Thursday, March 31, 2011

Hanging by a Moment - Scrapping the Music

The song for the newest challenge at Scrapping the Music is  
Hanging by a Moment by Lifehouse.

there are moments where I feel replete with life and love.
and times when I wonder
 when will that hole be filled?

I am...
 completely incomplete

*     *     *     *     *

I've been enjoying these posts by Amanda Johnson
called Outfit to Layout...
 Such a clever idea!
I scoped out the ensemble a co-worker was wearing on Friday
and turned it into my layout for my HbaM piece.

I kinda wish I asked if I could take a photo of her,
so you could see how I transformed her outfit to layout : .)

Imelda was wearing a tan cardigan, plaid shirt, jeans,
and red ballerina flats with flowers on the tops.
Cute and fun!!!

Come and play along!!!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

my excellent Arizona adventure!

Hummingbird butt!  heh!

While I don't do this traveling for work doing a meeting thing very well, mostly because I'm always so anxious about doing a good job, and also because of the fear of flying thing, the traveling in itself affords me many opportunities to attach an adventure onto such events.  

I decided I should tell you about my weekend adventure in Arizona…
You're a captive audience, no? : .)
A few years back, my friend's boss mentioned this place in Arizona known for its abundance of bird-life, especially hummingbirds.  (All the bird [and cacti] photos are in an additional post below...)  You already know that HBs are hugely significant to me b/c they remind me of my Mom who died in 2003 and they also remind me of my friend Chad, per that post on my blog.  So, I've been wanting to visit Madera Canyon for a long time now, but in the past I had always decided to go too late in the season.
Since I had this work meeting scheduled in AZ, I decided to gift myself for my birthday with trip to the canyon.  I stayed at a B&B, the Chuparosa Inn

As soon as I got to the B&B, I took a  2 mile-ish hike.  Promptly turned my ankle, on my bum foot, you know the one I'm trying to heal???  (I was sooo chastised by Dr. Steve about that!)  Oh the views!  And the music of the wind in the trees.  And the songs of the birds.  Gorgeous bleu skies.  

I got back to my room which was very charming, the bed had drapes and a fluffy down comforter.   

I cracked open a Bartles and James mojito, got a book, and hit the hammock they had set up behind the B&B.  Ahhhhh...

The next morning, I got up early and took my time getting ready for a hike called Jennifer's Saddle. I think the B&B is at 5400 feet and I hiked up to 7000.  The views were amazing, and that wasn't the top!  I wanted to take it easy, Dr. Steve told me that I was only to do 20 minute walks at a time (oops!!!)  and I did 6.2 miles.  I have to say going up was so much better than coming down.  

Say hello to my little friend!!!

OUCH! hee!

Looking west towards Green Valley, to the right of this picture is Tucson.

Trail sign at my turn around point.

I played in the snow!  (ok, there was a tiny patch ...  snow in AZ, whoa!)  

When I got back from that hike, it was warm enough for the swallowtail butterflies to be out and about, flitting from flower to flower in a pink blossomed tree.  I think I spent half an hour shooting pixs.  I was in heaven!!!

 These shots are from the underside of the BFs, they're black from the top and quite boring!  Maybe so they look like a shadow and to deter predators?

Afterwards, I sat in a chair on the deck and watched hummingbirds eat from a feeder and other birds drink from a fountain nearby.  I wrote in my journal.  

Later that evening, Luis, the owner of the B&B suggested I drive down the road and go watch the sunset.  O.M.G!!!  75+ photos later, I think I caught the essence of it!  haha!  

Great self portraits, huh?!  hee!!!  

I returned to find that another of the couples had started a fire in the fire pit.  A big group of us sat around and chatted and drank fizzy lifting drinks, enjoying the fire.  They all told very interesting stories.

Early the next morning I wanted to get in a last hike a trail called Bog Springs b/4 taking off for my meeting.  I saw only one other person on the trail, and while I was watching my footfall, I saw the most ginormal sized paw prints in the dirt.  I started getting scared and of course was startled at every sound.  I finally decided that maybe they were just dog paw prints and if I did get eaten by a mountain lion, it would not necessarily be a bad thing,  at least it would make a good story, heh.  
The end of the trail was a disappointment however, I thot it was ironic that the last sentence on this sign at the end of the trail said what it said! (Considering the mountain lion!)

Also ironic was the rock I saw in the shape of a coffin.  I kid you not. See???

It made me think that I should have stayed in bed, but on the other hand, I think I need to stop looking for signs! 
I then drove to north to Phoenix.  The speed limit is 75 mph!!!  Zoom-Zoom!  (Yeah, I know, I shouldn't shoot and drive! Especially at that speed.)

That was it for the fun part of the weekend.  

The meeting went well.  I think the group was satisfied with what was accomplished. We finished the agenda early and I was invited to go golfing, watch a spring training baseball game, and borrow one of the group's car to go shopping. (Shopping in Scottsdale?! Way too shi-shi for my tastes!).  I don't like shopping, nor golf, and only like BB b/c the Giants won the ....  Stanley Cup, oh heh, so I stayed in my room working until I had to take my flight home.
I had two regrets about the trip... The first was that I didn't have a digital SLR with a super zoom lens, b/c the birds are very shy and hard to photograph as they are so fast, and that I had plans to finally meet Smiley Julie and that ended up not working out.  
In other news, my relatives in Japan are ok as most live in the south, far away from the quake epicenter and the tsunami.  However, the uncle that raised my Mom is living in Tokyo with his son, and I am anxious for he and my cousins. 

Please try to find a way to help the people of Japan affected by the tragedies, even if you can only offer up prayers.

Some Birds of Madera Canyon

Again, I really really wish I had my digital SLR...

(oh and)  SQUIRREL!!!

Arizona Cacti for Pens

 saguaro cacti
 these cacti above were bigger than me!  a larger version of the previous cacti???
 complementarily colored prickly pear cactus
 crazy prickly pear cacti growing in a tree!
ocotillo cactus