We Have Supplies and Amazing Pearce

The Home Depot delivery fellow wasn’t sure he wanted to turn into the road which leads to our house so the yellow jeep went to get him.  And Emmi supervised the unloading–

That’s a big pile of lumber and other supplies he unloaded–it feels good to finally have the stuff we need to really get started!

On Monday the Cowboy worked on the shed and I dealt with trucking brokers–while the shed isn’t completely finished, the lawnmower fits and the Cowboy is smiling–

The little building still needs trim and a new roof but at least the big lawn tractor is out of the sun.

We think this place had a fruit orchard at one time but all the trees are dead probably for lack of water.  There is one tree in the front yard which we think might still be alive and we’ve been giving it gray water from the motorhome. Some of the trees around Pearce are beginning to leaf out so we shall see if our tree is alive soon I would bet.

The wind has howled again today, gained strength and howled some more but at least it was still a warm wind!  Pearce continues to amaze me–there is a food truck next to the post office and on my way back from the laundromat Monday I picked up lunch–delicious!  I had a warm pastrami on rye with provolone cheese and the Cowboy had a huge burrito.  The people running the truck are from Kalispell, MT–their son and his wife live in Pearce and were running the food truck.  The wife was severely injured in an automobile accident and the son needed to be at home with her.  So, his parents from Kalispell, MT came to run the food truck.  Nice people!

And, long time readers of this blog know how much trouble I have finding hairdressers–again Pearce amazes me.  There is a fabulous salon–clean, bright, beautifully decorated and they do nails, toes, hair, facials and massages.  I received a great haircut today–I am amazed!

Life is good!

Used Car Salesmen and Scammers

In Sunday’s blog I alluded to the fact I was hoping not to be digging with a shovel for very long.  The Cowboy has been searching for some type of digging equipment–backhoe, mini-excavator or skidsteer.  The Tucson Craigslist has an amazing number of scammers–photos with too good to be true prices, no location cities or phone numbers.  When you send an email inquiry through Craigslist asking only where the item is located you get a message, “send me your email address for photos and information.”  Not happening in this lifetime dirt bag!!!  We gave up, equipment seems to be in short supply in southeast Arizona.

We have a backhoe in Montana, one that is seldom used now that the Cowboy isn’t doing excavating work for customers–how do we get that backhoe to Arizona??  We contact a used car salesman!!  At least that’s what it seems as if we are doing!  Geez!!  The Cowboy completed a form on http://www.needahauler.com and the flood gates opened.  That’s when the used car salesmanship started–“we can haul, fill out this request, give us your money”–and the list goes on!

And for a little background–when the Cowboy was working for our friend Rollie on the oil rig in Texas we purchased a car.  When we were ready to return to Montana the jeep came with us and we contracted with a transport company to haul the car to Montana.  The broker told us–“we have a truck, it may be a few weeks, pay me.”  We paid and they never hauled!  If you have read this blog for long, you are aware that kind of behavior from anyone isn’t going to work with me.  After many weeks of phone calls back and forth I did receive a refund, flew to Texas and drove the car back to Montana myself.  So, we aren’t really fans of trucking brokers.

We think the backhoe is going to be picked up in Montana on Thursday to be delivered here over the weekend.  The good part–they don’t have our money and aren’t getting our money until that backhoe is actually on a truck!!

Please may the well guy come soon, I’ve been to this grubby laundromat twice now!

Shed Progress

The  Cowboy usually wears a straw hat in warm weather–not today–the wind would have blown that hat all the way back to Congress.  Wow–did we ever have some gusts!  Makes for handling 4′ x 8′ pieces of siding a little iffy!!  The wind did provide one advantage–it ripped off all the tar paper from the roof where we had removed the shingles.

Remember the shed-dscn3820

When we purchased this place the door to the shed was blown off its hinges and laying on the ground.  The roof leaks, the pack rats had moved it–total UGH factor!

dscn3864Progress is being made!

dscn3866By the end of our working day the Cowboy had built one half of the door and hung it.  The John Deere lawn tractor wouldn’t fit in the shed side way–it’s too long–thus the reason for moving the door to one of the ends. In Montana we have all these handy/dandy machines–backhoe, skidsteer, mini excavator.  Here in Arizona I am the machine on the end of the shovel–I hauled rocks and dirt to make the entrance to the shed a touch more level.  Sure hope this machine situation changes soon for the sake of my poor back!

