Saturday, December 16, 2017

Holiday Wreaths

I have a variety of holiday wreaths to show you today.  This one was for sale at Berridge Nursery.  It's made from some dried flowers.  I like it.  I might look to see if it goes on sale right after Christmas.  When I got my old wreath out, it was looking a little haggard.  It might be time for a new one.

This one was on a shop door and features Nova check ribbon (one of my favorite patterns) and some huge snowflakes.  That's a pretty one too.

This one was on the side of a house.  It's simple but perfect for the season.  I see a wire going to it so I think it lights up at night.  Even better.

Friday, December 15, 2017

Christmas at the Pub

Yesterday was our work group holiday luncheon and this year we had it at the George & Dragon Pub.  Typical British pub food was on the menu and we were seated in one of the private rooms with the fireplace and Christmas tree.  I had the fish and chips while some had the bangers and mash and a few had shepherds pie or Cornish pasties.  I think everyone really enjoyed the food and the company.  I couldn't leave without snapping a photo.

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Festive Doors

I've noticed a lot of festive doors around my neighborhood recently.  Quite a lot of people are into decorating for the holidays.

Some of them have a rather elegant look as though they hired a designer or florist to fit them with the perfect trim.

And, some of them are just plain fun.  I bet there are kids in this house.

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Winter in Phoenix

Al fresco dining in December.  I snapped this photo when I was out shopping last weekend.  This is why we put up with the searing hot temperatures in the summer.  The morning air is a bit nippy in the low 50's (12C) but by the afternoon we reach around 79 degrees or 26C.  It's just about perfect right now.  It's that fun time of year when we run our heaters on the drive to work and run the air conditioner on the drive home.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Tasting Champagne!

Last Saturday I met some friends at a place just down the street from me for a champagne tasting event.  The store had sent invitations to their regular customers to come in for a free champagne tasting that included some very expensive champagnes.  I do on rare occasions get to enjoy a bottle of Veuve Clicquot but, I haven't indulged in the very expensive versions since my days in the consulting business.  I got to taste an all-time favorite of the Clicquot family of bubbly, the Grande Dame along with a wonderful vintage rose'.

I also got a taste of the famous "Cristal" that I've heard so much about.  That is one I had never tasted before.

The event drew quite a crowd and the small shop was wall to wall with people, glasses and bubbles.  It was a lot of fun.

I was glad to find a few that were excellent and yet still in my price range.  Let the celebrating begin!

Monday, December 11, 2017


Someone told me about this mural so I went looking for it.  It's located in the Coronado Historic District on the side of building sitting on an alley.  It's called Mas Alla which translates to "Beyond".

The pretty lady is looking out into space with the moon to one side of her.  The mural was painted by Mata Ruda (Karlito Miller Espinosa) with help from his girlfriend Lucinda Yrene.

Karlito was born in Costa Rica and raised in Venezuela before moving to Arizona when he was just 11 years old.  Today he paints all over the world.

It has a dreamy look to it that I like.

Sunday, December 10, 2017

A Rare Sight

I went for a walk at the Desert Botanical Garden last Friday and I got to see a female cardinal watching from a palo verde tree.  Cardinals are hard to catch around here.  They usually stay away from areas populated be people.  But, they do watch from afar which is what this one was doing.  She flew away right after I snapped the photo.

Some of the aloe plants are blooming Which made this little hummingbird very happy.  It's amazing how fast those little wings flutter to keep these tiny birds hovering around a bloom.

I have a new post on Sharon's Sojourns today.  I'm visiting what is left of an ancient civilization.

Saturday, December 9, 2017

Decorating for the Holidays

When I went to Berridge Nursery a few weeks ago to check out the holiday decorations, I found quite a selection of "old world" Christmas displays.  This wooden advent calendar was cute.

The Christmas train above was also pretty cute.  It would look good under an nicely decorated tree, wouldn't it?

Father Christmas was looking rather jolly and festive too.

Visiting places like this will certainly put one in the holiday spirit.

Friday, December 8, 2017

Getting Into Vacation Mode

While I was visiting The Wigwam resort (see my last two posts), I found myself getting into vacation mode.

I took a little walk outside by the pool and then.....

