Friday, February 16, 2024

The End of the Holidays

 February 1 - 11, 2024
Tombstone - Kingman, Arizona

I swear every year I'm not going to comment on how time is flying - and! All those Valentine items that seemed so ridiculously early in the stores are now on Clearance :-)

I'm happy to have the Jeep back, to really get used to having two vehicles. Appointment planning is much easier!! The body shop did an amazing job, you can't tell any difference between the original and the new.

Our weather has been cold for several weeks, and while we enjoy the lack of winds for most of it, they've arrived with gusto the last few days. Whew - the same temps are so much colder when they're blowing through you! Tessa is not impressed with the timing of her latest grooming - it's not shorter-hair weather Mom.

Maybe it's the colder weather, but our neighborhood deer start coming in the yard to eat the bird feed! This is new behavior. They lean against the feeder pole, knock the feeders with their heads, and then masterfully consume all the seed off the ground. I'm sure I can hear the sucking of a vacuum as they make short work of all of it in 20 minutes. Poor birds! I'll have to figure out a different option if they continue. No photos as I'm trying to convince them to get back over the fence!

For us the real end of the holiday season is Super Bowl weekend. Bill is able to schedule his treatments so that we don't have to find a clinic in Kingman where we'll be staying with friends. Packing suitcases is something we haven't done in years, and we manage to not forget anything - yay! Driving the new car makes the 6 hours easy and comfortable, and until we get north of Phoenix we make good time.

Pulling off Hwy 303 onto Hwy 60 in Surprise we come to a stop, then inch along for a big accident on the other side of the road. Thankful it's on the other side as the backup is already about 8 miles and isn't moving at all. Three big rigs, two of them are loaded car-haulers, are tangled together like someone used a large crochet needle. It's a mess.

Heavy traffic with weather threatening to the north.

Hwy 93 is busy with traffic as well due to road construction, drivers who can't figure out round-abouts, and an event at the equestrian grounds. But once we're through Wickenburg, the drive is beautiful. Gas is $5.89/gal in Wikiup making us appreciate that although Tombstone is a tourist destination off any major highway our gas is $3.19/gal, and usually cheaper than in the "big city" of Sierra Vista!

We know it's been snowing in Kingman all morning, but the amount covering the surrounding mountains and the sides of the Interstate is surprising. It's beautiful!

Still lots of snow on the southern banks of I-40.

It's 38 degrees at 2:00 and the mountains are still getting fresh flakes and flurries.

Maggie and Jimmy are hosting six of us for the weekend with another dozen people coming for meals and the big game. Bill and I "reserved" their 5er parked in the backyard so we have lots of space. The furnace and electric fireplace get a workout over the three nights of below-freezing temps, and we're very comfortable.

Still very cold, but Saturday morning is bright and clear. Their backyard views are awesome.  

Back in Tombstone the snow that arrived after we left stays in the front yard for three days.

We eat like royalty every day, with enough food prepared for three dozen people! I make "eggchiladas" for Sunday breakfast, experimenting on our good friends. They're made with my Japanese egg pan, filled with meat and cheese and sauce. They turn out yummy!

Lots of fun times in the dining room. We didn't win any of the football pools (large cardboard in the back) this year.

With large televisions in three different rooms, there's plenty of room for everyone on game day.

Sadie is their new adopted pup, and does really well with all the strange people after only moving in a couple weeks ago. Here she's "helping" Maggie and I plan a t-shirt quilt :-)

It's about 50/50 for the big game with some fans more vested in their choices than others. Bill and I root for the Chiefs, but would have been okay with a 49ers win too. All agree it's a great game with mediocre commercials :-)

Good news changes are happening as eluded to last post. There are several steps to make the transition, but Bill is on track to moving his treatments to an in-home procedure. While there are potential issues that we'll need to address, the change could allow us to do some RV traveling as soon as this summer. As he continues to feel fine with no changes since he started four months ago, we're encouraged.

Henry, our little (not so little anymore) dinosaur Valentine.

Happy, happy Cassidy.

Minion Elliott pauses from his video game.

Precious Reese, such a big girl already.

Penelope shares her movie star-ness.

Saturday, February 3, 2024

The Rest of January

 January 12 - 31, 2024
Tombstone, Arizona

Our fifth (!) winter in Southern Arizona confirms again that this is a great location for both a winter-base and a come-off-the-road house. This year has been especially lovely with less wind and pretty snow all around us. Our sunsets have been spectacular!

We never tire of our front porch view of Sheepshead.

A brief dusting of snow highlights the unique geology of the area.

Of course if you don't like the weather, just wait five minutes! We've had everything from highs of 40 to highs of 72, cold and cloudy to bright and sunny skies. Given that we drive into Sierra Vista nearly every day, it's wonderful to have the ever-changing views.

It's been a while since we drove up to Montezuma Pass so we choose an especially beautiful day to get back up there. The views are breathtaking in all directions from the 6600 foot summit. Although it's been sunny for several days, we still find mud and snow in the shady spots.

The Coronado National Monument VC is nestled in the trees and rocks - so pretty!

Views include 100 miles into Mexico.

We're always so impressed with big, hearty foliage that grows from rock walls!

The road is narrow and rough is spots, but it doesn't seem like it climbs that much until you look at where you've come from.

With all our appointments and the remoteness of our house, we decide it's time to have a second car. For the first time in eight years we're ready for two sets of keys! The day after we decide, we drive home our new-to-us 2019 Ford Escape. It does everything but wash your hair, and is fun to drive :-) The timing's good as the Jeep goes in for body work (from the deer-strike before Christmas), and we don't have to rent a car.

The dash sleeps four!

Family is making plans to come for visits in the next few months which is very exciting. Bill's nephew and his wife will be here in March, and Oliver is bringing his parents in May. With our trips to Kingman for Superbowl, and the reunion in California in April, our year is filling out quickly.

Bill may also have new options available that could potentially allow us to travel in the future - more to come!

Bisbee is always a fun day trip, places to visit, things to see, beautiful drive through the canyon. Tessa and I spend an easy day revisiting this historic Arizona landmark.

I love the ghost trees that line the river this time of year.

Ready or not, here comes February!

Ezra thinks kitty snuggles are the best!

M and M climb their dad :-)

Little Man Oliver is getting so grown up.

:-))))) what's up Elliott??