Tuesday, June 30, 2009

New river sandals

I was introduced to river sandals on one of our first outings after we moved to Prescott. Up at the west branch of the top of Sycamore Canyon, near Whitehorse Lake in the Kaibab. Climbers favor the head of one small canyon they call Paradise Point; on that particular day, two of the climbers were wearing river sandals -- and I knew I wanted a pair. Basic plain they were: a few straps (adjustable) and a sole. That was it.

I later learned that the design was originated by Teva. However, I located a better pair at Lands' End; the strap at the back was also adjustable on this pair, which I've worn for more years than I care to count. Even in winter with my Dr. Seuss Polartec sox to keep my feet warm. (Don't worry -- if it gets colder, I change to my faux Uggs.)

Unfortunately, as time has passed, the footwear people began fancying up their river sandals. For instance, covering more of the foot (above). Or adding straps (below). Tho this pair is reasonably minimal, not all the straps are adjustable.

I've been worrying that one of these days, the straps on my pair will give up. What to do, what to do? Dither. And then, just the other day, I saw the ad for genuine, basic basic river sandals and on sale. Hoohah-- with the family here with wheels, a ride over to the source -- the Big Five sporting goods store in PV.

(Just in passing, I was impressed by this chap, who saw that the exercise equipment was better suited to trying on footwear than the simple benches that the store provided.)

And so here are my new sandals. The figured straps are a bit noisier than I like, but a black magic marker can take care of that problem. On the other hand, every set of straps opens and can be fitted however one prefers. Cool.

Linkages: 1) Amusing French advertising video. 2) A visit to a local petroglyph site. 3) Another local blog you might find interesting. 4) Sadira's wonderful Mad Hatter's Tea Party.

Blogger Get Together Sunday: 2:30 p.m., the day after the 4th, at Flinn Park. My dotter, OmegaMom will be there with the granddotter, so if you have kids in tow, great! The park is at 280 Josephine, just around the corner from Casa Sanchez (Josephine takes off right at the point where West Gurley takes a big bend.) Bring snacks & something to drink if you get thirsty these hot days. For more info, contact me at my grannyj-at-gmail.com

Monday, June 29, 2009

Granddotter does the library

As I mentioned yesterday, the house is now full! Grandchild #3 is now here, tagging along after the teen-age pair. But this morning, the dotter and I took her over to the library to meet Tippy in person (she's had a letter with pictures of the various persona that Tippy has worn over the year). Doggone, she was disappointed. She expected Tippy to be much bigger! Maybe like the dinos she met out Iron Springs Road a couple of years ago. That's what comes of cropping in on one's pictures -- the subject looks bigger than life! Now I happened to like Rodeo Tippy, ready for a week of big doings.

On the other hand, the Blue Hair Challenge caught her imagination. The idea is that if 1000 kids/teens sign up to read 15 minutes per day every day until the end of July, the children's librarians will show up in blue hair at the final day celebration. She signed up, even though she won't be here for the finale. (FYI, the Challenge is already over-subscribed.)

And then proceeded to do her 15-minute read.

Next, I just had to show off the horney toad and the lion. I think the lion was a bigger hit with the dotter than with the GD.

On the other hand, the little bronze girl in the garden really scored. FYI, she reports that there were no words in that book, just lines running across the pages.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Home improvement for the vines

Thanks to requests for contraband seeds from out of state, my many morning glories are about to take off climbing. Right now, the skies the limit. But I've been concerned that 1) there isn't enough room on the few sticks that comprise the "arbor" on my staircase landing and 2) they are too short. Some time ago, I made mental plans for a taller "arbor" with members extending much higher. After all, the longer and higher the vines climb, the longer they blossom.

Fortunately, I currently have a household labor force visiting: the grandchildren from Louisiana. Grandson was armed with the handy bow saw and and sent with his sister up the hill into the big mountain mahogany patch where the tall, reasonably straight stems grow.

Once the requested 8-9 poles were cut, the team gathered them up, proceeded down the hill and through the house to carry them down stairs. Yes, they could have climbed all the way down outside the house; they just didn't think of it... Kids, you know.

Next step, trimming all those little side branches, twigs and leaves, finally mounting the poles along side the previous sticks to offer more places for the flowers to clamber. (To answer the question about the hairdo, the cutting and trimming happened yesterday. Today, the arbor was finished just before Omegamom and the other granddaughter arrived from Alaska. Full house.)

A high cross piece holds the poles in a more orderly pattern. We could have used yet another cross piece about two-three feet higher, but that was a bit too much of a project for the current work team. Aren't grandkids wonderful (even if they drag a sheaf of mountain mahogany cutoffs through the living room to get downstairs)?

Behold: before (above) and after (below).

Friday, June 26, 2009

The Gurley Street hollyhock

If you were reading this blog back in aught '07, you might recall that several years past, our city fathers installed little corner gardens at the main intersections downtown in an effort to slow down traffic. All were carefully landscaped and most have prospered over the years, tho one or two suffer from pedestrians who insist upon using them for short cuts.

