Saturday, October 22, 2022

Home in Arizona

 We've all been busy getting used to living in a larger house with no stairs or wheels and more than one bedroom and bathroom, and a toilet that flushes by hand, not foot.       Remembering where the paper towels are, remembering to put things in the recycle bin and not the garbage (yay!), remembering what temperature is comfortable to keep the house in the night.      Where are the coffee filters?    Where are the scissors?     I didn't know we had those bushes?    Wow, look at those beautiful flowers!

Lewis is not immune to these "settling in" issues.    Where should I "get busy", where is my leash, can I just go out this door without Mom and Dave?   Why are these stones so sharp, where's the grass?   Where do I sleep in the day, at night?   Where is Dave, where is Mom?    Where is my favorite ball?     Do I have enough food - where is it?    Which rug is best to wipe my face on after I eat?   Will someone notice if I bring my ball to play  and they aren't in the same room?  Where do we have second cup and do I still have to find my treats under balls in that old cupcake tin?

is this a new rug?   do I like it?

Dave, Dave, what are you doing?   Dave where are you going?

will we have second cup here or at the table?

this rug will do

yep, living room rug works best

So.....I think we've all figured things out and now we're enjoying our static home in the desert.   Beluga is snoozing in her building next door until she's needed to go exploring!

  Monsoon season had just ended when we arrived home, but mother nature still had a few storms up her sleeve - just so we'd see what we missed.     Last Saturday morning, while Dave was at the Lowe's house helping Steve with some electrical work, I was awakened by something clicking against the house outside the window.   I got up because I knew what it was.     I needed to make sure the stained glass plant (that has been with us for many years) was safe from what sounded like the beginnings of a big blow.


I was right, the wind began to howl, rapid thunder and lightning and rain blowing sideways met me when I stepped outside.    I had to run around like a maniac - in my nightgown - chasing all the chair cushions as they headed for the desert.     I was soaked to the skin by the time I got back in but only one cushion escaped!      In the desert the storms blow up fast, and draw away just as fast, leaving an innocent blue sky nothing ever happened!

Enjoying those interesting skies, welcoming our old second cup and happy hour friends, a few quick trips into the Valley for things not available here in little Wickenburg, organizing the house and Beluga,  relaxing,  various Dr. appointments, and a little socializing and getting reacquainted with a slower pace of life.    That's what we've been up to.

ruh roh....

Our resident owl, we call it Hootie Sapperticker, watches over us while we enjoy a shady second cup unter his tree.     Sometimes he ejects a pellet or two as payment for his safe and quiet daytime sleeping perch  ( before he leaves for the would be rude to cough up one while we were watching).     I can't wait to dissect them to see what he's been eating!



During happy hour yesterday, this young lady marched past us on her way somewhere evidently very important,  judging by her pace and total disinterest in us.     She was about 4 inches long (about average for a Tarantula)  and moved along at a smart pace.     Dave "suggested" she make a detour back into the desert and she complied.    How cool she was and we're glad she stopped by but hope she finds a different route next time.

We met a new friend at MonaLiza and Steve's house shortly after we arrived home.    Even Lewis got a chance to introduce himself to LT!

Lucky for LT, Lewis doesn't really care for lettuce.    Now, if he was munching on aspragus, Lew would have asked to share!

Wednesday is often Sonoran Hot Dog Day at El Ranchero Restaurant in Wickenburg.   I say "often" because they usually only have them on Wednesdays after "roping season" which, here, is the fifth season of the year.    Many things revolve around this season in Wickenburg we've discovered.     At any rate, last week I noticed the Sonoran Hot Dog cart in front of the restaurant and stopped by to inquire whether they would now be making them year round (be still my heart).    Evidently not, just last week and this until after "roping"  he says.     So, we planned to ask Steve and MonaLiza to join us for this treat.     After clearing a ridiculously long list of already planned things so we could all be free to indulge, the food cart was NOT THERE!     After a quick pivit, we managed to enjoy the Bank household, last minute, somewhat abbreviated version, using some recently purchased Buffalo, NY Sahlen's hot dogs.    Later,  there may or may not have been a comparison wine tasting from our recent visit to the Rocks District in Walla Walla, Washington.




