Wednesday, January 25, 2023

Cold Catch-ups from Tombstone

 January 11 - 25, 2023
Tombstone, Arizona

Not sure if I'm somehow worried about 2023, but this is the first new year in a long time where I'm having trouble remembering to write 23 instead of 22. With all the catch-up medical appointments I'm filling out more paperwork than usual so you'd think I'd have it correct nearly a month in. Nope, did it again just yesterday. 

I'm sure it isn't age related.......

Lots of good intentions on my part for getting things done outside but our January has been cold, cold, cold. Our night time lows have been under 30 for ten days with another week of the same forecast. The mostly sunny skies are deceptive as one step outdoors and I'm making a mad dash back inside - especially when the wind's blowing too! We did get snow overnight a couple days ago with some of it still sticking in the shade of the front yard today. 

Monday morning snow.

All of our kids except two are in SoCal where weather has been a big factor as well. The missing rains of the last several years all showed up at the same time with devastating impact. Fortunately none of the family has had any damage. Brian has been working 90% remotely which is a good thing as his commute is on "the Grapevine", Interstate 5. Living in the mountains means their rain is often snow.

When water moves the earth.

Ezra enjoys a snow day.

Elliott ready to throw his snow ball.

I did get out to spend a fun afternoon with fellow RVers learning how to felt. We started out with squares and moved on to first steps for making small animals. I'm hooked and looking forward to doing more! Rebecca reserved the little meeting space for weekly get-togethers, so should be a great addition to my slow winter "schedule". I'm sure I'll be an expert after next week so I'll try to remember to get pics :-))

Bill's MOHs procedure went quickly with them finding no other spots. For a little place, they made a big cut - looks like I cleaved him with an axe! Nope, no pics of that either. 

Even with the cold, Rebecca and I were ready for a day out and about. Layered and wrapped, we made the beautiful drive to Tubac. Even though we've been before, there always seem to be places we missed the last time. And the galleries change offerings so that the ones we've seen are still new. Although cold, the sun is bright and it's a beautiful day to wander among the wonderful adobe and stone buildings. 

The paddles on this Prickly Pear are larger than serving platters!

Pre-festival week days are perfect for avoiding the large crowds.

I bet you can guess the title of this one.

I fell in love with these two.

Many galleries have artists who have captured native themes in a variety of ways. I love the colors in this table piece. 

The temperature difference is extreme between the sun and shade. The dapples bring the art outside.

Just more room in the Jeep and more padding in the bank and these cuties would have come home with me!

Many of the galleries have vignettes as lovely as their art.

My anti-pasto lunch continued the "work of art" theme!

We each have a couple more medical appointments in the next month, and more fun is a planned trip to SoCal to see the family. Reservations are made and I can't wait to see them all!

Speaking of reservations I've also filled in some blanks for our spring/summer travels. Still finding places that are fully booked for the dates I wanted, but I've managed to get Memorial and Labor Days covered. We'll be in Canada for July 4th (and for their Canada Day on July 1st) so that period is my priority to complete this week. 

1 year-old Oliver is all smiles.

Life is good, we're blessed.

Wednesday, January 11, 2023

Appreciating Old Art in a New Year

 December 27, 2022 - January 8, 2023
Tombstone, Arizona

Like most people I spent much of my life pushing time. Mondays pushing for Fridays. Hot days pushing for cooler temps. School pushing for graduation. School and work pushing for vacation. Pregnancy pushing for baby. Diapers pushing for potty-trained. More work pushing for retirement. Idle days pushing for exciting plans. Yet we're surprised time passes so quickly! We even complain about it :-) 

As I get older I work on being present in the now. I actively appreciate the uniqueness of a day. My everyday blessings are recognized. I'm not consciously pushing anything. 

And yet time passes even faster. Never more apparent than birthdays and new years. Alas 2023 has arrived, is already over a week in.

