Friday, February 21, 2014

Really Heating Up in the Desert!

Friday 2/14

Happy Valentines Day! Mother nature cooked up a hot one today, 89 degrees on our thermometer, which is not in the sun at any time of the day!

Olympic hockey has started. I have been recording all the games, but we have only watched a couple. Watched all of the first US game and Canada’s first and second games. US plays Russia tomorrow morning for their second game. Both teams looking good.

Before it got too warm this morning, and while I still had some shade, I put Dri Wash N’ Guard on the rest of the lower half of the trailer and washed the back windows. Now we just have to wait for some rain to see if our new rain gutter works out.

Nancy did a bunch of housework while I was outside and then she studied Spanish for a while. Ended the afternoon sitting outside in the shade with a nice light breeze.

Off to Wilbur’s Bar & Grille for the Valentines Day dinner with the Ellington Band - a fund raiser for their upcoming European tour.

And it was an excellent evening, a fund raiser for the Tucson Jazz Institute. Before and during the buffet dinner there was a five piece group from the Ellington Band playing; then the Basie Band, which is middle school students played a set and they were excellent; they were followed by the Kenton/Rich Band which is fifth, sixth, and seventh graders. That group was excellent as well, although they did not have the power of the other two bands.

Finally the full Ellington Band closed out the evening with a set of standard big band arrangements. So the music went from 6:30 to close to 10 PM.

Saturday 2/15

Watched the US - Russia hockey game this AM and then went in to the Pima Library on Mission Rd to see what they had in the way of travel books - turns out not much.

Lunch at Taco Grio and a stop at the grocery store, then home to relax. Hit 90 degrees here on out thermometer!

 Sunday 2/16

Planned on watching the US hockey game this morning, but for some unknown reason the DVR decided to skip it on it’s own! Good thing it was not an important game!

Watched CBS Sunday Morning as usual and then ran over to Costco to do some quick shopping. Then lunch at Beyond Bread and a stop at the main public library to see what they had available, which was not much. Turns out the books float throughout their system and stay in the branch where they were returned, so the main location downtown is a bit thin on the shelves.

Nancy registered for a library card and we took one book on SW England and ordered another. They will deliver it to the branch of our choice, so it will come to the Mission  location. Seems like a pretty good system for a library with multiple far-flung locations.

Nancy and Joan had picked up a really nice cool-max type shirt for me at an outlet store on Ajo for $14. I tried it yesterday and it was really comfortable on a very hot day. So we stopped today and there were two left on the rack! Bought both of them. Not bad, two polo shirts for $28.

Back home we watched the Canadians play Finland, than our regular Sunday evening fare on PBS.

Monday 2/17

Up early and out for a short hike before the Monday morning meeting. We passed on the bike ride due to the heat. Did some putzing around the trailer. I emptied out two of our storage bins to loan to Gary and Karen. They have bought a new fifth wheel - a REALLY nice one! - and are packing up to move their stuff. Gave me a chance to clean out the bins as well.

In the afternoon Nancy did her Spanish homework while I worked on our upcoming windmill presentation for the May Brown Bag Lunch at the Geneva History Center

We went to Beyond Bread for dinner and then over to Centennial Hall at the U of A for one of the lectures in the Evolving Brain series. We missed the first three for various reasons. They had a huge crowd, packed house, and it was an interesting lecture. The next one is the first Monday in March.

Tuesday 2/18

Skipped our morning walk as Nancy is fighting a bit of a cold. Today we were supposed to use our truck to move the tables from the rec hall to the picnic area for tomorrow’s picnic. Ran into a conflict with the sewing group who needs the table for their meeting today, so we will have to move them later. Decided to wait until 6 PM after it cools off a bit.

Spent most of the day watching Olympic hockey. Finally broke down and turned the AC on this afternoon. It was hot and I thought it would be a good idea to exercise it a bit, cannot remember the last time it was on.

Wednesday 2/19

Well, I watched four hockey games today! Nancy had her Spanish class this morning so she only got to watch about three and a half.

Park recycling picnic today. Turned out to be perfect weather, not as hot and sunny as it had been, high 70’s with light cloud cover, quite comfortable. We had a really big turnout and our table got called in a reasonable time this year. Last year we were the absolute last table called up and the year before we very close to last.

That about covers the day - four hockey games take a big chunk of time.

