Thursday, July 31, 2008

Arizona Flowers

Although these flowers are not exclusive to the desert they do well here and provide a change from cactus. These bushes are in my yard or near my house. The one above is Oleander. It is poisonous, but very hardy. It's next to the wall of my front enclosed patio.

The middle one is red Honeysuckle and is by the mail box.

The last one is Texas Ranger and I have three plants in my back yard.

(If only I could learn how to compose the photos and the text without losing a photo I would enjoy this project more.)

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Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Cactus Blooms

Cactus blooms don't last long, but they put on a grand show while they do. This is a Cholla (choy-ya). A fuzzy variety is nicknamed a Teddy Bear Cactus.

This is an Ocotillo (0ck-0h-tea-ya) and is quite tall. It usually blooms in May.

The final one is my favorite. I think it's a hedge hog, but am not sure. It is in a neighbor's yard and I want one in mine.

This will be a short post because I am working on my Sunday rant on politics.
Sorry about the hieroglyphics in yesterday's post. I don't know what happened or how to fix it. Will I ever learn?
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Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Aaron Wilburn, a Very Funny Guy

Some of you may remember Mrs. Hughes and her very funny videos. I consider this guy, Aaron Wilburn, to be the male counterpart of Mrs. Hughes. He is hilarious.

We all need to laugh. Sometimes life gets too serious and the relief that laughter brings is welcome. Laughter is truly the best medicine. So enjoy!

Saturday, July 26, 2008

The World Renowned Desert Museum

Well it happened again. I had this photo on the original post, but before I could publish the post it just vanished. Arrrrgh! Who knew it would be so hard and frustrating?

After spending the entire day trying to solve the problem of how to add this photo to the post that follows, I am giving up. I have read every help feature I can find and nothing works. I haven't resorted to throwing the computer out the window yet, but I am getting close. ~;-)

I will start today's entry with this photo and will continue on the following post. Please add any comments to the second post. Just consider them all one post.

This was taken at the Desert Museum and is of a lecture
and demonstration being given by a Docent on Falconry . You can see some of the Tucson Mountain Range behind him and you can notice some of the cactus and desert vegetation.

My camera battery was so low when I took this shot it seemed like an eternity before the shutter clicked. It's a miracle I got a photo at all

Please continue this post below.
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Sunday, July 20, 2008

Golly what A Gully and The Ozone Man

This is a shot of the Colorado River at the bottom of the Grand Canyon and is a hole made by nature.

You have all heard the old adage, 'when you are in a hole, stop digging'. Nature has her own way of digging and we cannot control it, though we try. You ask, what has this to do with the Ozone Man? I will endeavor to make the connection.

Man wreaks his own havoc on our environment with digging. I am thinking fossil fuels, of course. Think of the billions and billions of dollars that have changed hands and the wars that have been fought over just one fossil fuel - oil. Our wealth in the form of dollars has gone from our country to the unstable mid- east. Our unquenchable thirst for oil has made billionaires of Sheiks and their ilk. Then oil became an excuse to make our presence secure in this desert land resulting in the Iraq war.

If anyone thinks this war was to topple Saddam or believes any of the other lame excuses for our being there I would ask you, do you think we would have invaded any country if there was no oil there? Why didn't we topple Kim Jong of North Korea, for example. He was, if anything, a worse dictator than Saddam and he possessed nuclear weapons; therefore, a much bigger threat to the world. Oh, 9/11, you say? Well, that reason didn't fly either. But it did provide an excellent excuse to send our troops to oil country.

As Pogo said, "We have found the enemy and he is us." Five administrations ago Jimmy Carter was mocked for warning us that we had an energy crisis looming. People listened when a gas shortage resulted in long gas lines, but as soon as the shortage ended we went back to our old wasteful ways with a ho hum.

Ronald Reagan came in and scrapped all of Carter's rebates on solar and wind devices and Americans were happy to buy bigger and bigger cars and Detroit was happy to supply the demand.

