Monday, January 31, 2011


I loved how this turned out!  It's a lacy, slouchy, wool hat.  I learned some new skills with this, and agonized over a few (a lot) dropped stitches.  There were times that I actually broke out in a sweat trying to decrease three stitches at a time.  Ha!
In other news, when we arrived in Congress, AZ a few days ago, I was cheering the fact that it was 74* outside.  It was lovely.  Today's predictions are for snow showers!  What the! 

Sunday, January 30, 2011


Before it even really got light this morning, I started to take Shasta out for her morning walkabout.  She, of course, pulling, raring to go suddenly slowed as we heard a large pack of coyotes yipping down the street from us.  It was still too dark to see them, but we could sense, in more ways than one, that they were nearby.
She slowly turned around and tip-toed back to the motorhome to wait for full light.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

AZ Gorgeous

I have to say that I am, frankly, surprised at how much I've missed Arizona. I had no idea!  I've always considered myself a California girl, and proud of it!  No river or lake could compare to the ocean.  Ever!

However, since arriving back in this state, I'm finding a wonderful peace, even without an ocean.  I'm watching the colors wash across the mountains off in the distance this evening, and am reminded of the true beauty of this state.  Now...if the ocean was here in Arizona?  Perfection!!!

Friday, January 28, 2011

Friday My Town Shootout

All about the F word this week on Friday My Town Shootout.  Because we are on the road, our "town" this week is Verde Valley, AZ.  Well, that and Sedona, AZ.
I was a little worried about coming up with F words, but I found a few.
F, as in feathers...
I have noticed the past two days, that these House Finches are singing like it's, "Hey baby, got nest?" Is it too early for that?  Oh, they do have a beautiful song.

Maybe belonging to a large raccoon?  We've seen deer prints here as well, although never actually seen the deer.

Faces of the desert, painted on the clubhouse walls.
The ubiquitous creasote bush. If you've ever been lucky enough to be in the desert right after a rain, the air is chock full of the aroma of these plants. Once smelled, you'll never forget it!

Then we headed down to Sedona to see a FILM,
and ran in to this Fella!
Heading out of Verde Valley tomorrow morning. Time to move on. Have a great weekend!
For more FMTSO photos, go here!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Warm Belly, Happy Heart

I have been longing for some stew of some sort!  Some hearty, heathly, oh, I feel good down to the bone, stew. 
Well, here you have it!  It was totally satisfying, warmed my gullet, and, really, I could have eaten it until I was sick!  I think Hubby found the recipe in an edition of Cuisine at Home.  We didn't have any green beans so we used fresh spinach, and it was awesome.  Also, we used turkey sausage instead of italian, and we didn't do the roasted squash seeds.

South American Butternut Squash Stew

4 lbs butternut squash (7-8 cups diced)

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

1 lb link Italian sausage or 1 lb chorizo sausage, casing removed

4 cups sliced onions

6 garlic cloves, sliced
14 1/2 ounces diced tomatoes with juice (1 14.50 oz can)

1/4 cup low sodium chicken broth

1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced

1 tablespoon minced fresh oregano leaves or 1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 lb green beans, stems removed and halved
1 1/2 cups frozen corn kernels, thawed, or sm can corn
2 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro
kosher salt & fresh black pepper, to taste


    crumbled feta cheese or crumbled Cotija cheese
    Roasted squash seeds

    Peel squash using a potato peeler.  Cut squash in half; remove seeds and reserve to roast.  Dice squash flesh into 1-inch pieces; set aside.
    Heat 1/4 cup oil in large pot over medium heat.  Add sausage; cook breaking up chunks with a wooden spoon, until sausage is brown on all sides, about 10 minutes.  Add garlic; cook 1 minute longer.  Stir in squash, tomatoes, broth, jalapeo, oregano, and smoked paprika.

    Partially cover pot; reduce heat to medium low.  Cook stew, stirring occasionally, until squash is almost tender, about 20 minutes.  Add beans and corn.  Partially cover pot, cook 10 minutes longer.  Stir in cilantro.  Season stew with salt & pepper. (Serve hot sauce on the side). 

