Keeping current in wellness, in and out of the water
You can scroll the shelf using ← and → keys
You can scroll the shelf using ← and → keys
If we were having coffee this morning I would have to serve you motel breakfast….I am on my third cup of coffee because I had to come to the lobby to make contact with the WiFi this morning. I don’t bother with the food at motel breakfast because powdered eggs and Danish pastry is not my style. In a couple of hours we will proceed to the Show Low, AZ farmer’s market when it opens at 9 am. I will find some tasty cuisine that suits my vegetarian fresh food habit.
We left the heat in Tucson for a couple of days of relief. The drive up here included two detours/delays caused by traffic accidents. In Oracle, AZ the road had been blocked to clear a crash, so we had to drive around the incident. The route took us through San Manuel. a deserted town that used to have an underground copper mine. These copper towns belong to the companies, so when the mine closes, the entire town closes. It is eerie to see the remains of what was once a center of industry. I was particularly struck by the “country club”, an 18 hole golf course that has been abandoned for about 10 years. Large dying trees and expanses of dust where there once were golf greens are a strange echo of the past. There is still an airport in San Manuel, which only existed so copper executives could fly in and out of the place. From that ghost town the winding roads we traveled took us through several copper mining towns with open pit mines still in operation. These isolated towns owned completely by copper companies are the present day versions of Tombstone and Bisbee. The abundance and wealth produced in them does not tarry very long in that place. Miners do dangerous hard work and have to live in a town where the company owns the only place they can even buy groceries.
When we started to leave Globe, AZ we were advised that the road to Show Low, our destination, had been closed to clear a crash. We decided to drive back to town and discover Globe rather than get stuck in a line of cars waiting for a wreck to be cleared. That was extra fun. We cruised the neighborhoods on our way to the old downtown. I loved the old homes and the old downtown is in good shape. There are chain restaurants and stores on the main hi way, but individual shops, galleries and eateries are thriving in the downtown. We ate a really good lunch at a Mexican restaurant, and lingered trying to wait out the problem on the road. It was a good call because we did have to wait about 20 minutes at the site of two semis that were scattered on the road and the mountain. It was not clear how it happened, but both large trucks were full of soda pop, which has been collected. We saw the giant tow truck pull the overturned semi back onto the road. The crew was expert, and still had hours of work ahead of them when they let our lane of cars drive through to Show Low. I was happy I had neither been in the soda pop truck or the cars stuck in the beginning of this wreck. Compared to what..right? A few minutes delay on a day with no plans is not a big deal.
We will drive to Snowflake, AZ later this morning to discover a new part of the White Mountains. The lavender festival awaits. I have read that the area contains sinkholes and unusual geological shapes. The sinkholes have been use by Native Americans as well as the Mormons for amphitheaters. The Petrified Forrest is close, but I refuse to go back down in elevation because the heat actually followed us up here. All the days last week and next week have been and will be a high of 85, which is dreamy . However, both of our days up here the temperature will reach 97….There is air conditioning, and we will use it. We are still very pleased to get out of Tucson and see all the amazing geology and botany on this drive. It is gorgeous, if a little bit too hot.
If we were having coffee at the Best Western Pony Paint Motel in Show Low, AZ, I would invite you to come along with us today. If you are too busy to tag along I will update you next weekend about the events of this weekend. My writing is going well. I am really enjoying the tea review posts more than I expected. I now have infinite material for my Tuesday posts. I will never run out of teas. I am listening to a book Bread, Wine, Chocolate, The Slow Loss of Foods We Love, which is fascinating. I am being influenced heavily by what I am learning about our lack of biodiversity. I recommend it to anyone who eats or drinks. We all have a part to play in saving biodiversity on earth. Some of us do it by careful consumption of the foods we want to save. The author’s detailed and accurate descriptions of flavors have inspired me to expand both my vocabulary and my sensitivity. This is helpful in developing my tea language. I am enjoying it.
If we are having motel coffee this morning I would promise a much more gourmet selection of digital beverages next week. Coffee is one of the subjects covered in this book. If you are a real coffee lover you might like to learn more about it by reading ( or listening to ) Simran Sethi’s discoveries, who traveled all over the world to research this book.
