Ducks in the Desert?


I am still in search of signs of spring for Roda’s Challenge, so last weekend the hubby and I set out, once again, to hike in Sabino Canyon. This time we went further and higher into the canyon.

We went to Seven Falls, which was 1800 feet up and an 8 mile round trip. I had been assured that there would be water when we arrived, but being from Washington, I was skeptical for what passed as a waterfall in Tucson. I was completely amazed at the transformation!

Everything looked pretty normal as we entered the trail.


A mile or so in, we saw our first pools.


We actually thought that this may be the most water we would see. Along the way I tried to snap a couple shots of the stream.


We were rather impressed by this! Normally this is dry sand. As we continued up, and up, we were moving above the Saguaros. These are huge and we normally can not see the new growth on the top of the cactus branches. But now the spring growth was visible. It looked as though they were covered with cotton.


We could hear water, and then as we rounded a switchback, we saw the source of the sound. Can you see the multiple falls!


Getting a little closer.


This is where everyone was hanging out! It was like an oasis ๐ŸŒด๐ŸŒŠ๐ŸŒต

Kids, and some crazy adults, were jumping into the freezing water. A few folks were feeding the ducks! What are Mallards doing in Tucson?? They had to be lost, of course men never ask for directions ๐Ÿ˜





I took a video and happened to capture one of the boys jumping in around 20 seconds, see if you can spot him!

Everyone was having a great time, as we all know this won’t last forever. Already the temps are in the 80Fs and by late May it will be closer to 90F.

I am so glad we went up this trail, it is currently one of my favorite hikes in Tucson ๐Ÿ˜ƒ

Roda’s Signs of Spring Challenge๐Ÿ€

There is a very short window for spring in Tucson. This week is in the 80Fs already and it is only March 9th. That means it will be too hot (for me anyway) to be hiking at the end of the month. So the hubby and I are out as much as possible right now. Soon there will be rattlesnakes ๐Ÿย and scorpions ๐Ÿฆ‚ย out and about too!

We set out to hike Soldier Trail on nearby Mt. Lemmon. The out and back trail is just under 6 miles, but has some hefty elevation gains. It was rated difficult with an 1800 ft. climb. Eventually, it does crest! And, that is where we recorded our evidence of spring in the desert ๐ŸŒต

New growth on this prickly guy!


And at the tips of this spiky plant!


As with Sabino Canyon we found water flowing in Soldier Canyon! Look at that green color near the top of the steam, leading to a series of pools. That color won’t last long.




The canyon itself is quite deep, and plants grow in any crevice they can find. This one is hanging off the edge.


We went on our way and saw many examples of foliage that, somehow, thrives in this harsh environment.



Here is an old, craggy life form, hitting a modified tree pose now ๐Ÿ˜œ


We are heading back to Sabino Canyon this weekend, to the Seven Falls Trail! Hoping to find some bigger waterfalls before they dry up for the season ๐Ÿคž๐Ÿ’•


Roda’s Signs of Spring Challenge!


I hope this works! This is my first post from my new, and highly improved, computer!

I am so sorry to my blog buddies, I am so behind on many of your great articles, recipes and stories!! My old lap top just couldn’t keep up with anything anymore ๐Ÿ˜’! So after 2 hours at the only Mac store in Tucson, and a few grand lighter in my wallet, I am back online ๐Ÿคž.

The amazing Roda, from Growing Self Blog has issued a challenge! The mission is to find signs of spring as we say good bye to winter!ย ๐Ÿฆ‹

The weather is fabulous in Tucson (80Fs all week!). I had to get outside the other day and decided to head over to nearby Sabino Canyon. I have been there many times and while it is a great place, it has always been extremely dry. Not this time! Apparently spring in the desert means water, and lot of it.

This is the Sabino Creek trail, where I usually walk straight through the dry sand. Today there was no way to cross over to the other side.


The top of the dam, which is never wet!


We have never seen water trickling over the dam, but now it is in torrents!


There were families out enjoying this anomaly!

I had to take a video to prove to my family that this really did happen! Remember this is dry and dusty most of the year, and this was the first time we have had any evidence that the dam was more than just ornamental โ˜บ๏ธ

I will be out looking for more signs, if this post works! ๐Ÿ’•


A Precious Gift!


Look at this beautiful necklace that just arrived from my dear, dear friend Roda of Growing Self Blog!

