31 December 2017

O is for Old Town Artisans ~

As we continue on our Alphabet Tour of Tucson, we come to Day 6 of MY FAVORITE THINGS so we are looking at things that begin with the letter O

Old Town Artisans is absolutely one of the most charming shopping areas in Tucson. It is a collection of historic homes and other buildings all linked together to provide an amazing historic perspective of Tucson highlighted with imaginative and whimsical artwork and other gift items. The complex also includes a Mexican cantina - a great place to celebrate New Year's Eve! HELLO 2018!

What are your favorite Tucson things that begin with the letter O

30 December 2017

Very special, very magical - Valley of the Moon!

If you have been following us, we are now on Day 5 of our Alphabet Tour of Tucson with MY FAVORITE THINGS and we are exploring the Tucson treasures that start with the letter V. 

Valley of the Moon is a magical and fun place and if you have never visited it (or even heard of it), don't be surprised. It is actually not that well known by Tucson residents. It shouldn't be a secret, though. It is wonderful! If you want to escape from the real world for a little while, visiting the Valley of the Moon will definitely touch your heart. It is enchanting! 

What are YOUR favorite places in Tucson that begin with V?

29 December 2017

A is for "Arizona Inn Bar" ~

Here we are on Day 4 of the Alphabet Tour of MY FAVORITE THINGS in Tucson which brings us to the letter A. For me the Arizona Inn comes to mind and especially their bar area and patio. So nice all year round! Having a drink in the library when the Christmas tree is displayed is a Tucson tradition. 

What are YOUR favorite Tucson things that begin with the letter A? Tell us! 

28 December 2017

Restored Art Deco Treasure - the Fox!

Continuing on Day 3 of our Alphabet Tour of MY FAVORITE THINGS in Tucson brings us to the letter F and the fabulous Fox Theatre! Saved by a dedicated team of historic preservationists with vision, the Fox is one of downtown Tucson's most wonderful venues for music and film. Read its amazing story here

What are your favorite Tucson places that start with an F? Fourth Avenue? Flandreau? Tell us!

27 December 2017

Tranquility from the other side of the world ~

Today is the 2nd day of the Alphabet Tour of Tucson Treasures! We are exploring the Y of MY FAVORITE THINGS and this takes us to the enchanting Yume Japanese Gardens. 

Now that Christmas has passed and New Year's is just around the corner you might like to have a place to just breathe and relax for a moment. Enjoy a simple time of quiet. Yume Gardens offers you that kind of peace. Lovely! 

What are your favorite Tucson things that begin with the letter Y? Tell us!

26 December 2017

An Alphabet Round up of Tucson Treasures ~

I know that Christmas is over but there are still treasures to unwrap! For the next few weeks I will be taking visitors on an "Alphabet Tour" of Tucson as I illustrate the letters of MY FAVORITE THINGS.

Today is M (for My) and I introduce you to the amazing Mini Time Machine Museum. This is an astonishing Tucson treasure and you can learn more about it here

What are YOUR favorite Tucson things that begin with the letter MMount Lemmon? Maynard's? Tell us!

25 December 2017

Did you know Santa is from Tucson?

He may live on the North Pole, but the Santa that we all know and love was created by Haddon Sundblom right here in Tucson! Click here for the story.  Merry Christmas to all! Have a wonderful holiday! 

24 December 2017

Tucson Style "T'was the Night Before...."

This wonderful image and poem is here with huge thanks to Kate Mura, a site follower and friend who lives up in the cold north country! As a matter of fact, I KNOW that Kate is dreaming of a Tucson Christmas!   (:

The Noche Before Christmas
'Twas the noche before Christmas and all through la casa,
not a creature was stirring – Caramaba! Que Pasa?

The niƱos were tucked away in their camas,
some in vestidos and some in pijamas.

While hanging the stockings con much cuidado,
in hopes that old Santa would feel obligado.

To bring all children both buenos y malos,
a nice patch of dulces and otros regalos.

Outside in the yard there arose such a grito,
that I jumped to my feet like a frightened cabrito.

I run to the window and looked out afuera,
and who in the world do you think that it era?

Saint Nick in a sleigh and a big red sombrero,
came dashing along like a crazy bombero.

And pulling his sleigh instead of venados,
were eight tiny burros approaching velados.

