Monday, August 31, 2009

Rooster on a Hot Tin Roof!

I personally think everyone needs a roof rooster! I feel like I have a speech impediment when I try to say that. Woof wooster. We saw this woof wooster on one of our evening bike rides recently. Fancy fella! Notice the head of the other rooster in the foreground. There were also roosters in the tree right below the roof. They were all staring at the rooster farm next door. (Yes, there really IS a rooster farm. It's a bizarre site to behold and more than a little noisy!)

So, I wonder if the boys on the roof and in the trees are escapees from the farm next door? Or maybe they're the sentinels in the guard tower?

The heat must have finally gotten to me if I'm posting about roosters! I can't believe today is August 31! Some of my friends here hate September because they say by the end of August, they're expecting it to cool down and September's still hotter than hell! After a record number of days over 110 this summer, I'll take days in the lo-100's as a gift! And September means we're just that much closer to highs in the 90's. : )

wooo hooooo

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Pretty Please?

Saby can't spend as much time outdoors this time of year as she'd like! Unless we're outside, I always worry that we'll forget her, and 110 degrees is way too hot for an old dog! She gets her play time when we're in the pool, but she spends a lot of time hanging at the doors, tail wagging, giving us the look.

Can I PLEASE go out and play!

You people are just NO fun at all!

One of the reasons I worry is because she doesn't bark to get in or out! She only barks when she sees other dogs or when people come to the front door. Her first owner trained her a little too well.

She had her own little Saturday night backyard campout in the late spring this year. I got up on a Sunday and noticed she wasn't hanging around waiting for her morning walk. I yelled for Saby and she didn't come. I finally opened the back door and in rushed a scared but excited Saby!

Saturday, August 29, 2009

People of Walmart

Don't know if you've seen or heard about this, but here's a link to a funny blog, The People of Walmart, where you can submit photos of the alarming people (things?) you see at Walmart. They actually have a contest going. Here are the rules:

Wanted: Pictures of the most ridiculous and insanely disturbing people who call Walmart their home. I suggest venturing there after midnight to find that special someone. The top three pictures of the month will receive:

First Place: $100
Second Place: $50
Third Place: $25

When you submit your picture to, please include name, email, location, and do not forget to attach the picture. Winners will be posted and notified. Contest ends 10/10/09.

Hmmmm. Maybe I should start taking my camera to Walmart with me! They suggest going around or after midnight to capture the truly bizarre! Truthfully, I don't think I could stay up that late! We were in Sam's and Walmart tonight and saw a couple of likely candidates. The catch, of course, is that the photographer has to get the bizarre person's permission for the picture. I'm not sure I'd be comfortable approaching the insanely and ridiculously disturbed for his/her/its photo!

But I think I'll put a link to the website on my blog so I can get a good laugh evey day!

Friday, August 28, 2009

Trusty Monsoon Tips!

Every month, I get a newsletter from our beloved landscaper -- the scoundrel we entrusted with our landscape design when the house was brand new and the yard was a blank dirt palate. If only he'd pay as much attention to actual real time customer service as he does to putting out these silly little monthly marketing ploys. Don't even get me started! Anyway, I got his August newsletter in my e-mail box this week and it included a link for Monsoon Healthcare. Hmmmmmm. I didn't know there were health concerns in Arizona unique to the monsoon? This paragraph grabbed my attention:

Monsoon has arrived and it is a right time to watch your food intake during this season. This season brings the excitement that makes you feel tempted to taste the spicy, road-side snacks but it also brings the germs and bacteria that may cause you health problems. Cough, cold, flu and water-born diseases such as cholera, gastroenterities are the frequently observed health problems during rainy days. Handle them effectively with your regular kitchen ingredients. A little care can keep the monsoon troubles at bay. Read more to know how eating right and maintaining hygiene will keep you fit and healthy.

Reading on, the author warns to drink boiled water, then recommends lots of home-cooked curries. So, if I'm understanding him clearly, I need to eat more of this in order to avoid cholera and gastroenteritis?

