31 December 2016

It's not called Puck Off ~

Did you know that Tucson has its own new hockey team?  Yep, the Roadrunners.  And even though the start of a football game is a KICK OFF and the start of a basketball game is a TIP OFF, the start of a hockey game is NOT a PUCK OFF. It's called the Puck Drop. Go figure! 

30 December 2016

Sounds like a simple recipe!

If you don't know Batch, you should check it out! Their specialties include doughnuts, whiskey, and.... whiskey soup! Killer grilled cheese and great deviled eggs! I love this place. 

29 December 2016

Tucson on this day in 2009 - Much is the same!

29 DECEMBER 2009

Secret Santa Saguaros ~

Christmas is over but Santa hasn't quite left the area yet... check out these enormous saguaros and their festive Santa hats!

28 December 2016

No Trifling Matter ~

When it comes to Trifle, the English don't fool around! Soak your pound cake or lady fingers in sherry or rum or brandy and add some jam, pudding, and whipped cream in beautiful layers. Top it with fruit. Enjoy! And here is my beautiful friend Valerie with her beautiful creation! Oh boy! Yum!

27 December 2016

Wait until New Year's Day!

If you are thinking about starting a diet -- don't do it! At least don't do it until you try the Cinnamon Roll Griddle Cakes at Nook! Oh my, my, my..... and that little cup on the plate? Yep, Warm syrup. YUM!

26 December 2016


Shhhhh....Santa is taking a well-earned rest after his long night of work! Hope you are getting a bit of a rest today, too! 

25 December 2016

Wishing you a wonderful day!

Sending warm wishes your way from Tucson, AZ. This lighted sign inside "Nook" restaurant says it all. I hope that you are enjoying your day with people you love. Merry Christmas and Happy Hanukkah! 

24 December 2016

Reindeer herd? I don't think so!

Those hoof marks are not from Rudolph and his gang.... my front yard was hit by my local javelina herd. They usually arrive between 2-4am and they tramp around in my front yard snacking on whatever they want. Mostly they munch a bite or two and leave. Unfortunately my beautiful (and NEW) Sweet Pea plant caught their collective fancy. The family herd ate ALL of my plant and drove my 2 dogs crazy. Not only did the herd eat every bite of my plant, they left a mess! Not quite the present I was hoping for to be left on my doorstep!

23 December 2016

Our VERY merry office!

Every year we enjoy a wonderful tradition at our office just before Christmas. One of our coworkers prepares a traditional German Feuerzangenbowle! It is a dramatic and delicious flaming beverage. That white cone you see to the left is solid sugar and it is soaking in rum prior to being ignited and immersed in the brew. Yum! Cheers! It is similar to Gluhwein but I think it packs a lot more wallop! Click here for the recipe and a video! To your health!

22 December 2016

Panda versus Snowman!

Watch this adorable 1-minute video! This epic battle is not in Tucson (it's at the Toronto Zoo) but it is definitely cute enough to share. Guaranteed to make you smile! Enjoy! Who will be the victor in this battle between Cute Panda and Frosty the Snowman?

21 December 2016

Need a quick & delicious cookie recipe?

The BIG DAY is just a few days away! No time left to bake? Need a quick and delicious recipe that will be easy? Here is one of my favorite cookie recipes that will take you no time at all!

 Dianne’s Delicious, No-Bake 
Rum Ball Cookies
1 cup crushed Vanilla wafer cookies
1 cup confectioner’s sugar
1 cup finely chopped nuts (walnuts or pecans are particularly good)
3 Tablespoons cocoa powder (I use dark!)
2 Tablespoons Karo syrup (the clear one, not the dark one)
¼ cup rum or bourbon
½ cup granulated sugar for rolling

Combine dry ingredients.
Add liquids and mix well.
Refrigerate until dough is thick enough to shape. Shape 1” balls and roll in sugar and/or additional nuts.
Makes 24 cookies

NOTE: You can also roll them in cocoa, confectioner’s sugar, or coconut! Use anything you like – they are always yummy!

20 December 2016

The WORST or the WEIRDEST? Or both?

Are you fretting over your holiday gift list? Is there someone on there who "has everything?" I really doubt that they have THESE - grass flip flops made here in Tucson by the Tucson Botanical Gardens folks. Yep, I thought they were just awful but my friend thought they were kind of cool. Thoughts?

19 December 2016

Festive Foal!

This is one of my all time favorite pieces of public art/sculpture in Tucson! A grazing mare and her sweet foal reside in the median on Houghton Road just north of Old Spanish Trail. And you have to love that someone gave the little foal a Santa hat!!! Artist team was Lauri Slenning, Ben Olmstead, and Simon Donovan. 

18 December 2016

Little Inn on the Table...

Not only is the giant live tree a feature every year at the Arizona inn, but also they do a "mini" Inn. I don't know if the mini Arizona Inn is edible gingerbread but it is a sweet version of the Inn decorated with candies. It is displayed in the lobby. Some years the creator(s) add whimsical touches but this year it seems like a pretty straightforward copy. EXCEPT.... this year (just like the last few years) I wish they would tone down the icing! If only they looked more closely at the actual Inn they could see that the stucco is not orange! The exterior is pinkish orange. Jeez. Anyway, it's a fun feature to admire. 

