A Delivery

Tuesday morning we woke to this–once again.  By the time I came home from yoga the snow was all gone but we were left with a frigid wind and cold temps.

The wind blew all day Tuesday and it was not nice outside. We managed to find things inside to keep us busy. The Cowboy is building a bathroom–we are putting a small half bath in a corner by the back door of the main house and he built the stud wall for it on Tuesday.

Wednesday we received a delivery–

Stucco stuff!!!!!  We are so excited–Sergio is starting Monday after the next snow storm expected on Thursday and Friday.

I helped the Cowboy install some insulation today in the ceiling over the new bathroom and spent the rest of the day working on my little applique project.  Late this afternoon we took a drive to purchase some used electrical wire.  The Cowboy searches Craigslist on a daily basis looking for bargains–he found some bargain wire and it was even more of a bargain because the seller was just up the road from us.

Our meadowlark came back this afternoon–

Our view as we walked Wednesday morning–

Sergio came Thursday morning bringing a couple trailers full of tools, ladders and scaffolding.  The sun was shining and the wind wasn’t blowing so he and crew decided to work for a while.  As I said above, the Cowboy had started building the half bath and today he began plumbing.  After lunch he came inside to say he was missing a Pex fitting.  We decided to make a flying trip to Sierra Vista today for the fitting and the rest of the bathroom stuff–we came home with a bathroom in the back of the truck–sink, toilet, light fixture, faucet, mirror and a new hot water tank for the main house.  We went to Sierra Vista today because our weather is deteriorating and we didn’t want to risk driving there on Friday when the roads might potentially be nasty–it’s not our driving we are worried about–it’s all the other folks who live in AZ and seldom see snow! 🙂 🙂  We made a really quick trip and shopped at one store–Lowe’s.

As I type this, the wind is literally howling and whistling, blowing so hard one would think we are in Big Timber, Montana!!  The wind is driving the tumbleweeds into the house making scary thumps–Emmi is nervous! The rain has started too, we will see what the morning brings.  On the way back late this afternoon, coming over Gleeson Road it was dark and cloudy.  Off to the southeast we could see this area–probably McNeal–golden sunshine making the buildings shimmer.  Not the greatest photo.

Still Progressing

Like most of the country, our weather is forecast to deteriorate tonight and continue to be nasty for a week.  Snow and night time temps in the teens are being discussed.  North Ranch had snow this morning as did Boulder City where John and Pam live.  Lonn left Saturday morning running into inches of snow in Flagstaff Sunday and could not see the Grand Canyon because it was snowing so hard.  A very weird winter!

The Cowboy has been hanging insulation, installing OSB and doing a little wiring. Nothing that makes for very exciting photos–

When you move walls you create other problems such as holes in the soffit which had to be patched before the stucco man arrives.  How do you like the Cowboy’s scaffolding??

Saturday evening we dined at Dan and Louanne’s.  It’s great to have Louanne back in Arizona after her extended stay in Oregon.  Dinner was amazingly good as usual!

Sunday I worked on another small quilt type project and put it all together today–now for the appliqueing stitches.

It always makes us smile when we go home to Montana in the spring and hear our first meadowlark sing–and those birds can sing, making a lovely noise!  Today as Emmi and I started our walk, I thought I heard a meadowlark.  A member of the Cochise county Facebook photography group had recently posted photos of meadowlarks so I knew it was possible to see them in our area.  Out of the corner of my eye I saw a flash of yellow and the bird sat still long enough for me to snap a photo–

Yep, a meadowlark!

The Cornell Lab Merlin bird identification app tells me this is a curve-billed thrasher and he had a pretty song too.

This afternoon we sat out in our porch and watched the storm clouds build–I made a pot of chili in anticipation of the cold weather.  I’m all for rain in the desert but I’m way past ready for some warm temps!

 

Touring The Country

Lonn arrived on Tuesday and we’ve been on the go every day–at least the Cowboy and Lonn have.  Wednesday they took a big circular tour on the motorcycles–the day was cloudy but warm.  I stayed home working outside on our tree cages and watering system.

