A Guide for Snowbirds

The BoysEvery year in October we come to Mesa Arizona for the winter. Every year I stand there all confused about what to do next.

Mostly it is easy — book Southwest Gas to turn on the gas the day after we arrive. Ask Dish Network to activate the satellite account and get Cox to activate the phone and internet.

But stuff happens that is not in the plan. We buy our tickets at Flight Network. I should have realized there was a problem when we checked to see if the price had dropped. If it had, we get a credit toward our next ticket.

Flight Network could not find any updates for our itinerary. Yet, the day before we flew, the electronic tickets still looked the same.

It was only when we went to check in online and our boarding passes showed up with an entirely different flight leaving earlier than our itinerary claimed we were leaving.

It all worked out. It meant a longer lay over in Toronto but only one stop rather than two. This is good.

NOTE TO SELF: Confirm the actual flights earlier than the day before.


We use Koodo prepaid when we are on the Island and a Tracfone down here. Neither phone will work in the other country so we use Koodo until we leave Canada and Tracfone when we arrive. This worked out well because we called the shuttle person from Toronto to say what flight we were on and then the Tracfone once we had our luggage so we could tell her we were at Gate 8. Two minutes later, there she was.

NOTE TO SELF: make sure you have the gate code written down and recognizable keys.

I forgot about this but Gerald remembered it and it worked.

Speaking of gates, we took home one set of keys but after six months, all keys look alike and there was a bad moment when the first three keys did not work. We plan to have a colored key cut for next year.

Service Growling

When we arrived, neither the phone nor the TV satellite Dish worked. Luckily the internet did and I could get online and do a live chat with reps of each company and get the services going. The phone took a while and finally a Tier Two Tech had to reset it from the start. The internet and wifi were perfect. Just as we left them, same wifi password and all.

The park is always trying to upgrade and apparently some big truck ran over something and broke the water line in four places no less. So day one, no water for 12 hours.

South West Gas came and turned on the gas and checked the stove, furnace and water heater. All good. No water to heat but otherwise great.

NOTE TO SELF: Do not leave sink plugs in the sink.

We turned off the water but did not drain the hot water heater. The bathroom sink has a slight drip and the sink overflowed and six months worth of dripping water ran all over the floor and did bad things to the counter-top and cupboard under the sink. Also when the water dried out in the 40 degree Celsius  weather, it baked nice and rusty all over the floor.


Getting on the Road

We have a car here and the registration runs out in June so when we get here, it is a hassle to get it back on the road. How does one get to the motor vehicle office with an unregistered vehicle. Also every second year the Cadillac needs to be run through an emission test and that requires a temporary road permit. Thanks to Peg down the street, I found out that you can get the temporary permit online.

To register the car online, here is the place to go (for Arizona). And here is the place to go online for an Arizona three-day restricted permit.

That’s it for now. Until i find more things to make note of for next year.

The photo was taken shortly before we left PEI. It’s Gerald and Jim kicking back in Rollo Bay West. Makes me happy to see it.

Confessions of a Distracted Woman

Joanne Reid caneI dither a lot and it seems to take me forever to get things done. I had a whole blog about getting healthy and I have this blog and I have another couple of blogs. It is too distracting to get up each day and think about what I am going to blog about today. All that happens is that I never blog.

Then I feel guilty about not blogging. Like here, I was writing about 52 ancestors. I got to eight and then froze up. I went to the health blog and spent all spring and summer blogging about how I need to exercise while being so physically unfit I have to drive a block from the shop to the bridge club.

I’m supposed to be writing a mystery series and I don’t.

This weekend we are packing for our annual October trek to Arizona. It should be easy because we do this every fall but I never remember to make a list so each year I have to start from scratch. This year I am making a list. Even better, I am putting the list in a journal that I am keeping about each day.

The Journal

Even the journal became a dither factor. I have had this particular journal for a couple of years and the blank, unmarked pages were daunting. It was a gift from my old buddies Perry and Cyrille.  I need a system to keep track of my income, my to do list, the things I need to buy, the places I need to go and the interesting tidbits I hear each day.journal

So I made a plan to do something about it. Rather than scrawl notes on loose pieces of paper, I started putting them in the journal. I had two full pages of things to do yesterday.  I got a lot accomplished including last minute grocery shopping. Some of the thing that had been hovering over me for weeks took less than 10 minutes to finish.

If nothing else, I won’t have that confusion next year about what needs to be done here to turn things off and what needs to be done in Arizona to turn things on. This is the journal over to the right.

Speaking of next year, I will be 67 and by that time my father was already suffering from the effects of strokes. There are certain family health issues that are quite apparently part of my makeup too. Such as the propensity for strokes.

The Plan

It’s not in my journal yet but I do plan to continue with the remaining 46 ancestors and also a tribute to my cousin David Reid who prepared the photo of my ancestor Alexander Reid and his son David Reid. He emailed the images to me around the turn of the century and I never credited him for them. I had lost his email address.

Yes, I know. Poor record management.

I’m struggling to overcome annoyance at my fly by the seat of my pants approach to a scattered life. Bear with me.

QardioArm Wireless Blood Pressure Monitor


It’s an age and health thing for me but I worry about my blood pressure pretty much all the time. Ever since I had a dizzy spell and realized that I could die. My blood pressure was 210/130.

Dr. Murphy scolded me and put the fear of death into me. I take my blood pressure almost every day. There are other things I need to do such as exercise and eat better but so far things have been going well.

This morning, it was 109/78. I am always looking for a new and better way of keeping track of it. So here is the latest piece of technology that could literally save my life. The QardioArm Wireless Blood Pressure Monitor (Apple iOS and Android) can help you keep track of it with ease. This device makes it simple to measure your blood pressure and keep track of it.

When you open the package, you’ll see a compact blood pressure cuff. It automatically turns on when you unwrap it and then quickly connects to your smartphone or tablet.

You’ll put it on your upper arm and then use the app to press start. There are no buttons on the monitor – it’s completely controlled remotely through the app. It will automatically inflate, take a measurement, and then deflate.

Then you can roll it back up into its compact shape. The measurement will be saved by your app. You can use it to track changes in your blood pressure over time. This makes it unnecessary to keep a written record of your readings.

The readings are all automatically saved and recorded in a secure cloud. You can actually share the information directly with your doctor’s office. This will help them make decisions about medication changes and other lifestyle suggestions.

You can use the QardioArm monitor with iOS and Android devices. The devices must have Bluetooth in order to work with the monitor. You’ll also need to have at least iOS7 or Android 4.4 to operate the gadget.

Customers who have purchased this blood pressure monitor love the size of the monitor. Unlike some other devices, this one is very compact and will easily fit into a purse or briefcase.

Because the app on your phone does all of the work of recording information, you don’t have to worry about keeping up with additional paperwork. And you’ll find that the accuracy matches that of the monitor in your doctor’s office.

And if you have someone who wants to try your monitor, you can put them in guest mode so that their readings don’t get recorded with yours. This is perfect if you have someone visiting your home or you just want to show off this technology.

Within minutes of opening the package you’ll be ready to take your first blood pressure measurement and record it. It’s discreet enough that you’ll be able to use it in your office without drawing a lot of attention.

The QardioArm Wireless Blood Pressure Monitor is an essential tool for anyone who needs to keep track of his or her blood pressure.