Friday, December 31, 2010
In many ways 2010 has been an un-eventful year for us. It's been a year to cherish both family and friendships. We're at an age where we seem to have more of our friends and acquaintances dying -- at what seems like a very young age! We've been fortunate to also meet new friends and to welcome new members to our family -- and to watch that next generation grow up.
I tried to buy Dungeness crab for a traditional (in our family anyway!) crab dinner, but when I called a seafood retailer in the Phoenix area, I was told that they weren't sure they could get any -- and that it would be AT LEAST $8 a pound if they did! So we did the next best thing and went to Joe's Crab Shack for a wonderful Dungeness crab meal (all except for Tom who ate paella...).
We ended up at Tom and Juni's RV toasting in the New Year with raspberries in champagne.
Thursday, December 30, 2010
Our friend Leslie had come over to talk for a minute. Those are snowflakes in her hair!
Wednesday, December 29, 2010
Then we left for Mesa and the new RV Park, Valle del Oro, and it began to POUR! So glad we got the windshield wipers fixed while we were in Oregon. Leslie and Bill left first, then Juni and Tom. By the time we got there, it was really coming down. We were both drenched and cold by the time we walked to the office; got registered; walked back to the rig; unhitched the toad; drove back to the site; hooked up the electricity and the water; and got the slides out.
Hot coffee sure tasted good! I fixed some mushrooms and scrambled eggs for a late lunch and took a nap, listening to the rain on Auntie Violet's roof.
Bill has not been feeling good. Leslie did all of the getting Serenity ready to go and drove over here. Tonight he once again started spiking a temp so they went to an urgent care center. Sounds like the doc there thinks he's got bronchitis.
Tuesday, December 28, 2010
We made stops at the post office; at JC Penny for new bras for me (buy two, get two free today); then at Costco for blueberries and new shirts for Forry and Bill.
I decided to make pork stir-fry for supper. Leslie brought over some of her new garlic olive oil and her wok. Juni and Tom had eaten a very late lunch, so they just came over afterwards for chocolate lava cakes. Juni brought over raspberries to go with the cakes -- um, um good!
We are all going to move over to Mesa, Arizona tomorrow to Valle del Oro RV Park. We had stayed there last year. It's a nice place, but it's a small city -- over 1700 spaces!
Monday, December 27, 2010
How about the ice cube snowman?
This home is guarded by an angel --
These guys are made out of braided branches --
These are some lit up cacti!
And these guys are blow-up characters. The one on the bottom is all one piece!
Sunday, December 26, 2010
So later we had dinner at the Rawhide Steakhouse and Saloon. And what is on the menu, but "Make S'mores at Your Table." So Leslie and I had to try it --
This is the entry way into the saloon area of the restaurant --
Rawhide is kind of a fun place that was really decorated up for Christmas with lots of lights --
While this cacti quartet warbled carols --
This is a place that definitely caters to families with lots of activities. In addition to the gun-fight on the street, they also had a "melo-drama" every hour in their outdoor theatre. There are burro rides, gold panning, rock wall climbing, a mechanical bull, a stage coach, a miniature railroad as well as other attractions.
We had a very good dinner at the Steakhouse. We each split a rib-eye steak which was broiled to perfection along with corn on the cob, baked potatoes, beans, green salads and Texas toast. There was live entertainment during dinner with a dance floor that saw lots little kids -- and their parents -- having a very good time. I must admit though, that a couple of Western singers singing "Margaritaville" just didn't seem quite right.
Saturday, December 25, 2010
And a tray full of cups of shrimp cocktail --
I also fixed a five pound beef rib roast. Leslie contributed some scrumptious Kahlua yams while Juni made mashed potatoes, corn and rolls. Tommy contributed a spiral ham and a turkey breast. Do you think maybe we had enough to eat?
After dinner, Tommy took his Dad to the Cowboys and Cardinals football game here in Phoenix. He had gotten him the tickets for his Christmas present! The rest of us retired to our individual coaches for naps until it was time to eat again.
