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Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Styx

Don & I were so excited that we got to go to the Styx concert at Cliff Castle Casino in Camp Verde this past Saturday!  They're a band I loved in high school.  I was introduced to them in 7th grade by my 9th grade boyfriend Toby.  That obviously didn't last, but my love for Styx did!


Yeah, I even splurged & got the concert t's. 

I think we were the youngest people there.  There was an older lady at the end of our row, sitting there quietly, all pretty in her flowing dress & fur wrap.   When the music started she went into the aisle & started dancing freestyle, with her eyes closed, oblivious to anyone around her.  I'm sorry to say, it was kinda funny...  And then there was the dude with the scrawny arms & the beer belly who thought he was hot stuff.  He pranced around with his chest puffed up & his arms like wrestlers do (trying to show muscles).  The only muscles he had were in his head.  But it was something to giggle over!

Such a different experience than concerts from my youth!  Those were like big mosh pits, with people pushing to the stage & smashing you.  When you're older, everyone kinda just hangs out in front of their seats.  It's pretty nice!
That's Tommy Shaw on the far right.  He is an awesome performer!  All of them are great, but they are all replacements to the original Styx members.  On the way home from the concert I googled Styx & found out all sorts of things (all of which I'm sure are perfectly true).  The info on Wikipedia is fascinating! 

Don & I really had the best time!  Except for some weird song (The Beatles I am the Walrus) I loved every bit of it!  Here's a little Renegade for your listening pleasure. 

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Oh Yeah, It's Back!

Every year we wait for it to come back...Big John's Texas BBQ.  I don't know if we'd love it as much if they were around all the time, but the fact that you can only get it on the weekends in the summer makes you want to run down there every chance you get.  And that's all I have to say about that.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Stressing out...what else is new, right?

It's Bike to Work Week & I spent the last week spouting off how I was going to ride my bike to work (who wouldn't!) every day this week.  On Sunday, Don, Audra & I hopped on our very dusty bikes (they've been sitting in the shed over the winter) & headed down Butler to find the best path, with the least amount of traffic.  The route wasn't too bad, but I'm seriously afraid of cars, because they seriously don't care about bike riders.  So we headed back my favorite way, down the urban trail.  Turns out that it only adds 10 minutes to the trip.  It's pretty.  And there are no cars.  No brainer, right?  Uh, yeah...

Today my work hours changed to 7:30 to 4:30.  Figuring it would take 45 minutes to get to work on my bike, I thought we needed to leave by 6:30.  Naturally, we left late (we being Don & I...Don rode to his work)...at 6:35.  This morning the trail was HARD.  I felt like I was pedaling through mud.  My ass hurt from the day before (saddle sore).  My thighs burned.  My lungs burned.  And there was a damn head wind that felt like it was pushing me backwards.  I spent the whole ride apologizing to my husband for being so slow.  We parted ways at the PD & I headed to my job.  I should have been there by 7:15...7:20 at the latest.  Imagine my surprise when I showed up there at 7:30 am on the dot.  In all my bike riding **not business** attire.  Crap.  One of my supervisors walks the cubicles to make sure we're on time (seriously...what am I?  12?) and was standing beside mine.  Just kinda bummed me out that it took me so long...and made me dread 4:30 when I had to get back on the dang bike.

But I got back on.  The alternative was walking my bike home.  I guess I could have called Kendall, but I'd never live that one down.  Now my ass hurts even worse.  But thankfully, the wind was at my back.  It was still windy...40-50 mile an hour gusts that damn near took me down.  I think I swallowed a bug.  Maybe two.  And it took me 50 minutes to get home.  I know, I know.  I just need to give myself time to build up to being fast, but if any of you know me, I'm not the most patient girl around.  I'm supposed to ride to work tomorrow & I'm ready to give up already.  But I'll go...unless it snows.

So I'm already in a funk...feeling crappy about myself...and now I have to ask the bank to extend a reduced payment on my business loan, you know for that business I no longer own.  It turns out that I need to make more money.  A lot more money.  Things are tight already & if I can't get them to extend my lowered payment for a year, I'm not sure what I'll do. I suck at budgeting but I'm trying really hard to make a budget & stick to it.  I don't want to be a slave to debt forever.  And while this is stressful & flipping me out a little bit, I absolutely do NOT miss owning the store.  So don't even go there.  This is no where near store owning stress.  Not at all.  I mean, come on, I type all day while listening to Dexter.  How bad can it be?  (Although a funny side note about the store, when I was there teaching Saturday, I saw "my stuff" all around & felt oddly ripped off.)

