Apr 22, 2010

Living Outdoors...Tucson Happy Hours!

APRIL IN TUCSON...THE BEST TIME OF YEAR
Here in Tucson April is the best month of the whole winter season.  We simply move almost everything outdoors and revel in the joy of it all.
Our life revolves around our neighbors and friends when we head south in the fall.  The park fills to the brim while we dance, play and read.  Then, about April 1st the exodus begins and we are left with just a select few hardy souls.  This group seems to be getting much younger and a lot more active.  The pickle ball courts and the tennis courts are busy.  People bicycle past continually and those few remaining neighbors visit in the middle of the street and drop in to see each other.  Our lives become more focused.  We simply love it.
Montana Avenue Decor (very similar to Tucson Restaurant)
Old Pueblo Grill patio!

LIVING OUTDOORS...HAPPY HOUR!
This week we have enjoyed Happy Hour at a place called Montana Avenue on Grant here in East Tucson.  The outdoor patio is very nice plus I love the decorating shop next door.  We have entertained outdoors and sunned early in the morning on what we call our Secret Garden Patio...situated beside the street in plain view of everyone that walks by.  I know, we are a little nuts.  But our table and umbrella give the feel of a garden even though the location is a little wonky.  I have moved most of the potted plants around to this side of the park model so it is very colorful.
Last week we drove over to the Old Pueblo Grill near Randolph Golf Course on Alvernon where we ate outside on their beautiful patio.  The setting was lovely and the air was warm.  (My shrimp was overdone but their Mac and Cheese is some of the best in town.)
Bamboo Club Asian Bistro
This evening my husband and I drove over to the Park Mall on Broadway where we enjoyed happy hour at the Bamboo Club.  They have a lovely outdoor patio that is protected from the breeze and sun.  It is cold today so we chose to sit indoors.  The food there was excellent.  We ordered drinks, coconut shrimp, crisp green beans and pot stickers.  We were both very full.  Cost?  $25.00.  The restaurant is beautiful and has been in the same location for many years so they are well established and the operation runs very smoothly.  I think it might be one of my favorites this year.   
CLOSING IT UP
Next week we will close the park model up and go back to Oregon.  Insulation will go in the windows; food will all be eaten or put in a safe place.  We will leave the bed clean and wash all the towels so when we return in the fall we can return to our second home and feel comfortable immediately.  Living in Style can be lots of fun!

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Apr 20, 2010

Living with a mobility issue...Honda U3X People Mover

Honda U3-X
Honda has come out with a spectacular new people mover called Honda U3-XThis device, so far as I can see, is the compact version of a Segway.   When Segway came out with the transportation device several years ago, it was a wonderful breakthrough for moving people from one spot to the next while going up stairs and over rough terrain without fear of falling.  This device has been adapted for golfing and even out door excursions.

Segway
The Honda device has overcome the bulk of the Segway and brought it to smaller spaces indoors as well as outdoors with style and beauty.  On their media page they had this to say:
"The race toward sustainable mobility is moving car companies in odd and unexpected directions. For example, Honda today unveiled the U3-X, a compact electric personal mobility device that fits between the rider’s legs to provide movement forward, backward, side-to-side, and diagonally." (I loved the side-to-side part)
When you watch the You Tube video you can get a much better image of what the device can really do.  I was very impressed.  One cannot help but think that this device may have applications for older people in their homes.  A commenter on the You Tube website said, "The good thing about this is it's compactness and usability. It could also be used by people who have lost their legs to IEDs, or to complement if not completely replace prosthetics"  I had to agree. 

b

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Apr 18, 2010

Trailer Park Humor

I live in a RV Resort in the winter...this is a funny tee shirt I think we might all wear.  We may be old but like a swarm of killer bees, we can be lethal.  From a site called BeezKneez

The Stewardess Announcement! Humor from HAVING FUN WITH ENGLISH!

Fixed-wing aircraftImage via Wikipedia
I found a blog yesterday while I was looking for the source of something I had received in an email.  The person writing this blog knows FUNNY when they see it.  Here is a piece from the Have Fun with English blog.  Enjoy!

