Archive for April, 2011

Mother’s Day

April 30, 2011

Mother’s Day

         Mother’s Day has a different meaning when you are a senior, and a single senior. If you had children, and you are now single, there is no husband to remind you what a great mom you were when the kids were young. You have to congratulate yourself on a job well done.

And if you are a senior, your relationship with your mother, if she’s alive, is very different than twenty years ago. She is more likely a dependent, needing care and attention. She is not your safety net. You are hers. And if your mother has died, does that mean you’re an orphan?

The best part of Mother’s Day for me is to see that my three sons are doing well. My oldest son is a wonderful father. He and his family are taking me to Carlsbad, California for Mother’s Day weekend. What a gift! To spend time with him, my amazing daughter-in-law, and my two brilliant and beautiful granddaughters and go to the beach, too! I will miss my other two sons, but we will celebrate before I leave or after I get back. My two older sons are legally my stepsons, but they lived with me from ages six and nine. I consider them my sons as much as I do my youngest, whom we adopted at birth.

        Mother’s Day for me is bittersweet, remembering my daughters Emily and Elizabeth who died almost twenty-five years ago in a plane crash. The memories of their years with me warm my heart but it still breaks with their absence. If you want to know more about this, you can get my book, As One Door Closes, new or used from

Moonlight Hike in the Red Rocks of Sedona

April 27, 2011

Moonlight Hike

       A “Moonlight Hike” is held in Sedona at Reed Rock State Park on the night of the full moon and the night before or after from April through October. Seventy of us showed up at six p.m. for the April hike and we were split into three groups.

My group leader was a weathered woman of at least seventy. She told us first about the park. It had originally been bought by Helen and Jack Frye as a retreat from the New York scene. Jack Frye was Howard Hughes’ right hand man. The Fryes started a huge home on the property, but never finished it. It can still be seen but not entered as it needs major repairs .After Jack died Helen sold the property to a developer. When that company ran low on funds, the acreage went to a religious group, of which Helen Frye was a member, for retreats.

In 1980 Governor Bruce Babbitt was hiking along Oak Creek and was not allowed on the property. This started a chain of events. Anamax Mining Company wanted to own the Twin Buttes Mine in Pima County that they had been leasing from the state. There was a complicated and years-long three way swap. The mining company bought the red rock property and then exchanged it with the state for the mine it wanted. The state park opened in 1991. It is now run by a few rangers and many volunteers due to the lack of funding. Not only does the state of Arizona provide no funds to run the park, but the state takes half of the park’s revenues for the general fund!

Mule deer

We saw two mule deer as we walked across a meadow and over a bridge. We hiked a slow incline just in time to see the sun set over the red rocks.

Sunset in the red rock country of Sedona

We paused to snap photos, ooh and aah, and take time to serenely appreciate the wonder. We continued a little steeper climb. As it got darker, we put on our flashlights to guide us along the trail.

We came to the perfect place to see the moon rise. It came up in a “V” where two red rock formations met. It completely awed us. None of my photos of the moon rise came out, but I have the picture etched in my mind. We stayed there for about twenty minutes, soaking up the spiritual vibes.

The hike back was downhill and uneventful. I highly recommend this hike to anyone. It costs $5.00 each and reservations are imperative. There is also a ten dollar fee per car to enter the park. You can go solo or with a friend. It was peaceful and reinvigorating for the

Heading for the Mountains

April 9, 2011

Heading for the Mountains

I am headed up to Munds Park, 18 miles south of Flagstaff, on Thursday to open my cabin for the summer. It’s really too early. It’s snowing there today, although the forecast for Thursday is a high of 70 and a low of 34 degrees. I’ll have to keep the heat on for the rest of April and May. I do have heat wrapped pipes but I’m not sure that’s good enough to ensure they won’t freeze. Plus to plug in the heat wrapped pipes I have to crawl under the house. I don’t think so! Why should I spend the money to open up this early? I need to get away.

To open the cabin, I have to do the opposite of weatherizing. To “winterize” the cabin, the water from the pipes is blown out and antifreeze is put down the toilets and drains. I undid it last spring, so I know how. Unfortunately I was not successful doing it by myself. My implement to turn the water back on is not long enough to give me the torque because the person who shut it off was the “professional” with much more strength than I. My neighbor had a longer one and the strength to do it. He’s a summer person too, so I can’t know he’ll be around on a Thursday in April. I was going to buy a longer tool this winter, but the problem is how to get it up to my cabin. I have a Honda Civic Hybrid. My sons all have trucks, but the gas required for a round trip to Munds Park is about the same as having the weatherizer undo it. Maybe this year I’ll remember to get the tool and ask one of my sons to bring it up when they’re already coming to visit.

I called my housecleaner up there, and she’s available. I’ll probably spend some time in Flagstaff washing the bedspreads. The laundromat is next to The Railroad Café.  I also booked a massage with my favorite therapist in Flagstaff, so I’ll already be in town.

The best part is that I reserved a spot in a “Moonlight Hike” in Sedona on Sunday night. I am very excited about seeing the sun set and the moon rise over the red rocks and hiking around by moonlight. I have a nine o’clock appointment on Monday morning, but it will be worth getting up very early that day to spend the night before on the Moonlight Hike. I’ll post pictures when I get back.






Yappy Hour

April 3, 2011

Yappy Hour 

          Last Thursday my friend Sharon and I, and our dogs, attended a function called “Yappy Hour.” It’s held from four to seven on the last Thursday of the month at the Intercontinental hotel on Tatum and Lincoln in Phoenix. For a ten dollar donation to The Humane Society, you get a glass of wine, crackers and cheese, and a packet of dog biscuits. 

Annie, Sparky, and Puka at Yappy Hour

          It was a gorgeous late March afternoon, sunny

but warm. We managed to share a table in the shade with two friendly young women who had a shitzu   and a standard golden doodle. My dog Sparky, a shitzu-poodle, got along with all the dogs. Sharon’s dog Puka, a cockapoo, was a little skittish at first but then had a grand time.

          There were about fifty people there with their dogs: yellow labs, dachshunds, poodles, Chihuahuas, Jack Russells, mutts, and many more. The dogs did the usual hello, sniffing each other’s butts. The dogs were on their best behavior. I saw no humping, dumping, unending barking, nipping, licking, or running away.

          Free readings from by a dog psychic were available. Sharon went first. The dog psychic said that Puka was worried, especially around people. She suggested that Sharon give Puka relaxation drops. (Who knew such things exist?)

           I took Sparky over to see the psychic.

          She asked, “Do you have a question for Sparky?”

          I was stumped. I’d never considered asking my dog a question and expecting an answer.  It took me a few minutes to conjure one up. I have been considering getting another dog, so I asked, “How Sparky would feel about a brother or sister?”

          The psychic looked at Sparky and said, “Another dog would be okay with Sparky as long as the dog was female and a puppy.”

          If I took her word for that, a rescue dog would be out of the question. Wait a minute!  Was I actually going to consider a pet psychic’s reading when choosing a dog? I think not.

          “Anything else you want to ask?”

          I couldn’t think of another question so I said, “What would Sparky like to tell me?”

          She waited a moment before saying, “He loves bones. Do you give him any?”

          Do I give my dog bones? Sparky has at least four bones going from ham and beef ribs. “Yes, I do,” I answered and moved away. This experience did not change my stubborn disbelief in the psychic world.

Sharon, Sparky, and Puyka at Yappy Hour