Sunday, December 30, 2007

Choose One (Or More)

This last year was so amazing! I had one of the most serendipitous summers ever, as I visited the coast of California not once, not twice, but three times! The first time, I planned it. The second time, Lora invited me on a whim, and I'll have more about that story on a later date. The third time, well, after hearing about the second time, Swede had to go again, and we dragged Ingrid along, too!

Carmel Beach.



We stayed with Lora's son, Gary, one of the most
gracious hosts you could ever HOPE to know.

Huh? That's not me! TRUST me, I'm a lady.

Yes, ALL the signs had been converted to read NO WAR ANY TIME.

Stopping by Pilgrim's Way Books is worth a 2000 mile road trip in itself.

Here, pilgrims find what they have been searching for...

May you find what you are looking for this year.


Friday, December 28, 2007

No Hang Ups

We have a secret neighborhood artist who displays work when no one is looking in various places. These hanging heads are one of my favorites. He uses great shoes.

I thought these pictures were apropos for the holidays. With so many events at once, it would be easy to get hung up if you were to make a poor choice, like, say, driving home in a blizzard from Utah (phew, no blizzard- I'm home safely); or driving home on New Years after a few drinkies and getting, you know, thrown in jail.

So lets all make sure we make good choices, and don't get hung up like this gal, kay?

Happy Holidays!

Monday, December 17, 2007

The Purple Elephant?

As I promised, here are the photos from Audreys' White Elephant Gift Exchange. I will need Audrey's help to remember all of these wonderful folks' names, but these are the highlights of our evening together. Someone received what appears to be the Pink, or maybe Purple Elephant Massager.
This is my friend Ingrid, who just moved back from California, and Otis, a pet Audrey recently rescued and is nursing back to health from Valley Fever. Just so happens, Audrey is a nurse.
James, owner of JahGee Yoga, is capturing some attention here.
And, this is Owen, Audrey's first puppy, and the boss of Otis, despite his size, and of course, moi!
Who dares to take this gift home? James! He swapped the body products for the game, Speak Love Make Love, in the end!
Now that statue is a beauty! I took that marble piece of art home about three years ago. Can you believe no one even tried to steal it from me back then. Well, to their loss, because the next year, everyone asked me if I brought her back; they wanted a chance to win her. Ha! I wasn't ready to give her up yet. Then, Audrey moved and we missed a year, so I brought her back this year, but the crowd was a bit different, and I don't know if they were ready for her.
If this is not the iconographic Christmas photo, I don't know what is.
And here's Audrey, showing off her gifts. She chose the triptych I painted a few years ago, and am letting go of since we are moving soon. No one dared steal them from her, after all, it was her party and she deserved 'em!
We had a few late-comers, but better late than never, especially when they are adding another present to the pile!
These are a couple of nice couples.
I'm the first to gather in the kitchen, because, duh, that's where the food is! As usual, Audrey prepared Lasagne and provided the wine. What a dear:D
Hope your holidays are going fantastically!

Saturday, December 8, 2007

White Elephant

Last night was Audrey's annual White Elephant gift exchange party. She bought a new house last year, and because of rennovations, we didn't get a party. We've been waiting two years for this moment, and now it has passed. My rechargeables burned out after just one picture on my camera, and I took the rest on Audrey's. So, now I am just waiting for her to forward the pictures so I can post them. This is just a friendly reminder to her:D

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Pita Jungle

I'll be leaving Arizona soon, so it's time to sift through old pictures and bask in the mood of sentimentality, experiencing times I've forgotten like new again.

Swede adds to its character.

I enjoy the pensive mood this space creates, and the deep conversations that follow.

Make Food NOT Bombs.

Make Love NOT War.

Monday, December 3, 2007

Christmas Time in Arizona

Tis the season to be jolly! El Penasco, the restaurant Swede performs at on Fridays and Saturdays, put up their tree... the Charlie Brown Christmas tree, that is. Ha, the thing is leaning over Swede, I know you probably can't tell, but I got such a kick out of it. Maria, our favorite waitress said she did everything she could to fix it. Where is my Aunt Nancy, and can we get some of Lesley's decorations? Next to Swede is a vihuela, a Spanish descendant of the guitar. Great for Renaissance music.

As the holidays come into full swing, invites are flying for festive gatherings. Saturday after Swede's performance, I got us lost trying to find my friend Cliff's house. We arrived after they had already finished the flight of white wines. Cliff is a teacher friend of mine that I met at New Samaritan last year. We have been camping and Kayaking with Cliff and he is like an extended member of our family. We all adore him! How could you not? Look at him here, enthusiastically reading us the label of this fine red wine.

A votre service! As you can see, we each have a wine judging sheet, so that we can write down the names of the wines we try and rate them on a scale from 1-5.

Cliff is a History teacher and loves to take us back to the past. Zabrina and Wyatt had their first taste of Neil Diamond! "Hello my friend, hello.... just called to let you know... I think about you every night... da da da... hello.... "

Tosa, Kristina, Nicole

And some oldies that I know the words to but can't necessarily identify the original artists, like "la la la la la la la la la means, I love you!"

Beannie, Tosha and Cindy

"I'll leave my home in Arizona, and head for the Frisco Bay. 750 miles I'll roam, just to make Santa Cruz my home. Sitting on the dock of the bay, watching the tide roll away, oooo, sitting on the dock of the bay, wasting time!" By the way, Swede and I are both applying for jobs in the areas south of Frisco. I'm applying for Stanford to study Sustainability Engineering, and there is a music conservatory Swede is interested in. We hope to move there by the end of December.

Before it was all over, we each got a fortune cookie. Mine said: "Genius does what it must. Talent does what it can... in bed!" BTW, Wyatt had Root Beer wine and Beannie had Orange Cream. The people I actually labeled above were the ones who stayed until the end and I was able to write down their info in my address book so as not to forget their names!!! These are all teachers at Cliff's school. What an amazing staff- made me want to work with them! And of course, they are special ed! Ha- that's my area of specialty... it takes a special person!

Thanks for the memories, Cliff!