Wednesday, December 16, 2009

giggle, layers, nose bag

*I don't look forward to a trip to the dentist (even for a mere cleaning) but the lounge/exam chair is so comfy and the view through the austere (no fancy drapery) window of the mountains is lovely. Then the dentist and his assistant begin singing along to the radio tunes and I can hardly keep from giggling. Try to suppress a giggle with your mouth yawning wide and ten fingers (someone else's) inside.

*Marveling again how the mountains and foothills present themselves in layers:scrub bushes dusted with snow,then purple-grey and on to the tallest blanketed in thick white.

*Finally having oatmeal breakfast to a chorus of the dog crunching a mid-morning snack. "Oh, if you're going to eat I'll have a little something, too."

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

biscuits, soup, back

*Warm biscuits made from scratch with...

*Leek-potato-broccoli soup and...

*a returned hero.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

sketching, flakes, fraps

*Kate sketches me without me noticing.

*We cut out snowflakes together--the method returning after years of neglect.

*I make fraps but am so involved in the conversation that I forget to put in the sugar.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

packet, literate, watch

*I receive a thick packet from the National Archives.I had been cautioned that the process of finding the file I wanted, copying it and sending it might take 6 months but it has only been 6 weeks. When I open the envelope I am transported back to 1871 when ancestors filed legal papers to enable them to receive a pension of their son mortally wounded in the War of the Rebellion. I learn they could not read or write, they are destitute. Their son was their sole support. And I learn that Joseph was wounded in both knees at the Battle of Missionary Ridge in late November, 1863, and died in a field hospital in Chatanooga on December 13. To know what happened to him is a mother's relief.

*To be able to read and write, to have been taught as a young girl.

*I leave Zed's watch to be cleaned and repaired. "I will always take care of you" I whisper.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

deplane, smoke, chartreuse

gems and impressions from a week in the woods:

*When I deplane vegetal air rushes to envelope me.

*Smoke of autumn follows me as I drive. A mother and children are gathered around red licking flames. Their clothes when they prepare for bed tonight will exude a reminder of their leaf fire and the potatoes Mom popped into the embers as a surprise.

*Chartreuse waxy brainscaped sphere, clean tangy aroma--maclura pomifera.

Friday, November 6, 2009

packing, no, time change

*Packing fly to a big city, drive to a cabin in a big woods.

*laptop, yes
laptop, no
laptop, no
therefore no gems for a while.

*Liking very much the results of the time change.

PS-- I so like the way brussel sprouts grown on their tough
looking, thick stalk. They are sold on stalk at the market so
shoppers angle them in the push basket (bec they are so
long) and I just found a good receipe for them that I'm
going to try when I come back from the cabin in the woods. It
-the receipe-involves forbidden thick bacon.

Friday, October 16, 2009

family, the whole day long, canvas

*In this month of my father's birth and death I have been missing him. To counteract this longing for both of my parents I decided to get super busy with classes, exercise--pulling out my bag of tricks to keep depression at bay. I am taking a genealogy class. Yesterday I called a cousin who I have not seen since 1967. Today a second cousin returned my call. What fun and joy to hear family stories, impressions. I learned that my aunt's real first name was Wilma. And family history will come to me in the mail.

*An entire day of sunshine and warmth.

*Kate brought over my painting of sunflowers. For now I put it in my office and its oils permeate the room.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

safe, cousin, ristra

*Sitting in a barbeque joint. One lady walks by with a holstered gun on her hip and handcuffs tucked into her jeans. Three men walk by with holstered hand guns. All in plainclothes. = I feel safe while enjoying barbeque.

*I talked to a cousin for the first time since 1967. No difficulties between us, just busy lives.

*I finally decide to hang the ristra from the chandeleer.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

side by side, lost in Seattle?, golden beauty

*Sitting side by side figuring out computers.

*Wondering if maybe I got lost in Seattle without my knowing it and then being smacked in the eye by the sun (for the first time in how many days?).

*When I glance up to the shelf my eye is caught by the ikon that I bought in St Julien.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Monday, stack, relaxation techniques

*Dog walked. Coffee brewed. Shot received. Crossword puz complete. "Metropolitan Dairy" read.Latte in hand. and = Monday has begun.

*A stack of books to begin.

