Saturday, November 30, 2013

The Last Day in November

Now, that's a hard one to believe! How in the world did it get to be the last day of November already? I know I turned the page over on the calendar just a couple of days ago... I used to chuckle at my Mother-in-law when she would remark about how fast the time flew by. Now I know exactly what she meant.

It was another nice warm (82 degrees) day today. I guess we'd best be enjoying it as the weather forecast seems to be saying that the jet stream is going to be bringing arctic air down this way early next week. Those people who are into skiing, snowboarding and snowmobiling are happy. I understand there has been lots of snow in the mountains all through the west and the ski resorts are all open. It seems like a lifetime ago when we spent so much time on snowmobiles with our kids. We had four of the crazy things and spent a lot of time at Camp Camrec and in the mountains with them. We even went to Yellowstone Park one winter with Flying Farmer friends. I think part of the fun was having warm clothes and boots -- the only way to enjoy the cold.

Forry and I were talking yesterday about what an interesting life we have led. Although there are still places on my bucket list that I would like to see or do, the list of what we have done is much longer. As Sister Sherry says, memories keep us warm during cold times.

Friday, November 29, 2013

Post Thanksgiving Thoughts

Thanksgiving continues to be a bittersweet holiday for me. I cannot help but think of sitting with my siblings through the last hours of our father's life on Thanksgiving Day fourteen years ago. Like is always promised, the pain is less as the years go by and the memories are sweeter. The urge to reach for the phone and ask him about an official's mistaken call or an interesting twist in a baseball game has lessened, but the thought remains. I've heard it said that no one is ever truly gone as long as someone thinks or speaks of them. If you think that way, Dad is still with us.

Today is Black Friday. It's an occasion I have never quite understood. I've been watching the TV news this evening of the crazy crowds. It's not that I don't like people, but I do not like crowds! I don't even like large parties! I guess it's part of being an introvert. And part of being at a stage in my life where I'd be hard-pressed to think of anything I really want or need...

Thankfulness -- it's an interesting concept. I've enjoyed reading several of the daily posts people have been making on Facebook as to what they are thankful for. Family and friends seem to top the lists. Material possessions don't seem to be mentioned much, though as the weather around the country has gotten colder, there have been more mentions of warm houses. It's interesting that there are only occasional comments about being free to worship.

It got up to 82 degrees this afternoon with wisps of "horsetail" clouds across the sky. I am thankful for this nice warm weather! (Especially when I see pictures of snow and fog in Spokane!)

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Auntie Violet Gets a Present

If you can remember a month or so ago, the man from Costco came to see us and measured Auntie Violet for new shades. We were told it would take six to eight weeks or so to have them made, so I was definitely not thinking about them coming until just before Christmas. I was quite surprised last week to get a call saying they were in already -- and would Wednesday be a good day to install them?

Denny, the technician, was here a little after 8 am this morning. The first thing he did was bring the stack of shades into the house --

Denny was quite organized and efficient. He didn't even seem fazed by the tight quarters and the valences. Down came the old shades --

I was very pleased about how well the new shades blended in with the valences -- and how quickly Denny got all five of the new shades installed. Besides which he hauled all the old shades and hardware back to the shop to dispose of them!

Here's what the completed job looked like this evening --

On the other side of the coach, there are two shades across and two more small ones -- one at each end.

Denny was done and gone by 10:30. He was very efficient! While he was still here, I started the sweet potatoes for this afternoon's "Day Before Thanksgiving" potluck here at Eagle View RV Resort. I had watched Carla Hall make Candied Bourbon Pecan Sweet Potatoes on The Chew. I thought they really sounded good and decided to make them for the potluck. They seemed to go over quite well -- anyway the dish ended up empty.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Our Gila Woodpecker Visitor

For the first time that we have seen, we had two hummingbirds at the feeder at the same time. The new one is a bit different than the first one. We think it might be a Broad-Tailed Hummingbird, but we'll have to get a longer look at it to make sure.

Our other visitor to the feeder was back as well. I was able to get a few pictures of the Gila Woodpecker by aiming the camera lens down through Auntie Violet's front windshield --

Since she isn't able to hover in the air and drink like the hummingbirds do, she grabs hold of the metal support with her clawed foot, then sort of curls her body around the feeder...

She braces her tail for balance and then she is able to insert her beak into the container and get her drink of the sugar water!

Clever little bird isn't she? I was going to sit outside and see if I could get some better pictures of her than what I could get through the window, but the wind was a bit too brisk to be comfortable. I guess that will be a project for another day.

