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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Home At Last

In my last post, I wrote about taking our motorhome into the shop to have carpet replaced in the bedroom and on one of the slide-outs (dining area). The rest of our rig has tile. We were told when we first made the arrangements to have this project done that it would take two days to complete the job. However, as with most home improvement projects, we’ve learned to hope for the best, and expect the worst… While it wasn’t the worst thing that ever happened with our home improvement projects, our two-day commitment to complete the job, quickly started turning into three days. I thought this posting would be a good time to let you know what we did for two and a half days without our home, after we spent the first trying to get our laundry done.

On day two, we decided we would go see the movie The Mule, staring Clint Eastwood. Both Bill and I enjoyed the movie and it gave us a couple of hours to sit and relax, and it took our minds off of thinking about when we were going to get our motor home back. We really were not too worried at that point because we knew we still had another day  off before we need to go back to our hosting jobs at the Visitor Center at McDowell Mountain Regional Park. After the movie, we enjoyed a lovely lunch at PF Chang’s. Then off we went back to our room at the hotel still thinking all is going well with our carpet replacement project. We decided we would make a call to get a status on where they are in regards to getting our carpet replacement completed. That’s when we were told that it was not going to be ready until Thursday,  the day we needed to go back to work.  That was NOT the answer we wanted to hear. If we would have been able to get our motor home back on Wednesday, it would have given us time to get it set up, and put back all of our belongings that we had to store in order for them to take the bed and dining area booths out to replace the carpet. In addition, we had to get our bed made up again, and get groceries for the upcoming week. We were both scheduled to work our half shift day Thursday. Now, this put us into putting the plan (B) in place. I am a big believer in always having a plan (B). Plan (B) was that I would drop Bill off at RV Renovators the next morning at 7 A.M. and I would go on to open the Visitor Center at 8:00. We were hoping  that Bill would be able to take possession of our home first thing that morning, get it back to the park and set up, and come to relieve me from the Visitor Center by 12:00 noon so I could go get the groceries (we had to really limit, and store the few groceries we had, because we knew we would be unplugged for the time our motorhome was in the shop) and try to put our home back together again so we can live comfortably once again…

On the morning of day three, we notified the morning desk clerk, at La Quinta Inn, of our situation and asked if we reserve our room for another night, and we get notified our motor home is ready, can we cancel without fees. She assured us we had until 6:00 P.M. to cancel without a fee. Good news to us. So in an effort to pass more time, and take our minds off our current situation, we went back to the movies, and saw Ben Is Back staring Julia Roberts. Seems like we had a little drug theme movie thing going on… Again, we both thought that was a good movie. Julia Roberts always delivers a great performance in my opinion.

When we returned to our hotel around 2:00 that afternoon, and were “patiently” waiting in the lobby of our hotel for our room to be cleaned, we received a call from RV Renovators letting us know our motorhome was ready. We were very excited to know we would be back in our home that day, but as a result, it cost us $50.00 to cancel the room we reserved earlier in the day. We would not have had a problem with that except for the fact that in the morning, before we went out to the movie, we told the girl at the front desk about our situation. We  explained that we are full-time RV, that we were having our motorhome carpet replaced, and that we were not sure if it would be done later that day or if we would need to stay another night. She assured us if we reserved our room that morning , for another night, we would have until 6:00 P.M. to cancel without any cancellation fees…However, when the call came in at about 2::00 p.m.  (check-in is 3:00 P.M.) and we told by the new, change of shift person at the front desk, that we needed to cancel our room for that night, we were told it was too late to cancel ,and we needed to pay for the night. We explained what the morning person told us, and were told to wait while this afternoon person checked with her manager… Finally, she came back and told us we wound need to pay $50.00 even though we never even stayed in that room at all… We just chalked it up to another case of the right hand doesn’t know what the left hand is doing…

In the end, both Bill and I are very happy with how our carpet replacement looks, and we are VERY happy to have our home back, because there really is no place like home…

 

As a final thought, I have to say, through all of this home improvement “adventure”, both Bill and I were able to laugh, and keep our spirits up. Bill and I contribute that to some very positive changes we’ve made in our lives this year that are working very well for us.

