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Unlikely Pairing Of A Hippo & Tortoise Teaches Us To Embrace Differences

by Judi Monday, Your Green Valley AZ Expert

Owen & Mzee--An Unlikely PairingOut of tragedy, joy triumphs and from chaos springs a most unlikely pairing of a century old tortoise and a baby hippo.  They met shortly after the tsunami waves struck the Kenyan coast on December 26, 2004 and have been inseparable ever since.  

The hippopotamus's (nicknamed Owen) traumatic tale began when he was swept down the Sabaki River into the Indian Ocean and then forced back to shore when the tsnamic waves struck the Kenyan coast before wildlife rangers were able to rescue him on that fateful day.  Owen, less than a year old, lost his birth mother when the tsunami struck and found himself alone at a very tender age since Hippos are quite social and typically spend the first 4 years with their mother. 

The Hippo & The TortoiseDestiny intervened when he landed on a 130 year old tortoise named Mzee.  Nature took over and Mzee became "Mom" to Owen who, according to ecologist Paula Kahumbu, began following her around exactly the way a hippo would follow his mother.  "If somebody approaches Mzee, Owen becomes aggressive as if protecting his biological mother", Kahumbu added. 

Mom and son are teaching the world that while our differences are what makes each of us unique, they shouldn't be what keeps us apart.  Imagine how different our world would be if we would take to heart the story of Mzee and Owen by embracing what makes us different and walking the path together.

         JUDI MONDAY, CRS         

520-241-7780

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Is Your Home Ready To Sell?

by Judi Monday, Your Green Valley AZ Expert

Is Your Home Ready To Sell? I've seen countless homes both as a listing agent and a Buyers agent, and have to say that many, if not most, homes are not ready to be on the market.  If they were, I can assure you they wouldn't be on it for long.    How do you know if yours is ready for a quick sale?

First and foremost Buyers want a move-in ready home.   This is especially true in the Green Valley, Arizona market where active seniors come to enjoy the endless days of sunshine and activities not to spend their days fixing up a home. 

Offering a $5,000 allowance because you think Buyers want to choose their own carpet and paint colors may backfire.  The moment they walk into your house and see dirty, dingy walls and worn, torn carpet their first thought will be, 'what other things have the homeowners let go in the home?'  Plus if they decide to make an offer,  chances are high it will be a low one because in their minds they expect there are other areas of deferred maintenance, and their offer will be based on that assumption. 

Before you put your house on the market, take the time to spruce up your home and Is Your Home Ready To Sell?make it Buyer ready.  The time and effort you put into making it move-in ready will be reflected in the offers you'll receive and the amount of time it will take to sell.  If your house needs carpet and paint, choose beautiful neutral colors and get the work done before that first Buyer walks through your door. 

After you are done making it move-in ready be sure it also staged to sell with 5 Real Estate Selling Tips to WOW Buyers.  One of the best staging tips won't cost you a dime...especially here in Green Valley where the sun always shines:

Are you thinking about selling your Green Valley, AZ home?  Begin with a free, no obligation comparative market analysis.  Or give me a call at 520-241-7780.  In addition to a Free Market Analysis, I will walk through your home and tell you exactly what should be done to make it Buyer ready. 

Your first and most important question to every agent you interview to list your home should be: "how will you leverage today's technology to sell my home?"  Find out if they have the advanced skills  necessary to market in today's digital age--including Certified Residential Specialist (CRS) and ePRO designations.  Check out their website--does it invite you to spend time on it or turn you off?

I would love to show you the power of my proven marketing plan that heavily focuses on leveraging today's digital age to successfully sell homes as well as tell you how to make your home Buyer ready. 

         JUDI MONDAY, CRS         

520-241-7780

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Old Tucson Studios

by Judi Monday, Your Green Valley AZ Expert

Known as Arizona's Hollywood in the Desert, Old Tucson Studios was voted "Best Western Movie Set" by True West magazine, and is listed among five one-of-a-kind Tucson sites by USA Today.  The site for more than 300 film and television projects since 1939, it is one of the most active filming locations for Western-themed movies, television, cable shows and commercials in the United States.

Arizona Filmed At Old Tucson StudiosOld Tucson Studios came to life in 1939 when Columbia Pictures chose a Pima County-owned property on which to build a replica of 1860's Tucson the movie Arizona.  The $2.5 million film, starring William Holden and Jean Arthur, set a new standard of realism for Hollywood westerns, initiating the move away from studio backdrop movies to outdoor epics.

