Sunday, March 19, 2017

Counting the days..........

Our time in the desert is winding down.      We head north in about 2 weeks and I am ready.   We expected it to be warmer here and most everyone has said that this is the chilliest winter they remember.   But then, it went from the 70's to the 90's, all in one day and now the daytime heat is really too hot to be out in for any length of time.   The mornings and evening are lovely and we really appreciate the dry comfortable air.    We remember that Florida humidity  and don't miss it.   

A quick summary of the last month or so.     We met up with the Cobble Creek Hiking Club in Tucson and had great times, superb food and a challenging hike.    We spent one day in Sabino Canyon climbing ever upward among the Saguaro and early flowers and great views.   The trail was difficult because of the large rock and boulders which required careful foot holds.   We were only at about 4000 ft so the altitude and uphill climbs were not an issue.   And, it was too early for snakes ( or so they told us).    But it was tedious to always be watching your feet on the narrow trails and we will appreciate our smoother paths in the San Juans.     The next day we headed south to an old Spanish mission and did a dusty trail along the river.   The trail ended in the arty little community of Tubac.    This was a trail followed from Mexico to San Francisco in the 1700's.   I hope the trail got more interesting for those travelers because all we saw were mesquite trees, trash, occasional river views and a dead smelly horse.   I'm really not complaining because I'm glad we saw the contrast between the river lands and the mountains but once was enough.   Fortunately, it was cool for both hikes so we didn't have to deal with heat and dehydration.   

The rest of our days are taken up with Pickleball, lots of PB, and an occasional round of golf.   The course here is a Par 3, 18 hole so just a quick walk around a beautiful setting.   We've met our neighbors and often meet for Happy Hour on someone's patio.   Always fun to meet like minded RVers and hear their traveling tales.   
We revisited the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum  and enjoyed the 2 miles stroll thru the various gardens and settings.    I so resent seeing the captive animals.  I understand that they are probably rescued and couldn't survive in the wild but I want to see them running free.   It was spring break at the museum and listening to the kids comments is always refreshing.   

This is a crested Saguaro....quite rare.   I'm sure it was transplanted to be at the entrance but I was glad to see one close up without hiking thru the desert.  

Meanwhile, back at the homestead, the painting and remodeling is getting done.   We have cameras in various locations so we can get some idea of the changes.    The workers know of the cameras.   We're ready to be back and to get settled once and for all.    It has been in the 70's and I hope it lasts.   We have a full golf membership this year, I have new shoes AND a new golf club so I am anxious to get my game back.
I had more pictures to post but can't get them downloaded.   Imagination is always better anyhow.

See you when we get home.....unless life gets more interesting........ !

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Catching up.......

We're still in Montrose.    I had thought a couple of weeks would be enough to make some decisions about the house but finding that not everyone works at my pace.    It's good to be back amongst our stuff and to empty boxes and either feel like it's a box of gifts or wondering why would we still want THAT !     The Heirloom Hospice store is a recipient of our nicer leftovers.....the shop is on Main St and looks like a very  nice boutique  filled with furniture, housewares and lovely clothes.   

So, I've managed to arrange for painters.   The Lady Painters have a great reputation and I am impressed with their abilities to build scaffolding, patch and retexture walls, move heavy furniture and do it all for a better price than our friend and local builder.     The new color will be called Blanched Almond by B. Moore.    So much better than the lavenderish grey now residing on the walls.  

These pics got reversed and my computer is getting old and cranky (no comment please ) and it's lost most of the touch pad so can't click and move them.    Anyhow, this is from Houzz...where I spend too much time looking at ideas....   This is the stairway look that we want......

This is the stairway we have !!     No, the walls aren't that crooked.....I just can't hold my phone straight.       It is busy and distracting and overpowering...... Those wall sconces ( There are 4 of them ) are also going away....onyx and dark brown metal and are free if you pay the shipping....they are heavy !

Meanwhile, I love the kitchen and find that I almost enjoy cooking........ After having delicious pizza at Jeff and Jenn's last month, I splurged on the Williams and Sonoma pizza maker ( on sale ) and it does a great job.    I used pizza dough from the market and skipped the meats and cheese and it was perfect.   I suspect the oven works just as well but now that I have room for gadgets and small appliances, why not......Come over and I'll make you one !   One should always edit their pics....when I enlarged this I noted the tomatoes stuck to the heating coil (they were still fine ) and the island is rather messy.  

