Tuesday, January 29, 2013


The best cure for the post-trip doldrums is to start planning the next one!

While reading the SeeYaDP forum, Craig noticed the announcement of the Alfa Owners annual rally scheduled for April 15 - 21, in Casa Grande Arizona.  He suggested that if we got a lot of work done in the next couple of months, we should go.

I'm good with that!

I suggested we go to the Grand Canyon on our way back.  

He's good with that!

So the beginnings of the next adventure are starting to take shape.

Actually this is much like I imagined this process to be.  Work on the house for a few months, then take off in the RV for a while. 

But I have  hard time being patient.
I want the house done. 
I'm a terrible nag.

Craig assures me it will get into marketable shape by this summer.  

I'm hoping, but have my doubts.

I find planning a next trip goes a long way toward keeping me from getting too depressed! 

This last week and a half has been hard. I continued the job of culling things out of my studio, but then came to the conclusion that culling was an impossible, halfway measure.

So last Tuesday I declared my retirement.

Craig did his part later that day and took down my web site.

I spent several days packing up art stuff and either putting it aside for a future flea market, Goodwill, or loading it into the van so I could take it to the dump.  For the first trip, I went by myself, and as I tossed things out of the back of my van, I almost shed a few tears.  But as I drove back home I felt liberated.  

I'm retired!

I still have to deal with a closet full of fake fur, but without sculpture masters or sculpture materials, it will be easy to part with.  On Monday, Craig helped me cut up and remove my work benches.  We filled the van, and he helped me take this load to the dump. 

Next  we will have to restore the walls.  After 23 years of nails, paint splashes, and other mars, they need a lot more than just a quick paint job! At the moment we have four fluorescent light fixtures on the ceiling.  They are not quite shop lights, and do have "natural light" bulbs, but they are fluorescents and not suited for  bedroom lights.   When we moved in there were no overhead lights at all.  I think the best thing is to ask a realtor about what to do.  

Heat is another problem.  There is none.  We do have central forced air heat upstairs, but the lower level does not have any ducts.  The family room is nice and warm when the  wood stove is burning, but the bathroom is freezing in winter, and I had to use a space heater in the studio. 

I'm thinking of getting one of those little fake electric wood stoves.  

At first I thought we should have some heaters installed in the walls, or maybe do baseboard heat, but I think the electric stove would be more interesting and could be moved to whichever part of the room the occupant wanted it. Everyone seems to hate baseboard heat anyway.

Craig was been hard at work as well. He has his own project, new doors and woodwork in a number of places, but he helps me whenever I need him to, and vice versa.

So, I'm looking forward to planning the next trip! 

Has anyone done the Grand Canyon at the end of April?


  1. Cabinets full of fake fur...oh how I hate when that happens. I am right there with you when you say, "I find planning a next trip goes a long way toward keeping me from getting too depressed!" Soon as all this Arizona house excitement settles down, I'll be in the 'planning' stage again as well. Good for you in your retirement decision. Now, get out there & kick up some dust.....

  2. I agree its easier to just get rid of all of the art stuff instead of trying to decide what stays and goes. We went to the north rim of the Grand Canyon in mid-May, (the days were sunny and warm with cool evenings) so the end of April should be fine for the south rim.

  3. First Congratulations on your retirement!

    Now if you are heating the upstairs with a forced air furnace and the duct work is run under the floor all that needs to be done is to install heat registers off of the main heat trunk. Be Safe and Enjoy!

    It's about time.

  4. It is so hard to let go of an art you love. When I took the front loader and moved my work tables to one barn, I like you, just about cried. It does pass quickly though.

  5. Happy retirement! Congratulations!

    Yes, we did a 10-day trip from the Bay Area to the Grand Canyon to Zion and back in late April.

    Here's our blog about the trip.
    Hope it helps. If you have any questions, just ask!

    The weather could be chilly, but it could be stunning.

    Happy trip planning!!!

  6. Not having any art type stuff in my life, I didn't have to go through the pain of getting rid of it. I was lucky in that regard. Casa Grande isn't all that far from us. If you find some free time maybe we could meet up.

  7. Three years ago, my mom, sis and I went to south rim of the Grand Canyon the first week in April. The day started out sunny and cool, but progressively got colder and colder with whipping winds. By 3:00 p.m., icy snow flurries started. It was too dry and cold for the snow to stick. We were off to Lake Powell Resort. You just never know what kind of weather you will encounter.

  8. Yes! We went to the Grand Canyon at the end of April in 2010. When we arrived it was snowing. That didn't deter us, we just dressed more warmly. We stayed at Grand Canyon Trailer Village and used their full hookups. The only thing that went wrong with our stay is that Dave, after having lung cancer surgery, couldn't sleep well at that high altitude, so we had to leave a few days earlier than we had planned.

    Congratulations on your retirement and the good progress you've made fixing up your house in order to sell it!

  9. Retiring is a big step Merikay...congratulations. We did the Grand Canyon in April 2006, before we had the motorhome. Stayed in Williams and visited the South Rim. Pretty cold most days and the wind was icy but still enjoyable. Then we went to Sedona and surrounding areas. It snowed in Sedona!!

  10. don't worry, even though you are putting aside one craft and job you loved, you will find other ones you enjoy and can create. Loved Casa Grande. We stayed at Palm Creek on a special, it was a fantastic resort, but it's not for everyone. We weren't at the Grand Canyon until July, but know it can be cold in April just as everyone has said.

  11. The Grand Canyon is beautiful anytime of the year...but be prepared ...the rv parking is just kind of ugly...just rows of pull through sites. But once you are there the shuttle buses offer excellent service..they pick up right at the campground and they are the way to go...actually the only way as there is no driving once past the first tourist stop. On the heating...you might check the codes or ask your agent...I believe in Az if there is not the proper kind of heat that space is not allowed to be counted as square footage when listing.

  12. I seem to recall that when you first started blogging that the Grand Canyon was way near the top of your bucket list. Congratulations on making it happen!

  13. Congrats on retirement, it is a good thing.

  14. We actually did the Grand Canyon at the end of March last year. The weather was a mixed bag of cool and warm and even snowed one morning. Lots of sun for the most part. I think the end of April would be just about perfect.

  15. Congratulations of being officially retired! I'm sure that was a very difficult step for you. Just remember, if you want, you can always "un" retire!

    Your April trip sounds great. The time will be here before you know it. Shortly after we got our house on the market, we headed to Florida. It was too hard to have to always be ready for a showing, especially with animals. Maybe you could take an extended vacation once the house is listed!

  16. Yes, we were in the Grand Canyon last April. This was our second stop there. The first was WAY BACK and it was summer. Make sure you have rain gear and jackets. It can be quite cold. But beautiful!!! Here is my blog post about the stop. http://beckygtxama.blogspot.com/2012_04_01_archive.html


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