Monday, April 14, 2014

Suzie's roses and more favorite things.

When you enter the front door of friend Suzie's house the sublime scent of roses envelopes you....

She has vases of the most spectacular blooms throughout the house, and she grew them all herself.  (Please note the friendly fellow peeking out from behind the vases in the photo above.)

Suzie (above) and Bill had friend Nancy and myself over for dinner and bridge tonight and it was a real treat.

First of all what a soul-satisfying experience to sit in their patio on a balmy spring evening, play cards and gaze up at the Catalina mountains--and all while smelling the roses. (Are all the northern friends and relatives green with envy yet?  However, we are now less than a month from 100 + degree weather that will last for months and months so my gloating is about to come to an uncomfortable end.)

But in the meantime, gaze upon these beauties while I expound on my utterly painful week.  Last weekend I managed to 'throw my back out'.  (Isn't that a strange phrase?)  I don't know why or how--I was just sitting in a chair and when I tried to stand up my back refused to obey.  

Standing, sitting, sleeping, walking were all painful in the extreme.  So I did nothing for days except gorge on Ibuprofen, read, surf the Internet, doze, and cuddle with Sigh Me.

No sightseeing, no traveling, no exploring--so boring!  But I thought I would pass on some of the better stuff I indulged in while propped up in the recliner.

 Re Books:

There are several book sites on the Internet that arrive each day in  my email and they usually offer a few free ebooks.  ('Free' is always good!)  Most of the books are not worth even the 'free' price tag but there are occasionally one or two that are exciting.  I have at least a hundred now of DIY, mysteries, biographies, some bestsellers, travel books and my favorite,  a book of poetry written by cats entitled,  "I Could Pee on This". The cats' mistress is named Francesco Marciuliano and her feline friends are definitely talented poets.  

I don't have a Kindle but I have the Kindle App on my IPad and I am rapidly filling it up with some great reading.  I am hoping to eliminate several hundred pounds of books from the RV when I finally take off again.  It took a while for me to adjust to reading on the IPad but it is getting easier all the time.

If you would like to check out the websites for the free books the following are the addresses of the three that come to me daily...

If you know of any others then please share.

(Note:  Why do romance novels feature headless men who are embracing helpless maidens  while posing,  shirtless, bronzed and ridiculously well-muscled?  Ladies, we really must stop 'objectifying' these's so demeaning.)

Websites that I check on daily.... (cuz I love the animal videos but the other stuff is good too.  Definitely look at the wedding ceremony where the priest sings "Hallelujah" to the new couple.) these 5 minute videos don't have you crying or out changing the world then check your pulse--you are a walking Zombie. resource for people who need to feed themselves and live with little money.  Also,  examining the political and social climate regarding poverty and hunger.  (Caution--this sight has language that some may find offensive, and political statements that may rub the wrong way, but there are some really interesting ideas about a subject that needs more attention) website is just too fun.  Please sit back and enjoy the soup kitchen for the homeless that a group of neat folks turned into a 5-star restaurant.  Note: have Kleenex handy. this site highlights a small excerpt from a book or some article covering history, science, sports, biographies, inventions, or what-have-you.  Great for trivia buffs.

(Petunias--Our winter gardens are the best.  By mid-summer everything will revert to desert brown but the winters make up for it.)

I made it this far on the blog last night when everything stopped.  The computer would not respond to anything at all.  Even my swearing.   Ohh, I hate machines, electronics, motors!  And they all hate me back.  So I turned it off and went to bed only to discover that everything was working this morning.  Well, Maybe 'HATE' is too strong a word.

Finally, the cactus are blooming! And my back is better so I may go for a walk.

The real estate agent had another open house yesterday and a couple of lookers strolled through, but otherwise, nothing at all. 

I will post again next Sunday if this computer is not acting cranky.  

FYI, Ron is in England this week (for work) and will be going to Norway the following week to meet the Larson Clan.  I am so jealous but I am hoping he is getting photos and will do a posting in the blog when he gets back.  

