Sunday, November 22, 2009

It's been that long?

I really can't believe it's been over a month since I last posted. How time flies, especially at this time of year. Once Halloween comes and goes, before you know it, it's Christmas and then tax time! Which, of course, is so NOT my favorite time of year. Just seems to remind me how quickly time passes, and things change, and life goes on, and I get older.
Guess I'm feeling a little sorry for myself. Today I officially became an empty-nester. My youngest daughter, Keri, has moved into her older sister's apartment. Don't yet know if it's permanent or temporary, as she moved because her sister purchased her first home. She may or may not be back once the lease is up, but I'm thinking she might enjoy this new found freedom and responsibility.
I never did move into any place on my own, unless you count Flagstaff this past summer. Maybe that's another reason I enjoyed it so much. I hope Keri enjoys her time as much as I loved mine. Maybe she will find my muse, who is still missing.
Have fun Keri, and know you are missed. but I am happy for you.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Time for Reflection

It's been a very long work week. Usually is this time of year. It's exhausting, but encouraging because I know that if I work hard enough now, I just might be able to get back to Flagstaff next summer. I know, I know, I keep talking about where I'm going instead of where I am. I think that it's because I'm doing some deep sea diving so to speak, some soul searching and introspection.

I really enjoy reading introspective books. I'm reading one now by Martha Beck, Finding Your Own Northstar, claiming the life you were meant to live . It's meant to be a compass or a tool to find out what makes your soul sing, what you are meant to be doing. Not just work, but life. I finally had an aha moment when I read the part about remembering your happiest memory, what you were doing, how you felt. It's not something I will share just yet, but it did put a smile on my face (no, not that kind!).

It's good to feel a smile that comes from the inside out. It's been awhile since that has happened, and I promise myself I won't let myself go without this feeling that long again. I know what I must do to get what I need, now to take those steps. Wish me luck!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Playing with Fire

When I began writing this blog, I thought it would be about my life as an artist, about lampworking, making beads from glass. Maybe a little bit about the creative process.
After reading through my posts, it suprised me to discover that I have hardly written about beadmaking at all. This has turned into a running commentary of my life, loves, musings, shortcomings, spirituality, politics, and other things in-between.
In consideration of these topics, I can honestly say this blog is aptly named. I guess I really am playing with fire. My opinions are my own, and many might disagree with me. My musings are introspective, my shortcomings are many, my spirituality is hybrid, and my politics lean left. I don't even know if anybody really reads this, but it's OK. The writing is therapeutic, and I feel that some of what I say matters. The more I write, the more authentic I feel. I realize that it's not necessary for everybody to agree on everything, but if a dialogue can begin, maybe I have made a little bit of a difference.
I will continue to play with fire, one way or another. Thanks for reading. Peace.


I bought some brand new Rocketdogs! For those of you who know me, you know I have an affinity for Rocketdogs, cute fabric shoes with rubber toes and peace signs. They make me feel like I am 12 years old again, in a good way. I found some on Amazon at a great price, and had to have them.

I really don't buy many things, I am more of a thrift store shopper. I hate to pay full price. To say I am frugal would be kind. But every now and then something calls to me, and I must give in to the urge. These shoes are my guilty pleasure. They are a way for me to say I am not ready to grow up all the way yet. Give me a little more time to be playful and colorful. Even if my job is serious, even if the world is challenging, even if things are more difficult than we imagined, lets take a few minutes and play-be lighthearted-be colorful-be childlike. I think then we might just be more open to the wonders of the Universe which await us.

Sunday, October 11, 2009


Congratulations President Obama, on winning the Nobel Peace Prize. The recognition afforded you by winning this prestigious award is exactly what is needed now. The United States has been in an emotional and physical depression far too long; one which you inherited. The naysayers and hatemongers will be appalled by and attempt to negate any accomplishments you achieve. I salute you in your quest to bring peace to our world. I hope that in light of the message behind the Nobel Peace Prize you rethink our presence in Afghanistan and bring our troops home safely, now.

