30 June 2009

Why, Hello Stomach Flu...

...and where did you come from?

The most direct answer would probably be from The Maestro...whom I hung out with most recently, but honestly? It seems to have been going around town...from what I understand (and Vanessa said she was ill the day of The Mad Tea Party, so I think it may be possible that I caught it there? Sometimes this happens when you're out party hopping and you're not well rested...plus? All those delectable sweets...swoon)

I'm not totally done for, mostly because I have to work (when you own a shop, there's no one to call and see if you can get your shift covered...yet another thing no one tells you about owning your own business) and usually, I don't get too sick. usually. It's almost like I can't really afford to. Perhaps it's just a simple case of mind over matter?

At any rate, I have a low grade upset tummy...nothing that's going to keep me from leaving the house, but something that's keeping me from eating. I'm half wishing that this stomach bug would either explode into something more dire or just go away. The bug is also causing me to wander around looking for something to wear that doesn't have a waistband in it, because the thought of pressure in that area is worse than the thought of eating...I find myself alternately throwing my fist in the air and curse the fact that muumuus aren't in style.


I'm also thinking that there may be a lot of sitting in my future (seeing as I haven't quite perfected laying down at the shop and working at the same time) and crackers...and most likely both at the same time. Perhaps there will also be some left-over rice and peas from last nights dinner (does anyone else notice that I'm starting to resemble a toddler here?) a comfort food that is filling and somewhat light...and one that I happened to make a lot of last night...cooking for one isn't always what it's cracked up to be...but, there is the added benefit of knowing what you're going to be eating for the next few days.

29 June 2009

Carrying a Small Notebook...


I spent most of
my time seated in front of my computer Saturday and Sunday (although, I did take a small pause to go to the Bluegrass Festival downtown with my maestro and lunch and a movie with DaNece) party hopping through the magical realm of Mad Tea Parties in the blogosphere...I clapped my hands excitedly more times than I can count while squirming around on the couch with delight, and found myself tearing up at the end of the day when it all of a sudden dawned on me how lucky I am to be part of such a creative world of people. It's an amazing thing to behold every one's different interpretations of a Mad Tea Party...how much thought and time went in to each person whom participated...and finally how many of us are looking for the magic. No matter what is happening in the world, we're searching for the spaces in between to let the magic slip through again...and I for one I am proud to be a part of such a thing.

I mean, of course one could argue that maybe I was crashing from all the virtual sugary treats I consumed (and you can bet I snatched up some really wonderful looking vegan recipes and was sure to bookmark them) and perhaps the real reason that my eyes were gummy and tired was only from sitting in front of a computer screen, thus creating the fated tears...but, I think we all know it was a little more than that. The chance to remember the magic touches me in a very deep part of myself...and one that I've often hidden from the rest of the world out of a bizarre necessity.

But, I think that's about to change and take on a whole different shape.

You can believe we're all taking a huge bow over here at Foolsewoode...and I, for one, am eternally grateful, somewhat surprised and happily overwhelmed at the response to The Mad Tea Party post. Thank you one and all for stopping by to chime in. Having established a small presence in the blog world over two years ago...I am thrilled to have had so many people stop by and feel compelled to comment on a post.

That being said...

I would feel pretty confident in the assumption that the more creative I am, the more fun it is here at Foolsewoode for everyone (I know I'm happier the more I create...and I've gotten more than a few epiphanies from doing this project) So. This may just start a new direction for me...as I've been sitting here both delighted at your response and a bit terrified at what my next step is going to be...and however am I going to top myself?

Well, creatively speaking...I've done it before, and I'll probably do it again...I find that whenever I create, I totally and completely surprise myself (mostly) in the end. And, would you believe that I already have ideas for at least four more photo shoots dancing around in my head? (and have started to think that I may take to carrying a small notebook with me wherever I go, or maybe even a tape recorder...because that would be so much more supersecretspy!)

I happen to think that I come from an incredible family full of some of the most creative people I've ever met, and I am constantly challenged to try and keep up with them. While talking to my mother, and the ultimate prop master, yesterday (who excitedly chimed in with her willingness to help) my excitement was renewed once again. I suddenly realized that am surrounded with people that are encouraging me and supporting my creativity...which in turn makes me want to pull them in and put their talents to use...

Whoa. I have a team. I have people. And I'm here to tell you my people are good.

Very good.

I think we'll have to wait and see what I and my people will come up with next...and I'm always open to suggestions!

And as my dear friend Arthur commented to me last night, "It looks as if the old Sadira is back...in a big way!" and unless he was commenting on the size of my tush...I would like to take this opportunity to say...


I think I'll write that at the top of the notebook...
(photo credit goes to Rich Charpentier)

27 June 2009

The Mad Tea Party...

Once Upon a Time (as stories like this are wont to start) there was a girl dressed in a butterfly robe...

She lived in a place not far from where you are now, and she may remind you of someone you know or someone you've been before...she didn't always stand out for any exceptional reasons that I can think of, and did not consider herself magic by any means. The tragic thing happened to be, that she was suffering from a strange ailment. It could have been a spell placed on her by a witch or a fairy that had fallen from grace...or even elf (because they can sometimes be mischievous) or perhaps she had walked through an enchanted spiderweb. Whatever the case may have been, the girl in the butterfly robe was unable to see the colors that surrounded her. And often she found herself in a very un-colorful world where things were always black and white and hardly any shades of gray.

She was not always happy about this, but didn't quite know what to do (along with finding her surroundings more than a little drab, she was sometimes quite confused...as I'm sure we all know that it's easy to be that way when you live in such a world) She had lived like this for so long, she was having a hard time remembering what colors the things that surrounded her could possibly be.

One day, while out walking among the rocks in her land...the girl came upon quite a fantastic scene.

