30 September 2009

Mostly Wordless Wednesday...

(Cats eating. The blob on the left is Hermes. The blob on the right is Mena...I'm the blob that is typing this.)


In the form of two kitties who have now known each other a full week...eating within ear and eye shot of each other. An enjoyable task that is suppose to comfort them when they think back on sharing the experience (according to the "How to Introduce a New Cat Into the Household" websites)

Eating = Full Bellies = Good Times

Eating Near Each Other With No Bloodshed = Full Bellies = Good Times = That New Cat Might Not Be So Bad After All = Who Knew?

Today there was face to face right straight up nose to nose sniffing with only one hiss...Well, one from Meena, and one from me when I realized I didn't have the camera handy as it would have made a darned cute photo.

Tonight we will all have access to each other...everyone will have the freedom to roam the house as they see fit. I of course, will be sleeping...but perhaps with one ear (and possibly and eye) open in case there is any protesting in the form of meows or growls.

Slow Progress = Good Progress

(Equal Signs = Whatever Word Problems You Want To Make Up = Obvious Math Whiz)
(in your own mind, which is sometimes just better)

29 September 2009


I just got verbally attacked by a telemarketer at work.


Yes. This has happened before.

The first time it happened, the lady quickly called me back to tell me that I was rude, after I politely said, "No thank you...I'm not interested" to her inquiry about credit cards, which I do not take in the shop, and then got all sorts of upset that I might be being a little too uppity because I own a Resale Clothing store and it's not like I sell Gucci, and then quickly hung up on me...when it just so happens that I have most certainly sold Gucci.

Yes it was real and yes, it was resale.

It can be both you know.

But try explaining that to a telemarketer.

Today, my telemarketer called right back as well. He apparently was upset after he totally butchered both my name and the name of the company he's calling to represent, in a very heavy accent, that I had caught on to the fact that he was trying to sell me something and probably wasn't some long lost friend that hadn't been in touch for years, so instead of listening to his health pitch, or credit card machine pitches I politely said, "No thank you. I'm not interested"

I was doing him a favor.
I was saving him some time from someone who is actually not interested in what he is selling.

::ring ring::

"Snap Snap"

"ummm...yes Sadrillaish? You obviously don't understand English!"

"I beg your pardon? I most certainly do!"

"No you don't!"

"Yes huh..."

and so on and so forth until he hung up on me.

I'm itching to *69 this guy and interrupt his workday...or continue this juvenile argument...or talk to his supervisor...or let him know that I do indeed understand English and that perhaps a better use of his time would be to try to get rid of his ridiculous accent by taking some elocution classes (how's that for English?) instead of harassing potential clientele.

I ask you, why all the crazy?

Surely this was not the first time someone hung up the phone on this man today.

Surely it is not legal to call businesses and harass the owners..

I mean, unless you know them personally and can at the very least, pronounce their name correctly.

Now I am afraid to answer the phone.

(photo credit)

28 September 2009

Stars...And Stars...

* Ooof *

Does anyone else feel like this?

I feel disoriented and I have no idea why...too much stress and not enough sleep? Perhaps. I am finding that I stress about the silliest things...little worries nagging me from the back of my mind...finding their way in when I'm supposed to be sleeping...or working out. It's kind of crazy...maybe I got hit by a truck and I don't remember...that happens with head injuries doesn't it? I would like to snap my fingers and make it all go away instead.

This weekend was a bit of a whirlwind. But only a bit...

*I'm still introducing the kitties to each other. They have had face to face time, but I am thinking after Mena didn't get off her perch on the couch (she perches on the back of the couch during the summer, even though she has the loveliest down cushions in front of the window...I think it has something to do with the cross breeze) to even sniff Hermes in his carrier this morning, it may be time for supervised visits...with no one restricted. ie: Two kitties wandering around the upstairs of their own free will. With lots of praise and petting for good behavior (Siblings...I tell you)

*There was another fantasy photo shoot on Saturday...which started with elaborate set-up (for a few hours) then a group for the actual shoot. Which went quite well, although I may have been a little stressed...I did see the shots this morning and am giddy with excitement! I can't wait to see the finished edits for this project...which will be posted in conjunction with Ms. Vanessa's Halloween Party on Saturday, October 17th. (the list of participants for this year's party is in the left sidebar...there are so many revelers!!) I could probably write an entire post on exactly what goes into these shoots...in fact, I might. So, stay tuned...

PS a very special shout out to everyone who showed up on Saturday to help with this shoot. I had an idea for a party that I needed several participants for this time...and everyone showed up with their fun attitudes, good humor, and fantastic costumes! I feel immense gratitude for the amount of support I have in my creative world here...how many people that leap forward and want to help with these shoots. It's very humbling and exciting all in the breath.

