Friday, November 13, 2009

I've Been S L A C K I N G Again!

I haven't had much chance to sit & write on the blog this past week. Always seem to be running here or there.

We've played cards a couple of nights, gone out for supper a few times and just general running out to the store to shop.

Before I go very far, I want to wish all our Veteran's a Belated Thank You! I did email out a thank you to most all in my address book. If I forgot you, I'm sorry, it wasn't intentional. We are so thankful for all you have done both in the past & the present. You make us proud & we are so blessed because of your bravery & courage. Below you can see our new flag pole we bought in Michigan this past summer. Because of David's welding work, we are able to fly it every day (that the weather is good). We are proud to show our colors & support our troops. When Mark leaves at the end of the year for his 6-7 month tour of duty at sea, we will fly our Navy flag. Beautiful against that blue sky isn't it?
These were the flags displayed by the park for Veteran's Day & the week for each of the branches of service, including Canada.
A Veteran's Day luncheon was enjoyed by all the Vets & their significant others. Many stories were told by anyone who wanted to tell them.
Here the Activities Director was making her speech.
Gene has been busy building a ramp for Tom. He got the project all done & it really looks nice. He did a beautiful job & I'm sure Tom is going to love not having to walk up those steps. He can drive his little cart right up to the door. Now Phyllis might be a little edgy because she lost a "little - very little" of her party space. Maybe that will be incentive for us not to eat so much since that was where the food tables went! LOL
This is our Clean Home & Truck after this side got washed & waxed. I didn't have my sign & my little flags back out when I took this picture. No oranges on our tree this year either!
This is Faye & Gene's trailer. Looks really nice with all the fall decorations. He has been a real sweetheart to help us out with some projects too. He fixed my shoe rack so it's almost level & doesn't slide around in the closet. Works great! Thank You Gene!
For the last 2 days I have been shopping for a new bathing suit. Now wouldn't you think that this being a "snowbird" area & mostly retirees, that they would keep a supply of bathing suits around for all these people who live where there are pools & you can swim 365 days a year????? Ya Right. Well, if they did have any, they were for young babes that still have a body for a bikini. I lost my 2 piece body a long time ago! I finally was directed to a store called Ma's Swimwear in Mesa. What a selection!! A whole store full. Even had a clearance rack. I tried on 8 suits at an Outlet store in Apache Junction on Wed. - no luck. I tried on about 5 from the clearance rack at Ma's - no luck. Now, would you believe I found 2 on the "regular price" rack that were the same style & name brand that I have & they fit me perfectly! Okay, so I had to pay the big bucks, but I bought them both. Even bought a bottle of concentrated soap to wash them with that gets that nasty chlorine out! Maybe I won't have to wear a "see through" the rest of the season!

Bill and I started playing shuffleboard this past Monday. We played Mon., Tues. & Wed. It is really a lot of fun. Poor Roger & Camilla were after us all last season to play & we were just plain lazy I guess. But we found we really enjoy it. So hurry up & get here guys. Maybe we can win a nickel from you! I'm still a little confused on the score keeping when there are only 3 of you on a court instead of 4, but I guess we'll get the hang of it sooner or later. So now I've squeezed that in among my exercising in the mornings. Thursday (yesterday) was the first day of Scratch Art classes again. It was fun to be back together again. We have 2 new gals starting off this year. I know we will grow as more gals return.

Today there was no computer club meeting so Bill & I made plans to go see the Nation's Capitol Christmas Tree that is touring Arizona before it makes the long trek to Washington, DC. The following are pictures taken from the time it was picked out & then cut on Nov. 9th from the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest headquartered in Springerville, AZ. That is about 200 miles from where we are.

Cranes getting ready to cut the tree & lay it in the cradle on the bed of the truck (especially made) for transporting the tree.

Loading the tree
Making sure branches are secured to prevent them from breakage.
This was today's schedule for the tree.
Friday, November 13 Apache Junction Chamber of Commerce 576 W. Apache Trail 9:30 – 10:30 a.m.
Florence Main Street Park 121 E. 22nd St. 1:00 – 2:00 p.m.
Oro Valley Oro Valley Market Place 11875 N. Oracle Rd. 4:30 – 5:30 p.m.

If you read the information I inserted after the pictures, you can gain a wealth of information about the tree, how big it is, how it is kept watered, information about the decorations made by the people of Arizona, etc.

