Photo Friday: It Felt Like September

My son is now going to a private school that observes Jewish, Christian and the traditional secular holidays so he was off on Monday for Rosh Hashanah.  In fact the entire month of September he has one day off each week!  With new computer time rules (which are working!) I find it is best to “help” him find things to do if he has a lot of free time.  On Labor Day we went fruit picking at Apple Annie’s.  This Monday we went hiking up at Mt. Lemmon.

IMG_8094Some early fall color starting.

We began with lunch at Viv’s Cafe because it is good to start a hike with a full stomach.  Then up, up, up the mountain we went.  The temperature dropped from 100° to a delicious 72°.

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We decided to try a new trail and I was hoping to do a loop but after a long time of climbing uphill and unsure of exactly how much further we still had to go we decided to simply turn around.  The hike back down was sheer perfection.  Blue skies, a few clouds and oddly, some rumbles of thunder in the distance made the perfect autumnal hiking ambience.  The path was shaded with dappled patches which I absolutely love!

IMG_8101The rain cloud.

IMG_8100A stop at a scenic overlook on the way home. I believe that is the San Pedro Valley.

Driving back down the mountain we could smell rain and observed some wet stretches of road way but no rain fell on us.  We decided to stop at DQ for ice cream which ended up being our dinner and came home to collapse on the couch and watch “Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban”.

IMG_8105Dinner!

IMG_8097A dried up plant that screams autumn to me.

Best Monday in a really long time.

Keep Your Focus!

Photo Friday

My son started school this week and last week we ticked off one more summer bucket list item:  make pasta from scratch.  Turns out it is harder and more time consuming to make pasta than we imagined.  So here are pictures of what a real person’s kitchen looks like while making pasta.  (As opposed to say a food blogger who would have glorious photos with nary a stray pile of flour.)

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Pasta dough rolled out and waiting to be cut.  Notice how it is nowhere near a rectangular shape?  Apparently I can only roll out round.

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The big picture.

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I found a tip on-line that said you can turn all those uneven edge bits into pasta for soup. Done!

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Stacks of drying pasta in my momentarily Italian kitchen!

My son ate the bowtie pasta for dinner and we froze the rest. I have a feeling this will be my one and only pasta bucket list item.

Keep Your Focus!

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

A few of my favorite car pics from Laughlin.  I love the license plate above “horseless carriage”!

 

1915 Ford Speedster. I wonder how fast it went.  Twenty mph?

This is my type of Harley!

There was a corvette club having some sort of shindig over the weekend.  That is a lot of corvettes.

Keep Your Focus!

 

Old Glory

Here in the United States today is Flag Day. Thank you Betsy Ross!

Sadly a walk around the block revealed we are the only house flying our flag today:

I am going to go out on a limb and say we are also the only house where peanut butter cookies were baked and decorated with red, white and blue sprinkles. “The colors red, white, and blue did not have meanings for The Stars and Stripes when it was adopted in 1777.”  I read somewhere that Betsy Ross just used whatever scraps of fabric she had lying around.

And I may be the only person wearing a flag shirt at my doctor’s appointment this afternoon:

And for dinner we are having Patriot’s Day pancakes from Katherine Hall Page’s book “The Body in the Bog”.  All red, white and blue all day today, despite the fact that flag colors weren’t really planned out!

HAPPY FLAG DAY!

Quiet Time

I have been thinking of this week end as the calm before the holiday storm begins.  Even with all my planning and lists and trying to keep social outings to a minimum things will get hectic.  Tis the season after all.

Having embraced my introvertedness I realized I wanted to do something to carve out a little pocket of quiet time each day.  A few moments to breath and sit in peaceful solitude are essential to my happiness.  And to ensure this happens I devised a project.

Each day I will sit down and color one picture for my son.  A Christmas countdown.  Starting on December 1st he will get a picture colored by me counting down the days to Christmas.  He might get it in his lunch or find it in the bathroom when he gets up or in his room after school. I selected 24 pictures from a couple of old holiday coloring books we have.  Some will be easy to color, others may take a bit more time. I’ll add the date and remaining number of days until Christmas.

