Search This Blog

Friday, June 29, 2007

Chaos...where great dreams begin...

I find this very encouraging. Western Thinking has always had me thinking of Chaos as a bad thing. But walk to the other side of the cheese with me, over to Eastern Thinking. This is what it says below the symbol...

"Before a great vision can become reality there may be difficulty. Before a person begins a great endeavor, they may encounter chaos. As a new plant breaks the ground with difficulty, foreshadowing the huge tree, so must we sometimes push against difficulty in bringing forth our dreams.

~Out of Chaos, Brilliant Stars are Born~"

Good morning! Let's see what happens now!

*** A little while later***
But wait! There's more!
The Chaos Theory is also known as the Butterfly Effect!
Check it out!

But wait! There's still more!!!
Butterflies - particularly Swallowtails - have been very much in my focus lately. And looking around a little bit this morning (since I'm up so silly-early), I just learned that the state insect of Oregon, where we plan to move, is the Oregon Swallowtail... holy cow! How weird is that?

Do we have any tattoo artists out there who want to design a Chaos/Swallowtail for me?

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

catching up

There's been more going on here than just the Grand Canyon. Grand as it was, here we are, back in Taos, with summer festivities in full swing. There's music everywhere. To me, people who can make music are way at the top of the Human Coolness Scale. I have zero musical talents, which is really disappointing to me. But thankfully, we have musical friends, and lots of great live music in our little town. The other night we were invited to attend a rehearsal at the TCA - it was our own local Grammy Award winning Robert Mirabal. Our friend Larry Mitchell is the awesome guitar player, and is also a record producer. I have no idea why he likes to hang out with plain old people like Rick and me, but I'm glad he does! There were only about 20 people in the theater, and we saw the show before it hits the tour. Pretty darn fun, I have to say. See it if you get the chance. I love the way traditional indigenous music, language, and rhythms are combined with modern issues, instruments, and technology. It's powerful stuff. The Native American Music Awards are under way, and if you hurry, you can still vote online. Follow the link, and then fill out the quick registration form that allows you to vote. Links to the various categories are at the top of the voting page. My recommendations... Best Producer - Larry Mitchell, Best Male - Robert Mirabal, and Best Female - Shelley Morningsong. Thanks for your help!

Angelique Kidjo was here last night. Oh man... what energy! Photos were not allowed... but I just had to sneak one at this point, when she invited all the children in the audience to join her onstage, along with their parents. Wonderful!
The Solar Center is where KTAO radio lives now, with a wonderful, small, outdoor venue, and amazing views of Taos Mountain. If you visit here, catch a show there. You can't help but have a good time. But back to Angelique... I've been looking forward to the show all week, and listening to her music almost non-stop. I'm quite sure the new Africa Beads came directly from that influence. Ah, music!

Other bits and pieces... my baby, Lauren, turned 21 in January, so the OBL - the restaurant she's worked in for several years now, when she's home, is making use of her as a bartender. It's odd to see, but then again... when I was her age, I was a cocktail waitress at Harrah's Lake Tahoe... guess it kind of runs in the family...

And last up today, the Grand Canyon reminded us that we have some beautiful hiking right here at home. We took the trail up to Williams Lake on Sunday. It's only about three miles up there, but it's UP the whole way. The lake sits at 11,040 feet. That's high! Sure worth the effort to get there though.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Last of the Grand Canyon Photos...

Mostly silly stuff this round. There are gobs of gorgeous art pictures on the internet. This trip certainly about being at the Grand Canyon, but it was even more about all of us being together. When you're more or less "camping" in a National Park, night life and entertainment for teenagers is challenging at times. We were up to it though. Never a dull moment when you're hanging with The Miles Girls!

Hiking is sort of the "duh" form of entertainment, but once you get out there, there's nothing "duh" about it. A bunch of us (not me) went trekking on the South Kaibab Trail one morning. They brought back pictures. How nice of them! Aunt Camy and I had a wonderful time going out for breakfast, and then hitting the gift shops. Our feet felt a lot better at the end of the day too!

It was hot, so eating ice cream was a popular past time...

... so was playing Mary Poppins under an umbrella...

...or seeking shade under a favorite tree...

Heck... even dirty feet can become Art if you look at them right. Kelsey graciously and tickle-ishly allowed me to trace the heart I saw on the bottom of her sweet little tootsies.

Evening entertainment might be a goofy game of Twilight Hacky Sack...

... or some time with the pool sharks at the bar in the lodge...

Of course eating is always a big thing with my family.

But we don't overlook important cultural activities... like Family Fashion Shows... this is Steve wearing my very cute shoes. Told you he's funny. I think the hotel called Security at about this point...

..but not before the Girls had a chance to cool off in the wind tunnel... OK - I did it too, but since I was the Papparazzi, there's no proof! But hey... even Marilyn Monroe appreciated the wonderfulness of a little breeze under a skirt!

Almost done... but I want to show you what Steve and the Girls did with one of my Beadist Stickers. It's on the stairs leading up to the lodge from the train tracks. I think we might start a new web page using this as a jumping off point. You know - something like, "Where's Your Sticker?" I'll keep you posted on that.

And here we are, at the end of the Great Miles Family Grand Canyon Adventure. Rick and I love the place beyond reason. We're going back in July, to the North Rim this time, to spend my 50th birthday there. Until then... back to Taos!

Cast and Crew...

