the clubhouse Tim spotted 6 javelinas running across the driving range to the #1 fairway. Cool! We tried to get closer to get a better look at them in the twilight, but then they jumped over the wall into the neighborhood. Ed drove around a bit to try to get another look, but they were gone.

Ed dropped us off at our place at around 7pm. The girls were still not home from their shopping trip. Tim and I had a beer and we added up our scores. When the girls finally got home we had appetizers. Then we barbecued steak and potatoes. Had a great supper. Sat down in front of the TV to watch Frontline — and I quickly nodded off. So did Alex. After Sue had taken a few photos of sleepers, we all shuffled off to bed. Happy. Tired. All’s well in the world.

Golf, drinks with the Peters, Mexican Food

Wednesday: Today was a ‘reading and relaxing’ morning. We had lunch outside on the patio. Tim had gone to get hotdogs and the fixings, so we had delicious whistle dogs for lunch.


Soon after lunch the four of us went to the golf course for our 3:22 tee time. We walked nine holes. All of us had quite a bit of fun. After golf we went to visit Ed and Val, who are leaving Arizona tomorrow. We had nachos and salsa with our drinks and visited on the back patio. Then we went to the Mexican restaurant near our house. Very nice. Weather and food was very good. Back at our house we watched a bunch of cooking shows before going to bed.

Tortilla Flats, Golfing, Movie

Thursday: After Alex asked me about going to the Winnipeg Folk Festival this summer, I checked out the line-up. Sunday night features Eliza Gilkyson and Mary Gauthier. Also on the bill are Iron & Wine, David Bromberg, Jimmy Lefave, Ellis Paul, and Ruthie Foster. I spent most of the morning downloading a bunch of music by those artists.
Alex and Sue went for a walk to Walgreens, where they picked up two movies for tonight.
After lunch we hopped into the van and headed out to Tortilla Flats. We went past the Flats, a couple of miles on the washboardy gravel road, and went for a short walk on a mountain trail. Stopped for ice cream in Tortilla Flats on the way back. The motorcycle accident we saw on the way in was cleaned up by the time we were heading back to Apache Junction.

Tim and I went for a 4:00pm golf game and Alex was going to have a nap. We played nine holes and then decided to go for a few extra holes before it got too dark. We golfed #10, 11, 14, 15, and 18. It was completely dark by the time we got back into our van. We got home at around 7pm. The girls were waiting impatiently, wanting to start watching movies.
We had appetizers and then barbecued pork tenderloin with twice-baked potatoes. Best of all, we had chocolate pudding with whipped-cream for dessert after watching the “Muppet Movie”. I think only Tim managed to stay awake during the second movie, “Tower Heist”. After the movie the girls and Tim headed off to bed. I read news on the computer and then went to bed too. I updated my journal in bed, just before 1:00am.

Rudy turns 56

Friday: Six o’clock. Phone rings. Helga on the line. Did I wake you up? Good, because 56 years ago Rudy woke me up too. Happy Birthday to you. Dad on the line. Happy Birthday! Come home soon. Goodbye. Back to sleep.

Woke up for the second time at around 8. Happy Birthday all over again. French toast and bacon for breakfast. Sue gives me a card that says she likes to be alone together with me. Tim and Alex give me a nice card that shows me sleeping in front of the TV. Just like I do every night! And some peanut butter cups. And Oakleaf pens. And movies and supper tonight. Sue and Alex went for a bike ride and returned movies to Walgreen’s before lunch.

Open-faced sandwiches for lunch. Yummy. Got in the car to look for a Weber barbecue for the kids. Didn’t find a 4-burner model. Decided to go to the 2:30 showing of the hit movie “The Hunter Games”. Great movie. After the movie we drove down to Santan Village to check out the wine store. Dick’s for a hat for Tim — no luck with that. Then we drove back up into Mesa to “Vito’s Italian Pizzeria” for our 6:45 dinner reservation. We had great pizza, great atmosphere, great service. Drove back via Superstition Springs Mall — checked for cowboy hats at Target — nothing. Went to the Cold Stone Creamery on Signal Butte — and had delicious ice cream outside in the evening. A perfect end to the day.

Back at home we watched a bit of golf on TV until (what else?) I fell asleep. Went to bed early. The end of a perfect day!

