Blue Doors

Bright blue doors are a common sight in southwest style architecture.  We painted this door yesterday and I’m thinking it might be a touch too blue???  A mile away from the house and you can still really see that blue door.  Might need to tone it down a touch!

We are still plugging away around here.  The Cowboy has been on the roof and I sprayed weeds–the wind was non-existent Tuesday morning.  We have more weeds than we had last season as our grass/weeds weren’t mowed until they were very tall and covered with seeds.

Emmi is looking spiffy–bath and haircut for the pooch today.  Her fur grows as fast as mine does I think!

This subdivision is cut into one acre parcels divided by roads–non-maintained roads.  Some are used by land owners and are passable as is ours.  Other roads are almost invisible due to weed/grass growth.  My walking path was getting boring but today I found a cool route which gives Emmi and me about a three mile walk every morning.  We only have to dodge one little ankle bitter dog–he just barks at us from his yard.  The rest of the route is around non-inhabited land.

When I went to the post office this afternoon the temperature was 81 degrees–I think that’s the warmest temp we’ve had since Christmas.

Life is quiet but good.



More Roof Building

For all those readers thinking we work too hard–Saturday was incredibly windy and we both spent the day on the couches reading and watching TV–so see, we don’t always work!  Sunday I went to church and the Cowboy worked on the roof until just after lunch when the wind started gusting again.  I puttered with a little sewing project–a table runner and the Cowboy relaxed on the couch.

Monday morning dawned with little wind–thank goodness!  Yoga was great–the teacher we have is a young woman with a lyrical accent–although born in the US, she spent most of her growing up years in France.  Her way of teaching is very different from any yoga class I’ve attended.  I know proper breathing is a very important yoga concept but there is a limit to how long an attention span I have for alternate nostril breathing! 🙂 And I’ve never been to a yoga class in which the “corpse” pose is used throughout the session–seems to defeat the purpose of warming your muscles! 😉 😉  Today was just right–not too long a breathing session and no “corpse” poses in the middle of all the other poses.

Sunday morning while walking Emmi I took the below photo–my first thought was, “oh, no, not another fire!!!”  The clouds appeared to rise from the eastern side of the Dragoon Mountains giving the impression of smoke rising–but it was just clouds.

 In the below photo, the area outlined in black is the burned area from last summer’s fire.  The area outlined in red is a property you can see from our house–we made an offer on that place before we bought our current home–the offer wasn’t accepted–it was a move in ready house with a little guest casita and beautiful grounds.  

The Cowboy is making progress on the roof of the main house–Notice the truck tool box–every night he would bring all the power tools down off the roof using the backhoe bucket.  Now he just puts them in the tool box.

I moved a bunch of “stuff” from a closet inside the main house today–the ceiling needs to come down in that area.  I can see a lot of moving in our future–finish one room, move all the “stuff” into the finished room–so you can work on the next room.

I promised photos of the kitchen after painting the trim–I really like the color I chose and the paint/polyurethane seems to be holding up well.

Before painting the trim.
After painting the trim.
Other side of the kitchen.

I can’t remember the last kitchen I had with no window–I don’t like not having a window–we plan to take one of my photos, send it to Costco and have a large metal print made for that blank spot above the sink.  The main house will have a window looking out over the Dragoons.

This little guy looks as if the wind is blowing him away–

Roof Progress

My Cowboy is determined to have a roof on the main house before we head back to Montana for the summer.  He is putting in some long days and even managed to work in the gale force winds we had on Thursday.  I’m glad he is a careful carpenter–he parks the backhoe close to the house and raises the bucket level with the roof edge.  He then places his ladder up to the roof with one side braced against the backhoe bucket–we don’t need any accidents around here!  In the below photo you can see where the old roof was attached to the two houses–very poorly built and leaked like a sieve!

This photo shows how the Cowboy is building the new roof which will join the two houses–the white you see on the far right is the new roof of the guest house.

Once again I’ve been doing routine chores–laundry, ironing, cooking, etc.  I did make a fast run to Sierra Vista Thursday afternoon after my volunteer shift at the library.  You may recall we purchased a bed frame with padded headboard from Amazon plus a memory foam mattress.  The bed frame was an engineering marvel and came packed in a box which UPS delivered.  But–like many platform beds, it sits too low and we felt as if we were sleeping on the floor.  So, I saw a box spring for sale in Sierra Vista–thus my rapid run there and back–most people selling box springs also have a dilapidated mattress they want to sell you but this was just a queen box spring.  Now the bed is normal height and we will see how it sleeps tonight.

