Sunday, November 22, 2015

Whew—We’ve Been Busy Again

Saturday was the bi-annual North Ranch garage sale—lots of North Ranch people participate and tons of people come in to shop from the surrounding areas. 

IMG_0279Photo is from the garage sale last spring but it gives you an idea of how many people turn out for this event!  I was very pleased with my finds—old Pyrex bowls, Corning Ware bowls with lids and the biggest score—a 7.5 foot pre-lit Christmas tree for $20!!!!!—I’ve been searching the internet for a reasonable priced Christmas tree with no success—the prices range from $200 and up, way up!!   The cowboy purchased some tools, a bar stool, wire and who knows what else!  A successful day!

Saturday afternoon Barry was pressed into service helping Michael mount two sets of the upper cabinets.  I painted—again, but today I finished!!  The living room, kitchen and dining/sun room are all painted and look fabulous!  Tonight Michael and I cleaned up, re-installed the switch plates, duct covers, etc., and moved the furniture into the living room—we loved it!!!  A bit more furniture than we needed but it works—when I get everything cleaned I will take some photos. 

So, we’ve been working hard—but it’s all coming together!


Friday, November 20, 2015

Crested Saguaros And An Arch

Thursday saw the cowboy working on our Arizona ATV trailer—we had a ride scheduled and the trailer needed re-working to carry the side by side versus the 4-wheelers we used last year.  I partially painted the living room ceiling.  In the evening we headed over to Larry and Geri’s for happy hour to discuss the ride logistics.

We turned off the highway at Morristown and drove out to a staging area on the Hassayampa River.  Larry and Geri were our leaders and we were joined by Fred, Nancy, Joe, Kathy, Barry and Donna.  Emmi and Parker came along too.  Emmi has her nose a little out of joint since Parker (a tiny one year old male poodle) joined the group—Emmi’s not the only kid on the block now. Smile

It was an absolutely beautiful day—perfect temps and sunny, blue skies.  Saguaros by the thousands dot the red rock hillsides joined by thousands of those nasty cholla cactus.  The trails were nice—not too challenging—just pleasant riding. IMG_3752IMG_3755

We spotted these two crested saguaros just about 100 yards off the trail—spectacular!!!


The above crested saguaro is one of the largest we’ve ever seen.


IMG_3787IMG_3792This one was strange but cool!


Back on the trail heading toward the staging area we spotted an arch off in the distance then discovered a trail leading right to the arch.



I would say we had quite the spectacular day!


Barry and Donna headed home to see after their elderly pooch, Pacer, leaving the rest of us to ride a little longer then head to the Tasty Freeze in Wickenburg for a little supper and ice cream.

Life is good!

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Is The Cowboy Ill

DSCN1829Can you believe the cowboy hired a contractor???  I’m thinking I should take his temperature!!  He didn’t think he wanted to learn stuccoing at his age and hired a contractor recommended by the Bayfield Bunch.  Very personable guy, reasonable and is doing what we think is a good job. 

Michael spent the day reconstructing cabinets—the upper cabinets are requiring a lot more demolition and re-making than did the lower ones.  He’s almost ready to hang an upper section. 

Some times I wonder what in the world I did in a day—today was one of those days.  I seemed to be going in circles all day—I made a pot of chili and a recipe from Facebook that was a dud—Apple Cinnamon Bread.  The coffeecake type bread was kind of blah. 

I did a little touchup painting in the house and prepped another section, the living room—removing switch plates and taping.  Mid-afternoon I went up to the clubhouse to speak with the activities director—we are going to start a yoga group and wonder of wonders—I am going to be the teacher!  I try to make myself practice yoga at home but I need the incentive and encouragement of a group—so I am starting one.

So—I guess I was productive! Smile

Sunrise in Arizona Wednesday morning.


Monday, November 16, 2015


OK, let’s look at this photo again—no, it has nothing to do with the cowboy’s ugly hat—it’s still ugly.  Sharon from the Odd Essay got it on the first try—Emmi is sitting in Michael’s lap—in a restaurant!!  When the gang headed out for an ATV ride, this crew didn’t get the message we would be dining in Yarnell—we packed a lunch as usual and took Emmi as usual—when we realized dining in a restaurant was on the agenda, we had a dilemma.  We were afraid to leave Emmi leashed to the rig (something we’ve never done)—the street running through Yarnell is way too busy for that.  So—I thought, what the heck, I will just ask if Emmi can come in with us—they said yes—you gotta love small town USA!  They tucked us away in a back room and we were good to go. 


The kitchen is taking shape and I’ve started painting—I just may have a working kitchen by Thanksgiving??? Winking smileHelp arrived today in the form of Barry and Geri—Barry came to help Michael with cabinets and Geri came to help me paint—now those are good friends!!!  I painted the kitchen/sunroom ceilings yesterday and today Geri and I quickly had all the kitchen/sunroom walls painted with the exception of the accent wall—need to buy paint for that one.  I used an off white on the ceilings and a mushroom risotto (who comes up with these names??)—a light taupe color on the walls—it looks great. 

Tonight all the lower cabinets are installed with the exception of the one which goes to the left of the range—tomorrow.  The dishwasher is washing away as I type—we are making sure it works before we attempt to sell the old one at the North Ranch garage sale on Saturday. 



