Monday, December 26, 2011

Christmas plus 1

It's Monday, Dec. 16, 2011 -- the day after Christmas.

The damage is + 1 1/2 pounds which will have to be worked on this week, starting today.

Hubby gave me a silver and turquoise necklace with two sets of earrings, one silver and the other turquoise. Excellent taste, even if he does plead ignorance to the shop ladies, who help him pick out something. Final choice is still his.

His gift was a Motorola Zoom, PC version of the Ipad. Made to sit handily nearby on the coffee table for quick access to email, internet and any questions that come up during TV/Movies.
Will also work as GPS next time we take a road trip and need to find locations of cities, hotels, restaurants.

:) Another high-tech gadget.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Christmas Greetings

Wow, just have to frost the cookies and I can sit down and put up my feet. Two batches already mailed and given away to sons, relatives and friends.

This batch is for us on Christmas morning. :)

The packages were all sent; the cards mailed and the Christmas tree is glowing with lights.

Holiday summary:

Nicest new entry making things easier -- self-seal envelopes on Christmas cards.

Hardest thing to find late in the game -- cards that say "Merry Christmas" instead of "Greetings" or "Happy Holidays".

Unexpected pleasant experience -- all the smiles and friendly people waiting in mile-long lines at the post office.

Holiday thought: A Very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you all.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Halloween - Piglet Race

Molly posed nicely for a Halloween picture at the front door with Bear.

But, did you miss the Halloween piglet race here in Marana? No worries, we captured the highlights below:

And the winner was ... piggy #1. (Drat ... should have shot video on this one.)

Homeward Bound

After 3 weeks on the road between Tucson and Boston -- we're headed home. The weather has changed from September mild to cold, wet and rainy.

So the going is not as fast as we hoped. Each night we reach a hotel, we consider some sightseeing and then nix it in favor of driving further. Somewhere in the Texas panhandle, we take a rest stop. The facilities are gorgeous and seem to blend into the Texas landscape.

Sept: Jim & Kims

Our next stop was Jim and Kims to see the Duxbury branch of the family. With cookies, coffee and Uncle Frank, it was another good visit. Difficult to get a picture of Kim, who played "cover my face with a napkin so you can't take a picture".

Sept: Paula's House

We had the chance to see most relatives at a get-together at Paula and Bev's. It was fun to see everyone -- and how much the kids have all grown.

Sept: THE Wedding

We've known Matt since he was a toddler -- his mom, Linda, and I have been friends since the day we registered our sons for YMCA pre-school. So, this was another exciting lifetime event.

Matt and Ashley were married in Chestertown, MD, just outside D.C., where they both live and work. It was an outdoor ceremony followed by a tented reception and a Happiest Hour featuring corn toss, ladder golf and Bocce.

The bride and her father; Mark and Linda

The Bridesmaids

The Newlyweds

Sept: Fredericksburg Battlefields

Fredericksburg, VA -- we're staying on the 3rd floor of a Residence Inn next to a major shopping center. Molly, I must say, has been a remarkable travel dog. She sleeps in the car by day, is quiet in the hotel rooms and has been intrigued by all the different varieties of grass each place we visit.

Fredericksburg -- just outside Washington, D.C. -- is the site of many Civil War battlefields. One of the two we visit still has a small house, where you can see the bullet holes from a battle in 1862.

We also see a visitor center at the spot where Gen. Stonewall Jackson was shot accidentally by his own men. He died later in a house in Chancellorsville. Coincidentally, we had seen the stone relief of Jackson, Robert E. Lee and Jefferson Davis years before at Stone Mountain outside Atlanta, GA.

We were at the graduation of our friends' son Matt and now, here we are, enroute to his wedding.

Sept: Graceland and Elvis

Next stop is Memphis, TN, where we spend the day visiting Graceland. We miss Elvis, but tour the mansion.

We are staying at the Days Inn, one block from the transportation hub for Graceland with Elvis shops, Elvis airplane and car museums and Elvis theaters. The mansion is a short drive -- feels like across the street.

The hotel is filled with British and Irish tourists who've come to see Graceland by day and sit around the hotel pool by night. There doesn't seem to be too much else of interest unless you can venture to the downtown area for blues.

The mansion is smaller than I would have suspected, but the grounds are huge. Floral wreath and bouquets surround the pool area, sent by fans. Guides tell us fans keep replenishing the flowers when they die.

