This is Kristin and her new puppy Ella. Talk about adorable ( Kristin as well as Ella) and doesn't she look so well behaved as all puppies do when they know they are getting their photos taken. She will be such a big girl by the time we get to see her in April.

Happy Birthday to my brother Harry today. Miss you

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These are some of the cacti that Shannon and I found when we looked at several great desert nurseries north of Scottsdale in Cave Creek. The assortment is amazing, and a prickly subject to be sure. It was a great way for 2 gardening friends to spend an afternoon.

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Dry Stream Bed..

This is the new stream bed that Jim and I worked on over the weekend. We removed and re-channelled some of the stream so it looked more realistic. The turquoise in the rocks is iron. Allot of these rocks around here have these deposits embedded into the surface.
I could not believe how sore I was the next day from bending over and re-postioning all these stones.
We are still waiting for a couple of Bull River rocks to be delivered by hand when my sister Evelyne and Richard arrived in the next few weeks, then the stream bed will be complete...
We are so happy that they will be spending Christmas here with with us.



I love to read outside in the sunshine, what could be better...have some good tunes on the IPod, your feet up, your shorts on and just hanging out, and to think you are improving your mind at the same time. I really like the books by Isabel Allende, (House of the Spirits, Zorro, Of Love and Shadows, Eva Luna) I just finished Zorro, it was all about how he became the legend and his young life...really interesting. Of course, Martha Stewart, look forward to every issue... it is a girl decorating thing, I think.
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Here in the desert and being so close to Mexico, you find all kinds of lovely icons featured on line and in stores. They have a spiritually as well as an old world feel of elegance to them. Retablos, referred to as "laminas" in Mexico, are small oil paintings on tin, zinc, wood or copper which venerate a multiplicity of Catholic saints. The literal translation for "retablo" is "behind the altar." This genre of folk art, deeply rooted in Spanish history, represents the heart and soul of traditional religious beliefs in 17th, 18th, and 19th century Mexican culture. Colorful, spiritual, symbolic, allegorical, historical and charming are just a few of the words that best describe this very special art form.

We are looking forward to exploring the area south of us here towards Tucson, Tubac and Nogals into Mexico.

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Christmas Cards..

Yesterday morning I had time to start making my Christmas cards to send to some of our snow bound friends.
It is always amazing to me that you can take some paper, scissors, buttons, glue, your imagination and create...whatever comes into your mind, just let it be free, unrestricted and let it work its magic. Now that is not to say that everything looks perfect, perfection isn't the point, the point is to have fun and to express yourself. The bonus is a handmade made card.


Happy Thanksgiving..

Happy Thanksgiving.

Being here Az. for American Thanksgiving is very different than what happens in Canada. We seem to be more understated in our Thanksgiving celebration. Tomorrow, some of the stores open at 4:00 am to mark the biggest shopping day of the year. This 5 day long celebration will see over 5 million people fly home, amazing isn't it? But still, it all gives us all cause to take a moment and to give thanks for the wonderful freedom that we have being Canadians. That is a true gift.

Happy birthday to my sister Evelyne, my friend Shannon and our friend Leighton.

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What should we look 4 today...

These are just a few of the fun things I found, (but haven't bought, yet) on-line or in catalogs. Here in Az., as in many other places, the choices are endless....I got an e-mail from my friend Cindy and she asked me if I was shopped out yet, (NOT), and we had a good chuckle about that.

It is still so warm here, 80 today, but for you snow birds up north, it will be cooling down by Friday to the low 70's burr!!!!
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Come for drinks..

We had driven by this sign several times last year, but this time I had my camera and the light was great. It is in Casa Grande, and a great dumpy looking bar, but this vintage sign is one of the real classics and so glad it was still there for me to take this photo. This is for Christa for when she comes down.....can't wait.
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Let sleeping Dogs Lie.....

Here are the 2 lazy sleeping desert dogs, on their comfortable beds just hanging out. Pebbles has taken over the guest room, and as soon as our bed is empty, Cookie hops in, turns around and around, has a big sigh, and plops down. It is a good life for these 2 old girls.


