Saturday, February 27, 2010

Just Another Saturday Night

In the distance if ya look real close you can see the Metlife Blimp. It was headed up to the Phoenix Open Golf Tourney at Scottsdale on Thursday and I tried to get a good picture. It was too far away, but we had seen it above Tucson last week when we were down there.
Here we sit tonight. Watching the Olympics. Watching the USA 4 man Bobsled team on their last run...and there's a Nebraska guy in the sled...and they just won the Gold! Yea. That's pretty sweet and it makes 4 Golds in the Bobsleds. Awesome! Can't believe the winter games are just about over for another four years. We have really enjoyed them this year. They cancelled the Divisional Races at Firebird this weekend. Not a good start for the drags so far. My dog has a cough tonight, I hope it's not Valley Fever, so will be keeping a close eye on her for a day or two. Haven't done anything special. Think I overdid at the gym this week so am resting this weekend. Planning a trip to California, just don't know when we'll leave. Supposed to rain tonigt and tomorrow. Weather is just a little unstable but it seems to warm up in the afternoons. They dodged a bullet in Hawaii today with Tsunami waves predicted. Still high surf forcast for Cali. coast tonight. Just don't feel like doing much of anything, and can't believe it's the end of February. Time is really movin on.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Laughing Bird and Entertainment at Desert Valley

We attended a show last night here at the park called "Laughing Bird" It is a couple who has traveled the world and shared their music and laughs with a wide selection of people. They have been recording and performing since 1978..a mixture of instruments, Tupelo is a songwriter,sings and plays guitar, banjola, dobro, mandolin and harmonica...and a home made toe tap tambourine. Janey's main instrument is her voice, but plays mountain Dulcimer,stringed instruments and various percussion instruments (Hot Spoons!) Their act was a very energetic and professional performance. Two hours really flew by, and I would go see them again!I'm regretting that I didn't take my camera and get a couple pictures. Janey is also a published Story Writer who has an audio book out. She touts herself as a storyteller who loves to travel. Combining these, the collection of short stories about 30 years of travel and her perception of experiences. Tupelo has another project, his website for Personal Development Inspiration and Uplifting Music. These were very unique and creative folks. They travel in a Beaver Patriot Motorcoach and also have a home in Story Wyoming. Check out their websites and if ya get the chance to see one of their shows it's very worthwhile. They have played many RV Rallies around the country and spend a certain amount of time here in the southwest in the winter. Check them out at

While on the subject of entertainment...our activities director does a fantastic job throwing parties,organizing events and tours.
Thanks Betty Hart and staff. We are fortunate to have a few musicians staying here in the park full time. Bunky Christiansen from Nebraska is a one man band that sings songs he has written and other country hits.
He plays a variety of instruments including a mean fiddle and keyboard that he recently taught himself. This year he talked another couple, The Calhouns, into spending the winter here. They assisted him in finishing his last CD and are from Kansas. They perform as a couple, with several genres of music and soft comedy. At the show last night I was able to sit and visit with Jim and Chris a little bit and found out that her brother lives in Kearney NE and is the manager of the music store where my son buys all of his percussion instruments. Early in his bands history, they participated in several booking opportunities from there. Chris's brother has been a member of a popular central Nebraska band for many years, The OK Sisters, and regretably she told me last night that they are breaking up. Sad after lots of years but it happens. It just goes to show how small of a world it really is out there!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Sun Shines Today

But the temperature is still pretty cool. We woke up to the sound of our neighbor on the South saying, "All Aboard!" We had said our goodbyes last night after the pot luck. Hopefully we will be seeing them again. They are headed home to Las Vegas today. I had a good sleep last night, but still pretty slow getting around this morning. We headed into Casa to the Walmart Pharmacy to get my scrip refilled. Got here to the corner and spotted one of John Forces little Ford Flex Wagons at Carl Jrs. so had to stop in and talk to them and find out more about yesterday. It was a couple of the team mechanics.....John lost his final race, but he's still in 1st place in the overall points, and they are headed to Indiana before heading on east to Gainsville Florida for another big race in 2 weeks. It was rainy and miserable yesterday too and they said we didn't miss anything except more sitting around waiting. An article in the paper today identified the woman who died as a 52 year old dental assistant with an infectious laugh. She was out here from Wisconsin visiting her son and friends, and had lost her husband, a firefighter, to cancer in '08. It just goes to show that you need to have your house in order, no one knows how long we have or what the circumstances might be. That deal Sunday was a freak accident...but when it's your time it doesn't matter. I'm still sluggish and have a real big sinus headache...probably from all the Nitro Fuel I inhaled over the weekend. I'm heading in to the gym now to get back on the band wagon.

