Friday, September 28, 2012

Speaking of the Hula

Before the hula hoop was invented, the fellas on base at Pearl Harbor back in 1944 evidently made their own fun  posing in grass hula skirts.    This guy (Robert) looks quite dapper in his skirt with regulation shoes and socks!

That's my dad on the sidebar in his skirt and lei with the cigarette hanging out of his mouth, but I think Robert definitely wins this Friday's men in grass skirt's competition!  

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Happy Hula Hooper!

It's short and it's a rerun, but this video of the little hula hooper on Isla Mujeres' Hidalgo taken last December makes me happy every time I watch it!

Monday, September 24, 2012

Same Time Last Year

We are landlocked!  We had planned on being at a little beach cottage north of San Diego this last week in September relaxing to the sound of the waves.  We changed our minds in favor of a longer trip to the Riviera Maya and Isla Mujeres later in the fall.  I'm so glad we did because shingles and fun in the sun might not be a great combo.  Craig's definitely on the mend, but still needs pain pills and is trying to limit sun exposure until he's healed.

We spent this weekend playing whack a wasp in the backyard.  We'd search out wasp nests by spraying shrubs with water, then run like hell back into the house.  So far, we've used up more than 10 cans of wasp killer.  The original plan was to have our exterminator just take care of the problem on his quarterly visit, but that man took one look in the backyard and recommended one of the Africanized bee outfits that charges the equivalent of an air fare to paradise.  Sorry, I vote for the tropics, so we decided to go commando. 

One morning, I woke at the crack of dawn to the sound of the electric hedge trimmer in the backyard.  Craig was out there with the device duct taped in the permanently on position to the end of the pool pole taking out a lantana.   I guess there really is a purpose for the chain saw on a stick from Costco.  Spray.  Run like hell.  Tear out the nests.  And spray some more.  And scream at Craig for spraying poison towards me in the pool in his overzealous effort to kill every last wasp he saw.

So this morning I'm dreaming about same time last year when we were on Anna Maria Island in Florida.  I'll just fill the blog page with memories of a September trip to the beach.  Maybe I'll shut my eyes while I'm floating in the pool and play like I'm in saltwater.  (But I don't recall ever being buzzed by a wasp while in the ocean.)

Friday, September 21, 2012


After spending yesterday trying to regain control of the backyard from the pesky paper wasps, I thought I'd post a few calming photos.  These pics were taken on Ambergris Caye earlier this year. 

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

The Eleven Dollar Lamp

In Target last week while waiting on prescriptions for Craig, I saw a bottomless glass bottle lamp on sale for $11.00.  Cheap!  It suddenly hit me that the big round clear glass vessel would be perfect for seashells or seaglass if I could just figure out how to fill it and attach some kind of base to the bottom.

Once home, I realized the easiest method would be to scratch the idea of attaching a permanent base and just arrange sand, seashells and seaglass on top of a round plate.  Then I could just sit the glass lamp on top of it.   No glue required, and I could take the lamp apart at any time to dust or change the contents.

After experimenting with different plates, I chose an antique blue and white from the depths of my kitchen cabinets.  I kept trying to find a shade from my dusty collection in the linen closet, but finally decided I'd have to buy one.  Then I saw this idea on Pinterest using sisal rope and a hot glue gun and the light bulb clicked on.

After a trip to the local hardware store for 100 feet of sisal rope, a pack of glue sticks for the hot glue gun, and a few burned fingers -- I present the customized $11 Target lamp.

By the way, that Sand and Sisal blog has all kinds of DIY coastal decorating ideas -- enough to keep me busy until the next beach trip!

Monday, September 17, 2012

Abierto Por Favor!

I'm loving these dog days of September.  The mornings are cool enough that we can wait until 8 a.m. to ride bikes, and with the pool covered at night, I'm still swimming!  I know people from other places probably pity us fools here in Phoenix when they see the September temps still listed in the low 100's, but without the daytime heat, I wouldn't be floating in the cement pond!