More than 50 buildings were erected from scratch in 40 days by local technicians and carpenters.  Descendants of the Tohono O’odham, Arizona’s first inhabitants formerly known as the Papago, assisted in the set production. Without the convenience of running water, they made more than 350,000 adobe bricks from the desert dirt to create authentic structures for the film. Many of those structures still stand today.

After the filming of Arizona, Old Tucson Studios lay dormant baking under the desert sun.  The studio was revived briefly for the film The Bells of St. Mary’s (1945), starring Bing Crosby and Ingrid Bergman. Hollywood then began taking notice of Old Tucson Studios, and it became a favorite filming location.

Passing through the gates of this old frontier town, visitors from around the globe are transported back to a time when fearless men with six shooters ruled the Old West. Saunter down the streets of Hollywood's most famous movies; walk in the footsteps of movie legends like John Wayne, Clint Eastwood and hundreds more.

There is something for everyone to do in this legendary town.  From cowboy gunfights and daring stunts to rip-roarin’ musical revues and comedies, Old Tucson Studios offers exciting Old West entertainment. Take a guided tour of this historic Tucson attraction and you’ll be amazed by its rich film history. You can get all gussied up in some old-fashioned duds for an old-time photo or take a miniature train ride into the beautiful desert surrounding the park. 

          JUDI MONDAY, CRS         

520-241-7780

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Believe

by Judi Monday, Your Green Valley AZ Expert

If you think you can't, you won't.

If you think you can, you might. 

If you BELIEVE you can, you will!

Santa on Sleigh

Do you remember when you believed in Santa Claus?  That is the kind of belief that is needed to move mountains and make whatever your heart desires come true.  It is the child like wonder that you had when you knew that Santa would not only deliver gifts to every boy and girl in the world but he would bring YOU what you wanted most. 

Then the day came when someone laughed at you when you told them that you still believed in Santa Claus.  In that single moment Christmas became a little less magical and you became more "realistic" about the things you believed. 

As one year draws to a close our thoughts move toward New Year's resolutions, and the things we want to accomplish in the coming year.   My wish for you is that you will dream big, and go after what your heart desires most...whether it is "realistic" or not.   I hope you will approach your resolutions and goals with the confidence and unshakable belief that you had as a child when Christmas was full of magic thanks to the man in the red suit who rode through the night on a sleigh full of gifts pulled by eight reindeer.  

Garden Of Gethsemane Tucson, AZ

by Judi Monday, Your Green Valley AZ Expert

The Spirit of Arizona Blog Series:                                     Garden Of Gethsemane In Tucson, AZ

It seems fitting, with the holiday season upon us, to focus this installment of the Spirit of Arizona on what can only be described as a spiritual oasis in the midst of bustling Tucson Arizona.  Situated on the West bank of the Santa Cruz River across from the central business district and interstate, this serene site has provided a peaceful respite from the growing city surrounding it for over half a century. 

Walled off from the noise and filled with lush plants and trees, this unique garden has an immediate calming effect on its visitors.  The name, Garden of Gethsemane refers to the garden where Jesus prayed before being arrested and crucified.  Dominating this peaceful spot are life size concrete statues of Christ, his Apostles and his mother and father.  Maintained and supported by a partnership between the Catholic Knights of Columbus and the City of Tucson Parks and Recreation Department, the park is a gift to God from a grateful artist.

Felix Lucero, a Native American from Trinidad, Colorado was drafted into the army and sent off to the trenches of France to fight in World War I.  Following a bloody battle, Felix found himself laying among the dead and near-dead who had been abandoned and left to die on the now silent battle ground.  Critically injured, and very much alone and scared, he prayed to God for life, promising that in return he would devote his life to building statues of Christ wherever he went in his life. 

His prayer was answered and true to that promise he made to God in exchange for his life, he returned home and with no formal training in art, devoted his life to creating sculptures of Christ.  His figures speak to those who seek refuge in this garden of the love and unshakable bond that Lucero felt with God.   It has became a shrine where people from all over came to pray and meditate. 

All the more remarkable, when you consider that the artist was living under the Congress Street Bridge in a cardboard and plywood shack when he began sculpting the Christian statues.  They were originally molded from damp sand, reinforced with debris recovered from the Santa Cruz riverbed, and covered with plaster.  According to a plaque in the garden, "heartbreak and pain walked with the artist during his sacred efforts."

