Travels With Oso con Migo
Odyssey In America
OAE On The Road Again -- Estivate or Vagabate: Reprise
Estivate or Vagabate: Reprise
I've decided on a little of both. CyB invited me to share their huge
space in the hills north of Pie Town New Mexico, boondocking in a
strict sense: Bring your own solar power. Even the well pumps only when
the sun shines. So I will sit here for a while and see what there is to
see. Except for the little bit of vagabation, just for effect. The
getting here, and return to Tonopah, will be a part of that however
there will also be some small short excursion to visit a few friends
and perhaps run a Summer Camp on Wheels. More about that later, if it
Leftover from Last Letter:
Speaking of mountains... I miss the mountains of New England,
especially for the tall trees and sense of closeness and safety. The
occasional great view through a slot in the trees is always a reward.
The mountains hereabouts, in the southwest desert, are all open, above
timber line right from the trailhead; one becomes inured to the great
view--partly cos too often all one can see is the yellow-brown smudge
of smog from places like Phoenix--and instead seeks comfort in the
shelter behind a cactus or a creosote bush on a steep slope or sheer
Despite that feeling of discontent I had a great hike on Saddle
Mountain last week. A sort of present to my Self to take the time to do
it again, to look for the new cache at the summit, to explore a new
trail cleared by some old geezer renegade trail maker. I like what I
remember from my old trail better and now will have to climb again that
way just to be sure and to see if there is some route to make a loop of
the two ways. But it may already be getting too hot. Such a hike would
have to start at first light--before breky even unless one got up
Already too late for that today and I've not had breky yet. Besides,
I'm out of beer and other comestibles; today will be a shopping day.
Happy Big Wind Day
Seems like only yesterday I was writing last year about The
Big Blow. This week at Casa Blanca I am constructing a small garden
house. Sort of like putting together Lego Blocks. The walls are up;
today we might get the roof started. Alternating with that project, I'm
digging a hole in the side of the bus to install a window in the head
so as to better display one of my early stained glass windows: Human Contemplating the Cosmic Muffin.
is another quiz. Probly many of you have seen it already in one
SPAM mail or another.
Of late there has been some trading of recipes for strange concoctions
of comestible delight. Here is another recipe... more like a storey
about a recipe:
Recipe for my World Famous Peanut
When I make peanut butter soup I generally just make it. I sort of look
around and feel how many peanut butter persons there are and then I
find an accommodating kettle. Sometimes I guess wrong; like the dinner
party a few months back where I had more soup left over than what I
started with. Sometimes I try new ideas for ingredients as I go along
although I am not too good at covering up bad ideas I bask well in the
stock when it responds flavourably.
If I were making peanut butter soup for the three of us, and Freddie
too I suppose, I would want to start with a ten inch cast iron skillet
or an ei8ht inch iron pot. None of them fancy hightech stone lined
flimsy things nor aluminium either. And the skillet must have a tight
fitting cover too. I also prefer gas for surface cooking. And wooden
spoons for stirring.
Then I want to saute in olive oil one chopped medium onion, about this
<--------------------------> big and two or three crushed cloves
of garlic. But before the onion is clear add a healthy dollop of butter
(that's R E A L butter, I will not be responsible and you cannot use my
name in association with this soup if you use any of those sickly
spreads) and two or three times as much peanut butter, crunchy or
smooth. Crunchy is better, I think. I have been experimenting with
adding additional crushed peanuts as well.
Now we lower the heat and cook until all the grease melts and blends.
Then add a little flour. One cook explained to me that you should use
as much flour as you did butter. I hadn't been doing that but it is an
area to experiment with. The flour is important to bind the grease with
the yet to come liquids. You don't want any free grease floating about
the soup. When the flour is all taken up by the grease then you add
milk. Verrrry slowly, stirring all the while with the wooden spoon, you
add the milk a little bit at a time. You can also add water and or
chicken broth in addition to or in place of the milk to bend the
flavour one way or the other and modify the rich creamyness.
