Friday, September 30, 2022

Home Sweet Home

Continuing on from yesterday .... Benson to St. David town to Tombstone only revealed even more businesses gone under.  How sad to see so many of these old places disappearing.  Anyone know about the Holy Trinity Monastery?  

If you've driven this direction, you've probably seen the RV parking sign.  It appears it may be closing for good.  The head of this monastery is in Italy.  They control the strings, even from so far away.  It appears they do not have enough monks, so after 40 years, the monastery has been ordered to close by the Abbott General and his council who reside in Italy. 

After refusing to sign documents closing it, Father Henri was stripped of his title and asked to leave the property.  So sad ... his home sweet home of 40 years, the location of his dead sister and his step father, has to be abandoned.  I have not heard if the RV park will remain open or not.

Here's what I was really looking for ... the home sweet home of Wyatt Earp.  It's a little hard to decipher the area based on maps of old.

But first, let's take a walk down Allen Street towards the infamous OK Corral.   It was a breezy ... actually very windy day, throwing up dirt from the street in whirlwinds.  I was quite surprised there was hardly anyone there at noon.  This place is usually hopping by now full of tourists hoping to see a ghost or two.

All of that shooting did not occur here, but back behind these buildings, closer to the next street over.   The company who owns (or maybe leases) this section holds shoot-outs often.  The first crack of gunfire was extremely loud and actually made me jump, just as the local Marshall was driving by.

He laughed, so I waved him over.  We had a little chat in the middle of the street about how he just checks his watch every time he hears it, to be sure it's one of their performances.  I mentioned how fun it would be to patrol the streets on horseback, but he said his horse didn't have air conditioning.  I get it.

I had checked with some locals previously, to find that Puny John's little restaurant has GREAT bbq and pulled pork sliders.  Puny John's it is!!  The sign said OPEN, but the door was tightly locked.  Closed on Wednesdays.  RATS!

SO ..... I was off to my favorite hangout, Big Nose Kate's saloon.  As usual, I got a little distracted by the stagecoach.  Mostly I check out the condition of the horses.  

The stagecoach seems to be sporting a new paint job and a nice American flag.  Four people climbed inside and off they went to roam the back streets of town.

Not a sole was eating in Kates.  Even so, I felt bad about taking up an entire table, so I sat at the bar.  The barkeep was an excellent waitress.  For some reason, I know not what, the word pastrami came out of my mouth.  My brain didn't register REUBEN until it was too late.  

It comes on a sourdough roll, too tough to eat without leaning over the table ... except this is a bar that you can't get close to.  My apologies to whoever has to clean up the floor at night.  It was delicious (not near as good as the reuben), although WAY too much food and cost me $22.00 including tip.  

Want to feel uncomfortable?  Sit at the bar and order water.  I ate what I could, thanked the gal for great service and headed out the door.  

Too bad I didn't have THIS map ahead of time.  Still confused about the actual location when I got back home, I pulled up this image.  As proven by recently found mortgage documents, there were five lots on Fremont Street (see the above map).  Virgil lived in the bigger house on the corner, then two empty lots, then Wyatt's smaller house.  All of those were located where the red dot is.  

The blue square is the site of what is supposed to be the house where Wyatt and Mattie lived.

It even sports a statue of Wyatt, however the recent documents prove that not to be true.  Apparently Mattie wanted to move up in the world.  She hated that Virgil had a nicer, bigger house, so when interviewed at some point, she stated she and Wyatt lived HERE, instead of the actual location.

When Wyatt began his vendetta to avenge the life of his brother, he needed money.  The only way to get it back then was to mortgage his house, which he did for $365.00.  After all the killing took place, he had to make a quit exit or go to jail.  This image shows Fremont street horizontally across the picture.  That's Virgil's house on the corner of First, with Wyatt a couple of doors down.

The latest documents to be found are from the newspaper where the Mortgage Company filed suit against Wyatt for not paying back the money.  Somewhere along the line, Wyatt's father must have paid the loan in full, because later court documents show him as the owner of those lots.  Mattie went with Virgil and his family while Wyatt searched for the bad guys.  As you probably know, he never returned, nor did he meet up with Mattie again.  That's when he ran off with Josephine.