Friday, October 2, 2009

She's not here yet,

but I feel her peeking around the corner. She seems to be making a tentative entrance, but is not yet willing to commit to coming home. I think that she may have enjoyed her freedom, and is not sure she wants to stick around, but I think she is willing to have a conversation.
That's all I really want, a conversation. To find out what our differences are, to find out if we can compromise, find common ground, agree to disagree about those things which we are unwilling to give up, to start over, make amends, shake hands, give a hug. Maybe we could each introduce our new friends to one another, have coffee, brainstorm, share, laugh and love.
Maybe we could call a truce. It won't be the same as before, but maybe it will be better.
Welcome back my friend, my muse. This artist has missed your input and ideas. She welcomes your creative energy, and promises to honor you as you deserve.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Packing for a trip

to Venice Beach this weekend. I think my husband is tired of my whining about how hot it still is, so he is taking me to the ocean, the Key West of California. This is the place where I will get my feet wet and soothe my soul, smell the salt water, feel the breeze, play and watch people.
The ocean is my personal "Heart"land. I plan to drink in this elixir and savor it as it nourishes me and re-hydrates this Pisces fish. It's been too long since I have been near salt water. Maybe I can find my muse. Maybe all she needs is a little water to grow again.
There is a festival planned for Sunday, I am looking forward to it. Mingle with artists, listen to music and enjoy my element. I have such high hopes for this trip. I hope this jaunt is what I need to spark my creative fire again.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Misplaced Muse

I've misplaced my muse. I don't know where I put it, or if it ran away. Maybe it's in hiding, waiting for the weather to break, like I am.
I've looked in all the usual places, my indoor jewelry studio, my outdoor glass studio, under my bed, in the closets, even in the books I use for inspiration. It has vanished. No trace of it. I really miss it.
I know it can't have gotten very far, because I just had it a few weeks ago. Like most precious things, I must have set it free, hoping it would return to me refreshed and renewed. I hope it returns soon because I am really lonely without it.
Please, let me know if you see it, and ask it to come back to me. I will be more respectful of it, I promise, and will cherish it they way it deserves.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009


I went and did it. The same thing I usually do when I am feeling down or out-of-sorts. The please make me feel better and pretty and thin thing that happens when I just can't pull myself up. I got my haircut. Not just any haircut, but a hairstyle. New for me. At a real salon. Where they have designers, instead of cosmetologists (did I spell that right?).
I told my designer who was new at this place to just do something. Use your artistic eye. Make me not look like a 50+ matron. Give me a little boho edge. But, whatever you do, don't let my ears stick out.
My ears, it seems, have a life of their own. Even though I stopped growing vertically around age 12, even though I could use a little more height, my ears continue to grow. It's a medical fact. Your ears and your nose continue to grow throughout your life. Mine have taken that to heart, at least in my mind. So I never like to have my whole ear showing.
So, my stylist first suggested a Chelsea cut, the kind where you put gel or mousse in your hair and the back sticks up ala "Jon and Kate". I said no, my daughters have already had that style and I don't want to compete. Then she suggested a short, modified bob, and since that's my husband name, I agreed. What could possibly go wrong with a bob?
As it turns out, nothing. It's OK for now. It is short and easy and updated. The only thing is, I am the only one that noticed my new, expensive hairstyle. I really don't look all that different. But I do feel a little more pampered, which I guess was the point of the whole thing.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

It's really easy to get behind

because I haven't written here for over a week! Life has been busy, crazy, and I am just getting back into the swing of things in Phoenix. It was really hard coming down the mountain that final day, and I have been in a funk ever since. It didn't help that I took a weekend trip to Cleveland over Labor Day, a place that's not exactly known for its weather. It rained, of course, alot.
I am trying to gradually ease myself back into my everyday life, not the fantasy life I had in Flagstaff, but I am torn between jumping in feet first, or gently immersing myself back into a regular routine. Either way, I am kicking and screaming. I really wish I were a more accepting type of person, but I don't think that will ever happen for me. If I really don't want to do something, I plant my feet and try not to budge, and if I have to budge I am sullen. Not one of my more attractive qualities, but it is something I own. I know that.
I am trying to get in touch with the creative side of me, to ease the transition. I finally got to spend some time at the torch today, and it was productive and calming. If I take baby steps, and am more gentle with myself, I just might come out of this stormy place.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Back to Phoenix

