Thursday, December 31, 2015

New Year's Eve

What a change in attitude! Where once we would have been full of plans for going to or hosting a party, we find ourselves VERY content to stay at home. As I was fixing dinner (pork chops, fried potatoes and corn), Forry, sort of half-heartedly, asked if I wanted to go over to the casino for dinner? We could have gone to the crab buffet or to Cafe 87, but neither of us seemed to be at all interested. What a difference a few years makes!

We had a semi-busy day. The tanks needed emptying, so I went out to take care of that. It was actually the warmest, nicest day we've had in a while. I was very comfortable sitting outside in a lawn chair while I took care of the tanks. The warm weather brought out all the walkers and strollers. When it's cold, all we see are the dog walkers, hustling their charges along.

We once again have new neighbors. The site next to ours has had almost a constant turnover, with no one staying more than a week. I'm wondering whether someone has it reserved for after New Years and it's being used as a transient site until then?

We watched the Gonzaga game this afternoon - another hard-fought victory - and the Orange Bowl this evening. Guess we'll watch the ball come down in New York - and be thankful that we can watch it without having to be part of that mob of a million-plus people!

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Another Quiet Day

Our hibernation status continues. Sleeping in late, staying up late. Curled up with the afghan, reading, doing sudoku. Toasted cheese sandwiches for supper.  Total laziness prevails.

Sunday, December 27, 2015


It's been cold and nasty weather. Nothing like the storms that are hitting the rest of the country, but still not at all nice. We have stuck close to home and have been living very quietly - or lazily!

It's taken me two days to fold and put away a load of underwear. I just don't seem to have a lot of ambition or energy. I've been doing a lot of reading. We watched WSU win the Sun Bowl yesterday, but once again we ouldn't watch the Seahawks today as it was blacked out...

At least it wasn't windy today as it was yesterday. It blew hard enough that we thought the icicle lights on the front of the RV were going to come off. It's supposed to remain chilly for all of next week. Enough, already!

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Back Home

Another short note tonight. We left Williams a little before noon and headed back to Fort McDowell.the first third of the trip featured dense fog and snow flurries. The road was clear though and we made good time to Rock Springs where we stopped for lunch and more of their fabulous pie. There was a long line when we arrived, but it rapidly disapated when they announced they had no more whole pies for sale.

Even so, they had some single slices left and we all got our pie fix, except that Grandson Varick had to settle for apple instead of cherry.

Dinner tonight was crab as tonight was snow crab buffet at the Casino. Sounds like tomorrow may be the Star Wars movie.

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Snow Storm!

it was snowing when I woke up this morning. Grandson Varick and his Dad went out to see the sunrise, but it was snowing so hard they couldn't even see the first bench of the Canyon.

It snowed all day with absolutely no view. The wind was blowing hard enough that the snow stung your cheeks. Needless to say, we didn't wander around much!

We took the train back in the fog and snow, getting in after 6 pm. MM & Scott made a run to Dairy Queen (that ended up being Micky D's instead...) for ice cream and nuggets for supper. It's late and I'm very tired, so will try to share more tomorrow.

Monday, December 21, 2015

Grand Canyon Railway

We were up early, loaded our luggage, ate breakfast (The hotel had an automatic pancake machine! We've seen the waffle makers, but this one cranked out two perfect pancakes.), and headed over to the train depot to pick up our tickets. Last night's snow was only a skiff and the roads were clear.

MM checked our baggage in tagged with the name of the Warwick Lodge and that was the last we saw of it until we checked into the our rooms this afternoon - and found it waiting for us. Our tickets were for the Observation Car, Kokopelli. MM had arranged for early boarding and we climbed the steps up and into the dome.

With the snow on the ground and today's blue skies, it was an awesome day for a train ride. We left Williams about 9 and pulled into the depot at the North Rim just about noon. They served a light buffet on the way: coffee and juices, fruit and pastries. There was also bar service as well, which made for great coffee.

The guide talked about the flora and fauna we might see (we saw lots of ravens, one hawk, and a few cattle, but that was about it.); the Marshal stopped by to visit with the kids; and an accordion player entertained us. We went through Juniper trees, Ponderosa and Pinyon Pines, grassland and scrub ground.

Upon our arrival at the Rim, we hopped on buses and were promptly taken to a buffet lunch. Once back on the bus, we toured the Rim, stopping a couple of times to get out and take a closer look. It was interesting to see how much different the Canyon looked with winter snow than when we were here in the summer time.

I took many pictures that I'll be able to share when we are back home and I can use Auntie Violet's computer.

