Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Pull Pork and Abba Fab Concert

With us leaving for Colorado this coming Friday, we have some social activities we want to have.  One was having some of the condo complex over for a barbecue. 

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We weren’t sure how many people would show up so we planned for 20 to be sure…we actually had 13…Jim had the ten pound pork butt on the grill at 6 a.m.

 

It came out a.m.a.z.i.n.g!!!! Jim’s best yet!!!

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The burnt ends were so tasty.  After a little pulling we had a huge pile of pulled pork keeping warm in the slow cooker.

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At 1 p.m. everyone came over with side dishes and we had a fun time together

Pull Pork and Abba Fab

We had about a hour to clean up and rest and then it was off to the Sun Bowl for another Sunday outdoor concert.  These are all “tribute” Sunday night it was Abba Fab.  It was by far the best concert yet this season.  This band was so professional and sounded so close to the music of Abba, it was amazing.

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There had to have been 150 people dancing in front of the band stand…..out of about 5 to 6,000 people in the audience.  Attendance was down because so many snowbirds have already left town.

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We had a wonderful, fun filled evening under the stars. It was great seeing all the gray-haired older folk clapping in time to the music, swaying and singing along.  We had a great time.

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Remember, you are loved.

Friday, April 24, 2015

An Evening of Downton

Our friends, Diane and Jim, belong to Next Gen club which is a social club that go together to various activities such as bowling, golf, eating out, a night of games, happy hours, attend museum events or go sightseeing to name a few things.  Although operated by membership under 67, they welcome “affiliates” for the 67+ population of Sun City.

Next Gen hosted an a night to Experience Downton and Diane asked if I’d like to go with her. DSCN5507 I am a huge Downton Abbey fan so of course I said yes.  The evening came complete with a tea.  We were asked to bring a tea cup to truly appreciate the tea…much better than tea in a styrofoam cup. When we arrived this was the beautiful table that greeted us…white gloves, tea cups and all…..

 

There was a media presentation showing You Tube summarized clips of the five seasons, plus a “test” to see how much we all know about the series…we got them all….we’re fans after all.

After the media presentation we were served Earl Grey tea and a proper tea plate of petite cake, nuts, chocolate and huge strawberries with whipped cream.

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It was a wonderful evening that I thoroughly enjoyed. Jim and I are thinking to joining Next Gen ourselves.  We like the idea of a group doing different activities together that meet more than just once or twice a month.  We’ll see….

Remember, you are loved.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Road Trip to Goodyear and Others

We’ve been sticking pretty close to the condo the last few days because of the heat.  But yesterday we were getting a little restless and decided to take a road trip somewhere…we decided to go south.  Wanting to see the countryside we chose not to take the interstate and just drove the back roads.

We were surprised to see fields and fields of flowers! Who knew they grew flowers in the desert of Arizona.  I wonder how those are harvested being so fragile?  Soon we found ourselves in Avondale…pretty busy town with all the box stores.  Saw a sign that an Angry Crab restaurant was coming soon to a former Egg and Me, so I looked up Angry Crab and will definitely be checking that out this fall.  Angry Crab had great reviews on Yelp and we love seafood.

Next up was Goodyear.  There was a lots and lots of housing communities…and then I remembered that amazon.com had a fulfillment center in Goodyear.  But first we saw a distribution center for Macy’s and then another distribution center for Walmart….very big.  Finally we saw five huge buildings close together and then saw the sign for amazon.com.  That is definitely a big operation.

A little further down the road we came to Buckeye.  This is another up and coming town along side I-10, with some interesting shops.

Having been gone three hours we decided to take the interstate back to Sun City.  Got on I-10 and saw the sign that there was a Firehouse Sub at the next exit…off we went. 

We’ve only been to one Firehouse Sub before and that was in Foley, Alabama, recommended by fellow RVers, and really enjoyed it, so we didn’t want to miss a chance to eat there again.  It was founded by actual firefighters and each restaurant’s interior d├ęcor is the turnout gear, retired equipment and photographs of the local fire department….in this case, it was of the Buckeye Fire Department. 

