Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Found Treasures

The worst of my cold has passed, and as long as I don't cough up a lung in the next day or two, I think I've survived. Thank you for all your kind wishes.

The snow has stopped, but not before a foot or so had to be cleared off my driveway.  Luckily I have a short driveway.  I could have let it sit there till Lloyd gets home on Friday, but that wouldn't have been a nice welcome home greeting for him, would it.

Now with my energy back, this morning I started sorting through some bins stored in my bedroom closet. I discovered a large shoebox filled with a scrapbookers treasure - hundreds of photo negatives.

 I'm not sure what the pictures are but I'm going to get out the handy-dandy gadget Lloyd gave me for Christmas for transferring slides and negatives into digital pictures and spend the rest of the day 'discovering' these treasures.  Several years ago we had a flood in our basement and I lost a lot of photo albums so I'm hoping some of these negatives are of those lost pictures.  Wouldn't that be a treat!!

Wish me luck!  Pat

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Welcome Home

I arrived back in Alberta from Arizona on Thursday night.

It was snowing.

It hasn't stopped snowing ever since.

I've shovelled a foot of it off the driveway already.

This is the color of my days now.

I remember Arizona fondly.

I want to be there now!

And to top it all off, I suddenly have a nasty head cold.  Aaaachooo!

I'm going back to bed and staying there till the snow stops or I get better...

whichever comes first.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012


What happens when a scrapbooker/blogger goes to a quilting supplies store with her sister?


I love colors...all kinds of colors, and the fabric store was a goldmine of color.  Here's a sampling:

Pretty Florals

Bright yellows and reds

Soft Prints

I love this bright orange sign

Two toned sateen

Hundreds of spools of brightly colored threads

Even the quilting how-to books were colorful

This beautiful bright quilt was full of chickens

Wendy bought the pattern for this swirl table runner so she could make one for herself.

I checked out Colors on the internet and found some interesting factoids that might tickle your fancy.

 The human eye can distinguish about 10 million different colors.

50% of women have 4 color cones in their eyes instead of the usual 3, meaning that they can differentiate more colors than the rest of the population who have 3 color cones.
 7 - 8% of human males are relatively or completely deficient in color vision.  Rabbits, cats and dogs have limited or no color vision.

 Humans are colorblind in dim light.
 Redheads are more susceptible to pain and require more anesthesia for surgery.
 The color of the universe is beige - "cosmic latte".  (Averaged color values of all the light from galaxies out to several billion light years)

 People work more efficiently when they can see houseplants, and patients recover more quickly from surgery and with fewer drugs when they are in a room with a green view.
 Baker-Miller Pink (Drunk Tank Pink).  This color has been used in prisons to keep inmates calm.  It is said to have a tranquilizing effect on people.   "Even if a person tries to be angry or aggressive in the presence of pink, he can't.  The heart muscles can't race fast enough.  Its a tranquilizing color that saps your energy.  Even the color blind are tranquilized by pink rooms."  Morton Walker, The Power of Color, (New York, Avery Publishing Group, 1991) pp 50-52

The End

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Botanical Gardens

I almost forgot to go back to Valentine's Day and blog about our visit to the Desert Botanical Gardens in Phoenix.  Since we had already 'done' Scottsdale, we didn't have time enough to explore the whole site, but we did do two of the trails.  It's full of amazing scenery whichever trail you follow.

It was a cool overcast day, not what we're used to when we come to Arizona, but it made for very pleasant walking and interesting cloud cover.

Randy, Wendy, Pat, Lloyd

Wendy at the entrance - glass sculptures

Cholla in bloom

Prickly Pear and Organ Pipe cactus

A Cactus Wren (I think) on top of a tree)

A beautiful golden barrel cactus

and behind it, a barrel cactus collapsed like a deflated basketball

Cactus Wren (I think)

A field of desert flora

I don't know what these cacti are but the circle of tiny pink blossoms around the top of them made me think of little girls dancing.

This cute little guy was darting all over the cactus without a worry about poking his eyes out!

Wendy and Randy with the Papagos in the background

There was a huge bunch of blossoms on this succulent

Lovely orange blossoms on the hoya (you Arizona bloggers feel free to correct me when I misname some of the animals and plants)

This fuzzy cactus looks like it's covered in long white hair.

There was a family of three rabbits foraging among the cactus.
The Desert Botanical Garden is a lovely place to visit at any time of the year.  There's always something different to see.  The beauty of it is in it's natural uncultivated setting.  And on the second Tuesday of the month admission is free after 1 pm.  Just so you know.


Saturday, February 18, 2012

Grand Finale

So on Wendy and Randy's last day here with us, the guys went golfing big surprise) while Wendy and I....