Saby loves September too because she's getting back into her outside season where she can lie around in the shade all day and occasionally rally to chase a lizard.

What we're not loving is Sheriff Joe.  He seems benign enough with the whole prisoners in pink prison suits and trips to Oahu to investigate President Obama's birth certificate publicity stunts until he raids your favorite neighborhood Mexican restaurant and shuts it down.  But afterall, it's election season! 

Thanks Joe for keeping us safe from all the Mexicans who labor in low paying jobs in Mexican restaurants.   Don't worry about the car that someone arsoned in our neighborhood the same day!  Joe's excuse is that he's helping bring jobs back to Arizona.  If anyone wants to wash dishes, scurry on out to Casa Blanca to apply for one of those low-paying kitchen jobs! I'm sure the line's out the door and down the road by now.  Actually not.  The parking lot's still roped off and the place looks abandoned.

We discovered the restaurant was closed early Thursday evening when we went there in pursuit of chicken enchiladas in red sauce and grilled chicken and guacamole tostadas. Since then, we've circled past twice in hopes that the cause of the shutdown had been fixed.   Finally on Saturday, we did an internet search because we figured something big had happened.  Actually, we got a little freaked that they'd been shut down by the health department and wanted to make sure we hadn't missed the announcement that we needed to stand in line for a hepatitis shot.  Here's what we found.

Some jackass called the hotline.  When we first moved in, an older neighbor a few doors down was constantly bragging about calling Sheriff Joe's hotline every time he saw a Hispanic in the neighborhood.  Never mind that a lot of our neighbors are Hispanic.

I'm wondering if they hauled the Most Interesting Man in the World away in handcuffs too?  After all, he has an accent!

Enough.  I'm off to buy sisal rope.  If my little project turns out well, I'll show you the results in a day or two.  (Maybe we'll circle past Casa Blanca on the way to see if they're open!)  

Saturday, September 15, 2012


and I'm not talking roof tiles.

That's a little bit of my excuse for being lean on blog posts lately.  About two weeks ago, Craig's front tooth starting throbbing on the weekend and he commented that he hoped he wouldn't be needing an appointment for a root canal. 

By the next Tuesday, he woke up with one side of his face swollen from the eye across the cheek down onto his lip.  He'd been stung by a wasp on the finger the day before, so I thought it was possibly some sort of reaction spreading and urged him to see our doctor ASAP.  He said no because his trip to the urgent care in Kansas for a hornet sting took the doctor 5 minutes to tell him to go buy Claritin.  So I ran by Walgreen's and bought him some more allergy pills.

The allergy medication didn't seem to touch it as the swelling and pain increased, so he ended up at the doctor's on Friday.  She looked at his swollen face and thought it was possibly an allergic reaction and prescribed prednisone and painkillers with a note to come back on Tuesday for another look. Over the weekend, the medication reduced the swelling slightly, but the rash and sores became more pronounced. Craig wondered aloud if it could be shingles.  I dismissed that because I thought shingles were mainly on the back and trunk.  I thought it might be a whopper herpes outbreak like the fever blisters I'm prone to.

The doctor took one look on Tuesday and called her partner into the exam room.  They both concurred shingles and started him on large doses of prednisone, anti-virals, and more painkillers.

So we're almost two weeks in and every evening when we watch the evening news and see THIS, Craig pronounces that he thinks he got the shingles from this damn woman!

What causes shingles (herpes zoster)?  It's the chicken pox virus, varicella-zoster, that basically sits dormant in certain nerve endings in the body until it's activated years later.  You're more prone to shingles if you're over 60 (ahem), or your immune system is compromised in some way.  But really, they don't know.  It can be fairly random.  My niece had it at the age of 18 and ended up hospitalized with encephalitis, so it's nothing to mess with.  One article I read said you're more prone if you had chicken pox before the age of one (I did).

