Monday, June 28, 2010

Streams In The Desert

Well, with the changing weather it's been more of a challenge to get my hiking in - it means getting up early, as it's already about 92 degrees at 7:30 or 8:00 - whew!

But I've been going out with a neighbour recently and we've been discovering the beautiful Black Canyon Trail , which runs a total of about 64 miles all told.

Here are a couple of views from the local section, which leads down to the Agua Fria river - quite a welcome sight when it's so hot and dry!

Looking down from a high point on the trail at the silver in the sand...

Yes, that's grass and reeds - and what a lovely babble over those rocks!

Care to stick your toes in?

Monday, June 7, 2010

Seasons in the Sonoran

Life is change and certainly in the desert that is very true. It seems just a short while ago that the rains were flooding our little town, and before I could say "rainbow" everything was popping out in bloom for spring - and now it's summer already!

Here are a few snaps from the recent weeks:

Ocatillo (or Dr. Seuss plant, if you like!)

Hedgehog cactus - the blooms are huge for their size!

The mighty Saguaro and its delicate white crowns

Everything blooms so quickly and fades so fast - you have to be quick with the camera! (Which I was not).

And now we are into the summer already and those blooms are fast becoming fruits and seeds - the seeds of change, perhaps!

Friday, March 19, 2010

Not Dead Yet...

For those who are wondering if I am still alive -yes. That 'cold' turned out to be bronchitis and then progressed to an eye infection as well, so I broke down and went to the doctor to get some 'bigger guns' and knock this thing out.
(What a tough girl I am, yes?)

So aside from necessary runs to the store, the only other outings for me have been my health hikes to keep the lungs clearing out. Here's a terribly glamorous snap of me in my 'Desert Rat' kit ready to kick some germs in the caboose.

Not exactly fashion magazine material, but this means war!
A girl's gotta do what a girl's gotta do!

I hope you are all staying well - I'll be back again soon, I promise.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Cold Comfort

Well, I've been sidetracked with things for a bit, and now I'm hit with a nasty little cold complete with major sore throat. The good news is that my neighbor came by and brought me some chicken broth and I'm nursing myself with some good soup, hot toddy and rest. Hope you are all well, and I promise to get back on here with some 'Spring Fling' when I am well again...

Soup anyone?

Friday, February 19, 2010

Dear Ones, The World Is Waking To The Sunshine...

Hope you don't mind that I've taken some poetic license with my title - but these days the sun is coming out more often and it seems the whole world is responding with a blush of green!

Let me tell you it's very difficult to work inside right now when the air is so balmy and the blue peeks out. However, I've been having some very lovely walks lately and am pleasantly startled by the change in the landscape! Previously grey and somber paths are now velvety with grass and wee white flowers amongst the cactus...

The critters are much more active as well, and the air is filled with birdsong and the ground is alive with rabbits and squirrels - which delights Saki aka 'The Great Hunter' no end! I'll spare you pictures of the 'gift' he brought me the other other morning, but here he is on the job and happy as can be - not bad for 14 years old!

Particularly charming to my ears are the 'wheet! wheet' calls of the Gentleman Cardinal who is nesting near the house with his demure little mate - here is what they look like in Arizona, courtesy of the Sonoran Desert Museum (mine won't sit still long enough for my camera)

So with that, let me share this lovely song with you by the very charming Les Paul and Mary Ford - which I find myself humming rather frequently right now...

Align Center

And my heart is caaalling you!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Will You Be Mine...?

Hello, Lovelies!

Here's my Valentine from me to You:

Show Love With No Remorse...

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Abjure Pandemonium...

Well, Kids, it's not exactly big news, but the first thing I did when I got to work today was make an industrial sized ladder in my stocking. How do you like them apples??

So what does that tell me? It means it's time to 'Accentuate the Positive' my Dears! Plus, it gives me a great opportunity to wish you well no matter how *your* day started!

Here's wishing you all a wonderful day with no 'ladders' in it!!

Monday, February 8, 2010

May I Have This Dance?

Well, tonight was another new 'first' for me - I just had my
very first
dance lesson!

So, I decided I should wear some red for confidence:

Then I bravely drove past Table Mesa Road, Moore's Gulch and Deadman's Wash to the FatCat Ballroom, where I had several minutes to calm my nerves before meeting my instructor.

Happily, Ren is the type of gentleman who made me comfortable right from the start and honestly, I felt lighter than expected and less clumsy than I expected, too. Although my left leg seems to learn slower than my right leg, we seem to have gotten off to a pretty decent start, and I can hardly wait to learn more!

I just can't tell you how lovely it is to finally be learning at least some basic foxtrot, and how to *follow* on the dance floor - it's better than whipped cream, I tell you! Delicious!

Well, I'll never be Ginger Rogers, but I sort of felt like this for a few brief moments - whee!

Sunday, February 7, 2010

A Perfect Day To Be Sure...

Oh, glorious skies singing in my heart like a mandolin!

Bright golden light and mysterious dancing clouds, with the velvet black shadows on the canyon and the sharp bite of snow in the air, and the mist hanging on the mountains like a woman's hair falling softly on her shoulders...and the smell.

The smell of the desert after the rain - I wish you you were here.

It's sheer poetry, my Dears.

And it isn't over yet....

Friday, February 5, 2010

A Visit From Some of the Home Folks

Earlier this week, I was blessed with a visit from some dear friends who drove all the way from the San Francisco area to my humble little homestead - Jim and Annie, you are so lovely!

We had a little tour of the place, and particularly the Library - here are some shots of my favorite place to work:

The children's room is so nice - this is where we have story time each week!

