Monday, December 30, 2013

An year is ending, a new, beginning

No photos to share since I am writing this on my new laptop and haven't added any photos since a) the Christmas holiday passed and b) I finally am recovering from the nasty virus going around town (and Kellond School, where I volunteer and suspect I picked up the bug).

I read on FB that the Secret Society of Happy People listed their 10 Happiest Happenings of 2013.  Just off the top of my head, here are mine--what are yours?

1.  Christmas Eve at Aron and Laura's with Izy and Lynette.
2.  September's Long Beach visit for my aunt's 100 birthday party.
3.  Same trip, with my cousin Craig and his wife Lynn, for an all day visit at the Getty Villa.
4.  Taking Izy to one of the last Sidewinders' Baseball game, taking Izy to "Frozen"; hey, just taking Izy anywhere.
5.  Father's Day with both dads, Aron and Laura at Hacienda Del Sol where Aron is banquet chef.
6.  Several day trips to Mt. Lemmon
7.  Bed time reading with Mark and Gray, who curls up on Mark's legs or mine, seemingly depending on Gray's mood.
8.  Afternoons alone or with Mark or a friend at my favorite Starbucks, River and Campbell.
9.  Happiness Community Conversations at Oro Valley and Main Libraries.
10.  Waking up each day, pain free, hopeful and ready to learn/do something--new or familiar; it really doesn't matter.

Hey, I still have to list:
11.  Book signings at Starbucks and Mostly Books.
12.  Handling my first and second self-published books.
13.  Visits to the Tucson Botanical Gardens
14.  Visits to the Phoenix Art Museum
15.  Surprise invite to see ATC's "Xanadu".
16.  2nd Saturdays, Downtown Tucson
17.  Summer Diamondbacks Game
18.  Downton Abbey, Elementary, Sleepy Hollow, Parks n' Rec, Raising Hope
19.  Rereading "Mary Poppins", "Alice in Wonderland", "Alice through the Looking Glass"
20.  Walking with Mark on Mountain Ave., along the Rillito, around Reid Park
21.  Working with 3rd grade readers at Kellond School

okay, that's it for now--but this fun to do.  Hope you try it, too.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Gingerbread Town

I am a bit under the weather with the respiratory virus going around town, but yesterday we did take a day trip to the southern tip of Phoenix, making a stop at Ikea and the cafe at the Wild Horse Casino.  We wandered around inside and discovered their very nice Gingerbread Town display.  Here are two photos and the wish to my followers for a Merry Christmas and Happy Holiday Season.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Gray encourages us to slow down

Since I wrote a story Friday (based on a prompt from "Writer's Digest") that featured Gray having a conversation with me...I realized I didn't have a recent picture of him to share, thus I had to add an online sketch of a cat to my FB story post. 

So, since we decided to make Sunday (again) a slow day, Mark had time to try for several shots of Gray who is enjoying his first winter in and out of our porch, accessible through his own cat door.  Last year at this time, we still had our 13 year old dog, Lia, so Gray was limited to the front porch, or, when it got cold, the garage, warmed by a space heater and cat bed.

But now, life for Gray (and us) has turned into a much slower and happier pace.   Here he is, chowing down after a morning on the prowl in the neighborhood.

As for me, today, I spent almost two hours with my reflective reading and writing.  We took a vigorous 2 mile walk along the Rillito and then savored some time at our favorite Starbucks.  I skimmed the latest Poets and Writers magazine and Mark and I split a relatively healthy bistro snack, denying the temptation to have a pastry.  The sun is subdued behind late afternoon clouds and I am writing at my west-facing desk, anticipating a lovely sunset to draw this gentle day to a close.

I feel so grateful for our first night of Hanukkah with Lora and Izy, Thanksgiving dinner the next day at Lynette Chapa's, with Aron, Lora, Izy and Lora's brother's family and the "go with the flow" Saturday and Sunday that followed.  I didn't over eat, have exercised in moderate fashion and did fun things such as visit a new retail/buy local shop yesterday (NoneSuchHome on Broadway), "ran into" three past acquaintances I have not seen in years, and went to a matinee of "Despicable Me 2" where we laughed out loud at those charming, crazy yellow minions.

