Friday, August 28, 2009

FRIDAY SHOOTOUT

The theme this week, INCONGRUOUS, which means contradictory, or out of place, was chosen by Mary at Traveling Hammer. I've read the word before but didn't really know what it meant. Thanks for teaching me something new Mary!

This week has been full of packing, so I have not had the time to give this theme a whole lot of time. But I did manage to get this shot when we drove through Benson, AZ, about 30 miles from my town, a couple of weeks ago.


To check out some really fantastic Friday Shoot Outs, click here!

Have a great weekend!!!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Boys of Spring

We just happened to tune in to ESPN this evening, and catch the 2009 Little League World Series, U.S. Semi-Finals.

These are 12 & 13 year old boys whose plays are right up there with the big boys of baseball! No kidding! I was shocked. And they are serious!!!

Tonight is Georgia vs California. Who knew I'd be watching little league without one of my kids being on the team!

I am SO impressed! These are "the boys of summer" in their springtime! If you get a chance, check them out! You will not be disappointed!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Monday, August 24, 2009

Packing & Fun!

My days are full of cardboard boxes, bubble wrap, and noisy tape, but I think we just might be ready for the movers on Saturday! I've been really worried that I wouldn't get it all done, but it's moving right along. Yippee!

Over the weekend we also had a photo shoot do for one of our most fun clients. It was for the groundbreaking of his new building site. Where the building is going to sit, this is the view it will have.

That is all military property, so that particular view will go undisturbed. Nice, huh?

One of the great things about this particular client is that he is full of fun, and he doesn't mind us having "fun" while we work. In fact, he is quite a bad influence that way. Hehehe.


He had invited approximately 150 people to the "show" and almost everyone showed up. There were a few motorhomes parked out there, loads of food, good cheer, and laughter.

The grills were heatin' up, more people showing up, and great conversations with good friends.

Getting ready for the toast!



The night ended for us about 8 p.m., but we heard it went on into the wee hours!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

All God's Creatures Sunday

Vinegarone

Creepy looking, isn't he? Don't worry, he's dead. Hubby pulled him out of the pool. You probably wouldn't want to shake claws with this fellow, since those are part of his mouth!

Common Name: VinegaroonScientific Name: Mastigoproctus giganteus (Lucas)Order: Uropygi
Description: Vinegaroons have heavy mouthparts (pedipalps) that are formed into pincers. The first pair of legs is long and thin and is used like antenna to feel their way around. The next three pairs of legs are used for walking. The abdomen is attached widely to the head-thorax region (cephalothorax). The tail is long and thin suggesting a whip which is where the common name, "whipscorpion," originates for the order Uropygi. The only species that occurs in Texas is Mastigoproctus giganteus (Lucas) which is a vinegaroon in the family Thelyphonidae. Our Texas species is nearly black in color. Bodies of adults are 1 1/2 to 3 inches long. It is found primarily in west Texas especially in the Trans-Pecos region, but has been reported as far north as the Panhandle and in south Texas.
Life Cycle: Eggs are carried in a sac by the female. After hatching, they ride on the female’s back similar to scorpions.
Habitat, Food Source(s), Damage: Mouthparts are for chewing. Vinegaroons are nocturnal and have poor vision, relying on sensing vibrations to locate prey. They are more commonly found in desert areas but they have also been reported in grassland, scrub, pine forests, and mountains.
Pest Status: Considered non-poisonous but they can pinch; capable of spraying a mist from scent glands at the base of the tail when disturbed. The mist produced by our species contains 85% concentrated acetic acid or vinegar, hence the name "vinegaroon."

Friday, August 21, 2009

Friday Shoot Out

Signs (the last one is not appropriate for little ones)

Nuff said.



This sign was right next to the Welcome to Arizona sign!

Does anyone REALLY want to park there?

We Love Sheriff Joe!


Sign in Tombstone.

Go see Si, she chose the subject this week. Want to see more great Friday Shoot Out photos? Check this out!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Thursday's Thoughts

When I get old, I want to be a happy old lady! I want to see the best in everyone. I want a smile to come quickly to my wrinkley face. I'd like to not be bothered by what someone else thinks of me. Whatever not so great things have happened in the past, I want to be able to let them go. I want to forgive, and be forgiven. I would like to give others the benefit of the doubt. I want to wave to my neighbors, let those in a hurry go first, and be thankful every single day for life itself.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Empty Feeder

I filled the hummingbird feeder yesterday. I mean, really filled it. And granted, this time of year, we have gobs of hummers. But not enough to empty that sucker!

