Monday, May 19, 2008

This Old House Gets A New Roof

Friday May 16th, the work began with Al and Matt (16 year old step son of our carpenter) up on the roof tearing off the old tin and me on the ground picking up and hauling off what they threw down.
Work progressed nicely but it was beginning to get warm.
And there goes the old porch! We will replace it soon with an expanded version.

Saturday John, our friend and carpenter, was there to help and things went quickly despite the weather heating up to 85. Thank heavens the wind kept itself down to a mild breeze, handling those huge sheets of propanel is impossible in the wind! We all worked until 8:30 and then I cooked brats and burgers with all the usual sides for the hungry crew.
Sunday all that was left to do was some minor stuff on the main roof and all of the back section which had some really bad spots that needed replacing before the propanel could go up. John found "treasure" in one area....a child's shirt and bib overalls! Had us all wondering if we were going to find the remains of the kid too!:0

John had predicted that we would be done by 2:00 so I gave him the benefit of the doubt and didn't put the pork loin roast on the grill until 1:00. As it turned out I should have waited until 4:00! For some reason things went very slowly all afternoon but the roof is finally on except for a couple trim pieces and it looks great!
I will post an "after" pic in the next post....for some unexplained reason Blogger will only let me put 5 pictures up at a time. There has to be a way to post more but so far I haven't been able to figure it out. :(

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Moab Classic Car Show

Al worked on his '65 Ford Falcon Ranchero for about 15 years. He did 95% of the work himself including the paint job, pretty impressive when you look at the other entries with their long lists of shops that had a hand in restoration of their vehicles. Finally it was good enough to enter in our first classic car show. I was finishing up packing for the weekend while he went out to load his baby on the trailer. Pretty soon I looked out the window to see what is taking so comes Al headed for the house with the most woebegone look, shaking his head and the Ranchero is sitting 1/2 in the garage....HUH? Seems she pitched a fit when he tried to load her on the hauler and kicked a ramp out causing her to fall off the trailer. OH NO!!!! I went out to look at what Al was describing as a major wreck.....and he accuses ME of exaggerating! True, she has a pretty deep gouge and dent in her door but I deemed it not bad enough to cancel our first show........"Don't be silly!" I told him, "I'll fix it!"

A few bandaids and some graphics applied with a Sharpie got lots of looks and comments from the crowd!

Friday morning everyone lined up for a run up Scenic Hiway 128 which follows the Colorado River between towering red cliffs on either side. After turning around in Castle Valley we stopped to allow the photographers a chance to get ahead of us again.

Miles of classic cars ahead and behind us. Those are the LaSal mountains in the distance.

On the way back we stopped at Red Cliffs Lodge for a great lunch. Then we toured the Movie Museum on the grounds there. It has posters, history, pictures and stories of all the movies that have been filmed in the area.....lots and lots of movies as it turns out. "Thelma and Louise", "City Slickers", "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid", and most of John Wayne's movies just to name a few. Al tried to steer me away from the winery but I found it anyway and bought one bottle of red and one of white wine. Maybe I'll save them for when my sisters come to visit again, maybe not.

Friday night we joined the line of cars "cruising Main" at 5mph. Crowds were lined up all along the way with their lawn chairs cheering for their favorite cars and encouraging them to do burn outs, even going so far as to wet down the pavement to make the burn outs more impressive. After our first pass we were starting to overheat so we pulled to the turning lane to make a left hand turn. Uh oh......what are those flashing lights? That cop can't be after us....can he????Yup. He said we didn't signal for a turn and proceeded to check all our tail lights. Real nice guy, I think he just wanted to check out our ride!

Saturday the cars were on display in Moab's town park. There was such a huge turnout this year that there wasn't room for all of them, they were parked on the side streets and in a school parking lot across the street. I was sort of surprised that there weren't more vendors, I didn't even buy Tshirt! But there was a DJ who played "oldies" all day, kind of appropriate.

This entry really caught my eye, the motor home is built on 1951 truck!

Saturday night we made one pass down Main and once again overheated so had to put her to bed. I was really disappointed, cruising is most of the fun of the Moab show.

Sunday after a Continental breakfast in the park we once again lined up for a run, this time out to Deadhorse Point. Heading up the hiway the side mirror on the driver's side of the Ranchero parted company with the bracket and smashed on the road in front of the car behind about "OMG!" Thank heavens it didn't hit it, that car was a 30's or 40's something that had a paint job that was worth more than the Ranchero! we didn't go all the way to Deadhorse since we had just been there a month or so ago, instead we went out to Grand View Point where I hadn't been. Another beautiful part of Canyonlands National Park.

