Sunday, March 31, 2024

Doing Stuff While the Weather Makes Up Its Mind

 March 12 - 31, 2024
Tombstone, Arizona

Spring is dragging her feet this year. Looks like it's the same pretty much everywhere. We had hail and bitter winds, the kids in the mountains of SoCal had snow and chilly temps. We've had enough heat in our lives so delaying that is always a plus. I do hope it doesn't mean we jump immediately into Summer with none of Spring's milder days. 

A rare foggy morning.

The winds kick up dust that sets the skies on fire.

I think I love the more subtle show even more!

Staying ahead of one of our Spring storms coming home from the big city.

Rebecca and Michael head out early this year so no more girl trips for now. She and I enjoy a final-for-now brunch before crafting day. I'm happy that I'll still be able to join the rest of the gang for our Tuesday craft time. 

We all bring very different projects - so fun to see what gets made each week.

I've been working on little needle-felt landscapes. This is my first 3D attempt.

One of my photos from Fall in Upstate New York is my inspiration for this one.

fter Bill's consultation appointment with his surgeon we stop at La Mesa RV in Tucson to check out smaller RVs to see if they could work for us. We only look at Class C units, under 30 feet, and believe the smaller space and different floor plan might be okay. Back at the house I look online at small Class A's which we didn't see at the dealer. There's a 31' Forest River that I really like, and a week later while Bill is having his out-patient surgery I go check it out. 

Initially I'm sold, even though it's bigger than I want for a downsize, and the quality is nothing like our Tuscany. But we're unable to make a deal on the trade-in, and before I even pick Bill up I'm convinced we dodged a bullet. 

Our motorhome is just so perfect for us, and I still enjoy driving it. And it's so, so much nicer than anything we've looked at so far. What I really need is a trip without the major drama we had on our last three (!) adventures to love it again. It will work well for Bill's in-home treatment set-up which is a big deal for our continued travels. It needs all new furniture and a couple other repair/replacements, but I believe we can continue to enjoy it for a while longer.

So with that off the "list", I spend several days cleaning and updating, and generally falling back in love with our rolling home. I'm excited about our reunion trip in April. It's about 400 miles away so a good re-trial. 

Bill's latest "install" is another success. He's healing well and started training for doing in-home treatment. We're both encouraged that he'll be much happier not having those three days at the clinic every week! 

It's been a quiet few weeks, mostly getting ready for upcoming events, travels and visits. Cooler temps make for more indoor time for me, so I'm redecorating some areas - just because I can. Sometimes Bill even notices :-)))))

Our contribution for Bill's 50th high school reunion next month is the memorial that we have each year for those who've passed . We've also organized a large collection from his dad's World History class - Coats of Arms we all did when we were sophomores. Folks will be able to take theirs and those of some friends no longer with us - hopefully it will be a fun memory for many! I'm happy with how nice it all turned out (I'll post after the reunion). 

Oh Oliver you're getting so big!

 Lucky M & M get bunny pancakes :-)

Henry sends me a pic of how he's enjoying the stickers we sent him.

Reese and Penelope celebrate two years in Virginia with their folks - already!

Saturday, March 16, 2024

Family, Fire, Flurries and Fences

 March 1 - 11, 2024
Tombstone, Arizona

My family is small. Three cousins, one cousin-once-removed, two sons and two grandsons. My mother had many cousins whose families I have sadly lost track of over the years. Bill however has a much larger family who I am delighted to also now call my own. His only nephew David is a favorite, and we've been able to visit with he and his wonderful wife Morgan a few times in our travels. They live in California's Bay Area. We last saw them last summer at our sister-in-law's lake house, and they promised to come see us this winter.

Promise kept, they arrive at the Tucson airport on Tuesday! We snug into the Ford with Tessa happily tucked between what will become her most bestest, non-stop petting, snuggling pals. Taking the scenic route (Hwy 83/82) to begin the tour of our little corner of Arizona, we have dinner in Tombstone and then home.

Team Back Seat ready for adventure!

Tessa and Morgan, happy girls.

Bill has treatment on Wednesday, so the four of us head for a day in nearby Bisbee. The weather for their visit is expected to be colder than usual for March, but we get some intermittent sunshine for a few hours of walking among the history and fun that is Bisbee, Arizona.

The devastating Valentine's Day fire closed a section of Bisbee's main commercial district to both vehicles and pedestrians. There is no street parking anyway, so while there's a detour and a few less places to peruse, there's no impact on the parking. Not much impact on tourist activity either. Walking, eateries, galleries and shops are at the usual bustle on a pretty spring day.

No information on when they expect to open again.

Sadly the neighboring businesses have had to remain closed as well.

One gallery and the olive oil/vinegar store were gutted.

The plus side of detours is seeing things I haven't in the past!

Several little inns and motels I never knew were here.

The brewery building is gorgeous.

Morgan and David

More stairs around every corner.

David is a wonderful photographer and was in heaven capturing the magic that is Bisbee and surrounds.

Bill is able to join us for our Thursday drive to Chiricahua National Monument. Every time I've been here it's been cold and windy. Every. Time. Keeping the tradition alive, the wind is biting cold - with snow flurries at the top! Come to Arizona they said, it's so warm they said....."

