http-equiv='refresh'/> Tin TeePee/Log Cabin: December 2016

Friday, December 30, 2016

Nasty Bug

All the flights I took over the Christmas holidays were miserably full—packed to the gills.  From Little Rock to Phoenix Monday afternoon on a Southwest flight, I chose an aisle seat beside a skinny man and what appeared to be his grandson—about 5-6 years old—who was sitting in the window seat.  The plane kept filling with people/bags and about the time the flight attendant stated the forward door was closed—the kid coughed—and coughed without covering his mouth.  Great!!!—now I’m stuck sitting beside this little germ factory—I tried not breathing—that didn’t work well. Smile About halfway through the flight the grandfather told the child to cough into his sleeve—you are a little late buster!!

Well, Wednesday morning I made the mistake of saying to the cowboy—“I think I got lucky and didn’t catch that kid’s bug.”  Should not, should not have said that!!  Wednesday evening I started to cough—no other symptoms—just this cough deep in my chest which reminded me of the little kid’s cough.  Thursday morning I woke feeling awful and the day went downhill from there.  I puttered around all day but about 4pm gave up the battle and went to bed where I stayed off and on until Friday morning.  I feel slightly better today—strangest illness—no really bad symptoms except the cough and head congestion.  Now if I can just keep the cowboy from catching it!

I promised you photos from our ATV ride—we rode down to the Hassayampa River to check the water level after our 2 1/2 inches of rain.  We were rewarded with seeing way more water than normal--IMG_5757IMG_5761


 IMG_5767And these photos are from an earlier ride we took back before Christmas—to Anderson Mill.

IMG_5740IMG_5749The cowboy and Tom trying to figure out the workings.


The cowboy and I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and wish you good health and happiness in the coming New Year.

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Back In Arizona

The cowboy and I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas.  In Arkansas I certainly enjoyed my time with family—we ate, shopped, visited, ate, shopped, visited and repeated.  Christmas Eve we traveled from house to house—a tradition for us—appetizers at Mom’s, salads at Niki and Eric’s, main course at Danny and Ann’s with dessert and a Chinese gift exchange at Ross and Vicky’s.  There are no really young children in our family any longer—Niki and Eric sometimes have foster children but their “little bird” as Niki calls the foster children flew off to his family recently.  This little guy had spent over a year in their home and he is sorely missed! 

Niki and Eric have one teenager, Elizabeth and Leah who is almost a teen.  Christmas morning we all trucked over to their house to watch Elizabeth and Leah open presents.  Leah had a really, really big box to open only to find a bunch of weird wrapped gifts (think old glass vase) before she found “the” present at the bottom of the box—an iPhone—that was one excited little girl!


DSCN3660After all that excitement we enjoyed breakfast—Ann made cinnamon rolls, Niki made biscuits and gravy—we then all waddled off to church!

DSCN3680Sunset in Arkansas.

I flew into Phoenix Monday afternoon at 4:30 and cruised home with no traffic slow downs—not a normal occurrence!  Michael had pizza waiting—he and Emmi were sure glad to see me! 

Today we took an ATV ride down to the river to see how much water was running—we had 2.5 inches of rain while I was gone!  I’ll share those photos on the next blog.

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Celebrating The Season

Whew, I sure am glad I’m not a commuter in Phoenix every morning—that early morning rush hour traffic is brutal!!  My Wednesday morning trip to the airport took over two hours—UGH!

But, I am in Arkansas with my family and a happy camper—last night we all gathered in a neighbor’s barn for a live nativity scene performed by children/adults belonging to the church my brother-in-law Danny pastors.  The nativity scene was complete with a live baby Jesus—my great niece Elizabeth was cast as Mary and the other great niece was an angel—a complete mis-cast I like to tease her!


DSCN3626My Mom.

Today Danny was our chauffer for a day of shopping in the nearby town of Pine Bluff—I know he wondered at times what he had gotten himself into—but he’s a trooper.

Michael and Emmi are being taken care of by Larry and Geri—and Mike has been staying busy laying new kitchen/dining flooring in the North Ranch house. 

DSCN3628Elizabeth and her PawPaw.  And I don’t think the original Mary wore boots like these???


Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 20, 2016


Not much going on around here—painting—and speaking of painting I stepped backward off the wrong step of the ladder today with a 3/4 full paint can in my hand falling flat of my back, banging my head hard on the gravel.  And I only spilled about 1/2 cup of paint!!

Geri and Larry joined us for dinner last night, poor Geri is still suffering from jet lag—she can’t tell if she should be waking or sleeping!  We had spaghetti and I cooked the sauce in the pressure cooker.  I’m starting to think I much prefer the pressure cooker function to the slow cooker function.  That cheesecake I made in the pressure cooker was divine!!

