Thursday, July 13, 2006

I've Moved

Come visit me at my new blog--

Friday, July 07, 2006

Blogger Drives Me to Binge Eat

Blogger has pissed me off for the last time. I apologize ahead of time for any foul language that may occur in this post but I have been pushed to my breaking point. Do you know how long it took me to get last night's post to finally publish? 3 hours! THREE hours! That's insane. That's ridiculous. Seriously! What did I ever do to Blogger to make it hate me so? I really don't understand why we can't just all get along. Ugh! And so my friends I'm moving on to another relationship, one that will show me a little more love. Yes, I'm moving to Typepad. I realize it's not free. At this point I don't care. I'll pay the $5/month if it will mean no more heartaches, no more nights sitting in front of the computer pulling my hair out. I figure it's worth it. I could stay with Blogger and be bald (due to the hair pulling) and fat (due to the binge eating) or I could pay $5 a month and be in a healthy, happy relationship with Typepad. And besides all that I think it will cost me less in the long run. $5 a month will be a whole lot less than purchasing a new computer when Blogger pushes me to the point that I hurl my computer into the wall...or the tv...or the bookshelves... Please come visit me at my new location. Right now it's a little rough (haven't gotten my photo loaded, my bio typed, my links transferred, etc.) but it will get there. I know it's a little inconvenient to change a sidebar link but at least for the time being you can always come here and just click anywhere on this post to get to my new blog. Same name, same me, only now it's just at typepad instead of blogger. And I promise you, if my family didn't read this blog my final pic with Blogger would be me, giving Blogger the bird.

Hasta la vista Blogger!

PS--For all you fellow Typepad users, please pass along any helpful hints, tips, and advice you might have for navigating through this new territory.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Lessons Learned from What Started Out as the Worst Trip of My Entire Life