.....I found a spot on the patio, ordered up a refreshing drink and some lunch and let myself feel that "I'm-on-vacation" feeling for a little while.

When it was time to go, I pondered whether I could snatch one of those gorgeous rugs and make a run for it.  I decided it was too risky so I left empty handed.  I'm sure glad I took a lot of photos.

Thursday, December 7, 2017


This row of saddles with the beautiful blankets on top was part of the decor in one of the sitting rooms of The Wigwam resort that I told you about yesterday.

And look, more gorgeous Native American rugs for me to admire.  This room was situated to one side of the main lobby area.

Another sitting room on the other side of the main lobby featured a brick fireplace and more rugs and southwestern decor.  Doesn't that look like a great place to curl up by the fire?

I've got a couple more photos for tomorrow.

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

My Kind of Wigwam

The weekend before Thanksgiving I made a trip out to the far west side of the valley to the city of Litchfield Park.  I wanted to see what The Wigwam Resort was like.  In all the years of living in Arizona, I never had an opportunity to visit this historic hotel.  I'm so happy I finally made it out there because I found the resort to be very welcoming in a truly southwestern way.

The history of the resort's origins turned out to be very interesting.  Back in the early 20th century, the Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company discovered that long-staple cotton extended the life of its tires and guess where cotton was a big crop.....Arizona!  So the company bought 16,000 acres of land for the purpose of cotton farming.  In 1918 the company built what was called the "organization house" which was the first building on the site and it was used as lodging for ranch suppliers.  It wasn't long after that Goodyear executives discovered that Arizona was a great place to spend time in the winter and they soon started bringing their families along on those "business" visits to the ranch.  In 1929, Goodyear opened "The Wigwam" as a guest ranch and in 1930 the first nine-hole golf course was developed.  Over the next 50 years, the resort grew until it could accommodate 500 guests.  In the 1990's it was sold to a property group and since that time it has passed through the hands of several development companies and hotel groups.

But, enough about the history.  Let's take a look inside.  This is the central lobby located just past the check-in desk.  This room suits me perfectly.  I love this style of southwestern decor.

And, I love all those Native American woven rugs.  They were every where in the resort and they were all beautiful.  Tomorrow, I'll have a few more photos from inside the resort.

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

A New Style of Christmas Wreath

I was at Nordstrom's over the weekend and I spotted these Christmas wreaths hanging from the ceiling with all those ornaments hanging from them.  What a cute idea!  I like it.

Monday, December 4, 2017

Unleashing the dogs

I found this mural by accident.  I was turning around in a driveway when I spotted a mural at the back of a drive.  So I decided to check it out.  It's called Pit Bull Cerberus and it was painted by two artists known as Steiner USA and Korea.  Those are a couple of names that are difficult to research but luckily I found a newspaper article about Phoenix murals that confirmed those names.  The mural gives those dogs a bit of a scary look which does the breed a terrible disservice.  I've met many a friendly and lovable pit bull.

Sunday, December 3, 2017

Dinner and Music in the Garden

I was thrilled to get a chance to attend the opening night celebration at the Desert Botanical Garden for the Las Noches de las Luminarias event that runs now through the end of the year.  It was a wonderful evening with really beautiful weather so we could enjoy dinner and music under the stars.  This group called "Traveler" was simply fantastic.  Just look at all those instruments and they played them all.

The group does world fusion music and on one lively number this little girl from the audience popped up to do her own version of an Irish dance.  The faster he played, the faster she danced.  What fun!

Of course, there was plenty to eat including some very tempting desserts.  I confess, we tried them all.

In addition to food and music, the garden was lit in all directions with luminarias and candles.  It's a real treat to see it all lit up this way.  Thanks Julie and Dave for inviting me along for this fun event.

I have a new post on Sharon's Sojourns today.  It's all about the search for chocolate.

Saturday, December 2, 2017

National Mutt Day

A week or so ago I checked that National "Day" calendar just to see if anything interesting was coming up and I noticed that December 2nd was National Mutt Day.  Well, I couldn't pass up an opportunity to pay tribute to our wonderful four legged friends.  I searched my files for a good "mutt" photo but only came up with an assortment of pure breeds.  So, I dug back into the really old, photo files and found these two photos of my former babies, Buffy and Jody.  (Yes, they were named for a couple of TV characters from long ago.)

