Monday, December 27, 2010

The Circus . . .

The circus was totally worth it! No bad seats and we chose the top row so we would have a back rest. Tatum stood up ninety-five per cent of the time and clapped with the crowd. She is generally so serious and again she was tonight but a few times she laughed and smiled out loud. Chandler I noticed was laughing a lot along with Pa and Stephen. Cooper was tired and fell asleep. Another fun evening. Here is a picture and short "blip" from the circus.

In Old-World Italian tradition, the Zoppè Family Circus welcomes you into their intimate 500 -seat tent for a one-ring circus. This magnificent show is propelled by a central story featuring acrobatic feats, equestrian showmanship, canine capers, clowning and plenty of audience participation. Giovanni Zoppè, the sixth-generation circus performer who plays Nino the clown, says the show aims higher than what passes for circuses these days. "We try to touch every emotion during the show," he says. "They'll laugh, they'll cry, and they'll feel for the characters."

Boo Hoo - it's over!

I hate that the month of December is nearly over. I really do love the holidays and our month of December has been especially fun this year. We had something fun to do every weekend. I already wrote about the play we went to at the college the first weekend and riding the light rail to MAMA art festival.

The second weekend we went to an "artist reception" at a gallery in Phoenix. The artist was a potter that works at the college with Alvin and we purchased one of her pieces for Alvin's Christmas present. Unfortunately it is still hanging on the gallery walls until December 31. He is anxious to go get it.
We also went to the Mesa Arts Center for their craft festival which was booths set up with different crafts. Alvin actually secretely purchased my christmas present there without me knowing it. He was very cleavor for sure.

The third weekend we went to our friends Sally and Rick Engleman who live on 27th Street and Thomas Road for their annual neighborhood luminarias display. Now this isn't just their street - it starts at 26th street to 30th street from Thomas to Osborn. It is lovely and every year these neighbors celebrate the Christmas season. Parties are held in the front yards, an old 1930 tractor and trailer offer rides to those that don't want to walk the streets and it is so festive.

And of course the 4th weekend being Christmas Eve on Friday evening we took Grandma Helen out to dinner along with Gretchen, Brian and Linda. It was a quiet evening. Christmas morning we journed to Chelsea and Stephen's new home for breakfast and opening the presents. Christmas Day we went to Jimmy Ruth's (my sister) for family dinner with nearly 35 attending. The little kids ages 8 to 3 had so much fun playing outside riding bikes, playing baseball, playing on the playset and hardly ever came inside.
The Snesko Christmas:

The Scremin Christmas:

Tonight we are going to the circus to end this holiday season. This is the second year the Chandler Center for the Arts has brought the circus to town. They set up their tent in the grass behind the arts center. Friends went last year and said it was great so we are going to see for ourselves tonight.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Christmas around our home . . .

Some of my favorite things!
#1- my ornaments especially the felt ornaments that were made by my mother.

#2 - my Christmas dishes.

#3 - my Christmas pictures - some from long ago!

#4 - my Christmas pillows

#5 - my Santa collection

#6 - My Christmas stockings and my cards sent through the years.

#7 - my outside lights

Have yourself a very Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Happy Birthday Alvin!

Today is his big day. Not so much planned because he has to work until late evening. But on Friday night we all went out to Texas Roadhouse for dinner and then to the play at the CGCC Performing Arts Center. It was the "Christmas Carol" and I totally didn't think the kids would like it and fall asleep but they all stayed awake and seemed to enjoy the evening. Tatum has been talking about the "mean man." Anyway, it was a fun evening!

Over the weekend Alvin and I went to the El Charro and rode the lite rail to Mill Avenue Art Fair. We walked around and saw it all and didn't buy a thing. Monday night we got his free birthday pizza from Grimaldi's Pizza. Today I figured we would got out to lunch but he doesn't answer his phone. Typical . . . but anyway . . . Happy Birthday Alvin!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Our Condolences!

This is a rather sad but a good story to tell. You all know that I like birds. Growing up as a child we had parakeets and a minya bird that talked. My mom left him outside on the porch one very cold night and he didn't survive. My grandmother always had a canary. So, when we were first married I started out with a parakeet. Throughout the years it seemed I always had some kind of bird. Weather it be a canary, finch, cockatiel, amazon, concure, cockatoo, lovebird or a blue and gold Macaw.

This story is about Micayla our second blue and gold macaw. She was given to us by a school friend of Gretchen's about 15 years ago. This friend had inherited this blue and gold from a family member who was old and had been sent to a nursing home. She decided after a few months that a huge bird like Micayla was more then she could care for so called to see if we would like to have it. Now, I never turn a free bird down especially a magnificent one like a macaw. This is what she looked like.

It took a few days for this bird to adjust to our home and by then we knew we had a very friendly family pet. It talked and sang songs. It answered the phone, said spanish phrases, did tricks, loved to eat people food but was so messy. That part I didn't like. She had her favorites. I would say she liked girls the best and Cody was a pretty good friend but she did not like Alvin one bit. Through the years we all pretty much accepted her as part of the family. But, I think we all got rather tired of her too. She came more messy it seemed and when we went on vacation it was very hard to find someone to take care of her. Most people were too scared of her because she was big and if she didn't recognize you she would try to bite you. We had a high school neighbor girl that could manage her pretty well until the last year and she made several frantic calls to California saying she couldn't get her into the cage. The next year we got a bird sitter that was suppose to be good with big birds but she couldn't handle her either.

This started me thinking that we should find Micayla a new home and that is what I did. The bird sitter actually recommended this man that she knew had many large birds. He came to visit Micayla and wanted her. Alvin and I took her and her cage to her new home. I still remember her squawking so loudly when we left her. She did not want to stay there. That was 3 1/2 years ago. I have thought about her many times in those years but glad I didn't have to contend with her mess and her sometime very loud noises.