*Sunday surprised me with a text in the morning that my friend Kate was in town and going to the park with the girls, and if I wasn't busy to come over and play...So, I headed over to swing, rock climb, and sit in the grass (thank heavens I always carry a picnic blanket with me for just these situations) and eat cupcakes in the park before going home and having both her and Megan over later that afternoon...in between errands and sitting and staring at the wall.

All in all...a lovely weekend, with just the right amount of creativity, rest, food, friends, fun and kitty stress...

25 September 2009


(I know it looks like he's blowing a bubble...but he is just talking to me...greeting me as he wanders room to room...)

I performed the ole switch-a-roo tonight after work...

I placed Mena in the bathroom and opened the door to Hermes "safe room" He stood there and looked at me confused...and this is coming from a cat that has been trying to get out of his safe room since sometime after he realized he was in a house again.

But tentatively he wandered out...looking for Mena.

When I put her in his room, he walked back to the door to see her.

He's done it several times now...

I want to think it's because he's concerned about her and wants meet her and wants to be her kitty friend...but for now, we're still moving slowly.

Cheers from the home front of tentative.

24 September 2009

The New Arrival...

Don't worry...you're not that out of the loop. I didn't know there was going to be a new arrival either, until about 6:27 pm on Monday evening, while I was sitting in my car getting ready to pull out of my driveway to Ms. Dina's house.

Although, I should have probably expected it.

(the new kitty)

After my mother opened her latest store, there have been tales of a sweet kitty...who was most probably abandoned behind it (there are a bank of apartments there, and we're thinking his owners moved and left him) She kept telling me about this sweet kitty who someone was feeding, and how every time he saw her, he meowed and then answered her questions with a meow as well.

He was living in a dilapidated shed on the property and my mother kept reassuring him that help was on its way and it wouldn't be long.

But, I kind of knew it was going to be me.


A good friend who is on the board of Miss Kittie's Cat House ended up befriending him (along with the nice unemployed lady who was using bits of her own money to feed this guy) so she could nab him and take him to the vet to be checked out. If everything came back ok, and he was neutered, no one had a place for him, so he would be placed back into the ally.


I can't stand that sort of thing.

And, since I'm an only cat household at the moment (although, Mena has had her share of siblings in the past) and my studio has a glass door...I raised my hand.

He could come and live with me.

I am now the proud mama of a 13.28lb baby boy...well 2-5 years old baby boy.

I've named him Hermes.

(kitties checking each other out through the glass)

So, there's been a lot of mutual interest with a glass door in between the two cats for the last few days, with me doing double feeding, watering, and litter box duty. Not to mention a lot of reassuring to everyone and lots of affection and pets.

It was also explained to me that if it didn't work out between Meena and the new kitty that I would be considered a foster mom only...and we were all on pins and needles until he was rescued and his test results came back all OK

(he's perfectly fine, but has a bit of tartar on his back teeth, which accounts for the big gap in them predicting his age)

(he loves the petting)

I'm a jumble of nerves and emotions right now.

I have to tell you though, receiving this boy filled a hole in my heart that I didn't even know was there.

I'm also not sure if any of us have gotten a good night's sleep since Tuesday.

I am determined to try to be as slow as possible for both of these kitties, so that it will work out the best for everyone. It is so hard not to grab this guy and have him in our lives right away...but I'm not sure this would be good for Mena. Hermes is very sweet, affectionate, and mellow (Mena has been the only one to meow and hiss so far...through the glass) but try explaining that to another cat.

We've put off face to face in the same room introductions for the time being...and although Hermes has been a great sport, I think he may be getting bored.

It's the confused look he gets on his face when I leave him in this little room all by himself, you know.

Today was the day that I grabbed on of Mena's beds and put it in his room, and brought out the carrier he was in when I got him.

I'm letting them get use to each others scents.

Hermes is happily laying on Mena's bed in his room.

Mena is cautiously smelling and climbing into his carrier...then hopping back up onto my lap for pets.

When I petted her and loved all over her...and gave her a big squeeze she let out a, "mrrrow!"

This happened several times in a row.

She's become a kitty accordion with her displeasure...
Almost a cat bagpipe if you will.

I guess there is no real perfect way of introducing a new kitty into a household with an already established cat...but I'm giving it a whirl.

A slow whirl.

Tomorrow I will put Mena in his room and let him roam around the upstairs for a few hours...

I think Sunday will be the day that these two are finally in the same room together.

Wish me luck.

(and yes. I had to change the spelling of Mena's name. My mother recently informed me that the numerology on this spelling is more positive...)

23 September 2009

Modular Organization...

(The Mountainsmith 2 modular cubes and hauler...just about the size of a sock monkey!!)

