01 December 2008
27 November 2008
I am grateful for the friends that picked me up out of the hole of despair I had fallen into during my divorce in 2002. They not only held me up, propped me up, cheered me up and boosted me up, they also encouraged me to save my money for a trip to Italy. Then, after many months of saving and planning, we went the first week of March 2003 (the same week the war in Iraq started).
This photo was taken in a small town on the Amalfi Coast, I could guess which, but I have no real recollection. I it is interesting to me as it is a photo of a father and daughter eating their lunch on the front steps of a building used as a Post Office. It reminds me of my observations that Italy, while a thriving country is still in many ways not quite in the 21st century. It is quieter and more easy-going than America, at least on the surface.
Back to us....
We are so very fortunate.
We have reliable electricity, food, water, and security on a level unknown in other parts of the world.
And, in many ways we are spoiled.
We take these things for granted.
These days we are starting to feel a bit of a pinch.
We are worried about where our 401k's are going.
It seems that we forget how very lucky we are.
I believe that everything will be alright.
God's in charge.
11 November 2008
How absolutely incredible that they put on this display just before their long winter nap.
Brilliant is what they ought to call this time of year.
This tree is so much more, in the flesh, so to speak.
So much more yellow, orange and aflame.
Went on a little photo safari with my pop this morning and this was what he wanted to show me.
05 November 2008
15 October 2008
15 September 2008
03 September 2008
Lavender is the smell of serenity.......
I am addicted to the waves of heady sweetness that emanate from my wardrobe drawers as I open them to put away clean laundry. I find myself unable to resist the cheap hit of lavender found at the "dollar store" in the soap aisle. I scarf up as many of the small boxes of Yardley lavender soap as a basket will accommodate, run home and hide them all in various secret places so that the whole house will have a faint aroma.....
When we traveled to rural Canada last year we visited a lavender farm.
The tour guide remarked that when the harvest came in, everyone on the job would become very "laded back" from working in a constant state of serenity.
That's where I want to work,
next time around.....
22 August 2008
Someone sent this to me this morning, and I reflected how true it is....
A group of university graduates, well established in their careers, were talking at a reunion and decided to go visit one of their honored professors, now retired. During their visit, the conversation turned to complaints about stress in their work and lives.
Offering his guests hot chocolate, the professor went into the kitchen and returned with a large pot of hot chocolate and an assortment of porcelain, glass, and crystal cups with some being rather plain looking while others were expensive and exquisite looking. He then asked them to help themselves to the hot chocolate.
When they all had a cup of hot chocolate in hand, the professor said: "Notice that all the nice looking, expensive cups were taken, leaving behind the plain and cheap ones. While it is normal for you to want only the best for yourselves, that is the source of your problems and stress."
"The cup that you're drinking from adds nothing to the quality of the hot chocolate. In most cases it is just more expensive and in some cases even hides what we drink. What all of you really wanted was hot chocolate, not the cup; but you consciously went for the best cups. And then you began eyeing each other's cups. Now consider this:"
"Life is the hot chocolate; your job, money and position in society are the cups. They are just tools to hold and contain life. The cup you have does not define, nor change the quality of life you have."
"Sometimes, by concentrating only on the cup, we fail to enjoy the hot chocolate God has provided us. God makes the hot chocolate, man chooses the cups."
"The happiest people don't have the best of everything. They just make the best of everything that they have." "Live simply. Love generously. Care deeply. Speak kindly. And enjoy the hot chocolate in your life."
21 August 2008
20 August 2008
"OK", I reply. "Well, I might not be here, I have a lunch date", wondering....
"Where should I leave it, then?"
I am confused, still.......my mind has been focused on a zillion other things this morning.....
On the porch should be just fine.....
"We couldn't stay long anyway, so Happy Birthday!"
Oh, I get it now...
So my day unfolds, and I race from event to event, mindlessly, and when I return home, hot and sweaty....there it is, sitting so sweet and pretty at the front door. A gift to tell someone that they are special, a gift to say thank you, a gift to say let's do a fun-date, a gift from three of the sweetest girls on earth......