Geez, I guess my landscaper is really concerned that I could possibly contract some dangerous illnesses when wading through the monsoon flooded streets here in my neighborhood?

And if I'm understanding him, I should avoid street food like this in monsoon season. Hmmm. It looks really tasty, but I don't remember seeing this cart on my street!

Mmmmmmmm. How can I resist all this?

God knows, conditions on the street here in Phoenix, Arizona suburbia can get rather unhygienic this time of year, so maybe that spicy street food really isn't a good idea!

Gosh, how was his trusty assistant to know when she googled monsoon tips that she really should have included Arizona in those keywords. And I guess if she'd actually read the link, maybe the author's name, Prajakta Ambre, could have been another tip. Maybe she missed the cholera and curries. HA!

I really should e-mail him back and thank him for the Laugh of the Month!

(Now, all that being said, I got sick this week. Maybe he's right! If only I'd resisted the spicy roadside snacks, flooded pestilent streets, and boiled my water, I could have avoided cholera and gastroenteritis!)

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Thoroughly Charmed!

I vowed to take on a new crafty project after my work ended in July. That was first on my 'to do' list. I have lots of cool old photos and I've always loved soldered charms, so I thought I'd take a class and figure it out! I looked into the equipment and class I'd need to take in order to get started. I had visions of making gifts for friends and family, and maybe even selling some of it!

After browsing last week, I decided there were people who did that better than I ever could, and I could buy a LOT of charms for the money I'd invest in the equipment, supplies, and learning how. I found a couple of charms I loved, put them in my little shopping cart, used PayPal to purchase, and one week later -- they're here! What could be easier than that!

The Toto charm is a natural for me since -- I'm from Kansas! And Beach Babe just seemed fitting since Life's a Beach! Actually, I found one that said life's a beach, but I liked this one more. What I love about soldered charms is the flip side -- you really get a two for one! Two different looks in one charm!

Uh oh! Now I'm a little afraid Etsy will become my Home Shopping Network! I was back on there today browsing.

By the way, I purchased the Bathing Beauty Pendant at The Toto Charm came from Art Under Glass at

And don't forget Jana's beautiful seaglass jewelry at!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Paging Mr. Gonzalez!

I'm not sure why I find this construction sign so funny? Maybe it's the idea that any road construction in Arizona could be speedy? They've had the street in front of our neighborhood torn up since we moved here in October 2006. Cones, barricades, and I haven't seen anyone working on it in at least six months or more. I guess I should call Speedy at 623-934-9415 and see what the hell's taking so long!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

My Name is Beck

And I'm an antique-aholic.

I go through phases where I just can't get enough time in antique stores! Other years, my obsession goes by the wayside. If you haven't guessed, I've been sucked back in again and I'm once again on a mission. I'm not buying much, but I sure like to look. And take photos.

I love this rustic little piece. It'd make a great night stand in my bedroom!

I've been on the lookout for old luggage lately. These navy blue suitcases are pretty cute!

It's hard to see the scale of this coffee pot, but it's industrial size. I'm still thinking about getting that one since I collect the white enamelware! Hmmmmmmmmmmmm.

I kinda like this blonde's getup, but she should lose the ugly shoulder bag. No way it goes with 60's mod!

Betty Boop was way before my time, but this is quite a collection!

And Betty was evidently popular in Asia? Can't tell if the comic book is Japanese?

I LOVE this old typewriter. It was on hold. My grandmother had a similar older model that was a permanent fixture on her dining room table. She was constantly typing letters to friends and family, recipes, poems, etc....

Okay, I always see something WEIRD every trip!

One can never have enough Elvis, thank ya very much!

Love this little old table. It could probably be used as a small desk. I think it's what I'd call a marriage because the top is pine, bottom is oak.

Tiaras for princesses!

Here's an old projector. My dad had one just like it. I think it's still at the house along with all the old movies from the 40's, 50's, and 60's. We really need to get those old home movies and have them copied to DVD's. I can still remember the smell of the projector getting hot. My dad taught me to thread it, but I'm not sure if I can still remember. I'll have to try next time I'm back there.

