Tuesday, May 23, 2017

An Odd Little Hedgehog

These are called Rainbow Hedgehog Cactus.  They can reach up to 8" in height and sprout pink to magenta flowers that are approximately 3" in diameter.

A nice pop of color for the otherwise very somber desert landscape.

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Go Further
2015: Until We Meet Again
2013: Pinged
2005: Sorry, no post for this day.

Monday, May 22, 2017

Full Service

Today we had a mechanic come to the house to work on the truck.  That's him, under the hood.

Ed is on the guy on the left, sitting in a lawn chair wearing his big straw landscaper's hat, drinking a beer.  He's making himself available just in case he's needed.

This is what I call full service.

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Approaching El Paso

2015: Dark And Stormy Abilene
2014: Where The Rooms Have Angels
2013: Under All Is The Land
2012: Squinty Eyes? Check. Big Smile? Check. Ed, Happy? Check.
2011: The Last Great Italian
2010: That’s So Cherry
2009: Crouching Eddie Hidden Lamb Friday
2008: Help Me Understand
2007: Take Two Lattes And Call Me In The Morning
2006: It’s Never Too Late For A Good Sale
2005: The Original Goldfish

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Set The World On Fire

My brother at his 8th grade graduation ceremony in Tucson, Arizona.  May 1982
It's graduation season.  My youngest nephew graduates 8th grade this week, my oldest nephew graduated high school this weekend, and my best friend's son graduated last week.

The photo above shows my brother at his 8th grade graduation ceremony here in Tucson, Arizona.  I did 8th grade in New York and don't remember having a graduation ceremony, I don't think we did that there.  But I guess it's a thing now.

Friday night we went to a special Honors Graduation ceremony for my oldest nephew. They have general graduation for the whole school this coming week, but the Friday night assembly recognized the achievements of the honors students.

My nephew is an AP Scholar, a member of the National Honor Society, got a Seal of Excellence in Math, and received the Wildcat Excellence Award from the University of Arizona.  He's in the top ten percent of his class along with his beautiful brainiac girlfriend, who is the Class of 2017's Salutatorian, and many of his close friends.

I'm looking forward to watching my nephew navigate his future.  He's handsome, smart, kind, funny, and resolute.  He's planning to become an anesthesiologist and has already participated in some programs at a local hospital shadowing doctors during their work day. It's all very exciting.

Oh, to be young again.  Now I know what people mean when they say "If I could go back, I'd do things differently.  More of this, less of that...whatever."  These kids have so much opportunity these days and they have so many choices.  Really, the world is smaller.  It can be held in their hands.  I hope they explore it, embrace it, and set it ablaze.

Congratulations to all of you!

"Go forth and set the world on fire!" ~ St. Ignatius of Loyola

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Eff Your Beauty Standards

2015: This Steak Caused A Buzz
2014: There Was Gold Everywhere
2013: Two Telephone Poles And A Cloud
2012: I’ve Yet To Make Lemonade
2011: Alien Ribs Of The North
2010: White’s Bastard Cousin
2009: Jake
2008: I Might Have To Be Put In Restraints For Our Next Conversation
2007: People Who Are Happy To Help You Drown In Debt
2006: I, I, I
2005: Sorry, no post for this day.

Friday, May 19, 2017

Explosive, Powerful, And Short When It Comes To Flying

We always have Gambel's Quails in our front yard.  They exist happily among the white winged doves, the ground squirrels, the coyotes, and the other creatures we see daily.

The male, pictured here, has a bright rufous crest, chestnut flanks striped with white, and creamy belly with black patch.

They prefer walking and running to flying.  We always see them scurrying from one bush to another.  The bird guide says their flight is "explosive, powerful, and short".

They're fun to watch.  Very fidgety, lots of movement.  And for fat little birds they do run pretty damn fast.

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House Love

2015: Perhaps You Should Have Hired An Airplane, Not A Truck
2014: Another Good Reason For Time Off
2013: I'd Follow Him Anywhere
2012: Yes! We Have No Bananas
2011: Investing In Your Investment – Part One
2010: A Tank Full Of Freightliners
2009: The Sad, Sad Future Of Our Young People
2008: Sighting The American Idiots
2007: Orbiting Out Of Control
2006: Passing Through Life
2005: Texas Pride?

