Saturday, November 11, 2017

Chuckwagon Cook Off

Casa Grande, Arizona
Leisure Valley RV Park

I know it's been awhile since I blogged but other than doing honey do's and the annual doctor visits there hasn't been anything exciting going on until today. 

Left to Right--bottom row
Pam Stapleton, Bill Mains, Carolyn and Craig Mills, Luella and Ray Steiner
Randy Stapleton, Carlena Schoolcraft, me, Jay and Gina Hurt.
Back Row--Harry Schoolcraft and Ed Allard

When we were at the Chapter 32 Rally in Usery Park I found a brochure on the Chandler Cook Out while shopping at Wild West Mercantile.  I thought the event looked like a lot of fun so, during happy hour, I passed the brochure around.  

Today was the day and what a fine day it was.  I wasn't sure what it was all about but we learned enough that we are planning to go again next year.  
There were 10 chuck wagon teams competing.  At 10 am the tickets for the competition dinners went on sale.  Carlena had our $15 a piece for our dinners and she stood in line while we went and checked out the chalkboard.  Each of the teams are required to use the same ingredients in their cooking but each one had very different menus.  I believe they said that each chuck wagon would feed 100 and when those 100 tickets were sold they crossed off that menu.

Once we all made our selections we walked around and enjoyed the music.
Last year the winner were chosen out of these categories:  Overall lunch, Meat, Beans, Bread, Potatoes, Dessert, and Authentic Wagon.

Steve, The Trick Roper, was walking around and entertaining the people.  
Gina and Jay bought catered dinner tickets in advance.  It was a little confusing on the ticket sales.  We didn't know if the competition dinner tickets sold out then you could buy the catered dinner.  The Buffalo Chip Saloon Lunch had brisket, pulled pork, cowboy beans, quickdraw coleslaw, honey butter biscuits and fruit cobbler.  Their dinners were $20 but they offered shady seating.  

You could buy items from the blacksmith shop and watch them being made.  
Needless to say, Bill loved the entire event.  He said next year he's coming in his cowboy garb.

This was the Pick and Holler band playing.  They played from 9 to 11:30.  They were followed by August Manley's Waylon Jennings tribute.  He sounded exactly like Waylon.  

Bill just couldn't believe the size of the hat band hanging from the tent.  
The historical society also gave tours of the McCroskey house.
We were told that the house is 100 years old and the McCroskey's had nine children.  The house came in a kit.
I was going to take a photo of the huge portions and how different each of the dinners looked, but everyone devoured them so fast, I didn't get a chance.
There were tables set up, but we found enough shade for all of us to eat on the bleachers. 
It was great fun and I'm sure we'll be doing this again next year.  
It was nice that I could share our good news with friends.  Bill had his cardiologist appointment yesterday and all his tests came back good.  We're waiting for news on a skin biopsy but other than that, we're finished with doctors until our next 6 month check ups. 

 Life hasn't been completely boring.  Bud and Susie Walsh are in town for a little while.  Susie invited us over for dinner one night.  We did manage another dinner at Manuel's Mexican restaurant.  I was surprised that they hadn't been there before.

It was great seeing Zoey and Bud too.
Hopefully, it won't be so long between blogs next time.

Turtle Safely......

Monday, October 30, 2017

An Unplanned Operation

Mesa, Arizona
Usery Regional Mountain Park

As usual I'm playing catch up.  The Escapees Chapter 32 Rally was so much fun, it was impossible to blog during it.

What happens when a bunch of Escapees gather? We eat a lot of food.  Mornings started out with lot's of great selections of donuts to go with your coffee.

We needed propane, so Harry grabbed our tank and we went to Tractor Supply.  $1.99 a gallon to fill it wasn't bad.  

Harry should belong to the Arizona travel bureau.  As a native he's been everywhere in the state.  We took a drive out some dirt roads to places he used to hunt.  

Do you know what we're looking at?  

It's a huge bee hive in a tree.

Yep, Bill got stung.  

Harry had his pocket knife and we performed a little operation to remove the stinger.  Harry was surgeon and I was the assistant.

We stopped at a historic restaurant for lunch.

The food was okay but nothing to rave about but the place was interesting.

Harry was happy with his fish and Carlena enjoyed her chili, but I'll bet Harry's chili is better.

Most of those attending the rally went to Organ Stop Pizza for a private luncheon and organ playing.  They said something was wrong with the organ so they didn't get to hear it.  Can you believe they refunded everyone's $7.50 that they paid even though they still had the pizza buffet? We've been several times before so we enjoyed our exploring with Harry and Carlena. 

After Organ Stop there was a tour of the Olive Mill.  We were there this spring with George and Linda Morey so we didn't go either.

It was nice just relaxing and enjoying the great weather.  

Everyone stopped by to visit before the Rockin R Ranch dinner show.

We had intentions of changing our clothes but no one left in time so we went as we were.

Carlena and I are posing before we enter the tunnel.

Here's some other Chapter 45 members, Jay and Gina Hurt and Luella Steiner.

Here's a shot from the Ponderosa saloon.  

We were entertained by Chelsa before the show started.

We went upstairs to get an adult beverage but they didn't have much to choose from.

They explained how our food was going to be served.  It was fast and efficient.

Bill and I both had the beef, applesauce, baked potato, beans, rolls and spice cake.  It was very good and you could have seconds if you wanted.  Craig and Carolyn also added the warm brownie with ice cream for dessert.

We enjoyed the entertainment.

Everyone in the family has a part.

Here's some members of Chapter 32 trying their hands with the ropes.  The one with his head down is Denny Orr.

One more gunfight before we left.