I hope readers of this blog also had a full-of-thanks holiday and are finding ways to "go slow" through this often stressful time of the year.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Early Christmas at the Tucson Mall

It wasn't in our plans to visit the Tucson Mall this weekend, but with the extended rains we were getting antsy to walk and so we went on Saturday.  I knew the decorations would be "up" and decided ahead of time to just go with the early "ho-ho-hos" even though, for me, the Season begins after Thanksgiving.  I have no plans to be anywhere near shopping next weekend, and then we have our anniversary (39 years) and Mark's dad's birthday (91 years) the next weekend....  So, just on the whim of the day, I did some holiday shopping as well and enjoyed myself.  As long as Mark can find a place to sit with his phone and do emails and texting, he doesn't complain but he is no shopper as our son is--and Aron and I had many good times at the Tucson Mall, lo, these three decades. 

Here are two photos by Mark that capture the Santa's Village scene from the second floor, and "just the tree" in at the west end of the first floor.  There were many shoppers, lots of families and kiddies (little girls with lavendar bows in their hair, boys riding on the "Safari animals" in front of JCP). 
It's not Times Square or even a town square, but in Tucson, it's good enough.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Tucson Village Farm

We are so lucky to be living close to 80 acres of UA farm land and also ten minutes from UA campus, close to downtown, with Mountain Ave. bicycle lanes, casual walking for groceries and several locally-owned restaurants.

Yesterday we took advantage of the "rurban" lifestyle we have and went to the Tucson Village Farm at 4210 N. Campbell Ave., .  They had a fantastic family turnout for 4H and Village Farms food tastings, music, stiltmen, and food vendors.  Take a slow look at the photos Mark took and maybe next time you are out and about you will check out the Farm.  They have a Garden Kitchen Class Schedule which offers free drop-in classes .  We had samples of freshly picked lettuce, kale, strawberries and blueberries and I admit I swooned over their veggie burger made with sweet potatoes and oats (photo included below).  It's a fun place to just savor on a cool day and give thanks for all we have to put on our tables and to enjoy in our community.


Sunday, November 10, 2013

Sunday outing at the Southern Arizona Water Color Guild Gallery

After spending the morning sitting on the front porch, waving to neighbors as they pass by, I took a short walk in the neighborhood, appreciating my surroundings.  In the mid-morning light the flowers were partially shaded, but their colors were brilliant reds, yellows, and purple.  I saw a few butterflies, two hummingbirds; and multiple grasshoppers popping across the sidewalk. Our cat, Gray, kept going back and forth from the cool house to the warming patio and eventually settled on a soft chair in the backyard.

When Mark got home from his morning meeting and visiting a friend, we drove to Ft. Lowell Park and walked around the small lake, viewing the egret fly, the ducks paddle, and the turtles poke their heads just above the water ripples.  Continuing our walk, we followed the path through the pecan groves which are beginning to shed their nuts and finished with a cooling stroll among the cottonwoods.  Since this weekend is also the Open Studio Tour for our local artists, before returning home I wanted to visit the gallery for the Southern Arizona Watercolor Guild  http://southernazwatercolorguildcom  . 

Yesterday, we spent time on the westside (after I did my downtown library happiness community conversation), visited the Mission Gardens, and enjoyed an early dinner at the Tucson Food Truck Round-Up  Then we went to 2nd Saturdays in downtown Tucson and thoroughly enjoyed the music by The LoBros  Thus, having gone to the westside and downtown yesterday, I knew I didn't have the legs to do those galleries, so a short visit to the WaterColor Guild's Gallery, matched with light lunch and shopping at Whole Foods pretty much took up the early to mid-afternoon. 

Back home, it's catch-up on the computer time and then watching PBS' Masterpiece Theatre where I am totally hooked into the latest classic, Paradise.  What fun to imagine how London might have been when shopping for the new middle class meant buying fabrics and lovebirds from Paris. 

Get Ready for This Weekend's 'Paradise'

Fantasies are fun and as I reflect on today's outing, I realize how happy I am today where fantasy and reality can intermingle and bring me joy.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

A visit to the Agua Caliente Park is bittersweet

One of the benefits of "partial retirement/self-employment" is the freedom to take off on a spur-of-the-moment minitrip on a Friday afternoon.  We went to Agua Caliente Park where Mark's mom enjoyed herself, particularly in the last months of her life, and I, too, recall taking my mom there before her decline.  It's been a couple of years since we last visited or maybe longer and we had both read the recent article about how the second pond is gone and even the remaining pond is drying up.  We saw mud flats where water used to be in the first pond and only a few ducks were in the water.

