Thursday, October 22, 2009

In the moment...

I am learning to live and breathe in each moment as each moment that happens is special. These moments are trying to show me something, what that something is I can not say, all I can do is live, breathe and feel each of them, for these are the very things that help me to let go of the past, embrace the present and not to be afraid of the future. I feel it, waiting for me beckoning me to take that first step, that step which is the hardest of all steps, for once I do that the rest will follow and there will be no stopping or turning back.

I wonder what I am afraid of? Is it the unknown, then with clarity, I realize I have already taken not only the first step, but many steps towards the unknown, as I keep moving forward the past begins to recede from my vision, a little more with every step. I am living in this space, this time, this moment and whether it be from joy or sorrow, I am no longer rooted to the past, I break free to move forward, wondering as my journey begins what will happen next, but not being afraid any longer.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

The Venetian Ball - Halloween 2009

Historically Halloween has been the time the veils are thin.

Then again, historically lot's of things have been known to have happened.
And quite honestly?
People often say a lot of things.
Whole worlds have danced through being...which if you think about it can make your head quite spinny with the knowledge that if the veils separating time are thin, one step and you can be entirely somewhere else indeed.

Which is why one should assume a careful step on All Hallows Eve indeed.

...Or maybe you should dance instead.

It is on thin veils I would like to blame my eyes for what I saw this Halloween...then again, it could be the cupcakes. For it was heard that one bite of these enchanted cupcakes could change you into a party reveler, someone who would be dancing the night away...and perhaps even totally unaware of who your partner could be...but I had thought that was only true for the undead, those who passed before us. But I discovered instead it was their enchanted masks that brought them back to their living bodies for the night and the cupcakes are only enchanting to those who are currently inhabiting their living bodies, and thus ensure that once they leave this life that they are able to come back for one more celebration.

Imagine walking down any deserted street on Halloween and coming upon this scene. Hearing the gentle sound of music from days gone by...from a wind up record player, it's scratchy music carrying through the tree tops and up to the full moon in the still night. You hesitate for a only a moment, a bit unsure of where the music is coming from before you continue to walk further down the street, only to stop short by the ghosts of a distant past who are gathering, as they do once a year, at the old deserted house at the end of the street...waiting for the veils to thin enough that they may reach through and pick their enchanted masks...the masks that are only available to them because by chance, or fate, they ate the enchanted cupcakes while they were alive, and ensured they would forever dance the night away on All Hallows Eve.

This is not to say that they unhappily roam the Earth in their skeletal remains every other day of the year, but when given the opportunity they happily leap forth, claiming their once lost loves and live again.

If only for one night.

Peering through the gate of the house at the end of the street you would see this scene unfold...Husbands and wives, Lovers and friends each smiling at each other with their permanent skeletal grin...taking each others bony hands in theirs and gathering for their party, waiting for their masks to appear out of the swirling mists of time.

It is said in this life, if you put on a mask you can become anyone or anything that you want to. Masks breathe life into who you have hidden from yourself and you are free to be what it is you want in every wild dream you have...even if it happens to be such a thing as alive (as it often is) and it is from behind the mask that you realize you are truly magic.

Of course, enchanted cupcakes help...but only in the afterlife.

But the masks? They help bring fort your own hidden magic. The magic that you sometimes have put aside and have learned to hide.

You see the skeletons that are gathered in the overgrown yard reach through the thinning swirling veil and excitedly grab for their masks...the gentlemen so politely helping their ladies with their new faces for the night before reaching for their own, each hand turning once again to the soft flesh they once wore as they grasp their masks and each partier delighted to be alive for one more night.

You would think that given the chance, these apparitions may yearn for more than this one brief night of eternal life, and would jump at the chance to dance each night away...But reanimation is hard on one, and the reality is that they need to lie in wait the other 364 days of the year for this party...after all, one could say that the chance to come back even for one night to experience life once again is a gift, and they are not a greedy bunch.

They frolic and laugh and sing and dance as they follow each other through the thicket to the party that they know lies somewhere around this it does every year. The party that waits in time and imagination set forth by some unseen universal butler and maid, waiting to be attended. You follow them then, by opening the gate and walking far enough behind to not catch their attention, there is no need to be a party crasher and besides, you think you may have seen the littlest reveler wink at you, taking her finger to her lips in a silencing motion, before beckoning you with her little hand to come with them.

Come join the party.

Truthfully however, the partiers would never mind another soul joining them for the is for them in the after life as it was in the living and they abide by the creed The More The Merrier, for it makes the dance so much more fun, and there are always enough masks to go around.

This way, they can switch partners if they wish, because all you have to do is ask...

