Friday, January 22, 2016

Tanque Verde Guest Ranch

Southern Arizona weather has returned to those spectacular winter days for which it is famous. My friend Andrea agreed to join me for the lunch buffet at the Tanque Verde guest ranch.  The day could not have been more perfect.

There was still a little snow on the mountains...

and the temperature was a perfect 70 degrees.

Neither of us had ever been to the ranch before but we knew of its reputation. The ranch is only a few minutes drive from the edge of town but it feels as though you have traveled far out into the desert....

and many years back in time.

How does one collect so many wagon wheels?

Driftwood chairs...

and pieces of dead cactus...nothing goes to waste around here.

Take a look at that rock (?) in front of me.  
The city of Tucson is hosting their world-famous gem show the next few weeks and those gem filled rocks will be on display all over town.

Tanque Verde ranch is known for its healthy buffet,  so we were eager (and hungry) to check it out. 

Just inside the main door of the dining area we spied this cozy little room.  I could just picture a few old  cowpokes sitting around that table playing poker. Later we learned that the owner of the ranch at the turn of the previous century was hanged from that overhead rafter by some disgruntled hombres. (sore poker losers?)  The victim did not die right away,  however several days later he succumbed to complications from the hanging.

Well, the buffet turned out to be as good as we had heard.  The deserts you see above are the ones we ate and were merely a sampling of the desert table alone.  We wanted to taste everything there and took two hours to eat but still missed a lot.  

Afterwards we decided we needed to walk the ranch and try to rid ourselves of a few calories.

The ranch is huge, with lots of horses for trail rides.

What a clever way to build a corral.

Note the columns.

There is a small museum at the ranch.  That Javelina skull with its teeth gave me chills. 

But these gave me nightmares. There are two rattlesnakes in the picture above all cuddled together with  the heads side by side. How sweet!

We learned the snakes were all found on the ranch...

After the museum we became much more cautious as to where we walked.

Even the signs made us jumpy.

Now, this is an unusual sight in Southern Arizona.  

It was a tranquil spot...


Just perfect for a picnic.

Please note those spiffy boots.

This was my first big outing following my surgery and it really sparked my desire to get back on the road.  

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Ah, Life is Good....

If I post to my blog and no one sees it does it mean I am not here?

Well, look out folks, I am still here and doing incredibly well.  Open heart surgery turns out not to be as bad as I feared.  Two months from the event and I am on my way back to normal--whatever that is.

(Christmas present from sister, Mary)

When I initially heard about the impending surgery I picked myself up off the Doctor's office floor, got all my affairs in order, rented a house from a friend here in Tucson and that is where I have been  recovering.  Halcyon II has been resting behind another friend's house just waiting for me to move back in (which I plan to do in two weeks).

(Ginger,  the guard Kitty that watched me move into his house)

I have an acquaintance who informed me once upon a time that I should not brag so much about my kids.  So being mindful of my excesses,  I promised to restrain myself.  I won't tell you that my kids are simply the most amazing, incredible, stupendous, unselfish, lovable caregivers that anyone could possibly ask for.

Ron and Loretta drove to Tucson from San Diego with a month's supply of awesome Italian dishes (Loretta is one dynamite cook) to fill my freezer.   They stayed only the weekend followed by Janice who flew from Salem, Oregon to be there for the surgery. She stayed for three weeks to make sure my every need was taken care of.  (The hospital is probably rewriting their procedures after Janice corrected them , several times,  as to the safest method to--blah, blah).  Once I left the hospital she worried over me as though I were a new born babe (BTW, Babe is the name of my new Mitral pig valve).  Then, as soon as Janice flew back to Oregon, Ron and Loretta returned for several more weeks of extra-attentive care, more good meals and lots more attention.

But I won't brag.  I promised.


(here is the view from the back window of my temporary home--just before the storm hit)

(And just after it hit and dropped the temperature into the 20's.  BRR) 

(We look like Colorado!  But the snow quickly melted and we are almost back into the balmy 70's)

I am a few months away from traveling but I seriously plan to get back on the road soon.  In the meantime I will  keep posting something in this blog so you know I am still here.