Flying Together, In Particular

This morning, I contemplated flight.

I was only contemplating the average airplane variety at first. As I drank my first cup of coffee, I checked ticket information and layover times, tucked my passport in the carry-on, checked the weather forecast over the ocean on Friday and considered the likelihood of a mechanical failure on a Boeing 737 during a period of Mercury in retrograde.

“What a lame time to leave the country,” I thought as I managed to conjure up a healthy amount of guilt as I considered all the reasons the business would struggle in my absence.  “If all of Hot Tomato lived inside a snow globe, I pondered…the whole studio, all the clients and files, bank records, garter bets and all the crew members too…If we were all in there together, it’s like someone picked it up and shook it for a whole month!”

{In this snow globe scenario, we’re all just kind of spinning around in there grabbing arm-fulls of hot tomato glitter and trying to organize it into tidy piles.} The truth is, we are a family that is rapidly growing, training, moving, changing, and recovering. Present and accounted for, we’re just a little disoriented.

Flight Cont.AMR_1789-21

If I’m really going to examine a concept, I enjoy Googling the root word and getting a clear definition.

flight: noun

  1. the action or process of flying through the air.
  2. a group of creatures or objects flying together, in particular.

With the above glitter globe reference, you can begin to see how my contemplation was taking shape.

I re-filled my coffee mug and took the necessary steps to ready myself for a day I knew would be filled with laughter and champagne, dazzling outfits, encouraging words and easy, authentic talent.

“IT’S SHOOT DAY!!” I see come up on our group chat from Jocelyn as I’m gathering up the last of my things to head out the door. “She’s cute for a morning person,” I smile.  She’s cheering from the sidelines today as she rocks her dreamy nine to five at the helm of The Betsey Mills Club. Today was actually deemed Vintage Hot Tomato because it was Andi shooting and Jesse assisting like the olden days of 2012 ;) But, it also highlighted for me just how much more glitter was in the globe these days.

~The Plan~

Shoot day will be Saturday. Tonya’s on hair and makeup, Jessica is Concierge to the clients, Jocelyn assists, Andi shoots and Jesse prepares far in advance of her travels, carefully making lists and packing things in a thoughtful order.

**glitter globe shake**

Woops, that’s Easter weekend!- Tonya and Jessica will both be out of town with family. BUT we decide we could make Monday work! Jesse would assist for Jocelyn, who would be at The Betsey and Jessica can cover for Tonya who is still out of town Monday. Jess would be home early enough on Sunday to wash the studio laundry, bring it in early and set up for client hair and make-up! Woohoo!

**glitter globe shake**

An evil bunny tried to take over the good Easter bunny’s job Sunday morning. But THEN….Unicorn Jessica swept in to save the day and dove in front of the Easter Bunny to save him to ensure all the kids got their Easter baskets!!! -a fictional dramatization by Courtney Smith

The real story is, Jess slipped in her pj’s moving the car and broke her arm. On Easter morning. In Cleveland. …SO, Jocelyn delivered the studio laundry to Andi to be washed and drove to Selby to pick up Jess and take her home to rest. MEANWHILE, Tonya is coordinating Abigail (whom she has been training in the art of Hot Tomato make-up) to cover the day in a pinch (her first solo day).

Abigail was able to cover with less that 12 hours notice and did AWESOME! Jocelyn was still cheerful in the morning after delivering dirty laundry and broken unicorns, I got to assist with client care and shooting (which I adored), Andi arrived with clean laundry and photographed masterfully. Clients were happy, crew felt loved and cared for, plans are being formulated to cover my absence and Jess’s recuperation and just. like. that. #tidyglitterpiles

Really, just when you think all hell is breaking loose, doesn’t that seem to be the precise moment that that everyone’s best selves come bursting out in little super hero capes? I hope you’re lucky enough to keep company with such folks but if you are in need of an infusion, join us.  

I always liked “Birds of a feather flock together” but I think  ” a group of creatures or objects flying together, in particular” might suit us better!

Thank you to my crew for doing just that! I love you all to bits.

Hot Tomato Pick of the Week

MOV Red Tent

Okay..actual quotes from me, Jesse Hyde earlier this fall when Cat I asked if Hot Tomato would like to be involved.

“Wait, is this one of those events where white ladies pretend they’re in a sweat lodge?”

No, no!  It’s a gathering for women to reconnect to their authentic selves and celebrate being women.