I'll get over myself.  I'll love riding my bike again (once my ass stops hurting, I'm sure!).  The debt will get paid off.  And one day I'll look back on this and wonder why I let all this stupid stuff stress me out.  I feel better already.  Thanks for listening :)

Friday, May 13, 2011

Ten Things This Week

1.  I teared up over videos that I had never watched of the first year of my daughters life.  I want to watch them over & over again!  When did she grow up so fast?

2.  I can't wait to garden!  Ok, really, I can't wait for my dad to come over & make me get it done :)  Once the hard work is over, the rest is a piece of cake.  I have visions of beautiful gardens in my head.  Not sure how to put visions into practice.

3.  I need picture frames.  Lots & lots of picture frames.  My walls are bare.  I have tons of photos.  I never seem to get around to putting them on the walls.  Why is that?  I think I just cannot commit to a picture frame...not to mention the number of them that I need.  Maybe it's time to hit up Goodwill & Savers...

4. {sigh} the ergonomic situation at work has still not been resolved.  Two weeks later & they're going to meet to decide what they can afford to get us.  Everyday my chair sinks a little lower...my hand, well, today it's going numb, but that's not always the case.  Keeping my fingers (of my good hand) crossed that this is resolved soon.

5.  I need to change this blog header, but I kinda forgot how to do it.  And Photoshop Elements is on my Mac...and lately I seem to prefer the convenience of my non-Mac laptop.  A little bit lazy?  Uh, yeah.

6.  On Friday & Saturday nights I am usually so exhausted I want to go to bed at 7 pm.  But for some reason I think that would be wasting my day off.  How crazy is that?  It's like sleeping will cut short my weekend...

7.  I've been gluten binging for over two weeks now.  It's not been pretty.  But it sure has been tasty!  As I type this (in the middle of the night) I'm thinking that I should just have one more piece of bread...

8.  I've been pulling dandelions all week.  And it doesn't even look like I've made a dent in them.

9.  So happy to be working at Fizz Bath Shop tomorrow!  I love that place!

10.  There needs to be more martini's in my life.  Anyone wanna go?

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Year in Review: April

I'm still teaching a class a month at my former store.  I look forward to the opportunity to see some old friends & catch up.  And hey, it gets me scrapbooking at least once a month.  So it's all good!  Here's the page I made for my class this Saturday:

The big weeds in front have since been pulled, in case you were thinking, dang that's a big dandelion right there!

Monday, May 9, 2011

I Love You This Much!

My mom gave me this for Mother's Day.  Totally love her!  I had a class at the store a while back (you know, when I still owned it) with Jenny Hernandez, aka The Polka Dot Pixie.  Jenny taught a group of us how to make her adorable paper clay snowmen.  Mine has a place of honor in my craft room.  My mom never finished hers.  Now if you know my mom, she dances to the beat of her own drummer, creatively speaking.  So when she decided to finish her snowman, well, this clever girl came out of it!  I love, love, love her!  (my mom and the girl!)  I didn't realize til I got home that she had filled the base with sand, a starfish & fortune cookie fortunes.  What a treat!
Clever, right?

I just love my mom! {smooch}

Did you notice the girl has butt cheeks?  Hahaha!  I will never forget when I was a teenager & my mom was making what she called "Fugly" Dolls.  And she was making them anatomically correct.  Uh, yeah.  At least one of them was, anyway, so in my mind, they all were.  I was so offended...embarrassed.  I had no idea what she was thinking!  Now, I think it's hilarious!  I'll have to find mine & post a photo.  Pretty sure she spared me & mine is not anatomically correct...whew!

Bountiful Baskets

This weekend was my first try at Bountiful Baskets.  It's a food buying co-op.  You pay $15 for a "basket" of fruits & vegetables that are in season.  I heard about it for a while but never really could commit.  Until last week.  I went to the site & I ordered the fruit/veggie basket ($15), five loaves of ciabatta bread ($10) and the mexican pack ($7.50).  Here's what I got:
I don't know about you, but I think this is a great value!  So glad I got the mexican pack...I was able to make fresh tomatillo salsa...so good!  The bread is awesome.  And everything was so fresh!  I just got the conventional basket...the organic basket is $10 more & frankly, it was all packaged orgainc things, just like you get at the grocery store.  Tomorrow night we'll be having Pioneer Woman White Chicken Enchiladas with fresh green chilies & tomatillo salsa.  My mouth is watering while I type...it's our favorite meal ever!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Hiking the Wrong Way