I watched as they came and this quaint little hombre,
was shouting and whistling and calling by nombre,

"Ay Pancho, ay Pepe, ay Cuco, ay Beto,
Ay Chato, a Chopo, ay Macuco, y Nieto!"

Then standing erect with his hands on his pecho,
he flew to the top of our own techo.

With his round little belly like a bowl of jalea,
he struggled to squeeze down our chiminea.

Then huffing and puffing at last in our sala,
With soot spread all over his red suit de Gala.

He filled all the stockings with lovely regalos,
because none of the children had been very malos.

Then chuckling aloud and seeming muy contento,
he turned like a flash and was gone like the viento.

And I heard him exclaim, and this is verdad,
Merry Christmas to all, and Feliz Navidad!

23 December 2017

Whoooo's Your Santa?

One of my witty neighbors turned a cut tree limb into an owl by simply adding a pair of eyes. Then, add a Santa hat and - VOILA - Santa Owl! Cute and fun! 

22 December 2017

Sparkling Cactus ~

I know that "sparkling" isn't a common description for cactus but this Organ Pipe Cactus at Tohono Chul Park was illuminated brilliantly with green shimmering lights - gorgeous!  

21 December 2017

Enchanting Music Under the Stars, Part 2 ~

Tohono Chul Park's Festival of Lights had something delightful at every turn. Here is another live music performance. This is Kathy Acosta Zavala & friends. They were a delight to listen to! 

20 December 2017

Enchanting Music Under the Stars ~

Tohono Chul Park's Festival of Lights featured live music, hot cocoa, and countless twinkling lights. It was a magical evening! Here is the DeGrazia Band performing in one of the courtyard areas. 

18 December 2017

Southwest Snowman ~

In Tucson you can make a pretty great snowman with just a bush and some lights! If you want to have a beautiful stroll around and enjoy holiday lights, Tohono Chul offers a lovely light display and live music, food, and drinks as well! Here is a Southwestern Snowman complete with Mexican sombrero. Feliz Navidad!  

17 December 2017

Cold weather alert!

We are having some cold weather - yes I mean COLD by Tucson standards anyway! It's dipping into the 30's and 40's at night. Here is what the cold front looked like as it approached Tucson. Looks pretty menacing, doesn't it? Brrrrr!
Photo courtesy of Hazell Kotel.

16 December 2017

Traditional AZ Inn Holiday House ~

Every year the pastry chef at the Arizona Inn creates a miniature Inn that is displayed in the lobby. I don't know if it is actually a real gingerbread house or cake that is edible but it is certainly charming! In years past the stucco has sometimes been an alarming orange color so I am delighted that this year's house actually LOOKS like the adobe pink of the Inn. Happy holidays! 

15 December 2017

Wintery Window ~

Here is another seasonal shop window on Tucson's 4th Avenue. Lots of imagery from the Day of the Dead celebration (Dia de los Muertos) mixes with a simple little white-lit tree.
Photo courtesy of Susan Dodson. 

14 December 2017

Throwback Thursday - Enduring Magic at the Library!

14 DECEMBER 2010

Tucson's Library Plaza ~

These columns surrounding the main library plaza downtown are not at all remarkable during the day but at night - wow - the glow is beautiful. Lovely strings of blue lights create a Christmas tree on the south side of the plaza.
The library plaza is once again decorated and turns into something glowing and magical at night! 

13 December 2017

Watercolor Sky - Wow!

Tucson is famous for its fabulous sunsets and should be equally noted for its gorgeous sunrises as well! Here are two morning images that paint the sky with delicate watercolor strokes of peach and gold and purple. Stunning!
Photos courtesy of Kathi Gardner. 

12 December 2017

Tucson Jewish Trivia ~

Happy Hanukkah! Today on Tucson Trivia Tuesday I want to share some early Tucson Jewish history. Tucson built the first synagogue in the Southwest in 1910 as a result of the fundraising of the Jewish women in the community who held events such as the Purim Ball. As you can see on this postcard, it was called "The Jewish Church" and for a time it held its services on Sundays. Interesting! 

11 December 2017

My what big ears you have!

Spotted in a shop window on 4th Avenue appears to be the ghost of Rudolph! Check out that red nose and his ghostly body. But what's the deal with those ears?? They look like he borrowed Dumbo's ears in the afterlife!
Photo courtesy of Susan Dodson.

