Wednesday, December 31, 2014

A Rainy Day...

I woke up during the night to the sound of rain on the roof. And it rained, and rained. It was still raining when we got up this morning.

What a change in the view out of our front windshield this morning --



Compare that view to what we were seeing through the windshield yesterday --


Forry was giving me a bad time about jinxing our view with my picture yesterday. Could that be possible? According to the Winter Weather Warning we saw today, there most likely will be snow on the peaks when they appear again as they are over 4000 feet high and the snow level is said to be down to 2500 feet.

We've spent a quiet day today. We had talked yesterday about going on a road trip on the last day of the year, but the downpour of rain quickly took care of that idea. I don't think we'd spot too many birds in the rain.

Instead I put the last pork roast I had in the freezer into the oven along with some acorn squash halves. It was actually a bit warmer last night with the cloud cover.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Four Peaks

It's funny how you take things for granted. We can see the Four Peaks out our front window. We watch the light play on the mountains throughout the day. This picture was taken just before sunset when the reflection from the setting sun was turning the mountains pink and purple as we look across the Verde Valley.


I didn't think much about the view until I saw an ad for the We-Ko-Pa Hotel's New Year's Eve package. Along with champagne and dinner, they were promoting an overnight stay at their rooms with a "Spectacular View of the Famous Fabulous Four Peaks."

I guess we had no idea that our view was famous or fabulous. I  do agree though. It is gorgeous!

Monday, December 29, 2014

Another Day

It may have gotten a little bit warmer today -- or maybe we're just getting used to the chilliness. When I went out for my walk this afternoon, I actually enjoyed the sunshine. According to the forecasters on the television, this cold system has spread throughout the entire country. I saw that San Antonio, Texas was reporting 41 degrees.

Today was laundry day. I wasn't sure how well the clothes would dry, but with the little electric heaters, they actually dried quite quickly. I haven't done any laundry since before Christmas, so I ended up doing four loads.

Eagle View RV Resort is  gradually filling up. There is still a great deal of coming and going, but the permanent spots seem to be filling up. Sandy, in the office, says that the week after New Years should see a full house. All of the snow birds who were waiting until after the holidays will soon be on their way. I do hope the weather gives them a warmer welcome then we've had the last week.

Sunday, December 28, 2014

FOOTBALL, FOOTBALL, BASKETBALL

It's that time of year. If there's not a football game on TV, there's a Gonzaga basketball game to watch. There's no point in getting upset about it or even making a fuss. It just is. I settle in with my current book on the iPad and pretty much ignore most of it. My theory about basketball games is that you only need to watch the last ten minutes anyway.

Forry has been frustrated today because the Seahawks game is not being broadcast here, so I've had to go on-line every once and a while to update him. He wasn't very happy the first half with the 6-0 score, but his disposition has improved greatly during the second half!

I spent some time this afternoon updating the built-in Garmin in Toad II. We have a life-time map plan, so it is a matter of finding the right cords in the cupboard (at least the bags they are in are all labeled!). Then I just had to go on-line to the Garmin.com site and down-load the updates.

It was another chilly day here today.  I think this wintery weather is covering the whole southwest. We've had some absolutely gorgeous sunsets.

Friday, December 26, 2014

COLD!

It was COLD and crisp today! Forry says it got down to 27 degrees last night. I don't think it even got up to seventy during the day. I grabbed my heavy sweater as I went out the door for my walk early this afternoon and I was glad I had.

The TV forecast is for freezing temperatures in Phoenix tonight. And we saw several of our neighbors covering up their plants. Our neighbor went through quite a production. He pulled their pots under a table, then brought out several blankets to cover the table with. Then he went over to the edge of the road and carried several large rocks over to hold the blankets down. Those plants will be quite cozy!

I warmed up the leftovers I had brought home from our Christmas Eve dinner for supper tonight. With the last of the crab cocktail from yesterday, there was more than enough for both of us. I would sure like to know how they fixed the potatoes. They were in thin layers like you would do scalloped potatoes, but had an entirely different flavor.




Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Christmas Eve

Since we had been so impressed by the Christmas luncheon for the Eagle View guests last week that the We-Ko-Pa Hotel had catered, I decided to go ahead and make reservation there for their Christmas Eve dinner. It is so pretty when you drive up. There are lights strung on all of the saguaros and a fire in the large metal basket.

