Tuesday, July 31, 2012

July - Photo-A-Day #31


This is how a superhero gets ready for morning!

I DID it!! 
One photo everyday for a month!
This was such a fun way to journal a July.
Now I want to print it and save for a great memory!

Monday, July 30, 2012

July - Photo-A-Day #30


After 16+ hours in the car it is good to look at these photos from daybreak this morning and remember
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Sunday, July 29, 2012

Sunday Salon and July Photo-A-Day #29

The Sunday Salon - - Travel style

We're on the road...at Bear Lake in Idaho/Utah and working without internet, TV, or radio. So, how you ask, are you posting?? This technology stuff is pretty coo and we are tethering through our phones to make posting possible. The fun part is it ends our day in a quiet way with looking through photos and cuddled together working over the small screen. We feel like teenagers.

Alas we are homeward bound tomorrow. Sad because it's a 16+ hour drive and we have really sore rears already!! AND we are sad to see this fun little vacation end. It's back to work for me and I am not ready mentally or physically. Isn't that how life works sometime??

Outside my window.... it's finally dark!! It is so weird. The sun doesn't set up here until almost 10 o'clock!! I had forgotten that. you see in Arizona we don't WANT more hours of daylight so it gets dark at a normal time. Not eating til it gets dark means waiting til VERY late. It's been a fun change.

I am listening to..... the weird sounds of a 100+ year old house. It creaks and cracks and has its own personality. Add in the page turning of my hubby's book and it sounds wonderful.

Favorite things from the week....wow the list is long!! Let's start with the scenery. Clouds and big sky, mountains and green, turquoise blue Bear Lake and spectacular canyons. Wow! Don't want to forget the incredible food!! Oh my golly-gosh, if I lived here I would be chubby! We have eaten at fun restaurants and with great family. The combination is delish!! We shopped and spent our fair share for the economy in The King's English Bookstore. I want to move in next door. LOVE that neighborhood. Throw a wedding in the mix and this week was a home run. The bride is everything we wanted for this 'almost-son'...it's a precious memory. Lastly, we saw The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel at an Indie Theater. What a thoughtful and terrific movie. We loved the experience!

I am thinking .... how blessed I am.

I am grateful for ....my in-laws. They are truly fantastic and I am a better person because of them, their love for me and their friendship. They are the BEST. Spending time with them is like coming home.

I am reading....Charms for the Easy Life by Kaye Gibbons (for book group.) I finished The Case of the Missing Servant by tarquin Hall, Teach Like a Champion by Doug Lemov, and finally finished up the end of The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks so I could leave it with my in-laws to enjoy. I finished a few audio books while working on the library and am almost ready to finish another. Wahoo.

I am listing ....the eternal to-do list for school, things to buy for the classroom, things to copy, print and prepare. I am also still working on baby-shower invites. It's really going to happen. (Grins!)

I am creating ...our living room library. We finished up the painting before we left, now to touch-up three places and move in the furniture. Curtains are next, then a few more bookshelves ordered and art on the walls. Oh yeah, then I have to sort the books. Yikes. This may take awhile.

Plans for the week....travel, read, sort, clean, shop, prepare the classroom and PANIC!! Not really. Well okay, sorta! 

Photo-A-Day   The Last Thing I Bought...

My Souvenirs from vacation! All from The King's English Bookstore!
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Saturday, July 28, 2012

July-Photo-A-Day #28

Cup-A Fresh Raspberry Shake!
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Friday, July 27, 2012

Thursday, July 26, 2012

July Photo-A-Day #26

Sunshine - View From the Hotel Room

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Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

July - Photo-A-Day #24


This is Brad. 
He WAS a stranger but...
he sold me three bookcases for my classroom.
NOW he is a friend!
Isn't it cool how that works?!?!

Monday, July 23, 2012

Sunday, July 22, 2012

July - Photo-A-Day #22 and the Sunday Salon

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What fun "upside down" is when you're 5. 
This is Jase's idea for today's photos!!

Outside my window... Dark!! It was stormy and ominous as I sat on the swing tonight. It was fantastic. I sat until I could no longer read and until the mosquitoes began to devour me. I love the monsoon season!! (You should have seen yesterday's haboob - -it was a real doozy and I was right in it!!) 