Wednesday when the guys came home we went to Willcox for dinner to the Double S Steakhouse–a tiny little adobe brick building behind McDonald’s.  We never even knew it existed and have driven past many times!  We’ve always eaten Mexican in Willcox but we won’t any longer!  The Double S was so good–I had a small filet mignon and braised brussel sprouts–very, very good!  The Cowboy had a chicken fried steak and said it might have been the best he’s ever had.  Lonn had ribs and they also were good.  Thanks Yelp!

Thursday the guys took off on the motorcycles again and this time the Cowboy’s cousin Pete and his wife Kathy went with them.  I love this photo Kathy took of the guys–Pete on the left, the Cowboy in the middle and Lonn on the right. It was cooler that day and threatening rain making them head for home sooner.  Dan and Louanne came for happy hour then we went to our local bar for dinner–Taco Thursday and had–tacos.  It was raining when we reached the bar and continued to rain for several hours.

Friday started out cloudy but we did enjoy some sunshine and warmer temps as we did a truck tour over the Chiricahua mountains into the tiny towns of Portal and Rodeo.  We had a great day and stopped in Douglas for Dairy Queen ice cream.

The Chiricahua mountains are so beautiful–Lonn said, “you wouldn’t even think you were in Arizona.”

Lonn loves dogs but our dog does not love Lonn–she never has for some strange reason.  Today, she decided his lap was better than riding in the back seat with me.

A Visitor From The Frozen North

Life continues to putter right along.  I seldom cook breakfast, we both eat breakfast but it’s a “do your own thing” in this household.  Sunday morning I was craving pancakes and made breakfast.  After church we both went our separate ways–I did not sleep well Saturday night and just wanted to be a couch potato.  The Cowboy was off to hang some more ceiling joists.  My couch time was productive–I finished a little Valentine wool piece and I’m very pleased with it.

Someone in our Montana community has started a Facebook page–You Know You Are From Big Timber if you remember….  Friends and neighbors post the absolute coolest photos and this photo below is one of them

And here’s a funny story about sheep–area sheep raisers would herd their bands of sheep high into the back country approximately 70 miles from their home base for summer grazing.  That meant these bands of sheep–1000 ewes and their offspring–2000-3000 animals would go “up the Boulder” as we say traveling the same highway the residents and tourists used.  The animals and their herders would stop for the night in various pastures along the way.  They documented their travels by leaving evidence on the highway–not as messy as when cows would travel–but evidence all the same. 🙂

When I owned a store in Big Timber, I would travel the Boulder Road every weekday.  We would usually know when the sheep were traveling.  The Cowboy always told me–“sheep are not like cattle, stay close behind the car in front of you so the sheep can’t get between you.  Once several cars have built up behind the sheep Lawrence will usually come through the sheep with an ATV and lead the cars through–stay close behind Lawrence on the ATV or close behind the car in front of you.”  OK–I’m gotten my orders I can do this.

First time on the way to town I come up behind the sheep–there is a minivan with out of state license plates in front of me.  Several cars build up behind me; I see Lawrence coming back through the sheep on his ATV.  He has a conversation with the lady in the minivan and off we go.  We haven’t gone very far when the lady driving the minivan stops and gets out to take photos!!!  WHAT???  The sheep go everywhere and we are stuck in the midst of the band.  Here comes Lawrence again, he has another conversation with the minivan driver and off we go.  She does it again!!–stops, gets out and takes photos.  When Lawrence came back the third time, he had what I could tell was a rather pointed conversation with the minivan lady and this time we made it through the sheep.  And people wonder why we locals have a difficult time understanding tourist behavior at times.

This photos was taken by Elaine, Lawrence’s wife.  She dates it as probably late 1980’s–early 1990’s.  When the wolves were planted in our backyard, this way of life was gone.  The herders in the mountain country could not keep the sheep safe and sheep stopped going “up the Boulder.”  I was sad.

Monday was a go to Sierra Vista day–we needed a couple more doors–changed our minds again!  Remember we put windows in that “open air patio”–well it didn’t make sense to have just a screen door–might as well put up a real door.  We also changed our minds about the door we had purchased for the “back door.”  We had thought we wanted a solid door but decided that corner of the house was dark and maybe we needed a door with glass.  The Cowboy came home yesterday afternoon and went to work–he rough installed the patio glass door.