So, we can't wait to get back to the beach, any beach, but we're marooned here for awhile until the siege ends.  The rash and swelling have improved, but the pain's still there.  I know I'll be getting the shingles vaccination at my next appointment, and the doctor recommends Craig take it after six months (he'll have immunity until then).  It reduces the possibility of subsequent attacks by 50%.

Let's hope the pain doesn't linger for months. 

For now, photos of the beach will have to do! 

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Craig and Becky Do Vegetarian

While looking for places to eat in Bisbee on Trip Advisor, I noticed reviews on a little restaurant called Poco.   People gushed about the food, but oops -- it was vegetarian.  Visions of tofu danced in my head.  I don't do tofu.  Reading further, I noticed raves from non-vegetarians.   Hmmmmmm.   Since we'd pretty much run through the list of restaurants in Bisbee by Day 4, we decided to give it a try.

To get to Poco, you turn down Peddler's Alley just off Main Street.  And yes, there are some people peddling their wares at tables in the alley.

Cute little Poco is towards the back with indoor and outdoor seating.

We chose a table inside since the cute little outside courtyard was getting pelted by raindrops.

Craig ordered the nachos, and I chose a salad.  And I of course, ate a lot of his nachos!  That's my trick.  Order a salad because I'm always on a diet, then eat his food!

I have no clue what the magic ingredients were in the sauce on these nachos, but it tasted fabulous and was in no way related to the nasty cheese some places squirt from a pump.  All I can say is WOW!

My salad was also extremely tasty with loads of chopped organic veggies, sunflower seeds, and a homemade dressing.

We liked Poco's vegetarian food so much, we made plans to return that evening to try the burritos.  But alas, the monsoonal skies opened up later in the day with a monumental display of lightning and pouring rain that lasted for hours, so we were stuck with carryout pizza. 

Next trip to Bisbee, we'll be repeat customers!

Monday, September 10, 2012

When You're Too Big for Your Britches!

Oh what to do!  I'd love to be that girl who struts around in tiny worn blue denim cutoffs, but I've come to the conclusion that it ain't happenin'!  Those days evaporated with my 40th birthday cake.

Browsing through Pinterest a few weeks ago, I saw a cute wrap bracelet made of -- denim!  The instructions were extremely simple with hardware store wire and inseams cut from old denim jeans.  Since I don't have any of those cool worn jeans in my closet, I raided Craig's.  I looked for the older smaller worn version so maybe he'd miss the fact that I stole them.  (Actually, he caught me last night with scissors in hand.)

Here's my favorite of the bracelets I made last night from the inseam of his old jeans.

And being the obsessive compulsive person that I am, I couldn't stop with one.  Here's the lineup of the rest of the bracelets.

Click on the link here for the blogger's article with the instructions for the denim bracelets. 

I guess I've finally found a way to eat my red velvet cake and still wear denim!

Now . . .  back to cutting up Craig's jeans.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Crockpot Enchilada Soup

Recently on Pinterest, I found a recipe that's easy to make and oh so fabulous! It's our new favorite and on the menu once a week. So, without further ado, here's the link to Crock Pot Chicken Enchilada Soup from Chef in Training's blog!

The only change I make to her recipe is a substitution of chicken broth for some of the milk.  I pour in the entire can of chicken broth plus skim milk to fulfill the 2 1/2 cups of liquid.  I also use fake butter -- the olive oil variety.  It's an easy recipe and well worth the small amount of chopping and sauce preparation time.

Chef in Training's photos are so much prettier than mine.  I guarantee the soup's as good as it looks on her blog!

Now, back to pinning on Pinterest and other important chores like cleaning up dirt.  Craig cleaned off the pool deck and patios yesterday morning, and that always triggers a dirt storm.  We had a whopper haboob last night followed by no rain.  What else is new!

