Single Grandparenting is a Joy . . . with a Little Help from my Friends

October 7, 2020

           Savannah, my nine-year-old granddaughter, visited me in Munds Park for ten days. She was unbelievably well-behaved. She’s bright, beautiful and curious.

           Steve came over with his hot rod and took Savannah for a spin around Munds Park. She and I went in my golf cart to the post office where she quickly learned how to open my mailbox. She was thrilled that I had ordered things from the internet and received packages.

           We went into Flagstaff to pick out some projects since most of the kids’ activities had been canceled, due to Covid-19. At Joann’s Fabrics, she picked out a “Make clothes for your Barbie doll” kit. At Michael’s she opted for some modeling clay. We went to Home Depot and chose perennials for my garden. (Of course we wore our masks and socially distanced from others in the store. We used hand sanitizer as soon as we got back in the car and washed our hands when we returned home.)

           Savannah attempted a silky evening dress for a Barbie. She kept pinning the material to the dress form. She got frustrated. She was going to make a pig from the clay, but decided it looked more like a cow.

           The next day we invited Steve and Elissa to our “garden” party to plant the flowers. Steve brought a spade, which was much easier than the trowel I usually use.

We went to Target and purchased a Barbie doll to ease the designing and sewing of outfits. She also wanted a pink plastic container for her doll form and all the sewing paraphernalia. I told her she could sew a dress for herself and one for Barbie so we went to Joann’s Fabrics again. She wanted only material that felt soft, so she picked pink flannel with hearts on it.

           I showed her how to make a pattern from newspaper. We traced her body and added the seam allowance. She did the same for Barbie. Savannah is quite adept in using a sewing machine and both projects were finished that day.

           Elissa, a friend from Phoenix, rented a place around the corner from my cabin. Savannah enjoyed gong between the two houses, as Elissa and Steve are part of my “pod” (like a family group.)

           Steve, Elissa, Savannah and I went to Trivia Night a Agee’s BBQ. Savannah ordered her usual chicken fingers. Steve paid for the dinners with our vouchers from coming in first place in Trivia the week before. We were pleased that the event was held outside and the tables were far apart. We didn’t win, but we enjoyed the evening. I thought Savannah would be bored, but she enjoyed the jokes made by the woman who is in charge of Trivia Night.

           On Thursday I had my book club, so Savannah stayed with Elissa, who gave her a watercolor painting lesson.

Savy, Steve, Elissa and I all went to the Pinewood Country Club for dinner. Savannah loved the chicken fingers, Pinewood Cookie and half of my chocolate lava cake. She had no trouble falling asleep.

           We went back to Joann’s the next day and she picked out another fabric. She wanted to sew a dress for herself and Barbie. The pattern books were no longer available, due to Covid 19. We had to look on Joann’s website, choose a pattern and find it in the drawer.

           She pinned the fabric to the pattern pieces. The directions for sewing the dress were so convoluted and complex that I ended up sewing the dress while she designed and sewed other matching outfits with the leftover material. She was quite inventive. She indicated she may want to be a designer when she grows up. We discussed how many designers started their businesses in their own homes.

This is the top Savvy made all by herself.

           Another day Steve, Savannah and I went to Montezuma’s Castle. She was fascinated by the idea that people lived in the dwellings so long ago.

           We went to Cliff Castle Casino and entered via the back door so we wouldn’t be exposed to the gambling floor. Of course we wore our masks. We had our temperatures taken before we could go in. We bowled two games. Savannah and Steve bet a dollar on each game and she lost. It was a teachable moment about gambling. He quizzed her about Montezuma’s Castle on the way back to the cabin and she earned her two dollars back.

           We ate at Steve’s house twice. The first time he invited us, he hadn’t prepared. He opened the freezer, which had whole chickens and thin pork chops. That’s when I learned that he couldn’t cook! I defrosted the chops and sautéed them in a frying pan. Savannah and I had baked beer bread to take over. The four of us (Elissa, Steve, Savannah and I) worked on the thousand piece puzzle on the dining room table before and after dinner. We made a bit of progress.

