Archive for January, 2015


2015 Project 52 – Week 4

A nice day last week and a few early poppies blooming at Tohono Chul.  Hoping that all our winter rains will bring spectacular spring wildflowers this year.

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2015 Project 52 – Week 3

There is a lemon tree that grows on my back patio.  It has had some rough years in the past – including one in which prolonged freezing temperatures seemed to have killed it.  Prior to this year it had produced one lemon a couple of years ago.  However, this year, thanks to I am sure in part to last year’s mild winter it produced twenty lemons.  So with a relative surfeit of lemons this year I decided to try to make preserved lemons. Following a combination of a recipe (this one from Food in Jars)  and advice from friends (making sure the lemons were covered by juice at the end of day 2), I have started a jar of preserved lemons.  I should know in about three weeks whether or not it was a success.

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This picture was taken when I first started the process.

2015 Project 52 – Week 2

This was a good week for desert wildlife.  An impromptu visit to the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum on Friday resulted in some amazing shots, especially of the cats (mountain lion and bobcat) and coyotes.  Then on a recent afternoon walk I came across a tarantula in the street in my neighborhood – only my second “wild” tarantula sighting ever!!

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2015 Read Harder Challenge

One of my personal goals for this year is to read books that challenge my perspective.  To this end, I was happy to find the Book Riot read harder challenge for 2015.  This seems like a good list to start with to help me get out of my reading rut.  So the challenge is:

  1. A book written by someone when they were under the age of 25 – Done – 8 February
  2. A book written by someone when they were over the age of 65
  3. collection of short stories (either by one person or an anthology by many people)
  4. A book published by an indie press
  5. A book by or about someone that identifies as LGBTQ
  6. A book by a person whose gender is different from your own
  7. A book that takes place in Asia
  8. A book by an author from Africa
  9. A book that is by or about someone from an indigenous culture (Native AmericansAboriginals, etc.)
  10. microhistory
  11. YA novel
  12. sci-fi novel
  13. romance novel
  14. National Book AwardMan Booker Prize or Pulitzer Prize winner from the last decade
  15. A book that is a retelling of a classic story (fairytale, Shakespearian play, classic novel, etc.)
  16. An audiobook
  17. A collection of poetry
  18. A book that someone else has recommended to you
  19. A book that was originally published in another language
  20. A graphic novel, a graphic memoir or a collection of comics of any kind (Hi, have you met Panels?)
  21. A book that you would consider a guilty pleasure (Read, and then realize that good entertainment is nothing to feel guilty over)
  22. A book published before 1850
  23. A book published this year
  24. self-improvement book (can be traditionally or non-traditionally considered “self-improvement”)

I have some ideas for books I’d like to read for some of the challenges.  I’m going to kick it off with challenge number one and read White Teeth by Zadie Smith.  I picked it up at the used bookstore awhile back so this is a perfect motivation to grab it off the shelf and get reading.

Some other ideas I have for the categories – I’ll keep adding to this as I get more ideas:

  1. White Teeth – Zadie Smith: This task is done.  I have mixed feelings about this book.  I didn’t not like it, but I also didn’t really like it either.  So that’s that.
  2. The Luminaries – Eleanor Catton
  3. Persepolis – Marjane Satrapi
  4. The Happiness Project – Gretchen Rubin

I’m also planning on participating in the GoodReads Challenge Group.

The new year started off with snow in Tucson!  This rare occurrence brought many of the desert dwellers (including me) out to the Tucson Mountains to grab some pictures of cactus in the snow.

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