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

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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

INGREDIENTS

  • 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

INSTRUCTIONS

  • 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.

NUTRITION

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.

Better today….Thanks for all the well wishes!…

Many stairways in some countries are uneven stone steps and dangerous. This was the stairs to access the third floor in the riad in Marrakesh.

After a good night’s sleep without Afib, I feel better today. We stayed in last night but will most likely join the family tonight after we have an early dinner. Our homemade taco salads were delicious, and it was good to stay in and relax while streaming a few shows on my laptop.

Tired at only 9:00 pm, I drifted off to bed, replying to emails from our dear readers and watching a few YouTube videos. It’s relaxing to watch funny animal videos before drifting off to sleep. “They” say to put down digital devices before bed, but I haven’t noticed any difference in the time I fall asleep and the quality of my sleep when I spend time on my phone. Actually, I find it helps me get sleepy in the same manner as watching a movie before bed.

The only tricky part while in the smallish bed is dropping my phone when I start nodding off. The bed is too small to prop it up on an extra pillow or a bunching of blankets. I get startled when I drop the phone, which can wake me up, making falling back asleep more time-consuming.

I’ve tried, over and over again, to break the habit of streaming videos and reading news when I go to bed. However hard it may be, and however hard I may try, I can’t get to sleep without it. If I awaken during the night, generally, I’ll fall back to sleep these days without looking at the phone since I changed my sleep schedule. It’s working, and overall, I am getting enough sleep.

Sleep is nearly impossible when experiencing an Afib event, regardless of how tired I may be. It’s unsettling when one’s heart is racing at an irregular pace. But, last night, I was free of it, and sleep came easily.

This morning at 7:00 am, I bolted out of bed, anxious to get showered and dressed to get to the laundry room and start the laundry. Now, as I sit on the sofa with one-third of my daily walking completed, I am ready to tackle the remainder of the day. It’s warm and sunny in Apache Junction, and we look forward to a pleasant day.

Soon, we need to start thinking about packing again, with only 12 days until we leave for California. This morning, we discussed using one suitcase for all our clothes and toiletries while in California and for the upcoming four or five-day road trip. After we visit Utah to see Marylin and Gary for dinner, we’ve decided we’ll head to Milwaukee to see Tom’s sister, Betty, at the nursing home for retired nuns.

This way, we won’t have to unpack at the Minneapolis hotel and then repack to another hotel in Milwaukee. Also, paying for hotel rooms simultaneously in two cities makes no sense. We’ll spend one or two nights in Milwaukee and then drive about a 6½ hour drive to Minnesota. We’ll most likely arrive in Minnesota around May 10th or 11th.

It’s kind of fun anticipating the upcoming road trips. With no tight schedule at this point, traveling is pleasant and stress-free. With room for our bags in the rental car, we avoid the hassle and expense of flying from location to location. We’ll enjoy stopping each evening for the night while dining at good nearby restaurants.

We won’t book hotels until we’re on the road, deciding where to stop for the night based on how much further we want to drive each day. We may only drive six to eight hours daily without a strict schedule. We love having such freedom.

That’s it for today, dear readers.

Be well.

Photo from ten years ago today, April 19, 2014:

My dinner at a restaurant in the souk was a mixed grill with an extra side of veggies. For more photos, please click here.

Bad night…Afib returned…Not much sleep…

There were several bird cages with parakeets in the restaurant in Marrakesh.

Last night, Tom dropped me back at our place around 7:00 pm after spending the late afternoon at Colleen’s place. Something wasn’t quite right with me, but I didn’t want to say anything in front of the eight of us while playing cards and socializing. Once back here, I changed into my pajamas and settled down to watch American Idol.

Within about 40 minutes of settling in, I felt the Afib hit. I did an ECG on my Fitbit, and it indicated atrial fibrillation. I did every technique possible but couldn’t get it to stop. It felt awful, as always. A few nights ago, the same thing happened when Tom and I were streaming a show at about the same time in the evening as last night. It took about two hours to return to normal sinus rhythm.

Last night, it lasted for about five hours. At 9:00 pm, I took my usual dose of Afib medication, and then around three hours later, it kicked in and stopped. I never called Tom to return to be with me. I know it’s very frustrating for him when he can’t do anything to help me. So, I kept it to myself until he returned about 12:30 am. By then, it had stopped, and I was anxious to sleep.

We’d planned to do laundry this morning, but I didn’t have the strength to sort the clothes and ride in the car to the laundry room. Tom always does all the lifting and putting the clothes into the washers and dryers. But I was too weak to fold the clothes. We’ll do it another day.

