San Xavier Mission

We were taking a trip to Tubac, which is town with many galleries, shops and restaurants. This is south of Tucson, but along the way is the beautiful San Xavier Mission. It was founded in 1692 and it is situated in the center of a Papago Indian settlement or as they prefer to be called the Tohono O’ohdam.

The original foundation was laid in 1700 but the actual building of this mission took 14 years , 1783 to 1797. You can learn more on their webpage.

The ornate ceiling. This building was built by the villagers of Bac, Franciscan Friars and the Tohono O’odham Indians.
The Background of the Alter built entirely of burned brick and covered with gilded and painted plaster.
In the Chapel of the Sorrowful Mother right off the Sanctuary.
The Mary Pew Benson Garden.
The Nativity in the Mission. It was so interesting and one like I hadn’t seen before, I wanted to find out more. My findings led me to Santa Rita Abbey and one of the nuns does sculpture. They are a cloistered community high in the Santa Rita Mountains.
This is Grotto Hill and I did not walk up it but it did look so inviting and interesting. My back and legs were protesting all the beautiful hills in Arizona. I found an article that spoke well of San Xavier Mission and Grotto Hill with no pop ups to deal with.

Just a Few Favorites a little at a time

My friend Cathy would feed the birds daily. I just loved the quail that would come running to eat the seed on the ground. They were so cute and this is just one of many that would come out from desert.

I did not get to see a real Javelina but I think this has to be one of the cutest after all they don’t seem to be just another pretty face. This was found in Tubac which was a wonderful town full of art.

Cathy and Marks neighbor makes these sculptures. I have pictures of quite a few. They were amazing and I am sure heavy. They have a lot of rebar on them.

This was taken out of the window looking at the mountains. I cannot remember which ones they are but the sunset was bouncing off this. The white plants are cholla.

We went to a raptor show and I was standing at a perfect spot because the birds landed in that dead tree. The is a great horned owl and his head is turned around.
We drove through the Barrio Viejo in Tuscon where these houses of the late 1800s – early 1900s have been revitalized. They are very colorful with a lot of desert landscaping. 
A hill with many Saguaros with lots of arms. You are seeing water drops in the morning. We were on our way to the desert museum. I have many more favorites but this was enough for now. It was a fantastic trip and our hosts were so accommodating. They had a beautiful home and this desert was not how we thought it would be. It was fun to go somewhere that we had not experienced before.


Tom and I just got back from a vacation in Tuscon visiting our friends. It gave us a whole new perspective and appreciation of the desert and cactus. We had such a wonderful time and I will be posting pictures as time goes on. I found this 20 minute video from the National Parks Service which explained a lot about the Saguaro Cactus and the Sonora Desert along with other cactus too, there are so many. We stayed smack dab in the middle of the Saguaro National Park. Hope you enjoy this and it educated me more about that surrounding area we were in. The link is right here.

For the New Year 2024

Here it is the fifth day of January and the New Year has really started out pretty well. We spent New Years Eve in Detroit and attended a Red Wings game. They played the Bruins and unfortunately lost but it was still fun with a packed house. I am showing my favorite player, Mo Seider # 53. He is a young defenseman (age 22) and is just a steady guy doing his job. He is a favorite, there are many of his jerseys being worn at every game we go to. The weather cooperated, not too cold, we stayed the night and got back on New Years Day around one to just take it easy.

One of new calendars, my husband, Tom knows I love lighthouses and picked it up. I was thrilled to see the Manistee light because two years ago we took a sunset cruise that took off from Manistee.

Here is my picture of the Manistee light as we were getting ready to go out on Lake Michigan. I laugh every time I think of when I made a post on Facebook about this picture. I made reference to the cat walk and was put into Facebook jail because I was writing about something inappropriate.

Another calendar, a mini Susan Branch that I keep right in site of my computer. I do love her watercolor painting and notes and quotes. Out today is a new blog post on her site, it’s always interesting.
I always use her two year pocket calendar that is just as cute as her larger calendars. The cover papers are very sturdy and that is handy because I take it in and out of my purse a lot. I love the primroses on the front.
A friend and I exchange calendars each year and usually it is a Charley Harper Calendar. This year I asked for this Terrry Runyan calendar. I just love her cats, this one will be going down into a room that I am turning into guest room and extension of my studio.
Most of the pictures here today are taken on my new little digital camera. In the near future we are flying to Arizona and I wanted a small camera that is not my phone. Or a small one to take to the beach that is easier to handle than my Nikon while sitting in a beach chair.
I am still learning where everything is and these Starbucks cups could have used a flash. I don’t know what I am going to do with them but maybe some of the designs may be some inspiration.
We have been looking for travel items and have found a few at Meijer. We are not checking a bag but doing a carry on and another bag to put under the seat. I had been looking all over for some root pump and found some made by Big Sexy Hair. It’s pretty cute if I do say so. I have found little Secret deodorant and the little bottle for my shampoo and a travel blow dryer at half price with some extra CVS points. They almost gave it to me!

