Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Road Trip!!!

After going completely crazy around here, and growing bigger by the minute sitting on the couch eating, the Chance household and I decided to go ghost town hunting.  Up to that time, the Arizona governor said to get out and enjoy the sunshine.  So we did, giving everyone their space!!

APRIL FOOLS ... I haven't gone through any of the 200 pictures I took.  I'll do that today.
We all jumped in the BAT and headed out past Texas Canyon to Dragoon and beyond.  Oh ... what is the BAT?  Big A$$ Truck.  I'm sure I got dropped on my head as a baby, because I LOVE big trucks. I smile every time I see this one.  I know, it's a Ford and I'm a Chevy girl, but I like it anyway.  It's even bigger than MY BAT.

This one however is usually spotless, unlike mine.  This is just a little of the dirt collected on those gravel roads we drove.
Anyway, we were following the old railroad tracks around the area between Benson, Tombstone and Fairbank.  We arrived in Tombstone just in time for lunch in the first picture.  The only reason Dan stopped was because of the lady in pink and turquoise standing in the middle of the road shaking her maracas, or whatever you call those.

We ordered outside, thinking we could sit at their picnic tables, but NO ... no sitting allowed.  We were directed across the street to the City Park to sit at THEIR tables.  Two big burgers (Patty and I shared) and drinks came to $30.  We figured we were helping the economy, if only for one more day.  

Sadly, the streets were almost completely empty.  Kudos to the OK Cafe for staying open.  From there, we stopped at one more little town before heading back home.  
I did hit the grocery store early in the morning, making it past the Security Guard and the Police Officer (don't know why he was there).  I'm happy to announce that Frys has everything, even toilet paper.  Alas, I was only allowed one package, but no big deal, I still have some in my rig.  

I even stopped at Safeway for Cooper chicken, and am happy to report they are also back in business with most of their shelves full except for pasta, tp and beans.  Somehow those seem to go together.  I totally give it up for Frys however .... they have senior hours every day between 6 and 7 am.  No other grocery store is doing that.

A quick walk through my back yard resulted in this beauty.  April Fools ..... it's not a beauty at all, except for the color.  It's wilty and a little brown around the edges.  It's hard to grow roses in the desert.
 SO ... I've got my work cut out for me getting those images off my camera.  It was one of the best trips I've taken lately with lots of ghost town remnants.  So sad they are not all still intact.  I see another road trip in the very near future!!

PS  The entire time we were on this excursion, we were far far away from any people.  The only time we saw anyone was at the OK Corral, where we kept our distance.

Tuesday, March 31, 2020

A Couple Of Reviews

About once every three months, I see exciting things out on the train tracks.  No worries, they are not going to fight at the borders.  These guys load up and head East for practice runs.  In no time, I will see them returning.
The train wasn't long at all, but it was a nice diversion from sitting on the couch.
With not much else going on, I've loaded a couple of pictures of the items I've been taste testing.  I'm in love with macaroni and cheese, although I never make it any more.  Pasta and I don't get along.  HOWEVER ... when I spotted this in the frozen food section, I thought why not?  Does it not sound delicious?  And that picture!!!!
They say a picture is worth a thousand words, and this one just about sums it up.  Doesn't quite look the same, does it?  I will tell you that the beautiful pulled pork chunks above have been ground into paste in this version.  That one lovely piece you see is more akin to baby food, I kid you not.  

This is an F for epic fail.  I couldn't even TASTE cheese and the sweet barbecue sauce just didn't get it.  I never call the 800 number and give a review, but with nothing else to do, I plan on letting them know their grade.
In the meantime, what to do with four bananas!  Make more bread of course.  This is actually Jonathan's favorite food at the moment.  This one is loaded with pineapple, making it moist and delicious.  Jon gives it an A!!
Next up, as I wandered through Walmart, I spotted this package of bacon bits.  You can actually see the little pieces through the "window".  I've no idea what this cost, I just threw it in my basket to be used in salads.  

