Monday, December 20, 2010

Happy Holidays? whoa, slow down 2010, I am not quite ready for 2011

Man, have I been busy. I just can't seem to figure out where the days go. I have been working on a few different things. A holiday card, a business card design for roost interiors, a pro-bono project for the annual art fundraiser for open doors of Asheville, stickers for Early Girl Eatery's edibles line, & my new website!

My new website is in the midst of being programmed and I am working on writing copy and pulling together all of the work I want to use in the portfolio section. It has been really fun to look back over the last year of my work.

I have been doing a lot of personal work this year and it really helped my professional work. Thank you Al-non, somatic therapy, and a long daily walk/run with Meg. My mantra for the year, was acceptance. Wow, what amazing things can happen when you accept what is. So, I ended up with a lot of happy clients and successful projects.

My personal life is also super busy. We are still working away on getting Antonio into boarding school. He continues to amaze me. He is making daily process & he is so open to discussing his reservations about leaving home next fall. We are talking through each issue. Antonio cares so much about his family, and us.

We are down to two schools. Rabun Gap is one and St. Stanislaus in Mississippi is the other. I might look into other schools again in January just to be sure we didn't miss anything. They both are a good fit for him, for different reasons.

At Rabun Gap he will have access to music and the arts like never before….along with a great education and all the help he needs to be successful there.

St. Stanislaus is also a good fit… the education is a good solid catholic education, along with some amazing sports experience. Stanislaus often wins state championships in all sorts of sports. Antonio would have access to all any sport he would like to play here. Antonio's main goals is a college scholarship, so this is a top runner for all involved!

Otherwise, things are going well around here. The christmas decorations are up. We celebrated the holidays with my family (our North Carolina family). Meg & I had a lovely lunch at Homegrown with my mom, dad, and older sister yesterday. It was good to spend some time with them.

Christmas this year will be little in the gift department and super big in the love & blessings department. That is just what I wanted for 2010.

There are some BIG changes being planned for 2011. Stay Tuned!!

Happy Holidays everybody! blessings!!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

home sweet home, finally.

The last two and a half weeks have been beyond busy. We took a wet plate collodian photography workshop in washington, D.C. We have a number of friends there, but due to arriving right before class, on Friday night and a LSU football game against Alabama on Saturday afternoon, we didn't get to see anyone.

We left first thing on Sunday morning to get back to Asheville. (insert driving back and forth to DC from Asheville here.)

Then we were off to Bay St. Louis, MS, Baton Rouge, and New Orleans in LA for 12 day trip. (Insert more back and forth driving here).

We stopped in Bay St. Louis on Friday morning to check out another school for Antonio. The school is called St. Stanislaus. It cleared up a number of questions we had about what would make a school a good fit for Antonio.

We are still looking for a good high school for him. I will let everyone know when we figure it out. thank you to everyone who has listened to us talk about this. ALL of your input is SO important. Thank you, thank you, thank for the love and support we get from friends and family regarding antonio.

Meg had a few photo shoots in Baton Rouge. One of them was our great niece, the great Eisley Reilley. She is amazingly cute, like not regular cute, but super cute. Check her out, see for yourself! (she is the little cutie in this post)

I worked on a bunch of stuff while I was in Baton Rouge. I am designing a logo, two greeting cards, a place mat for local restaurants (for kids to color!), and finishing up the design for my business website. I am a couple of hours away from sending the files to the programmer. I still have copy to write and edit but mostly I am done! The site is set to launch in December. I am so excited about the new site & excited to hand it off so I can get on with re-doing all of my print stuff.

We saw the lady tigers first home game of the year. It was great to see the girls. They are still working out the kinks but they will get there. They have their haters right now. I am NOT among them. Win, Lose, I love my lady t's. period.

We spent a lot of time with Meg's mom, Barbara. Barb got an ipad! How cool is that? it is even cooler to watch her use it. We played a lot of yahtzee. It's a great app, check it out.

Barb also ate tofu and liked it. One of her favorite foods is a real hamburger, so I must make some yummy tofu! Barb has good taste. Just sayin'!!

We photographed a wedding in New Orleans on Saturday night. Everything went really well. We even had to find a parking space in the french quarter which is iffy at best, but we got a spot right in front of the hotel we were working in & right in front of the place we were staying, even if it took Meg 50 times of back and forth to get us in there! Meg's time in San Francisco really helps out when we need to do some serious parallel parking. Good job Meggie!

Working a wedding is like doing squats and sprints for five hours. Needless to say after we drove for two days after the wedding, we are pretty dang pooped.

So, Thanksgiving for us, was mostly prepared by my friends at Homegrown in Asheville. Check out their website, at we are having mashed taters, roasted brussel sprouts, collards, a big green salad and turkey. Mostly Mr. Antonio will be having turkey sandwiches for the next couple of weeks and mambo the cat is in turkey heaven. I also got a gluten free pumpkin pie from Dolci de Maria.Whoa. It's amazing.

I made Gluten Free stuffing. It's all veggie with faux chorizo, red peppers and parmesan. It's Meg's favorite and I make it every year. I also made some gluten free gravy. (insert note, in Louisiana this would be a sauce, they would never call what I make gravy. They don't put flour gravy, they make a meat dripping sauce.They have the best tasting food down there, so maybe it is a sauce. Whatever it's called both versions are good on top of stuff, like stuffing or taters or turkey.)

So, on this Thanksgiving morning, I am grateful for the following: wonderful & amazing Meg, sweet & wonderful, Antonio, amazing & sweet, Mambo, my wonderful family, my amazing friends, my sweet house, my sweet job, my wonderful health, my amazing life.

Happy Thanksgiving y'all.

