31 December 2009

Farewell 2009...

Well, here we are.  On a whole other Eve of a New Year.

With a full moon and Lunar Eclipse to add to the magic of leaving the old parts of yourself and your life that are no longer working for you behind...and jumping in with gusto to whatever it is that you truly desire.

I'm an Aries.

We jump in with gusto a lot.

Which is not to be confused with jumping into gumbo...which is may also be good, just in a whole different way.

I have one thing to say to 2009 as we part our ways:

Dear 2009,

You were a challenging year bringing a lot of growth.  I'm not saying that all my growth is over, but really?  Did it have to be so intense?  Maybe it did.  Maybe that's the only way I get things.  Kicking and screaming.  During this year, I was left feeling as though I was scrabbling a lot all while having no clue what the heck was going on and what was going to happen and what I was possibly supposed to do about all of it...but in the end?  I'm still here.  Still here to pick myself up, dust myself off, and live another day.

No matter how crazy things got, I found new happy surprises around a lot of corners...things I wasn't expecting in the least (and kind of wished I could have clung onto longer before the rushing rapids of your water flung me farther down shore...feeling like I was without a raft, I might add)  I pushed myself farther than I thought possible through relationships, business, emotions, and creativity.  I broke through some doors with incredible force, waltzed through others with a light step, and sat down sometimes in protest before I was picked up and forcefully moved along...and  still, I watched as other doors were gladly opened to me and then again while other doors closed while I was standing helplessly by not being able to effect them at all, and then watching the key be flung into the river of life and swirl away.

Bittersweet 2009.
Very bittersweet indeed.

But at the very end of this year, in the eleventh hour...I was once again reminded of all the magic.  Which put a smile on my face.

I know I'm fine tuning all that is me...

But seriously 2009?

Don't let the door hit you on the way out.

Yours truly,


I raise a glass to toast with each and every one of you...I encourage you to write all the things down that you would like to leave in the old year and burn it under the moon at midnight...and open your arms to all the magic that you will create in 2010...and jump into the Gumbo with all you've got.

And I thank each and every one of you for finding me here in this wide world and coming along on my journey...I appreciate it more than I have words to say.

30 December 2009

Bringing Sexy Back...

I won't bore you with the details of Christmas morning and all the gifties that were flung around my mother's home (because you all knew all I really wanted was a wii...and I got that, so...)  Christmas started out with a whole different kind of promise this year though, as I found a bottle of Pure Desire lotion in my stocking...that Santa.  He's a real flirt.  I also got some red silicone cupcake molds that my mother suggested I use as a bikini top (more or less) Yes.  Christmas was shaping up this year to be interesting indeed (we are debacherous however...so this was not a surprise)  All those things got me excited that perhaps the year 2010 is holding some promise after all...

This year my grandmother joined in the Snuggie craze...as I witnessed all over the web visiting a lot of homes this season, and in our house it was no different.

It's so nice to know you can be like everyone else.


We're never really like anyone else in my family...cause my grandmother got us Flankets.  Which are kind of like Snuggies, only super big and fluffy and soft, and they have both a pouch for you to put your feet in to keep them extra warm and a whole other one on the front of the entire contraption...which I decided right then and there that I would use to stuff the cat in, and then I can carry her around like a Kangaroo.

And judging by the picture I've snagged off the net for your enjoyment, they are so much sexier than the Snuggie...if one can figure out how to wrap them around oneself like some sort of Grecian God...and waltz around the house all warm and furry...with a cat in your pouch.  I'll bet it will also look nice with my tiara...

Also?  They might be called Slanket, but I may just have misread the packaging on Christmas morning and Slanket reminds me too much of the Will and Grace Stake It episode, so I'm going with Flanket instead.

It's my blog, I can do what I want.

Plus?  Doesn't Flanket just sound so much better?

I thought so.

Anyway, I had my doubts about the whole thing, but I didn't want to make my grandmother feel bad, so I unpacked the enormous thing and proceeded to wrap it around myself...then my mother and Rozz had discovered they each got one too...but, my mother decided that because of the size of these things if she attempted to put hers on...we wouldn't all fit in the room together.  I'm here to tell you...they are warm and cozy and I could picture myself curling up on the couch reading a book without having my arms all cold.

Me:  Ohhhh...this is nice.  I think all I'm going to do from now on is slather on my Pure Desire lotion and sit on the couch in my Flanket and play with my wii. (snicker)

Mom:  Looks at me sideways and raises one of her eyebrow...Well, then you should definitely put those heart shaped cupcake things on as well...

Me:  Perhaps I should cut a hole in the pouch?  So people can't tell about the wii thing?

Rozzilyn:  Rolling her eyes, sighing, and crossing her arms like only a child in the last moments of her 12th year can do...What is she doing?!  All while picking up her hand to point her thumb in my direction...

Mom:  She's bringing sexy back...Her and Justin Timberlake!