This is the best thing since peanut butter!!  It gets an A+!  There is very little fat, GREAT flavor and I put it on everything.  I even spread some on my pizza.  All the bacon and none of the greasy fatty mess.  This is my new fav!
I did make a quick run to Walmart for DEF fluid for the rig.  I have one of those where they put the DEF tank on the wrong side, meaning I have to buy it in containers to fill the tank.  Driving backwards through the "IN" truck line is a good way to get yelled at.  I'll describe that adventure tomorrow.

In the meantime, I tenderized a chunk of flank steak for dinner, using what I had on-hand.  
I'm rather short of time this morning, as I'm heading back to the grocery store for a few things.  I love that the stores have all come up with Senior Hours between 6 and 8 am when everyone sleeps in until 9.  I have actually seen pajamas at some place besides Walmart.

I'll report on that tomorrow too!!

Monday, March 30, 2020

More On Safari

A big shoutout to Leilani for finding information on this abandoned building south of Tucson.  It truly amazes me that this huge very expensive steel girder building was left to it's own devices in the desert.  Apparently it was a manufactured home construction company that went bankrupt in the mid 1960's.   It would seriously be a good location for a house ..... and an RV or two or three!!
At any rate, no matter where you go, there are idiots with cans of spray paint.  I just don't get their need to deface buildings, rocks, trees, tunnels and even dams.  The entire inside and outside of this building is covered.  Hmmmm maybe that was the moaning sound.
Once the motorcycle guy left, I walked around a little, being mindful of rattle snakes, cactus and the sounds of vehicles.  This would be a wonderful view.  All the cactus is happy and blooming quite significantly.
Wildflowers were out in abundance, but only in certain places.  At the beginning of the road there were layers of them, but further along, I think the cactus sucked up all the water.  Sadly, I did not see one single creature on the entire trip.  Bummer!
I kept looking over my shoulder to make sure no one was following me ... the moaning and all ... when I spotted this beauty!  What the heck!!  Here I thought the fairy dusters were rare, and now everywhere I look .... there they are!!  This one is a beauty, just like at the desert museum.  Where's my shovel?
Back home safe and sound, my acacia tree was happily blooming bright yellow pom poms.  How in the world did this tree get here?  They are native in tropical and sub-tropical countries, like Africa and Australia, yet here's one in my back yard.  I've been waiting for the elephants to arrive for happy hour.
I spent the rest of the night watching Jonathan molt.  Exciting, no??  Every spring he loses his tail feathers and every July-August-ish he loses all the white downy under-feathers.  In other words, I'm always cleaning up feathers.
My next big safari is to the grocery store.  Woohoo!!!  To Doug and Yuma, if you need anything, let me know.  I'll be heading your way for some photo ops this week and would be happy to deliver.  

Day 18 - I feel like I'm wasting my life away just sitting around doing nothing

Sunday, March 29, 2020

On Safari

This safari wasn't exactly what I was expecting, but it got me out of the house for a couple of hours.  It did have just what every safari should have ... some rather scary moments!!  There's this dirt road I've been eyeing for some time.  I was pretty sure it was Jeep worthy.  In truth, although rocky with a couple of big dips, it was an easy drive.
It was only when I arrived at this old abandoned building that I realized just how many dirt roads there WERE back here.  
I haven't done my research yet, but apparently this was some kind of construction company.  A BIG construction company by the size of the building.  Weird there are no paved roads anywhere near this location.  I parked and started to go inside for some cool graffiti pictures.  No matter where you go any more, someone has had a can of spray paint.  

That's when I heard it ... a long painful moan.  I stopped dead in my tracks, looking around quickly and measuring the distance back to the Jeep.  Hmmm maybe I don't want any pictures after all.  Suddenly I hear the whine of a motorcycle.  Not wanting to be caught out in the open, I ran back to the Jeep and locked myself inside.  The motorcycle made a slow U-turn and went off down another dirt road.
Okay ... pictures out the window are just fine I told myself.  I drove around the other side to see steel girders holding up the building.  This thing is massive.  I wonder what they made here?
All were in good shape except this one.  Nature is beginning to take this building back I guess.
As I drove around the far side, I found railroad tracks going right up to the dock of the building.  There are two rails here, only one was shining in the sun.  This must have been some large company to have these.  To walk away and leave this building was an expensive loss.  
Here's my plan ..... I can make a quilt store in one corner and live in the other 6,000 square feet!!  I stood in the doorway a little afraid to go inside.  It just might fall down on my head.  I could hear tin siding bumping and squeaking here and there.  Then I heard that mournful moan again.  NOPE!!  I was out of there.  
As a photographer, we're always looking for rusty things.  Jackpot!!
There's more pictures, but I'll wait till tomorrow.  That way you won't have to look at excess pictures of my vacuum cleaner or my puppies.  

