Whew It’s Been Busy Around Here

While wandering Home Depot on Thursday we stumbled across a deal–a steel mesh security door–this is an example of one taken from the Home Depot website–Unique Home Designs 36 in. x 80 in La Entrada White Surface Mount Outswing Steel Security Door with Perforated Metal Screen

These doors are heavy gauge steel and made to stop intruders–included with the doors are special lag bolts and a tool to insert those bolts.  Once the door is hung it cannot be removed via conventional methods such as unscrewing the bolts–these special bolts don’t “unscrew.”  The only way to remove the door bolts is with a cutting torch or grinder.  The steel door stops intruders from “kicking in” your doors.  These doors are pricey–$100-200 and up to almost a $1000.  This one was $44–it must have been ordered and returned–we aren’t sure why it was marked down so much but it works on our back door.  We needed a screen door–I don’t like leaving the doors open without screens–bugs, critters and SNAKES can enter.  The Cowboy installed the door yesterday and we are very pleased!

Several of our windows were “screen-less.”  As you all know, my Cowboy can do anything.  At Home Depot he purchased a screen kit and Friday he built two screens for the front of the guest house windows.

We have no idea how long these houses actually sat vacant–our neighbors thought perhaps 10 years.  In the main house we discovered a “growth chart” etched in pencil on a door trim.  “Dad’s” height was at the top and then there were various initials and numbers for the growth of other individuals over the years.  The last recorded height was in 2004–was this house vacated shortly after that date–who knows but it’s amazing anything was left and working after that stretch of time!

Speaking of working–the evaporative cooler is soon going to be working–who knows how long that thing sat up on the roof exposed to endless days of Arizona sun.  And by the way, where is that Barry guy when you need him!  I asked the Cowboy when he learned to work with sheet metal to build a box and he said, “today!!”  He’s building a metal box to replace this dilapidated wooden one–

Evaporative coolers work by running water over pads of various materials–our cooler in North Ranch had honeycomb paper pads, the pads the Cowboy found locally are made of aspen shavings of all things!  That cool air is then blown via ducts into the home.

Friday I got the bright idea to sand the textured ceiling in the bedroom–big mistake!!  We blocked the room entry doors with plastic, I donned a mask and started sanding.  By the time I finished two hours later I looked like Casper the ghost!  Back to the drawing board, this afternoon I sprayed water on a section of ceiling and WOW–I used a wallpaper scraper and the stuff just fell off–much easier than trying to keep a palm sander going over your head while on a ladder!!!

Today was yard sale day–we found brand new Home Depot blinds for $3/set to fit the two living/dining room windows.  We bought a coffee maker which doesn’t work but, hey the $10 we paid was to the Lions Club so it’s good.  And a vacuum cleaner for all this dirty work we are doing rather than ruining our good one.  The Cowboy also found a bargain garage door opener.

Saturday night we were both tired and decided to try the local eating establishment–TJ’s.  Our meals were great and the company colorful as is often the case when eating in a bar!

And now a story from my past involving this little guy–

In my early working days (1979) as a RN at Baptist Medical Center in Little Rock, Arkansas there was (and still is) a fabulous florist in the first floor concourse between the hospital and the medical offices tower called Tipton and Hurst.  One October day I spotted this cute little  jack-o-lantern and he came home with me.  It gives me joy to bring him out each fall–his plate met with an accident years ago and is glued together–but his smile makes me smile!

Life is good!



We Move

We moved on Wednesday–sort of!  We are getting ready to start the drywall process–tape, mud and sand–repeat.  There was too much “stuff” stored in both the bedrooms–lots of Cowboy treasures–electrical boxes, paint, caulk, wire–the list goes on!  So–we went over to the main house and chose two rooms with mostly OK ceilings and moved all those treasures from the guest house to the main house.  Some of the stuff headed to the garage.  The heavy metal shelves were also moved as well as the older refrigerator from the middle of the kitchen floor to the main house–thank goodness for backhoes!–those shelves and refrigerator were heavy!  Where was Larry when I needed him??? 🙂 Now we have room to move around as we finish all the drywall in this house.

We’ve slowly/unconsciously moved daily living things from the toyhauler trailer to the guest house and now that we have a working stove I’m doing all the cooking over here.  It makes messy restoration work harder–you have to clean the mess before you can cook; but it’s just so much more comfortable in the house than in that trailer.  We are also showering in the house–we are sleeping in the trailer but that’s about it!

