Trading a Rock for a Horse

Our rock club just had a rock show event in a local park.  Had fun but left behind my folding captain’s chair.  Got an e-mail – who left a chair?  Returned: I did.  Nelson from our rock club returned it so I offered him a couple of rocks from the rock garden in front of our house.  He thanked me and said “I don’t have rocks to give you but how about a horse?” (Arizona’s equivalent of a white elephant)


August 26, 2017

I bought a quart of milk that had a label on it that I did not recall seeing before.  I asked my wife if she knew of this dairy in Arizona.  Cat said that it’s too hot in Arizona for dairy cows.  I checked the small print on the label; it said Yuma, Arizona.  Wow!  I figured cows in Yuma could only give condensed milk.

Some numbskull politician ( I know that is redundant) that is named Bob Corker called Trump “insane”.  That is the pot calling the kettle you know what.  Maybe Mr. Corker should put the cork back in the bottle of crazy that he has over imbibed in.  Or Mr. Trump might open a can of whoop-ass on Mr. Corker.  I say this with love for both men.

There is no man in Bradley Manning.  How in the real world could a little 5’2″, 120 lb. effeminate dude get into the U.S. Army?  Look what happened.  He committed treason by stealing top secret government computer data.  Instead of getting the death penalty which he deserves, he gets a 20 year sentence in club fed.  Then he announces that he is a tranny.  Big surprise.  Not!  He gets a $100,000 sex change and a get-out-of-jail-free card from Obama.  Our tax money down the drain.  Bradley is not Chelsea.  Wow – takes a name of crooked Hillary’s daughter.  He could have at least become an organ donor.  Some of us men could use a couple of more inches.

Compare Obama pardoning Brad and commuting the sentences of hundreds of criminals to Trump pardoning Joe Opaio for his 50 years of law enforcement.  Getting re-elected multiple times, getting awards and “attaboys” from the people he helped protect for so long.

Cottonwood, Arizona

Here we are in June already – mostly moved into our house in Cottonwood, Arizona.  Cedar City was nice to Cat and myself but we are getting older and decided to give up the beautiful state of Utah for a milder winter climate.  Cedar City can have nasty winter weather.

About 5 or 6 years ago when Cat and I were still dating, I got a call about 6:00 one winter evening.  Cat was upset and crying and said she was stuck in her car and was freezing in this blizzard.  Will you come and rescue me?

“Sure, where are you?” “Stuck with my front wheels just spinning the gutter ice leading into my driveway.”  “Just go into your house and wait for the storm to be over.  When it is safe I will come over and help you get your car into your driveway.” (Cat’s reply: “Could you come over now?” ) “Sure”  So I got into my car, set the heat to max and started the six mile drive to Cat’s house.  I then realized three things.

  1.  I could not see the road in a blizzard
  2.   I did not know how to drive on an icy road in a blizzard
  3.    I did not have clothing on that would keep me from freezing if I got stuck on the way to rescue Cat in a blizzard.

I got to Cat’s house alive and found some dirt to put down on the ice which gave just the needed traction to get Cat’s car out of the gutter and up her driveway.

Cat’s house in Cedar was a vintage home of brick on three levels.  After getting married I moved into her house and left my vintage trailer.  A beautiful house, but with two stairways and not getting any younger it was just a matter of time before the stairs or icy sidewalks or streets got to us.  Hence the move to Cottonwood.

Cottonwood, Arizona

Anyone that says moving is a pleasant experience is on some kind of drug.  It is a trauma akin to root canal + knee surgery, both without pain killers + divorce thrown in all at the same time + a major remodel job on top of that.

Our “new” house in Cottonwood is coming along well, still needs a lot of work, but shows signs of coming together.  Still lots of boxes left in the garage to unpack and nowhere to put stuff.  This area is expanding fast .  Almost every person we meet at Ace Hardware, Home Depot, Walmart, church, restaurants are from elsewhere and have been here a short time.  All are helpful, happy, and are glad to be here.

Cottonwood is still on the edge of a vast wilderness and is in a transitional mountain-desert zone.  We see birds and critters from both types of environment.  Birds, ground squirrels, chipmunks, coyotes, peccaries (javelinas).  In case you don’t know what javelinas are, you are not alone.  Even experts disagree.  Let’s just say they are like pigs but smaller and with lots of hair.  Kind of cute in an ugly sort of way.  Our place is located on a piece of land whose back yard is up against a javelina highway.  We see groups of them going along (some west bound, some east bound).  Can’t tell if it’s the same bunch.  The little ones are kind of cute.  I guess that they don’t have large litters like pigs do because in the groups that we see passing only one or two are little ones.  I heard that they are good eatin’.  Not!  If you readers have a tasty method of preparing peccary, send it to me.

Cottonwood Weather

Christmas morning , about 1/4″ of snow.  Some frost overnight at times.  Light rain some days.  Most days in the 40 to 60 degree range.  Not bad compared to Cedar City.

Home Upgrades

I have been installing extra shelving in the house and the garage since most houses in this modern era (last 50 years) have stud and drywall construction.  Why does hardware such as towel racks, shelving, cabinets not come in widths that match the 16″ spacing of studs?  Some items that you want to hang on a wall are expected to be able to support more weight than those plastic drywall plugs that come with this stuff.