Here's an interesting one though.  Have you ever seen baby roadrunners?  One of my Facebook friends has a backyard bonanza.  The roadrunners come every year and lay eggs in the same spot.  Here's the latest brood.  You have to look close ... they are so well camouflaged it's hard to find their beaks.
And of course I can't leave out these guys.  I just love capturing them on camera.
Day 17 ... still in Tucson.

Saturday, March 28, 2020

Rug Burns and Rolls

Unfortunately for me, the horse whisperer has not come by to visit.  Instead, all those rug burns came from playing with Cooper on the living room floor for three hours straight.  Several leg muscles, whose previous existence were unknown, came to say hello in a charlie horse kind of way.  THAT resulted in flailing around on the carpet causing the rug burns.

The good news is after eating some salt, the cramps subsided and Cooper slept for the rest of the day and night.  It is rather interesting the angles your toes can create when those little muscles go bonkers.

With all the hoarding going on and no yeast available at my local store, although I was able to procure a package of the old fashioned kind, I kept thinking about how I could make bread without it.  Not that I need bread ... but your mind goes crazy looking for something to do.  

Back in the days of the dinosaurs, we made all our bread from scratch, using those solid blocks of moist yeast that you melted in warm water.  Once some of it was liquid, we mixed in water and flour to become sourdough starter.  

You "fed" it more water and flour every time you took some out of the crock.  It would bubble up again and smell like heaven.  It sat with it's cheesecloth cover on the back of the stove to keep warm and "working".

I was surprised when my neighbor called to say she had some sourdough biscuits for me, and some starter if I so desired.  Heck yeah!!!
It's new starter, so hasn't created it's best flavor yet.  Some bakeries have starters over 100 years old.  They just keep it growing day after day.  Back in the cowboy days, Sourdough Slim was named because he had the tastiest sourdough biscuits around.

When Patty invited me to dinner, she suggested I make rolls.  It would give me something to do.  THAT was a great idea.  I took two recipes and tried to put them together since I didn't have all the ingredients for either one.  What I DID have was a bread machine that would knead it for me. Yahoo!!

Oh my ... that looked like too much water.  I took some out, double checking both recipes.  Oh NO!!! There's not enough water!  I put in some more.  In no time, I realized I put in too MUCH!!  Good grief.  I sat with a spoon and added one tablespoon of flour at a time, trying to get the right consistency.  

At long last, the bread machine was done with it's job and I dumped the dough out on the counter.  I completely forgot about letting it rest.  I chopped it up and let them rise one last time before plunking them in the oven.  I was praying they tasted okay.
They certainly look delicious!!  You know how it smells so good when you walk into a house that has fresh bread baking?  Not so much here.  I don't understand why ... maybe it's the new instant yeast.  At any rate, they were a hit at the Chance house (even if they were a tad tough) and went perfectly with that wonderful stew.  I may just have to make some more for good measure.
In the meantime, winner winner!!!  I found some of those Monopoly pieces from Safeway and opened them up to discover I won $5.00.  Better than a stick in the eye!!!  
The safari was cancelled due to bad weather.  It got very cold again, with rain and wind on and off all day.  I was rewarded for staying inside with a beautiful sunset.  
I'm pretty sure all this sitting has extended my undercarriage a couple of inches.  All the more for the puppies to snuggle up against I suppose.  

As to our recovery, Stanford University Researchers say we will recover from this pandemic much faster than expected, although I have no idea what time frame that would be.  It WOULD be wonderful news not to have families losing their members.  Just when we think everything is coming up roses, life throws a big wrench into the world.

