Monday, July 30, 2007

The Kid In Me Comes Out...And The Clothes Come Off!

I did something tonight that I haven't done in ages.

I played in the rain.

Sort of.

We had terrific storms pass through this evening. Wind gusts. Lightening. Rain.

Then it sort of settled down. It got quiet.

I spent part of my day putting my classroom back in order...sans air conditioning... it's out. I came home a sweaty mess. I immediately dove into all of the work that I brought home to do. About 5 hours worth. Made myself some dinner. Then headed out to pick M up at work.

It was raining. A steady, light rain.

While waiting for her to come out, I stuck my head and arm out of the window. Watching the soft, tender rain drops fall on my salty, sticky skin.

I got an idea.

After getting home, I walked right out to the back patio. Pealed off my rank clothes of sweaty labor of the day and walked out into my dark, grassy yard. Laid down. And let the rain drops fall.

Plopping. Soft. Wet. Drippy. Cool. Rythymic. Soothing. Calming. Natural. Clean.

Yup... today I did something that I haven't done in a long time.

I played in the rain.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

On The Rise

Are you ready for it?
Oh, it's been a month since last time, you know.
Where are your binoculars? Your camera? Your honey??

Tonight, there will be a full moon rising. This one is the Full Buck Moon. The reason it's named that is because July is the month when the new antlers of buck deer push through their upper foreheads. These new antlers are covered in a soft, velvety fur. July's full moon is often called the Full Thunder Moon, for the simple reason that thunderstorms are most frequent during this time. Case in point, our monsoon season. Another name sometimes associated with this moon is the Full Hay Moon.
So find your binoculars, your camera, your honey (no, I don't mean the kind that I drizzle in my coffee..!) and go watch one of Nature's movies! It's free!

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Food for Thought

It's one of those nights when I'm home alone. M is at work and I find myself dining solo. I find that I tend to treat myself very well sometimes when this situation comes around.

Today I spent the majority doing nothing. A purely decadent thing to do. I did do laundry, bills, pick up the house, etc. I went for my walk with dear Ross, and we came home a sweaty mess from the humidity. Storms were dancing all around to the north and east. Gray skies taunting the dry desert.

I made a trip to the grocery store and selected a top sirloin steak for moi for my dinner. Now lately, I've been craving beef. Have to have beef. Want my beef!! (if you're a vegetarian, you'll want to check out your horoscope now, probably) Olive oil, dried rosemary, salt and cracked pepper slathered both sides of my steak - while I went to work on my salad. Now, I've become quite fond of this salad... Caprece Salad. It's made of sliced tomotoes, fresh mozarella (ok, can I just say how much I LOVE Costco for carrying 'logs' of this fabulous cheese??!) and fresh basil leaves. Drizzled with olive oil and sprinkled with coarse salt and pepper, it happily sat in its glory while I grilled up my steak to perfection.

Alice White from Australia made a visit (no, not a friend, but a wonderful white wine) for dinner, as well. It all made for a wonderful meal!

What meal do you prepare for yourself when you celebrate you?

Friday, July 27, 2007

In Remembrance...

Do you stand at my grave and weep?
I am not there.I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow.
I am the diamond's glint on snow.
I am the sunlight on ripened grain.
I am the gentle autumn rain.
When you awaken in the morning hush,
I am the swift, uplifting rush
of quiet birds in circled flight.
I am the soft stars that shine at night.
Do not stand at my grave and cry
I am not there ..... I did not die.
In remembrance of the Phoenix police office and flight crews of our two news stations who lost their lives yesterday. May God bless those brave men, their families, friends and coworkers.

I'm in a 'Fall Frenzy' !!

Maybe it's the heat. Maybe it's because I go back to school next week. Maybe it's because summer seams so long here in the desert. Maybe it's because it's the next season to be. Maybe it's because it is my favorite season of all.

I want Fall!

The other day I meandered into a lovely Hallmark store. And sure enough, there was a little display of some fall items. I found these little porcelain acorn boxes - and knew that I had to acquire a couple! So with purchase in hand, I came home and dragged out my scrapping paper. Sure enough, memory had served me right... I had some paper with oak leaves and acorns on it. Some of my favorite things!! I had a plan in mind!

I carefully cut out the leaves and acorns - little bits ready for the next step. Next, I wrote on the back of each 'bit', a blessing for my ya-ya. I was taking the lead from the inscription inside the acorn lid.

..each blessing was specific...for a child, their marriage, themselves....I carefully tucked each 'blessing bit' inside their acorn.

Now, to wrap them.

How perfect is this??
'Autumn' napkins from a project that my ya-ya's and I did a year ago. Perfect! I think I'll wrap the little acorns up in these and tie with a raffia bow!

These stamps should come in handy for my tags... speaking of which....

distressing some office tags for that perfect little whimsy attached to the bags....

