Saturday, January 31, 2015

Critter, I Quit And Grocery Shopping Help

DSCN0289Michael was raking cactus droppings away from our walking path and out of the sand came this guy, he was probably about a foot long.  We have cactus wrens building a nest right outside our kitchen window—this will be fun to watch and maybe a little noisy!

Last Saturday I wrote “…started a rug making project—Michael built the loom a couple years ago….”, well yesterday I quit, finding the process to be incredibly boring.  The loom is just a rectangle with small nails for looping strips of fabric around eventually making a rag rug—and eventually is the key word here! 

We were in Wickenburg not long ago and for some reason went to the Basha Supermarket instead of the Safeway.  I was looking for honey—every container I chose was labeled “from Argentina,” or “from China,” I kid you not!  So, it was taking me a while to find US honey—these two older ladies came down the aisle, pointed to a jar and said, “that’s real good honey!!”  And I said, “but it is made in Argentina!!”  They absolutely could not believe that until I showed the ladies the label.  Well, then they began pointing out other honey until I was ready to just take ANY jar—I chose a smallish container and one of the ladies said, “WHY DO YOU WANT TO GET SUCH A SMALL CONTAINER!!!”  Geez, can’t a person just shop for groceries on their own?????Smile  The cowboy and I had quite the chuckle over my helpers in the grocery store!

It was another cool and rainy day in the AZ desert.  Michael is coming down with a bug of some sort so he stuck close to home, I visited with Larry and Geri a bit then walked across to get a bundt pan from Jim and Ellie.  There is a cream cheese pound cake cooling on the counter—Larry wore me down and I had to make him one just so he would be quiet!!! 

IMG_0881Some people carry passengers in their side by side ATVs—as Cathy didn’t come with Mike on our Shiprock ride I guess he decided carrying rocks home to Cathy was the next best thing! Smile

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Friday, January 30, 2015

Some Days I Should Just Stay In Bed

Yesterday was one of those days!  If you will remember I took a job back in October, 2014 and have worked one time for this corporation—it is a contract type position, I am not paid when not working but paid well when I do work.  There are no promises of work hours made by the company and I do not promise them I will always take whatever assignment offered.  So, I’ve done this one assignment.  As with any company in this day and age, security is important and every 60 days I get an email saying it is time to change my email password—really??  Well guess where all the instructions for doing so are located—yep, in Montana.  That was the first glitch in my day—the password is now changed but not without some effort!

Next, I tried to print some tax documents—nothing—as in the paper came out of the printer with nothing on it—no marks, perfect white paper????  Tried a different browser, tried Michael’s laptop, still nothing.  Inserted a new black ink cartridge—nope, nothing.  This is a HP printer, purchased at Costco less than two years ago.  Michael Googled the issue and it’s a common problem with our particular printer!!  GRRRR  The cowboy took the thing completely apart—what did we have to lose—and followed some of the cleaning steps detailed on various forums—nope, still nothing.  So to the trash this printer will go and I am finished with any HP product!

We ordered a Brother printer with good reviews from Amazon.com—cheap—if it dies so what! 

I went out to the cargo trailer to get something, came back in and shut the screen door—it broke—time to go back to bed don’t you think???

Thursday was Ellie’s birthday and Jim planned a celebration at their new home here in North Ranch.  Mike & Pat, Caryl & Jerry, Larry & Geri along with the two of us gathered for buffalo burgers, various salads and baked beans.  Jim made Ellie a Georgia peach cake which was very, very good!  Happy Birthday again Ellie—we loved celebrating with you!

Coming home after the birthday party last night it began to rain, rained all night and most of today.  I love it when rain falls in the desert—we have so many days of sunshine, it is nice to hear rain on the roof.  Rain refreshes the desert, makes the ATV riding less dusty and we hope all this rain brings out the cactus flowers later in the season. 

Tonight we joined some friends for dinner at Qorri’s in Wickenburg, Geri and Larry chauffeured us over and on the way we spotted a spectacular rainbow.  The food was delicious and the company great!

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Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Shiprock Again

As Sarge and Sarah are heading back to Montana on Thursday, we wanted to give them a good send off.  Tom and Sandy had been out to Shiprock both hiking and ATVing—so Tom was appointed leader!  Fred and Nancy, Joe minus Cathy, and Mike minus Kathy also joined us for some spectacular riding. 

