29 August 2008

The Reproductive Life of Hens and Chicks...


I would think that one might leave that talk of reproduction for the springtime, but...we've had a lot of rain lately so there you are.

I was out to dinner with a good friend about a week ago, and as I was getting into her car to drive to the restaurant, I happened to glance over into my front flowerbed. In the middle of all the hens and chicks (that would be the cute little spiky succulents that are prone to popping up all over Foolsewoode...that also happen to grow very very well in the high desert and under pine trees) there was this rather large, um...

Well...

Let's just say it's reproductively shaped.

I was like, "oh my!" because I'd never seen one of those pop up in the flower bed before.

One would think that I would spend more time out in the garden if that was the case.

(pause to giggle)

It also got me to wondering if this is how this particular plant propagates itself? (Well, that and What the Hell is going on here?!?) I mean, since they're succulents and already flower shaped, they don't usually have flowers, at least not that I've noticed. I promised that I would take a picture of it when it bloomed. Cause' having a reproductive shaped thing in the garden in bloom kind of sounds like something Frida Khalo would paint doesn't it?

Hens and Chicks also happen to have a very very shallow root system, which is why I'm very careful about raking around them when I do the pine needles in the spring...I hate to rip them out because they're so sweet. Well, when I went to check the progress of this rather, um large thing the other day...I guess it was so very large that it kind of toppled over and ripped itself out of the soil, so now I have no idea if it will bloom or not, or if it will be like a century plant and just bloom and the whole thing will die?

While I was inspecting
the phalic situation in the flowerbed, I noticed that my other hens and chicks had the start of little flower like things growing out of them too. You can see them there on that bigger one...and by the way? The Hens and Chics are so much bigger this year because of all the rain...

Don't worry, if I have a bunch of these phallic stems/flower things spring up I will photograph them for you...

Mary Mary quite contrary how does your garden grow?

I'm actually kind of having a hard time not picturing exactly what this will look like if there's say...more than 4.


Um, kind of like a sea of perky?

(have a good weekend all...I wanted to let you know that I will be responding to your comments in the comment section as well as in email...it's just that sometimes I don't get your emails with the comments so I can't respond to you...and that bugs me, because I'm so appreciative of each and every comment I get...well, I'm off to um, tend my garden...)

(pause for giggle)

28 August 2008

To Eat or Not To Eat...

I am hungry.

That's all there is to it, and to just take a moment to acknowledge what is right around the corner monthly speaking wise, fine...but it doesn't erase the fact that I have caught myself saying, "I'm absolutely starving!" more times to myself in the past 24 hours than I care to own up to. Now it's just like a song lyric I can't get out of my head...

I'm Starving...I'm Starving...

Drop a beat and you have to admit, it's a catchy tune.

It could have
started with taking my mum out to dinner at the local health where we ordered a guacamole delight. A kind of veggie salad/hummus/guacamole excitement all housed in a wrap, and in the past, they've been mighty tasty...Well, since the economy has been going by the wayside we've noticed the deli there is getting a little skimpy on things...this wrap barely had anything in it, including guacamole or hummus, which was neither delightful or filling. Plus, they didn't have the right wraps (or most of the ingredients it would seem, for this sandwich or other salad we both wanted to order) So, we sat down and used up so many calories eating that we were actually hungrier than we started.

This is where I think it started.

I am not starving by any means, and if I could just redirect my body to feast on the stored fat then I think we would be in business, but I can't seem to direct it there...it's too busy shouting things like "Taco-Bell" "French Fries" "Cupcakes" "anything fried!" (as it's wont to do this time of the month) it's also whispering in a rather conspiratorial tone, "...you don't need to go to the gym today, see...rest...eat...I'm starving, see!" (it's like having a bad old time gangster in here with me, no wonder I'm so hungry) And, my body knows how much time I spend at the gym trying to tone and slim...

Traitor.

I've been thinking a lot about willpower lately, and how, if I want to change a habit...I'm actually going to have to buckle down and do it and not give in to petty justifications or obsessions. Here that voice?!? I mean, heavens even Queen Latifah lost 20lbs on some sort of fabulous diet recently (and looks damn good, but I think she always looks good) surely I can use this as inspirational motivation enough to resist a fried food call to action

Why, just last week I was thinking, "Food? Food?! We don't need no stinking food!!" and then I would accidentally forget to eat...maybe I'm making up for lost time.

I promised the
voice that if we went to work out this afternoon, we could then have a special treat. I used that chipper parent voice we all have inside, I didn't buy it when my mother used it and to tell you the truth, I'm having a hard time buying it now...Even if I know I'm supposed to be in charge of my inner child. She really wants some sort of fried carbs (someone needs a nap...or a time out) Apparently I have no willpower, because the voice is stomping its feet and crossing its arms and suggesting not too quietly that we forget the gym and just go strait to a buffet.

And, I don't even like buffets.

27 August 2008

And The Winner Is...

First off...I want to apologize to anyone who happened to visit the blog say...oh, after 2:00 yesterday afternoon. You see, sometimes when I'm at work, I will take a break and write while an idea is fresh in my head and incorporate it into a blog post...usually, I choose a later date to publish the entire thing, and I accidentally hit the wrong one, so imagine my surprise when I went home to check my comments and there was not only an unfinished post, but and untitled one...but there were 2 comments on it, which is actually more than I've gotten in the past few days, which is leaving me to wonder if I'm trying too hard?

LeSigh.

Anywho...last night at the Airstream, I helped Rich choose a winner for the Prescott faction of Scott Kelby's World Wide Photo Walk 2008.

How fun was
it to help Rich choose a winner for the World Wide Photo Walk in our area? I mean, yes it took me out of the running to receive a prize (thank goodness because I think we've gone over what I thought of my photos from the day) it was also a really agonizing choice. We had a lot of talented photographers in our group for sure! I sat next to Rich while we both wrote notes and then narrowed down, and then rounded up, made phone calls for extra help and tried to figure out exactly how we were going to choose the winning photo. I would no more than say, "OK...I am taking this choice out of the mix!" And breathe a sigh of relief, and watch as that breath turned into a, "...or not." and then I would throw my arm over my eyes in a dramatic sort of way...reminding me of that one Muppet on Sesame Street that used to try to play the piano and inevitably throw his entire Muppet being on the piano in frustration. That was me...only more gentle because the Airstream's dinette table isn't that sturdy and I don't want to ruin the only computer table Rich happens to have. It was a close close competition people...each person that submitted from our group had at least one outstanding photo...

I'm glad it's all over though because on Sunday Rich made me a Moderator for our Flickr group...so, along with Tom, we were able to approve photos when Rich wasn't sitting on top of his computer (people tend to feel uneasy when their photos don't show up immediately...which means Rich gets a lot of emails...totally understandable.) So, that means I was sitting on top of my computer instead, neurotically checking Flickr for updates every 5 minutes or so for the last 3 days. Which wasn't necessary, but...Can I tell you how happy it made me to go check the site and then see there were pending photos that needed to be approved? It did! I would get all excited and bounce up and down and pump my fist in the air...Yay, I beat Rich and Tom to approve a photo.

