Settling (Sort of) in Arizona

We’re settling, sort of, in Arizona. San Tan Valley to be precise. In March of 2016 my oldest daughter and son-in-law moved from California to Tucson. After much family discussion we decided it was best to move closer to them so Fiona could be nearer her best friend – her big sister! Especially during her teen years. So in June 2016 we left Wisconsin to move to Arizona.

It wasn’t easy. Fiona even had to think twice about leaving the beautiful snowy winters in Wisconsin to live in hot, dry Arizona. We all loved the snow, winter, the seasons in Wisconsin! Arizona though did have her big sister, Joel’s good friend Terry, my aunt, uncle, and cousin. The drier weather would probably be good for my rheumatoid arthritis. So we made plans and moved.

After staying with our good friends, Terry & Virgie, for a couple of months, we found the place we’re now living in. We do like the house and where it’s located – far away from the bustle of the big city of Phoenix. Close enough to take Fiona to visit her big sister monthly instead of only once a year. We’ve made some really, really good friends.

We did go back to Wisconsin last August to get some relief from the heat – and visited all our friends there that we missed as well as Joel’s mom and my son James. We plan to do that again this year.

Arizona does have its own beauty – like these beautiful days when the sky is so blue and the clouds puffy white. For now, we’re settling here. So far, so good.

What Clothing Should We Bring?

What clothing should we pack for our month-long trip? We’ll be leaving Wisconsin with snow on the ground it seems since we just had 17 inches on Thursday! We’ll be arrive on Wednesday in Phoenix, Arizona where the high that day should be 85 and by Saturday it will be 100. And the temperatures will be much warmer in California than we’ve seen in Wisconsin for a while.

So we’ll probably start off driving away with our long-sleeved shirts on, a jacket, and maybe even boots. We’ll be coming back wearing shorts, tank tops, and sandals. Swimsuits! We’ll have those along for all the swimming we’ll be doing.

It’s About Time for Something New Here!

Since moving to Rice Lake, Wisconsin in April 2012, we haven’t done a whole lot of traveling that we’ve written about. I’m going to try to make sure and write about our travels this month though in May 2013.

This month’s trip will take us out of the snow we just had on May 2 to a nice hot 100 in Arizona.

Goodbye snow!

Snow Rice Lake May 2, 2013
Snow Rice Lake May 2, 2013

We’re taking the month to eventually get the rest of our stuff out of storage in California. That will be near the end of the month. Here’s our basic itinerary:

  • May 6 – Leave Rice Lake, WI and drive to Kansas City, MO; stay overnight at a hotel we’ve already booked.
  • May 7 – Drive from Kansas City to probably Delhart, TX where we’ll stay at a hotel we stayed in last time we were through that part of Texas.
  • May 8 – From Delhart drive to Phoenix, Arizona and be warmly welcomed by our very good friend Terry Wilson and his lovely wife Virgie. Go swimming in their pool in 100 degree weather! :)
  • May 9 – Visit with Terry & Virgie and that night Joel will get to play music with Terry and his band.
  • May 10-12 – Stay with our friend Dan and his family in another section of Phoenix.
  • May 13-18 – Back to Terry & Virgie’s to visit more, play music, swim, swim, swim.
  • May 19 – Visit with Sue’s Uncle Phil & family in Glendale, Arizona. Sue hasn’t seen her Uncle in about 30 years.
  • May 20 – Drive from Phoenix to San Diego, California. Stay at a hotel in Chula Vista that has a pool.
  • May 21 – Visit with Joel’s brother and family
  • May 22 – Visit with Sue’s mom; possibly go to Balboa Park.
  • May 23 – Visit with Joel’s sister and family (read about their recent road trip); stay overnight¬†with friends Ken & Kelly in San Diego
  • May 24 – Drive up to Northern California and visit with Tom Bentley.
  • May 25 – Drive to San Francisco and visit with David Reffkin.
  • May 26-28 Stay with good friends Pam & Phil in Roseville, California. Pick up stuff still in storage. Fiona spends two days with her sister Rachelle.
  • May 29 – Leave California for Idaho
  • May 30 – Drive through Montana
  • May 31 – Drive through Wyoming, North Dakota
  • June 1 – Arrive back in Rice Lake, Wisconsin

Of course it’s all subject to change. I plan to take pictures and keep a written journal and hopefully post often here. Fiona may post at her website as well.

We plan on having a blast!

Turning Over a New Leaf

I know – it’s cliche! Six months ago today we drove away from New Jersey to head to our new home in Rice Lake, Wisconsin. It was the beginning of a new phase in our life – turning over a new leaf.

bridge near Fiona's school

In two days we will have been in our new home for six months. I must say I’ve enjoyed living here and plan to do so for a while yet. Sometimes the itch to travel comes on and we have to take a long drive. It’s time for one now as a matter of fact. Maybe this weekend.

We have had beautiful weather the whole time and fall is now here. All the trees changed colors and then a couple of very windy days brought down most of the leaves on our trees. However, there are still some beautiful colors to be seen.

fall colors on the trees

I wonder what winter will be like….? Will keep you posted. :)

 

Taking Care of Mumsie

We call Joel’s mom ‘mumsie’. Actually she called herself that first. Sometimes we refer to her as Grandma Mumsie when talking to Fiona so she knows we’re talking about her paternal grandma and not her maternal grandma.

One of the reasons we chose to settle for a while in Rice Lake, Wisconsin is because this is where Mumsie lives. The only other family she has in the area are three sisters – all older than her and dealing with their own health challenges.

