Thursday, November 29, 2007

Beautiful day

Wow, what a week it has been and today is my 'Thursday'. I had the canyon crud (flu in the outside world), all last weekend into the beginning of my week. Kicked butt on Sunday with the housekeeping team at Maswik; it was a great work out. Needed to sweat out the toxins. The past two nights have been brutal. Tonight was wonderful as the guests came in not in droves, but good timing; enabling us to spend time with them answering questions and potential questions. A beautiful day.

Been working nights (3-11:30) last week, this week, next week, and a peek at the new schedule shows it that way again. I guess people won't be asking so much why are my cheeks red. Just when I came up with a good answer (because I don't like green?). I always have red cheeks when I'm out in the sun here, which is most of the time when I can. Though this week due to the illness and night owl hours it's fading. I'm missing my 'healthy glow.'

Went to dinner with Mike (a guy who works at the transportation desk) the other night and one of my favorite servers asked if he was my husband. He chuckled as I looked at her seriously and said 'Uh, no'. Bless her heart.

Got my watercolor paper - thank you Rina and Looking forward to some 'art' time. I can feel it building, it's starting to seep as I wrote a haiku yesterday morning.

Passages of time
Images in the shadows
Writings on the walls

Haven't heard about the accounting position yet, but got a call from another department in accounting asking me to check out their opening if I didn't get it. I love it, makes me laugh.

Tomorrow is my Friday, soon December will be here along with the rest of the 'holiday swing', and then 'poof' the new year. Some people wait for the new year to make those resolutions of change. Why wait? Most know August 23rd as a difficult day for me personally, it is one that will live in infamy. However I celebrate it too, as it was the first day of my new job in my new life. Knowing deep in my heart my child was celebrating for me makes it a chocolate day. Bitter but sweet; bittersweet the best kind. I only use that as my personal example because it was a new celebration. It is a time when I look back and relish the tremendous support system that held onto me through the darkest of my grief that I am truely grateful. Through them, and the strength I never fathomed I had, each day becomes a celebration of its own. It's when another personal growth is experienced do I find a new year.

Have a beautiful day.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Thanksgiving moon


Thanksgiving has passed, opening the threshold for the 'season' of cheer. Whilst I missed my family of friends in Florida I went to a co-workers for dinner the night before. It was great. The mix of people, she lovingly refers to as the 'outcasts', are smart funny and giving. Her boyfriend loaned me his tripod to take pictures of the moon as the clouds cast their beauty and the light of the moon shone bright. It was funny, how cold it was, but I didn't feel it when I was focusing, and shooting; it existed outside of me. Now I understand when photographers get into those dangerous positions dangling on cliffs and such all for that picture the story that sparked a need in the mind to say it without words. The danger is outside, non existant, at least until the shutter closes.

Yesterday I cooked a reminice of a Thanksgiving, just turkey, potatoes, broccoli, Susan made the wonderful gravy. Of course I had to incorporate the apple chutney, I remembered I had put it in my 'letters to Taylor' book; and Geneva gave me a Paula Dean recipe for gingerbread, pumpkin torte for dessert. It all turned out really good, as we had neighbors and friends over for dinner with a little wine and good conversation.

What we call 'the Canyon Crud', is, I hope, leaving my body. Like a flu shot I'm hoping this will make me immune to this as I doggedly fill half the garbage with tissue, my purfume of camphor and eucalptus drowns out anything else. Unfortunately I had to leave early from the 'outcast party' and we wound down last night pretty early, well, a lot earlier from my past dinner parties. It's still the memories we create in snippets of time, words and music that'll give those feelings a stir. I think about the dinners we've all shared together, Thanksgiving in the canyon, serving wine in plastic solo cups didn't diminish the perfection but added to it. I'm looking forward to Christmas in the Canyon. I hope it snows.

Sunday, November 18, 2007


While I was hiking with a friend the other day, he took this photo of me; though I feel I take great pictures; I tend to believe they are more from the other side of the lens.

