Giving Back

This past weekend it stormed in Tucson and I was not able to go riding. My family and I was stuck inside. At one point I thought about going to the movies, but then I would be spending money that I really preferred saving. I decided it was time to start some spring cleaning.

We have an animal shelter not far from us and one of the things they ask for as a donation are empty and cleaned out prescription bottles. I save mine during the year and had collected many of these bottles. It was time to go and donate them. I wasn’t going to only take the bottles, so I told my boys that it was time to clean all the bathroom and linen closets out.  We ended up donating 31 old towels, 18 small blankets, 6 large blankets and 6 pillows. When we loaded up my car, I decided to stop at the store on my way and spend the money that we would have spent going to the movies for dog and cat food. I bought moist food and 10 big bags of dry food. I wanted my boys to feel the spirit of giving, so I had them come with me and of course carry everything into the building in the rain!

I have always tried to teach my children to help out those less fortunate then us, including the animals. Our pets are part of our family and they needed to know that not all animals have families. After we completed bringing in everything, we took a tour of the facility. I had explicit orders from my husband not to adopt. We did not bring home any strays that day. Tony had decided when he had his own place that he was going to come back and adopt a German Shepard that he saw. I stressed to him if he was going to get a pet that it was a lifelong commitment and it was going to be a part of his family just like our pets are now. We do not believe in throw away pets and the best place to find a new member of his family is always at the shelter. He really wanted to bring that German Shepard home! I had to say no, but what we donated was going to help that German Shepard. He decided he wanted to help more, so he is signing up to be a volunteer there in the summer to walk the dogs in the nearby park.  The shelter is very fortunate to be connected to an urban lake and park. You can always see a volunteer walking the dogs there.

I’m happy that Tony understood about giving back and that he wants to help even more than just donations…  I will let you know about his adventures this summer walking the dogs as a volunteer…

Until next time…



Is it Mayan?

I pass the above tree on one of the trails I ride on.  I was told it was a Mayan carving. I always wondered why it wasn’t protected by the nearby  State Park?  As I passed it this week, I noticed someone had destroyed the top of the carving. I attempted to research it, but I couldn’t find anything on it. I’m upset that I didn’t have an earlier picture prior to it being destroyed. You can see the fresh cuts someone had made. Why would anyone destroy it like they did?

Prior to the above picture being taken, I took all my boys on a hike to see the carving. My son Tony has Aspergers Syndrome which is in the autism spectrum. People have left trinkets hanging on the branches around this carving. Tony took one of the trinkets off a branch and I had to have a discussion that it may be someone’s wish or a prayer.  I asked him if he left a wish or prayer would he want someone to take it away? I talked to him in a language that he understands. He promptly put the trinket back and asked if the next time we hike back to this place if he could bring something for a wish. To date we haven’t been back together. When I do pass while riding Hondo, I always remember the conversation and I think what would I want to wish on the carving?

Now that the carving is destroyed can you make a wish or prayer on it? Is it even something that you would want to make a wish?  Does it hold good or evil spirits? That is if you believe in that sort of thing…  why would other people leave trinkets around? Is it an offering to the Mayans?

It looks like I have more questions than answers.  I’m still trying to find some information on the carving. I called the nearby park (National Saguaro Park West) and the Ranger is supposed to call me back. He did not know about the carving and he is going to ask around. While I was talking to him, he asked how often I rode on the trails in the park. He was trying to recruit me to be a volunteer horse patrol for the park. I said if he could find out some information on the carving, I would think about it.

Well, till next time……. TC


Below is one of my favorites views. It doesn’t matter where I am or who I’m with. The view from the back of my horse is the best! I love going riding, it doesn’t even matter the weather. Of course, I think of the  comforts of Hondo. In the summertime in Tucson, it can be extremely hot and riding during the heat of the day is just not comfortable for him or very smart for me. That is why we go at 5 AM in the summer. In the winter we pretty much go most anytime.