*Wowy zowy! Do dogs ever know how to relax!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

a knock, first snow, jacket

*A knock on the red door. I wrap my yarn around the hand. "Can you come over for a minute?"
The wind and cold smack my face but it is a mere 5 steps before I am enveloped by warm air (furnace is on). Then I see---three sunflowers on canvas, their round seed centers a deep, rich brown-black. A partial leaf peeks out among the yellow petals. K has painted a canvas for me. How can I wait until it is dry so that I can hang it? (I know which wall already.)

*A first snow. Is it too early? The most common question from the people--adults and children--that I meet when I walk Khaki:"Does she like the snow?"

*In previous winters I've layered through the cold weather--sweaters, hoodies, scarves. Today I found a warm jacket with mitten pockets in the shop.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

eastward ho, etchings, c fit

*Relief at making a big decision--going easterly to where I have not been for 9 (!!) years. Going in an iffy weather month. Deep breath. "Enter"

*In a semi-circle where everyone is much older than I. The courage and stories that are etched onto their faces.

*Soothing someone who is on the verge of a "conniption fit"--he slowly begins to come back to what is really important in the day.

Friday, October 2, 2009

beginnings, mask, wine

*I take K out in semi-darkness for her first potty of the day and giggle at the funny sartoritaltude of the other dog owners in this early time. Then I look down at what I am wearing. Fluffy pink socks shoved incompletely into too-small sandals. R's huge (pockets full) jeans held up by green suspenders (all my trousers are wet in the washer). A torn sleeved hoodie covering my pj top. I shudder to think what my hair looks like. Thank goodness for semi-dark. We walk in a different direction than usual, between the buildings, which presents a perfect open-ness to see the sun just beginning its crawl over the horizon and across the sky.

*A green facial mask which tightens my skin.

*Supplies purchased, the wine making begins tomorrow.

*Mumps. Arms around my driving father's neck. Singing at the top of my lungs. From Ohio to California. My father was mumpless.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

October for Father, On the ridge, high country

I've decided that October will be a month when I mention one gem about my father per day. I feel particularly close to my father during Octobers because he was born in this month (18) and died in this month (24) (not in the same year of course!).

*One of the first memories I have of my father is him reading to me before bedtime. I would watch his lips form the words of "Goldilocks" especially liking the way they moved when he said "Papa Bear." Listening to him read began my life long enjoyment of books. Awakening at night from bad dreams, I would toddle to his lap as he sat in his easy chair and cuddle back to sleep while he silently read his big, heavy grown-up books.

*We take our coffees up to the ridge. On our left is the reservoir, now slowly shrinking to its wintertime size. Dotted with white caps I marvel at its colors--not just a uniform blue but all the shadings of blue and some green. And so cold, cold, cold it looks. On our right is the town. The aspens and cottonwoods are just beginning to add yellows to the green quilt of trees (thrashed by the wind) and streets. I used to be able to find our house just there by the red tiled roofs but it's not ours anymore. Ahead of us is smoke and we follow roads searching for its origins until I realized it may not be near a road (not many roads here). The smoke trails for miles in the fierce winds.

*I wake to snow in the high country.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

snuggle, illumination, canal

*Snuggling-in-the-morning weather. YES!!!

*The people across the street leave their shades open all the time. In the dark their building is in shadows with their 2 windows illuminated. It is like viewing a play...A human walks across through the bright lights (wearing whatever) mouth moving in speech and walks back on another path. Sometimes a man sits at a table with his back to us, eating while reading a book. An eerie insight into lives. (And fascinating to see how they decorated their apt.)

*I wake from a dream that begins in Paris and ends in Venice. R is with me but we loose one another in the crowd and my cellphone won't reach him. Suddenly I am in a gondola with Michelle Williams (whose picture I just saw at the bookstore) and her boyfriend, a polo player who models for Ralph Lauren. The gondola begins to sink influencing Michelle to leap out onto the plaza by St Mark's. I wake knee deep in canal with my purse flooded with water thinking, "I hope I do not get an eye infection like Katherine Hepburn." In real life the wind is tearing up the trees and a cold front is coming.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

K, swam, mull

*K comes over (with shiny purple-black toenails) when the men are out. We touch base--she had another job interview, I went to the computer store. The wine idea comes around again--the name, the source, just how do we do this? And we are off onto plans of concoctions together. More later....

*We swam yesterday. Will it be the last time outdoors this year? The water was warm but coming out was icy.