So after my attempt to find the actual location, I failed again.  I thought the houses were on that side of the street ... the house standing there.  I was wrong ... it is down the street to the right where the telephone pole is.  Oh gee ... I guess I have to go back once again!!  

That building behind the tree next to the pole has just been built (sort of recently anyway) as Virgil's Corner Bed and Breakfast on the property Virgil used to own.  There's something about the big posts out front being part of the old house?  It is facing First Street instead of Fremont, as their original house did.  

To cap off the day, I walked over to the Ice Cream Parlor and had a cold one.  Wow ... their ice cream rivals anything I've had.  That butter pecan was the best I've eaten.  It was hot, the ice cream was melting, so I chomped it down in record time, not taking one single picture!!!  Guess I'll have to go back and get another two-scooper just to take a picture.

It was getting late .. time to head back to MY home sweet home and kisses from my puppy.  There's a little more to the day where I tried to get lost, but I'll post it tomorrow.  It was a lovely day in my all time favorite town.

Thursday, September 29, 2022

The Arnold Hotel Fiasco

I'm happy to say the hurricane is moving off to the East side of Florida, so hopefully Dave and Marcia can get home soon.  I'll take bugs over hurricanes and tornadoes any day!

 It started out rather weird in the desert yesterday.  I was up until late talking to the King of the Magic Kingdom of Bingo.  It seems HE had to work the infernal machine at Bingo that night.  I thought the schedule was set until I returned, but apparently it's not everyone's priority.  They had no one to sell, so the King was IT for the night.  Then it was on to the mini infernal machine ... he had not used that one before.  

When the phone rang again at 10:00, I knew what it was.  I jumped up for another training session on how to close out.  I have to congratulate the King on getting it done, even if he didn't balance.  Pleads to return ensued.  Soon ............ tell the players I'll be back soon.  I just HAVE to find someone to train for that job.

This is the sunrise, usually not visible looking this direction.  I sipped my coffee, wondering where I could go and not get into trouble.  You know ... things like getting washed away by a flash flood or getting stuck going places I probably shouldn't be going.  It's an ADVENTURE!

When the sun finally came up, I spotted this bird in the bush.  What's that old saying .. a bird in the hand is quite tasty?  At least that's true if it's a chicken type bird.  Anyway, I'm really not sure what it is, but I think it's a female cardinal.  It had a distinctive call and flew off after cleaning it's feathers.  Jonathan would have been proud.

I watched the hummers for awhile, but these guys are hard to capture.  There is a war over who owns the feeder.  They are so fast you can't even begin to focus your camera. Although they mostly look black, up close they have gorgeous green and purple feathers.

I started the day by working on this quilt, but it didn't last long.  I've had the itch to be doing anything but sitting home.  

After checking the game camera and finding the bobcat walking by on the left, I had had enough.  I gathered up my camera and some water (completely forgetting food) and headed off in the truck, not really sure where I was going.  

Who am I kidding ... I was headed straight for Tombstone.  I don't know where the time went, but I'm already having to make plans to leave, sooooooo.  The very LEAST I can do is get in ONE adventure.  

First stop .... Benson.  This is really irritating.  This is the hotel and small houses used by the train personnel in the very early 1900's.  About five years ago, I was on the hunt for just such an investment.  Believe me, it looked MUCH different back then.  

Sadly, I was told it was too late.  The City Council was going to vote to approve the sale to a local woman to make a bed and breakfast along with a small library.  

Here's the Hotel Arnold back in the day, housing railroad workers, cowboys and tourists.

This is what it looked like when I tried to purchase it.  It was still in great shape, having been built in 1890 by Mr. and Mrs. Arnold McGinnis.  He was a retired engineer.  His wife filled it with wonderful antiques.  When they both passed, her son just locked it up and used it for storage.  At some point, he sold everything of value and I think just let it go to the city.

There was a caretaker there for awhile, and I spent several hours talking to him about the property.  The lady who purchased it, took everything that was left, then let some gold hunters tear up the entire outside, removing all the old lumber so see what gold they could find.  They literally destroyed the house and wraparound porch.  

