Friday, July 30, 2021

The post with no name...

Corona deTucson

July 30, 2021

Last week end as I published the weekly post, we were under a flash flood warning.  It rained for two days.  We hunkered down and did something we rarely do...binged on movies !  Not just any movies...we watched five Rocky movies in order.  We didn't start out with that in mind, it just happened.  Rocky (the first in the series) was filmed in 1976. It was written by and  starred Sylvester Stallone.  The 45 year old classic is a rags to riches story about hard work, determination, and a desire to fulfill your dreams.  It won "Best Picture" that year and in 2006 was selected by the Library of Congress for preservation in the US National Film Registry for being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant".  Rocky spawned eight sequels.  My favorite in the series is Rocky IV.   

Sometimes on our walks, we pass by a reservoir.  It has been dry the entire time we have been walking.  That was until last Monday.  What a difference a couple of days of torrential rains can make, and...

 the open area (that was once a fairway) behind our home has greened up nicely too.  We have had a couple more storms this week in the wee hours of the morning. Yipee !  

We haven't walked since Monday morning.  Joe had the first of several MOHs surgeries (on top of his hand close to his wrist) this past Tuesday morning.  It hurt pretty bad Tuesday night and Wednesday.  Thursday morning, we had an appointment with The Countertop Factory rep to do the field measure for kitchen countertops.  

Guy pointed out things, asked lots of questions and answered all our concerns.  We were most impressed with him and his equipment. Things (technology) have changed since we had countertops installed in the GA home and in the MH.


Now we wait for Home Depot to contact us. When Guy's detailed CAD drawings are complete, they will compare his actual dimensions to the dimensions Joe and I submitted on the original order.  This means we probably owe more money!

And this morning we had an appointment with Bill's Home Service to install in-ground Sentricon bait stations to deter termites from invading our home.  Eighteen stations were strategically placed around the perimeter of the house for safe measure. 

Termites were always a huge concern in GA, but we never realized they were just as invasive, if not more so in the desert.  We are discovering a lot about pests how destructive pack rats are (they love to chew the plastic coating off wires) and kangaroo rats that burrow complex living chambers and then there are the scorpions.  Joe found one in our bathroom.  We should be pest safe now !   

Feeding the birds is evolving every week.  The large cedar feeder like we had in GA definitely was not a good idea here. We replaced it with smaller feeders for the smaller birds and added ground trays for the dove thinking they would be satisfied to enjoy the seeds on the ground.  Well, it didn't take long for them to figure out they could pile on the feeder and feast non stop. It is quite comical watching them maneuver onto the feeder, perch and try to get a seed.  They aren't bullies, just bigger than the other birds and I figure they need food too, but sometimes it's a little ridiculous. 

Not feeding the birds is not a good option for us...well make that me.  Every morning Joe fills the feeders and puts fresh water in the birdbath.  I fill the suet feeders.  We have two single suet feeders and one double suet feeder with a roof. 

The happy dance...I feel the same way when we get ice cream !

Do you have napkins ?

Dang it...

Just watch...I can do tricks for food !

Sometimes we see a pair of Gila Woodpeckers.  I even saw him feeding her one morning.  I think he was introducing her to the suet.  So sweet to watch them.

The male

The female

Felix, our youngest grandson, turned 5 years old today.  And yes, we sent pair with saguaros and the other with tacos.  One could say it might be a "bribe" to entice them to visit and one might just be right ! 


I couldn't come up with a title for the post when I sat down to review pictures and write.  Our week at a glance seemed rather dull, but now I realize it hasn't been so dull after all.  Instead it has been somewhat busy getting things done that need to get done and somewhat enjoying not having anything to do.  Such a nice place to be !

So until next time, enjoy the day, and...

Our favorite backyard bird !


Saturday, July 24, 2021

Southern Arizona Heritage and Visitor Center

Corona de Tucson

July 24, 2021

This week Joe had an early morning appointment at the eye doctor.  We don't venture into Tucson very often as most everything we need is close by in Sahuarita or Vail. 

