January 1- June 19, 2016 - Apache Junction, AZ

The New Year was welcomed by a coyote in our backyard on the morning of January 19th.  Rex had let the dogs out into the yard earlier and was getting ready to let them out again when he noticed this beautiful coyote standing by the fence.  We watched it for over 30 minutes and had a hard time getting hit to leave.  Rex opened the side gate and we made a lot of noise – the coyote finally got tired of us and left through the gate.  We had seen coyotes in our community before but were a little surprised that they would jump the fence into the back yard.  We are more cautious when we let the dogs out now.

February was not a good month health wise as Rex started experiencing chest pains when we got home from tai chi class on February 3rd.  We had to call an ambulance and he was admitted to Banner Heart Hospital after they discovered he had a coronary artery blockage.  On the 4th he had a stent placed in his left descending artery.  He came home of the 5th and was doing fine until March 28th when we had to call the ambulance once again – thankfully this time they did not find anything and after spending the night in observation they decided it was non cardiac chest pain.   He has been feeling good but does noticed he tires more easily.

Nancy had cataract surgery on her right eye on February 17th and the left eye on the 23rd.  Everything went fine and she is amazed at how bright and clear everything is now.  She has to wear glasses for distance and can see better now without her glasses than she did with her old glasses before the surgery.

One of our agave plants in the back yard started to bloom in February.  We are amazed at how fast it is growing - here it is on February 19th


 and on February 27th

March 6th      


April 5th – with flowers almost to the top.  You can see our neighbor’s agave is also blooming directly behind ours – twin plants.

The tiny yellow flowers are beautiful and the bees are loving them.  We also saw humming birds getting nectar a few times.

Meridian Manor holds a variety show every year and we were persuaded by our friend, Sandy, to be in a funny skit.  The skit was a silly spoof on Cinderella which the audience seemed to enjoy - we had a lot of fun doing it especially when Cinderella got the giggles.  Rex was the narrator and Nancy was one of the ugly step sisters.

Nancy’s sister Carol visited us in March for a week – we always enjoy her visits.   Nancy and Carol took a hike on the Boulder Canyon trail.  A nice view of Canyon Lake from the trail.

We also all took a Jeep drive around Four Peaks, a beautiful mountain we can see from Apache Junction.

We found snow on the back side of Four Peaks - a sight we don't see too often here in the Valley of the Sun!  We continued our drive to Roosevelt Lake where we stopped at the Tonto National Monument and then on to Globe, Superior and back to Apache Junction.  Another beautiful day!

We enjoyed Carol’s stay, it is always nice to have family visit.

Our street, Snap Dragon, held a block party in March.  The festivities were in front of our next door neighbor’s house.  We visited, played Bolo Horseshoes and had lots to eat.

Rex was asked to bring his guitar and provide some musical entertainment.  Everyone enjoyed his playing and singing while watching the Bolo Horseshoe games. What a great way to get to know your neighbors better.

Spring time in the desert is beautiful.  This collage of beautiful flowers was taken by one of the hikers on a hike to Black Cross Butte Nancy went on in April.

One of the many beautiful cactus blooming in our neighborhood.

In April we went kayaking on the Salt River with friends, Elroy and Rhonda.  Rex, Elroy and Nancy ready to take on the river.

Some of the wild horses we saw along the river - we even got to see this little colt nursing

We kayaked several more times on the river and saw the horses every time along with lots of birds - herons, egrets, eagles, vultures, swallows etc.

On April 30th we went to Tonto Natural Bridges State Park and hiked with our friend, Donna and her friend Pam.  This is a beautiful area with a natural bridge you can hike over and under.

Rex, Donna, Nancy and Pam on the trail along the creek that goes under the natural bridge.  We had a beautiful cool day with a little rain.

Meridian Manor held a Mother’s Day Tea for the ladies.  There was a harpist to provide music while we had tea and lots of goodies - what a nice treat!

This spring we became Arizona residents - getting AZ driver’s licenses and licensing our vehicles here and, of course, paying AZ income tax!  

We were planning on leaving Arizona the first of May but stayed until the middle of June because Nancy was going to have laser surgery on her eyes the first of June.  But when she saw the surgeon he decided that the laser surgery was not necessary at this time.  Unfortunately we experienced some very hot weather – went from the 80’s to 115 in May and has been in the 100 to 110 range so far in June - thank goodness for air-conditioning.  We have really enjoyed our new house and the Meridian Manor community but it is time to start our summer travels.  As I post this we are getting things ready to leave and will bring the 5th wheel over on Thursday and get it all packed.  We plan to leave on June 20th and head north to Payson for a week where it will be cooler before we head to Wichita Falls, Texas to meet up with Rex’s daughter.


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