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Lee Lee's Market

Tucson has the most amazing Oriental Market called Lee Lee's that is just a few miles from my house.  I actually had occasion to visit the market twice this week....

Once with my friend Andrea ....

and the following day with friends Lynda and Robin.  I realize that two days in an Oriental market may sound excessive but the friends had never seen it before and I think it is an experience not to be missed.

They all three agreed with me.

First of all, it is huge.  

and mind-boggling--soy sauce anyone?

The isles are laid out by country, each displaying an  array of very different and exotic foods.  Who knew there were so many types of noodles, rice and teas.

I was not sure what these balls were.

But lots of interesting fruits....

and vegetables.

and .....

Robin had to check out the little altars.  

All the Buddhas were happy. 
It was a fun way to spend a couple of afternoons, but I am not sure how to prepare the Masman Curry Paste or the Ngu Vi Hu'o'ng that fell into my grocery cart.  The instructions on the back of the packages are a little hard to decipher.

This week I received an email from Jeanne Wolff about Music and I thought you readers might like to know how he is doing....
"We are getting along with Music and he is getting along with us. He is back in the living room next to his friend Foot right now because the cage situation got crowded in the bird room but they will go back in there with the next cleaning. Someone had to be in isolation for a week which meant an extra cage but she has recovered from her hurt foot and moved back to her original home now so space has been freed up.
Music seems to really want to either play with Foot or fight with him, one can never tell, but they seem to be happy sitting next to each other. He is still eating homemade cereal with gusto and likes chard. Today they have a couple of olive branches to chew on and he wants to chew on the leaves but does not like the little branch in his cage. He does like it when Foot gets on his cage and walks around on it but they do not appear to play with each other. Music is such a good name for him because he sings so well."
 Sigh Me is doing just great.  She is eating enough to gain weight and seems to be feeling much better.  We've taken a few mini trips in the RV and that really makes her happy.  It would make me happy if we could take a few longer trips.

There are still no potential buyers or lookers for the house.  According to the real estate agent, the market in Tucson is down right now.  So I am beginning to think I will be in the house for a long time.  Well, I can always explore the Mexican Market, the Greek Market and there's a new Safeway in town.

Stay tuned...I'll post again next Sunday.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

What's Next?

There is definitely good news and there is bad news....Let's start with the good:

Sigh Me has almost fully recovered! (?)  Naturally she is eating everything in sight and wants to sit in my lap all day, non-stop.  I think she has discovered she is not invincible and it is making her insecure.  So now, I am looking for a good cat therapist and in the meantime I am massaging her hourly and feeding her only the best cat food money can buy.

My Quail family has returned and I am eagerly watching for a new crop of babies.    But, sadly, the quail are the only visitors I have had to the house.  There are no buyers--or lookers--anywhere.  The real estate agent held an open house last Sunday but no one came--at all.  So it looks like the house may be on the market for a long, long time.  And that means very little traveling for me.  Perhaps some short trips to Tombstone or San Diego but not for any long length of time.  

Do I miss traveling? More than I can say.  
A good friend sent me this book that is a diary.... 

but, after 2 years on the road, it remains full of blank pages.  (Subtitle:  "The uncensored confessions of a trailer camp tramp") 
 I think Cracker Barrel parking lots may impede hot and steamy romances. 

I am now re-adjusting my priorities.  Tucson in the winter is unbelievably beautiful and I have been enjoying this amazing weather.  But summer is fast approaching and I am sure it is going to be a scorcher.  The garden is finally in shape and I am starting to plant flowers and herbs.  
I have cleaned the RV and it is ready to go on a moments notice--or just for a short trip out into the desert when I start to get too depressed.

Somewhere in the bottom of the storage bin I have stashed a set of watercolors and oils.  After all of the art museums and galleries I have explored I am sure I can produce something at least to rival the above masterpiece I found on the Internet.  I did not take this picture--it's a publicity photo from a museum in Europe.   Anyway, it inspired me to try my hand at creating....anything.  (Do you think he/or she used live models for that display?) I think I will try flowers instead.

