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New Year Catch Up

I guess I better write an update with the goings on in the Givens’ household. I am so used to posting on Facebook and Twitter, that I sometimes forget about the blog here. If you aren’t on Facebook or Twitter and are not following us there, you are missing quite a bit. It is 2016, get with the program! I am also assuming that you even care, how narcissistic of me!

Let’s see, where to begin, one of the things I forget to mention in earlier posts was my bout with shingles back in the summer! Wow that was painful and in encompassed the whole right side of my scalp and in the heat of the summer too! It sidelined me for three weeks and I hid in the house from the sun and heat as best I could. My hiatal hernia surgery in 2014 didn’t hurt as bad!!! A miserable ordeal it was, and I still have phantom itching on my scalp at times. I will definitely be getting a shingles shot when my doctor says it is okay!

My Aching Neck!

My Aching Neck!

The rest of the summer saw us taking a few camping trips locally in our trailer so we could scout out real estate and possible retirement locations that we could settle our work weary asses down. This brings up the next item of interest, we have put up our San Juan Island house aka Givens Grove up for sale. We have shifted gears on living there full-time and are going to decide on other places. Getting to and from an island is too much of a headache and the politics there suck! We still have a couple of years before Debbie can retire and as for me at that point, we will have to see where we stand financially! The one decision we have made is to get out of King County and the Seattle area. It has become too crowded and too expensive to enjoy life here in retirement…….period!

In October we went down to Best Friends Animal Sanctuary once again to volunteer with the animals. We fed pigs, groomed horses, and walked dogs. One dog really tugged at my heart and almost brought her home but resisted the temptation, barely! We just aren’t ready for two dogs in the house. Debbie wants another one badly so Cordell can teach it how to behave……ummm…….yeah! It is always such a spiritual reconnection when we visit there!

Joe's New Friend

Joe’s New Friend

Debbie and her Piggy Friends

Debbie and her Piggy Friends

After our stint there, we drove down to the Phoenix area to visit our friends the McEvoy’s who were joined by our other friends the Kelly’s! These are our trailer buddies if you didn’t already know! We visited Superstition Mountain and went over to Tortilla Flats for lunch. Another day we took in the sights of Sedona. Deb loved it there……. a possible retirement spot?!?! I love Arizona too, but don’t want to be in the heat, maybe Flagstaff is more to my liking, we are going back in March to have a look around!

The Six Finger Drunkards

The Six Finger Drunkards

The six of us were then to head to Las Vegas where we had a timeshare booked, but poor Patty Belle was sick which turned out to be pneumonia so it was just us and the Kelly’s. She is fine now! We drove up, stopping by the Hoover Dam to take a walk and have a look and be tourists! The water was very low and if it gets any lower, it won’t be enough to turn the turbines for the electricity Las Vegas needs to stay lit up! We had a great time with Rich and Pam and did lots of walking on the Strip! We saw Cirque du Soleil O and what a show, unbelievable!! We spent Halloween night walking Fremont Street and that was a show in itself……wild!!! It was a great time like always with old friends like these!

Debbie Photobombing!

Debbie Photobombing!

Vegas

Debbie and Pam Hitting The Slots!

Speaking of old friends, in early December, we hooked up with a very old friend of mine I used to work with in my restaurant sales life, Jeff Simon and wife Jamie! We met in Oakland for the Packer/Raider game. Since we were staying in Oakland near the airport and stadium, we took the BART into San Francisco on the Saturday and spent the afternoon walking around, hitting local watering holes and having dinner at John’s Grill. For the most part, Jeff and I spent a lot of time catching up since we hadn’t seen each other in years! Debbie and Jamie also get along just great too! The game was awesome and the Packers got a win and the Raider Fans were pretty cool too! It was a fun trip and look forward to hanging with them again!

Joe And Jeff

Joe and Jeff surrounded by Raider Gear!

Shots

The Boys Doing Shots!

Dinner

Dinner At John’s Grill

And there you have it, a catch up with the Givens’! A new year has begun and new adventures to have and let’s hope that we all stay happy and healthy and have a wonderful 2016!! Let the show begin!!!

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Winter Has Arrived

Finally we are looking at a wintry wonderland for the first time this season. It would have been nice if this had happened at Christmas and up until just now, we have had a very uneventful winter this year! La Nina didn’t sock us into multiple snow storms like last year and I am kind of glad because I am driving articulated buses now and they are horrible in ice and snow. This wintry weather is supposed to last the next four days and I am not looking forward to going to work tomorrow!

Our Holidays were nice. We hosted Thanksgiving at our house and our friends Larry & Lynette hosted Christmas. So it was a family affair on both occasions. For New Year’s we headed up to our long time friends the Hillstroms in their brand new home on San Juan Island. They have a beautiful waterfront home overlooking the sound. We have always loved the San Juan’s and Friday Harbor and have thought about maybe retiring there among the other places that we consider. Well we have taken the first step into making that possibility a reality. We were walking about and found a wonderful smaller home we are calling “the cabin” for sale. We contacted a realtor we know there and had him come open it up and show us. We decided it was a deal we couldn’t pass up and made an offer a few days later after we returned home. After some offer counter offer volley, we came to an agreement with the seller and are now moving through the financing process. Until we have the keys in our hot hands, I hold off on providing the details until later but we are very excited!! I am also working on possibly what will start out as a side career that I am hoping flourishes into something I can do full-time! Again, I’ll hold off on the details until I get a better idea on how it is going to work out but I think 2012 is going to be a great year…..(knocking on wood)!

