Sunday, December 17, 2017

Winds Return, This and That, Poker Trials, Cheesecake and Meatloaf Night

Sunday, Dec. 17th has arrived. Just 8 more sleeps until the big day. Still doesn’t seem possible! Just 4 more sleeps and I can join the fray and get OUR Christmas decorations up! I can’t wait!! With the winds gusting to a possible 35 mph today it is doubtful Bill will get out on the ATV for another day. I have indoor plans but won’t comment until I see what actually happens.


Bill and I had our morning drinks, sticking to tea and coffee, leaving the heavier stuff until later this afternoon! We read blog posts and comments and then I got my pennies out. We’ve talked about trying the Three Card Poker at the casino one time and since Bill has never learned poker, I thought we’d play at home first. I don’t understand all the betting stuff and have never actually played poker outside of the house.

the mountains on the other side of the lake and the highway
Well, that is untrue. Once, years ago, with Bill’s family we went to a Rotary Club Silent Auction in Stratford. The girls and I played for fun. That was the year I won a pair of solid marble book ends from the auction. Anyway, I googled instructions and tried to play a few hands. We’re hoping one time we go to the casino that the dealer will be idle and interested in showing us the game. Just for fun.

It is a strong wind but these tall palm trees stand tall
only their upper branches blow
We had a bowl of cereal for breakfast and discussed the upcoming days. This is great here as we know there are lots of things to do, if we so choose. It is also a nice quiet place to sit and just do nothing, as you noticed from yesterday. I remembered that I had purchased a couple of graham cracker pie crusts at the food discount tent in Quartzsite so decided today was the day to act on it.

With softened cream cheese, I began mixing up the few ingredients required to make a Strawberry Cheese Cake. Woops, it calls for sour cream but I only have sour cream with chives in the fridge. Hmm, that won’t work! Improvise time and hope it works out. Bill is subjected to quite a few of these ‘bloopers’ when I’m cooking and baking. As long as it is in his ‘favourite food group’ he usually likes it.

I usually bake my own so this is a switch for me
Bill’s food group usually = dessert, namely cookies, tarts, crisps, pies, cheesecakes, you get the picture. He is lucky that those are the things I like to bake too! So, with the cheesecake cooling, it actually seems like the yogourt I substituted worked just fine and no doubt it will taste pretty good too, I think.

Yum, before serving it, I will add Cool Whip topping
One more project for tonight’s supper is meatloaf on the Weber. Time to dig out George’s instructions for doing that with whatever recipe I choose. Simple is my motto, not being into fancy meals AT ALL! I have many meatloaf recipes so just need to pick one. Cleaning up after baking is never a favourite of mine but I find if I do it as I go, where possible, it isn’t as cumbersome a job.

By the time I’d finished with the cheesecake I noticed my two sweeties were sleeping so I slipped on a jacket and went for my walk. Down Kibbey to the top of the first grade and after watching some Gambel Quail pitter patter across the road, I turned around and came back to Griffin.

Mail delivery on Sunday
It's Christmas time, after all!
I must be a familiar sight now after walking these streets so much……..but the funny thing is that I seldom meet anyone! Even on weekends, I might meet 1 or 2 people tops. Today, as I turned onto Barite headed for home I saw the mail truck coming my way. It stopped in front of a house and the mail lady delivered a parcel. What? Isn’t this Sunday?

Another tall skinny palm
When I was parallel with her vehicle I commented on the weekend delivery and she replied that they did at this time of year. I suppose, gotta get those Christmas gifts delivered! Only in U.S.A. you say? Pity! When I got back, Bill was reading so I sat down at my laptop and placed an order on Amazon for something I’ve read about and want. When it arrives, I’ll show you. It should be delivered to our next campground, on Friday.

I suppose, now that I’ve placed the order, I should have stopped and remembered the bloggers who suggest we go through their site to place an Amazon order. Well, I do apologize but I totally forgot and then there are more than one of you so I wouldn’t want to favour one over the other. This is only my second Amazon order…..ever!


