Friday, February 28, 2014

2/26-2/28/14 Much Needed Down Time

(Arizona City, AZ)

We have been on the run nearly every day.  We needed to take a few days and do little to nothing.  Now we didn’t just sit around by any means but we didn’t sightsee these last days of February.

We took care of things like laundry, grocery shopping, bill paying, cleaning and just sitting around and talking the hours away.  We did throw in some shopping at the mall too.

We also sat by the pool and played a game of Scrabble.



We got some swimming in too.  She swam, I tanned.


We even caught sight of a pretty sunset.


Down time.  Much needed down time.  I think if nothing else these past two weeks, we discovered we aren’t twenty anymore.  You know, I seem to be reminded that quite often anymore.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

2/25/14 We Visit San Xavier Mission

(Wa:k, AZ)

Did you ever want to step back in time?  All the way back to the 18th century even?  We did just that today.  We being Deb L, my friend who came to Quail Run after reading this blog, Bonnie L. my good friend here in the park, Dianne, my friend visiting from home and of course me.

Deb picked us up at 9:30, well, it would have been 9:30 but we got up at that time so she came in and visited with Bob while Dianne and I ran around like chickens with our heads cut off.  I called Bonnie to let her know we were running a little late.  It wasn’t too bad because we were ready in 15 minutes.

So we headed east on I-10 to Tucson.  We’re going to San Xavier Mission Del Bac located in Wa:k (yes, that’s how its spelled) Village.  We found out when we arrived that we had been pronouncing the name of the mission incorrectly.  Probably 99% of you pronounce it the same way we were. 
San X-za-vee-er.  Uh-uh, wrong.  San Ha-vare.

Take notice in the picture above that the tower top is missing on the right hand side.  It didn’t fall down, it was never built.  There are several legends about why it wasn’t built, the two most popular are as follows.  The one we heard about had to do with taxation.  That if it was finished the church would be taxed, but taxation didn’t apply to buildings under construction so they left it undone.  The second has to do with leaving it undone so that when the Excellent Builder returns he will direct the completion.

We made sure to get our picture taken in front of this beautiful building.

The mission is undergoing a renovation as you can see in the following pictures.


Wall adornment inside the museum section of the building.




We saw the following symbol several times and it is quite popular in the Southwest.

Man in the Maze

I did some research and found the following on Wikipedia.  These are just two explanations of the meaning of the Man in the Maze.
According to O'odham tribe oral history, the labyrinth design depicts experiences and choices we make in our journey through life. In the middle of the "maze", a person finds their dreams and goals. When one reaches the center, we have one final opportunity (the last turn in the design) to look back upon our choices and path, before the Sun God greets us, blesses us and passes us into the next world.

As told by Alfretta Antone:
Elder Brother lived in the maze ... and the reason why he lived in the maze was because ... I think how I'm gonna say this ... magician or oh, medicine man that can disappear, and that can do things, heal people and things like that ... that was Elder Brother ... Se:he ... they called him ... he lived in there ... but he had a lot of enemies so he made that, and to live in there people would go in there but they couldn't find him ... they would turn around and go back.
But in real life ... when you look at the maze you start from the top and go into the maze ... your life, you go down and then you reach a place where you have to turn around ... maybe in your own life you fall, something happens in your home, you are sad, you pick yourself up and you go on through the maze ... you go on and on and on ... so many places in there you might ... maybe your child died ... or maybe somebody died, or you stop, you fall and you feel bad ... you get up, turn around and go again ... when you reach that middle of the maze ... that's when you see the Sun God and the Sun God blesses you and say you have made it ... that's where you die.
The maze is a symbol of life ... happiness, sadness ... and you reach your goal ... there's a dream there, and you reach that dream when you get to the middle of the maze ... that's how I was told, my grandparents told me that's how the maze is.
So there you have it.

Take notice of the two statues in the next pictures.  Do you see the difference?


No, the one of bottom was beheaded and it wasn’t vandalism that marred this statue.  The area was struck by an earthquake and the heads on the some of the statues broken loose.  It was decided not to fix them.

It was time to go inside.  This is the original door.


Do I even have to say the inside is breathtaking?



There are over 170 angels painted onto the walls and ceiling of this building.

Deb taking it all in.
It was truly beautiful and so peaceful inside.

We were all so glad we went to see and experience this 18th century mission.  Did I tell you that it is still an active church today?

From here went to the Desert Museum but that’s a whole ‘nother post.

Monday, February 24, 2014

2/24/14 Dianne & I Visit a Monastery

(Arizona City, AZ)  (Florence, AZ)

It had been about five years since I was at the Monastery last so I was anxious to see any changes made.  Lots of construction was going on then and the orchards had just been planted.

It seems everyone who has company visit takes them to the Monastery.  So we took off for Florence.