There was an entire tea party set up just seemingly waiting for someone to stumble upon it! She looked and sighed thinking to herself that it would be so much better if she could see the true colors she imagined it to be. She walked around the tea party searching for whom it might belong to, and that is when she spied a rather large top hat sitting next to the tea pot.

She paused to think that maybe it would be OK if she put the hat on for a little bit...just to try it out. But she was very scared and wished that there was someone there that she could ask about what it is that she should do. She looked over each shoulder, but only saw some very drab monkeys and they didn't seem to want to say a thing, because they all looked away and pretended not to see her distress...All of a sudden, the girl felt her courage growing as her heart whispered to her to put on the hat. Before she lost her nerve all together, she found herself quickly putting the hat on her head.

And then a strange thing started to happen...

Colors started to fade in swirling around her where there were none before. She stopped to pause...could it be the hat? Was this a Magic Hat in the middle of a Magic Tea Party? She lived in a land full of magic, so the girl decided that this was most likely the case.

After wearing the had she decided it was most fantastic indeed, but she found it to be a little big for her head...as it kept slipping down over her eyes obscuring the views of the colors that were finally starting to creep into her life...She was a little worried as the thought occurred to her that she might have to wear this hat for the rest of her life, unless she wanted to slip back into her small black and white world.

The girl had decided that if wearing the over-sized magic hat helped her to see the true colors of her now much larger world, that she would have no other choice but to wear it, and that she would just decide to be grateful to have found the magic anyway. Suddenly, the thought of stumbling into this magia felice (happy magic) just around the corner made her impossibly happy and she soon found herself giggling with delight...

...Which caused her to almost topple off her precarious perch and made her new hat fly right off her head...

and that's when the colors around her really exploded!

You see...just by having the courage to stop and try something totally different, take a bit of a risk and follow her own inner voice...it caused the magic of the hat to flow into her heart and open her up to the colors of the world that had always surrounded her (but she quite often didn't see...)

Sometimes that's how Magic works you know.

She immediately hopped up and decided to explore her new exciting surroundings as the Tea Party suddenly looked so much more edible...you see, the colors gave her an appetite that she thought she'd lost. Upon the bright quilt she found herself sitting on, there were plates heaped with goodies and she was surrounded with tea party friends in the forms of now very jauntily dressed monkeys where there was once sad drab little fellows, who were now all of a sudden quite eager to share her smile (I think often monkeys can be fickle like that)

The girl thought after exploring the party, that one of the most fantastic things she found was a white metal bowl full of the most colorful eggs she'd ever seen...

She decided right then and there to pick one up and crack it open to see if there was anything inside (you see, she had fared so well with the hat, her courage was starting to grow and she was feeling bold...)

Can you imagine what was in it?

When she cracked the egg open, jewels of which the like she had never before seen spilled out...along with cupcakes of every color in the rainbow! The girl threw off her butterfly robe and danced a happy dance all along the rocks. After dancing for quite some time, she became a little tired and in need of some refreshment. This is when she remembered that she happened to be at a Mad Tea Party and this may have been the best place in the world in which to be parched...

If Only...

If only she wasn't alone. I mean, of course she did have her small monkey guests, but they were not the best of entertainers, no matter how jauntily they were dressed and how eagerly they smiled. This is when she happened to look over her shoulder to see the mask of the Naso Turco wedged between two pillows...Well, that could only mean one thing! And before she could even think another thought...


Whom did she find herself sitting next to? Yes! It was Lo Sciocco Favoloso (the fabulous fool) who was also sometimes known as Lo Sciocco a Piedi Nudi (the barefoot fool) and the true owner of the bird mask that had previously been resting between the pillows, as if waiting only for a thought to bring forth its magic.

After searching her mind for only a moment, the girl really couldn't think of a better companion for this Mad Tea Party...for his legendary magic entertaining skills were well known in her land!

Lo Sciocco Favoloso immediately served the tea and they started to eat cupcakes, while Lo Sciocco Favoloso serenaded them with the most fantastic songs for no reason what so ever (except that they were enjoying each other's company very much by this point...and I find that magic creatures are so often impromptu like this)

And then Lo Sciocco Favoloso jumped off the blanket to do what he did best...

He had brought along his extraordinary gift of entertainment (he keeps it under his hat, you know) and performed a whole magic act for the girl. She was utterly enchanted...and was surprised to find herself no longer the confused person she was before, as Lo Sciocco Favoloso swirled his ribbons and danced among the rocks...

Lo Sciocco Favoloso juggled and twirled as the girl laughed and clapped. She honestly could not remember the last time she had such a magical day...perhaps it was long long ago in a time before she walked through the enchanted spiderweb? Or when she was bitten on the ankle by an Elf (they really can be nasty creatures you know...or perhaps they're just bored.)

Whatever the case may be, at the end of the day...

Lo Sciocco Favoloso took the girl by the hand and told her that the magic of the world actually lived right inside her heart, and that she was only temporarily blinded to the colors caused by the confusion of looking outside herself. By having the courage to listen to and then to follow her heart when she first put on the magic hat, that even if the colors of the world could sometimes fade, she would now be able to remember how to see the colors forevermore.

The girl knew that this must be true because it made her heart expand with happiness as she found herself laughing with joy...and whenever she had any trouble with feeling confused, she only had to remember to have the courage to look into her heart (no matter what was happening outside of her) listen to her own little voice, and remember the lesson of the Magic Hat and the Mad Tea Party and the kind words of Lo Sciocco Favoloso, if only be reminded of her own magia felice every day of her life from then on...

And she pretty much lived a very happy and colorful life for ever after...

Many special thanks to:

Rich Charpentier for reaching far beyond his comfort zone to find his inner whimsy and proving his creative skills with a camera and a computer and the special way he sees the world once again (he who gets it, and didn't laugh at once unless it was from pure happiness) And for having the courage to take my hand while I led him into a Mad Tea Party.