Today, the secret it out, and while the faithful still come to pray, it has also become a popular spot for weddings and quinceaneras.  Despite its fame, there remains an abiding spiritual feeling that envelopes visitors as they enter.  Open daily from dawn to dusk, there is no charge to visit this serene space located at 602 W Congress Street.  Felix Lucero died in 1951, but his beautiful legacy and monument of one man's fulfilled promise to God lives on in the heart of Tucson.  

       JUDI MONDAY, CRS         

520-241-7780

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Paying It Forward--Valley Assistance Services

by Judi Monday, Your Green Valley AZ Expert

A movie titled Pay It Forward, released by Warner Brothers in 2000, had a profound impact on my life.  The storyline is endearingly sweet and really quite simple but one that packs a wallop of a message.

Pay It ForwardA young boy, Trevor, troubled by his mother's alcoholism and fears of his abusive but absent father, takes to heart an intriguing assignment from his new social studies teacher.   The assignment: think of something to change the world and put it into action. Trevor conjures the notion of paying a favor not back, but forward--repaying good deeds not with payback, but with new good deeds done to three new people.  His efforts to make good on his idea bring a revolution not only in the lives of himself, his mother and his physically and emotionally scarred teacher, but in those of an ever-widening circle of people completely unknown to him.

The novel of the same name, written by Cathrine Ryan Hyde, gave birth not only to the movie but also the Pay It Forward Foundation and a social movement of inspirational and random acts of kindness.

Having had the best year of my relatively young 3 year real estate career, I found myself reflecting on this movie and wondering how I could pay forward the gratitude I feel for the many blessings in my life.   In a synergistic moment at a recent MLS meeting, a woman named Chris Kang spoke to us about an organization I had never heard of called Valley Assistance Services

As soon as I heard their motto, "The helping hand forward for Valley Assistance Servicesthose in need", I knew I had found my way to pay it forward to those who need it most.  Valley Assistance Services mission statement is: "connecting seniors and families with appropriate and essential social services, to reinforce independence, resilience, and create an improved quality of life".   They are dedicated to providing hope and empowerment to seniors and families so they can sustain their independence. 

I love the fact that this organization is committed to helping isolated seniors stay connected in life so they can remain in their own homes and live their lives with independence and purpose.  It is a cause that pulls at my heart strings as I have had a number of personal experiences over the past 3 years with seniors who have found themselves alone and without resources at a time in their lives that they are unable to solve their circumstances without help. 

Being in the business of "homes", whether I am helping Buyers find the one of their dreams or assisting Sellers in selling one that no longer suits their needs, I see on a daily basis the joy that comes with home ownership.  And, I have shared the sorrow of someone who can no longer stay in the home they love. 

I want to help people be able to stay in their homes and beginning in November, I started paying it forward with a commitment to donate $100 from every one of my real estate sales over the next year to Valley Assistance Services.  My heartfelt thanks to each and every one of my clients whose support and continued referrals have made my business successful.  It is because of you that I am able to give back in such a personally meaningful way and in doing so, help to change a part of the world that I call home.  

         JUDI MONDAY, CRS         

520-241-7780

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Tombstone Arizona

by Judi Monday, Your Green Valley AZ Expert

The Spirit of Arizona Blog Series:                                     Tombstone, Arizona

The scrappy town of Tombstone, known as "The Town Too Tough To Die", is one of the best preserved representations of our 1880 western heritage with its original buildings from that era, not to mention the many artifacts that can be found throughout the area's museums.  A visit to this Historical American Landmark, is a step back into time. 

Walking the dusty streets you'll follow in the footsteps of Western legends like Doc Holliday, Wyatt Earp, Virgil, Johnny Ringo and Ike Clanton who roamed them more than 130 years ago.  In fact, during your visit you will mingle with their feisty spirits embodied in the performers who re-enact the gun battle that put Tombstone on the map. 

Tombstone was founded in 1877 by a prospector named Ed Schieffelin.  Ed was staying at what was then called Camp Huachuca (wa-chu-ka) as part of a scouting exhibition against the Chiricahua (chir-i-cow-uh) Apaches.  During his time there he would venture out into the wilderness "looking for rocks", ignoring the warnings from the other soldiers in the camp, who said the only rock he would find would be his tombstone.  He did eventually find his stone and it was silver.  He named his first mine The Tombstone after the warnings he had received from the soldiers.

