Monday, January 31, 2011

THE DESERT LIVES

I have 2 homes.  I live in Indiana until I cannot tolerate winter for one more minute, then I hop on a jet and show up at my cousin's door to wait winter out in Phoenix, where it is perfect.  But in all the years I have been coming out here, I never really took the time to get out and explore the desert.  This time, though, Tracy had graciously planned, and friends Nancy and Annie graciously accepted to be tour guides for an all-day, round trip desert ratting experience into the desert world where, at first glance, it looks like nothing could live.  Upon second glance, though, not only do you realize the desert lives, you realize it lives beautifully and graciously and awe-inspiringly.  

I took many photos, but the one I am posting today just keeps drawing me to it.  The burrowing owl.  Do owls live in the desert?  No, would have been my answer yesterday morning, but yesterday afternoon, as we walked through a beautiful desert cemetery, out of a hole popped...an owl.  A real owl.  He posed.  He let me get closer, then finally he said, "Okay, close enough, lady, take the picture, here I'll pose, ho-hum, then hike the other direction before you make me upset and I come and land on your head and pull out your hair with my beak."  

After that, I decided I was close enough.  I zoomed in and got this shot of The Guard of the Burrows at the Cemetery.  I love him.

 Thanks to Tracy for arranging this fantastic day and especially to cousin Nancy and her best friend and forever resident of the desert, Annie, for being the driver and the knowledgeable and fun tour guide.  I love you all. 

Sunday, January 23, 2011

MY Week in Photos...Inspired by my cousin.

First, it snowed.
Then I had my 54th birthday lunch at Black Buggy.
And dessert I did not need, but man was it good!
Then we had a full moon.
Then it snowed.
And it snowed the next day, too.
Then it got really icy.
Then it snowed.
Then I started dreaming of Spring!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

The Feathered Community - A Short Story in Photos

"Okay, I think we might be lost...don't panic! WHERE ARE WE?"

"Look, Bozo!  I saw that seed first so technically it's mine!  Hurry and get your feathery little, ahem cute, red tail off of my food!  Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah!"

"Why would I be embarrassed?  Embarrassed?  Me? Those stupid Finches were just wasting this food.  I am NOT too big for this feeder, just leave me alone!" 

"Uh, Mrs. Cardinal, see me?  This is how we do it.  We find a large Cardinal bell that we can comfortably hang on without tipping it upside down...like this.  See me?  Are you looking?  Over here!"

"Still not embarrassed, but a little claustrophobic."

"Oh, my, I hate it when they fight.  It just ruins the cadence of the whole day!  Oh, my, oh, my!"  "Look, sweetheart, don't let it ruin your day and...hey!  Don't bury yourself again!  THAT was embarrassing!  I looked all day for you!" 

Monday, January 03, 2011

CHRISTMAS COMES AND CHRISTMAS GOES

I am at a loss to explain how quickly life moves along when something fun, like the Holidays, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years, with family and friends filling the house, snow softly falling outside, a fire in the fireplace, and a great deal of commotion from all the mini-Me's in my life.  

I did come to a couple of conclusions about that jolly time of year, though.  See if you might agree with a couple of these:

1.  School is out way too long.  It was out even longer than necessary in our home because we mistakenly thought the winter break started one day earlier than it actually did.  In retrospect, that one day was about what it took to finish me off, but the five-year-old took it in stride and took the opportunity to see how long he could be bored and disgruntled, and I will tell you, he can carry it off for quite a few days in a row. 

He did make this nice card on the computer from one of my photos, a happy New Year card, and took on many other artistic endeavors during his vacation.


2.  Laundry has a way of procreating during winter break.  I do not do all the laundry.  My daughter and the above-mentioned grandson live here, too, and Jamie definitely does her share, but when she is too busy, I am back to clothes sniffing.  I really thought I was past that time in my life. I sniffed clothes that enabled my gag reflex for eighteen years, give or take, to determine their re-wear worthiness.  Now, I am doing it again.  Luckily, my grandson is sort of a clean freak, and he rarely has clothing lying around that is too grossly aromatic, but I have to admit, I will be pretty happy not to have to do that anymore.  

3.  You can only do Wii bowling for about ten hours total before you throw all gutter balls.  Enough said.

4.  I seem to have more headaches the longer everyone is on winter break.  I mean, forgive me, everyone, but ten or twelve days are just a little over the top to have to bunk with you all twenty-four hours a day.  Enough said.  

5.  Buying groceries is now ranked up there with one of the most depressing things I have to do, and there is not enough Xanax in the world to make it okay.  

Now, I am going to post a rather unclear photo of most of some of my family and some friends together on Christmas Day at my house where, despite all the gripes above, I cherish very much.  We just are all so lucky to be dropped into one another's lives, not randomly, either, I don't believe, and days like Christmas just slam home the beauty of that plan.  

Hope you all have a very happy New Year in 2011, and hope you all had a fantastic Christmas season.