Yoga Score

Friday morning Emmi and I were out early for our walk–I had places to go.  Look what you see when out walking that early in the morning!  The photos aren’t the greatest as they were taken directly into the morning sun but it was so exciting to see the deer herd again and this is the first time I’ve seen a buck.  There were about six to seven deer total.

Last year a young woman started a yoga class at the community center only a mile from my house.  I attended this yoga class for a while before giving up–it just wasn’t the right fit for me–we are so spoiled having Julia as our instructor in Montana.  Yoga is so good for my body and I need the structure of a class to attend, otherwise I don’t practice.  I searched the internet for “yoga classes near me” and came up with one in Elfrida–24 miles from us.  I spoke on the phone with the instructor and liked her voice and attitude.  Friday I attended my first class and it was a great fit!!–a little long on the breathing exercises but the class is one and a half hours long so there is also lots of good stretching.

We usually forget several items when we leave Montana and this year was no different–the Cowboy forgot to bring a two inch ball for the trailer hitch–thus we couldn’t move the trailer which is loaded with lumber from the garage. The Cowboy borrowed a ball from Dan and we were successful in getting the trailer out of the garage–don’t you like the Cowboy’s “marker” he places on the corner of the trailer so he can see it when backing into the darker garage?? It’s a retractable magnet and a yellow cloth.

Friday evening we were invited to dinner at the home of our caretaker and his wife, Milton and Lucy.  There were two other couples and a single lady, Pat–we had a delightful evening getting to know these people better.

Saturday I made this:

Apple Sharlotka from Smitten Kitchen

Butter or non-stick spray for greasing pan

6 large tart apples such as Granny Smiths

3 large eggs

1 cup sugar

1 cup flour

1 teaspoon vanilla

Ground cinnamon and powdered sugar to finish

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line the bottom of a 9-inch springform pan with parchment paper. Butter the paper and the sides of the pan. Peel, halve and core your apples, then chop them into medium-sized chunks. (I cut each half into four “strips” then sliced them fairly thinly — about 1/4-inch — in the other direction.) Pile the cut apples directly in the prepared pan. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, using an electric mixer or whisk, beat eggs with sugar until thick and ribbons form on the surface of the beaten eggs. Beat in vanilla, then stir in flour with a spoon until just combined. The batter will be very thick.

Pour over apples in pan, using a spoon or spatula to spread the batter so that it covers all exposed apples. (Updated to clarify: Spread the batter and press it down into the apple pile. The top of the batter should end up level with the top of the apples.) Bake in preheated oven for 55 to 60 minutes, or until a tester comes out free of batter. Cool in pan for 10 minutes on rack, then flip out onto another rack, peel off the parchment paper, and flip it back onto a serving platter. Dust lightly with ground cinnamon.

Serve warm or cooled, dusted with powdered sugar.

We were invited to Dan and Louanne’s for dinner Saturday night and I volunteered to bring dessert.  This is a not too sweet cake which is also good for breakfast!  We had another delightful evening visiting with this couple and have more adventures planned!

It was hard to describe that hallway between our two houses where the Cowboy is currently working so I took photos–

Looking from the guest house back door into the hallway.

Still looking from the guest house down the hallway, the laundry room door is visible on the right.

Getting closer to the back door of the main house–see the pipes we were having to avoid while walking between the two houses?  The electric panel is hanging on what was an outside wall of the main house–that panel will be hung on the outside of the new hallway.  The Cowboy is screwing down the floor plywood so he can easily remove it for doing the plumbing underneath the floor.

Turning the corner and looking into the main house–he took the outside door off the main house and installed it in this new addition/hallway. Clear as mud, right??

I continue to wage war with the tumbleweeds and even had some assistance from the Cowboy Sunday morning.  We attended church today and the after church Thanksgiving potluck–it was great to see everyone again.  We took it easy today and did very little–the Cowboy did get the CanAm ready–we are off on an ATV adventure tomorrow.


Hard At Work

One of these days is it possible we might not haul as much stuff between Montana and Arizona?? Clothes and some food are necessary but the rest of it–I’m not sure!  I bring quilting projects, the Cowboy brings tools which aren’t duplicated, we brought furniture from Nat’s house, and the list goes on! Tuesday we both spent the day unpacking.  I did make a run to the Dollar Store and the Produce Wagon for routine supplies–it’s amazing how much can be purchased in this community.

