Kung Fu Panda and Joe Satriani

We had the boys this weekend, which is always lots of fun. I love having them at our house and look forward to their arrival every other weekend. The oldest is really into Call of Duty 4 (or as the cool kids call it – COD4) and I think he would play it constantly from the time he gets in the door until the moment we take him home if we’d let him. We don’t, and I think he’s okay with that, but still…if given the chance, I don’t think it would go offline all weekend. ūüôākung_fu_panda

Saturday’s mail brought a package from Amazon.com. I pre-ordered Kung Fu Panda for my hubby for his birthday (which was Tuesday – Happy Birthday Honey!). Now my hubby is not¬† a big fan of going to the movies, but we’d seen the trailers to Kung Fu Panda and thought it looked funny, so we went. It was so funny, in fact,¬†that we went twice! There is something about the slow motion animation that is so hilarious that we had tears running down our faces both times we saw it in the theater. This one is a definite “got to own it” movie. So guess what we did Saturday night…yep, watched Kung Fu Panda with the boys. We all got a good laugh out of it. ¬†I¬†couldn’t help but ¬†think that the dudes would have probably laughed a lot harder at this movie three years ago (especially oldest, who is now 15 and cooler than the other side of your pillow) than they did now, but I think they enjoyed it a lot.

Last night we dropped the boys off a couple of hours earlier than usual because my wonderful sister-in-law bought us tickets to see Joe Satriani at the Dodge Theater in Phoenix. Before the show my husband treated me to a fabulous dinner of prime rib at Kinkaids.

l-westLeslie West and Mountain opened the show. They weren’t bad, but not great either. During the second (I think) song Leslie tripped over one of his cords and crashed into the floor, tweaking his knee and who knows what else. This guy is no spring chicken anymore so there was a lot of concern for him. He got up, limped back to his mike, cussed some, and continued his portion of the show. His bass player (sorry, can’t recall his name) was pretty entertaining. He’d get his 2 ft. braids (which protrude from his mohawk) swinging around his head like a helicopter and I was pretty sure he was going to take flight at any moment.¬† The highlight of Leslie’s show was when he played Mississippi Queen, which was the only song that I recognized of his.

Then came Joe Satriani…Wow! That. Dude. Can. Play! He’s just so amazing. He did mostly songs from his satch1new album. But he also did a few of his old standby’s as well. I especially love his song “Always With Me, Always With You” as that is the song my daughter and her hubby chose for their processional music for their wedding in August 2007. He did one song, “Ghosts” that I thought was pretty interesting. I liked the mystery and emotion that it evoked. “Andalusia”is a beautiful song that is technically brilliant…but of course all of Satch’s music is technically brilliant. He switched guitars throughout the show, but I think my favorite was a gorgeous silver guitar that he played quite a bit.¬†¬†Several of Joe’s¬†guitarsare custom made by Ibanez. Stu Hamm, Joe’s bass player, did an incredible solo on the bass…Wow!! What a show!

The only down side to the entire evening is that I had this in front of me all night, blocking my view!!

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He could have just scrunched down in his seat, couldn’t he? Oh well, the music was still amazing and I had a great time with my hubby. Many thanks to my sister-in-law for the concert. It was a once in a lifetime experience for me!

Mariposa Monarch

Picture 110, originally uploaded by lyndaspix2004.

Mariposa means butterfly in Spanish.

My friend, Jamie, and I went to the Desert Botanical Garden in Phoenix to see the Monarch exhibit. We each took hundreds of photos and had a great time.

Unlike the butterflies that are in the exhibit in the spring, the Mariposa Monarch is not a “friendly” butterfly. They get nervous when you get too close and they don’t seem to like the click or flash of the camera. Monarchs also tend to land on the ground a lot, so you have to be careful of each step that you take.

Jamie and I spent a good hour in the butterfly house observing these fascinating creatures and trying to capture a moment where they actually were still. They love the colorful flowers in the exhibit and flit from one to another until they think they’re going to be left alone!

Every fall, by instinct alone, the Monarch butterflies go to the same mountains that their ancestors left the previous spring. Somehow, they find a place in Mexico that they’ve never seen before. Monarchs only fly during the day and at night you might see a handful, or even hundreds of them roosting in trees or on a bridge!

