Monday, February 28, 2011

The Artist's Studio

I got a bit side-tracked yesterday with the snow on the Mountains, as it's an unusual event.  However, I wanted to continue sharing my visit to The Farm at South Mountain, near downtown Phoenix.  
The Farm at South Mountain, cont.
After a tranquil lunch beneath the Pecan trees, a stroll around the grounds took us to, 'The Cottage' at the back of the 12 acre property.  The Cottage is a quaint little environ that features handmade gifts and artwork by local artisans.  For sale of course! 

Mosaic doorstops

I love this unusual yard art!

Not only was the 'art' kitschy and different but so were the architectural features surrounding the cottage itself.

Iron work gate and wooden trellis fence.

Unique entrance to The Cottage

Rustic iron work laid in the middle of an old wooden panel.

The Artists Studio at The Cottage also offers art and writing classes and lectures.

I would so love to find time to take some classes, however, I am just grateful the Mr. Fix-it and I managed to steal away to this relaxing oasis in the desert.  

Make sure and put The Farm at South Mountain on your list of things to do if you come to the Valley!

Sunday, February 27, 2011

We Interrupt this Blog for an Important Announcement

There is snow on the Superstition Mountains!

Yep right here in the Valley of the Sun!

I know, I's nothing compared to what you all have had back East.

But....I thought it might make everyone feel a little bit better to know that it happens out here too!!!

Saturday, February 26, 2011

The Farm at South Mountain

Thought I would give my readers a break from the Cowboy, Western theme I've been posting about lately.  Don't want to bore everyone!!

When Mr. Fix-it was here visiting, we managed to escape for a quiet lunch for just the two of us!   Since we had to be on the South Central side of Phoenix anyway to pick up Dottie Dog after her surgery, I knew just the place to spend a few peaceful hours, The Farm at South Mountain.

Situated only eight minutes from downtown Phoenix, you might drive right past it, not even knowing it is there!  This unexpected retreat is a twelve acre jewel hidden in the middle of a somewhat industrial area.  For GPS directions type in the address below:

6106 S. 32nd Street Phoenix, AZ 85042
(just south of Southern on the west side of 32nd Street)

"The Farm Kitchen" features an idyllic outside eating area where the food served includes soups, sandwiches and home baked goodies.  

It is amazingly quiet being so close to the downtown area, except for the birds looking for a hand-out!  The sound is melodious and actually soothing.  Well I thought that....but Mr. Fix-it has an aversion to birds getting too close.  Don't get me wrong, they don't come that close but they let you know they are there!

After lunch we strolled around 'The Farm'.

Organically grown salad greens.

Home grown chickens too!
 Herbs and blooming flowers for sale.

"The Farm at South Mountain" is a wonderful place for family reunions, picnics, weddings and is dog and kid friendly.  There is so much more to do and see here. Stay tuned for my next post which will feature pictures taken at the Artist's Studio Cottage on "The Farm". 

Friday, February 25, 2011

The Gallows

No western movie was ever complete without some sort of scene depicting retribution for crimes and wrong-doings.  

If he didn't meet his demise in a gunfight, often the bad guy ended up in jail and was sent to the gallows to be 'strung up' for his loathsome deeds.

This Gallows, now on site at the Superstition Mountain Museum, was used in many movies at it's old location, Apacheland Movie Ranch. 

One of the more notable movies this structure got a work out in was the film "Gambler II, the Story Continues," in which Kenny Rogers starred.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Can't Even Imagine

I grew up watching Saturday afternoon Westerns.  I love the history of the Old West....Cowboys, Indians and all that stuff.   If there was a time machine, the first place I would  transport back to is 1880, Tombstone, Arizona so I could meet the famous and infamous, Earps, Clantons and Doc Holiday. 

I'm also a hopeless romantic who, for many, many years has dreamed of writing a historical western romance novel.   That's as far as it's gotten though, just a dream.  Maybe someday.

Meanwhile, I enjoy any opportunity to visit places that hold the things history is made of in the era and locale that I am most fascinated by.  

On a recent visit to the Superstition Mountain Museum near Apache Junction, Arizona, I came face to face with a beautifully restored and authentic stagecoach.  