Emmi and I have been taking our daily hikes

Wednesday the Cowboy tied into a project–the floor joists in the hall between the two houses.  These two dwellings were not connected when we purchased them even though the structures were only four feet apart.  When we installed the new roofs, we connected the two buildings.  This left a hallway from the backdoor of the guest house portion to the back door of the main house but no flooring–there was a large step at each end and we walked on gravel.  The new floor will make things much nicer and safer.

I spent Wednesday cleaning–lots of spider webs form when you are gone over the summer.  I also worked in the yard–the tumbleweeds are taking over after all the good rain we had during the summer monsoon season.  Tumbleweeds have millions of seeds on each plant so it’s no wonder the plants are flourishing!  This time of year a shovel is the method of choice unfortunately!

Today the Cowboy worked on the flooring once again and I waged war on more tumbleweeds.  I’m not sure I’m up to shoveling three acres of weeds!

Wednesday night’s sunset was gorgeous–the first photo is before the color really started showing.

This afternoon I hung some photos and my “Gobble, Gobble” quilt.  I can’t believe Thanksgiving is only a week away!

Many people I know have plantar fasciitis–my sister, my friends Jane and Bonnie.  Now I’m thinking I have it in my left heel–it hurts!  I’ve ordered some gel inserts which come with a money back guarantee and I’m looking for a therapeutic massage therapist.  A Montana friend told me our massage therapist had healed her plantar fasciitis–well, I’m a long way from Gayle but hopefully I can find someone in Arizona.  Several years ago I was having a terrible time with my right shoulder and was at the point where I was sure surgery was in my future.  Gayle, a fantastic massage therapist cured my shoulder pain and I have all my range of motion.

We had the most beautiful day today–sunny, low 60’s and no wind–perfect!

We Made It

Before I start this blog I want to thank all our veterans past and present for their service.  It’s kind of strange this Veteran’s Day not to have our World War II veteran around any longer–rest in peace Nat Clark.

Our wheels have finally stopped turning–we rolled into our Pearce, AZ home about 1:30pm and unloaded for a while before calling it a day.  It’s chilly here, our well driller/friend Brian stopped by to leave the backhoe keys (the backhoe stays at his house in the summer) and said it was 24 degrees at his house this morning.  He was blaming us for bringing the cold weather!

Thursday we left about 9am with chains on the truck to get down our snow covered driveway–  Off come the chains.

The roads were snow packed and icy until we reached Bozeman–then it was smooth sailing on dry roads the rest of the way.  But, it was dang cold!  We drove to Twin Falls, Idaho the first night staying in a La Quinta–nice hotel and quiet, waking up to a brisk 16 degrees.  Friday our plan was to drive to North Las Vegas until we realized it was Friday night in Vegas and room rates were double normal prices!  So, the Cowboy drove us to Kingman–600+ miles in one day–UGH!  At least it was warm and I didn’t have to carry those house plants into the hotel!

Saturday morning we drove to North Ranch where our own private RV awaited us in Larry and Geri’s yard.  As always it was so good to see them!  As luck would have it, there was a craft show and spaghetti feed going on at the activity center so that took care of lunch.  Late in the afternoon we went to Wickenburg to visit our friend Jill and her son Fritz who were at Jill and Terry’s newly purchased house for a few days.  Then it was to the Tasty Freez for pizza.  While at the restaurant Larry’s phone rang–seems Emmi was howling in the RV and the neighbors were concerned something was wrong with her–no, she is just a spoiled brat and it’s a good thing we live in the middle of nowhere both in Montana and Arizona!

Sunday we just relaxed and visited–Larry’s sister Deb and her husband Merv were also visiting from Minnesota–we’ve met them before and it was good to see them again.  We also paid Jim, Ellie and the new pooch Baxter a visit–we missed seeing Mike and Pat–they had gone to church and we ran out of time.  In the evening Geri and Larry hosted a potluck for all our ATVing friends.  It was so good to see all those folks–it’s been a while!

