Shenanigans; The Beginning

I started desert and  accidentally meandered my way through fifty plus years.  I say accidentally because not much of it was planned. This is a place where I can share my love of this desert I call home, nature, travels, family and a few shenanigans along the way.  I’m glad you stopped by and welcome.


My Phone Is My Service Animal

Today’s workshop project is all about scraping out the inside of a Saguaro. Immersed in the project time becomes nonexistent. Suddenly my phone alerted with this

Panicked! My phone is trying to take care of me. Like a service animal (although I would prefer a monkey). What? Take a swim? Okay

Saguaro Rib table waits another day.


Police State

It was all over Social Media yesterday that police officers were asked to leave a Starbucks because a woman said she didn’t feel safe.  I was confused by her action (backed by Starbucks),  and then I started thinking of what might have been the rest of the story:

Woman: “I don’t feel safe with that Police Officer in here and my Crack Sales are down!” officer any drugsWoman: ” That Police Officer looked at me funny… Like he KNOWSsay agileWoman: “Yes Rolf, we are in a planning meeting here at Starbucks. We’re singing Edelweiss and So Long, Farwell at the show tonight, but you’re too busy to come right?” rolfSteven Seagal said: “It’s harder to be a police officer now than it used to be” but he also said this so….
steven segalOh sure, I’ve experienced the awkwardness of trying to look extra diligent and drive correctly when I see those markings along side me in traffic.  I move my hands to 10 & 2 and try to look natural as I stare straight ahead. 
pulloverBut like the majority of the outraged Citizens posting, re-posting, and vowing to boycott Starbucks for their actions I am upset at the judgement and hatred. I have a family member who is a Sheriff Deputy. He struggles trying to make sense of the evil he sees all the wile believing there is good in everyone. His talent is making a difference through love.  Most officers still serve even when someone (Beyonce) is outspoken against all policemen, no matter what.


I guess Starbucks has the right to refuse service to anyone they please.  I don’t buy drinks from Starbucks, but they were my go-to gift cards and I liked to slip a 5$ gift card in for thanks to nurses & helpers.  I doubt such a big company will even notice my absense.  Still I don’t support the decision to ask them to leave. The fact the police did leave leads me to believe they weren’t acting abusive.  We don’t know the real rest of the story.

Perhaps we just need more Fred Rogers in our lives,Mr rogerswith a dash  of Cartman: giphy


I Am….Grateful

This morning’s Gratitude Journal-   I am a lightning rod for healing energy… I am…on an enlightening journey. I am..so very grateful. SO GRATEFUL!

As seen in Ajo Arizona

My healing journey is far from over.  When I started over a year ago, many of the blogs/videos I found claimed if one simply followed their advice one would achieve great improvements over time.   I really couldn’t see how that was possible for me.  I’m sure it works for others but I am different.  My inner conversation was- “well I carry a lot of stress. I can’t help it if the outside influences increase my stress level.  Those people are probably smarter, richer,  have more willpower, funnier, more athletic, and obviously better than me so it’s probably easier for them.”

My Attitude

Psshht. Today I am grateful I didn’t listen to myself.  The proverbial “THEY’ were right and I managed to change my life in these ways;  I am stronger, I am kinder, I am joyful, I am healthy, I am thinner, my skin is better, my relationships are better, my life is happier, I have everything I need.  I am now as annoying to myself  as those who I  identified as “THEY”.  A year and a half ago I would have said (well actually did say) about the person I am today  “well she OBVIOUSLY doesn’t have  to (fill in the blank)…” What  excuses I gave myself.2018-11-25_12-21-03_366

Starting point.  My higher learning/self help journey started by accident. I wanted to be a bone marrow donor for a cherished person in my life who had Leukemia. I wanted to be ready when/if needed & was told that even if I wasn’t a match, it would better their chance to “move up the list”.  Believing I was healthy as can be I started with a routine physical and my  doctor shockingly telling me how unhealthy  I was.

