Monday, July 31, 2006

It's a Boy!

...and we are smitten with him! Meet our new family member...Ross! He came into our lives via a visit to Starbuck's one morning. He is a rescued dog from the pound. He was picked up as a stray...full of foxtails embedded into his skin, ticks, a back-half so matted, that his fur had to be shaved off...there was no way to get a brush through it. Sad, depressed and lethargic, Ross was laying in a cage at the pound sad and not eating. Luckily, he was spotted by the right people and rescued the moment he was available for adoption. Two weeks later at the hands of a wonderful woman who was his foster mother, Ross is finally free of those awful embedded foxtails, free of ticks, micro-chipped, up-to-date on his shots and about to be neutered later this week. Today M and I finally got to adopt him. He is a total love and we've had a wonderful first day. I had him groomed and bought him treats, his favorite food, some toys, a doggie dish, and heart-shaped I.D. tag. He's been through so much and we want to give him a loving, stable home. Our cats are having various reactions...from total indignance to 'what the *&^% ?????' But we'll all be fine.

I think Molly would approve....
I think Molly would approve.

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Soil Toil

I spent Friday morning on my butt or on my knees weeding this little gem in the forest. E and M's little garden needed a little tending, and my two hands were just the tools to do it. So, with a cool forest breeze blowing through the trees, a radiant sun above and whispy clouds parading by, I set to work to make this little garden shine again. The weeds didn't offer much resistance. One tug and I had another clump to add to the weed bucket. I methodically made my way past the clumps of chives (and nibbled a couple as I did, oh my! are they yummy!), the rubarb, the tomatoes, peppers, mint and corners of irises. Digging in dirt is theraputic. It gives one time to think. To ponder. To reflect. To wonder. To plan. To question. To settle. To be.

My pants were just covered in black soil. They went into a bag for a good soaking in the washing machine tonight. My heels were BLACK!! I sat in the shower and scrubbed them after weeding and didn't get all of it out! But no worries... it's all part of the experience! A trip into town to Wally World for a few items found me getting a new garden stake - a cute little red ladybug who's wings spin in the breeze! (You can sort of see it to the left of middle). A cool drink of lemonade with some mint from the garden (and a splash of Gordon's) and I was quite content to admire her new showiness! I'm not sure who was smiling broader, the garden or me! Gardening. It's so good for the soul.

Prone to Cloud Watching

Just study this for a moment...

the shading of the billowing clouds... the way the blue sways from deep to light.... the rays of sun streaking the heavens... the whispy fringes of the clouds... the layers of visible moisture settling into their positions to help build a summer thunder storm.... the corona of light around the edges of white....

the magster and I ran up to the rim for one last indulgent summer vacation weekend... after unpacking and settling into our cabin, the girls (mag and her friend) settled down to petting and playing with the four cabin kitties while I settled into my forest. A picnic table right outside was too inviting to ignore, so I laid down and watched the sky above. A pause of this being a childish thing to do crossed my mind... and then was dismissed .... why NOT look at the clouds?? And this was the result... beautiful formations...never to be duplicated again...

Thursday, July 20, 2006


So much has happened during the past week. I came back from the mountains, relaxed, comforted and at peace, only to find myself feeling like I ran into a brick wall at 90 miles an hour the very next morning. It took me by surprise...and only validated what my spirit knows to be true and authentic - I am a mountain woman at heart and that is where I belong. I play the game of a 'desert rat' well, but my heart and soul are not happy baking in 112 degree heat. Down here I feel lethargic, trapped in the 'suburban' lifestyle and all the things that assault the senses.... stores, news, crime, heat, busy schedules, etc. Up in the mountains, life is soothing, calm, sybiotic with nature and attuned to God. Down here I am trapped. Up there I am creative. But I digress....

So much has happened during the past week...not even to mention the past 8 hours. The culminating perspective is that I am, once again, blessed. Instead of focusing on one topic of heart, I'm going to sprinkle a buffet of views.... perhaps one will speak to you.

* to all my girlfriends... please take breast health seriously. This means that if you have any suspicions about your breasts, call your doctor, even if you are shaking and crying when you do it, DO IT. Make sure you get your mammogram. And if you have to have an ultrasound or further testing done, do it for the empowerment that it gives you of knowledge, which is always power. If you need support, call on your ya-ya girlfriends to go with you, or to listen to you, or to hug you. But do what you need to do to take care of yourself. Remember, getting a mammogram doesn't give you cancer. It gives you knowledge. And knowledge is empowerment. Norma and Ruthie.... thank you... from the bottom of my heart ...and boob....

