Talked to Cleveland Clinic…One day and counting…

More colorful wares were offered for sale in the souk in Marrakesh.

With the utmost determination, yesterday I called Cleveland Clinic and spoke to Tina, the rep handling my file. I felt bad calling again after sending several email messages with no response over the past three weeks. Tina explained that the doctor has been on vacation and is returning tomorrow, Wednesday. Of course, he didn’t look at files in his absence to determine who takes priority in upcoming appointments.

Tina apologized profusely, especially when I jogged her memory, about how my UPS package was lost after delivery to the clinic, which was verified with the tracking order. At that point, until they found the file, I’d lost a week on the waiting list. Tina promised to work on getting me an appointment as soon as possible.

I am not holding my breath, but I am a little more hopeful that I will hear something soon. They will want me to see a cardiologist to do the ultrasound again. However, I sent them two of the three ultrasounds I had done: one in South Africa, another in Ecuador, and the third, most recently in Las Vegas.

In most cases, a medical facility wants to do its tests, and I have no problem with that. I expected another cardiology appointment. Tina is working on setting this up for me. We shall see.

So here we are, one day from departing Arizona to drive to Los Angeles to see my sister. As of this morning, before I started this post, I am fully packed. Tom will head to the Mesa Airport at noon to pick up the rental car, which we’ll keep all the way to Minnesota until May 30, which I hope is big enough for all of our stuff. We’re hauling the extra foodstuffs we’ll use in Minnesota at the Residence Inn with a full kitchen. It’s not that we’ll do a lot of cooking, but avoiding eating out when we’re not dining out with the kids will be good.

The hotel room isn’t big enough to have the family come for dinner, and since they don’t cook much, we won’t be dining at their homes. We will figure it all out once we get settled there.

Separating the packing for the road trip and the first few weeks in Minnesota was easy. Until we know when we’ll need to head to Cleveland, we won’t fully unpack. There isn’t enough drawer and closet space in hotels for all of our stuff.

Yesterday, on our way to Taco Tuesday on Monday at the VFW, we stopped by the Goodwill store to drop off a bag of clothes I no longer wear. This eliminated about ten pounds of unnecessary items. Each time we pack, I make every attempt to lighten our load.

Afterward, we stopped at Walgreens for Margie and CVS for Colleen and then went to the taco lunch. Once again, we had a lovely time and returned to our place around 3:00 pm. I did a little more organizing, after which we settled in for the remainder of the day and evening.

The taco salads we ordered were small, and by 6:00 pm, we were both hungry again. I made a huge onion, ham, and cheese omelet with bacon on the side that we shared. We are taking Margie and Colleen out to dinner again at JJ Madisons, which we all enjoyed. There aren’t a lot of restaurants we like in Apache Junction, so we’re happy to drive for 15 minutes to this establishment for today’s dinner.

Tomorrow, since we’re leaving early, I will write the post while in the car on our way to Los Angeles. Once we arrive there, the other days will be easy to do the posts in the mornings before we head to Julie’s home where we’ll spend the day. Julie has a severe ankle injury, and she’s unable to walk. Thus, we won’t be sightseeing. We’ll help her get into the car when we go to dinner each night and lunch with the cousins on May 4. It will all work out.

Be well.

Photo from ten years ago today, April 30, 2014:

Shop owners and workers in the souk often play with their phones as they await the next customer. For more photos, please click here.

Two days and counting…Slight change in plans…

Colorful handbags are on display in the souk in Marrakesh, Morocco, and many have designer labels that are “knockoffs.”

It’s shortly after 8:00 am, and we have the laundry going in the building close to the business office. I’m still amazed by the software on my phone that allows us to pay for and start the washers and dryers. Now, back at our place, knowing we’re leaving for Taco Tuesday on Monday at the local VFW at 11:30, we knew we needed to get going early today.

We’re both showered and dressed for the day and have made the bed. I’ve even managed to get in a little more packing this morning, knowing we’re packing two ways: one batch for when we arrive in Minnesota, the second for the three days in California, and the four or five-day road trip.

