It’s That Time Of Year

People at church have colds, the lady behind the counter at the post office coughs, we spoke with friend Larry and Geri–they both have colds. Even though I sat beside a snotty, coughing young woman on the plane to Arkansas I managed to avoid her germs. When we are out among people I am constantly telling the Cowboy–“don’t touch the door handles.” I go through bottles of hand sanitizer and packages of antiseptic wipes this time of year. I repeat this mantra when I am out in public, “don’t touch your face, don’t touch your face.” Many people in our church are out with illness of some sort. I thought I was coming down with something Thursday night but Friday morning I was feeling fine. Thank goodness–I’m way too busy to be sick! It’s that time of year!

This week I hung the last of the insulation–we don’t think most people insulate inside walls but we did in some areas–one of our bedroom walls shares a wall with the refrigerator in the kitchen. On both ends of the country we have noisy refrigerators and so we insulated that wall. We also insulated all the way around the bathroom. Glad to be finished with that nasty insulation stuff!

The Cowboy has been busy as usual hanging drywall, building ceilings, laying shower floor tile–that man is always on the go! Our mini split heating and air conditioner units should be delivered on Monday.

Saturday evening we enjoyed the company of friends Lyndon, Lisa, Janice and Kevin who came for dinner. We had grilled tri-tips, Brenda’s cheesy potatoes, Boulder River Ranch salad and TWO desserts! We were to have been eight people but one couple–Wayne and Patty (RVing friends of Lyndon and Lisa’s) had to make an unexpected trip back to Colorado. The pressure cooker cheesecake is small and I wasn’t sure it would feed eight people so I made two desserts–lemon cheesecake and Pioneer Woman chocolate pie. I sent our guests home with leftover desserts–the Cowboy and I don’t need those extra portions!!

Church this morning and the Cowboy began grouting the shower. It’s a picture perfect day in Arizona–one of those why we come to Arizona in the winter time kind of days.

Thursday night and Friday we had some spitting rain and on both those days we were treated to gorgeous sunsets–

This little guy was chirping at Emmi and me as we walked one crisp morning.

Friday morning storm clouds.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My Brain Hurts

Monday was another grouting day and by days end the walls of the shower are grouted and we were exhausted! All those other activities I talk about (laundry, bed linen changing, etc.) were also accomplished plus cooking.

The floor will be those small tiles which form the border.

Thanks to all of you who left suggestions about loading Lightroom onto my new laptop–the suggestions were much appreciated–but unfortunately didn’t work. The DVD player idea is a great one and I ordered an external DVD but my Lightroom disc is in Montana. The suggestions about the serial number were also good ideas. I eventually found my Lightroom serial number by signing into Adobe and finding my purchased products. That’s when the real trouble began.

Moon coming up over the Chiricahua Mountainswith the sunset reflecting on the clouds.

We don’t make payments. All these subscription services for iCloud, Microsoft, Adobe Lightroom, etc. are payments and we chose not to make payments. The day is coming when companies will force us to make those payments but we are resisting as long as possible!

In 2019 I purchased from Adobe one of the last remaining hard copies of Lightroom 6 knowing that updates would no longer be available and the product would not be supported by Adobe in the very near future. Those facts didn’t concern me. I’ve been running Windows 7 for a long time without support or updates.

What bothers me about the hard copy I purchased is this–Adobe no longer has a direct download link for Lightroom 6 on their website. They don’t support the product, they don’t sell the product in DVD form so no download link. On the Adobe website it’s as if Lightroom never existed. There are many links to Lightroom CC–their cloud based version for $10/month. They don’t care that I paid about $160 for that hard copy and have the rights to use it. They are going to force me into using their Lightroom cloud based version.

No they are not–at least for the time being! I sat at my two computers yesterday for literally hours searching for ways around Adobe’s robbery. Finally yesterday afternoon late I found a website which provided a direct download link for Lightroom and it worked!! Lightroom is now installed on this computer and working smoothly. I managed to transfer my catalog, presets and preferences along with all my photos.

The lesson I just learned was SAVE the download link from any product you outright purchase! While I’ve been glued to the computers the Cowboy has been hard at work installing drywall, running electric wires, etc. I did help him yesterday afternoon–we moved about 15 sheets of drywall from the garage into the house–uffdah!! We load it onto the flat bed ATV trailer and from there into the house–still uffdah!

