Friday, November 27, 2020

Panoramio - Photo of San Tan Arizona Cotton | Incredible places, Arizona,  San 

 And we're baaaaack!

These are not my pictures but it does look like that over here at the moment in the San Tan Valley! Snow!
Well no, just kiddin' of course .. the cotton is ready and is being harvested.                                                                                      

Arizona Cottonfield

Huge bales alongside the fields are waiting to be transported, and there's cotton-fluff flying everywhere ..
So this is how they harvest:
Cotton Stripper Harvesting Crop by Dhughes9

And this is how they move the bales.
The bale truck comes from the cotton gin and loads up the bales from the fields. The truck has a chain-drive track at the bottom of the cargo-area, the truck backs up to the bale and the track starts pulling the bale in the truck, while the truck keeps backing up slowly until it's all in there.

I would have raided some of the picked fields for those left-overs, but I have more than enough cotton, which I picked a couple of years ago when we were in Arizona and more recently in Georgia, where we were stranded for a couple of days, waiting for a new landing-leg for the RV.

OK, what else? Of course, there was another Thanksgiving:

We 'did' our usual routine, a nice little breakfast, coffee with that delicious pumpkin-mousse pie we discovered at Walmart last year (like James said 'so good, I can eat the whole thing'!), while watching the Macy's Parade ...

Of course that parade was a weird one this year due to Covid-19! You have to give it to the organizers who somehow managed to put something together that resembled the 'real' thing.
But the floats did not tour the streets, they pretty much started right at Macy's, there were no spectators anywhere and the whole 'show' was filmed over two days and all in advance, since everyone had to maintain proper distances which took much longer.                                                                                                                                        

See, these are the Rockets, right in front of Macy's, where normally there would be a grand-stand and masses of people lining the street. Nobody in sight this time ..
Like I said, they did an incredible job to make this much beloved tradition happen, despite everything, but it was very weird and made me a little emotional. What utterly strange times we live in ..!                            

Of course there was food, I had prepared a lot beforehand and it was all very good! We didn't have turkey by the way, I'm not such a big fan of it, so we changed it out for chicken quarters, but the rest was pretty standard: overnight salad, stuffing, gravy and cranberry sauce.


We went for a walk through the neighborhood at the end of the day, but that was pretty much everything we did. We never even changed out of our pajamas!
Well, we did for the walk .. we're not totally off the deep end yet!
Thanksgiving in the neighborhood

Talking about walks, here's a few shots I took of the flowers I'm seeing here right now. I guess nobody told them it's almost December already ..

I guess it's what an Arizona Fall looks like!

We can still have coffee on the back porch .. which is often too hot actually!

Or on the front-porch, which has shade almost all day long .. much better!

Did we do any 'work'? Well, yeah, we have to pay our dues somehow, don't we? (free rent, free utilities, gas for the truck and pay .. yeah, it's another tough deal we got!)

So what did we, sorry, HE, do? He installed a Bidet in the master bathroom:

The two high-school boys showed up on Tuesday and first removed some overgrown rosemary bushes ..

 All gone!

While Eric and Marilyn, the people that wanted the pavers which had to be removed from the backyard (where the pool is going in), came over all the way from Mesa, and started to pull them up.

It took them 3 days to move them all to the front of the house, and another one to get them all out of there.


Although we'd hoped to get some money for them, we ended up letting them go for free (nobody wanted to pay for them). But of course we we're very happy we didn't have to do all that work ourselves!

OK. Where were we? Oh, yeah, the kids. Next, they started tiling the living-room wall:

They are inexperienced, but willing to learn, so James is teaching them as-they-go/do ..

Almost there!

And while parts of that were drying , they also started on the kitchen island, that was getting the same tile ..        



They finished on Saturday and helped to hang the ginormous TV back on the wall:


Cool! Several more projects done, up to the next! Which will be demolishing the bench in the back-yard and getting rid of some of the trash, like the rosemary. 

In the meantime, Doug and Brenda will be back this coming Wednesday (late in the evening), and they will be staying for a couple of days (leaving early on Sunday morning). A lot has been done since they left only a couple of weeks ago, I imagine it will be fun for them to see the progress!

Also, now thanksgiving is over, its time to start decorating for Christmas! Let the fun begin! Deck the halls with bows of holly, tral-la-la-la! ♬


Thursday, November 19, 2020

'Casa Grande' in Coolidge, AZ

Almost three weeks here already .. yeah, yeah .. time flies when you're having fun, and so on and so fort ..  I'm still a little disoriented at times but am slowly getting a feel for the neighborhood as well as the layout of the house and everything in it.

I've started to walk the neighborhood and map out various loops I can do. All roads have sidewalks which is very nice, and safe, and there many different areas to choose from. 

The houses are all beautiful, very southern/dessert-y, mainly stucco and all have beautiful landscaped yards, like this:


I even came across a community garden center!

The people are all very friendly and I am constantly waving and calling out hello's and good-mornings.

One of my walks brings me by the Parkside Community Park:


Which has baseball-and football fields and a dog park ..

And several ponds, with lots of different species of nice looking ducks ..


And some Slider Turtles ..

Another walk brings me by the Sun City Community Center, where there is a pool, as well as pickle-ball, horseshoe and shuffle-board fields.            

People sure are active out here, despite being almost all seniors! Yes, this is a 55+ neighborhood, I didn't even know those existed ..

We went for a drive to check out the nearby town of Coolidge and took the time to visit the Casa Grande National Monument.


This is an Ancestral Sonoran Desert People's (the Hohokam) farming community, right in the desert, comprising a 4-story "Great House", ball court & irrigation canals, dating to the Classic Period (1300s-era).

There's not much left to see and the exhibits/museum is closed but it was still interesting enough for a short visit.


 I liked these cute posters to remind you to wear a mask!

While we were in town we picked up some groceries at Walmart. Yes, we have a Walmart only 6 miles from us! Yoo-hoo! It's been a while!

I love the way they created these nice covered parking spots! They serve a double purpose; they create shade and they are covered with solar panels! How cool is that?             


Let's see, what else did we do? Oh, work, yeah! How about this? The safe, which was parked in the garage for the time being, was moved to the master bedroom.

Doug had arranged some special, heavy duty movers to handle this, which we were very happy about since that thing weighs a ton .. well, 1300 pounds to be precise!

It took them a while, they were very careful, but they got it done!

And James installed a small wine-fridge in the kitchen. He removed one of the kitchen cabinets under the counter ..

Out with the old, in with the new! He also took care of a leak at the dishwasher while he was in there.

It's already filled to the rim with (white) wine. I'm glad because it created a lot more room in the 'normal' fridge!

Other than that James is working of and on (when he has some time between golfing), on various small electric projects, changing out switches etc.

Oh, and the tiles for the bathrooms and the living-room wall have arrived! James drove to Mesa to pick them up, after which it was a hell of a (heavy) job to get the truck unloaded between just the two of us, but they're all sitting in the rooms they need to go in, ready to be installed!

Also, we've managed to find a few high-school kids who are going to help us out (on Saturdays) in the coming months, so we will leave the heavy work to the young and able! 

Seems like a plan!