May Madness: Mother’s Day

Happy Mother’s Day!

I got a wonderful surprise gift from Mother Nature today, rain! Last night we had a lovely thunder storm and this morning it is cool and cloudy and we’ve had more rain fall. Pretty rare this time of year and I love it! Thank you Mother Nature.

Every year what I truly want for Mother’s Day is to not have to think about dinner. I am responsible for dinner 364 days a year. This doesn’t necessarily mean I cook dinner every night, yet somehow I am responsible for the fact of dinner.

It is 100% up to me to plan dinner be it cooking, leftovers, eating out or throwing a frozen pizza in the oven. If we go out 90% of the time I have to pick the restaurant.

I want one night where I don’t have to think about dinner at all except to eat it. I want to be told we are going to such and such place at whatever time. Period. No thinking involved on my part.

It won’t happen of course. And yes I have articulated this desire loudly in years past. Last year there was no plan made by child or spouse and we ended up eating leftovers or sandwiches or something. One year they wanted to go out and I told them to pick a place and they couldn’t manage that and they dithered until it was too late to go out.

Now I will admit they usually make breakfast and clean it up. I get the impression that they think that is enough and maybe they are right. Maybe I am just being greedy. A whole day without meal responsibility? Blasphemy!

This year I am picking up the no dinner plan vibe as well (maybe I am wrong) so I have Plan B ready. The Cubs game is on at 4:00p and I’ll make popcorn and drink the pink fizzy lemonade I got at Trader Joe’s and pretend I am at Wrigley Field.

Small child will make himself mac and cheese and spouse will sulk that there is no dinner (he did all that work on breakfast!) and ostentatiously eat a bowl of cereal. And thus another Mother’s Day will end.

Til tomorrow…

Preparing for the Storm (Photo Friday)

I am a weather geek so living in southern Arizona is rather boring. Ninety percent of the weather is hot and sunny. We do have winter and summer monsoon seasons but they have been pretty tame most years since I have lived here. This winter we have actually been having winter. Well, as wintry as it can get here. But still, it is exciting to have a reason to watch the weather channel. And be able to wear my sweaters.

My son was off from school Wed thru Friday this week. We had planned on going camping at Madera Canyon but changed our minds when we saw cold and rain and snow in the forecast. Tuesday night we had a hard freeze, temps down in the twenties. So Tuesday is when the ‘inclement weather’ work began.

I picked all the lemons and a few oranges on Tuesday.

We left the lemon tree all covered up as it is supposed to be below freezing again Friday night.

On Wednesday my son and I took advantage of the sunny day and went to the library. Books and UNO are hunkering down requirements.

Thursday morning I got up in great anticipation of a foul weather day. An 80% chance of rain, wind gusts up to 40mph. I continued to work preparing to hunker down.

First order of business was to make cookies. In case the power goes out. (The power has never gone out here, but still, one wants to be prepared.) Oatmeal cookies so they are suitable for breakfast if required.

Oatmeal Gorp cookies. These have dark chocolate chips, dried cherries, toasted pecans and toffee bits.
I dug out my flannel granny nightgown.  I haven’t worn this in years!

Now it is 4:00p on Thursday. It is finally beginning to rain! And there is wind spattering the rain against the window. (See picture at the top.) I just want to sit here and stare out the window! (And that is exactly what I am going to do after I set this post up for publishing in the morning.)

Raindrops are falling on my patio!

The plan is to post photos next Friday of whatever weather we get tomorrow (today for you).

Keep your focus!

Paint Chip Poetry (Grays and Blues)

I didn’t participate in this week’s 99 word flash fiction challenge at Carrot Ranch. The topic didn’t grab me. But I still felt like writing something and realized I hadn’t done a paint chip poem in awhile. I chose grays and a touch of blue in honor of actually having winter this year. Rain today and tomorrow, maybe even a little snow mixed in, how exciting!

Without further ado here is my poem. The paint chip words are bolded:

No blue suede shoes today

I thought looking out the window 

The wild blue yonder

 hidden by a steely gray mass of 

cumulonimbus clouds  

I was loath to leave my cozy castle

for the harsh outside world

 but bills must be paid 

 I headed to my skyscraper office

happy to not see the scary gargoyle on the corner 

hidden from view 

by the torrents of rain falling from the sky

With no warning

the icy rain

changed to snow 

and the whole outlook of my day changed

I lingered on the sidewalk glad to be caught out in the

floating feathers of snowflakes

Mid-Week Ramblings

Even hormonal craziness can’t keep me from doing cartwheels over this lovely autumn weather we are having:  70’s and rain over the weekend, now lovely cool air and that angular autumn sunshine.  It is a huge relief to open the windows since the house has been closed up since April!

