Sunday, November 20, 2011

Bicycling is Grand!

             We went for a bike ride around Grand again today.   We've been doing this on Sunday afternoons lately.  It's a great way to exercise without feeling like you're punishing yourself.  
I hate to do traditional exercise.  I hate the smell, the noise, and the atmosphere of a regular gym.   Even here, where the "gyms" are really health clubs, I have trouble making myself work out on machines.    But riding a bike is fun.  

We park our bikes in front of the Sonoran Plaza.   
         Inside are classrooms where the Adult Education groups meet.   They have classes on every topic imaginable:  history, art, wine tasting, writing, language,  and much, much more.   I can't wait to retire so I can go back to school.  
         The Scrapbook Club meets in here, too.   Another one of my hobbies.    There's also a small sandwich shop, Birt's Cafe, which specializes in healthy foods that taste great.  It also supports some important social services, too.   

The Sonoran Plaza

      We usually get a cup of coffee or a Coke and relax by the water feature for a few minutes.  It's always relaxing, and frequently something unusual is happening.   Last week some women were doing a scavenger hunt.   They needed to bring back a picture of 12 or 13 people, so they rounded up a group of us and snapped their photo.        

The View from Dillon's Patio

         We rode over to Dillon's and walked around to the back patio area. The restaurant has been closed for repairs and remodeling.   Recently it was announced that the Board of Directors is going to try to find a different restaurant to run it when it re-opens.   The drawings of the new look are impressive.   They are doubling the size of the bar and adding some booths.    
          The back patio area overlooks a large pond and one of the golf courses.   It's great to watch the egrets and herons fish the pond.   Bunnies are usually hopping all around, too.    I've missed going there since it has been closed, not because of the food (although it was good), but because I miss watching the wildlife.   If the sun is at just the right angle, you can even see the fish swimming around.   Some of them are huge! 
          I can't wait until a new restaurant goes in so I can watch the birds and bunnies again.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Spanish Market

       Yesterday we road the Light Rail to the Heard Museum's Spanish Market.  There were rows and rows of all types of arts and crafts--rugs, jewelry, paintings, photographs, wood carvings and more. 
       All of the artists were Spanish or of Spanish heritage.    Some were local, but many came from out-of-state and even out-of-country.   I met up with one group from Peru.   

My favorite guy holds my treasures while I take the picture.

A Mariachi trio serenaded the shoppers.   

Santos and crosses were very popular and beautiful.

       I bought a nativity scene from the Peruvian ladies.   It has a llama watching over the baby Jesus instead of the traditional camel.    
My favorite treasure came from the Martinez Weavers from Chimayo, New Mexico.

      The purse is leather and wool, with a different weave pattern on the back.  I  love the little beads, too. 
       The Chimayo community is north of Sante Fe, and has a lot of weavers.   They can be seen on the web at Chimayo Weavers.   We hope to get to visit the area on our next trip to New Mexico.    We loved Sante Fe, but we didn't have enough time to go north to Taos.  The Chimayo community is located between the two, so it is definitely on my list of places to see.

       After visiting the Spanish Market, we walked down to the Phoenix Art Museum.   We wanted to see the West Select exhibit.  A sculpture titled "Mousing", a bronze of a coyote in mid-jump, was my favorite.   When we were in Yellowstone, we watched a coyote catching mice.  This sculpture brought back great memories.    

      The Museum also had an exhibit of beaded Mormon bonnets--beautiful--and a new exhibit called Iconic Arizona was just opening.   Iconic Arizona included photographs of San Xavier del Bac, which we have visited, and Hoover Dam, which is on Kent's list of places he wants to see.  

     On the way back we stopped at Switch, our favorite "big city" restaurant.   I had a glass of Llama Malbec in honor of my Peru treasure.  

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Friday, November 11, 2011

A Salute to Veteran's Day Aid & Attendance

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      On this Veteran's Day I am grateful to our veterans and to a VA program called Aid and Attendance.   

