Tuesday, January 24, 2012

The Saga Continues - Post #2 Rediscovering Ourselves

My sister, Debra, and I loaded my Explorer with cleaning supplies and bedding Friday night. Saturday morning, after a stop at McD's for free coffee and an egg mcmuffin, we headed for Paulden. It's a two-hour drive and an enjoyable trek. Once I break free of Phoenix, the landscape changes continuously. Past the black volcanic rock on the edge of the city, the drive leads through the Arizona desert communities of Anthem (a very modern city that opened around 1998), New River and Black Canyon City. Once I'm into the mountains and I see the Bumble Bee and Crown King exit, I breathe deep, set the cruise control and relax. At this point, the Bradshaw mountains tumble in on top of each other. They seem to stretch forever. When the climb reaches the high prairie flatness, golden fields stretch out on either side.

...where the deer and the antelope play...
At Cordes Junction (very close to Arcosanti which could be a whole blog in itself), the turnoff for Prescott leads northwest and through the edge of the Bradshaws. Small, rustic towns pop up until the turnoff toward Paulden. The human population decreases across this prairie land where the four-legged inhabitants live. Elk roam freely. I got real excited when I saw what I call Texas long-horn cattle. I have no idea if they really are Texan but they look like it to me.
Got one guy to smile for the camera.

So enough of the travel log. Cleaning was hell. On closer inspection, gunk met us on every appliance and in every corner. Paulden has rich, red soil. I'm told when it rains, you can sink into your ankles in it. Right now it is light and loose. And since this house has been empty for a year, there is a thick coating of it everywhere. Lesson #1 - dust before wiping with wet cloth. This stuff turns to a mud that stains when water is added. ALL walls need painting. I scrubbed baseboards but you can't tell.

At noon we drove into town and ordered enough Chinese to see us through lunch and dinner. We stopped at Safeway and bought a cheap bottle of red wine. I refused to buy a corkscrew that cost more than the wine. I figured we could push the cork down. That proved to be easier said than done. But resourceful Debra managed to use a little knife just like a corkscrew (after chiding me for my cheapness in not buying one!)

At 10:00 we blew up the air mattresses and collapsed. Rusty looked as tired as we did - running around the wide open spaces can be exhausting. My eyes wouldn't close. Must have been sometime after midnight before I fell asleep. Very quiet out there. I decided while struggling to get to sleep, I would not be spending the next night alone as I had intended. I would just have to get up at 5am to come back Monday morning to meet the carpet cleaner.

Toppers and mini blinds have to go!
Sunset through the window, back in Phoenix
We worked hard the next day. I made some discoveries that weren't so good. Although the cabinets looked oak, only the doors are real oak. The cabinets are pressed wood. Okay, so I'm snobbish about my wood. I suppose if I had seen the place before buying, I would have known this. And maybe I would not have cared - the price was right. Three of the windows do not lock, but I couldn't get them open either. Hmmm... Two of the windows had moisture between the double glass and when I wiped the sills, chunks of plaster came loose from moisture. Double Hmmm... And after opening all the blinds, there are more spots on the carpet than first noticed. Arghhhh... Okay breathe deep and look at the good stuff - big, double door refrigerator, huge laundry room with cabinets and counter, big kitchen with island that invites good times, master bath with two sinks and separate tub and shower, and lots of wide open space with fresh air.

On Monday morning, I rose before the sun to meet the carpet cleaner. That day is another post for tomorrow - oh, what I found out!! and the neighbors come to visit.


  1. Brenda, I love this! Great fodder for future novels! When I have endless work like this, I think I should be in a movie where I work furiously to a sound track and it all gets done in 3 minutes! Then I blow at the hair hanging down my forehead, take a sip of wine, lean against a wall oblivious to the dirt smudge on my cheek. I'm so happy for you in your new adventures and life!!!!!! Jealous too! :) Julie Maidment

  2. What a great story -- by a wonderful storyteller! I'm as wrapped up in this new saga of yours as I am in any novel. Good luck -- and just know that all this hard work and exasperation will truly be no more than wonderful stories when all is done and you're actually living in the beautified house!

  3. It will all be worth it Brenda! When it's all said and done, you'll sit back with a glass of wine and watch the beautiful sunset from your back porch. Oh how I envy you. Can't wait to read tomorrow's post.

  4. Hi Julie, Liz and Jody. I post and then I leave - exactly what I was talking about with the family. I run out to get a bite to eat with Mom and here I am - back after five and a half hours.

    Julie - loved the imagery. I'll steal that sometime!
    Liz - thanks so much. Hope you're doing great back in MN and not too cold!
    Jody - Tonight I will get to your email - promise - that is after dinner with ... Mom!

  5. Oh, wait. The comment referencing family was in another blog I wrote. Jeez, see how scattered I am lately.

  6. I've found there are some things that are worth time and trouble. When you get things in the house the way you want, it will be good. Beautiful area!

  7. So loving this Blog, Brenda! Just think: once youre all settled, you'll look back and be assured it was all worth it. WHEN you are all settled, be sure to go into Prescott and visit the Sharlot Hall Museum. Its a great piece of western history.

    Continue on! (grin)

    hugs, Kari Thomas

    1. Love Prescott, Kari. I'll be sure to check it out. Thanks for following my blog and liking it.

  8. India is a vast country with the Himalayan Range forming its northern boundary. Its climate and geography are complex, so when considering your tour you need to plan carefully where to go, when to go and what your budget is.

    1. Your last four words have the punch. With our new move and my husband retiring, seeing India will be a dream plan for who knows how long.