I can't tell if any of the original windows are still there, since it's all covered with plywood now.  To put it nicely, it's a hot mess.  What a shame the house above now looks like this.  The porch flooring and sidewalls are completely gone and the roof propped up with 2 x 4's.  

The two houses next door used by the train crews are in bad shape also, completely overgrown.  I've never heard what happened to the lady.  I'm sure the buildings will be bulldozed in no time.  It just makes me sick they destroyed this beautiful old hotel.  

So sadly I drove on off to Tombstone, enjoying the cooler air.  The good news is there was no rain, at least not until I was on my way home, but the wind was blowing dirt everywhere.  

I had an agenda this time .... I was looking for Wyatt and Virgil Earp's home locations, using old maps and newspaper accounts.  It's too long of a story to post today, so I'll tell you about it tomorrow.  After that, I went on a little off-road adventure.  At least I didn't get lost this time.  I'll be going back for that one.

Wednesday, September 28, 2022

Mother Nature Strikes Again

Shhhhhhhh ... can you hear it?  Coyotes are close ... VERY close and talking to each other a lot.  Boy do I love hearing those guys have a conversation.  Then it all becomes quiet, with only the early morning cooing of the dove and the calls of the quail.  If someone would just take a large vacuum cleaner and suck out all the biting and stinging things, this would be paradise!!

First off ... prayers for Dave and Marcia as they outrun Hurricane Ian, or whatever his name is.  It seems to be following them as they head north trying to get out of its path.   It appears to be keeping to the west of Florida with 75-80 mph winds.  Maybe the bugs in Arizona aren't so bad after all.  

Just an observation here ... if you had an electric vehicle and you needed to escape a hurricane, you better start out a week in advance in order to have time to charge your car along the way.  I'm pretty sure cars with dead batteries will be pushed off into the ditch, not to mention spending an hour charging your batteries with a hurricane bearing down on you.  Anyway ............

There ARE good bugs, as I have mentioned in the past.  At any one time there are two to four mantis on my screen door.  If you're squeamish, don't look.  He just caught a stinging ant-like thing and is chowing down.  This is the first time I've actually seen them in action.  Pretty gory if you look too close, but dinner was served.

I spent the early morning hours wrestling with another mesquite tree.  This really must be something from the dinosaur ages.  The one-inch long spikes cover every limb.  Sorry, but it had to go.  The dead leaves are what's plugging up the drains.  

I ended up with a nice slice on my arm and three more pokes on the other side.  Just about everything around here bites!!  I'm looking forward to yelling TIMBER when I cut the trunk down.  

I'm starting a whole new pile for the next pickup date, the perfect location for critters to hang out.

In the late morning, Patty and I headed off to Green Valley again to where else ... the fabric shop.  I have a new appliqué project with buffalo, cowboy boots and feathers.  We also stopped off at Dazees with a box of donations Patty had.  The nicest people work there!!  

That was followed up by a Popeyes hot chicken sandwich.  I'm a lightweight ... my throat is still burning.  You know what would make it better?  That sandwich smothered in maple syrup.  Oh yeah!!!!!

I got back home just in time to start on another binding marathon.  There is one down side to quilting all that lovely fabric.  Binding is it's name and it's all done by hand.  It's a little more tedious when you have a puppy taking up half your lap, who growls if you move too much.  Not a mean growl ... just a sit STILL notice.

The game camera focused on the big hole digs came up with nothing but a mouse/rat looking thing with a tail longer than it.  Kangaroo rat?  I have no clue, it was so far away from the camera.  

Last night these guys came for another visit.  The monsoons seem to have not only produced lots of greenery, but lots of javelinas and coyotes.  They have been coming out in record numbers.  Sadly, I haven't seen the bobcat nor any of his markings in the last two weeks.  

This morning I'll be heading out on a little hike down into the big gully, following the river up into the mountains ... that is if I can find a parking space that's not flooded.  Light rain is forecast for the next three days, but it usually happens in the afternoons.  

Or not ... as I look outside, there's black clouds in the morning sunlight.  Just another wonderful day in Arizona.

