Friday, July 23, 2010

Onward to the Happiest Place on Earth!

Oh this week has been busy! I will have to dedicate a few posts to the events of the week including my Birthday on Monday! Right now, though, I can't concentrate on anything but this coming weekend's plans. I'm going to Disneyland! Yep, that's right. Just my mom and me are winging our way south to LA tomorrow. Also on the docket? A trip to Beverly Hills and Rodeo Drive tomorrow evening, and some beach time on Tuesday. Sunday and Monday will be hard-core Disney days complete with a reservation at the Bibbidy Bobbidy Bootique on Sunday morning for hair and make up (yes, pictures will be taken!). So off I run to finish packing! Can't wait to share stories when I get back! :)

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Birthday Weekend, Day 1!

This year my 25th Birthday falls on a Monday, so I planned on doing a fair amount of celebrating on the Saturday beforehand. Well that was yesterday, and it was an amazing day! It started with me primping and waiting for my best friend, Bunny, to show up. I suddenly got a phone call from her: "I'm about to turn down your street, unlock your front door, sit on the couch, and close your eyes." LOL! Ok! I heard the door swing open and asked the stranger if she were a burglar, nope, my best friend! Whew! She had me open my eyes and she stood standing in front of me with a dozen roses and a red suitcase! 'Red suitcase?!' you may ask? Well, I am going to fly to LA in less than a week and I don't have my own luggage yet! So, she went and found me some in my favorite color! Yippee! It even matches the roses. But better yet, there was a handmade card attached to the outside and inside were more surprises! It was full of wonderful items, including a book we will read together and the oh-so-elusive color of nail polish I've been wanting and trying to track down. :) She really does listen to me when we're out shopping! There was a healthy dose of zebra-print stuff in that suitcase too. (At this point I should be on the 12-step program for Zebra print. It's an OBSESSION!)

So, after giggling furiously over fun gifts, she handed me an iced coffee, mmm!, and we headed off to the Farmer's Market. No veggies were purchased, but we did find a booth that offered henna tattoos. OK! So for $5 a pop, we got decorated by the two sweetest girls. They seemed thrilled to have such happy customers. :)

After that we did a little shopping, and took a tour around the new yarn shop downtown, Loopy. Very fun!

Then it was pottery time! Yep! We were going to paint our own pottery. Something we've always wanted to do! We both chose to do mugs and it was soooo fun and relaxing to paint them.

The art center we were at lets you do all sorts of art for cheap. You can make glass jewelry, or silk screen a shirt. You can borrow their kiln too for your own projects. Super cool! With our mugs ready for firing we headed off to get me a manicure. My hands were a mess! Bunny got comfy in a pedicure chair while me and the nail tech got down to business. We chatted and sipped soda and had a great time. How relaxing! Nails look great! But, oops, now I can't get my wallet out of my purse...Bunny had to come to my rescue at a few places as I fumbled around with sticky nails!

Next up was lunch, and an impromptu run-in with a very good old friend. Then a little more shopping and I was dropped back home to re-do my hair. Then it was dinner time and I was joined by my five FAVORITE people in the world. I was so glad we could all get together. We ate delicious Italian food and chatted about everything. I have never combined all of these people at once and it was hilarious to see how it mixed. The evening slowed, and I enjoyed a brew on the front lawn as the sun set. I went to bed smiling and pleasantly exhausted! Now it's Sunday, what's next? Going swimming with Bunny at Adult Swim at one of the local pools in town. Can't wait! I'll tell you about it soon! :)

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Never Underestimate the Power of Crayons

A wise person recently pointed this out to me. Whether one is stressed or angry, sad or lonely, or just so happy they could burst, pour it out on paper. And instead of focusing on thoughts and words, focus on colors and textures and the movement of the hand. Go crazy or go slowly. Take a tip from the 5 year olds out there and scribble your brains out. There is a lot of good to be found in those wiggly lines, and those sticks of wax. From Grape Purple to Burnt Sienna, Grass Green to Classic Red, turn emotion into art -- one of the simplest kinds -- and free yourself. (You can always hang it on the fridge when you're done.) :)

Monday, July 12, 2010

The Neighborhood Pool Party!

