Sunday, March 08, 2009

The Adventure Continues

March 8, 2009

Enjoy life’s challenges and unexpected events, trust your instincts, maintain your sense of security and be thankful for your confidence and the beauty of all that life has in store for you.

Somewhere in my reading I found this, wrote it down, but failed to note where I found it. Admittedly I don’t always see challenges and unexpected events as part of my life’s adventures.

My Prescott Valley home is a happy home – and challenges and unexpected events keep popping up – what an adventure! Cat is enjoying the space inside and learning that she can’t get up on kitchen counters. Last week she leaped from a counter to the microwave to the top of the refrigerator! And last week I let her explore outside for the first time. I followed her as she walked the perimeter of the house, looked expectantly up one of the trees trying to decide if she could get up on a branch (she can’t; it’s too high and she has no front claws), and then hunkered down between the house and a hedge and took a short nap.

As I was exploring the tool box in the garage, among various items I found this tiny tool kit – with of course tiny, probably useless tools. For size perspective, I laid my toothbrush alongside for the photo.

Since I last wrote, I’ve been ‘up the hill’ to Prescott Valley (PV for short) four times; for three days each time. And I’ve enjoyed every minute. I had heard that my neighborhood was a quiet one – and it certainly is. I’m far enough from major thoroughfares that there is no road noise and no sirens. And with no street lights, the dark sky makes star gazing a joy. Of course since I’m an early-to-bed person, I’m seldom out at night.

During my early February trip to PV, Northern Arizona got a record snow: Prescott (a bit higher in elevation than PV) got 12 to 14 inches, PV got just 3 to 4 inches. Not much snow, but enough to close a few roads, close some schools and motivate some folks to just stay home and enjoy. And that’s what I did.

Prescott Valley has weather similar to Albuquerque. February nights were in the mid 30s, and daytime temps in 60s. A couple of days were so lovely I got out and did some yard work; mostly trimming back some mystery plants. I’m looking forward to Spring when I’ll find out just what those dead-looking stems produce.

Each time I come up, I clean one or two rooms: hands-and-knees scrubbing, vacuuming carpet, washing out shelves and drawers, and reorganizing furniture. Of course, it’s not all work and no play. I’m slowly getting acquainted with the stores and services in the area. I’ve transferred my Elks Lodge membership to Prescott; the lodge is just a few miles from my house.

And I finally finished reading the 550+ page “A Diary of the Century – Tales from America’s Greatest Diarist.” That famous diarist is Edward Robb Ellis. Born in 1911, he started a diary at age 16 to fend off the boredom of his small town Midwestern adolescence. He was a journalist and author. “A Diary of the Century” excerpts from all his diaries. By the time of his death at age 87, his diaries consisted of 70 volumes. These bound diaries became part of the manuscript collection of the Fales Library at New York University.

On my first February trip, I accidentally left my purse at the motorhome! And on one of my days there I had my Ford Explorer in for service – an expensive one. I did have a credit card and some checks, but no drivers’ license for ID. Do you have any idea how difficult it is to charge or write a check at places that require an ID? I ended up going to my bank to plead my case. After a bunch of questions to prove who I am and that the bank account I was using was actually mine, I finally got enough cash to get my car out of the shop. I had better luck at Sam’s Club – they looked me up in the computer and issued me a new store card. Guess what is in huge letters at the top of my “Take to PV List”? PURSE

On my first night at the house at the end of January, I awoke to the “low battery beep” of a smoke alarm. It was 2 a.m. I got up, figured which one was beeping, got a ladder and took the beeping thing down and removed the battery. Then I went to bed. That next day I bought four 9-volt batteries and called my Realtor/friend who came with his tall ladder and replaced batteries in four smoke detectors.

On my second trip to the house, I again was awaked in the middle of the night by that annoying beep. I put earplugs in and went back to sleep. In the morning, nothing was beeping. It waited until the middle of the next night! Thinking that I had gotten bad batteries, I took down the offending alarm, replaced the battery and put it back up. And then – yep, middle of the night I heard beeping – but not the ones with new batteries – turns out I have six hard-wired smoke alarms; the two I didn’t know were there are in the spare bedrooms – I just never noticed them.

Now to Cave Creek Regional Park news

The days are fairly predictable – but of course there are surprises, also.

I continue to lead a Backyard Birding event on most Fridays. I sometimes get only two or three people, but once I had more than 25 adults! I enjoy this. I also look for opportunities to learn more birds.

My event has been posted on the county parks home page. I’m not sure how long it will be there because that section changes from time to time. To see it go to: (This is the county parks home page.)

scroll down until you see the section What’s Happening in the Parks, click on the hummingbird and you’ll see the blurb about my Backyard Birding events.

The latest “find” for me is the Harris’s Hawk. (See photos). A week ago, when I was in the office parking lot, a large bird flew overhead and landed on the tall weathervane. I called friend Carol Rayburn; she came down with her telephoto camera and took photos. This was taken as the bird flew off.

Another surprise came from a dog that was loose in the day-use area. A cute collie/sheltie kind of dog; blonde and white; no collar. The surprising thing? The dog obviously had been running in the desert and probably got too close to a cholla (a.k.a. jumping cactus) and perhaps he tried to get the piece of cactus lose and ended up with a mouthful of cholla spines! Ouch! Those spines have a small hook on the end, making the spines difficult and painful to remove. After being on- hold with animal control (we were call # 25 in the queue), I called a nearby animal hospital (the one where we take our park critters – snakes, etc). The vet to bring the dog in, he would remove the cactus spines and keep the dog overnight and call animal control in the morning. That was Friday late afternoon. I expect we’ll get an update tomorrow morning.

The park has been full the past few weeks – it’s the busiest season.

The best park news is that the new Nature/Visitor Center is due to open March 19; just about 5 months past the original opening date. We’ll be busy getting it ready.

The big excitement the next three weeks

Tomorrow I’m going to my brother Ed’s home in nearby Tempe to spend a few days with our Aunt Marian (my mom’s sister). The next week my sister Linda and her husband Bob will visit me in PV for a few days. And the week after that my Albuquerque friend Hilda will be here for a few days. In between I’ll be here getting park work done.

Life is an adventure, for sure!