Sunday, December 19, 2021

Making Progress

November 18 - December 18, 2021
Tombstone, Arizona

 Although we've had the place since October 2019, we still occasionally look at each other and say "We have a house in Tombstone!" It's certainly added another layer to our simple retirement, providing sanctuary for us and family during COVID, and a big dose of drama with the SUV crashing through in September! 

The last month has been mostly waiting for, and watching, the rebuild continue. We're on the home stretch now, likely done by Christmas, but it seems like a long time since we've had a fireplace and carpeting in the living room. We still won't have carpet until January......the grands can spill all they want next week :-)

Seeing the stone going up is a great day!

What we came home to in September.

With a new vent-less fireplace we gain garage space as well.

The same garage corner was the point of impact.

Our Thanksgiving is quiet with just the three of us and lots of football - not great football, but football none the less. Bill barbeques the bird and makes his sausage dressing while Jeff makes mac and cheese, so I just need to fill in with yams, green beans and deviled eggs. We don't do dessert this year as we're all working on losing some weight, but we don't scrimp on what we do have!! As of today Bill has lost 22 pounds so of course I've lost 11 - enough to make you really dislike men :-)

The house smells soooo good!

I was getting bored and anxious for the living room to come together so I paint two of the walls and rehang the drapes so they no longer take up so much wall space. I also paint the hall and Bill adds an updated sconce. The old eggshell color didn't work for me (I've painted the two bedrooms and one of the baths already to add some color), so I choose a soft dove gray for three of the walls, and a darker charcoal for the fireplace wall. 

The space already feels cozier.

Outside the destroyed front fencing is replaced, and we add new gates to the back. For the whole time the fence is down Tessa will not go through that space! She stands at the gate waiting to be let in or out, no matter how many times we show her the opening. Silly dog!

We lost a nice large green bush in this space, but having the fence back in place feels like we're getting back to "pre-crash" living.

The old gates were over a foot off the ground, making the yard less than secure for visiting doggies. There was also a large metal stake in the middle which was a hassle to drive around when accessing the backyard. This is so much better.

I manage to make the drive to Sierra Vista nearly everyday although each day I'm sure I've remembered everything! Jeff's car was damaged by the flying side door in the garage (the body shop explained they don't have a code for that!), and after ten days in the shop we pick it up good as new. Again, both our insurance company and the driver's make sure everything moves quickly and doesn't cost us anything.

We spend a sad day saying good-bye to a dear high school friend and his wife who passed away within four days of each other. We've lost too many in the last couple years, definitely too many to COVID that could have been avoided. It breaks my heart as Mike and Becky leave their youngest son whose brother passed several years ago. 

I love that this was the photo the family chose for the memorial.

Tessa gets an ouchie on her neck which delays her grooming appointment, but a week later she finally gets all spiffy again. A few days after that I get four inches cut off my hair so I'm feeling spiffy as well :-) Even better, I get to the spa in Tucson twice, enjoying a little pampering which is always good for the soul!

Her shorter ears make her look younger than her now 11 years.

Back in California the grands are all doing well. Daughter-in-law Christie is feeling well and excited for our number eight to arrive the end of the month. We miss them all, and can't wait for Ezra and Elliott to arrive in a few days!

Elliott confirms box is always more fun than what's in it.

The youngest for a few more days, Penelope is loving her first Christmas.

Ezra can't believe how much snow they got overnight!

Reese likes her first pig tails :-)

Staying warm indoors - Ezra and Elliott both look like they got busted!

LOL - M&M have different feelings about picture day.

Henry has befriended this orange and takes it along on all his walks - I love this kid!

We've had almost no rain since our return, but we still have lovely clouds most days, making for beautiful sunsets. It's a wonderful time of day to appreciate where we are and all we can see from our little spot on the hill.

The contractors finish the stonework and most of the painting on Friday, meaning I can get the little tree decorated. We decided on a table-top size this year to be more baby-proof - we'll see :-)

So happy with the stone we chose - mantle goes up on Monday.

The latest I've ever put up a tree - it sure feels more like Christmas now that it's here!

Got my booster Saturday - feel fine except for my very painful arm. Geeez, I swear I was slugged by a linebacker! Bill gets his Monday so we'll be covered "for now". As many have expressed, it does feel like COVID is winning. 

We're happy with the progress, and hopeful all will be complete for Christmas. No matter what, we're going to have a wonderful holiday. 

Hoping that you're enjoying your own wonderfulness, that you are making progress in all you're working on, and that peace and joy surround you and yours.