The Cowboy is working on this shed as he doesn’t think it too smart to tear the plywood from the guest house roof when the supplies to replace that roof aren’t sitting right here. Hopefully Home Depot is delivering those supplies early this next week!

The Cowboy wasn’t happy with the bolts he had for the door and it was after all Sunday afternoon–time for a drive!  Another one of life’s pleasures!

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Dragoon Mountains from the Tombstone side.

And another one of life’s little pleasures–a gorgeous sunset over the Dragoon Mountains.

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Demolition and Supplies

The Cowboy makes runs to the dump–at $7 per pickup bed load, it’s much less expensive to take the materials than to rent a large dumpster.  Here is the math–a 30 yard dumpster would cost us $450/month, the company would empty the dumpster twice per month and we would pay the tonnage at the dump–end cost, probably approximately $700 per month.  The local trash transfer site is open three days per week. If we take a pickup bed load (and the bed of the truck can be piled high) on the twelve days per month the dump is open we are spending $84 per month–we think it’s worth it to load and unload the truck!

Thursday I went to chair yoga (a new but enjoyable experience for me) and the Cowboy started pulling shingles from one side of the guest house roof.

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I’m not a roof person–even though this roof is not steep.  There is just something I don’t like about taking that last step from ladder to roof.  The Cowboy was there to hold the ladder and my hand making it a little easier. This section of the roof has water damage and as we were going along pulling shingles and nails, my foot went through one of the sheets of plywood–sure was awfully glad I was sitting down at the time!!!  As we pulled the shingles we threw them into the truck bed–next dump load being created!

After lunch Thursday the Cowboy decided the time was as good as any to make our credit card groan and we were off to Sierra Vista and Home Depot.  And my goodness, did our credit card ever groan–our load was so large Home Depot is delivering the stuff sometime next week!  We had the good fortune to meet two very knowledgeable and cheerful young men in the Home Depot Pro Contractor department–seems if you are spending enough to make your credit card groan you can purchase through the Contractor department and receive discounts for volume purchasing.  These guys helped us so much and today Luis called to say we had ordered WAY too much roof coating to the tune of we were getting a $2400 credit–our credit card was happy as are we!

Two shadows, one long, one short on our morning walk.
Two shadows, one long, one short on our morning walk.

Today the Cowboy fixed the two goat head caused flat tires on the mower.  This tractor mower came with a huge vacuum system and running it over the areas surrounding the house seems to have significantly decreased the goat head population–a very good thing!

My chores for the day–motorhome is clean as is the jeep and truck.  The UPS man-Paul-managed to find us for the first time.  I’m not so sure he was happy to hear what Amazon fans we are!

It's important to enjoy the small things in life--a gorgeous sunset over the Dragoons.
It’s important to enjoy the small things in life–a gorgeous sunset over the Dragoons.
And another small thing--watching Emmi fight with a yucca stick about 8 feet long.
And another small thing–watching Emmi fight with a yucca stick about 8 feet long.  Life is dang good!

Why We Need A Lawnmower

Lawnmowers aren’t a common sight in many parts of Arizona.  None of the 436 lots in North Ranch had grass and with water being a precious commodity, grass is a luxury we shouldn’t have.  But southeast Arizona is grass country–these clumps of grass with tall brown stalks from previous years.  This grass grabs the tumbling tumbleweeds halting its progress until the next gust of wind. This grass also hides all the treasures previous owners have left behind.   I love to see the grass waving in the breeze but I don’t want it growing close to our house and motorhome–I want to see the critters before they get me!

dscn3831In this photo of Al and Kelly leaving after their visit Tuesday you can see the tall grasses.  We were so happy to welcome our first visitors and we had a good “chin wag” as Al would say!

827 E Newland, Pearce, AZ 85625And in this photo from the last blog you can see how green the grass can be–I borrowed this photo from a realtor website.

