Saturday, May 01, 2010

May Day!

Although I know that the critics will say "harsh lighting," I say that I did my best to capture the beauty of these irises on a very brightly sunny day. So there! I hope you like them: Today I opted to sleep in, rather than to do my morning Wii Fit routine. 7:30 saw me up, though, showering, and readying myself for a busy day. Jack, Harold, Kathy, and I went to the Folk Festival downtown. We'd driven in 2 cars, so that we could do our own things. We listened to some music, saw some booths where people were selling stuff, and heard more music.

And then I saw the booth where the guy was selling Native American flutes. Ok.. I've always wanted one of these. And Rick's tongue was silvery and the flutes that he'd made were just wonderful. I fell very much in love with a lovely one of walnut and it's here beside me now on the lovely matching walnut stand that I got for it. It's a 6-hole flute and I will be able to play anything on it.

We left the festival pretty early, because I'd gotten wind of a special promotional party at Rancho Del Lago -- that housing development that we'd happened upon a few weeks ago. This was a margarita party, and they had free cheeseburgers, chips, drinks, margaritas, and cake! There were hula dancers, fire dancers, and we got to go through the model homes again.

This was such a pretty day that we decided to take a drive through Saguaro National Park East. So many of the cacti and flowers were blooming; the desert is a beautiful palette of greens, yellows, blues of the mountains and sky, and red of the ocatillo.

And this evening, I did an hour of DDR on the Wii. So fun!

Friday, April 30, 2010

Beautiful Tucson

The first is from the Reid Park Rose Garden, shot yesterday. And the second is a flower I captured at Tucson Botanical Garden.
I got the car suited up to be towed! Yay! I'd had this done twice before, to the silver Honda CRV and then to the Mohave Mist Honda CRV. But Michael had handled the whole thing, and I had no idea what he paid, or what was involved. Well.. wow! I'd gotten 2 estimates for doing it and I was really amazed at all that was involved, timewise, and costwise. I won't say what I paid, because I really do NOT want people to tell me I got ripped off, ok, but I will just say.. it's an expensive proposition.
We got back from towing the car back here, and then took off to lay in some travel supplies from Costco. When I got back here, I had some supper, and then had a glance at the calendar. What? We'd forgotten the pizza/bocce ball party at Udall, put on by some of our friends from church! So I called Jack, picked him up, and we headed over there, arriving just in time to finish the last game of Bocce Ball.
Next, we went over to Eclectic Pizza, and, after my dinner, LOL, I did have a piece of pizza and a cookie! Yum! Great food, and really fun people.
Then I did DDR on my Wii! My knee is doing much better after a week of rest and Aleve 2x a day, and I danced on the thing for well over an hour, with no pain at all. I did sweat, however!

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Flowers in the Desert?

A green desert? Yes, the Sonoran Desert is one of the greener deserts, well-known for its wide variety of native plants and animals. The other factor which contributes to the green here is that Tucson is a city. We have people. And where there are people, we tend to grow things, water the ground to make things grow which might not grow naturally. This is why we have such wonderful roses, I think. The enchanting thing about the roses here is that they bloom sporadically year-round.

Here's one of the rose photos that I shot at the Reid Park Rose Garden:
This is one that I took at the Tucson Botanical Gardens:
I didn't get the car picked up today. Jack and I rented a carpet cleaner, cleaned mine, cleaned his, and cleaned his Mom's carpets. We went to lunch and then went back to vacuum her carpets. By the time we were done with all of this, the service department was about to close, so I rescheduled our pickup for tomorrow morning.
Harold and Kathy were hosting a happy hour, which we were happy to attend. The munchies were good, and the people, of course, were genial! :)
When I came back here, I did 45 minutes on the Wii, Dance-Dance Revolution. That is so much fun and the time just slides by, as I dance my way into a sweat.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Tiny White Flowers

More from the Tucson Botanical Garden:
I have not missed a day of Wii in over 2 weeks! And the days that I've missed since 1/1 I've walked or hiked or done something. Today's Wii Fit Plus activities included Advanced Step, Kung Fu, and Rhythm Boxing. If I'd known how fun and beneficial this exercising could be, I'd have been so all over this as soon as Wii was invented. Better late than never, though!

