Friday, March 19, 2010

The End of Winter?????

Since we are in the month of March, does that mean our season (winter to some of you), or the Snowbird season, is coming to an end? Some of the things that signal an end to our season here in Superstition Sunrise RV Resort is the craft show, quilt show & the exodus of friends leaving the park. Within the first couple of weeks we saw many of our close friends leave for home. It is a sad time, but God willing, we will see them again in the Fall/Winter of this year back here again.

Another sign of the end to our season is the craft show & quilt show. On February 26th the Craft Show was held in the ballroom. It is always fun to see the beautiful crafts that come from the talented people here in our park. There are so many things to become involved in, there isn't time to learn or try them all.

This was my second year for Scratch Art. I know there are some techniques that I could still use help on, but I found myself becoming so involved in other activities that I quit going to classes. Hopefully I can do several more pictures on my own with what I have learned.

This pictures was one I decided to do for a friend of my sons back home. I'll not mention names until I get home to give it to him. I hope he will be pleased with it. Needless to say, a hint would be, he's my "other sort-of adopted son". He spent many hours at our home!

Remember if you want to see a more detailed picture, you can always click on the picture. This is one I've done for another relative. Nameless for now.
My good friend, Camilla, from New Mexico, has a collection of roosters in her kitchen. When I saw this picture on my calendar, I immediately thought of her. It also gave me a chance to do another picture with feathers.
These long horned sheep were done by Mary who took the class a year before I did. She does a fabulous job. She's always willing to give her help when I get stuck along with Janelle, the teacher.
Another walking friend, Andrea, is an artist in every sense of the word. These are some of her gourds that she has carved and/or painted. So much detail.
This is the backside of the buffalo above.
A fabulous paint job on this one!
Another walking friend, Marcia, teaches stained glass. This one below is not quite finished, but it was being raffled off. The drawing would be held on March 14th at the Quilt Show. I told Bill if we won it, we'd by a park model to put it in. Well, I guess it's safe to say, I didn't win, so there will be no park model yet.
The Annual Shuffleboard Banquet for anyone who had played shuffleboard anytime during the year was held on Sun., March 7th. The decorations were so cute. Someone (can't remember who) spent a lot of time making these cardboard courts with players, sticks & button (yellow & black) discs.
Those in attendance at the dinner.

Last Saturday afternoon we were blessed to have friends from back home pay us a visit to the park & then we went out to eat. MaryAnn & Dan were staying in Sedona & then Scottsdale, AZ on vacation. She had emailed me & said they were coming out & find out if we could get together. They came out around 3pm on Sat. We sat & chatted, then we gave them a tour of the park & all it has to offer. I think they liked it. They now know how we spend all our time. We then went to Coco's for supper. They had about a 40 min. drive back to Scottsdale, so they let us out & we said our goodbyes. Will see them again when we get home. MaryAnn retired the same day I did & her & our other two friends, Toni & Marilyn, get together at least once while I'm back home. Looking forward to that as always!

I didn't take any pictures of the Quilt Show this year. There was as many, if not more, quilts as last year. These gals (& some guys too), have the patience of Job! The intricate work was beautiful. One I especially liked had counted cross-stitch squares in it. I love to do the counted cross-stitch, but I don't want to make a quilt. Guess I'll leave that class up to the quilters.

March 17th, started out a beautiful day! As you can see below in this picture the sky was an amazing blue. As I sat down to breakfast (the only day I get to sit down & eat), I spotted this hot air balloon out the window by the table. I was afraid it was going to be gone by the time I got the picture. Of course, my batteries were dead, but I got them changed just in time. A tree was coming up that it went behind.
There was a St. Patrick's Day Parade at 10am, but Bill & I opted to play shuffleboard instead. The parade only lasts about 10 minutes & we did get to see part of it during a break between our games down at the court.

I helped with Excel class from 1-2pm & then came home to go over to the neighbors & enjoy our annual Iowa Steak Dinner at the Murphy's. They bring steaks from home every year on dry ice & then have a big party. 33 people were invited. They were, as always, absolutely delicious. We all bring something to add, but with a steak the size of your plate, it's hard to eat much of anything else. We again had entertainment by Jimmy on his keyboard. Jokes, singing & music are his forte. I helped Phyllis clean up & then came home thinking I'd take a nap before the evening events. But when you know you want to nap you can't.

