Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Monument Valley on the Fly

I did a big trip around the Navajo and Hopi Reservations last week with 3 physicians. 3 days, 9 facilities. It was long days, but a productive trip. Two of the three physicians had never been in the area before. We were in the vicinity of some amazing scenery and I hadn't for those who had never been there to not see anything. But we were on a tight schedule. So I let them have very quick peeks at some amazing places. One of those was Monument Valley. It is an amazing place and truly no photo can do justice to the feel, majesty and ambiance of the place. But here are a few anyway.

The Navajos have opened a beautiful hotel right at Monument Valley called the View. Every room has a balcony that overlooks the valley. It would really be an amazing place to stay and I hope to one day. This is the chimmney stack of the fireplace in the main lobby.

The two mittens.

Balconies overlooking the valley.

The three sisters.

I think they were getting ready to take a load of tourists for a ride, but looked like this guy was just posing for us.

The 3 brothers in front of the 3 sisters.

Me, the time keeper!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Baby Photos

When Anna was a little girl, I used to occasionally baby sit for her and her siblings. Her parents were and are good friends of mine. Now, so many years have gone by, that my little Anna has a little Cora all of her own. They live up near Logan, Utah but are in town for a visit. It was a delight to get to see them both and to meet Cora for the first time. She is 6 months old. She had an eventful start in life that I got to hear about.
 Cora looks just like her momma and her momma looks just like HER momma. Genes are interesting.
I got to have a few cuddles too.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Holiday Gift Idea- Produce Club

Problem: I have been trying to be better about giving gifts that people can use up. It seems as if most people have all the "stuff" they need. So I try to give food, a book, music, gift card...something that gets used up.
So last year, as I was thinking about it, I know the fruit of the month club is a really nice idea. The companies that do it charge a fortune though. So I decided I would come up with my own. People get a lot of sweets around the holiday, so I thought I would give mostly veggies with some fruit. I got some plain reusable canvas bags and stenciled Produce Club on them. The I wrote a letter of explanation that went along with them. I decided to do it every other month instead of every month. That would make me crazy and cost too much. I told them I would be giving them an unspecified amount of produce on the even months.
I thought I would give them some things that were on sale, plus maybe buy some stuff that they wouldn't maybe have bought for themselves before to try.
I found out that some people won't try some things anyway. I tried providing recipes for the unfamiliar item. That worked for 2 of them, but one wasn't interested in trying the new items still.
I also found out that I spent about 10$ each to fill their bags. So you figure I probably averaged about 60$ for their Christmas gifts, but spread out over the whole year. More than I would have spent if I just got them a gift all at once.  It was a fun thing to do, but I'm not going to do it again this year.
Do you have any fun gift ideas to share before the holidays?

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Bowling a Turkey!

Cindy and I went bowling almost by accident a week or so ago. I am not very good, but I thought it was a hoot. So I've been wanting to go back since. This afternoon, I called several people, trying to see if anyone was available for a spur of the moment bowling game. I finally decided to just go by myself. On the way there, I thought of Kathleen. We went to grade school and high school together. Sure enough she was up for it! She took this photo with her cell phone.
I even improved over the last time. I bowled a turkey! Which is bowling lingo for 3 strikes in a row. I don't expect that to happen again any time soon! I think I pulled a muscle towards the end. Take some ibuprophen and try it again another time!

So who wants to go bowling with me? See my turkey?

Friday, October 14, 2011

Canyon De Chelly-morning and afternoon

I did a lot of driving for work this week. I took my camera along though, and got some fun photos. This is actually at La Posada in Winslow. It's a hotel and restaurant. They have really done some nice things with the garden areas too. In this area, they grow produce to be used in their restaurant. This is Hopi amaranth. I have never seen it before and it's beautiful. I had heard of amaranth. It's one of those "ancient" grains that is in vogue. These plants were well over 6ft tall. The color is amazing.

Last night I drove to Chinle. Chinle is the home of Canyon De Chelly. But unless you go looking for it, you don't see it while you are there. It's kind of hidden. I was staying right on the doorstep this time and decided to get up earlier than I needed to for work to drive along the North rim drive and take some photos. I hadn't done that in a few years. It really is beautiful, and in some ways more accessible than the Grand Canyon. The Grand Canyon is amazing, but a little mind boggling. This you can take in and process.

One of those arm length self portraits.

Some of the rocks look like icing squeezed out.

Morning light.

This is Antelope Ruin. There are lots and lots of well preserved ruins in the canyon. If you go on one of the tours that takes you inside via jeep, you can see them closer. This is with my zoom. It was really pretty far away.

Same ruin, without the zoom.

