Thursday, June 30, 2011


I have a beautiful poppy in a planter outside my patio door.
Yesterday the sun was shining on it, making it glow. 

It is newly opened and the delicate petals still showed
the crinkles and wrinkles of being confined to it's bud pod.

It's stem had crooks in it, as poppy stems tend to have -
and fine hairs -
but it was a strong stem, well able to hold up the delicate flower.

Until a late afternoon thunder shower beat it down
causing it's beautiful head to bow.

I was able to capture the sun shining off the rain drops as they fell - the white streaks in the picture

It's dry and sunny today and the poppy is alive and well,
fully opened though not standing as tall as it was yesterday morning.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Paper Dolls

Remember the good old days of our childhood when we could spend hours playing with our cut-out dolls?  My sister and I used to have lots of them.  I remember Wendy's favorite set was called "Heavenly Blue Wedding" and the wedding party had the most beautiful clothes.  My corresponding one was a lot less ornate, but I never let Wendy know that I liked hers best.  She used to say that she wanted a dress just like the one her paper doll had.  We also had paper dolls modelled after the celebrities of the day - I had Ann Southern (I imagine no one remembers her now), and Grace Kelly, Elizabeth Taylor, and the Disney Sleeping Beauty set among others.  We played with those the way our granddaughters play with Barbies today.

Mum also taught us to make our own paper dolls from the Sears catalogs.  I in turn  taught my girls that trick and for a number of years all our catalogs were cut up to make rooms to furnish and characters to dress and name.  They loved doing that.

My 7-year old granddaughter, Brooklyn, was feeling under the weather today so I was recruited to babysit while her parents went to work.    Knowing she just had a sore throat and slight fever I decided not to go unarmed.  I went into my stash of stuff for visiting grandchildren and found a paper doll book with six Disney princesses and lots of beautiful clothes.  Brooklyn had never seen anything like that so I was happy to introduce this fun play to her.  I was just glad the dolls and their wardrobes now come  in punch out form so we didn't have to use scissors to cut each individual piece out.

It was a fun day with a little not-too-sick girl.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Time to Leave

We're all packed and ready for the shuttle to take us to the airport in a few hours.  It's been a fun stay these past two weeks.

A bit  of drama....thanks CR

Meeting new friends....thanks Jo and Holly

Reconnecting and shopping with family was a fun day, thanks Cath

Rest, relaxation, movies, pool time, cruising, restaurant food, shopping...thanks Lloyd

And learning that Arizona in the summer is like Alberta in the winter - leave it for more pleasant temperatures if at all possible.

We're already planning our next trip back - after the heat has abated somewhat.

We love it here but are looking forward to being back home - isn't that just the way it always is.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011


We went cruising again today.  There's so much to see.  Here's a sampling of interesting sights from a stretch of road from Scottsdale to Surprise.

I didn't know Bill even lived in Phoenix!

Gas prices - always something to write home about.  I have no idea how that translates to cost per litre so we Canadians will have to figure it out on our own.

One of the many, many Mexican restaurants down here.  We've tried a number of them and haven't been disappointed yet.

A hot babe (?) in an old Ford Fairlane convertible.  Lloyd drooled - over the car, not the driver!

Fry's Electronics - not to be confused with the Fry's supermarket.  This required a closer look so we went inside.  It's all done like an Aztec pyramid.  Very impressive.

We drove through this lovely campus.  Very nice.

Patriotism is alive and well in the USA!

Whadda know?  A McDonalds.  Mango smoothies is here, and so is I.

Look at the tattoo on this dude's leg.  We've noticed a lot more inked people down here than we've ever seen at home.

The remnants of a McCain/Pallin election flag - tattered like the dreams of those named on it.

Bumper sticker - The bigger the government, the smaller the citizen.

Irrigating the boulevard - they run the water on the grass until it looks like a pond.  Rinse, Dry, Repeat.

Thunder Gas???  Baked beans anyone???