Which immediately had me jumping off the couch and singing Sexy Back (after all, this was a New Years Resolution at one point, and I'm not sure I've been doing all that good a job)  all while shimmying around the room (we take every opportunity we can to embarrass the pre-teens...and I take every opportunity to sing Sexy Back come to think of it...really.  I'm a natural performer.)  Sort of.  These Flankets are rather cumbersome, but I got some good arm motion going...perhaps the greatest thing about the Flankets are that they're open in the back so there's lots of room to Shake the other parts of It...

As far as all the IT parts go anyway.

Maybe they should have been called Shakents...

29 December 2009

Pal Pause...

My Pal Amy is home.


Thank heavens
(sometimes you just have to wonder how your life goes so well at all if certain people aren't a daily part of it)

I count myself lucky to have had as many close and amazing friends over the years...and a lot of them are long term to boot.  Which means we know each others stories...and we view each other through the glasses of non-aging.

That's not to say that we're not maturing...it's just saying that sometimes when we smile, we don't notice those extra little wrinkles on each other, the ones we've earned through our sheer will to live each year...Like a couple that has been together for many years, we look through those things.  Instead we choose to exclaim, "Oh!  Look how young we look!" when we see past pictures...because surely we are still there...in our minds, with huge smiles on our faces.

That's what causes those things to happen you know.



It's all the facial expressions.

(I think there's also something about loosing skin elasticity as you age, but I'm not a scientist...and I may have read that in Cosmo for a Botox ad...but whatever.  It's not like we have skin like elephants or anything...)


Because of the kind of Pals Amy and I are...we had a lot of catching up to do (cause email just doesn't catch all the subtle nuances of a life)  Which was done gladly at her house in the presence of my other family, eating, drinking and being merry...and playing Cranium.

Of course.

All that smiling creating more wrinkles and the evidence of a life well led.

28 December 2009

Christmas in Photos...


All shot on Christmas morning...

And then I entirely put the camera down.  What can I say?  There were more than a million picture taking opportunities...but it is hard to capture the truly magical Christmas it was for me in any way, unless you opened the little door to my heart and took a look in.

I have an idea of Christmas Magic in my head...and Christmas with her twists and turns and happy surprises did not disappoint this year...which kind of leaves one to sigh a lot all while looking out the window as visions of sugarplums dance right on by.

Somewhere in the midst of all that pixie dust there is a reel to reel film captured between still moments and joyful laughter, true conversation that takes both your breath away and suspends time, total surprises and things you didn't even put on your list for Santa because you didn't know how to ask...but for now?  They've pulled up a chair, put their feet up and are enjoying a cuppa while residing comfortably in my memory...I wish I could figure out a way to display that on the wall of my blog for you, but I would rather hold it very close to me right now instead.

For whatever this last year has brought, it's going out with a bang and a smile.

And some guitar Hero...

Cause' amongst all the magic that was this holiday season...Santa got my note and packed a wii into his sled with a new guitar.

So, I pretty much totally rock.

Now all I really need are some leather pants.

24 December 2009

Dear Santa...

Well, here we are on yet another eve of another Christmas (am I making you feel old yet?)  It's reminding me a bit of the John Lennon song where he sings...So this is Christmas, and what have you done?
(I am taking the opportunity to leave out the, another year older, a new one just begun...just in case anyone is feeling any kind of pressure about various and sundry life things)

Well, I have hung on through another year only to put up the tree and not come one inch close to decorating it...which is why I roll my eyes every time I walk through the living room and spy the box that houses the tree decor...of which I seem to have enough to decorate a 10 foot tree by this point...but, does anyone else feel the need to snatch up vintage ornaments just in case they become sparse in some future we have yet to see?  I mean...I just grabbed a few more bags at the thrift this morning...they'd finally put them out, on Christmas Eve just in time for their 70% off sale (classic!  Giggle)  But, don't worry...I rescued them.

All that aside...this was a rather interesting year.  Full of a lot of opportunities for growth (which is a fancy way of saying that sometimes the universe has a great sense of humor and likes to kick the proverbial butt) and in the midst of all that growing there was also a lot of happy moments...little surprises and twists and turns in the road that I would have never anticipated, and there were times when I was left throwing my hands up because I just didn't quite know what was around the next corner, but I figured that I would keep on walking...because you just never do know about these things.

And, now it's time to write my annual letter to Santa and think a tiny bit ahead about appropriate New Years Resolutions (if I want to do such things this year...we've already established that the tree wasn't decorated after all) I would like to be all sorts of altruistic and ask Santa for World peace and happiness and joy...and while I do wish for those things, I am also looking for the courage to welcome in and then live my dreams with eyes wide open, and the patience to slow down and see what is around me, and the ability to change the things I can and the smile to do it with...I would also appreciate the wisdom to know when to jump and when to stop and observe (because sometimes jumping in with both feet is more disruptive than just sitting on the side and dangling those feet over the edge)

And a Wii.

Santa, I would really like a Wii for Christmas...and while you're at it, maybe guitar hero.  Please.  If you could fit that into your sack and it wouldn't be too much trouble...Because I've been good this year (mostly)

You know?

So I can sit down and have some fun!

What are you wishing for this Christmas Season?

