Saturday, November 30, 2019

Sunny Welcome, More Old Pictures, A Bit of Shopping

Elephant Butte Lake, New Mexico

There just isn’t anything better than waking up to a clear blue sky. Especially, when we know there are many other scenarios. Clouds, rain, sleet and now snow! It was around 5:30 when we were up to the bathroom and back into bed for another hour and a half. A peek out the blind on Saturday, Nov. 30th showed us just what we love. Clear sky and the sun was yet to appear.

It's going to be a beautiful day
in the neighbourhood
Today marks the end of this first month on the road. We’ve come along way and seen a lot of countryside and still have further to go. It is time for us to move, two weeks here is just a tad too long. We love it, I love the walking, but with not much in the vicinity to do outside the park we’ll not stay so long the next times. Bob and Bill, especially, like to be more active. We are all looking forward to a change and on Monday we’ll head into Arizona.

Getting ready for it

While Bill started brewing his coffee, I was out down the road. It was 37F/2.7C so not warm by any means but with no wind (I think it blew itself out yesterday!) it was another very pleasant 2-mile walk. I just can’t get over how peaceful it is here and it seems no one is out and about at 6:30 or 7. My only critter sightings this morning were a covey of quails and a bunny rabbit huddling over nuggets in the sand. I’m glad they are finding interesting things to eat.

One rock planted
Another glance at the sunrise at the Marina
Back home, my tea was good. Bill found a few ants up in a different cupboard, only a few but they seem to be around the peanut butter. Everyone loves our Kraft p.b.! After a bit of relaxing with blogs, he emptied the shelf and wiped it down with the bug spray. Nothing up there is open so they couldn’t get in anything but still, it is annoying how they get to where we find them. We’ve managed to keep them at bay in the other cupboards and the fridge but have seen them in the bathroom. Odd. There's no food in there!

The clouds over the mountains are gorgeous!
This road is the name of the paved section of Dirt Road

Gosh, they are so adorable!
Little at his little cotton ball tail
No mouse in our trap yet, maybe he is planning his escape route before he sneaks in for the p.b. After a second hot drink, Bill called his sister, Carol, and chatted with her for a while. It is nice to hear voices from back home even for a short call. It is great to touch base. After getting washed and cleaned up, Bill had a text from our new friends in Guelph with a few queries. It is easier to call to answer questions rather than text so Bill called Michael.

There is one section with only 3 sites
These would be very private but they aren't compatible
for large units unless you parked on an angle
After we leave, I will miss these views
but I know I'll find other pretty ones
We don’t ever expect everyone or anyone to do things exactly the way we do, we all have different needs and are in different situations, but it is nice when someone asks for ideas and options. They can take the information, check it out and use it or abandon it. We are just happy to help. Jo-Anne texted to see if we wanted to tag along to Las Cruces, about an hour’s drive, with them. We wanted to finish the phone call and we hadn’t had breakfast/lunch yet so declined the invitation. Nice of them to ask though.
A lot of birds sleep up in the bushes like this
We had some toast, jam and/or peanut butter and Bill had a yogourt before hopping in Black Beauty for the drive into Truth or Consequences. A quick stop at the post office and then on to Walmart for the few things on our list. We just picked up cheese and eggs in the food section, then found a 2020 Atlas ‘large style’ (for us older folk, the book is the same size but the print and maps are enlarged), clear Varathane spray for my rocks and finally a new toaster. This last item has been a long time coming.

It wasn't expensive but we still hope it lasts a few years
and that we enjoy the toast it makes

I picked ours up years ago from an Easter or Christmas family gathering. We’d decided to do a raffle of purged items. We needed a toaster and my $4 won and the bonus was that I knew my sister owned it before me and was just redecorating. It has done us well but for a couple of years now, the shade selector hasn’t worked well. We’ve nick-named it the ‘piece of s**t’ toaster. Now, it has gone to where many old appliances go.

When we left there, we drove around to the laundromat in T or C and I went in to check it out. We had first decided to wait until we got to Quail Ridge but we have a full bag now and we’ll be so busy there with touristy stuff…..I will sort clothes tonight and we’ll do it up in the morning. Then we don't have to think about it for another couple of weeks.

Lastly, we stopped so I could check out a restaurant just around the corner from the main road. Big Foot advertises good food and cheap beer so Bill and I plan to treat ourselves our last night here. Maybe our friends will join us, we’ll see. 