 
Dinner was a set menu with a couple of choices. You could have either Pumpkin Bisque (delicious!) or a salad with greens, candied cranberries and pecans. Then for the entree you had a choice of turkey and all the usual accoutrements or prime rib with fancy scalloped potatoes and asparagus. Forry and I both had the prime rib since we had had turkey at the Eagle View luncheon (and it isn't our favorite meal anyway). The meal was scrumptious! The tenderest prime rib I have ever eaten. It was served with an incredible blue cheese hollandaise sauce. We had a nice bottle of Leaping Horse California merlot that was the perfect complement. Then there was dessert! They had made a raspberry filled chocolate Yule log that was served with fresh berries and whipped cream.

Dinner was so good! And I brought home at least half of mine for tomorrow!

The young man who had greeted us by name upon our arrival (as he did every guest as they arrived!) was kind enough to take a cell phone picture or us as we left.



Now we are at home viewing, as has become our tradition, Midnight Mass at the Vatican on TV. We wish the blessings of this Christmas season to all our friends and family!

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Pfefferneuse

It was a fun day today. We got a box of mail forwarded by Daughter Mary Mae (Our "official" address is her house.). Besides a few bills and magazines, there was a nice bunch of Christmas cards and some small gifts. But, the thing that made our day was a couple of small bags of precious Pfefferneuse cookies. When they show up, you know it's Christmas time!


Pfeefferneuse or Peppernuts are a small anise flavored cookie. My mother made a version that were the size of walnuts. The kids used to put them in their jacket pockets when they were out riding and eat them like jaw breakers.

Our family started making them with Dorothy Friesen's (Judy William's mother) recipe that used ground star anise. They are quite small -- about the size of your littlest finger nail. Traditionally, the dough was made Thanksgiving week and aged until they were baked just before Christmas. The dough is rolled out into long snakes or ropes, then cut into small pieces and baked. It's a very labor intensive process. You can have a hundred or more of the little critters on one baking sheet.

I'm glad that MM has been busy baking -- and even happier that she shared!

Monday, December 22, 2014

It's Beginning To Look Like...

Auntie Violet was not happy when we put out the luminaria, but hadn't yet put up her icicle lights. Forry got that done yesterday and now she's happy again.


One of the chores I had to do before the end of the year, was to make my annual distribution withdrawal from my Scottrade IRA. This is the deal where you have to withdraw a certain percent every year once you reach the age of 70 1/2 (or else it will be taxed at 50%). I printed off the necessary form at home, but we had to go into Scottsdale to the local Scottrade office to get it sent in.

From there we back-tracked to the Safeway store in Fountain Hill to restock Forry's supply of licorice. While we were there I noticed some good looking Dungeness crabs in the meat department. After I asked and found out they had arrived just today, I bought one for supper. Along with a fresh loaf of crunchy Italian bread, we had quite a feast.

Just around the corner from Safeway is a shop called You Need Nails that I had spotted last time we were there. I was able to walk-in for a long needed pedicure as well as a brow wax. I am a new woman.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

So I'm Feeling Grumpy...

The sun was shining when we got up this morning and the air was very clear -- the mountains all the way around the RV park were crisply outlined and gorgeous.

There are bag dispensers on posts all around the park for people's use in cleaning up after their dogs. There are at least three dispensers on posts along the perimeter fence. And most people are really good about cleaning up after their fur children. But when I was out walking today, I was most disgusted to see that someone has been walking a really big dog or dogs along the fence -- and not bothering to clean up after it, or them!

It's in the same category as the folks who left the park this afternoon after the garbage collectors had gone by and left a full garbage bag sitting at their empty site (there is a dumpster right near to exit.). The park asks that garbage be put out by 10 AM, but should NOT be left out overnight. Besides the grackles, who like to peck at the bags seeking edibles, we have coyotes and the occasional javelina going through the park at night. A bag left out can cause an awful mess when the critters get a hold of it.

It's such a beautiful park in such a beautiful part of the world. I guess I get upset at selfish people who think it's everyone else's job to clean up after them. It makes me grumpy!

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Hunting For Mexican Food

One of the places we have really enjoyed in Arizona was lRancho Tia Rosa. Located in a lovely hacienda style building, the ambiance and the food were equally good. The place was full of flowers and at Christmas, it was decorated to the hilt. Last year, while we were here, they closed because of a kitchen fire. Then we read in the paper last month that due to a lease renewal  issue, they were not going to re-open. They have another restaurant in Gilbert, but it's quite a ways away and doesn't have the ambiance.

