Wednesday, August 28, 2013

I Could Use a Beach Day!

Don't know about you, but I could use some beach time right about now.   It's almost Labor Day and I bet the water down Isla way is wonderfully warm and the white sand's cool between your toes.

I completely forgot where I left off back in May.  If your memory's anything like mine, maybe it won't matter!  Let's go to the beach!

On this sunny April day, there seemed to be a Corona convention at the Hidalgo entrance to Playa Norte.

I stole a photo of the young girl in front of us.  She could have been posing for a rum or sun lotion ad!

Braids anyone?  She doesn't bother asking me because mine's too short.

The morning view from my lair back in the palms.

The scenery down NaBalam way has changed in the past few years with the addition of the colorful paddle boards and red loungers.  Very beachy!

My new pareo blends right in with the gorgeous Playa Norte scenery.  (Newby tip:  the market across from Poc Na is great for affordable souvenirs.)

Or you can buy from one of the many vendors who walk the beach.

Blue panga + blue Caribe = heaven.

Sagging on the beach = not so beautiful.

New beach restaurant -- The Coconut Buffet.

Gorgeous day to lounge back in the deep shade of the palms.

Sometimes you run into old friends at the beach, sometimes you make new friends.  

Sometimes you hang out until the light fades.  Next trip -- I'm staying for more sunsets!

Okay, back to reality.  Craig has a fan sitting here in the middle of the great room and is pushing me out of here!  But I can dream!

When's your next beach trip?

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

The Learning Curve

We're almost at the three week mark now in our new house.  Actually, we left Normal sometime around July 11.

I saw this truck in Tucson last week and had to snap a quick photo because it looked like the tableau of my life since early July.  I know my head's in that pile somewhere!

It's August 27th and we're still mired with settling.  All the boxes in the garage are unpacked.  I was feeling pretty smug about that until I walked into the casita on Sunday and realized it's crammed full of unpacked boxes and furniture that won't fit in the house.

It's a learning curve out here in the sticks.  We went to the nearest post office yesterday to send our passport renewals by Priority Mail.  It was closed at 11:00 a.m. on a Monday!  Say what?  I need to take a photo of the post office because it's straight out of the set from Little House on the Prairie -- a little wooden shed.  No brick and mortar, and no drive up mail drop.  Being city slickers, we decided to drive on into civilization (another 15 miles towards Tucson) to find a post office open for business.

In the process, we found the Chinese food we'd been craving.  The joint was packed and the food was better than the neighborhood carryout we left in Chandler!  I don't even know the name of the place because I was too busy eating (Dragon something or other), but my brain has a homing device for good Chinese food and we'll be back.

 One of my favorite things about our new life is that we are out in the sticks.  This is our backyard.

I zoomed beyond the dirt for this photo.  A landscape company will be fixing the yard (dirt) in late September or October.   I love living with no walls where we can see the approaching storms

                                                                       and gorgeous sunrises.

The learning curve is living out here in the country.  My car stops at the grocery store automatically now on the way home to stock up.  I'm learning not to scream when I see tarantulas in the front courtyard.  Craig gets a bucket and a broom and releases them in the rough behind our house.  So far the rattlesnakes haven't visited, but we got a neighborhood notice yesterday to be especially vigilant now because the critters become more active as the temperatures start to cool.  I did not know that.  I'm waiting for October when they crawl back into their holes and don't emerge until March.

The big perk for Craig is that he has a golf course right in the backyard.  My perk is that Tucson with all its funky shopping areas and art galleries is just a short jaunt down the road.

We live in Duck Dynasty . . .

 but this world is just 20 or 30 minutes down the highway!

My laptop is on the verge of collapse and needs to be sent away for a new battery and overhaul, so don't be alarmed if I go away for awhile.  I'll be back!  I still have photos of our April trip to Isla Mujeres that I need to revisit.


Thursday, August 22, 2013

Bought a Boat, and I Sailed Off In It . . . .

