Kitchens

March got a head start on the last day of February with a super cold wind blowing hard all day and into the night. On the first day of March, the wind blew but not so hard. Dust everywhere!

The original kitchen.

The Cowboy is building cabinets–the upper ones. I wasn’t going to have any upper cabinets in the kitchen but he convinced me I might not want open shelving in Arizona and that I might want the storage. Our kitchen is in the exact location of the original kitchen in this house but we did move one wall a foot or so to give us more room, creating a galley type kitchen. So, one wall will have upper cabinets and the other wall is all windows.

Kitchens can be too big in my humble opinion. I’ve cooked in kitchens which are too big and I’m exhausted at the end of the day. The kitchen in the guest house is that way–it’s too far from work counter/sink to stove and refrigerator. The Cowboy said the kitchen triangle–sink to stove to refrigerator should be 13 feet total–my new kitchen will fit these dimensions. My sister’s kitchen is a galley type kitchen and it works well. Our kitchen in Montana while not a galley type fits these dimensions and is easy to work in.

And disappointing news on the kitchen countertop front. From the beginning I have not been comfortable with the people controlling the measurement and install of the kitchen countertops. I was right to be uncomfortable. We’ve waited two weeks for the measuring people who were to come Thursday morning. Today the company called and delayed the appointment until next Tuesday. I was on the phone with Lowe’s and they gave me the number for the people in Lowe’s corporate who deal with the installation companies. We are changing course–on Thursday we are again meeting with the kitchen countertop people at Lowe’s to chose new countertops made by a different company and using a different measuring and install company. This company assured Lowe’s corporate they would be out to measure within the week of receiving the order. We will see!

Wednesday I went over to Linda’s and helped her arrange and price garage sale items. On Friday and Saturday the Geneva Street annual garage sale happens. I did some early shopping at Linda’s scoring a pair of almost new walking sticks!!

March 3rd and the wind about blew us into New Mexico today! I hate to think what the rest of March will bring!

We Take A Trip

Well, I took a trip-with Louanne and we had an amazing time!! My second vaccine dose was scheduled for this past Wednesday in Glendale, AZ, a three hour drive from us. I tried my best to find a place in Tucson to receive the Pfizer second dose with no success so road trip it was! Not only did I get my second vaccine injection but we shopped, dined well and not so well and we laughed! It was fun to get away to the big city!

Louanne should have found a larger cart!

The vaccine appointment was once again seamless–drive in, drive out and I had absolutely no reaction to the second injection. One of the volunteers moving vehicles along in line told me they had many people flying to Phoenix from California to get the vaccine as the powers that be in California weren’t moving the vaccine quickly enough. Many of our friends in this area have now received at least their first dose so Arizona is moving right along.

I liked this little sticker they gave me and the band aid they stuck on my arm said the same thing.

Well, the destructive gophers killed two of our trees we planted last spring eating the roots and also girdling the tree above ground. Those trees were about 4 feet tall! We could keep the gophers from eating above ground but not below ground. Time for destructive action against the gophers. As of Sunday morning the score is Us 2 and gophers 0! It’s hard to grow anything in the southwest! If it’s not the gophers, it’s the rabbits!

While I was gone the Cowboy took a motorcycle ride and worked at getting the lower kitchen cabinets leveled and attached to the walls in preparation for Lowe’s coming to measure for countertops. On Saturday I attempted to eradicate some of the dust that had collected in this house. Not only is it dry and dusty in Arizona but all the cabinet construction generates even more dust. It’s an ongoing battle that won’t end until construction ends. But we sure do love our new living/dining room!–it’s worth a bit more vacuuming!

During my absence the Cowboy had some excitement–the fire was put out quickly and we never heard how it started.

Our Montana friend Larry stopped by Friday evening–he owns a place outside Douglas. He left Montana during some of that nasty weather they had a couple weeks ago and said it was a tough trip. There are many miles between Montana and southern Arizona and if the roads are bad, those miles seem longer!

I’ve washed a mountain of clothes and applied polyurethane to more cabinet door and drawer fronts. I finished the refrigerator panels in the motorhome and you wouldn’t know they were ever covered with that burl veneer. I’m becoming a polyurethane applying expert–ugh!