How hot was it today???  115F.  That's how hot.

And for my Canadian friends - that's 46C.    Sorry for the shakiness of the pictures, but the heat made my hands too weak to hold the camera steady while the car was moving!  It was deliciously cool in the car though.

..which is why we were cruising in the first place.

Time to hit the pool now that it's cooled off a degree or two.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

You Put Da Lime In Da Coconut....

So, what do my new favorite summer drink, my favorite scented body lotion and my favorite fun song have in common???

Sing along with me here....or click on the attached link to hear Harry Nilsson sing it.

Lime in the Coconut

Brother bought a coconut, he bought it for a dime
His sister had another one, she paid it for a lime.
She put the lime in the coconut, she drank them both up
She put the lime in the coconut, she drank them both up
She put the lime in the coconut, she drank them both up
She put the lime in the coconut, she called the doctor, woke him up,
And said, "Doctor, ain't there nothin' I can take,
I say, Doctor, to relieve this belly ache?
I say, Doctor, ain't there nothin' I can take,
I say, Doctor, to relieve this belly ache?"
"Now let me get this straight ",
Put the lime in the coconut, you drank them both up
Put the lime in the coconut, you drank them both up
Put the lime in the coconut, you drank them both up
and on...and on...

Betcha you'll be singing that one all day...

Now, I've discovered my very favorite summer drink of all time down here in Arizona at, of all places, Taco Bell.  I sure hope the ones in Canada have this too or else I may have to consider spending the whole summer down here just so I can have my daily fix of their Pina Colada Freeze, and/or Strawberry Colada Freeze.  What is it about coconut, pineapple, and lime that takes a drink to the very heights of deliciousness!!!

And finally, my favorite body lotion scent....Coconut Line Verbena by Bath and Body Works.  I discovered it in Arizona a couple years ago so I consider it my Arizona scent and when I use it back home, it never fails to make remember Arizona.  I love it!

So that do the three have in common?  Three guesses!

Now, go about your day and think of me whenever you can't get the Coconut song out of your head.  Have a great day!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Father's Day

Since neither Lloyd nor I have living fathers to celebrate Father's Day with, and since we're many, many miles from our own kids, we just decided to have a day in which Lloyd does whatever he wants.  Luckily, he wanted me with him all day so I got to share his celebration.

Our first stop was in Scottsdale at a small Mexican restaurant called Fiesta Burrito for an early lunch.

Doesn't he look cute sitting there like a movie star with his dark glasses on.

Then we drove along the road where Sarah Palin and Wayne Gretzky probably buy their cars.

We didn't see either one of them though, so we went to a car dealership that specializes in restoring antique cars.  That was a surprisingly fun place to go - so many of the antique cars there were cars we remembered from our youth.  Of course, it only takes 20 years for a car to be declared an antique.  Here are some of my favorites.

1959 Ford Edsel - these were only made for 3 years. I love the color.

Not sure what this was but it sure looks like a gangster car from the 1930s.  Can't you just see Al Capone and/or Baby Face Nelson leaning out the windows to shoot at the good guys!
This looks like one his father used to own.

1930 Ford Model A.  This is waaaay before my time!

When we left there we decided not to use the freeway to go home.  Instead we took a leisurely drive home through Scottsdale, Phoenix, Glendale and Surprise, taking note of places we'd like to go another day.  We also stopped at a mall in Phoenix and bought a few things.  We love going to new stores and seeing what we can find.

When we got home we relaxed with some pool time.  Lloyd likes puttering around and playing with the skimmer.  It's so windy in the afternoons here that the pool gets full of stuff from the trees.   He cleaned it out and then went swimming.  What a great afternoon!

For his Father's Day dinner, Lloyd barbequed steaks while I made baked potatoes and fried mushrooms.  Coconut cream pie for dessert.

And now it's dark and he's sitting by the pool playing Scrabble on his iPad.  As soon as I finish this post, we're going to go upstairs and watch a movie.