and, as you all know, not very happy about it. Oh well, lemons to lemonade and all that jazz. I stayed in most of today to get acclimated once again to 110 degree days and searing pavement, and it gave me a chance to get caught up on some reading and Facebooking (is that a verb?) I came across my old friend, Angi Sullins, and her blogs, one of which you can find here- What a fascinating story, optimistic lady, and creative genius. If you happen to feel down in the dumps, read her story and then pull yourself up and get on with life.
That is the business we are all in, after all, getting on with life, whether we like it or not. I have been reading and studying "Law of Attraction", positive thinking, Abraham, Byron Katie, etc. and most of the philosophy is the same. Live in the moment, the now, think good thoughts, believe in yourself and positive things will happen. Know that you are capable of creating a magnificent life. The first thing you must do is believe it is so. Sounds so simple, yet can be so difficult. Yet, most of us know the inherent truth in this statement.
You know how it is when you are having a bad day; a flat tire on the way to work, bad hair day, waking up late, cranky clients, etcetera, etcetera, etcetra. We have all had days like that. It seems that bad luck causes more bad luck. What would happen, do you think, that if, after the first thing that goes wrong you changed your thinking, or didn't let it define the rest of the day? So you overslept. Inconvenient? Of course. Life changing? Probably not. A little extra sleep? You bet!
This philosophy might not always be easy to follow, because we are creatures of habit and certain ideas may have become ingrained in our psyches. It is possible to change, to rewrite our story, to have the kind of life we imagine. We just need to believe it! The stronger we become in this belief leads to bigger and better creations. Once we see that something is working, we tend to use that process more frequently, and become more adept at it.
Go ahead, imagine the life you want-then go get it!

Sunday, August 30, 2009

I feel like Jewly looks!

My last hike today. More pictures of Rock People and dead trees, and Jewly. Do you know how I feel?

Friday, August 28, 2009

The final weekend is here

and it's a teary-eyed time for me. I feel almost as sad as I did when we left Florida to move to Arizona. I didn't know it was possible for me to become so attached in such a short time. But Flagstaff feels like home to me. Whenever I drive up the hill, my heart is lifted and I feel buoyant and happy. The mountains welcome me, and all of the greenery makes me feel alive. This truly has been the best summer ever!
Now its time to look forward, instead of looking back. My memories are stored, to be brought out when I need a pick-me-up. It's up to me to find a way to make Phoenix bearable. I do have lots of work to keep me busy, and there is a festival on Grand Avenue September 26 that I will be participating in. Next week is First Friday at Marsiglia Gallery, and then I will be in Cleveland with my son visiting my mom and brother.
Bob knows how I am, so he has booked a weekend in Venice Beach for us, and there is an art show the same weekend. He knows how to cheer me up.
And the mountains aren't going anywhere. They will be here for the next trip, the next visit, the next summer. Just in time to renew spirit again.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

The weekend is over

and I am left with wonderful memories of good times. Most of my daughters were able to visit me on my next-to-last weekend in Flagstaff, and we all had a great time. We enjoyed the sights on the square, had great food and good spirits, talked and laughed and walked around the town.
Saturday brought more fun, a nice hike at Kachina Trail, lots of rain and more friends. This weekend was the perfect end to a wonderful summer that I will always remember. I found out much about myself, listened to my muse and created. I let my environment lead the direction my art is taking, and had much fun playing with my lampwork beads. I accomplished most of what I set out to do, and left a few things to work on in the future.
I am not the same person I was in June. This was the first time in my adult life that I actually spent time completely alone, and I learned how to be with myself. Not easy for somebody who has spent almost a lifetime being a mother and wife. And what a gift it was. The following are some of the things I learned.
I learned to be present in my own life without distraction, and to take ownership of my dreams.
It's easy to be authentic when alone.
I realized that I don't always have to agree with others, but really should listen to other sides and opinions for pearls of wisdom.
It really is a good idea to go outside and exercise daily.
It's great to have friends from all age groups.
Naps are a great idea at any age.
I learned it's OK to have cereal for supper, lunch and breakfast, and that it's really important to have a variety on hand to choose from.
I learned to enjoy my own guilty pleasure (Six Feet Under HBO TV Series), and found that it was a way to bond with others.
Happy hour can mean coffee, too.
Apartment living is not for the faint of heart, and it would not be bad to be hard of hearing when it comes to music coming from other apartments.
A noisy fan makes great white noise.
Dogs are the easiest way for humans to make friends.
I'll post more words of wisdom as I remember them.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Many Thanks

to Mitzi Miles-Kubota for her post It is my inspiration for my blog today. This is the next to the last weekend I will be here in Flagstaff, and I want to really "use it up". I want to hike and bike and go outdoors and enjoy this cooler weather before I head back to the valley. My time here has been wonderful, enchanting, positive, productive, friendly, lively, happy, lonely, full, quiet, loud, and full of lessons-one being frugality but not stinginess.
The difference between the two is this; frugality means to use what you have wisely- namely time, talent, money, love, and when the need to replenish arises, you are willing to add more and use that without hesitation. Being stingy comes from a place of lack, being afraid to use what you have because you think no more is coming.
Everything you do, everything you give is given back to you many times over. What you send out is what is returned, be it positive or negative. You attract what you give, and if something is unsavory, it mirrors something in your own heart which you don't like or need to work on. If you are stingy with your gifts, the lack is reflected back at you and the emptiness remains that way.
On the other hand, that which is freely given always comes back! It might return to you in a different form, but the spirit of the gift remains the same.
Please, practice frugality if you must, but give freely and without reservation. And, give some things to that most important person, yourself.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Where there's smoke

