Feb 29, 2016

Shocking Words!

Me!
I know...nothing on the face of this earth should shock me. After all when you have lived as long as I have, you have forgotten more than most people will ever know. Still, once in awhile, someone will say or do something that simple shakes my world.

For example, the other day a commenter on this blog wrote that what I had written reminded her of the the story about the "elderly" lady that lived on a cruise ship. I was okay with the cruise ship story but the word "elderly" shocked me.

See, believe it or not, I had forgotten there was such a thing as being elderly. In fact, I am not even quite sure what that is. Is that the Miss Marple character of Agatha Christie fame. Remember her? She was the seemingly old doddering lady that carries a purse, wore sensible shoes and knitted constantly but could still out reason any young person around.

Or is an elderly person one that has passed a certain age no matter how they act or what they can do.

Perhaps an elderly person is someone that needs help crossing streets and opening door. She is the person younger people see in their mind when they catch a glimpse of me.

I just returned from the car wash where I ordered a complete cleaning of the outside and inside...no wax...I can do that myself. The young man that handed me my bill walked me to the door and opened it for me. I received the same treatment when I picked my car up. All that was wonderful and yet it was a little shocking.

See, I walked 18 holes of golf yesterday playing with three men. Not your typical "elderly" activity.

See what I mean.

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Feb 22, 2016

How to be a 12 Month Snow Bird

Vacation Rental in Mexico
I live around snowbirds 6 months of the year. I have heard those people say that they all want to live the "snowbird" lifestyle when they go home. But it just is not possible. They are isolated and cold. Social activities with friends and beautiful weather are greatly missed when they return to the realities of their "real" life.

One couple I visited with lately returned to Florida this morning where they own a home. The woman is a nurse and works in the summer. They are not going home until May this year. It is too cold in Michigan in the spring so they are hoping to extend their good weather season by simply staying away. Besides that they love their Florida lifestyle a lot.

Last week I visited with a woman that lives the snowbird lifestyle year around. No going home to the Midwest in the spring. They essentially vacation 12 month out of the year. And I thought their solution for avoiding unpleasant weather and keeping their lifestyle interesting was genius.

This couple has no family commitments. They do not own a home anywhere. They do not own a RV or trailer. They keep only what they can travel with and what they actually need to live from day to day.

What do they do? They live year around in vacation rentals. Using a website like Vacation Rentals by Owners, they are living in beautiful places in some of the most desirable locations in the USA 12 months out of the year. It is so simple I wondered why more people were not following the path they have chosen.

Here in desert Southwest they chose a location near River Road on Campbell Avenue in Tucson Arizona. The condo they are renting is very near to some of the best restaurants in the city, University of Arizona and good shopping. They have hiking and biking trails nearby. It is probably real estate that most people cannot afford nor would want to maintain. But as a vacation rental it is perfect.

Later in the year they will move to Central Oregon near Bend where they will benefit from all that beautiful vacation destination has to offer. There will be time spent on the Puget Sound in the state of Washington later and their summer will be spent in Northern California on the coast near Santa Rosa.

Next winter they will return to Tucson and that wonderful condo they are enjoying this year.

They drive a van and pull a small trailer behind. The trailer in parked in the garage of the rental they are staying in at the time. I was told that the trailer is essential because before anything else even in the rental, they needed to always be comfortable. Some vacation rentals are not.

All of the rentals come with every amenity included. Internet, TV, gas, water, heating and on and on. She loved that the windows were always sparkling clean. She didn't have to worry about maintaining a home.

No house = no mortgage, insurance, heating bill, Internet, water bill, etc. No second house = no house payment and all that that requires. Traveling on the shoulder of the season both north and south makes rent cheaper. I don't know how it works out financially but it would be wonderful to try it out for a little while! And living in a desirable vacation location provides more than enough activities to keep anyone happy. In could be perfect for just the right people.

What do you think? Would you even consider doing this?  Very interesting I think!