This is Mummy Cave ruin. They found some mummy's here when they found the ruin.

After my doctor gave his talk, I found out he was moving from Arizona in 6 weeks. He had been up to Chinle twice and never seen the Canyon. So that just seemed wrong to me. So I took him for a quick drive along the south rim overlooks. So these are now afternoon light.

More ruins in the crevices.

Spider rock. This is one of the most common views photographed at Canyon De chelly. I like the shadow spider rock casts.

It's a beautiful place and if you haven't been, you should go!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Suede Yarn Hat

I've made a few other things recently that I've given away without taking a photo of. I whipped this little hat up tonight without a pattern. I am FOREVER trying to use up yarn that I still have around the house and small projects seem to be what I can do as I only have some of each.  But I really like this little hat. I'm not sure how much opportunity I will have to use it, but I think I may keep it instead of giving it away.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Sunset Crater

Cindy and went a hike today in Flagstaff. Someone told us about the Schultz Creek Trail. We didn't have time to do the whole 8 mile loop, but we went an hour and 45 minutes out and an hour and 30 minutes back. It's interesting how we get back quicker. Right at the start we saw this sign for Buddy the lost dog. It made me sad for both Buddy and his owner. I know how distraught I have been when I've lost a dog. I hope he gets back home.

There was evidence of recent snow! The temp was in the high 40's and low 50's. Plenty cold for us thin blooded desert dwellers.

There were some pretty fall berries here and there.

My usual hiking view! Cindy and I have hiked together so much and we just have a pattern where Cindy always takes the lead. I am uncomfortable in front now.

 It was a very popular trail for mountain bikers. They would come tearing along at pretty terrific speed sometimes. You would just barely hear them and they would be upon you and you had to quick get out of the way. One guy was stopped and told us we had the right of way. Cindy told him that hadn't been the case today. He apologized for bikers in general. Apology accepted.
We stopped and had lunch. When we got back to the car, I was way more sore than I thought I should be. I know I am out of shape from not hiking all summer, but still, it wasn't that hard of a hike, a gradual incline, etc. Cindy was sore too and she is in better shape than I am. We decided that maybe it had something to do with hiking at a higher altitude, that maybe our muscles were having to work harder to get the oxygen they needed. It's a good story anyway.
Afterwards, I got the bright idea that we should go check out Sunset Crater. I hadn't been there since I was a pretty little kid and I drive by it all the time.

It was actually pretty cool. When you are in the visitor's center, they have a model of all the volcanoes in the area. There are hundreds of old cones. I have had the opportunity of flying in a small plane back and forth over the area a few times and it is very evident from the air. But I hadn't realized quite how many there were.

And you have opportunity to see lava all over Arizona, but this lava flows were really pretty cool. It looked more like a "flow" than a lot of the scattered lava I've seen before. A lot of it was pretty twisty and wavy looking. Here is Cindy still looking good after our very early morning and long day.

I on the other hand am a little worse fro wear.

This is the actual Sunset Crater.When I was a kid, you could climb up it and I remember doing that. You aren't allowed to anymore. People had eroded the side of the cone too much. It erupted about 1000 years ago. There is a lot mythology in the tribes in the area who have a cultural memory of the eruption. It's interesting to see how bare it still is of trees and all after a thousand years.

There were also beautiful views toward the painted desert.

And snow on the mountain tops! It was a fun day.

Friday, October 7, 2011


One of the challenges I have had with my garden is with my squash/melon/cucumber family. Apparently whatever it took to pollinate them, I didn't have. Which led to  my whole story of being locked out in the backyard, naked with a paintbrush, trying to pollinate the squash. (That's a whole other story. If you want to know more details, you will have to go back in time in my blog about 1.5 to 2 years) I didn't know what was supposed to be pollinating them that I didn't have. My tomatoes, eggplant, okra, etc all seemed to do fine. I tried looking up on line to see what pollinated them and couldn't find it. All I could find was how to try and pollinate them yourself.
I have been delighted to discover bees in my backyard recently, all over my squash and zucchini! I didn't realize until I saw them, that I hadn't been seeing them before. I don't know if it's because I live in the middle of a big city or the disease that has been plague them, but I haven't seen bees in my yard in a long time.
I can't believe how happy they make me. I'm not sure where they are coming from, but I hope they have found a nice place for a hive in the neighborhood and they stick around. I know a lot of people are afraid of bees, but as a gardener, they make me happy. I wonder if they have found a foreclosed house's yard to live in? Or maybe somewhere between the noise wall and our property wall? I just know I want them to stick around.

The fruit of the bees labor.

Bees at work!