The guy that has her called me the other day. He wanted me to know that she has ovarian cancer and probably wouldn't live much longer. He said she has had several seizures and strokes and wanted to know if I would like to see her one last time. So, Gretchen and I went to see her. She didn't remember us, or perhaps she did but didn't want to be friendly in case we were going to take her back. She has had a marvelous life with this man. She has the run of the house. He was showing me his other birds on his porch and in about 5 minutes or so Micayla came walking out to us. It seems she spends most of her time on the floor of this bathroom which has her toys and favorite things and just comes and go whenever she pleases. The man has bonded so well with her. He says he can lay on the floor pretending to be asleep and Micayla will move his eyelid open with her beak. Wow - that is a little scary. She used to give us kisses and that was enough. This is what she looks like now. She actually looks very healthy. Her feathers were shinny and pretty and she seemed perfectly normal. Thank goodness we didn't see her bad times. He actually has put a sheet in her cage that was tied on four corners that serves like a bird trampoline to catch her when she falls. I guess she looses her balance and one of her legs gets stiff he said. I didn't want to see her like that. I am glad she looked normal and I was very glad I went to see her. Goodbye Micayla and Sweet Dreams!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Downtown Chandler

Alvin and four other clay artists were commissioned by the City of Chandler to make tile for 10 benches, 5 pedestals and 6 tables for the new renovated downtown Chandler. They are located on Arizona Avenue from Chandler Boulevard to Frye Road. They are all different and show each artist's personality and style. They have been working on this project since before July and finally the project is finished. In fact, tomorrow the City is closing the downtown roads and having a "block party" to show off this new downtown. I like the look. The renovation was started because a new four story city hall was built. Here are pictures of Alvin's projects.

The first bench is in front of Serrano's Mexican restaurant and the design is of cactus.

The second bench is on the corner of Arizona Avenue/Boston basically in front of the wedding shop. He did this bench in conjunction with Sue Berzelius. Alvin made the tiles and detail and Sue finished it off by adding the color. I am not sure how to describe this one. It has lots of interesting characters, things, and etc.

The table is about coffee table size and they have chairs on each side for people to sit.

The five artists are Sue Berzelius, Kathleen Escobedo, Steve Fitch, Ted Wolter and Alvin Pace. Their company name is "5 on Tile". Take a walk thru the towndown and enjoy what you see. I am sure you won't be disappointed.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Birthday is over - - -

Yesterday was my birthday! The big one where you can order from the senior menu, and you start spending your social security money and then the choice of all those medicare plans. Fortunately, we skipped the medicare business because Alvin's job has better coverage and even cheaper.

I had a marvelous day. First I went to Cooper's baseball game at 10:00 and afterwards Gretchen and Chelsea took me to lunch. Then we went piano shopping because Chelsea is looking for one and then Gretchen and I went to a store in downtown Mesa so she could buy a half prize Halloween decoration. It was very cute - worth the effort to get there! Then we went to the apple store because Alvin bought me a "IPad" for my birthday and I needed to make an exchange from a 16GB to a 32GB. (why? I am not sure)

What a surprise that he bought me an Ipad - and he did it all on his own. Many of you know his history of buying any kind of present. So, I was so amazed that he actually did make such a great purchase. I do love it. It will take some time to get the hang of it but I will. Everybody is very jealous of me and rightly so.

So, I ended up back at home around 4:30 and Alvin and I went to dinner at Zetas. I love that place. The food is never bad and always such new and interesting dishes to try. Of course the chili pie is a must have for dessert even when you are filled to the brim with the main course.

Today, being Halloween, we went to Chelsea and Stephen's for dinner and birthday cake and more presents. I wanted necklaces and that is what I got. I love them all and they are all totally different. The kids dressed up for trick/treating and Alvin, Grandma Helen, Gretchen and I sat on the front porch and handed out candy while they all went out knocking on doors.

Chandler was Michael Jackson. Tatum a princess. Cooper a baseball zombie.

Can't forget my little guys in Washington! I talked to them on the phone and they had many activites to attend the last few days and were very proud of their costumes. Harry Potter and Draco Malfoy! They sing a great happy birthday song too!!!!

Thanks everyone for a great birthday. I enjoyed it all!!!!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Fall Break Over!

Actually, the break was over for Chelsea today but the kids don't go back until Wednesday. So, today Chandler, Cooper, Tatum and I went for some amusement! I had read in the newspaper last week that Bret Michaels actually takes his kids out of school on occasion and takes them to "Cracker Jacks" in Scottsdale. His philosophy is they have more fun when not so busy with kids. It is an amusement park with golf, bumper boats, bungie jump, batting cages, race cars, food and arcade games. So, I took his word for it and decided to see just what kind of fun he has with his two little girls.

It was not busy because kids are in school this time of year except the Chandler schools. They had fun. First we did the golfing.

Chandler was very precise with every swing. Cooper swung his club with a vengeance every single time. Golfing didn't keep Tatum's interest.

This obviously was the favorite activity! Tatum didn't want to get wet. I couldn't drive very well. Cooper was always bumping into me. Chandler got soaked when he got stuck under the waterfall. I stayed away from that area but did try to get Chandler's picture when he was getting wet.

The little cars were rather small. Tatum couldn't ride because her legs were to short. I couldn't ride because - well you know why! They had bigger cars and obviously the kind we wanted to ride but Chandler wasn't tall enough and I didn't want to ride them myself.

We then went inside and ate pizza and drank Dr. Pepper and played the arcade games for a while. I think they had a good time! I did. Would I go back? Probably not!