Snow–But Not Here

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Puttering Along

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

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

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

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

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

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

And we still have beautiful sunsets!

 

 

One Of Us Is Vaccinated

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A Reunion

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Vaccine

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

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

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

Approaching the health question stop.

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

Approaching the “you are good to go” tents.

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

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

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

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

Tree Planting

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Snow In Arizona

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

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

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

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

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

Chiracahua Mountains

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

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

Are We In Arizona

All the dark clouds on Thursday brought only a little rain–three tenths. My polyurethane brush and I are becoming best friends.😝 The man in the cabinet shop has been sawing, sanding, nailing–making cabinets way faster than I can apply the polyurethane. We finished the pantry doors and couldn’t be more pleased!

 

I baked a cream cheese pound cake Thursday and sampled a slice (who am I kidding, I sampled several slices)–I love that cake–and that’s the reason I don’t bake it often!

My latest knitting project is off to its new home and here are some photos of projects I did over Christmas–

Our neighbor lost his battle with covid Wednesday night. Two people have died in recent days in this small community here in southeast Arizona. Our friends Ralph and Angie continue their struggle with this disease–good days interspersed with lots of bad days.

Saturday night Dan and Louanne joined us for a low key, pleasant dinner of spaghetti, good salad dressed with Ina Garten’s Green Salad Vinaigrette, probably the best salad dressing I’ve ever made! and artisan bread. Dan received Ina Garten’s latest cookbook as a Christmas gift and he introduced us to that delicious salad dressing. Dessert was the cream cheese pound cake I made earlier in the week and fresh strawberries–Fry’s had strawberries on sale and they are quite good for this early in the season.

Snow on the Chiracahua Mountains
Hills rising out of the fog. 

Sunday the Cowboy worked in the cabinet shop a bit and I was a knitting bum although I did apply polyurethane to two drawer fronts plus I made lunch.

It’s winter even in Arizona! Sunday was a day of rain squalls and wind. Monday and Tuesday our forecast is for rain and snow with extremely cold temps–on Tuesday night it could be 12 degrees! Brrrrr! As I publish this post, it is snowing/raining horizontally!

The power plant steam rises out of the clouds–no wind.
Sunday morning clouds and a cold pooch

 

 

Catch Up Post

At least I can remember what we did Friday–we took a day off! Bright and early on one of those sunny, warm Arizona winter days we met up with Louanne and Dan and headed to Rucker Canyon. Up the hills, down the rocky slopes, we bounced along all day. Emmi was a trooper and seems to be back to her old self.

Last Saturday I began work on trying to keep the dang jackrabbits from eating our pine trees. We had removed the wire cages from the trees we planted first in 2018, thinking the trees were big enough that nothing would be dining on their needles and limbs. Wrong! The bottoms of those trees are destroyed and there is tons of rabbit poop all around the base of the trees. I built new wire cages, bigger, and new dams lined with rocks to help keep the irrigation water where it needs to be. Stupid jackrabbits! It’s so dry here I think all the animals are looking for anything green but I hope they have a tummy ache from eating our pine trees!

The Cowboy completed the doors for the pantry and I’m in the process of applying polyurethane–stinky work!

The new vacuum cleaner, a Shark, came and I like it. The manual states the filters only need to be cleaned once every three months–I doubt that! Our poor UPS man, Paul has been delivering to our house after 8pm and then he has to drive home to Sierra Vista–poor guy!

Sunday evening we enjoyed another fabulous gourmet meal at Dan and Louanne’s with Janice and Linda. Dan made rolled flank steak with mushrooms, spinach and provolone cheese inside–it was divine!

Tuesday we made a run to Sierra Vista for more wire for trees and a few groceries. I donned my mask and braved Fry’s grocery store. I really didn’t need any groceries other than yogurt–which Costco did not have last week–not in two different Tucson Costco stores. And I needed apples which Walmart pickup didn’t have–really???

Wednesday was another day of chore after chore. The Cowboy worked in the cabinet shop all day, I applied more polyurethane to cabinet doors, and cooked. Late in the afternoon I ran a few errands–books to the bookstore, package to the UPS drop off and a gift to a friend.

Our forecast is for rain tonight and tomorrow–let’s hope so!

 

 

A Love Story

Our dear friend Angela has given me permission to share this love story. In 2003 or 2004 while participating in a shooting sport one winter in Arizona we met Angela and Ralph. They were from Maryland where they owned a horse farm, boarding and training horses. They took time off in winter to find sunshine and eventually sold the farm, becoming full time RVers. We’ve stayed in touch all these years, they have visited us in Montana and we’ve met up in other places. They winter in Arizona in their fifth wheel parked on an Escapees lot and also spend some time near Tombstone in their truck camper parked on a shooting range as Ralph is still participating in shooting sports. In summers they load up the truck camper and travel the US. A couple summers ago they spent from May through September in Alaska.

On about January 3 Angie called–she and Ralph had tested positive for covid and Ralph was in the ER. He had been sick for about three days before going to the ER. He had pneumonia, they gave him lots of fluids and sent him home with a drug store full of medications. For a while it seemed he was gaining–with Angie’s help–very weak, awful cough, miserable but gaining. Then things went very downhill.

Angie took him back to the ER on Thursday where the doctor painted a very grim picture. Our friend was losing the battle. They transferred Ralph to a hospital ICU in Tucson. I drove to Tombstone on Thursday afternoon to sit with Angie for a while and we both shed lots of tears.

On Friday Angie went to Tucson from Tombstone taking love letters (she is a fabulous letter writer!) for Ralph, cards and cookies for the nurses. On Friday evening she spoke with his nurse–Ralph was doing so well he had been moved out of ICU and into a room on the “covid floor.” Simply amazing–you cannot imagine the joy in Angie’s voice when she called.

On Saturday she took a big red heart to the hospital and asked the nurses to place it in his window so she would know which room was Ralph’s. You see, Angela was sitting outside in a little cactus garden beneath the windows of the fourth floor covid wing–that’s as close as she could get to Ralph. Angela was on the phone with a friend, she saw curtains moving in a room on the fourth floor and all of a sudden, there was her red heart and then there was Ralph–waving to her.

Sunday Angela was back at the hospital, sitting beneath the windows of the fourth floor. She has become known all over the hospital as “the lady that sits outside all day.”  Sunday they released the man who on Thursday wasn’t expected to live. Prayers were being said all over this country–our mutual friend Linda belongs to a prayer group and had asked them to pray for Ralph. Ralph and Angie have a wide circle of friends who were praying. We are so, so glad he is improving. I’m sure there is a rough road ahead but hopefully he will continue down the right path!

Angela and Ralph have been together almost 31 years. Their love story is one of closeness, mutual respect, humor, love of history and anything cowboy. Being separated from him while he was fighting for his life was heart breaking for Angela and I’m sure for Ralph too.

And that’s all I’m going to talk about today–it’s been a rough few days for Angela, Ralph, their family and friends.