Wednesday, December 16, 2020

Food, Friends and a Crow Bar

 November 16 - December 12, 2020
Tombstone, Arizona

Although we returned from California to above normal temps, they are thankfully short-lived. By Thanksgiving we're enjoying 60 degree days and 40 degree nights. Feels much more like Fall, more like the holidays are close.

Our San Pedro River Cottonwoods give us a pop of color.

Jeff and I take the scenic route to Tucson on a cold and clear afternoon. I've gotten picky about canned tuna (of all things), and can only eat Trader Joe's brand. Their unsalted option is worth a drive to the big city. Tucson is strict about masks and TJ's limits the number of shoppers, making for a comfortable experience. 

Pretty vistas along Hwy 83 
Before Jeff starts school on December 4, he and I paint his room and add some furniture to give him designated space for remote classes. It comes together nicely.

With a large gray dresser and TV to the right, he's all set.

Like most people we choose to stay home alone for Thanksgiving, and still manage to cook enough for a large family gathering. Everything is delicious, and with Bill doing the turkey and dressing, and Jeff making mac and cheese, I get off easy with deviled eggs, candied yams and mashed potatoes! 

Bill makes the best BBQ'd turkey and this one is exceptional!

We enjoy days of leftovers - why don't we do this more often??

November ends with the arrival of dear friends Darryl and Dawn. We first met at the Boondocking Rally in Quartzsite a few years ago, then connected in Michigan and back in Arizona last year. Adding 50 amp and water hookup spaces to our property last year was a priority so we could share our little piece of desert with friends. It's wonderful to have Darryl and Dawn here for a fun week.

On the coldest and windiest day of the year we head for birds and rocks - a great time for three of us as Bill isn't feeling great. 

I'm so happy when we arrive at Whitewater Draw to see there are more Sandhill Cranes than I've seen before!

Several species of duck share the water space.

With the high winds, the incoming cranes seem to hover in midair while landing.

With almost no one else at the Chiricahua National Monument we're able to enjoy the warmth of the Jeep while slowly making our way through the amazing rock formations.

Acres of hoodoos.

Masks are a bonus on a blustery day!

It's always a treat to share Cochise Mountain with new people. You can't not see his face!

After Dawn treated us to her chicken salad in Michigan it's become a tradition (in that we always say yes please!) for our get togethers. This time we enjoy sandwiches and fruit under the majestic rocks.

We share some yummy meals in both our homes, and of course hours of conversations about the important and the ridiculous :-) 

Back in California Elliott is already turning one month old!

On their last day, Darryl, Dawn and I have another adventure. Tessa comes, Bill stays. Since I've only been once, I'm really looking forward to seeing Cochise Stronghold again, and I'm confident they will enjoy the natural beauty.

Entering the park we're greeted with a little end of the season color.

More amazing rock drama.

Tessa and I on the history trail. They do a great job of telling the story of Cochise and his people. Not as windy, but yes, it's cold!

New for me too, Dawn and I take the half mile nature trail where good signage identifies numerous plants.

Sotol, like Agave, makes a tasty distilled liquor.

Long views from the top of the trail.

We actually remember to get a pic of all of us (thanks Jeff). Bill, Jodee, Tessa, Dawn and Darryl.

The week went by too fast, as all good times do. We all agreed to mask when we were together and while it's more comfortable without them, I'm confident it's the right thing to do. 

Inspired by how good Jeff's room looks, I decide to take on the half bath. More than just painting, the half wall of metal paneling has to come off. Which means the toilet, vanity and baseboard have to come off. When the water valves won't budge we call our buddy who remodeled our kitchen last year for help. I remove all the baseboard, and Billy and Josh show up the next morning to replace the water valves. They move out the toilet and vanity so I can remove the paneling, scrape, sand and paint, then put them back and hook everything back up. We're a good team!

Lots of glue behind the paneling holding tight since 1968 - glad we have a crow bar :-) Note the dated medicine cabinet. I forgot to capture the faded wood vanity.

With the old sink still usable, some white paint saves us the cost of a new vanity.

Still need to put up the new white cabinet above the toilet and install the new faucet and towel ring, but you get the idea. Better I think :-)

We get much needed rain, but for only a few hours. It's been a dry year on top of everything else.

Sheepshead to the north shrouded in low clouds.

Plains to the south getting a much needed drenching.

Ezra (he's getting so tall) calls his dad outside to see if he sees them. Do you see them?     
Peacocks in the old dog run :-)

Do you sometimes see things, just in your daily life, that make you chuckle? Here are a couple seen at Lowe's and the post office:

Should I have been worrying about this when buying toilet paper???

