Saturday, December 24, 2016

Merry Christmas

The motorhome is ready for Christmas
Christmas is upon us and it hardly seems like a year since out last Christmas but sure enough - it has been.  This past week has been very quiet for us.

We came onto a lot in the Foothills area of Yuma - next door to friends.  It has been great as it gives us a chance to catch up on some long overdue visiting.  Also, the weather hasn't always been sunny and warm so it's nice to have the amenities of electric and water - especially when preparing for Christmas.

This past week has seen sun, wind and rain - in fact  a total of just over 3/4 of an inch in two separate rains.  Hopefully this will make for a bountiful crop of wildflowers as the desert flowers are like no other.  It is so hard to believe the beauty that comes out of the arid landscape.

We went to a movie - Collateral Beauty - this past week.  I thought it was a great movie although I don't think everyone agreed with me.  If  any of you decide to go to see this movie, make sure you bring a supply of tissue.  The theater we went to had just undergone some renovations.  First, when you purchase your ticket, you choose your seats.  And the seats are true movie seats (but may be hard to keep your eyes open) as they are comfy, leather recliners.

As we go for our daily walk, we often come across some unusual things - this week it was a yard decoration.  Some folks are very creative, much to my enjoyment.

I hope each one of you have a wonderful Christmas that is filled with peace and health and happiness which will continue through the coming years.

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Still Near Yuma

Starting of citrus trees
Another quiet week just north of Yuma in an area we call "the gravel pit".   This is a small area near a rock quarry that is reached by driving through an old gravel pit - hence the name.  It isn't very busy this time of year although people come and go on a regular basis.

A young cotton plant
As we go for our daily walk, we often see the farmers out working in their fields.  Nearby are both lettuce and broccoli fields.  When we see the amount of labour that goes into the production of these vegetables, we certainly have a new appreciation of how inexpensive some of our food really is.  With the exception of preparing the fields and planting of the crops, most of the work is manual labour - the weeding, the thinning of plants, and the harvesting of the produce.  The fields are quite small and the seeding is done so harvest is staggered. 

A couple of miles from us is a building that advertises "Field to Farm".  Of course we thought it meant a market so we walked over to see what kind of produce they had.  Surprise - there was no produce.  It was a little café and antique emporium that had a tremendous amount of items for sale.  Many items were quite reasonably priced if one was interested is such things.  They did have a little Chihuahua that had the same markings as one we had many years ago - but this one was much friendlier.  Instead of buying vegetables, I held the dog and then we had fish tacos.

Friday was a terribly windy day and the dust filled the air most of the day.  Fortunately, we were tucked into a sheltered corner and barely noticed the wind - at least until we went outside.  That's what happens when a cold front goes through as well as a drop in temperature.  On the most part, this past week has had unbelievably wonderful weather - warm, sunny and minimum winds - can't beat that.

I hope everyone has a great week in this final week before Christmas - hope to see you next week!

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Sunny Days

We arrived in Yuma early in the week and it was a great chance to settle down a bit and relax.  We met up with friends and cousins (same folks) and finally are having a great visit with them.
A typical Arizona sunset

We thoroughly enjoyed Empire Ranch - an area of grassland steppe with a backdrop of the mountains.  The quiet was wonderful although one night I did hear the coyotes off in the distance.  The days were mild and sunny but the nights were a tad chilly.  We had decided to leave Monday morning and when we got up, the outside temps were 27F (or -3C) - way too cold for us so it was time go to a lower altitude - so here we are.

A baby tarantula
Our annual trip to Algondones was made this past week.  They serve delicious shrimp and fish tacos so we had lunch, checked out some of the vendors, bought our bottle of Kahlua (on $7.50 for 950 ml) and called it a day.  It was a fun day as we chatted with some of the vendors.

It is time for Christmas joy - I set up the tree and most of the decorations.  Certainly don't want to do it all in one day so have saved some for tomorrow.

A quiet week with not much to say.  All of you at home, stay warm, and hope you come back next week. 

Sunday, December 4, 2016

On to Arizona

Things are a little slow today so this blog is a bit behind schedule.  Of course, I was set to get it out but I had an incredibly slow signal last night so thought I would try this morning - so far so good.

We started the week off in Bandera, TX at a neat little campground near Lake Medina.  You could often look out to see deer grazing nearby which is always a treat.  This is Hill Country in Texas- an absolutely beautiful area of the state.  We toured through a Natural Wildlife Area where we saw a mother wild pig with her babies following behind.

We stopped in at a hardware store in town - a big hardware store - which is always fun to look around in to see what one might find.  Also, the cowboy store again in search of a cowboy but nope, they were still out.

Then it is time to head west.  Now Texas is a huge state - 850+ miles across on the interstate.  It took us two days and we started partway through.  Of course, when it's time to head out, something seems to crop up.  This time it was a problem with the tail lights on the Jeep.  After much fiddling around (as well as a blessing or two😏), they seemed to be working so off we go.  Oops, not so quick - the step won't retract.  Underneath Gerry goes, makes it inoperable and we are heading out - but now it wants to work so put things back together as it seems to be working fine.  And we are off!!

 A couple of days later we stopped at Empire Ranch which is about an hour out of Tucson.  This gives us a chance to do some touring of the area, especially Tombstone and Bisbee.  Both these towns have retained the old look.  Tombstone cemetery is an interesting place to wander through and to see the various descriptions on the "headstones".  Anyone working in this town is dressed in the western dress as well as a show we attended of a shootout.  This was a comedy show that was really quite humorous and a fun thing to attend.

Off to Bisbee which is still a mining town.  Many of the old buildings have been preserved as we drove down several streets which were plenty wide for the mules and horses of the day but were barely wide enough for a vehicle to pass through.  And so many of the houses have been built on the side of the mountain - sorry but not for me.  There is a sign that it is a town of 1,000 stairs.  Gerry asked if I wanted to go up them but with it being late in the day, we decided that would have to wait for another time!!

Gotta love some signs
At Empire Ranch, the area where we are staying is a working ranch.  They have preserved all the old buildings of the original ranch which are open to the public.  There were many interesting artifacts including information regarding wages, etc. paid to the cowboys of the time.

The weather at the end of this past week has been cool - in fact downright cold at times.  But that isn't a surprise as we are quite high (in altitude) but wanted to tour Tombstone and Bisbee since it has been twenty years since we were in this area.  However, tomorrow will be moving day.  And it was cloudy a couple of days so with no sun to stay warm, we are grateful for our propane heater.  Now I must not complain as there are no snow boots or heavy jackets.

I hope everyone has a great week!!