The food was very good (I like hot subs) and enjoyed chatting with the manager as he made the rounds of the tables talking with customers.  I think there is a Firehouse Sub in Peoria which is closer to us and we plan to eat there again.

Later back home Jim barbecued some chicken hide quarters, but being still full from lunch, we just picked at it.  We’ll probably eat it tonight.  Seems like we can only eat one big meal a day.  If we go out for lunch there’s no dinner that night.  If we have a big breakfast we usually skip lunch and eat a small dinner.  Must be an “older person” thing…many of our friends only eat one real meal a day.  I’m working towards eating our big meal at lunch. 

That was our fun day, what did you do yesterday?

Remember, you are loved.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Blossoms

We have never been in Arizona when things were in bloom. Since we are staying longer this year, we are especially excited to see the cacti bloom.  All these photos were taken right here in our condo complex.

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I love hibiscus plants….they remind me of my childhood years growing up in Florida.   Before we moved in I told Jim I wanted a couple of hibiscus plants for the patio.  I didn’t know then that there were two plants already outside.

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There are an assortment of other tropical-type plants all around the complex.

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Here you can see all the cactus “babies”

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This honeysuckle plant cascades over the wall and smells so good when you walk by…especially at night.

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Don’t know what these purple bush is but it’s pretty

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What’s this? I like the red accents on these yellow flowers.

It is so, so nice to drive around town and see everything in bloom….so eye catching.  Makes you smile, just seeing the flowers everywhere.

Remember, you are loved.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Brunch and Time in a Bottle Concert

At the last complex happy hour we heard about a Mexican Sunday buffet in nearby El Mirage, just west of Sun City.  It’s called Rio Mirage and we were very impressed.  The interior is very tastefully decorated in bright colors with fancy booths. 

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The buffet is set up on a couple of long tables with steam trays.  There was a good selection of Mexican food from enchilada to chile relleno to  huevos ranchero and tacos along with refried beans and rice.  It was really good.

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As we were leaving I found out why the tortillas were so good…..there was a lovely lady hand making them…yum

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We attended another outdoor concert at the Sun Bowl last night.  The concert was of 70s music with the popular songs of the time from Jim Croce, Carole King, Gordon Lightfoot, etc.  The female singer said Carole King had been a big influence in her life since she was 10 years old….”which is more than half my lifetime”….the audience uttered a collective sigh….she wasn’t even 20 years old singing 40 year old music….UGH!

The place was full or over full to capacity with another 8,000 people in attendance.  Place was really packed.

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It’s fun to watch all the people dancing in front of the stage

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As we left we stopped to take a photo of the line of golf carts parking area….yes, a lot of people here use golf carts as a second vehicle taking it to town to shop or going to a rec center.

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Then we saw this beauty….it’s called a golf car. No place for golf clubs in this one. This golf car was fashioned like a 30’s car….pretty neat.

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The concert was nice but the memories the music conjured up were even better.

Remember, you are loved.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Lazy Days

That’s what we’ve been experiencing the last few days.  I went to my Thursday and Friday knitting groups.  I’ve come home and had lunch, took a nap, watched some TV then it’s time to cook dinner, more TV and then bed.

Real exciting, right?

Jim usually does all the grocery shopping and he does a good portion of the cooking also…usually breakfast and grilling dinner….I do the rest.

Here’s last night’s dinner….tacos

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Jim made breakfast this morning for me…asparagus and mushroom with eggs, hash browns and raisin toast….so good!

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Then tonight I used the leftover hamburger from yesterday and made taco salad for dinner tonight.  This is my favorite meal….love taco salad!

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I need to get involved in more activities.  It’s pathetic that I have to make a blog post of my homemade meals.

OK, what should it be silversmith, lapidary, stain glass, calligraphy, pottery, clay works, weaving, painting, etc.  We have decided to go swimming a few times a week, I even bought swim shoes…we’ll see.

Remember, you are loved.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Deacons Come a Call-in

Sunday we got a call from Rich and Terri Deacon saying they had decided to buy a lot at the Rover's Roost, an Escapees Coop Park, in Casa Grande.  They were driving from Monte Vista, Colorado, Monday to sign the papers and then wanted to drive to Sun City to visit us.

