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Friday, November 25, 2016

Thanksgiving 2016

I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving, and enjoyed spending time with their families.
We got back to Oklahoma on Monday November 21st.
It was really nice to see the house.
I have to say I thought I would be homesick while in Arizona, but I wasn't.
Everything was just where we left it, with just a little more dust on it.  :)

The plan is a standard plan for our Thanksgiving.
My mom makes the cornbread dressing.
I cook the turkey.
We fix some other dishes, and boom, we have a feast.

One of the traditional dishes we have every holiday is a cranberry, cool whip, and marshmallow dish that my grandma Murray would always make.
We have a bowl that is always used for this dish...just one of those family things that we do.

The kids and grands show up and it is time for the feast to begin!
The food was great as usual.
We all ate too much, but isn't that what we are supposed to do!

Heather brought a yummy dish of mac and cheese.
She also brought a pumpkin roll, and a pumpkin cheese cake.

We had way to much food, but that's fine because the left overs are part of the festive times.

After we finished our meal, we got everyone outside for the Thanksgiving picture that I try to take every year.
I just love to see how the kids have changed each year..and of course the older folks haven't aged one bit!

That concludes Thanksgiving at Chukadi Acre.
I am so thankful for our small but mighty family.
Blessed for sure.

Monday, November 21, 2016

November's Desert Report 2016

Where is the time going?
The beautiful sunsets keep coming and each one has it owns spectacular color.
Seems we just got here and we have been in the desert for a month already.
Things are changing on our site with all the additions of plants.
It is really a treat to plant in the sandy and somewhat harsh environment and actually see things grow.
We have made our way to a couple of different nurseries and have enjoyed learning about the plants that grow here.
The Avocado Nursery was one of the places we bought a few plants.
Oh the knowledge we got from Si!!!

We got to experience our first rain at the park.
The rainfall was quite an event, as it rained a little 2-1/2" in less than an hour.
This made us very aware of where the water runs on our property.
We got out to go to eat with some friends, and I got to see my first full rainbow.
It was absolutely beautiful.
The water didn't stay long.
The retention ponds were actually full, which is something we have never seen.
I know the plants appreciated the moisture because the next few days, we had blooms on our Palo Verde tree!

We have traveled to Tucson a couple of times to see Cindy and Terry.
We rode the Harley one Saturday and I have to say the wind therapy was wonderful.
Our visit with the Lingel's was so much fun!
They took us to a local Mexican food restaurant and we really enjoyed the meal.
We were all non stop talking so I don't know if it would have mattered if it was good or not.
We had a great time catching up.
Terry and Chuck talked about motorcycles.
Terry has acquired his own fleet of them due to someone else misfortune.
I will leave that story alone for now but I have to say he acquired some nice bikes.
Our visit was over way too fast and we had to start back to Florence.
The ride home was very nice.
I just love seeing the landscape of Arizona on the back of a bike.
I feel so lucky that Chuck is such a great rider and takes me on so many great rides!

Our second trip to Tucson was this last Friday.
We took Bronco and spent the night at Cindy and Terry's Bed & Breakfast.
Cindy shows off her cooking skills and makes a wonderful dinner.
The dish was "chicken crack" and it was very tasty.
Not sure that Terry would agree as he doesn't like chicken, but he endured it that evening.
We had talked about going to a cavern that is in the area and after checking online to buy tickets we find that everyone else had the same idea.
Seems everyone is celebrating Veterans Day weekend and with the schools being out on Friday we aren't going to be able to make this event happen.
I suggest we go to the town of Tubac and shop.
The guys were so excited!!!!
But the plan is made anyway.

We get up and are on our way shortly after 8am.
As we make our way towards the border of the United States we see all the abandoned copper mines that were once busy with miners.
Now they sit silently as a reminder of what once was a big part of Arizona's economy.
Terry ask if we want to stop at the mission that was coming up quickly and we say sure we are up for anything.

I for one am so excited that we stopped.
The name is St. Xavier Del Bac Mission and it was a very interesting and worthwhile stop.
They are doing a complete restoration of the area
It was said that a few years ago vandalism cause quite a bit of damage to the place and they are now trying to put it back to a pristine state.
The architecture and work was breathtaking.
After we walk around and visit the gift shop we head towards the car.
I see a bloom from the desert spoon plant that Terry makes his walking sticks from.
Upon further inspections we find another set of shops and a place to eat.

