Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Cranberry Fig winner!

Myrrh is the winner of the Cranberry Fig bar. Congrats, Girl!

Posting on the blog will be light for a while (heck, it HAS been light for a while already). Reasons? I'm in major soaping/work mode, and October is a major birthday month to boot. Has anyone else noticed this? I've been in birthday mode, too, for the past few weeks, and I have another party to throw this weekend - on Halloween day, no less. It should be mucho fun, though, so see all those kidlets running around in their costumes. Last weekend it was an adult's birthday party I threw, so it's time to switch gears a bit. I think we'll avoid bobbing for apples, what with the nasty swine flu season and all. We may even have snow, which would almost make it like Christmas and Halloween combined.

See ya in the shake of a black cat's tail!

Friday, October 16, 2009

friday soap giveaway and cucumber melon winner!

Our soap winner for the Cucumber Melon bar is...(drum roll, please)...

Haley Rae - a prolific young blogger and commenter if there ever was one. Congrats, Haley! Send me your address via email, and I'll get this bar in the mail to ya.

There are only two more comments needed for the Cranberry Fig bar to find its forever home, so if you haven't commented on that giveaway, be sure to do it now!


Today's Friday Soap Giveaway bar is Floral Fiesta!

I seem to be on a bit of a spring thing. Perhaps it's denial of the cold weather. I don't know why that would be, though, since I do love fall. Ah, well. Regardless, I've noted on the labels of these bars that they are "Ginger-Lime and Wildflower-Scented" - a pretty, heavenly blend if there ever was one. Plus, I figure we'll all be inundated with holiday-themed stuff soon enough, so why not enjoy normalcy while we still can?

To have a chance at winning this bar, leave a comment telling what you plan to do and/or be for Halloween. Happy Friday, Everyone!


Wednesday, October 14, 2009

okay, Dad. time to blow out those candles...

Here's an almost-too-cute birthday video someone created, and I'm posting it here for one of the most special men in my life - my Dad! It's from him that I inherited my Scottish frugality (shall we just make it easy and call it cheapness? Actually, I have to edit this to say that, while Dad has been chided for this classic Scottish trait for decades, those closest to him know he's one of the most generous people you'll find anywhere) as well as my stubborn streak (some might call it a wide swath). I also inherited his nose and his forehead. But not the blonde hair. I didn't inherit that. I won't disclose his age as of today, but let's just say it's impressive. lol. Good thing I live far away, so he can't swat me.

I hope you had the happiest of days, Dad! Love, Nicole

modern smokey (or maybe percy?)

Have you heard this guy? I did for the first time the other day and felt compelled to share. I love new discoveries, even if they're old for everyone else.


Friday, October 09, 2009

the twin fire & friday soap giveaway

Last weekend, parts of the city of Williams (aka "Gateway to the Grand Canyon") were evacuated due to a prescribed forest burn that got out of control. The Twin Fire was finally contained when it reached about 1,000 acres, but it was a little dicey there for a while. Part of the price of being surrounded by National Forest is the possibility of fire danger. On the way to son's soccer game in the Old Route 66 town of Seligman, we drove through this:

...and on the way home we drove through this:

I wish I'd had my camera with me when we were in town and saw the slurry bombers flying overhead and the helicopters sucking up water from the nearby reservoir to drop on the flames. The local Williams/Grand Canyon News had some good pictures of the choppers, though. At night, the smoke was thick and heavy in the air. This was the view from my front door:

...and this was the view from the back:
Those dastardly forest fires sure do pretty up the sky.

So, on to the Friday Soap Giveaway. Fall is here in all its glory, and I don't know about you, but around here at Writer/Rider central, preparations for Halloween, Thanksgiving, and various fall birthdays are in full swing. Seems like pumpkins, cranberries, warm spices and all things orange, black and purple are constantly on my mind lately. So, here's one of my top sellers being offered for the giveaway - Cranberry Fig:

Wanna join the ranks of previous soap winners whose mail smelled reeeeeealllly good the day their bars arrived? Simply leave a comment telling me what kinds of things you'd like to see more of here on the AWAAR blog. Remember, there need to be at least six comments from different readers in order for the bar to get sent.
Happy Friday!

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

falling leaves soap winner!

The winner of the Falling Leaves bar (finally!) Is Krystal! So, Krystal, if you're checking in, email me at bearkhat-at-aol-dot-com with your mailing address. Congrats! And, don't forget, People...there need to be six comments from different users on the soap giveaway post for a winner to be picked.

