Friday, October 30, 2015

Autumn Is Finally Here!

Yep, it was my birthday (the 26th)!

It was a lovely day.  I went shopping with Cindy
(though I completely wore myself out, sadly, since I haven't been feeling great)
and then had dinner out with Greg.
The following day I spent some time with Jen.
It was low-key and happy in a quiet way, which is just how I like it!

I got some great books, a cool pedicure tool (more on that to come in future posts), some gift cards, and a fun board game that Greg & I will test out here in the near future (I'll report back!)
It was wonderful and the presents are getting used and enjoyed!

Allistair & Stephen enjoyed the packages after I removed the gifts!

After creating a ruckus with all the boxes, Allistair was tuckered out!

So was Claude, and she didn't even create any ruckus!

Lots of sleeping has been taking place . . .
I certainly don't mind, because with cats, sleeping is usually SNUGGLING,
and it's always very cute!






 Stephen loves to stand on the top of the scratching post and be the king of the world:

"Yep, I got up here all by myself!"

I finally caught Allistair chasing his shadow.
For the longest time I thought he was having a seizure when he did this because it's weird and I've never seen another cat do it.
Then I noticed that he only does it when the light is just right and he can see a bit of his reflection in the tile.

Fall is finally here.  It didn't get above 80 today, and yesterday we had a very blustery day.
I am enjoying it a lot.
In fact, I've got the tidying bug because I get the urge to "spring clean" in the fall;
it feels like spring because our long season of hibernating indoors is finally over!

It's been chilly, so I get to LAYER when dressing - my favorite!

I got a couple more of these amazing Tulle corduroy jackets with huge buttons from eBay.
I got a pink one and a mustard one.
I wore this apple green one all the time last winter.
dress: Calvin Klein
camisole: Target
jacket: Tulle
shoes: Aerosole
bag: Kenneth Cole Reaction

And on my shopping expedition with Cindy, all I bought was this olive green bag.
I had been wanting to incorporate olive into my wardrobe for the winter because I think it's the best modern neutral since mustard, and I wanted to add it in a bag.
It needed to be structured, have no black accents, not have too much metal, be slightly smaller than tote-bag sized, and be non-leather.  And of course, it needed to be just the right olive color. 

This one fit the bill!

The zipper on the front pocket is "locked" shut . . . 

. . . unless I've opened it up!

And of course, it was on sale!

Originally $99 (no, thanks!)

Thank you, Ross!

Happy Autumn to you!

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Rain And Chilly Temps

I can't get enough of kitties with tongues out!
And it's a blessing we get to have Juvy in our family because she's missing one of her front fangs and her tongue naturally sticks out more often than with most cats.

And look!  The cutest lil' white soft belly!

Stephen likes to droop over the edge of the couch, looking at birdies through the window.

 In the afternoons, the boys usually sleep on the bed on our bedroom.
They situate themselves on opposite sides of the divider.

Here is what happens when I'm sitting somewhere and Allistair wants to snuggle:

See that there's a blue mousie in front of Stephen?
This is Maude.  She is Allistair's mousie and he brings her along when he's going to take a nap.
I think he originally was sleeping on this side, but Stephen jumped up there and surprised him, so he transferred to the other side but forgot to take Maude with him.

Claude has continued to be very snuggly.  Demanding, even.
And she gets snuggles when she wants because look at this face!

My dear sweet friend Jen took me to a showing of "Hamlet" with Benedict Cumberbatch that's billed as being filmed live at the National Theater in London.  Before the show, they showed a video feed from a theater in London where they were also showing the video.

It was dark and I was embarrassed to be taking a selfie in a movie theater, so I tried to be quick and this is blurry, but it's still a special photo.

The weather here has been an early birthday gift to me!!!
This morning it was in the 60s!
And right now (early afternoon), it's still only 75 and breezy and cloudy.

Last night I made a shepherd's pie with veggies and a nice thick bubbly sauce
and of course the mashed potatoes on top.
It hits the spot on a chilly damp evening!

Mr. Blue Eyes (Allistair):

I can't do yoga without him right there, "helping".

Just looking at him DOES help a lot!

And he keeps me from getting too chilly.

Here is some gloomy rain . . . 

I enjoyed my walk to the mailbox.

I hope you have some fun weather today, too!

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Oak Creek Canyon

Cindy and I went for a day trip up to our favorite water hike along Oak Creek Canyon
(I'll keep the details secret so it doesn't become too popular!)
In spite of it being fall break, when many schools are on vacation, and in spite of all the hiking spots in Sedona having full parking lots and people parked along the skinny road with a cliff on one side, "our" spot had barely any people!

In fact, when we got to our little sandy-bottomed, red-cliff-walled bend in the river that has a small beach (!!!), there was not a single other person there!

We felt HAPPY and blessed!

Going north from the Phoenix metro area, we eventually hit the Mogollon Rim.
We go up from around 1000 ft in altitude to 4000 ft very quickly and then all of a sudden, we're on top of the rim and it's flat as far as we can see!

The foliage is pretty and varied in color and texture.

We went past Horsethief Basin;
the names of stuff in Arizona are crazy!

The road is very close to the rock walls, and since the rocks come down sometimes, they've put protective webbing over the rock walls.  Nice!

 Bloody Basin Road:

We entered Prescott National Forest!

And drove by the exit for Montezuma Castle National Monument.
I've never been there (yet!)

There's a Beaver Creek, and there's a DRY Beaver Creek . . . 
and a Wet Beaver Creek.
Cindy and I hiked the Wet Beaver Creek trail once and it's a rough one.
There was a beautiful payoff at the end, though - a red-walled canyon filled with cold clear deep water!  I've done that hike twice, but it's eight miles in all and woo-eee, is it long and hot and challenging.  

The dirt near Sedona starts to get red.

And then we saw the red hills!

Here's a Juniper Pine tree with lovely little Juniper berries! 

 This trail has some twisted metal along the top of the trail because the road runs right along the top of the canyon.

Here's some Chapparal.
It smells DELICIOUS and desert-y.

After a little bit of walking and boulder hopping, we hit the river!

This huge tree was growing on the river bank.
Look how it's growing AROUND that big boulder!

And it's reaching to the sky.

This is what the river bank looks like.
It's very boulder-y.

And someone drew lovely drawings on a couple of the boulders.
This one reminds me of the Tree Of Gondor a little bit: 

Of course, we didn't miss the picture of marijuana, either.

This year, there were TONS of raspberry plants growing everywhere!
If I were a bear, I would definitely be frequenting this area.
Water (we even saw fish!) and berries!

Here's our little bit of water, where we had lunch!

The water was COLD and made our feet/lower legs numb after a while.

But we waded across with courage and fortitude.

Neither of us fell in even once!

Here's down stream.

And here's upstream!

Here's our little beach.

The water was clear and gorgeous:

I swished it up and splashed around to make patterns.

Dragonflies were everywhere!
and really, what a blessed day to be able to get a photo
of two dragonflies in flight with the sun in my eyes!

Leaves were falling off the trees and zooming downstream.

Too short a time later, it was time to go home . . . 

Hope you enjoyed a little vacation from your day by experiencing our trip along with me!