This was the night of the big Can/Am Shuffleboard Tournament. Bill & I had a great time. I thought we would be partners, but that's now how they do it. You each play as a single, but a full game of 8 frames using one side of the court & then you take your same colored disc & play on the other side. One Canadian & one American on the Foot & the same on the head. I got the famous 15 court & had a blast - almost impossible to score on it since it curves so much, but we had a great time. Bill beat our neighbor, Trudy. She's a tough cookie to beat! Needless to say, the Americans beat the Canadians & they had to pay a $1.00 each & we got our donuts free. A really fun time. Not as serious as the league tournaments. Here you can see people starting to congregate.
I have a hard time taking night time pictures with my camera. Either too dark or too blurry. Here you can see it's just getting dusk & everyone is getting ready to play.
There are 8 courts on each side. They were all full. I believe there were around 70 signed up & only 64 can play. It's different playing under the lights than at 9:30 in the morning! But it was a beautiful night for it.
Next Tues., the 23rd is the re-scheduled Turkey Shoot. Never done that either, but we will play in that also. This is a fun time of shooting crazy shots instead of the normal way (or so they tell me). Time will tell. Maybe I can get some interesting shots of that one!

We went to get our taxes done on Thurs. morning. All went much better this year. At least we don't have to pay as much in as in the past 2 years. Of course, they take a whole lot more out of us each month. I was beginning to think we'd end up giving all our S. Security back to the government. Of course, we know they are going to get it in the end anyway!

I got an email from Mark this past week & he has gone through the Suez Canal. I'm not sure he knew that was in the plans. That is the first time since the USS Cole was bombed that they've gone back through there. I'm glad he told me after than before. You know, Mother's tend to worry over things like that! Not that we don't worry anyway! He so far has been in port at Canary Islands, Italy, & Greece. I haven't heard from him lately, so he may be in a "no communication" area. I just want him & his crew to be safe. Keep our troops in your prayers.

My niece's husband, Larry, who has leukemia, is back in Pittsburgh hospital going through chemo. Please keep him & Donna in your prayers too. This is a very tough time for both of them. Love you guys!

Bill & I played one game of cards with the neighborhood gang after going out for supper with them tonight, but Faye is still not feeling well (bronchitis) & so they left early & Bill & I left too. My legs & back were aching so decided to call it a night. It's beautiful outside though. Hated to come in. Would have like to gone for a walk, but no one to walk with at 7:30. The girls have already made their rounds by 7.

Sounds like family & friends on the East coast are having nice, Springlike weather. Renee called me & said, "Mom, this is my annual call........I heard the peepers today". Hmmmm, some things I do miss. A sure sign of spring, even if they say they have to freeze 3 times before it's really spring.

Speaking of Renee, we are so pleased to know that her, Tom & the boys are moving to Warren, PA!!! That means we get to see them all summer! Now we just have to pray they find jobs! They will be moving right after Easter. They plan on leaving with the truck on April 6th. Safe travels for them in their move.

That about brings me up to date with family. My friend Judy, went to Oklahoma to be with her mom who was/is in the hospital. Haven't heard any news from her. Hope all is going well there.

Until next time.............The Traveling Cardinal's

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Oh My, It's March Already

I'm so far behind in posting, I don't know if I remember how to get it done any more! I don't know where the time goes, but it certainly doesn't leave me much time to write on this blog.

Last Tues., March 2nd, Bill & I attended the New York State Party here at Superstition Sunrise. There seemed to be fewer of us this year, but we had great snacks & a good time.
Notice some shorts on this day!
Families were visiting parents & grandparents. Here Dona S. from Syracuse, NY is talking with a family.
The gentleman on the right front is actually from the town of Fredonia, NY, not far from where we live. That was a real surprise to meet him & his wife. Our friend Jerry M. from Hannawa Falls, NY & his sister-in-law, Nancy M. from Ogdensburg, NY.
Lois & Jim from Williamsville, NY
Yup, that's my hubby Bill with his tongue sticking out.
Also on Tuesday, the Spring Mixed Doubles Shuffleboard Tournament started. I didn't get pictures in the morning when the boards were full, but I did get the last heat in the afternoon.
Look at the beautiful Usery Mountains we have to gaze at every day! Eat your hearts out back in the snow!Stella K., one of our neighbors, is the hostess with the mostest! She does a great job in the concession stand. I helped her on Tues. morning after exercise class until noon. Those donuts looked & SMELLED soooo good, but I didn't eat one. This was the day after our last weigh in for the Biggest Loser Contest too. Just to brag a little, I won 2nd place - $32.00 richer.Spectators & players sitting on the bleachers & chairs watching. It is a very intense game during tournaments. I could never play in a tournament. I'm not serious enough. I'd rather laugh, carry on & play for a nickel. Maybe in another 10 years.
John, Francis & TrudyButch has his sun glasses on watching. He said he's not good enough to play, but I think he was pulling my leg. He's good enough, just doesn't like the stress!Our friend, Frank C., from Georgia, decided he & his wife should play a day or two before the tournament. He found out it was a tough game - a lot different than our morning Nickel Jackpot days.Frank's wife, Mary Jo saying, "how did I ever get into this mess"!!! Her opponent next to her in the hat was a real stickler!While we were watching the tournament, the Met Life blimp flew close to the park.Wednesday, March 3rd, had us up bright & early, 4:30AM to be exact. We were headed to Rocky Point (Puerto Penasco), Mexico. The bus picked us up at the park at 6AM. It was a beautiful day for a trip. We were gone for 2 nights & 3 days. Our first trip to Mexico.

