Sunday, March 31, 2013

Away in the Manger

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Once upon a time there was a nice Jewish girl named Mary that got knocked up. She was so afraid to tell her parents what really happened, she went with the I'm-still-a-virgin-and-I'm-carrying-the-son-of-God Immaculate Conception story. Of course they didn't believe her right away, but eventually Mary wore them down. You go, Mare Bear! Frankly, I'm surprised the story's not used on grandparents-to-be more often by some of our more modern young ladies. I mean, even these days, what faithful, middle-aged woman wouldn't absolutely kill to be God's mother-in-law? So, Mary's fancy pregnancy proceeded and she went on to deliver Jesus. Many people have said he wasn't really born in December, as what we materialists have come to know as Christmas (Christ more, for you Spanish-speaking folks), but rather in the spring. Due to scheduling conflicts with the Spring Festival, however, it was moved to a winter month, preferably right after Hanukah and with plug-in lights in order to steal some of its thunder. Plus, Santa in bermuda shorts and sandals? Just doesn't have the same panache. I'm fuzzy on the rest of the happenings, but there was a manger and a petting zoo and Jesus grew up and wore Birkenstocks and was a super nice, benevolent guy and somehow, so people in future generations could sin all they want and then be forgiven by saying, "Oops, sorry," he ended up nailed to a cross (proof that Dick Cheney is a lot older than he looks) and then Jesus died. But then, wait for it...a miracle happened. Three days later, Jesus rose from the dead, causing Mary's parents such embarrassment for initially doubting her no-really-I-wasn't-out-rolling-in-the-haystacks-with-neighbor-boy-Billy story, giving believers and non-believers alike another three day weekend.

God knows, I love a good three day weekend :)

Then some other things happened (as soon as I get through the Comparative Religions class at SCC, I'll fill in some more important "facts"), but the greatest part is some of the family peeps and I get to celebrate all this by buying new white shoes and having a delicious brunch on a beautiful day down at The Farm, complete with pecan trees, cute chickens walking around and Hollandaise sauce!

Amen to that!

Friday, March 29, 2013

Tootsie Pop

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Remember the Tootsie Pop owl?
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I've been thinking about him a lot lately as I look at Nicky's toys, wondering "how many minutes will it take to get to the center of that?"

After days of picking up stuffed animal innards, I got him some "knotty birds" at Costco. They promised to have half the stuffing AND a rope filling! Long-lasting fun and easy clean-up. 
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Ten minutes later, we're to the rope,
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and the wise old owl in me has switched to things more indestructible.
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Thursday, March 28, 2013

Warm Blanket

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I tossed a warm blanket over Old Wildcat tonight and it took him right back to his childhood, smiling as he reminisced about a hanging-out-with-his-dad day at a hot springs spa, complete with naturally hot mineral waters, a massage and a warm blanket. Buckhorn Mineral Springs is long gone
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("A desert spa, offering the Southwest's largest and finest bath house. Famous for its mineralized natural hot water so beneficial in the treatment of arthritis and kindred ailments. Staff of Registered Physio Therapists, nurses and masseurs. Accommodations on the premises for 100 guests. Open year around. For descriptive folder write T.W. Sliger, Box 271, Mesa, Arizona"),

but at least we got the memory of it back. I don't think I ever would have imagined those two hopping in a car and trudging out to The Far East in search of an ancient natural remedy for their ailments, but it brought a smile to my face, as well. Old Wildcat chuckled again when I asked if my grandmother went too, probably also remembering her always-so-perfect-we-weren't-allowed-to-touch-it hair. While nobody ever drove me out to Mesa for a dip into those healing waters, I recalled some hanging-out-with-Dad days in long lost places like the Tropical Garden Zoo, Canterbury Carnival, an old theater that showed Charlie Chaplin movies on Saturdays and Chinese food on Sunday nights at Emperor's Garden. But what I wouldn't give right now to toss Old Wildcat in the car, turn left and head over to Buckhorn's so he could enjoy a soak in the mineral springs, a massage and a warm blanket. Sounds like just what the doctor should order.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Poppy Love

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Saturday, March 23, 2013

Flamenco por la Maddie

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Ohhhh Maddie!
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Ohhhh Carlos!
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The flamencas were all aflutter as the sun went down at Crescent Ballroom as we gathered the gang to cheer in a new year for the magnificent Maddie.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Farewell Friend

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Rock The Zoo

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Save the animals - rock the zoo 

Beer! Food trucks! 80s music! A rockin' spring night at the zoo.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Book Club - The Language of Flowers

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A houseful of yellow flowers greeted the Divas at Laurel's. The juicy drinks, the yummy food, the senioritis, the fashion show, the catching up - now that's speaking my language. 

