I've never heard of Pantone before this past week. All of a sudden, it's everywhere! OMGoodness! Like, we need to have someone, like, pick a color for us because how are we ever going to "communicate" the "right" color between industries? How will my orange rug match the throw pillows if everyone doesn't know it's "tangerine tango"?

I like the color, don't get me wrong! Just hate the "trends" we are going to be spoon- fed everywhere you look. Just a bit of sugar to make it go down, right?


I've lived in AZ since 1995, been to the Grand Canyon only three times, driven through Sedona a couple of times, and just recently actually stopped and visited. Oh, the things we take for granted! GORGEOUS day for a hike in Sedona. Gotta do this again, soon.


New Year's Resolution

I like this for my inspiration for this (2012) year. I especially like the first three items!!

My Christmas Tree 2011

Since I'm back- tracking with my blogging, thought I'd include my Christmas tree of 2011. Here's the ornament that started my "purple & green" theme years ago. About 5-6 years ago, I went after Christmas shopping and picked this ornament at 75% off.... and so the tradition began to go shopping after the holidays for purple and green ornaments at 75% off prices!

Here are the new ornaments I had purchased and would be hanging up after a year in storage:

And the tree before:

Step 1: add some trim.
Step 2: stick things in the top.
Step 3: add the ornaments.
And wa la!!

Step 4: find a new theme for next year because there's no more room for ornaments on this tree!
So, for next year.... it's going to be an Americana Cristmas!!!

More San Antonio

Btw, anyone watching Top Chef Texas?? Definitely think Paul should win!

Since Dad and I didn't know what was going on with the car (see previous post) on Monday, we took the day to visit the San Jose Mission in San Antonio. I had been to San Antonio before and had of course toured the Riverwalk, the Alamo and the touristy spots like Sea World, the San Antonio Zoo, and Six Flags Fiesta Texas. Well, I definitely enjoyed visiting The San Jose Mission and would love to go again. If you were like me and didn't know too much about the Missions, here's the quick breakdown. There are five mission "complexes" in San Antonio and The Alamo is actually one of them (and then famously became the Alamo during Texas' fight for independence). The San Jose Mission was built in the early 1700s. These missions were small communities that were built in "The New World" to bring Spanish culture and well, forced conversion to Catholicism, to wherever the Crown conquered. They were built by the local Indians of that time under the command of the Franciscans who founded the Mission. The tour of the mission was impressive and informative. I learned that when it was founded, there was a Franciscan priest that ran the show and lived in the rooms adjacent to the church. The Indians were given a one room home to live in and the whole community was surrounded by fortified stone walls with a large courtyard center that held their daily activities (farming, milling, schooling, etc). Eventually, disease and local fighting with other native tribes killed off the Indians. That's it in a nutshell, but the tour was beautifully done! And here are the pics  (taken with my iphone):

The little homes for the locals:
And one side of the Church being restored:

The "rose window" is shown below. It is quite famous and has a good story to it if you care to google it. I am quoting from the San Jose Mission site here, "The window, sculpted ca. 1775, has been the object of both legend and admiration. It is considered one of the finest examples of baroque architecture in North America. The meaning behind the name is currently unknown, but legend has it named for Rosa, the betrothed of Juan Huizar who many believe created the window."
It was such a peaceful, "perfect weather" day when we visited and I'm so glad these missions are preserved!


I knew we should have taken my Buick to San Antonio. Dad and I decided to drive the apx 16 hour trip from Phoenix to San Antonio for Thanksgiving. My argument was pretty much that my car has a bigger gas tank (18 gallons to the RAV4's 13 gallons) and I didn't care about adding the mileage. Yes, the Buick's older.... but it's reliable. His "under warranty", 65K- mile, car ended up giving us trouble! About 250 miles to go, the check engine lights came on and he could tell there was something up with the transmission. We took it a little slower and made it to my sister's house OK, but to the dealer the car went (on black Friday) and instead of leaving on Monday as planned, we rented a car to get us home on Tuesday. And the transmission on his car had to be taken out and replaced. Two weeks later, he finally got his car home. That was the only trouble of the trip and otherwise it was a weekend filled with Thanksgiving, putting up the Christmas tree and fun times with Esthera, Alex and the kids.

