Missing Las Vegas

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The kids and I at the Valley of Fire

I’m suffering withdrawal from a treasured yet broken behaviour. In recent years, I would just be returning from a Las Vegas, Nevada getaway or excited for an upcoming December one. This November came fast, and with my traveling companions and myself preoccupied a trip didn’t get planned.

Mister and I had a busy fall building a project, plus a couple medical issues complicated life. The son and his girlfriend took a trip to a neighbouring province, and our daughter made use of great weather to enjoy ridding her young horse.

Las Vegas is a destination Mister and I enjoy, and often we go there twice a year.

Although, the common participants for shorter November trips are the son (who loves Vegas), our daughter (who loves trips), and myself.

We fly, we rent a vehicle (with the choices available the son, a car guy and our driver, looks forward to choosing the rental) and we get little sleep. Ask the daughter about the brutal pace of the first trip we three took. I think we slept 12 or 13 hours total during the 3 days. She called her brother and I crazy more than once and wondered why we spent money on a hotel room we seldom used. We had a good time though and that’s what counts.

The gambling, nightlife or even big shows aren’t what we go for.

We stay on the strip, and always revisit other big Hotels, but we love to explore the countryside and surrounding attractions.

Some of our favorite places near Vegas are the Valley of Fire (where we’ve even enjoyed Christmas picnics), Oatman, AZ. (the section of Route 66 to get there, and the wild donkeys that roam the town), and Hoover Dam.

By far the best for me, is the scenery from the smaller two lane highways along Lake Mead. Those stretches are worth the road trip. My brother and the son shared the experience and say they are a great drive on motorcycles.

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Approaching Lake Mead

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Route 66 to Oatman, AZ

Other highlights in or closer to the city are the Mobster Museum, Fremont Street, Red Rock Canyon, driving sand dune buggies, and the race track (where you can drive fancy cars, and ride with a professional drifter, very fun). Not wanting to write a long rambling post this is a short list of options, and even with all the time we’ve spent there we haven’t run out of new things to see and do.

We have many fond memories from Vegas vacations, starting back when the kids were young to recent family trips.

If you have never been and are planning to visit the city, the Hotels and sights on the strip are amazing but so is the surrounding scenery. 

Maybe we’ll go in the coming months, or hopefully next fall for sure. I’m always game for a trip. With about two hours notice, I can be packed and ready.

Have you ever been to Las Vegas, Nevada?

What is your favorite place to see there?

Do you have a place you never tire of traveling to?

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Never Too Old

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I doubt, I’ll ever be too old to wonder if my parents would be proud of me and us as a family. Whether they’re still here, on earth, or not doesn’t matter. We shared a closeness, and even though gone for decades, they remain in my thoughts and I still miss them every day.

Family bonds meant the world to my parents and I’ve followed their belief.

I’m sure, when they look down on us siblings and our families it pleases them, and they smile because we still get together.

With today’s world of social media, I think our mother would have enjoyed the ease of sharing pictures and keeping up with family members. I’m sure computers would have intimidated and frustrated her, but I bet she would have kept up with a few simpler sites and tasks. Dad, I can’t imagine doing more than maybe playing games and googling from time to time. Mister’s parents, I doubt would have had interest in internet technology.

As parents, we wish for our children’s safety, health, happiness and hope they find love. For people to treat them with kindness and respect and for them to treat others the same. For family to get along and be there for each other.

Stature and possessions are accomplishments but more importantly pride should cover how one handles life, and people.

Enjoy family and friends while they are alive, don’t wait until they pass to appreciate them.

As an adult do you still think about whether your parents are proud of your actions and choices?

 

Theatre or Movie at Home

This or That post

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Do you prefer going to a Theatre or watching movies at Home?

I enjoy going to a theatre, but not living near one means we seldom go.

Watching at home is my answer.

To give you an idea of when I went to a theatre last, the movie playing was “The Lone Ranger” with Johnny Depp. Oh my goodness, I didn’t realize it’s been that long.

What was the last theatre movie you seen?

Which do you enjoy more, movies at a theatre or at home?

 

Everything into a Pot

 

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Hosting meals for family or friends is a great joy, but not being a cooking enthusiast anymore means strategic planning. Sometimes, I spend more energy racking my brain for easy foods to serve than I do with preparation. I suffer flashes of guilt because of my low luster entrees, but I’m thankful people still come over.

While our kids grew up, I put effort into cooking. Meals had plenty variety, were tasty, hearty, lots of homemade this and homemade that.

The family seldom did, or had reason to complain, except the night of the “Tuna Casserole”. The only uneatable dish I’ve made, one for the record books and still remembered. Dreadful music played in my head, and my stomach churned as I typed its name. (smiley face)

Who is at the table, is far more important than the food served.

My goal remains that no one goes hungry while at our home. Now though, menu choices are pretty basic, and meals are simple. And yes, sometimes when the kids stay over, for breakfast I tell them to help themselves to whatever they find.

