Thursday, August 31, 2023

The Rest of August...

Corona de Tucson

August 31, 2023 

Sunrise August 31

Back on August 12th, Joe and I met Jamie and Andra in Tucson for a nice Saturday morning stroll in The Lost Barrio...a historic warehouse district in downtown.  

It was the weekend Gather was open and always a fun outing with the kiddos.  We meandered thru the vintage market which never looks the same as it did the last time we were there.  It's no wonder it takes a month for the staging to be completed...creative, colorful, seasonal, old, new, shiny, fresh, indoor, outdoor, and the adjectives just go on and on. 

Lunch is always on our agenda and afterwards, we all enjoyed a yummy lunch at El Charro.  Andra had never been to El Charro. It's such a fun and historic restaurant... and such a pleasure to share a favorite with family and friends.  

Who would ever think that as hot and dry as it has been August would usher in beautiful colors.  The barrel cacti are blooming... 

I love their crown.

 and we are also enjoying Arizona poppies.  

Definitely puts a smile on my face.

The rest of August has been a hodgepodge of days, rainy days, windy days, cloudy days, cooler days, pleasant morning days and mostly missing Dover days.  Our little family of four is adjusting one day at a time.  At first, getting out two bowls at breakfast instead of three seemed to throw the morning askew.  But with each passing day, the memories of Dover and her happy dance when breakfast was served puts a smile on my face and tears of joy in my eyes.  Such is love and we are so thankful.  

Morning walks continue to be in our routine.  On Tuesday our walk started early.  As we headed out we heard the Owls.  There is a pine tree beside the cart path just beyond our yard and when I looked up I saw the silhouette of three owls.  I'm guessing a family as it didn't take but a minute for them to snuggle up on a branch together.  Also, everyday this week, we have been treated to a rainbow.  And a big plus, the sunrises have been been nothing short of spectacular. 

Sunrise August 18

Sunrise August 31
Moooooo! And a big good morning to you too!

Back at the oasis, we had two hairy visitors...tarantulas.  Both of them meandered slowly across the patio (early morning coffee time about two weeks apart) while Joe kept guard and the pups and I kept our distance.  The first one we saw was a bit smaller and mostly black...a male. The second one, which is pictured below, is a female.  She was larger and brown. In the wild, these hairy spiders call the southwest United States home, eat insects, and are usually out and about at night.   

Desert dwellers can attain a body length of up to 2 inches and a leg span to almost 5 inches and live in deep burrows which they line with silk webbing to prevent the holes from caving in.  She had quite the daytime adventure at our house.  We watched as she climbed up the concrete wall, crept across the top and down the other side.  But that is not the end of the story.  She climbed back up the wall on the other side, back down the wall on our side, and across the rocks all the way to the other side of the yard before disappearing.  

For a few weeks, we have noticed a hawk flying overhead and often perched in a dead tree out beyond our yard or in the top of a pine tree in the yard next door.

A super zoom with the big lens...

And last week, he finally perched on our fence for a photo shoot.  My lucky day !
Cooper's Hawks are magnificent birds and strikingly beautiful...swift, strong, intense, and  documented research shows they do recognize human faces and voices.    

Once in Georgia we witnessed a hawk swoop down in our backyard and scoop up a bluebird.  It was both amazing and horrifying all at the same time.  We have not had that experience here...fingers crossed we won't.  

Some babies are growing fast.

 We  are still enjoying the Cardinals in a variety of growing stages...

The Cactus Wens have no trouble making themselves at home.  They scamper all over the yard and the patio fussing all the while about who knows what. On any given day, we might see up to six at one time.  The young ones will eventually fly away and discover their own territory in which to mate, eat, nest and live.  We still have adults feeding young ones...

and finally...drum roll...a Cactus Wren perched on our torch cactus !

And the pups...

Sally will sit for hours making sure all is as it should be in the yard.  Joe rolled the patio rug up on one of our windy days...Sally was most concerned.  

On one of our cooler mornings, we enjoyed playing ball outside...

I'll close with a few photos...

and a sunset from the backyard.

Until next time,

We were being you see the coyote?

Happy Trails !

Sunday, August 20, 2023

Our Sweet Dover...

Corona de Tucson

August 20, 2023

Adoption day...August 3, 2007 - August 15, 2023

It was love at first sight followed by 5,852 wonderful days of unconditional love, treats, naps, adventures, snuggles, happy dances, and sharing life with you.

We miss your presence, but you will always be in our heart.

Happy Trails sweet girl...

Thursday, August 10, 2023

Not Much Has Changed...