It’s spring break in this area bringing lots of young boys into the library.  They use the computers to play games–every computer was being used yesterday by these high energy boys–it was comical to watch.  We only had to tell them to quieten twice all morning long.  And once I sneezed–and I’m not a quiet sneezer–one of the kiddos said very loudly, “bless you!”  Made me smile!!  Only once did I have to ask one of the boys to give up a computer so an adult could use it for a few minutes–the young man who volunteered to relinquish his computer did so very quickly and politely.

We were treated to a gorgeous sunset tonight–probably from all the dust in the air–it sure has been incredibly windy!

And back to the vanilla story–I had several people comment saying they or family members made their own vanilla using some type of alcohol such as vodka and vanilla beans.  Well–if the price of vanilla is ridiculous it would stand to reason vanilla beans might be expensive too???  Patti confirmed this reasoning–she found vanilla beans for $150/package!!!  WOW!

A Tucson Run And Vanilla Sticker Shock

We are die hard Costco fans and even though the portions/quantities are large for two people, we manage!  We love their coffee beans, tortilla chips, uncooked tortillas, pecans, etc.  And we buy all our meat at Costco.  I have a vacuum sealer and when we buy a large quantity item we divide into smaller portions and vacuum seal.  I buy sliced Tillamook sharp cheddar cheese and it comes in a huge package.  If I vacuum seal smaller portions of the cheese, it lasts forever.

Same with the uncooked tortillas–the package contains two inner packages of 22 tortillas each and doesn’t out date until May 18.  We will eat that many tortillas in six weeks but I still divide and vacuum seal in packages of 11 each–they seem to stay fresher that way.

I divide all the meat into meal sized portions and vacuum seal.  I love their pecans and refuse to buy them anywhere else even though we live in a large pecan producing area of Arizona.  Two pounds of pecans at Costco runs about $15.  The pecan sellers at the local farmers markets charge $10-12 per pound.  The pecans purchased in any grocery store are just plain icky!

On Tuesday when I was checking out at Costco I noticed when the vanilla in my basket went across the scanner--$34!!!!  I immediately said, “wait, wait!!”  The Costco employee said, “that’s what vanilla costs these days.”  I said, “well, I don’t want it, let me think about that one for a while!”  I haven’t purchased vanilla in over a year–Costco vanilla has a long out date and lasts us for at least a year.  Here’s an article about why vanilla costs so much these days.  I’m going to see what vanilla costs in Mexico!!  (remember my links show up in almost the same color type as all the rest of the words–click on the words “article about why…… above)

Judy, the librarian at our local library where I volunteer on Thursday mornings told me out of county people could obtain a Tucson library card with slightly limited privileges.  So, while in Tucson yesterday we visited a branch library and I’m now the proud holder of a Tucson library card which allows me access to many more eBooks.

I also visited a quilt shop–The Quilt Basket–a very busy Bernina selling shop.  Right inside the front door they had a large display of Laura Heine fabric and patterns for her collage quilts.  Laura is a fabric designer, teacher and owns Fiberworks Quilt Shop in Billings, MT.

And we did a little damage to the credit card at Home Depot–that concluded our busy Tucson day.

Today was a stay at home day at last! Sunday and Monday we drove to Tombstone for the horse trailer deal, Tuesday it was Tucson–it felt good to be at home today.  I did routine, mundane chores all day–laundry, house cleaning, etc.  Made granola and fed us lunch.  I also planted the herbs and lettuce we purchased at Home Depot yesterday–in pots so the bunnies don’t have snacks!  The Cowboy has been on the roof most of the day–he said his brain hurts from figuring all the angles and corners involved in fixing the roof which joined the two houses–let’s just say the former builders needed some roof building lessons!

Moon going down over the Dragoons a while back.

Snow in the Chiricahuas.

Life is good!



A Different Direction

Temps have cooled again and Sunday morning it felt damp as if it would rain–never did rain and the sun came out later in the day but the clouds made for interesting photos.

We have yet to make up our minds about a RV–and in less than two months we need to head back to Montana with our CanAm and other belongings.  Do we need a RV??  We have the truck camper in Montana for our summer travels–do we need another RV?? The Cowboy has looked at cargo trailers but I don’t think he ever wants to pull a bumper pull trailer of any sort ever again.  Gooseneck cargo trailers are hard to find and when you do find one, the trailer is frequently way too long for our needs.  So, what does a Cowboy do–he looks for something familiar–a horse trailer!

The open areas you see at the top have smoked Plexiglas inserts, making the trailer quite weatherproof.  We will use it for our trip back to Montana and then for our return in the fall.  We have lots of building supplies in Montana such as beautiful windows and doors which we can now haul to Arizona.  It’s aluminum and light weight for its size.

Giving me the evil eye!
Enjoying his/her dinner.

