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Carine’s Blog

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  • What is it with Mondays?

    Posted on Friday, July 31, 2015

    Monday, Monday
    What a way for this week to begin. NOT!
    Here in my part of VERY, VERY North Phoenix we have the situation of one road in and one road out.  It's otherwise known as "I-17".  This week at approximately 7:15 a.m. I got a text from darling daughter Sam saying, "I hope u rn't going anywhere 2day-there's a huge accident blocking 17/303"

    Trouble was I actually was ready to leave for my weekly physical therapy appointment.  I told Steve, who was able to at least take surface streets from home to Carefree Highway and down to Scottsdale.  He was going the opposite way.
    Bully for him. Still took him over an hour and 15 minutes, but at least he got to work. I made it 5 miles when I hit the expected "pile-up" and decided to exit and go home. It took me 25 minutes to get to the top of the exit ramp. I used the time wisely and called my PT to let them know I was NOT going to make it anytime in the next few hours.
    They were more than understanding and made my appointment for about 6 hours later. Later, I wound up having to cancel again and make my appointment for Wednesday.
    By the time I got back to the house I had been gone for over an hour. Monday had struck. Everyone on FaceBook was showing aerial shots, shots of them in the gridlock and telling everyone to JUST STAY THE HECK OFF THE 17!
    Decided to use the unexpected open time to find enough shade to walk Lucky. For whatever reason the temperature was still under 85, so I felt the ground and hooked her up. We found enough shaded area to stroll about 1-1/2 miles.
    I can't say how Lucky felt (outside of the smile on her face), but I felt quite virtuous about this first walk in a week.
    By the time we got home I checked FB and discovered I had a bit more of the sad story: seems as if a car somehow didn't use the rules of safe driving and sped without watching and slammed itself under a semi. Obviously there were fatalities along with the gridlock. One of the offshoot roads also was shut down due to a couple of fatal accidents.
    Having been a victim of not 1 but 2 drivers who felt the "need for speed" outweighed others right to live, I found myself thinking that these people have cost several people their lives and have changed their families forever.
    More news continued-seems the young man who was driving was pretty high on meth. He survived but his 2 passengers died. One was a young mom of 3.
    So sad and more than unnecessary.


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  • Kids Ask the Darnedest Things

    Posted on Thursday, July 23, 2015

    Kids and Interesting Questions
    As many of you know our older 2 grandsons are now 7-1/2 and 8-1/2. Kids always ask a bunch of questions-some easier than others to answer but now-wow! Dylan and Aidan have been coming up with some doozies! Some I can hypothesize and others I find myself thanking the internet and Google/Yahoo for helping me get the boys the information they desire.
    Other questions leave me wondering as well.
    Dylan, 8-1/2, came in one morning this week and announced, "Grandma, did you know that there are people who can touch their eyebrows with their tongues?"
    I shook my head and said honestly, "No, no I did not Dyl. But I'm pretty sure that this trick is not possible unless you are either part lizard or snake. But let's check out Google."
    Per Yahoo! I found no real definitive answer, but there were some rather disgusting references that I was glad the boys couldn't see! Let's just say that if your kids and grandkids ask you this same query-don't let them near your computer/tablet/phone while you look up the information.
    Both boys, due to monsoon season, asked me how much do clouds weigh? Google let us know that the average cumulus (rain) cloud weighs approximately 1.1 MILLION pounds! The same as 100 elephants. That was pretty interesting for even me to find out. I also clicked on a Boy's Life magazine cartoon for them explaining about hurricanes. It was 3 minutes and the boys really enjoyed learning about these storms.
    Then came some of the week's more surreal questions:
    When am I going to be a grown-up and get to do what I want? I told them that in reality, not even grown-ups really get to do what they want. There'd always be something that life made necessary for them to do, whether that was working a job to pay their bills, take medicines to help them make it through the day or helping someone they love on a daily basis because that was just part of life. Being grown-up did not mean you get to do what you want-quite frankly, just the opposite.
    Why should we read books when watching TV is so much easier and more fun and easier on our brains? I pointed out that if all they did was watch TV that they'd wind up with no brain and in grandma's home reading came first.
    Maybe not the best answer but trying to get them to read is akin to my wanting to learn more about math.
    Then came the heart-breaking question of this week. I was looking through the local pet rescue (yes, we're still toying with the idea of adopting another canine child) and there were just so many that were being rescued out of high kill shelters because they were old and their families weren't "into" being there for them in their time of need. Breaks my heart and I die a little bit with every view. I'd still give anything to have my Sunshine for even another week and she's been gone for almost 4 years.
    How dare these "people"? Evidently the boys also couldn't fathom this horrible decision. "Why grandma, why would they do this to their poor dog, it must be so sad and scared?"
    I agreed.