It can only mean one thing! Yep. The bats are back!!! I also know this because there are telltale red splotches on the patio deck, I assume from the red food coloring of many hummingbird feeders that these bats have visited all night long. I don't use the store bought food, just sugar and water.

A couple of years ago, we sat out on the deck around 9 p.m. and let the swarm of bats circle around our heads. No, it wasn't gross. It wasn't scary. Actually, it was very cool.

I mentioned to Hubby this afternoon that we need to read up on the night shot on the camera that we make commercials with. How cool would that be??? Please stand by, you may just get to see our bats!

Monday, August 17, 2009

Hellloooooo!

Look who was on our roof this morning!


He stayed and posed for about a half an hour. I wasn't that far from him, and even when I went back inside for the camera, he didn't get nervous at all! He was quite comfortable. There were 3 or 4 gold finches fluttering near him, and even a couple of hummers that paused numerous times about 2 feet from him.

I guess he just wasn't hungry!

My Mom's new digs! Well, it's warm enough to live out there, but no, inside.




What an incredibly exhausting trip! And who knew she'd find something the first time we went up there! The first day was full of Dr. appointments, and an xray on her foot, but the second day...

We started at 9:00 a.m. and went to look at 5, yes, FIVE different independent living places. They ran the spectrum from the most beautiful, elegant establishment, all the way down to a dark hole.

Here's what I learned, the dark hole is asking almost as much money as the beautiful place. Also, prices are pretty negotiable!!! One place, the most gorgeous started a conversation on the phone like this:

Me: Do you allow pets?

Him: How big is your pet?

Me: She's a fat cat.

Him: Oh yes, she can come.

Me: Oh good, is there a (cat) deposit?

Him: Yes, twenty thousand dollars.

Me: speechless.

Me: For a fat cat?

Him: Ooooh, no. It's a move in fee.

Me: Well, she can't do that.

Him: Okay, we'll waive that.

Me: Thank you.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Let The Games Begin!

Holy moly, what a crazy week! I've been waking up in the middle of the night, worrying (that's not unusual, along with a few hot flashes!), trying to make sure I haven't dropped the ball workwise, making sure I have assisted living places lined up to visit over the next few days, make sure Mom is ready, and getting my wonderful neighbor to not only watch my dogs & birds, but also take my mother's cat for the next few days.

While calling around to Independent/Assisted living places, I realized that I needed some organization because the conversation was all over the place. Because some "marketing" persons (that's who you have to talk to for rates & down & dirty information) were precise, helpful, open, full of info, and some were not...I came up with my own list of questions/subquestions and catorgories for each of these facilities. Once I came up with that list, it became so much easier. I am planning on posting this list down the road after I we have visited these sites & seen for ourselves the reality of this new adventure.

I don't know that I'll have time to read & comment on your blogs that I enjoy so much over the next few days, or even post on mine for that matter.

So much for Friday Shoot Out & Relaxation this week! Have a great weekend!!!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Monday, August 10, 2009

Who's In Charge Here?

The boy...or the girl???

I'm talkin' about the Pacific Ocean, and more specifically, our monsoon (or lack thereof).

When we lived on the coast of California, the news that El Niño, the boy, was warming up the Pacific, we knew that we were going to get some wet weather! Did we ever! Ever hear about the Storm of '82? Or '83? We're talking floods, mudslides, etc. A whole mountain came down, burying houses in its path in the middle of the night. That was a couple of really extreme years, but I used it as an example of what "the boy" means. WET.

In June of this year, we started our monsoon off early; had some very good storms for about 2 weeks. El Niño was moving in to the Pacific. Remembering what that meant in CA, I thought, cool, another great monsoon this year. The kind that turns the dry desert into a lush land, full of running creeks and rivers.

Wrong! I don't really understand it all, but since our monsoons generally come from the southeast, and El Niño brings storms out of the north, we're not going to get it this year. :(

The upside is that we'll get more rain than normal this winter as long as "the boy" stays in the Pacific. Of course, that also means more rain for CA as well.

I bring it up because I've been talking all last winter about taking pictures of how beautiful this area is during the summer rains. I noticed the birds in the front yard taking dust baths in the dirt this morning. Now that's sad!

I just happened to think of a positive about the lack of rain! I haven't seen any of the *#!%*! tumbleweed growing that is so ubiquitous during monsoon! Glad game, GB!! This is a big one!

Sunday, August 9, 2009

All God's Creatures Sunday

An American Crow. I LOVE these guys! We grow 'em huge around here!

Such a puzzle!

If he only had thumbs!

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Happy Saturday


video


You've all probably seen this before. Me too, but it still cracks me up everytime!

Friday, August 7, 2009

FRIDAY SHOOTOUT

This week's theme, chosen by J9, is Power! To check out more Friday Shootout photos, or to join our gang, click here!


