Sunday, March 30, 2014

What's Next?

There is definitely good news and there is bad news....Let's start with the good:

Sigh Me has almost fully recovered! (?)  Naturally she is eating everything in sight and wants to sit in my lap all day, non-stop.  I think she has discovered she is not invincible and it is making her insecure.  So now, I am looking for a good cat therapist and in the meantime I am massaging her hourly and feeding her only the best cat food money can buy.

My Quail family has returned and I am eagerly watching for a new crop of babies.    But, sadly, the quail are the only visitors I have had to the house.  There are no buyers--or lookers--anywhere.  The real estate agent held an open house last Sunday but no one came--at all.  So it looks like the house may be on the market for a long, long time.  And that means very little traveling for me.  Perhaps some short trips to Tombstone or San Diego but not for any long length of time.  

Do I miss traveling? More than I can say.  
A good friend sent me this book that is a diary.... 

but, after 2 years on the road, it remains full of blank pages.  (Subtitle:  "The uncensored confessions of a trailer camp tramp") 
 I think Cracker Barrel parking lots may impede hot and steamy romances. 

I am now re-adjusting my priorities.  Tucson in the winter is unbelievably beautiful and I have been enjoying this amazing weather.  But summer is fast approaching and I am sure it is going to be a scorcher.  The garden is finally in shape and I am starting to plant flowers and herbs.  
I have cleaned the RV and it is ready to go on a moments notice--or just for a short trip out into the desert when I start to get too depressed.

Somewhere in the bottom of the storage bin I have stashed a set of watercolors and oils.  After all of the art museums and galleries I have explored I am sure I can produce something at least to rival the above masterpiece I found on the Internet.  I did not take this picture--it's a publicity photo from a museum in Europe.   Anyway, it inspired me to try my hand at creating....anything.  (Do you think he/or she used live models for that display?) I think I will try flowers instead.

Until I am back on the road again I have decided to post in the blog only on Sundays.  Even then I will probably have little to say.  But It will remind me that I have not given up on traveling and I will keep you, my most loyal readers, apprised of any progress in that direction.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

House for Sale


Just because I know that you out there are waiting to hear the latest on Sigh Me...
As you can see, she is greatly improved, though it may be only a respite.  She is spending a great deal of time sitting in my lap or on the back of the recliner gazing out the window.  Her doctor says she may be around for some time to come because she is a fighter but her life is fragile.  So I am appreciating every day and spoiling her rotten.  And I truly appreciate the concern and well-wishes from friends, family and loyal followers of this blog.  All those good vibes have surely helped.

Now for my lovely home.  Finally, everything is clean, painted and ready for some fortunate new family to move into this pueblo-style hacienda.

The entryway is quite dramatic...

And opens into a living room area. (Note, there are only two square rooms in the whole house.

The floors are Saltillo tile and the walls are all freshly painted.  Oops, the photographer got herself in the picture.

The hallway leads to four bedrooms and two baths.  That is a mirror at the end of the hall and that photographer managed to get herself in another picture. (what an ego)

Off the living room is the country-style dining room complete with....

a beehive fireplace that burns both wood and gas logs.
I have used the fireplace all winter and have not had to purchase wood in the 13 years I've been in the house.  The trees in the yard have supplied enough wood to keep me warm and cozy.
The kitchen has the open pantry there on the right that I truly love.  I enjoy cooking and I have discovered that the open pantry makes cooking much easier--everything I need is right in front of me.  

And the kitchen is easy to work in and easy to keep orderly.   The door opens to a two-car garage, laundry area and a catch-all pantry area.

Off the entryway is what was meant to be the living room but I have used it for a library and game room.  Right now most of my books, furniture and paintings are in a storage room so everything looks a little bare.  (please notice that crazy cactus outside the front window)

But this room made a good library.

                                                                      Guest Room #1
 I am only occupying one of the bedrooms because I am determined not to start unpacking all that stuff I have stored.  

