Archive for Arizona

Classic 1935 Ford Sedan

Classic 1935 Ford Sedan

Damsel captured this photo of a classic old Ford V8 this morning on our way back from the “environmental services” facility (a.k.a. dump) on the west side of town. I saw this guy the other day when I was getting ready to leave the chiropractor’s office. I had a camera then, but the classic went by before I could grab and shoot. I’m glad that we saw it again today. It’s a beauty.

We went to the dump to dispose of a mattress that we bought when we first moved into the house. The mattress was our first place to sleep until we took our time to acquire the house furnishings as the first year here went by. Now, the 8-year old mattress has seen better days and needed to be replaced with a new one.

The new mattress is similar to the one we got for the RV last year. Same brand but a queen instead of king size. The new mattress is intended to help me get over the lower back problems I have been having since mid-February. The visits to the chiropractor have helped a lot, but we’re still not a hundred percent on being able to function normally.

I’ve had back problems since I was a young man, but it usually would heal quickly and get back to normal, Not so, as a septuagenarian. It takes time and visits to the chiropractor now, but it will get better soon. And a new memory foam mattress will help too, I’m sure.

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Rosemary Farm

Bee Gathering Nectar

When we originally had the landscapers plant our yard along the back slope above the RV drive, they installed about fifty or sixty one-gallon rosemary shrubs with an irrigation system. The shrubs have been there for over seven years now, and have grown to mostly cover what once was bare slope behind the house.

I took this photo (click to enlarge) of a bee browsing some of the tiny flowers on the shrubs which have been blooming most of the winter. I can’t hear the buzzing anymore (tinnitus), but Damsel says the bees are quite loud as they busily gather nectar. Now, when the hummingbirds come by to do the same thing, I can hear them just fine.

When we need herbal rosemary for a recipe, we have no further to look than out behind the retaining wall on the north side of the RV drive. Damsel will send me out there with a pair of shears to snip off a couple of the freshly grown stems from one of the many bushes. I take the stems inside, wash them and pull the needles from the woody part. Damsel will either mince the needles or use them whole, depending on the recipe.

More on the Rosemary Herb from Wikipedia:

Rosmarinus officinalis, commonly known as rosemary, is a woody, perennial herb with fragrant, evergreen, needle-like leaves and white, pink, purple, or blue flowers, native to the Mediterranean region.

It is a member of the mint family Lamiaceae, which includes many other herbs. The name “rosemary” derives from the Latin for “dew” (ros) and “sea” (marinus), or “dew of the sea”. The plant is also sometimes called anthos, from an ancient Greek word meaning “flower.” Rosemary has a fibrous root system.

Rosmarinus officinalis is one of 2–4 species in the genus Rosmarinus. The other species most often recognized is the closely related, Rosmarinus eriocalyx, of the Maghreb of Africa and Iberia. The name of ros marinus is the plant’s ancient name in classical Latin. Elizabeth Kent noted in her Flora Domestica (1823), “The botanical name of this plant is compounded of two Latin words, signifying Sea-dew; and indeed Rosemary thrives best by the sea.” The name of the genus was applied by the 18th-century naturalist and founding taxonomist Carl Linnaeus.

My only observations regarding the text above is that (a) we’re a long way from the sea and (b) we don’t get much in the way of dew in the desert. I guess that the Rosemary herb likes it hot (it does get hot here), tolerates mild cold (rarely below freezing) and depends on the irrigation system we have here for moisture. And, clearly, the bees and hummingbirds pollinate them to their mutual benefit.

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Limoncello Day 2019

Limoncello Day

Today was the day for bottling (Mason jars, actually) the finished Limoncello product that Damsel put away last December. The intermediate step was completed to remove the lemon rinds and add sweetener in January, so after maturing, the product was finally ready for putting up today, if not in bottles but in Mason Jars.

Image: Damsel dispensing the finished limoncello from the big brewing container to a mason jar. Click on the image to enlarge.

I don’t have any photos of this year’s lemon harvest in late November, but it was certainly as large as the haul we made in the lemon harvest of 2015. Our little dwarf lemon tree has reliably produced since we put it in the “Orchard” in 2011.

From Wikipedia:

Limoncello is an Italian lemon liqueur mainly produced in Southern Italy. In northern Italy, the liqueur is often referred to instead as limoncino. It is also a popular homemade liqueur, with various recipes available online and in print.

Although there is debate about the exact origin of the drink, it is at least one hundred years old

Visitors to our humble abode are usually given one or two bottles or jars of our brew. We also carry some with us when we’re on the road in the motorhome to give to friends and acquaintances. Sorry, we can’t ship it since it’s against USPS rules and other carriers don’t want it either. You will just have to come and get it or wait until we drive by for a visit.