The one thing the city fathers did not order up was hollyhocks. Yet what did I see the other day but three or four plants, right there in the planter in front of the Gurley Street Grill, happily blooming away. As I've mentioned previously, Prescott is a hollyhock sort of town; once those lovely old fashioned flowers get a toehold, they go wild here -- and it so happens that half a block around the corner from the Grill, hollyhocks happen every year.

Not my fault. I did not drop a few seed pods in front of the restaurant, though I did throw some down along the creek next to the Bank of America in front of the mural (with no results). Wonder how long these plants will last, whether days, months, or years.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

The view from Coco's

No doubt my breakfast companions wondered what I was up to this morning. We were at Coco's and I had an enticing view to the west, so I would periodically pop up to take a picture or two.

'Twas a good opportunity to examine the twin scars running down from the hilltop that houses the Prescott Resort/Casino. I've long been curious: were these trails already present when the structure was built in the 80s -- or are they more recent? Who (or what) made them? Perhaps javelina (or, more likely, quads)? I do notice that nothing appears to have started growing, which suggests that the paths are still in use. Of course, scars like that can last for centuries in the arid West.

My other view was of the cut into the hillside made where the shopping center was built, when -- the late 80s, early 90s? It's a steep cut, primarily into granite -- yet a surprising number of plants have taken root. Nonetheless, the contrast between the hilltop and the cut is quite telling.

The light green to the left is a deciduous tree, likely cottonwood, rooted at the bottom of the cut. The seams in the granite caught my eyes, as did the dead tree (below).

Here the granite does not display any seams. At the top of this picture and below, a big layer of granitic soil between the rock and the hilltop. It looks as though a pathway was cut just below the very top. At the lower left below, a cliff rose is still in bloom, but the Apache plume (upper right) is now in full furl.

Plus a note re: Coco's. Very good, reasonably priced breakfasts -- and a applause-worthy refill policy. Not just bottomless coffee or tea, but ditto for OJ or milk. (FYI: I had boysenberry pie.)

A Plethora of Links: So how does the current economic situation compare to the GD (Great Depression)? A cool idea for a new (to me) blog summarizes daily news from the papers in 1930. Cool Clear Water is sojourning in Mexico; almost every day she posts gorgeous pictures from San Miguel. Ron walks Ft. Bragg, California, and he had a very bright idea that I will try: photograph all the cats that he sees. Speaking of animals: here's an interesting angle on pet rescue -- Operation Roger, a collection of long-haul semi drivers that volunteer room in their cabs to move rescued critters from one point to another. Were you watching that mysterious object in the sky a couple of weeks ago: GeekMom has the full story in her Courier blog. In closing, Frogtown has a bitter-sweet take on the closing of a primary school.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Older Olds

Posting will be sporadic the next three weeks: Sson and family (no guest cat this time) now here for two weeks, with Omegamom & Omegagranddotter arriving next week for a crossover visit & big family get together. (I love it, as you can imagine.) I've even been invited to the rodeo, which will be a first for me after all these years in Prescott!

In the meantime, back at the Square this past weekend, one of two car shows. All were Oldsmobiles. And it was a different experience, too: no street rods. The antique cars all had proper antique wheels (and antique spares for that matter), which should make my Aussie bro happy. Then there was (below) this reminder of my earliest car memories -- a rumble seat! My pop had a Star roadster; my bro and I always rode in the rumble seat. I recall the family driving across the Arizona-California desert at night (the only time of day to travel the desert back then). Bro & I nearly froze because 1) the desert is so very cold at night and 2) the wind was billowing the one blanket that we kids shared.

This roadster also has a rumble seat, not to mention handsome wire wheels, including the two spares.

A classy sedan. Aint' she sweet? While you're admiring, be sure to enjoy the reflections on all the highly polished surfaces.

Here are the 2nd and 3rd oldest cars. I liked the fact that the vehicles were lined up by age, with the oldest right there at the spot where I arrived, all just waiting for my picture taking pleasure.

Above, a representative from the late 1930s? And below, a post WWII convertible? I'm not a car hipster, so don't take my word for the time periods. But, again, enjoy those reflections.

Here, the most recent of the Olds I photographed -- it was time to merge into the Tsunami crowd; besides, I wasn't as interested in the later models. BTW, are all three of those California plates?

Monday, June 22, 2009

When the swallows come back to...Safeway

Guess that phrase above is nowhere as lyrics. Besides, der Bingle is long gone. However, this was my wonderful surprise today when I went shopping for deli meats and cheese to feed the Sson and family who arrive from Louisiana any moment now. It's a colony of swallows who've moved into the twin peaks at the front of the Safeway building on Willow Creek Road. Directly overhead, BTW; those nests are snuggled way up against the ceiling at the point where it meets the wall. Guaranteed to produce a crick in one's neck after a short photo shoot.

See that little guy to the left (above)? He/she is working on another nest (below, right). Amazing that the swallows can produce enough spit to hold all those little mud balls in place.

I lucked out, catching this image of a swallow about to land. At first I wondered that the great big corporation was allowing a handful of wild critters to make homes in the overhead nooks and crannies, then realized that Jay's Bird Barn is practically cheek by jowel to Safeway. I'm sure Erik is encouraging the manager to let the birds nest. In fact, the company deserves a big loud thank-you from us all!

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