As it turns out, we won’t attend Sister Beth’s 70th (anniversary of being a nun) Jubilee Celebration until June 15. At first, it was explained that only one family member could attend the event due to a shortage of space, so we thought we’d go early to see her. But yesterday, we received the notice that all the siblings and spouses could attend.

As a result, we’ve decided to drive to Minnesota from California. We’ll stay at a hotel from our arrival date, May 8th or 9th, check out on June 14, leave our bags at the hotel, take only enough for two days in Milwaukee, and then drive to Wisconsin for the event. When we return, we’ll check into the hotel and stay put until we need to go to Cleveland Clinic.

If we do it this way, we won’t have to pay for two hotel rooms simultaneously. With the high cost of hotels and all the fees and taxes, it makes much more sense to do it this way. As a result, we’ll never unpack when we arrive in Minnesota for the first month. We can easily launder the clothes we wore for California and the road trip and wear those again, never having to open our suitcases until we finally settle in after returning to Minnesota in mid-June.

We’d love to have been able to stay in a holiday home in Minnesota, but the prices were either too high or the locations were not safe. Our best option is to stay in a hotel with a kitchen and maid service since we could be there for a few months or more. Only time will tell.

Yesterday, we ate dinner around 3:30 pm, and by 4:15, we were at Margie’s home for the four of us to play cards. We had a great time, laughing and talking, while Tom won most of the games. I didn’t win a game, although I won many hands. It’s not so much about winning, although I’d like to, but the pleasure of playing with his sisters makes it quite enjoyable.

As of now, we’ve already switched the laundry to the dryers, and everything will be dry in about 35 minutes. Tom will pick it up, and I’ll fold everything when he returns, carefully sorting what we’ll take to use for the road trip and what we’ll leave in our suitcases for future reference.

We still have a lot of packing, most of which we’ll do tomorrow in plenty of time for our departure on Wednesday. Tomorrow, Colleen will drop Tom off at the Mesa airport to pick up the rental car. Today, he fill Margie’s car with gas and get it washed. We didn’t use it for more than 150 miles and are grateful for the loan.

As for posting during the road trip, we’ll try to post each day, including some photos we encounter. Driving to California is mostly desert, so there won’t be much to see, and we’ll want to get there in time for dinner with Julie. We have a reservation in Los Angeles for 6:30 pm. It’s about a seven-hour drive, and we hope to stop for breakfast in the first few hours.

Plus, we’ll get checked into the hotel in Santa Monica before we head to Julie’s house to pick her up for dinner. It will be wonderful to see my sister. It’s been at least four years since we were together.

Be well.

Photo from ten years ago today, April 29, 2014:

Products such as these are often offered for sale and placed on the ground in the Big Square. For more photos, please click here.

Three days and counting…Time to “get the show on the road”…

It is a commonly seen type of wall art in Morocco, utilizing well-crafted stained glass.

The month in Apache Junction is almost over. We’ll drive away in three days. Colleen and Margie are the only two sisters yet to leave, and they’ll be returning to Minnesota in a little over a week. Of course, once we get to Minnesota around May 12, we’ll see them all again, except for Rita, who lives in South Dakota.

Tom has six sisters, a few of whom we hadn’t seen while in Arizona this past month. One is Patty, who lives in Blaine, Minnesota, and his sister Betty, known as Sister Beth, who lives in a retirement home for nuns in Milwaukee, whom we’ll visit on our way to Minnesota, most likely seeing her around May 9 or 10th, while we spend one night in Wisconsin. The next day, we head to Minnesota.

We have a reservation in a Residence Hotel in Eden Prairie for May 23, when we thought we’d stay here longer. But, since we’re leaving early, we’ll need accommodations when we arrive, two weeks earlier than planned. But, in this case, we’ve decided to wait to book those first two weeks to avoid having any pressure during the road trip. That way, we can take our time.

Also, we haven’t informed Sister Beth that we’re coming to see her and won’t do so until a day or two before our arrival. That way, it will prevent her from being concerned about our arrival.

We’ll do our last loads of laundry tomorrow morning and then join Colleen and Margie for “Taco Tuesday on Monday” at the local VFW. We’ll have a late lunch and won’t be concerned about dinner. If we get hungry, we can eat the remaining bacon and eggs.

