Monday, May 31, 2010

Where to Begin!

Ahhhhhhh. It was a wonderful Memorial Day weekend and now I'm in a state of collapse! I'm on the family room sofa, Saby's on the hallway tile, and Craig's back in the man cave. I know I have enough new photos and materials to last me through most of June, so you shouldn't be bored with tales of Saby and/or my garden for quite awhile! In fact, there are so many photos, I have no clue where to begin!

Here's the answer. Like Scarlett O'Hara, I'll think about that tomorrow! Ha! I promise some good photos tomorrow!

Saturday, May 29, 2010


We're headed up to the sweat lodge for the weekend! (just kidding) Here's an overview that has some nice scenic views of the Sedona area. We're planning on some hiking, shopping, eating, and just hanging out and relaxing!

Have a nice safe Memorial Day weekend!

Friday, May 28, 2010

The Week in Review

I've been up for the sunrise every morning this week. The daytime temps have heated up into the 90's, but it's still been cool enough at night to sleep with the windows open. I'm guessing that'll be over by next week. I'm still hoping for a freaky Phoenix summer where the daytime highs stay in the low 100's. HA!

The pool is now in daily use. After Saby's morning walk, a friend and I have been doing water aerobics. We've talked about doing this for a couple of years and finally got around to it. It's great exercise. I'm totally de-stressed afterwards, and I'm starting to see muscles again in my arms? It's a miracle!

I've almost finished my latest book, The Lotus Eaters. If you haven't read it, it's the gripping tale of a female war photographer during the Viet Nam era.

I settled on the fabric and found an upholsterer for that ottoman. The total cost including extra fabric for pillows will be about $140, a savings of over $1300 if I'd bought the new chair and ottoman. I guess I'm officially a frugalista. I've also been on a swimsuit shopping tear. Swimsuits seem to sell out early in Phoenix, especially at the discount places. I'm really into scooping up those cheap suits in preparation for my Isla trip.

Saby's finally discovered the big monkey we gave her for Christmas. She won't be able to take it to the doggy dude ranch Saturday, but I doubt she'll notice with three plus acres to sniff. That and staring at the horses in an adjoining pasture should keep her busy!

Craig and I, of course, are really psyched for the weekend in Sedona. Hopefully, I'll have lots of new photos and a full report next week. It'll be a nice way to spend Memorial Day weekend instead of focusing on memories of loved ones.

Better pack my bags!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

A New Project

Craig's like Goldilocks. His chair has to be just right. Recently, we realized that his favorite chair in the family room had died. We almost bought a matching chair and ottoman at a local furniture store, but the owner's stinginess with his pillows nixed the deal.

After deciding we didn't really want that expensive chair and ottoman, I finally realized that I had a leather chair in the den that sees no action. Craig was out of town, so I decided to do some furniture moving by myself. My back's still hurting! I'm not a fan of matchy matchy decorating, so I decided it'd be perfect to just have a slipcover made for the existing ottoman to make the chair comfortable for Craig and help tie the leather chair to the existing leather and sage green sofas in the room.

I noticed JoAnn was having a sale on upholstery fabrics, so I headed there yesterday to see what I could find.

I like this tapestry. I may use some of that for a coffee table or dining table runner.

I immediately noticed this fabric. It pulls the chocolate colors of the leather and green from the other sofa.

I think this is a faux leather fabric, but I love the basket weave look. I may need to make a pillow or mat out of this!

I also found this leaf-patterned fabric. It also pulls the green and chocolate colors from the two sofas.

Decisions, decisions. Craig and I both like this stripe/tweedy looking fabric. Now I just need to find someone to make the slipcover and get an estimate on how much fabric to buy. I'll definitely buy some extra so I can make a couple of pillows for the older leather sofa.

When it's all done, I'm curious to see how much money I'll have saved. And I'll owe it all to the silly man who lost a sale because he got stingy with his pillows. He gave me the extra time to realize I could make do with what I had!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Once Again . . .

As I've said before, we truly ARE creatures of habit. We find a restaurant we like and we beat it to death! We decided to run by Famous Dave's for Sunday lunch. We were hungry after all that yardwork! We were also eager to try their famous lunch specials. I'd recently noticed they have lunch and early bird specials for $6.99, as opposed to the big bucks (just teasing) you pay in the evening. The portions are also smaller, and believe me, that is something I need right now!

Craig started with an order of barbequed wings because he had a free coupon that was burning a hole in his pocket. Those went home with us to eat while we watched the Suns beat the Lakers!

We both chose the BBQ lunch baskets with two meats. I ordered the barbequed chicken and catfish fingers along with the garlic mashed red potatoes that are seriously to die for! In addition, as if that wouldn't fill a person up, the lunch included corn on the cob and a honey cornbread muffin.

Craig, true to form, chose the catfish fingers and BBQ ribs!

This cute cabinet full of antiques was right above our table.

We really need to stop eating here because the food's too good. When it's that good, it has to be terrible for you!

Sunday, May 23, 2010


We both feel so fortunate right now! Phoenix is getting a late spring reprieve and the weather is sterling. The high today was not even 80 degrees! A little too cool for the pool, but I'll take it! The temps aren't supposed to rise into the 90's again until mid-week. I love sleeping with the windows open, so it just feels like heaven to me! Usually by the end of May, the temps are running around 100. It makes me wonder if we'll have some fluke of a summer with highs in the lo-100's? Dream on!

We're looking forward to our trip to Sedona this next weekend. Michael gifted me two nights at the lovely Hilton Resort in Sedona for Mother's Day. What a nice son! Miss Saby passed her visit to the doggie dude ranch with flying colors, so she's set for a weekend running with the pack while we're gone and she's excited about it! I imagine she'll spend at least the first 24 hours sniffing surroundings if her visit today was any indication.

