Thursday, August 21, 2008

The Long Awaited - and Long Winded - Update

We have arrived and are now Arizonans. More specifically, we are Buckeyes (because we live in the town of Buckeye, which is 40 miles outside central Phoenix). The picture at the top of the blog is the view from our bedroom. NICE!

Our journey here was long, yet condensed into a short period of time. Sleep was scarce and stress was high.

I must give Jonathan special credit. On Saturday, August 9 Christian and I were scheduled to go to the Ashe's for the evening, so we could fly to Phoenix the next day. As Saturday progressed, it became clear that there was still much to do at the house. Mid-afternoon, Jonathan decided it was time for Christian and I to make our way to the Ashe's. I protested, but he insisted. He asked for a list of things he needed to do.

I talked to him later that night, and he was still working on the house. His plan was to go to bed at a decent time and leave early in the morning for Phoenix. I didn't hear from him again until he arrived in Phoenix the next day … and I'm glad because had I know what was going on, I'd have been terribly worried.

Jonathan and Bella left Santa Fe at 3:45am on Sunday … and Jonathan never even went to sleep. He had been up for 36 hours or so, and made that long drive to Phoenix on no sleep and the grace of God. So a huge thank you to Jonathan for working so hard and making it to Phoenix on no sleep.

And a huge thank you to Jon and Valerie who were our gracious hosts. Their home is beautiful and our bedroom was lovely. I felt like I was at vacation at a spa for a night. A home-made dinner and breakfast were wonderful and the conversation fabulous! Christian enjoyed himself, too. The mirrored closet doors in our room provided plenty of good entertainment.

And so here we are. Here are answers to some questions you might have:

Temps: This adjustment is the most obvious. Walking outside is like walking into a blast furnace. As they say out here, "But its dry heat!" And really, its not too bad. I wouldn't want to spend all day outside in the heat, but a few minutes here and there is tolerable. This week the high is averaging 105 and the lows are mid-80s. In Santa Fe, when the sun went down, so did the temps … almost immediately. Not true here. Its just plain hot … day and night.

Windows: In Phoenix, you don’t open the windows in your home. I've noticed most people also keep their window coverings shut all day long … but we don't. The other adjustment to the windows is regarding our proximity to our next door neighbors. We were spoiled in Santa Fe by living in a house that sat high on a hill with views to forever. We didn't have to worry about somebody looking into our house (or being able to look into somebody's house ourselves). Didn't have to worry about closing our curtains/blinds. Case in point: one of our first nights here, I was sitting in the loft/TV room running the breast pump. It didn't occur to me that in the stairwell leading up to the area, was a window that allowed views from our neighbors house. EEEK! It was dark outside and bright as day inside. So … who knows what kind of a peep show my neighbors got. I shudder to think of it.

Neighbors: Rather than living in a house that sits prominently on a hill, we are just one house on a street of many, in a neighborhood of many and therefore have many neighbors. We've met Mike next door, who works for the Sherriff's Department. Nice guy. I met the little girl who lives across the street. I asked her name and how old she is. Her name is "Precious" and she's 7. No kidding … her name is Precious. I think its just too hot for people to be outside, so we haven't seen too many people. But I have already seen a lot of kids around, and that is nice. Christian will have some friends in future.

Shopping: Wal*Mart, Lowe's and some other smaller stores and fast food restaurants are about a half hour away. Nearby towns have more shopping. So, going to Wal*Mart for a "quick errand" ends up being a two-hour roundtrip. That's quite an adjustment.

The House: This house is enormous and we love it! I look at it every day and I'm just amazed. Because there is a sitting room off the master bedroom and a loft area that serves as our TV room, we have two completely empty guest bedrooms. And there is a den area off the living room downstairs that will be Jonathan's reading room when we get unpacked. There are also two places for a dining room: One in the living room area and one in the kitchen. The dining area in the kitchen is huge.

Bugs and Critters: We received a warning from our neighbor about scorpions and rattle snakes. No surprise considering our remote location. Our neighbor has found five scorpions in his house so far. We made sure Bella got a rattlesnake vaccine.

Which Leads Us to Bella … her foot is still somewhat wrapped up, but as of today, she's chewed off most of the bandage and splint. Overall, the broken toe doesn't seem to bother her. Considering the potential for scorpion and rattlesnake encounters, I'm a bit nervous to take her on walks or leave her in the backyard by herself for any longer than a few minutes. She's such a curious dog that I'm sure she'd get attacked by either creature in a heartbeat. The vet has also warned us about Black Widows. We'll just be hopeful that she doesn't encounter any of these dangerous creatures.

Jonathan's Job: Jonathan finally started his job at Palo Verde Nuclear Generating Station. He'll be working four ten hour days and getting the fifth day off. So he works 7:00am – 5:30pm Tuesday – Friday and has Monday off. So actually, when you figure in the drive time Jonathan had getting to work in ABQ, he'll be gone the same amount of hours in a work day at Palo Verde as at Sandia. So its not really an adjustment for us. And, we get the added bonus of having Jonathan home on Mondays. That'll help with my typically busy Mondays at work … and if we need somebody to come to the house (i.e., the cable guy), or if I have a Dr. appt, etc.

And everybody's favorite topic: Christian. As Jonathan puts it, Christian has one setting. And that setting is, "GO!" My goodness, he has endless energy! That energy seemed to increase ten-fold when we moved in. I don't know if the new environment got him all charged up or what … but he's been on high octane fuel since we arrived. Maybe it’s the altitude. Santa Fe was 7,000+ feet and Buckeye is only 800+.

Now that I've posted the full update, we'll go back to more regular, shorter updates. There's lots to tell about Christian and his latest antics. :)