Thursday, December 31, 2009

Wishing You

a magnificent 2010! I hope you all discover peace, love, and a wonderful new year ahead of you!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

In the Clouds

I stepped out in to the damp morning

Surrounded by mist and clouds.

Even the birds were hushed

to whispers from inside the trees.

I took a moment to absorb

That soft silence.

The one that speaks louder

Than any voice.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Getting Creative

Would I ever like to have this finished by the New Year! At least my part of it. Oh wait. There's only 3 more days to this year. That will not be happening. I still have to put the outside border (white) on it, then find a backing fabric, then find somewhere to have it quilted.

I bought the pattern a number of years ago, and a pile of fabrics that were put together specifically for this pattern. What I discovered is that because there were so many different fabrics in small quantities, there was not enough to cut the pieces the way it said in the instructions. That means when the directions tell me to lay out that 54" strip and sew it to the side, I don't have a 54" strip. I'm guessing. I'm sewing pieces together to come up with a 54" strip.

Just like in my life, I don't know what I'm doing. I go along trying new things, thinking I may be able to do it, and run up against things that I had no idea would be a problem.

And just like in my life, I always seem to manage to figure something out to make it be okay. Not perfect. And just like my life, if you look closely, you'd be able to see where I have patched things together.

I'm okay with that. I'm grateful for the abilities I do have, and the creativity to pull it together when I don't have the knowledge.

Bring on the New Year!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Culinary Fun

Hubby got one of those wild hairs that comes to him fairly often. This particular time, it was to make pork tamales for the first time.
He boiled the pork the day before, added the spices & oil, then it was off to the store to look for masa & corn husks.
Scott & I both had to go on Hubby's computer to read "how to assemble" the tamales. It was required. :) Did I ever mention that he (Hubby) is a bit on the OCD side?

Mmmmm, mmmmmm, good! And it was something fun that we could all do together!

Friday, December 25, 2009


ANGELS is the theme this week, chosen by Kim.

I love angels. I love pictures of angels, statues of angels, and the most wonderful of friends, who are angels to me.

One of my "angel" friends is Janice, one of the most good-hearted, funny, giving people I know. She gave me this one year, a guardian angel, to carry with me wherever I go. Isn't it beautiful?

Then there's this fragile angel that managed to move with me without a scratch.

There's a peace about her that feel when I take the time to notice her. Isn't that true of all angels? Yes, I think it is. Wishing you a peace filled weekend!

To see more shoot out photos, click here!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Legend of the Christmas Spider

nce upon a time, long ago, a gentle mother was busily cleaning the house for the most wonderful day of the year.... The day on which the Christ child came to bless the house. Not a speck of dust was left. Even the spiders had been banished from their cozy corner in the ceiling to avoid the housewife's busy cleaning. They finally fled to the farthest corner of the attic.

T'was the Christmas eve at last! The tree was decorated and waiting for the children to see it. But the poor spiders were frantic, for they could not see the tree, nor be present for the Christ child's visit. But the oldest and wisest spider suggested that perhaps they could peep through the crack in the door to see him.

Silently they crept out of their attic, down the stairs, and across the floor to wait in the crack in the threshold. Suddenly, the door opened a wee bit and quickly the spiders scurried into the room. They must see the tree closely, since their eyes weren't accustomed to the brightness of the room... so the crept all over the tree, up and down, over every branch and twig and saw every one of the pretty things. At last they satisfied themselves completely of the Christmas tree beauty.

But alas!! Everywhere they went they had left their webs, and when the little Christ child came to bless the house he was dismayed. He loved the little spiders, for they were God's creatures too, but he knew the mother, who had trimmed the tree for the little children, wouldn't feel the same, so He touched the webs and they all turned to sparkling, shimmering, silver and gold!

Ever since that time, we have hung tinsel on our christmas trees, and according to the legend, it has been a custom to include a spider among the decorations on the tree.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Early Christmas Present

I did not sleep well last night. I tossed and turned, got up a couple of times to you know what, which is pretty unusual for me. The getting up part, not the tossing and turning. I actually had the thought both times that I should look outside, but I thought if I did blindly step over the dog and peek out the blinds, I'd never get back to sleep. Maybe God was nudging me, "Wake up, look what I did for you!"