About 8am Monday morning we said our goodbyes and headed down the road.  It was such a relief to stop driving.  Our little house summered well and our caretaker Milton did a fantastic job this summer!  We’ve partially unpacked and are now relaxing with the heat on–can you believe that–but it is after all winter, even in Arizona!

Almost Ready

I think I could be perfectly happy to never see another snowflake! We have about eight inches on the ground and more falling–I went to Billings today for one last good haircut and the roads were totally clear from the Boulder Road all the way to Billings.  Seems we might have been right in the eye of this snowstorm.  It’s so icy and slippery–I slip and slid always worrying about falling.  At our age falling on the ice isn’t a good thing!

Monday we stayed home–can you believe it??  We packed and packed some more until we were both exhausted.  I’m thinking one house and a small RV which isn’t big enough to hold anything would be the way to go???  Tuesday we had to be in town before the garbage truck came to Nat’s.  We also were planning on a dump run but had our hours crossed–the dump isn’t open on Tuesday.

Billings was busy today–it almost seemed as if it was Christmas there were so many people out and about.  Do you have cable TV?  Nat had cable TV through Spectrum.  When we called to cancel the service we were told the equipment had to be returned in order for us to receive a refund.  So today I took the equipment to the Spectrum offices in Billings.  Six people waiting in line, two customer service reps helping two other people.  As I waited, more people came in behind me.  I walked up to the counter and politely asked if they could locate some help as the line was getting long.  The woman was very rude and told me, “no, there are just the two of us.”  I told her, “well, my time is way more valuable than to wait in line at a cable company, I will leave this box of stuff over here out of the way and you can process it at your leisure.”  I wrote Nat’s name and account number on top of the box and walked out. I called Spectrum on the way to my hair appointment and the customer service rep who answered the phone was a jewel.  We had been told we either had to return the equipment to the nearest service center–Billings–or drop it at the nearest UPS Store–Livingston.  The helpful customer service rep was very apologetic that the original phone rep had not told me they would send a prepaid box for the equipment.  So, so very glad I do NOT have cable! UGH!

We’ve slogged around in the snow and ice all afternoon packing–without the motorhome and its heat we can’t load some things until the last minute–such as my house plants.  I only have two small ones and they’ve always traveled with us but then it’s been a few years since we’ve left in a snowstorm at a predicted 16 degrees!

Soon we will be seeing sunshine!

Still Busy

Whew!  Friday morning was spent recovering from jet lag–going to the east coast just wears me out!  Friday afternoon we went to town–attorney’s office, bank, etc.  There are lots of decisions to be made at a time such as this.

A watery rainbow. Every day since I came home we’ve had rain/snow–not much but just enough to keep everything wet and muddy.

Saturday we spent in town at Nat’s house cleaning, tossing, boxing–the Cowboy’s daughter Shannen and her family came from Billings to help and they were a tremendous help!  It’s a relief to point someone in the right direction and they just go without needing a lot of direction.  We treated them to a late lunch then left for the day with a sense of relief that chore was behind us.

Today the Cowboy and I enjoyed a late breakfast and then began moving the stuff we brought home from Nat’s in the small cargo trailer into the horse trailer we are taking to Arizona.  Yes, we are not taking our new to us motorhome.  With all the stress of Nat’s last days and death the Cowboy wasn’t able to get everything fixed the way he wanted in the motorhome.  He’s not comfortable starting out on a 1500 mile journey in an unproven motorhome–we’ve never spent even one night in it and only drove it home, parking it in the driveway.  So we will travel to Arizona in the truck pulling the aluminum horse trailer we purchased last year.  All is well.

As we were unpacking some of the boxes from Nat’s I found the baby monitor type camera we purchased so Nat could signal to Barb in her bedroom that he needed assistance.  I suddenly had a bad feeling–in all the tossing on Saturday I remembered seeing a little white box and cord–I thought it was an old style answering machine and tossed it!!!  Luckily we hadn’t taken all the trash bags to the dump so we spent some time going through trash bags today–and found the monitor for the camera in the third bag–yeah!!

Our weather is about to deteriorate–snow is coming and very cold temps.  We are ready for some warm weather and sunshine!