While I checked it out, my mind began to wonder what travel across the country must have been like in one of these contraptions.  Of course, people were smaller back in those days, but space inside the coach was very limited.  I 'suppose' six or so people could fit into it.....tightly.  Luggage for all travelers had to fit up top.  Now....over the years, I've learned to travel with less but I have a niece who travels with everything but the kitchen sink and I don't think this mode of transportation would work out very well for her!

And the dust....can you imagine the dust?  Most coaches had heavy cloth window shades that could be pulled down but I don't think that would keep much dust out.  With the shades pulled you would also be dealing with stifling heat, (or cold) cramped and sweaty bodies who didn't have the chance to bathe often!  Whoa....not sounding too romantic.

If that's not enough, check out the back wheels on that thing.  

They don't look like they provide a very cushy ride to me!  Remember, no shock absorbers like on a car.  In fact, the 'springs'  were nothing more than leather straps wound under the stagecoach to give some comfort. 

What I found most surprising is how tall those wheels and consequently the whole coach was.  For reference, Mr. Fix-it, shown standing next to one, is 5' 7". 

Imagine ladies of the day trying to daintily climb aboard in their long skirts with a  multitude of petticoats underneath.  Then there is travel time and food.  I don't think they got very far in a days time, maybe twenty miles, if that.   And you can bet there were no McDonald's anywhere on the horizons either.

So why in the world does this era and it's lifestyle seem so intriguing and romantic to me?  

I can't explain it......I wish I could.  It just is.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Elvis Is In The Building!

If you are an Elvis Presley fan and find yourself near the Superstition Mountains in Apache Junction, Arizona, you might want to check out the Superstition Mountain Museum.  

The Museum, on North Apache Trail, is home to the Elvis Presley Memorial Chapel.  

I can hear it now,  "What in the world does Elvis Presley and the Arizona desert have to do with each other?"  I know, I know....I thought the same thing until I visited.  It seems that in 1969, Elvis filmed the movie "Charro" right here in Apache Junction.  You probably already knew that if you are a die hard Elvis fan!

As you can see, Elvis is among us right there on the altar!

Now, I'm not particularly an Elvis fan but I did enjoy visiting the quaint little chapel.  I found it interesting to learn that it's steeple had to be removed and a fake one constructed so that it could be blown off during filming of the movie.  

Stay tuned for more history and photos from my visit to the Superstition Mountain Museum. 

Monday, February 21, 2011

Dottie goes to the Dentist

Hey everybody....Dottie here.  I heard my mom say that some of her readers have been asking about me.  

Last week was kinda rough for me.  My foster mom took me to have some dental work done.  I needed it, cuz everyone said my breath was bad enough to knock over a moose.  But I didn't know that I was going to have 18 teeth pulled!!!  Don't worry though, dogs have over 30 teeth anyway.   I'm MUCH better now and mom says I am eating and drinking like a horse and if I don't slow down I will be as big as one.  I think mom is pulling my leg though!! 

This morning mom took me for a ride in something called a golf cart!  She said it was too muddy to walk across the lot to the dog park.  

I wasn't sure about it at first, but it was ok.

I wanted to drive but mom said I wasn't old enough.  Who is she kidding, in dog years I am only a year younger than she is!!  

Well I gotta go help mom.  She has some little foo foo boarding dogs here that have to go outside.  I need to help her.  She says I need to learn from them though because they don't have accidents in the house.  Woof.....I am trying to learn!!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Mr. Fix It Arrives Back Home

Despite some serious storms here in Arizona and an extremely bumpy flight, Mr. Fix It landed safely in Indiana last night. 

He was sad to leave but glad to get back and see his grandaughter.

From the looks of the picture, I can't tell who was more excited!   
Don't they look alike!

 I think Lacie really liked the tee shirt Grandpa brought back for her!

Apparently she likes the jacket he brought her also because she got mad at her mommy when she tried to take it off! 

What a cutie!


Friday, February 18, 2011

Coming Soon to a Blog Near You!

Mr. Fix It and I have managed to get away several afternoons this week for a couple of outings.  Which is one reason I haven't had time to blog.  Sadly though, Mr. Fix It leaves tomorrow and I should have time to get back to posting.  I've taken some great pictures and visited some places that my readers should visit if you ever happen to get out this way. 