I thrive on organization.

Stop laughing.

I do.

I just don't necessarily apply it to every area of my life. But darn it...there's something about organization that turns me on (it probably has a lot to do with my having a Virgo Moon) I also attribute my insane love for small spaces (like airplane bathrooms and Airstreams) to organization...You have to be organized in a small space after all.

After the impromptu clean out of the basement...I found myself putting the camping gear within easier reach. Camping is something I am doing with more frequency...and something I want to do with even greater frequency in the future...so the camping gear is all within easy reach now.

Upon a recent trip to Manzanita Outdoors, I was pointed towards some Mountainsmith modular cubes.

Perfect for traveling.
Perfect for camping.
Perfect if organization turns you on.

I bought the two pack of cubes with the hauler so I could better organize and then grab and go...and transferred all my kitchen gear to the two bags. Not only did everything fit...but, I have room to grow.

Plus? I was keeping all of my kitchen gear in a vintage Eddie Bauer wicker picnic basket...and I was beginning to leave pieces of wicker all around...Which is a fantastic thing if you're lost in a forest and want to avoid a witch that lives in a gingerbread house...of course, I would LOVE to meet a witch that lived in a gingerbread house.

Um, where was I?

Oh yes. I am more organized now.

And wicker-piece free.

22 September 2009

Fall Equinox...

This Season:

Waking up to a new crispness in the air.

Looking forward to the leaves changing colors.

Planning on baking pumpkin muffins...and more delicious treats and gladly spending more time in the kitchen with an apron on.

Excited about picking out and carving a pumpkin and the scooping and roasting of its seeds.

Unpacking and changing out the Fall and Winter clothing for the Summer clothing.

Happily turning on the fireplace for the first time tonight...and enjoying a roaring electric fire.

Enjoying my new candle holder that I picked up out of the creek bed in Beaver Creek...I was totally inspired by the shape of the rock and had to bring it back home...And in celebration of the Fall season, I lit a special candle tonight.

I knew the rock would be just the perfect shape to hold a candle.

I was right.

Cheers to the eventual slowing down part of the year...and the many surprises it brings.

Happy Fall

21 September 2009

For Future Garlic Breath...

Saturday Night found me doing such things as this:

I lead a very exciting life full of social activities.

OK...usually I do, but this weekend was a lot more about quality relaxation, and oddly...organization.

It was also about separating and peeling a rather large jar of organic garlic my mother had given me...and then preserving the fresh cloves in olive oil.

So I can have garlic breath this winter.

Garlic breath is very important to a foodie such as myself...and you can bet I munched on several cloves while I was doing all the peeling (I couldn't help it, everything smelled so good and besides, they are a great snack while watching Austin Powers and peeling peeling peeling...who knew?) The entire house, as well as my hands smelled divine...although my thumbs are a little sore (from all the peeling technique and whatnot)

I also found myself craving Italian food...but I'm pretty sure that's to be expected after an adventure such as this one...and by Sunday morning, I had an entirely filled jar of peeled cloves in oil.

Don't worry.
I didn't stay up all night peeling...I put it aside and went to bed and got crackin' on Sunday morning when I woke up.
(there's no rest for the weary...and garlic cracks a mean whip!)

Garlic also acts to me like spinach does to Popeye.

After I got done peeling the mass of cloves and cleaning up the piles of peels that had whisped themselves around the house...I wandered down into the basement to look for something specific and emerged a couple of hours later with a much more organized basement.

I know.
(there may also have been a bit of procrastination due to another ongoing project, but we won't mention that.)

There were many trips up and down the stairs, taking old boxes to the recycle can, as well as piles of things loaded into the car to be taken to Snap Snap and my mother's shops to be sold. I have no idea what precipitated such a thing...only that I've been watching a lot of Clean Sweep lately...but I think it was me stepping over and around boxes and cords that finally made me stand there with my hands on my hips only to say, "This place is a mess!"

It was one time too many of saying such a thing...and really, don't you ever get tired of hearing yourself talk?

So, as we speak, the basement is more organized...camping equipment all easy to get to and in one spot, all the holiday decorations in another spot and in their various color coordinated bins...cozied in next to my fancy china (I figured holidays and entertaining kind of go together) Honey was filled to the brim with a load of goodness to sell...and there's still a pile to donate. It is not done down there, as I still need to go through the tools, the linens, and the Christmas things...and I was thinking rather brazenly, that I would love to sew up some more curtains to hide things behind and make it look more cohesive and like a room down there...

My basement is very cozy after all.

And darned near clean...And looks much bigger than it did.

