Monday, February 28, 2011
The clouds lifted today. The canyon more visible and rich with color.
Parading it self, showing it's amazing beauty, a new white coat.
Me only making up for time...now, without billions of years to look too, I hated to miss another minute, another day.
I hiked an 8 mile hike today in Sedona, amongst the red rocks and climbing to peaks and overhangs, stretching in the the saddle with the sun shining on my face.
Beautiful and rewarding.
This Grand Canyon still filling my mind, my body and that quiet place inside....
I do not like snow. My beautiful blog mate Miss Becky, does not like snow. However, there are times when something magical just happens and you can not deny it's inevitable beauty. I have been at the Grand Canyon after a snow, pretty but, very cold. There was something special happening this weekend as I walked to the rim completely covered in precious white flakes, The soft quiet that comes in it's collection at your feet and amongst the trees. There was excitement and laughter, bundling layers of clothing and wanting too. We walked along the rim for more than an hour and then back again at the end of the day. It never stopped and there was even a small twinge of happiness at the thought of possibly being snowed in for another day. Can you even imagine, snowed in at the Grand Canyon. I crossed my fingers, all rational thought given way to childish pleasures.
So this weekend I attended a seminar at the Grand Canyon for Coordinators and Field Guides. My first. There is something very special about the the dedication of these people. Tough and yet many are soft spoken, like they are giving reverence to to their passion of what they do, and they are passionate about it. Many took took risks to be here. Braving a ferocious snow storm, while roads and all major highways were being shut down as they traveled their way to the Grand Canyon.
Sitting there in this nearly 100 year old community building, I realized this was a room full of extraordinary people. Some have written books about this timeless place, there were archaeologists, scientist, geologist, botanists, historians, story tellers and a man who has been leading the mule trains for 30 years.
I was in that room. Watching a snow storm that seemed to be the most beautiful I had ever seen, listening to the most interesting people I have ever met. Me...sitting there...only yards from the rim of one of the worlds biggest wonders. I am amazed and full.
Charlie's creator is a retired City of Prescott employee
A former neighbor who would walk his dog Sam (short for Samantha) past my home, stop for a chat and be on his way
A soft spoken man
Who feared the unexplored land of retirement
Until he took a leap of faith
and walked away from years of routine, bullshit and doing what he was told
You see underneath Charlies' everyday guy exterior
Is the Soul and talents of an artist
I saw it the first time we met
the artist that is...
He takes metal
and a welder
The Lovely Lizard in the picture is made from an old file
and discarded scraps
I found it on my steps after work one day
No clue as to whom had left this offering
All who enter my home must first pass by Charlie
He's my guardian
My soft spoken friend
Charlie's retirement was his True Birthday
The day he allowed who he was
I cherish his gift.
Thank You Charlie!
Sunday, February 27, 2011
Snowmen are cute if they're made out of fluffy felt
And as I wake up this morning to the predicted blanket of snow (and it's continuing to fall) I am trying with all my might to convince myself that in a few days it WILL be up to almost 60 degrees
That Spring IS on it's way
That we DO need the moisture to keep the summer's wildfires away
That my infant tulips and daffodils are rejoicing
That "this too shall pass"
But in the meantime the broom and shovel are sitting there waiting for hands to guide them through the chore of clearing the frickin' white stuff off the deck and sidewalk.
blah, blah, blah, blah.....
I know, there ARE worse things
MUCH worse thing
MUCH, MUCH worse things
Just can't think of 'em right now.....
Saturday, February 26, 2011
I shall follow my blogmates lead today
and begin this day with a sunset
A sacred time
A blessing of sorts
Father Sun tucking us in for the evening
Making way for Mother Moon
If you listen very closely....
you can hear the muffled "whoosh" of Angel's wings
as they brush their brilliance into the darkening sky
Mingles with the sunset
I do believe sunsets are God saying....