You can tell these are old photo because they are a bit on the faded side but they were still good enough to scan.

This is them when they were puppies.  When I picked them out of the litter, they looked very much the same but, they gradually started growing into two dogs who looked totally unrelated.  Over the years, they got pretty good at posing for the camera!  I feel so lucky to have been blessed with their love for a good number of years.  I couldn't have picked two more perfect mutts!

So, let's celebrate all those lovable mutts out there!

Friday, December 1, 2017

Theme Day: Gift

There is a special thrill about being presented with a beautifully wrapped gift box.  You immediately wonder what could be inside.  However, in my opinion the greatest gift of all is the gift of friendship and I feel as though I've been especially blessed with wonderful and supportive friends.  Whether they are my closest friends who have seen me through all sorts of ups and downs or my "blogging" friends many of whom I've never met face to face.  Although we have never met or met only once, I still feel a special connection to my cyber friends.  This seems like a perfect time to express a special "thank you" to all of you!  You are truly admired and appreciated.

The first of every month is a "theme" day for all City Daily Photo Bloggers and the December theme is "Gift".  You can see gifts from other City Daily Photo sites here.

Thursday, November 30, 2017

The City is Nature

The second exhibit I saw at the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art was called Repositioning Paolo Soleri:  The City is Nature.  It was a retrospective of the life work of artist and architect Paolo Soleri who made his home right here in Arizona.  Soleri pioneered the term "arcology" which is described as the fusion between architecture and ecology with is designs for urban environments.  Above is a drawing Bow Bridge a design of his that was never built dating back to 1977.

I spent quite a lot of time looking at this model of a city that is very similar to one that is still being built in central Arizona called Arcosanti.  (I really need to get up there and get some photographs from that place.)

One of the docents in the room saw me taking photos and came over to show me this little guy, the only human figure in the model looking out of a round window.  He couldn't be seen from anywhere except one position.  I'm so glad she pointed him out to me.

The exhibit included a lot of Soleri's drawings and sketches he made throughout his long career.  He was certainly a remarkable man.

They also had a few of the vintage Soleri bells on display.  Soleri became well known for making these bells and his students still make them at his Paradise Valley studio today.  You can see photos from that studio here and here.

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Marking the Infinite

While I was out for my walk at the Scottsdale Civic Center Park, I decided to visit the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art to see what exhibits were on.  I'm so glad I did.  I saw two wonderful exhibits, the first was called Marking the Infinite:  Contemporary Women Artists from Aboriginal Australia.  With my love of patterns, all of the pieces in this exhibit appealed to me.  The poles and paintings above are by Nonggirrnga Marawili who was born in Darrpirra, Northern Territory.  She depicts the elements of lightning, fire, water and rock which play a role in the beliefs of her clan.

This painting is by Carlene West, born in Tjitjiti, Western Australia and now works and resides in the town of Tjuntijunjttarra.    Her paintings are related to the environment of her birth.  Many of her paintings have large white patches that represent the vast salt lake that is on the edge of Tjitjiti.

This last one is fiber art by Lena Yarinkura also from the Northern Territory and a city named Maningrida.  This piece features mythological female figures called Yawkyawk.

I really enjoyed seeing these wonderful works of art.

Tomorrow I'll show you some things from the second exhibit I saw.

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Roses in Bloom

There is a rose garden at the Scottsdale Civic Center Park located around one of the water features in front of City Hall.  I could smell them as I approached and the scent was wonderful.  As I got closer I could see that they were blooming beautifully.  I think I like this one the best.

But, there were other pretty ones to admire too.  I just couldn't get over how they were perfuming the air.  It was wonderful.

Monday, November 27, 2017

Lime Bike

I spotted this brightly painted bike on Saturday when I went for a walk at the Scottsdale Civic Center Park.  It's a bike share bicycle by a company called Lime Bike.  Scottsdale has opted to allow different bike share companies to operate in the city instead of sanctioning just one company.

I looked this one up to see how it operates.  You use an "app" on your smart phone to locate an available bike then you scan it and off you go.  You can leave it anywhere that a bike is allowed to be parked.  Interesting concept.