It's such a great space, I could probably move my studio down there if I had to...Of course, I did kill one black widow and rescue a skink (there was a shriek when I discovered it in a box of stuff...I was also talking to Rich at the time on the phone. He may be deaf.) So, there are a few critters to attend to...but all in all...

The garlic worked it's fragrant magic and makes me wonder what is possible after some pesto and pasta?

18 September 2009

I May Be Getting Deported...

I just wanted to let you all know that I don't know how much longer I will be able to blog in this space...

Remember when I finally sent off my Passport Application? How proud we all were that after almost TWO years, I'd finally managed to fill out the paperwork, get pictures, write a check for the fee...and have them all in one place so I could put them in an envelope and mail them? Well...earlier this week I got a letter from The United Department of State National Passport Center.

Apparently, they're having a problem with my Passport Application.

They go on to state in their letter that there is a discrepancy between the data written on my current passport application and the data shown on my previous passport...and that I either need to send in a current valid passport (even though they already stated they have my passport...and another thing, if it was actually a current passport why would I be applying for another one in the first place?) or a valid birth certificate...and if I didn't respond to this letter within 90 days they would mail all my "evidence" back to me in an envelope.


I stood here in complete shock and can't for the life of me figure out what I did wrong when I filled out the paperwork in the first place...I actually found myself getting a little scared about the whole thing
(my mind goes interesting places...come with me if you will)

As I jammed home to get my valid birth certificate, even though I could have been late to open the shop, I became more edgy about sending my birth certificate off at all...I mean, what do I know what I filled out on this application, and why the heck it doesn't match my current passport? And what if they get this big pile of important personal stuff and start putting white out all over it and change things around?

I immediately called Rich and told him that he was pretty much going to have to marry me to keep me in the country so I wouldn't be deported:

Me: "Rich. There's something wrong with all that passport business that I just sent off not too long ago, and I think you're pretty much going to have to marry me so I won't be deported..."

Rich: "Oh...well, people that do that don't usually have good results you know"

Me: "Yeah. But...you actually like me! Hold on. Are you telling me that you wouldn't marry me to keep me in the country?"

Rich: "Well...I suppose if we had an iron clad pre-nup..."

Me: "You know...this is all very shocking because really all I wanted to do was renew my outdated passport so I could go visit Amy in Hungary via Italy, Spain, and Greece next year! It's all very selfless on my part you know..."

Rich: "Wait. Where are you going to get all that money and time off?"

Me: "Well...we'll be married by then and you can pay for it. Obviously."

Rich: "Hmmmm...actually, weren't you already married once? And wasn't that person a United States citizen?"

Me: "How should I know? Up until this morning I thought I was a United States citizen."

Rich: "I'm hanging up now."

Me: "Oh my gosh...I'm going to be like that Jerrard Depardu character in that movie, where he marries that girl to stay in the USA only they fall in love and whatnot and it was all tragic and made me cry? Although, I wish I had a great accent like he did because I'm sure then it would be much easier for someone to fall in love with me and then I could get married for the right reasons, although probably having an accent would make it harder to prove my US citizenship...and you don't think my nose is that big do you? How did that movie go anyway?"

Rich: "Seriously? I'm hanging up now"

So. I guess I need to plan a wedding now.

On top of all the other things I have to do? It just doesn't seem fair, and I just don't know if I have the time...what by securing a lawyer to draw up a pre-nup and shopping for a nice diamond ring...I don't know when I'll find the time. Then again, perhaps I should consider taking a class to learn how to fill out paperwork and we wouldn't be in this mess (because I didn't think it was all that hard when I was doing it. And to think...I used to be so on top of things)

Besides...I don't even know where they would deport me to.

I'm from here.

So, I pretty much figure that since I don't have a passport, and I'm actually from the United States, that I'm going to end up like that character in that Tom Hanks movie (honestly? I have watched all these movies and just because I can't remember the titles doesn't mean I didn't like them...you'll have to excuse me, I have a lot to worry about...I am potentially being deported for heavens sake...) and will have to live in an airport for the rest of my life.

And I have food allergies people.

Only I hope they don't send me to the Phoenix Airport, because it's not very nice or exciting...I would rather request LA or NewYork...of course I may not be in a position to request this at all...

I guess I'll have to wait until I either get my new passport in the mail, or I get an envelope full of my "evidence" mailed back to me...

...Or handed to me by Immigration.

17 September 2009


Last night at The Raven Cafe...

At a small reunion and catch-up wine date, it struck me again...during all the conversation...and the inevitable laughter and tears that follow such things...how lucky I am to have the people in my life that I call my friends.

The intimate sharing of stories...deepening and firming our connections...the way we weave and create our lives together and apart. The things we've done...the things were doing now. I've often found myself at a loss for words when someone asks me the question, "what's new?" Because even if there are major happenings afoot I've found that in the little in between moments is where all the growth and stories come from...It's hard to try to put those things into words with some people, yet last night over dinner and wine...these two eloquent ladies drew stories and conclusions from me, and they generously expressed such things about themselves and their journeys.