"I'll leave the light on for you"
Friday, February 25, 2011
Some have heard it said that in Arizona the sunsets are brilliant, the most spectacular of all places. I want to say that the skies here are really beyond any tour guided happen stance. Some times they are on fire. Brilliantly. They spark deepness, they make your imagination imagine, things thought impossible. I have stood in watch with amazing wonder of the things that could be, the places out there in the world waiting for my viewing. I have seen islands in the skies, the ocean it's self on fire with the low lying of the sun. Can you imagine that the sun could move, encircle the earth with such passion. Could you imagine the colors, they are truly colors of a western sky. The Amber's, the pinks and salmons against the blue grayness of a western sky. I live here, inside my heart. A paintbrush of thought and mind, inspired by a sun against a mountain desert.
The rolling pin came in a cooking set I got from Santa over 50 years ago
I remember standing on a stool so I could reach the counter top and "help" Mom roll out sugar cookies
Playing grown up
Following Mom's lead
Cuz that's what kids do!
The wooden blocks also are remnants of a long-ago childhood
Glued them all together a few years ago
On a whim
Just seemed like the thing to do
Block & Roll Baby!!
Thursday, February 24, 2011
My Mother is a tiny "slip" of a woman
Always has been
Barely big enough to register on a scale
She's famous for her desserts
Did I mention she's a sugar-a-holic?
Can consume a whole pie in on sitting
She Still weighs 90 pounds soaking wet
I have come to believe she bakes just to send things home with people so they will be fatter then she is
(the piece missing was my lunch)
So my daughter has posted this picture of her and her brothers onto her Facebook page. I had to laugh when I saw it amongst many other childhood photos.
So many things about this photo are different now. The brown carpet fad is over, that quilt has been gone a long time, I no longer save newspaper for the fireplace and I am actually a better housekeeper now. These three beauties no longer live in the same household and they are well into their 20's now. Christopher (Christo), my oldest (red shirt) no longer sucks his thumb and has a little less hair now. Nicholas (opposite side) whom you met a few days ago no longer pulls his sister's hair and has grown a goutier. Michael (pookie), my daughter (Facebook poster) has grown up to love her brothers and look to them for advice, a second mother of sorts when it's required. She loves her brothers. They are very close. Though distance is beginning to seep into the spaces between, they all talk often and make plans to see one another. Pep talks and answers to solving the world play out through cell phone lines and Internet lines, airlines. Whatever we did, I guess we did it right. They will always support and care for each other no matter what, I know this, even when we are gone, they will gather. They will always give anything needed to each other, they are family, they are bonded, they are siblings and that counts. I like knowing that, I like knowing it all counted...
Wednesday, February 23, 2011
In 2001 I made a choice that changed my life forever
I became self employed
The Internet opened a virtual door that sparked my imagination
expanded the reach of my skills
and the unthinkable notion that I could work from home
I had NO clue what I was doing ;-)
10 years later I'm still doin' it! ;-)
Was it difficult?
A financial roller coaster ride?
Longer work weeks then punchin' a time clock?
Did I have to supplement my income with other part time jobs from time to time?
YES to all the above!
Is it worth it?
I've written material and provided voice-overs for "virtual" employers via the Internet in Washington DC, Florida, Michigan, New York, Arizona, England and many other locations that I'd have to look up to remember.
And...a few long-time local clients that are the true life-blood of my business.
Who'd have thunk???
It's been a journey well worth taking
A journey that could abruptly end the moment you decide you can't deal with another change, another lost client or another piece of equipment that takes a dump when your bank account is at zero.
"Just Do It" becomes your mantra
and you Get "Er Done as best you can
And you keep moving forward
Because you love it
Because you're good at it
Because your "nobody is the boss of me" attitude gets in the way when try to work a "real job" :-)
And at the end of a day when you got up at 5 AM and you finally shut off the computer and recording equipment at 9 PM, and you wonder why you keep doing this...
Someone stops you the next day and says..
"Hey, I called the airport shuttle place in Prescott the other day to book a reservation and your voice was on the phone directory message machine! It was good to hear your voice!"
Then I think..
Yeah, this is a pretty sweet gig!
Tuesday, February 22, 2011
Let's go back to 1996
I was preparing to move to Arizona
Began to dig through a lifetime of "stuff"
Some got sold
More got taken to the thrift stores
But at the top of my list was.....
