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Saturday, December 31, 2016

2016 Wrap Up

Hello to all! Hope this finds each of you doing well and enjoying this winter and holiday season! I have been slowly putting together an update, particularly for those of you that we do not connect with regularly via Facebook... so the following is a catch-up post of the past few months.

The time has been flying by since we returned to Tucson in September!  Life is good here for us in the desert southwest, and we feel truly blessed!

We have mostly just enjoyed our home and worked on projects. First order of business was Tom's shop... since this small building at the end of our carport was  unfinished, Tom insulated and drywalled the interior, taped and painted, put in good lighting and installed the cabinets. Turned out to be a very nice workspace, and it's good to be organized and have places for tools, plus a handy place to work on projects. 

The desert southwest is quite special... we spend lots of time on our back patio enjoying the views, birds and wildlife!

The back of our house from across the arroyo
In October, Kathleen & Mike came to visit for a couple of days on their way back to their home at Jojoba Hills SKP Park near Temecula, CA ... great fun to have them in our neighborhood as they parked their new motorhome at Gilbert Ray Campground... a beautiful, new-to-them, smaller traveling rig! We had good visits and fun times together... took in a movie, did some shopping and ate Mexican food. Thank you, dear friends, for your visit! See you down the road!
Kathleen, Mike, Dianne, Tom

And, Sue & Paul made a quick stop on their way back to Lake Havasu City... it's just the best when friends come to visit!!! 

Great that many of our RV friends travel to and through the Tucson area... a bonus for us living here! Julie & Mike are at a nearby RV park for the month of December, and we have enjoyed time with them again! Others come and stay nearby for the winter... Lynn & Roger and Diane & Dave are in Casa Grande for three months, and they all drove down one day for a visit! We so enjoyed their company, and enjoyed seeing them all at their "winter home" for a day in December!
Lynn, Roger, Dave, Diane, Tom

Dianne, Don, Sherri
Beverly & Mac
Beverly, Sherri, Dianne
In mid-November I flew west to spend a few days with my parents in Fallbrook, CA. My sister Sherri and I met at the airport in Las Vegas and went on together. Lots of good visits with Sherri,  Mom & Dad, and our brother, Don. Had a nice brunch on the veranda of the Grand Tradition one day, Sherri and I took Mom for a day outing of lunch and beach walking to celebrate her "89-1/2 birthday," and Mom and Dad treated us to a lovely lunch in the wine country of Temecula. Also, was nice to have an afternoon visit with my nephew Drew and his beautiful family. And, fit in short visits with friends Patty, and Gloria & Steve. A very busy and special time with all!

November also took us to Lake Havasu City, AZ for a fun time at the home of RV friends, Sue & Paul... best accommodations and hospitality, and we enjoyed a wonderful week of Thanksgiving together! Thanks for everything! See you all again soon!!!
L-R... Tom, Dianne, Sue, Paul, Nancy, Dave, Brad, Marilyn
Good times!
As we headed back to Tucson, we detoured to Quartzsite to meet up with friends from New Brunswick, Canada. We first met Carol & Clinton nearly two years ago here in Tucson... Carol is the one that taught me Swedish Weaving. She does beautiful work, and I will be forever grateful for her patience in teaching me this art. We had a great catch-up visit, and look forward to more time together later this winter!
Tom, Carol, Clinton
Tom, Dianne, Sandy, Paul
Next up, long-time friends Sandy & Paul stopped for a couple days on their return trip to Houston following Thanksgiving in the desert with family. As always, it was great to spend time together... fun to see their new truck and 5th-wheel! We did a bit of shopping, ate BBQ, and chatted lots! Thanks for making time to visit us!

In between these visits, we have worked on projects at our house... I say "we," but it is mostly Tom that does the work, and I so appreciate his talents! I'm just the helper, when I'm not in the way :) He has replaced all the drawer pulls and cabinet handles/hinges throughout the house... a very big job that made a huge difference! He replaced the dining room chandelier... so pretty! He put up mini-blinds in our screen porch, and painted a couple of walls in the breakfast room and den. He is slowly repairing, replacing and painting window trim on the outside of the house and has planted a variety of trees and bushes. We do love our winter home!

We have also enjoyed activities and time with new friends here in our community... warm, friendly people! We have been made most welcome, had some fun invites and time to get to know each other a little more. Like us, many residents go away for the summer and it seems to be catching-up time in winter when everyone has returned to the desert southwest!  The following two photos were taken at our community's holiday dinner.

George, Tom, Jack

Joan, Dianne, Pat

A few more photos of friends :) 
Julie, Mike, Tom - wood for our Quartzsite Gathering :)

Celebrating the Winter Solstice!  Mike, Steve, Carol, Julie, Tom

Christmas Eve with George, Pat, Carol, Jeff
December ended with a very special visit with our son, daughter-in-law and two grandsons from near Durango, CO. We SO appreciated this time with them here! So fun!
Feeling blessed!
Kirsten & Kevin, Owen, Logan
Well, this about catches you all up on the past several months for us here in Tucson. A  rather long blog update, but the best I can do since not posting updates often anymore. 

We hope each of you enjoyed a Merry Christmas and very happy holiday season! May your joys be many!!! And, we send all good wishes for each of you as this year comes to a close, and wish peace and comfort for those in need. We  are determined to remain hopeful and optimistic for the future, especially in areas of concern and frustration where we have no control. There is so much good to celebrate daily, even as we hear of the negative... most people have kind hearts, and work to share and do good for others. We must all strive to always focus on that and count our many blessings!

Happy New Year!

Be well, everyone! Fondly, Dianne & Tom