17 December 2016

Tucson's favorite tree ~

The Arizona Inn is well known for its beautiful tree that is set up every year in the library. I learned this year that sometimes they actually have to have TWO trees as the height and size of the beautiful specimen is sometimes too big to keep properly hydrated. So they have to haul their scaffolding out again to UN-decorate the dried out tree and then decorate the replacement! Quite a feat! 

16 December 2016

Tucson's night sky ~

I think that all full moons are pretty spectacular but this one has a beautiful halo around it to add a wisp of mystery.
Photo courtesy of Ken Wilcox. 

15 December 2016

The Two Fridas ~

Currently on display at the Tucson Botanical Gardens is a wonderful exhibit that combines art, sculpture, and gardening:  Frida Kahlo - Art, Garden, Life.  One of the most interesting pieces is this paper sculpture of "The Two Fridas" by Mexican artist Humberto Spindola. The image below is the painting that inspired the sculpture.
Photo courtesy of Susan Dodson. 

14 December 2016

Gotta love those grapefruit!

The Tucson Botanical Gardens were bequeathed their current main buildings and grounds by the Porter Family whose former private residence now forms the Porter Art Gallery and other staff offices. This Mission nativity scene from the archives is on display every year. The Porters created this holiday scene almost entirely from cardboard -- what a great family project. The tower domes are grapefruit halves!  Fun!
Photo courtesy of Susan Dodson.

13 December 2016

Brighten your spirits ~

Every year the Tucson Botanical Gardens puts on a winter festival called Luminaria Nights that turns the grounds into a magical garden. There are lights strung everywhere and wonderful live music that makes the stroll around really lovely. Here is their Christmas tree - huge and gorgeous!  This year there is also a feature in the art gallery: Frida Kahlo: Art, Garden, Life that adds another beautiful dimension to the event.
Photo courtesy of Susan Dodson.

12 December 2016

Sweet! And true!

I was shopping today at one of my favorite nurseries - Magic Garden. They are now selling local honey called, "Tucson Gold." Yum! 

11 December 2016

If you love to laugh, here's your place!

You just can't have more fun in Tucson than spending 5 bucks to go to the Unscrewed Theatre!  It is way more than just a night of comedy (family friendly!).  It is a nonprofit organization that also teaches improv classes. So, if you want to watch a group of fantastic comedians invent skits with audience plot input, you will love this! Yearning to get up on stage yourself? For some of the skits they ask for volunteers! FUN!  

10 December 2016

NOT just during the holidays!

I laughed when I saw this poster in the window of See's Candies in Tucson. So true for so many questions! Hope your holiday season has been sweet so far! 

09 December 2016

Christmas cat?

We had to wait a bit for our order to be delivered and our sushi chef sent this adorable cat (carved from an orange) to us as a thanks for our patience. Meow! Can't you just see the tail curled around the chin? Wonderful food art! 

08 December 2016

Reindeer Relative?


I'm not sure what is going on at my neighbor's house but today they unveiled this chicken wire GIRAFFE in their front yard! Yep, it's part of their Christmas display. So far, it has no lights affixed to it. I love the way it is nearly invisible - so stealthy! Fun! 

07 December 2016

Some sort of new sport?

This is a photo that really needs a caption! So here we have a dachshund created out of spare metal parts (that might be related to an old car or musical instrument!) and it looks like the dog is charging through a pair of saguaro goal posts. Ideas? Anybody?
Photo courtesy of David Sewell.

06 December 2016

Tucson isn't the only place this is happening!

Since I have an Aussie who is smart enough to do this and since it is the season, I thought I would share this sweet holiday joke with you. And perhaps the dog-name-password thing has a ring of truth to it in your household, hmmmm??

05 December 2016

In grand style ~

This enormous decorated beauty welcomes shoppers at La Encantada, the very nice shopping center north of Sunrise near Campbell. The center also offers fake snowfalls during the season so that you can properly get into the holiday spirit! 

04 December 2016

Very welcome winter visitors!

Hummers are welcome all year round at my house but I do seem to see more of them in the winter months when their flower nectar sources dry up and they visit my back yard feeders. These tiny beauties are astonishing to watch! Here is a beauty - a black chinned hummer. 
Photo courtesy of Ken Wilcox.

03 December 2016

Famous for good reason!

Tucson is famed for its sunsets and sunrises and here is just one beautiful example of why! This is a gorgeous sunrise over the Rincons. Good morning to you!
Photo courtesy of George Goldman.

02 December 2016

Ready for my close up, Mr. DeMille ~

This is the latest in a long line of noble mountain lions who have lived at the Desert Museum. The first was named "George L. Mountainlion" and he wrote a column for the Tucson newspaper! This fellow's name is "Cruz" -- a name chosen by the public for his moniker. Handsome! 

01 December 2016

Three little pigs -- well TWO little pigs, anyway!

This javelina family is part of a herd of bronze sculptures by Mark Rossi that are displayed on the Desert Museum's front patio. The little ones are called "reds." Some of Rossi's javelina were cast with piggy bank slots on their backs! FUN!   P.S. I know, I know... they are peccaries, not pigs!!