The good things outweighed the bad in 2022, and that's all I can wish for in 2023 :-)

Before year's end, two of the grands celebrate birthdays - Oliver's first, and Henry's third. Tough to have your birthday at Christmas, but we're delighted to celebrate these darling boys.

Henry discovers party blowers.

Oliver enjoys some outdoor fun.

Like grownups we join friends Michael and Rebecca and their friends for a New Years' Eve gathering. Outdoors in the RV park, it's comfortable with propane heaters and fire pits. Good time, good food, good people. We head home early - we're old grownups :-)

Rebecca and I enjoy an outing to the De Grazia Gallery in Tucson on a chilly Tuesday. The grounds and building are beautiful in a beautiful place. The background of the Catalina Mountains adds to the magic of this special place. My mother was a big fan of his work, and I regret I didn't visit with her. Many of the pieces remind me of her. 

This fella centers the peaceful courtyard.

Small vignettes throughout add personal touches to the outdoor space. 

The heavy metal doors with punch art look like jewels.

The temporary exhibit "Ballet" is a collection of very different subjects in a familiar style.

I enjoy the petroglyph and pictograph pieces done on ceramics, canvas and wood panels.

Mom had several of his books and loved the simple and whimsical best. 

More than any others, Girls Waiting depicts what I think of as a De Grazia. For $13k I could have taken it home!

Rabbit Hunt is one of many dramatic ink drawings on permanent display.

Many like Crying draw me in to human emotions stripped raw.

"Raising Indians Steal Horses from Kino Village" feel like flowing energy and power. The eight warriors blend into the gallop.

Back in the courtyard we enjoy the wide variety of flora.

A tasty lunch at El Charro, the oldest family-run Mexican Restaurant in the country still in operation. One of several locations in the city.

California's storms send us clouds but very little rain, offering up dazzling skies all around. 


Sunday, December 25, 2022

Another Christmas in the Sun

December 18-25, 2022
Tombstone, Arizona

Amazing that this is the fourth Christmas at our Tombstone house! Looking around I hardly remember what the place looked like when we moved in. Sometimes it's still hard to believe how we just "fell into" the place so easily, and how half of our upgrades came free of charge courtesy of a neighbor's insurance company! 

The closer we got to Christmas the warmer our temps got. While we had those couple days of pretty snow last week, when the big day arrives it's 68 degrees with sunny, blue skies. 

We appreciate how fortunate we are when so many across the country have been buried by brutal winter storms. The Buffalo Bills spent their Christmas Eve in Chicago - stranded when the airports closed. 8 games were played on Saturday in temps below 20 degrees. Friends in the north haven't been under freezing for days. Many missed seeing family due to travel restrictions. Several events are cancelled in Dallas over the weekend. 

Tahoe saw record snow-fall this weekend photo from Google Images

Beautiful and warmer Arizona skies.

We enjoy a full palette of colors.

The only "holiday preparation" is picking up a Honeybaked Ham in Tucson on Tuesday. All the grands have their presents, we've been enjoying our tree and other sparkles for several weeks, it's just three of us for Christmas. The city is (not surprising) busy with schools out, and shoppers making their mad dashes to finish their lists. I've prepaid for the ham and snag a parking spot in front of the store - and there is zero line at the time of my scheduled pickup. Sweet!! Trader Joe's isn't quite as quick, but their crew move us efficiently and with good cheer so it's a pleasant stop as well. And I'm done :-))) 

I'm listening to Fairy Tale by Stephen King on Audible which is so good! It makes these drives through the desert even nicer. Great views and perfect weather don't hurt either. One of the criteria for finding a winter base was having a good size city within an hour with a large airport, quality hospital, and decent services/restaurants/stores. Tucson fits all those needs with the addition of good museums, galleries, festivals and other fun things to do. 

What's funny about this is that my mother retired to Tucson in the 1980s, and when visiting her from California for years, I wasn't a fan. I guess I still wouldn't choose to live there, but having it close to our remote place in Tombstone is a pretty perfect combination!