Clay Lightfoot and his amazing talents and willingness to play and have tea on the rocks...bringing his joy and smile! And when he isn't juggling, acting, or singing is the best and brightest bank teller in our little village.

That girl in the butterfly robe, who is learning to remember to look inside of her own heart and find the magic and colors of the world every day. Who, when asked if she could prop a Mad Hatter's Tea Party...threw back her head and laughed as this was one of the things she'd been waiting to do her whole life.

And finally, our fabulous hostess...Vanessa, who inspires every day creativity with her beautiful life and gentle wisdom. A special friend and wonderful woman who weaves stories and creates beauty just by breathing life, love, and joy into everything she does...if you would like to visit more participants of The Mad Tea Party, please click on her name above and get ready for a wonderful treat!

25 June 2009

Preparations Ensue...

We started the preparations for the Mad Tea Party last night at dusk...the magical hour indeed, and will be enjoying the Mad Hatter's Tea Party through Saturday. One of the official photographers for Foolsewoode was there with his camera in hand to capture the whimsy and fun as our creativity and adventure was full at hand...magical tea, pupcakes, and dancing among the rocks. I am finding myself constantly amazed at the people who I am surrounded by...and I'm reveling dancing in the joy at creating things with them...I am also indebted to Vanessa for the pleasure of participation in such a fantastic adventure and for helping to stoke up the creative fires again.

And I invite you to join us here on Saturday for a Mad Mad Adventure!

24 June 2009

I've Got Hang-Ups...

...and now I've got something to put them on.

while shopping for props and fun for a fantasy photo shoot this evening, I came across one of my favorite usable collectibles (or at least collectible for myself) I found this pile of vintage advertising hangers and couldn't have been more delighted (and at 69 cents you can bet I snapped them right up!) Let's face it. I collect things. But, the most exciting find is one that I can put to use right away...

Like put in use...as in that pile of clothing that needs to be hung up that's currently draped over my chair in the studio?

Yeah...there is that.

I also love looking at all the different place names...businesses or hotels that may or may not still be in existence...and the varied places they are in the United States. I even have a couple of blank ones that I am considering making for Snap Snap as well, because I thought that would be very cool for me.

So, I may have hang-ups...but they're being hung up and put away...

23 June 2009

The Sound of Metal on Metal...

Is not something you want to hear coming from your tires while driving your car...

It's actually horrifying.

It started sometime after I was running errands early yesterday morning and ran over or through something that sounded a bit like wet gravel or mud...and then some rocks being thrown up under the car...then the sound of metal on metal reared it's ugly head.

I ran Honey to the mechanics early this morning...Of course the noise stopped before I got there. They popped the tire off, scooped out some rocks and drove it around the block, just to be safe. Apparently, there was some sort of evidence that there had been a rock stuck in there somewhere that was causing all the noise.

Go figure.

I was deliriously happy that there was no major expense involved and that my car wasn't going to explode unnecessarily...

I am also looking forward to going to the gym tomorrow, as my work outs this week have been cut off due to recovering from dancing and then the car noises...

(I made the above cloth bags for someone I adore a while back, but haven't blogged...so that they may have bags for each allergy medications and any other things we may need on road trips in each car or back pack so that we'll have everything on hand without having to constantly remember to switch things from here to there or to forget anything we may need...I just thought it may be a good idea if things were more organized and contained)

22 June 2009

The Dancing Queen...

...noticed she has a sore back an is quite tired to boot.

Saturday night, during the weekend escape to a different civilization...I found myself out dancing the night away. This was after eating most of the day away (including fantastic Thai food and these chocolate stuffed strawberries Claudine made that were to die for...) and relaxing on the balcony at the Hotel Indigo...usually this time of year would be too hot even with all the misters, but the weather has been positively cool in Arizona, so we were looking forward to being a bit warm, the truth be known.

Oh...and the dancing.

The dancing was half the reason we had our escape to begin with...we were on a quest, a mission to dance. We are big dancers. Always have been. Back in the day (ahem) we use to dance for hours whenever we would get the chance...never drinking (drinking always hindered my personal groove thang, and dancing was more important to me) We went clubbing in Scottsdale, actually within walking distance from the hotel (who knew) and there were a lot of places to choose from. Near the hotel, there was a place called Dr t...right next to American Junkie...all loaded up with tiki torches and everything (Amy loves herself some tiki torches) and we were thinking of heading up there, but the group we were with were confused because the only place they knew of was called Drift. But, honestly...as we drove by the sign said Dr t. Claudine kindly pointed out that it may have only said that because the I and the F were burned out of the sign.Italic


She said it really s l o w so we would get it.


But we didn't need to be observant to dance we just wanted to boogie.

We ended up at The Martini Ranch, even though there was a place that you could ride a mechanical bull for free...but Amy wouldn't go for it (even though it was her birthday, can you believe such a thing? I mean...it would have made a great photo for the blog) We also passed on Geisha A Go-Go...which apparently is an establishment full of rooms your party can go into so you can sing Karaoke to each other. This does not in any realm sound like fun to me, or most anyone in the group (there were only 5 of us, maybe if there were more, or we were Asian?) so on we went. The Martini Ranch had a bar with an 80's cover band in it and then a whole other dance club.

