Friday, February 25, 2011


I have been to a lot of museums in my life, but this is one of the best.  Just look at this display of some exotic feathered friends.  Outstanding!
 Isn't this bird awesome?  Almost unreal!
The room with our antlered friends was breathtaking. 
Every imaginable deer, elk, moose, caribou etc was there.  And a couple of bear, too. 
This elephant was huge, and I don't see how they could hang it on the wall like that!
Beautiful cats, especially this tiger.
Most of three sides are shown here.
And then the dioramas were out of this world.  They were clean, perfectly displayed, and very beautiful.
Love musk ox!
This otter looks like he lives in Seldovia where our son lives!
This was one outstanding museum!  Go if you ever get the chance!

Thursday, February 24, 2011


First of all, thank you for your comments and emails after my last post.  I am feeling much better, thank you!  I kind of made the turn around on Monday, and have done well since then.  Thanks for your concerns!  But, I sure did get behind in posting.  I'll just plug away at it and try to catch you up with our activities here in Tucson.
  Can you imagine being a Native American, an Apache, and living in the area of southern Arizona over 200 years ago, and seeing strange people come in and build something like this our in the middle of the desert? 
The San Xavier del Bac mission is absolutely beautiful.  Because of the ornate painting on the inside, especially on the domed ceiling, it has been called the Sistine Chapel of North America.

It has recently been cleaned and the paint restored, and it is very nice.

A tile picture on the outside wall of an adjacent building shows St. Francis of Assisi, as does this 
statue in the side chapel of the mission.  I love visiting missions.  They are so quiet and peaceful, although there were several tour groups here this morning, and it was a bit crowded.   

Saturday, February 19, 2011


The long drive down here has finally caught up with me!  This past week was a rough one for my FMS (fibromyalgia)  body, and I am feeling pretty beat up.  I haven't been sleeping more than two hours at a time since we left home. Then I wake  up with severe foot cramps, and I'm unable to go back to sleep.  I finally am so exhausted that just daily functioning is a painful chore. 

We were planning to go up to the Scottsdale area to visit an old high school friend this weekend, but we had to call them and cancel.  There was no way I could ride in a car for 2 1/2 hours and then enjoy any kind of a weekend with them. We felt so bad, but that is life with FMS.  Sometimes it takes over your life and makes your decisions for you.

But wonder of wonders!  I slept pretty well last night, one stretch of four hours, and I woke up this morning a bit more refreshed.  I think Ernie was getting tired of my constant hopping in and out of bed to try to work the cramps out of my feet, so I think he slept better last night too.

Stomach issues can also be a part of FMS,  and I have been experiencing some of them the last several months.  When I started baking bread every day, and then of course, eating bread every day, I finally determined what the problem probably was.  So since leaving home almost three weeks ago, I have been eating gluten free.  I am feeling much better and have not had the stomach issues flare up in this whole time.  Ernie was really enjoying home made bread every day, and I've not made any since we left home.  I will, however, start working on this technique of bread making with gluten free flours and see if I can find something that works for us.  Meat, fruit and veggies are gluten free, and Trader Joe's has a good selection of pastas, crackers, and dressings and sauces that are gluten free, so I haven't really had a problem with things other than finding decent bread.  That's why I can't wait to bake my own as soon as we get back home.

Our daughter, Kari,  and her family have made this same decision, but going a step further and also going dairy free.  They are hoping this change will help the two youngest special needs kids with some of their issues.  She has started another blog to record this journey.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011


Today we drove about 45 miles north into the desert to visit Biosphere 2.  No, there was no Biosphere 1.  The earth is the original biosphere!  Do you remember this domed community?  Eight people lived inside and raised their own food and ran the whole place for two years.  No going out and coming back in.  Two years inside.  It was quite an undertaking.  The University of Arizona now runs it, and there is extensive research going on under those glass panels.
 The building is huge, built by a man from Texas.
 There are many different areas inside: jungle
ocean shore
and a couple others that I neglected to get a shot of.
And on a pole, just outside the community, we saw two hawks sharing the top.  I've not seen that before and thought it was beautiful!