The only thing that would have made it better is if Flickr had some sort of bonging noise to alert you when you need to do something for them...kind of like my email alert noise.

Yes, I am a dork...
I am also competitive and it's probably good I wasn't part of the photo competition...

Congratulations to Chad Banning and his photo Saturday Morning...it is beautiful!

In employment news this week:

I look up from the MacBook, where I've been obsessively checking Flickr (of course) at the customer who is holding a velour patchwork skirt in her hands, inside out desperately searching for something...

"You know....... ....... ...... It's actually the law that they put what fabric is made out of."

She angrily exclaims after pausing appropriately in her communication all while he stops to glare at me with a disgusted look on her face, as if I was the creator of this garment and I had a minor oversight.

"um, well...maybe someone took it out?"

I am wondering at this point if I should point out that this is a resale store, and the point of a resale store is that often the things in the store are used...

"These tags are very. hard. to remove.... ..... .....they don't just tear out you know."

I move more solidly behind my counter putting an obvious physical barrier between the two of us.

"Well, I'm sure someone could have cut it out with a pair of scissors."

This is also the very same woman I had this conversation with:

"Is anything arranged by size?"

"no"

"it's not arranged by size?"

"no. Just by category"

"So, things aren't arranged by size?"

".............?!"
(deep breath)

"You know...you should think about organizing things by size..."

"Yes, well. I've had this store for close to 14 years (yeah, I pull the established in card out) and since no one will adhere to a standard sizing chart, I already get complaints if people try things on and they don't like the way they fit (mostly because a 16w is trying to stuff her pregnant self in a size xs...and is just amazed that the garments they've chosen to try on don't fit) so, it's very very hard for me to organize things by size."

I tried not to stare at her milky white clammy skin and her ill fitting highwater jeans. Sometimes I wonder if people just come in to complain? I mean...really, if that's your main goal in life, are you having fun? Are you happy? Maybe that makes them happy. I always figured that if someone comes in and complains me or attacks me in any other various manner, then I may have just saved someone else from being attacked.

You may thank me in your comments.

Or send Starbucks gift certificates...

26 August 2008

Resurfacing...

I am an avid reader.

Avid.

Which,
in my opinion is better than rabid. Ha. I just finished the Twilight series of books on Sunday night at 11 pm...I know, a little late for me to be staying up and I haul my behind out of bed to go to the gym quite early, thanks mom...and Rich had called me 2 hours earlier to say Good-Night already, but I only had a leeetle bit more to go and I read fast.

In fact, I read this entire series just shy of 2 weeks...all four books. The most bestest part was that there are only 4 books to this particular part of the series, and they were all written by the time I finally started reading them...and I was able to borrow them all from friends (cheaper then buying them and faster than waiting for them to become available at the library) Total instant gratification...Me lovey teenage angst vampire/werewolf/undead stories...

Now all I have to do is wait for the movie coming out this December.

I would suggest that you not read the last book right before bed, because it might make you cry (unless you're not a crier...I am...you should see Rich and I watch Meet Joe Black together...it's a hold-me-sob-fest for both of us...we both wear our hearts on our sleeves and are proud of it...or it's totally beyond our control, one of the two...) It also might make your heart beat so fast that you can't fall asleep no matter how tired you are, until you employ some deep breathing and relaxation exercises.

Go team yoga/meditation.

I really enjoyed the series, and the only complaint I have it that there was lots of sexual tension (as there usually is with teenagers...well, that and the fact that I haven't met a vampire yet so that I can become all perpetually young, strong, beautiful and immortal, but whatever...) and when it really came down to it...All we got was moonlight and bruises.

Then again, maybe that's all we ever get.

24 August 2008

The World Wide Photo Walk...2008

Prescott...

Saturday dawned clear, warm and early...Rich was up out of the Airstream right about the time I was hopping into a bubble-bath to get ready for the day. He was clearly excited. then again, so was I...so many things to do, and new people to meet.

I talked him into swinging by Foolsewoode (since he had about an hour and a half to kill, he's an early to events kind of guy...so he could play with the cat, and pick me up) We ran downtown with plenty of time to spare, which isn't as exciting as it seems since I can almost see the entire downtown from where I live, to park in the parking garage before someone decided it would be a good idea to charge for parking, and then went on to Sharlot Hall in case there were any early arrivals of photographers.

While we were walking around the down town we spied several people with cameras and gear...making us very excited for 8:30 to roll around.

We had quite a large group, with no official head count, but we both decided that it was around 40 people in all. It was wonderful to both meet new people and see old friends...

I was too busy being a social hostess to get many good shots and the ones I did, were very blown out from all the beautiful Arizona sun, and I am not impressed with my effort...I was actually wondering if it would have been better to use my Canon Elph instead? It seems like when everything is said and done, I am still struggling with the SLR (I was also wondering if it is because I live here that I wasn't too gung-ho about photographing anything...which is just plain crazy really)

This led to a discussion after Rich dropped me off at the house later that evening that went something like this:

"Since you've gotten the SLR...how much time have we spent really teaching you how to use it?"

"Well...none actually..."

"Then we both need to do this together."

So, that is a very solid answer and an exciting idea for sure. I have a book that Rich lent me, but I don't learn well from just books alone...I need practical doing. I am a Kinesthetic Learner...I need to have a bit of hands on, but I enjoy Auditory to an extent as well...but reading? Doesn't quite do it for me...

So, what really does it for me you ask? Well...follow this link to Flickr to see all of the photos that were taken and submitted. I am lucky enough to be helping Rich sort through all the submissions to award a winner for our group...that person will win a prize...Scott Kelby will also be picking a grand prize winner from all the submissions! I am super excited to see all the results. We had a talented group with us...all ages (including Niko...our youngest photographer...who, at one point snapped a photo and announced rather loudly to Dina, "Mama! I just took a picture of your bootie!!" Which made a lot of people giggle and we all tried to talk her into posting the shot on Flickr...)

It was an honor to participate in a World Wide event that welcomed 8,000 participants, and there were a lot of the people that joined our group that expressed interest to get together again soon...so, how fun would that be?

Until then, I am so happy to have met so many wonderful people...and if you would like to see what the other people all over the world viewed on Saturday...it's all right here.

22 August 2008

Friday...


As I was sneaking out of the library this morning, after going to pick up magazines for some collage boards I need to complete (I totally paid for them, I wasn't really sneaking as I was sauntering) my mother (who volunteers there) looked at me and said with a twinkle in her eye, "Have fun!!"

And I found myself immediately getting excited and replied, "why? What am I doing?!"