Friday, October 22, 2010

new logo = new website

So, a week or so, before we headed out on our epic road trip, I dreamed about a new logo for lucky design 7. I got up early (real early, 6 am) and cranked it out. I love it. The new look really works for how I feel about my work today. It's also very cute, which in my book, is always good.

Anytime a business gets a new logo, it's like new life. Everything starts to change. So far, I have new business cards, and a new blog header. I am also in the process of designing a new website. My plan is to have the new site live by December. I put the pressure on this project, by paying my web hosting in three months increments, instead of my usual deal, which is to pay my hosting all at once, once a year. Believe me, I don't want to pay two hosting bills, even for a month, so this is excellent motivation.

This is a good strategy for any business trying to get an internal project done. If you don't find a way to put a very concrete deadline on a project, it won't get done.

Believe me, I am just like my clients. I have no problem finishing client graphic design projects, but mine for my business, TOUGH!

I recommend putting your internal stuff, on a list, just like you would for any other job. It's works. I promise.

Happy Friday folks. I am off to an appointment, and then a short work day, then it's the weekend! This weather won't last, enjoy it!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

gratitude & happiness go together like birds of a feather.

It's a really beautiful day in Asheville today, so I am feeling extra happy and grateful for my wonderful life here. I decided a good blog post for the day, was a "what makes my family happy list".

This is the most fun I had writing a blog post yet. I recommend making a "happy family list" for your peeps too. It's good to refer back to on those more difficult, less happy days.

So my family is Meg, my partner of almost 8 years. Antonio, the 14 year old amazing young man we mentor, and Mambo, the 14 year old cat. Hey, what can I say, 1996 was a good year for us, our favorite boys were born. We just didn't know them at first. With our boys, our family feels complete, happy, awesome, & almost always crazy busy. I am blessed.

Here is the master list of what makes my family happy, every day, all the time.

Meg & her happiness include:
1. Sleeping as long as needed daily
2. soy lattes in bed, made by hand, with love, by alisa, daily.
3. kisses, by alisa, antonio and a list of other chosen cutie pies.
4. Spending time with our family, chillin'

Antonio & his happiness include:
1. Playing sports, any sport, any time, with friends
2. Hanging out with friends, doing something new!
3. Skipping rocks at the creek
4. Spending time with our family, chillin'

Alisa & her happiness include:
1. A nice long walk, somewhere pretty
2. Fancy P.J.s
3. Gluten Free Corn Dogs & Tater Tots
4. Spending time with our family, chillin'

Mambo & his happiness include:
1. Real fried chicken treats!
2. A nice long nap
3. A nice long nap, on my one of my moms or Antonio
4. Spending time with our family, chillin'

I see a theme emerging here, fall and family time go together so nicely.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

back to reality of having a million things to do = a very good life.

Man, have I been busy since we got back from our trip. It seems like it never happened. Thank goodness I blogged & journaled about every thing so I can remember what fun it was.... I don't think I realized how dang busy I am until we spent three weeks, NOT DOING ANYTHING BUT WHATEVER WE WANTED then blogging about it! I have really missed blogging every few days, so I am going to blog about whatever is going on around here....

Let me be very clear here. I like all the things I have going on in Asheville. My responsibilities range from being a good partner to Meg, spending quality time with my 14 year cat, Mambo, mentoring Antonio, running my graphic design business, losing 20 pounds so my bmi is in the healthy range, being head chef around our house, plus scheduling enough football game watching per week, to keep me sane.
Meg & I are doing great. We really connected on our road trip, and are both working hard to take good care of ourselves first, so we can be good partners, mentors, friends, etc.

The Antonio mentoring is going well. He seems really happy lately and seems to be learning, some of what we are trying to teach him about how to be a responsible, successful, happy adult. We are in the process of finding Antonio a boarding school to attend next year. He will be 15 next September, so we all agree he will be ready to go next fall. We visited the rabun gap nacoochee school last week. He loved the school, we loved the school. We are looking into a few other schools. It's a damn slow process, but we are trying to take it one step at a time.

Back in June or July, I weighed myself and the scale said 152 pounds. The 5 was uncool with me, so I set a goal of a 3 instead of a 5. I met the goal about 3 weeks ago. I eat whatever I want, I just eat half as much or less as I used to. I am also walking (seriously brisk walking) for one hour a day, most days a week.

In LSU news, this week, we got an amazing recruit this week, for my biggest sport love, the LADY TIGER BASKETBALL TEAM. I will be writing a blog about this soon. We are beyond excited!!

Otherwise, if the LSU football team could stop giving me heart attacks each week, life would be more than perfect around here. Until next time, enjoy this yummy crispy fall weather!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

67 hours of driving in 15 days! whoa.

So I added up our miles and hours of driving on the trip. We only had 5 zero mile days on the 20 day trip.

Asheville, NC to Bozeman, MT - 2,012 miles or 1 day, 8 hours of driving (32 hours)
(with stops in St. Louis - Oakley, KS - Denver, CO - Buffalo, WY)

Bozeman, MT to Lakeside, MI - 1,442 miles - 1 day drive (24 hours)
(with stops in West Yellowstone, MT - Livingston, MT - Buffalo, WY - Sioux Falls, SD - Rockford, IL)

Lakeside, MI to Asheville, NC - 661 miles - 11 hour drive.

This trip makes the little drive we do to get down to Baton Rouge seem like a super cake walk. (770 miles - 12 hours)

I am working on a post about the history of Yellowstone, the amazing neon - metal signs of the west and a couple of other random amazing places we passed through on this journey.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Day #18 & #19 & #20, Home, Home, Home at last!

In the afternoon on Saturday, we took a bike ride to a public beach on lake michigan. We loved it. I have on my purple and gold, because it was a game day.

Once we rode back to the cottage, we watched football for the rest day.

