Monday, October 5, 2009

October in Sedona

31 Oct-Sat: The End of the Trail! We leave Sedona tomorrow morning: the bibliographies are completed - one is inserted into its book and the other will be soon; indexing may be completed during the next two weeks of travel. The financial spreadsheet is up to date with asset allocations rebalanced. Four large address files are updated and moved into one HUGE Excel spreadsheet (not counting the 675 names and addresses of Rambo correspondents in yet another spreadsheet). A large envelope of loose addresses is now gathered from many, many crevices and corners to enter into Excel while traveling.

We hiked for an hour plus in temperatures that reached almost 80 degrees after eating lunch at Old Sedona Bar and Grill where the waitresses made us promise to return to Sedona (we will - next October). And we packed big time before having champagne on the patio watching the glorious sunset. A beard and hair cut was the only disturbance on the horizon. By the time we had dinner at Shugrue's we were exhausted but congratulating ourselves for accomplishing most of our goals this month: have fun and laugh a lot!

30 Oct-Fri: Sedona Sunset Last Night - Temp this AM was 37 degrees. Filled with zeal and enthusiasm we hiked to the end of Boynton Canyon Trail and back - about three hours for the five mile trip with steep ascent the last twenty minutes. The view from the top of the canyon was spectacular but we could not tarry long because evening promised to darken our path at five-thirty. We just made it back in time. Enchantment Fine Dining allowed us to be seated in our hiking clothes instead of a shirt with a collar.

Red Rock View From Our Patio

Smooch Amongst Fleurs (Yellow Rose Petals - and Other Bouquets Bought for Many Romantic Points (62 years it took to learn this!!!!!)

29 Oct- Thurs: More cold weather but we hiked about an hour. Work for today is compiling addresses into two lists. The correspondent list for Rambo books alone tops 675 people. Personal address books (and piles of little pieces of paper with names and addresses) are going into one other combined book that should contain about three hundred names. A test mailing will be sent to inform everyone that the aol address no longer works. Send email to Another email will be sent with links for the completed Rambo books and updated websites. Yet another mailing will be to save the date of 12 May 2011 - for our wedding at Gloria Dei (Old Swedes Church) in downtown Philadelphia and to let us know if you plan to attend. After finishing work we headed to Shagrue's for dinner.

The evening sunset was glorious - brilliant reds, glowing pinks, purples highlighting the sky for an hour or more. We endured the chilly temperatures to have dinner on the patio for the views. The serving staff deserved generous tips for their willingness to wait on us outdoors. It was chilly but well worth the exposure.

28 Oct-Wed: BRRRR! The morning temperature was 37 degrees - too cold for hiking or biking. We spent the day working inside and... ahem - someone ate a half gallon of Blue Bell Mocha Almond Fudge. Once in a while the stringent diet has to go down the wadi with the wind.

27 Oct- Tues: After enjoying our favorite egg white omelets we headed to Boynton Canyon to meet Fall; hiking about four miles RT - three hours - we were simply amazed at the magnificent fall foliage - so incredible we can only echo, "Praise God." The photos help - but like words - they cannot really convey the wonder of the woods in brilliant color. There were a lot of super nice people on today's hike - each one nicer than the last. A little fawn crossed the Arroyo - no sign of mama. After a lovely lunch at the Old Sedona Bar and Grill Smooch Smooch forced slave labor to get the last two books to the printer by Sunday. Woe is I! The afternoon turned dark and cloudy while the sunlit just the mountains. Gorgeous view from the windows of the house ...
if we hurry we can make it to the Hilton for dinner to view the spectacular sights underneath a canopy.

26 Oct-Mon: After a #67 and #91 at the Coffee Cup we hiked the Boynton Canyon Trail for two hours and worked the remainder of the day until dinner at the Hilton. The sunset was glorious - including the stars so bright we had to stop twice to watch them twinkle.

25 Oct- Sun: We hiked the Airport Trail without a camera and had lunch at the Old Sedona Bar and Grill before Jon left to return to Texas.

24 Oct-Sat: Jon, Smooch Smooch and Ron ready to roll over Sedona by air. Jon enjoyed a great breakfast at the Coffee Pot first; after the air tour we hiked Boynton Canyon Trail for two hours and spent the afternoon viewing Sedona by car. Dinner was at Enchantment with a lovely sunset to keep us happy. We saw a coyote cross the road while driving ... lots of deer.

23 Oct - Fri: One and one half pages of reference notes to edit left in the fifth and final volume. At that point the index goes into those last two volumes and they get sent to the printer to create the galley proofs. ohboyohboyohboy! And AuthorHOUSE is finally re-cutting two royalty checks that had languished beyond ninety days allowed for deposit. More ohboys. We spent the afternoon in Jerome with an early dinner at the Asylum Restaurant watching the sun light striking the red rocks. Left photo was taken on the Colorado River in the Grand Canyon. Arne's response read: Soooo two are "morphing" into one beautiful sphere of bliss!
Thank you...there IS hope in this world and it's gliding down the Colorado River."