"...um. Going to work?"

Oh.

Well, there is that.

There is also:

  • The World Wide photo walk starting tomorrow morning at 8:30 (and earlier if you happen to be dating the walk leader) I'm going over to the Airstream tonight to cook dinner for said walk leader (because he now trusts that the things I cook will not kill him, nor do I have any vendetta against him and am I trying to kill him through my creative use of food...but with all the food allergies both of us share, you can never be too sure...I suppose. Rich thinks it's nice of me, but really, I love to nurture through cooking...and besides, I heard somewhere once that a way to a man's heart is through is stomach, and I'm a damn good cook to boot) approve the photo walk map handouts for tomorrow (even though we sort of did that the other night, by walking the proposed route) and to help Rich pick out an outfit (what? I just want to spend as much time over there as I can...and I'm fully confident that he can pick out his own clothes. Well, mostly.)
  • Some sort of music festival on The Courthouse Square...of which I already have a date to (blush...seeing as Rich asked me early...sigh...) Only, the only thing I could find happening in town tomorrow is some Jazz festival, but you have to have tickets to that. Hmmmm...maybe Rich is setting a piano up on the square to play for me... In a three piece suit...it will be the first time I've ever heard him play the piano you know and the first time I've ever seen him in a suit. I'll bet he looks mighty handsome! And at the end of my private concert, even though there will be many passerby's who will stop to stare dreamily at the two of us, he will present me with a red rose. Really, how romantic of him. Wait. I really don't know if he's doing that at all (and I don't think that's really his style...I think that's more my style. Only I don't know how to play the piano, and I don't look that great in a 3 piece suit.) I suppose we could go to The Square and just hum along to the ringtones on our phones if all else fails.
  • And eye exam and and order placed for shiny new glasses that aren't falling apart and scratched up...you'd think Versace's rhinestones wouldn't turn green and then fall out, or that the finish on the arms would chip off, would you? Because they're a lot more expensive than any other glasses frames I have and all those one's are still wearable...I wonder if my prescription has changed? I'll let you know...
  • Someone has got to clean the house. I think that someone is me. It is a dusty cluttered mess all topped up with a nice helping of cat hair. Last night in my yoga class, we had a bit of a guided shavasana, and our instructor had us imagine that we were in our favorite room of the house, and I chose my living room (although I love my bedroom as well) and we were to sit in a chair and relax surrounded by our favorite things...even a fireplace (which would not fit anywhere in my bedroom anyway...) and then we were to just calmly breathe and look around at what was around us. I was so relaxed and peaceful until I noticed that the couch needs to be vacuumed along with the floors, the ficus needs to be tied up so it doesn't fall over and kill the cat while she's trying to sleep in the window, the mantle needs to be changed as it's still decorated for The 4th of July, I need to move the vintage table my GG gave me because it's still in the middle of the floor in the entryway, and I have 2 packages that need to be packed and sent...and on and on. I could not go any deeper than being suddenly stressed out totally lamenting the fact that I didn't choose the bedroom or the bathroom (or any other room for that matter...and wouldn't it be just great to have a fireplace in the bathroom??) and I sighed heavily as I heard the people all around me snuffle like they were under deep. So...I need to really buckle down Sunday and get to it, it's getting bad if it's ruining my Corpse Pose...and besides, I'm getting sick of sticking to the floor every time I try to walk through the kitchen...I'm sure the cat is too.

Have an amazing weekend...and I'll see you here Monday...

21 August 2008

Missing...


I feel a little like I've been missing lately. I have no idea why that is exactly, I mean...I seem to check in here and other blogs everyday, I visit with friends, talk on the phone, show up at the gym, but...it feels as if there is a part that's missing. I'm not exactly sure how to explain it, and I'm wishing I could, as I think maybe there's a part of me that thinks I could drown this feeling in explanations...justifications if you will, then I will be OK. It's like getting reassurance from a doctor that the reason you feel a certain way is because, "...yes, there's something wrong here...you're totally justified in feeling this way..." Because even though I am usually an expert on me, sometimes a few words from an actual degree holding expert is comforting. The last time I heard anything like that was my last therapy session, and my next one isn't due until next week, so I'll guess I'll just have to fall back on all the things I've heard, read, know and lived through, and trust that what I'm feeling is OK...

I know...it's always OK to feel exactly what you're feeling at any given moment, I guess I'm human in the fact that I happen to want to assign whys to everything.

Why do I feel sad? Happy? Angry?

Why do I feel like I haven't been around when I clearly have? On the outside, I'm all over, showing up here and there just like I always do...so, by proof, this is a total internal thing...because I'm sure you didn't notice...It could also be the simple truth that once I finally noticed the deterioration of my present glasses, they seem to have gotten worse, and need to be dealt with immediately, and until then, I am feeling disoriented...

But...I've decided that for today it's more than ocular, I am OK, and that if I need to assign a why then I will chalk it up to the distinct feeling of fall that is in the air in my corner of Arizona...the subtlety of the light that is changing casting new and beautiful shadows that weren't there before, the cooler gentler breezes that are blowing, the way it feels in the late afternoon and early evening when I'm walking around, the leaves on the trees that looks as if they're finally worn out for this year and it's time for them to burst into brilliant flames of colors and go...

sigh.

I love the fall.
In the absence that I feel within myself I have also been feeling excited and I find myself anticipating...something. I'm not sure what exactly...there is a feeling of wanting to escape...to take a road trip, to camp...to find a place that I can truly enjoy the fall. Which always strikes me as odd, because some of the most horrifying things that have ever happened to me in my life have been at the equinoxes both the fall and spring. (so, I am hoping that the anticipation that I've been feeling isn't leading up to anything rash...heavens...if anything, I would like to make an alter to that which has been before...kind of like a Day of the Dead for my life). It's not pretty, the things that have fallen apart to be taken away from me, utterly destroyed...But even that can't keep me from having a lighter step lately, I'm quicker with wanting to smile, and I find that I have a sharper awareness of what is going on around me, not wanting to miss one moment of the beauty of the fall, to wrap myself in it like a blanket and live this season...and the sense of freedom and anticipation that accompanies this time of year for me.

So, if I come up missing, you'll know where to find me...happily skipping among the falling leaves somewhere, pitching a tent, hiking in the new shadows that are all around, donning corduroy and smelling the richness that is fall...Looking forward to the winding down that comes with this season...

The cooler nights, bittersweet days, flannel sheets and hot tea before bed...

And new glasses...

Because I'm not going to be enjoying this one bit through the scratches and fogginess of my old ones...

20 August 2008

Weather...


Watching the clouds build up
Waiting for monsoons
Witnessing the my whole world grow greener by the minute...

19 August 2008

Dinner Al Fresco...

I think I shall title this the summer of super fresh foods...the one that I went to the Farmer's Market almost every week to stock up and then ran home and made some pretty amazing things...mixing new tastes trying to use up the fresh veggies...although, I often go back to my favorites.

