Hawk Attack Scare

Cochise County is known for its bird population and bird watching activities. We see lots of hawks sitting on power poles and yucca stalks and swooping through the air in search of prey. We were walking yesterday morning–Emmi was about 20 feet out ahead of us when a hawk flew over our heads and swooped down over Emmi. She dodged and then began barking at the hawk who took refuge in a mesquite tree. Emmi continued to bark at him but the hawk was undeterred. The Cowboy walked very close to the hawk who had flown on a little farther and was sitting on a fence post–he/she finally flew away. We have always worried about the owls getting Emmi and keep her close to us when they are around but have never thought much about a hawk bothering/hurting her!

I was in Tucson again on Monday taking our friend Louanne to the airport. It snowed (yes it snowed) at our house early Monday and the local roads were actually slushy!! By the time we reached the interstate, the roads were dry.  I attempted to do a little shopping after dropping Louanne at the airport but just couldn’t get excited–bought a couple things and headed for home. The season is wrong–it’s chilly in southeast Arizona and I was looking for long sleeve, warm clothing. Everything in the stores is spring wear–short sleeves, short pants. I did take this photo through the windshield while at a stop light.

Snow on the Catalina Mountains

While it’s been sunny, it’s dang chilly and usually windy so lots of inside time this week working on those jigsaw puzzles. We finished the one borrowed from Louanne.

We have a great little library/librarian and used bookstore in our community. On Friday we made a stop at both picking up some seeds for herbs from the seed exchange in the library and finding three new to us jigsaw puzzles at the bookstore–so expensive–fifty cents each! We’ve discovered a new addiction.

The before and after project I’ve been working on came this week–we are pleased with the finished project.

Snow on the Dragoon Mountains Monday

While Louanne was away Dan came for lunch one day and on Friday evening we had the pleasure of dining at Janice’s along with Dan and Linda. Good food and great company.

The Cowboy’s plants continue to thrive in the grow box in spite of our chilly night time temps. The blanket he throws over the box and a light inside seem to keep them from freezing.

And that’s about it for this week in Arizona. I’ve said several times this week–“it’s so good to NOT have to do something–such as move a wall, lay tile, paint!” I have a little magnetic plaque hanging on our refrigerator which states, “How beautiful it is to do nothing, then rest afterwards.”  Physical activity is good for us but so is taking pleasure in being relaxed.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

                                                                                                                         

Meeting New Friends

The pantry and freezer had bare spots–it was time for a trip to Tucson but we had a more exciting reason for the trip than grocery shopping. Emmi had a minor vet appointment in Green Valley which is near the home of Gay and Joe of Good-Times-Rollin fame. We have communicated for years, read our respective blogs but had never met until Wednesday. It was as if we were meeting life long friends–we had the best time in the two hours spent at Manuel’s–I think we could have spent the entire afternoon chatting away. What awesome, positive people with whom we have so much in common.

Whew–sure am glad that’s over, I need a nap!

After Gay and Joe met Emmi who had been patiently sleeping in the truck we headed for Tucson. As we are zooming along I-19 in heavy traffic I spotted a small crested saguaro alongside the freeway!!! Of course there was no stopping for photos! Our Walmart pickup order was ready–that store was busy–then it was off to Costco. The nose piece on one pair of my glasses had fallen off and my sunglasses which were purchased at our Montana Costco last summer have never fit correctly. Costco optical departments are notoriously busy–you can wait a very long time to see an optician. Wednesday I walked right up to the counter and an optician who said, “how may I help you?” I told her I was heading straight out to purchase a lottery ticket, it was my lucky day!! And it was my lucky day–that young woman spent 15 minutes helping me with the nose piece and the fit of all three pairs of glasses. Typically in our Montana Costco it’s a 2-3 minute process and you walk away with glasses that still don’t fit correctly. I should have bought a lottery ticket!!

I’ve passed a milestone–I’ve given up my registered nurse license. In Montana it was easy to maintain the license which I’ve done all these years even though I have been retired for a long time. It was time to renew in December and I just decided it was time to no longer be a license carrying nurse. Do I have regrets–not one.