  • if you know you have an 11-12 hour drive ahead of you, leave as early as possible. should a client whose website you host call right about the time you're going to leave, do not answer the phone. i repeat, DO NOT ANSWER THE PHONE. it could possibly lead to having to complete an hour or so of work before you can hit the road.
  • although it is a very romantic idea to just hop in the car and drive until you find a place to camp (one that will allow campfires), i wouldn't recommend attempting such a trip on the weekend of a major national holiday. you will quickly discover that half of america has had the very same idea and because they didn't have to complete a couple hours of work before they hit the road, they have gotten a head start.
  • when leaving town it is best to get all your supplies together before the morning of the drive. stopping by the grandparents to pick up a sleeping bag only leads to unnecessary chatting and long goodbyes. although it is nice to tell your loved ones goodbye, the morning of the trip is not the best time and will only put you further behind than you already are.
  • never, never, never stop at the Sonic in Dalhart, TX on a Saturday afternoon. it will take an hour to get your food and that is just unacceptable for a Sonic. this is supposed to be FAST food.
  • speaking of fast food...attempting to eat at fast food restaurants when you're a vegetarian can be a challenge.
  • if you didn't get an early morning start and your lunch took entirely too long (even though it was Sonic), i would not recommend you stop along the way to admire the view. it is more essential to get to your destination. oh sure the mountains are lovely and how often do you get to see a buffalo but you must refrain. it is the weekend of a major national holiday. this fact should always stay in the forefront of your mind.
  • if you are heading to the Aspen/Breckenridge area (in northwest Colorado) on July 4th weekend there will not be one single camping spot available if you do not arrive until 10:30 at night. not a single damn one.
  • you cannot always trust the internet. just because the internet says the temperature in northwest Colorado is 80 during the day/50 at night that does not mean it is true. even in July you may find that there is frost covering everything. FROST! trusting the internet could result in the possibility of packing inappropriately for such cold weather.
  • don't waste your time roaming around the Aspen/Breckenridge area (in the dark) attempting to find a camping spot. there won't be any! the other half of america arrived long before you did. there will not be a single damn camping spot.
  • if you do by chance find the one and only spot left in all of the Aspen/Breckenridge area don't turn it down because it's ugly. TAKE THE UGLY CAMPING SPOT. if you pass it up you won't be able to get back to it. now you have lost the very last available camping spot.
  • after wandering around the Aspen/Breckenridge area for a couple of hours and giving up on ever finding a camping spot don't think for one minute that you will be able to find a hotel room. IT'S THE WEEKEND OF JULY 4TH! THERE ARE NO HOTEL ROOMS AVAILABLE.
  • you can stop at every hotel from Aspen to Denver if you want to but i'm telling you now, you WILL NOT find a hotel room.
  • if you use the phonebook in a hotel lobby at 3:30 in the morning and actually find a hotel room available, don't expect it to still be available when you arrive at the hotel. IT WON'T!
  • attempting the romantic notion of hitting the road and just ending up wherever does not work on the weekend of a major national holiday and will only result in spending the first night of your much anticipated vacation in the last hotel room available---IN DENVER!!!
  • 4:30 in the morning is a very late time to finally arrive at a destination when you left at 10:30 the previous morning. that's 18 hours on the road--5 of which were spent roaming the Aspen/Breckenridge area in search of a camping spot or a hotel.
  • always, always, always take the interstate when traveling in Colorado. taking the side roads only leads to winding around the mountains of Colorado at 10 mph for hours. as much as you think it might, this roaming does not lead to finding a camping spot.
  • don't trust shortcuts. they may look tempting but they can not be trusted. you may just find out that the pass has been closed due to SNOW. sure it's July but were talking about a 13,000 foot level of elevation.
  • if after roaming the Colorado countryside you finally end up in Breckenridge please remember that on the weekend of a major national holiday you are going to wind up in bumper to bumper traffic.
  • if the driver of your vehicle finally looses it while sitting in the bumper to bumper traffic always remember that this is not a good time to argue with him about your destination. i would suggest you just sit back and keep your mouth shut. he's going to do exactly what he wants to anyway. save yourself the heartache...and the cursing and pounding of fists.
  • keep in mind that although it is July it does in fact rain ICE in Breckenridge, Colorado.
  • endless roaming around the northwest section of Colorado and the bumper to bumper traffic in Breckenridge is likely to result in turning around and heading home because at this point your just hopeless.
  • when driving back towards Texas there is no need to stop at every campsite you find along the way expecting to find one that allows campfires. if there is a level 2 fire restriction in most of the Colorado area you're not going to find a camping location that will allow campfires. it just won't happen.
  • you may really long for a campfire (after all what is camping without a campfire) but you just need to give it up. it's NOT going to happen. it's best to just LET IT GO!
  • 23 hours of driving around Colorado looking for a camping spot makes one extremely bitchy!
  • if you do spend 23 hours driving around the northwest section of Colorado you could at least take ONE photograph. it's just a shame to travel that far then turn around and head back home without a single photograph.

Don't worry. We did eventually find a beautiful location to camp and there was a happy ending to this tale. More on that in tomorrow's Grateful Friday post.

Friday, June 30, 2006

I know I just got back but...

Yes, I'm hittin' the road again. The B-dog, the T-dog and I are headed for the mountains of Colorado for the long holiday weekend. We'll be trying to get an early start in the morning so I know this will be my last opportunity to wish you a fond farewell and a happy, firecracker filled 4th. Maybe I'll finally get my cool mountain air, my hiking through the pines, my reading among the trees. I'm off to finish packing...and doing laundry...and washing dishes...and straightening up the house...and watching a Netflix movie...and paying bills...and, well, you know all those last minute things you always want to get done before leaving town for awhile. Be well my friends and I'll see you when I get back (probably Thursday). Light a sparkler for me, dear ones!

Happy 4th of July!


