Rake before you shake!

Thursday, December 13, at home in Arizona

When the crew and I left the full-time vagabonding life to set up a home base in a residential neighborhood in southern Arizona, I wandered about the newly purchased property and asked myself:

Am I gonna’ miss Arizona sunsets out in the desert?

Here’s the answer to that question:

Another eye-popping backyard sunset

(I did not alter this photo to make it more vivid. The only thing I did was crop it to improve composition.)

Quite regularly I question myself.

Am I happy?

Immediately I know: “Yes, I’m happy!”

Do I miss vagabonding?

The answer comes to me as I drive the Perfect Tow Vehicle on an errand and see a trailer like the Best Little Trailer being towed down the highway.  I feel no pangs of wish-that-were-me.  No wistfulness.  I’m happy for the person in the tow vehicle and I’m happy for where I am with my crew these days.

~ ~ ~

What do the boys and I do this Thursday in mid-December?

Roger lolls in the sunshine.

He’s really relaxed and enjoying the warmth.

Aah, that sun feels sooooo good.

Then along comes The Reginator!

A surprise attack!

It’s a struggle for territory!

Okay, bro  . . . You can have the bed.  I’m gonna’ go see what RVSue is doing . . .

I’m out by the pecan trees.

Most of the leaves have fallen, exposing the pecans, several of them peeking out of their husks.

I want to shake the tree to harvest the pecans.

(I ate all the pecans from the lower branches.)  What I’ve been doing is . . . I walk out to the tree with my nutcracker and an appetite and pick, crack, and eat on the spot.

This is the nutcracker I got from Amazon:  Heavy Duty Nut Cracker.  It fits in my coat pocket and is ideal for “drive-by” eating.

When I lived in Georgia I did some serious pecan harvesting.

The trees were bigger, more mature, and put forth a lot of nuts.  A handheld nutcracker wouldn’t do.  This is what I used: Nut Cracker Tool with 4 Picks, Wood Base & Handle.

I could set up this nutcracker, adjust it to the exact size of the pecans, crank the handle back, and crack several nuts, one right after another, like an assembly-line worker.  Very efficient.

I don’t know about you, but for me, cracking open and snacking on nuts is a holiday tradition (along with getting fat).

Anyway . . . 

To get back to shaking the tree . . .

If I shake the tree with all the leaves on the ground, I’ll have a heckuva time finding the nuts.

Rake before you shake!

Two large trash bags of leaves later, I’m hungry.

Pecans aren’t going to cut it . . .  I need a MEAL!

Besides, the crockpot must be done by now!

Okay, before all you foodies get too excited, all I did was cut up a breast of chicken and dump it into the crockpot with a can of Cream of Mushroom and a can of Cream of Chicken (low-salt).  Sometimes I use Cream of Celery.  You know, the standard crockpot recipe, comforting and warm over a pile of rice.   Leftovers for lunch tomorrow!

~ ~ ~

Friday, December 14

Raking pecan leaves in the side yard brings my attention to the mess in the back yard.  You know the grape vine entwined on the lattice around the patio?  Oh yeah, the vine is pretty in spring and summer, but it is pretty darn ugly in the fall and winter months.  The big leaves dry up and turn brown.  They’re starting to break loose to sail across the yard.

I’ve had my eye on cutting down that vine for some time now.

Sure, the grapes are tasty.  However, when a few grapes drop to the ground, the Arizona sun turns them into raisins, and then ever-scavenging Roger tries to snack on them, well, that’s not good.

Plus it makes the back door entry area very dark and I feel it creates an oppressive atmosphere.

Sorry, grapevine . . . .

My aggressive pruning may not kill the plant.  It has a strong root system.

With the vine gone, I remove some of the aging trellis.

Not all of it . . .  not yet.

You can see the posts need sanding and painting.  Another project!

~ ~ ~

That brings us to me inside in my recliner putting this post together.

Reggie and Roger are napping on the bed.

Tomorrow the weekend begins.  Dennis and Gilbert will be here for more work on the fence.  The fence project has expanded to completely enclose the back yard from view from any direction.  Wow.


If I’m gonna’ do something, I might as well do the whole dang thing, right?

It’s going to be great!

Already the boys and I are enjoying the difference the fence makes.



Dawn in NC suggests this item from Amazon for a Christmas gift:

WaterBOB Bathtub Emergency Water Storage Container, Drinking Water Storage, Hurricane Survival, BPA-Free (100 Gallon)

“One thing I’m getting for Christmas from my sister, from Amazon, is a WaterBOB emergency drinking water container. It’s basically a huge water bladder, 100 gallons, made of food grade plastic. It goes in your bathtub and you can fill it up. I want it in case of hurricanes, if I am sheltering in place.” — Dawn

~ ~ ~

Rover Ronda recommends . . .

Rubbermaid FreshWorks Produce Saver Food Storage Containers, 3-Piece Set

“My husband and I are amazed at how long these containers keep food fresh. We liked the Rubbermaid FreshWorks so much we bought more.” — Ronda

~ ~ ~

Geri from the Florida Panhandle recommends . . .

Gorilla Carts Garden Dump Cart with Steel Frame and 10-in. Pneumatic Tires, 600-Pound Capacity

“We bought a Gorilla Cart over a year ago and I love it!

“With my bad back, the cart helps me bring all the bagged groceries from the car to the RV. It helps me at the washing machine so I can empty all the wet clean clothes into the wagon and pull it easily over to our clothes line. The wagon helps me move my potted plants around the yard. I can take all the household garbage out to the dumpster in it, too.

“This cart can turn on a dime. It has a ‘dump truck’ feature where the wagon can lift up off the frame, much like the back of a dump truck lifts up to empty its load. That feature is wonderful for taking the yard trash, cuttings, branches etc. out to the road to be picked up twice weekly.

“I really love this wagon. It’s very manageable and easy to pull. It has been a Godsend!” — Geri

~ ~ ~

Prime Members Start Your Free Trial of Britbox with Prime Video Channels

RVSue and her canine crew is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.


Posted in At home in Arizona | Tagged , , , , | 73 Comments