Monday, April 28, 2014

Sigh Me's Meditations and My Musings

 Toni says:  The very best website on the Internet has to be "".  I keep mentioning the site to friends and family only to discover many do not know what it is.  From my viewpoint it is what the Internet does best--it connects people who share similar passions.  

(Sigh Me Says:  Just when I find a nice comfy spot with the bright light warming the carpet, the light moves!   I don't understand why, but when I wake up and find the light gone I just yowl. Then Mama gives me a treat to make me be quiet:)

Toni says:  If you venture into the meetup website and enter your city or zip code you will discover a list of all the gatherings in your area --poetry readings, mountain climbing, exercise classes, dominoes, book clubs, Wiccan festivals, free thought discussion groups, and on, and on, and on. Tucson has more than 350 meetups each month.  And if you don't find what you are looking for--Pez collectors, professional clowns, ferret rescuers, etc--then you can start your own meet up. I bet you will find at least a dozen others that share your interest in macaroni jewelry making. 

(Sigh Me Says:  Sometimes in the afternoon there is too much light coming through the window so I have to cover my eyes.  I can sleep like that for hours--until Mama comes over and touches me to see if I am still alive.)

Toni Says:  While traveling to new cities I have used Meetup to connect with people through playing Scrabble or Bridge, or by visiting an interesting discussion group.  Last week here in Tucson I ventured into two new groups.

(Sigh Me Says:  Afternoon naps are the best.)

Toni Says:  The first meet up was Photography.  I had hopes of getting some pointers on taking pictures;  I am such a novice but I would like to learn more.  There were about 40 to 50 people there, mostly professional photographers, all happily showing off their beautifully engineered, super elaborate equipment.  But I was the only one with a tiny, bright red Canon (On sale for $89 at Best Buy) that is decorated with a Disney Princess sticker, put there by little Amara Jo Som last spring when I was in northern California.  When I introduced myself and held up my colorful camera the response was a bit subdued.  Anyway, I suspect I will keep on looking for a 'Photography Meetup for Rank Beginners.'

(Sigh Me Says:  Naps on Mama's belly are not bad.  She's softer than the floor, but she keeps poking me in the head with her book or bouncing me onto the floor when she wants to get another ice tea.)

Toni Says:  My second meetup last week was called, "Life in the Third Trimester" and open to anyone over 60 years of age who's looking for adventure--right up my alley. The topic was "Becoming Creative" and the dozen or so people there were enthusiastic and already creative enough to inspire me.  There was another 'blogger' present and she let me in on another meetup that I will be attending tomorrow.

(Sigh Me Says,  "Mama, will you please get up and get me a treat?  I am sooooo hungry."
Mama says, "Your feet are poking me in my stomach, Ouch!)

Toni Says:  Tomorrow's Meetup will be "The Tucson Bloggers"!  I was so excited to learn there are over 200 bloggers in this city.  How amazing.  I expect to get a great many good ideas from this group and also to become inspired to venture further afield with my blog.

(Sigh Me Says: I know how to open cabinet doors so I like to play the game--"find a new place to nap."  It's always funny when Mama can't find me.)

Stay tuned, if tomorrow's meetup is as good as I anticipate then changes may occur on this blog...or not. 

(Sigh Me Says:  Ohh, it's been such a long hard day. Time for my beauty sleep.)

Toni Says: Nothing new on the house so I am still here--but I am determined to have fun while I wait.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

ASU Art Museum, Phoenix

I received a call yesterday from son, Ron.  He is in Norway.  He has been in London for a week as part of his job and decided, while he was in that part of the world, to fly to Norway to meet some of the Larson cousins.  I think he is having an amazing time and I am begging him to take pictures.  I also am wildly jealous, should I add Norway to my bucket list?  Hmm. 

And just as I was feeling so sorry for myself for being stuck here in a house that doesn't move, staring out at scenery that never changes, I read in the Hattie's Hut blog (the link is over there to the right of the page), that Marianna, the author of the blog would be in Phoenix for a few days.  So, on Wednesday, I jumped into the RV and took off for the 90 mile trip north and a day of great fun.

Even though it upsets my high standards for dining out, we chose a chain restaurant for lunch, one that I had never experienced before.  And surprise, it was very good.   I have even learned there is an Oregano's near my house in Tucson so I may have to visit it sometime soon.

Marianna and her husband, Terry, flew over from their home in Hilo, Hi. because Terry was doing some consulting for a few days with a company in Phoenix.  Marianna suggested we visit this brand new pottery museum in Tempe that is an extension of the ASU Art Museum.  

Very few museums have amused and entertained me as much as this one did.  I expected to see lots of bowls, vases, and pitchers....

But 'utilitarian' is not the word I would apply to this enormous display of pottery art that spans many decades and an assortment of genres.  

Ahh, a pitcher.  This was a much older piece that dates from a time when pottery was useful rather than just looked at.

These pieces were enormous and made me wonder how you fire something that is almost 6' tall.

Almost everything is behind glass and I took many pictures of every object but the glare from the glass always shows up. 

I really wanted to capture the detail of so many of these pieces but it was hard.  If you look closely you can see both Marianna and myself with this, um, jug.

I really hope this is an apothecary jar, that the head screws off, and it's full of 
M & M's.  Wouldn't that be the best cookie jar, ever?

These little gals next to him seem to think he's pretty funny, too.

This enormous globe was first created, then shattered.  The pieces were individually glazed, glued back together, then fired.

Ditto with this one.....


...And this one.  It is a very interesting technique but I would find it hard to purposely shatter one of these utterly perfect, and very large bowls.

How do you get newsprint on clay?  

Sigh Me would appreciate this one.  Yes, I left her at home today.  It is getting far too hot to be able to leave her in the RV for the day.  I felt bad though because she really misses sleeping in the passenger seat when I'm driving.

This guy likes frogs.  If you look to the top of this creation you will see a tiny frog head, poking out.

Bacon, eggs and frogs over easy.

And a pot of black-eyed peas seasoned with frogs. 

This one is just beyond explanation. 



Arizona kitsch...

Self portraits....

...and, Yes, that's a frog on his head.

                       This piece was by a native American artist and I think it is my favorite.

The curator of the museum informed us that they were only displaying about 20% of the collections the museum owned.  Since the displays will be changed often I have decided to make this museum a regular stop anytime I am in the area.

That evening Marianna, Terry and I found a Mexican restaurant for a scrumptious dinner and interesting conversation before I headed back to Tucson. The next morning they left for Sedona and the Grand Canyon.  (Be sure and check out her postings on the Grand Canyon with some lovely photos)

Until next weekend--and maybe something fun and unexpected will crop up between now and then.

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.