THE STEWARDESS ANNOUNCEMENT

The "I was flying to San Francisco from Seattle this weekend, and the flight attendant, reading the flight safety information, had the whole plane looking at each other like "what the heck?" (Getting Seattle people to look at each other is an accomplishment.) So once we got airborne, I took out my laptop and typed up what she said so I wouldn't forget. I've left out a few parts, I'm sure, but this is most of it."

(BEFORE TAKE-OFF)


Hello, and welcome to Alaska Flight 438 to San Francisco. If you're going to San Francisco, you're in the right place. If you're not going to San Francisco, you're about to have a really long evening. We'd like to tell you now about some important safety features of this aircraft. The most important safety feature we have aboard this plane is ...... The Flight Attendants. Please look at one now.


There are five exits aboard this plane: two at the front, two over the wings, and one out the plane's rear end. If you're seated in one of the exit rows, please do not store your bags by your feet. That would be a really bad idea. Please take a moment and look around and find the nearest exit.


Count the rows of seats between you and the exit. In the event that the need arises to find one, trust me, you'll be glad you did. We have pretty blinking lights on the floor that will blink in the direction of the exits. White ones along the normal rows, and pretty red ones at the exit rows.


In the event of a loss of cabin pressure, these baggy things will drop down over your head. You stick it over your nose and mouth like the flight attendant is doing now. The bag won't inflate, but there's oxygen there, I promise. If you are sitting next to a small child, or someone who is acting like a small child, please do us all a favour and put on your mask first. If you are traveling with two or more children, please take a moment now to decide which one is your favourite. Help that one first and then work your way down.


In the seat pocket in front of you is a pamphlet about the safety features of this plane. I usually use it as a fan when I'm having my own personal summer. It makes a very good fan. It also has pretty pictures. Please take it out and play with it now.


Please take a moment now to make sure your seat belts are fastened low and tight about your hips. To fasten the belt, insert the metal tab into the buckle. To release, it's a pulley thing -- not a pushy thing like your car, because you're in an airplane -- HELLO.


There is no smoking in the cabin on this flight. There is also no smoking in the lavatories. If we see smoke coming from the lavatories, we will assume you are on fire and put you out. This is a free service we provide. There are two smoking sections on this flight, one outside each wing exit. We do have a movie in the smoking sections tonight ... hold on, let me check what it is ... Oh here it is ... the movie tonight is "Gone With the Wind."


In a moment we will be turning off the cabin lights, and it's going to get really dark, really fast. If you're afraid of the dark, now would be a good time to reach up and press the yellow button. The yellow button turns on your reading light. Please don't press the orange button unless you absolutely have to. The orange button is your seat ejection button.


We're glad to have you with us on board this flight. Thank you for choosing Alaska Air, and giving us your business and your money. If there's anything we can do to make you more comfortable, please don't hesitate to ask.


If you all weren't strapped down you would have given me a standing ovation, wouldn't you?


(AFTER LANDING)


Welcome to the San Francisco International Airport. Sorry about the bumpy landing. It's not the Captain's fault. It's not the Co-pilot's fault. It's the Asphalt. Please remain seated until the plane is parked at the gate. At no time in history has a passenger beaten a plane to the gate. So please don't even try.


Also, please be careful opening the overhead bins, because "shift happens."
I have heard these preflight spiels and they do make traveling a little more fun.  I hope you have a wonderful day.  I know I will.

b
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Apr 15, 2010

Casual Brunch...theirs and mine!!!

Retire in Style casual Easter Luncheon
Style at Home casual brunch!
Just because we live in a small space
does not mean we can't play 
with the big dogs!!!  :)

Apr 14, 2010

Park Model Living...a fireplace and more!

Faux Amish fireplace that heats with a lightbulb.
Decorating a small space can be a fun thing to do...creative energy will take up where space leaves off.  We live in a very small space in the winter...our living room and kitchen are combined into one room and my computer sits on my small dining room table.  We eat outside most of the time.  It is Arizona after all.