Happy Winter Solstice to all! I'll be so glad to see the days getting longer.

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Fort McDowell to Williams

By about ten-thirty this morning, we had all of our stuff in the car and we were ready to go. We locked up the RV and unplugged the Christmas lights and turned off the water. (We left the luminaria lights plugged in as they are plugged in to the outside pedestal and aren't touching the RV.)

We took I-17 north, heading for Williams and a rendezvous with Daughter Mary Mae, Scott and the Gkids. We did make a stop at Rock Creek as we remembered the incredible pie we had on one of our day trips last year. I had an exquisite piece of lemon meringue pie that would have earned a blue ribbon anywhere. Forry tried a new one - bourbon pecan pie - and said he thinks he has a new favorite.

Back on the road, we started the long climb towards Flagstaff which is at 7000 feet. There was a great deal of snow, but the roads were clear. There were some wet spots where the snow piled alongside was melting onto the road, but that was about it.

Turning west at Flagstaff we drove the thirty miles to Williams. Our room was ready at the Best Western, so we were able to get a nap while we waited for MM's family to arrive from Las Vegas. We will be up early tomorrow as we need to be at the train station by 8:00 for our excursion on the Grand Canyon Railway.

Saturday, December 19, 2015

ManiPedi Day

I went into Fountain Hills this afternoon for a pedicure and manicure as well as a facial. I had decided  it should be a day to pamper myself. Forry offered to go into town with me, but he doesn't like pedicures (he did try it once). I knew I wouldn't be able to relax if I knew he was sitting out in the car waiting.

Forry had suggested I either get purple or blue toes, so I picked out a lovely turquoise. I thought about putting the same color on my fingernails, but just am not quite that brave. I ended up with a neutral gloss. I had to chuckle at the fellow who did my toes - he said that it was nice to do a color other than Christmas Red. Sounds like that's pretty much what was being done the last week or so.

It was overcast most of the day, but not cold. We seem to be alternating one day of blue skies with one of grey. I just hope it will be nice the next few days when Daughter MM and Scott and the Gkids are here.

Friday, December 18, 2015

A Lovely Day

What a lovely day it was today! We finally had a nice warm day. I hope it lasts for a while. We finally went outside and shook the large rug outside by the patio. It was full of little leaves from the mesquite tree that been driven off by the wind and rain of the last couple of weeks.

Forry drove over to get the mail and came back with two big boxes. The Lehman family had sent us a Christmas gift from Omaha Steak. The boxes were packed with dry ice and were full of steak, chicken breasts, pork chops, sausages, meat balls, hamburger patties and sausages. There was still dry ice in the bottom of the styrofoam boxes. The meat was frozen so solid it actually hurt my fingers when I was putting it away. My little freezer is stuffed!

Daughter Dawn called just as I was putting the meat away. Then Grandaughter Havela called as well. I was able to remember how to add a caller and we had a three way call. Great granddaughter Kahlyn was babbling away as well, so Havela said we were having a four generation call...

I made spaghetti for supper using some of the meatballs - it was really good! Forry likes meatballs which are something I never make.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Lazy Day

Today was one of those days. One where I did not want to do anything! I think the most ambitious thing I did was put away the clothes I washed yesterday. Forry went out to get the newspaper this morning and later went over to the office to get the mail. He picked up the first Christmas cards of the season.

It was COLD last night - it got down to 30 degrees. The newspaper had stories this morning about people shopping for ice scrapers for their car windshields. It was a sunny day however, and it got up to to 58. If we were back in the Northwest, we'd be talking about how warm it was...

Had a nice visit with Granddaughter Havela this evening. It was fun to lister to our little great granddaughter babbling in the background. Kahlyn is getting quite vocal. Havela is getting organized for the trip the three of them are making from Illinois to Oregon and Idaho for Christmas. (I must admit that I am extremely jealous that we won't get to see them...)

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Christmas Luncheon

Eagle View RV Resort hosted a Christmas luncheon for park residents today. They had two settings - one at 12:30 and a second at 1:15. We went to the second one. Last year's meal was a turkey dinner. This year they went with a Mexican theme. They had tossed salad and another salad the I think may have been shredded jicama. Then they had a "make your own" fajita bar with all the makings plus salsa, guacamole, and sour cream along with rice and black beans. Another dish was chicken quesadillas, then flan for dessert. Catered by the hotel, it was delicious.

This evening we drove around the park to see the Christmas lights. But, this year there don't seem to be very many. I think we only saw half a dozen or so. I guess we may have to run into Fountain Hills or Scottsdale if we want to see some spectacular ones.

