A Mountain View

Last weekend, Husband and I spent some time at what only can be described as a luxurious religious resort in Carefree, Arizona.

I know, I know, sounds weird. But honestly, if you’re going to be religious, you might as well enjoy yourself.

It’s much too much to tell you about in this small post — you’ll get the full run-down on Wednesday. For today, I’m going to show you the view from our little private balcony where we ate our breakfast each morning (yeah, admit it — you’re just dying with envy right now).

It was a lovely desert mountain, dotted with expensive, luxury homes at the base, as well as on the top half of the mount.

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On Wine, Jalapeños, and World Famous Chili

We arrived at the party late because as Husband said, nothing our friend does ever starts on time. He was right. The dinner party was to start at 6:00, we arrived at 6:30, the food wasn’t ready until 8:30.

But there was beer, wine, sangria, and over in the corner of the room I spotted people making simple cocktails. Except for Husband and Friend, I knew no one at this party.wine-beer-cocktail

Normally this would have caused me deep distress, but I decided to relax and observe, just like a real writer would. (Make note of that, please. I was impersonating a real writer.)

Husband brought me a glass of wine and soon we were in the midst of a conversation with a woman from Seattle. Her place was near the ocean and we simply must visit her, we must, she’ll give us her card, she’s completely serious, we simply must visit her.

I was half-way through my glass of wine when I realized I hadn’t eaten anything since 10 a.m., and there were no appetizers in sight.  As Seattle Woman talked, I whispered my dilemma to Husband. He spotted a basket of muffins in the far corner of the kitchen – leftovers from their breakfast, perhaps?

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Stormy Weather

sunshine-2I know a lot of people think the weather in Arizona must be pretty boring. Just a lot of hot air, right?

That’s only true for our politicians.

Point of fact, we can get some real doozy of storms, especially this time of year when we are in the midst of what many call our monsoon season.

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Hotel Horror, With Complimentary Breakfast

Husband and I took a little excursion this past weekend. We were going to yet another wedding and Husband had a meeting to attend, but we also wanted to relax and enjoy the small, mountain hotelcommunity in which we were staying.

Small mountain community. Sounds like the setting for a horror flick, doesn’t it?

You know, it’s always a treat to see what Husband’s deal-sleuthing will grant us. We’ve been in charming little bed and breakfast-like places, we’ve also been in five-star hotels with fantastic breakfast bars. It’s part of the thrill — you never quite know what you’re going to get.

When we walked into the lobby of this hotel, we saw a sign: “Please pardon our renovations. Thank you for visiting us!!!”

Hmm. Three explanation points. That should have been the tip-off.

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sunshine-2Sometimes it’s the littlest things that make us smile, isn’t it? Whether it’s a bouquet of flowers on the breakfast table, a familiar song on the radio that brings back pleasant memories, or running into an old friend, it’s those little moments that help brighten our days.

But sometimes those little moments are really big moments in disguise, because the memory of them keeps us smiling for a long time after.

Continue reading “Friendship”

Beer — The Elixir of Life?

beer-4-1326034-639x424Before we go right to discussing the merits of beer, first let me tell you a little something about my heritage.

On my one side are Germans, and as I’m sure you’re well aware, Germans like beer. No surprise there, right? On my other side are Norwegians and they like beer too. Actually, Norwegians like a lot of beverages, many of them alcoholic in nature. The point is, beer is right up there.

By all logic, I should like beer. It’s in my blood.

But I don’t, and here’s why: when you are seven years old and you see a glass of what looks like apple juice and you really like apple juice so you drink the apple juice only it’s not apple juice so you spit it out and then get in trouble for spitting … well, it can cause some bitter feelings toward beverages impersonating apple juice.

This happened more than once, by the way, I was a slow learner.

Anyway, I realize I’m now a grown up and should be over this, but some childhood traumas take longer to heal from than others. And fake apple juice is huge. HUGE, I say!

So much so that if I were to hear a health report saying the secret to a long healthy life was a daily intake of beer, I would not be able to comply. I would think about it, though. Case in point:

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A Tuesday Wedding

sunshine-2When you have a feature that relies upon you finding something to smile about, it’s amazing how much brighter the world becomes. You become the sort of person who is actively seeking to be happy.

Honestly, it’s a marvelous way to be.

But however many things that made me smile this week, none came close to what happened last Tuesday.

I attended a wedding.WP_20150818_17_09_52_Pro[1]

In the words of my co-workers: “Who gets married on a Tuesday?!”

Who indeed?

It was a very, very small wedding. Just three couples, two serving as witnesses to the other’s vows. I’d never attended a wedding so small, but honestly, I’d like to do it more often. It was absolutely charming. And although both were on the other side of 50, the bride had rosy cheeks and trembled, the groom looked nervous and very handsome.

Love has a way of doing that, doesn’t it? Despite our age, our experience or how many times we’ve been around the track, it offers us a chance to be young and foolish again.

Such a marvelous way to be. ❤

BuzzFeed is Trying to Blow My Cover!

I’m not going to worry about it though. Instead, I’m going to lull you all into a false sense of security by sharing my recipe for strawberry shortcake.

Because truly, no one can resist the power of a generous helping of strawberry shortcake.

But first, I have to stop taking those dang personality quizzes that keep popping up on my Facebook page. You know thefun quiz ones I’m talking about?

What is Your Spirit Animal?”

Which Classic Rock Band Are You?”

Which Character From Wizard of Oz Are You?”

Which Star Wars Character are you?”

You know, fun, harmless quizzes like that. Only I’m not so sure they’re harmless anymore.

I’m telling you, they’re on to me.

Continue reading “BuzzFeed is Trying to Blow My Cover!”

Animal Crackers

Husband’s birthday was this past week. I won’t say how old he is, other than to say he’s not old. Because that’s what he says and it sounds good to me.

He’s not the easiest man to buy for, but then are any men easy to buy for? The problem with Husband is that when he wants something, he buys it.

Let me clarify that: When he wants something, he analyzes all his options, pours over ads, visits several websites, compares countless consumer ratings, visits store after store, until finally he makes his selection and goes in for the kill.

So for me to buy something he’s wanting would be kind of cruel, don’t you think? I mean, the hunt is probably 90% of the fun.

I wasn’t sure what to do. I cruised the aisles of Target, looking for items he liked, and finally starting WP_20150811_18_48_02_Pro[1]filling my tote basket with all the treats, goodies and snacks he enjoys, but never gets because when you get a certain age … not old, mind you … but a certain age, you try to eat more healthfully. And there was nary a healthy thing in this basket.

The clerk who checked me out was entranced by my bounty. Every item, as he scanned it, got a comment. “Oh that’s good … I like that … Oh, yeah, this one’s great …”

He was a big man, recent transplant from Chicago (I heard him say it to the customer ahead of me).

Remember my post from last Saturday and the man with the red wagon? Well, this guy was taller and bigger than that guy. And getting real enthused about my purchase.

Then he saw it — his eyes grew wide, he held the box up, “I remember these!” he exclaimed. “Oh man, I didn’t know they still made these! Oh WOW!”


Yes, they still make Animal Crackers. And they still put them in a little box with a handle.

I just made that guy’s day. I told him what aisle he could find them. His plan was to pick up several, relax in his “man cave” and eat them during the game.

I sincerely hope he enjoyed them. I’m sure he enjoyed the game. (The Cubs won yesterday against the White Sox. This guy definitely struck me as a Cubbie.) Oh, and Husband enjoyed the animal crackers too. The gift was a complete hit. 🙂

Ah, those delightful snacks from our childhood — always sure to bring a smile. What was your favorite?