The other night after getting home from Oatman and finding myself just a little hungry...needing to eat something light but nutritious it struck me as I cut up tomatoes, basil, and garlic to toss with olive oil and a soy Parmesan cheese mix over a handful of rice pasta, how beautiful and simple this meal is...it is one of my favorite marriages of flavors, yet so very basic. The smell and taste of this meal makes me smile and sigh with pleasure. It's also darned filling...meaning I never have to eat a big portion to feel like I've had a full meal...just a small handful really, and I usually have enough to eat for lunch at work (cooking for one is not the easiest thing in the world...but, I never complain when eating this meal again the next day)

Speaking of portion size...
I just flipped on the news (which I hardly ever do, only I've been feeling the need to be inspired by all the Olympic stories this year) and they were talking about childhood obesity in China. The only country that beats them is the USA. Apparently obesity started becoming a real problem about 10 years ago. I immediately wondered when we introduced our legacy of fast food restaurants in China...which is apparently a huge huge part of the problem (making me wince slightly...KFC is the fried food of choice there) Portion size is also a problem. They tried to say that Chinese food is very fattening, for shame...but apparently, like the USA, the Chinese have increased their portion size recently while eating meals (it was always interesting to me to travel in Italy, and certainly Prague...where you receive good fresh foods, but at a very small portion compared to home...even when you're eating a large coursed meal, the portions are not that big, which may be a key...I never left a restaurant feeling hungry from eating a small portion size while traveling...a good mix of flavors on a small amount of food...hmmmm)

They also went on to say that there are more obese boys than girls, only because of the one child per family law, so parents tend to really spoil the one child they do have...The thought that traditionally in the past, the Chinese want to have boys more than girls went through my head, and usually give up their girls, and perhaps that's why there are more obese boys than girls? also flitted through my head...but, I don't suppose they wanted to announce that on the news, seeing as they were standing right in the middle of the Olympic park...

Anyway, I thought it was interesting, and a little sad as well, that they are following our example of larger food portions, and eating more fast foods from American companies, since a lot of the more popular foods you get from fast food companies don't seem to have a lot of nutritional value other than...dang, their fried and boy do they taste good! (cause' I can tell you one thing, I'm not usually there for the salad...) They also mentioned the fact that they put a lot of extra mayonnaise and sour cream on their fast foods...and seeing as fried chicken is the leading choice in China, it makes me wonder exactly what that would taste like on a drumstick from KFC?

18 August 2008

The Route 66 Obsession Continues...


What can one say about Oatman? Well, plenty now that I've been there (and we've all known me to be wordy...so here goes...)

Oatman is out in the middle of nowhere on the way from somewhere to somewhere else that you can actually get to faster if you use the new highway...well, newer than Route 66 anyway. Yes, Sunday found Rich and I out early traveling along one of our obsessions...

We found ourselves traveling to outside of the Kingman area in preparation for our perilous ride into the Gold mining mountain town of Oatman. We zoomed down Route 66, through some very dry and very hot desert areas sometimes being the only car for miles...until we came upon a gem out there...

The old Route 66 Cool Springs Camp. This little beauty has a wonderful and varied history that I was reading to Rich out loud from a Route 66 book I picked up at our library not too long ago. Only the book said it was in Kingman, and we had planned on scouring Kingman for it, only to find we were accidentally driving up to it on the Road to Oaman. We jumped out of the car and started snapping pictures...

We also went inside, as it's a little gift shop and museum. The museum boasts some pretty fantastic Mobile Gas memorabilia (including some pretty wonderful calendars with pin-up girls on them...I love pin up girls...and a whole montage of Route 66 hand tinted post cards) and two wonderful collectibles that Rich and I were swooning over and thought we'd stop to grab on our way back (they were for sale, we weren't going to pull a Bonnie and Clyde, don't worry...we don't have the right car for it anyway...and we'd left Rich's fedora and machine gun at home) which we didn't stop and grab, and now I'm regretting it. Yes, I have buyers remorse and I didn't even spend any money...

Now, I've never heard of Oatman, which is a little nuts only because it is apparently the site of the largest gold mine in Arizona (with more than $36 million worth of gold extracted from them thar hills...) Crazy still, the town boasts a population of a whopping 100...with active mines littering the entire way up there, and within the town itself. Kind of a small population for a thriving gold mining community wouldn't you think?

The town itself is cute...in an old ghost town sort of way. It has a one street downtown with little shops, a couple of places to eat, a post office, a bar, and a hotel which isn't a hotel anymore, but more of a haunted museum. I was simply amazed at the little houses dotting the hills, and the fact that they still have a dirt road for their main street, and their original wooden sidewalks...which is totally cool because the last time I've seen anything like that, I was at Knott's Berry Farm, and these were certainly authentic to the old west. The buildings are pretty interesting as well...a lot of old wood, fun facades and corrugated metal making up the bulk of their establishments...things you really don't see in existence and use outside of a Hollywood movie set.

The effect is very charming.

But, very very unsettling as well.

Like I said,
I didn't know a lot about Oatman (and I cam home to read more after our jaunt) but while we were walking around, I had a rather oppressive sense of sadness and despair and found myself becoming a little jumpy...

Oatman was named after Olive Oatman, a young girl who watched her family massacred down by Yuma by a band of Apache Indians before she was marched off with a younger sister to become a slave...and was later traded to the Mohave Indians, taken in as one of their own and then realized her brother who had been left for dead was looking for her and her then deceased sister...

Old pictures are rather haunting anyway...I mean, the cameras weren't that fast, so you usually had to choose a pose that you could hold for a long time, so often I find the images sad...then again, if you lived the kind of lives some of these people did, it wasn't that easy...and I think you can see it in their eyes. And look at the ritual tattoos that Olive received indeed. I got to thinking about how hard life would have been if you'd been forced from your family to live with a tribe who abused you, found yourself in one that took you in as their own and then tried to come back to "civilization"...all in the space of 5 years? With ritualistic tattoos on your chin? I guess Olive ended up marring very well in the end, and did a lecture tour...there are rumors that she was married and had a child when she lived with the Mohave's, but since things like that weren't talked about in polite company...we may never know what really happened to her.

At one point while walking back up the main street, we both were drawn into the Hotel there...all was fine and then we both started feeling a little strange. I was enjoying reading all about Clark Gable and Carole Lombard...

They were married in Kingman and spent their honeymoon night in the hotel...and came back often to visit Oatman for the solitude. I thought that was pretty neat...and apparently they haunt one of the rooms there. Apparently there are a lot of weird things happening at the hotel...