23 December 2009

Wordless Wednesday...

Dreams for a peaceful Holiday Season...

22 December 2009

Warning: This Movie...

Will make you squint and question your eyesight...and possibly your hearing.  Either way, you're going to get new wrinkles from squinting.

This is the warning I want on boxes of movies...I don't want a Teen warning or something about the possibility of bad language and nudity...I want a warning that has no numbers or logos, but one in those tiny movie rating boxes with a picture of a tiny eye-chart...for movies shot in low light.

This weekend I partook in a lot of flopping at The Airstream, which usually means comfy clothes (in the form of my Gnome Christmas lounge wear, and extra comfy socks) food (both nutritious and sugary snacks) and a lot of movies.

We caught up on quite a few flicks that we wanted to see this weekend.  I don't usually get to the theater a lot...time constraints, the fact that I like to get up and use the facilities, and usually Rich and I talk through movies...which most people find annoying in a theater when they pay $8+ to see a movie.  I find being charged $8+ for a movie annoying (plus?  In Prescott, if you laugh out loud or enjoy a movie in any other way in public...it usually causes quite a few people in the theater to turn around and look at you like you're totally insane...to them I say, "Hey!  I paid $8+ to see this movie!  I'm going to enjoy it!!  It's not my fault they don't include laugh tracks and you can't figure out what's funny...")

But this weekend was totally different talking wise, it was a lot more of, "Who was that?  What's going on?  Did you see that?  Did someone get killed?  What's going on?!?!"

These movies were shot in such low light neither of us could really see what was happening.  Rich thought it was because the current economic troubles have hit Hollywood and they have downsized their lighting casts...I thought maybe the darkness was a metaphor for the subject of the movie, and Hollywood is not confident enough that we'd get the sinisterness of what was going on.  Well Hollywood  we get the darkness of the subject, and may I make a suggestion?  Find a good scriptwriter and shoot your scenes well lit.  Good dialogue will go a heck of a long way to clue us in that a movie is sinister and dark.


And please could you, when you do shoot in good light (it was like dark scene moving to over lit scene thus wreaking havoc on the dilation of your pupils...kind of like a bad acid trip)  make sure that there's a mic on people?  Because between each scene...when we finally came out of the darkness we would look at each other and sigh with relief...only to see a gaggle of well lit characters who stood and mumbled to each other and then towards the screen.  This caused us to then scratch our heads and say, "What?  Did you hear what he said?  What did he say?  What is going on?  WHO was that??  Have you even SEEN that person?!?"  Which then made both of us edgy with trying to provide some kind of answers...either we could tell each other most of what was being said, going on...and heck no I've never seen that person...you were here, we just sat through 15 minutes of a dark scene...Rich and I kept thinking various characters had met their demise (like 5 times in one instance) which was totally insane, because neither of us had even gotten a good enough look at them to positively ID them if they were sitting next to us on the couch much less getting shot on screen.

I have never before spent more time, cleaning and then repositioning my glasses...pushing them up the bridge of my nose closer to my eyes...feeling to see if they were actually on my face or had spontaneously fallen off and I hadn't noticed, then taking them off, holding them up to the light filtering through the windows and checking to see if the glasses did indeed have the lenses in them and then putting them back on and pushing them back up the bridge of my nose...And squinting...I turned to Rich and suggested that perhaps we should turn on the closed caption option so that we'd be able to figure out what was going on.

And, did I mention the squinting?  Cause' now I'm looking for a good anti-aging creme that helps minimize the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles...My face is exhausted from 2 days of movie watching from the sheer force of holding the squinting face, and I swear I have a whole new set of wrinkles now.

I also continually tried to pop my ears, and clean them, and had to hold my body in some very awkward positions as I was continually leaning forward to catch each little sound.

And sitting through a movie desperately trying to figure out what's going on?  Makes a movie drag on a loooong time.  In case you were wondering.  It's also very confusing.  Which makes you doubt your ability to participate successfully in humanity.

If I wanted to be that confused and awkward, I'd clue in to what was going on in real life...Movie watching is supposed to be a relaxing endeavor.  Now I need a massage, a chemical peel, and an appointment with my therapist. 

Hollywood?  You've made me doubt both my sight and hearing...and aged my face considerably.  I had to pay for you to do this, and I am not happy.

I am also wondering, seeing as one of these movies was in a series what is going to happen with the next movie?  Instead of handing out 3-D glasses, are you going to give us all night vision goggles?  Because I do not want to sit in a darkened space for 2+ hours listening to dialogue...if I wanted to do that I'd get the book on tape.

21 December 2009

Winter Solstice...


(Latin sol stetit...meaning The Sun Stood Still)

The longest night of the year and the shortest day...the tree is up, and the candles are waiting to be lit...to let go of the old year and to welcome back the sun all in one breath and flame.  It's time to let go of your old skin, these things of the past year that need to be left behind...and face your new future renewed, with enthusiasm and courage...welcoming back the light.