there's fire, and that has been the case today. A wildfire about 12 miles SE of Flagstaff has darkened the skies and littered ash here today. Makes you really appreciate being able to breathe, as the air was very smoky today.
We really should pay better attention. Bob and I decided to hike in Thorpe Park today, there is a trail near Lowell Observatory. Good thing we didn't take Jewly with us, she would not have made it halfway. I almost didn't, either. Note to self, if the air smells like smoke, it's probably not a good idea to hike. It feels like my lungs are on fire tonight, and my eyes burn, too. This is a lesson in how quickly the environment can change, and how fragile it really is.
One of the many reasons I am up north this summer is so that I can breathe, the air in Phoenix is very smoggy. This fire caught and spread quickly, and the beautiful pine air has been replaced by smoke. The winds will hopefully clear the air by tomorrow, but I was reading that the precipitation is about half of what it normally is. That makes for a very dry forest and easy kindling. Prime for small fires to turn into larger ones.
Maybe it's a metaphor for life. Tend to the smaller fires before they turn into the giant blazes. Make amends for small hurts before they become large wounds. Take care of the little annoyances before they become big problems. The list can go on, but you get the picture. Love a little and it spreads beyond your reach. And that is the way it's supposed to be.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Thursday is Music Night

at Heritage Square, and I had the good fortune to attend tonight, despite a little rain and chill in the air (actually, I was hoping to save the goosebumps for my return to Phoenix). The performers were Chuck Cheesman and Matthew Henry Hall, and the music was a mix of acoustic, folk and blues.
Both of these talented musicians write and perform much of their own music, and it is worth the time to listen and enjoy. Chuck Cheesman has a beautiful voice, and the poetic lyrics to several of his selections brought sentimental tears to my eyes.
Matthew Henry Hall was a little more "bluesy" tonight, and engaged the crowd with his humorous lyrics, syncopated rhythms and nonsense songs. Though some of the music was designed for children, adults enjoyed it as well.
I sat and listened to the music and watched the crowd. It is a comfortable place to be, on the outside, both figuratively and literally. It's good to watch people interact and play. A little boy near me was trying to "play the guitar" on a yardstick, he must have been about 2, and he was really into the music. It reminded me of the time when one of my children tried to "play the keyboard" on a large diaper box. Those images stay with me, for me to bring out time to time. Good memories.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Triple Ramble!

My ideas for this blog were totally different today, but due to a memory nudge from Kim Miles, and another one from her cousin Mitzi, I have two different ideas to share.

Kim posted pictures of her visit to Hearst Castle on her blog, and there were pictures of the pools there. The photos reminded me of the best dream I have ever had, and I wanted to share it with you.

This dream happened over 20 years ago when I was going through a very difficult time in my life. In the dream, my good friend Jim called me up and said "Hey Deb, I met a guy who has a job for you. He wants you to build a staircase-to heaven!" I said, "Do you know the guys name?" Jim answered "Yeah, I think it's God." I said "OK", and got to work building a staircase out of papier-mache which was the medium I was working in at the time. When I got to to top, there was the most beautiful, serene pool I have ever seen. To this day, whenever I think of that dream, and I do remember it vividly, I am happy and at peace. I think that every once in a while, we do get a glimpse of the divine to keep us going, in tough times and in good.

The second thought I have is regarding an idea from Mitzi Miles-Kubota. She has a theory about "Trickle-up" economics. I have placed a link to her short YouTube video here, it's short and to the point, and I think makes a good argument. Baisically she says that it might be a good idea for us to lower our prices just a bit so that regular folk can afford to buy something from us or use our service (whatever business you are in). If people lower their prices just a bit, more people could afford to make even small purchases which will help boost the economy. Sounds good to me, watch the video and see what she says.

