Saturday, October 31, 2009

No Fish for Dinner

This little vacation is somewhat of a trial run for going full time in the building on wheels sometime in the future. What we're finding is that there are all kinds of puzzles to be worked out on a daily basis.

Like yesterday. We planned to get up early, strap the fishing poles on to the handlebars, fill our backpacks with snacks and fishing licenses, and get down to the river.

My front bicycle tire was flat. Hubby patched it. Trouble stringing his new pole. Finally figured it out. Anyway, two hours later, we went.

No fish. Not a nibble. No fish for dinner. Too late? Too early? We came back to the campsite, pulled out the Fishing for Dummies book to figure out what part of the river is most likely to hide fish. Okay, no laughing here. We are dummies! When it comes to fishing, that is.

We'll try again tomorrow...early!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

FRIDAY SHOOTOUT

Greetings from my current "home" in Verde Valley RV Park in Cottonwood, Arizona!

This week's theme was chosen by Jerielyn, at Write Place! Write Chick! To check out more shootouts, or to join My Town Friday Photo Shootout, go here!



This is still desert, although there are many beautiful trees; sycamores, desert willow, cottonwoods, Pine, and many others that I can't name. The park is almost full. People from all over the United States, from Alaska, Oregon, South Dakota, Illinois, Texas, Georgi, Florida, Michigan, really everywhere.

It's been cold here this week; low in the 30's and highs in the 50's to 60*. Okay, it's cold to me!



We went on a hike to figure out how to get down to that river between the Cottonwood trees. It was a little nerve wracking because the snakes are still out, and you never know what kind of wild life is refreshing itself at the waters edge. BUT, I do hope to pull a few fish out of that Verde River tomorrow morning.


Thousand Trails are a group of membership camping areas. We've been members for years. We joined when the boys were little, and we all loved to go camping. All Thousand Trails offer swimming pools, miniature golf, horseshoes, ping pong tables, tennis, and usually some volleyball or badmitton courts. The thing that so impressed us over the years is the cleanliness of the campsites, restrooms, and the friendliness of the park employees. And there are parks in many of the states in the U.S. They are each different, playing on the landscape of the area. We plan on seeing each and every one of them!

I'll be posting more photos of our vacation during the next week or two. This is really an amazing place.



Have a healthy, happy weekend!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Monday, October 26, 2009

Great Weekend

Sooo happy to spend some time with this girl!! I love her! How I wish she lived down the street from me. We could meet for coffee. She could come for dinner every Sunday. I would try to stay out of her business! Ha! Just kidding...no, I would stay out of her business! Really. I promise!

We had a very nice weekend together with my mother. A whole lot of back and forth shopping in Walmart. Next time I will write out the shopping list. In catagories! Personal care, stationary, home decor, office supplies, pet care, dairy (it's a super Walmart), bread goods, produce. But no. Back and forth several times. Yikes!

Really, it was wonderful spending time together. Then we drove on to our campsite!!! Two hours can be like night & day!


I LOVE going out in the building on wheels!! I do! This is what I was doing this morning. How sweet is that? I put out the hummingbird feeder, and within 20 minutes, had a very happy hummer, who has had the food to himself all day long! Expecting wind and rain tomorrow, but that's okay.

Yep, we're all set up for work, as well.

I don't mind working from here at all!!! We recently found a nice computer table on clearance that worked out perfectly for us! And, we have been working today. Really.

Speaking of today, it is a birth day. My mother's birthday. My brother's birthday. And my son's birthday! Yes, three generations! All on the same day! Isn't that amazing? I know that my brother was born early, as was my son. Just to be born on that day! I'm waiting for the next generation to see who is next in line to be born on that day.