Rather than try to load the Ranchero again, Al just drove it home. She seems to be doing real well except for the transmission slipping occasionally and the overheating. Both easily fixed along with her "ouchy". We are both anxious to go to another show, it was really lots of fun!

Just in case you didn't can click on the pictures to enlarge them :)

Sunday, April 6, 2008

ATV Ride To The Cashin Mine

Yesterday we loaded up the ATVs for a day of exploring. There is a road partway up LaSal Creek canyon that has always intrigued me. Al had been on it many years ago as part of mine rescue training but was willing to go again.

The day was overcast and not very warm, maybe 50 deg but not too bad as long as we kept our speed down. Not a problem as I was busy looking at pretty LaSal Creek and the cliffs on either side. There were arches, waterfalls, hoodoos and just generally neat stuff. The road would have been OK for the Toyota but I am always more comfortable on my ATV, you never know when you will come to a wash out, rockslide, or tree across the road.
The Cashin Mine was about 4 miles at the end of the road. It was a copper mine, started in 1896 and shut down in 1946.

Some of the copper bearing rock

After exploring the area we retraced our path back towards where we started and took a side "road" that went up the north cliff and paralleled the creek from on top. If we had tried this one in the Toyota I would have done lots of cringing when the skid plates and front and rear bumpers scraped the slick rock! I LOVE MY ATV!

This scene was about half way. The far peaks are the LaSal
mountains and down below you can see the road that leads
to the mine where we had just been.

Eventually we came to the end of the road and were at a point overlooking the Cashin Mine

The weather never got any better and luckily it never got worse either. It turned out to be a very enjoyable day and we brought home a bunch of pretty rocks!

Click on any of the pictures for a larger view:)

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Trimming Trees

Easter weekend Al and I had bribed and coerced Howard to come over and prove what he had been bragging about.......supposedly he was a tree trimmer back in Indiana before he moved here. We promised plenty of help and a cookout.
There is an ancient humungous tree in front of our house whose branches were hanging over most of the roof. In a couple weeks we will be entering "windy" time when the wind shrieks and howls down the valley. The last thing we need is a tree branch coming through the roof!

It took several hours but Howard got the tree cut back to manageable proportions.

Then a little trimming on the Black Walnut that was hanging over the back of the house. I have a suspicion that I am going to hate this tree when it drops nuts all over the yard!

Then it was time for burgers, brats, baked beans and potato salad, YUM! Howard and his wife Julie have a 4 year old daughter so I hid some Easter eggs for her. Turns out the poor kid has never had Christmas or a birthday party and had no idea what the Easter Bunny was! Can you imagine??? She had so much fun finding the colored eggs that she re-hid and hunted them several times then cried when one of them broke.

Easter Sunday Al and I had promised ourselves a day off so we packed some snacks and drinks in the ATVs and took off from the house for Carpenter Ridge. Unfortunately we were a few weeks too early. We got to the top of the ridge but then the snow and mud turned out to be too much and we had to come back down. This road ends just around the bend.Kids, your father may have taught you how to hunt, fish, go camping, drink beer and lots of other things important to life but I have to tell you.......I THINK HE IS ILLITERATE!!!! This pic is from last weekend when he decided to prune the fruit trees. I know darn well that step ladder has a warning sticker that says "Do Not Stand On Or Above This Step"

Thursday, March 27, 2008

You Say Something Is Interfering With Your Cell Phone?

No, this is not another rant about lack of cell phone service here in beautiful Paradox but rather something that caught my eye the other morning.

This bird was either practicing it's pose for a flag pole ornament or warming itself atop our cell phone tower. Whatever, it stayed in that position long enough for me to find the camera, get outside, and snap several pictures.

Eventually it put it's wings down. I went back inside to find the binoculars to see if it was an eagle. Nope, closer inspection revealed a turkey buzzard.