The garden box is doing OK in spite of our frigid temps here in sunny Arizona! The Cowboy puts a light inside the box and covers it with a blanket at night. We hit 22 degrees Wednesday night and the box was above freezing Thursday morning. Sunday morning it was 20 degrees outside and the grow box was 31 degrees inside–good enough for radishes and lettuce. And the lettuce has sprouted!

During coffee hour on Thursday morning (or maybe it was coffee hour #2) we were treated to a wildlife happening–three extremely fat javelinas waddled past the porch door and out across the yard. As Jodee recently talked about in her blog post–I stayed in the moment, just watching the waddling, not worrying about jumping up to find a camera.

Our weather has been awful–I keep reminding myself that even though we are in Arizona, it is still winter. Sue sent me an email early saying it was 29 degrees one morning in Quartzsite–that’s cold for Yuma, AZ country! We had a half inch of rain, gusty, strong, bitterly cold winds and frigid temps. The forecast for the next week continues those frigid night time temps and chilly days–but at least the sun is shining!

The ice maker in our refrigerator started to leak last season forming one big impossible to use mass of ice in the bucket. It wasn’t a priority for the Cowboy but all of a sudden I made it a priority!😋. Friday my handy husband installed our new ice maker and I’m a happy camper!

Several years ago the Cowboy and I started eating our main meal at lunch time–some time between noon and 1pm. We would then eat a lighter dinner–popcorn and fruit, soup, a leftover from the refrigerator, etc. While we all enjoy the ambiance of a nice dinner party, none of us sleep well after indulging in all that food later in the evening. Dan and Louanne have also recently started doing lunch as their main meal. Today they came to our house for Sunday brunch and even though it wasn’t evening we still dined like kings. I cooked bacon in the oven, made a fruit salad and a very sinful/unhealthy coffee cake–it’s made from canned biscuits of all things! Some people refer to the coffee cake as monkey bread, my recipe is for cinnamon nut ring. Whatever you call it, the dang thing is delicious! Louanne makes the best scrambled eggs so she was in charge of those when she arrived. Yep, we dined like kings!

The Cowboy grew up doing jigsaw puzzles, I did not. We didn’t jump on the pandemic puzzle wave but recently decided to give it a try, borrowing one from Louanne. It’s addictive!

I’m off to play Rummikub with the ladies and will schedule this blog to post later this evening. Life is good!

 

 

 

 

 

Garden Growing And A Scam

We’ve found it difficult to grow anything in the Arizona desert due to critters–packrats, gophers, mice. We lost two 3 foot tall trees to gophers eating the roots from the bottom up. Our friend Linda tried to grow peppers and tomatoes one summer and gave up because the gophers and packrats ate all the roots. The Cowboy wanted to see if he could grow lettuce/radishes and has now built himself a grow box–a very over engineered grow box–that thing is heavy! He had started seeds in plastic bins in the house and radishes had sprouted so on Saturday it was time to plant. We will see if we get lettuce and radishes–I hope so! Of course we decided to plant a garden at the beginning of a nasty weather pattern–high winds, rain and much cooler temps. May have to stick a light bulb inside the grow box at night.

The Cowboy has been busy working on the grow box and I’m not sure what I did this week other than routine stuff–laundry, cleaning, exercising. Wednesday afternoon I played Rummikub at Linda’s with Louanne and Janice. That game is so fun and I even managed to win one game!

I am working on our before and after project–creating a photo book we can have to show friends/family how this house looked when we purchased it as compared to now. I’m using the website Mixbook and finding it VERY easy to use. For years I’ve used Costco Photo with good results for projects such as having a photo transferred to canvas or metal. Their website was NOT easy to use when trying to create a book. Plus Costco has plans to transfer all their photo business to Shutterfly. So, I sat down and transferred all my photos stored on Costco over to Shutterfly. I didn’t find the Shutterfly website user friendly for book creation.

Google to the rescue–I Googled “best photo book creation website” and Mixbook repeatedly came up as the number one site. I am about 13 pages into this creation and so far, so good. (Update–the book is finished and is being printed!)

On Friday Louanne and I took a trip to Tucson to Gather, A Tucson Market. It’s a once a month, four day long market set in one of Tucson’s oldest barrios–the Lost Barrio. Gorgeous old colorful buildings on tree and flower lined streets. The old buildings have entrances at street level but once you enter you are facing usually about four to six steps up onto floor level. Steps are a weak point for me with this knee so I did my exercises that day! The Gather market is the collection of several vendors tastefully displayed so beautifully. The collections change every month. I didn’t bring anything home from the Market although this little guy almost came home with me–I all ready regret not buying him–

And, I loved this colorful painting we saw in another gallery. The price was a bit steep on the painting!