We didn't do a lot today. Forry managed to get the new canopy out of the box and find the directions for erecting it. I did a couple more loads of laundry and we cleared off the area in front of the windows in preparation for the new shades.

Monday, November 25, 2013

A Better Day

Fortunately, we both got a good night's sleep last night and woke up feeling a whole lot better today. We went into the Safeway store in Fountain Hills to pick up some badly needed groceries late this morning, then stopped in the office to pick up the box of mail Daughter MM sent last week.

We now have another visitor at the hummingbird feeder. Last evening, Forry saw something bigger flying by. It turned out to be a female Gila Woodpecker. She curled around the little feeder cup and was having herself a snack. I'll have to try and see if I can catch her in the act for a picture.

The rain has finally cleared off and we have had lovely blue skies today. It's still not real warm, but it did get into the high seventies. Forry took my camera last evening and got a picture of the sunset with what was left of the rain clouds --

Here are the same hills tonight without the clouds --

Watching all of the snow and storms on TV makes me very thankful we are a long way from it. I just hope everyone traveling for Thanksgiving will have a safe trip.

Sunday, November 24, 2013


We were looking forward to attending church this morning with our friends Colleen and Dennis. After all, that's the reason we drove to Tucson! I was feeling a bit under the weather this morning, but thought it was just getting up so early in order to have breakfast and meet them by 9 AM. But when the waitress set my plate of fresh fruit and my bacon and egg in front of me, I knew it was more than that! I ended up sending my breakfast back to the kitchen and calling Colleen to tell them we didn't want to risk giving them whatever bug I had managed to pick up. Forry began feeling a bit queasy as well, so we headed back to Eagle View and were home by eleven. Bummer!

These are some of the pictures I took on the way to Tucson yesterday. We were a bit surprised to see so many cotton fields that hadn't yet been picked. Cotton is a huge crop in this part of Arizona.

This is a field that has been picked with one of the huge bales of packed cotton --

You could see long "stacks" of cotton on the edges of some of the fields --

It rained steadily most of yesterday and part of the way this morning as well. It's quite strange to drive by the flat desert and see puddles of water --

As my friend Cathi's Brother Kent said, "Arizona drivers are NOT used to wet roads!" The State Patrol was out in force and we saw lots of stopped vehicles, but no accidents, thank goodness.

As we got closer to Tucson, we began to see the bike riders. The El Tour de Tucson bike race was on! We must have seen hundreds of wet riders on the frontage roads by the time we got through town.

This is the entry to the Westward Look Resort and Spa where we had a $95/night with breakfast Groupon coupon --

Our room was one of four in one of the outlying casitas. Pretty nice --

We still were a bit under the weather by the time we got home, so the agenda for the rest of the day was naps. We were feeling good enough by evening to tolerate mugs of chicken noodle soup. Let's hope tomorrow brings a better day.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Trip to Tucson

Our friends, Colleen and Dennis, have rented a house in Tucson where they stay between the shows where they are selling their "Recycled Spoon" jewelry. We've been wanting to come to visit Shalom Mennonite Church here in Tucson. The pastor is Bryce Miller who interned a few years back at our home church of Menno.

Colleen and Dennis did not have a show scheduled for this weekend, so we thought it would be a good weekend to visit. Then I saw on Groupon, an ad for a night's stay with breakfast at Westward Look, a Wyndham Grand Resort and Spa. Everything seemed to come together for the trip.

It's probably a good thing they had no show this week -- not sure that it would have been a very good turnout with all of the wind and rain we've had. I understand that Arizona's one day record for rain was broken yesterday. Then it rained all night again. It was kinda funny to drive through the desert this afternoon and see all of the puddles of water out there.

We got here early enough this afternoon to do some shopping. We made a stop at Target for a pair of slippers and some badly needed underwear. We were close to a Big 5, so we stopped to see if they had any canopies. They had several, but not the one Forry wanted with vents on top. The salesman there sent us to their other store in the Tucson Mall. Enroute we stopped at REI. They had a very nice sturdy one, but it not only didn't collapse to a very manageable size, but also didn't have wheels on the carrier bag.

The other Big 5 not only had what we wanted, but they had one set up so that we could really see it. Not only that, they discounted it $30 after Forry asked them if they could do better on the price! And they carried it out to the car for us.

Colleen and Dennis were at a birthday party for their one-year-old grandchild tonight (we begged off...), so they are going to pick us up in the morning to take us to church with them. We're looking forward to that.

Friday, November 22, 2013

It's Wet!

