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.



The Single Senior Tries Bar Trivia

September 17, 2019

I love Jeopardy. I tape it every day. I attribute this love to my upbringing. We watched College Bowl as a family and played a version of it at the dinner table. My father, who was a genius, was the questioner. My younger brother was also a genius. In my experience, geniuses don’t like to lose intellectual competitions. We didn’t do teams. It was the three children against each other. My older sister and I were always pleased when either of us beat my brother. Family dynamics are fascinating.

I was a librarian for many years. When the game Trivial Pursuit came out, we librarians loved to test our recall of random facts. In those days, before the Internet, when people wanted particular information, they called or visited the library. So we librarians had lots of strange facts in our brains.

Last year, Pinewood Country Club had a Trivia Night in the bar. I had never been to one and didn’t know what to expect. I thought I would be able to find someone to play with, but everyone came with their own teams. I convinced the guy on the next bar stool to play the first part of the game with me, but after a while he figured he had better things to do and left. I still managed to take second place but the questions were not at all what I expected. Most were on popular culture and recognizing celebrity photos. I didn’t return.

This year, Agee’s BBQ has Trivia Night in their saloon on Wednesdays. Susan, a librarian as well as a good friend of mine, was visiting from the valley. She played trivia in a valley bar with other librarians so she was more in the loop than me. Again, most people were in teams of four, but we still managed to snag second prize that week. We each got $15.00 vouchers for Agee’s food. The winners got $25.00 vouchers. The team with the least right answers got free ice cream.

I talked up Trivia Night to my writing group and my book and book club. The next Wednesday I had a team. We didn’t win anything, but it was great fun. Annie Baxter’s team won after a playoff.

I’ll go to Trivia Night again at Agee’s, but only if I have a team. I did not feel comfortable doing it alone.


The Dog Days of Dating

September 17, 2019

August is known as the “Dog Days of Summer.” For me, it’s also “the Dog Days of Dating.” I haven’t had a date since breaking up with the Trucker in April.

I put myself back on, with more up-o-date photos. I wrote, “I’m an easy going person who enjoys going and doing as well as relaxing and talking. I’m an optimist who feels that service to others is part of life. I’m looking for a not-crazy, self-supporting guy to have fun with. If it turns into a relationship so much the better.” I thought that described me well. I asked to be matched with men 66-75 within 50 miles of Munds Park.

I looked through my “matches.” I eliminated guys on motorcycles, too young, or shorter than five feet six inches, thin, or fellows who wanted “an athletic and toned” woman. I indicated “like” on some, and emailed others. I only received one reply since I joined the site in June. And that man said he couldn’t see my photos.

I know the pool of single men in that age range and in this region is small, but I was flummoxed at the lack of replies to my emails. Were my photos unappealing? I’ll let you decide.

So if you know a great guy who meets my guidelines (not crazy, over five feet five inches, and self-supporting,) think about fixing me up with him.

I wrote this for my column in The Pinewood News. A man, from Munds Park, emailed me and said he’d like to meet me. We made a date for beers at The Pinewood Restaurant. He was good looking and personable. Then we got to talking and got three strikes: he let his two large dogs out to roam the neighborhoods and poop on other people’s properties, he didn’t like to read or listen to live music and he watched Fox News.




The Gal Pals Go Their Own Way

September 17, 2019

My first summer in Munds Park was in 2008. As a single person, I found it quite “coupled.” The couples were friendly with me but I was never invited for dinner or to accompany them for an outing. Eventually I found the “Gal Pals.”

I knew Donna because she lived across the street from me in Scottsdale. We hung out, but she was only there on weekends. We still have fun on Fridays, but she’s part of a couple now.

IMG_1444 (2)

Laura rented a home on Fairlane and I met her while walking my dogs. She was game to go to movies, music and hang out. I’m still friendly with her, but she hasn‘t rented in Munds Park for a few years.

Marian lived on Wintergreen. She knew Laura and went out with us. Marian and I became friends. That worked for a few years, but then she sold her house and started to travel the world.

Joan, another neighbor from Scottsdale, bought a place in Munds Park seven years ago. She was always up for an adventure, a meal out, or hanging out. She just sold her place so she won’t be around here.


Myrna hung out with us, too. She was always up for a good time. But she just sold her place and moved back to Scottsdale.


I guess it’s time to round up some more Gal Pals.