Thursday, November 21, 2019

Windy Start, Jack Rabbits, Friends Arrive

Elephant Butte Lake State Park, New Mexico (pictures not necessarily in order)
Wednesday, Nov. 20th started out to be a pretty nice day. It was 54F when I got up. Oh, I should start by telling you that after we both were in bed at 8:30 last night (!), I was up at 5. Up, out of bed and downstairs with my book where I read for an hour and a half. Bill joined me around 5:30, I think, and I skipped my tea and got dressed for my walk. By now, it was light enough.

Walking a trail - missing my buddy, Pat
I didn’t need to layer up today so just wore a hoody and my vest. Today, I went back up the highway that we came in on. I know I was smiling, maybe not outwardly but certainly inwardly. The peacefulness here and the fresh air felt great. 

I managed a selfie on the same bench as last winter
To top things off, I saw 3 jack rabbits! I didn’t climb any fences or chase them around the park, just so you know. I stuck to the trail behind the Desert Cove Loop and although I saw some little bunnies, no more Jacks.

Bunny rabbit or jack rabbit?
Then I saw the ears
 It was along this trail that I was missing my buddy back home. Pat and I enjoyed walking this trail last winter so I texted her with a picture of the rock lined walkway. Then, of course, I had to sit on the bench and take a selfie to send her. I know they would be here if they could so maybe next time. I look forward to new memories here with Bob and Jo-Anne (and Higgins, of course), they will be here shortly after lunch and we hope they like this park as we do.

Are you looking at my ears?
Following the trail up to the main road, I realized that I was close to the marina so walked across to take some pictures. That is when the sun decided to make its presence so that helped my photography a lot. I texted Bill to let him know that I was okay, since I knew I was going to be closer to the hour than the normal 30 minutes. He didn’t answer so I knew he was in the shower, which was good as well. After returning home, he said he’d begun to wonder and missed my text.

These trees in the fall create a nice 'straw' like bed
for the critters with their leaves
I made a tea and because the winds were gusting around the 20 mph again, I stayed inside and read a few blog posts. It is nice to see what our friends are up to and where they are today. Bill wasn’t giving up on the satellite, one of the things I love about him, and went out to adjust – again. This time, he easily got a green bar running around 84 so, even though last night we missed all of our shows, this made us happy – again. Maybe a little leery, with turning it off, he left the tv on.

The sky as I was just going out for my walk
Around 9:30, we drove into Truth or Consequences (still one of my favourite town names) and got propane, stamps and then Walmart to buy a few groceries and get our RO bottle of water filled. $1.45 total for 5 gallons. Good grief, can you believe that? I’m glad we switched from the small bottles. On the way home, Bill said he was getting hungry and hoped to have Pillsbury cinnamon rolls for brunch. Yes, I allowed him to put a pack in our grocery cart a few days ago. Ha ha, as if I could stop him.

And the sun rose as I turned and headed for home
The rain last night was very obvious along the trails
Anyway, after putting groceries away I followed the steps in our convection oven for baking them. It was a bit frustrating, some things I’m still learning, but they turned out awesome when I stopped it with 2 minutes left for baking. I hate to admit that I enjoyed these ooey, gooey things with butter and icing as much as Bill did. After dishes, Bill and I watched the last half hour of one of the Hallmark Christmas movies. Oh-oh, is the background music putting me in the mood?

Looking out over the marina at the sunrise
I noticed at Walmart, wandering down the aisles looking for cards, that I s miss the hunt for gifts. I said as much to Bill, not that I had to, and he answered “yes, I know you do”.  I don’t miss spending all that money though, so it is a bit of an oxi-moron. Isn’t it? Maybe I’ll play some of our cd’s and get started on our stockings early to bide the time until we are Pilot Knob when the decorations can come out.

When that movie ended, he switched to see the ending of another so I caught up on my blog and then took a walk down to the beach. The north side of the sky was blue and the south side was cloud covered. It was warm out so I didn’t need my vest this time. The temperature is reading 60F. I walked along the beach, got some selfies, felt the water (definitely not 73F as advertised at the front gate) and walked back up the hill to the Suite.