I finished booking all of our rooms for the Isla trip at the end of June. Even though I know it's going to be jungle heat down there, I can't wait! There's something indescribably relaxing about floating in the ocean and/or listening to the crashing waves. We're both looking forward to more Isla adventures!

Yum! Can't wait to taste those shrimp kebabs,

Dip into the warm waters of Playa Norte,

Hang out at our favorite places,

And comb new areas for seaglass.

Can't wait until my ship comes in!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Bug Collection

In high school biology back in the 1960's, we were required to have a bug collection. Nightmare! I've always been bug phobic and having a collection involved catching them, killing them, and mounting them with long pins onto a styrofoam base. So it wasn't my idea of a fun time. If I remember correctly, certain coveted bugs guaranteed the student an automatic 'A', so there was a thriving black market in the school. I'm thinking my ace in the hole was an earwig acquired from a friend a year older than me.

While those kind of bugs still bother me, I now collect bugs of a different kind. I love taking photos of old VW Bugs. All of these photos were taken in Mexico. I can't wait to get back down there and acquire some new ones for my collection. Vee had a Bug photo from her most recent trip that was outstanding!

Isla Mujeres Bug

Bug and Bonus Moto

Avenida Juarez, Isla Mujeres

Green Bug

Cabo San Lucas

Another Isla Bug

Food for thought -- Craig thinks Bugs look like fish swimming backwards?

Friday, May 21, 2010

Magic Carpet Ride

I've been playing chicken with the airlines trying to score a reasonable fare for Craig's trip to Isla. I've come to the conclusion that maybe a magic carpet ride might be the best way for him to get there!

I started looking when I booked my free ticket back in February. At that time, fares were in the $600 range and I just assumed they'd come down. Some airlines ran a sale a few months ago, but it was for travel through June 24. That sale expires May 25, so I'm hoping they'll start another summer fare sale after that for travel in July and August. But that's a crapshoot! Since I've been watching, the fares have ranged from lo-600's to over $1000. The only fares I've seen this high to Cancun have been during the December/January holiday time frame. (And that's why we never go to Isla at Christmas!) I hate to go beyond the 30 days out point. I think I'll set the end of May as my deadline. Hopefully, I can at least find something in the $600's, which amounts to a 100% increase in fares from what I paid last year.

I've always wanted a photo of my VW Bug convertible on Isla? Do you think Craig would fall for that? HA!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

The Cement Pond

I joke a lot about the cement pond (remember the Beverly Hillbillies) in the backyard, but I was shocked the other night to hear quacking when I went out to replace the solar cover. I couldn't see it, so I grabbed my camera and this is what the flash captured. I spent five minutes trying to chase the duck out of the pool. I have a theory that he lives next door at the Bumpuses, was out late with his friends, had a few too many, and came home to the wrong cement pond. Hopefully, the duck wasn't some kind of Tony Soprano omen!

Note to duck: I don't swim in your stool, so why'd you crap in my pool?

I actually love the ducks on the ponds in the neighborhood, but I don't like sharing the pool with them. The cleanup the next morning wasn't fun. How dare he! HA!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

The House Quesadilla!

You probably know by now that Craig and I are creatures of habit. We have added a few new restaurants to our repertoire (the fish tacos at Rubio's are pretty dang good), but we always return to the same old same old and usually order the same thing. But recently, we discovered a new dish at our favorite neighborhood Mexican joint, Casa Blanca.

The exterior looks great with the palo verdes in bloom!

I love these cool light fixtures!

Chips, salsa, and bean dip with every meal!

Craig happily awaiting his food.

Our new fave -- the House Quesadilla! Grilled chicken, peppers, onions, and chipolte cream cheese sauce in a tomato basil tortilla -- guacamole on the side! Yummmm! Just looking at this photo makes me want to run back out there!

Craig insisted I order his old favorite, the chicken guacamole tostada, for us to share. He was convinced the quesadilla wouldn't be big enought to split? My aunt always said my eyes were bigger than my stomach (that wisdom OBVIOUSLY doesn't apply now)! Craig must suffer from the same affliction.

We did manage to eat it all! That quesadilla is to die for!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Ready for Summer!

Saturday was a work day for Craig and I. Cleaning the patios, trimming the shrubs, and getting the pool ready for summer.

I took care of the shrubs and trees.

While Craig stained this faded bamboo screen.

And Saby just laid there chillin' in the shade. A dog's life!

The pool was primed for swimming, so I jumped in! The water temp was just right -- about 88 degrees. I'm so glad it's finally warm enough that I can get in every morning and swim laps for exercise.

After all that, it was time for a BBQ! Give me my Baby Back!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Rustic Garden

Remember my vow last year to get the garden antiques out of the garage and into the yard? Well, I'm still working on it this year. I made a little more progress on Saturday when we did the big backyard cleanup.

garden shells

front courtyard

cactus corner

old sewing machine table

garden seaglass

aloe in a rustic pot

garden plunder

shopping cart garden

bench birdies

rustic wooden bench

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Some Florals

Pass the ibuprofen please! We spent Saturday morning trimming the backyard. I love tropical vegetation, but cacti would be so much easier!

Friday, I was in Costco and saw a smokin' deal on a Lumix camera. I remembered Deb and Sue both telling me they'd been very pleased with Lumix, so I decided to just take the plunge. I haven't read the manual yet, but decided to try out the camera before I cut back the blooms. So far, so good!

radiation lantana


katie ruellia

white hibiscus

desert hibiscus

woodrose vine