I'm not one to dance to live bands, preferring DJ's...so we bypassed the crowd of mostly people our age (and I was a bit astounded to see how old everyone looked...I mean, I guess I look in the mirror every day, so I don't think I've aged that much? Rats.) and upstairs to the dance club. This was full of much younger people...and scantily clad club girls whom were pole dancing. I've been to a lot of clubs in my time...in a lot of different places in the world (I also use to go to Raves seeing as I'm part of that generation) so this was not shocking to me...as I've seen some interesting things in clubs in my day (which I will not recount here) (there was a rather fascinating point in the night when one of the gals was girating around the pole and kind of looked like she was sitting on Amy's head...you know? If you were in the right angle? Again...would have made an interesting blog photo)

Things that have changed in dance clubs since I've last been:
(besides being much older)

*The music was fun...and the DJ was proudly using a Mac to spin his tunes...he mixed a lot of different music during the night, but his transitions from song to song were a little rocky at times, and I felt myself searching for a beat to cling to, while Amy and I shot quizzical glances towards each other. He also didn't play a lot of any one song...just bits and pieces. I kept thinking how much Rozzilyn would probably have enjoyed it though, because it was a lot of the songs she loves.

*Right now the styles are short and mostly nonexistant. And I mean so short and nonexistant that I felt horribly overdressed in my knee-length skirt and at one time joked that I should run back to the room and change into the halter top I was going to wear the next day...Yeah, that short.

*The girls also danced with their large name-brand hand bags slung over their shoulders. They didn't even put them down or opt for a smaller bag or have their dates hold their ID and money. This seemed a little cumbersome to me though because I'm usually in charge of all my stuff and try to find the smallest bag I can to use when I got out, and after getting whacked with handbags all night, I think maybe it's a spacial thing. Sometimes it's hard to stake your claim of personal space on the dance floor and keep it...so perhaps having a large expensive handbag to whack people with helps?

Things that have not changed in dance clubs since I've last been:

*People often stand around bashfully looking at each other (which makes no sense here since I had already seen most of the girls underwear by this point...have I mentioned that things were short?) and it usually takes a couple of brave soules to join a few other brave souls that are dancing...and those are usually Amy and I?

*There are usually more women than men dancing.

*No matter what I'm doing or where I'm at, people use this space as a thoroughfare. Sometimes I wonder if I'm invisible.

It felt fantastic to be on a dance floor again though moving my body and having fun...that is, until the DJ announced that everyone should grab a shot and we'd all take a shot at midnight.

I don't do shots. I can't drink that fast usually...I would have a hard time with a shot of water.

But midnight?


That was when I checked the time, and noticed my back hurt. And I was tired. Which made a lot of sense seeing as we'd been dancing for several hours straight by that point. So, I made my way back to the hotel so I could go to bed and rest about 1:00, only because something in me was turning into a pumpkin (that and I was afraid I would either start limping at the club or fall asleep...and a bouncer already joked with me about yawning. He was also my age and shot me a sympathetic wink and a smile) I sat on the balcony for a while to just rest and review the fun evening (until some girl came out and had to talk about Romy and Michelle's High School Reunion to a man who was interested in more than her cigarettes) so, I decided to go back up to the room...which is when I noticed that my hotel card didn't work.

Apparently it had been demagnetized.

And my name wasn't on the list of persons who were in the room...so they held me hostage (the general managers words, not mine...) in the interest of safety, until they realized that I would soon fall asleep in the lobby bar...and they called security and I described a bunch of stuff in the room to him to make sure it was really me staying there. It wasn't a horrible experience, just one that I found quite funny in the end...and it would never make me not want to go back to Hotel Indigo. After all everyone was very nice, and I did get to rest a bit and got an expensive bottle of water gratis out of the whole thing...and then I slumbered the rest of the night away...

Only I still feel like I haven't slept in days.

I honestly can not believe I feel this old...I mean. Come on. I work out four days a week...I hike...I'm very active.

I am also very sore and very tired.

But, I'm happy to say, as tired as we are, at least we looked good (for whatever age we are) and we've still got it...

even if it's a little more covered up.

19 June 2009

My Pal Amy...

This is what I call Amy. Pal. It's a name I reserve just for her (and more formally My Pal Amy...) accidentally coined by her brother years ago one day when I called her...for some odd reason (teenage hormones?) the phrasing made us hysterical and it just stuck. I also have a bit of a problem with best friend. All of my friends are wonderful...of course, but to call someone best? Well, not only does that denote a competition, but maybe one that you can be unseated from at any moment. Just one false move and someone usurps your position?

That's too much pressure to put someone under when they are a friend.

Amy and I have been pals for the better part of more than 25 years now.

Which seems odd, because we're barely over 25 ourselves.


It is Amy's birthday very soon...and we are stealing a moment to escape down the mountain.

Years and years ago...Amy's mother use to rent us a hotel room for the weekend (cause we weren't old enough) and we would go to the Phoenix area and feel luxurious and grown up for the weekend...Her mother would always lend us her car (because ours were both reliable around town but probably not for long distances, or didn't have air conditioning) Her car was a stick shift...Amy, of course, knew how to drive a stick but wasn't as confident as I was, and we'd wait until we'd get out of view of the house and switch places...and try to remember to do the same thing upon our arrival home.

We would always go out dancing too...something we're going to try to do again this weekend, which always makes me marvel a little bit when I look over towards Amy and realize how many years we've danced next to each other. We're also driving one of our own cars...and meeting up with friends and hopefully spending some time by the pool (I don't care what anyone looks like in a bathing suit...so you can all stop with that excuse) partake in good food...and maybe a bit of shopping...generally feeling grown up and luxurious.

It's amazing in all of this time, we've not run out of things to talk about. But, our subjects keep changing as we mature. ahem. Plus? It seems as if no matter what has happened, Amy and I share this bond with each other...we are usually so connected, we can read each other so well...often we don't speak all of our sentences out loud...which confuses people to no end, because we hear each other so well, we never quite know when we're doing it. This also makes people wary to play games with us...because we make such a great team. A friendship like this, the chance to get to know someone so well...doesn't happen very often. I cherish our relationship and I don't know what my life would be like if Amy wasn't in it...

And, I hope I don't ever have to know.

