Friday, December 16, 2011

Home for the Holidays

 Emily and I have a hard time being away from family and friends during the holidays, but we try to make the most we can out of what we have and get some traditions going for Tucson Christmas.

Most important is Barley's Santa hat. He has to wear this nonstop until Jan. 6th, when the wise men tell him it's no longer hat season.

It has been cold out here! There's already 4 feet of snow at the local ski resort -- not that you'll find us there... His and hers Mexican hot chocolate latte with marshmallows!!

I'd imagine that most people reading this blog already know that Em is an amazing woman, but in case you needed further proof: stockings hung with care, lights and boughs on the mantle, fire in the fire place, living tree with ornaments dating back to 1988, and litlle touches that boggle the male brain while warming his heart.

"Take care of yourselves, and each other," Jerry Springer.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Barley the turtle

Once again, Barley is a very patient dog :)

Slow and steady wins the race! :) I can't wait to parade him around the neighborhood to embarrass him in front of his friends :)

Our Trek Through Texas

Well, we recently returned from a 1 week adventure through the Southwest.  We drove into Texas to see Mary and Michael in Del Rio and Sarah, Dom, and Mia in Houston.  The driving a little excessive, but it was worth it to see the family! :)

Our first stop was in Del Rio, TX, where Mary and Michael were fabulous hosts.  We traveled around the city and saw the Del Rio sights.  We also experienced Lake Amistad and it was a blast! Barley was unsure at first, but with some coaxing he managed a little swimming. 

We also ate at some cute local spots around town, including Memo's. We had some fun and did some acro in the grass outside of Memo's, and when we went inside, the patrons gave us a round of applause for our performance (we didn't know they were watching... or could even see us!)

Tommy got into the Texas spirit and almost walked out of the store with the lasso :) See for yourself how good he is with the lasso.


Thank you Mary and Michael for a great trip!! :) You guys were great hosts and we had a blast in your small world of Del Rio! :)

After Del Rio, it was on to Houston for some more family visits.  When we arrived, Mia was VERY excited to see Barley! He was pretty excited too, at first, but eventually I think her constant "Doggie!"-ing got to him.  Our entire visit, he was very patient with Mia, which was very comforting :)

 Our first morning was spent at the Houston Zoo. It was fairly big but very well-kept! Here's a shot Tommy took of a jaguar mid-jump.

Tommy and I went to the climbing gym in Houston. It was pretty nice, but we are very spoiled at Rocks and Ropes in Tucson.

 Sarah made me a birthday cake. It was not just ANY birthday cake, but a Kennedy favorite... chocolate parfait cake! It was bowl-lickin' good!

Then it was off to Galveston. Barley loves the ocean!

 A little ocean yoga :)
Mia loves her uncle Tommy!
She loves him so much that she feeds him bagel chips without him even asking!
And then she stuffs them in his mouth until he can't fit anymore :)

 Sarah and Dom have these great bamboo floors but are too soft to withstand Barley's claws, so we bought him booties to wear around the house.  He actually did a great job with them! This is the face he gives me when he's practicing being patient and wants to be reassured that he's a good boy.

Thank you Sarah, Dom, and Mia for an awesome time in Houston! It was so much fun to watch Mia and Barley together! 

 What a trip! Barley was worn out by the end f it and slept for the entire 17 hour drive home. Though we decided to split the drive into two days. As we arrived in El Paso to spend the night, out poor car couldn't take the 90 mph driving anymore and overheated.  We added coolant and made it home the next day, though our head gasket was mis-shaped and it turned into an expensive repair... At least we made it back!

 Even God is bigger in Texas!

Yay! Alternative energy! There are quite a few windmills along the interstate in Texas.

"Clearly, we need more incentives to quickly increase the use of wind and solar power; they will cut costs, increase our energy independence and our national security and reduce the consequences of global warming."
~Hillary Rodham Clinton

Friday, October 14, 2011

I have the 9th best job in America!

Best Jobs in America

This article outlines the best jobs in America and TR is #9!  It's nice to see that Recreation Therapy is getting some recognition! Plus, we're two jobs ahead of physical therapists :)  I must say though... our median pay is about half of most of the jobs in the top 10. 

Speaking of Rec Therapy... my boss Butch is retiring! His last day is December 28th, and then I will be the only Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist at Cottonwood.  I have some big changes that I want to make and can't wait to implement them :) I spoke to the Clinical Director and she is really excited about making some changes in TR department.  I don't think I'll be promoted for awhile, because we might not hire anyone to replace Butch's spot for awhile... but I don't know how that will look :)

"They always say time changes things, but you actually have to change them yourself."
~Andy Warhol

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Sneak Peek

Well, it has become a tradition to dress up our animals for Halloween.  So far, we only have one costume, but it's a great one :)

  Baxter got right into character :)

 Barley became a little confused too. If you can't tell... he's a lion :)

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Ronald McDonald Fundraiser

This is the third year that Cottonwood Tucson has set up a table at an annual Ronald McDonald fundraiser.  Restaurants from all over Tucson serve samples to people at an outdoor mall in Tucson. They also have free wine samples and LOTS of silent auction products and services.  I get free admission because we have a table there, but I think it costs $100 a ticket.

This year, Tommy's boss, Richard, did a special ice carving for the table. It is a large block of ice with fresh fish and seaweed frozen into it! And he put lights in it too.  It looked awesome! They served homemade ravioli, fresh-rolled sushi and a delicious crepe.  The event is also a great a marketing tool, but many times people think we are a restaurant rather than a treatment facility. 

 Richard putting on the finishing touches.

 Tommy's carving of a neighborhood pool.  See the diving board?

 Service begins.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Red Rock... Gotta love it!


This is our lovely volleyball team after a game a few weeks ago :) We are the Arctic Force and have penguins on our jerseys :) It's so nice to be playing again!

Monday, September 26, 2011

New look

I thought it was time for a new look... now that Willow is a wild woman, I figured we should change the picture too :)

"If we don't change, we don't grow. If we don't grow, we aren't really living."
~Gail Sheehy

Sunday, September 25, 2011

We officially love Flagstaff!

Last weekend, Tommy, Barley, and I piled into the ol' Camry and trucked up to Flagstaff.  We went to a bluegrass festival, camped, climbed, drank good coffee and hung out with friends.  I completed a Wilderness First Responder (WFR) course in Flagstaff a few weeks prior, so we met up with some of my friends from the course.  It was perfect weather, though it was getting pretty cold at night.

The first night, we pulled into a recreation area north of Phoenix. Barley was really excited... so we didn't get much sleep in our 2 person tent with him.  He tossed and kicked all night.  The next day, we finished the drive to Flagstaff, took Barley to the dog park and then dropped him off at a doggie daycare so we could attend the bluegrass festival - Pickin in the Pines.  Afterward, he was exhausted and we slept really well that night.

The next day with went climbing at The Pit.  The rock was limestone and very different from what we were used to, but it was really fun to climb on! It had pockets in it, as you can see in the pictures.

                           Tommy climbing "Popeye"

                              Barley was so tired!                            

                                                        I'm trying to clip my chalk bag to Heather's harness :)

Enjoying the view

Our last day, we spent time in town and has some yummy coffee.  Flagstaff has a really great coffee shop scene.  Plus, there's some good food to accompany it too!  

So, after the trip, Tommy and I decided we will definitely be back soon! Especially before it gets too cold :) I think we'll probably have a summer home there in the future (a campsite...).

"Come forth into the light of things, let nature be your teacher."
~William Wordsworth