Saturday, January 13, 2024

The Changing Pallet of Southern Arizona

 January 1 - 11, 2024
Tombstone, Arizona

Listed on several Arizona scenic-drive recommendations is the Sonoita-Patagonia Hwy. It's one that we often take as an alternative route to Tucson, and as the main route to Tubac and surrounds. If Jeff and I had taken it home from the airport we would have missed the deer-encounter! 

Without good friends in Tombstone we would likely have looked seriously for a place in the Sonoita area as I love the broad views of golden grass and surrounding mountains. Home to many wineries, but few other businesses/services, the property prices have pretty much moved out of our range now. But we can still enjoy the area any time we want :-)

I've not usually been one for resolutions at the new year, but it is a good time to look at things I don't want to take into another year and/or those I want to add for the new one. Last year it was 50# that I'm happy I left behind. Now I realize I've been leaving my camera behind, relying on the simplicity of my IPhone, after we returned from the road. Since I really enjoy photography, and the options available with the "real" camera, it seems like a positive and easy change I can make going into 2024. 

Put camera in Jeep - Check!

Jeff's caption: "Psyching himself up to go to work." :-))))

Ironically the one thing that my camera doesn't catch well is sunset colors. And January historically (4 Januarys are enough for "history" right?) has beautiful sunsets here. So the IPhone is called on again :-)

I never tire of the incredible drama our skies provide!

While we've been blessed with much less wind this year, it has been cold enough to appreciate it's really Winter. It looks like the storm that brought snow to the mountains of SoCal is going to miss us, but it arrives one late afternoon, altering our world.

Ezra and Elliott got "it" first.

Then here!

We love getting snow in the desert - always beautiful, and never lasts long. Just right! 

There is the occasional inconvenience (when we forget to trickle the sink water overnight) of a hard freeze stopping our water for a few hours. Only happens once - we're fast learners.

While the snow is mostly gone on the second day, our north-facing front yard holds on to its blanket for a few more.

I'm always hearing horror-stories about dealing with insurance companies, so when I changed from Progressive to save money a few months ago I was concerned any claim would be a nightmare. The deer-strike on the Jeep means finding out if Esurance is going to be a mistake.

They're great! 

Based on my pics and online claim they send me an estimate in 24 hours. Then the body shop quickly points out how optimistic my assessment was of "just a fender and a hood latch", noting several issues my untrained eye didn't catch. The estimator is leaving for a week so I expect that our Friday-at-5PM appointment will yield an updated estimate when he returns. Instead I have an email that night with a copy of the report he's sent to the insurance company before he left! 

Two days later I get a call from the shop. Esurance has approved the estimate, parts will take 7-10 days, do I want to proceed? You bet I do!!

That night I get an email confirming the shop has been paid, less our deductible. Once again I'm amazed at how painlessly dealing with an insurance company and repair shop can be. Of course the Jeep isn't fixed yet :-))

Bill is finally on a regular schedule for his MWF treatments so we can plan around them much easier. He continues to feel about the same, getting used to the routine.

I'm still enjoying Tuesday craft days, trying new "creative endeavors", visiting with fun women.

Needle felting wall hanging - yet to be framed.

My first attempt at weaving on an embroidery hoop. Kinda fun!

Rebecca and I have been blessed with perfect weather on each of our day trips - to places where we're mostly outside. Our latest trip is to Tucson for massages and lunch at a new place - all inside. And the weather is nasty!! 35 mph winds, sleet, small hail, 42 degrees. Of course any day with a massage is a good one.

Cold weather makes dinosaurs hungry!

Small hail swirls and dances around us on the Interstate.

Discount Tires has rotated all the tires and put the spare back to the holder free of charge, and I wired the hood shut. But the high side winds are stronger than my temporary fix that breaks about six miles before Rebecca's place on our return from Tucson. I'm able to limp along the side of the road, and back at their rig Michael braves the brutal cold wind to add stronger wire to the broken latch. Good to go again!

Still chilly, the snow is gone, and the neighbors have come for a visit. 

Henry having fun with his daddy.

Ezra and Elliott are excited about their new big bucket of Legos.