As they only have one night to inhabit their living bodies, they push through until dawn only stopping to take refreshment and eat one last enchanted cupcake before the veil demands the masks back and they go off to rest once more.

But, that enchanted cupcake is so very important...for it ensures that they get invited to come back next year for another party, and another chance at real breath and real magic.

What would you do if after a night of dancing a thin hand reached out of the swirling mists of time to offer you an enchanted cupcake and the chance to use your own magic to return to your loved ones after you are gone from this life?

Won't you join us?

Special Thanks and Acknowledgments:

DaNece Hacker for her complete creative photographic vision and image editing skills and her complete enthusiasm for this shoot (even if she didn't get to actually be IN it this time)

Clay Lightfoot for being my dance partner and all his encouragement and help in setting up, staging, acting and posing.

Sadira Conley (myself) who organized, propped, costumed, art directed and co created this fun Venetian Party...and who is, as always, totally is honored by the outpouring of encouragement and enthusiasm she was lucky enough to receive from her community.

Kim Garrett who is a wonderful long time friend and continuing source of inspiration who enthusiastically waved her hand around and volunteered to participate in this project (and hopefully many more)

Sean Souva musician extraordinaire and a very brave man who for some reason, jumped at the chance to pretend to be dead for an evening...and all around good sport and great friend.

Rowan Rain who is a very talented masseur when she is not eating enchanted cupcakes for the chance to dance the night away, and when approached about joining the party, immediately delved into her wardrobe of party clothes and danced her way over...

Rozzilyn VanTuyl my beautiful and talented niece (who is also tall and much more the model type than some of us, ahem) who donned a mask and partook of the enchanted cupcake for an evening.

Susan Smart who also happens to be my mother...who has been and will always be my first source of inspiration and encouragement. She also owns Keystone Antiques and Gypsy Street Antiques (a few doors down, but is so new there is no listing as of yet) which were both completely instrumental in the staging and propping of this shoot. She stocks a wide variety of whimsical and fantastic antiques, collectibles, and decor at her two shops and welcomes people 7 days a week to pop by and visit. Dancing is encouraged.

Please join all the other parties going on this Halloween that are being hosted and inspired by Vanessa over at The Fanciful Twist! Who, without the invitation, this party may never have taken place (or rather, it would have taken place but certainly not photographed and documented quite the same)

The list of parties is on her sidebar and will be made into a permanent link in time.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Vacation Photo's

Bar Sign in Eureka Springs, AK

Last month I was lucky enough to be able to take a road trip w/my mom and my most favorite canine Lola out to Pleasant Hope MO, to see my Aunt and Uncle. This road trip covered 3200 miles, five states, and 850+ pictures, with several stops along the way. This was Lola's first long distance road trip and she did great. These are some of my favorite pictures during the trip, it was a much needed vacation as it helped to put things in my life into perspective, that is always a good thing! (I am hoping to finish all the photo's this weekend and have them up on flickr)

St. Josephs Catholic church in Mescalero NM

The doors to the church

Old Barn off State Route 27 in MO

Lola & I @ Pivot Rock in Eureka Springs, AK

Sunflower ~ Eureka Springs, AK

Chief the puppy Lola got to play with while on vacation

Princess Lola

Thursday, October 8, 2009

defensive driving school ~ really??

Ok, so last Saturday found me sitting in the defensive driving class over at Yavapai County Safety School while at first I thought that this would be another one of those monotone boring classes, I was pleasantly surprised that this class was not like that.

The teacher Mike Littrell, is an Aviation Inspector with 16 years under his belt which makes for some very interesting conversations on what causes accidents of any kind. The fact that he seems to be very passionate about this class and as he put it, if he can change the way just one person thinks when they are out there driving then it is worth his time, makes this the class to attend if you have a choice of going to school or paying the fine. Besides he gives out candy and who doesn't like candy?

Of course, everytime I come to an intersection I can hear Mike saying it only takes a second to save a life, and I find myself looking left, then right and then left again. Maybe it won't save my life or anyone elses today, but you never know when taking that extra second to be careful will pay off.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Random Signs from Amarillo TX

a life update: a new car and a camping trip :)

I have had the "who ride" a 1993 Toyota MR-2

for about 3 years now, and I loved this car, I did not realize how much I loved it until I went to trade it in and proceeded to cry about not having it anymore....who knew I had such an emotional attachment to my car, not me.

Of course with all of the changes in my life, it was time to get something that was a better fit in my "new" life, and something that Lola was comfortable in also, because as much as I loved the MR-2, Lola was not a fan.