Monday, February 22, 2010

No Winners

The beginning of Finals Day was pretty cool, a parachutist dropped in with the flag.
We finally gave up and as we were walking out they called the races off last night about 7 p.m.with yet another weather delay. Started the day early with a Nitro Fuel
fix along with our Coffee. Your first clue to back up should be when they don the gas masks, or at least any normal person should back up. I stand there til my eyes burn and tears run down my face. The force of the power when they fire them up is like nothing else I've ever felt! It just about blows ya backward and shakes ya to the core. There were no winners and a very sad event left me walking out kinda numb. It could have been the long day, the rain delays
the clean ups and the accident that tragically took the life of one woman spectator in the afternoon. I was sooo ready to go home, but we didn't get home until after 9 p.m.
Sunday our seats were in the 1/4 mile club, which is a premiere area, right up off the starting line. Throughout the weekend there had been two Pro Stock Cars flip over, but yesterday one of the Top Fuel Cars for Don Schumacher Racing, lost a tire, causing the race car to tip over and try to climb the barrier wall. The tire and some debris flew up and bounced and continued on down on our side of the track into some spectators on the sidelines. A lady on the sidelines down the way was struck with the tire airlifted from the scene and pronounced dead at the hospital. Today I'm totally exhausted and very sad for everyone involved yesterday. There will be lots of investigation into the race car and cause for the accident. The driver, Antron Brown, walked away, but was taken to the hospital also. With so much debris, flames and bending metal, it's amazing that he walked.They were supposed to finish the Pros today, it rained off and on all day today too. We didn't go back up there. That's it for me for a while. I'm gonna stay home and watch curling on TV. Tonight I feel like I could sleep for a week.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Tired, Drowned Rat!

But Still....a bad day racing is still better than any other, and ya just can't beat Nitro in the morning with yer coffee!
Yep, I'm touched. We got a late start this morning. Drove right into a dirt storm on the way in to the track.
The clouds started building and it starting raining just after they started racing for the day. Everything was suspended. I donned a clear plastic Walmart poncho and still got pretty soaked. We left the track and drove into Chandler for a lunch at Famous Daves BBQ. That was the highlight of the day. Then back to the track just in case they would race a couple runs. The clouds were clearing and it's a good thing we checked, cause they did run a little. We got to see a Pro Stock flip over yesterday and slid towards the end of the track. The driver was 66 years old and climbed out uninjured....thankfully! Then today, it happened another Pro Stock driver. He also walked away. About the same place in the same side of the track. Some kinda wind problem I guess. We left early today. Got KayCee and went to the Chandler dog Park for a while to let the traffic clear a bit.
It's raining here again tonight. The rain gauge tonight said .40 but it might as well have been 4 inches with all the water that's standing around. We will try to get an earlier start in the morning. Tomorrow we have Premier Seating, right in front of the starting line and very close. I have already taken 160 pictures, and they're on my computer...I'm clearing the camera to start over. I swear the Top Fuel and Funny Cars vibrate clear to your very soul! It's sooooo cool. We are having a blast...spending toooo much money and hoping everyone can experience this just once! One more trip to the Nitro Mall and Nitro Alley tomorrow....I hope to get my fill. Sure am keeping my fingers crossed that the rain stays away and everyone has great runs tomorrow. I will sit right there til the end....

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Tucson for a day

Today was an absolute Arizona Treasure! We started out this morning north of Tucson, stopping at the Pinal Air Park. We have seen the many jets parked out there as we traveled up and down I10, and after arriving there, we were told that it is a restricted area, and not open to the public. Oh well. On to Tucson, and then back north about 20 miles on Hwy 79 to the Biosphere II. Created and maintained by the University of Arizona. We took some pictures, but the tour didn't start for an hour and we had a late start without lunch so we took some pics from afar and moved on.
Theres snow at the top of some of the peaks down there. That's close enough for me!Back into town we stopped at the Tohono Chul Park and had lunch in the Park's Tea Room.
Browsed through a couple of the gift shops and the greenhouse on their grounds.
Strolled through the different Desert Habitats and Gardens, learning that in this area of the Sanoran desert there are actually two summers, making it have five seasons instead of four. The facilities and Art Exhibit areas are constructed of real Adobe Bricks, and have a Spanish Atrium Motif and the dining area is veranda like, complemeted by a Clay tile fountain in the center and a Hummingbird Garden on the rear patio The art Exhibit area changes with traveling artistry, but the focus remains the reflections of the legacy of the Southwest and promotes an appreciation of the region's arts and cultures.
The displays today were Traditional Paper Art: Contemporary Interpretations.....the works of a local Polish Artist who preserves the papercutting traditions of her home country. Also, a Croatioan Artist displays of his Croatian art of Origami Paper Folding. The other display area was named Meanwhile Back at the Ranch, and all 13 artists represent the views and approaches to the theme of ranching at it's hub. Splendid pencil drawings, bronze sculptures and hand tooled leather saddles.
I enjoyed our afternoon a whole lot. It was relaxed and yet we got to learn some more about this area and it's culture.
There's lots that I won't remember there, we took in alot there. With the sun setting and Picacho peak sharing the late afternon shadows in the distance, we made it back home amongst the crazies on the highway. N
ow it's off to bed and early to rise before sun up....hit the highway going in the other direction, heading up to Phoenix to Firebird Raceway in the morning. It will be our home away from home for the next few days.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Great Anticipation

