Wednesday, September 30, 2009

When I Woke Up This Mornin'

I saw this through the shutters! What a gorgeous way to start the day. And to add to my morning party, the weatherman made the statement that we may have seen the last of the 100 degree temps this year. Now that's something to celebrate! The high tomorrow in Phoenix is actually supposed to be 89 degrees.

With the cooler morning temps, I'm back to my outdoor exercise routine of long walks and/or bike rides. It's way more fun being outdoors than stuck in a gym. Not to mention I'm not particularly wild right now about being inside with all those possible swine flu bugs!

After the morning walk, I noticed one more surprise when I watered the plants in the courtyard. Another one of these little birdies has popped out on display! It must like the slightly cooler temps. These Birds of Paradise have been fairly elusive, but maybe the plants are maturing now and will bloom more.

We're now entering the time of year when everyone walks around saying -- And this is why we live in Phoenix! Woo hoooo. I've made it through another summer in the blast oven.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009


I left the house yesterday morning with every intention of running errands. I needed to go to Kohl's, JoAnn, the grocery store, and an art/craft/beading supply place. I decided to hit the beading place first. I'd looked online to locate a good one close to me. Well, I've done this time and time again. When will I learn! When I got to the address, there was no sign of the place and they were out of business. Call first!

Instead of just turning around and heading back south, I remembered there were a couple of great antique stores in downtown Mesa that I hadn't been to for awhile. So I headed in that direction! I think the car was in control or something! I parked in a one hour parking place on Main Street and headed into the antique malls. I spent the first hour in one row and had to leave and move the car to a three hour slot. And I actually think I was there the full three hours! Went in at noon -- emerged around 3 p.m. bleary-eyed!

Here are a few more photos from the antiquing sidetrip!

I've always wanted one of these old wicker planters.

The sign's self-explanatory.

I remember when my mother wore hats like these!

I wonder if these were the dominos Zina was talking about in her comments the other day? They're so cute!

Extremely cute Christmas candlelabra! Too bad it was $75!

Waiting to be adopted. None of them look very happy.

Singer sewing machine gone wild! Nothing more eye pleasing than a red and white checked sportcoat.

And the Ugly Award goes to the elf cookie jar!

Little altars everywhere? Are those her slippers, hat, and purse?

In all my antique travels, I always see something that reminds me of my aunt. Remember these paint by numbers? She absolutely loved birds.

Creepy! This dolly's laid out casket-style!

I've always been partial to yellow and blue!

Poor little Pinnochio. But his nose appears to be in Stage 1 Lying.

Bigger than a breadbox! I actually wish I had one of these since I collect the white enamelware, but it was too pricey for me!

Radio Active! Shouldn't have opened that box!

All dressed up for Dia de los Muertos -- no place to go.

P.S. Never made it to the grocery store. I found rice in the cupboard and served it with barbecued chicken and grilled pineapple. No one complained! : )

Monday, September 28, 2009

What I Did Today

Just a little teaser of what I did with my Monday!

Somewhere, a clown is missing his suit,

the trolls/little people/elves are missing their hats,

and the federal government is missing a manual!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Crafty Saturday

It all started with a box of vintage dominos I found in an antique store last week. I'd been looking for something I could use to design some pendants. So, after researching the supplies I'd need online and making numerous trips to craft and bead shops around this area, I finally figured out how to use those old dominos!

These two are my favorites so far. Geez, I wonder why! I finally found a use for all these vintage postcards and Isla pamphlets I've been collecting for years.

I also have a jar of vintage buttons from my grandmother's house that I've been saving for all these years. I saw some pendants on Etsy that utilized the dominos and buttons, so decided to try it!

The orange one in the center will be really cute for Halloween. And the black and white's perfect! My fave colors.

As soon as I get my printer up and running again, I'll be using some old family photos. And I have lots of ideas for more Isla pendants! So many ideas . . . so little time! : )

Friday, September 25, 2009

I Could Do This?