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  • Everyone's Hometown

    Posted on Friday, July 17, 2015

    Everybody's Hometown
    Prescott loves that logo.  I mention this because this past week Steve and I finally took a day trip up there.  It's a very cute mountain town with a couple of community colleges, a flight school and a lot of retirees.

    I know this for one reason:  Right out of college my first job offer was at one of the 2 (that's from memory) radio stations in the area.  It was not to be and wasn't exactly the highlight of my first days as a college grad with a degree in broadcast journalism.
    Since that fateful fall of 1978 the city has grown by leaps and bounds. It's filled with history, art galleries, antique stores, 3 museums and of course the famous Whiskey Row.
    Steve had wanted to go for a while, but the closest we have gotten was the day trip to the neighboring area of Prescott Valley when we took the boys to the zoo.
    Not knowing how dog-friendly the town would be we dropped off Lucky to Adam, who had the day off, and went to start our latest adventure.
    We live in this perfect spot to make these day trips happen. An hour from Sedona, Prescott, Prescott Valley and about an hour and a half from Cottonwood and Jerome. All beautiful, historic and make for a nice trip to get "out of Dodge" for a day.
    What started this trip out was a travelogue on our local cable station.  Now we had a destination in mind and some places we wanted to see for ourselves.  We didn't get to the 3 museums that we'll save for another trip. But we did spend several hours walking around the town square, peeking into the famous Matt's Saloon, The Palace saloon, the historic Hassayampa Hotel, a few art galleries and local shops and a really fun gourmet herb, spice, honey store.  

    As Steve said, "If we had the money, I could easily have spent a few hundred bucks in there!"
    Instead, we went with some cute tee shirts for the 3 boys and one for the future Princess Bryce.
    We started our day with breakfast at the Sweet Potato Café. It was definitely a place you'd find the locals. Small, very unassuming, everything homemade and most items had something in the way of sweet potato in them.
    If you're wondering, Steve had the meat-lover's omelet with hash browns and a side of sweet potato pancakes. As usual for me, I found the heart healthy entrees and went with an egg white omelet with all the veggies in the kitchen, salsa and even soy cheese with fresh fruit and a slice of, what else, sweet potato bread.
    It was a nice day and we enjoyed being by ourselves for even those few hours. Every couple needs that now and then.
    Upon getting back Adam told us that Lucky cried for quite a while and then, as if to "show" us for leaving her behind, she peed on the play room carpet.  We were definitely back home.


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  • Pets-Why is it?

    Posted on Friday, July 10, 2015

    Why is it?

    Why is it that those of us with fur babies have some of the following events happen at fairly regular intervals?

    -As soon as you change the sheets on the bed, they get sick?

    -When you're in a hurry to have them potty so you can leave the house they can't seem to find the "perfect" spot to do their business?

    -As soon as your pet requests to go out they want to come back in (as in, they are always on the wrong side of the door)

    -Just as you think you've finally figured out the food your senior "baby" will eat and be okay with due to a physical condition the store stops carrying it because "there just aren't enough people interested in buying it"?

    -When you make an appointment for their "well-kid" physical with the vet, they suddenly come down with something requiring an invasive procedure?

    -No matter what you personally do to see that your fur child won't get into trouble, as soon as you leave the house for the slightest amount of time, they find just the ticket to either making a mess or destroying an item entirely?

    -They look cuter than anyone else's pet?

    -Always move just as you are about to take the best portrait shot of them ever?

    -And if you have a toy sized version of a canine, they always seem to get too tired to walk about ½ mile away from home?  Thereby putting the brakes on and whimpering until you pick them up and carry them home?

    -And for those who have larger dogs-they need to take a rest on the main drag of your city so that everyone laughs at the fact that you are walking in place until they've rested up enough to continue?

    -They all seem to know that while we think we're in charge, they know they are?

    The reason for this subject?  Just found out that one of my stories based on our 13 year old Pepper and how he entered our lives and was raised by our late and beloved Goldie mix Sunshine and now he did the same for our beloved little girl Lucky won a place in an upcoming anthology book that will be available on Amazon in the very near future!