*I allowed myself to fidget from task to task today, all the while worrying that I would not accomplish anything using this agenda. But I did--the bills got paid, more (cheap) silverware got purchased to replace that which we continue to break, decisions were made. Time was there to mull on several yucky things I've been avoiding.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

no snow, sweaters, shadows, color

*Waking up to see that the weather forecaster is wrong--no snow.

*Pulling sweaters that I have not seen since May out of boxes and remembering when and where I knitted them. And remembering that they exist.

*Lying in bed in the morning watching the shadows created by the vertical blinds slowly disappear.

*K does not laugh at my horrid hair color but instead reassures me that it will fade.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009


*Icy rain falling in a bowl created by mountains. A fitting place and weather for a Scottish fest. We walk through air dense with the aromas of food vendors--haggis, pasties, tea, whiskey, turkey legs, kettle corn. Ah! Refuge in an enormous white tent where I find a ring Heart tearing music created by men in swirling kilts. Leaping young ladies with hair in buns. Throwing of heavy metal balls. Hugh hairy dogs. Sheep gently guided around a pen by a dog in control. Happy people.

*My fingers are numb when we finally climb into the car.

*And the next day we visit a blue domed round church inside of which are men in long black robes with long beards. Chanting, incense, Greek hymnals. Aromas await us outside:lamb, spices, ouzo. Little girls heel and toe with arms in the air. The sun shines.


Yipes! I've missed a few days. Pardon. Later today....

Friday, September 4, 2009

pie, pink, wiggles

*Shepard's Pie with taties. We eat at a table facing the window so we can watch people passing by and also see a rather long truck back up onto the street.

*A completed pink sweater.

*Windex wiggles a ring off.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

end of day

Scene at the end of the day:

*fluffy tan dog sprawled at my feet,

*feet on wooden crate,

*knitting in hands,

*catching up with

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

click, moon, leaves

*The crisp click (though "politically incorrect" ) of a cigarette lighter.

*The moon as orange as a pumpkin, due to the fires.

*Cold nights hasten me to carry in the plants from the balcony. I distribute them around the apartment, even placing some on the book ledge by the window in the bedroom. First sight this morning, lovely. Sunlight filtering through the green leaves.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

professions, nap, overcast

*I remember again the professionalism of the ambulance team and the ER staff and am in awe of this bit of our medical community that I experienced yesterday.

*A nap..a nap..a nap.

*An overcast day in which to recuperate and be mellow and watch movies.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Strange day

A strange day. There really were gems in it:

*Digereedoo, "Norwegian Wood" played on piano and bass, accordian, drums.All their musics follow us down the shaded outdoor mall.

*Flower planters overflowing--I want to take pictures of them all.

*The ballet of paramedics as they try to figure out what is wrong with R.

*Passing the time, long since out of yarn, in the ER by thinking about military time.

*He enumerates topics by pointing to the oxygen monitor on his finger.

*Home together.

Friday, August 28, 2009

detour, red, Hawaii

How could I have skipped three days of gems? Well, here's for today.....

*Road repairs force me to detour through alleyways (this city still has them) and I pass by backyard gardens and towering hollyhocks.

*Finally deciding on a car--red.

*The salesperson asks, for the purchase forms, my birthdate.
"I was born on that date!"--he says.
"Where were you born?"--says I.
"Hawaii."--he replies.
"!!!So was I!"--a fleeting bond.

Monday, August 24, 2009

weather, newspaper, food

*A weatherman refers to a hurricane as "a hunk of moisture".

*The Metropolitan Diary part of the Monday New York Times.

*A nutritionist who patiently walks me through carbs and protein and fats.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

flops, cylinders, the plains...

*The flop of flip-flops (or is it the flip?).

*Highly polished silver metal cylinders stacked horizontally lengthwise sparkling in the sun.

*We drive out onto the plains:
--a farmer on a tractor giving his wheat field a butch haircut
--derelict houses that I want to rescue, live in and restore
--stinky feedlots of sheep
--long sprinklers with hanging down showers-the sprinklers travel in circles so the
irrigated fields are circular. Have you seen them from the air?
--fields of sugarbeets
--racing a parallel train
--the yellow of stately sunflowers goes on and on in fields
--golden cubes of hay
--heat shimmering from a silver quonset hut (I am particularly fond of quonset huts)
--in a field of sugar beets last year's seeds have sprouted so that there are taller corn
plants in among the short dark green leaves of sugar beets

A marvelous day. My senses are satiated.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

G Quest, ride, tech

*"Well, screw that! What is this thing? I mean it serves no purpose for there to be a bunch of chompy, crushy things in the middle of a hallway! We shouldn't have to do this! It makes no logical sense! Why is it here? ...Well, forget it. I am not doing it. This episode was badly written!...Whoever wrote this episode should die!"

