Saturday, December 20, 2014

An Unlikely Pair?

Tucson/Lazydays KOA
Tucson, AZ
December 18, 2014

Those of you that have been following our blog for awhile already know that photographing nature is just about my most favorite thing to do. Hiking has not been apart of our daily/weekly routine for sometime now because of Joe's lack of energy and strength from his chemo. Something we intend to work on after a good bill of health...a great way to start the new year! Anyhow, I have been so at peace just sitting on the patio or taking walks with the pups around the park looking at everything and "playing" with the camera. Day before yesterday, when I returned from a lengthy walk with Sally and Dover (Sally and I are on a mission to loose a few pounds!) I heard a familiar sound...the hummingbirds. I glanced at the feeder and to my surprise there were 2 birds enjoying an afternoon snack. One was an Anna's Hummingbird. With camera in hand, I snapped away with hopes of capturing a picture I could use to help me identify the other one. I recently purchased The Sibley Guide to Birds, second edition as recommended by the bird lady of blogland...Judy Bell. I can easily "get lost" in that guide reading about all the birds so identifying a new bird which should have taken a few minutes, took about an hour. The bird in my photograph turned out to be a Verdin. Quite an interesting little bird.

After the identification was made, I was on the internet finding out all about this tiny grayish bird with the yellow face and reddish patch on the bend of his wings. The Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum has a great web-site with an awesome description of many birds...including the Verdin. I learned from their info that he is not closely related to any other bird in the western hemisphere; they are second only to the hummingbirds as flower visitors, but insects are their main menu; and they build 2 for roosting and one for breeding. Judy (, who just posted about the Verdin she saw, had this to say... "They're quite acrobatic and don't sit still for long. Kind of reminded me of an Olympic athlete on a bar or a ring routine." Well, I cant top that!


Until next time, take care and...
happy I mean trails!

Saturday, December 13, 2014

No, he wasn't singing!

Tucson/Lazydays KOA
Tucson, AZ
December 13, 2014

Dec. 6th full moon early in the morning...
Our Tan Clan waiting very patiently for a walk.
 We have no blog worthy news, but I do like to stay in touch. Not a lot is going on around here in Tucson. That's not to say we haven't been a little busy. Shopping is done, presents are wrapped and on their way to grandchildren. Christmas cards were addressed and actually  mailed on Dec. 8th. And the biggest thing to check off the list...drum roll that all our storage inside and out has been cleaned out and reorganized. That's right, our closet, under the bed, drawers, all cabinets, and basement are spiffy clean and neatly packed.    

A rainbow this morning...first full arch I have ever seen.

 We woke up to sunny, gray skies this morning. And it wasn't long before the rains came. A rainy day in Tucson is quite special. We have enjoyed a lazy, cuddly day on the sofa with the pups, Christmas music and the wonderful smell of chicken and dumplings cooking in the crockpot.  
 I did manage to get out for a walk with each of the pups during a break in the rain this afternoon. We have never spent December in Tucson...usually January or after. I was quite surprised to find the trees so full of fruit.

The grapefruits are huge!
 There are lemon trees too. So far all we have picked are the oranges...very juicy and sweet!

The flowers on the picnic table were happy. I am pretty sure they enjoyed a rainy day too. Did I mention that all my flowers froze before we left Moab on Nov. 1? Well, they did. I have replaced the kalanchoe ( Red is my favorite!), the geraniums and got a Christmas Cactus too. I haven't replaced my cacti garden yet.

 Those beautiful hummingbirds were zipping and squealing all around the patio today. This brings me to the title for the post today...he is a fussy little thing and very selfish when it comes to sharing his food.

No, he wasn't singing!
Ah...the simple pleasures in life!
Our day started out with a perfectly arched rainbow and ended with a beautiful Arizona sky.

 So until next time, take care and...

happy trails!

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Anna's Hummingbird

Tucson/Lazydays KOA
Tucson, AZ
November 30, 2014

 After just putting out the feeder the day before, imagine how excited I was to have visitors for Thanksgiving. Anna's Hummingbirds don't migrate. In fact, it is the only hummer that stays in the West for the winter. Being one of the most common hummingbirds here, they are quite spectacular and anything but common with their iridescent emerald feathers and sparkling rosy-pink throats.
According to they are no larger than a ping-pong ball and no heavier than a nickel.  
 The iridescent throat of the male is called a gorget. The Anna's gorget extends over its head making it more of a balaclava (o.k., I had to look that one up...its a fancy name for a ski mask...) than a bib.

All hummingbirds have tiny legs and can not hop or walk. They can scoot sideways when perched.