Our youngest daughter Dawn celebrated her 49th birthday today. It's hard to believe that "my baby" could possibly be this old! Happy Birthday DT!

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Christmas Stuff

We are just about done with our "getting ready for Christmas" stuff. This afternoon I finished up our 2015 Christmas Cards. I had seriously debated whether I was going to send any this year - mainly because I didn't have a picture I liked. Then I took a picture the other afternoon of the luminaria alongside Auntie Violet that I liked. I liked it enough to decide to use it.

When we walked over to the office this afternoon to check for mail, we bundled up in sweaters. This cold snap is getting old. The high temperature in Phoenix today was only 53 degrees. There are freeze warnings up for the entire valley for the next week. Forry is getting nervous about the possibility of driving in snow when we go up to Williams to meet Daughter MM and her family.

This is the little tree that we have on the dashboard - it's not as cute as my old one, but it's perfect for the spot.

Monday, December 14, 2015

Rain, Rain, Rain

After the beautiful sunny day we had yesterday, it was a bit of a shock to wake up this morning to dark clouds and pouring rain. It rained hard most of the morning. We had large puddles all around, but by late afternoon they were all gone. Forry's weather app said there was six plus inches of snow in Flagstaff. We could see snow on the far mountains... Brr!

Can't say we accomplished much today. I browned some beef stew meat and put it in the crock pot along with a couple of carrots, a turnip and an onion. Added some onion soup mix and left it cook all afternoon. Sure made for a good smelling house on a gloomy afternoon.

Sunday, December 13, 2015


This morning was a bit on the frustrating side as we were unable to watch the Seahawks/Ravens game due to it being blacked out. It was nice to hear that the Seahawks won handily.

We have been enjoying seeing pictures of yesterday's WSU graduation of my Nephew Nick on Facebook. Congratulations are definitely in order!

After the last two days of overcast skies and hard rain, it was great to wake up to sunny skies this morning. We were able to sit outside this afternoon and put the luminaria bags together. Forry filled the weights with water while I was setting the bags up and inserting the lights.  It takes both of us to set them out as they are linked together with the electrical wiring.

With the icicle lights on the front of the coach, our little Christmas tree on the dashboard and now the luminaria, we are pretty much done with our decorating.

Friday, December 11, 2015


It was cloudy and dark this morning and only 68 degrees. It looked - and felt - for while like we were going to get rain, but it only threatened.

We went into the Fountain Hills Posr Office this afternoon to mail off cards for Son Sean and the Lehman family. When we got there, the line to the office was out the door, but no one was using the automatic machine. I had just gotten started with the priority mail for my stuff when a rather impatient lady came in and started querying me about how long I was going to be? Then she wanted know if I had change for a twenty as she only wanted to send ten dollars in her card. When she found out I only had twenties as well and that the automatic machine did not give change or take cash, she huffed and stomped off to get in the office line.The line must have been moving fast as I was just finishing my last package when she came back out. I think it cheered her up when she realized she would have still been waiting if she'd been able to use the automatic machine.

I had the postage on everything when I realized that I hadn't brought a pen in with me to address them. I was going back out to the car when a young postal employee who was restocking the envelopes and boxes, asked me what I needed. She promptly fished a pen out of her pocket for me, apologizing that the pen on the center table had "disappeared" again.

From the Post Office we headed over to Safeway to get groceries. Got that done and then went up a block to Papa John's and got a Bacon Bacon pizza to take home to bake for supper..

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Busy Day at Home

The tanks were both full, so the first task I had this morning was to get them drained. By the time I got that done, had my first cup of coffee and got the paper read, Forry was up as well. We got a call from Gene's RV Mobile Service saying he had the parts to connect the dishwasher and would be out in the afternoon. The new kitchen faucet we got last summer didn't have the right kind of spout to attach the water and discharge lines to. Gene was able to figure out a way to cut into the hot water line and put a shutoff valve in. It took a couple of hours of work, but I now have a working dishwasher again.

Before all this was going on, I was talking with Lois at Schmidt Insurance trying to get the ranch liability insurance taken care of. Because she also writes health insurance, she's been very busy with the Medicare deadline and hadn't yet gotten it taken care of. We spent quite a bit of time on the phone getting that done

The next task was getting the Christmas cards and checks for the kids and gkids taken care of. We'll go into the post office in Fountain Hills and send them off in a Priority Mail envelope for each family. There's less chance of having them stolen that way (We've had that happen, unfortunately.).