Ok, one last point. My friend Carla from Black Mountain Jewelry Company has written an article for Soft-Flex about how important it is that we, as artists, support other artist when doing shows or gallery hopping or surfing the net. It's expensive to be in this business, but more importantly, it's important to appreciate other artists work so that they may continue to do that which they love also. The article can be found here

Well enough for my soapbox today. I do want to share the Rock People I met today. See if you can see their faces as I did.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Another First Friday

in Flagstaff, and will probably be my last for awhile. I will be leaving at the end of August, so won't be around for the September fling, but my-oh-my, what fun it was today. Of course, I know the first Friday in Phoenix was also great, I hear there was body painting on Grand Avenue. Will have to check my sources to find out the details.
Here in Flagstaff there were also some fun things happening. George at Fire on the Mountain Hot Glass Studio was doing live glass-blowing demonstrations. He is always entertaining when showing how to blow glass, and tonight was no exception. George is a truly talented glassblower who makes a difficult art form appear easy.
There was also a fashion show held in the street, preceded by a great little duo from Tucson called Ryanwood. The two entertaining young men are comfortable in front of a crowd, and make you feel as if they are singing just for you, and having a great time doing it. The fashion show after featured a gown made from Cardinals footballs jerseys. "Interesting", and I'll leave it at that!
Galleries were all open, featuring some new and some established artists, and most locations offered refreshments, an added bonus. Heritage Square was the scene of more music and the feature of the evening, "KungFu Panda". I think most of the locals were out and about tonight.
I know that there is a strong sense of community in this town. Many folks here know each other, and the evening was full of greetings for both people and the many pets that are welcome here. As much as I would like to say that I felt I belonged, I can't honestly claim that. I think community is forged over a longer period of time than just 6 weeks. I have made acquaintance with some people, and given time, am sure friendships will be formed. I was content tonight to watch the people interact with one another, and am confident that someday I too will be a full-fledged member of this wonderful little community.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Back in the Frying Pan

or at least it feels like it. I am working in Phoenix for a few days, and not to whine, but it sure is HOT!!!!! It is great to see my family, friends and co-workers, but the heat and the hazy Phoenix air? Not so much.
So, my question of the day is: What do you do when the place you live is not really the place you know you need to be? How do you make it work when you must stay? This is the question that I have been trying to answer for the past 7 years. If anybody has any suggestions, please tell me.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Field Trips and Tourist Season

This past weekend Bob and I played "tourist" in Flagstaff. We did some of the things people do when they come to town for a short visit. We went to Arizona Snowbowl on Saturday and rode the ski lift up and down the mountain, taking lots of pictures along the way. Since it was warmer than usual in town that day, the trip up the mountain was a welcome respite from the heat.
The view from the top are phenomenal! On a clear day you can see the Grand Canyon, but on Saturday there was a wild fire and the smoke obscured the view in that area. There were other things to see, though, and I have included lots of photos. As you can see, the sky was blue, the forest was green and the air was clean!
Sunday I went on a "field trip" with Jamie. We went to Lowell Observatory for the night displays, and looked through the telescopes, listened to the lectures, watched the presentations and played with the interactive displays. It really felt like she and I were on a field trip with just the two of us, and it was fun!
One of the things that made this visit so memorable were the enthusiastic staff members. Most of them appeared to be students who had a passion for astronomy, which they demonstrated by sharing their knowledge of the night skies. They explained things in layman's terms making it easy for us to understand and process.
This little trip opened my eyes again to the importance of passion in your life. Passion for what you do to make your world special to you; passion for your calling, passion for your purpose in life, passion for your friends and family. I know that pursuing that which makes your heart sing is what will provide joy. I also know that it's not always possible to "do what you love or love what you do", as the shirt (Life is Good) says, but you can hold a tiny piece of your passion close to your heart and take it out when you need it most. Sometimes the memory will be sufficient to get you through your day.
It's been said many times that if you believe it to be possible, it is. I know this to be true. I dreamed often and constantly of leaving the city for the summer. I believe that dream that I often "took out when I needed it most" coupled with synchronicity helped make my being in Flagstaff this summer a reality. My passion for art, life and love has been reignited!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Meld(t)ing Business

I've always enjoyed plays on words, and the idea for this entry hit me after I spoke with my business partner. I have been concerned about my lampwork jewelry business, and have been trying to stir up new accounts and ways to sell my art. One of the reasons I got out of the heat this summer was to be able to create new work in the hopes that it might increase my business. Once summer is over and I return to Phoenix, my other job will be busy, and I don't know that I will have the time to play and be creative, so I am "stockpiling" new designs now.
The approach I take to my business is different from most, however. Milissa reminded me that most of my business comes from the non-profit sector. I sell on a website called This website is a clearing house for non-profits, and a buyer or contributor can go to that website and search for the non-profit of choice; or search for items to buy at auction, like jewelry, vacations, purses, etc. The profits go to the various charities running the auctions.
This conversation reminded me that though I love to make my beads, and really love to sell them, its all part of a bigger picture. I am trying to put myself out there, and let Karma do its work. I truly believe that what you give is returned to you. I am merely laying the groundwork for the rest of my life, and trusting that whatever positive energy I give will sometime be returned. Or, to put it another way, my whole life, love, work, business, is a "Pay It Forward" venture.
Even if the profit is not tangible, it is "banked". The interest compounding will benefit all.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Who knew I was tribal?