So yesterday they drove over, checked into a motel and came to sit on our patio and have a cool one…or two…or…

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We drove them around town a little and showed them a couple of the recreation centers.  Then we came back to the condo and cooked up our Easter dinner that we didn’t eat last Sunday.  The ham, scalloped potatoes (thank you Roberta for the recipe) and what we call “Glorified Bean Casserole”, our daughter, Christine’s recipe of fresh green beans, asparagus, mushrooms, onions, bacon, and topped with cheese.

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We talked into the night, enjoying these dear friends as much as we could.  Jim and Rich have known each other for over 35 years when Jim sold bread to Rich at Safeway grocery store…lots of history together.  Plus we all began camphosting together in 2007 and have been close ever since.

This morning we had The Deacons over for breakfast before they hit the road back to New Mexico and Colorado.  I forgot to take a photo but the leftover ham went great with Jim’s scrambled eggs and homemade biscuits.

We said goodbye with a selfie…..

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We plan to see a lot of The Deacons this summer in South Fork were they are the managers at South Fork Campground, a great little commercial campground on the shores of the Rio Grande River.

Remember, you are loved…..too!

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Fried Chicken

is what I made for dinner last night.  Homemade fried chicken is a real favorite of ours, but I don’t cook it very often because (a.  it’s not very good for you, fried food and all and (b. it’s messy to do, especially in an RV.  But since we now have a larger kitchen now in the condo, I made it. 

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I doubled dipped the chicken in flour, egg wash and then back in the flour again.  Then I put it on cookie sheets to dry out a little and adhere to the chicken to make sure the crust didn’t fall off when frying.  After 30 minutes I fried it up in batches….didn’t take too long as I cut the chicken up in smaller pieces.  There wasn’t too much mess as I clean and put away as I go. 

And, oh boy, did that chicken taste good!!!! Can’t compare to the deep fried stuff you get at the grocery store.  Shallow fat frying just tastes better.

We sat outside on the patio and ate dinner with a salad….mighty fine!

Remember, you are loved.

Monday, April 6, 2015

Jim Has a Spot

on the side of his head that hasn’t healed so he FINALLY went to see a dermatologist and they did a biopsy….yes, it came back cancerous. 

They also froze a few spot on the top of his head. Next step is the doctor’s office to call with a date for surgery….then we wait.  We figure we’ll be here till toward the end of the month for the surgery and a follow-up.

So the first thing after the doctor’s appointment was sending Jim out to get a wide-brimmed hat…doctor’s orders.  He went to Cabela’s and this is what he came home with….damn cute, don’t you agree?

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We continue to live with unusual heat in Arizona.  Where it is usually in the low 80s, we have been dealing with mid-90s.  We haven’t had to put the a/c on very often, being able to stay cool with using just the ceiling fans. 

We’ve really enjoyed our winter here in west Arizona as it is the warmest winter we’ve experienced since we got on the road in 2007.  We especially like to have our morning coffee out on the patio.  It’s been delightful.

Remember, you are loved.

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Easter 2015

We woke up early and went to sunrise service at the Sun Bowl.  We got there about 6:20 a.m. as we didn’t know how many people would be attending.  It was pretty scarce….. but this shot gives you an idea of the grassed terraced levels from the top of the hill down to the band shell.  It is very pretty.

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but by 7 a.m. it was filled out….

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The service was put on by the United Church of Christ congregation….it was very fine…..we may have to check out this church next Sunday.

After the service we went to Golden Corral for breakfast.  It was decent and we enjoyed it.

Soon after we got home Janette next door came over with some of her Frito pie….we tasted a little and oh, my, it was delicious.  I immediately phoned her with our compliments and begging for the recipe.  Yes, it was that good.

I had planned to make our usual big Easter dinner of ham, scalloped potatoes and asparagus and green bean casserole just for us, but, alas, we are both too full.  Guess it will be Day After Easter Dinner!!!

Remember, you are loved.

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Next Door Neighbors

We have been very lucky with having very nice next door neighbors. This is Sueanna (yes, that’s the correct spelling) and her sister, Janette.  We had them over for happy hour last night.