I have to confess I have already colored a few.  For all my good intentions I know there will be some days when activities and travel won’t permit me to sit down and color. But they will be the minority.  And riding the Polar Express?  Totally worth missing a day of coloring!

I find this project very soothing and akin to meditation.  I don’t find it a chore, one more thing on my to do list but rather a chance to pause my day. I find my mind slows down and empties out.  My focus is on what shade of green to use, or finding what colors I can use besides red and green.  Afterwards I am relaxed and recharged, ready to tackle the next item on my to-do list.

Take time to enjoy the peace of this holiday season.  Remember, it is a whole season, not just one day.

 

Wednesday Hodgepodge

Bet you thought I forgot about trying this Hodgepodge thing.  Nope, here it is.  (And it was harder than I thought!)

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1. On a scale of 1-10, how would you rate your summer so far? Why?
(1=eh and 10=best summer ever)  

I would say an 8.  It has been good except I missed doing our mountain camping trip much more than I thought I would.  Swimming has been really good this summer.

2. July 26th is National Aunts and Uncles Day. Did you have many aunts and uncles growing up? Were you especially close to any one or maybe all of them? Are you an aunt? (or uncle for the men who join here on Wednesdays) Share a favorite memory relating to one of your own aunts or uncles or relating to a niece or nephew who call you Aunt (or Uncle).

Ten Aunts and Uncles total and we all lived in the same city but seldom saw each other, once or twice a year typically.  While we were never a close knit family I do remember my Uncle Bob playing tag with all us cousins at a playground and taking us on hikes during a one time multi-family camping trip.

3. What’s your favorite food dipped in chocolate? What’s your favorite food dipped in cheese?

Almonds or coconut dipped in dark chocolate.  Dipped in cheese?  Hmm, not sure I have one.

4. When were you last astonished by something? Explain.

I fished a dead mouse out of the pool Monday morning and not only did I not blink an eye,  I didn’t think twice about getting in the pool right after for a swim. I am terrified of live mice, but apparently okay with drowned ones.

5. Surf board, paddle board, ironing board, Pinterest board, score board, clip board, bulletin board…which board have you most recently encountered?

Ironing board, when I made some more progress on my first attempt at quilting. I am making a  dresser scarf.  “All” I have left to do is the binding!  I am hoping to start work on the binding when school starts again in a few weeks.

6. What’s your favorite story from scripture? Why that story?

Luke 2:8-18   A baby, angels, shepherds, peace on Earth, what more could one want?

7. If you were to travel from the east coast to the west coast in your own country, which five cities would you most want to see?

I would take route fifty from Ocean City, Md  all the way to Sacramento, Ca and enjoy every little town along the way.

8. Insert your own random thought here.

It is too hot for thinking today.  I’ll stick with iced tea and a good book inside the air-conditioning. Just starting “Everyone Brave is Forgiven” by Chris Cleave. I loved his novel “Gold” and found “Incendiary” disturbing to read but not in a really bad way, more in a this story could be all  too real kind of way.

Here is the link to the Hodgepodge lady!

 

Z is for Zero

Z is for zero posts missed in the A to Z Blogging Challenge!

Z is for zero posts left to do for the A to Z Blogging Challenge!

My favorite post to write was “F is for Fiction from Fact” (and great alliteration in the title).

What looked to be my most popular post was “I is for Introvert”.

The post that I hoped would have the most impact was “L is for Lumpy Breasts”. I was hoping the catchy title would lure a few more readers. Hopefully it led at least one person to do a self-exam.

After a short vacation (say a week to ten days) we will return to our regular posting schedule.

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Y is for….

Youtube – where you can learn to do a multitude of things. My personal examples include treadmill belt replacement, how to do the ladder stitch and how to darn a sock.

Yawning – which thanks to my allergies I seem to be doing a lot of lately. Along with blinking due to very itchy eyes.

Yellow Carnations – a small treat for myself since I have been doing so well on the Whole30 and conquering the A to Z Blogging Challenge!

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Sometimes I like to pretend Richard Gere sent the flowers 🙂