We are starting to decompress, out here in the wilderness. I can't wait to catch up on all of the blogs that I follow!!!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Traveling

After a week of mishaps, things gone wrong, and near meltdowns (not mine) WE ARE ON THE ROAD!! A little Norah Jones on the cd player for traveling music. Very nice. So far we haven't thought of anything we've forgotten.
In a few hours we'll meet up with my daughter, and then spend the rest of today and tomorrow with my mother. She doesn't know that her grandaughter is coming. Kind of a birthday surprise! I'm excited; I don't get to see any of my kids often enough. I miss them.
I can't wait to post pictures of our trip. And, I am really looking forward to being out in the wilderness over the next few weeks after the visit with my family.
I hope you're having a wonderful week!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Tough Monday. Ha!

Very busy day today. Working, trying to get the building on wheels ready for a trip to northern AZ on Friday. Then tonight we had to go to one of our client's restaurant to take photos for a newspaper ad.

We shot soup, salad, & breadsticks. Then we shot wings, ranch dressing & a tall beer. Then a cheeseburger & a tall beer. Then a small pizza & a tall beer. Then we had to eat them. Oh, poor us! :)

Sunday, October 18, 2009

All God's Creatures Sunday

Isn’t life just the most amazing thing? I mean, when you get up in the morning, you just never know what will come your way, right? You throw the covers off, stretch, yawn, and make your way into the kitchen to start the coffee.

The day is all lined up, appointments, phone calls, billing. Oh, and of course the never ending door monitor duties of a very dutiful dog owner. There are always odds & ends to pick up and put away, even with just the two of us. Well, four counting the hairballs. And believe me, Willy can make a mess, sifting through his toy box, looking for just that right bone.

So I opened the back door to take my Fishing for Dummies book out to the building on wheels (just in case I have to identify my fortunate catches on our upcoming trip), and when I stepped out the door, my eyes caught site of something very out of the ordinary (on my back deck anyway).

You know how sometimes you can see something but it doesn’t register? You continue to look but your brain is busy flipping through the bizzillions of files up there in your head, trying to find a match. And when it finally does, it’s like a being hit in the face with a blast of cold air. Gasp!

You see, my eyes should not be seeing this right now. It has no business being here in broad daylight, just hanging around.

It became obvious that something was wrong with him. A close call with a BOBCAT maybe? His little ear was chewed and he was dragging his back leg. Very sad. If he was sick (rabies), he would be easy prey for someone.


It’s Columbus Day. Many phone calls. Fish & Game is closed. We were told to call Health Services because of possible human contact. Who knew? Health Services is closed. Somehow, we managed to get a call from a man at USDA Wildlife Services. He drove 30 miles from Bisbee to catch our little (well, not so little) intruder.

When my friend, Janice, saw the pictures she said, "Oh, he comes with his own boa! How fabulous!" Isn't she a crack up?

By the time the man came with the trap, our wild friend was gone. Circle of life, right? I'm pretty sure someone went to bed with a full belly that night.

Here’s what we learned.

Cochise County is #1 in the nation right now for Rabies.
Any warm blooded animal can be rabid.
A skunk can fit through a hole in a chain link fence.
A skunk will always warn you before spraying.
They will look at you directly, and tap their front feet. (Foot stomping)
If you do not back off immediately, they will flip around and spray you.
A skunk can spray up to 18 feet.
They are deadly accurate with that spray up to 18 feet.
They love sardines.
Their spray is a yellow oil.
Tomato juice to remove skunk spray is a myth.

Here’s the recipe to wash the oil off you or your animal…
1 quart hydrogen peroxide, 1/4 cup baking soda, 3 Tbs liquid soap

Mix & wash.

Friday, October 16, 2009

5, 6, 7, 8

Five:

Six:

Seven:

Eight:

Okay. I feel better. I can stop now.

Friday Photo Shootout

This weeks theme is sunrise/sunset, by Sherri. Of course I love this one.




We are so fortunate to have our house "sit" the way it does. On the back deck, we face east; beautiful sunrises. The front porch faces west; beautiful sunsets. I never tire of God's works of art in the skies!