Stay Tuned!

Earthship Biotecture

On our way to visit Echo Amphitheater this week, we saw some strange-looking buildings out in the middle of the desert, and I wondered what they were all about. So, on our way home, we stopped to investigate, and found out they are part of Earthship Biotecture.

 

So what’s that all about one might ask? Well, from the information we received, and what I could research on the internet, it is a community of people who live in completely self-contained, self-sustainable, structures that meet the “six needs for life on earth which are:

Buildings made with natural and recycled materials

Water harvesting

Solar and wind electricity

Contained sewage treatment

Food production

Thermal solar heating and cooling

 

They use discarded tires packed with dirt for exterior walls,

and recycled bottles and cans for interior structures.

Buried cisterns collect melted snow and rain, and the filtered water flows through sinks in the bathroom and kitchen. Each abode contains its own greenhouse, and blackwater, from the toilet bowl, hydrates the yards of the 70 residences. If you see a tropical bloom in that area of the New Mexico desert, you can lay your thank-you flowers before the porcelain throne”.

Apparently there are Earthship communities all over the country.  Who knew? This particular Earthship community offers internships that last 3 weeks, and they teach you all about how to build your own Earthship abode. They advertise the internships as “be prepared for serious fun”.

You can also rent a room for the night in one of the main structures if you want to experience a glimpse of what it’s like to live there. For 1-2 people it costs $245 per night.

If your interested in learning more, just google Earthship Biotecture, in New Mexico, and you will be able to see actual pictures of how the abodes look from the inside. They really are nice, and very interesting.

Well all that was fascinating, but we had to get moving, so on we went, until we came to the Rio Grande Gorge Bridge. I wanted to get out and take a picture of the bridge, and walk across it because, well it was there and I could… 🙂

The last stop, before we made it home, was to take a picture of this abandoned Tee Pee I saw just sitting along side of the road. I don’t know why, but it intrigued me, and made me wonder about who might have built it, lived in it, and what happened to them? So we stopped, and I took a picture of it too. Ha! 🙂

Our time in New Mexico is quickly coming to an end. We will leave on June 1st for a month stay in Antonito, Colorado. We so enjoyed New Mexico, but we are now ready to move on, and see what all Colorado has to offer. If you’re traveling with us, via this blog, I hope you enjoy sharing our journey. I love having you along, and especially enjoy your comments.

Stay Tuned!

 

 

Christmas 2017

We are all fixed up and ready to celebrate this wonderful season with little touches of Christmas throughout our tiny home. We have a tiny Christmas tree that looks so pretty lit up at night. And Bill loves the little Santa bucket filled with Christmas chocolates. 🙂

Our tiny Santa’s hang above the dashboard between our Santa hats and they keep a close eye on who is naughty or nice… I love the center piece on the dashboard. I put tiny light in it that are battery operated and I can set them to stay on or blink. So pretty at night.

Of course it wouldn’t be Christmas for us without the Virgin Mary sitting on the sofa shelf along with another metal Christmas tree that has tiny ornaments on it, and beside that, is our Poinsettia Centerpiece.

Even my favorite wine, Butter, is decked out with a Christmas scarf and hat…

 

Can’t forget the bathroom with the marching soldiers soap and snowflake kleenex box…

 

And the Santa rug in front of the shower will make sure we all have a goodnight!

 

Bill and I will keep Christ in our Christmas because we know Jesus is the reason for the season. We wish all of you a very Merry Christmas season from our home to yours.

Stay Tuned!

Shantel’s First Thanksgiving

Well, actually, it was not her “first” Thanksgiving, but it was the first Thanksgiving she hosted in her home. And Bill and I were the lucky guests of honor.

