Saturday, February 21, 2009

Sunsets over the red rocks



Sometimes I hold my breath when I watch the sun set over the lake from my front room. I love when the orange, red, and gold colors fill the sky.
The sunsets here in Sedona I look toward the hills to the east that reflect the sunset colors. The rock cliffs already in red, orange and yellow hues glow in the colored light of the sunset. It seems that so many people here have their favorite sunset viewing spot. These were taken from the airport viewpoint which is also known to be one of the vortex sites.

Things aren't always as they seem


Sedona has been thought of as a "mystical" place. From the magnetic fields in the vortex, the psychic readers on every corner, the crystal stores with imported stones (of course) and the Native American legends you can't help but wonder if it is affecting you.
The other night we were driving on one of the main roads and off behind the bushes there were twinkling lights. They were a gold color and seemed to be arranged in a flowing pattern. We were sure it was a group of people with votive candles chanting under the stars.
We drove around the area and couldn't find them up close.
The next day we found this "mystical" site.
We can't stop laughing! What we thought was a collection of candles was actually a collection of road signs and blinking construction caution lights! In the daylight there is nothing mystical about them! Maybe that's what happens when you are around all this mystical stuff!

Friday, February 20, 2009

Small world but we find each other without looking


Today at Montezuma's Castle in the high desert about 30 minutes from Sedona I ran into Bill. There he was walking along the sidewalk! He does live near Phoenix half the year like a snow bird. But, he spends the rest of the year in Seattle. He is such a dear because with his extensive background in radar with the military, he is determined to get my radar working. He did get it fixed with the help of Raymarine in New Hampshire. When he returns from AZ he'll hook it back up.
In my life I have run into many people in the most unlikely places.. a toastmaster friend in Mexico, my doctors wife in Canada, my neighbors best friend in Italy(when I was 16). It always amazes me. When I go to my "hometown" where I grew up I always hope to run into someone from my past, but after 30 years I have yet to do that!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

The grand canyon is so huge it is hard to contemplate!

This is my first view of the grand canyon as we walked up to the viewpoint near the hotel.




I can't really grasp the vastness of the grand canyon. It was scarry being so close to the edge. The cliff is right there... oh my.. no barrier.. step back too far when being photographed and you are gone.. The color.. it was so full of golden and reddish hues.

I remember when my 4th grade teacher, Ms Ostrander, brought red dirt to class one day from her hometown in Oklahoma. I grew up in the Chicago suburbs and had only seen brown dirt... Isn't that the color of dirt? She was one of my favorite teachers at Sacred Heart school. She had traveled far from home (Oklahoma to me was FAR away), she lived alone in a small house, and she was a teacher. I traveled far from home to live in Seattle, I live alone in a small house and I am a teacher.. hmmmm. And now I have seen red dirt and red rocks in many places!

Maybe that is one reason why I am so drawn to these red hills. The day that it snowed at the grand canyon a few weeks ago they had more visitors than the busiest day last summer. It rarely has snow sticking to the ground. So we were there at a special time with the remnants of the snowstorm.

Jerome.. a ghost town come alive

























I drove through Jerome with Colin, my son a few years ago and stopped only for a drink. I knew that someday I would come back here. It is an old mining town.. for about 30 years they mined for silver, copper and gold. The land under the town and throughout the area is like a honeycomb full of old mine shafts and tunnels. Some people they hear and feel rumbling late at night possibly when some of those tunnels collapse... or a resident ghost makes noise? The old buildings are full of shops including some of the most beautiful art. We spent the day here. It is about 30 minutes from Sedona.

Red Rocks













































I grew up in the Chicago Suburbs and moved to Seattle after College. I love the milder weather in Seattle and the year round green grass and trees. I love the view of the mountains and the water views from all angles.
There is something magical, though, about the red rocks in Sedona and the spectacular vastness of the Grand Canyon. I don't know if I could live in the desert because I'd miss the lakes and ocean. But, I love the way I feel surrounded by these color cliffs and the way the sun plays on them. Maybe there is something spiritual at the site of the seven vortex's (?spell). We'll find out tomorrow! I am here with Susan for a week.. and the time is flying by!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Imagine building your home from recycled materials






Imagine settling on an island and all you can use to build your "home" is found materials and buckets of paint. Michael and Leda settled on acreage just outside Sedona, Arizona in 1979 and built not just a home but an estate of small home made dwellings from recyclable materials. The complex was turned int a non-profit arts association. Susan and I signed up for an afternoon tour that is done periodically to offset costs. In order to get to the property we had to drive through a stream with an uneven rock bed. The canoe was waiting for us if the stream was running too high.

Leda will be moving to stay with family as Michael has passed away. We were fortunate to have time to spend with her to talk about her 30 years as the property was built upon.

It is so named Eliphante as a friend gave the word elephant a french pronunciation when looking at one of the little dwellings that you enter through a long cave like entrance. Inside there is a built in piano, a loft sleeping area, a wall of stained glass windows made from broken glass glued to clear glass, and a wood stove. Every inch is painted, has colored glass or has design or sculpture made from drift wood or timber ends.

The highlight of two books on handmade homes and a travel feature in the NY times, Eliphante will grow in fame over the years as it is so unique.

After wandering around all afternoon I had to think of how I am going to incorporate some of their ideas into my own home. I have decided to work on my backyard more this spring making it more like a secret garden, add more color to my rooms, and express myself more in my home.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Friends are like "gold!"


I am so blessed with the most outstanding collection of friends. I decided when I hit 50 that I would make intentional decisions to bring friends into my life. Tonight, I celebrated with three of my best friends as they each hit birthday Milestones. , Elizabeth scored at 60, Diana reached 70 years old, and Kathleen hit 50 this week. The celebration, held at Rock Salt included over 60 of our friends.

The most unusual house? Is it a house?

Is this a house? Are those planters or water collectors? What does the city of Long Beach, Washington think of this as it is in the city limits? How long has it been down the block from my little cottage? What were the owners thinking? Is this art? It is junk? Who owns it? Is there a purpose? Does it get attention or is it too hidden away? Will it stay or will it go? Does anyone live in it? Is it a remodel or is it a kind of "tree" house in the backyard? Are the people that built it crazy or strange? Do I know the owners? Has this been featured on the internet or in the press? Is there a purpose for this building? Do you know anything about it?





The power of the ocean... the delicate brds






The cold wind came from the Northwest yesterday as I walked on the beach at Long Beach, Wa. Though some people have some aversion to sea gulls, I just love seeing them on the beach. Whenever I hear their calls I know I am near water. As I cling to my scarf and wrap my coat around me heading into the wind... there they are facing into the same wind but you'd never know it. Other birds also explore the beach as the tide goes out. The surf was mighty wild. Walking on the beach during this kind of seas you have to have a strong faith that it won't come and gobble you up.