Saturday was a pretty nice day and I decided to go out for a run through my neighborhood. Well, actually, it’s more like a run for a few minutes and then walk for a few minutes. Little did I know that the Sam Costa mini-marathon was being held that same morning. As I turned the corner onto the path that goes past a pond and over a bridge, I encountered a stream of runners – going the opposite direction! So there I was, not even close to being a half marathoner, running by myself past dozens of serious runners. I even saw two of my neighbors who encouraged me to join up. I smiled and waved them on. At the end of my run/walk I was running in the same direction as the half-marathoners. As I passed the last check point, a group of teenagers was positioned to cheer the runners on, so I got them to cheer me on the last leg of my run. I won!
Here I am with the awesome, smart, funny and cute young lady that I mentor at Westminster Neighborhood Ministries after school program ~ Brianna Hazel! We have fun playing cards, Sorry and just talking. She never needs any of my help with homework. Lucky me! I try to go once a week to see her (I’m not always successful with my schedule). WNM is builing a new facility soon, as well. I definately get more out of it than Brianna does.
The first week of February found me and my husband in Arizona. I had some business in Phoenix and then we headed up to Sedona. I had been there as a child ( 37 years ago!) but my husband has never been. We were completely awed by the beautiful red rock formations and countryside. We hiked everyday and the weather was in the 60′s during the day and cold at night. Chris asked “I wonder what it’s like here in the winter?” “It is winter!” I replied. It was that nice. Sedona is also renouned for having spiritual energy vortexes on many of the rock formations. We could definately feel it.
This is Coffee Pot Rock. Right behind our hotel.
We walked around Bell Rock and Court House Rock which took about 2 1/2 hours.
Guess what this is? You can probably figure it out, but I wasn’t sure at first. A stool, perhaps? They are ‘cairns’ to mark the hiking paths.
This is Cathedral Rock. Both Bell Rock and Cathedral Rock are energy Vortex sites.
Then we traveled to the Grand Canyon by way of Flagstaff. We loved the fun and funky vibe of Flagstaff. It is at the foothills of the San Francisco mountains. Great skiing!
The Grand Canyon really needs no explanation. My dinky little camera can’t do it justice, but it is awesome! We hiked along the rim. No hiking down into the canyon for us, although we did talk about doing a rafting trip down the Colorado River someday.
We stayed in the El Tovar lodge which is the original hotel on the south rim. Its close to 100 years old. Very western and ‘lodge-like!’ After a day of hiking we sat by the fireplace in the lobby. A great vacation!
I’m so excited about the cover for my YA novel, THE FIELD coming out this Fall! It’s exactly how I envisioned it thanks to my son, Alex Katsaropoulos, who designed it. I hope that it’s intriguing and makes you want to read the book.
Here’s a quote from Laurie Gray, author of MAYBE I WILL (Luminis Books 3/15/2013) and SUMMER SANCTUARY (Luminis Books 5/2010) ~ “The idea behind THE FIELD is a brilliant blend of soccer, science and fiction. True-to-life characters, contemporaty environmental issues, and engaging metaphysical principals skirt the edges of science fiction and magical realism in this modern coming-of-age novel.” I couldn’t have said it better myself.
Alex is a talented artist and musician. Check out his website for Air Tight to listen to music he’s written, performed and recorded. It’s amazing! And I’m not just saying that because he’s my son. I’ve listened to it thousands of times (and I do mean thousands of times) as he created it in my basement, and if it wasn’t fantastic, I think I would have gone crazy. You can download it from iTunes, too. He’s working on a promotional deal with an agent as I write this post.
Alex’s art has been exhibited in the Evan Lurie Gallery in Carmel and at SoHo Cafe & Gallery. He’s studying music business at Columbia College Chicago which is such an incredible place for creative minds. I want to enroll!! The really sad thing, though, is how many people tell us that our children should study something in college that they can use to get a ‘real job.’ What does that even mean? A job in a cubicle? Or something that person understands? I imagine that they would tell me that I could never write a book or start my own publishing company. I’m glad we don’t listen to them.