It arrived in this package


Roda had told me that she was sending me something for my birthday, which was earlier this month. It was such a hassle for her because we were bouncing between homes. Mail forwarding messed up the delivery and she had to resend it! I told her how sorry I was that this was turning into an ordeal, but Roda persevered!


This amazing woman also included a heart felt note that made me tear up!

What Roda did not know, what she could not know, was that due to the delays this arrived on the anniversary of the worst day of my life. The day, two years ago, that threw my life into a tailspin, one that I was not sure I would recover from. The day that caused me to, 6 months later, begin this blog, and the quest to become visible again. I did not feel “strong, bold and brave” that day. ย I felt alone, invisible and irrelevant.

I look at my life today and it is so different from that time, but then other days the pain can hit, and it is as if it was only moments ago. For Roda to send this to me now, means all the world to me. It is more than just a sweet thought from a kind and warm person.

I will wear this and think of you, my dear, dear friend! One who has touched my life and helped me through the fire. Love you lady!

MIY Studio Crafts Co. and Raining Cookies: Women supporting Women!

One of the main reasons that I began blogging was to connect with other women who were struggling with the big “what’s next” question. One of those amazing women isย Mary Forbes. Mary is a lot like many of us moms who raised her kids and has worked most of her adult life, and then found herself in the position of asking herself “What do I want to do now”?

Many of us don’t know that answer right away, but Mary really did have an idea. She has always had a talent for all things crafty, especially with a needle and thread, or yarn. She wanted to create a space for women to come together, support one another and enjoy crafting. It didn’t happen quickly! She had to find the right place, fix it up, take care of her family, work at her job and successfully battle breast cancer!

Now Mary’s dream is a reality, and in Snoqualmie Washington! MIY Studio Crafts Company offers a variety of workshops and classes taught by either Mary herself, or other women from all over the state. I was eager to visit her studio and when a cookie decorating class popped up on the schedule, I jumped at the chance to sign up!

MIY Studio Crafts Co is a converted home that Mary purchase and turned into a warm and inviting crafting studio. The house was built in 1910, and needed some serious upgrading.


When the railroad was built, it ran right through the front yard of the house. So, now the back of the home is the front entrance.


I arrived a little early to take some pictures before our class began, which was focused on the basics of decorating cookies with royal icing.

The inside was redone and was bright, pretty and organized for any type of craft project one could imagine.


This class took place on Sunday morning, so Mary offered snacks and mimosas!



The mimosas were quite popular!

I then met our teacher for the class. Julia Omholt from Raining Cookies is a young woman who operates her cookie business from a commercial kitchen in nearby Redmond, WA. Mary and Julia have known one another for many years. In fact, Julia makes cookies for wedding ceremonies and Mary served them at her daughters nuptials this past summer.

Julia brought everything needed to teach the class, which I really appreciated. Many of you know I like to bake and decorate cookies already. But, the most annoying part of that process is making all the icing, getting the consistency correct, and making all the colors….Well, that was all ready for us and all we had to do was the fun part! Oh and drink mimosas!

Each participant was given a folder with recipes for the royal icing, sugar cookies and a source list where we could purchase cutters, tips, and general baking supplies.



Our box contained six cookies: 2 giant hearts, heart shaped sunglasses, XO, lips and a cookie that said “love”. This was a Galantine’s Day event after all!


The studio had a designated space for demos, and Julia spent time going over the correct consistencies for our Royal icing. She provided both piping and flooding icings for us to work with.


Our colors were red, pink and teal.


Julia demonstrated her method for piping and flooding.


Then it was our turn to practice on plastic covered lines before moving onto the cookies.



Julia was very patient with us and provided detailed instructions on how to achieve the specific look of the cookies. It was fun to attempt to make the cookies as professional as hers!

These are my cookies below.



Have you ever purchased a cookie that looked great but tasted like paste? Well, that is not these cookies! Julia has wonderful flavor combinations, and these were delicious ๐Ÿ™‚



Mary is planning on having more baking classes and workshops, in addition to all the other great offerings that she has scheduled! And, Julia ships her cookies anywhere, so you can find out for yourself just how tasty they are!


I love it when women support other women! I am proud to recommend and promote both of these ladies and their businesses. I plan to attend more of Mary’s workshops, especially over the holidays, to learn and create her beautiful projects.