Presentation holds little importance. Items often get served in cooking pots or casserole dishes. You won’t find both salad and dinner forks on our table, and if the meal doesn’t require a spoon, one won’t get placed beside your plate.

When company is coming, I like to have things washed, peeled, chopped and prepared in advance. If I can’t, our smaller, open concept home means no separation from visiting, anyway.

Last weekend for a birthday gathering, I threw multiple veggies into a pot with a ham bone in the morning. When our guests arrived, I finished it with homemade flour dumplings and, viola, lunch was ready to serve. The big steaming pot sat in the middle of the table and everyone helped themselves.

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Note to self. I often use green cabbage in soups, but this time I had purple in the fridge. It made for a weird color tinge, but added nice flavor.

Unfortunately, not all my siblings were in attendance for this get-together, but it was fun and a wonderful afternoon. If you leave out the part where the boys beat the girls in cards.

I Love Family Time!

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This summer, our daughter gave me a dessert recipe, I’ll quote her, “It’s real easy, Mom.”

Well, I made it, but good grief, what was she thinking? The fresh rhubarb had to be chopped in the morning so it could sit a few hours in sugar. I had to remember to stir it now and again. Then, I had to melt butter, boil and thicken a sauce, plus mix ingredients in one bowl and others in another.

That night when we talked on the phone and she asked how it went, I explained that was not my idea of easy. Easy is one bowl, mix a few things together, bake and serve. A little exaggeration there.

Don’t get the wrong idea, we eat the majority of our meals at home, so Mister and I share cooking duty, it’s just not my thing. I do the clean-up afterwards though, because I enjoy washing dishes.

I like to think I passed on some skills to our children before I tucked my enthusiasm in a drawer.

They are all accomplished cooks. I can’t take credit for what the oldest has learned, but our daughter and her husband get creative and experiment with a wide range of ingredients and dishes. The son enjoys more basic foods like his father, but he’s not intimidated by a new recipe or to add his own flair.

I failed to pass on my joy of dish washing to any of them though, but that’s all right. When visiting their homes, they cook, I do the dishes.

Do you enjoy cooking? Would you rather bake or make a meal?

What is your, go to, meal to cook? Mine is; barbequed pork chops (which Mister does all barbequing) microwave baked potatoes and lettuce salad. The most popular meal I serve to company is, pork roast with potatoes and carrots all cooked in one roaster.

Name two foods you could live without. I wouldn’t miss avocado, and blue cheese.

Superstitions And Reflections

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Do superstitions have a part in your life?

The realistic part of me, says these are just trained habits, instilled by others who state consequences we might fear. Yet, I have dared fate and gone against a superstition, and suffered a sting of misfortune.

Perhaps my mind affected what I wanted to see, or I allowed my subconscious to influence my actions which followed.

Was it coincidence? Who can say for certain?

I doubt I’ll ever know the answer, but since I’m pretty set in my habits it wouldn’t change me, anyway. My superstitious ways are here to stay.

Here are a few simple ones I believe in;

  • It’s bad luck to walk under a ladder.
  • Picking up a coin found on the ground brings you luck with money, but only if it’s heads-up, if tails-up walk away.
  • If by mistake you put a sock on inside out, correcting it can trigger a bad day.
  • Bad things, happen in threes.
  • Killing a, Daddy-long-leg spider, will cause it to rain.
  • Never hang a lucky horseshoe upside down, the luck falls out.

Along with the above thoughts I’m doing some reflecting with my morning coffee.

In October, we celebrated a new Great-Granddaughter. We also mourned the loss of Mister’s last of 14 Aunts and Uncles. Auntie was two months short of 99, happy, active and lived on her own until suffering a stroke a couple weeks before  passing.

A term often used among or when referring to seniors is “Golden Years”. Truth be known, those two words paint a glamorous vision that not all days live up to.

The wisdom we have gained over the years and being fortunate enough to retire is wonderful, but in a perfect world our bodies would still keep up with our minds.

Just when we think we have conquered a medical issue, another sneaks up.

Life changes constantly, but I’m not complaining, it’s precious and I know things could be far worse.

My best wishes go out to anyone suffering injury, illness or loss.

While Mister’s heart and my back acting up, kinked our plans last month, what did we do? Called on our kids, of course (happy face emoji)

We stayed at their places, closer to doctor appointments. The son and his girlfriend came to the lake and helped us complete our outside, fall, heavy work. Thanks again kids for sharing your homes and all you do for us.

There is an odd event that reoccurs in our marriage. I have heard this can also happen with twins. If one of us gets injured or becomes ill, something often happens to the other. This connection, if that’s what it’s called, has gone as far as us both being hospitalized in different cities at the same time. Once when I was having surgery in a city hospital, Mister found out he is very allergic to hornets, he had to stay in a hospital near our home.

Have you experienced a special connection like this with someone?

Are you enjoying the “Golden Years”

Are you superstitious?

Do you have a superstition you would like to share?