Livin' the Country Life

In May 2022, we left Trabuco Canyon to embark on our new adventure in northern Arizona. We'll be adding images and stories as we can so check back when you can.

See our February update
Livin' the CountryLife

Almost from the first moment we saw our  home-to-be, Don began saying I’m living the country life.

After living here a while, the words became a song, and the song became a video.

We had a lot of fun putting this video together and  hope you’ll enjoy it too

Grab a cup of coffee and enjoy.

   -Sheila

Don & Sheila in their Trabuco Canyon garden for the last time.

Sheila, River, Kody, and a bunch of boxes, hitting the road.

Don's view from the rental truck.

We arrived after midnight on Friday, May 13th.

This was taken from our north-facing porch.

We're home.

Our house is at the south east corner of the property.

Here's an aerial view from the north.

Our chicken coop.

We've got chickens.

We've got eggs.

We've got boxes.

We've got more boxes.

We've got indoor bugs.

We've got outdoor bugs too.

We've got barn cats. Click here for the back story.

We've got horses.

Bekah and Donny delivered them from SoCal the week of June 5th.

Colors Abound

We've got colors. Click for more

July

Fourth of July parade in downtown Prescott. (We learned it's pronounced press-kit, not press-cot.)

We're about ten minutes away from Granite Creek Vineyard, a combination vineyard/cat rescue. They feature local bands every weekend. 

The city of Prescott hosts many free music events in and around the town square. This bluegrass festival features some very good regional bands.

This evening concert featured the Central Arizona Concert Band

We're about 20 minutes away from Goldwater Lake.

October

I saw this little cutie crawling across our front porch. If all goes well, he'll take wing this spring as a North American Yellow Swallowtail.

Two Bassmen

My friend Chad Watson and his wife Pam Loe were performing at Fort Verde Days in Camp Verde.

Chad and Pam are super nice, and super talented. 

Exploring the Area

Sheila and I took a short vacation to Cottonwood, AZ to celebrate her birthday month.

Cottonwood is in the Verde Valley, about 30 miles from our home as the crow flies.

This was the view from our Airbnb

Tuzigoot

After having breakfast in Old Town Cottonwood, we asked our waitress if she had any suggestions for things to see.

She said we should visit Tuzigoot, a local Monument.

Tuzigoot is a 1,000 year old 110 room hilltop pueblo.

From the top, looking southeast.

The view from inside one room of the pueblo. The room also has a ladder leading to the top.

Inside the Tuzigoot visitor center. The pottery shown was reconstructed using small pieces found in the 1930's during the excavation.

They also unearthed children's toys, arrowheads, tools, and shoes.

Bargain of the century.

For $80, we purchased a lifetime National Parks membership.

If you come to visit, we'll take you to the Grand Canyon.

Montezuma Well

Montezuma Well is also managed by the National Park system.  A short hike reveals this beautiful well. 

The well has water year round, and hosts species of animals found nowhere else.

Cave dwellings on the northwest face of the well.

These stairs lead to a path near the water's surface. From there, you can see the hidden area where the well water drains to the creek.

Montezuma Castle

These cliff dwellings, built on a south-facing wall, provided shade in the summer and protection from the cold of winter. 

It was a beautiful day for a walk in the Verde Valley area.

Sedona

The rocks are so vivid and detailed, it's almost as if you could reach out and touch them.

...and that's just in the parking lot.

Mingus Mountain

Sheila, Bekah, and I took a day trip to Jerome. We stopped at a scenic turnout and Bekah happened to capture an image of a flying goldfish.

Mortimer Farms

Sheila and Gracie enjoying some fall colors at a local farmers market.

Bearizona

Bearizona, about 40 miles NW, near Williams, AZ, is a drive-through wild animal park.

December 2022

We had a special Thanksgiving treat.  Donny came to visit and he surprised us by bringing Don's sister, Lisa.

While they were visiting, we took a day trip to Jerome AZ, Clarkdale, and Cottonwood

Don, Lisa, Donny, and Bekah at the Verde River, near Cottonwood, AZ

Gracie with Uncle D

Sheila and I went to the Wickenburg Bluegrass Festival in November.