Tuesday, September 27, 2022

SMACK!!! Bye Bye .....

 Greetings on this Tuesday morning from sunny wind blown Arizona.  It's not near as windy as in Havana Cuba right now.  The hurricane shaped up overnight and is heading right over Florida.  I'm pretty sure I'm happy to put up with the bugs in Arizona versus the hurricanes in Florida.  

Take this wall for example.  It's a nice looking wall, right?  It's even nicer since I smacked that 2" spider with my handy dandy fly swatter and unceremoniously dumped him into the garbage can.  I was actually trying to take a picture of the spider, but apparently I was shaking too much and missed him altogether.  No worries ... the rainbow bridge now has a new resident.

I'm feeling much better today since this time I chose to sleep in the guest bedroom, after having sprayed it down of course.  I even used some OFF spray on myself .. just to be sure.  I'm not kidding, these bites are big and itchy.  The worst part is I have no idea what did it. 

I was sleeping nicely when a coyote let out a screaming howl right outside the window, meaning he was on my front walkway.  His buddies returned his call and he was gone in a flash.  I was left wide eyed.

While surveying the property yesterday morning, I spotted this new dirt pile.  Wow ... someone was a busy beaver overnight.  All those rocks were covering most of this.  I gingerly lifted them up to find a big nasty green scorpion.  He was none too happy I bothered his sleep.  Yup ... rainbow bridge!!

When I stepped on the dirt, I quickly fell through into a big hole.  Yikes!!  Okay whoever dug this ... you are in deep sh___!  I smashed all the holes .. there were three ... and filled them in with dirt.  I'm guessing rats were digging under the house.  We do have tiny munchkin squirrel like things ... but I don't think they dig holes this big.   I set up the game camera to see if I could catch anyone on video.  Nope ... nothing.

To combat the uneasiness of biting things, I spent over two hours on the computer trying to get my bank accounts straightened out.  My main bank changed systems, deleting all of my automatic transfers and deposits.  They also told me the last ten payments I made were not going to go through.  Oh great ... now I'll have late payments.  What a mess that turned out to be.  

In the end, after paying all of them again, I discovered they DID go through after all.  My creditors will be happy ... they got double payments before I could delete them.  It's always something with the banks, right?

Lunch was quick and efficient ... a BLT taco.  No kidding, this is a GREAT and fast lunch.  I spend about 20 minutes cooking up an entire flat of bacon in the air fryer and stick it in the fridge.  A low carb tortilla, tomatoes, lettuce and lunch is served!!

Followed up of course by M & M peanut butter.  Okay, aren't these supposed to be all colors?  Someone must have made too many orange and blue, so they dumped them into one bag!!  Sunny yellow is my favorite and I got ONE!!

I spent most of the day cringing every time I felt something on my legs or feet.  Nothing was there but a few twingy nerves and probably this quilt as I finished sewing up the binding by hand.  Two more are waiting in the wings, so I decided I better get busy.

I embroidered all the squares of this quilt with my other embroidery machine.  Boy do I love that thing, but I don't seem to use it often enough.  Thanks to Cindy for giving me instructions on how to do it AND the pattern.  

What better way to end the day than perusing the proliferous pinching things on my back screen door.  At least the praying mantis don't bite humans, but he did bite (and eat) that lovely insect.  

Yes there are a LOT of them around.  I've counted up to five on my screen door at any one time.  These of course are the females because they are really big.  Apparently it's breeding season.  The males are much smaller, losing their heads for love.  No really, the female eats their head.  Still, they don't bite or sting me, so I'm fine with them.

I was rather fascinated when I saw something big flying by the screen door.  My first thought was bat?  Come to find out, these guys have big beautiful wings.  Who knew?  I thought they just crawled around, but apparently not.  

Not that I'm counting, but as of now I've got seven bites.  I think I made them mad after the first spraying of the room, so they came back with a vengeance.  We braved the guest bedroom and all went well.  No new bites ... so the guest bedroom it will be!!

