Wednesday, March 31, 2010

The Oriole

Aren't they beautiful?

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Odds & Ends

The trip to Mom's was good. Face time with her and daughter, Shannon, was wonderful. It was raining lightly on the way up there, and on the way home, I was delighted to find that wildflowers had popped up all along the stretch between Phoenix and Tucson!

These were the only two shots that weren't too blurry. At 75mph I kept my eyes on the road and tried to guess where to point the camera and just kept clicking. Finally I just decided to put the camera down and enjoy the view.

On another note, remember this little fellow that kept hanging around the birdhouse while the cactus wrens were moving in?
The day after I got home from Phoenix, I noticed that he was up to something! Looking around, all nervous like...
and then...

He pulled their nest out! While he committed the crime, all of the other sparrows were diving to catch the nesting material for their own nests. The cactus wrens came back a while later and discovered what had happened. I could almost see the confusion and upset in their faces. They started to rebuild immediately. The little sparrow with the big courage is still hanging around all day long, chirping, talking, calling. I'm not sure who is going to end up in there.
This morning I found that the cactus wren had walked into my house and made her way into the kitchen. I mentioned before that they are not nervous birds, and she quite calmly inspected the sink, table, chairs, my birds, and managed to poop on my couch. After a few minutes, she flitted her way back outside and I shut the door.

OH! One of the houses is in escrow!!! A 30 DAY ESCROW!

Friday, March 26, 2010

Friday Photo Shootout

Bridges, in B&W, is the theme this week, suggested by Elaine Dale at A Scattering.
The only bridges we have in our town are the ones that go over the San Pedro River, that flows through the riparian area. It is a favorite place to bird watch or hike (in the winter when the snakes are hibernating).

This next bridge is in Tucson. I always enjoy looking at it. Makes me smile.

This last one is also in Tucson, in the downtown area. It is built to look like a diamondback rattlesnake. A little creepy, but it's cool.


For more Friday Photo Shootout pics, or to join up, please go here. You'll find some truly phenominal photos!

Have a wonderful weekend!

Monday, March 22, 2010

See You Thursday

Off to another doctor appointment for the momster in Phoenix. Have a wonderful week!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

All God's Creatures Sunday

I spent some time outside yesterday brushing Shasta. She is shedding like crazy right now. She looks kind of like the buffalo, or musk ox, with their clumps of hair hanging off them.

Okay, maybe not that bad, but close. I pulled handfuls of hair, fur, out of the brush and dropped it on the other side of the concrete wall into the south 40. I knew, watching the birds busy themselves with nest making, that the fur would go to good use.

The cactus wrens, I see, have picked up their share as well. It's kind of hard to see, but there is a small opening in all of that nesting material that opens up to a soft, spacious, warm apartment inside.

Saturday, March 20, 2010


Do you ever have those days, weeks, months where you're just scattered? So many things to be done, in so many different directions? Of course you have. We all have. That's where I've been the last couple of months. Scattered.

It seems like there is so much to do, but very little I can do about it. Life in limbo. Life on hold. Hurry up and wait. I'm not unhappy. But I can't seem to settle in to doing one particular thing. I'll start somthing, then within 10 minutes, get up to move on to something else. I'm unsettled.

I think it means I need to sit down and listen. Something is working its way up through the quagmire of my head. It's like the sludge of, of I don't know what?

Okay, it's like I'm all dressed up and nowhere to go. All of the preparations for selling two houses that goes on everyday, and no phone calls from realtors. That's it. I'm so busy looking forward that I'm missing today. I can't make a mess anywhere, and let's face it, getting creative makes a mess.

I'll try making a mess, I mean, getting creative out in the building on wheels maybe. Nobody sees inside there but us. It's a pretty small space, but I've got to do something or I'll clean the house to death!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

We Are Hobbling!

Okay, it may not look like we did much, but we filled the whole back end of the Tundra with yard debris!


I cannot believe how much we took off of the cypress-ey bush! The red tips, too, were out of control! The oval in the middle of the yard,

Has been cleaned up! So has the plant in front of the window in the garage! I didn't pull these plants out because in another couple months, they will be beautiful. I know. What counts is now, but we can't get the new plants right now. They are not available.

