A whirlwind week

Olive the cat getting out of my way as I clean house.

It’s a busy week or two. We returned from a trip to Mexico. I wrote about that HERE.

My son and his girlfriend are visiting from the Bay Area. We are gong to visit Taliesin West later today. It will be a first for all of us. That’s the winter home of Frank Lloyd Wright. We’ll be going on a self-guided tour. A coincidence is that a friend of mine from playgroup days in Palm Springs is a director of the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation. What a small world! I found out from a friend in Palm Springs that our mutual friend had moved to Arizona a month or two before us. I wrote about coincidences recently HERE.

Next week, I fly to Seattle to visit my 90-year-old mom. I meant to visit for her birthday last March, but we were in the throws of Omicron. Both my daughter and husband got it. What weird days those were. I was taking care of my daughter — without being near her. We would wave at each other through her apartment window. I’d go to the laundromat and grocery store for her and leave things on her front steps.

When my husband had COVID, I moved into our Casita. It has a kitchen, so I cooked him chicken soup with lots of garlic and onions. I’d leave it outside the front door and text him. I was close if he needed me, but I wasn’t in physical contact.

I now have an aversion to flying. We have taken trips by car, which I’m comfortable with, but I haven’t wanted to get on an airplane. I can’t stand the wait at the airport, the crowds, being on the plane. COVID ruined flying for me.

Did COVID change your feelings about flying, too? Or did it affect you in other ways? Did you or your family get it?

More Views of Mexico

Fisherman sculpture at Puerto Penasco Rocky Point Sonora Mexico
A statue in the downtown marketplace of Puerto Peñasco. I couldn’t read the plaque.

I view Puerto Peñasco as three distinct parts. There’s Sandy Beach with all the condos and Americans. There is the downtown marketplace with shops, restaurants and pharmacies. There is a marina filled with fishing boats. There are probably more parts to Puerto Peñasco, but that’s what I’ve seen, so far.

shops in Puerto Penasco Rocky Point Sonora Mexico
This is a photo looking down one of the blocks of the marketplace.

Pelicano Jose restauarant view
We had huevos rancheros one morning in this small second story restaurant at Rocky Point.

View of sandy beach from Rocky Point
Here’s a view of Sandy Beach from the downtown marketplace. Sandy Beach is home to the condos.
Elizabeth's curios Rock Point
Here’s a shop with my name on it. The shops sell lots of sports logo goods — especially Arizona’s Cardinals.
maclecon in Rocky Point
This is the center of town, a block beyond the marketplace.

El Camaronero statue
El Camaronero The Shrimp Fisherman statue on the malecon at Puerto Penasco, Mexico.
View of Rocky Point from Sandy Beach
A view of the downtown market area in Rocky Point from Sandy Beach.
Rocky point shrimp in a cooler
Every few yards there are “fish markets” that are coolers of ice and shrimp.
Inside Pollo Lucas.
Pollo Lucas, the best char-grilled chicken I’ve ever had.

cat in the window at a restaurant.
The view out the window at Pollo Lucas.
Sunset at Sandy Beach.
Sunset at Sandy Beach.

The food was delicious and cheap! We had prime rib dinner with baked potato, clam chowder and asparagus for $15. It’s a Saturday night special. I had tons of shrimp at several restuarants. Plus Pollo Lucas. I can’t wait to go back for the beach, the views and the food!

What’s your favorite part of traveling? Is it seeing new sights or eating new food? Or both?

One of those days

Olive cat
Olive giving me that look before she jumps in my lap.

It was 4 a.m. when Olive jumped on the bed. She does this most mornings to catnap on my husband’s chest. However, this morning she missed and landed on his face.

My husband howled and ran into the bathroom, his face dripping blood. Olive got his nose, upper and lower lips and chin with her polydactyl claws. His face is a mess.

Later, I went to swim laps and the lifeguards told us to get out of the pool due to lightening.

My husband was out on errands when the car wouldn’t start. He had to wait 90 minutes for AAA.

I was at home amazed how the bright sunny day had turned into thunder, lightning, pouring rain and monster winds. There were tornadoes in Flagstaff — two hours away.

Heading back home after AAA replaced the battery, my husband called and said he was in a haboob!

I googled it and told him to pull over immediately. Everything I read said NOT TO DRIVE. Here’s a video of the haboob.

He said he was driving through it. There were trees on the freeway. Everyone was going under 40 mph and had their flashers on.

