Saturday, December 31, 2016

Looking Like Fall

I know most of you have experienced snow already but in Phoenix we are just seeing signs of fall this month.  This row of trees was putting on quite the show when I spotted them.

Friday, December 30, 2016

A Week of Eating and Friends

It's been a week full of dinner parties and great friends and there are still more dinners to come.  This dinner party took place Wednesday night and the friends around the table are (from left) Glenda (Julie's mom), Dave, Doug, Julie, and Kim.  Kim and Doug were the hosts and I bet many of you recognize Julie and Dave from their former blogs.

No wonder January is the month that everyone starts dieting.

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Looking Festive

A whole row of perfectly shaped poinsettia plants greets guests at the Desert Botanical Garden right now.  They certainly set a holiday mood while visiting the garden.

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

My Turn to Cook

It was my turn to do some holiday cooking yesterday.  I had guests over for dinner so that I could get out the holiday china at least one time during this season.

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Climbing on Christmas Day

On Christmas Day, I had a wonderful holiday dinner at Julie and Dave's house.  We ate in their newly remodeled dining area which now has a full view of the rock formation on Camelback Mountain called "the praying monk".  While we were eating we noticed some activity at the very top of the "monk's" head.

Dave and I grabbed our cameras and zoomed in on the top of the rock.  Sure enough there were quite a few people up there for such a small space.  If you look closely, you can see one climbing up and about to reach the top.

The group stayed up there throughout our meal leading us to wonder if they were performing a ceremony of some sort up there.

Then gradually the group started thinning out.  The only way up there is to rock climb and the only way down is by repelling.  I was lucky to catch this guy throwing his rope over the side.

And then, down he came.  So, I not only had a fabulous dinner with great friends but, I also got a show to go with it.  You can't beat that for a Christmas bonus.

Monday, December 26, 2016

Seasonal Celebrating

A scene from the annual Christmas Eve celebration with friends.  There was plenty of food and drink and the most important, great conversation with good friends.

Me and my friend Emily!

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Ho, Ho, Ho.....

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all that celebrate today!

A face from my Christmas tree.

And, a present sitting under it.

I've had the "doggie" wrapping paper for many years now (it is a big roll) and every year I find at least one present to wrap in it.

I have a new post on Sharon's Sojourns today.  Let's go Christmas shopping in London.

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Holiday Entrances

I like finding entrances to homes that have been decorated for the season.  Here are two that I enjoyed seeing.

I love the nutcrackers.

I love them so much, I photographed two different versions.

Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays to all!

Friday, December 23, 2016

The Three Wise....


I saw this display in someone's yard and wondered what it was supposed to be.  A play on the three wise men maybe?  I'm just not sure.

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Confused Santa & Other Holiday Scenes

This Santa seems to be a bit confused as to how to ride that bicycle!  I was tempted to turn him around when I saw him.

But, I got sidetracked by this feathery Christmas Tree.  I don't think I've ever seen one decorated with red feathers before.

But, then I heard the angels singing so I headed off in another direction.  There are so many things to see during this time of year!

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Galloping Horses

These galloping horses are found in the middle of a fountain in front of the Scottsdale Doubletree Resort.  I was driving past and noticed that they were decked out in some holiday attire so I decided to stop for a photo.

It looks like they are in a big hurry to get away from the paparazzi!

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Giant Tree

Giant, inflatable Christmas Tree!

I realized when I saw this place that it was the first Christmas Tree lot I had seen this season.  The sale of live trees must be getting lower and lower every year.  That big inflatable Christmas tree was hard to miss.

Monday, December 19, 2016

Big Dog

I made a trip to Paradise Valley Mall last weekend and I found this very large dog standing in front of the Doggie District Pet Resort.  Poor guy, he must be too big for the kennels inside so he has to stand outside holding up the Christmas lights.

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Dressed for the Season

These lovely ladies were dressed for the season at last Thursday night's Phoenix Suns game.  I thought they looked so festive that I decided to ask if they minded posing for a photo.  They didn't!

They certainly know how to get into the spirit of the season.

I have a new post on Sharon's Sojourns today.  A little taste of Paris nightlife.

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Holiday Wreaths

Here are a few holiday wreaths that I've spotted when I was out and about.  
This one is full of ornaments.

This one is made up of poinsettias and pines.

And, this one is all in gold and white.

Friday, December 16, 2016

Lots of Presents....

...but, no Santa!

I've been to Biltmore Fashion Park several times this holiday shopping season but, I've yet to catch Santa sitting in his chair!  

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Snoopy Says....

