Category Archives: Arizona

Family Fun

arrivederci-dinnerMy brother-in-law and sister in law’s time in Phoenix overlapped with ours by a couple of weeks.  Although their rented home is over an hour away from ours we have still managed to get together for two games of golf, a lunch and supper that included our children and grandchildren, a night at the Handlebar restaurant and dinner at Arrivedercis a family owned and operated Italian place with fabulous food. We also managed to fit in a few games of euchre.   We always have a great time with Paul and Shirley!dave-paul-golf

marylou-shirley-golf

at-the-handlebar-with-paul-and-shirley

Other posts…….

Showing Off Our City

Family Visit

Trilliums Food For the Soul

Leave a comment

Filed under Arizona, Family

Two Artists- Me and My Grandson

drawing-a-ceramic-turtleDuring my four year old grandson’s  stay with us in Arizona we had so much fun creating art together.
grandmas-turtle-drawingWe drew turtles using a ceramic turtle as our model. grandsons-turtle-drawingMy grandson labeled his turtle in French because that’s his first language.
grandmas-maskWe created these masks together in the art studio grandsons-maskat the Phoenix Children’s Museum during the afternoon we spent there.  
cape-dorset-coloring-bookWe both like coloring. I knew my grandson was learning about Canada’s north at school so I brought an Inuit art coloring book for him. One rainy afternoon we spent about an hour coloring. He colored Bountiful Sea by Meelia Kelly while I women-artist-coloring-bookworked on a portrait in my Women Artists’ Coloring Book called Portrait of Princess Belozersky  by Marie Louise Elizabeth Vigee Lebrun. 
construxs-machinesWe used the construxs building toys I’d brought along to make a bunch of different machines. My grandson made a gum machine and a toy machine. I  made a music machine and a sandwich machine.

cacti backyardOne sunny morning we both sketched the different plantscacti-childs-art we saw in our backyard. 

art-from-rocks-with-kidsAnother morning we used stones to make three faces.  My grandson labeled them George, Jean and Jack after the three main characters in a story about three coyotes which his grandfather continued each night. After it got dark Dave lit a fire in our fire pit wrapped our grandson in a cosy blanket and they created another chapter in their ongoing saga about the adventures of George, Jean and Jack. 

rock-artStones were featured in this art project as well where we used thin tipped felt markers to create faces and scenes on the flat sections of stones.

iguana-drawingOn Tuesday we decided to draw two iguanas sitting on a rock. My grandson drew and colored the little iguana and I did the big one. We colored the rock together.  We discovered the spelling for the word iguana is exactly the same in English and French except for the last letter. 

grandma-portraitBut my favorite art piece from our week together is this portrait my grandson drew of me. 

Other posts…….

Stopping By Woods- A Children’s Masterpiece

I Love My Job

When Did You Stop Drawing?

1 Comment

Filed under Arizona, Art, Family

Showers and Flowers

It rained pretty much all weekend here in the San Tan Valley.  That’s not the kind of weather you hope for on a trip to Arizona and we had to get creative with finding activities especially for our four year old grandson. But the upside of all that rain is that the desert has started to bloom.  hiking-dynamite-trailYesterday was a sunny beautiful day and we went for a family hike with our children and grandchildren on the Dynamite Trail in the San Tan Regional Park. I had hiked it with my friend Justina recently and there was not a flower in sight.  yellow-desert-bloomsYesterday when we hiked it there were beautiful little yellow and purple blooms popping up everywhere.  purple-desert-flowersDesert flowers are a more common sight here in late March and April but yesterday we got a little preview of what that must be like.  There was a silver lining to those showers. 

Other posts…..

The Flowers of Jamaica

The Flowers of Costa Rica

Exploring Gros Morne National Park

Leave a comment

Filed under Arizona

An Arizona Trifecta

ray-and-nickyBreakfast with Ray and Nicky paul-and-shirleyGolfing with Paul and Shirleyhans-and-chrisSupper with Hans and Chrischris-and-marylou

Other posts……….

