First Hike

February 24, 2013

On the trailWe have decided we need to do a little more that is different rather than just going to a mall etc.  Even though it was the Arts and Crafts Fair in Fountain Hills yesterday, and we love going, we were there in November and we didn’t want to spend money – trust me it is difficult to go and not to spend it.  I mentioned to John that we’d not been hiking as a family and I’d not been hiking since before getting pregnant. Daddy and Miss K on the trailDon’t forget Miss K will turn 6 in May!  I looked online to see what was going on at our local recreational area and the Ranger was going to be teaching knots.  I’ve not done any of these since my days in the Scouts and Guides so thought why not.  We would also introduce Miss K to the joys of hiking.  She can walk around Sea World, London and Disney for hours on end so lets try something different.  I’m not sure what she thought of it, but in the Nature Centre she was introduced to some examples of the local wildlife ie live snakes, spiders and scorpions. ParkJohn and I decided we are happier not knowing where they are around the house as we have never spotted them.  The weather was beautiful and you would never guess we’d had a couple of inches of snow just 3 days before.

We didn’t walk far and the trails were amazingly busy as you had the riders on horseback, the cyclists and then there were a couple of endurance runs.  We spent as much time letting people go past us as we did walking but it was still wonderful to get out.

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Snow in Cave Creek!

February 23, 2013
Snow on the playground

Snow on the playground

Apologies, apologies.  I’ve not posted on here in the better part of a year.  So much has happened.  We had a wonderful family vacation to Disney World at the end of October and then had a quiet Christmas here in Arizona with just the 3 of us.  It turned out to be even more quiet as I was diagnosed with pneumonia the week before.  Fall Semester was extremely busy as I started studying and Full Length of Playground in Snowhave started the long road to achieving my Associates Degree in Early Childhood Education.  I took and passed 6 credits in the Fall Semester.  This Semester I am taking 7.  I have completed 2 x 1 credit classes and am currently almost halfway through a 3 credit class.  Thankfully there is not quite as much homework, so far, from these classes.  I am enjoying myself immensely and John is awesome in all the support he’s given me.  What with working full-time at school (now in a preschool room); studying part-time and being a mother too I certainly have my hands full.  My “To Do” lists get longer on a daily basis.

SnowMy big reason for writing is, can you believe it, we had snow here this week?  It started as a hail storm at 3 pm in the afternoon and the kids at school were absolutely fascinated.  Two of us teachers stood outside trying to prevent parents coming into the parking lot as we discovered at one point it got extremely difficult to get back out as you have to climb a small ramp.  By the time I locked up and left the school though at 5.30 pm the snow had become slush, and then on Thursday we couldn’t let the children play outside for the first half of the day as it was all melting so fast that there was too much water around.  Now, well you would never guess that it had snowed at all except for the memories.


Haboob

July 8, 2011

For those of you who have emailed/tweeted me with regards to seeing the recent news we are fine.  Can you believe that in 6 weeks time we will have been here for 10 years and yet, in all that time, we have never been affected by a dust storm.  Yes, they happen at least once a year, but we are what is classed as north north scottsdale so right on the outer northern edges of the Greater Phoenix Metropolitan area.  I must have heard that there was going to be a dust storm, but didn’t pay any attention.  At 9pm on Tuesday night I was getting ready to head upstairs and thought I’d take a quick peek at Facebook.  A friend, who lives about 5 miles south, had just posted a picture showing outside their house.  She is also British, and her comment against her picture was something along the lines of that it looked like British Pea Soup fog but tasted like grit.  I thought I’d take a look outside our back door.  That was silly.  We had exactly the same weather!  Here is a time lapse video that I found of Tuesdays’s Haboob.  When I got up on Wednesday morning everywhere was just one shade of pale brown.  I spent the better part of 2.5 hours washing things down and the back yard is possibly about half clean.  We desperately need a good thunder storm, that lasts more than 10 minutes, to get everything cleaned down.  Thankfully although our pool had a lot of dust in it it was still running properly.  I put this down to the fact that having just had the pool remodelled we had brand new pumps, plus I had only done a backwash on Monday so the filter was working 100%.  Of course, I now need to back wash again.  I have just been out and bought new filters for the air conditioning system as that is going to be full of dust, and yet, I only replaced those 2 weeks ago.  The clean up begins…everywhere!

Kirsten isn’t happy either because she’s not been able to go out in the pool since Tuesday.  We are unable to spend considerable amounts of time outside as the air quality is so poor.  You can see the clouds of dust lingering in the air.  Then, we had the mini haboob in the house yesterday afternoon.  The Avon delivery had arrived and Kirsten had woken from a nap that I had forced on her.  I asked if she would take her new bubble bath up to her bathroom to help Mummy out, which she willingly did, but then didn’t return downstairs for about another 15 minutes.  I was thrilled as I thought she was finally playing with her toys in her bedroom.  When she came downstairs she told me she had put the white stuff on that made her smell nice.  I hadn’t got a clue what she was talking about and as she was at one end of the family room and I was the other I couldn’t see her properly or smell her either.  On getting closer I realised that she was covered in white talc.  In her bathroom she has a small travel size baby talc that I use very rarely.  She had obviously decided to put some on but was coated in it.  Everything she touched turned white so I had to get a duster out for everytime she moved along the sofa.  Thankfully that is leather.  I asked her if she had made a mess in her bathroom and her response was “no I cleaned it up with my hands but there is still a little in the cracks”.  I hadn’t got a clue what that meant either!!  I thought the best bet was go upstairs and take a look.  OMG a little.Kirsten's "just a little"  One half of the bathroom, all round the toilet was coated in talc.  Thankfully it was easy to clean up with the vacuum but she and I did have a discussion about what she should do next time she wants to “smell nice”.