I wish I could say our drive there went smoothly.  It didn’t.  I don’t know if MapQuest was in a bad mood when it spit out my directions but when it said I should turn left we found that I should have turned right.  It took us two frustrating hours to drive a normally hours drive.  Every turn was wrong and it didn’t help that street names had changed and no one bothered to tell MapQuest.

I can’t possibly tell you what each building is so this will mostly be a pictorial kind of post.  Long time readers have seen this pics before but you newcomers just sit right back and relax and enjoy the views.  Well, most of them.  You’ll see why I say that in a few moments.

This was a first look inside the walls where we entered.

Just across from this beautiful plaza is where we turned into what some describe as old Russian women.  Since we are  visiting a monastery we have to be covered from head to toe.  They have skirts and tops and scarves one can use.  Fashionable they are not!

Go ahead,,,,finish laughing.  I’ll wait.

So here’s what we saw today.

We went inside the church and were just taken with the woodwork!.





Now Dianne and I had the same skirt on and we met up with another woman also wearing the same color and pattern.

Bob called us when we were on our way home to remind us that we had a going away party to attend.  Our friends Bob & Karen Fisher have to leave early this season.
I’d venture to say there were 60 or 70 of us there and a great amount of finger foods.  No cooking this night!

It was a great day!

Sunday, February 23, 2014

2/23/14 We Visit an Ostrich Ranch

(Arizona City, AZ)

For as long as we’ve been coming here I’ve wanted to visit the Rooster Cogburn Ostrich Ranch.  It’s right on I-10 and we pass it every time we return to Arizona City and every time I say to Bob, “I wanna go there this year and see that” and he replies, “Uh-huh” but we never get there.  Well, this was the year!  This year I was finally going to get there, I’ll take Dianne!

So after church we got in the car and off we went.

This ostrich is the largest one in the United States.  It was originally in Oklahoma but moved here in 1993 for the climate.  When this ranch was started in 1986 it was with 3 month old Redneck and Blueneck ostrich chicks.  No one here had ever heard of the South African Black strain.

After traveling to South Africa to learn all they could the Cogburn’s realized that ostrich could indeed raise ostriches for commercial purposes.

The Cogburns have been very involved with several ostrich organizations and now have the largest flock of South African Blacks in world, outside of Outshone, South Africa.

Though they aren’t raising the birds for commercial use as yet, meaning for meat, it seems that is the goal eventually.

In the meantime they have a zoo of sorts and you are encouraged to feed the animals.

We paid our $7.00 admission fee and in return we received a large cup with different kinds of feed for the different animals and a smaller cup with nectar in it.

Here’s Dianne feeding some Fallow deer.

These small deer come in three colors, brown,
white  and tan with white spots.  The ones with spots keep them their whole lives.


Next visit was to the burros or donkeys.  I don’t know what they are, I’m a city girl remember?

Now I was pretty taken with these animals …..until.  Until one bit me!  There was one little donkey that wasn’t tall enough to put his thread through the opening and therefore wasn’t getting any feed.  Well, I felt sorry for it and got close enough to hold a handful over the fence to drop on the ground in front of him.  Well I guess the donkey didn’t like the idea of me feeding the little one and reached out and bit me on the stomach.  It hurt like hell!  The skin was broken but it was more like bad scratch than a punture. I moved away from those pens quickly after that!

We passed one section with goats as we just weren’t interested.  Too much work was involved to get he feed UP to the goats.


Yes, the goats were UP at the top of this thing!


Closer to the ground, these goats were easier to feed but again we weren’t interested.

Next stop was the ostriches!

Their brains may only be as big as their eyeballs but these flightless birds are pretty cool!

Now on this ranch you can go ostrich fishin’!

Next stop was the Prairie Dog pen.  They must have been well fed today because they weren’t doing much more than just laying around.

There were some goats and ducks to be fed and we did.


The real treat was next.  We entered into this large building and were immediately fascinated with beautiful, colorful, birds.
I had never seen a lorikeet up close and personal like this.
Lorikeets are a very colorful and noisy member of the parrot family.
The nectar they are fed is specially formulated to meet the high caloric needs of these very active birds.  The dietary requirement for the Monkeys with Feathers is approximately equivalent to a 150 pound person eating 250,000 calories or about 476 cheeseburgers in one day.  Think twice before saying, “That person eats like a bird.”
On the way out I stopped to report that I had been bitten by a donkey and to inquire if I had anything to worry about since the skin had been broken.  Mrs. Cogburn assured me that I had nothing to worry about that all the animals were current on their shots.

As a small gift because this happened I was given an ostrich feather.

A nice lady offered to take a picture of Dianne and I together and we certainly appreciated that.

So I finally made to the ostrich ranch and I’m glad I got to share it with Dianne.