Small table that slides under the counter can be moved out for extra space.
But we do not lack for the comforts of home.  We have a fireplace in the corner of the living room under our TV/Liquor cabinet.  The kitchen was up dated this year with a new microwave and my husband spay painted the stove to match.  A pot rack over the sink was made out of a piece of copper pipe and a closet rod hanger style attachments on the cabinets.  We ditched the dishwasher and I bought a cute white table at Home Goods today that fit the space perfectly.  We will slide the table out when we need some extra space for entertaining...something we do at the drop of a hat.  We can have up to eight inside or many more out.

My Style at Home newsletter was on the email today.  I am always inspired when it comes in.  The other website that always turns my crank is Apartment Therapy.  They both have wonderful ideas for small things we can do to make our small spaces more inviting and functional.


Have a wonderful day.


b
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Apr 13, 2010

Dear Maddie...a letter!

Dear Maddie...a letter!

Posted using ShareThis

Bring Back Civility...a letter from a Grandchild

Torris BD picImage by Always at Home via Flickr
Do you write letters to your grandchildren?  Do they write back?  Probably not.  Some prodding and pushing may result in a thank you note...occasionally.  But for the most part, a letter from a child is very, very special.  Still writing to them is very important I think.

My friend received a letter from her grandchild the other day...the little girl is 5 years old.  It told about a birthday party she had been too.  There were cookies (cucees)  with Easter Bunnies and there may have been a horse.  We were a little unsure about that.  But it didn't matter.  We knew there were bubbles in her Easter basket and that she loved her Grandma Carole.  The whole letter was a labor of love. 

I loved the idea of a letter.  So yesterday I wrote a letter to my granddaughter, Maddie.  Maddie lives in China.  In order for us to connect in some immediate way, I wrote the letter on my other blog.  I told her what was happening in my life and asked her a question about a picture I posted on the blog.  Sure enough I had a comment from Maddie today.  It made me so happy that she would do that for me.  Maddie is six.

There is no changing my grandchildren's behavior and I don't think that it would serve any useful purpose to demand what they don't want to give.  On the other hand I do think that if I let them know how much a phone call or even a text message means, they will realize the importance of civility.

So, I will be the one writing letters.  I think I may have come upon something that has been missing from our relationships...direct communication with the written word.  What a shame.  Hopefully,  it is not too late.

Just a thought.

b 
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Apr 9, 2010

Birder's Paradise...Ruby Throated Hummingbird Nesting

Image via Wikipedia
Ruby-throated hummingbird public domain USFWA















Our Ruby Throated Hummingbird has returned to nest again under the canopy on our park model.  Living up close and personal with nature here in this RV Resort is a way of life.  We share our park with Javelina, Rattlesnakes, lizards and termites.  Some of our neighbors are more popular than others.

When the Ruby Throated Hummingbird comes to spend some time, it makes any little frights because of the snakes and lizards worth it.  She is working very hard to make this the very best nest ever.  You can tell it is a very small space, something I can relate to.  She is wondering, I think, whether there will be room.

We have watched a hummingbird's nest before.  A nest next to our RV several years ago was the object of interest from the time the birds hatched until they left the nest.  Interestingly enough, the mother continues to feed the babies for several days after they fly from the nest and the babies roost very near to the nest at night.  I would love the see that again but I am afraid we will be gone back to Oregon before this cycle is completed. (Images above are ones we took of the babies in the nest and after they left the nest.  This baby would sleep near to our canopy lights at night to stay warm.  There was only a heart beat between wild flapping of wings and sleep). 

You can watch a live stream of a hummingbirds nest on ustream.  

I just thought you would want to know.

b
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Apr 8, 2010

Living in Small Spaces..reusable bags!

I just returned from the grocery store... with four plastic bags plus the bags for my produce.  Sigh! Doing this sort of thing just drives me nuts! I do own and frequently use bags from Trader Joe's or Whole Foods.  I open them in my cart and load my groceries and produce directly into them (no plastic bags for even the produce). Hopefully the day will come when reaching for the reusable grocery bags will become a habit.