Jeff finally gets in to see the dentist, and has to get a tooth pulled. Days before Christmas is sucky timing for sure, but he's glad to get it done. With the exception of the ham, I attempt a "softer" food theme for the holiday :-)

In the waiting room - love it!

Christmas Eve we enjoy a gathering with friends at their house down the road. About 25 people for tamales and posole and pie. All delicious with fun conversation and lots of cheering and grumbling for the Dallas game and Steelers game - both wins so Bill and I are happy. Bummed that Franco Harris passed just days before the retiring of his Steelers' #32 jersey at this game - he was one of my heroes in the early days of my fanship. 

Christmas kids

Christmas is a quiet and peaceful day with stockings and gifts - I get a very cool steel tongue drum - and a yummy mid-day dinner. More football and photos and videos from the grands wrap up the day. 

Holiday yummies

Henry amping up the cute.

Penelope and Reese bundled up with Mom and Dad in Washington DC.

M and M enjoying neighborhood lights.

Elliott getting help from Daddy.

Ezra loves his Buzz.

Oliver sporting broccoli and a bruise for his first Christmas.

I hope you all had a wonderful holiday, that Santa brought you smiles and wonder, and you had that extra piece of pie or glass of wine - or both! 

Sunday, December 18, 2022

Weather We Like It or Not!

 December 12 - 18, 2022
Tombstone, Arizona

This week we've had rain, fog, sunshine, high winds and the big excitement of the week - snow! Having lived in California all my life, I'm one of those people who loves having snow in my yard. Of course it's the melt-in-hours type of snow that makes beautiful scenes and then soaks into the desert floor. Nothing we have to drive in or shovel out of. It makes Christmas feel more like Christmas although neither Bill nor I have ever had snow for the holidays!

Monday afternoon flurries.

Tuesday morning we're greeted with a winter wonderland.

A neighbor stops by to nibble on the snow-laden branches. At one point she has a forehead covered in snow :-)

It's heavy enough to stay most of the day.

We're blessed to be surrounded by several mountain ranges that give us a wonderful variety of views through the seasons. I get out at the end of our snowy day to capture our surrounds. 

Sheepshead area of the Dragoons to the east.

Sky drama over the Burros to the west.

Snow continues over the Whetstones to the northwest.

A natural fisheye view of the Huachuacas to the south.

Cowan Road is a dirt route that runs between Gleeson Road and Davis Road nearby. We've collected a lot of our yardscape rocks from the area, and sometimes just take a couple hours to get out in the desert. Although much of it is open range, the cattle must be rounded up. We also see no wildlife on our drive this week - no deer, no steer! 

Golden hills under mostly sunny skies.

The pens look little-used this season.

Dry branches reach for sky feathers.

Spun gold along the road.

Tessa offers oversight on the gate closing operation.

Bill gets two of his doctor appointments out of the way, and so far we're happy with the providers in our new medical group. We still have to wait for some of the appointments - some into late February. It's new for us, but I understand it's the new-normal for healthcare everywhere. Alas, nothing critical pending, and we should have everything covered before our travels in the spring. 

Speaking of travel, I have our tentative route planned and have two reservations made for late in the season for places I anticipate will fill fast. I can always cancel if things change, but I'm already excited about those stops :-))

Enlarging the RV lot to enable parking at an angle off our narrow alley, replacing our single pane windows, and starting on the landscaping is our project list for this winter. This week we finalized the window job paperwork (installers still have to do final measurements before the install is scheduled), and before Thanksgiving we finished the lot modification. Not sure if the landscaping will get very far (the windows are a bit more expensive than we'd planned, but I'm able to get the two custom frames I want). While I still prefer traveling, I'm loving the home we're making here. It's definitely fun having friends over for dinners, to watch football, to play cribbage.  

The new layout will make backing in trailers and 5ers so much easier on that left side. Mountain views with 50 amp and water!

Their first Virginia Christmas - Travis, Penelope, Reese and Emily.