While the doctor was tapping away on the exam room computer prescribing various cholesterol lowering, blood pressure & insulin regulating drugs du jour, I said “Stop. I don’t want to take a statin, I’m healthy! I drink smoothies! I walk a mile a day! I gave up Diet Coke!” Image result for stop sign clip art free I need to insert here that giving up Diet Coke  <(click here to see official ingredient list) January 1, 2018 was the hardest thing I’ve ever done. It contains a highly addictive amino acid to me- Phenylalanine   and was poison to my body.  Without it my body made great improvements.   Phenylalanine attaches to the pain  receptors of the brain creating a sense of euphoria and making it highly addictive. Diet Coke also destroys  bones which was the part of the body I was after. Anyhoo,  I was soooo stinkin’ proud of myself so you can imagine…Image result for pin bursting balloon

 The too f’n young doctor  and I  argued discussed my “healthy lifestyle” for a while; me defending my health choices, him telling me the horrors of what the numbers of the blood test predicts. How grateful I am that he took the time that morning.  I was the first patient of the day and our talk definitely put him off schedule.

Thanks Doc for the helping hand!

We settled on giving me 3 month chunks of time to obtain healthier numbers. So the self propelled healing journey began. Finding foods on the list that I liked, making up recipes. The “don’t call it a diet because diets come to an end” philosophy.  I knew this was a pivotal moment and my life would never be the same. I was either going to take medication and become another (ahem) middle aged woman controlled by the Pharmaco-mafia or I was going to do this. I  felt like I was hopping off the merry-go-round while it is still moving. This was it.  Three month check and my doctor’s face and excitement over the blood test was actually comical.  I was embarrassed by his reaction and attention.  I thought it wasn’t the big deal he was making it out to be.   Later I realized how frustrating it would be for him to give advise only to have the patient ignore him. Three months later, a complete physical 3 months after that and results continued to improve. Which brings us back to today. 2019-06-23_23-03-34_783

I put off the annual physical last month telling my doctor, “let’s postpone it for 3 weeks so I can detox from my vacation”.Image result for culinary dropout pretzel fondue We then had a discussion on how much I miss cheese. I tell him the only thing I wanted for my birthday last March was the Soft Pretzel & Provolone Fondue at Culinary Dropout  to which he says: “Union  Public House Pretzels with Ale House Fondue is even better”  then seeing the look on my face says “oops I guess I shouldn’t tell you that!”

I had given myself the green light to go ahead and eat delicious cultural food full of fat and drink plenty of  local wine in Italy & Greece. Which I did. … and I felt it… and I ignored it. I quickly realized how easy it is to simply take a pill for pain, digestion, allergy,  just so that I could continue to eat this way.

The saving grace was all the walking we did and a 25 lb backpack all of  which seemed offset doing permanent damage to the progress of the past year and a half.  2019-02-08_15-58-24_015

My quest hasn’t all been about nutrition and I am amazed the differences a simple gratitude journal, a brain exercise, encouraging video or a few minutes of meditation can do.  Release anger, forgive myself. What works for me might not work for others.  G has been working on natural pain management and has cut his use of medication to less than half. Our daughter and her husband have discovered natural remedies for some chronic physical issues.  So as a lightning bolt of healing energy I am joining the collective “THEY” to annoyingly spread natural healing and positive energy.  I found it so helpful.  To encourage all to  replace mindless TV, Netflix, Candy Crush with education. One show, one article, one YouTube video at a time.  Below are some of the resources my friends, family and I  have found helpful.  Add to my list- share what you find!

