11–17 of 17 entries from the month of: July 2007

The Grimm Brothers Knew a Thing or Two

July 13th

giraffe frenchie bag

I am having one of those weeks where everything seems to be falling into place, just right. My push to prioritize is paying off ten-fold. I resigned from one of my freelance gigs at a health magazine. The relief! The joy! The sheer happiness of not having to track down excessively busy health care workers who didn’t want to be interviewed anyway!
With this change in income, I took a closer look at my finances and have been budgeting. I’ve also been eating much healthier, sleeping better and seeing gains in my tri training. I can’t help but think these things are all related. There is such gratification to be found in changing your behavior, seeing the new habits stick and viola! Results! Speaking of Goldilocks, I’ve switched my morning bagel habit to low-sugar oatmeal and it is such a pleasant change. The porridge is just right.


With my extra time and happy attitude, I sat down yesterday for an hour of Singer therapy. I used a beautiful African batik print sent from Switzerland by the lovely Jessica to create this Frenchy Bag. I am using canvas a good bit these days in my sewing. I like the simplicity and sturdiness — especially when paired with such a busy print.
I hope your week has also been just right.

Posted in
Africa, Domestic Art, Good to Great
Comments (30)

Green Week

July 12th

Green Week!

I am so impressed with your ideas for treading a bit lighter on mama earth. Awesome! So, I got to thinking — how about we show each other how we incorporate these ideas into our everyday routine?
Next week will be Green Week around here. To participate, please photograph one of your green habits and throw the photo in this flickr group. I’ll share the photos along with conversation here and we’ll take a step toward doing something about slowing global warming, rather than just sitting around complaining about it. Hell to being helpless!
Sound good? Oh, and of course there will be eco-friendly prizes. I’m thinking sets of cloth napkins, market bags, Nalgene bottles, etc…


Posted in
Good to Great, Journal, Recycle, Reduce, Reuse
Comments (21)

The Bare Minimum

July 10th

Earthy market bags

Want to help the earth, but didn’t make it to the concerts this weekend? Can’t afford to purchase a Prius or are just too lazy to figure out the bus schedule? Good news: you can still help.

The very least we can all do is to stop using plastic grocery bags whenever possible. Carrying your own cup to the coffee shop, recycling clothing and other goods at thrift stores, buying locally, walking/carpooling/using public transport and consuming less by principle earn bonus points in my book.

When some friends asked if I’d mind sewing them some canvas market bags, I jumped at the chance. Sew for a good cause? Absolutely!


What is your favorite environmentally-friendly practice?


Posted in
CAOK, Domestic Art, Recycle, Reduce, Reuse
Comments (44)

Water — my new best friend

July 9th

Guess what I did today? I apparently dehydrated myself and truly thought I was dying. I’m not kidding. There was crying, a bit of moaning and a fair amount of embarrassing myself in the workplace. It was the most pathetic, painful experience I’ve been through in quite a while — and this is a girl who isn’t a stranger to the painfully pathetic experience.
I got up, went to the gym, ran and lifted, headed to the bagel shop to check with with the gang (no bagel, but two cups of coffee later), commuted and sat at my desk for about an hour before the wrath of God came down on my left temple. I was suddenly nauseous, dizzy, cranky and sleepy. My nose began to run, my head was throbbing and every. single. noise. in the office sounded like an opera of jackhammers. On meth. Thankfully I made it home, drank my weight in water and Gatorade, and went to bed. Three hours of insanely mid-day deep sleep later, I felt like a human again.
Lessons learned:
1. Travel makes me thirsty. Don’t reach for Diet Coke with this thirst hits.
2. When the computer screen gets blurry, take a break and drink a lot of water. Then drink some more.
3. Don’t run outside without water. You may be a native, but that doesn’t make you a saguaro.
4. Rejoice when you are able to think without screaming. Promise yourself you’ll never do this to yourself again.

Training in Phoenix, oh the joys. No wonder so many people leave this time of year!

Prickly but not dead,

Posted in
Arizona, Journal, Triathlon
Comments (32)

Big Easy

July 9th

I’m trying to find my desk after a week away; in the meantime, a few more photos. Tomorrow I’ll be back with the routine!

sweet ride
Common Ground Sign, Ninth Ward
Sunflowers for lead removal
church in the ninth ward
turquoise shutters
weapons of mass construction
stop the killing
trash we removed
typical boarded up houses


Posted in
Journal, Photography, Travel
Comments (19)

A Taste of the Cresent City

July 8th

Rust a southern patina
Help Wanted
Voo Doo shop window
Lawyers, lawers everywhere
moss-covered oaks
mother full of grace
Posted in
Journal, Photography, Travel
Comments (10)

A Fourth To Remember

July 7th

{I wrote this several days ago, but have just returned to Phoenix and finally — FINALLY — have Internet access. Home sweet home after yet another fabulous adventure.}

flags flapping in the wind, algiers

I am doing something more patriotic than I intended this July 4th – I am volunteering for the week in New Orleans. I’ve been working on a construction crew for the last three days, demolishing ruined buildings, digging up and removing contaminated soil, and driving around with my jaw unhinged at the complete and total devastation in which some parts of this city are still drowning, two years later.

If I had a hammer, I'd hammer in the morning...
The 9th Ward

There are communities where it is hard to tell that Katrina stormed through in August 2005, leaving more than 1,000 people dead and hundreds of thousands of people displaced and reeling. And then there are communities of FEMA trailers where people are fighting to survive their daily existence. Strangely, these neighborhoods are often intermixed. Giant mansions flaunt beautifully coiffed lawns, wrap-around porches, swings hanging from giant oaks ‚Äì covered in moss, and shutters painted in this season‚Äôs tone ‚Äì seemingly in J. Crew hues — pear, aqua, sand and sable. Three hops down the sidewalk ‚Äì broken in many pieces by the root system hazard of having a tree-lined street ‚Äì sit three FEMA trainers, noisily gurgling as their temporary pipes chug water into the 10 x 12 foot white plastic boxes on wheels. At the other end, another plastic PVC web of tubes angrily disposes waste down makeshift canals to the sewage system.
Overhead, locusts cry in the humid night. Cockroaches in this city are the size of small birds – and they fly with creepy flare. And those tree-lined streets? Take a stop along that broken sidewalk and you can hear a familiar chorus. Many of the trees are home to large gaggles of parakeet and parrots. I assume these house birds were among the lucky pets to escape the storm and return without worrying about not being able to swim.

Houses are long and lean

New Orleans is a beautiful city, although the racial tension is at times apparently as thick as the humidity. The mélange of culture, religion and spunk make for a wild, sorrowful, boozy time. I want to cry for this seemingly forgotten area of the country, but it won’t be pitied. Instead, the music of jazz lures me to the doorways of tiny dark bars as I take my evening walk. The smell of Cajun cooking has me seeking out platters of food that tickle the tongue with sweet and spice. The cackle of drunk tourists in the French Quarter has me appreciative I’m staying with locals, in the community and not in a hotel. The promise of a city that once was and what will be again pushes me to pick up my gloves and go out for another day of moldy, disgusting, reforming work, alongside a team of Louisianans who have been doing this work non-stop for months.
I am proud of my country more than ever on weeks like this.

Not as much as I heart AZ, but it is still a nice place to visit

Happy Independence Day Miss America!

Now, back to work.


Posted in
Journal, Photography, Travel
Comments (20)