Monday, November 29, 2021

Tucson Mountain Park -

Yesterday,  a very warm day with not a cloud in the clear blue sky,
we ventured away from the city for some time exploring the
mountainous desert countryside.  Saguaro cacti, prickly pear, 
scrub bushes cover the hills and valleys
To many of us this is a lot different from where we live - myself
 included where I'm surrounded by massive oaks, hickories, 
magnolia and pines etc.
This land is stunning scenery of a much different kind.
Every morning we awake to sunshine and clear blue 
skies - must say I love that part of Arizona living - however
tomorrow we'll be packing up and heading home to chilly
North Carolina now certainly carpeted in rusty colored 
leaves and early morning frosts.

 Thanksgiving travel, seeing family, and enjoying a change of pace 
has been wonderful, but heading home will be pleasant too, and I will
 need to "get my skates on" and start on preparations for what will be
 a quiet Christmas.

More from Raleigh later this week.

Saturday, November 27, 2021

Tucson's Mission San Xavier del Bac -

Mission San Xavier del Bac - historic Spanish Catholic Mission, l0 miles south of downtown Tucson, Arizona, on the Tohono O'odham Nation San Xavier Indian Reservation.

The mission that survives today was built between 1783 and 1797, which makes it the oldest European structure in Arizona. Labor was provided by the O'odham. An outstanding example of Spanish Colonial architecture in the United States, the Mission San Xavier del Bac hosts some 200,000 visitors each year.

If interested, read more here about this beautiful mission.

The photo above I took on my previous visit in 2018. 
When we visited today, we found the amazing facade of the mission
 covered with scaffolding as major renovations are underway!

All photos below were taken today and the weather was perfect, blue sky, 
bright sunshine, light breeze and 73F.
Entrance was permitted with masks and social distancing, but only
 five quick minutes allowed inside the church.

We're spending a few days here in Tucson before heading home. 
It has been a very pleasant trip so far. . . . . . . and great to actually
 be traveling again!


Friday, November 26, 2021

Southwestern skies -

Our family get together sharing a fabulous Thanksgiving dinner was more fun than you can imagine. We were 15 family members, aged 2 to 83, a family friend, and two young female soldiers from nearby Fort Huachuca invited to join us as they couldn't get home for Thanksgiving. 
Later, on the way back to our hotel we were under this beautiful Arizona sky. It had rained softly on and off earlier in the day. . . . . .but was welcomed as there had been no rain here for 55 days! It settled the dust and freshened the trees and shrubs.

Heading to a winery today in sunshine and a perfect, for me, 65F - who knew there are vineyards in southern Arizona!  I certainly don't need more wine after yesterday - but I'm hoping to see some lovely scenery long the way!

Thursday, November 25, 2021

Thanksgiving 2021 - Arizona


Wishing everyone a wonderful day as we spend time with our family
in the beautiful Southwest.

Thanksgiving - November 25, 2021

Tuesday, November 23, 2021

Welcome back to Arizona -


Yesterday - flew Raleigh to Dallas to Tucson. 
Crowded airports but thankfully no delays along the way.
Great flying weather, calm, sunny skies, clear views. 
I slept for quite a while, which is unusual for me.
Bought a small lumbar spine pillow for my back which
helped in those airplane seats!

Driving from Tucson was enjoyable. Late afternoon with hardly any traffic.
Sun low in the skies. Huachuca Mountains dark and brooding.

Today the sun is up and the skies clear.
It's quite lovely to be back in Arizona.

Sunday, November 21, 2021

A Southwest Thanksgiving!

Arizona Missions 2018

Thanksgiving means family togetherness when possible.
Our last visit to the large group of Bob's family residing in Arizona was far
 too long ago in 2018. . . . . just prior to COVID!  We flew there for a
 special Thanksgiving get together and haven't been able to return since. 
This year we're heading southwest again, to spend time with
 those we love . . . . but of course we will also miss being here for the
 holiday with our own immediate family and friends.

Stay safe if you're traveling for the holidays.
Tomorrow, very early morning, we fly to Dallas, connect to 
Tucson . . . . then drive south to Sierra Vista, almost to the
 Mexican border!  

Warm weather, lovely desert scenery, cacti, cowboys, beautiful
mission churches, Mexican food, and most special of all, 
seeing loved ones after so long.

Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family.

Saturday, November 20, 2021

Week of preparations -

SuzAnna's Antiques - Rolesville, North Carolina - November 2021

It has been a busy week.  Two PT appointments, a doctor visit, and an MRI.  Cooking up the big pumpkin for eating (soup and a gratin) and tucking some away in the freezer.  Pulling out a suitcase - yes I'll be traveling very soon - watch this space!  Starting on the Christmas cards which need to travel much farther than I can these days. Thursday evening we managed to drive a little north through horrendous rush hour traffic to SuzAnna's Antiques for the Holiday Open House. Many of you will recall my long, lovely history with the shop, the booth I had for a while with a best friend Vanessa, and my granddaughter Jasmin working there for several years.  Since they moved out of Raleigh it's a long way to go but always worthwhile. . . . . . especially to see the delightful Susie, Jenny, Bruce (playing a handsome Santa again!) and others of their family.  The crowd was big, the holiday offerings awesome - impossible to leave there empty-handed - and when Jasmin arrived it was just like the old days. . . . . .except we were all masked of course!

This evening we'll pop over to see the Christmas tree lighting at the midtown shopping center - then it will really feel festive, and it will be cold!

Happy weekend everyone - hoping you have good weather to enjoy any holiday preparations you are working on.

Wednesday, November 17, 2021

A busy week........and postage!

