Sunday, November 25, 2012

Small and Simple Thanksgiving

This year, thanks to the springlike weather in autumn, we were able to do our meal outside on our back patio with both of our dads, a neighbor and her mother who is visiting from Puerto Rico.  Three of the six of us had walkers so it helps to be living in a small and one story/concrete floors house.  We kept it simple by ordering most of the meal from our friendly neighborhood Safeway and adding some side dishes and an extra dessert.  After the meal, and taking the dads back to Cascades where they both live, Mark and I took a pleasant walk around the lake and horseshoe field at Reid Park.  Sometimes, the small and simple is best.  Here's Mark's pic of me and my dad who, at almost 94, still enjoys his meals and UA Wildcat basketball.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Tucson Botanical Gardens: BrightSpot Extradordinary

I am a member of TBG and go there at least once a month and take photos on my cellphone camera.  Since my previous visit last month, I was surprised (TBG always surprises me which is one of its joys) to see the pomegranate leaves golden against the garnet red fruit. 

Walking through the Butterfly Garden, I gazed at a monarch flitting for minutes around the flowers, aligting, then fluttering again until it found its perfect spot and rested.  Can you find the butterfly?
As I wind my way out, I always stop in the Mexican Garden where, today, I could make a milagro in honor of my mother and her parents.  Here's a simple shot where my finger demonstrates that I am not the semi-pro my hubby is in taking pictures!
Finally, no trip would be complete without celebrating the child within each of us and who could better bring out a smile than a happy scarecrow?
Happy Thanksgiving!!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Garage Scene and Beyond with Gray.

I don't know who invented the concept of a garage, but I recall, growing up in Elgin, our one car garage was also a place where Dad had paints and yard tools.  Unfortunately, it was also a place where I often was "paddled" (with a paint stick) for talking back through adolescence.  Maybe that's way, for most of my adult life, a garage has been a space I just move in and out of.  It's functional for the car, storing file boxes of papers from different chapters of our lives and "stuff" that is seasonal (fake Christmas tree, our son's old snowboard and his box of Transformer toys).  It holds our bikes and Mark's motorcyle. 

We used to have room for one car, but, now with Gray in our lives, we are adjusting to life with an outside cat who needs warmth when the temps drop below 45 degrees as they did last weekend and early this week.  So, we moved his bed inside, placing a thick towel underneath it, and brought in one of the front patio chairs so we could take turns in the garage with Gray. The car stays in the driveway so that Gray can roam around.  He has yet, to our knowledge, used the litter box.  So far, he seems to just shut down after his last meal and mew and snooze until dawn.

When it's my turn to be with him (we are overly conscious about tending to him, I suppose, because we don't want him to think he's been abandoned again, as he was by his first family), I bring out my Nook and read.  For the past six weeks, I have been savoring Tolstoy's Anna Karenina which took me to Russia and lyrical scenes of harvest, the Petersburg Opera, death (not only Anna's), birth (Kitty's baby) and a main character's (who is suposedly Tolstoy) discovery of God.  All that, with our cat, in the garage.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

The Good Life for Gray and Us

This weekend we did our Phoenix Friday trip (we also try to do a "Monday Mountain" trip once a month, now that we have a slower life).  We can do the Phoenix weekends because of the continued generousity and hospitality of a colleague and friend who rented an apartment for a year and now has purchased a condo so that she can work in Phoenix and "live" in Tucson with her family.  She knows how much we appreciate this unexpected "gift" and we do not underestimate the pleasure it has added to our lives.

So here is a photo of me in front of the new place in Phoenix.

And, we aren't the only ones enjoying a good life these days.  Here's a Friday photo of Gray in the grassy bush outside of our house.  He likes to lounge in the shade and also play with the blades of grass that dangle in his face.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Neighborhood Fun

We like where we live--we can bike to the Rillito River or Campus Farms (as we did today).  Take a turn and have French breakfast at Ghinis  One street west, there are Tucson "funky" residences with chickens and Guadalupe shrines.  Across the street (almost) is one of the best thrift shops in town (Casa de las Ninos), UA and PCC campuses are less than 10 minutes away.  Yes, we hear in-town traffic but the Catalina Mountains are visible to the north and above us only sky. Today we had a neighborhood pool party and enjoyed light refreshments and casual conversations. There are so many advantages to living in the "center" of town.  Do you like where you live?

Friday, November 2, 2012

All Soul's and All Saint's Day Display on King Street

We take an evening walk near our neighborhood along Mountain Ave.  We cut through a funky Tucson neighborhood just west of us on King Street and one of the houses had a bewitching Halloween display that we thought we would see for a few days.  But, lo and behold, they switched up fast to an All Soul's and All Saint's Display yesterday afternoon.  Thus, Mark took pics last night and here they are and, just maybe, another scene may be posted soon--life is full of surprises!