I ride a bike, so I'm sure I could probably do this, but I don't think I'll try. HA!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Chicken Enchiladas Verde

1 1/4 pounds cooked chicken shredded

8 6-inch flour tortillas

1 1/2 c. verde salsa

small can chopped green chilis

1 1/2 c. shredded Mexican cheese

sour cream


chopped tomatoes

chopped green onions

This recipe is so simple and quick. I buy a rotisserie chicken and estimate the amount of chicken needed for the recipe. Combine shredded chicken with 1 1/2 c. verde salsa, small can green chilis, and 1 c. shredded cheese in saucepan. Heat until warmed. Warm tortillas in microwave.

Divide chicken mixture into 8 portions and spoon into warm tortillas. Roll and place in 8 x 11 casserole pan. Cover with the remaining shredded cheese, chopped tomatoes, chopped green onions, and warm in 375 degree oven.

I usually pull the enchiladas out of the oven when warmed, let each person decorate his with the amount of sour cream and salsa they want on top, then pop each plate into the microwave for a minute to rewarm and melt the sour cream. The recipe serves 4. Mmmmmmmm.

Don't tell anyone, but these are so addictive, I had a leftover one for breakfast this morning.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009


Fall's here. The daytime temps have dropped into the high 90's. Believe it or not, that's a relief! I noticed today that Sam's had gigantic pumpkins for $9. I wish I'd had the camera with me. Since sunset's much earlier now, we raced through dinner tonight so we could take a quick bike ride before dark. The air over by the canal was nice and cool, but the skeeters were still biting. Ouch. When I was snapping some sunset photos, I noticed the fall evening light here has that same golden glow that it does everywhere else.

Mountains in the west.

Jet contrails.

Sunset through the palms.

Crescent moon at sunset.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

In and Out, One More Time!

Here's Michael on Sunday swearing at me under his breath because he hates having his picture taken! He arrived around noon and we took him to Casa Blanca to eat lunch. He spent most of his time at home playing golf, washing clothes, and catching up with work, but he and I took the time yesterday to have lunch at Pita Jungle and see The Informant, starring Matt Damon. For lunch, we started off with hummus and tsatziki followed by a Greek salad and a California Beach Club pita. No photos because Michael's had it with me and my photo-taking! : ) But lunch was very good!

We both thought The Informant was hilarious. Matt Damon's character reminded me of our time spent living in Omaha in the 1980's. I guess it was his bad toupee and clothes. Not to say people from Omaha have bad toupee's, but it was styled in an 80's do and the setting of the plant in the movie was Midwestern!

Michael's off this morning, down to Tucson to work (I don't think playing golf is work!) a golf tournament and golf show. Like a boomerang, he'll be back Sunday evening for a few days R&R before he heads out on the road again. Then back to babysit Sista Saby at the end of October!

Monday, September 21, 2009

The Three Year Mark

We're nearing the three year mark now since we started life over in Arizona. It's been an adjustment from Washington State to Phoenix. After living in a neighborhood on the side of a mountain in the same house for 20 years, we packed up everything and moved into a dirt construction zone. We were literally the second people to occupy the area. The first people lived right next door. We'd take walks through the neighborhood along the lakes at night and it felt like we were on a movie set after all the crews had gone home. Sixteen lovely models all lit up and decorated perfectly, but nobody home. After having lived in a quiet forest setting, I'd awake at 3 a.m. to the sound of cement trucks pouring foundations. There was also a Mexican cantina on a dairy farm across the main road that blasted music on Saturday nights -- The Cowboy Chaparral. Between that and the occasional smell from the dairy farm, I really wondered what the hell we'd done!

Three years later, the Mexican cantina's gone and the cows have moved a bit farther north. The immediate area around us is all built out, with most homes occupied. The trees and landscaping are maturing. But sometimes I still ask myself, if we had it to do over again, would we still make the move? Sitting outside having dinner tonight at a Chipolte Grill, I looked up at the tropical palms framed against the dark blue evening sky. Where was my camera! The sunset in the west was bright apricot outlining the distant mountains. And the answer is yes, we'd definitely still make the move!

While we're mostly in like with our Arizona life, we have had some rude awakenings in the adjustment phase:

It's a boom or bust area. The economy is either booming or it's bust. Right now it's bust! The Seattle area weathered recessions a lot better than Phoenix. Here, unemployment is rampant and foreclosures are everywhere.

