A Pantry Update

Hey everyone!  I hope y'all are having a great start to your Summer, and having some good weather, too.  We officially had our first-of-the-season monsoon storm yesterday.  We didn't get any rain here in our area, but we got a huge & very windy dust storm -- FYI, not all AZ monsoons have rain.  This time of year, here in the desert, does get more humid.  Even though it is still less than 50%, when you add temps of 110*+, that is dang hot!  Oh well, we adapt and some of us (ME) hunker down inside!  As some of you know, I've been busy working on our "Rhine River Cruise & Motor Coach Tour" album and it's almost finished.  YAY!  I have also been puttering around, making a few changes here and there, and will share some pics soon.  

Today, I wanted to share another organization project -- the pantry this time.  Not too long after we moved into this home, I shared an over-haul on my very "builder-basic" pantry.  You can check that out HERE.  I'm happy to report that most of the systems I set up back then are still working, but a bit of a mess was brewing that needed tending.  I made these changes in March but didn't have time  to share.  Better late than never, right?  Well, come on in to my dinka-dinka-dinkie pantry and see for yourself.

The outside has already changed from this to a summer look, but that's for another post!


Some Much-Needed Organization

Hey everyone!  During breaks when I was editing and posting our European trip, I was doing some re-organizing around our home.  One place that really needed my attention, is my decor cabinet.  Fortunately I did this before our temps soared into the 110+ range.  And just an FYI, when we AZ desert dwellers say, "It's a dry heat," it is true....two days ago our relative humidity was 3%!  Yes, you read that right!  Okay, back on track.  I am so pleased with how my storage turned out, and I just have to share.

First you have to see some befores!

Believe me, I am so grateful that we have all of this storage in our garage, but.......
it's not the best for storing my chotskies.  That being said, it's what I've got, and I am making 
the best of it.


A Review, Tips & Some Other Stuff

Hey everyone!  Hope your week is going great so far.  We had a beautiful Spring here in the desert, but now Mother Nature has thrust us into full-fledge hot temps -- 110+.  YIKES!  At least it's still a "dry heat" at only 29% humidity, but that will change, too, as we quickly roll into the monsoon season.  We will be making a mad dash this morning to install our sunscreens and pack away the patio furniture, hopefully before it gets too warm.  Anyway, while things are still fresh in my mind about our recent travels, I thought it would be fun to share a bit of a review about the tour company we used and some travel tips.  I'm certainly not professing to be some kind of travel-expert, but I just want to share "the good, the bad, & the not-so-good" of our experience.  So let's get started.

These are the suitcases we used, both of which have wheels.  They are not expensive luggage, and I don't know why anyone would purchase expensive luggage.  I sat in our boarding area in Phoenix and watched luggage being "thrown" onto the conveyer into the plane.  Sometimes, one throw wasn't enough, the guys would pick them up and throw them again!  It's pretty interesting, they show no favorites -- pretty ones, cheap ones, very expensive ones all get the same treatment.   What?  Did you say you always do a carryon?  Argh!  Don't even get me started on the subject of carryon bags!  I truly wish airlines would stop allowing it.  Maybe if the people who insist on carryons had to board & deplane LAST, they could see what they are doing to those who check their luggage but have to wait forever while passengers wrestle those over-stuffed bags into and out of the overheads.  See, I told you not to get me started! 


"46" Years and Counting

Hey everyone!  Here we are, another year older and celebrating another anniversary!  This is a
re-post of last year's.  The only things that have changed are our ages & that we are celebrating 46 years together.  I pinch myself often as a reminder of just how lucky I am to have found this outstanding man, who loves me in spite of my many quirks.

Blushing bride!

Oh, wow, I was young and teensy!  I cannot believe that dress was a Size 6!

Here we are with two of the most precious people in my life, my grandparents.  Hubby's grandparents died when he was quite young, so he didn't mind that my grandparents "scooped" him in and loved him as their own.  He was pretty crazy about them, too!  I am so grateful that our children got to meet and spend even a small bit of time with their wonderful Great-Grandparents.  I think about them often and hope they are looking down on our family and feeling happy.

Don't you just love the cute little hat?  Well, I was wearing gloves, too!  This "Going Away" outfit created some giggles when I had to go into a pharmacy a couple of hours into our trip to purchase my birth control pills that I had forgotten to pack -- oh, yes, the pharmacist was quite amused!

Now, 46 years later, I am so happy and feel truly blessed to have had this wonderful man in my life for all these many years.  We've weathered many storms, celebrated wonderful events like the birth of both of our children and our children's children, provided solace in times of loss, and through everything, have remained strong for each other.  People always seem so shocked when we say we've been married for so many years and often ask what our secret is.  I don't think there is a secret to a good marriage, but my advice, if anyone wants to know is:
                                                     a)  Be good friends
                                                     b)  Be honest, but not hurtful, & trust each other
                                                     c)   Love deeply 
                                                     d)   Forgive and forget petty issues
                                                     e)   Be willing to say "I'm sorry" and mean it

Would I marry this sweet man all over again?  You betcha'!