Yesterday, I made a turkey breast with leftovers for today, with rice for Tom and salad for both of us. Today, before visiting Colleen and Margie, we eat the leftovers. Soon, I’ll make a fresh salad since we have ingredients we need to use. We’ve used everything that was in the freezer and most of the food in the refrigerator.

We’ll be taking seasonings and non-perishables with us since we were in Minnesota, and we’ll have a full kitchen at the residence hotel and be able to cook. We could be in Minnesota for quite some time and don’t want to eat out every day as we’ve often done. Dining out is very costly in the US.

Last fall, we were shocked in Minnesota when we started ordering Jimmy John’s unwich sandwiches to pick up rather than have delivered where there are so many fees. However, we get free delivery with Grubhub, which is offered to Amazon Prime members. The cost was $22 for each sandwich, including no sides. It doesn’t make sense to pay that much for a breadless sandwich. We can purchase the ingredients at a grocery store and get two to three meals by making our own.

We’ll possibly be staying in the hotel in Minnesota for two to three months as we await my appointment at Cleveland Clinic. With the cost of staying in a hotel for so long, we will be mindful of our other expenses. Also, renting a car in the US for such an extended period will be costly. It would be fine if we could keep our food costs in check. No one ever plans to live in a hotel for so long, but with a kitchen, we’ll be fine.

Once we get to Cleveland, we will repeat our living style in Minnesota, staying in a residence-type hotel with a kitchen and making our meals. While I am recovering, Tom can make easy meals, order takeaway, or pick up food ready to eat.

I took a break from this post and emptied a full-size suitcase for us to use to take in and out of the hotel in Santa Monica and on the road trip. This way, we won’t have to haul all of our bags into the hotel room each night. We have a big blanket to cover any bags in the vehicle’s trunk. My main clothing bag is packed, and I have a bag of clothes to drop off at Goodwill in Apache Junction.

Be well.

Photo from ten years ago today, April 28, 2014:

Baskets of spices outside a spice shop in the souk in The Big Square in Marrakesh. For more photos, please click here.

A heartfelt apology for an untruth…

No one who communicates with the public via a medium like this and others is exempt from falling prey to “fake news.” We always make every effort to report accurate news and information. We fact-check what we write and make every effort to share honest, relevant, and accurate information.

In this case, I am sharing a gross inaccuracy about the passing of our friend Dean in South Africa, which I wrote about two days ago, based on information I received before writing the post. I looked online to fact-check Dean being shot in Johannesburg but was unable to find anything about the horrific and tragic shooting.

When I received a few email messages this morning, I immediately apologized for my misstatement that Dean was shot by his workers. This was not the case. The perpetrators are still unknown, and the investigation is ongoing.

This is how “fake news” can start, often maliciously, but in other cases, when the writer makes assumptions that what we hear is accurate. I’ve learned a valuable lesson – to make no assumptions that gossip is correct, especially when there is no way to confirm the facts. My heartfelt apologies to all the family members and friends who read this inaccuracy in our post.

This morning, as soon as I discovered this inaccuracy via a few email messages, I removed the post, which is no longer available for viewing.

This lesson learned doesn’t fall on deaf ears here. In the future, I will proceed more cautiously when writing posts. This is the first time in over 12 years of posting that a story I’ve uploaded consisted of inaccuracies brought to my attention, especially one as serious as this.

You may ask, what would a travel-related site write such a story anyway? In essence, what happens where we are at any given time or anywhere we’ve been in the past in our world travels is relevant to our intended content. We always strive to be accurate and, above all, honest. There was no intent to be less than truthful in the post about Dean. I lacked fact-checking when no news was available, assuming what I heard to be true. I blame no one but myself.

Be well.

Photo from ten years ago today, April 27, 2014:

Moroccan women wear many elaborate beaded dresses on special occasions. For more photos, please click here.

Recycling old laptops…A pleasant day and evening with the sisters…Five days and counting…

Tom’s pork tenderloin sandwich on a bun with homemade potato chips, which he enjoyed.