The post office is beyond busy—there is a line every time I’ve gone but those ladies in the Congress post office have a smile on their face, are cheerful and joking.  It’s almost fun to stand in line listening to Elsie joke with the customers!

At last Friday’s pizza party, Tom and Sandy brought us a surprise--

DSCN3584Real maple syrup—we enjoyed it with pancakes on Sunday morning.  The syrup came from their daughter’s place in Wisconsin.

I am flying to Arkansas tomorrow—Michael and Emmi are remaining here in Arizona.  Life is busy especially this time of year!

Image may contain: 1 person, standing, snow, sky, outdoor and natureLora and her friends!

Image may contain: 1 person, sitting and babyAnd a happy baby Brooks!

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Glad I’m In Arizona

Oh, the weather has been frightful—in Montana!  First they had up to two feet of snow, then WAY sub zero temps and now the wind is blowing.  Total whiteout, dangerous conditions—I90 is closed for tonight for about 95 miles between Livingston, MT and Park City, MT.   Nasty!  I borrowed this photo from Facebook—it was posted by our friend Bonnie who owns the local quilt shop.

Image may contain: sky, outdoor and nature

It’s been rather chilly here in Arizona too but I haven’t dared complain—33 degrees this morning!

Saturday morning Al and Kelly came over to say goodbye/see you later.  They will head out of Congress on Monday to who knows where—it’s been nice knowing they were just up the street these last few years!

Saturday afternoon we both grabbed paintbrushes and headed outside to spread some paint on the trim work of the house—looking good!  Painting on rough finished stucco is not easy—takes a while!

Geri is home—she had a great time in Australia but is glad to be home.  They came over for happy hour this afternoon and she filled us in on what it’s like to live on an island—Geri’s niece lives there. 

Life is good!

Friday, December 16, 2016

Good Friends

I’m typing this blog to the sound of rain hitting our skylights and thunder booming in the distance.  It has been spitting rain off and on all day—makes the desert smell wonderful!

Tonight Larry (Geri comes home from Australia Saturday), Sandy and Tom plus Joe and Kathy joined us for pizza dinner.  It’s such a pleasure to enjoy the company of these good friends—the conversation and laughter just flow—great people!!

Deb—one of the friends who boondocked in the Bouse desert with us a long time ago—had photos of a cheesecake she made in a pressure cooker—I think an Instant Pot like the one I just purchased.  Deb uses a website—This Old Gal—to find recipes for pressure cooking.  I had all the ingredients and Amazon delivered a 7 inch spring form pan this week—so we had lemon cheesecake for dessert tonight.  It was amazingly good—the cheesecake took 35 minutes to cook in the pressure cooker—really, really easy!


The paint we purchased for the outside trim wasn’t dark enough so it was back to Ace Hardware in Wickenburg today for those guys to work their magic—and it worked—the paint color is now perfect!

Montana is having one heck of a winter storm—below zero temps and lots of snow—schools were closed today, something which rarely happens in Montana. 

Image may contain: sky, tree, cloud, outdoor and natureThis photo belongs to our friends Geoff and Nancy—that “barn” is where we have yoga in Montana—they did a great job with their lights this year!!!

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Chuckle For The Day

Granddaughter Katie provided me with my morning chuckle—Katie posted the following on her Facebook page:

My morning so far ...

Student: is that a picture of your baby?
Me: yup
Student: does it hurt to have a baby?
Me: yep
Student: why?
Me: because it stretches out your belly
Student: yeah, and then you have to get a bunch of stitches in your belly, right?
Me: yup, some people do
Student: how many did you get?
Me: (not even thinking) I didn't have to get any
Student: totally confused.... Well, how did you get him out then?
Me: Magic

please hurry, Christmas break

I am still laughing as I read it again!

Michael and Larry were off to Prescott this morning to have the oil changed in Larry’s truck leaving Emmi and me home alone.  I lead the yoga group and after lunch went to Wickenburg for a much needed haircut—another new hairdresser—my fourth in Wickenburg!  Time will tell but this haircut may be the right one!

Left Emmi home alone today with her new BarkWise vibration collar and the recorder running—not a peep out of her!!!  We are totally sold on this collar and thank the reader—IdahoRV—for his suggestion!

Thought I would share some photos of our Christmas decorations—the tree we purchased at a yard sale in North Ranch, the rest traveled from Montana with us. 

DSCN3571My Mom made the table runner and the tree skirt.

DSCN3572Friends Steve and Jeane collaborated—Steve made the tree long ago and Jeane decorated it.

DSCN3573The cowboy’s grandmother made the yarn Santa, I made the table runner and the musical angels have a story all their own.  In 2000 our barn with an apartment burned to the ground—all the Christmas ornaments I had collected over the years were stored in that barn.  The next day we were poking around in the rubble looking for anything that might have survived.  Something white caught my eye and when picking it up I was amazed to see it was one of the Christmas angels—we found all six—intact except for one tiny chip from a wing.  These angels belonged to Michael’s Mother.