Like the colors in this booth!

I finally found this cute little luggage piece! I'll show you what I'm doing with it later!

And here's the find of the week. We saw this cute old wicker desk in an antique store on Saturday. Craig even liked it. So we bought it and hauled it home. Now I wish I had Grandma Bowman's typewriter to set on it! Wonder what happened to that typewriter?

Monday, August 24, 2009

Here Today, Gone Tomorrow

Craig was here for the weekend -- at least most of it. As he said, he came home to fix stuff! He fixed the garbage disposal, the umbrella by the pool, the flat tire on my bike, and helped me move some furniture. We did find time for an evening bike ride. Saturday's sunset looked very promising for a monsoon storm, but you can guess the outcome! Zippo!

Speaking of the monsoon being a no-show this year, I read India's having much the same problem with below normal monsoon rainfall resulting in poor crop production. I guess the weather is freaky all over the globe. I'm seeing lightning off in the west tonight, but I'm not betting on rain! We need a rain dance!

Craig was off to the airport Sunday afternoon. Can't wait till he's back home Thursday night so he can fix more stuff!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Pizza Pizza!

Since Craig was really only home for one full day, Saturday, we decided to make the most of it and check out a new antique store on Main Street in Gilbert. While we were there, we revisited a restaurant we hadn't been to for a few years -- Oregano's! They really have fantastic pizza! We got an early start on Saturday, so we beat the rush! No lines for a table! We parked by the funky Gilbert water tower and headed for the door.

Once seated, we ordered Diet Cokes and waited on our thin crust combo to bake. It was worth the wait! Mmmmmmmmmmmmmm. Italian sausage, green peppers, onions, and mushrooms.

We managed to finish most of it, but had a little bit leftover for dinner. And Oregano's always offers an extra drink to go when you're finished!

On the way to the car, I noticed a smiley face thermometer! I'm glad he's smiling about that 100 degree temp!

Friday, August 21, 2009


Okay, I admit it. I'm absolutely irrational when it comes to bugs, spiders, snakes, etc.... I remember when I was in high school, if I saw a spider in the house and there was no one there to kill it, I'd just leave. As an adult, I once called a neighbor to come over and get rid of a Russian Wolf Spider. So when I heard last night that neighbors across the street have killed five scorpions in their house in the last month, I got the creepy crawlies!

I tossed and turned last night thinking of all the places scorpions could be hiding. I eventually did sleep and got up this morning to swim in the pool. As I was swimming laps, I kept seeing a small stick in the water. No big. I always check the sides of the pool and water surface when I get in because I've been stung by bees several times in the water and don't want a replay. And there WAS that episode with the large hairy spider on the side of the pool several weeks ago. (Craig was there to kill that one!)

After I'd been swimming for about 20 minutes, I noticed a huge bug crawling up the side of the pool. Ewwwww. What the heck! My first thought, of course, was scorpion. I quickly hopped out of the pool. I realized then that it was the 'stick' I kept passing when I was swimming. Don't sick the SPCA on me, but I tried to kill the damn thing. 'Tried' would be the operative word. I'm tellin' ya, that thing has a faster backstroke than I do! I never got it, but I did get a couple of photos. I'm hoping it got sucked into the vortex so I can just dump it out of the skimmer basket tonight. Actually, I think I'll just let Craig dump the skimmer basket when he gets home tomorrow! And I'm hoping it doesn't have friends!

This bug is so weird, it's kinda cute! I think it might be a Walkingstick?

Thursday, August 20, 2009

It's a Slow News Day!

Saw this on the news yesterday! I bet JoAnne's Gumbo can do this!!! Probably wearing his tiny sombrero! : )

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

I Need a Police Scanner!

I can remember being with my aunt on South Padre Island and visiting some older friends in their condo. The condo was a nightmare little space packed wall to wall with clutter. No place to perch without sitting on a pile of newspapers. The focal point of the condo was the police scanner. It squawked night and day. The old couple knew all the codes and would comment on everything that came across the scanner. They had a hard time ripping themselves away to go to dinner. My aunt and I thought it was fairly pathetic.