As we wind down our time in Apache junction, Arizona, we’re wrapping up a few details before we take off in five days to head to California. An important task on our “to-do” list was to recycle two old laptops. We’d intended to do this while in Nevada, but time got away from us, and we didn’t have a rental car for a very long while in Lake Las Vegas, which prompted us to get this done while we were here.

Tom will take off to the recycling place in a short time and then head to Great Clips for a needed haircut. I will stay here while he goes on these errands and continues working on today’s post and other projects to prepare for leaving on May 1. We’ve yet to pack but will do so soon.

My chicken fajita salad was excellent, even without the tortilla chips, corn, rice, and beans.

Yesterday afternoon at 3:45, we picked up the sisters for an early dinner at a wonderful restaurant about 15 minutes from here, JJ Madison’s All American Grill. The sisters talked about the excellent pork tenderloin sandwiches, reminding them of a popular restaurant in Minneapolis, Tony Jaros, where they had the best pork tenderloin sandwiches in years past.

Tom, Rita, and Colleen ordered the sandwich, but although they liked it, it wasn’t as good as they’d hoped. Maybe when we get to Minnesota, we’ll head to Tony Jaros so he can have the pork tenderloin sandwich he remembers from his youth. But you know how that goes. Often, our expectations exceed reality, and the “old” flavors aren’t as good as we recall. Our taste buds may have changed over the years, and we remember the food being better than it was at the time.

Margie’s grilled Minnesota Walleye with tartar sauce, mashed potatoes and gravy, and sauteed vegetables. She said it was delicious.

Nonetheless, we had a nice lunch, and everyone enjoyed their meal and drinks, as shown in today’s photos. Tom had a Margarita, and I had one glass of Pinot Grigio while the sisters ordered their favorite drinks. The food was good, and the conversation was lively and animated.

When we returned to the RV park, we dropped off the sisters and headed back to our place to collect and return items we’d borrowed from the sisters while here and to pack items for the upcoming evening’s card playing. For the first time since we arrived, I finally won a game. A few days ago, I realized I was playing too conservatively ever to win a game. I changed my strategy and won a game. Whether we win or lose, it’s fun playing.

By 9:30 pm, we were back at our place and spent the next hour enjoying a delightful series to stream, recommended by our friends Marylin and Gary, whom we’ll soon see in Utah. The series “Anne with an E” on Netflix is utterly enchanting. We’re looking forward to watching more episodes, which we may be able to do at night in a hotel room, after dinner, or during our upcoming road trip.

This was Rita’s pork tenderloin with crispy French fries.

No, I haven’t heard a word from Cleveland Clinic. The scheduler/nurse originally stated it could be two to three weeks before I heard about an appointment. When my UPS-sent file was lost on April 2 and not found until April 8, I am assuming my three week waiting period began at that time. Thus, at the moment, it’s not quite three weeks. I have sent two email messages but haven’t got a response. I will call and check on the status if I don’t hear anything by Monday.

I’m assuming I don’t have priority scheduling since I’d be paying using Medicare and supplement benefits, compared to celebrity and wealthy patients worldwide who’d pay cash. That’s the reality of the world we live in. Money talks! But I will persist and hope nothing bad happens between now and when we arrive. I am still holding my own with only a few symptoms.

Tom just left for the recycling store and haircut while I continue to work on today’s post, interrupted only by my walking routine every ten minutes. At noon, I usually have the walking completed and can begin doing the yoga exercises I have been doing for the past two months.

That’s it for today, dear readers.

Be well.

Photo from ten years ago today, April 26, 2014:

Orange trees are often growing in the center courtyards of restaurants in Marrakesh, including where we dined, Arabe. For more photos, please click here.

Building memories…One week and counting….We’ll be on the move…

During daylight hours, the Bog Square in Marrakesh is less busy than in the evenings when all this open space is filled with food vendors.

Just like the time flew while we were in Lake Las Vegas, our one month in Apache Junction has passed quickly. Here we are today, only one week until departure, with plenty to do in the interim. I will not start packing this time until the last few days. Most items we must pack are within reach in this confined space, making packing quick and easy.

