Saturday, January 30, 2010

Better! And birthday!

GrannyJ is safely ensconced at the Good Samaritan nursing home. They are making her do physical therapy for two hours every morning, and the end result is that she is doing better. She had a Burst O' Energy this evening while I was visiting, and actually walked around her room on her own without me flailing the imaginary whip and chivvying her along. The best part? When she was done, she checked her blood oxygen level, and it was still over 90%.

The lesson here, we think, is that old cliche: Use it or lose it. They're making her use it, and thus she is finding it again.

Of course, this is an up-again, down-again process, and will probably take weeks. But it made me happy (oh, yes!), made her happy (oh, yes!), and I thought all her readers would like to know.

Additionally, GrannyJ's birthday is on Monday! So if you would like to leave her birthday greetings in the comments, I will be sure to print them all out and take them with me to read to her when I visit on Monday.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Quick update

This is OmegaMom; I've posted an update on GrannyJ on my blog for those who are concerned.

Saturday, January 23, 2010


Hi, all--this is OmegaMom, GrannyJ's daughter. She wanted me to write a post to let you all know what's going on.

She's not doing very well, and I am here at her house to help her out. Looks like she'll need to go into the hospital/nursing home for a while to get her back up to par, see if evaluations show that there's anything that can be done. But right now she's in a fairly bad way.

She wants you all to know that the blog is the most fun she's had in years, and that she loved doing it. She doubts that she'll be able to keep it up--she certainly can't go out and take new pictures, and she has too little energy to put together posts from her stash of existing pictures. But the blog has been a source of joy for her for the past few years, something that she has truly enjoyed putting together and sharing with her readers, and she has loved the interaction with every one of you.

Take care.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Who's afraid of the big bad mask?

One of my favorite stops among the Whiskey Row shops is the Sun West Gallery. Not for Cap-A Art, but for interesting folk arts, primarily from countries south of our border. In addition to colorful Zapotec rugs and assorted carved critters, the gallery also features many masks.

I don't know that I'd like to wake up in the middle of the night to see most of the creatures that are depicted. On the other hand, if the scary faces are confined to the computer screen (which I don't see in the middle of the night), all is A-OK.

You can enjoy these guys from Guatemala for their colors and designs, even if you don't want to meet one on a dark road or in the jungle.

Nor are the "people" particularly the sort that one would care to sit with in a local coffee shop.

Yes, I'd allow this Mexican sun-as-mask in my bedroom. Colorful as well as cheery in countenance. From Angelina's, BTW.

This particular mask has a family history and thus earns a spot on my kitchen wall. One year my Mom dressed up for Halloween as the Cat's Meow; I made the mask, though it really, really needs the ears Mom wore to complete the illusion.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010


I have just proved to myself that I can put together a perfectly good hat post without incurring the wrath of he-who-owns Putting-On-The-Hats. Besides, I've already sneaked photos of that guy's precious stock despite his warning signs.

Basically, these were seen in various shops the day I did Whiskey Row with the DIL. Above, a perfect fit for the 4th and Rodeo days, wouldn't you say? As for the lacy pink confection below, let's hope that the Gdotter is long past her pastel days when her head is big enough to wear it. On the other hand, that orange lurking there below is a nice possibility for the Dotter, who's into warm, sunny colors.

My sister-in-law down in OZ might like one of these red chapeaux -- she wears the red and purple on special occasions.

As for the DIL, she wasn't very enthusiastic when I asked her to try on the flame model. But she did comply. BTW, that's my favorite of the lot, but then I'm into flames Big Time.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

What do you mean, primitive?

The LH and I used to laugh when we came across one of these big bold signs on a county road. Our basic response was, "you don't know from primitive". As best we could tell, there was some legalism involved in the label, "primitive road". Might even have to do with the feds.

We considered these graded and drained roadways the next best thing to a black top. For real primitive, you go to the Forest Service map or the topos and try out one of those single dotted lines. Now that's a primitive road; double dotted lines tended to be somewhere in between the broad expanse below and a two track - but we could almost always make it on a double dotted line in our Sube station wagon.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Punch Buggy!

