Friday, November 28, 2008

A Truly Wonderful Thanksgiving

Mo and Lisa set straight away at freeing the turkey from the brine. They put together a nice rub and slathered the bird with spices, oils and butter. The oven was heated and the turkey landed safely at 11:20 am. The room immediately filled with the smells of thanksgiving. The meal was on. I can not take any credit for the meal as I was assigned to the children. Traci and Lisa methodically prepared the side dishes all day, each one adding its own fragrance to the over all olfactory print of our thanksgiving day.

Meanwhile the children swam. They started out with video and computer games, tv shows, and arguments but after Adam arrived they all wanted some pool time. Adam is Mo's nephew and Lana's son. Mo and Lana are friends of Lisa's from the Chandler area. The kids had splash fights and chased each other all around the pool. It was a definite change from Novembers in Illinois. The closest I can come to this is when we were at Uncle Bill's and Aunt Dawn's house and the kids took us out to swing over the creek on a rope. The creek was full of water but it wasn't heated.
The kids could have stayed in the pool all day long but the meal was getting closer to being ready to eat and we had to come inside.
The kids showered and cleaned up while the finishing touches were put on the meal. Everything was finally ready, 5:30 pm and we could sit down, say grace and partake in a feast built for the appetite of a fighting army. Only my appetite had suffered a major assault from an earlier attack called hummus and bread with cheese, beef and thyme.

When Lana arrived she brought with her some delightful hummus and flat breads topped with various things. One had colby cheese, another had a beef and onion mixture, and yet another had a mix of thyme sesame seeds and oil. These were tasty snacks and allowed themselves to easy eating. We all ate several of these not remembering the forty two pounds of food cooking in every appliance available in the kitchen. We ate and then ate a little more, then we got out the big meal
I thank God I have been given a stomach that is pliable to the needs of politeness. I had to eat a little of everything on the table. I even went to have second helpings on nearly everything. I was stuffed much like the bird had been earlier. I did get the honor of carving and serving the turkey. We had an interesting evening of foods, conversation and uno playing. On looking back this day I realize we have a great family and friends. Although we missed everyone during the holiday we made a new memory.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

ABC Family: 25 Days of Christmas: Snowglobe

ABC Family: 25 Days of Christmas: Snowglobe

Happy Thanksgiving

We send our love and best wishes to all of our friends and family. Everyone be safe in your travels and stuff yourselves silly. We are preparing turkey gobble here at our place today with Lisa and some of her friends. I don't know enough about the meal preparation to tell too much but Traci and Lisa did brine the turkey yesterday and it's been soaking all night in a brine that smells delicious. It smells like a soup of spices with rosemary, thyme, bay leaf. It has a wonderful golden bron appearance. It's tempting to try the brine by itself.
As of 10:30am no turkey has been heated. This concerns me a little, I see wine, bloody mary mix and beers but no hot turkey. Growing up my saintly mother would have everyone insane with the aromas of cooking and baking foods. Today I woke up and everyone else was still in bed at 9 am. There were no aromas of browning meat in the oven, no scents of sweet pies filtering through the savory stuffing smells. I did make coffee providing my nostrils with some degree of olfactory satisfaction but it's not quite the same and it worries me just a little. We may not eat until tomorrow making this thanksgiving day more like an eat more festival weekend.
I am seeing hummingbirds go after the flowers. The temperature is at least 65 if not 70. There is green on all the plants. This certainly does not feel like Thanksgiving. I would turn on a parade or football game but the kids are watching cartoons.
The place is sorely lacking our closest family and friends. The weather, no food, hummingbirds, all this can be tolerated. The sting is most from looking around the house without seeing the familiar faces smiling back at us. We miss everyone dearly. Please have a wonderful holiday, be safe, we'll be thinking of you all.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Bouldering in Arizona

