Friday, October 28, 2011

Sedona, AZ

Yesterday was another gorgeous day although the weather has turned a bit cooler after a storm blew through Wednesday night. It was a perfect day for a drive up to Sedona. Fiona did go along with us on the trip. I am just going to post photos... they say it all. The sky was really this blue. I have not touched up these photos... not a cloud in the sky.

Kissed by a frog?

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

A day at the Botanical Gardens

I had a very lovely call this past weekend from dear friends who decided that would spend some time in Arizona this week. The weather has been glorious so we decided to visit the Botanical Gardens. Phoenix has one of the largest cacti and succulent collections anywhere and it is exhibited in beautiful settings. We also visited the Butterfly house. This is the season the Monarch butterflies make their annual Migration down to Mexico. We saw a bunch while we were in Mobile, Alabama last week as well. The ones we are seeing here in the Phoenix area are actually migrating down from Oregon. It takes one generation to migrate south but 4 generations to migrate back up north.

Blogger isn't playing nicely. Try the link to see the pictures, sorry.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Tuesday in Mobile, Al

This mornings activity was play time. We were given large sheets of tar paper and paints and "hazmat" suits! We were to do some sea creature. I am not a painter but had some fun none the less. Fiona was trying to give me directions while I worked on my fish. After we were all through the piece was sealed with shellac for us. I wish I had used some lighter colors in the background. The finished piece (which I have not photographed) came out rather dark. There were extra suits so I brought some home to use in my dye studio.
Melinda Sapp and me

We all had fun. I am thinking of perhaps trying this technique out on heavier tar paper and sealing both front and back and using it for a runner or small mat on the floor. I think a nice geometric pattern would not be beyond my talents.

Across from the arts center was this wild and wacky house built by one of the local artists, Dean Mosher and his father in law, Craig Sheldon. It reminds me of a house that should be occupied by hobbits or some fantastical mythical creatures. The outside is really a hoot. Embedded in the outside cement is all manner of weird stuff... wine bottles, broken pottery, and anything that most of us would have thought to throw out. The inside is not quite so fantastical as the outside but has some wonderful woodwork and metal work. While it is fun to look at, it would not be a place I would be comfortable living. It has too much going on.
 Lunch was at a local private marina that was decimated in hurricane Katrina and completely rebuilt. After lunch we were let loose shopping. I found some wonderful artsy clothes at a local boutique including this colorful vest... It was very windy that evening... and no, I was not wearing a cat suit.

Dinner was a typical southern style barbeque with all sorts of fried seafood... deadly for my diet. ( I somehow managed not to gain any weight on this trip). The following morning was free before we headed home and I hit the gym and treadmill.

Fiona is playing catch up!

This is going to be the first of a series of catch up blogs today. Monday...
The Mardi Gras Museum was really mouth dropping. Some of the costumes were beyond the imagination. It takes almost a year to create the outfits for the King and Queen and the costs can be well over $100,000.00 for each. Each person who participates is a volunteer and pays their own way. The trains are about 18 feet long and can weigh upwards of 150 lbs! Can you imagine schlepping one of those on your back? Mardi Gras originated in Mobile, Alabama before New Orleans. The industry created by the festivities is the main financial support for the area. It brings in about 3 billion dollars a year. Our next stop was at the headquarters of the Order of Myths... one of the top secret societies that participates in Mardi Gras. This is a male only bastion but we were allowed inside. Most people don't even know where the building is it is so secret.
Our next stop was lunch at a place called Seven Gables. It is a large Greek Revival Seaside Cottage overlooking the Mobile Bay. Cottage is a rather large misnomer in this case. This is the lovely veranda as you enter the house. The house is decorated with traditional antiques and is owned by a rather eccentric older couple who while not the original owners, might as well have been. We were greeted by the lady of the house who we noticed had green hands. The story is that one of the members of the staff got over zealous with some weed killer and killed off much of the grass by the entry to the house upon which we were to tread. The mistress then used some green Rit dye to touch up the color on the grass!
This is the rear of the "cottage".  It sits on a rather high bluff overlooking the bay and is quite the piece of property.
Lunch was a boxed affair I could have easily lived without but Fiona did seem to enjoy her traditional sweet tea out on the back porch. The weather was lovely.

