We are finally settling down after a whirlwind holiday last week. My family came to town, Mom, brother John, SIL Yvonne, niece Delaney and of course Robby. We had such a wonderful visit, days full of activities and togetherness and surprisingly, nobody wanted to kill anyone else... bonus.

The family has all gone back to their respective home states now and the dust has settled here at the adobe... the tree and decorations are down, the cookies are eaten, and life has gotten back to usual.... much to the dismay of the kids. They miss everyone, Molly asks for Delaney every morning, and when I tell her that she has gone back to Michigan on an airplane, she just cries and carries on. Colin is especially sad that Robby left - now it's not Robby specifically, but Robby decided to take Charlie, our mini doxie, with him. So Colin is now heartbroken that Charlie has gone to live (or vacation) with Robby for a while. We've talked about getting another dog, but Colin is set on Charlie or nothing. Keep in mind we do have an 8 year old blind golden retriever here, but she isn't exactly a lap dog, like Charlie.

I've got a million pics, I will post tomorrow, once I figure out how I can get them to the mac from my dell.



Since being in Tucson, I have often said how dark it gets here at night. It's astonishingly dark. I assumed it was because we are really living in the boonies right now, but even when we were up in corporate housing it was insanely dark at night too. Well, now I know....

Light Pollution - Outdoor Lighting Control Ordinance - Tucson/Pima County, Arizona

In the heart of downtown Tucson, Arizona, a city of nearly 500,000, one can view the Milky Way with the naked eye. Tucson and Pima County first adopted outdoor lighting ordinances in 1972 in an effort to provide standards so that night lighting did not interfere with nearby astronomical observatories. The lighting control ordinance of Tucson/Pima County has been revised many times over the years. The 2006 Code is still quite strong and it is copied below.

The code's purpose is outlined in the ordinance:

The purpose of this code is to preserve the relationship of the residents of City of Tucson/Pima County to their unique desert environment through protection of access to the dark night sky. Intended outcomes include continuing support of astronomical activity and minimizing wasted energy, while not compromising the safety, security, and well being of persons engaged in outdoor night time activities. It is the intent of this code to control the obtrusive aspects of excessive and careless outdoor lighting usage while preserving, protecting, and enhancing the lawful nighttime use and enjoyment of any and all property. It is recognized that portions of properties may be required to be unlit, covered, or have reduced lighting levels in order to allow enough lumens in the lighted areas to achieve light levels in accordance with nationally recognized recommended practices.

It blows my mind how eco aware this city is. Between the reclaimed water, the ENORMOUS recycle bins, (3 or 4 times the size of the one we had in MI), and now light pollution. Makes me giddy in a small way, to be somewhere that takes such good care of the environment.