Looking Back, Part II

As I said yesterday, though I didn’t win the Nobel Prize for bringing about world peace, I think overall 2013 was a successful year for me. I had a couple of firsts and we experienced an amazing medical triumph.

This past year was the first time that Bill and I spent the entire winter in Arizona. Prior to 2013, we would come and go, perhaps staying for a couple of weeks at a shot (well, except for the time my body decided it needed to spend an entire month in the hospital, but it all turned out okay and that’s a blog post for another time). This past year we decided that since we both hate cold and snow, and since we have half ownership in a house in Arizona, why not bypass the bulk of the cold weather and enjoy the desert! I missed my family in Colorado, but overall it was one of the best decisions we ever made. We enjoyed lovely weather (mostly) and, since when God closes a door He opens a window, I was able to enjoy my brother and sister, nieces and nephews, and many, many great nieces and nephews. That’s why we’re doing it again this year!

March and April are probably the nicest months in the Valley of the Sun (though I have been enjoying the 70 degree days we have been having since we arrived a few days ago). My sister Bec and I did a fair amount of hiking in March 2013. In early April, my sister Jen arrived for a visit, and the three of us went for a walk one nice day. We were wearing flip flops since the decision to walk was last minute, and we were only going to walk a short distance on an asphalt path. At some point, we decided to leave the safe asphalt sidewalk and walk on a little dirt path down into the desert a bit. It seemed like such a good idea at the time. What could possibly go awry? We did indeed enjoy our little deviation as it was very scenic, up until the time that we heard the sound of a rattlesnake that had tired of his winter nap and was out and about earlier than most. Now, the rattlesnake made his characteristic noise in order to warn us of his presence. Upon hearing the warning, one is supposed to quietly back away and leave it far behind you. Unfortunately, there was no quiet backing away as far as I was concerned. I let out a loud yelp and made a swift and noisy exit directly into a bed of cacti. Remember the flip flops? I had cactus needles everywhere in my foot and on my flip flops. Oy vey. Bec, who has gotten me out of series of mishaps over the years, spent the next 15 minutes carefully pulling needles out of my feet as the rattler slithered off. My first rattlesnake sighting.

Undoubtedly the best thing that happened to us in 2013 was Bill’s reaction to a new medication he began taking in November. As of his last appointment two weeks ago, he is showing zero, zip, zilch symptoms of Parkinson’s. The doctor told him she has rarely seen such a quick and thorough reaction to that medication. He isn’t cured, and will need to increase his dose as time goes on, but as of now, we are enjoying his symptom-free life! God is good.

And speaking of good (it’s a terrible segue, I know), my spa experience yesterday was amazing, and another first. I have never been to an all-day spa. The Aji Spa in Chandler is beautiful, and I left feeling relaxed and happy. We checked in, were given our soft and cuddly robes, and enjoyed a 75 minute massage (including a full 20 minutes focusing only on my feet – heaven). We ate a healthy and unbelieveably delicious lunch (who knew it could be both?) along with our “tranquility cocktail.”

We spent the remainder of the day floating in the pool, enjoying the Jacuzzi, and relaxing in the sun enjoying each other’s company. Awesome.

All and all, it was a good day to top off a wonderful year.

Tranquility Cocktail
1 oz. Citron vodka
1 oz. pomegranate liqueur
Cranberry juice
Ginger beer

Pour the vodka and liqueur into a highball glass over ice. Fill to about an inch from the rim, then top off with a splash of ginger beer. Serve with a lime, lemon, or orange slice.

Nana’s Note: The cocktail server told me the ingredients, but not the amounts. Those are a guess. I would guess you could use ginger ale instead of ginger beer. It was so refreshing and delicious!