Next on my "To Do List" was to get our 4th Quarter Estimated Tax payment off to the IRS. I also stuck a tip in the self-addressed Christmas card the newspaper delivery guy had left for us. I wrote a note in it once more asking him to "please, please, please leave the newspaper outside our front door instead on the back side!" Since we are parked with our front window facing the river valley instead of backed in like most of the rigs, I don't think he realizes where he's tossing it...

The final task was to call Bobby at Kustom Coachworks in Oregon to have him tell me how to get the TV back on the right input again. (This time I wrote it down!) He said it had been raining hard in Junction City, almost coming down sideways. At least we got the TV working again so that we could continue watching the National Rodeo Finals in Las Vegas tonight.

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Shopping Trip

We made our annual visit to Barnes and Noble in Scottsdale today. Several years ago Leslie and Bill gave Forry a One Page a Day Suduko calendar. He liked it so much, he has gotten a new one for himself every year. It's the one by Will Shortz of NPR's "Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me" that he likes  because instead of having tear-off and throw away pages, it is in a plastic case. It has individual pages that you can take out each page and move it to the back as you finish it. Unfortunately, they didn't have one at the bookstore this year! But I went on-line when we got home and found it on Amazon.

From the bookstore we went back to the ACE Hardware store in Fountain Hills to get a couple more extension cords and some batteries. Right next door to the hardware store is Cheryl's, a delightful store that carries darling small children's clothes. I found a darling dress and tights for our great grand baby. I actually found a cute one without ruffles or bows!

By the time we were done, it was after five, so we decided to eat while we were in town. We went over to the Saddle Bronc Grill where we had eaten last year with Colleen and Dennis. It's a noisy place (there's absolutely nothing to absorb sound!), but the food is good.

Tuesday, December 8, 2015


Today was the nicest day we've had in a long time. It was sunny with the temperature in the low eighties. We had gone over to the office to pick up the mail. As we walked back, I noticed that our next door neighbors were home. We've chatted with Mike  a couple of times, but Patty has been at work (she's a traveling nurse) and I haven't had a chance to visit with her. The neighbor from two more RVs down was there as well. We ended talking the afternoon away - so much for working on the luminaria.

It was a good day to stop by. Patty was making brownies and discovered she was out of vegetable oil. I was able to be a good neighbor and save her a trip to town. Mike had purchased a new electric pellet smoker a couple of days ago. He was smoking a beef brisket that sure smelled good.

Had a chance to visit with Granddaughter Havela this evening. She was pretty excited about finding a stroller that the baby car seat we had gotten for them fit into. It should make their trip home to Oregon for Christmas a bit easier. Great Granddaughter Kahlyn was already fifteen pounds at her last checkup. That's pretty heavy to be carrying very far.

Monday, December 7, 2015


It's looking a bit more festive around here. We went out this afternoon and got the Christmas box out of the basement bay. I got out the icicle lights and hung them on the front of the RV along with the JOY centerpiece. Forry got out the extension cords and the timer. I'll have to go out tomorrow just before sunset and get a picture.

We got out the luminaria bags, but they'll have to wait another day. They need to be put together (they   were put away flat); the weights have to be filled with water and the.lights inserted. It's an all day job.

It was another gorgeous day. There were a few bands of clouds along the eastern horizon early this morning. Colored pink and bright orange, they made for a beautiful sunrise.

Sunday, December 6, 2015

That Lonesome Cow...

For the fourth morning in a row, I've seen that one lonesome cow make her way along the fence and then down into the draw. She occasionally lows sort of sadly, but nothing responds to her. We're thinking that the Apaches rounded up the cattle that were here when we first arrived and somehow this cow got left behind. It's very unusual to see a lone cow as they are very much herd animals. The only time we used to see one of our cows go off by herself is when she was calving.

It was quite breezy this morning, though fairly warm. As the day went by it started to cloud over. I even thought I felt a drop or two of rain when we went out for our walk. I think we're getting a bit of the storm that has swept from the Pacific Ocean into the Pacific Northwest and is coming down south. Washington State is supposed to get over a foot of snow in the Cascade Mountains tonight and tomorrow. I'm sure glad we are not there!

I got busy this afternoon and thinned out some files. A few of them had gotten so fat, I couldn't hardly fir anything more in that long drawer.i cleared out some paperwork from 2009! Stuck some sweet potatoes in the oven tonight along with a pork roast. It was just a chilly enough evening to make it a good choice for dinner.

Saturday, December 5, 2015

Saturday All Day

It's finally getting warmer. We didn't have the little electric heater on at all today. We actually had the windows open this afternoon. After our walk this afternoon, we were even able to sit outside for a while, even moving the chairs into the shade. It's been a while since we were too warm sitting in the sun.

