Roof Duty

Forgot I took photos with the phone out at Stephanie and Larry’s the other night–they have a beautiful place–lots of trees and even a small patch of green grass!  Sarah, the lab, is about one year old and full of herself–she is saying, “someone throw the dang ball, just throw it!!!”

Well–once again I’ve been drafted!  The Cowboy lifts me onto the roof in the backhoe bucket–for some reason I find that easier than taking the first step off the ladder onto the roof.  I can climb the ladder with no issues but once it’s time to step from ladder to roof I just can’t make myself do it!

Wednesday morning we had no wind and it is getting to be crunch time–So up on the roof I went.  Under the west facing roof of the main house will be partially living/dining room and partially open porch.  It’s a very flat roof and the Cowboy needed help laying out the tar paper and rolled roofing.  Each section of rolled roofing requires a line of tar like caulk the entire length of the roof.  Between the Cowboy’s tennis elbow and my arthritic hands we are a pair.  So, I used the caulk gun–the entire length of the roof times five–my hands were a touch stiff Thursday morning!  Sunday or Monday the Cowboy mentioned a battery operated caulk gun–WHAT??–yep, it uses the same batteries which all the other power tools use.  Of course the dang thing wasn’t delivered until AFTER we laid all that roofing Wednesday morning!  But there’s still more roofing to be laid!

It would have been so, so much simpler to have just repaired the roofing OSB and laid metal roofing–we would have finished the roof a long time ago.  But, I’ve always wanted a southwest/Santa Fe style house and the Cowboy wanted to try making us one–and he’s going to be successful–the houses are going to look great!

Wednesday evening Louanne and Dan came out bringing their Boise, Idaho guests Bunny and Arnie with them.  The wind had died and we were able to sit outside to enjoy the evening.

The wind has been relentless today–I worked at the library this morning and while trying to lower our flag to half mast recognizing the death of Barbara Bush, the flag and I had a run in with an ocotillo cactus–no major damage but our library flag is not quite at half mast so the ocotillo won’t eat the flag!  I’m thinking that particular cactus needs to go!

Relentless wind–the Cowboy worked on the roof for just a couple hours this morning before coming down to earth for some ground level working–much safer!  And with the relentless wind comes no humidity–I don’t think I’ve ever seen 1% humidity before!!



Buried Electric

The guys from Sulphur Springs Valley Electric rolled in about 9:30 Monday morning.  They installed a new meter and removed the power line which drooped from this power pole to the house.  The power company guys were finished with their end of the job in just under an hour.  The Cowboy had to hook the new wiring from the new meter to our breaker panels–that took a little longer but by just after lunch time we had electricity again in the guest house.  We were prepared for no power–I had filled a cooler with ice and water bottles plus I had prepared snacks which didn’t need refrigeration–so we wouldn’t have to open either refrigerator/freezer.  It’s strange not having a RV–with a generator!–then we wouldn’t worry about not having power.

I am so fortunate to have such a handy husband!

This cute little guy showed up in my Facebook feed today–for his birthday we sent him the jacket he is wearing–Image may contain: 1 person, smiling, shoesand I found out the little guy was quite distraught when the jacket was in the washing machine!

More painting for me today and other mundane chores–laundry, etc.  I made another batch of granola and I seem to remember a reader asking for the recipe–my friend Kelly gave me this recipe a long time ago–


Makes about 10 cups

4 cups old-fashioned rolled oats

2 ½ cups sliced almonds (1/2 lb)

1 ½ cups sweetened flaked coconut

¼ tsp salt

½ cup vegetable oil

½ cup honey

1 cup dried cranberries (5oz)

1 cup golden raisins (5 ½ oz)

Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 350°.  Line a large shallow baking pan with foil and oil foil

Toss together oats, almonds, coconut, and salt in a large bowl.  Whisk together oil and honey, then stir into oat mixture until well coated.  Spread mixture in baking pan and bake, stirring occasionally, until golden brown, 22 minutes–be very careful, the granola burns easily due to the honey.  Stir in cranberries and raisins, then cool completely in pan on a rack.

The wind has been relentless again today–word to the wise–we won’t be scheduling any outdoor projects during the month of April again!

Tonight we drove out to Stephanie and Larry’s and had such an enjoyable evening with them–a wonderful meal and lots of great conversation!  Emmi isn’t happy now that we are home–seems we smell like another dog–Sarah, the Labrador!!!  Stephanie and Larry purchased their place in 2004–they have lots of large trees and even a small lawn–green grass!!!–a beautiful oasis in the desert!