All things this week are in preparation for the 3 day Nitro Methane Blast!!! All laundry and linen got done yesterday. I bought a camp shower that holds 5 gallons of water and warms the water with the sun. We went to Home Depot in search of a hose attachment for our collapseble dog bathtub. No luck, so settled for rubber tubing and a clamp, now we can bathe miss house frau, rinse her with water warmed with the sun and dump the thing down the sewer! We were up at 5:45 this morning. Mr. Brown had a very early tee time at Fiesta Grande Golf Course on the other side of Casa Grande and he was the chauffeur this morning, so he had to unload the car so it would hold 4 sets of golf clubs and 3 other people! Now that the sun is up, it looks to be another great day here in the desert! House frau will get a bath tomorrow and I will get the racing backpack packed. I think we'll need jackets in the mornings yet and will de-layer in the afternoons. The good thing is that there's no moisture forcast anywhere near here. Yea! We've decided to drive the 42 mile trip every day instead of taking the coach to the racetrack. I'm going to do bookwork this morning and get some more stuff caught up for Income Tax. I also have to go up to the clubhouse for announcements this morning. There's a SkyMed meeting, which is a flying ambulance that transports you anywhere you want to go, and is sort of an insurance policy. We won't participate, but I said I'd go listen anyway. This afternoon I'll go to the gym for day 3 this week. I'm being a good girl so I can slack this weekend!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Great Day - Great New Friends

Got Sun?
You Betcha! It warmed up and we sat outside this afternoon. DH is a little pink tonight. We thought we better get a start before next weekend when we'll be out all the time sun up to sun down. Arizona Sun is mighty, even if it's cool out! We are still watching the Olympics when ever we sit down long enough. Go USA. I have yet to watch racing finals tonight. May wait til morning. We had a nice dinner gathering and enjoyed visiting and listening to Bunky the "Traveling Troubodour" Took a few pictures for Barbara...the lady at our table with dark hair.
She's the Asst. Mgr. here at the park, and we go to the gym together. She will use some of these for the park website. It was a nice evening.
We had salad, pasta and garlic bread. Two kinds of cake and a cranberry dish for desserts. Lots more people here than last year.
Bunky has new music, a new CD out, and he plays several instruments. Guitar, Mandoliin, Fiddle and he just started playing keyboard not long ago. He's fun to watch. One gal went swimming this afternoon. I'm not that brave this year. Everytime I got in that pool last year I got sick! It needs to keep warming up.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Happy V Day Tomorrow!

This Cholla Bush is as close as I'm getting to flowers this year! Happy Valentines Day everybody! Hope ya all get to do something fun. I have a fun morning planned, am getting up and making breakfast. Was gonna make him take me out and changed my mind! can't wait to hand out presents! We went to a gun show bright and early this morning in Casa Grande, missed the Tohono O'Odham Tash parade and festival. We took that in last year. Lots of people and traffic jams though, so I think they had a good turn out, even though it is lots colder than it was last year. Only a mere 6 days until we're goin' racin. Yipee!!!! I do hope it warms up a little bit more by then. Getting excited and am turning into a channel flipper myself now tonight. Back and forth between the Olympics and Winternationals in Pomona. My friend lost out first round today :( ...she'll get em next time, and thankfully it's early in season..

