January 1 -April 20, 2017. Apache Junction, AZ




After a fun evening out on New Year’s Eve, we spent a quiet day at home for New Years Day.

One last outing with Rex’s mom was to Organ Stop Pizza where we enjoyed pizza and the wonderful music on their huge Wurlitzer organ.  Rex’s mom went back to cold, snowy Ohio on the 5th - we enjoyed her visit and especially getting to spend Christmas with her.



 

In January Nancy started a stained glass class where she did an Arizona sunrise (or sunset) with stained glass on a sandstone slab.















 It looks very nice sitting in front of the house.
 


Nancy also enjoyed learning to play pickle ball and continuing to play bocce ball when the weather is nice.










We have season tickets to the Arizona Lecture Series again this year.  The lectures start in January and go for 3 months and cover topics like Ghost Towns of the Second World War, USS Arizona, Down the Colorado River, The Cadet Nurses Corp in Arizona and many more.  Our favorite was Teddy Roosevelt in Arizona, a very talented Joe Wiegand portrayed President Roosevelt -it was like having Teddy Roosevelt on the stage.  We really enjoyed all the presentations.









Nancy started hiking with a group of ladies who are retired school teachers from Iowa.  The hikes are a lot of fun.  Rex was able to join us on a hike on the Wave Cave trail.  Our goal was to make it to Wave Cave, which is at the base of these rocks (lower right).
















We hiked to where the trail started getting steep and we all decided that we did not want to make the steep, rough climb to the wave today.  We were able to get a good picture of the cave.  The cave is called Wave Cave because when you are inside the cave the rock jutting out in the entrance looks like a wave.   Hopefully, in the future we will hike to the cave and get a picture of the wave.














 Rex started practicing for the Valentine’s Day program at Golden Sun as soon as they finished with the Christmas Program.  The group practiced in our garage for a few weeks before the program.  Our neighbors were all disappointed when the practices stopped. 
 There were 10 performers who sang and played guitars and one plays the concertina.  The performance was enjoyed by over 250 people.   Here Rex is singing “Two Sparrows in a Hurricane” a song by Tanya Tucker.  







Nancy’s sister, Carol, visited for a week at the end of February.  We had a great time visiting and getting caught up even though the weather was chilly.  Of course, as soon as she flew back to Colorado the temperature soared to the mid 90’s.

Nancy started hiking with a group called the Meridian Manor CAN/AM Hikers who hike every Wednesday morning.  She enjoyed hiking with this group and here are some pictures from a few of the hikes.








We hiked to this great double arch in Bulldog Canyon - a short but steep climb just off the trail.


















There was much discussion about whether the Saguaro or the arch would survive - the Saguaro is pushing against the back side of the arch.


















The wildflowers are just starting to bloom – beautiful fairy dusters and poppies. 


















 





 Taking a rest on the Javelina Trail on another hike in Bulldog Canyon.






















The flowers got better and better as the weather got warmer.  The weather conditions were good this year for wildflowers and we are enjoying the beauty.























 Crossing a creek on the Miner’s Needle trail (Nancy is the one in the middle of the creek).  One hiker got wet crossing this creek but, fortunately it was not Nancy!



















The last hike of the season was on the Deer Creek Trail near Payson.  It was a lot cooler at the higher elevation and we enjoyed hiking among the poppies on this section of the trail.

Nancy really enjoyed hiking with this group and looks forward to hiking with them again next season.








On March 1st Rex fell off ladder while cleaning out the gutter on a park model in Golden Sun RV Resort.  He hit the back of his head on the concrete driveway, was having pain in his shoulders and arms, and his arms were numb.  Nancy was out hiking so some of the wonderful residents at Golden Sun looked out for him and took him to the emergency room.  After x-rays, CT scans and an MRI they discovered a subdural hematoma from the blow to the head.  The ER in Apache Junction transferred him to the trauma center at the Banner University Medical Center in Phoenix where he stayed for 3 days.  Besides the subdural hematoma they also decided that he bruised his spinal cord and the swelling was pressing on the nerves that went to his arms.  After they started him on steroids the numbness in his arms eased but he was having severe muscle spasms in his shoulders.   It is going to take a few months to recover from the head injury so Rex will have to endure the dizzy spells for a while longer.

While enjoying the AZ sunshine we also attended some tribute concerts – The Rolling Stones, The Beatles and John Denver.  It is great to hear the songs we grew up with again!   We attended a bluegrass festival at the Pinal County Fairgrounds with our friends Gunther and Susanne.  We also enjoyed the entertainment and programs provided by our HOA Activities Committee – a dinner dance, a talent show, a luau dinner and entertainment including a wonderful fire dance, and various other evenings of entertainment and fellowship. 

This winter has been cooler than usual and we had to bundle up when the temps hit the low 50’s in January but then complained when it was in the mid 90’s the first week of March.  April was beautiful in the 80’s and low 90’s.  We enjoyed a wonderful Easter dinner potluck with many of our neighbors – great food and fellowship.   A lot of the snowbirds have headed home and the neighborhood is starting to look deserted. 

We are leaving April 21st to go to the Rio Chama RV Park to talk to the owners about helping them out this summer.  We also need to be in Colorado in July to help Nancy’s parents celebrate their 70th wedding anniversary and their birthdays -  her mom’s 91st and her dad’s 90th.









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