My life changed dramatically and forever when I lost TJ.

I welcome you to follow along as I adjust to my "new normal".

It is not all puppies and ice cream but it is my life....real and honest.

Monday, February 25, 2013

He Talks With Me About TJ

He is my friend and he was TJ's friend. Most have no idea that he and TJ were good friends and most don't know that he and I have become such good friends. He commiserated with me when I called to tell him of TJ's diagnosis and prognosis. He was the first of many to say "he is such a good man and he doesn't deserve this!".

Although he didn't have the opportunity to come visit TJ before he died; he often called me to see how he was. He came to TJ's Memorial Service at the house. He stopped by a few times after TJ died to help me with some things. Over the past 3 1/2 years he has sent me many random text messages to make me smile or laugh. 

He calls me and we talk about TJ. I don't usually like to talk on the phone but when I am talking with him about TJ time flies and before I know it hours have passed by. He is not afraid to ask me the tough questions. He wants to know how it was for TJ at the end. I tell him. He knows every last heart wrenching detail. He is not afraid to laugh with me about some of TJ's ridiculous shenanigans.He tells me how often he thinks of TJ. While so many others will barely utter TJ's name in my presence it is our main topic of conversation.

We rarely see each other in person. Sure, we always talk about getting together but our schedules just don't permit it. But it is our phone calls that I look forward to the most. In those first few months after TJ died it was him that was able to lift me up with a phone call. Even now, on those rare occasions that I am having a bad day, I know it is his number that I must dial, yet I often don't have to as he always seems to call just when I need him the most. His compassion for my plight was unparalleled and still is to this very day. Ours was an unexpected friendship and one that I cherish deeply.

"We cannot tell the exact moment a friendship is formed; as in filling a vessel drop by drop, there is at last a drop which makes it run over; so in a series of kindnesses, there is at last one that makes the heart run over." ~ Gloria Naylor

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Goodbye Saguaros!

I finally got my saguaros removed. Well, I only had 5 of them removed. I have many more on my property. The ones I had removed were in the way of where I want to put a round pen and horse stalls. It took quite a few phone calls to find someone willing to pay me for them. Many of the landscapers I called wanted to charge me! Saguaros are protected in the state of Arizona and it is illegal to move them without a permit. Many people who live in the city want them in their yards and will often pay landscapers quite a bit of money for them so there was no way I was giving them up for free. Then I found "Cactus Deb". She offered me $10 a foot for them and she would get the permits and move them. I had a total of 35 feet of cactus removed. They were all fairly small and were what are called "spears", meaning they have no arms. While they may be small they are very heavy since they are full of water.

This was the largest one weighing in at approximately 1,100 pounds. Where they wrap the ropes around it is first wrapped with carpet. The needles are sharp but the actually flesh is tender so the carpet protects it. 

 A cradle that also has carpet on it is placed on the side it will be laid on.
 The roots are very shallow so very little digging will release the cactus from the soil.

 Once the cactus is laid on the truck the tap root is severed.
 It is then pushed up onto the truck bed.
Repeat the process.
This is the tag that must be affixed to each saguaro being transported.
The 3 largest all packed up and ready to go. They weighed (left to right) 900, 1,100 and 800 pounds.
The little 2 foot baby is rolled in carpet on the front and Deb will be back to get the little 5 foot one.
Depending on time and weather I should get my round pen and stalls up within a month. Yay!!

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

I Played Tour Guide

I used to play tour guide all the time when I first moved to the Valley of the Sun as family and friends came out to visit. I have lived here long enough now that most of my friends are here and my family has seen and done most of the tourist stuff.

But 2 weekends ago I had a friend whom I had met on twitter come to visit for a long weekend. Brenda is a fellow widow and over the past few years we have become good friends through twitter. When she first approached me about coming for a visit I was very excited and then when plans were finalized I could hardly wait. Another fellow widow and twitter friend was planning on coming too but ended up having gall bladder surgery 3 days before leaving and couldn't make it.

Brenda and I had a fantastic time and got along wonderfully! Since we were basically in my backyard I chose not to take my camera with me so Brenda graciously sent me some of the photos she took while she was here.

Saturday afternoon we met my friends Sam & Dan (brothers) at a local watering hole with great views of the Superstition Mountains. We had a few beers and Brenda was able to enjoy our nice mid 70's F temperatures.

Brenda has a goal of visiting all the National Parks so I had to take her to Saguaro National park. I saw this sign outside the visitor's center and just loved it. As most of you know, I am a big fan of the desert so this quote really speaks to me.

This is a view during our hike in the Saguaro National Park. Desert yes, but I find it beautiful!

I finally got Brenda to set down and relax. I haven't hiked in about 20 years and she about killed me! Not to mention the fact that she is under 30 and I am pushing 50.

We crammed as much sight seeing as we could into 4 days and I think Brenda left with just a little more appreciation for the desert than she came with.