Someone Turns Two

Our great grandson Brooks turned two years old today–hard to believe!  Both Brooks and his sister Millee have been really sick the last few days–hopefully Montana weather will improve soon and they will get rid of all those nasty viruses!

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Goodness–the wind has been awful!  Thursday was the worst day but Wednesday and Friday were mighty windy too. The Cowboy was using a half sheet of OSB over a soft spot on the roof–he had lightly nailed this board.  Sometime Thursday evening that piece of lumber came flying off, over the roof and out into the yard.  We are very lucky it didn’t come through a window or damage the stucco.  Scared Emmi girl when it flew by the window!

Saturday and today the Cowboy has been on the roof working hard, long days.  I coated the parapets with rubberized paint today and sprayed weeds.  I also mucked out the house–Arizona is famous for its dust and when the wind blows as it did last week that dust finds its way into the house.  I am still loving that little stick vacuum cleaner–makes vacuuming almost pleasurable!

Our time in Arizona is winding down and we are starting to plan our departure.  The Cowboy thinks he can finish the roof and I’m sure I can finish all my tasks.



Security Questions

You’ve all seen the Facebook survey posts–

What Was Your High School Mascot

or this one—-

What Was Your First Pet’s Name

Or the one asking “What’s the first live concert you’ve attended?”–I saw this one on Facebook today.  Did you know that’s one of the security questions Verizon asks to secure your account????  A good friend shared this blog post on Facebook, Don’t Give Away Historic Details About Yourself  (remember my link color is hard to see, you can click on the title and be directed to the blog post.)

In this blog post the author strongly cautions against answering any of these cute little surveys.  Just remember, Facebook is in very hot water with founder Zuckerberg testifying before Congress about its latest security breaches in which they allowed Cambridge Analytica, a political data firm to gain access to private information on more than 50 million Facebook users.

I have also seen the survey asking for your high school mascot–that exact security question is used by many banks/credit card companies, etc.  If your Facebook account was one of the compromised–someone now has the answer to your security question at your bank.

The blog author isn’t a fan of security questions as he feels the answers can be obtained very easily.  He suggests not answering the security questions truthfully–but remember your answer in case the lie you told comes back to haunt you! 🙂

Yes, a hacker might have his/her work cut out for them accessing your bank account, answering your security question and coming up with your password but why give any one in this day and age any more leverage than necessary!!  As for me–I’m avoiding those Facebook surveys!


Just A Touch Warm

The warm temps help the alfalfa grow giving the area farmers seven cuttings per year.  A little water helps too I bet!

Our thermometer said 94 degrees Tuesday afternoon and the Cowboy was on the roof–he drinks lots of water and tells me he works at a slow pace.  Emmi and I have been hibernating inside in the cooler house.  It’s my job to keep the Cowboy supplied with cold water and good food.

Before retirement (ha, ha!) we owned an excavation company–digging various type holes, building roads, installing septic systems, etc.  In Billings we had wholesale accounts at two different supply companies–Crescent Electric and Mountain Supply for plumbing supplies.  These two companies are awesome–they always have what you need and the customer service at both businesses is very good.

We’ve not had that experience in Arizona.  Home Depot nor Lowes had the heavy gauge wire the Cowboy needs for this electrical upgrade we are doing.  Neither did Crescent Electric in Sierra Vista.  We tried ordering the wire from Home Depot and that was a disaster.  So, Mr. Google to the rescue and the Cowboy on the phone bright and early Monday morning calling electrical supply companies in Tucson.  Success and I was in the truck heading to Tucson by 9am.  Outlet Electrical in Tucson is the sort of company you enjoy giving your business.  Fast, knowledgeable and helpful.

And I went to the Quilt Basket again!!–a very welcoming store and in the course of telling me “good morning and can we help you,” I said, “I just want to look, I am in Tucson by myself without a husband waiting for me in the truck, I just want to browse!”  That statement earned a lot of laughs and words of sympathy! 🙂

With stops at Costco and Target I was home by 3pm and greeted by a happy little Emmi.

