Where did winter go? There has been no rain or snow in a few months now and according to the weather reports I listened to, the precipitation is not on the horizon.
Today is the last day of November which means that the holiday season gets under way in earnest.
Since you are reading this column on Friday, Thanksgiving Day is over, except for the leftovers. How many ways can you fix leftover turkey?
There was frost on the pumpkin this past week! In fact it was downright cold.
By today, everyone should know who will lead our country. I pray that whichever candidate won that he leads with the Lord’s help. Our nation is on the brink of ____ (you can fill in the blank).
Oh! My gosh! The political ads will stop after Nov. 6. Will anyone miss them?
The scariest and spookiest and the most fun for kids is almost here. Of course it has to be Halloween day
The fire season is not over. On Oct. 14, about 10:30 a.m., a fire was reported to the Forest Service and Tonto National Forest.
I cannot believe these past two weeks.
The outdoors has been the place to be this past week; the weather has been perfect.
Ahh — autumn! — No bug bites Autumn has arrived like a lamb.
Haven’t the days been picture perfect? The weather has finally broke from the monsoon rains and the nasty humidity.
Do you remember where you were on Sept. 11, 2001? That day was horrifying, scary, and bewildering for me.
Tonto Village rocked this past weekend with a barbecue by the Hellsgate auxiliary at fire station #22, and the Modified Motorcycle Camp and Jam.
Today is the last day of August, where did the summer go?
What a downpour Tonto Village had on Monday afternoon. In the span of about half an hour, the rain was measured at about an inch.
Camp Tontozona will be active again. What great news! The ASU football team, the Sun Devils, will be holding practice sessions and a scrimmage this week.
celebrating her birthday today.
It was difficult to type in August so soon. It seems as if the summer has flown by much too quickly. I have not gone fishing as much as I have wanted or gone somewhere I have not been to, but wait ... that’s not true.
Have you ever gone to Young? We have been thinking of making the trip for quite a while, so we decided to make the trip this past weekend, which was a perfect time.
Finally!!!! The clouds opened up and let go with a considerable amount of rain for Payson and the surrounding area. The rain totals were widely spread from a small amount to three inches in some places.
Since I am writing this column on Tuesday, I do not know if we had the rainfall that was predicted for Wednesday, the 4th of July. According to the Payson Ranger Station, the Tonto National Forest is closed to camping and hiking because of the extreme dryness of the forest and the safety of people because of bear attacks. Even a simple task such as walking your animals in the forest is prohibited.
The month of June is just about over, but not without some scary moments around Tonto Village. By now everyone knows that there have been three bear attacks within our vicinity and one of those attacks was quite severe. So far, there have been three tracked down by Arizona Game and Fish and killed. One bear was killed on Saturday and two were killed on Sunday. Wherever there are campers and campsites there are the signs posted to be aware of bears — But who pays attention?
Who turned up the thermostat? That sun is extremely strong. I hope that everyone is wearing sun block. Since Sunday was Father’s Day, my hubby wanted to go fishing, and wow, the heat and sun wore him out pretty fast. He did have a good time and he did land a few fish, enough for a good meal. One word of caution as you fish: be aware of your surroundings because of snakes.
It has been a busy June for me and for the Hellsgate Fireflies Auxiliary. This past Saturday, the auxiliary participated in the Bashas’ Food Festival in the Bashas’ parking lot. There were many vendors selling various things including food and crafts.
The big news this week is the “missing” bear. This big, bad bear attacked a lady inside her tent at the Ponderosa Campground recently and he is still at large. Arizona Game and Fish personnel have closed that campground along with the Bear Flat campground on the 405 Road and extended the closure into the Hellsgate Wilderness area. For more current information, contact the Payson Ranger Station at (928) 474-7900 or the Arizona Game and Fish Headquarters at 800-970-2327. Many campers do not give a thought about the wild creatures that inhabit our forests and a “bear alert” is very serious. Every camper needs to inform themselves about safe camping in bear country.
The month of May is now behind us for another year, but not without a few surprises. Last week the temperature got down to freezing in the village and killed a few of my flowers, and left shriveled up leaves on many of the shrubs and trees including my neighbor’s grape vines. I only hope that what ever blossoms were on the apple tress that they survived that frost.
This weekend is a big holiday for many of us. Do you know the significance of the Memorial Day holiday? It is not just about an extra day off from work, having a barbecue or camping out in the forest, etc. It is about honoring those men and women who sacrificed their lives in one of our many wars and they did it unselfishly to keep our nation free from hostile countries. It is about placing ‘Old Glory’ on a veteran’s grave or leaving a red poppy, which is a symbol of those who died.
The wildfire season is here with a vengeance. Our forest is very dry and according to the Payson Ranger station, the Sunflower area is on restriction as of Tuesday, May 15. Other parts of Tonto National Forest will be under campfire restrictions by the end of this week. There is a Web site available to voice your opinion on restrictions of campfires from May 1 to July 15. The site is: http://www.campfireslimited.com. There are other Web sites to check also, they are: SWEG http://gacc.nifc.gov/swcc/index.htm. A phone number to call for information is 1-877-864-6985.