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

The Dog Whisperer

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It's the people, people, not the dog.
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I'm trying to be the Leader of the Pack. I must have given off a Wimp of the Pack impression the other night because after a party with some friends, they came back next day with The Dog Whisperer book. I read it by the pool as Nicky ran around, chewed on sticks and was adorable. It reminded me of a horse challenge I did at Miraval. It's not about the horse. Be strong. Channel your inner Cleopatra. Your inner John Wayne. Dogs need three things, says Cesar Millan, dog whisperer to the stars:  exercise, discipline and affection.  The problem is, we tend to just give them affection, affection, affection, awwwww, but they're ssoooo cute!

Time for a walk, little Nicky.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Lucky Labryinth

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There's something about driving up Scottsdale road to Cave Creek at sunset that makes for it's own silent mediation. Except it wasn't silent. Those Low-Down Blues were blazing as the sun hit the boulders in just the right way, past the Horny Toad, past Harold's, into Taffy's dome-shaped house with the labyrinth out back. A gorgeous desert night to help welcome in the spring.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Spring Spark - Yarn Bomb!

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Spring has sprung at the Mesa Arts Center. Colorful exhibits, fun art projects and yarn bombing!
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Love it :)

Monday, March 11, 2013

Andre Rieu

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I have a feeling if my in-laws didn't go to bed so early, I would have missed it - waltzes, an orchestra and even SNOW! Shawn opted for an early bedtime, leaving poor Shana to accompany me to the Andre Rieu concert. I read that Paul Anka would be opening and I couldn't let her spend the rest of her life thinking Paul Anka was just the name of Lorelei Gilmore's dog.
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A master at the violin!
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Ohhhh - "real" snow!

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Took too long doing the Gilmore girl thing at Rice Paper, missing Paul Anka, but had fun in the snowy Phoenix night with the tenors, the divas, the taffeta dresses and the incredible talent.
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Friday, March 8, 2013


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Shana's birthday!
A beautiful group of ladies at Culinary Dropout surrounded Shana on her big 22nd. Also, on this International Women's Day, I was reminded how fortunate we are to have such bright, young, educated ladies out there to make a positive difference. You go, girls~
Happy, happy, happy birthday, Shana :)

Monday, March 4, 2013


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Nick picked us. He looked up at Shawn, Shana and me and we were hooked. Sitting quietly in his "room" at ABC shelter, the rest of the animals were going nuts. Jumping. Spinning. Barking, "pick me, pick me, pick MMEEEEE!!"while little Nicky patiently waited for us to fall in love. We're now surrounded with chew toys, dog beds, a pooper scooper and a constantly wagging tail. I figured we're too young not to give this whole dog thing another shot. Our first dog, a beautiful black and white Siberian husky pure-bred with blue eyes, didn't last very long. Nikita "Niki"Sacha Bolstoi (I think Shawn had just seen some Russian James Bond-y movie) tore up the place. He ate through dry wall and pulled up ceramic tile in our Virginia Beach condo. Finally, some Navy buddy with a farm took him off our hands. Next up was Sully. We had some challenges with him, too, but eventually realized we were the ones that weren't trained and lived happily for fourteen years with his perfect little personality. We even bought Sully a playmate one spontaneous Sunday morning named Tatum, thinking somehow he was bored with his only child status. We were wrong. Sully basked in being the center of the universe, while, in typical younger brother mode, Tatum nipped at his heels wherever he went. Tatum eventually found a home down the street with some energetic teenagers, leaving Sully in peace again. So, we're back to a Nicky. Full circle. Found in an abandoned apartment at just a few days old back in October, locked in a closet with his mother and five siblings, Nicky is now five months old. He's as sweet as can be, sleeps all night and loves to be held like a baby. Soon we'll get to sit, fetch and stay, but for right now, it's time to play. 

Sunday, March 3, 2013

one day at a time

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Valerie Bertinelli used to be my best friend. I'd sit on the couch once a week with my feathered hair and my divorced mom and my sister and watch Valerie with her feathered hair and her divorced mom and her sister as they struggled like us through the Brave New World of divorce in the 70s. We laughed. We cried. They were so much like us and somehow it seemed we were learning from each other. Like, I didn't know what a "super" was before watching the show, but eventually we got our own young, cheeky Schneider-like guy hanging around, "fixing things," too, eyeing my mom's Ann Romano swingy haircut, as Valerie, er, Barbara, and I looked on. Then, while the rest of the teenaged world was in love with David Lee Roth, I watched in awe when Valerie pushed him aside to marry our favorite guy in the band, the always smiling Eddie Van Halen. Right then, I just knew we were soul mates. As the older sister, I knew I was supposed to be like the Phillips girl, leaving little Amy to run free in her mind with perfect Valerie, but Julie was always in trouble, both on and off the show, even recently acknowledging an "affair" with her dad. I actually wondered when that story broke what Bonnie Franklin thought about, knowing deep down that if she was the real Mama, she and Schneider would have protected Julie somehow and put Papa in his place, jail. I thought of the old gang again, in a it-takes-a-village sort of way, after learning Bonnie Franklin died, and that, in some way, one day at a time, she helped three people on the other side of the screen turn out ok.

Sunday A'Fair

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The beat goes on - way back to the 80s with a fun, fun crowd!