We enjoyed a fabulous lunch in the outdoor courtyard of Café a la Cart located on the grounds of the Tucson Museum of Art. Our salads were amazing–Louanne had a grilled flank steak salad and I had a grilled salmon salad with some kind of herbed dressing I could have just tipped up and drank!

My salad
Louanne trying to decide if she needs that rug.

And now for the scam. The Cowboy and I have been buying and selling on Craigslist and Facebook for a long, long time. We have never been scammed–until Friday/Saturday. On the way home from Tucson with Louanne I noticed an ad for a really nice LG refrigerator for a too good to be true price and several other items–some of which were reasonably priced. The Facebook profile for the seller looked legitimate–lots of profile info (more info than I would ever put on my Facebook profile) and a photo. The seller requested communication only through Messenger which in the future will be a red flag for us, she did not allow comments on her Facebook post. Scammers frequently have no profile photo or information–this lady had both.

On Messenger she responded quickly, asked me for a deposit which I declined to give and said, “OK, you can come see the refrigerator and stuff.” We chatted back and forth with me saying we would be in Sierra Vista at her house by 9:30am. Saturday morning we were on the road early with Dan’s lower to the ground ramped trailer (makes loading a refrigerator easier) towed behind our truck. I sent her a message stating we had left home and she replied. In Tombstone I requested an address and received no answer. When I requested the address again she had blocked me from her Messenger page. She let us drive almost 70 miles before letting us know she was a scammer!  I was beyond furious!

I immediately posted her photo and profile on several of the local buy/sell Facebook groups stating what she had done. I received a few responses stating she had scammed them also. Before anyone says, “I wouldn’t drive 70 miles without an address” as one Facebook respondent did–it’s the way we and others do business. I don’t give out our address until I have a message stating the buyer is on their way. None of us are sure what her game was–how was she going to get people to give her a deposit?? I did have two people reply to one of the posts stating this woman was a friend and this was not their friend posting the stuff for sale–her profile had been hacked. I have no way of knowing if this is true or not. I will remove my posts from the various sites in a couple days.

So, that was a lesson learned! No more just Messenger communication and if there is something about the ad that is just not right–the price of the refrigerator, the photos looked weird as if they were taken in different locations–don’t go there!!

Life is good in spite of scammers!

Graduation

The Chiricahua Mountains

As of last Sunday’s blog post, I had three more physical therapy appointments scheduled. In the previous three appointments the therapists had me performing the same exercises, nothing new was added to my therapy. They were having me do only one exercise I could not do at home–one that utilized a huge piece of equipment. So, I decided it was time to stop therapy. When I called to cancel the appointments the therapist asked if I would consider coming in one last time for measurement and discharge paperwork. I agreed and I’m glad I did!

I graduated with full honors!! I have a 132 degree bend in my knee and with a little pressure from my hands I have a 137 degree bend. The surgeon initially told me most people achieve about a 120 degree bend with a few people achieving a 130-135 bend.  When straightening my leg I am at 1 degree (goal is zero degrees and I started at 5 degrees). I am thrilled! Beyond thrilled! The therapist doing the measurements said she didn’t think she had ever seen a 137 degree bend!  I now need to work on strengthening and stretching the muscles around my knee–I can do this at home. We are walking a mile and a half a day and could easily increase that distance plus I have the recumbent bike. The therapist has given me a list of strengthening exercises to do. Friday I was at eleven weeks post op and couldn’t be happier with my progress!

We’ve been doing a bit of entertaining–Friday Dan and Louanne plus Linda and Janice joined us for a casual supper. Thursday I made a huge pot of chili and pre-baked a pie crust. (It’s funny how even thinking about making a pie crust would cause me stress in the past until I took lessons from Louanne–now I just make a pie crust without even thinking about it!)

