Sunday, November 30, 2008

Take a Hike!

No, I don't mean in a bad way, not in a "get the heck out of here" way. I mean, let's go for a hike at the White Tank Mountains? What do you say?

We set out around 11am this morning, the White Tank Mountains Regional Park is only 11 mins from base and it's such a beautiful area, filled with trails of all kinds, little nooks and crannies, Saguaro Cactus as far as the eye can see, and even a little waterfall.

So come with me and I'll take you on the hike, it was a beautiful day, 72 degrees, a light breeze and tons of other families hiking and walking with their pets.


We picked the Waterfall Trail which is 0.5 miles long and home to Petroglyph Plaza. I tell you, seeing those up close is just absolutely amazing. If only I knew what they meant.


Getting higher into the mountain and closer to the waterfall. This waterfall is dry unless there's been a lot of rain lately, luckily for us, last week was filled with rainy days.


One of the tanks filled with water, we found out that this is what gives the White Tank Mountains their name........the tanks of water found throughout the park.


Getting to the waterfall was fun, to say the least, we had to climb over rocks and water tanks.


The park has worked hard at making a lot of the place more accessible, up until about a year or so ago, these rock stairs did not exist.



Time to stop for some photographs with the beautiful scenery behind, I just love the ones of daddy and kids.



Of course mommy and daddy were having a lot of fun too....sorry it's a bit blurry.



Stunning HUGE HUGE Saguaro Cactus, you have no idea how tall these things are. Actually if you click on one of the thumbnails above, there is a photo of me and the kids next to one, we look tiny.





Moss was everywhere and I just had to snap a picture, it's such a rich green color, gorgeous.


It was a wonderful day, for only $6 per vehicle to get in for the day and so much to explore, it's one of those inexpensive ways to have fun with the family. If you're ever around the area, be sure to check it out.

I leave you with a view of Phoenix from the White Tank Mountains....the smog is horrible, look at that brown cloud over the area


Friday, November 28, 2008

There was eating and decorating and.....

a run away Turkey!

by the way, that's a wheat roll in the picture, not a potato. Just thought I would let you know since Nicholas asked me why he never got a potato like that one LOL

I tell you, Thanksgiving Days are always full of surprises, if it's not fighting family members then it's the turkey that just didn't want to get eaten. Curt and I have never laughed so hard.

You all know that we deep fry our turkeys, I used to do the whole oven thing but it took forever and I could never get my turkey nice and juicy so about 3 years ago, we bought a deep fryer and started using that instead. The result, the juiciest, brownest, crispiest skinned turkey EVER.

So let me tell you how my day went. I woke up at about 1am on Thursday morning with the worst sore throat ever. It literally felt like someone was shoving a knife in there and twisting and prodding, it was so bad that it kept me up all night, by 7 am I just said "forget it" got up and started cooking.

By noon everything was cooked and we threw in the turkey and while waiting for it to fry, we started decorating the outside of the house. You know how that goes right? You keep all the decorations and lights from the year before and then you plug everything in and half of the light strands don't work. So you sit there and go one by one looking for the burnt out and exchanging lights until everything is working, because you know....that's easier than just going out to buy new ones? *ROLL MY EYES*

We have 3 reindeer, the animated ones, they move their heads up and down and side to side and one moves it's legs etc. We've had them since Idaho and they're getting so old that there's rust starting to seep through on some, but that is ok, at night no one will know. What they WILL notice is that one works fine, one has no lights down it's whole right side and the one that is supposed to move it's legs is suddenly motionless. What a sad sight! LOL

Now let me tell you about the turkey, I got a 20 lb one which is just ridiculous for us, but in my defense, I couldn't find any of the smaller ones at the commissary, I'm thinking all the retired couples got the itty bitty ones just for the two of them, so I got stuck with this huge bird...... which meant, only the bottom half of it was completely immersed in the peanut oil, the top wasn't and while it cooked, it didn't get brown. So we look at this thing and decide, well let's flip it over and let it sit for another 30 minutes. And that's when the adventure began LOL

I should have grabbed my camera but I was so busy laughing, it totally slipped my mind. So this is how it went.

Curt grabs the basket and pulls it up and there's this sad looking turkey in there, bottom part brown and top part pale. It looked like it had been to the beach while wearing a long sleeved shirt and shorts then fell asleep and got sun burnt.
So I say to him, ok let's flip it and I run inside to get a big fork, I come back out and try to stick the fork in it and start pulling but the darn thing is stuck to the bottom and my fork is bending. ABORT that idea!

Curt says "hey I have some new work gloves in the truck, still in the plastic, let me get that and then I can grab it". Ok, sounds like a great plan...NOT LOL
He comes back with his gloves on and proceeds to try and grab the bird, but it's hot and it's still stuck to the bottom and somehow wedged in the basket and just not budging. So I start laughing, which if you know me personally, you know if something funny or weird is going on, I just can't help it. He is struggling with this bird and I'm trying to hold the basket while he pulls it out and next thing I know this turkey flies past me and lands on the driveway. LOL

Our expressions were a mixture of surprise and OH.MY.GOSH that's our turkey. We run to it and Curt picks it up and turns it and slams it back in the basket. But now it has one of it's gigantic legs sticking out and he's telling me "shove it back in" and I'm trying but the darn leg won't move. So he grabs the leg, breaks it and wedges it into the basket. There ya go.....back into the oil, the heat will kill any germs LOL
Thankfully I had JUST finished sweeping the driveway and had actually hosed it down.....I must have known what was to come.