10 December 2017

Toby, a Tucson Wild Thing ~

Everyone who has been to downtown Tucson has seen Toby, the fantastic 12' tall Griffin who guards Scott Avenue just south of Broadway. But do you know about the footprints? Legend has it that there were griffin sculpture decorating the Carnegie Library (now the Children's Museum) and one escaped. The lion and eagle footprints are visible in the sidewalk. Fun! 

09 December 2017

Stealing from children ~

Ah.... each year one of the holiday highlights for me is the party that my boss hosts at his home. We have a Yankee Trader gift exchange where everyone is encouraged to steal gifts from the children! It's all in good fun and the noise level (laughter + children + alcohol) is HIGH. And so is the fun level! Happy holidays to everyone! 

08 December 2017

Baking for the holidays?

If your holiday baking includes baking for your pets, here is one of my favorite recipes for pumpkin dog treats. Your dogs will LOVE these!

Dianne’s Delicious Dog Treats
1 can of canned pumpkin (15oz)
4 T molasses
4 T water
2T vegetable oil
2 cups whole wheat flour
¼ tsp baking soda
¼ tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon (DO NOT use nutmeg as a substitute)


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Mix pumpkin, molasses, vegetable oil, and water together in a bowl.
Add flour, baking soda, baking powder, and cinnamon to mixture.
Stir until dough softens.
Scoop out small spoonsful of dough and roll into balls on your hands (wet hands work best).
Set the balls onto a lightly greased cookie sheet and flatten with a fork.
Bake approximately 25 minutes until dough is hardened.


07 December 2017

Glowing Flowers ~

07 DECEMBER 2010

Tucson's beautiful night lights ~

THEN: Just wanted to post one more photo from the Tucson Botanical Gardens' Luminaria Festival ~ here are glass beads designed by local artist/landscape designer Margaret Joplin. These beautiful glowing "flowers" are glass beads and were inserted into the ground at the festival. I don't know if they are a permanent installation at the Gardens but they were lovely!
NOW: The Botanical Gardens has continued this Luminaria Festival and this weekend is the final weekend for it. Want more info? Click here

06 December 2017

Frosty the Party Animal!

Who knew that Frosty enjoys wine for the holidays?  A quirk of the angle of this photo captures Frosty juggling/holding a few bottles of wine. Actually there is a piece of fun yard art behind him that is made of wine bottles and pipes. Don't believe everything that you see!!!  (:

05 December 2017

Squirrel Mail!

You've heard of Gmail so here we're announcing SquirrelMail!  It's time to get your letters written to Santa. What do YOU want for Christmas? 

04 December 2017

03 December 2017

Sweetest Part of Christmas ~

Today at the Alliance Francaise's Holiday Market there was a choral concert featuring "Les Petits." This was so wonderful and charming! All of the chorus wore little reindeer hats! Merry Christmas to all!

02 December 2017

Tucson's French Market - TODAY!

TODAY is the annual Alliance Francaise's Holiday Market from 11 am -2pm. 

The Alliance Francaise Tucson is located in the Junior League Bldg at
2099 E River Road (just off Campbell on the north side of the street). 

To eat French food!  To shop for treasures! To help support the Alliance Francaise of Tucson! 

This is the annual Alliance Francaise Tucson Christmas Market and you can eat authentic French food, hear an angelic children's choir, and get a lot of your holiday shopping out of the way -- all while you support the Alliance, a nonprofit organization! 

This Market is the annual fundraising event and everyone is invited to come and eat and shop and speak a little French (only if you want to!).  

This year's market features dozens of Christmas tree ornaments (many priced as low as $1.50!), holiday decor, vintage signed watercolor prints of Paris, handmade jewelry, Limoges china, beautiful desk accessories and stationery, Nutcrackers, vintage crystal tableware, platters, bowls, artwork, Vera Bradley items, Pier 1 merchandise, velvet wine gift bags, and more!

And did I say there will be one fabulous hand-made, one-of-a-kind QUILT for sale?

Did I mention FOOD - crepes and ratatouille French onion soup for sure?  Maybe pastries also? 

Come and enjoy French Fun and Food! 

01 December 2017

ONLY in Tucson! Who knew?

Until I saw this truck I had no idea that one could be a licensed, bonded, and insured fence company that specializes in rattlesnakes! And this one is the only one in Arizona! Hisssssssssssssss say the local rattlers!