Today was one of those times that we could leave at anytime, so when I got done with work for the day, Hondo and I left for a ride. During today’s ride we passed the petroglyphs. These petroglyphs are near a retreat center and they have tons of visitors. I enjoy them because I can ride Hondo there and have a small picnic. Near these petroglyphs there is a rock that Hondo and I usually stop at and it was here that I was having my peanut butter sandwich (my usual staple for every meal!) and feeding Hondo some carrots when I wondered how old the petroglyphs were and what were the people like that made them.  They may have even sat on the same rock I was on pondering the past. I live only about 3 miles from the petroglyphs and I have never bothered to learn about them.

Its amazing all the history that is so close to us and we can pass it everyday and experience tunnel vision. I have been doing tons of studying on the Arizona Trail that I forgot about the things that I see all the time while I’m out riding. I think I’m going to search the petroglyphs and learn more about them…

Until next time…. TC

My Night in the Desert

Yesterday I packed Hondo up to figure out how to distribute the equipment weight evenly. After I got him ready, I decided to go for a ride. It was around noon and my husband Joe was laying down due to a restless night. I left him a text message to let him know I went riding.

As I was riding along, I was thinking that I had all my equipment with me and I really wanted to test it out. I guess you can see where this is heading…. My next text to my husband was to let him know I was considering about spending the night in the desert!  Joe understood, but I knew he was a little upset and worried:(. I found a spot about 4.5 miles away from my house and decided to camp out. I also noticed that my phone had no reception because I was in a canyon. I walked a little way back and got to higher ground to let Joe know where I was and I was setting up camp.

If you notice in the picture, I was able to corral Hondo into a little cove.  What you can’t see behind him is that it is a dead end surrounded by high rocks. All I had to do was rope off the front. There was enough dried grass for him and I emptied half of my camelback into a collapsible bucket and Hondo was able to drink from that. I was going to save the rest of the water for in the morning for him.

I set up my tent and drank some juice I had brought and ate a peanut butter sandwich for my dinner.  I lit a fire and sat beside it for a while and just contemplated the things that are presently happening to me. One thing I haven’t mentioned is that when I had surgery this past December is that the surgeon found some tumors. I am going Monday to a pre-op appointment and to find out more about my next surgery.  I have been extremely depressed and doing a pity party on why me…. It has been very hard to be with family and pretend that everything is alright. I have been taking it out on Joe and I guess I just needed some time to reflect on my issues without anyone around. I know Joe was upset that I just decided to campout like I did.

Last night I didn’t put the rainfly on the top of my tent and I was able to watch the stars and the moon pass over me. I also forgot to turn my phone off and since I had no service the battery completely drained. I had my solar charger with me and tried to charge it with that. The charger even has a crank on it for when the solar part dies. Well I got some charge back to my phone and of course I still wasn’t thinking and didn’t turn off my phone.  I kept hearing Hondo moving around and in the desert this time of year, it is COLD!  I never got feeling back in my feet until morning. My sleeping bag kept me plenty warm, but my feet just couldn’t stay warm. I slept off and on and got up just before it started getting light. I had everything I needed to start a fire except my butane lighter wasn’t working. I had to use my emergency matches to get it started. After sitting by it for a few minutes, my feet finally started to warm up.

I started packing up and getting everything back on Hondo. He was being extremely patient because I think he was ready to get home also. For some reason it took me longer to get him repacked. During all of this, I was trying to get my phone to start charging again. I figured that the solar charger would get more power due to the sun was coming up by the time I left my camp.

During the ride home, I kept checking my phone. I knew the spots that I should have had signals, but my phone stayed dead. I kept it connected to the solar charger the whole ride home, but nothing….

I finally rode into our home and my husband Joe was worried sick. He was at the point of getting everything ready to go look for me. It made my heart glad that he was so worried. With everything going on with my health, it has been hard to be close to him. It is like we are just going through life right now barely talking or touching each other. I’m hoping that with me trying to get my brain settled, we can find that special something that has been missing in our relationship lately.

Well I guess I have blabbed enough…. I enjoyed my night in the desert and I wasn’t afraid like I thought I might be… Until next time 🌵⛺️🌵