Tuesday Tidbits #10

Last week a bunch of us jumped into our 4 wheel drive Jeeps and/or trucks to explore an area of Arizona called Agua Fria National Monument which is filled with Native American Pit Ruins. Pit ruins are the ancient rock dwellings of the Hohokam Tribe. We found many dwellings but we were really in search of PETROGLYPHS!

As you can see we found them. But it took some climbing to get to them.

So what are Petroglyphs?

Petroglyphs were made by Native Americans who carved, chiseled, scraped drawings into the rocks near to where they once lived. No one really knows the exact interpretations of them. Only the individuals who made them really have the answer to their drawings. Some can be a spiritual, religious, visionary or dreams of the individual who made them.

Here you can see a cat chasing an animal… no one knows for sure what this Hohokam was trying to tell us except that he may have seen a Bobcat or Mountain Lion hunting for his dinner that day.

The Petroglyphs in Agua Fria National Monument are all of the Hohokam Style dating back to 300 AD to 1300 AD.

Here we see animals (bighorn sheep, deer, snakes) along with a people.

People hand in hand shows friendship according to Native Americans.

Deer…

You can see that the Petroglyphs were found all along the canyon wall. There wasn’t a trail… so much climbing was involved. This was a beautiful example of a deer. Sweet Man is making sure I see it.

A snake? …but it also can symbolize migration. Many tribes used this symbol to show their migration from North, South, West and East until they circled back to where they called it home.

A nice example of deer and big horn sheep and how we had to climb among the rocks!

The temperatures were chilly so the threat of snakes was low. But I did find this snake skin…

We were thrilled with how many we found along the canyon wall.

These were found in the same area but are not of animals… the four direction symbol usually represents… four sacred mountains or four sacred crops or four stages of life or directions of north, south, east and west. It could even mean the four seasons.

This is not the only place in Agua Fria National Monument where we saw Petroglyphs.

The image below was not any where near Agua Fria NM. Is it a snake or the Migration symbol?

And Sweet Man and I visited Painted Rock near Dateland, AZ. This was an amazing area filled of boulders covered in Petroglyphs.

And we also saw Newspaper Rock in Canyonlands National Park in Utah.

There are millions of Petroglyphs in Arizona. The Anasazi, the Hohokam, the Navajo, the Hopi, the Apache and many more tribes… all have different styles.

We had a great day exploring!

Have you ever seen Petroglyphs? Would you like to see them out in the Wild, Wild West? I’d love to hear from you. Thanks for coming along on our adventure!

Until Next Time ~Nancy

Tuesday Tidbits #9

Mexican Hot Chocolate

Have you ever had Mexican Hot Chocolate? It’s rich and delicious! When there’s a chill in the air I make us some of the heavenly treat.

First you need a mug that can hold a lot!😊

A wooden Molinillo is also needed. It’s a wooden whisk.

Don’t forget the Mexican Chocolate.

I purchased mine at our local grocery store. It can also be found online.

Take one chocolate tablet…

and place it in a sandwich bag and break it up into pieces. I use my rolling pin.

Heat 4 cups of milk in a pot. When it’s warm add ALL the broken up chocolate.

Stir constantly…

Pour this rich deliciousness into a mug and enjoy! Add some cookies and you have the perfect treat!

I like to pour the rest in my handmade pitcher that keeps it hot until I want more.

A Castle Ride

It’s always good to get out in the desert. It clears our minds and refreshes the soul.

We gather our friends, in the early morning hours, and off we go.

There’s always a plan …on where we go. We all love to explore.

We have had more rain then usual so the desert has been more green then usual.

Grass in the desert is always a beautiful sight. But we love our rocks as well.

This road is called Castle Creek Road for a reason! We were in awe!

The Hoodoos greeted us with their vastness.

Around every corner we saw beauty on this ride.

Some beauty was in the eye of the beholder. This stopped us in our tracks!

Isn’t she beautiful?! She’s called an Arizona Blonde! Ha, ha, what a name! Yes, it’s a tarantula. They actually are not poisonous and if you are bit… the reaction is that the skin becomes mildly irritated. Our friend helped her get out of the road.

We actually saw 3 that day… all in different places. They hardly ever come out of their burrows unless it’s mating season. So… we think they were out lookin’ !

The petroglyphs are getting more modern…

Like I said, the desert is more green but we all had to stop when we saw an entire hillside covered in moss. We could not believe it!

This just doesn’t happen in the desert…

It was so beautiful to see!