(the above photos were taken on purpose at almost every stop we made on our Zion trip...for the pure cheesiness of a series of pictures with the same pose. I think our other companions may have a couple as well...it made us giggle to no end every time we posed for our shot...)

18 June 2009

Humming Away...

That's the happy sounds of a new fridge coming from the kitchen...not too loud, which is good as the kitchen is just a stones throw from my bedroom...if you were able to throw a stone through a few walls and a bathroom that is.

I'm not necessarily as thrilled as I was when I bought my previous fridge, but I think we've already covered that.

This is a small model.

I've actually had to cull the magnet collection and redesign the fridge fun...but, with all the food I had to throw away, perhaps it's just part of reorganizing?

I'm sure it will be perfect for the cat and I...and perhaps for some big food parties if I really plan ahead and learn how to stack and organize well.

While I'm happy that the fridge is here I have to say, I was very stressed with the delivery of this new family member however. I was assured by Home Depot that the delivery company would contact me the night before the fridge would be here (which was already THREE days from when I ordered and paid for it) I started calling the Home Depot at 6pm when I hadn't heard from anyone...had to call three separate times, and on the fourth time, finally got someone on the phone that would help. Appliances was not her department, but she assured me she would call back in a half hour with an answer. An hour later, someone who kind of knew what was going on called to happily inform me that her information would be redundant as the delivery company MUST have called me because they were already closed for 20 minutes.

I assured her that they did not.

She looked on her computer and said they did...and it was a confirmed delivery between 11 and 3 the next day, and how much she wished I'd called earlier and she could have helped me (even though I'd begun calling an entire hour and a half earlier?) I told her that I had heard nothing from them, and that I had to work between 11 and 3 the next day. She suggested I get a trusted friend or neighbor to come over and watch for the delivery.

For four hours?

Who would do such a thing?

I know I
own my own business and I suppose in theory I could close up shop and run home any time I wanted to...but what does the average person who is employed do in a situation like this? She suggested I call the delivery company in the morning and they could help.

I called the
GE delivery service number and they said that they could do nothing because they didn't have a number for the delivery guys (yeah right) and that they are obligated to call me at least a half hour before they showed up.

Like they called to set up the delivery the night before?

I left a hand written note before I left for work on my door.

Luckily the delivery guys probably are contractors and they called quite a while before they showed up to let me know, and to also let me know that this was their number if I had any problems getting there. Well, thank you! Thankfully Rich had some free time and agreed to run up to Foolsewoode to oversee the drop off and delivery and the cat (she just adores him...so that's a bit unavoidable) He reported that everything went very smoothly, the guys were very nice, there was a lot of icky fuzz all over the place because of the old fridge, the new refrigerator sounded fine, and looked like a big white box that cooled food down...I had to wait until I got home to listen and see it, but it really is fine.

But, I'm still kind of floored by customer service these days. It's nearly impossible to nail anyone down on exact times...or even watch people follow through on their promises. And everyone sure is sorry about everything. It feels like when you do anything like this, you're having to constantly call and check and call and ask the same questions over and over again. I guess it always floors me that you spend quite a bit of money on a service and then you have to do a lot of the follow up work...I also realize that a lot of the people you talk to on the phone now days can not be held accountable to what is going on. But my question is...who can be held accountable?

It's making me really examine how I do business though, so that I can be proud of how I treat my customers.

16 June 2009

Living Out of Ice Chests...

Kind of conveys a camping ideal. Sort of. Only, I'm sleeping in my own bed, in my own house...and currently living out of ice chests.

My refrigerator finally died.

It's only 7 years old.

I was informed by two separate repair persons, that it would cost the same amount of money to fix as it would be to buy a brand new one. Can you believe this? Believe that we live in a time when it it being shouted that we should buy things made in our own country and yet there's this almost planned obsolescence? My mother just got rid of the refrigerator she bought the year I was born not too long ago forcryingoutloud (and that thing was old...) and now I am kicking myself because I passed up the opportunity to grab a vintage fridge from Dina when she moved into a new house (I did almost buy it and stash it in the basement...just in case mine should break...but I thought it would then languish down there for absolute years so much was my faith of my fridge) and it had lazy Susan shelves in it...no freezer space to speak of, and probably used a lot of energy...but it was from the 1950's and it was still running, in fine shape and I'll bet it could even be fixed when broken...and perhaps not cost upwards of $500 to do it!

I noticed
something was seriously wrong with the fridge about a week ago...and had a repair person over to fix the problem...after about 20 minutes, he said, "well...that ought to do it...watch it for 24 hours, and it will either fix the problem or it won't..."

For $122. I was hoping this would be a good solution and my refrigerator would be fixed.

It wasn't

The fridge officially took it's last breath sometime Monday morning, as will be noted on the official death certificate when they come to haul it away...when I was hurrying to get my already dethawed freezer goods into a cooler (they'd been almost dethawed once) so they could be farmed out between my mom and GG...until my new fridge can be delivered.

It's coming tomorrow morning.

An 18.5 cubic feet, white GE freezer on the top refrigerator (10% off and 12 months no interest financing courtesy of Home Depot...plus an extra %10 off by opening a Home Depot credit card) with free set up and delivery and free haul away.

I think I sort of got a good deal.

But, I'm not excited.

Not like I was when I bought my current refrigerator.

I currently have a HUGE Amana white freezer on the bottom refrigerator, and I love it. I do. I picked it out 7 years ago when my then husband and I bought Foolsewoode...he trusted me to scour the town for a nice fridge at a good price and I came home one day and told him, "I found the fridge I want...but it's $400 more than I want to pay" He came to the Maytag store with me, hands in pocket...did everything but kick the tires on it and said, "If this is the one you want...then we should get it...and get the bigger size if that's what would make you happy." He was often like this with things I wanted...we never had a huge amount of extra money, but we worked well with what we had. I learned a lot of good saving habits in my marriage.

