my deepest apologies

I know I have been MIA lately.  LIfe has just been quite busy for us here in AZ…with work, school, quasi-parental duties…I have neglected my blog….and I am so very sorry.

So…where to begin?  Let’s start with our favorite new bar…well, favorite in a sense that we’ve been there twice…they have fried cheese curds…it’s a Packers Bar and you get draft Pabst Blue Ribbon beer for $1.50…and it’s served in a Mason jar.  Live country & western to boot.  Not what most of you would assume would be our watering hole….but…the food is good and simple…the beer is cheap and cold and you can toss your peanut shells on the floor.  It’s called the Buffalo Chip SaloonbclogoOne of the last cowboy bars out here in our neck of the woods.  Where we live, the horse rancher is king….the Buffalo Chip even has an area for you to tie up your ride…give it a cool drink of water while you load up on fried cheese curds and Pabst Blue Ribbon.  And yes…it is used often…you can tell by the huge piles of poop.  Sunday nites is Rodeo night and they have real-life bull riding.  Simon was quick to ask if anyone could ride the bull…and no, it’s only for professionals.  The minute I walked in the joint I was instantly taken back to my time in Austin, TX…nights at Jenny’s Little Longhorn Saloon.  It’s not often I can tolerate a night of country music….but this place is different.  It’s authentic.  The dust on the walls is at least a half inch thick…loads of vintage beer posters/neon signs…the house band in the corner..including a little old guy that plays a mean steel guitar and about 10 true to life old cowboys sitting around the bar in their ten gallon hats with thier horses tied up out back.  Just down the road is a Steeler’s bar called Harold’s.  I don’t like Harold’s as much at the Buffalo Chip.  Harold’s is a Harley bar…Harley’s are BIG out in these parts.  Lots of baby boomers livin’ the good life on thier Harley’s….kinda annoys me…but hey…at least they are having fun.

Finally…our first decent pie north of the 101

On Thursday…we went to a small little pizza parlor located in the tiny little town we live in.  Pizzafarro.  We went on a recommendation for a co-worker….so I was a bit skeptical.  But I was not disapointed.  The pizza was amazing!  We ordered the sausage and onion, thin crust.  The sausage is house made with strong overtones of fennel.  Simply great. the onions were hand sliced thin….and generously placed with the sausage.  The dough was perfect, crusty on the outside but with a nice tooth to it on the inside….made with flour, water and yeast….not FROZEN and PRE MADE….the owners were present and working the joint…one was in the kitchen…spitting image of an aged Mario from Super Mario Bros….even down to the mustache.  His wife, Vicky was working front of the house.

The sauce was spicy and a little sweet….not too much on the pie though….which is great.  The cheese (mozzarella) was flavorful and applied in nice even layers for great melting.

The decor was hilarious …I must admit.  Time warp even!  Reminiscent of an assisted living cafeteria…but I’ll overlook that for the pizza.

Thank God we found decent pizza out here…..I was getting worried.

Why did we move to Arizona? Well, let me tell you….

I apologize for not discussing this in more detail.  I have gotten all the emails asking “WHY ARIZONA”…and I’m sorry it has taken me this long to lay it on the line.

So here it goes:

We moved to Arizona to help Simon’s folks with a bit of a relocation dilema.  Background:  Simon has a brother that is 16.  Yep….he is the baby of the family.  There is a 15 year age difference between Simon and his brother.  Simon’s father builds malls. Back in the day he was one of the men that refurbished St. Louis’ Union Station (that is how Si got to St. Louis from WI)…years later he build the St. Louis Mills.  Well, as luck would have it, Simon’s dad took a postion in Arizona building not so much malls, but ‘communities’.  And as more luck would have it, the company he works for is building a new ‘community’ on the beautiful island of Kauai.  Now, the sad part comes in.   Baby brother could not move to HI with his parents b/c of school.  The school year in HI does not jive with the school year here on the mainland….so…baby brother is staying put here in AZ.  Enter the cheesemonger and his wife.  We moved to Arizono to be with Wilson while his folks do some serious commuting between HI and AZ.

There you have it.  We packed up our life in St. Louis to help out Si’s folks.  But, funny thing is….it is really helping us out as well.  We sold the house in St. Louis so that is one less thing to worry about (or pay for)…I can concentrate on going to school full time and working a traditional RN schedule (3 12 hour shifts/week) and we can hoard cash away to buy our dream farm.  It really worked out well for all parties involved.  The only downside is that we moved to the desert and left our friends and my family in St. Louis……BUT the upside is that Simon’s other brother is here in AZ with his wife and kids….so….it’s a great opportunity to spend some quality time with Simon’s family.  If his sister lived here (she’s in DC) we’d all be together.

Some have raised the question of dealing with one’s in-laws on such a personal level.  I am one of the lucky people:  I love my in-laws….it’s that plain and simple.  We get along really well….other folks are not so lucky from what I hear.

I am looking forward to this new experience.  The last time I lived with at 16 year old boy was…well, never.  By the time my brother was 16, I was at University.

This will be a learning experience.  I’ve actually learned a lot already.  For instance:  16 year old boys eat a lot….they espcially drink a lot of milk.  We’ve been here 2 weeks….I’ve been to the grocery store 5 times already…including Costco.  8 gallons of milk….that’s right 8 GALLONS!  When it was just me and Si…we didn’t go through 8 gallons a month!  But, growing boys are different…and he hasn’t even started wrestling practice yet.  And these folks are from Wisconsin, so you can only imagine how much they love thier dairy.

And to clarify our true whereabouts….we live in small town just north of Scottsdale…but we just tell everyone we moved to Phoenix b/c it’s easier than explaining where Carefree is.  Our town doesn’t get mail service….that’s how small it is.  We are about 45 mintues (without traffic) from downtown PHX.  I work at the a well known resarch hosptial (not going to name it for fear of legal action…but if you look up the hospital systems in PHX/Scottsdale…one name will jump out) in the OR now and Simon is heading up the cheese dept and a local gourmet food store….hopefully he will show these folks out here what real cheese is….cause they haven’t a clue!

So, this year will be full of suprises, challanges and lots of swimming as we now have a nice pool in our back yard.  I have a nice tan now…after getting a bit too rosy the first week.  You need to re-apply the block out here often…and you still tan.  Last night while walking the garbage out (in the dark) I heard someting rooting through the cans….I ran.  I’m still adjusting….but I’m loving it so far.  We have a list (see previous post) of new spots to try….there is a new farmer’s market going into downtown PHX and we have a very cute little local market here during the fall/winter/spring.  Most things are closed down now b/c of the unbearable heat.  But there is a cold front moving in….only 106 today.  And as much as I hate to admit it….it really is a dry heat…it’s still effing HOT but not as stifeling as St. Louis heat+humidity.

Arizona, huh???

Well, there may be a kink in my summer plans. Looks like we might be moving to Carefree, AZ come mid-August. Arizona. I never dreamed it.

Look on the bright side…Kevin Binkley’s restaurant is on the other side of Black Mountain and he also just opened a lunch spot, Binks.

If we go, we’ll be back in St. Louis in time for craptastic January weather.

Of course, like everything else in our life at the moment….it’s not set in stone….but looks pretty promising that we’ll go.

Arizona…’s hot out there. And brown….and well….they have deadly insects and reptiles just hangin’ out in your yard. At least it’s just for 5 months or so.