    TO ROAST SQUASH SEEDS: Preheat oven to 350ºF.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.  Rinse reserved seeds to remove any fibrous strands.
    Dry seeds with paper towels.  Toss seeds with1 T extra-virgin olive oil; season with salt and pepper.  Roast seeds on prepared baking sheet for 15 minutes.

    If you try this, please let me know what you think!

    Friday, January 21, 2011

    Friday My Town Shootout

    The theme this week is black & white.  Appropriate for winter, don't you think?  Cold, dark, cold!
    There are some camping sites where we're staying that are offline electrically, but they have to keep the water dripping to keep from freezing the pipes.  This particular site has a fine spray that coats the grasses under the faucet overnight.
    For more FMTSO photos, please go here.  Have a great weekend!

    Thursday, January 20, 2011

    Cool Weather Map

    This is pretty cool.  When you cursor over a city, you can click for more weather information. 
    I'm adding the site to my favorites for travel down the road!  Have fun checking out weather where our blog friends are!

    Wednesday, January 19, 2011

    Then and Now

    I know from our trip here two years ago, that the red dirt area in the middle of the photo is
    Sedona, AZ.   But what really intrigued me was the snow-capped mountains in the backround!  Not sure what mountains those are, but I can't wait to find out!
    In the meantime, here are a few pics from two years ago in Sedona.  Supposedly, a very spiritual place, and because the nature is so much bigger here than we are, I can see why.
    Hopefully, we'll make it back over there to take some photos with the new camera!!!

    Tuesday, January 18, 2011


    I know it doesn't make for very interesting posts, but the whole point of us being here in Verde Valley is to lick our wounds and appreciate the quiet, peaceful surroundings.  I know I have talked about being wounded, and recovering, and poor me, for the last few months...but that's the reality of it.
    This particular Thousand Trails in AZ is only about 1/3 full.  Yes, a lot of snowbirds travel to AZ to spend the winter, but Verde Valley sits at about 3300', which means it's cold at night!  I know, I know, that is just my opinion!  Hovering at 30* at night, the temperature the last couple of days has managed to get up to 70* during the day.  Mmmm, perfect! 
    Hubby has been diligently working on polishing up the building on wheels.
    He has dreamed of having the time to "putz" on the mh; clean, organize, and dream.  He has also spent quite a bit of time plotting out our course.  Nothing in stone at this point, but some possibilities.  The fly in the ointment is, we need to go east...Texas (to register the mh there for monetary reasons)...and New Orleans just cuz we always wanted to see it, and we'll meet family there. 
    However, that leads us farther east to Florida, which creates the problem.  Problem?  Can you imagine me saying that we have a problem???  Hubby also wants to get back to OREGON (!) by next summer for some remodeling and LEAK issues.  Ummm, the price of diesel is, at this point of time, anywhere from $3.40 to $3.65 per gallon.  Are we really going to come allllll the way back to the west coast by next summer?
    I'm thinkin' we need to revisit that plan.  We'll see how that goes...:)

    Monday, January 17, 2011

    On the Needles

    I'm really enjoying this new hat.  Well, I was really enjoying it, until, I managed to slip most of the stitches off of the needle while I answered the phone!  #*@!*$+%#!!!!  This is a very new pattern for me and I had to keep going online to figure out how to do the stitches.  So, to lose a gob of these rows was, to say the least, devastating! Ha!
    But, I can, on occasion, be pretty bull-headed, and just put my head down, charge forward and figure out how to go back far enough to catch a full row of stitches.  Yeah, the hard (or new) stitches were lost, but in reality, those same stitches were much easier the second time!  LOL!
    A wonderful friend of mine suggested knitting in some vintage lace.  I love it!  I wish I was better at this, to make it really good.  But it's cool learning new things and by the time I'm done, I'll have it down!
    I'll post a pic when I'm done.  :)

    Sunday, January 16, 2011

    Good Morning Sunshine!

