Friday, April 21, 2017

April showers ...

It's been a while since I've written but it's been a busy time.  That's my excuse!  Got the flower beds cleaned and "preened".  Last week I got the yard décor (which I'm discarding more and more of each year) out of the garden shed and dispersed amongst the flower beds and the potting table.  Still have the big whirly-gig to put out yet.  That job will need some assistance from W.  He's mowed already of course; he got a new zero-turn mower.  I think it's the first new mower he's ever had; everything else has been purchased used.  He really likes his new mower!  (I don't think I'll learn how to drive this one ... LOL!)

As I was working that day, I saw this squiggly arrangement on the wall that's next to the basement door!  Yikes!  I hate snakes but this was sort of interesting ... the smaller one had his tail draped around the middle of the larger one.  I just let them alone; they weren't hurting me and obviously I wasn't bothering them.  HOWEVER, early this week W. whacked two smaller snakes which were hanging around on the front deck, way too close to our screened porch!  They don't need to be up there!  (I don't know what I'd do if he wasn't around to kill snakes, set mouse traps, and get spiders ...)

We've had some amazing sunsets here lately.  I'm sharing a couple.  I think there's something about sunsets that attract everyone, don't you?  Doesn't the Bible say something like, the skies proclaim the work of His hands?  I believe it!  But man-made things are awesome, too.  Earlier this week we were in Bloomfield for dinner and as we walked back to our car, we heard the train whistle blow.  I said, 'I'll bet I can get to the trestle before the train does!'  And I did. 
Here's a couple pictures I took.  We've been fortunate to see a few trains cross the trestle in the 20 years we've lived here and it never ceases to interest me!  (BTW ... they put out one of those 'little lending libraries' at the trestle overlook parking area and I found a neat old book on crafts!  Two birds ...)  And we met the nicest young couple there with their two little girls.  They came from Linton!  They've lived here all their lives and never saw a train go over the trestle so that was neat, sharing that with them.  Then, sadly, just as the train left the trestle this young couple came whirling in and they were very unhappy to have just missed it; they, too, had never seen a train cross this magnificent trestle!  All in all, it was a good day ...


We drove out to Goose Pond last week and saw rafts and rafts of pelicans (pictured below)!  When they fly you can see specks of black at the tips of their wings; beautiful in flight.  Also lots of ducks of several species, and plovers and sandpipers, as well as tons of red-wing black birds!  We saw the eagles nest that's on the Pleasantville Road but didn't see the eagles.  Hadn't been through Pleasantville recently and it was interesting to take note of their old high school gym, still standing and in use as a special-occasion rental facility.  It's a quiet little town; no businesses & just a few homes.

Well, I'll close with a photo of my favorite tree near the edge of the woods, taken from the deck just outside our front door.  Wish we had more dogwoods!  I love them.  Take care of yourself and enjoy this lovely spring weather!  And remember, these spring rains are good for the earth and good for us!

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Home again, home again, jiggety jig ...

     We're back.  Got home late Wednesday afternoon and by late Thursday we were unpacked, laundry caught up, house whipped back into shape, and feeling like "it's over (sniff, sniff)."
     But, I wanted to share some pictures I took on the way home.  Biggest thing for me was finally seeing the Grand Canyon.  That's been on my bucket list for years.  And we finally got there!  Along with some other beautiful spots on the way home.  About the Grand Canyon ... here's the words that describe how I felt while there:________,________, ________, & ________!!! Hey!  There are no words!  It was truly indescribable. 
     The day we were there snow was on the ground and we started out in long pants, winter coats, hats, gloves, etc.  It was mid-morning when we arrived.  By the time we left the park in late afternoon we were in our shirt sleeves.  All the time it was clear and sunny.  It was a BEAUTIFUL day!  And the cold did not keep the people away.  One of my FB friends said, you probably had the place to yourselves from the pictures with snow on the ground.  NOT!  There were plenty of people to go around! 
     But, anyway, here's some pictures from our trip home.  (Usually we take about 4 days/3 nights to go to AZ but this year we were out 8 days/7 nights.  So we experienced more than usual.)
My first view of the Grand Canyon!

Here we are at Mather Point.

That's the Colorado River you can see WAY down there!
     The Grand Canyon was our second day out, then the third day we went through Monument Valley and 4-Corners.  I've always wanted to go to 4-Corners and stand in 4 states at one time.  Let me just say that the 4-Corners Monument was disappointing to me because there were four rows of booths -- one in each state -- of Native American tourist crap there.  It was like putting slot machines in a cathedral.  That's how I felt about it.
Obviously Monument Valley was far more beautiful before the native people started putting shacks and trailers all over the place.  That's what the little dots of color are in this picture.  And they were everywhere, almost ruining the beauty of the place.  You had to get off the highway to see the rock formations free of civilization.  Over and over we'd say to each other "Too many people."

My favorite shot of Monument Valley ... there was virtually no traffic and I stood out on the highway for a long time, getting several shots.
Here's what 4-Corners looks like when you first come into the monument part of it.  The rows of booths along each quadrant are native Americans selling trinkets.