I am listening to... the fan!! I love the relative quiet of a Sunday night and mask any other noises with the fan. It's just a way to chill out and a fan sure means summer to me.

Favorite things from this week... Wow, it's been a packed week. 1. Seeing the kiddos - Emma, Gigi and Noah  2. Tarquin Hall at the Poisoned Pen was super!! 3. Indian food for our date  4. Ceiling repair FINALLY done - wahoo! 5. Wind and Rain!

I am thinking... about an upcoming baby shower to plan for!! Holy Guacamole!

I am grateful for... A great friend who took my photos for my "business card" for Meet the Teacher! All families will get one so they can contact me anytime. I've always wanted to make it easy for parents....now it's done. I am NOT a picture taking kind of girl, so when this sweet friend suggested it I was kind of uncertain. It ended up being a perfect experience and a great time to reconnect with each other.

I am reading... Inkheart by Cornelia Funke (audio - playaway), Flyte by Angie Sage (audio - car!), Alpha by Greg Rucka, and Charms for the Easy Life by Kaye Gibbons (book group)

I am listing... things to do in the next two days before we leave for a mini-vacay!

I am creating... baby shower invitation ideas on my Pinterest, baby gifts, and I am STILL ignoring what I should be doing for school! I'll pay for this later. Argh!

Plans for the week... FINISH the library/living room paint, go out to breakfast, get a pedicure (I have ruined mine from all the remodel-redo and even Rich looked at my toes and told me to go!!), pack, and fun-fun - pick up my classroom keys AND go with J to fill out her baby registry! Wow - that's something to truly journal about. My baby is having a baby! (How can this be?? I'm still a baby myself!! )


Saturday, July 21, 2012

July - Photo-A-Day #21


Just a glimpse into my world on a Saturday morning.
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Friday, July 20, 2012

July - Photo-A-Day #20


Little Miss Gigi making EYES!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

July - Photo-A-Day #19


( The one with glasses is NOT the pet!!)

This is not a mink stole,
or a neck warmer,
but Sanka,
our cat that thinks he owns us.

(This is his favorite place. 
Just warning you if you come to visit.)

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

July - Photo-A-Day #18


Makes ya kinda wanna live there, huh?

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

July - Photo-A-Day #17

My Addiction

Addiction...what an UGLY word.
Just because I must use this
every. time. I. wash. my. hands.
Just because I drove across town 
bought EVERY tube they had in the store.
I don't know if that is truly an addiction.
More like a passion.
Okay, an obsession.
(But at least those are pretty words...they even named perfumes after them.)
I feel better now. 
I am NOT addicted.

Monday, July 16, 2012

July - Photo-A-Day #16


There should be no doubts which sign I would post.
I would move in here if I could. 
It's just the kind of living room I want....lots of books, guests, and camaraderie!!

I've also spent the last few days with lots of nice people I've met at the PP. 
A great Author's Conference on Friday and then tonight at a book signing for Tarquin Hall. 
I think I might be a groupie.
Love it.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

The Sunday Salon AND July - Photo-A-Day #15

Outside my window... bright and sunny to the north - -dark and stormy towards the south. Yum! I LOVE storms and rain!! We have had some awesome storms the last three days...you will hear no complaining from me. We have terrific rainstorms here and we need every drop we get. 

I am listening to...the gurgling of the new fountain my husband made. He's put it up here in the office and we are enjoying that great sound!! Last night when it was pouring outside I kept thinking the roof was leaking or something when the fountain could be heard over the thunder and lightning!!

Favorite things from this week... Poisoned Pen Author Conference at the Biltmore (give a big yahoo for new friends, good books, interesting authors, and good times!), dinner at 2 Hippies restaurant AND George's Gyros( double the yum this week!),  a first time visit to the Southeast Regional Library and the riparian walk - wow! What a view. That library is awesome inside AND out! Last but not least this week had me listening to audio books and getting THIS close to being done with painting. Yippee!

I am thinking...about the nightmare I had last night. Yuck! It was one of those Back to School Nightmares. Really. It was more than scary too.

I am grateful for...Rainrops. 

I am reading...Alpha by Greg Rucka, The Case of the Missing Servant by Tarquin Hall, Flyte (audio) by Angie Sage and Melting Stones (audio) by Tamora Pierce

I am listing...foods I eat. I think I will go back to keeping a food journal. I feel a little out of control and want to get that taken care of. That's the ticket.