Sunday afternoon I joined the ladies at Linda’s for drinks and appetizers–it’s always a fun gathering!

This cool photo was taken by JenMarie RdWright in Big Timber, Montana. She gave me permission to share. The engines are owned by Montana Rail Link. The first one states “Thank You Veterans” and the second one states, “Thank You To All Essential Workers.

 

 

 

 

Dang Varmints

We planted small trees in March 2020, right before we headed north to escape Arizona’s rising covid numbers. In October when we returned the trees looked great and had probably grown at least a foot. Now some stupid hairy varmint is trying to destroy those trees! They are eating the bark from the trunks at and below ground level!! So far the critters have not girdled any of the trees and we applied tar to the scars left behind by the toothy varmints. All we can do now is hope! We are also going to wrap the trunks with pieces of PVC pipe the Cowboy will split and then tape back together around the trees. And hope we catch the varmint–and it won’t be to relocate it!

Nothing new is going on–we’ve been making cabinets, painting cabinets, etc. The lower cabinets are built and the Cowboy is working on the drawers. I’ve been applying polyurethane to what seems like an endless supply of drawer fronts and cabinet doors.

Sunday evening we were invited to an afternoon gathering outside at the home of our newest residents, Mo and Donnie. They live on the same street as Dan, Louanne, Linda and Janice. The sun was warm but the wind was awful–you had to not only hang onto your plate, you had to hang onto the chips on your plate!

Still think covid is a hoax? Still think it’s just the flu? Think again! Someone near and dear to me, 59 years old, healthy, and takes no medications has been in the hospital for one week today struggling to breath. With every breath he has been wondering if he will ever get over this, will he have lasting effects. I can thankfully say that today he seems to have turned a corner–his oxygen has been decreased and his oxygen saturation levels are staying up near where they should be. It’s been one rough, emotional week folks, it’s not the flu.

We have a bunch of quail hanging out in our yard–we love seeing these birds and hearing them talk to each other. The Cowboy isn’t in favor of feeding the birds–birdseed attracts rats and the rats attract the snakes. Two critters we don’t need!

Snow–But Not Here

Monday in between feeding us I managed to catch up with all my mending. Curtains needed hemming, jacket cuff stitching needed repair, etc. All done and put away–a good feeling–until the Cowboy said, “do you think you could hem some of my jeans?”

The Cowboy is a Wrangler man and Wranglers have gone the way of most other things–made in foreign countries and not made well any longer. We order him the exact same jeans he has worn for years and we may or may not get jeans that fit. The last batch were the same length he’s always worn and he could actually stand on the bottom of the jeans–that’s how much too long they were. A couple washings and the jeans weren’t quite so long but they are still too long–so back to the sewing machine!

The Cowboy is making great progress with the lower cabinets and on Wednesday we drove to Sierra Vista to meet with the Lowe’s cabinet people. We chose a beautiful quartz countertop and someone should be calling us to come measure soon–exciting! The countertop specialist was very helpful and attentive–a much better experience!

This is a photo taken from my phone weather app Tuesday morning–

Seldom do you ever see those kind of temperatures in Arkansas and over the last three days they also have this–12 inches of snow–something rarely seen in my home state. My sister took this snow photo–

At least the family still has electricity. I feel for all the people without power and water in this widespread storm. It’s a doozy!

We had lunch at Culver’s as we had Emmi with us then we drove to the wood shop to buy more hickory to finish the cabinets. Back home we visited via telephone with Larry and Geri and rested our eyes.

It was a chilly, blustery day again in our corner of Arizona and it’s not even March!

Puttering Along

We joined the semis and vehicles on the I-10 racetrack early Thursday morning and headed to Tucson. Our first stop was Lowes where I had an appointment to talk to someone about kitchen countertops–that process was a joke and no decisions were made. Another appointment is made for next week in Sierra Vista at the Lowe’s store. We bought a truck load of groceries at Costco, had lunch at a not so great Mexican restaurant with outdoor seating and picked up another truck load of groceries at Walmart using pickup.

Friday I made Valentine candy and delivered to our neighbor Sue who lost her husband recently to covid and to Milton and Lucy–our caretakers in summer. The Cowboy worked hard at building cabinets all day long.