To see more photos from the gang at Friday Shootout around the world, and maybe join up yourself, go here!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Where the Wild Things Are

How many times a day do I walk outside, mindlessly, to pull a weed, cut some flowers, or just to potty the dogs? Right now there are plenty of plants & bushes that are way overgrown with blooms that I haven't had the heart to cut back. I don't give a second thought to moving freely around those plants in the yard, the neighborhood, in flip flops, shorts.

What I've learned this week is that even though there are houses all over the place, people walking, jogging, riding bikes along this road, it is still a wild place. As I move thoughtlessly, there is no telling what, who, or how many people or animals are watching, frozen in place to not be seen; to become a part of the landscape. I remember one afternoon, standing in my front yard, and hearing a bullet whiz by my head. It sounded just like it does in the movies. I didn’t run, but whipped around to look in the direction of all of my neighbors. I was making a statement! I’m a fool. But that’s not what I wanted to share today.

My home office window faces the front of my house. You’ve all seen pictures that I’ve shared here of the birds, and rabbits that I feed and love. Because I feed and water them out there, it also brings other critters, like javalina, road runners, hawks, snakes and some cats from a couple of houses away. I’ve seen deer and coyotes across the street.

But imagine my surprise around 8 a.m., when I looked out that window this morning and saw a most beautiful BOBCAT, 10 feet from my window! I mean beautiful, healthy, looking, sniffing around for something to eat. WHERE IS MY CAMERA!!!! I ran to the kitchen to get it, came back, and he/she was rounding the front of the house. I ran out the back door, climbed up on a rock in the courtyard to snap a few pictures when she came by the other side of the house. But no. Disappeared. Poof! Just like that. Nowhere to be seen. I guess that’s why we don’t often see them. They know how to disappear. This camera has not left my side all day. But unless it was sick, it wouldn’t have shown itself in the daytime. I won’t let an opportunity like that get away from me again!

This little incident holds some explanation of what I am going to post on Sunday. You’ll know what I mean when I post that picture!

Wordless Wednesday

Come join us for Wordless Wednesday over at Simply Heather's!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Monday

Oh my. We have had quite the exciting day today. No, really!
However, I'm saving it for All God's Creatures Sunday. No begging. You'll just have to wait.
My wildlife experiences seem to be at an all time high right now.

I will tell you though, that last week we had an up close and personal encounter with a centipede wriggling across the livingroom carpet! What the??? Relax, I am not going to post a picture of him (although I have one).

When the pest guy came the next day (coincidentally) we had quite the discussion about them. Here's what I learned:
1. Although they have what look like pinchers on their tail end, they don't sting, or pinch...they bite!
2. The pinchers on the tail end are false legs, not pinchers, only there to confuse their enemies. Those false legs will become real legs as they grow.
3. If you are really sensitive...don't read this part! Sometimes, when people get bitten, their legs will grab on to you, and in some instances, people have had to go to the emergency room to remove them.

Now, I don't tell you these things to freak you out. I don't. I just remember seeing one as a kid, and kind of playing with one with a stick. What did I know?

I hope you all had a centipedelessly wonderful Monday!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

For Sure...

What I know, for sure, tonight, is that the hummers sleep in the big pine tree in my backyard, and the bats with the 10-12 inch wingspan are still zooming through my yard, hitting the feeders as they go!!!

All God's Creatures Sunday

When I woke up this morning, all snug under the covers, I breathed in the coolness of the morning. I just love a cool room and warm snuggly covers, don't you? Hubby breathing softly beside me, dog head draped across my leg.
It was early, the sun barely breaking through the horizon. I heard them a ways off at first, then closer as they moved through the neighborhood; the excited yips and cries of a coyote family. We actually see them occasionally, most often just the parents making their way through the yards and washes.
It felt like the perfect way to wake up, invigorated, inspired. I love when that happens. I also heard a bird call that I have never heard before and an answer from another, farther away. Perhaps a pair just migrating through.