We plan to pack one suitcase with clothing and toiletries for California and the upcoming road trip to Milwaukee, and then we’ll be off to Minnesota to our hotel, where we can unpack. That one suitcase will contain enough clothing and supplies to last for approximately nine nights. This way, we won’t have to haul all the bags into the hotel room each night besides the one large bag and two carry-on bags, one with digital equipment and the other with medications.

Sure, we risk the bags being stolen from the car at night, but this time, we’ll get a vehicle with a regular trunk and park in a lighted area. Hopefully, we won’t have to worry when we’re staying in safe places.

Last night, I stayed at our place while Tom spent the evening with his family. I wanted some quiet time to relax these past few nights and haven’t joined them. They have plenty to talk about when they get together, sharing stories from their early years, many of which I’ve heard repeatedly. They do a lot of laughing, teasing, and reminiscing of years past. They all recall a wonderful upbringing and wonderful parents.

It’s funny how when my sisters and I got together while dear Susan was still alive, we tended to discuss our more recent lives, dreams, and hopes rather than tales of our childhood, which didn’t include many good memories. Over the years, we’ve encountered others who didn’t have ideal childhood experiences and those whose childhood memories were filled with fondness, love, and joyful experiences.

Of course, when we’re with our children, we share many funny stories and memories. It was sometimes stressful and challenging since Tom and I had children as teenagers. But, as we grew up and matured with our children, times improved.

We look forward to being in Minnesota and sharing more of those times with our adult children and grandchildren as we build more and more memories together.

Soon, when I see my sister Julie, a week from now in California, it will be the first time we’ve been together since Susan passed away during the pandemic. The three of us laughed and told stories about our relationships, not so much about our upbringing but about the humorous experiences we all had together as adults. I’m looking forward to seeing her.

The “cousins” reunion is set for the day before we begin our road trip on May 4. Again, we may not have many great childhood memories to share, but we will quickly be engaged in filling each other in on what has transpired in our lives since we last got together almost 60 years ago.

We don’t have much on the agenda today. I have some business-type calls to make and online tasks to do for our website. We’ll cook dinner on the grill late this afternoon and then head to see the sisters. Rita’s husband Tom, adult son John, granddaughter Lexi, and great-grandson Ryder left at 5:30 this morning. Colleen, Margie, and Rita remain in Apache Junction. Their sister Mary and husband Eugene left a week ago.

Perhaps we’ll play cards again later today since we haven’t done so over the past several days with everyone here. It will be fun to get back into Buck Euchre again.

We hope you have a fantastic day!

Be well.

Photo from ten years ago today, April 24, 2014:

The stones crumble in certain areas after hundreds of years of wear and tear. Overall, the souk is in excellent condition. For more photos, please click here.

Quotes about time…

The souk in Marrakesh was often packed with tourists and locals who were shopping for wares. The photo is blurry since Muslims don’t care to be photographed.

This morning, upon awakening, the most prevalent thought in my mind was to check my email to see if I had a message that would impact the next several months of our lives. After sending a few messages in the past week, it inspired me to look up quotes on “time.”

What struck me the most when reading these quotes on time was the last one on this list, “The two most powerful warriors are patience and time.” Right now, those words ring true in my mind every day as I wait to hear my heart surgery appointment. Nothing yet.

Here are some quotes about time:

  • “Time is more valuable than money. You can get more money, but you cannot get more time” — Jim Rohn
  • “You may delay, but time will not” — Benjamin Franklin
  • “Time is the most valuable thing a man can spend.”
  • “Time is the wisest counselor of all” — Pericles
  • “Punctuality is the thief of time” — Oscar Wilde
  • “I wasted time, and now doth time waste me” — William Shakespeare
  • “Better three hours too soon than a minute too late.”
  • “Lost time is never found again.”
  • “The two most powerful warriors are patience and time.”

I am trying to be patient. This waiting game may be easier if we had a home and could go about our everyday lives. But, knowing that in eight days, we’ll be on the move again, eventually ending in Minnesota, it would give us much peace of mind knowing the time frame going forward.

I mostly think about this situation in the mornings. Cleveland is three hours later than Arizona. By 2:00 pm here each day, I acknowledge I will not hear anything for the remainder of the day. Surely, the scheduling staff ends their workday around 5:00 pm.