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Eighteen And Life To Go

Eighteen years old, standing in the driveway of our New York house.  I remember that outfit like it was yesterday.  My red earrings, belt, and shoes matched the red in my shirt.  I'm sure I thought I was so chic.  And since I rarely wore a big winter coat, this sweater took me from house to car to wherever.  Actually, I think I still have that sweater somewhere.

Wow.  I really miss those days.

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Butter Sculptures And Luxury Camping All In The Same Post

2015: Eye See You, Orlando
2014: Handmade Import
2013: So Serene, Even Serial Killers Would Be Drawn To It
2012: Time To Lounge
2011: You Can All Stop Complaining Now
2010: This Puss Doesn’t Have Bots
2009: Milling, Spinning, And Bleating
2008: What Happens When You Have Too Much Time To Think
2007: Eddie Rides A Polar Bear Friday
2006: Lite Brite, Making Things With Light
2005: Texas Pride?

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

The Daily Coyote

This is one of my coyotes, peeking through the bushes.  We have three that wander through the yard, usually together, but this one came alone today.

I'm about 30 feet away from him, photographing him from inside, but I swear he's staring right at me.

Probably because I look delicious.

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Waiting For A New Life

2015: Fair Winds!
2014: Over Fifty Years In The Making
2013: Boom! Color.
2012: Little Dragonflies Alighting Upon My Ears
2011: Snuggling On Hold
2010: Confessions
2009: There’s Nothing Like The Humor Of A New Yorker
2008: Anne’s Land And Beyond
2007: Butter Me Up
2006: Master Backer Or Master Bater?
2005: Not By The Hair Of My Chinny, Chin, Chin!!

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Cheesy Reward

After Ed passed his written motorcycle test, we celebrated with a Philly Cheesesteak at Frankie's South Philly Cheesesteaks.

I'm not sure why I was eating an insanely delicious cheesesteak sandwich, but I believe I deserved it for helping him study.

Oh.  I didn't help him study?  Whatever.  I was there, supporting his effort.

Bring on the Whiz!

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On Shaky Ground

2015: Harnessing The Power Of The Wind
2014: Listen And Learn
2013: Escape From Texas
2012: Like Cattle In A Penn
2011: Another Day In The Trucking Life
2010: Ed Prepares For The Italy Trip
2009: Strolling Along The Atlantic
2008: Eddie Chatting It Up Friday
2007: The ABC’s Of Me
2006: After The Storm
2005: The Essence Of Me

Monday, May 15, 2017

A Glympse Of Eddie's Day

Last night Ed took his motorcycle out to practice for his road test.  This morning, Ed took the written portion of the motorcycle endorsement test.  He passed with ease and they handed him a permit for him to take his motorcycle out and terrorize the rest of motoring public.

After we got home from the test, he went out to practice for a few hours.  He is going to take the driving portion of the test later this week.  When he left for his "practice" ride, he sent me a Glympse - a location sharing app that allows a person to follow your in real time - so I could see where he was riding.  I followed him around the neighborhood and then saw him head for the big parking lot behind the strip mall about a mile from our house.

Since the Glympse shows movement in real time, I watched him drive around and around this parking lot.  3 miles an hour, 5 miles an hour, 8 miles an hour, 12 miles an hour.  It shows your speed whenever you're moving.  I've watched him ride the bike trails around Tucson this way also, following his route when he's out on his motorcycle.

I took a screen shot of the tangled knot he created because I found it amusing and wanted to show him when he got home.  He explained that he was recreating some of the motor vehicle test course - doing a few serpentine curves, riding between the lines of the parking spots, and practicing timed stops.

When I saw that he was heading home I greeted him at the door, showing him his Glympse masterpiece.

He looked at it and burst into laughter. 

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2016: I Nap Where I Want

2015: Kites And Kajillionaires
2014: Art In The Old Pueblo
2013: Cinco Canciones I Love
2012: The Path To Christopher Street
2011: It Was A Dark And Stormy Night
2010: More “Holy Crap!” Than “Oh Dear”
2009: Eddie So Hot He’s Cookin’ Like Guy Fieri Friday
2008: Maybe She Should Hold Off On The Pet Ownership
2007: It Must Be A Sign
2006: Keeping Time With His Ticker
2005: Yo! Yo! Yo!

