Category Archives: Arizona

Farewell Montessori

Two weeks ago, I was blinded by fury. I’m no longer mad, and can again see the benefits of the Montessori school system.
Our daughters have been on a waiting list for a local, celebrated academy. Montessori also receives high accolades for teaching and socializing children, but they have a hefty tuition whereas the academy is free. While on the wait list, we placed our children in Montessori. Our oldest daughter attended kindergarten through first grade while our youngest attended pre-K in the spring of 2010.
This past June, we received the call from the academy that our youngest had been accepted to start kindergarten. We were overjoyed! This bumped our oldest from the middle of the second page, to a prime slot on the first page of the wait list.
When I phoned the owner/teacher of Montessori, I was told since both daughters were not attending, our oldest daughter was not welcome. She feared the discussions our daughter would have with the other students, and talks we would have with the other parents. Our good fortune of attending the free academy could poison the waters of her private school.
A child who had done nothing wrong was being punished, leaving her friends and curriculum behind.
Thus our oldest was thrust into the public school system. To say my stomach was in knots would be an understatement. Her new campus was immense, complete with gym, cafeteria, media room, playgrounds, multiple grade levels, and even a school nurse. Montessori, in comparison, was a 2-room schoolhouse, intermingling grade levels from pre-K to 3rd, sharing one playground, one certified teacher and a few aides (parents).
Now that we have two weeks under our belts, I can safely say that Montessori did teach both of our daughters sound reading, math and social skills. This solid foundation will carry them well into their future. They love their new schools, are eager to learn, and have adapted well.
Things Montessori did NOT teach my children:
1) How to navigate a large campus.
2) How to establish a hot lunch account, and enter their 4-digit pin to pay for meals.
3) How to bring home school books.
4) How to do homework.
5) How to share food with your friends.
6) How to take a bus.
7) How to borrow books from the school library.
8) How to use a backpack.
9) How to hunt for ghosts in the school bathrooms.
Speaking of #9, I can’t believe Bloody Mary is still around! Who perpetuates that rumor?
• If you were a ghost, would you hang around a smelly, school bathroom?
• Have your children surprised you by adapting so well to a situation?
• Do you adjust well to change?



Filed under Arizona, Family, IMO

Naked Pirate

I didn’t see any naked pirates, but I did see bikini clad wenches this Memorial Day Weekend at the Naked Pirate Beach Bar. The holiday marks Pirate Cove Resort’s one year anniversary. The resort is located on Park Moabi Road, 11 miles southeast of Needles California, along the Colorado River.
Even though the resort was packed with partiers, we had no wait at the bar for cocktails and a less than five minute wait for a table in the restaurant. Our window seat overlooked the balcony bar plus the river, and there was no shortage of eye candy. Boats of all sizes cruised up and down, and the water taxis were in constant use.
Our lunch was served quickly and the food was delicious! The fried calamari was served on a bed of french fries, and the pulled pork sandwiches were so large, we could have split one.
The dj’s music wasn’t too loud, and the dance floor had more lurkers than dancers. Before leaving, I had to take photos and video of the scene. I will definitely return here, and will bring the children if it isn’t a busy holiday.




Sea Plane

Hubby enjoying a rum & coke.

Water Taxi

Cabins available for rent.
• How are you spending the holiday?
• Would you visit the Naked Pirate?

Naked Pirate Beach Bar on Urbanspoon


Filed under Arizona, California, Dining, Photography, River Adventures, Travel

Easter Cartoon

Belated Happy Easter to you! Did you have a nice holiday? We did. My parents came to visit. The last time they were here was five years ago when our youngest daughter was born. We had a fabulous three days, and it was great to see our children bond with their grandparents and vice versa.
My parents are very private people. Tom, not realizing this, did snap a few photos while Dad grimaced and Mom growled. Wanting to keep the peace yet share our adventures, I created this cartoon. I hope you enjoy it!

• Do you like to draw?
• Are your parents private people?
• How was your Easter?
Thanks for reading & watching!


