Hello Friends and Family,

Link to this year's index by clicking here.


Native American Appreciation

Monarch Butterfly 1This weekend was Native American Appreciation Days at the Desert Botanical Gardens — a place I have mentioned in previous issues. They were celebrating two types of Native Americans — so I had to go. The first is the colorful Monarch butterflies (order Lepidoptera) which I have written about and whose photos I have already shared. But they are so beautiful that a few more photos cannot possibly hurt.

Monarch Butterfly 2

Monarch Butterfly 3

Monarch Butterfly 4

Native American SingerThe other type of Native American is the indigenous people who were here when Columbus bumped into America thinking he was landing in India. At various spots in the garden, Native American performers were singing and playing musical instruments. This woman has an exceptional voice and performed some wonderful songs — enjoyable even if I could not understand the Navaho words.

Native American MusiciansAt a second spot was a small instrumental group (I am guessing that since they did not sing while I stayed and listened). They were also very good — which is the norm that I have come to expect from all the performers that I have heard at the gardens.

I thought is was curious that neither the woman (seen here) nor the drummer (seen below) looked Native American. Since I did not catch their self-introduction, I do not know the story behind that.
Native American Drummer
But look at those drums. They are definitely not what you find in most musical groups — not only is the appearance different but the sound as well. For those of you who love drums (and I do), it was quite a treat.
Cactus
For those of you who live in the Phoenix area (and anyone planning a trip here), do make it out to the Desert Botanical Gardens. There is always something going on.  In a few weeks the Las Noches de las Luminarias will begin. Do plan on going and I suggest you buy your tickets in advance. I have mine already and am very much looking forward to the beautiful setting with music and beverages and luminarias.

And if you prefer visiting during the daylight hours, you can see the fantastic array of cacti and other desert plans. Heck, why not enjoy both daytime and nighttime?

If you want more info just click here.

Apple Update

After weeks of talking about it, I finally ordered my Apple computer.  The funny thing was that I had two $100 credit certificates from the rebate on our iPhones — which I promptly forgot to use.  I was so focused on getting the order correct, I forgot all about the credits.

But then our credit card company’s fraud detection software held up the approval of the purchase (because of the amount and the fact that Apple was making multiple charge items), leaving us voice mail.  So I called Citibank and got the charges approved but they said I had to call the vendor to have them resubmit the charges.

So after going through Apple’s version of phone-tree Hell, I finally talked to Danny.  In addition to explaining the above, I also asked about applying the credits at this point.  He said, "No problem" and sent me back in phone-tree Hell.  When finally I emerged, Shawn told me that my account was classified as a business account and the support team for business does not work on weekends.  I asked if I could just cancel the order and resubmit, taking the credits this time.  He said I could do it online — he did not have that authority — again because mine is a business account (and how did that happen anyway?).

So I went online again and canceled my order — and once more went through the process of ordering my system and extra software.  And it looks like Apple is shipping the various components separately — rather like the packets that comprise an Internet message.  Of course, neither is useful until the full set arrives. I can hardly wait!

Quilting Update

A reporter for The Daily Times of Salisbury, Maryland wrote a very nice article about my mom and her quilting group. Most of you have read my words and seen my photos on that topic — now you can read a professional's take on the story (sorry the online version did not have photos) — just click here.

 Life is good.

 Aloha,
 B. David