Monday, January 23, 2017

Warmer then cooler ...

Of course we came here for the warmer, drier, sunnier weather.  I guess what I dislike the most about Indiana weather in the winter is the dreary, overcast weather.  I miss the sun!  So although it's been cooler these past few days, it's still been sunny most days.  We did have a day of snow in the mountains ... it's sort of weird.  It's clear and sunny here in the valley but right there in front of you are those huge mountains completely shrouded by clouds.  (And later you can see the snow as a result.)

But here's what we've been up to outside ...

We went to visit Our Lady of the Sierras shrine recently.  It's about 5 miles south of us just off highway 92. You have to park at the bottom of the hill and walk  up.  At the top is a huge cross and a statue of Mary, also a small stone chapel and other statues.  There's also a path with the stations of the cross, which I took, further up the hill from the cross and statue.  Great view from the top!

This 75' Celtic cross is made of concrete & fiberglass. There's a wonderful waterfall coming out of the rock on the left that I failed to get in this picture! Sorry!

Our Lady's statue is 31' tall and is concrete over a steel framework.

A side view of the chapel with a statue called the angel of Revelation.

Here's a view from the top of the stations of the cross trail.
There was a huge grass fire in this area in 2011, set by illegals trying to evade the border patrol and most of this had to be fixed or reconstructed.  For instance, the chapel was gutted by the fire and all of the wooden components had to be reconstructed.

Every week we've been going to the local farmer's market held in Legion Park on the north side of SV.  We really enjoy it!  And usually find something good to take home.  We also get lunch from a food truck and sit at one of the picnic tables to enjoy the live music.  Last week Wendell ran into a fellow who was an Army retiree and they had a lengthy conversation.  He's met several vets here which I guess isn't surprising -- I think they are posted here, enjoy the area and decide to retire here later.  This week we brought home Brussels sprouts, potatoes, oranges, almonds and a big juicy tomato.  Besides produce you can usually find booths with salsa, olive oil, wine, soap, yarn, jewelry, wood bowls, quilts, and many many other local crafts.  And the SV visitors center always has a booth where you can pick up a free newspaper and schedules of what's happening in the area that week.  Here's a couple pictures from this week.

This week we went back out to the San Pedro House and took off on one of their shorter (1 mile) trails.  We found the river -- it's the size of what we'd call a creek in Indiana.  In fact, it's about the width of the creek that crosses our road back home.  It was a beautiful day and we enjoyed that trail.  There were benches every whip-stitch -- good for me! We plan on going back and checking out another trail we didn't make it to that day ...

San Pedro River

Big sky country ...
Well, I'll close this post with another shot taken from our balcony.  Night was coming on and so the beginning of that snow storm in the mountains I mentioned.  God is good! 

Friday, January 13, 2017

Getting better (me and the weather) ...

As I write this I'm beginning to feel better.  Yeah!  Have had this sinus thing which mostly involved coughing and other symptoms pointing probably to sinusitis.  Today I'm feeling better than I have in a month!  Guess I'm getting to the point in my life that no antibiotic works for me anymore.  But probably this warmer, drier weather has helped the most.  I've not let it get me down so far! 

We usually do a day out and a day in.  Just like at home, there's usually something that needs to be done here at the condo.  We had our first 'cleaning day' (ugh).  And sometimes I let the laundry pile up so that it takes about half a day to catch up (and we didn't bring all of our clothes of course ...).  Today is sort of cloudy but still nice and warm; expecting mid-60s.  We've been out and about in this area -- here's what we've been up to ...

We went to the veterans cemetery on the grounds of Ft. Huachuca (pronounced wa-choo'-ka) this week.  It was one of those things where, we were driving by on Buffalo Soldier Trail and I just saw the sign and whipped into the driveway at the last minute.  So glad we did!  It was very impressive, inspiring, quiet and moving.  We walked a while, sat on benches, walked some more, and just meditated about what we were seeing.  So many veterans of WWII are buried here!  I saw several who had served in three wars -- WWII, Korean War & Vietnam.  They have both traditional burial sites and several areas like the one just below that are for cremation interments.   