There's that kid in me coming out again!

Back home, I put the food away and sat in my chair with my book. Darn eyes! I know I closed them for a few minutes but around 3, I got dressed and went out for my second walk. The winds had picked up so the 50F felt more like 40 as I walked.

Yup, she's hard to contain sometimes

The sun was gorgeous and the fresh air was still very good for me. I had remembered to take two more rocks with me. High 5! These are the rocks I either painted last winter/fall/spring or this past summer. I have a lot to hide now. Back at the Suite, I made a cup of tea for each of us and we had cheese strings and pork rinds. Just a snack as I felt that I needed a nibble.

My afternoon walk took me down to the beach in a roundabout way
Interesting how the wind was bringing waves in to shore
My sister sent me a picture of her and Gerry’s outfits for their Remax Christmas party tonight. I didn’t get permission to share it so I won’t but they look very stylish! Usually, it is a fancy affair (in my mind, as it should be) but this year the powers that be chose a theme of 70’s attire. Donna wasn’t too thrilled, enjoying the ‘dressup’ like I do, but they came up with some pretty funky outfits suitable for the era. I don’t think any Cannabis was involved in choosing the attire though. Good for you guys!

The rock I hid yesterday is hard to see in the picture
Maybe I need to swap it out tomorrow for a different coloured one
I love those parties but mostly the opportunity to dress up and go dancing! We used to have some great Union galas back in the early 90’s when Bill and I worked at the school board. For a few years, Bill and I played a big part in their success, not meaning to brag about my sweetie but he was a great MC. Back to home, Bill wanted to put up some Christmas lights and that is his department when it comes to decorating. This is something that we can put up now to enjoy even before we move.

This one is more visible so should be found easily
Around 4:30, Bill’s step Mom, Marilynne, called after watching and hearing weather reports about the flooding and rains in Arizona. She was concerned enough to touch base with us and double check where we were. Marilynne doesn’t ‘do’ blogs or texts so a phone call is the avenue of communication between us. It was very nice of her to take the time and we were able to fill her in on our news from here and from the home front.

One window done for now
We forgot to pick up more clips
so he can get them in the morning while I'm doing laundry
I started warming up the last of our turkey, gravy and my turnip. Well, Jo-Anne’s turnip that I’m going to finish. I cooked some mixed veggies for Bill as well. He made a hot turkey sandwich and I just enjoyed it without the bread. It was a good meal. This was the perfect size turkey breast, filling 8 tummies over a course of 3 days. We have had enough bird for a while. For dessert, I dished us up each some Creamy lime Jell-o. Yum.

I enjoyed our last turkey meal
The turnip was delicious too!
We did dishes and Bill moved upstairs to finish watching a movie. I sat here to finish my post while listening to Classic Rock on the television. I keep forgetting that the channels up in the 900’s on the satellite are different genres of music. No repeats. So, that is what I turned on and it was background noise after when I was finishing my book. It is getting hard to put down!

Good night from Elephant Butte State Park!
This was a good day. Kind of quiet, but with some shopping also. I got my rocks lacquered and put them away. This will protect them from the elements outside when I hide them. I hope you’ve enjoyed your day too.

I helped my cousin, Rita, again today with names on a few more old pictures
I'm sure she knew us in the picture but she shared this Christmas card
Mom sent to their family
I'm the baby in this one, sitting on Mom's lap
Gosh, Mom is beautiful!

And one last one from the backyard of our Lucan, Ontario home
We are all spread out here at the family reunion in 1967
In case you can't pick me out, I'm in the front row, 2nd on the left
in pony tails
Don't you love the old Brownies on the old arborite kitchen table?

Thank you for stopping in!

Friday, November 29, 2019

The Snow is History, Winds Return on Black Friday

Elephant Butte S.P., New Mexico

It didn’t feel like a full sleep last night for either of us. I managed to get my blog posted and was soon upstairs to join my sweetie. Not sure why, but when I went up to bed, I couldn’t drop off like I normally do. Bill had a movie on but with my earplugs in, I'm usually able to drop off. I guess I wasn’t as tired as I first thought.  Three or four times, I know I was awake and tossing and turning. Dreaming, I’m sure.

