Tuesday, March 31, 2009

3/31/2009 Another Friend Leaves...

This morning at a little before nine we were all gathered at Bob and Karen Fischer's place. They were all hooked up and ready to go when we got there.


They are there way home to California where we'll meet up with them again next month.

I hate this part. I hate the so long's and the empty spaces their rigs leave. We have quite a few empty spaces after this weekend. It was like a mass exodus out of here.

Too soon it was time for personal goodbyes. Karen says goodbye to Lyle. I don't know how she manages to look so happy, this is a sad time for the rest of us.


Diane took her departure especially hard as these two are great friends. She was all smiles here Karen but as soon as you guys pulled away the tears flowed!


At this point all we can do is look forward to next fall. It seems so far away but I know it will be here again before we know it.

Safe travels my friends.

Monday, March 30, 2009

3/30/2009 A Domino Day!

Bob spent the day puttering around the house, getting things marked off his humongous to do list!

I, on the other hand, played today. Well, that's not exactly true. I did go and get the laundry caught up.


This afternoon I played domino's with the girls for the first time. Six of us met at Kathy's, new to her, park model. Kathy, you've heard me mention her before. The park lush...the one who needs two glasses at all times. Note to Kathy: You'll never live this one down!


This is the first time I ever played domino's and I found I like it! We played something called Mexican Train.


Now I don't know where the train part comes in because our playing pieces were TURTLES!


Now, my friend Bonnie just hasn't learned that I carry a camera most of the time and that everything is fair game for this blog. Sorry girlfriend, you asked for it!



I bet she doesn't do that again!

Next year we'll take turns at each other's places and play domino's on Monday afternoons. I'm really looking forward to that! A trip to the liquor store will be in order because they went through 3 bottles of wine this afternoon. Kathy provided snacks and Karen brought fresh pineapple wedges. Maybe I'll take up drinking. After all, I've quit smoking, a girl has to have some kind of vice!

For dinner we continued the Domino Day and ordered pizza from none other than Domino's. Well, I had pizza, Bob ordered two chicken parmesan sandwiches.


This evening brought TV and Dancing With the Stars. Some of those dancers just have to go!

Sunday, March 29, 2009

3/29/2009 A Real Do NOTHING Day

Oh, the party-ing is catching up with us! I don't think Bob got out of his chair once today! I didn't do much more! We both laid low, in fact, we didn't see many out and about today come to think of it.

Everyone needs a day like this once in awhile.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

3/28/2009 Our Street's Farewell Party

This afternoon we had our farewell party for our street, for Monday they start pulling out. Now that isn't to say that some haven't left, that isn't the case at all. The Miller's left early this month and we have some who were only here a month or so come and go.

Somehow all the guys seemed to get at one end of the lot.....


....and the women ended up on the other side.


Another day and another array of delicious food. It's a good thing we don't have these get together's every week or we'd all weigh 300 pounds! There isn't a day goes by during the last two weeks of March that the words, "I'm glad I'm going home because I'm gaining weight" aren't uttered.

We had a birthday to celebrate today too. Janet celebrated her birthday today and we all had pie with whipped cream and of course sang the Happy Birthday song for her.


I took a walk around the pool area today to get some pictures of the flowers that are blooming or are about to.



I caught this little bee pollinating for all it was worth!


We took more stuff to the park model today. We're going to have to clean the park model out before we can move in next fall at this rate!

Friday, March 27, 2009

3/27/2009 It's Official,,,We're Bunky Groupies

More cleaning out took place today. The bedroom is almost done now and then I can start the bathroom closet. I'm sure we've offloaded hundreds of pounds of stuff. If not, it sure seems like it with all that is out of here.

We'll get the rig weighed before we leave here and we can compare it to the last time we had it weighed to see how much our cleaning out helped. If it didn't help all that much weight wise at least I can find things now and I'm doing without a lot less unnecessary junk!

The parties have started big time now. Several end of season parties are taking place each day. We attended one this afternoon at our friends Bob and Karen Fischer. I think I've already mentioned that we'll see them in California in May.

