Sunday, April 23, 2017

Tomorrow's the big day

We arrived in Minnesota on Thursday afternoon and got settled into our temporary home at the Hampton Inn until the trailer can be delivered to our lot.  They were very thoughtful and put us on the fourth floor so it would be quieter for the cats over the weekend when all the sports teams come in.

Our lot from the back - the white shed needs to be removed

View of the lot from the side - the trees are pretty much in the middle of the yard

On Friday we went out to start the yard work and clean up of the lot.  I'm not sure when the leaves had last been raked up, we filled 17 lawn and leaf bags.

Our leaf covered lot with the nasty white shed at the back

After moving the picnic table (which needs some major TLC) we removed the patio stones it was sitting on and stacked them by the trees for later use.  We also dug up and removed the fire pit since we're not big campfire people anyway and those rocks will find their way into a future garden.

This is where the trailer will sit - to the left of the concrete patio

We put down three rolls of weed barrier where the new trailer will be parked to keep weeds from growing up underneath it.

Clean up is done and weed barrier down.  This view is from the front.
 The neighbor's shed (green one to the right) will not be visible from inside our trailer, so it doesn't matter to us.

Our shed was a disaster and of no real benefit, plus it may be in the way for delivering the trailer so Left Brain took a sledge hammer to it and knocked it completely down.  Shed removal..check.

Such a lovely little shed.....yeah, right.

Shed is gone and waiting to be hauled away

It took a couple of trips and lots of blisters to get the yard whipped into shape.  The weather was perfect for this, not too cold and nice and dry.  We were told to just pile the brush in a pile and put the leaves into bags and they would be hauled away.  When we went back out on Sunday it was already gone.

Next step was to get all our earthly belongings out of the kids garage.  We borrowed their four person tent and set it up near where the trailer will go and after making three trips with the car managed to empty our stuff from their garage and into our temporary "shed".  This way it will be close for moving into the trailer at our leisure.

The tent is almost stuffed full of things we felt safe in leaving.  There are still several things in the car, not to mention in our hotel room.
I'm not real sure what's in some of those boxes.  I know it's been less than a year but it's a mystery to me.  I know there was a lot of sewing supplies...more than I remembered having.

It's hard to envision how it will all look when set up, new shed in place and screen house attached.

One of my highlights was having a visit from my friend Nate while working in the yard.  I've enjoyed playing pickleball with him and his parents live in the park.  Plus...and this was the most exciting part...he brings his karaoke into the park.  That will be a lot of fun!

So here it is Sunday and we are ready for tomorrow.  We go for our "walk through" of the trailer at 9:00 and then it will be delivered later in the day, not sure when.  We may end up having to pay for another night in the motel since it's supposed to be rainy tomorrow. 

And if that's the case it's okay as well.  We can haul some things in unless it's a downpour and start putting things away, getting the bed made up, etc.  It will be what it will be.

Long Live the Queen of the Trailer Trash


Tuesday, April 18, 2017

On our way north

This is one of my new cactus plantings that was just starting to bloom before we left.

The last few days have been spent cleaning up the yard and packing everything up.  I trimmed the hibiscus bush and fertilized it before leaving.  Hopefully it will be fuller and have more blooms next year.




We finished summerizing the house this morning, a strange process that is completely different from winterizing for the cold.  In the last couple of days prior to departure we used up as much of our fresh food as possible and gave some casseroles and things to friends.  On the last day I called Sandy to come  over and get things left on the porch.  Now I'm trying to remember if I took out the last of the eggs.  Hmm, may have to call her to go over and take a look in the fridge.

This involves draining the hot water heater and then all the water outlets and pouring antifreeze into the sinks and toilets to keep moisture in the traps.  Yup...antifreeze.  Never thought I'd be using that in a hot climate.

I wasn't able to do the last minute dishes since there was no water anymore, so I stuffed them in a ziplock bag and put them in the freezer.  I wash them when I get back.  I also have my swim suits in the vegetable crisper as I was warned what the heat will do to anything elastic.

We opted to leave the electricity on and the fridge running.  The thermostat is set for 90 degrees and this is supposed to help protect stuff in the house.  This is all so new and strange...but exciting.

To prepare the cats for travel I sprayed the carry crate with a calming spray and put calming collars on both of them.  They wouldn't eat the calming treats, so we called it good and put them in the back of the car about 7:45 am and headed out.

There was a short chorus of them singing the songs of their ancestors but they quieted down shortly afterwards.  then I noticed the odor of kitty doo-doo.  Yup, fifteen minutes into the trip and someone pooped in the crate.  Sigh.

We pulled over and I removed the offending substance and we proceeded onward.  Wow!  These calming collars are amazing, there was barely a sound out of them during the entire nine hour trip.  I actually looked back a couple of times to make sure they really were in the crate.  Our first 580 miles has passed without a hitch.

This evening finds us ensconced in a lovely $49 motel with a two star rating in a town I can't pronounce or remember how to spell in New Mexico.

The cats freaked out a bit when arriving into their first motel.  I did a little too, but we needed to get off the road and this was actually one of the better looking ones. There was no evidence of blood spatter or remains of any deceased, so it was good with us.  Ok, it was one of the few that was still in business.  We are one of two cars in the parking lot.

After the cats settled down a bit they proceeded to investigate every square inch of the room, sniffing and snooping.  This was followed by George using the litter box and emptying  about one third of the litter onto the floor.  Sigh.  This was not so bad, but he left with part of his deposit clinging to the fur on his butt.  Not a problem, grabbed the cat and removed the cling-on and all was well.

Then we noticed Gracie had an odd odor and was dragging her butt on the floor.  Yuck, another mess.  This one required a partial bath in the sink to get all her private parts presentable again.  Thank goodness we clipped all those claws earlier in the day or I may have looked like something out of a slasher movie. She's now cleaning the wet fur on her hind legs and glaring at me with loathing. 

