Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Family, Animals and Cactus in Tucson

We had a great time Tuesday exploring the Tucson Desert Museum with Tina and Vance, our niece and her husband.  They are spending this month in Arizona in the RV and we decided to meet at the museum.

I saw something new before we even paid our entrance fee.  A cell phone charging station!

Next, we saw these bronze statues of an adult javelina and 2 babies.

The museum has a number of Sonoran Desert native animals.  I sure wouldn't want to encounter this mountain lion on a hike.

This black bear would be equally as frightening.

This is a wolf.

Here is a cold, wet roadrunner.

A bobcat

This mountain sheep ram kept butting this log, then licking it.  We couldn't figure out why.

The Rufus hummingbird was one of several in the aviary.

Of course, a desert museum also includes cactus, lots and lots of cactus plants.

We were most impressed with the cactus gardens in Tucson.  The animals were interesting.  And we had an enjoyable lunch in the on-site grill.

Tuesday, January 07, 2020

What a Fun Way to End 2019!

Our son Eric, his wife Liz, and our grandchildren Kylie and John came to visit just before New Year's Eve.  We had a fun time. 

We played cards for a while before dinner.

The next day we had lunch at the Cactus Grill here in the resort.

But only after we all worked out in our gym and took a selfie in the mirror. 

We joined the resort's happy hour--otherwise known as music on the patio--the first evening.  Since the weather was cold (for Arizona) the event was held in the ballroom.  Kylie and John played corn hole for a while. 

 Kylie had used her parents' money to buy raffle tickets, one for each of us.  When the winning number was announced, it was the one on my ticket!  You can see the woman in red at the table in the background.  She is standing in front of the Cancer Drive fundraising table.  The raffle was held to benefit them.  As soon  as I picked up my winnings of  $24  I took it over and donated it to the cancer drive.

The next morning we all went to breakfast at Kneaders before they left to have lunch with some other members of their family.

The visit was a lot of fun, but way too short.  Now we have to wait until summer when we are in Colorado to see them again.

Thursday, December 26, 2019

Christmas Dinner with Neighbors

Many of our neighbors in Arizona return home or to their grandchildren for Christmas.  We have done that numerous times, as well.  This year we remained in somewhat sunny and warm Arizona for the holiday.  (It rained off and onTuesday and Wednesday.)

On Christmas Eve we worshiped at Our Savior's Lutheran.  Christmas day some neighbors invited the "left behinds" to join them for dinner. Rose, who is Italian, made a delicious lasagna.    Susan and Randy were two of those attending. Rebecca was across the table from them and somehow I cut her out of the photo. 

Rose and John are near the windows.

We shared a table with Helen and Steve.

With only 9 of us, we had a quiet afternoon and the chance to talk at length.  In fact, we were there for 4 hours.  What a good opportunity to get to know other snowbirds better.

Tuesday, December 17, 2019

Christmas Is Coming

And that means we need to pull out our much loved Christmas decorations and find places in our winter home to display them.  We have quite a few nativity sets.  One is carved out of olive wood, another is a puzzle. When the pieces are taken out of their frame they can be arranged with Mary, Joseph, the wise men, a shepherd and animals surrounding the baby Jesus.

Other sets are made of wood, glass, or pottery and one I shaped out of clay.

We also have a large collection of Santas.  The red plastic Santa on green skis I received as a child.  Five wooden ones John carved.  Two are antiques we found.

We have a small tree--just right for our small house.

John carved a larger nativity scene we display in front of our home.

Soon we need to go find some good Christmas light displays somewhere in the area.

We wish everyone a very Merry Christmas, full of the joy of celebrating our Savior's birth,  and a happy and healthy new year.

Friday, December 13, 2019

Thanksgiving With Friends

On Thanksgiving we gathered with neighbors for a great pot-luck meal.  Usually these get-togethers are held on someone's patio but the day was cold(by Arizona standards) so we crowded into one of the homes.

I won't try to name everyone present but the group included people who live in our resort and some who left us for larger homes nearby but are still friends.

Everyone brings their own cutlery and beverage and a dish to share.  There was plenty of food to go around and lots of smiles laughter and sharing.

We will be having another gathering on Christmas.  Many of our neighbors go home for these holidays but those of us who stay are never lonely.

Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Walking in Gilbert

Our daily routine includes walking 10,000 steps, which is about 5 miles.  Most of the time we walk around our resort but sometimes we want a change of scenery.  One day we ventured out to the Gilbert Water Ranch.  There are several ponds where the water district stores their water.  In a desert, the water quickly attracts birds and other water-loving wildlife.

We saw these turtles sunning themselves on a log.

There are numerous varieties of ducks and other water birds, including the long-legged stilts in the upper right of this photo.  Their colors make them look like they are wearing tuxedos.

We enjoyed this egret.  It was standing still, waiting for a fish to swim up for dinner.

Once in a while, we will look for more interesting places to walk.

Saturday, November 30, 2019

I Guess I'm Old Fashioned

Like just about everyone I know, I bought an InstaPot a year or two ago.  It was small, only a 4 quart model.  I quickly realized it was too small to cook those things I use my crock pot for--like a beef roast.  So, I was storing the crock pot and InstaPot.  I did like all the recipes I found for the new appliance, but I never got used to using the pressure cooker function. 

So, what did I do?  I bought a pressure cooker.  I had gotten rid of the one I had used since we were first married over 50 years earlier.  The new one looks almost the same and, except for having the steam valve in a different location, I knew how to use it immediately. 

And I donated my InstaPot to the Goodwill. 

I made a roast in the new pressure cooker the first Sunday.  And I am using my crock pot to serve meatballs today and to make white chicken chili during the coming week.

When we went full-time in our RV 10 years ago, I gave my KitchenAid mixer to our daughter-in-law Liz.  It was just too large to carry in the RV.  Instead, I depended on the hand mixer I had received as a wedding gift. 

A couple of weeks ago, I bought a new KitchenAid.  I have plenty of room in our Arizona kitchen.  It does a much better job on cakes and mashing potatoes than that hand mixer!

I love these appliances and they make cooking so much easier.  But it leaves me feeling old fashioned.