*We go for a ride into the country after supper to cool off. It is a mixed blessing--the dog's breath from the back seat ("like the inside of a garbage truck") and R's minty, anise, herbal chewing tobacco substitute wafting from his mouth beside me.

*Modern medical tech--I put my foot in a pedicure soaking looking tub and 2 minutes later know what my bone density is.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

over the fence,long sleeves, more plants than I remember

*Sunflowers poke their heads over a worn fence like Buddha peering over his father's fence at the real world.

*The clean up lady has decided that the season is beginning to change--she was wearing a long sleeved shirt instead of her usual sleeveless one.

*I am beginning to move the plants inside for the cold weather (I won't say winter) and where in the heck did I get so many? Oh well, they will all sort themselves out.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

quacking, CD,less than I look

*A quacking noise came from below our balcony and when I stepped out to investigate a boy in our building had found the squeaky toy dinosaur on a bike in the rack too tempting. I called "Hi!" down to him to ask about his first day of school. He is a rather small boy going to Middle School for the first time, riding his bike two miles. He was chipper.

*We have to go on a car trip--"Canterbury Tales" on CD is 25 hours long and we've just begun it.

*A nutrition counselor who is surprised at my weight--she thinks I weigh less.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

eye color, relief, by the pool

*The lady who talks to me about exercise has eyes the color of my grand-daughter who I have not seen for a year.

*Relief to learn that I do not need to do certain strenuous exercises every day.

*A chaise lounge sit by the pool (can't go in because of a rice steam burn on my arm)catching up on the papers, cross words. The wind is blowing just enough for coolness but not enough to disturb the papers.

Monday, August 17, 2009

aroma, cafe, library

*I pickle cucumbers and an allspice-cloves-bayleaf-vinegary aroma permeates the apt.

*The cafe of the market is full of shiny faced children in new clothes brought in for breakfast by their moms and grammas on the first day of school. We all sit on creaky wire chairs spotlighted by sunshine which shimmers in through the hugh garage door type open windows. The sprightly music adds to the atmosphere of anticipation for the new school year with new school supplies. Sitting around two tables pushed together in the corner is a group of elderly women enjoying the yearly ritual.

*The university classes have not begun, however, and the library is deserted. My shoes squeak over the tile in the atrium as I walk towards the elevator (let's save the knees today). Up three stories I find a cushioned chair, take in the view westward and settle in to read.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

clouds, fish, trumpet

*Purple clouds of sage.

*I can ride my bike to the market for the fish because it is so cool today.

*Creamy yellow trumpet vine spill over a weather beaten wooden fence.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Bows and Arrows

On Children

Your children are not your children.
They are the sons and daughters of Life's longing for itself.
They come through you but not from you,
And though they are with you yet they belong not to you.

You may give them your love but not your thoughts,
For they have their own thoughts.
You may house their bodies but not their souls,
For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow,
which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.
You may strive to be like them,
but seek not to make them like you.
For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.

You are the bows from which your children
as living arrows are sent forth.
The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite,
and He bends you with His might
that His arrows may go swift and far.
Let our bending in the archer's hand be for gladness;
For even as He loves the arrow that flies,
so He loves also the bow that is stable.

Kahlil Gibran

Friday, August 14, 2009

truck, sleep, dress

*I see a pick up truck on the railroad tracks and think "What the?" then see the tiny metal wheels on which it rides the rails.

*Tiptoeing out while the dog sleeps, wondering if she will wake while we are gone and returning to find her in the exact position in which we left her.

*I wear an embroidered Mexican dress to lunch with a black shawl and feel very festive for our last lunch together.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

doing something, chips, plates

*Doing something that makes someone really happy.

*We three go to the store with three different appetites and habits and we come out with food I've never heard of and the chips!! "Cilantro, tomato, jalapeno & garlic pico de gallo" "cilantro and lime" "three pepper blue corn" We never even ever have chips, hardly.