Filed under Arizona, Humor, River Adventures

Spring Break 2010

Even the youngest students have Spring Break. Although we didn’t escape to a tropical location, we had a lot of local fun. The girls experienced their first round of Miniature Golf. We didn’t keep score, and we didn’t have many rules other than to hit the ball and have fun.
When I showed hubby this video I made, he thought the singer was saying, “Awww… Bullshit!” If you see how we play, bullshit is an appropriate description! Now I can’t get Tom’s version out of my head.

So, the little video camera I’m carrying now is called the Flip Ultra. It’s small, takes 2 AA batteries, stores up to 2 hours of video, has a USB port to download to your computer, and plugs into your tv for viewing. It’s….. GREAT! I give it 4 out of 5 stars. My only complaint is that their zoom causes the image to blur.
Other Flip video cameras are rechargeable, but I like the ease of buying batteries where ever I might be. I bought mine at because they offer great coupon deals.
• How was your Spring Break?
• Do you enjoy miniature golf?
• Have you flipped for the Flip?
Thanks for reading and commenting.


Filed under Arizona

Jesus Really Does Save (Updated)

This blog was originally posted on MySpace March 9, 2009. An update follows.
This morning, on Tom’s return trip from dropping Natalie off at school, he was pulled over for speeding. As he was waiting for the officer to do whatever it is officer’s do, Tom noticed something odd in his rear view mirror. “That’s something you don’t see every day”, Tom remarked to the officer. What caught their eye? A man pulling a huge cross along the highway. The cop took one look at Tom and said, “Today’s your lucky day. Now that we’ve seen Jesus, I’m going to let you go with a warning.”
Tom came home with a gleam in his eye, and I immediately knew something was up. Neither of us could believe his luck! But wait! He hadn’t taken a picture! The man couldn’t have gotten far, so Tom grabbed a camera and headed out. Didn’t take Tom long to find him hauling his cross (which conveniently has wheels on the bottom) further into town. Tom pulled over and snapped his photo. The man waved, approached Tom, and said the photo would cost him one dollar.
The two struck up a conversation. Tom is so personable, and apparently so is the man with the cross. Turns out his name is Cross Carrier Chuck, and he has been walking across the United States since 2000. It’s a ten year mission, and at the end of it, he’s going to write a book.
Tom gave C.C. Chuck (and his cross) a ride to Laughlin, and enough money to buy him a decent breakfast at any one of the casinos. Chuck’s next destination is, appropriately enough, Sin City.


UPDATE: The story did not end there. Far from it. Chuck’s feet were hurting, so he turned his cross around and returned to our town. Meanwhile the story of Tom’s lucky encounter with “Jesus” was blazing through the grapevine. As Chuck pulled his cross in front of the window of a local Bar & Grill, the patrons phoned Tom to say, “Jesus is back!” Tom hopped into his truck, caught up with Chuck, and bought him a bowl of soup.
Day turned to night, and Tom brought Chuck home for dinner. During the course of the evening, we discovered some interesting things about Chuck.
• His mother’s name is Mary.
• His favorite cocktail is the Long Island Iced Tea.
• His favorite pizza is ham, pineapple and anchovies.
• The cross is not a chick-magnet.
• He likes Rice Crispy Treats, but doesn’t know who Michael Phelps is or why Michael adorned my box of Treats. (One collectible down the drain.)
With the help of our friends, we were able to treat Chuck to a week’s stay at a local hotel. After speaking with his mother, we helped him establish a bank account using our address for his statements. His parents put money into his account, and he is able to make withdrawals with his ATM card. When the statements arrive, we are tempted to open them and see where Chuck has been. Instead, I file them away on the off chance he returns.
Chuck caught a bus and headed to the bible belt as Easter was on the horizon. He abandoned his cross in Needles, CA, where the bus station is located, and anticipated building a new cross when this particular journey was over.
You can find videos of Cross Carrier Chuck on YouTube. It was fun to show him the internet while he was here, and he could recall in great detail the circumstances behind being filmed.
If you ever run across Chuck, buy him a Long Island Iced Tea from me!


