Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Lost Dutchman Treasure Loop

When I went out, there was frost on my windshield!

And on the roof of my Cube!

My vehicle said was 33 degrees - brr!
And somehow 33 in the Arizona desert feels colder than 33 in Minnesota.

But I had decided that I needed to hike to work through some of the emotions about the diganosis my Mom received.  I wanted to climb, not just walk.

There are lots of hiking trails and parks around my area.
I decided on the Lost Dutchman State Park.
It's in the Superstition Mountains.

This is a nice hike for lots of reasons - one of which is that there's a bathroom.
With soap!

Here's a little birdie - a Phainopepla!

I suspect this one is a female because she's sort of gray rather than black.

Four Peaks (from this angle, it really only looks like three, though)

Me on the way up!

The crags:

Nearing the top of my chosen trail, the Treasure Loop:

At the top!

A beautiful Cholla (pronounced "CHOY-uh")

Mistletoe growing in a Palo Verde tree!

When I got home, the roofers were chugging along, fixing boards and laying down more felt.

I have very dry skin, and my hands have been doing this lately . . . 

It's yucky.  I feel like a snake that's molting.
It probably doesn't help that I'm all stuffed up from this cold and that I don't feel like drinking much because everything tastes funny (due to snot!)
I picked up some new hand lotions from the Honest Company that are supposed to be very nourishing without chemicals that are difficult for the skin, so we'll see if they help.
I also have been taking large doses of fish oil to hydrate from the inside. 

Stephen was sleeping on the bed when I brought in clean socks, still warm from the dryer,
so I piled them on top of him and he liked it!

Look at that smiling little face!

But the BEST PART of the day by far was that my Mom's surgeon called to say that she had read the pathology report wrong (!!!!) and that my Mom's treatment won't be as challenging as we had been told.  It's a miracle - thank You, Jesus!

Roof Replacement!

Greg is taking another whole week off work, so there has been lots of lounging in our jammies
and snuggling cats!

BUT, we are also FINALLY getting our roof fixed!

The dudes used a neato conveyor belt to get the rolls of felt and the wood and the tiles up on the roof.

Then they took off our old tiles.

And got to work replacing the wood and the felt underneath.

Our original felt didn't overlap and was (at almost 20 years old) curling up and not keeping the water out - boo!

At the end of the day, this truck was filled with old stuff.
The guys left everything very tidy!

Christmas in Minnesota - Day 6 . . . Home Again

And then it was, too soon, time to fly home.
No one slept Christmas night because we had to get up at 2:30 am to get to the airport by 5!

Getting closer . . . that terrain looks more familiar!

I've never flown in such wonderful conditions for watching out the window!
The scenery was fantastic from above - usually it's covered in clouds or dust.

There's Roosevelt Lake!

And there's the Fountain Hills fountain!

And there's one of our famous canals!

And one of our well-organized neighborhoods. 

And then it was time to land!

And, thanks to our neighbors, we were home before 11 am!

I got some distressing news about my Mom's health that morning, so I went for a run and then decided to spend some time outside in the sun.  
Vitamin D always makes me feel less depressed and moody!

It wasn't very warm (for an Arizonan!), only in the high 50s, but it was sunny.

And I made a little reading area.

Juvy was happy to have someone to snuggle with outside!

Obviously, she loves to roll in the leaves!

December is when our elm trees start losing their leaves in earnest.

Juvy enjoys every moment.
We wonder if maybe rolling in those leaves is the reason her fur is so lovely and soft and plush.

Relaxed enough for her little pink tongue to poke out!
Also, notice that she's not exactly pure black like Stephen - she's actually cinnamon.
It's hard to capture on camera unless she's in direct bright sunlight.
So beautiful!

Look at her pretty paw.

I hope there's some sunshine in your day!

p.s. if you are sad, a CAT is one of the best ways to feel better!