There was no trying to impress anyone or prove anything by talking yourself up...it was comfortable. There was only opening up to share yourself...who you are in every changing moment,who you have been in the past...and how that is affecting your future. It was like a sigh for fresh air after having held your breath for so long...Sharing stories and sometimes secrets with each other that we'd been holding on to for so long...

I realize being trusted with such things is a great honor, and it seemingly comes with no other price than being called friend...sitting and listening, sharing...laughing.

Each person sitting at the table brought their own unique way of communicating...because as I sit and think about last night, I sometimes I'm left feeling as if I had not asked the "right" questions and I am worried that I didn't listen well enough...but I know that whoever I am was in those moments is perfectly fine with each of these ladies...the combination of who we are compliments each other...and I don't have to feel uncomfortable with who I am...and I was not trying to be anything other than myself.

And it wasn't just the wine talking...although it could be my age...but I'm thinking it was feeling comfortable in the company.

Thank you ladies...for giving me the moment to relax and the moment to sigh...for holding the space to be myself.

16 September 2009

Mostly Wordless Wednesday...


This weekend as part of our camping trip was a side trip to Sedona and Tlaquepaque...

And margaritas!

(both of which I was forced to drink because DaNece's was too strong...and we didn't think to compare it with mine, which was not as strong...because honestly? If you've already finished one margarita and think the second one is too strong...well, you can imagine how strong the second one was.)

(just sayin)

(It also made me wonder why hers was stronger than mine? Was she cuter to the bartender or was it simply the luck of the pour?)

(alcohol seems to bring out my insecure side)

(It also made that thunder/lightning/hail/rain storm a lot more fun when we went back to camp!)

15 September 2009

Camping and Brewing...

Coffee is an important part of my morning ritual.

Without it, I would kill myself and everyone around me.


Not so much since I switched to half decaf half regular (I'm also not as "helpful" and "planny" as I once was...which is either age or caffeine...I'm not sure) and having a hot cuppa in my hand while starting out my day camping is just as fun as it is when I am at home...only it's a little harder without electricity and whatnot.

I think I have it perfected now though.

On the trip to Zion earlier this year, I brought my Bodum coffee press (some people rolled their eyes, but not so much when I set a piping hot cuppa down before them in record time upon waking up...) but the coffee press is glass, so I felt a little nervous about that fact, because I was worried about it breaking. I think I solved this problem though. While visiting Manzanita Outdoor here in town, I ran across a coffee mug with a built in press! I love how mostly compact the whole system is (and would be if I had a smaller container to boil water in...Rich does, so no worries there as he's generous with his camping things)

Upon waking in the morning, I boiled water with in my granite ware coffee pot (and I have all the matching dishes for camping as well) on my little Bluet stove (that I think I inherited from my X's grandmother...the fuel ran out this time, so I need to figure out an alternate plan for next time) and then poured it into the mug over the pre-measured coffee grounds (I had put the right amount into little Ziploc bags while packing food for the trip) then, put the lit with the press on...wait approximately 4 minutes, then press slowly...


And the great thing is, the mug comes with the press lid and a regular lid (I guess in case you're near already made hot drinks or tea) and the press lid has 2 holes in the top...one to drink out of, and one to give extra ventilation...which is also big enough to pour cream and sugar into if you need such things with your coffee.

I happen to always bring Silk Soy Cream with me when I have coffee...as that's what I also use at home, and it's just a little closer to real cream.

This way everyone stays happy and alive while camping...

14 September 2009

Camping In Pictures...

Beaver Creek Arizona.

Early morning breakfasts consisting of red and yellow potatoes, purple onions, an orange and green bell pepper, a banana pepper, and bacon...fried with olive oil and salt and pepper...with fresh pressed coffee and Chai tea for accompaniment.

We camped at a National Forest site...where there were other people camped around us, and the nicest camp hosts I've actually ever met. It was a great place to start our solo camping trips indeed...we both wanted a successful trip in which to dip our camping toes.

One evening as we were sitting finishing up dinner with smores we heard the little boy from the camp next to us say, "Mom? What's a wet dream?" DaNece and I stifled our laughter as we both fell off our chairs.

We did not hear the reply.