I hope you enjoyed our Castle Ride… down Castle Creek Road. It wasn’t Ireland but we had our own Arizona version of castles and even some moss!

The wild burros enjoyed it very much!

The Arizona Back Country never disappoints. It’s why we love to explore!

There’s adventure around every bend.

Thanks for the visit!

Until Next Time ~Nancy

Tuesday Tidbits #8

Happy New Year!

Live from Arizona!

No projectiles were used! Noise only cannon blast! 😃

Sweet man built his cannon back when he was in high school. It still works beautifully!

Welcome 2019!

We wish you all health, happiness and lots of love and laughter!

Until Next Time ~Nancy

Reminiscing

A New Year is about to embark upon us. Reminiscing brings us fond memories. 2018 was a fabulous one for us. We enjoyed many travels and a beautiful wedding where my oldest son married his beautiful bride.

And here at Two Trails One Road more posts were more popular then others. The most popular posts viewed by you from 1-6 are…

1. A Bike Ride Tour

2. A Pennsylvania Spring

3. Tuesday Tidbits

4. Road Trip

5. AmAZing Arizona

6. Gardening on Both Sides of the Mississippi

What a fabulous year!

Blogging has given me the opportunity to connect with so many people. I appreciate all your words of kindness, encouragement and support. Thank you for enjoying my posts! Happy New Year my friends!

Until Next Time ~Nancy

A Christmas Tea

Christmas has found its way out to the She Shed.

When living in the Southwest … a Barbed Wire Wreath is a must! It hangs proudly along with the other Santa Wreath.

So come on in…

We are having tea.

There’s quite a bit of love in the above photo. The candle is from my daughter in love and son. The Santa is from my youngest son which he gave me many years ago! The Mexican ornaments are from my sister along with the Owl cookie cutter I used …to make the Owl Gingerbread cookies. The Santa glasses are from my neighbor. I am using them for the sugar and creamer. The Tartan plates remind us of all the Tartan Plaid at the LakeHouse. Oh, and don’t forget the Nut Horns… they remind Sweet Man of his Aunt Helen! She made these wonderful delicacies every Christmas.

Do you see the little sign I painted years ago as a reminder that I really do have a Blog! Two Trails One Road was Sweet Man’s idea for my Blog Name. I loved it from the get go. He also built my potting Shed!

Please pull up a chair… my potting bench has turned into a table. The homemade Christmas Cookies are delicious with the peppermint tea. It’s all quite tasty.

I hope you enjoyed your visit.

We are all “a glow” that you did!

Merry Christmas from the Potting Shed … a.k.a …She Shed!

Until Next Time ~Nancy

Tuesday Tidbits #6

Christmas in the Desert is a sight to see! We don’t have your normal evergreen trees to decorate so creativity is a key!

Seeing cactus lit up at night is a treat to see.

Of course each community has their lights display!

The Court House and trees on the square of Prescott are beautiful!

The Glendale Lights in Glendale, AZ are fun!

Our very own Anthem has a tall Christmas Tree. It’s the biggest Christmas Tree in Arizona!

Some like to have fun with their cactus for Christmas.

Whatever the case… we love Christmas here in the southwest!

Until Next Time ~Nancy

Tuesday Tidbits #5

A wonderful way for displaying your travel memories are placing them on your Christmas Tree!

These are my photos on Christmas Ornaments that I make using Shutterfly. But you could most likely use any photo processing place.

I love the metal ornaments as they hold up very well! Plus… I can display photos on both sides. Here is my San Antonio ornament. When flipped to the other side… you are able to see more memories!

I hope you can start decorating your tree with your travel memories. We enjoy ours very much!

I am so pleased you stopped by for another Tuesday Tidbits. Thank you!

Until Next Time ~Nancy

Welcome In

It’s Christmas in our home and we would love for you to come in and stay a while. The Christmas Glow is in every room.

So take off your boots and come on in.

As you enter our home you come into out gathering room. Here you will see our Owls and Southwestern tree.

We gather here and dine with friends and family.

The table is set with a lovely centerpiece adorned with feathers and poinsettias.

The peppermint fragrance coming from the kitchen is absolutely delightful. Lets go in.

Our Christmas Kitchen has a small tree decorated with cookie cutters.

And it comes in handy as a centerpiece as well!

Gingerbread houses can be found throughout. When I worked at a Preparatory School in Cleveland. They had a Gingerbread House contest. The houses were incredible! So my love of Gingerbread houses started at that time.