We bought 2 purple lantana today and planted them in the circle. Believe me, in another month, this will look great! We went to three different places to find ground cover, or anything that would spice this yard up. We just don't get deliveries here until spring has officially sprung (ask the mesquite trees). So for now, at least it looks cared for and when the mesquites give their approval, this will be a wonderland!
Thank you so much for your input and advice! You're the best!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Spring is Bustin' Out All Over

This is the first year the Cactus Wrens have taken up residency in the deluxe apartment hanging on the deck. they've been busy for the last couple of days, with big beakfuls of nesting material. These birds are not nervous birds at all, so it should be fairly easy to take photos of them.

Last year the apartment sat vacant for the first time ever. This little sparrow was not happy that the Wrens got in there first. Every time they would fly off for more nest stuffing, he would land on the birdhouse. Awww.

One really nice day yesterday, and the peach tree popped!

For all of you sitting in the snow, it's coming!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Zero Curb Appeal

We've been pretty discouraged in the process of selling the house. There have been a few lookers, one couple even came back a second time. But we've had a dry spell. True, the tractors and big piles of dirt didn't help, but it was all up and down the street, not just our house.

I started thinking that perhaps potential buyers were getting addresses from their realtors and driving by houses to decide which ones they want to look at. Keep in mind that winter in the high desert is dead. Everything, well, most everything looks dead. It'll be another month or two before we're in flowering full swing. What's a person to do?

I went out to the front of the house to assess my curb appeal. ZERO! The bushes have grown so large that you can't even see the front of the house!

The planting area in front also looks dead. It'll be a couple more months before the plants show any real life and are in bloom.

I know the yard, too, looks dead, but with the monsoons, this will all look like a lush lawn that has to be mowed at least once a week. But for now, dead.

So instead of being discouraged, I told Hubby we need to get out there and feel like we're making some progress, even if it's just us working. Trim back the bushes, put in some more flowers in the big pots in front, find some flowering shrubs that will look good right now for the planting area.

Inside, we have cleaned out, boxed up, it looks pretty good. Thank goodness the backyard was landscaped by the previous owners and stays in pretty good shape.

Any suggestions or ideas you may have for my curb appeal, speak up! You're not going to hurt my feelings, really. :)

Friday, March 12, 2010


This week, Wrought Iron, by JarieLyn. There is wrought iron everywhere in Arizona. So much, in fact, that I almost don't see it anymore.

Gates & fences are usually wrought iron.

Mailbox stands.

There is a lot more of this than I like to see. Some feel the need for this due to illegals coming through, but it's pretty common to see this in the older, not so great part of town.

Although, this security door is a wonderful thing in the evening during the summer. When the air cools and creates a nice breeze in in the house.

Here are two favorites from around my house.

To check out more Friday Photo Shootouts, go here! I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Seriously Disgruntled

Verizon. How many of you have Verizon as your cell phone carrier? I have always had a problem with Verizon when it came to receiving messages days after they were left. That's one of the big reasons we switched to Sprint.

A few years went by, we started going out in the building on wheels and needed mobile internet. Verizon seemed to have the best coverage, although, personally, I was not only happy with Sprint, but we were no longer under contract with them.

Hubby wanted to switch back to Verizon. Okay, back under a new contract. Went out on the road in the building on wheels, signed up for mobile internet through our cell phone for a month. Came home, called to have that feature stopped. Cool.

Amost a year later, we called to have it turned on again and they said, It's already on. What???

Granted, it was partially our fault for not inspecting our Verizon bill as closely as we should have, but we had called to have that function turned off. Long story, short, they would only credit back 3 months of charges, even though they could see that we had not used the mobile broadband service. Fuming, but live & learn, right?

I'm looking at the bill today, after having used the mobile broadband again last month on the trip to my Mom's house, and instead of a $70 something bill, it's $198. Hubby got on the phone with them and received a $40 credit, because they charged us for time we didn't actually use the service. We were being charged for 2 months, and we used it for a week. Uh huh. So Hubby was happy.

I took the bill back. But what about these two $29.99 charges for, what, data usage unlimited-email. What's that?

So I got on the phone with them. God bless this girl. She was so patient with me. It took her four times of explaining before I understood that these two charges (two months) were for email through my cell phone. I have never had email through my cell phone. I didn't even know what it was, how could I have ordered it??? She took the charges off.

Just sayin' here, check your bill. Don't be afraid to keep asking until you understand what you've been charged for.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Stinky Tuesday

Huh. What shall I complain about today? :) Really, I'm not a complainer, although you'd never know it the last few days! I'm probably the most positive person you'll ever meet. In your life! I'm not sure where this is coming from!