So....keep an eye out.  Fun stories to follow!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Hearts and Bracelets

Last week my friend Judy taught a bracelet stringing class to a few of our neighbors here at Montesa.  

The project was made with beautiful millefiori glass heart shaped beads.  Millefiori is an ornamental glass that is made by cutting cross sections of fused glass rods.  They are very dainty looking.  I forgot to take my camera to class and unfortunately my camera phone didn't catch the beauty of the bead.

My friend Jan and I were helpers as there were three table of ladies intently stringing their hearts out!

 Below is a picture of an almost finished bracelet.

Very simple and sweet. 

I heard the next class might be Peyote stitching the bracelets shown below.
These are made with teeny tiny seed beads.  I won't be helping Judy with this class.  I don't have the patience to work with those itty bitty things!!!  Well, ok....I probably should admit.....I can barely see the darn beads they're so little!!

I hope all my readers had a wonderful Valentines Day!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Mr. Fix It Comes to Town

There are just some things around the house out here in Arizona that I can't fix.  Or that I just don't get to.   

It's always nice when someone from back home comes out to visit and I get some help.  Don't get me wrong, I try not to take advantage of their visit because I know they are on vacation, but still, I have been known to make a small 'to do' list!

 In this case, Mr. Fix It is my SO, or partner, or whatever the heck you call someone that you are not married to but live with.  And.....I made a 'to do' list.  

Oh....and I use the term 'live with' loosely as for about 8 months of the year we live apart as I take dad to Phoenix to escape the Indiana winters.  Mr. Fix It is not retired yet.  It's not easy sustaining a relationship like this let me tell you!

The first thing on that list was to replace the garbage disposal.  A few months back I thought I would attempt to put the new one in but quickly decided that it might not be a good idea.  Although dad might have been able to talk me through it, something about doing the electric hook-up was a bit scary.  

Then there was an issue with the screen in my bedroom window not fitting properly.  Many screens out here fit on the outside, directly over the window rather than being part of the actual window unit.  There was a gap at the bottom of my screen that was actually big enough for a small rattle snake and scorpions to get through.  Consequently, I have never been able to have my window open to get fresh air.  He fixed it!  

Since Mr. Fix It is a firefighter, I also sent him up to the peak of the roof to fix a loose tile.  He's used to climbing ladders!  

I gave him a break after all those chores and let him ride my bike.  He even adjusted the seat for me and now it's much more comfortable.  

Though it's not on the actual 'to do' list, I'm wondering if Mr. Fix It can fix our relationship too.  We've been riding a roller coaster that is about to come off it's tracks since last summer.  As if it's not hard enough to sustain a long distance relationship, we now have issues with family.  Dad came to live with me full time last summer.   Mr. Fix It's daughter, her fiance, their year and half old daughter, as well as Mr. Fix It's son, all managed to move back home. 
I won't share all the gory details but am sure you can imagine how difficult last summer was. 

At least for now, the 'to do' list for the house has been 'fixed'!

Monday, February 7, 2011

Dottie goes to a Party

Hi there, Dottie at the keyboard!  I have to tell you about my wonderful day on Saturday.  My foster mom took me to a birthday party!!

 This is "Doc", the birthday boy.  He turned 14 years old!!  He has a special birthday bandanna on just for the occasion.  Doc was pretty laid back about the day and all his visitors.  

He was more interested in all the food they were putting out for him.  His mom told him this food was for the 'human's though. 

There were all these poles and stuff in the backyard and some of the dogs were weaving around them.  I heard my foster mom tell my foster grandpa that they are called 'weave poles' for doing something called agility.  It looked kinda fun!

That's Doc on the right getting a treat from his human.  And see that colorful tunnel behind her?  Some of the dogs were even running through it!!

This guy is 'Tucker'.  He's my brother and we hadn't seen each other in a long time!  He got adopted and now has a 'furever' home.  What a lucky dog!!  I hope I get one of those too.

 That's me and Tucker with his new family!  
 Tucker's new humans gave me a present and it wasn't even my birthday!!  A new blanket for my crate with dots on it for my name! 

It was such a fun day and I was soooo tired when it was over. 

I am having so much fun here at my new foster home.  I can't wait to see what we do next week!!!

Happy paws,
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