This isn't exactly what I had in mind when I bought the sweet little french hanger the other day... but does it not work perfectly with my tiered plate holder as a little drying rack for my tags?? Hehe... Oh yes, that's 'Martha' on the tube in the background - making cake!

Now... to wrap them up!

Tucked into their little autumn bags...

I'm off to meet my ya-ya's... and pretend to be the 'Fall Fairy' as we sip margaritas and swelter in 105 degree heat! Ahhh.... the seasons of the desert!

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

The Past Revisited...

There was a time in my life when I would drag out my paper, adhesives, embellishments and other goodies and create paper crafts. I especially liked making mini-books to honor special people in my life and events. But priorities changed in my life two years ago, and those times were put away in the closet. I missed them.

Today, I visited a new paper arts store (well, new to ME). Quirkily, I read their blog every week - seeing what new things have been delivered by their friendly Mr. UPS man, what new colors and designs are coming out, the latest trends in embelishments and classes. I've wanted to visit this store for so long, but could never afford the dabble. Until today.

Behold my little purchases.

Yummy orange paper that will be a gift box to welcome autumn, a french wire mini hanger with clips, some manila tags, a beautiful french bird postcard, two old type stamps of the letters 'Y' and 'a' (for spelling Ya-Ya!), and a couple little envelopes for tucking things into.

Also finding its way into my shopping bag was this little charm... vintage pictures printed on actual cotton fabric! How cool is this?? I'm in LOVE with this cutie and have big plans for it... but shhhhh.....
it's a secret! ; ) I love the cutie birdie and the bouquet of flowers at the bottom. Oh, I just might have to keep those for myself!!
But as the old Ronco commercial says:
"But wait! There's more!!"

Can we all say "How adorable is this!"

A little wire photo gate to hold little momentoes of joy! Think of the sweet things you could tuck into it! Oh, the possibilities! Can you see why I just HAD to have it?? I thought you would.

Since I have been remiss in nurturing this part of my spirit, I was very easily overwhelmed while shopping today. But I was a good girl and maintained my focus for the projects that I have in mind for this week. I can't show you everything just would spoil the surprise! I promise to show those later in the week... oh, the temptation, though! I can hardly wait for tomorrow to rise - let the creating begin!!! : )

Monday, July 23, 2007

So Close... And Yet...

they form...

and grow...

and then...

change their minds...

and do something different...

and leave you wistful...

Sunday, July 22, 2007

The Road Less Traveled

Heading up north to rim country...

Now, you might be saying "This is a picture of.... ??" 'CLOUDS' would be the answer! Yes, to us desert rats, clouds are a BIG deal! And for me, it's not just any cloud, but those fancy dancy ones that are storm clouds. We were all excited to see clouds hanging over the rim... this meant rain was in our near future! YEAH, Baby!!

Edging into Payson, the clouds teased us even more by thickening up and turning their bottoms grey. Windows down, 80 degrees, sunroof back and 5 girls loaded up for 4 days of fun in the woods!!

our flight is stalled due to road construction...
no problem... we got jiggy to some great music while we waited - compliments of my ipod! (thank you my kiddos!)

WE HAVE ARRIVED!! This is our home for the next 4 days - isn't it a cutie?? That porch is probably my favorite part... I just LOVE sitting out on the porch every morning (we're talking around 6 a.m.) with my coffee. I watch. I listen. I smell. Have you ever watched the forest wake up? You should. There's nothing like it. Pure heaven.

Speaking of 'heaven', it opened up on us last evening like nothing ever seen 'in these neck of the woods' !!Truly! About 6 p.m., we noticed how ominous grey the clouds had become. Within minutes, it was pouring! I don't mean raining really hard, folks. I mean POURING BUCKETS!!! The lightening was blushed pink as it hit trees and timber all around us...jagged lightening, sheet lightening. It was fierce and wicked! Then the hail. Oh my gawd, the hail! It hailed and hailed and hailed. I was looking out at my poor Tahoe and just hoping there wasn't going to be any damage. Thankfully, no hail damage, but some water was driven in to my upper console and dashboard. Unbelieveable! It rained and hailed like this for 2 hours. Then for the next 4 hours, it was a steady rain. All told, we got 2.75 incheds in that little shower. Holy Moly! (hehe... I LOVED it!)

This morning, Ross and I took a lovely walk through the woods. He chased lizards and a squirrel. I took note of the change in the landscape due to last night's storm. The air was fresh, fragrant and piney! The forest is so beautiful, and storms seem to bring it's allure out even more.

Sunday morning meant something big! A campfire breakfast! All of the guest bring out all sorts of goodies and Ed, the king of the griddle, cooks them up! We had sausage, bacon, scrambled eggs, fruit salad, muffins, bagels, biscuits and butter, and these little beauties...