Thanks for joining me this morning. Please visit our hostess, Emily, at Nerd in the Brain, for the full shebang. Visit with writers for around the world and keep up with our movable feast here. Join the party every weekend on twitter using the hashtag #WeekendCoffeeShare.
If we were having coffee this weekend I would offer you a large helping of iced tea. The heat is scorching with no end in sight. The heat draws the moisture up from the south to create our monsoon season, but so far there is a tragic lack of moisture. We are baking in the desert. Stay in the air conditioned comfort and drink loads of tea to stay hydrated during your visit. I will send you off on your trip home with fresh watermelon juice, which I find is the most cooling beverage in the world. Relax and tell me about your week. Did your writing go well? How about life?
If we were guzzling iced tea together I would tell you how much fun I am having at my new job. I am now licensed as a dispensary agent by the state of Arizona. I work at a medical marijuana grow harvesting and trimming weed. I only work 12 hours a week in that capacity, but I am developing new ways to serve the patients. I want to create a cannabis catering department as well as an excursion department. I am new at this business, but have lots of experience in the travel industry. I believe the patients are a perfect group of people to put on a party bus for short trips.
The best part of my job is getting to know all my new colleagues. They know a lot about cannabis, but I have miles to go before I will understand all the various new concentrates being made, and the various strains being cultivated. I learn every time I go to work for my four hour shifts. It is surprising to me how much finesse is required to trim buds. Each variety has different qualities and must be handled differently. It takes focus, but we can still chat and listen to music as we work. The people with whom I work are very good natured (as you might expect). I plan to feature short educational segments on Wednesdays, #WeedWednesdays, featuring our expert grower. There is endless information as well as interest in this subject.
If we were on our third glass of iced tea by now I would tell you about our plan to escape to the White Mountains of Arizona next weekend. We are going to a lavender festival near the town of Snowflake. Just saying the word Snowflake is pretty exciting when it is 115 outside. We will drive up on Friday and stay in Show Low, AZ. On Saturday we will attend the Lavender Festival at Red Rock Farms. This event promises to be the exact opposite of burning up in the heat. We will romp through the fields of lavender on a pick your own adventure, then attend cooking demos and wine tastings at the farm. I can’t wait!!!! Saturday night we will check in to an historical bed and breakfast downtown Snowflake, which I will also like a lot. We have to drive home on Sunday, but we can linger in the mountains on the way back. We need to make the most of our “cool down” because the following week will be a furnace down here.
Thanks for joining me today. Use sunscreen on the way to your vehicle. You would not believe how quickly you can be burned to a crisp. Please visit our hostess Emily at Nerd in the Brain for more coffee shares. This movable feast takes place every weekend. Join us to read, comment, or submit your own digital beverage post.
If we were having coffee in Tucson today I would invite you to take a dip in the pool because it will reach 100 degrees this afternoon. I am drinking coffee in the early morning as we prepare to spend the day in Phoenix. I know it sounds counter intuitive to go down to the valley of the sun when the heat is cranking up. Here is my logic. This weekend will be a slow one at the Heard Museum, where there is a special exhibit of the paintings of Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo. The universities have graduated the student population, and the snow birds have gone back to the north woods, so this is SLOW season in all of Arizona. It will reach 100 for the next 5 days in a row, which will just be a warm up (pun intended). We get good deals on hotels and other things in the summer. Natives handle the heat by going inside to air conditioned comfort in the middle of the day. Our reservation for the Rivera/Kahlo show is at 1 pm, which gives us time to see the rest of the museum. We have not been there for many years. The permanent collection has some amazing Native American art, including Barry Goldwater’s kachina collection. I am a real museum nut, and Bob does not mind spending lots of time checking out every detail of an exhibit. After you finish your coffee you can ride along in the red Mustang for the trip if you like. It should be a fun day. I plan to have crepes for brunch up in Tempe.