Still, beauty remains.  We took a leisure walk through the mesquite bosque, where late afternoon shadows tempered the warmth of the sun.
As we came through palm trees, this is the vista that welcomed us.
There's a touch of autumn in this scene--the way we Tucsonans like to experience happiness in October.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Tucson Meet Yourself Festival: An Abundance of Happiness

This post could just as appropriately be on my AnitaWrites blog since it highlights the Tucson Meet Yourself Festival which was one of the primary "reasons for happiness in Tucson" cited in my Talk UP^ Tucson... book.  But, since I am writing this on Sunday, my "slowww day" (supposedly), I am putting it on the Slow Life blog.

We spent three hours at the Festival (now in its 40th year and a true legacy from the SW Folklore Center/now a part of the UA's College of Social and Behavioral Sciences and the Folklore Center's founder "Big" Jim Griffith).  We could have spent another two or three hours with the entertainment, food booths, or the booths we didn't see on the southside of Broadway, but fatigue set in around 4 p.m..  But what we did see we enjoyed: the PACC booth (I hope some of the lonely dogs were adopted), the Chinese Cultural Center (nice display and I learned they have Tai Chi classes open to the public), the robot display at the Sonoran Science Academy booth, and, of course--the SBS Happiness Booth and the Public Library's expanded display of Happiness Books. 

Mark took more photos, but here is a sample of why we love to live in Tucson and what brings happiness into our lives.

Early autumn sunlight in front of our historic courthouse:

There are even more books now on the library's Happiness display.  And the ones they have of mine are either "out", "on hold" or only in collections:).
Here is the UA's SBS Booth spreading the words of Happiness:
One of the activities I hope to replicate at the Library and Community Renaissance's Happiness Community Conversations (which start this week) is a paper chain of words of happiness.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

A Fun Day in early Autumn

Sometimes, when autumn comes to Tucson, the sense of abundance of things to do, places to go multiplies by 100 and then it comes down to making choices.  In early October there are so many opportunities for fun and joy--just the simple act of breathing in the cooler air is wonderful.

Yesterday (and the possibility of today) brought a plethora of pleasure.  Here's my list and photos which I hope convey my personal sense of happiness that I live in Tucson and have so much beauty that surrounds me.

1.  Took a walk at 4 pm half way around Reid Park after sipping ice tea at El Con Starbucks and starting a new writing book, Writing Down the Soul by Janet Conor.

2.  Sharing with my hubby:  a healthy and tasty salad and margarita pizza at Falora in Broadway Village .

3.  Two bites of a heavenly blueberry and outmeal cookie from the new bakery in Broadway Village, Sugar .

4.  Impromptu stop at an exhibit as part of Tucson Modernism Week and .  I learned about Citron paints that have no black or white in their colors and hence no shadows appear on walls painted with this product . I like the names of the colors: lala's laugh, ripe tomato, marmalade, pickle delight, mystery novel and puppy fur.

That's also where I met the husband and wife architects/craftsman/woman who own HA Ru.  Darcy, the wife/architect/craftswoman gave me the doll pictured below.  I love her and have named my doll Darcy.  Darcy the doll is standing on my vintage wooden blocks for the picture of her adorable front and cutsie backside:).
The textured work HA RU does (in concrete and metal as well as fabrics) was also part of spring display at the Tucson Botanical Gardens that I recalled as I viewed the HA RU products. 

5.  A stop by at the Drawing Studio in support of the shows "Lens on the Land" (a photographic exhibit arranged by Josh Schachter and Brian Forbes Powell)  and "Save the Scenic Santa Ritas" which featured plein air paintings I liked very much by Betina Fink.  Here is one of Fink's pieces of the lovely Santa Rita Mountains which are being threatened by the Rosemont Mine.

6.  The grand finale:  a personal Maker House tour by Anthony Ford, founder of The Maker House, followed by the creamiest, sweetest hot chocolate shared in the remodeled courtyard .  I will be doing a more indepth post about The Maker House with photos about this adventure-experience on my other blog in the next day or so, .

So, have I convinced you that yesterday was a really fun day!!

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Quilting and Do It Yourself Day at the Pima Public Library

Yesterday, we went to a DIY session (I went to one on quilting, Mark went to a session on mobile camera photography: both very good) at the library's first such event #libraryDiyDay.  I asked the security guard if the crowd (very busy) was a typical Saturday and he said "no" it was up by about 75%.  I know I enjoyed the event and learning about the resources the Tucson Quilters Guild offers.

I am not going to become a serious quilter but I am fascinated by the craft and watch Porter and Fons (or is it vice versa?) on PBS most Saturday mornings.  Last week I went to the Quilt Expo which is really for folks like the leaders of the library session who are really into quilting.  The Expo does show quilts but more products for quilting than the former.  In January there is a huge show at the TCC and I will attend to that. 

