Sunday, January 29, 2023

I Think To Myself...

Corona de Tucson

January 29, 2023

On Friday, Joe and I were headed to Tucson.  Jim and Barb were in town and the four of us had plans to meet for lunch at BOCA.  Once again, it is so awesome to put real faces, voices, laughter, and hugs with folks we already know as friends  from reading each others blogs.  What a fun visit we had and yes, both he and Barb are down to earth folks who live in South Dakota where the temps are below 0 degrees and where they built (with the help of friends) their beautiful home.  Of course no meeting with Jim and Barb is complete without meeting Dakota and Zoey...their two pups.  Dakota is very shy, and Zoey is quite the little socialite stopping folks as they pass by and insisting on a back rub...who could refuse?  It was great meeting them and we sure hope our paths cross again.  I didn't get a picture, but Jim did. They had a busy week planned in the area so be sure to check out their blog.  

Our lunch with Jim and Barb was just the beginning and set the tone for a wonderful week-end.  Look who came for a sleep over...sweet Ozzy !  And he brought Jamie and Andra along for a couple of days.  


Friday night was spent visiting and catching up with all the news of the past couple of weeks, playing with the pups, and having dinner at the big table.  I love having dinner at the big always says family and/or friends are visiting.  Saturday morning we were off to Green Valley to pick up a refill for Sally's liver enzyme medicine.  As it turned out, there was a sign on the vet's door stating the office was closed due to an emergency so we didn't get Sally's med.  But since we were over half way to Tubac and since Jamie and Andra had never been to Tubac, we decided to have lunch there.   

   It was fun perusing the walkways and stores.  

A nice reminder...I think to myself !

Saturday night we played darts on an electric dart board...not quite the same as the good ole days !  The game we played was 301.  The idea is to subtract you score with each throw and the first person to get to zero wins.  It's pretty easy until you get to a low number like 22, 10, or 5.  To win you have to have a combo of numbers or the exact number totaling the number you need. I'm happy to report...drum roll please...Andra won three games and I won one game.  The girls rule electric darts !  

This morning Jamie and Joe added a shepherd's hook for the thistle feeder in front of the new tree in the backyard.  The tree was planted for the birds and the tiny little goldfinch seem to enjoy it so their feeder is now conveniently located close enough for them to eat and perch and hide.  

It sure was fun having the kiddos for the week-end and Joe and I are so happy to have them close by.  

Ozzy and Dover are great little helpers to make sure Jack has a clean bowl after supper...

Back at the oasis...the week started off cold and windy.  We even had a dusting of snow.  At our house, Sally and I are the only two that think snow it is exciting.  


Jack is usually the first to wake up every morning.  This time of the year he sleeps in till 5:45-6:00.  But, this week we have all been awakened by the pair of resident owls promptly at 5:30.  Some mornings, we hear them off in the distance, some morning they are close by, but for the past few mornings, one of them has been right on top of us hooting and commiserating with the other owl in the pine tree close by. 


The rest of the week has been sunny and each day seems to get warmer and warmer.  Have you ever heard the expression "a sunny disposition"?  I read an article about sunshine the other day.  It states that the sunshine has more impact on your mood than rainfall, temperature, or any other environmental factor.  I cant say the sunshine makes me happy, but it sure feels warm and puts a smile on my face. Dafodils put a smile on my face too...what a great combo they make ! 

 And sweet Dover moves around the room with the sun.  

I only got a couple of backyard bird photos this week.


That's a wrap for the week.  Can't believe February is almost here.  

Until next time,




Saturday, January 21, 2023


Corona de Tucson

January 21, 2023 

Sahaurita Road heading towards Green Valley.  

Our week got off to a windy, rainy and chilly start.  The sun finally peeked out a little Tuesday afternoon and,  oh boy, were we happy to wake up to mostly sunny skies Wednesday with zero chance of rain.  I was looking forward to Wednesday...we had plans.   Not just any old plans,  but plans I had been looking forward to for a long while.   The blogging world was (during our traveling days) and continues to be an important part of life.  We have learned a lot from other bloggers and have crossed paths with some great folks along the way.  And Wednesday we had plans to meet Janna and The Cowboy  Our meeting was long overdo as we have followed each others blogs for years.  Emmi, a cute little bundle of love and Janna and Michael's puppy had a vet appt. in Green Valley and afterwards, we met them for lunch at Manuel's.  No one remembered to take a picture as the conversation was non's really nice to meet friends in person when you are already friends...sharing (in person finally) stories, projects, family news, plans and memories as if we had known each other for years.  Janna and Michael's home in Arizona is not quite an hours drive from our home so we sure hope to get together again soon.  

Back at the oasis, with all the windy, rainy and chilly weather I haven't taken many photos this week.  Joe did spot a Cooper's hawk on the fence post.

 I saw a pair of Gila Woodpeckers on the feeder in the pouring rain.

Both the bird photos were taken thru the patio door.

And I liked the reflection of the pine tree and the palm tree in the rain drops in this picture.

I found myself in the kitchen more than usual this week.  Chilly weather is soup weather at our house and I made two pots of creamy yumminess...both new to us recipes and both I will make again.  The first pot I made on Monday was a Creamy Broccoli Cheddar soup.  

And yesterday I made The Ultimate Potato Soup...the first time I have ever used chili powder in potato soup.  I love soup ! Maybe that's because I really love corn bread muffins, or maybe that's because there are always left overs, or maybe because they really are comfort food on a chilly night which makes chilly nights more tolerable.      

In between soups, I made a Creamy Tuscan Chicken served over linguini and a Breakfast Salad (for dinner at our house) with baked salmon and topped with a fried egg.   My favorites for the week were the potato soup and the salad.  Joe says I need to cook more often.  I would much rather have adventures and eat salads !  