I looked today on the internet to see if we could find another Mexican restaurant that was highly rated. We ended up tonight at a place call El Canto in Fountain Hills. The food was okay, but nothing spectacular. And there was NO decorations what so ever -- unless you call a string of balls on the lectern as you came in. I guess we'll keep looking.

These are some more pictures from our explorations yesterday. This group of horses were grazing near the road --


We spotted this phainopepla with its crested head. It's the first one we've seen this year. It feeds on the berries of the mistletoe, of which the mesquite trees are loaded.


Later we saw this pair. It doesn't look like there is much grass  here!


Friday, December 19, 2014

Green Zebra

Do you know what a Tom Car is? It is just plain fun! These are the rigs that Green Zebra runs on their desert tours. Originally made for the Israeli Armed Forces, they are incredible all-terrain rigs. Seating two people (the guide had a four seater), you drive yourselves on some of the roughest, most fun roads I've ever been on.

This is us at the end of the trip. You can tell by the grins how much fun we had --


There were five rigs waiting when we arrived at Fort McDowell Adventures. We drove the one with the cooler that you can see in the middle.


This is part of the complex where we had gone to the First Friday Franks a couple of weeks ago.  You can see the stables in the background.


This is John, our guide and lead driver. There were three other couples.


Off we go, into the 28,000 acres of the Yavapai Apache Reservation. Part of the Sonoran Desert, this can be a VERY dusty ride. But we were fortunate because of yesterday's rain, we had minimal dust. And didn't have to use the souvenir bandanas we were given.


The reservation grounds are closed to the public and have actually been a reserve for over fifty years. The tribe does run cattle here and have created these trails.


There are some incredible saguaro cacti here. The guide estimated this one could be more than 350 years old.


There were some pretty good size rocks in much of the road -- and we didn't slow down!


There are between 70-120 wild horses - depending upon who you talk to - on the reservation. These are descendants of the US Calvary horse used at Fort McDowell in the eighteen hundreds. This beauty stopped when she saw us to pose for her picture -


One of the corrals for working cattle scattered throughout the mesquite trees -


This was the first time we have gotten to see any of the land around Eagle View RV Resort. All of the reservation land is posted and is off-limits to non-tribal members. It was fun to see some of it and even more fun to ride the Tom Cars. We had a great time!

Thursday, December 18, 2014

A Chilly Day

It was chilly today, it only got up to 68 degrees. It had rained quite hard early last night and it was still damp out. It was overcast most of the day, but started clearing off in the late afternoon. It had to, as the forecast for tomorrow is sunshine. The rain washed all of the dust out of the air. Our view to the east just before sunset was all purple mountains and pink clouds.

 
It almost looked like it might have been an oil painting...


We had a nice surprise at the office when I walked over to get the mail this afternoon. There was a big cooler box from Daughter Dawn and her family. It was full of steaks, hamburgers, chicken breasts, hot dogs and stuffed baked potatoes. Everything in the cooler was still frozen solid. I had to do some rearranging in the freezer, but I made room for it all! Thank you!


Wednesday, December 17, 2014

A Fun Day

Today was the Eagle View RV Resort's Christmas Lunch. Held over in the clubhouse, it was a full course dinner hosted by the Yavapai Apache Nation, owners of the resort. The meal was catered by the We-Ko-Pa
Hotel and it was delicious. There were mashed potatoes, cornbread stuffing, green beans and carrots, ham, turkey, rolls and a big vat of gravy. Then there was pecan pie, apple pie, pumpkin pie and sugar cookies for dessert. Rafael Bear of the Yavapai Nation was present to act as host.

Sandy Moore, the office person we have dealt with the past two years, was delighted by both the meal and the turn-out. Last year the resort only provided a turkey for the Christmas potluck. We were all impressed by the taste and quality of the food. In fact, we went home and made reservations to eat at the hotel on Christmas Eve.

It rained during the night again last night (the last of the storms that have been hitting California) and we had a couple of showers while we were over at the luncheon. This is what greeted us as we walked home --

 

You can't ask for anything prettier!



Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Memories

Forty-eight years ago today, our youngest daughter was born. And she was in a hurry to get here. Less than three hours from the first pain, she arrived! I was quite surprised as our second child had taken longer then the first one (14 hours) and we had just assumed it would be another long labor. I was so sure of that that just a few days earlier, we had blissfully driven up into the mountains with Forry's Sister Grace and her family to cut a Christmas tree. We were a good six or seven hours away from the hospital that day!

Dawn Tiffany is now an RN (working for the Public Health Department in Salem, Oregon) with three children and a lovely husband of her own. HAPPY BIRTHDAY, DARLING DAUGHTER!

We had a busy day today. I had been putting off doing the laundry, hoping for a warmer day so the clothes would dry faster, but I was running out of necessaries, so... Due to all the laundry, Forry ended up emptying both the gray and black water tanks. Then he did a long overdue vacuuming of the living room. And then we went into Fountain Hills for groceries.

A new Papa Murphy's has opened up near the Safeway store, so we stopped to pick up pizza for supper. It turned out to be $10 Tuesday. We ended up with a Garlic, Steak, and Artichoke pizza to take home to bake. It was absolutely delicious!

Monday, December 15, 2014

The End of the List?

I'm not positively sure, but I am pretty sure that I have crossed off the last item on my list! At least on the list of things I had to get ordered or off in the mail. It was a whole different story at the Post Office in Fountain Hills this afternoon. The last couple of times I have been there, no one was using the automated machtine. Today there was a line! It was a short line, only five people, compared to the long line of people waiting to get to the counter. That line was out the door! People were pleasant and cheerful, holding doors and smiling. I think everyone had listened to the PSAs and ads about getting stuff in the mail today if you wanted it delivered by Christmas.

I have a few things I still want to do at home. I need to have Forry get the Christmas box out of the basement bay. I want to get the icicle lights out and put out on the front of the RV. They may not show as well this year as we are facing the outside of the park. But there are a lot of people who walk along the fence in front of us, so they will be seen by a few.

About nine-thirty last night as I was sitting reading, Forry hollered at me to come and see. He had been looking out the window and saw three coyotes walking down the road. About that time, a car drove fin and startled them. They ran into our yard area, past the luminaria, about three feet from Auntie Violet. Then took off and ran under the fence where we lost sight of them. Makes me worry a bit about the people with little dogs who let them run "off leash" on the other side of the fence as they "are no longer in the park having to follow the leash rules."

Today is my youngest sister Roxy's birthday. I've tried to call her a couple of times, but the first time she was out lunching with her lady friends and the second time I just got her recording. I think she's enjoying life since she retired after her thirty years of nursing. Happy Birthday!

Sunday, December 14, 2014

FOG?

Things looked a bit strange when I first looked out the window this morning. It was FOGGY out there! I have not seen fog in Arizona before. This is the view out the front windshield across the Verde River Valley as I looked out --


It didn't last long. By the time Forry got up an hour or so later, it was only foggy down by the river and even that burned off within an hour.

This is what I was talking about when I said the Palo Verde tree was shedding all over the rug under our chairs --


This was taken this morning. Remember that Forry had swept it all off just two days ago! He got a chance this afternoon to try out his new toy, his early Christmas present.



It actually worked very well -- and he was pleased with it. (I had been worried that that the blossoms as they dried may have worked themselves into the weave of the rug and would stubbornly stick.)

Saturday, December 13, 2014

The List Is Getting Shorter...

I keep whittling away at my list. It IS getting shorter!

The wind and rain the last week and last night have knocked all of dried leaves and blossoms off of the Palo Verde tree right outside our front door. We have our rug and chairs set out there in the shade. The rug has just been covered with debris from the tree. Forry was out yesterday and the day before sweeping it all up into a dustpan to put in the garbage. We tried shaking the rug, but the stuff sticks to it and doesn't shake off.

So today, I bought Forry an early Christmas present -- a blower. Hopefully, it will do the job a bit easier. It rained pretty hard again last night after midnight, so the rug was still wet when we got home. Then we had  a couple more heavy showers this afternoon, so he didn't get a chance to try it out.

We bought the Craftsman blower at the Ace Hardware store. I went into a store next door to see if they might have some Christmas cards (to put Christmas checks in). They didn't, but they had some absolutely darling baby clothes. I was able to find a few cute things for my new great-neice Peyton.

