Sunday, June 19, 2022

Close, But No Cigar

Corona de Tucson

June 19, 2022 

I know I quote my grandmother a lot.  I was 9 years old when my mom, my brother and I moved from Manchester, GA to LaGrange, GA (a whopping 35 miles) with my grandparents.  I was very close to both my granddad and grandmother growing up and a lot of childhood memories include them.  Summer afternoons rocking on the front porch with Mama Nell nibbling on warm chocolate chip cookies fresh from the oven and sipping a Dr. Pepper which she and I halved come to mind.   "Close, but no cigar" was one of those sayings I often heard her say that has stuck with me through all these years.  The phrase doesn't make much sense to folks these days.  But, Mama Nell grew up in a time (1920s) when fairs and carnivals would hand out cigars as prizes.  At that time, the games were targeted towards adults, not children.  Even back in the day, carnival games were almost impossible to win.  When a player failed to get enough rings around the bottle or was just shy of hitting the target, the "carny" would announce to the world, "Close, but no cigar!"  

Close, but no cigar was the case yesterday afternoon.  Just look at that sky and all that rain.  Not a drop at our house !

Fingers are still crossed !

But we were rewarded with a pretty sunset later.

It has been one of those weeks...crazy, lazy days of summer even though summer doesn't officially begin until 5:14 am EDT June 21.  Two appointments had us heading into Tucson.  I had a dentist appt for a check-up (all is good) and Joe had the dreaded dermatologist appt (6 biopsies were taken with more the end of the month scheduled).  A quick stop at the grocery store and that was it for the more outings and nothing "fun worthy" to write about.  

I spent one morning being somewhat crafty.  I made a summer wreath using bandannas that I cut and tied to a styrofoam wreath frame and then added glittery stars.  I love summer and the Fourth of July.  

Right now it is hanging on the pantry door in the kitchen.   I am not sure I will like it on the green front door, but plan to hang it there later.    

The baby birds are still entertaining.

I have no idea if this is the mama or the daddy that stays so busy feeding these babies.  There are four baby Cactus Wrens that visit off and on during the day.  I am not excited they have discovered my potting table, but so far we haven't had to shoo them away.

A family of Gila Woodpeckers visit early in the morning...some mornings they are waiting on me.  

This particular morning, the little one on the right was not getting any food.  After waiting patiently, he scooted a little closer, and was rewarded with a sweet bite of orange...his sibling was none too happy ! 

One of my favorite photos this week was a baby Mourning Dove.  I was happy to see his feathers all puffed out...

...he obviously was not as happy about puffy feathers as I was! 

And the baby Gambles Quail are growing and learning fast.

Learning new things can be a little scary sometimes.  He (she) stood for awhile looking all around before carefully making the step onto the fence.  

The Desert Rose has a "first" flower.

I often forget to post pictures of the hummingbirds.  

Sally continues to enjoy each new day.

Dover still enjoys breakfast on the patio.

Jack finally gave up racing me to the rocking chair...well, this week anyway !

And Joe and I are still in awe at the wonder of it all !

June 17, 5:27 am...our 39th anniversary sunrise.

5:27 am


5:38 am



Until next time, wherever life takes you...



Monday, June 13, 2022

Finally !

Corona de Tucson

June 13, 2022 

The Tucson Fine Arts Association made its home in the Kingman House (dated 1865) located in the El Presidio Historic District in downtown Tucson in 1924.  The art center moved to its present location in 1975, changed its name to the Tucson Museum of Art, and became the caretaker of five historic properties encompassing an entire city block.  These 18th century houses are used for tours and other activities of the museum.  For example, the ceramics studio and studio art classes are housed in the Romero House which was the home of "the town carpenter" around 1860.  Another one of those historic properties located on the grounds of the museum is the Stevens House built in 1865.  


This was our first stop of the day.  Cafe a la C'art is an intimate little eatery tucked into the Tucson Museum of Art courtyard. Entrance is on Main Street...parking is across the street and metered M-F with free parking on the weekend.  The welcome mat...finally brunch at Cafe a la C'art !

The entry way is warm and friendly with soft light, art and flowers.  

Drink and food menus are provided in the hallway. After you choose what you want, you place your order just inside the main dining room at a counter where you are given a number.  You choose where you would like to sit.  

This isn't just any ordinary is full of delicious cakes, pies, dessert bars and pastries all made in-house by a full time pastry chef. 

Dining areas are located throughout the house with tables for two or a crowd.


We chose the patio...

Finally, I enjoyed my first mimosa...

and the Salmon Cake Benedict (I love poached eggs!) with roasted rosemary potatoes was delicious.

FYI...this quaint, unique restaurant was added to Food and Wine's top ten list of best museum restaurants in the country.  It is definitely bragging rights for this little restaurant far removed from the "museum-world centers of the universe" like New York and Chicago.  

Ownership and operation is a family affair in the hands of a mom (We were told today that she has retired.), her son who is the chef and his wife.  It was stablished in 1998.

Next up, the museum...

Bowl with Inlay...North Coast of Peru...made using a gourd, shells, spondylus (spiny oysters) 1000-1400 AD

The Tucson Museum of Art and Historic Block is an art museum and art education institute.  Finally, our first stroll through this beautiful collection of modern and contemporary art, Native American art, Latin American art, and art of the American West.  It is hard to pick and choose what to share. Here is a small sampling...

"West Mexican Sculptures...large in scaled deeply human in subject."  This clay piece titled Standing Warrior with Club and Horned Headdress dated 100 BC- 300 AD

Dream Catchers...I loved the shadows...

Indian with Corn...oil on canvas dated 1955 

Beautiful Navajo textile dated 1920-1930

Ground Blizzard..dated 1970

Other exhibits included baskets, pottery, Mexican masks, Kachina Dolls, photography, embroidered layer blouses known as molas, a sculpture garden, and contemporary/modern pieces that we just do not relate to.      

Back at the oasis, it's hot !  We are up and going about 5:00 am.  At 5:17 am, it looks like this...

And at 6:13 am it looks like this.  Finally, the clouds have has been wonderful.

The birds continue to come and go.  You might remember last weeks post had pictures of babies.  I was disappointed when I posted those pictures that there were no Gambles Quails to show.  Finally, this week, they have been coming in the yard. They have to be the cutest baby birds ever.  For sure, they put a smile on our face as they scratch the ground foraging for seeds bumping into one another.  Unlike the other baby birds in the yard, these young follow their parents to food sources, but feed themselves. 


Remember the Desert Rose Randy and Terri gave me in March?   It finally has several buds...6 to be exact.  I think we will have blossoms soon.

Monsoon season officially begins on June 15 and continues until September 30.  The average rain fall in Tucson during monsoon season is 5.55 inches.  The 2020 season was the second driest season since the weather records began in 1865 with only 1.62 inches.  And the 2021 season was the second wettest with 12.79 inches.  My fingers are crossed the forecasters are right as they report the 2022 season could be a wet one with above normal rainfall predicted.  Last Friday, our high for the day reached 106 degrees.  Clouds began to form late afternoon as the sun was setting, the skies turned very dark.  

I heard the thunder, watched the lightening and smelled the rain.  Not a drop at our house, but Saguaro National Park (just down the road) had a nice shower.  I had never seen the sky look like it was on fire before and was completely mesmerized.  

A few minutes later...

Jack with his summer stinking cute !

I can't think of anything else from last week to post.  It was an especially nice week and a pretty one too !  Morning walks with a pretty sunrise...ahh, a big thumbs up ! Until next timed,