The tents all set up in our site...we incidentally had to set them up in the dark by the time we got to our site on Friday night. This was both DaNece and I's first time setting our tents up. She's met her tent before and was borrowing it for the weekend, but this was my tent's first time out of the box...I recently bought my tent on Geartrade.com. (a lot of wonderful outdoor gear at very very deep discounts indeed!) It is a 3-person North Face Rock 32 and it is an amazing tent! It is very roomy, with two vestibules for extra gear, lot's of net for ventilation, and easy peasy to set up (even if it's your first time doing it without instructions in the dark.) It is also light enough for me to take backpacking (which is the main reason I grabbed it) and water proof to boot!!

I had a chance to test out the water bit during an impromptu rain and hail storm on Saturday...I sat in the tent and watched the water that was running under my tent make the floors ripple and twist...but really, only a few drops got in, and I lost a vestibule (my fault for not staking it well enough) Only Lola was really traumatized (although, she did great for the rest of the trip...) I was giggling from all the rain, hail, ad the lightning and thunder that was all around us as I held the sides of my tent!

Hiking the first day consisted of a lot of rock hopping up Beaver Creek.

We would have loved to have walked in the creek more...but true to this part of Arizona, the rocks are mighty slimy and hard to get a foot hold on.

Local bark at our end spot on the trail.

There were spiderwebs stretched and crossing most of the creek...we found ourselves with mouth fulls of the silk several times...I was betting we were going to be mostly cocooned by the time we returned to camp.

Someone was trying to eat a prickly pear and didn't get very far...but they left a vibrant and beautiful seed trail behind.

The small purple flowers that grow in the red red dirt of the area that climb along side the creek.

DaNece, Lola, and I.

We're forming our own scouting group for our misadventures which will no doubt be famous...

At the end of our hiking adventures on Saturday Lola scared some of the local wildlife while DaNece and I were waist deep in a huge blackberry brier. I heard this rustle behind me, but didn't think too much of it...DaNece had turned around to look to see what it was and when her face turned a shade of white that I'd never seen, along with a horrified expression all while saying,

"it's a...it's a...it's a..."

in a rather high pitch...I decided it would be wise for me to grab her and pick my knees up and run us out of the brier...shrieking the whole time. (I later told her that I was trying to judge if I could throw her down and outrun her, because then at least I knew I would be safe...Lola, the fearless dog was totally nonplussed however...and just stood there rolling her eyes at us, probably trying to figure out what all the screaming was about)

When we were far enough away from the rustling DaNece informed me that apparently we were being followed by a rather LARGE gray snake.

We did not pause to take pictures.

About as ripe as the berries got...

All the ones I tasted were very sour, and the area is just crawling with the blackberries, so that was sad.

I did scratch the heck out of my legs while running from the snake though...so I did take some blackberry souvenirs home with me, just not the kind I can make into pie.

The river ran red after the storm.

It was an incredible camping trip...and I so needed to get away. I have so many projects stacked up ready and waiting for my attention, and I had totally lost my inspiration...I was tired and needed a break.

That's just what I got.

A relaxing and fun filled adventure weekend...reminding me how much I love to camp and hike. There was a lot of talk about backpacking in the future...also something that I've been wanting to do...and now I have a couple of willing participants to have misadventures with!

11 September 2009

Off We Go...

Did I mention the all the camping that will be going on this weekend?

Because that's on the agenda...even though the trip was planned since last week, it kind of snuck up on me.

  • New tent. check.
  • Water. check.
  • Sleeping bag. check.
  • Butane curling iron. check.
  • Collapsible kitchen sink. check.
  • Coffee/tea press and mug combo. check.
  • Mascara, pressed face powder and sunscreen. check.
  • Camera and hat. check.
  • Marshmallows, chocolate and graham crackers. check.
Not to mention the millions of other little things that go into a camping trip (that seem to result in a rather daunting pile of "stuff") ...and leaving Meena under the care of a trusted pet sitter.

I'm ready.

Ready for a change of scenery...the chance to get away. Hike. See and play in water...get a new perspective...find some inspiration...be with nature...

You know?

The usual camping whatnot.

See you soon...

10 September 2009

The Daily Grind...

You'll be happy to know that as I raced out of the house this morning, I was only lagging behind my estimated time of departure by 10 minutes. Not so shabby...There were some extra things I wanted to squeeze into my morning after all, and I thought I could shave some time off of something else to catch me right up...

Only when I drove up the street to drop off the car before I hoofed it around downtown...It looked mighty deserted for this time of morning.

Which is exactly when I happened to glance down at the clock in the car and noticed that I had run out of Foolsewoode an hour early.

Because I don't know how to tell time?
(also, the clock in the kitchen has stopped owing to the run down batteries, so I thought I was sort of on time...and the clock in the car is set ahead to some amount of minutes...which is a hoot, because I don't remember how fast it is, and I never know what time it is really...)

Which means, technically I gained an hour.
(Or 50 minutes as the case was.)

Which hardly ever happens.