We find it difficult to eat out in Sierra Vista–we’ve tried fast food, Mexican food, we tried the Texas Roadhouse and now we’ve tried Chili’s.  Let’s just say Chili’s won’t be an option again.

The other cowboy–Lonn–arrived from Montana this afternoon after a tense couple days–closed freeways due to snow, icy/snowy roads and big city traffic.    We enjoyed some time on the patio in the sun with an adult beverage and we ate well as usual–hamburgers on the grill.

 

Progress And Amazing Customer Service

Snow on the mountains–we only had spitting rain–no accumulation.  It’s been a touch nippy but the future forecast shows us heading into warmer weather–let’s hope so!

I have a story about the most amazing customer service offered by a company.  I have long, narrow feet and wear a narrow or “AA” shoe.  Sticks and brick stores no longer carry narrow shoes, not even Nordstroms.  So, I resort to Zappos–partly because the shipping is free and the returns are so simple and also free.  When I developed this plantar fasciitis, I searched for shoes with excellent arch support.  My sister also has plantar fasciitis and had purchased a pair of Vionic sneakers which helped.  I found the exact shoes on Zappos and ordered them in mid November.  They were expensive for sneakers–$100 plus.  Less than three months later, with not every day wear, they look like this–

Sometimes I write reviews for products, sometimes not–if a product really pleases me, I write a review but I’m not writing reviews for bolts or parts.  If it really doesn’t please me I write a review.  I wrote a review of these shoes stating I loved how they fit and how the arch support really helped my plantar fasciitis.  BUT–I also stated how I thought shoes costing $100+ should last longer than three months without breaking down and I included a photo.  Less than 24 hours later I received this from a Zappos customer service rep–

I am sorry to hear that the VIONIC Satima you purchased from us is not holding up. That’s definitely not something that we like to hear about our merchandise, Janna, and is not indicative of the high quality of service and products we strive to provide our customers. I am glad that you wrote in right away so we can immediately address this situation.

Since this is not what you were expecting and I would hate for you to wait for your refund, as this was unacceptable, I went ahead and refunded you in full today for this item in the amount of $148.49. Please allow 2-10 business days for your card provider to post the credit to your account, or up to 30 business days for international credit card transactions. Additionally, I certainly do not want to further inconvenience you with returning this item. You are welcome to donate it, trash it, and turn it into an art project. It’s totally up to you, really! I have notated your order to indicate that you were advised there was no need to return this item.

AMAZING!!!

Thursday we hung more insulation and Friday we made another trip to Willcox.  Before this blog when I still wrote the TinTeePeeLogCabin blog, we owned a motorcycle–a Honda Shadow.  We enjoyed riding around Montana back roads and even took the motorcycle to Texas when we would travel there in winter.  There was a large group of motorcycle riding guys at Lake Medina RV Resort and the Cowboy enjoyed riding with them.  We sold the bike and purchased a convertible but no longer have that car.  The Cowboy’s son Lonn is coming to visit, we think  😉 and bringing his Harley. The Cowboy had mentioned a time or two that he wouldn’t mind having another bike and Lonn’s visit provided him the perfect excuse.  It’s a 1998 Honda Shadow Classic with 29,000 miles.  It’s in really good shape and the Cowboy rode it home Friday afternoon.

The bike came with a helmet (the Cowboy doesn’t like this particular helmet, Lonn may have to bring his other one from Montana) and the Cowboy had his leather clothing in the CanAm–so he was all set.  He’s ordered a new battery and is looking for a new windshield.

We spent some time Friday afternoon getting the licensing paperwork in order and getting it insured.  Dan came for happy hour and he also really likes our new porch with a view.

Saturday the Cowboy continued to work on the ceiling in the kitchen–hanging the ceiling joists.  I heard him say, “great” in a happy tone of voice–seems everything was coming out level as it should be!  He’s also been working on the wall between the bathroom and kitchen–progress every day!

Tonight we joined Dan at the VFW for steak dinner–it was good!  We sat with another couple from Casper, WY and had a very enjoyable evening.  When we left to go to dinner and came out of our street onto the main road, it looked as if a herd of sheep was heading up the road–nope, just tumbleweeds–tumbling tumbleweeds.  It was a touch windy!

