After Christmas Tradition


Left over turkey sandwich, just like mom used to make

While some after Christmas traditions call for a run to the store for goods half-off, my favorite custom is making a sandwich, Audrey-style, with leftover turkey, stuffing, cranberry, lettuce, radishes, butter and mayo. Mm mm…..

It’s been ages since I’ve cooked a Christmas meal. I’ve always been fortunate enough to be a guest of family who love holiday cooking.  Nowadays, those family members are gone and with holiday invitations sparse, we dined at a local hotel for the holiday.

The atmosphere was jolly, we weren’t the only snow-capped seniors out for a meal.  The food was descent and the ample portions granted enough leftovers for a couple turkey sandwiches the following day.

I was blessed to have a mom who not only cooked, but cooked from scratch. So many of our holiday traditions revolved around food – big meals, homemade pies, cookies and desserts only prepared during the season.

The day after Christmas, it was always turkey sandwiches – for breakfast or lunch.  Toasted bread, buttered, and piled with all the left over fixings. Even in my adult years, I would be invited over for a turkey sandwich.

Today, I once again enjoyed a delicious, post-Christmas meal, thankful for little things like leftovers and grateful for the wonderful memories of family and food and traditions worth preserving.

Happy New Year!



Arch Rock Loop Trail @ SARA Park

“I dressed and went for a walk – determined not to return until I took in what Nature had to offer.”-   Raymond Carver, This Morning

After spending Saturday afternoon reading Claire Miller’s, “Mile 445: Hitched in Her Hiking Boots,” I got an itch Sunday morning to don my boots and stretch my legs on the Arch Rock Loop Trail in SARA Park.

With temperatures in the 40’s and winds light, conditions were perfect for the uphill climb to the arch. I had one worry, the path to the arch is what I call a goat trail – a narrow, arduous footpath fit more for a mountain goat, not a sometimes wobbly grandma.


From this trail, you descend down into the wash (not shown) and  back up the Arch Trail

Determined to see the arch, I cautiously moved each foot forward, placing each shoe in a previous hikers imprint.  As I walked, all I could think about was having to go back down. The thought of descending the trail through loose rocks and rubble caused a little concern.


Checking out the arch

With the arch all to myself, I rested for a while appreciating nature and it’s wonders. I wasn’t interested in tackling the trail back yet, so I headed off on a side path and enjoyed the solitude of walking the desert terrain.

By the time I decided to double back, the winds kicked up making the descent quite frightening. I was so thankful for someone else’s foot prints guiding the way down and keeping me from sliding. Following one strong wind gust, I finally threw my pride to the side and shimmied down on my bottom.

After taking in what nature had to offer, all I can say is one time on the Arch Trail is enough for this grandma.

Yuma Territorial Prison

I don’t need dollar bills to have fun tonight (I love cheap thrills) – Sia

Who says you need a lot of cash to have a good time? Not this Grandma.  With my Arizona State Park pass in hand, the hubby and I took a little road trip to Yuma to relive the past within the walls of the Yuma Territorial Prison.


An annual state park pass is a good investment for folks who enjoy camping, boating, hiking, or just day tripping to historical sites. The cost is low and the pass pays for itself quickly. All you need is a tank of gas, some change for lunch, and you’re on your way.


The last remaining original cell blocks  – 1875

We started in the court-yard with a friendly docent with a head full of prison knowledge.  I recommend taking advantage of a docent, they know some interesting history about the prison. There’s plenty of time to wander afterwards on your own.


1930s taggers

After it closed in 1909, the prison became Yuma High School, the County Hospital, and in the 1930s, squatters from the Depression made the prison home. Seems graffiti and tagging were even popular back then. Who knew?


Six to a cell

The original interior wall stopped at the end of the three-story bunks. Although you’d never imagine it, the prison was referred to as the country club of the Colorado because of its many modern amenities (i.e., electricity, a library, sanitation, and a prison band).


The Dark Cell

If you were really bad, you were sent to the Dark Cell – stripped, chained, and fed bread and water. No lights, no sanitation, and for fun the guards would drop scorpions and snakes on you through the ventilation hole in the ceiling. Oh, and the occupancy rate capped at 12.


Prisoner’s cemetery

Very few of those incarcerated in Yuma died violently – about 50% died of TB and 33% of natural causes. Seems prisoners weren’t worthy of a headstone; a plaque added later list the names of the deceased.


I didn’t do it!

The only thing I’m guilty of is having fun! The mirror is an original and was used to take mug shots. The striped shirt is a replica of the 1870s prison attire. Women weren’t imprisoned in Yuma until 1878, and even then it was common to use your “feminine wiles” to obtain parole or reduced sentence.

Well thank goodness in 1941 the city turned the site into a museum and saved the remaining sections of the prison. Nearby is another state historic park, the Quartermaster Depot, which we’ll visit another time. We had an interesting day and enjoyed learning about the Wild West and the history of the Yuma Territorial Prison.