Now I have come full circle with my point about digging. Enter The Ozone Man, aka: Al Gore. He became vocal about the subject and the President, George H. W. Bush snidely nicknamed Gore The Ozone Man. And still people said, "Oh it's much ado about nothing." and kept buying their Hummers and SUV's.

Then The Ozone Man wrote a book, Earth In The Balance and made a movie and some people began to notice. But President Bush II scoffed at the book, although he had to admit he never read it. But George W. did read a novelist's book, Michael Crichton's State of Fear and when that novelist wrote there was no Global Warming (aka: Climate Change) Bush believed it while ignoring the science.

I don't remember much being done during the Clinton administration to encourage the development of wind and solar power, either. (If I'm wrong, please correct me.) And more years were wasted when we should have been working to solve the problem.

Will the politicians finally admit we have a serious problem and do something to encourage alternate energy instead of continuing to dig holes? Stay tuned.

Fly Me To the Moon

Last month I read that the following night was going to be spectacular if you watched the moon come up. The word was that it was the one night, due to an optical illusion, that the rising moon would look huge.

With the words of Dean Martin's classic song, When the moon hits your eye like a big pizza pie, that's amore, running through my head I went out early, camera in hand, ready to take a photo of the phenomenon. I was determined to get the photo of the century that would establish my credentials as a photographer par excellence. The time the moon was to put in an appearance was 7:32 pm here.

Determined to not miss this shot I was standing by my light post, camera poised, at 7:25 pm. That moon wasn't going to fool me by coming up early.

Minutes passed while neighbors out walking looked at me with puzzled expressions that said, "What is this crazy old woman doing out there leaning on her lamp post?" I guess they thought that I had finally gone 'round the bend.' Or maybe they thought I had had 'tee many martoonies'.

Undeterred, I waited and waited. 7:35 - no moon. 7:40 - no moon. I frantically went to the back yard for a better view. No moon in sight. Back to the front yard again. At long last - I finally viewed the moon.

Above is the photo of that stubborn moon. Not a huge moon, not an award winning shot, but just a moon between the trees.

As luck would have it, I had been looking in the wrong direction. Because houses and trees blocked my view of the horizon I would never have been able to get that award winning shot from my house even if I had known where to look.

I guess this will have to be filed under 'missed opportunities.' The only problem is, I think that file is full.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Arizona Sunsets

This morning I opened the shutters and viewed the clouds turning a pale pink. To start the day with such a lovely sight made me glad to be alive.

This started me musing about other beautiful scenes that nature displays. What is it about sitting on a beach watching the waves crash or being by a gurgling brook in a mountain setting that can give one a feeling of peace and utter contentment? To watch a butterfly land on a beautiful flower is a vision more beautiful than any painting in the Louvre.

Our connection with nature is inbred and very strong. When I return to my home in Colorado Springs I am greeted by Pikes Peak and it's as if I am seeing an old friend. It is inexplicable to me, but mother nature calls us to her and there is no escape. We don't really want to free ourselves from her pull for she is very nurturing and loving at times like these.

The last photo of my sunsets is taken from the front of my house looking down the street as the sunset begins to unfold. The other scenes are taken from my back yard as a different sunset progresses.

Monday, July 14, 2008


Sometimes we just need to stop and laugh about being an elder. It beats crying.

This is circulating the Internet so you may have seen it. If not, I am sending a smile for today.


Just before the funeral services, the undertaker came up to the very elderly widow and asked,
'How old was your husband?'
'98,' she replied. 'Two years older than me.'
'So you're 96,' the undertaker commented.
She responded, 'Hardly worth going home, is it?'

Reporters interviewing a 104-year-old woman:
'And what do you think is the best thing
about being 104?' the reporter asked.

She simply replied, 'No peer pressure.'

The nice thing about being senile is
you can hide your own Easter eggs.

I've sure gotten old!