We spent the early afternoon watching the Gonzaga/Arizona basketball game and weren't too happy to see Gonzaga lose it in the last few seconds...

I spent part of the afternoon using the little robot vacuum. He does a pretty good job, but in our small space, he really needs to be supervised. I need to get some ambition and start cleaning the woodwork, especially in the kitchen and by the bathroom sink. It needs a good dose of Liquid Gold as well.

I had a good telephone visit with Sister Sherry. She's been busy making caramels - and giving me a bad time about not being there to wrap them! She had four inches of snow a few days ago, but it's already all gone.

Friday, December 4, 2015

Chilly, Sleepy Day

I woke up early enough this morning to watch the sun rise over the mountains across the Verde River valley. I was too restless to sleep, so got busy on the computer paying bills. I took care of our personal ones, then got busy on the ranch ones. When I finished, I called the insurance company in Odessa to get a quote. When the phone rang and rang, I had to laugh as I realized it wasn't even nine o'clock PST in Odessa yet and they weren't open!

So I took the garbage out to the road and waited a while, then tried it again. I talked with a very nice lady, then scanned the documents she needed and emailed them off. Hopefully, we will have a decent quote in the next couple of days.

It was chilly again today. This cold front was supposed to be gone by now, but it's stubbornly hanging around. About two o'clock my early morning caught up with me and I fell asleep in my chair. I haven't napped in the daytime for a while - I just hope I'll be able to sleep tonight!

Thursday, December 3, 2015


Some days just fly by and others seem to drag. Yesterday was one of those draggy days. We had trouble staying away from the ongoing tragedy on TV over the shootings in San Bernadino. It was hard to break away from the horror.

In contrast, today just flew by. We went into Fountain Hills this afternoon to get groceries. Forry and I usually separate - I go ahead and start my shopping while he gets one of the electric carts and then catches up with me. I was starting down the second aisle when he called me and said he couldn't lock the car as he didn't have his key. He said he had looked all over for it as he knew he had put it in the pocket. He ended up staying in the car as I didn't want to leave the cart and go back out. Of course, when we got home, his key was still hanging on the key rack...

After we got the groceries in the house and put away, we found our Fortune Club cards and went over to the Fort McDowell Casino for the weekly crab buffet. Last year, they put at the tubs of crab and you served yourself. This year they have a table where the ladies serve your crab and hand you the plate. We each got a plate with four or five Queen Crab halves. Unfortunately, it ended up being more than we could eat! Since it's a buffet, they don't allow take-out or doggie bags. Our waiter said they would throw the three halves the two of us couldn't eat in the trash! Such a waste!

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

It's Beginning To Look a Bit ....

I was talking last week about looking for a little Christmas tree to go on Auntie Violet's dashboard. It was to be a replacement for the thirty plus year old one that Danny had got for my office back when I was the Administrator at the Ritzville Memorial Hospital. After looking at a whole bunch of them on Amazon I finally ordered one.

It's a little smaller than the one I originally had, but it's got a nice heavy burlap wrapped base which is much steadier than the plastic stand the original one had. I looked at so many little trees and thought I had finally ordered one that was battery powered. But, this one has a cord that needs to be plugged in. Oh well, I dug out my short extension cord and Forry gave me his and we are in business.

Maybe tomorrow or maybe the next day, I'll have Forry get out the Christmas box from the bay and we'll get the icicles hung on the front of Auntie Violet. The luminarias will probably have to wait until next week sometime as they have to be put together and have the weights put in the bottoms and the lights inserted.

It was a bit warmer today. I think it almost got up to 76 degrees.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

The Costco Trip

'Twas time for a trip to Costco. We decided to go to a different one this time as the one on Hayden Road is very crowded and the parking is limited. I only wanted/needed a couple of things, but as usual we ended up with a boxful.

Christmas goodies and decorations were all over the store. Costco has some really nice things before the holidays. I bought some Danish cookies and a couple of other confections.  Forry was looking for a new red shirt, one with a pocket, to replace his favorite. His red shirt has gotten pretty sad looking, but he doesn't want to be without. I didn't see any red shirts,but I did find a nice aqua one for him.

The Costco we went to on Oak Street is at the edge of another large shopping area that is a couple of blocks long. As we drove through (wanting to exit on a street with a traffic light), I spotted an Office Max. Knowing that I would soon be needing a new file box for the 2015 ranch papers, I ran in and picked one up. We've not had a great deal of luck in the past finding office supply stores. Our GPS has taken us to several empty store fronts in the past, so we were glad to get that chore done.

It was not quite as chilly today as there was no wind, but it still didn't get into the 70s.