We continue to enjoy our time in Arizona with Tom’s siblings. Tom’s nephew John arrived yesterday from Las Vegas with his daughter and granddaughter. We spent time with John, but Lexie and her toddler were swimming in the pool at the hotel where they are all staying until tomorrow when they leave with Tom’s sister Rita’s husband, Tom.

John is going to drive his dad, Tom, back to South Dakota in a few days after a stop in Las Vegas. Rita will be leaving on Saturday, and we’re leaving on Wednesday next week. Colleen and Margie are leaving on May 6. It will be extremely quiet in Robert’s Resort in the next few weeks, with 90% of the snowbirds having left to return to their homes in other parts of the US and Canada.

There are no big plans on the horizon for today. Tom and I will have dinner here tonight after skipping dinner last night after snacking at Colleen’s place after we returned from “Taco Tuesday on Monday” at the local VFW. We ended up having a good time at the VFW, staying from shortly after noon until 3:00 pm.

Yesterday, the high temperature was 96F and today will be a high of 90F. Summer is fast approaching when the weather is unbearable, reaching temps as high as 120F. Fortunately, like Las Vegas, the humidity is extremely low in the desert, making these high temperatures less intolerable than in Africa in the summer.

Today, water in the park is being turned off for maintenance. We don’t drink the tap water, but I made sure to get up early enough to take a shower and get ready for the day. We filled a bucket of water and placed it on the shower floor to flush the toilet. We have no idea when the water will be turned back on.

That’s it for today, dear readers. We’ll be back tomorrow with more.

Be well.

Photo from ten years ago today, April 23, 2014:

As we exited a restaurant in Marrakesh, these beautiful fresh roses were on a side table. For more photos, please click here.

Taco Monday here in Apache Junction…Adapting to varying environments…New recipe…More family coming to the park…

We never figured out why all these scarves were on this metal fence in Morocco. Were they here to be used by visitors who failed to observe local customs?

It looks like we’re all going to the VFW today for Taco Tuesday, which is held on Mondays in Apache Junction. Its somewhat of a funny experience for me, going to a VFW for a meal. I’d never been to a VFW until I met Tom. We always laugh about how I’d never been to a party in a garage or a bowling alley until I met him. Our lives were different from one another.

But, over the almost 33 years we’ve been together, we’ve adapted to one another’s differences and preferences, and our relationship has flourished in many environments. Perhaps, in a way, that prepared us for traveling the world together based on the fact we adapted so well to varying environments.

Whether we’ve stayed in a tented camp in the bush, a luxury hotel, a tiny cruise cabin, a riad in Morocco, or here in a park model in an RV park, we’ve adapted so well. No, we wouldn’t necessarily want to live permanently in any of these scenarios, but while we do, we both make the very best of it.

Typically, neither of us complains about the nuances or circumstances in a new environment. As we learned from the beginning, we both have the capability and desire to embrace wherever we go. The exception to that was most recently in Ecuador when I had so much Afib, and we stayed in that oddball gated community so far from everything. I bet I complained at least once a day and had difficulty getting the weird aspects out of my mind.

But that is all behind us now, and we enjoy every moment of each day. Knowing what’s ahead for me puts a little damper on it. I don’t bring it up to Tom very often in an attempt to keep an upbeat attitude between us while we wait to hear about the appointment. Luckily, if I need to whine or discuss it, I can easily reach out to my family and friends. Also, we’ve received countless emails of support and love from numerous readers worldwide


Yesterday afternoon, we brought the tuna patties, dipping sauce, and salad to Colleen’s, where we all had a nice dinner. Following is the recipe for the easy-to-make tuna patties. They were delicious, and I had all the ingredients to make this easy recipe. See the recipe below:

Keto Tuna Melt Patties


  • 2 large eggs
  • 50 grams onion ½ small onion, chopped
  • 10 oz canned tuna 2 cans well-drained
  • 1 cup shredded cheese 120 grams, Gouda or cheddar
  • 4 oz cream cheese 113 grams, softened


  • Preheat oven to 400 ℉ (205 ℃). Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper and spray or brush with oil.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together eggs. Stir in chopped onions, shredded cheese, well-drained canned tuna, and softened cream cheese. Stir until all ingredients are well combined.
  • Take a handful of the mixture and shape it into a patty. Place on prepared baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining mixture. This recipe makes about 9 patties.
  • Bake for 10 minutes in a preheated oven. Remove the baking sheet from the oven and flip the patties over. (If patties are still too soft to be flipped over, bake for a few more minutes). Bake for about 5 more minutes, until patties look golden brown.