Each winter, the entire eastern population of monarch butterflies in Mexico clusters together on only 10-12 volcanic mountains, in large colonies estimated to contain millions of individuals. Significantly, an estimated 80% of the butterflies concentrate each year in only four core colonies.

All of the colonies are in Mexico’s Transvolcanic Belt, and most of these colonies are spread along an arc from the western face of the volcano “Nevado de Toluca” to the northeastern extreme of the state of Michoacan. The four core sites–El Rosario, Sierra Chincua, Chivati-Huacal and Cerro Pelon–are located in the center of the arc, near Angangueo.

You can read more about the Monarchs’ amazing journey here:

http://www.learner.org/jnorth/monarch/

Everything’s Rosy

 

 

I don’t know about you, but I love roses! I love the entire rainbow of colors that they come in, I love the romantic feelings they evoke and I love their sweet fragrance.

Below are some rose photos that I’ve taken over the past couple of years.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I love the way the yellow centers of these roses fades into a lovely peachy/pink color.

This hot pink beauty and the peach roses above were grown by my brother-in-law. I shot these pix on Easter in 2006.

The beautiful rose below was taken in Prescott when I went up to shoot some cover photos of a hotel for the quarterly publication that our company puts out.

The roses below were from a bouquet that a friend received when I was still working at IBM. I don’t believe I’ve ever seen a more perfect rose than the yellow one.

My Husband Says My Blog Is Boring…

I know, I haven’t posted anything in quite a while. I have been busy with stepsons, my daughter and her husband visiting from Colorado, work, a birthday party (the big 5-0 for my sis-in-law) and¬†I’ve been reading a good book that I have a hard time putting down (Spencerville by Nelson DeMille).

It’s been even longer since I posted any of my pix. But, since the kids were visiting this weekend and since we also had the birthday party I do have some fun things to add today.

 

This is my daughter, Laurie, and her husband, Cody. They flew in Thursday and went home to Colorado on Sunday. Aren’t they the cutest couple ever?

This is Ziggy, who is all dressed up in his grass skirt and lei for his momma’s birthday party.

 

I’m a Sucker for the Unique

As you have seen in some of my previous posts, I’m a sucker for unique fashion.

Perhaps¬†it’s because my own sense of style is pretty much limited to jeans, a t-shirt and a comfy pair of sneakers, therefore I’m easily impressed by other people’s courage to wear things that I’d NEVER wear.

Maybe¬†it’s just because my crazy friends send me these emails with hilarious photos of people wearing extreme, wild and, sometimes,¬†amazing costumes.

Here are the latest pictures, received via email, from my friend, Sue.

Balloons have never looked better!!!

 

A little “off-the-shoulder” number! Wait, maybe that’s the other sleeve in the designer’s hand?

I think this one looks rather “Disney”, don’t you?

Mardi Gras?

Let me guess…an audition for Josie and the Pussycats?

                                                                                                                                                                       

Who doesn’t love¬†butterflies?¬†¬†¬†¬†

I think these are WAY better than some of the Prom in da Hood dresses!!

Up, up and away in my beautiful balloon!

       

And to think that¬†beauty queens¬†spend¬†$$$$ on¬†their evening gowns…

 

Our Las Vegas show girl is very ornate! This is one of my favorites.

 

I think this is the cast of some Way-Off-Broadway show.

 

Baseball and Fireworks

Last night my hubby and I went to a baseball game. This is part of his plan to spoil me rotten until I go back to work on Monday. I think I’ll keep him!

We drove to Chase Field to watch the San Diego Padres and the Arizona Diamondbacks (my team) play the opening game of their three game series last night. We did not purchase tickets ahead of time, but there were plenty for sale at the ticket window.

The game was FABULOUS!! The Diamondbacks scored 9 runs during the game. The Padres did not fare quite as well. I do have to say that the Padres were here after losing to the Colorado Rockies in 22 innings on Thursday, so they were probably beat! But a win is a win, and we’ll take it thank-you-very-much!