     Aid and Attendance is a benefit for veterans or their widows who reside in assisted living or nursing homes.  The primary requirements are that the veteran must have served at least one day in a war zone and the veteran or widow must now need assistance in an assisted living or nursing home facility.     The program is not well known. The best source for information can be found at Veteran Aid.         
     Both my father and father-in-law were veterans of World War II.  I first learned about the program when my father-in-law needed to be in an assisted living facility.    The program helped him afford the special care that he needed during the last year of his life. 
       My father died many years ago, and my mother now resides in assisted living.   As his widow, she was eligible for the program.   No one at the facility mentioned this program as a resource to help pay for her care.   But because I knew about Aid & Attendance through my father-in-law, I was able to help my mother apply.   The program pays a monthly benefit amount, which helps so much in affording the high cost of an assisted living facility.  
      My father would be very pleased to know that his service during World War II is now helping my mother.
     So on this Veteran's Day I salute not only our veterans, but also the VA and the congressional representatives who vote to fund and support these important programs.


Saturday, November 5, 2011

Litchfield Park Festival

        I'm coming out of a work-induced hibernation, and there's no better way to do that than to enjoy a day in the sun, listening to great music.
        The Litchfield Park Festival featured Arvel Bird, my favorite Native American musician, and my favorite Native American group, Estun-Bah.    The downtown area was closed off and lined with booths of art, jewelry, and food.    All afternoon the musicians performed on the stage in the center of the festival.

       Arvel Bird played a lot of my favorites from his "Animal Totems" CDs , including Red Tail Hawk.   The first time I heard him perform was at a different festival in Litchfield.  As he performed Red Tail Hawk, a real red tail hawk circled in a thermal above the stage area.   A magical moment.
      He has won many American and Canadian awards, including being named Artist of the Year in 2007 by the Native American Music Awards.   Today he performed songs from many of his albums, including some of his newer Celtic songs.   I bought his latest CD, "Ride Indian Ride", which is listed as Blues Rock.  He played the title song, and it sounded great.  I can't wait to listen to the entire album.

      Estun-Bah features Tony Duncan on flute (in blue above), Darrin Yazzie on guitar (in red and black), and Jeremy Dancing Bull on drums (see photo below).    In addition to being a great musician, Tony Duncan is the World Champion Hoop Dancer.   He performed a hoop dance today, but I couldn't get a good picture.  But you can see a picture of him at the Hoop Dance Competition that was held at the Heard Museum this year on my February 6, 2011 blog.
      On the end in yellow is Tony's wife, Violet.    She performed a Shawl Dance, one of the women's social dances.   Very graceful and colorful.    The lady in pink must be family, too, but I'm afraid I didn't get her name.   Their baby also made a brief appearance--so cute!  He was being held on a traditional cradleboard, but  I  missed getting his photo.  When I took the above pic, he was asleep.  
     I bought their CD "From Where the Sun Rises", and I'm listening to it as I write tonight.   Beautiful songs.   Their CD's can be found on Canyon Records.  This album was a finalist in the Best Instrumental category, 2011 NAMA.

     In addition to playing drums, Jeremy Dancing Bull also performed a men's grass dance.   I had never seen this type of dance before.  It comes from the northern plains tribes where tall grasses grow.   In order to prepare the area for the tribe, the young men had to stomp down the prairie grass.    The dance celebrates this tradition.  It is often the first dance performed at a pow-wow or other gathering to bless the dance and dancers.   A very powerful and energetic dance!

      The arts were beautiful, especially these Navajo weavings. 

     Jewelry, pottery, paintings, and photographs were abundant.   Something to please everyone.  I picked up a few small Christmas gifts--it will be here soon--and wished I could have bought a lot more.  
      My wish list is always bigger than my checkbook.  If only Kent would win the lottery.....

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Sunday, April 10, 2011

From Hail to Rainbows

   On Saturday two weeks ago, it nearly reached 100F.  Yesterday it hailed.  

    In Arizona we've grown used to the laws and the politicians being crazy, but we could count on the weather being great.   Not today!     

The sunflower mat outside my casita is dotted with hail pellets

       Rain began falling early, sometime during the night.   The community garage sale, which is only held twice a year, was cancelled due to the gloomy forecast.   Good call on that one.
       Around noon it stopped raining, but it was so chilly I had to turn the furnace on.   In April.   A day or so ago I heard other people's air conditioners running.  
       The hail didn't last long.  By 4 o'clock the rain had nearly stopped.   Dark clouds hung heavy in part of the sky, but the sun  began to shine.   I knew to go look outside for an Arizona treat.
      The reward for the bad weather day was a double rainbow.  It was spectacular.
     Now  if we could only get our politicians to give us some rainbows.....