I sat in my chair beside Bill and finished my Lee Child book. Oh, my, goodness, it was so good. They all are, no favourites really so I am not surprised. Bill is into a James Patterson one called Beach Road. I’ve read it and it was also very good. I had some mixture of strawberries and yogourt left over from the recipe so poured it into my blender and added some extra ingredients. That made up a delicious smoothie!

It was 3:30 when Clemson decided it was time for his supper. That’s pretty good for him, usually he starts bugging before 3. When Bill got up to feed him I got up as well and pulled out a Betty Crocker meat loaf recipe. I never know what the meatloaf will be like but you can’t go too far wrong with hamburger. So, I mixed up the ingredients for that and placed it in foil in the fridge for an hour or so.
Dinner looks bland but it tasted very good
I’ve never done it on the Weber Q before but I’m willing to give it a shot. Then I prepared a couple of potatoes, washing and cutting them into medium sized pieces and wrapping them in foil with butter and seasonings. They will take approximately 20 – 25 minutes and the meatloaf closer to an hour. Low and slow. 😊

After removing it from the fridge, obviously this recipe is not conducive to direct cooking on the grill. It wasn’t holding together too well and seemed much too soft so instead of bringing it in and putting it in a loaf pan for the convection oven, Bill suggested I leave it in the foil to cook it. The result 45 minutes to an hour later was not perfect as it stuck to the foil. However, I think it still tasted really good, with the burnt part removed, of course.

Looking over the neighbours back fence, the sun sets through
these light insulators
With the dishes cleaned up, Bill put one of his Christmas movies on. We’d both finished our books and there was nothing on until 7 o'clock.  I have a Stuart Woods novel now called Under the Lake that I may get into tonight. He’s another good author.

A pretty orange way to end the evening
Even the double reflection on the Suite is pretty
 When Madame Secretary came on I joined Bill to watch the finale episode for this season. It has been an even more relaxed day than yesterday and I didn’t think that was possible! I hope you are getting some relaxing in of your own today.

And then we had dessert
with my Lulu eyeglass holder looking on
Thank you for stopping in. Sorry for the lack of pictures, that is what happens when you don’t do anything! All comments are appreciated!

Saturday, December 16, 2017

Staying Home, Nothing Much Kind of Day

We were up and at ‘em on Saturday, Dec. 16th by 7:30. I think we both slept well. Bill had a crazy dream that he relayed to me while sitting with our morning cuppas. It was a tad breezy but quite cloudy and 50F so I lazed around until about 10 before going for my walk. By that time the sun was making appearances and my tea had settled.

this is me taking myself for a walk
I bundled up after noticing that Bill was writing a post. If you follow Bill’s On Our Way blog, you know that is rare these days. I don't doubt he feels I write so much he doesn’t have to update you so often! Anyway, I’m glad he is writing and to get out of his hair, I took my walk. The wind was cool at first but after walking for 15 minutes it was time to make the climb back up Palo Verde Blvd. This is a workout and I was working it alright.

The clouds were playing with the sun
and apparently the plane flying over too
 I returned after a mile and a half, put the puzzle back in the box and made myself another tea. Bill had a second coffee on the go. It was a good day to have bacon and eggs for breakfast actually so I prepared that. Once dishes were cleaned up I took my book and sat outside for a while. 

Looks like a prickly pear but funny shaped leaves
Clemson and I sat outside for a short time and he was restless and indicated that he wanted to come inside. The sun was making brief appearances and kept me quite warm while reading my book so I stayed out on my own. It has been a funny day, first clouds, then full sun then wispy clouds skirting around. Now after 3 it is full clouds again. If they got rain here, I’d be thinking it might rain. Hahahaha.

An interesting mailbox that I missed the other day
So, we’ve been inside, Bill working on his post and me helping a bit with pictures. We’ve planned grilled sausages for supper with leftover dressing and a veggie. Bill walked across the street to chat with the neighbor with the 5th wheel (whom by the way returned yesterday with his trailer and parked in the same spot).