Grammar. I don't want to sound like a snob, but when we first moved here, I noticed a huge difference in Arizona English. : ) I'd ask a question in a shop and the clerk would respond -- it don't matter. My son says it's a function of us having moved to a more rural suburb as opposed to Scottsdale, but I've noticed the grammar in the breakroom at work is hard on the ears. And some of the worst offenders are teachers!

The whole speeding thing! Phoenix is the land of speeding cars. The speed limit on main city streets is usually 45, which in turn means 55 or above to most locals. As my son's always said, mix high speeds with older snowbirds creeping along and it's a recipe for disaster! I do think the situation's improved slightly with all the speed cams, but it was shocking when we moved here. Especially since my little Bug convertible seems to be like a red flag waved in front of a bull to all these big trucks and SUV's. Some of them have literally tried to run me off the road. (And I don't even have any liberal bumper stickers on it.)

Big Hooters. We moved from the land of granola grunge to Hooterville! Everyone seems to be getting them. A neighbor was telling me about a family in foreclosure in the neighborhood. They can't make their house payments, but the wife's getting a hooter upgrade! The dress code is also different. The look seems to tend towards tight revealing clothes that show off those new hooters! And add a layer of sparkly things. Diamonds are a girl's best friend.

The heat. Need I say more? But I actually think I'm adjusting. 100 in the shade feels just fine, but 115's still a problem. Today we broke a record with 104. Didn't feel all that bad to me! Of course, when I was outdoors I was in the pool! Tomorrow's the first day of fall, which seems strange since we really don't have a fall. Looks and feels like summer to me!

Bizarre right wing stuff. We also moved from liberal land up there in Western Washington to the land of the hard right. In fact, some of the stuff is so far right, it's a little bizarre. For example, a new state law takes effect September 30 allowing loaded handguns in restaurants and bars. It's always important to have your loaded gun with you when you're drinking -- that's for sure! Restaurant and bar owners really don't like it, and many are posting no guns allowed signs at the door. A few years ago, the state legislature also tried to pass a law that allowed guns on Arizona college campuses. Arizona is also the proud owner of Sheriff Joe. From all those e-mails that circulate round the country, people in other places must really want him! Would someone please come get him???

We live in the sticks. Literally. I was a city girl in Seattle. While I backed into a fresh greenbelt with tall Douglas firs, cougars and bears, and a stream, I could still zip down the hill and be in downtown Bellevue in 15 minutes, Seattle in 25. When we moved here, we were assured that the area and roads would all be developed and completed within a few years. The entire area would just be suburbia! Ha! Then the bust hit. It's kind of refreshing in a lot of ways, but the city girl is definitely more of a farm girl now. Lots of dirt, cows, horses, mules, alfalfa, farm lanes -- you get the picture! In fact, you've SEEN the pictures!

We laugh about most of the rude adjustments now. I don't even notice construction noise, and I tune out the horns from the roach coaches that speed around the neighborhood peddling snacks to construction workers. I'm looking forward to exploring more of Arizona because there's so much natural beauty to take in! And maybe next summer, I'll take a trip back to Seattle and enjoy some of that cool weather and grilled salmon!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Slow Weekend

We took it easy this weekend. Saby got her Saturday morning walk, then we washed the cars, trimmed the shrubs in the front yard, and pulled the cover off the pool for a swim. The water temp was warm and wonderful -- the first time I'd swam in almost three weeks because of that dang bronchitis! The amoxicillin worked and I am over it! Late Saturday afternoon, we headed over to the local BBQ place for dinner. We both had the fish and chips. Don't ask me why we ordered that in a BBQ joint, but it was good!

Sunday morning after a walk, we both took on painting projects. Craig stained the Adirondack chairs while I painted an old rocker and wooden box black. The Adirondacks still need another coat of stain, but I finished my project.

Black wooden box dressed up for Halloween.

The little black rocker.

After all that work, we hopped in the pool for another swim. Shortly afterwards, Michael arrived. He's here for two days R&R before heading to Tucson.

