We have been getting up well before the butt-crack of dawn to adjust to upcoming 8 hour time change for a trip. So this morning at 3 A.M. I began my yoga, the Sun Salute, in the darkness. Beautiful full moon last night so why not just change it to a moon salute? The moon feels like a friend over my shoulder as I stretch and bend in the silver light. Suddenly I saw something move out of the corner of my eye. I spun around very fast! (Well it FELT very fast. Like the Flash…if the Flash was a 56 year old lady in her backyard doing the sun salute to the moon). I landed in my version of a crouching tiger/hidden dragon pose ready to do battle only to see the object moving about 10 feet away! I jumped and screamed a little simultaneously realizing it was only my moon shadow. Caught by G, who was watching and is now laughing hysterically. In spite of my efforts to turn my yip and a dash into an impromptu part of my moon shadow dance, I have fooled no one.
I am hugging this rock because I love it. I didn’t want to leave it and really studied how to get it out. Even though it is a basalt rock and has been in that location for millennium, I am sure it wanted to come home with me. It is a lot heavier than it looks. I will have to resign to a visit now and then. Each place we go I assign a memory to a rock and bring it home. Sometimes it’s just a tiny pebble I slip in my pocket (like the time my daughter swam in the freezing cold tide pool at pebble beach). Sometimes it’s a big one (Like the time I told G “Never-mind, you can’t lift that one”…so it’s in our front yard now). My rock memories are everywhere. I need them like Tootles needs his marbles.
G thinks it’s funny to hide random rocks, marbles, weird statues, or anything he finds in the yard somewhere on a shelf for me to discover. It’s become a such a thing that even some of our friends have joined in. While standing in the kitchen after some house guests had left, we found a jade skull among the random rock/marble/statue collection. Another time it was an iron peace sign. He is quite proud of this tradition he started. Some of our best days have been hunting for unusual rocks or panning for gold. Of course it is fine when we are on the road but this time we are flying. We are taking an extra checked bag that is filled with gifts and goodies to leave there. Some see an empty bag, I see opportunity. We can check up to 50 pounds. Not sure how Customs would look at the situation. Hmmm ….. “But Mr. Customs officer sir, they are MEMORY ROCKS! They’re IMPORTANT!” One does not go around taking pennies/wishes out of wishing wells either right? It’s logic, I think they would understand. The Tucson Gem and Mineral Society
Every May the forests of saguaro cactus bloom and hold their bouquets to the sky.It’s my favorite time of year.
The flowers turn into red fruits later. A brave bird has made a home in the cradle of arms.Some birds peck holes in the body of the Saguaro and stuff them with nests for their birdie families. The holes leave scars and when a saguaro dies the scar remains kind of like a leather boot. Ambitious birds made the condos below. Which I turn into what I THINK is art.
The inside of the Saguaro is full of fiber, water and has ribs. Below is a picture of a dried Saguaro that fell in the yard. Most of the fiber is scraped away leaving just ribs.
Hard to believe there are ribs inside these thorny giants.
Tohono O’Odham people have lived in the desert for centuries and make wine from the red fruit. NATURALLY I had to try it.(They had me at WINE).
While cooking the “recipe” I noticed it smelled like potatoes. So I put in more sugar. That might have been a mistake and I think I waited too long for it to ferment because it was WAY too strong. It did taste suspiciously like Vodka. Well if Vodka was 100 proof and tried to kill you. Poured it out just in case, didn’t want to set anyone on fire from the inside. (I’m kind of a hero like that. You’re Welcome ). So here is the Saguaro fruit rinds displayed in the Tohono O’Odham tradition to bring the Monsoon rains to the desert. Like magic it rained the next day. There just might be something to these old traditions.
Preparing for our upcoming trip I decided to practice packing. Here I am trying to cram 3 weeks with of clothing for indeterminate weather into 2 carry on bags. The Ryanair flight restrictions are extremely strict. Basically about 5 inches less in width than American flights. Checked baggage cost is determined by weights and being frugal (cheap) decided to try just carry on. Missing from the picture on the left above is my underwear (because I want to keep a LITTLE mystery).
I used packing cubes and rolled clothing which is suggested all over the Internet. I really like this idea and really kept everything organized. I can take one or two things out and it retains shape. Shoes are stuffed in the top and bottom in plastic with rolled up socks in them. I was surprised how well it worked!
The cubes I ordered came with “secret pouches”. It literally says that:
I am using the secret pouch for electronics and sewed lines in the bag to keep everything separate.
I thought about painting over the “secret pouch” so that TSA won’t stop me and say “Hey, look in here! It’s a secret pouch! Let’s strip search her!” It could happen as I am typically singled out for a wanding at least. Also several TSA agents have gone to second base on previous trips. Not sure what wild haired middle aged woman is causing havoc but I must look like her. (I really wish she would stop).
Finally I got it all in the two bags. Practice packing success! Now that I know it can be done I am a little disappointed that I am not leaving tomorrow and have to hang this stuff back up. Sigh.
I’m always so thirsty. Uhh, nothing will satisfy the craving. One day I kept track and I drank 22 16oz glasses of water. Maybe it’s the dry air of the desert as we all seem to walk around with our adult sippy cups. I even think about water all the time. I dream of swimming, laughing in the rain, floating on rivers, and sometimes living underwater. I once saw a scary old movie where a fisherman wanted to catch a mysterious mermaid who was singing beautifully to him. I was captivated until…he caught a FISH HEAD with LEGS! Oh and I also believe mermaids must be vegetarians. One could not go around eating their little singing friends like Sebastian or Flounder. I can’t imagine going to a mermaid RedLobster and ordering a Dory with a side of Nemo. I would enjoy the flowing hair and the weightlessness would be graceful. However, if I WAS a mermaid, where does one go to the bathroom? Fish just go poo anywhere. Not so attractive when a mermaid does it. I have questions. I would definitely be a very thirsty mermaid too because I couldn’t drink the poop water. I am just a thirsty land mermaid. (This picture only shows my human legs).
I started desert and accidentally meandered my way through fifty plus years. I say accidentally because not much of it was planned. This is a place where I can share my love of this desert I call home, nature, travels, family and a few shenanigans along the way. I’m glad you stopped by and welcome.