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They are quirky and crazy like us so we get along well.  We yell at each other over the patio wall and they talk to Poncho over the wall when we are gone for the afternoon and he is barking.  They also have a dog so understand what it is like to have to leave them alone at home at times.

The unit on the other side of us has been unoccupied for a number of years, so that hasn’t been a problem.  Most people don’t use their front doors at all….they all get in their vehicles through their garages, so there isn’t much traffic in the court yard.

Jim and I figure we aught to open the garage door, put out some chairs and a table with loud-ish music and see who comes into the ally to investigate, then invite them to join us for a happy hour.  What do you think?  Would that work in getting to meet more of our neighbors?

It has been unseasonably hot the last couple of weeks with temps in the mid 90’s.  We have adapted and only put the a/c on for a few hours in the hottest part of the day which here is between 2 and 5 p.m.  It will be interesting to see how much that will increase our electricity bill.

That’s it for today…hope I can keep you interested in reading this blog with short, not too interesting posts like this….we’ll see.

Remember, you are loved.
Read the story behind this saying HERE

Friday, April 3, 2015

Visiting with Friends Continues

Since we have returned from Escapade in Tucson, we have continued our whirlwind of activities with friends in the area.

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The day after our return in March 15th, Diane and Jim invited us over to their Sun City home for dinner.  They are such gracious hosts.

 

Later that week our long time friends (30 years) Diane and Tom stopped over for dinner as they were driving through the area.  They’ve been fulltimers for a few years now and we kind of nudge them along the way. They are dear friends and we are so happy they are on the road now.

Wartmans 3.2015 DSCN5367Diane just learned how to do Swedish weaving.

Look at her first beautiful project

Then on March 21st my old boss from Alamosa and now our friends, Heinz, and his wife, Angela, came here during their spring break (Angela is a school district nurse).  We enjoyed a laid back week together grilling, watching races and ball games on TV, and just visiting.  They both have very high pressure jobs and they wanted to just “veg”, so we kept it low key without a lot of running around.

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The day after their arrival we did go to Sun Bowl for a free concert with a Tribute to Peter, Paul and Mary.  Later they said there was 8,000 people attending.  They were very good and we all had a good time singing to the old, familiar songs.

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On their last day we did venture out to Lake Pleasant and viewed the marina and campground.

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From there we drove on up to Wickenburg

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Jail Tree where they cuffed inmates because they didn’t have a jail
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Manikin showing cuffs. Continual recording told the story.
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Pretty couple
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Largest paddle cacti I’ve seen

We stopped at Anita’s Cocina for lunch….pretty good.

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On our return to Sun City we went to Trader Joes to show them around and then to Sprouts for some large steaks and chicken for dinner. Sprouts has an old-fashioned butcher shop with Choice grass-fed beef. We got 2 1/2 inch rib eye steaks and asparagus and cheese stuffed chicken breast for Angela and me.

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Heinz anticipating his first bite of steak…look at that smirk.
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I really do need to find a way to get into these photos

Too soon it was time to say goodbye to Heinz and Angela….we will see them a lot this summer though and will be camping together a lot.

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The following Sunday we went to Mesa to have lunch with Lee and Edie…Yummy lunch.

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Then Monday we had Bernie and Dodo over for happy hour and dinner. These two beloved friends are so much fun to be around.  Bernie has me laughing the whole time.

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Bernie is known at Betty’s RV Park as the Fireball King …. he brought his own
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Tuesday we met with Jean and John for lunch. We took them to Brenda’s Kitchen, now our favorite restaurant in town. We met this couple while working at amazon.com in Campbellton, Kentucky in 2010 and have kept in touch ever since.  We’ll continue to see each other on the road.

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Weeeee, that’s been our last 2 1/2 weeks.  We are so fortunate to have had six couples come to see our condo and visit with us.  It’s been a blessing.

Although I have been battling a terrible cold, we have also enjoyed going to two art shows, a car show, a presentation on Arizona Pioneer Women and gone to an RV Club meeting.  There is no sitting around here in Sun City…..we are always on the go.

Remember, you are loved.