To toss every piece of ugly melmac and corningware I had ever owned!
I wanted Fiestaware!
A different color for every day of the week!
The Speigel catalog was the only place I could find them
I splurged and reveled in my extravagance!!
Viva La Arizona
Here I come Fiestaware and all
Fast forward to 2011
In the years that have stumbled by I've learned that
Some choices are worth the extravagance
Even after all these years.
Life is like a stack of multi-colored Fiestaware
Ya never know what color yer gonna' get
This is the boy, (my middle son)...AKA Nicholas, you can call him Nick if you are a friend or you work with him, Bonzo if you were around when he was born. Whatever you call him, you might want to include the word "cool" or "generous", maybe "kind" or "loving"; "patience" is a really good one if you happen to be his mother. Sometimes he is different people on different days, today he is "in charge", driving his mom to the Verizon store...to help her out...need I say more?
Monday, February 21, 2011
This morning as I headed to the trail head for my run and tug with Ellie, I came up over a small rise that over looks the Willow Lake and Granite Dells area. I see it every day. Every day it is different. This morning I was amazed as I always am; by Mother Nature.
If you look closely you can see the low laying clouds resting in the valley between the beautiful red rock formations.
In person, to see it in movement seemed like a reminder, the absolute drama of civilization verses the universe. We are so small really, she, so much larger, so much wiser, so much older. She knows that we won't always be here, that she always will. Long after we are gone. So she takes care, still nurturing her land, pushing the clouds into valleys hoping someone will take pause and notice...
The wall next to my desk holds this..
It's a shadow, or memory box
A sort of mini hanging display case
The letter with the red text is a letter my Great-Great-Great Grandfather wrote to my Great-Grandmother in 1896
The envelope in the upper left corner is the envelope in was in
My Grandma gave this letter to me many years ago
The penmanship is an art in itself with curls and swirls that puts my sloppy handwriting to shame
And red ink!
Hmmm... quite dashing and outgoing for its day
Mailed from G-G-G Grandfather's home in Long Pine, Nebraska
An oasis of pines and trout filled springs surround by a virtual sea of prairie grass and millions of acres of wide open plains.
Mailed to a town in Iowa where my Great Grandmother was either visiting or living, not sure
He writes of chickens, the need for rain, choke cherry pickings and wishes of good health for all who see the letter.
Sharing space with the letter are other pieces and parts of family history
Another letter written by my Grandpa to my Dad & Mom from the hospital in Omaha where he was being treated for his newly diagnosed bone cancer, dated November 1975
We would lose him in August 1976
A decorative pin my Grandma received as a high school graduation gift
A name bracelet that belonged to my Dad
My Mom's wedding ring and a golden basketball that once was strung on a chain and given to her the night she was crowned "Basketball Queen" in high school
My other Grandma's rouge box still half full of a bright red rouge paste
And a picture of an exotic bird she cut off of a baking soda box many, many years ago
A pair of Onyx earrings
A locket with a picture of Dad on 1 side and my little brother Joe on the other
Nothing anyone would notice
But I hang it close to the space I occupy most, on a daily basis
We are who we are
Because of those who came before us
I take the good that came of that
Hang it behind glass
Release the not so good that came of that
Scatter it to the winds
Spirit lives in my house
In a glass case
Close to me
Sunday, February 20, 2011
I am trying desperately to escape the winter drearies.
So I have decided to look to my favorite place in the house for inspiration...my personal bathroom.
Yep...that's what I said, my bathroom.
I love my quiet time in there. Where else can you get rid of waste and be cleansed, renewed, beautified, calmed with total escape and relaxation and baptize yourself in bubbles? Miss Becky shares this space too with her lovely gifts of joy.
Have you ever taken a hot soak with the light hearted scent of lavender and hydrangea? Miss Becky has and knows my secret addiction to the tub. She shared her secret with me and it is like lying naked in summer, floating amongst the sweet Fields of scented flowers.
Isn't that the other great thing...being naked!
In addition to all of that she also knows my love of the southwest and the very textual art of it.