Thursday we left Emmi home alone and headed to Tucson for building supplies and Costco.  It takes a long time to wander Home Depot looking for the things on a mile long list–because there is a shortage of sales people in those big box stores!  Costco was easier–most of those stores are laid out the same and we know where to find what we need.  Emmi was very glad to see us when we rolled in the driveway with a truckload!

Today we’ve decided our little Emmi is part cat–she has nine lives.  If you’ve read the blog for a while you may remember this statement from a September, 2016 Montana post:

Yesterday Emmi and I went outside to play ball—I was looking at all the golden aspen trees.  In a matter of seconds I saw out of the corner of my eye Emmi jump sideways and heard the rattlesnake.

Well, the same dang thing happened today–Emmi and I were out walking this afternoon just after the sun dropped behind the Dragoons.  I heard the rattlesnake and at the exact same time saw Emmi jump sideways.  That’s twice now Emmi has avoided being bitten–she has nine lives!  I HATE snakes!

We Are Home Alone

Larry and Geri left us home alone this morning–they were heading to Casa Grande to visit friends then back home to North Ranch.  Monday was a fabulous day–we took our friends through the Chiricahua mountains over to Portal, Arizona, on to Rodeo, NM and back home through Douglas, Arizona.  We’ve done this drive many times and never tire of the gorgeous scenery.  We kept saying, “you would never know you were in Arizona!”  We did find less water in the creeks than when we’ve driven this road in the spring.

 We saw lots of deer.

A picnic lunch at Barfoot Park.

“As we traveled up the mountain road we saw several side roads and took one to Barfoot Park where we found several concrete foundations, many concrete picnic tables and nothing to indicate what these structures had previously been.  There was a National Park sign indicating the location of a fire tower foundation high on the mountain but nothing else.  Back home–Mr. Google to the rescue.  The fire tower–Barfoot–in spite of being wrapped in fire retardant material burned in the June, 2011 fires in the Chiricahua Mountains.  Barfoot Park began in 1903 with a forest ranger station.  At one time there was a sawmill at Barfoot which supplied lumber for the US military Fort Bowie and for Tombstone.

And from the Tucson Citizen–the foundations and picnic tables are from the Camp Victorios Cochise County Boy Scout Camp established in 1923.  The camp was abandoned in the early 1990’s due to lack of money and problem bears–one story recounted a child being dragged 60+ feet by a bear.”–from a Restoration Cowboy Style blog written earlier this year.

In Douglas we had Dairy Queen ice cream for supper–it was much warmer there than up on the mountain.  At the WalMart store in Douglas there are covered parking areas made from solar panels–nice!

After Geri and Larry left the restoration work started–I cleaned the refrigerator we purchased last Friday–does anyone ever sell CLEAN items–if so, I never seem to find those items!  The Cowboy reassembled the refrigerator and installed new ice maker tubing–it will be nice to have ice again!  After lunch we decided to retrieve the evaporative cooler from the roof of the main house where the Cowboy had parked it while re-roofing the guest house.  This required the use of the backhoe and me–I was in charge of getting the Cowboy and cooler off the roof–success!

How do you like that wiring Ross???

We are so glad there is a hardware store right in Pearce–the Cowboy needed parts for the evaporative cooler and amazingly, that little store had what he needed.

Emmi girl needed a bath and clip–she has to be cooler now judging by the pile the fur I swept up. The washer/dryer was intensely used today–it’s amazing how laundry accumulates for just two people.

The local telephone co-op offers high speed DSL–you have to have a land line in order to receive the DSL but that’s OK–total charge per month–$80 and guess what–unlimited data!  Take that Verizon and your so called unlimited plan.  I finally got a Verizon rep to admit how ridiculous it was to call their data plan “unlimited.”  He said, “I have that plan and believe me, it’s NOT unlimited.”

We stopped at the Portal Store and Cafe just to look around and to see if they had ice cream.  I was standing outside the front door taking a photo of the cafe hours and menu when I heard loud scratching/running through the gravel.  We had left Emmi in the pickup with all the windows down just across the street and she was making her displeasure known.  When I heard the noise my first thought was, “oh no, another dog is after Emmi and it’s going to jump up on the Cowboy’s truck making scratches.”–it only took me seconds to think before I saw this javelina zipping right by my legs!

