During our weekend adventures we stopped in Tempe for a quick bite to eat. These flowers near the freeway caught my attention because I found their color quite enjoyable.

We are going to be sprucing up the landscaping around the front of the house later this spring. I need to convince the rest of the family that plants like this need to be included in front of my office window.

I love this whole flowers in the winter thing we have going on here.

Power Couple.

Photo of Carrie Coon and Morgan Spector as Bertha and George Russell in ”The Gilded Age”.

I guess I enjoy power couples of any century. As a fan of ”Downton Abbey”, I was eager to see HBO’s ”The Gilded Age” by Downton writer Julian Fellowes. The seventh of eight episodes in the first season was released for streaming this evening. I’m happy to know the series has been renewed for a second season.

”The Gilded Age” takes place in New York in the late 1890s, and it’s all about money and status and moving up the society ladder. George and Bertha Russell have built a grand home with their new money and she is eager to find her place in society amongst the Astors, the Vanderbuilts, and other well known names of the time period. The sets and costumes are gorgeous, there’s familiar elements from ”Downton Abbey” for those interested in the Upstairs/Downstairs story and Christine Baranski isn’t half bad as an American version of Maggie Smith’s Dowager Countess of Grantham. (She’s called Aunt Agnes or Mrs. Van Rhijn).

It took me a couple episodes to warm up to the show, but by episode three everyone seems to be settling into their roles. Mr. Spector and Ms. Coon have been hitting it out of the park since we first met them in episode one. I love the power couple dynamic and they both seem to be reveling in their roles.

After this evening’s episode, with a little comedic twist at the end (no spoilers here), I‘m sad to see that next week’s episode is the last of this season.

I’m already looking forward to season two.


We spent the weekend in Flagstaff. We haven’t reached our one year anniversary of living in Arizona yet and it’s weird to me to think of the Grand Canyon as a reasonable weekend destination by car. Stopped traffic on Interstate 17 notwithstanding.

We were to go away for a long weekend this weekend as a celebration of Earl’s birthday at the end of February, but work plans interrupted that plan and when I knew what my work schedule looked like we were able to make some last minute reservations and find ourselves a place to stay in Flagstaff. The small reminder of winter weather was a nice change of pace.

This was our second time to The Grand Canyon and it’s still as beautiful as it was the first time we visited over 20 years ago. I was a little surprised at how much Grand Canyon Village had grown. The south rim viewing area and visitors center was busy but not overly crowded. COVID-19 precautions are now uneven at best. We make do with what we have.

We had a very pleasant drive and some nice meals and a very relaxing weekend away. It was good to get recharged.

Real Life.

I used to be concerned about reaching middle age. Instead I revel in it. I’ve earned it.


Truman was kind enough to let me know where the hose and accessories for the central vacuum system is stored. Mind you, he didn’t offer to clean, but he did offer to help.


Earl and I spent nearly two hours just north of milepost 246 on Interstate 71 north of Phoenix. Actually, we were just north of Black Canyon City and not quite to the Bumble Bee exit. Traffic was stopped for a crash at milepost 249. The electronic signs told us the left lane was closed but then traffic came to a grinding halt and we sat in the same spot for nearly two hours. I am thankful it wasn’t in the heat of the desert. Actually, the pre spring breeze was quite pleasant, and we were amusing ourselves in the darkened car by watching others in their cars. Plus we played on our phones.

Then everyone started turning off their cars because gas is expensive these days.

When traffic started moving again, the truck ahead of us couldn’t get going on the hill, so we drove around him. When we finally crawled to the accident site, it was evident one or more cars had gone down the sharp hill off the left side of the freeway.

Just a wild assumption, but don’t use your phone when you’re driving.


Truman insists on getting situated on the highest perch available in the house to see what’s going on with these two puppies that are now part of the household. I don’t like him getting up there as it seems awfully tippy, so we’re buying him a cat tree that will provide a larger and safer platform affording the same views that he enjoys from his little perch.

Meanwhile, all that use four legs seem to be getting to know each other. There have been no hisses from the long term resident, but there have been a couple of growls. Truman maintains his distance and dominance. We’ve re-installed the gate that was at our bedroom area when we bought the house; Truman can jump over it but the puppies can not.

This works out well for the feline.

Growing Family.

So two new additions joined the family this evening. Jamie, Chris, and Mike have been wanting a dog or two since we moved to Tucson, so tonight we welcomed a brother and sister Husky-German Shepard mix pair of pups. Truman has been fairly hospitable.

They don’t have names yet but at two months old they’re full of energy. Here’s Truman saying hello to the sleeping sister of the pair.