He says he's had a great day...he had phone calls and facebook wishes from the kids, hung out with his favorite girl and did whatever he wanted with his day.  Sounds good to me.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Old Blue Eyes

And no, I don't mean Frank Sinatra. 

One of Lloyd's most beautiful features are his blue eyes.  He's the only blue-eyed person in his family but he passed them down, in various shades, to all of our kids and all but 2 or 3 of our grandchildren. 

He woke up a couple of days ago with an added color...

He says he wasn't hit with a ball or golf club earlier in the day - I think he'd remember something like that anyway.  It wasn't like that when he went to bed the previous night.  I absolutely deny any responsibility for his shiner.  Really.

As it appears to be healing, we'll just chalk it up to one of those mysterious injuries - at least until someone admits taking a poke at those beautiful eyes


Whatever comes to mind...

It's quiet here guests, visitors, demands on our time and attention.

No pictures to post either.

What's the deal with blog followers?  I've been blogging for three years and still only have 17 followers! I know I'm boring and repetitious but come on! Help me out, build my self-esteem.  I know for a fact that at least 10 people closely related to me read my blog regularly.  Make me feel important! Click on the followers link on the side bar and be counted people.  I'm not too proud to beg.  Or give me ideas on how to perk up a flagging site.

I bought a pool dress the other day - long and flowing - loose and cool.  I wore it yesterday for the first time.  I loved it.  But I'll never wear it when anyone's here - except Lloyd.  I'm just not that kind of person.  I'd feel like I'm being pretentious.  It feels good on though.  Take my word for it.

 Do you know they have Lobster cakes down here?  Lloyd discovered them yesterday and bought two packages.  They are soooo good.  We can occasionally get crab cakes in Edmonton, and I very rarely will make fish cakes like our mothers used to, but the lobster cakes take it to a whole other plane.  Served with potato salad and corn on the cob, it's a great down-home meal.

Once again we're going to have to buy a suitcase to take home with us.  We have so many suitcases at home that we could open a luggage store.  But we end up down here with only a carry-on each.  We're clearing out our closet and dresser drawers this time and taking home all the stuff we've accumulated down here but don't wear, or things we want to take home to wear.  We've already had a bag full of clothes picked up by a local charity.  We just collect too much stuff.  My pool dress will stay here though.  No pools for us in Alberta.

Does anyone know what's happened to my little lizard buddies?  Until this week whenever I've been in the pool I spot three or four of the cute little guys running up and down the cement (or whatever) fence.  I haven't seen any this time.  Is it too hot for them?  Or have they been scared away.  Our pest control person put down some sticky squares of something just inside our garage a couple months ago.  They were supposed to trap crawling critters.  Lloyd found one with three dead and dessicated lizard bodies on it (big mistake - they weren't among the unwanted critters here), but there must be some left to run our walls.  I miss them.  And I think I just answered my question.

Well now I'm just boring myself.  I'll understand if you're too embarassed to sign in as a follower.
Have a fun weekend.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

New Friends

I met some new friends today.  That doesn't happen very often.

But in Blogger land friends are made without ever having a face-to-face meeting.  When the chance presents itself to meet those 'friends' it's hard to resist the opportunity.

I learned awhile ago that one of my blogger friends lives in Surprise, AZ, and another one lives in Peoria.  Today we got together and I met Jo and Holly, who had already met one another several months ago.

It was scary.  I don't make friends easily and tend to hold back when I meet new people.  But today's meet went very well - Jo and Holly are fun and funny  and our lunch get-together lasted for three hours.

Our first stop was Paradise Bakery Cafe

Holly, Jo, Pat
 Then we went on a hunt for 4th of July paraphernalia. There was none at Pier 1 so we went over to Michaels where the girls found some stuff but not exactly what they wanted.

Jo and Holly
 Then Holly found some red, white and blue streamer headbands and we all ended up buying one.

Holly and Jo
 So we all put them on and Holly insisted that we wear them through Target.  We got lots of stares but the little kids we passed liked them.