The Cowboy has been searching the internet for a used riding lawnmower without success–he would find one and someone else would snatch it up–weird, as I said, there is not much grass in Arizona!  Finally he found a moving sale in Willcox–with a used John Deere 445 mowing tractor.  I think the Cowboy was at that sale on Saturday a hour before they opened for business.  He and the owner came to a price agreement and the mower came home with the Cowboy.

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dscn3769And speaking of critters–UGH–see all those holes in this nasty plywood step entry way? Pack rats, nasty, stinking pat rats.  Wearing respirator masks we ripped out all that plywood and took it to the dump.  Now I don’t shiver and cringe when I go in that door!

dscn3820This little shed has a concrete floor but a poorly done roof and the door had blown off allowing pack rats to create their nastiness inside–the missing siding and roof will be replaced and the lawnmower will reside in this shed.

And then there are the goats heads or puncture vine weeds–thankfully the whole place is not infested but a large portion is.  Here’s what goats heads do to tires–

dscn3833Ridding this place of those evil little monsters is a priority with me and Emmi!  Have you ever tracked one into your motorhome then stepped on it barefoot??  Poor Emmi comes to a paw lifted halt whenever she encounters one as she did in this video–

Still no sign of the well guy and our motorhome fresh water tank was empty.  The Goldminers RV Park just up the road allowed us to use one of the sites to dump tanks and fill the fresh water tank for a fee–well worth it!  And the dirty clothes bin was overflowing–restoration makes for lots of dirty clothes.  Thankfully there is a nearby laundromat.

dscn3818Ross, this photo is for you.  This is my wind direction indicator–a coal fire electricity generating plant located about 10 miles from us.

And a view photo–makes all the hard work well worth it!

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How We Came To Own This Property

As of about 3pm Monday we were all together again–me, Emmi and the Cowboy.  We signed paperwork for selling the North Ranch house last Tuesday and Michael left on Wednesday with a final truck/trailer load of stuff headed for Pearce.  Emmi and I stayed in the North Ranch house until early Friday morning  when the new owners took possession of the North Ranch house.  The two of us then moved into Geri and Larry’s RV for the weekend so I could spend more time with friends Jane and Rich.

Leaving North Ranch was painful last night and this morning–we will miss our family of friends so incredibly much.

The Cowboy and I have been looking at property for several months–we made an offer on an 108 acre place off Gleeson Road between Tombstone and Elfrida.  This property had an unfinished huge home.  The outside of the house was finished–closed in but the interior was only stud walls.  The property had a working well but no power–we would have had to have power brought in from about one half mile away.  We went as far as due diligence with this property before changing our minds.  The Cowboy had concerns with some structural issues and I had concerns with how far it was to the grocery store!  Plus access to the home was 2.5 miles of sand/gravel road which could become impassible.

The Cowboy spent hours and hours and hours searching the internet for properties.  In late January he had found several properties in the Elfrida/Pearce area, arranging to see these properties with a local realtor–Pam Sproul.   After two days of viewing properties we went back to Pam’s office and made an offer on a house/land we can see from the place we eventually purchased.  That offer wasn’t accepted.

Back at North Ranch, the Cowboy started searching again.  For some reason I started searching too and it’s actually my fault we ended up buying what I have jokingly referred to as “the dump.”  We bought this place sight unseen–three acres with a well, power and septic.  A house and guest house built in the early 1970’s with major damage from leaking roofs.  The property according to neighbors has been vacant for 10 years.  The asking price was so little as to make us comfortable buying it sight unseen. Plus Pam Sproul thought the place had potential!

827 E Newland, Pearce, AZ 85625

The property sits  in the valley between the Dragoon Mountains and the Chiricahua Mountains near the communities of Pearce and Sunsites.  The views are incredible and the property comes with lots of peace and quiet.  Plus a whole lot of work.

There is a well but it needs a new pump, new pipe, new pressure tank and a well driller who has time to provide all this stuff–he’s been here once and we are hoping he comes back soon!dscn3782The main house living room–minor ceiling damage, nasty carpet.

dscn3781Not sure what this room was used for but to say it has major water damage is an understatement!

dscn3790Main house kitchen which will be relocated.

dscn3787Main house bathroom–needless to say the flooring, sink and that green bathtub are leaving!

So–that’s a sneak peek at our major project.  We are excited and looking forward to getting started.  The motorhome is serving as our dwelling and the cargo trailer provides some storage.  There are rooms in the guest house which are also usable for storage.  Let the work begin!