Shantel lives alone, in a small, one bedroom apartment. Being blind, she doesn’t want a lot of “stuff” to have to get around, and she likes to keep things simple… She has a sofa and coffee table in her living room area that she purchased when she moved into her apartment.

And she just bought a small table for her dining room area special for hosting her first Thanksgiving. She said she bought the cloth tablecloth and place settings to make her table look “festive” for us… We thought it looked beautiful!

As soon as we arrived, Shantel got to work washing the turkey and getting it ready to go into the oven.

When the turkey was in the oven, she sat down at the table and entertained her Papa and I by telling us all about some of the crazy phone calls she monitors and scores on her job…

When it was time, she asked her Papa to peel the potatoes and pass then over to her to cut up to make the mashed potatoes.

Shantel has excellent knife skills, and had five pounds of potatoes cut up in no time at all. My, my, that girl loves mashed potatoes…

She delegated the making of the green bean casserole to me.

When the potatoes were cooked, she went to work mashing them with her hand mixer.

She asked her Papa to help make the gravy to ensure there were no lumps…

Then she pulled the perfectly cooked turkey from the oven, YUM!

And just like that… winner, winner, her turkey dinner was served…

After dinner, she served up some of her homemade apple pie she made the night before including making her own pie crust…

Everything was DELICIOUS, and we are so very proud, and thankful, to have been the guests of honor in Shantel’s home for the hosting of her very first Thanksgiving dinner.

Great Job Shantel. Thank you for everything. Keep shining your light brightly. We love you and are looking forward to Christmas Eve dinner with you too…

*Note to readers: I haven’t posted any blogs for the past few months because we hit the floor running when we arrived back here at McDowell Mountain Park. Then, shortly after we arrived, I had to have some surgery on my right eye to have a growth removed. I’m still recovering, but doing well, but it has been difficult for me to focus to take pictures, and to work on the computer for any length of time to write the blog posts. That, and the fact that I need to stay out of direct sunlight, and wind, for the next month or so, means we haven’t been doing very many hikes, and the hikes we do take are short and not anything I haven’t shown before on my blogs… I’m sure I will find lots of things to write about over the holidays…so

Stay Tuned!

Bandon Oregon

After Bill and I attended 10:30 a.m. Mass this morning in Bandon, we went to try a fish & chip place our supervisor, Ranger, Patrick, told us about in Bandon, called the Bandon Fish Market.

 

This is a tiny little place with only about five tables inside and some benches on the outdoor patio. There is a constant line of people, that wraps around the building, waiting to get in to order their baskets of fish etc. When we saw all the people Bill and I were hoping this was going to be as good as Patrick told us it was, and it was!

Bill and I love fish and chips, and we both agreed that this was some of the best we’ve ever had. YUMMERS! They give you huge portions, six pieces of fish, and a seemingly bottomless box of fries, as well as coleslaw or garlic toast on the side. It was delicious, and we will definitely go back for more sometime.

After lunch, we walked around Old Town Bandon. What an adorable little place it is. We visited this little shop that is attached to Tony’s Crab Shack.  We asked the man behind the counter to tell us about the crabbing pots (big wire basket looking things stacked in the front of the store), they have for rent outside the shop, and about the crabbing season. He explained that in the summer, usually towards the middle or end of summer, is when the larger male crabs come in towards the pier, and are more readily available for catching in the pots. He said there is a size limit and you have to release anything that isn’t the right size… He said you can purchase a crabbing license, rent a pot(s) and go crabbing right off the pier behind the store. And when you catch your crabs, Tony’s Crab Shack will even cook them up for you if you don’t want to take them home and cook them yourself.. How cool is that?

 

This little shop also sells every kind of colorful whirly things you can imagine.

All up and down the pier you can find all sorts of interesting boat dock related things to explore.

And, they have all sorts of wood carved figurines placed all around the pier as well.

In the middle of the pier, they have an enclosed area with all kinds of unique wood carved furniture.

This weekend the pier was also showcasing a local grade school’s art work project.

