Friday, May 29, 2009

Florida Adventure

I had a wonderful time in Florida. I got to spend time with 2 out of my 3 children and my granddaughter. They are talented and wonderful and I admire them so much. My daughter graduated from college, Florida Atlantic University, with honors. Congratulations!
In addition to the beach, we headed to Miami to see Vizcaya Museum and Gardens. This is a mansion built from 1914 to 1916 by the head of International Harvester, James Deering. He built it to look like a 400 year old Italian estate that had been renovated over generations. So, he created overlapping historical periods with antiques and specialized craftsmen. At the same time, the technology was state of the art, with central heating, refrigeration, butler call system, and a telephone.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

I'm Leaving On A Jet Plane

I'm off tomorrow night to visit my girls in Florida: two daughters, granddaughter and granddaughter on the way (eta Sept 26th). I can't wait to see them. This is the view of the beach very close to where one of them lives, and the other not far away. I believe this is also one of the places where the recent movie Marley & Me was shot.
In the meantime, I my head and heart are full from several provocative posts from you all. Ideas about art, self expression, womanhood, strength of identity and altruism are working away inside me. Unfortunately right now, it's just a confusing mess and nothing worth sharing. I hope to come up with worthwhile writings, or at least responses to your thoughtful challenges.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Flowers and Blue Skies

Maybe it's been worth the wait. At least, the dearth of color and life enables me to first appreciate subtle colors of white, greys and browns. Then, when the flowers burst forth under the newly gifted warmth and light - it can take your breath away.
These are apple and crabapple trees in my yard. The air is now filled with the scent of these blossoms, as well as the lilac. The sky is perfectly blue, 60 - 70 F during the day, 40s at night. Looonnnggg exhale.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

A Little Charmer

The other day I watched this unassuming movie. I had actually received it from Netflix, and as usually happens, I could not recall why I had chosen to place it in my queue or what it was about. So, without knowing whether it was a suspense thriller or comedy, I slipped it into the player, and was charmed. It is very funny and well acted. While the ending is not surprising, it is still well worth watching.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Discovered Signs

I had to travel for work today. I decided to take the back way to see what I could see. I thought this was the most interesting road name I've ever seen. There must be a story! Unfortunately, so far my Internet searches have not given me any clues.
Across the street from Devil Steps Road is an historic marker:
If you click on the picture, it will blow up large enough to easily read the sign. Molly Stark was the wife of a Revolutionary War general, and this house served as a hospital during the war. Molly herself was made famous by her husband's remark before a battle in Vermont, "There are the Redcoats," was his battle cry just prior to the battle that morning, "and they are ours, or this night Molly Stark sleeps a widow."
The American's won that significant battle which is believed to have led to the surrender of the British general Burgoyne in Saratoga, New York two months later. It is believed that General Stark is responsible for New Hampshire's state motto: "Live Free Or Die."

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Does This Look Like the Face of a Thief?

Last night, as I lay cozily in my bed, feeling oh so wonderfully comfortable and sleepy, at JUST that perfect moment when you feel yourself teetering on the tipping point between awake and asleep, with my limbs loose and my pillow perfectly cradling my head - I heard it. Thud. Crinkle. Rattle. Crash.

It was the sound of my dog in the kitchen. Prowling. I heard a dish being pulled from the sink and dropped to the ground. I heard her paws up on the counter and silverware being knocked off. Now all of this did not bother me until I remembered that I had put a loaf of bread on the counter to so that I would remember to take it to work in the morning for lunches.

Just at that time, I heard the crinkle crinkle of plastic and I knew that she had gotten the bread. I jumped out of bed and ran downstair after her. She's a black dog in the dark, so I can't see her, but I can hear the bread wrapper. As I reach the bottom of the stairs and turn to the dark kitchen, I heard the dog door flap - she escaped outside with the bread.

The dog door opens to a fenced in area of the yard that can also be accessed by gates for those who can't fit through the dog door. In the winter, those gates are blocked by ice and snow, so when the dogs, my dog, have a stolen treasure that they don't want us to take from them, they are free and clear once they get out of the dog door. There is nothing we can do.

But now, the snow is gone and the gates are free, so I ran out the door and through the gate in my night clothes and got my loaf of bread.

Gifts to Pass Forward

Thank you!

I understand that this recognition is to be passed on to 15 good looking new blogs. I would like to revisit this in a few days so that I may have some time to consider.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Monday Morning Commute

For fun, I've started to take my camera with me in my car. I decided take a few photos along the way. This time I only snapped a quick two. More another time.
The view this morning on my way in to work.

I took a quick shot at a stop light around the corner from my office. I've always thought the color of this church was interesting, and unusual for this area.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Here it is, the season we've been longing for for more than six months now. It's the outdoor season. It's when we can go outside and relax (vs. shiver with parka, mittens, scarf and hat while we wait for the dogs to do their business so we can get back inside where it's warm for goodness sake).

We have our favorite lawn ornament - our ugly pool. In the past we have planned to install a real pool, the kind that is dug in the ground with excavation equipment like a pond, with polite and upscale flagstone paving its "banks," and charming patio furniture and accessories from Pottery Barn completing the scene. But, we've decided we are going to abandon the land in a few years, and spend out time on a sailboat. So, our old, mouse chewed, ugly-as-sin "Sofpool" went back up in the yard this weekend instead. It's our "sacrifice." But, we actually love the old girl and we and the dogs have enjoyed a lot of fun and games in her. She doesn't have to be pretty or to add joy to our lives.

We hauled the old firepit back out, too. Out from under a tree that fell across it in the ice storm of December that left most of the state without electricity for weeks. John chainsawed the downed tree into manageable parts and hammered metal firepit back into shape. Here it is, a blaze with the branches and debris of the yard again felled from the storm. The fire keeps us warm as the sun sets and the air chills, and the smoke keeps away the black flies that otherwise swarm around our heads.

I wish I could share the sound of the birds in Spring, as I sit in my gazebo in the early weekend mornings, crisp air, warm coffee mug in my hands. We marvel, really, nearly every day it is warm enough to sit outside, that we can. Sit. Still. Listen. Calm. Relax. Feel the air-that-is-warm-enough-to-stay-in. This is the season. The season we can go outdoors.

Something About Sunsets

There is something about sunsets that always makes me melancholy.  Dylan Thomas whispers in my ears.  "Do not go gentle into that goo...