Not sure what kind of a day to expect with this sky
Therefore, it was after a fitful sleep that we woke up around 5, rolled over and dropped off until 7. Now is when our bodies want to sleep! It was light outside and a peek out the window upstairs showed me brown instead of white sand. Yes! Fist pump. We got up and Bill could tell by my actions that I was going for a walk. I checked the temperature, 39F, the winds, 3 mph, and I dressed accordingly. There were 2 empty wine bottles and 2 pop cans to dispose of so with my stick, I went with hands full again.

It was a nice walk and I did the full loop, just shy of 2 miles, and back home down Dirt Road. As I was walking across Ridge Rd. a little road runner was up ahead of me. He was watching me so I snapped a picture figuring he’d be off down into the desert any time. He did disappear but he must have been curious too and came back up onto the pavement, running ahead of me. 😊 So cute! Then he hopped up on a fence post and sat for more pictures before running off through the sand.

There are a lot of these evergreen trees in the park
They are very pretty, yet different than our pretty ones at home
Back home I had my tea and checked in with our friends on blogs. Seems a Happy Thanksgiving was had by all our American friends and their family and we, as Canadians, certainly enjoyed celebrating a second one. It seems ages ago that we were home enjoying the day with our own families. When I think that it was a month plus 2 days ago that we were returning from Cancun, it seems like another world, somebody else.

The road runner story
First he is there on the road and then he disappeared

He came back up as if to show me the way

He hopped up on the post and checked to see if I was still there

And then said goodbye before running across the desert
Around 10, I made breakfast but I experienced that ‘I’m not really hungry’ feeling so had to force it down. I guess it means going back to cooking it for Bill and I’ll eat at noon when I’m ready. Tea fills me, all that good fat coconut oil and cream does what a breakfast does for others. After dishes, I made a coffee. There on the counter, I saw the wishbone that Bill saved from the bird last night. Hmm, it will soon be dry enough to grab a leg and ‘snap!’. How many of you remember doing that?

And this was how the day turned out
A little sun, blue sky and a little cloud
but it made it to 54F!
The sun is making occasional appearances in today’s movie; not a star performance, more like a supporting actor, but we’ll take what we can get. The winds were increasing with gusts of 17 – 24 mph and then within the next hour, jumped to maximum gusts of 45 mph. Boy, were we rockin’! Bill went out in between gusts to bring the flagpole with our wind sock down. It has stood up great but no point in taking the risk of losing it. For about an hour, it was quite wild before they calmed again. I took the opportunity while indoors to make a batch of creamy Jell-o and put it in the fridge to set.

And a close up of the staghorn cactus
With flowers on their last leg
Bill and I sat together with our phones, downloading sounds for ringtones and notifications. Just for fun. After playing with that for a while, we read and then Bill went up to watch a movie. While sitting in my chair, I decided to get my fingers into crocheting again. Not sure what to make but even if I play with the wool scraps, I’m staying on top of the knowledge. 😊 I don’t want to forget the things I’ve learned.

Just a little Thanksgiving display with
some Elephant Butte coyote gourds
I made a bookmark for Bill, a very poor example of one but he has been using a little green tag from something that he keeps losing. If he doesn’t want the new one, I’ll use it instead of making one for myself. A bit of practice needs to take place so I can make one that I’m proud of. After finishing it, I went for my second walk. The winds were now around 4 mph up to maybe 12 so a whole lot different than earlier and the sun when it was out was warm and wonderful.

Unfortunately, the wishbone got snapped without either of
our hands touching it
Mice? Weird.
Indoor temp - lower left
outside temp - lower right
wind speed - upper right
The walk to the beach allowed me to place my Eat More Cake rock that I’d found in Texas last spring. It isn’t in an obvious place so maybe it will still be there when we next return. Ha ha. I followed along the beach and walked up the gravel/sandy road that took me up to Ridge Rd. Everything seems to lead to the Ridge! It was incredibly quiet out there. If I hadn’t met one lady walking down to the beach, I would wonder if I was in a Sci-Fi film!

Some pictures on my walk
Back home, I was quite warm so instead of a cup of tea, I mixed up a Caesar before sitting at my laptop to work on my post. I received an email survey from Walmart regarding our pickup at the store on Wednesday. I don’t mind that at all but what I do mind is after you complete it, they offer to enter your name in a draw for gift cards etc. but then won’t allow any Canadian to enter our information. So, I had to fake an address, with a state and zip code. I finished it with at least a legit email and phone #. Frustrating though.