After moving around this morning and chopping ingredients for tonight’s taco salad, I feel better but not quite well enough to walk today or do my usual yoga exercises. Tom cooked the ground beef for the taco salad, and all I had to do was chop onions, celery, lettuce, and tomatoes.

I seasoned the meat, and it’s now in the refrigerator to be reheated at dinnertime. It looks like we’ll be staying in tonight. Today, Tom will drop Mary and Eugene at the airport in Mesa and return here for dinner. I’ve insisted he can go if he wants to return to Colleen’s home after dinner around 5:00 pm. But he sounds determined to stay with me.

Last night, I sent a message to scheduling nurse Tina at Cleveland Clinic, asking if she could speed up getting us an appointment date. Having this Afib is indicative that my failing valves are worsening, a sure sign that something must be done before too long.

Cleveland Clinic has the highest survival rate in the US. I am committed to going there instead of any other facility in the country. Sure, there are many good heart clinics in the US, and if it becomes an emergency, I may have to choose another clinic, but right now, I am willing to wait.

I don’t have any of the urgent symptoms indicating surgery must be done immediately: swollen ankles, breathing issues, chest pain, or other angina, although Afib is a known symptom for many patients. I think I can wait a little longer. They’ve seen my reports and surely would get me in sooner if they felt it was urgent. At least, I hope so.

Emotionally, I am fine, although I check my phone each time I hear the email notification ping. We plan to continue our US travels, leaving Arizona on May 1. It’s still 13 nights until we depart Arizona. If anything worsens, we’ll go to emergency at one of Cleveland Clinics’ associated hospitals in Arizona.

Otherwise, today’s weather is beautiful with a high of 88F and sunny skies. We use the aircon at night but turn it off in the morning and open the screened sliding door for fresh air. A few minutes ago, almost at noon, Tom turned it back on when it started getting very warm here. Park models can get hot quickly, but the excellent whole-house aircon units cool it down in minutes. Whenever we leave the unit, we turn it off.

I will try a little walking now and see how that goes. We hope all is well your way.

Be well.

Photo from ten years ago today, April 18, 2014:

in Marrakesh, a complimentary bowl of spicy olives is served at Arabe restaurant. For more photos, please click here.

Quiet in Robert’s Resort as “snowbirds” leave for the summer…Who are these people?

We walked quite a distance to this restaurant in Marrakesh for lunch instead of dinner since it was safer to walk during the day. Tom was reading something on the wall as we sat on a banquette. The food was fantastic.

We often wonder about snowbirds who head south or to other locations during the winter months to escape snow and cold weather in northern locations throughout the world. This phenomenon is not exclusive to retirees when many jobs are mobile and can be performed from anywhere in the world if the still-working snowbirds can afford the cost of having two homes or more.

Many retired snowbirds have paid off their homes and only have the expenses of property taxes, maintenance in their absence, and utilities, making it more affordable to head to a warmer climate during the winter months. See below.

Average temperatures in summer in Arizona
Month Average high Average low
June 106°F 73°F
July 108°F 81°F
August 106°F 81°F
September 100°F 75°F

We’ve especially observed this here in Arizona, as we see not only the family returning to Minnesota in the next three weeks but also the fact that many of the residents of Robert’s Resort have already left to return to homes in the US, Canada, and other locations. Few residents of this RV park stay behind during the heat of Arizona summers, running  as high as

In searching online for statistics to share, I found the following from this site:

“The Migratory Processes of Snowbirds: Where They Come From and End Up

Snowbird Travelers: America’s Seasonal Flock

Each year, flocks of “snowbirds” travel cross-country in search of warmth and respite from cold winter temperatures. These snowbirds, however, are not actual birds of a feather; rather, snowbirds are people who identify as seasonal travelers.

So, who are these snowbirds, where do they come from, and where do they end up? Read on to learn about the migratory patterns of our nation’s seasonal travelers.

Snowbird Origins

The origins of the term “snowbird” do, in fact, tie to a species: the Dark-eyed Junco bird. But in 1923, the word “snowbird” was coined to describe droves of seasonal workers who moved south in the winter in search of additional work and income. Today, these snowbirds and seasonal travelers are largely retirees who migrate annually to warmer climates during the year’s winter months.

Snowbird Demographics: Who Are These Travelers?