At least they are both recovering enough to eat something finally, since they have not eaten all day long during the trip.  Ooops, George just tossed up his supper on the carpet.  Another clean up job to take care of.  Looks like we're getting good use out of the additional $15 charged to have the cats in the room.  Way to go kitties!

I'm losing track of how many times I've washed my hands in the last hour.  After all the kitty drama was over we dined on the Subway sandwiches we picked up about an hour before arriving at the motel.  I am so glad we did this as there is nothing close by for dining and we're too tired to leave the room.

The night will be spent watching tv and snuggling cats, pretty much our normal night time activity.  Lots of love and hopefully feeding tonight since they probably won't eat much again tomorrow, although it shouldn't be quite as long a day.  We hope to land in Lawrence KS by tomorrow night.

So...day one traveling with George and Gracie has been a success.  Tomorrow shouldn't be as long a day and we know not to leave until we see the required deposits in the litter box before heading out.  

Wish us luck!

Long Live the Queen

Friday, April 14, 2017

Oregano's Pizza

 Left Brain and I were returning from my pickleball tournament in San Tan and I was too tired to even think of just heating up left overs.

Here's a shot of the courts I was at for the tournament.  It was held at the Encanterra Country Club and was the most amazing setting I'd ever seen. 



Every detail was just perfect...needless to say I doubt we could afford to live there, so I'll have to be content with just visiting for the tournament.

I had heard about this pizza place from someone at the park, can't recall who it was any more. Since I was too tired to cook, I suggested we stop there for lunch.

From the outside it didn't seem all that special, but it was so stinking cute on the inside.


Love the huge poster on the ceiling








Everything is done in a retro style, with old radios being used as tables.

Lots of vintage toys and things to look at everywhere.



There were old television sets mounted on the upper walls in each room, with each one playing something from our childhood.  We enjoyed revisiting The Long Ranger while waiting for our pizza to appear.


My fear was that the place was too adorable to have good food, but thankfully I was wrong...the pizza was super yummy.

We didn't get the desert listed here, but when the family comes to visit, we'll have to bring them here and give it a whirl since it serves about four people. 



Bit by bit we're getting to know the area and finding our favorite places to shop and visit.  Next year should allow for more of this since most of our renovations have been taken care of.

Long Live the Queen


Wednesday, April 12, 2017

She's so helpful

Gracie is a special kind of cat.  The kind you want to choke one minute and hug the next.  She knows just when she's crossed the line and needs to pull out the cuteness factor.

The paper towels we had out on the deck had gotten blow around and I dragged them into the house to try to reroll them again.

Something distracted me (which seems to be a recurring theme in my life) and when I turned around there she was...waiting to help me.



I can't help it, she's just too stinking cute.

Long Live the Cat Loving Queen

Monday, April 10, 2017

My Newest Cookbook

There is a wonderful half price book store in Mesa that I love to visit whenever I can.  Usually it's to go in and look at music cds, but today I came across this little gem.




Sometimes you have to have the cookbook just for the name of it and that's what grabbed my attention!



It's a parody of the book "Fifty Shades of Gray" and is cleverly written.



There are several really good looking recipes as well, but mostly I just like the way it looks on my shelf.  

How knew cooking could be so much fun!

Long Live the Queen 

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Looking for the wild horses of Salt Canyon

There's a herd of wild horses just north of us, so we set out to have lunch at Tortilla Flats and then see if we could find them.  With the rain we've had this winter the desert is so green and the drive up to Tortilla Flats was lovely.




After a nice meal we headed out in search of those elusive horses.



We searched high and low and found lots of pretty scenery along the way.  In one direction it was all blue skies and pretty and the other way it appears there was a storm brewing.





But no horses to be found...but wait!



Horse doo-doo...they must be nearby!

With a pretty little stream like this to enjoy surely they are lurking about somewhere.



Alas, we never did spot them, but we had a nice day in the process.



Long Live the Queen of Horsing Around

Friday, April 7, 2017

Water volleyball

One of my favorite things here is playing water volleyball from noon to 2:00.  When I started I couldn't imagine how they did this for two hours.  At the end of the season the time seemed too short and I always left wanting one more game.



This is what we're doing in Arizona when our friends and family are dealing with snow and cold up north.

Long Live the Queen of Water Sports

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Flowering Cactus

We are fortunate to have this cactus living just two doors down from us...it is a sight to behold.



The flower is about 5" - 6" wide and so striking!  Unfortunately it is very short lived, but it appeared there might be more buds coming.



I've seen photos from other people that show it covered in blooms, so perhaps there is more to come.

There is a nice specimen blooming behind our house and those blooms seem to last much longer.  I noticed some segments of the cactus had fallen over and I went to pick it up to see if it was easy to handle, thinking I'd carry a piece back to my house and stick it in a pot to get it started.  It has tiny little hair like stickers on it that quickly became embedded in my fingers...ouch.  I'll come back for it...with gloves.




Things have slowed down how that many of the residents have left for their summer homes and I find myself with more leisure time than I had before.

There's still a core group of those that stay for the year and many who leave later in the year, so mornings belong to pickleball.

We're starting to prepare for our eventual departure later this month or in early May.  Left Brain has been in communication with the people who will deliver our trailer and it appears that the earliest it can happen is the week of the 24th.  That's the date that will determine when we set out for Minnesota.

Long Live the Queen

Friday, March 10, 2017

Arizona Blooms

Since Left Brain is a bike rider, he finds some pretty interesting places along his journey.

He took me on a car ride to show some of the lovely desert blooms that have opened up after the rain we've been experiencing.

Enjoy!












Long Live the Queen