Thursday 2/20

Quiet day. Nancy is a bit under the weather so she slept late. I spent the morning working on our History Center brown bag project on the Fabyan Windmill. Finally finished the outline, now I have to work on editing it. We only have an hour and I’m betting I have two hours worth of material.

Nancy went and had a pedicure this afternoon and I turned on the TV to see what was on the Olympics and the women’s gold medal game was just starting (the replay) so I watched that. More men’s hockey tomorrow.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Getting Warmer and a Couple of Pics

Tuesday 2/4

Nice hike this morning, then Nancy spent most of the day studying her Spanish. 

I spent the morning noodling around on the computer, putting up a new blog post, etc., then went over to the pool hall where I can get on-line without using the WiFi and checked the status of the bank accounts and credit cards. Since the hoo-hah about data breaches I have been checking about twice a week instead of only a couple times a month. We did have one CC company call about fraudulent charges and issue a new card, oddly enough one we had not used since out trip to Europe last summer.

After lunch I spent some time cleaning one side of the trailer with Dri Wash n’ Guard. Makes the trailer easier to clean and it brightened up decals that had suffered from the Red Max 3 application.

Dinner at home and watched TV.

Wednesday 2/5

A little warmer this morning, 42, yesterday it was 34. flipped on the furnace as usual and after a couple of minutes it quit! What the? The propane light was on, which indicates an empty tank, but it should switch over to the other tank automatically. Went out and checked - oops, last time I filled a tank I neglected to open the valve after I hooked it up. OK, problem solved.

Nancy had her Spanish class this morning, I went and had the empty propane tank filled, gave the car a quick cleaning and did a quick shot with the vacuum in the trailer.

After Nancy’s class we drove down to Green Valley to the farmers market, then the Fry’s in Sahuarita - first Wednesday equals 10% discount for seniors (that’s us).

Of course we then had to stop at BK Tacos for lunch. It was mid-afternoon by the time we got home. While Nancy put the groceries away I went over to the pool hall to place an on-line order. There was fellow there playing pool by himself, so I asked if he wanted a game so we played for a while, been a long time since I had a cue in my hand. Didn’t do too badly though, we played three pretty close games.

There was another food truck here this evening so we got a hamburger and carmello from them, pretty good and the price was a lot better than some of the others.

Hawks game tonight and they beat the Ducks 2-0!! Finally got Crawford his shut-out, he had been scored on late in the third two or three times this season. What was expected to be a seriously difficult road trip looks pretty good, with a tie at San Jose and wins in LA and Anaheim. Friday night on Phoenix and then it is off to the Olympics for 10 of the guys and rest for the others.

Thursday 2/6

Good class at Tucson Yoga this morning, home to change clothes and finish the hockey game we recorded last night, then off to Beyond Bread for lunch. Then stops at Camping World and Costco, that pretty much filled up the day.

Friday 2/7

Skipped the walk this morning as I have a cold and Nancy wanted to do some laundry before we headed out. We went to a lecture about Valley Fever at the Tucson Medical Center. A very interesting two hour lecture. It started at 1 PM so we had to leave before noon. Skipped lunch and then stopped at Beyond Bread (yeah I know, two days in a row) for a late lunch/early dinner.

Then home and relaxed. Hawks last game before the Olympic break tonight. They lost to Phoenix, they seem to do better against the tough teams!

Saturday 2/8

Cold worse today so I did nothing. Nancy did some Spanish homework. Weather is warming up considerably.

Gary and Karen had tickets to a show at one of the casinos, so we took care of Margo in the afternoon.

Sunday 2/9

Same story as yesterday. Nancy did get in a hike this afternoon.

Monday 2/10

I skipped the Monday meeting, but Nancy went. The  biking group headed for the Aviation Parkway bike path so Nancy decided to go. I was not still up to it, so she grabbed a ride with Stan and went along for the ride and lunch at Nimbus Brewery. She said it was a nice ride but kind of hot, it was 75 at 4 PM and there is not a lot of shade on the bike paths around here.

Tuesday 2/11

Finally able to get out for a morning walk in the desert. Nancy did some Spanish homework this  morning and then we went to BK for lunch and stopped to do some shopping. Mid 70’s today, they are taking about 88 on Saturday!

Nancy went to a Spanish study group when we got home. 

Back on January 26 I mentioned that we had found a small saguaro, here is a picture of the little guy next to one of our water bottles:

I marked it's location on my GPS so we can keep an eye on him and see how he grows.