As for the new computer, a Dell Inspiron–I’m loving it. Two things I’ve noticed–when you click “shut down”–it shuts down, instantaneously! My older Toshiba took forever to shut down and power up. The second thing I noticed was when backing up Lightroom–it’s also instantaneous, happens in a few seconds. The Toshiba churned a bit when backing up and the process would take longer. Windows 10 and I are playing nicely.😆I haven’t been brave enough to fold the Dell into tablet form–maybe soon??😯

Anyone else tired of “lettuce recalls”?? We planted lettuce–our weather hasn’t been cooperating so the lettuce makes a trip inside each night and back out into the sunshine during the day. It may be a while before we have lettuce!

 

 

 

Not One But Two Snafus

It’s grouting time for the shower and I’ve been helping the Cowboy. He uses a tapered canvas bag filled with grout to fill the grout lines. I come closely behind him with a rubber trowel, forcing the grout more firmly into the lines and smearing away the excess. It’s definitely a two person job as the grout starts to “set” rapidly. We are more than halfway finished after two days of grouting.

You would think two people could grout a shower in less time but all the other activities/jobs in our lives have to be done also. Walking the pooch, cooking, laundry, happy hours, blog writing, etc. The Cowboy ran some more wiring and even spread more drywall mud.

It’s been sunny and a bit warmer with daytime highs in the upper 50’s. With the abundant sunshine that feels warm. It’s disheartening when I open the weather app on my phone and find it warmer at our Montana home than it is in Arizona. I know the warmer temps in Montana won’t last and there is that white stuff that falls from the sky, but geez could it warm up a bit!

We’ve researched lots of destinations for warmer weather but if you don’t like bugs and humidity Florida and south Texas aren’t options. Too many people in southern California so Arizona it is! There are a few slightly warmer places in Arizona but not enough warmer to matter.

There is always Mexico and we know people still go to Mexico but we just aren’t comfortable with the idea. And it’s not as if we haven’t been–we spent two months in Alamos, Sonora, Mexico one winter. We have friends who own homes in Mexico and they are comfortable. We have friends who are spending the month of February in Mexico. Our friends Beryl and Ainslie are in Alamos right now. Are we missing something?

OK, weather whine over as Sunday our temperature was 72 degrees!! Forecast is for sunny days in the 60’s and by Friday we are back to 49 degrees and rain–so it goes. And by the way, citrus trees don’t grow in climates where it freezes every. single. night!!

So–I bought a new computer, one with Windows 10. Due to this stupid knee of mine, I spent most of Saturday on the couch and used the time to set up the new laptop, a Dell. Last night I was going to be brave and install Lightroom 6 using the DVD when I discovered that the DVD is probably still in Montana. I haven’t searched the motorhome thoroughly but will today–I am fairly certain the DVD is still residing in Montana.

But that wasn’t the only snafu! I bought a computer without a DVD player!!! Walking back into the living room after the DVD search I suddenly had that sinking feeling, picked up the laptop and yep, no DVD player! We purchased it from Costco for a reason–returnable–so back it goes and I am so disappointed on all fronts! I will just keep using my trusty Toshiba with Windows 7 until we head back to Montana where the Lightroom DVD is residing then I will purchase a new laptop, maybe even another Toshiba.

After church the Cowboy, Emmi and I decided to take a well deserved day off after all that grouting! Our first stop was in Bisbee for late breakfast/early lunch at the Bisbee Breakfast Club–always a treat! I had huevos rancheros and the Cowboy had a burger and fries–imagine that!

Always so cool to see these cars parked along Erie Street in Bisbee. And here’s the story about Erie Street–

“Visiting Erie Street is like walking into a 1950s post-apocalyptic landscape. From all that is immediately apparent, it could have been abandoned in a hurry and forgotten for half a century. Rusting cars, trucks, and an old Greyhound bus sit deserted along the street as if their passengers had suddenly vanished (or worse). 

Erie Street is most of what is left of Lowell, Arizona, a mining town incorporated into Bisbee in the early 1900s. Much of the town’s residential area was demolished to widen an open pit copper mine. Losing most of its residents caused the commercial district to struggle, and many businesses failed as a result. Today, the street’s special curiosities include a Harley Davidson repair shop with a now-defunct gas pump and Sprouse Reitz Co., a department store that is nearly empty except for a few appliances and a whole pile of mannikin parts. 