This weekend we will be seeing a Lions game. They have been very exciting and we started going to the games when they were 0 AND 16. We have gone through 4 coaches, the owner William Clay Ford passed away, then Martha Ford, his wife took the helm and now Sheila Ford, the daughter is the chairwoman. Dan Campbell, the coach has been there for three years but played for the Lions in 2006. He is from Texas.

There are many exciting things coming up in the next months. This is my first painting for the year. I am just sketching in with watercolor crayons and pencils. This is so the mark dissolves when I use the paint. This is a special piece which I will talk about when it is completed.

These are the books I am reading right now on my kindle app. I saw them on facebook and bought them. The first five or 6 were a total of $6.99 and I couldn’t find them in the library, so I went for it. These books are entertaining with a retired policeman who lost his wife a year before. He didn’t know how to cook and decided to take a trip to different small cities and learn how to make different dishes. He is accompanied by a dog who was kicked out of the police academy for disobedience. It is fun to read what the dog is thinking and of course the retired policeman falls into cases. It is Albert Smiths Culinary Capers and I purchased on, of course, Amazon.
Our tree and lights are still up. I love to look in there and see them. I am really enjoying them now since I don’t have to do anything, just enjoy. We probably will take them down next week. There is a little snow coming so I will take down the outdoor lights but we don’t turn them on anymore. I have been getting the applications in for upcoming art shows. There are many new painting ideas swirling in my mind. I would like to paint a couple of pieces of furniture and get pictures hung. I am planning on working on needlework and hopefully a little quilting. Plans for the redo of the guest area, and short term would like to clean out my bird feeders and put new food in and plant some succulents to replace others that didn’t make it.

This little guy comes onto our porch to eat the cat food. I believe he may make it into a painting.

I hope your New Year is going fine and until next time.

Book Review-Between Sisters by Kristin Hannah

As like all Kristin Hannah books, I haven’t found one I don’t like. It’s the same with “Between Sisters”.

Two Sisters Meghan Dontess and Claire Cavenaugh, while growing up they lived in a run down trailer because their mother worked at jobs that didn’t pay much or brought home men to entertain. She was gone often, for days and Meghan who is the oldest took care of Claire who was younger. The sisters were four years apart, probably 9 and 13 years old at the time. They had a very close relationship because they just had to depend on each other. One day their mother left to go to California to try out for a part and nailed the lead roll. The girls had run out of food and had no money, so Meghan called Claires father to come and take her. Meghan did not know who her father was but did go with Claire and her father. Two or three years went by and it did not work out Meghan had a chip on her shoulder and was not a happy person at that time and she left not knowing where she was going to go.

In the book there is also a man named Joe, who when first introduced, was also wandering and walking, dirty, shaggy hair, smelled bad. Stopped at restaurants to get food, asked where he could get some work. The waitress told him where he could get a shower and possibly work. We can tell by his thoughts that he was running from something, had been gone for three years, was debating whether to make his way back home, and scared to make a phone call back there.

Now a Country singer named Bobby comes into Claire’s life. She was on an annual vacation with her friends. They would go to a resort by a lake and bring their kids for a week. Each woman had their own story from just getting a divorce or being happily married another having a child after finding out the father was already married and lastly one of them had died four years before. One of the friends had a 14 year old son and he watched the rest of the kids while the women went to listen to music and dance in town. Bobby and his band were the music that night.

Meghan had ended up going to college and became one of the most well known divorce lawyers in Seattle. She charges $400.00 per hour and is quite wealthy. She lives in an apartment that is in a high rise and overlooks the city. She meets with a Psychiatrist weekly and she has done this for many years. Her apartment was decorated by an interior decorator and really has no personal items in it, it’s beautiful but feels very cold. She was married once but got divorced and is bitter over that afraid to commit to other relationships and just meets men to have sex with no strings attached. She very rarely talks about anything important with Claire but has the obligatory call at holidays and birthdays. Neither girls like to talk with Mom who is a big star now and it is always about Mom when they talk to her.

So I have set up the book, there are so many interesting stories with each person. It makes you think and try to decide how this all will come together. At times I had to go back and reread a few areas to get it to work in my mind. It started out slow but 1/4 into the book it became a page turner. By the end you will need your tissues as usual.

This book was Copywrite in 2003 and I noticed with very recent books like The Four Winds or The Nightingale how Kristin’s writing has evolved. She does more historical research and the books are good and the reader learns from them. I read those two books last year and just was up to writing book reviews for them. Please read them, you won’t be able to put them down.