We're in the one month countdown now to the end of the monsoon season (the dirt) and hopefully cooler temps.  That always makes me happy!  : )

And by the way, there's a button on the bottom of this blog page that says Follow Me on Pinterest.  That link will take you to more recipes, photos, craft ideas, and the rest of the silly fun that's been distracting me from the blog.

The update:  82 degrees and pouring down rain washing all that dirt out of the atmosphere.  Love it!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

What Have I Been Doing?

What have I been doing lately?  It seems like I haven't had time to blog.  Let me think.

Movies.  The Queen of Versailles.  If you haven't seen it, it's appalling, touching, and funny all at the same time.  The American time-share king and wife start building the largest (probably most gaudy) house in America, then all hell breaks out and he's reduced to millions.  They have to lay off servants and the dog do and litter start collecting all over their current mansion.  If you don't see it in the theater, it's worth watching on DVD.  (They're probably earning a percentage, so maybe we can all help them get back into the billions again.)

Wasp stings.  Fortunately it's Craig, not me.  He got hit again -- twice in the same summer -- and the exterminators are coming tomorrow to our house and the neighbors to try and get rid of them.  The pool time is no longer my zen time when we're obsessed with seeing how many wasps we can kill.  I bet the neighbors think we're insane.  I'm sure they can hear all the splashing and yelling.  There's another one.  Did you get it?  Eight -- that's a record!  It's our new blood sportAnd no, they weren't here before me.  I was here first so they must leave!

Scheduling repairs.  The A/C unit took three weeks, then it was the garage door which took two appointments. Now it's both cars.

The dentist.  I'm trying to avoid a replay of last year's Chiclet incident on our November vacation to Mexico. Craig calls my silly Mexican crown that took a root canal to fix it the Chiclet because it's big and white.  I had an appointment this morning and my dentist and I decided to replace some marginal fillings so I lessen my odds of ending up in a foreign dentist's chair.  Not that all foreign dentists are bad.

Pinterest.  Yes, Pinterest is a new obsession that takes me away from the blog.  Fortunately, browsing and pinning photos onto a page are free.  I've gotten a lot of great recipes and new crafty ideas -- which aren't always free.

I almost forgot shopping!  It's the time of year when I try and replenish the beach wardrobe at greatly reduced prices.  I finally found the new summer bag just in time for fall!  Craig warned me to keep my mouth shut when someone compliments me on my new top or purse.  You really don't need to tell people that the top cost $5 and the bag was $11.  Oops -- spilled the beans.

I may have pulled the ultimate faux pas this morning.  I wore white pants to the dentist's office!  After all, it's after Labor Day!  My mama always said not to wear white pants and white shoes before Easter or after Labor Day.  So it begs the question -- what's the date in Phoenix when the white pants and white sandals are supposed to go back in the closet?  I always wondered that when I traveled here on vacation.  I'd come for a resort vacation in mid-November sporting my summer wardrobe and feel a little out of place.  Or I'd freeze my rear end off!  I don't really know the correct date, but I can tell you I can spot a snowbird a mile away if I see someone wearing white shorts and sandals in the winter months.   Once you've lived in the desert a few years, the blood thins out and December, January, and usually February feel a little too chilly for summer clothes.

I've also spent a lot of days trying to find the ultimate California beach cottage to rent at the beginning of October, and even inquired about a few.  After looking at the prices, I finally realized I was insane.  Especially after I found two free frequent flier one-way tickets to Mexico with those points that were just sitting there begging to be used.  Which begs the question -- are we ever coming back?!!!   For much less a week than a tiny beach cottage in California, I can be front and center on Playa Norte where the water's actually warm enough to swim.  So I've switched gears and we're back to planning our next vacation to the Yucatan.  This one will be a little different because we'll be changing locations a few times.  Goldilocks is still looking for that beach that's just right

All the cottage talk reminds me that I took some cute photos of cottages down in Bisbee.  And here they are!