The park is really starting to empty out now as you can see in this picture by how far away the next rig is.


See the guy with red visor? That isn't his hair, its part of the visor! He's a bald as newborn baby's bottom. I had to look at him several times this afternoon before I figured out who it was.


Once again we had the best food! I swear we've got some good cooks in this park.

Here's my friend Kathy, better known as the park lush. She's a two fisted drinker, one glass isn't enough. Just kidding about the lush part, she's really a sweetheart!


After we finished eating and the sun set it was time to climb into the cars and trucks and head to Eloy. Bunky was playing and we wanted to see him again. He's finishing up in the area bars and will return next November. Tonight we headed to Tumbleweed's in Eloy. about 8 miles away. It was an ok place but not as good as the Galloping Goose. We had more room there and the acoustics were better. All the same Bunky had us on the floor most of the night. We bought one of his CD's so its now official...we're Bunky Christiansen groupies!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

3/26/2009 We Finally See Bunky!

It's windy in the desert today. There's no one laying out the pool, windows are closed and everyone just wants the wind to die down.

We took a trip into Casa Grande today to go to the bank. Wells Fargo Bank. We use Wachovia but there isn't one close by and since Wells Fargo bought Wachovia and we have these checks from selling the truck....well, we decided to just get a jump on things and open an account. Things sure have changed since we opened our last checking account with a new bank!

It took over an hour! It felt like we were applying for a mortgage with all the questions we had to answer. I don't know if I'm going to like this new bank or not. They charge for everything and we now enjoy a totally free checking/savings account with Wachovia. I don't know if our fee free account would be grandfathered with Wells Fargo but we were told the merger could take up to two years before it is all completed and we just can't wait that long. Now that we know we are going to be in Arizona for six months of every year, well, it just made sense to be with a "local" bank. So now we have an account with Wells Fargo. We won't use it but its nice to know its there and it will be convenient should we find ourselves in need of some personal banking.

While we were waiting for the bank rep to get some papers for us from the printer across the room we made mention of the fact the days of banks giving you a toaster for opening an account are certainly long gone! Now Bob may remember that but I certainly don't! I've heard tell of it but I've never experienced it. I think the most I ever got was a key chain and a cheap pen.

This evening twenty four of us went to Coolidge to go to the Galloping Goose, a local nightclub dive, to catch singer Bunky Christiansen's act.


On the way we couldn't help but notice the sand blowing.


I've been hearing the name Bunky Christiansen for the past several weeks because winter residents had seen him at local bars or at other resorts and were coming to me to tell me about him. I called the Activity Directors at the other resorts to get their take on him to see if this is someone who should be booked next year. Every single one of them said YES, BOOK HIM! They already had!

After listening to this one man band for a short while I could see what all the fuss was about. He's good! He's very good!


Bunky plays guitar, banjo, fiddle, mandolin, piano and harmonica. And sings!

He has no trouble getting people up on the dance floor. Here our friend Bonnie couldn't even wait for her partner!


Soon she had Bob up on the floor with her.


We are so glad we finally got to see this guy. We heard he's going to be playing tomorrow night in Eloy! We'll be heading there for sure!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

3/25/2009 Through the Years

The activity in the 5th wheel has kicked into high gear to get on the road. Every closet, drawer, nook and cranny has to be gone through to see what we can leave behind. The more we weigh, the more fuel we use. Besides, we need room for souvenirs!

I started on the bedroom today. I got through all of Bob's drawers and his cabinet. Its all nice and neat and the extra T's are already in the drawers in the park model.

Next came the closet. To be perfectly honest with you there were bags of stuff crammed into the far reaches of the closet that there put in there the day we left Delaware. The day we were cramming anything, anywhere, just to get it in the rig. Those bags are now GONE! I found unused checks that we had from 3 banks ago! I had pictures of people that I recognized, that I knew I had met but didn't have a clue as to their names. They're GONE! I found recipes that I had cut out from who knows what magazine. Food I would never eat much less make! You guessed, GONE!