Ya just never know.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

This Old House

We were off to a pretty good start on fixing the fixer upper. Al started the daunting job of rewiring, there were only a few plug ins in the whole house and all the overhead lights turned on with pull cords. He started in the living room and somehow managed to break the pry bar......HUH?!!!
We were really making progress on the house until the new garage showed up on the back of a truck. We had purchased it the previous week when we had gone to Montrose to get our driver's licenses. Unfortunately the computers for the state were down so we spent the day killing time (maybe the computer thing would get fixed) and spending $money$.
After the garage was in place there was a shift in priorities. Now we had to concentrate on getting the garage wired, insulated, drywalled and painted. The house would have to wait. One of the many reasons for getting the garage finished first was that we couldn't find any of the tools, paintbrushes, nails and other parts and pieces that we needed to work on the house. They were still in boxes crammed into the storage shed along with 1 1/2 tons of pellets for the pellet stoves. Another reason was that Al needed to do some last minute work on the 65 Ranchero before we take it to the car show in Moab.I'm really looking forward to the car show, this will be the first one for us. On Friday April 25th there is a rod run up the Colorado River hiway to a big resort for lunch. Then Saturday is another run to Dead Horse Point.

The garage is finished and we have started sorting the stuff in the storage shed and getting everything organized and put where it belongs. We'll get back to the house soon ;)

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Finally Moved

Whew! I haven't been able to post for awhile, been kind of busy!Before we could move we had to dig the Retirement Home out of the snow in LaSal. This included shoveling ice and snow off the
roof so we could put the slides in.
The TV antenna was also frozen in place. Then there was the ice underneath from the flood of a few weeks ago. Two bags of ice melt and a couple warm days helped us out.
Friday the 15th we were up early and took a quick drive to check the road conditions . There was some snow and ice but the county road trucks were out sanding and we determined it would be safe to move the Retirement Home, the trailer, and both pick up trucks down to Paradox. The owners of the place we were buying were nowhere near being packed and out, they had both been set back by the flu. We all drove to Montrose (2 hours away) to sign closing papers. Then back to Paradox where we spent one last night in the Retirement Home.
The next morning we were again up early and on our way to Nucla to rent another Uhaul andload our stuff out of the storage shed. Our crew worked really hard!
We were loaded and then unloaded in the new place by early afternoon despite all the MUD!

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Communications Setback

Remember one of my first blogs when I was singing the praises of cell phones and aircards? I thought we were so up to date with technology. Well,I think I have mentioned that our Alltel cell phones and aircard aren't going to work at the new place we are moving to. The area is served by a local phone company, the Nucla Naturita Telephone Company a.k.a. "the mafia". They are expensive and think they are God's gift to Paradox Valley. Maybe 50 years ago they were but I see no reason they should continue to take advantage of ignorant residents, many who have never ventured more than 100 miles from home. I have been very vocal about not playing their silly game, we don't need a landline but we do need a cell phone that is halfway reliable and internet access. So this week I took a drive to Nucla to find out for myself just what they were offering in the way of cell service. Unlike my experience a couple years ago with the NM Dept of Motor Vehicles, no one threatened to have me bodily removed or arrested. See? I can learn how to act civilized...heeheee. The nice lady who answered my questions looked totally out of place, she was professionally dressed and had an expensive haircut as opposed to most residents who wear Carharts and muddy boots. She explained their cell phone plans, you can buy the phone outright and pay $45 per month for their basic 250 minute plan or get a "free" phone and pay $10 a month more for the same plan with a 2 year contract. HUH? The "free" phone sells for $150 if you buy it outright, if you opt for the "free" deal you end up paying $240 for it! All the rest of the phones displayed in a locked glass case ran anywhere from $300-$900, rather expensive for a piece of equipment that will be out of date in 6 months, don't you think? On further examination of their various plans, non of them have voice mail...that is $4.50 a month more! What is that about? I asked if the phones would work out of area....would it work in Moab? in Durango? in Phoenix? yes, yes, yes.....OK, whose towers are they roaming off of? Alltel, Verizon and Sprint! Only the very best! OK, why don't you share your towers with those companies? "Well, I guess those companies don't want to use our towers, you should ask them that question." Darn right I will! I left there with most of my preconceived notions confirmed but with the sad fact that we may have to get one of their darn cell phones. And it won't be the FREE one!
Back in LaSal I called Altell and told the nice service person my sad tale. I asked why they didn't use the "mafia's" towers, she said Altell probably found them to be inferior for service, too expensive, or not feasible....I'm guessing all 3! I told her about the new tower that the mafia had just put up in the middle of the little town we are moving to , just a block away from our new place. I thought she would never stop laughing! "What are they thinking?" she asked, "that will never work, you are too close to the tower!" oh. Well, what can we do about getting us out of our contracts? "What kind of phones and which aircard do you have?" huh? what difference does it make? I have the Hue, Al has something by Samsung that rarely works because I somehow managed to program it on Verizon, and the air card I just call Huey because I have no idea how to pronounce it's real name. Normally it would be around $200 each to get out of the contracts but after consulting with a supervisor it was agreed that my phone would be $109, Al's would be $99 and Huey would be $159. So much for free and special price phones! Just like with the "mafia" you are actually paying for them. OK, but don't disconnect me yet, I need to do our income taxes first!