Artistic talent runs in my family. My mother was a talented painter and wordsmith, my dad is excelling at watercolors and my children draw and paint and do graphic design and attend college at Columbia College Chicago for music and photography. While I’ve always had a certain affinity for textiles, part of me has always wanted to paint. Specifically, I want to paint luscious landscapes with oils. I figured that I first had to learn the basics, so I signed up for a painting class at Magdalena Gallery of Arts in the Carmel Arts and Design District. What an lovely place! I am having so much fun. Two of the other artists are my age and are very talented, but they swear that they started off just like me. The other student is a young lady who is benefitting from hearing all the ‘women’s talk.’ Got me to thinking about the book The Red Tent by Anita Diamant and how as women we should consider it our sacred role to share with the younger generation what it means to be a woman. But I digress!!
Here is what I did the first week in class.
I was secretly very pleased when Magdalena told me that I was very good at drawing!! I couldn’t do an exact drawing, so I aimed for the ‘feel’ of the flowers. In the second week I started painting the flowers, and although they arn’t terrible, they don’t look the way I imagine it in my head. Of course, I’m not finished with the painting, yet.
What is really the best part of painting is not the finished product, but the ‘flow.’ My personal initiative for 2013 is to be in The Flow whenever possible, whatever I’m doing. I want to be so engrossed, and thus fulfilled, by what I’m doing that I lose myself in the activity and get in The Flow. Of course, what I really want is for my rose to look like this.
Maybe someday I will be able to paint the cover image for one of my books! I just have to keep reminding myself to enjoy the process, because we are never finished.
I love watching Food Network, or as my husband calls it, Food Porn. I think cooking is a creative activity and I like getting ideas for new dishes, how to use spices and seeing the fabulous kitchens and gadgets they use. My favorites are Ina Garten also know as The Barefoot Contessa, Ree Drummond (the Pioneer Woman), and Giada Di Laurentiis (my husband likes her, too, which may be due entirely to her clevage. This also contributes to the ‘food porn’ remark, I think!)
The problem with cooking at my house is that we are a thoroughly modern family in our eating habits. When the kids are home we have two vegetarians, a meat and potatoes lover and a no-carb eater. So when I make a meal, I have to be able to serve it multiple ways to avoid making three different things. I’m actually considering a cookbook on the matter – someday in my spare time, ha!
The other night I made Thai Green Curry. I soooo love Thai green curry that I could probably just drink the curry sauce on its own. I’m sure it is because of the full-fat coconut milk – which is actually on the no-carb diet!
These are the ingredients.
I know this picture is out of focus, but I don’t have a very good camera. At least that’s my excuse. When I actually do work on the cookbook, I’ll have my daughter, the professional photographer, take the pictures.
This is the finished dish for the vegetarians. Lots of brown rice, but no pork!
This is the no-carb version for me! No brown rice, but roasted califlower instead, and lots of pork. Yum!
I don’t have a picture of the meat and carb version for my son as he was working late at The Butcher Shop!!!
Here are tentative titles for my cookbook – “Feeding the Modern Family – Carnivore, Omnivore, Vegetarian and sometimes Vegan”, or “Cooking for the Modern Family….” What do you think? Would you buy it?
Last fall I went to a public star gaze with the Indiana Astronomical Society to do research on my novel, THE FIELD. Eric, my protagonist, goes to a public star gaze and I wanted to get a feel for what it would be like. It was a wonderful night! The amature astronomers were so generous in sharing their telescopes and pointing out celestial objects. Neil Armstong had recently passed away and his family requested that people ‘Wink at the Moon’ to honor him the next time they saw the moon. Here are my friend Susan and I winking at the moon with members of the Indiana Astronomical Society. Godspeed Neil!