Then I came across the flowered round box. I had bought these containers years ago, kept this one, gave one to Michelle, my sister-in-law and one I think to my niece Ryann. I don't know if they still have them or not.


I keep all kinds of mementos in this box. Some I know why I hang on to and one or two that I looked at it and thought to myself, "Why in the hell are you hangin' on to this????"

Case in point. I have a poem titled, "Forget Him", a really sappy, lovesick puppy, young teen age girl with a broken heart kind of poem. I had to be 14 years old when I typed this up. I know that because it is written on a manual typewriter and it had to be right after I learned how to type. And I vaguely remember this going around the halls of my junior high and how every 13 - 14 year old just had to have a copy! Note to Lourie: Do you still have your copy? Why did I hang on to this all these years?


A better question would be, WHY is it still in the box as I type this blog? I don't have an answer for that question. I don't know why I can't rid of it, but I can't.

Next I came across a newspaper clipping that I saved. I KNOW why I saved this.

Oh boy, did I get in trouble for this one! I was supposed to be a girlfriend's studying or working on a school project or some such nonsense. Instead I ended up at a keg party 25 miles from home with my boyfriend at the time and we were in an accident and my parents got a call from the police telling them I was in an ambulance on the way to the hospital. His twin brother was also arrested that night 44 minutes later! I was 17 at the time.

Now we'll fast forward to the age of 21. I know why I kept this one too! I was thin! That outfit was a size 7! This picture was taken in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware. I went for the weekend with my forever friend Susan. It had to be early to mid May because I still had long sleeves on for the evening. This was just before Susan and I went to Hawaii in July and we spent the weekend at the beach to start on our tans.


Here's a picture that for some reason didn't make the Hawaii picture album but never got thrown away. I think I'm trying to figure out how to get those coconuts in the suitcase. Oh geez, look at the rollers in the hair!


Let's move along to the ripe old age of 22. I still have the proof sheet from the photos taken at my swearing in for the Delaware National Guard.


I'm sure they don't take pictures of everyone getting sworn in, but pictures were taken of me because that's my dad giving me the oath. How special is that?

I've kept letters and cards through the years that have special meaning for me or because special people in my life have written them to me. I have letters from my grandmother, a very special one that my dad wrote to me while I was in basic training, letters from my mom, letters from Bob when he was in Desert Storm and this special one.


My brother Billy wrote this to me when I was in basic training. I figure he had to be 12 when he wrote this. Most of it makes sense to me except the "rat" part. I remember laughing at him telling me that a case of sodas was lasting a long time since I wasn't at home anymore. Billy, are you surprised I still have this? Oh yeah, stamps were 10 cents when he sent this! TEN CENTS!

Ahhh,,,,our engagement announcement.


Getting back to Billy, I still have this proof picture of him, his wife Michelle and their newborn daughter, Ryann. Ryann is now 28 years old and I have tons of more recent pictures but I can't throw this one away. I don't know why.


Let's fast forward to my 31st year. My stepson, Jonathan, who was living with us along with his brother Timmy, brought this home for Mother's Day from school. I still have it Jonathan! Jon is now 33 years old.


I'm 38 now when I received this. This was given in honor of the accident I was in on May 1st, 1991. I was hit by the car I was driving! Yes, you read that right. That's a whole blog post unto itself. Let's just say I was involved in an accident when the car I was driving, my friend, Dianne's car no less, stalled at a railroad track and a train came and as I was walking away because I knew it was going to hit the car, the car spun around and hit me.


It was an unusual accident to say the least so I kept this as a remembrance. I don't know why,,,its not like one can forget getting hit by the car they are driving!

And last, but certainly not least, I have this little thing in my memory box. My grandmother made this out of plastic canvas and I just kept it because it came from her. And its the truth.


So there's a walk down my memory lane. I hope you enjoyed the trip.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

3/24/2009 What a Busy Day!

I started the day with the last line dancing session of the year. It was fun, it was sad and its over for another six months. As always, Sandy had us laughing but I have to be honest, at the end of the class there was a tear in my eye. I just hate to see it ending.