Where we are

Cinnamon rolls - what a nice change
Inside, Bill and I sat and watched some NCIS reruns until we heard from Jo-Anne. They were 30 minutes away and Bill agreed to meet them at the gate and help guide them in. They don’t need us to do that but since it is a long way in, things are much easier with a personal guide. Bill left at 1:30 and I put my hoody on and went up to their side and then up the hill behind it. I could see the entrance gate from there and could watch for Big Red through the zoom on my camera.

I had company on my walk
It was very windy so I walked around to find the most sheltered view in amongst the shrubs. Other campers, if they saw me, must have thought….well, I can’t even imagine what they thought. I could see Big Red up at the gate and I saw Black Beauty leading them back through the campground. Unfortunately, by then, rain had started and my glasses were getting spattered. Good thing I had my hoody. I walked down to their site and waited for them at the sheltered picnic table. I waved as they pulled up.

Last winter, they were just finishing these new washrooms
Someone is very trusting and left their 'toy' moored here
I looked around an couldn't see a trailer or vehicle
Lake pictures for Donna
When Jo-Anne got out, Higgins pulled at the leash and came to greet me. Once he heard Bill’s voice, he got all excited and couldn’t wait to get out. We greeted once Bob got in the spot and chatted a bit about the weather, their park, their drive and this park. The rain stopped and the warm sun came back out. Too bad for the wind, still at 20 mph, as without it this would be a gorgeous day. Bill and I left them to set up and walked down the hill to home.

Did I say it was windy?

Time for a snack, so I sliced a Gala apple, got a few walnuts out and Bill cut some cheese to share. He prefers his cheese with Ritz crackers. I updated my blog post and then sat with my book. I’m getting close to the end and it is getting harder to put it down. Around 3:30, I texted Jo-Anne to see if they were just relaxing for the rest of the day, they were the ones who traveled today, or did they want to join us for Happy Hour. I wasn’t surprised at their response and we’ll get together tomorrow.

I saw this sky overhead and thought I'd better get back up the hill
So, I made us each a tea anyway and Bill and I sat together. NCIS reruns, you know. At 4, Bill went upstairs to watch a movie and I kept reading. I couldn’t put my book down and when I finally got to the end of a very long exciting chapter, it was 6:00. Jeepers! I’d better get supper on the go. Madame IP came out of the cupboard and I sautéed 3 farmers sausages and then cooked them with an onion for a total of 8 minutes and with a natural release for 6 minutes.

Reserved for Francis's
With my zoom lens, I could see them approach the gate
And from our level we can see their site
While it was cooking there was a knock at the door and Bob and Jo-Anne came in with Higgins. Just out for a short walk, down the hill to visit their ‘neighbours’. Us. 😊 Supper wasn’t ready so we invited them in to sit for a while and I got some lovin’ from that little pooch. Bob loaned us the latest movie they’d bought, Rocketman, the story of Elton John. So, after we had our sausage on a bun, we cleaned up dishes and put the movie in.

And from their level looking down to our site
We love Elton John’s music and don’t know a lot about his life story so it was very good. I may have to pick up a copy of our own. The evening, thanks to the movie, was a whole lot later one than last nights. This was a great day and we are reunited with our friends again.

And reunited with this little guy
Simple but delicious sausage on a bun with my
homemade relish
Good night everyone!
Thank you for stopping in today.

Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Morning Walk Along the Beach, Critters Galore, Reading and Sunbathing

Elephant Butte Lake State Park
So, on Tuesday, Nov. 19th I wasted no time. Up at 6:15, dressed with a hoody, wind breaker, my vest, runners and my crocheted scarf, I was ready for a walk. Bill began making his coffee so had understood that I didn’t want my tea made yet. With a good morning kiss, there’s a private little joke there, I was out the door.

this is the main road and it goes almost to the water before
it turns into sand
I could see what was coming as I walked down
It was still a bit dusky but I could see on the eastern horizon that we’d have more sun today than I expected. It was 44F/6C and I’m glad to have found a pair of mini gloves and to have my head scarf to cover my ears. 

I was in a snapping frenzy so it was tough to choose just a few pictures
There was no wind but the brisk air was cool all the same. I headed down the lane towards the lake. I could see a man and his dog along the beach and soon discovered that he was there not only to walk with his best friend but also to snap photos of that beautiful sky.