Yes, I am still trying to get that ever elusive perfect hummer shot!
I just sat with my long lens and clicked away. Don't you just love digital?
Uh, do you see what I see? On the left side feeding? A Rufous!


The adult male has a white breast, rufous face, upperparts, flanks and tail and an iridescent orange-red throat patch (gorget). Some males have some green on back and/or crown. The female has green upperparts, white underparts, some iridescent orange feathers in the center of the throat, and a dark tail with white tips and rufous base. Females and the rare green-backed males are extremely difficult to differentiate from Allen's Hummingbird.
Their breeding habitat is open areas and forest edges in western North America from southern Alaska to California. This bird nests further north than any other hummingbird. The female builds a nest in a protected location in a shrub or conifer. The male aggressively defends feeding locations within his territory. The same male may mate with several females.
They are migratory, many of them migrating through the Rocky Mountains and nearby lowlands in July and August to take advantage of the wildflower season there. They may stay in one spot for considerable time, in which case the migrants, like breeding birds, often aggressively take over and defend feeding locations. Most winter in wooded areas in the Mexico state of Guerrero, traveling over 2,000 miles by an overland route from its nearest summer home—a prodigious journey for a bird weighing only three or four grams.
And here he is in my backyard!

Friday, October 9, 2009

FRIDAY SHOOTOUT - Silhouettes

This weeks theme, Silhouettes, was chosen by Carrie. This should present some really awesome photos from everyone!




With the skies down here in Arizona, we have plenty of opportunities
to shoot pictures of silhouettes.


Another one of my favorites.


This is the stalk, flower, I'm not sure what you call it,
of a Century plant. It is easily well over 20' high!



Flowers from a succulent in my yard.


Migration time for hummers. My town is the hummingbird capital of the U.S.



This bird is a Thrasher, presumably named for that beak. While usually calling with a quick "wheet wheet", they can also sing the most wonderful melodies.



Meet Lola. This beauty belonged to my son for a while.

If you want to join in the fun, show off your town, or just to see more photos from the gang, go here!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Meet Edwina!

This is FANTASTIC!
http://themaxefiles.blogspot.com/

Scattered

I really like this picture. It speaks to me. I relate to it on so many levels.

Yes, it's windblown. Past its prime. But still lovely. Notice the brown, used up blooms, that still cling to the stalk. The healthier blooms that are trying their best to hang on, in spite of being tossed around in the wind. But there's also brand new buds, waiting their turn to show their faces to the sun.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Monday, October 5, 2009

Let Go

I forget, from year to year, how much I love October mornings.

I hang on to everything way too tight. I worry about it, wonder about it, instead of just enjoying it, letting it go, and seeing what wonderful thing comes next. You'd think that I would have learned that by now, but no. I'm trying.

Last night, when we were watching a bit of TV, I happened to look outside and notice a harvest moon peeking its way over the the trees.

You know you want to listen to Neil Young's Harvest Moon now, don't you?

Sunday, October 4, 2009

All God's Creatures Sunday

Well, I just can't believe that I've run out of bugs, birds, rabbits....

But I was blessed by such beauty this morning when I went outside. We had a light rain for two days, but this morning the rain was over, and the back acre looked like a carpet of diamonds.

I tried squatting down to get a long view of the sun lighting up all of the droplets of water, but I could never capture what I actually saw. (Boy, do we need to mow, or what!)

I wish you could have shared how the yard shined this morning!

Saturday, October 3, 2009

It’s a soggy, soppy, cool, crisp morning here in our little corner of the world. It has been raining all night, a soft, steady rain that we seldom see here. The radiation fog is playfully blowing in and out through the mountains.

This is the first day in a very long time that I had to put on long pants and a sweatshirt, although I still have my flip flops on and the front and back doors open.

