Fun and Games Dept

Picnic Prep.

We’ve rented a ramada at Lincoln Regional Park here in Tucson for a family picnic. We are celebrating Jamie and Mike’s birthdays today and we decided to do it with a picnic. It’s a beautiful day for an outdoor gathering. My husband and I went ahead and arrived early to get things set up; the rest of the family will be here shortly. They’re bringing the puppies along for their first outdoor adventure.

Boosted. Again.

Traditionally I’m not a fan of vaccines. My family doctor in Chicago was after me to get the shingles vaccine before COVID moved into our lives. I never followed up with that plan during the pandemic. Luckily, my Tucson doctor hasn’t brought it up yet.

Even though I’m not a fan of vaccines, I’m totally onboard when it comes to the COVID-19 vaccines. As soon as we were eligible (the first week of living in Arizona), we were at Walgreens getting our shot. We got our second shot on schedule and our first booster when it was time to do that. We’ve rolled around to being eligible for our second booster and my husband and I went to down to the local Walgreens and were officially boosted today. Five hours later I am feeling zero ill effects from the experience.

As a bonus of the experience, I snapped a photo before I pulled my pants up. He get to see a little bit of my underwear today.

Good Morning.

Even though it is quite early by my standards, the world feels a bit better after a solid night of sleep and waking up naturally.

Easter 2022.

Prior to moving to the desert, my husband and I would go for a picnic on Easter to mark the start of nicer weather. This is when we lived up north and the weather could vary wildly on Easter Sunday. Sometimes it would cold and rainy, sometimes it’d be pleasantly warm, and one year it was almost 90 degrees.

Easter 2006.

This year the five of us are having Easter dinner in our dining room, complete with the new dining room chairs that arrived this week. I’d say that’s worth celebrating.

Since Easter is a Christian religious holiday, I can’t help but think about my religion in my upbringing. I’d best describe the experience as casual Methodist. Aside from the prayer before supper every night, we didn’t really talk about it that much. There was a time period where my sister’s kindergarten teacher, who was married to the minister of a church down the road that was decidedly not Methodist, convinced my mother that the family should go to their church. That went well for a little bit. It was my only experience with “Vacation Bible School” that seemed a lot like school during summer break. The minister and wife took four elementary aged boys to Marineland in Niagara Falls for a day trip. That was fun. We had a prayer circle in the parking lot. But then my sister and I were told we couldn’t go to heaven because we were “sprinkled” and not “dunked” when we were baptized and Mom promptly pulled the plug on that. We resumed going to the Methodist church in the village on holidays and special occasions. Some in the congregation were judgey because we lived out in the farmland but we made due. My grandmother always had a problem with the fact the church paid the organist; before the closer Methodist church shut down she had volunteered to play the organ for many years.

Easter wrapped up what I thought of as the “Holiday Trifecta” when we’d going from eating at the dinner table inside and start having family picnics as the state park once in a while. As a kid that was more fun for me.

But I always enjoy spending time with family on occasions like this.

The table is set for Easter 2022. Puppies in the background.

Ride.

I had never been much further west along Ajo Way much beyond Ryan Airfield. I told my husband I wanted to go on a road trip and so off I went with his blessing.

Beyond Ryan Airfield is 120 miles of open desert with a brief stop here and there for small hamlets that have very little in the way of population. I did pass through a couple of Border Patrol Checkpoints, as my ride did take me fairly close to the border.

I did stop so a dust devil could cross the road.

Random Fact.

Random fact of the day: Alice and Tommy are driving from the east to west coast when they break down in the opening credits to “Alice”. However, lookup up at the sign that says “Phoenix”, the other sign says “El Paso”, which means they’re in Tucson, and coming up from Nogales.

Here’s a link to my favorite version of Linda Lavin singing “There’s A New Girl In Town”.

Cincinnati Chili.

Tonight was the first night I’ve made supper for the family since we’ve moved to Tucson. Everyone survived the experience and agreed on the enjoyment factor of my effort.

I made Cincinnati Chili. This is a rough representation of the deliciousness I’ve experienced at Skyline Chili in Cincinnati. Granted I didn’t go crazy with the cheese and I didn’t use yellow cheddar cheese, but I had to put my own spin on it. After all, we’re a long way from Cincinnati.

Nature.

Matt and I went hiking up on Mount Lemmon yesterday. It was our third hike together and I’m happy to have a hiking buddy here in the desert. It’s getting to the time of year where the desert is getting a little too warm for hiking, so we trekked up to Summerhaven near the top of Mount Lemmon and went on a seven mile hike on the Mint Springs Trail.

The fire on Mount Lemmon a few years has left many trees blackened, and there’s been some rearranging of trail markers and such, so we got off the trail for a few moments but found our way back to where we were suppose to be. Other than that it was a beautiful day for a hike and we had a great time. When all was said and done we hiked 7 1/2 miles and climbed about 2000′ across the entire hike.

My legs are holding up well this evening. I’m starting to get used to this. We’re going to give it another whirl in a couple of weeks.

Driving.

I enjoy driving. I enjoy exploring. Tonight I did some driving and exploring, going through neighborhoods in Tucson I had not been in before. There are many beautiful parts of this city. I like discovering them.

After sitting in traffic around a festival going on downtown, I jumped on I-10 and headed back toward our southeast corner of the city. Traffic is not bad on a Saturday night. And I enjoy that as well.

Posing.

My husband and I had dinner with Homer and Matt. We went to a local restaurant called “Serial Grillers”. It’s a favorite of ours, and the menu has something for everyone involved with the festivities. I had one beer. It was a citrus wheat beer and very enjoyable on a Thursday night in the desert warmth of April.

We always enjoy getting together with Homer and Matt. I’m happy that our paths have crossed in real life and we’ve become friends.

I snapped a photo while waiting for the rest of the party to arrive. I’m glad I don’t look as sweaty as I thought I did.