“Hmm..we don’t all have to menstruate into the same bowl or anything, right?”

Good Lord, Hyde…

“IT’S AN HONEST QUESTION!!”

No, we are definitely NOT going to do that.

“Can we set up a Parlor and have drink specials and play Cards Against Humanity?”

Absolutely.

“Really?”

Yes, really.

“Okay, we’re in!”

So…I went to a meeting last night to discuss in detail how we would fit in. Since I can’t exactly speak to what everyone else is offering, I will tell you about what you will experience in the Hot Tomato corner {oh yes, I totally made sure we were in a corner.”} You’re welcome.

First off, we are an adult women only area even though the rest at large is a girls 12 and up space. Women that enter the tent with an alcoholic beverage will be pointed to our corner to enjoy it inside the tent.

My vision for the inside is inspired by the “Companion” room on Firefly. More gypsy boudoir than primitive sweat lodge. Currently looking for a  tent chandelier ;)

As for the experience, we plan to operate like we do in our Parlor. We will welcome you 43d52367288a58af2f650a857af9fd55warmly and give you what you need.  A break, an escape, a chat, a shot, a shoulder to cry on, a board game partner, a nap, a hug, a belly laugh…whatever. You can pop in and finish your cocktail or stay the whole day! We look forward to seeing many familiar faces and meeting all kinds of new ones.

Bring a friend or come alone and meet them in the tent.

You’re welcome. You’re honored. You’re accepted.

…and you don’t have to chant and shit like that.

PROMISE.

Get your ticket HERE!

You and Me, Sister!

Sometimes it’s tough to justify booking a day to pamper yourself. “Oohh, look at me, I went and got all sexified and had a luxurious day to myself!” *Your friends hate you already. Not really. But sorta ;)

HOWEVER, you totally want that for your friends, right? BUT, it’s kinda weird to be like “Here, you go and do this fabulous thing and look all gorgeous and I’ll be over here super happy for you.” Yeah, your heart was in the right place but…Awkward!

Wouldn’t it be swell if you both got to do something glamorous AND and do a little good in your community? Read on. We have a solution!

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A 300 Hour Day

Do you ever feel like your life is one giant metaphor? The moment I entertained the notion that we might all really be connected and that nothing is really random, it seemed that all the forces in the universe high-fived each other in celebration that I finally “got it.”

My last post “Tomato Roots” came bursting out all at once. I could hardly wait to follow it up with the VINES! Yep, this was it. Felt totally right. It was a next step, a level up, a tying together of everything we all bring to Hot Tomato. I would spend the rest of October creating brilliant marketing and getting women into the studio to help them celebrate their stories and scars, family and history. EVERY very kind of beauty!! The ROOTS, the VINES!

Stay Tuned

arjohuntleigh-blog-5-questions-to-ask-before-implementing-early-mobility-in-your-icu

“Stay Tuned” was how I ended my last post. The next day my sister overdosed on heroin.

Mom held her as she seized in the ER. Dad paced the hall with his hand fixed over his mouth. I made phone calls. Our work, political agenda, domestic duties, holiday preparations, social obligations and personal priorities were checked at the hospital doors until further notice.

The last two weeks have have been more like one very stressful 300 hour day. Being in the ICU with a loved one, for me, is sort of like being an on-call journalist and news reporter, while going to medical school during a family reunion in a minimum security prison. Information in a hospital is a giant game of telephone only using words like dialysis, fasciotomy and rhabdomyolsis. It’s also a terrible time to be introduced to strangers but here they come in droves bearing worried looks and awkward embraces. Your conversations are like recordings that are played again and again. It still feels good be useful. You lead an odd parade past your unconscious family member and together you stare at them, stroke their hand and then stand there and chat in hushed tones as if remarking on a museum display. It’s all very strange.

Back to My Roots

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I was pretty sure I understood what I meant in my last post when I spoke of the power and possibility in my roots but I had just scratched at the proverbial surface.

There’s nothing quite like a large scale family tragedy to check the quality of the ol roots. Holy numerous branches and fibers, Batman! I knew I had some serious, deep family veins but I truly had no idea my network of support was so beautiful, complex and far-reaching. Support, nourish, encourage growth…yes indeed. In every kind of way.

I shared this glimpse of my last two weeks because I recognize that we all have life events that afford us the opportunity to grow. Our crew often is privileged to be part of that growth. Being a witness to change, a hand in healing and a new root system of continued support…

I love that part most.