I sent this photo to my sister-friends and one replied I looked like I am in my element. To be in one's element means to be in one's natural habitat, sphere of activity, environment, etc. It's not to say there aren't everyday stresses with jobs, interactions with others, and various other things; but when one can find peace, comfort or solace in their world, we find ourselves to be in our element. I believe I am.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

A 'Nottinghill' Run

Though I hadn't worked with MaryMargaret for long I was fortunate to get to know a very nice, refind young lady embracing her journey into the 'world' with this being her first job. I was honored to be asked to share her good bye breakfast with another one of her mother figures I work with, Terry. We took her to the El Tovar; once completed we collected her (heavy) luggage and took her to Maswik to await her shuttle.

After leaving her there we ran back to the Bright Angel front desk to pick up a few things and Terry started taking me home. Approaching my place we noticed MM's sweetheart looking forlorn on the bench waiting for the approaching bus.

"Look there's Yudi!" I yelled as I rolled down the window while she whipped her car behind the bus beeping her horn. Shoving him in the back seat she zooms back to Maswik; as we pulled in we noticed the shuttle in the parking lot. As she pulled up quickly, I was out the door before the car stopped to let him out quickly. The driver, noticing the exchange, was kind in taking his time waiting.

Terry and I had to smile knowingly at the moment of memory we became part of. As we left the scene of this sweet memory Cher's song 'Believe' came on the radio.

Young, sweet, innocent love; whether it lasts or not is still a step into the 'world'. Despite our ages and experiences we all have our timeless, nostalgic memories that brings a smile to our lips. A memory that touches our hearts with warmth at the memory. I feel I can speak for Terry when I say we're honored to become a lasting memory in the heart of a sweet young girl. Bon Voyage MM.

Maricopa Sunset

Taken on 11 16 07 after a hike down from The Abyss, to Maricopa point


Leftovers after the dinner party. Want some?

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Dinner party...

Had our first dinner party since we've been here. I invited Mary who is leaving and David over for dinner. Mary asked Yudi (who is also leaving) to stop by which I'm glad he did. David and I shared our fabulous photography. Mary shared her future plans with us and we all consumed my famous Rachel Ray pasta recipe. I thought I made too much, but it turned out to be just enough.

Susan brought home from Williams a PIE. I capitalize the word since these pies are HUGE. It is or was a whipped chocolate and peanut butter pie with peanut butter morsels sprinkled on top. The pie is so big it had to be transported in a cake box. She had called to find out which kind to bring home for desert, it was a hard decision. Even though I had to decide, I still wonder what the strawberry and peanut butter is like. I figure it must be good or they wouldn't sell it. So maybe when I get to go to Williams I will try it.

Susan was telling me about the lights being on in Williams, and having friends over for dinner felt good but rather nostelgic. I miss having people over for dinner, wine and fantastic conversations; what I really miss is the get togethers we used to have last year. I miss the laughter of children, the easy conversations of goings on and the 'family' we are.

Earlier today I found a bottle of wine I had to buy; the brand name is 'Three Blind Moose'. I could almost hear Mada yelling her "ahhhh!" and Kie giggling as I saw the name of the wine and picked up a bottle. It had to be since I just wandered over to see what was hidden behind a shelf. It was after I got home and put the radio on the computer on when I heard songs for both girls. In the meantime I'm saving it for a personal celebration, of what I don't know yet, but I look forward to that celebration whatever and wherever it may be or for.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Kolb Studio

Here are the pictures taken at the Kolb studio. The display is now gone, but memories linger.

Plein air ... therapy

plein air or plein-air (plān'âr', plě-něr') Pronunciation Key

  1. Of or being a style of painting produced out of doors in natural light.
  2. Taking place outdoors.
Today after Susan and I had lunch, and saw her off at the train station. I wandered. We had plans to go to William's together, then I had an offer for a photography class with a master photographer and Sue got another friend to go with her to Williams. Well, found out late last night the photographer canceled so that left me to find other plans. (Which usually isn't hard to do, since I've been making a list of continuous things to do).

With my back pack full of art supplies: camera, 300mm lens, sketch book, a tin filled with various drawing pencils and several of my favorite rapidographs (drafting pens), my journal and salty snacks I walked up the rim for a little bit until I felt the urge to sit on a wall and draw. Taking deep breaths I ignored the people who came up and took pictures of both myself and what I was drawing tuning them out and did what I think is a good rough sketch.