It’s planting time! The threat of frost is still with us, but we will start with frost resistant veggies and cross our fingers that there will not be a bad cold snap. Maybe a great way to start your garden is to buy that special mother(s) in your life a starter plant such as a tomato plant or something you would like to grow and eat and present it to her on Mother’s Day, Sunday, May 13. Happy Mother’s Day to all the mothers out there, have a wonderful day.
What a fantastically grand and wonderful week the Snyder family had! My brother Larry Henrickson came to visit us all the way from Berwick, Pa. — And he drove! Larry has a black 1988 Cadillac Coup de Ville with a burgundy leather interior. What a car! He tried to register it at the car show, but was told the car was too new. Larry is a big fan of car shows (he fixes up old cars and shows them in his hometown), and of NASCAR. Retired driver, Jimmy Spencer lives in Berwick and has a garage there. So naturally, my brother kept track of his career with NASCAR. Jimmy now emcees on the Speed channel.
Tonto Village is blooming all over. All the fruit trees have survived that freak snowstorm of a few weeks ago. The irises are showing off with beautiful shades of purple and lavender, yellow and white. Many of the residents have the flowers along their fences and it looks so pretty. I have heard quite a bit of sneezing, though, including me. Something that is blooming tickles the nose. I can handle that since everything blooming looks so nice.
What crazy weather! Tonto Village got about two inches of snow this past weekend. My concern was the apple blossoms, I sure do want apples this year, but the buds had not developed enough, so I think it will be OK. I love spring because it is a time of renewal, not just of nature showing off, but it can be of faith, relationships, a hobby that you set aside to finish whenever or even of a love affair that didn’t quite finish in the right way. I listened to the local weather report this morning and the forecast is favorable for outdoor projects — specifically, finishing the siding on our new addition, but I was also thinking of fishing. I am starting to get fishing fever. It is time to make time!
This past week was a wonderful Holy Week for the Snyder family. I was fortunate enough to be invited to the pageant held in Mesa at the LDS church. I have never seen the performance before and the whole thing just blew me away! There were hundreds of people there to watch the most amazing cast, almost 600 in all — not including the live animals. I was told that there was a performance each day during Holy Week and there were just as many guests at every pageant performance.
The Snyder clan increased by one this past weekend with the addition of a new granddaughter-in-law. Sarah Richardson of Mesa, Ariz. became the bride of our grandson Brian. The wedding took place at the Fiesta Fountains in Mesa. The place is extraordinary! There were three weddings taking place basically at the same time. The facility is extremely well organized and decorated for each individual wedding. Brian and Sarah’s wedding was a tear jerker, but then aren’t all weddings? Congratulations to the newlyweds.
Last Saturday, my neighbor and I attended the 14th annual Women’s Wellness Forum sponsored by the Mogollon Health Alliance. The keynote speaker this year was Jason Schechterle. What a fantastic speaker! He is truly a man who was handed a lemon, and he made lemonade. He was inspiring. The breakout sessions were exceptional with information on women’s wellness. The day was definitely one of the best Wellness Forums that I have participated in; and out of the 14 held, I have probably been to at least 12.
This past Tuesday was the first day of spring, believe it or not. Tonto Village, along with the surrounding communities, Bear Flat and Mead Ranch, all were dumped on with about 15 inches of snow. So far, the amount of precipitation amounts to 1.5 inches, but there is still a deficit of about 6 inches according to a Bear Flat resident, who has kept records for many years on rainfall and snow accumulation. When I was a kid living in upstate New York, I can remember looking out the window on the first day of spring and seeing just about as much snow when I expected to see spring flowers. What a disappointment that was.
Does anyone know where San Tan Valley is? I found out this past weekend when I was invited to my future granddaughter-in-law’s bridal shower. I could not tell if I was in Apache Junction, Florence or where. I drove down on Saturday, and took the easiest route to get there, Route 87 to U.S. 60 and then to the bride’s mother’s house. The trip took me two-and-a-half hours. It is out in the middle of nowhere with big, ranch-like homes with plenty of horses. The bridal shower was a huge success, and I thoroughly enjoyed myself, meeting other family members and the wedding party. But when it came time for me to leave — early, because I wanted to beat the daylight coming back up the mountain — I made a wrong turn and got lost! Before I realized it, I was 20 miles out of my way. I finally stopped to ask directions to U.S. 60 and got back on track.
Tonto Village, Bear Flat and Christopher Creek were blessed with some rain and snow on Monday and early Tuesday. It didn’t amount to a whole lot, maybe about a quarter of an inch or a bit more. But at this point we will take what we can get, since we need the moisture so badly. The wind was a bit much, blowing about 30 mph, but that blew the clouds to the Rim. I have not heard how much snow the Rim got.
I spotted the first robin of the season this past week feeding with the other birds in our back yard. I guess that means that spring is not too far away. Even my rose bushes are sprouting new growth and so is the parsley and sage. The garlic I planted a few years ago has already come up and an odd thing — I have a whole garlic sitting on my window sill and I noticed that the whole clove has sprouted! Now what? Do I just leave it be and cut off the green shoots, or do I get a pot of soil and plant them? Any advice out there?