Friday I used that pie crust to make a lemon meringue pie that was so good! And right before the guests arrived I popped a pan of Mexican cornbread into the oven–that’s an amazing recipe (thanks Jeane!)–even the Cowboy likes it! Growing up in Arkansas cornbread was on our family table almost every meal and I love the stuff. When the Cowboy and I married I would serve cornbread often. After about 2-3 years of marriage I offered the Cowboy cornbread during a meal and he said, “no thank you, I don’t really care for cornbread!” WHAT!! How in the world had I married someone who doesn’t like cornbread????  But he likes this Mexican cornbread!

The Cowboy has been busy changing the oil in our gas golf cart, fixing a broken cord on my heating pad and various other little chores. Dan and Louanne acquired electric assist bikes and the Cowboy has helped assemble the bikes. I’ve been working on a before and after project, playing with the Emmi girl and exercising. It’s amazing how much time exercising can consume!!

This evening we enjoyed the company of our neighbors–Sheryl and Tom, Barb and Matt. It was a great evening getting to know these couples. I baked a Costco ham, made cheesy potatoes and a salad. Sheryl made an amazing apple pie and Barb brought the ice cream to go with it. A fabulous evening! We do eat well.

Life is good!

Happy New Year

What better way to celebrate the New Year than with the birth of another great–our family’s newest member, Hattee Rae was born a few days ago and the family is now home.

What have we done this week?? The Cowboy decided my cabinet which was once a TV cabinet in another life needed shelves–I was in agreement so off he went to work. And while he was making those shelves he added shelves to some of the cabinets on the porch–every cook always needs more storage!

Our caretaker had a bit of problem with the lawnmower this summer and the Cowboy had to change out all three blades. This isn’t your average riding lawnmower–it’s a John Deere 445 with a 60 inch mowing deck. The backhoe was pressed into service to lift the mower from the mowing deck. It was a day long project for the Cowboy!!

Having seen a recipe on the internet for apple cider donuts, I invested in a couple doughnut pans and made baked apple cider donuts. We were not impressed–almost no apple taste and way too much sugar. Back to the drawing board since I now have two of these strange looking baking pans!

We’ve had some nice weather and some not so nice–tonight we could have rain/snow. Not so nice weather makes for moody skies and good photos–

Two sessions of physical therapy this week leaving me with only three more to go. Stairs are an issue for me–in Montana I had a whole flight of basement stairs for practice, in our Arizona house we have no stairs. The PT clinic has practice stairs but I’m only there twice a week. Cowboy to the rescue again–he built me these steps–they may look a little rough but they are level, sturdy and work quite well!

Sunday morning, New Year’s Day, we enjoyed a great pancake breakfast and took a long walk with Emmi–a breezy walk. We wish all our family and friends a happy, prosperous and healthy New Year! Happy New Year!!

Merry Christmas

Monday was a busy day in this household. The Cowboy had an appointment in Willcox way too early! After lunch at home we were off to Benson for more physical therapy torture. I feel great when walking out of the therapy clinic but as the evening progresses after one of these difficult therapy sessions my knee/leg really starts to bug me. I usually take some extra strength Tylenol and go to bed. Next morning I feel great again. Wednesday’s therapy session was not as torturous! The therapist gave me some excellent suggestions for improving my range of motion. Only five more sessions to go!

It’s amazing how many people have spoken up about their having had knee replacement surgery or are about to have the surgery. For those about to have the surgery I wish you well.

Sunrise in Arizona

Tuesday we decided to take a road trip with Dan and Louanne traveling to the Copper Brothel in Sonita. When Lonn visited in February we enjoyed a fabulous lunch at this restaurant with the Cowboy saying it was the BEST chili relleno he had ever had. Our food on Tuesday was just OK maybe not even OK–they had changed the presentation of the chili relleno–it looked as if it might have been purchased pre-prepared!  So disappointing! Dan and I had a very dry pulled pork sandwich which was less than OK. So–we won’t be making that drive again!

And my handy/dandy repair man strikes again. I cut the Cowboy’s hair using a pair of Wahl clippers–very small clippers. When it was time to cut the Cowboy’s hair the clippers wouldn’t charge in spite of being only a few years old and seeing little use. The Cowboy said, “what have I got to lose,” and proceeded to take apart the little clippers–and he fixed them!! Amazing!