Even with the 16″ spacing rule some home builders are more apt to not follow the rules.  That’s why a good stud finder is fun to have.  Sometimes mine works OK.  If the wall is smooth.  This house has textured walls. If the area being searched does not have electric wiring in the walls to give a false signal – our walls have wiring in them.  Our contractor uses the knock, knock method.  “Sounds like a stud right here.”

Super Bowl – Robert Craft owner of the Patriots:

Mr. Craft visited Russia several years ago – he had on his super bowl ring.  During his visit with Vlad Putin, Mr. Putin asked to try on this very special ring.  Craft handed over his ring, Putin put it on and showed  his staff the ring.  The meeting went on for some time and when it was over Putin walked off with the ring.

In this new era soon even the losers of the super bowl will get a ring.  Possible instead of 14k gold and diamonds like the winners get, the ring will be fool’s gold and cubic zirconia.


Cat, being a master gardener, has started to purge plants from the yard that do not belong in this habitat.  We drove down to Anthem and toured 2 cactus nurseries.  She bought some cacti that are native to this area; will plant them soon.  She put all the plants in the yard on notice that they are on their own.  No water from her.


A Date for Valentine’s Day

I’m suggesting the following post to social media from a deserving woman I know:

A loving, kind, well maintained attractive mature woman looking to meet mature, handsome secure man.  If the secure part is big enough, then how mature or handsome you may be becomes less important. Remember, the more secure you are, the more social I become.  Send picture of yourself and your bank account.  Signed, Goldie Kravesalott.

Quartzsite, Arizona,Feb. 2017

My experiences and observations at the big rock show at Quartzsite, Arizona, Jan. 2017.

Our new house is only a pleasant 4 hour drive to Quartzsite.  However, I was forced to make a special side trip to Phoenix to obtain my Arizona sales tax permit for 2017.  I had sent my paperwork for renewal in November, waited for it until Dec. 10 – no mail.  Called and was on hold for 30 minutes to speak to a person vs. some computer at the license department.  The person said OK, will do ASAP.  Waited for snail mail.  No license.  Lots of time except no mail delivery – (2 holiday weekends + MLK holiday on Monday in January).  Needed to be in Quartzsite Tuesday.  Made the detour, located the tax officer.  Looked more like a fort or prison than an office building; the required metal detector & pocket search, etc. A short 5 minute wait and about 5 minutes for the nice clerk to print up a fresh license and I was on my way.

Next year I will go straight to the office and avoid the 2 months’ delay.  Of course the license came in the mail Tuesday after I was already in Quartzsite.  Oh, and the State can’t figure out which county Cottonwood is in,  Yavapai or Coconino.

The Pow Wow in town is one of about 3 or 4 big shows going on and about 2 or 3 hundred small locations in town where you can buy rocks.  The Pow Wow has 500 booths.  The weather was bad.  The people that winter over in the B.L.M campgrounds who are from Canada did not spend as they did in years past because the exchange rate sucks.

#arizona-state-tax-office, #quartzsite

Willis Creek Hike, Oct. 15, 2016


Joel & Cat with Sonya & John Swatsley.  This slot canyon in the Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument must be taken in dry weather with no rain predicted in the area.  If you survive the torrent that runs through the canyon your vehicle will be stuck on the muddy slick Skutumpah Road.  Getting there: Utah state route 12 east of Bryce Canyon to Cannonville.  Check in at the BLM visitor center; get info on safe conditions in the area.  Go south on the road leading to Kodachrome Basin about 3 miles to Forest Road 500 which is the 30+ mile long Skutumpah; go 6 miles to the Willis Creek trail head parking lot.

We set up the card table and chairs and had a first class picnic lunch with salad, pink lemonade, tuna salad in pita pockets, hummus, vegetables,  and cranberry apple pie.


The four of us then started off on the hike which began as a walk beside tiny Willis Creek which gradually descended into a deepening and narrowing slot canyon.



The water was only a few feet wide and a few inches deep but at times was wall to wall in the narrows section of the slot canyon.  You will get your feet wet.  Wear rocky stream shoes or boots that you are OK to get wet.


John had on a nice pair of new boots and decided to only go about 1/2 mile down the canyon and turned back to save his boots.  Still he and Sonya got to see some of the nice canyon.  The slots were twisty and looked like frozen vertical waves.  The rock was more of shades of earth tones – gray, brown, black instead of red rock like Red Canyon or Bryce.


Cat and I hiked about 1 mile of the canyon before returning back to the trail head.  At about 1/2 mile from the parking lot, the canyon developed a lovely waterfall of about 10-15 feet high.  The trail bypassed the fall so we did not have to repel down the fall itself.  If it was a hot day and we were dressed for getting wet (or undressed), standing under the fall would be fun.


After the hike we continued in our cars south on Skutumpah Road, crossing Bull Valley Gorge.  Boy, is it narrow and deep.  Crossing it on a dirt bridge (which seems to have no means of support) is a thrill.  Someday we will hike that trail.


Continuing south was a scenic 2 hour drive with only 2 isolated ranches along the way to the paved Johnson Canyon Road.



Stopped for designer coffee in Kanab, then home to Cedar City through Fredonia, west on state route 389 past Pipe Springs, Colorado City (Short Crick), and Hurricane, and I-15 north.  A good day.


ribbon turquoise1 pendant, $40

ribbon turquoise2 pendant, $30

ribbon turquoise2 pendant, $30

ribbon turquoise3, $40

ribbon turquoise3 pendant, $40

#bull-valley-gorge, #john-swatsley, #johnson-canyon, #ribbon-turquoise, #willis-creek