Thursday, August 26, 2021

The Parade of Life Goes On...Thank Goodness !

Corona de Tucson

August 26, 2021

Life as Joe and I know it is rather boring these days.  Nothing major going on around here.  Last week was a wash except that I can celebrate having had a colonoscopy that was cancer free.  A relief as my mom and my grandfather (her dad) both had colon cancer.  I am on a five year cycle for the procedure.  This week Joe had the last two (of the five biopsies that came back positive) MOHs surgeries for basal-cell on his temple and the other on his neck.  In-between those two "events" we managed to enjoy early morning walks.  

We haven't had any rain the last couple of weeks and sure miss the temps in the high 80s.  Yesterday it was back to the low 100s and will be that way for the next four days.  

We have two fern stands that belonged to Joe's grandma.  An easy...if that is even possible... project that Joe tackled was to rejuvenate the fern stand that has been in every kitchen (well, not the MH) that we have had.  


The top was sun/water damaged from years (38 of them) of my use and those prior.  In addition to that, one of the boards had gapped.  We think that maybe that was caused from the lack of humidity here.  It wasn't like that when it arrived in Vail last March. 


Ferns and I do not co-exist, but I do have plants on the patio that I can rotate outside and inside.  My life is much easier that way.

I love the small shelf on the fern stand.  Right now, we are enjoying a painting my grandma did on a cheese hoop lid that I have no idea how old it is.  I do remember it in my home for all my "growing up" years.

And it has been in our kitchen as long as the fern stand has, but not always on the little shelf. 


We adopted our sweet Dover in August 2007.  She was guesstimated to be seven months old.  We love her so much.  

The past few weeks, Joe and I have noticed she has become unresponsive to our voice.  We first noticed it when we would call her to come in from outside.  We thought it was a test of wills, but now she doesn't hear us when we are in the same room and close by.  And she doesn't come to the door to greet us anymore when we get home.  

She is such a loving and loyal puppy and lots more hands on attention for her comes easy for both of us.  

The gila woodpeckers have been noisy and active the past week.  I think they think we provide a buffet just for them.


All is good as we continue to march along in this parade of life.  That's about it for news from here and I'll close with a few pictures.

Spinach quiche I made after three days of not eating anything but popsicles, jello and chicken broth !

Any ideas for a good caption for this photo?

Taken as the sun was coming up.

The end of the day...

So until next time enjoy the day and...


Sunday, August 15, 2021

Buttons !

Corona do Tucson

August 15, 2021

The past week has mostly been a week of healing.  Joe had the stitches taken out of his hand, I had the stitches taken out of my temple and Joe had the's big and white...on his nose changed.  He has one more week to wear the bandage if we venture outside the house.  The stitches are dissolvable so we won't return to the dermatologist for a month.  He still has two more places that need surgery (his forehead and neck), but at least we have a break !  

Also, this past week, the kitchen countertops, sink and disposal were installed.  I am over the top happy with the results and to be be able to check the "kitchen is finished" box off the list.  In addition to new floors and paint, the kitchen has evolved the past few months.  Keith added a light over the kitchen sink, Joe replaced the two existing ceiling lights, added under-the-counter lighting, added cabinet door knobs and drawer pulls (there were not any), we purchased all new appliances (Joe installed the microwave), and today we installed pull-out shelving in the cabinets.  

It has all come together nicely. 

The appliances were delivered March 13...two weeks earlier than promised.  

Out with the old... with the new !

We spent the morning finishing one last thing that was on the list...  


...sliding shelves.  Yippee !   

Yesterday, we woke up to a steady downpour and flash flood warnings.  We waited for a break in the rain to run a couple of errands.  The washes were flowing...

and the roads were covered with thick sand and rocks.

More rain was in the forecast for the afternoon so I decided to work on a project I have been wanting to do for sometime.  It involved sewing...not something I particularly enjoy or feel very competent doing.  This is a button quilt my maternal great grandmother made.  It is on the guest bed and was in need of some tender loving care.


I lost count of how many buttons needed reattaching.  The whole time imagining all the clothes sewn with all the different pieces of cloth and who wore them.  

This was the only button that was made with this material and the only button that made me think that perhaps the material was for clothing made specifically for a child.