22 Oct - Thurs: We hiked Boynton Pass in the AM - worked in the afternoon while Smooch Smooch had a girls day at the nail salon and enjoyed a lovely dinner at the Old Sedona Bar and Grill.

21 Oct- Wed: We met Cousin Kay and her husband Tom at the Point in Thyme for breakfast and a great time conversing and planning a reunion in Keosauqua for next Fourth of July.
Actually we enjoyed our time with them so much we did not get started east bound for the Salt River Canyon until lunch time so we had to buy food to eat en route. The drive on 88 E - and then the Apache Trail (which is a 22 mile dirt road) onto Apache Lake and Roosevelt Dam was spectacular. The dirt road was so slow going we turned towards to AZ 260 - into Cottonwood and then north on 89 A arriving home about nine thirty PM TIRED.

In case anyone wonders ... the Angel Resort (of now Sweat Lodge deaths fame) is only two miles from the house we have rented. Three people have died - 21 taken to the hospital out of 50-60 crammed into a low roofed lodge after detox - then a long fast - and finally crowded into the sweat lodge.

20 Oct- Tues: We were both awake by four AM and ready to work before we departed for Phoenix about lunch time. We did have time for an hour and thirty minute hike on Boynton Canyon Pass. By the time we checked into the Fairmont Hotel in Scottsdale and fed Smooch Smooch cousins Kenneth and Jewel had already made plans for dinner; we waited at an Italian restaurant for them to return from dinner at 6:30 PM. Smooch Smooch was very concerned because the concert tickets said starting time was 7 PM. (She has never attended a Rock Concert in her life - and had NO IDEA - that they don't really get started until about nine PM. But concert or not - the visit with Kenneth and Jewel was a must. He is 95 and she is 96 - retired school teachers - true treasures. He has macular degeneration and she has had five strokes but it is not apparent. After a most enjoyable visit we left Scottsdale for the U of Phoenix and the U2 Concert arriving at nine PM - about two minutes after they began to play. None of the songs were familiar; but they played good music (a little strong on the metal). One of the fellows in front of us was having a very good time (if he can only remember it!). He had waaaayyyy too much to drink and had to be supported by his friends. It was a good concert - enjoyed by Smooch. It took awhile to find our car when we got out of the concert (and we had only ONE glass of wine hours earlier).

19 Oct- Mon: After a thirty minute hike near the airport - we flew Sky Trek Tours to the Grand Canyon Hualapi Indian Reservation - then by helicopter down to the Colorado River in the floor of the west section of the canyon - onto a pontoon that took us up the river. Following the helicopter return we were taken by bus to the Hualapi Indian encampment for lunch overlooking the rim. Food was not good but the view was awesome.

18 Oct-Sun: It was an unusually quiet day with work scheduled after a morning hike near the airport. We had dinner at Enchantment Resort - great choice.

17 Oct-Sat: Fall in Sedona is a splash of green turning gold with some splotches of red changing daily. Fall should arrive fully this week. We were surprised to discover fallen gold leaves in abundance at Flagstaff two days ago - the color came and went from just one week ago when we drove through Flagstaff to the Grand Canyon and did not meet fall. Tourism is high for the peak fall colors. There is a Porsche convention in town, too, filling two hotels. One of the Porsche owners described owning a Porsche as a motorcycle on four wheels.

Work has commenced on the fifth and final bibliography with less than fifteen pages of footnotes to complete. Excitement is high for that conclusion. Dinner at Shugrue's Restaurant outdoor deck was excellent. They have good seafood choices and the views are magnificent.

16 Oct. Fri: A good breakfast at 101 Omelet was a treat before a second trip to the Grand Canyon on the bike. Smooch Smooch loves her body armor and helmet: thanks Walt and Pam once again - good advice. The roads along the south rim are appalling. They have been "improved" removing many of the great overlooks; this was done to keep the road free of autos and bikes for paid tours? We traveled the south rim on the bike but it was disappointing not to have access to the overlooks more often. The little canyon road is now blocked off for all but walking traffic - which we did: we hiked to the sheer cliff and back not seeing any other hikers. In Flagstaff, the Taverna Greek restaurant is a great choice - although it is good to know that when the maitre d' tells you sit at the "Bar" it means sit only at the "round thing" where liquor is served. Smooch Smooch was told we could sit in the BAR for food because there was a thirty minute wait. She sat down at a long table in the same room as the BAR where liquor is served - only to be asked to move because the table was reserved. "But, but... she sputtered... isn't this ROOM the BAR?" We moved to THE BAR where liquor is served and we did get to eat good food, too. The Greek soup is made with a lemon base, rice and chicken. YUM.