I was excited to see Greg Maddux, a future hall of famer, pitching for the Padres. I love watching athletes that are still giving it their all at the end of a great career. I don’t know how many more years Maddux will play, but I’m glad I got to watch him pitch.

At the end of the game the Diamondbacks and Chase Field sponsored a colorful fireworks show. I LOVE fireworks almost as much as I love baseball, so it was quite a night for me! I took a few photos (okay, I took 498 altogether), and thanks to the miracle of digital photo editing I think these pictures are worth sharing!

 

 

I love my camera! I love my photo editing software! I love fireworks! I love baseball!

Most of all I love my hubby, who gave me all of this!

Feels Like Home

November of last year (2007) found me visiting my granddad in Wyoming. He has had a recurring battle with lymphoma for several years and his health appeared to be rapidly deteriorating in late October, so of course I wanted to go see him.

I left Arizona for Wyoming with my heavy winter coat in tow. I have not used my coat since moving to Phoenix the week before Christmas in 2005, but I figured I might need it. Having lived in Wyoming for the better part of my adult life, I know what the late fall weather can be like there.

As it turned out, I didn’t need my heavy coat at all! The weather was gorgeous!

I asked Granddad if we could go up to the mountains if he felt up to it. He did, and we drove up to Story, WY. Story is a lovely little town nestled in the foothills of the Big Horn Mountains. I used to work up there and loved the rustic feel of the log cabins snuggled in among the trees. I enjoyed the restaurants with their huge fireplaces, with an elk or moose head mounted above the wooden mantel. I felt so much at home.

We took a back road shortcut, oh fun! In Wyoming a back road means a lot of dust and dirt, and maybe, if you’re lucky, a little gravel. Wyoming country roads are the reason I quit wearing contacts! Eyes filled with dusty grit don’t like contacts much!

Occasionally I would see something I wanted to stop and shoot with my camera. Wyoming, for me, is rich with photo opportunities. I wish I would have had more time to shoot the million and one things that I used to kind of take for granted when I lived in there. But our time was limited, so I snapped what I could, and figured I’d just have to go back another time.

Here are some of the photos I took:

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If you like red barns, then this area of Wyoming is ideal for you! It’s funny how people just wave as they turn into their gate and you’re standing there shooting pictures of their barn!

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This is an old school house, long since abandoned. There isn’t even a path to drive up to this little building anymore. I had walk about 200 yards and crawl through the fence to get this shot.

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These pretty red leaves were the last remnants of a beautiful fall. I took these pictures at the Fish Hatchery in Story, WY. I used to work within walking distance of the Fish Hatchery and would go walking over there during my lunch when the weather was favorable.

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This little pond, dammed by a family of beavers, is also at the Fish Hatchery. You can see the beavers’ dam at the edge of the water, toward the middle of the photo.

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This stump reminds me of some of the old farmers I knew around Sheridan, WY. It’s as though it might have a hundred stories to tell if it could just find the words to speak.

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This young whitetail buck thought he was hiding from me after crossing the road in front of our truck. Peek-a-boo, I see you!!

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This big fella seemed to be sleeping standing up, right up until I got close enough that he thought I might have food!!

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Okay, I lived in Wyoming for many years, and the only camels I saw were at the circus when my kids were really little! Llamas are common, camels, not so much! This guy was pretty friendly, but I think he, too, thought I might have some food for him so I snapped my pix and got out of there!

sunset-barn-wy-trip.jpg

The sun was starting to set as we drove by this old barn. We watched for quite a while as two deer sparred while the rest of the herd grazed nearby. No matter how many times I see deer, elk and moose, I am always in awe of them! I think that is something I will never take for granted!

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Summer is definitely over as you can see from these shriveled prune-like berries. I guess the birds have had quite their fill by this time!

I hope you’ve enjoyed seeing a little of the place that feels so much like home to me, even after being gone from there for almost 10 years. I’ve spent so much time with my kids, and my daycare kids, at family picnics, treasure hunts, bow shoots and camping in this area. The memories are gifts wrapped in the scent of pine and mountain rain.

I love Arizona now, and it feels more like home every day, but Wyoming will always have a big piece of my heart. It’s where my kids were born and where they grew up. I have a lot of friends there, whom I will always cherish. So I guess that now I really have two homes.