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

Tuesday Tidbits #3

We have the LakeHouse on our minds! It’s time to head that way for a bit and check on things and be with our family!

We enjoy sitting in the sunroom. Last year we had mulled cider with apple fritters while we watched the birds come and go from the feeders.

Snow is predicted… with Lake Effect we have no idea how much is expected? ❄️

Don’t worry we can keep warm in the Living Room with a wood burning fire! That’s Sweet Man’s 10 point buck on the wall. ❤️

I’ll keep you posted on how much snow we get. Hope we don’t have to shovel! ❄️

Thanks for reading!

Until Next Time ~Nancy

Gold Dust Woman

When you live in Arizona you wonder if you can find Gold in “them there hills!”

Sweet man and I belong to a Gold Prospecting Club. We enjoy getting out in the back country not only for the beautiful views…

but for the hopes of finding beautiful rocks and perhaps some GOLD!

When you do serious prospecting you must first find your Club’s Federal Claims. We have a map and look for the Red, White and Blue claims. (that’s our club’s federal claim markings) Here are examples…

If it’s not our Club’s claim then we don’t prospect there.

We like looking for Gold in ravines, washes and creeks. Most of the time they are dry so thats the best time to look. Below you can see evidence that other prospectors were here before us. Their bucket prints can be seen.

Here is a ravine we will try our luck at.

This is not a time to be a fashionista! Ha! Ha! It’s dusty and dirty…

This is an old picture of me (I call myself Gold Dust Woman because at the end of the day we get pretty dirty and some of it could be gold Dust!😂)

Now here is what you need…

I use the vacuum. It’s loud and I use ear plugs and shooting ear muffs! Oh yea… I am quite the sight!!

I vacuum up the area that has black sand (gold is usually found in it) but also around rocks, crevices and bedrock (the rock at the bottom of the wash.) Gold is heavy… it sinks… so I try to get to the bottom of the area I am at.

When the bucket is full Sweet Man runs what I vacuumed into the dry washer. Remember… Gold is heavy… it will fall to the bottom of the dry washer and the sand, dirt and rocks fall off onto the ground. At the end of the day… we head home with a bag full of sand, dirt and hopefully GOLD!

We come across cattle gates. You may go through but ALWAYS close the gate. It’s the Law of the Land!

You never know what you may come across at these gates!

This sign gave us a chuckle!

Along with trying to find GOLD in the washes. We also look for dirty or “rotten” quartz.

Inside there could be gold. Sweet man has a rock crusher and we always hope to find some!

The bag of dirt is then panned at home where water is available. Panning is a technique that I cannot do! Sweet man can separate the dirt from the black sand.

And most of the time that Black Sand has Gold in it!

He then suctions up whatever GOLD is in pan into the Snuffer Bottle.

It’s a lot of hard work but we have so much fun! And we see beautiful Arizona at the same time!

Mines are always in the area. A tip off is when you come across a “dump” a “miners dump!” These are part of our Arizona History.

Many of the cans are Tobacco, beans, sardines, coffee and canned milk (cream for their coffee.) These are hard to come across so when you do …you stop and take pictures!

Many mines are blocked off but as we all are aware of some are not…

And once again… let’s not forget those gorgeous views toooo! How we love our Arizona!

Mt. Humphrey!

Now I leave you with this…

Gold!

Those bigger pieces are called Pickers… about 1/4 of the size of my pinkie finger nail. Obviously we better keep our day jobs! Lol!

Thanks for gold mining with us! It was so nice to have you come along. Did you find a nugget?

Until Next Time ~Nancy

Tuesday Tidbits

Many of you are getting ready for the Thanksgiving Feast! As your Turkey Festivities begin I want to wish all of you a Happy Thanksgiving. From our house to yours.

Remember it’s all about the Simple Pleasures in life. I wish for you to read this post from a few years back. Being thankful for the simple things in life are really what brings us joy.

Thanks to all for your visits and sweet comments.

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!

Until Next Time ~Nancy

PETRIFIED!

Many rocks and minerals can be found in Arizona. Here are a few…

Fluorite that I dug out of the Arizona desert!

Herkimer Diamonds found in Payson, AZ

Arizona Purple Agate that was sliced nicely by Sweet Man on his rock saw. Then I polished it.

Arizona is proud of all its Rocks, Minerals and Gems. However, it’s proud of and well known for its Petrified Wood. A visit to the Petrified Forest National Park is a must… to see amazing fossilized wood (tree trunks.)

We drove through the Painted Desert National Park first.

As we entered into the Petrified Forest we came across more and more Petrified Wood.

A tree fell over and became a petrified wood natural bridge.