The pink sky reflections were stunning

Indulge me please, there is still some 'popping' to happen
Each picture had me curious for more so just kept walking across the sand, up hills and down through the shrubbery where bunnies and quails hide. It felt good to get out and get my Fitbit sated again. 

At least start the motions of an early morning walk again. Back at the Suite, I was fully heated up and made my tea and sat to read the few blog posts I missed last night. Bill hadn’t opened the blinds yet so I did that to let the sun shine in.
And walking back up the hill, this is us up there on the hill
 By 8:30, Bill and I both were in shorts and he was outside emptying the basement to vacuum and spray for ants. There was another reason for doing this and without taking away from his post I will just say that he has a great idea for some work he wants to do under there. I sat outside in the sun with my book for an hour or so and then came inside for my shower. With that out of the way, I cooked us some bacon and eggs around 10:30. We’d not had them for a few days and they tasted good.

We are about half way down Loop B row
Bill was puttering around outside with various jobs after dishes and I moved out to my lazy, er, relaxing chair. My book was good and it was a good time to read it when I wasn’t tired. The sun was gorgeous and we got up to 72F today. At one point, Bill had moved the satellite dish and when I came inside, he was very happy to have retrieved a good connection. Not the best we’ve had and still in the yellow but good enough to get our programs tonight.

Bill had the basement emptied here

I moved back out even though I was now in the shade. It was still quite warm in my shorts. Clouds had moved in ahead of the showers that are forecast to start tonight. For some reason, we are in for a week of cold weather again. This is really strange. It seems we get a couple of warm and then hot days before it drops off again into abnormally cool temperatures. Fortunately, there is going to be a fair bit of sunshine throughout so that will help and it still isn’t anything like what they’ll be getting back home.

Around 3, I took my book indoors and watched some NCIS reruns with Bill. Now that we are 2 hours behind Ontario time, we have to catch our programs that much sooner. When it is on at 8, we have to watch it on our Shaw tv at 6. That means when Bill is barbecuing supper, like tonight, he needs to start earlier. Plus, it gets dark that much sooner so it is a win win all around.

Critter time!
This woodpecker was pecking at this pathetic branch right outside our window

This guy, can you see him? walked right behind my chair so I gave
Bill the camera and he ended up following him down 3 or 4 campsites

This looks like Mr. & Mrs. Gamble themselves
dressed for an evening out
 We went for a walk to take the garbage to the dumpsters and came back down row Loop A. Once we saw that there were 4 sites to reserve up there, we checked which one was closest to our site, just over the hill. 

They are nice large sites and park staff keep them
looking nice as soon as someone leaves
Jo-Anne, at her end in Brownfield, TX, is trying desperately to get one booked. They will be arriving tomorrow. Yay! Together again. The air has sure cooled off although it doesn’t reflect that on our indoor thermometer.

This is just on the other side of our Suite
Look at how chubby they are
The winds have picked up and we already know that we’ll have high gusts throughout the day tomorrow. Bill says the cool air I mentioned above is coming in from the Pacific coast, not that we feel any better knowing that. Good grief! I’ll stop whining now. 😉 I read another chapter of my book and then prepped the chicken breast and pork chop for the Weber. It has been a while since we’ve had these bbq’d.

And then I saw this guy
I guess I spoke too soon as while Bill lit the bbq and I washed the potatoes, the satellite dish lost its connection. Darn it! We were all set up to watch some programs and record others. Either the heavy clouds or the strong winds were enough to spoil that but never-the-less, no tv tonight unless we want to put a dvd in. Our supper, on the other hand, turned out great! Chicken/chop, baked potato and Caesar salad. Very nice.

Isn't he beautiful?
After dishes, we both sat at our laptops and turned the radio back on. May as well listen to some tunes. This was a great relaxing day. Bill accomplished things and I read quite a few chapters of The Gate House while catching some sun’s rays. This author has created a character in this book that I love. I've laughed out loud many times. 
No complaints about my view at all

I had a great view from where I was sitting and also enjoyed watching the critters running around. We’ve seen more road runners already this year than all of our previous 3 years put together. Now, I just need to find ‘Jack’ and I’ll be 100% content.

I hope you’ve enjoyed your day as well. Thank you for your visit today.