           Savannah didn’t watch much television, but when she did, it was “Grease.” We also watched a bit of the news. We discussed the issues of Black Lives Matter and Covid 19, but not President Trump. She was quite interested in current events.

           I got to tell her stories every night at bedtime. She never whined or cajoled to stay up later. She had chores to do:  watering the flowers every day, helping me walk the dogs, and taking her turn at washing the dishes.

           I wasn’t exhausted when she left because my friends were so involved with her.

I was sad to see her go.

 Check out my book, Sex and the Single Senior, available on, my

website at and my blog at

The Adventure Continues

October 7, 2020

I’m updating my blog with the summer entries. This was written June 7, 2020

I’ve seen Steve almost every day for the past two weeks.

We went on a RZR ride to Mormon Lake and had a picnic in the woods. The only time I’d been on a RZR ride was around the block with my son more than five years ago. It was a good thing we had on our masks to protect from Corona virus because they kept out the dust out of our noses and mouths. Sunglasses kept our eyes clear. There wasn’t much water in Mormon Lake. I had only been there once before, and never realized there was more to the town than the Lodge and campgrounds. I had packed a lunch of roast beef sandwiches. We pulled off the dirt road at a shady spot and had lunch. We ate and talked and communed with nature. When I got back to my house, I was surprised that I was worn out. It was a drive, not a hike.

He’s played pickleball with me a few times. I could see he was a much better player than me (it’s hard not to be,) but he played at my level. He enjoyed the laid back atmosphere of our pickleball courts.

We went to see The Mother Road Trio again at the Oakmont. Two women at the next table were dancing and I joined them. They asked if he was going to dance. He said he’d have to have a shot of tequila. So he ordered one. I tasted it but it made my face go into contortions. A little while later, he donned his sunglasses and danced like Mr. Cool. The women thought we’d been married for forty years!

One day I went over and helped him with a 1000 piece jigsaw puzzle. I used to do smaller puzzles all the time with my kids and grandkids. It was a hard puzzle but we managed to put some of the pieces together.

He has a friend, Kurt, from the valley who builds houses. He came up, with his delightful wife Cindi, to give me an estimate on getting the cabin ready for a washer and dryer. I’m actually going to do it after twelve years. The full size stackable washers were $400 less each since last year, so I’m glad I waited.

My friend Elissa, from Phoenix, has rented a place around the corner from my cabin. Steve has no problem including her in our plans.

I’m having a good time.

Dating While Social Distancing

May 31, 2020

Last week I was in Scottsdale when I got a phone call from a fellow named Steve. He’d read my column in The Pinewood News and suggested we meet for a drink. He said I could check him out on Facebook. I didn’t get the correct spelling of his last name, so my Google and Facebook searches came up empty. And I wondered how he got my phone number. . .

I called him back the next day and he suggested we meet at the Pinewood Restaurant and Bar for a drink about 5:30. Sounded good to me.

I had to do a “mini miracle job.” I hadn’t worn makeup since my job was interrupted by Covid-19. And loungewear was not appropriate, so I had to choose an outfit. I hadn’t been on a date in six months, so I was excited.

I hoped he would recognize me from my photo on my column because I had no idea what he looked like. About 5:10 he texted me to let me know he was at the bar, at a table in the corner. When I entered, I saw him right away. None of the other tables were occupied, so no problem with social distancing. I hadn’t worn a mask since we were going to be imbibing.

The first thing I noticed was his open smile. And he was good looking, although that is not a major consideration for me. We talked easily and had dinner. I mentioned that my favorite band, The Mother Road Trio, was playing their first concert outside at The Oakmont, at Continental Country Club in Flagstaff. When he suggested we go, I knew he was an adventuresome guy.

We went in his truck. I didn’t offer to sit in the truck bed to achieve social distancing. I hadn’t been to see live music since last summer. I was psyched.

At the Oakmont, we were seated outside at a table at least twenty feet from any other diners. There were two groups at the couches, each with about fifteen young people who were in no way keeping six feet apart or wearing masks. The band was in front of us, at least twenty-five feet away, so their droplets wouldn’t reach us as they were singing.