This is just an outcrop seen from an alcove behind a screen of trees. Rather then using my regular 4h pencil which creates an extremely light picture I chose instead my 4b, which is a softer lead enabling me to create deeper shadows. Sitting in the shade I started getting really chilly as the afternoon air started turning colder so I packed up with the intention of moving on, until I felt the urge to sit in plain sight of EVERYONE and start on the canyon itself. As I started laying the ground work of shadows I heard a lady retort "that's ugly", I just smiled and breathed deep concentrating. The only thing existing at that point became the canyon and I, though my peripheral vision picked up shadows of bodies off to the side. I heard the clicking of cameras and kept my head down and my hand moving, thinking to myself 'they're taking pictures of the canyon'. One voice did penetrate my 'wall', a gentleman said 'that's daunting'. I smiled to myself and concentrated on one point in the canyon, and started the one above it.

Using my 7b pencil the even softer lead gave better depth to the shadows and rock formations. The scribbling turned into points, rock crevices and places where land slides occurred. The wind started picking up and my hands became very cold; it was time to stop. Looking up, no one was around, I yawned and felt like I just woke up.

The most resonate
Sound I heard in the stillness
Was spirit waking

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Lava tubes and galaxies

Went with a friend to just this side of Flagstaff off of I80 to what he calls a lava tube. It's a lava cave found by lumbermen in 1919. Didn't get many pictures inside, what I did will be here but really had a one on on with the depth of the earth.
The climb down was startling deep, with the loose rocks; I started by crawling on my backside down into the cave.
(Here's a picture of it on the way up) It was at first cold, but we adjusted to it quickly as we continued. It then leveled out somewhat but with various slopes, crevices, and sometime smooth surfaces we saw how the lava flowed. Wondered what looked like in certain areas river rocks creating a cobblestone effect in certain areas. Heard hollow sounds in certain areas under our feet as we walked, trying to guess at the depth of the hollowness below. Found a few holes that showed no ending as we stood over them with our flash lights beaming down giggling a little nervously. Noticed certain 'fault' lines on both the floor we walked on and in the large slabs of rock above our heads, quickly moving from below them. Found certain spots where water was seeping in, in very small increments and iron deposits coloring the walls where water was not dripping as in other areas but creeping in. The web of white looked like calcite deposits, and created various natural artworks on the ceilings and walls. Of course there was various man made art work from what looked like an owl, to an alien head. We turned off our lights and held our hands in front of our faces and of course couldn't see a thing; I was grateful for the batteries I had in my backpack should I have needed them. (didn't need them). Went almost to the end where it started getting narrower; he asked if I wanted to go on. As it looked like some pretty deep crawling, I suggested we head back as I my ankle started smarting from nearly twisting it several times; all times he had asked if I was ok since I let out a foul word each time. On the way out he found my wallet (which had been in my pocket) on one of the rocks. It was amazing he found it as it was sitting on a rock, next to a deep crevice. All in all that took an hour and a half. When we emerged it was like opening the oven door with a quick short blast of hot air. I noticed on the way out a small cairn.

He suggested getting something to eat in Flag, which we did and then headed to the Lowell Observatory. Sat in on an introductory lecture about what was being seen and then headed to the various telescopes. We started with the old one where the former planet (that is no longer considered a planet) Pluto was discovered. It made me dizzy looking up into the old building and listening as the young student of NAU was explaining to the little boy in front of us how it was built with a weight on the opposite side so it can be moved by hand. The pulleys and wheels were in the walls. We looked at a star cluster which reminded me of a snowflake. Beautiful. Through the smaller telescopes (which resembled old cast iron cannons), Perseus, and Andromeda. BREATH TAKING.

It was an adventure I'd like to repeat with a head lamp, and a lantern to get pictures, but who could ask for more then heaven and earth?!

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Condor notes

The pictures posted was taken over two days, November 3rd and 4th as they flew overhead and nearby in the mid afternoon. I was fortunate enough to be around before work and took the pictures seen.

There is approximately 60 condors residing in the Canyon, one which is known to be nesting. Pretty good for coming back from near extinction.

Condor Flight

It's a beautiful day...

What a gorgeous day in the canyon. Tomorrow night after work I'll download the pictures of the condors I took today (November 3rd). They are AWESOME! I got something in the mail I didn't expect till next week or the week after, and it was a quiet night at the front desk. Who could ask for anything more?