How lucky am I?
18 August 2008
Between David and I,............we have 4 children.
The youngest is Matt.
He starts college today..........
Chelsea, his girl, came to dinner with him last night.
They brought us gift cards to Starbucks for our birthdays....
They are SO sweet together, we could hardly ignore it.
David and I feel about a hundred years old.........
what fun to spend time with them!
Life is sweet.
15 August 2008
(It rhymes with "Ole")
Today is her birthday,
She is and always will be exactly 1 week younger than me.
We have been friends, roommates, cohorts in crime, dancing partners, partners in grief, counselors, law enforcement officers (in our heads), and sisters in spirit.
I am so proud of her....
She is beautiful inside and out.
As we mature, we realize how important friendship is....
I am blessed.
13 August 2008
11 August 2008
I had terrible dreams last night, involving a lost love.
This is the lost love......
My former studio.
I know it is hard to imagine attaching such emotion to a place.
But, anyone who has found their calling......creative outlet....muse place....will understand immediately.
I don't really think about it often, I try to get on with my life, and live in the here and now.
sometime in dreams there is this moment that I am still there, loving it and hating it at the same time.
Understand able in that the studio was part of my life during a previous marriage, one fraught with high emotions. So very sad......
When 2 artist get together there is always room for jealousy, fear, anger, resentment......
So very very sad.....
I mourn the loss of the studio, it was everything I wanted in a work space.
I mourn the loss of creative interaction.
So very sad.
What I know is,
that every experience enhances my ability to understand others,
if I embrace it.......
that is the hard part.
I must accept that it is an experience that was only fleeting....
Very sad indeed.
08 August 2008
We're gonna have a good time....
My son, mom and dad helped me celebrate my birthday in style.
My favorite comfort food, and
even a birthday cake, made by good ol' mom.
I am the most fortunate 51 year old I know.
I hear they are shooting off fireworks in China too!
(how'd they know?)
I am blessed with wonderful family,
special friends, who have been calling all day,
or delivery persons,
coming by the house with gifts and cards.
Who caould ask for anything else?
I am blessed...
I remember several decades ago,
when my dear ol dad bought me tickets to see the Monkees in concert at the old colisium.
The opening act was Jimi Hendrix, which would have been fab, except I was 10 years old, and had only an appreciation for Davy Jones at the time. (such a shame, really).
But once the Monkees came out on stage, you couldn't hear them as the crowd of girls screamed their heads off the whole concert.
My poor pop,
he is my hero.
07 August 2008
It has a way of zooming past us with, say, the speed of light....
Tomorrow I will be 51.
I am actually quite pleased, as this year has been the happiest of my life. I am very content to be in my fifties. I know who I am and what I am.....
I am not afraid to be me anymore. I am not really afraid of most people either. I like the work I do and I really like the people that I work with...
How Cool is that?
Leos, I have found, love attention, but ironically, also understand the limitations of adoration......
Real love, lasting love, means moderation, and continuity.
I am blessed to have found it all.
05 August 2008
That is a quote from an old Woody Allen movie, "Sleeper".
It was in the theaters when I was in High School,
and was just about as lame as a movie can get.
there was this one scene where he was trying to sneak into the laboratory of the "Man", and donned a lab coat, along with Diane Keaton, and repeatedly said that line....
Well, I guess you had to be there, and
be "mood altered" in some way.
I am scanning my negatives, and long and tedious process.
But I am thrilled to be able to store all the info.
David bought an external HD, and I have 1TB of storage.
That's one heck of a lot of space to fill.
But I have 14 years of professional negs, and 20 additional years of amateur negs to scan,
I may be at it for a while.
My life is good.
04 August 2008
but I thoroughly enjoy cleaning up my closets,
once that is....I have gotten started.
Getting started is a problem....lethargy is a state of mind for me.
David and I spent the entire weekend doing those projects that everyone despises.....
Closet cleaning., painting and organizing.
And, one of the best benefits of all this activity was that I managed to create a small sewing room out of one of the downstairs closets that wasn't being utilized very efficiently. Now it is clean and painted and organized. (this is really not like me!) I even had the opportunity to finish my first project in my little sewing nook (nook-nook), a new shower curtain for the downstairs bath.