Well, we woke up this morning and for some reason the dogs were stinky. Now, please understand, my dogs are very rarely smelly. We give them baths usually twice a year. And they are not happy about it, even at only twice a year. People comment on how soft and beautiful their coats are, and that they DON'T SMELL. I practically shove friends and love ones against the wall to make them promise me they would tell me if my house smelled like stinky dogs. Either these people are really scared of me, or my dogs don't smell.

So what happened this morning? I'm walking in to my office, hesitating in the doorway, detecting a faint odour de unusual. I immediately think, oh, is that me??? Embarrassing. But no. After a brief whiff of myself, and thinking, not me, I turn on my computer, sit down with a steaming cup of coffee, and there it is again. I turn, and there is dear Willy Wilson, tail wagging, so happy to bring in the new morning with me. "Hey Buddy!" sniff, sniff. (Usually it's him sniffing me, but on this particular morning, it's me sniffing him). "Where have you been? You stink!" Head cocked momentarily, I receive a big kiss from Wilson. "You stink WeeWee, but you're a really sweet boy!"

Upon further discernment, I discover that Shasta is smelling less than her lovely self as well.

Keep in mind that the temperature is only reaching 60* here in the heat of the day. How can I take them outside and run a cold hose over those poor little doggie bodies? The bathtub? No, I've tried that before. It worked well when Willy was a wee pup, but he freaks out at a harsh word! And he's too big to try to keep in a bathtub! We need to find a self serve doggie wash.

We used to go to one when we lived in Santa Cruz, CA, Shampoochez. Loved that place! Lots of people did and the price kept going up and up. It was totally worth it. And it was today as well at Hap-e-dog, to a point. That point being I didn't have to bathe them in my tub. There was only one tub, so the other dog had to wait in a cage. Well, Wilson was indignant!
The water never got quite warm enough, although I understand the possibility of a lawsuit for coffee that is hot (McDonalds), I mean, water that is too hot for dogs. But the hair dryer was cold as well. Hello people! Wet dog = cold here!
Long story, short, I have the most wonderful smelling pooches this evening in the whole world! :)


Let's talk about jeans for a moment here, shall we? I'm looking for a great pair of jeans. I've been looking for a great pair of jeans for a very long time. Years, in fact.

Isn't it amazing how many different styles of jeans are out there? Tapered, boot cut, straight leg, flannel lined, low rise (show your butt crack), mid rise, stone washed, faded, slim, relaxed fit, the big baggy (crotch down to your knees), torn up jeans, knee missing jeans, butt lift jeans, tummy control jeans, etc., etc., etc. All I'm asking people, is a pair that really fit, that don't cost $345,197.99!

I will say, these days it's fairly easy to find a pair of long pants. I have long legs. Growing up, it was like I was always waiting for high tide! Not a good look in junior high & high school. And for a while, I did try the low rise jean because I thought Hubby would like it. And he did. But I happen to think that my underwear is a private matter, so that was the end of that.

I have a friend that is in the garment industry. She told me once that every year clothing makers come up with new shapes and sizes according to how body sizes and shapes change. I guess that makes sense. In this country, body shapes have definitely gotten rounder. Thus, when I find a pair of jeans that fit in length, and leg size, the waist and hip is huge!

I did find a website called Jeans for your body type. There is an option for under $20, $20-$280, above $280. Really? Oh I am a cheap, naive girl.

I see that some brands are advertising old school sizing, fits at the waist. I'm not a happy shopper. Just not really in to it. But I almost ran to the mall in hopes of finding that one elusive pair. No. Not in my size.

So the hunt continues. Anybody out there happy with their jeans???

Monday, March 8, 2010

Rain & Snow

Yesterday was a rainy day, pretty much all day. It was fairly warm outside too, which means quite a bit of the snow on the mountain melted, and the waterfall started to run! I couldn't get a good photo of it from my yard, but through my binoculars, it was spectacular.

As temperatures dropped during the night the snow, once again, fell on the mountain.

And we woke up to a beautiful sunrise.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

All God's Creatures Sunday

Yes, I changed my mind about not posting a photo. This was me 13 1/2 years ago, starting to laugh uncontrollably during my wedding vows. Uh huh. I'm just special that way.