So after 30 minutes, we sit down to eat, but I have to get the turkey out of the basket and cut it, so I grab my trusty bent fork and shove it in the turkey breast and pull it up to get it out of the basket and guess what happens? It was like someone threw a grenade in there, the fork shreds through the breast and all this flying turkey meat hits me on the face and head. Curt and the kids start laughing, I'm standing there with a bent fork, a shredded turkey breast and meat all over me and the floor. You can't help but laugh at this, it's just too ridiculous for words LOL

Even if I had tried to, I couldn't have made this up. But we DID finally eat it and boy was it good.

We spent the rest of the day putting up our tree and decorating inside, it had started raining so we had to leave the yard decorations for later. There was a christmas tree, you know the prelit ones? Yeah, well we took it out of the box and some of the lights fell out LOL Then we put up the tree, Curt grabs the angel for the top and shoves the branches of the tree into it and then it topples over so he tries to pull the angel back out but it's stuck and he's pulling so hard that the top of the tree comes off with the angel. (hahahahahahahahah)
He's standing there holding this beautiful angel by the waist and there's a huge tree stuck to it's bottom, he's trying not to laugh but of course, I'm already in tears in the corner. He managed to get it loose and I reattached the tree and got the angel back on.

The rest of the night managed to go by without any further crazy happenings. It was a weird, funny but definitely unforgetable Thanksgiving.

So how did yours go? Any run away turkeys? Fighting family members? Crazy trees? Rain, snow, thunder and lightning? I want to hear all about it.

I leave you with some pics from last night.





Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

From our home to yours, wishing you peace, love and a day filled with blessings, gratitude and yumminess for your tummies.

I am thankful for my husband, my children, my parents and grandparents, brothers and sisters and nieces and nephews and in laws and cousins and aunts and uncles. And for all my bloggy friends, those who have stood by me through funny posts and sad stories, have offered prayers for me and my family and always know just what to say to cheer me up.

But mostly for the Lord, for blessing me abundantly year after year.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

It's Raining, It's pouring, the old man is snoring

LITERALLY! Curt is snoring, I'm serious. LOL

Anyway, it's raining, we woke up to tons of rain, and you know that scent that comes with it? The wet earth, crisp, clean scent? If I could bottle it up I would.

So my house is dark but definitely not gloomy, there's Thanksgiving Food already being prepared, there's Christmas decorations in the hallway waiting to go up and there's knitting and sewing and candles and cookies and hot tea. It's just pure bliss, for me at least. I'm happiest when I'm at home surrounded by my things and completely immersed in the homey atmosphere. It's who I am and it's who I've always wanted to be since I was a little wee one....I remember playing house, pretending I was the mom with all my dolls around, I would *pretend* to go to work and then come home and be oh so tired, but still cook a meal and clean the house and give the kids a bath.

Good times! Sounds very familiar LOL

Now I want to show you a picture of my lemon tree. Remember the whole debacle of the falling tree branches? I am no expert on lemon trees, heck I'm no expert on trees period, I couldn't tell an Oak from a Maple and the only reason I know the different fruit trees is because the fruit is hanging on it LOL
Anyway, I had no clue what was going on and I was so sad to see it falling apart, the branches literally ripped from the tree, but I guess it's a process it goes through because it grew back and now it's overflowing with lemons, not quite ripe yet.

See how pretty it's looking? I'm just keeping an eye on them and waiting for the lemons to start falling, once they do there will be Lemon Meringue Pie, Lemon Fudge (oh yeah baby, just wait for the recipe), Lemon Bars, Lemon Chicken and Lemon whatever I can come up with.

If I close my eyes and pretend (sometimes I wonder if I don't live in fantasy land hahaha), I can imagine that I'm in a farm somewhere, surrounded by fruit trees and horses and mountains. It's good to dream isn't it?

If you could live anywhere, where would it be?

Here, I'll show you mine if you show me yours? LOL I'm sorry I'm in a weird mood today, must be the anticipation of Thanksgiving dinner.

Welcome to Piglet Cottage (no I didn't give it the name...quite funny isn't it? I mean I know I love food but from that to Piglet is quite a stretch)
Converted Stone Barn

It's nestled in Dartmoor. I can already imagine Sarah giggling at me, she knows my obsession with English Cottages and especially Dartmoor.

These would be the kids ponies, Jasmine's is the white one picking on the little brown one, which of course is Nicholas' LOL if you only knew how close to the truth that is.

We would also have ducks or are those geese? Geez, I'm horrible when it comes to identifying things LOL

A few feet away we would have this beautiful river, a place where you could go and sit down with a blanket and a good book.

And then of course just up the street we would have views like these.

And if you came to visit, I would let you stay in this guest room and I would even cook for you

And every morning I would go out and get fresh eggs for chickens lay eggs everyday? I am SO not a farm person LOL

At the end of the day we could just sit and have some tea. Now doesn't that sound wonderful?

SNAP back to reality...I'm in Arizona, it's raining outside and the only thing close to ponies are my pugs. At least now you know what one of my dreams is. If you decide to play along and show me yours, let me know in my comments so I can come and see it.

I'm off, I have a to do list that needs to get tackled and just because I'm in the mood for showing things, I'll show you my list.

  • Iron and put away two loads of laundry
  • Sweep the kitchen floor
  • Finish another 5 pockets for the advent calendar
  • Work a little more on Nichola's scarf
  • Start the Crayon Rolls
  • Make the pecan pie for tomorrow
  • Make sure the turkey is thawing
  • Strip the beds and wash all the linens
  • Make the pizza dough for tonight's dinner

Yeah, I'm sure there's things I'm missing in there so I'll add on as I go. BTW there will be no Slow Cooking Thursday tomorrow, it will return next week.

I hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving, enjoy the food and enjoy the family. I'm thankful for each and every one of you :)