Friday, August 31, 2012

I'll Take the High Road

 Actually, we're trying to take the high road today and not come unglued on another incompetent repairman.  The A/C debacle finally ended after five visits and three weeks.  We're cool now with that -- no pun intended -- but that company won't ever be coming back.

We're now into the garage door with a mind of its own that works in the morning, but rarely in the afternoon.  We finally cried uncle this week and put in a call for a repair.  We called on Monday and a repairman appeared on Wednesday morning.  He was in and out of here in 20 minutes flat.  Simple fix.  We left shortly afterwards and when we came back, we pushed the button and nothing happened.  Seriously???

Craig immediately called the man and he said he'd have to order a new 'board', but couldn't come back until Friday.  So . . . we're awaiting the appearance of the man with all the answers.  This is a big deja vu to our original introduction to the way things work in Phoenix.  The memories are flooding back.  The Sears delivery truck that made me wait FOUR days for the delivery of the washer/drier.  That's four days in an empty house without a chair to sit on.  Every day at 5:00 p.m., I'd use my cellphone to call and question the dispatcher about their non-appearance, and the idiot would talk me into waiting until 7 p.m. because he'd swear the truck was still out and my appliances were on it! Same thing happened with Qwest (remember them?) and the landline installation.  Day after day of no-shows.  A friend who'd come before me warned me when we bought this house that Phoenix was the land of no-show incompetent repairmen.  I thought she was exaggerating until I experienced it myself.

Since the house was brand new, once we got past the initial deliveries and warranty checkups, we had a grace period of 5 years before the bubble burst (they don't build 'em like they used to) and the frustration started all over again.

I think I'm going to strap on a swimsuit and hop in the pool while Craig awaits the garage door savant.  I'll take the high road.  :)

Speaking of high roads, I think I mentioned that Craig's favorite pastime when we were in Bisbee was to scout out steep walks and then taunt me with the disclaimer that I wouldn't be able to make it up that hill to see the sights.  It'd be too steep for my knees, or I'd huff and puff and do a Tony Soprano flop.

I always took the dare and I always got there and back with no harm.  Well, I will admit to throwing ibuprofen pills down the gullet to get the inflammation down on my bad knee after every steep walk.

One morning when it was threatening to rain, he drug me up the high road.  I think the name of the street really was High Road, but I'm not sure.

The views down to the town below and out over the lavender mine pit in the distance were spectacular.

The homes seemed to get more eccentric unusual the farther up the hill we climbed. 

The junk artist's retaining wall is decorated with discarded bicycle tires and a plastic rhino?

Edwina Scissorhands is ready to take off on her bike.

Toward the end of the road at the peak of the hill, there's a nice shrine in the landscaping.

Two kitties huddling on a blue tin roof.

A narrow steep dirt road heads down from the top into the Brewery Gulch area.  We turned around at this point since it was starting to rain and I had the camera.

I looked at this photo for awhile trying to figure out why I took it.  I realized I was zooming in on the terra cotta colored stucco cabin we'd rented for the week from the road way above.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

A Cornucopia of Good Eats

Sorry, but I've been too immersed in murder mysteries from J.A. Jance's Joanna Brady series to post.  They're set in the Bisbee area.  Funny how books can become that much more interesting if the setting's familiar!

When we're in Bisbee, one of our favorite lunch places is Cafe Cornucopia.  The specials change daily, but you can always depend on fantastic sandwiches, quiches, soups, homemade bread, salads, and desserts.  And very funny repartee from the lunch counter.  (This is where I got the tip on the local paper's police beat post.)

The cute vintage cafe's located in an old storefront on the main drag in the historic downtown area.

The day before we left, Craig and I both settled on quiche.  He ordered the asparagus quiche with tortilla soup while I chose the green chile quiche with a salad.  We also ordered a brownie to go, but that got eaten before any photos could be taken.  : ) 

The dueling quiches -- asparagus and green chile.

