These are random musings of my life journey, the people, animals, places, and events which have woven, and continue to weave, a tapestry that is me. We all know there is no real destination, only the ongoing experiences which blend together, creating the trail. Each step gives a glimpse of what is to come, without allowing me to see the end result. It is exciting. I have a home base that is mine, that gives me a place to rest. This is it. This is where my heart is, no matter where I journey...................

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Tucson trip, part 2

Friday morning we went to Jim’s daughter’s home. We had to borrow a number of things so I could make him a pie. He found the recipe on line for that apple pie with green chili and piñons that I made for the potluck group recently, and I’d promised to make it for him. As I looked in his cabinets, I found that he had only part of the ingredients, and no pie pans! He had a rolling pin, however. He suspects the ex-wife left that as a message of sorts. I enjoyed meeting his daughter and granddaughter. His daughter is a delightful young woman, near in age to my own TL. He found that he didn’t care for the fact that she and I sorta quickly fell into an understanding about how to deal with him. She’s a smart girl!

So some of the things we borrowed, then Jim dropped me off at the home of my friends for lunch and he went shopping for the other things we needed for the pie and a few things we needed for dinner. The friends are one of my former bosses from KC and his wife. Jerry is a retired doctor for whom I worked for over 11 years before I went to school to get my degrees in Social Work.

We visited for a while at their home, then Jerry and I went to lunch. His wife, Janet, decided to not to go so we could catch up. I was initially disappointed, but as we talked, I recalled how they tend to yammer at each other, bordering on arguing. It is easier to take them just one at a time! So we had an excellent lunch, I had a humongous salad with mushrooms and shrimp, yummmm. I did enjoy catching up, finding out about each other’s kids, pictures and everything that goes along with that.

Jim picked me up, and we headed home. Oh, on the way we picked up my computer which was fixed by then, and BTW, I’ve had to retrain myself to use the letter ”D”!!! I keep trying to use the shortcut I devised in the interim!! Together we cooked up a pot of spaghetti, and I made a salad. He didn’t want to over-tax me, so the salad was pre-cut greens and a carton of cherry tomatoes. I wasn’t over-taxed! His friends arrived for dinner, and we had a wonderful time. I liked his friends, and I think it was mutual. They were certainly sizing me up, I know, making sure I’m good enough for their buddy. But it wasn’t ever uncomfortable. Nice people and a fun evening.

I got tickled a number of time watching the friends reactions to political differences. They are all conservatives to one degree or another, and having someone they considered “liberal” in their midst was obviously disconcerting at times. ( I consider myself “moderate” with liberal leanings. Over the weekend, Jim asked me a number of questions, then pointed out that I’m “not as liberal as [I] think,” to which my response is always “I know, but conservatives tag me as liberal because I think out of the(ir) box, so it is just as simple to claim it.”) I don’t argue those things, especially when I’m outnumbered, but it was fun just watching as they would say something that was clearly normal for them, catching themselves and giving me a sidelong glance to see if I had a reaction! I think I usually didn’t, and the most “argument” they got from me was by way of simply touting the benefits of everyone being informed and knowing what they are voting for as a means to crawling out of the problematic situation. There isn’t a reason to argue, but challenging thinking can never be a bad thing. I wasn’t disturbed by it; I hope they weren’t.

Saturday was football. Period. I’m serious, Jim is a serious college football fan. His Arizona Wildcats are, of course top of the list, but football is football. It’s OK. I like football, too. I probably won’t watch that much on my own, but I don’t mind it under these circumstances. Later in the day we went to have dinner at the home of one couple who were at dinner the night before and watch the AU game which was out of town. (He attends all home games, a serious season ticket owner. I get that after my years of addiction to Chiefs football games.) As we were getting ready, Jim was aghast that I didn’t have an appropriate wardrobe. So I wore one of his AU t-shirts. Whatever it takes. It’s a good thing I get it, “it” being, of course, the sports nut thing! Sadly AU lost. Dinner was good, and the company was, as well.

As you all know, I extended my trip by a day. By Saturday I knew I wanted to stay a bit longer. I called my Rent-A-Kid and his parents to ask if another day was OK. They had already said it was if something came up, but I wanted to be sure they had not had changes in their plans. Everyone said it was fine, so I informed Jim that I was staying. When He tried to argue, I just smacked him around till he said it was alright. I’m like that.

Sunday we had thought we would just kick back, but after talking it over we decided to go to the Sonoran Desert Museum. What a fabulous place. As I said in an earlier post:

“[Sunday] we went to the Sonoran Desert Museum. What an awesome place that is! I've always loved the desert. Unfortunately, when most people think of "a desert," they don't realize that it is not a dead place. OK, OK, some are, but most are wonderful, if you just look around. In this park they have brought together most of the elements of a huge area (the Sonoran Desert is huge; look up a map [] to see how far it reaches) into an area that is walkable so that you can experience much of the wildlife and plant life common around that expanse in one place. I'm always in awe of the saguaro cacti, and yesterday was no exception. I won't give you one of my famous "lectures" on the history and facts of the components of the desert, here, now, but perhaps soon. That means beware!”

