Saturday, February 26, 2022

So Happy !

Corona de Tucson

February 26, 2022

We are so happy !  Dr. Huang called yesterday with great news for Dover.   The  report from the canine cardiologist was all enlarged heart, and the arrhythmia is considered to be an "abnormal normal".  Also Dover's blood work was stellar.  The only concern is that there are certain medications she will have to avoid in the future due to the arrhythmia.  Her appointment has been made for March 15 to have the skin tag removed from her eyelid and her teeth cleaned.   Thank you to everyone for your concern and well wishes.   

I am also happy to report that Ronnie and Carol picked up their MH from the shop in Phoenix yesterday after spending Thursday night with us.  It was a long three weeks for them with 1,662 miles of traveling home and back to Arizona.  

We had a couple of chilly fact we had sleet, hail and a little snow that delivered a nice thin layer of white on the ground.  I was not impressed with the cold or the white stuff, but I did take the opportunity to make lasagna...a favorite cold weather comfort dish.  And the only photo I took was a sliver of ice that had not melted after the glorious sun appeared later.  


This morning, Joe and I found ourselves at Saguaro National Park-East.  It is one of our favorite places to go and only 18 miles from our back door as we enjoy a view of the Rincons from the backyard.  

Today we drove the Cactus Forest Loop Drive to the trailhead for Cactus Forest Trail-North.  It was our first time to enjoy the trail from this side of the loop drive.   

It is an easy walk with little to no elevation.

 Our first POI was a kiosk explaining the Cactus Shack.  

The shack was originally a storage shed for the CCC (Civilian Conservation Corps) during the development of the park and in 1936 it was converted to a ranger residence.  

All that remains today is the foundation.  It is worth noting that the residence did not have running water.  Water was hauled in 10 gallon jugs from town...11 miles away.

About a mile into the trail, we made a left turn onto the Lime Kiln Loop Trail.  

This POI explained how in 1880 when the railroad arrived in Tucson, the city needed to modernize. Adobe mud needed whitewash, dusty walls needed plaster, and new structures needed brick and mortar.  The demand for quicklime grew.

Each kiln required at least two wagon loads of (14-15 cords) of fresh wood for each batch of lime fired.   Once cooled, the lime was bagged and shipped by dusty roads to Tucson stores.  This was not without tensions...ranchers grazed cattle on this land.  Beans from the mesquite and palo verde trees were a major food source for the livestock.  When the trees were cut, that food was harder to find.  Around 1920, a judge agreed that the ranchers had rights to the trees and the kilns were closed. 

We also saw two crested saguaros.  The first one we noticed was a ways away...on a hillside as we were just getting started.  

The second one we missed going in, but saw on the way out.  It was right close to the trail and quite magnificent.

There was a side trail to the crested...way cool !

I think it might be a double crest if there is any such thing.

Some of the saguaros on this trail are very tall.  Joe guesstimated that this saguaro to between 32-35 feet tall making it about 150 years old.

We always enjoy our walks in the desert.  I'll close with a few more pics.


Until next time, give someone a hug...



Wednesday, February 23, 2022

The Up Side...

February 23, 2022

Corona de Tucson 

On the up side of the week, we were most excited to learn Joe only had 2 (and not the usual 6) biopsies that came back positive...yipee !  Surgeries have been scheduled for next week.  

On the up side, we had a great morning walking/birding in Madera Canyon with Randy.  

We stopped to watch the deer...

The creek was flowing, the birds were singing, the deer were enjoying breakfast, the sky was a bright blue and the warm sun was wonderful.   

On the up side, I got a jump start to spring cleaning.  It has been almost a year since we moved into our new home.  Cleaning windows is a once a year chore I do not look forward to and the sooner I can scratch it off the list, the better !  

I spent a rather chilly morning inside cleaning ALL the blinds and windows.  Screens still have to be removed and the outside done, but I don't mind that so much.   

On the up side, it rained...always a good day to have rain in the desert !  Only this day, we had to head north of Tucson for me to get a haircut.  Rainy days are much more fun when we can stay at home !