Now you may say, what's with this picture? The traffic was thicker right before I took this picture, but I wanted people back home & in Virginia Beach to see that they have it right here in Arizona! See those stop lights on each side of the on ramp? During heavy traffic times, they work by letting one car out at a time, first one lane, then the other, into the line of traffic according to the flow of traffic. Works like a charm. Those people in Virginia could learn a thing or two from these guys out here!
One of the many buildings of the University of Arizona
Sky Harbor Airport.
Just a beautiful sight on our way outside of Phoenix
This is a fertilizer plant next to the railroad.
This is a nuclear power plant
A quick picture out the window as we entered into Gila Bend, AZ where we stopped at McDonald's for breakfast & potty break.
Beautiful church in Gila Bend.
Coming into Why, AZ. Can you imagine carrying on a conversation with someone who wanted to know where you lived & you had to answer "Why"?
Here you can see the border fence between US & Mexico. The fence goes for about 7 miles, then has a 3 mile break, then begins again.
Closer picture. This was the only pictures we could take of it. Once we got to the border crossing you were not allowed to have cell phones in use or take pictures. The fence really is quite high with barbed wire on the top.
Our first view of a Third World Country - Mexico. I thank God for the life we have here in the USA. We saw so many sites that were unbelievable. Some modest homes & some beautiful ones. Quite like here in our country where we don't see the bad as much as the good. It is a very different life for these people. I didn't feel unsafe anywhere we went, but then we were always traveling on the tour bus except at stops.
It was not unusual to see cement block or stone fencing around residences with a doorway similar to this one.
This was a familiar sight by the time we left.
Again, there is good with the bad. A modern looking grocery store on the right and a pharmacy next to it.
A modest home.
along side a "not quite so modest" home.
Sand dunes
Several places had thatch roofs. I'm not sure what this was.
Now I would call this a pretty classy home.
Cement block business
Bus stop
The sign speaks for itself. Al Capone has a history in Rocky Point.
The guys on the bus all stretched their necks to look at these two places!!
This is a typical shop in the area. This was within walking distance of our hotel. I bought a jacket & a cowboy hat here. We "wheeled & dealed" until we got a pretty good price.
This was the sign for our hotel
Bill & I and one other couple were on the ground floor. This was looking out our sliding glass door. A beautiful sight with the Sea of Cortez in the background.
We were definitely pool side. But needless to say, it was not heated & the hot tub & bar pool were not "hot" either. I did put my feet in the hot tub.
The weather looks terrific, but it was a little cool. I'd like to lay around here in 80 deg. weather for about 3 days though.
Joyce, Keith (I think his name was) & Bob in the hot tub.
Nothing like swimming up to the bar & sitting in the pool with the water running down your back! Like I said, maybe if it was 80-85 degrees.
This was the beach area on the west side of our hotel. Now if you know me very well, you know what I would have loved to do. Yup, gone for a horseback ride. But I didn't.
Joyce & Janelle walking the beach. We walked quite a ways looking for shells. It looks sandy, but because of so many shells that wash up in the tide, it really was hard walking in your bare feet. The water actually wasn't as cold as the pool.
See, I could have rode that riderless horse!
Looking back towards the hotels.
Shrimp boats
I don't know if these motor homes stayed here all night, or if they were just parked for the day. What a way to spend a day at the beach - right on the beach.
This is looking into the dining area of our hotel. The reflection is of the hotel itself back over the pool area. The glass was curved all around the side of the dining room. We had a breakfast buffet every day there.
My hubby just relaxing outside our room on the patio. If you look close, I think he was eating cookies! He's the "Cookie Monster".
During our trip down to Rocky Point, we were given several options on things to do & places to eat. One of the side trips was a sailboat (catamaran) ride. It sounded like fun so the 10 of us from our park decided to take the 2 hour sunset cruise. They told us they had Margaritas for $1.00 & beer for $2.00, but when we got on the boat & they gave us our drinks they were all we wanted for a tip. Couldn't beat that & the price of the ride was only $15.00 each. We had a blast. Here we are getting on.
Now this guy was just standing over on another boat with LOUD music. I could have sworn he was our friend Chuck L. from back home! Chuck you have a twin in Mexico!!! He even stood like he does!
Here we are the six of us who were the wind blockers. Bill, Peggy, Elaine, Clem, Joyce & Keith.
This was the Naval yard
Buildings along the coast
Tammy, the activities person from the hotel, one of the crew members, Bill & Janelle.
Judy, our tour guide, Jim, Clem, Joyce & Keith
That's me out on the net trying to be a sailor. If my son can do it, so can I! As you can see we didn't have the sails up as there wasn't any wind. It wasn't warm or really cold, we just didn't have wind for the sails.
A beautiful sunset
Almost gone
The rays were gorgeous. The land you see is Baja California.
2 crew members, Janelle & Bob, Lois & Jim
This is the inside of the hotel entrance looking up at the ceiling.
The round bar & lounge area.
Bill, you need a toupe, your bald spot is showing!
Most of the side roads are dirt or sand.
A very common site.
This is in the shopping area we went to. Many of the families live in the back of their stores. This little guy was watching us unload from the bus. There were about 4 or 5 children asking for money as we got off the bus.
This is the shopping "mall" area. Store after store with pretty much the same things. Everyone had the "best price for your dollar".
Maybe this store makes more money????
I learned that ALTO means stop. It wasn't that I learned Spanish, it's just the shape of the sign! A lot of the words you could pretty much make out & some were even in English (Electric & Plumber).
This was a school yard.
After shopping, we went to an Art Gallery of Julio. He does the most beautiful pictures & crafts all out of shells. He used to do all of the shell gathering himself, but now he has 8 boats & families to help him. The shells all come from the Sea of Cortez. He has pictures in several prominent places, one being the Vatican & another in the Smithsonian Institute. The one at the Smithsonian is huge. I asked him how long it took him to do it & he said 3 years. He said they paid him $65,000 to do it & it is now worth $250,000. Sorry the light shines on some of the pictures because of the glass.
These were Mother of Pearl shells.