*Yellow paper plates on a large dark oak table.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

words, dog walk, lost

*While sitting around the table eating food untame in the mouth we begin to pronounce words that feel good in our mouths:ghurka (or is it because it reminds me of pickles?), parapluie, trubka, trottoir--on and on until we fizzle out into laughter.

*K walks the dog with me (black plastic bag over my hand in preparation) and we catch up on what we've been doing which for me is the Stupa, the tea factory, sushi and for her is waiting for a reply from a grant so she can enroll in school. I am so exhausted (happily, very happily) from our visitor that I am totally zonked and begin two stories about animals who meet bazaar deaths. I stop in the middle of both of them (when I realize how rather depressing they are) and laugh. Passing the pink rose bush which is still fragrantly in bloom I stop to exclaim how great that (the blooming) is. Feeling redeemed we continue on.

*I can't find the labeller in all the wonderful visitor confusion but I will never lose the dog because she follows me around as I go from room to room.

Monday, August 10, 2009

mint, teas, fizzy

*She raises the door of the mint storage room. We walk in. I am overpowered. My sinuses clear. My breath comes more easily. I taste the aroma of mint for hours. I want to return.

*Finding great variety of teas in the teashop that are not available anywhere else.

*Fizzy water as an alternative to still water.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

warm, recognition, carrots

*Six children come to swim at the pool--the oldest mother henning them along. The first one jumps in exclaiming in relief--"It's warm!!!"

*The Greek waiter recognizes us.

*Hair the color of new carrots on a little girl in the pool.

Friday, August 7, 2009

garage, puzzle, whistle

*When I open the garage door to get my bike I am enveloped by garage smells--dripped oil, leather, dried paper books--which escape.

*Sharing a crossword puzzle with my son.

*After we watch Wallace and Grommit I whistle the title song the rest of the day.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

influenced, fans, cloths

*I've come across an interesting thing--with the help of two margaritas. Influenced by the m's I sat down in front of the computer to chill out and realized that I have bookmarked strange blogs. What was I thinking when I dog earred a blog about how to choose the length of my necklace? (Besides wondering when I actually wear a necklace.) Evidentially, the proper size of necklace to wear depends upon the size of the wearer's breasts---uh.

*Window fans=gems

*Ditto ice cold wash cloths worn on the top of the head.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

water, water, maps

*We go up to the river--icy cold, slick rocks, whitewater--and sit in silence soaking it in. Khaki follows me into the water and delicately laps. I sit on a rock and entice her into the deeper water. My feet lose feeling--can I walk back to shore?

*Coming back home we are all numb and sleepy. They sidle off to naps and I am left in the cool room drinking glass after glass of water like someone who has just crossed a desert.

*While swimming I glance over to the side of pool and see that he is studying a map.I am overwhelmed that this offspring is most like me.

Monday, August 3, 2009

movie, rest, replace

*Going to a movie that I've seen with someone who has not seen it--the happy feeling I get when he laughs at the parts that I laughed at when I first saw it.

*A day off from exercising.

*No longer home owners, we report a broken toilet seat and while we are at the movie someone comes to replace it. No worries, no swearing, no trip to the hardware store.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

shower, nap, cooking

*We dash through the front door:
"I need a shower."
"You guys go ahead--I'm not so chloritized."

*A long gentle nap knowing all my chicks are safe in the same state.

*He prepares dinner for us!

Saturday, August 1, 2009

waiting, desk, stamp

*The anticipatory time before a visitor comes.

*Sitting at an old school desk and wondering what was learned on it.

*A new address stamp--clear and bold.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

shadow, errands, olives

*I move a lamp to the bedside and when we go to bed it creates a shadow on the ceiling. We alternate saying what the shadow looks like:a narrow broom, a cricket bat, a diving board...until one of us misses a turn and a loud snore escapes.

*He says he likes driving around with me.

*The olive bar at the store. And they supply toothpicks for samples.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

petunias, stickiness, aroma

*Purple velvet petunias dashed about by the wind.

*Mysterious stickiness completely scrubbed off the floor.

*Clothes drying on wooden racks bring a soapy, clean aroma to the room.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

light, ginger, wrinkles

*Goggles strapped to my head, I submerge into a muted world of dancing light through a prism of water. A shadow glides through the dancing light--me.