 

 

Change Of Stucco Plans

Sergio came Monday afternoon to measure and said, “wow, you guys have been busy!”  That’s an understatement.  Sergio wanted to start our job in two weeks after he finishes the one where he is currently working.  He didn’t want to run back and forth between two jobs and it’s perfectly OK with us.  Those two weeks will give us time to tie up loose ends and be absolutely ready for Sergio in two weeks.

The Cowboy started tying those loose ends on Monday–drip edges for porch roofs.  He’s very trusting of me running the backhoe.  I haven’t operated the backhoe in years–I used to help with our excavation business and ran the backhoe enough to be competent with all the levers.  I was amazed at how easily all the lever operation came back to me when we brought the backhoe down here–haven’t dumped the Cowboy on his head–yet. 🙂

Monday was phone call day for me–insurance companies and banks–gave me a headache!  We forgot to cancel the Cowboy’s BCBS as he switched to another, less expensive company this last enrollment period.  Of course BCBS kept removing the money from our bank account for the premiums.  They will refund the January amount but in the form of a paper check which we will receive in six to eight weeks–obviously BCBS has not discovered internet banking!  And, Monday was the day the February payment would be withdrawn from our account.  When I asked BCBS to stop that withdrawal they told me, “can’t do it, takes four days.”  I think BCBS needs to get a better accounting system!!!  So, I had to pay our bank to stop payment on the withdrawal–good grief–see why I had a headache!

Tuesday was yoga day and it was so good to attend once again–I didn’t go at all last week as we were so busy.  On Tuesday afternoon I spent the day in the kitchen–making dog food and creamy chicken tortilla soup.  I also vacuumed sealed produce and meat we had purchased at Costco.  And I put a pork tenderloin in a marinade–an elderly couple at our church is in need of someone to supply suppers for a while–my day is Wednesday and I’m taking them pork tenderloin.

The dog food which Emmi loves!

The Cowboy ran more electrical wires Tuesday and wired a bunch of outlets–can’t have too many outlets.  He also installed more insulation in the ceilings.  We sure are enjoying our new patio–every evening we go over there to watch the sunset–it’s nice to finally have a place to sit with a view.

Wednesday it was a very cold, blustery day for Arizona.  I’m not complaining, just stating fact as the high at our home in Montana today was minus one!  Dark storm clouds and rain moved in and out all day.  Early this morning we were treated to this rainbow–it was so incredibly vivid.  The spots showing in the photo are rain drops on the lens.  We could see both ends of the rainbow and it looked close enough to touch!

Wednesday was haircut day for me in Willcox, we enjoyed lunch out and bought a few groceries before returning home.  The Cowboy has been puttering–hanging more insulation in the ceilings.  It’s good life has slowed down–I’m not sure either of us could have kept up that pace!

 

Visitors And A Change Of Design

For years I’ve followed a blog, The MoHo and Other Traveling Tales  written by Sue but we’ve never met.  That changed on Friday when Sue and her partner Mo stopped by our place on their way over to Florida.  It was such a delight to meet them finally!  They arrived about 2pm, settled in and for dinner we were joined by our friends Dan and Linda.  I outdid myself if I do say so–the brisket I cooked slow and low for six plus hours was the best!  Served with roasted vegetables and a salad it was a spectacular meal!  And the lemon cheesecake was also delicious.

Mo and Sue are on a mission to get to Florida so they can put those kayaks in some water and pulled out Saturday morning.  Mo served in the Army Reserves for 25 years and has access to military campgrounds so they are hitting those as they travel across the country.  Thanks for stopping by, it was a delight to meet you both!

Our plans included an outdoor covered patio on the west side of the house–we used two very small rooms, probably bedrooms and removed the wall between the two making a larger space.  The Cowboy kept dropping hints such as–“wouldn’t that space be more usable with windows?” or “wouldn’t it be a more secure space if we had windows?”  So, I gave up the idea of an open patio and we installed large, opening windows and a screen security door.

The two large windows on the right are in the living room and the last two on the left are the patio.

Our stucco guy didn’t come on Friday, February 1 and we were not surprised.  When he said he would come on February 1, we are thinking he didn’t realize it was a Friday.  Why start a big job on Friday?