I am realizing that this process of watching the Amana chug it's last breaths twice now is completely breaking my heart. I have burst into tears a few times now, and this has me shaking my head...I wholeheartedly agree with expressing your feelings, but these tears seem like an extreme reaction to me. I think the Amana may be a catalyst for something bigger...a symbol, if you will.

Things I have learned through this process while trying to assign meaning to everything in my life (in chronological order for the past two weeks):

*Calling a repair person and spending $122 on a repair that may or may not fix a huge appliance that is needed can make you feel very cynical, but will not make you cry.
*Packing the cat up because she's acting like she did right before $ dental visit $ and squeezing in an appointment at the vet on a Saturday...watching them pry her mouth open and dive in (all the while telling you what an amazing cat you have, and how they've never been able to do such a thing to another living cat...) only to find nothing wrong can make you feel relieved, but will not make you cry.
*Worrying about a failing refrigerator you already paid $122 to have fixed will cause you to have a couple of almost sleepless nights because you're straining to hear every weird noise, but will not make you cry.
*Seemingly planned obsolescence of American appliances can make you angry and frustrated, but will not make you cry.
*Getting up at 5 am on a Sunday to be ready to go to Home Depot when it opens at 7 am after looking at Internet deals for a few hours can make you sleepy, but will not make you cry.
*Getting up at 5 am on a Sunday to be ready to go to Home Depot when it opens at 7 am after looking at Internet deals for a few hours and realizing that you may or may not be getting a good deal, but you have to make the decision kind of stressed and alone with no one but the sales guy to use as a sounding board (and let's face it, you just met...) can make you feel lonely, but will not make you cry.
*Realizing you just totally took care of yourself by yourself also makes you feel lonely then a little proud, but will not make you cry.
*Packing up quickly melting freezer items into coolers and throwing the rest of it away, and then running the coolers to various households that may be able to babysit your food for you all before you have to be at work can make you feel a little tired and humble, but it will not make you cry.
*Getting pulled over by the police when you only have 15 minutes left to get to work for speeding, then realizing your only getting a warning (phew...from the very nice officer), but you don't have current enough proof of insurance (boo) and have to take papers to the courts at some point can make you scared, nervous, relieved and frustrated, but will not make you cry.
*Looking over your shoulder only to see your ex-husband walking down the street while you're being pulled over, totally unaware of the impending warning or the death of an appliance can make you wistful and amazed (crazy universe!) ,but it will not make you cry.
*Realizing that this was the first grown-up appliance you ever bought brand new for no other reason than you really wanted it...and gosh darn it, you were worth it, and somebody else thought so too. That will make you cry.
*At least twice...and leave you feeling wrung out.
*for a couple of days.

Making me think that there's something more to this than just the act of hauling away an old...um, relatively new refrigerator. Apparently it's what the refrigerator symbolized (who knew?) and it's bringing up some old feelings about my marriage and my divorce. I don't usually think too much about my marriage, even though I remain somewhat friendly with my ex, and with the passing of time, it somewhat amazes me that I was ever even married...I thought I had put that baggage down and walked away. Maybe I put the large bag down, and threw the make-up bag and garment bag over my arm instead?

I don't know.

What I do know is that I am constantly amazed at how, during the process of divorce that I have been totally and completely blind sighted at times. I realized sometime during the process that it was never the big holidays or anniversaries that got to you, you can totally prepare yourself and steel yourself against the onslaught of emotions...and people remember to ask how you're doing. It's the more quiet moments that are the most insidious...I remember bursting into tears standing at the window doing dishes once because it suddenly struck me that my ex and I had once put the wish of having a window to look out when doing the dishes to the universe...only I was looking out the window and now standing there alone.

I can only think that this is another layer of healing.

I have so
much love to give...and I suppose one could argue that I shouldn't be wasting it on an inanimate object such as a large appliance. But, there you go. I seem to have a somewhat insane love for this refrigerator...I always sang it's high praises and showed it off...kept it clean and organized thinking if I took care of it, then it would be fine. I did that a lot in my marriage too, and it didn't save that situation. Although, I do think that while bittersweet, my divorce...it was exactly meant to be the perfect end to the situation.

Maybe one day I'll feel the same way about the new fridge.

12 June 2009

Look...Up In The Sky...

...It's a bird, it's a plane...it's a...well, kind of a weird glowing silver thing that hurts to look at for very long. Last night, after yoga and dinner, I quickly talked to Rich...who was trying not to swerve off the road while looking at a strange light in the sky. We were all a bit stymied by this strange apparition, and I quickly ran to grab my camera to snap a few shots...I also grabbed the binoculars.

Rozz looked through the binoculars while I was snapping photos, and confirmed what I thought when I looked through the binoculars. This was no ordinary superhero...it appeared to be balloon shaped with a basket hanging below it (and we know what those look like after yesterday's post, only this seemed to have less kitchen utensils hanging from it at first glance...) it was moving very slowly if at all...and the crazy glowing thing soon disappeared shortly after the sun set.

Now, oddly enough,
the craziest spectacle of the evening was not the glowing balloon so much as it was the yellow blur that shot its way through my periphery vision...a gorgeous yellow parakeet soon joined us in the bushes outside (It's a balloon...it's a bird...) Poor baby, I could only assume it was lost. I ran around the neighborhood knocking on doors worried that this little fellow had escaped his owners. He was very friendly and came right to me, and I didn't think fast enough to nab him and put him in the bathroom (I only thought of this much later, because I don't have a bird cage at Foolsewoode) until I could either find his people or a bird cage. Our little parakeet buddy flew away and then kept going on his journey before I could tempt him to live with us. I'm not necessarily looking for a bird friend for the house, and I was a little surprised that I realized he could move in and be part of the happy family of kitty and sock monkeys.