From there we went to Safeway where I found a good card selection. Back to the car then to put the checks in the cards, the cards in the Priority Mail envelopes that I had already addressed at home. On to the post office; got a Priority Mail envelope for the baby gift; then ran everything through the machine in the lobby. Daughter MM has turned me on to using the machines. Today, the line waiting for the counter clerks was almost out the door, while there was no one using the machine. By the time I finished my four packages, the line had hardly moved at all and I was out the door!

Friday, December 12, 2014

Watching the Weather

We've been watching the weather reports on the news on as they report on the "Pineapple Express" that has been hitting the West Coast the past day or so. "A moisture-laden warm air flow" that has come direct from Hawaii is the way they've been describing it. It's dumped a great deal of rain on California with terrific winds all the way up the coast to Washington (where the waves have washed away cliffs and houses).

The Sierra Nevada Mountains have pretty much kept the storm on the west side of drought stricken California. So far, there hasn't been much evidence of carry-over into Arizona, but they are predicting rain for tomorrow.

What we have gotten however, is just enough cloud cover to cool the air a bit (it was only 76 degrees today) and provide for beautiful sunsets. This is the reflected view looking towards the east -


Of the brilliant sunset off to the west -


Thursday, December 11, 2014

Check Off Two More

Well, my list is getting shorter. I may get it finished yet.

Today, I got the Christmas Cards done. I was a bit frustrated as I couldn't find a picture of the two of us that I really liked. Actually, I didn't find very many pictures of us at all. I guess I'm going to have to become a bit more intentional about us posing once in a while. After futzing about it for a couple of days, I finally decided to go with a stock picture for the front of the card and just use a couple of smaller ones of us and Auntie Violet on the inside along with a short letter.

In some ways, I really like SendOutCards. It can make things much easier for someone on the road. But it's program for addresses is fairly primitive if you are used to something like Access. Every time I made a change or deleted an address, I had to go back to the beginning and make sure the right names were checked (since I also use it to send birthday cards, etc., there are many single names on my address list, not just couples or families.). But I finally got the job done. One more checked off!

I also was able to check off getting sibling gifts ordered. Now I still have to get the gifts for the kids and gkids in the mail. The list IS getting shorter.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Crab Feed!

One of things we've enjoyed about being at Eagle View RV Resort is being just across the road from the Fort McDowell Casino and its Red Rock Buffet. On Wednesday and Thursday nights they have "All You Can Eat" crab legs. It's not Dungeness Crab, it's what they call Snow Crab. There isn't much meat in the bodies and the legs are long and thin. But it's good stuff.


We hadn't been over for crab yet this year (we'd wanted to go when Dennis and Colleen were here, but it wasn't the right nights...). We had to make a trip back to the Post Office in Fountain Hills, so decided to go late enough in the afternoon so that we could go eat crab afterwards.

The Casino is all decorated for the holidays. It's actually quite pretty. If it wasn't for the cigarette smoke, it would be a fun place to hang out.



Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Taking Care of Business...

It's been one of those days. I spent a great portion of it just taking care of stuff. I had a stack of filing to do from the box of mail we got last week. plus the letters that came in the box of mail yesterday. (All of which glitters due to the decorated swag from the grandkids that was also in the box...!) There were several papers from the Farm Service Agency office which needed to be signed, so we got those taken care of.

There was a survey from Uhlmann's RV where we had had some work done on Auntie Violet before we left for Arizona. I usually discard surveys, but I was glad to go ahead and fill this one out. I cannot brag enough about how well the Chehalis, Washington dealership treats us!

I had the Priority Mail little boxes I had picked up at the Post Office yesterday. I put them together and packed the little ornaments and got them addressed to the kids. We'll take them to the Post Office tomorrow.

I even got ambitious and put a load of bathroom rugs into the washer and swept and mopped the floor. Not that it needed it or anything like that! Forry hung the grandkids' swag on the RV window and took a bag of cans over to the office recycle bin. And that's the way the day went. Lots of little chores and tasks that used up the day...

Monday, December 8, 2014

Here, There and Everywhere?

It was supposed to be a quick trip to town to pick up some groceries.

Let's stop by the We-Ko-Pa hotel and see if they have the information about the desert jeep tours they were telling us about at Fort McDowell Adventures when we went to the First Friday Festivities last week. Hmm, the fellow at the desk says he's new and doesn't know. There is no one at the concierge desk either. Another lady comes out and makes a phone call for us. We sit in the gorgeous lobby and wait. She finally brings us a card with a phone number that we should call for reservations. As we leave, one of the staff comes out and lights the fire in the large 10-12 foot metal woven basket in the courtyard.

