The Week in Review 5/9/2018

Something I accomplished: I cleaned up my office.  I started with just wanting to declutter the shelves a bit and ended up doing a lot more. I threw away two bags of garbage, 2 bags of recycle and have one box of donate/sell stuff. Now when I walk into the room I smile.

Something I changed:  So maybe this is a little weird but I changed my deodorant and I love my new one so much.  It is not supposed to leave those yellow stains on white shirts plus it seems to just work better.  Kind of a big deal here in the desert heat. Speaking of which…

Summer is here: The heat seemed to roar in overnight, poof 100° days.  The good news is I had my first swim of the season over the weekend.  The water felt wonderful.  The bad news is allergy season is still at its peak and I woke the next day with bloodshot, weepy crusty eyes.  Not good.

A fun project: The end of school is fast approaching so I wanted to make some little notes for my son’s lunch to count down the last 10 days. Found some cute numbers to print out and color and put them on summer scrapbooking paper.

 

Paint Chip Poetry: I felt like writing a bad poem this week so here it is. (I am re-reading “If You Want to Write” by Brenda Ueland so blame her.)  I chose three yellow and one orange (for the heat) and one green (because it is still spring).  Paint chip words are in italics.

My zest for life was wilting

under the

habanero hot blazing sun

at 8:00 a.m. no less.

Summer had settled in for good,

startling me with its ferocity.

I pick a spring of mint

for my morning iced tea

and retreat indoors

not emerging again until the

lightning and thunder

of the afternoon monsoons arrive –

three months hence.

And how was your week?

 

Photo Friday

(Above photo, ooh sparkly rock with fern.)

This week I actually went out on an expedition to take pictures. And to keep small child busy since he was out of school for six days with the Arizona teacher walkout. Yikes!  It is always lovely to go up to 8000′ and feel the crisp air and smell the pine.  Added bonus was getting away from the pollen which my sinuses really appreciated.

We didn’t walk far but it was a scenic, if rocky, stroll.

One of the reasons we didn’t stay very long was there was a lot of tree cutting going on by the Forest Service.  We kinda felt like we shouldn’t be in the area though there were no signs or anything forbidding it.

Bridge photos are always good.

Looking up is good too. It was such a beautiful day.

There is a stream here (this is the view off the bridge), not much water which is bad, there should still be some snow melt flowing this time of year. This is more how it looks in early July before the monsoons start.  Hope we get some rain this year.

Keep your focus!

Photo Friday

If you are only planning on going to the Grand Canyon once in your life I would not recommend 2018 be the year to do it. There is a lot of road construction going on. A LOT. This led to crazy crowded buses.  Like so crowded you couldn’t even get on.  We did a lot of walking which we were okay with.  There have also been water issues off and on since last fall. Apparently pipes keep breaking and the park is in various levels of conservation mode at any given time. When we first got there it was dry camping only but when we left a few days later water was restored. Consider yourself warned.

During all my picture taking I found the word “chiaroscuro” bouncing around my head.  I was hoping to get some shots of cloud shadows in the Canyon but it wasn’t meant to be. Still,  I took ~150 photos but don’t worry I am only putting a few in this post.

It was rather hazy most of the time we were there.

The Colorado River.

Every time I see the canyon walls I wish I could knit a sweater capturing the layered shades of red, cream and green. I think it would be cool if they sold yarn in these colors at the GC.

Keep Your Focus!

The Week in Review 4/4/2018

You are reading this post through the wonders of technology because at this moment I am actually totally unplugged up at the Grand Canyon. So this is not a review of the whole week but an abbreviated post. I’ll answer any comments once I am back in civilization.