The snowbird population consists primarily of baby boomers, adults born in the years following World War II. With the majority of snowbirds between the ages of 50 and 70, this generation is well-educated, financially secure, and active — a solid foundation for the snowbird lifestyle of adventure and migration.

Another snowbird demographic: many are Canadians. While most snowbirds alternate between two destinations within the United States, about 10% of snowbirds reside permanently outside of the United States. Nearly 80% of the international snowbirds actually come from Canada.

Migratory Patterns: Where Are All These Snowbirds Headed?

Despite common beliefs that all snowbirds flock to sunny Florida, snowbirds actually settle all over the United States. Migratory patterns resolve in places including Las Vegas, California, and Hawaii. However, snowbirds do tend to follow two primary trajectories: west coast birds fly to Arizona, and east coast birds sail on towards Florida.

New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania residents escape cold winters by spending three to six months of the year in Florida. Towns like New Smyrna Beach, Florida’s Secret Pearl, is an affordable snowbird destination along Florida’s artsy east coast. Luxurious lakefront homes in New Smyrna, such as this one, are drawing snowbirds with price tags around the $300,000 range.

Upper-left US residents are primarily drawn to Arizona. Tucson, in particular, attracts a large snowbird population each year. Sited at a lower elevation in comparison to other Arizona towns, Tucson boasts warmer (and more predictable) winter temperatures. With a mix of RV parks, long-term condominium rentals, and fully furnished homes, Tucson offers snowbirds a warm respite that balances urban and rural life.

What Drives Snowbird Flight?

Aside from the advantageous weather situation, what draws snowbirds away from their primary homes and established routines? The snowbird lifestyle is more than just a retirement hobby; snowbird living centers on practicality.

As people age, winter weather conditions pose serious concerns: a slip on the ice becomes highly dangerous; maintaining a clear path to a front door in several feet of snow is too straining; and the low-temperature limits outdoor lifestyle and health routines like walking and bike riding. By migrating to a warmer climate, snowbirds avoid harsh winter climates and seek environments where they can avoid injuries and maintain healthy habits.

The community also drives snowbirds to their warmer homes. Early snowbirds often start as vacationers, but most eventually evolve into flocks. Established groups of friends and family band together and find communities with similar ethnic, cultural, or religious groups existing within many snowbird communities. Snowbirds are, in fact, continuing to build life with one another.

Dispelling Snowbird Myths

Younger generations of established community groups may see snowbirds as disruptions to the local economy, as mere tourists, or as another form of inconvenience. But it’s time to dispel these myths.

Snowbirds are trying new places on a whim: Wrong. Visits turn into established patterns, and each visit requires careful planning and thought: winterizing your primary home, packing and securing insurance documents, resisting a change of address, ordering long-term medications… the list goes on!

Snowbirds are burdens on the local economy: False. If anything, snowbirds are major contributors to the local economy. Look at Palm Beach County as an example: in addition to the county’s standing 1,335,415 residents, annual snowbirds bring an additional 143,837 residents with an estimated financial impact in the billions.

Snowbirds, Take Flight!

Whether or not you’re in a stage of life where being a snowbird is a realistic pattern for you, snowbird migration offers health, community, and economic benefits to people and areas across the country. Is snowbird migration in your future? Visit a warmer state this winter, listen to those who have made the journey, and who knows, before you know it, homes.com could help you find your winter home.”

There’s no doubt that had we not traveled the world, we surely would have become snowbirds. There was no way we would have been interested in staying in Minnesota during the winter months when the temperatures can get as low as -20F, with many feet of snow covering the ground at any given time. Summers can be hot and humid with vast amounts of mosquitoes.

What brings snowbirds back to states like Minnesota when the summers aren’t ideal either? Mainly to be with family and also to enjoy outdoor activities, especially because Minnesota has over 14,000 lakes, drawing many people to partake in fishing, hunting, boating, and other outdoor adventures.

In any case, we love the life we’ve been living over the past 11½ years, and hopefully, we’ll be able to continue traveling in times to come.

Be well.

Photo from ten years ago today, April 17, 2014:

Tom was getting his haircut in the barbershop in the souk in Marrakesh, Morocco. For more photos, please click here.

Tom’s new laptop is ready to use…Another fun evening of playing cards…

It was pleasant to see so many flowers blooming in the desert.

Tom’s laptop is done. Since he didn’t want to carry over “junk” from his last laptop, I loaded every item separately without using Google’s transfer tool. Over the years, he decided he didn’t want to keep many old and useless files that invariably get carried over using any transfer tool.

