Thursday, March 24, 2022

Family and Good Food

We've had a busy--and delicious and fun--few days.  Our son Eric, seen here second from right, his wife Liz and son John--came to Arizona over their spring break.  They spent time with us and checked out a couple of universities here in Arizona--ASU in Tempe and Grand Canyon University.

Our grandson John brought three friends along--Branson, Josiah and Estebahn.  They have been friends for years and all of them are high school seniors.  That means giving some thought to what they want to study in college and, more importantly, where.

They spent two nights in an Airbnb rental house in San Tan Valley.  We had lunch at the Cactus grill in our resort. Coming from Colorado, the warm weather and sun were big attractions here.  I didn't realize boys like to lay out and tan in the sun.

Our neighbors Bob and Jean lent us their golf cart.  These four boys--all 16--enjoyed touring the resort on these wheels. Thanks, Bob and Jean.

That day I served a chili dinner at our place.

Monday, they moved to Tapatio Cliffs resort in Phoenix.  We joined them for lunch.


 Eric took a selfie in front of the falls in the resort.  What a beautiful place!

They are now headed north, back toward their Colorado homes.  We so enjoyed their visit.

Friday, March 18, 2022

Fun on the Lake

Tuesday we joined 28 of our neighbors for a boat ride on Canyon Lake.  The lake was formed on the Salt River by the Mormon Flat Dam, completed in 1925.

In arid Arizona, people flock to water.  This shows part of the marina on the lake.

Our group had rented three of these pontoon boats for the trip.

Lou was our driver most of the trip.  The rest of us enjoyed the scenery and lots of time to talk.

We saw some wildlife--several big horn sheep.  Trust me, that is what that while figure is on the top of the rock.  

On our boat, we kept the canopy up so part of our group--including John and me--were sitting in the shade.  Here you see another part of our crew with their canopy down.

These folks are also part of our group. I got photos of only part of the group.  I don't want to leave anyone out, so I won't start listing names. 

We enjoyed the scenery surrounding the lake.

Friday, March 04, 2022

Crafting in Retirement

Before we retired, my creative endeavors were limited to sewing.  And is that really creative when I follow patterns?  The same is true for my cooking.   I always follow a recipe.

John had made a number of leaded glass windows for our home and for others.

Then, in 2003 we retired.  Six years later, in 2006, we first spent an extended period of time in Arizona.  Three winters we volunteered for several months at Casa Grande Ruins National Monument in Coolidge.  We also discovered +55 Resorts.  Since then, two of those resorts, Valle del Oro in Mesa and Superstition Views at Canyon Vistas in Gold Canyon, have been our winter homes.

I have tried several crafts, taking classes in pottery and wood turning and other wood projects, as well as learning to make beaded jewelry.  

John also began making various items out of wood and he carves when we are traveling and at our apartment in Colorado.  He makes small wooden boxes, using the scroll saw.  He also uses the scroll saw to make plaques with sayings on them, as well as scenes.  He turns pens.  And he makes intarsia pieces.  

Over the years, I have posted blogs on many of these projects we have completed.

All of this explains why we make it a point each February to attend the Mesa Woodcarvers show.  It is inspiring to see all the beautiful items wood carvers make.

Enjoy all these skilled creations.

Isn't this mountain bluebird good? It looks like it might fly off at any minute.

This building--maybe a tea house--received one of the top awards.  It can be stored in the box it is sitting on. 

Look at this scene.  I picture a mother in the World War I era, respoding to a phone call that someone had been killed.

This relief carving show numerous houses in and around a tree.

I had to really examine this piece--those guns really are wooden carvings.

This tree house carving is very detailed.

Compare it to this rainbow trout--it really is as smooth as it looks.

A beautiful intarsia piece of steer roping.

Look at the texture of this bear's coat.

This bear cub is so cute.  And the relief carving of cowboy boots is impressive.

I like this relief carving of geese near the barn.

I imagine this tree is carved out of one piece of wood.  Think how much had to be carved away to allow the branch layers to look this way.

I'm not a carver, but making such a detailed face in a relatively thin stick of wood is not easy.

Not all carving is done in wood.  These bears are carved in stone.

Maybe this carving will help young children learn how to tie their shoes.