*Sushi with one sushi-loving friend and an skeptic. By the end of the meal, the skeptic has found sushi that he likes. And neither of them want their ginger--yum!

*Ironing out the wrinkles in a cambray shirt.

Monday, July 27, 2009

bundle, lines and notes, asparagus

*Rumaging through the glove box I come across a short bundle of desert sage wrapped up with red string and remember the trip to Santa Fe.

*Something is to be dug up on the corner and the street, the sidewalk, even the grass has cryptic colorful notations and lines.

*Why is asparagus so cheap now? I thought it was a spring veg--not complaining. Just marveling at the sudden, inexpensive appearance of my favorite veg.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

tubing, greeters, square

*While walking the dog I come upon 3 exuberant girls giggling and dashing about carrying deflated inner tubes. "Where are you tubing?"--I ask. "The river, of course." And they pile into a small car and buzz away.

*Early morning bike ride:"Morning!""Morning!" As I pass joggers.

*When I open my eyes in the mornings I can see through the breezeway of the opposite building to a square of blue sky.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

rain, rosemary mint, maps

*As I walk the dog it begins to rain--tap,tap--onto my straw hat and the pavement gets spots.

*Rosemary mint shampoo--it tingles my skin.

*I like books that inspire to dash to the atlas or Google maps to find out where the story is taking place.

Friday, July 24, 2009

parking, wet, canned food

*When we pull up to the parking space I say, "Oh, this is my favorite space!" and she says,"Yes, I know that and everytime it's empty I park over there and save this one for you."

*When the light begins to filter into the room I am vaguely aware that he gets out of bed to take the dog out to the grass. I hear the squeaky door open, the leash jingle. Then quiet. And a thump against the bed. I drop my hand down and know that it is drizzling out because her fur is damp.

*The dog has not been eating much so I've begun putting a tablespoon of canned food into her bowl with the dry to entice her. Canned dog food is pretty gross but this morning (in an attempt to make light out of a disgusting necessity) I sleepily remark how it smells like Spam (a comfort food of childhood). From beside the table comes, "Yeah, yeah. Let's not talk about it."

Thursday, July 23, 2009

brook, boxty, cool pool

*Walking beside a busy brook with a friend.

*A boxty with mash.

*Coming home to a cool water pool and trading stories of the day.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

swim, untouched, mattress

*I swim everyday in the sunshine, something I have not done since 1960.

*Anticipating a girls' day out to a city untouched by time.

*Making the spare bed and knowing that the next person who sleeps in it will be my son. But also knowing that he has a surprise because I bought his favorite kind of mattress.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

trolley, rainy day, hail

*I like to peek into the child trolley pulled behind bicycles that I encounter on the bike path--sometimes the child is snoozing, sometimes the child is looking terribly bored. Today in the rain the "child" was a golf bag full of clubs.

*The sky and sun is generally so intense here that it is a treat to have a rainy day and curl up in a chair to watch Coraline.

*Just as I begin to drift off to sleep I faintly hear rain which gradually crescendos into hail--I dash to the balcony sans culottes to move the lavender out of harm's way.

Monday, July 20, 2009

lily,clouds, movie

*A weather beaten dog eared faded fence through which a lone golden day lily pokes.

*Seeing dark clouds forming in the west--can we finish our swim before the rain comes?

*Sitting through a complete movie without interruptions.

Friday, July 17, 2009

eludes, web, counting

*Sleep eludes me (shower-check,teeth-check,dog out-check,dog in-check,fan in window-check). I move to the balcony and watch the night until keeping my eyes open is impossible.

*When I spritz the plants a tiny, delicate spider's web appears.

*My WIP brings me back to my first grade counting:one, two, one, one, one. Back to a more simple life.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

hairs, Holmesian, beginning

*Delicate blond-white hairs on a tanned forearm.

*Observing the surrounding tenants and discerning in a Holmesian way.

*Beginning the first book in a series and knowing that hours of satisfying reading stretch before me.

Monday, July 13, 2009

lillies, signs, sage

*Little Stevie from below tries to rouse my anger so I take the dog for a walk and around the corner...the daylillies are blooming my favorite yellow. Something yellow and special is always around the corner if I just walk towards it.

*How thoughtful for the city to announce by way of huge sign that in a week this street will be totally closed due to stimulus spending. I can plan to my route without any tedious, hot delays.