Home Sweet Home

My plane arrived 45 minutes early in Bozeman just after noon today–I had to wait a bit for the Cowboy and one excited little pooch.  Ten days is a long time to be gone especially during this time–I am very glad to be back in Montana with my little family.

Last Monday I flew from Little Rock to Fort Lauderdale, Florida.  Once a year my Kimberly-Clark nurse friends have a gathering–we each take a turn hosting–last year was my turn and we were in Tucson.  Elaine was hostess this year–she and her husband Mark have a time share condo in West Palm Beach, Florida.  There are four of us–Elaine, Shirley, Kelly and myself–unfortunately Shirley was unable to join us this year.

Tuesday Elaine had planned a nature hike at the just down the road John D. MacArthur Beach State Park.  Valarie was our ranger/guide and our group consisted of only two other people.  The guided hike was awesome–Valarie was so knowledgeable about the sea turtles and other animals plus all the native trees and bushes.  She also had a sense of humor–right at the beginning of her talk she said, “we are going to have a little fun before we start, come over here.”  There was a HUGE spider in its web just off the deck of the visitor center.  She had us stand with the spider in front of our faces–I WAS NOT in any way close to that spider–WARNING–this photo just looks as if I was really close.  We all had a good time posing with Mrs. Spider who according to Valarie had all ready eaten her mate, laid her eggs and was dying.

Look at the weight on these sea turtles–the park is a prime nesting ground for both the Leatherback and Loggerhead turtles–seeing a turtle nest hatch is on my bucket list.

We enjoyed lunches out, the resort amenities such as the hot tub, and the company of great friends.  We strolled on the beach and shopped just a bit.  The days went by too fast and it was time for Kelly and me to head back to the airport in Fort Lauderdale–we spent last night in an airport hotel as we both had early flights.

Our two little Halloween monsters–Brooks and Millie.

Now it’s time to get ready for our departure to Arizona.  We will be busy the next few days.

We’ve Been Busy

We’ve been busy to say the least!! Friday morning Mom and I drove to Little Rock for shopping and lunch. Friday evening was rehearsal dinner at Ross and Vicky’s–my brother and sister-in-law. We had a fantastic meal after the rehearsal and lots of help made quick work of the cleanup.

Saturday evening after much work on the part of both bride and groom families, we had a wedding–in a hay field right as the sun sank behind the trees. Hannah was a stunning bride and my nephew was looking mighty handsome too! The second photo is Vicky and my other nephew Trenton who was best man. Third photo is me, my Mom, brother Ross, and my sister Ann.

It was a beautiful wedding and the happy couple were on their way to Cancun today.

Today the rest of the family headed off to church–it was “pastor appreciation day” and my BIL Danny is the pastor. And their church gifted them with a money tree–proving money does grow on trees!!

While the family was at church I once again drove to Little Rock to return some boots I purchased and then on to Benton. Remember our good friends Gina and Rollie? Their daughter and her family now live in Benton and Gina just happened to be at their house this week. We haven’t seen Gina and Rollie in a while–it was so good to see her! We had a great visit and I enjoyed seeing their son-in-law Parker along with the two grandchildren–Jolee and Job. Was sorry to miss Dr. Ashley–she was working.

And, last but not least today was my great niece Leah’s birthday. One of her presents–

a dinosaur costume–why you might ask–we have no idea but she was having fun with it and we laughed so hard watching her have fun!!

The Cowboy and Emmi are holding down the fort–they all went out to dinner last night–daughter Shannen and her family plus Lonn, Katie, Michael and the babies. Tomorrow morning I head to Florida and on Thursday back home to Montana–I am ready!

Home In Arkansas

The airline powers that be cooperated and I had uneventful flights on Monday arriving in Arkansas thirty minutes early. Barb was kind enough to take me to the airport so the Cowboy could meet with the tire shop guy–our motor home flat tire is now fixed but we need a couple new lug bolts–if it’s not one thing, it is another.

We eat well in Arkansas–homemade soups, breakfast frittatas, etc.–and I’m sure as wedding preparations go, we will eat more and well.

Wednesday my sister decided our mother’s house needed a little maintenance. Here in the land of heat and humidity this green stuff called mold accumulates on anything left outside including house siding. Out came the buckets, hoses, brushes, bleach and Tide–Ann and I knocked out that job in a couple hours.