On Sunday (day #19) Meg had two photo shoots. One in South Bend, and one in the evening at Warren Dunes State Park. The sunset at the park, was really one of the best I have ever seen. It's number 2 only to a christmas eve sunset in like 1996 in Asheville.

Once we got back to the cottage, we packed the car, and cleaned up around the cottage so we could head home early today.

We left Lakeside, MI at 9 am and arrived home in Asheville at around 8pm. The drive was mostly uneventful today, which was awesome. Driving through the gorge was my favorite part of the drive. I really missed our little green mountains.

After a quick stop at Whole Foods (formerly green life) we rushed home to see our furry boy. He is doing fine and more handsome than when I saw him last. We will see Antonio tomorrow, right after football practice. Meg told him yesterday, he should leave on his football gear, until after we see him. I am going squeeze that little peanut.

After a 67 hour road trip, we are so happy to be home! We did all the driving in 14 days. I will post a mileage-expenses total tomorrow, just for all those math nerds.

I am off to watch Monday night football and sleep in my own bed, with Meggie and Mambo!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Day #17 & Day #18

It's the morning of Day #18 of our trip. The Lakeside, Michigan cottage we are staying in is just amazing. I am not sure I have ever stayed anywhere that was so comfortable, aesthetically pleasing & relaxing all wrapped up in a cute little package. The house is right on the Amtrak line. Trains are going by constantly and as one of the owners said it's part of the charm.

Since we got here on late on Wednesday, we mostly have been chilling out. We have wireless internet (thank god!), cable TV, and our cell phones work just fine... and most importantly we don't have the long list of responsibilities we have at home.

We have been making daily trips to Bud & Elsie's. This is best designed grocery store look I have ever seen. They carry all sorts of gluten free stuff!

I have been able to get caught up on some work things. I am all ready to hit the ground running when we get home early next week.

Here is a list of things we learned on our trip :
1. 14 days of driving in a row, with only two zero mile days are too many.
2. Driving for 5 or more hours a day, does not leave enough energy for camping.
3. Meg & I can handle just about anything together, even the car overheating in yellowstone!
4. We must have internet & TV after a long day in the car.
5. The hotel needs to be clean. Not fancy, just clean. We are in love Fairfield Inn by Marriott. Best hotel rooms ever!

This is a list of things we could not live without on our trip:
1. mio gps system
2. A cooler for gluten free food
3. Health food stores all over the country. (sioux falls, you are the winner, for best staff & best selection!)
4. Good music, our theme song for this trip was Ray LaMontagne, for the summer.
5. Each other. We loved all the time we got to spend together.

Alright, today is game day! LSU plays West Virginia. We get to watch the game here at the cottage! We watched the other LSU games on this trip at Sports Bars, which is kind of fun, but not so much as I can't drink beer anymore (because of the celiac). I pretty much don't really care about drinking if there is no beer involved. Someone out there, please make a gluten free beer that is exactly like Highland Galiac Ale!

We are going on a bike right to the beach this afternoon. Then, it's back to the cottage for a day of football, and getting ready to drive back to Asheville on Monday.

Did I mention this is my idea of a perfect Saturday? Happy Weekend Peeps!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Day #15 & Day #16, there is a bike theme going on here.

Last night before dinner we did a little bike right down to the lake (I almost said beach, because it looks like an ocean it is so big.)

We rode about 1/2 mile to the edge of Lake Michigan. Man, is it a pretty lake! We got off the bikes and walked on the shore's beautiful edge for a few minutes. Then we headed back to the cottage. Meg's bike chain broke, so we made a scarf and a hoodie rope to tie the dead bike to the working one and we took turns towing each other home. This was the most fun thing that happened all day.

We slept great! The house is right on some train tracks that woke Meg up as a few trains went by at night. I didn't hear a single thing. I was out last night. I feel great today. It's SO nice not to be moving and catching up on e-mails, work & personal ones.

Today we checked out the warren dunes state park (near Lakeside, MI, a little bit north) this morning after a little morning latte from the Whistle Stop Cafe. It's super duper cute around here.

We are off for a bike ride this afternoon. Meg will photograph fo' sure. Later taters!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Day #14, #15 & #16

We are in a cottage near Lake Michigan, in Lakeside, MI. We drove here from Rockford this morning. We drove through Chicago. It wasn't far, but it was slow, city going.

Yesterday was a zero mile day. Tomorrow is a zero mile day. I like the sound of that. We rested a lot at our friends house in Rockford. We went for a long walk, we did some laundry. It was really nice to just do regular stuff that didn't involve moving from one place to another.

I rode bikes with their daughter, Spencer, AKA Smoothie, a seven year old skateboard bad ass. Yes, bad ass. You should see her skate. We got to visit the skate park yesterday while she tore it up. We had so much fun. Then we had dinner with our friends. It was a lovely laid back day.

We don't have much going on for the next couple of days... except eat, relax and ride bikes.

I do have a little work to get to this week. I am excited to get back to graphic design projects.

I am looking forward to going home too. I miss Antonio and Mambo so much.

we are turning in early. We want to be rested for all the bicycle fun we are going to have tomorrow.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Day #13 didn't turn out like I thought, but it was still totally awesome.

Well, we thought we were getting married today, but it was going be a pain in the butt. We decided early on this trip that the pain in the butt route, was not for us. So the wedding license was not waiting on us, so we would have had to go through 4 steps instead of one... so instead, we decided to go to lunch in Iowa City, at the New Pioneer Co-op. I had tomato parmesan soup, and a blackened tofu sandwich, (both Gluten Free of course) that was A-mazing. It was by far the best meal of the trip to date.

After we had a great lunch, we drove to Rockford, IL, where we are staying for a the next two nights. We are staying with our friends Amy & Nikki and their two daughters, Halle & Spencer. They are staying with Amy's mom and her hubbie, Peter. It's an awesome house, built in 1854. Amy just made us dinner. Roasted brussels sprouts & quinoa. It's nice to have a homemade meal.