One of the places we have been wanting to visit is the Pima County Historic Courthouse which just happens to be close to the Catalina Eye Care.   This piece of history which opened in 1929 is listed in the National Register of Historic Places.  Today, it houses exhibits, the U of A Mineral and Gem Museum, a coffee shop and offices.   

In 1978 when it received its historical status, it was designated "the most outstanding Spanish Colonial Revival building in Arizona".  



The "elegant blue-tiled dome" was recorded as its most prominent feature.  It is no surprise that the iconic mosaic dome has become one of the most recognizable structures in the region.   I couldn't help but be impressed with the ornate, delicate, and strong to withstand the test of time and nature.  

In 1934, Public Enemy #1, otherwise known as John Dillinger, was captured in Tucson and held in this courthouse.  The sheriff sold tickets to the public to view the bank-robbing celebrity.  

Courtroom #1...where John Dillinger was arraigned .  The courtroom has been preserved to the 1930s Dillinger days.  

Johnny Depp pleaded guilty of speeding (93 mph in his Porsche) on I 10 in the same courtroom in 1991.  He played John Dillinger in the movie Public Enemies in 2009.

The exhibits..."storytelling portals"...are informative and colorful with details about the history, arts and culture, food, recreation, water, and nature.  The center also includes a theatre, topographical maps, and a gift shop.


We didn't visit the Gem and Mineral Museum housed there, but will return to do so.  And I want to go to the Tucson Museum of Art which is across the street.  Both buildings are in the EL Presidio Neighborhood National Historic District.  

On a not so fun note, we did get biopsy reports.  Its not good, but that was not a surprise !  My only biopsy (on my temple...yikes!) is positive for squamous cell carcinoma.  Poor Joe, 4 of his 6 biopsies (2 on his nose...double yikes!, 1 on the top of his hand and 1 on the side of his neck) are positive for basal cell carcinoma.  The doctors office will call next week to make appointments for another round of MOHs surgeries.  As bad as it sounds, it could be so much worse.  We are thankful to have a great surgeon ! 

We are still enjoying our morning walks.   We walk at a fast clip and don't take the pups along so last week when we finished, we started taking them for a half mile walk on the sidewalk.  Now they insist on going...all lined up at the door waiting for leashes !  Such creatures of habits we all are !

That is a huge hawk in the top of the tree...



We did purchase countertops for the kitchen this week.  We found exactly what we were looking for at Home Depot.  Now we wait !   Next step is for the contractor to come and measure and then its more waiting to have them made and installed.   Did I mention I don't like waiting? 

Other than that, our week might seem boring, but we prefer to call it living instead.  We aren't very motivated to start projects we want to do inside or out.  It is very rewarding (at this stage of the game) to have projects you "want to do" instead of "have to do".  Neither of us are lazy, but  after 9 years of go, go, go and then another year of work, work, work we don't want to do either right now.  We spend our days enjoying naps, reading, playing games, throwing ball with Jack, and sitting on the patio.  It has rained everyday this week except one.  As I write this post, we are under a flash flood watch until midnight Sunday.  There were signs of flooding when we went to the grocery store yesterday...road closures and even a car that had been swept off the road and landed a few yards away in a deep wash.  

The backyard continues to be enjoyable and entertaining.  Joe can't keep the bird feeders full.  

We call them (female House Finch) the regulars ! And have grown accustomed to their chatter.  We often chuckle at the occasional disagreement they seem to have as they crowd the feeder and hop along the ground.

We have awarded him (Gila Woodpecker) "The Most Polite" bird.  He never bothers any of the other birds and isn't greedy as he perches for a seed or a bite of suet...taking either with him to a bush nearby to enjoy.

Although common in the backyard, I find him (House Finch) quite colorful and enjoy his long twittering song.


The colorful male Black-headed Grossbeak has quite the voice !  He reminds me of the Robins we had in the Georgia yard.  Even though Robins do live in this neck of the woods, we haven't seen any.   

 Sometimes the visitors don't fly.  But they do run really fast ! 