Thoroughly disheartened, I inserted the Turbo Tax program in the laptop, answered all the questions, and efiled all the returns with the help of Huey. Guess I will place an online order today for Hughes net pro. I'm really going to miss Huey!

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Playing Catch Up Here

OK where was I? Oh yeah, I was getting ready for a moving sale.

These are plants that may have a chance of surviving after being frozen solid. The sign says "Free to a Good Home".

Al made it to Bloomfield just before the first eager shoppers showed up. It was a hectic 3 days but we got rid of lots of stuff and put $2,000 in our bank account. My son and his wife got lots of good stuff. Al's granddaughter got our sofa and loveseat in exchange for a futon she had, I wanted a futon for the sun porch and figured I could find another couch at a later date.

Al left for Colorado early Sunday to try to outrun the next snowstorm. Poor guy, he has had to fight storms every time he goes back and forth.

So I am back to packing and making arrangements with Salvation Army to come get the remnants of the moving sale when our Bloomfield realtor calls.........the buyers want to close early, we would have to be out next Saturday. GULP.........OK, we can do that! I called Al and persuaded him he really needed to come back to Bloomfield and HELP ME!!! He got back Wednesday and we tore into what was left with a vengeance.

We have tons of paperwork for the two transactions, selling and buying, but where is the Title preview for the house we are buying? The objection date was yesterday. Turns out the title company mailed it, which means it is probably sitting in the post office in Utah. A frantic call to our Colorado realtor gets the papers emailed to us. What is this? The title company says the property we are buying is recorded in 2 sections and they aren't contiguous? What is that all about? More calls to our CO realtor, and time out for county record searches online. Which only makes the situation looks like our property doesn't end at the road like the owner told us but continues across the road up to the front door of a church/community center! And the "not contiguous" turns out to be a 6' lane between the 2 sections and right through the middle of the house! OK, tell our realtor to tell the seller's realtor that we want a full survey and WE AREN'T PAYING FOR IT!

Now it is Thursday, and we are running very low on propane. A call to the company that bought out the propane company we leased the tank from gets me nothing but"we can't deliver less than 100 gallons, that will be $283.00, would you like to pay the driver or put that on your credit card?" Hey! Are you listening to me? We aren't going to put that much propane in the tank for the new owners, we only need enough to get us by for a couple days! "I'm sorry, we can't deliver less than 100 gallons,..........." I finally called our Bloomfield realtor, explained the situation and offered the new owners early possession if they will take care of the propane problem. Which of course generates more paperwork.

The Salvation Army truck shows up to pick up the rest of the stuff from the moving sale. They were supposed to be here Tuesday but it snowed, they don't pick up in the snow. They open the back of the truck and OMG! There is the absolute perfect couch and matching recliner rocker in Southwest design just as I had envisioned for the new place! Much to Al's disgust, I talk them into unloading it and give them $120.00 for the set. I think Al was more upset at himself, he was trying to rewire our tow hitch because he left the wire harness in the RV and we needed it to tow the Beer Runner behind the Totally Awesome Toyota.

Early last summer we had been riding our ATVs down Largo Canyon when we came across 6 whipchecks that had fallen off an oilrig truck. These are wire cables about 4' long with clevis ends.The ones we found appeared to be brand new and still had tags from the manufacturer on them. I later called the local company which made them and determined they sell for about $75. We had put them out at our moving sale, several people offered to take them off our hands but no one wanted to pay for them. So I call the company again to see if they want to buy them back, of course they can't do that but the gal gives me the name of a drilling company that uses that size. I give them a call and the guy gets all bent out of shape, accuses us of stealing them, wants our address, rants and raves, I hang up on him. Sheesh! I was just trying to do them a favor and sell the darn things at way less than they would have to pay for new ones!

