My Bro’s New Home

A couple of years ago my brother, Danny’s beloved wife, Bea, passed away. They had a beautiful home in the town of Maricopa, but it was just too big, and held too many memories, for Danny to continue to live there. So after searching for property to build a new home on, Danny finally settled on a nice piece of property in Cottonwood, Arizona. He had a park model modular home built and moved it on his property. He sold his home in Maricopa, and is retiring from his job in Maricopa next week. Then he will live full-time in what he calls his new tiny (approximately 600 sq ft) home in Cottonwood. I have to remind him that Bill and I are full-time RV, and we live in (approximately 300 sq foot) motorhome…

This week we are visiting Danny at his place in Cottonwood. He graciously had a 50 amp electric box installed for us to hook-up to while we are here. And we have water and sewer here as well. Danny asked me if while we are here,  I would help him decorate his new home, and of course I jumped right on that, because I love to decorate, especially if someone else is paying for it. So off we went to purchase some of the essential things like a new shower curtain and rugs. First, I started out giving the tiny home a good deep cleaning, because it had not been cleaned real good after it was delivered to his property, and he has not started living in it yet. Not until after he retires next week.

 

Danny’s late wife, Bea, was Navajo Indian, and their home had a lot of Indian, and southwestern decor. So I stayed with that theme because it’s also my favorite decor. After I got the bathroom set up, I started on his bedroom and used one of the bedspreads he brought with him from his house in Maricopa.

Then it was on to the kitchen. I cleaned and shined all the stainless steel appliances, put out his hot pads, and a few of his favorite things like the soup tureen that I sold him and Bea when we sold our house, and his southwestern paper towel holder and napkin holder…

I just love, love, love his farmhouse stainless steel sink.

Danny had a great idea of hanging the big Bev Doolittle artwork (another piece I sold him and Bea when we sold our house, and one of my favorite Doolittle pieces that I sold them) in the corner of his living room. Bill and Danny worked about an hour and a half to get that artwork hung in that corner, but I think it looks fabulous! Then they hung the big mirror across from the window so the view outside will reflect into the mirror. Love it! The southwest area rug was also in my house and I sold it to Danny and Bea when we sold our home. It’s great that they bought all my stuff, because when I go to visit Danny, I get to visit all my stuff as well. Ha! 🙂 🙂

Next, they hung the Indian Chief and bow and arrows just inside the door of the living room.

Danny wanted to keep the top of this hide-a-bed pretty clear so he won’t have too much to move when he has company stay over with him. So we just lined up his liquor decanters on top of that beautiful piece of furniture. We also hung another Bev Doolittle piece of artwork that I sold him and Bea above the hide-a-bed. Looks beautiful.

When I arrived at Danny’s home, he already had the top of his kitchen cabinets decorated with some of his favorite knickknacks. I think he did a great job displaying his treasures there.

I had fun helping my bro clean and decorate his new home. I love you bro, and I hope you find peace, joy, and real happiness once again, here in your new home in Cottonwood, Arizona.

After we finished getting Danny’s home in order, and took a little break, he said he thought we should go with him at midnight to drive back to Maricopa and get another load from his house there. He is almost all moved out of that house, but still has a few odds and ends to get out of that house before the new owners take  possession. At the time he asked if we would go with him, it sounded like a good idea to leave at midnight and beat all the traffic to and from Maricopa, but at 11:30 p.m. I was asking myself who hatched this plan, and why on earth did I ever agree to it? When we arrived home at 6:00 a.m. I was still asking myself that same question… But, that’s my bro, Danny, and I just never could tell him no!

We have three more days here with Danny before we start making our way to South Dakota for our summer hosting positions. I’m excited to go and see what all South Dakota has to offer, but I’m always sad to leave our daughter, Shantel, in Phoenix, and my bro, Danny now in Cottonwood.

Stay Tuned!

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Easter 2019

Today we took our daughter, Shantel, out to Easter lunch, and had to say good-bye to Shantel until we return from our summer hosting positions in South Dakota. She looked so pretty in her new spring Easter dress.

We took Shantel to her favorite place for Easter lunch, Joe’s Crab Shack, in Tempe, Az.

Even though she almost always orders king crab legs, she still wants me to read the full menu to her, just in case they changed, or added, anything.