Shortly after 5, I placed leftover potatoes, turnip, corn and turkey in my new cake pan. The right amount of food fit in for one meal and it only took 8 minutes to heat everything perfectly in the Instant Pot. I reheated the gravy on the stove at the same time. Bill has indicated to anyone who will listen about how much he loves this appliance. For sure, Madame IP has been a valuable addition to our family. The turkey last night and again tonight is some of the moistest turkey we’ve ever had.

This was so easy - a one pot meal
After dishes, we watched a new Christmas movie together while I worked on posting my blog. Not an overly exciting day but that’s okay. Our neighbours pulled out this morning and by mid afternoon another motor home with family moved in. This is a popular place and a popular row.

Delicious and enough turkey and gravy for one more night
Good night everyone!
I hope you’ve had a good day and if you did some shopping today, in a store or online on this busy Black Friday, I hope you found lots of great deals!

Thank you for stopping by.

Thursday, November 28, 2019

The “S” Word on the Elephants! Happy Thanksgiving!

Elephant Butte L.S.P., New Mexico
When we woke up on Thursday, Nov. 28th I could hear rain hitting the roof, lightly. It was 6:45 when we decided to get up and looking out the blind, it was white snow, not white sand that I saw. Yeuch! 

No tracks out here, I was the first one, obviously
I didn’t think it was still snowing so with a mild, calm 34F outside, I bundled for my walk. As I stepped out, it was still coming down and very wet and slushy. The slush made it very slippery for walking so I just went as far as the garbage bins and disposed of some cardboard boxes and recycle.

It was very slushy and slippery
 On my way and after turning back, I snapped a few pictures but I can’t agree with you snow lovers that it is pretty. Nope, it isn’t to me. So, I didn’t quite make the mile this morning and we’ll see if it melts off the roads for a later walk. After my tea and blog reading, I got the duster out and cleaned the cupboards, and the leather furniture even though Bill’s chair is peeling badly. Bill got the vacuum out and did the floors and ceiling fan.

Snow in the desert, it's just weird

Looking down at the lake
Company should come more often; we make a good effort at cleaning! Ha ha. Then it was time for breakfast so I fried up bacon and eggs. Outside, the snow has changed to rain which means things will melt – we hope. While breakfast was cooking, Bill offered to walk the kitchen garbage bag down to the bins but as he stepped outside, he realized it was pouring rain. That would be a later job. We cleaned up dishes and puttered around.

Where no man has walked before.........

That's a big deposit from an overnight snowfall
Bill fixed a lantern ‘flashlight’ that I bought a few years ago. It had just stopped working this year but it has been in the closet, untouched, all summer. He took it apart, replaced batteries, cleaned the connectors (whatever you call them) put it back together, thinking after a couple of tries that it was garbage, and voila! It is working again. Great because I love this lantern for camping and for at home on The Ridge.

With 2 settings for brightness, this is a nice lantern
I'm so happy he got it working again
 While in Durham this summer, I picked up a cheap round table cloth. I was thinking of my outdoor patio table at home but it isn’t practical with our winds up there. So, today, since we’re having company for supper and it’s a special occasion, I got it out and managed to fit a round peg into a square hole. Our table is rectangular. You get my drift. It isn’t perfect but it makes it looks nicer in here. I lit a Gingerbread candle and Bill moved our Sirius radio over to the tv area.

Nice and clean, ready for company
We’ll need room on our hutch for food dishes, since the table just fits the 4 of us. The small 4.37 lb. turkey we bought turned out to be just a large turkey breast. So I discovered when I opened it this morning. Woops! No wonder it is so small. It looks very meaty though so fingers crossed that it will turn out wonderful in Madame IP. It sure won’t take long, 6 minutes per pound is the rule, we’re looking at a mere half hour of cooking.
Our mistake thinking it was a whole turkey
so no wings or legs today
I Googled how to cook a turkey breast this time instead of the whole turkey as with company wouldn’t it be nice if it all turned out? :)😉 Then I relaxed with my book for a while. After doing our dishes this morning,  Bill set 2 mouse traps with peanut butter. Special Kraft peanut butter from Ontario, I might add. How can the little beggars resist?