This trailer will haul all the decorations made. If you click on the picture you can see the red ribbon wrapped around the state of Arizona. The picture is beautiful.
The line to "peek in the door". One on each side of the truck.Everyone who wanted could sign the banners - one on each side of the truck & one on the back.
This was the top of the tree inside the truck
Here Bill is taking his peek
Now that's a Big MACK!
Here I am up on the stepladder signing our names. Well, not really. I had already signed it before, but forgot our last names. So this nice forester let me go back up an add our last name. I reached as far to the top as I could.
I'm not sure what this little boy will remember of this Day in History - the tree or the cookies! One of the churches in the area provided the cookies & coffee at the Chamber of Commerce for everyone. The cookies were delicious too. Not homemade, but very good!
About Capitol Christmas Tree 2009

The U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree 2009 will travel from its origin in the White Mountains of Arizona to Washington, D.C. On November 30, 2009 the 85-foot Blue spruce will be presented to the United States Congress. The first time Arizona has ever given the annual Christmas tree to the U.S. Capitol, this historic project is delivering not only a tree taller than a 7-story building, but nearly 10,000 handmade ornaments and 80 companion trees that will be placed in offices throughout the Capitol Complex in federal offices, congressional and senate offices, as well as the US Supreme Court.


  • Arizona’s tree is about 125 years old. That’s longer than Arizona has been a state!
  • The Forest Service recommends 6 to 8 trees for selection. However, the U.S. Capitol Architect makes the final selection and determines which tree will be the official Capitol Christmas Tree.

  • Arizona’s tree will travel throughout the state visiting nearly 24 cities and towns before it journeys to Washington, D.C. The Arizona state tour will take about 10 days.
  • The Capitol Christmas Tree 2009 will make frequent stops across the nation on its way to Washington, D.C., escorted by federal officials. The national tour will take about another 10 days.
  • The tree will travel on a double flatbed truck. Placed on its side, it will rest in a custom cradle that supports the branches, preventing damage and maintaining the tree’s perfect shape.
  • A caravan of approximately 12 vehicles, including two semi-trucks, will escort the tree east. The Capitol Christmas Tree 2009 will travel more than 3,000 miles during its three-week tour.
  • The base of the tree is fitted with a plastic bladder filled with fresh water nightly. The tree will absorb about 65 gallons of water each day throughout its trek to Washington, D.C.
  • A full-sized semi-truck will be needed to transport all the ornaments delivered to Washington, D.C.

  • The children of Arizona will make the 5,000 ornaments used to decorate the tree. The ornaments will be 9 to 12 inches tall and must be made to withstand 3 weeks of harsh winter weather.

  • An additional 1,000 ornaments will be made for the 75 companion trees displayed throughout the Capitol.

  • About 10,000 LED Christmas lights are strung throughout the tree.

  • It takes more than a week for the U.S. Capitol Architect and his team to decorate.

  • The Capitol Christmas Tree is topped by the same single star ornament used each year.

  • The tree will be placed into a hole nearly five feet deep and actually cemented into place.

  • Although Capitol Christmas trees are varied heights, when installed they can be no taller than 65 feet. The Capitol landscape crew does not have a basket crane taller than that!

Now that's quite a story. We look at the beautiful tree on the grounds of the Nation's Capitol every year at Christmas & we never realize how much work & preparation goes into getting it there. The weight of the tree is about 6,000 lbs. Two men & an army - now I'd like to see the pictures of them putting up the tree in DC.

Another evening out to eat, 8 of us played Hand & Foot (the women won tonight! Ya!) so the evening is about over.

Yesterday I called my grand kids in Virginia Beach because I was worried about them & the terrible storm they were having. Everyone was holding their own & kids were doing well. They lost electricity while I was talking with Samuel, but I called back a few minutes later & Samantha answered on another phone, so guess it was okay. The pictures we watched on the Weather Channel made us so glad we weren't still there camping at the campground in Virginia Beach, nor at Bar Harbor in Maryland. If you remember the "High Tide" pictures from Sept., you'll remember we had water up under the trailer then & it wasn't even a storm! Tomorrow we will check on the other grand kids in Maryland to see how that family fared.

Congratulations to Renee. She was selected to become a regular rather than a substitute Cafeteria Worker at the elementary school next to the boys school. Then after she finishes her work there, she goes to their school to volunteer doing odd jobs for classrooms. I'm happy she now has a regular job & her days & time will coincide with the boys school days.

Today was Bill's sister's birthday. Happy Birthday, Carolyn. Hope you had a great day. On Veteran's Day, Randy celebrated his birthday. A Happy Belated Birthday to you too. (Well I did send you an e-card so I guess I didn't forget, just haven't blogged!)

Tomorrow is our grandson, Hunter's, birthday. Have a great day & a Happy Birthday, Hunter. We love you & good luck with your basketball try outs!

We had an email from Mark this past week & he got stuck in France because of bad weather, but he did get to visit the beaches of Normandy. That gave him some time to contemplate the bravery of those who served before him & the sacrifices they made. He was upset because they were suppose to have been back to Norfolk by the 10th. Now with the storm, he won't be able to pull in probably either. The ocean probably looks like a shipyard. During hurricanes & tropical storms with high winds, the ships are sent out to sea to avoid any damage while in port. Pray for our boys. If they are riding rough seas, they probably need them!

Well, that's all the news for now. So until next time............The Traveling Cardinal's

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