Friday, February 12, 2010

Beginning of a Weekend

Up early and off to Casa to finish up the Valentine's shopping. PetSmart first and then Sports Authority and Best Buy. Had real good luck finding what I wanted and finished the trip buying groceries for home cooked breakfast tomorrow. Was going to bake banana bread this afternoon and make home made pizza for supper, but that plan was scrapped by the time I got home. Our neighbors invited us to tag along out to the Ak Chin Indian Res. for Crab Leg buffet this afternoon. The pizza can be made anytime and will just have to wait! Tomorrow night we have a party so will be a busy weekend. No new pictures and didn't encounter any crazies this morning. The panhandlers weren't even up yet! Friday Traffic is bad already though and today started the O'Odahm Tash Festival. I don't remember that the parade last year was V. weekend. Think it's earlier. They are already setting up the booths and some merchants were already set up on Pinal. We attended the parade and the Pow Wow last year, and I think we'll be too busy this year to partake in much. I ended up sick with the flu for days afterwards, so think we'll stay home. The Fry Bread is to die for, and has enough cholestorol to make your arm hurt! So I keep telling myself that I'm being such a good girl by avoiding it!
The Buffet tonight is gonna be bad enough!Sun is warmer today. It's over 70. Happy Friday everyone!The sunset tonight looked like a big Blaze Behind the Tabletop Mountains tonight on the way home from Harrahs at Ak Chin. Buffet was very good. Earned me about 40 hours at the gym!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Back in Business!

Hooray for the great people at Lessor's Business Machines in Casa Grande. All fixed up with a new keyboard, and no other damages, so will be good to go for a round or two now. I have lot's of catching up to do, and tax season is here again so it was just in time. The weather here has been real cool and it rains every other day. Tuesday was the exception and we took a leisurely drive through the Sonoran Desert, 323 miles,stopping at the Sagauro National Park and listening to a very informative speaker. I learned a lot about the desert and some of the cacti species.
The Sanoran desert is one of four deserts here in the United States. The climate is arid and the hotest month here is June. Winter is December and January and Spring begins in February. Two Rainy Seasons, August is part of the Monsoon season and winter is the other rainy season, as we have been experiencing this year. The largest species of Cactus here is the Saguaro, and they are protected.
Some live to be 150 years old and are very slow growing, about a half inch a year. All the vegetation here has to be very drought tolerant, so to survive the very hot dry spells. Some Saguaros can weigh 3-8 tons and are 30-40 ft. high. They have 1000s of roots, not deep but growing in all directions for support. Each one is unique, and some provide homes for a few woodpecker species. Some other types of vegetation are the Jojoba bushes, Long thin spiney Octillo bushes, which some were already blooming,
Palo Verde and mesquite trees. Wild flowers come alive in all colors when the Desert wakes up, usually around here in April. There's not much out there that won't hurt you and I can't imagine walking out there for a long distance. Along the way on our drive, we drove through a good part of the Tohono O'Odham Nation in Pima county Southwest of Tucson. Couldn't help but notice the many crosses and decorated Shrines to those who have died in accidents on the road, some very intricate and decorative. We passed through the towns of Sells, Why and Ajo. Stopped in two Border Control Stations, one point we were about 20 miles from the Mexican Border and those stations have more cameras than you can imagine, there's Border Patrol Officers everywhere!
While in the ToHono O'Odham Nation we stopped and browsed in an Indian Art Shop and ate lunch that we packed in the cooler. We turned back north and passed through the Barry M. Goldwater Air Force Range. A white drone target sat poised on a partially obscured runway. As the sun set in the West, we picked up I8 at Gila Bend and merged back into I10 heading south. We stopped at a Mexican Restaurant for supper and it was a good 12 hour day. There's a payback out here for enjoying this mild weather. Some people are getting respiratory sick now. One gentleman here has Pneumonia, and a lady is very ill with Valley Fever. It is a fungus from the dirt that becomes airborn and gets in your lungs.
Pets can also contract it and while humans usually survive and are cured with medication, if a pet gets it, it can be fatal and at best they have to be on Anti Fungal Meds the rest of their lives. They started the project today to fix the road that was compromised with flood waters through the rains, so hopefully that will be fixed before we leave here. Valentines Day is coming up this weekend, and we will be going to a dinner and dance here at the park. Our Nebraska Musician Friend is playing for us. We will just hope that we can stay well because the next weekend is the NHRA Drag Races. Sure feels good to be back online, don't feel cut off from the world now!