Eastgate Park in Autumn

Right now I wish I could throw caution to the wind and just head over to this restful spot in the neighborhood!  There I would sit on the one bench, waiting for the Canada geese to arrive hoping for crumbs - which I no longer take as feeding them is outlawed - and hopefully a few of the white ducks would appear as in other years.  I would soak up the fall colors reflected in the oily water, enjoy the turtles sunbathing on the broken branches along the shoreline, walk on crisp and crackly leaves, look up at the Carolina blue sky. . . . . . . and just breathe. The weather is perfect.

This week is crazy with mostly health issues taking up my precious time. Two PT appointments, a visit to my doctor in order to get scheduled for a lumbar spine MRI, and tomorrow that procedure being done late afternoon.  In between I've continued my home exercises for the painful leg issue, and am moving a little easier. 

Yesterday we shopped at World Market for a few British food items for Christmas before they're all gone. Shipments from Europe, like everywhere on the planet, are way behind, and much holiday stuff won't be here in time. We then proceeded to the post office to get postage stamps for mailing holiday greetings. OMG, what a palaver!  Let me just say this, if you don't want to re-mortgage your house, or send your retired husband to take a part-time job as a Walmart greeter. . . . . . . don't buy square cards of any dimension!  Regular postage with its increases is bad enough, but dealing with non-machinable surcharges is abominable!  It's so complicated in fact that you just about give up and angrily stick a row of International, Forever, Non-machinable stamps across the envelope, not caring how much it costs, whether it will 'cross the pond' safely, or just get tossed into the Atlantic or Pacific ocean depending to which continent it's addressed!  Parcel postage, both domestic and overseas, is another issue and I won't even go there, a nightmare! Just know I'm not mailing any packages this year - if Santa himself doesn't deliver yours I apologize in advance because I'm not going to either.
Hopefully your card will arrive though!

Saturday, November 13, 2021

The Golden Season -

Really looking and feeling seasonal here today. . . . . .sharing some color from the garden.
Above from another year, special corners, places and birds all dressed for autumn.
Have a really great weekend wherever you are.

Friday, November 12, 2021

Amaryllis time!

This week I managed to make time to re-pot my collection of amaryllis
 bulbs. . . . . after popping a couple of xtra strength Tylenol for pain relief!
I knew bending over a huge bag of fresh potting soil, and washing out the
 old pots, would be hard with my ongoing back issue. 
I like to give these now old bulbs a clean start annually. Next spring
 they will be returned to the garden where they often re-bloom and look
 gorgeous outside by the front steps.
They have just spent two months in a box in the potting shed, garden
 soil brushed off, longer roots clipped a wee bit, and should now be ready
 to come back to life in the house.

I planted five large single bulbs in individual pots, and three new
 baby bulblets in a pot together.  When I dug up the large bulbs in
 September where they'd spent the hot summer months, these little
 bulblets clinging to their 'mamas' were a nice surprise. 
All the bulbs have a touch of green peeking out so hoping they will 
send up those tall stems, lovely leaves, chunky buds. . . . and
bloom eventually!

I'm short of sunny places to place bulbs, or plants - and no wide
 window sills to balance them on to catch autumn/winter rays.
So they move around the south facing dining room - taking turns 
in sunlit corners, on the floor, and on the dining table!

I have my doubts these will bloom in time for Christmas but perhaps 
in January their beautiful flowers will open again such as in this photo
 below from a previous year. 

Amaryllis blooms are stunning and so worth waiting for!

Are you growing any indoor bulbs for winter this year?

Wednesday, November 10, 2021

Art and Beauty for Autumn -

What could be more enjoyable on a perfect Autumn afternoon.
For me, on Monday, it was a thought-provoking stroll over the
 gentle slopes of Dix Park above downtown Raleigh, with loved
 ones, to view a stunning international traveling outdoor art
 installation - WINGS OF THE CITY from world-renowned Mexican
 artist, Jorge Marin. This collection of nine bronze sculptures depicts
feathered figures in mid-flight or posed for takeoff, and acrobats.
The details of each piece are exceptional.
A stand-alone pair of beautiful wings frame a view of downtown
and are perfect for snapping a pose of someone you consider
I hope you will enjoy a few photos of these beautiful bronzes.

Ángel Persélidas

Me with granddaughter Jasmin - Raleigh skyline from Dix Hill.

Enjoying a perfect November day.


Bob in an angelic mood!

Now if only I could fly!!!!!

Saturday, November 6, 2021

Hard nuts to crack -



They're always here! 
No matter the season, grey squirrels are part and parcel
of our garden still with several large oak and hickory trees. 
The acorns and hickory nuts are collected, persistently gnawed, 
and often stashed and stored around the garden for later meals.
These critters have voracious appetites.
Perhaps they are descendants of the original farm inhabitants - this land
 was once farmland - who decided to coexist with the humans who 
built on their territory back in the 1960's.

This week I made a quick stop at JoAnn's Fabrics/Crafts for yarn and
 found this! I'd actually seen it a couple of weeks back when there - with
 a $24.99 price tag - and decided to pass.  
This week fall merchandise was on sale, 70% OFF which was huge, 
and this wall hanging was still there. . . . . . waiting for me! 
At just $7.50 I couldn't not buy.  It's really nice with a real wood frame
 and leather hanger.

Today is cloudy and quite cool with some rain expected later this
 evening and during the night.
This evening we may light the fire for the first time - all is set
with logs on the hearth ready to burn.
The clocks go back tonight and tomorrow morning may be a day
to sleep in. . . . it will be chilly and overcast all day.

Happy Saturday