Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Simple Scrapbooking

No, that's not a typo.  Scrapbooking can be simple!  And simple is beautiful!  Take a look at my friend Elizabeth's scrapbook...

(from retinal perspectives)

funny, but when I asked her if I could use this photo, she told me that
she had never thought about this as scrapbooking, but as a photo album
that required more work.  One in the same.  It tells a
story.  It shows off her photos.  And see, simple is beautiful!  Thanks, Elizabeth!

a side note, Elizabeth is doing something really cool...she's setting
up a service that sends postcards to people once a month for 6 months as
sort of an ecouragement.  You can check it out here.)

Friday, June 25, 2010

The price of beauty...

(Not all self portraits are pretty.  Nothing like puttin' it all out there!)

I'll admit it.  I color my hair.  I used to have my
hair stylist do it for me, but it got to be too much of an
expense.  So I found a box color that I kinda liked...


but it was turning my hair a funky reddish brown that I
just didn't like.  I had a coupon for a new color & since
I'm doing Coupon Sense now, I couldn't pass up the fabulous deal...

Dark brown

It was fast, which was cool!  Unfortunately, I look a little like Morticia Adams...


It's actually much darker in person, if you can believe that!

So what do you do for "beauty"?  That's you're self
portrait assignment today...whether it's
wax...highlights...whatever your thing is, take a photo.  It'll be

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Fire Season

(The Hardy Fire, Saturday, June 19, 2010 taken from Sinagua High School)
so sad that Flagstaff has a fire season.  While we were saturated
with snow during the winter months, it didn't seem to do much to
alleviate a terrible fire season.  I can only liken it to the year
that Mount Elden burned.

(photo from the Cline Library here)
Radio Fire on Mount Elden happened in 1977.  And yeah, this is the
view I remember from our house.  I remember calling my mom at work
& screaming that the fire was coming towards us...about a hundred
times, I'm sure (had to have freaked her out!).  I remember
watching trees explode...seeing bursts of was
horrible.  And if you've lived in Flagstaff for any time, you'll
see that the Radio Fire had a devastating effect on Mount Elden.
It's still relatively barren...scarred...and it's been more than 30

(photo from the Cline Library here) The view from the Radio Shack on 4th Street's parking lot. (check out those cars!)
It was started by threatened many neighborhoods...and to a 10 year old, it was scary as hell.


(photo from the Cline Library here)
And honestly, until this weekend, I hadn't seen anything as bad. 
On Saturday, we had the Hardy fire.

(Sinagua Heights subdivision with the slurry plane by Don Mead)
Hardy fire was swift.  It started from an unattended campfire that
a transient was using to cook his food (he's been arrested).
There's a reason that Flagstaff has one of the toughest camping
ordinances in the country...hello...we're surrounded by
trees!  Within a very short time, Little America Hotel, Harold
Ranch Road & Sinagua Heights were evacuated.  My neighborhood
was placed on evacuation notice.  And I have to toot my daughter's
horn:  when she found out we would possibly have to evacuate, she
took it upon herself to pack clothes, pet food & medication,
toothbrushes...even clean underware...she got everything ready.  I
am so proud of her!  (this is the same girl who told me yesterday
"um, mom, if you want me to do chores, you should put the list somewhere
I might see it" (out in the open on the kitchen counter is apparently
not where one would find a chore list).

(I'm sorry but I don't know where I got this...if you know, I'm happy to credit you)
we did not have to evacuate.  But the smoke & ash were quite
heavy & my husband decided that we should take the animals (3 dogs
& 1 ticked off cat) to my mom's house for the night.  Better
not to breath in all that smoke.

(Sinagua Heights while they were evacuating.  That's my little MINI Cooper up on the right.)
on Sunday, as we were having Father's Day lunch at Picazzo's on the
patio, we noticed some smoke coming up from behind Mount Elden.
Just a wisp.  By the end of lunch...what, maybe an hour?  It
looked like this...

(view from downtown Flagstaff)
as many of you know, the Schultz fire continued (and continues to
grow).  Right now, it's at 14,500 acres.  Wednesday morning it
was 14,000 acres, so the fact that it only grew 500 acres is amazing!
The Schultz fire was started by an unattended camp fire.  Whomever
caused it hasn't been found, but I suspect that they are sick with
guilt.  Can you even imagine?  I can't.  I just can't.