I am creating ....a mess. Until the living room/library is done the rest of the house is in upheaval. That old adage..."it will get worse before it gets better" is true at this house!

Plans for the week...Finish painting, ceiling repair (finally!), book signing at the Poisoned Pen, dinner with some cuties from Tucson-way, finish reservations for Utah/Idaho trip, & throw away all of the school things I intended to work on over the summer but haven't even looked at yet.

Photo-A-Day #15
(What power one finger can have!)   


July - Photo-A-Day #14

Building ... relationships!

Saturday, July 14, 2012

The Tipping Point

Audio Book
Read by the author, Malcolm Gladwell

Mr. Gladwell has been helping me pass the hours as I am painting. Although his voice takes some getting used to, the power of the message was perfect. "How little things can make a big difference" is a great reminder as I tape, repair even the smallest of cracks and catch the littlest drips. 

The Tipping Point aims to answer two questions, "Why is it that some ideas or behaviors or products start epidemics and others don't? And what can we do to deliberately start and control positive epidemics of our own?"

  Gladwell speaks to social epidemics and shares a  number of examples - an unexplainable overnight renewal of popularity in Hush Puppie shoes; a tragic rise in teen suicide in the small nation of Micronesia; a surprising decrease in the New York City crime rate. Gladwell uses all of these examples and more to illustrate what he defines as the three principles of social epidemics: the law of the few, the stickiness factor, and the power of context.

Powerful points for me...
** In epidemics, little changes can somehow have big effects.
** And, in epidemics, change happens, not gradually, but at one dramatic moment. The name given to that one dramatic moment, when everything can change all at once, is called the Tipping Point.

** Environment can truly be more important than we ever recognized in determining how someone will 'turn out.'

** Character isn't what we think it is, or rather what we want it to be. It isn't a stable set of closely related traits - it seems that way because of a glitch in the ways our brains are organized. Character rather is a bundle of traits kept together by context (our habits.) The reason that most of us have a consistent characters is that most of us are really good at controlling our environment.

The Tipping Point is the story of the discovery Gladwell made as he began to research the HIV epidemic when he was a writer for The Washington Post. He began comparing the same traits of a medical epidemic to social epidemics. He came up with the simple idea that “Contagiousness [i.e., the epidemic] ... is an unexpected property of all kinds of things, and we have to remember that, if we are to recognize and diagnose epidemic change.”  Gladwell uses numerous examples to illustrate this idea—Paul Revere’s ride, the Hush Puppies trend, the popularity of Sesame Street, the rise of the Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood to bestseller status, the decline of crime in New York, the emergence of the Methodist Church, the Columbia Record Club treasure hunt, teen suicide and smoking, among others to demonstrate that contagiousness is not just a metaphor; it has real relevance in every portion of our lives.

I've read the book in pieces before but found listening to it really cemented the ideas in my brain. I've been able to mull it over more, share it in conversation with friends and family, and think of how I can apply what I have heard. The only hard part was wanting to write down some of these thoughts while I had a paint roller in my hand!!

Thanks Mr. Gladwell, we're almost done with those walls.

Friday, July 13, 2012

July - Photo-A-Day #13


Stained glass window by Frank Lloyd Wright at the Arizona Biltmore.
It's called, "Saguaro Forms and Cactus Flowers". I'd say that's really open to interpretation!


Open seating.
Patio at the Arizona Biltmore watched over by the "lost children of Frank Lloyd Wright,"
the statues are called the Biltmore Sprites and they 'ensure the serenity of the Biltmore.'
They work. 
This is a blissfully peaceful place.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

July - Photo-A-Day #12


and because I am still up to my neck in living room re-do

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

July - Photo-A-Day #11


Every brilliant artist signs their work!!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

July - Photo-A-Day #10

My favorite color....uhhh...

I don't really have a favorite color. 

I like a lot of colors...it depends on the day, the time of day, the moment, my mood. 
That's like asking which one of my kids I like best...
(Okay, for those of my kids reading this - I like YOU best!)

But today, right now, this very moment, I like grey. 
Yep, grey.

Grey is the color of shade!!! 
And in 113 degree weather shade is VERY important.
THIS is shade. 
Today my favorite color is the color of shade.