Sunday, April 3, 2011

A Day in the Life of an Argentine Giant

                 Argentine Giants (Echinopsis candicans)  are cacti that look very dull and ordinary all year.   But when they bloom, they are spectacular.  Often they bloom at night, and by morning they are already looking a bit old.  But yesterday morning I caught them when the blooms were just about ready to open.

       All day we checked on them.   By late afternoon, the blooms had opened.  These flowers are at their prime, only a few hours old.

The flowers are large, about 5 inches across.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Yuma, Algodones, and Dates

      We took advantage of the extra day off that President's Day gave me to take a trip to Yuma and cross over the border into Algodones, Mexico.    
       I work in Parker, Arizona, which is now in La Paz County.  But at one time it was part of Yuma County.  In the early 1980s they divided the county into two parts.   The northern part became La Paz.  So it was closer to leave from work on Friday than drive home and back-track down to Yuma the next day.  
      The drive was a fairly straight shot down Rt 95 through Quartzsite and into Yuma.   I was hoping to see some wildlife since a couple of wildlife refuges border the highway, but they were hiding.  
       We stayed at a Clarion that was clean and comfortable.   Close to lots of restaurants and only 10 miles from Algodones.   We planned to cross the border on Saturday morning, which we did, but earlier than expected.    We were rudely awakened by unexpected and very loud thunder early Saturday morning.    The usual sunshine that Yuma is known for was nowhere to be seen.   Rain was pouring and puddling around the motel.
        By the time we got ready to leave the rain had slacked off, but it drizzled off and on past noon.   But it didn't stop us from having a fun time in Algodones.
        The border is easy to cross going into Mexico.  Just drive up to the parking lot, park your car, and walk across.  The imaginary line that causes the politicians so much worry around here didn't bother any of us.  Coming back in took a lot longer due to computer problems, but we didn't know that was coming.
     In Mexico, everyone was friendly and eager to sell you their items.  The rain kept a few of the street vendors away for a while, but they returned later.   It takes a bit to get used to the constant attention of people wanting you to look at their stuff, but everyone was polite about it.
     We were on a mission to check out drug prices for when I retire and no longer have prescription coverage.   The prices were very low on some items, but still high on some specialty items.   But they were all definitely lower than what things cost here without insurance.    And I don't need a prescription for any of the drugs over there.   Very handy.   Lots of people were going to the dentists there due to the much lower cost.  Everyone seemed happy with the quality, too.
      I priced new glasses, too, but decided to hold off on them for a while.
     After checking out pharmacies and opticians, I was ready for some fun shopping.  We met a really nice man named Fix in Casa del Sol.  He makes decorative metal items, and I couldn't resist the lovely sun he made.
     In addition to being a good artist, he was a really good sport.  He spoke Spanish with me, even though I am just learning and must have hurt his ears.      His sculpture now decorates our casita.

      We had lunch in a small cafe that had really good food and even better atmosphere.   We would have eaten outside in the courtyard, but the rain had left all of the chairs too wet to use.   But we were treated to some unexpected entertainment inside when a young musician began playing and singing his guitar.   He was very good.
     After lunch in Mexico, we returned to Yuma and toured the historic district.   I found a rubber stamp store, and Kent found a wine shop.  We were both happy campers and came home with some souvenirs.   Mine will last longer. 
      We had a great dinner at an Italian restaurant, Ciao Bella.  I had Seafood Fettuccine that was fantastic.   Kent tried their Eggplant Parmesan and said it was very good, too.   The decor was eclectic elegant, with candles, white table clothes, flowers, and a variety of small lamps that gave it a quaint, comfortable feel.
      The next morning we went back to the Historic District.   We wanted to have breakfast at the Garden Cafe     They are known for their Swedish pancakes that are made healthy with oatmeal and served with ligonberries.   Kent said they were delicious.   I had a Southwest Quiche, which was cheesy and packed with fresh vegetables.   
       Next door to the Cafe is a museum that has a large display of birds.   We loved sitting outside on the patio watching the birds while we ate breakfast.   It was still chilly, but they turned on gas heaters that made it possible to enjoy the outdoors.   
       After breakfast we decided to head home since it was too chilly to do any walking around the town.   I wanted to see camels, too, which I thought were at Dateland, Arizona.    It turned out I was wrong, but we did find the famous Date Shakes.   Yummy!!!!
      So after looking at this Post, I realize we pretty much ate our way through Yuma.   Not a bad way to spend a weekend.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Drinkin' in the Desert - The Nellie E. Saloon

     Last weekend I went with friends from work to the Nellie E. Saloon, or Desert Bar as the locals call it. It’s fun, quirky, and remote. The Bar is located 5 miles into the Buckskin Mountains on a winding, up and down trail-of-a-road called Cienega Springs Road, outside of Parker, Arizona, off of State Route 95.

