Thursday, October 21, 2010


I had a 9:30 appointment at the Mayo Clinic on October 13 to remove the basal cell carcinoma on my nose. It was Mohs surgery so they do a layer at a time and check it and see if they have all the cancer cells or have to take another layer. I had to have it done twice. Since the hole was larger then they were expecting they couldn't just stitch it close without a little cosmetic surgery. At 3:30 I left the clinic with this pressure bandage on my nose.
After 24 hours I got to take a shower and take the pressure bandage off. I had a slight black eye and the purple at the top of my nose is the ink where she drew the lines for the cosmetic surgery. I had to keep a bandage on it for the next week.
On October 20 I got the stitches out and I don't have to go around with a white bandaged nose any more. My nose sorts of feels funny, kind of tingly and numb. I keep thinking my glasses have fallen down my nose. The scar should heal in the next year. Must keep the suntan lotion (at least 30 spf) on my nose and face, good advice to everyone.

Thursday, October 14, 2010


Friday was our last morning at the balloon fiesta. It was a little windy and many of the balloons decided not to fly. It calmed down so some of the large shape balloons eventually launched. Even the balloon we were the chase crew for took off in flight.
The space shuttle is enormous.

Thursday my girl fiend from college, Kathy, and two of her teacher friends from Quakertown, PA flew in for the balloon fiesta.( a husband and a nephew were also along). Lynn, Kathy, Larry and I went to the balloon fiesta to see the night glow, but once again it was too windy for the balloons to inflate so it was cancelled. We had fun walking down the fairway, shopping and seeing the spectacular firework display. It was great seeing Kathy.

We drove to Grant, NM for the night. In the morning we went to the Mine Museum. This is the area where they mined uranium, it goes from Gallup to Albuquerque. Mining stopped in the mid 70's after Thousand Mile Island, (TMI). They are hoping the area will begin mining again in the next ten years.

You can go underground to see the mine.

I didn't sleep well in Grant because of the train whistle every 15 minutes all night long. Apparently Route 40 follows beside the railroad track.

We came back to Arizona for my appointment at the Mayo clinic.

Our next tourist stop was at the Meteor Crater. It has a very nice RV park and the sunset was lovely.

We took a guided walk around part of the crater.

Our guide talking to us about the crater.

On the other side of the crater are observation decks. You had to walk up and down steep ramps and many stairs. We got plenty of exercise.

We went to Campers World in Mesa, AZ for some minor repairs we had scheduled when we were here last month. While they worked on the RV we went to Usery Mountain Regional Park and took a three mile bike ride.

In the Trail Blazer magazine I saw an ad for some Encore parks in Arizona where you could stay for the month for $199. We drove around and looked at them and decided to stay at Viewpoint RV Golf the Tennis Resort in Mesa. We chose this park because they have pickleball and cable. It is a very large resort with many homes, golf courses, tennis courts and swimming pools. The price was $199, plus a $3.00 a day activity fee, plus electric, water and trash bills, so I think it will be more like $400 when all the bills are paid.

Two pickleball courts. Larry went up this morning and was welcomed by the pickleball club. We can join for $15 a person. It gives you rights to use their equipment and play in the morning.
They are trying to get more pickleball courts.

There is a large activity center. They have line dancing twice a week, so I'll have to check it out. I had my nose surgery yesterday and am out of commission for a week until I get my stitches out.

Thursday, October 7, 2010


Another beautiful morning at the Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta. I have not seen so many sunrises since I retired. The weather has been unusually warm for the balloon fiesta, high 50's in the morning. The temperature is usually in the low 40's.
Love seeing these shapes go up and fly away.

There were many mounted police throughout the park. Here they are keeping the field clear so the balloons could play a game of Texas Hold'em.

Balloons flying low to drop a beanbag on a target, or one of the playing card to get a high score.

The Sandia Casino was a few miles away, so we went one afternoon for their lunch buffet. When you join their players club you get $20 dollars of their money to play on the slots. I won $11, so at least it paid for lunch.

Since Tuesday we have been part of the chase crew for Peggy Watson-Meinke. We really have enjoyed it. Gary, her husband and crew chief really made us feel useful and treated us so kindly. Thanks to them this has been a terrific experience.
Larry holding the throat of the balloon while a fan fills it with cool air.Looking up inside the balloon as it inflates.
It is ready to fly.

Looking up inside the balloon.

Up, up and away.

After a nice flight the balloon is ready to land.

We all got together back at the park for a tailgate party.

Peggy and Gary in front of their trailer.

She is from Camarillo, California. Here is her phone number if you ever want to go for a ride.

Larry got to go up in a balloon on Wednesday. This was Larry's first time in a balloon. He was going to go up with Peggy but another balloonist wanted a picture of his balloon and so a photoghapher went with Peggy and Larry flew with their friend Kurt Adelsberger.
This is were they landed, notice there were three rows of barb wire on the fence. It took some work so the balloon didn't get caught on the fence.

All packed up and in the chase vehicle. I wasn't there because I was with Peggy's chase crew.
Kurt telling his first time flight passengers about the tradition of champagne and ballooning.

Picking up their class of champagne with their mouth and then they were "baptized" with water.

The tailgate party. One of their chase crew brings his RV and we even had fresh made breakfast burritos.

Larry with his flight certificate.

I got to go up with Peggy on Thursday. This was really neat because it was special shape day, and I got great views of them.
This is the second time I have been up in a balloon. My sister, Lynda, and I went up at Quakertown, PA balloon festival for her 50th birthday.
Can you see the case vehicle on the field. ( look on the bottom left)

Up pretty high now.

What a view. See the Rio Grand River? Now we had to find a good place to land.
The yard we landed in at Rio Rancho. The neighbors were all friendly and helpful.
This dog was only 10 months old and not quite sure what to make of it all. Once we had landed her owner brought her over to us, so she would learn and not be afraid. She licked us but wasn't sure about that basket.

Our chase cars finally located us and we had a little work to do- carrying the basket to the trailer and folding up the balloon over all the sage brush. We appreciated the neighbors help.
Flying in the balloon was a great experience and glad I had such a wonderful opportunity.