Bill and I went to the Mesa Market Swap Meet on Saturday morning.  We haven't been in a long time and it's mostly all new stuff.  It was packed as they were having trick or treats for all the kids.  

We did find the junky flea market on Apache Trail more interesting.  I bought this sign for $2.00.
It was interesting to us, because we used to live in the Steubenville, Pittsburgh, Wheeling area.  I have no idea what I'll do with it.  Notice Pittsburgh is spelled wrong.

Sunday morning there was a potluck breakfast.  
Everyone seemed reluctant to hitch up.  It was a great time and we were so happy we attended.  Chapter 32 invited us to join them on some of their other events.

Turtle Safely........

Thursday, October 26, 2017

32 and 45--Day 1

Mesa, Arizona
Usery Regional Mountain Park

It's been busy all ready.  Bill and I were waiting around to move next door to the group camping area.  We made a quick run to Walmart and as we're driving back, Harry and Carlena pulled up next to us at a red light.  Harry rolled the back window down and Boo jumped up wagging her tail. 

We hitched up and moved next door and Harry and Carlena parked next door to us.   

Jay and Gina Hurt arrived a short time later.

Luella and Ray Steiner arrived next.  We had the pleasure of seeing them in Ohio this year.

Harry, Carlena, Bill and I went out for lunch at a nice little Mexican place a short drive away.  As we were coming back up Ellsworth at about the same spot where we'd seen the Schoolcraft's earlier, I spotted Jeannie who was following Ed Allard in his class C.

The weather has been perfect.  Pam and Randy Stapleton are parked nearby.     

Ed and Sandy Kurty are parked on the other side of us.  They were also part of the Loosey Goosey Gang that went to Alaska this summer.

Craig and Carolyn Mills arrived in time for Happy Hour.  It's so nice to meet up with friends that we haven't seen in a while.  The conversations seemed to be about where everyone went during the summer.  

It's always fun to set up the Chapter 45 banner.  I think our chapter has one of the nicer banners.

All the circles represent $1,000 donations to CARE.

During announcements Denny Orr was presented with a Grumpy Old Man t-shirt.

We ate way to much as everyone brought such great dishes for Happy Hour, it was hard not to overfill your plate.  If that wasn't too much, they added ice cream for dessert.  Ed is alway the official tester for desserts.  

Oh, I have to tell you what I did.  Bill and Harry were setting up our Honda 2000 generator and when it was started up, it sounded terrible.  Harry asked what I had on that was putting such a load on it.  I said nothing.  Harry knows me too well.  He said "You wouldn't have the air conditioner on would you?"  No, not one, but I had both ac's on.  

Everyone is still up around the campfire.  We actually sat in the back row away from any smoke for awhile before we decided to come back and relax.  Boo was waiting for us, and followed us inside for awhile.  

It's going to be busy the next few days.  

Turtle Safely.

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Music Around the World.

Mesa, Arizona
Usery Regional Park

This morning we couldn't make up our minds on what to see or do.  I had wanted to go see the Music Instrument Museum but I found out that it was about an hour away and it was $20 admission.  I know Bill enjoys Bass Pro so we started out to it.  I was driving and then Bill said let's do the museum.  If anyone has ever traveled the 101 highway before 9 am, you'll agree it is nothing but bumper to bumper traffic.  

I never would have suggested this museum if it wasn't for my fellow blogger who blogged about it.  I'm not musical at all.  As a child I was told to pretend like I was singing but not to sing the Star Spangled Banner.  I had a very talented grandmother who could play the piano without music.  I have grandchildren who are very talented with singing and playing an instrument.  My mother was told that music lessons for me where a waste of money and the instructor refused to continue.

Now knowing all that, are you surprised that we loved it.  We were each given a set of headphones and every time we stood in front of a large tv, the sound and video came on.  We never had to fiddle with the headphones the entire time we were there.  

You expect to see a lot guitars in an instrument museum, but not so many different kinds.

They were all very different.  I'll bet this guitar is a lightweight.

I've never heard of any of the names of these instruments.

The most amazing sounds came out of this one.

The upper level contained separate rooms for Africa, Middle East, Central Asia, South Asia, East Asia, Southeast Asia, Latin America, Oceania, Europe, Canada and the United States.

Besides being a museum on instruments, it's also one on geography and culture.  

We're always interested when we see  something about the country of Georgia where two of our grand children, who were adopted, were born.  Notice the map showing you where the country is located.  

Some countries had larger displays than others but they all had the instruments being played.

Grandson, Levani, plays percussion.  He would have loved this drum instrument.

There was another gallery that will be opening November 11.  

The Artist Gallery featured such things as the guitar that Elvis played on his last performance.  Stage costumes from many famous stars.  I especially enjoyed the exhibit on Toby Keith.  The school kids knew Taylor Swift. 

The next gallery was the Mechanical Music Gallery.  One of these was 25 foot wide.

Next was the experience gallery where you could play a gong or an instrument that would have been on display in the museum.  We didn't make it to the Encore Gallery.  

There is a conservation lab with wall to ceiling glass where you can watch an instrument being restored and preserved.  The docent told us they have a giant freezer where they place the instruments to make sure any insects are killed.

I was puzzled when we entered the museum that they offered a two day pass.  Now I know why.  It was a very happy, fun museum.  You would see people keeping with the beat of the music, or someone humming a favorite song.  It was so intense, that it was like going to the Hermitage.  You just get to an overload point.  

After we left it, I made a quick stop at Costco to exchange an item I bought in Great Falls this summer.

Can you believe we still managed to visit a nice antique mall before we hurried home before dark?  

I highly recommend this museum, but plan on a two day visit.  It's a shame they didn't come up with a better name for the museum to encompass all the culture that it has to offer.  

Turtle Safely...........