Thursday, January 31, 2013

Great Day With the Kids

Two of our grandchildren and their Dad arrived from Edmonton last night.  This was a special quick trip for them to watch the Edmonton Oilers play against the Phoenix Coyotes tonight.  Eight-year-old Max is a hockey player and his team had just won gold in their league tournament.  This trip to see our hometown heros play our second favorite NHL hockey team in Phoenix was a special treat for him and for his nine-year-old sister, Charlie.

But before the hockey game we had a whole day to fill.  We started by going to Surprise Lake to feed the ducks.

and to play in the playground

and sit and watch the waterfowl glide by

and pose for silly pictures

Then when I couldn't keep them away from it any longer, we went home where they spent nearly two hours playing in the pool.  Although the water was nice and warm, the air was too cold for me to want to go swimming so I sat at the side of the pool and took pictures and kept score during their game of water basketball.

It was fun to watch these kids who, a few years ago, had to be coaxed into the water.  Now they're regular water babies and can't get enough of the pool.

Then, finally, it was time to go to the big game.  The six of us had great seats right behind the Edmonton penalty box.  It turned out to be a very exciting game, with Edmonton winning in overtime 2/1.

The Phoenix Coyotes wearing red and the Edmonton Oilers in white and blue.

Charlie got up to cheer and show off her Oilers pride shirt.  It was surprising how many Oilers fans were at the game, cheering louder and longer than the Coyote fans.

It was a real treat for Max to be at the game with his dad.  They had a great time.

It was so much fun to be there just listening to Max.  He constantly yelled encouragement to his team, commenting on every play that was made.

It was a bit nerve wracking when the Coyotes tied the game up in the dying seconds of the last period forcing the game into overtime, but our boys in blue managed to pull a win out of it and we all went home happy.  What a great game for the kids' first NHL experience.   I was glad to be able to share it with them.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Not the AZ I'm Used To

In the five years we've been coming to Arizona, I've never seen a January this wet and cool (I'd say 'cold', but, well, I'm here to escape the -20+ temperatures of home so to me this is just cool).  In previous years we've been in the pool every day, wearing sandals and cropped pants, never a jacket!  Not so much this year, but still, it's better than driving on icy roads and shoveling snow.  And it's still a nice vacation.

Here's the predominant color this week:

Lloyd and I were in a store and could hear the drum beat of rain on the roof.  When we went outside, this beautiful rainbow brightened the day.

The saguaro cactus in our back yard though looked like it was crying in the rain.

Wendy and Randy left for home yesterday, but before they left we managed to spend almost 15 minutes in the pool.  The water was heated but it wasn't up to it's usual balmy temperature.  Our swim was short-lived.

During a spell between rain showers, Wendy and I went to Surprise Lake and fed the ducks, geese, pigeons, and numerous other birds that hang out there.

And when it was too wet to go outside, we put a couple of puzzles together.  The small one has 1000 tiny little pieces and the larger one has 500 much-easier-to-handle pieces.

And that brought us to the end of the week.  We had a good time with Wendy and Randy and were sad to see them leave....back to the cold and snow that is home.

Sunny days ahead!

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Colors of Arizona - 3

Wendy and I spent a very enjoyable afternoon at the Heard Museum in downtown Phoenix.  The Heard is a beautiful, modern, interactive museum dedicated to the preservation of the native American culture and artifacts.  It also celebrates the accomplishments of the native people. 

The feature display right now celebrates the contribution of the native people in the first and second world wars, namely the famous Code Talkers, who through the use of a code based on their native languages were able to pass information throughout the allied forces that couldn't be decoded by anyone else.  This beautiful display of artifacts, and video is normally housed at the Smithsonian in Washington, DC but was loaned to the Heard Museum.

Unfortunately I don't have any pictures of the Code Talkers display.  But I do have a couple of paintings by Dan Namingha, a Hopi artist.  This first one is called Cardinal Colors, depicting the four colors of corn that sustained the Hopi people.  The yellow represents north, white is east, brown is south, and blue is west. 


