Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Steve and Virg flew home today

Search begins for suitable valance fabric

Virgil and Steve have returned to Eden Prairie and Mankato. Today Kathleen and Stan headed out to find a fabric to start the kitchen/family room. We started at JoAnn Fabrics, saw a couple possibles. They told us to go to Home Fabrics for more and they were right. But we still hadn't seen enough, so the folks at Home Fabrics told us to go try Fabrics That Go.
Is this fun or what?

We got into the final store at closing time. Herman the owner, 84, said if we'd come back tomorrow, he'd give us a special discount. He also said that when he died they weren't going to bury him, they were going to weave him. Ah, yes. Then we got a peek at the merchandise.

"Nice Material." Could be something special there, so we are back at it tomorrow after breakfast. We may have already found the fabric, below. What do you think? It is hard to match anything over the internet, of course, but we included a swatch of the "Copper Mountain" with each, so they will be similarly distorted. Our monitor in Tucson shows the terra cotta a bit orangier than it really is.

But can you play poker on it?

Photo by Kathleen Rolfsrud
Steve and Virgil test out the new counter height breakfast table purchased at the American Furniture store on Oracle in Tucson Saturday for 900 bucks, the set. We expect delivery Feb. 8, at which time the patio furniture now being used will be returned to the patio. The fellas also chose some spiffy living room tables to dress up the smashing Craigslist sofa/recliner/sleeper sectional. We'll reveal the effect upon delivery.

At right, Virgil fine tunes the house elevator music system, cobbled together from Stan's old Pioneer amplifier, which hasn't been called to service since the Eagles sang "Desparado" in the 70s. It works. Below, Kathleen says grace and gives thanks at the dining room table while Steve and Virgil mug. Double click on the image, look closely and you'll notice the Rolfsrud relics reverently highlighted in the background.

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Monday, January 30, 2006

What is wrong with this picture?

The Answer:
It is Sunday night and Stan should be watching 60 Minutes, not a PBS documentary about the Alaskan wilderness.
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Sunday, January 29, 2006

It was a beautiful day at El Conquistador

We played 16 holes today at the El Conquistador golf course when darkness halted play. We paused on the way back to the clubhouse to enjoy this treat. Posted by Picasa

Too late, we already love it.

"Copper Mountain" it is. Now the dust boards (presently in black and white geometrics) over the windows in the kitchen and family room. A Navaho gemometric print in a warmer palatte? JoAnn Fabrics, here we come.
Steve pulled down the drapes in the master bedroom as well and paused,(right), to admire the new space, not sure what to do next. Direction will no doubt come.
Nancy, note the room divider taken from the upstairs bedroom to divide the master in half, creating two new spaces. The divider, in an unfortunate shade, is temporary, as we search for a suitable armoire or something to divide. Craigslist perhaps? Sam Levitz had nothing.

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Nancy! Becky! Call quickly if you don't like this

We're painting the TV room "Copper Mountain" -- at least one accent wall. We're trying to warm up this winter home (the nights are cold) and we picked a color and away we go. Got a tee time after one today so chop chop. Nancy, you'll be pleased to know that Kathleen (above) is adding to Steve's skill set. Posted by Picasa

Pickup me up.... Now!

A giant schnauser out for a walk on a sunny Arizona afternoon was more than Hoover wanted to contend with the other day. Temperatures remain mild and pleasant. No rain, ever. Skies are most often blue. Starry, chilly nights. Posted by Picasa

Saturday, January 28, 2006

We get 'Rolfsruds in Tucson' fan mail

Sandi Pennar Bonesteel, ex Alexandrian, now living in Green Valley AZ, writes:
Am enjoying the reports! I forward the link to the girls (Paula, Claudia, Terrie, Bev K) Good info with a personal touch! Our desert is so unique. I was blown away by Arizona when we first visitied in ''73 and was a "20 year native" of the Phoenix area until we came to southern Arizona in '93.
Then I really got a chance to experience (up close and personal) some of the flora and fauna I had seen only at the Desert Museum. I lived in a pretty rural area at first. The area where we built in '95 had lots of trails nearby and I regularly had "visitors" in my yard. I've had encounters with javelina, coyote, rattlesnakes, bobcats, etc. Unfortunately now this area is becoming over developed and the habitat is disappearing. Daily sightings are rare. Yesterday's Tucson paper had an article on Superstition Mountains. That whole area is worth a visit. My folks lived out there, E. of Apache Jct, in Queen Valley. That was our first visit to Arizona in 73 and we we went home and packed up to move here! The whole state has amazing sites so if you are going to be winter regulars you will always have something to do.

