Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Waiting for the Monsoon!

Here in Phoenix, we long for monsoon season to begin. Clouds now hang in the distance teasing us, and weathermen bait us with promises of When will it rain? Find out tonight at 10! Now they're promising us thunderstorms rolling through every evening this week. But last weekend, they predicted storms. Didn't happen!

The monsoon season officially started on June 15, but the dewpoint has to be at 55 for three days in a row in order for rain to fall in the valley. For most of last week, the dewpoint was around 45, but this evening it was finally at 52 with clouds building all around us. I took a long bike ride last Thursday morning under dark purple skies with no fear that I'd get rained on. Little veils hung down from clouds in the distance, but the rain evaporated before it ever hit the ground. But tonight as I stepped outdoors, there were actually sprinkles. Woo hooooo! But we're still not there yet. Anyplace I've lived before, the rain has fallen effortlessly, so it's hard to imagine it's so dang complicated!

Clouds building in the distance, but they won't make it into the valley.

Sprinkles in the pool.

I'm sure it sounds crazy to people in other parts of the country who've been enduring months of rainy stormy weather , but when you live with constant sun, you can't wait for the magnificent lightning shows, the towering walls of dirt (the haboobs), and the drenching rain to break the monotony of the continuous beating sun! Here are a few pictures (not mine) from recent years.


Phoenix Lightning

In monsoon season, I actually watch the local weather. It reminds me of chasing the firetruck when I was a kid growing up in a little town. There's something exciting about watching fools in trucks and SUV's driving through flooded washes and having to be towed out, interstates shut down because Arizona isn't set up to handle much runoff, those little beeps on the television issuing severe storm warnings, etc...

Here's a clip of a massive haboob in 2007. I'll keep you posted!

Monday, June 29, 2009

Confucious Say -- Mandarin Chef!

Saturday, I declared it was my turn to choose the restaurant since Craig chose Joe's Farm Grill on Friday night. Since it's our anniversary stay-cation, we're eating out! So I decided on a little Chinese joint not far from us -- Mandarin Chef. They have lunch specials that include soup, egg roll, crab puff, and choice of main dish. I ordered the shrimp and vegetables -- Craig the moo goo gai pan.

While we were waiting on our egg drop soup, we perused the Chinese Zodiac placements. Guess what! I'm the Snake -- because I was born in 1953. Craig always gets a big laugh out of that. The Snake! And since I was born in 1953, I'm vain with a high temper. Huh? While Craig, born in 1951, is Mr. Congeniality! According to the Chinese Zodiac, I should have married The Cock (hmmmmm) or The Ox, but instead I married a Rabbit! HA! And the Rabbit should have married The Sheep (a mindless follower?) or The Boar (bore?).

Confucious say -- Rabbit who marry Snake may have BIG trouble!
Confucious say -- Why everyone born in same year have same personality?

Soon, the egg drop soup arrived. Yum!

Then my shrimp and vegetables. Craig actually got his food too, but I was too enthralled with my dish to even try his!

As Arnold says, I'll be back! : ) Not just for the Chinese Zodiac advice, but also for the lunch specials! That's a lot of food for $6 a meal!

Sunday, June 28, 2009

More Antique Travels

Since Craig's playing golf today, we took a little trip to one of my favorite antique malls yesterday afternoon. Normally, I'd name the mall and give them some publicity, but a tight little woman who worked there kept following me around giving me dirty looks. Everytime I looked up, she was right there staring at me. It was in Mesa -- what can I say! But I had a great time anyway! I know it was because of the camera, but people use them in antique malls so they can go home, look at the photo, and imagine the piece in their house! Especially since all sales are final! It's not like Costco where you can bring the item back! So a camera shouldn't bother her!

I guess I should have told her I was scouting her shop out for a Country Living photo shoot. HA!

Wicker and Lace

Lots of Red, White, and Blue and Wabbits

I love garden antiques. Look at the old porch swing!

Great summer wallhanging!

Love this old suitcase!

Here's a great idea. I have one of these old boilers somewhere! I loved the white enamelware coffee pot (and collect them), but I don't pay $50 for them!

More red, white, and blue!

All dressed up, no place to go.

Notice the shell mosaic birdbath beside the wicker chair! I didn't see it until I got home and uploaded the photos! Very cool!

Shabby Chic!

I can't enter an antique mall now without thinking of my aunt! She was my main partner in crime when it came to antiquing. When I saw these bird prints, it made me think of her! Of course, I think of her everyday. Funny how I still think I need to call her, and then remind myself she's not there.

Is some club member missing her hat? Yee gods -- as the woman across the street growing up used to say! Would some Red Hat actually wear one of these? Love the Christmas ornaments on the one. Nice touch!

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Here and There!

Another Saturday, another morning bike ride. We're a little late leaving because Craig has to mount my new bike basket. It comes in handy for carrying bread for the ducks and my camera! Anyway, once he was done, we were off!

First stop -- we have to feed the kids. They put a call out to us when we're a block away. QUACK quack quack quack quack. We're trying to teach Saby to be kinder to other animals, so we feed her a little piece of bread and she's content to just watch the ducks as long as they stay in the water!

Next stop -- a sunflower patch a couple of miles away. Actually, we took Saby home first.

The woman next door to us growing up had a sunflower patch. I tried to grow them once with no success. What could be so hard? They're a WEED!

On down the road, we encountered a patriotic scarecrow. Why don't I think of these things!

Anyone in need of a used Triumph? A little worse for the wear! Must be another O.C.D. collector! On the way home, we stopped at Basha's and shared a large diet Coke and a black and white cookie. And back home again. Craig fixed the power cord (that I cut in half) and trimmed and mowed the yard. And I took a morning swim in the pool.

More tomorrow on the 'staycation'!

Friday, June 26, 2009

Joe's Farm Grill Revisited!

This weekend is the start of Craig and I's little anniversary 'staycation'. We were going to take a weekend trip down to Bisbee, but I know the last thing Craig wants to do after working all week is take off and drive three hours south. We decided to eat out, swim, watch movies, and just have a fun weekend at home instead.

Craig's request for Friday night out was a trip back to Joe's Farm Grill over in Gilbert for the burgers. And this time I made sure my camera had fresh batteries. Mmmmmmmmmmmmm. I have to say, this is the best burger I've had in this area!

Looks like a 5-star burger to me!

Craig had his loaded and was ready to bite in before I could finish taking a picture!

Thursday, June 25, 2009


Koloa Buddhist Temple

Hanalei Church

Bali Hai

Little Fishermen


Hanalei Pier

Hanalei Post Office


Old Stone Church

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Bearing Fruit

Not long after these tiny fruit trees were planted on the side of our house three years ago, the tags got stripped off. So now I'm clueless as to what exactly I planted? There are three fruit trees and I think I requested grapefruit, orange, and lime, or did I? They haven't grown all that much, but I noticed over the weekend two of the trees have set fruit. I think I need to do some research and get educated, or maybe just wait until they turn colors? : )


Torchglow Bougainvillea

(yeah I know this one's NOT a fruit!)


Tuesday, June 23, 2009

A Few More Sketches

Dulceria on Isla

Cathedral in small Yucatan village.

Back of Juarez on the malecon.

Chichen Itza 2002


Isla Contoy Dock

Peddler on Juarez