And the road goes on forever...

Sunday, September 24, 2017

End of Summer

I’ve run out of steam for doing much more to the yard and house this summer it seems. I may yet get more motivation before leaving but Marc would like to time things for my leaving at least by the final week of October. He will fly out and help me drive out in my RV—apparently, he didn’t like the places I stayed my last trip back and was worried sick about me. 

It will be nice to not have to do all the driving myself and I can practice my backing endeavors with an expert by my side. With two drivers, we can also make more mileage each day, because let’s face it, this isn’t a sightseeing trip. I just really don’t enjoy these traipses back and forth across the country anymore; in fact, am dreading it. 

Once back in Yuma, Marc is going to put me to work, which I will welcome. They will be nearing the point on the project for me to observe, organize, and monitor all the sub-contractors for the punch-list items. For those not in the business that term refers to all the items and little nitpicky things that need correcting towards the end. I make the lists and then keep it updated daily for all units. In addition, I will also take on my litter and sweeping duties so I should easily get at least four hours daily. Both our trailers will be on the job site so it will be very convenient for me not to have to commute from our lot. 

Speaking of Yuma, we're getting some good interest in our lot for sale so I'm looking forward to being there and hopefully meeting some of those who have called on it. Many will be arriving in November so we're really hopeful we can get this sold before the new year! Having decided to take the $20,000+ loss on it at its current pricing, it's the least expensive, most improved RV lot in our prime area so there is no reason it shouldn't sell once the snowbirds all arrive. 

Marc was home at the end of August and able to stay long enough for our 29th anniversary. We celebrated with a bonfire—actually, he finally found time one cool morning to deal with our huge burn pile. I had lost several large branches from some of the front trees plus two years’ worth of yard trimmings and debris so it was becoming an eyesore. In addition to that he finally got our front door painted.
A couple Saturdays ago, I once again helped out the shelter with their bake sale at the Fall O’ Rama. It was a very warm day but things sold well, including all the breads I had made for the occasion. Given the technique I use to make my peasant bread, the process takes two days and I can only make four loaves at a time so I started devoting many hours to the task in August. They upped the pricing on items this year and marked $7/loaf and my bread was still gone before noon. Guess folks really enjoy it! Yes, that is a girl walking her goat: ya gotta love small town celebrations!
It’s been a strange weather year here (as elsewhere) with a relatively cool summer and now a hotter fall with lots of abnormal humidity. Colors are changing but they seem very muted and it’s a rare tree that has reached its normal glory. I’m not certain if I will get many eye candy pictures this year. Guess you’ll just have to tune in next time.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Goodbye Rocket

It’s one of those times when I just haven’t had much to say or blog about. My heart was broken about three weeks ago, when I found it necessary to give up on one of my cats; something Marc and I never do. 

Rocket came from the shelter in Yuma at only nine weeks old. We lost our golden boy Tucker to old age and disease and Rocket then became our sole cat for a couple of years. He was a handsome cat, lean and mean, and I doted on him and spoiled him rotten; no doubt contributing to his later bad behavior as we added additional members to our pet family. He was meant to be an only cat and preferred being outdoors hunting and having little interaction with people, even us. Despite this, he always made a good travel cat, curling up on my lap and not making a sound for eight hours at a time. He made life hell for the other three cats though and they lived in constant threat and stress from his unprovoked attacks. The thought of trying to corral and live with them all crammed into the small trailers this winter was weighing heavily on my mind. I’ve been contemplating getting him another home for the past year or more.
One day, agitated by the sight of our other male cat Jerry, Rocket turned on me and bit me hard on the wrist sinking all four canines deep into tissue. I knew it had to be viewed as the last straw so I immediately started looking for him a new home, an outdoor home. With the help of one of the shelter employees a new home was found, so on a lovely Friday I leashed him up for the last ride we’d take together. I handed him off at the shelter after saying goodbye to his quivering body as he obviously did not understand what was going on; and I headed home, and promptly broke down for two days. It was as bad as if I had to put him down. I think you can read the agony in my face in this last photo the night before, as he sat with me as if knowing something was up.
It's an awful thing to part with an animal that has been with you every day for five years plus, despite if the animal is an asshole in his way. He was also full of his fun little ways and quirks, in the prime of his life and he was a hunter extraordinaire. In fact, that’s the reason his new owner wanted him—to become a barn cat and help clear her 80 acres of rodents and pests. He should be excelling at his new station in life, free of other household pets so he gets the entire thing to himself. I know I couldn’t have asked for a better situation for him but I still miss him dearly and it’s an ache that will be there forever for having to give up on him. Stay safe my dear little Rocket man.

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

RV Lot: Huge Loss for us—offered at $58,000. Must Sell!

(Given the hurricane activity in Texas and Florida this season, Arizona might be a safer bet!)

Bargain hunters, you will not find another prime location lot improved to this degree for this price in the Yuma Foothills! We are serious and need to get this lot sold!

Lot is in Phase 29 of the Foothills between the two golf courses and is zoned multi-use for RVs, manufactured or stick built construction. It has been improved with raised walls, large entertaining patio, mature landscaping on drip irrigation, two full hookups and small shed. It sits among very nice homes on a quiet street just two blocks from the edge of the desert to the east and all its activities.

