Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Getting Ready for Bandito...

 Matt built this cat tree about 10 years ago now and has already recovered it twice.  As you can tell by the top few pictures Indi has made good use of it, in fact she really loves it.  We thought since Bandito is about to join the family and we don't want to have him declawed, that Matt had better recover it again.  I can't imagine what it will look like after it belongs to two cats with claws!  I think the appropriate name for it will now be Indi and Bandito's Tower of Terror!

Friday, May 15, 2015

Indi has a surprise coming!

Ladies Book Club

I recently started a ladies book club at my church.  I've named it  "Second Thursdays RMPCA Ladies Classics Book Club" because we meet on the second Thursday of the month to discuss a classic.  Last night was  our first meeting with eight ladies in attendence between the ages of 29-70.  Our first read was the famous classic East of Eden by John Steinbeck.  Though I do agree that Steinbeck was a very talented writer I did not care for this book.  But most of the group really liked it and the book easily provided a few hours worth of discussion.  Of course we enjoyed some treats and wine as well- a few California wines to go with the Salinas Valley theme of the book.

Here is our reading schedule for 2015.  All classics because I am a classics snob!

Reading for April: ALLEGORICAL NOVEL- East of Eden by John Steinbeck
Meet and Discuss: Thursday May 14th, 7:00 PM

Reading for May: FANTASY- The Princess and the Goblin by George MacDonald
Meet and Discuss: Thursday June 11th, 7:00 PM

Reading for June: ADVENTURE/HISTORICAL NOVEL- The Scarlet Pimpernel by Emma Orczy
Meet and Discuss: Thursday July 9th, 7:00 PM

Reading for July: COMING OF AGE/SOUTHERN GOTHIC- To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
Meet and Discuss: Thursday August 13th

Reading for August: SHORT STORIES/SOUTHERN GOTHIC- A Good Man is Hard to Find and Other Stories by Flannery O'Connor
Meet and Discuss: Thursday September 10th, 7:00 PM

Reading for September: SATIRE/ROMANCE/COMING OF AGE- Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen
Meet and Discuss: Thursday October 8th, 7:00 PM

Reading for October: HORROR- The Turn of the Screw by Henry James
Meet and Discuss: Thursday November 12th, 7:00 PM

Reading for November: FAIRYTALE- A Christmas Carol, The Chimes, & Cricket on the Hearth by Charles Dickens
Meet and Discuss: Thursday December 10th, 7:00 PM

Reading for December: DRAMA/COMEDY/SATIRE- The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde
Meet and Discuss: Thursday January 14th, 7:00 PM

Friday, April 10, 2015

Blessing of the Vines

Our very good friend Phil happens to be the pastor of our church so we asked him if he and his family would come to dinner this week in the vineyard and do the blessing of the vines for us. Now we are not Roman Catholic or superstitious or even real wine growers for that matter so this may sound kind of hokey and you're probably wondering what is this all about.  Well, we have designed our backyard to be a beautiful and inviting place for fellowship and ministry.  This is the area we use for gathering over food, books, wine, cigars, discussion and whatever else God may give us to gather over in the future.  So Phil did pray a blessing on the vineyard but mostly for the fruit of all that goes on in this special place. It was actually one of the most beautiful prayers I have ever heard Phil pray and it filled my heart with great joy.   And then we had a very nice meal together of garlic flat bread, prime rib, baked potatoes and asparagus, all made in the brick oven. We also shared our very favorite wine (Souverain Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2007) with the Kruis family since it was such a special occasion with special friends.  May God continue to bless the vineyard and our lives!

Evolution of the Backyard

The past few months Matt has been working on the backyard.  He took out our three raised garden beds and reshaped the area to put in a small vineyard (we did keep one raised bed that we placed below next to the grave of the Sharptooth).  He dug 8 holes and laid drip for the 8 vitus vinifera vines he ordered us from California.  We know the climate here is too  hot for wine grapes but we thought we would grow some anyway for fun, for their beauty and maybe one day try our hand at some wine.  We decided to choose the grape varietals we like best regardless of our climate and made sure to get the appropriate rootstock.  We have planted Cabernet Franc, Carignane, Petite Sirah, Zinfadel, Touriga Nacional, Nebbiolo, Sangiovese and Merlot. 


Desert Museum

Matt's Class


Matt is teaching his first adult education class at church right now on one of the greatest classics of all time, Pilgrim's Progress by John Bunyan.  The class is 13 weeks long. He has spent hours and hours preparing for the class and is doing such an amazing job teaching it.  It is clear to see that God has gifted him in this area.  I am very proud of him.  Sandi and Arianna have been coming every week.  I wish I was able to record the classes and share them with my family in Minnesota.

Visiting Janks and Kino Bay

At the end of February we headed down to Mexico again to see the Janks.  Of course we had our normal tradtions of eating tacos, having our steak dinner, wine shopping and playing spades and we also  went to the beach for the afternoon.  The four of us plus their 2 dogs crammed into Ryan's Jeep Wrangler and drove about an hour or so west to Kino Bay where we laid on the beach, played in the waves, and had a friendly tournament of bocce ball.   It was really windy that day but still lovely to be at the sea.  Kino Bay is not really for tourists so we shared the beach with a only a few locals.   Here are some pics...

Christmas Surprise!

As usual I am way behind on blogging but I have to post a few pictures from this past Christmas when my sister Regan and her family (minus Jax) made a surprise visit to Arizona for the holidays.  It was one of the most surprising moments in my life when I came home from work one night around 7, entering through my garage into the house and I heard loud Christmas singing.  At first I thought Matt had the TV on really loud and there was a Christmas movie on but when I looked into the living room the TV was off and Matt was not even in there.  Then I thought I must have Christmas carolers at my door- how strange because I live out of town a bit.  I slowly peeped around the corner to look at the front door and to my GREAT SURPRISE I saw my sister, her husband and their kids with Matt singing "We Wish you a Merry Christmas" at my front door.  I was utterly shocked and confused!!  It took me a minute to realize what was going on.  They had a great laugh as they came in and we had welcome hugs.  Apparently Matt knew the whole time of their plan to come stay with us over Christmas and New Years and never let on a thing about it!  It was very nice to have them here and share our Tucson life with them.  It was also heart melting to have my two nieces playing together.