We end up having an awesome breakfast and try some of the local cuisine.
What a fun and very unexpected stop this has been.

Back on the road and heading towards Tubac we see signs for a missile launching pad and more copper mines.
I see more exploring needs to be done around this area but today we are shopping.
We reach Tubac and explore all the small shops.
They are so colorful and full of all the Mexican pottery and items we have seen in Florence and Mesa, but seems like the prices are even better.
At least on a few things that is.
We stopped in at a cute little restaurant and had some Republic of Tea Sangria Iced Tea.
It was a very refreshing stop and we got to try something different!
Refueled and ready to head towards the car we make another detour to see all the wonderful wind art.
Chuck and Cindy check on the prices of the art and decide we won't be taking any back with us.
Beautiful for sure but too rich for our blood!

What a great day with Cindy and Terry.
I see many more outings like this in our future.
It seems Bronco and Simon could even become friends.
Probably not BFF's but at least friends. ;)
When we get back to the Lingel's house it seems that Simon has broken away from his confined area and joined Bronco in Terry's room that is off the garage.
Upon checking the security camera it appears that Simon joined Bronco about 12:30pm and went to his Cataminium and basked in the afternoon sun.

We have quite a few things to take back with us, as Terry has made me another beautiful walking stick.
Cindy gave us some of their Mexican limes, that are to die for!
The visit was a blast for sure.
It totally amazes me that we are so lucky to have such wonderful friends to share a part of our life with.
Blessed for sure!

Monday, our friends Jo and Ernie asked us to go to the Boyce Thompson Arboretum State Park.
This was a really interesting place to see all the plants that grow in the area.
I can see we will be coming back for more exploring, as we only got about 1/3 of the area covered today.
One nice thing is that we can bring Bronco and let her explore with us.
So glad we were invited to check out this wonderful place.
Chuck bought me a plant from there today as well, so we have to go home and give it a new home.

Our group of friends along with us have had our first of the season pot luck dinner.
It was quite a success and my bowl that was full of goulash was totally empty by the time we left.

We also had our first meet and greet.
I took those wonderful brownie bites from Sams and didn't bring a one home.
I am seeing a trend here.
These people love to eat!
All the food was wonderful.

We played Bingo last Monday and I came home $6 richer than when I left.
Our friend Danny is calling this week and Chuck is his assistant.
Kinda like Vanna and Pat on "Wheel of Fortune"
Bingo may never be the same after tonight. ;)
By the way, I came home $15 richer this week....winner winner!

Chuck wanted to get out and use up some of the gas on the Harley as we will be heading to Oklahoma soon, so we rode to Miami Arizona.
We have driven this rode thru Superior a couple of times now, but I have to say, on a bike was truly spectacular.
We even make it to Top of the World Arizona.
The elevation goes up, and the last time I saw it marked was 4000 feet, and I am thinking I should have probably had on a jacket.
I toughed it out, as I knew as soon as we got back down in elevation I would be wanting it off.
We also detoured and explored a few back roads that we have seen that take us into Queen Valley.
Like I said before, we have a lot of riding to do around here, as it is totally uncharted for us.

We start our trip back to Oklahoma on Sunday November 20th.
The ride was nice and uneventful.
Some of the roads we traveled were new to us, and we really got to see a part of New Mexico that we have never seen.
I was so glad to get to see "The Narrows" in Cubero, NM.
The fields of lava are totally amazing to look at.
We have always seen them when traveling I-40 but we are back in around them and it was great.
Still didn't make it to Pie Town NM, but I bet the next time we travel this way, we make a point to drop in that little town.

We make it to Oklahoma on Monday afternoon, and have to admit it was really nice to see the house.
Fall is showing its colors really nicely in our yard, and so are all the leaves...LOL.
Looks like we have some raking to do!

The new mobile Blinds & Designs Too is going well.
I am still able to sell my blinds and other products without having the shop.
There is some learning curves as far as being mobile but I think it is working great.
I hope my solid base of customers from the past 35 years continue using me and recommending me to their friends.
I have to admit that sometimes change is good!

Dinner at the local Mexican food restaurant with friends