That actually sums it up well enough that I won’t lecture you further. Just some pix! Well, OK, just a few lecturing notes along the way. ;D

For starters,
"Which way do we go?? Which way do we go??"

This handsome lady greeted us at the gate.

This pattern on Gila Monsters tails is beautiful.


As I said before, the saguaro fascinates me. The are kinda like the redwoods of the cactus family. They grown very slowly but are huge in comparison to other cacti. They don't grow those "arms" until they are around 70 years old! Their growth rate is dependent on rainfall, as with most plants, but over the 100-200 year lifespan, they can grow to be 30-50 feet tall. I wish I'd taken a picture of Jim standing by one for comparison, but I'm sure you've seen such pix anyway. I just think they are awesome.

This little tree is a palo verde. I had not seen one before, and I was interested in it. It reminds me, a little, of a willow.

If you look very closely (or click on it to enlarge it for easy viewing) you can see the saguaro going up the mountainside. And you can see the elevation at which their growth just stops near the top.

Another new plant to me, the octopus agave. I wonder if tequila made from this makes you go all twisty. Or maybe you get too "feely," as in "he was like an octopus, all over her." Yeah, probably so.

This thorny plant was a little off the path, so I zoomed in. I didn't realize how bad the focus was, but I still wanted to show you how wicked these thorns were.

Again, rather fuzzy, but aren't those thorns pretty? Little starbursts!

This cactus falls over and grows all over the ground.

If you end up in Tucson, this place is well worth your time. There is a lot packed in a relatively small space. I was tired before we could see it all, but I'd happily go back again.


We spent Sunday evening quietly, at home, eating some left over spaghetti. We are both interested in history, so we watched the first installment of the History Channel series "WWII in HD." And for the first time since I got there, we actually went to bed before midnight! Yeah, I was tired, for sure.

OK, this has to be in three sections, so the last one will be posted tomorrow. Stay tuned!

BTW, the next section will be hard to trim down. I took half of my 400 photos on the last day! Nah, I won't post them all.


  1. Wow, it sounds like you had a great time. I can see why you would extend your stay a day.

  2. I love Cacti they are amazing plants I cant wait to read part 3

  3. MJ, I did. Extending was just a bonus. You'd think I'm not going back, wouldn't you? LOL!

    Bobbie, yeah, me too! And part 3 is up!

  4. Additions to my Christmas List:

    Gila Monster

    Set of Horns

  5. As usual, your pictures and comments are so descriptive. You sure were busy, no time to get into trouble. I bet Jim was just as happy as you were. I'm confused about the Border/Immigration thing....did you leave the country at some point? Had to go back and read it again....nope dont think you did. LOL

  6. Queenie, :D I like your Christmas list!!

    Ruth, thanks! Yeah, I think we both had much fun.

    Now, about the immigration .... no, I didn't leave the country, LOL! All along the highways that run near the Mexican border are check-points where you have to pull off so border patrol can check for illegals. It is a significant problem. Frankly, I don't know how those check points help, because who's going to drive through there if they are illegal? Whatever! Anyway, it is really common to run across these across the southern parts of Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and California.It's not a big deal. Now if *you* come across one, they might see that Canadian passport and insist on all the extremes .... taking the car apart, strip searching, body cavity searches, THE WORKS!!! BWAAAAA ha ha ha ha!!!

    oh, sorry. ;D

  7. Your trip sounds great and shows that you did indeed have a good time. Personally, I love the Desert, but you are right, it is not for everyone. Love your photos, thanks for sharing.

  8. Moni, it is an acquired taste, just like many things in life, but once you "get it," it has got you!

  9. OMG thats hilarious and thanks for the warning......

  10. I am so glad you enjoyed your trip. Your photos are gorgeous as usual, almost like being there. However, you know me, I have to ask about the wildlife, some looked like they were preserved by taxidermy but uncertain. So, which if any were alive and breathing. I personally think the most beautiful animal on this earth is the Mountain Lion and the one you that you included a photo of is no exception. Life is truly beautiful if we would only take the time to stop and enjoy it.

  11. Hi, DJ!! I'm glad to see a comment from you. The animals were all alive and well. The enclosures for them are very nice, as natural as is possible. The rocks are mostly man-made, but nicely done so that you don't get that awful old-style zoo feeling.

    It was a fabulous trip. I'm SO glad I went!


If you have something to say about it, just stick out your thumb, and I'll slow down so you can hop aboard! But hang on, 'cause I'm movin' on down the road!!! No time to waste!!!