Thursday, November 19, 2009

Alert! October went by way too fast!

October was a blur – and I can say the same about November so far. I spent a good part of October at my home in Prescott Valley and took care of two house projects. I replaced the aged and cruddy kitchen range with a new one and replaced the carpet/linoleum in the kitchen, dining room, halls and bathrooms with tile.

In between I made a short trip to North San Diego County for my now-annual medical checkups. (all OK) What do I call short? Well, on a Wednesday I drove to the coast and had dinner with my son and his family, on Thursday I had appointments at Scripps La Jolla, and I drove back home on Friday.

Once back in Prescott Valley, I had a week to get ready for my winter in The Valley of the Sun – the Phoenix area. One of those days, I went to the local Yavapai County Fair. What fun! It is a miniature version of the New Mexico State Fair – midway rides, obligatory food booths, vendors, agriculture and farm animals, ‘home arts’ (cooking, sewing, quilting, etc.) collections, demonstrations and such. As always I enjoy the animal barn and spent time checking out the odd types of chickens and rabbits, along with the sheep, goats, horses, llamas, cattle. I saw a white turkey that looked just like the turkey – we named him Lucky – that we bought just before Thanksgiving one year. This fair also had competitions for horseshoes and tractors the day I was there.

I arrived at Site #8 in Cave Creek Regional Park on Oct. 23, and worked in the Nature Center the next day. The building, that opened this past March, has desert critters on display and typical park merchandise for sale, along with hiker and visitor information.

I again produce the This Week at Cave Creek Regional Park; a one-page sheet with park activities and information on one side and local town (Cave Creek and Carefree) information on the other. I deliver these to campers each week. This gives me an opportunity to meet camping guests and answer questions they might have.

Besides individual camping sites, the park has a large group camping area for RV groups. One of the groups was the Prescott Elks Lodge RV club. When I welcomed them and handed out the park news flyer, I found out they would be having their early Thanksgiving meal – and would be cooking “trashcan turkey.” Of course this piqued my curiosity – how do you use a trashcan to cook a turkey?

One of the campers started explaining it to me and then said, “better yet, come over and see for yourself.” Which I did. They cooked two 20-pound turkeys – one using a trash can (took 2 ½ hours) and one in a commercial version of the trashcan (took 2 hours, 15 minutes).

The process starts by putting a large piece of aluminum foil on the ground, driving a foil-wrapped stake in the ground, impaling the turkey on the stake, putting the trash can over the turkey and piling hot coals around and on the top of the trash can.

November has been a mixture of park work and Prescott Valley time. Cat and I made a quick overnight trip in Jeremiah to PV to get new batteries for the ‘house’ part of the motorhome. And then another trip this week to visit with California friends Pat and Russ Vollman who were coming through on their way to Houston. Then Thanksgiving celebrations will be here next week, followed by December.

That’s it for now.