Sunday, February 28, 2016

Turnings Galore

It has been a slow-paced week for us, mostly because we have both been sick. We even went to the doctor on Wednesday--something we rarely have to do, except for our regular checkups.

But Saturday, we really needed to buy some groceries and it was the weekend of the annual Desert Woodturning Roundup in Mesa. So, we visited the turning show for a short time before doing our shopping. We had to drive the long way around to central Mesa because of the marathon race being held.

It was good to see all the wonderful creations on display, and to shop with the vendors. John found some tools and I bought a bowl blank. We enjoyed the roundup and now have enough food for a few days. But neither of us is well, yet. Maybe yesterday was too much. We didn't even go to church this morning.

The wood-turning projects ranged from beautiful to "how did they do that?" I can really appreciate all the work that going into some of the objects. I have never done work like this, but I do understand the basic mechanics involved.

But I wouldn't have the slightest idea how to accomplish other projects.

Friday, February 19, 2016

Wood Carving

The last event we took Cindy to see was the annual Mesa Woodcarving Show.  Again, she was able to see what grandparents do for fun during their winters in Arizona. Below are just a sampling of the many amazing projects on display.

Chip carving

Is this really carved out of wood?  Yes.

I believe this is a relief carving.  What amazing depth!

It is really hard to tell this is made of wood. 

This ferris wheel was made on a scroll saw.  Fantastic detail.

Cindy really liked caricature carvings, especially when they have a smile on their face.

Look at this cowgirl's grin.

There was a display of computer generated laser carving.

Sunday, our only outing was to church. Monday, Cindy flew back to Colorado with a promise to come back next winter. What will we do then?

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Organ Stop Pizza

For a fun night of entertainment, you can't beat Organ Stop Pizza in Mesa.  One evening, we went there with Cindy.  Their pizza is good and the music that come out of the organ is amazing.  The organ was originally built for the Denver Theater and installed in 1927.  By the late 1930s, it was rarely heard.  Now it can be enjoyed here in Arizona.

In the past we have been their with a group from our RV resort.  At that time, we learned more about the organ's history and the organist demonstrated its many different components.  We didn't hear that last week, but we did enjoy the program.

The organ and organist rise out of the basement on a rotating stage.

This view shows illuminated areas with various part of the organ, from bellows to pipes to an accordian.

We were seated just to the right of the stage.

At times, the organist turned to the audience to announce who was celebrating birthdays.

 I don't know how they do it, but at one point the music being produced by the keyboards also made these puppets dance.  How fun!

Country Store

For six years before we bought our winter home in Superstition Views, we spent the cold months at Valle del Oro in nearby Mesa. We wanted to show the resort to Cindy and chose Thursday, when the Country Store is held. That is a sales event for vendors catering to seniors who spend their winters here.

But first, we wanted to show her the garden railroad at VDO.

Cindy is a careful shopper and she closely examined everything offered.  There were baskets

and hand-made jewelry

We took a rest and each enjoyed a bag of regular popcorn.

We enjoyed the Popcorn Man's hat and clothes, but didn't buy any of his popcorn.

At one point, we rested in the shade.

I'm not sure this excursion was enough to convince Cindy she should spend her winters in Arizona.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

We were busy every day while Cindy was here. Friday, we attended the Gourd Festival at the Pinal County Fairgrounds. Cindy had never seen gourds like this and she was fascinated. This sign at the entry was just the beginning.

The artists who work with gourds make an astonishing variety of items.  Large and small animals and people.

Beautiful paintings on larger gourds, sometimes with pine needles or other items woven into holes on the rim.

We even saw purses made from gourds.  Both Cindy and I thought that might not be a great idea.  They are hard and items inside would make noise.  Also, how durable are they?  Would they break?

Not all gourds are shaped like some sort of ball.  They also come in long, skinny shapes.  Here, they are make into cats.

These bearded fellows sort of remind me of Russian dolls that fit inside each other.  However, these don't come apart in the middle.

Often, it is hard to tell you are looking at gourds, after they are painted and decorated with beads and other items to give them texture.

We stopped at two food trucks. John and Cindy had very good pulled pork sandwiches. I enjoyed an Indian taco. It was a very good outing.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Cindy Comes to Visit

John's sister Cindy arrived Monday afternoon for a week-long visit. We want her to see how we live in our winter home and experience life in a "55+ Active Adult" community. She flew into the Phoenix-Mesa Gateway airport, coming from the Colorado Springs airport. We were delighted her tickets were to this airport, which is much closer to our place than Sky Harbor in central Phoenix.

We checked the arrival board and saw her plane was on it's way. So we sat down to wait.

We saw her walking into the terminal area.

Tuesday, we showed her around our resort.

Then we were off to Best Buy so Cindy could buy her very first iPad! She and John opened all the packages on our dining room table.

Then John began to set up the tablet, with Cindy watching the process.

We were all exhausted after all that concentration, so we all went to bed early.

Today, we spent time at the Gilbert Riparian Preserve, checking out the birds.

Cindy brought warm,sunny  weather--finally. We are enjoying the weather snowbirds come to Arizona to enjoy. And it was fun to see all the ducks and other water birds. We have all walked over 3 and 1/2 miles, so we will probably be tired this evening, as well.