We met up with our California friends, Eddie and Terry.

Eddie brought a guitar and mandolin and we did a little parking lot picking.

Bekah and Sheila enjoying local wine and live music at Chateau Tumbleweed in Clarkdale AZ.

First Snow

December brought our first snow. This is a small pine tree we've decorated in our front yard.

Here's a view from a little further away.

Our horses are experiencing their first snow. Don says "They're designed for outdoor use." But it still looks pretty cold.

Our barn cats are having their first winter. They've grown a bit. They're not as fat as they look. Their fir has gotten very fluffy for winter.

The cats are smart enough to walk around the snow when they can. 

The dogs, on the other hand, would rather play in it.

Acker Night

James S. Acker arrived in Prescott in 1902. He found success first as a store owner, and later as a real estate agent.

When Acker died in 1955, he wanted the remainder of his estate to be used for parks and for promotion of music, particularly for children.

In the 80’s, Acker night began as a musical showcase for local talent.

 It’s become a Prescott tradition and one of the biggest nights in town.

 Streets in the town square are blocked off and local musicians perform throughout the area. 

Music includes kids' choirs, singer-songwriters, rock bands, and everything in between.

In front of each performer is a green tip bag. Money collected supports music programs for Prescott’s youth.

It was wonderful seeing so many people enjoying music, community and Christmas together.  

We had some old and new friends over for a Christmas gathering.

We had a bit of pickin' too.

Our granddaughter and her friends decorated our outdoor tree with Auntie.

The girls and Auntie Bekah having a little couch time.

Gracie celebrating her fourth birthday with her besties.

Merry Christmas

That's all for now. Have a wonderful Christmas. We'll catch up in January.

Ringing in the New Year

Prescott is a town that likes to celebrate. This year, we brought in the new year Prescott style.

We dressed warmly and joined the crowd on Whiskey Row.

In Times Square, they drop a ball at midnight. In Prescott, we drop a boot.

We had a pretty big storm in January. This is our backyard, facing southwest.

After a short trip outside, River's chin beard was frozen.

The problem was quickly remedied. Poor baby.

Although we've had a few snow storms, we're not snowed in.

We added some new chickens in January.

Our egg production had slowed in November and December but thanks to the days getting a little longer and to the new chickens, production is picking up.

No egg shortage around here.

Horse poop production never slows. Luckily, we found a capable helper.

Gracie loves helping her Nana bake. She says sugar cookies are her favorite. 

Looking at the picture, I think the green sprinkles are actually her favorite.

The Constellation Trail is one of many local recreation areas. The trailhead is about 13 miles from our home.

Bekah and Indie stopped half way up for a selfie.

This time-lapse movie shows a nice sky while the horses are eating their dinner.

That's all for now. See you in a month or two.

Sheila and Don were invited to a wedding in Zion National Park.

Here's a panorama of the wedding venue. The movie doesn't do it justice.

It was a beautiful ceremony for a sweet couple. Don performed a song for the ceremony.

These cuties were having a ball at the reception.

This is the Zion Canyon Scenic Drive. This is the Temple of Sinawava, near the Riverside Walk

We grabbed some footage on the way out of the park

More Snow

March brought more snow. Sheila took this looking out our bedroom window. Look at the icicles.

Don took this short video while feeding the dogs their breakfast.

Flagstaff

We're about 80 miles from Flagstaff so we decided to take a day trip. It's a fun town.

They've redeveloped the old downtown district.

We've added a few more baby chicks. They'll be moving outside with the others in a few weeks.

Sedona

We're also about 80 miles from Sedona... 

...so we took another day trip.

Bekah and Indie joined us.

Bekah began working part time at the Chino Valley Animal Shelter. Bella needed some extra care so she's staying with us for a little while.

Prescott has a vibrant music scene. Here are some amazing players I got to play with on February 26th. Paul Epoch, Pam Loe, Chad Watson, DeVell Riley, Rick Schmidt, Don, and Paul Heaven.

Farmers Market

There's a farmers market in nearby Prescott. It's open every Saturday.

May 13th marked our one-year anniversary in Chino Valley.

Growing up in Southern California, Don has never really experienced Spring.