Thursday, June 29, 2006

Poetry Thursday - The Way to Grow

I like the way the tree grows,
up and out,
lifting itself on tiptoe straight into the clouds
then spreading its long arms across the yard.
I like the way its branches
twist and tangle.
I like the way each one
has found its own path,
its own place of belonging.
I like the way they
bow and bend,
making room for each other
while continuing their own movement forward.
I like the way the sky's desire
calls it upward
and the Earth's hunger
pulls it downward.
I like the way this delicate tug of war
gives it strength and flexibility.
I like the way it wears its leaves
so loosely,
letting them fall without a fight,
without regret.
I like the way it kisses each morning tenderly
then cradles the stars every night.
And most of all,
I like the way it knows
without a doubt
its place is here
in this present moment.
It never forgets.
It never looks back.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Finding Myself

And this is where I found myself, my spirit. Right there curled up in the bright pink petals, singing sweetly with the bees, turning my face warmly towards the sun. And you know, sometimes when you finally find that piece of yourself that you've been longing for, that peace of yourself that's been missing, all the walls you've been defensively constructing for so long start to crumble away. Your heart opens, your lips part, a song tunnels it's way from the dark and you finally start letting go. Yes, you finally unclench your fists, you finally lift your eyes, you finally let your soul crack open, you finally embrace the love around you. And you wonder what ever took you so long. You wonder why you haven't done this sooner. And you breathe again. And it is sweet.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

SPC {Pop Art--4}

4 days that rocked in a nutshell (...well, a fairly lengthy nutshell):

My mom and I left last Wednesday night. We traveled as far as my aunt's house, which is located in a small town just east of Clovis NM. We spent the evening munching on cheese and veggies and laying in my aunt's hammock. The next morning we took a 2 mile walk and then drove around the town photographing various sights and locations. My grandparent's lived in this same town when I was a child so it holds many fond memories for me, like playing Miss. America on the steps of the Baptist Church (where my grandfather pastored) and searching for pencils in the school yard. Next we were on the road, working our way towards the small town outside of Albuquerque where my mom attended school as a teen. You've probably heard me mention that both my sisters and my mother are Arbonne consultants. My mom's best friend from high school was hosting a party for my mom and my mom wanted someone to tag along. Enter oldest daughter, stage left. I was just along for the ride, someone to be in the car just in case (in case of what I don't know since I can't do a whole lot when it comes to mechanics), and someone to pass around the Arbonne products while she gave her little spill. We took our time making the journey, stopping at various places along the way to photograph crumbling buildings, historical markers, and beautiful catholic churches. After all this is Billy the Kid country for all you Young Guns fans. There was only one near-fatal incident in which my mom tried to kill me by plunging us off a cliff. We were able to laugh about it after we realized that although we were probably driving on only two wheels we didn't in fact actually flip the vehicle or cruise right on over the edge of the ravine. My mom tried to make a quick exit at a historical landmark site only to find that the road was sprinkled with gravel, gravel that didn't provide adequate traction for our SUV. After our nerves calmed we laughed until our sides ached. When we finally arrived at my mom's friend's my butt was officially asleep but not enough to prevent me from being driven around to the small towns in the surrounding area. When I yelled stop she pulled over and I hoped out to take some photos. This area of New Mexico is filled with old cemeteries, adobe buildings, and abandoned train stations. It's fascinating. That evening it was enchiladas for all--always a treat when it's New Mexico style.

Friday I literally spent the majority of the day laying on a blanket in the grass under a huge tree. It was divine, absolutely divine. I read, I journaled, I napped, I daydreamed. I did it all without leaving my little nest in the shade. We did take a short trip into my mom's old home town to see how things have changed--who's still around, what buildings are still standing, who's kids are now grown adults, and what happened to the yard my grandfather kept so religiously all those years ago. It was fun to hear my mom and her friend reminisce about their teen years--sneaking out to see boys, stealing their enemy's panties, babysitting the kids in the community, and various other secrets that have been kept all these many years. That evening was the Arbonne party which went very well for such a small community. When the house cleared it was time for laughter and strawberry margaritas--and I do believe my mom's friend entertained us with a little dancing as well.