Inspiration & life after death: Dr Mary Neal  

Two more Neurosurgeons on natural healing, meditation and lifestyle: Dr Norman Shealy, MD, PHD.   Dr Joe Dispenza

Positive Growth:   Lisa Garr   and Shondra Rhymes “Year of Yes”

Brain Boost: Jim Kwik    Mind Valley

Yoga, Meditation, Enlightenment: Gaia.com

Productivity, Gratitude Journal: Alex Ikonn








Ghost Burglar Break-In

Technically it was the wee hours of the morning on July 5th but I still thought the loud crash at 2:07 A.M. was part of a random neighbor’s 4th of July home firework show.firework

As I registered the sound it occurred to me that what I heard was a loud THUMP followed glass breaking. G was already out of bed standing next to the door looking confused and adorable at the same time. We must have been a sight as I hunched down behind him, both of us scantly clad with bed head and slit eyes.  He doesn’t question that my position hiding behind him ensures he will encounter the bad guy first but I still fell kind of guilty.  Burglar RunningWe creep down the hall as graceful as cat burglars to the kitchen. It is at this time I suddenly realize if there IS an intruder we are barefoot and have no weapon.  My heart starts pounding but is soon relieved to see this:

Somehow a   blue vase has crashed to the ground. I am amp-ed up on adrenaline as grab a broom and start sweeping into the dustpan.  Still in the doorway and groggy, G is watching me……so I say “here, make yourself useful” and hand him the dustpan handle. img_7151

For SOME reason I get the giggles. Mostly because I realize I NEVER talk to him like that, and also because he does it on command.  Note to self, if one ever decides to order G about take a chance at 2:08 A.M.

“Where did the painting go!?” I exclaim.img_7153-1

We look around the kitchen and G replies “Ghosts” which is the first word he has said so far.  I keep sweeping and looking around for the painting.Cartoon Ghost

“Maybe it was stolen.” I say and then we look at each other and BURST OUT LAUGHING.  Perhaps I should explain our hysterics: 


The missing painting was created by me at a recent Wine and Paint party at a gallery.  To those who haven’t heard of Wine and Paint party here is the description: A group of friends attend a “class” hosted by a local gallery. Bring snacks & plenty of your favorite wine (oh, and an extra bottle to share with everyone else, wink).  The instructor takes her happy artists on a step by step journey to paint the exact same thing. Blue background, oval, another oval, (mine is looking like a green vagina at this stage), swipe some color, blob here, dot there…

Soon the wine kicks in and jokes about giving each other the  painting for Christmas and other such shenanigans ensue.We are amazed at the different versions we have created and notice someone (far right bottom row) paints it perfectly (DEBBIE) complete with glitter. Next step, sign our masterpieces with  sharpie and go  home.  Well ONE of us in the picture below (hint, the one with big earrings) looks a little TOO happy.  (Wine remember?)

Soooo- back to what is now 2:09 A.M., and the absurdity of someone breaking in to steal my paining  hits us hard. Giggling uncontrollably now while we look around, under, through for the painting.   Really though, where is it? WHERE IS IT?? G finally realizes it fell behind the desk trapped perfectly so that it doesn’t hit the ground which is quite anticlimactic to my wildly imagined scenarios.  I think the WALL JUST REJECTED MY ART

All is well again

So we hang it back up, turn off the light and head back to bed.  G is back asleep by 2:13 A.M. (How does he DO that?)  I however am now fully awake writing this post. Sigh.

