Sunday, March 8, 2015


SWMBO has a Christmas cactus. It's so-called because the edges of the leaves are sharp and spiny . . .

. . . and because the plant is supposed to be full of red blossoms at Christmas.

But hers is reluctant.  She may get one blossom at Yuletide or none.

I'm beginning to think it's a St. Patrick's Day cactus because as that holiday approaches, the plant is revving into high gear.

Keep in mind that is only one blossom, shot from several angles.

But a couple more buds are about to burst, promising more "Christmas" glory in March.

Happy St. Nicholas and St. Patrick's Days!

Saturday, March 7, 2015


This post is intended to appeal to your sweet tooth. 

If you like chocolate.

And, if you don't, what the heck are you doing here anyway?

I've been baking a little recently.

A week or so ago I created a delicious chocolate cake with a rich chocolate frosting. 

Unfortunately I didn't photograph it.

But we ate it.

Yesterday I tried another new recipe.

Here is the result.

It's called a chocolate truffle pie.

If that doesn't sound rich enough for you . .

. . you have to try a piece with vanilla ice cream and chocolate sauce.

Believe your eyes and my words.

It's rich enough.

Friday, March 6, 2015


Fiorello LaGuardia was a legendary mayor of New York City back in the 1940's. Lesser known is that he went to elementary and high school in Prescott, Arizona while his father held a position as bandmaster at Fort Whipple.

So why, on this bright, sunny Friday, do I bring up this tad of history? Because during a newspaper strike in New York while LaGuardia was mayor he became famous for reading the comics on the radio. If you're too young to have heard of this . . you could look it up, (i.e. Google it).

All of which is prelude to the true business of the day: the Friday Funnies!

I know what he means.  It's enough to drive one to drink.

That's a little pessimistic. Let's get some relief from our friends, the cats.

Guess the cats and I are all feeling a bit cynical today.  But it's a beautiful day in the neighborhood, let's get out there and enjoy it. Thanks to all of my "contributors" and keep smiling, everybody.

Thursday, March 5, 2015


If you want to see what a really good camera can do, take a look at my blogger friend Judy's picture today of one of the owlets at the nearby Home Depot. I'm more than a tad jealous.

Judy and I trade compliments back and forth and her telling me that my picture of the snow-covered mountains and the "snowbow" of the other day was neat prompted me to place it as my banner shot today.  Thanks, Judy.

But the real purpose of today's blog is to remind you that it is ThrowBack Thursday.  I'm featuring before and after pictures of yours truly.

The first one was taken in April of 1985 contemplating the multi-colored Mediterranean Sea at Monaco during our only (sniff)  vacation trip to Europe.

Thirty years later, just a week or so ago, the same (much grayer) guy in an equally pensive mood at the Red Raven Restaurant in Williams.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015


It has been noted, on this blog and elsewhere, that cats have an innate wisdom that the human species may not share.  For example, this video was shot earlier this week.

Those white flecks in the air?  That is snow, my friends.  In Arizona, where the sun shines well over 300 days a year.

Now, while that snowburst . . and most of the day . . rain was occurring, human beings were outside walking the streets and sidewalks. With their dogs! In freezing (well, it seemed freezing to me) and extremely inclement weather.

And where were our two cats during this weather disaster?

Sharing the foot of a bed for their warm afternoon nap. That's where.  I rest my case.

By the way, a little later I (stupid human that I am) ventured outside to take a photo of the snow-covered mountains and found, to my surprise, a snowbow. That's like a rainbow and it's just barely visible at the left of this picture.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015


My neighbor, Lori, tipped me to something special over at our nearby Home Depot store. It was way up near the roof over the garden section.

No, it wasn't the stuff in those big cardboard boxes.  It was what was ON one of those boxes. Take a closer look.

That's right. It's an owl. According to one of the store employees, he (or she - how the heck do you tell which is which, anyway) is part of a couple that has lived in the store for six years, ever since the store was built.

Each year the female gives birth to an owlet. Or two. They stay with the parents until the old folks have taught them to fly. Then they get kicked out to go find their own (Home Depot store) nesting place. The store employee said they even provide a birthing box for them.