We set out this morning for a quick little hike in Sedona. The weather was beautiful, our attitudes were great.  We were ready for an adventure!
The trail starts with a one mile assent up switchbacks from 89A to the top of the canyon (the Mogollon Rim).  It's not easy.  It's steep...so steep that someone has installed railings periodically up the canyon.  Maggie was so excited to join us & let me tell you how hard it is to have your dog on a leash while going up a canyon!  We tried taking her off & she kept nearly sliding over the edge...not so fun!  We took a few breaks as we went up...Kendall was having a hard time regulating her breathing & was making herself dizzy.  But still it was fun!
Maggie was ready to go!  She did not want to stop for anything!  The view from the top was breath taking...
It was a good thing there were carins (trail markers) all over the place because the trail was almost non-existent after the switchbacks.
Too bad they ended up being a cruel joke.  More on that later.
Just enjoying the day...
And then we got lost.  I'm not kidding you.  The trail just evaporated.  There were trees down all over the place.  Heavy pine needles & brush.  We'd start thinking we needed to turn around & then we'd see a carin & think all is good.  I even stopped & took a few photos along the way of random things, you know, like barrel cactus.
Kendall was thrilled when we found the trail again...
And hey, look!  Another carin...
I think they were put there by evil leprechauns just to mess with the hikers because honestly, they marked nothing.  Oh, I'm sure at some point they were useful, but if that were the case we wouldn't have ended up where we did.
They did lead us to the overlook the trail book mentioned.  But then the trail disappeared.  Completely.  We had no idea where we were.  We went a couple of different directions to see if we could find the trail & it was just not there.  Imagine the fear when you realize you have no idea how you're going to get off the top of the canyon.

We knew that we needed to go down.  We knew that there were sheer cliffs all over the canyon so you couldn't just head down.  So we headed to the nearest ravine, thinking that we could just follow the rocks to the bottom.  Well, you can.  But let me tell you, that is hard, hard work!  There was so much debris that Kendall said the forest service should come out & clean it up.  Haha!  There were a lot of rocks.  Steep inclines.  Sticker bushes every frickin' turn.  Poor Kendall was so freaked out that she cried most of the way down.
My husband was a rock.  He maintained his cool level head & got us down safely.  Sometimes having to carry the dog or help us down the huge rocks.  We used him for a step many, many times.  Poor Maggie was not really into the whole ravine thing.  She kept coming close to falling off the edge & actually did a few times.  It was very frightening, to say the least.
Here's a peek at part of that stupid ravine.  Rotted wood, dead leaves, fallen trees, and steep, steep, steep!  I ripped a huge hole in my shorts & we're all covered with scrapes, scratches & bruises.
Finally, we made it down to Hwy 89.  And discovered that we were 1/2 a mile from the trail head we were supposed to come out on.  Grrr....and we had to walk 2 miles back to the car.  Beaten, battered & exhausted, we finally made it back to the pathfinder 5 hours after we started out.

Many things ran through my head while we were descending the ravine.
  • First, I couldn't cry.  I didn't want to make it worse for Kendall by freaking out.  I have to admit though there was one point that I almost burst into tears because I was so scared!  
  • I also kept thinking how embarrassing it was going to be if we had to call search & rescue.  These little photos don't show even a fraction of how bad it was...mostly because I was hanging on to trees & rocks & trying not to break my neck. 
  • My husband is a rock star (literally, haha!)  He kept his cool.  He scoped things out & did his best to keep us safe.  Sometimes that meant we had to back track or crawl through thick downed trees & leaves, but man, he was on his game!  He told me later that he was quite afraid & just couldn't show it because he thought if we saw him freak out that we would, too.
  • Do we have enough water?  I lost Kendall's water bottle down one of the rocks I had to slide down...oops.  And did we bring food?  I didn't even want to stop to see if we had.
Don waited until we were almost at the road to slip & fall & hurt himself.  He has a 6" x 12" scrape up his back.

Will we hike this trail again?  No f'ing way.  I do want to figure out where we went wrong but I have no desire to ever hike there again.  Kendall says she's never hiking again.  Ever.  I doubt that is true, but next time we will be better prepared.  Not just a stinkin' hike book with comic book maps.