...went shopping at the outlet mall in Anthem.  We were gone for six hours and came home with blouses, jackets, earrings, rings, chocolate, purses, tote bags, kitchen implements, socks, and sore feet!  It was a fine and fitting ending to their visit to Surprise, AZ.

I'll be here till Thursday with no one but Lloyd to play with.  It's been great having company this past week.


Thursday, February 16, 2012

Frontier Country

Today's adventure took us to such western frontier sounding places as Apache Junction, Goldfield, Canyon Lake and Tortilla Flats.  Just see the fun we had and the sights we saw.

Apache Junction was our destination but just as a stopping off point to other sights.  Just outside of Apache Junction there's a reconstructed gold mining town from the late 1800s.  You can take a tour of an old gold mine, watch a real live gun fight, pay $1.00 to have your spouse hanged from the gallows, pan for gold, etc.  Since we had done all this a couple of years ago, and since we were on our way to someplace else, we just spent an hour in Goldfield sightseeing and taking in the atomosphere.

Lloyd and I resting on main street

The main feature of this area of Arizona is the Superstition Mountains.  Lots of stories are told of gold mines, including the famous Lost Dutchman Mine which is supposed to be worth millions of dollars.  They are very beautiful mountains, full of history and mystery.

Lloyd and I in Goldfield with the Superstition Mountains in the background.

Lloyd and Randy in front of a huge saguaro cactus and old mining machinery.

This haunted looking house on the top of the hill is the bordello - a very important part of frontier life.

And just look at who's visiting the beautiful young bordello hostess - none other than Lloyd and Randy!

While their oh-so-pure and chaste wives visit the church!  Can  you say "goodie two shoes"?

Then after a quick visit to the local hygenic facilities, we were off to our next adventure.

just kidding - this outhouse is just for show.

The main reason for our outing today was to take a riverboat cruise on Canyon Lake, 16 mile into the mountains from Goldfield.  I did not like the drive from Goldfield to Canyon Lake very much - all twisty turny narrow two-lane highway - up one mountain and down the next, around hairpin bends with breath-taking views.  I loved the views but there was no safe place to stop to take pictures.  The cruise was well worth the effort to get there though.

Part of Canyon Lake from the lookout

More of Canyon Lake

Dolly, our lake steamship

Wendy and Randy enjoying our open-air cruise

The captain pointed out points of interest on the 90 minute lake cruise.  Among them was this formation that he said was Johann Sebastian Bach sitting at his organ playing one of his compositions. We listened quietly and suddenly the air was full of the sound of one of Bach's beautiful pieces of a 'box' canyon...pardon the pun!

Now this one is a little trickier.  There is actually the form of a mastadon there.  His trunk is the dividing wall between the first two caves on the left.  His front leg is formed between the second and third caves, his underbelly is the third cave with the cave wall being his back legs.  From there it's easy to see the rest of his body.  Raise your hand if you can see the mastadon.  Good for you.  I knew you could do it.

 This is a 500 foot lava cliff.  This whole area was formed by the eruption of three super volcanoes millennia ago.  The wall of the cliff is very green - covered with a type of lichens that only grows on lava rock.

That's the lower part of the cliff wall behind me as I stand on the deck of the boat.

 The water looks green behind Wendy too, reflecting the green of the huge cliff.

One of the many vistas laid out for us.

Wendy, Lloyd and Randy enjoying the cruise.
We saw several bald eagles flying overhead, and the captain pointed out a nest at one point.  They were all far above us.  Here, through the magic of zoom lens is a picture of a golden eagle perched on top of a cliff. 

Now, in my last blog when I mentioned we were going to Apache Junction, Rho suggested in her comment that we go the extra few miles to Tortilla Flat and to be sure to check out the restrooms there.  So we did.  Tortilla Flat is a wide place in the road - population 6.  There's a mercantile store, a museum, a cafe and a restaurant.  Its the restaurant that is amazing.  It's huge and all it's walls are papered with dollar bills - real money!   Incredible. 

The wall in the foyer - papered with dollar bills

When Rho told me to check out the restrooms, I wasn't sure which ones she meant, so I took pictures of them all, starting with the one in the parking lot.

Then on the boardwalk, Wendy found this one.

But I think these were the ones Rho was referring to.  In the ladies restroom of the restaurant papered with dollar bills, were these awful, amazing stalls.  The awful part was the fact that they had short fronts so anyone wanting to see if someone was using any particular stall just had to look over the top.  Yuck.  The fun part was that you could have your picture taken in the stall...

Now ain't that just the classiest thing you ever did see??

On that note, I'll end this way-too-long blog.