You'll want to make a day of your trip to Tombstone and perhaps a night of it as well.   There is plenty to see and do in this authentic and wild Western town that is still home to about 1,500 residents who believe in preserving the history and rich heritage of the "Wildest Town in the West", and a draw for visitors from all over the world.  From old time photo studios to gunfights, horse-drawn carriage rides, tours of historic sites, museums and more.  Tombstone celebrates its colorful history throughout the year with many special events that bring the town and its varied history to life.

        JUDI MONDAY, CRS         

520-241-7780

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Reid Park Zoo

by Judi Monday, Your Green Valley AZ Expert

The Spirit of Arizona Blog Series:                                     Reid Park Zoo

Take a walk on the wild side at the Reid Park Zoo in Tucson, Arizona.  With a vast range of animals that include an African Lion, Dwarf Caiman, and Malayan Tiger to mention but a few of the hundreds of animals that call Reid Park home:

Meet The Animals

You can choose to experience the Zoo on foot or take the Zoo Train which located just outside the front gate of the Reid Park Zoo.  Each ride is just $2 and the train runs during most business hours depending on visitation levels. 

There is plenty to see and do for all ages, including the Kenya Get Wet--an interactive wet play area where you will most certainly get wet...so bring a towel.  In the Wild Ideas exhibit you will find live animals and hands-on exhibits and at times, games or crafts.

The staff is dedicated to keeping the Reid Park Zoo experience new and exciting no matter how often you visit so be sure to check out the Daily Activities schedule at the Zoo gate.  You will often find new opportunities to interact with the staff and animals. 

Want to impress your family and friends?  The entire facility with its lush ground and meandering pathways, is available for rental after the Zoo closes to the public.  You can enjoy anything from a black tie affair to a casual and fun Bar-B-Que.

        JUDI MONDAY, CRS         

520-241-7780

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Horseback Riding In & Around Green Valley AZ

by Judi Monday, Your Green Valley AZ Expert

The Spirit of Arizona Blog Series:                                     Discover The Great Southwest On Horseback

Horseback riding is as much a part of the American West as sunsets and saguaros. In fact, there is nothing finer than a horseback ride at sunset in the Sonoaran Desert and Saguaro National Park. 

In the Green Valley/Tucson area and throughout Southern Arizona you can saddle up at a guest ranch, resort, or public stable.  Horseback riding opportunities abound in the immediate area. 

Horsemanship lessons and wrangler-guided trips (with trail-side breakfast or picnic lunch) are available for both individuals and groups of all skill levels. For a special treat, look into specialty rides, such as sunrise, sunset, and moonlight rides to make your time on the desert trails especially memorable.  


Whether you choose a half-day jaunt, a longer trail ride, a group or solo journey, riding horseback is the real Western way to explore the high desert landscape.

Kartchner Caverns State Park

by Judi Monday, Your Green Valley AZ Expert

The Spirit of Arizona Blog Series:                                     Kartchner Caverns State Park

Kartchner Caverns State ParkDeep within the bowels of the earth in the Whetstone Mountains is a magical place 200,000 years in the making--a pristine limestone cave.  Discovered in November 1974 by two young cavers, Gary Tenen and Randy Tufts, when they found a narrow crack at the bottom of a sinkhole leading into the hillside. The warm moist air that flowed from the crack signaled the existence of a cave.

Curious, they crawled deeper and after several hours found the "live" limestone cave.  This underground wonder is home to a wide variety of unique minerals and formations, including:

  • one of the world's longest soda straw stalactites: 21 feet 3 inches (Throne Room)
  • the tallest and most massive column in Arizona, Kubla Khan: 58 feet tall (Throne Room)
  • the world's most extensive formation of brushite moonmilk (Big Room)
  • the first reported occurrence of “turnip” shields (Big Room)
  • the first cave occurrence of “birdsnest” needle quartz formations
  • many other unusual formations such as shields, totems, helictites, and rimstone dams.

For an unforgettable adventure be sure to put the Kartchner Caverns State Park on your "must see" list.  During a memorable 1 1/2 hour tour, your guide will unveil the mysteries of this fascinating underground landscape.  The park's Discovery Center features museum exhibits, a large gift shop, regional displays, theater, and educational information about the caverns and the surrounding landscape. There are also campgrounds, hiking trails, lockers, shaded picnic areas, a deli, an amphitheater, and a hummingbird garden.

JUDI MONDAY, CRS         

520-241-7780

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Judi Monday
RE/MAX Valley Properties In Green Valley, AZ
210 West Continental Road
Green Valley AZ 85622
Direct: (520) 241-7780
Fax: (520) 648-2221