Monday, July 9, 2012

July - Photo-A-Day #9

Living room ladder - the scary 14 foot ceilings!

My electric company LOVES me.

TBR Stacks

Sunday, July 8, 2012

July - Photo-A-Day #8


Oops...I should have shot the photo BEFORE we ate it all!
It was delicious....but then again, when you're hungry, EVERYTHING is delicious!

So, for an added bonus, here is SNACK...

Sunday Salon

Outside my window....It's dusk. I love this time of day. So do the mosquitoes..and they love me. I have started keeping my insect repellant among the pillows in the tree swing outside. Hah, mosquitoes, take that.
I am listening to...Music from Hercule Poirot Masterpiece Theater in the background. (We must be feeling rather hoity toity lately as we have watched Hercule, Zen (based on the books by Michael Dibdin) and Endeavour. I feel a little Jane Austen coming on as well.) It's amazing what music can bring to mind!!
Favorite things from this week...meeting with a friend from high school for lunch at the Royal Palms. We took photos in every nook and cranny and lunched on Chef Ashley's special of the day. Truly a decadent time!
I am thinking..how fun this past week has been. We rode bikes. It rained!!! I shopped. I wandered. We had ice cream AND gelato. We found a new restaurant. I did exactly what I wanted...I read until I was tired each and every day. I lived life at MY pace and it was fantastic.
I am grateful for...good friends and how Facebook truly united us again after years and years!! For all that I dislike about Facebook this has been one distinct benefit.
I am reading...True Sisters by Sandra Dallas, Because of Mr. Terrupt by Rob Buyea, and listening to The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell and Flyte by Angie Sage (2nd in the Septimus Heap series.) Yeah for good reading.
I am listing...niggling thoughts that lay in the back of my mind....did I do this? Did I take care of that? I need to remember this. I don't want to forget that. Niggling thoughts are like little worms that wiggle. At least writing them down helps me let go of them....
I am creating ....a new living room/library. I have learned how to mend stress cracks, caulk and tape and repair drywall all by my lonesome. I watched YouTube videos to teach myself so I wouldn't have to bother my husband at every turn (he works from home and I do have to give him some peace!) Kinda fun to do everything myself. I am listening to The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell as I work. The time just soars by. (Boy, there's a lot to do before you ever GET to painting!!)

Plans for the week...Paint, clean up, read. Paint, clean up, read. Repeat....

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Friday, July 6, 2012

July - Photo-A-Day #6


5 generations of of rockin' in this chair.
Somehow I don't think the word 'chair' is big enough for all that rockin!!

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Finished... 5 sentence short reviews

Audio Book
(from the public library)

Magyk by Angie Sage
Narrated by Allan Corduner

The 7th son of a 7th son is switched at birth.
Charms, potions, spells, bogarts, villains, wizards, and brownies.
A world full of magic and mist.
Terrific narrator!
Great fun.

Audio Book
(from the public library)

The Charmed Life
by Diana Wynne Jones

Orphans, "Cat" and sister, Gwendolen, are taken in to the castle of Chrestomanci.
Magic lessons, potions and spells, other worlds.
Not all is as was expected - is it ever?
Narration was top notch!
 1st of a series....Yumm!

(There's nothing like an upcoming due date and possible fine to move a book to the top of the TBR pile!)

Left for Dead
by J.A. Jance

Ali Reynolds (I have never really liked her, but she redeemed herself in this book.)
Two stories intertwined from page one.
Border issues, hometown flavor, real places.
Although I solved the mystery much too soon I enjoyed the ride all the way to the last paragraph.
Enjoyable 4th of July reading.

(Library edition)

The Little Prince
by Antoine De Saint-Exupery

A pilot, stranded in the desert, meets a a little boy who is prince on a small planet.
"Grown-ups never understand anything by themselves, and it is tiresome for children to be always and forever explaining things to them."
"Here is my secret. It is very simple: It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye."
"But the eyes are blind. One must look with the heart.. "

And my favorite of all quotes-----
In one of the stars I shall be living ,

 In one of them I shall be laughing.
 And so it will be as if all the stars were laughing when you look at the sky at night
~~ Antoine de Saint-Exupery

More than 5 sentences but worth it!
Gosh, I love that book.

Good reading around this OK Corral.
Now back to my regularly scheduled Book Group book.