     Jackie drove us in her HUGE truck since she knew the way and her truck is tough. I’m not sure my Accord could have made the trip in and out. Most of the vehicles in the parking lot were trucks, jeeps, ATVs, or otherwise desert-prepared.
Taken from the parking lot looking toward the Bar.   Solar panels are the only source of power here.

There’s a chapel in the parking lot that the owner built. It’s open so you can enjoy God’s handiwork more. But we didn’t spend much time here-- we had come to find the Bar! From the parking lot you cross a covered, wood bridge to reach it.

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      The site was once copper mine called the Nellie E. A man named Ken bought the land in 1975. The full story is at The Desert Bar.
     The Nellie E. Saloon is unique. The main level has a really cool bar with wagon wheels and mining memorabilia adding the ambiance. There’s a lower lever with more food options, and an upper level with umbrella tables and a really great view. Tina, another friend, works at the grill in the lower level so we bought our lunch there. My sandwich was great—grilled beef smothered with onions and peppers. Yummy! Restrooms are up another hill, and there’s a great view of the mountains from the Ladies.

     The Bar got some bad reviews in a web site I’ve seen, but I think that’s unfair. The Bar is limited but it’s in the middle of the desert. No one should expect it to be “Cheers”. Its uniqueness is part of the charm. A major complaint was the limited hours. It’s only open on the weekends from Labor Day to Memorial Day. But the population of Parker is small, and summers here are way too hot to have folks driving into the desert to go to a Bar.

     Just like in “Field of Dreams”, if you build a bar, people will come. We got there early, before the place officially opened, in order to get a parking spot. By the time we left a few hours later, the place was packed. The band was really good, too, and played a variety of old favorites.   We had such a great time; we’re all planning our next trip.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Hoop Dancers - Senior Division

Brian Hammill  

     The Senior Division in the Hoop Dance Competition is  for dancers over 40.    We saw six competitors initially, from which three were chosen for the Final Round.    Brian Hammill was one of the ones who made it into the Final Round.  He is HoChunk and from Wisconsin.

Montee Sinquah is Hopi, Tewa, and Choctan.

Daniel Tramper is Cherokee.   He was also selected for the Final Round.

Celina Cada Matasawagon, who is Ojibway, was the only woman in the Senior Division. 

Tommy Draper is Navajo.   He was a crowd pleaser.  He made a dragon or perhaps it was a dragon fly.  Very unique.   He was the third dancer to make it into the Final Round..  

Allenroy Paquin is Ticaricca Apache. 
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Sunday, February 6, 2011

Tony Duncan - Hoop Dance Champion

   Tony Duncan, pictured below, became the World Champion Hoop Dancer today.   Check out for information about him.

Hoop Dances at the Heard

      This weekend was the 21st Annual Heard Museum World Championship Hoop Dance Contest.  Native dancers from across the U.S. and Canada competed for the title of World Champion.   Yesterday everyone danced, from toddlers to seniors.  Then the judges began selecting the best dancers from the teens through seniors, the ages that compete for prized money.  
     We saw the Second Round of the Adult and Senior dancers, and the final rounds for everyone.   We arrived early and stayed all day, but left before the final votes were tallied.  I'll post the winner later,  but they are all champions in my mind. 
      Here are a few of the dancers from the Adult Final Round.
     Jasmine Rae Pickner, who is Crow, Creek and Sioux, was the only woman in the Final Round.  I love her dancing.   She is graceful and has the most unique style.  She makes baskets out of the hoops, which I had never seen before.    I'll post more of her pictures later.  

Tony Duncan is San Carlos Apache and from Mesa.   
     The hoop represents the Circle of Life and the continuous cycle of summer and winter, day and night, male and female.  The dancers are judged on speed, precision, timing or rhythm, showmanship, and creativity. 