Saturday was a busy day for both of us. The Cowboy built cabinets and I attempted to eliminate the dust that gathers in this house which is also a construction zone. There is a sliding patio door which closes the porch/cabinet making room off from the rest of the house but that dust he is creating just seems to seep out. The price I pay for custom, beautiful cabinets at a fraction of the cost!

In the evening on Saturday we dined with Dan and Louanne. He smoked a brisket and it was to die for! Louanne, in honor of Valentines Day, made a red velvet cake–oh my!! It was such an enjoyable evening as always. I am the outlier in this group–Michael, Dan and Louanne have all had their second vaccine. I’ve only had my first but will in not too long have my second.

Sunday we celebrated Valentines Day by being bums–napping, knitting, cruising the internet. A wonderful, lazy day!

Even Emmi was enjoying the sunshine. The awful weather affecting what seems to be the rest of the US is mostly bypassing us. Our temps are cooler, the wind is terrible today but the sun is shining and it is not 22 degrees below zero as it was in Montana Sunday morning!

And we still have beautiful sunsets!

 

 

One Of Us Is Vaccinated

On Tuesday we drove to Willcox where at the Medicine Shoppe Pharmacy the Cowboy received his second dose of Moderna covid vaccine. On Wednesday he spent a lot of time on the couch looking at the back of his eyelids. Whether it was due to the vaccine or from lack of sleep due to dogs barking half the night–who knows. And an update–later in the afternoon he was grouting tile so if he had a reaction from the vaccine it was a mild one!

I spent some time in the motorhome on Tuesday with this nasty adhesive remover we ordered from Amazon. The panels of the refrigerator where we removed the fake burl wood veneer were still sticky. It took several applications of the remover to finally get the glue to release. Not sure what kind of glue Beaver was using back in 2000 but it sure is sticky!

And today I was back to painting–some drawers for under the sink cabinet and a couple door frames I had missed in the original round of painting. The sink cabinet will have two pull out drawers–one for the trash can and one for all the stuff that accumulates underneath a sink. That cabinet also has its first coat of polyurethane.

Lunch was hamburgers on homemade hamburger buns–so good compared to store bought buns! Served with a salad–trying to eat a little healthier again.

I’m still searching for somewhere to get my second covid vaccine closer to home but with no success. My second dose isn’t due until February 24 and I’m scheduled in Phoenix for March 1–I will keep looking–I’m struggling with why this vaccine business has to be so difficult. At the rate the vaccines are being dispensed and administered it’s going to be a very long time before everyone who wants a vaccine gets one.

Our home with the new porch at sunrise–and sunrise Wednesday morning–

On occasion I will stumble across photos of our Arizona home from 2017 when we purchased the property. The change is amazing! In the first photo the Cowboy is walking on the roof of the guest house and the brick front of the main house is in the foreground. We still had the Country Coach motorhome at that time.

In this next photo you see the front of the guest house and its non-existent roof, the main house is in the shadows to the left. When we bought this place, the two houses were not connected as they are now and they didn’t have a southwest style roof.

At some point today–remember the schnauzer Bingo who we helped find his way home–Bingo’s people left us a wonderful gift. Not sure how we missed them or how our watch dog Emmi let us miss them but we thank you Doug and Roma!

A Reunion

I apologize in advance to all my Facebook friends who have all ready read this story but it’s too good a story not to share again!

Thursday was a very good day, a day of coincidences, and one lucky dog! After my walk Emmi and I were headed to the house when I heard Michael, “where did that come from???” It was a standard schnauzer, healthy looking, no collar, asleep on our golf cart seat. He was very friendly, grateful for the water I gave him but wanted nothing to do with Emmi’s expensive low fat dog food. I quickly snapped photos and posted them on our local Facebook groups. I then called the lady who knows all and everyone in our community–our friend Linda Gorton.

This part of the story is unreal–friends of Linda’s lost their schnauzer a while back, Linda wasn’t sure when. Their dog liked to ride in their golf cart. She called them, they met up with Linda and she brought them out to our house. You should have seen the reunion!! That dog, Bingo, has been missing since December 13!! We were all crying! Bingo alternated with loving on his people and jumping in the truck–he wanted to go home! We all decided that someone must have been feeding him, he looked too good to have been on his alone in the desert for more than six weeks. So, that’s my feel good story for the last few days and it brings a smile to my face every time I think about Bingo seeing his people. I wish he could tell us where he’s been these last six weeks!

