Sunday, February 19, 2023

Friends, Field Trip, Flurries and Football Finale

 February 6 - 19, 2023
Tombstone Arizona

Our doctors continue to schedule more "let's see what that looks like" appointments which fortunately have "nothing to see here" results. Still, they're time consuming.

The motorhome is dropped off at our new shop in nearby Whetstone with a punch list of 9, hopefully simple, items for repair. A week later they call with a positive report, most are fixed, one part on order, and a challenge locating the ceiling speakers we need replaced (speakers are fine but the frames are all cracked and falling off). It continues to amaze me how many RV manufacturers have stopped making parts for their units that should be on the road for another decade or two! Our 2014 Tuscany is now old?? There's only 70k miles on the Cummings diesel engine, and we've never had a drive train issue, but the "house" parts are already becoming hard to locate. The tech told us they had a 2019 in last month they couldn't find parts for - ridiculous!

The morning of my radiology appointment a rock kicks up and chips the Jeep's windshield on the driver's side. Before it can spider, I head for SafeLite after my appointment, and in 20 minutes I'm back on the road with just a shadow of the damage showing. Whew!

The next day Bill and I return from Tucson and Caaraaack!, another rock puts an even deeper, bigger chip in the passenger's side windshield. WTH?! Back to Safelite where they're skeptical about a repair but give it a try. Success! It's definitely still visible, but no view impairment for either of us. Free and quick repairs are preferable to the cost and time of a new windshield, and hopefully the rock gods have moved on from us now!

RV friends Dawn and Darryl spend their winters in Quartzsite, and their family often come for visits - usually from Michigan and looking forward to some warm days in the sun. This year sister Lila has come to see them from Florida - to the coldest winter we've had in decades! They're in Bisbee for a few days and we're fortunate to spend some time with them. Indoors by the big fireplace! It's never enough time with these fun friends.

Jodee, Darryl, Dawn (thanks for remembering a pic!), Lila and Bill. Contessa Cantina always a good choice!

Another Rebecca-and-me field trip to Tucson takes us to Tohono Chul Gardens and Gallery.  Expecting more gallery and less garden, I'm surprised by what we find. The grounds are stunning with the most healthy and lush cacti and succulents I've seen. Walls and large trees mostly protect us from the cold winds and the sun is lovely. The gallery is small and unfortunately most of it is closed for the installation of a new exhibit. We spend a little time with a lovely and informative docent, and a little more in the nice gift shop. By the time we're done perusing, we're both starving and not prepared to wait the 30+ minutes to eat at the bistro on grounds. It looks wonderful and we'll be back for sure! Instead we head around the corner to eat on the patio at Wildflower which I highly recommend for both delicious and unique offerings and excellent service. 

We didn't get to see much art in the gallery, but the sculptures outside are wonderful.

My favorite is this buzzard in the tree.

The architecture adds to the artistry,

as does the play of light throughout the gardens.

Pulled from the mines in Morenci, Arizona, this azurite and malachite piece weighs 4650 pounds.

Lost and Found, a series of pieces designed from items the artist found while wandering solo through the desert during COVID.

All the grounds are lovely with several spots to sit and enjoy - when the temps are a bit warmer I think.

Butternut squash salad with apple, shaved Brussels sprouts and seared ahi. The lemon vinegarette is soooo good!

Hard to believe football season is over already, and yet before we know it pre-season will be back in August. This year we enjoy Superbowl with a handful of local friends at our place. Anna and Donnie, Cindy and Jimmy, Turk, and the three of us load the island with yummy eats and gather around the TV for the big game. Never a dull moment with this crew, it's a loud and lively few hours! All but one are happy with the outcome :-)

Wings and pulled pork sliders with lots of sides kept us well fed throughout the afternoon.

I had some fun with the deviled eggs this year :-)

Small bar and football pool.

Penalty flag napkins :-)))))

Finally the flurries. Yes, another snow storm drops a couple inches on us overnight. The quiet beauty of the morning is such a gift. This time I'm on the road to town for Tessa's grooming appointment so I get to enjoy even more of the changes the pristine white brings to our desert. 

Overnight winds make drift-art on the back porch.

New window test - they all pass with no cold air making it's way indoors.

Not a soul in downtown Tombstone.

The Old Courthouse feels ominous in the gloom and quiet.