It is important to keep the whole mess moving while it is thick so as
not to scorch it. Nothing is worse than burnt peanut butter soup. Once
you have adequate liquid to make the thickness and volume required to
satisfy your desire and your guests you add a few twists of fresh
ground black pepper and simmer, just barely, for ten minutes.
Serve in warm bowls garnished with three roasted peanuts (still in
their shells) floating on top. Crackers may be provided with a thick
grape preserve (like Welches Grapelade) as a condiment.
What I strive for is to have the onion and the crunchy peanuts chopped
to about the same size and the onion not cooked too much so your tongue
has a hard time telling them apart from the peanuts. Generally speaking
this is a thick rich creamy soup and about a cup is enough to start a
dinner. It is not to be confused with the peanut sauce typical of Thai
48f here this Friday the 13th morning.
Cold enough to light the oven and bake a long overdue banana bread. And
have some nice oatmeal with chopped dates for breky. Max wind here
yesterday was 37mph however some folks in Surprise were talking about
70. That's no surprise to me, they always drive too fast. Today we'll
have a lot of cleaning up after to do and then get on with putting up
the roof on the LaST building.
Would you like me to mail you a slice of banana bread? Needless to say
it would then be male'd banana bread even without its nuts, eh? Perhaps
it would be better if I only send along the recipe.
Oatmeal and Gout
For some reason or other today I looked up oatmeal and gout and came up
with some interesting pages and contradictions of treatments. This one was
especially good with their comment: "Having sex prevents men from
getting gout. It seems that increased sexual activity reduces uric acid
levels in fertile men." Somewhere else I read a similar statement
regarding the incidence of prostate cancer. Man it just wears me out
trying to stay healthy. (I didn't know men could be fertile but in my
dictionary: Fertile: 5c capable of ... or of causing fertilization.)
Cold Front Out Back
Coming around again. Dawn temperature has been down to as low as 47f a
this past week. Every day warms to 75-85 and then cools quickly at
sunset. Too early for migration plans to take off.
The new window in the head--Human
Contemplating the Cosmic Muffin-- is simply glorious! It gives a
perspective to standing at the funnel and causes a crick in one's neck
when sitting on the throne. I'm so much satisfied with it that despite
all the frustration and hidden expense I am getting excited all over
again about cutting in a new window above the galley sink.
On other fronts, yesterday was a shopping day for more than only
internet browsers. Comestibles of all sorts as well. Gran Mariner set
me back forty dollars for 750ml! Oh well. I cannot remember when it was
my last one, now with only a few sips remaining, was purchased nor what
I paid for it, but you can be sure I am going to sip this one verrry
slowly. See if I can make it last even longer.
Feast Day of Saint George
Saint George's Day--Take a Dragon to Lunch!
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Celebrate Saint George's
Here at The Cat Drag'd Inn we made short work of Saint George.
Hero of his time tho he was, slaying dragons to rescue fair maidens and
all that. I'd rather have a dragon any day--fiery breath, long tails,
and a ride you wouldn't believe! So we ate Saint George this time
instead of dragon. Roasted just so in a sauce of tomato, basil,
garlic, onion, and tarragon, with candied baby carrots on the side.
YUM! A gorge on George never was so tasty.
This week I am plumbing a new structure and rewiring an old house that
dates from before grounded outlets. The mains are a 60a service. Have
to shop for parts at antique stores.
that was friday that just went by...
At least I think it was. I won't know for sure until tomorrow. Bailey's
with my morning coffee is a Sunday ritual; that's how I'll know for
Shopping In A Construction Zone
The paint is not dry on the white lines in the carpark and there is
still all manner of construction around. The traffic control lights are
not yet functional but the new Lowe's next to last year's new Frye's at
Watson Road opened a day or so ago. Gas is struggling to stay under
three dollars, Diesel is the least expensive at ten cents below
regular. Fuel prices and the daily temperatures are in some kind of a
race towards Summer. My insider at FEMA reports that the current goal
of Homeland Security is to control population movement by pricing fuel
out of reach of the lower and middle classes. Four dollars a gallon by
Cinco de Mayo Eve
Oso con Migo took the first shower in the newly completed LaST
Building. He's not had a bath or a shower in all his twenty-some years
of estivating-ruminating-hibernating so this was a first at the LaST.
