Monday, December 31, 2012


                  From our house to yours.

new year


2012 Reflections

Apache Junction, AZ  High 49  Low 31

It’s time to say good bye to another year. They certainly are whipping right along lately.

2012 was a year of medical issues for Jim. As I reflect back on this year, it’s amazing the lessons I’ve learned when I was dealing with one crises after another. Patience, acceptance, faith, love, friendship – all of these grow so much stronger.

I remember watching my Dad deal with my Mom’s Alzheimer's and seeing his growth during that time. Never a patient man, I watched him learn to develop that patient as he went over to the nursing home to feed Mom three times a day. He would just sit with her, holding her hand, for hours in the afternoon. This was a man who did not know how to sit still for five minutes. He had things to do and places to be. Not really a family man. However, in the end, the most important place for him to be was with his wife of 67 years. I want to be like my Dad.

Al has a marvelous post on aging. He says it so much better than I can. Most of you have probably read it, but if not, take a look.

I’ve also accepted the fact that we are snowbirds rather than full-timers. My definition of full timing anyhow. This was a hard one for me. Marriage is so much about compromise and learning to be selfless. Recognizing the needs, abilities, and limitations of your partner. I was 37 years old when I got married. Settled into my ways and having things how I wanted them, whenever I wanted them, however I wanted them. Motherhood taught me a lot about getting over myself. Now being empty nesters has continued to teach me about loving and being loved.

I have a need to be on the move, exploring, seeing new things, meeting new people. And I am grateful for the times we do these things. But Jim needs to fish. Fishing for him is right up there with breathing. I love him and have learned to understand this need. So we have become snowbirds with travel and exploring in the spring and fall as we head north or south. And hopefully one more trip to the East coast in our future.

My hope is that 2012 was a year of growth for all of you. However, it sure would be nice is 2013 wasn’t quite so growth oriented.

Thank you to all of my wonderful blog readers and friends. Life is much fuller with all of you in it.


Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Christmas Wrap-up

Apache (Petticoat) Junction, AZ  High 63  Low 42

Our good friend Bill always referred to Apache Junction as Petticoat Junction. Good memories.



On December 21, we went to a Solstice party just down the street to celebrate the lengthening of the daylight hours. Cam and Lois fixed the best hot chocolate and people brought the best goodies.




Cam and Lois added a new member to their family this summer. This is Cheeka, a beautiful Siberian Husky. Just seven months old and full of vim and vigor.


Saturday night we went with Ginny, Mickey and Paul to the Mesa Temple to see the lights. We all took a vote and agreed that we were very glad not to be paying the electric bill. Really beautiful.





Christmas Eve our park lights luminaries at every site. This involves putting sand and candles in bags, putting them on the sites and then lighting them. Hard on the ole back.





All snuggled in.


Christmas Day we had a wonderful breakfast at Stan and Mary’s house. We go to church with them. Then we went to dinner with my sister Judy, Dianna, Bobbie and Paul. My BIL was home sick with a bad cold. (I had the cold last year and missed Christmas dinner.)




It was a wonderful day spent with special people.

Jim got a call from his oldest son, Steve, in NM, and a text from Jimmy in VA. Steve is looking forward to going hunting with a good buddy from VA. Jimmy is excited about spending his first Christmas with his new bride.

Todd called and it was so good to hear from him. They had about 3” of snow and it was cold (wind chill below zero) so even though we miss Todd and Michaela so much, we really don’t miss the weather.

Jim and I usually do not exchange Christmas presents but this year I just had to get him this cribbage board.



Aunt HappyWe also stopped to see Aunt Happy. She has finally reached that time in life when she does not really want to leave her home. They have so many activities she can stay very busy and social and yet be close to a nurse and her own apartment.

She was planning on going to the dining room for their Christmas dinner. She was certainly looking forward to that turkey.

Mom it’s really cold. Would you turn up the heat, please.


We’ve had a marvelous Christmas season and are looking forward to a wonderful and healthy 2013.


Monday, December 24, 2012

Christmas Is Love


President Thomas S. Monson:

It is easy to get caught up in the pressure of the season and perhaps lose the very spirit in our lives that we’re trying to gain. Overdoing it is especially common this time of the year for many of us. The causes for this might include too many Christmas activities to attend, too much to eat, too much money spent, too many expectations, and too much tension. Often our efforts at Christmastime result in our feeling stressed out, wrung out, and worn out during a time we should feel the simple joys of commemorating the birth of our Savior.

Finding the real joy of Christmas comes not in the hurrying and the scurrying to get more done, nor is it found in the purchasing of gifts. We find real joy when we make the Savior the focus of the season. We can keep Him in our thoughts and in our lives as we go about the work He would have us perform here on earth. At this time, particularly, let us follow His example as we love and serve our fellowman.

Let us make Christmas real. It isn’t just tinsel and ribbon, unless we have made it so in our lives. Christmas is the spirit of giving without a thought of getting. It is happiness because we see joy in people. It is forgetting self and finding time for others. It is discarding the meaningless and stressing the true values. It is peace because we have found peace in the Savior’s teachings. It is the time we realize most deeply that the more love is expended, the more there is of it for others.

Christmas is love.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

And The Rain Came Down

Apache Junction, AZ  High 58  Low 42

Boy did it come down. And it’s still raining as I write this. It’s supposed to quit sometime later tonight. Flagstaff got 16” of snow the last report I saw and it was still snowing.