We played Acey Ducey this week.  A game for us is the best two out of three.  You can give me a pat on the back as I actually won a game. It had nothing to do with strategy which is how Joe wins the game, but rather the fact that I was lucky enough to get 4 Acey Duceys. We have also spent time in the hobby room...that's actually the third bedroom with a futon and a table for Joe to do leather work.  I decided this week to go thru the basket with my cross-stitch materials.  I knew I had  started a piece years ago and when I looked, I was shocked to see it was dated June 2010.   I began cross-stitching back in the mid 1980s...that sounds like a life time ago...and enjoyed it for many years until we retired and began taking more RV trips which eventually turned into full-time rollin'.  I was not sure it would be a hobby I would enjoy again as my eyes are older or that I could stitch the same as I did all those years ago. Working from center to left, I had completed the "c" "l" "e" and the first leg of the "W" in 2010.

So Thursday and Friday I completed the "W" and started stitching the "o" which is a pumpkin.  I am happy to say I am enjoying it and plan to finish this piece.  Life has changed and I am pretty sure this would not be a piece I would have picked out to stitch these days, but the practice and time to finish it will be well spent.  

Temps here dropped considerably last was 28 degrees when we got up this morning.  Yesterday, we moved all the plants from the patio inside.  The kitchen is now the garden center.

The kitchen is my favorite room in the house...its the sunniest room we have all year long.  I left the lights on the Christmas Cactus which is now sitting on the island. It was quite pretty last night.  I just love these dainty little battery lights and still have them on the agave plants on the front porch too. 

It looks like we will not be moving the plants back to the patio until Wednesday.  It's going to be cold at night.  The hummingbird food was frozen solid this morning and I saw snowflakes in the forecast for Monday.  

The pups are good.  Dover enjoys naps most of the day...

 Sally wanders about the backyard...

and Jack is usually close by.

Life is good.  Until next time,



Sunday, January 15, 2023

Patagonia Lake State Park

Corona de Tucson

January 15, 2023

Friday morning we packed a picnic and headed south on Scenic Highway 83 towards Patagonia. 

Our destination...Patagonia Lake State Park...  is about 50 miles from home and has been on the "lets go there" list for awhile (even before we bought a home here).   

Patagonia Lake was created by the damming of Sonoita Creek back in the 1960s when a group of locals had hopes for water-related recreational opportunities.  Boating, water skiing, camping, fishing, swimming and picnicking along with a mild climate and the scenic qualities of the Sonoita Creek made their efforts an instant success.  So much so, the group quickly realized that they didn't have the capital to meet the demand for the increasing numbers of users or to provide for health and safety requirements.  After working through lengthy and complex negotiatios  for several years, the State Parks Board acquired Patagonia Lake and officially opened Patagonia Lake State Park in April, 1975.    

Patagonia Lake is in the heart of Patagonia-Sonoita Creek Preserve. which is home to one of Arizona's permanently flowing streams, endangered fish, butterflies and birds and rare Fremont cottonwood trees.  

We enjoyed a leisurely walk along Sonoita Creek on the birding trail.

It was well after mid-morning so we didn't see many birds...a few hummingbirds, verdin, and cardinals.

The footbridge over the inlet near the Visitor's Center was built in 1974.  Picnic tables and benches on the other side offer a quiet spot to enjoy lunch, the Coots, the warm sunshine and everything blue and gold.   

Saturday morning had us headed in the opposite direction...north to Tucson.  We had plans to meet Jamie and Andra at The Lost Barrio Historic Warehouse District.   I always enjoy meandering thru Gather and the other stores located there.  

And it is always fun hanging out with the kiddos ! 

We can count on Gather having unique things...lots of things.  And the staging of those things is what makes it so much fun to peruse.  I walk thru twice and could probably walk a third and fourth time and still not see everything.  

For lunch we headed to Historic Fourth Ave.  BOCA Tacos y Tequila has been on the "lets try this" list since I read about Chef Maria Mazon last year.  She was a semi-finalist in the 2020 and 2022 James Beard Awards...America's most coveted and comprehensive honors for chefs. Its definitely a fun and yummy stop for lunch.  Chef Mazon creates new, fresh salsas daily with ingredients she grows behind the restaurant.  She says there are no rules when it comes to salsas and I definitely recommend the chips and salsa flight with the guacamole duo.  Both the guacamole choices were yummy, but the flight of salsas included five varieties ranging from slightly hot to hot.  The flight changes daily...we enjoyed a banana salsa and my favorite had dijon mustard and I don't remember what the other three were.  The chips are always fried to order and served warm in a brown paper sack.  It's not only yummy, its just a fun ! 

For lunch I had a Mole De Pollo taco on a flour tortilla...chicken tossed in a traditional mole poblano sauce topped with sesame seeds... and a side order of roasted corn, anaheim and poblano chilis in a cheese and cream sauce served on a white cutting board just like I have in my cabinet.    

There are a lot of choices on the menu so I know we will go back.  The outdoor patio is a great option and it is doggie friendly. Afterwards we strolled down Fourth Ave, perused a few shops, and had a DQ blizzard for desert.  

Back at the was just a really nice week.  The sun was shinning and the temps were very pleasant.  

The girls are so nosey.

The birds are so busy.

My Christmas Cactus finally has a few blooms. 

Smiles come easy.

The afternoon glow is magical.  From this...

to this in a matter of minutes. 

And my little buddy is still keeping a close watch on HIS feeder.

So, until next time,

Another Tucson mural...this one located on Park Ave near The Lost Barrio.

An early morning drive to the dentist for me.