Millions of years ago this was a forest. Over time the forest was buried quickly by large amounts of sediment. Silica, minerals and such replaced the tree trunks which then turned them mostly into quartz, amethyst, and yellow citrine which is what the fossilized Petrified Wood is mainly made of.

It truly is amazing to see the Petrified Forest. No longer wood tree trunks but now rock.

You can not remove any of these beautiful specimens from the National Park. There are plenty of places around the Park that sell it.

We purchased this gorgeous piece from a nearby place and had the top side polished. We have it displayed in our back yard.

This is a piece I found in Joseph City that is 35 miles away from the Petrified Forest National Park. We went with our Rock and Mineral Club and had permission to remove petrified wood on this certain property. Because the soil was a different color… so was the Petrified Wood.

A friend of ours polishes Petrified Wood. He does a beautiful job! We have a piece displayed in our home. It’s so beautifully polished you can see my shadow in it.

Here are the colors found in Arizona Petrified Wood.

Thank you for reading! I hope you learned something new today!

Until Next Time ~Nancy

Tuesday Tidbits

I sit here thinking about my Dad. What a great Dad! During the Depression he was young and found that Printing brought him needed cash. Later, he and my Mom had a printing shop …along with a young family and a full time career for US Steel as a Metallurgical Engineer. When he retired he was more of a hobby printer. But with the ink running through his veins he printed a monthly newsletter called TidBits. He put that newsletter together one letter at a time on his printing press. Later he bought a McIntosh Desktop Computer and typed away using desktop publishing to make his newsletter. He sent his “Tidbits” to a Hobby Printing Association. Many others did the same and he would get a monthly “bundle” of all his “printing buddy’s” work. He loved sitting at the kitchen table looking at ALL his printer friend’s work! Ahhhh the memories…

Dad to me, Grandpa to his 7 grandchildren, Burl Ives to some and The Colonel to others.
A sample of his “Computer Published Newsletter” …that he actually had help with from my son when he was only 7… in Dad’s Man Cave called the “Captain’s Quarters!”

So I have decided to try to do the same. To follow in his great footprints! I wish to put together weekly or monthly thoughts or Tidbits. I am going to call these thoughts… Tuesday Tidbits! Who knows what you may find here on any given Tuesday. I will have fun changing it up. I hope that you will join me on Tuesdays for Tuesday Tidbits!

This Tuesday I am happy to have returned home from spending time with family in the Seattle area. We call the desert, home …and it welcomed us with opened arms.

We love our desert! We call it home.

Speaking of home… I am taking all my Fall decor down today. I hate to say goodbye to our Family Room all dressed up for Fall…

our fall patio as well…

…and don’t forget the kitchen!

It may be a tad early but travel has me out ahead of the bunches, except for the retail stores.

I’m off to fumble tubs from the attic. But first, a great big THANK YOU for reading my first edition of Tuesday Tidbits. “A Restful Pause for Busy People” as my Dad would say. Have a great week my friends.

Until Next Time ~Nancy

Friday Fun and Falling Waters

It’s been a very long time since I shared for my Friday Fun Page!

So why not today!

We are in the Pacific Northwest having family fun… and it’s Sammamish, WA. to be exact.

When the kids are at school… we get out and play! First off a Nature Walk! The trees are colorful and the leaves are falling.

The Trees, consisting mostly of Cedars, Pines, Cypresses, Big Leaf Maples and Cottonwoods are quite large and they create the Rainforest Canopy.

Moss covers many trees and ferns are all over this rainforest floor!

The trees are TALL!

Black Berries grow almost everywhere! Of course they are finished but I found a few still trying to ripen.

We did get out and saw this as we headed to the grocery store. Where we live in Arizona and Pennsylvania… we do not have Charging Stations for cars. Sweet Man decided to get All Charged Up! 😁

We tried getting down to Lake Sammamish but there are so many private properties this is as close as we could get. Supposedly there is a parking lot and an area that we can get closer. It’s a long gorgeous lake and we will try again.

After a few lovely evenings with family we set out and explored again. We went to Snoqualmie first to look at the Snoqualmie Falls. But this is what we saw when we got there.

It was early morning and we knew if we returned later in the day the sun would help with the fog and heavy mist.

We went further down stream of the Snoqualmie River. It was beautiful!

Right outside of Snoqualmie is Mt. Si of the Cascade Range. It has an elevation of 4100 ft.

The Cascade Range welcomes you as you come into Snoqualmie. Mt. Rainer was peeking above the Range!

After eating a darn good lunch at Roadhouse Inn …in a neighboring town, of Falls City. We decided to see if the Falls could be seen. The mist near the front of the park had us quite skeptical.