Guest room #2
Besides, I would just have to clean and dust them. 

                                                                    Guest Room #3
                               All the bedrooms and the dining room have ceiling fans.

Master Bedroom
This room is so large that I was able to have a sitting area around the bay windows with enough room for a king-sized bed and several chest of drawers in the other half of the room.  There is a large walk in closet and a master bath complete with separate shower and a garden bathtub.  The door  in the picture above opens to the covered porch and backyard.

These windows have the wooden shades. (all the rest of the windows have blinds or drapes and screens) The yard is a favorite hangout for dozens of types of birds.  Regularly I have quail (baby quail in the spring), a hawk, 3 different kinds of woodpeckers, finches, hummingbirds, robins, blue jays and doves. I have also seen a coatimundi in the yard. (look it up) 


The following pictures are of the backyard...

This is the tangerine tree.  There are also an orange tree, a lemon, a pear, and a lime tree.

Plus lots of room for more trees.

For several years I had a vegetable garden with beans, and peppers, and squash, and even corn.

And all around the porch I had an herb garden that is gone now due to neglect.   From the back porch I can see mountains, desert and city lights at night.  I have a telescope and the back yard is great for stargazing.

Particulars:  Included is an automatic watering system, a brand new air conditioner/heater, and with the house comes a refrigerator, stove, dishwasher,  disposal, washer and dryer plus all the flower pots (both inside and outside) with plants growing in them, and a large composter.  
The house is on the largest lot in a very nice subdivision in northwest Tucson.  It is four blocks to Ironwood School (one of the best grammar schools in the city), less than 1 mile to the high school, 1/2 mile to Arthur Pack Golf course, and just blocks to two small shopping centers with drugstore and grocery stores.  

The real estate agent is Mark Schneider, Tel: 520-318-5290

I have loved this house and if it were not so large I would continue to come back to it each winter for as long as I continue to travel.  But I want to travel and I cannot serve two masters.  Hopefully someone will come along that appreciates the house and will enjoy it as much as I have.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Sigh Me

It started a week ago, the evening after dropping Music at the Wolff's.  Sigh Me stopped eating, curled up in her cupboard and there she slept unless I picked her up and moved her to the recliner.

By the second night I could see something was very wrong. On Thursday, I took her to the vet who thought it was probably her kidneys, starting to fail.  She has a history of 'being borderline' so I did not question his diagnosis.  And in addition, she would be 13 next month so she is middle-aged for a cat.
I was watching her 'give up'.  The only food or medicine she would take was what I forced down her and then, we both ended up covered in Science Diet and amoxycillin with little, if any, in her.
When Ron called from San Diego on Friday I was crying every time I mentioned her name.  Frustration, fear of opening that cabinet door and finding a lifeless body, and trying my best to coax anything into her mouth, was making us both crazy.

"Mom, I will be there tonight,"  and son, Ron, hung up the phone and drove the 5 hours to Tucson to join my vigil.  It also helped to have a second person holding her while trying to force the food and medicine down.  Ron was great moral support as well,  but Sigh Me got me back, she peed on me twice!  When Ron left on Sunday I was sure we had lost the battle.  I called my dear friend Suzie and she offered a corner of her yard for a burial.

Sunday night I tried once more to feed Sigh Me but she went mad with anger and tried to bite me.  That was it, no more food.  I wrapped her in her baby blanket and just sat and rocked her and cried.
I missed her in my bed at night, curled up in the crook of my legs or on the middle of my back.  She had always followed me everywhere, like a puppy, and would yowl when she couldn't see me.  I had not heard that yowl in a week.  And she had been the perfect traveling companion, content to be next to me as I drove, or in my lap as I read. 
Monday morning she was staring into space and did not even respond to her name.  I called the vet to schedule her last visit for Tuesday afternoon. 

But yesterday morning when I opened her cabinet door, she was gone!  I looked throughout the house and found her sitting on a chair in the master bedroom on the opposite end of the house--looking out the window!  She looked at me and purred, for the first time in a week! 