Anna's Hummingbirds
 enjoy nectar from many flowering plants. They also feast on a wide array of insects...smaller ones like whiteflies and leaf hoppers.
In the 1930s, Anna's Hummingbirds were only found in California and Baja California...but thanks to widespread feeders and introduced trees such as eucalyptus, they can be found all the way to Vancouver, Canada.

So who was Anna? She was Princess Anna de Belle Massena (1802-1887).

Joe and I have enjoyed sitting on the patio and watching these amazing and beautiful birds. Today there were 3 of them sitting in the lemon tree beside us. We can always hear them before we see them.

So until next time, take care and...

happy trails!

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

The Easiest Floor Ever!

Tucson/Lazydays KOA
Tucson, AZ
November 25, 2014

It has been a busy time here in Tucson. In between chemo and appointments for me, we have worked on our new floor. I think chemo effects people in different ways. Joe's energy comes...we work about 2 to 3 hours, then his energy goes. We have been patient with ourselves...unlike days past when we would put in an 8 hour day to finish projects in a timely manner. It has been 18 days and we are finished! Well, except for a few small places that need grouting.

I had to find pictures in the archives to show a before. Look closely to see the carpet in front of the sofa and under the TV. All that carpet was removed. We did leave the carpet on the slide under the kitchen table and chairs and under the sofa.  

Also, we made a straight cut just under the captain and passenger chairs...we left the carpet in the cab of the bus.

Our floor of choice was an Allure product we found at Home Depot. It runs about $50 a box which has 8 interlocking 12"X36" pieces.

This shows the old linoleum that was under the carpet and the cut we made in the carpet to separate the living space and cab space. Our new floor was placed on top of the linoleum.

All done here!

The easiest floor ever...maybe if it is installed in a large square room. We have lots of angles and curves in Belle...not so easy!

A big plus though, is that the tiles can be scored with a razor on the back and snapped apart for odd sizes. It is a floating sticks to itself and no glue was needed.

And yes, that's a large bottle of Tylenol  on the counter!

We made several trips to find a 4X6 rug to put in front of the sofa...mostly for Sally!  First one we found at Target...nice price, but decided it was too light for 16 paws and 4 feet. We found another one at Pier 1...perfect pop of color. But it was a loop pile and after about 3 hours, the loops were pulling out. Not puppy friendly!

Too bad girls...this one went back too!

Well, now we have a rug on order from Lowes. Should be here by the 30th. My fingers are crossed!
Until then, a blanket will do.


Dover did a great job over-seeing our project!

We have no real blog worthy news. In our down time we have enjoyed naps, the patio and walking the pups! Not very exciting!

Happy Thanksgiving...we sure have a lot to be thankful for!

Until next time, take care and

happy tails...umm, I mean trails!

Friday, November 7, 2014


Tucson/Lazydays KOA
Tucson, AZ
November 2, 2014

So here we are back in the Grand Canyon State. Tucson is a great choice for a couple of months for one huge reason... nice weather with sunny days and mild nights.   
Last Saturday when we pulled out of Moab, it was cold. As we drove south down Main Street, I wasn't so sure about making the move. We were leaving our friends and doctors. But it was cold!   
 Saturday (11/1) was probably the worst travel day we have ever experienced. Wind was the culprit. Crosswinds at 40-50 mph just about the whole way from Moab to Flagstaff where we stopped to spend the night. Joe spent the better part of the day sawing the steering wheel to keep Belle in her lane.   

The dust put a damper on our views this trip...not like in the spring when it was crystal clear!

Dust was a factor...and I tried to get pictures of huge tumbleweeds crossing the roads, but that didn't work out.

We were glad to call it a day and stop in Flagstaff where the winds howled and the rains poured all night.

Yikes! I thought we were going south...
Sunday was better...pouring rain with bits of sunshine, and NO wind!  As we headed south from Flagstaff, we were treated to beautiful skies and rainbows.


Just north of Phoenix...
We have been busy all week. Most important appointment was with Dr. Wendy Chen...Arizona Oncology. Chemo is right on schedule for next Wednesday and a PET Scan is also scheduled for Thursday.


We also started a DIY project... pulled up the carpet in Belle. We are replacing it with an inter-locking vinyl tile. Hope to get an early start in the morning and maybe finish the living/kitchen area.

Cotton fields on I 10...

It sure is fun taking photos on travel day...the highways and byways...some famous, some not so...

Cowboys rounding up the cows in the median on I 17 between Camp Verde and Phoenix...

Take care, and...

happy trails!