We threw away, or I should clarify, gave to Goodwill, tons of things that in previous lives, we have used regularly, but now have been sitting waiting for some activity.
Now if I can motivate myself for the next project, painting my bath. It won't be all that difficult as I am merely touching up a couple of years of smudges, and not changing the color.
Also, I would truly love to get all of my negatives, prints and jpgs transferred onto my new external HD. Anyone who is a photo freak, as myself will relate to the project ahead of me. My son, when told of this effort said "that shouldn't be too hard". Little does he know that most of what is in storage is in negative form, meaning it will have to be scanned, a long tedious process that will give me a few more grey hairs. But it must be done, I don't want all that work to be lost....
So...I will tackle the bath first and then on to the negs...
Life is good.
25 July 2008
23 July 2008
We attended a Baptism and party for a sweet little girl that belongs to friends of ours. Beautiful food, sweet decorations, friends freshly scrubbed and on their best behavior, all of it a pleasure.
These sweet moments are what make our lives interesting......
People do not always act this way.
In fact, if the truth be known, even on the day of the event it's been told that certain attendees decided to make it "all about them".
So much goes into the planning and execution of these events that you would hope that so called adults would let their own personal "needs" take a backseat for the day.
Even Grandmother's can be the instigators of this behavior.
Strange how we start life out so sweet and innocent and over the years we seem to develop all of these strange and awkward behaviors in an effort to be noticed.
None of us are immune to this.....
I guess that is how young people become so rebellious to these so-called adults. They see the hypocrisy, and they can hardly tolerate it. Who can blame them?
I had a grand time...
I was able to take some fabulous photos of the baby, her mom and dad, and the attendees. It was a blast with my new camera body. Loved it!
Life goes on, one event after another, and we learn...
15 July 2008
I love Savannah.....
It is probably the most European of American cities,
even including Charleston, SC.
When you walk the streets of Savannah, one feels as though you are walking on the oldest of avenues..
People are friendly, by n' large, and they tend to greet you with "How you?", How's your mom n' em?".....
This not meant to be rude or nosey,
this is just a greeting, no one wants the trails and tribulations of your family to be told.
Savannah is HOT!!!
I grew up in the south without the benefit of A/C in our house.
I remember when the temperature reached 102 degrees, and I also remember going to a school without A/C. But I don't remember it ever being as HOT as Savannah in July/August......
The only place that I am sure swelters more is Columbia SC....(the desert.....).
So, the best time to visit Savannah is early spring or fall....
And bring a fan!
11 July 2008
I have friends, angels, blessings....
There is a woman, who I learned about thru an email, who has twin girls. One of them has developed an aggressive form of cancer. I try to pray for her and her family thru out the day. Each time I think of her and the amount of information that is being thrown at her every waking hour.......I feel so sad.
She is young, well at least younger than me..
She and her family believe that prayer will sustain them. I do too.
I am so blessed to have people in my life, today that quietly, constantly believe........really believe.......in universal good, in faith, in trust, in karma, in synchronicity, in love, in truth. No particular religion, only in the power of love and faith.....
How blessed am I?
10 July 2008
they are like relatives.
Today I am having lunch with my friend, Cheri.
We have known each other for over 45 years.
We have been best friend for most of those years.
Now we are like sisters.
She is older than me, so she thinks she knows what's best.
I have seen more of this world, so I worry about her.
There is a strong bond.....
that sometimes sustains,
and sometimes strains......
We live about 45 minutes from each other now.
When we were growing up, we lived less than 100 yards from each other.
We saw each other, everyday. Now, we see each other about once a month.
We have traveled very different paths, but parallel in many ways.
We love and respect each other.
But we can be each others harshest critics.......
I worry more about her than I do my own child.
Mainly, because I know he has more common sense.
She lacks perspective on reality.
I am always emotionally exhausted when I have spent the day with Cheri,
and in some ways I am also renewed.
I am always grateful.