Our friend John posted this on Facebook:  “I think I found the guy who originally owned that Stetson you got Mike”  Yep, John, I think you are correct!

Friday, November 13, 2015

A Day Off

We both worked so hard Thursday we had to take a day off today—Michael worked inside the house, he is almost finished with the drywall work.  I worked outside all day—I dug holes to China!  There were two Bougainvillea plants in the front yard next to the porch—they have major thorns—we are talking daggers and they have a major root system!  I moved those to the back yard.  There was a tiny/sickly palm tree on the north side of the house which never saw sunshine—I moved him to the front yard.  Plus I finished burying all the watering system pipe—whew—I could hardly put one foot in the front of the other by dinner time.

Barry and Donna purchased a CanAm and today we along with Larry and Geri plus Fred and Nancy took them on an inaugural ride.  And it was a new ride for Michael and me, too.  We went to the top of Round Mountain.  Three hundred and sixty degree views!!  The ATV gang had always told us Round Mountain was a tough trip due to the “steps” near the top—rocky ledges which can make for difficult riding.  The cowboy wanted to go so Larry tells him, “put it in low range, four wheel drive and go.”  Thanks Larry!! Winking smileWhen we reached the top my first words were, “that wasn’t bad at all.”  We phoned down to the rest of the gang (yep, we travel high tech!) and told them, “piece of cake.”  Larry and Geri plus Fred and Nancy had been to the top in the past and said the road was in much better shape this year—lucky us!

IMG_3697IMG_3704Even though it was only 11am we decided to have lunch—lunch with a view for sure!


Back down the hill and off to the river—the Hassayampa River flows above ground then disappears underground—resurfacing at different spots.  We were going to go up river to see how much water was flowing but after watching a young couple almost bury a 4-wheeler in the mud and water we decided maybe that wasn’t such a good idea.  Larry had thoughts of trying to make it through but-----

IMG_3740changed his mind!IMG_3741

It was a great day of riding.  We all gathered later at the Biltmore tent for pizza, conversation and laughter.  Life is good!

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Veterans Day

It’s the day we honor our soldiers and veterans here in the United States.  In our family we have Nat, Michael’s father who at the young age of 21 served as a bomber on B29 airplanes over the Pacific.  He married during the war and Michael was born in October, 1945—no email or Facetime back then and Nat didn’t know he was a father until arriving back in the states in late 1945.

Nat in uniform Large Web view

Michael served in the US Army Reserves during the Vietnam war.

Michael in uniform Large Web view

And then there is the younger generation—Laci served in the USAF and served a tour in Iraq.  Her husband John is currently serving in the USAF stationed in Montana. 


I love this photo—Laci was returning from Iraq (her parents did not know she was back on US soil) and called to ask if I could somehow arrange for her parents to be at the Rib and Chop House in Livingston, MT.  It was tough—if I was going to feed Lonn and LoraLee I cooked—so they thought it strange we were asking them to go out to eat.  Laci was late (as usual) and we waited with Lonn and LoraLee wondering why in the world we couldn’t order!  Laci walks into the restaurant and the expression on Lonn and LoraLee’s faces was priceless. 

So, thank you veterans and soldiers, you are appreciated!

Monday, November 9, 2015

Happy Birthday Niki, Visitors and A Rattlesnake

We won’t say how many years old my sweet niece is today but I will say we both celebrated momentous birthdays in 2015!!  Niki is my sister Ann and her husband Danny’s only child.  Niki was our only niece/nephew or grandchild for almost 19 years before my brother and his wife had two sons—so she remains my only niece and is a very special girl—I just can’t call her a woman!  Niki and her husband Eric have two beautiful daughters of their own plus they are active foster parents—at the present time caring for an infant foster child in spite of the fact they both hold full time jobs.

Niki followed in my foot steps and is a registered nurse—she worked in home health for years and was so loved by her many patients.  She is very active in the church her dad pastors and is a much loved member of the community.  

So, happy birthday sweet Niki, we love you!

Look who came to visit and no, the desert hasn’t gotten lush and green—old photo taken on the coast of Oregon!

IMG_8097Nina and Paul have been in Prescott and decided to travel down the hill and spend a couple days in the North Ranch RV park.  They are traveling with Paul’s dad, Armando and his wife Ana.  Last night they all joined us for dinner—it was great to once again see these guys and we had a wonderful meal.  This afternoon we stopped by their rig for a little happy hour and to say goodbye—they are heading out tomorrow. 

IMG_3665Nina and Paul’s dog Polly—she is mesmerized by a rabbit in the desert.

Today we headed out with the gang for an ATV ride to Yarnell for lunch—Joe and Kathy had to try out their new rig!!


IMG_3672Notice anything strange in this photo??





Just out of Yarnell on the way back Larry is stopped and gesturing at something in the road.  As we near, he tells us to get the camera.  It was very cool up in Yarnell, we were all wearing jackets, gloves and hats—why is a rattlesnake out in weather that cool???  He slithered backwards keeping his eyes on us constantly while we took photos.  ICK!!!


So, we are still busy—Michael is sheetrocking, I’ve been doing the regular, mundane chores in addition to all the socializing we’ve been doing!  Life is good!