Thursday, December 31, 2009

Who gets the candy cane?

Ten years ago people awaited the new millennium, hording canned goods etc. thinking "the end is near". Later, when things turned out OK, cans were given to the food banks. In 7 hours the decade will be over.

Several days ago( Dec. 23)I listed who IMO received a lump of coal for Christmas. The ten worst things in the past decade.

Now I want you to send me who you think received a candy cane.

Who or what events in the past decade were good things and deserve the candy cane?
Send your list of positives to me and I will post them.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Christmas lights

For the sake of going green lights have been a little discouraged this year. I love the the TV add were the dog barks at the house with many lights. The owner of the dogs says to the owner of the house. "He doesn't like ostentatious displays of wealth". The place to go in Tucson is Winterhaven. You can drive through only on specific nights. It is best, if one is able, to walk or ride the horse draw trailer. The drive was bumper to pumper, annoying the driver and those who were walking. I had done it perhaps 15 years ago, but had two friends who had never been so we hogtied Ralph to drive us.

My favorite was the red necks trailer with songs including "you know you're a redneck if you think the 'nutcracker' refers when you jumped off the high board".

There was the "Nightmare before Christmas"

Snoopy, as always was present.

One Jewish home displayed large draedle and a menorah


Snowmen and Penguins

Some spoke for PEACE

And of course the traditional Nativity Scene.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Day of Solitude

Day of solitude

Overcast skies
I've a cold
TV is out
Internet is out
One dog on my lap
Another beside my chair

A good day to read a book

Monday, December 28, 2009

More on Movies

Saw AVATAR today. By default actually.
Was dropped off at the Mall while the car was being serviced. Intended to see UP IN THE AIR but our timing was wrong. With these multiplexes one can see a movie at almost anytime starting at 10:00 a.m.

What a break. I really liked this movie. Another 4****/5.
Visually stunning. Very colorful -bright blues and greens.
Good plot. Critics have called it 'predictable', but
not for me. Tension. Love story. Creative creatures. A very good bad guy. Satisfying resolution to the story. What more could a movie goer want?

DISTRICT 9 -another top ten contender was also about extraterrestrials but here on Earth; South Africa. In contrast to the brightness and color of AVATAR, this film is is very gloomy with only shades of brown; much like other futuristic films. Although I liked this movie, it gets just 3***

Another film appearing on top ten lists is
HURT LOCKER. This is not fantasy but an all too real war movie taking place in Irag. It is the story of one GI with nerves of steel who defuses IED's. This was also a very good movie. 3***'s

I am not ready to make my top ten list. Too many movies yet to see. The best movie I saw this year would be the Japanese film DEPARTURES. It would not qualify because it received best foreign in 2008. Only 5***** film this year. IMO

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Animation in the top ten

Movie top ten lists are starting to come out.

What makes them different this year is the presence of
movies designed for children AND adults. I refer to them as "animation" although technically they are not all drawn animation.

WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE was filmed with live sized large puppets. It was #1 in a New York Times list. This is Spike Jonze's adaptation of Maurice Sendak children's book.
I loved this movie and gave it 4****

Time Magazine lists its top 3 films from children's movies.

#1 THE PRINCESS AND THE FROG. -the only true animation that takes us back to the Disney two dimension
drawings. This is an original story and takes us back to the Disney story telling of the past. The story is modern however with the first black princess. More of a frog story than a princess story. Since it takes place in New Orleans, it is a great musical with a Dixieland Jazz score.

#2 UP - Prime Pixar CGI animation was my favorite, with a tremendous story of a crotchety old man who misses his wife and young scout who accompanies him on an adventure.

#3 THE FANTASTIC MR. FOX - This stop action animation was made photographing puppets on miniature sets. Voices of George Clooney and Meryl Streep brought this Dahl children's story to life. This has shown up on several top ten lists.

One more animation has made several top tens list. And that is CAROLINE, which I did not see because it seemed way too scary of me. I will rent it.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

So who did Santa give a lump of coal?

I learned today that I can't prepare a blog ahead of time and leave it in "draft" until I want to post it.
So if you want to see who I believe Santa gave the lump of coal to, scroll down on my blog to a December 23 rd post or select "who gets the lump of coal" from the archives list.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas

We don't dream of a white Christmas.

We look to the mountains for inspiration.

We put funny hats on our cacti

We have South American creches

And we celebrate the spirituality of the Holiday. Merry Christmas to all my blog followers.
Thanks to you all.

Maggie Mae and Buddy

Frosty morning walk

December 24 th Christmas Eve

Temperature 24 degrees

Dog walkers bundle up

Ghostly cactus appear in the night

Creative ways to protect the cactus tips

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Who gets the lump of coal?

I heard a pundit say that the last decade was the "Naughty" one.
So who gets the lump of coal?
#1 ) Osama Bin Laden
#2) Donald Rumsfeld -for letting above get away and a bunch of other things.
#3) Dick Cheney for being Dick Cheney
#4) George W. Bush - for all of the above plus TWO wars PLUS the economy.
#5) Two very bitter national elections.
#6) Greedy Wall Street, bankers and CEO's. Too many to name.
#7) Over sexed and inappropriatly sexed politicians. Too many to name.
#8) Rogue politicians: Michele Bachman of Minn, Sahah Palin and "No" Lieberman
#9) The Health Care Insurance Companies and Pharmaceuticals
#10 AND Tiger, you have been a bad bad boy!

