Northern Arizona University

Monday, February 23, 2009

Sunday, the girls and I took a road trip to Flagstaff to check out the NAU campus.

Shelby's boyfriend went with us. His brother attends NAU, and lives in the dorms, so we were able to get a great tour of the campus. We were able to see several of the dorms, the fitness center, the dining facilities, and most of the campus.

This is Shelby, and her very tall boyfriend Josh.

Here is Stormy in one of the food courts, adjacent to the cafeteria. They have better food choices on campus than my entire town!

It's a beautiful campus...except for the SNOW!

Are those icicles? Brrrrr...

Here is where Shelby will be spending most of her time...

Here is the Skydome, where all the sporting events are held. Notice the Lumberjack.

I still can't get over the fact that they will be Lumberjacks!

All in all, it was a day well spent. We even managed to find the mall in town, which could have been the deal breaker for Stormy. Fortunately, it passed muster. The town of Flagstaff is adorable, and has everything they will need. Including a Grey Hound bus station.




Friday, February 20, 2009

Guess what came in the mail yesterday!

Can you guess?

Shelby's acceptance letter to NAU!

She is going to be a Lumberjack!

Lumberjack? That's the best they could do? At least I'm a grizzly. Does this mean I have to buy her flannel shirts? Good Lord I hope not. Shelby doesn't look good in plaid.

One down, one to go!


Meet Frank!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

This is Frank.

Frank is a new (hopefully temporary) addition to our household.
Because of his squished up little face, he snorts when you pet him. I already like him!

Frank is a Himalayan Persian. Frank is a rescue...he was being seriously neglected in his previous home. I received a pitiful cry for help from his previous, previous (10 year old) owner to "Please Save Frank". How do you say no to that?

Smokey says it should have been real easy to say no. He's giving me the cold shoulder now.

Remember "Wild Kingdom"? I have decided that Summer is Marlon Perkins, and I am Jim. She gets to do all the cool narrative, and I end up wrestling the alligator. Figuratively speaking, of course.



Quick, Somebody Google Carnitas!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Tonight, dinner was Carnitas Tacos with Saffron Rice and corn on the cob with Chili Lime Butter. None of that was what I had planned for the pork loin I got out of the fridge at noon, it just sort of happened. I love surprises like that.

I had originally planned to roast the pork loin, either in the oven or our handy dandy garage sale rotisserie. But as I was trimming the roast, I realized I was in the mood for Mexican. So I cut the meat into large chunks, seasoned with garlic and chili powder, and browned the meat in the dutch oven in some vegetable oil.

Then I through the dutch oven into the oven to finish cooking, while I debated what to do with it. Chili Verde? Chili Colorado? Ahhh, how about Carnitas? So I through in more garlic, some onions, cumin, and chili powder, and let it cook about 3 hours at 350 degrees.

Once the meat is nice and browned, bring back up to the stove top on low heat...

Mix in all those drippings...that's what makes this so good!

And shred the meat. We did this with a potato masher, but spoons and/or forks would have worked just fine.

Meanwhile, I ran to the store, so that we would have some tasty toppings.

Cilantro, diced onion, avocado, salsa Verde, and fresh lime juice.

Then decided that some chili lime butter would be a great topping to some corn on the cob. Just mix soft butter with chili powder to taste and fresh lime juice.

Don't be shy with the chili power. It really makes the corn "pop"!

Then shape into a log with some plastic wrap and put in the fridge. It will re-harden pretty quickly.

Now, just put your taco together anyway you like. I like everything on mine.

The chili lime butter was excellent on the corn.

Not too bad for a last minute dinner!


Cats, Caverns and Cars

Monday, February 9, 2009

So, what do you do on a cold, rainy Sunday in Arizona?

Well, if you're us, you head out on old Route 66 and see what turns up!

Our first stop was Keepers of the Wild in Valentine. A "rescue" wild animal park.

Keepers got it's start by rescuing large cats that had been in Las Vegas shows, but their owners no longer had any use for them.

Despite the look of the fences, these animals actually have very large enclosures of natural landscape to roam in.

Summer loved these big cats.

This big cat did NOT love Summer!

I'm a sucker for the wolves.

There were many other types of animals, but we didn't get to see them all...

Because of the snow! Yes, we got snowed Arizona!

So, we headed back out on ol' Route 66 and ended up in Peach Springs.

Home of the Grand Canyon Caverns.

Fun Fact: Peach Springs was the inspiration for Radiator Springs in the Disney/Pixar movie Cars.

So, we jumped on the elevator and descended 220 feet below the surface for a 3/4 mile tour of the worlds largest "dry cavern".

Fun Fact: These caverns were a planned fall out shelter for the Cuban Missile Crisis. There are still supplies down there from that time.

Gotta come here in the Summer when it's 115 degrees at home.

This, of course, was the highlight of the tour for Summer. Ewwww!

Once we had enough subterranean fun, back on the highway we headed.

We ended up in Seligman, another quaint Route 66 town.

Did you know this is an Edsel? Me neither. But the hubby did.

This one too. I guess that's cool if you're a car guy.

I really wanted to eat here, but there were closed. Ran out of roadkill apparently.

This made me very thirsty!
Yes, that says 1,280,000 shots of Moonshine

Well, that was enough tourist fun for us. Only took us 5 years here to get out and explore our own backyard. Maybe next time, we'll head for the Grand Canyon. I've heard there is some cool stuff there too!


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