Geezz!  Some guys came around the corner and said they had just chased him out of the garbage cans–well, could you have chased him in a different direction???

Life is good!


Dragoon and Chiricahua Mountain ATV Riding

Last February when we moved to Pearce we moved without our CanAm–we sold it while still at North Ranch to make the logistics of moving a touch easier.  This summer we replaced our yellow CanAm with a less conspicuous silver one.  We haven’t ridden much since buying the new ATV but we made tracks the last two days with Larry and Geri.  Saturday we rode up into the Dragoon Mountains which sit to the west of us.  It was a glorious day–in the high 70’s with a chilly wind.  Our first stop was this old mine with it’s stonework walls.

We puttered along for several hours taking in the views, having our lunch at the top of the mountain and just enjoying being out with our good friends.  Back home late afternoon, we all showered away the dust then drove to Elfrida for dinner at the steakhouse–an experiment which probably won’t be repeated–we will just leave it at that!

Today our destination was Rucker Canyon–again, a beautiful day riding in the mountains.  

We’ve seen roads blocked with rocks in our ATV travels but this rock was a touch on the HUGE size–there was no moving this one–at least there was enough room for us to scoot by–but there wasn’t room for a pickup or jeep.

It’s a long trip on a dusty gravel road to the Chiricahua Mountains and it was late afternoon by the time we returned so the guys were cooking again–this time we tried the pizza at the local bar–TJ’s.  It wasn’t bad, not the greatest, but not bad and at least we didn’t have to cook!

We returned home to rescue Emmi and enjoy some ice cream–more adventures tomorrow!


Grasshoppers and Visitors

We have two sad looking pecan trees in front of our houses. Last spring with watering the trees looked as if they might live.  When we rolled in Monday I was shocked–the trees were indeed sad looking!  Seems these huge, nasty grasshopper critters dined on our tree leaves–the trees are now totally bare!  We’ve never seen grasshoppers this big–3 inches long and fat!  I hope they move on to greener pastures now that they’ve eaten all our leaves! UGH!

We’ve been hard at work–cleaning up, leveling the other RV spot–we had company coming!Yesterday afternoon this rig rolled into our Pearce place–we’ve seen that rig before–Larry and Geri have arrived and Emmi is so happy!–so are we! 🙂

We spent the afternoon visiting and enjoyed a so-so meal I prepared last night.  I tried a new recipe from the internet and it was not exactly terrible but not good enough to make again–it was deleted from my Dropbox recipes this morning!  On the other hand, the ice cream with toppings was delicious!

All of us were up and about early this morning ready to leave for Green Valley.  The ever searching Craigslist Cowboy had found a good, complete set of used kitchen appliances.  Once we found the place–the Google Maps lady couldn’t understand why we wouldn’t turn on the street where the guy lived–it was a locked exit gate!!–seems you have to go around the block to the front entrance but the Google lady kept “recalculating!”

Once at the home we found the appliances to be as advertised and loaded them into the truck–not without some effort on the parts of Larry and the Cowboy!  Home Depot for electrical breakers then Five Guys for lunch as they have an outdoor dining patio and we had Emmi.

Back home the stove was unloaded then we all retired to do our separate things–I’m writing a blog, the guys are solving the world’s problems and Geri is napping/reading/relaxing.  Tonight’s supper should be better–my famous spaghetti sauce with salad and garlic bread.

Life is good!

We Are in Pearce

Monday morning we took our time getting ready to leave North Ranch and pulled out just a little after 8am.  Again we fought gusty winds, moron drivers and heat.  It seemed to take us forever to travel 277 miles.  Finally a little after 2pm we rolled into our driveway in Pearce.  Our little homestead was a touch on the weedy side and the house/garage were terribly spider infested–other than that, all was good.  I haven’t taken any photos so our readers will just have to enjoy grandchildren photos!

 Laci, Lora and Brooks–adorable photo!

Today we began tackling all the chores awaiting us–first up was to unload the bay of this toyhauler.  I knew one of the boxes contained my Cuisinart coffeemaker–I’m done with this perked coffee business–ick!  I then grabbed a rake and started trying to find our gravel which was hidden by all kinds of horrible weeds and seeds, making slight progress!