(view from my street in East Flagstaff)
funny thing happened with these fires....I became addicted to
Twitter.  I've been bemoaning that Twitter was just not
useful.  A waste of time.  Well, I'm here to tell you that we
had blow by blow details of these much so, that we all became
obsessed.  We wanted every speck of information we could
find.  Being native to Flagstaff, we have friends who live where
the fire is.  Our nephew & his family were evacuated.
Bridget & Sherry (who work for AM&M) live across the street from
the fire.  The animal shelter is out there. 

(photo from my husband's cell phone...right at the fire line)
learned how to use know, the #.  And that if you
put #flagstafffire or #schultzfire into the Twitter search bar, everyone
who was talking about it came up.  There were unbelievable I would never have otherwise seen.  And check out this time lapsed video of the fire here.  Found it on Twitter.  And I even uploaded my own photos to Twitter.
friend Mike, who watched Mount Elden burn right along with me when we
were kids, asked the other day if this fire were more or less scary
because of technology.  I'd have to vote for just a little
less.  "Back in the day" information was scarce.  As kids, we
really & truly felt that the Radio Fire was coming to get us.
We didn't know any better.  Now with technology, information is
right there at our fingertips.  People from all over Arizona sent
their photos to the news the Twitter.
Blow by blow details.  But I do have to say, technology made it so
some of us (me included) could not step away from the computer.  We
had to have every last bit of information.  It was our families,
friends, and livelihoods on the line. 
What are your thoughts? 

Flagstaff Favorites


One of my favorite things about summertime in Flagstaff is the Famers Market
It's held each Sunday from Memorial Weekend to sometime in October in
the parking lot at City Hall.  You'll find all sorts of
deliciousness there...

fresh produce...


(I bought lettuce & kale from these folks)

these tomatoes were yummy!

and red potatoes, too.

The scenery is unique, too...

At first glance a two headed dog...

And I heard their owners tell someone that they have to carry their own
weight.  Wonder if that would work with my dogs...hmmm....

Oh, and I found the most delightful treat!

These gluten free goodies are just what I needed!  Sunday I had the blueberry coffee cake...delish!

And their salt bagels are yummy, too!  We happened to get there
right as they were making a delivery of fresh baked goods...on their
bike...the blueberry coffee cake was still steaming & oh so
good!  You can check out their website here.

July 7th, the Community Farmers Market will be at the parking lot of
St. Pius church on Wednesday evenings, from 4 pm to 7pm (I think). 
Just the pick me up we need during the week. 

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Self Portrait Fridays


Now this was just plain fun to do!  Imagine my surprise when I
looked at the photos & saw Mia poking her little head up in the
back, over my shoulder.  Fun! 

So here's your challenge today....take a photo of yourself in the
passenger mirror on your car.  Now, I'd tell you to use the
drivers side mirror, but hey, I wouldn't want to be responsible for
any accidents.  Let's be safe.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Flagstaff Favorites

I love camping and Flagstaff is a fantastic place to camp! 
Within just a few miles of town...any which way you choose to a
great camping spot.  This past weekend, we headed out bythe Lava Tubes & camped there.  Simply beautiful!

I'll admit, it was a little brisk.  But nothing a nice campfire couldn't handle.


Along with that campfire comes my husband's famous dutch oven breakfast...


My mouth is watering just thinking of it...oh my is it good!  

"Home, home on the range....where the deer...

and the antelope play..."

(soooooo wish I had a telephoto lens...oh well, it was an experience...those antelope are fast!)  

MacKenzie told me she'd never seen a deer in the wild.  Really?  They saw wild turkeys the day before, too!


Nature's playground in our own backyard.  What's not to love?

If you're up for an adventure, go visit the Lava Tubes
Make sure to take good, sturdy shoes, a good flashlight & leave
your dogs at home.  The tubes are about 1 mile long & it's
pretty darn rocky in there.  So worth it though!  To get
there, take 180 north past the Snowbowl to mile marker 230.  Turn
left on to forest service road 245.  Go about 2
miles down a nice dirt road & you'll see the entrance. 
You're not seeing any photos of the tubes because a) they're pitch black
& b) I'm still recovering from a broken foot, so I had to stay
at camp with the dogs.  (I said had to like it was a bad wasn't.  I read a book...and loved
every second of the peace & quiet.)