I was sitting at the desk last night checking out something on the internet when I heard a series of loud booms. When I wondered what it was, Forry immediately said it was thunder. I was skeptical, but then saw a flash of light out the front window and a few seconds later another boom. Darn, I hate it when he's right...

A few minutes later, we heard a few drops of rain hitting the roof. From there it went to a deluge. It rained pretty much all night. Sometimes, the rain came down so hard that I wondered if the roof would stand up to it. This is what it looked like through the sunshade curtain on the front windshield this morning --

It's been raining off and on all day. There was a brief period when there was a bit of blue sky on the horizon, but it quickly filled in with more grey clouds. I heard on the news that the region had had an inch of rain in the last 24 hours. We are on an areal flood watch (areal = relates to prolonged rainfall of over six hours which saturates the ground and causes slow rising of rivers and streams, in contrast to flash flooding which occurs quickly) through sometime on Saturday. They are expecting at least two more inches of rain before it's over.

A former colleague of mine has been in the area the past couple of weeks helping her brother who has been quite ill. She's heading back to Spokane tomorrow, so we arranged to meet her for lunch. We were all a little leery about how the driving might be in this part of the world where people are not used to wet roads, but we did fine. We met her at Ranch de Tia Rose's, which is our favorite Mexican gourmet restaurant in the area. The food is always wonderful here. This is a picture Cathi took of her gluten-free grilled salmon enchiladas with avocado sauce. Forry had some crab enchiladas while I ate my "usual" chile relleno filled with pork and pine nuts. So good!

Wouldn't you like to have a table made of these gorgeous tiles?

Thursday, November 21, 2013

At Eagle View

I took the camera with me when I walked over to the main office to mail a postage check over to Daughter Mary Mae (who boxes up and ships our mail to us). I wanted to get a few pictures of the compound for those who have asked what it is like here. Unfortunately these grey skies we have again today are not what I'd really like to be seeing.

This is taken from the road in front of Auntie Violet looking down toward the main building. The four orange doors on the left side are male and female restrooms and showers, with one set of each being accessible. The fifth door leads into the laundry and one of the ones on the right leads into the craft area and the other into the fitness room.

This is the front side of the building across the courtyard from the side where the restrooms are. The main office is on the left (also where we pick up mail) and the club room area with a small computer room, a table set up with puzzles, the doughnut and coffee area and a few tables and chairs.

Across on the other side of the courtyard is the swimming pool and hot tub area. It's been a bit chilly the last few days to spend much time there...

This shot is looking out across the courtyard towards the pool area (you can tell by the canopies by the pool). Compared to the complex at Valle de Oro where we stayed in Mesa last winter, there isn't a whole lot here. But, we're in the country and that's what we like.

Today was another quiet day. I took care of a few office things and read a book about life in the south during the Civil War. Not too much else going on...

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

It's Beginning...

Several years ago, we spent a month in Bolivia visiting our youngest daughter Dawn and her husband Todd who were then working for MCC (Mennonite Central Committee) in Santa Cruz. We were there over the month of December. You would not have known Christmas was coming by anything in the stores or the market until Christmas week. Then a couple of days before the day, all of a sudden there were decorations and nativity scenes.

It's not that way in the United States anymore. It's not even Thanksgiving yet and the television is showing ads for Christmas sales. There are Christmas decorations up in the malls and stores. Facebook is already full of cartoons and pictures of Christmas. People are already complaining because someone said "Happy Holidays!" to them instead of "Merry Christmas!"

For many families, it was part of the Thanksgiving weekend tradition to put up the outdoor lights and decorations. But many houses are already lit up. And there were several comments on Facebook tonight about how excited people were about having their Christmas trees up! I suppose part of that may be the increasing use of artificial trees -- when you just pull it out of the box and set it up, there is no worry about the tree drying out too soon.

We went over to the Red Rock Buffet at the Fort McDowell Casino tonight for one of their weekly snow crab feasts. Since we were there two weeks ago, holiday decorations and trees are up all over. They're still advertising their Thanksgiving Buffet, but everything else is Christmas themed.

I understand that part of the reason for the rush to promote Christmas -- especially the sales -- has to do with the fact that this year November has five Thursdays. That means that Thanksgiving is later then usual (the last Thursday in November). Therefore, there are not as many shopping days between Thanksgiving and Christmas as there generally are.

Maybe it's part of getting older. My beloved mother-in-law always said that time flew by faster and faster the older she got. That's the way I feel. It seems like holidays come around so fast anymore, but I'd still like to enjoy each one before the next one starts...