There were two sites for military funeral ceremonies -- outdoor and indoor.  This neat statue was at the entrance to the outdoor ceremony area.

We went to Bisbee this week.  What a great day that was!  The sun was out and we walked, walked, walked!  And when you're walking downtown Bisbee it's either uphill or downhill!  Bisbee is on the side of a mountain, picturesque, and it's a very popular "touristy" town.  So we weren't alone.  But since we went during the week it was less crowded than it would be on a weekend.  (We've been here before and I'm sure we'll go back before we leave.)  We spent time in a few of the many galleries, a book store, and also a couple antiques shops.  Had lunch at Bisbee's Table (try their truffle French fries! W. had them and I helped him finish them off -- yummy!).  I had the best mac n' cheese ever (so far).  So good!  Then we walked some more.  We came into Bisbee via the southern route (highway 92) and went home via the northern route (highway 90).  Along the way back to SV we saw a sign for the San Pedro House, on the San Pedro River, and stopped for some walking and bird watching.  There's a wonderful gift shop there and if you can't find the book you want on Arizona, southwest history, or birding, you won't be able to find it anywhere!  Sooooo glad we pulled in there!

You know I like this sort of thing ... this hot dog shop was on the west edge of Bisbee as we were headed into town.  It's near Naco, Sonora, Mexico; the border crossing is about 3 miles south of here.  Here's something interesting -- there's usually a super Walmart near every border crossing.  No exception here.

This stairway goes up to the next street above the main street ... but I took this picture because of the murals painted on the walls and ceiling here.

Taken along the main street with the big "B" on the hill above town.  I especially like this bicycle shop sign in the foreground.  Bisbee is an old town with interesting buildings and well worth the visit just for the architecture!

This pottery shop was really neat!
This huge tree was on the grounds of the San Pedro House.  It's 38' in circumference.  Wow!

I'll close for now with this picture taken from our balcony.  I'll never get tired of the sunsets here!  And I'll keep taking pictures of them ...

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Recently in SV ...

We're enjoying some great weather here!  I really expected it to be cooler but it's been in the mid-60's to mid-70's.  And with the sun shining most of the time, it feels warmer.  I only brought three short-sleeve shirts!  Think I may have to go to some thrift store or consignment shops and find something else to get me thru the next few weeks -- what a great situation to be in!

We've been out and about lately.  Saturday we went over the Huachuca Mountains, through the Coronado National Memorial, and into the next valley to the west.  Stopped at the visitor's center and learned some stuff there, then drove on up the switch-back road to the summit overlook area.  Great views!  Then on down the west slope into the valley near Parker Canyon Lake, thru the Elgin wine country, then north into Sonoita for a late lunch.  It was a great day.  I did the driving that day and was glad to get down that west slope without burning out the brakes! (I down-shifted over and over.)  On that drive we saw a coatimundi and two coyotes on the road.  But no illegals!  [At the top, in the lookout area, were two portable BP stations.  We talked to an agent there briefly and he was very nice. Saw lots of BP trucks out in the dessert.]
Taken from part of the way up the mountain, shows the switch-back road we traveled.
As I looked east I kept noticing this dark "line" in the dessert and at first thought it was the highway going east into Bisbee.  Then the light bulb went off and I realized -- that's the border fence!  It went on and on ...
Here's the view from our balcony.  You're seeing the roof of the clubhouse. 
We really like this condo.  It's on the third floor but that's about the only thing we don't like about it.  But when you think about it, we have to do a flight of stairs every time we leave our own home, so this is just a little more than that ...  Anyway, it keeps us in shape I guess.  My torn meniscus is not bothering me too much, though I know I don't walk normally.  I limp.  I'll get that fixed and hopefully I can return to a normal gait. 

It's very quiet here.  The views can't be topped.  The owners are very welcoming and helpful.  The town has just about anything you could want or need.  We're within walking distance of the mall (and theater).  What I do miss from home is our soft water. And I do have dry skin and hair!  I usually look like I just stuck my finger in a light socket!  Using lots of moisturizer and hair conditioner ...