Hot dogs, golf, and ribs

Saturday: No bacon and eggs today. Irmy phoned to wish me a happy birthday. I tried my best to finish book 3 of the “Hunger Games” trilogy — only got to 90% complete on my Kindle.

Alex sat outside in the morning. Sue went for a haircut. Tim and I sat inside and waited for the golf on TV to begin (at noon). Tim and Alex made whistle dogs for lunch. We ate out on the patio.

Tim and I went to the golf course for our 18 hole game at 1:37. The girls dropped us off and then went to the fruit market to buy a bit more fruit. Then they went home and did some prep for the supper today. At 3:30 they joined us at the golf course for the second nine.


I had 3 pars and at least one bogey on the front nine for a 51. Not quite as good on the back nine. But the hot sun was made bearable by a slight breeze. No golfers putting pressure on us. We had a very good last day of golfing with our kids. Good times. Tim shot a 91 on 18. I ended up with 51 and 58 for a 109. Okay.

Sat out on the patio for snacks and G&T’s and beers after the game. Then everyone (except Rudy) worked on preparing supper: ribs and macaroni and cheese a salad and stir-fried vegetables. Yummy.

We ended our last evening (of March, of our holiday with Tim and Alex) by sitting in front of the TV. Another perfect day in paradise!

April 2012 in Gold Canyon

It’s the beginning of April. Spring is here. The desert is blooming. The weather is hot. The golf courses are getting emptier. Snowbirds are heading home. Our kids are heading home. But we are NOT heading home. We will enjoy another two weeks here in Gold Canyon, Arizona. Good times here.

Adieu to Tim and Alex

Sunday: Had an early breakfast. The day wasn’t supposed to be quite so hot, an expected high of 70. Alex, Sue, and I left before 9am for the parking lot at the hieroglyphic walk. We had an interesting walk up to the petroglyphs! About halfway up another hiker warned us that there was a rattlesnake ahead. He had put a few rocks in the path so we would know where it was. Alex wanted to turn right around and head back to the house. We insisted on continuing. The 4-foot rattlesnake we met on our hieroglyphic hike on Superstition MountainWhen we got to the snake, another couple with a camera were already photographing it. The snake was right next to the path. It was at least 4 feet long, and quite a bit thicker than what I expected.

hike to the hieroglyphics hike to the hieroglyphics hike to the hieroglyphics hike to the hieroglyphics hike to the hieroglyphics hike to the hieroglyphics hike to the hieroglyphics hike to the hieroglyphics hike to the hieroglyphics hike to the hieroglyphics hike to the hieroglyphics hike to the hieroglyphics

When we got back to the house it was time for the kids to pack their bags. We had lunch at 12 and then headed for the airport. Said goodbye. Their flight left at around 2:30. We went home and Sue started doing laundry. We watched golf on TV. Sue putting on the ninth holeRudy at the ninth holeI booked the final tee time for the day at Mountain Brook for 4:20. Sue and I were back to our routine. We walked nine holes. And our games were pretty good! I started off with a par on hole one. My tee shot on hole 2 made it almost to the green. Of course there were a couple of holes where I doubled par. But in the end, both Sue and I shot a 50. Not bad.
We went home and Sue started making supper. We skyped with Walter and Angie and sort of arranged a summer cycling trip to the east coast. After supper we watched a bit of news — I had some podcasts of Fareed and the CBC panel — and then some TV. I was once again falling asleep in my chair when we got a call from Alex. They were home, safe and sound, no hitches, no problems, no delays. All good. It was just after 9:00 our time. Went to bed not long after that!

Golf at Estrella

Monday: Woke up just after 6. A quick breakfast and shower and then we were on our way to Goodyear. We were a bit worried about making it there on time for our 10:00 tee time, but we managed to stay in the HOV (high occupancy vehicle) lane most of the way and even had time to fill up gas before joining our friends at the Estrella Golf Club. I rode the cart with Reg, while Robert and Henry rode in the second cart. The girls were right behind us, Sue and Ingrid, Arlene and Penny. It was windy but otherwise very comfortable.

My game was up and down — started off with a par, but blew it on every second hole. Sue golfed well all day, but was less than pleased with her putting. We had a great day.