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Playing With the Moon

We had a full moon a couple of nights ago. I took the camera outside to try and see what I could get in the way of pictures. It was a lovely bright full moon as it rose --

There's a mesquite tree a few sites over from us. I wanted to get a picture of the moon framed by the tree, but I ended up with one just looking through the tree...

This is more what I had in mind. I kind of like this one, but I wanted a bit more of the tree actually on the moon --

For some reason, this one seems sort of creepy...

I'm using my Canon 1560 at its full 35x optical zoom. I suppose if I was truly serious about something like this, I'd set up Forry's tripod for stability instead of just bracing myself on Auntie Violet or Toad II.

We had a pretty quiet day today. Forry rode the trike over to the office to check for mail, but otherwise we spent most of the day inside reading and doing Sudoku.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Birds and Open Range Critters

I think I mentioned that there is a flock of Great-Tailed Grackles hanging around the RV park, opportunistically hoping that someone's garbage sack will tear open. After the garbage collectors come around, you will see them just sort of checking things out. This female was hoping for a drink.`

Then toward evening, the whole flock started gathering on the neighbor's tree. The females tend to have the more golden breasts...

We saw this handsome top-knotted fellow, a Phainopepla male, on a mesquite tree just down the road from the park --

We startled a flock of Gambel's Quail crossing the road in front of us. There must have been twenty or thirty of them --

I think I've also mentioned that we are in Open Range country. We had gone up the road just outside the park until we came to the edge of the reservation that was signed for "tribal members only." Forry turned around and all of a sudden we had company on the road --

There doesn't seem to be a whole lot to eat out there, but these horses didn't look in too bad a shape...

We're on the bottom land near the Verde River, which means there's a lot of brush around that's actually pretty verdant.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

The Hummingbird

This is the hummingbird feeder we bought at the Street Fair in Fountain Hills last week. I sort of thought that even no hummingbirds found it, it's kind of a neat outdoor decoration...

 I gave up trying to get a picture of the little bird through the front window and went and sat outside for a while this afternoon --

The light is not striking him right for you to see the bright fuschia feathers under his chin. That dark spot is actually quite bright.

The sugar containers are actually little plastic lidded cups with a hole in the lid, that hold maybe a couple of tablespoons of sugar water --

You can see a hint of color on the back of his head in this shot --

I have a sky filter on my camera -- I wonder if that affects the color as well?

Most of these pictures show the little guy on the right hand cup, but believe me, he was drinking from both of them! We drove slowly around the whole park this afternoon when we went over to Fort McDowell and didn't see another feeder anywhere. How in the world did this little guy find ours??!!

Saturday, November 16, 2013


I cannot believe that an Annas Hummingbird has found our new hummingbird feeder! How do they know there's a hummingbird feeder available in the middle of no where? Forry thought he saw something zip by the window and sure enough there was a hummingbird drinking from the new feeder.

I tried to get a picture, but I think taking part of the front window shade down frightened him away. I'll keep working at it. Today I changed the little containers and put fresh sugar water out. One of the containers was half empty, the other looked as though not much had been removed.

We also were visited this morning by a flock of Common and Great-tailed Grackles, who spent about an hour flitting all over the place. At this RV Resort, you are supposed to put your garbage bags out on the edge of the site in the morning by 10 AM when the fellows in the truck come around to pick it all up. The grackles have figured out that there may be food in those bags. They will peck away at them, trying to make a hole. They sort of go from the top of one RV to the next. It's funny to hear them walking on the roof, They sound like loud raindrops that start at one end and go to the other...

Our neighbors with the noisy dogs collapsed their canopy today and folded up all of their lawn chairs and put them away. It looks like they are getting ready to leave in the morning. That will be a good thing.

Friday, November 15, 2013


We were tired today -- definitely needed to stay home! So we did. Didn't accomplish much of anything at all.

I had spent some time on-line last night looking at airfare from Kansas City to Phoenix. I should have though about it a month or so ago. Even on SouthWest, fares are over $750 round trip. It would have been great to bring our granddaughter out to visit for a few days...

Not sure what's going on with all of the dogs here. Two spaces over from us (there's no one in between), the dogs start barking a little after 5 AM. I don't know if they let them out of the RV at that hour or what. They're pretty noisy for at least a half hour or until they get let back inside. Tonight, they've been barking pretty steadily for the last couple of hours. I know they bark at everyone with a dog that walks by -- and there are a lot of dogs being walked. Some of them are pretty big ones too. We even saw a Great Dane today.