So I missed most of the actual falling of snow, but still got to feel the youthful exitement of waking up to snow on the ground!

The fact that we got snow probably means that, as the storm moves east, the rest of the country will surely have a white Christmas.

Thank you Lord, for allowing me this joy, this morning!

Here's wishing you the happiness, love, and peace of His season.

Merry Christmas.

Sunday, December 20, 2009


Calling all quilters, sewers and crafters! American Patchwork & Quilting is challenging you to join our efforts to Make a Pillowcase, Make a Difference. Every pillowcase can make a difference in your community. A pillowcase can provide comfort for a cancer patient, hope for a foster child, encouragement for a battered woman, or beauty for a nursing home resident.

To participate, find a shop hosting One Million Pillowcase Challenge events in your area. Once your pillowcases are complete and donated locally, log on below to enter how many pillowcases you made. Help us reach our goal of ONE MILLION Pillowcases.

I think this is such a cool idea! It's inexpensive, easy, and might make a huge difference in the comfort of someone, especially a child, in a tough situation.

I wish I had started it two months ago, so some kid could have it for Christmas. But no matter. I have some really cute flannel just laying around. That might be nice for winter. I also have some really beautiful rose fabric that might be perfect for someone in hospice.

How about some bright, bold colors for some, and maybe some with an embroidered end for another? The possibilities are endless.

We only have two fabric stores here in town, neither of which are participating, but there's no reason why I can't just donate them myself, right?

About 6 months ago, I was in the doctor's office with my mother. One side of the building was devoted for general practitioners, and the other for pediatrics. As we were sitting there in the open waiting room, a woman came in and asked all of the mothers with babies if they would like a handmade quilted blanket for their children. She just handed them out and left.

I'm sure her heart was very full that night!

Aren't They Cute?

There must be kibble around. That's the only time I get that kind of attention!

Are you all ready for Christmas? Not too much in the way of hustle and bustle of the season around here this year. My son, Scott, is flying in tomorrow (YEA!) so we'll be up and on our way to Tucson early. We're thinking we'll get a visit in to Costco (a big warehouse store for those that don't know) and Trader Joe's before we go to the airport.

Oh, if only we could have a Trader Joe's here in town. Here's how Wikipedia describes TJ's:

Trader Joe's describes itself as "your neighborhood" or "your unique grocery store". Products sold include gourmet foods, organic foods, vegetarian food, unusual frozen foods, imported foods, domestic and imported wine and beer (where local law permits), "alternative" food items, and basics like bread, cereal, eggs, dairy, coffee and produce. Non-food items include personal hygiene products, household cleaners, vitamins, pet food, plants, and flowers.

It also mentioned that some of it's products are showing up in Aldi stores. I've never heard of that store, but if it's carrying TJ's products it must be good. I can't remember ever buying anything in that store that we didn't like.

We're off to walk those two beautiful doggies. I hope you're having a wonderful weekend. If you are back east (brrrr), I'm sending you warm, cozy wishes!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

New Winter Flowers

It's official. I am declaring (screaming) that we have WAY TOO MUCH STUFF!! I'm not really a hoarder or anything, but if it's still good, why get rid of it, right?

I'm a little embarrased to tell you this, but I have a little mini velvet number that I wore to my junior prom! Ha! It was the only prom I ever went to, with the guy that turned out to be my first husband. Don't hate me, but it still fits! Not that I'd wear it as a dress today; a long shirt is more like it. And I have the teeny little slip that I wore underneath. Obviously, I loved that dress.

We have people coming to look at the house on Saturday. We were talking about what we would do if they loved it and wanted to move in within 30 days. Hey, it could happen. If I had time this week, I'd have a big, fat yard sale. But the only good sale day is Saturday, and I don't want stuff spread out over the driveway when they come to look.

I did manage to throw away a big stack of magazines (okay, maybe I hoard a little) that I've hung on to because they were great issues. But am I going to spend good money to STORE THEM when we take off in the building on wheels? No way. In to the trash.