Speaking of pictures, in January 2012 we came across this saguaro which had just recently fallen. Although the picture does not show it, it was still pretty green:

This is what it looks like today, just two years later: 

Very little rain to make things deteriorate, but the sun seems to do the job just as well!

Dinner at home and a quiet evening. Olympic hockey starts late tonight, I’ve got the DVR set to record them all.

Wednesday 2/12

Nancy had her Spanish class this morning. I did some work around the trailer. I have been talking about figuring out some way to make a rain gutter over our back window. Any rain, or even a heavy dew, makes streaks down the back window when dirt washes off the roof. When we were at Camping world last week Nancy found a vinyl rain gutter made for motor home front windshields. We bought a roll and today I put it on. It needed temps above 70 and we got to 77 today. In the morning when it was cooler and I had some shade in the back I did the cleaning and prep work, measured where I wanted to put it. Then in the afternoon we applied it. Came out pretty good, we will see how well it works next time we get some rain.

Nancy took care of Margo this afternoon, we spent some time just sitting outside and enjoying the great weather.

Thursday 2/13

Warm nights the last few days, we have had the vents open and the exhaust fan running on low most of the night both days.

Class at Tucson Yoga this morning, our regular instructor (Johanna) was ill so we had a substitute. Oddly enough there was hardly anyone we recognized in the class. Our theory is that a lot of people are staying home to avoid the congestion from the Gem Show. It took us longer than usual to get into town this morning. There are show locations all over the city and the increased traffic is very noticeable.

On the way home we came across a bad accident at Donald and Bopp Roads. Bopp was closed in both directions and a medi-vac helicopter was landing on Donald South of Bopp. We were allowed to to turn right on Bopp from Donald. It looked like they were still working on extrication on one car. Bopp is kind of scary as there are a lot of blind driveways and side streets and some people drive way to fast for the sight lines.

Warm day today, Nancy did some laundry and we took care of Margo for the afternoon and evening. Gary & Karen are trying to get one of their fifth wheels sold since the deal they thought they had has fallen through.

We spent a lot of the afternoon sitting outside in the shade!

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Beautiful Weather for Joan's Visit

We could not have asked for nicer weather for Joan's visit, adding to the pleasure was the nasty weather in Chicago while she was here!

Friday 1/24

Nancy & Joan headed out and did some serious shopping this morning. I met them at Beyond Bread for lunch. We all relaxed in the afternoon and then went to see Mariachi Aztlan, the high school band from Pueblo High School at the rec hall. Then had our lunch leftovers for dinner.

Saturday 1/25

Joan headed up to Phoenix this morning to visit some friends. Nancy & I took a nice long walk in the desert and then puttered around home. Nancy did some more Spanish homework.

When Joan returned we all went to Taco Grio for dinner.

Sunday 1/26

During our morning walk today we finally found what we ahd been looking for - a young saguaro! We found one along one of the trails in the BLM area north of Desert Trails, it is about 5” tall. Here is a picture: Well, there was going to be a picture, but I seem to have misplaced the cord that connects the camera to the computer. Picture will come later.

Watched the end of the Rolex 24 at Daytona, most of it by fast forwarding through the last six hours on the DVR. Joan came over and had a hot rocks massage from Angel here in the park. After that Nancy & Joan took a short hike, then we went to BK Tacos for lunch.

Dinner at home and watched the Blackhawks choke and throw away a game that the dominated, losing 3-1. So their January slump continues.

Monday 1/27

Skipped the Monday morning meeting and took a hike this morning. Then we all went to the Reed Park Zoo. Nice day with partial cloud cover, so it was a good day for the zoo. In mid-afternoon we met a couple who used to work with Joan at Nimbus Brewing for a late lunch, great burger as usual. They have a place in Voyager. There was some confusion over where we were meeting. Apparently there is also a Nimbus Bistro a ways north of the brewery. We have always eaten at the brewery and never were even aware of the other place which is farther away from us. Joan's friends went there first and it was closed, maybe because it was Monday. The next day there was an article in the paper noting that it had closed permanently. Apparently the only connection with the brewery was that they served their beer.

Light dinner at home.

Tuesday 1/28

Off first thing to the Desert Museum. Spent the morning there and as happened last time we saw something unusual. The mountain lion, who usually is seen sleeping somewhere in the enclosure was running around like crazy, climbing trees, hanging from branches when they would not hold his weight. One of the tour guide docents that was there when we were said she had never seen him so active.

Lunch at the museum, then Joan & Nancy walked around the desert loop while I browsed in the book shop.

