Friday, December 14, 2012

Montana Peak Hike

Despite some pretty strong winds we had a glorious hiking day on Thursday (Montana Peak about 1.5 hour drive SW of here). This place is surrounded by mountains in every direction, and we continue to be amazed at the diversity of terrain, vegetation and rock formations. A couple weeks ago we hiked near Tombstone (I forget the name of the hike) and I kick myself for not having brought my camera, as the rock formations there were fascinating. It was like a natural sculpture park.

Jed is busy turning (literally) out pieces on the lathe at the wood shop. He cut down some trees in our yard, and is using material from the trunk. It's still pretty green, which presents some challenges, but he figures it's great for learning technique and honing his skills. I've taken on some new duties in the clay studio, as I've volunteered to do test samples for the glaze committee, with the goal of adding some new glazes, retire old ones and find new ways of getting great results with what we have.  It's become quite an addiction for me really, and I was today I've become known as the "Glaze Queen". Quite an honor, I suppose- at least I'll take it that way.

I opted not to swim today, as it was quite chilly. Yesterday was the first time we have felt the need to turn on our furnace. This cold- even a bit rainy!-snap is expected to last a few days, then it should be back to the sunny days we came here for.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Still Playing in Arizona

Today was another bright sunny day and I went on an 8 mile hike with the club. Yesterday I played racquetball. I hadn't played in about 20 years, but I'm pleased with how it's coming back to me. Quite a workout one gets in an hour of play- and a lot of fun! Above is a "tall lidded box" I made in the clay studio.

Jed is in Seattle taking care of some business and seeing friends and family. I stayed here because of a class I had signed up for. I'll pick him up from the airport tomorrow and I bet he'll be glad to see the sun again. Never knew I was such a sun chaser, but it sure makes things pleasant around here!

Monday, December 3, 2012

Hiking on the Mexican Border

Last Thursday we crossed int Mexico 3 times. On a hike with the club we visited 3 of the monuments along the Mexican/American border. The weather was perfect, the vistas exciting and the hike altogether perfect. It was also Jed's 65th birthday, and he was surprised to get a personalized birthday song from "woo-hoo" Valerie (you had to be there). Anyway, we are delighted to have him on Medicare because it increases our fun and travel budget. Woo-hoo!!!!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

A New Season Begins

Prayer flag totem at entry
We're nearing the end of a fabulous summer in Seattle, and beginning to think about Arizona. It's fun to think about returning to our little house there and enjoying another great 3 months or so of hiking, biking, swimming, socializing and taking advantage of the great facilities, particularly the wood shop and the clay studio. We have now outfitted the house with wifi and basic cable, so we actually have more home entertainment possibilities than we do in Seattle.

The house is available for rent from February 18 until the middle of April. Rates and availability are noted at right.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Back in Seattle

This was my big accomplishment in the time we spent in Arizona this fall. I finished it just before we left and didn't have time to grout it. We bought the green tiles; I made almost all the others in the clay studio. We thoroughly enjoyed our time in Green Valley this time. Jed biked with a hard core group on Tuesdays and took swimming lessons. He also made a couple great pieces of furniture in the wood shop- a coffee table for Seattle and a cabinet in which to store our sports equipment in AZ. We both hiked on Thursdays with the club and really enjoyed some of the hikes in the Saguaro National Park barely north of Tucson, where you see not only great Saguaros, but interesting rock formations. I LOVE the clay studio and spend maybe even too much time there. We did manage to play tennis once and work out in the fitness rooms maybe 10 times. Didn't play pickle ball even once! Too much to do- too little time. We are making more friends and enjoying social time as well. This was the first time that I could envision spending even more time here. The only drawback to that plan is friends and family- especially our new grandson. Wish AZ and Seattle weren't so far apart! Speaking of that, we made a leisurely road trip of it this time-8 days- and it was a lot more pleasant than trying to make it in 3 days! We drove no more than 6 hours each day and visited friends or explored by ourselves in Palm Springs, L.A., Big Sur, Napa, Arcata, Eugene and Lebanon, and Portland. Nice!!!!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Heading to Arizona

We're leaving Sunday on a road trip that will take us through Oregon, Utah, Colorado, New Mexico and finally, to Green Valley. We've never taken this route before (it's a bit of a detour into Colorado) but we look forward to seeing some new territory. Arizona is starting to cool down a bit now, so we look forward to temperatures in the 80's.
We plan to add cable service and a wireless modem to the house amenities this fall. I adjusted the rental prices just a bit to cover that. We're still trying to keep them below market value and give rental preference to friends and referrals of friends. That has worked quite well thus far.
We're looking forward to all the activities available in Green Valley. There are some house projects that await us, but we should still have lots of time for fun and travel. I'll try to post a few blog entries about any interesting things we discover.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Bisbee and Tombstone

 My Mom and sisters visited for a week, and we spent 2 days and a night in Bisbee, an old mining town in S.E. Arizona.. We had a marvelous time. The drive is an easy 2.25 hours and it's very scenic. We stopped in Tombstone for a quick look- it's very touristy, but the history is authentic and interesting. In Bisbee, we stayed at the Gym Club Suites, which is an old YMCA right in the heart of town and across from a public parking lot. It has been converted into a charming hotel, and the prices are very reasonable. We had dinner at the Cafe Roka, which is considered one of Arizona's best restaurants (and rightly so). Like much of Bisbee, it's only open Thursday through Sunday. I had made reservations a few days prior to our visit. On Saturday we hiked around town a bit- very interesting as there are many creative people who have personalized the old miners shacks with color, yard art and funky fences. Then we drove past the open pit mine to Bisbee Breakfast Club- a "must" for every Bisbee trip, in our (Jed's and my) opinion. Delightful, as always.We spent about an hour in the mining museum, which tells the story of the mining process and the people who once populated this once thriving town. We hired a walking historical tour guide, Michael, who was extremely knowledgeable and entertaining. And we checked out the galleries and shops on Main Street and in Brewery Gulch. We did not go on the mine tour, having run out of time, but I highly recommend it.
All in all, it was a wonderful time. I love Bisbee, and I'm happy to go there at least once a year.

Tombstone: Bar Girls
Barb and Fran in Bisbee
Bisbee Main Street

Tombstone: Horses and Carriage

Horses and Stagecoach

Horses and stagecoach with passengers

Bisbee: front porch of a house

Bisbee: on a hike

Bisbee: Michael the historical tour guide

Bisbee: street performers
Creative fence in Bisbee