Bingo disappeared while chasing a coyote. He was chipped but chips only work if the person who finds the dog is willing to take the animal to a clinic or shelter to have the chip read. Also as one friend said, veterinarians don’t routinely check for chips when people bring pets to their clinics. Emmi isn’t chipped.

The Cowboy changed course for a bit–he needed a break from cabinet making and decided to erect the porch over the guest house front door. By Saturday evening he was one sheet of metal from being finished. Seems covid has wreaked havoc with the supply of steel–the color we used on the front porch is not available anywhere. So–we punted and used some galvanized tin we had purchased for another project, changed our minds and the tin was just laying outside in the weather on a pallet. It looks great!

The Cowboy will unload the dishwasher–does your other half leave little piles of dishes he/she doesn’t know where belong?? I frequently come into the kitchen and find these cute little piles–

Yesterday I made a birthday cake–pans were too small, oven too hot, cake tastes good but geez did it look terrible! A little frosting goes a long way in making a cake look good. While making the frosting, I had cocoa and powdered sugar in the bowl of my mixer–meant to lock the mixer and instead hit the power button. Sugar and cocoa went everywhere, all over me, all over the kitchen–this photo was taken after I had cleaned up some of the mess.

I’m still knitting, still ripping out, still knitting on that shawl–at this rate it’s going to be a long time before it’s finished!

And Sunday evening we had the best time at Linda’s celebrating Janice’s birthday. The weather in Montana is frightful but in Arizona we couldn’t ask for better weather. We enjoyed drinks and appetizers on the patio in the sunshine and dinner at Linda’s perfectly laid table. We are so fortunate without a doubt to have such good friends–thank you Linda!

 

Vaccine

This sunrise photo was taken Tuesday morning with my iPhone–sometimes I like the photos I take with the phone better than the ones I take with the Nikon!

Monday was a blur of chores as was Tuesday. The cabinet maker took a break from sanding and sawdust to start work on the other porch roof–the one which will hang over the guest house front door.

Wednesday way too early we left in the dark–something we just don’t do any more–and headed to Phoenix–three hours one way. The state of Arizona has been allowed to give covid vaccines to those 65 and older but it is left up to each county and facility as to whether they will or won’t. The two state run massive vaccinations sites in the Phoenix area were the only sites allowing registration for those of us 65 and older. There are some smaller hospitals such as in Benson and Willcox plus pharmacies which will vaccinate people who are 65 and older but there are no appointments available. None of the large hospitals in Tucson are offering the vaccine to 65 and older individuals so Phoenix it was.

Approaching the health question stop.

What an operation!! The appointments are scheduled every three minutes, mine was at 10:09. We drove onto the site where masses of volunteers directed us into lanes. At one stop I presented my appointment paperwork, they logged me into their system using tablets, wrote my registration number on the windshield and I was on to the next stop where I answered health questions and we received another mark on the windshield.

Approaching the “you are good to go” tents.

Next stop was the actual injection and a time, fifteen minutes from the injection time was written on the windshield. We crawled along until reaching the final tent and we were released–in less than 30 minutes from when we drove onto the stadium grounds.  An amazing operation!!

A news article I read indicated the site at State Farm Stadium was staffed with volunteers from Blue Cross Blue Shield. One of the nurses who chatted with us and admired the little dog hanging her head out the truck window told me they really needed clinical people to do the injections–I would love to volunteer but would hope I could find another vaccination site closer to home!

By 3pm we were home and we even made a side trip to look at a used privately owned vehicle–which we didn’t buy. We are exhausted and bed time is going to come early tonight!

This is one set of drawers the cabinet maker has completed. There will be no lower cabinets except the one under the sink–all the other lower cabinets are drawers like these. This set is 36 inches wide. I am so excited!

Tree Planting

Thursday I spent the day in the motorhome–planning for a trip, nope. Beaver motorhomes are top of the line–this one cost someone almost $500,000 twenty years ago. But Beaver designers made a big mistake in our opinion. Attached to the cabinet and refrigerator doors are these fake burl wood panels. It might have looked great when new but add those 20 years and the panels are coming unglued around the edges. The refrigerator doors were particularly bad–pieces of the panel had broken–it looked awful. So with my heat gun, sander and putty knife in hand I stripped the burl panels from the refrigerator door. The resulting glue left behind was well, like glue! and it was a long day before I was satisfied with how it looked. Whew!

