Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Still Here

Yes, we are still in Mesa, Arizona - heaven in the winter and . . . well, you get the idea. The good news is that we are past the mid point of summer and recently the temperatures have only been slightly above 100. Yippee! We are also into the monsoon season when everybody complains about how humid it is. The highest I've seen the weatherman report is 27% humidity! That would be a really dry day anywhere I've lived previously. One day when the newscasters were complaining about it, it was only 19%! Funny. Of course it does jump up temporarily when it rains which hasn't happened too often so far.

Ron is tackling a couple of projects - he just couldn't take the inactivity. The top hinge on the gate was pulling out of the block fence so he tackled that problem. Doesn't he look serious?

Although the citrus won't be ripe until winter, I noticed the lemons are getting pretty big so I thought I'd dissect one. If I didn't know better, I'd swear a lime was just an undeveloped lemon.

It was okay in my special home-made iced tea.

This sign just makes us laugh, but I bet you can get it cheap. The former restaurant has been the location of not one, but two fires within the past year.

And this evening we had our first really impressive rain of the season. The lady across the street was trying to catch rain in a milk jug. Seems like the hard way to do it - I guess she didn't have a bucket.

And now for the update on the continuing saga of Ron's problem hand. As you know, it's been almost five months since his finger started to have a problem. Today he was kicked to the curb by the third doctor. Well, to be precise, Ron dropped the first doctor who was a GP and moved on to a hand specialist. Doctor 2 cut into the finger in question, sent samples off for cultures and biopsy, and put Ron on a couple different antibiotics which may or may not have done anything. All the tests came back negative. Finally, Doctor 2 declared him cured and took him off the meds. Before the proverbial ink was dry, his hand started to swell up. Luckily Doctor 2 had made an appointment for Ron to see an infectious disease doctor a month earlier (the wait was that long) and we went to see her. Doctor 3 was clearly puzzled and sent Ron for blood work to test for everything she could think of and another biopsy. Today we went back for the results which are all still negative. Doctor 3 said it's not an infection and Ron should see a dermatologist. Now he has an appointment for next Monday with Doctor 4. Personally, I think his body will eventually get over this on its own, but he's pretty frustrated. Meanwhile he's able to keep the swelling down with the non-FDA-approved DMSO, otherwise known as snake oil.

By the way, I guess Ron's not the only one frustrated by this whole situation. The last time we saw Doctor 2, he told Ron that if he has any problem in the future to please call Doctor 2's partner. I don't think he was kidding.

Monday, July 5, 2010


We are now into, what to us is, exceptionally hot weather. To the natives, I guess it's just the same old, same old. The highs range between 105 and 115 and the lows are in the 80s. A couple of nights the LOW was 90! That's just crazy.

We wondered if the indoor/outdoor thermometer was going to burst. The outside probe is under the patio roof - it was really only about 115 that day. We have the air set at 82 which is very comfortable except in the Arizona room. Since that was enclosed after the original house construction, it doesn't have AC and is not concrete block. It's hot, although maybe not as hot as this says since the thermometer is mounted on one of those outside walls.

"So what do we do in this heat?" you may ask. Well if there is any work to be done (laundry, cleaning, whatever) we do that first thing in the morning. Any errands must be run as early as possible. Ron doesn't even have his normal projects because they involve working in the hot garage.

Since walking around the neighborhood is out, we joined the local 'multi-generational center'. They have a huge selection of exercise equipment. Ron walks around the indoor track and uses the weight lifting equipment. While I take advantage of the treadmill.

I never realized how boring treadmills are. There are five TVs mounted in a row on the wall, each one with closed captioning. Unfortunately, I think I must have ADD, because the setup just overwhelms me. My eyes flip from one to the next and by the time I leave, I'm just dizzy.

We also walk the mall which I actually like better. No picture since I'm sure you know what a shopping mall looks like.

We've been taking advantage of one of our community pools. Now this is my idea of exercise. While there, I met some ladies who are making Christmas stockings for homeless kids and asked if I wanted to help. I thought, "Okay, sew them together and slap some trim around the top. Easy!"

But, no. These ladies are over-achievers. They really have a system going. When I reported for duty, they asked what I wanted to do - cut, trace patterns, paint, trim. I said that maybe I could handle cutting them out and gluing trim around the top.

I also have homework - I take them home to sew.

Here's Carol who is spearheading the project with her youngest assistants. The goal is 1000 stockings and we're right on schedule at halfway there.

Here are some of the finished stockings. They'll be stuffed with a combination of practical items and a fun item. They did 500 last year and said the rewards were unimaginable.