Despite appearing untouched since its decline, further investigation reveals that Erie Street is continually restored by a vibrant and passionate community of residents and volunteers who want to remember a different America. So although you can no longer see a show at Lowell’s movie theater or pay $0.22 for gasoline, the Lowell Americana Project has made it possible to experience the street as a living snapshot of another time.” From Atlasobscura.com

We took the long way around to Sierra Vista so we could visit Carr Canyon. There are always so many gorgeous photos of Carr Canyon Falls on the Cochise County photography Facebook site. Well, we could see the falls–what remains of the water flowing from the storms over Christmas week but we didn’t get very close. Road was closed for…………….snow/mud/ice!!! We will definitely go back on a warmer spring day and not on Sunday–it was a bit busy to say the least.

The falls were in the shade of the mountain, thus my photos look washed out. It’s a popular hiking destination–the base of the falls and to the top to look over the precipice.

After a quick stop at Home Depot and Culvers for milkshakes we pointed the truck for home. A spectacular day off from house labors!

This photo was shared from the Cochise County and All Its Wonders photography Facebook page. Taken by Arizonan Yeti and shared with permission. The photo was taken on November 30 after all the Thanksgiving week rain.

 

 

Happy New Year

Happy New Year to all our family and friends. May the new year and decade bring you much health, happiness and prosperity. Our little Arizona community started a new tradition on New Year’s Eve–fireworks–and the fire department did a fabulous job using monies donated by our community. We watched from inside the warm house before heading off to Lisa and Lyndon’s for a New Year’s Eve party.

Friends and neighbors gathered in Lisa and Lyndon’s garage and enjoyed games and all the food everyone contributed. They have a pool table and ping pong table plus other people brought various games. The Cowboy and Lyndon won almost all the pool games–they were on a roll which is amazing as the last time the Cowboy played pool was on New Year’s Eve, 2019!

A serious game of dominoes!

We managed to stick with the socializing until about 10:30p–came home and managed to last until midnight–unusual for us!

Monday was a day of travel with my sister dropping me at the airport early while on her way to work. In Houston the plane had mechanical issues for a while then we were moved from gate B7 all the way to gate B79 so United could put us on another plane. The Cowboy and Emmi were so glad to see me as I was them. Emmi almost wiggled out of her skin when she caught sight of me. We had lunch and purchased some grout at Home Depot before heading down the road for home.

New Year’s Day was spent taking down and putting away all the Christmas stuff then cleaning the house–the dust bunnies had taken over while I was gone. Emmi and I took a couple walks and played with her Christmas present–a new nubby ball. The Cowboy received a new Samsung tablet–he’s not an Apple fan and the iPad handed down from his Dad is on its last legs we are thinking. My Toshiba laptop running Windows 7 is about eight years old and has started to act irrationally at times. So, Santa (aka the Cowboy) brought me a new Dell laptop with Windows 10. I haven’t even turned on the new computer–can an old dog learn new tricks???

On New Year’s Eve we went to Benson to sign some papers at the title office–we’ve purchased two lots which border our existing land. We enjoyed lunch at Mi Casa. It’s not the Cowboy’s favorite place to eat but when in Benson, it’s where we go. I on the other hand LOVE Mi Casa. I had the special and it was delicious!

Sunrise on New Year’s Eve

 

Back And Forth

Ann loves her chickens–she has a very colorful rooster who guards his hens carefully!

Christmas is over, the decorations are being taken down, a bit of after Christmas shopping is being undertaken and we are still eating. No one ever gets hungry on Barnes-Hill!😆

Thursday Mom and I made a trip to Little Rock. We left paperwork needing completion at the office of Chuck’s primary physician. We took the opportunity to have lunch at PF Chang’s and do a little shopping. Thursday evening I grilled a couple prime sirloin roasts. My sister Ann and her husband had asked the butcher at a Kroger store in Little Rock for tri-tip roasts. At home when unpacking the groceries I realized the roasts were not tri-tips but sirloin. I had never cooked a sirloin roast on the grill but forged ahead, marinated it as if I were cooking tri-tips and slapped them on the grill. The meat was absolutely delicious! Juicy, tender and very flavorful–so good!  Niki made Pioneer Woman potatoes and beer bread; Ann contributed a salad. We ate well that night!