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Lane Jensen is Navajo/Maricopa.  He is a talented designer, and made his own dance regalia.  
Drummers and singers performed all day, too, to provide the music for the dancers.   Northern Drum was performed by Mandaree Singers from North Dakota.  Southern Drum was provided by Bad Medicine from Oklahoma.  Dennis Bowen, Sr. was the Master of Ceremonies and teller of great jokes.   He's from Tuba City, Arizona.    

Friday, February 4, 2011

Arizona Chilly

         The whole country is in the deep freeze at the moment, even Arizona.   Currently it's a cold 27 F.   Yesterday was even colder and windier.   When I went walking at 6:30 a.m. with my friend, Chris, I was bundled up from head to toe.  I noticed that she had on two layers of coats, and we both were wearing gloves.   
         I had another Ariziona first--I spent an entire day wearing long johns.  !!!    I had bought a beautiful set from Winter Sillks before we went to Yellowstone.   But although it was cold at night in the Park, it warmed up quicky during the day.  I never needed to wear them in Montana.   Yesterday I put them on  before my morning walk, and I kept them on all day.   The casita was chilly, and it never warmed up outside enough to be comfortable.   
         Kent moved as many courtyard flowers as he could to the garage and covered up the remaining ones.   But yesterday the wind blew all day and night, and the frost cloth wouldn't stay on the plants.   The back yard is the same.   We put as many as possible next to the house under the patio roof, but we couldn't get the covers to stay on.   The wind was fierce.  We'll just have to wait and see how many have to be replaced.    

           A few years ago it froze our irrigation pipe, and many people lost their ficus trees.  We had never planted any of the them, but our former neighbors were from California and had one in their side yard.  After the freeze they replaced it with an Arizona tree, which was a good decision.    We put extra insulation around the irrigation pipe. 
           Today is suppose to be less windy, and a little warmer.  By the weekend we may be back to normal.    We going to the Heard for the Hoop Dance competition on Sunday, and I'm hoping for warm weather to return.       

 BTW--Winter Silks is having a great sale right now, and they have a lot more than just long underwear.  Happy shopping!
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Saturday, January 29, 2011


Posted by PicasaHow did we live before we were "rewarded" with so many cards? 
      The is only a small sampling of the cards that I have been "rewarded with" recently.  The cards were given to me either because I am such a great customer or because I should be such a great customer.  One of the cards I even bought--how dumb is that--but they promise I'll save money if I use it.  Another reward card  should be called  a "punishment card" because I'll pay twice as much for the same item if I don't use the card.
     There are so many programs and too many cards.  I need to retire so I'll  have time to keep track of all these rewards. 
     The first time I signed up for a reward card was from Dorothy Lane Market when we lived in Ohio.  The great thing about that card was that they used it to send personalized offers.   No more dollar coupons for stuff you had never used and never would.   DLM sent coupons for stuff you actually had bought in the past.   And, if you spent enough money, you'd get rewarded at Thanksgiving with a coupon for a turkey.  I knew we were eating way too much the year we received a coupon for a free one!
     The worst card is the one where the benefits could only be used by an army.   Save $10---but only if you spend $1000.00.  
     My newest card is from Michael's, and I can't wait to use it.   Michael's is always a fun store to shop in because everything fits and everything is for fun.  No chore items here.
     Ulta is my Christmas-time card.  I always go there to look for girly presents, and usually end up stocking up on lipstick and nail polish.
     The most-used card is from CVS pharmacy.   No further explanation needed.
     The Enterprise card does the least for me.   Actually I haven't found that it does anything, but maybe I haven't figured out how to use it.   The Choice Privileges gets us free nights, which are a nice treat.      
     I use the Starbucks card when we are back in Ohio, visiting family and friends.   We have Starbucks here, of course, but I rarely go.   I always brew at home.   There are two Starbucks that we go to in Ohio.  One is in Springboro, and we stop there in the mornings on our way to see my mother.  The other one is across from the Dayton Mall.   It's a hang out for yuppies and yuppies-at-heart.  We go there late at night because I usually need a caffeine hit, and I love the energy there.   Whenever I see the Starbucks card I think of home and family.   Which makes it my favorite card.    

