Man oh man, six months have gone by and do I ever feel every bit of a lazy lump and very guilty for neglecting Prairie for so long. I'm very grateful for all your emails asking what had happened to me, if I was alright and why the hell wasn't I blogging Prairie any longer. So apologies all around to everyone. Okay so here's the deal. The first person who sends a comment with the words "Lazy Lump" in the text will get one of my photo cards. And I will actually give them a choice of what sort of image they would like. Whew! I feel so much better now. Don't forget to include your email address.
So here I am again and this time, I need to go back to January when I visited my family in Phoenix, Arizona. My lovely daughter Julia, works as Marketing Coordinator for Fox Restaurants, and True Foods, one of the many Fox Restaurants happened to be hosting an event at the Mines and Minerals Museum. The event was P.F. Chang's Rock and Roll Marathon Series, which started from the heart of Phoenix and finished in Tempe. The marathon tours throughout the United States stopping in 25 different cities with runners supporting various charities and loving every minute of it. Although there were quite a few sponsors this time, P.F. Chang's, historically tends to grab the spot as the Title Sponsor.
After a very long, threatening lecture the night before about how I'd have to be up early, Julia managed to get me out the door before the sun came up. True Foods set an "uber" delicious table of goodies for the runners. Fresh juices, organic muffins, piles of bananas, yogurts, granola and of course, I had to sample all of it. Everything was scrumptious !!
"FRESH, FUN, CHIC, UNIQUE" This sums up Fox Restaurants perfectly. Founder Sam Fox, has sprinkled his boutique restaurants in the States of Arizona, California, Colorado, Texas and Kansas. The man is amazing. He's managed to create boutique restaurants which are truly unique and fresh in concept. I dined at five whilst visiting Arizona and was immediately impressed by the beautiful decor and how each one had it's own distinct character and ambiance. I'm attaching a link to Fox Restaurant Concept's website at the bottom of this post. I love this website. It's inviting and so well designed.
Two hostesses showed up to help us set the tables.
The handsome guy in the photo below with the two hostesses, is Chef Shane Cox. He loves his job, I could tell as it was all he talked about. He puts in long hours at his craft and is really proud of the work he does for Fox.
Looking down from the second floor I could see the runners were assembling. When my daughter told me it was going to be at the Mines and Minerals Museum, the first thing I thought was "how boring is this going to be." I was so wrong and absolutely fell in love with this place. It was fascinating.
Just to give you an idea of the scale of this museum, I was standing on the level where all the banners are hanging, looking down onto the main floor. The circumference of the walkway goes all the way around the room to a wide stairwell leading to the first level. All of the lit cabinets contain examples of brilliant minerals from every earthly country and I'm going to show you some of them. They look anything but, earthly.
I had immense respect for this woman. There were also men in the three wheeled chairs participating.
Below: Chef Shane Cox, Local Store Marketing Coordinator Sarah Boisseree, and my lovely, crazy, genius writer daughter, Julia Archer. Love you Julia. x
I have to admit that I spent a good two hours looking at these ancient, colourful rocks. When I was a little girl, I use to spend many weekends on my Uncle Irvin's farm in Dakota, hunting Indian arrowheads. Within a few years, my family and I had filled several shoeboxes full of arrowheads and other interesting shapes. So I had an appreciation of rocks and minerals and the history attached to them.
My first impression of the mineral rock below, that it looked like a living plant from the bottom of the sea.
The rock below reminded me of bird's feathers. Do you see it ?
And this one - shredded Parmesan cheese maybe ?
Errrr - bad ass parasite or alien baby, can't decide. Nope, it's only calcite. Whew!
Jello and cauliflower ??
This is an original sepia photograph of a child in a mine shaft. I think it was take your child to work day.
This was so cool - a miniature display of an authentic mining village. Complete with saloon, mercantile store and a house of ill-repute.
The poster below happened to be on the back of a door in the ladies bathroom. In fact, there was a different poster on every door. Being the OCD person that I am, I had to check the back of every door.
There were also several displays of everyday products that have mineral content as an ingredient. This really drove home the point for me, that minerals bring great convenience to our lives.
This will blow your mind, it's so clever. It made me look twice and I was grinning from ear to ear. The case below is a display of food. But actually, it's all mineral rocks. Whoever thought of this is a wonderful genius.
Everything on the plates are some form of rock mineral. I love it !!
I couldn't resist editing the image into a polaroid effect. It reminds me of pictures from the 1950's that I would see in my Mother's cookbooks.
I had such great fun at this event. Thanks for inviting me Julia !!
On a more personal note: The next few blogs will be about new beginnings. My life has changed in drastic measures over the last six months. I'm now living in Cornwall, on the south coast of England and have accepted an offer at Falmouth University's, Tremough Campus for the Fine Arts Photography Course starting in September. It's lovely here by the sea. Instead of the blackbird's song, I now listen to a cacophony of fog horns and the shrieking of seagulls as they tap dance on the roof of my bedroom. I share a flat with two splendid, young women. Yikes! The last time I had a room mate was 1975. It's all a very big adjustment, especially for a grouchy, middle-aged woman like me.
I've also cut off all of my hair, boy short, and have let my silver grow out. As soon as I get the courage, I will post a new photo.
I so miss my friends that I left behind in Cambridgeshire. Thank you all for the encouraging phone calls and texts these last two weeks. I especially want to say thank you to Kim and Clare for helping me with the move. I hope you have forgiven me for making you unpack the hire van and then finding out my packing idea did not work and having to start over again.
As for my cows, dare I say, I miss them the most. I have a picturesque view from my bedroom balcony across the bay to Flushing, and just the other day did spy some Angus cows on the hillside above some million pound mansions. I think I shall be walking up that hill soon. New friends to be made.
Thank you for your continued support everyone. x
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