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Westward Ho, day three…

Fifteen minutes into the drive yesterday had me entering Texas, and soon the initial flat terrain gave way to green hills dotted with brush and stands of trees.  Just to the right of the road was a slightly raised railroad track, and it didn’t take long to see a train, and then a few more.  And, being Texas, everything was bigger.  The views in all directions, the sky, and even the train seemed miles long.  It was a pleasant view and soon reminded me of the cowboy shows I watched on TV as a kid.  I wouldn’t have been surprised to see some cowboys appear over the crest of a hill, wearing their bandanas over their faces, and not for Covid 19, but to chase down the train to rob it.  In those long ago TV shows the cowboys would catch the train, so when I found myself essentially racing a train I voice texted a friend who worked for CSX and asked him how come on TV the cowboys caught the train but I couldn’t out-run this one.  He said that was Hollywood, in real life the train always wins.  When I remarked about how long the train was, and complained about the lack of caboose, he said that in the caboose days the trains used to have five man crews, and now they have only two men working those huge long trains.  And they would like to have a one man crew but the union keeps fighting it.  Bigger trains equal less workforce, he said.  I thought it was just bigger in Texas.

I knew I would stop for the day in Amarillo, so before I left that morning I had checked online for what to see there.  Palo Duro Canyon state park came up right away and I hoped to get there early enough to do the drive through and get some pictures, so I decided to stop at a rest area to change the GPS to the park and drive straight there.  I took the feature photo, liking how the structure stood out against the sky, but the ‘watch for rattlesnakes’ signs made me pause.  I walked up the hill to this little overlook, but not until another gentleman was already there, in hopes he had scared off any rattlesnakes that might have been hanging around.  I was happy to catch another one of those endless trains passing by.  I didn’t stay long though, it was 102 degrees when I was there.07-02-20snakes 07-02-20trainfeature

And, like the day before, as I actually approached my destination the view had changed to this.  I checked the temperature and it had dropped to 64 degrees.07-02-20storm.jpg

Big sky, big storm, and the biggest lightning bolts you can imagine, each one seeming to hit the ground.  Of course I had to change my plan and head to a hotel in Amarillo instead.  Somehow the storm still seemed to be in the distance, to my right and left, so I took my opportunity to take some photos of the displays as you entered the parking area.  Not the photos I’d hoped to get, and I’m still undecided as to whether to head to the park before I leave for Colorado.  We will see what the morning brings.

07-02-20oldtruck207-02-20oldtruck07-02-20Pot07-02-20TXwheels07-02-20wheelfeature

 

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Sunset Beach sunset…

By this time you would think that I would have been to a place called Sunset Beach for the sunset before, but I hadn’t.  Looking at the map I thought it would have a decent view to the east, which isn’t easy to come by here, so I had been there for the sunrise a time or two.  But Sunday night after dinner with my son and family I headed the short distance to the beach before I headed home.

These photos are basically in order.  Don’t ask me to explain why the houses facing the sunset seemed to be in the spotlight, but they were.  Plus lots of wading birds.  I walked to a covered pavilion to stand up a little higher and see what I could see, and I basically got rooted to the spot.  In one direction I could keep an eye on the sunset as it developed, plus the little sailboat which continued to criss-cross the view the entire time I was there, and in the other direction was a volley ball game which had me hoping for action shots.  Mostly I got shots of the players standing and looking up at the ball in the air, but it wasn’t for lack of trying. 06-21-20sunsetegrets06-21-20volleyball06-21-20volleyball3206-21-20sailboat206-21-20sailboat106-21-20sailboat306-21-20sunsetclose06-21-20lastsail06-21-20fisherboy

Lastly the fisher-boy as the color faded, and the sailboat still sailed…

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Yogurt bark…

I know why this recipe caught my eye on Pinterest.  Its because I always have a container of vanilla Greek yogurt in the refrigerator, and yesterday I had two because they had been on BOGO at Publix.  I never dreamed I’d put a recipe on this blog, but it really isn’t a recipe at all.  Except to say that you need to line your cookie sheet with parchment paper and spread your Greek yogurt about 1/4 inch thick over all.  What you do after that is up to you.  Personally I searched Walmart for a package of the Brookfield clusters I see all the time, except for when I actually wanted to buy them.  The idea of chocolate and dried cranberry appealed to me, with a sprinkling of chopped walnuts, which are also always available in my freezer.  What I did find was Ocean Spray milk chocolate covered craisins, and I didn’t even need to chop them up.  Sprinkle with what ever tickles your fancy and stick the cookie sheet in the freezer for a couple of hours and you’ll be able to break it up like bark, and you’ll have a nice cool treat to enjoy straight out of the freezer. 06-21-20 yogurt

