We had a get together at a neighbor’s house for the 2nd NFL playoff game of the day and towards the end of it one of my friends went outside to look at the moon. I had no idea of what was going on so with the Lunar eclipse so I ran home and grabbed my Nikon D5100 and my tripod. I started a little later than I would have liked but I was able to snap quite a few pictures. I had some trouble with the focus on my 200 mm lens so I used my 18-135 mm lens and the pictures turned out decent. I wish that I could have made them a little crisper but overall I am happy with the results.
My wife picked up an Instant Pot for the family last year on Black Friday. We finally broke it out right after New Years Day and have cooked a couple of meals in it. I really wanted to use it to make something for dinner this last Sunday so we decided on ribs. My wife picked up a rack of pork ribs at our local grocery store along with some Sweet Baby Rays BBQ sauce.
I started by rubbing them down with some freshly ground Sea Salt and Peppercorn.
I then put a cup of water in the Instant Pot along with the cooking rack and a couple of drops of Liquid Smoke and set it to run for 25 minutes.
By the time it heated up, cooked the meat for 25 minutes, and then run for the recommended 10 minute cool down cycle it was close to an hour later. I took the ribs out and they were fully cooked but looked like death.
I then gave them a hearty coat of BBQ sauce and stuck them in the oven at 450 degrees for 15 minutes and they crisped up nicely.
I served them with some baked beans and corn on the cob and we had an excellent meal.
Here’s a link to the recipe that I used: https://www.pressurecookrecipes.com/easy-bbq-instant-pot-ribs/
We got invited by some family friends to join them for the weekend in Big Bear, CA. It snowed the night before we drove up and everything was blanketed with a good layer of snow. It made everything look very scenic. We got to our hotel and relaxed for a bit and then my boys played in the snow outside for a little bit before we went to dinner. A new restaurant had opened up across the street since the last time our friends stayed there so we all troooped over to try it out. There was a little bit of an issue getting all 13 of us seated but once we did, it exceeded our expectations. The food was very good and the views from the balcony were stunning.
The next day we hit up the Big Bear Snow Play park. It was a little pricey at $35 each but we got to ride the inner tubes for about 4 hours. Both my boys and I had a great time and so did the other families with us. When the park closed we dropped off the ladies back at the hotel and headed to a local park to do some sledding. I managed to run into a rock on my first sled run and banged up my left wrist a little. We rode the sleds until the sun started to set. Our friends went back to the hotel for their second night and we headed home.
It was a really great weekend with friends and family and I hope to make it a new family tradition.
My son is a member of Cub Scout Pack 2017 and every year we sell popcorn as our primary fundraiser for Pack events. We sold a lot of popcorn this year. Part of selling popcorn was collecting Military Donations. We delivered those donations to March ARB on December 1st. After the popcorn delivery was finished we got the chance to board one of their refueling aircraft and all the kids got to learn about how it refuels other planes while in the air. It was a great experience for all involved.
On Thursday morning we made the 6 hour drive from my house to Williams, AZ and spent the night there at the Grand Canyon Railway Hotel.
On Friday morning we rode the train up to the Grand Canyon and then took a bus tour. We stayed at the Maswik Hotel on the south rim of the canyon that night. I left the wife and kids at the room and walked up to the red line bus and took it out to Mohave Point to watch the sunset.
On Saturday we walked to the nearest bus stop and rode the bus to the Visitor Center. From there we walked along the rim of the canyon to the geology museum. When we were done at the museum we took another bus back to our hotel, picked up our gear, and rode the train back to Williams. We then made the 6 hour drive back and got home around 2:00 am. I did all the driving so I got to sleep in a little on Sunday. We spent most of the day recuperating from the trip and I got out to the shop around 4:00 pm and did some gluing up of the broken tomahawk targets.
Please note that we had an 8 year old, an 11 year old, and my mother in law in the car so the actual drive times varied.