The outdoor sculpture is by a local artist who recycled a fuel storage tank and used a plasma torch to cut in the images of from Native American Southwest tales - I love the mix of old and new ideas and of course the sky peeking through!

After some good meals and lots of 'catching up' it was time for them to 'hit the trail' to Tuscon.

Happy Trails, Dear Ones, and thanks again for the fresh veggies!!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

You've Got Me in Stitches!

A very big 'Thank You' to Jenny for inviting me to her vintage gals' Sewing Circle this week! this lovely lady just made me so welcome the first time we met at the Orpheum's Silent Saturday, and then this Monday I was quite chuffed to be her guest in her adorable little house and have a good 'girl chat' and do some sewing related things.

Patterns were traded, linens were pressed, and I cut out this 1940's mail order jumper dress from a piece of navy linen blend fabric. I don't know yet whether I can bring myself to cut up the piece of 'V for Victory' feedsack for the blouse - perhaps I'll see if I can find a patriotic looking rayon print instead...

If all goes well, I plan to take a few dance lessons and wear the new outfit to the upcoming 'Night in the 40's Dance'held March 20th at the CAF (Commemorative Air Force) Museum - I hear this event is not to be missed! Looking forward to seeing you swingin' Phoenix Folks out there!!

(If the sewing works out as planned, I promise to post pictures of myself in the aforementioned outfit. If not, you'll get pictures of me in something else. C'est la vie!)

Sunday, January 24, 2010

When it rains, it pours....and hails and snows!

Well, howdy again from the desert! We had quite a week of weather here recently and I thought I'd share some views with y'all. First a little background on the storm - we had about 8 inches of rain in just about 3 days, which means that I woke up to the sound of rushing water one morning! It's such a contrast when you're used to it being dry and quiet.

It was difficult to get pictures of just how much water came in, but here are a couple more shots from near the bridge in town. Incidentally, the bridge was struck by trees and some culvert that washed down the river and was closed for about a week until it was determined to be structurally sound.

Everything's fine here at the old homestead, but the road to the place was flooded for several days, and my boss was kind enough to let me bring my sleeping bag and camp out at her place so I wouldn't miss work - thanks, Melina!!

After the rain finally quit, it turned quite cold, sent down some hail then proceeded to dust the Bradshaw Mountains with a sugar coating of snow!

Finally around day 6, the sun came peeking through - and again, what a contrast! The pictures just are not enough to convey the glorious play of light and shadow and color after the storm...

So how's the weather in *your* neck of the woods?

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Silent Saturday Soliloquy

A week ago today I attended a Silent Saturdays film at the amazing Orpheum Theatre in Phoenix - thanks for the invitation Lolita!

Align Center

When I parked the car and started walking over, I saw a very sharp group of Vintage Folks in their finery and just knew I was in the right place! Thanks Jenny and Maria and everyone for making me so welcome!

The Orpheum was built between 1927 and 1929, and has been restored to it's full glory, inluding a Wurlitzer pipe organ. And let me tell you - the organist Ron Rhodes can sure play! We were treated to an introduction to the film by a local film history professor, and about 20 or so minutes of fabulous organ music before the intermission, which included beautiful light projections to add to the atmosphere.

The film was "Safety Last" with Harold Loyd, and I truly enjoyed this gem of a film accompanied by the live organ music - I found myself laughing, oohing and gasping all the way through!

After the film, the emcee requested photos with the "Arizona Vintage Life" folks and here a few:

Glamorous Gals!

Handsome Fellas!

After the show we walked over to another historic building, Hanny's for drinks and a friendly chat. Hanny's was originally a department store built in 1947, which has no been converted to a very hip lounge. I think it's a great blend of old and new and a fun atmosphere for chatting with friends. If you go, be sure to take a picture inside the old elevator shaft!

Hanny's Circa 1947

Hanny's today

I'm looking forward to the next Silent Saturday and many other events with my new friends - watch for more updates soon!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Coyote Calling - Anyone Home?

Well, it's about 1:30 AM here in the desert, and I've been awakened by the calling of a nearby pack of coyotes, so thought I would share with you all. Above is a picture of a Sonoran Desert Coyote and here is what they sound like:

I know there's no picture to go with the sound, but it's dark here!

(thanks whoever uploaded this to youtube)

Well, they've passed on now, so I'll try to get back to sleep - sweet dreams, everyone!

Monday, January 11, 2010

The Pony Espresso and Leaving On a Jet Plane

(Fair warning: go make yourself a snack - this is a long post with lots of pictures!)

Well, It's about time I posted some pictures from my daughter's visit - she came to see me on her holiday from college just after Christmas and we had such a grand time!

The day after she arrived we drove out to Wickenburg and had lunch and coffee at the Pony Espresso cafe. Can you tell we enjoyed our food?

And here is the beautiful bronze in front of the Desert Caballero Museum - which I highly recommend seeing whenever you are out this way!

The whole town is filled with western art, and I especially like this frieze on the front of the Municipal center:

The next day we had our Christmas with some nice little gifts and decorated our gingerbread house "surfer style" Dude. Gingerbread men can surf, too!

We also enjoyed a nice little hike on the High Desert Trail here in town, and all the colors and textures in the rocks, plants and views.

One more day exploring Prescott together - town of coffee shops, antiques and some frosty snow on the ground! We took the chill off with some hazelnut lattes at the Raven Cafe and enjoyed the artsy atmosphere on the outdoor patio upstairs.

Last day together we walked around the property at home and took a few more snaps before a fond farewell...

The best gift of all...