This wonderful print hangs where I can see it when I walk in and when I am lying in the tub. Somehow in all the craziness this wonderful pic bring me some hope and reminds of the things I love...reminds me of friends.
Hi - Ho Kermit The Frog here!
I had to leap off my Lily Pad and respond to BLT's last blog
Now I sympathize with your winter blues, not much of a fan myself being cold blooded and all
... but PleeZE, there are worse things then a bit of cold and snow!
Try being green for a day and you'll know what I'm talking about!
It ain't easy!!!!
Green clashes with everything and I don't ever get a decent tan!
St. Patrick's Day is the only time green is "in"
and even then ... people think I'm a Leprechan
Now if you're a famous Gecko with a English (or is it Australian) accent you can get away with being green
but me .... not so lucky
Clouds blow away!
Spring WILL arrive!
And you live in Arizona for pete's sake!
How bad can it be?????
Get over yourself!
You could be GREEN!!!!!!!
Saturday, February 19, 2011
This is "Ellie".
I have mentioned her before...she is my son's dog.
Though she and I have become friends, good friends.
Somehow she is making me see the world different, well that and the "age" thing...they both have taught me patience.
The winters are hard for me, I am a sunshine everyday kind of woman. The gray, cloudy, sunless and dreary days are sometimes hard to see through.
But then there are these moments, Ellie's innocent excitement over snow. She has no idea that winter is supposed to be awful. I don't want her to know that it is...so I watch her, take snap shots of her youth and smile, excitedly; forgetting that it is snowing...
Friday, February 18, 2011
Hello? Anybody out there?
Communicating...geez that's a big word! It involves so much more than it used to, we used to just pick up the phone or write a letter and wait excitedly by the mail box. We do still have mail boxes...right?
We are seldom without contact, and when we are in contact we are completely consumed by it. Have you ever left a "status" message on your face book and not gotten a single reply? We FREAK OUT! What the hell! So we post another just to see if anybody is home, actually alive and paying attention to US! Cell phones? Oh my gosh!...God forbid it should be out of service...how will anyone know....how will they find me...what will I do if I can't check my phone every 10 minutes to see if I have a text, a voice message, email, twitter or facebook? There must be someone somewhere who needs to communicated with me in some way.
I must be available 24/7! OMG the Internet just went down! Crap I am starting to hyperventilate! Can't breathe and I am feeling nauseous....
GIVE ME A BREAK!!!
Thursday, February 17, 2011
This is "Norm".
Named after the "norm" setting on the air conditioner dial.
We have had many adventures together.
Sometimes he insists on taking a break. Damn, that just really gets me bent sometimes. You know what he does...ya, right...he brakes down!
So far he hasn't cost me a lot of money, just a lot of time.
He is solid though, made of metal. Takes a lickin and keeps on tickin. I get really excited when he tells me to kick it into 4 wheel drive!
The best thing about Norm...he brings me freedom. Gets me into all those places I want to go and then some.
He doesn't even mind when we road trip it and I am singing at the top of my lungs to Tom Waits or Keb Mo.
He knows I can't sing but, he likes the road as much as I do and the wind blowin past us.
I knew a woman once, she was in her 90's...she said the hardest and most difficult thing to ever happen to her in her lifetime was when they took her licence and car away...she was 87 when that happened...I hope I am that old and am aware enough to feel the same way.
Wednesday, February 16, 2011
So this is not a photo taken today. Most certainly not! I am in the mountains of Prescott hidden by buildings and trees and wind and clouds and...myself.
But I have chosen this saved photo because of two friends...high school friends. One of which I have reconnected with because of facebook and the other happens to be the father of my oldest son. Yep...we're friends...and I love that.
In a brief message chat Dennis (old boyfriend) through out the name "Arizona Amy", I said I like that and my girlfriend Patty said she liked it too...the three of us together again on the same page, still connected. Living very different lives and scattered across the country, still coming up with nick names, still seeing the persons inside. Not so different, the same teenagers, still rebelling in some, more honest way. It brought me pause but, kept me here. I love my Arizona, there is no other place for me, I love that they are still in my life and they still know who I am...