This was the band’s first gig after two months of lockdown. They sounded amazing! They’d written some new songs and performed them mixed in with the old favorites. The setting was gorgeous


Steve seemed to enjoy the music. No one was dancing, so I didn’t suggest it.

On the ride home, we missed the turn onto the freeway but found the next entrance. He didn’t get bent out of shape that we’d missed the turn. Big points in his favor.

He’s staying at his son’s house for the summer. He took me to see it from the outside and we ran into one of his grandchildren. Then he took me back to my car at the Pinewood Bar. It was a great evening.

The next morning, as I was walking my dogs, I saw his truck and invited him in for coffee. I was a bit embarrassed that I hadn’t yet put away everything I’d brought up from the Valley. Also, my dogs had already gotten into their toys and strewn them around the living room.

After coffee, he changed out the license plate on my golf cart and helped me get it started. Big points for having automotive smarts.

Today he suggested that I visit him since all of his grandchildren had gone back to the Valley. We spent a lovely afternoon getting to know each other’s backgrounds.

Is it going to be a romance or a friendship? I don’t know. Can I get over outweighing him by at least forty pounds? I know that’s my problem, not his.

Stay tuned.



Staying Home is Easier in the Pines

May 19, 2020

As soon as it got too hot in Scottsdale to sit out on my patio and read the paper in the mornings, I headed north. I was surprised to see how many people had the same thought. Now I can sit on my porch in the pines any time of the day and read, sip tea, pet my dogs and commune with nature. I’ve noticed that my anxiety level is down.
When I arrived two weeks ago in Munds Park, many of the deciduous trees had no leaves. Now the leaves are full out, even my fruit trees, although they don’t have any flowers yet. My lilac bush is fragrant and spreads its

when the wind blows.I set up the blanket I’d had made of three of my grandchildren on the couch, so it seemed like they were in the room with me.
The New York Times informed me that they didn’t deliver any more in Munds Park. I happened upon the newspaper delivery fellow, and he said he would get it to my door. Phew! I don’t like reading the paper online.
Last October I fell in my back patio in Scottsdale and broke my wrist. I went to physical therapy for balance. I fell three times in the first week I was here. The first time was in the parking lot in front of PetsMart. There was some stuff on the ground by my car. I thought it was crushed ice. I stepped on it and down I went, skinning my elbow. I took a good look at the substance I’d slipped on, and realized it was a clear viscous material that is used with fresh flowers. Very slippery. I went back inside to warn the store of the hazard.
The next two times I fell were on the Pickle Ball Court. I was playing well and forgot you should never run or walk backwards. I went down backwards, clunking my head both times and skinning the same elbow. It’s a good thing the pickleball court is rubberized. My fellow players, Sharon and Gary, suggested that my shoes needed more tread. I decided not to play again until my new shoes come from Amazon.
As I foretold, all three of the men I was texting and emailing have fallen by the wayside. Just stopped. That’s fine because I’m no longer in Scottsdale area, where they are. I finally changed my zip code on the two dating websites I use. Maybe I’ll be luckier up here.

My neighbor Sue sold her house. She sold me her gas-powered golf cart. Since I am in no way mechanical, it took me ten days before I took the cover off the vehicle. With telephone help from Sue, I managed to start it up. I took a ride in and out of the cul de sacs. Great fun! I’m going back to the Valley for some appointments, but I’ll venture into the forest and to the post office when I get back.
A new toy I’m sure my grandchildren will love.
Elissa, a good friend from Phoenix, has rented the cabin around the corner from me for four months. Gal Pals rise! I don’t know when the live music will be back, but I’m sure we’ll seek it out as soon as possible.
My granddaughters each want to spend a week with me. I’m so delighted. I hope the Pinewood Country Club Pool will open soon, as that is their afternoon entertainment and my assurance that they go to bed without any pleas to stay up later.
A great summer is in store for us in Munds Park.