Shapes & Textures

These are some of the shapes and textures that I found at the Mesa Flea Market last week when we were there. They sell everything, from baskets to cacti...

The weather has been 10 degrees above average with only 2.71 " of rain in 2007. Today is cooler with some cloud cover and after all these temps in mid to high 80's, this is a refreshing change. However, I have promised my sister Evelyne, when she and Richard leave Bull River, BC. at the end of November, we will still save some warm weather for them.

In our community called Solera, here in Queen Creek , AZ. they are building 5 new homes a week and the project of 720 homes will be completed by the end of May in 2008. We are the last phase in this development, so we get to see the progress on a daily basis. It is amazing to watch the construction and how hard these labours work. We had our back yard landscaped, and our crew worked from 6:30am to 2:30pm and I hardly ever saw them stop for a break. They were all from Guatemala, sang while they carried full wheelbarrows of gravel, dirt, and trees to complete our yard. We extended our patio, and they brought all the concrete in wheelbarrows, from the front of the house to the back. I thought they might use a pumper truck, but not these guys, they did a great job, and not once did I hear any of them complain or curse. My Spanish is improving and I am now fluent with about 10 words.
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Emmy Lou this week

Here she is, Miss Emmy Lou, just hanging out with Cindy on the couch that she already thinks is hers. She and Dwight the cat aren't true friends yet, and Cindy said that Emmy Lou would of been really surprised to see Dwight curled up that close to her. She has been with Cindy and Tim's for a week already and loving she is loving her new home more everyday. She loved the beach and the water, this little lab will have a wonderful summer ahead of her at the lake.
Thanks Cindy for sharing this sweet photo, you look happy and relaxed as well, it is probably because she is sleeping.!!!


Mesa Flea Market

A fun way to spend a couple of hours checking out the vendors at the Mesa Flea market. I love it as it has such great colours to take pictures of and so many interesting people hang out there.
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Christa's Clan & Jeremy and Julie's new space...

Here she is, my buddy Christa and her clan of grandchildren, Ella, Daigen, James and Craig....when I told her if Iwanted to post this photo, she said her hair was all mussed up because she had been playing with them all, and my reply was, she still looked so sweet, who would notice her hair!!!!!!
Jeremy and Julie's new space, the sectional couch for hanging out in the family room. Love it.

And of course, the fireplace and the TV, now this is a great way to spend some time together..
Looking good and he says having more room is great.


Today ....welcome Emmy Lou...

So here she is, Emmy Lou, the newest addition for Cindy and Tim in Nelson, isn't she just so cute?!!!!. Not much sleep in that household for the last couple of nights, but Cindy is so happy to have her home. She can always nap with her in the afternoon...Looking forward to seeing her in person. She will be nearly all grown in 6 months.
Another record day down here, 93 yesterday, pool time, and then sitting around our "firepit" in our backyard. It isn't quite the same as a roaring camp fire but you get the warm feeling of the flames. Surprisingly enough, it does cool down here at night.


Getting it done....

The sectional couch arrived yesterday, complete with Pebbles enjoying it already. Framed some more of our desert art, got the coffee table, end table and console table and just a few accessories to make it feel like a home.

The hand-made broom from Crawford Bay, was a house warming present from Cindy, and I like the looks of it on the Mexican cupboard. It continues to be at least 10 degrees warmer than usual for this time of the year. As the rest of the US and Canada change time tonight, here in Arizona they don't change time, so no adjustment for us.

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Landscaping here in Queen Creek, AZ

The almost finished back yard, the fire pit still needs its logs and to be hooked up, and trellises on the back wall for the honeysuckle plants. More cactus over the next 6 months, but at least it is clean and the dogs won't be bringing in the dirt...some place to sit and enjoy a glass of wine. Planning on putting out some pots with low maintenance cactus and plants as well to break up all the gravel.

The guys did all the flat concrete with just trowels and extended patio got formed and poured and ready to use in a day, just having to keep it watered down while it cures.

Barrel Cactus, that will probably bloom sometime this winter, the largest one is about 3 feet tall.

The look of the yard beginning on Tuesday morning.