Monday, February 8, 2010

A Cool Week in the Desert

The start of another week. I have some fun things planned. Cooking Pheasant/Shrimp Alfredo for the weekly potluck tonight. Tomorrow we drive in the desert. It was a busy day on I10 yesterday. One aleged Hostage situation with a UHaul and a crazy man near here right at the exit I take to town. He said he had 77 illegals in the back. It was empty, He is in jail in Florence. We made Fox News Live. Closed the interstate for hours, then they got it opened and just about time for the Super Bowl to be over and the sky lit up with ambulance lights. I counted 4 units right out here in front of the park, it was a bad accident. Haven't seen the particulars of that one, but the clean up took a couple hours and slowed traffic for a long time. This is most definitely a dangerous stretch of road. We try not to be out at night much. Another Super Bowl has come and gone. Now I can look forward to next season....go Broncos. Hopefully they call me to bring computer in, that the keyboard is in. I should have mail today, so will be busy with that.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Really Inconvenient

Just a note. This running back n forth is really a pain! It rained most of the night. Supposed to be colder, but turned out to be a really nice day. Went into Casa this a.m. to get snack stuff for the Super Bowl Party this evening. Mapping a couple of scenic routes to drive this week. Probably stick to the south since it's snow forcast for the Northwest. Just checking the weather map now and mapquesting some miles.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

It's Been a Long Week

I haven't been any fancy places or been on any adventures this week. I guess you could call what I've done an adventure of sorts! Wednesday, I was cooking for a dinner party that I was having and a coffee cup (with lid) got dumped over into the keyboard of my laptop. What a deal. Messed up my keyboard, so I've been busy trying to find the best way to fix it. It didn't fry everything, so I have a guy in Casa that has the keyboard ordered and will clean it up and put it back together, so hopefully I will be back and operational by Wed or Thursday of this coming week. Until that time, I am relying on the computers here at the Desert Valley Computer room. I can't believe how much I depend on that piece of equipment. So now I feel kinda lost and I'm just glad that I can come up here and use these. I won't be doing anything important here however. Just don't know about passwords etc. It's still really nice weather here, but we're in for some showers and cool weather for the first of the upcoming week. It sure is nice to watch all the snow in New Jersey on TV and then walk outside without a coat! We may take a ride down towards Tucson today later. No big plans, and none of my teams are in the Super Bowl tomorrow so that won't be a big party event for me either! Hope everybody has a great weekend. I do get my regular e mail and am checking it once a day through the website.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Chandler AZ and Heart Attack Grill

Yesterday was an interesting day in the old neighborhood. We hadn't been north to the suburb of Chandler, south of Phoenix since we have been here and I felt the need for a road trip. The first winter we came out here, we started out in Chandler and spent a lot of time there and surrounding suburbs of Tempe and Gilbert. We saw some new things since last year, and some same old same old. We discovered the Heart Attack Grill before it was advertised on all the food networks and CBS Morning Show. We felt the need to have lunch there because they have the absolute best hamburgers!
Nothing in there is good for you and they tell ya that going in, but it's a real experience that everybody needs just once, or in our case, twice! We stopped in at the Firebird Raceway and picked up our parking passes for the NHRA Arizona Nationals in a few weeks.
It was eerily quiet and the lake where they host Jet Boat Races was still, but in a very short time, their seasons will start and all will be a bustle.
Across the freeway, is the RV Dealership where we bought our home on wheels. With the down economy, they were not exempt on some hard times and changes. We stopped in to look around and visit with them on the state of things now. After a tough go last year, their opinions are that things are definitely looking up. They are attending shows, keeping busy, and there were several other couples there shopping for rigs. We looked at their feature, one of 7 Country Coaches built in '08 that has a fold down deck on one side. It's the same size as ours and also has a King bed and a bath & 1/2. On the deck there's a pull out big flat screen tv. Now DH really liked that rig, and we spent quite a while sitting in and looking around it, but I finally managed to pull him away. They only built 7 and 6 are sold, so it's the last one. I went intending on looking at smaller rigs and not deciding what I can give up, I'm right back where I started!
We got up early this morning to go through the hunting ritual.
DH has been wanting to hunt Quail since finding out that there's friends of his hunting buddy's that live here. Well we were hooked up with one of those guys and went to meet him yesterday since he lives in Chandler. I wanted to feel more comfortable with who he was going away with, especially since guns are involved and they're taking my dog!lol
After meeting this couple, I'm totally comfortable. They are really nice people. He came by and picked them up and they are going down by Tucson some place. Although I have the day off, with no demands I have some cooking to do to get ready for a dinner party that I'm having tomorrow night. We're forcasted to get more rain tonight and tomorrow. Pretty soon we will need oars or maybe will sink! Later this week, we will head to Tucson to explore some more territory.