We are currently set up on the couch, watching monday night football (in high def, thank god, how I missed you honey!) We are happy to see people we know & relax for a day until we leave for South Bend, IN on Wednesday. We are planning on stopping in Chicago for gluten free deep dish pizza. Then it's off to South Bend, where we have a cottage on Lake Michigan for five days, then home, sweet, home asheville!

Day #12 & #13, Wedding Day!

Sunday was officially our day off. We slept in until 8:30, then got up at the hotel and did laundry and worked out. We needed to stock up again on food, so we visited a health food store in Sioux Falls. It was a good stop. Gluten Free Burritos!!

Then we drove to Des Moines, Iowa. (Home state of Kate Vermeer Wilson!) We turned in early again (notice the tired theme of the trip, fun is exhausting, but totally worth it).

We are having coffee this morning and getting ready to get married later today! We are driving to Iowa City as soon as we are properly caffeinated. We need a witness for the wedding, so we are going to the book store (Prairie Lights Books) in Iowa City to see if we can find someone willing to go with us to the court house. Wish us luck.

I will post photos later today. Happy Monday!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

The rest of Day #11

We got a late start today. We slept until 8:30. We drove from Buffalo, WY to Rapid City, SD where we stopped at the health food store. I was craving Gluten Free Cereal. Then we drove from Rapid City, SD to Sioux Falls, SD. We drove past Mt. Rushmore and the Badlands National park. I got glutenized sometime on Day #10 so I didn't have the energy for either stop.
I think it was some egg salad from the Co-op in Bozeman. Unfortunately for me, any food prepared in kitchens that are not gluten free are risky.

When I get contaminated it's like having the flu. At first, I feel nauseous for a couple of hours, and my stomach hurts and I have a terrible headache. Then, as time passes I start to feel better. I am usually a little under the weather for about three days. I am feeling much better today.

We did stop at a 1800 town right off the highway. Man was that fun. It was a whole town set up again. They had wagons, trains, a jail, loads of historical stuff, about the wild west. There were two highlights. My highlight was a caboose you could get in and check out. Meg and I decided we would love a house out of two cabooses.

The other highlight was a camel. Yes, a real camel. There were long horn cows, donkeys, and horses too, but the camel stole the show. The hay food truck pulled up and the camel did the cutest dance I have ever seen. The camel pranced all around, it was amazing cute. I am sure I have never seen an animal so fired up to eat.

Then it was back in the car to haul ass, to get to Sioux Falls, for the LSU - Mississippi State game. We called a friend and asked them to look up a sports bar.

So we got a nice room (just barely got the room as the whole town is booked for the Spirit of the West Festival) & were off to the Sports Bar for the game.

Then we came back to the room and turned in early. We are planning on sleeping in and having a lazy Sunday. (& by lazy I mean only driving 4 and a half hours) Des Moines tomorrow night, then Iowa City on Monday! Almost Wedding Day!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Day #10, the perfect day & Day #11 is starting with gluten free pizza for breakfast.

Man, was today a lovely day. We drove down from Livingston, WY, into the north entrance of Yellowstone, then drove through the park, and out the east entrance. Then we drove through Cody, WY to Sheridan, WY. down to Buffalo where we are now. This is the prettiest drive I have ever been on. The drive itself was totally the highlight of the day. I can hardly describe every thing we saw. You gotta check out the photos on face book. I will post those tonight. The temp was perfect until the very end, in the Big Horn national forest where it got rainy, misty and freezing! We had lunch by lake yellowstone, & saw a few herds of buffalo, a moose and a baby.

We drove past an amazing lake in WY, that was a man made lake. The damn is the buffalo bill damn. This is worth a google image look. The color was out of this world.

We stopped at an Antler/skull shop in cody and got some antlers. I am going to make something at home with them. There was a huge pile of antlers and skulls to advertise. Wait until you see Meg's photos. Awesome and cool.

So after the long drive, I was wishing for gluten free pizza (which I thought was a stretch) and guess what. We passed a pizza place, that said, "try our new gluten free pizza" ! So we did and it was the perfect end to the perfect day.

This morning we are up early and off to drive to Sioux Falls for the night. We gotta make good time so we can watch LSU /Mississippi State Game. Yes, I am wearing my purple and gold right now.

Happy Saturday!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Day #9, not my favorite, but still fun.

We woke up around 8, in west yellowstone & had coffee. The hotel last night was less than nice and we were excited to be heading towards home, even if home was 20 + hours away.

We were off to the park & had been driving about 30 minutes when we hit a yellowstone traffic jam, which on the whole was the best traffic jam I have ever been in...then, the car started to overheat! So we turned around (bummed out noises here) and headed back to West Yellowstone. West Yellowstone is a tiny town outside of the west entrance. No one could even look at the car until Friday.

We decided to try and make it back to Bozeman, MT. Since Bozeman is a much bigger town (like 70,000 people) we hoped we could get the car looked at there, today! So if you drove with the heat on full blast and were not stuck in traffic, the temp stayed at an ok level (still running hot).... so we made it to Bozeman with feet sunburns, but otherwise unscathed. We got the car looked at, while we had lunch at the Bozeman Community Co -op (LOVE THIS PLACE) !! We had a yummy veggie curry with rice. The car just needed a radiator cap and some coolant and we were on our way. (at about 3:30 pm)

Since I was super disappointed that our day in Yellowstone didn't work out, we stopped in Livingston, MT to see if we could find a room. We found a room at the first place we stopped, the Murray Hotel. Let's just say it was a serious upgrade from the last two days. Awesome, historic Inn.

So, we are loving our nice room (Barb you would approve, it's up to your standards!).

We are going to try once more for a full day in Yellowstone. The plan is to drive from Livingston, MT to Buffalo, WY, through the park.