We had a wind warning for most of today. It wasn't near as bad as they had predicted, but the sky has been overcast all day. We could see dust over by the mountains, but it didn't seem to come this far.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Another Trip to Town

Two days in a row! Not a good idea. We went out to Home Depot to look for stand-alone canopies. They had a couple of 8x8 ones still in boxes, but the clerk had no desire to take them out or set them up so we could take a look. I did see that there were quite a few more on their website. I think maybe that's where I'll look next.

We went back to Safeway in Fountain Hills and finally got groceries. We hadn't gotten a very early start, so by the time we finished, it was dark. We're getting so we know the area fairly well, but it's still not easy to get around at night. I think we'll make a decision to go grocery shopping in the mornings from now on.

We had leftovers for dinner tonight. We had enough left from PF Chang's last night to more than fill us up. Plus having a big chunk of the Great Wall of Chocolate for dessert!

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Errand Day

We went into the Scottsdale Costco this afternoon to return Forry's shorts for the second time. This time I took along a tape measure to check waist sizes -- oh, how I wish they had fitting rooms! -- and hopefully the new ones are neither too large nor too small. (Both of which they've been!)

Our first stop was at Lowe's. The ground at the RV Park is too hard -- and has too many pipes and wires running through it -- to put the stand for my gossiping crows up. So we went shopping for a two by six board or something similar to use for a stand. The clerk at Lowes said they didn't sell lumber scraps, but the lady at the desk said that actually they could, they just had to get a manager's okay. We found a 37" chunk of 2x6 in the scrap box (that said NOT FOR SALE on it) and the fellow not only got an okay to sell it to us for seventy-eight cents, but sawed it into three equal pieces for me! Now all Forry's got to do is to glue it all together and drill a couple of holes...

We've had a $50 gift card from PF Chang's that we've been wanting to use for quite a while now and we decided today was the day. We had some wonderful soup and were enjoying the signature chicken lettuce cups as the appetizer. We were only about halfway finished with the appetizer when a fellow -- who turned out to be the manager -- showed up with our entrees. He said, "Oops, looks like these came up a little too fast. How about I take them back to the kitchen until you're ready."

That seemed to be a good thing and we proceeded to enjoy our lettuce cups. Our waiter cleared away the little plates and brought the larger dinner ones. Then we waited, and waited some more. Finally, the manager came back out apologetically and said our entrees had gotten burned and he had them remake them. He also told us he would take care of us...

Well, we didn't eat but about half of our entrees as we were pretty full, so they got boxed up. But, we did find room for The Great Wall of Chocolate -- at least for a few bites of it anyway. That came home in a box as well. About that time the manager came back. He apologized again and gave us his card, telling us to give him a call next time we came in and dinner would be on the house. Attached was a forty dollar gift card!

Hmm, I think it was another good day!

Tuesday, November 12, 2013


11-12-13 What an interesting date! I heard on TV today that normally on a Tuesday, around 300 couples get married in the US. Today it expected that over 3000 will take their vows. Some folks we know had tried to get organized enough to marry on 12-12-12, but it didn't quite work out. So they got married in Las Vegas today instead. There should never be any reason to forget an anniversary!

I spent several hours of today in the laundry over at the main building of the RV resort today. I took all of our rugs (all seven of them!) except for the Chinese rug in the living room over to wash in the big machines along with the spread from our bed. There was only one machine available when I got there, so I had to wait for it to finish the first load and then do the other. It was a busy place. There are six washers and six dryers and they were in continuous use.

While I was gone, Forry vacuumed the floors, so that all I had to do was damp mop and then put down my clean rugs.

Yesterday was a beautiful sunny day without a cloud in the sky. Today it was breezy with clouds drifting by overhead most of the day. There were lots of leaves blown into the swimming pool and hot tub when we got there. But, the water was warm and relaxing...

Monday, November 11, 2013

Yeah for Water!

Some of my Facebook friends have been doing a month of expressing gratitude for a different part of their lives everyday. It's been interesting to read the variety of things they have expressed thankfulness for. As I was thinking about that this evening, I had one thing pop into my mind -- water!

Not only for drinking and making ice, both of which I am thankful for, but I spent most of the day doing laundry. Now think about it, it's awfully difficult to think about doing laundry without water. I can think about seeing women in Latin America doing laundry on the banks of rivers and streams. I have memories of washing out clothes in hotel bathrooms and having Forry help me by twisting wet clothes inside towels to wick out moisture. Of course, these days I use my Splendide washer/dryer here in Auntie Violet. Although, tomorrow I think I will take our throw rugs and our bedspread over and use the big machines in the laundry at the RV resort.

