Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Decaying? Eeww!


When I was a kid all grandparents wore the same uniform.  Grandpas wore button-down shirts under their bibbed overalls over their fat bellies and Grandpa shoes.  Grandmas wore house dresses over their ample forms, hose—usually rolled in garters to just below or above the knee, and black, lace-up, stack-heeled shoes.  They all died when they were old—in their sixties.  When I was in my late teens-early twenties, I decided that there was no way I would ever end up like that.

One day when I was in the bank cashing my check (I know, I’m really dating myself), the door opened to let in the late afternoon balmy sunny air.  In walked six people wearing athletic shoes, blue jeans, and tee shirts.  They were fit, laughing, and in their 50’s-60’s!  They had arrived on motorcycles!!  I said “That’s how I’m going to be when I grow up!”

So far I’ve kept my promise to myself.  When I tell people my age or a little older that I intend to live to 102, be wearing my blue jeans and walking without aid, they all look at me as if I’m crazy.  They don’t want to live past 80 because in their 60’s they are in pain—arthritis, back pain, bad knees, tears in joints.  They don’t deter me.  I have a master plan—work puzzles and word games and design and make crafty gifts to keep my mind working, play with happy people to keep my emotions in check, exercise almost every day—walk 2 miles in 40 minutes, play pickleball, 15 minutes of “floor exercises” including Yoga stretches, abdominal core exercises and lifting 5 lb weights, and eat lots of food I make myself full of antioxidants and vegetables to keep my body working. 

This is a big order to begin with, but over a couple of weeks it becomes a habit.  Soon I went from I don’t have time for all of this to I don’t feel good if I don’t do all of this.  Every once in a while I get derailed by too many activities or illness, then I have to start at the “I just can’t do this any more” stage, but the more I do it the easier it is to get back on in the groove.  I find that illnesses are fewer and farther between, and not as catastrophic as when I was younger and under a lot more stress.   

It seems that I am on the right track.  I read an article in AARP Magazine called “Younger Next Year” by Chris Crowley and Henry S. Lodge, M.D.  Their advice:  Aerobic training, balance training, strength training, eating healthy foods (avoiding processed food, fast food, non-nutritional foods like white bread, pasta, and rice, boost your limbic (emotional) brain, the physical brain (survival), and the thinking brain (thoughts and words), through socialization.  The authors even urge people with arthritis to keep moving.  Dr. Lodge explains:  “Strong muscle can help protect the joints.  Most arthritis patient report about a 50 percent reduction in pain with several months of strength training.” 

Why am I telling you all of this?  I want to keep meeting all of you down the road in 20,30,40 years. I figure that if we all get started now, it’s doable.  Besides that, I’m home (not playing pickleball or doing any other exercise) sick with an ear ache and don’t have anything better to write about!

Keep on moving!

Louise and Duane 

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Sunny Again


After two days of overcast we finally had our Arizona sunshine back in the cloudless blue sky.  Unfortunately, the weather remained unseasonably cold.  The temperature stayed in the fifties and a brisk wind blew all day.  We of course postponed our motorcycle ride since Prescott and Jerome had snow.  We walked to the pickleball barn (open on one side) and got warmed up playing a few games, but the walk to and from was a chilly one.  We holed up with our heaters running all  the rest of the day and evening.  At night we turn on our electric blanket and added covers on top.  Brrrr!  We’re hoping it warms up to more reasonable weather for the remainder of our stay here at North Ranch.  We like the area and the people and activities, but frankly, at this point, we are ready for warmer valley temperatures!

As if in apology for the weather, the sun put on gorgeous display just before it disappeared for the night.



Louise and Duane

Monday, November 28, 2016

Not A Fan, But…

I’m not a football fan, but I did find an interesting article about the Heisman Trophy in the November Elks Magazine.  The article, “The Heisman Trophy—Legends, Lore, and Trivia” by Bob Fulton provided me with the following information.

In 1935 the NYC Downtown Athletic Club decided to award a trophy to the man that they considered the best college football player east of the Mississippi River. The club wanted something different than the traditional cup or bowl style trophy for their new award.  They wanted a football player running downfield.

The commission went to Frank Eliscu, a young gratuate of the Pratt Institute, who went on to be a National Academy of Design prize-winning sculptor.  He had gone to high school with standout New York University running back Ed Smith, and talked him into posing for the statuette.  The Trophy is made of 45 pounds of cast bronze.



The DAC Trophy was renamed in honor of John Heisman for several reasons.  Heisman played football for Brown University and the University of Pennsylvania.  In 1892 he started coaching collegiate football.  In the 35 years of his coaching career he shaped the game of football in ways that have helped make the sport Americans are fond of today.  Heisman was responsible for inventing the forward pass and for having it legalized.  He originated the snap from under center and the iconic vocal “hike” signal.  Retired from coaching in 1927, he was appointed the first athletic director of the DAC.  He was initially a little uncertain about the concept of the Trophy, reportedly saying “It is against the spirit of the sport that relies on teamwork, not a single player.”  Nonetheless, at the behest of the DAC’s officers, he devised the qualifications that would be used to determine the winner of the first DAC Trophy.  After Heisman’s death in 1936, the DAC Trophy was renamed the John W. Heisman Memorial Trophy in Heisman’s honor and eligibility for the award was expanded to include players from throughout the entire United States. 

The first Trophy recipient (in 1035) was University of Chicago halfback Jay Berwanger, who was known as the ‘one-man gang’.  The Heisman Trophy will be presented to a collegiate football player this year for the 82nd time in its history.

