Saturday, April 10, 2021

Spring in the Desert

 The desert is a muted area of green and brown--at least until spring comes.  Then we see color everywhere.

Especially because we had some rain not long ago, we have seen flowers blooming all over the place.






All of these are sights we saw on our morning walk around our resort recently.

 Here are a couple more.




In addition to the native flowers, we also found a garden full of snap dragons, petunias and other traditional flowers from up north  (in Colorado or Kansas or Pennsylvania).




Isn't spring wonderful?

Wednesday, March 31, 2021

Catching Up with Family and Friends


We haven't just been sitting here in Arizona, doing nothing.  We have had good times with family and friends.  Over their spring break, our son Eric and his wife Liz, our grandson John and his friend came to the Valley of the Sun to see us and escape the cold and snow in Colorado.  We had a great lunch at Garcia's with them.


Before they left, we also visited them at their resort, Tapatio, for another good lunch.

Yesterday, we met our friends Barbara and Ron, at the Peralta Trailhead and had a beautiful hike on the Dutchman Trail.  I had forgotten how many saguaro cactus and cholla cactus grew in that area. 


 




 


 

The US Forest Service volunteer in the parking lot told us to look for two rock formations, the cathedral and the three bears.  We think we found both of them.




We also hooked up our Airstream trailer to our new truck and went to Tucson for a few days.  The truck pulls the trailer great.  And we enjoyed a visit to the Tucson Botanical Gardens.

There were organ pipe cactus

crested cactus

and creeping cactus that looked like snakes!


We also saw beautiful human creations in the gardens.  Many of the benches were artistic creations.



Look at this garden wall.


Someone put in a lot of artistic effort to make this wall chart so we could identify the herbs and flowers in one garden.




Oh yes, we have both been able to get both of our Covid vaccination shots!  

All in all, we are enjoying our winter here in Arizona. 

Monday, March 08, 2021

Keeping Busy During a Lockdown

In case you haven't noticed, there isn't much going on these days.  Blame the corona virus pandemic that has been going on for over a year.   Many activities have been cancelled.  Every year for the past 5 or 6 we have attended the Mesa Woodcarvers gathering.  But not last year or this year.  The annual gourd festival has been cancelled.  Last summer we planned to attend Memphis in May, a major BBQ contest in Tennessee.  It was cancelled.  This year it will be on, but in a more limited way.  

Our resort is trying to keep up some traditional events--in non-traditional ways.  The steak dinner could be picked up or delivered to our site.  Other specialty dinners are served drive-by.  Those participating drive through the guest services parking lot and pick up their food.  One regular event has not been cancelled--live music and dancing on the patio still occurs 4 afternoons a week.  As with everywhere else, social distancing is required if you are not with a person you live with.

Have you noticed all the plexiglass in stores and the signs on floors marking 6 feet?  Today we went to the mall and saw signs that read:  "6 feet, 72 inches, 2 yards, a fathom.  Whatever you call it, keep your distance."

We have been keeping busy with our crafts.  John has been doing intarsia door toppers.






He has also done scroll saw relief door toppers like this one of Mama's Kitchen.


Recently, he has been making keepsake boxes.








This box is topped by an intarsia eagle.



Last week, he used the scroll saw to make this Christmas card holder.


I cut out some Christmas trees, using our band saw. I painted them bright green and put them out from of our Arizona home in December.



                                      

I have made a few boxes, using our band saw.






I have also spent time in the lapidary shop, making jewelry from a rock we brought home from the yard of the funeral home we used to own.  The building is being removed and replaced with a beautiful new facility.  The new owners have filled in the sunken garden next to the building.  That garden had a rock wall built by John's dad.  I am making stone necklaces for each of the women in the family who once lived there or whose parents lived there.  That will end up being 9 necklaces.  I am getting there.

This is the remains of the large rock I brought to Arizona from Colorado.


And here are 6 of the necklaces.


There is a real plus to spending our time in our shop.  We don't have to have our temperature taken every time we go there, unlike at the grill and swimming pool in the resort.









Sunday, February 21, 2021

Catching Up

 Since our hike at San Tan, we have been walking here in the resort and working on our craft projects.  John finished this stunning keepsake box.  It is made of padauk wood with turquoise inlay.  I think it is the most dramatic and beautiful box yet!


He also made this gentleman's jewelry box.


I finished a band saw box.


My next project started when I brought home this rock from the yard at our old funeral home in Castle Rock.  We visited there last year.



It is quartz and will make some beautiful jewelry.  Last week I took the rock into the lapidary shop in the resort and had these slices cut off for me to use.


John is now working a a mini intarsia eagle to decorate one of the boxes he has made.

Tuesday there was a Mardi Gras parade here in Canyon Vistas.  We enjoyed watching them walk and ride by.






The resort staff is working hard to provide activities in these Covid times of social distancing and masks.