While in Tombstone Sunday looking at the trailer we made a very quick stop to see our friend Angie and Ralph–they are camped just north of Tombstone on a shooting range.  Angie told me about this tragedy which could have been so much worse.  About one week ago on a very windy night at the Wells Fargo RV Park in downtown Tombstone, a RV caught fire.  Before the fire could be controlled, three more units caught fire and all four RVs were destroyed.  All the occupants and pets escaped without injury.  You can see how closely spaced these sites are in this RV park–that and the wind made for a tragic event!  It’s amazing to us more rigs didn’t catch fire and a testament to the skills of Tombstone’s volunteer fire department!


Candy, Wool, Guests And A Motorhome For Sale

Emmi autographed the concrete.  The Cowboy poured another footing and when he wasn’t looking—

I have a sweet tooth–a large sweet tooth!  I love cakes, pies, cookies and almost any form of candy.  As I’ve aged, I’ve learned to control my habit to a certain extent but when Easter rolls around and jelly beans appear on the shelves–all bets are off.  I LOVE the Lifesaver flavored jelly beans–

Harder and harder to find!  This year I couldn’t find these–not in the grocery stores, not in the pharmacy stores such as CVS but imagine my surprise when looking for something else in our local Dollar General–there they were!  I only allowed myself two packages!!

I’ve started a little wool project for my sister and realized I didn’t bring enough wool from Montana.  Winterberry Cabin  to the rescue!  They have these very reasonably priced “gradation sets” of hand dyed wool–soft and beautiful colors.

There is a long held belief in the RV world–when you travel in a RV it is easy to make friends.  We found this to be true time and time again–some of our best friends are people we met through RVing.  When you move to a neighborhood it’s harder.  Some people living next door to each other never develop relationships and sometimes never even meet.  Leaving behind our circle of friends in North Ranch was incredibly hard for both of us and we’ve found it difficult to make new friends here in Pearce.

We invited a couple from church, Stephanie and Larry to have dinner with us last night.  Simple meal–hamburgers on the grill but we so enjoyed visiting with them!  Both Larry and Stephanie were born and raised in Montana. They lived in Ennis, Montana for years, have owned a home in this community since 1991 and now summer in Wyoming.  They are in the outfitting business and know many, many of the same people we do.  They are also “dog people” with a one year old lab named Sarah.

Our Emmi can be very standoffish with people she doesn’t know and even with people she has been around frequently such as the ATVing group from North Ranch.  Emmi loves Geri and Larry and will allow them to pick her up–anybody else trying to pick her up earns a growl and sometimes a snap.  Emmi fell in love with the new Larry last night–snuggling right up and allowing him to pet her for the longest time.  I told her the other Larry was going to be jealous!

It was a super enjoyable evening and we continued tonight–the local VFW hall has a monthly steak night.  When Al and Kelly were here we were going to the steak night but they had sold out by 5:30–so no steak.  Tonight we were determined to try again and invited Larry and Stephanie to join us.  Success and the best steak we have eaten since leaving Montana!  Friendly, welcoming people too!

Our friends Nina and Paul of Wheelingit are moving to Europe. 😦  They are selling their 2008 Holiday Rambler motorhome–outfitted with a fantastic solar system, four slides and has less than 50,000 miles on the odometer.  Nina and Paul are the original owners and have been meticulous about maintenance.  If you click on the above link it will take you to their post giving all the details about their beautiful motorhome.  They recently dropped the price making it a super deal!!  I love this photo–I borrowed it from their website–it shows how they used every single bit of real estate on top of that motorhome for solar panels.  Nina and Paul are avid boondockers and loved being out away from the masses–thus all the solar.


The Beam Is In Place

The logistics of getting that 300 pound beam over our heads and up against the rafters has caused loss of sleep for me.  Of course the Cowboy probably knew exactly how he was going to do it and today was the day.  As I’ve said before, thank goodness for the backhoe!!

The Cowboy making notches in the rafters for the beam. He has all ready removed every other ceiling joist.
Outside of house before we started.
Notice the hole above the window–yep we are going to thread the beam into that hole!!
In goes the beam.  
Inch by inch with the Cowboy in the backhoe and me inside the house giving directions.

After the  beam was in place, the Cowboy removed the remainder of the ceiling joists.  We will insulate against the ceiling and hang drywall.  It’s going to look great!!  Exciting!! And now the roof doesn’t sag!

I had the urge to cook today.  Pot roast in the Instant Pot served with mashed potatoes/gravy/carrots and the best broccoli I’ve ever eaten.   Of course the Cowboy didn’t think it was so great–he doesn’t eat broccoli.

While looking for furniture a couple months ago I saw a sewing machine cabinet for sale in Sierra Vista.  We were doing a Home Depot run and stopped to look at the cabinet–the Cowboy thought he could make it work.  Well–he didn’t have to do any modification–it fit!!!