The rooms are covered with mirrors ... not the oval ones we think of, but walls of glass mirror so Elvis could see his reflection everywhere. The "Jungle Room" is a combination family room/recording area he designed/furnished himself with lots of animal hides and animal print designs. Gaudy, flamboyant ... not dull.

Guides tell us you could hear Elvis when he walked down the staircase by the clanging sounds of all his jewelry.

Sept: Confederate Ghost Squadron

Next door to Odessa is Midland, TX -- home of the Confederate Ghost Squadron Museum. Renamed several years later, it is now the Commemorative Air Force Museum. Thinking the first name had more panache.

Before you get to the musem, you pass a memorial to those who served in Vietnam with a roll of those Texans who died there.

The museum itself is remarkable with exhibits and library and displays. An incredible amount of work has gone into this place -- highly recommend, well-worth a visit.

There was also a section dedicated to 10th Mountain, which was Alex's division (2nd Battalion, 4th Brigade, 10th Mountain Division) One entire section of the museum is devoted to noseplane art. You cannot take photos in that room, but there was an image outside to give you an idea.

Sept: The Trip East -- Odessa, TX

I'd been plodding through G.W.'s book Decision Points. When we decided to drive East, the first logical stop was Odessa -- where George spent his childhood.

It was a heady undertaking for the first day -- some 10 hours worth of driving according to Mapquest. With Molly, the dog, and with our aging bones, we needed to stop every 3 hours. As that was a good break, we would switch drivers then.

Driving across western Texas is a lonely experience. You go through miles of desert, sage and rolling hills before you see town or farmhouse.

And my online maps were a bust. When we arrived in Odessa, they didn't actually recognize where the hotel was but sent us wandering in circles. It was well past 10 pm when we checked in. Too tired to look for food, we snacked on cheese, grapes and crackers -- provisions from the trip.

We were at an old, old, old La Quinta -- one of the chains that allows dogs. They were in process of remodeling, but it hadn't hit our section yet.

At least, it was only one night. And as we traveled, we saw newer La Quintas -- but didn't stay in one again for this trip.

July: Tombstone and the Earps

And where do we take East Coast visitors? Tombstone, of course. Bob and Joan and Steve and I drove over to see an Old West favorite.

We were having lunch at Big Nose Kate's Saloon when who walked in the door -- but Wyatt himself!

After lunch, we went over to the OK Corral in time for the shootout re-enactment. The Earps and Doc Holliday posed afterwards, as did Ike Clampett.

Joanie caught a picture of Bob at the corral while Steve watched.

July: Prescott -- World's Oldest Rodeo

Friends Bob and Joan drove out from Vermont to stay at a condo in Sedona for the week. We met up in Prescott and went to the Prescott's World's Oldest Rodeo. Saturday morning was the Rodeo Parade -- just a block from our hotel, the Hassyampa Inn.

As we walked into the lobby that morning, it was filled with sheriffs, marshalls, calvary, wanted desperados and shady ladies. Do believe one of these was the Duke, if you look closely.

The parade route was around the Courthouse and Whiskey Row and the audience was 3 - 4 deep. Seems all the regulars brought their folding chairs -- as the parade lasted about 3 hours. We gave up standing before it was over and went back to the hotel for refreshments.

Of Easter and Dancing Lambs

My posts are a bit out of sequence here, but also wanted to post the Dancing Lambs. This was Stevie's present in his Easter basket.

Cooper gets ice

It is July and am in Illinois visiting my sisters. Each year, they have remodeling projects and decorating schemes to be enjoyed. Never a dull moment.

We had tea and drinks on Jan's screened porch, morning coffee with Sam on her patio and evening socials with Judy on her front porch. Plus we shopped, eat, laughed and enjoyed each others' company for the week.

Surprise of the day, tho, was Cooper learning to get his own ice from the refrigerator. Posted on Facebook and U-Tube ... reposted here. And I smile each time I see this.

February - Marana Air Show

Ok, so it is December ... but I am just catching up. Will review highlights of the year 2011 one small blog at a time. :)

Pretend it is February, 2011, and we are now at the yearly Marana Air Show at Marana Airport -- where they bring in the old WWII planes. (Saw one elderly gentleman escorted by his daughter about my age. He was a flyer in the planes on display ... recalling the exploits of his youth.)

Times long past ...