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Card Making Sunday

       Whenever we go back to Dayton I always stop at Marco's, my favorite paper store.  Even though they're on the web, it's always more fun to walk around and see what's new. Feel the paper, smell the ink.
      On the last trip I found a Wild West Card Kit by TJ Designs (Tweety Jill).  On a previous trip I had bought the Rodeo Sweethearts stamp collection so I knew I would like the designs.  The card making kit comes with everything you need, but I had to modify it to make it my "own".  I swapped out the plain beige card that is provided for one I made from Wausau Royal Fiber Cover paper in "Sunfower".  It gives it a better feel, and the color blends perfectly with the photos supplied in the kit.        
     The paper, photo, and burlap are all provided in the kit, which makes it easy to put together.   I tore one edge of the top paper and distressed it with Ranger's Walnut Stain.    Pictures are provided, too, for inspiration.  For this card I chose one of the cowboys because it is going to our friend Lou for his birthday. 
      The gold star was also included, and I attached it with some wire I had handy.  I added a black line of Sticky Stitches where the two papers met.  I also added a backing to the photo to make it "pop", but the photo and photo corners came with the kit. 

      The inside of the card shows the "sunflower" color better.   I used Marvy Matchable Dye Ink in Dark Brown to stamp the words.  "Howdy partner" is from Stamp a Mania.   It is one of the new stamps I bought at Guadalupe's Fun Rubber Stamps in Santa Fe.   "Happy Birthday" is from Azadi Earles, and I have enjoyed this stamp for years.  Azadi stamps can be bought at many places on the web, but I don't remember where I found this one.   I added the barbs to the letters with a Marvy La Plume pen so it would match the barbed wire look of the "Howdy partner" stamp.     

     I used one of the cowgirl images for this card and left the inside blank for now.   I swapped out the kit card for one from the same cover stock mentioned above.  You can't see the sunflower color in this picture.
      On this card I glued the burlap down first and added the paper, raffia and photo on top.   All of the materials came from the kit except for the copper brads.   The kit includes four brass brads, but I wanted ones that would look more like the ones found on jeans.
      Hope you liked my latest cards.  I had fun making them.   

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Saturday, January 22, 2011

Happy Birthday!

Happy Birthday, Kent!
        We celebrated Kent's birthday at the Cimarron Night Club last night.   I don't have a picture of it, or even of the Cimarron Center that is here in Sun City Grand.   But I had a great pix of Kent that I took during our trip to New Mexico earlier this month.   (Isn't that the way of it--lots of pictures of far away places and none of places close to home. )
       So the above picture was taken at Andaluz Hotel in Albuquerque.   The hotel is beautiful, with a Spanish Moroccan decor. Around their main lobby are five or six "living rooms" where friends can meet for wine and cheese and quiet conversation.   Each one is different.  We picked the one with air plants.   Before we flew back home, Kent and I enjoyed a little wine and a great cheese plate here.
        Andaluz also has a fantastic restaurant called Lucia.  After we found it, we kept returning.   We had two dinners and a breakfast there.   It was close to the hotel where I was attending a conference, and 
Lucia's food was excellent.   I had Honey Glazed Muscovy duck the first night.  I love duck, but  I usually only get it once a year.   It's hard to find duck at the places we usually go to eat.   I was looking forward to having it for our anniversary, but the restaurant in Prescott was sold out of it.    So Lucia's Muscovy was my duck for 2010 and (probably) 2011. 
        At Lucia the duck is excellent.  They serve it with a pomegranate-blueberry sauce, which is perfect.   Not too sweet.   Kent ordered the Pan Roasted Salmon and said it was delicious, too.   The second dinner I had there was also an unexpected treat.   Colorado Bison Short Ribs.   I had seen Bison (buffalo) on the hoof and on the menu in Yellowstone, but I hadn't tried it.    Lucia's version is served with mashed potatoes.   Very tender and very yummy.
         In comparison, Kent's birthday dinner was very sparse.   We only had time for a quick bite before going over to the Cimarron Center.    But the Night Club made up for it.   The cabaret/night club is a new item at Sun City Grand, and it seems to be a hit.   It's small--holds less than 80 people--and features a show once a month during the snow-bird months.  
         The January show just happened to fall on Kent's Birthday.  The entertainer was Mary Jo Johnson, who sang all our favorite songs.   She performed a wide range of easy-listening, lite jazz, and a little country that even Kent liked.  Her show is titled "Songs in the Key of Life," which is very appropriate.  She did songs made famous by Sinatra, Anne Murray, Patsy Cline, and many, many others.  Her rendition of Luther Vandross' "Dance With My Father" was especially touching. 
         Chris and Lou joined us, too, which made it extra special.   Wine, music, and friends made for a great birthday celebration.      

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