Interesting tidbit...I am going to listen to an author who is a writer of Arizona, loves this land too. Next week I am at the Grand Canyon for two days listening to a seminar on the key points and info of GC. AZ is such a powerful place! I can hardly wait...
Decided to begin the day with a blog instead of ending the day with a blog
Got out my trusty old camera and decided to get a snapshot of the dawn
Clouds this morning
No brilliant flash of sun
Peaceful transition from dark to cloud muffled light
Sat down at my computer
Loaded the "quiet" picture
Was ready to post
Then looked up and out the window
The entire landscape had changed!
From quiet to magnificent
Such is life
All in an instant
When you least expect it
Don't forget to look up from the ho-hum of the day
There may be a Yee-Haw waitin' for ya!!!!
Tuesday, February 15, 2011
Until I moved to the Southwest I had no idea what the image above was.
It's a grinding stone used by the Native Americans called a matate.
The small stone is called a mano, used to crush the grain.
The picture doesn't show it well but the larger stone, matate, is worn in the middle.
An indention perfectly formed by tens of thousands grinding motions made by the mano while in the hands of most likely a female doing her daily chore of making corn meal to feed a husband, children, father, mother or perhaps for a celebration.
This particular matat and mano is by the front steps of our home and we have many scattered through out the property. EVERYONE that lives in our tiny mountain community has them scattered here and there in their homes and yards.
They lie lonely, forgotten, abandoned and most times partially buried in the rock and rubble of what was once their native home.
Hundreds have been found here and I'm sure hundreds more are out there.
A place I now call home.
A place that first was their home.
A simple tool that sustained the lives of thousands.
I touch the stones and can still feel the energies of those who touched them before me.
I believe life travels in circles.
We always end up back where we started.
Much like the stones that ground the corn, that made the meal that fed thousands.
It reminds me to mind my manners.
Respect my elders.
For the day will come when my circle will be complete
And I want the center to be filled with all things good
So when the person who feels my energy touches the things I have touched
They will smile
And do the same.
This is my beast...
He has enlightened, frustrated, scared, made me laugh, cry, be inspired, wonder and is a fabulous conversationalist.
Oh yes, we talk and he knows everything. Literally. If you look closely you can see the "know it all" in his green and sometimes gold eyes. He knows most things about most people...and animals. He got smarts. Ya know...
He has more than once found himself in compromising positions. He never speaks of them but, has gratefully come running home after a few days of independence. Not one complaint or attention getting "meow"; he knows who fills his bowl, who loves him anyway. Even after coming home smelling of perfume, alcohol and cigarettes. I just say "thank you for coming home", hug him, kiss his furry face and tell him "you stink". Men have come and gone (think what you want) but, this crazy being has stuck around for eleven years. Watched our children grow and move out, shared holidays, celebrations, moves, end of relationships (you know how that goes) and even deaths. He is my buddy, my big fuzzy babino. We both give, we both take. He greets me at the door, I let him in.
When I brought him home it was under a very simple agreement...he only had to do two things...clean the cat box and make coffee in the morning, I thought it was a very fair exchange. He still looks at me like I am crazy to think such things could happen and says "NO". I roll my eyes and fill his bowls.
After all these years...guess I will just stick with it, it works. Guess we got this thing goin on and I like it...
Monday, February 14, 2011
Admittedly I really struggled with this whole Valentine's day stuff. One would think this would be easy whether you have a Bo or children, maybe loyal and loving pets, but there just was nothing until...a friend gave me some chocolates. Now even though I love all of the above and they have each given me great joy and there is no "Bo" at this time (blah) to share some romantic "whatever" (you can fill in the blank here), I realized there is always chocolate. The one good ole stand by that gets us through everything...so tonight my friends I dedicate St. Valentine's Day to chocolate.
Chocolate...I LOVE YOU!!!
Sunday, February 13, 2011
An unplanned trip to meet up with a Harley-Ridin Texan Soul Sister took us once again off our mountain and into the Arizona desert today.
Between the never-never land of Bumble Bee and Cordes a beacon stands.
