Tuesday, September 21, 2010

21 bud salute

I am fascinated with things that are both lovely and dangerous at the same time.

A short list is as follows:







Scuba Diving


Datura- A flowering plant that is part of the potato family. Also a Nightshade. Highly toxic if ingested. Has been used for centuries in ritualistic settings and for healing. Also called Belladonna and if you get toxin on your hand and rub your eye, your pupils will be dilated for quite a long while. Women did this on purpose during some long ago time as a beauty enhancement.

The first time I saw a Datura, it was along side of the road one summer. I first noticed this fast growing vine that sprouted almost overnight. Right in a spot that a Javalina had been smashed the spring before.

Within about 15 days, it had HUGE white trumpet flowers, but they seem to wilt as soon as they blossomed.

I looked up the plant based on the description and became very interested in it. That was 10 years ago and until this July, I have been just content to spot one on occasion while travelling around.

This July found us in Elgin, AZ (wine country) for a 5K race that Keith and our youngest daughter were running in. There was Datura everywhere. So I begged Keith to dig me up a root to take home. We only had a butter knife that I snitched from the B & B. He did not cover his hands, but I made sure he washed them vigorously and I got rid of the knife.

I came home and put the bare root in the planter and within a few days, she came back to life.

She has blessed me with 21 little buds. She blossomed for the first time 2 nights ago, but that bloom did not even make it until morning.

These photos were taken last night around 7PM. She is trying to attract the Sphinx Moth for some sexy plant pillow talk, but she will also settle for a bat. I noticed today that our local hummingbird crew is very interested in her as well, but I have not seen them feeding.

This variety I have is a wild sort. Also called Jimsom Weed. But there are other more tropical colorful versions that I envy and will have once we move to Mexico.

A great fictional book to read that Datura has a leading roll in is Hot House Flower-9 plants of desire. It takes place mostly in the Yucatan and is entertaining. It wont rock your world with insight and knowledge, but it is exciting and easy.

That's all I have to say about that...

Friday, September 3, 2010

A one way ticket to Africa.

I have been a bit distracted for the last month or so.

Our youngest daughter (here she is at 10 years old, her birthday outfit. Taken from our home in Auke Bay, Alaska.) is on a flight right now to Africa. With a one way ticket.

She will be working and living at an orphanage for at least 3 weeks, but may stay longer.

This child is a work of art. God was in a very whimsical mood when He created her. Probably the same day He created Rainbows and Koala Bears.

At 25 years old, she has travelled most of the world and has owned her own business and home. She was born in Alaska, so she has that "why wouldn't I do that" sort of attitude.

However, this trip she is going solo. And that is both a moment for us to be proud and terrified.

She has spent the last 7 weeks with us here in Scottsdale preparing for this trip. Well, I have been preparing, she has been buying stuff and eating as much Taco Bell as she could.

Although the trip begins in Africa, she will go on to Prague for a month or more to take a course on teaching English as a foreign language and then to South Korea to teach. Or wherever her travelling feet (or wings) take her.

People love her. We love her.

So here's to you sweet child. May you see all there is to see in this great world. We miss and adore you.


(here she is this July in Elgin, Arizona. Wine Country, she has Keith ran a 5K race as a team for Keif-Joshue Vineyards)

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Dog Bite

Sorry. Its been way too long.

So, on July 16th I was bitten on the leg by a dog.

Bad. Like an attack. Ouch. Bled like a stuck pig.

Lots of shots and antibiotics over the next 30 days to follow.

Much better now.

Except for the new fear of dogs.

And bruises and scars.


I like cats much more now.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

El Camino Real y La Lucuna

I love to read. Most of my pleasure reading is centered around Mexico. This weekend I checked out 2 books from the library. This top one, The Royal Road is a beautiful picture and text book about the road between Mexico City as far North to Santa Fe. Very interesting and I learned a great deal. The photos are wonderful and the history is more exciting than fiction.

WARNING! Shameless photo of Gordy in the background being cute. He spends most of his leisure time on his back watching me read, cook and Blog.

The other book I read was The Lucuna, a Novel by Barbara Kingsolver. Interesting writing style and one of those books that contain fiction and fact. I call them Faction. " takes us on an epic journey from Mexico City of Artist Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo to the America of Pearl Harbor, FDR and J. Edgar Hoover, The Lacuna is a poignant story of a man pulled between 2 nations as they invent their modern identities." I loved this book and devoured it in 3 days.

This guy was in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Gordy pouted the rest of the day when he had to go inside while his catch made his escape.

The above books are excellent reads. Now I await notification from the Library that my other choices are ready to be picked up. Until then I surf the web gleaning what ever I can about the country of Mexico.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Tis the Season...

for baby quail that is.

This little guy was found by Gordy our cat on the patio late yesterday afternoon.

Gordy did not harm him, he was just watching and trying to smell him, but I understand at this age, they have no scent. Cats wont eat what they cannot smell. Good thing for this baby.