And so the Shortest Day came and the year died
And everywhere down the centuries of the snow-white world
Came people singing, dancing,
To drive the dark away.
They lighted candles in the winter trees;
They hung their homes with evergreen;
They burned beseeching fires all night long
To keep the year alive.
And when the new year’s sunshine blazed awake
They shouted, reveling.
Through all the frosty ages you can hear them
Echoing behind us - listen!
All the long echoes, sing the same delight,
This Shortest Day,
As promise wakens in the sleeping land:
They carol, feast, give thanks,
And dearly love their friends,
And hope for peace.
And now so do we, here, now,
This year and every year.
Welcome Yule!

-Susan Cooper 

 Happy Winter Solstice...
Happy Celebrations!

18 December 2009

Happy Birthday...

As 2009 is slowly winding down I am seeing a lot in the future year of 2010.

Lot's of Big Birthday's for my group ending in 0's.

It's almost like a chain reaction and this age we're all jumping into?  Yeah.  It looked quite ancient from my 16 year old self...but peering at it from this self?  Meh. It's young.

My 16 year old self is snickering.
But what does she know?

Last night was spent welcoming such an age for one Ms. Molly.  It was also the last big bash at Kim's house, as she's going to be leaving her place soon...and onto a house that she gets to decorate solely for herself (and her wonderful children)

Happy Birthday Molly!

17 December 2009

Frosty The Orangeman...

Look what I made this morning when I was making my breakfast!

No, your eyes do not deceive you...that is, in fact, a snowman made out of oranges!

I figured with winter in full swing and the holidays right around the corner that you probably totally got that...but I thought I'd state the obvious, as I couldn't for the life of me think of anything edible to put on him for eyes, nose, buttons and a hat...I was hungry and obviously creating on the fly, but I didn't want anyone to feel bad if they couldn't figure out that those three oranges were no ordinary stack of oranges.  And then I ate him (what?  He was my breakfast...and he is a very healthy holiday snack sent to me from my family up North in California.) before I thought to get out my little flags on toothpicks and make him more patriotic.  I'm kind of regretting that now, truth be told.

Hold your applause please.
Other than assembling my Christmas cards, this may be the only thing I actually make this holiday season.

It's been grim lately.

But really, after making this I think things are definitely looking up.

Either that or I'm going to need to go somewhere very quiet soon.

15 December 2009

Hidden Store Fronts...

The day after the big hurricane/snow storm last week (the one I didn't realize the wind was 77+ mph or that we'd lost power?) when I walked down to the bank, my favorite teller Clay said,

"Did you see that the front of the building is peeling off of Prescott Antique and Craft Market?"

I hadn't up until that point see the building, and I didn't think that it was a good time to inform him that I had no idea that the storm had even been that bad by saying, "Why would that happen?!"

Also? I was having a very hard time picturing it in my head.

You see, the building in question has three separate storefronts in it, and was covered by some very tall and very ugly metal siding that was probably put on in the 1960's or thereabouts, to probably modernize the stores...and I just couldn't quite wrap my mind around anything being able to peel off.  Until I walked out side and glanced up the street.  Indeed...the whole front of the top of the building was literally buckling and peeling off...

It looked like it had melted right down.

My mother owned The Prescott Antique and Craft Market at one point, so I immediately called her...and she was having an equally difficult time picturing the peeling of the metal.  She also asked, "what does the building look like underneath?!"

Well, that's the thing.

I think it looks fantastic!

Yes the storefronts have boards nailed all over them, and yes they're filthy dirty, but look at all that exposed brick...and the Pioneer Photo sign.  I don't ever remember there being a Pioneer Photo here, but then again, I don't ever remember this building without the ugly metal siding decorating it.

We're worried that they're going to stucco over it like they do with a lot of the buildings and homes here.  I'm not sure if people think the structures look better that way, or if the rumor is true that the grout that was used with the brick in these buildings isn't holding up very well after all over time and they have to do something to keep it all together.  Then again, there are a lot of brick buildings still maintaining their integrity that are sprinkled in between the stucco.  I mean, I appreciate stucco to a point, but with all the fluctuations in temperature in our mountains, stucco is usually not the best building material.
(cause of the large cracks and the non-historical value...Like the people who stuccoed over a delightful craftsman style home right down the street from me...right over the original wood siding.  It's awful!  And ugly)

And in case anyone's listening?
I vote they wash off the brick and the rest of the building, tear off the boards, and leave it like that...

The Prescott Antique and Craft Market has recently closed, and I honestly think that they could rent the building faster this way.  Plus?  It totally looks more historical than a bunch of metal siding or stucco.

14 December 2009

Holiday Pause...

After a crazy weird week (and a few days) the trip I planned some time in advance to go visit my friend Claudine down in The Valley was a welcome escape get away.  I kind of started the weekend with Acker Music Night in Snap Snap, and while I did not enjoy the crazy crowds some of the streets do...It was a fun first year.  Larry was amazing...and has me wishing I could have live music in the shop all the time.

