Tuesday, May 27, 2014


Something creative, for a change.  New guest bedroom plans have left me looking for a covering for the queen-sized bed left behind by my son.  After months of sitting on my hands, I went in search yesterday, and "settled" on this, below...
Yes, "SETTLED".  A bed in a bag - not exactly what I wanted, but the price was certainly right, and there were 7 pieces.  Happy (or seemingly so) with this marked-down treasure, until I was standing at the check-out stand, second-guessing myself because I suddenly remembered THIS, in the upstairs hall closet of my home...
Finished YEARS ago (literally), and packed away with the intentions of hand finishing the binding that was in place already (a small step, you would think).  Tons (OK, lbs., anyway) of my all-time favorite fabrics - most out-of-print long ago.  Custom free-motion quilted by one of the most creative in Vegas.  For those quilters here that are asking, "Tanya, what IS that pattern you used?", it is "Monkey Business" from Buggy Barn's "Certifiably Crazy" book of traditional patterns (not your standard "throw it together with no thought of matching seams" Buggy Barn pattern) - a Monkey Wrench or Snail's Trail quilt block.
I made this to fit a queen sized bed, but not as a comforter.  No, my goal was to have it big enough to fit as a BEDSPREAD, having "people" in my household that hate pillow shams and all the "hard work" that comes with putting pillows in and taking them out each night.  So, this will cover and tuck under pillows - yes, bedspread size - HUGE!
This morning, hating the "quilt in a bag" set, I pulled the quilt from my linen closet and did something that I would typically NEVER do with any quilt (SHUDDER!!!) - I finished the binding on my machine! SHHHHH - it actually turned out beautifully; that binding will NEVER come off and, most importantly, IT'S DONE!!!!  Black bed skirt, and deep moss green and tan walls - that quilt in the plastic bag would have just been pathetic.  Sometimes a good monkey wrench, thrown into the mix, fixes everything!

Monday, May 26, 2014

Monday, May 19, 2014


Today's the day!  A milestone for my dad - my hero - my inspiration.  80 years YOUNG (how can that be?), and still running circles around most of us, me included these days.  Whether it's making me crazy because I've called and he's up on the roof with the air conditioner, or out mowing the "North 40" (his incredible park-rivaling lawn), he amazes me every single day of my life.
Arvid Carl Anderson - born May 19, 1934.  Son of a Swedish immigrant and an Irish American lass (my grandparents, Carl and Kate)...little brother to Robert.
Married to Barbara Jean Rhyno in the late 50's, the dapper guy fathered three kids of his own (tho I'm the one pictured here, because it's my blog!) 
Seven grandchildren - two of whom I can vouch for, that love him madly.  Always the fun guy to be around. Four great-grandchildren, that we know of...
30+ years at the defense contractor, Martin Marietta, as a design engineer (yes, a Moon Man); sportsman (that's his hunting buddy, "Sonny" - my brother, Arvid); outdoorsman; singer; dancer; poet; comedian; avid reader (I have never known him to not be learning about something new); and teacher.  He IS a walking encyclopedia!
Contemplating the scenery he loves so much, and knows so well.  We like to say "he knows some shit about some stuff" - my go-to person for history questions, for sure, and anything else I can't find an answer to.  He still loves road trips, much like those we used to take when I was a kid (but with far less puke on his car seats from my motion sickness years).  For those who know me, they know I married someone who hates to travel, but is more than willing to afford me to spend summers travelling with my parents - usually through the beautiful SW, which my dad has always been enamoured with - the scenery and the peoples. 
He's an art lover; a collector; a connoisseur of fine cuisine (yes, Mexican food and Margaritas count).
Husband and best friend to my Mom - I can think of no more perfect match.  I've watched him sit patiently in MANY a Chico's store, and just let her have at it.
One of the most important lessons I've learned from him - ALWAYS keep a sense of humor (the photo on the bottom center has him holding little "cards" that they pass out for free on the Las Vegas Strip - you have to have been here and seen them to know why he is smiling).  He's a card, a cut-up, sharp as a tack, and can bring a smile to any one's face.
Just the two of us over the past few years - we even took in a rock concert at Red Rocks Amphitheater.
It's truly been a Carousel of Happiness being my father's daughter (figuratively AND literally - this was taken at the "Carousel of Happiness") .  Those who know me ALSO know just how much he means to me. Thank you for being my Dad, Dad - you ARE my hero!  You may never realize just HOW much I have loved you all these years.  Hope your day today is fabulous - I'll be home soon, and we're buying that new Cowboy Hat - no arguments!  Go dry your eyes (I need to, too), and have a wonderful day (watching Mom gamble )...I told you he was patient!  Love you more!!!
Happy Birthday, Big Guy - XOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXO

Sunday, May 18, 2014


...not quite hot enough to turn the sand to glass, but you won't be able to convince most that live here of that in a few months time.  For now, the bees are loving the few blooms that are left.
Ocotillo on the left; two different, interesting textures from one yucca, to the right.
Hard to see, but he's in there...
These look like Dotted Swiss to me.  Really dangerous Dotted Swiss.
And for those with a sweet tooth, THE sweetest kitchen in the Vegas Valley - ETHEL M'S FACTORY TOUR.  A self-guided tour along the machinery and conveyor belts, ala Lucy and Ethel (you know you were thinking it); ending with a small sampling of milk or dark chocolate, and a chance to pick up a "souvenir" or two dozen.  Open seven days a week - never a charge for the factory nor the gardens, and always a fun get-away from the hustle and bustle of The Strip.  The blooms are done until Spring next, but the cactus continue to amaze, year-round - they also decorate with lights for Christmas.  Drop by for a slightly different view of Vegas.  Happy Sunday - tomorrow is a BIG day!

Saturday, May 17, 2014


Gathering nectar while the gathering is good...such a short time between the opening of these pretty blooms, and their demise.
This is a "before and after" shot - fuzzy remnants of gorgeous, snow-white blooms.
Purple Pancake Cactus
Three bees, here...
One of the weirdest looking cacti in the gardens
Happy Bloomin' Saturday!

Friday, May 16, 2014


The last blooms of the desert spring - just before the oppressive summer heat.  Broken into three days of photos, as I couldn't choose - short on words, but long on beauty.  These large, single photos (make sure to click on the photos to enlarge) ALL hold at least one bee...it's like the "Where's Waldo" of nature. 
These little orange beauties were the size of a dime.
Birds nests in the most dangerous, and obviously safest, of all places!
Happy Friday - hope it's a "bright, bright, sunshiny day"!

Monday, May 12, 2014


Finding a serious need to change the Easter Bunny out after a month, I can think of no better animal than the infamous BUSHWHACKER.  "Saturday Night Girls Night Out" (thank the "powers that be" that no husbands wanted to go along on THIS one!), Jackie and I ditched em' and headed to the RODEO... Professional Bull Riding's Last Cowboy Standing, at Mandalay Bay in Vegas, to be exact.
Unbelievable seats - larger than life action - and COWBOYS!  The TOUGHEST of cowboys!  This was the final night of an event they'd been building up to for weeks...wheedling down the field to 25 of the best bull riders on the circuit.  Guilherme Marchi, of Brazil, took home the $100,000 prize.
And my heart...sigh.
And a little flying slobber and dirt in our hair was well worth this view!  Boy, was it ever!  
And...wait for it...from bulls to hunks to MEAT (there's more cowboy action at the end)!
Another heavyweight legend - MEATLOAF for dinner on Tuesday night.  Stories from his life, his biggest hits, a giant bat out of hell, and my own fabulous, complimentary pin to accessorize with!  What more could a girl ask?
66-years-young - a little slower (aren't we all) on the stage, but the pipes are still there, and it's a fabulous evening of rock and roll fun from the past.  If you're coming through town, he will be here through June 21st. A smaller (ala old school Vegas), more personable venue - we were fourth row, center stage.  Close enough for slobber to hit us here too, but thankfully it wasn't the case! 
Back in the saddle again, on the blog...ran by the cactus garden and snapped the final blooms of the Spring this morning.  Will dazzle you with those in a few days, but until then...Marchi's $100,000 ride on Rango.