Check out Annie’s new book, Sex and the Single Senior, available in paperback and Kindle versions on Amazon. Check out my website at

At Least I Can Hug My Dogs

April 28, 2020

I’m still home alone. All day. All night. Just me and my dogs Flossie and Pebbles. I talk to them all the time. I even found an app, MyTalkingPet that allows me to have my dogs talk back at me. But it’s still my voice.

The lack of human contact is getting to me. No hugs! Of course I hug my dogs and they love it. You would think with all the attention I’m giving them these days, they be saying, “Please, give it a rest!” But no, with my dogs and attention, it’s more, more, and still not enough.

Friends, one at a time, have come over for lunch. I call in the order and pay for it and we eat on the patio, where we can be six feet apart. Or a friend picks up lunch. I enjoy the face-to-face meetings over Facetiming or Zooming, but it is still not human CONTACT. And now it’s too hot in the Phoenix area to sit on the patio. It’s even too hot for the dogs and I to sit on the patio by 9 a.m.

I am heading up to Munds Park this week. I was going to stay a week or so since I’m supposed to have a routine dental appointment and a hair appointment next week. Governor Ducey has not yet announced whether he will let his executive order to stay home expire on May 1 or what he will open up again. We are a lot more open than many states. I am amazed at the stores that are open: craft, appliance, fitness supplies, Target, Walmart, tire stores, car dealerships and their service centers, and take out from the restaurants. If my appointments cancel, I’ll stay longer up north.

It is quite frustrating to be dating at this time. I’m texting and emailing with three different men, but when would I meet them? They all live in the Phoenix area. As soon as everything opens up, I’ll be back in Munds Park for the summer. And social distancing rules will probably still be in force, so no hugs even if I met the fellows.

At least I will be cool in Munds Park, and able to sit on my front porch with Flossie and Pebbles, sip my tea and read a book.

The Single Senior Survives Seclusion

April 13, 2020


So I’m home alone. All day. All night. Just me and my dogs Flossie and Pebbles. I’m as anxious as everyone else about the pandemic. I only know what day it is from the newspaper. I talk to my sister in New York City and my brother in New Jersey, which makes me even more anxious. I check on my friends to make sure they’re okay.

I did do a remote Seder for Passover. I didn’t cook anything for it, just opened a bottle of wine.

All my friends have moved away from my condo complex. I felt disconnected. I put a note on each of the fifty gates to individual patios to announce that I would be singing three songs at 7 p.m. every night, “God Bless America,” “This Land is Your Land” and “It’s a Wonderful World. I put the lyrics to the songs on the community mailboxes. The first two nights my thirty-something neighbor and I were the only ones singing. The third night I walked yup to the mailboxes and there were about ten people. Last night there were four people. It wasn’t a huge success but not a raging failure either.

I have been messaging and texting men from the online dating sites. I started out communicating with four men, now it’s down to one. There isn’t much to report about our daily lives.

I’m also getting information about ballot by mail. I used to do that, but the ballots are not forwarded to Munds Park and I don’t want to miss out on voting.

I’ve been sewing face masks for friends and family and working on a quilt I started a year ago. This situation should be perfect for a writer but I can’t focus on my projects. I have been reading quite a bit, alternating between literary fiction and murder mysteries.

I thought about doing Zumba Gold to a YouTube video, but haven’t managed to start yet. I take the dogs out for short walks, but otherwise I’ve been a sloth.

I’ve stopped watching the news during the day. It’s depressing and anxiety-producing. I won’t allow myself to watch television until the PBS Newshour at 6 p.m. Then I’ll watch Jeopardy, The Daily Show, and something on Netflix. I enjoyed “Unorthodox,” “The Valhalla Murders” and I even watched some of the “Tiger Guy” series.

When will I move up to my cabin? I’m going to be pragmatic instead of my usual planned self. When it gets too hot in Scottsdale, I’ll move. I’m hoping the Pickleball courts will be open by then.


You can check out Annie’s website, and The Single Senior at  Annie’s new book, Sex and the Single Senior is available on Amazon in trade paperback or the Kindle edition.