The next morning I was up and dashing down the hill to get an early start on a whole weekend of...well, nothing.  Claudine was amazed I was planning to be off and running so early, but there you go.  I got down there just in time to avoid the weekend of rain that washed all of our snow and ice away...and started the weekend by helping decorate Claudine's tree.  It's mighty beautiful now...which is a little more than I can say for my own tree seeing as it has not one stitch of ornament on it (I'm waiting for Rozz to come over.  Or Christmas to be over...whichever comes first)

One of the few things we planned during my journey down South was a trip to the Phoenix Zoo for their annual Holiday Zoo Lights.  This is when they decorate the zoo all up in lights and finery and you can walk around through everything...

(look out javelina..there's a wolf behind you!)

  (the plains of whatever...)

A rattle snake with a moving rattle...and a scorpion with a moving stinger.

There was also a 3-d centipede with moving legs which freaked me out to no end...I could hardly look at it.  I'm not a big fan of centipedes seeing as I live in AZ and I have found them quite a bit.  For some reason, they just make me a little edgy...I feel the same way about scorpions and rattle snakes, but these two looked a bit more festive to me.

That could have been the margarita talking however...

One of the displays that made me chuckle the most was the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man with a rather large and menacing black widow spider hanging behind him.

Seeing as the light show took place in the zoo after hours (which still makes me wonder how all the animals in residence feel about hundreds of people tromping through until 10 pm every night for a month or so) most of the light displays were of animals at the zoo.

It's been a while since I've been to the Phoenix Zoo, but if this is where the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man lives, I may have to venture back soon.
Although, I thought they pretty much annihilated him during Ghostbusters in the 80's.
(he's still looking a little peeved about that)

I think this was our favorite lighted sculpture (well, I also liked the monkeys that were swinging from the trees, but they were super hard to get a descent picture of) a 3-d peacock.


This particular display had a lot of people clamoring to get a picture with the colorful bird.  Problem is, unless you have a very specific kind of camera...there was way too much flash going on...which made most people look frightened and the peacock non-existent.  I, on the other hand...brought the Canon 10-D and true to me not knowing how to work the camera very well, just turned dials and buttons all around until the shutter sounded normal when I pointed it at something.

But, it seemed to work out pretty well.

The Zoo Lights was very fun, and I recommend you going if you're out this way...

Now, there was a heck of a lot of shopping (got all mine done...with trips to IKEA, Anthropologie and Sephora) running fun errands, strolling around, laughing, and eating going on this weekend...but one of the highlights was a total impromptu trip to Target on the way to Zoo Lights so Claudine could purchase an early gift for herself.

(again, this could have been fueled by the margarita)

We ran in...returned something and walked out 15 minutes later loaded down with bags containing a wii and Guitar Hero and a couple of other extra must haves.  I don't know anyone who has a wii and Guitar Hero, and if I do...they're not fessing up, and if they did I would probably just scoff and act superior and a bit not interested.  So, I really had no idea what the big deal is.

I do now.

Claudine made short work of setting the system up...and because she thought ahead buying and extra controller and Gibson guitar...we could play together.  Which still made me roll my eyes...because we had big plans to go eat and a make your own bloody mary bar...and here I was, totally stuck sitting on the couch playing a video game.  I'll let you in on a little secret.  I am absolutely horrible at video games.  I'm way too emotional and I gesticulate too much with my body and my hands, so I don't do well with stationary video games...but the thing about the wii is that it's totally made for people like me (and Claudine was sweet enough to let me decorate the guitars with all the stickers that came with the Gibson...isn't that nice?!?!)

Which means it was insanely fun, I did well, it was one of the best highlights of the whole weekend...We rocked it hard!  And this was before she named the band the Hey Hey Hey's and went on tour  (and my fingers are sore from all the bass playing I did)

And I am putting a wii on my list to Santa this year...
(with Guitar Hero too Santa...or The Beatles Band kit...either one would be fine.)

Although I'm going to have to figure out where to put a drum set...

But really, it would be totally worth it.


This was a great way to really ease into the rush of the holiday season for me...and now I'm ready to really enjoy myself.

11 December 2009


I love real mail...things that come through the post...something I can lay my hands on.

Who doesn't?

I have just assembled this years Christmas Cards...

It would be my pleasure to make your mail dreams come true this season.
If you would like a special post surprise...please leave me a comment on this post, with an email or your address so I can make sure you get a card.


10 December 2009

Acker Music Night...

This is my most favorite thing to do during the holidays in Arizona's Christmas City.  Acker Music Night...Which benefits music and culture in Prescott.  I have been attending the event for almost as long as it's been going on.  I love the sense of community as I walk along the cold and crowded streets of Prescott...enjoying all the hustle and bustle and joys of the season.

On Acker Night, most of the small businesses around downtown Prescott extend their hours so they can throw open their doors (figuratively mostly...it's usually pretty cold) and host live performers at each shop.  It is so cheery and wonderful and such a lovely way to both raise money and showcase all of our local talents.

In all the years I've owned Snap Snap, I've never participated in Acker Night.  Mostly because there were not a lot of businesses participating down this way, so people tended to stop at the corner and not walk further...but this year there are more participants, and I am gladly flinging open my doors (again, figuratively) and joining in the fun...