You can find MIY Studio Craft Co on Facebookย andย on Instagram here

And or follow on Instagram here

So proud of both of these ladies, both doing what they love and are passionate about. Taking the big steps to make their dreams come true ๐Ÿ™‚


Great Article from a like minded blogger

I love this lady! She writes about mid life issues and her blog is beautiful ๐Ÿ’•

Here is one of her recent posts about finding yourself again, enjoy ๐Ÿ˜Š

I am so touched and humbled by this!

growning self blogger award

โ€œThe Growing Self Blogger Award has been created to acknowledge and celebrate amazing individuals, in the blogging community, who are persevering through lifeโ€™s challenges not only to GROW as individuals, ย but toย reach out and help others GROW as well.โ€ ~Roda

I feel truly blessed to have met so many wonderful individuals through this process called blogging! I had no idea this world even existed a year ago. I started blogging to deal with my personal pain and isolation and found a network of strong, funny, talented, artistic and kind human beings! Many of whom were dealing with life’s struggles just like me.

I never would have dreamed that the friends I have made in the blogosphere would help me in my “real world” relationships as well. I have been more open, more willing to try new things and, dare I say it, more trusting. Actually, I am still working on that last one ๐Ÿ™‚

Many bloggers have been generous to me and nominated my blog for awards, and all of those are important to me. I admit, I am way behind! Embarrassingly so! I hope to start catching up soon. But one lovely human, one that I will never be able to put on the back burner, has nominated me for the award that she herself has crafted. Which makes it extra special! If you know Roda, then you understand what I am talking about! Her nomination brought tears to my eyes, so I will begin digging out of the backlog with “The Growing Self Blogger Award”


How it works:

  • Put the award logo/image on your blog
  • List the rules
  • Thank the individual that nominated you and provide a link to their blog
  • Describe the award and mention the creator: Rodaย  โ€“
  • Nominate up to 5 blogs.ย  Remember, the purpose of this award is to specifically celebrate those individuals that have made a difference in your life or the lives of others.
  • Give at least 1 reason why you nominated each individual.
  • Notify your nominees of the award

Today I would like to nominate:

Sophie from Foodzesty

Monika from Everyday Healthy Recipes

Jay from My Truth is Now

Linda from Mainepaperpusher

Sophie- You are my long lost sister from Greece! No, we don’t look alike, I’m sure, as I have red hair, freckles and burn instantly so no one would ever confuse me for a Greek beauty! But, we connected so quickly and strongly from the instant we started messaging. You are so kind and considerate and inspire me to get into the kitchen and try new recipes. We have our mutual love of Rafa to bind us across time zones and you are the first person I think of when a tennis match pops up on my TV. Thank you my dear friend for all the emails and the beautiful post card from Greece!

Monka- I have learned so much from you! Your healthy recipes help me stay on track and fuel my, sometimes, insane workout schedule. I have found new ingredients and tried new techniques which have helped me grow my culinary repertoire. Thank you for putting up with all my questions! One day I will figure out how to get to your cooking site to share those recipes. You are so sweet to take the time to research my queries and help me navigate the blogosphere!

Jay- You are such a sweet man! You inspire me to read more than my usual “goto genres”. I am a creature of habit and will easily fall back on my usual authors. You have made me a better analyst, helping me look beyond the obvious and uncover the many underlying possibilities. I am honored to be a witness to your literary ascent! Please know that I am truly privileged to be a small part of helping you on your way ๐Ÿ™‚

Linda-I know, I know, you don’t do awards. I also know that you break the rules when you feel strongly about something. Guess what? Your friendship is so important to me that I am breaking your rule! I am not nominating you to be irritating, but because I feel so strongly about the impact you have made on my life that I am going to talk about you whether you like it or not! So there! We have much in common, and I know if we lived on the same coast we would be fast friends. You inspire me to keep putting myself out there, we both know how easy it is it become isolated. Those of us who are a little too comfortable with alone time can become overlooked, as it were. And, we have the same sense of humor! Your Guest in Jest series is one of my favorite weekly posts! I would give just about anything to spend an afternoon with you drinking coffee, eating cookies and laughing our asses off. Thank you, my friend ๐Ÿ™‚

And Roda….The only reason you are not nominated is because you nominated me! I will find you in Colorado, or Seattle, one day. And, hug the stuffing out you ๐Ÿ™‚