And for a while the clouds were losing
We had put the recyclables out with the garbage Friday morning at 7:30 and they are still sitting there. Not sure if we missed it or what, hence Bill’s visit. He had a nice chit chat and somehow I missed the truck. What the heck time does it come? Oh well, Bill brought it back up and we’ll deal with it before we leave. We’ve managed to top both bins up to overflowing.
It is the only one I got and I must admit,
it is a beauty
Bill lit the Weber Q at 5 and I prepared my spaghetti squash and warmed up the dressing inside the Suite.

When dinner was ready, it didn’t take long to clean it up. It seemed like a long time since breakfast at 10:30. We finished the dishes, I caught a  picture of the sun going down in between the clouds before the day ended. This was a nice quiet day and I hope you had a good one too whatever you got into.


Thank you for reading tonight. Feel free to comment.

Garbage Day, Walmart, ATV, Boat Ride, Casino, Dinner and Drive-Through Nativity

What a night (er, morning) it was on Friday, Dec. 15th. I slept well when I slept but woke when Bill crawled in at 12 midnight. I’d been sleeping for an hour. Then at 3:40 our little piddle bum decided he needed to go out. We both woke to the sound of his familiar body shake and jump off the bed. Bill took him out, wondering why some nights and not others?
Strap yourself in, we're going 4-wheelin'
I couldn’t drop back off to sleep after that. Bill had no problem as I heard the muffled sound of his heavy breathing. I finally must have dropped off a few times and I woke again at 7:30. I wonder if it was my tea that did that? I thought it was early enough that it wouldn’t.


I should have immediately got dressed to go for a walk but I didn’t even though I was surprised to see it was a calm, mild 53F. Instead, I made my tea and set Bill’s coffee ready to brew for when he rose a few minutes later. I remembered it was garbage day in the neighbourhood so added ours to the bag George had started and walked it and the recycle bins to the street.
This was the Magnificent house of the Day

same house

And looking back, all of that white concrete to the left of the picture is
still the same place
CRAZY!
Bill noticed that the neighbor across the road has pulled out with his 5th wheel. Good! Now maybe I’ll get a nice shot of the lake when the sun is going down. While I read blog posts from yesterday, Bill went out and dumped our gray tank since we have that capability here. Like we’ve said, this is a great spot and we fully appreciate the hookups.
My boys coming up the laneway

Closer

Arrival!
Bill needed to run into Walmart for something so I decided to tag along and pick up some of my yogourt. We got what we needed and then I checked out their slip-on slippers. Mine from Avon are a few years old and beginning to rip and look ratty. I found some nice ones for $4.98 and they are perfect! See for yourself! My old ones went in the garbage immediately.



On the way home, we drove the back way, down London Bridge Road past our park to the post office there. We had a very important piece of mail to send off. While driving that route, we noticed a couple of guys in a pick up truck putting up signs that said “Drive-In Lighted Nativity” tonight 5:30 to 9:30. Hmmm, sounds interesting.

I had a banana and some cottage cheese when we got home and then we took Clemson for a ride on the 4-wheeler. I know Bill still has an itch to get out on some trails but today, he favoured me and we stuck to all back streets looking at the beautiful homes. One in particular caught our eye, which made us go ‘omg’. I took pictures of it and then on the way back Bill stopped so I could peruse a garage sale.

Tadah!
Nothing there for me, mostly Christmas stuff, which we certainly don’t need. I was so impressed with Clemson’s behaviour on the ATV. Bill had his seatbelt on him and he loved it! We wondered if it would be too loud or too breezy or too cool but he settled right down with his head o my lap a few times. I had to get a picture of the two of them coming up the driveway so hopped out. That was a fun 30-minute jaunt about.