If we were having coffee today I would tell you a funny story about clearing clutter, about which I write frequently, and actually accomplish with less alacrity. I managed to take a large box of books to the used book store last week. Although they only purchased one book, I left the entire box for non profit organizations that pick them up there. I felt proud because I even managed to ditch some of my beloved, and never used, cookbooks. Yesterday in a Facebook group of people who used to live in the boonies in petroleum camps in Eastern Venezuela folks started saying they would pay to have a certain cookbook copied. I happen to have a copy, much used, and very special to me. The pride in ditching the old books has been replaced by pride in keeping the right one, San Tome Gourmet. San Tome was the name of our petroleum camp in Estate Anzoategui. It does contain some killer recipes. I have preserved history and culinary authenticity in my cookbook hoarding practice, so it is now very cool.
Tell me how your week and your writing has been. I have skipped too many days posting here this week, but did manage a couple of poems. Maybe next week I will be more productive and creative. I am calling on my summer muse to show up and inspire. She always shows up sooner or later…she is a little late. I hope your muses are serving you well and keeping your creative juicers flowing. Thanks for visiting this week. For those of you who want to keep up with bloggers around the world each weekend, check Nerd In The Brain for party invitations. Read, comment, or write your own digital beverage post. All are welcome.
If we were having coffee I would invite you to relax with a cup of tea or coffee of your choice. It is getting warm (hot for most of you), so I have a couple of iced teas on hand to quench your thirst and take the edge off the heat. We just returned from a road trip to take in the blooming trees and cacti. We always intended to visit the Casa Grande Ruins National Monument, but have somehow managed to postpone the visit for years. The place is out of the way, so we created an itinerary around it. Initially we had planed to go to the Greek Monastery in Florence, then the ruins. When we passed the road to the monastery it was too early to visit, so we decided to drive a few more miles to a place we know and love, Queen Creek.
We stopped to shop and picnic at the Queen Creek Olive Mill which as expanded since we last saw the place. It was swarming with customers, but the ample outdoor picnic space is ample. We purchased a few choice groceries and a mimosa for me, then headed out to the porch to enjoy our fare. After lunch we went across the street to the Schempf Farms for a little more gourmet grocery procurement before we hit the ruins, about 15 miles down the road. My senior pass gets us in to all the National parks and monuments forever for free. It is my favorite senior benefit.
The ruins must have been a complete wonder when first built. The Casa Grande has such thick walls that even in the heat of summer the people could find great relief inside. At one time when the rivers flowed these people had a great civilization, which vanished. Like the Anasazi people the Hohokam had advanced agriculture that sustained a large population for a while. Nobody knows exactly how and why they vanished. The Parks Service does not restore, but does preserve the structures as much as possible. It is impressive that it is still standing. It gives one a very large sense of history.
If we were having coffee I would tell you I am still true to #NaPoWriMo, although I do not plan to combine the two this week. I will write another one with a poem in it today. I am really impressed with many of the contributors this year. I have been reading some very inspirational poetry of all kinds. I never knew there were so many formal formats in use. Some poets are incredibly flexible with all these various forms. I just crank one out in some form every day, and am satisfied just to do that. How are your writing projects going? I know many are going to novel writing camp this month. That seems like a very big challenge to me, but the poems I can handle. How are you handling your latest challenges?
Thanks for stopping by today for a beverage and a visit. I look forward to spending time on the weekends catching up with this talented group. To read, comment, or submit your own coffee share post, please visit Nerd in the Brain. Meet interesting writers from all over the world.
The small section of town known as Old Town Scottsdale includes a park, a history museum, and a performing arts center. The retail establishments are known for western art and Mexican imports. Native American jewelry and pottery can be purchased, as well as contemporary cowboy and cowgirl fashion. There is a popular farmers’ market on Saturday morning, and many bars and restaurants are scattered throughout the area. Many of the businesses have been in the same location for decades. It is a tourist destination for winter visitors, especially baseball fans who come for Spring Training.
I visited recently for a photo shoot capture some architectural and botanical images, and brunch. I stopped at the centrally located information booth run by Downtown Ambassadors to ask a few questions. I inquired about the Mexican food dining options within walking distance. Susan Sentner and her sidekick Joyce were on duty greeting visitors. They were a wealth of knowledge as well as welcoming, warm, and witty. They helped me locate the perfect brunch for me at the Mission, and furnished me with a list of all the public art in Old Town. I had fun swapping stories with these friendly ladies. They greatly enhanced my knowledge of Old Town as well as my enjoyment of it. After my delightful meal I had run out of time to photograph all the public art pieces. I have saved the list and map for a future project when I return for my next visit.
