Thursday, May 2, 2013

Pickles, Pines, Pretty Baby

2012 On the plains in Northern Arizona, two families joined forces and began the trials and tribulations of building a small family farm with nothing in the bank but love.

Trellis for the cumcumbers
I strolled around the orchard, main garden and blackberry rows today making notes of what I could take care of over the next ten days or so. My disappointment spiked in the orchard. In May, last year, we had golf ball sized pears on the trees. There is not even a hint of fruit. They bloomed too early and the frost and heavy winds never gave them a chance. A couple of the apple trees show promise. Time will tell.

And it's time to start weeding.

The greenhouse is still not 100% in use. The trays of plants are there in the daytime but at night all trays except the onions are moved into the garage. Tonight and tomorrow night it will dip into the twenties. We happen to be in a cold spot. Last year, we noticed that several times we got frost when the forecast said we'd be okay. Paulden is too small to have our own weather station so we rely on the readings from the south end of Chino Valley, which can't be more than ten or twelve miles away. We bought a gauge that holds the lowest temp in the last twelve hours and discovered we run eight to ten degrees colder than the forecast. That is huge for our baby veggies. The garage is warmer so every night Lance has been carrying the trays to their warm station.

Tonto Creek behind the resort
Ponderosa Pine
Another money saver tip for you - sign up for emails from Amazon Local Deals or some other such site like Groupon or Crowdcut. Frank and I just spent two nights at Kohl's Ranch Resort in the pines outside of Payson, Arizona. This is a beautiful resort with full amenities. We got two nights and $25 toward dinner for $129. You
can get deals on everything from painting your house to doughnuts to resort discounts. I get emails daily and of course have to delete them but once in a while something pops up that saves us big time.

My hair is the longest it's been in many years - as a result of ratcheting down the finances. I've been using the local beauty school but even so on an infrequent basis. And less frequently of late because I'm saving to go to my hair lady in Phoenix. I figure twice a year I'll get a consistent cut and color. This next week I'll combine a trip to see my mom, attend a writers' conference and get my hair done. Not a huge thing to report but I did say I'd share the nitty gritty/pros and cons of this experiment. Getting my hair done on a regular basis was a casualty. The plus side is I rather like my hair long again.

Sadi Belle
Something else that is growing besides my hair and the veggies is my granddaughter. She is two months old and amazing. She now smiles frequently, recognizes if someone is a stranger and grabs for her favorite bear. Every morning, I can hear her at the other end of the house "talking" to her bear. She has a voice that carries like her singer-daddy.

Here's a final thought for you - where can you see a thirty-some year old lady in a green tutu and flip flops, a seventy-some year old man in army fatigue pants and Grateful dead tee shirt and a cowboy with long white hair who has a German accent? No not Walmart but certainly at the Paulden Post Office.


  1. My daughter lives in Chandler AZ and I'll have to tell her about the resort. It looks beautiful. I also have the same thing with the hair. I sit at home in front of the computer so much that I forget what it looks like until I find out someone is coming or I'm headed on vacay.

    1. Hi R.E. Your daughter should certainly spend some time up there. I think Kohl's Ranch is pretty pricy and if we hadn't gotten the deal...but it is nice. Creekside has some cabins too but much more rustic.

  2. I love these updates. Your pics are wonderful and your grandbaby is precious.