Sunday, February 11, 2024

Settling into February...

Corona de Tucson

February 11, 2024

Settling in at home is a wonderful thing...putting things in their place, adjusting to space, our very own little oasis, a roomy shower, and a much larger washer and dryer are just a few things that help settling in wonderful.  There are many things we enjoy about home, but the quiet might just be my most favorite thing of all about being here.  

Monday, we were up early and headed to Lazydays KOA.  Just saying/writing Lazydays KOA floods my brain with so many great memories of days gone by.  Carol and Ronnie left SD when we did and pulled right in to the KOA for two weeks of Tucson time and Monday we had plans to hike at Catalina State Park.  Anybody that has visited this beautiful Arizona state park knows that to do most walking/hiking there one must cross the wash.  Sometimes, the wash is dry...that is always sad to me...and sometimes the wash has running water...that always makes me happy.  Memories of laughing all the way across with garbage bags wrapped around our legs come to mind...just ask Sue !  No bags this week, but there were lots of laughs heard while wading thru the better than ankle deep cold water.  

Catalina is a favorite hiking place.  Joe and I both agree that we don't get there enough as it is just shy of 45 miles from home.  Afterwards, we enjoyed a picnic before heading back to town.  

Another day this week we enjoyed perusing The Gallery in the Sun with Carol and Ronnie.  The gallery DeGrazia built is a work of art in itself and while we like some of his art...not all of his makes for a colorful morning with a little history thrown in the mix.  Carol is quite the artist herself and I enjoyed watching her stroll thru the gallery and pointing out things I would never even think about.  

There were two rotating exhibits on display until September 4th. 

"Rodeo" is a series of oil paintings DeGrazia did in 1954 that were inspired by the Tohono O'odham Nation Rodeo and Fair in the community of Sells, AZ. DeGrazia referred to these paintings as his "dramatic" that capture a decisive, dramatic moment in paint.   

Titled : Wild Horse Race
oil on canvas, 1954 
I loved the bold colors and action in this painting.

And "Master Thesis Paintings" featuring a selection of watercolors and oil paintings  from his 1945 University of Arizona Master of Arts Thesis.  

Based on movements from popular classical music, his work demonstrates his theories about the correlation between the melodies, harmonies, and rhythms of music and the shapes, colors, and rhythms of abstract paintings. 

Concerto #1 in B flat minor
oil on canvas diptych 1944
(I had to look up diptych...a painting on two hinged wooden panels which may be closed like a book.)

Throughout the gallery, are tables, benches and chairs that DeGrazia made.  I love the simplicity. 

In DeGrazi's studio, the buses caught Carols' eye.  

And in the courtyard, Carol and Ronnie paused...

to study the self image DeGrazia did in a sculpture like form that hangs in a tree.  

We also took the time to see Mission in the Sun, the first building DeGrazia built on the grounds.  

Afterwards, we enjoyed a nice lunch at Cafe a La C'Art in town.  A delightful morning, a yummy lunch, and time with friends makes for a really nice time.    
Back at the oasis, it has been a hodge podge of weather days....mild and sunny, rainy, windy, and cold.  

We only had one decent day for a walk...

No complaints...we need the rain! And a great day for being lazy!

The doves practiced their ice skating skills...quite gracefully I will add. I felt really bad when he started pecking at the ice for water. 

Yesterday (Saturday 2/10) we had plans.  Andra and Jamie and Carol and Ronnie came for lunch.  I made lasagna, salad and bread and Carol brought cherry cheesecake.  It was a wonderful time visiting.   It was also cold and snowing !  I didn't get photos of the people, but I did get some of the snow.  

Ozzie loves the snow!

The best part about snow  here is that it was gone by late afternoon.

We weren't sure how many birds we should see after having been gone for a month.  Filling the feeders was the first thing we did! No surprise that the Cactus Wren was the first to show.  We have had the pleasure to see Cardinals, Gila Woodpeckers, Curved-bill Thrashers, House Wrens and Sparrows...all the regulars!  

And we had a new bird in the yard...a Yellow-rumped Warbler.  What a nice surprise! 

The thistle feeder has been the busiest !

And this morning, this sweet little Costa's Hummingbird waited very patiently while I took his feeder inside to refill it.

Sally had her annual vet appointment this week.  All is good with her.  We think she is happy to be home too...

February is off to great start.  It is almost Valentin's Day !  Love is in the the whisper of the trees, in the thunder of the seas, in the rising of the sun, when the day is nearly done, everywhere I look around, every sight and every sound, love is in the air.  (taken from lyrics to "Love is in the Air" by John Paul Young.)  

Until next time,



  1. We stayed in Catalina in our RVing days--lovely place--and we even hiked because I remember picking prickly grass seeds from between Jazz's paws while she tried to bite me! Coming home from a RV trip is always so good even if the trip was only for a few days. Your Saturday lunch sounds wonderful and yes, moisture in the desert is always welcome. Love that photo of Sally and the one of snowy Ozzie!

    1. Good morning Janna! I have tried many times to get reservations at Catalina...even while living in our home here. No luck in snagging a spot there yet. When we got home from SD, Sally ran thru the house a few times then settled in her spot in front of the patio door. It's her job to keep watch. Ozzie is two years old and a bundle of energy...he loved the snow!

  2. How fun having Carol and Ronnie following you back. The expression of confusion on the dove ice skating on his water is precious.

    1. Good morning Jeff! I'm sure the dove was very confused. After going a month with no water and then having frozen water was a bit much! The other doves just flew off, but he stayed and pecked for a few minutes...

  3. I love the views from Catalina SP, such a pretty place. Thanks for the peek at DeGrazia's temporary exhibit. Can't believe I've missed that amazing piece in the courtyard, I have to get back to see it for sure!! We missed that last snow storm that's gorgeous in all your pics. I know your birds were grateful for their snowy meals. Sally is just too cute.

    1. Good morning Jodee! I enjoyed the Rodeo exhibit at DeGrazia…might just be one of my favorites! Such bold colors and the action in the paintings brings them to life. Snowy days in the desert are a real treat…and thank goodness they don’t last long. Sally says “thank you!”.

  4. Being on the road is fun, settling back home again afterward is fun too!
    I remember our garbage bag river crossing fiasco, I smiled at the memory! I'm trying to book a quick stop in Catalina SP this spring, wish me luck!

    1. Hi Sue…fingers crossed and I hope your luck is better than mine! I have tried so many times to get a spot there…even after we got the sticks and stucco, but have not had any luck yet!

    2. success! I got a week at the end of April so maybe we can see you two then sometime!

    3. Sweet! I need to know your secret to success!