Enter the "New Who" a 2001 Toyota Highlander, which Lola and I both love, it has been a ton of fun so far and recently ( about 2 weeks ago) went on a camping trip with Sadira (who posted a great story about our trip) to Beaver Creek in Sedona.

Things overheard while camping:

"Mom what is a wet dream?" (which left Sadie and I trying not to laugh out loud at this comment from a young man who was probably only about 12 years old. Imagine being that mom.

"Are you drunk?", "thats why I brought my own tent" "stop touching me!!!" (these comments came from the camp next to us, which had about 15 people in it all who were drunk and loud and ignoring their crying children, just the kind of people you love to camp next to)

And of course my personal favorite from the trip: "It's a, It's a, It's a!!!!!" "What is it, What is it????" which was said in the form of high pitched screams (that only dogs could hear) between Sadie and I, when I saw a HUGE snake.... I mean it was really big...of course I am deathly afraid of snakes so that didn't help.

Our Campsite

The Creek

full Flickr Set

Monday, August 17, 2009

A Sunday Drive

Sunday found Lola and I driving out to Wagoner, AZ to take some pictures of the Hassayampa River Bridge and do some exploring. A big thanks to Bev for letting Lola and I use her truck for the day.

The trip out to the bridge wasn't nearly as bad as I thought it would it be. After we arrived at the bridge and took some pictures from the top we went underneath the bridge where the water was flowing, Lola decided to play in the water to cool herself off. Once we were done there we decided to follow Wagoner Road to the point where you could go right which was a back way to Crown King or left to Hozoni Ranch and the end, of course we had to turn back at this point as the road became to rough for the 2 wheel drive truck. It was a good way to spend a Sunday.

flickr set

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

just a quick picture

I was out front of my house tonight taking pictures of the lightning from my patio and this was my favorite:

flickr set

Wednesday, July 22, 2009


my wireless internet modem? Seriously? Thats what the gal from Qwest said after we spent an hour on the phone trying to figure out why my internet wasn't working? You need to replace your modem she says to its no big deal...I immediately think me? Well ok, whats the worst that can happen??

So yesterday on my lunch hour I went up to Best Buy and purchased a new wireless modem (with some help from the I.T. guy at work THANKS!). Got home last night and proceeded to freak out a little bit about having to deal with this myself and then thought "really how hard can this be?" Well it turns out it isn't nearly as hard as I had imagined it to be.

I successfully installed my new wireless modem and made it secure so that no one but me can long onto it...YEAH ME!! And then thought, why was I so intimidated by the thought of having to do this...I mean the I.T. guy did say if I needed some help that I could call him, but to be honest I didn't want to bother him, so I figured it out all by myself. I know to some people that it is probably not a big deal, but to me it was a definate big deal, being able to tackle a form of technology that before was so foreign and intimidating to me, that is a big thing in my little corner of the world. I mean if I can do it pretty much anyone should be able to do it.. :0)

To Be Content...

It's so easy to be seduced by expectations, to spend our lives searching...for the better, bigger, more.

When we often have just what we need. Think about the positives. Enjoy your family, your health, your wonderful friends.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Belated Birthday Dinner

Last night, I made a belated birthday dinner for Tom who's birthday was last Monday...We had ginger-teriyaki salmon w/pineapple salsa, long grain wild rice and asparagus for the main dish, we had a bottle of Coppola wine Pinot Grigio and for desert I made individual banana-blueberry-strawberry cream cheese pies. It was a very good evening, with great company and wonderful conversation. So Happy belated birthday Tom.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Drinks you say?? I am there...

Last night Sadie and I went to the Firehouse Kitchen Bar as it was ladies night and the drinks were half price and we were both in need of good conversation, company and drinks...all of which we accomplished as we sat on the patio and drank our Cosmopolitan' was good to get out even if it was on a Wednesday night...(this picture is actually from last Friday night when we were out and about causing all sorts of trouble)..

Wednesday, July 8, 2009


Full Moon pictures from last night as I was sitting on my patio, just thought I would share with everyone. Thanks! Have a great day!

Thursday, July 2, 2009


What I lost~~myself to another individual (completely/mostly by my own choice) to give of myself so completely that I found myself floundering about my life, walking on eggshells, waiting to be good enough, in every way, trying so hard to be that persons everything, only to find that I lost me, the best parts of me, the worst parts of me, I became totally unrecognizable to myself and those who know me. I was waiting, waiting for something/anything to make me aware, to make me take action, well that something finally happened, (and as is usually the case it was sad but necessary).