That's how I am. I will hang on to something for a very long time until I feel overwhelmed. Then it's outta here!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Don't Try this at Home

This is just fantastic! At least, Mom, he's wearing a helmet! One of my boys was crazy like this. Well, fortunately, not quite that crazy! אופניים.html

On one level, I'm just scared to death for him; on another level, I get the thrill and skill of it. It's unsettling for me.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

All God's Creatures Sunday

When I caught this on Friday, it was all I could do not to run in here and post it! It just made my day, and I felt really blessed to have seen him.

Wile E. Coyote
The fact that he was out here at 12:30 in the afternoon is never a good sign. He was limping, and looked rather confused, lost actually. Across the street, a little farther down, was a woman walking her baby in a stroller. She stopped in her tracks, and for a moment, we all wondered what would happen next. But he kept a wide berth, and continued on to the wash.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Morning Visitor

A Red-Bellied Woodpecker

Their name is something of a misnomer, since the faint reddish wash on the lower belly is rarely visible; red-naped woodpecker more fairly describes them. A finely barred black and white back is set off by fawn-colored underparts. In flight, a bright white rump and white wing patches are striking. Redbellies sound almost angry when they call, and have a lusty, harsh rattle call as well. Females are similar to males, but their foreheads are gray, not red.

Earlier in the summer, I saw them running up and down the rose tree, calling. He cracked me up this morning because he's all scrunched up trying to stay on the hummingbird feeder. And he stayed like that for about 10 minutes! I guess, being a woodpecker, they like to hang off of things, don't they.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Friday Photo Shootout

Weather was chosen by Emma for this week's shootout; another great theme. To see more shootouts, or to join up yourself, go here!

Even though we're in the desert, we get all sorts of weather.

Monsoon hail


Icy mornings

And snow

Have a wonderful weekend!!!

Thursday, December 10, 2009


Oh my Lord, we're tired and SORE! You know there are certain chores that get put off for months, sometimes even years. Cleaning baseboards is one of them for me. 99.9% done with that! About half way through them, it dawned on me that the reason they were so nasty is the fact that we have a pest company spray every month (bugs, beetles, scorpions)! He goes around the house and sprays those baseboards, leaving them covered with the spray. From now on they will only spray outside. Humph! I moved out the refrigerator, cleaned. I moved the washer & dryer, cleaned.

We had a flock of realtors go through today, and were happy with their response. We knew the place looked GOOD!!! Of course, we couldn't straighten up, bend over, or squat AT ALL today, but......

I knew after I moved my Mom that I had wrecked out my hip. Dang! Being a skinny woman, I am prone to osteoporosis. And I have it. In my hips, and severely in my back. I am so not happy about that!

Anyhoo, I am realizing that I am not the "get it done" woman that I once was. I still get it done, but not without some very real consequences. I'm trying to come to grips with that.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009


I thought that since I mention Javalinas every once in a while, you might like to see some pictures that were taken by our old neighbors, Dale & Judy Truitt, behind their house along the wash. I particularly love this photo because it makes them look all cute. :)

Dale and Judy are amazing photographers. Last I heard, they had spent the summer camping up in Montana in their Airstream. I'd love to see the pictures that they took from up there.

Collared Peccary is the only wild, native, pig-like animal found in the United States.The Collared Peccary, also known as the Javelina, Tayaussa or the Musk Hog.They are called Javelina because of their razor-sharp tusks, Spanish for javelin or spear.You may smell a peccary before you see it.The prickly pear is ideal food for the Collared Peccary due to its high water content.Collared Peccary have poor eyesight and good hearing.
We've seen family packs of these guys around our neighborhood as well. Being in the desert, there are an abundance of prickly pear plants in peoples front yards, many with bites taken out of them.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Red Sky in the Morning

How's this for some drama at sunrise? Hubby got this one. The inside of the house was practically glowing. This is the beginning of the storm that most of the United States will be experiencing in the next 24 hours.

This little Cactus Wren is scurrying around looking for breakfast!

It's about 2 p.m. here now, and the wind is whipping something fierce! This little guy is hunkered down in a very protected spot, with a pretty good view of what's going on around him.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

What to do?