We went to Cushing Street Bar & Grille for dinner, food and service were still good, but they seemed to be cheapening things up a bit - no drink specials & paper napkins. We’ll reserve judgement.

Back home the Blackhawks stunk up the place and lost tonight. 

Wednesday 1/29

Nancy had her Spanish class this AM and I did some wood polishing. Then we went and met Joan and we went to the Titan II Missile Museum in Sahuarita for a tour. A really interesting place and well worth a visit. Excellent one hour tour and a lot of interesting displays. Joan and Nancy got to sit in the launch control seats and simulate a missile launch.

Stopped at BK Tacos for lunch.

In the evening we went to Wilbur’s Grille in the Viscount hotel for dinner. There were two reasons to go there: the Arizona Roadrunners play there on Wednesday evening and the Ellington Band is performing there for Valentines day and we wanted to see if the place was good for a nice dinner. Turned out to be very nice and as a bonus Max Goldschmidt was playing with the Road Runners, as well as a lady who we have heard before whose name I cannot remember.

Blackhawks had some issues and fell behind 0-2 early but came roaring back in the 2nd period with 4 goals and defeated Vancouver 5-2.

Thursday 1/30

Off to Tucson Yoga for our regular yoga class. Joan came over to the park to get a hot rocks massage from Angel.

Later in the morning we went to Beyond Bread for lunch, then stopped at an outlet store where Nancy & Joan did some shopping. 

Then cocktails and relaxed at home.

Friday 1/31

Took our regular hike in the morning, then Nancy did some laundry. Karen and Gary  are getting married this afternoon. They dropped Margo off this morning and we will take care of her overnight.

Lunch at home and then Nancy & I went to the wedding while Joan watched Margo. The ceremony was at a nearby Lutheran church and was very nice. Afterwards they had a small reception in the church hall which was organized by the “church ladies”. That was also very nice, about 50 guests, which we thought was a nice turnout. We shared a table with Reed and Angel and Karen’s parents who had flown in from Minnesota for the wedding.

Had cocktails and then went to Fred’s Arena for pizza.

Saturday 2/1

Joan was scheduled to return home today, but due to the weather in Chicago (they are expecting 9" of snow today!) Southwest was offering flight changes for no charge, so she has decided to stay until Sunday. She called the lady who runs the limo service she uses in Chicago to see if the change was a problem and she said "So you can stay another day in Tucson for no cost, but you are thinking about coming home today. Are you crazy!?."

Nancy took off early and picked up Joan to go the H. F. Coors first Saturday seconds sale. They bought a fair amount of stuff. Late in the morning we took Margo home and then went and met Joan. We made another stop at Coors as Nancy decided she needed another item.

Then we went to Beyond Bread on Speedway and stopped at Bookman’s to do some browsing. Nancy picked up a Spanish verb book and they both got a couple kids books. I bought ... NOTHING! A new record for me. I did look through a couple of interesting books, but I have such a big backlog between regular books and the Kindle that I probably do not need anything for at least a year!

Stop at the grocery store and back home for cocktails and dinner. Spent some time looking at guest houses in England for our trip next summer and sent some enquiries.

Hawks lost in a shoot-out, bummer!

Sunday 2/2

Ground hog saw his shadow this morning, about all that means to us is we might stay in Arizona a week or two longer.

Joan came by early and we went over to Coyote Pause for breakfast and then back home to review the responses to our guest house enquiries and selected one for the night before the Prairie Home Companion Cruise.

Joan headed home, Nancy had a hot rocks massage from Angel and we took it easy at home.

Watched the beginning of the Super Bowl, recorded most of it and them fast forwarded through watching just the scoring and the commercials. Actually watched more of the Puppy Bowl!

Of course we watched Downton Abby and Sherlock this evening.

Monday 2/3

Monday AM meeting, then quickly home to change clothes, check bike tires and head out with the bike group. Went to a bike path along the Santa Cruz in Marana, about 20 miles North of here. Rode 11 miles on paths along the river and through a nearby subdivision. Had about 24 people in  the group. After the ride the group had lunch at the Sky Rider Coffee Shop at Marana Airport. Got home around 3 PM. 

Hawks played late tonight and had a good game against the Kings. Maybe they are getting their groove back. It is funny how we feel like they have been in a slump lately, but they are still at or near the top of the league in most categories. Things like the 3rd best power play in the league - to us it seems terrible - and the only team with three 20+ goal scorers - Sharp, Kane and Taves in that order.