Carnac says Pita Jungle for lunch tomorrow. : )

Friday, September 18, 2009

Solace From the Sea

On the Dunes, by Sarah Teasdale

If there is any life when death is over,
These tawny beaches will know much of me,
I shall come back, as constant and as changeful
As the unchanging, many-colored sea.

If life was small, if it has made me scornful,
Forgive me; I shall straighten like a flame
In the great calm of death, and if you want me
Stand on the sea-ward dunes and call my name.

I realize now I can't wait to get back to the sound of the sea. If I could, I'd hop a plane tomorrow. Nothing centers my head and calms me like those crashing waves, sunrises, and sunsets.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

In the Arms of the Angels.

Hope Renee in Montreal, such a kind-hearted wonderful woman with beautiful photos and poetic words, is in the arms of the angels tonight. Rest in peace Renee. There's too much senseless horror in our world.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

There's a Chill in the Air!

Had a wonderful dinner at Casa Blanca tonight with a friend to celebrate her birthday! Happy Birthday Gwennie! The waitress brought her the fried ice cream as a present. I have to admit, I'd never had it before and it was wonderful! Yuuummmmm!

The season's changing here in Arizona. There was a little nip in the air when I walked Saby at 8 p.m. tonight. Lo 90's! Brrrrrrrr. Ha! The daytime highs have been hovering around 100 degrees, but the big change is in the overnight temps. They're dipping into the lower 70's, so that's creating a chill in the pool. I've got the solar cover on this week trying to get the water temp back up to prime level -- around 86. I stuck my toe in this morning and decided to leave it on another day! In another month, the pool will be too cold to swim and I hate that! Despite what the overnight lo's do to the pool temp, it's great for morning walks with Saby and bike rides. I can wait until 7 a.m. to walk her now and it still feels cool.

I'm also starting to see a difference in my plants. The flowers are coming back! A lot of plants get crispy in the summer, the leaves yellow and drop, and the blooms go away. I snapped a few photos of flowers this morning. The purple sage is really looking beautiful right now.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Cheaper Than K-Mart!

It may not be my favorite time of year here in Arizona as far as the weather goes, but there's one big advantage to suffering through this hellacious summer heat! The sales down here in the oven are unbelievable! You know how they say Cheaper than K-Mart in Mexico -- well down here I think summer clothes really are cheaper than K-Mart this time of year. I'm not a shopping kind of gal, but every August/September I seize the opportunity to replenish the summer wardrobe (which we wear about 9 months of the year)!

A few weeks ago before the cough interrupted, I had a couple of good coupons from Kohl's that were too hard to resist. I knew it was time to strike while the blue light was blinking, so I headed out shopping. When I got there, most of their summer clothes were already marked down 55 to 80%!

In about fifteen minutes, I scored all of the above, three summer tops, a lightweight jacket (great on Isla!), and a pair of black crop pants, for -- ta daaaaaa -- $23.97! Can't beat that with a stick! Cheaper than K-Mart! To top it off, I went back today to look at the leftovers and scored two more summer tops for $4 apiece. Another Blue Light Special!

I think I'm starting to channel my Grandpa Bowman! He could pinch a penny tighter than anyone I've ever known. When he went to the grocery store, he carried one of those little clickers. He'd total each item as he threw it in the basket, and he always searched the dented can markdown area. If the total at the checkout didn't match exactly with the number on his clicker, every item had to be rechecked to find the mistake. He was an accountant by trade, so he came by it naturally. The local supermarket clerks hated to see him coming! That was back in the days of cheap gas, so he would drive the 20 miles to Parsons, Kansas once a week to save money on groceries. And he bought the day old bread at the bakery. I'm sure struggling through the Depression left a lasting impression on him, but it must have also been one of those genetic traits that skips a generation. : ) Here's a photo of my grandparents with all the grandchildren in the early 1960's. (I'm the girl.)

I don't know if you'll pick up on the resemblance, but I'm a dead ringer for my grandmother. It's kind of freaky looking at myself with white hair! The birthday cake is for my cousin Jon and I. Jon was born on my 4th birthday. In that photo, he's 4 and I'm 8. There's one fact I can tell you about that photo -- Grandpa Bowman sure didn't buy that bakery birthday cake!