Sunday, October 25, 2020

Family Comes to Visit

Our son Eric, wife Liz and our grandchildren from Colorado, Kylie and John, came to Arizona last weekend. They stayed in Scottsdale in a condo owned by Liz's sister. Friday we joined them for dinner--a bucket of chicken from KFC.

Saturday we met them at the Musical Instrument Museum. A visit there is always an opportunity to learn something new.

The variety of zithers--stringed instruments, aka guitars--is amazing.

I had never heard of thumb pianos before.  Obviously, they aren't unique.

All of these are drums, zithers and rattles from South Africa.

Such a variety of horns and other wind instruments.

Alice Cooper was never an entertainer I listened to.  But he certainly had interesting clothes.

Many instruments were handmade.  Here you can see a banjo and bass violin.

We don't go out to eat often, so we first experienced touchless menus when we went to lunch at Diego Pops, a taco restaurant in Phoenix.  I guess these menus--which we pulled up on our phones--is the way to avoid touching menus others have handled--it's a Covid thing, I guess.  We did have a good time at lunch.

Several years ago, Eric had flown down to visit us and we went to the Botanical Gardens.  He wanted to go there again, so we met them there on Sunday.

In addition to the desert plants, the gardens always have major art displays.  The last time we were there, we saw numerous glass sculptures by Chihuly. This time it was Wild Rising by Cracking Art.  It included numerous meercats and at least one giant snail.

But what we were really interested in were the cactus and other desert plants.

These small cactus plants remind me of green eggs being broken open by the baby bird inside.

This is certainly an unusual tree.

I was reminded of stacked stones when I looked at this cactus.

Eric, Kylie and John enjoyed walking the labyrinth.

We all enjoyed the shade in this ramada.

And there were even more sculptures--including some large birds and unusual stacks of small birds.

Friday, October 09, 2020

Wooden Activity

 One  the activities we enjoy during our winters in Arizona is working with wood in our workshop. When we were staying at Valle del Oro in Mesa, we took the training to use the woodshop.  We each made a picture frame, then moved on to intarsia--making scenes with pieces of wood that are cut, shaped and made into pictures.

After we moved to Superstition Views, we added a workshop to our winter home and I learned to use the lathe, making bowls.  Later, we both took a class in turning pens.  

Since then, John has made lots of pens, I have turned a large number of bowls and we have both made intarsia projects.

This year I found a book on making boxes using the band saw.  This is the first one I completed.


 John has been using the scroll saw to make scenes like I showed in a previous post.  This past couple of weeks, he make this beautiful poinsettia door  topper.

This work has been fun, it has kept us busy, and it gives us something to do in the air conditioned shop when the temperature hits 100+.  I think we will continue with more projects, even when it cools down.

Saturday, October 03, 2020

Not a wasted morning, after all

 Since mid-August my right knee has been hurting--not bad enough to go to urgent care somewhere, but enough that when we got settled here in Arizona, I  made an appointment with our doctor to see what is wrong.  With orders for an MRI, this morning we drove to the Banner Gilbert Imaging facility.  Guess what?  I forgot to bring the doctor's orders and since it is Saturday, they weren't able to get it directly from that office.  I have rescheduled for Monday.

We decided to try and make the best of the situation so we went walking at the Riparian Preserve at Water Ranch, a place we have been many times.

The preserve was packed with families with children and others but we still saw a lot of birds.  With no wind, I was able to capture some amazing reflections.  

The biggest surprise was seeing this roseate spoonbill.  Since it likes to feed in salt marshes, Arizona is not it's normal habitat.  We weren't sure how it got here.  A couple of women birdwatchers said it must have gotten lost.  It belongs in Florida or along the Texas Gulf Coast.

We saw many black-necked stilts.  They look like they are wearing a tuxedo, don't they.  

There are three stilts in this photo--or is it 6?

We also saw Canada geese and some egrets.

Could you ask for a more perfect reflection photo?

We enjoyed our morning walk, that is for sure.