Friday I spent some time ripping out the knitting–can’t say I was knitting as I spent more time ripping and casting the stitches back onto the needles than I did actual knitting! Saturday was the same thing. I was getting so frustrated! The Cowboy asked me if my light was good enough–well no–so we moved another lamp closer to me and I was able to finally make a bit of progress! I shouldn’t say anything, it will probably jinx me!

We needed a few groceries and Friday afternoon I made a run to the Walmart and Safeway stores in Benson–about 40 minutes from our house. The loss of the grocery store in this community has been hard–our only choice for any kind of groceries is the local Dollar General. No produce and nothing out of the ordinary–lots of junk food–the Cowboy is glad they sell ice cream!

Sunday I planted a tree and my polyurethane applying skills were back in demand. Louanne and Dan purchased one of those very small potted Christmas trees to use in their home over the holidays. They live in town and did not think a tree predicted to grow 40 feet would fit in their landscaping so it came to live out in the country with us.

I’ve been trying to fix the cages and water holding dams around all our trees. And protect them from the stupid critters. Here are two of the ones I’ve done and you can see the damage on the lower limbs wrought by what we think were jackrabbits. We thought these two trees were big and strong enough to withstand critters and had removed the cages to give the trees more room to spread. Well–now they just have bigger cages!

Rocks are in short supply on our Arizona property. But just up the road is a piece of ground right beside the road that is just covered in rocks–odd–so Emmi and I take one of the golf carts and pick rocks.

For Sunday lunch I made carne asada tacos using this recipe from GimmeDelicious.com .  Oh my goodness were they ever delicious! We are thinking that’s a recipe to have on the menu often!

Late afternoon I headed over to Linda’s where we spent a lovely time sitting on her patio in the sun enjoying beverages and goodies. Louanne, Linda, Janice and myself were joined today by Mo, our new neighbor. Mo is the new CEO of the hospital in Willcox. She grew up in Sierra Vista and has now come full circle back home. It was a fun time and a beautiful afternoon! And that ends this week–we have a busy week coming up with a trip to Phoenix.

Snow In Arizona

My goodness the wind blew on Monday! Any snow we might have gotten has blown into New Mexico! The wind was bitter cold and taking a walk with Emmi was a miserable undertaking. Yes, we are in Arizona but we are also at 4500 feet elevation and we do have winter.

Seems I’ve caught up to the cabinet maker and my polyurethane applying skills are not needed–so I’ve been knitting–this. And I think I might have bitten off more than I can chew!

Looks like gobblygook doesn’t it! A lot of it I comprehend but am stuck on the setup row (not a good thing!)and had to ask questions of one of the knitting Facebook groups. I’ve been watching lots of YouTube videos also! This pattern is called Cinnabar by Andrea Mowry and is on Ravelry which is a knitting and crochet website. The patterns are rated on Ravelry by knitters who have actually created this piece and this pattern has an “easy” rating. Yep, bitten off more than I can chew!

But, I’ve come a long way in the knitting process! It was one of the things I resolved to learn during this lengthy covid business and I consider myself successful! I also said I was going to organize my photos and while that isn’t a finished project, I have made some progress!

Tuesday was another windy, cold and snowy day but it certainly made for great photos! Rain turning to snow overnight left us with about an inch total moisture from this storm–very welcome moisture!

Chiracahua Mountains

Wednesday dawned cold but the sun was shining and there was little wind. I spent some time finding all the various tax forms online, vacuuming and feeding us. I even helped the cabinet maker cut some sheets of 3/4 inch plywood into cabinet sized pieces–dang that stuff is heavy! He also was out in the garage using the planer to smooth some of the rough hickory we purchased. He’s always busy!

Pinaleño Mountains
The kitchen sink arrived this afternoon. Karen from RVing: The USA is our Big Backyard gave me sink envy. Karen purchased her sink from Menards–locally. If I had ordered the same sink I would have had to pay a hefty shipping fee. So, I used her idea and found a very similar one on Amazon–of course–and shipping was free. Can’t wait to see that thing installed!