I am still keeping my eyes open for the little bird buddy, and now that I have a plan he surely won't come back...I also keep thinking maybe this little cheery parakeet was a sign of some sort...maybe think fast! Whatever the case may be, if it does come back...I will be ready.

11 June 2009

An Apron to Drink Champagne In...

...Well, that is if I actually enjoyed drinking champagne. Truth be told...I enjoy Asti Spumanti much better. I think it's the sweetness in the Asti...and nothing against the French per say. I have had some of the most expensive champagnes in the world...and I really do enjoy Asti...then again, I kind of like wine coolers as well. I happily found this new vintage apron at the thrift a couple of weeks ago...and for some reason, hot air balloons always remind me of France. I think it is an association I make due to a fantastic set of French prints I once saw in an antiques store, fell in love with immediately and have since wished I would have bought...even though they aren't necessarily my style. Although, this vintage apron certainly fits the bill...I'm not exactly sure why kitchen accessories need to be in hot air balloons, but really...why not? Mayhaps they are site seeing? And now that I look closely, I think there are also some spoons and forks in parachutes floating through the sky as well as some that are just free falling. Heavens. I hope there's not a war going on somewhere...

These are the things that kitchen utensils apparently get up to when you're not around...

Probably after a lot of champagne...

10 June 2009

Mostly Wordless Wednesday...

...In the form of some kind of crazy cross stitched Welcome hand towel. I'm racking my brain for the exact meaning of a woman in a Jack-In-The-Box and what exactly that may have to do with welcoming one to your home...Although, come to think of it, this looking at this woman reminds me of what I usually feel like right before people come over. After all the cleaning, organizing, and other various and sundry things that go into whipping Foolsewoode into shape before any kind of event...both big or small. And obviously it had some sort of meaning to the person who so patiently put the kind of time and effort that cross stitching takes, to create such a whimsical and fun towel!


09 June 2009

One For the Girls...

Hello blog. How are you? Did you miss me? Seeing as I missed a day...I thought maybe you would have...I miss me, as I seem to have misplaced that part of myself that is...well, myself. I'm sure it will pass though, the feelings of looking at my to do list and being overwhelmed coupled with the feelings of being sick of having to rely only on myself. Methinks perhaps a bit of self-confidence boosting is needed? Luckily, I started that early this week...that is, if you think of Sunday as being the first day of the week.

In the form of a simple hike in West Fork...location, Sedona. Amy, Danece, Lola, and I all met at Foolsewoode early in the day...put a lot of blankets across the backseat of Honey for Lola (it is here that I should interject that Lola is a wonderful black Queensland Heeler and owns Danece, so her comfort was certainly important) and headed down to Sedona for the better part of the morning.

This hike happens to be my top pick for favorite hikes in Arizona...seeing as you're mostly by the water the whole time, it is still nice and cool well into the summer. It's not necessarily a strenuous hike...but it was more beautiful that I remembered it being.

And by beautiful, I mean...lush and green. There were birds everywhere...and we saw millions of butterflies and dragonflies...ahhh...both symbols for transformation (for those of you who believe in such things) and we were literally covered with them at times. I have never been in the canyon when I remembered seeing so many wild roses either...and the smell of these roses? Totally heavenly. I hear that flower growers are now breeding the smell out of roses, because people don't like it. Really?! How strange and sad.

None of my
companions have been on this particular hike, and I was thrilled to be able to show them the beauty that is West Fork. We made our way to the special rock that I like to end my hike with...and headed back to end our journey with lunch out in Clarkdale at SuCasa...my most favoritest Mexican restaurant.

It was a fantastic day for sure, and a perfect way to start a busy week. My head is spinning with the amount of things I am trying to squeeze into this week. All of the things I am looking forward to are things that are going to be quite fun...it just happens to be that there are a few other things going on that are not so fun...which is throwing me off my game. As it the fact that I can not quite remember that hiking West Fork requires me to walk in the creek...which means if I wear my Chaco's all the nice soft sand gets right in between the straps and the tender parts of my outer pinkie toes and rubs up some pretty impressive blisters.


Although, I had to giggle at myself at Monday night yoga last night with my two toes all wrapped up (it's a little painful to wear shoes without band-aids...and I was actually quite chilled all day yesterday and desperately needed to wear socks) So...a little self confidence and a giggle...a pretty great way to start the week, as is a great hike, fantastic company and the sweet reward of the perfect lunch out with the girls.

Yes indeed.

05 June 2009

On The Road...

To Zion:

Hurtling through space and time to reach distant destinations. Or at least Utah...Zion specifically. I have no idea what route we took, I only learned through deep discussions in the truck that we would have to somehow get around the large obstacle that The Grand Canyon presents.

Look-out Pull-off...see the beginning of The Grand Canyon stuck in the middle of the ground there?

Why they haven't made a superhighway crossing right through the middle of it, I'll never know (tee-hee)

Rich sweetly posed for a pictures for me...

Good Rich.

And then not so sweetly...

Silly Rich.

Fro Zion:

Stopping at
Lee's Ferry...where the different rafting companies put in for the river trips down the Colorado River and through The Grand Canyon...totally great place I might add. Amy and I immediately ran to the water and stuck our toes in and remarked on the gentle waves lapping at our feet...and the slightly fishy smell that kind of made us feel as if we were at the ocean.

Amy walking on the beach at Lee's Ferry...

And then finally stopping at some rather amazing and fun rock formations that just sort of popped up out of nowhere all of a sudden...

Yeah...a bit blown out (drat the sun!!) but notice how I framed the mountains in the little crack in the rock?!?!
I know.
Totally creative, eh?