So...I made my way to Cuppers to see Megan and drop off some maternity clothes for her...which also means that I was able to sit down, drink my coffee and read...


Honestly. I almost didn't know what to do with myself with all that extra time...and probably could have stood around flapping my arms the whole time...and although it crossed my mind to do just that my arms are sore from going to yoga last night, so I decided arm flapping was out for the morning.

It's strange, but I'm not sure if I was comfortable with the extra time...and it's making me a bit nervous even writing about it. I kept racking my brain for ways to fill it up with some task...feeling the need to become productive, even though I'm still a little fatigued from the flu a couple of weeks ago...but there is a voice in my head telling me that's not an excuse and I need to press on instead.

The fact of the matter is, before I left the house this morning, I accomplished more than I normally do...which is why I was so surprised that I was actually early. Maybe the universe was giving me time to pause as a reward for something.

But, when did the need to rest become a reward? Why is it that I feel as if I have to earn the right to make time to sit down or play? When did that become the norm instead of making that the focus of the day?

(photo of coffee house in Winslow that was unfortunately closed when I was there visiting)

09 September 2009

Mostly Wordless Wednesday...

Hidden Windows...

There's something about them.

Much like walking through my neighborhood at dusk...peering into people's well lit homes. It's fascinating.

But not in a creepy stalker sort of way...

Just seeking glimpses into people's lives as they go about their tasks.

But hidden windows and doors evoke a more romantic notion...a curiosity. Which probably explains why I love the story The Secret Garden, and why I have read it again and again...or why I love pictures that show some sort of a path...Something small to ignite my creativity...

Leading me to wonder about the story behind such things...

Hidden windows, doors...and paths leading to somewhere...

Behind those things and in those things, the possibilities for magic is endless...the fulfillment of every dream and wish might just be around the next corner...

If only you had the key.

08 September 2009


...Goes the top hat.


Some one's sat on your hat!


Only not really.

Because...this just happens to be a collapsible top hat.

Otherwise. Well, let's just say...I would not be happy. Mostly because sitting on a hat will tend to ruin it...unless cheek imprints and flatness is something that you look for in head wear.

I do not.

As it is, collapsible top hats are not as easy to find as one would think...this little beauty came from my mother's new shop (she gave me a heads up as it were) My new top hat is not in perfect condition, the brim is a little worn and tattered and needs a bit of TLC, but I am confident that I can fix it all up...

It was worth it.

For the rarity value...and for the fantastic *POP* sound the hat makes after you collapse it, and then take it back to its original top hat form (Not to mention the storage values of a hat that goes flat) It's not the biggest hat however, and sits a bit precariously perched upon my head...but I just couldn't not add it to my collection...besides, the shape of this particular fully popped top hat is dramatically perfect in every way. There's even a little bit of a rakish curve adding to the shape...swoon.

You may have guessed that I've collapsed it a couple of times, and then taken it with both hands and dramatically flung it away from my body...


It was flat...now it's a top hat.
(it really hardly ever gets old...and the element of surprise is there every time. I am starting to remind myself of Buddy in Elf, when he's testing the Jack-in-the-boxes...really. It's the little things)

There may have been a cane involved as well.

...and some high kicks.

And jazz hands.

(sometimes head ware like this brings out an inner Chorus Line Girl...I also may have tried to pull a cat out of the hat...but my cat was none to happy about that...So if *POP* = Top Hat then Cat In Hat = Scratch...just in case you were wondering how to work out that equation. )

04 September 2009

How Very Cushiony..

Before having Foolsewoode coated with a new coat of paint...or three...I realized that the current color of the patio table and wicker furniture would be sorely mismatched with the new color scheme. I planned on remedying that by painting it all the Sun Dried Tomato color (because red is my very favoritest) and that's when my contractor called and sweetly offered to use up the rest of the cream paint in his sprayer and do it for me...because he overheard me talking about painting the furniture.

It took about 5 seconds for me to become unattached to the color I originally picked and let him go for it...I figured instead I would just replace the chair cushion with something more matchy-matchy and it would be fine.

I was right.

The cream color is lighter and prettier than I expected...and I just happened to stumble across the perfect cushions the other day at the thrift.

May I introduce you to:

Oh...um, hello there Meena.

Did you know I just walked out here to do a photo shoot of the very cushion you're sitting on?


Oh...well, could you be a love and move please?


Right then.

Could you at least give me your attention and smile for the camera and stop being so aloof by looking over my shoulder?

(yes, I know that black spot under your nose kind of makes you look like you have a perma grump face...and it's hard to truly capture your smile)

(Yes. I also know that acting aloof is the primary mood for a cat)




As you can see...the cushion colors are so very complimentary to what is going on with the scheme of things now at Foolsewoode...and the pattern is...well, what you can see of it, stripey in a nice way...kind of making a square striped pattern...