Between Sisters was very good. It definitely brings to the for front family interactions.


Ring Out the Old, Ring in the New

May all Your New Year Dreams Come True.

Let’s Party, Watercolor—-Reproductions can be found in my shop right here.

You Can’t Turn Back the Clock,

But You Can Wind it up Again.


Ring Out the Old, Ring in the New

May All Your New Year’s Dreams Come True.

Let’s Party, Watercolor….Reproduction can be found in the shop right here.

You can’t turn back the clock,

But you can wind it up again.

2023 Here We Come

So I am going to start my post out with our Christmas Tree. I took this picture this morning when it was dark. I know I have shown it before but since I am going to talk about Christmas first I thought it was perfect to start with the tree. We couldn’t take the pictures on Christmas Day by the tree because amazingly we had sun and it was too bright. We have very few sunny days in December in Indiana. My goodness, it was so cold and icy and the wind was horrendous for three days! It will be memorable but we only had an inch of snow, unlike other places…like Buffalo, New York that ended up with almost four feet of snow. They have that lake effect that pounds them, earlier they had some pretty good snow too, maybe around Thanksgiving? We saw the mayor say “We are a pretty hardy bunch in Buffalo, but this one was bad”. To have it declared a blizzard the wind had so sustain 35 mph or more for at least three hours. We were told that Fort Wayne hit that mark at 3:30 pm on Saturday the 24th. Our son had to work that evening and he was staying at our house because it isn’t as far to drive. It usually takes him 30 minutes to get there. He decided to leave around 3:15 pm and he had waited to see if they would call off work, and he had called them to tell about white out conditions but the travel conditions for the county were not the worst they could be so he was told he had to come in. We downloaded an app to watch him get to work, he got there a little after 4 pm, then he called us and they called off work as he was pulling into the drive. So he drove back to our house in what we now know were the blizzard condition winds. He made it and was a hardy one too. The weather service originally forecasted 3 to 6 inches of snow for us, so thankful we didn’t get that.

Here is the four of us on Christmas Day. I was setting the timer and getting in the picture. I wasn’t sure if I needed to lean in to make it into the picture. I don’t walk fast and I had Kevin saying “don’t trip and fall” be careful. But I like the picture, we haven’t gotten one of the four of us this year.
Since the weather was so bad my niece and her family didn’t want to chance it so this Sunday on New Years Day we will celebrate with them. The weather is supposed to be in the 40’s with some rain, much better conditions.
Something I discovered this year that I am sure you will want to try. They were passing these out at Costco. I thought they would probably be drab and dry but no way! The seasoning is fabulous, and I cannot get enough of them! I eat them for a morning snack, they are perfectly crunchy and tasty! Don’t be skeptical you will not be disappointed.

More than likely, you have seen me talk about my surgeries this year and a half. My last one was August 24th and it was a back fusion. I did physical therapy for nine weeks and in that time I had a check up with our family doctor. He did not like the way my walk was progressing. He thought that going to a therapist that had a pool would be beneficial. They were thinking of people with spinal surgeries when this pool was put in. There is no pain when exercising but you know if you worked hard because there is soreness your next day which is to be expected. I haven’t used it yet but there is even a treadmill in it. The depth goes to 4.5 feet and is 90 degrees.

Halloween had decent weather this year and I sat outside and took pictures. This little guy was Hulk Hogan. How cute he is and love the mustache.
I loved the Lego guy and how about the adult bringing up the rear who was a domino, too funny. I enjoy seeing what people come up with.
How about the Ghostbuster guy and the Stay Puff the marshmallow man. I did take more but those were highlights. The kids love to have their pictures taken.
I have been printing each day, the 4 X 6 images of my paintings to turn into cards. That pile is two inches high so far and if I don’t print each day the printer needs to have the print heads cleaned. That makes my black ink go down so fast. I am trying to keep my printer going for the year because I think a new one may be in the works. I am preparing for the art season this year, I should be good enough to do shows with help from my husband. It takes a while to put cards together and I am planning on carving new stamps too.
These next pictures are some that I did this year. These were commissioned by a woman that she loved her little dog who passed on. Chelsie was 17 and had been her brother’s dog and she took her when he passed away. I did two 6 x6 canvases, the top one is titled “Among the Flowers” and the bottom is “Chelsie in the Kitchen”.
The top heart pictures were commissioned by a special customer. She was giving these to friends whom she gets together with and plays a game. Two of the friends were gardeners, one lives on Moose Lake and one enjoys the wide open spaces of the midwest.
The top painting is one I did for a friend who lives in Florida. His name is Rocky and is their special dog who went to visit elderly people and did such a wonderful job, they looked so forward to seeing him.