The neighborhood is a mix of full time residents and seasonal visitors and has always been extremely safe and very friendly. Most are original owners and almost all are stick built construction. The lot has sewer, water, cable and APS for electric. The shed is 8x8 on cement pad with lots of shelving for storage and a water softener. Also included is an outdoor table and six chairs and a lovely full size cement fountain, all of which sit behind a privacy wall. We can offer immediate possession under a rental agreement until a close of escrow so you can arrive in Yuma knowing you have a beautiful spot for your RV this season!  Repeat: we must sell this season so please make us an offer and we may surprise you! Thanks for looking! (park model pictured has been removed).

Monday, August 7, 2017

Going to the Birds

Making my way to the “water store” the other day, I was again greeted by the welcoming party. On a previous occasion, I was surrounded by six wild turkeys clucking and cooing asking for a hand out. This day there was only the one and this time I had my phone camera with me to take her picture! Knowing how normally guarded and elusive wild turkeys are it surprised me greatly to see these tame ones. 
Our well may date from the original farmhouse which used to occupy this property but burned a few years ago, well before we purchased. We know it’s shallow and it’s filled with metals like rusty iron and manganese which we don’t care to drink, so we visit the artesian spring down the road which sports an old, permanently-affixed-in-open position hand pump. It burbles out of the ground like this year round regardless of how cold it gets. We still use a good ceramic filtration system even on this good water. After all, Wisconsin is a farm state so who knows what goes in the water and the water table is relatively shallow to the surface. Eventually, we’ll need a new, deeper well but that’s down the line so meantime I’ll get to be good friends with the turkeys I guess.
Marc has come and gone again and again changed his mind as to what he wants to do with the front deck. I thought we were in line to just screen it in but he is back to wanting to build a sunroom out of it, which requires much more work and expense. The winds get hellacious here and the bugs can be a problem so a sunroom will prove to be much more comfortable and usable. The first order of business was to get rid of our spa since we haven’t been able to use it due to the poor water quality of the well. I couldn’t sell it for $175 so we ended up advertising it for free and this past Saturday I saw it go bye down the road to a cabin on Spencer Lake. That made the deck suddenly seem huge!
During his visit, we got a bunch of small items attended to including servicing the lawnmower and removing the fencing which had surrounded our birch trees. He also got the pallet wood inserted into the old iron table base I had previously purchased and I’m loving the rustic look in my living room!
This week I am working on my marathon bread making stint for the shelter’s bake sale in September. Keep in mind my bread making is a two-day process since it must sit 24 hours after being mixed. I bake four loaves the following day. I usually aim for a total of twenty loaves so it’s no quick task to get prepared for the sale. I start early as I don’t like to be tied to this every single day, especially on the hot days! Other than that, things are just the summer normal—weeding, watering, mowing—repeat. Oh, I did transplant around 12 lilacs yesterday from our mother plant to an area adjacent to the side of the house. It was easy digging with our recent rains.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017


It was with a huge sigh of relief that I tugged and pulled the big warehouse tin door shut at noon after pack up and cleanup on Sunday and put the shelter’s 2017 rummage sale to bed. We set a record for earnings, so that was fantastic, but it came at a cost of nearly exhausting me. It’s hard for us to remember what it was like to do a ten-hour day of hard, physical work once we’re retired; add day after day of that and it was indeed, all I could do to keep functioning. Even my kitties got to the point of seeming to say “Not again--you’re leaving us ALL day!”

We opened to a long line of probably 75 people and for the first two hours it was such a feeding frenzy I couldn’t even really get any good photos. I was too busy. So, these three are it! 
We had a warehouse full of contributions, some good things, some novel things, and some outright junk. I myself scored a lovely handmade log birdhouse and an old bird feeder with a darling shingle top. I plan to repurpose this into a pallet bird house as Marc bought me my own skill saw last time he was home. It’s battery operated so light enough for me to use.
Monday morning was wonderful not having to roll out of my yard and I was able to catch up on desperately neglected things around home. The weeds took over of course, cheering my absence; and unfortunately, due to neglect and increasing heat, the garden mostly bolted to seed. 

I’m ready to settle in and just nest for awhile. I look forward to doing some of my crafting things like more glass flowers; I have quite a bit of painting to do and I desperately need to get back to my treadmill. I was also able to score some great looking novels cheaply at the sale and they too, are calling my name. May be time to settle in and read on my new porch bed in case a nap is due as well.

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Naps on the Porch

Marc's just left after a crazy, busy visit that seemed way too short. As the honey-do list expands, he seems to slow down--he loses two days to travel coming and going and takes at least a day here to recover from the trip since the flight arrives at midnight, so that's essentially another mostly wasted day. This lifestyle of always working with only short breaks, and not seeing each other is not for sissies.

I'm moving into my time tomorrow running the Humane Society rummage, which will keep me hopping for the next ten days solid. I'll be pulling some long hours, wondering how I will get time to keep up with the yard work, watering, and giving the cats supervised time outside.

I did get my arbor done while he was here and I absolutely am head over heels with it. I did the design and painting and Marc did the engineering. Given the footings he secured it with, this thing won't be going anywhere in our high wind storms. We had one that tore through here not long ago which did lots of damage to trees and buildings as it was straight line winds clocked at 70 mph. We're topping the arbor with bird houses and I've planted two climbing roses at its base. It makes a great focal entryway over our stepping stone pathway to the house.

While he was here the weather mostly cooperated which allowed him to get up and fly the drone for some neighborhood shots. I'm always amazed how green this area is and how beautiful in its bucolic way. He sure wishes he no longer had to be in the desert! Speaking of which, I'll include a couple drone shots of his humble abode (our Grand Villa) parked next to his trailer job office. Since I left he lives on site as that gives him additional income operating as a theft deterrent. The project is coming along nicely as you can note from the photos. Back after the rummage!