2007News Archive



December started out as an interesting month - lots - and I mean lots by Valley standards - of rain producing local flooding. Since the "monsoon" season of August and early September never materialized, the area is very much below any normal rainfall amount. We have had a great holiday season here in our new home in Arizona . . new friends and visits with family. Rachael and Jessica joined us for the Christmas holidays - and it was certainly good to have the family all together again, if even for a few days. Rachael, Barb and John made a day trip to Sedona on the 22nd where we enjoyed a warm sun and clear skies.


November really flew by, what with all the bocce ball, swimming and general laziness that now consumes our household. Barb is dabbling at substitute teaching and still looking for that "perfect" school. Our "traditional" Thanksgiving included a wonderful "turkey & fixin's" on the outdoor patio of Casino Arizona in Scottsdale and dropping a few bucks into the slots while we were there. Needless to say we didn't need a wheelbarrow to bring our "winnings" home! We are looking forward to having Jessica and Rachael here with us for Christmas - where we will find some way to celebrate outdoors in the Arizona sun at one of the many resorts in the Valley.


A busy month! Barb's birthday on the 1st and Jessica's on the 31st . . . Happy Birthday to both! Our trip to Albuquerque was great  -good to see old high school friends again, take in the balloon fiesta and have a mini-tour of the city.


On the 13th John and Barb celebrated their 38th wedding anniversary in Las Vegas - the Cirque du Soleil Beatles' LOVE show was spectacular!

On the 25th we received great news that Rachael has received the promotion she had been hoping for - to Learning & Development Specialist for State Farm in Lincoln. Congratulations, Rachael!


Barb has joined the "Lady Putters" here at Corte Bella - the women play 18 holes each Monday at 8:30 AM, then adjourn for additional socializing and a cold drink. Today, Monday August 13th, she is celebrating her 1st "I don't have to start teaching this year" day and feels very good about it! Happy Birthday to John on the 24th . . . but who's really counting anymore, anyway? Well, we bit the bullet and decided to unload the Mercedes before even more money was put into it - and we purchased a new 2008 Toyota highlander Limited. Now this is a vehicle that should be worry-free! We are heading for Las Vegas next month for our 38th wedding anniversary and have purchased tickets for the Cirque du Soleil production of the Beatles' LOVE show at The Mirage. October will find us in Albuquerque for the annual International Balloon Festival.


July was a very busy month for us. On the 4th, we spent a fun day with our good friends, the Hansen's, at their Glendale home where we BBQ'd and swam the day away. Later, on our way home, we stopped and watched the fireworks at the Surprise Stadium near our house. The Surprise Stadium complex is where the Kansas City Royals do their Spring Training. We have made some changes and additions to our home - an enclosed front courtyard has been added and the rear patio has seen the addition of a colored, textured coating of "Cool-Decking". Inside, we had a few more rooms painted from the "generic cafe au lait" to a taupe-like "Moose Mousse" (who gets paid for these cutesy names anyway?) - with a splash of accent color, Cayenne Pepper, under the bar counter. Barb passed her Arizona fingerprint clearance and received her Arizona Teaching Certificate in anticipation of doing some substitute teaching in a local school district this Fall  - and John was relieved to find that he has not been married to a felon for all these 38 years. Barb continues to participate in aqua-aerobics sessions three times per week and her monthly Book Group. We also participate in "Movies & Munchies", a group here at Corte Bella which meets every month to see a new movie and then go out for dinner. There is still men's bocce ball for John every 1st and 3rd Tuesdays, and group bocce ball on the 1st Saturday of the month. John has volunteered to help in a committee assessing the current Corte Bella website, its associated costs and management, and will offer be one to offer suggestions to the community's Transition Committee as Corte Bella's developer, Pulte Homes, closes out operations here by year's end.


Here is Barb is in all her retirement glory - surrounded by co-workers and friends alike. Click on any photo to see a full-sized version below - and use the left and right scroll arrows to proceed forward and back through the series. On the 28th we drove to Yuma to spend a day with Barb's cousin, Suzan Cox.


Jessica spent an activity-filled weekend in Houston hosting her close, long-time friends, Cindy Chung (New York City) and Trasi Martin (Los Angeles). To make room for the women, Jason flew to Topeka to see friends there.

 Barb's last year of teaching is rapidly coming to an end . . . the photo below shows the 2007 Willa Cather Elementary School staff, with Barb 2nd from the right in the 1st row. Congratulations, Barb, on over 38 years of teaching! Your retirement is well-earned!

 On the 27th we had a "goodbye" brunch and visit with our good friends and former neighbors, Marvin and Linda Larson and Michael and Carol Berger. We hope they will find time in their busy schedules to come visit us in Arizona - they are always welcome!


Barb and Rachael flew in from Omaha March 30th with Rachael returning to Lincoln on April 4th, while Barb stayed until the 8th. We did a day trip to Sedona, hung out at the pool, did some shopping and attended the display of "Body Worlds" at the Arizona Science Center in downtown Phoenix. This is Barb's last "visit" to our new home - with her retirement at the end of May we will both be permanently living in Arizona beginning in June. The weather was magnificent the whole time they were here - a welcome change from the cold and rain of the Midwest.


The end of February and the beginning of March brought more snow to Omaha, closing the schools on the 1st and 2nd with upwards of a foot of new snow. In contrast, John, lucky to be in Arizona, hiked in t-shirt and shorts in the White Tank Mountains. I guess we can't have it both ways . . . January set a number of record low temps with landscaping being the first thing to suffer the consequences . . . Now, mid-March, we have record highs . . . normal high temperature for the 15th is 77°, but it topped out at 92°.


The 1st week of February finds Arizona back in full sun, light breezes, and mid-to-upper 70's. John heads back to Omaha for a week around Valentine's Day. This winter's Midwest weather has been anything but warm and it is expected that John will immediately croak from "climate-shock" upon deplaning . . . stay tuned! Well, the report is in . . . John marginally escaped ultimate doom and gloom as the temperatures dip to minus figures at night. Barb had a tough week - no, not because John was in town . . . a bad cold and cough kept her from feeling her best for the week. Barb is looking forward to some Arizona sun at the end of March for her Spring Break. Rachael will join us for a few days, too.


Cold . . cold . . cold . . . that's relatively speaking, of course . . . but much below the norm for January in the Valley of the Sun. The nights of the 13th and 14th have seen temperatures in the low-to-mid 20's, and that is not friendly to many species of non-native desert vegetation. Looks like Spring will find the Valley nurseries doing record business - this cold snap is the coldest on record in the last 16 years! On the 21st we had some brief snow showers here in the NW Valley, while Mesa to the East got about an inch of snow! Weather conditions "mellowed" at the end of the month.