Saturday 22 December 2007

A Christmas Get Together

Since I typically send out very few Christmas cards but do usually send out our yearly journal in review, here is our Christmas photo for 2007. Merry Christmas everyone!

The temperature got down to 26.7F (-2.6C) last night! It was sunny and bright when I got up this morning shortly before 8:00 a.m. However it was still only 33F (0.5C). I wrapped my foot again as soon as I got up. I decided to take it easy again all day as we were invited to go to a neighbor's tonight for a Christmas happy hour. So I hung around the RV all day trying to stay warm and keep my foot up. The highest it got today was 53F (12C).

I had to unwrap my foot to be able to put shoes on to go next door so I semi dressed up in a sparkly sweater that my older sister had given me this summer but still wore my jeans as the only comfortable shoes are my sneakers or my velcro sandals and tonight wasn't the night for sandals of any kind!

We went next door around 4:00 p.m. and arrived home around 8:30 p.m. There were four couples in the fifth wheel. Nellie had lots of stuff to eat and lots of things to drink and there was a lot of good conversation going on. A lot of really nice folks!

Friday 21 December 2007

Just Resting

Here are some sunset photos that I took from the bottom step of the RV last night. It was quite a beautiful one!

Today I woke up to cloudy skies and eventually we had a little bit of rain. The wind started coming up just before noon.

I decided to stay off my foot as much as possible so sat in my recliner and surfed the internet. Gordon also got an email from another RVing couple, Doug and JoAnn who are presently at Usery Mountain Regional Park in Mesa, AZ. I had read about them on Howard's journal some time ago but for some reason never checked out their blog. I am now reading it from the beginning and it looks like we might be neighbors for a few days at Usery Mountain. They also have a 70 lb standard poodle named Fillmore.

Around lunch time, my friend Nancy popped up on Yahoo so we got to have a chat. She's home with pneumonia. Not nice to have at any time let alone with the weather they've had in Ottawa, ON.

The rest of the day was spent finishing my book "Puppet" by Joy Fielding. I had read it before but forgotten all the details so thought I would read it again especially since I'm getting low on books. Ellie and Jim gave me one while they were here but it doesn't look like I'll be at a campground with a library any time soon. I also had a nap. Gordon suggested I wrap my foot again so I did that which means that all I can get on are my big fuzzy blue slippers. Since it's turned colder today the slippers work just fine.

Here are some photos that I've taken at the Desert Museum on our various trips there.

And one from our backyard.

Thursday 20 December 2007

It Was a Beautiful Day Here Today So Where Do We Go?

More on that in a bit.

We were sitting doing our morning computer stuff when Gordon says "Do you want to go for a drive?" A drive is about all I'm up for, still not walking long distances. He found a scenic drive up the Catalina Highway. It's a very nice paved 2 lane road that rises to about 9100 feet at the top of Mount Lemmon. This is where people in this area go to cool off in the summer, hence the town at the top of Mount Lemmon is called Summerhaven. Summerhaven is actually at 7665 feet and that's as high as we went on the mountain but we were above 8000 feet at some points.

Here we are driving through Tucson on the way to the Catalina Highway.

Lots and lots of saguaro as we start up the mountains.

This was a huge saguaro. Must have been really old.

We saw this dude several times on our way up and on our way back. It's certainly a car that you can't miss! By the way La Bruja means witch in Spanish. The owner of the car is standing at the front fender.

Here's a view of Tucson from one of the overlooks.

Now we're getting higher up the mountain so you see a little bit of snow and some hoodoos.

Then snow lining the roads. When we were getting rain a week or so ago, they were getting lots of snow in the mountains.

More snow.

We stopped at a washroom in the park and had to drive over this snow, ice and open water.

Now we see icicles!

Lots and lots of icicles!

And really big snowbanks!

Finally we get to Summerhaven which is near the top of Mount Lemmon. Here are some ski chalets there. Pricey, I would guess!

The Catalina Highway was built between 1933 and 1950 by prison workers. They did a great job and this highway has lots of pullouts and overlooks.

However, being that high up what did we find was beautiful scenery but lots and lots of snow, the very thing we came down here to get away from. Hence, the title of today's blog. Why would I give up 70F (21C) weather on the desert floor to see snow at the top of a mountain. Good question and I don't have an answer for it that makes any sense.

But I do have lots of photos!

On our way back, we stopped at Wild Oats so I could pick up a couple of items then home! We were gone for most of the day.

Wednesday 19 December 2007

Another Day of Not Much

Wow! I'm impressed! I got a comment this morning from the webmaster at the Desert Museum on my centipede photo. To see it, click here.

It was sunny but cold this morning so I decided to forego my walk again so went directly to my computer instead. I did manage to walk to the dumpster this morning and then stood outside talking to neighbors, Hank (on our left side) and Nellie (on our right side). Nellie and her husband are from the Okanagan Valley in British Columbia and Hank is from Texas but is here in Arizona for a year. His wife manages nursing homes here.

I did a short walk in the desert. There's a few hundred feet on one trail that has little or no rocks in the path for a ways so I walked there and took some photos, yes, it's the same mountain, actually called Golden Gate Mountain.

