Saturday, December 31, 2022

Happy New Year!


I took this photo at the end of November when I had lunch with a friend at one of our favorite French restaurants.  I thought it was perfect to use for a Happy New Year message.

Here's hoping 2023 keeps us all healthy and happy!  I'm looking forward to a few adventures along with some relaxing times too.  

Enjoy your New Years Eve!

Friday, December 30, 2022

Dressed for the Holidays


One-eyed Jack, that very tall white rabbit who resides on a street corner in Scottsdale, was dressed for the holidays when I passed him earlier this week.  

This is the same part of town where I found the elves that I posted on Wednesday.  Elves and giant white rabbits, Scottsdale is looking pretty fanciful these days.  

Thursday, December 29, 2022

Around Town at the Holidays


In my meanderings around town the last few days, I've discovered more Christmas decorations that I missed before the holiday.  This one was found at Uptown Plaza, a little shopping center at Central and Camelback Roads.  Santa appears to be buried from the waist down but I like the tree and the giant presents.

Just down the street from Uptown Plaza, I found this tree on the grounds of Brophy Prep School.  It was sitting on the lawn in front of St. Francis Xavier Church.

When I was almost home, I spotted this little tree in the middle of the golf course behind my house.  It appears that someone in the neighborhood decided this lonely little pine tree needed some festive decorations.  I hope the golfers appreciate it.  

Wednesday, December 28, 2022

The Scottsdale Elves


I took a walk yesterday afternoon around Scottsdales Fifth Avenue area.  That's where I found these elves standing around on the street corners.  

A few years ago, they decorated with tall nutcrackers.  The nutcrackers were more elegant looking than these little fellows.  In fact, the elves look like they might get into some trouble if left on their own too long.

Tuesday, December 27, 2022

Classic Light Posts


I feel like I'm running out of photos to post which of course, is silly because I have archives full of photos. But I had a hard time thinking of something to post today.  

When I was at the Town and Country Shopping center last week, I snapped a photo of the classic lamp posts that are scattered around the center.  I love the way they look against a blue sky.  They are all wrapped in holiday garland at this time of year.  

I need to get out and take some more photos!

Monday, December 26, 2022

Pretty Flowers & Lots of Food


I had Christmas dinner at my friend Julie's house where she had a beautiful bouquet of flowers in her kitchen.

It's nice to have pretty flowers to enjoy while all the food preparations are going on.  

I took some pictures of the flowers but I was having such a good time talking to friends, I didn't take any pictures of the food.  It was all very good.  We spread out the eating over the entire afternoon which worked out well.  We had plenty to eat but didn't leave feeling stuffed.  

Good food and good friends, a great combination.  

Sunday, December 25, 2022

Merry Christmas!


Merry Christmas Everyone!

I'm sending special wishes from my home in Phoenix Arizona to all your homes around the world!  Have a great holiday!

Saturday, December 24, 2022

Beautiful Holiday Decorations


When I was driving home from the Scottsdale area, I happened to pass this home with beautiful holiday lights glowing all around it.  

This happens to be an area with some very expensive homes so I'm pretty certain these lights were put up by an expert.  It's pretty common so see lights on palm trees but, I have to admit I've never seen a saguaro cactus covered in lights before.  That's pretty impressive not to mention difficult to do.

The house next door had a similar idea, just different colors.  A lot of work went into making these lights look as neat and festive as possible.  I'm glad I spotted them.  

Happy Christmas Eve everyone!

Friday, December 23, 2022

Winter Solstice Glow


Yesterday was the shortest day of the year so now the hours of sunlight will start to get longer. That makes me happy.  I always feel a bit out of sync when the days are so short.

I happened to be at Town and Country Shopping Center at 5:00 PM yesterday when the sun was just about to drop below the horizon.  The glow of the setting sun was brilliant and the shadows were long.  

I decided to snap a photo that would show the light, long shadows and a little bit of holiday decorations.

While I was taking the photos, this cute little guy approached me and seemed to be asking to have his picture taken too.

Actually, his owner said that he likes to romp in the grass so he brings him here one or two times a week so he can enjoy the grass.  He was so cute and so friendly, I couldn't resist a few ear scratches along with the photo.

Thursday, December 22, 2022

Luminous Blue

 This house is located just down the street from where I live.  When I saw it, I had one of those 'go back and get a photo' moments.  That's exactly what I did.

All of those blue "icicle" lights are making the house glow with a soft, blue light.  

I like this one very much.  

Wednesday, December 21, 2022

Holiday Wreaths


I love all the different holiday wreaths I see at this time of year.  Some very talented artists design them and put them together.  The one above was at the Desert Botanical Garden.  It contains more of those air plants so that it complements that tree I posted at the beginning of the month.

The wreath above was also at the Desert Botanical Garden.  It was in the area where the opening party for the Luminarias was held.  

This one to the right is the one on my front door.  I added the big bow to the wreath to spruce it up a bit.

Tuesday, December 20, 2022

The Mensch on the Bench


I went to a Hanukkah party Sunday afternoon and got to meet the "Mensch on the Bench" pictured here.

If you've heard of the "Elf on the Shelf" then this is his alter ego.