I have a great friend–Jane who married Paul last spring.  Jane and her deceased husband Rich after losing their son in an automobile accident in 2002 would travel to Ecuador each year with a medical mission group helping to preform surgeries on children with cleft palates and lips.  It gave them both purpose and helped their grief to settle. Jane and Rich did several of these missions before Rich’s cancer diagnosis and subsequent death.  Jane and Paul are returning from one of those mission trips Saturday night.  It’s been a hard week for the surgical team–they operate 12 hours per day without breaks, making as many children as they can whole again.  I so admire my special friend Jane and now Paul for doing these missions–they have big hearts.

I cropped out the little guy in this photo, you can see his little feet.  There’s my Jane who I trained as an operating room nurse.  Even when coming to work in the middle of the night to help with emergency surgery, Jane was always wearing her makeup. 🙂

We took a flying trip to Tucson on Saturday to get one of those windows you see in the photo above.  I made myself a promise:  never, ever again go to Costco in Tucson on a Saturday.  We’ve occasionally gone to Costco in Billings on a Saturday but we could always find a parking spot and you didn’t need a battering ram to get through the aisles. We could not find a parking place and the store was packed with people blocking the aisles to snack on the samples.  I couldn’t get out of there fast enough!

Sunday was warm but dreary spitting rain all day.  We spent the day relaxing.  I’ve started a new wool project and the Cowboy examined the backs of his eyelids several times.  The Super Bowl is on but no one is paying much attention, not even Emmi.

We Did It

As of 6pm tonight we had finished almost all the stuff we needed to finish before the stucco crew arrives.  There are some odds and ends left to complete–the Cowboy needs to install one more door and we have a few more small sheets of OSB to install.  I think we need to celebrate!

Tuesday was a busy day of a different sort.  We went to Tucson and were gone all day long and into the evening. Our first stop was Home Depot for more 2×4’s, a security door and electrical components.  We enjoyed our lunch sitting outside at Five Guys where we were joined by a very interesting gentleman from Green Valley–served in Vietnam and was thinking of getting a dog.  He was impressed with how well our Emmi behaved.

Next stop was a Wells Fargo branch bank.  We needed to have paperwork related to the sale of Nat’s house notarized.

Onward to a new to us veterinarian recommended by bloggers Gay and Joe who spend time in Tucson with their three pooches.  The clinic is located in a shall we say interesting neighborhood.  The emergency clinic had recommended we have Emmi’s liver enzymes rechecked.  We were to have seen Gay and Joe’s vet, Dr. Clark but she was on vacation so we saw Dr. Jezyk.  A very intelligent man who gave us good advice and recommendations.  His advice was to wait on checking the enzymes and instead judge how Emmi is doing by how she is acting–eating well, playing, drinking.  Dr. Jezyk first words to us were a little disconcerting to say the least–“do you realize most dogs with an elevated lipase level as high as Emmi’s was don’t survive.”  Dr. Jezyk thinks Emmi had a very serious, acute bout of pancreatitis and that she needs to be on a low fat diet for the rest of her hopefully long life! We are so grateful Emmi is doing well–we love that little pooch!

We needed a sliding glass patio door and our next stop was Window Depot.  Emmi was significantly nervous at the veterinarian–I’m sure she thought we were leaving her again–so I stayed in the truck with her while the Cowboy purchased a door.  Our credit card is set to send a text message to our cell phone any time the card is used for any amount.  The phone dinged and said $31.85 was charged at Window Depot.  Now I know a sliding patio door costs more than $31.85!!  The Cowboy motioned me to pull the truck up to the loading area and they loaded the door.  I asked him how much the door cost–$531.85.  When I told him the charge to our credit card was only $31.85 he didn’t believe the text message and said, “I have the charge slip right here, they charged us……..”  Yep, they charged us $500 less than they should have.  He went back inside the store, found the young lady who took his order and she was so grateful that we noticed the discrepancy.

Our next to the last stop was Costco then we were on our way to the airport to retrieve Dan, our friend who lives near us and who had been back in Oregon since before Christmas.  His wife Louanne is staying in Oregon for a couple more weeks to help with grandchildren child care.  It was a long, productive day!

We’ve installed that patio door, framed the outside wall of the covered patio, installed OSB panels on the walls and ceiling of the covered patio and multiple other things we can’t remember because we’ve been working so hard!

