-E.B. White

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

OK, so I guess we've been busy

Still no excuse, should have found some time to update progress on the room addition in Arizona.  Our original plans were to leave AZ on the 5th of January, but because of delays during Christmas and New Years we decided to extend our stay until the 15th.  When the 15th came and the flooring was still not in place, we made another decision to FOR SURE leave on the 18th, no ifs ands or buts!  With our new deadline looming ahead of us, we worked long and hard to get the final detail items completed.

Exterior shot of new addition completed -  plans were just a simple space with a small clothes closet, and a closet to house the washer and dryer - well that was the plan - we never do things simple. 

The day before our departure - pretzel man under the park model, wedged between pipes and wheels,  connecting the plumbing for the washer.  

These pictures were taken the morning of our departure using a cell phone - kind of grainy, but you get the idea.  Tongue and groove pine ceiling and wainscot (they wanted it to look more like an "up north cabin", instead of an Arizona room), Pergo flooring and all trim work completed - ready for paint, varnish and window treatments.

View of small closet and a new washer and dryer hidden in the bigger closet.

View looking out the front  - 7:00 AM on the 18th, our car is packed and ready to go (Rick and Izzy are actually already in the car - you can see the tail lights - I better hurry, they may leave without me).

What started out as a vision on paper - is now becoming a reality.  What a team!  

Thanks also to our Job Supervisor (aka/ Mom) and her trusty dog Max, we could not have gotten the job done without them.

.  It was not all work and no play, well at least for me.  Every morning Izzy and I would take a walk and this is some of the scenery along the way.

Picture taken from the top of Bun Burner Hill.  No need for treadmills here.

Izzy was getting better about the cactus and  prickly shrubs - every once in awhile we still had to pluck a sticker out of the side of her snout.  But, these little hitchhikers were all over the side of the road - just waiting for an unsuspecting Izzy to come walking by and step on them - she didn't have a chance.

What's in your backyard?

  Fun to visit other places to see what they have to offer - Bunny and Quail enjoying the buffet line in the back yard.  How nice of these people to fatten up the bunnies -

for the Bobcats.  These poor guys did not have a good day.  Several mornings, Bobcats were sited in our backyard and breezway.  This one was discovered near the 14th hole of the golf course - story goes that he was probably chased up the electric pole, electrocuted, then fell and landed on the cable tv lines below.

  We also had to deal with Javelinas and Coyotes.  Did not see any snakes, not to say they weren't there - just saying, no snake sightings, thankfully.

   Javelinas and Coyotes
The Coyotes drove Izzy crazy, howling all night long. That combined with the things that move around in the desert at night make for an interesting sniff fest the next morning.  Many mornings she would completely forget that she was supposed to be doing her business.  She would catch a scent, bolt for the house with her hackles up, dragging Rick behind her at breakneck speed.  She would then spend the next hour peering out at the desert from behind the safety of the door blinds, growling.  For Izzy the desert was a scary place with big monsters.   

Desert buggies (atv's) and golf carts are the toys of choice here. Organized trail rides out into the desert occur at least once a week.  Golf carts are needed for zipping up to the clubhouse or off to the golf course and most homes have his and hers.

Golf cart with a sense of humor.

Evening desert sky - en route to Home Depot.  We did most of our material runs at night because it's a 60 mile drive round trip.  Price you pay for living out in the desert.  

So, once again, we are packed and ready to go - onward to our next adventure, which you might think is east to the boat, but not quite yet - another change in plans.
Poor Izzy - "now where the hell are we going?"

Tempted by an invitation to ski in Colorado, we turned the vehicle north and headed for Pagosa Springs to meet up with Rick's long time friends, Susan and Rich Hampton.
  New Mexico scenery (near Gallup) - at least no icy roads this time.

Northern New Mexico, the landscape is flat, flat flat with an occasional outcrop of rock.


Coming into Pagosa Springs - looks like a good day of skiing ahead.
( Sorry, the last couple  pics are not very good pictures, they were taken thru the windshield of the car.)

We had a great visit with Rich and Sue Hampton, followed by an incredible day of skiing at Wolf Creek. 

Back to Minnesota on the 20th of January with a planned departure of the 24th for our return to Broulee (still in Chesapeake, Va).  But, by the 22nd it was pretty clear that a deep freeze was in store for the east coast - hitting hard on Thursday night, down to 18 degrees and staying below freezing thru Sunday. By Wednesday we decided it would be best to fly Rick out to winterize the systems on the boat.  When we left in September we had no idea we would not be returning until late January so no winterizing had been done.
Ice skating anyone?  View from back deck of Broulee - Friday morning after temps dropped into the teens.

Friday afternnoon - ice and snow storm moved into the area.  Broulee is safe, winterized, in a covered slip and now warm - all is good - potential disaster averted. 

 Broulee on the left  - frozen in - undercover, so at least no snow on her.