Dating during a Pandemic

March 30, 2020

          I received an email from today that contained some interesting words. I don’t’ know if they coined the phrases but I love them, especially “Social Recession.” They also gave advice about “Dating While Distancing” which amounted to don’t agree to meet anyone in person. They suggested to meet for cocktails on Zoom.

I’ve seen a definite upturn in the number of messages I’ve gotten in the last week. I can certainly understand that. People have a lot of time on their hands. Before the pandemic, I wanted to meet the fellows right away, rather than email and talk over the phone. I felt it gave them too much time to put up a “front” that wouldn’t match them when we met. I’m rethinking that idea.

It would be possible to meet at a park, if there weren’t many people around, and take a walk six feet apart. That might be difficult for the hard of hearing, many of whom refuse to wear their hearing aids. Or we could sit on opposite ends of a park bench. We could maintain social distancing if we leaned in far enough to shake hands, if we both wore gloves. Sex seems out of the question as I can’t imagine a position that kept us six feet apart.

Two guys asked for my telephone number but they haven’t called. They’ve been texting me. I’m not sure why. I find talking on the telephone much more interesting, informative and personal.

One of the texters is P. He texted me good morning, gave me some information about himself, but seemed more interested in having someone to check in with.

The other texter, S., asked me about relationships, kids, etc., but to me it’s hard to share important information and feelings during a text conversation.

I have another guy who is messaging me through the OK Cupid site. He says contradictory things and sometimes has poor grammar, so I’m thinking he may have hacked a user’s profile.

And Mr. I’m Not Really Married keeps contacting me through email and the OKCupid website. I was quite definite when I told him I would not see him until he was divorced. He keeps saying he loves me. And he messaged that he wanted to move in with me, paying some expenses. I guess he didn’t listen when I told him I was not interested in a 24/7 relationship and not to contact me until he was divorced.

Before we warned to stay inside, I did meet a great guy for coffee/tea. Unfortunately he wasn’t into me.

So even through I’m communicating with some guys, I don’t hold out much hope of sustaining a text relationship until we can meet. I notice none of them suggested FaceTime or Zoom. I’d have to have advance notice since I’m not into makeup or “doing” my hair these days. My dogs don’t seem to care whether I dress up or not.

I was thinking about going up to Munds Park in the middle of April, but I read in The Arizona Daily Sun that the Flagstaff Medical Center had reached capacity a few days ago. I don’t need to put a further burden on the health care situation, so I guess I’ll stay in Scottsdale until the situation up there improves.

I am missing human contact. My dogs give me affection, but it’s not the same as a hug from a human being. FaceTiming my kids and grandkids is not as satisfying as seeing them in real life. But I’m doing my part to stay home and stay safe. I hope all of you are too, so we can get through this pandemic faster.



Mr. Valentine

March 2, 2020

           I used to like Valentine’s Day until my second husband chose that day to tell me he wanted a divorce. I try to ignore the day now.

I got a message on an internet dating site on Valentine’s Day. The fellow’s profile seemed okay so I agreed to meet him at The Sugar Bowl, my favorite ice cream place in downtown Scottsdale. I had a luscious hot fudge Sunday with chocolate chip ice cream while he had a sandwich since he hadn’t eaten dinner. We talked and laughed and seemed to get along. We went across the street to Grimaldi’s for some cocktails. We had to wait for a table and spent some time talking with some women in their early forties about dating. We did a lot of laughing. He was quite attentive and gave me mucho compliments.

At the table, we continued to banter and laugh. I had two Mai Tais and was felling good but not high or drunk. I had to take a seven a.m. flight on Monday to Hobbs, NM and he offered to stay overnight and drive me the next morning. I just laughed, knowing it was too soon for that kind of involvement.

He walked me to my car, about three blocks away from the restaurant. He kissed me, which I invited. Then he tried more and I pushed him away. I smiled, got into my car, and drove home. He looked surprised.

He texted me the next day, anxious to sleep over before my flight. However, I woke up with a cold and started taking Zicam tablets (they work!) so I wouldn’t get a full-blown cold. I texted him that I was sick and I didn’t want to do any socializing before I left since I was trying o head off the cold. He texted me back once, then not again.