Once he drove out of the haboob he ended up in a flash flood.

My anxiety went into overdrive. He made it home safely — finally.

Have you ever had one of those days?

An attitude of gratitude

Olive cat
Olive giving me that look before she jumps in my lap.

After my free one-week trial, I decided to join the local YMCA. I made my reservations for a lane for three days this week and I felt obligated to go. It’s a quick drive from home, so even if I’m not feeling it, at least I get there and jump in.

I am sleeping soundly thanks to swimming — and being off prednisone. The combination of the two is amazing.

I’m feeling grateful for many things today:

Warm weather and no wind.

Sitting in the back yard reading my book club selection “The Old Man and the Sea.”

My cat who is strangely affectionate this week.

My husband for playing daily ping pong with me. Yesterday I won three zip.

Being off prednisone and the tinnitus is gone. I’m no longer crawling out of my skin from the medication.

For new friends and I’m grateful for the old ones who have reconnected.

Cooking on our gas range. We got rid of the electric stove top.

Every day I’m amazed by the beauty of nature around me.

Im grateful for my new readers and bloggers who are friends and make up a supportive community.

What are you grateful for today?

It’s all about simple pleasures

red cardinal in a tree
A cardinal enjoying our backyard.

There have been a few heartwarming and joyful moments the past few days that I captured with my iphone camera.

Several were simply watching our cat Olive. Then I spotted a bright red cardinal sharing a branch in a tree alongside 10 quail. I missed getting that photo, but I did manage to get the cardinal sitting by himself and quail enjoying the bird feed I put down.

pretty kitty staring at me
While I was reading, Olive sat and stared at me.
I never get tired of quail watching.


Nothing big and exciting has happened this week so far. But It’s been a a nice week of walking, reading, writing, ping pong and enjoying the quiet moments with the cat and wildlife.

Ten-year-old Olive is playful with tiny catnip mice. I laugh watching her, especially when they get stuck in her polydactyl claws.

How is your week going? What are your highlights so far?

Look who came back to visit?

VRBO views

stone lion with Christmas decorations
I saw this nicely decorated lion on a morning walk around the corner from the Christmas VRBO.

We’ve left the VRBO and we’re headed home slowly. It took a ton of energy and hard work to pack 12 people and to get the house in shape for the housekeepers. I’m waiting to hear that my son’s car has arrived safely to the Bay Area. They were the last car to leave along with us at noon.

We decided to spend the night with our dear friends who live in the Santa Barbara area and get up at dawn to make the nine-hour trek home. The packing and cleaning left us too tired and too late to make the drive. Plus, I’m hoping for better weather tomorrow. Another storm is currently walloping the coast.

I miss Olive the cat and hope she’s not too angry with me for boarding her. In our new home and her new career as an indoor cat, she’s become very affectionate. I have bonded with this lovable kitty more than ever. The goal is to stop on our way home to pick her up from cat jail before they close.

views of Santa Barbara marina from the Christmas house.
The view from the master bedroom deck in our Christmas VRBO.
View from master bedroom of Santa Barbara VRBO
The master bedroom French doors to the patio with spectacular views.
Santa Barbara sunset.
Sunset

Happy New Year! I’m ready for 2022. How about you? Are you looking forward to saying goodbye to 2021?

On the road again

beach view in Santa Barbara
On our way to the beach!

I need to get packed. But, I need to do laundry first. The kitty is on her way to boarding. The lady at the pet boarding place said our Olive the cat will be boarding with Olive the pug. That should be interesting. Olive our cat is not a pug fan. Waffles is the only pug she’s met and all he wants to do is chase her. I hope they don’t place them in suites (cages) that face eachother.

One thing that definitely helped my stress level was packing and loading the car one day before. What a concept! We only need to wake up, shower and go.

A nine-hour drive awaits. I’m trying to have a positive outlook for the long drive. I’ve downloaded several books to listen to including John Grisham. I tend to have anxiety on the road, so I’m trying to frame the trip as an adventure. As something fun to do for nine hours — rather than dreading it. Maybe a positive outlook will change my reaction?

Instead of breaking up the drive into a couple days, we’re going for it. We’ll stop by my dad’s to drop off his Christmas present at the halfway point. But we’re not spending the night. We want to get to our destination.

The Airbnb is letting us check in four hours early, which I’m thankful for. One of my worries was that the owner hadn’t reached out to me yet. Now she has and we have all the details to get into our Christmas vacation house.

What excitement do you have planned for Christmas week?