It occurs to me that while all the people on this trip are familiar to me, you don't have any idea who they are... sorry! Let me introduce them to you...
Above we have my sisters and me. On the left is Jill - the Baby - in the middle is Linda, who also happens to be the middle sister. I'm on the right. We always pose in our proper stairstep order - at least when we're thinking about it.

This is Aunt Camy. She's my Dad's sister, and we all lover her to bits. She is the founder of the "Aunt Camy Present", which is a small gift, usually given only to the girls at any family gathering. She started this with tiny hand-thrown pottery bowls years ago, and to this day, I still sort of collect tiny bowls. This trip she brought special angel figures for my sisters and me. She said she's always thought of us as her angels... that's high praise, to be sure. My little angel is on my windowsill in the bedroom, where I see her every night and every morning.

Here's Linda again, with her husband Steve. More on Steve in the next installment, but for now I'll just say that he's a very funny guy.

Here's Kelsey and Chelsea. Kelsey's is in the front, and belongs to Steve and Linda. Chelsea is her best friend. Having two fifteen-year-old girls along was a lot of fun for everyone but Steve and Linda. Remember yourself at 15?

Here's Jill with new beau Mike. I thought he held up really well under the family scrutiny. I think he's OK!

And even though she's not a family member, our wonderful housekeeper, Carol Lynn, was a delightful surprise addition to the group. She took super-good care of us, and always had time to chat and help us find whatever we needed. Our very own Grand Canyon Angel.

So there you are. Now you know everyone. I have only one more set of silly pictures to show you. Then it's back to life in Taos... until we go on the next little trip... Yep! Back to the Grand Canyon in July!

Friday, June 22, 2007


On Saturday morning, our first morning at the Grand Canyon, some bobo's car alarm went off right outside our window at 5:30 AM. He drove all over the park with his rental car a-larming, so our whole group woke up, muttered various things, and then mostly chose to go back to sleep. I, on the other hand, muttered quite a bit, and then realized this was a good chance to see the sunrise at the Canyon. I'm not generally an early riser, so it seemed like a good idea to take advantage of the tourist alarm system. I hopped out of bed, threw on some clothes, grabbed my camera, and rushed to the rim, leaving Rick to catch up a little bit later. As I watched the sky get brighter and the light begin to shift on the Canyon, I started thinking of the Keb Mo song that goes, "... it might be God trying to get your attention...". Maybe... I can't say for sure, but I didn't see what was actually in this picture until I got it home and onto my computer screen... Do you see the figure on the right-hand side of the photo? I think it must be the Sunrise God... (click the photo to make it bigger... most metaphysical things are hard to spot at first)

Saturday was a busy one, with part of the group taking a hike along the rim trail to Hermit's Rest, and the other part taking the car with Aunt Camy because hiking isn't her thing anymore. We met at some stops along the way to compare notes, and we all had the same beautiful views.

After all that hiking, whether on foot or in the car, we all needed food and rest. Good thing I thought to bring a wash tub and a big jar of Tired Old Ass... hey - I didn't name it, but I kind of wish I did... it's a great soak for your tired old anything!

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Grand Canyon - part one...

Here we go... after a pretty regular Wednesday night in Albuquerque, so we could make the Costco run, we headed for Flagstaff on Thursday morning. We like Flagstaff. Any town that has a university is a good town in our tour book. It means there are at least a handful of thinking people, a few cool old buildings, a book store or two, and always good food, beer, and coffee. The thing we sometimes have trouble with is hotels... We usually stay at something normal, like the Sleep Inn, in Flagstaff. This time we decided to wander outside our comfort zone, and stayed at the Weatherford Hotel, in the Historic District. It's really quite lovely - built over 100 years ago, and kept up to date as much as possible considering they pride themselves on authenticity... that means "old stuff". It was all a jolly holiday until we realized that the all American railroad was anything but a thing of the past. Those darn trains ran by our window about every 15 minutes, all night long. By the time it was actually time to get up, we were more than ready to head for the Grand Canyon.

My Aunt Camy has always wanted to visit the Canyon, but somehow never got around to it until this trip. This is a picture of her as she got her first-ever view of my Favorite Place.

Have you been there? Well, if not, I really think you should go. And stay more than an afternoon. It takes time to get comfortable with such a huge "being". Every time I go there, I feel more at home. I even found myself chatting with tourists from all over the world, telling them all about the condors.

This is some of the family... Steve, my sister Linda, their daughter Kelsey, her friend Chelsea, and Rick.

And this is our cabin. Not all of ours! Just Rick's and mine. We had all the food in our place though, so it was a little bit of a party there at any given moment. You know me! A party is fine, as long as it takes me by surprise...

More tomorrow. Ready to book your reservations? You need several months in advance, so don't put it off. Here's the website...

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

a Grand Time

I've been sorting through photos from our Grand Canyon trip. After over 300 of them, I decided to start from the end, and show you one of me from the last day of the trip, just before we got in the car to head for home. I think I look relaxed and ready to roll with a few more of life's punches... I'll spend the next few days showing you the whole trip. Not all at once, and not all 300 pictures... I wouldn't do that to you!

I'm trying out a new schedule for summer. I think it makes sense to do my hottest work early in the day, so that means email and blogging will happen later in the day. Look for more pictures and words here tomorrow afternoon or evening. I don't know what I'm doing... just trying everything until it all works!