I knew that a change in my environment would have a profound effect not only on my outlook, health and life, but my art as well? I am making beads that I never would have imagined before coming here. I am a Pisces, a water sign, beach babe (well, sorta), fish - you get the picture. Now I am making beads in shades of green, orange, even burnt sienna! What happened to all the blues and teals and aquas and waves? I don't know where they went, maybe those colors felt out of their element and have been replaced by the colors and the history of the mountains.

Before I came here, I almost always gravitated towards beads with a water theme. My sand and surf beads have been my trademark, and my work had a very organic feel to it. Lately, however, I am making beads with a tribal theme and feel, deep greens and browns and reds, lots of dots and stripes, still organic but with a more ancient feel.

I like this new style, it is very mesmerizing working this way. The dots must be placed carefully, and all of my concentration is focused on the bead at hand. This method is good for the soul, like yoga. Focusing my concentration on one thing lets much of the emotional stuff I tend to carry around with me dissipate and fall away, leaving a more authentic self appear. I hope I can maintain this peace.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Flagstaff is

a lot like Florida in the summer. How so, you say? It has rained almost every afternoon at 3PM, just like Orlando. It's sometimes a hard, teeming rain, othertimes it just seems to "spit". It is a great way to break up the day, as in what should I do before the rain, or after.
Today I decided to make beads after the rain. I was a little tired, we hiked yesterday and "kinda-sorta" missed a turn-off, and that turned our hike into a little longer than we had planned, so I have been tired and achy since then, which really isn't a good combination when working with fire. I will be interested to find out what will come out of the kiln in the morning.
I was experimenting with form and shape, inspired by Heather's new career as a "Doula". What is a Doula? She assists during labor and delivery to try to make it as drug free as possible. It is a special calling, and I am sure Heather will be one of the best!

Friday, July 24, 2009

Small town living

Is all I thought it would be. I love the sense of community, the comraderie, and the pride of a small town. This is not my first experience, I lived in a small place in Florida for a while, and I find that many of the perks are still the same.
I had the opportunity to go to Heritage Square tonight for the Friday night movie. A projector is set up, people bring lawn chairs, blankets, coolers and kids for a summer-time free movie. It's a great way to meet local people and strike up a conversation. Usually there is another form of entertainment while waiting for the sun to set. Last week it was The Wicked Tinkers, (from an earlier post). This week it was the local dance studio showcasing the folk dances of Mexico.
All the dancers, but especially the children, wore their finest costumes and put on the best show of the evening. There is something special about children getting a chance to showcase their talents on stage, and the music provided was upbeat and happy.
I think that encouraging our kids to enjoy the arts, dancing, singing, music and fine arts, benefits everybody. The children our happy and proud of their accomplishments, and the adults are able to enjoy the efforts of the children and feel pride for them as well. A wonderful way to end the week and start the weekend on a positive note for all.

Sometimes goals

which we set for ourselves need to be adjusted. I think we need to listen to our inner "mom" more often, because, if we did, accidents could be avoided. At least, that's what I told myself Thursday as I set out to ride my bike to Snowbowl. It was a beautiful day, and the clouds had not yet gathered for the afternoon showers.
When I moved here for the summer, I promised myself I would get some kind of activity every day that I was not working, and I have been fairly religious about it. But, when I woke up Thursday, I had an awful headache, and was a little out of sorts, so I had my morning 'joe and decided it would be a good day to attempt to ride to Snowbowl.
Halfway up the street, I noticed my tire was a little low, so I stopped at a bike shop (which, by the way was going out of business), and found they had no compressor, therefore, no air! He directed me to a service station and I was able to fill the tire and continue on.
The bike path was wide, the wind at my back, and I was enjoying the ride-for about 15 minutes. The bike path ended, and the road beckoned. The shoulder, however, is not very wide in that area, and is "gravelly". And (don't tell Bob), I did not have my helmet. WWMS? Or What Would Mom Say?-Turn around, so, I did.
Biking sure is a lot more fun when going downhill!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