Danny and Ann also needed to do a little maintenance on their own house while the cats supervised.

This is where I grew up–my brother Ross now owns the farm raising cattle as my grandfather did.

Today Ann, Niki and I wandered to Little Rock for a little shopping and lunch. Mom had an early dinner ready so Danny and Ann could go watch their granddaughter cheer at the local football game. I am a fair weather (it’s raining) great aunt so I stayed home to visit with Mom and Chuck. My niece Niki took some of these photos with my camera.

Nat died this afternoon–we are relieved his suffering has ended. Nat and his great great grandson Brooks.

More Beautiful Fall Weather

Our temps have reached near 70 degrees for the last few days–chilly mornings, sunny and warm afternoons–perfect weather–now if I could only find a place where the weather is this perfect year round!

Saturday we stayed home and puttered.  I quilted and finished a little quilt for Jeane.  The Cowboy worked on various motorhome projects.  It’s amazing what that man can do–the front windshield curtain in this motorhome is operated by an electric motorhome and the previous owners told us it didn’t work–one of the ONLY things they told us didn’t work!!  The motor does work, it just needs to be re-wired–someone unhooked the wiring???  The shower glass wall is curved with a curved hanging door.  It’s bearings are worn and thus the door was always in danger of falling off–not good–it’s glass!  The previous owners’ answer to this problem was to remove the door and place it on the bed every time they moved–not happening!  So, the Cowboy is using his lathe to create new bearings–he is amazing.

Sunday Nat rallied to a certain extent and we gathered at his house.  It’s a roller coaster to say the least.  Nat was a bomber on a B29 aircraft named Flak Alley Sally during World War II–when I Googled the plane name this photo popped up.  We also have a copy of this photo or a similar one in Nat’s things.  Nat is in the second row, far left.

Monday we ran errands in town, dropping off Jeane’s quilt and making various other stops.  Tuesday morning I am heading to Arkansas–I’ve been torn about whether to go or stay and the Cowboy wants me to go.  This is a trip that has been planned and tickets purchased for a long time.  My nephew Clayton is getting married Saturday evening.  On the Monday after the wedding I am traveling to West Palm Beach, Florida for my yearly gathering with my Kimberly-Clark Corp. nurse friends.  It’s a long time to be gone but I can always jump on a plane and come home–so I am going and I can’t wait to see my family.

My little bunny quilt–now it needs to be quilted.

Chinese Cooking Class

Almost all our leaves are gone and the ones left have a brownish rather than gold tint. Our weather this week has been amazing–it was 70 degrees with sunshine today!

The high school in Big Timber offers adult education classes during the school term.  We are usually in Arizona by the time the classes start but this year is different.  One of the classes offered was a Chinese appetizer cooking class to be held at the private home of a talented local cook.  Tom and Lynn’s kitchen is every cook’s dream kitchen–huge industrial stove and hood, stainless steel sink and counter tops–gorgeous!  We chopped, stir fried, sipped wine, dipped and sampled.  We learned how to make egg rolls and fried wantons–Chinese food is a lot of work! And the egg rolls and wantons are deep fat fried–not exactly healthy–but delicious!  There were five “students” and we enjoyed ourselves immensely.  We don’t drive much at night any longer–doesn’t that make me sound old!!–and I slowly drove back up the Boulder dodging the deer and elk to find dear husband waiting up for me.

We’ve spent a lot of time at Nat’s the last few days–Nat’s life is ebbing away.  Our small family has been gathering at his bedside off and on.  Jenn and Barb have been providing such tender, loving care for Nat.  It’s a hard time for Nat’s family but he’s lived a good life and is ready to go.

Today we took some time and went to Billings.  The Cowboy received his Shingrix vaccine at Costco and we both got the flu vaccine.  We had a good lunch at Jake’s, shopped a little and came home.  I’ve loaded a quilt on the frame and the Cowboy examined the backs of his eyelids.  He’s not having any side effects so far from his Shingrix vaccine other than a sore arm–a good thing!

Grubby hat, grubby coat but still my favorite Cowboy on a chilly fall morning.