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What’s for New Year’s Day Dinner?

I know that this post is a few days late since we enjoyed this Holiday dinner, but here it is regardless.

For many years, we have had a New Year’s Day dinner tradition of serving up a great batch of ham and 15-bean soup with a nice bakery roll. It seemed to us that a hot bowl of soup would be an appropriate meal for the usual cooler weather at this time of year. This year, however, we both are on a low-carbohydrate diet that (unfortunately) excludes legumes and bread. Our holiday tradition needed to be changed.

Well, since meat has no carbs, we would prepare a roast of some sort. We decided on having a popular roast of beef tenderloin using a Chateaubriand recipe.

Preparation for the dinner starts at the butcher shop. We bought a whole beef tenderloin on sale (≈$40) and had the butcher cut it to order. We put a bunch of tenderloin steaks (Filet Mignon) and various other pieces of the tenderloin in the freezer. We had the butcher cut us a pound and a half roast from the center of the tenderloin which would be used for our Chateaubriand.

Sear Season Roast

At home, the preparation was pretty simple; sear the roast in butter and extra virgin olive oil using a cast iron skillet. Reserve the pan drippings for the sauce later. Place the seared roast on a rack over an oven pan and coat with herbs and seasoning per recipe. Roast at 375° until a temperature probe in the center of the roast reads 125°. Transfer the roast to a cutting board, cover with foil and let rest for 10-15 minutes. Slice and serve the roast drizzled with the sauce. Add some lo-carb side dishes.

Sliced Roast with Sauce

So there it is - our revised New Year’s Day dinner tradition - Chateaubriand. Click on any image to enlarge and try not to drool on your keyboard.

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First Day of Winter in the Northern Hemisphere

Solstice

Damsel and I were in the office this afternoon when I remarked that I think the winter solstice is today. As I looked up the time of the solstice on the internet I could see that winter had just begun only a little over an hour ago. As of December 20, 2018, 3:23 PM Arizona time, we are officially in the winter season.

We just took the dogs out for their last walk before it gets dark here. The temperature on the patio was still up at 68° F, although it will be falling rapidly after dark. We’re expecting a low of 46° F overnight.

The Northern Hemisphere might be getting a cooler winter this year according to arch-weather guru Joe Bastardi of WeatherBELL Analytics. I read a recent article with an analysis of El Niño and La Niña and some sort of Pacific Decadal Oscillation that we might be in for some really cooler weather in 2019.

So, Damsel and I will be shopping for some warmer winter clothing in the post-Christmas sales. The good news is that the forecast isn’t so severe as to warrant snow tires or parkas or arctic gear. It’s Arizona, after all. The forecast for this weekend will be highs in the 70’s and lows in the mid 40’s, so the deep freeze isn’t here yet!

Screenshot above from the Archaeoastronomy website. Click for a (slightly) larger image.

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2018 Cops Who Care Car Show

Notice the Beautiful December in Arizona Weather

We drove over to the Community Center this morning to attend the Annual Cops Who Care classic car show. We donated a few unwrapped toys for their Christmas “Toyz for Totz” Gift program. We browsed around the lot where there were scores of Custom and Classic Cars and Trucks. Here are a few photos that one or the other of us took. Click on any image to enlarge.

Custom Ford T-Bucket 1939 Chevy Interior
1947 Cadillac Hearse 1955 Chevy Bel-Air Interior
1954 Chevy Bel Air Coupe Self Portraits 911 Memorial Engine Cover
1958 Chevy Apache Pickup Classic Willys Jeep

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State Firearm-Friendly Rankings Graphics

Graphical Depiction State Ratings Levels of Restrictions

Last October, I posted about Arizona Still Number One for Gun Owners. Since then, Guns and Ammo, who prepared the ratings, posted a graphical map of the US showing the states rankings. That is the image on the left above. Click on the image to enlarge.

Reprinted from the October post:

States were measured by the following criteria:

▶ Right To Carry
▶ Treatment of “modern sporting rifles” (ARs, AKs, etc.)
▶ Magazine capacity limits
▶ Castle Doctrine/Stand Your Ground
▶ Treatment of NFA firearms
▶ Miscellaneous issues such as constitutional protections, preemption, restrictions on gun or ammo purchases, CCW reciprocity, availability of places to shoot, etc.

I also found a still from an animated graphic that shows an updated status through 2017 of Right to Carry for each state. As of 2017, when the image was produced, there were 13 states with Constitutional Carry. Click on the image to enlarge.

It disturbs us a bit, that some of the states through which we will be going next spring, have poor rankings. Even though we have CCW recognition in Colorado and New Mexico, we will just have to be extra cautious when we are in those places.

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