Sunday, October 9, 2022

Chaco and a change of plans

 We enjoyed our stay in Bloomfield, N.M.    Moore's RV Park was nice - quiet, well spaced sites -  (except for the laundry parking/tv interference issue in site 40) and filled with rose bushes......    That made someone happy.

oh dave.....

The drive down from Bluff took us through some typical and majestic Reservation land, and past the iconic Ship Rock.

Oh those skies.....

Ship Rock in Ship Rock

Our main reason for making a stop in Bloomfield was to visit the difficult to access Chaco Culture National Historical Park, about 60 miles (mostly rough, dirt roads) south.    The Park has  one entrance and if it is raining, or has recently rained, the road in is impassible.       Our chosen day was a dry one, thank goodness.    I built a number of days into this visit in case we had rain and couldn't make the trip.

cough cough

Unfortunately, our explorations were shortened by hints of storms building in the distance.   We were overwhelmed and knew we'd need more than one visit to take it all in, so we headed home on the long, rutted and isolated road before it became a nasty challenge.  

We got just a tiny taste of the civilization that was a major cultural center for the ancient Puebloans between 900 and 1100 AD.       This canyon contained 15 major complexes that remained the largest buildings ever built in North America until the 19th century.     Some have been excavated and some are left untouched, barely noticable as the earth continues to reclaim them.    I'm not a historian and, as I said before, I was absolutely overwhelmed by the size, the beauty, the significance and the absolute silence we found there.     My imagination was on overload, so many questions, so many thoughts. 

 If you're interested in learning about these ancient people and this important and emotional site, please read more about it on your own.     I'm still digesting.....      I offer some photos.

built staircase up the bluff

falling boulders bury parts of the bldgs. below

life continues

The next day we discovered the much smaller, but more easily "consumed in one sitting" Aztec Ruins National Park in the nearby city of Aztec, NM.

These preserved structures, situated along the Animas River, were constructed by the Puebloan Indians in the 12th and 13th centuries.    They were  dubbed the "Aztec Ruins" by early 19th century settlers mistakenly assuming they were built by the Aztecs.  

We enjoyed wandering in and out of the Ruins and imagining what life must have been like when these buildings were buzzing with life.      One round building, a kiva, has been reconstructed to show, in detail, what it looked like when it was in use.     While interesting to actually be able to actually see what it would have been, I prefer to use my imagination.         Then again, I'm the person who visits the Visitor Center after I've visited the site and not before.....ah well, that's me!

When we got back to the Jeep, we found this young man enjoying his lunch on my side mirror.....

The last site we saw in Bloomington was an upsetting one.....and resulted in our change of plans.

Animal Haven Veterinary Clinic

On Lew's last "get busy" trip of the evening, he decided that he was a big boy and didn't need help getting up Beluga's steps.     He decided that he could certainly jump from the ground to the top step like he used to.       Well, he can't - almost, but can't.   He hit the top stair with a mighty crash but made it in and over to the cupboard for his good night cookie.     Ah well, boys will be boys, especially old ones.
That morning, about 5:30 a.m., we were suddenly awakened when he fell off the couch and lay on the floor, dazed.     We think he was trying to turn over and got too close to the edge and fell off and onto his side on the rug.      When we got to him, he couldn't stand.     He wouldn't put any weight on one front leg and, combined with his already wonky rear end, that left him with only one good leg on the floor - and that won't work no matter how much you want it to.

Long story short, many phone calls later I was able to find a vet clinic in Farmington that was willing to see him that morning.     Xray's taken, (nothing broken, nothing dislocated, no bone cancer) medicine dispensed, he limped out under his own power and progressed to full use as the day wore on with no lingering issues. 

We realized how difficult it would be to handle him in Beluga if the problem re-occured and, since we were only a week or so away from our planned return home, we decided to cancel the rest of our plans and head back to Wickenburg.     One back surgery was enough to Dave's way of thinking and carrying a 50 lb. dog up and down the stairs was tempting fate.  

Lewis is, and has been, fine since that vet visit but we're glad we have no stairs to negotiate here at 1055 and are happy to be home.       More on that next time!