    Took Shasta out for her morning stroll, and opened the door to this.
    Yep, more joy for me this morning. 
    I'm also very excited today
    because we're going to the clubhouse for breakfast!
    Pancakes, eggs, bacon, biscuits & gravy in kind of a greasy spoon type environment!
    I don't usually cook these things since Hubby's lifestyle change to healthier eating.  That would be mean for me to be all piggin' out & him watching me.
    But I'm doin' it today!  Simple pleasures.  :)

    Saturday, January 15, 2011

    No Fishing

    October '09, the leaves were turning, it was warm, and we could only stay a week.
    We spent a couple of hours fishing on the Verde River.
    This year, we're staying for three weeks, the leaves are all gone, and it is cold!
    There is a lot more water this time of year. We were excited about fishing again and drove in to town to pick up some night crawlers from Walmart.
    Then we discovered a posting stating that Leptospirosis, an ugly bacteria, has been found in the river.  No fishing for us this time.  The worms got a reprieve; set free to become someone's lunch all on their own.

    Thursday, January 13, 2011


    The Washington Post's Mensa Invitational once again invited readers to take any word from the dictionary, alter it by adding, subtracting, or changing one letter, and supply a new definition.
     Here are the winners:
      1. Cashtration (n.): The act of buying a house, which renders the subject financially impotent for an indefinite period of time.

     2. Ignoranus : A person who's both stupid and an asshole.
      3. Intaxicaton : Euphoria at getting a tax refund, which lasts until you realize it was your money to start with.
      4. Reintarnation : Coming back to life as a hillbilly.
      5. Bozone ( n.): The substance surrounding stupid people that stops bright ideas from penetrating. The bozone layer, unfortunately, shows little sign of breaking down in the near future. 

    6. Foreploy : Any misrepresentation about yourself for the purpose of getting laid.
      7. Giraffiti : Vandalism spray-painted very, very high
      8. Sarchasm : The gulf between the author of sarcastic wit and the person who doesn't get it.
      9. Inoculatte : To take coffee intravenously when you are running late.
      10. Osteopornosis : A degenerate disease. (This one got extra credit.)
      11. Karmageddon : It's like, when everybody is sending off all these really bad vibes, right? And then, like, the Earth explodes and it's like, a serious bummer.
      12. Decafalon (n.): The grueling event of getting through the day consuming only things that are good for you.
      13. Glibido : All talk and no action.
      14. Dopeler Effect: The tendency of stupid ideas to seem smarter when they come at you rapidly.
      15. Arachnoleptic Fit (n.): The frantic dance performed just after you've accidentally walked through a spider web.
      16. Beelzebug (n.): Satan in the form of a mosquito, that gets into your bedroom at three in the morning and cannot be cast out.
      17. Caterpallor ( n.): The color you turn after finding half a worm in the fruit you're eating.
     The Washington Post has also published the winning submissions to its yearly contest, in which readers are asked to supply alternate meanings for common words.
      And the winners are:

      1. Coffee, n. The person upon whom one coughs.
      2. Flabbergasted, adj. Appalled by discovering how much weight one has gained.
      3. Abdicate, v. To give up all hope of ever having a flat stomach.
      4. Esplanade, v. To attempt an explanation while drunk.
      5. Willy-nilly, adj. Impotent.
      6. Negligent, adj. Absentmindedly answering the door when wearing only a nightgown.
      7. Lymph, v. To walk with a lisp.
      8. Gargoyle, n. Olive-flavored mouthwash.
      9. Flatulence, n. Emergency vehicle that picks up someone who has been run over by a steamroller.
      10. Balderdash, n. A rapidly receding hairline.
      11. Testicle, n. A humorous question on an exam.
      12. Rectitude, n. The formal, dignified bearing adopted by proctologists.
      13. Pokemon, n. A Rastafarian proctologist. 

    Monday, January 10, 2011

    Thirsty for Joy!

