Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. 

I’ve been busy wrapping presents and going out for last minute gifts.  I did finally find the perfect gift for that friend who has everything and then a bottle of Chocolate Port for my hubby at one of my favorite specialty groceries here in Southern Arizona; AJ’s.  No, we are not in Central Park!  Though I do long to go back.  This is one of those images that takes me to a Christmas like setting like when I was growing up in Idaho.  Here in Arizona, we do not get snow and I do miss it at Christmas.  Not the cold though.  I don’t miss the cold one itty bit.  I left the cold country many years ago as it seem to freeze me right to the bone.

Winter at Central Park

I had a little fun with this image in Photoshop. Thought not perfect, the windows and the lighting outside is now aglow with light. I also enriched the color of the buildings and the cottage.  I don’t know if it’s re-opened but it was once a restaurant that was closed when we were there.


We wanted to put up an arch type structure at our entry to the cabin but found that with the new county rules and regulations that the arch would have to be at least 50 feet inside the property line. Of course, Gus almost blew a gasket over this and several other issues dealing with the county inspector.  He was ready to travel around the county taking pictures of every entry arch that somewhat resembled the Ponderosa.

In the long run our IRONWORKS SIGNAGE arch turned out very nice and is now a lead in to the main courtyard.  It’s a massive amount of steel that Gus saved from the local metal scrap yard and very little cost.  At 20 feet high and 40 feet across with lighting at each high corner, it makes a bold statement leading to the house.

For the signage, we purchased the lettering from an antique store, Brass Armadillo in Goodyear Arizona and the light cases from another antique store.  Due to again county regulations we had to shield the lights so that they did not disturb the neighbors.  We improvised by shielding the lights with two large peanut cans turned upside down and painted oil rub bronze to match the rest of the sign. While building the actual heavy Ironworks sign, Gus jammed a finger between the metal frame surrounding the sign and the board that holds the lettering. Ouch… you can only image the words.

I kept telling him he was getting carried away with all the heavy metal but somehow it all turned out nicely.  We almost named the home site “Heavy Metal” but I vetoed that.   Here is Gus 20 feet up in the air balancing on a ladder.  I was holding the ladder at the base most of the time to keep it stable.   He is securing the signage to the arch.


Hanging the sign over the arch was quite an experience for Gus. He had to use his little Kubota tractor to lift the sign up and then balance it in precisely the right place to keep it from twisting sideways. He is a lot more adventuresome than me.  Here’s Gus on his tractor.  I put it on social network several months back with the little jingle; “green acres is the place to be…”


I was afraid for him all the while he was hanging the signage but it all went well. Gus made the sign from welded metal purchased at the scrap yard.  The cost was very minimal compared to what we would have had to pay if we’d hired someone to create it.  The sign was hung without any mishaps or missing fingers. Whew!!  Thanks, Gus… it turned out great.  More to come later…