Meanderings- Delos Island, Greece

I am still feeling inspired by all the wonder from our recent vacation.  One of my  favorite things was getting close enough to gently blow the dust from an ancient sculpture and  I imagine the same dust on an artist’s hands from over 3000 years ago.     To me it is the ultimate time machine.2019-06-18_02-43-15_000Looking at the partial pieces of sculpture, I also wonder if the artists got as triggered as I do  when accidentally breaking off a key piece of work. I imagine so but couldn’t it also be the alternate explanation to the missing arms/penises/noses of ancient statues?peniHow do they KNOW it was the uptight Christians knocking off penises? Could be just an artist that can’t get the penis exactly right, or perhaps the removal of appendages is like the selfie editing of today “Eww I look awful in this lighting, take it again on my good side”.  So MAYBE even a famous sculptor such as  Alcamenes had to edit his creation like this:      hermes and Alcamenes  Hlava Herma, Alkamenés, mramor, -5. st. We took a guided tour through the ruins and I was very pleased with the tiny yet loud archaeologist guide.  It always surprises me how many rude tourists seem to be missing out on the wonder of what we are experiencing. 2019-06-18_01-54-03_000For example; a man pushed by knocking us off of the narrow path to get to, well, just ahead of all of us I guess.  G: “It’s been here thousands of years, I don’t think it’s going anywhere” 2019-06-18_02-06-15_000Rocks that were stacked using no mortar outline walls that are still standing today. Guide: “If you see cement that’s where it has been repaired.”2019-06-18_01-58-35_000Arches that are are part of a water catchment system. Take a look at the keystones at the center of the arch in the picture below. Still as solid today as when the mason placed them there. 2019-06-18_01-51-18_000While the guide weaves tales of antiquity, G & I  place our hands  on the cool marble stones.   With my back and hands against the marble and my face toward the sun  I swear I can feel the vibration of a thousand voices heard from  those who passed this very window.  2019-06-18_01-56-05_000Delos is the birthplace of Apollo who is also known as the god of light. Using the huge  local mica deposit on the island the walls sparkled in all directions.  2019-06-18_01-30-22_000It’s not hard to imagine approaching from the sea, buildings shining in the sun, a row of roaring stone lions leading the way to bustling shops and palatial structures.lionsSomeone asks the guide who these people were located in the middle of a group of houses. The answer is they don’t know. Not royalty, possibly a rich merchant’s family.  They were obviously very fashionable. greece-delos-top-attractions-house-of-cleopatraWe end up with a lot of free time after the tour and before the ferry returns. We walk the fringes of the Island where nature has reclaimed her rightful place covering man’s structures that may be lesser known or simply ignored.2019-06-18_01-12-12_000I  even found a couple of pretty little snails stuck on a wall. These Delos Island snails are super strong.  I couldn’t pick it off the wall which was probably best anyway for the snail.2019-06-18_01-41-04_000We climb as high as we can and overlook the layout of the island.intro_dilosAnd visit the temple while we were up theregreece-delos-temple-of-isisWe venture down and dip our toes in the nearby sea. The water is cool and so clear.  It’s quiet except the soft waves. This  little part of the ocean was a crossroads for trade for thousands of years. This little part of the sea was a sole source of life.   2019-06-18_03-07-56_000Together in silence the two of us enjoy the complex history of this  place. 2019-06-18_02-19-40_000and  reflect on the phenomenon when these places are abandoned and left to ruin.  2019-06-18_02-17-55_000Together we whisper to each other and express our awe of human creativity 2019-06-18_03-03-55_000and the need to write it all down.2019-06-18_02-04-58_000This simple unique rock placement of the wall below  makes me so happy.2019-06-18_02-00-33_000.jpegMosaic flooring, frescoes, sculpture & pottery have been recovered and preserved in the museum.   2019-06-18_01-16-46_0002019-06-18_02-52-14_000


We are grateful for the opportunity to visit.

2019-06-19_11-32-23_930 R Rating Below
















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The Best Museum I Had Never Heard Of.

We are staying with friends in Santa Marinella just outside Rome. Lucky for us they have a sense of adventure and love for UNESECO sites and lead us to the following adventure.

Mysterious Tarquina full of Etruscan surprises. We begin at the Necropoli. There are so many wonderfully preserved tombs here. Stunning rooms are carved into solid rock, including wide staircases descending to a small door entrance.

Part of the area dates to the 9-8th century BC. As time went on traditions changed, more and more elaborately decorated tombs appear. Many depict the Etruscan lifestyle. All are beautiful.

Above the surface there are yurt type structures. Of course over time these structures were buried beneath the earth and rediscovered by farming. Imagine the surprise of finding such treasure in your field!

After touring the Necropoli, our wonderful friends drove us to the town of Tarquina. The town retains a medieval charm. Meandering through the streets it is easy to imagine the sound of horse hooves clip-clop along the cobblestone roads.

On to the museum where the treasures are kept.

Fantastic pottery, carvings, weapons, and items used for daily life in the centuries BC are shown

This little museum rivals the more famous and a must see if you are able to break away from spectacular Rome and travel up to the area of Tarquina!

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