Water has the power to cut it's way through the earth.


Imagine the power it took to create the mountains!


Huge machinery, powerful enough to gouge this mining pit.


I love thinking about the power of this water to create and sustain life in the desert.



And then there is the power of absolute beauty. Power to move the senses, fill the mind, and restore our connection with our "Higher Power."

Thursday, August 6, 2009

What I've Been Up To

They look happy don't they? This is a great book, and it's free. Certainly, it doesn't have all of the senior housing places, but it's a great start for people like me that are clueless about this process.

When I started checking places out online, I was freaking out at the cost of a one bedroom! And that price was for Independent Living. Add on some assisted living, and I started to gasp! After talking to several different facilities, I learned that on top of that price is even more price hikes with every extra service that is required, ie help with medications. By the time I was through talking to them, I was flat out gape-mouthed. How do people do it???

Enough with the freaking out already. Stop and think about it. The cost is all inclusive. Just the rent. No homeowners dues that she pays now. Utilities included (except phone) and that can be huge considering the heat in the summer. Three fantastic healthy meals a day (my mother eats like a horse). Weekly housekeeping & laundry. Transportation. Then there is monthly social security to bring the price down a bit. That helps.

We're going to Phoenix next week to have her see her old doc, a pulmonologist, to get somewhat of a tune-up on her COPD meds. While we're up there, we'll check out a few of these assisted living places. She's nervous about the whole thing, but since her fall in the front yard, and subsequent lack of medical help on the weekend, which is when most of her problems happen, she wants to start checking places out up there. Was that a run-on sentence, or what???

Most of these assisted living places have fitness rooms, scheduled outings to museums, shopping, music venues, libraries, activities, lots of social interaction, church services, and 24/7 nurse availability. AND she can keep her kitty.

I should be an expert on all of this by the time everything is in place. I'll be happy to pass on any information when that time comes.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Sunday's Wine Festival

100* in Elgin, where the Sonoita Vineyards are located.

We had to drive around a mountain to get there. It's very wide open country with huge buttes rising up out of the dry ground. Surprisingly, there were many cows.

Must be close, huh?

After doing this festival for 25 years, I would have thought they'd have a more professional sign, but maybe that just adds to the country atmosphere!

Plenty of barrels of this lovely wine!

There was indeed grape stomping! We did not partake, only because it was too danged hot to stand in line to get in. And let's face it, so many more wines to taste!

Meet Lola, the official vineyard dog. Isn't she a beauty? One of the employees found her half starved, just wandering around, and they adopted each other.

The Busted Cowboy Band. Hard to tell by this picture, but they were awesome! The boys can rock! Before we got there, I had pictured live music outside, but, really, it would have been tough in that heat.

Hubby & his new friend who likes wine. There was horseback riding available as well as horse-drawn wagons to tour the vineyards. Maybe we'll try it in the fall when the temperature makes that a more inviting adventure. Really, doesn't it make you wonder how people built lives and prospered in this area?

Ahhh, that's better! A nice spot on the lawn, under a big cottonwood tree!

Our favorite wine of the day was the Sonora Rossa, a red wine made from Columbard, Merlot, & Cabernet grapes. It's described as light and spicy, ideal with pasta and barbeque. Mmmmm.

All in all, the festival was not what I had pictured in my mind. But the food was great, the wine delicious, and with a turnout of over 200 people, it was all good.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

All God's Creatures Sunday

A little visitor to our back deck. Well, not so little.


Ordinarily, I can get pretty creeped out by bugs. As in, a garbled EWW, followed by a good body shake, followed by one foot running after the other.

I'm trying this new approach, putting on my science cap, and taking a second look after my usual first response. What I'm finding is that there are some pretty interesting, and colorful bugs out there, like this one.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Sonoita Vinyards

Here's where we're going tomorrow!



Sonoita Vineyards Fall Harvest Wine Festival!


How fun is this going to be???



Sonoita Vineyards Harvest Festival - Augustfest

· Souvenir Wine Glass
· Tasting of Current Releases
· Wine & Food Pairings (choose 3)
· Winery Tours (3x throughout the day)
· Vineyard Tours on Tractor-drawn Trailer (continuous)
· Grape stomping at 1:30 PM
· Live Music & Dancing from Noon – 3 PM


VERY FUN! We used to go to music & wine festivals quite often when we lived in California. Much more opportunity for that type of thing there. I've missed hearing live music, a glass of good wine in my hand, outdoors with a soft breeze carrying the notes and good cheer to my senses!

I hope to get some good photos while I'm there! Here's wishing you a fun weekend as well!!!

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