Then we gotta haul ass to Iowa City, IA by mid day on Monday so we can get hitched, then get to South Bend, IN on the 22nd to enjoy our lake michigan cabin for a couple of days before we have to work on the 26th. The plan is to drive home on the 27th. Today made me miss little Asheville and our sweet house.

Alright, wish us luck that tomorrow works out. You can't say we didn't try to see that damn Yellowstone!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Day #8 West Yellowstone!

This morning started with coffee at Bozeman Montana Community Food Co-op. I had a lovely Americano. So we drove down to West Yellowstone, from Bozeman on US 191. It was a pretty drive by the river most of the way.

We stopped at an Antique Car Dealer place right outside of Bozeman. It was a lot like the junk yard we stopped in WY, but this was all cars. I saw three really rare Studebakers, and it was amazing. We saw a studebaker Conestogo. OMG - I need this car. Meg photographed and I made videos of cool type, cool colors & hood ornaments. Amazing & Fun!!!!!

Then we were off on our drive. We had a lunch on the side the road in the park. Gluten free bread with egg salad and GF BBQ chips. Good stuff. We have been eating out of the cooler most meals. We did have rice & beans (heated in the microwave) from the Co Op tonight for dinner. The hot meal did wonders for us both. We are both so tired. We have only been going for seven days… but it is still worth it.

We spent the afternoon in the park driving from west yellowstone down to old faithful. We saw some baby elk with their mamas about 5 minutes after we entered the park. We also saw a few different buffalos. Just eating on the side of the river with tons of people fly fishing and driving by.

We stopped in the lower geyser basin and saw the fountain paint pot and great fountain geyser, along with some other smaller geysers. These puppies are cooler in person than in photos. It smelled like making hard boiled eggs.

The park is crazy busy, even this time of year. There were a million people at old faithful.

We are planning on heading east for the first time in a week tomorrow. We will be driving from West Yellowstone, back to Sheridan, WY. We will spend the night, then we are planning to get to the Badlands National Park in SD next.

Once again, we are off to bed early so we can get an early start tomorrow. Good night!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Day #7 - Big Sky Country (or big gay country, if you are me.)

So we drove through the Crow Indian reservation today. It's like a 100 miles wide or something. Whoa.

We stopped the big horn country museum, in Hardin, MT. They had all kinds of cool stuff, old railway cars, and about 25 different buildings all set up in period garb. For example we saw what a slaughter house would be like, and a school house, and a doctor's office from around the 1890's. Pretty cool stuff. For me the best part was the vintage tractors, and bulldozers. Check out some the of the cool type (see caterpillar photo!). I am very inspired by vintage type and this is some of the best I have seen.

Check it the museum at

Alright, so we made it to Bozeman, MT. We are in the hotel and ready to go to sleep. We had a nice hot meal from the huge co-op here. Thank you universe for gluten free bread, rice and beans.

So the quote of today, I saw a sticker that said Big Sky Country, and I thought it said Big Gay Country! Pretty funny!

Tomorrow we plan on driving down from Bozeman and sleeping in west yellowstone, (right outside the park) and driving a round in yellowstone tomorrow and the next day.

We are both super excited, so we are turning in early so we can get an early start. Good night.

Day #6 & #7, well some of it.

We had a good night's sleep, nice hotel. King size bed, flat screen TV and wireless.

I am up early as I woke up worried I won't find anything to eat in WY or MT. So we stopped in Fort Collins, CO at whole foods and stocked up on stuff. Gluten Free Jalapeno cheddar dip, Gluten Free Bagels, and guacamole, and GF BBQ chips, apples, oranges, and water. You know the essentials.

Then we drove to Buffalo, WY. from northern CO. Southern WY is mostly pretty flat with these funny looking mountains (flat on top, eroded) & super dry. The grass is a pretty tan color that goes great with all the big blue sky. Man is there a lot of big blue sky. I don't think I have ever seen so much at once.

The further we drove north, the less people we saw. We saw loads of cows, horses, & deer all day long. This reminded me that day before yesterday Near estes park we saw four huge rams, eating grass on the side of the road. They were so big and cool looking.

So the drive was pretty short, & easy. The asphalt is red in a number of places. I saw some pink sand so I am guessing they use the pink sand to make the red asphalt. It was really a pretty color.

About 2 hours from Buffalo, we saw a HUGE metal junk yard, in the middle of absolute nowhere. I am talking tractors, from the 30's & 40's, wagons, from the 1890's (with really amazing weathered wood holding it together), trucks, cars, bicycles, farm equipment, train cars, and anything else that is metal that you can imagine. So everything is just out in the open and weathering naturally. I am pretty sure you could find every single color I have ever used in my work in this crazy junk yard. Meg photographed and I made some short videos of all the amazing type I found. Meg & I both agree that this junk yard would make the most amazing field trip teaching location for both a photography class and a graphic design class. Needless to say we both had a great time walking around this place. It was about 6 acres, crammed packed.

So it's Tuesday morning, & I am up early, putting the coffee on and writing this post. I have been writing my blog posts in a green spiral notebook (old school) with a pencil everyday, as we make our drive. We have only had the internet two nights out of seven & it's a lovely break from being so connected.

We are in Sherian, WY this morning at a coffee shop, planning the day. We wanted to drive to drive west all day, through the mountains & spend the night on the edge of Yellowstone, but there is NO where to stay in Yellowstone, tonight. Totally booked. Oh well. So we are off to Bozeman, MT to spent the night, then to Yellowstone all day tomorrow. We have a room booked for West Yellowstone for tomorrow night. It looks amazing.

We have to be in Iowa City, around the 20th or so, because we are going to get legally married. The next place we have to be is South Bend, IN on the 22nd to get ready to work for a couple of days. Lucky for us, we are in no rush, which feels really great.

