Saturday, February 29, 2020

A Nightmare I Never Saw Coming

AJ, AZ   High 80  Low 49

On Thursday, Jim and I went to Sky Harbor Airport to pick up a friend of ours who was flying in from Maine. We made sure we got there a little early so we could find short term parking. We even got a parking spot about as close to the door as you could get. 

While we were waiting I glanced up and saw some interesting things on the walls. I also noticed that most people getting off the plane didn't even see these things because they were headed for baggage claim and just wanted to get out of that airport. 

These two pictures are part of the Phoenix Airport Museum. I'm sure there are many other items that we didn't see.

This picture is of the Bright Angel segment of the Grand Canyon as seen from the North Rim at sunrise. The artist, Merrill Mahaffey, wet the canvas and applied acrylic washes of color with a big brush. After the washes dried, he projected slides onto the canvas and laid in the details with small brushes and an air brush. The painting took four weeks to complete.

This one is called The Aviators and was done by Donald Lipski. The artwork celebrates Arizona's abundance of sunshine and rich aviation history. The 29 foot wide steel frames weigh more than a ton and feature chromed fiberglass lenses. Details include full-functioning hinges and vinyl nose pads. The sky is hand-painted on a 90 foot wide canvas.

 On Friday, Jim and I headed out to do some grocery shopping. I wanted to add to our food supply so we would be a little more prepared if things get really bad with the coronavirus stuff that is wrecking havoc around the world. We also stopped to have lunch at Papa Kelsey's. Great sub sandwiches.

We were gone about three hours which is about as long as we dare to leave the old dogs alone. I got out of the truck and climbed the steps and went in the door. It wasn't until I actually got inside that I noticed something was horribly wrong. All three of our slides were pulled in. My first thought was for the dogs. Rocky met me at the door so he was okay, but Skitz was not there. When our slides come in you can't get to the living room area unless you climb over the island counter. My thoughts went into overdrive and I was scared to death that Skitz had been trapped under a slide and had been killed or was badly hurt. Jim was outside in the truck and I screamed for him (I'm sure the whole park could hear me). 

He climbed up onto the island and was able to see that Skitz was still in her bed and was just fine. I'm not sure she even realized that anything had happened. Once I knew the dogs were okay, I was able to breathe again and Jim could focus on figuring out what had happened. Skitz was able to squeeze her chunky body between the slide and the island and get over to the kitchen where we were. 

Jim called a 24 hour technician from Camping World (where we bought the trailer) and between them and our neighbor, Pat, they were able to finally figure out what happened. It seems that water got in the hydraulic pump compartment and shorted out and blew a fuse and kicked the circuit breaker. This caused the slides to come in all by themselves. It took the guys about two hours to finally get the slides back out again. Jim drilled a couple of holes in the bottom of that compartment so this can't happen again.

This was truly a nightmare experience.

 You spend all this money for beds and they just want to lay on the floor.



Sunday, February 23, 2020

The Heard Museum

Paula to my rescue once again.  She just won't take no for an answer when I whine about getting out of the house. This time she had gone to the library and checked out two tickets to the Heard Museum. Did you know that your local library offers free tickets to certain museums and attractions in your area? Check it out.

I took this from the Heard Museum website: The mission of the Heard Museum is to be the world’s preeminent museum for the presentation, interpretation and advancement of American Indian art, emphasizing its intersection with broader artistic and cultural themes.

The Heard Museum was founded in 1929 by Dwight and Marie Bartlett Heard. Today the museum has grown to over 130,000 square feet.  There are many exhibits and we did not have time to see and appreciate them all. Think we'll be making another visit in the future. 

The following are the exhibits we did explore.

David Hockney’s Yosemite and Masters of California Basketry

David Hockney is a British artist who, in 1982, took beautiful photos of Yosemite. In 2010 he revisited Yosemite Valley and used his iPad to draw pictures which he printed on paper. 

These next two are much smaller iPad pictures.

During the early decades of the 20th century, production of baskets in the Yosemite Valley was at its zenith, fueled by a newly established tourism-based economy. Miwok and Mono Lake Paiute women began expanding their practice of making baskets as traditional functional objects, evolving them into objects designed for artistic consumption. 

In the Sandra Day O'Connor Gallery we found the Grand Procession: Contemporary Plains Indian Dolls.

The dolls provide a figurative reference to Indigenous peoples from the Great Plains and Great Basin regions who lived in those areas during the late nineteenth century. 

This art fence represents the Southwest and the organic fences built by Native people from adobe, ocotillo or saguaro cactus. The fence begins with darker colors and then continues with brighter colors representing land and sky.

These next two pictures are close ups of some of the glass work on the fence.

 This mural was created by Tony Abeyta, Navajo, in 2008. He calls it "A Place Where We Emerge" and is India ink and charcoal on the gallery wall.

One exhibit that I would have liked to explore further was Away From Home: American Indian Boarding School Stories. Next time.


Saturday, February 8, 2020

Out and About

Jim and I finally got out of the house to do something. That something was a car show. A small car show which is just my speed. The Apache Junction Animal Shelter was holding a fund raiser at the ELKS club.

This is a1940 Chevy. Pretty car.

But this was the most unique car at the show. It's a Camaro. There were only 80 of these produced and in all of Jim's years dealing with cars and going to car shows, this is the first time he had ever seen one.

We've also been out to eat with friends from the park and also got to meet up with Jeff and Tina who are RV friends from our years on the road. Always good times.

Portillo's for dinner.

Our weather has been fantastic. In the 70's during the day and down to the upper 40's at night for perfect sleeping weather. Lots of sunshine and blue skies with beautiful sunsets. No complaints here.

But - next week our night time temps will get down to freezing and day time temps only in the 50's. So I can go back to whining. Hope our winter is short.

The flowers definitely think its Spring. This is just down the road from us here in Apache Junction.

 Hope everyone is enjoying February.