Munich, Germany & Saying Farewell to Our Rhine River Tour

Hey everyone!  Today is the final installment of our Rhine River Tour, and we are in Munich, Germany.  One of our optional tours was for Berchtesgaden & Hitler's notorious "Eagles's Nest."  It had to be cancelled because of snow, making it too dangerous for coaches to traverse the road.  That was kind of a bummer, but we survived.  We arrived in Munich in the early afternoon and took off walking and exploring.  We were within walking distance of the Marienplatz, so we had a great time strolling around.

Munich is the capital of Bavaria, a state in southern Germany. It is Bavaria’s largest city and the third largest city in Germany (after Berlin and Hamburg).  Just as a comparison, Munich's population is approx. 1.3 million & covers about 119 sq. miles; Phoenix, AZ's population is about 1.5 million & covers approx. 517 sq. miles.  So Munich has a lot of people in a relatively small space.
I picked up several postcards, because it's just impossible to get really great photos with so many people.  I especially liked this shot of the rooftops.


Salzburg, Austria & Dinner on the Farm

Hey everyone!  Here I am again and trying to wrap up the last few days of our European trip.  Today we are in Salzburg, Austria, birthplace of Mozart and the setting for many scenes from The Sound of Music.  Now if you find yourself humming or singing "So Long, Farewell" or "Do Re Mi," don't blame me!  I just planted that seed, didn't I!  

We will have several hours to roam around, starting first with a guided tour.

Let me introduce you to Gabby, who guided us through some lovely areas of Salzburg.  She was just so cute, really knew her stuff, and spoke excellent English.  She was delightful.


Innsbruck, Austria, Another Castle and A Tyrolean Entertainment "Experience"

Hey everyone!  I hope you're still with me on this tour.  I've been kind of knocking out the posts this week, so I can get back to some of my normal blogging.  This has really been fun, though, to share this experience with you.  After our "workout" to view King Ludwig's castle, we enjoyed some z's as we made our way into Innsbruck.

The Man and I immediately took off on a "mission" to buy me a new flat iron.  We were convinced mine had been fried in our last hotel (electrical hookups are a subject for another post).  We were very comfortable walking the streets here.  You can see just how clean it is!  Long-story short, I 
found a good, European flat iron (now I have one for next time).  Good hair, happy me!


Liechtenstein and Mad King Ludwig

Hey everyone!  Are you ready for more touring?  Well, let's get started.  Liechtenstein, Bavaria is a doubly landlocked, German-speaking microstate in Central Europe.  It is a constitutional monarchy with the rank of principality, headed by the Prince of Liechtenstein.  It is bordered by Switzerland to the west and south and Austria to the east and north. It has an area of just over 62 square miles and an estimated population of 35,000.  Now you know everything you need to know about Liechtenstein as provided by Google!

This is what we are going to see today, and yes, this is a postcard.  Can't beat them for photos only the professionals can get.  This is the castle that Disney used as his model.  Ludwig was just 19 when he became king of Bavaria in 1864. Rather than live with the frustrations of a modern constitution and a feisty parliament reining him in, he spent his years lost in Romantic literature and operas...chillin’ with the composer Wagner as only a young, single king could. From his bedroom in Hohenschwangau, the castle on the right, Ludwig trained a telescope on a ridge to keep an eye on Neuschwanstein as it was being constructed.

Motor Coaching Our Way Through the Black Forest to Lucerne, Switzerland

Hey everyone!  I hope y'all are off to a great week.  I'm planning to (or I should say, try to) finish up the pics of our European Vacation.....I always think of Chevy Chase whenever I say that!  Today we boarded our motor coach with a brand new driver, Michael, and our Tour Guide, Annette, for the rest of our tour.  We will be traveling through the Black Forest and stay in Lucerne, Switzerland for two nights.

Annette was a great tour guide, and she worked really hard to make everyone comfortable and saw to it that we were able to enjoy everything.  Our driver, Michael, was a bit camera-shy.  But, wow, he could really manipulate that bus in and out of some extremely tight spots -- excellent driver
and very polite.  


Strasbourg, Breisach & Our Last Night on "The Sound of Music"

Hey everyone!  Today I'm covering 2 major stops on our tour and our farewell to newly found friends and "The Sound of Music."  You know the drill by now -- grab some sustenance, this will be long!

Strasbourg, Alsace, France

As you can see, storks are a pretty big thing here in Strasbourg.  The powers that be, have actually created some permanent nest holders.  Storks are faithful creatures. They will return to the same nest for their entire lives. The male stork arrives first, sometime in early spring, to reclaim and repair the home he and his spouse left behind. This comes after a winter migration of up to 15,000 kilometres (approx. 9,000 miles)—sometimes as far away as South Africa!  When the nest is sufficiently comfortable and secure, the female arrives. Then it’s time to mate. Throughout the summer, the newly hatched chicks grow. In early fall the youngsters are autonomous enough to leave the nest, and begin their migration. Their parents head south some time later, and by some miraculous power, know where to find their young offspring. Meanwhile, Alsatians are left once again to gaze up at the big empty nests until spring rolls around again.  There are over 60 of these nests in Strasbourg alone.  Now you know more about storks than you ever didn't want to know.....lol!

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