We finished up the last of the office stuff that had to be done so I'm now a free woman! I do have one more task to complete which I'll get done tomorrow. I've got about sixty cans of pineapple juice that have to be returned.

This afternoon I started cleaning out stuff. I got the desk all cleared of junk and put things away. Its still piled high with stuff but its stuff that has to go the park model and books that will go to the library.

In the meantime, Bob took down the screen room. Our place looks naked now.

Late this afternoon we attended a farewell party for Omond and Mary who sold their park model this year. About 90 of us gathered at their place and listened to the Quail Run Band play and sing.


Omond and Mary had 20 pizzas delivered and we sat and ate and talked and laughed. Look how tan everyone is.



Some close ups of the Quail Run Band members. Its not really the name of this group, I don't even think they have one but I have to call them something. A lot of people call them the boys or the guys but they forget Pat is part of the group. She doesn't sing or even say that much whereas the guys are very vocal either with singing or talking.


I could listen to Arlee sing all day long!


Don keeps everyone laughing with his songs when he sings. He sang one that he wrote in answer to Wilf's song about him. He loves to play his harmonicas.


Bill is another one I could listen to all day long. He's written several songs now and each one is better than the last. There's an agent or a music publisher or somebody like that in Canada that has one of his songs now, we're all hoping it gets recorded.


Our friend, Al, plays the tambourine for the group.


Rounding out the group is Wilf.


Omond and Mary took center stage for a few minutes to thank everyone for coming and to tell us how much they had enjoyed the last 10 years here.


Our friends, Lyle and Kathy are buying their place so I snapped a picture of the outgoing and the incoming.


The party broke up a little after six when it started to cool down as the sun was setting. My friend and neighbor, Kathy and I went to Mimi's Cafe for dinner and to do a little shopping. Yes, we each had a piece of pizza earlier but it wasn't hardly enough for dinner.

Speaking of eating, readers, I heard of a really strange sandwich today that my friend Kathy eats. She used to eat these a lot as a kid but did say that it has been a year since she's had one. Now when I tell you what kind of sandwich it is, and YOU have actually made and eaten one of these, I want to hear from you! Ok, here it is, have you ever eaten a, I can't believe I'm even typing this, a radish sandwich? Yes, a radish sandwich. I have never, ever heard of this before and can't even imagine putting radishes between two slices of bread. With mayo no less! There it is, have YOU had one, if so please leave a comment. Note to Kathy: Sorry girlfriend, but I told you it was blog material!

Its been a busy day for us, but a fun one.

Monday, March 23, 2009

3/23/2009 Holiday Decoration Clean Out is Done

At 9 a.m. we met in the Carnaval Room. Today, three of us, George, Darrell and myself were to tackle the Christmas decorations. If the lights didn't light, they were gone. If something was torn, it was gone. Paint chipped? Gone! Just plain ugly,,,,GONE! It felt so good! What was once in 16 tubs and cardboard boxes is now in 8 tubs. New stuff next year!

I did manage to save all the little tiny pieces of this or that to use on wreaths next year. I've got a plan for a project that will involve the ladies in the park, can't give you any details as yet, still working it out in my head.

We cleaned up the office pretty today and we went through cloth tablecloths and napkins to get rid of any stained or torn ones. I have to say, this has been a good year for getting rid of stuff!

I heard this afternoon that a quail has laid 10 eggs on a winter residents porch. I went over to see and sure enough, there she sat.

She's still in the process of laying her eggs as last night she had nine and this morning she laid another one. I didn't realize they had that many. So this should be fun to watch over the next few days. I don't know how long it takes to hatch but the people who own the porch live here year round anyway so they'll get to watch it all.

I've been watching the stat counter and have noticed that there are some new readers from Denver, Colorado. Welcome! Glad to welcome you to our blog. I hope you enjoy the trip.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

3/21/2009 If I Had Heard One More Time....