We headed to the Goodyear house at around 2:30. I visited quite a bit with Henry, learning a bit about what he does (trade commodities). We watched the sunset and had a very fine steak barbecue — for my birthday! Sat around the table for a couple of hours and told stories.

We finally pulled ourselves away from the table and said our goodbyes. Reg and Ingrid are heading home tomorrow. The other four are leaving on Thursday. Robert may come by here on Wednesday to drop off his road bike for us to take home for him.

At home we checked our respective computers for new emails (a few) and watched a bit of TV before calling it a day.

Afternoon nap — now THAT’s relaxing!

Tuesday: After yesterday’s busy day, today was the opposite. Sue did some more laundry. She had a long phone call with Garth. I did a bit of logo work for Tim. Then at around 11 we went for a bike ride (my first since before Tim and Alex were here). Lunch. A bit of reading. Finally, after fighting it for a little too long, I gave in and went for a nap. Probably 2 hours. Great. Woke up in time for happy hour. Watched the Daily Show rerun. Then we had a skype call from Alex. The news is out. She’s told her in-laws, her boss, and Irmy. She seems happy. So are we. Then I cooked the crap out of a couple of chicken breasts while Sue prepared mac and cheese leftovers. We had supper. We watched 60 Minute reruns. Then some PBS docs on the Panama Canal. Then news. Night snacks: ice cream with chocolate sauce, pistachios, a Coke. Late night TV. To bed. Tomorrow Robert and Arlene are coming over for lunch and some golf. Should be fun.

Robert & Arlene come golfing with us

Wednesday: Didn’t do much in the morning. I read my book (“Blink”) and although the Kindle said I was only about 65% finished, it turned out that the last 35% was endnotes. So I finished that book. Sue was busy cooking a Mexican tortilla torte for our lunch. She went to Basha’s for one last week’s worth of groceries (seniors’ discount day today) and came home and continued cooking. Robert and Arlene arrived at 12:30. We had lunch together. All the windows were open in the house — it was warm today. We unloaded Robert’s road bike from their rental car and put it in the garage. We are taking it home for them. Then we loaded their clubs into our van and headed to Mountain Brook for our 2:00 tee time. I guess I thought that we were going for our usual 9-holes walking game, but Arlene paid for the four of us — 18 holes with cart at $46 per person!

Started off the round with a par on hole number 1. And then a decent tee shot on 2 (with too many putts after that). Followed that up with a few bogies and even a birdie on hole 7! I think that’s my first! I shot 51 on the front nine. We stopped to pick up a couple of beers and headed to the 10th tee.

The back nine were not as good for me as the front. But Robert played really well, and I think the girls did too. There was no one ahead of us, and no one behind us. A bit of hazy cloud cover gave us some relief from the heat and it turned out to be a perfect day weather-wise. The one disappointment was the old guy on the course who was rushing us and picking up the pins behind us — letting us know that we were the only ones with carts out on the course and that as soon as we finished he would be able to go home!

After golf we went home and had some drinks and snacks. Sue thawed the salmon she bought in the morning and made rice and a salad. We had a late supper. Visited. Had a very nice day with the Dycks. They left at around 9:30. They are closing up their house and flying home for the season tomorrow. We have another 10 days.

Bike, Golf on TV, Golf on course, Movie

Thursday: I guess the title of this post says it all. Read a bit in the morning. Had internet “issues” all day — it was cutting out for extended periods of time. Hope it will be fixed tomorrow or we’ll have to go to the MediaCom office. I filled up the tires on Robert’s nice road bike, raised the seat, and Sue and I went for a quick ride to Walgreen’s before lunch. The first day of the Master’s in Augusta was already on the Golf Channel when we left.

After lunch we watched golf on TV all afternoon. Well, actually I apparently snored through and hour and a half of it. Sue only napped ‘gracefully’ and quietly. At 4:00 we were once again at Mountain Brook for another spectacular late afternoon of whacking the ball around. Some bogies. A par. Some wild drives. A few sand traps. But everything is blooming now and looking great.