DSCN3574A few snowmen from my collection—Steve and Jeane made the little guy in the back left. 

We had dinner last night at Nichol’s West—a fabulous restaurant located in dusty little Congress, AZ. 

Monday, December 12, 2016

Another Project In The Books

Counter tops are finished—and they are beautiful!  I finished applying sealant to the grout lines this morning and was then able to rearrange the kitchen—it’s been a rough few days of cooking with stuff scattered all over the kitchen/dining area!


Sunday night we gathered at Kathy and Joe’s for supper—it was warm enough to sit outside but once the sun goes down the temps drop drastically and everyone rapidly decides to go home! 

There’s been a lot of talk on the North Ranch Yahoo Group about the pros and cons of gates versus security cameras after the theft of the Polaris RZR.  We say gate—if they can’t get in they can’t steal something.  Cameras may see something but the odds of catching that person are slim it seems!

Today was our first yoga session—all but one person were regulars from last year—it was a good day.

The cowboy finishes one project and doesn’t wait long to start another—the steps at the back entry way were poorly made—short in both depth and length.  So that’s next on his agenda—he started that porject this afternoon.

The post office was super busy this afternoon when I went to get the mail—lots of Christmas packages being shipped. 

DSC_4153Sunrise one morning last week. 

Life is good!

Saturday, December 10, 2016

A Visit With Old Friends

Friday morning Bayfield Bunch Al came over to give me a camera lesson—the camera I purchased from our friend Mike McFall is more camera than I’ve ever owned and a lesson was much needed.  Al is a great photographer and helped me understand some of the important bells and whistles contained within a DSLR camera.

Just before noon on Friday we were packed and heading down the road—destination, Tombstone.  We have good friends, Jim and Linda who own a home in the quirky little town of Tombstone and we hadn’t seen them in too long.  We arrived just after 4pm and checked into our little motel———Let’s just say the outside was the best part--

DSC_4168Our motorhome bedroom has more room than that motel room and the bed is certainly way more comfortable!!  and our motorhome bathroom is bigger than the cubbyhole bathroom in the motel room! Winking smileBut the price was right!

We enjoyed a delightful dinner with them—Linda is a great cook and you’ve never been served ice cream until you’ve been served a “Linda portion!”  Their home is beautiful and Linda has excellent taste in decor—I caught this photo out their dining room window at sunset.


We are back in Congress tonight and ready to hit the ground running—I am going to grout the counter tops tomorrow and then we are ready for “reveal” photos.  I’ve got some sewing projects to complete before Christmas and I have agreed to lead the yoga group again here at North Ranch.

A scumbag thief hit North Ranch Thursday night/Friday morning stealing a 2015 Polaris RZR from a driveway—GRRRR!!!

DSC_4224Look what we saw strolling the streets of Tombstone today!!

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Christmas Party

Vulture Peak Patchers is the local, very active quilt guild I belong to and today we enjoyed a delightful lunch/party at Rancho de Los Caballeros, an Arizona dude ranch in Wickenburg.  The ranch is less than a mile from downtown Wickenburg but it’s a step back in time—the grounds are immaculate,  the eighteen hole golf course a green oasis in the desert and somewhere on those vast grounds you can take a horseback ride.  The building are older and stunning—their dining room will seat 200 people and there is a spa plus a swimming pool—swanky! 

IMG_1022 The front entrance of the lodge/dining/bar building.

IMG_1019The lobby.IMG_1020

The guild members brought children’s gifts to help with the local Congress, AZ fire department Christmas program.  We also brought hotel sized personal products such as shampoo to help with another local assist program.  Representatives from both those groups spoke about their different programs.  The CAP—Community Action Program for Maricopa County—has started a fundraising effort to raise $2.2 million to build a new Senior Center.  They offer an excellent caregiver respite program and a local shuttle transportation van in addition to the meals offered daily at the Senior Center. 

A great time in a beautiful setting.

Poor Geri—she left North Ranch Wednesday about 3pm expecting to board her flight to San Francisco where she would meet her daughter Marla then on to Australia.  Nope, Geri didn’t leave Phoenix until almost midnight so her Australia flight left without her—Marla was also late arriving into San Francisco so hotel and a day of sightseeing for them.  They will try again tonight at 10:30pm to board another flight to Australia! 

Larry joined us for dinner tonight—I tried another recipe in the Instant Pot—Apple Chops.  The recipe called for pork chops, apples and raisins—I substituted craisins.  It was OK—the guys liked it better than I did.  For one thing, I cooked the dish too long and the pork chops just fell apart plus the apples were more mush than recognizable apples.  It was just OK.

Life is good!

