Saturday, April 4, 2009

The Week was a Mixed Bag

This past week has been a mixed bag.

On the plus side – our Cactus Wrens (the financial and social arm of the park) had a yard sale and we were able to donate a few items, thus getting them out of our way and adding to the park’s welfare. The Knights of Columbus had a pancake breakfast. From our standpoint it was very small compared to the ones we are accustomed to in my previous Council, but I helped a little and we had a nice Sunday breakfast.

Also on the plus side, we exchanged visits with friends we had met at the February Gypsy Journal Rally.


Bill and Mabel Becker are a neat couple. Bill was in charge of tee shirt sales at the rally, and Mabel, among other things, taught a class in Swedish weaving. They visited us at our casita, and we visited them at their motorhome. Of course we shared our traditional meal out at Apple Farm.

During our visit with Bill and Mabel, they reintroduced us to Mexican Train. We had learned the game about five years ago, bought our own set and, of course, never played it again! If you aren’t familiar with Mexican Train (or even if you are), it is played with a set of 169 dominoes, with pairs of dots from 0-0 to 12-12.

102_3072 The game can be played by any number from 2 to 8. With just the two of us playing (yesterday evening) it was fun but kind of quiet. With more players, it can get to be riotous!

By the way, like in so many other games, I play assertively. If my opponents play the same way, they are classified as cutthroats. Why is that?

On the minus side – we appear to have a rat living under our casita. Because this was originally just a shed, it was built on skids atop concrete blocks, rather than a concrete foundation as required for larger buildings. Therefore, if a rat can get access, he has a nice cool place to spend hot summer days.

This has happened before, and we blocked the access routes with sheets of wire mesh. So, Mr. Rat just made himself a new access route. We’ve tried to block it, but he just digs further. We have a pest control person coming early next week to give us some assistance.

There are two types of animal pests we have here (other than the occasional javelina): rats and rattlesnakes. We haven’t seen either one ourselves, but the evidence points to a rat. We’ve been told, if you get rats, you’ll get rattlesnakes. If a rattlesnake would do the honors on our rat, then just leave, that would be fine. However, he would probably take over the rat’s front door and settle in for the duration.

Also on the minus side, Suzy’s medical problems seem to be accelerating, and our local doctor is trying to treat symptoms rather than addressing the cause. Our friends the Beckers had suggested the Mayo Clinic in Phoenix where they have recently had excellent results. Suzy contacted Mayo and was told, as of this week, they no longer accept Medicare patients into the Internal Medicine Department, where all diagnostic work is done. If she could get a confirmed diagnosis elsewhere of something like “polymalgia rheumatica” they could accept her into their Rheumatic specialty, but otherwise no dice. I guess the economy is making everyone cut back, even the Mayo Clinic!

Back on the positive side, another friend, Cheri Holcomb, had told us about a Gerontologist in Tucson who was working with Cheri’s mother. Dr, Bluestein is thorough and leaves no stone unturned. Suzy has an appointment with her on April 17.

I’m going to have arthroscopic knee surgery next week, shouldn’t be much of a recuperation problem. With the two us of doing all this medical stuff, we have no idea what this summer travel season may work out to be. We expect to find ourselves here in the park more than in past summers, and had actually planned to do that anyway. Our one strong goal for travel is a late summer visit to our family in Nevada and California .

Whatever we do, we’ll continue to live and tell you about … Our Life on Wheels.


  1. You reminded us of another domino game we often play called chicken foot. Always fun to keep an eye on the dotted lines! Enjoy your summer but stay cool and dry! Will keep you guys in our prayers!

  2. So scary to hear about your critter problems! Sure hope the exterminator sends him/her? packing! I am terrified of snakes. Even the harmless gartersnake in WA state can cause me to jump and squeal.

    Also sad to hear of more health problems for Suzy and surgery for you. Keep us posted about your progress, okay?

    Joy and Phil

  3. I hope the both of you get to feeling much better soon! I received Mexican Dominoes for Christmas and love playing it.
    Donna Daniel

  4. Sure hope Suzy can get better. My Cancer Dr in Phoenix Opted out of Medicare too. that was 2 years ago. I like him so well I go ahead and see him every year and pay CASH. It hurts, but sometimes life isn't a bowl of Cherries, its the PITS!! But I'm not complainin, I LOVE it....:-)

    Good Luck Susy!



Here's your chance to tell us what you think!