Notice that the spines on this fishook cactus aren't red like they were just after it rained.

This little bush was almost brush a couple of weeks ago. See what a little rain can do.

This afternoon I lay down on the couch to read and fell asleep. I woke up about 2 hours later. Gordon had gone to the Desert Museum so I got a pot of stew ready while listening to Christmas music. It's really difficult down here to get in the Christmas spirit. I must add however that Christmas spirit was rarely big with me. Christmas has become far too commercialized for me. Gordon and I no longer buy gifts for each other. So we'll be spending a quiet Christmas Day here in Tucson. But here's a photo that my niece, Danica took this weekend of their yard in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.

Gordon got back from the Desert Museum shortly after 5:00 p.m. He had been at the cat show and was amazed at how well trained the bobcats were. He will probably have photos at

Tuesday 18 December 2007

Another Laid Back Day in the Desert!

I decided to take it easy on my foot today, so no walk. Although I did walk as far as the mail box this afternoon where I got a letter from my sister in Toronto. Instead of my morning walkI worked on the Funny Farm Mind Game. Thanks a lot, Howard (! Howard had posted the link to this game yesterday. So here you are, folks, may as well get more people involved!

I had planned to color my hair before meeting all our RVing visitors however that didn't happen, so I did that today. No more roots!

Before I got up this morning Gordon set out to walk to the top of the hills that you often see in the background of our photos taken from the rig. Three hours later he had accomplished his feat and returned happy that he had done it, but probably not going to do it again.

Also this morning I got a reply email from Usery Mountain Campground. We can't make a reservation but was told that there shouldn't be any problem with us getting a site. So I guess we're off to Usery Mountain Regional Park at Mesa, AZ on the 27th!

Today was another beautiful day, again around 70F (21C). I made my way out to our new lawn chairs behind the rig and sat there reading and listening to the radio for a couple of hours. Can you believe that a Tucson radio station played "The 12 Days of Christmas" by the MacKenzie Brothers, eh hoser! It had been years since I'd heard it so it gave me a good laugh.

More views from my lawnchair today.

See the moon. This was taken at about 2:00 p.m.

Later in the afternoon, we decided to go out into the desert (not very far due to me being unable to walk) to take our Christmas photos which Gordon uses on his website every year instead of sending Christmas cards so log into his site over the next week or so to see it.

Monday 17 December 2007

A Day of Goodbyes

Yeah! I'm over 10,000 hits and it's not even the end of the year!

I managed to do quite a walk around the park this morning. It was a beautiful sunny morning and turned into a gorgeous day with highs around 70F (21C).

Ellie and Jim and the puppies came over around 10:00 a.m. when they were ready to leave to say good-bye. I walked back with them and took some photos of them as they were leaving. I was sad to see them leave. We'd only spent a few hours together but they are really nice folks. I'm sure we'll run across each other again in our travels. They also really like the Rockport, TX area. Sure hope so!

Mr. Bo Jangles and Jasmine come to say good-bye.

And away they go!

After they left we got ready and went into town. Gordon's shoes had worn out and he badly needed new ones so we stopped at Walmart to see if they had anything before going to Payless where he had seen some that he liked a week or so ago. Walmart had a pair which he bought so we wound up staying there, getting our hair cut there and then picking up groceries. We had lunch at the Taco Bell which is right in front of Walmart, then stopped at Food City to get water and rutabaga which this Walmart never has. I feel another stew coming up shortly! On our way back to the RV, Gordon's old shoes went into the dumpster!

My haircut, not new but shorter.

When we got back I wrapped my foot again as I think I probably did too much today and elevated it for while. I received an email from my sister telling me that they had 18.5 in. (47 cm) of snow yesterday. YUK!

She also told me that a former coworker of mine had passed away. Somehow I had missed that. It's part of my morning ritual to check the obituaries in the Ottawa Citizen. I was shocked and saddened to hear that Breconridge's Director of IT had passed away. He was only 47 years old and a nice, nice person. He was one of the first people that I met when our Nortel group was purchased by BreconRidge in 2002. So goodbye Dan, may you rest in peace!

Sunday 16 December 2007

Walks and Visits

This morning I decided to try to go for a walk. I managed to walk around the loop here in the campground. I took this photo while still standing on the pavement in the RV park.

After breakfast, I walked over to Jim and Ellie's and took some photos of the dogs. She walked back with me and then went to do her dog grooming. Gordon had gone out to the Desert Museum to take some photos and had really good luck with the birds posing for him today. He said that the place was packed today though.

Here are Ellie and Jim's Schnauzers, Mr. Bo Jangles (Bo Bo) and Jasmine. Bo Bo is black and Jasmine is silver.

It wasn't warm enough to sit outside so I read for a while, made a couple of bracelets, read some more and fell asleep. Ellie came over late in the afternoon for a while after she got her chores done.

We did have a spectacular sunset tonight. I took these photos from the bottom step of the RV.

And here's another photo that Denyse from our rv-dreams chatroom sent me of her sister's yard (St. Louis) after the ice storm with some snow thrown in for good measure.