One Thing I Do Miss (besides people of course)

JOSEPH'S HUMMUS! The best hummus ever made, by far, is nowhere to be found in this lovely little city. Believe me. I've tried all brands, all flavors. Joseph's Original is the best. The best... and not here. After a little internet searching Paul found their website, which revealed the creamy concoction is produced in New Hampshire. Paul wrote the following email.

Hi Jody,
We recently moved form Boston to Tucson, AZ. After scouting out the local grocers we have yet to find our beloved Joseph's Hummus on the shelves. Could you let me know if Joseph's sells to any grocers or distributers in Tucson? My girlfriend is obsessed with your hummus and I must admit that I'm also quite partial. We have been trying other options, but nothing seems to compare. Please help!

Gotta love him.

Adventures with Humming Bird Watchers

Paul and I went to this cool farm that is a private home that became a big hummingbird hang-out. They have a bunch of feeders and anyone can go and check out the lovely birds and other animals at there place (they have a box out asking for donations). Paul and I know very little about names and categories of different hummingbirds but were lucky to be observing with several very knowledgeable folk who had traveled far, brought their professional quality cameras and hiking outfits, and told us a thing or two about the White-Eared Magnificent. Apparently we saw some rare ones!
This last one is a frog we saw. That's all I got.

A Bite To Eat

Sarah and I have been making good use of our nice, bright kitchen. It's fun to start filling your fridge and cupboards from empty. Plus, this has been an opportunity to reassess what foods we are eating. There is only 1 item in our apt that contains high-fructose corn syrup. It's a condiment that is hard to go without. Can you guess what it is?
Our local grocers give us a good selection of fresh produce, meat, and fish. So, we have been shopping the perimeter of the store, venturing into the middle isles as little as possible (where HFCS, high-sugar, & refined-carbohydrates live). Doing so is costlier. But we believe it's worth it!
The best part is having leftovers. I love leftovers, and thus far haven't needed to buy lunch! Enjoy the photos... I'm getting a snack :)

Grilled local zucchini & eggplant stuffed with herbed goat cheese and spinach. Served with grilled hot italian sausage, fresh tomato & avocado, & sweet-potato wild-rice.
Slow-cooked boneless pork ribs with asian-mustard barbeque. Served with fresh broccoli slaw & leftover sweet-potato wild-rice.
Grilled tangy lemon chicken. Served with leftover broccoli slaw & fresh pineapple, strawberry & yogurt.
Grilled salmon fillet with fresh pesto. Served with grilled zucchini & savory herbed quinoa.
Chicken fajita. Served on blue-corn tortilla, with home-made refried beans, sauteed yellow peppers, guacamole, yogurt, salsa, & cheddar-jack.
Stir-fried salmon & pineapple with fresh zucchini, green beans, yellow pepper & onion.

Touring the Facility

Visiting A Vast Void, aka: Colossal Cave

This past weekend Sarah was in charge of our destiny. She found some excellent places to visit. One of them is a natural cavern about 30 minutes south of Tucson. It's name, seen above, is fitting. It is big, but I might have reserved "colossal" for one of those cathedral size caves you see in National Geographic. It's been used by many people over the years, from ancient Hohokam Indians to excited bank robbers using it for a hide-out back in the 1880's.
The railings were installed in the 1930's during the "New Deal" by the CCC.
Sadly, many of the stalactites and stalagmites were broken off and taken as souvenirs by early visitors to the cave.
DEEP! but no where near as scary as caving in the Berks with Trev!


Lot's of people have been asking about my job so I wanted to give folks a little update. I will be the lead teacher for one of three pre-k classes (4 year olds going on 5) at the JCC. I will have one assistant (TBD) and we will have 22 kids! My first day of school is Sept. 1st. So now I am doing lots of prep-work. Over the past week and a half I've been observing/helping out/talking to teachers/meeting kids of the pre-k and 3 year old classes, which are currently in summer camp mode. This has been a helpful and non-stressful way to transition into my first day with my own class. I'm doing my best to note what seems to work well and what I like about these classes so I can integrate it into my own routine. I've also been reading books, going online and just thinking a lot about my philosophy, rules, tricks, songs, activities and physical classroom. The teacher before me left my room slightly cluttered and chaotic so cleaning and organizing the space has and will be a big task. I feel a little nervous (and excited of course) at this point - but I know once we get into the swing of things it'll all work out great. Any teachers out there that want to suggest any resources or give any words of advice are MORE than welcome. :)

My first day with one group of 5 year olds...
Annika: "Miss Sarah, where are you from?"
Me: "I'm from Boston, which is all the way on the other side of the country."
Annika: "Like, where the wild things are?"
Maddie: "Like Iraq?"

The University Of Arizona Is Looking Right At Us!

U of A has a webcam that points directly at Mt. Lemmon to our North. In the field of view, we live just right of the flag, close to the mountain. There are also some cool time-lapse videos of Tucson weather events on the UA webcam page. Enjoy!

Billboards R USA

As we meandered across the country, gas station to gas station, we noticed more than a few interesting and, some might say devoted, billboards. Here are the goods.

I'll add that we saw what seemed like a couple hundred of those Cracker Barrel ones, and a few dozen of the last two.

Saying Goodbye Is Hard To Do

When we decided to try this adventure of ours we knew that there would be a lot of goodbyes to make. And we knew that it wouldn't be easy. Let me tell you, we miss all of our family & friends. You didn't make it easy, but it shouldn't be easy to say adieu to those you love. You showed us a great time in our parting celebrations. We cherish those memories and eagerly await to make more with you, one and all!
Unfortunately, I don't have photos of everyone. So, if you have any photos you'd like to share please email them to us. Thanks!

It's hot in the desert!

Did I mention that it's hot out here? Those of you on FB may have already seen this. I set up an indoor/outdoor thermometer to see how hot it gets out here. I took this photo last Wednesday around 3pm.Now, keep in mind this is out in direct afternoon sun, and on the window frame. The ambient in there is hotter than the air around it. Still...

First Saturday

On Saturday morning we checked out a farmers' market that was on our block! We told ourselves not to have too high expectations... It was pretty decent - definitely small but we were able to get some yummy treats that we were happy with. The stand-outs were the mango and goat cheese (both local and organic of course). Paul also got a pork loin sandwich (for breakfast) that he l-o-v-e-d!
After sampling a few of our treats and putting the rest away for later we got ready for our hike on Mount Lemon. We now know, A) not to read the frightening pamphlet on mountain lion attacks minutes before going to an area that might have mountain lion attacks, and b) pick a trail that STARTS going uphill so that at the end when you are hot, dehydrated and exhausted you can let gravity help you as you travel down. Lessons learned.
After our beautiful and tiring hike, Paul and I were pumped to enjoy our first joint Netflix DVD, Season One of The Wire. So many people have told us how good this show is that we saved the experience of watching it until we were here and could really enjoy it together. We got all the way to minute 58 in episode one when the disc stopped. Irreversibly scratched. We were unable to see what happened in those crucial last two minutes AND were unable to watch the next episode. Thank you, Netflix.
In the evening we went out for yummy sushi - I got the Yummy Roll (how could you go wrong) and Paul got a plate of sashimi. We like food.

A Good Start

Well its now been one week and a day since we pulled into Tucson. Almost everything is unpacked. My office is still in a bit of disarray. That's my fault, not the office's. Sarah is perfectly organized and ready for phase two: wall decor. Once that's done we'll make a video tour for you all.
Being new to blogging, we may have some hiccups getting started. But stick with us, there will be lots to tell!