Friday, January 31, 2014


How 'bout a pic of the front of your home this week.  

I won't be back in the End of the Rainbow Valley until later this evening so I'm posting my friend's Arizona house front since it's been my residence for the last 4 days. 

Don't you just love the citrus  tree in the front courtyard? 

Yep, that's cactus in the front yard.

  Jennifer in La Crosse adds a pic of her front yard view... 

It's so white and it's not sand.

Colleen trudged through 3 ft of snow to make sure we know how much snow is surrounding her home.  Our front yard faces to the back. No street appeal according to her.

Friend Marti and hubby trade their midwestern life for  living in Vegas until April.  Their place is on the first level with a patio perfect for evening cocktails and I bet even a morning coffee.

RV'er Cheryl 's home front pic in  Ft. Myers.   Nice wheels. 

Another transplant Floridian Sima shared how a January downpour changed her front yard view. Is this what they call suburban swampland?

Sima called this a "Super Soaker Rainfall." Hope everybody has an inner tube.

This week was all about weather.  Our homes look a bit different depending on where we live at the end of January... Here's mine for End of the Rainbow Valley abode. Jennifer, Colleen and I obviously live in the same zone.

The Home Front end of Jan '14

If you want to see the last week's FOTO FRIDAY of  people's schatzkes. Click on the link: Schatzkes

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Stuffed like a Sausage

One sure thing when you are away from home is how your diet changes.  I know I 've mentioned that we tend to eat a lot more at home than most but when we do go out, I usually order something I wouldn't fix at home. 
Creme Brulee a la Sara
This getaway I definitely ate and I also ate more than usual which included desserts, ethnic dishes and bar fare - translating to a lot more calories. If not now, when?

My most memorable dessert of the trip was Sara's yummy creme brulee.  I should probably call her Flame Thrower as she caramelized the top, melting the sugar with a mini torch just like the pros. 
I had the 'best' huge chili dog at Grease Wood Flat after our Pinnacle Peak hike. What was I thinking eating so heavy? Boy I was tasting onions into the evening.

 It didn't deter me from having a a tasty Pizzeria Bianco slice of pizza that evening with fresh caprese salad.  Lunch the following day at Filly's was fried gizzies. Gee nobody at the crowded table would even try them. It was up to me to finish the basket full... 

Dinner at Pei Wei's (a P.F. Chang subsidiary) new addition of Thai Lettuce wraps graced my plate as we sat wok side to see the jumping flames as the cooks worked at a frenzied pace with all the orders. 

Pei Wei's Thai crunchy tasty lettuce wraps whetted my appetite for more Thai food so Marilyn introduced me to her favorite Thai place, Tempe's Yupha's, where the eggplant dish  was out of this world. I'd love to be able to replicate that sauce. 

We must have been hungry because we polished off an appetizer and two entrees even after a late lunch.  

Ah yes I almost forgot to mention that late lunch at The Farm...

In this big city sits a large piece of land where plots of greens are organically grown  for  their restaurants and CSA members. I had eaten a scrumptious breakfast here my last visit and sharing a Tuscan sandwich and humongous piece of carrot cake hit the spot this time. It's a great place to picnic and many a wedding is held on the premises.

Well, when all is said and done, the main thing about food is it's a social event and what's better than to share that experience with friends no matter where you are? 

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Celebration of Art

Sometimes the GPS and golf just get in the way of getting where you need to go... Such was the case in being able to arrive at the Scottsdale Fine Art Tents. 

It turns out the land adjacent to the tents is being used for the PGA 'ProEm' golf tournament parking without being marked. But friend Marilyn and I were determined to arrive, and arrive we eventually did.

What is so unique about this particular art show is that many of the artists are present working on new pieces as visitors meander through the U shaped tent area. You can just feast your eyes on all the creativity and beauty of these artists.

Jenny Foster and her brilliantly colored 'sophisticated frivolity'

Whether you like to buy, view/ learn more about pottery, sculpture, painting, glass, weaving/ jewelry, it is all in this fine art tent.

Jennifer Vranes of JensArt

JensArt's home is Oregon. She customizes her large canvas art to her clients's abodes.  I have a feeling she likes painting Aspen a lot.  In watercolor we started with Birch which has a lot of similarities.

Ceramicist Vicki Grant transforms clay after firing and painting decorative woodlike surfaces with beadwork and other embellishment.

She also collaborates with partner Myron Whitaker and his thrown big urns. Amazing pieces. 

All the artists were willing to stop and answer any questions. And learn I did... soaking it all in. It was a slow day and with fewer patrons a lot of opportunity to chat.

Buddy Marilyn stopped a lot at the jewelry and bright florals. See even as old camp friends we shared more than music... 

The tent also has an inner courtyard with a sculpture garden and drop dead gorgeous mountain range backdrop. 

Yep that's me having a Tete a tete with the girls...

What a treat to be able to sit outside and have a snack sitting amongst great art and scenery. Even the lunch selections have artist names.

As you can well imagine the small admission price was well worth the hours we spent admiring and learning more about the   process of creating beautiful art. If you are ever out this way, you just might make this one of your stops.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Laugh and the World Laughs With You...

Friday evening there was just enough time to hit a movie after dinner and since I had seen most of the nominee movies, there was only one choice left at the dollar, ok $2 Cinema and it was " Last Vegas" starring some seasoned stars- Michael Douglas, Robert DeNiro, Mary Steenburgen, Morgan Freeman, Robert DeNiro and Kevin Kline. 

The premise of the flick is a bachelor party Vegas weekend with these 70 year old childhood friends from Flatbush. And it is a hoot. The groom played by Michael Douglas, a sworn bachelor, is marrying a much younger woman, 30 something (hmmm mirroring his real life??? ) Anyhow, these characters have some old and new baggage to unpack and I haven't laughed so much in a long time.

