Senor Ping and I celebrated American Thanksgiving with our friends and neighbors in Val Vista. Carol and Sandy organized the dinner and everyone contributed by bringing appetizers, hot and cold dishes and desserts. We spent the afternoon (and into the night) enjoying delicious food and drink, beautiful weather, wonderful companionship and great music. People from elsewhere in the park dropped by to listen to the singing and share in the good company. We are so thankful to be a part of such a wonderful "snowbird community".
When Senor Ping and I led a student tour in Italy we were treated to a glass blowing demonstration in Venice. It was amazing to watch and something I never thought I would have an opportunity to try. When we arrived in Mesa, Loreen asked me if I was interested in taking a class in glass blowing and I jumped at the chance. Four of us from Val Vista spent 3 hours with a glass blower for a beginner class in glass blowing.
First we made flowers, which do not involve any blowing. We started by "gathering" the molten glass on a pipe. I know it sounds easy, but first you have to stick a long pipe into a furnace which is at about 2400 F, pick up enough glass and then you have to keep the pipe turning as you take it out of the furnace and move to the bench, again turning the pipe constantly so the glass doesn't fall off. And while you are keeping the pipe turning you use long pliers to pull the glass which has the consistency of very, very stiff taffy. In Venice the glass blower made a horse.....I'm not there yet!!!!
When we had "mastered" the first step we moved to making glass ornaments and adding color to the glass. This involved gathering on a blow pipe and then rolling the glass on a marver (a thick sheet of steel). When you add the colored glass (called frit) it goes back into another furnace called the "glory hole" and is reheated. Next you need to blow into the pipe and create a bubble. Oh, and did I mention you need to keep the pipe turning the entire time so the glass doesn't droop or fall off or any of those other disasters that might just happen. We discovered that even a small glass ornament requires team work, and we took turns blowing into the pipe while others used tools called jacks and diamond sheers.
All completed pieces of glass are put into a "lehr", another type of furnace that is used to cool the glass slowly over many hours. The time flew by quickly and before we knew it the class was over. Hopefully I will have another opportunity to learn more about the art of glass blowing, but in the meantime I will be hanging the ornaments I made on my Christmas tree.
Yesterday the Jacobs' and Baileys' had a 8:37 AM tee time at Superstition Springs Golf Course. When we arrived they told us our tee time was delayed due to frost....now, I admit it was a bit chilly the night before, but these people do not know the meaning of November frost!!! Needless to say, we hit a bucket of balls at the driving range, enjoyed the view and relaxed until we teed off. We had seen the golf course from the freeway as we had driven by, but this was our first time golfing at this course. The landscape was spectacular. It was full of undulating greens, rolling fairways, water hazards, sand traps, birds of all kinds (we saw herons and egrets just to name a few) waterfalls and challenging holes.
This hole is known as the volcano. A long par 3 surrounded by sand bunkers. I have to admit I was at the beach on the way to the top!!
There was water everywhere. Quite a change from our regular course where the only water is in your glass. Senor Ping had a tough out on this hole.
We made a return trip to Kokopelli golf course last week with friends Loreen and Gavin. It was a beautiful day for golf, slightly overcast (meaning not as hot as it has been) but no wind or bugs!! The course is lush with rolling fairways, lots of water and sand (my favorite things ....just not on a golf course) and no obstacles like houses for Senor Ping to worry about. What a great way to spend the day!!!
Last week we went golfing and I took my little camera along and took a few shots of Senor Ping and the golf course. When I went to upload the pictures to the computer t I was quite surprised to find golf photos from Desert Blume in Medicine Hat. In August Doug and Debbie K. and I enjoyed a round of golf in Medicine Hat. Although we drove through rain most of the way to Medicine Hat, the rain clouds lifted and we were able to enjoy our round of golf at one of the more challenging courses we have played.
One of our biggest beef's about the RV park we are staying in is the high speed internet. At times it works just fine, but on occasion (and those occasions have been getting more frequent as more people arrive), it slows to a crawl, times out and generally annoys us to no end. It is very difficult to harvest and plant crops on Farmville when it is so slow and last night we skyped Megan and had to reconnect 4 times to finish our conversation. Last year I had to sit outside to use skype or walk to the laundry room to improve the strength of the signal.
This morning we had an internet provider come and hook up a modem and now things are zooming along. I can farm all I want, Senor Ping can check out how the Roughriders are preparing for their next football game and we can skype (and hopefully not lose our connection). I will also be able to post more photos on my blog without waiting and waiting and waiting.....