That’s why I took so long to give him a clean start. He wanted to save some items, but they are on two clouds, Dropbox and Google Drive. This way, his Windows desktop is uncluttered and easy to manage with a fresh start. This allows his device to operate more efficiently and gives him ease of use.

Overall, it took me about eight hours to complete the process while he helped by sending links to website pages he uses regularly. Now, as needed, he can add folders that will automatically save on Google Drive.

Windows includes a browser that neither of us cares to use, Microsoft Edge. Removing this browser from the laptop is difficult when we prefer to use Google Chrome. Microsoft has made it nearly impossible to eliminate Edge, so we make Google Chrome the default browser. At times, Edge seems to pop up. It’s Microsoft’s way of ensuring its Windows users also use their browser to make more money.

Undoubtedly, Google Chrome is a money maker for Google, but since we can choose our preferred browser, we operate with the one we like, regardless of who’s making money from our use. All browsers are money-makers for companies. Who are we to complain when we also have advertisers on our site? It’s the nature of the beast. We’re “small potatoes” in the realm of things.

We don’t make much from our ads on our site and YouTube. Why? We haven’t promoted our advertisers since that’s a job we didn’t want to include in our life of world travels. Nor did we hound our readers to use the links on our site. However, we kindly ask that you consider using some of our advertisers when making purchases.

By using our advertisers, we make enough money to cover the costs associated with the operation and management of our website. The links have the same products and services as you’d find if you go directly to the sites from your browser. It costs you no more, and small amounts of revenue are sent our way to cover our costs. Thank you to our readers who use our advertisers! It’s so appreciated!

Last night, we sliced some ham and cheese and brought it to Colleen’s unit for snacking while playing cards. Tom had gone to lunch and wasn’t ready to eat a full dinner before we headed to her place. I had nibbled on a few healthy items during the day and was fine without making dinner.

Today, I’m bringing a huge batch of chicken salad and a green salad to one of the sister’s park model when we gather again this afternoon. Another family member, brother-in-law Tom (Rita’s husband), arrived late last night. Now, there are eight of us for the next few days until Mary and Eugene head back to Minnesota for a funeral, where they’ll stay for the summer, returning to Apache Junction late next fall.

We don’t know how they can keep up two houses, as many retirees do, to get away from cold winter weather up north and other areas in the US with inclement weather in the winter months. We love not having the upkeep on one house, let alone two or more. It provides us with so much freedom.

Have a great Tuesday!

Be well.

Photo from ten years ago today, April 16, 2014:

At the Terrasses des Espices Restaurant in Morocco, we were served this black olive Tapenade, which I could eat along with a basket of bread for Tom. Notice the ashtray on the table. Smoking is allowed in restaurants. For more photos, please click here.

Halfway through our time in Arizona…Original plans changed…Tax Day in the US!…

A view from a second story in the souk in The Medina, The Big Square in Marrakesh, Morocco.

When we realized today is April 15, tax filing day in the US, Tom commented on how we are halfway through our time in Apache Junction, Arizona. Initially, we planned to stay two weeks longer, although we only paid for April in advance. We figured we could easily add two weeks to our rental agreement if necessary, with the weather heating up resulting in fewer renters staying in the RV park.

Knowing we were waiting to hear from Cleveland Clinic for my soon-to-be-arranged appointment, we decided to move along more quickly. With Tom’s sister Rita here now for the next two weeks, we wouldn’t go to South Dakota, which we intended to do to visit her on our way to Minnesota.

Thus, once we leave California to see my sister Julie for three nights, we’ll head to Utah to see Marylin and Gary for lunch or dinner and then get back on the road to Milwaukee to see Tom’s sister Betty in Milwaukee, in a medically assisted retirement home for nuns, staying only one night and then make our way to Minnesota the following day. Most likely, we’ll arrive in Minnesota around May 10.

Our hotel reservation in Minnesota begins on May 23, based on our original plan to arrive later, but we won’t worry about that. We can easily book the added days we’ll need. at either end, depending on my Cleveland Clinic appointment date.

This morning, we’re busy making chicken salad with leftover chicken I’d frozen a few days ago when making the dish to share with the family for Saturday night. Since we have no idea when we’ll get together with everyone, chicken salad is an easy meal to have on hand, with no additional preparation necessary other than to add a lettuce salad, if desired.