The only thing constant

Is change. I was reminded of that today when I saw this tree, with names and initials and dates carved into it. It seems to me that people are always trying to capture a moment in eternity, yet at that very moment life is changing. I wonder how many of these couples who so desperately wanted the world to know about their love eternal are still together.
I can almost understand the need to immortalize something, be it a relationship, event or a person Sometimes a name is carved into a tree, often a name is tattooed on an arm, or an ad taken out in a newspaper. I can't say I haven't tried to do the same thing. I remember writing a boy's name over and over in my notebook when I was younger, trying to hold on to the image of our eternal love.
Yet, even as I was writing it, things were changing. And, even as these names are carved into the tree, the tree is trying to heal, bark is growing over the injury, and the names are shifting, both figuratively and actually.
I think it's all about the process. Change, growth, more change. Learning to live with the constant of change, expecting change, accepting change. Only then will you inhabit your comfort zone.
In the spirit of change, I took some photos of the mountain today as the storms set in. There are too many photos to post here, but you can see them on my Facebook page.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

All weekends

should be like this one. What a great time! My husband came up for the weekend which was filled with activities. Friday night was Celtic music night at Heritage Square in Flagstaff, and much to my surprise, one of my favorite groups, and the headliner for the weekend, the Wicked Tinkers, played a short set. If you have never had the opportunity to watch this great tribal Celtic musical group perform, you are definitely missing out on a great time. The energy in the crowd was palpable, from the kids to the seniors. Everybody was clapping and yelling and dancing and truly enjoying a beautiful evening in the square. Talk about warming up the crowd! Incredible!

Saturday was a great day on the Kachina Trail. The weather, though slightly toasty by Flagstaff standards, was still beautiful, and the trail meanders through the beautiful Ponderosa Pine Forest near Snowbowl. It is so peaceful, clean, green and refreshing up there. A good place to restore your soul. The hike is not so difficult that it leaves you breathless, but it is challenging enough to know you got a workout. After hiking with friends, we joined others for a BBQ in the enchanted land of Sedona. Beautiful day, delicious food, good friends and conversation. What else could anybody ask for?

The Wicked Tinkers! That's what! Sunday we all went to the Celtic Festival in Flagstaff to watch the Tinkers play and laugh and drink and whirl and do the same ourselves. Happy wonderful music, laughter, good Guiness and good company. The festival certainly did not disappoint. Afterwards, a swim and a BBQ once again to complete a great weekend.

It was sad to say goodbye to my husband and daughters before they headed down the mountain. However, it was also a good time to reflect on the simple joys of family, friendship, music and laughter. How absolutely full I felt as I fell into bed on Sunday, feeling as though I was the happiest soul on the planet. I wish this happiness for each and every one of you.

Friday, July 17, 2009

It's late, I should be going

to bed, but I am enjoying the quiet. Quiet is not something I have ever had a lot of, and sometimes it is hard to get accustomed to it, but I find I am enjoying it more and more. It might even be quieter if I closed the windows and the neighbors turned down the music, but that is not the quiet I am seeking.

I am looking for the inside quiet, in my heart and mind. The peacefulness that comes from sitting with oneself and listening. The quiet that comes from not having to fill my life with sound, music, busy-ness, television.

It's easy to get caught up in all the noise as I have been most of my life. With an active household of 6+ children, neighborhood kids, jobs, beads, art, music, the rythym of life was very noisy. It is an adjustment to not have to raise my voice above it all to be heard, rather, to listen quietly to the whisper of my soul and hear it speaking to me.

What is it telling me? I think to simply be. And to create beauty. And to love.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Gees, not to complain

But it sure is hot here today. I am in Phoenix for a couple of days this week, and boy oh boy, let's leave it at that.

Yesterday was Sunday, what a great day for a hike. Bob and I hiked the Kachina Trail, near Snowbowl. It was perfect, coolish, green and just a little challenging. Good thing I brought my trusty walking stick, which, as it turns out, is the perfect way to start a conversation.

My walking stick has a face carved into it, and people frequently comment on it. Because of it, we met some very nice folks who were considering moving to the Flagstaff area. It's always good to meet new friends, I hope it works out for them. And it's always great to have an ice-breaker, a way to start a conversation.

I think many opportunities are missed just because we are not sure how to greet people, or just what to say. A very wise woman once told me that I should try and find something nice to say or a compliment to make to every person I meet, because that may be the only nice thing the other person hears all day. I do try to take this to heart.

I have been working or should I say playing very hard with my beads, making new jewelry and getting very creative. I have posted new items in my Etsy store, take a look if you are so inclined.