The roads were clear for my afternoon walk
The last mouse ‘stole’ our trap so these we’re hoping will outsmart him. Well, that is the joke anyway. We think he must have got a leg or a tail caught and dragged it off into the depths of the underbelly. Bill couldn't find it anywhere. No odor so perhaps by now he’s long gone. I heard quite a few, well 3, snaps as Bill worked at this but no fingers were harmed during this process. And no film at 11, sorry. If the traps disappear in the next day or two, it won’t be a joke anymore.

This part of the path was walked on

Little doggie prints
Bill and I sat with our books for a while, listening to Christmas tunes, and then I got online window shopping. Other than a few stocking stuffers, we don’t buy for each other. We buy one thing for our ‘home’ that we need or want. Last year or was it the year before, it was our Water Pik and Electric toothbrushes. This year, well, we’re working on it. When we'd flogged that horse to death, I dressed to go for my walk, since I missed getting out for a good one earlier.

And quail prints
My dear hubby asks “are you going to take that garbage?” I wasn’t planning on it but “oh, yah, may as well”. There was a candle jar that needed to go as well, not in the bag. You know how they sometimes end up, all black around the top edge? I had my walking stick, a very wet heavy garbage bag in one gloved hand and the fat jar in the other. The jar had to be kept away from my white vest so it was an awkward start to the walk. LOL

I know they're used to it, but why do we think
they are cold?
After depositing them in the bins, I could then use my stick and walk on the dry pavement up to Desert Cove where I cut through onto the trails. Darn! I forgot my 2 painted rocks! I was again watchful for Wile E. but saw no sign of him as I walked the full stretch up to the playground on Ridge Rd. and back down to home. What a lovely day – well, if you can forget about the white stuff still lingering. It wasn’t cold at 39F/4C mainly because there wasn’t any breeze.

Forget the Class A motor home in front, look at the van and trailer
This fellow has his life's savings loaded in here
He has a pottery wheel, product and a homemade kiln in the back of his van
I hope he 'makes it' one day, that is his dream
Back home, I cut a Gala apple and spread peanut butter (the good stuff again) on each piece. A nice snack until supper. It was time for our showers so at 3:00 I had mine and then Bill had his. I cut up potatoes for supper and pulled the turkey breast out of the fridge for oiling and spicing. It was around 4:30 when I heated up Madame IP and seared the breast on all sides. It still wasn’t going to be 'roasted' on the outside, that’s the nature of the beast but the meat would be good.

Seasoned breast in the pot for sauteeing

And a sealed vented lid that fits perfectly to avoid spattering
all over the counter

And after it is seared all over the silicone sling worked great on top of the trivet
28 minutes on pressure cook and 17 minutes NR
When Jo-Anne, Bob and Higgy arrived around 4:45, she brought her homemade pickles and beets, a turnip dish and a homemade pecan pie with pecans from Georgia. I had planned on 5:30 for eating but it was closer to 6:15, woops! No one seemed to mind as we sat and chatted while we waited. Well, the guys waited, Jo-Anne and I prepared the gravy, potatoes etc. Bill got suckered into carving the breast for me. 😊

And we were ready to dig in, only me missing here!
We had lots of food

It was delicious! The turkey, potatoes, turnip, corn, gravy and then the dessert! Yum, a wonderful Thanksgiving meal with good friends. I loaded the dishwasher and Jo-Anne washed up the pots while I dried. 

No pestering here
Higgins was so good, not pestering hardly at all, just doing a ‘Clemmy’ by being at our feet during the prep. Of course, the smell of the food must drive them crazy too. I set up my big tripod and got a picture of us before they left around 8:30.

This is a wonderful picture

I missed the joke here - something between Bill and Bob
 This was a good day. The Suite is clean, the meal was yummy and the conversation and companionship was fantastic. We are thankful for so many things and this type of get together with friends is top of the list. I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving also.

Notice Higgins' eyes are open here
Papa Bill just kept rubbing and soon.....

Eyes closed
It's too bad Higgins doesn't relax at our place  ha ha

I'm grateful for Higgins too, he is a sweet warm little puppyGood night y'all!
Thank you for your visit today. Your comments are another thing I’m always thankful for. HAPPY THANKSGIVING TO ALL OUR AMERICAN FRIENDS!