(Pictured is an example of what Sandi is talking about. We came upon this hummingbird in the area of Arizona desert Sandi describes.)

Stan bet the boss, won day of golf, dinner

In a magnificent payoff to a good-natured bet, Stan's boss of 30 years hosted Stan, Steve and Virgil to a round of golf at Stone Canyon, the premier golf course in Arizona. That was followed up with a dinner at Arlin and Marilyn's beautiful home nearby. It was a wonderful day for everyone (Kathleen joined us for dinner) although it is not possible to speak for our excellent hosts. Stan was relieved that in a period of 12 hours nothing was said to humilate him in front of his boss, although the line was approached when it was pointed out we are fatherless and are available for adoption.

No divots
Virgil posted his routine excellent round and was effusive in his praise for the course. Usually Virg can find something not to like about a golf course, but Friday he had a hard time finding a divot. The private course has about 100 members; you need to own property on the course to qualify. Mountain views, waterfalls, lakes, immaculate greenery, huge swards of fairway -- all in the middle of the desert. The concrete cart paths dip up and down rugged stone canyon walls; each hole is unique and rarely is a home seen. We played at our own comfortable pace because there was no one visible in front or behind us. The staff was friendly but mostly unseen. A barbeque at the ninth hole featured burgers cooked to order while we finished the hole.

The only thing needing improvement was some of the quality of play -- but who cares in such a heavenly setting?
We didn't get many pictures because Stan forgot his camera and Virgil's battery was failing. We also hope to use that as an excuse some day to get back on the course. We've got the photo, above, of Stan, Arlin and Steve in front of the toilets deep into the course. The architecture of this posh convenience stop was classic southwestern. Notice, please, the seven foot doors. The picture doesn't include the Mayan pillars.

The other photos are of Stan and Steve at the driving range in a futile attempt to improve their games. Virgil, on the other hand, is a better golfer than photographer and proved it again Friday. Posted by Picasa

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Results are in from Tennis Match

Steve and Leno were beaten handily today in a two-hour match at the recreation center (just west of the shuffleboard courts). The duo was taken down, 3-0, by a team of church ladies who are here from Keene, North Dakota for a Lutheran Aid convention. Posted by Picasa
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Leno looks over Big Thunder's paws

Our neighbor across the street, Leno Masolini, looked in amazement at his tennis partner's crooked, deformed fingers this morning as the duo prepared for a match at the Saddlebrooke clubhouse. The partners faced a difficult match this morning and viewing Southpaw Steve's permanently jammed fingers didn't add to Leno's confidence that they might prevail. Leno nicknamed Steve "Big Thunder." We don't know why... but we have our theories. Stan and Virgil will shop for a used golf cart this morning.
(Leno as in "Lean Oh," not Leno as in Jay.) Posted by Picasa

Greg and Phyllis in Gold Canyon

Our Shakopee neighbors, Greg and Phyllis Collier, have a home in Gold Canyon, near Phoenix. Stan and Kathleen dropped by Wednesday for a visit on their way to the Phoenix airport to get Steve and Virgil. Greg and Phyllis took us to Boyce Thompson Arboretum where we saw every kind of cactus and vegetation known to desert flora. Details to follow. Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Wearing shoes is always a good idea

Cannot identify the name of the source of these items. They came home with Stan after a brief walk in the neighborhood. Stay on the trail. Posted by Picasa

Wild javelina packs terrorize Rock Crest

Residents of Rock Crest are recovering this morning from a savage pillaging mounted by an itinerant band of wild javelina.
"They got us last night," muttered Al Sorrentino. "They come in packs and they are pretty vicious. Don't leave your garage door open at night," he advised a gape-mouthed St. Paul Katie. "And be careful for your little dog. We've got coyotes too. He would be a real nice taste for them" Sheesh.

The wild boar-looking beasts apparently know when trash day is, unlike Stan and Kathleen, who had to check by email to see just when that might be. They were reassured not to worry about the trash getting dumped. "Nobody seems to have a problem keeping their containers out over night," Saddlebrooke Vet Virgil nodded.