On the way back to get lunch in Kingman, Rich and I both talked about how unsettled we felt. Rich said he doesn't believe in ghosts...but we both felt very very strange. In fact, I can't seem to quite shake the feeling I have after visiting Oatman. Being in Arizona is often very interesting...we're the wild wild west, you know (and they even have a cute shoot out on the streets of Oatman...) The was a time in the wild west that there wasn't a lot of law...and in a mining community that struck a vein of $14 million at one point, I can't imagine the kind of things that went on there. I know at one point the population shot up to at least 3500...and to tell you the truth, there is very little evidence of that there (which I find unsettling the more I think about it) Oatman was also the last stop before you crossed the Mohave desert on Route 66, and there were a lot of Oakies coming through during the depression trying to make it to California...the road was so treacherous that the locals had to go up and get them and guide them through...and there's a marauding band of donkeys running around in the hills that come into Oatman to be fed every day (they sell carrots, it's pretty great...only we didn't see any when we were there...but, we heard them!)

I have done a lot of reading and researching about pioneers and the west, and the life was hard. So, we've got lawless, hard, hopeless....I suppose it's no wonder that when I find myself wandering in and out of these little towns (and some of the more historical buildings here in Prescott) I sometimes myself feeling sad, scared and a little overwhelmed for no surface reason that I can see.

I just can't quite put my finger on what it is...it seems to slip in and out of my consciousness...but the overwhelming feeling I got when we were there has been hard for me to shake completely...I keep thinking that if I write about it, the feeling will go away. It's not. I have realized through this experience that Rich and I are quite sensitive to our surroundings, and that's OK...

Creepy, but OK.

Only it was hard for me to stay at my house last night...and I didn't want to get out of bed this morning...Good heavens! I still had a wonderful time yesterday...and would love to go back and ride the Route all the way to Black Canyon city...

I just might stay in the car when we go to Oatman though...

15 August 2008

You Can't Judge a Book By Its Cover...

Only you can.

I silently argue this fact every time I find myself at the library in town. Only I don't really have to do it silently anymore, because ever since they redid the library, and made it all fancy...calling it "Prescott's Living Room" (which is nice because they have better furniture than I do) and installed a coffee bar (oh yes, a coffee bar) and that cork flooring (which is very cool, unless it's raining or snowing outside...or I've just run through the sprinklers...and then it becomes a big slip-and-slide) I don't have to do any internal musings. I could dress up in my old high school flag girl uniform and march a band through the center of the library and sing "You Can't Judge a Book By it's Cover" and no one would bat an eye (except that I'm a leeetle bigger than I was in High School, bodily speaking, so my uniform may be a little tight and not close in strategic places) They even stowed all the kid stuff downstairs so the kid noise wouldn't bother anyone (See: Prescott one of the #1 places to retire...and I've already raised my family land) but really? With the marching band and all the people hopped up on caffeine slipping around on the cork floors...whats a bunch of kids giggling going to do? But, I was raised in a family that has a high respect for books, so I still use my inside library whisper voice while in the building, don't use my cell phone in there (which they just recently started not caring about) because I still think the library is sacred...and cool. We have a very cool library here. Even though they deaquisitioned a third of the books when they made the library bigger (I know...huh?) we have inter library loans. Which means, if my big library with hardly any books doesn't have what I'm looking for, one of the other one's in our system probably does, and my library will get it for me and let me check it out. See? Very cool...

Plus there's the whole live music/coffee/water park thing going on as well...

As it is, I am a notorious judger of books by their covers. We all try to believe that we're not judgers, but come on. Sometimes you only have a few minutes to decide whether or not something is good for you...food, clothes, men...a book? And, you may scorn me, but I usually can look at a cover, read a tiny synopsis and then decided whether or not a book is for me. Which doesn't make sense that I haven't started reading the Twilight Series before this week...I mean, I have been in love with the covers of these books since they came out. The always stop me in my tracks...luckily, my mother's neighbor has bought them all and loaned them to us...so I'm in business now. I am loving them by the way...

But heaven's this post isn't even about books at all. Not really.

It's about judging by first appearances.

And make-up.

And packaging.

I have a degree (I know this surprises you, but it's true) It's in advertising (there's some other impressive things going on with it as well, but you can email me if you really want to know what's up) I was also raised by two antique and collectible dealers...which meant that everything was more valuable in its original packaging. Pair this with advertising and this caused two things to happen to me quite simultaneously:

  1. I love packaging. I really enjoy inventive and fun packaging...I am equally fascinated by the way someone is trying to reach me, and I respect that...it makes me quite giddy when I find fresh and fun boxes and paper products.
  2. I have a hard time using things that I buy, and if I do use them, I have a very hard time throwing away the things that they were packaged in.

Which has now resulted in my new Benefits packaging being set and moved around my bathroom since opening it and using the products (that and they come with the best directions and I'm afraid if I throw the directions into the recycling bin I won't remember how to apply make-up and my face will fall off)

You see..the thing about Benefits is, while I am thoroughly loving their fantastic beauty products, they also happen to have the most wonderful packaging and overall theme going for them...a look if you will...just go sign up to receive one of their catalogues in the mail and you can see what I mean. I have to admit, the first time Dina showed me one of their catalogues and then some of their products? I about swooned and fell off the couch I was so adoring their look...I quickly realized that the only thing this would have accomplished was scaring her son half to death and rilling up the dog (who is always looking for an excuse to jump straight up and down anyway)

So, the real problem is, now I have all this adorable packaging sitting around taking up space and falling over in my already crowded bathroom, and I'm feeling just slightly guilty about throwing it in the recycling bin (well, it's actually usually a brown paper bag in the kitchen) because I'm worried that:

  1. If I throw it away, I will miss it's packagy cuteness.
  2. If I throw it away, the make-up will not have it's original packaging (even though I will use it all up and then eventually throw it away, and replace it...which will certainly lead me back to this dilemma) and thus become worthless.
  3. I need to up my meds because this isn't really all that important...

Do you ever feel weird about this sort of thing or is it only me?

Should I flatten the boxes and figure out how to save them?

Should I check into some sort of appropriate facility this weekend instead of going with what I had planned...
  • Going to dinner and possibly a movie and chatting about sewing with the other half of Tombo.
  • Going to lunch with Dougie boy...and dragging him along to look at new glasses frames (because the designer ones I spent my life savings on are not any better than the other you can get at CostCo, and haven't even lasted as long and the lenses are starting to get all foggy around the edges besides, so it's just a matter of time when I won't be able to see anything...and you can believe that I have the original Versace packaging for these babies) because he has good taste and will totally humor me while I try on tons of frames...he will also make fun of me, which is kind of like humoring me...it's humoring someone anyway.
  • Spending Sunday with Rich (who has a new blog and website by the way...he had to find a new server because the other one kept going down all the time and his site was not accessible. I don't have any idea what that means, but the first words out of my mouth where, "Wait...what about our email?!?! I love my personal email address you set up for me, that's when I realized that you might really like me...and it makes a fun noise when I get mail, and I love that because before I met you I could never figure out how to do that and I would hate to not have a fun email alert..." Because that's how I roll...not, "gee...rebuilding your blog and a new website might be really time consuming and hard! Poor baby..." So he got all teachery and tried to explain the technical side of what was happening and how it's like moving to a new house but he's not sure if he should take his corrupted things from the old house to the new one...well, I just got excited that we were moving in together and he had to stop and just tell me that our email was going to be fine, and if there was going to be any problem with it that he would take care of it, and there would still be a fun noise...Yay! Only I don't think we're moving in together now...) We'll be doing heaven knows what on Sunday...but I'll probably grinning like an idiot the entire time...evidenced by my tech knowledge above.
  • Gently placing the Benefits Cosmetic packaging in the recycling bin, um bag...and slowly walking away...