Bread Bags, Credo
Living in a small space requires that we don't collect 1000 plastic and paper bags to be returned for recycling at the grocery store. We just don't have space for anything that cannot be put in a logical place and reused.  We keep the grocery bags in the trunk of the car here in Tucson.

Grocery Bag, Credo
Credo Bags
Fiesta Organic Singles, Eco Bags
I love the string bags for onions, apples and potatoes but I still don't own any of them. I have also seen bags for your baguettes, bulk items and muslin mesh bags for items that need air around them. In an article listing 10 healthy items we should have in our kitchens, Style at Home recommended the bags found on the  Credo website.  I have been looking at the ones found at Eco Bags for quite a while now...maybe I will take the leap and order the Fiesta Organic singles.  Think they are so cool and I love the colors.

If you see me at the grocery with a big red chain around my neck, you will know it is to remind me about those bags in the trunk of the car!

Have a great day!

b
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Apr 5, 2010

SNOWBIRDS TIPS! TRAVEL ON THE SHOULDER OF THE SEASON!

I am writing this blog post for Sunday Scribblings prompts...the word they chose this week is MENTOR.  This post just seemed perfect.  


SHOULDER SEASON APARTMENT RENTALS INFORMATION (link)
Wanna be a snowbird?  Thinking about doing some traveling?   October and April can be the best months in the year here in Tucso, Arizona.  Here are some hints with links that will help you.

October and April can be the best months in the year here in Tucson.  Snowbirds normally arrive sometime from November-January and leave at the end of March or sooner.  Golf rates go down after April 15 and back up again around the first of December.  (Rates with Tucson City Golf)  The reduction in prices also happens with all the rentals in the area too.

STARTER APARTMENT LIVING
Many people that I know started their snowbird life here in the southwest by renting an apartment.  I have never actually done this but those people that live around me have  stayed in apartments during their first few years here.  I never could get a grasp on how to do that.  When one of my friends told me how they did it, I was surprised at how easy it could really be.

While some snowbirds rent their apartment in advance, our friends just came to town with a box of kitchen necessities, toiletries, clothing, bath towels and a set of bedding.  They brought an inflatable mattress that they used as their bed...there are some wonderful styles now that will even support overweight people.  They found an unfurnished apartment near a local golf course and signed a short term lease.  Then they headed for the thrift stores where they picked up a couple of chairs and a table.  After they learned more they even went to a rental furniture store and rented some furniture so they could be more comfortable.  At the end of the season they donated what they had purchased back to the thrift stores.  They golfed on the money they saved by living this way.  They saw it all as a wonderful adventure!

You can rent furnished condos but they are very expensive. Even renting a furnished park model here in this resort can cost you up to $1800 per month during high season. (Take a look at Arizona Snowbird Rental). If you are ambitious enough and willing to live modestly for a while during the shoulder of the season,  you can keep the cost down.  Our friends did this for many years and then discovered our RV resort's park models and bought one.

If you are planning for next season you had better get busy and do something now!  Snowbirds are traveling home but you can bet they will be back next year...and there will be more than ever. If you are traveling on the shoulder of the season, you will find that making arrangements for your stay will be a lot easier.

b

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Apr 4, 2010

Living in Small Spaces...technology, cords and robots!

I have moved the computer from our arizona room 
to our little round table inside.  It is warm enough that we can eat outside.
The arizona room is now serving as an alternate indoor dining room/bedroom.  I know it is strange but living in a small space demands that we be flexibility and creative.  I picked up a louvered screen at an antique market and it shield the little twin bed from view.

So now the computer is the focus of our living room with cords streaming about.  The stereo system with a sub woofer on the floor adds to the disarray.  I found this wonderful disguise for the cord hanging down the wall.  Style At Home featured this item in the Tech Style part of their Technology&Gadget Blog Unplugged.com featured a small desk from ikea that can take care of this problem too.  I don't like the look of it much but that is just a personal style choice. They have simply taken a small computer desk and covered the back so cords hang down unseen.  And by the way how about those teal green walls? 