A week or so ago, as I sat at my kitchen table looking out the window over my laptop, a little boy came to my step and left something. Confused I went out and found a flyer for the Neighborhood Pool Party. Pool Party? Haven't been to one of those in years! It was specific for the neighborhood, with only certain blocks invited. Oooh! An exclusive pool party! It was going to be held at a new indoor pool that was built to replace an old outdoor pool. I remember back when when they proposed this, and being a little sad. As a kid in this town, McCormick Pool was one of the coolest places to go in the summer. It was your good, old fashioned, cement rectangle. On special occasions they served watermelon. :) You came armed with a towel and bag of quarters for the vending machines, and lived in fear of thunderstorm threats that would make them evacuate the pool. You'd stand dripping outside, praying against the weather. This specific pool, (one of two in town) was near my house so it was a small bike ride away. My friends and I would bike (or occasionally beg a parent for a ride) and spend the whole afternoon there. My memories of it are very good ones. Not too long ago they decided to upgrade. As much as I would have liked them to keep it an outdoor facility, at least they kept it a pool. Now it has slides indoors and a beach like area for the little kids. I admit I was disappointed at the unveiling and never spent the money to play. That all changed last night! With towel in hand, swim suit on, and grin plastered on my face, my sister and I headed down to see what this party was all about. Upon our arrival we were handed plates, where we placed watermelon, pizza and cupcakes. While our food waited on the table, we jumped in the pool. I haven't tasted chlorine in so long! There were very few people, and I admit my sister and I were the oldest! LOL. We went down the slides like 8 year olds and swam and splashed and smiled. I felt like a little kid again and I loved it! We didn't have too long to play before the whistle blew and it was time to close. Pruney, with tangled hair, I ate my cupcake and retreated to the car for the ride home. What a wonderful event, shared with neighbors, doing one of my favorite things of Summer. Who cares if I'm almost 25! You're never too old for the public pool! :)

Monday, July 5, 2010

Red, White & Blue....Sapphires?

Yep, I went sapphire mining this weekend! On our sunny Saturday I drove up with some friends to Gem Mountain, about an hour and a half from home. At Gem Mountain you can sift through mine gravel to uncover all sorts of sapphires, in a range of colors. You start by purchasing a bucket of dirt. They then hand you a screen, some tweezers and point you in the direction of the water trough. You're instructed to put your dirt-covered screen in the water and shake side to side. Sapphires are twice the density of the other gravel so they'll sink to the bottom of your pile. After the rocks are clean, you head back to your exam table, flip your screen over, and start picking through the pile.

Sapphires in the rough look like little pieces of glass. And at Gem Mountain they can be itty bitty or huge. It's like being in a casino. All of a sudden a lady two tables away yells "Eureka!" and everyone runs to look at the huge "jackpot" of a stone she's found. It's very addicting, just like gambling. (I half expected someone to bring me a cocktail!) Most of the stones are a greenish-blue but I did have luck finding some yellow ones. They come in all colors of the rainbow! When you've finally finished with your whole bucket, (or your 10th bucket like some) you can take your finds to some of the experts they have on staff who will look them over. The cuttable stones are weighed and they offer to ship them to be faceted for you. Most of mine were cracked, but I did end up with a good blue one at .62 carats. :)

Finding sapphires is very rewarding and I can see myself returning to Gem Mountain many times in the future. The cast of characters that are drawn to it are fun to watch too. Folks from all walks converge over small piles of rubble; grins on their faces and death-grips on tweezers, hoping, hoping, and hoping. What a wonderful (and amusing) day in the mountains!

Friday, July 2, 2010

The 4th of July!

As one of my favorite Mary Engelbreit prints says "It is Red for love, and it's White for law, and it's Blue for the hope that our forefathers saw, in a larger liberty." I hope everyone enjoys their 4th of July celebrations! I am happy for a three day weekend and some family fun around the old barbecue. We'll set off some fireworks, eat watermelon and enjoy bright decorations in celebration of our independence! Wahoo!

Have fun out there!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

A Fragrant Visit

This hot afternoon I found myself in my Mom's backyard once more. The cat was in the house enjoying a midday treat and I was making the rounds checking on the potted plants. There are so many to keep track of! As I wander I make sure to pass the blooming rose bush at least eight times, inhaling their fragrance with a happy smile each time. All of her plants seem to be pleased with the sun and heat lately. It isn't long after I've gotten comfy that I hear "pick pick pick" on the screen door. Sam the cat wants out! Time to play! :) I know he enjoys the company while the folks are away. After he calmed and casually retreated to the shade I picked up the camera and went in search of some of my favorites. A few of these are shown below. Enjoy! (If you're not tired of my yard picts yet!!) :)

I love this old basket my Mom planted petunias in!

The color of this flower is wonderful, though I can't recall its name.

I love the colors of this glorius coleus!

One of those fragrant blooms just waking up!

Till next time!

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