It was a glorious warm and sunny day as we trailered the ATVs out to the Shiprock trailhead about 32 miles from North Ranch.  The riding was tough at times for this not so experienced rider but exciting and thrilling!  It’s hard to see in the below photo but that little drop off into the river was quite steep and we had previously ridden UP that incline!  When I came down I could have sworn I was going to nose plant that ATV right in the river! 

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During lunch we saw this sun dog--

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After lunch we started up the river to see if we could access the back side of Shiprock and came to this pile of rocks--IMG_0891IMG_0892Sandy and I voted ‘NO” on trying to climb these rocks and for once Winking smile the guys listened to us!  We retreated and went around another way. 

IMG_0858Here comes Joe bringing up the rear!

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IMG_0904IMG_0918Fred and Nancy looking for gold I think!

IMG_0866Sarge and SarahIMG_0867

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We only scratched the surface of this area today and look forward to much more exploring out there!  Back at North Ranch, driving to our spot whose rig do we see parked on Mike and Pat’s extra lot but Larry and Geri!!  They were to arrive on Sunday but I knew Larry wouldn’t be able to stand it knowing we were having so much fun without him!!Smile

Sarge and Sarah plus Larry and Geri joined us at the Congress Marketplace for dinner—Larry and Geri left earlier than the rest of us—sneaky bums—they paid the tab for all of us—thanks a bunch guys, you are the best!!

I took a ton of photos today, I will sneak more into the blogs over the next few days.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Friends From Montana

Sarge and Sarah arrived yesterday afternoon bringing their ATV and their lab—Callie.  They are staying in Congress in what is billed as “the smallest motel in Arizona.”  It’s old but very clean plus the owners are delightful! 

We started their visit off by heading out into the desert on the ATVs then coming back to the motorhome for a great supper of chicken fajitas.  Sometimes the Safeway store in Wickenburg surprises me—I was looking for a gluten free dessert yesterday while grocery shopping and came across this:

It’s not an inexpensive treat but oh, my—is it ever good, I bought three flavors—the sea salt caramel which was outstanding, raspberry and cream, also outstanding, and the double dark chocolate—guess what, it too was outstanding!!

IMG_0817This crested saguaro is near Sunset Point.  Sarge and Sarah allow Callie to get off the ATV and run—and as only labs can do, run, run, run!!  Callie was a tired pooch and took up way more than her share of the floor space--four adults and two dogs in a motorhome without slides is about maximum capacity!  Winking smileIMG_0819

Today the four of us along with our neighbors Karen and Dick who had never been to the Hassayampa River took off on the ATVs again.  Callie got in lots and lots of running today—where does she get the energy!!  We had a great day, it rained last night and the river seemed to have a little more water than when Michael and I were there the other day, plus with the rain the dust on the trails was non-existent. 

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IMG_0843Happy Labrador playing in the water! 

IMG_0845Back home we all retired to our respective spots for a little relaxation before meeting at our house for dinner—grilled hamburgers without buns and a huge salad.  Plus we indulged in some more Talenti gelato—YUM! 

Life is good!

Sunday, January 25, 2015

No Power Lines Or Houses Just Some Great Friends

What started out to be a leisurely Sunday turned into a whirlwind of activity!  We went out into the desert for our usual three mile hike then took off in the jeep for Al and Kelly’s.  Not long ago Kelly sent me a funny email which went something like this, “thanks a lot Janna for helping me waste three hours on the computer today looking at the Pioneer Woman websiteSmile.”  Kelly has now tried several of the Pioneer Woman recipes and also ordered one of her cookbooks. 

A few years ago after first discovering the Pioneer Woman website, I bought the Kindle version of her book, High Heels To Tractor Wheels.  Ree’s story of how city girl meets cowboy is very similar to mine—that’s where the similarity ends—she makes money with her blog, has a Food Network cooking show, etc. SmileThe book is a cute, quick read and I knew Kelly would enjoy it.  The Kindle I have is one of the original ones given to me by LoraLee—no touch screen so it’s a little different to use but it works.  I took that Kindle to Kelly today so she could read not only Ree’s book but any of the other books on that device.  Since getting the iPad and the Kindle app, the older Kindle hasn’t gotten much use.