So, on Monday we went to the Sonora Desert and Saguaro National Park, on the west side of Tucson.  It was hot and dusty.  And beige.
 So hot.
So beige.
A strange growth on the top of a cactus.
Did I mention that it was hot and dusty and beige?
So we decided to climb to the top of that rocky hill to see the ancient petroglyphs decorating the rocks on the top.
I think they are so interesting.
Does it mean anything?
Or is it ancient graffiti?
Did I mention that it was hot and dusty?  At least there were no rattlesnakes.
Weird.  I miss my trees!


Okay.  The wifi connection from the trailer is not strong enough to post pictures to Blogger, so my attempts on Monday caused much stress.  I did get one update posted, but I could go no further.  Thus, Monday 2 and 3 have now become Wednesday 1 and 2, and I have a regular post from today!  Bear with me! 
 Sunday we drove up towards the Mesa area, to Queen Creek.  Ernie's brother, Neil, and his wife, Karen, have a new home there, where they spend 6 months, and then they return to Minnesota for 6 months.  Their daughter and SIL were down visiting from Minnesota for a week, so the guys and their daughter, Lori, went golfing.  Karen and I went out to lunch and did a little shopping.
Their backyard
is a large area, with an awesome view.
The inside is beautiful is the kitchen.
And just as we left, we were treated to a beautiful sunset!

Monday, February 14, 2011


Good afternoon from sunny Tucson where the temperature is too hot for me.  83 degrees.  Way too warm!  Now if I had some trees to sit under, or an ocean to dip my toes into, it might be okay, but this bright hot sun is too much for someone who is used to Minnesota weather!

I am sorry for my unexplained absence this past week.  I did miss you, but sitting in a site with no electricity, no water, and no sewer was not the best.  The wifi signal was intermittent,  at best, and I was lucky to get a couple of emails sent out.  So, now I have a few adventures to share with you.  I am labeling them updates 1, 2, and 3.

Number one:  On Saturday we took a trip up Mt. Lemmon, here on the north east edge of Tucson.  This road takes us to the foothills, and some beautiful homes with awesome views of the valley and the mountains to the west where the sunsets are spectacular.

 This is part way up the first hill, looking back over the Tucson valley.
The next one is a bit high up, and is looking towards the mountains in the west.
There are lots of rocks and cactus on the hills, and it is very dry.
We are on one layer of the road, looking at two higher layers.
And now, just when we're getting to the top, and some green trees, and some snow, and some lovely mountain village homes, blogger won't let me load any more pictures.  I don't know if it's this connection, or if it is actually a problem with blogger, but I'm not happy.  So, here is update number one, incomplete.  I'll try more later, but waiting an hour and fifteen minutes is long enough to try to load two more photos.

Tuesday, February 08, 2011


As we left the base in Clovis, NM, I was beginning to wonder why we had bothered to drive all the way down here!  And it was cold, too!
There wasn't much traffic.  Everything shuts down when there is a little snow, as they don't have the equipment to clear the roads.  But we had no problems.
And soon, we had a bit of sun and some beautiful scenery!  It was looking better, don't you think?
As we neared Holloman AFB, near Alamogordo, the sun was setting and I liked the coloring that was appearing on the hills.
And of course the colors in the west were gorgeous!  And we had a wonderful dinner of a glass of wine and a bowl of Ramen noodles.  The was the last meal of microwaved food.  The 5 nights of eating garbage was now over, and I was looking forward to finally cooking again tomorrow night!
Yesterday morning as we headed off toward Tucson, I spied this tanker truck ahead of us!  Whoopee!  I told Ernie to speed up so we could catch it and find the spigot!
Shucks.  Just an advertisement for a gas station franchise that claims to have good coffee.
And as we hit Tucson, this is the temperature the truck was displaying.  87 degrees warmer than 6 days earlier when we left Minnesota at 11 below.
This is the view from the campground office.  We didn't get into the actual campground.  We are spending the next 5 days or so in the overflow site.  No electricity, water or sewer hookups.  But we have a generator and we've filled with water, so we should be okay.  We'll just shower up at the campground showers to preserve our water.
Today is windy, warm, and sunny.  We have that cold stuff coming for the next 3 or 4 days, but it should turn nicer again by the weekend.  At least we don't have to shovel!