I bet they're working on changing their name, and their slogan!
Like our Thanksgiving, our Christmas will be small this year. Happy to have Jeff with us, grateful we and all our family and friends are healthy and safe. 

Fa, la, la, la, la

Holiday hugs from M&M!


  1. So nice that you get to have your son with your, especially at the holidays. Thanksgiving looked great, Dave is always envious when people get to eat deviled eggs. I love wandering around White Water Draw, such fun to see all the birds, especially when the Sandhills are on final approach! Merry Christmas!

    1. There were SO may cranes this time! All the way around the back of the elevated trail and out beyond. Tell Dave I'll eat one for him on Christmas :-)

  2. Your house continues to become a home and one to be quite proud of! Chiricahua has a feeling of a black-n-white version of the Utah formations.
    Enjoy your Christmas! more leftovers?

    1. Thanks Jeff, we're enjoying making it our own. Yes, the formations are similar with a very different color - good catch!
      No doubt more left overs :-)))

  3. Love the color you used in the bathroom. We'll have to check out more of your area one of these days. While not fun doing things responsibly is what's going to get us through all this, glad you were able to enjoy a visit from friends. I sure miss having deviled eggs, once the weight loss part of our lives is over we'll add more things like that back into our meals, in moderation of course.

    1. With just a teaspoon of mayo for 12 eggs, they're pretty light :-) Unlike the candied yams and mac and cheese!! I'm happy with the turquoise and the dull little room is now a pretty pop of bright. We'd love to see your 5er parked in our little oasis some day.

  4. Sounds like a wonderful Thanksgiving celebration. Love how you all took part in the dinner preparation. I'm sure your friends enjoyed seeing Whitewater Draw and all those sandhill cranes. I never tire of the rock formations in the Chiricahua's. The cottonwoods are so bright. Did you know that the branches have a black star inside? I just read that in one of my latest novels and research showed it was true. Cut a branch and there is the black star! Nice job on Jeff's room and the bathroom. So southwest. Have a great Christmas celebration. Nice that Jeff is there with you.

    1. I have to go cut a branch now! I love Cottonwoods and their sacred story among the local tribes, but didn't know that about the star. Thanks :-)) We're enjoying having him here for sure.

  5. I enjoyed reading your post seem to be in such a good and peaceful place these days.
    Merry Christmas!

    1. Thanks Gay. I'd have to agree with being good and peaceful. Still looking forward to getting back on the road, but also making lovely memories in our new place. Merry Christmas to you and Joe. Stay warm and safe!

  6. I like what Gay said, we do seem to be in a good and peaceful place these days. I won't eat any tuna except Costco's and the last time I purchased it, the first can was awful--it smelled so fishy I threw it out. Now I have no desire to eat tuna--bummer! Merry Christmas to you all!

    1. That's been my experience with canned tuna over the last few years so I was happy to find that TJ's is great. If you get the urge again, give it a try :-) Merry Christmas to you, Michael, Mom and Emmi - can't believe this year is nearly (finally) over.

  7. Wonderful! The turkey looked delish! Butt crumbles?? 😄. How nice to have some company. Yay for rain!

    1. Right?! That was definitely a new one for me :-))

  8. How great that you have such wonderful natural areas nearby to hike in. Your holiday decorations are lovely. Sorry you've had to be "home" for the heat and the cold of it this year but the future is coming and it WILL be better, I'm determined. Loved your chuckles!

    1. I agree our future looks brighter and we will be traveling again next year! We are blessed with an abundance of pretty places.

  9. I’ll bet those Sandhills were noisy, Jodee! We so enjoy seeing them. That Covidien box is hilarious!

    1. So noisy!! With the larger number you can hear them from a distance. I couldn't believe that box :-)))

  10. Eric has a favorite t-shirt of a crow bar—with, of course, a group of crows at a bar drinking beer. Your title made me think of it. :-)

    You are SO skilled at home remodeling! You're making so much progress, room by room. It looks great. Are you all finished now? So sweet that Jeff is staying with you and has his own space. And he helps you remember to take photos of friends that are visiting, LOL. I enjoy your beautiful day trips to Whitewater Draw and the Chiricahuas. So many good memories of our visits there!

    Your home looks so festive. Happy holidays, and here's to a bright 2021!

    1. I love the t-shirt - like our Raven Maniac shirts from PT!!

      It's nice to have local professionals to call on for plumbing and heavy installs, but I do enjoy doing as much as I can myself. The main bath needs a major upgrade and then the living room and hall are left to paint. Then of course there's the large yard that needs a deck and landscaping.....just a few things to keep us busy :-)

      Cheers for fun holidays and a better 2021 for all of us!!