* My new fantasy is to be kidnapped by Jack Sparrow and held against my will (and Johnny Depp) on the Black Pearl.

* Nando's makes the best damn marguerita this side of the Loop 101.

* My realtor, Karyn, brings the 'Italian' out in me... I have no 'Italian' in me (that I know of), but she was gracious enough to have me over for dinner (after I invited myself!!) and this is my new favorite salad - you must try this... even the magster loves this...
- 1 container cherry or grape tomatoes - cut in half
- 1 jar marinated artichoke hearts - roughly cut
- 1/4 red onion - chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, smushed and chopped
- 1/3 cup kalamata olives from Trader Joe's - leave whole
- 1/2 cup chopped basil leaves - FRESH
- 1/2 container of the small mozzarella cheese balls from Trader Joe's...for once in your life, you want small balls....
- olive oil, kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper

In bowl, combine tomatoes, olives, artichokes, onion, garlic, basil and cheese balls. Drizzle olive oil over mixture and season with salt and pepper. You can also throw in a spoonful of the artichoke marinade and olive juice, too. Mix gently and refrigerate for at least 2 hours to marry flavors. Let sit out for about 10 minutes before serving to take the chill off and intensify the flavors. This is just perfect with fish or eggplant parmigiana. You'll have to talk to Karyn about the eggplant! Enjoy!!

* I don't usually find pets...they usually find me. I went to Starbuck's this morning for coffee and lost my heart to Ross. The wheels are in motion to make him a part of our family.

* I'm addicted to the show 'Grey's Anatomy'. LOVE that show!

* Bitterness erodes the vessel that contains it.

* When you think that things are bad, or you're feeling down about something, do what I do...tune in to Jerry Springer. In no time you'll see that your problems aren't as bad after all! Remember... you could be married to a transexual man with three teeth who secretly dresses in ladies lingerie and is sleeping with your best friend in your trailer while you're flipping burgers at McDonald's during the day and stripping at night to support your 5 kids and the one on the way!
Sort of makes that small bank account seem not-so-bad after all!

* Laugh... even at the most serious of situations... it's ok to laugh.

Blessings to you....

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Eye to Eye

The washer and dryer are in full gear right now and the groceries, suitcases, bags of books, paints, magazines and other necessities are all put away. Another wonderful trip to my favorite place on earth is now a trunk full of such great memories. The Ya-Ya's, teenagers and I trekked up the mountains to a cabin surrounded by grand Ponderosa pine trees and fresh, clean mountain air. Ed and Mary, as ALWAYS, rolled out the welcome mat and we settled in in no time to our home away from home. Greeting us, to our delight, were 4 cabin kitties - soft, furry and so full of energy that just watching them romp and run and tumble and flip wore us out! A fierce thunderstorm and 1 1/4" of rain in half an hour was such a treat! We sat on the porch, cheese & crackers and wine in hand, and watched Mother Nature shower the forest with pure water. You just can't imagine the crisp, fresh scent that fills your lungs after such an event. Candle makers would make bundles if they could capture that scent.

But what has this got to do with my picture? Well... meet Kiko...

You see...Ed and Mary have a true menagerie tucked in this mountain spot. Sheep, pigs, ducks, geese, chickens, kitties, dogs... and yes, peacocks!! Two male and two female. I went down 'to the animals' one morning to see how the livestock was and Kiko was oh, so curious about me. So we eye-balled each other for several minutes. I tried several times to get a good picture of him without the chain link fence, but it wasn't to be. Just as I thought I had the shot, Kiko would tilt his head away...coy little devil. The next day, Kiko became a father! Two peacock eggs were being taken care of by a very sweet hen in the hen house (the peacock parents aren't interested in the caring of the eggs, just in the creating of them) and lo and behold, little peacock #1 hatched yesterday morning and then baby #2 was awaiting us this morning! Too cute and oh, so precious! Mama hen is quite dedicated to the warming and caring of her babies...even if they don't cluck, and she's doing a super job sitting on those peacock eggs.

Such is a part of what awaits one at this sacred spot on the Mogollion Rim. We had other awesome experiences over the 3 days there, but I will keep those in my heart and memory book for when I need a respite from the 111 degree heat.

Until the next time I run back up the mountain....