The girls and I are enjoying our time outdoors climbing over large rocks and playing in the dirt. (Sophie)
Savannah and I usually enjoy about 20 minutes of anxiety at the onset of our hikes. We search ground and rock walls for scorpions and rattlesnakes. We are continuously on the lookout for nasty spiders and other creatures that might launch themselves at our "Victorian" feminine frames. After a while we settle into the hike and began noticing the textures of the canyon and colors of the rocks against the deep blue sky. Once we notice the beauty we forget to fear the creepy crawlies and enjoy ourselves... that is until a horrific and humongous wasp,(pollen puff) attacks Savannah whom then screams in panic, lunges behind her baby brother, and hurls her lollipop at the evildoer.
Once our adrenaline levels drop off we once again, pick up on the magnificent wonders of nature. And we are thankful that the dear boys in our family coax us to go out with them and enjoy the adventures of bouldering.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

No Boulders.

I had the great idea to go to another bouldering spot today, Queen Creek Canyon. I had read some about it on an online climbing forum. The Phoenix Bouldering Comp is held here. I thought it would be a great time for us to hike around the canyon and get on some rocks. My initial instinct was to ask around the local REI about the area but I had failed to get this done. We loaded the kids and headed east on Arizona highway 60
We pulled off into a campground called Oak Flats and found it to be barren desert floor populated with a robust Hispanic family. A hiker came out of the desert and Traci politely implored of the location of any hiking trails or rock climbing areas. The hiker had just wandered through the area for his first time ever and couldn't find any trails to follow. I gently probed the Hispanic family, interrupting a rousing game of horseshoes and had the same answer, no trails or climbing that we know of. The females were perched in lawn chairs on a small rise of rock. The older males were tossing horseshoes while a charcoal grill flamed in the fore distance. There were ten children of various ages chasing each other around the camp site. They looked like they were having a great family outing and were pleasant.

We had driven the mine road past the camp on our initial foray into the area and had seen several cars parked along the side of the road at little turn out gravel areas. Traci humored me and agreed to investigate these areas for evidence of rock climbing fortunes. We parked, exited the vehicle and began walking toward what was clearly a canyon. There appeared to be a makeshift broken line of gravel I would call a trail and began to present this option to Traci to explore a little of the canyon. Traci, looking down about 6-9 feet into the canyon had visions of her precious children careening their bloodied bodies off the rock onto the canyon floor crying "mommy why did you let him do this to us?" We couldn't find it and Traci had her mother brain going in high gear so there was not the option of "looking" for the awesomely challenging bouldering routes.

The time was passing quickly, someone called out a need for a potty break and we headed back to Superior, Arizona. At the western edge of town was The Buckboard Restaurant home of the world's smallest museum and we struck into the joint. We were seated, those of us needing went to use the facilities, and we ordered lunch. We ate hamburgers, Sophia a grilled cheese, french fries all around. Traci and I fought for Shane's side of ranch to dip our rise into. Shane would then charge us a french fry for each dip into the salad dressing. The meal was forty dollars. I asked the hostess if she knew of any good rock climbing. She said people would park on the side of the road on the little gravel lot just beyond the tunnel and somehow they got onto the rocks. She said she had never done it herself but has seen several cars parked there and several people on the rocks.

We left the restaurant, drove through the tunnel and parked the car. Bellies were full, bladders were empty and it was time to get into this canyon. I poked around the edge of the parking lot and saw a small trail heading into the canyon. Traci muttered a slight disapproval but I was already heading down the trail with at least one child on tow. The trail looked more frightful than it was unsafe and we arrived intact on the canyon floor. We ended up hiking through the floor of the canyon and had a great time. The area is strewn with various sized rocks to climb over throughout the bed of the creek. This creek bed is mostly shades of grey while the canyon walls are red littered with deciduous trees, cacti and various weeds. It was colorful.
As I wrote this Sophia cranked her poor little head on the conrner of the coffee table and instantly developed a bright purple knot. Poor Sophie! So the next few pics we send she will probably look like the survivor of a brawl.