(Thank you Google Images, for all the fun Benefits...)

14 August 2008

W.I.P.

Found :: small cabinet/frame :: fortune cookies


Waiting :: an ever expanding pile of fabric and paper :: a desire to create


WIP :: undecided...but boy is there a lot swirling around in my head...

13 August 2008

Fashion Tips from The Stoned Girl...

Ha.

I bet you almost gave up on me today didn't you?

Ha.

I'm still here...just another day fielding the stoned girl that comes in to sell clothes, tell me what's in style and what I should be buying for the store. All in question form. She throws a pile of things on the counter at the shop...

"um?"

"These are Doc Martens?"

"I only wore them once?"

"Inside?"

"They're brand new?
"

ah yes. I see now. It's all clear...

I've been doing this resale thing for so long, plus? I was alive and buying my own shoes during the first big flood of Dr. Martens to come into this country...you know...Back when you had to get them at specialty stores and couldn't buy them at Dillard's or Ross? I can spot a pair of Dr. Martens from across the room (same with Coach bags...the older leather ones. I know, it's a gift...)

She's discouraged because I won't buy them.

They are new.

They are Doc Marten's.

They are out of style.

"Even with the winter coming up?"

Yes. Even with the winter coming up. I've noticed the trend being most people do not buy this style but stick to the boots or shoes.

"Um?"

"That was like, 3 years ago?"

"No one's wearing boots now?"

"Everyone's wearing these in high school now?"

Well. That wouldn't explain why I haven't. been able. to sell. the style. that she's set down on my counter in the shop for quite some time now. Plus...we get snow in our part of Arizona, I distinctly remember seeing people wear appropriate footwear during those times...which happens more often than not, to include boots. I suppose I could go stalk the high school and wait until it gets out in the afternoon to scope out the footwear...but, honestly? There's not a lot of anyone buying Doc Martens in any style as much as they once did. Perhaps it's the phenomenon that put them in major department stores in the first place. Once they were more accessible to everyone, the originality wore off. Supply and demand...

We once referred to this as the Jocks in Docs fad.

Everyone had them and our interest waned.

Or, it could be the simple truth that Docs sometimes do not make the most comfortable shoes...they usually have no arch support. And those of us who remember how cool they once were are old enough to now base most of our shoe purchases on the comfort and support of the shoe rather than just the style...well mostly anyway. Besides, most of the newer Docs I've seen look as if they're trying to make shoes with a more comfortable foot-bed in them (Docs only make the soles of the shoes anyway and farm the rest of the shoe out to someone else...) Which should be a relief to Rich since he bought a pair for work and is usually hobbling around in them when he gets done with his day...although I think he looks very handsome in them (it may be a generational thing) I realize that not all Doc Martens are out of style, but these particular pair that are now staring back at me are a very outdated style indeed.

Stoned Girl flounced out of here...leaving the entire stack of stuff she brought in on the counter as she waved her hand dismissively...

"um?"

"You can have them?"

I watched as
she got into her car to drive away. She drives a nicer car than me or any of the people I know. Sigh. She once told me she, "...moved here from California?" (which could explain why a lot of Californians have a bad rap here...or why she obviously has the last word on fashion...or why she was wearing a pair of jeans and a white tee-shirt)

It leaves me wondering in her question induced haze if she just got in the car one day and woke up here?

With a pair of outdated shoes and the munchies...

(that's me in that picture up there by the way...OK, just kidding...but that's courtesy of Dr Marten...and look at these! Lordie...I wish she would have brought those in!)

12 August 2008

Mouthwatering...

I thought after yesterday's post about my discouraging body image, I would post some brand new wonderful finds on the Vintage Cookbook front (maybe explaining exactly why I don't look like a stick figure...well, a stick figure with muscles now that I'm at the gym every day...) (HA! Gotcha'...I've never actually used a recipe from any of my little vintage books...but, I shall remedy that soon...)

This little stack came to me from a good friend and book dealer in town...and I was giggling and clapping my hands and doing the Happy Dance of Vintage Cookbooks (there is one you know...perhaps I shall post it on YouTube one day...)

Now, we've got the Knox Gelatin Eat and Reduce Plan (1952) Which has come at the perfect time (considering the content of yesterday's post) not only does it have several aspic and mold recipes, but it comes with a Gelatin "Eat-And-Reduce plan menus...mmmm, gelatin. There is also a Table of Desired Weight in the back (for adults in normal health at age 25 or over with shoes on and light clothing...no need to be nakey in the 50's) I'm a bit over on their chart...gulp. Well, I'm sure it's not anything a whole bunch of gelatin can't fix...although, there is a recipe using Whipped Evaporated Milk as a topping for dessert...I can't imagine that being low fat...and did you see how nice this lady's husband is standing next to the scale and weighing her? And her little girl? Waving them both over to the "Eat and Reduce Plan" how thoughtful, "Daddy? Has mommy turned into a whale while she was cleaning your house, washing your clothes, making your meals and raising your kids? Well..." The minute my dear darling husband decided it would be a fun family activity to put me on a scale may result in gelatin being used to starch his undies...

Quaker Surprise Recipes
with such classics as Deep Sea Timbales, Glazed Ham Balls, Year Round Fruit Cake (because just once a year isn't enough) and, "Surprise Honey!! I've made Broiled Humdingers for dinner!!" You'll be happy to know, that Mary Alden, Director of Home Economics at The Quaker Oat Company says, "How Amazing!..." about the entire Quaker Oat thing...I'm just amazed that there's a Home Economics department at Quaker Oats...

The Twelve Dream Dishes from General Foods Minute Rice "Yours-For Delightful Class Luncheons" is actually a little folder containing more than 12 separate sheets of recipes...it is delightful in every way, and totally different since it's not necessarily in book form, but rather, recipe card form...swoon.