There are strange threads that apparently connect the generations. For example, the car model that is "it". Having experienced teenagers and an 8-year-old for a couple of weeks, I quickly learned that the sighting of a new model Beetle brings the shout of "punch buggy -- no punch back". From both crews, one from Louisiana and the other from Alaska. Now this is a true meme! A meaningless meme, but certainly widespread. Things got a bit more complicated with the Alaska Gdotter, who also shouts out when she's seen 1) a yellow car ("score"), 2) an orange car (I forget the shout) and 3) a pale blue car ("boo-boo").

What does this have to do with my childhood? Simple: when my brother and I were kids, we were ever on the lookout for a Willys with its weird beak and big moustache. I don't recall what the shout was (if there was one), but I will never forget the look of the cars! I've no idea what the "it" cars were in the intervening years...perhap someone can fill me in.

Saturday, January 09, 2010

The Christmas T's

Prior to the Big Day, the DIL and I went gift shopping (and window shopping) on Whiskey Row. Fortunately, ours is a Tshirt family so it is comparatively easy to arrive at a lightweight present without too much agonizing.

In this case, the giftee in question was my dotter. The top two T's over at the Galloping Goose were not it; the next, fancier Kokopelli was chosen by the DIL.

Sson the ecologist is famous for his biological collection -- themes that range from Serengetti giraffes to tree frogs. But his wardrobe is beginning to fray. And so we pitched in. Above, orcas and below, a very special gift from his sister.

We even made a special trip out to the Nature Center to buy him his very own mosquito. Same place I found the delightful ladybugs for the smallest Gchild; this tee came complete with a separate set of bugs to snap into place.

A gift that dates back to last summer; I had forgotten about this particular Tshirt when I posted about Betty Boop.

Valley of Lights: It took an out-of-towner to catch this year's Valley of Lights display over in PV. While I went down to Tucson for a visit, Warren came up to Prescott from Tucson. Thanks, Warren.

Friday, January 08, 2010

Road trip: sky island

One-half of my splendid gift from the Sson and family: an overnight road trip to Tucson. I hadn't been in that area (except passing through on the train) since I was a little girl, when I rode down on my Uncle Max' Indian motorcycle.

On the spur of a moment, we decided to take a drive to the top of Mt. Lemmon, which looms 7000 ft. over the desert city; no, I had never been to the top, even though the unc worked for the US Forest Service most of his life.

The desert plants grow lush around Tucson: above, young saguaro and prickly pear; below, a teddy bear cholla and mesquite tree.

A saguaro forest covers the lower elevations of the mountain. The cacti are thinner and possibly younger than those around the Phoenix; not as many arms, either.

The roadside cuts display colorful, banded rocks compressed through the eons. Mt. Lemmon is one of the highest peaks in the Santa Catalina range, part of the great Basin and Range geological province that writer John McPhee describes so eloquently. I was first introduced to the sky island mountain ranges during the years when I flew over the Nevada desert ferrying Mom to and from Victoria every summer.

The road climbs through the desert up into a region of hoodoos and tors.

A stop to admire the scenery. Below, two views of Tucson. The Chinese-style perspective is thanks to ever-present smog and dust.

As we climb up the canyons, frost and snow make an appearance on the north sides of the slopes. The stoplight below was necessary because a slide reduced the highway down to one lane.

All this grandeur just for me thanks to the Sson and DIL. Below, the gorgeous teen Gdotter retrieved her camera from me to take her own pictures.

You wouldn't know it to look at it, but the highway was actually quite busy the day we drove it. Among other things, Mexicans who live near the border often drive up to Tucson for a day in the snow because, though they have the mountains, they don't have any highways to the tops! There were bicyclists aplenty, as well as parades of cars caught behind gawking drivers.

This signs points out one of the problems created by a cool or cold play area within an hour's driving distance from a desert. Apparently in some seasons, it's easiest to get to the top via bus.

The bear warning was a new one for me.

And here we are, near the top, at Summerhaven, which was devastated by a forest fire in the summer of 2003; the houses above are all new. No, we didn't continue on to the ski area, as we had to return to Prescott that day.

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