We head on into Fountain Hills for the groceries. But, we go by Ace Hardware, so stop in to pick up some replacement bulbs for the luminaria (I had broke the one and another one didn't work). We got those, and a timer, and another extension cord and - oh, there's a spotlight flashlight - if we get one, we could see what's on the other side of the fence making all the noise in the dark.

Then we went by the post office. That meant a quick stop to pick up some boxes for those cute ornaments I got at Cave Creek last week.

It's getting awfully close to the end of the year. Forry needs a new Sudoku Puzzle A Day calendar. Our friends Leslie and Bill got him one for Christmas several years ago and he's hooked. So we might as well head on into the Barnes and Noble store in Scottsdale. A year ago, we waited until almost the end of December and ended up with the last one they had in the store. Don't want to risk them not having any. Once again, we couldn't find the store. It's in a HUGE shopping center and we turned left instead of right. Finally, got turned around. Found three different Sudoku calendars in the store, but they weren't the right one. It has to be the one in a plastic box so that you can take each day's puzzle out and put it in the back. Finally find the one he wants. Then it's time for a stop in the Starbucks Cafe in the back of the store!

Oh darn. Still have to get groceries! Head back into Fountain Hills and the Safeway store. Forry gets an electric cart and retrieves his Pepsi and 7-Up, his sunflower seeds and distilled water for Auntie Violet's
batteries. I get the rest of the stuff, mostly pink grapefruit and egg and sausage breakfast sandwiches.

Awk, too bad somebody doesn't come up with a gadget that will bring the groceries into the house and put them away!

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Javelina

When we went to Cave Creek last week to visit Colleen and Dennis'o  booth, we had to take a look around to see what other vendors were selling. Right across from The Recycled Spoon, there was a booth with metal work from Mexico. Dennis and the vendor had gotten to be friends over the weekend, so when I wanted to buy one of his metal javelinas, Dennis went with me.



It's probably a good thing he did. The price for the piece of art work was $40. But the vendor told Dennis that "for his amiga, it would be $25!"
 

We did see javelinas along the back perimeter fence a couple of weeks ago. They very quickly retreated into the scrub bushes when they saw us. Maybe our new yard art will lure them back?!

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Luminaria!

Ever since I spoke at a conference in Sante Fe, New Mexico in December many years ago, I have loved luminarias. The rooftops in most of the old town have luminaria all along them. Originally, they were paper bags with sand and a votive candle in the bottom. Nowadays, many of them are plastic and electrified. Luminaria outline walks and roofs at Christmas time. The Botanical Gardens in Phoenix have a wonderful holiday display with all of their gardens lit up and outlined with luminaria.

There was an RV here at Eagle View last year that had a line of luminaria outlining their coach. I asked them where they had gotten them, but they said they had acquired them many years ago -- and didn't really remember where...  A couple of weeks ago when we were in Fountain Hills, I checked with the Ace Hardware store to see if they might have any as they were advertising Christmas lights. They didn't, but the lady said I should check online, as she was certain she had seen them there.

And she was right! I ended up ordered two sets of ten bags. When they arrived, the brochure inside spoke of the weights they also sold that fit in the bottom of the bags and could be filled with water or sand. I liked the sound of that, so ordered a set. The original luminaria came in two days, but the weights didn't get here for over a week. They finally came today. Forry filled the weights with water and we were finally able to put the bags together and set them out.

Of course, the first thing I did when I was untangling the line of lights to insert them, was to drop the string on the pavement and break one of the bulbs! Naturally, no spares came with the set... They five watt screw-in bulbs, so we should be able to get replacements. There's about three feet of wire between the lamps.


With the twenty bags, we were able to light all the way down the side of Auntie Violet and a bit of the way around the corner -


I really like the way it looks!

Friday, December 5, 2014

First Friday - Rosa's Ranch

I had gotten a Facebook ad from the Fort McDowell folks about the First Friday Franks that talked about the menu for their gathering tonight at Fort McDowell Adventures. We did some checking and found that they have a set-up a few miles from Eagle View RV Park that is designed for group parties with bonfires, bbq, som' mores, horse riding, wagon rides etc.



The first Friday of every month, they host a gathering for whomever wants to come. It's an interesting place out in the desert. They have several firepits with seating that looks over the mountains. (That's the full moon just rising behind the hills.)


