Thursday, January 30, 2014

We Are Survivors

The weatherman was wrong.  We have survived.  We incurred no frostbite.  It's been at least 80 degrees each day this last week.  Nights have cooled to a low of 65-66, so that is better for sleeping.  We have not closed our balcony sliding glass door for 3 months and I guess we won't until we leave Mazatlan.

So the big news is "when we leave".  We had planned to leave Mazatlan in mid March to go to Spring Training in Phoenix, that has changed.  We start driving North on February 11th and will be back in the Tacoma/Seattle area on February 20th.  We will be visiting Terri's family along the way.  (We will be returning to Phoenix in time for the Mariners games.)

The main reason we are returning is to attend the memorial service of a friend from square dancing on February 22nd.  Jill was our round dance teacher and friend for many years.

We have been away from Washington for 7 months.  When we left we did not plan to be back until late Summer 2014.  The great thing about retirement is we have no fixed schedule, we can do as we please.

Now that we are coming back for a three week visit we have scheduled doctors appointments, tax accountant visit and other business.  We will be better prepared to continue our drive to the East coast this Spring once we finish our business in Tacoma.

But the BIG plus for us will be seeing the grandkids.  We also look forward to seeing our kids and family.  We haven't seen our newest nephew so we will be seeing Otto for the first time.

We will be staying at Tamra & Robbies, Sara's and Dave & Jamies during our time there.  We are looking forward to our visit.

Go Seahawks.  We will be rooting from sunny Mazatlan.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Weather Scare

I couldn't believe what I was seeing.  I had clicked on our local weather station on the web.  Impending dome on Wednesday was the prediction.

What are we to do?  Our disaster planning involves considering "layering".  We may be forced to wear two t-shirts and change out of our flip flops.

I consider myself tough and fully capable of withstanding the elements.  I refuse to give up my shorts and t-shirts.  I draw the line at footwear, I will continue wearing my "Reefs" until I drop.

I ask that you all send your support and good thoughts our way as we prepare for this day.  We know that we can weather our personal tribulations here in Mazatlan, with your support.

It will be 76 degrees here on Wednesday.

Think of us in our time of need.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Good Photography Available Here

This is the longest I have gone without doing a blog.  Sorry.  There is a reason, my new computer made several funny noises and than stopped working.  Time to find a Mexican repairman.  I'm now using my old laptop but it has decided that it doesn't want you to see any of my wonderful photos.  Every time I try it just locks up and I'm out of luck.

So I have a plan.  In the white spaces please imagine great pictures.  It's your turn to participate.  I'll help you get started.

Here isn't a photo of a stunning sunset.

We are busy some days and just plain lazy others. We go dancing a few times each week with friends.  Usually good food follows dancing.

Insert your own imagined photo here.  We are having such fun.

Eva continues to grow. Terri took her by the vets office last Friday and she has gained 2 pounds.  After 8 weeks of good eating she is up to 7.1 pounds. 

Cheerful photo of Eva playing on the beach.

Things are going well with our third grade class at Jose Felipe School.  The kids are delightful and excited each week.  They are getting better at their English, I'm not improving with my Spanish.  They are much smarter than me. 

Imagine beautiful smiling kids in this non photo.

We've fallen into a new habit every Sunday morning.  We get up early while it's still cool (75) and go to Looney Bean in Cerritos for breakfast.  It's a Mexican restaurant so Eva comes with us.  We are sitting outside so it really doesn't matter.  She sits quietly under the table while I have my oatmeal and Terri has her eggs.  She knows that the beach walk is coming next.

It's her favorite day of the week.  Time to romp in the sand and the surf.  She now likes the water which is still bathwater warm in the Sea of Cortez. 

Smiling dog photo.

This is the first time we have been in Mazatlan during January.  All the locals say it's the warmest and nicest weather they can remember for a January.  I'm sure that it was planned for Terri and I.  Everyday is 80 something and sunny.