15 Oct. Thurs: Breakfast at Enchantment on the patio proved to be warm - but the views are wonderful as was the food. We hiked for an hour - beautiful place - before we rode the bike to Jerome up the winding switchbacks with more glorious vistas. If you go to Jerome (a repopulated ghost town) you will find many working artists in studios like the old Jerome High School.. A must vist is the Jerome Grand Hotel outfitted to the ultimate as a ghost and goblin mecca. Check under the radiators for bodies. The spinach salad is terrific - with sonoran chicken. You will enjoy the views from the dining patio and the friendly, courteous staff in the Asylum Restaurant as well as the owners in the hotel lobby. VERY NICE. Even though we are not guests they let us print out our tickets for the U2 Concert on their computer without a charge.

they work! A couple of years ago upon reading some science fiction - the author said, "Ok, we have had fun and now let's be serious. Affirmations work." Life was happy; what more could it be? Yet it seemed that it would be nice to have a stronger belief in God. After being a Methodist and later a well-drenched Baptist turned agnostic it was problematic to say who,what,why, God is - (it is not my job )- only that it would be good to have a stronger belief in God. I realized that no matter what one believes (who why what God is) - what God is asking of each one of us -is to give Him thanks. Who cannot be thankful for waking up each morning and for whatever still works? Who cannot be thankful for the beauty of creation? Faithfully for a year I wrote the affirmation, "I believe in God to my great benefit." And what greater blessing should appear but a greater belief in God and Smooch Smooch?

Continuing to write that affirmation again this past year (and thanking God daily for Smooch Smooch) brought about the recognition that the affirmation should now change. This is my new affirmation (after much refining): "I love God for the benefit of all." This includes my personal benefit and also for Smooch Smooch - plus everyone else around me. Life is indeed good. This is an amazing affirmation.

Another Grand Canyon view from the South Rim

Photo left of Ron in the Grand Canyon smiling OH SO GRANDLY...

13 Oct - Tues: Smooch Smooch went house hunting in Sedona yesterday; she loves red rocks. We worked - and hardly worked and worked hard hardly working some more today. The bibliography for Vol. 4 is completed and ready for the index insertion; now to start the bibliography on Vol. 5 - hopefully we will have the last two volumes finished this winter.
Oh. We had some excitement... a bad smell was permeating the master bathroom and dressing area... Smooch Smooch declared, "Smells like a dead mouse." The realtor called the Rodent Patrol who - (after investigating on the roof of the house) announced, "Smells like a dead mouse" and he departed. DUH!
Photo of Nina's visit to Sedona - taken in the State Park. "YIPPEE!" was her response when we asked if a book of her poetry and artwork could be commissioned in honor of our forthcoming wedding 12 May 2011. Check out Nina's website:

A Side View of Our House in Sedona, AZ

11 Oct-Sun: Sedona is beautiful: red rock mountains majestically enthroned against a bright blue sky - bits of fluffy white clouds dance just beyond the mountain tops as the wind blows the variegated greens in contrast to the Red Rocks in the State Park below the patio on our house (left).

We will miss you Nina (who left this morning to return home to Santa Fe) after yet another great breakfast at the Omelet Cafe. But good byes have benefits: hugs from beautiful girlies! Nina wrote the following poem for us a few weeks ago:

I thank you again for the beauty of your love and the generosity that flows from it. You are fast in my heart -- sudden, sweet, a breath and deep -- a prism of angels. Be well and safe on this next facet of your journey together. Take this little memory of last evening with you -- what I saw and what I felt -- it purity and its attractive light. As ever, Nina.

Unto her –
his eyes –
If water
was a flame –
lift and chase
the sparkle
in her veins –
Not a rock
is he –
Or a stone –
But a canyon
with a thousand
depths –
The red core’s
heart –
The lips
that taste
the marrow
in her bones.

(and we thank you Nina!)

A pit stop at Basha's produced three more half gallons of ice cream: Blackberry Cobbler and Strawberries with Vanilla... and Southern Hospitality. Yummy! One half of the ice cream is now in the freezer. And the other half???? Look closely at the bulging tummy slid up to the table.

10 Oct-Sat: A late night means we slept late. It is a gorgeous day - 70 degrees. We hiked for two hours in the Red Rock State Park and saw some spectacular views before going to dinner at Enchantment with Nina. We saw a deer en route - and drove back towards Sedona just to try to catch the first rays of the sunset from a lower elevation but the sun was behind the clouds. Once we were seated on the patio at Enchantment (a high elevation) The sunset was magnificent... brilliant light illuminating the red rocks and turning the clouds all shades of pinks and reds. Later, The night sky was bright with stars and the stargazing telescopes were set up once again. Oh... a funny note: Two guys dressed in white tie and tuxedos arrived on motorcycles who said they are part of a trio of musicians - and to watch for the drummer to arrive on his motorcycle. When Ron went into the restroom he saw a guy dressed similarly and asked him if he was the drummer... and he was indeed.