By now I have recharged my cellphone several times and there is no doubt that we will go over our plan minutes for the month with all the calls to the realtors. It is cold in the garage and workshop where we are finishing the last of the packing and we keep going in the house to thaw out fingers and feet. Phone rings what? "Hello, this is the assistant District Attorney, I understand you are in possession of stolen property." OH FOR CRYING OUT LOUD!!! NO! We did NOT steal the damn things! Come and get them, our address is..."We'll be in touch ma'am"
Great, now we are criminals....

Friday is more of the same. I have reserved the biggest Uhaul truck online and they are supposed to call us back with instructions on where to pick it up. Finally I call them and find out the place we are to pick up the truck doesn't open until 10:00 on Saturday morning....that will not work, we have to get out of here. So we transfer the location to a place that opens at 9:00. A call to them and after begging, they allow us to pick up the truck on Friday afternoon. YES!

Saturday,moving day. It is snowing. Al is anxious to get started loading. My son Bryon is on his way from Pagosa in a snowstorm, Al's granddaughter and her SO are dropping the greatgrandson off at SO's parents.
They all show up and get to work.All the boxes have been loaded and we are working on this.
At this point I am getting seriously worried, notice the truck is almost full and we still have a big upright freezer and a garage full of stuff to go on yet. The guy going up the ramp is my son, Bryon, the other guy I got from Job Service. I had called them earlier in the week and offered $25 and lunch to whoever showed up to help load....he was the only one and he was very good help.

OK, it is 1:00 in the afternoon. The truck is loaded and amazingly everything fit. Our flatbed trailer is loaded and hooked to the back of the truck, the Beer Runner is attached to the Totally Awesome Toyota with a towbar and it is snowing again. But we are OUTTA HERE!

As usual, Al and I are not communicating. Not that we want it that way...we have tried several different things when we have to drive separate vehicles. CB radio, my handheld isn't strong enough. same for our two way radios. Today Al's cell phone is going straight to voicemail...darn thing never has worked right.

It is still snowing lightly and the farther north we go, the more snow on the road we are seeing. I am not comfortable going 60, the Beer Runner wants to "wag" the back of the Totally Awesome Toyota. As we near Dove Creek the snow on the road is getting worse and we pass a horrendous two semi accident. The cab had been entirely torn off one of them. We stop in Dove Creek for fuel and to talk about our options. I am all for heading northwest through Monticello and on to LaSal and the comfort of our RV for the night. Al wants to turn northeast and push on for Naturita where we are supposed to unload the Uhaul in a storage unit. I lost, turns out to be a good thing because Hwy 191 from Monticello to Moab was being closed about that time. So we head towards Slick Rock, the snow gets worse, the road is snowpacked, at times it is whiteout. And this is what lies ahead:

See that squiggely yellow line going from bottom left to upper right? That is Slick Rock Hill. It drops 2,000' into the Dolores River canyon. In good weather it is scary and spectacular. Today.......I grip the steering wheel harder, engage the 4WD, put it in low, and head down. I can no longer see Al ahead of me which is probably a good thing. Then, amazingly, the snow stops, the road is only WET! Whoopeee!! Piece of cake. Disappointment Valley is clear all the way across but then we climb up a little bit to Big Gyp valley and once again it is snowing and the road is snowpacked. Where are the snowplows? Up ahead Al blinks his tail lights....great. There are deer everywhere. Hey! I didn't make it this far just to hit a darn deer!

It seems like the road goes on forever, especially with me creeping along at 40mph. Then we cross over into Montrose County and the plows have been out so now we don't have snowpack but ICE! It is getting dark, I am exhausted, and I'm spinning out on a hill. Somewhere along the way I took it out of 4WD and have forgotten to put it back in. Ooops. Got it back under control and eventually we made it to Naturita.

After 5 1/2 hours of whiteknuckle driving I don't have much trouble convincing Al that we are going to get a motel room and some dinner. There is only 1 motel in town so while I get us checked in Al goes in search of dog food for the kids. I ask for a non-smoking ground floor room, it takes the gal an age to get us a room and process the credit card. She finally gets it done and we lug some stuff to the room. Whew! If this is a non-smoking room I hate to see what the smoking rooms smell like! But we are too tired to go back to the desk, dinner and a beer are more important. Back at the room we have fallen exhaustedly asleep when the phone rings. It is 10:00 at night, what the heck! The owner of the motel is on the phone...would we please move the Uhaul, it is blocking an access. GRRR!!!