And let’s talk about tight spaces!!!  The Cowboy needs to pour another concrete footing in this area where the roof of the two houses is joined .  He was determined not to use that manual shovel!!  🙂  Again I was the direction giving guide–YIKES!!

And we had bird visitors–

Visitors From Montana

Friday afternoon Sarge and Sarah arrived via Montana, Las Vegas and Costa Rica–that’s a story in itself!  But, they have an interesting story too.  Fifty plus years ago Sarge and Sarah met while working on the 63 Ranch near Livingston, Montana.  My Cowboy and Sarge worked as wranglers on the dude ranch one summer and Sarge went back the next summer–a cute little “cabin girl” from Illinois caught his eye but they were young and life went on.  They both married other people, raised families and divorced.  Several years ago Facebook brought them back together and the rest is history as they say.

We enjoyed a late lunch/early dinner of chicken enchiladas then drove down to Whitewater Draw.  There aren’t as many birds–their northern migration has started but there were still plenty to see.

Saturday morning Sarge suggested breakfast out and he was buying–so off we went for breakfast and one of our favorite places in this neck of the woods–Chiricahua National Monument.  The Chiricahua mountains are at a much higher elevation and during our recent rains, those mountains received lots of snow–there were piles of snow along the roads and in the parking lots.  It was a beautiful, sunny day–perfect!

We saw several coatimundi on the way up and another one on the way down–a ranger stopped to talk to us, telling us the single coatimundi we saw by the road was a male–they are loaners interacting with the females only during breeding season.

Back home we enjoyed leftovers and lots of conversation before calling it an evening.

Sarge and Sarah departed for the frozen north this morning where Big Timber, MT is experiencing yet another snowstorm.  The Cowboy and I went to church and for the rest of the day we’ve been couch potatoes–back to work tomorrow!



Snow In Arizona

Tuesday the wind howled and felt as if it was blowing off a snowbank.  Late in the afternoon the Willcox Playa began to send up dust clouds–at times the dust from this dry lake bed limits visibility and causes closure of I-10.  Wikipedia has this to say about the barren, desolate Willcox Playa–is a large endorheic dry lake or sink (playa) adjacent to Willcox, Arizona in Cochise County, in the southeast corner of the state.  Portions of the dry lake bed have been used as a bombing range by the US military. It was designated a National Natural Landmark in 1966 for its fossil pollen captured underground, the thousands of sandhill cranes that roost in the area and the largest diversity of tiger beetles in the United States.  WikipediaEarly Wednesday morning it began to rain and soon the rain took on another form–

 Nothing accumulated at our level but the surrounding mountains were white making for nice photos.

The phone rang early this morning–the lumber yard in Willcox had our new beam.  You can bet the Cowboy inspected this one before loading it into our truck.  Tuesday he worked on building forms for the foundation and today he poured the cement–he has used a pallet of sakrete–42 bags!!  

I’ve been painting–notice the light colored wood trim in this photo–well, the trim is now grey/black.  It needs another coat of paint then some polyurethane–then I’ll take some photos.

It’s going to be chilly tonight–then our weather warms back up to normal Arizona temps for this time of year.

Busy Days, Slow Days

Saturday I was energetic–the Cowboy had installed water lines to all the newly planted trees and it was my job to install the correct little thingy (technical term) so each tree/shrub would get the right amount of water.  I mulched each tree and installed those little “gallons per hour” emitters.  Then the hard part–I had to program the timer/control box!  After a couple of tries, water was finally running in the right amount, at the right time and for the right duration.  Success!

The Cowboy was also busy–concrete pouring has begun.  As I’ve said in the past–the Cowboy is frugal and if he can do it himself, he prefers to do so.  The backhoe is starting now that it has a new battery and the cement mixer was moved closer to the house.  The Cowboy dug most of the footing with the backhoe but still had to use that manual shovel a bit–I was busy so he couldn’t give it to me! 🙂

We were both moving a touch slow by Saturday evening–that was a busy day!

Sunday the Cowboy readied some more forms and today he poured concrete again.  I on the other hand was a social butterfly–I went to yoga and quilt group.  It’s amazing what you can find at the Dollar Store–the glue stick I had with me was kaput–dried up–so I left quilt group to see if one of our two Dollar Stores had a glue stick.  Found one and I also found some chalk which worked–it is children’s sidewalk chalk in multi colors but there was ONE stick of white chalk in the $1 container–a bargain!  And it’s amazing what you can’t find at the Dollar Store–no yogurt at either store???

It was one of those windy days in the Sulphur Springs valley and tomorrow is to be even more windy–makes us think we are back in Big Timber.