The clencher wasn't even on the screen... Let me explain. There is a tender moment in the storyline where the older lounge singer (Mary Steenburgen) plants a sweet kiss on one of the group (I won't spoil it by telling you which one) Anyhow, a young teenage voice comes from the girl seated behind me as she breaks the romantic moment  by saying to her friend next to her, "Ooh that's so gross, they are SOOOO old." That did it, I couldn't control my laughter. As my kids would say," I know Mom you almost peed in your pants." And you know what?  It was so funny, I almost did.

If you need a light, fun movie, don't miss this one. 'Last Vegas' will definitely put a smile on your face... I guess I should have bought this t-shirt I saw at the swap meet.

Treat yourself and put "Last Vegas" on your flick list to see. I will probably see it again with Natureman as I enjoyed it that much.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Rooms With a View

For someone who rarely goes to a bar nor drinks, I have been in a bar almost every day I've been in Arizona. I have been eatin' a lot of stuff I don't usually eat and even had a little drink but the last two days have been at 'real' Western bars. 
Filly's Parking

Yesterday Grease Wood Flat with the bikers in Scottsdale and today we headed the opposite direction and went to Filly's where there's quite a view for both patron and horse.

It didn't take long before the horses had to move over and make room for more of their own kind as did the humans.  

By the time the music began, the place was jam packed

And the dance floor full... 

Yep, that'd be
Sara and Mike cutting the rug ( on the right)
                                              And there was plenty of local color...

Gee, I bet all those cowboy hats and boots could tell a lot of stories. 

It was another drop dead gorgeous day to enjoy the Arizona sunshine and shoot the breeze.  Great people watching to say the least. Hey, when you've got the time who cares if you have to wait an hour and a half for your lunch?!    


Saturday, January 25, 2014


Everybody has schatzkes... you know all the stuff you could live without but can't help buying/ giving because it's so irresistible. 
Let me assure you, poor Natureman has to live with a house full of my schatzkes.  

Ball Holder
And when you are in a tourist town like Scottsdale, there are a lot of schatzke stores.  As I passed one in this city of golfers, I couldn't resist stopping to snap a pic of this particular schatzke.  Hey get this, they even come with different sayings.  Obviously a lot of them are sold because there were two racks full. Of course these ball holders come in all sizes. But breathe easy, I did NOT buy any as gifts. You won't even have to regift it at a White Elephant party!

And schatzkes come in all price ranges... but hey if they bring pleasure to the owners, who cares?  The only thing I want to warn you about is that you probably don't have the only one. One of my buddies has the 'Queen' visiting and shares videotapes of her waving to her constituency on special occasions such as birthdays, snowfalls/ whatever...  Well Ginger, brace yourself - I spotted the Queen, in fact more than one. I was shocked because now I don't know who's the real Queen...  See what I mean?

How ' bout sharing a pic of your favorite schatzke before next week's blog? 

Very excited Colleen is our first share for schatzkes with Pee Boy who has quite a spray...

 Pee Boy, my favorite small souvenir, soak in water then pour hot water over his 
head and he'll stream 3-4 feet

Kaye from Little Rock favors  figurines, pictured here is "Miss Sassy' on the right made by a friend of Kaye's. The elf on the noon is a Jane Hankins given to her by a dear friend. These are her favorites/

Arizona  Marilyn loves any schatzke with a heart. A multi branched piece of a tree limb holds about 2-3 dozen objects with this heart holding quartz being one of her favorites.

Remember any time you want to add a photo to any FOTO FRIDAY, it's never too late.

Check last week's FOTO FRIDAY: FREE TIME to see additions.

Friday, January 24, 2014


The game plan Thursday night was to be the Scottsdale gallery walk. In addition there was a Steam Punk exhibit in the Library with a Steam Punk party being held next door at the Scottsdale Center of the Performing Arts.  All were invited. How could I miss a party?

I had no earthly clue what Steam Punk was. Do you? 

If you don't know, here are some pics from the exhibit. Let's see if you can decipher STEAM PUNK before I give you the definition I found in the Urban Dictionary. 

Can you guess?
Here's what it said:


Steampunk is a subgenre of speculative fiction, usually set in an anachronistic Victorian or quasi-Victorian alternate history setting. It could be described by the slogan "What the past would look like if the future had happened sooner." It includes fiction with science fiction, fantasy or horror themes. 
Medieval Steampunk: Speculative fiction set during the Middle Ages. 

Victorian Steampunk: A modern Science Fiction work (post-1930s) that is set in the early parts of the industrial revolution.

Western Steampunk: Science fiction set in the American Old West.

Industrial/Modern Steampunk: Science fiction taking place in the late industrial age, early modern age; i.e. World War 1, World War 2

Examples of steampunk: Wild Wild West,Final Fantasy 7, Van Helsing, The Time Machine
Hellboy Sky, Captain and the World of Tomorrow

Expensive skirt is copper pipes
Party participants were encouraged to dress up for the evening. And dress up they did using old gears, clock parts, vacuum cleaner parts, antiques like a toast maker, hair dryers, etc... Quite ingenuous to say the least. 

Drop dead shoes

There were hair stylists to give people steam punk hair all part of the artful party to have a steam punk of a good time. 

Artists were invited to sketch models who were posed in 15 minute sessions.

And attendees could pose in in front of a giant back-drop photo op.

My eyes are still full but then again no occasion has ever occurred to have us dress Steam Punk in the End of the Rainbow Valley... We certainly have have old farm stuff that would make some great outfits!