Cards With Friends

10/22/16 (Saturday) in Mesa, AZ (Val Vista Villages)

We skipped the coffee and donuts (good for you, John!) and spent our morning getting computer work done. Mostly the blog for me.

In the afternoon we watched TV until it turned into a nap for me while John continued with his favorite shows. So hot, we just want to hibernate in our dark cave of an RV.

After our supper we joined 3 other couples in a game of “13”. Since Norma/Mike were our hosts (the party was at their rig) and also knew “13”, we followed their rules. Sheesh. THEIR rules made it a lot harder and they even took out the gambling part, just for us. Always a challenge in life.

Seahawks Struggle

10/23/16 (Sunday)

After church we went grocery shopping, even stopping at CVS to see if John’s A1C kit arrived. Nope. The manager said he’d ordered it but it didn’t come so he’d try again and suggested John call Wednesday to see if it came in. This kit will give John his blood sugar numbers for the past 6 months, so it enables him to not test his blood sugar every day.

Hot afternoon repeat: TV, books and nap for me. In the evening we watched the Seahawks v Cardinals football game. Hard to watch both teams fight so well, yet little mistakes (both kickers missed their chances in overtime) led to a VERY low score, then overtime to end in a tie: 6-6.

Nancy/Gary Join Us

10/24/16 (Monday)

I started the Core/Balance class at 8 am on M, W, F. Love it! We do a lot of slow walking, as you lift your feet one at a time and place them in a unique spot. Thus you create imbalance when you lift your foot and move it to, say, behind you, then you must balance as you place it on the floor. A handsome young man is our teacher, so that doesn’t hurt! One of the ladies asked why he was teaching us “old folks”. I don’t think he responded at that point but later he mentioned that his grandmother was 101 when she died after a fall. After this class I still had energy to give Miss Journey her first rather thorough housecleaning in a long time while John completed his laps in the pool.

After lunch we used the WiFi there, near the pool, in spite of the heat – we did enjoy some shade. When we returned to our rig we saw Nancy and Gary turning from our front door. They’d just arrived today and were out for their walk, stopping by to see if we were home. So we all continued on the walk with them, getting to see where they’re parked (yes, they’re also in Val Vista until Jan 1st, just like us!).

We had a quick supper, then dashed to the “Road Runner” band music. This couple did not impress us that well. John didn’t recognize most of their music. I felt the words were not clear and the music not defined as well. Plus, when they sang other people’s songs it just wasn’t the same sound I was used to. So we left early to watch “Dancing With The Stars”.

That night we left everything wide open when we went to bed, even running our Fantastic Fans. Shortly after we settled in, the rain came, lightly at first, then with lots of big drops, so my hero, John, ran to close the windows and the fans. At 2 am he got up again to open everything. We’re so tired of this heat – it’s breaking records for highs and the longest time in October with days over 90 degrees.

Milt to the Rescue

10/25/16 (Tuesday)


This morning I did Water Aerobics, then Functional Fitness class while John swam his pool laps. For lunch we had purchased tickets to the Potato Bake at the Val Vista Ballroom. We hadn’t intended to go to it because I can’t eat potatoes, but the activities lady said I had her permission to have extra chili in place of the potato. When we got our food in the buffet line, the server only gave me 1 ½ servings of the chili. There were other toppings: cheese sauce with broccoli, green onions and bacon bits. Oh well, I must admit I was stuffed when I finished, so it was probably just as well. The best thing is we happened to get seated next to our Canadian neighbors Cyndi and Jim, so that was fun. Plus we sat across from a gentleman who told us about the computer club and how they’ll “clean up” your computer. So after our yummy meal we walked to the building for the computer club. As we were reading the bulletin outside, a man opened a nearby door and asked if he could help. It turned out he was Milt and was involved with setting up their computer classes as well as helping people. He explained that the computer club didn’t start until November 1st and it cost $10/month (other prices for longer periods). He kindly offered to “clean” my computer so it would not be so very sluggish. So we went home, then I returned, bringing him my computer. He noted that I hadn’t done any Windows updates for a very long time and said that your computer becomes very slow with that because elements are busy trying to get that update. It seemed to be taking a long time with that so he suggested I come back before 3 (when he leaves) to get my computer.

Back at home John and I studied our voting pamphlet and the issues on our ballots and filled them. We got them in our mail yesterday. Then Milt called to say he’d need to keep my computer overnight for those Window updates to complete. I said that would be fine. I was so excited that he would get it all fixed for me.

We treated ourselves to a recording of “Trainwreck”. Great movie. I laughed and I cried.