This guy is probably less enamored with the cold, white stuff.

I love the icy delicacy of this vignette - with the hawk keeping watch in the tree.

Huachuca Mountains wrapped in falling snow.

In town the snow is already moving on as the sun highlights what is left behind.

Most of the snow has melted by the end of the day, but surprisingly we still have a couple patches on our north side three days later!

Our precious Henry is excited about being a big brother this summer.

Penelope is such a happy girl!

M&M enjoy a day by the water. Like all the grands, they're getting so big, so fast!

Most of our spring/summer travels are planned and reserved, including finally making our way up to Banff and Jasper in Alberta. Unfortunately those reservations are pending because they don't open up until late March :-(((. In the meantime we have more cold temps in the forecast with Winter hanging on longer than usual in our desert.

Hope you're all enjoying your 2023 and staying warm and safe.

Sunday, February 5, 2023

New Friends, New Windows and New.........

 January 26 - February 5, 2023
Tombstone, Arizona

Allen Street, Tombstone

Winter is cold. Hmmmm. 

Having lived in California for the first 60 years of my life I'm not unfamiliar with the fickleness of "normal" weather. "Wait five minutes" is the typical response when one complains about the current conditions. In recent years it's the hotter temps that come earlier and stay longer that are the main concern. Here we're told that this is the coldest winter in years - as the monsoons brought more water than usual during the summer. We've also had the dryest monsoon season and the warmest winter during our short residency :-)

Many people think we moved our home base to southeastern Arizona for warmer winters, but really we were looking for colder winters and cooler summers. We got our wish this year with our average lows at 30 and average highs in the mid 50's. Brrrr for us! 

Some of the grands are enjoying snowy winters - they all think it's great fun!

Reese is loving Virginia.

Penelope rocking her hot pink snow boots.

Ezra is becoming a real mountain kid, appreciating a backyard full of fun.

Where cold temps are not appreciated is coming through the house windows. The single-panes were installed in this house in 1968, and did not keep out the outside air and dirt. They whistled and rattled in the wind. They were also ugly! Replacing them was a must-do, delayed by our huge rebuild last year, but this year's cold made them a priority.

Out with the old dining room window.

The old living room window - stuffed with pieces of cardboard to keep them from rattling.

Very happy with the new dining room view.

The new living room window turns the wall into a piece of art. 

The old awnings on the back windows looked dated and were noisy in the wind.

So much better!

The supervisors are very helpful.

The Home Depot (not usually my go-to, but we got a good deal and an install date that wasn't sooooo far off) crew do a great job. Every window looks like it's been here forever - inside and out. They take one 20 minute break, and get all eight windows done in under eight hours. The windows themselves are beautiful, and wow what a difference!! The house stays warmer and we don't know it's windy until we look outside. 

I enjoy another afternoon gathering of crafty RVers in Whetstone. Just hanging out, working individual projects. I play with some more needle felting, liking it enough to plan a shopping trip for supplies in the near future. It's also a lot of fun getting to know other folks in the area.

I added a few felted flowers to my favorite hat.

A couple bookmarks for me and my BFF.

In the category of "how were we not already friends?", Jim and Barb are at the top of the list. We read the same blogs, and the same blogs read us. When Jim B asked (not for the first time, so my fault!) us last summer if we were reading their blog I promised I'd check them out. Great musings and pictorial of their travels and South Dakota digs, I was hooked. And seeing nearly all of my blog roll represented in the comments confirms I'm definitely late to the party!

Fortunately this late connection is in time for their recent visit to our area.  Arrangements are made for a Saturday lunch in Tucson. El Charro is always a yummy choice with some local history thrown in. Fortunately it's also a Barb favorite! Even though the gem show started that day, we're seated quickly. I was unaware there are people who aren't Mexican food fans, but learned that Jim is one of these rare breeds. We like him anyway. 

In fact we like them both a lot, and have a wonderful time getting to know these new friends.

We have gorgeous skies, and one day of unusual clouds surrounding the entire valley. Looking like they were "brushed" downward, some bring a couple hours of light rain our way. 

360 degrees of these unique cloud swipes.

The most exciting "new" wraps up the post with our ninth grand baby due in August! Henry will have a little sister, and they will be our first two-gender-grands family. We're so happy for Chris and Megan - and for us of course!!

Happy Valentine's Day