Don't I know it!
So here is a calendar post for the past two weeks or thereabouts.
If you're inclined to stick around ... it might take a minute.
Starting on May 15: Jari's dad flew into down in the evening. He came to warm up in the sunny southwest for three weeks.
Jari and I are both working some long days and Pekka isn't use to being alone all day. We figured out eating and coffee business. Macular degeneration is taking his eyesight but through some creativity and planning, I think he was able to get his coffee throughout the night and day. Yup. In that order.
May 19: We brought him to Rock Springs Café in Black Canyon City to meet up with his other son and wife, Juha & Annette. He will go spend time with them until the following Wednesday and then do another switcheroo.
May 20 - 22: My dear aunt Ruth passed away in Minnesota so Jari & I headed there for the funeral. Airports, rental car counters and traffic being what they were, we made it to the reviewal in Menahga for the singing of the last song. Only 3 hours behind schedule ... could have been three days.
I could write an entire blog about the kindness who was Ruth. If you never knew her, you missed an incredible ray of sunshine in your world. Even though alzheimers took her from her family a while ago already, she will be missed dearly.
We spent time in Menahga with some of our dearest friends, Kevin & Renae. Do you have those people in your life who your heart yearns to be near? Not for the hardy har laugh stuff kind of near. While that is certainly fun stuff, there are connections that are so much deeper. Yeah. That. Kind.
We spent a little time at their newly purchased property at the lake. (I tried doing a collage of this and couldn't not share these photos in full living color with you.)
When they build on this property, this will hopefully be the view out of one of the living areas of the house. As we were getting ready to leave, I realized that the lake would be my kind of cross country skiing all winter long. My hubby won't live in Minnesota, but oh could I live here. In. A. Heartbeat.
Even the view from the outhouse was awe inspiring. This girl may live in the city, but her heart is country through and through.
Our kummi boy and nephew, Sawyer, contemplating life with Harold.
This whole passel of cherubs. All so dear to my heart. Heather joined us at the lake with her three kids. Eight of us 10 Kuoppala kids were able to be at the funeral earlier in the day.
Another sleepless night on Saturday and we headed to Brainerd on Sunday morning for lunch with Mom & Dad. Alone time with them is priceless. So often there are so many of us around that plain quiet visiting is nearly impossible. We visited across the table at Perkins, brought them back to the Manor and headed to the airport.
A month earlier when we were in Minnesota, the traffic and construction was a nightmare heading in. Afraid to run into that again, we skipped a stop that we would have really enjoyed ... only to find out that the traffic situation was so much better! Oh well. We people watched and eventually made it home.
Short night followed by a busy week. I was on vacation starting that Thursday after work and we couldn't decide what to do. I wanted some time at home to work on projects, but we really really really wanted to go to Missouri. Plane tickets were horrifically expensive so we had decided to drive and leave on Saturday.
I was on my way home from work Thursday, meeting Tia at the emissions station when my phone rang. Another oops requiring a rescheduling of plans and no emissions for her car. Let's hope it is drivable at some point. Only liability insurance doesn't do much for replacement.
The next morning the truck wouldn't start when Jari went to move it. How many signs do two people need? That was an easy one.
We shared some phone calls with the kids in Missouri and made the decision not to head that way.
We worked on projects here for several days .. I will share when at least one of them is done.
Sunday of Memorial Day weekend we ditched the heat and took a drive to Heber for the day ... hanging out at Rol & Cheryl's cabin with some of their family.
Monday & Tuesday work around here. Wednesday morning we left for a mini day/nite getaway. A while back we took the Verde Canyon Railway train trip that leaves from Clarkdale. It is one of those places that looks like fun to go back and explore. So we did.
If you are ever in the Cottonwood/Clarkdale area, make a point to have breakfast at Pepe's Café. Excellent food and even better service. We walked the shops in town, and even stopped for an olive oil tasting. So this dry place (not so dry next to the Verde River) is home to vineyards. Plenty of wine tasting things if that's your thing. Not mine. Jari's nose was turned a bit skew when I suggested olive oil tasting. I convinced him to try the mix of tangerine balsamic/chipotle olive oil. Although he was about as skeptical as you can imagine, his eyes went to saucers and we went home with each. I tried marinating salmon and didn't use nearly enough. It is going on chicken next. Delish!
Another place to stop if you're out looking for treasures ... Ruby Road outside of Camp Verde. Had I been alone, I would be the owner of another cute trunk I don't need or have room for in my life. Some cute stuff. Caution though: a good portion of the place is not air conditioned. Don't make it your summer excursion.
We also found a state park that was new to us. Dead Horse Ranch State Park covers 423 acres and is at a 3,300 foot elevation. Not going there in the summer either. Lagoons for fishing, horses available for trail riding rentals, tent spaces, rv spaces and ..... cabins! They are camping cabins, but it looks like fun. Added that one to the bucket list.
I also earned something else this week. If I wear pants that aren't yoga pant like ... and I put a lint roller in my bag ... I can practice the art of what my hubby now calls "rugging" on the road. This would be highly important!
On our way home Thursday we went to Prescott and picked up Pappa. We are fortunate to spend the last part of his trip with him. He's not so fortunate. We spent the last days in Phoenix in scorching temps. I mean scorching!
Scorching enough that I get up around 5 a.m. and start making noise in the back yard. The paint sprayer is here and I'm trying to learn how to use it. I have furniture scattered hither and yon out there in various stages of completion. The problem is this. This is temperature in the shade. Paint doesn't like it anymore than I do. If I get up early and work fast ... I've got 3 hours and that's it. I could move it all to Gwen's house and work in her air conditioned shop, but then half of my stuff would be here. Quite the dilemma!
So my theory is that you get up early and work fast. Then when it looks like this .... you're fast asleep in a very nicely air conditioned bedroom. Works for me! And that 81.5 isn't my room. That would be the kitchen right next to the patio door which opens much too often during the day.
We had a visitor Friday evening for dinner which was so fun! Pappa enjoyed it thoroughly as did we and our guest.
Saturday morning outside early to spray some color ... work inside on things for a while and head to the airport where he safely got on a flight to head home. Three weeks is much too long for me to be on vacation ... and it was too long for him as well. He was ready to go home.
And that should about catch us up on life around here. Tomorrow morning it is back to an air conditioned work environment and long days. A meeting Tuesday evening. Organ turn at church Wednesday evening. Early outside painting Friday and Saturday with cleaning out a 3rd bedroom here that is stacked to the brim.
The cleaning will be well worth it ... we have peeps coming!! Take a gander to the left side of the page where it says My Blog List. The 3rd one down is titled "FindingSimple". Go check it out and you'll see which Mrs. Peep is coming to stay.
While you're there, check out the one above it ... Chasing 60. Love that these kids are writing. Love. Love. Love it!
Have a great week. Hope you're keeping cool wherever you are!