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Catering To The Mothers

Today I'm having the mothers (my mother, my sister-in-law, and my sister-in-law's mother) over to our house, with the hubbies and children in tow, for a Mother's Day Celebration.

On the menu is my delicious, somewhat famous, and often requested Lemon Chicken. Served with Parsley Rice Pilaf, Roasted Green Beans, and a Fennel Clementine Mixed Greens Salad.  For dessert, my mother is bringing Key Lime Pie and I'm making Chocolate Mousse in Mini Graham Cracker Crusts.

Looking forward to the day!

Happy Mother's Day to all the mothers out there!

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2016: Checking The Shot
2015: The World Races To Newport
2014: Every Time You Open Your Mouth Diamonds Come Rolling Out
2013: The Real Way To Save The Planet
2012: Lunch At The Park
2011: I’ve Got A Crush On You
2010: The D’Angelo Bros. Outfit The Navy
2009: One Day A Revered Indian Chief, The Next Day Wagon Train Eye Candy
2008: Not Exactly The Best Way To Reach Out To Your Community
2007: Carny At The Junction
2006: Mother Superior
2005: Great Expectations

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Over The Adventurous Land

Photo by Ed G
Today Ed attended the Overland Expo in Flagstaff, Arizona.  He's interested in adventure motorcycles and wanted to learn more about what's out there.  This is one of the reasons he got a bike, to be able to experience some unique travel with it.

The event is billed as "the world's most unique event for do-it-yourself adventure travel enthusiasts, with hundreds of session-hours of classes for 4-wheel-drive and adventure motorcycling, inspirational programs, the Overland Film Festival, roundtable discussions, demonstrations, food, and a large expo featuring over 250 vendors of adventure travel equipment, camping gear, bikes, vehicles, and services."

It was a three-day event, but since we got home yesterday and tomorrow is Mother's Day, he was only able to go for the day but he thoroughly enjoyed himself.  He came home with a goodie bag, pictures, and lots of info.  The next one is in September in Asheville, North Carolina.

I'm going to try to convince Marlaina and MacG to meet us there.  The boys can traipse through mud all day and Marlaina and I can shop downtown Asheville, get mani/pedis, and decide on which fancy restaurant we'll be dining at for the evening.

And I can make plants to tour the beloved Biltmore Estate again.  It's the one place in my thirteen years on the road that left the biggest impression on me and the only place I've longed to go back to.

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2016: Un Ping├╝ino Prepares For The Ride Of His Life
2015: Cash Only Seafood
2014: Exactly
2013: Cottage Industry
2012: The Whole World
2011: Weekend Retreat
2010: I Might Even Give It An Academy Award
2009: Two Poles, One Man, No Fish
2008: When You Don’t Have Time To Make More Than One Trip
2007: A Mother Of A Mother
2006: Could You Love William Perry?
2005: Herding The Blogger Sheep

Friday, May 12, 2017

Looking Good Before The Pounce

Another beautiful desert animal, the bobcat.

This pair was seen at the Arizona-Desert Sonoran Museum, but we have these in our yard too.

They waltz right up to the house, this one was about 30 feet from our side door, and this one snagged a bird in the tree in our backyard, less than 50 feet from our back porch.

Bobcats around found only in North America.  Read more about this gorgeous cat here.

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2016: Rollin' The Dice
2015: The Pond Is A Lot Smaller Than You Think
2014: You Can't Sleep Here But You Can Get A Fruit And Veg Fix
2013: Mommy And Me Kickin' It At The Yacht Club
2012: Dinner At The Diner
2011: My Guitar Hero
2010: The Competition Is Getting Fierce
2009: A Little Smooch Makes Everything Taste Better
2008: The Greatest Spectacle In Racing
2007: Jalapenos Basking In The California Sunshine
2006: Millions Of Miles Of Knowledge
2005: Midnight Snack

Thursday, May 11, 2017

A Really Big Shoei

Ed bought a motorcycle this week.

I'm happy he's happy, but I can't say I'm thrilled.  My worrying about him getting injured overshadows the excitement about it.  And it's not that I'm worried about Ed, hell, he's got over three million safe driving miles.  He's vigilant about being safe no matter what he's driving.  He's aware of everything that goes on around him when he's manning a vehicle, whether it be on two wheels, four wheels, or eighteen wheels.  Safety is paramount to him.