We will update the blog as soon as we have internet again. Have an awesome day folks!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Day #5 The times they are a changing'!

Woke up in Denver at our friend Coutney's house, & drove to get a latte. It was yummy and it looked like it had a harry potter snitch (instead of the usual hearts or pretty design)! I took that to mean today was going to be a good day & it seems to be true. I had three pieces of bacon & a Gluten Free Peanut Butter Cookie. Again, this lead me to believe the day was going to be awesome.

We both loved Denver, and we drove around Boulder for a minute. My overall impression is that the folks around here are pretty happy, it's really clean, super gluten free friendly, & the weather is freaking terrific.

We spent the day driving from Denver to Estes Park, CO, then to Loveland, CO to spend the night because we were tired. It was an amazing drive. The only bummer was the 600 acre (& growing) wild fire. Otherwise, the drive was just so dang beautiful.

I also needed some facebook/blog/internet time to plan out our trip.

As a family we collectively decided to shorten our trip. We are going to head north tomorrow into Wyoming. We are thinking about getting into Buffalo or Sherdian tomorrow. We pretty much are cutting off about 39 hours of driving time. When

I write it down, I think, what the hell where we thinking? But hey we can't wait to spend the next week or so, in WY & MT.

I hope to update my facebook page with a bunch of photos tonight. Alright, we are super pooped. It's time to watch football and relax until tomorrow.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Day #4 - Tour De Fat

Day #4

We got up early and had Coffee at coffee commons in Denver. Antonio called on the way over to check in. Hooray, because we miss him.

Then we drove over to Deby's Gluten Free Bakery/ Grocery Store. We got some GF bacon/egg/cheese biscuits for breakfast and some GF biscuit dough for home. Yum. Hello, what a score. She will ship this stuff folks.

We drove around a part of town called the Rhino district & loved it over there. We stumbled upon a vintage car/motorcycle show. Tons of custom cars, lower riders, mostly 30's/40's50's stuff. There was a black 55 t-bird there. Whoa. Best car design ever.

Now we are off to the tour de fat…. then, we plan on watching the LSU / Vandy at the Lodo's bar and grill and they have a GLUTEN FREE MENU! CAN I get a woot woo!!

I am sure when ever the game is over, we will get back to Courtney's and pass out. Happy Saturday!

p.s. Meg lost her wallet, and then found it, thank goodness.

Day #3, life is a field of sunflowers.

Day # 3 is began with a long walk in Oakley, KS. then we drove to Denver.

It was a pretty short drive. (4 hours) We stopped and photographed a field of sunflowers that went on as far as your eyes could see. It was truly amazing. It was super breezy and dead quite except for the rustle of the sunflowers, moving together in the wind.

I also saw a bunch of rusted cars shoved in the ground to fill in hole on the side of the road. Again, amazing.

We ate yummy GF tamales from trader joe's for lunch. We arrived in Denver at around 4 pm. We hung out with our wonderful host, Courtney Breaux, while she got ready to go to a party. We are staying at her house in Denver. It's amazing & awesome.

We had GF Pizza for Dinner! This had a polenta crust. Killer crust. Whoa. This amazing short post does not do this great day, justice but you get the idea.

It's 9:30 & it's so bedtime, we are so damn tired & it's so totally worth it.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Day #2 St. Louis to Oakley, KS!

Blog Post #2 St. Louis. to Oakley, KS.

well, we are in St. Louis, it's a lovely gray morning outside. It's around 7:30 & we are already up, bathed & dressed and ready for day two.

We spent last night with Lisa Colby, an metalsmith, that we meet back in Asheville in 2005 or 6. She made our wedding bands & Meg's surprise engagement ring. We got engaged in St. Antonio, Texas, March 2006.

Her house here in the Lou is super cute. It's a brick, two story row house. Amazing.

We are waiting for Lisa to return from dropping off her daughter at school, then we are off to whole foods to find some grub for the day.

So, we decided to go by the coffee house where Lisa's man works. They also sell and fix killer vintage motorcycles. No, not new stupid ugly motorcycles. I am mean like killer stuff. Like triumphs and stuff. We were pooping in our pants, they were so cool. We had lattes and checked out some cool bikes, then a quick trader joe's food stop, then whole foods, for a hot breakfast. I nuked an annie's gluten free tofu scramble kind of thingy. Meg got a noodle bowl.

We drove all the way though rainy MO most of the morning and early afternoon. It's flat and there was a lot of corn to look at. We went through columbus, mo home of mizzou. and Lawrence Kansas, home of the Jay Hawks.

We got some fancy Americano drinks at Star Bucks in Kansas city, then we flipped off a certain someone is Kansas city (long story, the family know why).

So, who knew that Kansas had a toll road, turnpike? Huh? We got on the turnpike and starting driving to oakley, Kansas. Home of Annie Oakley.

Kansas is really beautiful rolling hills mostly and some kind of red topped plant growing every where. We stopped Wamego, KS for the OZ museum. We missed it by 10 minutes! Oh well, Meg looks cute in the photo anyway. We saw a sign near Wamego that said Bible + Rifle Church this way. We drove the other way and fast!

We got a text message at 4:15 that said "T.D. #22 "! Of course this made our day. Two of our friends were at Antonio's game. We have great friends, thanks Leslie & Hannah.

We arrived in Oakley, Kansas to spend the night and watch the Saints/Vikings, NFL opener. Saints won, who dat!

Day # 3 is beginning with a long walk in Oakley, KS. then we drive to Denver.

Crazy Day #1 of our 2010 Road Trip!

Day 1 was a little crazy. It looked like this.

7:20 am Wake Up & Drink Soy Lattes

8:00 am Hit the Road

8-10:15 am Rainy, misty morning in the Great Smokey Mountains.