When we got back, the boys were tired out so I caught up on here and went out to work on my puzzle. We are heading out again but not until after 3. It’s a gorgeous day at 63F, full sun and no wind at all. This is indeed why we are here. At 2:30 I had finished my puzzle and was quite warm. No wonder, the temperature had risen to 68F while I was out there.
Tocopah was decorated today
 I came inside to sweep floors in the Suite and sat down to read for a bit. We cleaned up and once more left Clemson in charge while we drove down to the ferry at 3:30. I remembered my free passes for the rides, our 10% off coupons and our players cards. Yay! The ride over was nice and we sat on the upper level in the sun. We headed directly into the casino and sat side by side at a penny/nickel slot machine.

The water and air was so calm today on the ferry
I seem to have difficulty getting a machine to accept my card but with Bill’s help, we were both ready to play. We allow $20 each and then call it quits whenever we play, no matter what. Bill did some up and down, some wins and losses. It was apparently my lucky day, for the first time, ever!
Playing 45 cents a shot and my winnings are in the middle
I started with $20
I hovered around between $18 - $21 for quite a while and then raised the stakes by playing 45 credits each time. Meaning 45 cents with each play. That’s when I started winning nicer amounts and once I got over the $50 mark I said I’d stop at $50. When I was hovering around $68 I said I’d play to $60 and quit. That’s what I did I was so excited just to win something and enough to pay for dinner.

First time is a charm - at least for me it was!

My Chicken Cordon Bleu was different than what it is at home but it was still very good. I started with Clam Chowder as my appetizer but still managed to eat it all. 

even the string beans were delicious!
We had coupons for 10% off our meals so our waitress, Alina, gave us each an individual bill which was a bonus. Our ferry arrived at 6:15 and when we got back, we drove down London Bridge Road to take part in the Drive-Through Nativity Scene.

Sitting for dinner, we saw the ferry come back


I love the colours in this picture
Coming back on the ferry at night
There was quite a line up, quite the big deal with Volunteer Police, Deputies and many volunteers guiding the long line of traffic. This was a really well-done display put on by the New Hope Calvary Church with live participants in each setting. 


Even the donkey, lambs and camel were real! 
I apologize for the poor quality of the picture
The performers deserved better
My camera was sitting at home so I had to use my camera phone and that just doesn’t do the performance justice. I'm not blaming the phone at all, it takes great pictures, I'm taking the blame for not slowing down enough to focus. Take my word for it, it was awesome!

These were beautiful human angels singing

And Joseph, Mary and baby Jesus
We arrived home around 8 and settled in for the night. It has been a wonderful day, something else we can say ‘been there, done that’. I hope you’ve enjoyed yours as well.

You can see it all better in the flyer they gave us
At the exit we dropped a donation in their basket
Thank you for stopping in. I apologize for the morning posting, just couldn’t get it together tonight.

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Windy Day, Quartzsite, Fun Day

On Thursday, Dec. 14th I was up at 7 opening the window blinds. Another clear sky day and it was a few degrees warmer than yesterdays start up. With Bill and Clemson still sleeping (they were actually up once 30 minutes earlier) I slipped on my crocs and went for a walk. As soon as I stepped out, the wind hit me so I’m glad I had my wind breaker on.
do you see what I see?
Only one, but I could hear him so searched him out
I don't think he was running from me, he was searching for his family
I had my camera with me because I never know what will catch my eye on any given day. Today was kind of ho-hum but I still snapped a few things on my Canon. When I returned I could hear Bill upstairs in the bathroom so I knew we’d have our brew together. We read blogger posts and while Bill was having cereal I hopped in the shower. I had a bit of an omelette left from yesterday so warmed that up while Bill had his.
On my morning walk, the mountains were majestic off in the distant haze
Christmas done with classy taste
Love this view, can you tell?
One more special mailbox
We headed out the door just before 10 on the way to Quartzsite. It was an hour and a half drive and we knew we wouldn’t be longer than 5 hours so left the boss in charge of the Suite. He is happier there anyway, on our short trips, than left sitting in the truck while we wander. The drive there struck my fancy as it always does. It isn't fair to any of us when we shop with him on his leash or in our arms.