...Happy Holidays!
I found this little guy in front of a house in one of our historic neighborhoods.  As you can see, the yard around him appears to be well lit with colorful lights.  I should drive by at night and take a look.  

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Good Paint Job, Bad Paint Job

Recently two older apartment complexes near where I live have had a make-over.  This complex called Capri on Camelback has been around for over 40 years and recently was updated with a tan, white and turquoise paint job that looks much better than it's old brown look.

In a different direction, this complex called Biltmore Pointe was looking a little shabby but recently went through an update with these crazy, gray and maroon zig-zag stripes.  This one has also been around for over 40 years.  Now, this is just my opinion but, those zig-zag lines just might have made this place look worse than before.

Tuesday, December 13, 2016


I saw this red car with it's holiday wreath on the front at a local grocery store parking lot.  When I took a closer look I saw that the wreath was actually a peace sign.  Perfect wishes for the holiday season.

Monday, December 12, 2016

Say What??

This little fellow was eyeing me very carefully the last time I was at the Desert Botanical Garden.  

But once he decided that I wasn't going to toss him a morsel, off he went.  The roadrunners at the garden have figured out that the best place to get a hand out is to hang around the patio cafe.  They can usually find at least one person who doesn't read the "Do Not Feed the Wildlife" sign.   

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Getting into the Holiday Spirit

I paid a visit to my favorite nursery, Berridge and spent some time in their Christmas wonderland.  They have at least a dozen beautifully decorated trees on display along with a plethora of ornaments and Holiday themed decor items.

It is genuinely a fun time of year to visit places like this!

However, since I already have way more Christmas ornaments that I can ever use on one tree, I decided not to buy this cute little Jack-in-the-box bauble. I was tempted though!

I have a new post on Sharon's Sojourns today.  I'm visiting an inspirational place in Paris!

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Employee Art

I have one more post from my visit to the Phoenix Art Museum last Friday evening.  I found one room that isn't open often that contains artworks created by employees of the museum.  What a great idea!  I loved this watercolor by Jessica Hanna called The Sunflower.  That would look great in my house if I had the space for it.

I liked this one too.  It's a series of six tiny paintings by Henry Bellavia.  They were all oil on masonite and each one was a brilliant little work of art.

Friday, December 9, 2016

Exhibition of Photo Books

The second exhibition that I stopped to see at the Phoenix Art Museum last Friday was all about photo books.  One of the support groups for the museum, INFOCUS invited photographers to submit their self-published photo books for a juried exhibition.  That resulted in 111 books being selected from photographers from all over the world.  The room they were displayed in was set up with sofas and chairs and guest were encouraged to pick up a book or two, relax and enjoy them.  When I was there, quite a few people were doing just that.

This book with photos turned to Kaleidoscopes caught my attention because I happen to love making kaleidoscopes from photos I've taken.  I use mostly my nature photos to do it but I have a few really good ones that I've done from architectural photos.  This gave me an idea for making my own photo book of kaleidoscopes images.

This was another book that I admired.  It contained photos of people in their youth beside photos of them at much older ages.  Many of them were nudes.  Not provocative nudes, just casual nudes that in spite of the aging bodies, possessed a natural beauty.

It was another interesting exhibit that I'll have to visit again before it leaves.  There are a few more of those books I need to look at.

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Where have all the Flowers Gone

Yesterday was the anniversary of the bombing of Pearl Harbor and the sinking of the ship the USS Arizona.  Sometime around 1:30 in the afternoon, I happened to see a photo taken at the USS Arizona memorial and it was surrounded with flowers and wreaths.  I decided that I should drive down there and snap a photo so I headed that way.  I was surprised when I got there that there were no flowers or wreaths.  I have no idea what happened to them.  I can't imagine why they would be taken away but, apparently they were.  So here is the memorial sans flowers.

I guess there was a memorial service sometime in the morning but all evidence of it had been taken away by the time I arrived.
Near the memorial was this plaque describing the ship.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016


When I was at the Phoenix Art Museum last Friday evening, I checked out a couple of new exhibits I hadn't seen before.  I found this one quite interesting.  It is the work of an Argentinian artist named Horacio Zabala.  He is recognized as one of the most important conceptual artists from Argentina.

Zabala was educated as an architect but became active as an artist in the late 1960's.  He has a fascination of space and "the means by which space is defined".

He is quoted as saying: "My intention, and my attention, are not only oriented toward what is effectively seen, but also what is thought about what is being seen."

Personally, there was something very appealing to me about these pieces.  I love the use of solid colors and precise shapes and I like the mathematical look of the way they are presented.