10:59 am amazing fall colors in TN. (just this one valley, no where else!)

11:51 am My buddy Jay, looks up the street address & phone number of tacomamacitas in Nasheville, TN, Thanks Jay Bird!

12:15 Lunch at tacomamacitas!

12:16 Meg takes two benadryls instead of the one I thought she should take. (she has a bad case of poison ivy from working in our yard.)

12:17 Meg passes out totally asleep for about an hour or so.

12:40 Burning Car in Nashville, right at the 65N/24W intersection.

12:41 I mention to Meg about said burning car, and she jumps up, grabs her camera, and photographs cool burning car, then falls right back asleep.

2:15 Sunny Kentucky, farm land.

5:45 Arrive in St. Loiuis

6:15 Photo Shoot in Faust Park with a friend of Meg's from the 5th grade! Suzanne Harris (& steve and her cute girls, Ana (51/2) & Molly (10)

7:45 Arrive at Lisa Colby's in St. Louis. We hung out with Mitch, Lisa's man and her awesome daughter Celeste. (14)

10 pm BED TIME!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Our trip starts tomorrow! Can I get a woot, woot?

We are St. Louis Bound tomorrow. Epic Road trip begins....

I do have a couple of worries about driving 2,716, then turning around and driving 2,716 again.

#1. I will worry about the boy we mentor, Antonio. I have a number of friends (like 10 people) we can call to go get Antonio and hang out with him, like we do. People really wanted to help so that makes me not nearly as worried about that.

#2. I worry there might be bed bugs in the hotel. Let's hope not. I am going to be precautions on this one anyway, just to be safe. Damn internet.

#3. I worry I won't be able to find anything good to eat, that I know is gluten free. There is the internet, sweet wonderful internet.

Things I am not worried about driving 2,716, then turning around and driving 2,716 again.

#1. I am not worried about the company of said epic road trip, Meg. She is the most amazing, funny person you will ever meet. Sorry peeps. She is all mine.

#2. I am not worried about having awesome music to listen to while we travel....the music section ranges from new Ray Lamontagne, Spearhead (get lifted, best song ever, thanks Kat!), Pearl Jam, Beth Orton, Drake, David Grey, Bon Iver (Alisa's personal fave right now) eminem, Ms. Dynamite (best female rapper alive) Lady Gaga. enough said.

#3. I am not worried about having fun with Meg. We always have fun, even when we are working. We sure as hell will have fun on vacation!

& while I am at it…. I wish we were taking Ms. Boss on the epic road trip. You will be with us in spirit, Ms. Boss. We miss ya honey. (See photo for Ms. Boss, yes, she is a 1998 BMW Z3, we found her a good home in Baton Rouge, with a nice gay man & his husband.) We are driving our little peanut, 1998 honda civic cx. She's cute too!

We hit the road bound for St. Louis in the morning, hopefully, before 8 am. So Stoked!

Friday, September 3, 2010

We are going to get legally married on the road trip in Iowa City!

We will be driving through Iowa at the end of our crazy long trip. A friend of mine reminded me that gay marriage is legal in Iowa. We had a ceremony October, 28th, 2006 (not a legal one) in Asheville, in our backyard. It was a costume wedding. It was amazing... but we would prefer to be legally married.

So, we plan on getting hitched in Iowa City, Iowa in late September. We will post photos of the big day on here.

I will try and remember to dig up some of the photos from our real wedding and post those too.

Road Trip countdown...we live in 4 days. Yikes, I have a lot to do before then. Happy Friday!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Ready for the road trip, but we are going to miss these two boys.

So we are almost ready to get on the road to St. Louis next week, but are we going to miss these two. That's Antonio, the 14 year old boy we mentor and that is our 14 year old cat Mambo. These are the two sweetest boys you will ever meet in the world. We are so blessed to have both of them in our lives. Below is the story of Mr. Antonio's life so far and how we met him.

Too bad, we can't take our sweet boys with us on the trip!

The Story of Antonio & his extra mamas. (Meg + Alisa)

Antonio was born on September 8, 1996 to Terri Lynch and Dwight Antonio Timpson. He has three siblings, two sisters and a brother, of which he is the eldest. His father, sadly, was shot and killed in Lee Walker Heights (a housing project in Asheville, NC) several years ago. In the past, Antonio lived in Lee Walker Heights with his grandmother, mother and siblings in a two- bedroom apartment. He now resides with his mother, brother and sisters in Hill Crest. (another housing project in Asheville, NC)

We met Antonio in the summer of 2007 while teaching art classes for three weeks at Lee Walker Heights Community Center summer camp. During that time, Meg showed her class a film about the poverty in Calcutta, and Antonio was so concerned about the children he saw in the film that he wanted to send them clothes, shoes, and food. We were amazed that this child, who lived in a two-bedroom apartment with 5 to 7 other people, and had so little, could show such genuine compassion for others. He made a huge impression on us, even in that short a period of time.

Since that we met Antonio, we have become progressively more involved with him and his life. We have watched him grow from a child that made poor to mediocre grades to a young man with an admirable attitude and work ethic, and a deep belief that he can and will have a successful life.

Antonio maintains a B-C average at Asheville Middle School, however, he earned A’s and B’s in the last session of 7th grade this year! His grades have been improving each year since 5th grade, when we began mentoring him.

He is a well-behaved young man, with beautiful manners and a consistently positive outlook on life. He has a passion for learning new things, and a seemingly insatiable curiosity. He is sweet natured, and cares deeply about others in our community who are less fortunate. He has HUGE heart.

Antonio wants to be the first in his family to attend college. As well, he would like to play sports both in college and beyond. His ambition is be a good man, be of service to the community (especially, the homeless, he worries about homeless people constantly) and most importantly to him, be a good father as an adult.