Chobani makes a great Greek yogurt, lower sugar, with Madagascar cinnamon.  I like to mix in chopped apple and walnut and that can be breakfast, dinner, or dessert.  It’s very versatile.  As is chopped Cuties and yogurt.  I’m trying to use stuff up before I shut this place down and hit the road.  I have my work cut out for me…

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Those family recipes…

I had a brainstorm.  Nothing new, right?  Evidently I was also having them a (horrifyingly long time ago.  A time before the internet, before Pinterest, and before Allrecipies.  A time before your dear daughter could just text or message you to ask for a recipe.  It was a time when my daughter was getting married and I imagined her having to cook everyday, and I thought that she might like to have those simple, every day recipes that she had enjoyed as she grew up.  And so I searched for a book of some sort in which I could write-in those recipes.  This one was just what I was looking for.  I left lots of empty pages also, pages that she filled with recipes from friends and relatives, and others that she found over the years.  That that book has been well-used is evident from the worn out spine and the spills from dinners made over the years.  I’m especially tickled to know that my granddaughters have made some of those recipes in that book, even though finding new recipes to cook is a much easier task these days.06-13-20cookbook

A few years went by before my son was getting married, and I took that same idea a little further for my new daughter-in-law.  I had discovered Longaberger baskets by then, and further discovered that they had a recipe box available.  So I bought some cute recipe cards and sent a few to various relatives on both sides of the family, so that she now has a box full of hand-written recipes from special people in her life.

All of this came to mind when I was at my son’s house the other day, and in talking about the bullfrogs we were drinking I mentioned that I wished I hadn’t lost the recipe for a drink we used to make called Creamsicles.  They may not have totally unpacked since their recent move, but my DIL was able to go straight to that recipe box and the first recipe I saw was for Creamsicles.  As she talked about how much she enjoyed having those hand written recipes from favorite people it made my little heart go pitter-pat.  And the Creamsickles, can’t wait to make them again.  I used to make them for the kids too, without the vodka of course…06-13-20creamsckes

As much as I love technology, sometimes the old-fashioned way can just tweak at your heart strings.

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Oasis…

This oasis is located just minutes from sunset beach.  If I wasn’t such a wimp I might have stuck around for sunset, but I didn’t, mostly because I know I will be back many more times in the future.  You see this oasis belongs to my son, his new-to-him house, where I spent the day yesterday eating my DIL’s great food and drinking bullfrogs.  And enjoying this wonderful backyard.06-15-20Mike'syard106-15-20Mike'syard206-15-20Mike'shottubbers06-15-20Mike'spetunia06-15-20Mike'spinkflower06-15-20Mike'stinypurpleflowers06-15-20Mikeorange06-15-20Mikepink206-15-20Mikeyellowflower

This house was owned by a landscaper, which of course shows.  My DIL’s challenge is to use the app she downloaded to look up what the plants are as they bloom, and what care is required.  My son may have thought that the lack of grass meant a no fuss backyard, but after taming the Mexican petunia yesterday he was planning to ice his back after I left.  The kids?  Well, it may be a race to the hammock…

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Sunset at home…

I talk myself out of going out for the sunrise lately.  Sunset too since it’s fairly late these days.  This morning I decided I would go out, but by the time I got out of the shower (it had been a while) and ready to go, with barely enough time to get there, I remembered that I had to get gas or I wouldn’t make it to Aripeka.  So decided to check on One-Foot Fred tomorrow and poured another cup of coffee instead.

That’s what makes the trip out back for the sunset such a lucky break for me.  I did the same thing last night, but with 20 minutes to go I grabbed my phone,  jumped in the car, and zipped to the lake at the back of the park.  Which is when the car started yelling at me to get gas.  But I made it in time to see the sunset, the reflection of the sky in the water, and the ripples.  I loved the zigzag-y reflection of the palm trees with the ripples.  I guess you don’t really need a fancy location when Mother Nature is in charge of the show.06-10-20homesunsetripples06-10-20homesunsetcolor