This small rural community seems to be growing.    The official population is 20,000 but we hear of new businesses and future plans for growth.    Just in our development, new homes are going up and there are plans to expand into another section.   Seems like most of the newbies to Cobble Creek are either from the Front Range ( Denver etc) or Texas.      The biggest event of late in Montrose was the opening of the new Rec Center.   It is stunning.   This is just one pool area....there are lap pools and diving and swimming pools on the other side of that wall.   The windows on the left become doors that open in the summer to more pool area and slides and such.    There are 8 pickle ball courts inside and 8 outside.    It has a walking trail with hills...inside and of course, a huge climbing wall and fitness area.     It is a wonderful addition for our town.   

 Weather had been quite lovely around here.   In the 50's and 60's and the golfers are out in force.       P headed back to AZ this past week for some PB events and said it was finally getting warm there as well.   He won some and lost some and came back just in time for the cold and rainy weather to move in with heavy snows in the mountains.

We'll head back to the desert this week.     Have to finalize stair plans and design ideas for the patio and outdoor fireplace and then we just wait until it's all done.............

And in-between it all, I'm finding things I love in the boxes.    I have done several needlepoints but this was always a favorite and somehow, it got sorta lost.      I got this in London over 10 years ago and now I hope to finish it.  

Thursday, January 26, 2017

I remember when..........

........I used to be a pretty good photographer and eagerly shared my efforts on the blog.    I carried the big camera on grueling uphill hikes, thru botanical gardens, focused on distant vistas and captured the grandkids in special moments.    Fast forward to present day......  My camera is rarely charged and my iPhone becomes the go-to short cut to capturing my world.    I think it reflects most everything about today's life.   The short attention spans and the inability to stop, look and listen as we seek instant gratification.      I must get better........Meanwhile, here's my snapshot views of the last couple of days.   

My  sisters came to AZ this week.    We gathered at Jeff and Jen's beautiful Scottsdale home and filled in the spaces since we last shared a bit of wine 18 mos ago.     They are funny, generous and very talented 'younger' sisters.     We also met up with a favorite cousin.    We laughed over all the childhood memories and found that the years hadn't diminished the stories.      From L to R    Sandy, Diane (the favorite cousin), the author of the world wide blog and Maureen.         It was a special time.

The next day, we loaded up the Jeep and headed north to Colorado.      Having only spent a couple of weeks in the new house, I am needing to get some things done and make arrangements for painting and some remodeling.     It's 550+ mi and doable in a days drive.    But, the mountains have been buried in snow so it was very slow going over Lizard Head Pass south of Telluride.    The views were breathtaking.    Maybe I could have captured the beauty with the other camera and the willingness to stop and step outside the car...... but we were anxious to get to lower levels before dark so the trusty phone had to be good enough.

After getting to a lower altitude and the setting sun, we had to deal with deer wandering the roads....very scary and this year, with the tremendous snows, the deer are leaving their safe areas to find food and the carnage on the roads has increased dramatically.    This morning, I read that they are setting up feeding stations to keep them off the roads.   

The undercarriage of the Jeep was heavy with chunky ice....this morning it cluttered up the floor.

It's good to be home !      ( for a week or so ).

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Alive and mostly well.......

 After getting partially settled, we left the cold west and flew to the cold east on Dec 22nd.    Prior to departure, we received word that there were evil germs lurking in the body of this innocent and adorably cute kid.   However, we felt brave and invincible and armed with a store's supply of ColdEze and hand sanitizer, we forged ahead.

 On Christmas Day, this very tall 13 year old, who preferred not to be photographed, came down with the bug and spent the day prostrate on the couch with a 103 temp.   It was over for everyone by that time.   One by one, we succumbed.  

Despite all of the misery, it was a wonderful family gathering and almost worth every sneeze.

Feeling rather crummy, we took the plague with us and flew back to FL to retrieve the RV.    Despite a strong will, we had to say no to a neighborhood gathering that the Scott's so generously planned.  We will surely miss them and the good times we've shared.
We gave ourselves an extra day or two to try and heal ourselves but then we had to leave as there were no more reservations to be had.     We limped westward until we got to San Antonio where one of us finally gave in and admitted to being really sick.    Drugs became his friends.  

Eventually, we made it across Texas and into Arizona and finally settled into our spot  at Palm Creek Resort in Casa Grande.     
It's nice here....lots of activities, lots of very nice RV's, lots of small houses, lots of Pickleball and a golf course.   We haven't explored the surrounding area but don't think there's much to see except desert.    We have several CO friends about 30 min away and look forward to catching up with them on Saturday.   Jeff and Jen are about 90 min away and we will get up there when they are not so busy.

We would like to drive back up to the house ( a long day's drive) to get some things we neglected to bring.....hiking stuff, bikes..... But the roads throughout CO are inundated with snow and avalanche warnings and closings....we'll wait  for clear weather and venture forth.  

The weight of buying and selling and selling and moving and moving  has finally been lifted.   I can't wait to get back to the house and get settled.... probably not before late March or April.    Until then, we'll enjoy the sun...........