We are trying like crazy to get Antonio into Rabun Gap-Nacoochee School or something very similar. It's a boarding school, so he can live away from the temptations of his current living situation. If you would, please pray, cross your fingers, meditate, say a good word to buddha, anything you can think of for Mr. Antonio. We will take any good thoughts anyone wants to pass our way. Antonio says thank you & so do we.

Friday, August 27, 2010

We leave in less than two weeks.

Today, I got a lot of graphic design work done, like a whole lot. I got some things done around the house.

I researched Butte, MT because we are driving through there. It has cool history. I want to spend a day wondering around checking out the sweet architecture. Here is the Wikipedia article.

Any way, today I also cleared off my flip video camera, & man did we have fun this summer. I got video of us in Mexico, it's so pretty there. I got a couple of cool clips of the cenote (another good google word, amazing swimming on the Yucatán Peninsula.) I got some footage of us picking blueberries & black berries at black balsam on Meg's birthday, Antonio goofing around with a buddy. I need to utube some of it.

In other road trip news, the car is cleaned out and I started to pack. I am working on burning CD's for the car.

Here's the master list of what we are bringing on the trip.

Navigation Stuff
- A new road atlas, maps of Denver, Portland & Seattle
- a navigation system (borrowed from friends, thanks Jon & Hilary!)

Techie Stuff
- my macbook, two ipods with headphones, (one classic filled with tons of music, & my new ipod touch, with games/apps)
- Meg's film camera (rollei medium format), Meg's digital camera, (nikon D300), my flip video camera (mino, not high def)

Clothes & Stuff
- A week's worth of clothes, ranging from tanks tops shorts for exercise, to north face long johns to wear under jeans and big winter coats. It will be nice and cool in Montana. We plan on doing laundry at least once a week.
-three pairs for shoes each. Tennis shoes, nice shoes and car shoes. Specifically for me, Black high top Puma, green low top pumas, and adidas flip flops for me. Meg will bring adidas tennis shoes, flip flops and something else, and probably only wear flip flops unless we are walking. Yes, even if it's 30 degrees outside. She is crazy!

Food & Drink Stuff
-a small cooler, for daily food stops at health food stores, and ice for cold drinks. Dr. Virgil's natural soda. Diet Cola version for Meg, Diet Black Cherry for me. These sodas have no real sugar and no fake sugar. Amazing. Check them out.
- a bunch of gluten free crackers, cheese puffs, nuts, & other gluten free stuff you can't get just any where.

Camping stuff
- camping stuff (tent, sleeping mat for 2, 3 blankets, a sheet, pillows.) We plan on camping for a couple days in the Badlands National Park, in South Dakota.

-LSU gear for both of us, plus pom - poms for each of us. There are three games while we are on the road and we don't plan on missing one single second of the games.

one bag for everyday, then another bag with make-up & fancy hair products.

See the crazy photo of what the packing looks like. I will take more photos as I finish up the packing.

we are both totally stoked for this trip.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

old friends & crazy coincidences

So, we have places to stay in Denver, Salt Lake City, Portland and Chicago. We are crashing on a lot of floors, with old friends, and some new ones. My Portland connection is a old college friend, see super old photo, from like 1994 or 95! Thanks to Cathy West for posting. That's Amy right in the middle of the photo. That's me on the far right. Cathy is on the left of Amy. Wow, we look like such little babies. I am very excited to reconnect with Ms. Amy.

My sister just called, as she is in Asheville, having a quick lunch at Early Girl Eatery. She lives in North Carolina & she has the travel bug too. Turns out, she is going to be in Chicago, when we are passing through, in late September. We are often in crazy far away places at the same time. Last time we barely missed each other was in Mexico. She (& my parents) were in Cozumel on Sunday and I was in playa del carmen the night before. We missed hanging out by a few hours.

We are going crash on her Chicago hotel room floor for a day or two. We are also going to search Chicago, high and low for some gluten free deep dish pizza!

The stars are really lining up for this trip!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

The Road Trip Plan!

So we know when we are leaving. We leave September 8th. We start the trip from Asheville to St. Louis, Denver, Salt Lake City, Portland, Seattle, Missoula, Yellowstone national park, Badlands National Park (SD), then Chicago, then South Bend, IN (Norte Dame is here, so are a bunch of commissioned photo shoots for Meg, then home to Asheville. We should be back October 1st.

I should be over driving after this one.

Monday, August 23, 2010

researching how to have fun road trip.

Well, as you can see it's been a while since I updated the blog. I have been so busy working I haven't had much time for anything else, besides, my awesome partner Meg, the young man we mentor, Antonio and the king cat of the world Mambo the cat.

The last year as been a rough one. The Oil Spill, a cancelled at the last minute family wedding, the death of a friend's husband, an bout with e-coli, the love of my life being really in pain for weeks and the doctor's could not figure it. You know, that kind of stuff... but I tend to be an optimist. I will likely remember this year, as the Saints won the superbowl, or we decided to go to the 2012 olympics, or 2010 is the year Antonio got into boarding school (we hope this one happens, please cross your fingers, pray, chant, whatever, we will take it) or decided to take an epic "researching fun" road trip with Meg.

Which leads into why I decide to update this blog, about this topic. I believe everyone would be more successful if they followed their heart, and did what they like everyday. It is sort of the Asheville way.

So I am going to document that philosophy in our road trip. For three weeks, on the road, in mostly unfamiliar places, I am going to document how if you following your heart, happiness will follow. If you are happy, you will find success, in life, in love, in business.

We leave September 8th. Our first stop is St. Louis.

So far, we have a new atlas, a new backpack (for computer, cameras, ipods, etc.), and I am working on a menu. I have celiac disease (a gluten allergy, for those of you who have never heard about celiac). I will be documenting how to travel gluten free in addition to having fun.

Alright peeps, happy Monday!