As long as we're on the subject of technology, how about a towel folding machine...I don't even have a washing machine in my park model...but this thing looks very cool.  Imagine such a thing!


Have a wonderful week. 
b
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Apr 3, 2010

Living with Seniors...the eating out fiasco!

Oh my goodness, how do we go about eating out with eight old people (including ourselves).  That would be four couples, all from a different part of the United States, California, Oregon, Wisconson, Ohio...how do we do that?

Last evening we went out to a brewpub here in Tucson, AZ.  The group that owns the restaurant has a real warehouse location and has now opened a restaurant in a trendy area here on the Eastside.  It is a very, very busy popular place. Reservation would be recommended...but we did not know that.  The restaurant, Nimbus Brewery Restaurant, serves your normal brewpub food along with grilled salmon, grilled tuna salad etc. Let me tell you right now the restaurant serve staff and the manager did everything they could to make us happy.  It is just very hard when you get a group of people like us.  Very, very difficult.  Here is how it went:
  • There was an hour wait for a table inside. The only seating available was outside...my husband and I were the only two people wearing coats.
  • We were told we had to be done in 1 1/2 hrs. because of reservations on the outside table they found for us. It was our problem because we came to eat with 8 people without reservations.  We promised to eat fast....we did not promise to decide what to eat fast!
  • One woman did not drink beer.  We were at a brew pub.  She finally decided to ordered wine.
  • Another woman was fearful that the beer would not taste good and needed a taster.  She did not like the one she tried.  It tasted like bitter beer! (She even made a face!)  It made me laugh.
  • Two people ordered the tuna salad but would not eat the tuna...it was rare.
  • The meal arrived before the $25 appetizer tray.
  • The waiter told the man that was treating that his coupon from Restaurant.com was not valid (manager straightened this out).
  • The coupon was only valid if we ordered $100 worth...most menu items were between $9-10. I did not bring my iphone so had to figure in my head what we needed to order.  It was hard.
  • Older people do not want to spend $9-10 even if they are not paying for it.
  • The heater kept turning off.
  •  Husbands went to the car and brought back coats and blankets.
  • We looked like campers huddled around the camp fire.
  • The left overs from the appetizer tray were moved to a take home box...no one could see what was left on the tray because by that time it was very dark.
  • My husband and I laughed all the way home.
Meantime a group of younger people...the ones that our table was reserved for...were seated at another table.  They were dress in sweatshirts and jeans.  They moved a couple of the heaters closer and were busy partying as we left.  The restaurant was still totally crammed and laughter could be heard when the waiters opened the doors.

I kept hearing the words of Gilda Radner in my ears.  She would have said, "It's always something!"  Obviously she spent a great deal of time around old people!  If I had not laughed I would have cried! Sigh!

Have a wonderful day!

b


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Apr 1, 2010

Are You a Turtle?

Kranz (Wreath) of K├ÂlschImage via Wikipedia
When a neighbor asked me recently if I was a Turtle, I looked myself up and down.  MMMMMMM...I don't know, am I?  I'm a small town girl and have been the source of great teasing fun during my lifetime.  But I am no dummy and learned long ago that what I don't know can make everyone in the room laugh!  I hate when that happens.  I am careful about my answers. 

It seems that, if I had been in the know or even a few years older, I would have known that a Turtle is a high minded individual that never answers an off color riddle with a vulgar answer even if the riddle seems to demand it.  Men and women have been giving the correct answers since WWII when bomber pilots in England began the club to relieve the tension of their life and to get reduced prices on pints of beer in an English pub.  A variety of reasons for the choice of name are given...some high flown and some vulgar.

There are no dues or constitution.  The idea I suppose is that people simply have a little fun.  If you are a Turtle or decide to join a group at your local faternal organization, you are in the company of presidents, astronauts and veterans around the world.  Wikipedia is a great source of information. 

Are you are Turtle?  You bet your sweet ass I am! So you see I have learned the correct answer.  At least I won't look too foolish in the company of all those people that are in the know!

Please have a wonderful day.

b
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