I am beyond thrilled.

My scheduled performer is Larry Aker, Megan's father (although, there has been a family emergency so I am crossing my fingers for everyone involved right now, which is taking a bit more precedence over Larry being here...I will know more very soon.)  I think Larry is such a talented performer as I have been lucky enough to hear him perform several times before this, and I am very excited for the whole evening.  I believe this is the largest participation that Acker Night has ever seen and it's so very nice to finally feel included on the business end...

So, if you're in town, come on down for leisurely stroll...

It's free...
It's fun...

And I have cookies...

08 December 2009

Waking in a Winter Wonderland...

Don't you love the pure novelty we in the West find when looking out over a snowy landscape?
We wake up...dance around clapping our hands the whole time.
 (mostly because it hardly happens anymore...and snow melts a bit quick up in these parts)

We also cancel school over a little ice on the roads and 3 inches of snow...well, maybe 5.

It's hard to tell...it was so windy last night, one of my wind chimes blew off it's stand.  It was chiming in a wild way last night due to the 50+ mph winds...and then it went CLuNk...and I thought, "hmmmm, that sounds a little weird..."  Pulled the curtains aside to peer outside and thought it was a little too cold and wet to brave hanging it back up again.

It's buried under the ice and snow now.

As is my front porch, welcome mat, and wreaths.

Due to the sounds of tires slipping on ice on the road next to Foolsewoode and the sounds of sirens in the distance, I will be walking to work today.

And enjoying every second of it.

The first thing I did when I got up this morning after turning on the heat was run out to take pictures.  I am just swooning over how beautiful Foolsewoode looks with her new colors in the snow.  I am thinking that the new colors *pop* a little more than the original white did...making my house look more cozy than before.

Which is good because according to a neighbor, we lost power from 10:30pm to 5:30am.

I missed the whole thing.

The only tell I had was my radio display in the living room is acting up...and the food in the freezer is a little softer than normal.  My clocks are on battery so I was totally clueless...this is what comes from being snuggled under flannel sheets, two feather comforters, a wool blanket, a quilt, and a warm kitty all night...

With visions of sugarplums dancing in my head.

07 December 2009

Ahhh snow. There you are...

An official welcome to winter in the form of weather this entire day...and something to last rest of today and well into the night.
(so the rumors go)

Which probably explains the rush on the supermarkets.
Soup you know.
 Well, and the misguided thought that we will all be snowed in for days to come.

We have a lot of residential implants from other places in the nation (Prescott is one of the top places to retire) that are use to much colder and snowier weather during the winter...which tends to make those people freak out.  A lot.  This takes many forms, but most often it's the form of getting into a car that is not equipped for any kind of weather...while peering over their dashboards as they descend their very steep driveways, which are also not conducive to any kind of weather other than sun...and drive crazily slip sliding around town.  It's not as bad as it used to be when I was a kid...when you would eventually dig your way out of your neighborhood after sledding and missing school for 3 days because of all the snow, and then drive slowly down the roads playing obstacle course with all the elderly people in their Cadillacs who were strewn all over the roads.

That was fun.
Like a free-for-all bumper car situation only with real grown up cars.
Or pool.

The neighborhood I grew up in was out of town...and my mother lived by the rule, "...if we can make it out of the neighborhood...we can make it anywhere in town!"  and off we'd go, to see if we could make it up the last big hill that led out of our neighborhood.  When I was in high school, this was much easier as we would just all pile into my bug...my mother driving us slowly through the icy roads.  The thing about a bug is:  They were originally made in Germany...it snows in Germany, German residents still drive Bugs, this is a good sign.  Bugs are small, making it easy to weave in and out of stalled traffic and old people standing on the side of the road scratching their heads.  Bugs are light, and you can just push them back on the road if they slide off (I know this from experience)  They're also cute for a young high school girl to drive (this has nothing to do with the snow...but I did love my Bug)

I can still judge what is happening outside when I first wake up, by the fuzzy light coming through the cracks in the curtains and the muffled sounds of no cars speeding around on the roads...I can roll over in bed and peek out the curtains and see the flurries coming down and covering our part of the world and welcome the snow with a happy sigh and a smile.

Fifteen minutes later?
I hear the gentle symphony of emergency vehicle sirens all around town rescuing the panicking hordes of people who are sure they're going to have to start chopping up furniture to keep warm and may have to eat their family pets if they don't get to the grocery.

It's strange that all these cold weather implants retain is the idea of hot food or possible starvation, but not the skill that it takes to drive on icy snow covered roads.

I welcome snow and weather with the open arms of someone who has lived in the Southwest her whole life.  It's an exciting thing...a novelty.  Here I sit, creating my life in Arizona...land of one of the only natural saguaro forests, only I'm all the way up a mile high...so we experience more seasons here than other places in Arizona.

Which I love.

And here I sit, gazing out of the windows of Snap Snap...watching the snow fall, collecting on cars...crossing my fingers for some kind of measurable accumulation...

And trying to remember how much soup I have at home in the cupboards.