Today was “dump” day–we take our garbage to the transfer station rather than paying to have the trash picked up by a garbage company.  The drive is scenic–the country road leading to the transfer site is lined with alfalfa fields and pecan trees.  As were were driving along I spotted something in one of the pecan trees–a nest and an owl sitting in the nest.  The only camera I had with me was the cellphone and the owl was too far up in the tree to get a good photo with the phone.  I went back out later with a camera and got these shots–

You Won’t Believe It

Our friend Louanne called a couple weeks ago to see if I had any interest in participating in a run/walk to benefit the Amerind Museum.  Well–even though it’s been a long time since I ran, I thought I could handle the walking part of a 5K and I agreed,  Saturday was a partly sunny day and very warm with the 5K runners/walkers not starting until 9:20am.  It was a very easy walk along a road with just a couple uphill sections.  The scenery is gorgeous and it was fun getting to know Louanne a little better, chatting as we walked.

Proof that I actually did participate–and no, I didn’t win a medal–everyone who crossed the finish line received one of these.

Friday we made a run to Sierra Vista–the roofing job required more OSB and other miscellaneous stuff.  I needed embroidery thread and found that at the local quilt shop.  Lunch was at our typical fast food spot–Culvers–as they have outdoor seating and we of course had the Emmi girl with us.

The Cowboy placed those straps in the bed of the truck before the Home Depot guys loaded the OSB.  The backhoe lifts the load and I drive the pickup away.

Saturday the Cowboy worked on the roof making headway.  Saturday evening we were invited to Dan and Louanne’s for dinner.  Dan is the main chef in that household and he uses his electric smoker frequently.  He smoked a beef roast and it was divine as were the butter potatoes!  I’m not a thousand island salad dressing fan but Dan’s homemade dressing could convert me!  It was a very enjoyable evening with the two of them plus their neighbors Brian and Sally.

Today–Sunday–was a day of rest.  After church we had some couch time examining the backs of our eyelids.  Mid afternoon I made lunch and we had some more couch time.

 Some of the scenery we saw during the run/walk.  The bright sun didn’t help my photography.

The wind howled today blowing bits of old tar paper off the roof into the yard.  Monday and Tuesday are to be calm hopefully and then the wind is to really blow!

Friends Visit

Many, many years ago, probably 2003–2004 we met a couple at a shooting range west of Tucson.  We were participating in Cowboy Action Shooting at the time as was Jim.  His wife Linda didn’t shoot.  They were full time RVers living in their new 5th wheel. We attended many of the same shoots and occasionally camped near each other in various places across Arizona.  Jim and Linda would “babysit” our previous little schnauzer Jazz. A few years ago Jim and Linda gave up the RVing life and purchased a home in Tombstone–a cool, older home which they have made into a beautiful/comfortable spot.

Jim and Linda came for lunch yesterday and spent the afternoon with us–we had a great time–just yakking the afternoon away!! 🙂  I had cooked a delicious brisket which we enjoyed with the best potato salad I’ve made in a long time.  Homemade ice cream with chocolate cake for dessert–yep, we dined well!

Today was my volunteer at the library day and the Cowboy invited our friend Dan over to help with a project–his usual helper declined the offer! 🙂 The local power company has lots of rules/regulations for new meter installs and burying power lines.  The Cowboy had assembled his new meter box and conduit but needed some muscle in order to mount the apparatus on the power pole at the specified height.  Thus we had Dan!

It made me so nervous ( I hadn’t left for the library yet) to see how close that pole was getting to the power lines but the Cowboy assured me the wires were heavily insulated.  Both guys are still navigating so I guess he was right! 😉

 I love these quail and the noise they make.I’m out of here, you are way too close!

With the wind and dust our sunsets are quite colorful at times–

It was a touch too warm for roof work this afternoon so the Cowboy has been building a bracket on the John Deere lawn tractor to hold our 15 gallon weed spray tank–I will be in business!

Never Ending Roof Work

Right before sunset.

Or so it seems, the roof work is never ending.  I guess when you are a one man crew with the occasional helper, it takes a while!  I have become just a tad braver about climbing the ladder as long as the Cowboy is there to help me with that first step from ladder to roof.  When he has a large piece of OSB board I am called to duty, especially if it’s windy.

Otherwise it’s just routine chores for me.  I did paint door trim yesterday and there are doors to paint but I hate to take the Cowboy away from roof work–he has to remove the doors for me so I can paint them laying flat–doors may have to wait until next season.

He is making progress! Above is today’s photo and the below photo was taken two days ago.

And in spite of the hurricane we had Monday, the Cowboy stayed on the roof all day.  The wind howled even over into the wee hours of the morning–lots of bangs and creaks going on.

Sunset Monday evening was great thanks to all the dust the wind generated.