I put him in a box and went looking for the parents. We had the same thing happen last year and we were able to reunite the family.

2 hours passed without the parents making an appearance. Although this baby PEEP PEEPED like crazy, there was no answer.

We ended up taking him to the Quail Rescue lady just 5 miles west of us.

She said that "Pip Squeak" was less than 24 hours long and she put him in one of her many incubators.

There were hundreds of baby quail and many other birds there as well.

Peacocks, Killdeer, Love Birds, Dove and even a Conure. Amazing that she runs this place all on her own and as a volunteer.

Lots of babies get separated from their folks right now. She raises them until they are able to go it on their own and then releases them.

She does a a few adults that are pets now and she takes them to schools and programs.

When we arrived, there were 2 other babies being dropped off as well.

I thought Gordy found another one this morning, but rather he had found a HUGE lizard that I wanted to survive, so I snatched the cat up and he is pouting inside now.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

My Mexican Grill

Well Dang, it's been a while.

I wish I could say that I have been soooo busy that I have not had anytime to write. Actually I just have not a lot to say.

Although I have been to Mexico and I have lots of those photos and memories, I have yet to organize an original thought how to Blog about it.

I could also write about the new Senate Bill 1070 here in Arizona and suspect that I would get lots of feedback.

You can read it here

I have read the law. I support the law. Nuf said.

Anyway, while in Nayarit last month, I was fortunate to spend a few days in remote locations that had me grilling on rustic stone and brick charcoal grills. I fell in love.

So being the most wonderful husband in the world, my husband offered to build me one.

When we moved onto this acre property in Scottsdale Arizona, it had lots of brick and rock around, so we gathered up some and made the below grill.

I tested it tonight by grilling a bacon wrapped fillet Mignon. The natural oak charcoal heats up quick, cooks evenly and has a nice earthy flavor.

I have not forgotten that I need to continue my story on how we first purchased ocean front property in Mexico back in the 90's and came to the hard decision to sell it. It's a heart breaker and will take some noodling for me to put together.

I the mean time, I am happy with my little piece of Mexico in my backyard.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Memories of Mexico. Travel with parents

4AM in Scottsdale and it is raining just a little. We get 2 miles down the road, and it's a bit harder. Keith says "it will let up in a bit" now we are I-10, and it is raining harder than I have ever seen. 18 wheel trucks doing 80 miles an hour in the dark, in the rain. We have to keep up or be hit from the rear. I am so tense that every muscle in my body is burning. I decide that once we stop in Tucson to fuel up and to pick up a package from a friend to take down to his son in San Carlos, that I will refuse to get back into the car until it is either light out or the rain stops. My prayers are answered and both happen while we are stopped in Tucson.

Our first stop is at Immigration. My parents are so excited to get their first FMT. I explain that they had one before when we all went to Troncones years ago, but filling out one on your flight and actually doing one in a Mexican Office is all together different.

One of the first things we did once we got into San Carlos was eat. This is Rosa's Cantina. Nice place and OK prices. We have noticed that prices are pretty high in San Carlos. Similar to prices in Phoenix. But we were not there to pinch pennies, we were there to show my parents a good time and for them to feel safe about the possibility of bringing their Motor coach down for a month or 2 next year.

This is the Pearl Farm in Guaymas. This is an interesting tour and only took about 1 hour. The pearls they harvest are a beautiful color. They implant 250 thousand oysters every year and only yield about 4 thousand for sale.

This is on the way up to the Mirador. San Carlos is so lovely. It reminds me a lot of how Cabo San Lucas must have looked before all the US Dollars started flowing there.

Doing a little Pilates/Yoga move up at the Mirador.

Keith holding some pearl oysters. The oysters have to be cleaned 5 times per year and will not be harvested for 4 years. Lots of work. Little return.

Ok, So we thought it would be fun to rent a Rhino for the day and go exploring into locations that I did not want to take my car. It was fun. And... we thought it would be funny to take a photo of Mom and Dad going through a puddle. We all thought the water would go to the sides. With no wind screen on the Rhino, that water went right in. My Mom was covered in cow pee muddy water. Yuck. And it was a bit chilly out. But, she is a real trooper and did not complain. Well, until we couldn't get the stains out of her pretty pink sweatshirt. No fear! I used my Mexican "Zote" soap and some elbow grease and her shirt is as good as new. No more brown smelly marks.

This is the public beach entry on the Caracol. Small beach and probably one of the most northern points you will find Coconut Palms in Mexico.

Our last meal in Mexico. A road side taco stand on the south end of Santa Ana. Boy, let me tell you what happens when 4 gringos pull up in a Lexus. We get charged triple the going rate. My fault for not asking the price to begin with. So anyway, we paid $22.00 USD for 12 tiny tacos and 2 cokes. We should have gone to the same Burrito stand we always do just North of Magdalena. We got 4 LARGE Bistek burros with 2 cokes and a coffee all for under $9.00 USD.
Oh well. Sometimes you just have to let things drop.