We are both so gratified at the response and encouragement we received for the new blog–thank you all so much!!

A Chapter Closes

We are assuming rightly or wrongly that many readers of TinTeePeeLogCabin have found their way to this new blog.  If you are a new reader, here is a little background as to why we think we can speak/write about home restoration.

Our home in Montana is a beautiful log cabin with a deck overlooking the creek.  The Cowboy and I with Nat’s (the Cowboy’s father) help built this home from the ground up. We only used outside contractors for the fireplace, concrete work and final roofing material–we built the rest.  This is the third home Michael has built and one he enjoyed building very much.  It is constructed of 6×12 western red cedar logs with aspen and spruce walls and ceilings.  Many friends and family have said of our home, “it’s so cozy and warm.”  snow-oct08

In January 2003 following the death of my father the Cowboy and I started traveling south for part of the winter months.  At that time we were both still working–Michael owned his own construction/excavating business and I continued to work as a nurse consultant for Kimberly-Clark.  That first year we were gone less than a month but each year our southern travels have lasted longer and longer.  In April of 2014 we purchased a home in the community of North Ranch near Congress and Wickenburg, Arizona.  North Ranch is a RV/retirement community with a mix of RV lots, park models, mobile home and many stick built homes.  Our home was a stick built one sitting on a quarter acre lot which backed to the desert land owned by the BLM.

This North Ranch house needed work–tiny windows blocked the beautiful desert/mountain views, the kitchen was a total disaster and the flooring in this built in 2002 house was vintage 1970’s–stick on linoleum!  The carpeting was probably original to 2002 although we couldn’t be sure.

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Boxed in kitchen, cabinets made from 1970’s paneling and shelves nailed to the walls with huge nails–really!!

We purchased the house and shortly thereafter departed for Montana.  In the fall of 2014 we came back with a cargo trailer full of building supplies and tools.  As to the “Cowboy” portion of this blog–Michael is a cowboy in the truest sense of the word–horses, cows, hat, manners, Wranglers, etc.  But he is also a “cowboy” in the sense he uses non-traditional methods for getting things done and is really frugal in all aspects of his life.

The Cowboy’s son Lonn manages a large ranch with absentee owners.  Several years ago the owners of this ranch decided to build a new ranch manager house for Lonn and his wife LoraLee.  The plan was to allow the fire department practice by burning the old farm house with its newer windows and doors.  Enter the Cowboy–he spent three days at Lonn’s removing all the windows and doors–these doors and windows have been stored in one of our barns since that time.

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dscn1769This window came all the way from Montana in our enclosed cargo trailer–and fit perfectly–now we can see that gorgeous mountain/desert view!

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The kitchen was boxed in by two walls–we removed both those walls opening up the kitchen to the views created by the new windows and giving the house a more open look. Kitchen cabinets are beyond expensive–and the Cowboy is frugal–so we rented a U-Haul truck and made a trip to Mesa, AZ for used cabinets and used furniture.  The cabinets were gorgeous custom made ones removed from a huge home a young couple was renovating.  The Cowboy measured, cut and measured some more making those cabinets fit–dscn1884

The person who originally built this house had issues with design–the master bath is tiny and the guest bath is huge.  To help solve the space issue in the master bath, the Cowboy, while we were in Montana for the summer, built a barn door–

dscn3449Now you no longer have to step around the door to get to the toilet.

DSCN3559Next to the last project before selling–marble tile counter tops–gorgeous and a whole lot less expensive than solid surface counter tops.

And the last project–laminate floors in the kitchen/dining area.

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The Cowboy isn’t cut out for subdivision living and in late December we stuck a sign in our yard to see if we could sell the North Ranch property without the aid of a realtor.  We had a steady stream of lookers and one couple came back and came back again.  They bought the house. The process was made seamless by Pioneer Title in Wickenburg.

So, onward we go to southeast Arizona–a home and guest house on acreage near the community of Pearce, AZ.  Both buildings are in sad shape from being unoccupied for years but I bet the Cowboy and I can whip them into shape.  Follow along with us as we rebuild and enjoy a slower pace of life in southeastern Arizona.