March in Arizona......Bill isn't impressed :-)

Having a sun roof again is a treat in the park.

The layers of Sulphur Springs Valley across the hoodoos.

Capturing the capture of Cochise Head in the clouds. Not easy in the gusting winds!

Not visible, but the snow stings Morgan as she shoots the storm.

Moving east, the storm crosses into New Mexico.

David's amazing capture of Cochise Head.

Stunning hoodoos through David's eye.

We wrap up our chilly visit with a stop at the visitor's center - one of the smallest, and best in the state - and lunch in the car :-)

Having dinners and wonderful conversations around our table each evening is such a treat - we really enjoy these two young people.

For the last day before they have to leave we check out our nearby "big town" of Sierra Vista, the small historic ranch at Brown Canyon, and finally our own hometown/historical/tourist Tombstone. 

With less wind and more sunshine, it's a pretty day for exploring the little homestead.

The huge Cottonwoods are leafing out quickly.

I'm surprised to see the Border Blimp "parked" just over the fence. It's usually in a field several miles away.

I love the simple beauty of David's pic from the corrals.

They have a later flight on Saturday so we laze around the house for a bit then head for early dinner in Tucson. Hoping for an authentic Mexican food experience, we're too late to wait for the extensive line at Mi Nidito. Instead we opt for the place across the street that's able to get us in right away - and is still very good! 

Sorry to see them go, we're already hoping for a return visit in the Fall!

Posing for David from the front yard.

In addition to nephew David's creativity, we're blessed to have other talented family. My cousin David's son, Jake Prendez, is a wonderful artist with his own gallery in Seattle. David asks me which of his prints I'd like for my own, and I'm excited to receive it in the mail a few weeks later. 

Titled Generations of Genetics, I call her Lucita's Legacy - and I love her bunches!

Friday, March 8, 2024

Moving Through February

 February 12 - 29, 2024
Tombstone, Arizona

Having this blog with all our adventures saved inside means we can keep them with us. The other, even more wonderful, sustainable part of our traveling/blogging life are the great friends we've made over the years. No matter how much traveling or not-traveling we're all doing, we've still maintained the joy of having these people in our lives. Seeing them in person is best, but we also stay in touch between those meetings. Such a blessing.

In October of 2015, after reading each other for a couple years, we first met up with Sue and Dave (Beluga's exellent adventure) in the eastern Sierras on California's beautiful Hwy 395. Since then we've visited with them from New York to the Mexico border, and now a couple times at our respective new winter-homes in Arizona. It's fun that although we all come from different states, many of us have "landed" in Arizona - at least seven bloggers I can think of all call the area home now!

The previously mentioned Hwy 93 through Wickenburg takes us right by them, so on our return trip from Kingman on Monday we must make a stop for some catching up and a few hugs! Good intentions aside, I don't get a pic of all of us this time :-) Of course it's never enough time as we so enjoy these two, but we will definitely come back for a longer visit in the future. Their little town is so cute, and when there isn't a big event happening, the drive is a nice one. Too soon, we're back on the highway and headed south.

We deem our first non-RV adventure a success, and doable for the three of us. We'll still take the motorhome to the reunion in April, but the suitcase option no longer seems so daunting.

While in Kingman we made plans for Valentines Day dinner with Anna and Donnie and some other friends. Wednesday night 10 of us gather at the delicious German Cafe where A and D's daughter-in-law is manager, and our server for the evening. It's a fun time with old and new friends. I have to remember just how good their food is! I've held up the blog waiting for the pic of all of us, but will just have to post without it :-(

For such a simple life, there sure seem to be a lot of "errands" to run every week! I'm so happy we got the second car. Pretty sure I know by heart every curve, fence post, and mountain shape between home and Sierra Vista now! Fortunately it's a lovely drive that changes with the seasons. I make a solo run to Tucson for a massage and a little shopping, then Bill and I return the following week for his appointment and a tasty lunch at El Minuto for great tacos. 

Before we leave Tucson we make a stop to look at options for smaller RVs. It's the first time in many years since I've looked at other rigs - it's fun to see a few different floor plans. There are so many things to consider if we're going to continue travels with in-home dialysis, but it really does look possible space-wise. Plenty of time to make the final decision (so of course I want to do it right now!). 

Tuesday crafts meet-up continues to be a fun time with fun peeps. I'm missing three in a row with appointments and the upcoming visit, and look forward to seeing them all again soon.

Rebecca and I take a short day-trip to nearby Brown Canyon Ranch. Our surrounding mountains all have unique locations and history - mostly stories of ranching and mining. The interior includes a few period pieces and plaques on local historic families. The exterior is my favorite with gorgeous views and sweet vintage corrals.

One of the more fun stories is that of Granny Cow, purchased in 1947 and kept as a favorite pet for 23 years. The Barchas family kept every calf she ever had, many of them continuing chains that continue today.

Winter isn't letting go just yet and we get a full day of cold rain, wind and hail to remind us. Glad to be tucked inside a solid house on these days :-)

Bringing the storm.

Stormy days often reward us with incredible sunsets. I never tire of their amazing beauty!

Cassidy making silly faces.

Her big brother Henry is ready to tackle his craft project!

Scouts M&M enjoying a sunny California day.

Oliver shares his own silly face.