Until I am back on the road again I have decided to post in the blog only on Sundays.  Even then I will probably have little to say.  But It will remind me that I have not given up on traveling and I will keep you, my most loyal readers, apprised of any progress in that direction.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

House for Sale


Just because I know that you out there are waiting to hear the latest on Sigh Me...
As you can see, she is greatly improved, though it may be only a respite.  She is spending a great deal of time sitting in my lap or on the back of the recliner gazing out the window.  Her doctor says she may be around for some time to come because she is a fighter but her life is fragile.  So I am appreciating every day and spoiling her rotten.  And I truly appreciate the concern and well-wishes from friends, family and loyal followers of this blog.  All those good vibes have surely helped.

Now for my lovely home.  Finally, everything is clean, painted and ready for some fortunate new family to move into this pueblo-style hacienda.

The entryway is quite dramatic...

And opens into a living room area. (Note, there are only two square rooms in the whole house.

The floors are Saltillo tile and the walls are all freshly painted.  Oops, the photographer got herself in the picture.

The hallway leads to four bedrooms and two baths.  That is a mirror at the end of the hall and that photographer managed to get herself in another picture. (what an ego)

Off the living room is the country-style dining room complete with....

a beehive fireplace that burns both wood and gas logs.
I have used the fireplace all winter and have not had to purchase wood in the 13 years I've been in the house.  The trees in the yard have supplied enough wood to keep me warm and cozy.
The kitchen has the open pantry there on the right that I truly love.  I enjoy cooking and I have discovered that the open pantry makes cooking much easier--everything I need is right in front of me.  

And the kitchen is easy to work in and easy to keep orderly.   The door opens to a two-car garage, laundry area and a catch-all pantry area.

Off the entryway is what was meant to be the living room but I have used it for a library and game room.  Right now most of my books, furniture and paintings are in a storage room so everything looks a little bare.  (please notice that crazy cactus outside the front window)

But this room made a good library.

                                                                      Guest Room #1
 I am only occupying one of the bedrooms because I am determined not to start unpacking all that stuff I have stored.  

Guest room #2
Besides, I would just have to clean and dust them. 

                                                                    Guest Room #3
                               All the bedrooms and the dining room have ceiling fans.

Master Bedroom
This room is so large that I was able to have a sitting area around the bay windows with enough room for a king-sized bed and several chest of drawers in the other half of the room.  There is a large walk in closet and a master bath complete with separate shower and a garden bathtub.  The door  in the picture above opens to the covered porch and backyard.

These windows have the wooden shades. (all the rest of the windows have blinds or drapes and screens) The yard is a favorite hangout for dozens of types of birds.  Regularly I have quail (baby quail in the spring), a hawk, 3 different kinds of woodpeckers, finches, hummingbirds, robins, blue jays and doves. I have also seen a coatimundi in the yard. (look it up) 


The following pictures are of the backyard...

This is the tangerine tree.  There are also an orange tree, a lemon, a pear, and a lime tree.

Plus lots of room for more trees.

For several years I had a vegetable garden with beans, and peppers, and squash, and even corn.

And all around the porch I had an herb garden that is gone now due to neglect.   From the back porch I can see mountains, desert and city lights at night.  I have a telescope and the back yard is great for stargazing.

Particulars:  Included is an automatic watering system, a brand new air conditioner/heater, and with the house comes a refrigerator, stove, dishwasher,  disposal, washer and dryer plus all the flower pots (both inside and outside) with plants growing in them, and a large composter.  
The house is on the largest lot in a very nice subdivision in northwest Tucson.  It is four blocks to Ironwood School (one of the best grammar schools in the city), less than 1 mile to the high school, 1/2 mile to Arthur Pack Golf course, and just blocks to two small shopping centers with drugstore and grocery stores.  

The real estate agent is Mark Schneider, Tel: 520-318-5290

I have loved this house and if it were not so large I would continue to come back to it each winter for as long as I continue to travel.  But I want to travel and I cannot serve two masters.  Hopefully someone will come along that appreciates the house and will enjoy it as much as I have.