The bottom one was our neighbor who was a boxer named Maggy. She got cancer this year and is sorely missed. The kids came over to have me create a mixed media painting to give to their Mom for Christmas.

This is my most recent painting titled “Surround Yourself with Friends”. It was our 2022 Christmas card and many of you received it.
This is the last I will share for this post, it is titled “Here’s my Happy” I love all the different flowers and it truly makes me happy. I have been applying to art fairs and am looking forward to 2023. I will be updating my online shop and will announce when it is done, but if you see something that catches your eye, please write me. Have a safe and happy New Year

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It’s A Beautiful Morning

I am up this morning just as the sun is slowly coming up and the sky is slightly brightening. I am a little later than usual because it is usually 5 am or before. It is 5:30 and that makes a big difference with the cat’s stomachs. They hear some rustling in bed and they are all rolling into the bedroom to see who is getting up. So, they get fed and new water put in their bucket and the boxes cleaned out for them to immediately use again. I pour my coffee in one of my favorite cups hand made by Kelly Pottery Design. I am very choosy about my mugs. The handles have to be roomy, nothing smalll. I like to have a firm grip on my morning coffee. She does wonderful, colorful and textured work and is also a delightful person. I became acquainted with her at a show last year and we had such a nice talk about almost everything! You can find her on Facebook at just Kellypotterydesign to find where her next show is.
Making my way out to the covered porch and it’s a little cool so I grab a towel that had been drying and slung it over my shoulders for the perfect warmth. Once the patio door is left open the cats gather around it and watch and sniff the air. They love it so. L to back…Sophie, Pooky, Lily.
Mr. Miggy usually first at the door. He is our largest, so much so that it is hard to have him on our lap and he is a real lap sitter. He is a lover, Pooky is his brother and we have Mama also (not Pictured) and Pavel (also not pictured.)
I absolutely love these kind of days, when everything is green and the farmers field is growing beans this year with the beautiful straight rows. The grass is green but if we don’t get more rain then it is on the verge of being brown. There is a wren singing loudly and in the distance is the soulful song of the morning dove on the neighbors roof. The robins are nearby doing their special chattering. The heron just took off to another close by pond. I love his stick legs straight back in flight. Of course there are the ever present sparrows on the ground looking for bug or moths. The killdeer just flew in over by the pond and I am wondering if there is a nest over there. There are rocks around the pond and would be a perfect hiding place for the nest. I hear the nonstop talk of the goldfinches. I need to fill my birdfeeder again and that would make the cats very happy because we have finches visit all the time. The road that goes through our little town is very busy. I can hear the constant movement of the cars and an occasional motorcycle with the radio turned up.
This is the third year that we have had the tree swallows build their nest and have their babies. We tore down the crappy one last fall and low and behold they showed up again in May. When we are out there they do a lot of swooping back and forth till they decide we aren’t going anywhere. Then they calm down. There are eggs up there and look closely you can see a little head sitting on the nest. Once in a while we find an egg on the ground like it accidently fell out or they dumped it out.
This one stopped by to see if the sitter needed anything, heck they might have even changed places. We often have hawks flying in the air, we have many that live in the trees. There is also a cardinal that flies from tree to tree with its signature song then Mr. Bluejay comes around too with his forceful cry. Well, I think I will end this because Tom has set up the sprinklers to give the grass a good soaking……tika tika tika whirrrrr. Think Happy

Some Sad News

The other day I went to the orthopedic doctor to talk to him about a pinched nerve in my back. I haven’t had a really good nights sleep for a few months. In October I had a double knee replacement and I couldn’t sleep well until they healed. I thought that because I had to sleep in a chair, and it wasn’t a recliner that my nerves in my back became inflamed and I may need a cortisone shot. I had an x-ray and MRI and went in to see what he found out.

So much more than we expected. He said I needed a fusion on my lower back and a left hip replacement, it is bone on bone. I have had a few days to let this soak in, I had pictured using my new knees this summer and happily walking all over the place. I have had more problems than I expected with my new knees, so I thought, my left leg limped and was weak and hurt so much when I slept on that side. I have had pain going all the way down my left side and I can’t stand up straight and can’t sleep on my back.

I have made the decision to withdraw from my shows and get the surgeries and take the time to heal and just begin to feel good. Going to shows and putting up a tent, being out in the heat, dealing with bad weather, all is hard work and I am not up to it.

I will still be painting and offering everything through my website and I hope and hope that good people will fall in love with my work and buy from me through my shop. I will still be involved in the Artist Studio Tour on October 1, 2022. I will have my studio open and will be excited to see everyone.

This has been coming on before my knee surgery and it took that to bring it to the forefront. I am saddened that I have had to withdraw but we will go on.