Now you know.

Louise and Duane.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

It’s Official


The weather is now officially nasty.  In our house the term is only applied if the weather is cold and wet.  After a beautiful (if brisk) sunny morning, clouds moved in.  Gradually they got darker and grayer before they started dropping mist and rain in the late afternoon.  The high temperature for today topped out below 55 degrees Fahrenheit.  At that point the outside became nasty.  We spent a bit of outdoors—going to the grocery, playing pickleball—before the bad weather set in.  The rest of the day we holed up.  Tomorrow should be back to the usually sunny clear day.  At least I hope it is.

Sun and heat, please come back!

Louise and Duane

Saturday, November 26, 2016










Cypress Knee Santa—right the first time.


Of course these pix don’t let you see details, but you can get the gist.

Louise and Duane

Friday, November 25, 2016



I’m making a new tree skirt.  I got it all cut out—4 panels top, 4 panels bottom on Wednesday.  Today I sewed them all together, folded in the two open edges and top sewed them and the whole thing top and bottom.  I laid it out to photograph it and discovered that I had put half of the top on the bottom!  That meant taking out top stitching on half, taking those two panels apart and resewing them together in the right sequence, then putting in all of the topstitching---again!!!  From the title you can deduce that some not so nice things came out of my frustrated mouth.  Now my Friday project is now a Saturday or maybe Sunday project. I have told my grandchildren that if they didn’t have to take out some stitching then they weren’t sewing correctly.  I meant it—but for only a few stitches!  I will post photos whenever I get it done, which I hope will be before our ride on Tuesday.

Next time I’ll pay more attention.

Louise and Duane

Thursday, November 24, 2016










Louise and Duane

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Two Down

I have finished two projects that I’ve had for years:  Pillowcase doll was in two pieces—the doll’s body and the pillowcase with stamped embroidery design on the bottom.  The kit called for a blank doll’s face, but I put a face on it.



Scripture panels into pillows.


Duane finished a cowboy Santa that he started so that he would have something to work on at the woodcarvers’ get-together on Tuesday evening.  The funny thing is that he was so engrossed in his project that he forgot to joint the woodcarvers on Tuesday!




I have another project halfway done.  Christmas is coming fast!

Louise and Duane

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Look Familiar?

After a couple of days of clouds and rain, today was sunny again.  The air was quite chilly—in the mid to upper 50’s, reminding us that November is almost over, but that didn’t stop us from bundling up and cruising along one of our favorite routes.  Since our usual gang, Jan and Doug and Smiley, were otherwise occupied, we took along a three new people.  Mark on his KTM,


and Butch and Cheryl on their Goldwing.  (They all play pickleball.)




Back at the diner in Bagdad for Mark and us,


the first time for Butch and Cheryl.


That’s Mark in the back, then Cheryl and hubby Butch.





As usual, we enjoyed our lunch and chit chat, but the ride was the most fun.

Louise and Duane

Monday, November 21, 2016

To And From

On the route to and from the Pioneer Village, we passed through a different section of the Sonoran Desert.  Some areas had fewer and drier looking plants,


some had more and healthier looking plants.


We passed one riparian area—a very green  area showing where surface water is present.


Everywhere there were saguaro cactus, sometimes only a few, 


sometimes a lot.


Saguaro are as similar and as different as snowflakes.  Here and there were some that grew “odd arms”.





The weather has been rainy and cool yesterday and today, so I’ve been staying inside working hard on a birthday present that has to arrive by Dec. 2.  I think that I can finish it tomorrow if I work on it after our ride.

What ride?  Tune in and find out.

Louise and Duane

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Double Double Duty

As part of our Civil War history lesson we were treated to two demonstrations of warfare.  First was the operation of two types of big guns.  The demo took some time but real soldiers could load and shoot these guns about 4 times a minute.


The second demo was of an infantry battle.  This is the gray line with the big guns behind them.


Part of the blue line with returning scouts. (Yes, they were kids, but back then kids 12 and up were men.)


The blue line was split into two units, one on the other side of the gazebo.  To get a better idea of the conditions, consider the gazebo a hill  and ten men for each one here.


To engage the enemy, each side advanced and shot, then advanced and shot until they came within range and somebody went down.  The blue line on the far side was fired on by the big guns, while the gray line advanced across the grass (think over a small hill down into a gully  then out among the creosote, pallo verde and cactus.)


Meanwhile Union sharpshooters were flanking the big guns to take them out and come up behind the gray line.


It works.  A rebel is the first casualty.


A Union man down.


The shooting’s over.  Time for the final rush and hand-to-hand combat.


The surviving leaders agree on who won.

There were some people who didn’t think much of this little demo.  I guess they didn’t have the imagination to see the rough terrain, the large numbers of soldiers, the smoke, or to hear the constant loud bangs of the weapons or the wild yells of charging soldiers, the moans of the injured and dying.


After the demos, we continued our tour of the village.  Some things I thought interesting were the gallows directly across from the sheriff’s office/courtroom/jail.


The church was decked out for a wedding.



From humble roots…



A reminder of our violent past.



Jan looking in, deciding how she’s going to redecorate. 


After everyone had enough visiting with each other and touring the village, we said goodbye to Brock and Leola,


mounted up and retraced our route home.


Duane and I enjoyed our visit to the village but thought that with more funding and costumed interpreters it could be first rate.

Louise and Duane