There are volunteer ambassadors to greet and guide visitors at information carts located at both Main St & Brown Avenue and at 5th Avenue and Stetson, seven days a week, from October through May. They are proud of their city and have valuable insights to share with guests. If you go to Old Town make sure you take advantage of their free services to make the most of your visit. They know everything.
If we were having coffee I would invite you to once again sit by the wood stove, which has been cranked up for a couple of days. This short cold snap may be the last time we need to burn wood this year. The quick warm up has caused all the trees to go into blossom mode. My peach tree is in bloom, and the apricot and grapefruit are budding up. Since I still had a large crop of ruby-red grapefruit on the tree I needed to act quickly to get them picked. It stresses the tree and the fruit will start to lose weight if I leave it much longer. I picked about 100 pounds, and took them to the farmers market. I am a member of a coop sponsored by our food bank that allows us to drop off our produce to be sold at the coop table.
It is great because small growers who do not produce enough to want to rent their own table use the coop to sell their fruits, herbs, and vegetables. I joined last year when I had too many grapefruit at the end of the season, and think it is a wonderful service to the community. I take extra herbs and citrus that turn out to be more than we can use. Others are doing it to increase income from home gardening. I came back to the market at the perfect time!! Tomorrow there will be a party at a brewery downtown hosted by the Arizona Small Scale Farmers Alliance, a ranger and farmer meet up. This will be a very fun event for me. I plan to attend and find out what is happening in local farmer land. I have also made my plans for wildflower safari to Tempe and Scottsdale in the beginning of March. One of my Air bnb hosts up there has a miniature farm with free range chickens and organic gardens. Guests are invited and encouraged to eat the produce and eggs. That will be interesting to see as well as taste. I want to see what farmers do in Scottsdale.
My trip to Maricopa County will include the opening of a new butterfly pavilion at the Desert Botanical Gardens for which they are having a party. It will be wildflower as well as citrus bloom season up there, so the sights and scents will be very exciting. On Sunday I will visit the Museum of the Musical Instrument, where I will see the exhibits at leisure the attend a classical matinée concert by the Phoenix Symphony. There are special exhibits about 20th century guitar art, and another about Woodie Guthrie. I could easily spend an entire day there. I am enthusiastically looking forward to my weekend away, not very far from home. I plan to purposely take some botanical/architectural images to use later as prompts for poetry or fiction. There will be plenty of subject matter from which to choose. I am still writing fiction once a week to Sue Vincent’s photo prompts, which gave me the idea to capture a few of my own for future use. April is poetry month and I always use an image with each of the 30 poems, so might as well prepare.
If we were having coffee I would be seriously pushing the grapefruit juice, and sending a few fruits home with you when you go. I want to hear about your week and writing projects. I know many of you are still in winter, and are probably getting tired of it. My early spring farming issues might not inspire much sympathy if you are still snowed in. Think of it this way. Soon you will be able to enjoy the blaze of color and flash of Phoenician spring without leaving home. I will bring it to you on coffee share. I only wish I could transmit the amazing aroma of citrus in bloom. It is sweet and uplifting beyond measure. Thank you for visiting this week. Take some spring vibes home with you.
If you want to join other writers and digital beverage drinkers visit Nerd In The Brain to hook up with stories from around the globe each weekend. Feel free to read, comment, enjoy, or submit a post of your own here.
Our state is attractive to tourists because we have sunny warm weather. We call them snowbirds because they come down from some wintry place to stay in our area while it is miserably cold up north. Some own second homes, and others are driving RV’s on the annual pilgrimage. They provide much-needed economic boosts to the places they visit, and then head north in the spring. Arizona depends on their spending to support not just hotels, but service industries and retail stores as well. The tourist represents a segment of the economy we can grow. What we have to offer is in competition with all other destinations for traveler’s attention. Here are some features I believe make a vacation in Arizona in winter great:
This year when snowflakes begin to fall on your front yard, book your flight and come on down to Tucson for outdoor adventure and some awesome tamales. We welcome you to our part of the world.