Our next stop was a Greek Orthodox family church which was built in the late 1960's. It has some lovely stained glass windows.
That pretty much took care of the days activities. Evening was a fancy dinner but Fiona was tuckered out so she didn't go. I forgot to bring my camera to take pictures of the lovely Southern Belles in traditional dress with the huge hoop skirts and bonnets and umbrella's.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Fiona can get used to resort life

She got up early and took a stroll on the beach then indulged me as I hit the treadmill. We went for a walk after and saw a gorgeous blue heron. ... And then watched as another one caught its dinner.
There were lots of butterflies enjoying I the flowers. Lunch was a casual affair outside but Fiona was jealous of my raspberry chocolitini. Ned was hard at work.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Fiona is off again

Well Fiona didn't get much rest this week before starting to rack up those frequent flyer miles again. This time she is off to Mobile, AL with a change of planes in Houston. Poor thing didn't even have a chance to pick up a new outfit!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Waiting at Newark airport

Fiona and I are enjoying a surprisingly good hamburger while waiting for the flight back to Phoenix. She is eating the fries..with her figure she can afford them. At the moment it looks like the flight will be on time.

Getting my last Will fix before heading home...

I hate leaving. Will is such a good baby.
I am stealing an idea from Jamie Fingal....I liked her idea of using Barbie when she traveled. Meet Fiona. Will doesn't quite know what to make of her. She is saying goodbye to will as well.
I had a great time and am sad I have to leave my daughter and grandson. Love you all!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Another fun day

My trip east has been a lot of fun. Today I had the pleasure of meeting up with Norma Schlager and we went to The Museum of Arts and Design (MAD) on Columbus Circle. The weather was gorgeous and everyone and their uncle was out in force.....the bikers, the skateboarders, the runners, and of course the ubiquitous horse and buggies. The museum was in the middle of some new installations simony part of it was open. We saw a wonderful jewelry exhibit and one called Flora and Fauna which included some lovely art quilts including one by Jane Sassaman. What fun to have someone we recognized. The only other thing open was an artists studio and all I can say is what fun we had. The artist is Patrice Yourdon and she has a thing for screws.

We spent a lovely time talking to her. Unfortunately she doesn't have a website.
We then had lunch up in the restaurant and had a good chuckle this morning. Somehow Norma and I got back each others credit cards. They were both black and since we had the same thing for lunch the amounts were the same. Priority mail, here we come!
We had some time to kill before we headed for our respective trains so we walked across the street to the Time Warner building which houses a bunch of upscale shops. This is one of the very large sculptures that sits in the lobby....
Reminds me of a Botero...there is a female to match but she doesn't garner as much attention!

Will about to eat his first rice cereal

He is sooooo cute.

Friday, October 7, 2011

What a greeting!

Ok, so I am loving being a grandma...I am sure it helps that Will is a cheerful and happy baby. This is the big grin I got this morning...makes my day.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Tidbits from today

Will is the cutest...he doesn't stop moving for a second and He is all smiles.

Today I met up with Rayna Gillman and we went into Manhattan. Our initial plan was to go to the memorial park at Ground Zero. It turns out you need tickets and you have to reserve them weeks in advance. We went anyway hoping we could get some last minute. Luck wasn't with us.

We took the PATH from Newark to the World Trade center. This lovely mural greeted us as we exited.

We managed to see a corner of one of the waterfalls from the pedestrian bridge. Thankfully I now have some new memories to replace the scenes of horror.

The weather was glorious so we decided to just walk around. Here are some shots of the Occupy Wall Street. Every news station was there.

And a few blocks away....

I love all the old art deco buildings. They have such charm. Here is a small bronze plaque above a doorway.

A bit further up Broadway is City Hall Park. We got excited as there was a structural art exhibit installation. This was the first sight that treated us.

Our excitement was short lived. The rest of it looked very similar to a bunch of white stackable boxes you would get at IKEA.

The afternoon passed rather quickly and it was time to go home. I invited Rayna back for dinner and to meet my daughter and grandson. It was a good day.