Now he's all washed up. After getting all wet and nearly wrung out he
took a ride in the "Ten Gee Centrifuge". He said of that: It was a
dizzying experience; at least I won't have to be hung out to dry.
Commercial Worth Watching
I think so anyhow. This squib probly
will not be shown on your local TV channel.
And I'm all out of beer and ice cream again. I have simply GOT to get
dressed and go shopping. At least the lump in Sara(h)'s tail seems to
be gone. That is one bright spot in this litany of woe.
Eye Test for The Clothes Minded...
This went around the internet as "Eye Test for Those Over 40. If You
See Sheep..." And did you? That photo was taken in Australia and the
original along with several others of the artists work can be found at
gallery and Hales Gallery.
The artists homepage is here in
case you'd like to sign up to participate in a shoot.
Q: What time is it?
A: This gets a little complicated, so hang on.
* The state of Arizona does not switch to Daylight Savings Time in
* Within the state of Arizona, the Navajo Reservation does switch to
Daylight Savings Time.
* Within the Navajo Reservation lies the Hopi Reservation. The Hopis do
not switch to Daylight Savings Time.
* The state of Utah does switch to Daylight Savings Time.
* Exception: Dangling Rope Marina, which is in Utah, does not switch to
Daylight Savings Time. They run on Arizona time.
1st of June - Summer Camp Begins
I've relocated to the side of a hill called Wind Horse, located
somewhere along a line between Pie Town and Grants New Mexico at about
7,500'MSL on the Continental Divide. We actually had a sprinkle of rain
a few moments ago but not enough to float a kayak. Cleaning up after
Several Stupid Mistakes along the Way will keep me busy and away from
the estivation I was so much looking forward to. Along the road from
Tonopah to here I visited: Vulture Peak [GC54F], Pecos Pete in
Lake [GC10WGJ], the Kaibab National Forest [GC8CE$ & GCXXX], Laura
[not a cache, just for dinner & scrabble], Standin' On The Corner
Winslow AridZona [GC64F7], and managed to find Diesel for less than
dollars a gallon. One of the stupid mistakes was that of over-filling
the main tank AND leaving the auxiliary tank transfer switch on. The
result of that was about six gallons of precious Diesel from the
auxtank went into the already too full main tank and subsequently into
a puddle on the tarmac. Aside from that the trip was a lot of fun
despite being alone again, naturally:
My hike to the summit of Vulture Peak was a special event. Over dressed
and over packed it seemed as I started out however by the time I was
out of site of the carpark I was getting down to basics.
Lunch with Pecos Pete in Prescott and a few hours kayaking on Watson
Lake took up another two days. The water level of the lake is down nine
feet from what I recall of my last visit a year or so ago. Some of that
is seasonal variation, some of it is questionable water management.
Nice water but not fit for swimming. Pinnacles of weathered granite jut
up out of the water making a maze of channels and islets to play
amongst. There is also a bike trail nee railroad bed and a campground
so it is a nice place to spend a few days away from the desert. On one
island there was a geocache. Good thing I was there early enough in the
morning to make a go of it.
Days and days went by as The Cat Drag'd slowly along through Williams
to Winslow and beyond. Geocaches took up much of the driving time; some
were short walks through the woods others were right along the road.
Drive-thru's as it were--Grab&Go... Dinner with
Laura. Laundry at Flying-J and a chance to catch up on mail. Over all
it was a nice slow drive. The fifteen miles of washboard north of Pie
Town going into Wind Horse was especially slow: walking speed over much
Have you visited any of the chat room churches where you can animate
to stand and kneel and pray? If you are still there when the collection
plate comes around it will make a deduction from your credit card.
Be Well, Do Good, and Please Write.
I do not know what I may
appear to the world; but
myself I seem to have been only like a boy playing on the seashore, and
diverting myself in now and then finding a smoother pebble or a
shell than ordinary, whilst the great ocean of truth lay all
before me. --Sir Isaac Newton
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Copyright © 2007, A.J.Oxton, The
Cat Drag'd Inn , Tonopah AridZona 85354-0313.