I've had two bypass surgeries, a hip replacement,
new knees, fought prostate cancer and diabetes,
I'm half blind,
can't hear anything quieter than a jet engine,
take 40 different medications that
make me dizzy, winded, and subject to blackouts.
Have bouts with dementia.
Have poor circulation;
hardly feel my hands and feet anymore.
Can't remember if I'm 85 or 92.
Have lost all my friends. But, thank God,
I still have my driver's license.

I feel like my body has gotten totally out of shape,
so I got my doctor's permission to
join a fitness club and start exercising.
I decided to take an aerobics class for seniors.
I bent, twisted, gyrated, jumped up and down,
and perspired for an hour.
But, by the time I got my leotards on,
the class was over.

An elderly woman decided to prepare her will and
told her preacher she had two final requests.
First, she wanted to be cremated, and second,
she wanted her ashes scattered over
Wal-Mart.' the preacher exclaimed.
'Why Wal-Mart?'

'Then I'll be sure my daughters visit me twice a week.'

My memory's not as sharp as it used to be.
Also, my memory's not as sharp as it used to be.

Know how to prevent sagging?
Just eat till the wrinkles fill out.

It's scary when you start making the same noises
as your coffee maker.

These days about half the stuff
in my shopping cart says,
'For fast relief.'


Grant me the senility to forget the people
I never liked anyway,
the good fortune to run into the ones I do, and
the eyesight to tell the difference.

Always Remember This:
You don't stop laughing because you grow old,
you grow old because you stop laughing!

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Tumacacori Mission

This is the first Arizona Mission founded by Father Kino in 1691. It is now a ruins. The name comes from two Pima Indian words; chu-uma and kakel. (Don't ask me how they got Too-ma-cock-or-ee from that.)

In 1751 the Pima Indians rebelled and the Mission was moved to it's present site south of Tucson.

The only time I visit our tourist attractions is when I have out of town company. I suppose that's true of most of us. Last March a dear friend from Massachusetts was here and we did most of the touristy things including Tumacacori. The photos I am showing you are the ones I took then.

We had just moved to Arizona the first time I saw this building . Then it was badly eroding and was a crumbling adobe church. It is now part of the National Park System and the adobe has been stabilized, as you can see on the front and sides of the building. The bell tower was never completed. The outer buildings have all disappeared; only the foundations remain.

Many years ago when we returned from Massachusetts we had another visitor from that state. She came in the middle of the summer and the heat was brutal. I took her to see this mission. The church is not air conditioned and after we walked to the church and back she was dehydrated and asked the Park Ranger, "Where's the bubbler?" Of course it came out, "Where's the bubbla?" I will never forget the perplexed look on the poor Ranger's face. I quickly informed him that she was looking for the drinking fountain.

Sometimes our regional colloquialisms get us in trouble. My son, Mark, missed out on a lot of Coca Colas because of that. When we first moved to Massachusetts he was a teenager and the kids invited him for a tonic. He thought they meant the kind of tonic water you use in a gin and tonic. For many months he declined the invitations until he finally discovered that was their term for soda.

I hope you are enjoying my Arizona photos. More on Tumacacori tomorrow. I still can't find out how to put them all in the same blog. It should be simple I know. Oh well, I never was very good at following instructions.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

San Xavier del Bac

This Mission was founded by Father Kino, a Jesuit Priest. It was built by Indians converted to Christianity by Father Kino. Improper repairs and lack of funds had let the Mission fall into disrepair. Fortunately a group was formed to save the Mission and it is now being restored to it's original glory. This interior photo shows the careful restoration of the murals that was done by art experts from Italy. It is an active Mission and is on the Tohono Chul reservation. The Indians worship there to this day.

This view is looking toward the main altar which is very colorful.

If I could figure out how to add more photos without starting a new post I would show you more of "The White Dove Of The Desert". That's the nickname for San Xavier. Tomorrow I will add another photo.
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