Archive for June, 2013


June 26, 2013


I’ve lived mostly by myself for six years. I love it but it’s not for the faint of heart or those without hobbies or purpose. I’m comfortable enough with myself to enjoy my own company. I eat out alone in many different types of restaurants.
Sometimes I think living alone a selfish joy. I have complete control over the remote. I can watch anything I like whenever I want to. If I eat six Oreos, no one is there to wag a finger at me, except that annoying Diet Secret Police in my brain. If I’m working on a quilt, I don’t have to put it away from the dining room table. I just don’t have company over while I sewing it. Although I don’t have to make my bed, I do anyway. I can have a stick of string cheese for dinner with no complaints about my lack of cooking. I don’t bother anyone when I have to get up at night for the restroom.
I can read for hours at a time. I can sit on my porch and watch the trees sway in the breeze. I don’t have to make conversation or worry about any else’s mood.
My dogs Sparky and Louie are very little work in Scottsdale. They have a doggie door to the patio, food out all the time, and an auto-watering dish. Up in Munds Park I do have to walk them. For this minimal care I reap the dividends of unconditional love, ecstasy at my return from anywhere, no arguing, and a soft hair to pet.
Being a writer is a solitary occupation, but I do enjoy the company of others. I spend time arranging to meet friends for a meal, a movie, to listen to music, or tell each other our triumphs and woes. I love my friends but I don’t want to live with them. I know it would be economically beneficial to share a living space and the expenses, but I’d rather live alone. I have friends who want to rent a room in my cabin for the summer. I tell them to visit often, for five days or less. I need the space to be me.

Monday Night Blues

June 16, 2013

Monday Night Blues

 I discovered Monday Night Blues last summer. Every Monday night at about 7 p.m. at Charlie’s, the bar in the historic Weatherford Hotel in Flagstaff, Arizona, a band plays the blues. The name of the band is The Monday Night Blues. There were the regulars:  a man of at least sixty with a white beard and long white ponytail, a one-legged guy who danced amazingly well, and an eighty-something man who wore tailored khakis and collared shirts who always danced with young women in their twenties. The rest of the crowd varied from week to week. And there were many international tourists.

After many years at the Weatherford, the band has a new venue, the historic Monte Vista Hotel lounge. The crowd varies greatly from week to week. Sometimes it’s crowded and the BBQ from Satchmo’s is gone by 7:15. Other weeks you can still find a table at 8 p.m. I was glad to see that the regulars still show up every week.

Monday Night Blues Band

Monday Night Blues Band

Last Monday I went to Monday Night Blues with the train man. He grew up in Flagstaff and seems to know everyone. He went to elementary school with one of the guitar players. We sat with another childhood friend, Bo, who looks like a bum, but isn’t. He seems to treasure his persona as an angry down-and-out African American.

The place was hopping with people and many hit the dance floor. I got to dance with both the train man and Bo. Fun! When we were all dancing, an overzealous waiter cleared our table of half-drunk drinks and was about to seat other people when we reclaimed our spot.


The band was performing a different play list and the jamming worked.

I read the list of live music in the Friday edition of The Arizona Daily Sun. It seems the Monday Night Blues band performs several other nights of the week in different venues.

So if you ever find yourself in Flagstaff, Arizona on a Monday night, head over to the Monte Vista Hotel in downtown for a great time.

Trips Down the Mountain

June 8, 2013

Trips Down the Mountain

There are times when I must go down the mountain to the Valley. My aim is to stay only as long as necessary. In practical terms, that means I schedule myself up the wazoo. And since I don’t have a washer or dryer up here, I bring along my laundry.

This week I had to go down to see my older granddaughter Abby, age six, in her first dance recital. I planned everything around the Tuesday night performance. Sparky, Louie, and I left early, about 7:30 a.m., but we were thwarted. The southbound ramp of I-17 was closed so I had to go to Willard Springs before I headed south. Then there was an accident on the 101. That made us twenty minutes late for their grooming appointment.  I had just enough time to put in the first wash before I went to the eye doctor. I got there on time, barely. Then it was back home to put the wash in the dryer, hang up the jeans so they wouldn’t get too short, put in another wash, and pick up the dogs from the groomer. They were transformed into sweeties from the mountain men I’d dropped off.

I took them home and headed out to meet a friend for lunch at Filiberto’s. She had suggested Olive Garden but it was Taco Tuesday. They’re terrific and only ninety-nine cents on Tuesdays. How was I supposed to know she wanted to treat me?

I went to the Honda dealership to see about replacing my broken visor. The service person said it would take forty-five minutes, which I didn’t have. I told him I would return early the following morning.

I made another quick trip home to put in more wash and pick up my work computer before I met my team leader to do home visits. It’s the tail end of a temporary job being an assessor and interviewer for the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study. We were going to see parents who didn’t answer their voicemails to see if they could be reached. We went to see five parents and got some new telephone numbers for them.

My team leader’s daughter had taken dance lessons, so told me to pick up flowers for Abby. I picked out pink daisies and met the proud parents and other grandparents to enjoy the recital. Abby’s group was in the first half, so we got to leave at intermission. Of course she was cute and did the dance well. I’m amazed at the lack of manners on the part of audiences these days. Parents seem to think it’s acceptable to whistle and yell out their child’s name during the performance.


We went out for frozen yogurt. I headed home to write up the parent visits in the electronic record, and of course, to do more wash.

The next morning I loaded the trunk and headed for the Honda dealership. As I was explaining about the visor, the service person pointed to the light on my dashboard. (I rarely pay attention to those lights. Mostly they mean you put inanimate objects on the passenger seat and the air bag will not deploy or it’s time for a regular service.) It was the tire light. I sat in the very comfortable waiting room for quite a while. I had a 9:30 nail appointment, an eleven o’clock haircut, and a 12:15 lunch with a friend. I went to see the service advisor.  He informed me that he would have to order the visor. It had taken a long time to find the nail in my tire! He asked if I’d gotten the guarantee when I bought the tires at Discount Tire. When I said I had, he suggested I get them to fix it. Was I lucky that they checked it out before I headed back up the mountain!

So on the way to the nail appointment, I called Discount Tire and made an appointment for my tire. Then I called the friend and asked her to meet me at Filiberto’s, which just happened to be across the street from the tire place.

I was relaxed after the pedicure and the pampering at the hair salon. I arranged for the tire to be fixed, met my friend, had some laughs, and then went home to pick up the dogs for the trip back. I was ready for Happy Hour at the club by the time I unloaded the car and walked the dogs.

I could make left less hectic if I remained another day in Scottsdale, but why stay in hell when paradise is so close?