Friday, January 12, 2018

Early Two Miles, Stately Saguaros and Ocotillo, Baking Day

We woke up around 6:45 on Friday, Jan. 12th when Clemson jumped off the bed.
He needed to go out but it was too early for us to rise for the day so Bill lit the Blue Flame heater and we crawled back into bed for another 30 minutes or so. Yesterday, was such a prime day that we were looking forward to another one the same. When the sun popped over the mountain to our east, we knew chances were pretty good.

We decided to have our morning brew before heading out for a walk and as usual, when I saw 51F I thought I’d be cold. I triple layered with a light hoody and then a heavy hoody and my yellow neck scarf. I stepped outside with Bill in his shorts and tee shirt to put my runners on and soon removed the light hoody and the scarf. What was I thinking? This is Arizona and that sun was already warm!

Bill turns our portable panel first thing
The window must be dirty but it looks like the sun is spraying out sparkles
Some wispy clouds coming into play today
Bill and I headed in a different direction this morning just after 8:30. I wanted to show him where the sign was for the Magic Circle, the one with the map. 

the other day I took a picture of this stately saguaro
But I never noticed that the nubby head of the arm behind the
nest looks like a BIG baby bird

But not here in this close up
I wonder who lives in that hole up top?
We captured some pictures of some of the saguaro cacti and I was curious to see if Deb D’s favourite, ocotillo (oc-a-tiyo) was any greener after the rainfall. Well, from a distance it looked quite brown but up close, yay!

Lots of wide open spaces with mountain views
We turned at the entrance to the Nude Sunbather’s camping area and made our way back towards the north/front entrance. 

Although I doubt at 8:30 and 51F there would be too many out and about
without running shoes and toques at least!

This saguaro had two or three little baby arms
See how tall they are with Bill standing beside it

Brown from a distance, Deb D.

But there's some green in those tentacles!
We found a couple of really nice areas that we would consider on our next visit just need to remember where they are. Back home along the main road found us both feeling the heat. I had to remove the hoody and the fingerless gloves. We picked the perfect time to take our 2-mile walk.
Interesting signs all over the place!

And this ones applies to Bill and I as well!

this Elite and its bright colours reminded me of Tom and Deb's Stinger "B"
from Celebrating the Dance
Moving inside we had breakfast, just a bowl of cereal today with flax seed. I figure every 3 or 4 days I can handle some grains with my Kombucha. That’s when I don’t feel like making bacon and eggs. Today, I’ve promised my sweetie a rhubarb pie so I want to do that before starting into a new book. I finished Lee Child’s Never Go Back last night. So good!

Bill went up for his shower and I started getting stuff out to bake. I have a pastry mat that works well rather than making a mess on the counter top and I decided to use my wooden rolling pin. When water isn’t being conserved, I’ll use the one Rob, my buddy back home, gave me, the hollow plastic one that you fill for weight. Get ready, buddy, I’m making pies!

I've got Aunt Mary's apron on ready to bake
Ready to roll

ready for filling

Leftover dough filled with apple sauce
ready for the crumb toppinig

All ready to go in the oven after I add tinfoil to the edges
So, I just made a single pie crust because my rhubarb pie recipe calls for a crumble top crust. When I was almost ready to pop it in the convection oven, Bill turned the generator on and the inverter off. 25 minutes with foil around the edges and 25 minutes without. As usual, there was enough dough leftover to make an apple turnover, this time using up my homemade apple sauce from last summer.

starting the peanut butter pie
pre-made crust

Not pretty but it will taste good!
While that was baking, I quickly tossed the ingredients for a Peanut Butter Pie. I had one pre-made graham cracker pie crust that needed to be used up. Bill loves his peanut butter so I knew this would be welcomed too. Unfortunately, the filling was so thick that it broke the crumb crust into pieces when I spooned it in, but it will taste the same and only needs to go into the fridge to solidify.

Bill and Clemson enjoying the outdoors
With that done, I went out with Bill and my new book. James Patterson’s Cross Justice. Back to Alex Cross this time. We noticed Clemson going from sun on his stool to under the Suite for shade and back and forth. 
Hmm, he went in and laid down immediately
Bill somethings thinks it is a worthless endeavor but I got his little red folding tent out, tossed his blanket and my shirt in it……oh, and a large rock to hold it in place. The little bum went in at shortly after 12 noon and hasn’t left it since.

then he stretched out some more
The breeze can blow through and he is in the shade but still toasty warm. I’d say he’s happy! I came inside at 1 and warmed up some of the bean soup for our lunch. First time Clemson didn’t need to come in with us. He is too comfortable in his own little ‘Suite’. We were back outside after lunch with our books. I was happy to see Bill taking more pictures with his big Canon, sometimes the surroundings are all we need for an interest to take off.