Filed under Arizona, Humor, Laughlin, Nevada

Found Montana in Arizona

On Wednesday, my youngest daughter, Pearl, and I ventured to Lake Havasu City to see Montana Lady Golfer. Montana and I have been friends on MySpace and Facebook for about a year.
Montana gave us a warm welcome, jumping up & down and giving us hugs upon arrival. Once inside her lovely home, Montana served my favorite wine (sauvignon blanc), crackers, and an assortment of delicious cheeses! I hand delivered a package of fruits & cheese to Montana from her 2009 Secret Santa. Montana was so pleased and said it was the perfect gift.
Ever so thoughtful, Montana carefully opened a fishing game and challenged Pearl to a round. Pearl mopped the floor with her, but our host may have thrown the game.

Time to hop into Montana’s convertible and drop her hubby off at the golf course. Then we girls were off for Fast Food and Shopping.

Pearl loves McDonalds, and was excited to have an Alvin & The Chipmonks Happy Meal. We took the scenic route to the new mall, and Montana spoiled Pearl with a Deluxe Bead Kit and 3 smaller bead sets from Michael’s.
A leisurely drive across the London Bridge led us to The Naked Turtle for beach time!

We found a few shells & pretty rocks, and got our tootsies wet. It was a beautiful day with temps in the high 60’s. Something about playing on the beach makes you hungry. The Beach Bar was undergoing some renovations, but the restaurant upstairs was open. Wow is their food GOOD!! We shared orders of calamari and fish & chips while Pearl had an ice cream sundae.

This day just FLEW by! It was nearly 5pm, and we had to pick up Montana’s hubby from the golf course. I hope he had a good day!
Montana wrapped up some shish-kebobs for Pearl and I to take home. We were running out of daylight, and my hubby and eldest daughter were at home awaiting on return.
Natalie and Pearl are still having a GREAT time making bracelets & necklaces. Tom and I are grilling the kebobs tonight!
• Have you been to Lake Havasu?
• Do you let children beat you at games?
• What’s on your shish-kabob?



Filed under Arizona, Shopping

Great Christmas of ’09

Merry Christmas! I hope you had a wonderful holiday. Ours was magical as we were visited by not only Santa Claus but also the Tooth Fairy. I’d love to have been a fly on the wall when those two met up in our home. I asked the kids to write a story or draw pictures of that event, but neither of them went for it.

We took a ton of pictures and video which I condensed to 2 minutes and 10 seconds. I have to give huge kudos to iLife software. MAC makes it so easy to edit, add music, and share. If you know of similar software for the PC, let me know. One of my friends is shopping around for an easy editing program.

Here’s a photo I took Christmas night outside of our bar room. I like how the back yard is reflected in the window, and how you can see straight through and out the window on the opposite side of the room. So much to take in all at once.

• How was your Christmas?


Filed under Arizona

Baby Burros

Oatman @ the turn of the century and today.

In the early 1900’s Oatman Arizona was a gold mining town. The mines have closed and miners are long gone, but their burros remain. Oatman is now a tourist attraction drawing in visitors from around the world to visit this ghost town off of Historic Route 66.

Although the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) recently requested that the public stop feeding the burros, I noticed visitors with bags of carrots and hay cubes. One exuberant guest shared a few of her cubes with my daughters who fed the friendly animals. Baby burros (who were still nursing) wore stickers bearing the universal sign for, “Don’t Feed Me Carrots”.

We popped into a few of the shops which line Main Street and admired the assorted souvenirs. There were polished rocks, hot salsas, desert-themed ornaments, Route 66 t-shirts, roadrunner statues, scorpion and tarantula paperweights to name a few. We bought a canned soda and continued our stroll. Cowboys with rifles caught our attention, and I knew a loud gun battle would ensue. Throughout the day there are staged bank robberies and gun fights. Normally I would stick around to enjoy the show, but my daughters’ are sensitive to loud noises, so I herded them back to the car. We had a great day and a nice excursion.

• What attractions draw tourists to your area?
• Do you like burros and staged gun fights?
• What sticker should be on your forehead?


Filed under Arizona, Photography