Funny Football Video

This is a pretty funny video:

Sick Thoughts

Yes I am sick and have been all week and have also been off work for the last three days, so I thought I’d take a moment and write a post since it has been awhile. What did you think I meant? I hate being sick, like most I assume. I am miserable! I am on the tail end of this crud though and I hope I am feeling better tomorrow, because it’s the big game!!! More on that later!!! If the game were today, I would have to drag myself there!!

So I haven’t written since before Christmas so how was yours? We had a nice one although I had to work that evening. Ryan came over Christmas Eve and spent the night. Alex and Mo came over that morning and we opened presents and celebrated. Even though we had promised to keep our spending down a bit this year, I think we all enjoyed what we received. I got a nice new leather jacket, new photo editing software, cologne, books, and a poker set!!! That was a surprise since I don’t play. It is really nice and we did play on New Year’s Eve. I also got a new phone, but it really wasn’t a present, well maybe for myself. After much prodding from Debbie to join the 21st Century and get a better phone with web and email capabilities, I finally jumped ship with AT&T and went with T-Mobile and got a new Wing Phone!! It is really cool and I am glad I finally did. It only costs me $20 a month than I was paying before with just phone service. Now I have web and email on my phone!!! Yes I know, I am a late bloomer when it comes to the latest technology!!

Debbie didn’t do too bad with her Christmas either. Among her many presents, she also got a Garmin Nuvu 760 GPS for her car! We had to order it online and it was back-ordered until it was finally delivered yesterday. She played with it all last night……… the Nuvu……. that is! It has blue tooth and syncs up with her Blackberry so she can actually use her phone through her GPS. It even uses the Blackberry voice recognition and she can just talk to make calls. All hands free which is good since it will be used in the car most of the time. The great thing is, that it is not in dash and we can also take it with us on hikes or walks and know where we are all the time. Is that too important?

New Year’s was fun. It was the first holiday of the season that I didn’t have to work. I decided to take a week’s vacation just so I would have it. Our friends Kevin and Tori Hillstrom and Larry and Lynette came over to our house. We broke out my new poker set and Kevin taught me the ins and outs of Texas Hold em! I can’t say I am ready for the Casinos yet, but I did learn a bunch. We had a great time and Larry and Lynette stayed over since their drive back home was quite long. Larry and I played a little too hard with night caps of Tequila shots. Needless to say neither of us felt to good the next morning. Maybe that’s what reduced my immunity that allowed these vicious germs to sneak aboard and wreck the havoc they have all week in my body!!!

We Are Cheesheads!


Like I said earlier, the big game is tomorrow and if you know me, well enough said. It’s the big playoff game between the Packers and Seahawks! I am actually nervous even though the game is in Green Bay. The Packers are the youngest team in the NFL, and I am worried about all these young players and how they will act in their first playoff game. I am sure the Seahawks will be playing with allot of heart, so the Pack better be ready. I hope I am ready!!! Our Club The Northwest Packer Backers is the biggest Packer Club in the whole Northwest and we are even on the radar of our local TV stations. Fox News 13 will be on hand sometime tomorrow covering the fans at the game. Hell, you might even see Deb and I on TV!!! Well I have to dose myself with some more Mucinex and chill out for awhile. Catch Ya Later!!!

Thanksgiving Blues

So how was your Turkey Day? Did you loosen your pants after the big feast? Undo a button or two on your shirts/blouses? Enjoy the football games and yeah the Packers are 10 -1!!!!! My day was just another day. Debbie took off to La Center, WA to visit the sisters and I stayed home with my buddy Simon. Actually I had to work, over 10 hours at that, and at night! Do you have any idea who is riding the buses on Thanksgiving night? Well let’s see……… quite a few kids (mostly Asian), a few Hispanic gentlemen coming home from the few places of employment that were open, many East Indians who probably have no idea what Thanksgiving really is, and a whole lot of just dregs and losers. One such female loser freaked out after watching her bus to Renton pull away as we pulled into the Bellevue Transit Center. She was pissed and rightly so, but yelled that if this bus was on time then she would have caught hers. I casually shot back that I was actually early! Stupid bitch! If she had asked me to call ahead and hold the bus, I would have. After driving public transit for almost 10 years, I am so tired of dealing with stupid people with no common sense. I have figured out that around 70.7 % of humanity walk around with their head firmly inserted up their assholes. How do they survive in this complicated world? The answer, government public assistance and our tax dollars that’s how! Yes, I am a public servant and I am paid by tax dollars, but the ignorance I see out there is sickening. Please keep your bleeding heart liberal comments to yourself, because I am not interested in hearing it!

Anyway, my Thanksgiving dinner consisted of a Marie Callendar’s turkey TV dinner. Feeling sorry for me? Not expecting you too, but I hope you enjoyed yours! I am thankful though for my lovely wife and the life we have together. Can’t get any better than this…….well unless we could not have to work. Now I have to go do just that!!!

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