Corona De Tucson

August 10, 2023 

Not much has changed since the last time I posted.  Last week we were busy with appointments.  It all started Monday (7/31) when we had our AC unit replaced.  Our home was built in 2004.  We knew when we decided this was the house for us the original AC unit (17 years old in 2021) would have to be replaced.  We decided to ride it out and sure enough we were cool and comfy the past two summers.  This summer, we could hear the signs...the moaning and groaning sounds...that something was not quite right even though we were cool and comfy and decided it was time.  

You know what they say..."Out with the old, in with the new".  The guys arrived around 9:30 am and pulled out of the driveway at 1:00 am the next day. was a long day for them working in the hot attic and in-between thunder and lightening outside, but they did a great job and never once did we hear any complaining.  

Our new unit is so quiet and efficient and oh the technology...we can even control the key pad from our phone when we figure all that out !  

It's good to check that one off the list !

The rest of the week was just as busy.  Tuesday (8/1), we each had appointments at the dermatologist.  Joe is waiting on results from two biopsies on his right arm.  On Friday (8/4), I had an appointment for a hair cut.  And on Monday (8/7) I was sitting in the dentist chair as one of my caps (decades old I might add) decided to work it's way loose and now I have a three week wait for a new permanent one.  In between on Thursday (8/3), we were off to Green Valley for Dover's 3 month check up at the vets.  

August 8, 2023...headed to the vet

Dover is just the sweetest puppy EVER  and always so excited to jump in the backseat and go somewhere/anywhere...even to the vets.  Dr.  Huang called on Tuesday(8/8) with really great news.  The cancer is still contained to the two lymph nodes in her neck.  Her red and white blood count is normal, her liver and kidney functions are normal, and there are no signs of her heart being stressed.  Not bad for a puppy that will be 17 years old in January.  Did you know that over 50% of all dogs over the age of 10 die from cancer ?  Considering that other than cancer (which really sucks!) Dover is healthy, alert, mobile, happy and excited about life. So, with the caring advise and knowledge from Dr Huang, Joe and I have decided on an alternative treatment.   Torigen laboratories (a team of cancer researchers and veterinarians) worked for over 10 years to harness the immune system to fight cancer for our loyal companions and in 2021, clinical trials were started. It is a three step process. First, Dr. Huang will surgically remove a piece of the tumor and ship it to the lab for processing.  Next, the lab will prepare a personalized vaccine from the tissue and send it to our vet clinic.  Last, Dr. Huang will administer Dover's vaccine by injection once a week for three weeks.  The goal is to not just extend Dover's life, but to increase the chances of a good quality of life for her for ever how long that might be.  Immunotherapies are gaining traction in both the human and veterinary market for treating cancer and we feel this is a good way to move forward.    

Our family had two birthdays this week.  Felix turned 7 and started second grade.

And Henry turned 20...yikes !...and will be a junior at North Carolina State.

Did you know that the first Saturday in August is National Sunflower Day?  

Photo taken August 11, 2017 in Moab
Sunflowers are often associated with positivity, happiness, and optimism...always facing the sun. 

And did you know that August 7th is National Lighthouse Day?  It was on this date in 1789 that Congress approved an Act for the establishment and support of lighthouses, beacons, buoys, and public piers.  I have tons of lighthouse photos so I just picked one from each coast.    

Portland Head Light...potogtraphed in June 2012 when we visited Maine.  This historic lighthouse is the first head light to be built by the government...a directive of George Washington...and was first lit on Jan. 10, 1791. 

Old Point Loma Lighthouse...first photographed on Jan. 29, 2013...on our first of several San Diego visits.  This piece of history was first lit on Nov 15, 1855 and for many years it was the highest coastal light in our country.

So, the rest of our days haven't changed much.  I am a little surprised to still be seeing such young birds.  Joe and I both agree this little cardinal stole the show this week.

We have had a yard full of Cactus Wrens.

A mother's work is never done! more time...

food and...


The best action shot of the week...

and the best pose for the week.

The "oh no you don't!" shot of the week...

and the "something just isn't right about this" shot of the week.

The old hummer feeder was three times this size...oops!

The morning temps are a little more comfortable...yippee!  And the next few days are below 100 degrees...double yippee!  We are still catching the sunrise when we head out for our walk...

and one morning had neighbors to share it with.

The early glow never disappoints...

We have seen the coyotes more times than usual this week.  We still get excited when they stroll by...not so much when they stop and stare !

And two huge javelins were just a blur as they ran by...the biggest and fastest javelins yet. 

Sally always seems to be in a tight spot...

Jack always snatches the best seat first...

and Dover always enjoys watermelon and stays close by.

August is off to a great start...until next time,