Wednesday, February 23, 2022

House Lazy

 February 6-23, 2022
Tombstone - Kingman - Wickenburg, Arizona

Some times, most times, having a house means you're busy. There's always something that needs "doing" when there's multiple rooms with multiple purposes and all that outside stuff too. 

Except lately we've been house lazy. Just hanging out in the house, satisfied with the completed projects inside, and not ready to start outside endeavors that we'll have to stop in the middle of when we hit the road again. So we are content to read, watch television, play Cribbage, play computer games, do some cooking and even more eating, take naps, plan for that road trip. There are still trips to the grocery store and an occasional breakfast out, but mostly the house is where we're at.

This little buck thinks he's a Quail.

While I do get his attention, he's quickly back to eating away and ignoring both me and Tessa.

With the exception of a trip north to join friends for the Superbowl! We didn't make it last year, but usually we gather with our high school pals (2020 we were all here at our house) for the big football weekend, and it's always a great time. 

We break up the 380 mile trek with in-between stops both directions. For the northern drive we spend a night at Covered Wagon RV Park in a sketchy area off Glendale Avenue in Phoenix with interior roads crowded with stored RVs but decent space at our FHU 50 amp site. I waited too long to find a reservation, and February in Arizona is always packed - so I was grateful to find this single opening. The best part is that friends Dave and Faye are at Lake Pleasant this week and able to meet us half-way in Anthem for an early dinner. It's always so fun getting together with these two - another RVing couple we're delighted to call our pals!

While the food at Tennessee Grill is just okay, the company is grand.

The space along side Jim and Maggie's Kingman house is snug with just enough room for slides out (less than full out on one side), and it's nice to be a few feet from the back door for visiting. It also works great for hiding Maggie's surprise retirement goodies! She's been working remotely since Jim's retirement and now it's her turn to join the rest of us. I'm so glad we were there to celebrate this milestone and to give her the very first surprise party she's had!!

My dear happy friend Maggie - congrats!

As is always the case here, we eat very well, and often, over our three day visit. Other folks from our high school live in the area so it's a party of 12 people we've known for years. 

Saturday night is chilly enough to move all of us

indoors to play cards.

Their home is large with several televisions set up in different spaces. There are a few die-hard Bengals fans among us, but most are cheering for the Rams. I think it was a great game all the way through - so nice to have fewer flags! Joe Burrow played so well, but I'm really happy to see Matt Stafford get his ring at long last. 

Most of the crew watched the game in the nice outdoor weather.

Monday Donnie and Anna returned to Tombstone while we stay for another two nights. One was planned, but we also stay Tuesday to avoid the high winds. Always nice to have that option! Maggie and I spend our Monday on a day trip to the west side of the Grand Canyon. The highlight is the Joshua Tree forest on the way. There are many, many healthy, green trees! We miss the road that we find out later would have taken us to the river with some views of the canyon, and instead spend a little time at the visitor center. This access is all on the Hualapai Nation with a $50/person fee to ride the bus out to the rim. This is also where the Sky Walk is - a clear walkway that I will never venture on to :-) Masks are required and enforced which is appreciated with the large number of tourists here on a winter Monday.

We head back to Seligman for late lunch at the Roadkill Cafe, but the GPS thinks that taking us through thick dirt roads around dry agriculture fields and back to their house first is the best way to do that. Alas, we're just fine with spending more girl time and still eat at the cafe as planned. If you've never made the stop along Interstate 40, the food is definitely worth it!

At one point we're completely engulfed in thick silt - Jeep fun!

Tuesday is a lovely quiet day hanging with our friends and then joining the Kingman gang for Mexican food in town.

Wickenburg is celebrating their annual rodeo week so I'm unable to secure a space in any of their RV parks for a Tuesday stop. Fortunately friends Sue and Dave who are the reason we're making the stop here on the return have room for us with 30 amp and water! We're delighted to be their first happy campers in the large, level space along their beautiful RV garage. We enjoy a perfect afternoon and evening getting caught up with all our house updating. Funny given that our meet-ups have always been about our fulltime travels, and now we're both Arizona home owners. After a delicious dinner, and more solving the world's problems, we spend a peaceful night tucked into our private spot in the desert. Thankfully Sue took some pics!

Second cup on the patio before we continue south.