Saturday was by far my favorite day of the trip. They let me choose where we would spend our day and of course I chose one of my most beloved towns in the US--Santa Fe. Santa Fe is 70 miles north of Estancia (the small town we were visiting.) Did I enjoy the drive? I should say so. It took us a total of 4 hours to travel that 70 miles because there were so many Kodak moments along the way. At this point I would like to insert a small word of advice. If you are going to trespass in an old cemetery to capture a beautiful crumbling headstone please make sure that your "get away" vehicle actually waits for you and doesn't abandon you at the scene of the crime. If they decide to take off down the road to see what other photogenic treasures lay just ahead it could lead to disaster. I happened to get lucky and didn't get caught but still... Not cool! We did eventually make it to our destination where we dined on French cuisine and then enjoyed being carted around the plaza by a bicycle drawn carriage--yes, not a horse, a bicycle. All three of us paid a visit to the Georgia O'Keefe museum and then while my two comrades sauntered around the plaza I enjoyed the Mexican Modern art exhibit at the Museum of Fine Arts. This is where I got lucky enough to actually behold an original Frida Kahlo masterpiece. Breathtaking! We ended our day at Santa Fe's plaza by enjoying the two catholic churches in the area: the St. Francis and the Loretta. The Loretta is the church in Santa Fe which houses the miraculous spiral staircase constructed of wood but not a single nail. And my friends guess what I discovered on our way back home? A Trader Joe's. I've heard many of you talk about the goodness that is Trader Joe's but I had never had the privilege of being inside one. May I just say, Move over Mark Ruffalo--I have a new love and it's name is Trader Joe's. It was wonderful, magnificent, divine, all that I could have hoped for in a grocery store. I thought I loved Wholefoods Market. Well that was pre-Trader Joe's, when I didn't realize that there was a place where one could actually afford to shop for organic/whole foods. *sigh* Heaven! We made it back from Santa Fe a lot faster than we made it to Santa Fe but we still stopped to enjoy the smoke from a wildfire rising from the mountain tops and the sun setting over the desert. I heart New Mexico...and Trader Joe's...and Mark Ruffalo...heehee...I just had to throw that in there. I didn't want you to think my love had waned over the course of my 4 day road trip.

Sunday we headed back to Tejas after a fabulous brunch of Swedish pancakes, fresh peaches, and bacon (only no bacon for me because I'm a vegetarian.) There wasn't any photo taking on the way home because, lets face it, I was exhausted and just wanted to chill in the passenger seat, dozing off a time or two along the way. We did stop to visit my aunt before crossing the Texas state line and continuing towards home sweet home...

So why was this trip different from any trip I've ever taken before? Well, for starters this may be the only time my mom and I have traveled together without someone else tagging along--one of my sisters, my brother, my grandmother, a kid. I've been trying to remember if the two of us have ever taken a just-the-two-of-us trip before and ya know, I just can't remember. But the real reason it was so different is because it was the trip that marked the longest I've ever been away from Britton. Yes my friends, I left him here. I took this little vacation sans B-Dog. Oh don't think it was an easy decision. I floundered back and forth up until the last minute. Finally, I put all the if's aside--you know, the ones a mother knows she has no control over but deludes herself into thinking she could at least make it a little better if she were around--and made the decision to do what was best for him. And there was no way that what was best for him consisted of a 6 hour car ride and a boring Arbonne party. So he stayed with daddy--not before giving me a nice dose of guilt of course. The first thing he said when I told him I was taking a trip with Nana and he was staying here was, "But what will I eat if you're not here?" I promised him that his dad would indeed feed him and then proceeded to threaten Trey if I should come home and find a constipated child--too much meat, not enough fruits and do that kind of thing sometimes. And then the B-Dog sadly told me, "But I love you and I'll miss you and I'll cry!" *sigh* What's a mother to do? But I did it my friends. I left him behind and spent 4 days and 4 nights, a grand total of 96 hours, being Michelle and not Britton's mommy. And ya know, it wasn't as hard as I thought it would be. In fact I think I could have handled a couple more days before I started having serious long as there's a Trader Joe's to fill the void.

And so I'm back. I'm back but there's a part of me that's still out there, still out there wandering the desert, roaming the plaza, and trespassing in old cemeteries. Life is sweet... Posted by Picasa