'pancakes' you say??
oh...not just any kind of pancakes... these are Grand Marnier pancakes!! Absolutely luscious! That was the happiest batter I'd ever seen!

Meet Petey! The 'forest cat' ! Petey is full of love and spunk and likes nothing more than carousing around camp, looking for lizards, chasing squirrels, bunnies... all in good fun. Petey has had several 'excellent adventures' the time he rode with Mary and me in her Tahoe to Linden to pick up some plants. We only had to pull over once for Petey to get sick, then back in the car he went and had a ball! Today, as I was packing up my Tahoe, Petey hopped in! "Let's go bye-bye!" Sorry Petey, but you have to stay here... you lucky 'duck'!
Home now. Laundry going. Things unpacked. Ross is sleeping.
Back to everyday life. Always makes me sad. Everytime I drive back down that mountain, I feel like I leave another little piece of my spirit there. Maybe, just maybe, there will be a trip that is only one way. And all of the pieces of my spirit will have a reunion! Just maybe.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Toys and Trips


Meet my new little 'toy'! After wanting one for quite a while, I got a new gas grill - yeah! Last summer I bought a little charcoal grill to try to sooth my urge (notice the little red guy to the right), but it just wasn't the same and I didn't use it as much as I would have - something about having to wait 45 minutes for the coals to get gray just sort of spoils the thought of coming home and cooking something quick for dinner.

So, I happened upon a screaming deal at Lowe's and had the fortune of a friend's husband help me with the whole purchase, as he works there! I went for a tub of spackle, and left with a grill!

I won't be using my new toy for a few days, though. Today, I am heading up north for a few days of true rest and relaxation! Where? might you ask?? Oh, to that little corner of Earth that smiles for me... a cabin tucked back in the woods. No electricity. No phone. No computer. But a fully furnished, beautiful log cabin with all the amenities one needs... stove, frig, fluffy beds, porch, trees, critters, blue skies, mountain breezes, starry nights. My slide show is from this little corner, as is the 'hum-dinger' movie.

My ya-ya's and I started making this summer trip 2 years ago...this will be our third summer. M and her cute-as-a-bug friend Miss M, will be coming, as well... so 5 girls in one cabin tucked in the woods... pure fun! For some reason, N and R and I drag 2 weeks worth of food up with us! It's crazy!! We might want this, or we might need this, or I might feel like having this.... so beaucoup money and shopping trips later, we pack up the cars and make the 3 hour drive north. Thing is, we'll be dragging 75% of this stuff back with us, but that's ok. It's all part of the spirit of getting away. Happy week to you all!

Friday, July 13, 2007


Call me crazy... but there's nothing better than flying.... so to remember that thrill, I made a quick video of my flight.... just for those times when I hear Lenny Kravitz scream "I want to get away...I want to flyyyyyyyyyy awayyyyyyyyyyy! Yeah, yeah, yeahhhhhhhhh!!"

Some of you wonderful visitors to my blog asked a couple questions regarding my Seattle trip...
so let me answer them for you...

* Yes, Meg... Julie takes walking around Seattle in stride.... after stride, after stride, after stride....etc... That girl is like a mountain goat!!

* to Annonymous... the name of the restaurant with the umbrellas and the 'photoshop Julie' is called the Copacabana. It was about half a block north of the actual Pike's Market and you had to climb (of course) a spiral black metal staircase that was outside to get up to the restaurant. The fare was Andees/Peruvian...I think. I had a wonderful paella, Julie had lamb stew and we shared a bottle of Chilean white wine that was awesome. There's a little outdoor balcony that we sat on that overlooked things.

* Snoqualmie Falls is the name of the falls that we visited...they are awesome! The drive to the falls is beautiful and it was probably one of my favorite little views!

Please make sure your seat belt is fastened, your tray is in the upright and locked position and enjoy your flight! : )

* There's a new poll for you to vote on... sorry about the very light colored text...haven't found out how to change that. What IS your favorite type of weather??

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Sightseeing in Seattle

What a beautiful city! I returned last night from my little vacation to see my friend Julie, who lives in Seattle. Having never been there before, I really had no idea what to expect...only that everyone who found out that I was going there would say 'You'll LOVE it!!" They were right...Seattle is so very, very nice!

The first day there, we went to a winery. The grounds, as is everything there, were gorgeous! Flowers of all sorts are just prolific and the grass is soooo green! We went on a tour of the winery and sampled some, then we bought some goodies and sat out on their lawn and had a wonderful little picnic as we watched the baby boomers, (that would be MY generation!) line up with coolers and chairs to get into the concert area for a performance that evening by the Moody Blues! How cool is that?

The next day we took a beautiful drive to these falls...that were just amazing! The drive was so green, so woodsy. A couple was preparing to get married there, so we sipped white wine and watched as the bride, groom and everyone scurried around with last minute preparations.