I'm able to get our Camping World appointment moved so Thurssday afternoon we move a few items from the rig to the Jeep and drop off the rig for a list of fixes necessary before our travels. Maddeningly this includes yet another windshield replacement. A kicked up rock on the interstate gave us a nasty 15 inch crack :-(

Back to the house where the contractors have installed new porchlights on both sides of the house and hauled off the last of the construction debris. Unfortunately the side paneling for the garage side still hasn't arrived after three back orders. We'll likely have the bathroom remodel completed before that gets finished!

On a very sad note the woman who Rebecca and I visited a couple weeks ago (with the cute painted motorhome and art studio) passed away suddenly. You really never know when it will be your time - follow your dreams every day and live with kindness and joy. 

All the kids and grands are doing fine in SoCal. Wish we could teleport there for hugs and play, but are so grateful for pics and videos and calls.

Little M always full of giggles.

Youngest Oliver bundled up for a winter outing.

Big M delights in his video helmet.

Elliott and Ezra playing in their backyard snow.

Penelope and Reese snuggles.

Super hero Henry

High winds and cold temps since we've returned to the house. More lazy days and travel plans. Secured a few more reservations for July. Just five weeks and we're down the road!

Saturday, February 5, 2022

This and That

January 26 - February 5, 2021
Tombstone, Arizona

Hard to believe the NFL season is already over - seems like just a few weeks ago Bill's Cowboys and my Steelers were playing the Hall of Fame game. But that was August! Alas, neither of our teams made it past the first round of playoffs. My QB retired after a stellar 18 years with Pittsburgh. I'll miss Big Ben, but he was right to hang up his cleats.

While we'd both rather see the Chiefs return to the Super Bowl- Cincinnati? really? - we're both excited the Rams will be playing it in their home stadium. 

I've always loved RC Gorman's paintings, and I finally picked up a small print on our Tubac shopping trip. I didn't realize until I unpacked my parcels that the Navajo folk art piece I'd also brought home matched the colors perfectly! Guess I was "feeling" purple and red that day :-)

I take a solo trip to Tucson for a lovely facial and an unsuccessful hunt for a couple items I don't really need anyway. Jeff and I enjoy breakfast in Bisbee where the Bisbee Breakfast Club never disappoints. Sad to learn that both of the old dogs who have been greeting us for years on Erie Street have passed on. They were always there and their absence is noticeable :-(

I never did take their pics, but find a couple on the Internet to remember them by.

Brian sent these hysterical pics - he was sure he'd baby-proofed the play area in front of the television while he was in the kitchen. Baby is very quiet....never he checks. And finds Elliott has the XBox controller, has turned on the television, and is happily scrolling through the menus :-)))) 14 months old.

"Can I help you Dad?"

"See? That's the one I like!"

"Okay, Ima just gonna play this one"

"What? You can come play too, and not just stand there!"

The whole family is weathering children and school in the COVID world of quarantines, closed classes, exposures, and lack of any real plan. It's frustrating and frightening and they're all hanging in there. Over half of our grands have only known masks and limited contact with others. 

Our only personal loss in the SUV-crashed-into-our-house "event" was my precious-to-me Bison skull painted with Red Cloud. It was completely decimated when the fireplace bricks came down. As he could never be duplicated, I asked our friend Rebecca to replace him with my Raven totem. A few days after our Tubac trip, she brought him over for the big reveal. We couldn't be happier!!

The space feels complete now.

Kiksuye Tanka - Remembered Spirit

Following the skull delivery Rebecca and I take a drive to Naco on the border to visit her artist friend who lives there in her cute little RV. She's been under the weather so we have a quick visit including a little tour of her neighbors' studios. So many talented folks!

Living in colorful space - and with a rammed-earth studio!

Home as art.

Winter shows up with February. Night temps drop below 20 with sunny daytime highs in the low 50's. One day's clouds bring hail that covers the yards and stays for a few hours! I'm sure folks from places where real winter lasts for months are unimpressed, but us desert-dwellers are staying inside with the fireplace (yay!) on, enjoying soup and chili and other comfort foods.

Making a few more reservations in the popular spots and trying to tighten up the "after-Michigan" route. The motorhome has a Camping World appointment in a couple weeks and then before we know it we'll be back on the road.

Proud of our Ezra for receiving the award for caring at his school!