Seeing shriveled up plants and bare-leafed tees coming back to life was truly uplifting.

These Iris grow on the north side of our horse barn. Simply stunning.

We purchased a Hale Haven peach tree at the Prescott Farmers Market.

It now lives in the small orchard near the southwest corner of the property.

Bella Had a Baby

We mentioned Bella in our last update. What we didn't mention was in addition to her health issues, she was pregnant.

We set up a high-tech birthing center.

At 11:58pm on March 20th, Storm was born.

A few weeks later, momma and baby are doing fine.

Bella is a very patient mom.

This is what mischief looks like.

Easter

We attended an Easter service at nearby Watson Lake.

The whole family was here for Easter: Cheryl, Don, Sheila, Rebekah, James, Donny, and Gracie.

Bekah made an Easter Basket for Shade.

Indie got in on the Easter fun too.

Gracie and Uncle D took a turn too.

And finally, Storm turned it into an Easter bed.

Sheila and a former Brave Grace partner, Sue, hosted some horse activities as part of a local program.

Music

Sheila and I are able to see lot's of live music. In April, the award-winning bluegrass band, AJ Lee and Blue Summit came through town as part of their 2023 tour. They played at the Prescott Fairgrounds and really tore it up.

Sheila, Bekah, and I headed up to Flagstaff and saw the Brothers Comatose

We've got lots of musical talent in Prescott. One Sunday late April, Christian Michael Berry and Chicago Bob (Bob Francine) were doing a mellow tune and some homeless looking guy stumbled up and started playing the drums.

As part of the Whiskey Off-Road mountain bike event, the city of Prescott sponsored a concert. Bluegrass band, Greensky Bluegrass closed the evening with a great performance. 

Sheila and Bekah saw  George Strait, Chris Stapleton, and Little Big Town perform at the State Farm Stadium in Phoenix.

It was a fantastic show, and as a bonus, part way through the event, the stadium roof was rolled back, offering a stunning view of the full moon. 

Bekah is having a great time working at the animal shelter. In Chino Valley, animal control is a function of the Police Department.

Bekah and some of her co-workers joined the CVPD and took on some high schoolers in a dodgeball and volleyball competition.

The Chino Valley Animal Shelter and Chief Wynn with the first-place trophy. 

Mothers Day!

We honored Sheila and Cheryl for Mothers Day at Granite Creek Vineyards, located in Chino Valley

Don played with the band West of Durango. He was asked to fill in for their regular guitar player who was unavailable.

Gracie and one of her friends got to sit in with the band.

Quick trip to California

Don & Sheila took a short trip to California in May. It was nice to visit our former neighbors.

Maya, Atticus, Getta, Charmaine, and Sheila.

Atticus, Michael, and Don.

Grand Opening

The Chino Valley Police Department moved into a new headquarters.

Bekah took us on a VIP tour.

Just the facts Ma'am

When I was a kid, my only reference to bunco was via Joe Friday. So I looked it up.

Definition: Bunco is a type of game or scheme that is designed to trick people and win their trust in order to deceive them.

Sheila and Bekah hossted the local Starfish Riders bunco group.

I'm not gonna say it was rigged, but look who's holding the cash.

Storm

We mentioned Storm in our May update... 

Storm was adopted. Here she is with her new big brother, August.

Bella got adopted too. She now lives with us at Moon Shadow Acres.

Goats!

Bekah is raising goats.

She has four Nigerian Dwarf goats, one buck and three does. 

As you can see at the end of the movie, Bella doesn't get too worked up about the goats and their antics.

One doe is producing right now. Bekah gets between 2-3 cups per day. 

Sheila and I became members of the Phippen Museum in Chino Valley.  We recently attended their Hold Your Horses event.

It was great to see the artwork up close and meet some of the artists.

Bekah's friend, Natalie, came from Texas for a visit.

The girls took in a lot of the local sights and brought along their little friend, Elysia.

There's still lots of things to do in nearby Prescott

The city hosts a summer concert series in the town square. 

They also hosted a two-day bluegrass festival downtown.

Rodeo Time

Cheryl, James, and Gracie enjoying the Prescott Rodeo.

Gracie sharing rodeo fun with Auntie.