 

Wednesday evening we enjoyed having dinner at Janice’s house with Linda and Dan–great food and a pleasant evening spent with friends.

We have such a gorgeous view!

My brother Ross is a good cook and recently made a batch of summer sausage.  He sent us a sample, it arrived today and it’s good, really good!  Stay tuned for the next blog–we are having visitors!

 

Another Wall Comes Down

February 1 can’t get here soon enough!  We start working before 8am and don’t finish until after 5pm–Sunday we didn’t even take a siesta after lunch!  We are both in bed by 8:30p and sound asleep shortly thereafter!  These deadline things are awful!  Saturday the Cowboy finished framing the kitchen wall and we hung OSB board on some of the ceiling in the to be sun room.  He also finished wiring the kitchen and sun room outlets.  I hung insulation–NOT my favorite thing to do–while he was wiring.

Sunday we were on the go all day long!  We installed the kitchen windows and created another false wall to hold up the roof so we can remove the west wall of the sun room.  And, we installed a new front door–it looks fabulous!

Emmi spends the day sitting in the sun, then sitting in the shade.  I occasionally go out and throw a stick or ball for her.  She is back to her usual, playful, puppy self.

Recognize that toy in her mouth Jim and Ellie???  Jim and Ellie gave Emmi her first “duck” toy when she was only about 16 weeks old.  Ducks have always been her go to toy and if you tell her, “get the duck” Emmi will go to the toy box and get the duck, every time.

Monday we were once again on the go all day long, the sun was setting when we finished.  Hopefully the final wall came out today and I convinced the Cowboy to use the backhoe for muscle–worked like a charm!   Daylight was ending when we finished framing the outside of this room–it’s going to be an outdoor covered patio and probably screened.  And something has to hold up the roof after we tore out the existing wall–so we built a new header with the appropriate supports.  At the end of the day we screwed OSB board to the supports in order to close up the house and keep out the critters.  Whew–what a day!

The Cowboy’s daughter Shannen created this beautiful cross stitch piece–70,000 stitches!  Amazing work!

Walls Coming Down

More than a year ago my sister asked me if I would create a wool nativity scene for her.  I love my sister dearly and agreed–I just wasn’t prompt about it! 🙂 A few weeks ago I finished the project and mailed it to Ann–she loved it as did I.  If there hadn’t been so many little pieces I wouldn’t mind doing another one for myself.

 

Wednesday the Cowboy finished building the west wall of the dining/living room.  I was the gopher, chief cook, dog sitter and clean up crew.

We were all set Wednesday evening to start removing the wall on Thursday morning.  As you can tell from the Cowboy’s attire, it was a chilly morning on the shady side of the house as he started demolition. In this video he is cutting the chunks of stucco/concrete into smaller, more manageable pieces.

See the jog in this wall–not only was the wall water damaged and rotted but we wanted to get rid of that jog.  These walls are stucco–concrete–and way heavy.  Our goal was to get the wall knocked out and into the backhoe bucket all at the same time so we didn’t have to physically lift those heavy stucco walls.  By 1pm, the outer wall was gone and we were having lunch.

After lunch and a short nap we started re-constructing the wall.  By 5:30pm, the house was all closed in once again, wall up and windows installed.  We are both thrilled with the view from those windows! No more jog and the roof line matches now.

It was a long, long day and we were both exhausted so it was to the local bar for dinner.

Friday was a beautiful day and the Cowboy went to work framing the remainder of the west kitchen wall while I went to yoga.  When I returned he invited me to lunch–really he wanted to go to the lumber store in Willcox :)–but I talked him into lunch too.  Two meals out–amazing.  At home once again the Cowboy went to work on that kitchen wall–I don’t know about you but when I see plumbing and electrical start to appear I think progress is being made! I spent the afternoon catching up–laundry, ironing, some cooking.  I also gave our leather furniture a good conditioning with Lexol.  So, that’s what we’ve been doing–I will leave you with a comical photo of Lora–our great granddaughter in Germany.  When I asked her mother who Lora was supposed to be in this costume Laci said, “I have no idea!”Lora is the one with the pink and purple thing on her head.  Notice poor Gemma hiding behind Laci–I think she is scared!