We also took in a farmer's market that was full of eclectic things to browse through. I did manage to fall down on the side walk as we climbed back up the hill to the car... my knees are a beautiful purply blue!

Monday was downtown. So we had lunch at this cute restaurant upstairs of the market before heading to Pike's Market Place. This photo was NOT photoshopped--- but it looks like I stuck Julie in it from another picture. We call this the 'photoshop Julie' picture.

Pike's Market Place was full of fish, flowers and food!! It's amazing the variety that you can find there and you could easily walk out the other end just loaded with packages! I resisted, because we had more adventures ahead... only indulging in a silver bracelet.

.... and this is across the street... the original Starbuck's! I must say, Starbuck's has not NEARLY the appeal in Seattle. The best places for coffe are little independent shops that are enthusiastically supported by Seattlites! Sorry Starbuck's...

We then walked 15 miles downtown (okay, it was more like 1 mile, but to my feet, it felt like 15!) to the underground tours. Seattle, early in it's life, burned down. The city was rebuilt on top of the rubble and this tour took you down underground, and it was very interesting. As was our tour guide, Adam... and his kilt.

Monday we caught the ferry to Bainbridge Island. It's a beautiful 35 minute ride and a great way to see the city line!

Could this be Jonathan Livingston??
The breeze was glorious...

this was the view from our patio seat at lunch....

can you imagine going out for a ride on your boat whenever the fancy strikes you??

can you imagine calling this 'home' ?

Of course, Seattle is home to Mount Rainier...

and on a 'good day' you can see this majestic form rise out of the distant seems to just hang really causes you to pause.

Wednesday, we took in lunch overlooking the water and made a quick trip to the Ballard locks... where ships go up and down as they are moved from moorings to the open water. It was really fun to watch these boats go through...including through the drawbridge in the cool to watch. (that one happens to be a train drawbridge!)

I stayed with Julie and Joanne and Eric. They live in a wonderful old house... full of charm and love. Joanne and Eric have a beautiful dog, Stella, who was eager for a tummy rub and a pat. But they also have this ADORABLE kitty, Charlie. Charlie is old and has some health issues, but God love him....he has the sweetest personality and, despite his health, he makes the effort to come over to you for some love. I fell in love with this little guy immediately and had to always get my 'Charlie fix' every morning and every evening. I left specific instructions to Julie (who has her own two sweetie kitties) that she is to take good care of Charlie for me. What a love!

It was a wonderful trip and I am sooo glad that I went! But... just a little word of caution. If you ever go visit Julie, I recomend the following:

* Begin a training program 1 month prior to your trip. It should include: climbing stairs for 15 minutes each morning and again in the evening, walking 6 miles each day (preferably uphill at a 15 degree angle).

* Start taking gloucosamine and condroitan supplements one month prior, as well as a good multi-vitamin. Have you iron levels checked by your doctor. Pack plenty of aspirin and ask Julie for those special little white pills that made the pain go away!

* Purchase and then break in a new pair of cross-training athletic shoes one month prior.

* Download the song 'It's Not Easy Being Green' onto your i-pod. Seattle is very 'green' (recycle, walk instead of driving, whole foods, etc.) and this song will run through your head on several occasions.

*Get yourself a fanny pack which should contain: your i.d. and your credit card. You will be glad you did that instead of what I did... lugging my 10 lb. purse around with me EVERY STEP OF THE WAY!!

* Pack sunscreen. Um, yes... this Arizona gal got sunburned in Seattle. Go figure.

Ahh... the flight home. As much as traveling is fun, there really is truth in the saying...

There's no place like home.

Friday, July 06, 2007

The 'building' of things

Did you see them today?

Oh yeah... they were there...

cummulonimbus clouds...

thunder heads...

monsoon bearers....

oh yeah... here they come...

building...right on time!


Well, it's been a very emotional week. I am fighting through guilt...the guilt of buying some needed items for the house. For buying some 'non necessities'. For going on vacation. For taking a trip. For leaving everything behind for a few days. I'm taking a seperate suitcase for my guilt and emotional baggage alone!! (It's the flowered one.. you like?? )

My son, who usually doesn't get to bed until 2 a.m. is picking me up in the morning at 5 A.M. !! He seems very happy to do drive his mother to the airport and put her butt on a plane heading north. Hmmmmm....

My daughter, Dear M, is totally fine with me going, as well. Happily encourages it! Not one sniffle or forlorn look eminates from her. Hmmmm......

My friends are saying go, goo, GOOOOO!!!!

So I will. I will take another leap of faith and another step towards rebuilding.

Pass the peanuts.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Happy Birthday, America!

How lucky are we
to be living so free.

God bless our troops.

God bless the U.S.A. !