Mumsie is 70-something now and has multiple health challenges. It’s very difficult for her to get around and when she does leave her apartment, she uses her electric wheelchair. She just got a new Hoveround.

Last year when we were just visiting, she ‘drove’ her electric wheelchair to the nearby bookstore. That was a treat!

Mumsie in the bookstore

I’m glad that Joel and I and Fiona can be here to help out as we can. All the rest of Mumsie’s children live in the West – Idaho and California. We finally got her computer power cord and so she can use her email again to stay in touch with them. Yesterday I was able to package up her Tassimo machine and take it to The UPS Store to be returned for repair. It’s those little things that she really needs help with and appreciates.

We spend every Sunday afternoon and evening with her in her air-conditioned apartment. Our little place doesn’t have air conditioning and in this heat it’s nice to be able to enjoy a cool Sunday afternoon there. We always cook dinner and often have dessert. Then we settle in for an evening of cooking shows – Cupcake Wars and The Next Food Network Star. Sometimes we stay late and watch Iron Chef America. Can’t get too much of Alton Brown. :) Once in a while we got mid-week for dinner and if it’s a Wednesday, we watch Restaurant Impossible. Are you getting the feeling we like food?

Periodically Fiona and I try to go mid-week and do little things for Mumsie. It’s nice for her to have one of her grandchildren around and nice for Fiona to have a grandma to spoil her. Mumsie just bought Fiona a new pair of sandals for the summer and a Hello Kitty shirt. We especially enjoy the Tassimo coffee machine Mumsie lets us use – the extra one. She buys the coffee and hot chocolate and we enjoy an easy cup of coffee whenever we like.

We’re going to enjoy taking care of Mumsie while we’re here.

Bridge Out on Memory Lane

In the movies, when the long-lost father/mother/brother/sister/whatever crosses paths with their kin, directors show us the visceral connection. Look in their eyes; they know something just happened. Nice for story lines, but no connection to reality.

Grandma Mumsie and Fiona in Rice Lake Wisconsin

Our visit here in Rice Lake is about to come to an end. Sunday morning we leave for St. Paul for our 3-week house sitting job. Fiona has enjoyed her visit with her grandma Mumsie, as we call Joel’s mom. She’s also loved coming back to The Rice Lake Public Library. Yesterday she had fun with the American Girls Book club here. She got to make a craft – a glass vase with colored sand glued to the outside. Not we have to find a safe way to transport it without it getting broken.

Last Monday Fiona and I went over to the lake and she got to wade in it quite a bit. Grandma came out in her electric wheelchair and we all stopped for a visit in the local book store. Yes, we’re a family of avid readers!

School has also started for Fiona. She’s now in second grade and the homeschool program through the school district here is great. We have lots of fun school work to keep us busy.

I’m really looking forward to our 3 weeks in St. Paul and then spending the winter back in New Jersey. More on that later…

Early Morning Start at Begins at 4:45 am – Heading to San Diego

Today we leave Roseville to head to San Diego. I woke up at 4:45 am knowing the alarm would go off at 6 am. After laying in bed just a bit, I got up, showered, and started packing. It’s now 6:20 am and everything is set to put in the van, Joel and I have had our morning tea and time together, and we’ll be on the road by 7 am.

It’s an all day drive today. We’ll arrive at Joel’s brother in South San Diego about dinner time. We’re looking forward to a few days to visit with family, including my mom on Sunday. Fiona hasn’t seen grandma Susan since March when Rachelle got married.

We really enjoy our long drives. We’ll catch up on some reading. I read aloud to Joel and take notes on things he wants to write about in his next book. Fiona picked up her stuffed panda bear to cuddle with in the van while we drive.

Look out San Diego – the Nomad Canfields are coming!

Canfield family
The Nomad Canfields

Leaving Colorado and Heading Back to California for a Short Visit

We’ve enjoyed house sitting again for Rita in Colorado. They are coming back one day early so we’re leaving a day early. That’s okay. Nomads must be flexible! We’re so flexible that a week or so ago we changed our plans entirely and decided to head back to California for a short visit.

Fiona hasn’t seen her big sister Rachelle since she got married in March. And since we need to be in Wisconsin the first part of September for a short visit and to pick up school stuff for Fiona, then have a three-week house sitting gig in Minnesota and have just made arrangements to spend several months this winter in New Jersey, we thought we’d better go see some family in California before it’s a year since we saw any of them.

So tomorrow we leave Colorado, stay one night in the Salt Lake City, Utah area (we still need a place to stay there for one night by the way), another night in Reno Nevada with Couch Surfers, and we’ll be in Roseville California Saturday. Fiona gets to spend several days with Rachelle. After a few days there, we’ll head down to San Diego to visit with Joel’s brother and family.

Then there’s that Route 66 trip…

The Search for Goat Milk

For years Joel’s chiropractor, Dr. Petrice Foxworthy of Cambridge Chiropractic, said that his hayfever-type allergies were probably aggravated by cow’s milk. About 18 months ago Joel switched to goat’s milk instead and found out Dr. Petrice was correct.

Cutting cow’s milk and other products made from cow’s milk from his diet helped alleviate some of the allergy sypmtoms. Now each morning in his tea he has a bit of goat’s milk. (Yes, we both drink tea the English way – with milk.) If he really wants some cheese, once in a while we’ll splurge and pay extra to get goat cheese. And the all-time favorite ice cream now is Coconut Bliss, Naked Almond Fudge. ¬†It’s not cheap and so is a special occasional treat.

However, since we arrived in Rice Lake Wisconsin two weeks ago, Joel’s been without goat milk – until late Thursday night.