Photo with big smile on Terri's face as she stands in the sun.
I continue to do my watercolor paintings. I'm sure the Women's Painting Group loves to have me show up each week.  I just finished my best painting. Ever. See below.

Great painting by Russ Ranger

I could bore you with more photos of the great food we have been eating, but you'll just have to imagine that.

So for my final non photo.

I leave you with a dead tree, cute puppy, sunset shot.

Pretty special, huh?

Friday, January 10, 2014

2013....It's a Wrap

2013 was an amazing year by any accounting.  A few lows and a bunch of highs.  If I was going to attach a single word to the year it would be "CHANGE".

Our year began with us being 'homeless'.  That may be a slight exaggeration but we were moving from our home on Raft Island to a temporary apartment to bridge the time until Terri's retirement.  As it turned out it was easier to do our downsizing in two steps rather than all at once.  The months in the apartment provided time without yard work and home maintenance to do all the projects I wanted to complete on the motorhome before leaving.

All was moving along smoothly until April 26th.  It was time for open heart surgery to replace a valve with a new mechanical valve.  The surgery went great but unfortunately an Ecoli infection landed me back in the hospital for another week.

About this time Terri was questioning her retirement date at the end of June.  We agreed to wait a few weeks before postponing the long awaited retirement date.  As soon as I got out of the hospital I began walking.  I was like the energizer bunny with my newly repaired heart.  Within a couple weeks I was doing 5 miles a day and feeling great.  Retirement was back on schedule.

June 28th was Terri's last day of work.  We took off the next week in our new home on wheels.  Terri and I were officially "Trailer Trash" and we couldn't be prouder.

July and August were spent camping in Washington.  With the new heart valve, we thought it best to stay in the area for a couple of months.  We camped and hiked our way around the state until I had myself worn out. 

Another bump in the rode.  A week in the hospital with a lung infection.  I had over done it and my immune system was weak.

I promised everyone that I would slow down and let my body recover.

The first of September we began our two month trek East and South. We covered 8 states as we made extended stops in Yellowstone and the Tetons.  We ended our trip South in Tucson and put the motorhome in storage for the Winter.

The last two days of October we drove down to Mazatlan to spend the Winter in our condo.  It has been a relaxing finish to a tumultuous year.

We both agree that we like retirement. We are still enjoying being active and hope to be ready to jump back in the RV in the middle of March to travel to the East Coast.

Monday, January 6, 2014

Go With the Flow

Napping puppy, my favorite kind.
I haven't written a new blog in the last week.  I couldn't find any great inspiration from our daily life in sunny Mazatlan.  The nights have gotten cooler but the days are always 78, 79 or 80 degrees.  The weatherman has it easy here, he just has to pick from a short list of 3 numbers.  I want his job.

NO, on second thought I don't want any job.

Eva and a "Pound Puppy" playing
Eva the wonderpup is a "job" as she continues to grow physically if not mentally.  She still causes mischief constantly and hasn't any idea what "No" means.

I don't remember having issues like this when raising children.  Trinity, Tamra, Matthew and Charity were all perfect from birth until this very day.  That may seem to be a slight exaggeration to some that know them but this is my Blog and I can write anything I want to.  And if you read it on the web it must be the truth.

I have been painting more lately.  I think I get better with age.  I paint faster, with carelessness now.  The watercolors flow better the wetter they are.  The less concerned I am with technique or precision the better the outcome.  I'm sure there is a life lesson in this but all I can come up with is "go with the flow".


3 Flamenco Dancers
Upside down photo....turn your phone 180 degree to correct my stupidity.
Ditto above.
I've been asked to donate a painting for a benefit art auction.  I've got a few weeks to do a "great" painting.  I hope a deadline will push me along.

I think my next Blog will wrap-up 2013 and all that happened to those Crazy Rangers.  Until then here is another sunset photo.

And a bonus photo of the pergola at the Saturday Market in the square.