Did I mention they were quilted too?

At least we can see by the indentation that the fluffy kitty body is making...that the new cushions are soft and cushy...and really perfect for any one's rump.

That is, if you don't feel guilty about ejecting a furry kitty to sit.


Have a glorious weekend.

I may just spend it seated on the wicker ottoman...the hard part? The one without the cushion? Maybe my pathetic look will elicit some sympathy and I can enjoy my new cushion...

Or at the very least, share it?


You're right.

Probably not.

03 September 2009

The Word Vacationing...

Is something that is being flippantly tossed around by a lot of my friends...seeing as this is a three-day-weekend and all. People are fleeing their normal lives and opting for new scenery.

I am not.

Not to say that I couldn't, but sometimes when you own your own business, it's hard to away during holiday weekends. For one, they are busy and fun...and for the other? I often can't remember from year to year when it is exactly I close the shop...I know I do for the Major Holidays (because yes, there is a distinction) but for the other ones, I can't remember (which is why I'm writing notes in the margins of my accounting book so that I can remember for next year.)

(It's also the reason I'm not going anywhere exotic this three-day-weekend)

But, I kind of almost did not too long ago.

I realized a Route 66 dream of sorts, and found myself gleefully skipping around The LaPosada in Winslow Arizona. The LaPosada was one of the most luxurious hotels along Route 66, that was also a Harvy Hotel (which is what the El Tovar is at The Grand Canyon) and somewhere I'd been itching to visit ever since a friend of my mother's told us how lovely the hotel was.

While I wandered around the fully restored and beautiful hotel and grounds, I learned that the woman who owned this hotel thought the Harvey Girl uniforms were too drab...so she made them applique cactus and Southwest designs on their aprons...making it the most decorated hotel uniforms.

Isn't that a hoot?

I would have loved to meet this woman...

I also wonder what it would have been like to be a woman who owned a hotel way back then?

Personally, I think that would have been quite an achievement, as well as being a bit rare.

The whole time I wandered around the hotel, I kept wondering what it would be like to stay there? It's almost impossible not to while you're walking around there. I also happen to love to stay in hotels. I always have...which is exactly why I never watch those exposes on TV about hotels...it would just ruin it for me.

I also don't watch the ones about magic tricks being revealed.

Who wants to live in a world without magic?

After wandering up the terracotta spiral staircase...I spied someone very familiar in the mirror at the top...


So, perhaps it's almost like I'm staying there?

At least I'm standing still...and we can totally prove that I was there.

I think perhaps someday I will go back and stay at The LaPosada.

I think this would perhaps be a very romantic adventure indeed.

Until then...I will be spending Labor Day laboring...and dreaming of vacationing.

01 September 2009

Confetti Spaghetti...

I offer you...last night's light, yet substantial fare...and something I named Confetti Spaghetti...because of all the multi-colored (red, yellow, orange, purple) cherry tomatoes (I figured that was kind of obvious, but I didn't want to confuse anyone.) Surprisingly, this really was the perfect mix of heaviness stick-to-your-ribs pasta made light because of the toppings:

*Organic angel hair pasta (regular wheat...I could have gotten spelt, but it was a little more expensive, ahem...and I could have made my own, but I'm not Italian. OK...I totally have a pasta maker...but I've only just gotten well forheavensake)
*Organic lactose-friendly garlic and spice butter (from our local farmers market...the perfect mix of salt, garlic, sage, and rosemary)
*A huge hand full of organic cherry tomatoes (some from the farmers market and some from Megan's garden...that were staging a walk-out if I didn't immediately create something to put them in) some sliced, some just thrown right in for fun...
*Parmesan cheese sprinkled on top (also not organic, and dairy based...it was what was on hand...and I haven't found a really good Parmesan substitute yet, and it's aged, so that's a little easier on the system. So is the lactose pills I have on hand)

It was a delightful and filling dinner...with enough left over for a lunch this week. This is cooking for ones greatest and worst gifts. I can not figure out for the life of me how to perfectly do one portion...but, that usually means left-overs for lunch.

It was also delightful to get in the kitchen and cook for myself, and I felt right at home. Of course, it's my kitchen so this only makes sense...And after all, this is one of the greatest things about being ill and getting well...one can really appreciate feeling good enough to do every day tasks with renewed inspiration.

And what better way that to celebrate with edible confetti?!?!

Of course, I suppose I kind of missed the boat...if I would have remained tiny with an illness...perhaps someone would have taken pity on me and cooked. Well...I haven't cleaned my house yet...if any one feels the need for pity helpfulness, I wouldn't complain.

Heck, I might even cook for you.


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