My, what a busy summer it’s been!  Lots of ups and downs, but undoubtedly stronger through it all.  Among some of the happenings: broken AC in 115 degree weather, a collapsed ceiling, a trip for R to the ER,worries for a dear friend’s health, a terrible eye infection for Roo which we’re still battling, as well as more road trips and a job promotion.  I know I’m forgetting quite a bit, but that’s the gist.

Through this crazy summer, one quote has resonated with me in its wisdom.  It’s similar to the way I try to be present in my yoga practices as well:

“I, not events, have the power to make me happy or unhappy today. I can choose which it shall be. Yesterday is dead, tomorrow hasn’t arrived yet. I have just one day, today, and I’m going to be happy in it.




Jerome view

One of my dearest friends and I have attempted to plan a road trip, unsuccessfully, for a few years.  That is, until last weekend when we went to visit a friend in Cottonwood.  We stayed thousands of feet above Cottonwood in a hillside community that’s a former mining/ghost town turned artist haven, Jerome.  It was ridiculously hot, but through the sweat, alcohol and woozy moments, we had a blissful time.

Memories of the weekend in no particular order:

Chatting with colorful locals

Hippie travelers with fake Aussie accents that had visited (and smelled like) a sweat lodge

Sweet bed and breakfast owners

Wine tasting at Alcantara

Wedding crashing and wading in Oak Creek

Amazing veggie food (minus an overly mushroom dish)

Two words: gypsy wagon

Getting lost on a winding mountain road

oak creek


Just twenty minutes north of where we live, you can step into an entirely new landscape–the sweet town of Cave Creek.  I grew up in Tucson and Cave Creek has a similar aesthetic in its hillsides, greenery and beautiful homes.  The temperatures are also about five to ten degrees cooler than where we live.  Its main street is lined with funky antique and furniture stores, biker bars, restaurants and coffee shops.

The past two weekends we visited Cave Creek Coffee Company (C4), once with Roxy and once with my Dad for an early Father’s Day treat.  We regret that we never visited in the pleasant winter months.  At least it was still tolerable to sit outside.  I had an amazing veggie wrap and soy latte.  Yum!  We’ll likely be back soon.

Soft, warm sand.  Falling asleep on an oceanfront deck.  Dining with a view.  Cool breezes.  Flip-flops.  The smell of sunscreen.  People-watching on the boardwalk.  Eating cookies with Riesling.  Indulging in too much guacamole.  Standing at the edge of a windy pier.  Catching up on reading.

Weeklong vacations are never enough.


The definition of babushka:  [buh-boosh-kuh]

1. (Clothing & Fashion) a headscarf tied under the chin, worn by Russian peasant women
2. (in Russia) an old woman

[Russian: grandmother, from baba old woman]
Roxy’s been extra cuddly lately before bedtime so I caught her in the perfect babushka moment.  It never gets old to do this to a dog.  Hilarious and adorable.
babushka roxy

My husband tells me that I could dedicate an entire blog to my fantastical dreams.  I cannot even count the number of mornings I recount a dreamy tale that’s like a Scott Mutter photo come to life.

Arizona traffic intersections built from sky-high Greek columns…

A sushi restaurant dangling from the precipice of a tall, steady ocean wave…

Neon orange and pink clouds casting a glow over a moving island…

Jack Bauer buying me a drink and then fighting zombies…

Last night’s dream was noteworthy, and maybe just because I remember it–there’s so many of them that I forget.

I dreamt that I ended up in prison because I pelted Jeff Bridges with big glass marbles.  Only he wasn’t Jeff Bridges.  He was a bad guy played by Jeff Bridges. (Apparently my dreams not only cast people in my life and past, but A-list actors).  When I arrived to prison, I discovered that a former roommate was there too and I was glad to see a friendly face, only she wasn’t being so nice since I wasn’t part of her prison gang.  She was Queen Bee of her orange jumpsuit circle.  This prison wasn’t too bad when it came to food.  Everyone ate from a fancy buffet.  I really wanted spaghetti, only I couldn’t find a plate.  When I finally found a plate, they were out of spaghetti.

I gave up long ago trying to rationalize or search for any meaningful symbolism in these dreams.

J 🙂

Somehow seasons seem to dictate my music choices.  Even the weather has a strong influence.  Cloudy day music has a much different vibe than sunny day music.  Maybe because cloudy days are so rare here in Phoenix.  I’m likely not alone in this music/climate connection.

So here’s what I’m currently rotating through my Pandora:

– Fitz and The Tantrums

– Adele

– Ray LaMontagne

– The Wallflowers

– The Gaslight Anthem

– Mumford and Sons

– Ingrid Michaelson

– Stevie Wonder

– Carla Bruni

There’s really no rhyme or reason to this mix.  I’m hardly a musical snob and there are moments where I feel the same joy listening to Ace of Base as I do to Explosions in the Sky.

My only prerequisite is variety.  I had a former co-worker who sat directly next to me and would play on his Pandora a steady stream of Linkin Park and Evanscence all day, everyday.  This is not an exaggeration.  Not just one song.  When his Pandora account ran out of its free 40 hours, he would start up a Linkin Park video on YouTube and play it over and over. And over.

I thought I was going to stab pencils into my ears.  I started keeping a steady tally of how many times he played the music of these two mediocre bands.  I had countless groups of five slashes racked up.

Glad I have an inner radio switch.  Oh, and thanks, seasons.

Now  for the random “smile” from my post title. Gizmodo had a photo shooting challenge to capture images during that bewitching golden hour.  The gallery of top contenders is lovely, but this one by Brandon Nuss especially made me smile.  I grew up with Yorkies, and this just epitomizes their little personalities.  And it’s so much better to see one of them showing off a Camaro than a stiff, sleazy car model;)

brandon nuss photo


J 🙂