Monday, December 5, 2016

Crock Pot Cooking

Many years ago in another life I used a crock pot and everything I made in that crock pot tasted the same.  And every recipe I found used cream of something soup or onion soup mix—bleh!  I still have a crock pot—it sits on a shelf in the Montana downstairs pantry gathering dust—I bring it out for parties to keep food warm.

So along comes Judy from the Patchwork Times—she lives in the country, has chickens, raises a HUGE garden, feeds the two of them fabulous meals and raves about the Instant Pot—a seven function machine—slow cooker, pressure cooker, yogurt maker, rice cooker, saute/browning, steamer and warmer.  Judy felt the same way I did about the original crockpots, cream of something soups and onion soup mixes.  She was so determined to make this work—in summer time, Judy is in her garden from early morning to late evening.  She wanted a way to have dinner on the table when her husband Vince comes home from work.  So Judy ordered the book, 365 Slow Cooker Suppers by Stephanie O’Dea. 

I have had the Instant Pot in my Amazon “saved for later” cart for I bet at least one year if not longer—I just couldn’t hit the buy button at $129.  I was glancing through the Amazon “deal of the day” during last week’s cyber selling blitz when I noticed the Instant Pot—at $68!!!!  I hit the buy button so fast the computer was smoking!!  And I also ordered a used copy of the cookbook.

Well, Sunday we enjoyed our first meal from the cookbook/Instant Pot.  We eat our large meal of the day around 1pm and if you were going to cook a roast in the old style crockpot, you would have to get up mighty early to get that roast cooked by 1pm!  Not with the Instant Pot—it has a delay timer allowing me to put the pot out in the garage (I don’t like to smell food cooking during the night Smile) and set the timer to start cooking at 4am.  The roast and vegetables were outstanding—delicious and not one can of cream of something was used.  The entire cookbook has fabulous recipes using mostly ingredients I have on hand—I’m trying another recipe for tomorrow—Beef and Green Chile Stew. 

Michael has worked on the countertops all day long—we are nearing completion and then I will post photos.  I had a HOA board meeting this morning and went to Wickenburg this afternoon—there went my day! 

Life is good!

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Mittry Lake Near Yuma

Thursday morning we left Kofa Ko-op RV Park and headed for North Ranch stopping in Salome to have a bite of lunch.  I guess we are just going to the wrong places to eat—our choices in the Wickenburg area are limited—and I am so tired of paying good money for icky food.  While in Arkansas we ate at a fabulous restaurant in Hot Springs—Rolondo’s.  The food was fantastic, beautifully presented, portions were perfect and four of us ate for $50 including tip!  In Salome, Michael had OK food, mine was awful—how do you mess up chicken strips??? and it cost the two of us $25 to eat.  I guess that’s why we eat at home most of the time.

Tuesday while still in Yuma and waiting for my crowns to be ready we took a drive—out to Mittry Lake.  It’s always  pleasant to see so much water in the desert.  There are lots of boondocking spots along the lake but Barbara from Me and My Dog talked about mosquitoes and other flying bugs—might not be so great to camp there??




It didn’t take us long to unload the motorhome as we tried so hard not to take as much as we usually do.  And on that note—I found out some people read my blog carefully—very carefully.  In the Friday blog written before we left on Sunday I said, “we are staying at the Escapees Park with full hookups so I can use my washer/dryer.”  Upon arriving at the park and being handed the proverbial list of rules we noted “you may not use washer/dryers in your RVs.”  So, I didn’t use my washer/dryer, not a big deal except to someone with too much time on their hands!

Monday morning before I left for Mexico the park manager appeared at our door asking if I was using my washer/dryer.  He asked me three times and each time I said, “no, I am not.”  In the course of this conversation he said something about someone “reading it on the internet.” 

After he left I grabbed my iPad, retrieved the blog in question and noted the sentence I had written about using the washer/dryer.  I was upset—I walked over to the office and using the iPad showed the office managers what I had said in the blog.  I told them, “I read the rules and I haven’t been using my onboard washer/dryer.”  Their comment was, “most people don’t read the rules.”  Well—we do and we also pick up after our dog! 

The park’s septic system which services the RV lots cannot handle the use of washer/dryers.  The park’s laundromat is serviced by a totally separate septic system—I understand totally.  But, really—no one likes a tattle-tale! Winking smile

DSC_4144Date palms and lettuce.

We enjoyed a great happy hour at Jim and Ellie’s last night visiting with friends and getting to meet some new folks—classmates of Jim’s from Amarillo, TX—who have purchased property in North Ranch. 

Today Michael has started work on the counter top backsplash and I put up the outside Christmas lights.  Our ATVing buddies headed out early this morning for a ride—we elected to stay home and as cool and windy as it’s been today—I am thinking we made the right choice. 

Life is good