I'm afraid I didn't read what the meaning of this picture by Mr. Namingha is.  I'll leave it for the reader to interpret.

This beautiful wall of natural poles adorned with molten glass colors represents the evolution of day into night (I think) or it could be the evolution of the natural world. Either way, it's beautiful and very tactile.  It's hard not to touch each large glass piece.

At one of the interactive displays, Wendy made a type of small doll the native children used to have, made from scraps of fabric and fibre.

At another interactive station, I put together a beautiful native puzzle.

Then, after a light lunch in the outdoor courtyard of the museum, we hopped back into our very uncolorful car and drove home.

Last night we turned the heater on in the pool so it would be the perfect temperature for swimming today and wouldn't you know, when we woke up this morning it was raining and cool, and it's supposed to stay that way for three or four days.  Oh well, it's better than the snow and -30C temperatures they're 'enjoying' back home where the only color of consequence is white

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Colors of Arizona - 2

First of all, a big thank you to daughter Emily for reformatting my blog for me.  I was so frustrated just trying to find Blogger's dashboard that I handed it all over to my creative baby and told, begged, asked her if she could do something, anything, with it.  She did a great job.

Arizona is getting warmer by the day  but we've been too busy so far to heat up the pool and go swimming.  We're planning to take the plunge on Thursday though.  It's supposed to be 29C here by then.

I love color and with my sister, the quilter, here we went to one of the most colorful places in town - Sun Valley Quilts.

The quilted sign hanging inside the store
There were crazy colorful characters strategically placed around the shop...



  1. Bunny

Quilter, Shopper, Sister, Wendy

Guard Dog
There were hundreds of bolts of quilting fabric of every color and pattern....

Reds and Whites

Pinks and Yellows

Fruits and Vegetables
Flowers and Botanicals
Hallowe'en prints
Beautiful Blues
Pretty Purples
 And displays of beautiful quilts.

Unlike Wendy, I didn't buy anything at the quilt store, but I can't say that about our next stop of the day - See's Candy.  The only important color in that store is Chocolate Brown.  Some colors taste better than others, don't you think??

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Colors of Arizona - Day 1

We arrived in Arizona yesterday for a two week stay in the sun, away from the deep freeze that hit Alberta yesterday.

As we hurried through Terminal 3 of the Phoenix SkyHarbour Airport, I noticed a huge stained glass panel on the ceiling...actually three huge panels...depicting (I think) air travel.  If we hadn't been in such a hurry I would have gone down to the lower level to get a picture of the whole effect, which included a large biplane suspended from wires below the stained glass panels.  As it was, I was lucky to get these pictures with my cell phone.  I really have to start carrying my 'real' camera with me.

This is the center panel

A close-up of the center of the center panel

One of the end panels

 Either both the end panels are the same (this looks like a space ship blasting off) or I took two pictures of the same panel and none of the other one.
It was nice to get to the house and check everything out.  There's always something new - more growth, more fruit, or in this case less fruit.  Daughter Sara had been there a week before us and she and her kids harvested the tangerine tree and ate every one of the 14 tangerines that had grown there...our first tangerine crop.  By all reports the fruit was delicious.

But they left eight large, juice oranges on the orange tree, which I promptly picked and brought inside for display and eating.  There was no sign of frost on them even though the previous week here had temperatures below freezing.  (It's 20C here today).

Too bad we can't grow our own bananas, but I thought they looked very pretty and inviting in with the oranges.

Isn't it lovely that all of these pictures feature two of my favorite colors, orange and yellow.  Purely coincidence.

We're looking forward to an enjoyable two weeks here.  My sister Wendy and her husband Randy will be joining us tomorrow for a week.  They're from Winnipeg, which is even colder than Edmonton. 

Hope you're all having a sunny orange and yellow weekend too.