Serving: 1 patty Calories 126, Carbohydrates: 2g, Protein11g, Fat 8g, Fiber 0.1g, Sugar: 1g
 I made a double batch, which was plenty for six people, with a large salad. The double recipe made 20 patties. Next time I will make a double batch again for just the two of us so we’ll have leftovers for the next meal.
Today, Tom’s sister Rita and husband Tom have more family coming to visit, including their adult son and adult granddaughter, along with her toddler son. It will be interesting to see how well all nine of us fit in Colleen’s kitchen. I don’t know if we’ll still play cards, but time will tell. Hopefully, all of us will be going for “Taco Tuesday on Monday” at the VFW today to get at least one meal taken care of.
Be well.

Photo from ten years ago today, April 22, 2014

Our photo from January 2014, when we visited the Moholoholo Rehabilitation Centre in Hoedspruit, South Africa, is a day we’ll never forget. For more photos, please click here.

Dinner out with family at a fun restaurant…Food photos…Cooking for family today…

Tom enjoyed his Reuben sandwich with onion rings.

It was a lovely afternoon. The family wanted to leave for Fat Willie’s for dinner at 3:00 pm. That was a little early for us, but Tom hadn’t eaten anything all day, and I’d only had Greek yogurt with berries early in the morning, so it all worked out well. Plus, it was “happy hour,” and drinks were mostly $5 or less. Tom ordered a beer, and I had one small glass of Pinot Grigio.

We were surprised when our bill was only $56.78 with tax and tip (the service was excellent). That was the lowest bill we’ve had dining out since we arrived in the US in December. We will return to Fat Willie’s at least once more before leaving Apache Junction in ten days.

My steak salad at Fat Willy’s. It was delicious!

When we returned to the park model, we relaxed for a while, then decided to stay in for the remainder of the evening. We watched a good show, A Gentleman in Moscow (on Showtime), which entertained us throughout the evening. Finally, I headed to bed around 10:00 pm. The night’s sleep was excellent, and I awoke feeling rested and ready to start the day.

I deliberated over what food to bring to Collen’s late this afternoon and decided on making a recipe I found online, Keto Tuna Melt Patties. If the recipe is good, I’ll post it tomorrow. It was easy to make. I put together all of the ingredients in a bowl with a lid and place it in the refrigerator. Before we head over, I’ll bake the patties in the oven and toss the already-prepped salad with homemade dressing. While the patties are baking, I’ll make a mustard dipping sauce.

Colleen and Margie each ordered the Berry Chicken Salad. They both loved it.

Later today, Tom will head to Colleen’s home to pick up uncooked ground beef that he’ll cook on the gas grill, another item for the afternoon meal. As Colleen and Margie approach their departure date, they try using their frozen and perishable food. We are doing the same with many ingredients still in the refrigerator. We’ll only grocery shop for a few needed items here and there as time approaches for our departure.

As for the rest of today, we don’t have any plans until we leave for Colleen’s around 3:30. Tom is working on his new laptop, content with the set-up and the new device. We’ve already watched CBS Sunday morning, and I am halfway through my daily walking.

Rita ordered this “small” pizza, comparable to a medium pizza.

In about an hour, I’ll do the yoga exercise I’ve done daily for almost two months while also walking. On the days I wasn’t feeling well, I still did the exercises, not wanting to miss a beat. The walking hasn’t improved much, but I’m noticing some added strength in my arms and legs.