There’s a fabulous microwave here with excellent settings for defrosting frozen meats. In no time at all, the chicken cubes were defrosted. Meanwhile, Tom is busy peeling the hard-boiled eggs for the chicken salad. Once he’s out of the way in the kitchen, I will chop the onions and celery to go into the chicken with the diced hard-boiled eggs and also make a green salad to go with it.

With our Boost grocery delivery service contract (from Las Vegas, also used here) ending on April 19, I am putting together our last online grocery order. We’ll head to Fry’s Market to shop when we need more groceries. All we have left in the freezer is ground beef, for which we’ll make taco salads, enough for three dinners, and a small turkey breast roast, enough for two dinners.

With all the upcoming planned meals, we have enough to get us to April 23, with only one more week to prepare meals. It will be easy going forward to plan simple meals using the ingredients we have on hand.

We’ll have lightened our load when we leave here in 16 days. Soon, we’ll drop off the two old laptops at a recycling center in Apache Junction, and we will eliminate one of our suitcases, which has broken wheels and won’t be necessary going forward. Traveling on the road for the next several months by car makes traveling much more accessible.

Since we stay in holiday homes or hotels anyway, those we book on the road trip won’t be an extra expense, nor will dining out at the end of each day. The only additional charge we’ll incur on the road trip is the fuel for the rental car and the rental car, although, in most locations, we’ll have a rental car anyway. Even with the high fuel cost, we’ll still be ahead when we won’t incur expenses for flights and baggage.

That’s it for today, folks.

Be well.

Photo from ten years ago today, April 15, 2014:

Dining on the rooftop, we spotted this familiar Minaret Tower. For more photos, please click here.

Rushing through today’s post…Much to do…

Ancient buildings, as seen from the rooftop of a restaurant in Marrakesh, Morocco, in 2014.

Today is the day to set up Tom’s new device. I’ll start the process as soon as I finish today’s post. Since his old laptop is a Chromebook with everything on the drive, it will be easy to do but will require some time with all the apps he uses, which I’ll have to add one at a time. With his new device, he will be returning to using Windows, which we both prefer.

We wanted to watch the Masters Golf Tournament, ending today, but we would have had to sign up for Showtime. on the Roku TV, a service we aren’t interested in paying $11.95 a month as an add-on to Paramount+, which we already have. We’ve already used all the 7-day free trials they allow, and at this late point in the golf tournament, it’s not worth committing to another streaming service.

Also, we were curious to see if Tiger Woods had a chance, but we’ve heard his chances are non-existent at this point. I feel bad for him after his injury, which resulted in him struggling to maintain his standings in tournaments. But the guy amazes us with his determination to continue. Tom suggested he’s being paid substantial sums to play, although he’s not likely to win when he draws such huge crowds, which may be the case.

Speaking of sports, which I apologize for mentioning since it has nothing to do with world travel, except for the fact that we encounter enthusiasm in most countries over soccer, rugby, football, tennis, and more, especially in South Africa, where most of the population are major sports fans. It’s fun to see their excitement over games and playoffs.

While we’re on the subject of playoffs, my favorite sports team, the Las Vegas Golden Knight hockey team, last year’s winners of the coveted Stanley Cup, has made it into the playoffs, which begins on Monday, April 22. I signed up for their app, and we can stream all of the games while we’re here and when we get to Minnesota. The hockey league’s playoffs last for quite a while.

As for the rest for today, we’ll most likely stay in today and tonight. Last evening, when we brought dinner and salad to Colleen’s, seven of us had a good time, ending in more time playing Buck Euchre. By 9:30, I was ready to return to the park model and hunker down for the night.

I sat in the living room for a few hours, streaming a few shows until I finally needed to sleep. I heard Tom return around 2:30 am. He crawled into bed a short time later and slept until around 8:00 am. I am happy he’s enjoying quality time with his sisters, reminiscing about their childhood and youth.

I’ve heard their stories many times in the past since I’ve been around for almost 33 years, but it’s fun to see how animated and lively they become sharing their history. The voices and laughing are loud and playful, always interspersed with teasing and laughter. It’s fun to see.

I saved a pan of last night’s dinner for us for tonight’s dinner. All I have to do is make a salad to go with it. So far, this morning, I’ve done half of my daily walking and will soon do the yoga exercises for the day. It’s been easy for me to commit to this daily schedule, knowing how important it is for my health as I prepare for what’s coming down the road.

Enjoy your Sunday, and be well.

Photo from ten years ago today, April 14, 2014:

The handmade wares the locals offer are a common sight along a highway in the Atlas Mountains, Morocco. For more photos, please click here.