My Wednesday post about Japan.
Arizona son was in California last week for a wedding of a best
friend. On the way to and from Sonoma he stopped off to see his sister
Wedding was Fabulous ! But look what he brought me back from my
favorite Japanese Market, Mitsuwa. . .
Wonderful, glorious tasty items.....
Mochi Pan, a bread roll that looks like a cream puff but even with the
airy inside is a dense, chewy bread filled with black sesame seeds.
Umeboshi, pickled plums
Kagayki, brown rice, my favorite brand ! they have a wonderful white
Goma Shio, rice seasoning with black sesame seeds, a puffed salt and
Ponzu, citrus vinegar
Lemon drink + vitamins
A few of these items I can find in Tucson but not always as the one
Asian market in town is very hit or miss. I would be so happy if
Mitsuwa would open a market here, so very happy, really really happy,
I can only wish and dream.
He also stopped by Snoopy's Gallery in Santa Rosa and brought me back
the little Woodstock peeking out from the Ponzu. I am a big fan of
Snoopy and Woodstock.
music. . . Hello Kitty Girl, OST, The Last Exile
Wednesday, June 29, 2011
My Wednesday post about Japan.
Monday, June 27, 2011
My Monday post about what is going on around my home.
It is hot, so screaming hot in Tucson right now. Today it will be 111
and our low will be 80.
Yesterday when I got home at 9 pm it was 100 in Tucson.
At my home in the foothills it is a few degrees cooler. Thank goodness !
June is our roasting, horrendous, burning hot month.
This is because to start the monsoons your have to have the right
amount of screaming hot days + humidity + the dew point reaching 54
degrees or higher for for three day = monsoons.
To find relief all the animals come out very early in morning and by
the afternoon they are quietly tucked away in the shade.
I have drip irrigation on the plants I do water and when these hot
days come they dig in to the shady moist soil and nap the afternoon
My small citrus grove in the East yard is a magnet for Javelinas,
Bunnies, Quail and a Bobcat.
The bushes on the west side of my home usually has Bunnies and
Quail. Sunday it had one small Baby Bunny and a family of Quail.
Quail are like Switzerland they seem to get along with everyone.
Behind the Bunny are three quail you can only see one and outside of
the photo to the left under another bush was about seven baby Quail
and Mum. In the photo I took the babies looked liked small rocks they
blended in so well and I only saw them because the Mum saw/felt me and
the babies started to move. When one Quail move they all move and as
the day was so hot and I didn't want to disturb them, I moved away and
let them rest and didn't get a better photo.
toasty. . . parsnip
music. . . Summertime Blues, Eddie Cochran
Friday, June 24, 2011
The Boys.... Watson and Hamish
Sweet loving pups or evil plotters who seek world domination ...
I have always thought that Scotties are the cats of the dog world.
They kind of wait and assess the situation and then they decide if and
when they will do what you want.
Cheeky little devils, clever little devils, conniving little devils,
great waggly tail companion little devils and steal your heart little
They are usually under foot, more so with Hamish who has sent me
flying into walls, furniture, and sliding doors more times that I can
count, because he is truly under, in and around my feet.
They usually can be found in the studio where I spend most of my day
and is filled with pillows for their napping enjoyment.
I alway know where Hamish (right) is because he is never far from
where I am. When I move even two feet to get something he will move
with me. We call him the Shadow queue music, among many other non
Watson (left) will mosey off and I mean mosey, usually I find him
laying in the light from the skylight in the entry way. Napping in
the sunlight in a air conditioned home in the desert, must be heaven
to an old pup.
Every once in awhile I come around the corner and see this...
Sweet pups, butter wouldn't melt in their mouths (yeah right because
they have scarfed it down) sweet pups
who me ? sweet pups
and I know, I just know they are plotting but what are they plotting ?
Thankfully, it really doesn't matter what they are plotting because
after a nano second Hamish will have forgotten and go chase a bug, he
is a great tracker and Watson will fold for a game of tug and a
chicken strip !
What can I do, they have wrapped me around their little paws and I
lurve them !
scottie. . . parsnip
music. . . Porco Rosso OST, Joe Hisaishi
square dog update....
Watson's Valley Fever is better, lungs clearer and he is off the many
medication and we are watching for any signs of relapse
Hamish's diabetes is now under control, insulin shots twice a day and
we looking at a time for his next surgery.
Wednesday, June 22, 2011
Wednesday I usually post about Japan but with all the fires in Southern
Arizona it seemed a good time to do another Arizona post.
Some good news...
Calm weather has helped the firefighters, who are doing heroic work
battling these fires.
The Horseshoe 2 Fire in the Chiricahua Mountains is 95 % contained
after burning nearly 223,000 acres.
The Wallows Fire, crews are making slow progress against a massive
fire burning Eastern Arizona and Western New Mexico. 56% containment
after burning 527,774 acres.