There was one really bad spot that had a couple of torn buttons.

I did the best I could to mend them. 

Speaking of buttons, there is a very old Atlas mason jar on the fern stand by the bed in this room.  This jar of buttons belonged to Joe's maternal grandmother.  

All the buttons in the jar along with a thimble were put in the jar by her.  I have emptied the jar a couple of times over the years...not to take any buttons, but rather just to look at them.  

That wraps up another week around our house.  I'll close with a few photos from the week.

The barrel cacti are blooming...absolutely beautiful !

I would love to see this crown when this barrel cactus blooms.

The Countertop Factory did an awesome job custom cutting and installing the countertops. 

This hawk says, "Dinner time !".

This is tedious and slow for me. 

My favorite dinner this week...smoked salmon with homemade honey dijon vinaigrette.

Oh happy day !

So until next time, 


Sunday, August 8, 2021

Green !

Corona de Tucson

August 8, 2021


...makes you feel optimistic and refreshed and symbolizes new beginnings.  The first thing that comes to my mind when I think of the color green is nature.  Our neighborhood  has made a dramatic change from brown to green in the past few weeks. Of course along with all the green comes the aggravation of mosquitoes...a small price to pay for rain.

There were four coyotes in this pack.  We only got a glimpse of their back and head as they strolled past our yard.

Last week was one of those crazy weeks.  Sunday and Monday were gorgeous with early morning walks.  Monday we checked annual wellness exams and bloodwork off the list, ran errands and prepared for the rest of the week.  We were up bright and early Tuesday as we both had appointments for MOHs surgery.  We spent nearly the whole day at the dermatologist.  My surgery went well as I only had to have two cuts done before I was stitched.  Joe on the other hand had two basal cell carcinomas on his nose (one on the bridge and one on the base).  After three cuts on each place, he was bandaged and we went home. (There is a limit to how much medicine can be injected to numb the area being worked on.)  We returned on Thursday...he had two more cuts on the base of his nose and one more cut on the bridge and then another cut in front of his ear for skin to graft on his nose was done.  Needless to say, Tylenol and antibiotics have been indispensable the past few days.  He feels much better today. 

On an average, we eat salads for dinner 5 nights a week.  Joe doesn't complain too much, but after the week he has had...   

I couldn't help myself yesterday.  I made a pecan pie.  A hard week deserves a nice treat !  

This past April, Joe and I chose to work on some storage projects.  The house door in the garage enters the laundry room...its not really like a room as it's just big enough for the washer and dryer.  

Joe added a second shelf...

and I organized stuff !  

And I scored my own she space in the garage complete with shelves and a louvered door. 

We also worked really hard to install shelves and cabinets in the garage for Joe.

Joe has lots of nice space to store things out of sight in the smaller single car garage.  We also painted the double car and single car garage.     

The saga of feeding the birds continues and is heavy on my heart.  The most recent disappointment is the hummingbird feeder.  It seems Mexican Long-Tongued Bats love the nectar as much as the hummers. For several days I filled the feeders and found them dry the next morning.   

Photo from Google
I had noticed bats flying in the yard...not a bad thing if they are eating mosquitoes I thought...and Joe did some research.  There is an ongoing study in the Southern Arizona area to monitor hummingbird feeders to collect data about these bats.  

On a brighter note, we had babies visit the yard.  
Perfectly camoflouged...

We have seen Gamble's Quails with their chicks several times since spring, but the camera was never handy.  I finally got a few pictures...not real good ones unfortunately...through the window.  I counted six babies with their mom and dad. 

The male and female mate for life and are very responsible for their chicks.     

Aren't they just the cutest little babies?  I read that just before they hatch, the mama calls to the chicks who cheep to each other from inside the eggs.  The eggs hatch in synchrony.  Chicks are covered in dense down when they hatch and immediately are able to leave the nest and follow their parents.  

And this distinguished bird continues to stay close by...

Sharp-shinned Hawk...we have seen him several times !

Arizona poppies, as well as several other wildflowers, are in full bloom these days.  

It doesn't take much to put a smile on my face and these beauties do it every time !

That about sums up life here in Vail this week.  Until next time, 

A Cactus Wren nest...

        HAPPY TRAILS !