Next morning we determine that there is no way we can safely get the Uhaul up the short drive to the storage shed, it has been snowing here too and not a single thing in town has been plowed.
We take a drive over to Nucla where we are to turn in the truck and lo and behold, there is a storage place there. We finally track down the owner (it is Sunday) and make arrangements to leave the truck until the next day. We leave the Uhaul, unhook the Beer Runner and hook the trailer up to the Totally Awesome Toyota and head for LaSal. More snowpacked road across Paradox Valley. We dropped the trailer at a friend's house near where we are moving (remember, the place with 6' of land separating the 2 sections). Everything was OK when we finally made it home to the RV. But it was snowing again.

Monday morning, we have another 8" of snow but set off for Bedrock where Al works at 5:30 am. Hmmmm, snowplows haven't been out yet but there is one set of tracks on the road and it is very beautiful and peaceful. There are two very steep curvy places to go down but I am not worried, the snow banks on the sides of the road are really high. When we get to where Al works we find out the road we just came over is CLOSED! Imagine that! The sun is starting to come out and we head on to Nucla and the Uhaul truck with all our household stuff still inside. Kenny, the owner, has found us a storage space, someone had moved out on the sly, so a couple phone calls (now Al's phone works but mine doesn't) to Al's friends and we have help unloading.

Things are progressing on the place we are trying to buy, the surveyor will be out to do his thing today. The owner is confidant that all will go well and is going to be out and on his way to Kentucky next Thursday. We are supposed to close next Friday, we closed on the Bloomfield place Tuesday.

Things are looking better!

Thursday, January 24, 2008

I Made It Snow

Hey, Mother Nature? I'm sorry if I pissed you off yesterday by complaining about the really wasn't so bad....and it was melting.....probably would have been OK to have the big MOVING SALE tomorrow.....SO CAN YOU PLEASE MAKE IT STOP????? We don't need any more right now. You, dear lady, have a warped sense of humor!

Many years ago, like around 1954, my sister Barb, cousin Doreen, and I each got dolls for Christmas. Somewhere I have a picture of the three of us holding our new dolls in front of the Christmas tree at Grandma Asher's home in Clarksville, Iowa. I thought my doll was kind of neat because she had red hair exactly the same color as mine and she had high heels.Now I was never much into playing with dolls, Cowboys and Indians was more my style, so my doll never saw much use. But for some reason I have kept her and toted her all over the country in various moves. At one time I took her to a doll show to have her appraised. The snooty lady told me she was a Horsman and not worth much. Alrighty then, back in the box and up on the closet shelf for many more years. So yesterday I employed the magic of internet and eBay to do some more research. Guess what?! She didn't have "Horsman" stamped on the back of her neck but something that looked like "Alexander". I discovered that she is a Cissy doll made by Madame Alexander and worth mucho $$$$!
I know she only has one glove on, I tried to put the other one on her but it is too fragile and I didn't want to damage it.

She still has 2 pairs of original strappy heels which I see are going for around $50, and I believe her slip is original.

I wonder what happened to her "diamond" ring?The rest of her clothes were made by my mother, even her sexy red bra! I think Mom had more fun with my doll than I did!

I wonder where these panties came from?And to think I was going to sell her at the MOVING SALE for $20.00!!!

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Didn't Know Whether To Cry, Get Drunk, or Throw Up

Yesterday morning Al left to go back to LaSal driving the Totally Awesome Toyota and hauling his restored tractor and brush hog. I tried to make him promise to stay on the hiway and not take the shortcut down Three Step and Lisbon Valley Road (gravel, snowpacked, steep, etc) but he wouldn't commit. So I got to worry until he called to tell me he made it OK.

Turns out we both should have been worrying about something far worse.......the gal who was supposed to be watching the "Retirement Home" for us and opening the grey water valve everyday hadn't done it! Al reported that the inside is flooded and there is a giant ice skating rink surrounding the RV. We had left the water dripping so the lines wouldn't freeze and burst, no big deal , you just have to go out and open the grey water valve and drain it every day. Why the park manager or no one else didn't call us I don't have a clue! They had to have seen all the water coming from the rig. Al hadn't talked to anyone before he called me so I don't know what the answer is. But I have an idea.......I think they are all idiots due to inbreeding!!!!

On the good side, our realtor for the Bloomfield house called, apologized for the inspectors who turned the heat off, and said everything was on schedule and we had passed the pest and septic inspections. Now it is just an appraisal and up to the lender to determine whether they think the house is worth loaning that much money for.