But late this afternoon, I was super happy about the water in the swimming pool and the hot tub. We went over to the pool area just at sunset. Forry sat in the hot tub while I swam some laps and did some water exercises. It felt so good at the end of a pretty warm day to just float in the cool water.

I can recall nights when we lived on the ranch when I couldn't sleep. I would go out and just float in the pool for while. What a wonderful way to release tension.-

I think I've always had this relationship with water. When I was a child we lived right across the street from the Ritzville City Park and the swimming pool. Sister Sherry and I spend hours swimming and playing at the pool -- it was a great way to get us to do our chores -- they had to be done before we could go swim.

Not to long after we were married, we put a gunited cement heart-shaped pool in at the ranch. It was just too far from town to drive to take the kids in for swimming lessons. I taught a lot of our kids' friends -- and some of our adult friends -- to swim in that pool. And I understand that our farm tenant's sons have had a lot of fun times there.

Ah, water! It's a good thing!

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Beautiful Evening For a Walk

We had lots of wispy clouds floating by today after several days of absolutely cloudless skies. (I think a bit of California weather came our way today.) The clouds made for a gorgeous sunset this evening. Here in the desert, there is not much of a twilight. Sunset happens quickly and then suddenly it is dark.

We were out walking -- well, I was walking and Forry was riding the trike -- as the sun set this evening. This shot is the reflection in the eastern sky --

There is a low range of hills out in that direction --

This is what was going on to the west! The dramatic colors were spectacular!

Forry doesn't always feel up to walking, but he rides the trike while I walk. We donated his squirrelly folding bike to the Oregon MCC Sale. I'm not sure if we're going to try to find him a different one or not...

This is the northern edge of the RV Resort. As you can see, we are right next to the desert. Last night when we came home, we saw a coyote right alongside the fence.

Towards the south there are more hills --

Within another ten minutes, the color was all gone, and it was dark.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Back to Fountain Hills

Since we mostly visited with our friends Colleen and Dennis at the Fountain Hills Arts and Crafts Show yesterday, we decided to go back again today earlier in the afternoon so that we could make a few purchases. I had seen a really neat hummingbird feeder that used little cups instead of a large container for sugar water. When I get it unwrapped and up tomorrow, I'll get a picture to post.

I also hadn't had a chance to roam through the other booths. I left Forry visiting with Dennis while I went looking. I saw a lot of very nice things that I might have been tempted by if I had the room of a stix and brix house. There was some pretty incredible furniture, both wood and leather. I did find a women who had some very interesting cloth dolls. Some of them were pretty pricey, but I found a darling beanbag doll in the back that I can sit atop our CD cabinet.

One has to be careful. Everytime we mentioned liking something In Dennis and Colleen's booth, we ended up being gifted with it! Dennis' theory is that if their friends and family are wearing their jewelry, they are walking advertisements. I did persuade Colleen to let me buy a little sugar bowl wind chime...

After the show closed down, we ended up going out for dinner at an upscale Mexican restaurant near the place we had eaten last night. (It definitely had no Latino staff nor customers!) The food was good and it was quiet enough to spend some time telling stories with each other.

Friday, November 8, 2013


I got a phone call yesterday from our friend Colleen saying she and Dennis were setting up their booth, Recycled Spoons, in Fountain Hills. We had seen signs for the Fountain Hills Arts and Crafts Show when we were in town earlier this week and wondered whether they might be here.

Dennis and Colleen are friends from Ritzville that go back many years. We saw them at the Mennonite Country Auction back at Menno the first Saturday in October, so it was neat to be able to see them again so soon. Late this afternoon we went over the hill into Fountain Hills. The roads were blocked all around the lake with the fountain, so we parked about three blocks away. Recycled Spoons had their booth in the midst of the line-up with the back of the booth towards the lake. Colleen said they had been busier earlier in the day, but things were pretty quiet now.

As we had walked down to Colleen and Dennis' booth to join them for dinner, I saw some other booths that I would like to check out. There was one with really cute little hummingbird feeders that were actually little capped cups that kept out bees and ants. There was another across the street that had some interesting looking copper items. The booths closed at five, but will reopen at ten tomorrow and the next day. I think we'll come back and I leave Forry at the Recycled Spoon while I browse.

We ended up going to the Saddle Bronc Grill for dinner, a place that had been recommended to Colleen by the night manager at the motel they are staying at. It turned out to be a good call. Collen and I had babyback ribs that were so tender you had to eat them with a fork -- they literally fell off the bone. Dennis had a shrimp platter while Forry had a chicken fried steak that he said was really good. The food was very good, but boy, was it a noisy place. Maybe tomorrow night we can find a quieter place where we can visit.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Wonderful Crabbiness!