Yesterday, I got an email from my sister Julie. She’s been able to coordinate a “cousins reunion” for our last day before departure in Los Angeles. We’re meeting at their favorite restaurant in Los Alamitos for lunch on May 3. It will be exciting to see my cousins after so many years. As mentioned, I am the matriarch of that side of the family. When I think of matriarchs, I can’t help but think of elephants we’ve often enjoyed, seeing the matriarchs in Kruger National Park helping their herd cross the road.

Brother-in-law Tom ordered potato skins, taking three in a doggie bag.

Of course, I am disappointed we won’t be going to South Africa in June. At this point, I have no idea when we’ll get there, but hopefully, no later than next April, May, or June 2025. It all depends on when I have the surgery in Cleveland.

That’s it for today, folks. Have a lovely Sunday!

Be well.

Photo from ten years ago today, April 21, 2014:

That’s our laundry on the clothesline, which Madame Zahra washed every few days. For more photos, please click here.

No word yet…Our lives of travel are still up in the air…

A monument in the Atlas Mountains, Morocco, where we stopped to take photos.

Although, a few days ago, I left Tina at Cleveland Clinic a message (by email), informing her that I’ve had two bouts of Afib this week and need an appointment as soon as possible, I never heard back. I know how busy they are with patients and many celebrities coming from all over the world for heart surgeries; I have to accept the reality that my name is not at the top of the list.

I’ve read online about the long wait many patients experience trying to get appointments at many of the US’s foremost and best heart surgery facilities. I would do something else if I felt my situation was an emergency. But I don’t believe it is right now. I can walk, albeit with some limitations; I’m not out of breath, my feet and legs aren’t swollen, and I have no chest pains, all of which are symptoms of what would be considered an “emergency.”

In the interim, I’ve listened to several videos from the heart clinic at CC and was all the more convinced this is where I need to go. I will wait. I feel confident I am on “the list” and will be notified when a spot is available. I am not stressing about this but merely looking forward to being able to plan for the next six months. Moreover, in my impatient manner, I prefer to know what the future holds regarding our travels and, now, my health.

It seems the only time I think much about it is in the mornings when I check my email after showering, dressing for the day, and starting up my laptop. However, this is the weekend, and their offices are closed on the weekend, and the reps/nurses handling the bookings are off on the weekend. Maybe I’ll hear next week.

In any case, we’re leaving Arizona in 11 days, on May 1, to drive to Los Angeles to see my sister Julie for a few days. Yesterday, she and I texted, and it looks like she is arranging lunch at a restaurant with our cousins, most of whom I haven’t seen in almost 60 years. Wow! How can any experience be 60 years ago? That certainly can make a person think about how old they are!

I wouldn’t recognize my cousins if I bumped into them, nor have I stayed in touch all these years, but it sounds as if they are interested in seeing us. It should be fun but far from our Santa Monica hotel. It’s 39 miles, which in the Los Angeles area can easily be a 90-minute trip each way in traffic, one of the reasons I don’t like going to California.

This morning, I scheduled a time to speak with my dear friend Karen, who lives in Florida. We’ve seen her and her husband, Rich, many times since we began traveling years ago. As with many dear friends, our relationships have endured over time and distance. How fortunate we both are with the many friendships we’ve made before and after we began traveling.

After talking to my friend, Tom and I will head to the supermarket, this time Safeway, to buy a few items we need. The rest of my day will consist of doing exercises, including walking. Even though I didn’t feel well for a few days, I continued to exercise, knowing it is the best thing I could do, in moderation, while waiting for treatment.

We’re going out for dinner for the first time since we arrived on April 1. It’s been fun staying with the family and snacking on the munchy spreads Colleen sets up most nights at her place. On a few occasions, we brought a full dinner I’ve made and brought ham and cheese on other nights for snacking.

It will be good to get out one night. Hopefully, everyone will join us, but if they don’t feel up to going out, we’ll go on our own and meet up with them later to play cards again. The past two nights, I didn’t leave our place; instead, I put on my pajamas and relaxed in the living room, mindlessly streaming a few movies. I am ready to get out tonight.

It’s time to get back to walking. Have a lovely weekend.

Be well.

Photo from ten years ago today, April 20, 2014:

In Marrakesh, we spotted five stray cats hanging around this motorbike. The lanterns were for sale. For more photos, please click here.