After a long career in public service Ann Day had retired from the Board of Supervisors in Pima County. The 77-year-old was driving alone on Saturday morning when a drunk driver crossed a raised median and slammed head on into her vehicle. The car behind could not stop in time, and crashed into the back of her car. She was pronounced dead at the hospital shortly after the accident. This tragic death took place at 7:40 am. We don’t know if the driver woke up and started drinking or was still drunk from Friday night. He has been charged with manslaughter for this senseless death.
Ann and her older sister Sandra Day O’Connor grew up on a cattle ranch founded by her paternal grandfather in 1880 near the New Mexico border. Henry Clay Day was a homesteader on his ranch when Geronimo was still roaming that land. The family history is Arizona history, with an emphasis on education. Henry Clay Day served as chairman of the board of supervisors of Graham County, setting an example that Ann and her esteemed sister would follow. Ann served 10 years in the state senate and 12 years on the Pima County Board of Supervisors. She was a Republican who was known for her independent streak. She was well-respected by colleagues and constituents, many of whom are expressing their grief about this tragedy.
She was killed near the shopping center where Gabby Giffords was shot. My own parents were shoppers at that center. They might have been at the Safeway had the shootings happened a few years earlier. My mom and dad took the transport to that center, operated by assisted living facility where they rented an apartment. My dad loved to drive the Safeway carts inside the store because it was the only driving he was allowed to do at that point. Jarred Laughlin could have gunned down my parents had timing been different. That is exactly the thought I have when I drive past that center.
The irony of public servants loosing life to loose canons of various kinds is not lost on me. Ann Day was not targeted for her political service like Gabby. She was randomly selected to die as the result of one of our society’s ugliest problems, drunk driving. Jarrad Barnes, 24 years old, is charged for taking the life of a woman he did not know. Since her family and her history are prominent we can only hope this will bring much-needed attention and solutions to the drunk driving epidemic in America. We can’t take away everyone’s cars, so we need to change public behavior. This common habit has touched too many families in this country. We need to solve this serious problem.
Last weekend I drove to Tempe to enjoy the light art show at the Desert Botanical Garden. Bruce Munro installed this impressive exhibit which has been a popular temporary addition to the gardens. Sonoran Light is incredible, immersive, and impossible to capture on a camera. I have made an attempt above, but I highly recommend that the gentle readers see it in person. The Field of Light is the most expansive of the installations. It has vast sections of the gardens covered with light strings on the ground that change color and illuminate a large hill seen from a distance. There was a concert last Friday which was sold out, but still audible in the Field of Light, adding to the night’s special quality.
I arrived early in the day and took advantage of the day pass for just $5 added to the evening ticket price. For a total of $30 I had hours of botanical fun in both day and night lighting. There are many details not visible at night that I loved seeing during my day trip. I took an Uber to the evening show, and was so happy I did. The parking lot becomes super jammed for the event, and I was tired from my hours of walking during the day. I happily waited by the entrance for my Uber driver while others drove themselves home.
As part of the Tempe Festival of the Arts everyone was invited to draw on the street downtown. Participants in the professional art show covered large spaces and stuck to the theme “Retro Toys”. The creativity as well as the stunning artistry was very impressive. Watching the work evolve each day is a major part of the fun for us. The artists don’t mind a little visiting while they work. We left before the end to drive back to Tucson, but think I will stay until the end next year. All of the work is amazing considering the medium and the way they have to work. Many of the artists we met were from Tempe, but they came from all over to compete and make the street look extra special for the holiday.
The community participation was the best part. I purchased my chalk and joined the youngsters on the street. I had a very good time meeting my fellow artists on kneepads. I paid $5 to support the festival, and got to keep my chalk to take home and practice on my own driveway. I was pleased with the way my piece turned out, but after I packed up and left it occurred to me that I could have done more than one square..nobody would have stopped me. The way the community mosaic mural looked on Sunday morning was superb. All the styles went together very well to show a patchwork of visitor talent right next to the sidewalk. I am proud to leave my mark on Tempe, and thank that very artsy city for the opportunity to do so.