Our kitchen looks out into our family room.

The stockings were made by Sweet Man’s Mom. She has made hundreds for friends and family.

A touch of the Southwest is added by including my red boots. And you never know when I am going to change the coffee table tray.

Even though I am retired from teaching… children’s books are still loved! ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas illustrated by Mary Engelbreit sits proudly on the coffee table.

Our fireplace mantel can’t be overlooked… Sweet Man installed it perfectly!

The mercury glass glistens in the evening.

Our tree in here has special ornaments. My White House Historical Association Ornaments from 2002 and our travel ornaments that I make from my photos using Shutterfly.

You can find me resting from the Christmas Festivities in our Master Bedroom.

Our backyard patio doesn’t escape Christmas decorations as well.

A surprise awaits you around the corner…………

❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

The debut of my She Shed!

I have always wanted a She Shed and Sweet Man built this one for me. Next week I will invite you in for a quick peek of the She Shed. It’s a real treat to see! But for now… let’s go back to the kitchen for coffee or cocoa. I have a Christmas Mug for everyone!

Thank you for your visit. We enjoyed having you!

Until Next Time ~Nancy

Tuesday Tidbits #4

Osso Bucco

Do you need a lovely Holiday meal that’s easy and so delicious!

You can fancy this up or eat it for any weeknight dinner.

I used beef shanks.

Pat them very dry and coat them in seasoned flour (I added salt, pepper and onion, garlic powder to the flour.)

Place oil in the bottom of a heavy Dutch Oven. Get the oil hot. Then take your beef shanks and quickly sear them on both sides. Searing creates flavor and the flour will thicken your sauce.

Both sides have been seared.

I sear all the sides by using tongs.

When the shanks are seared remove them from the Dutch Oven and place them on a plate.

With Dutch Oven still hot add cut carrots and celery.

Sauté them in the drippings of the beef shanks. I added about a tablespoon of minced onions.

After the carrots and celery have begun to get warm add 2-3 tablespoons of tomato paste to the veggie mixture. I like to brown the paste a little as it adds flavor to the sauce. Sauté all of this until browned and tender.

Add about 3 cups of beef stock and bring up to a boil.

Once it boils turn the heat down and add 3/4 cup of good red wine.

Add the seared beef shanks bring up to a boil. Then cover and simmer for 2-3 hours.

After 2 1/2 hours… check meat. If it is falling away from the bone. You are ready to plate it.

The sauce is rich and so delicious! Serve with red wine. Roasted potatoes or mash potatoes and peas are great side dishes.

Dress it up with a fancy tablescape for the holidays. Here I served it for our casual everyday meal.

Hope you try this delicious dish.

Ingredients:

2 Beef Shanks the larger the better

Flour for coating the beef shanks

Salt, Pepper and Garlic Powder To season flour to your liking

2-3 carrots sliced

1 stalk of celery

2-3 T of Tomato Paste

3 cups of beef stock

3/4 cup of good red wine

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ENJOY!

Thank you for reading! I enjoy all your comments and appreciate each and everyone of you.

Until Next Time ~Nancy

Winter Wonderland

We arrived at The LakeHouse and snow welcomed us!

It was beautiful and it put me in the spirit to decorate for Christmas!

Using the Evergreens in our backyard, the tartan napkins that my sister gave me and Christmas plates from the Dollar Store … the Christmas spirit came to the LakeHouse!

I also got out a small tree to decorate the sunroom. This one has special meaning to me. When my youngest son was in the 4th grade, the teacher asked for $5 for their Christmas project. A few weeks later this tree came back with his homemade cinnamon ornaments and lights on it. It had a place on our Kitchen table at Christmas for years. It moved to the LakeHouse and today I am going to give it to my son. Shhhhh… it’s a surprise!

The living room got a touch of Christmas as well!

After the little bit of decorating.. out to the snowy wilderness I went! Up the road… I saw those two evergreens. So off I trekked to get closer.

It was gorgeous to see the trees covered in snow and ice droplets. The quiet and the crunch of the snow… was priceless!

It was worth the trek! A quiet winter wonderland! All that was missing was a red cardinal! 😊

Later… a walk by the lake showed us that the Canadian Geese were stopping by before it became frozen.

The kids at the local elementary school were enjoying recess!

They were not the only ones playing! So was I!

Enjoy the moments that surround you and remember to find your Christmas Spirit!

Until Next Time ~Nancy