The Family Easter Basket:  When my son was born I started the tradition of having one family Easter basket.  Somehow I thought that if we had just one easter basket to share there would be less candy.  And the last few years I have bought a number of non-candy items for Easter like a badminton set or bubbles or little toys.  But looking at the bag of stuff for this year I realized that I would probably buy the same amount of candy to make three separate baskets.  Sigh. The good news is with one “shared” basket my husband pretty much plows through all the candy on Easter  so at least I eat less candy.  And my son gets his own bunny and some gummies so hopefully he won’t notice Dad eating all the jelly beans.

Favorite family game of the moment: Sagrada.  We got it for Christmas but didn’t play it much over the holiday. Now I find the more we play it the better I like it.

Something that is making me happy:  My shoulder is on the mend.  The cortisone shot helped with the pain and slowly my range of motion is coming back.  I have daily exercises that I am doing that actually feel pretty good.  I am feeling confident that I will be as good as new in a few weeks.

Something that surprised me:  Apparently I have never used any of my Grand Canyon pictures in this blog!  I couldn’t find any in my media library.  Strange.

From our last trip in March 2016.

And how was your week?

Photo Friday

I really wanted to go up into the Catalina Mountains this month but all the pain and mobility issues with my shoulder have been keeping me close to home. I am thinking I need a much more interesting back yard if I have to keep using it for my Photo Fridays. I do have two trips planned for April, both of which should give me some excellent photo ops.

The sky has been so blue lately.

My trimmed back orange tree did blossom!

My son gave me these seeds for Mother’s Day last year and we planted them in the fall. We are surprised at how the flowers just keep on popping up!

Keep Your Focus!

 

The Week in Review 3/21/18

Spring Weather: I often complain about the lack of weather and seasons here in the desert southwest but this year I realized we sort of are having a Spring. Our temperatures are fluctuating between 60’s and 80’s and we have had clouds and even a little rain. Rain is a big deal here and any amount is welcome. (Well, unless we get bad flash flooding monsoon rains.)  Gentle spring showers are thrilling.

First rose bud of the season!

Spring training:  Every year we go to a game up in Phoenix.  This year we saw the Cubs play the Royals (the Royals won 11-9).  It was a lovely afternoon in the 60’s, Canadiens in front of us reveling in the “warm” weather while I was glad for my warm sweater once the shade creeped over us.

The cold shoulder:  Actually I have a “frozen shoulder”, ironic here in the desert.  Not uncommon for people “of a certain age” with hypothyroidism/diabetes.  The doctor gave me a cortisone shot and I start PT next week after the inflammation goes down.  Pain relief should happen in 2 to 3 days.  I am glad it wasn’t anything more serious.

Why is it:   Why does Netflix says “oops there was a problem”  75% of the first time I go to watch something from my list?  After a few reloads I can usually get to my show but there is never a problem with the previews running.  Strange. And annoying.

New word I learned:  “Chiaroscuro” – the contrast between light and dark, their juxtaposition.  I found the word in “A Trick of the Light”, an Inspector Gamache novel by Louise Penny.  Man I love these books.  I will be very sad when I get caught up in the series.

 

My interpretation of “chiaroscuro”. 

And how was your week?

Photo Friday

The theme for this week is up close and personal. (I was playing around with a macro adapter lens.)  Back to apparently my current favorite subject: the lemon tree! To be fair I did check out the recently trimmed back orange tree.  Not a blossom to be seen but lots of new baby leaves.

When the buds open up the flower only lasts about 24 hours. I keep checking the tree hoping to see a whole mass of flowers at one time.  With our warmer weather now I wonder if there is a chance that could happen?

One of the few flowers on the tree right now, but we’ve got buds everywhere!

That could be a lot of lemons! 

Four newborn lemons. I suspect only the strongest will survive, knocking it’s tinier siblings to the ground.

 

Keep Your Focus!

The Week in Review 3/14/18

Waiting -Dr’s appointment:  My left shoulder has been bothering me for a few weeks now and I finally went to see my doctor.  She is thinking rotator cuff and I went to get x-rays the same day.  (She wanted to do an MRI but insurance dictates that I get an x-ray first.) Should get word in a day or two what the x-rays show and she already gave me a referral to orthopedics. So now I just wait. And try not to use my left arm in ways that cause pain!

