Back online.  We have been ‘down’ for a while and now are back!

Not that it means anything, really.  

I have this to to report:  I have traveled somewhat extensively through the “Merican southwest and, to be honest, I have not been overly impressed.  Brown, tan, beige and more beige with a sprinkle of purple now and then is how I see it.  Plus some cactus and buzzards.  Mind you, I am including half of California, Texas, New Mexico, the Baja and Senora (Mexico) in that blanket condemnation – all the way through Nevada and Utah. NOT a big fan of burnt ochre.

But I have changed my mind.  Or, rather, have opened it.  The rain helped.  A week or two after the rains we experienced in the first five or so days, the surrounding world changed. We have had a chance to see the impact water has on the desert and it is gorgeous-making.  Literally.  A few days ago, Sal and I went out to Tortilla Flats National Park and did the tourist ‘loop’.  It was stunning.

Ranger Dave                                                                Photo: Mary Hoffman

Superstition Mountains are the classic western backdrop for a now-green desert of giant Saguaro and Prickly Pear cactus with colour-enhanced boulders of many hues.  I have never seen desert so lovely.

This snowbird thing ain’t all bad.

But, if I was to admit it, I am getting a little homesick.  I find myself planning the next projects in my head, listing the materials I will need, wondering how to get the whole show back on the road when we get home.  I am thinking ahead….

A very brief word about politics.  The news is openly frank and critical of Trump but otherwise silly and shallow…cats-in-trees, kids collecting for charities…celebrity sightings, pro-ball spring training…that kind of thing.  Much more than I would have expected.  No real news.  But the average Arizonian doesn’t seem to care or have a political thought in their heads.  Some do.  But the majority do not.  No one wears MAG (make America great again) hats.  The odd whacko sports a huge ‘Merican flag on their beater truck but they are in the minority (seen only two).  It is clearly business as usual in Phoenix.  Honestly, I think more Canadians are interested in Washington than are ‘Mericans (percentage wise).

One thing is noticeable, the ‘Mericans are uber friendly.  Everyone talks with each other like they are friends or neighbours.  We are included in all sorts of spontaneous conversations.  It’s very pleasant.

And things are so cheap by our standards!  I bought a couple of T-shirts that were already inexpensive ($12.00) but, when the cashier heard our Canadian accents, she discounted them more by 15% and then offered us a 30% discount later when we bought some more crap.  How does a big box store like Kohl’s stay in business selling me (nice) T-shirts so cheap?  Gas now at US$1.97 a gallon.  Food cheap-like-borscht.  Only restaurant food is the ‘same’ or higher than the equivalent in Canada.

But, enough of that.  Jus’ sayin’….

Book is at the last stage.  It’s now with some beta readers for proofing and critiquing. Could be harsh.  But, we are getting done what needs doin’.  So, we’re good.

Hope all six of youse are good, too?



7 thoughts on “Whew!

  1. Heard you Internet was down. I hate it when we come all the way to town and it doesn’t work. But we are doing much better now with our cell phones and iPads. Got a really good plan from Verizon that now covers voice, messages and data in Canada as well as the States. Cancelled part of our Telus and all of our Rogers plans to take advantage of it. Now I hear they have an unlimited plan, but don’t know if it includes the Canadian features. – Margy


    • The house we are at just installed new Century Link 5G. Blazing speed. $35.00 a month. Includes taxes. ‘Course, like all electronics, one part of the system improves while another becomes obsolete. My computer cannot handle 5G. Still, it’s the tech that counts.
      Just catching up on the news and my friends….seems like there is not much in the way of news and my friends must all be busy…maybe washing their hair or cleaning their room….?
      The BC Throne Speech as expected. The Donald as expected. So, I will go ‘dig’ elsewhere….off the mainstream grid and on to the various nations news.
      I am keen to get ‘into Spring’ tho….you know, dirt, seeds, that sorta thing? Plus projects up the yin yang.
      May even read another WLutz book…..what’s his latest? Up The Wazoo?


  2. Nice that you saw the dessert blooming and saw the sights. Have you heard that the big news that the Prime Minister of Canada took a ride on a helicopter owned by the Aga Khan, to vacation on the Aga Khan’s private island for a Trudeau family vacation with a life long family friend? Whereas the leader of the Conservative party at the same time vacationed in the Caribbean on a Calgary Oil billionaire’s private yacht for one month. Guess who is said to be in a conflict of interest? Was it the party that does not believe in global warming, carbon taxes or corporate income taxes? Hmmm!


    • Yeah. I heard that. I honestly think that the ‘elite’ will hang out with the other ‘elites’ and that is simply the way it is. So, JT can hang with the AK and Ambrose can yacht as much as she likes. BUT, neither of them should throw stones at the other for ‘pigging out at the trough’. It’s what piggies do.


  3. The west coast weather is experiencing a warm and very wet Pineapple Express at the moment. A lot of serious wind gusts, with grey overcast, and rainy but with ‘un-cold’ days. The creeks and waterfalls are alive with surplus.
    The warm weather with cooperating tides have allowed me too continue with a concrete pier installation. Remote construction at its finest. Hard healthy work. Any fitness instructor working out at a public gym would be envious, surely, of exersize ‘and’ productivity. Chainsaws and the cement mixer sure have been my companions lately.
    I look forward to you two getting back to the neighbourhood. It’s great having a local author.


    • Thank you, Glen. Good to hear that it is warming up and, of course, that you are warm and sweating personally with concrete and chainsaw work. Nothing like being on vacation and hearing of others hard at it. We have a few neighbours we have heard from who had to abandon their vehicles on the logging road and hike to their boats this past week. The last one even had chains on a 4×4! I apologize but I hope it rains like hell or else gets really warm and sunny.


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