When we visited Dave and Sue in Wickenburg we enjoyed lunch outside watching the birds that would come to their suet feeder, watering station and orange halves. All kinds of birds–it was amazing! So, we now have a suet feeding station, watering and oranges station–we will see if it attracts any cool birds!! The Cowboy has never wanted to feed the birds here in Arizona as we both feel regular bird feeders spill the seeds onto the ground attracting unwanted critters–pack rats and snakes. This is the reason Susan and Dave chose the suet feeder. (Update:  Not one critter has visited my feeding station and it’s been a week! 😒)

Thursday was spent doing a bit of Christmas Eve dinner prep work and in the afternoon we took goodie bags of cookies and candies to our neighbors and friends. Get those goodies out of the house before I eat them all!! Friday the Cowboy and I ate at TJ’s–the local bar establishment. We each had a hamburger (it is a bar) and fries–not bad food, the fries are “real” and very good. We have a new restaurant about to open and have high hopes it might actually be a good place to eat! The young couple opening the new place operated a food truck in the community back in 2017/2018 serving very good food.

Christmas Eve was celebrated at our house with Dan, Louanne, Janice and Linda. I prepared one of the best meals I think I’ve ever cooked! Roasted beef tenderloin cooked to perfection, Pioneer Woman make ahead mashed potatoes (if you haven’t tried these, do it!!–they are literally to die for!!), green been casserole with mushrooms and homemade sauce, a Caesar salad with homemade dressing and a from scratch Dutch apple pie. Dan made a baked tomato dish that was also so, so good! We dined like kings and enjoyed the company of such good friends. A very lovely Christmas Eve.

I took a photo of everyone seated at the table but that photo didn’t make the “must be flattering” rule so you get a photo of the table! 🙂

Christmas morning after opening presents we journeyed (about a mile) to Dan and Louanne’s house for brunch and conversation. It’s been a lovely Christmas season. Our neighbor’s stopped by bringing us more goodies–oh my–peppermint bark fudge–I’ve been wearing stretchy pants since having my knee replaced–soon there may be another reason for stretchy pants if I don’t stop eating fudge!

We hope you all had a wonderful Christmas season and wish you a happy, healthy and prosperous New Year!

We cannot for the life of us take a selfie–so here is a not so great selfie!

 

 

 

 

Home Sweet Home

While in Wickenburg we had rain. In the southeast corner of Arizona they had snow. I saw photos on Facebook and it appeared our area might have gotten 2-3 inches of the white stuff while we were in Wickenburg. That storm happened earlier this week and the snow continues to stick around on the Dragoons and the Chiracahua Mountains as we enter another week.

Emmi and I are branching out, walking more each day–she keeps up–until she finds something good and smelly then I have to remind her we are on a walk, not a smelling expedition!

It’s always good to visit friends and see new country but it’s also great to be home. All three of us were so glad to be home. We stopped in Marana at the Costco and picked up a few groceries. It is a relief to be paying below $3/gallon for gas–finally!

The Cowboy finished a stained glass piece and we both love it–first one he has done in about 40 years.

He is all ready sketching for his next project. He also decided to start a job that needs finishing–our baseboards are the same tile that is on the floors and we had grouted across the tops of some of the baseboard tile but not all. He plans on just doing a little at a time as it’s a on your hands and knees kind of job and his helper is no help at all with this knee.

I’ve been baking again–these are the best gingersnap cookies–

 

Gingersnaps (Taste of Home) named Cookie Jar Gingersnaps on Taste of Home

Makes 3 dozen

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup shortening
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar, divided
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Directions

    • Preheat oven to 350°. Cream shortening and 1 cup sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in egg and molasses. In another bowl, combine next five ingredients; gradually add to creamed mixture and mix well.
    • Shape level tablespoonfuls of dough into balls. Dip one side into remaining sugar; place 2 in. apart, sugary side up, on greased baking sheets. Bake until lightly browned and crinkly, 12-15 minutes. Remove to wire racks to cool.

We had a welcome home present waiting on the porch–my sweet sister Ann sent me flowers and they are beautiful!!

Saturday afternoon I enjoyed a bit of “culture”–a harp concert at our local library. The soloist even invited the audience to play the various harps–and I did. Not exactly “play” but it’s quite easy to learn to play the opening cords for the Christmas carol Joy To The World on a harp.

