Sunday, November 25, 2018

2 Thanksgivings

Thanksgiving we gathered with friends and neighbors for a potluck turkey and ham dinner.  The food was great and we had a good time.  We are thankful for the people we live near here in the Arizona winters.

As usual, on the day after Thanksgiving I baked a turkey breast and we had another Thanksgiving feast.  Every year we have celebrated either Thanksgiving or Christmas at someone else's home, I have baked a turkey the next day in our home.  We really need those leftover turkey sandwiches, you know.

We have so much to be thankful for this year, and every year.  And giving thanks while eating roasted turkey is the way to do it, if possible.

Sunday, November 18, 2018

Woodworking Projects

Our time is Arizona is when we pay the most attention to our crafty or artistic side. We finished the table top epoxy wood project. We both think it looks pretty good.

This week John cleaned up the rough edges of the epoxy.

He also has been working on this sunflower. Intarsia projects like this were one of our first woodworking efforts after retirement. He is enjoying getting back into this style of wood project.

I hope to turn a few wooden bowls in the next couple of months.

Yesterday was the annual fall patio sale in Canyon Vistas/Superstition Views. We have tried to sell things at 3 different patio sales. Finally, this year, success. We made a grand total of $7. At least we had the opportunity to talk to many of our neighbors during the morning.

Sunday, November 11, 2018

Thank-you, Veterans

Today, we say "Thank you for your service" to our son Doug, who served 23 years in the US Marine Corps, and to the thousands and thousands who served—since the beginning of the Revolutionary War—to assure that today we can vote for the candidate of our choice and live in freedom in this wonderful country, the United States of America.

Today there is a Veterans Day parade in nearby Apache Junction and yesterday there were parades in the East Valley and Phoenix, and I am sure almost every community in the country held a parade over the weekend. Even if we don't talk about it much, I think many, if not most, Americans are grateful for the freedoms we have and the men and women who gave of their time, and sometimes their very lives, so we could exercise those freedoms and rights.

In cities and towns the parades include horses and floats and marching bands and color guards. In the 55+ active adult resorts we spend our winters in, the parades include a flag and golf carts and old cars. I really wonder what nursing homes have—wheel chairs? Whoever we are and whereever we stop to remember, we march or walk or wheel and give thanks.

These are some views of Friday's Veterans Day Parade in Canyon Vistas and Superstition Views where we spend our winters.

This is a 55 Chevy.  The same color as my first car.  I love this car.

Friday, November 09, 2018

Hiking with Friends

I’m really behind in posting to our blog. Early this month we met our friends Barbara and Ron and their friend Mickey for a hike on the Blevins trail in Usury Mountain Park. It was good to see our friends and good to be out in the beautiful desert. In some places the desert is lush and wonderful and Usury Mountain is one of those places.

I had everyone pose for a photo—Mickey, Barbara, Ron and John.

When we returned to our cars after the hike, we found a local bike shop setting up a course for a bike race the following day. I would much rather hike on the trails than bike on a track. Glad I wasn’t going to be part of that race.

Monday, November 05, 2018

Pressure Cooker Success

One hour 15 minutes from the start of preheating to this food on the table.

Sent from my iPad

Today I used the pressure cook setting on my Instant Pot for the first time and it was a success! The picture shows a pork chop in gravy with a side of mashed cauliflower. Both were delicious. (The cauliflower wasn’t cooked in the Instant Pot.). The chops were the first time I have ever prepared really tender pork chops.

I am pleased with my new pressure cooker. What do I make next time?

Playing With Wood

John and I really enjoy working with wood. He carves, turns pens and is starting an intarsia project. I like turning bowls and am trying to expand the types of turning projects I do.

A year or so ago we saw something made with slices of tree branches and decided to try a project like that ourselves. Here are the slides of mesquite wood we (mostly John) cut.

That was the easy part. The next step is to cover them with epoxy for a shiny table top or wall hanging. I had never worked with epoxy before. The project has turned into more of a learning experiment than a finished decorative item. I put on too thick a coat of the epoxy. First it ran all over the place and we were quickly using newspaper and trash bags to catch the overflow. Then, as it dried, bubbles developed. The white spots in this photo are where I sanded down the bubbles.

Hopefully, we can clean it up enough to put on another thin layer of epoxy or two and improve the appearance.

At the ver least, we have learned a lot that will be useful on the next project.