Thursday, January 19, 2006


This is Sedona- more specifically, Cathedral Rock, one of the most photographed spots in Arizona and quite possibly the country, if our Chamber of Commerce tour guide wasn't just happy to be an Arizonan. Sedona is known to be a place of great psychic energy... not that I buy into any of that, no offense if you do, but what I did find in Sedona was peace.

My mom and my sister and I sat on a butte and watched the sun go down over Sedona for an hour, perfectly content. Just before it dropped over the horizon, we found this spot:

It was just a little further upstream and I'm sure the photographer with all his fancy equipment who was standing in the stream waiting for his perfect shot didn't exactly love us sitting there next to him, but it's public property!

I'm constantly amazed, as I travel and as I look at other people's blogs who live in other parts of the country, at the diversity of our nation environmentally. We have everything... volcanos, rain forest, desert, moutains, acres and acres of forest, plains...

I need Sedona today. I've decided that I need a vacation and this may be the closest I come to vacation for a lil while. I need hot desert air on the top of a butte at sundown...

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

At It Again

I've been doing it again. Scanning ancestral pictures into the wee hours of the night and not actually sleeping like I'm supposed to be doing. I can't help. I've got the bug.

Isn't this album gorgeous? It stores the pictures of my grandmother's family. My mom remembers opening it a few times a year... this woman used to frighten her, so she didn't like

to look at the album when she was little. We don't know who this woman is, but she certainly doesn't look real friendly. There are a few tintypes at the back of the album, and I believe they are probably late 1800's, early 1900's. I don't know when they stopped making tintypes- wonder if it was less expensive, perhaps? My favorite of the pictures is this little one... literally about an inch square. These ladies.... I wonder about their stories. I wonder about how they thought about their lives. I wonder what they would think about our world now.

Outside, the wind is howling and the rain is pouring and it would be a perfect time to be in bed. Instead, my brain is buzzing with ideas. My cousin, Jean, is my biggest cheerleader at present. I think everyone should have a cheerleader. Does amazing things to the self esteem. She thinks I should delve into the professional organization business headfirst. I was thinking of little things like insurance and such, and she agrees I need to keep those, but she's all for me achieving my dreams. This is such a new dream... I wonder... She's also asked me to scrapbook her wedding album. I've been a scrapbooker for the last 10 years or so (conjures up images of middle aged women drinking coffee and gossiping with their quilted scrapbook bags, I know, but I'm NOT) and have often wondered if I could make that make money for me.

It's not that I can't be content with letting a hobby just be a hobby. Quite the contrary. But I work in the human service field. Any extra penny is appreciated. And if I could eventually transform my hobbies and things I LOVE doing into a job, HELLS YEAH.

In the meantime... I stay up too late and do the things I wish I could do all day.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

This is the National Seashore (part of it, anyway) as seen from midway down the Highland Lighthouse. The door absolutely begged to be in the picture.

The sun is shining here today- second day in a row and it's impossible to remember it's January. We don't HAVE sun in January. We also don't have 50 degree days. Perhaps hell has frozen over? Sign of the apocalypse?

I need a good massage- I am stiff from my heels to my neck, all the way up my back. That's where I hold my stress. Work has been heart breaking this week. It will get better. I have to have hope. Sunshine is hopeful.

I'm feeling random today... I'm eating sour cream and onion Pringles and I KNOW my breath is going to be rancid when I go to my next client's house. Oh well. Maybe her beagle will stay off my lap, then. HA! This dog needs to be as close to me as possible when I'm there. If she could climb into my skin, then she would be happy. She has to be in my lap with her nose approximately 5 cm from my own. Nowhere near as cute as this puppy....

That's my wigglebutt. Not her best picture, but proof enough that she's adorable. Or was, as the case may be. She was hit by a car at 5 months old. Don't get me started... I don't want to have puffy eyes for my client in a half hour. Quinn was a black lab/beagle mix and if there was ever a dog who loved me in this world, it was her. I picked her up from the litter and brought her home and I think became, in a way, her surrogate mommy. She loved to lick everyone, of course, but when I came home, she would climb up me as far as she could and lick the crap out of my face. She looked like a weiner dog (yes, I know the breed name, but saying "weiner" is much more fun) because of her teeny tiny legs....

I'm glad I can finally look at her picture and smile.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Brings a Smile to My Face

I spent my three day weekend cleaning. How exactly does that go with the title of my post, you ask? Well, I wasn't cleaning just ANYTHING. I was helping my mother clean her bedroom. And your confusion increases....

My mother, God bless her and I love her to bits and pieces, is unorganized. And that's putting it mildly. She doesn't know how to deal with the mess so she finds something else to do. I made her promise to work with me on Friday, Saturday and Sunday for just a little while and we would make progress. She did it! And we've cleared out two areas that were huge problems. We need about another month...

In the process of cleaning, we found old photos of family that date back to the mid to late 1800's. This one, my grandmother, my mother's mother, is not that old. This one is probably taken in 1911. Isn't she beautiful?

My mom grew up on a farm and we have dozens of pictures of what her life was like and how much simpler it was then. She and my uncle went and picked trilliums, dozens of them, and my grandmother dutifully documented it all. Gee, I wonder where I get my shutterbug tendencies from??

I took one bag of pictures and told my mother I would scan them and upload them to the intertnet so all of my family could share them. Now comes the less fun, more tedious part of making sure they are all labelled... but it's worth it. Sometimes knowing where you come from makes the future less daunting.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006


Christmas was wonderful, as I expected it would be. New Year's Eve was good... my brother and his wife had a low-key party and I got my ass kicked in foosball. New Year's Day I went to church and took a nice long nap in the afternoon.

January 2nd, however, was an extraordinary day. I met the coolest family in the whole world. They are a family of refugees from Liberia. When the civil war started there several years ago, the Muslims were being slaughtered and so Abu took his family to Sierra Leone to a refugee camp there. Eventually, he and his family were picked to be sent to the US. All FIFTEEN of them. They came here and my little sister spent the summer volunteering with Catholic Charities and she met four of the girls there. Abu had 4 wives in Liberia. The men are allowed up to 4. One of them died in Africa, one of them is still there with 5 more of his children, and the other 2 came with him. They arrived in August, and this is the first time they have experienced winter. Everyone speaks English enough to be understood, though some are far better than others. The children range in age from 4 to 21.

We took them sledding, something they didn't comprehend until we showed them. We fed them hot dogs- one of the girls put salsa on hers. They were 15 extra people in our house, and you would never know. They weren't noisy- 12 children of our culture these ages would have been complaining they were bored or bothering their parents every few seconds. The children were very independent and allowed to be so. They thanked us every couple of minutes, for everything. Abu called us his family when they left, saying he didn't need to go back to Africa to see his family because now he has such a big family here.

Little does he know what an impact they had on me. How poorly I express it.