9 Oct. Fri: We followed a great breakfast at 101 Omelette... with a hike at the Sliding Rock State Park and a late lunch at the Old Sedona Bar and Grill - just in time for Smooch Smooch to get their nails done and RACE home to clean up for dinner at Enchantment. The wait staff is quite good and make the meal very special. We saw several deer. The stars are really bright. Nina is missing her glasses!

8 Oct. Thurs: We arose early for a drive to the south rim of the Grand Canyon --- a 2.5 hour trip that was pleasant and scenic up to 8000 foot elevation and down again to the 7000 foot elevation to see the glorious canyon and be somewhat dismayed that it has become so developed. The shuttle was fine - but hiking along the rim was really good until getting back on the shuttle for the sunset ride that we could not see through dirty shuttle windows. We saw a moose and some deer as we left the area. Dinner was at a Greek restaurant highly recommended to us: Taverna on Woodlands Valley Road. It was OK.

7 Oct. Wed: A Praying Mantis visited the east window of the house this morning. We both woke early for project work - 30 per cent rain forecast but the sun is shining brightly - and decided to take a driving tour to show Nina the country side after an hour hike and tour of some of the Sedona galleries. The drive through winding switchbacks up to Jerome was wonderful. Lunch at the Grand Hotel was fun; it is decorated "Ghost Town" for Halloween. Blue Bell Ice Cream is on sale two for seven dollars. Now that is the perfect reason to break the diet for three or four days, right????????? Chocolate Chip and Blackberry Cobbler. Oh. Southern Hospitality, too!

6 Oct: Tues: Nina joined us for white egg omelets at 101 Omelets before we hiked for an hour Old Sedona. Nina visited galleries and a cute shoe shop encouraging Smooch Smooch to be CERTAIN to go shopping. We had a nice experience at the Sedona Art Center and a watercolor exhibit before we met for lunch at the Old Sedona Bar and Grill.

5 Oct- Mon: The hotel Sedona Rouge offers a nice white egg omelet. And for those who might want to know the diet for reversing coronary artery disease - it is simple: 20 fat grams a day meaning protein comes from fish, chicken or turkey. No white flour, sugar or animal products like cheese or butter. Add 1 tablespoon of essential oils per day: avacado, walnut oil, or extra virgin cold pressed olive oil or nuts. Sourdough bread is a good choice.

Smooch Smooch had errands to run - Ron worked hard hardly working: the next galley proof was approved and should be in print in a week or ten days. And Nina arrived (with homemeade sour dough bread) about 1:30 in the afternoon for a visit in the guesthouse. We had dinner on the patio at Shoguns: watching the moon rise over the mountains made for some memorable moments.

4 Oct - Sun: We waited a VERY long time for breakfast- but it was worth the wait. Enjoyed a walk of sorts because of the rain. Met a delightful gallery owner/photographer Leo De Salvio; we had a great conversation. Rain continued in the afternoon until clearing early evening allowing time for a good hour's walk into the next mountain homesites. We watched a beautiful sunset and saw five deer.

3 Oct - Sat: Breakfast at the 101 Omelette Coffee Cup restaurant proved to be a delicious delight. Later we walked for about two hours in Sedona enjoying a late lunch at the Old Sedona Bar and Grill visiting with four girlie motorcyclists. The afternoon was spent enjoying the vacation rental patio with a short bike ride before dinner at the Enchantment again. After dinner we particpated briefly in a star-gazing event. It was interesting to see the laser point out the stars. Jupiter was very bright through the telescope. The vacation rental was in the Edsel Ford family and refurbished by his granson, Benson Ford. It is built of the red rock from the mountains, with five thousand feet of patio space - southwestern style with three bedrooms - lots of wonderful art work and filled with light. The views of Red Rock State Park are magnificent. The compound has a guest house, gate house and stables for eight horses. Friends from Santa Fe will ve visiting as early as Monday.

2 Oct. - Fri: We drove directly to Prescott with the car - leaving the trailer and motorcycle in Flagstaff; Smooch Smooch had a routine medical appt... after getting the keys for the vacation rental in Sedona we took 89A to Flagstaff to retrieve the trailer. The ride was beautiful and uneventful. Dinner was on the patio at the Enchantment Resort; even though the sun was long gome it was quite beautiful. The red rocks are magnificent. We saw two deer.

1 Oct: - Thurs: We headed west on I-40 to Sedona with a stop at the Acoma Pueblo. The guide was quite delightful with a jolly sense of humor. The paintings in the chapel are quite splendid. Arrived in Flagstaff about 11:30 PM.