Tonight they had a choice of meats - I had a half rack of ribs and Forry had a hamburger, both served with a bowl of chili. There were tables set up in the courtyard with a full bar in the back. There was a cowboy singer over in one corner serenading us with his guitar. In the far corner, there was another fire with all the makings for som' mores.


By the time we finished our meal, it was dark. We went for a buckboard ride in the moonlight with this pair of Shires and their 16 year-old wrangler. The team was a nine year old mare and her two year old daughter.


This is the complex all lit up as we returned --


It was a fun evening. We'll probably think seriously about going again next month.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

RAIN!

Just as the forecast had said, we were awakened a little after midnight by the drumming of rain on the roof. It rained hard most of the night. It was still raining, maybe not quite as hard when we woke up this morning.


This is the first time it has rained since we've been here. It was a bit strange to see puddles in the streets.

 
It finally stopped raining a little after noon. There was an occasional shower during the afternoon, but it was quickly over and we started to see a bit of blue sky. We received a fat box of mail from Daughter Mary Mae, so spent a bit of the afternoon sorting through it all. Unfortunately, it is that time of year when the annual premiums for both the insurance on Auntie Violet and Toad II are due as well as the liability insurance for the ranch. Fun!

One thing about all of the clouds today. It made for a fabulous sunset --


It even reflected a bit of the red over onto the eastern sky where the full moon was rising -


Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Overcast

There was sunshine when I first woke up this morning, but the scattered clouds soon congregated together to form a solid overcast. There was no evidence this morning of last night's brief rain showers, and there was no more rain today. But it sure felt like it could. The forecast is calling for rain sometime after midnight though tomorrow mid-day. We'll see.

What a nice surprise we got this afternoon when Forry brought the mail. Sister Sherry had sent a lovely care package of her homemade biscotti. There must be eight or ten different kinds! Sis says we're supposed to judge them and tell us which ones we really like as she's thinking about putting together a cookbook of her best ones.

I took what was left of the chicken carcass and made a pot of chicken noodle soup for supper. Good eating at the end of a gloomy day.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Rain?!!

There was a heavy thick-looking overcast this morning (compared to the high cirrus clouds we've had early the last couple of days. It was one of those mornings that just said "stay in bed, it's not light yet!"

We needed a few things we get at Costco, so headed into Mesa this afternoon. As we drove down Highway 87, we had a few drops of rain on the windshield -- I actually counted six or seven.

The Costco run was quick. It is a Tuesday afternoon, early mid-week, early in the afternoon and the store is packed. There are no electric carts available for Forry, so he decided to walk with me. All I really needed was some Vitamin C and Calcium and some TP. It was just too crowded to even want to look around at all of the holiday stuff. There is a line of people ten deep and two carts wide lined up waiting for cheesecake samples. (Forry said it was good, but cheesecake is not on my favorites list anyway - last thing I would do is wait in line for it!)

Bought some frozen mini-crabcakes and a box of refrigerator cinnamon rolls, my vitamins and the TP and got out of there. Probably the first time ever that I didn't even spend a hundred dollars!

When I walked to the bedroom a few minutes ago, I could hear raindrops on the roof of the RV. You can't hear it up in front over the noise of the crowd at the Gonzaga basketball game that Forry is watching on TV...

Monday, December 1, 2014

Chicken Pot Pie

Two years ago when we were on the East Coast, I bought the best chicken pot pie at a little market in Maine. (We tried a couple of times after that to get another or several to freeze, but the lady that made them for the market took the week off...) I have ordered it a couple of times at various restaurants, but have yet to find one as good as the one we got in Maine.

There was a great deal of the chicken I roasted last night left over, so I thought I'd give it a try myself. I checked a couple of different recipes on-line, then checked what I had in the refrigerator. No white potatoes, but I had some sweet ones. I had some regular carrots as well as some yellow ones. Some sweet onions and  a few stalks of celery. I par-boiled the carrots and sweet potato; sauteed the onion and celery in some butter; added a cup or so of dark meat from the chicken as well as some flour to thicken it all. Just before I poured it all into the bottom crust, I threw in a handful of frozen peas, some salt, pepper and parsley flakes.


I sprinkled the top with some of Brother Pat's lime pepper blend and baked it for an hour or so. It was very good (and will make two meals for us), but I wish I would have had some rosemary. Still not as good as the one we had in Maine...