Me, Holly and Jo
It was a good time.  Thanks, ladies, for the fun outing.  We'll have to do it again next time.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Quiet Day, Restful Day

Lloyd went golfing this morning with his nephew and his friend.  I was left alone to fill the hours on my own - something I enjoy doing.  Anticipating just such 'me' time, I brought with me a card-making kit (sort of like portable scrapbooking) and I sat down and spent a couple nice quiet hours creating greeting cards.  I also took several breaks to play Scrabble and read a Dean Koontz novel on my iPad.

Here's the finished product:

I like making cards - it's a great way to use up scrapbooking scraps.  Trouble is, once I've made them I hate to give them away.

It got up to 108F today (about 42-43C) so we spent some time in the pool this afternoon when it got shady in the back yard.  So nice!

All in all a lovely peaceful day in Paradise.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

A Day Out With Cath

I have a sister-in-law who lives 500 miles north of me in northern Alberta.  It seems lately that the only time we get together is when we both happen to be down here in Arizona at the same time.  Such was the case this week.  When we realized we were both down here we decided to have a day out together.

So, after I got lost trying to find her place in Sun City, Catherine and I headed straight for Arrowhead Mall in Glendale.  We weren't more than ten steps inside Dillards when we found our first purchases - shoes...comfortable sandals for me and dressy heels for Cath.  I had the salesgirl pack up my old ones and I put my new ones on and wore them for the rest of the day.
Me and Cath holding Cath's new shoes.

Then, still in Dillards, we tried on dresses, shirts and pants and we each came away with several new items of clothig.  The salespeople there were very accommodating and didn't seem to mind taking pictures of the crazy Canadians.

The not-so-fun part, of course, was having to pay for our purchases.

I had the pleasure of introducing Cath to the joys of the See's Chocolate Store.  It's such fun to go there and make up our own box of chocolates from the dozens of different delicious treats available.  And of course, the free samples made our choices easier.  We each filled a half-pound box to take with us.

It wasn't all fun and chocolate though.  As we drove away from the Mall we noticed that the van was making an awful noise.  We finally (half a block away) realized that we had a flat rear tire.  So I turned in at the nearest turn-off which was a Honda dealership on Bell Rd., just 20 minutes before they were closing.  We were taken right in and the service man replaced the broken valve, told us there was no charge for it, and wished us a pleasant day.  We were totally impressed with the service we got, and our van wasn't even a Honda.

I brought Cath back to my place where we showed Lloyd our purchases, told him our tale of the flat tire,  and enjoyed a cool drink on the back deck.

And Catherine took a picture of me and Lloyd before we drove her back to her place.

It was a fun and tiring day.  Maybe we'll get together when we're back home in Alberta.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Words and Pictures

Today I was thinking about the diary Lloyd was given for Christmas one year when he was 10 or 11.  He wrote his daily thoughts for about a week and then every day for a month there's just one word on each page:






and then...






Y get the idea.

I think our vacation here in Arizona can be summed up in a few words per day:

Cruise around in the 1992 Buick Roadmaster



Take Pictures


Watch a movie


There are a few variables being thrown in occasionally, like golf for Lloyd for the next three days, but that's basically how our R&R is playing out.  Nice!  We're really going to enjoy retirement when Lloyd finally gets there.

Here's a few miscellaneous pictures of the past few days.

One of at least a dozen limes on our tree

Close up of the blossom of the bottle-brush tree

The beautiful new bottle brush tree in our front yard

The deserted nest Mickey and I watched the birds build in March

A freezer full of ice cream.  Apparently when Amy and Curtis were here a couple weeks ago there was a sale on Ben & Jerry's ice cream, so they stocked up.  Thanks guys! My favorite was the peach cobbler.

Lloyd climbed up on the roof to replace the screen that had blown off, again.

While up on the roof, Lloyd took pictures of the back yard.

and the side yard

And that's it so far.