08 July 2008
brought up in the same family can be so different. My brother and I were brought up by the same college-educated, married conventional, conservative parents.
And we are so different from each other....
We see the world in a totally different way.
there is the stuff that happened after we left the nest.
I went out to see the world.
And he went out to see the world.....
I chose an airline, and he chose a branch of the military.
I served people with too much money.....
He served people with many freedoms, and no awareness of them....
I had fun,
he didn't ....
I am the better for my experience.
And he would say that he is too.
Still sometimes...I hear a pessimism in his voice that is difficult for an older sister, that worries, to hear...and to tolerate.
I have been told, by people that love me, that I take things a little too seriously.
I think that they are probably right.
However, I am particularly sensitive to my loved one's mental health. I have seen someone sink into the depths of sickness before. It is not pretty.
I love my brother. He loves me.
He has seen things that I hope to never see.
I wonder if love is always enough?
07 July 2008
started off slow, and then all of a sudden, it let loose.....
It came down so hard, it knocked branches and leaves off all of the trees....
Golf ball sized pellets, and the air became much cooler...
The pellets that sat on the hot pavement out front started to steam..... and the steam filled the air with water vapor.
It was a surreal scene.....
I wish that I had the presence of mind to video the whole episode rather than expecting the photos to do the trick.
The noise was deafening.
The whole atmosphere was back to hot, humid normal within minutes.
03 July 2008
as I drove my sporty new Fit to the edge of our neighborhood,
I came across a rather elegant group of bikers (Harleys) with large American flags trailing behind them.....
At first surprised, and then dismayed as I immediately saw the hearse and the SUV carrying the half dozen or so uniformed young men following behind.
Then the cars with their lights on and flashing......
At the very least a hundred of them....
All traffic stopped..
There I sat in silence, as a lump swelled in my throat.
By the time the end of the line of cars passed, I was crying out right.
I have 3 teen age boys.....
It could have been them.
How very sad on this holiday weekend that we celebrate our freedom....
to watch a true patriot pass...
I am so very proud that the men who rode those Harleys were escorting him (or her), as I feel strongly that they know from whence he came..
We are so very blessed, let's try not to forget it.
02 July 2008
01 July 2008
30 June 2008
18 June 2008
I love the way the morning light comes thru
inviting the day into my world.
I love watching the chipmunks scooting back and forth frantically to see who is the faster "chip". Birds swoop in and out periodically too, as there is a feeder on either side of the walkway. The camellia bushes on either side put out the most beautiful blossoms in the early....early spring, really just late winter.
I sit on my deck above this scene each morning, sipping my coffee, thanking God that I have the life I have today. I am so grateful. My life is full of the little pleasures that make each life unique.
The trees that fill the property line behind our house make it nearly impossible to see the 2 house located a hundred yards or so behind us. All morning, I can listen to birds, squirrels, chipmunks and neighborhood pets. They sometime scamper past, but mostly I hear them. It is a nice muffled sound that could actually put me to sleep if I let it, but on the whole it simply reminds me that God is in charge of this neighborhood, and all I have to do is wake up and show up.....
Pretty damn cool, huh?
17 June 2008
in celebration of David's 35th anniversary with the company. I handed my small camera to the fellow across the table from us, and asked him to take our photo......
He is an engineer....
He is smart......
He understands mechanical thingies.......
He can't take a photo.....
Most people can't take a photo....
There are a few really simple things you must do in order to take a decent portrait....
If you ever need a photo taken of yourself, or your family.....
Do yourself a favor, hire a pro.
Believe me it will not be wasted money.
Uncle Bub cannot take a video, portrait, or document your wedding the way a professional can....Promise.
that being said...
I love the photo anyway. I am so proud of David. AND I am so glad that we are married because we are so happy with our life together. I have tried to be happy with others. I forced the issue. I was so unhappy. Thank God for leading me out of the "valley of the shadow of death" (no exaggeration) and helping me to find David.
I am blessed.
16 June 2008
12 June 2008
Seems everyone felt blue.
It was too soon after Anne's funeral to feel any other way.
The silence was deafening.