The Superstitions covered with clouds.


We’ve only left the house twice in the last two days and both times it was to run to the store. Well, I’m not counting the number of times we had to go out with the girls. They didn’t stay out very long that’s for sure.

Made hamburger soup for dinner. It definitely hit the spot. Jim set up our Blue Flame heater for me and it feels so good to have our “fireplace” going to keep us warm. Skittlez is one happy puppy.


Some time ago, Merikay wrote about Trader Joe’s sausageless sausage. We finally went to Trader Joe’s and decided to give it a try. You need to know that this is a majorly huge thing for me. The thought of eating a soy sausage did not excite me but Jim fixed the sausage, sautéed some peppers and onion, and served them in buns with marinara sauce.


They were fantastic. Now don’t get me wrong – they don’t taste exactly like regular Italian sausages but they are close.  We will definitely be eating more of these in the future. Thanks Merikay for the suggestion.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Storm Clouds

Apache Junction, AZ  High 70  Low 49

We have a winter storm headed our way. For us here in the Valley that means rain. But up in the mountains they are talking that white stuff that sticks around for awhile.

We had some beautiful clouds in the sky so I had Jim take me out a ways so I could get some pictures.



The Superstitions.


Across the Valley as the sun came through the clouds.P1020058

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Catch Up Time

Apache Junction, AZ  High 72  Low 47

Is it possible to forget HOW to blog? I think that is what has happened to me. We’ve been busy but when we get home, I forget to sit down and write about it. I also haven’t taken very many pictures. My sometimers is becoming more of an alltimers.

So I’m going to try and catch up.

Sunday we were invited over to Steve’s place for a Hanukkah dinner. Steve fixed brisket and latkes along with cauliflower, broccoli, asparagus, and lots of munchies. We had a great time, meeting some new people and eating. Steve is heading out for Congress, AZ this week-end so it was a see ya on the road party also.

I took a couple of pictures but Steve isn’t in any of them. I did get a great picture of Jin though. Isn’t he beautiful?



Dianna still hasn’t given up trying to make me not take her picture. I tell her, no matter what they look like, they go on the blog.


Monday night we went with Mickey and Ginny to the Mining Camp Restaurant. The McNasty Brothers perform after a great dinner of ham, ribs, chicken, dressing, potatoes, cole slaw, baked beans and home baked rolls.


The Mining Camp Restaurant is right at the base of the Superstition Mountains. You can never have too many pictures of these beautiful mountains.

mining camp 



Lots of old rusty stuff in their yard.









These are the McNasty Brothers. They put on a really enjoyable show with great music and stupid jokes.


Now, I want you to look closely at this picture and see if you can spot the problem.


See all those empty tables. The rest of the restaurant was also empty. That’s right. It was just the four of us. We had the entire performance to ourselves. Rather strange. But we still had a wonderful time.

Today we took Aunt Happy to the doctor. She is doing really good and has an appointment with the nose doctor next Monday. Her doctor told her to take a baby aspirin instead of the Plavix so hopefully that will stop her nose bleeds.

This afternoon  Rod and Loyce came by and we threw some hamburgers on the grill. Had us a great visit. They are leaving on Friday to go to Kansas City for Christmas. Once again, the camera was in the house and could not find it’s way into my hands.

And that’s life at the Dixon’s house.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

AZ Opry

Apache Junction, AZ  High 71  Low 48


On Wednesday we joined Jeri, Terry, Doris (Terry’s Mom), Dianna, and Bobbie at the AZ Opry. (Most of my pictures turned out really lousy.) This place holds 500 people and they have feeding every one down to a science. They can get all the food served in 35 minutes. They offer a beef dinner on even number days and a chicken dinner on odd days. Food is pretty good but the show was really good.

They performed some Christmas music as well as their regular show. A lot of talent on that stage.

A little guitar pickin’.


Elvis is in the building.


On the road again.


How many of you remember the song – The Lion Sleeps Tonight? The lead singer of the Tokens is the lead performer at the Opry and can play all of the instruments you can see on that stage.


We had a great time and would like to go again.

We went to visit Aunt Happy today but she’s not feeling very good. She had a nose bleed that wouldn’t quit and ended up in the hospital for a couple of days. She has a pace maker and is on Plavix so they have taken her off the Plavix and hope that will control the nose bleeds. We will be taking her to her doctor on Wednesday morning. Everything is serious when you’re 99.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Quiet Life

Apache Junction, AZ  High 78  Low 51

We’ve been keeping a low profile, letting Jim recuperate. He spends a lot of time with his leg up.


Of course he has to have company.


We bought the girls a new doggie bed because we thought it might be nice for them to lay on outside. But they still prefer the hot rocks. They do like laying on it in the house though.


What’s really great is the fact that Jim is able to walk. We’ve been walking around a few blocks in the park a couple of times a day and he doesn’t have any leg pain. For the first time in years and years. It’s going to take awhile to build his stamina but that’s okay.

On Sunday we picked up Dianna and headed down to Casa Grande to Bill and Jan’s house. They invited about 20 people over for dinner and socializing. I took my camera and then forgot to take any pictures. What a lot of fun we had. And it felt so good to get out of the house for something besides just shopping or doctor appointments.

Tomorrow night we’re going to the AZ Opry. Let the fun times roll.