What A Change

 

What do you think??  The upper photo is a realtor photo taken before we purchased the property.  This photo was taken this afternoon after the Cowboy turned the corner and started around the front of the house.  It’s amazing how different the houses look! The two small, high windows are in what will be the master bedroom–and we will probably install larger windows.

I didn’t get a photo but these parapets are now enclosed with OSB board–we had talked about stuccoing the brick on the outside but now we can see how the brick will look with the southwest style roof–and we like it.  So maybe no stucco over the bricks.

Emmi and I ran into this jackrabbit during our evening walk.  I think something was wrong with him–he let us get way too close–they are usually very skittish but he let me get within 10 feet taking photos.  When we turned around to head home, there he was again and Emmi started to give chase but I called her back (it’s so nice to have a dog that obeys!)–didn’t want to stress him if he is actually ill.

Looks kind of skinny doesn’t he?

I assigned myself a dirty, grubby job this morning–there is so much I can’t do but I can pick up the garbage and clean up.  So, I pulled old, nasty insulation from the rafters, loading it and all the drywall we’ve knocked down over the last few days into the truck.  It’s a pickup load to say the least!!

And just in time for Easter–I made one of these Buggy Barn bunny quilts several years ago and gave it to my niece for Easter one year.  I purchased fabric to make myself a bunny quilt but that’s one of those projects which was never started.  I’m not real happy with all my fabric choices–not enough contrast so I may have to purchase a few more fat quarters.  There are nine bunnies in the quilt and I made two today–the other one is not a keeper–not enough contrast.

 

It’s Hard To Believe

That this old, icky looking house is going to be a work of art when the Cowboy finishes! 🙂 We are going to keep the brick on the inside walls but stucco over the brick on the outside.  This pinkish wall you are seeing closest to the brick will be  living/dining and the other half of that wall will leave giving us an outdoor patio.

The Cowboy removes the eaves and frames in the southwest style parapet.  Once we get all the new windows and doors installed (probably next season) we will have the whole building stuccoed including the brick.

Monday morning we woke to a howling wind so roof work was not an option.  The Cowboy removed walls inside the house and now we are starting to see a plan.  It’s exciting to actually see what we can make happen with the main house.

Sunday the Cowboy worked on the roof until the wind drove him off then he moved inside and used the table saw to cut lumber for the roof.  After church and making lunch I had an afternoon of sewing and finished a project–YEA!!! I can’t remember when I made this vow to myself–one or two years ago.  I had so many unfinished projects–fabric and patterns I had purchased or been given and never even started.  I vowed to not buy any more fabric or patterns until I finished all the projects I had on hand.  I’ve stuck to that vow–I have purchased small amounts of fabric/wool to finish projects but no large amounts of fabrics and no patterns.

The fabric and pattern for this table runner was given to me by my sister two or three years ago on my birthday.  It wasn’t an easy project–a quilt retreat buddy, Barb–had made this exact table runner at one retreat.  I remember Barb struggling with all the small pieces of the applique section.  To say I struggled was an understatement! But it’s finished and I love it!

What’s Up With The Rain

No rain in the forecast this morning, nary a drop–just major wind.  So what is it doing while the Cowboy is trying to get a portion of the roof boxed and covered–it’s raining!  It rained enough he decided to come in and get off the roof–too slippery.  We will hope this is a quickly passing rain storm!  Geez has the wind ever howled today–making huge dust storms in the Willcox Playa–

And speaking of too slippery–I was in the back yard talking to Jill back home in Montana.  The Cowboy appeared above me on the roof and said he needed me when I finished the phone call.  Seems the wind caused his ladder to fall–so the Cowboy was stuck on the roof with no way down.  It’s a good thing I was at home! 🙂

Thursday morning I worked at the library–I enjoy the time spent with the books.  The Cowboy has been on the roof most of this week.  He did meet with the electric company people–we are going to eliminate a low hanging loop of electrical wire which runs from the last electric pole to the house by burying that wire.  And it takes an act of congress and money!!  It just makes sense–we don’t want one of our RVing friends to catch that wire or catch the wire with the backhoe–so underground it goes.

Friday morning the Cowboy headed to Sierra Vista for some of the supplies for this electrical job.  We also have to have the meter moved and move our breaker panel–lots of moving going on!  Emmi and I held down the fort–

Friday evening we were invited to the home of Dan and Louanne–we met them at the VFW hall a few weeks ago.  They invited other friends and we met more people–it was a fun evening!

Today I tackled a chore I’ve been avoiding–I ripped the drywall from a major part of the ceiling in the main house kitchen/hall/bath area.  Nasty, stinky, dusty, sweaty work–I wore a respirator mask–and I’m glad to have that major chore behind me.  There is still more to do–we have walls to remove and more ceiling drywall in a couple closets but I made a huge dent today.  Whew!

Tonight we are off to try the rib dinner at the VFW hall.  Update–the ribs were delicious!

Blue Doors

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

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

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

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

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

Life is quiet but good.

 

 

More Roof Building

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Roof Progress

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

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

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

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

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

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

A Tucson Run And Vanilla Sticker Shock

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Moon going down over the Dragoons a while back.

Snow in the Chiricahuas.

Life is good!

 

 

A Different Direction

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

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

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

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

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

 

Candy, Wool, Guests And A Motorhome For Sale

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

The Beam Is In Place

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

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

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

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

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

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

And we had bird visitors–