Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Prescott Valley home is finally mine! Cheers!

It was a lo-o-ong road.

Instead of closing the house sale in one month, it took two months and a lot of work on the part of my mortgage broker (thanks, Theresa) and my Realtor (thanks, Kevin). Credit also goes to my banker (thanks Jon), my CPA (thanks, Kevin), and several others. Also thanks to the previous owner who was so patient during the delays. The whole deal also took several trees’ worth of paper.

As soon as the sale was recorded on Tuesday, January 27, I spent three days at my new home. You’ll probably recall that it was a fully furnished house – the owner simply took her clothes and toothbrush. (The post that follows this shows pictures of my new home. Remember, you can double-click on photos to see them larger.)

Exploring drawers, closets and cabinets has indeed been an adventure. The first evening was devoted to the two bathrooms (full bathrooms; each with sink, cabinets, toilet, and tub with shower). The under-sink areas were loaded with various items.

On Day Two, I tackled the kitchen and walk-in pantry. So far I've found four hand-held can openers, three set of nut crackers and picks, and three sets of flatware. The previous owner left food in the pantry - some of uncertain origin and age - that went to the garbage. Most of the pots/pans and baking dishes were past their useful life and joined the food stuff in the garbage. But now I have clean and organized shelves awaiting my things.

Also on Day Two, Caroline (the previous owner who was so patient during the ups and downs of the sale) arranged to have a florist deliver a beautiful bouquet of red roses to me. What a treat! She is temporarily living with her daughter in southern California. We had a nice phone conversation when I called to thank her - she was hoping that all was well and asked if I had any questions.

On Day Three I measured rooms in order to figure out which of my furniture will fit (the pieces I want to bring from New Mexico). After lunch I'll loaded my car and drove back to Cave Creek Park. It was good to get back to 70+ temps during the day. Prescott Valley is nearly the same altitude as Albuquerque, so the weather is similar.

After a couple work days at the park, I came back to my house for another three days to continue cleaning and taking care of a variety of projects.

So, what’s been going on these past two months?

Park work:

My days have NOT been boring. I’m enjoying my park “work” and meeting campers and hikers. Since the new Visitor/Nature Center still is not open, I’ve found other things to do: helped out in the office, continued to deliver “welcome packets”, gone on a bunch of hikes, kept the backyard birding area stocked and have led four or five birding sessions.

At a birding session in early December, a lady who was attending asked, “What is that white bird on the seed feeder?” I had no idea what it might be. My friend, Carol Rayburn, dashed to her motorhome for her camera and got some good photos. She emailed the photos to Amy, the park supervisor who is an excellent birder. She identified it as a “leucistic” house finch – this condition is a result of lack of pigmentation.

Quick trip to New Mexico

Granddaughter Melody was visiting Sue (my daughter) in New Mexico, so I made a quick trip via Southwest Airlines.

Christmas Bird Count

Amy invited me to participate in the day-long Christmas Bird Count for the Audubon Society. I was in a group of four – three real birders (including Amy) and me. The day started with breakfast at a local café at 6:30 a.m. There were also 30 or 40 other groups; each assigned an area to count. Besides seeing lots of different kinds of birds, we were also delighted by a bobcat that walked nearby and then just sat while we got a good look. Unfortunately, we didn’t have a camera with us. At the end of the day all the counting groups met at a restaurant for dinner and to report sightings. I discovered how skilled real birders are. My claim to fame was seeing a Black-crowned Night Heron – a first for the annual count.

A visit by friends Sylvia and Jesse

They had just one day here and we made the most of it. First a fairly short hike on the Clay Mine Trail. Jesse – a retired mining inspector – was in seventh heaven. Every few steps he stopped to look at rocks. Then after a quick lunch, we joined a park hike that took us into the Clay Mine. Supper was pizza at Barro’s in Cave Creek. The next morning, I met them for breakfast at Byler’s Amish Kitchen in Black Canyon City. From there they headed toward New Mexico, and I returned back to the park.

A visit by friend Larry

We had nearly three days of hiking – the Clay Mine trail, continuing on to the soon-to-be-opened building. We went on the ‘goat hike’ that was led by a park docent. A local man raises goats as pack animals and he brought two of them along to hike with us.

We also hiked the Slate Trail where our ‘freak of nature’ saguaro is.

The third day we drove to Spur Cross Conservation Area (also a county entity) for more hiking. One of the trails we hiked was the Metate Trail – where gigantic saguaro cacti are. Larry took this photo of me to show just how tall they are. And I took a photo of him sitting on the "bones" of a saguaro. The last trail was down to the Jewel of the Creek – a riparian area.

That brings you up-to-date. I’m sure I’ve left out some events and adventures – I should have been keeping notes.

I leave you with the 2009 Rules from God (forwarded to me by friend Hilda)

Rules from God for 2009
1. Wake Up !!
Decide to have a good day.
"Today is the day the Lord hath made; let us rejoice and be glad in it" Psalms 118:24

2. Dress Up !!
The best way to dress up is to put on a smile. A smile is an inexpensive way to improve your looks. "The Lord does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at outward appearance; but the Lord looks at the heart."
I Samuel 16:7

3. Shut Up!!
Say nice things and learn to listen. God gave us two ears and one mouth, so He must have meant for us to do twice as much listening as talking. "He who guards his lips guards his soul." Proverbs 13:3
4. Stand Up!!
For what you believe in. Stand for something or you will fall for anything.. "Let us not be weary in doing good; for at the proper time, we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good..." Galatians 6:9-10
5. Look Up !!...
To the Lord.
"I can do everything through Christ who strengthens me." Philippians
6. Reach Up !!...
For something higher. "Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not unto your own understanding. In all your ways, acknowledge Him, And He will direct your path." Proverbs 3:5-6
7. Lift Up !!...
Your Prayers.
"Do not worry about anything; Instead PRAY ABOUT EVERYTHING."
Philippians 4:6