Got home and had leftover tortilla torte with our gin & tonics. Then, after Daily Show reruns we watched our Redbox DVD rental, “A Dangerous Method”. It was a story about Freud and Carl Jung. So-so. Actually, not very good. Followed it up with a couple of “20/20” reruns that were more interesting. I tried to stay awake long enough to watch Anthony Bourdain guest on The Daily Show at 11:00, but I’m afraid I missed that. Finally headed to bed ‘for real’ at midnight.

Great Friday!

Friday: Still had internet problems — on and off all day. Irmy called Sue and had to redial many times because our connection kept cutting out. Sue went for a run around the block. She finished reading her two books, “The Hunger Games” and I don’t know what the other book was. After lunch we watched the Masters Golf on TV. Sue called Val and told her the news about Alex. Sue with a driver on Hole 8Then at around 4pm we went golfing. Had to wait for a couple of carts to go by and finish their tournament and then we had the course to ourselves. For a while we were shooting two balls each. A highlight was when we both reached the green with our tee shots on Hole 7 — and came away with a birdie for me and a par for Sue. Really, other than that, the scoring wasn’t very good for me. We each lost a ball. But we had fun. We returned our movie rental and then went to Bashas to pick up a pizza for supper. Added extra toppings. Watched the end of the Masters on TV while we ate less than half of the pizza. The pizza was bit of a disappointment, but we’ll probably finish tomorrow and then be on to better things for Sunday. Watched some ‘news’ shows on TV and went to bed early. Tired. It felt like Saturday all day today, but it was actually Good Friday. Yippie! that means there’s still 2 more days of weekend to come!

Day 3 of the Masters

Saturday: A lazy Saturday. I woke up at 4 in the morning and couldn’t go back to sleep so I got up. Sat at my computer for a couple of hours and waited for a respectable time to have my first coffee. Sue got up at around 7. We had bacon and eggs. With our windows open the birds begin singing just before sunrise and make a lot of noise for much of the morning. The dove outside my window is now sitting on her nest pretty much full-time.

It didn’t feel very hot outside today — just the right temperature for a run around the block. Sue did that yesterday; today I joined her. It’s about a mile. I had to stop running and walk a bit it catch my breath. We had leftover pizza for lunch. It was better than it was last night for supper — but not much. Then we watched Day 3 of the Masters Golf Championship on TV. Good television! Tiger stumbled. Phil Mickelson made an enthusiastic charge. By the end of the day Phil was 1 back of Peter Hanson of Sweden at -8. It will be a great final day tomorrow.

As soon as golf on TV was over we hopped into the van and headed to Mountain Brook. A slow foursome ahead of us let us play through on hole number 7. Although I had a few bogies, I was discouraged by some terrible tee shots on the short holes. But as usual, in spite of the scores, we had fun.

curried shrimpYummy!Sue made some delicious curried shrimp with pasta and a salad for supper. Yummy! No Redbox movie rental tonight; we watched Bat*21, the Gene Hackman movie I downloaded. It’s about a Vietnam pilot who gets shot down behind enemy lines and gets rescued. His love of golf plays a role in helping him find his way out. After the movie and our usual ice cream and chocolate sauce night snack, we went to bed.

Bubba Wins the Masters

Sunday: Woke up at around 6. It’s supposed to be a scorcher today. I wrote my blog entry for yesterday. And I watched my morning news shows. Sue got up and made coffee — and then she made the most delicious blackberry pancakes for breakfast! We watched a story about the Masters 25 years ago. Then we watched the final day of this year’s Masters. Sat in my big black leather lazy-boy all day. The golf was fantastic. Lead changing all afternoon. Oosterhuis leading by a couple, Phil making a valiant effort, Bubba Watson getting some key back nine birdies to force a playoff. And then Watson wins the thing on the second playoff hole. Fantastic.

Cheese- and bacon-burgers on the barbecue for supper. Then 60 Minutes — the news: Mike Wallace has died today at age 93. Then I watched a couple of episodes of Holmes on Homes — the Canadian carpenter repairing faulty foundations, etc. We watched my last downloaded movie, Red Road, a weird movie about a girl who is a CCTV security operator who watches a man from her past on her monitors and chases after him into dangerous situations. Very slow, hard to understand the accents, dark. But okay.

Internet was still flaky today — I tried to call my mom but got cut off. We’ll probably go return our modem to MediaCom first thing in the morning. Watched a bit more TV and went to bed.