Miss Dine About Town "Marvelous Meals With Minute Rice" (1938) Look at her intense yet earnest face, leaning in to the person she's lunching with to tell them the wonder that is Minute Tapioca...the girl who claims not to be a cook but rather a girl who's lucky enough to be invited to a lot of interesting places, to eat a lot of interesting food. (I'm not bragging-I'm just amazed and thankful, every day of my life, at my luck!) Yeah...I'm thinking you might be single to0 girlie...otherwise how could you write a cookbook in between your household chores and taking care of your family? (and you may want to get cracking on the family thing...we wouldn't want you to end up a spinster) The Red Plum Puff Pudding looks interesting...or maybe the Chantilly Orange Tapioca?

Mealtime Marvels with Margarine...Look at that chefs face will you? He is very excited about margarine, and well...who wouldn't be? With Menus for every occasion tucked inside:

  • Dad and His Cronies Enjoy a Snack (cronies, eh?)
  • Teen Ager's Coke Party (margarine and Coke...there's an interesting combo...oh wait...theres a suggestion for cottage cheese and chives...every teen ager's favorite!)
  • Supper When the Budget's Low (with grilled canned luncheon meat and a slab of margarine)
  • Your Turn at Church Supper (with clover leaf rolls...)

19 Wonderful Coffee Recipes (1951) Sponsored by Maxwell House Instant Coffee...With such crowd pleasers as: Coffee Eggnog sundae, Coffee Dream Puffs, Chocolate Chip Coffee Fudge, and did you know you could just sprinkle the Instant Maxwell House Coffee lightly over ice cream for a quick coffee sundae? I wonder if it works with decaf too? Rich...get the instant decaf ready I'm coming over for dessert...

Coconut Glamour Desserts
(1949) Chock full of Coconut Quickies! (titter) I think actually though, all these recipes look wonderful...Plus? There's a macaroon recipe in here that I may have to try...

And my current favorite from this stack? Chiquita Banana's Recipe Book (1950) Who knew that you could have a 24 page recipe book centered around bananas? Well, it also has a lot of good tips on selecting the perfect banana...and some pretty fabu recipes...Including a Peanut and Banana salad, with a picture of a cut banana with peanuts sprinkled over it (I kid you not...now that's a time saver in the kitchen if I ever saw one) there's also a Banana Melon Ball Salad (again, halved bananas with melon balls on them...)

This particular cook book starts looking a little phallic at some point, and Rich turned bright red when I showed him the Banana Pineapple Salad...Picture a peeled banana inserted into the middle of 2 slices of pineapple...Rich is always good for a blush...unfortunately he's allergic to bananas, which is sad because there's a recipe Ham Banana Rolls...

Oh...how I love these books. I think, for your pleasure (and mine) I will haul them out the next time my mom comes over and have her help me choose recipes for me to make, and I shall let you vote on which ones...How does that sound? I mean, I can hardly keep collecting these things and not using them for what they're intended for...just oogling them, waiting for my husband to come home so I can whip off my apron, grab his slippers and make him a drink...

11 August 2008

This Broken Wing...

Did last week kick anyone elses tushie?

Just wondering.

Wondering if this week is going to be like last week? It's scaring me a bit to even consider it, so maybe I'll just try to put some disjointed thoughts together instead...ignoring that I feel utterly battered.

When I woke up this morning, I wasn't finding it too easy to get out of bed...which was odd because I didn't do a thing yesterday. Just lazed around and attempted to catch up with the self that I saw often in passing during the chaos that was last week. Last night while tossing and turning, I dreamed I had already gone to the gym, so it was with great reluctance that I drug my actual self out of bed this morning and got in the car to go to the gym...to do the actual working out instead of the just dreaming about it. I had a thought that it would be just as easy to drive myself to The Dinner Bell and have breakfast as it would for me to drive to the gym. If I actually liked breakfast food, I may have done just that...but...

But, there's this voice in my head that acts as a cheerleader and it usually kicks in on the days that I go to the gym (which incidentally is most days) The voice is still working to get me going (sometimes using guilt as a motivator) but I'm finding myself dragging a bit more and more sometimes. It's not that I don't see results with the working out, but it's just that it appears to be going slower than I want, and I'm feeling discouraged. This is why I stopped stepping on the scale at the gym...I don't think that the mini heart attacks I experience when I step up on the scale pad go well with trying to be healthy (call me crazy, but it seems so counterproductive to have a panic attack and then try to lift weights...smiling your way through your work-out like nothings wrong...it's just easier to not get on the scale and hope that what I'm doing on a mostly daily basis is working) and I know supposedly muscles weigh more...but that's a whole lot of blah blah blah when you hear it come out of someone else's mouth because you know you're dragging your butt to the gym sometimes 6 days a week. I'm still showing up and doing all the sweating though...as my mother said this weekend:

"You have to keep going because you never know..."

"What? When I'll die?"

"No...when it will all kick in!"

My mother used to lift a lot of weights, so she knows what she's talking about... I hope it kicks in soon. Although, I don't want to mislead you because there has been a lot of little changes (and even though I wasn't as thin as I was last Girls Weekend Out, this was the first time I can remember not wincing when I looked in the mirror in the dressing room, because as least I'm shaping up...and I perceive myself as teeny bit more tone) I suppose I'm just remembering the body I had in my early 20's and wondering how the heck I find that again...surely she's in there somewhere?

Come out, come out, wherever you are...

As it was...this morning I found myself stepping up on the cross-training machine and looking around the room. This is usually what one does when working their body in place for a half hour facing a huge bank of mirrors...everyone working our bodies as hard and fast as we can as if we're moving forward, but totally stuck on these machines and seemingly going around in circles instead, staying in the same place, yet racking up the miles, burning through the calories (listening to mostly the same tunes on my iPod and feeling slightly bored with my music, wondering again, if I could watch my episodes of Sex In The City instead and still keep up the pace that I do with the music pumping in my ear?) I often find myself looking around, but try not to stare at anyone for any length of time because I don't want to seem rude (I also try not to stare at myself in the mirror in front of me) And it's mostly the same group that's there every day, and often I find myself making up little stories about my fellow exercisers to keep my interest...

Yet, sometimes it seems so futile to be working this hard and not getting anywhere fast...just getting there more tired and sweaty instead...day after day finding yourself doing mostly the same things over and over in the same place at the same time with the same people seems a little surreal, evidenced by the fact that one of my friends walked into the gym today, walked over to the cross training machine and put her hand on my arm, leaned in and gently said:

"...this place is the Twilight Zone..."

Oh yes.

It is.

08 August 2008

Photo Walk...

About a week ago, Rich learned that he would be the guide for Scott Kelby's Worldwide Photo Walk here in shiny (shiny because of all the monsoon rain we've been getting...not to mention all the hail that bounced it's way into Snap Snap yesterday afternoon...and can we pause and talk about the humidity for a moment? ugh!) Prescott Arizona on Saturday August 23rd...

I know, it's so exciting...