Monday we went to the national military cemetery on the grounds of Ft. Huachuca, and checked out a food co-op and the location of a Masonic lodge for Wendell.  Yesterday was spent in Bisbee.  Today we're going to a farmer's market.  I'll keep you posted on what we're doing ...

My new year resolution was to read the Bible in a year.  I think I've read most of it previously, especially during the Disciple Bible studies Mel Camp taught that we attended, but never from start to finish.  Thank goodness for the Kindle; it bookmarks just where I need to begin each day.  

Have a wonderful week.  God is Good!

Monday, January 2, 2017

Happy New Year ... (and I'm way overdue for this post)

Yes, it's been more than a month since I've posted here.  Been busy and also suffering from a sinus 'thing' ... but here I am now, as of yesterday, in Sierra Vista, AZ.  It's beautiful and sunny outside.  We were outside in the condo complex earlier this a.m. and though I went out with a coat on, I soon was feeling the heat on my back from the sun.  It's only 51 here (and I'm seeing 56 back home) but with the bright sun it feels warmer.  We have a beautiful view out our front windows of the Huachuca Mountains! 

We like this place, a lot!  Only one drawback -- it's on the top (3rd) floor and there's no elevator.  We learned yesterday just how strong Wendell's heart is because he made numerous trips up and down, hauling 'stuff' in from the truck.  He wouldn't let me do that but a couple times because of my bum knee.  He's the best.  The owners came over as we were unpacking and helped carry in, too.  They are SO nice!  Mark & Kim.  Kim is from Connersville!  (It's a small world.)  Anyway, later I'll put some picture on here of this condo.  They definitely have made us feel right at home.

Well, to go back in time, here's what was happening with me in December ...
I'm helping my friend Jane with Project Kindness.  Here's a throw a couple of the women completed during our last work session.  Before we left, I left Jane with fabric for two more throws and am looking forward to seeing pictures of them in the future (hint, hint).  Also did two lap quilt tops myself (below) and left with Jane for tying or quilting ...
This one was made from left-over squares (actually triangles) of a larger quilt I made recently.  They might add some touchables to this for a fidget lap quilt.

This one was made from nine 12" squares that I did, thinking some day I'd make a bed-size quilt.  Yeah, right ... like I could complete this 1" square project in my lifetime.  Someone else can enjoy this and that UFO is out of my sewing room!  Done and done!
We went to the Indiana State Museum in mid-December, especially to see the Christmas d├ęcor, eat lunch in the reproduction L.S. Ayres Tea Room, and to see the special exhibit of 200 items from Indiana's history (since we celebrated our 200th birthday December 11).  Here's the hand-written constitution of our state!  I felt so proud, seeing this document on display!

And on a lighter note, this is Bobby Plump's senior letterman's jacket.  Who in Indiana doesn't know all about this item!?
Here's a photo of the main entrance with the Christmas tree -- it had ornaments representing all 90 Indiana counties.  If you're never been to our state museum, you should go.  Well worth your time!
Last but not least, can you guess what this is made of?  Compact discs!  This is a close-up of a HUGE display as you entered the garage floor level.  I took so many pictures that day, wish I could share more of them but don't want to bore you.
We had a really good family Christmas which unfortunately Wendell and I ruined for everyone with our sinus infections (yes, we've had them for some time now and antibiotics haven't touched them ...).  But we had as good a time as we could have.  Two highlights were Veronica opening her presents and our trip to see Cirque du Soleil as a family.  Such a great afternoon; thanks Jeff and Jane for thinking of this!  I think we all enjoyed that as a closing to our family Christmas.  (Now, how will we follow that next Christmas?)  It snowed and snowed up in Grand Rapids.  So Santa had no problems delivering presents in that part of the country!

I'll keep you updated on what we're doing here.  We prayed for a safe drive here and we had one.  Pretty uneventful but interesting.  We did about half interstate, half state highways.  We're here and looking forward to a sunny winter.  God bless you wherever you are and whatever you're doing right now!