Shower doors, Movie, Golf

Monday: I loaded up the big pink bike into the van. We’re taking it to Al & Shirl’s trailer in Chandler today. Sue tried again to clean the shower — and finally I remembered Gerald Dyck, our junior high shop teacher, telling us that tooth paste is an excellent polish. So we tried that. Sure enough, it seemed to work. And if it wasn’t exactly 100% effective, it surely was as good or better than any of the myriad of cleaners we’ve discovered in the closet and tried so far. And it sure smelled better than the WD-40 I tried on part of it.

I showered and we hurried off to the Mediacom office in Apache Junction. We joined the long line-up of people returning cable boxes and modems and waited our turn. Swapped our cable modem no problem and soon we were off. Heading to Al’s trailer court.

We unloaded the bike, adjusted the handlebars and seat, and parked it in Al’s shed. Then we headed for the Chandler Fashion Mall. Along the way we discovered an In-N-Out Burger restaurant — which I had wanted to try since last year when we were in Arizona. The restaurants are only to be found on the west coast and many bloggers rave about it. We tried the ‘double double’ burger, a plain hamburger for Sue, and a strawberry milkshake. Not bad! A VERY simple and short menu, low prices, freshly made food.

After lunch we went to the big Lowe’s hardware store just across the parking lot. Found our cleaners and detergents and a couple of other things on Sue’s list. Good service here too — quite different from what we’ve come to expect at E.G. Penner Building Centre in Steinbach.

Then we went to the Chandler Fashion Mall. We parked the van near the cinema. Walked into the mall. Visited Sears, the very nice Apple Store (to check out the iPad 3, which I still hadn’t seen), and Nordstrum. Then we went to see the 1:30 showing of the movie “Salmon Fishing in Yemen”. Enjoyed it.

After the movie we decided we would leave a visit to Walmart for later in the week. It was 37 degrees, stinking hot, but we decided to hurry home, change, and go golfing. And that’s what we did. We had a wonderful time on the golf course, and shot better than I had for quite a while (49, 50 for Sue).

Home for gin and tonics and imitation crab appetizers. Then Sue made spaghetti and meat sauce for supper while I fiddled with the new cable modem. I finally got it working just before supper.

After supper I called my mom — last time our internet hiccups cut her off and I hadn’t finished the call. No word from either mom or dad about the news of their impending first great-grandchild. Better not to talk about things like that — makes them nervous. But they seemed happy and doing fine — once again, their weather is far superior to ours.

We spent the rest of the evening surfing the web and watching a bit of TV. And trying to cool off.

Golf? Yuck!

Tuesday: This morning after breakfast we tried out some of the products we bought yesterday to clean our shower. Final result? Not perfect, but better than it was — probably better than it was when we got here. Then, before it got too hot outside, we went for our bike ride. After lunch we watched Charlie Rose. Wasted a bit of time on the internet. Called Alex at 2:30 (4:30 her time) to wish her a happy 29th birthday. Then we went to the golf course.

Rudy's golf clubsHit a bucket of balls before going for our nine holes. Hit some pretty good drives using Sue’s driver. Then we went to the first tee. Two balls hit to the driving range — couldn’t even find one of them! Missed a two-foot putt. Hole number two: two drives that dribbled about 50 yards. Chip shots that went half as far as they were meant to go. Hole 3: shot a ten. Hole 4: tee shot on the road; hacked up my lob wedge by hitting the ball off the pavement onto the green. BUT, I parred the hole! And so it continued. By the time we were finished the ninth hole I was tired from taking 59 shots! Better to leave those clubs right in the bag!

Drove home and when we pulled up on the driveway the passenger window wouldn’t roll up. Oh, oh! What now? I cleaned out the garage and for the first time ever, parked the van in the garage for night! We’ll have to get that fixed tomorrow.

Barbecued some great little steaks (wrapped in bacon) to go with almost cooked scalloped potatoes and a fine tomato and avocado salad. Watched a bunch of 60 Minutes reruns on TV. And more TV after that. Tomorrow? Fix the window on the van, close the bank account here at the Chase bank, clean up a bit more around the house, and…

…go golfing!