At the last U of A football game we went to I noticed three things:

  1.  Oddest item I have seen to date (now that we have to use clear plastic totes):  a woman had a pack of post-it notes.  Still can’t figure out why you would need post-its at a football game.
  2. Two rows in front of us a middle-aged woman’s shorts split from waist to hem, a really big tear, at the beginning of the game. Fortunately she was wearing “granny panties” and we didn’t have to see more than that and she did try and keep her t-shirt tugged down.  Still, kind of odd having to look at that the whole game.  (Of course I tried not to look but it was like a car wreck, you just couldn’t help yourself.)  Luckily she didn’t stand up too much.
  3. I saw a woman with a clipboard and she had pictures you color on it.  But she didn’t color them, just kept adding details with a black pen.  At first I thought she was designing pages for people to color but as she put in more and more details I sort of doubted it.  And the first picture she detailed said “Have a nice day bitches”.  Seemed a strange thing to do at a football game but to each his own.  And it was a nice night to sit outside and color. Or not color in her case but add doodles to a picture.

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This is what it looked like most of Saturday!

When it rains it pours.

Getting rain where I live in the desert southwest is a rare and wondrous thing.  I love rainy days but I love them best when I can enjoy them from inside the house.  I don’t like to drive in the rain here as it can be quite hazardous.  Because of the terrain there is usually a lot of ponding on the roads and some actually turn into washes when it rains hardish.  Plus most people here suck at driving in rain.  They don’t slow down or allow extra stopping distance or avoid that huge puddle which has now blinded the driver in the next lane.  And yes they will tailgate you if you slow down.

That being said now that I have the Subaru I don’t drive my Saab in the rain.  My Saab is not replaceable and I really love that car.  Plus the Subaru has more ground clearance and all wheel drive so it just makes sense to drive it in the rain.  Unless of course your husband’s truck won’t start.

It was pouring rain (rare) and an equally rare Saturday where we had to be in two different places.  So I told my husband to take the Subaru and I would take the Saab.  Only one problem, the truck is in the driveway behind the Saab in the garage.  So in the pouring rain we had to push the truck out into the street.  Ever tried to steer a truck without the power steering?  I ended up pushing because it was easier!  At least we had a tiny slope to work with.

And then when my husband got back he tried to start the truck again that afternoon and it started.  He left it parked on the street as I was still out in the Saab. That night he was going up to Phoenix to a hockey game and I told him to take the Subaru just in case. And  when he got home he went to move the truck back into the driveway, no of course it didn’t start.  So we called AAA on Sunday who confirmed it wasn’t the battery (my original diagnosis was the starter, we’ll see if I am right) and we got it towed to the shop up the street where the Saab was already scheduled to get a new tire (slow leak that has been driving me nuts, they already tried to fix it once) on Monday.

So now I am worried, things happen in threes so I take that to mean something should go wrong with the Subaru.  At least that car is under warranty.  And my husband will be driving it until the truck is fixed so hopefully if something does go wrong he is the one that will be stranded.  Wow, that was mean but really who wants to be stuck on the side of the road?

But life is good, cooler weather is here!

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Picture is from Toronto this summer, a lovely autumny orange color though.

 

 

 

My Birthday

Yes I still enjoy celebrating my birthday, even after so many!  I am now the grand age of 52!  Last week we kind of had a three day celebration.

Day One

It all started with bowling a new scratch high series in my Tuesday morning league, a 555!  Anytime I break 500 I am really happy.

Then I stopped at Trader Joe’s and was happily surprised to find all the pumpkin goodness had arrived.  I tried to restrain myself but I find it best to buy some things early because chances are they will be gone the next time I go.  So hello pumpkin dog treats, pumpkin bagels, pumpkin oatmeal, spiced pumpkin seeds etc.  Many items won’t be opened until October, when I am ready for pumpkin in all things.

And then the first official part of my birthday….going to see the Cubs play the Diamond Backs in Phoenix.  Cubs won 9-1 and Baez got two more RBI’s to continue leading the National League!  I felt sort of bad for the D’backs because there were WAY MORE Cubs fans than D’back fans in the stands.

(I tried to take pictures with the camera on my phone and none of them turned out. I got this one off the web at stadiumjourney.com).

Chase-Field-Interior-1It is a cool stadium, different.  It has a retractable roof which is usually closed for the heat with the a/c on!

My son had my name up on the big board for the birthdays.  He didn’t say Happy Birthday Mom, but put in my full name (first and last) instead which I found rather  funny. I walked out of the stadium singing “Go Cubs Go” and didn’t even mind the long drive home.

Day 2

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My husband and son were both home today despite it being a Wednesday, which really made the week feel weird.

We woke to solid cloud cover and brief showers of rain that turned steady in the late afternoon.  With a high temp only in the 80’s, a good 20° cooler than it has been, it truly was a gift of a day.

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I helped my son bake my birthday cake, took a nap, listened to the rain and lit my vanilla pumpkin candle for the first time this season.

Day 3

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Now we get to my actual birthday (finally!).  I put new autumn themed sheets on my bed, did my writing class homework and enjoyed the lingering clouds. I ate 1/2 a pumpkin bagel for breakfast (and put the rest in the freezer!) and enjoyed a mug of hot pumpkin spice rooibos tea, first of the season.  And yes the a/c is still on and no it wasn’t nearly cold enough for hot tea but I did it anyway and I loved it.