When I think about quilting, I sort of imagine a quieter time when people like my grandmother and great-grandmother gathered at quilting bees and talked and shared and learned from each other as they hand stitched their utility quilts.  Now, as I learned at the DIY session, most quilters have a mechanical/sewing maching and permanent quilting machine.  They can take the mechanical with them to meetings and events.  It's not an inexpensive craft: tools and fabrics are quite costly.  And many quilts now are more "for show" than for use.  I have inherited one that was well used and I want to get documented--a goal for 2014 maybe. 

The in-my-youth "sewer" in me (home ec. class was always a struggle but what I really learned about sewing I learned from my mom) would like to pick up a needle and thread again and I have unfinished embroidery projects in a bedroom basket.  Yet, the idea of working with fabric as in a quilt has some appeal.  If I do it, it will be a small product.  Time will tell.

 (from the Tucson Quilter's Guild website)

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Getty Villa

As part of our annual pilgrimage to Long Beach, California, we visit either the J. Paul Getty Center or Villa.  It's fun to go to the Villa because we also get to enjoy the Malibu Coast and this year, after our museum visit, we drove to the interior along the Malibu Canyon Road and discovered more rural areas, hidden in the hills.  We'll explore that area again and try to visit the Paramount Ranch National Monument.  But for this trip, we are happy to share Villa photos and the experience which was made more joyful by my cousin, Craig, and his wife, Lynn's, companionship.

Mark put together the album, so enjoy:

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

California Living

Mark found this great little guest house through .  It's located in the historic California Heights neighborhood so several photos of this album show that area.  A few others show the man-made bay in Naples and (also man-made on a former bean farm), El Dorado Natural Park.  Such a terrific trip.  We now have a favorite place to stay when we can get to the coast!

Family in California

Here's the link to a few of the many pics Mark took of the Fonte-gathering for Aunt Mollie's 100th birthday.  There are also photos, near the end of the album, of my cousin and his wife (Craig and Lynn Sjurset) with us at the Getty Villa.  Enjoy!

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Crest Ranch Little Free Library

A few months back I wrote about my unsuccessful attempt to host a Little Free Library in my front yard.  Although several neighbors appreciated the effort, someone complained to our HOA and so I was asked to remove it.  I did, but not without protest (anyone who knows me well, would know this to be consistent with my personality and passion).  Fortunately, I had supportive neighbors who joined me in convincing the Board that something they could support should be explored. 

So we formed a working group that met several times over the summer, enjoying mini-potlucks and expanding neighbor-to-neighbor relationship building.  Several of us took on specific tasks--one did the sign's design work, another wrote the sign text, a couple of us collected books and magazines, a husband built the bookcase and another toted it down to the community pool in his truck.  There were bumps along the way but we got it done.  Now the question will be how/if our other neighbors use the Little Free Library and support it with consistent donations.  Time will tell.  So, for those of you interested in the mostly-happy ending to this story, here are photos. 

P.S. If the LFL is supported, our HOA may consider a permanent, more artistic structure such as other neighborhoods have in Tucson and around the USA and the world.  At that point, our LFL may become "officially" registered, but for now, we have what we have...and I, for one, am glad for it!

Yours truly and another stalwart neighbor.
The Crest Ranch Little Free Library, circa September, 2013

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Sentinel Peak Surprise

On Labor Day, Mark and I drove to Casino Del Sol to buy lawn tickets for the 9/12 CCR concert.  On the way back, we drove down Mission Road (I wanted to see the progress on the all-volunteer Mission Gardens efforts) and decided to take the "short but winding road" up Sentinel Peak (otherwise known as "A Mountain").  We haven't gone up there in years and it was a bit scary to take the one lane road up the south side where there are no safety barriers but a loooong drop down and a wide vista to distract a driver.

On the way up, we passed a group of guys gathered together on the side of the north side of the peak and, when we got to the top, besides the amazing view of Tucson looking north, we saw a fellow intently guiding his radio-controlled aircraft.  What a surprise!  I was absolutely enthralled and shouted to the guy "we should be paying you for admission to this terrific show in the sky."

You have to look closely into the clouds to see the plane, but it was moving fast so this was the best Mark could do with his phone camera.  I want to see more of this "sport-hobby" and am surprised that I find it so fascinating...but I do!