04 December 2009

Handmade Holiday Solutions...

I am finding myself immersed in the swirling energy that is the Holiday Gift Giving Season...and I am noticing that I am slowing down and really giving it some thought this year.

I am almost ashamed to say that I have not made anything for anyone this holiday season...and I am going to be doing good to get my holiday cards made (I didn't even use a picture of myself this year...maybe next year)  But, I am feeling drawn to art, vintage and handmade items for gifts this year instead...

Luckily for me, with the advent of Etsy.com I can still send handmade and vintage...all while supporting other artists.

I also carry a few handmade goodies from local artists at Snap Snap.

I just got these wonderful wallets in not too long ago from a very talented seamstress gal.  The wallets are made from 99.9% reclaimed and recycled materials (Katie...the talented designer informed me that she has to buy her Velcro new however because reclaimed Velcro is kind of a mess) and the wallets are just beautiful.

They are each totally different, and sewn with such skill and precision (there are several pockets for cards, and coins...with the loveliest of stitching) and it reminds me of something I would make if I was nearly as talented of a seamstress as she is...and  I am both  honored and delighted when Katie found her way into the shop recently.  The wallets are $20 each and available now.

I also carry a line of fantastic jewelry from my dear friend Megan...which can be bought here online if you aren't close to Snap Snap this holiday season...Megan also sells her prints here, which are just as enchanting as her wearable art.

And, one of my most favoritest of jewelry artists can also be found here at her online shop Sue-Lieu's...because everyone has different jewelry styles...and I am in love with both of these ladies visions.

I also find myself swooning a lot whenever I check in to drool over the goodies at Wende's shop...Mireio.  I can almost smell her candles through the computer screen, and there's more than once when I wished for smell-o-vision while viewing her site.

And since we're on the subject, you also need to pop over to Vanessa's shop...her art and dolls and creatures are as whimsical as they are smile producing...and I seriously threaten a trip down South to give her a big hug soon...and to also get my hands on her creatures as I am usually too late to nab one for my very own...

And today, my friend Sally dropped some hilarious 2010 calendars featuring Dream Dads of Prescott...with 12 months of womans fantasies about the men in their lives (like cooking dinner, and changing diapers) including some quotes that made me giggle.  The calendars are $18 and the proceeds benefit some lovely programs for Step Up For Kids here in Prescott.

It is so amazing to have a front row seat to all the  creativity and fun that is in the world now...and it's even better to be able to snatch up a bit of the action with the click of a mouse!

Happy Holiday Shopping

If you know of anyone else that is talented beyond belief...please leave a link in the comments section so we can keep the handmade and vintage journey going this season.

02 December 2009

Tamale Pride 09...

I'm not sure why we entitled the night that way...but, that's the way it went up on Facebook, so that's the way it will stay.
(it may have something to do with the red wine and not actually eating dinner until well after 8:00)

Last night, was spent making Tamales with Kim.  I love tamales, although, I've never made them...but it was easy peasy!

Kim had the husks soaking when I got there...and had prepared a pork filling with sauce already.

She also prepared the masa
(which has a whole lot of fat that you need to add to it...which probably explains why tamales are so darned tasty)

She also filled each husk
(first a layer of masa, then pork, then 3 olives...we were rationing)

I tied each end with ties made from shredding the husks we weren't going to use.



What?  It was her kitchen and she'd made them before...I hate to muscle my way in there.  And I also shredded the pork...and after everyone watched me struggle my way through that (I don't use a knife and fork well together for some reason...honestly, it's kind of sad to watch.) perhaps everyone was scared to let me "help" more than that.

And they complimented me on my tying skills.

I'm like a retarded step-child.

Actually, Kim said not only having me there made it twice as easy...it made it FOUR times as easy.  And the conversations was nice.

So there.

We also listened to classic 80's music on the radio while the girls made art projects (her oldest had an assignment due the next day and had already made us a no bake cheesecake for dessert earlier...the younger one is just creative.  Kim is an extremely talented artist as well...so I think I may know where these girls get it from)

It was my favorite kind of evening...

And I got to take a whole bag of tamales home with me!

01 December 2009

Prepare To Decorate...

Holiday decorating at Foolsewoode has taken on epic proportions this year.  First of all, I'll let you in on a little secret.  Not only do I decorate the house for every holiday, I decorate the shop too (I'm sure this isn't that much of a secret...I mean, somebody's been doing it for the last fifteen years...) And this year, I've volunteered to help my mother do her two shops as well.

I'm actually confused as to why I did this.

I'm sure it stems from the idea that I love to decorate for the holidays.  And the fact that I will be decorating for more than the two places I usually do apparently escaped me.  I fear I shall be all Christmased out soon.  Like that could ever happen.

After all, it's me that has these vague fantasies that I will secret myself away in my house under a quilt with some sort of hot drink and watch Old Christmas Movies all of December, and be all nostalgic for a time period I wasn't even alive for.

I am picturing myself in my tiara in this vision.

And sometimes instead of a hot drink I will be draped across my couch, with a glass of wine...and wearing a pair of marabou slippers.