IMG_8138The sun peeked out just as I was taking the photo creating cool shadows from the lace curtains.

I also colored a picture for my son to celebrate the first official day of autumn (22 September).  A few days ago he was cleaning up his room and found pictures I had colored for him in the past and asked why I hadn’t done any this school year.  Honestly I thought he might have out grown getting pictures from his Mom in his backpack and I didn’t want to embarrass him. Now I am happily looking for Halloween and Thanksgiving pictures to color!

My husband brought home Chicago Dogs from Luke’s Italian Beef for dinner and then I got to open presents and watch the Cleveland Browns finally win a football game.

IMG_8146My favorite present, this way cool Halloween spatula!

My life is an embarrassment of riches!

 

 

 

The Week in Review 6/20/2018

Rain: It is a rare and wondrous thing to get rain in the desert, even more rare in June. I thoroughly enjoyed the remnants of “Bud” waking to steady rain and thunder Saturday morning. We had storms off and on all day with a particularly heavy deluge in the late afternoon that had us a bit worried about flooding but didn’t cause any damage.

Rained so hard I couldn’t see out the window.

What I am watching: Eagerly waiting for the final episode of “Genius: Picasso” on National Geographic Channel. I got used to the jumping around in time format and loved learning about the man and a little history of the various time periods. I thought this was a stand alone mini-series and was happy to learn it is actually a series. They did Einstein last season and I found it on-line and watched the first episode. Same time traveling format (which I don’t really love), I am eager to continue my education (even if the math/physics goes right over my head!). Next season they are doing Mary Shelly, can’t wait.

Flag Day: I like celebrating lesser feted holidays like Flag Day.  Didn’t do much but we did eat red, white and blue for dinner:  raspberry, blackberry and vanilla yogurt parfaits and Patriot’s Day pancakes served with blueberries and raspberries. Yum. (No pictures, sorry.)

I couldn’t find a picture to color that matched my mood and then remembered my sketchbook and doodled myself a picture.

Hot Water:  It took a full week to get our hot water heater repaired due to the left hand not talking to the right with the various entities involved.  Since the problem was a defective part the supplier was involved who did not want the original guy who installed it to replace it.  They wanted to use their main plumber because this is an on-going problem with our model of water heater. It really wasn’t that big of an inconvenience, more of a nuisance. I had to wash the dishes by hand and take sort of cool showers.  (It is impossible to get cold water out of the tap here in the summer.)  The good news was it didn’t cost us anything and we got the new and improved part with the plastic prong (that broke off) replaced with a metal one. Just bad luck it happened while we were away.

How is your summer going?

Estate Piovoso

I have decided that “summer part II” shall be officially named “Estate Piovoso” which is Italian for rainy summer, because everything sounds better in Italian!

And boy has it been raining!  We had 14 consecutive afternoons/evening with rain.  And not just a sprinkle or quick downpour but hours of showers. I believe at my house we have had more rain this summer then in the previous six summers combined. Crazy!

I have not been spending much time on-line these days.  Just not in the mood I guess.  Instead I have been working on this in my sketchbook:

Listening to “The Island” by Elin Hilderbrand while working on my latest needlepoint project:

Getting close to finishing the ice cream puzzle:

Watching 50 years of Alfred Hitchcock on TCM Wednesday and Friday nights in July.

I took a trunk full of items to Goodwill and mailed off a bag of clothes to Thred Up.

And I tried to take a picture of the back of my hair to show how humid it is here in the desert.  Not easy to do and then I was quite shocked at all the gray!  And here I thought I just had a few strands in front.

On that note I am off to make popcorn and my son and I are going to watch  “House on Haunted Hill”.  (His choice, not mine!)

Instead of my hair here is a picture of our Cat’s Claw blooming which only happens after a lot of rain.

 Felice Estate Piovoso!!

*I hope I got that translation right!

 

Soup Weather

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My favorite souvenir from the September trip to Disneyland.

 

Yesterday there was a high of 82 degrees and we had rain off and on all day. We also had sun off and on all day and sometimes rain and sun at the same time. That would be life in the desert. Since this is the closest we have been to autumn like weather here in Tucson I decided it was a soup for dinner kinda night. Plus I had the remains of a whole roasted chicken in the fridge and decided to boil it up.

I had to stop and laugh as I was listening to the rain and stirring the soup. What was the  temperature? Eighty-two degrees. Um, that would be a typical summer day in Western New York.  Sigh.

Today is much rainier and only in the sixties!  Pumpkin chili in the crockpot is making me very happy.

 

HAPPY HALLOWEEN!

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So much easier than carving.

THE WINDOWS ARE OPEN!!

It is not only raining with thunder and wind but it is actually cool outside. COOL! It has not been cool since? April, maybe. This is huge, I am sitting in a pleasant breeze coming from outside. I am so happy I want to cry. I know it is fleeting, the sun and heat will be back tomorrow but right now, this moment, the weather is lovely, my heart is happy and a sense of relief washes over me.  I marvel at how I have survived another insanely hot summer in the desert!