Top Ten List in Arizona

Arizona Mailboxes

Hi Ho 

Leave a comment

Filed under Arizona

A New Sport For Dave

pickle-ball-daveMy husband Dave had tried the game of pickle ball once or twice before coming here to Arizona but now he’s joined a community league and he plays virtually every day for two hours or more.  He wasn’t sure about investing money in a pickle ball paddle till he knew if he really liked the game. Our Steinbach friend Ric who spends half the year here in Arizona came to his aid . Ric wasn’t using his pickle ball paddle due to an athletic injury and said Dave could borrow his.  Dave contacted the local  pickle ball coordinator on-line and the first week we were here he hit the courts.  dave-plays-pickle-ballI love hearing his stories about the various players every time he comes home.  He is making lots of new friends from all over Canada and the United States and is really having fun. pickle-ball-court-dave-azThe other night he actually went to a sports store to look for a paddle of his own to take back home.  A couple from Winnipeg plays regularly in his Arizona group and they have invited him to join a league in St. Boniface that meets at a facility not too far from our home.  az-pickle-ballDave doesn’t really need another sport to get involved in but there is not doubt he’s a life-long athlete as the shots in this post attest to.  I had to take them through the wire mesh around the courts but I think they still give you a pretty good idea of just how much he’s enjoying his new sport. dave-pickle-ball-friendsOther posts……….

Dave Tries Boogie Boarding

Watching the Regional Ultimate Tournament

I Did the Limbo on the Golf Course

1 Comment

Filed under Arizona, Sports

Valentine Blues

A man who has taken to drinking and smoking since his girlfriend left him, a fellow who murdered a two timing partner and someone bidding their lover good-bye. Sounds pretty sad and it was.  Those were themes of songs we heard at a concert at the Higley Performance Centre here in Arizona. We listened to three different folk groups. Each sang at least one blues song that talked about just how sad love can be.

linda-bilqueLinda Bilque and the musicians who accompained her sang The No Account Blues.  

You left me oh my darling
And now I have to live with me
So I’m smoking and drinking darling
I’ve got a case of those no account blues
I toss and I turn in my teardrops
Like a fool whose got nothing to lose. 


j-c-and-laneyJ.C. and Laney a talented duo performed Don’t Need a Good Reason. 

Don’t need a good reason for things to change
When you’re not looking time steals what you arrange
We’re on borrowed time and our love was over
Long before you said the word good-bye. 

three-legged-dogThree Legged Dog a group of three amazing musicians who each played so many different instruments it left you dizzy did a number called Three Quarter Time. 

One verse talks about how a man catches his girlfriend cheating on him and says she “trod upon my heart in three quarter time.”
The following verse describes how he killed that girlfriend and threw her in the pond where “the bullfrogs sang in three quarter time.”
The song ends with the man being hung for his crime and “doing the gallows dance in three quarter time.” 

On Valentine’s Day we celebrate the beauty of love but the folk concert we attended reminded us that sometimes love can have a pretty dark side too. 

james-sallis-musician-and-authorThe most interesting performer of the evening was James Sallis, referred to as the “irascible banjo player” who we discovered is an American crime writer best known for his novel Drive which was adapted into a movie  in 2011 starring Ryan Gosling.

Other posts……..

The Arizona Opry

Burton Cummings in Arizona

Organ Music With Your Pizza Anyone? 

Leave a comment

Filed under Arizona, Music

Sunday Morning at the Olive Mill

We’ve found our Sunday morning spot !  When we lived in Hong Kong we went to church on Sunday evenings so we spent our Sunday morning at a place called Pacific Coffee.  We’d read the Sunday edition of the South China Morning Post and Dave would do the New York Times crossword puzzle which he had printed up from the Winnipeg Free Press online.  

dave doing puzzle coffee shopTwo years ago when we stayed in the Gold Canyon area of Phoenix  we found a nice little coffee place a short bike ride away where we could have Sunday breakfast, read The New York Times and do the crossword. This year we are staying in the San Tan area so we needed to scout out a new Sunday morning spot.  dave-crossword-olive-millWe found it at The Olive Mill oil-and-vinegar-olive-millla cool place where they make their own olive oils and vinegrettes olives-stuffed-with-blue-cheese always have lots of great stuff out for tasting. coffee-olive-mill and roast their own blends of coffee. breakfast-olive-milllWe are eating our way through the delicious breakfast menu having different items each week. Last week we tried the peaches and cream waffle and the lemon ricotta pancakes.organic-garden-olive-millThey grow their own herbs at the Olive Mill. dave-outdoor-olive-mill Last week it was warm enough to eat outside so we stayed till Dave had finished the crossword.  I was even able to help him with a few of the clues. I read my way through most of Sunday’s edition of The New York Times.  Lots of fascinating articles. We’ve already taken two sets of visitors to the Olive Mill for Sunday morning breakfast and have another date planned with friends next week.  We may just get through all the menu items before its time to head home. 

Other posts…….

Breakfast in Florida

Having a Feast For Breakfast

Breakfast on Marion Street

1 Comment

Filed under Arizona