(ok.  Mostly with a glass of wine)

(and also?  I don't own marabou slippers...something else for the Christmas list)

Setting all tiaras and wine aside...Rozzilyn and I are some of the only very enthusiastic Christmas decorators in the family (she has her own tree...mom likes to decorate late and take down early...I use to have my own tree when I was Rozzies age...mine was a pink aluminum one.  It's almost like a preservation mechanism...cause my mother thinks we're nuts.  Although, she's very supportive because I think she took both of us to go buy our own trees)  I use to put everything up on Thanksgiving afternoon...but with the advent of Rich and I's relationship (and my eating all day on Thanksgiving interspersed with napping and movie watching...and most likely my age) I haven't decorated on Thanksgiving Day at all in a while.

Also?  I had to work this weekend...and I only got one day off this week.  Which, oddly enough was spent at The Airstream watching movies, napping and eating.


Before I went over there though, I decided that it was time to prep the house for decorating.  For some strange reason, this year that meant that I needed to do all the little crazy stuff I've been putting off doing around Foolsewoode.

First?  I had to change the light bulb in my bedroom.  It burnt out a couple of months ago (at least) and lest you think I'm totally lazy...I have no idea how to get the light fixture off to even change the bulb in the first place.

And I'm short.

And the fixture is in the middle of the room, which is also in the middle of my bed...and I can't stand on the bed and figure out how it works because I'm not 8 feet tall.

I'm not even 6 feet tall.
(again...this is where marabou heels would come in handy)

So, I grabbed my step ladder and put it in the middle of the bed and climbed up on it.  This is probably not the safest thing to do (this may also be the reason I keep falling and hitting my head) especially if you have a TempurPedic mattress...because apparently you can jump on the bed without even spilling a glass of wine that is also on the bed...because the mattress sinks down so deep?  (I personally would not want to test this...because I like to drink my wine...and not have it soak into my mattress)

Well, this also works with a step ladder.

I muscled my way up there, figured out how to take the shade down (it's a 30's light fixture my EX installed for me...and it hangs by wires from the base that is attached to the ceiling...so it's a bit tricky.  It also looks like something Madonna would wear, so I call it the boob light...short of asking my EX to come over and change my bulb, I had to get down to brass tacks and figure this thing out)  dumped the dust and dead bugs out of it, washed the shade all up, put in a new light bulb and reinstalled it.

Now there's light.
It was getting to be a bit much to go in, flip the switch and have nothing happen (and I did this at least once a day for several months) only to walk over and flip the lights I have hanging on the canopy and the light in the living room and the studio...so I could see what I was doing.

While undecorating the Thanksgiving Mantle, I finally got fed up with my lack of enthusiasm and painted the bare wood of the mantle shelf white to match everything else.  Two coats...both sides and the outside edges.  I couldn't take looking at it anymore...I mean, mostly it's covered by festive cloths I make for all the different seasons and whatnot...but I can totally see the bare wood underside while sitting on the couch, which matches nothing.

It's been a 4-year + project in the making.
(it took me 2 hours.  Sigh)

While at The store this weekend (which took more than two trips) I remembered to buy:

Water Filter Replacements.  Then I installed a water filter on the Pur faucet thing...now my water tastes better.

A new shower curtain with rust resistant brass rings...it's actually a liner (I change out my cloth shower curtains by season) and the other one was moldy.  Ick.  And this one didn't smell at all when I took it out of the package, which was a nice bonus.

I also remembered to buy batteries for my kitchen clock...which hasn't been working for months...the left overs will fit in my wireless mouse.  That also hasn't been working for months.

It's like I've been living in an abandoned house.

I couldn't bear to walk into the kitchen one more time only to look at the clock and wonder why I was either very early or very late.

I bought a new external hard drive and Rich worked on formatting it all day yesterday.  Or whatever he did to make it work.

On top of hauling various holiday boxes out of the place where they live...I have been rearranging, vacuuming and dusting...

And this is before I even had anything decorated.

On Sunday morning when I originally thought I'd be elbow deep into Christmas...I went to hang up the three fabulous reproduction glittery bottle brush wreaths on my front window (choosing the color of these could be an epic post all together) and discovered I had no thumbtacks.

Can you believe that?

Not one thumbtack to my name.

So, it was with entirely good intentions that I was forging ahead decorating...but accomplishing everything but.  Apparently like a painting, you need to prep the canvas of your home before you actually do any decorating.

Luckily, I was waiting for Rich to call me with my good-night phone call last night (which he forgot to do) and I went to bed with the Christmas Quilt washed and put on the bed (complete with fresh sheets and The Grinch doll) The mantle decorated, The tree up...lit...and fluffed, greenery hanging around the living room doorways, the vintage mistletoe hanger up in the kitchen doorway (I stand under it all day, and yet nothing happens) I'm already tired and I swear I'm only halfway through this process (and had mini panic attacks that I have too much stuff and a major resort is coming...)

At least I ran out and hung the three wreaths on the front window while in my PJ's in the freezing cold last night.

Just in time to for them to get rained on.


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