When the server brings her the bib, she knows some good food is about to come her way.

We started out with her favorite appetizer, great balls of fire, made with crab, seafood, cream cheese, jalapeños, and served with fries and ranch dipping sauce,

and of course, you can’t have seafood, without hushpuppies, which is another of her favorites…

But she got really excited, when the server placed that big bucket of king crab legs in front of her. Served with boiled potatoes and corn on the cob.

I had fish and chips, served with coleslaw. It was more than I could eat, but not to worry, Shantel said she would be happy to take home any leftovers for her dinner.

Bill/Papa had a shrimp sampler platter, and of course, Shantel asked if she could try one, or perhaps two, of his bacon wrapped shrimp.

When we were all served, Shantel wasted no time getting down to the business of cracking open her king crab legs. And she devoured every morsel.

When it was all said and done…, we asked for a take out box. Shantel ended up with one piece of my fish and most of my fries, two of Papa’s bacon wrapped shrimp, and four hushpuppies to take home for her dinner.

As we were leaving, Shantel asked if we would take her to the grocery store to get some things she was not able to purchase yesterday, because she would not have been able to carry all the bags home by herself. We were more than happy to do that. Then, we delivered our baby girl home, with a full tummy, and a full heart, because she knows how very much we love her.

Happy Easter Shantel, we love you, we are so proud of you, and we are always only a phone call away! See you in October.

Stay tuned as we begin our summer travels, I will post along our way.

Love,

Mom and Papa

Winding Down

Lots of things are starting to wind down in our world right now.

Our time here at McDowell Mountain Regional Park is winding down. We only have two more weeks until we head out to spend a week in Cottonwood at my brother, Danny’s place, before we make our way to South Dakota, where we will host in Visitor Centers in Custer State Park. Neither Bill nor I have ever been to South Dakota, so we are super excited to find out what all that state has to offer. We will be there from May through September, so we will have plenty of time to get out and hike, fish, and explore… all the things Bill and I love to do.

A few weeks ago I posted pictures of all the beautiful wildflowers that were in full bloom throughout the park,

but even they are starting to wind down in anticipation of the upcoming hot summer months.

And sadly, our time we get to spend with our precious daughter (baby girl) Shantel, is winding down as well. With her work schedule and ours, we really only get to see her every other Sunday while we are here from October through April. So with only one more  Sunday (Easter Sunday) left to spend time with her, we decided to bring her out to the park today to meet any of the hosts and friends that were home, and take her on a little hike to find out if any wild flowers were still blooming in abundance within the park. Even though Shantel can’t see, she still loves to go out on hikes, and enjoys having me be her sighted guide to explain what I’m seeing as we hike the trails.

We weren’t far into the hike before we discovered that the wildflowers were not near as abundant as they were a few weeks ago, but the various cactus were in various stages of bloom.

 

I asked Bill and Shantel to stand in front of this Ocotillo plant for a picture. They stood there looking at me and never smiled until I said “ready, set, now look like you love each other” , then they busted out laughing, and I got a great picture. Did you know the Ocotillo plant is not a cactus? No, it is a desert shrub. But, shhhhh, it doesn’t know that it isn’t a cactus…

As I said, we didn’t find an abundance of beautiful wildflowers on our hike, but I stopped to take a picture of this cactus skeleton just because I found it interesting to look at.

Just like I found the contrast of this dead tree, with a flowering bush blooming beneath it ,interesting to look at.

We didn’t do the full hike we intended because Shantel said she was getting too hot. I said “I thought you loved to hike” and she said “I do mom, but not when it’s this hot out at 9:30 in the morning. So we made a plan to go for early morning hikes when we come back next season.

After our short hike, we took Shantel out to lunch, then made our way back to Phoenix to take her home. In the car on the way to take her home, Shantel said she was surprised at how long a drive it is from her home to the park(this being the first time she has been to our park and it is an hour from her house to the park and back), and said she felt like she was back in dail-a-ride mode because it takes at least two hours to get from place to place with dail-a-ride when she is trying to get to work. I told her it is a long drive, but papa and I don’t mind it at all as long as we get to spend time with her. She smiled that beautiful smile at me that always lets me know she feels well-loved when she is with us.

We love you Shantel, and are looking forward to our traditional Easter lunch at Joe’s Crab Shack.

Stay Tuned!

 

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