Wind-another sign of winter

Another sign of winter.
Although it seems to me we can have wind any season.

Yesterday the wind-o-meter topped out at
49 mph.

This California pepper tree has been hanging on by its roots for many seasons.

Every morning as I walked by I would wonder at
its tenacity.

But it is to be no more.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

How we know it is winter when there is no snow.

1. The leaves on my little oak tree turn red.

2. It takes longer for the shower water to get hot.

3. Snow birds wear shorts & sandals while we are in jeans,
sweatshirts and sneakers.

4. There is no room in the Continental parking lot.

5. Frost on the golf course.

6. Little dogs wear sweaters.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Arizona Theatre Company

Ain't Misbehavin' -The Fats Waller Musical Show. What an enjoyable afternoon.

Rebecca E. Covington, Angela Grovey, Christopher L. Morgan, Ken Robinson and Aurelia Williams sang and danced with high energy. Some familiar songs like "Your Feets Too Big", "Mean to Me", lead the audience to much applause. I particularly liked the reserved performance of "Black and Blue", a song that intimately expresses how it feels for black people to feel "white" inside but are "Black and Blue". And all women in the audience were captivated by Christopher's sexual performance of "The Viper's Drag; The Reefer Song".

This is not the first performance of this musical review by ATC and hopefully not the last.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

This is my dog Buddy

This is my dog Buddy doing his impersonation of our State and Federal Legislators. Here he is demonstrating "lying down on the job"
Here he is demonstrating "putting head in the sand"

Monday, December 14, 2009

Cancer doesn't take a holiday

I had my 6 month follow up at the Arizona Cancer Center. Although the staff does everything to be cheerful, it can be depresing.
Even though I am doing well and am "cancer free", many of the folks there aren't doing as well. People thin as a rail with sparse heads of hair, walking with canes are reminder of the devastation of this disease.

And here is a photo of "Roxy". She is a therapy dog who this year had surgery, radiation and
chemothrapy for cancer. Now Roxy visits the cancer
center nearly every day to cheer up patients.

Combating intellectual homelessness with Olli

The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at the U. of Az., Green Valley campus proves that they can have as much fun socializing as learning.

Check out
to look over the many classes there are in Tucson and Green Valley.

If you suffer from "intellectual homelessness" in your retirement, join us for classes.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Dec. 12 -Day of Our Lady of Guadalupe

You can't live in Arizona without being aware of Mexican festivals.
Today Mexicans celebrate the Festivities of
Our lady of Guadalupe.

Although Christmas officially starts on December 16th with Posadas; journeys to the church. In Mexico these occur nightly.

Here in Puerta Vallarta, young Mexican girls ride the floats as Our Lady of Guadalupe.

Young Mexican boys dress as their Indian ancestors
and march in the Posada.

These are held nightly until Christmas in the towns and Villages of Mexico.

For several years we joined
other tourists in participating in this celebration.

December is a special month to visit Mexico.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Seasons in the Santa Cruz Valley

Often people from the north will ask "How can you live where there are no seasons?"
My response is always "What do you mean, we can have 4 in one day. You have 4, two of which you complain about". Yes, it is not unusual for us to be in the 30's in the morning and the 70's in the afternoon. When I was around 10 years old my family drove from Minnesota to Miami over the Christmas Holidays. I could not understand Christmas without snow.

For those from the north we do:
Decorate our palm trees
Put Santa Hats on our cactus
Put bows on our pyrocantha

Thursday, December 10, 2009

What roadrunners eat

A roadrunner peered in the sliding glass door. Twenty eight degrees outside. It made me ask the question "What do road runners eat in winter. In the summer they eat lizards, other birds babies and insects. But these things aren't around in the winter.
This chick is being fed by mom this summer but WHAT do they eat in winter?

Monday, December 7, 2009

Windy City of GV, Az

Colorful sunrise often predicts an inclement day.

Winds up to 37 mph nearly blew the hair off
my dogs.

And threated to blow my hubby over.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Football in the snow

Watching college football being played in the
snow in the east today brought back memories of season tickets to the Vikings. Spent many games in the cold and snow, watching Green Bay Packer fans drinking snapps with dripping noses forming icicles. Good to be in my warm Az. home.

Photo of grandson Nick at the top of Kitt Peak during his visit to Az. What a deal! A kid from Minnesota visits Az and it snows. But only in the mountains. In grandpa's house it is nice and warm. AND we don't have to shovel it and our
cars start.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

The Road From Here to There

The Road From Here to There

For ten years, I couldn't get from there to here.

The next ten years, I couldn't get from here to there.

Twenty years later, they are building a road from here to there.

Right now it is hard for me to get anywhere!


The ugliness of the health care debate continues. The right are still fear mongering and the left refuse to come up to the plate. Meanwhile the consumer flounders between high cost and rationed care. Yes I said "rationed care". Those who feel that we don't already have this are mistaken. Those already established with a doctor still takes weeks to get an appointment.
Those wanting a an initial appointment take months. How do you get seen sooner? Go to an Urgent Care or an ER. I mistakenly thought that these places were filled with the uninsured but -no- they are filled with people who can't get in to see their own primary physician. That has been my experience.