The Monument/Serra Vista Fire (near me) is at 45% containment, burned
27, 200 acres so far.
What has helped so far in the Monument Fire is the relatively calm
weather for the last two days. Firefighters are planning a series of
controlled burns during the next several evenings to remove fuel
between the fire and homes.
Assigned to this fire are 1,200 people, eight helicopters and four air
What I have said before all these fires are man-made not lighting
caused as happens during the Monsoon season.
My Fabulous Brother worked for the USFS, he is retired now. When he
first started he was stationed in Northern Arizona and he was a
Hotshot. These are crew that jump into a raging fire and try to work
One fire he and his crew parachuted into crested and they were caught
in a fire storm. They carry fire blanket and they all covered up as
blew up over them. They all survived. You just never know what will
happen when your fighting a fire.
He went on to work in the law enforcement part of USFS and was Secret
Service trained. He is such and interesting brother, quite fabulous !
Another photo of a Prickly Pear Cactus pad getting ready to be
planted. This is one of my most favorite Prickly Pear, the soft cool
color helps visually on a hot summer day. I love the lavender figs I
placed on top.
waiting . . . parsnip
music. . . This Serene Earth, John Hackett
forgot to add... it will be 110 today in Tucson... hello pool !
Monday, June 20, 2011
My Monday blog about what is happening around my home...
All four fires in Southern Arizona are still burning with small
battles won but really no containment. High temperatures, dry
winds, no humidity and rough terrain all have added to a very tough
In Sierra Vista, Southeast of Tucson, about an hour and a half away by
road, the fire is still burning growing by the hour has jumped the
highway and is heading North. Todays low winds and temperatures of
only 99, will allow the slurry and water dropping helicopters to take
off and help out the crews on the ground.
Sunday afternoon the winds changed from blowing from the East to
circle around and start blowing from the West. The afternoon went
from blue sky to a veil of dust filled air that encroached closer and
closer till all the mountains around Tucson look liked the were
enveloped in a golden fog. Beautiful in a sad destructive way.
Today it is fairly clear, blue sky and the winds have quieted down,
thank goodness !
The above photo was taken late Sunday afternoon when the dust filled
air was swirling all around my home
I tried shooting directly towards the sun which was a white ball
floating behind the veil of iridescent dust and this is what the
The afternoon wasn't this devoid of color in fact it was a lovely
golden color but I rather like the feeling of this photo.
dusty. . . parsnip
music. . . Things Behind The Sun, Nick Drake
note. . .
A new fire has been spotted near Bear Canyon Lake. The Wallows fire is
about a mile north of the lake.
Another fire The El Camino Fire started by the border is six miles
east of Sasabe.
Friday, June 17, 2011
After the Prickly Pear blooms the pod or fruit is left to be devoured
by birds, animals and those pesky humans.
Some of the several different fruit or cactus fig from some of the
different Prickly Pear around my home.
The fig is edible although you have to peel it very carefully removing
all the spines on the outer skin before eating.
The fruit is used for making candy, jelly, lemonade and vodka... very
I know to many this might be strange but when I see the figs I always
think of unopened tulips. the colors vary from lime green, lavender to
The feather is from a Morning Dove.
prickly. . . parsnip
music. . . Look What I found In My Beer, Quench
Wednesday, June 15, 2011
Bunny cooling off in the hot afternoon...
My small citrus grove is a magnet for Bunnies, Quail and Javelinas who
like to dig in the damp soil after the trees are watered and settle
down to cool off durning the hottest part of the day.
Today 15 June is the official start of our monsoon season. . . .
Mother Nature is miffed or off somewhere for a spa day because it is
just not happening !
The monsoon pattern has a long way to go before it develops, it has to
do with dew points reaching 54 degrees or higher for three consecutive
days durning the hot summer days.
Not sure I understand all the science behind this but I know everyone
is watching the weather reports hoping that the stubborn high that is
hovering over Arizona will move on.
What I do know is the westerly hot dry winds are still blowing and
with no moisture or rain the fires are still burning.
Today it will be 105, later this week it will drop down to a chilly
102 or 103, break out the sweaters !
dry. . . parsnip
music. . . Burning In The Sun, Blue Merle
Monday, June 13, 2011
My Monday post about what is going on around my home....
Two Roadrunners that have been zooming around my home.
Sorry the photo is somewhat blurry but they always seen to know when I
am trying to take their photo and then they move, cheeky little devils.
Plus my camera decided to focus on the tree.
I adore the stylish blue legs ! I know when they are young they have
a patch of blue skin by their eyes that becomes white when they get
older but the blue legs I have not seen before.
Some things I love about roadrunners. . .