Then we saw them…

They were a beautiful sight! And quite powerful. It’s 268 ft. tall. It’s a popular tourist attraction and is also remembered appearing in the television show Twin Peaks.

The Snoqualmie Falls is a hydroelectric project ran by Puget Sound Energy. There is an underground hydroelectric power plant and an above ground power plant as well on the property. They supply electric for the region.

Stunning Falls!

The mist was creating a beautiful backdrop for some fun captures!

Enjoy the video of the falls and Happy Friday!

Thank You for joining me for Friday Fun!

Until Next Time ~Nancy

Durango to Silverton, Colorado

Bucket List! If you HAVE such a list… I have a TRIP for you!

It’s an old steam engine train ride from Durango, Colorado to Silverton,Colorado! The scenery is breathtaking. This train travels 45 miles crossing the Animas River and the railway has been in existence for 130 years. It was also the train used in the movie Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. I highly recommend going in the fall, for peak leaf color season. We booked it for mid October. This way we had color and a little snow!

We arrived in Durango the day before our trip just in time for antiquing and dinner. There are many wonderful eateries but there were 3 different sports games on and we opted for a wonderful Brewery that had great Beer and Food. Steamworks Brewing Co. was perfect! A great happy hour and all the peanuts you wish.

The next morning we arrived at the train station early. Sweet Man purchased tickets ahead of time online. I highly recommend pre-purchasing tickets… to avoid lines and it assures you the right side of your train car which provides you the best views. We also wanted to sit inside as the temps were in the low 50’s when we started out.

We were in awe the entire trip!

There were stunning views around each bend.

We had coffee in tow but the train also provides a concession car for some snacks, coffee, beverages and adult beverages.

The train cars are quite comfortable and the windows can be easily opened for clear pictures.

Here you can see the open car. I was perfectly happy sitting inside. We were able to move along the train to get pictures, frequent the concession car and use the restroom. Coming back we even rode in the open air car for a short while.

If you have a fear of heights… you may want to sit in the aisle seat. However… I loved it!

Many ask why is the river so green? It’s supposedly from an algae bloom but in some cases it was slightly orange, as well, due to Mine run off.

Sights along the way could not be missed!

As the train rides along… many waterfalls add to the beauty.

Living in the desert we do not see trees of color during the Autumn. We definitely got our fill on this train ride!

The day is long but well worth it. We rode the train up and back. Many opt to take a bus back from Silverton. However, we saw even more sights coming back on the train.

The orange-brown color on the banks near Silverton is due to an old mine. The whole purpose of this rail was to haul silver and gold ore from the mountains down to Durango 130 years ago. Even though the mines are closed… the trail line remains because multitudes of passengers love the gorgeous views. The locomotive is totally coal fired and steam ran.

The above picture shows us coming into Silverton.

Like I said earlier, we stayed in Durango. Silverton is a very small Mountain town. With a population of about 150 in the winter… many establishments are closed. Not just because of few people but because the pipes tend to freeze. We did find a place open called Avalanche Brewing Co. with great craft beer and food! Sweet man had a pulled pork sandwich with homemade slaw. I enjoyed an amazing Tomato Bisque Soup. The craft beer was delish!

Silverton’s population grows in the summer. 600-700+ population. There are many ATV trails and hiking for their enjoyment.

It had snowed the night before we arrived and the Silverton Streets were muddy. Many establishments were closed and we were happy to see the train arrive to take us back to Durango.

I was thrilled to see more beautiful views as we headed back to Durango.

I hope that you are able to take this train ride! We loved it!

Listen to the train on this video!

Thank you for taking the time to read my blog! I so appreciate it!

Until Next Time ~Nancy

Back in Arizona

Always glad to get back to the desert! We enjoy the Southwest very much.

It’s amazing! Everywhere you turn there’s so much beauty to see.

We are especially proud of our saguaros. Pronounced “suh-wah-roe.” They are native to the Sonoran Desert and can grow up to 40 feet tall. Some have arms and some do not.

Some are also Crested… no one really knows why.

Old Ghost Towns are an iconic symbol of the Southwest.

When out in the desert it’s a treat to come across…

Petroglyphs

Native American Pit Houses

Wild Horses

Cattle grazing

And Arizona is proud of their Rocks and Minerals especially Petrified Rock!

Glad to be back in Arizona and it’s nice to be back in our neighborhood.

However, Home Sweet Home is the best!

And these Wide Open Skies gives us such beautiful sunsets…

Goodnight All… Thanks for reading along!

Until Next Time ~Nancy