It is almost sad to watch the trees lose all their leaves and become bare. Since the winds have picked up for the past few days, the leaf drop has accelerated so fast the sight of those trees reminds me of the upcoming colder weather to come. The ponderosa pine trees have joined the other trees and are losing some needles.
All of this activity is a reminder of the raking to follow. But as a kid I loved to walk through the rustling of the leaves and fall right in the whole pile. I don’t dare do that today; I’d never be able to get back up!
We have not used our wood stove yet, but I have heard on the weather station that the weather is going to get a mite cooler, so now is the time for stoking up the wood stove. You have chopped that firewood, right?
The Hellsgate Fire Department now has a new administrative assistant. The fire department advertised for the position after Karen Carlen decided that she needed more schooling for a degree. Karen will be sorely missed, but now that a new assistant has been hired, the office will be complete. The new assistant’s name is Janell Blizzard and she is almost a native, since she has been in Payson since the first grade. Janelle was formerly employed at the Payson Parks and Recreation office. Janell has a significant other, along with two four-legged hounds and they have bought a house in Deer Creek. The department welcomes Janell and they are looking forward to working with her. Congratulations on your new position, Janell.
The domino club is still playing at 1 p.m. every Wednesday at Hellsgate Fire Station 22 in Tonto Village. There have been some of the ladies who have moved back down to the Valley, but there are still enough gals to have an afternoon of friendship, good food and keen competition.
Normally, the afternoon regretfully ends about 4:30 p.m. As the winter approaches, that time most likely will be shortened so that the ladies do not have to drive as it gets dark.
Come and join the ladies some Wednesday afternoon if you like to play games and have a few good laughs. Parking is in the back of the fire station parking lot.
Birthdays, anniversaries, etc.
On Nov. 2, Clint and Grace Daniels of Tonto Village III will celebrate 62 years of marriage. Amazing in this day and age. The honeymoon still isn’t over! Happy anniversary to you both.
Another couple, Ron and Lonie Smith of Ellison Creek summer homes, will observe their 53rd wedding anniversary. Ron and Lonie love to go fishing at Roosevelt Lake and they have caught some really big bass. Happy anniversary to you both, and here’s hoping you both have decades more to enjoy each other.
On Nov. 4, Bear Flat resident Doris Kindler will be 99 years young! Happy birthday to you, Doris.
Great weather for soup
This time of year also invokes smells of a wonderful soup simmering on the back burner. I just happen to have an easy recipe to fill that bill and the recipe is taken from the Hellsgate “Fireflies Can Cook” cookbook. The soup is called Crock Pot Chicken Tortilla Soup. Terry Phelan from Amarillo, Texas submitted the recipe for the fund-raising book.
Crock Pot Chicken Tortilla Soup
1-1/2 pounds cooked and shredded chicken
1, 15-ounce can diced tomatoes (or Ro*Tel tomatoes and green chiles)
1, 4-ounce can chopped green chiles
1, 15-ounce can pinto beans
1, ounce can black beans
1 medium onion, chopped
2 tablespoons minced garlic
2 cups water
1, 15-ounce can chicken broth
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1, 15-ounce can corn
Combine all ingredients in slow cooker, cover and cook 6 to 8 hours on low or 4 hours on high. Serve with tortilla chips, shredded cheese, cilantro, sour cream and lime.
This is so easy to put together and forget it and dinner will be ready when your family is ready to eat.
The cookbook is so versatile — it has heirloom recipes and really easy ones for the novice in the kitchen. The Hellsgate Fireflies are still selling the cookbook and all you need to do is call Janet at (928) 478-9935 or Dara at (928) 478-0052 and arrange to pick up the cookbook for the price of only $10. All the proceeds will eventually go to the firefighters for schooling or equipment so that the money goes for a good cause.
Internet humor for the week:
Avoid cutting yourself when slicing vegetables by getting someone else to hold them while you chop.