....Girl, you need a haircut (!) I was going to scream! I was wwaaayyyy past due for one, probably four weeks past due for one. Several friends in the past week had brought to my attention that I needed to make time for a trip to the salon. I wonder if it was because I looked like I had my finger stuck in a electrical outlet because it was so thick and full! I have to admit, I really did look like I had a "fro" going on. Situation remedied! A trip to the salon was in order for me this morning and I feel 8 pounds lighter now that I've had a haircut!

While I was out I made a trip to Walmart to pick up a few things in the grocery department, I got my nails a long overdue manicure and I also made a stop at Bon Worth's and picked up three new tops for me. Today was, "Snookie spend some money" day! Being the Queen of Cheap that I am those days don't come often.

Bob spent part of his afternoon making a 50 amp electrical cord for Don and LaVon and He then puttered around the rig, complained about the heat, started the generator to let it run for a few minutes, complained about the heat, drank some beer, complained about the heat. It's hot today!

After a dinner of turkey sandwiches I took a walk up to the pool area to see if anyone was around. I ran into Jeannie in the laundry room and she mentioned that the lights were going on outside because a group wanted to play twilight shuffleboard. I then walked through the pool area and found Marlene and Karen sitting poolside and I asked them if they wanted to play mini golf since the lights would be on. Karen said she'd like to play but Marlene had to go home to get something to eat but she would come back afterwards.

So Karen and I played and at the last hole Marlene came back over and Jeannie was finished with her laundry and she joined us also. I had my first ever hole in one! I was so excited the whole shuffleboard area knew it too when it happened.

After mini golf we made our way to the pool room. Now I haven't played pool since I was 16 years old and probably then I held the cue stick for probably a whole three attempts at getting a ball in the pocket. I found out I like this game! And I also found out that I can indeed get the balls in the pockets! Not every time of course, not even half the time, well, probably not even a quarter of the time, ok, ok, we were playing partners and I got three in. But I had fun! I'm definitely going to play next year on Monday nights.

From the pool hall we went home and got on bathing suits, at least Marlene and I did. When we returned we found Pat and Sandy in the tub already and sat and talked with them for awhile. Not too much time passed and Keith and Wilf showed up so the six of us sat there until it was time to close the hot tub. We all found ourselves at Wilf's and we even picked up two more, Grant and Wendy, along the way. I stayed for a short time and called it a night. I had quite a day and was ready to sit back and relax.

Friday, March 20, 2009

3/20/2009 Junk Pile That Pumpkin!

Today the holiday decoration clean out begins. George, one of the few remaining activity team members here, and I, along with another George in the park went to the Conex building today. The Conex is a tractor trailer type building, the trailer part of it anyway. It is used for storage of all kinds of things. Activities decorations, maintenance parts, office stuff, you name it, its in there.

Today we took anything having to do with a holiday out and loaded it onto the trailer George pulls behind his truck for trash and debris from the park. It was really loaded! So loaded in fact that Activities George and I walked behind in case anything fell off. George pulled up next to the Carnaval Room and we off loaded the trailer via the window on the side of the building.

When we are done with this task everything will be neatly put away in one of the 13 new Rubbermaid tubs I bought last week or one of the smaller ones we already have if we don't have that much for the holiday to begin with.

The next task was to get it all separated onto tables by holiday. That didn't take too long at all because everything was well marked.

Since we had the fewest decorations for St. Patrick's Day, we started there. Every single thing was looked at and a determination of whether it had seen better days was made right then and there. We were ruthless in our determinations too! If wasn't pristine or at least near pristine, it was GONE!

We had no trouble getting through St. Patrick's Day, Halloween, Thanksgiving, New Years Eve and Valentines Day. What was packed in three or four tubs or cardboard boxes was now neatly packed in ONE or TWO tubs at most. The luau decorations took a bit more but then we have a lot of those!

Monday we'll tackle Christmas. We have boxes and boxes and tubs and tubs of stuff for Christmas, stuff I hadn't seen before, this year or last. We'll be getting rid of a bunch stuff here too, I'm sure. I know a lot of those things have seen better days.

