Friday, November 22, 2013

"Are you ready for winter?", my husband, Doug, asked. . .

When the weather outside is frightful a fire is so delightful :D

We've had bits of snow, sleet, rain, hail, temps in the 20's and temps in the 60's, gray skies and brilliant sunshine with blue skies textured with clouds over the past two weeks. Today we awoke to a gentle but steady snowfall, soft gray skies and 30 degrees.  For the first time this season the snow is sticking, laying down gently on the trees frosting them in crystal.

Since I am just now recovering from a bit of a flu bug that attacked me while I slept one night earlier this week I'm in no hurry to venture out. Therefore . . .

. . . while this is going on outside

. . . this is what I'm doing inside

and this is what the Critter Kids are doing :D

Daisy (brown), Molly (black) and Oliver kitty napping on the couch while Ayla (below) enjoys the really big blankie on the floor all by herself. 

And where, you might ask, is Doug while all this relaxation at home is going on? He is at the marina on West Grand Traverse Bay, Traverse City (Michigan), helping the sailing crew of which he a member prepare the Tall Ship Madeline as well as the other ships owned by the Maritime Heritage Alliance for their long winter's sleep.  The smaller boats are out of the water at this time - the Madeline remains in the water covered in a blanket of shrink wrap -   all will receive plenty of TLC in preparation for next summer's sailing adventures. If you look at the albums (Tall Ship Madeline) Doug crewed on the Bay City 2013 sail. 

It's only been about 6-7 weeks since those beautiful warm final days of sailing to the snows of today.  Perhaps we'll have a short winter this year? :D

Thursday, February 14, 2013

A Brief Return to Arizona: Part 4

Monday 02/11/13

Today I seriously challenged myself. My friend Barb, with whom I bunked during this vacation, and I drove to Michelle's house in north Phoenix. Brian, Michelle, Barb and I then went to the climbing "gym" where Brian and Michelle climb a couple of times a week. I really wasn't planning to climb - just watch. However, the kids had different ideas and so up I went.

Brian is explaining the roping system to me.

Brian is on belay and I'm going up . . . 
. . . and up . . . 
The wall is 32' high.  My hands are about 6' from the top. Michelle is above me taking the pic.

Coming down (rappel).
Brian climbing the chimney.

      Brian climbing with Michelle on belay.

     Michelle climbing (I missed the climb but got her rappel) with Brian on belay.

A Brief Return to Arizona: Part 3

Sunday, 02/10/13

The Hieroglyphic Trail, Superstition Mountains

Mark (youngest son), Taylor, Andrew (grands:) with their two dogs, Sargent and Keesha. Brian (oldest son) and Michelle (Brian's girlfriend:) with two of their three dogs, Gracie  and Shadow.  The weather was gorgeous: 55°F for a high with beautiful golden sunshine, clear blue skies and fluffy white clouds.  The day could not have been better.


Stream as snowmelt coming off the top and forming a pool.


Mark and Keesha with Taylor in beackground

Brian with Mark and Andrew in background

Just a small portion of the hieroglyphics. 

Superstition Mountains


Andrew (orange), Mark (gray)

The grands are taller than grandma with Mark in background as the goof :D

A Brief Return to Arizona: Part 2

Saturday, 02/09/13

Mark took us to the Renaissance Festival today.  The festival is now in its 25th year and has always been held just off Hwy 60 east of Gold Canyon, AZ.

Taylor and Andrew
Taylor and Andrew riding an elephant
Taylor's tail. :D

Taylor looking very cool with her new hair swirly. 

Mark wearing his horns (which he did not buy:)

Andrew relaxing.
After the festival we met up with my oldest son Brian and his girlfriend, Michelle for dinner.

Oldest son, Brian, and his girlfriend, Michelle.

The Grands: Andrew and Taylor

Mark and Cindy

Part 3: Hiking the Hieroglyphic Trail in the Superstition Mountains.

A Brief Return to Arizona: Part 1

My husband, Doug, and I have been living in northern Michigan for almost 2 years and I had not been back to AZ to visit my kids and the grands in all that time. I spent a total of 5 days and had a wonderful time. The weather could not have been much better with clear skies, cool temps and brilliant sun. We hadn't seen much sun all winter in MI and so that golden globe was greatly appreciated. 

On Friday night immediately after my 3 hour late arrival into Sky Harbor I rented a car and drove to my youngest son/family in Chandler. Mark took all of us out for dinner.

Andrew, my 11 year old grandson being goofy. LOL!!! :D

Daughter-in-law, Cindy and my 14 year old granddaughter, Taylor looking lovely.

My youngest son, Mark. Guess where Andrew got his goofiness from?

Part 2 - Renaissance Festival.