The Prescott Rodeo is America's oldest rodeo.


Prescott's Frontier Days parade has a real hometown feel.

There's a palpable sense of hometown pride, patriotism, nostalgia, and fun throughout downtown Prescott.

Granite Mountain Hotshots

Sheila and I attended a memorial service downtown honoring the 19 Granite Mountain Hotshots who lost their lives fighting a wildfire ten years ago in 2013. Their story was told in the 2017 movie Only the Brave.

It was very touching and included a fly-over by Air Force jet fighters.

Happy Independence Day!

Rebekah and her Spanish Barb, Cibeque, looking patriotic. This was filmed across the street from our house.

Gardening

Don built some raised garden boxes. That was the easy part.

Sheila filled them and is charge of ongoing gardening.

Our first Watermelon.

We have one Raspberry and two Blackberry bushes. They thrive here and are multiplying. 

Sheila joined the Prescott Area Iris Society. Frilly hats are optional. She prepared this garden spot her some of her new aquisitions.

Wildlife

We're not the only California transplants to Arizona.

I photographed what I believe to ba a California Kingsnake in our backyard.

Sheila took this picture of a Cicada that had just shed its shell.

It was drying its wings before joining its brood in the trees.

This is the season for their nightly serenade.

Don spotted these Guinea Fowl on a morning walk.

We spotted this Giraffe-like creature in our backyard eating Crab Apples.

We're fortunate to have a Sprouts Market nearby.

Great food but they need to work on their messaging.

October Update

Our favorite singin' cowgirl is rockin' it out with attitude.

The raised garden beds we showed you in July produced some produce, including squash and several varieties of tomato. 

Bekah and some friends from the animal shelter at a painting party.

Our Crabapple tree was fruitful this year. A family friend baked these into a yummy apple pie.

Pickin' in the Pines

Pickin' in the Pines is a three-day long bluegrass & acoustic music festival held each year since 2006 in Flagstaff.

The weather was wonderful and the music was fantastic. We plan to go again next year.

We attended the 2023 Arizona Cowboy Poets Gathering at the Yavapai College in  Prescott.

The poets, musicians, and storytellers captivated us as they presented the culture, traditions and history of cowboy poetry and music.

East Meets West

Sheila and Gracie watching a demonstration by the talented artist, Wie Tai, at the Phippen Museum. Click the image above to watch a  serupticious-and-probably-prohibited-shaky-hand-held-walkthrough-video showing the many styles and mediums Mr. Tai has mastered.

Don encountered some antelope on one of his morning walks. This is some state land about a mile south of our house.

We visited the Walnut Canyon National Monument in Flagstaff.

While Don and Sheila kept watch at the top, Bekah hiked down the see the cave dwellings.

The leaves are beginning to fall. and it's time to paint our picket fence.

SBHA

Sheila and Bekak (Howdy too) traveled to the Nan Ranch in Faywood, New Mexico to attend the annual meeting of the Spanish Barb Horse Association

February Update

The title says February Update but we're starting in October when the leaves began to fall.

Trick or Treat

Since we're a rural community, we don't get trick-or-treaters. Instead, the town hosts a Halloween celebration at a local park. Howdy had a fun costume.

In November, Getta, our neighbor and dear friend from Trabuco Canyon, came out for a visit. It's so nice to see old friends.

Birthday Girl

Gracie turned five in December

Wedding Bells

Friends and family gathered to celebrate Cheryl and James' wedding on November 11th.

Don is playing bass and singing with a new band. Fuzed plays a mix of jazz, soul, R&B, and pop. 

First Snow
e

Since we live about 4,700 feet above sea level, we get some snow in the winter. So far, we've had enought snow to to look beautiful, but not enough to be inconvenient.

Tree Lighting

The city of Prescott makes a big deal of lighting the trees that surround the courthouse square. 

Christmas

Not much snow at Christmas this year, but it was still Merry. 

New Years Eve 2024

Sheila, Bekah, and I rang in the new year with several thousand other neighbors at Prescott's annual boot drop. The town actually has two boot drops, one at 10pm and one at midnight. We opted for the early show. It's nice to celebrate New Years Eve out on the town and still be home by 11.