Yesterday evening as I was walking Saby on the edge of the neighborhood, I noticed two Chandler police cruisers creeping along the edge of a dirt field at a distance from an abandoned house on the dairy farm across the main road in the next mile section. They appeared to be lurking waiting for something. I thought maybe they were casing me to see if I'd bag the pooch poop! Earlier in the day, I'd noticed police tape around the front of the house and thought that was odd. And now there was police tape around the entire perimeter of the yard. Part of me wondered if they could be getting ready to do a raid? But I dismissed it because nothing happens around here!

After walking Saby home, I decided to return some movies to Blockbuster. Pulling out of the neighborhood, I noticed police cars had multiplied by ten and were lined up all around the property with men in uniform ringing the area. What the heck? Could it be a drop house for illegals or meth lab? On the way back,I couldn't believe it! They had spotlighted the area with huge overhead lights mounted on generator trucks. I could see it from a mile away! The area was now swarming with police and SWAT teams. I passed by slowly on the road with the windows open, but couldn't get any grasp on what was happening. After I got home, I rode the bike to the edge of the neighborhood to watch through the view fencing. I could see spotlights going through the darkened house, then I'd hear little explosions. Then groups would emerge in full gear, including helmets with visors down. After watching from two different locations for ten minutes, I finally went home. I still had no clue!

About 10 p.m., curiousity got the best of me again. Saby got another walk! The spotlights were still there, along with the S.W.A.T. team vehicles and police cars. I think the numbers had decreased, but I was still hearing loud explosions.

If only I had one of those damn old people police scanners! I'd KNOW what was going on over there! Mrs. Cravitz is going nuts! I'm a fire truck chaser at heart. Where I grew up, in a tiny berg, everyone in town would have known immediately what was happening! In fact, we would have all been standing across the street and not gone home until the last police wagon left!

This morning, I passed by again on Saby's morning walk. The only remnant of the action last night was police tape on the broken front picture window and the across the back perimeter. I'm now thinking it was a S.W.A.T training event? Here's a couple of camera phone photos.

Whatever it was, I bet it scared the holy crap out of the illegals who live down that road in trailers behind the dairy operation!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Just Chillin'

The boys are both on the road. Of course, Michael's ALWAYS on the road. He called from Ketchum (Sun Valley) yesterday. I'm a little jealous of that! Craig's in Oklahoma this week -- the first time he's traveled in over a year and a half! He calls and taunts me with the description of the warm cookies at the hotel and what he had for dinner. Meanwhile, I'm enjoying having the house to myself. If I clean it up, no one messes it up but me!

The mornings have also been cool enough now to get out and take a long walk before it gets hot! This morning, I walked for a little over an hour and noticed the neighborhood is just busy. New foundations, cranes, and the one really encouraging fact is that the neighborhood in the half-mile section next to us is once again under construction. The developer went bankrupt, but evidently, a new developer has purchased the land and is building homes once again. Just from the looks around our immediate area, I think the economy IS turning around! Foreclosures continue to be a problem, but there are encouraging signs!

I'm off to the movies today. I'm thinking Time Traveler's Wife? I'll let you know what I think!

Remember this old song?

Rest assured, the house is quiet, but I'm not sitting around crying! (But I wish he'd bring me home some of those cookies on Friday!)

Monday, August 17, 2009

Chalk and Mirrors

Remember my trip to the antique mall on Friday? I was there specifically to find a couple of items I could use to try a chalkboard project I'd seen in a decorating magazine. According to the article, old trays, pie plates, mirrors, etc... could be made into decorative chalkboards. It sounded easy enough!

At the antique store, I found a little wicker mirror for $4 and a white enamelware rectangular pan for $7. I already had an old mirror in a frame I also thought would work well. Throw in a $3 can of spray chalkboard paint from Walmart and a $1 can of spray primer, and that was all I needed.