Falling in love with photos again...

You know, each year I kinda give up taking photos for a few
months.  Ok, usually it's about 4 months.  But this year I'm
teaching a month in review class & it's been forcing me to take
photos every month.  But I really wasn't getting the quality that I
wanted & was unhappy with my work.  So I put my Nikon D80 down
& grabbed my little Panasonic Lumix point & shoot & just
used it.  And it did ok. 

Then the other day I picked up that Nikon again & remembered why i love it so much...

I love the blur....

It has a faster shutter...

Well, maybe not fast enough...

Totally in love with my camera all over again!  (And my little dog, too!)

I'm so ready to re-read my Photographers Workshop
notebook...and listen to the audio.  I'm ready to absorb the
information all over again & re-learn how to take great
photos.  My goal is to take photos that don't need Photoshop,
because I honestly don't have the time or desire to mess with my photos
anymore than I have to.  

What about you?  Do you edit every photo?  Do you use them
the way they come out of the camera?  What do you want to learn
about your camera?  What do you want to learn about taking better

Friday, June 11, 2010

Self Portrait Friday

Here's your assignment today:  Snap a self portrait of you &
your sweetie, whoever that might be.  It'll be one of those photos
you love forever...enjoy!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Flagstaff Favorites

I love that we have a Picazzo's Organic Italian Kitchen
in Flagstaff!  They used to be just Picazzo's Pizza, and it was
pretty good.  But this whole new concept is AWESOME!  You see,
I'm gluten intolerant, which is a total drag.  Picazzo's, however,
totally caters to people, food issues.  Some like it all
organic.  Some like gluten free.  And some, like my husband,
just want it to taste great.  You get the whole package here

This was my lemonade...can't remember the had vodka & chambord in it & was FABULOUS!

We had caprese with gluten free die for!

And our chipotle & chicken gluten free pizza...both my husband
& I exclaimed that it was the best meal we'd ever had there! 
And my husband is NOT gluten free, free range, organic anything...

and we treated ourselves to the gluten free chocolate chip cookie with
organic vanilla ice cream.  Heaven on earth!  I don't even
like ice cream & it was SO good!

And tonight our waitress was
phenomenal!  That's not always the case there, just so you're
forewarned.  Plan on it taking a while (although tonight was fast)
& be pleasantly surprised when it comes sooner & all together
(not often the case).  Just know that the food is totally worth it.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Self Portrait Friday


me, today...on my drive into work...yeah, I know...using a camera
& driving...but really, I was totally paying attention to the
road...and doing about 5 mph.  I like how the blurr kinda blurrs
out my wrinkles...must of hit a bump in the road :)

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Flagstaff Favorites


(Leah & Kendall in front of Pato Thai during the May First Friday ArtWalk)

Flagstaff is one of my favorite places for many reasons, but the two
biggest reasons are that I love the First Friday ArtWalks and the Movies
on the Square.  And let me throw in a 3rd reason:  the
buildings are old, thus making downtown a charming place to take photos!

I love First Friday ArtWalks!  You can check them out here. 
I love that it's something different downtown every month.  You
can people watch (man oh man can you people watch!), check out stores
you've never been to or haven't been to in a while, hear live music, see
performers, and just generally hang out & have a great time. 
We typically have dinner at Charley's (make sure to have the Cactus Wren
martini which two of my friends created...seriously!) but last month we
ate at Pato Thai...which was simply wonderful!  And no trip
downtown is complete without some chocolate from Brookside...or a trip
down into The Basement Marketplace for dirt cheap t-shirts (a funny
fact:  The Basement used to be Babbitt's Department Store receiving
& my mom worked down there when I was a kid...and upstairs used to
be Newberrys & I worked there in college).

In the summer, there's also Movies on the Square (here's the link)
which my family loves.  (Movies on the Square is every Friday
night).  Make sure to bring something to sit on & a
blanket...even in July!  It can get kinda chilly!  One of the
fun things about Movies on the Square is the groups of kids that sell
things to make money for their activities.  The ski team sometimes
does a "split the pot" raffle, the high school bands sell's
changing all the time.  For me, it's a fun Friday night outing!

What's your favorite thing about downtown Flagstaff?