As we venture south, the mountains around us are so interesting. The ones off in the far distance were shrouded in a haze. We came to the conclusion that it was dust as the wind picked up and there were warning signs in a couple of places along I-95S. We weren’t bothered by it. We saw a lot of boondockers along the highway as well yet as we approached Plomosa Road’s blm land, we were surprised to see only one rv in place behind the camp host’s trailer.






Parker Dam and Parker are such pretty areas and I'm glad we have the opportunity to see it again, even though we are just driving through. I love the idea of a camping spot on the edge of the Colorado River in the Buckskin Mountain State park. However, the slap in the face of a $35 overnight fee makes me picture us instead at the Havasu Springs RV Resort for $10 per night with full hook-ups. It is also on the river.

Where the Bill Williams and Colorado Rivers collide
Nearing Quartzsite, the familiar spots looks foreign without all the hustle and bustle of January. Interesting. It was easy to zip in and park on Kuehn Street near K & B Tools. We had heard that this vendor didn’t have all the tools from the previous year and that was bang on. Bill did find a couple of things he was looking for and I managed to find a small clothing area. When things are $4, I’m going to look and usually get lucky if I look hard enough. Perhaps it IS an addiction.

Parker Dam and Parker are 15 miles apart 

This is Buckskin Mountain State park
An appealing golf course at Parker
for Donna and Gerry
Wendy, remember this from last year?
sorry, I could only get part of it as we zipped through Parker, Az
We then split up. Bill checked out the other tool vendors and Satellite Advantage while I wandered into the huge discount food tent. You need a lot of time to search this place, and with Bill waiting for me, I didn’t have that. I did half of the tent quickly and found a few things that would be good for at home. Walking back to Black Beauty we debated whether to grab a bite to eat before heading back home and thought that we’d be fine to wait.

And the Q mountain will miss us, Gerry and Melinda!
Once we reached Parker, through that stretch of highway alongside the Colorado and Bill Williams Rivers, I could feel a headache coming on. A natural reaction to hunger for me. I didn't say anything and was surprised when Bill turned into a McDonald’s.


A quick chat and we weren’t going to wait another hour after all. We ordered two Big Mac combos and with a whole mix up of the cashier not understanding what we wanted, we ended up getting both for $10. Huh! Even when we mentioned an error, the manager insisted it was all fine.





As we pulled out of the parking lot onto I-95S again, I noticed a black motorcycle heading north. What I saw first was the Go Pro camera on the helmet, like Lori’s. I took a second look and realized it was Lori and Roland was right behind her. Too funny! It was too late to acknowledge with a horn so we carried on with our turn. I texted her just to let her know we saw them, knowing she’d receive my message at their next stop.
We arrived home at 2:30, both feeling quite whooped. I thought I’d better get writing my post since I hadn’t started it this morning. After we put things away and I approved my purchases, Bill fed Clemson and turned NCIS on. This is usually how he gets his afternoon nap unless he has a book in his hand. I’m good if I stay sitting in a dining-room chair so may remain here for a while. For me, when I'm feeling like this, butt hitting recliner = droopy eyes.

Supper will be easy tonight so right now, I’m going out to enjoy a bit of sunshine. I took my book and sat in my regular spot at the front of the Suite, at the top of the lane way. I was still in shorts and a short sleeve top so it only took about 15 minutes before I was chilled through with the wind and later afternoon air. I came inside and went upstairs to lie on the bed with Lee Child, with the sun coming in from our bedroom window.
I'm sure these guys enjoy the ride more than I would
At 5, after a couple of chapters, I came down to watch some news with Bill and we talked about how hungry we were. All I felt like was a cup of tea and he thought some ice cream would hit the spot. So, dessert it is. My tea went down well and so did my banana split with the cherry on top! We had a recorded episode of Murdoch Mysteries from Monday night so we watched that before I finished my post.

And I'll never get enough of these mountains
We’ve had a good day here and enjoyed the short visit to Quartzsite. Tomorrow we have another plan in mind but we’ll wait and see what transpires. I hope you’ve had some fun in your day too.


Thanks for stopping by. Feel free to leave a comment if the mood inspires you.