This is the little humble shop he works out of.
Next we took a tour around Old Port. This is a metal sculpture of 2 eagles. I took more pictures here on Friday.
Thursday night we went to Restaurant La Curva. Our meal, one Margarita & entertainment was included in our tour. We had a delicious meal & great entertainment here.
This is Ed our bus driver & Judy our tour guide from World Span Tours.
The Mariachi Band. They were really good!
Renee, this will bring back memories for you! We each got at least one balloon animal, flower, sword or whatever from him.
Clem & Elaine. They weren't married, just had met up at their park this year. They are both from New York State. Clem is from Bath, NY area & Elaine was familiar with the area around Candor, NY. I believe she lived somewhere south of the Finger Lakes.
Our bus driver Ed was great! A gentleman everytime you got off the bus he'd give you his arm so you wouldn't fall & always in good humor!
Part of the Party
Me dancing with Bob, Janelle's hubby.
A new building going up on the Old Port side. I've never seen so many construction workers working at one site before. I tried to get more pictures, but on the bus it's hard to get them while you are moving.
You folks back home in the cold & your heart out! Isn't this just the most beautiful blue site you've ever seen?
A band playing on the deck of a cantina on the Old Port side.
This was the church next to where the bus was parked. Judy told us sometimes it isn't open but this day it was so we all took advantage to walk through. It was beautiful.
Another picture of the sculptured eagles. At the base of each column there is a plaque of different states bordering Mexico & Mexico's areas (I don't know what they are called). This was built in 2007 when the efforts to control the borders between the two countries was established. They have concerts, plays, etc. here. We were standing up on the top of the cement bleachers which is across the road from the stage area.
Now that's a very familiar sign.
I'm glad I was on a bus, as I don't know if I could have pronounced where I was headed.
We had a wonderful time & now we are headed back to Arizona. This is taken in the Organ Pipe National Forest.
Back in the town of Ajo, you can see the copper mines. Notice the different colors the copper makes in the gravel.
Copper Mine
Ajo is pronounced ah ho
Another pretty site. The end of a busy three days.
We arrived back at the park around 7:40pm on Friday night.

Bill got up to go play pool & eat breakfast at the club house, but I stayed in bed a little longer than my normal. I knew it was going to be a laundry day & it was going to be nice so I took my time in the morning getting ready for the day so I could enjoy sitting poolside while doing laundry.

I'll end this LONG post here & get the rest of the weekend & pictures caught up on the next one.

Until next time..............The Traveling Cardinal's