Milt Has Bad News

10/26/16 (Wednesday)

This morning I did the Core class, then my yoga class while John watched TV and swam his pool laps. We cooked our pork chop with mushroom soup using our Tupperware Stacking cookware in the microwave. Nine minutes in the microwave is so much cooler than trying to grill when it’s getting to 100 degrees and John needs to come in and out of the RV multiple times as he checks its progress. Then we joined Cyndi and Jim at the Val Vista Poker room (wonderfully air conditioned) to teach them “13” – OUR rules of course. We had a great time. During our game Milt called to say my computer was ready. I left the game to pick it up. I thought he meant he’d fixed it. Nope, he’d meant that he’d done everything he could and it would only update 3 of the 127 needed. Even my Spybot program wouldn’t completely update. He did note that Wednesdays in November that Hank would be here, along with others more expert than he. He even left notes of all the things he tried to get my computer to behave. Sigh. I still have hope, waiting for November and the troops to arrive.

After supper we walked to where tonight’s band (North Star) was playing. They were much better than the last one, so we stayed until it ended at 8pm.

Vito’s and Fast Track with Friends

10/27/16 (Thursday)

Water Aerobics then Fitness class first thing for me while John enjoyed the doughnuts and Village. This was laundry day as well.

For lunch we treated ourselves to a nice nearby Italian restaurant (Vito’s), so we didn’t have to cook in this heat. Cyndi and Jim were able to join us, so we all had the best of times visiting and scarfing up their incredible thin crust pizza. On the way home John stopped at the CVS to see if his A1C kit had arrived. Nope. This time he left his phone number for the manager to call when it came in.

Once we got back we walked down to the Val Vista Poker room where Nancy was able to join us for a game of Fast Track. We got to teach them this game too and after numerous questions in the beginning they were really into it. Great games – I won the first, Nancy (to my right) one the next, then John (to her right) won the next. Then it was time for us all to face the heat to walk home and tend to our suppers. Gary couldn’t come because he was repairing their combo washer/dryer. I really felt for him – working in this heat.

Brats and Sauerkraut Dinner

10/28/16 (Friday)

Core/Balance class, then yoga for me, pool time for John. I went to the computer lab to get good WiFi. Well, it wasn’t quite what I’d thought it’s a small, sort of closet of a room with 6 computers installed for Villagers to use. No handy table space or electric outlet for me. I pushed a keyboard aside and managed. I found that they didn’t offer a WiFi here (the computers were already connected), but luckily Milt (in the room for classes next door) had used a powerful Wifi for my computer repairs. When he did he put in the password and told it to connect automatically. So I got some work done, then walked home. At home I used my phone hotspot to connect the Kindle and get some library books.

In the afternoon we went grocery shopping (at least our car and the stores are air conditioned), then returned to collapse in our den/home with books until our 4pm October dinner. They’d promised noodles, but they actually gave us German Potato Salad. I really loved the brats, the purple cabbage with apple slices and especially the apple strudel. I even ate two! Naturally I skipped the bun and John got my potato salad. Once again we’ve avoided cooking our big meal in this heat.

This evening not only did we get a great band (Wayne and Deb), who are also Villagers, the management gave us free wine and beer. So of course by the time we got to where they played, all the chairs (even borrowed from our exercise room) were taken. Lucky Norma and Mike had arrived early enough for chairs but we walked to the other end of the shuffleboards to sit on their benches. They were SO uncomfortable. Thankfully, a couple hours later we saw that Norma and Mike and left and we took over their chairs. We DID manage to get some of that free wine. We saw Jan/Bill there and several other couples we now know. Then Linda/Ron arrived, too late for the free beverages. These music activities are held in a temporary spot in the Fiesta Village area (where we live), while they complete remodeling of the regular courtyard at the Val Vista Village area. I think they offered the free alcohol to help people bear this inconvenience. They also have been holding them from 5 pm to 8 pm. It’s hard to squeeze supper in before, but lovely to get home around 8!


About Patricia Elser

I've always loved the loose, flowing, transparent look of watercolors, of Chinese paintings and their calligraphy, but alas, no watercolor classes were available when I was in school, so that interest remained buried until my children were grown. Even then, I was afraid that I couldn't really paint, so upon my sister's advice, I actually started to take classes. I signed up for every class available, determined to learn no matter how afraid I was. I came upon a teacher, Stan Miller, who inspired me, who opened the door to success in watercolor. I love to look at beautiful images. I want to capture them forever. All my life, photography was how I gathered images of the beauty I saw. Thanks to all that photography, I enjoy composing pictures, especially up close. Watercolors allow me to add more of me in their translation of that beauty. My paintings reflect my love for music and dance, with their rhythm and flow. I am fascinated by the play of light, so it appears in my pictures as drama for they are filled with darks and lights. Maybe it's the challenge, maybe it's the beauty, but now, when a work comes together, it fills my soul.
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