He was a Player, a guy who roams Internet dating sites in order to score. In other words, a guy who flatters women until he gets them in bed and then drops them. If the woman is not willing or available in the next few days, he goes on to the next.

I felt good about the date. I had a fun time on Valentine’s Day and expected nothing else.

If you’re up for an R rating book, check out my new one, Sex and the Single Senior, available on Amazon in paperback or Kindle.

Possibility Dashed

January 17, 2020

The New Possibility (NM) and I went out quite a bit the first few weeks. We went to dinner and I made him dinner. We watched the Ultimate Jeopardy Championship together. I suggested going to the Rhythm Room for music, but that wasn’t his thing. Okay, I could go with my friends.

My detective friend Marlene looked it up and found out he had not filed for divorce. Uh-oh. The first lie.

We had a date for a Friday night, but he canceled and wanted to go out Sunday night. I was concerned. Married guys are the ones who won’t go out on Friday and Saturday nights. He invited me to stay at his home on Sunday night, via a text. He also said he had downloaded my new book, Sex and the Single Senior and enjoyed the chapter about Mr. Scrabble.

Didn’t his wife live there? Wouldn’t it be awkward, to say the least? I thought it over and texted him about his wife being there. He answered that she would be in Las Vegas.

This caused more concerns. Was this guy separated from his wife and divorcing her? Or was I part of an arrangement they had that he could have affairs? I thought about it and texted back the next day that I was not comfortable with that. He texted back that he didn’t feel like socializing for the time being but that I was a very impressive person. What was the subtext of that remark?

I texted him the next day and thanked him for the compliment. I asked if he liked my book. He texted back that he didn’t. He emailed me this:

Why? Think of This-

Who would want to be in your company at the risk of ending up in a book?


That is true. I understand his concern. Writers like me use their personal experiences as fodder. I caught the anger in the email. I guess he expected a slam or a tell-all. So another possibility didn’t work out.



A New Possibility

January 13, 2020

A New Possibility

I’ve been passive in the Internet dating game, mostly waiting for guys to email me. If their profile says they are looking for a woman who is slim or athletic, I don’t consider those men possibilities as I am not slim or athletic.

I was matched with a fellow on the free OK Cupid site and agreed to meet him since he didn’t indicate a preference for slim women. He wanted to meet at a Fry’s deli, which I’d never had suggested before. When I got to the deli, quite close to my home, I was surprised that there was no soda machine, only coffee. When my date appeared, he was taken aback at the situation. He explained that the place had been remodeled since he’s last been there. Neither of us drank coffee.

So without beverages, we sat at a table and talked for more than an hour. He didn’t spill his guts about himself, which most men do on a first date. Instead, we spoke of current events. He didn’t have to ask me to explain any words I used, such a relief. I got good vibes from him and was happy that he wanted a second date.

He boosted my ego the next morning by texting that he was going to the library to check out one of my books to read. Here was a man who listened to what I said and valued my intelligence.

Our second date was at Panda Express. He wanted Chinese food because he’d read my travel blog on China. We again had a lively discussion which I thoroughly enjoyed.

He said he hadn’t been to a movie in ten years. I told him I go often. We agreed to see “Richard Jewell” the next day. He asked if he could pick me up at my house and I gave him my address.

When I mentioned this to a friend, she said I should Google him to make sure he wasn’t a felon. I did find out that he’d been the Deputy Chief of the Maricopa County Schools a while ago. I also saw his letters to the editors and op-ed pieces.

We both enjoyed the movie. I introduced him to my neighborhood restaurant, Randy’s. I worked up the courage to ask about what stage of divorce he was in. He looked a bit uncomfortable so I asked if he and his wife were still living in the same house. They were. Uh-oh.

I told him we could be friends, and do things together, but there was no possibility of a relationship as long as he was living with his wife. He understood but wasn’t pleased.

He texts me during the day as well as emailing me articles to read. I’m enjoying the attention. I do like him. I sure hope he changes his living situation. That would make him a definite candidate for a relationship.