Jeannie came in to check our progress periodically and she seemed tickled pink that everything was being checked over and cleaned out. There just comes a time.

When our workday was done at three I ran down to the park model to put a turkey in the oven for dinner. (OH WOW! I got to cook with a REAL oven!) I bought this at Christmastime and knew I couldn't fit it in our rig freezer so it had to be cooked! YUMMY!,,,turkey sandwiches are in our future!

Using one of those cooking bags it only took 2.5 hours for this eleven pound bird to cook. I went to get it with the truck of course and put it on the bed of the truck for transporting home. I passed a couple of dogs on the way and they started barking so it must have smelled good to them. I know it did to me!

I made mashed potatoes, gravy,brussel sprouts and opened a can of cranberry sauce and along with the turkey, that was our dinner tonight. Bob didn't get to eat until way later because the young fellow who bought the truck called and said he was on his way. Unfortunately, he didn't say and Bob didn't ask where he was when he made the call at 4:30. I hadn't eaten anything today and when everything was ready, I sat down to eat. The guy finally showed up around seven! He was here for an hour by the time Bob got done showing him every and nook and crannie on the truck. Between you and me, I think Bob just hated to see the truck being driven away so he prolonged it as long as he could. I think the guy had had enough when Bob started to show him how the doors handles worked! No, I'm only kidding, he wasn't that bad!

So the F-350 is gone. What a great truck it was! I hope they take care of it as well as Bob did. If they do, it will serve them for many years to come!

Bob finally had dinner at 8:30.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

3/19/2009 Closing Down the Office

Today I closed the books on this season and turned my monies into the main office for safekeeping through the summer months.

Financially, its been a good year. We had tons of support from the winter residents for the shows and events that we had. Of course, none of it could have happened without the great Activities Team this year. It wasn't always smooth sailing but for the most part everyone got along and they did get the job done. So team, GOOD JOB! and I THANK YOU!

It's really warming up here in the desert now. We're getting very close to 90 degrees and may have even gone over it a day or two already.

The park is starting to empty out as winter residents are making their way back home for the summer months. I have to wonder if they go home to rest, to relax, to get geared up for the next busy season here in Arizona City. This is one busy place, if you want it to be. I often heard, "There's too much to do here". Much better to hear that than "I'm bored."

I just have a few more days to work and I'll be done for the season. Then the REAL work will begin for me. I'll be going through each drawer, cupboard and closet to see what we can leave behind. We don't want to drag behind us any unnecessary weight. Bob has already started emptying out the basement of the rig. No sense in taking Christmas lights with us. In fact, I would bet that the shed at the park model is nearly full, though I haven't seen it lately.

We still have the truck. The young man who is buying it is in the Army and can't seem to get away to come up here and pick it up. His wife, also in the Army doesn't have a more forgiving schedule either. At least they are calling everyday or I would be having my doubts about this sale.

Bob played pool tonight, he said he broke even. I sat outside with Kathy, a couple of doors down. She and her husband bought a park model this year too. In fact, just last week although they had known they would buy this unit three years ago! A lot of new owners in Quail Run this year. Bob and I have a great bunch to grow old together with!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

3/18/2009 Tagalong to a Monastery

Today, fifteen of us from the park visited St. Anthony's Greek Orthodox Monastery in Florence, AZ. I don't really know why I wanted to go here. I'm not Greek, I'm not into monks although I have watched the TV show Monk a time or two. We couldn't make the trip last year and when I scheduled it this year I was determined to go. Again, I don't know why because I've never even heard anything about this place. Something draws me to it and I can't explain it. Bob didn't make it because we sold the truck, YES, WE SOLD THE TRUCK (!) and there was a possibility it could be picked up this morning. We wouldn't know until morning when the call came if the pick up would take place or not so he had to hang around. He missed a good trip!

Let me tell you a little about this place.

Six monks arrived in the summer of 1995 to establish this monastery in the Sonoran desert. Elder Ephraim, a disciple of Elder Joseph the Hesychast, having restored and repopulated four Mt. Athos monasteries and having established several men's and women's monastic communities in Greece and North America, transferred six Athonite monks to Arizona to start a new monastery.