A turning, churning, pumping lifeline
Ancient and worn
Feeding two equally ancient and worn tanks
A water buffet!
So cold it makes your teeth hurt to dip your hands under the surface
So clear that every morsel of brilliant green "plant things" that grow on the bottom of the stock tanks gently wave "hi" as you peer into the depths of the peaceful pool of freshly pumped spring water
(Note here... as a Nebraska farm girl we called these "plant things" seaweed. obviously not the correct name but HEY, it was as close to seaweed as we ever thought we'd come!)
I'll add that since this was desert the temp was in the 70s, it was dusty and we'd been bumping along on a dirt road for the best part of 2 1/2 hours on this fine day, so to pull off the road and indulge in a few nostolgic windmill moments was a more then welcome treat.
Who could have resisted touching the cold fresh water that slowly dripped out of the overflowing tank?
AND the "rudder" of the windmill declared the manufacturer was from Beatrice, Nebraska.
Home always finds you.........
I belong to a poetry performance and writing group called the "MAD Women Poets", a group that has been around now for quite some time. There are many of us now and it is always a joy when we can all come together. Today three of us performed each of our individual pieces, all about "love". We are certainly three peas in a pod and I find this particular pod to be of the sweetest and most pleasing flavor. We all agree. Mary Bragg to the left of me is one of the founders and certainly a dear and inspiring woman and friend. A true, constant friend who I swear saved my life once. To my right is Grace Deer, whom has been reading with us now for quite a while, she is a beautiful mix of Native American heritage and the sweet gritty clay of this Arizona land we all call home. They are both fabulous writers with deep insight to both passion and compassion. I love them dearly. We have well merged spirits, our webs connecting and I thank them for being in my life.
Saturday, February 12, 2011
Just Another Day In The Bradshaw Mountains
A Marvelous Day To Start Up The Jeep & go 4-WHEELIN'!
OK, so what do you get your favorite guy for his birthday?
Well, first you gather all the ingredients..........
an '84 CJ-7 built like a tank and ready to roll
2 awesome friends from Alaska with a hefty Army surplus Chevy Blazer
3 very spoiled dogs
Let's throw in a 60 degree not-a-cloud-in-the-sky day
No wind ... BONUS!!
Combine all the above & add to...
30 miles of wild wicked rocky mountain roads
Through cactus and brush
Mountain streams and forest shade
Ditch snow for the dogs to roll in
Brake for burgers and fries in a small mom n' pop cafe
Watch the sun fade away as skies turn pink
As a most excellent day fades to a most excellent night
Boots off - Feet up
Happy Birthday David!
This is a photo of LOVE...
Homemade bread kneaded and baked by friendly LOVING hands.
As seen in the first photo...
The second photo is true devotion to such LOVE.
As I am about to dedicate myself, whole HEARTILY...
To completely devouring every morsel, completely...
...with all my LOVE!
Friday, February 11, 2011
There are those of us who dare to dreamThose of us who dream and remember
Some dream and wonder of meaning
Some dare to push forward and make it so
Because of those who create the dream
There are those who are inspired and compelled
I knew a man once, who dare to create his dream
Each one, one at a time, failing and refocusing on the creation
He dreamed of love and marriage, of unity
He dreamed of having children and passing on his inspirations
He dreamed of being the artist he knew existed in him
He dreamed of building a gallery that would hold a lifetime of admiration
He dreamed for others, that they would share in his good fortune
He dreams still, of the things he will do next, beyond our comprehension
Tonight I salute him, my friend, builder of dreams, for never hesitating
And I wonder if he saw the dream of himself that I did…
A quote from a book of short stories I’m reading
“My mother works her rugs the old way.
She knows to keep her designs open so not to weave her Spirit in.”
From “Tight Places” by Ruth I. Kern
Women Writers of the Southwest - Walking the Twilight
I tried for an hour to write something wise and meaningful to compliment this quote.
Nothing seemed to fit
Then it came to me
It’s already complete
Adding to it would only weave the thought together too closely
And that would defeat the whole purpose wouldn’t it?