City View with the Catalina Mtns. in the background

You have to look hard into the center of the photo to find the plane, but it is there!
Here is the fellow flying his plane.

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Morning Glories

Three summers ago, a stray morning glory vine began to creep into our backyard.  I wasn't sure what it was a first--just a green vine that I welcomed to create a canopy in a space left by an oleander killed from Texas root rot.  The stumps of the oleander provided a natural trellis for the vine that, in August, began to bloom.  I learned that when the frost comes, the vine becomes a brown paper-crumply mess, but, I decided at the first year, to keep on tending it during the early summer months if it returned.  This year the vine spread beyond the back wall to the post on our porch.  Mark's photo, taken this morning after another night/early morning of light rain, shows the multiple blooms we are now enjoying at breakfast.  They don't bloom past 10 a.m. so it's a quick burst of color and I do so enjoy counting the flowers as I feed the birds.  I hope you enjoy them, too.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Keep Calm

It's been a bit of a slog this week since I came down with a respiratory virus and, besides the sneezing, stuffy nose and lingering cough, had absolutely no "zip" in my step or brain.  I notice that when I am not feeling up to par, one of the first things to go is my creativity; the second, is patience.  So I tend to just hunker down and watch t.v. and do the basics such as take care of Charlie A. Gray, water my outside plants and do laundry.

I did start reconnecting with friends toward the end of the week and found a bundle of three mini-journals I bought at B&N a few weeks ago.  I shared two with friends and kept one; all have the theme of bicycles on the covers.  While waiting for one to meet up with me yesterday, Mark took a photo of the journal cover I was giving to her.  As I began my day today, I decided its message is appropriate for me to keep in mind as I move through my day, week, life.  Maybe it will help you, too:).

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Gray's Summer is Long

 I think, like us, Gray is getting tired of summer.  He is spending more "quality" time inside with us and seems content to be able to look outside rather than be outside.  We are keeping him inside at night now.  At his 2nd annual check-up, our vet advised we do so, after seeing a few scabs from bites and missing fur patches.  Apparently, he is a Beta-cat and "submits" during the cat fights rather than taking on the aggressor role.  Since he is so stoic, that didn't surprise us.  A street-survivor that came to us a year ago, we are learning his ways and adapting to cat-life.  I still miss the pounce and attentiveness of our dog, Lia, but Gray's patience and easy nature is a good presence for us right now.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Summer Sunsets

We could make a photo album of the gorgeous sunsets this summer.  I know we aren't getting the monsoon rainfall and we are getting record number of triple digit days, but I cannot remember a better summer for sunsets, can you?  Here's a click from last night's walk; I would title it "sky on fire". 

We are walking earlier as the sun begins to shift, the days get shorter. So the summer season is winding down.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

At the Tucson Padres Ball Game

I try not to think about next summer when even AAA baseball will be in Tucson's past.  I don't care how the County tries to promote soccer; it will never replace the All-American past time for me.  So, with a bit of melancholy in my mood, we went to one of the last Tucson Padres games last night and took our son's partner's daughter, Izy, with us.  She had already been swimming in our neighborhood pool for an hour (after a full day of first grade), but that didn't seem to dampen her energy level much once she saw the inflatable playgrounds and, especially, the waterslide.  She was flying around that thing like a waterbird.  It didn't matter that she often went head first into the pool of water; she smiled with delight and kept going back for more. (It's blurry due to her speed and the splashing water on the phone's camera).

After about 45 minutes of playground time, I insisted we stop to eat a bite.  She and I enjoyed a delicious food truck quesadilla while Mark chomped on the hot dog (free ticket for "the kid" on kid's night which also meant Izy got in for free.  The playground wristbands cost $5.00 so it all came within budget for the afternoon/evening:).

After we ate, I was able to watch some of the game and admire the new moon in the western sky.  Izy went back to the playground for another 30 minutes before we said "enough" and packed up to go home. 

Later, watching the news, I was glad to see the Padres won the game.  Their last-ever game is August 24th with fireworks and other events planned and we hope to go to that, with or without young child.  As I watched the families in the stands, at the playground and food venues, I wonder where all these hard-working families will go for wholesome and affordable fun that doesn't involve movie screens or pizza restaurant circus play.  It's a sad day for Tucson when we bid pro baseball good-bye.  And it's a long wait for UA baseball season to start.  I guess that's where I will have to go for Tucson future baseball.  Oh, well. We have good memories of the SideWinders and spring Dbacks training.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Day Tripping BrightSpot: Patagonia, Arizona

Yesterday I insisted we detached our chains to our computer desks and go for a day-trip.  We so enjoyed our six-hour venture into Santa Cruz County.  We stopped along the road to take pictures of the white poppies (we were surprised to see clusters of golden poppies in the hill's rain run-off ridges) and picked two full-sized gourds on the thick vine trailing along the grass.