One of the nice things about where we are staying this winter is the Fort McDowell Casino which is right across the road. And one of the nicest things about that is the Red Rock Buffet and its Snow Crab Wednesday and Thursday nights. We didn't go over this week until almost seven o'clock and the line was still long. The hostess said that people start lining up at 2:30 for the buffet that opens at 3!

It is an incredible people-watching place. They have a large deep (6 inch) pan (12x18 inches) full of snow crab halves on their steam table. The attendant lady will take out an almost empty pan, set it aside, then pull another one out of the stainless cupboard behind her and set it on the table. Tonight she replaced the pan of snow crab halves three times while we were in the short line in front of it. There was one fellow in front of us that had two plates. He loaded each of them with five to six halves piled high enough that they looked ready to topple at any moment. I wonder how many pounds of snow crab they go through in an evening? Our waitress didn't seem to know.

Forry and I felt a bit like pikers with our 2-3 halves a piece. I still like our NW Dungeness Crab the best, but this snow crab has been very good, even if it is much more tedious to pick out the meat. The buffet offers chicken and enchiladas and a bunch of other stuff, but you don't see much of that being loaded on plates. However, the dessert tables seem to get a lot of business!

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

I Think It's Wednesday...

Not much happening here today. We stopped by the office on our way to the grocery store. I wanted to make sure it was okay to put out our hummingbird feeder. I know that due to the wild critters around, seed bird feeders. are verboten, but I was thinking I had seen a hummingbird feeder or two. Turns out they are okay.

While I was in the office I discovered that we had a couple of packages. I had ordered a new oral irrigation device that is hooked up to the shower (ShowerBreeze Oral Irrigation). Niece Becky had recommended we get one after she had cleaned Forry's teeth this fall. He doesn't like the hand one I use at the bathroom sink, so here's hoping he'll like and use this one.

We did go into the Safeway in Fountain Hills. We didn't need much, but were out of orange juice and bread. It is a really nice store, but they sure need to do some educating of their carry-out staff. I was moving bags into the cart in the beginning as the carry-out person was busy at another check-stand. When she came over, she just started picking up bags and tossing them into the cart. She flipped the bag with the orange juice jar right on top of the bread! I was sort of shocked, so it took me a minute to ask her to be careful. She gave me kind of a funny look and said she was sorry, but she'd thought "I might be in a hurry." HUH?

We are enjoying watching the CMA (Country Music Awards) tonight. I guess I'm just a country girl, but this is the kind of music that turns me on.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Thunder! and Lightning!

I had just finished posting last night's blog when I heard a series of bangs outside the RV. I immediately thought that one of the Herefords that were alongside the fence and on the road when we came back from our Costco trip had managed to get through the fence around the RV Resort. (We are in what is called an "Open Range" area which means you can just let your livestock wander. If you don't want them on your property, you have to fence them out.) We've seen cattle on the road the last couple of times we've gone into town.

But then, we saw some flashes of light and realized that what we were hearing was thunder. It was pretty noisy around here for a while. Then it started to rain, first a few drops hitting on the roof, then a downpour. I shut down the computer and disconnected it. We have a good inverter over on the power pole where we are plugged in and I have power strips to use inside, but I always figure it's easier not to take chances.

It rained hard for 15-20 minutes and then it was over. The funny part of it is that none of the weather or radar apps on our phones notified us, nor did they even mention the brief storm... This morning, except for a damp spot across the road, you would never know that it had rained. Except, that my geraniums didn't need any water today.

Forry got the battery charged on his new toy by this afternoon, so he used it to air up the tires on my trike. We adjusted the seat and the handle-bars, then I took it for a spin around the park. It's nice to have my wheels again. I think though, I'll have Forry ride the trike while I take my walks around the park.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Shopping Trips

Forry got a new Camping World flyer in the box of mail that came the other day and wouldn't you know, he found something he needed! He tried calling the Mesa store twice today to see if they had any of these battery-powered tire inflators in stock. Both times the person he talked to said that the computer told them they had two at the store, but that they would check to be sure and call him back.

Neither one of them called back. What does that say to you about customer service?

We had planned an excursion to Costco to return the short pants I had gotten for Forry a couple of weeks ago (they were actually too big!), so decided to stop by Camping World on our way. They actually did have two of the inflators, but they also had a different one that plugged into a 12 volt system. So he debated a while, then decided to try the battery .driven one. I suppose that will be tomorrow's task.

We also bought a set of tire covers for Auntie Violet.  They have been on our list of things to get for quite a while. Seems like she's making out like a bandit these days...!