I'm lying here listening to the music on my cellphone via bluetooth from the soundbar that's mounted on the wall underneath the flatscreen in the living room. It replaces the expensive surround sound speaker system that was installed in the ceilings of our last house.  It's a new-fangled thing discovered when I was walking through the electronics department at Target one afternoon and actually asked a question when the clerk inquired if I needed help.  Boy, do I need help! 

I resisted the urge to tell the kid how much help I really need (young guys don't want to hear about old lady problems) and asked him to give me the quick 411 on sound in the New Age. He told me about this very affordable thing that's now mounted on the wall.

But back to Jimmy Buffet and my point!  Buying a boat and sailing off in it (even with my terrible motion sickness) sounds heavenly after spending the last two months getting rid of things, moving things, unloading things, and now looking for new things.  It's a vicious cycle and I should have listened to Jimmy months ago! Of course, Jimmy has the money to buy that thing needed to sail away in style.

Things!  The most important thing to remember is . . . the best things in life are free!

If the lens in my eye could create photos, I'd show you lots of  free things.  Shots of the one-eared coyote running down the neighborhood street at sunset last night.  The deer with the big ears who stood next to the dirt road watching us, then bounded away with all four legs airborne at the same time.  Cottontails and jackrabbits running alongside us down the dirt road.  Comical coveys of quail with those silly plumes on their heads who run confused when we approach on the bikes . . . .   

I'll leave you with a photo of a marvelous free thing!

Monday, August 12, 2013

Postcards from the Ranch

We ran over some tarantulas on the way into the neighborhood late Friday night.  Wake-up call!  I don't like large hairy spiders.  I haven't seen one since the 80's and I'm not looking forward to my next encounter.  Neighbors give me blow by blow descriptions of their latest diamondback, scorpion, bat, and large hairy spider sightings.  Since I'm arachnophobic and can't even look at a photo of a snake in National Geographic without quickly turning the page, I'm dreading that day.

Despite the critters, we're loving our new life.  No regrets!  We don't miss the extreme heat and the horrid haboobs.  Craig spends his downtime sitting on the patio with binoculars watching quail, coyotes, and the occasional golfers.  We're out in the sticks, but we don't mind.

When we get hungry, we stop at Lupe's for enchiladas or Bubb's Grub.  We stopped at Bubb's Friday night and managed to scoot right into a booth. It was Friday Fish Fry!  Wow!  Next Friday's dinner is already planned.

On the way out the door, I stopped to take a photo of something familiar. I can't say I've ever seen one of these in real life.

It's a MAJOR award!

We're about halfway through unpacking boxes.  We took a break from work yesterday to run errands.  On the way to pick up a water softener to be installed this morning, we stopped at World Market to look around.  We were thrilled to find these rattan chairs with white cushions for 50% off.  Almost free!  Think of how much money I saved by buying those?

Later in the afternoon, I noticed this gorgeous rainbow in the distance while I was relaxing on the sofa.

I may need that pot of gold so we can finish all these projects!

We walked out in front of the house just in time to see the end of a gorgeous Arizona sunset from the middle of the street.  Anytime we emerge from our cave, we meet more neighbors.  It's amazing and such a change from the Phoenix burbs.  We've been here five days and already know more people than we met during the last seven years in the old hood.

 Almost forgot . . . .   I saw a really cute Bug last week at the grocery store.

 Slug Bug!

Monday, August 5, 2013


I'm feeling a little prickly lately.  

A little discombobulated like a half cracked pot.

More than a little Lupe loopy.  Maybe it's too much Mexican food?

I'll be glad when my mate and I are finally installed in a place we can call home.

Craig's looking forward to playing some golf.  (Yes, that's a golfer topiary in a yard down the street.)

Here's the funny of the day.  This little bit of tacky is installed on a large open lot in a neighborhood below us.  Hope the javelinas, cottontails, deer, bobcats . . . can read?

I get to start playing house again on Wednesday!

Thursday, August 1, 2013


Life is good!  This is the actual unedited sunset last night.  I made Craig veer off the road to an overlook so I could shoot a quick photo.