I believe I have made the transition from summer to fall, starting this morning, because I want to go to the kitchen and make a big pot of Chicken Tortilla Stew! If you have the time, I highly suggest giving this one a try. It is, in a word, fantastic!

CHICKEN TORTILLA STEW

1 whole chicken
3 lg onions 2 chopped, 1 cut in wedges
2 carrots, rough chop
3 celery stalks, halved
12 garlic cloves, chopped, divided
salt & pepper
1 bay leaf
2 jalapeno peppers
4 Tbs olive oil, divided
1 Tbs cumin
½ Tbs coriander
1 bag corn tortilla strips or chips
1-28 oz can hominy, drain, rinse
1 bunch cilantro, chopped
1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
avocado to taste
2 plum tomatoes, halved
8 to 10 tomatillos, husks removed, rinsed
Juice of 2 limes (microwave 10 sec. to get juice)
Sour cream for garnish

Preheat broiler to high.
Add the chicken, 1 chopped onion, carrots, celery, tomatoes, 8 cloves of garlic with the skin on, salt and pepper, and the bay leaf to a large pot and cover with cold water, 2 to 3 inches above the chicken & veggies. Bring to a bubble and simmer until the chicken is cooked through, about 30-40 minutes. The chicken is done when the leg is loose and wiggles easily on the bone.

Remove chicken and place it on a plate. It will be very tender so break out all the utensils to grab it form the pot. Discard the skin and remove all of the chicken from the bones and reserve. A bowl of ice water on your countertop to dunk your hands into every now and then makes it easier to work with the hot chicken. Place the bones back in the pot of liquid and veggies to make a stock. Simmer for 1 hour.

While the stock mixture is simmering, chop the chicken meat and set aside. After an hour, strain the stock, keeping the liquid and discarding the solids.

While the stock is simmering, place the tomatillos, jalapenos, and the onion cut into wedges on a baking sheet and drizzle with 2 Tbs olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Broil for 2-3 minutes to char, then turn everything over to char the other side. Once black all over, seed and stem the jalapenos, and chop them along with the onion and tomatillos. Reserve.
Place large pot over medium high heat, add 2 turns of the pan with olive oil. Add remaining chipped onion, chopped garlic, cumin and coriander, and cook until tender, about 3-4 minutes. Add the reserved chopped onion, tomatillo and jalapenos and the strained stock, and bring to a bubble.

While mixture is coming to a bubble, crush the tortilla chips (reserving a handful for garnish). You should have about 2 cups of ground chips. Add to the pot and cook for 30 minutes. When ready to serve, add the hominy and chopped chicken back to the pot along with ½ to ¾ cup of cilantro and lime juice, and cook for 2-3 more minutes, until the chicken is heated through.

Garnish with tortilla chips, a dollop of sour cream, cheddar cheese, and avocado. You’re gonna love it!

Friday, October 2, 2009

FRIDAY SHOOTOUT

The theme this week is A Photo Study of a Building. It just so happened to coincide with a little jaunt we took to Tucson, and the fact that we stayed overnight in a very old hotel, Hotel Congress.


It's located in the heart of the downtown area. As you can tell by the crane, the whole area has been going through some renovation.

This hotel was built in 1919 to serve the cattle industry and weary railroad travelers. Part of its notariety comes from a fire that started in the basement in 1934, that led to the arrest of the John Dillanger gang, who had been living there under several aliases.

The rooms are sparse, much like they would have been in the early days of the hotel. There are no televisions in any of the 40 rooms, only vintage radios.

Here's a bit of the architecture inside...



This old switchboard is still being used today.




Oh, did I mention the ghosts? Hehehe....

Flora & Fauna

Books I have known & loved

  • Life of Pi
  • A Hundred Years of Solitude
  • Kite Runner
  • The Way the Crow Flies
  • Fall on Your Knees
  • Poisonwood Bible
  • East of Eden
  • Shantaram
  • I Know This Much is True

Illegal Immigration