The wait is over – about school:  Last year we started to be very unhappy with my son’s school and this year the feeling has increased.  We have been looking for different options for quite some time now and in January we finally found a private school we really liked and applied. I have no experience with private schools.  When I was growing up you went to the school you were assigned to. Period. This school has a hard cap of 28 kids total to be admitted for fifth grade (two classes of only 14 each!). Fifth grade is where the school starts so all the slots are available.  I don’t know how many applicants they have but a committee makes the decision sometime in March. No specific date and the wait is starting to wear on me a bit.   I feel like I am holding my breath and getting ready to pass out but I can’t take that breath yet.  Two more weeks.  You guys need to write some distracting posts for me.  And maybe say a little prayer?  Thank you!

UPDATE:  My son got in!  Found out late Tuesday night.  Whew, so happy to take a deep breath.

Something I changed:  I decided to jump the gun a bit with spring because frankly my front door “winter” wreath looks pretty silly when it is 80° outside and having a snowman on the mantle was comical. So I swapped out my seasonal decorations a little early.  I constantly have to look for a happy medium to live by as the weather doesn’t match the calendar as far as the seasons go, at least what I think of as “normal” seasons.

 

Paint Chip Poetry:  In honor of St. Patrick’s Day I picked out five green paint chips (words in italics).

Everyone has their own version of the Garden of Eden:

For my Grandmother a trip to the Emerald Isle                                                                                                                 sipping a pint in a low ceilinged pub in front of a peat fire.

My Uncle- sitting behind left field in Fenway Park                                                                                 glove at the ready for a long, high fly ball.

For my sister trapped in the wrong era                                                                                                            a ring of vintage turquoise large enough to choke a baby.

For myself an alpine forest backing up to a mountain cabin                                                                    near a crystal clear snow melt lake.

 

Something I noticed:  My lemon blossoms smell just like honeysuckle, delightful!

 

 

So how was your week?

Photo Friday

Three evenings worth of sunsets.  An old mining town tourist attraction is what is barely visible in front of the setting sun.  The above photo is the Superstition Mountains reflecting the sunset. (FYI, I did no retouching of these photos, in case you were wondering.)

Day 1

Day 2

Day 3

This one makes me think of the ocean.

Keep your focus!

 

The Week in Review 2/21/18

Most of this week was spent preparing to go camping, camping and now post camping recovery (ie. loads and loads and loads of laundry!)

Camping: We went camping at Lost Dutchman State Park in the Superstition Mountains.  The weather was decent and I got in a lovely solo hike Saturday afternoon and took lots of pictures.  We also had three fabulous sunsets which I am sure will be showing up on Photo Friday.

Favorite camping meal: While I enjoy roasting a hot dog over the fire my favorite meal was a taco salad.  I browned ground turkey at home and added some homemade taco seasoning.  At the campsite I heated up the meat and served it over lettuce with cherry tomatoes, salsa, shredded cheese, avocado and sour cream.  De-lish.

Weather:  I discounted winter too soon.  We had  two days of fairly steady,  though light, rain last week and more on Monday night.  We were lucky Friday morning there was no rain as we loaded the trailer but it started up again around lunch time and rained halfway to Apache Junction.  This week looks to be marvelously cool (50°s) with more rain possible.

I was trying for a blurred background effect to highlight the rain droplets on the branch.  I almost succeeded!

Something that brought me joy:  Seeing a hummingbird having breakfast at my lemon tree.  They are excellent pollinators and maybe I’ll get more than four lemons this year.

Something I watched:  “Green Dolphin Street”.  It was odd seeing Lana Turner and Donna Reed in the same movie but it worked.

Just for fun I snapped some pics as the kids were blowing bubbles, love this one.

And how was your week?