A mortgage rep from Wells Fargo called (I had filled out the loan request online) and after talking for a bit he thought it best that we finish with a local agent due to short closing time and a couple structural issues with the house we want to buy. (Don't all old houses come with asbestos shake shingles?heehee) So everything is being transferred to the bank in Montrose and I will talk more with her today. I really don't want to have to get a "renovation" loan, too much paperwork and BS. Did you know the loan rates are down to 5% right now? WOW!

I am making slow but steady progress on packing and setting up the moving sale. Why do we always end up having moving sales in the snow?

The picture on the left was when we moved from Silverton CO in 2000. If I remember correctly, the month was JUNE! The pic on the right is our garage as it looked a couple days ago before I REALLY started stacking stuff for sale in there.

Well, chin up, take some pain meds, put Icy/Hot patches on my knees, and get on with it!

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Deja Vu All Over Again

Friday morning we left LaSal before 5:00am headed for Bloomfield. We had the Beer Runner (Al's 93 ford Ranger) loaded on the trailer pulling it with my totally awesome 06 Toyota Tacoma. It's about a 3 1/2 hour trip depending on how many pit stops I need. We had to get to Bloomfield early before the gentleman rancher from Cortez showed up to get the baler and hay rake and also before some folks from Durango who were buying the small ore bucket.

Last Sunday when we left Bloomfield headed back for LaSal we double checked each other: faucet in kitchen and back bath dripping...check; washing machine faucets off.....check; water heater turned to "vacation"....check; furnace set on 60 deg.....check. So.......what do we find when we arrive back at the house??????? TOTAL FREEZE UP! The furnace is OFF, there are huge icicles hanging from the faucets that had been left dripping, the water in the toilets is solid, the sewer drains are froze solid, it is below zero in and out of the house.....Ya' get the picture? And who, you ask, is responsible for this disaster???? Why, the people who inspected it for the potential buyers last Monday after we left! It took all day to get the temp back up in the house and the water and sewer lines unfrozen. We were NOT Happy Campers! Luckily nothing broke or sprung a leak The biggest "uh oh" was one piece of vinyl tile in the bathroom that blistered when Al dropped the heat gun on it. Did I mention we were NOT Happy Campers? Fortunately I have a couple tiles and adhesive left from my bathroom remodel job so I can replace the damaged piece. Just another addition to my "to do list."

In the middle of all this fun Al started for town to fuel up the BeerRunner. He got about a mile down the road when the timing chain broke and had a very cold hike back to the house because his cell phone was left at the "Retirement Home" in LaSal for reasons known only to him. we loaded into the awesome Toyota with a tow chain and I dragged the BeerRunner back to the house. It needs to be fixed so I have something to drive this week when Al takes the Toyota back to LaSal. If it had to break down I'm just glad it did it here where there are 2 auto parts stores handy.

Saturday Al's granddaughter Mandi came over with great grandson Isaac to get some things we had set aside for her and go through some other stuff before next weeks moving sale. Unfortunately Isaac, who is all of 4 months old, is teething already and was very fussy so she had to cut her visit short. Then my son, Bryon, showed up from Pagosa Springs with his wife Tina and her daughter Jessica. They carted off lots of stuff and will be back next Saturday for some more and to help with the moving sale.

To be continued.......

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Plans Are Made To Be............

glug, slosh bang, swish.......hear that? That's me trying to keep moving forward and my head above all these plans made in Jello! We now have a back up offer on our NM house....yippeee! when it rains.....or is that "snows" in our case? We have also decided that we don't want to try to live in the "retirement home" for 2 more winters, just too hard on it with temps in the single digits all the time. So we revised our plans from looking for an acre of land to park it on to looking for a house.

Yesterday we ventured to Nucla, CO to look at a "fixer upper" priced at $40,000. Oh was way beyond any hope of "fixing", the realtor even suggested a bonfire! After taking Al back out to where he works in Bedrock (home of the Flintstones) I drove back to Naturita to pay a visit to Lynda, the realtor we have been working with on the Colorado side. We had looked at a place in Paradox last fall that I fell in love with but Al saw as needing too much work, the house is as old as we are but not all that bad. So we made an offer on it. Do you have any idea how much paper is involved in offers, counter offers, contingencies, addendums........When this is over we will have enough paper for a great campfire!