The trip to Costco was quick. I took the shorts back and found a couple in a smaller size. He hasn't tried them on yet, so I don't know if there's another trip in store or not...

It was too early to eat dinner, so no gourmet Costco dog for Forry today!

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Football, Football, Football

Forry was pretty bummed that the Seahawks game was blacked out on the two Direct TV stations that we could get today. It sounds like it was quite a game. They were down 21 to 0 at half-time, then came back and won it 27-24 in overtime. I kept checking the score on the internet for him, but it's not quite the same.

He found a whole lot of other football games to watch though. It's amazing how they can take up an entire day!

I did get out for a short walk around the park this evening. It was so nice out just after sunset. The park is gradually filling up and there are some VERY nice RVs around.

I spent some time on the computer today getting some SENDOUTCARDS off to friends and Grandaughter Havela. Her other grandparents, Jerry and Janny, are celebrating fifty years of marriage, so I wanted to get a note off to them as well.

I also ordered a new ShowerBreeze that our Niece Becky had recommended when she cleaned our teeth at our last dental appointment. It's an oral irrigation setup that can be attached to and used in the shower. It should encourage Forry to use it!

We needed prescriptions filled, so I took care of ordering those as well. I also sent a note off to the ranch's bank.

And then we voted so that we could put our ballots in the mail in the morning. In our home state of Washington, ballots need to be postmarked by Election Day (Tuesday) to be valid. It would make more sense to me to require them to be received by Election Day, but this year with our delayed mail, I'm glad all we need is the timely postmark.

 All in all, I got a lot of busy work done today!

Saturday, November 2, 2013

MAIL! and Laundry

Son-in-law Scott mailed a box of Priority (2 day) Mail at the Post Office in LaConner, Washington the afternoon of October 28th. The tracking record says that it went from there at 5:06 and arrived and was processed at the Origin USPS Sort Facility in Kent, Washington at 11:09 PM. Next the record shows it was processed through the USPS Sort Facility in Phoenix, Arizona at 11:01 PM the evening of October 29th.

On October 30th (no time noted) it departed the USPS Sort Facility. At 7:49 AM it arrived at the Post Office in Scottsdale, Arizona? And was noted as "Sorting Complete" at 8:43 AM. By 8:44 AM, it was "Out for Delivery" The next notation at 5:34 PM stated "Undeliverable as Addressed!"

On October 31st (this is now four days after it was mailed), the note at 2:00 PM says "Processed through USPS Sort  Facility" again in Phoenix, Arizona.

By this time (on Nov. 1st), we were concerned that it hadn't arrived and Daughter Mary Mae followed up with the local post office who informed her it was being "returned to the sender..."

The next notation on the Tracking Info says -- in bold print -- November 1, 2013, 11:17 AM Delivered at Fort McDowell, AZ 85263, but it was not here at the office. (The mail usually arrives between noon and one, so it probably didn't get on the truck...)

This morning, MM called and said she had looked at the USPS Tracking Site again and it now said the package had been delivered. This noon, when Forry went over to the office to check, there it was! Somewhat battered and travel-worn, but here. Now we should be able to get our ballots in the mail on Monday and won't miss the election.

Sorting the mail and doing the laundry kept me happily occupied the rest of the afternoon while Forry was watching football games.

Friday, November 1, 2013

More Goodies for Auntie Violet

One of the things we've been planning to do for Auntie Violet is to replace the shades in the living room. We've been looking at various options, but hadn't seen anything I really liked. You know those little kiosks you sometimes see at Costco? When we were in Mesa a couple of weeks ago, I happened to notice some samples of some really nice Roman style shades that I really liked at one. I said something to the girl about it being too bad they didn't do shades in motor homes. BUT, she said they did! So I gave her our card.

A few days ago we got a call from Dan, who made an appointment with us to bring some samples to the coach and do some measurements. We looked at a lot of samples. I really liked some that had strands of grass-like materials, but the more we looked at them, we decided they wouldn't stand up very well. Then I found this sample that was made of sturdier strips.

This picture gives a much yellower tint to the sample. It's actually more shades of tan and brown. The edges will be trimmed with the chocolate strip on the left and they'll be backed with the privacy fabric on the right.

This is Dan from B&B, the Costco vendor, who did the measurements and made the order out. You can see the shades in front of him that we will be replacing. The one on the right will not go up anymore and the one on the left  is catywompus.

It will be four to six weeks before the shades arrive as they will be custom made. Arizona has a three day "cooling off" period on purchases, so it will be the fifth before the order is even placed...