On a visit earlier in the week, Craig ordered the meatloaf sandwich and squash soup.  Feeling guilty, I ordered a salad, but he shared and OMG -- both were fantastic!  The squash soup had little Italian meatballs in it.  Yum!

This quaint little cafe definitely rates a Don't Miss if you're in the Bisbee area! 

Friday, August 24, 2012

More Strange Encounters

Before I forget, I need to tell a little story.  On one of our Bisbee morning walks, we stopped to admire a mural on the wall.  Another walker swooped up from behind and boomed out, Welcome to Bisbee!  We made friendly chitchat for a few seconds and he then said,  If you're thinking about moving to Bisbee and buying a house -- don't!

Okay, how strange!   Craig and I both got quiet and waited for the punchline.  You'd hate it here!  The town's full of a bunch of bleeding heart liberals!

Okay, we both bit our lips and suppressed giggles.  I mean -- we don't live in Bisbee, but we knew that!  It's one of the attributes that attracts us!  It's an oasis of free spirits in a state mostly full of people who just assume that everyone in their midst is a far right conservative.  Arizona does have its little pockets where a Democrat might have a chance of getting elected, and Bisbee's probably one of them.  I'm sure there are plenty of people of both persuasions in the town, but it definitely has a free-thinking edge.

The man went on to say he was a Texan who moved to Bisbee to reinvent himself after a bad divorce.   And he quickly realized he was surrounded by what he deems the enemy.   I felt a little sorry for the guy, so we listened to his numerous complaints about paradise turned sour.   The town's full of retired professors and hippies.  Nothing gets done because the bleeding heart liberals block it.  Blah blah blah.

We kept our mouths shut.  It comes natural to us after being surrounded for the past six years.  I think the man finally realized he was possibly communing with the enemy and said his goodbyes and left.

I guess the moral of the story is -- look before you leap!  You might be plopped down in a kingdom where people have diverse opinions and be forced to get along with people of different political and religious persuasions.

Okay, I didn't mean to bludgeon the topic to death, but take a look at these murals from the walls all over town and tell me -- don't you see a few hints in these that just maybe this might be an area with a few liberals roaming around?  Peace out man.  LOL

Thursday, August 23, 2012

The Bisbee Saturday Farmer's Market and a Jimmy Dog

We've come to this realization before, but it hit home again when we were visiting Bisbee.  What we lack in our current suburban life is a sense of community.  I think that's why we're so attracted to places like Isla Mujeres and Bisbee.  We'd love to live in an area small enough where we could walk to town, hang out at the local lunch counter, catch the town gossip, and just enjoy a more relaxing life.  So we continue our explorations looking for that magical place.

Saturday on our way out of town, we decided to check out the Saturday Farmer's Market in Vista Park in Warren, a small area just south of Bisbee where mining executives originally lived.

The large mansion at the head of Vista Park where the farmer's market is held is Loma Linda Lodge, originally built in 1907 for Walter Douglas, the head of the mine.  And yes, that's a hill of mine slag in back of the mansion.

The streets on both sides of the park are lined with substantial Craftsman style homes built earlier in the 20th century.  I've always wanted a Southwest Craftsman bungalow like 204, but probably not that close to a copper mine.


We arrived around 11:30 a.m. and the market was in full swing.  This woman was providing entertainment while locals roamed through the various booths selling crafts, produce, and food items.  We bought some oatmeal chocolate chip cookies to eat while we walked Saby around.  She enjoyed her walk in the park, especially when she saw the dog rescue booth!

It felt like fall when I saw these gourds and pumpkins on the table!

I'll put these cutoffs in the Make a Wish category.  Those days have come and gone!

The tables featured lots of organically grown veggies and fruits!  We have friends from a former lifetime who live about an hour out of Bisbee.  We meet them every trip to catch up over dinner.  In retirement, he's started his own organic gardening operation where he grows and sells his produce at farmer's markets in the area.  He's famous for his mesquite jelly and pickled jalapenos. 

