Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Monday, July 19, 2010

Working Vacation

Recently we left the hot, dry desert heading towards green, humid North Carolina. I took a photo of the Tempe, Arizona Town Lake on our way up and out. The next day, after this photo was taken, the 10 year old man made Town Lake disappeared! The lake went down the river! The rubber bladder (dam) that holds the one billion gallons of water back burst without warning. The lake drained quickly. The hot AZ sun is believed to have caused the bladder deterioration, as well as the plan that the water that was supposed to flow over the bladder to keep it cool just never worked! No one was hurt and hopefully a better idea will emerge from this.

The trip was somewhat stressful with two dogs and a baby on a full plane! We had to change planes with a layover and no plans for a potty break! But we made it without any accidents and zero plans to ever do this again! On the positive side the weather was nice and we were treated to daily afternoon thunder storms! We made it back to Arizona just in time to miss a heat wave that hit the area while we were gone. Although it has been over 110 here--it's a DRY heat and I think it is better than a WET heat!

We started unpacking as soon as we arrived. We worked well into the night and only finished the kitchen. Three bedrooms, office, bonus room, dining, living and family room to go. Then the unthinkable happened...vomiting, diarrhea, aches-pains for the next 2 days! This virus hit all 5 of us and we're not sure who took care of the baby while we were down and out. Somebody did though. We were well as fast as we became ill. We didn't finish unpacking, instead took the next two days checking out the beautiful area. I may have found a vacation home--I left some clothes there just in case !

I loved this hibiscus I saw there. I was surprised that there were not many flowers in yards or along the roadway. I offered to plant the empty flower bed and pots for my grand daughter. We found a Lowe's close by and most all of the flowers for sale are the same as what we grow in Arizona. I bought and planted whatever the clerk said would do well in the area--update--everything still alive and well! There are tons of butterflies in the area and I spent a lot of time taking photos. I'm trying to identify all of them, well maybe...

Cute road sign in the area. The magnolia tree in the front yard was in full bloom! Grandson had to install an invisible fence to keep the two dogs in the yard. The little Chinese Crested was zapped a few times before she learned her boundaries and now is happy chasing new critters! The little dachshund doesn't need a collar as she won't leave the patio! I noticed that none of the yards are fenced in NC, unlike home, where every house is surrounded by some type of fencing--mostly six foot block walls. I like the look of the wide open space but I feel more secure with our high walls.

We are planning a return trip in October--if we can wait that long! The Lil' Guy is growing fast! Came home just in time to unpack, and pack for a three-day art retreat in the cool little town of Pine, AZ. Always good to be home if only for a moment!

Friday, July 9, 2010

Changing Scenery and a Changing Life

My first cactus bloom of the season. I almost missed the Submatucana species bloom while camping.

I added my own found rock to the cairn at our chosen camping spot at Knoll Lake. Cairns and similar rock stacks have recently been adopted by the Deep Ecology movement. I'm not sure if this is one is a part of that movement, or just campers who wanted to leave a lasting monument of their visit. The cairns are also something that offer places and moments for reflection at spiritual-environmental retreats. Maybe that's what's going on here.

We had to drive five miles every day to the Rim to get phone service to call home. Yes, we check in everyday! I'm not sure how I made it all the years without cell phones. I remember when pagers became popular and how much easier life became because of them! Kids just had to find a pay phone and have a dime--or was it a quarter?--in their pockets to call home.

We had two days of rain and the temperature dropped to 58 degrees. Most other days were 73 degrees!

The guys fished and hooked a few trout. We will have a fish fry later this month!

The Osprey is watching her babies in a dead tree close to the lake.

Hubby's binoculars allowed us to see two babies peeking out.

Agave plants were plentiful along the roadway and offered several colors of inflorescence.

I love this bright gold yellow! Some had red, pale yellow and even orange.

The saguaro cactus fruit is fading from the bright red that started at the beginning of the season. May is the month for saguaro blooms at home--but maybe they come later in the high country.

The summer is going by so fast. Hardly had time to hate the heat! I am now on my way to North Carolina. A wonderful business opportunity was offered to the grand kids that couldn't be passed up, so one grand daughter, her husband and baby (my only great grand baby!!) have moved to North Carolina!

I hope we will be able to handle the humidity when we get there! Granddaughter needs help with the baby, two small dogs on the plane, and help with unpacking--if the movers get there on time! The airline doesn't allow dogs to fly in the under-carriage during the hot summer months in Arizona. The dogs will fit into one dog carrier. I have a bottle of Rescue Remedy all ready and waiting in case the dogs have anxiety. We'll probably pop a few ourselves.

This past year has brought a lot of major life changes and just as I try to digest one, another comes up. Not sure how I will adapt to the separation from my great grandson. I have enjoyed him being close for the past nine months! I want to see him take his first steps, get his top teeth, etc. We are planning lots of trips to NC, and I sure hope the ticket prices stay affordable.

This change isn't good or bad. It's just the way of things. Everything changes, nothing stays the same. It's just life happening.

"If nothing ever changed, there'd be no butterflies."
~Author Unknown

I couldn't wait to get home from camping to see my little guy!!! He was just as happy to see us!!!