Yesterday was hiking, and we did the Ventana Canyon hike. We went to the Maiden Pools and saw the frogs! These adorable little gray frogs blend to match the rocks they sun upon. The hike is challenging, with a bunch of up during the last mile. When I got home, I was just *tired.*

But not too tired to go out for a great evening with John and Peggy! We went to Macaroni Grill and had a fine dinner of pasta and lots of laughs.

This afternoon, we took the car to LaMesa to get her ready to be towed. They have to weld a plate onto the car and wire it all up and it'll be ready tomorrow afternoon!

On the way back to our side of town, we took a small detour and visited the Rose Garden at Reid Park. Oh WOW! You may remember that we took the Foto Fun club there for a photo shoot early in the season and got a few photos. Welllll... the roses are OUT now, and baby, are they gorgeous! I do so hope that some of my photos turned out well.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Hot day in Tucson

Aren't these purty? Today's a hot day in Tucson -- the sort of day when you can't even think about cleaning. I did do laundry this morning, before it got too hot. Ran a few errands and then caught up on email and Facebook.

This evening, I drove over toward the U of A and met my friend Becky, with whom I had taught at Bloomington South. She's living in Tucson now, and on the faculty of U of A. It was very cool to find her on Facebook, and even cooler to get together in person and to get caught up! Claim Jumper served us up fine fare for dinner.
Now it's off to bed with me!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Red Flower

Another flower that posed for me at the Tucson Botanical Gardens: Today has been a great day! I began on the Wii Fit Plus, taking it a little easy still because of my knees, which I toasted doing Wii Dance Dance Revolution. They are getting better with rest and Aleve, though, and I'll be back on the DDR before long!

I swung by and picked up Jack to go to church. The service was fun, with a special part for the children, which I always love, and then a good sermon. But afterwards, was very fun indeed! We all went over to Udall Park where we had a picnic! There was great food and lots of games. I played Bingo and did the 3-legged race with Rene and we came in 2nd.

I had made my Chocolate Peanut Butter Trifle, and it was a big hit, disappearing early. Here's the recipe for those of you who want it. Let me tell you my one rule for my recipes. Please, if there's a chance of my bringing this to the same party, bring something else! If I won't be there, though, make, share, enjoy!

Tip: If you want to have some of this for yourself without messing up the trifle, take a small bowl and make a miniature version in it as you do the big-bowl version. No one will be the wiser. ;)

Janee's Chocolate Peanut Butter Trifle

1 glass Trifle dish (You can make this in a bowl, but the dish makes the whole thing more elegant!)
1 small Chocolate Cake (pound cake or cream cake, premade)
Chocolate - Peanut Butter Sauce (Recipe follows)
1/2 C honey-roasted or toffee peanuts
24 mini Reeses Cups, unwrapped and cut into quarters
1 tub Cool Whip

Chocolate - Peanut butter Sauce
In a medium saucepan combine:
4 T butter (85g)
2/3 C milk (170g)
4 oz semi-sweet chocolate chips
Heat this till it's all melted and then whisk together well. It'll still not look great at this point.
Whisk in:
3/8 C peanut butter (96g)
2T corn syrup (38g)
Let the sauce cool, and it'll thicken a bit as it cools. It will not be very thick, but that's ok. :)

1) Make the sauce.
2) Slice the cake thinly.
3) Assemble the ingredients in a line, in the order that I've listed.
4) Layer the ingredients, repeating the pattern about 3 times. That is, put down slices of cake into the bottom of the trifle bowl. Pour 1/3 of the sauce over the cake. Sprinkle over 1/3 of the peanuts and 1/3 of the Reese's cups. Dollop 1/3 of the Cool Whip over the top and spread it to the edges. Repeat.. and then Repeat.
5) Garnish with Reese's Cups and/or peanuts or chocolate chips.
6) Make a sign for the Trifle, stating that this dessert is NOT for people with peanut allergies.