Saturday, July 11, 2009


It just finished raining. Who would have thought that would be cause for celebration, but it is. This "fish out of water" really looks forward to the rain now. It cleanses and cools, even here in Flagstaff.

Bob is on his way here, he says the heat in the valley is "Toasty". Personally, I think the thermostat down there is on "broil", which is why I am here. It will be good to have him here for the weekend, it's been almost a week since I've seen him.
I think today's lesson is gratitude. Gratitude for the chance to be in this place, and do what I do, gratitude to the people who made this possible, and to the universe for letting the stars align in the right formation.
I was up late last night creating. I was using beads I have had for awhile, and they finally spoke to me. I came up with some very interesting designs. I am sure it happened because I allowed myself to play and dream and be thankful for the time and energy to do it.
One of the goals I have set for the time I am here in Flagstaff this summer is to allow myself to experiment with my jewelry, and try new techniques. This is one of the necklaces I created last night. The focal "peace" in the necklace was created by KimmBerly Ioane and was purchased last weekend at the "Flagstaff Art in the Park" show. The complimentary lampwork beads along the side were made by me with sand from Sedona, Please let me know what you think.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Jamie's New Car

Another one has formally left the nest. Well, she left the nest five year ago, but just bought her first car today, so she is now "officially independent". That means no more "Mom, can you pick me up and take me down to Phoenix so I don't have to ride the bus?" Or, "Mom, I'd love to come home but don't have a ride". All of this is no longer pertinent, because Jamie has a new car!

It is nice being here in Flagstaff to oversee the "Purchase". Not that Jamie needed any help. She did it on her own, finding and paying for the car. I just listened as she called the insurance. It is a cute little thing, with four-wheel drive, which I am sure she will need this winter. It is a Tracker, kind of a junior-sized SUV, but very good on gas, she has assured me.

Congratulations Jamie!
Here's a thought on another topic.
What good is having a balcony when all of the neighbors around you smoke? Kind of ironic, don't you think?

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

I want to ride my bicycle

Are the lyrics to a Queen song. And also one of my favorite things to do. Sometimes I do get carried away, like today. Beautiful, gorgeous, wonderful Flagstaff day, and me on my bike, with the wind in my hair, not a care in the world! I can't think of a better recipe for disaster. Note to self, Pay Attention! The ride out of town was great, downhill, wind at my back, sunny. I just forgot that what goes down must come up-like hills- wind in your face, using the lowest possible gear and still going 2 mph, and then you walk the bike for a mile or two and hope the wind dies down and you find a downhill part of the route.

So, the best part of the ride was getting home in one piece, taking a long bath for the aching muscles, and the nap after. I guess I cancelled all the good I did with the bowl of chocolate ice cream I gave myself for my reward.

Having finished my 30 or more minutes of physical activity for the day, and being somewhat refreshed, I then decided that I would make jewelry and beads. And boy, did I! I played with fire for several hours, and then got creative with my bead box and made bracelets, cell phone charms, more bracelets and a couple of pendants. I'll post them on my website in a day or two.

I have more ideas than time, and sometimes the ideas in my head are not what happens with my hands. Every now and then, a happy accident occurs, and then I can say "I meant to do that!"

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Never eat watermelon before going to bed

for obvious reasons! Did not sleep well last night, must learn to limit my watermelon intake. Reminds me of a song-
Lalalalala- ahem -OHHHH, never eat watermelon before you go to sleep,
it makes you want to get up on your feet,
then go to the bathroom and ...
OHHHH never eat watermelon before you go to sleep!
Thanks, Sandy for the singing mug, now I have the song stuck in my head!

Monday, July 6, 2009

I think it's time

to write. Sometimes I might have something profound to say, other times I will probably not write at all. But, for now, as I sit on my balcony and enjoy the beautiful weather that is Flagstaff, I will just express gratitude. To my husband, Bob, for helping to make this happen, to my employer, Healthwaves, as well, and to this beautiful place, Flagstaff, which has rescued me, and is allowing me to refresh and reconnect.

It is hard to create when you can't breathe. When the air is clean and fresh, the surroundings glorious, and the heart is open, wonderful things can happen.

So, here I am in Flagstaff, playing with fire for the time being. Phoenix will have me back soon enough. I am learning a new rhythm in my life; to slow down and appreciate all that is given. To not always have to do-sometimes just to be. And, to create. New beads, new jewelry, new ideas.

To sniff around a little, like my dog, Jewly, (aka LSD). To take my time and appreciate. And sometimes, to just take a little nap!