February 28, 2014

Ten years

This week it has been ten years since I came to live here. (Dan had already been here a year to get the house built). And ten years since I "retired". On the one hand it seems not so long ago (I still celebrate Friday night and the weekends), but a lot has happened and life is way different now.

I knew we were in for adjustment to our new way of life, from desk jobs in a maritime climate to being outside most of the day in the desert, but did not know what kind of adjustment. For one thing, we are definitely more active here and I believe, in spite of being ten years older, in the best shape of our lives. We are on our feet a lot.

Not having to go to work was a piece of cake, I was so ready to be "done", but we are busy most of the time. It is a self-imposed "busy" which is way more satisfying then being on a corporate treadmill. And we are involved what we had envisioned as fun and gratifying activities: horses, dogs, garden, landscape, hiking, biking, cooking and eating well.

Dan dug up some photos of our first year at the WD Ranch and I took some "today" shots. Quite a change, and we still love to be here. On to the next 10 years!

Living in the foothills of the Dragoon mountains, our builder was concerned about soil stability. The house site was razed and additional dirt brought in from elsewhere on the property. It was wetted and compacted with heavy machinery which made a good concrete-like foundation for the house. Not so much for the landscape.

Here I am doing some planting. I used the concrete mixer to amend the soil, planting holes were dug by hand with a crowbar and a pick. I am still in awe at Mom who makes plants grow in this soil.

Wildlife came by and enjoyed the water dish immediately.

February 10, 2014

Is it spring?

I kind of doubt it, but you would have a hard time believing it is mid February here. It will be in the 70's today, and high 70's by the end of the week. Birds are singing territorial songs and are investigating nesting sites, Roadie is out there calling for company, and Buggsy is starting to lose hair.  Being an Arabian he grows a substantial winter coat but during the weekly Spa Day hair was already flying.

Dan added grapevine trimmings to the platform we built for the red-tailed hawk to nest on, just to make it a bit more homey.

Cody, our youngest horse, enjoying some TLC.

February 5, 2014

Glitter Ridge

I must have become an Arizona wuss: much as I enjoy cycling, this winter I seem to find more days that are not great for the bike. Today it was a bit cloudy and that thin little wind from the north keeps blowing. We chose to hike instead. Glitter ridge was on my "to do" list so I could gather some pretty rocks to adorn Shawna's grave.

It is a 3.5 mile hike out back and up a rocky ridge with lots of prickly pear. It does have some spectacular views and at one spot there is a rock outcropping with nice sized crystals. Hence the name I gave it, Glitter Ridge or Sparkle Ridge. Years ago we happened on this place quite unintentionally by just hacking. I was glad Dan had brought the other daypack as the bag I had brought did not hold up well.

Mission accomplished. Our doggie graveyard: Shawna left, Mindy (our puppy) right.