Last weekend we went back to NM again, I had placed an ad in the American Classifieds for our farm equipment and one in the Durango Herald for a couple ore buckets. The phone had started ringing Thursday evening as soon as the farm ads came out, seems everyone is looking for a small hay baler. When we got to the house it was colder inside than a meat locker! Someone thought he was turning the thermostat down when we left the previous weekend but instead turned it all the way off. Brrrr! Good thing we had left the water dripping in the kithcen and bathroom sinks. Soon a couple rancher in a pickup and a gentleman rancher in a Caddilac showed up to look at the baler. We didn't know if we were going to have a bidding war or a good old knock down drag out! The gentleman rancher prevailed and bought not only the baler but also the rake and side sickle. Sometime after dark a young couple showed up to look at the ore buckets (I did say it was after dark, right?) They ended up taking the big one. Meanwhile I was busy unpacking some of the boxes that I had packed last fall.......remember, at this point we didn't know for sure if we were going to buy a house or downsize all the way to the "retirement home." This is the Jello Factor at it's best.

This weekend we will go back there, hopefully the homeowner in Paradox will have accepted our offer, and I can start all over again with a little better sense of direction.

The only downside of the Paradox house is that Alltel doesn't work there. My phone shows bars when you flip it on but immediately disappear with the message "no service available". It seems Sprint does not share their tower with Alltel. I really really do NOT want to switch to Sprint, their service does not work most other places here in the Wild West. We just signed 2 year contracts for 2 cell phones and an aircard, it's going to cost a fortune to cancel and get a service that works in the valley. Guess that is one of those bridges to cross when we come to it, huh?

OK, time for breakfast and phone calls, emails to the NM and CO realtors.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Snowy Wednesday

Last Friday when we got back from Grand Junction where Al's mom had surgery, we discovered our big propane tank was empty and we had left the smaller one in Moab when we deep fried the Christmas turkey. While we were debating what to do our realtor called. Another realtor had gone to show the house in Bloomfield and found the propane there had run out and the water was frozen. AARRRGH! So Al drove back to Moab to retrieve the small tank and the next morning we headed out at 4:30 am for Bloomfield. We located our propane company, they had moved, and bribed a driver $100 to bring some propane out to the house. thank heavens the weather had warmed up and the pipes thawed out by themselves without breaking. There were no longer things ice skating in the toilets. We spent the rest of the weekend making piles of stuff: yard sale, trash, kids, charity. We didn't even make a dent.

When we left out of there last September we hadn't decided whether we were going to buy a house in UT/CO, continue living in the motorhome, just buy some land here, or (worst case) have to go back to NM if the house didn't sell. The end result of this confusion was that the garage is packed with stuff left over after 2 garage sales, some stuff is packed, and the majority is still where it was when we lived there. A lot to deal with in the next few weeks before closing.

And here I sit in LaSal watching the snow come down. Guess I'll defrost the fridge and hope the moving fairy takes care of everything at the house.

Friday, January 4, 2008


Well, considering I sorted through everything in the house, packed the "short list" of stuff to keep, held a huge moving sale and made countless trips to the dump and local charity second hand store...................all in my sleep last night.......I am exhausted!

Our counter offer was accepted and it looks like the buyers financing is going to go through so I need to put myself in overdrive. Closing is Feb 14, aka Valentines Day. Twenty or even ten years ago that would not have been a problem, that was before my knees, hands and back went. We had not done a whole lot towards getting rid of all the stuff because there was always the possibility that the house wouldn't sell in a reasonable time and we would have to move back there........we have been going backwards financially since Sept. when Al took this other job. Now we can go forward again heading towards our retirement dream.

Meanwhile, we have to go to Grand Junction today, Al's mom is having surgery on her legs.

So if my writing is sporadic for the next month, I apologize. Anyone want to come to beautiful Bloomfield, NM to help? Pay would be all the "stuff"you can carry off!

Thursday, January 3, 2008

The Wait Begins

Our counter offer has been presented. Now we have to wait, I don't wait well.

Speaking of waiting, uploading pictures using my sometimes on/sometimes off cell connection can be a real education in patience! So, since I am waiting for the phone to ring, I might as well wait for some pictures to upload.

This is one of the bald eagles that live in the trees about a block away from us
This was a common sight sight a when we first settled in the RV park. Cows are noisy when they are being herded.

This is a "black diamond" section of the Hook and Ladder/Cameo Hills ATV trail. Al didn't even ask me if I wanted to try it, he just got off his machine and started climbing back up to take mine down while I stood at the top with my knees knocking together and my heart racing.The beautiful LaSal Mountains as seen from the west

and from the south

And a full moon rising