We had lunch and post-lunch dessert in Patagonia.  The "over the top" oatmeal cookies by Heather Wood, the baker at The Gathering Grounds, enticed us to eat two cookies and buy a third for dinner dessert at home.  Heather is a self-taught baker (pies and other pastries included) and we'll be back in September to taste her pie and that of others' at Patagonia's Pie Party, September 14.

Walking down their linear park (the historic line for the now-departed train), we wandered through their Butterfly Garden and into their town park. 

There, lo and behold, was an anachronistic "merry-go-round" now almost totally gone in today's playgrounds due to safety regulations.  I remember how we ran and jumped on it, dragged our feet, arms, and--for really bold 8-12 year olds--lowered our torsos to hang over the edge as the speed twirled us around and around.  Mark said, as we gingerly rode a short ride ourselves, "this one has been well taken-care of--the ride is smooth and bearings are easy." 

From there we walked to the Patagonia Community Garden and met these three friendly gardeners.  I talked with them about my community happiness book and they expressed interest in having me come back to talk with others.  I do hope they invite me! 

We asked them about the location of the Patagonia Cemetary.  As we are in the process of redoing our Wills and making (we hope distant) funeral plans, we are exploring how to/where to do a "green burial."  The Patagonia Cemetary does allow this type of burial but only for residents.  So, we were interested in at least seeing this resting place.  They told us how to find it and it's a sweetly untended but charming spot with a view "to die for!" 

It was a wonderful day-trip and we are making a commitment to get back onto the path of more day-trips in our lives.  Computers, chores and other tasks won't disappear, but we can make more time for fun.  What about you?  Are you boosting up fun for your life?

Gray on the Couch

Lately, I have been feeling the angst of a new (one year this month) cat owner:  where does Charlie A. Gray go after we have fed him and he wanders throughout the day?  Why doesn't he (yet) cuddle with us?  Are we lacking cat-care in some way and he's picked another house to call his day-home?

I don't have the answers to those questions, but last night he came in and cuddled on the couch while we were watching the 2nd viewing of HBO's "Newsroom." (It takes us two viewings to catch all of the rapid-fire dialogue, nuances of meaning and finer points of acting in this great show).  It was a nice hour for the three of us.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Diamondbacks Home Run at the Chase Field Pool

It's taken a couple of days of chores, fixing a car tire (we returned from Phoenix with a nail in the rear and that took two trips to Costco yesterday), and baking this morning (our son's 31st birthday) before I could sit down and share this fun photo from the Thursday night game at Chase Field.  The Diamondbacks beat the Cubs 3-1 and I so enjoy watching the art of the game, the families in the stands and the kinds-goofy but entertaining between innings race of the hot dogs.  I always root for mustard to beat ketchup and relish and this time, Mustard Dog won!

When the Dbacks player hits a home run (and the stadium dome is closed), the splash fountain at the pool shoots up water.  We found out the pool rents for $5,000 and "seats" 32 people, so while it's fun to look at, we won't be hosting a pool party there anytime soon.  Still, it costs nothing to see or to photograph, so enjoy the memory.

When you go to a baseball game--what types of action do you most enjoy?

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Playground date

This week we were happy to spend time with 6 year old Izy.  We went to Foothills Mall for lunch and, after lunch, she played in the playground.  While there she met a young boy, Brendon, and we watched them exchange names and phone numbers to "get together again at the playground."  It was fascinating to watch how this relationship unfolded in 30 minutes, demonstrating how we humans socially interact with strangers and navigate from the unknown to connecting with another.

Here are two photos of Izy in "play and smile" mode with a bit of flirtation in her posture.  This is how little girls begin to bedazzle little boys!


Sunday, July 14, 2013

Clamshell Cloud

One of the magical elements of Tucson summer's is the diversity of cloud formations that roll in from the mountains as monsoon storms build, crash, evaporate.  After a coolish evening set in this week, Mark and I returned to our walk along Mountain Avenue and we saw this cloud.  It looks like a clamshell to me and I am sure a meterologist can give a specific explanation for its shape.  But sometimes, I don't want explanations, just the experience.  What about you?  And do you see something else in this cloudshape?  Imagine.