Our weather has not been Arizona warm–45 degrees in the daytime, dipping into the 20’s at night. But I remind myself it is winter and at least we won’t be experiencing these predicted Montana temperatures for the coming week!!!–

Busy week coming up–doctor appointment, two physical therapy appointments and best of all–someone is coming to clean my house and wash my windows!!!  Life is good!!

We Take A Little Trip

I hit the jackpot once again in my selection of a physical therapy clinic, this time in Arizona. The physical therapists at the clinic in Big Timber, Montana were awesome and I give them much of the credit for how far along I am in my recovery. My last therapy in Montana was on November 17 and we flew to Arizona on November 22 so I had gone three weeks without therapy.

The clinic in Benson, Arizona is huge and busy. They have an amazing gym with so much equipment, some of which was used to torture me on Wednesday. I have great range of motion, now it’s time to work on strength, balance and stretching–and work we did! I was sweating!! The therapist said to me as I was leaving, “you are probably not going to like me tonight and tomorrow.” He was right!! I am now eight weeks post-op and feeling great–is my knee stiff, yes at times, does it hurt, yes at times but it is so, so much better I can see light at the end of the tunnel!

I’ve always loved the Mexican food restaurant Mi Casa located in Benson, AZ–the Cowboy not so much. We have a dining out rule–the Cowboy gets to pick the restaurant once then it’s my turn and we rotate each time we dine out. I picked Mi Casa and was so disappointed this time. The rice was horrible as if it had been scorched, the food was not really hot, the Cowboy did not like his chile relleno. But–note the photo above. We were sitting at a table beside the entry door but separated by a screen. The man entered with two other people and was standing with his back to that screen when I noticed his t-shirt. I grew up in Sheridan, Arkansas. I got up and accosted the man asking him about the t-shirt. Seems his friend moved from California to Sheridan, opened this business which provides recreational experiences for veterans–and sent this man a t-shirt. Small world!

On Saturday we drove to Wickenburg. Our dear friends are back home in Montana dealing with some serious health issues. Their home in Wickenburg needed a checkup so we volunteered. An irrigation leak is fixed, the truck battery is charged. I’ve done a bit of cleaning–bugs and other assorted critters find their way into our Arizona homes. And we’ve made ourselves at home.

Relaxing in Wickenburg.

On Sunday we finally met Susan and Dave. Susan writes the blog Beluga’s Excellent Adventure –I read her blog, she reads mine, we exchange the occasional email but we’ve never met until today. We joined them for the most lovely lunch on the patio of their home in Wickenburg. As is so often when meeting like minded people–we never stopped talking except to eat the excellent meal they had prepared. That North Carolina Lemon Pie was to die for!! And we got to meet Lewis–the standard poodle who is simply adorable! A perfect Sunday afternoon except I took no photos!

Leaving Susan and Dave’s I texted Larry and Geri–they were home so we drove out and visited for a bit. Their adopted dog–Emmi–was so glad to see them again.

Not the greatest photo but Friday evening we were sitting on Dan and Louanne’s porch and I spotted these two gigantic hawks in a tree on the defunct golf course. Louanne feeds the quail and as they were coming in to feed we all kept saying–“hide, hide, look up!!!” But no murders were committed while we watched.

Our sleepy little Emmi.

A  perfect December Sunday–warm enough for lunch outside–we will take it as our weather is about to change and not for the better!

 

 

 

Christmas Decorating and Visitors

The days are blending together and disappearing so quickly. December is here and we had unexpected visitors this week–most welcome visitors! Larry and Geri have spent the month of November in Florida visiting their daughter and family which included a beautiful new grandchild. They stopped to visit us on their way home to North Ranch and we are so glad they did. I wish I had videoed their arrival and our Emmi realizing who had come to visit. Emmi loves Geri and Larry–they are some of the very few people she will tolerate.  She yipped, jumped and begged to be picked up. Emmi is 13 years old and hasn’t been doing well lately–it was so fun to see her excitement!

Sunrise in late November

They spent two nights parked in our full hookup spot. We enjoyed great meals and so much fun conversation catching up–very glad they took the time to get off the road!

Last Tuesday we made the trek to Tucson to purchase a new to me recumbent bike–an older model but works very well. We also broke the bank stocking the pantry, refrigerator and freezer. It was cool enough to take Emmi along and we dined on a restaurant patio that allowed us to have her with us.