But this year was special. The parents didn't have one baby.  Or two. They brought THREE little owls into the world.

 Actually, they're not so little.

So here they are, posing for their group portrait.

The store employe I spoke to said the threesome has been viewed by many, many store visitors. But the young owls seemed relatively unfazed by all the attention.

If I was the kind of guy who would say such a thing, I might say they don't give a hoot.

But, of course, I wouldn't say that.

Monday, March 2, 2015


I just drove past this crossing last week.  What a difference a little rain makes in Arizona.

(Video by the Verde Independent)

Sunday, March 1, 2015


It's pretty drippy out there today. The rain began sometime during the night and is expected to continue for most of today. But it's a gentle rain. This was the forerunner of it yesterday afternoon.

It looks pretty wild but it held off for us long enough to stop in at Beau Jack's birthday party last night.

He looks pretty good at 70, doesn't he? 

He proved to the crowd that he could still "cut a rug" with the best of 'em, too.

Just watching him dance tired me out.

So let's slow the tempo down a bit with three Texas singers performing a few years back.

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Saturday Smiles

Apparently no one missed this week's Friday Funnies. Or if they did they were too polite to mention it to me. At any rate, in the excitement of my Thursday road trip, I forgot. So here, one time only, a day late, is this week's little dose of humor.

These next two must be brother and sister.

Thanks, contributors! Have a (continuing) great weekend, folks, and always remember to keep a smile on your face.

Friday, February 27, 2015

Road Trip

SWMBO and I went on a road trip yesterday.  We'd been talking for months about making a trip up to Williams, since "it's only 50 miles." Ah, old age and a faulty memory. I was remembering the distance from the north side of Prescott to Ash Fork, or the junction with Interstate 40. But it's 8 to 10 miles from our house over to join the highway north from Prescott and then another 15 miles from Ash Fork back east to Williams.  So that 50 mile jaunt turned out to be around 73 miles. But we got there.

These bronze sculptures mark the east entrance to Williams.  It's up in "tall pine" country or as a sign alongside the road noted "elk country." These, typically for me, were the only elk we saw.

One other thing I forgot about - the weather. The town sits at about 6,700 feet, nearly a couple of thousand higher than home and the temperature was in the low 40's and there were occasional snow flurries. Not a good day for ambling along the street visiting shops. And Williams has plenty of them, mostly devoted to the fact that it sits on a famous highway.

We spent quite a bit of time wandering through one huge business that must have had every known item of kitsch to remind the shopper that they were in Route 66, Harley Davidson and gun country. But we also visited a wonderful business devoted to Native American art and jewelry. The proprietor was very knowledgeable and solicitous, without putting "the sell" on us.

Then it was time for lunch.

The restaurant we selected was quiet and very tastefully decorated. It sort of gave me the feeling of being in a Dutch Master painting, not what I would have expected in a western town that is not only on Route 66 but also bills itself as "the Gateway to the Grand Canyon", about an hour to the north. I'm not sure which came first, the restaurant or the iconic bird it's named for.

Nevertheless the food and service was wonderful and the Bourbon Ale draught beer wasn't bad either. ☺

After lunch we decided to head east to the outskirts of Flagstaff and then take the highway down through Oak Creek Canyon to Sedona. On the way we encountered more snow as we climbed ever higher.

Yes, folks, that IS Arizona you're looking at . . not Michigan or Minnesota. But never fear. Dropping down through the canyon the temperature rose 10 degrees and the snow quickly disappeared as we entered the Red Rocks region.

(By the way, just to allay the fears of Nervous Nellies, SWMBO in the co-pilot's seat was the on-the-road photographer.)

World-famous Sedona was, as usual, hopping. It never ceases to amaze me that what was once a tiny isolated village has become a tourist mecca, 12 months a year. 

I spoke to one visitor who said he was from Pennsylvania. I asked him, good-naturedly,  "don't any of you tourists know it's February?"

He responded, "it's a lot better than the 17 degrees back home!"

He probably could have said "what are you talking about?", as I licked my ice cream cone. (It was delicious, by the way.)

But it was getting late in the day so we bid Sedona and the road a fond farewell.

An hour later we were back in our warm home. A good day.