Thursday, March 21, 2013

Spicy Italian On.........?

Yesterday morning when my alarm went off at 5:30 I had only been asleep for about ten minutes. Earlier at 1:38 I woke because I could hardly breathe due to the cold I caught that MeMa had been battling since last week.  I did all the things they tell you to do in order to avoid it, but that never works. Unless one does the unthinkable and when your spouse says they are coming down with the flu, you pack a bag and say "Ta ta, see you when you are well" and out the door you go.  I am not that brave or stupid, I will readily admit that I am truly spoiled and would probably die a retched death if she were gone more than a week.  For instance whilst I was enjoying my "senior vacation packet" in Arizona, my twin brother got the bright idea that we should all go to Subway Sandwich and order take out. Everyone chirped up in agreement and off we went.  I sat in the back seat silently worried about where we were headed.  Upon our arrival I took to the back of the line and when it was my turn to place my order I stood there a red faced stammering fool, my brother smiled and said, "It's your turn."  I quickly took out my cell phone and called MeMa, blurting out, "What kind of Subway sandwich do I like and what do I like on it?"  I told MeMa that if she was done laughing I would like to place my order as there were at least five people waiting in line behind me.  The gentleman directly behind me said, "Oh no you go right ahead and take your time, this is too good."  At  that same moment in between hiccups of laughter my brother was telling the masses that I was calling my wife in Portland Oregon.
As MeMa told me what I liked I would repeat it to the giggling teen that was building my sandwich. When all was finished I turned and walked quickly out of the shop.  We drove up in a white car, so through the heat of my embarrassment I opened the passenger side door of the white car parked before me only to be met by an unfamiliar woman working on a laptop in the drivers seat.  I quickly slammed the door while saying, "Oh damn, wrong white car."  As I was opening the correct door on the correct white car, the smartly dressed woman opened her window and said, "Where are you going honey, you brought lunch?"  It was a very noisy ride back to my brothers house with all those monkeys laughing it up.  After we ate and my brother was doing the clearing up he picked up the half sandwich I couldn't eat, smiling he said, "Oh look here, she forgot to tell him he only likes half a sandwich."
I shall always remember what to order at a Subway Sandwich shop........Spicy Italian on wheat bread....or was it the sourdough????

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

A Change in Scenery Good For The Soul

Toto, we are not in Oregon anymore
   It was mutually decided that vacations more than a day away from home this year would be his or hers, not we.  Mainly because we feel uneasy asking anyone to watch over our Betty who is having somewhat of an adjustment to life in her doggie wheelchair.  She refuses to relieve herself whilst in the chair and would rather drag herself out to the back garden where she still can force herself into an upright position to do the deed.  We now keep a container of "baby wipes" on hand to clean her back feet which are covered in mud from dragging them across the yard.  Every once in a while I will put her in her wheelchair to go out and she will trudge out to the middle of the lawn and stand for ages with her nose in the air refusing to move an inch let alone relieve herself.  It's no wonder the Queen loves Corgis as they are both extremely stubborn.... "No disrespect meant, Your Majesty".

   MeMa will be part of a trio I will refer to as the "Vegas Girls".   All three work for the school district so they will taking advantage of Spring Break and unleash their crazy wild sides on first Reno then Las Vegas, the city that never sleeps.

   I being the more level headed and reserved part of this team chose the "Senior Holiday Package" and flew to Arizona to visit first with my parents who winter in Yuma.  Then after three days we drove to Phoenix where my brother, his partner and their sweet little Corgi, Bailey live in a beautiful 50 & older gated community.
The good looking debonair gentleman on the left is my identical twin brother Don, myself and our sweet mother walking toward us.
They all had a good chuckle when I managed to get lost in what seemed to be the smallest airport in the U.S.  I blame it on my poor vision when in fact it was because MeMa was not there to lead me in the right direction.  After a brief visit with my brother my parents and I headed down to Yuma for a couple of days stay.  They winter in a lovely large RV park which is a mix of motor homes and prefab vacation homes.  I had a great time except for the strong winds that just would not let up.  Every morning my father and long time friend and neighbor Denny, his dog, Cassie and I would go for a nice walk around the compound.
The mischievous Cassie, Denny and my father on the right
After a wonderful visit with my folks, they drove me back up to Phoenix to stay with my brother Don who had the rest of the week off  work.  It was fun to have some quality time with my brother and enjoyed having a nice tour of the Phoenix area.  One of the first things we did was hike a local area called Squaw Peak.
Squaw Peak

I love cacti and have a large collection that I winter in the greenhouse and then transfer during the summer months to the south side of our house which gets direct sun in the afternoon.  On our hike of Squaw Peak I was amazed by the majestic Saguaro Cactus.

Saguaro in full bloom
These massive cactus can hold as much as 6 tons of water
I spent one afternoon with my father touring the Phoenix Botanical Garden's while my brother was at work.  Alas, the only cactus I was able to bring back in my luggage was a small packet of Saguaro cactus seeds that my brother gave me.

My father in front of the giant yucca plants.  My mother decided to relax in the car with a good book and some water.  I think we tired her out with all the running around, sorry Mom.

At the front entrance I was surprised to find these massive Chihuly glass sculptures

One of the oddest plants the Boojum Tree

Pipe Organ Cactus

We got a good chuckle in the Butterfly enclosure when a butterfly attempted to land on a woman's shoulder, she screamed and dashed out of the enclosure knocking people over to get out.
Although I would never kick up a fuss about fine dining in a restaurant I much prefer fine dining at home, thank you MeMa for totally spoiling me.  Alas, I was not home but my brother turns out to be quite the master chef.

Spare ribs that melted off the bone, several salads, brochette with bread, puff pastry stuffed with meat and two deserts.  Yes, I had both.

Dinner guests all enjoyed the meal and company on the patio in the beautiful Arizona evening.

While we ate we were visited by this wall-walking quail

He was soon joined by his mate.

The dose of warm sunshine was just what this gardener needed and the company of family and friends made it a very good trip.  I am back home now and have a mountain of projects in the works.  First one being turning the chicken house into a garden shed and shade house.  MeMa's ladies did move to their new home and I might add seem to love their new digs as they are all laying eggs and eating well.  That knowledge makes it a little easier letting go of thirty five years of raising chickens.