Friday, March 10, 2017

Arizona Blooms

Since Left Brain is a bike rider, he finds some pretty interesting places along his journey.

He took me on a car ride to show some of the lovely desert blooms that have opened up after the rain we've been experiencing.


Long Live the Queen

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Silliness Abounds in the Park

It is so hard to find time to take care of housework  and things with all the fun options available day and night.  Even with pulling out of the billiards club it doesn't seem to have opened up any spare time.  But it's a great problem to have.

The opportunities for silliness here have no limits, which appeals to me greatly.  We had a fundraiser for the pickleball club lately and I was assigned to sell 50/50 tickets.  Since it was a Western theme, I figured I'd go as a saloon girl.

I found the blond wig at Party City and this wonderful skanky dress at Goodwill.  I also picked up some very comfortable cowboy looking boots and hat as well, but the hat didn't fit well over the wig.  That's a lot of hair!

It became apparent immediately that the red feather boa was a mistake.  Either that or it was molting season, because I left a trail of feathers everywhere in the park.  It also stained my skin red after I started sweating while dancing, so that part will not be repeated.

Hmm, it does seem I targeted mostly the men in the audience to buy my tickets.  Must have been all that make up I was wearing,

Some of the men really got into the role-playing and others looked absolutely terrified of me.  Yup, that's the effect I have on men.

I recall promising several lap dances if they were the winning ticket and we did have record sales of 50/50 tickets that night, giving away $650 in prizes.

This was the big winner of the evening, which happens to be a friend of ours and I was trying to explain that no matter how much money he tried to pay me, I was not going through with the lap dance.  A girl has a right to change her mind.

About a week after this I was honored to wear the pickle costume during our Carriage Manor Days parade.  Is this place great or what!

I think this may actually be a park for the terminally insane, but again...I fit right in with the rest of them.  It's like a summer camp for old people and we all act like we're in about third grade...well, maybe not that refined.

Long Live the Queen

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Making choices

I recently decided to forego one of the Friday night dinners with the group to see what the mixed doubles billiards was all about.

Somehow I thought it might be more relaxed and fun, but it was all the same people I play with on the league and I found myself feeling stressed and knowing I was holding back my partner, a very good player.

The team has been so good to me and several have invested time in helping me develop my skills, so I was surprised to find myself just wishing it was "over" that night so I could go home.

This brought me to a new revelation about billiards in general.  It causes me stress.  The group is quite serious and there are some excellent players to learn from.  But when I really thought about it, I found I was resenting the time commitment it took away from pickleball and water volleyball.

So I made the decision and called the team caption who was very gracious about my wanting to call it quits.  As she said, it's not for everyone. I can't tell you the sense of relief when I knew it was over and I could have more time to devote to pickleball, my garden and just goofing off in general.

There is a hiking group that meets Thursday mornings and I wanted to try some of their shorter hikes to see what it was like, but I knew I wouldn't be back in time for billiards competitions that day.  Now I can experience some other activities until I create the perfect rhythm.

This is the difficult part of living here...there are so many choices it makes your head spin.

Long Live the Queen

Saturday, February 18, 2017

The Gardening Begins

I dutifully filled out the forms for my plans to landscape our Arizona abode and everything was approved, which surprised some people because I had twelve plants on my list.  But, I did a lot of research into what will work the best during the summers when they are on their own and stuck with the smaller, lower growing ones...mostly. I got the first bunch planted, but am still looking for some of the others on my list.

It really changed the looks of the yard already by removing the odd corner piece and relocating the concrete circle to the hibiscus bush where it will help hold the water.  We are allowed two drippers and the one for this bush was buried deep underneath the bush, so I raised it up to make sure it's working and hopefully this will improve its appearance.

I'll use colorful pots with annuals to add more color and some height and I'm sure there will be some additional metal art and a trellis coming my way.  I found a cheap little glass bird bath at Walmart that work for now to create some color as well as water for the birds.

I couldn't resist this cute little mammalaria with the pink flowers and even though it wasn't on my list I snuck it in...shhh, don't tell anyone.

This is the Argentine giant and in the spring apparently gets huge white flowers that bloom in the dark.  Not to worry about the giant part, it stays about three feet tall.

This is a fishhook cactus and I was warned by the man I bought it from that unlike the others that just leave needles in your skin, this will rip the flesh right off your hand.  Charming.  I planted it very carefully and without incident.

This is the guy that had me the most worried with all those nasty looking spikes, but again it went in without any harm to my body.  It's not the most attractive looking plant, but will have some deep claret blooms in the spring.

This one was advised to be planted in the back to allow for growth of its "arms".  It is called a Mexican fence post and apparently is used to create fences.  I'll bet that's very effective.  He looks so tiny and lost right now, but I was told they can grow about a foot during the summer.

He's toward the back and near the bedroom window.

I had to have one of the prickly pear cactus for the shape and form, plus the spring blooms.  I can't wait to see the blooms before we head north.

This is the Blue Elf aloe and the orange tubular flowers attract hummingbirds, so I planted it in front near the bird feeders.  I really like the texture this provides.  I wanted the partridge breast aloe, but he didn't recommend it very highly unless it can be watered.

I almost didn't get the following one because of some things I'd read online about it causing blindness if the sap gets into your eyes.  After talking to the man I get my plants from I wasn't as concerned.  Yes, if the sap gets into your eyes you will lose about 80% of your vision for several hours and it hurts like the dickens.  He's had it happen to him twice now.  So, when pruning and exposing the sap it's good to wear protective eye gear and not to touch your eyes...just use common sense.  I'm so glad he talked to me about this because the Fire Sticks are so pretty and provide a nice deep reddish orange to the garden and the form reminds me of coral.  I put this on the corner of the house as they can get quite large and it will soften the corner of the house.

I'm having a ball digging holes and augmenting the soil with potting soil as was recommended.  It's a far cry from the heavy clay I was used to working with.  Now I need to find those flowering groundcovers I've been looking for and get those pots filled up.

Long Live the Queen

Thursday, February 16, 2017

A few of the birds in my front yard

I don't know what all of these are yet, but I sure enjoy watching them at my feeders.

We have some beautiful hummingbirds down here and unfortunately these are taken through the window and not the best image.

I know a lot of people don't like the mourning doves, but it's always been a favorite sound from my childhood and we have three varieties here to enjoy.

The regular ones

This is a smaller breed

We have many finches and wrens to watch.

I have no idea what this little guy is with all the bright yellow on his belly.

These appear to be house finches.

I think this is a black chinned hummingbird based on the description in my bird book.

Long Live the Queen