They belong to the Cuckoo family
When they run they flatten out like an arrow
They eat all sorts of small reptiles including my most despised
scorpions and rattlesnakes
Can run at speeds up to 25 mph and you will see them racing down the
road in front of a car before zooming off to the side.
An old frontier tale was they would lead lost travelers to trails.
The Hopi believe the Roadrunner protects against evil spirits, I am
so glad I have them cruising around my home as I need all the help I
can get !
Beep Beep !
I am such a fan of cartoon The Roadrunner and Wile E. Coyote and I
loved the ideas that Wile came up with to catch the Roadrunner !
zooming. . . parsnip
music. . . Ride Like The Wind, Cafe Carlyle Sessions, Christopher
update... the fires are still burning and some progress on the Murphy fire, and Horseshoe 2 fire. Wallow is still growing and if you can believe it someone just started a fire near Serra Vista.
Friday, June 10, 2011
Sabino Canyon, April 2011
It is a beautiful day in Tucson and we are quite a distance from the
fires but... because of high risk of fires the Coronado National
Forest that surounds Tucson is officially shut down.
Visitor centers, campgrounds, picnic areas, hiking trails and Summer
Cabins on forest lands are closed to visitors.
You can still drive up the road to the village of Summerhaven in the
Catalina Mountains but no stopping on any trailheads.
Sabino Canyon two minutes from my home is only open on the paved areas.
It is so dry in in Southern Arizona that even the smallest spark could
star a huge forest fire.
Arizona is still on fire and it is only getting worst with no end in
sight. Forest Service is saying at lest three more weeks before they
think they can get the Wallows fire under control.
Thank goodness the winds have calmed and the Super Tankers that have
been grounded can join the fight dropping huge amounts of water.
The massive Wallows Fire was as of yesterday only a mile from the New
Mexico state line and the towns in it path are on alert to evacuate.
Transformers in the Chiricahua Mountains, South East of Tucson near
the State Line with New Mexico, that supply power from the Palo Verde
nuclear power plant near Phoenix to New Mexico and Texas are
threatened from the Horseshoe 2 Fire that jumped the fire lines.
The flames are also threatening the fiber-optic lines needed for
cellphones and internet service.
Tucson Electric utility has alternate power sources in place in case
the fire does reach the transformers and if our power supply is
As of this morning all seem to be fine.
The Murphy Fire is burning south into very rough, rocky land into
When the Parks reopen depend on Mother Nature and we need a
significant amount of rain. One problem on the rain front is we have
a High Pressure that has plopped itself down above Arizona and is
pushing the the moisture that we so need away.
Come On Weather Gods and Mother Nature... give us a break !
I'll bake cookies. . .
or maybe Bee Bim Bop
how about some Dim Sum ?
waiting. . . parsnip
music. . . Safety Haven, David Birdie
Wednesday, June 8, 2011
Wednesday is usually my day to post about my travels in Japan but I am
writing my usual Monday post today on what is happening around my home.
Southern Arizona is on fire. It usually happens every year about this
time and this year is no exception.
We had no winter this year and the vegetation is bone dry, add
terrible weather conditions with high temps and dry winds that is only
adding to the start of a terrible fire season.
Three fires are out of control around Tucson. The Pajarita fire merged
with the Murphy Fire south of us near Tubac/Rio Rico. The Wallows
Fires near the Arizona/New Mexico border is the second largest fire in
Arizona as of today and is still growing every hour. The Horseshoe Two
Fire is just south of that and has been burning since May 8th.
The photo today is from Sunday 5 June. I walked outside and I could
smell the fire and could see a cloud of smoke that drifted over the
Catalina Mountains. The wind which has been so dry and hot has been
keeping most of the smoke away from Tucson as it is coming from the
west but there was a blanket of gray hovering over the valley of
Tucson for a few days.
If you have been reading this blog for awhile you know that my home
was destroyed in the huge Laguna Beach fire of 1993. Just feeling the
hot wind and a whiff of smoke in the air brings memories flooding
back with a vengeance. It is something you can never forget. It is
still hard for me to light a fire in my fireplace and I live in a home
with five fireplaces, go figure ! Not a huge selling point for me when
I bought this home.
The only saving grace is no lives have been lost and so far
evacuations have been keeping people safe. Several small towns are in
danger but so far the fire lines are holding.
I am so worried about all the wildlife that is truly running for their
The monsoons season starts next week but the summer rains although
beautiful to look at are very destructive and the lighting strikes
will only add to the problem.
waiting . . . parsnip
music. . . Heavy Clouds No Rain, Sting
Monday, June 6, 2011
No fun post today with photos of Scotties or Javelinas.
Instead this post is about a blog I follow had posted some photos about artworks she had admired at an Open House show that seems to be held all over England and Scotland this time of year.
I am not writing about her blog...
a blog I really look forward to reading
or her right to post anything she wants to her blog
but about several pieces of artwork posted on her blog and how they affected me.