The Cowboy started working on our wiring issue–the only RV plug he installed last year was a 50amp for our motorhome.  This toyhauler is a 30amp rig and the Cowboy brought no adapters–last night we ran an extension cord from the house.  The wiring was all there, he just needed to install a plug–all done and the air conditioner works–a very good thing!

The washer/dryer works–multiple loads went through today.  I vacuumed all the spiders I could find inside the house and the Cowboy swept and smashed the ones in the garage with a broom.  Late this afternoon I was able to take a nice long shower in the house bathroom–awesome!

 Isn’t this just the greatest photo!  It’s a great place to grow up!

The backhoe spent the summer at our neighbor’s–Brian and Diane–who also drilled our well.  This afternoon late we retrieved the backhoe and visited with them for a while–seems this hot weather is unusual for October in Arizona and we are hoping it cools soon!

That’s our progress story for today!  A supply run is being planned!

Lots Of Visiting

It was a warm one today but in spite of 80+ degree temps we decided to take an ATV ride.  The Cowboy and I have discussed purchasing a 4-wheeler type ATV for use on the ranch in Montana–it’s much easier to spray weeds from a 4-wheeler than from a side by side.  Larry and Geri have CanAm Outlander quads.  We had Honda quads and the Cowboy wanted to try one of Geri and Larry’s out for size and ride.  So, Geri, Larry and Emmi took our CanAm Commander; the Cowboy and I each rode one of their quads.  I’m out of practice riding my own machine but those machines are nice–easier riding, easy steering–very nice machines!

Saturday we had lunch at Nichols West and as usual had a fabulous meal.  After lunch we all took a trip to Wickenburg–auto parts store and grocery store.  It’s been a while since we had a Dairy Queen ice cream so we remedied that situation too!

Saturday evening Jim and Ellie joined us for happy hour–it was great to see them and spend some time talking/laughing!  Today I went down to visit with Mike and Pat–catching Jerry and Caryl as they had also stopped in to chat.  Late this afternoon the Cowboy and I went over to tell Jim and Ellie goodbye/see you later.  I think we caught up with all our friends who are currently in residence at North Ranch and Congress–we miss our friends, a lot–so catching up was a good thing!

Larry and Geri served up another great meal tonight–hamburgers on the grill, potatoes and a salad.  Ice cream with homemade hot fudge sauce–I’m afraid we need to go or we won’t fit in the door of the camper if we keep eating like this!!!  We at least take a nice long walk after dinner every evening!

Monday we are departing for Pearce–next blog post will be from our winter spot!

That Was Different

 This was the first long trip in the Roadmaster Predator toyhauler and it was certainly a different way of traveling for us!!!  It was cold when we left Montana Wednesday morning and we fought strong winds all day.  We stopped for the night 530 miles later in Jackpot, Nevada and it was dang cold plus extremely windy.  The Cactus Pete’s RV park is a great place to stop for the night and knowing it would be cold, we wanted hookups–full hookups, $20/night.

One thing we noticed right off the bat–when you are traveling in your motorhome, the heat is on and your “house” is warm when the day is done.  When traveling with a truck and trailer that trailer is dang cold when you stop!  It took a long time for the furnace to heat our “house” to a tolerable level!

We only spend one night in each spot we stop on our way to and from Arizona.  The Cowboy did not want to unload the CanAm each night and I agreed.  That CanAm just about fills this toyhauler leaving no place to sit.  The couches have to fold up along the walls and the CanAm goes in between those couches.  It also comes so far forward into the toyhauler, it’s difficult to reach the cabinets for supplies.  So–as you see in the above photo–I was trying to find us something to eat that first night, Emmi was under my feet and I stepped on her toe–“Dad” took her to the CanAm for consoling!

Finding a place to sit with our morning coffee was also an issue–the Cowboy sat on the stool we use to climb into the front bunk, I used the CanAm–not quite the same as our motorhome!