Friday Ann, Niki, Leah and I once again traveled to Little Rock to do a little after Christmas shopping. It was a gray, rainy day so shopping was a good activity. We enjoyed pizza for lunch to fuel our shopping. My sister Ann had never been to Trader Joe’s so that was one stop we made–it was busy! I had never been in an Ulta–makeup–which I love, so that was a stop. My 15 year old great niece Leah was wearing a mascara that made her eyelashes look miles long and wasn’t goopy. So, I needed a 15 year old to tell me what new mascara I needed to try!😘 I love shopping in the “big” city with my family! Elizabeth had plans on Friday and had to work on Saturday and Sunday.

Saturday I spent time with Mom and Chuck–researching various VA home care programs, visiting and feeding them–as I’ve said, we eat well on Barnes-Hill! It’s another gray, rainy day–common winter weather in Arkansas.

Sunday we enjoyed a huge pot of jambalaya Danny and Ann concocted and it was so incredibly good–that recipe is a keeper! We spent the afternoon going back and forth between the two houses visiting. My cousin Mary Ellen and her Dad, Uncle Frank Lee stopped by to see Mom and Chuck.

Monday morning bright and early I board an airplane and fly back to the Cowboy and Emmi. I’ve had such a good time in Arkansas and so appreciate my sister and her husband putting up with me for this long. I have the best family without a doubt. 😍😍

The house where I grew up. I was 12 when we moved to this house. My sister and her husband built a house across the road 31 years ago. The rest of the family live within less than 2 miles of these two houses.

My last Arkansas sunset for a while.

Merry Christmas

Wishing all our friends and family a Merry, Merry Christmas. We haven’t slowed, not one bit except for this afternoon. We are typing blogs, surfing the internet, sending Christmas wishes and relaxing. Whew–we’ve been busy!

My sister Ann has a stitching project this afternoon.

Monday was spent with more cooking, cleaning and visiting. Our Chuck’s (Mom’s husband) health is extremely precarious at this point in time so we’ve been spending lots of time with him and our Mom. Niki and I made a trip to Benton–oh my was the traffic horrendous! We just needed a couple things and it was a quick trip.

Christmas Eve during the day we cooked and readied everything for our evening celebration at Mom and Chuck’s. We enjoyed a delicious ham gifted to Danny and Ann by a 90 year old church member who still works almost full time at the local Walmart. The ham was smoked by a local restaurant and we accompanied it with various sides and desserts. Everything was so good! There were 15 of us gathered together.

Chuck also had surprise visitors on Christmas Eve morning. In 2013-2014 the Cowboy and Chuck worked for Rollie in south Texas. The Cowboy on the oil rig being constructed and Chuck drove a van which transported workers from the offices out to the rig. Rollie and Gina were visiting their daughter and family who live only about 45 minutes from my family. It was so good to see them and Chuck was very surprised and also very glad to see the two of them. When we met Gina and Rollie in 2010 they had no grandchildren. Now nine years later they have nine grandchildren.  Gina and Rollie’s two daughters and families were together for Christmas and their seven beautiful children are pictured with Gina and Rollie. The other two beautiful kiddos belong to Gina and Rollie’s son who is a state trooper and because he had to work over Christmas couldn’t join the rest of the family.

Christmas Day morning we traveled about a mile and a half to the home of my niece Niki–she is Danny and Ann’s only child and we love her and her family to pieces! Niki and gang had made breakfast for us–lots of breakfast–we do eat well in our family! We watched the family open their Christmas presents and just enjoyed being together.

Santa brought both girls “screen glasses” to protect their eyes against the glare of the screens in which their heads are always buried!😝 Niki, Leah and Elizabeth.

Christmas Eve would have been our Dad’s 91rst birthday–he died in 2002–and we miss him greatly.

The Cowboy and Emmi had some Christmas Day visitors in Arizona and one, Linda, even came bearing food gifts! He has talked on the phone with his family and me–all is good in Arizona.

Mom called mid afternoon very excited–a bald eagle had landed just outside her yard fence–she lives just across the street from Danny and Ann. It had flown but we all jumped into the car and drove down the road to see if we could find him–and we did!! Twice!! What a wonderful sight!