I'm keeping a sharp eye on the hurricane in Florida.  I have friends there on both sides of the state that are on watch for possible evacuation.  It appears to be heading for both of them.  Yup there are lots of bugs in Arizona at the moment, but I'll take them over hurricanes any day.  Prayers it veers off and misses most of Florida.

Monday, September 26, 2022

Horse Training 101

 It was a morning filled with anticipation as I sipped my coffee and scratched two new bites.  True, I was gone longer this time, so the bugs may have set up permanent homes.  I took two baby Benadryl yesterday, hoping to stop the agony.  

As soon as my coffee was gone, I attacked the bedroom with a vengeance.  I took both mattresses off the bed and sprayed everything, including the drapes.  It supposedly lasts 12 months, so hopefully I'll be good for awhile.  Then I sprayed around the edges and everywhere I was sure Cooper would not walk.  

I probably could have slept in the second bedroom, but instead Cooper and I spent the night on the couch. Oh my aching back.  Sometimes my ideas are really bad.  This morning however ... the light bulb went on.   I have some OFF spray in the cupboard.  I'm taking a shower in it tonight and hoping for a good nights sleep.

And then it was time.  I imagine no one has done any colt training, so I'll give you a little 101.  Catch the colt any way you can and start by finding his "oh I love that scratch" spot.  Do a lot of rubbing all over before teaching him to give to the halter.  You pull, he comes.  Next up get them used to the blanket and saddle, running them around in a round pen to sort of get the buck out. 

This process may take a week or more.  These guys did it in 90 minutes and were riding the colts after 30.  The second day they spent most of their 90 minutes getting the colts to go over tarps on the ground and over poles.  On this day they had 20 minutes to saddle and ride in the round pen before heading out.  Every horse is different and every trainer does it differently.

The best thing is to get the horse OUT of the small pen and give him a job.  Go around barrels, open a gate, anything to get him moving off and not thinking about what's on his back.  After that first 20 minutes, they had to go through an obstacle course.  

The first guy had lots of point deductions (his helper touched the horse, which is not allowed) and he had no chance to win.  He also had a very scared horse.  In true cowboy fashion, he chose not to fry the horses brain by taking him out on the obstacle course.    

The second trainer also had a difficult horse.  I think she was from New Zealand and rode English.  She had the gift of knowing when to back off with this horse, and was one of only 3 to go over the tarp.

As you can see, there is a low red jump, followed by a white jump (which got knocked over), followed by walking through these pool noodles.  I can't even imagine what the poor horse is thinking.  If I remember right, only one horse went through this.  You have to have made a good connection with the horse, so he trusts you and will do whatever you ask.  

I mean really, it took me a week to get my horse to step over low jumps.  These horses have never seen anything like this, and yet they walked around this obstacles, BOTH WAYS!

I did note the difference between the men and women trainers.  The women were much more methodical and low key.  Patient is the word.  The guys were almost frantic trying to get the horses to do what they wanted.  I know this is a competition, but that doesn't work well in horse training.  They tried to go way too fast.

As you can tell here, this horse is done.  He is overwhelmed and just shuts down.  You can also tell he's covered in sweat, another sure sign of nervous exhaustion.

On the other hand, this is the colt I picked ... Bama Crown.  This trainer from Oregon was cool and calm the entire morning.  He worked slowly through everything.  It helped that he actually had the best horse in the lot.  It's the luck of the draw (and not the horse he wanted), but had another trainer picked this horse, that may not have been true.

He slowly and carefully went through 10 of the eleven obstacles.

He didn't mind having a rope swung over his head, nor pulling this heavy object.

He went over the jumps with no problem, but only put his head through the noodles.  

He wasn't exactly happy about the swinging dice (always watch their ears), but he finally went through with a little help from the rider.  

The last few minutes, they all got to do a "freestyle" section, where this guy stood on the saddle to play his guitar.  It lasted less than one second.  Thankfully the colts were only subjected to the obstacles for 35 minutes.  

You can guess who won.  The buckskin and J. R. Robles from Oregon.  He will be entered into the World Championship in Kentucky ... AND he gets to buy the buckskin from the 6666 Ranch in Texas.  I hope he has deep pockets!!