This is a picture of my hand. A younger picture of my hands. They were nice hands, soft, smooth, yet tough enough to pull weeds and scoop rock hard ice cream. These hands have never been afraid of hard work.

There was a time I made sure my nails were always polished, and my hands moiturized. I was a blackjack dealer in Tahoe in my 20s. My hands were out there everyday. Okay, I dropped the whole deck of cards in my tray of money once. The pit boss came over with a crap table stick and started stirring the cards around like we were cooking. LOL! That was a great memory!

Really, I'm not worried about my looks. I am who I am, and I'm okay with that, as long as nobody screams and I don't scare little children. But I am kind of fascinated with the changes that are happening year by year. When I look at my hands I can see my brothers hands too. What does that say about them? Weird.

I looked around for a drawing that I made of my hand back in the 80's. I had just found the book Drawing from the Right Side of your Brain. It's all about drawing using spacial areas, rather than trying to copy the picture. You turn the picture you are trying to copy upside down so you only see spaces, not the actual picture. When I was done, it was MY hand. That was cool.
I don't spend a lot of time focusing on me. Maybe that's why I'm shocked everytime I look down at my hands and see this:


Saturday's Turkey = Me

So, I'm sitting here in front of my computer thinking about what to post today. Staring out the window, sun streaming in, warming me, rabbits meandering around the yard. I smile. I turn back to my computer, and to my horror (!) I can't see the screen. All I see is my reflection in the monitor. Because of the way the sun is laughingly shining in the window, all it highlights is my neck!

WHAT THE HELL? WHAT HAS HAPPENED TO MY NECK??? Oh yes, this is very special lighting that emphysises every loose piece of skin, every wrinkle, every wattle on my skinny little neck. Yes friends, it's horrifying. I turn my head from side to side, keeping a close eye on what happens to the skin on that neck. I stretch my head back, thinking that it will all smooth out. No. That's not what happens. The skin just stretches into long lines of wrinkles. I guess I could try wearing one of those cute little neck scarves, but I would always be imagining that people around me are whispering to each other, knowingly, about what was underneath the scarf. Or, even worse, the skin is so loose, what if I tied the skin up in the knot??? Ouch!

Now, truth be told, I knew I was getting a turkey neck, and I wasn't happy about it. I just try to not notice it. The only attention it gets is a bit of moisturizer one or two times a day. But now that it's been spotlighted for me by some cruel enlightenment of mother nature through my window, I believe I'll close the curtain.

Be sure to come back tomorrow for: "Who the hell's hand is that?!?" No. There will be no photos. :)

Friday, March 5, 2010


I have thought, and thought, about what to post for Friday My Town Shootout this week. I came up with numerous things, but had no photos to go along with them. What to do?
Then, this afternoon, I received this. To me, it fit perfectly. It is full of rememberances, but, hopefully, it's not to late to turn around.
I certainly hope that no one is offended by this. The truth of this grabbed me. And if nothing else, it is great music!

Look What We've Done (with Intro)

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Hubby on Facebook!

Hubby has his very own Facebook Fan Page! Just go to your Facebook account and search sean conrad. He is having an absolute blast with it. I may have told you before that he was a disc jockey and program director for 22 radio stations all over the U.S. for 30 years. This was back in the day when jocks were stars, and oh the stories he has to tell, and the people he's met!

Since he started his page, many of the people that worked for him and with him have climbed on board to share some great stories. I hope you'll check him out.

He is also a guest blogger here today. It's an article on Gene Chenault, who was one of the founders of Boss Radio!

Yea Hubby!!!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Aren't We All Ready for Spring?

Was it just me, or was there a change in the morning light today? Stronger, brighter, just a bit of warmth in the air. I swear I could feel it.

I certainly have nothing to whine about with the weather, considering it's much warmer here than many places. However, it is going to rain yet again this weekend. It's hard to complain since we've been in a drought for ever!

Looking around the yard, I'm noticing little signs of renewal. My Daylily was dead, people. As in a door nail. But look who's decided to give it another go!

The crocus are stretching their leaves, waking from their long slumber.
The roses have decided to spring back to life, sending out brand new leaves.
The Gerbera Daisy stood up to lay aside its coat of frozen leaves to declare spring's arrival.
And my favorite of all, the wild violets are touching my heart these days with their colorful pronouncement!
Message of the day: Don't give up. Don't quit. Tomorrow brings new life.

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