Tuesday, February 26, 2019

A week in photos

One or two pictures from every day this week.

Monday, first day with glasses at school. She said she only wore them once. In 3 classes they did computer work so no need to see far away. 

Monday after school practicing her violin. 

Tuesday, before school with her kitten Daisy. Daisy follows Ally. She wants to be wherever Ally is. Ally has just finished her breakfast and Daisy was crying for her as she prowled into the kitchen. Ally called for her and Daisy leapt up into her arms. A girl and her cat. The love is mutual.

Decked out for the snow storm.

Laughing with friends at a birthday party.

All ready to go to her final meet of the year!

Sunday, February 24, 2019


I was at the gym with Ally the other day for a private lesson and there was a preschool class about to start.
Ally and her coach Vicky are solo in the gym and these little girls are like
“Look at that girl in there...oooh”
“Wow...look at her”

I’m dying because I remember Ally being that little. 

And now

I could not be more proud of her determination and passion. 
We left the gym and she said to me “that was really fun”. 

Thursday, February 21, 2019

Tucson Day 4

We had a lazy morning at home. Long talks about life and school and jobs and health. 
Then Aunt Suzie made us fantastic pancakes and bacon. What a treat.
Uncle Phil graciously did the dishes so Ally and I could shower and get ready and Becky and Suzie could play more Spite & Malice.

The storm clouds over the mountains. Not a typical site.

After noon we headed in to town to visit the Museum of Miniatures.

There was even a house with a model train set up! This picture is for you Poppy.

In the room with the Christmas villages set up we were stunned to see some were even in the floor underneath glass. The temptation to do handstands was too great to resist. 

Since it wasn’t raining Ally took advantage of the light and warm weather for another photo shoot.

After the museum we went to Barnes and Noble. Ally used a birthday gift certificate to buy a book and a magazine. Then we stopped at Bookmans, which is a must for us any time we are in Arizona. 

After that it was home to pack, rest and play more Spite & Malice.

Becky is the winner of the epic 16 game tournament by a score of 9-7.

We had pizza for dinner and then we were all supposed to go to a local production of Mama Mia. Aunt Suzie and Uncle Phil has purchased tickets a few months ago but at the last minute Ally decided it would be too much for to go and be out so late. We have an early flight and must leave the house at 4am. So she and I stayed home while Phil, Suzie and Becky attended the show.

Ally and I completed the puzzle, finished packing, and went to bed early. Well at least Ally went to bed early. Now she will get about 8 hours of sleep instead of 4 hours of sleep. She is growing up and learning what is best for her health and well being. It was a difficult and awkward last minute decision. Earlier in the day she committed to going and she didn’t want to disappoint Gruncle and Aunt Suzie, but she accepted the consequences of her decision and stayed home.

This picture is a great representation of Ally right now at 12 years 3 months old. Her preferred clothes are athletic leggings, copped top, hair down, ankle socks and black sneakers. (The bare ankles kill me in Boston winter weather).

Happy. Strong. Brave. Sometimes Moody. 

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Tucson Day 3

It was another sunny and cold day in Tucson. But still we managed to have fun, visiting the Tucson Botanical Gardens with Gruncle while Aunt Suzie worked at the food pantry.
We played lots of games; Uno, Mexican Dominos, Sleeping Queens, Love Letters and of course Spite and Mallice. The puzzle is almost complete.

The butterfly room was the highlight of the botanical garden.

Can you spot the bug?:

One butterfly even landed on me!

Gruncle followed the rules and did not actually grab it. 

In the herb garden we smelled chocolate mint, lemon thyme and rosemary.

Ally had fun posing in the sun.

Monarch Ally.

Saguaro Becky

The tall cactus to the left is called “old man cactus” but Uncle Phil refused to pose with it.

There was even a model train garden. We had to take a look just for Poppy Dave.

Then it was out for ice cream at Gruncle’s favorite $2 scoop shop. 

We decided 52 degree weather was too cold to go swimming so instead we played games in the afternoon before dinner. Out to Mexican of course.
Then back for more games

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Tucson Day 2

The sun was shining melting the snow that fell overnight on the mountains. Shining sun and snow persuaded Ally to leave her iPad and take more pictures!

But it was a chilly 40 degrees so inside we went. For about 20 minutes so Ally could get dressed then back out again

But her “wavy frizzy” hair was driving the tween crazy so at her request we went inside to straighten it. Then back out again

We started a puzzle today and then headed out to the Sonoran Desert Museum.

The forests of Saguaro Cacti are breathtaking. These are views from the car on the drive there.

Pipe organ cactus was the back drop for many pictures. 

Ally climbed up a tall rock outcropping.
And posed for more gymnastics pictures

We saw lots of animals:


Mule deer


Big horn sheep

And the most unusual thing:

A sunscreen dispenser in the bathroom!

It was chilly only about 50degrees and people commented on how could Ally be warm enough. But she was. Aunt Suzie was so cold she wore the extra sweatshirt I brought for Ally! 

Me with pipe organ cacti.

My favorite part was the cactus garden. It was amazing to see all the different varieties of cacti.

Becky with pipe organ cacti!

We left the museum and drove to Saguaro National Park. It was just like I remembered from childhood and I was so happy to show Becky and Ally this part of Arizona.

We stopped and walked a nature trail for a while. It was fantastic to see the desert up close.

Ally had fun taking selfies. She keeps saying the light here is great.

And Becky posed like a cactus:

While I hid behind one

One last leap and look