"Oh, it happens about twice a year," a sleepy-eyed Vic Garcia said this morning, meekly bending over his spilled collection of kleenex, bottles, newspapers and miscellaneous.
"By the way, nice to meet you.
My wife was the chairman of the social club in the neighborhood and they have stuff planned. I think there is a tea soon," he said, looking in Kathleen's direction.

"Oh, so you mean we don't have to wait for the pigs to come through town to meet socially?" Stan said, trying not to be too much of a smart ass.

Over on the other side of the street, Bill Shiplock and his dog, Willie, inspected his neighbor Leno and Carol Masolini's trash. Bill, perhaps a bit smugly, pointed out the bungee cord on his barrel, which had been passed up by the rampaging peccary. Bill said the droves come in families, usually about a dozen. The alpha boar can weigh 300 pounds.

"Can't you just shoo them away?" Kathleen asked, suddenly realizing that she wouldn't try that anyway.

The collared peccary resembles a wild boar but is unrelated to the pigs.

It has a heavily built body covered with coarse hair, a heavy snout, and a distinct collar of light-colored hair around the neck.

These animals are common in the southern desert regions of Arizona, New Mexico and Texas, where they frequent the shrubby areas and canyons. They favor the saguaro-paloverde regions and mixed shrub grassland.

They roam the desert in loose groups of 8 to 12 (but up to 30) individuals, each group being led by an older sow. They are territorial.

It is unknown which group has claimed rights to Saddlebooke.

Monday, January 23, 2006

Rolfsrud relics rest in snappy china

After traveling 2000 miles in the back of an SUV, prized relics from the Rolfsrud family collection have finally arrived at their final destination and have been put on public display in a china closet for that purpose.
Road dust and years of detrius were efficiently expunged from the wooden plates and other dynastic memorabilia by simply leaving a window cracked halfway while driving through the Capin Plaza car wash and oil change at MaGee and Oracle Road that Virgil so highly recommended. (See post below) He said you could get a great car wash there for $8.95. We don't know about that. We went in, asked for the Virgil Rolfsrud special, and one hour later we got our car back for $34.95. It has never looked so good, inside and out, and we enjoyed a very hot salsa dip at the cool Mexican Grill and wait room across the way. Thanks for the tip, Virg. Posted by Picasa

Maybe he'll respond if he sees this. . .

Sister Sosie writes from California: Great to see your updates this morning. A welcome diversion from my Oracle work. Of course, I must persist with questions and comments to avoid such work a bit longer.
In the Las Cruces picture, did your editor seal newspapers in plastic to display in that iron holder (left side of picture)? Is it shrinkwrap or poured acrylic? Is this so he can break one out when homesick for the job, or are these a special inheritance lined up for the deserving?
[Solveig-- I didn't get that detail. Jim was an editor for the Providence R. I. Journal so it might be one of those. Maybe he'll look at this and respond. Stan]
Nice to see your IKEA chairs still have their "Do Not Remove Under Penalty of US Law" tags in place. Good citizens that you are.
Timothy's cousin is correct. I always dump out liquids before disposing of the rare styrofoam cup that makes it into my hands. I'm a better citizen than you are.
What's your Tucson mailing address? I've had a package ready to go on the kitchen counter since Tuesday. I did email Virgil for the address some time ago, but you know how irresponsible youngest children usually turn out.

Making lazy circles in the sky. . .

Photo by Kathleen Rolfsrud
After a morning walk, Stan and Hoover checked on the size of the hawks swinging over the Arizona sky, searching out small prey. "Oh, Hoover is too big for them," mom said, comforting and, perhaps, convincing everyone. Even so, we'll keep our guard up for now. Posted by Picasa

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Rolfsrud, Soderberg, Cluts, Rolfsrud

Digital photo by Virgil Rolfsrud
No details are available yet, but this foursome worked the golf course at Saddlebrooke recently. This photo was found on the Tucson hard drive by Stan today. The file was named Rolfsrud Soderberg Cluts Rolfsrud foursome. More details will be available shortly when Steve and Virgil return to Tucson Wednesday. They will fly to Phoenix, expecting brother Stan to be there to pick them up and escort them back. We've got a tee time Friday at 11 a.m. with Stan's boss at Stone Canyon, then a house tour and poolside barbecue at his Tucson house. It is amazing how far people will travel for free golf, free food, and a free ride to and from the airport. Posted by Picasa