I would love to take the time to wrap up any thoughts about the trip...but words are sort of escaping me at the moment. In short Zion was amazing...and in long? Well. I think you've kind of been seeing that this week. Do I want to go back? You betcha. I think Zion and I have some unfinished business we need to wrap up...and now Bryce Canyon is calling my name. Until then, I'm sticking a little closer to home this weekend and making a run up to West Fork...

So, I can mini-shred instead.

04 June 2009

My Two Favorite Zion Hikes...

Look at me drag the entire Zion trip out! I tell you, it's a gift. My current goal is to drag the blogging out longer than the actual trip (much like the time I visited Italy and Prague?)

Bear with me though...because there's some pretty awesome photos of me being the ultimate Dork Park Guide...it will be well worth your while.

Total dork picture #1...
but at least my hair still looks good...making me think that this picture was shot earlier in the trip...

See? It's already good stuff!!

(photo by Amy)

One of the hikes that I really wanted to take while in Zion was The Virgin Narrows. This hike leads you through the narrow-ish slot canyons all while walking and sometimes swimming in the Virgin River. It is absolutely amazing back there...evidenced by the insane crowds that flock to this particular site. There were several people more prepared for the intensely cold water than us, whom rented water gear.

We were tough though.

For about 15 minutes.

The Virgin Narrows...and look at all those people!!

After you get use to the initial shock of the temperature of the water, I found that if you stayed in the water you're better off than if you get in and then out. I am a very a slow goer because of some weird issues I have with running water, but you'll be happy to know by the end of this hike I was just finding my walking rhythm and was much aided by the help of one of Tom's Leki Poles (Thanks Tom) Rich's feet about froze off...and he decided to turn back. It was also thundering and some storm clouds were moving in. Whatever. It was downstream so I wasn't worried...but, we all ended up turning around much sooner than I wanted to.

Which means that I definitely want to return and do that hike. And I'm not talking 15 minutes here...I'm talking a couple of hours in to really get the full feel of the whole thing.

The other hike that I was really dying to do was the hike to Angel's Landing. It's some absurd hike that leads you right out onto some crazy rocks via a natural bridge and something called Walter's Wiggles. Since we're early risers, we beat a lot of the crowds and heat...and started up the mountain. Luckily most of the trail was concreted so that we could climb up the path with more traction. Which served us well, seeing as Amy and I noticed we were both hunched over the insanely steep path and found ourselves almost parallel to the ground at one point. That was the worst point of the entire hike for either of us as a matter of fact...and we were under the sweet delusion that it was Walter's Wiggles. After getting our breath back, we scoffed at the absurdity that was Walter's Wiggles!!
(scoff scoff)
(various patting of backs)

Rich on the Angel's Landing hike before he turned around.

Rich was actually feeling poorly and had decided it would be best if he turned around a bit before we ascended this part of the trail though...I thought it was rather wise of him, as I was kind of questioning myself quietly using my "inside your head voice" about me finishing out this hike. I really didn't want to see Rich go and almost went back down with him...but I really wanted to see if I could make this hike. Besides, he waved me on. I have an intense fear of heights (add that to the fear list as well...nothing like conquering a few fears on vacation, eh?) and I wanted to see if I could push past it and make it to at least Scout's Landing?

Corridor of coolness...

After the crazy hot strenuous part of the path, we came into this long corridor of shade and water and green. It was seriously like heaven...and we'd already done the "worst" part...Walter's Wiggles Right?

Amy at the middleish part of Walter's Wiggles

Of course not.

Because we're morons.

We finally turn a corner at the end of this corridor and I stop to look up and almost fall over due to vertigo and the insane steepness of the Wiggles (not to be confused with The Wiggles)

We immediately coined
the phrase. "Oh you'll know when you get to Walter's Wiggles!" we're big into coining phrases...and I'm sure we'll be in T-shirt production soon. As it was, this little ditty gave us enough energy that we giggled our way right up the intense and steep switch backs of Walter's Wiggles...that led us right up to Scout's Landing.

Me...descending Walter's Wiggles and giving the traditional hiker Jazz Hands...
(photo by Amy)

Scout's Landing happened to be my last stopping point. The trail actually keeps going on...via some serious ups and downs that require you more often than naught, to hold onto a chain railing that has been put up just for the purpose to slow your descent lest you plummet right over the edge of the mountain itself say if you were to get enough momentum up and going (you should see how sweaty my hands are just typing about it right now) My Keen sandals were just fine...I'm thinking that perhaps it was the gal in the Keens that was a little too nervous to take the last few remaining steps to get to the landing...I mean, after all...there is a part that you must walk across a natural bridge formation with 1,800 ft. drop offs on either side.


Amy went on ahead, exclaiming the whole time that it was just a set of sandstone stairs (yeah right. With the slope of them heading towards the outer part of the mountain and over a cliff...) and I sat in the shade awaiting her return. I was going to do some serious meditating and get in touch with my inner whatever...but with the sheer amount of people that were walking by, coupled with the Invasive, yet much cuter (than the squirrels) Park Chipmunks...I decided to just sit and observe instead.

Yeah. That's me...pointing out the awesome view.
If you look out to your Left...please notice the insane drop off...
photo by Amy and one of the only one's I have of me up there because she used her camera and I can not explain to people how to use mine apparently...and we missed some shots. Damn.)

It was totally awesome up there. I got very close to the edge at points and did not once feel afraid, which both amazed and delighted me (I'm honestly having sweatier hands now than when I was up there and I already know I got back OK...sheesh!) We were both totally proud of ourselves and practically skipped down the trail. Honestly...we were jumping around and outright laughing at points.

Amy at Scout's Landing.

And down we went...to get back to Rich and Tom, and to also get Rich back to camp so he could rest and we could go for a celebratory trip of postcard buying and iced mocha drinking...

I can't tell you how proud I am of myself. I realize that I didn't DO the whole hike to the end...but the place I did get to was just enough. I totally did it.

And we totally shredded.

Oh yes we did.


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