Just for kicks, I asked the ranch for the pedigree on that buckskin, now named Stitch because he cut his face up on the trip in and had to have stitches.  Surprisingly, they sent it to me in record time.  No wonder I liked that colt the best.  He has the same bloodlines as all of the colts I owned and trained.  I'm sure they are out of my league with probably a $ XX,XXX.00 price.  

At any rate, it was great watching them work the horses.  I would definitely love to get back in the training business, but alas, I'm too old and would spend all my time scratching the bug bites.  

It's a new week and time to chop down that tree!!

Sunday, September 25, 2022


The mornings are getting cooler and cooler, a big plus in the desert.  It's probably what helps drive the bugs inside.  When you've got a parrot and a small dog, there's no way you can spray inside the house.  It's troublesome.  The bugs are getting to me in more ways than one.  Last night I got bit on the butt by something BIG.  Not that my butt isn't big enough already, but it's bigger now!!!   Perfect for that tight mini skirt I used to wear when I worked in Colorado.  I digress.

So first thing this morning I took a Benadryl, hoping I don't fall asleep, and watched Cooper play his morning games.  I got bit ... he gets a new ball.  He's crazy about the squeakers!!  First he buries the ball, then .....

he digs it back up.  He's my opening act every morning while I'm on the computer.  Sadly, he too has been bitten and I have a hard time getting him not to bite his bites.

In no time flat, my Road to the Horse competition was on the boob tube.  Today is the final day, which includes taking the horses through an obstacle course.  These images are from last year's final.   I can tell you that getting a two-day ridden, green broke horse to do this is amazing.  You have to have made a good connection with the horse so he trusts you.  

It probably took me four months to get my colt to ride over a tarp laying on the ground.  This year's contestants did it in less than 90 minutes yesterday, their second day of training.  

Again, last year's pictures.  I was not expecting THIS.  Whoever gets the highest point score over the three days wins the championship and a chance to go to the World Competition in Kentucky in March 2023.  I can already tell you who will and who won't win this competition.  The two women have made great connections ... the men, not so much.  Out of four men, maybe two will do good.

The show is coming from Fort Worth Texas, which means it will begin at 7:00 am here.  As you can imagine, I'll be on the edge of my seat.  It will be about a five hour show, which is why I'm hoping I can stay awake.  Me thinks it's going to be a coffee-coffee kind of day.

For your viewing pleasure today .... take a quick count, and then wait for it ..... an entire TRIBE showed up for a drink at the water trough.  I don't think I've ever seen this many javelina at one place before.  Aunts and uncles all seem to have come to the party, although most of them do look pretty young.  If you look closely at their snouts, you can tell which one is Dad.  His tusks give his face a definite clue.

I spent the rest of the day working on this latest quilt.  Looking at it now, I see some squares that need to be moved around.  So far this has only cost me the price of a $7 square to "square" up the blocks and fix my sloppy sewing because I'm in too much of a hurry.  I WILL NOT BUY ANY MORE FABRIC!!!  I say it every day, but you know, things happen.  OH LOOK ... THAT'S GORGEOUS!!!!

Just to harass me even more, every time I look at the back sliding glass door, I find something new.  They are crawling up the walls and windows like in a horror movie.  At least these guys don't bite ..... that I know of anyway.  By the way, yes I DO have a pest service that sprays the outside once a month.  In fact, there are so many critters that come inside and die, that I actually had to drag out the vacuum yesterday to dispose of them.  They are EVERYWHERE!!!  

Oh geez!!!  I just looked up.  Obviously I missed one.  Getting the vacuum out two days in a row?  Now THAT'S a record!!

My mantra to live by here ... never enter a room until you have scanned the walls.  I'm a magnet I tell you.  Maybe I'm just so SWEET to munch on!!  Does anyone know what to eat that will replace the blood lost last night?  VAMPIRES ... that's what they are ... VAMPIRES in my bedroom!!!

Okay, it's not that bad, but please excuse me while I scratch the big itchy bite on my butt!!!!!

I'll take a few pictures of the competition today, just to show you what is asked of these young three old horses.  

So ..... I'll be on the couch ... with my coffee, Benadryl and fly swatter in case I see any more bugs.