I left early because I ran out of things to say.
I hope that the next trip will be lighter.
I don't think I could stand another like this one...
What a wonderful sight to see the hundreds of graduates strut across the stage and smile with their whole bodies! Matt is one of the handsomest young men I have ever seen, and his girl friend is beautiful too! David was so proud.
We had family from far and wide to lunch at a great Italian restaurant.
Life is good....
07 June 2008
06 June 2008
It came last Thursday, and I have been fooling around with it ever since.
David researched and decided that this was the camera for me.
I love that!
I have never had someone in my life that loved me enough to do a thing like that....... Of course my parents did. But it is not the same as when you are pretending to be an adult, and are all independent, and self sufficient.
I have had so much fun with it for the last few days and finally got around to downloading to my computer.
We have guests this weekend,
lots of family, and many events to participate in....
That means photo-ops.
02 June 2008
29 May 2008
The end of the school year, the beginning of summer, kids coming home from college.. All of it is enough to put your average person in a constant state of anxiousness.
My days have filled with wonderful sights and smells. Everything seems to have decided to bloom, all at once. It is almost too much. I am not too terribly affected by the pollen, just a little stuffiness. Unfortunately, almost everyone I know is completely "clogged" with the stuff of spring.
These hydrangeas are new to our garden. They are regal in their approach to color. Starting out as a subtle pale green, and emerging as a stunning blue profusion tinged with white. Splendid.
Cedar mulch has transformed the front yard. When wet, it is refreshing, and comforting at the same time. Interesting. I guess it might be a memory thing, since warm wool blankets often smell of cedar when first removed from their summer hiding places.
Today is overcast, and cool. I plan to spend the day with several of my favorite people, and end the day with girlfriends for dinner.
How perfect can it get?
28 May 2008
He hates the collar and bell that those silly girls have placed around his neck..... "Shackles..." he laments. He cannot surprise a bird, a squirrel or even one of our ever present chipmunks....he is PISSED. And..... I don't blame him.
He walks quietly enough, it's just that when he takes a leap, the damn bell betrays him.
He likes our front porch. It is tall, 9 steps, and looks west toward the afternoon sun. It is a warm place to get a cool drink out of the birdbath and take a long usually uninterrupted snooze. It is more or less quiet place, except for weekends.
Weekends bring a constant parade of traffic in our kitchen adjacent to the front porch. The window is low to the floor so that all of the clatter tends to explode onto the porch inhabitants.
Stripey has patience, but finds really loud noises intolerable. He will relax in a regal way and groom himself until all the fur is sweet and manicured. (He is a Leo after all) Then he will attempt to keep his head upright, so as to keep an eye on things. But inevitably he tires of this his eyes struggle to stay open and he finally lays down completely. This is wonderful on a lazy weekday afternoon, before everyone comes home from school and work. But on the weekends, it is Hell. People coming and going, honking horns, slamming doors, yelling to one another and making a nap nearly impossible.
Stripey's roommate, other than the silly girls, is a small white poodle that looks remarkably like a lamb. No one knows what the dogs name is because it never stays still long enough to mention it. This dog loves Stripey and will play contentedly with him for as long as Stripey will allow. This dog is also shackled with a bell. This makes Stripey feel better. Many cats are burdened but to be a dog with a bell is to be labeled "stupid", so Stripey is content.
Stripey is the most affectionate male cat you are ever likely to meet. He will nuzzle right up to your face and lick your neck. He loves humans but especially the ones that own tall porches. There are a few out there, but mine is the best.
23 May 2008
20 May 2008
David and I went to the Farmer's market on Saturday. The flowers stalls were filled to the brim with wonderful arrangements.
It was so difficult to decide which bunch fit the bill for me.
So, this is my final decision.......
I just love the vivid reds, purples, and whites, with bursts of orange-Yellow poppies....
How absolutely luxurious to have fresh flowers on the table when you come down for morning coffee....
How could there be any question as to the existence of a intelligent force in the universe?
Who but an artist could have thought up all of these wondrous colours and designs?
Who wouldn't be inspired by these?