After viewing all that healthy food, we did the direct opposite and headed to Jimmy's for the last stop on our way out of town.  We wanted to give it a try before we left the area.  Take a guess what Jimmy sells, and I don't think they're organic.

I have this odd attraction to vintage Airstream trailers.  I wouldn't want to live in one, but they're just so cute!  Evidently, they use this one as a morning breakfast stand.  Saby and Craig took a seat at the picnic table beside the trailer while I went inside and ordered.  The joint was packed!

We both ordered a hot dog with mustard, relish, onions, and fries (which are definitely on the greasy side).  All for $4.

Unfortunately, Saby didn't get any.  We learned our lesson about feeding her french fries on the last road trip!  The old gal can't handle it anymore.  Here she is hanging at the garbage can hoping some tiny tidbits will hit the ground.

I'd been told Jimmy's only had hot dogs, but that's not true.  I picked up a menu for the next Bisbee trip.

Maybe late October or November (after the scorpions go dormant)?  (Those scorpions weren't the highlight of my trip.)

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

One Morning's Walk

Actually, these photos cover about a third of one morning's walk.  Otherwise, the post would be three pages long! 

We tried to get up every morning and walk the hills in Bisbee.  Craig always had some cool lane or stairway he'd discovered with a surprise he wanted to show me.  This particular morning, we started up the brick lane across the street to the top of a hill where he'd found a stairway that led down to Main Street.

Which reminds me, growing up in a tiny town, we always used the phrase 'going to town' if we were walking or driving the two blocks to Main Street.  Being in Bisbee brought back lots of memories!

I call this cottage the Gnome House.  It hangs over the edge of the  hill with outstanding views towards the top of that brick lane, which I think is Maxfield Avenue?

This old army jeep was sitting on a lot at the bottom of the hill.

In the vicinity of the Gnome House, Craig led me down a stairway.  A short distance down, I saw this gate!  Old car/truck doors and fenders get re-purposed as yard art in Bisbee.

Down the stairway a bit, we met a woman training for the Bisbee 1000 in October.  It's a  big stair climbing event!

As always, we did a little window shopping on the morning walk when we reached Main Street.

This art gallery has a really colorful door!

This shop sells Bisbee type women's clothing.  One day having lunch, I overheard a conversation between women dressed in this mode.  One woman was relating that she'd been in the Tucson airport and another woman had asked her if she was from Bisbee because of the top she had on.  I'm surprised no one has asked me in an airport if I'm from Kohl's!

A few other colorful doors in the same area of Main Street.

 Here's what I call the Wiccan Shop.  We don't have one of these back home!

My absolute favorite boutique -- Bliss Bee.  The shop carries jewelry findings and craft supplies -- the kind that would normally have to be ordered from Etsy.  Next trip, I'm going to schedule a class!  For now, I purchased a lot of findings needed to make pendants.

All the downtown buildings are historic dating back to the early 1900's.

Phelps Dodge was the mining company.

Love this political poster.  Shawnee's more desirable than some of the candidates running in our area!

I'll sign off now.  I didn't even get to the coffee shop.  After that, we looped up Brewery Gulch and took another stairway back up the hill to the house.

We're missing our hilly walks, but at least we now have A/C again.  The unit once again shut down during the night on Sunday after we returned from Bisbee.  Fortunately, we'd hedged our bets and set up an appointment for Monday morning before we left town.  This time, the company sent out a different repairman (we insisted on it).  This guy figured out the actual problem and repaired all the other repairman's mistakes.  And there's a list of them.  He also ordered us a new fan blade because the other repairman left wires hanging down into the unit which bent the blades.  Grrrrrrr.  I'm so glad we have a homeowner's warranty so we don't have to fight over the bill.  I'm doubting now that we actually needed a new condenser and a new compressor.  What we needed was a competent repairman.

If all goes well tomorrow when the repairman returns to install the new fan blade, the answer to the riddle (How many men and appointments does it take to fix an air conditioner?) will be 5 appointments and 2 or 3 repairmen.  That's a first!