On the up side, we spent the afternoon yesterday at the vets.  It was Dover's turn.  For a rather long time, she has had a small skin tag on her right eye lid, but in the last two weeks it has grown and become worrisome to her.  We wanted it checked as well as having her yearly check-up.  After listening to Dover's heart, Dr. Huang asked if we had ever been told Dover has an arrhythmia...the answer was "no".  X-rays were taken that revealed an enlarged heart and her subsequent EKG was abnormal.  

That's a lot to take in when your pup has always been healthy and had no issues for 15 years.   Now we wait on a report from a canine cardiologist on recommendations as well as the lab results on her bloodwork.  The up side to all of this...we love our vet and the Animal Care Center of Green Valley. 

Life is good...

I got a fuzzy photo of one of the coyotes that was on the other side of the fairway.


Birds always put a smile on my face.

The afternoon sun fills the kitchen with light and warmth.

And there is always an adventure around the corner.

Until next time,


Monday, February 14, 2022

Happy Valentine's Day

Corona de Tucson

February 14, 2022

Our weather has been so nice the past few days.  It is the perfect reminder of why we chose to live here with highs in the 70s and lows in the 40s.  What an awesome way to start the day ! 

And I have been saving this photo just for today.   Happy Valentine's Day ! 

Photo taken at Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve...January 2022

There isn't much going on at the oasis these days.  Carol and Ronnie left last Wednesday and drove home to California...839 miles ! 

The service department is still waiting for the diesel lift pump needed to fix the MH.  It is in transit.  They will drive back to Phoenix to pick up the MH when all is completed and stop by Tucson on their way to either Yuma or home.  

Joe and I both had check-ups at the dermatologist.  I go every six months and Joe reports back every three months.  

I'm good to go, but once again, Joe had six biopsies done...good news is only needed six biopsies and not nine like the last go round.  Now we wait with fingers crossed !

Dr. Hilden from the vet's office called and we are happy. 

Sally's liver enzymes
are significantly lower...not quite in the normal range...but down enough that she can go ahead and have her teeth cleaned on March 11th.    

Janna, I hope Emmi gets a good report too !

The other day, Randy sent us a link about storing berries in a mason jar to keep them fresh longer.  I did a minimal amount of googling and was so surprised that I had not read about this sooner.  Perhaps you already knew this tidbit of information...I sure didn't !  

I chose not to wash the berries before putting them in the jars.  If you want to wash them first, they have to be completely dry when stored.  

Anyway, I am hoping for longer lasting berries.  Speaking of berries, it's a hit or miss and mostly a miss to get sweet berries these days.  I know that they do not ripen after they are picked.  We eat them anyway hoping the benefits are there even if they are not as tasty as we would like. 

Last Saturday, the pair of Great Horned Owls visited the pine tree again.  It was almost too dark...for a good focus and photos...when I saw them.  Just like before, the female flew away and the male sat at the top of the tree. 

Great Horned Owls are the most widespread owl in North America.

Did you know that the male usually finds "his territory" by December and a nesting site by January.  They tend to "spruce up" an old nest made by another bird.   Despite the cold, eggs are generally laid by the end of February so that the chicks have enough time to develop by spring.  It takes about 33 days for the eggs to hatch.   

Birds are such great entertainment.  The other day a couple of orange-beaked sparrows landed on the bird bath.  

It was like watching a synchronized dance.

Until one of them forgot the next step !

I love asparagus and when perusing the internet, I came across a recipe for caprese asparagus.  The picture looked yummy.  But first I had to look up how to pronounce it...kay-PRAY-say...and then what it was.  It's an Italian word for a salad consisting of mozzarella and tomatoes, and basil and olive oil.  I'm sure Sue already knew that ! I had all the ingredients and the directions were easy and quick.  It was yummy and made our Saturday night dinner special .

We will definitely be having Caprese Asparagus again !

We were playing ball with Jack this afternoon 4:30-5:00 ish and watched the moon rise.  It's not a full moon until the 16th, but it sure was pretty.  

Dover enjoyed the warm sunshine while Jack played.  

There is a set of tiles at the Tucson Botanical Gardens depicting the seasons.  Winter is for resting...that sounds good to me !

That's another week in the memory bank at the oasis.  Until next time, trust your instincts...