Here's Wendell standing in all 4 states at one time! UT, CO, NM, AZ!
Here's a couple pics I took In Utah ...

Here's a balancing rock just outside Mexican Hat, UT.  It's supposed to be the namesake of the town.
The Twin Rocks Trading Post was built up against the bluffs in ----- Bluff, UT!  Very interesting place to visit.
We saw some other interesting stuff.  Here's a few more pictures ...
Can you see those black spots in the center of this picture?  That's cattle, grazing on this very sharp slope.  That terraced area is overburden of a mine!  I thought I'd seen cattle in some out of the way places out there, but this was crazy.  And it was right in the middle of Miami, AZ!  (see the traffic light?)

A beautiful saguaro cactus in the Roosevelt Lake area of AZ.

The bridge over Lake Roosevelt, taken from the dam overlook.

These two pictures are taken at the NRA Whittington Center near Raton, NM.  What a place!  We just stumbled onto it; didn't plan on going.  But W. truly enjoyed it and we wish we had had more time to spend there -- they have a museum, reference library, meeting room, gift shop, shooting ranges, cabins, you name it.  All this on the old Santa Fe Trail.   
     After we left NM we decided to go east through Kansas instead of Oklahoma!  Big mistake!  Talk about the middle of no where!  Yikes!  Two days of nothingness.  (I hope no one reading this is from KS but I have to tell you, that is one big boring state!)  At least now I can say I've seen a lot of Kansas .....
     Then, of course, we finished the last two days as we usually do.  Stayed overnight in Springfield MO and went to Bass Pro the next day and spent the a.m. there, then took off for Sikeston, where we stayed overnight and had dinner at Lamberts, home of throwed rolls.  It was great.  But all good things must come to an end.

     Now, it's back to reality.  We had a great winter.  Sierra Vista was a great place to visit and there was lots to do.  We kept very busy and enjoyed ourselves immensely.  The question now is: Where to next winter?!

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Last days, last looks ...

And ... time's up!  Today we're packing.  I did the last load of laundry and I've got the dishwasher running.

Last week was sort of trying.  Monday both Wendell & I had senior moments.  Not good.  Let's just say that that particular Monday was extremely Monday-ish!  Then on Tuesday night some low-life stole our entire TuffBox out of the bed of the truck.  (Of course we have $500 deductible so it's on us ...)  There was just a lot of miscellaneous stuff in there but my biggest disappointment was loosing two items I had just purchased in Tubac the week prior!  ARGH!  Wendell biggest loss was his tool box full of hand tools.  That will be greatly missed if we have some sort of mishap on the way home.  It was sort of funny filling out the police report; the officer wanted to know exactly what was in there and he was very thorough!  We came up with as much as we could off the top of our heads but of course now we're remembering stuff we failed to report.  Just not a good week.  We're putting that behind us but hoping that's not some sort of portend of things to come ... we have quite a drive ahead of us.

Thought I'd put some pictures on here of what we did the past week or so.  Then I might add some pictures of the interior of this lovely condo.  It's been a great place to stay!

These pictures were taken at Tubac ... that was a lovely day. It's a real "touristy" town but very interesting with the old Persidio, art galleries, shops and restaurants.
This was a lovely phenomenon we saw in the dessert. It wasn't quite a rainbow but all the colors of the rainbow were there in one spot.
Met my brother Don and his wife, Nancy, last week for lunch in Patagonia at The Velvet Elvis.  Really good place to eat, and here's a picture of the name sake ...

On the way home from Patagonia we went by this really neat wood corral ...
Just last Saturday we finally got over to Bisbee for their weekly farmer's market.  We sure wish we had checked it out earlier!  They have lots of tents in a great area and the music (group pictured here under a tree) was excellent.  We just may come back and stay in Bisbee next year ...

On the grounds of Ft. Huachuca they have regular "burns" where they burn the grasses and underbrush.  They did this one late last week.  We had wanted to go back through Garden Canyon but when we saw they were burning there we decided to not return.  It would have looked and smelled unpleasant ...  That's miles from us but looks like it's closer.

Well, that's all from AZ for this year.  Wish us luck on our journey home!

Monday, February 20, 2017

Winding down ...

Sigh ..... We only have about 10 more days here and I'm already missing it. This has been the most beautiful place we've stayed and the view out our front windows/door is fantastic.  I just look and look, trying to fill up my soul with mountains. There was snow in the mountains over the weekend and today there's heavy clouds hanging around the tops of the highest peaks but down here in the valley it's sunny and nice.  Wendell is out getting his truck washed.  He wants to wax it before we head back home.  That'll keep him busy for a while for sure!

Here's what we've been doing lately ...

We went over to Tombstone recently.  The main reason "I" wanted to go was to see a quilt show that was at the community art gallery.  It was a beautiful day and we talked the entire length of Allen Street.  Very touristy!  There were lots of people there for a week day!  And there was some cowboys there, too.