    My awesome bloggy buddy, Pam, at Sidewalk Shoes, talked today about finding that one word that she will try to focus on for the next year.  Her word is "JOY."  In her words, It’s about bringing joy, finding joy, making joy, and enjoy.  Everyday I wake up thinking, “How am I going to get/give joy today?” 
    This is the one word that I long for in my life.  I feel dehydrated in the "joy" department; a pruned-up version of what we all are capable of.  Joy is a gift, to receive, and to give.  I will try to remember that, even if I'm not having a "great" day, I am still able to give someone else joy in some small way.

    By the way, I have found BIG TIME JOY in the small amount of time we've been in this RV park!

    A little chilly here this morning!
    Mountain Bluebird

    Gila Woodpecker
    Oh, yes!  I am feeling very joyful!!!

    Sunday, January 9, 2011

    Verde Valley

    Most of the RV parks we've stayed in over the past several months have been
    along some state highway or interstate, most recently Highway 10.  The parks have been nice, but noisy, especially at night.  Big rig trucks don't stop traveling just because its the middle of the night.  We also learned that the railroads run alongside these big highways, and often are required to blow their horns, no matter the time of day.

    This decorated tree is close to the summit of a big ol' looong climb!  I have no explanation of who decorated or why.  Cool though.
    Four hours of driving brought us to the place we've been dreaming of for the last few months.  Dreams of  space, exhales, and silence.

    Friday, January 7, 2011

    Wide Open Spaces

    of southern California desert.  Miles and miles of open scrub.  The mountains looks barren, but we know they are full of life, and as the light and clouds move across them, the colors change.  The desert is an amazing place. I never thought I'd say that; I'm a trees and ocean kind of gal. 

    Boy, we noticed so many REALLY bad drivers on the road today.  Maybe not BAD drivers, but certainly drivers making REALLY poor decisions.  Like trying to go as fast as you can changing lanes to get one car length ahead, squeezing between two cars and two semi's.  Okay, yes, BAD drivers.  Or the ones flying down the road at 75 mph, coming up behind a slower car and riding that car's tail with no more than 5 ft between.  And what was even worse, we watched all of the cars behind them line up at 5' intervals trying to get around the big trucks.  One blowout from one of those trucks and all of those cars are dead.  Oh!  Here's another thing!  When you find yourself in a hurry to get in front of a big rig or an rv because you don't want to get stuck behind them, remember that it takes us longer to stop & slow down than it does for you.  On ramps are notorious for that.  Don't try to race in front of me onto the freeway.  We all want to get to our destination safely.

    I was happy to see this sign today.  I'm hoping it means that things will smooth themselves out for us; moving on.  Yes, we're backtracking, but by the middle of February we should be on to new sights!  What is kind of stopping us at this point is an RV Boot Camp, that will be held in Wickenburg, AZ the end of January.  We'll learn everything we should know about maintenance on the mh.  Hopefully we'll learn preventative things that will keep us out of trouble on the road.  Who knows, I may even learn to drive it!

    Wednesday, January 5, 2011

    Medjool Date Palm

    Thousand Trails, Palm Springs is covered with these palm trees.  No, I haven't counted them, but I should.  There might be 500 palm trees in here.
    They like it here in the desert.
    These trees also bear fruit that is sold in the guard shack.
    It wasn't until about our 3rd day here that we started noticing the ladders.  I'm not sure when the harvesting period is, but there's not a date left on any of these trees.

    We haven't really had time to check out "things to do" in Palm Springs.  Maybe next time.  We used to hear about Hollywood celebs going to Palm Springs in the 50's & 60's.  Probably great golf and resort type areas that cater to laying around poolside! 

    It's been cold here during our stay though; warming up as we get ready to leave in the morning.  There are some crazy people in the pool everyday, whilst I bundle up in layers.  :)  So much time in AZ has left me bloodless I think!

    Monday, January 3, 2011

    Sweet Wilson

    Cancer.  New Years day.  I can't imagine this travel without him.