Ann and I have managed to take a couple really good walks and always have to stop to give my brother Ross’ horses some treats. As our blogging friend Judy used to say, The End.

 

 

 

Busy, Busy Season

Wednesday night I arrived in Little Rock and stayed in a hotel in downtown Little Rock on the Arkansas River. My sweet niece retrieved me on Thursday morning. We enjoyed a fabulous lunch at Samantha’s and headed for home to see Mom and Chuck and the rest of the gang. My sister Ann and her husband Danny live right across the road from Mom and Chuck–there is always someone coming and going from both houses–for me a large part of the joy of being home.

Arkansas River bridge from my hotel room Thursday morning.

Bright and early Friday morning Danny and Ann headed to Little Rock for some last minute shopping. One of my jobs while in Arkansas is to help Chuck with some VA paperwork–we tackled that chore Friday morning. I also baked some for Ann–cookies and some candies we all love–some people call the chocolate, caramel, pecan delights “millionaires” or “turtles.” Whatever the name, they are delicious and addictive! My dear friend Gina taught me how to make them one year while we were visiting in Louisiana.

More Arkansas River bridges.

My brother-in-law pastors the church I grew up attending. I played the piano for many a service in that church. Being a pastor adds much to the holiday season and this year is no exception. There was a funeral Saturday and the church members provided lunch for the family which involved more cooking. Sunday evening the children’s program involves a live nativity scene at the home of Danny and Ann followed by soups and other goodies at their house. More cooking. And of course we sample all that cooking.

Sunset on Barnes Hill.

And we haven’t even started the actual Christmas Eve and Day cooking! Sunday Mom and I attended church with Danny, Ann and family–the choir performed a beautiful Christmas cantata. Back home my brother Ross and his family prepared a fine southern meal for us–fried catfish, hushpuppies, french fries and baked beans–delicious. We’ve spent the afternoon getting ready for the church youth and their families to arrive–soups, dips, cookies, and the list goes on and on. I am gaining weight just looking at all this food!

Life is good on Barnes Hill!

PawPaw and Elizabeth hanging Christmas lights.

Ann cooking the bacon outside.Another gorgeous sunset.

 

I’m Not In Arizona

This ladder-backed woodpecker was intent on stealing our few pecans. If the pecan crop was better I might have discouraged her behavior but many of the nuts are rotten. She can have them!

This blog is coming to you tonight while I travel to Arkansas. I flew out of Tucson Wednesday afternoon and will be in Arkansas for about two weeks. The Cowboy and Emmi remained in Arizona holding down the fort.

Sunset skies over our neighbor’s house–Joe and Sue.

Monday the Cowboy finished removing all the old drywall and the door frames from the main house bedroom. I spent the day getting ready to go to Arkansas. Grinding coffee, making Chex mix for the Cowboy, laundry, ironing, etc. In the afternoon we went to Willcox for late lunch and to shop for the type groceries the Cowboy will cook when his cook is missing in action–frozen pizza, frozen pot pies, etc.

Today the Cowboy took all the demolition trash to the landfill transfer site. Hopefully that might be our last load of construction debris?? Back home he started framing in the ceiling of that bedroom. He’s feeling mighty energetic today–I ordered four pair of shoes for him from Zappos and they were delivered about 7:30pm last night–poor UPS drivers this time of year! The Cowboy needs a pair of shoes with good arch support and one pair of the four really had good support all the way around. Oboz–designed in Bozeman, Montana and made in Vietnam. I have a pair of Oboz and love them–now, so does the Cowboy. He had been having trouble with his feet hurting from standing on the concrete floors–his feet didn’t hurt today.

I grilled a tri-tip Tuesday and it was simply amazing!! It was so good! I did have a problem getting the grill hot and getting it to stay hot. Seems we’ve been transported back to Montana and just didn’t know it! The temperature Tuesday morning was 25 degrees, our high was 46 and we had a nasty, cold, north wind all day long. UGH!

So stay tuned for blogs coming from Arkansas.

Christmas came today in the form of a huge box of books from my dear friend Kelly. She reads as much or more than I do and we share books back and forth using USPS book rate shipping. That’s a lot of books!