As I looked at the photos I was surprised to see several pieces that only attacked Americans. The potter Andrew Adair had used photos of repeating guns and words about the gun violence and death in America with what I thought were coying poems about guns and the fact your will never come of age, American Roulette.
When I commented about why was only America mentioned in his work, the answer was I didn't even see the American name I saw it as anti gun and like the design.
The only problem with that comment was America was the only country named .
So that means to me that the news in the UK is so slandered that the word
America now = guns or violence,
much like the parring of
salt and pepper
tea and crumpets
cake and ice cream
You can't think of one with out the other.
Another blogger from the UK also mentioned before about how all they all think of America is guns, anger and violence.
I agree there is way to much anger and violence in America right now but it seem to be everywhere in the world not just in America. And if this is the way sensational news is portraying us that is wrong.
I read the news and don't think...
The French are cowards.
Italians are mafia
Ireland everyone has a bomb
and all people in the UK are beer guzzling , steel toed boot wearing soccer brutish hooligans who can and will beat the hell out of anyone.
The artist listed places in America they had violence but forgot to look around at his life.
(plus his design can be seen in any American Frontier Newspaper from the 1800 but that could be another post and I have no desire to spend anymore time on him )
The LA Times had an article about the The European disdain for America violence but shouldn't spend too much time congratulating themselves. In 2000 the rate at which people where assaulted was higher in England, Scotland, Finland, Denmark and Sweden than in The United States. In the decade since England banned all private possessions of gun the number of gun crimes has gone up.
Some of the worst examples of mass gun violence has occurred in Europe from students and teachers killed in Germany, 14 legislators shot in Switzerland to 8 city council members being shot outside of Paris.
Just recently a taxi driver in Cumbria, England killed 12 people and wounded 11.
Unfortunately violence, whether it is beating the hell out of someone after a soccer game, using a knife or gun killing still means death. We all need to identify a dangerously unstable personalities not just point fingers. Or take a cheap shot.
Does the fact that violence is every where make it ok ? not by a long-shot but I think it means look around where your standing before you point a finger.
I unfortunately expect to be called the Great Staten by many countries, after all I am an educated, white woman, with health care who speaks her mind and doesn't wear a burka. But to see his kind of blatant rabble rousing, hypocritical thought and feeling coming from a country that I have always loved and thought of as family I am sadden.
I wonder how many people who passed this booth took his statements for the only truth.
Going back to the artist at the open house, I wonder if he knew I was from the US would he have sold me a piece of his pottery accepting my gun fueled, blood soaked tourist dollars ?
The nature of this work really upset me then it turned to disbelief and now to just sadness.
Just as he has the right and ability to say what he wants no matter how one-sided I also have the right to disagree.
My trip to Ireland and England to celebrate when my son graduates University is now rescheduled to Poland with a stop in Paris. At lest we Americans know where we stand in France. I will not be showing off the places in England and Scotland that I love to my son and a chance to met some blogging friends but that will be replaced by tracking down some family history in Poland. I now look forward to that.
When I think of how many times we Americans have come to the aid of many countries in need of help and are usually some of the first responders, we may be somewhat overbearing sometimes but it all comes with a good heart and a want to help.
Just saying.... my Monday thought and because some of us live in Countries that have free speech... go right ahead and disagree.
Saturday, June 4, 2011
Look at what appeared in my mailbox Thursday.
A beautiful carved Scotty pin made from the horn of a Scottish cow.
How absolutely darling is this Little Square Black Dog.
Hamish is jealous, Watson is intrigued. . .
I am tickled pink ! ! !
Thank You, Eryl what a super surprise.
When do you have the time to write, eat, sleep let alone shop you are so
busy ! Are you breathing now that school is over ?
Small packages found in the mailbox from across the pond are extra
special and most appreciated.
thrilled. . . parsnip
music. . . Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds, The Beatles
Wednesday, June 1, 2011
Today is my Mother's Birthday.
Her parents named her Dolly because when she was born everyone thought
she looked just like a doll.
I have written before about what a fabulous person and mum she was.
From her gardening skills, she could put a dry stick in the ground
and I swear the next day it was green with blooms.
A wonderful cook and baker. I so miss eating her Polish dishes.
Embroidery and the sewing machine were her friends.
She was an account before she married and for all of her life she
wrote the most beautiful numbers.
But most of all she was my Mum, she loved and supported me and I miss
her so much.
daughter. . . parsnip
music . . . Hello Dolly, OST
My family lost everything in the huge fire that almost destroyed
Laguna Beach in 1993.
One of the few things I grabbed before we were engulfed in the
firestorm that was raining down on us was my Mother's Bible.
Thank goodness I had four old photos in the bible and this was one of
them. The only photo I have of my mother.