I made her a smorgasbord of dishes but, for some reason she mostly just stares at the food and occasionally licks at it but very little has entered her mouth.  

 If she did not have a thick coat she would probably look like a skinned rat.  She now weighs less than 5 pounds.  And when she walks, she staggers.

She is alert, though very lethargic; and I know we are not out of the woods but maybe we are getting there.
The response from friends, family and readers has been wonderful and possibly she knows it.  One friend suggested that Sigh Me overheard me planning her funeral and that woke her up.  Another suggested  Sigh Me was worried she would disappear--like Music did--if she didn't perk up.  

But last night she came into my bedroom and clawed her way into my bed.  I have hope.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Love, Heartache and saying 'Goodbye'

Music has been a wonderful friend, but also, an ongoing dilemma while I continue to travel.  The couple who rented my house also cared for my cockatiel while I was gone but now I am selling the house.  So what do I do with Music?  

It would be impossible to take him along so I had to make a "Sophie's Choice" and it was not easy.
I asked all my friends, and a few acquaintances, if they knew of someone who might want to adopt this charming fellow...

It was Jeff, the Air Conditioner Installer, who said he knew the perfect home for my Music....

Their names are Warner and Jean Wolff and they live quite close by.  If you readers recall, I posted sometime back, that I had inherited my two cats and the bird from a lovely, and now deceased, lady named Cotsy Engle. Cotsy's husband had been the mayor of the little community of Oro Valley, and Warner had been the police chief at the same time.  So they even knew Music's first family...quite well, it seems.

And they are bird lovers!

Even to the point that one of the Wolff's bedrooms is devoted entirely to their family of feathered friends.

The colorfully plumed chatterers all have their own cages that are kept open during the day, but the raucous residents return to their own individual cages at night.  And they each know their own cage as the only fights occur because someone decides to move into his neighbor's house.  

Clearly they are happy and well cared for and I feel Music will fit right in. 

The very next day after dropping Music at the Wolff's, my beloved Sigh Me decided to stop eating.

She climbed into her favorite cabinet and that is pretty much where she has lived for a week while the only food she has eaten has been force-fed to her.  We have been to the vet twice and she is also being forced to take a lot of medications but she is not responding.  The vet is thinking it is kidney failure and Sigh Me has a history of those problems so he is probably right.  I admit, I am devastated.  I cannot look at this regally beautiful pet that I don't tear-up.  She has been the most wonderful traveling companion, and I have never had a more devoted furry friend.  The prognosis is very bad indeed and I am heartbroken.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

And the Winner is….

Have you had enough of the Academy Awards, yet? If so, you can skip this posting.

My dear friend, Andrea, agreed to abandon her husband for the evening, and join me at our local art theatre for an 'Awards Party.' I was entirely ready for a dress-up evening away from the house and this fit the bill perfectly. 

The theatre even provided a red carpet….

and at the end of the carpet we found champagne and goodies.

We had an lots of time to chat with each other, 

a variety of fellow theatre goers….

and a few that dressed perfectly for the occasion.

Since I don't have a TV at home this seemed a fun way to watch an otherwise long and sometimes boring show---and I was right.

There was a bingo card game, drawings and guesses on who would win.  By the way, this guy was an excellent host.

Though, I admit, Ellen is my all-time favorite.  That pizza delivery boy will never forget that night.  I wonder what his tip turned out to be.

Seeing the program on the big screen made it really special, but the ads still appeared. However, it went so much faster because the sound of the ads was shut off while the host announced the winners of various games or just chatted with the crowd.

The Memoriams were particularly sad this year...

and stirred a lot of memories,

and regrets for talents wasted.

 Altogether it was a lovely time.  I could not argue with any of the winners and I think this year's movies were exceptional. It is interesting how many of them were based on true stories.  

So back to the house…and real life.