 

Socializing

A foggy Thursday morning. Those shadowy trees are at Joe and Sue’s, our nearest neighbor.Thursday the Cowboy spent the day laying and grouting tile–he was a bit exhausted at days end! I removed most of the stick down tile from the floor of the next bedroom slated for remodeling. I despise that stuff! The previous owners must have had problems with tiles not sticking and used a really, really good glue on about six of the 12×12 tiles. Those required the Cowboy and his handy hammer drill with spade–ugh! We’ve also discovered that the closet in that bedroom is not standard size–so standard doors won’t fit–now that’s a problem!

Friday we moved all the stuff from the last bedroom and Saturday the Cowboy began demolition. We are removing all the drywall and installing new.

Friday the weather changed for the better, no fog and much warmer. Saturday was the same–fabulous weather! I called it a “why we live here” kind of day.

As for the socializing–we were invited to Linda’s house for dinner Saturday night and enjoyed a fabulous meal of buffalo chicken chili, Mexican cornbread (used your recipe Angie), salad and two desserts! Linda always includes someone we’ve not met–Ron was the candidate last night and he and the Cowboy have a lot in common–both installed septic systems. There were a lot of poop jokes going around the table! 😝 It was a great evening and thank you Linda!!

Sunday we had Sunday lunch with Milton and Lucy–Ted and Jeane plus Peggy and …… dang it, I’ve forgotten her husband’s name–joined us. Lucy had prepared a wonderful lunch–pot roast, mashed potatoes with gravy, salad, corn, and homemade bread. I provided an apple pie from my freezer–one of the pies Louanne taught me to make. We so enjoyed ourselves that when I looked at my watch I couldn’t believe how late in the afternoon it was!

Sunday the weather changed once again–the wind howled all day and our temps grew cooler. But we still had some outstanding sunsets throughout the week!

Life is good! And we were reminded this week of how good our lives actually are. The Cowboy spotted an ad on Craigslist for “free firewood.” I communicated with the person via text thinking the person was a man and made arrangements to go out to their place on Friday afternoon. It was a young woman who with her two teenage sons had purchased this project house on acreage. The house burned to the ground a couple months ago. Because the house was a “project house” it would not pass inspection and was not insured. She is now living in a very small travel trailer. Her sons have moved back to Tucson to live with their dad and go to school. They come out on the weekends to see her. She has by herself with the help of her sons on weekends cleaned up the fire debris–no machinery other than a wheelbarrow that we could see. My heart just broke for her. She had a dream I’m sure and her dream burned to the ground. Very sad.

More Rain

More rain, hail and sleet Sunday night and Monday. We made a quick run to Sierra Vista on Monday and on the way back ran into one heck of a storm–the skies dumped rain, sleet and hail. The temperature dropped from 54 degrees to 39 degrees as we were coming back over Gleeson Road.

Home Depot agreed to waive their ninety day return policy for all that broken tile. And when the Cowboy started laying tile again, he has yet to have another broken piece! We grabbed a quick bite of lunch, picked up a small grocery order at Walmart and did battle with customer service–returning an item purchased with your grocery order can be an ordeal! The young woman who brought our groceries out to the truck told me how to make returns easier and when I went in to customer service for the second time in one day it was so much nicer/easier!

Tuesday I took Dan and Louanne to the airport–they are going home to Oregon for the holidays. I ran a couple errands and fought the crowds at Costco. The Costco we usually frequent is always busy but Tuesday it was a zoo. I didn’t have a long list but it still took me about an hour to navigate the crowd. My Costco credit card has a photo of me on the back side. The cashier was a young man with a wild hair do and a scruffy, long beard. He turned my card over, looked at the photo, looked at me and said, “changed your hair color didn’t you??” I laughed, pointed my finger at him and said, “you are not allowed to ask those questions of a woman!” My hair was a different color in the photo–it’s now natural salt and pepper–or as the Cowboy says, “platinum.” 😍

It’s been so damp and humid in our Arizona neck of the woods. We’ve had fog each morning this week making for good photos–

A flock of sandhill cranes flying overhead.

Wednesday I cleared out much of the stuff from the other bedroom. The Cowboy continued to lay tile and in the afternoon he worked on the chain saw. Soon we can grout and move the remaining stuff into the completed bedroom. We have some demolition to do in the next bedroom–a door has to be cut into the wall and we are replacing most of the drywall.

The remodel/restoration continues.