Friday, December 24, 2010
And at Tom and Juni's, even the mirrors are wearing Santa hats --
It reminds us of what it must look like in the Holy Land where Jesus was born --
Leslie, Forry and I went to the Christmas Eve service at Trinity Mennonite Church in Glendale this evening. At the end of the service the congregation filed out into the courtyard which was lit with lines of luminaries. Each person was given a candle as they came out the doors; everyone circled the courtyard and then sang Silent Night. Absolutely gorgeous!
When we returned from church, we all joined Tom and Juni and friends for a traditional Southwest dinner -- posole (pork and hominy soup) and tamales. A lovely evening indeed!
Thursday, December 23, 2010
And she's wishing you all the JOY of the season --
The Christmas tree was a present from Son Sean's friend Danny many, many years ago for my office when I was the administrator at the Ritzville Memorial Hospital. Danny was a young entrepreneur who had a wonderful florist shop in town when he was barely out of high school.
Late last night we had a taste of the storms that have been battering the state of California. We had huge gusts of wind, thunder, lightening, heavy rain and even some hail. Water was running down the streets of the RV Park. It didn't last long, but it was a bit scary. This morning the sun was shining, but it has been partly overcast most of the day.
Juni got a manicure while I got a pedicure, then she got a pedicure while I had my eyebrows waxed! I've always wanted to do it, but I thought it would hurt too much and always chickened out. Kim suggested doing it and since I didn't have time to think I said "Lets!" It does hurt! But it really wasn't that bad -- and I like the way it looks. Now I wonder how long it will be before it all grows out again.
Tuesday, December 21, 2010
Monday, December 20, 2010
Interstate 10 goes through some pretty flat desert that is occupied by several VERY large dairies. There are lines and lines of sheds filled with loafing Holstein cows.
We took the 101 Loop around Phoenix using the Garmin GPS instructions to Desert Shadows RV Resort. It did keep us out of the traffic in the city, but we ended up driving several blocks through a residential neighborhood. We might have been better off following the directions on the Resort's website which would have kept us on I-10 the whole way...
As I was walking from the RV holding/arrival area to the office, I heard someone whistling at me -- and sure enough, it was our friend Tom! We had not seen him and his wife Juni since we had stayed with them in Albuquerque over Christmas last year. What a treat to see our good friends again. They are the kind of friends with whom you can pick up conversation from a year ago just as if it was yesterday. Juni and Tom went to get haircuts while Forry and I got Auntie Violet set up once again. After being out in the desert, she badly needed the vacuuming and floor mopping that we gave her!
Sunday, December 19, 2010
And almost spooky --
Every minute, it was different --
There has been lots of rain over in California. These must be the remnants of the clouds --
Just movin' through --
This will be our last night out in the desert for a while. Tomorrow we will be moving into an RV Park in Phoenix to join our friends Tom and Juni. Leslie and Bill are also planning to meet us there for Christmas.
Saturday, December 18, 2010
As we came back down the highway, we were trying to figure out what kind of crops were being grown. We drove down a dirt road and realized that this had been a cotton field --
A lady in this store later told us she had seen these huge bales (the size of a semi-trailer) leaving the area on railroad cars. As we drove further down the road, we saw these large metal sculptures at a metal art and pottery store --
The lady at the store said that there were several Mexican artists who brought their works up to her every winter --
Friday, December 17, 2010
Thursday, December 16, 2010
We left Redlands traveling on Interstate Ten across California to Arizona to Quartzite. We followed Highway 60 up to Salome where we are once again staying at 3 Dreamers RV Park. It had rained fairly steadily most of the night last night and sprinkled off and on as we were getting hooked up to leave. We sort of followed the rain showers which seemed to be just ahead of us -- you could see where the pavement was wet along the edges. By the time we got set up at 3 Dreamers, the sky was mostly blue and the sun was shining.
Last February when we were here, this park was half empty. Today we have the only available slot! And it just became free this morning. They've done a lot of work this year -- there are new plantings, an new entire reverse osmosis water system and great free wifi!
We haven't had anything but the bedroom slide out for the last two days while we were parked along the curb in Redlands, so it was nice to be able to spread out this evening. And after eating out for those same days, it was nice to actually cook. We had a big green salad and shared a thick pork chop for supper.