You see the strangest things sometimes ...  We never figured out what this guy was supposed to be but he did have a hat out for change ... He didn't play or sing but he was a pretty frenetic dancer!
Well, this is just one of the 90+ quilts that were on display at the Tombstone Art Gallery.  I spent about 45 minutes in there; Wendell even looked around for a while.

We did go through Sonoita again recently; this is one of their "welcome" signs ...

 ... and here's the real thing; saw this longhorn just east of Sonoita on the Lower Elgin Road. There was a big herd -- more longhorns together in one place than we ever saw in TX!

I think I mentioned before that this is a fairly new city; established in the late 1950's.  They're pretty good at controlling the esthetics of urban growth.  For instance, the two pictures above are how they camouflage cell towers.  Also, signage regulations are pretty restrictive; most signs are very low. You won't see the big golden arches in SV.  (Sometimes that makes it hard for us to find things and we do a lot of missing a place and having to turn around to go back! lol!) And most of the power lines are buried. 
We drove out to Garden Canyon, on the Ft. Huachuca grounds, and we were both blown away.  It was the best canyon drive we've taken!  We are going to go back some day this week, we loved it so much!  The highlight was the hikes to see the petroglyphs ... The lowlight was the signs warning of bears!

This is just a few of the glyphs we saw in Garden Canyon ... they say there are over 70 different figures in all. You could figure out what most of them were, but the one that looks like a comb? Any ideas people?  I think during that entire drive we only encountered two other vehicles.  And the weather was great, sunny and cool.

Well, I see in my photo file I have lots more to share, so I'll write again later this week .  I hope you're enjoying a good Monday -- I am.  God bless you, and take care of yourself and those you love. Here's what we saw yesterday when we were out in the dessert ..... awesome!  All these clouds but no rain!

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Record high temps here ...

We've enjoyed a couple days with record high temperatures; yesterday it got up to 81 here in SV and day before about the same.  It's so clear that when you're out in the sun it feels hotter than that. Always cools down at night and makes for nice sleeping! 

Yesterday we drove to Patagonia to hike at the Sonoita-Patagonia Nature Conservancy Preserve, but when we got there found that it had been flooded in the fall and was choked with debris, so we just looked around the visitor center and did our "hiking" downtown !  We had a light picnic lunch in the park, which runs down the center of this small town, then checked out almost all of the shops on the main drag. The thrift store at the local UM church was having a sale so I had to check that out, too. We enjoyed some dessert at the café (I had espresso chip ice cream and W. had rhubarb pie and coffee).  Yum! There was a gallery with a lot of really nice locally produced items from paintings to jewelry to flutes! It was the best gallery I've been in in this area so far. Better even than Bisbee! Today I'm doing laundry and we're staying in. Wendell bought a swimsuit and was in the pool late yesterday and he's going out again today. High should be about 72.

Since I've checked in last, here's some of the things we've been doing ...

We've been to the farmer's market every Thursday we've been here; I especially enjoy watching this lady sack oranges each week. They bring a pickup load  & she sits in the back and bags them to sell; $5 for a nice large bag! Delicious (and they give samples - smart!)!
We went to the Brown Canyon Ranch. You can walk though the ranch house. There's also a pond, barn, water tank, windmill, picnic tables and trails into the foothills here.

At the Brown Canyon Ranch Wendell got to have an up close and personal meet with a deer. They're used to people; not like Indiana deer!
We drove up Ramsey Canyon and visited another Nature Conservancy site. Ramsey Canyon Preserve is my favorite trail so far! You begin at 5500 feet at the visitor center and at the end of the trail the elevation is 6200 feet. Because of my bad knee we only made it about 2/3 of the way up ... I'd like to go back and try again.

Lots of big sycamores along the Ramsey Canyon trail, which parallels a fast moving stream coming down out of the mountain.
At one time as many as 100 settlers lived along the creek. Here's an old cabin still standing in Ramsey Canyon. It was named for an old guy who charged a toll to use the "road". Mining was their way of life.

Last Sunday was the annual Western Heritage Sunday at SVUMC. Here's how the altar was decorated! Love it! There was lots of special music, featuring Barry Ward from Kansas, a really good Western singer. Following this special service, lunch was served at high noon, catered by AZ BBQ from Phoenix. Delicious! We sat at a table with two other couples and had a wonderful time making new friends.
We drove out to the ghost town of Fairbank this week. It's about 15 miles NE of here. Good hiking trails here! It tickles me; they always warn you of snakes then say 'enjoy your visit'.  Several buildings are still standing but not open. We enjoyed walking around the town. This was the old general merchandise store; there's also a couple houses, outbuildings, and the school building which is now a museum/gift shop.
I especially liked this Miller High Life sign, used as a fence in an old stable in Fairbank. I'm surprised it's still there!
Well, that's not all but I don't want to bore you -- I'll close for now and add more later. God bless you all and have a great week. I had to get up early this week so I'll close with this picture of the sunrise from our balcony .....