The big parties are over for now, Arizona has had a wonderful 100th birthday bash all over the state, and most of the celebrations were free, which is a good thing since the economy is in such bad shape. Valentine’s Day has come and gone with an abundance of all kinds of flowers, (mostly roses), candy, balloons and teddy bears. I hope that your Valentine’s Day was a good one. My hubby, always the romantic, was very original this year. He presented me with a 20 gauge shotgun, double barreled, and made in Brazil.
What a mild winter we are having! I am not complaining about the lack of snow, and my hubby surely isn’t either, he has to shovel that white stuff. The concern from the lack of snow ratchets up the chances for a very active forest fire season. Everyone will need to be extra aware of any sparks that would cause a forest fire. There are many households that use wood either in a fireplace or wood stove so having a spark screen on the top of your chimney is very important along with having your chimney cleaned out at least once a year. If you or any of your relatives like to ride their ATVs, please check to see if they have spark arrestors on the vehicles, the exhaust pipes can get very hot and can be a big problem if the exhaust is right next to dry pine needles.
Can you believe it? January is gone and February is here. February is a very important month for many reasons, but most important is that it is Arizona’s birthday on Feb. 14, in becoming 100 years young! There are many celebrations going on in the state of various kinds. Just check out the newspaper for a list of activities from around the state. One event that is close to home is the Hashknife riders. They will be making stops in Christopher Creek and Payson to pick up the mail and carry the mail to Scottsdale. Again, check the newspaper for the exact dates and times they will be passing through. February is also National Heart Month, so check with your physician to see if you need a checkup.
The month of January is just about gone. The prominent item on most people’s minds is getting ready to do taxes for April 15, or is it April 16 this year? There are about two-and-a-half months left to get all your paperwork in order. That seems like a long time, but how many of us procrastinate until the last possible day? I sure wish the system was an easy process to handle, the government has made the process so cumbersome that most people dread this time of year. My sympathies are with all of us as the time approaches to file our returns. Dry winter? The Village is quiet this time of year, most of the summer residents won’t show up until April or May. There are a number of part-timers who come to the Village to check on their places and stay to play in the snow. But this year, hardly any snow except the storm this past December that dumped at least a foot of the white stuff. Believe it or not, there is still some of it around, in the northern portions of the ground. The weather service has warned us that this could be a dry and cold winter. I hope that they are wrong.
Tonto Village turned white this past weekend with a smattering of snow mixed with rain and sleet. The temperature stayed in the 30s, so most of the snow melted and turned the ground into mud! What a mess. The forest needs the moisture, so I won’t complain too loud.
January is now well under way, and magazines are filled with getting healthy with exercise and how to organize your space. Like everyone, I need both. The only exercise that I am accomplishing is walking with my pug/beagle mix doggie every day and as far as organizing my space, I think I need help!!!!! There is now minimal walking room in my office and pantry area. The problem is that I have every-day things plus decorations, gifts, books, etc. all together.
Six days gone already in the New Year! I have now been writing this column for 11 years! The time has flown by but I have enjoyed every word that I have written. I hope that you as my readers feel that way too. Have you thought about new resolutions yet? I have not, because I never keep them. My intentions are good, but my will is weak. The one thing that I will try very hard at is to eat more natural foods and to stay away from processed foods and to stay away from take-out.
My hubby Bill and I took a nostalgic ride through the past when we first came to Yuma back in 1967. At that time, there was no interstate from Phoenix, and Highway 85 was a dangerous highway with two-way traffic. The road continued to Highway 80 which was filled with agriculture and citrus orchards by the mile. Since that first trip was in the latter part of June, it was extremely hot by 10 a.m. I remember stopping along huge salt cedar trees with the family to take a break from the scorching sun. We marveled at the lemons on the trees and we took a needed break from the sun. So on our way to Yuma for Christmas, we decided to take that same route again to see if there was any difference. Well, the trees were still there, some of the groves were there, and the McElhaney stock yards were still there, so not too many changes had taken place in 44 years. The worker buses were still being decorated for the holidays and lettuce is now the king crop in the Yuma area.
Countdown is on for Christmas shopping for that special someone or for your family. Tomorrow is Christmas Eve and all shopping, wrapping and dinner preparations should be completed for you to relax and enjoy your family and friends on this holy of holies Christmas season. It is a time for renewal of faith and counting your blessings that have come your way this past year. I have not forgotten our Jewish friends. Hanukkah began at sundown on Tuesday. Hanukkah is also known as the Festival of Lights. A little light can go a long way toward making the world a brighter place. To my Hanukkah friends, Happy Hanukkah!
Wasn’t there a person or persons who predicted that this winter would be a dry winter? Well, Mother Nature is outdoing herself in the precipitation area. This is no complaint, on my part. The weather in the Rim Country played a major part in our decision to make this area our permanent home. Can anyone blame us after spending 35 years in Yuma, one of the driest places in the U.S.