Moon going down over the Dragoons.

Easter Sunday

We’ve had a great Easter Sunday–the Cowboy and I went to church where we enjoyed a fabulous potluck breakfast, then church with some fantastic music and back home.  Mid afternoon I grilled steaks for our Easter late lunch/early dinner.  Joanie who plays the piano so well at our church can sing like an angel.  Her husband has a fabulous voice too but their daughter–oh, my goodness–what a voice!  Right before communion we always sing The Lord’s Prayer.  This song has some powerful high notes and when those two ladies hit those notes I get goose bumps–amazing!!

Here are some beautiful Arkansas Easter bunnies–I miss my family so much on this holiday!

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And some Montana Easter bunnies–aren’t they just the cutest!!

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The weather in Montana has been frightful–8 degrees yesterday morning and 11 degrees Easter Sunday morning.  And snow.  The below photo is of the Montana State University football field ready for the afternoon Easter egg hunt–in the snow–only in Montana!

Image may contain: one or more people, stadium, crowd and outdoorPhoto from the Distinctly Montana Facebook page.

The Cowboy has done some more demolition on the roof of the main house–

and he has started assembling all the parts for the burying of the power lines.My frugal Cowboy is a happy camper–the grey box in front of him is a “main breaker meter panel” and purchase price is usually about $150.  The Cowboy found a “cosmetically damaged” panel on Amazon for $57!–it was returnable in case it was too damaged so he ordered the panel and it arrived Friday.  It has two tiny scratches–that’s it and was a third the cost of a new one!  We are thinking a panel which sits outside in the sun/elements doesn’t need to be “cosmetically” perfect!

We are not fans of mesquite trees but this place needs trees–so I I worked out in the “yard” on Saturday cleaning away all the debris from under a couple small mesquite trees then watered them slowly for several hours.  In the process I saw several tarantula holes in the ground–After church I took this photo–the dang tarantula was right there and scooted back down his hole–I shrieked and jumped of course!

We hope you all had a blessed Easter!

A Scary Story

This blog is for our women readers–have you ever researched heart attack symptoms for women?? The symptoms are often very different from what men having a heart attack experience.  The following list of symptoms for women who might be having a heart attack was taken from the American Heart Association website:

  1. Uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, fullness or pain in the center of your chest. It lasts more than a few minutes, or goes away and comes back.
  2. Pain or discomfort in one or both arms, the back, neck, jaw or stomach.
  3. Shortness of breath with or without chest discomfort.
  4. Other signs such as breaking out in a cold sweat, nausea or lightheadedness.
  5. As with men, women’s most common heart attack symptom is chest pain or discomfort. But women are somewhat more likely than men to experience some of the other common symptoms, particularly shortness of breath, nausea/vomiting and back or jaw pain.

I am sharing this story with permission from a childhood friend my age–62–who on Wednesday had a heart attack.  She has no family history of heart disease, eats well, is thin and is very active.  She had been experiencing shortness of breath after climbing one flight of stairs and her heart would race.  She was to see her family physician on Thursday, her birthday, to talk about these symptoms.  Wednesday following lunch with a friend she experienced a racing heart and tightness in her chest as if an elephant was sitting on her chest.  She opted to drive herself to the ER where on her birthday she received a heart stent for a 95% blockage of a cardiac artery.

My friend had researched heart attack symptoms–and her actions prevented a much worse outcome.  So–pay attention to your body, read what’s out there about women and heart attacks.  In one article I read the woman was having pain in both arms with no other symptoms–she was having a heart attack.  I have no family history of heart disease–none–am relatively thin, eat well and am very active yet I have high cholesterol.  I take a low dose statin and in light of my friend’s little episode, I think I will continue to take the statin!

Around here it’s just been more roof work and the Cowboy even had me on the roof today–how did that happen???  He has laid the “rolled roofing” on the flat surface of one half the roof of the main house.  He has to cut pieces to lay over the areas of the parapets.  Once all the “rolled roofing” fabric is in place we will then coat it with that expensive Henry’s silicone coating.  Progress, progress!!

This is a scupper which drains the roof–that hole seen in the photo is actually a galvanized metal square tube thingy. 🙂

This particular scupper drains a portion of the guest house roof onto the garage roof (the white you see in the photo) and from the garage roof onto the ground.

Normal chores for me today after I was released from roof duty–laundry, cleaning, etc.  I did complete another bunny.  And here’s a precious grand baby photo–Millie at 6 months.

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