Friday, November 4, 2011


We were lucky enough to find this plant with its last few blooms of the season.  I believe its called Cowboy Whiskers and is a large member of the Prickly Pear family

Aileen has been slaving away for days preparing a nice birthday party for me and two of our friends and neighbours.  June was 75, Hiro was 71 and I was 65, all of us today.   Aileen made a huge batch of chili in the electric roaster and did large bowls of both potato and rice pasta salads.  She cooked a large crockpot full of super tasty wings, made a gluten free cake and more.  Several friends brought dishes and appies so we had far more food than 35 of us could eat.  I think a good time was had by all.
I had been cleaning the carport over the past couple days and this morning a friend helped haul 5 large tables from the clubhouse and chairs from some neighbours.  I had everything mostly set up in our carport when one of the neighbours alerted me to the weather forecast.  I went and checked on the computer and sure enough, a nasty dust storm was on its way.  I managed to rent one of our banquet halls on short notice so we moved the party inside.  Several of the friends came and helped get that set up then we hauled all the food up there later.  It was much nicer being inside and looking out at the wind and dust until it got too dark to see.  We seemed to fare alright with the storm but both I-8 and I-10 were closed at times.  These dust storms are like snow storms up north except you have brown out rather than white out conditions.  They closed the highway this time because just about all the previous several storms have resulted in multiple car crashes with several fatalities.
I’ve been out riding my ATV twice with the group and it was dusty.  The long drought is continuing in Southern Arizona.  They could use some rain like the northern part received the other day as we were driving.  I’ve also been enjoying getting out on my pedal bike as well.  It will be awhile before my butt gets used to the seat again but I really enjoy riding around the parks when the weather is nice.  It appears our temperatures will be about 20F cooler for the next week.  However, we are still well above snow/frost temperatures and that’s what matters to all of us hiding out down south!

Left to right - Hiro, June and John.  Isn't she a young looking 75?