Friday, March 27, 2020

The Desert's Favorite Color

Yellow seems to be the color of the day in the desert.  No matter where you go, Springtime has many  shades of yellow growing about every twenty feet.  A couple of these pictures you have already seen.  That's because I never did go on safari yesterday.  Due to circumstances beyond my control, it's been rescheduled to today.  Okay ... it was stew.  It was a huge crockpot of homemade beef stew that waylaid my plans.

I think these are called desert marigolds.
You've seen this one ... a lighter shade, but still yellow.
The local Indians used plants and flowers for dye.  I wonder what color you would get with these little button mums?
This is a huge golden barrel cactus in my back yard.
Even my little palm tree is blooming bright yellow stalks full of pollen that make me sneeze like crazy.  When all the yellow clusters are gone, doves make their nests on the stalks that remain.  
My huge Acacia tree even has yellow blooms to go along with those one inch spikes every inch along the branch.
Finally .... one that's not yellow.  Remember that Baja Fairy Duster I saw at the Desert Museum?  I even went to the nursery and bought one tiny little plant for $14.  With nothing else to do yesterday, I wandered down my driveway, looking closely at the holes in the dirt wall.  I have been wondering what lives in those holes.  

That's when I spotted this!!  Well for goodness sake .... there's a pink fairy duster.  Oh look!!  There's another one!!  Oh good grief .... there were maybe 20 of them all along the driveway, and here I bought one for $14.  I see a little transplanting in my future.
So when the Chance Household called and invited me to dinner, how could I possibly turn down Dan's homemade stew.  It's the best I've ever eaten.  Patty suggested maybe I could make some rolls to go with dinner.  It would help keep me busy.  

She was right, it took most of the day, with the results actually being edible.  I'll show you pictures tomorrow.  In the meantime, does anyone have a remedy for rug burns??

Thursday, March 26, 2020

My Guilty Little Pleasure

Elva ... you're going to love this!!!  Here it is, my guilty little pleasure, CHEETOS.  I haven't had any of these in over a year, but since the world is ending, I might as well indulge myself.  I don't go crazy, I actually make the little bag last through four sessions of orange-fingered yumminess.  I opened them from the bottom, hoping for some good luck in our return to normalcy.
Here's another thing I don't eat ..... bread.  Why in the world I thought I should make some, only because there was none to be had at the store, is beyond me.  At long last, after almost thirteen days, this loaf is gone, along with all normalcy in my stomach.  It doesn't like bread NEAR as much as cheetos.
In an extreme effort to not WASTE any said food items, I took a ten day old box of raspberries and made sauce out of them.  I was inspired by Patsyischillin who has done this a couple of times.  It was pretty tasty, but I sure got tired of picking those seeds out of my teeth.  I can scratch raspberries off my list forever.

Here's another thing ... I eat VERY little ice cream, so why in the heck did I buy that whole gallon of Blue Bell?  It was the only container of vanilla I could find.  I'll never finish THAT off!!  
All this food I'm not used to has systematically added almost all those pounds back on.  How depressing.  It's bad enough I have no one to talk to, but add to that those uncomfortable I-feel-fat pounds and it's a recipe for disaster in my book.  

So for the rest of the week, I'm determined to quit eating all the bad stuff and get back to feeling deprived.  It's much healthier for me.

My cactus looks like it's going to bloom any minute, but alas, nothing is happening.  Maybe it's too warm?  Up to 80 yesterday.  I even drug out an old pair of levis and cut the legs off in order to have a pair of shorts without going to the store.  Today they are so tight I'm miserable.  I know there is a solution to that ... stop the hand to mouth exercise I've been doing.  It would also help if I quit opening the fridge door like there was someone in there to talk to.  
My current pastime is laundry.  How exciting, right?  A little more fun is playing great white hunter and getting rid of all the moths that flock into the house every time I open the back door.  It's perfectly okay though, it's that time of year ... spring is here!!

Today I'm taking my camera out on safari across the asphalt highway and into the unknown.  At least there won't be any food out there and maybe I can leave a pound or two.