Thursday afternoon found us in Alamo, Nevada at the fairgrounds–full hookups for $13.  The local kids used the area surrounding the fairgrounds as a dirt bike track for a while until it became dark–then it was totally quiet.  Friday morning the Cowboy tricked me–he likes to get an early start.  When we went to bed I said, “I forgot to change the clock, it’s actually an hour earlier than the clock shows.”  Well–this morning my brain wasn’t working and I totally forgot about changing time zones.  I got up at what I thought was 6am, showered and made coffee–sitting in the CanAm I could see another clock which by that time said almost 8am.  OK–I better get moving, the Cowboy likes to be rolling by between 7 and 7:30 and we are late!  I go outside, grabbing Emmi and tell my driver I will meet him down by the road, Emmi and I will walk that far.  As I’m walking I glance at my watch which I had changed–it’s only a little after 7am!!!  I got up at 5am, not 6am and the Cowboy said, “I never looked at a clock this morning!”–yea right!!!

The Cowboy enjoying some warmth!

We rolled into North Ranch about 1pm and it was so good to see Geri and Larry!  We are parked in their yard for a few days–Geri had a wonderful supper for us tonight and afterwards we took a walk running into other folks we know in the park.

We are glad the wheels aren’t rolling for a few days and it will be good to catch up with all the happenings in Larry and Geri’s lives. Emmi is loving all the extra attention!

And a lesson in what not to do when you are parking for free in a busy business parking lot–this is at the truck stop/gas station in Alamo, Nevada–a very, very busy place.  Restaurant, grocery store, truck stop, etc.  The parking lot is small and the traffic heavy through the gas station.  Here sits this RV–awning is out, chairs are out–not sure I would have had the nerve to sit where they were sitting–traffic was whizzing right by their awning and I am thinking some of the truckers came a little too close on purpose–maybe to make point!!!!

It’s good to be in Arizona again!

A Gorgeous Day

The wind finally stopped howling Sunday evening and today has been a picture perfect fall day.  Monday we made a quick trip to Big Timber–seems a good friend needed another little horse wall hanging and I’m quite fond of this particular friend so we made it happen.  Pink fabric was required and for some strange reason, I had ONE piece of pink fabric in my stash.  Another dear friend, Jeane, offered the pink fabric from her stash so off to town we went.  The little wall hanging is finished and I will hand sew the binding as we are toodling down the road on our way to Arizona.

Monday evening we were out and about once again–driving over the mountain to Livingston to have dinner with Sarge and Sarah one last time before we depart.  Our meals were fantastic–I splurged and had the Rib and Chop famous beef filet–outstanding!

A reader recently asked about the pattern for the quilt Mom pieced several years ago–this one–and here is the pattern–

Extremely easy!

We again spent today getting ready to depart for warmer climates–soon I am thinking!Laci and LoraMaybe Brooks is starting to like his new little sister???


Grand Babies, Quilts And More Packing

Let’s start off with grand babies–Last night we enjoyed dinner at Lonn’s with the family.  Laci made the best cheesy potatoes, Michael (Katie’s) was in charge of shrimp and Lonn the delicious ribs.  I was in charge of holding Millee Bliss.  She is so tiny and has mixed up her days and nights–don’t all babies do that???

According to Laci this was a failed experiment–neither child was sitting still for long and Laci (the boss) said the high chair was going back into use today????  Lora and Brooks love each other and are getting along very well–this wasn’t the case when Lora first arrived from Germany and found this other kid in “her” Grandpa’s house!!

We said our goodbyes at the end of the evening and this Mimi was very sad.  Lora and Laci will be back in Germany by the time we return in the spring.  Brooks and Millee will have grown so much–both Mom’s have “post lots of photos” instructions!

Going from a forty foot motorhome to a 26 foot toy hauler travel trailer in terms of packing is very difficult!  I had 15 drawers in the motorhome and countless cabinets–a place for everything and everything in its place.  I now have two drawers and few cabinets.  We talked about renting a U-Haul truck but decided against it–we will just selectively purchase replacements for things we would have taken back to Arizona had we still owned the motorhome.

This spring when we came home to Montana from Arizona I think I had seven quilt tops of my own ready to go on the longarm.  Number six is a top my Mom pieced while visiting one summer, long, long ago.  And number seven is a top I’ve worked on for several years–it’s on the longarm and tonight I finished one of the blocks–I love it–but I’m thinking this quilt isn’t going to be finished before we leave–too much custom quilting.  Here’s the first finished block–

it feels good to have all those tops finished and several have gone to happy homes!

Nat and Barb came for lunch today–sad to tell them goodbye too!  As I type this blog it is snowing and a mite chilly!