And sometimes I spend way too much time doing silly things like trying to catch a droplet of water about to fall.  Unsuccessfully I might add !

Back in the mid 60s, Joe's mom and dad made a cross country trip from South Carolina to California to attend a bankers convention.  One of their stops along the way was Tucson where Joe's mom bought a roadrunner painted on a beautiful piece of linen.  

I thank Helen everyday for many of them was sharing her love of birds with me.  I had never given birds a second thought until I met Helen and visited her home.  The feeders outside their kitchen window sure made a lasting impression.   

It hung in their SC home for many years and was one of the pieces Helen brought to our GA home when she moved in with us in 1995.  I think it's awesome that after all these years, the roadrunner has made its way back to the desert southwest.

So until next time, enjoy the day and...

I took both photos at Sabino Canyon Recreation Area in December 2018.


Saturday, July 17, 2021

Monsoons !

Corona de Tucson

July 17, 2021

Monsoon season in Tucson is from June 15 to September 30.  The word monsoon originates from the Arabic word "mausim".  It means season.  Most of the year, winds in this area blow from the land towards the gulf.  But during monsoon, the winds shift and blow from the gulf towards land.  Somedays, during the monsoon "cloud bursts" will occur bringing with them torrential rains, strong winds, and lightening.  We experienced one of those storms last week.  It was amazing, exciting, scary, and beautiful all at the same time.

This photo was taken around 6:45 pm.  The heavy rain and 40+ mph winds lasted about an hour. The tree in the neighbor's yard across the street split and broke almost in half during the second storm we had a few days later.

Once the storm passed on, we had the most gorgeous sky.

The video I shot was too long to post.  The dark clouds in this photo produced some beautiful light...not in streaks like the next photo, but the kind of light that lights up the whole sky.  I just noticed the wind blew the top up on the feeder.


It was hard to make myself come inside.  The streaks of lightening were much so it's easy to forget how dangerous they are even when they are miles away.  

We had one other "cloud burst" monsoon storm a few days later and two days ago it rained for several hours mid-day.  It was one of those nice steady rain showers with no winds.  We do check the hourly weather these days and try not to venture out unless there are appointments to keep when the chances are high for rain. 

Flash flooding is a serious issue here and we don't take it lightly. 

So besides the weather, life has been pretty routine for us.  We are still waiting for biopsy reports.  Did I mention I don't like waiting ?  

Keith, our friend who just happens to be an electrician by trade, came over and installed a fan on the patio.  

We usually have a nice breeze in the backyard and the fan just makes it that much sweeter to sit on the patio.  

Dover sure enjoys her time on the patio !

We have had a couple of visitors this week...

A Gopher snake...looks a lot like a rattler and could just have easily been a rattler !

Joe and I didn't make a positive ID on this hawk.  Do you think it is a Sharp-shinned hawk?

...both were beautiful reminders not to let the pups out without checking the yard first.   We do live in the desert !

Morning walks continue to be part of our routine.  We look forward to them every morning.  Of course, the best part of walking is getting home and having coffee on the patio.  Can't think of a better way to start the day.

So I mentioned Keith.  One of the redos in our home (last March) was to change and move a ceiling fan and add (there wasn't any light for a dining area) a dining room light in the living space.  This is when we first met Keith. He does outstanding work, is dependable, and since that time has become a friend.   

The "path" from the patio door to the kitchen

The original fan was in the center of the room...right in the "path" to the patio door.  We wanted the fan over our sitting area.

Now the new fan is where we can feel it when we watch a movie, visit, search the web, or just relax with the pups.  We all enjoy the breeze !

And if we ever have company, we can actually see what we're eating !

To continue with the westerny style, Joe replaced the other ceiling lights and ceiling fans to match the aged bronze on the doors.  

We chose brushed nickel for the bathrooms.  


That about wraps up our week and another redo project. We did eat Mexican at Manuels in Green Valley.  They have fried catfish tacos.  I'm a southern girl and I do love some fried catfish every once in awhile !   

So until next time, a blast from the past...

West Maroon/Hasley Pass Hike in Crested Butte in July 2016