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

at last (or, tying up the ends of a dream)

Okay, where to start. I've got a lot to say today, and I guess I finally have the time and space to say it.

So, I've mentioned before on this blog that a lot has happened in my life and in the lives of my kids in the past year-and-a-half. Big, life-changing stuff that started off feeling like everything that mattered inside and outside myself was dying and ended up being sort of that, but also something completely opposite. Yes, there have been many endings, but there have also been many beginnings - all part of Life's bigger picture, I suppose. But even as things got better in general, there were still lots of loose ends to tie up. Legal loose ends, financial loose ends, practical loose ends, emotional loose ends.

And to top it all off, my horse wasn't with me.

Doesn't sound like a big deal to most people, probably, but I've had Zzari for going on 21 years, and he's been through more good, bad and ugly with me than anyone else outside of my family and closest friends.

Then, I bought a house in the country with enough room for a horse or two. But then this little, PMS-ey tornado decided to pay us a visit after we'd only been here for about a month, taking out the horse shelter and nothing else (thankfully).

So, I decided to cowgirl up, put on my big girl panties, take the bull by the horns...I think you're following me. I decided to rebuild (well, I actually decided to have someone else rebuild for me - minor details). So, I found a contractor with a nice horse shelter portfolio and started the convo. And the morning I looked out my window just after daybreak and saw this...

...was a good morning indeed. But that wasn't the best part, not yet. It wasn't too long before the materials showed up...

...and then things really started rolling along. It still wasn't the best part, though.

Sigh. I love the sound of drills and hammers in the morning. Especially when I'm not the one trying to use them. I have been known to throw together a fairly mean chicken coop, however. Not pretty, perhaps, but mean - definitely mean.

By the way, if you live anywhere between Phoenix and Flagstaff and are in need of a horse shelter, I'll give you this guy's name along with a hearty recommendation. Anyway, the day finally came when I walked out into the horse pasture and found this waiting for me:

And it was good. But it still wasn't the best part, and it still wasn't finished. I mean, according to the county inspector it was finished, but not according to me. It still needed to have corral panels attached, which meant I had to get to work with some heavy gauge wire I had in the shed, some t-posts and a heavy t-post driver borrowed from a friend. I used my grandpa's tools during this process, because they're old, tough and American made. He even etched his name on them back in the day.
And that was almost the best part, because I loved my grandpa in a way I'll probably never love another human being. I loved the fact that he got to be a part of bringing Zzari home in some small way. He died when I was sixteen, but here he is a few years before that, spoiling my first horse, an old Appy girl named Sugar, after I'd ridden her in the local 4th of July parade:

So, I got the corral panels put up as a temporary home for Zzari until I could get some more permanent fencing put up (hopefully before winter). And not too long after that, I stepped out onto the front steps with my camera and captured this coming down the road toward home:

You know how some unemployed folks say they're "between jobs?" Well, I'm between horse trailers, so a local cowboy/farrier/all around good guy brought Zzari back to me.
And seeing that trailer coming down the road? It was sweetness itself, but it still wasn't the best part.
The next morning, just after sunrise, I opened up the back door and heard my boy whinny to me for the first time in well over a year: Mom! I'm hungry!

And that, my friends, was the best part of all.

P.S. Here's what played on the radio while I was working on this post. I borrowed the parenthetical part of the title from one of the great lines from this song.

P.P.S. I want to thank a very dear friend for welcoming Zzari into her herd and her exclusive horse spa for the past year-plus. Maiden, you're the best.

Friday, October 02, 2009

friday soap giveaway: cucumber melon

In honor of this morning, pre-sunrise, when I went out to feed my horse (yes, my boy is home again - wheeeeeeeeee! (more about that later)) and found the first ice of the year in his water bucket, I proudly offer my most summery, warm-weathery, couldn't-be-less-winter-like soap for the Friday Soap Giveaway:

I've recently re-designed these bars after a customer requested them as part of a larger order. The fragrance is the same as always - classic Cuke/Melon combo - but the bars are now a ripe, delicious cantaloupe color with cucumber-green swirls (which, for some reason, are not registering well in the photo, even after I played around with hue and saturation in PhotoShop to get the most accurate color representation possible).

To win a bar of this little slice of warm weather, simply leave a comment for this post, telling us all about what the changing of the seasons looks like now where you live. Remember, I won't mail the bar until there are at least six comments, because I'm stubborn that way.

Oh - there aren't quite enough comments for the Falling Leaves bar yet, so be sure to go comment there, too!