So exciting...I waited a week to post about it.
(too many other things going on as well...Lesigh)

We are excited
though, and have been talking a lot about the photo walk...all the fun details and whatnot. We're starting the photo walk at Sharlot Hall Museum at 8:30 am (which houses the very first Governor's mansion and replica of the first school house...although, if you look at it and compare it to the photo they have on hand, you'll wonder why it looks so different....I mean, I do...so, we'll just say it's an interpretation of the first school house and leave it at that) and will be walking for about 2 hours and ending up at the Raven Cafe...downtown. There are also a lot of cool prizes being given out to lucky people who are participating in a sort of photo contest, and Prescott also gets our very own private Flickr group (whee!)

If you would like to join us please follow this link...Prescott Worldwide Photo walk...and sign up soon, as the group is limited to only 50 people. If you're not able to be in Prescott the day of the walk but would like to join in anyway, feel free to sign up for the walk in your area...that way we're all kind of together taking photos and walking...

At least in spirit.

Have a wonderful weekend...I'll be spending mine trying to play catch up with myself...Which is only a little different than playing catch with myself...

Because I throw like a girl.

07 August 2008

Playing Hooky...

My alarm sounded yesterday at 5 am...

Yes, I played hooky and I actually got up an hour earlier than I normally do. Excited and happy I might add, so it wasn't really that hard to jump out of bed. Rich and I have been having bit of opposing days off the last few weeks, and it's been quite a while since we've been out on the road together...so, when we both decided it would be fun to play hooky, and Rich came up with a plan, you can believe it was met with a ton of excitement from both of us.

We went to Bedrock Village! Can you believe that this gem is just a little distance down the road from us?

And would you just look at that prehistoric Airstream!

Ok, really...Bedrock Village is just a mere hop skip and a jump from a much larger attraction in this neck of the woods. The Grand Canyon. You see...Rich has never been to the Grand Canyon. And, I must admit that it's been a long while since I've been to the Canyon myself (and I've only been 4 times in my entire long life as it is) So, we gassed up the scooter, put on some tunes and sang our way down the road.

Did you know that the Grand Canyon is only 2.5 hours away from us? Well...it is...and with Rich's National Parks Pass, we're planning on going for more visits. Hopefully some time soon we'll be hiking and camping in the Canyon as well.

We were both sooo excited to go to the canyon, I started to think I must have turned into an adult at some point. I mean, exactly when did going to a "natural" wonder...somewhere to hike and walk around and just enjoy the person you're with and the scenery...a place to quietly inhale and renew your connection with the world become just as exciting as going to Disneyland did when I was a child?

Probably when the natural wonder in question became like Disneyland...

Now, don't get me wrong, there is still a part of me that is all about going to amusement parks and the cheap thrills you get from going on rides and seeing live cartoon characters parading around pretending to be real...but apparently at some point I've turned into a bit of an adult because it's just as exciting to think of going out and hiking as an adult as it was to go see Mickey Mouse as a child. I've also been a bit spoiled...

I have totally forgotten about what it's like to go to a major attraction and how crowded it is with people. Usually when we're out and about in our part of Arizona, there aren't huge crowds...and to get reintroduced to this aspect, I found myself immediately being shoved off to the side of a path into a hand railing as someone had to push their way past me to get to the California Condor that was sitting on a rock (now I can see why there are the signs all over telling us to be careful around the edge of the canyon that depicts someone falling into the Canyon...it's not because of the fear of loosing your balance, it's the fear that an overzealous tourist will push their way past you and poof...see you later Grand Canyon and we hope you brought a parachute...)

The Condor was very cool...Apparently this Condor is part of the reintroduction of these rather large fluffy birds back into the Canyon area...Rich and I thought they were vultures at first, but they were very large...and usually they have balding pink heads but we couldn't see it because this guy was content enjoying the view in front of him instead of looking at the large crowd behind him (not unlike the large elk that was grazing on the side of the road that caused frantic tourists to stop their cars in the middle of the one lane road into the canyon so they could snap their pictures) Who knows? Perhaps the Condor was a tourist?

We decided to try our luck closer to the lodges thinking the crowds would be a little thinner this early in the morning, and we were right. We did actually meet a lot of lovely other people during our tour of the Canyon...people who were quick with a laugh no matter what language they were using to communicate.

We decided to
try our hand at hiking a little bit down Bright Angel Trail to get some unobstructed pictures of the canyon. We didn't get too far because of the squirrel.

Did you know that the leading injuries to people at the Canyon is Rock Squirrel bites?

I was terrified...

I stopped dead in my tracks hardly daring to breathe...

There was this teeny tiny fluffy squirrel on the trail that was looking at me with those liquid brown eyes, coming closer and closer every time I talked to it...It looked so young, but clearly it was looking for a snack. Not me squirrel...I saw the signs "Keep the Wildlife Wild" no snacks from me...I don't care how many times you bite me!

Actually, we decided to turn back because a storm was rapidly approaching and we wanted to get some other pictures before all the clouds rolled in...The last time I was there, the entire canyon filled with clouds and you couldn't see a thing...of course, there was also snow on the ground.

We decided it would be fun to drive the East highway of the Canyon for some other views, and stopped at an Indian ruin. It struck me as odd that the ruin was so far away from the amazing views of the canyon...then again, it could have been due to water in the area instead right? I mean, one could just walk to the edge of the Canyon if one wanted to.

We also stopped
at Moran Point...which we quickly renamed Moron Point after almost being backed into no less that 4 times by a guy in a BMW who refused to look behind him. Rich handled it well, just trying to keep out of his way while I sat in the passengers seat and said things like "aaaaah!!!" and "eeeee!" while clutching my stomach...it was like a bad episode of The Wheel of Fortune. Luckily we have a small car and there was no one behind us...Rich didn't even honk, and I was about ready to get out of the car and give this man a few driving pointers, but we decided maybe we weren't meant to see this particular view and drove onto the next instead.

This one was more crowded with people jabbing and scurrying down the rocks, which prompted Rich to lean over to me at one point and say, "Are we the only Americans here?" which made me laugh because I just heard a little girl say the exact thing to her mom...The storm was really rolling in by this point...so we decided to head home.

We made it back in time to have a lovely lunch and rode over to watch the new Batman movie (strangely enough this is our very first movie date in a theater together) it was an amazing, movie but very intense, and I found myself needing to take a lot of time to really calm down afterwards.

This was a wonderful surprise day off in the middle of the week, made even more special because I got to spend time with Rich...see his reaction to viewing the Canyon for the very first time...and thank you for your well wishes, but what's with all the winks and nudges? I mean, sure there was hand holding, smiles and a lot of giggles...but there usually is when we're together. Most of the groping that happened was from tourists and the only times Rich grabbed me in passionate embraces was to keep me from being nudged over the edge and into the canyon. But, even after all of that, you can believe we'll be going back more and we made the promise to bring at least one of the digital Elphs to that we can have someone take our pictures together...we just didn't feel safe handing over the SLR's...

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