Upon their arrival to this barren section of desert the fathers set to task to build, first, the main church, living quarters, the dining hall and guest facilities. A vegetable garden, a small vineyard, citrus orchards and an olive grove round out the landscape.

Our first look at the monastery as we entered the parking lot.


As we walk through the gate.....


To the immediate left is a covered area where women are to get the clothes needed if they are not properly attired. It is a requirement that all guests be modestly dressed. Men are to wear long pants, long sleeve shirts and to be sure to have socks on, even if wearing sandals. Women are to wear long skirts, well below the knee, long sleeve blouses and scarves, not hats, scarves.


I took with me a plaid long sleeved blouse in shades of pinks and golds to wear over my tangerine colored top. The ladies who helped you with selecting the clothes tried their best to make you "match" but as with my blouse, well there was no matching going on with my wardrobe. I did get a pretty bright pink scarf though. I'll show you a picture later. Stay tuned, you don't want to miss this!

An elaborate system of gardens, pathways and gazebos with fountains truly render the monastery and its extensive grounds an oasis in the desert.


What I just couldn't get enough of was the fragrance in the air. It was sweet and light and tantalizing all rolled into one. I stopped every few steps and just breathed deeply, I couldn't get enough of this scent. If I could bottle it I'd be an instant millionaire I'm sure.


Just a small sampling of the beautiful flowers here.


This is the main church on the complex.


I was surprised at how ornate the interior of the church was. I always think of monks as a simplistic group where elaborate adornment would not come into play.


This silver chandelier is hand tooled, if that is the correct term, and just breathtaking!


We stood before this painting and couldn't help but notice the jewelry hanging from a wire fashioned on it. It seems that when the Virgin Mary is asked for an answer to a prayer that the one asking leaves a "gift", a gold chain, an engagement ring, a wedding ring, we were surprised at the jewelry left.


The Bishop comes twice a year from San Francisco, it is in this chair he sits during services.


We all said that no should ever complain about our metal folding chairs in the Carnaval Room after seeing these.


The paintings were just beautiful with their inlaid jewels and silver.


The monastery follows the rule of monastic life, a brotherhood of monks and novices holding all things in common follow a daily schedule of prayer and work under obedience to the abbot, their spiritual father. The monk's daily program begins at midnight with personal prayer time and spiritual reading, followed by the cycle of morning prayers and the Divine Liturgy.

After a light breakfast and a rest period, the monks begin their work day, attending to prayer and their tasks till evening. Tasks may include construction, grounds keeping, gardening, woodworking, publishing, food preparation, and offering hospitality.

This is The Central Fountain.


Views from the grounds....


Isn't this one healthy looking palm?


This is where the monks live.




The citrus groves.




St. George Chapel Belfry.


It was getting warm in our long sleeves and long pants/dresses so everyone was dipping their hands in the cool water of the fountains.


There were fountains at every turn......


.....and another fountain. It was very nice that these were around because being able to put your hands into them did help cool you down with the overabundance of clothing we were wearing.


We went into one of the chapels and I was just so taken with the woodwork in the ceiling.



The carving of wood is truly something to behold.




One of the walkways.


Every once in awhile we could come to a cool green oasis like this. It took everything I had not to take my shoes off and walk through this grass!


Being in the desert for the past six months you can imagine how wonderful this green grass looked to us!


Now I don't mean to be disrespectful here, but we girls were trying to figure out what the females in this religion are called. Nuns? Sisters? Monk-ettes?


Now is the time I know you've all been waiting for, the latest in monastery fashions!





Friends, Kathy and Lyle taking a break in a shaded area.


Before we left I found these snap dragons blooming.


So this was my day with friends at St. Anthony's Monastery. I still don't know what the draw was for me because I didn't feel any spiritual draw and or any other kind for that matter. Maybe I just knew it was going to be an oasis and after six months of the desert brown.....I needed that.