Saturday morning, I decided to get 'er done. The mirrors were the easiest to do because there was no preparation involved. I simply removed the mirrors from their frames, then sprayed them with 1 coat of primer and 3 coats of the chalkboard spray. The rectangular enamelware pan was slightly more work because I had to tape off the rectangular area to be sprayed and cover the rest of the white pan with newspaper. But the entire project only took a few hours to complete, including time spent waiting on the different coats of paint to dry.

Formerly the wicker mirror, this one will probably end up hanging on the kitchen wall by the pantry.

This one was created from an old mirror I bought a few years ago. It's now hanging in the guest bedroom. Of course, the beauty of all these is that they can be changed anytime with a little piece of chalk. Craig suggested 'Don't unpack' would be a good slogan since it's the guestroom!

This one, on top the kitchen cabinets, is the rectangular white enamelware pan.

Now I'm thinking about all the old trays, pie plates, and mirrors in the house that I could renovate. Craig is getting very very nervous. He told me Saturday that he thought the three pieces were enough! Who knows, when he returns on Friday, I may have turned the big powder bath mirror into a huge chalkboard with bano written in 15 different languages! : ) Whatta ya think? Or maybe Mirror mirror on the wall, who's the fairest of them all?

Be afraid! Be VERY afraid Craig! Middle-aged crafter gone wild! HA!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Bad News from the Hood

Friday morning when I took Saby for her early morning walk, I noticed the neighbor across the street's garage door was open. In fact, it'd been open a lot in the last few days and that's highly unusual. We literally never see the people who live there doing anything outdoors. Later when I was leaving the house on my bike, the neighbor was standing in front of his garage talking to an older man. I waved and went on my way. An hour later when I returned from my ride, I was shocked to see two Camelback Moving vans at the house with men carrying furniture and boxes out.

A month ago, a friend with access to real estate records had told me that house and another at the end of the block were both set for foreclosure in July. Somehow, since July passed and nothing happened, I assumed they'd found a way out of their situations. I also heard tonight from other neighbors that there are four houses on the street behind in various stages of short sale or foreclosure. And one on the street a block north of us. So another wave is hitting.

My heart goes out to these people. They bought their dream houses with the best of intentions. But then circumstances changed and they got caught in the perfect storm. Craig and I were talking tonight about what a horrid sinking feeling that must be to lose your home. So many people are living on the edge right now and it's frightening.

Here's some facts from this morning's Sunday paper. From August 2007 through August 2009, 80,000 homes in the Valley of the Sun have been foreclosed on. 240,000 jobs have been shed since December 2007, and you have to remember the true numbers are actually much higher because those statistics are based on people receiving unemployment benefits.

Unemployment benefits in Arizona are the second lowest in the nation if you can get them -- right behind Mississippi. So we're talking these people can either choose to pay their rent OR eat, not both. Lots of unemployed people don't qualify for the benefits, and even if they do, the operation is jammed. The paper this morning said there's up to a 16 week backlog to start the benefits. That's four months! So good luck trying to get unemployment in Arizona. Arizona's current job losses are the worst since the Great Depression.

There but for the grace of God go I.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

This Car Stops for Antiques!

It always cracks me up when I see those bumper stickers. I hadn't been antiquing for at LEAST 45 days, so I decided to stop by the local antique mall. I was looking for a few items for a new project. I spent an hour and a half browsing the booths and had a blast. I found those items, but you'll have to wait until next week for show and tell. I'll take some photos if I manage not to make a mess of it! Meanwhile, here are some photos from Friday's trip.

Cool framed chalkboard.

These boots are made for walkin . . .

An old cornhusker.

Floral fancies.

Marble-topped ice cream parlor set.

House of Frames

My personal favorites -- Easter bunny toys.

White enamelware. I collect this, but the prices on these pieces were steep!

Beautiful chest with mirror. I'd like to buy it and shabby chic it white!

This tin Mr. Goodbar box made me hungry!

Cute child's wicker chair. My aunt had one of these when she was little.

A child's picnic table!

A Disney fire engine.

More white enamelware.

Vintage purse. Can't remember the price on it, but it was astronomical!

Last and least! This guy didn't come home with me. I hate clowns! Bah humbug!