Barge breaking thru the ice in front of Atlantic Yacht Basin.

Not exactly ideal boating conditions.  Can't say we have seen this much snow while boating.  Rick flew back to Minnesota on Saturday night.  New plans were to leave Tuesday the 29th, but another cold front is pushing thru  - strong winds, rain and tornadoes are predicted for the area we will be traveling.  Thursday is our next departure date - but we will see.

 In the meantime, Sunday morning, Georgia, Pops and Brad heading to the lake for some ice fishing.

Heading out to the lake.

Tools of the trade.

More Minnesota must haves.

It has been great to be with the grandkids, again. But looking forward to some Broulee time.  

Hoping for sunny, warm days in our future.  
Stay tuned!     

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Land Cruising

As we prepare to put the year 2012 behind us - 

Rick, Deb & Izzy

Since our last post, and just before we started our trek west to Arizona - the dinning room was turned into an upholstery shop.  Rick was convinced that we could do the re-upholstery of the pilot house cushions ourself.  We brought them home with us this fall when leaving the boat in Chesapeake thinking we might hire someone to do them.  You tube has been a wealth of information - we also did quite a few practice runs.  Got to admit the first two cushions didn't turn out so bad - the third cushion is waiting for our return trip to Minnesota for it's completion.  We will stop home en-route to the boat to exchange desert things for boating things sometime mid-January.

Hmmm - it looked easier in the video.  Rick also made a handy, dandy table for the sewing machine so now we have a flat surface to work on - nice. Now mind you - this is not one of those fancy, dancy upholstery sewing machines, but we are going to work with what we've got.  Anything has got to be better than the bed sheets that have been covering the cushions for the past year.  

On December 14th we packed up the car, the dog, tools and way too much clothing for our adventure west to Deb's parents winter home in Queen Valley, AZ (about 60 miles south and east of Phoenix) .  Our journey is two-fold, one to spend the holidays with them, and two, to help build an addition (sun room) to their existing house.  So we left the snow behind us and looked forward to the mountains and sunshine.

 A small detour to the town of Benton, KS (just outside of Wichita) - Rick's old stomping grounds.  This was BD (before Deb).  Air Force years, raising his family on a farm on the outskirts of town, ferrying aircraft and a vineyard (just to name of few of the great memories here).   Weather has been good and looks like the rest of the trip should be clear sailing (cruising).

  The flat lands of Kansas.

Dust blowing across Texas. Just a side note, Dalhart, Texas is not a pretty place - hope I have not offended anyone, but that is just my opinion.

Coming thru the Continental Divide in New Mexico, just between Albuquerque and Gallup, things got pretty harry.  Temps dropped into the low twenties and the road turned into a sheet of glare ice. We saw at least 15 big rigs jack-knifed on the side of the road and this little Mustang has found himself heading in the wrong direction.  Traffic slowed to a crawl, sanding trucks could not keep up and once again, not unlike our boating experiences with weather, I am asking (well screaming) "why did we not know this was going to happen?"  Damn mother nature!

Crossing into Arizona, things looked more promising - 

We were expecting the drive thru Show-Low to be snowy. However, warmer temps and better maintained roads make a big difference.  Just before Show Low we came thru a town named Snowflake.  Rick commented that Snowflake was a weird name for a town.  I thought it was a lovely name.  He didn't agree with me until we got to the next town which was named Belly Button - now, Snowflake didn't sound so bad.

Coming down from Show-Low the canyon views were amazing.

Salt River Canyon, coming down into Globe, AZ

The drive into Queen Valley with the Superstition Mountains to the west.

Our little rental house in the desert, complete with all the comforts of home - this will be our home away from home for the next few weeks.  Izzy is adjusting to desert life - the cactus thing has her a bit confused.  First day out for a walk, she stepped on a rogue cactus on the road, it got stuck in her foot which she promptly tried to eject with her mouth, so we ended up with cacti stickers in foot and mouth.    Thank goodness she is a quick learner and has tried to stay out of their way.  Although, just today, she was attacked by another cactus - in her defense the darn things are everywhere.  However, she has learned to wait patiently for assistance, instead of trying to get them out herself.  Christmas here in the valley was wonderful, lots of parties and drinking. Seems like the same as boating, but no water. 

Our favorite places to be are the mountains and the ocean - guessing that is why our favorite islands traveling on Broulee thru the Caribbean, were the "Islands that Kiss the Sky" - (Martinique, Grenada, Grenadines and St. Lucia). To us the perfect blend of ocean and mountains.   

Upon our arrival, plans were drawn, material lists prepared and it was off to Home Depot and Lowes.  Weather has been cooperating and hoping to get the outside portion finished this week.  My two favorite men, enjoying a hard, but rewarding day of work (Rick and Dad).

  Happy Hour is waiting - time to enjoy the sunset on the mountain and the end of another good day.