Here's our day putting up the trees. I made Ethan pose for me.

The angel on the right is a cowgirl with wings completely made by Abby (10y/o) and her friend. If you look closely you can see the braid on her back, the cowgirl hat on her head and that's a lasso in her hand. Brilliant!

Visiting Yale While in CT

During my trip to Connecticut, we made a day of visiting the Yale campus. Narges teaches here and Brendan was an undergrad there. (Yes, they are brainiacs). The campus felt aged and as if the walls held secrets. It reminded me of being in Europe (Paris and London) and the campus and surrounding homes were art in themselves. It was perfect timing as that Saturday was the last game of the football season and the big Yale vs Harvard game.
Brendan dubbed it "bad, high school football". Harvard won the game much to the disappointment of myself and the home team fans. Maia refused to associate with the "blue team" because they lost and insisted on cheering the "red team". She's hilarious! No loyalty to her alumni parents!

Here are some pics of the campus. After the game each college hosted the alumni in their halls and we visited Brendan's Davenport hall.

The stone memorial translation: Epitaph- John Davenport: brought safely into port. In life, the ornament of New England and the Church. In death, the object of the sad regret of both.

And this is their amazing library. "The building, of Vermont marble and granite, bronze and glass, was designed by Gordon Bunshaft, of the firm of Skidmore, Owings and Merrill; the George A. Fuller Construction Company was the general contractor. Work began on the building in 1960 and was completed in 1963. The white, gray-veined marble panes of the exterior are one and one-quarter inches thick and are framed by shaped light gray Vermont Woodbury granite. These marble panels filter light so that rare materials can be displayed without damage. From the exterior, however, the building's powerful stone geometry serves to dominate the space it occupies in Hewitt University Quadrangle, amidst neo-Classical and neo-Gothic neighbors." (Quoted from the Library's homepage)

Women's Table (1990-93) Artist is Maya Lin. (Look her up.. she's pretty interesting).
Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut. Steve Fisher of Edward Larrabee Barnes and John M.Y. Lee, architect.  Granite water table honors the women of Yale with a spiral, engraved timeline that records the number of women in Yale programs from the founding of the University in the early 18th century through 1993.

There were so many great sculptures, buildings, grounds that merit talking about but I would just suggest you put it on your bucket list to visit one of the Ivy League schools on the east coast and their university towns!

CT Fun

I've been on a long hiatus from blogging. Too much to do vs. no motivation to blog. But, here I am.

Looks like I left off pretty randomly, so, I have to take my blogging back to November '11. I had been working my two jobs for most of 2011 but before the holidays decided it was too much so I quit my supplemental job. I promised to get out to Connecticut to visit the nearest and dearest to my heart, little "patient" of mine, Anabelle. This little gal (and really her family- especially her mom, Narges) was one of the people you meet and your life becomes intertwined when otherwise would've never been. Really, Narges spent her days camped out in the NICU and, dad, Brendan, worked in the hospital and was a regular at the bedside, too, and so the relationship developed over little milestones from Anabelle and 12 hour shifts chatting it up. Anabelle is one of those amazing preemies who traveled a long road in the NICU (imagine a 1 lb & 2 oz kiddo) and then got bigger and better and before you know it she's home and she turned ONE years old in November! So, there I was, on my way to visit them in Connecticut in November.

CT is beautiful! Trees, trees, trees!

 And big sister Maia was fun to enjoy the outdoors with:
I spent some time with Maia in the backyard on a playground set and I can't remember the whole story she fabricated (unprompted by me) but it had to do with us taking a rocket to another planet where there was an alien who didn't wear clothes and the alien captured us and we had to escape and save the world. I know at one point the rocket ran out of gas (probably on our many trips back and forth from Earth to the planet) and we were out of food, but we still managed to save all of mankind and kill the alien. Maia is in first grade. Where do they get this stuff was all I was thinking.

Now for just 2 pics of baby Anabelle... enough said!!
I just want to squeeze that little girl!!