I worry about the other people on the road, especially in this town.  We're fifty percent college student and fifty percent senior citizen.  If they're not on their phones texting, they're running stop signs and careening over curbs.  The speed limits around town aren't excessive but everyone seems to ignore them.  There's no real open stretch anywhere unless you're on the interstate or in the less populated areas on the outskirts of town.

Our friends, Marlaina and MacG have a BMW motorcycle, which is a LOT bigger than the one Ed bought.  This new bike for Ed is just going to be for him to refresh his skills (he rode when he was younger) and get comfortable on two wheels again.  He'll eventually get a bike known as an Adventure Motorcycle.

I'm afraid I can see what's coming next - Ed and MacG talking about their plans to attend the Dakar Rally (formerly known as the Paris-Dakar Rally).

I doubt I can get sucked into this hobby because A) I can't imagine riding fully covered, with a helmet, in any kind of weather let alone hot weather, and B) I can't imagine riding fully covered, with a helmet, in any kind of weather let alone hot weather.  The freedom of the road is intriguing, going places that seem made just for small profile vehicles.  And I have been on a motorcycle before but I don't know that I would be comfortable in traffic or for long distances.

Maybe I'll take Ed's suggestion and man the "chase vehicle".  Comfortable and air-conditioned.

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2015: Completely And Utterly In The Pink
2014: Hammer Down Thrifting
2013: Does Anyone Have One Of These I Can Borrow?
2012: Built Like A Mack
2011: Luxor-ious Seating
2010: Sharing A Moment
2009: When Sunny Gets Blue
2008: Putting The Friendly Back In The Skies
2007: White Squall
2006: Free As A Bird
2005: The Heat Is On

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Famous Desert Singers

I'm going to go out on a very short limb here and venture to say that the coyote is probably the one animal people think of when you mention the Wild West, or the desert.  

In America, we grew up with the Road Runner and Wile E. Coyote cartoons.  Most coyotes are cunning and sly, but Wile E. (read: wily), would rig up the most outrageous contraptions to catch the Road Runner but always seemed to fail at the task.

We have coyotes in our yard (I'm still trying to get some good video of those suckers!) and I love when I spot them traipsing through our yard.  They look like skinny dogs, but with a long bushy tail, giant ears, and a very pointy snout.  They're usually grayish-brown and weigh between 15 to 25 pounds.

They're very vocal animals. They yip a LOT, which is known and singing.  They do this to keep track of their family members and to communicate with other coyotes. We hear them at night inside the house.  They sound like they're screaming, very high-pitched howls.  One night I sat straight up in bed because I thought I heard a woman screaming - which would have been weird in my 'hood - turned out to be a pack of coyotes making their way through our yard.

I'm going to check the video I took today when I saw "my" coyote in the yard, and if there's anything good I'll do another post about them.  Until then, I'll leave you with this beautiful coyote picture I took at the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum.

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Work In Progress

2015: Music City Drive-By
2014: I'll Meet You At Sue's
2013: And Then The Rains Came
2012: When You Need To Point Out Which One Is Herb
2011: A Road Diverged In The Wood And I Lived To Tell About It
2010: I’m A Researchin’ Fool
2009: The Closest I’ll Ever Come
2008: Who Is He Kidding?
2007: The Captain Of My Vessel
2006: Baking Is Fun!
2005: Sticks And Stones

Tuesday, May 09, 2017

The Dusty Monk

The Dusty Monk is located in the El Presidio neighborhood of downtown Tucson area and a place I never knew existed until we came upon it three days ago.

We walked through the pub on our way to the La Cocina courtyard to hear music during the Folk Festival.  I read they have a great piano night here at The Monk, which might be something we need to check out in our ongoing exploration of the Tucson.

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Welding 101

2015: Tower Of Sheer Evil
2014: Bird Shadows
2013: Bike Shopping Part Deux
2012: Well Worth The Mess
2011: Reading Time
2010: A Mother Of A Flood
2009: Hail To The Driver
2008: Eddie Shows His Good Side Friday
2007: Go Bananas!!
2006: Shmuley Says
2005: Fangboner