Now what have I found or better yet what am I finding~~ ME ~~ wonderful, glorious, beautiful, silly, fun, creative, sometimes overwhelmingly sad and happy ME!! Right there where she was waiting for me to find my way back, to the me who likes to be spontaneous, have fun, write just to write, take photo's, and most importantly to the me who is not afraid that she isn't pretty enough, sexy enough, funny enough, talented enough, the me who isn't afraid to be by herself or that her ideas wont be good enough for someone else.

Found, I have also found some of the most wonderful, supportive, creative friends and family. I feel incredibly lucky and blessed to have these people in my life.

Everyone should be so lucky to have a Lost & Found department in their life. What have you lost or found lately?

THANK YOU to all my wonderful, beautiful, creative, friends and family, with out you and your support I might still be lost.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Thoughts for Wednesday

I dare you to see how beautiful you truly are... (found under the bridge by the Dinner Bell Cafe) this really caught my attention there was no signature but it definately made me think...can I really see how beautiful I am, how much I am worth.. I am going to try to see the beauty in myself and others everyday.

Also along those lines a quote from a piece of Dove dark chocolate (which was very tasty):

Think Lovingly, speak lovingly, act lovingly.

Maybe the world (or just my world) will be a better place if I can do this on a regular basis, always trying to find the good in any situation is difficult, but not impossible.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Its Tuesday and

I really should learn to carry my camera with me, everywhere. Even when I take Lola out for our morning jog. This morning as we were jogging around 5:15 we saw a beautiful antelope just standing in the field looking at us. Lola decided today would be a good day to try and put her Heeler instincts into use, luckily she was on her leash, lucky for her... bad for my arm, she nearly pulled it out of its socket.

Not only did we get the pleasure of seeing that animal but a little further down the road, about 1/2 mile we got to see a coyote and he just stood there eyeing us, Lola wasn't even interested in him, she just kind of looked at him and kept on her way.

So I figure from now on I am going to try and take my camera with me, because I am sad that I didn't get any pictures.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Friday Night Fun

Went down town Friday night with friends to listen to the Pandemonium Steel Drum Band playing at the square, then walked over to the Raven Cafe and to our surprise in the parking lot they had fire dancers from the group Pyroclectic performing. It was great night and good to be out among the living again.

flickr set

Monday, June 8, 2009

Weekend Fun

So this past weekend was a whirlwind of activity for me. Friday night I went out to dinner with friends to Garcias (service was mediocore at best) and to the movie Land of the Lost, which was true Will Ferrell humor and had me laughing.

Saturday morning was spent doing chores...never very fun but always necessary, my friend Bev and her daughter Sharon came over and helped me move the last of the stuff from the old house to my new house.

Then Saturday evening I went to a retirement bar-b-que for my co-workers husband. There were lots of people there, we played volleyball, horseshoes and had a small bonfire, where the kids promptly wanted to make s'mores, luckily Janice (our hostess with the mostess) was prepared for this request and the s'mores making quickly began with "lots of don't get to close to the fire" and "no the best way to roast that marshmallow is like this". It was a great time.

Sunday I hiked West Fork in Sedona with Sadira and Amy and the lovely Lola, now I have never hiked this trail and was totally surprised with the beauty of it. We had such a good time and the hike was good and the pictures were beautiful. Even Lola had a great time and did really well, she even let a couple of the other dogs sniff her. (she has come along way). Then it was down to Clarkdale for lunch at Sadira's favorite Mexican food restaurant, Su Casa, I have to say it was very good and I will definitely be eating there again.

All in all it was a very good weekend filled with lots of fun and friends.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

woo-hoo for Wednesday

So I haven't figured out the whole adding pictures and links yet (Tom has said he will help me when we get a few minutes.... )

I have to say I am very excited that today is Wednesday, mostly because I only have one more working day this week and then it is off to Vegas for a girls weekend.... Yeah!! My friend Dani (if I knew how I would insert picture here she is very pretty) who currently lives in San Diego and I are meeting there Friday for some fun, shopping and gambling for the weekend. This is a very needed respite from my current every day life, and it will be great to see Dani, as I haven't seen her since last August.

Maybe by the time I return from my girls weekend, I will actually learn how to post pictures and link things... who knows as Tom might say crazier things have happened. (and there are still two full evenings before I leave that might be time for a crash course in the whole blogging area)

Saturday, April 4, 2009


why does it have to be so hard sometimes, you think you have it all planned out and then before you know it things change....and send you for such a loop that you cant see which way is up...I feel like that currently. It feels like no matter how hard I try to get a grip it just seems to spin more out of my control. So I have decided to take it day by day and let the universe guide me and help me with my choices. I have to believe that everything (job, personal and financial) will work out as it is supposed to and the more I try to control it the worse it seems to be... so we shall see... but as always I will look to the bright side and find happiness in every moment.