Al and Kelly were in need of a handyman and borrowed the cowboy for a couple small projects—you can read all about it and see the cowboy in their RV shower on Al’s blog!!!!!

When we returned from Al and Kelly’s, ATVing friends Joe and Kathy dropped by to invite us for a sunset ride—yep, we were game.  There were about 12 of us in eight different rigs—there is a spot about four miles out in the desert from North Ranch called Sunset Point.  No power lines, no buildings, just panoramic desert scenery.  We take chairs, tables and snacks plus an adult beverage or two—we are riding ATV’s in the dark back to North Ranch after all!! Winking smileIMG_0786IMG_0795

And my ride back in the dark was a little interesting—discovered my lights don’t work!!  If I held my thumb on the switch the lights stayed on—when I would hit a bump my thumb would slip off and it was mighty dark out there in that desert!!!

IMG_0802Even the eastern sky had color tonight.

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Life is good!

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Shiprock

Every time we travel Arizona highway 93 about 30 miles north of Congress we spot this gigantic rock formation rising out of the desert floor off in the distance—it looks like a ship.  We set out in the jeep right before lunch in search of Shiprock.  And we found it—what a great day!

ShiprockWe bounced and bumped along scouting out the various roads and trails leading to Shiprock.  We could see a trail around the back side of Shiprock and took a couple of trails leading that direction but it became too rough for the jeep—ATV country!  Sarge and Sarah are on their way here with their ATV—this will be a good spot to take them—we hope some of our NR gang is up for an ATV trip too!

DSCN0267DSCN0268Joshua Tree country also.

We had so much fun and it was a beautiful, warm day in Arizona!

DSCN0273DSCN0281-001DSCN0283Back home I started a rug making project—Michael built the loom a couple years ago, I cut the old blue jeans into strips but never got around to doing any more than that.  Today I started attaching all the strips together into one long strip getting ready to start weaving. 

About 5pm we decided lunch had been a long time ago and it was the cowboy’s turn to cook—off we went to the Congress Depot stopping to see if Jim and Ellie wanted to accompany us—they did and we enjoyed a pizza while the cowboy had what he said was one of the best burgers he had ever eaten! 

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Life is good!

Thursday, January 22, 2015

A Cold Ride For Breakfast

There is an organized “outdoor group” here at North Ranch—it’s not just ATVing—there is hiking, golf, etc.  The group planned a ride “up the big hill” to the little community of Yarnell for breakfast.  We waffled and whined—it was only 48 degrees with a stiff breeze at departure time—but in the end bundled up and joined the five other rigs heading through the desert and up the mountain.

Many of you will remember the tragedy which put Yarnell, AZ on the map on June 28, 2013—a lightning sparked fire blew up and over ran 19 firefighters, killing them all.  The town of Yarnell is surviving and re-building—it is amazing to see how the fire destroyed one building and just a few feet away another one stands.  Steps are being taken to establish a memorial to the nineteen firefighters on the state land where they died. 

Fullscreen capture 1222015 60258 PMThanks a bunch Rob Fox for your helpful hint—I was able to take a screen shot of the Garmin map and it auto appeared in Picasa!  I took the screen shot using the “FN” and “PRTSC” keys on my keyboard—you can teach an old dog new tricks!  Now if I could just get the hang of that Garmin—talk about NON-user friendly!!

By the time we arrived at The Ranch House restaurant we were frozen—Yarnell elevation is 4800 feet and Congress is 2700 feet.  It was a dang cold ride and all the way I was wishing I had worn more clothes!!  Breakfast was great and after many cups of hot coffee it was time to head back—the temps had warmed a little and the ride home was not too bad.

Back home Michael conducted some more solar research even climbing on the roof of the motorhome to see how many panels would fit.  Our original intent was to put solar on the trailer roof but I think he has changed his mind and it is now going on the motorhome.  Tomorrow is a new day! Smile

IMG_0767Petroglyphs alongside the road above the historic mining town of Stanton.IMG_0768-001

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And on another note—Judy, the beloved bird lady of blog land whose volunteer hours are legendary wrote a disturbing post yesterday—seems the manager of the Imperial National Wildlife Refuge in Yuma doesn’t know a good thing when he sees it telling Judy he has decided not to have her return next year!  Good grief!  And she has two more months left to work—not sure I could work two months where I knew I wasn’t welcome!