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Feb 6, 2016

There Is A Rule for That!

I know I have written about rules a lot. My daughter has rules for napping. I have rules for counting calories. I play golf so rules* guide everything I do on the course.

So I have started golfing with a women's group again. I know...I must be nuts. But it turns out I am having a lot of fun. I am also learning that there are rules for playing with women in Arizona that I had not heard of before. I did not know it could be different. Thankfully, my friend has helped me stay ahead of the rules committee whoever that might be.

It turns out you cannot put the rental golf cart key in your purse and take it home. The golf course does not like that and they can be very kranky. I will pay attention to that one...not that I have ever done that but who knows.

I don't think we are suppose
to feed the coyotes. This guy
looked like he could use
a good meal.
There is a specific order that you tee off when you begin a round of golf. On the golf card you are handed, the names are listed. Everyone plays the first hole going in order. After that it doesn't matter. I need to remember that I do not get to go first all of the time. I am paying attention to that one. I like to be first.

We play ready golf...unless we truly respect the person hitting next or if we are just not in the mood to hit yet. Some people are very fast and others are very slow. Ready golf can be interpreted many ways. That one is not very clear to me yet. I'm working on it. I think that if I am playing with someone slow, I cannot leave them behind and play on to the next hole even if I am ready. But I could be wrong. I am not the most patient person in the world sometimes.

Most golf courses have a dress code of sorts but on this course there is not a rule that you have to dress any particular way. As long as your body is covered and if you are a man, you have a collared shirt, you are good to go. I was a little disappointed in this one...I like new golf clothes and even though I don't play good golf, I want to always look like I can. I am making up my own rules for that one!

Women will correct other women if they don't obey the rules. It is a given that sometime during the round I will be told where to drop my ball if I land on the golf cart path. I always do that and it is not easy to stop a ball on the cart path. Thank goodness someone knows what they are doing. Otherwise I would be bumbling around for 18 holes. I have only played golf for 20 years so I really am a beginner.

So there you have it. Rules follow us around everywhere. I really like it when other people follow the rules even though I don't want to myself. But what is, is.

What is the strangest rule you have ever run into? We would love to hear it.

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*Note: Rules are what we expect other people to do and don't want to do ourselves. For example, I don't want the people in my neighborhood to paint their house sky-blue-purple if it is against the rules. But if I fall in love with that color, I might want to do it myself. 

Feb 3, 2016

Sarguaro Corners in Tucson Az...Friday night just the way I like it!

We love our life in the desert for a lot of reasons. Here in Tucson (The Old Pueblo) we get to live the best of city and village life with a little Harley motorcycle crossroads thrown in the mix. We experience this when we golf, eat out, take road trips and shop. The latest best place is called Saguaro Corners.

There is something very special about driving for a few minutes out into the desert very near the Saguaro National Monument and arriving at a place a place like this restaurant. This is where a unique cross section of people that is typical Tucson gather. (located at the intersection of Escalante Rd. and Old Vail Highway)

This old restaurant has been at the same location for so many years people have stopped counting. It closed for a while and has reopened recently with a menu that is a great fusion of regional food with tastes from other places around the world.

I ordered a dish made with "grits" (polenta), covered with smoked tomato cream sauce, andouille and shrimp. The grits has been cut into square and stacked with spinach between the layers. It was out of this world.

The bar is open air onto the deck where a band plays on Fridays. Reservations are necessary if the weather is warm at all.

But best of all is the mix of bikers, families and retirees all gathered in a room overlooking the desert or outside under heaters.

And, yes...that is a car seat for a baby inside a Polaris four wheel vehicle. A darling pink blanket was in the back. Did I say the Tucson is a unique place? Well here you have it.

I will add that we are a short drive from our house to places like La Encantata, a shopping area that features all of the top designers in shops of their own. Downtown is coming alive with great restaurant like Proper or the Congress Hotel. Tucson is a little bit country and a little bit big-big city! The Old Pueblo is still rocking and we love it!

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