There were sea gulls flying overhead, and I was hopping one would drop a feather or two, because I’m trying to find some feathers from different kinds of birds for my frister who needs them for some of her special art projects. So far no luck…but I keep looking…

The streets of Old Town Bandon are lined with one of a kind little shops, and all the stores seem to be adorned with the most beautiful flowers.

If the men folk get tired of shopping with the ladies… they even have special waiting areas outside the shops just for them…

It was a really fun day exploring the Old Town Bandon area. Before we left, I did purchase a colorful three tiered whirly wheel to decorate our little campsite yard. Now, if I had about six more colorful whirly things to place around our campsite, we might look like we fit in with all the other camp hosts that come here every summer.. Ha! I did find a really cool, colorful windsock that said “Happy Hour” on it, but I wasn’t about to pay $24.00 for a windsock. Nope, I’m just as happy with my colorful little whirly wheel.

Just before we were ready to leave Bandon, I stopped in the restroom, and captured this note someone wrote on the inside of the restroom door.. While I don’t think it’s at all nice to write on anyone’s property, since it was already there, I thought it was a nice thought, and so I will leave you with it too..

Stay Tuned!

Play Day

Today, Bill and I just decided to take a drive through Cottonwood, and Clarkdale, and just stop and explore anything that caught our eye. No agenda, no time schedule, just Bill and I being absolutely foot loose and fancy free.

The first thing of interest that caught our attention was this place, called, Simply Amazing Plaza. The lime green and yellow horse-drawn buggy sitting out front got my attention right from the get-go.

There were life-size metal horses, out in front of the building, with metal cowboys riding them, and shooting their guns in every direction.

Lots of painted metal flowers, cactus, and pots, to decorate your yard, if you have a yard to decorate. But still, they were all very pretty, and if I had a yard to decorate I would have it full of pretty stuff like this.

Even a full size carved Indian sits on the front porch, with his big purple, green, and yellow, metal bird, to welcome you as you enter the building. And for a special price of $200.00, you can take him home.

Moving on, we ventured into the historic downtown area of Clarkdale. What a cozy little hometown feel this little town has, with flowers hanging in pots outside the store fronts, and several little outdoor cafe type places to eat. The Paradise Point Cafe offers Homemade Deserts, Organic Coffees & Teas, and Therapeutic Massage.  Now doesn’t that sound interesting…?

Bill and I had a good time laughing, and debating, over this sign at the end of the street that reads “Surely Not everybody Was Kung Fu Fighting! We don’t really know, what do you think?

Moving on down the road, we came upon Larry’s Antiques Shop. The thing that caught our eye here was this rusty old car with a skeleton behind the steering wheel. A fun place to visit, but my all time favorite so far, is still Sweet Peas Antiques that just happens to be a couple of miles from our RV Park.

Well, by now we were getting hungry, so we decided to try the Town Tavern & Grill.

When we were seated at our table, the waiter brought us thin bread sticks and a little bit of herb butter to snack on while we waited for our lunch.

Bill ordered the Prim Rib Dip, with fries, and a side of horseradish.

I had the southwestern hamburger on sourdough, with jack cheese, green chilies, and sweet potato fries. Very good, but I could only eat half, because the portions are way BIG.

On our way home we stopped at Wal-Mart, and purchased a Hamilton Beach Countertop Oven. We have a Microwave/Convection Oven in our RV, and I love it for microwaving, but not for baking. I really missed having an oven that actually browns food that you want browned. This little jewel can be used as a bake oven, convection oven, rotisserie oven with rotisserie tools included, and it also broils, and is a toaster oven. What more can anyone ask out of one little over. I have it all set up outside on a table, and will bake a meatloaf in it for our dinner tonight.

Bill and I are getting this relax and play time down REAL good… We are having so much fun just pilfering our day’s away together, doing lots of nothing, but turning nothing into having so much fun.

Stay Tuned!

Previous Older Entries

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family life..with a unique perspective of motherhood

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Living An Active Full Life

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