It was getting closer to his supper time so he was creeping out bit by bit
Our little family enjoying the desert
At 2 or so, I wanted to stretch out a bit, outside, and maybe close my peepers so I got out my ‘antique’ lawn chair as Brenda so eloquently put it. That is exactly what it is and I love it! I do need to place my blanket on it so I don’t fall through the holes (as if!) but it has 4 reclining positions and I remained in it, on it for the remainder of the day. 

George from Our Awesome Travels,called across and asked if we were hosting H.H. and that Len and Brenda were popping over from Tyson Wells LTVA. Bill is posting tonight at On Our Way so will post the Happy Hour photo of the day.

The sun started to drop rapidly after 5
So, at 3, Happy Hour came together. George, Suzie, Tom, Deb, Len, Brenda, Clemson, Bill and I. It was a nice group and it didn’t break up until about 5:30. We were pretty much talked out by then and it was starting to cool down.

Bill lit the barbecue and when warmed, put our Italian meatballs on the grill mat. I had wrapped my portion of spaghetti squash in tin foil for grilling as well. 

The Chef had about a chapter to go in his book so was trying to finish it and
grill supper at the same time
When the meatballs were done, Bill’s noodles were done, the sauce was warmed and I could scrape enough off the squash for my ‘noodles’.

Meatballs on the grill mat and spaghetti squash
Inside his noodles were cooking

Bill wasn’t crazy about the meal but I rather enjoyed it. Maybe the noodles weren’t done enough, another couple of minutes might have been perfect. We decided to have our piece of rhubarb pie right away instead of waiting like we usually do. 

Dessert, that is TWO s's, in the Desert, one 's'.
This way the dishes could all be cleaned up tonight instead of having some in the sink in the morning. And, the pie turned out delicious!

Clemson and I took a walk while supper was cooking and the sky was shaping up nicely for the evening
Clem was intrigued by this dangerous looking cactus
No! you can't piddle on that!
Pink sky at night, Rv'ers delight
The Suite basking in the last of today's sunny glow
So! Dishes are all done, Bill and I are downloading pictures that were taken today and I’m finishing up this post while Bill writes another one. It was another great day in the desert, they just keep coming into our welcoming arms! I hope you can say that yours was a good day too.

And the sun sets in a stunning finale
Thank you for sticking your head in. If you’d like to comment, rest assured that I will read and enjoy each one.


  1. Excellent pictures, I enjoyed them. Happy Hour looked fun (Bill's photo) and I'm sure you all had a lot of things to chatter about. Always fun when that happens.

    I like Clemson's little house, and the way he hangs out of it, he's such a little sweetie.

    The pie looked excellent, as did dinner. I chuckled when I saw Bill reading while cooking. I know how that feels, I do that often.

    Glad you folks had a great day.

    1. Thanks Deb. There are always things to discuss at Happy Hour, and lots of laughs as you know!
      Clemson likes his house, we just need to make sure he gets both shade and sun. :)
      Yes, Bill was on the last few pages of his book.

  2. So what's going on with the noodle's they look like they might be soaking in hot water. Your pies look yummy as always.

    1. ha ha. That is exactly what they are doing. I found the container at a second hand store, brand new. You put your noodles in. Boil water and cover the noodles. There is a strainer lid and a full lid. After 7 - 10 minutes they are cooked. For me, it means I'm not making sure they don't boil over or stick in a pot on the stove. I like it!
      The pie was yummy, thanks Bob.

  3. It was a fun productive day, nice looking pie and yummy supper.
    And of course Happy hour was fun as well.

    1. Got a couple of pies baked and some exercise of the legs and of our belly laughs. :)

  4. What a great cooking day you had! Love the apron! Rhubarb pie certainly looks delicious! :) Nice that Bill went walking with you again. IF you keep walking near the Magic Circle you might end up with a surprise (now be sure to get a picture) haha..Happy Hour looked like a great time with so many happy people! Oh my goodness I love Clemson's tent! That was a great purchase and he looks so content :)

  5. I love those tall saguaro cacti! The picture with Bill standing beside it sure puts it in perspective...they are huge.