Ever since we got back from our 3 weeks in Verde Valley, we've been trying to decide about our future. So much worry; do we stay, do we go? Do we sell, do we lease? If we lease, what kind of shape will the house be in when we get back? How much will it cost to fix it while we're gone? Is this where we want to end up? Do we really want all the maintenance and upkeep of a house and yard this size? Can we really do what we both want? You know how I can torture myself with unaswered questions!!!

I heard a song not long ago that was like a wake up call for me. Don't know who sings it, or even the name of it. (Did I post about this already?) The words were something like, "Just waiting for our lives to be over", and I don't want to do that.

So, after praying about it, talking to a realtor, praying some more, I woke up yesterday morning feeling great about a decision to sell the house we're in, and hit the road! It feels right. I believe I received my answer. :)

I've spent all day today, cleaning, scrubbing, and taking a toothbrush to the baseboards in the master bedroom. That room and the master bath are immaculate this evening. We're pretty clean people, but after almost 5 years, 2 dogs, 2 birds, 2 people, it's going to take some work. What I remember most about walking into this house for the first time is how open and CLEAN it was! I'm hoping someone else will have the same reaction when I'm through, and want to have this for their very own!

So, I have numerous rooms to continue working on this week, as well as our "work". That means a very busy week indeed.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Musical Pleasure

Hubby's son-in-law (that makes him mine too) is a wonderfully talented guitar player. He has written some awesome instrumentals. Note to self: share some of those in a post!

I was delighted to hear that the band was back together making music! It's hard for me to imagine that they are in a mid-life crisis, since I feel like I'm in midlife myself, minus the crisis! Ha!


Friday, December 4, 2009


The weeks just seem to get away from me! I cannot believe it's Friday already. Today's theme is My Favorite Things.

After thinking on this for a bit, I thought I'd post my favorite things about living in the desert.

We do have some pretty awesome flowering plants here. This is a Mexican Bird of Paradise. Come winter time, you just cut the bush down to nothing, and it comes back bigger and better the next year.

Yes, we even have our own waterfall in the desert, but only during a good monsoon season.

Wild little things taking their leisure around my house.

Amazing cloud formations during monsoon.

And, of course, gorgeous sunsets!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

This and That

You know I'll take a picture of a crow anywhere, any time I can. There's just something about this one that I really like. It's almost like he looked at the speed sign and is considering it.

Our view of the moon night before last. These night shots usually never work out for me for some reason. This one did! Maybe because I didn't try to overthink it. Just click, click, click, and voila! A moon with some sort of angry looking rash! Ha! Just kidding. It's purty.

I'm hoping that we can take a drive out to the Chiricahua mountains this weekend to take some photos. We keep planning it, then something else comes up. It's about a 2 1/2 hour drive, but so worth it. These mountains were the home to the Chiricahua Apaches. Geronimo & Cochise.

Just driving around this county makes you stop and think about the stagecoaches, and men & women of the wild west. Driving along a rural road, which is most of the county, makes me wonder about trying to get cattle and horses through the hot, dry, and pretty unforgiving desert. I should take some photographs of the wide open spaces, then zoom in to see what some of these crazy plants are like that they had to get through. At some point, there were probably dirt trails to follow, but before that, imagine thinking about going to Tucson from Mexico. Point your horse's nose toward a mountain, and ride.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Searching for Snow

Ramsey Canyon Rd.

Man vs long pants. Crazy boy. It's 35* out there!
Close to Ramsey Canyon Preserve. It's beautiful up here any time of year. One of the few places where you can fill up and calm down. I'd love to take a notebook, pen, and just sit and write for hours all by myself. Well, myself and the bears, mountain lions, bobcats, snakes, javalina, etc. I guess that's why I don't do that.
Really, snow was the only thing on my mind that morning. But I was absolutely delighted to find a fairyland of color tucked away in the canyon.

We got pretty close to the snow too.

Flora & Fauna

Books I have known & loved

  • Life of Pi
  • A Hundred Years of Solitude
  • Kite Runner
  • The Way the Crow Flies
  • Fall on Your Knees
  • Poisonwood Bible
  • East of Eden
  • Shantaram
  • I Know This Much is True

Illegal Immigration