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  • Finally, News of the Happy Kind

    Posted on Friday, July 3, 2015

    News of the Happy Kind

    I would really like to share some happy news for a change.  Not that all my aches, pains and degenerative discs and diseases have all left my life, because they haven't.  All the same I want to share only good news today:

    I'm happy.  Don't feel I have to explain the details.
    Our adult children are all healthy.
    Our grandchildren are all healthy.
    Our fur babies and our fur grand babies are all healthy.
    My husband is healthy (and I'm hoping happy).
    Our extended family is all doing okay. I can't really go into the details since our extended family members are all well over 500 miles away.
    We have had no invasion by the following in the last 6 months: rattlesnakes, owls, ground squirrels, tarantulas (although our neighbors have), hawks and bunnies who like to hide in the planters out front. (Those buggers are cute but have BIG front teeth!)
    While we have seen quite a few:  wolves, coyotes, wild burros and bobcats, all of them seem to not want any part of hopping our block wall and eating our precious little Chihuahua Lucky.  I'd like to think it's because they are camera shy (remember, since the break-in we are very secure in several ways around here) and therefore want no part of coming into our sanctuary.

    My physical therapists may not be "curing" me, but they are great at helping me through the daily grind of just being me, in regards to my joints and discs.
    And the last bit of great news for my week?
    Adam and Sam went to the "reveal" ultrasound and have shared the news with us that our fourth grandchild will be a little girl! They've decided on Bryce for her first name.
    Aidan is thrilled-Jackson wasn't even a week old when he decided that "Auntie Sam has to have another baby and make it a girl-I need a girl cousin."  

    Personally, while yes I'm thrilled that we will have a grand-daughter-in all honestly, all I've ever cared about is that my kids and grandkids are healthy and happy.  When you come right down to it, if they have those two things-life is beautiful.


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  • It's a Solid Grandpa

    Posted on Thursday, June 25, 2015

    Solid and Funny

    Our grandsons are funny.  At breakfast we somehow got to talking about the metric system and how we measure things here in USA.  Liquids/solids/liters/grams, etc..  We were comparing the bottles of hot sauces, peanut butter, and cream cheese.  Then my husband let out a very loud burp!  Aidan, age 7, said, “I think that’s a solid grandpa!”

    Later the same morning, we were taking them over to their flipside grandma's home and Dylan decided he had to check out one of the rocks in the front of the house while waiting for Steve to back the car out of the driveway.  It's a fair-sized  rock, about the size of a tricycle.  

    Have I mentioned that Dylan loves creepy crawlies?  Consider it mentioned now, if I haven't before this moment.

    I told him not to get his face there.  "Dyl, there could be a scorpion under there and you might be getting it angry.  Get away, grandpa's almost out."

    At that moment, he pulls out something.  From where I was standing I thought someone decided to stick a straw under there rather than carry the "heavy" object home and throw it in their garbage can.  Nope, was not a straw.

    Dylan found a snake skin.  He was thrilled.  Over the moon.  "Grandma, I found a real live dead snake skin!!!"  He wanted to take it with him and show the rest of the family.

    No way was that thing coming in my car!  Thankfully, grandpa felt the same way about the "find" of the day.  The snake skin was dropped and Dyl ushered into the back seat of the car.

    He was NOT happy with us.

    Aidan didn't say much.  He's more the type to love picking out new foods to cook, kitchen gadgets to try and trying to put a new spin on how to get through the heat of the summer.
    The boys also had their first swim meet this week.  Steve and I met up with Grandma Robin and her significant other John and Alex to cheer them on.  

    Did I mention the meet was at 6 p.m., in full view of the 105 degree sun?  While the boys were enjoying getting ribbons for swimming in the cool water, the five person cheer squad was sweating bullets.

    There were also several hundred kids and parents hanging around.  

    I've had decades of practice watching soccer, baseball, karate, basketball, softball, dance and choir-but this was my first outing as a swim grandparent.  Interesting.  I would've enjoyed it more from a level view in the water.
    All that said, I guess you could say that (using Aidan's logic) even though this took place in a liquid-this was a solid.

    Later in the week, Aidan was having breakfast at our local bagel joint with Sarah.  He ordered a very traditional lox and bagel.  Sarah ordered the daily special with her choice of meat, cheese and egg.  Our little foodie decided that they should switch their sandwiches when they finish their first half.  Why?  Because that way could have a breakfast version of "surf and turf".

    Technically you have to admit, he was right.

    After last week's post, Steve and I did do a bit of computer shopping.  Bought a new one.  We also had to buy a Word/office program and add it to the new one so that I could actually open up all of my articles.

    This "easy" job took Steve almost an entire day.  As you can see, it worked.  But not in the way you're probably thinking.
    Once the new one was set up, Steve took the program and re-installed it into my old computer-and it now works!  At least it works on the level of getting to get into the Word program.  The old computer still is giving me error notices on e-mails, internet usage and most other items I use every day.  Plus, given the new Windows 8, I can't just transfer my e-mail over to the new computer.  It doesn't have a contact, draft or sent area.

    So, for now, when I work I use the old computer and when I play-I either put forth my greatest effort in testing out my patience or I use the new one.

    Sigh.  Nothing says progress quite like a computer.


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