Wednesday, June 30, 2010

I Got Nothin'

But in the effort to entertain and inform, I offer this post.

This guy makes us laugh every time we pass him hanging over the neighbor's fence.

Do you suppose he's connected to the neighborhood watch?

We found where all the locals hang out during this 110 degree heat. Check out the hours for 'happy hour' at this local bar.

And who the heck is Duchess?

We had a record low for humidity a few days ago - 2 percent! I guess it really is a dry heat. I can't remember the last time we have had measurable rain since the torrential downpours in January, but that might change. We have been informed that we are now into monsoon season, but so far all we've seen are a few clouds.

It seems to only be raining in the mountains - maybe on our friends up in Show Low. It's pretty bad when you get so sick of sunny, blue skies that you're hoping for rain.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010


Because we are still here in the heat (it's now about 110 every day), we have witnessed something totally unexpected. While some of the saguaro cactus are still blooming their last white blooms, the early bloomers from late April are into another phase. First I thought some bougainvillea blooms had blown onto the saguaro tips, but upon closer inspection we decided they were seed pods that had burst open!

Ron helped me carry the ladder down the street and even climbed up farther than I would to get this picture. We chased away several birds which were feasting on the seeds.

Here's one of the pods that had fallen to the ground. I think I see one little black seed still inside. Isn't that a fantastic color?

Oh, and good news! Ron will be finished with his vancomycin on Friday! His finger is still red, but looks pretty good. Hopefully the red will fade in time. We plan to stay a couple more weeks to be sure it doesn't swell up again and he actually has an appointment with an infectious disease doctor at the end of June. I'm not sure what he's going to add, but it's just a precaution.

For the non-squeamish, here's a picture of him with his PIC line and IV ball. The ball is pressurized and automatically dispenses the medicine at the proper rate. He can lay it down or even put it in his pocket which is good since it takes 1 1/2 hours.

As you can see, he has two ports. We use the blue one for the medicine and the nurse uses the red one to draw blood once a week to check the medicine level in his blood. They had to adjust the amount three times during the five weeks he was on it.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Hot! Hot! HOT!

Yes, we're still here and it's getting hot!

But Look! We're going to cool down for the weekend. It's even going to be below 80 for the low. That will be nice.

It's even too hot for the cacti. As we take our evening walk (which is now after dark and still 95 degrees), we notice various night-blooming cacti. They all have bright white flowers to attract those pollinating bats. (I haven't actually seen any bats, but they must be around.)

I think this is an organ pipe cactus. The flowers were disappointingly small.

I caught this one in the early morning before it fully closed for the day.

I noticed one of my pots that I had carefully arranged with artificial flowers was looking a bit scruffy.

When I walked over to investigate, a little bird (I think a house finch) flew out of it. Made me jump! Well, what do you know, six tiny eggs. Weird how only one is spotted.

Ron noticed that there is another nest in the lemon tree - we're guessing a sparrow - and another dove in one of the orange trees. Oh, and another sparrow in the palm out front. For such a dry place, there are sure a lot of birds!

This picture is from about a month ago. I was so proud that my $2 cactus decided to bloom for me. (You can see some of the Arizona diamonds I added to the garden.)

And a couple weeks ago, we were amazed to see this tiny saguaro cactus blooming its heart out. We had never seen one that small in bloom. Then we discovered the secret - it's actually an arm off the saguaro behind it. Interesting.

Oh, and DaveM had asked about the holes in the saguaros. They're made by the woodpeckers creating nesting sites. However since there are many more holes than woodpeckers, I think they must rent them out to their smaller-beaked friends.

Aren't these bushes just stunning? They call them bird-of-paradise - not to be confused with the more familiar tropical bird-of-paradise.

They make a magnificent hedge.

Since today was Sunday, we went out for our weekly breakfast. Today we thought we would try a new place and went to the Egg and I. Well . . . Everything on the menu looked like too much food, so I thought, "I'll just have french toast." Have you ever seen french toast like this????

This place is crazy! Not only because of the size of the bread slices, but it was deep fried! You can also see part of Ron's giant folded pancake. He only had one with his bacon and eggs, but he only ate about half. I don't think we'll be going back there.