It was a great party with lots of traditional Jewish food and games for the kids.  

I hadn't been to a Hanukkah celebration in a very long time.  It was moving and fun!

It was a very busy weekend for me.  There were several events on my calendar and on Saturday, I took an out-of-town guest on a tour of the Desert Botanical Garden.  That's where I spotted this perfect poinsettia plant.

I also took this self portrait in the reflection of a shiny Christmas ornament.  This was part of the decorations surrounding the roof line of a garden building.  

In addition to the Hanukkah party and the garden tour, I had a members event at the Heard Museum and another National Theater Live play at the Phoenix Art Museum, this time it was a play called "The Book of Dust".  Phew....there was a lot going on.

Monday, December 19, 2022

See No Evil, Hear No Evil


I found a few more unusual holiday decorations to show you.  This pair have donned their Santa caps for the holidays.  I'm not sure what happened to "speak no evil" but he was nowhere in sight.  

Above is yard packed with desert plants but there is a Christmas tree hiding back there in the corner.  And, it looks like a wagon full of gifts in front of the tree.

To right is another home using the cacti as a base for their decorations.  Santa is smiling from the lamppost while the cactus in the back is wearing holiday hats.  

I love all these creative ideas.  

Sunday, December 18, 2022

A Variety of Christmas Trees


The Christmas trees at the Desert Botanical Garden.  This was taken the night we went for the Luminarias event.

An all white Christmas tree spotted inside a department store. I caught its reflection in a nearby mirror.

A maroon Christmas tree in the lobby of Gammage Auditorium.  I saw it when I was attending a play there.  I thought maroon was an odd color for a holiday tree but then I remembered that Gammage is part of Arizona State University and the ASU colors are maroon and gold.  

I like the lighted gifts below the tree.

I have a new post on Sharon's Sojourns today.  Something very different.  If you like cats, check it out.

Saturday, December 17, 2022

Over-the-Top Decorations


I stopped at the house that goes overboard with the Christmas decorations.  I hadn't seen the place for two years so I was curious if they were still putting all this stuff up.  It really must drive their neighbors crazy with all the traffic this place attracts.

The picture above is looking in one of the windows of the house.  Every window had some kind of display in it.  I don't know how anyone could actually live in the house while all these decorations are up.  

To the right is a closer look at the yard in front of the house.

I can't imagine going to all this work.  

Friday, December 16, 2022

Amazing Skies


These photos were all taken by my friends Julie and Dave.  Their house affords them a much better view of the skies than at my house.  These photos were all from last Tuesday when we were having some on-and-off rain all day long.  

Around 5:00 PM, near sunset the clouds started to take on color.

At one time, Julie even caught a rainbow.

For just a minute or two, the clouds were all a brilliant pink and making everything around them glow with a pinkish light.  It was some of the most dramatic skies I've seen in a long time.  

Thanks Julie and Dave for capturing these fantastic photos and sharing them.  

Thursday, December 15, 2022

Unusual Holiday Decor


I found this fellow on the same street where I found the trees from Tuesday's post.  At first I thought this guy was still hanging around from Halloween but then I noticed the Santa cap and scarf.  He must have enjoyed his Halloween stint so much he decided to stay for Christmas.

I was on my way to my friend Julie's house when I saw these saguaro cactus wearing holiday caps.  That's very subtle but effective holiday decorating.  I like it.  

Wednesday, December 14, 2022

Silver Deer

 I was doing a little Christmas shopping over the last weekend when this stylized deer caught my eye in one department store.  While I was waiting for the clerk to package my purchases, I snapped a photo of it with my cell phone. 

After posting this photo, I got to thinking that it might be a good one to do a little magical editing so, here goes!

First up, with holiday doodles all around it.

Next, a little golden treatment.

Lastly, a little pine tree trimming.  

Too bad I didn't see this earlier.  These photos would have made great greeting cards!

Tuesday, December 13, 2022

Falling Leaves


While most places in the northern hemisphere are looking at trees that are already bare, the leaves here are just starting to show their colors and fall to the ground.

This last weekend, I found a whole row of trees that have turned a brownish-yellow and are dropping leaves to the ground. 

We do see seasonal changes here in the desert southwest. They just happen at different times.  

Monday, December 12, 2022

Art Saves Lives


I found this mural on the side of a building that houses a rehabilitation center.  They work with troubled people teaching them artistic skills.  There was no signature on this one but it could very well have been painted by one or more of the participants in the program.  

Taking part in Monday Murals.

Sunday, December 11, 2022

The Annual Poinsettia Tree


The annual poinsettia tree at Biltmore Fashion Park is looking as beautiful as always.  I do enjoy seeing it every year.

Santa has been visiting with children on the other side of tree for the past two weeks.  

I liked the decoration around the door to this shop too!

It's a fun time of year to go shopping.

I have a new post on Sharon's Sojourns today.  I'm featuring Bordeaux France by guest photographers.

Saturday, December 10, 2022

The Night View


When I was at the garden last week, I stopped to take a night time view of the Desert Wildflower Towers at the entrance to the garden. 

They look very dramatic lit up at night.  

I'm so glad that the garden invested in these beautiful Chihuly sculptures all those years ago.