The Cowboy has been changing oil in vehicles, replacing tires and batteries, and trying to catch critters.

For me it’s the same ole thing–exercising, feeding us and friends, laundry–nothing very exciting. I’m now at 7 weeks post knee replacement surgery. This coming week I have an appointment to start physical therapy in Benson, about 30 miles from our home.

The Cowboy hung the outside Christmas lights–no ladders for me and I decorated the inside of the house–simply. A tree, the angels that belonged to the Cowboy’s Mom and that survived our fire in 2000 plus three nativity scenes that are my favorites. One nativity scene I purchased at a shop in Bandera, Texas when we were staying at Lake Medina RV Resort for the winter. Another I’ve had for probably 45+ years and the best of all–one my dear sister sent me a couple years ago from a little shop in Arkansas.

Saturday we had a bit of rain–there is no other smell like the smell of rain in the desert–clean and sweet. The entire day was cloudy, misty and cool. Sunday dawned with dense fog.

Look how much our trees grew this summer!!!  We’ve heard from various sources that this area of the county received 25-30 inches of rain during the summer monsoons. That’s almost three times the ANNUAL rainfall in Arizona!

Sunset one cloudy afternoon

As I post this blog it is still raining having rained most of the day. The Cowboy checked the rain gauge and we have had half an inch so far–good stuff!

Change Of Scenery

We’ve gone from this–

To this–

On Tuesday the Cowboy and I made tracks for Arizona. We had a ridiculously early flight and live two hours from the airport making it necessary for the alarm clock to wake us at 1AM (we did go to bed early)!! We had loaded the bags into the truck the night before, we scurried around shutting down the house, packing last minute things into the carry on and were out the door in 45 minutes. In hindsight it probably wasn’t necessary for us to get to the Bozeman airport two hours in advance but traveling two days before a major holiday one never knows. Our travel was uneventful–I wore support socks, moved my legs a lot on the plane and walked during our two hour layover in Salt Lake City.

Dan and Louanne retrieved the three of us and our mountain of luggage; we headed off to find lunch. Following lunch Dan had a doctor’s appointment leaving the Cowboy and me to find a grocery store. We left Tucson during evening rush hour but didn’t have too many delays. Home we unpacked, enjoyed seeing our Arizona home after a long absence and went to bed–I think my head was on the pillow before 8pm and I was dead to the world!!

Now, for the rest of the travel story. We had intended to drive and bring the toyhauler with my recumbent bike. Weather changed our decision. RVs have refrigerators/freezers and my intention had been to bring several items from the home freezer–a pan of homemade lasagna, a flat brisket we hadn’t cooked, etc. I decided I wasn’t leaving that good food behind so I packed it in our checked bags. The Cowboy, Dan and Louanne laughed at me but they have all benefited from my decision! Everything frozen I brought was still frozen solid when we unpacked–it was 14 degrees in Bozeman and 16 degrees in Salt Lake City. The lasagna has kept us from having to travel to the grocery store, we’ve eaten some of the cheese I brought, the Cowboy used the Costco bacon bits in his eggs, etc. Dan and Louanne order coffee from a small roaster and were sent the wrong coffee this time–it was even decaf–adding insult to injury. New coffee was on the way but in the meantime they were desperate for coffee. They were VERY grateful for my half bag of coffee beans checked in my luggage!! So–where there’s a will, there’s a way!

Then all of a sudden it’s Thanksgiving–we enjoyed another special day with great friends at Dan and Louanne’s. The food was spectacular and we enjoyed every single bite.

A friend–Susan–posted this sentence on her most recent blog–“At the same time, I’m very conscious of just how very fortunate I am, and never take these things for granted, not for one minute.”  Susan had written that she was thankful for her husband, good friends, living where they wanted, doing what they wanted, etc. The Cowboy and I are very conscious of how fortunate we truly are and I want to strive to be even more conscious of that good fortune!

I am walking Emmi girl about a half mile a day and still exercising. Knee is progressing. It feels good to be outside in the sunshine. Our mornings are very chilly–it was 23 degrees Saturday morning!–and our days are sunny and warmish.

This is a blanket I knitted for our expected in January newest great grandchild.

Life is very, very good!