*The Russian sage is blooming. Woe to anyone who tries to shape and trim it! As with forsythia, Russian sage is most beautiful when left to its own sprawl. K runs through bushes of it and the musky aroma clings to her the rest of the day. When I touch the chair after the walk I leave a sage stickiness that is still there the next day.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

photos, spritz, trellis

*I bring out some family photos and the apartment begins to feel comfortable and homey.

*The wind pushes some of the spritzed water back onto my face unexpectantly and the heat on my skin dissipates.

*The morning glories are charging right up the yarn trellis we tied together and soon we will have to extend it.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Friday, July 10, 2009

motion, yellow, pomegranate

*I stand on the Path and all around me is motion: the aspens, red flags, blue flags, darting insects.

*Yellow deer, yellow umbrellas half way up the Stupa.

*K whispers to me, "Come see." The icons from cut marble are worked into the floor: a lotus, flowers on stems. By her feet is a pomegranate of marble. But wait! The pomegranate has been sliced open, exposing red beads. Seeds.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

the Path, silence, observing

*We follow the Path to the Stupa up,up,up. We walk slowly because the Path is quite steep and the altitude is, gasp. But we also want to savor this walk--a son with his fiancee, a mother.

*The silence is deafening interrupted only by the crunch of the gravel path and the wind through the trees.

*We walk around the Stupa with B observing, pointing out the saffron deer, the discreet drain pipes (a lot of snow to drain off) which I call the gargoyles of the temple.I realize that this could be 24 years ago. We used to walk together while I pointed to, showed him things, taught him to notice the world.And now we walk together and see the world.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

river, going down, eavesdropping

*Two seconds after one of us says "I wouldn't want to go down the river when it is that high" five rafts zoom past us. We watch as two of them collide, disentangle, then continue down the river.
*Going down to the city from the mountains.
*Eavesdropping on people in the restaurant to figure out what they do to earn money.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

knobs, icon, drift

*Cara talks of her childhood home and what it meant to her. When her father finally moved out of it he replaced all the very old doorknobs with reproductions and gave her the old knobs.

*Submerged in a sea of "he was an icon" I am content that "icon" means something completely, totally different (and more sane)to me.

*Listening to Mma Ramotswe as I drift off to sleep.

Monday, July 6, 2009

reflection, suitcase, face

*The houses on the foothills blend into the vegetation so that I cannot see them during the day--but the early morning sun reflected in their windows sparkles so I can tell there are houses there.

*I have one suitcase of my mother's set and when I look at it I remember all the happy family trips we took together.

*We've devised a barricade across the bathroom doorway to keep the dog in during the night. We had to add a quilt to muffle her scratching on the barricade. Now when I get up in the morning her sweet face is patiently poking up over it.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

bat, water,glories

*We find a level place on the rocks just off the bike path in the cool shade under the bridge and set up our chairs with the dog attached to a leg. I sink into Dreaming in Hindi by Katherine Rich and get submerged in India. The dog does not settle to nap but instead watches the tubers as they rush by on the high, frigid water. Birds swoop above us--in and out of the mud packed homes they have created under the bridge. Plop! A foot to the right of my chair a winged animal drops--a bird, no, a bat. Not fully in love with bats, I shudder. Then because it does not thrash about or fly into my hair I remain totally still and really look at it. I can see the individual hairs on its body and notice that it is not all black as I thought bats are but instead its back is a rosy pink.

*I grew up in the water of Hawaii but my friend did not get into even a swimming pool until he was in his 20's. Everyday he challenges his comfort zone and gets into the pool to water walk with me. To mask the terror (for him) I get him to do a new "trick" in the water. Yesterday he held onto my hands and took his feet up off the pool floor.

*After lunch Kaitlin walks out on my balcony and is delighted by the way I have landscaped (balconyscaped) it with plants. As she turns to enter back into the apt her eyes find the morning glories.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

balloon, post, it comes back

*Just as I am opening the blinds a fierce dragon breath exhalation sound startles me. A red hot air balloon glides by close enough to reach out and touch.

*Neon bright post it notes against a white dry erase board.

*How lovely and satisfying to have guided and taught a child! And now that they are all brung up they take the time and have the patience to teach me things.

Friday, July 3, 2009

deadhead, beginnings, patterns

*In the fading light, I groom the balcony plants. New to the apartment, I did not know where the sun would be during the summer at various times of the day but since everything is in pots or planters I can move them around to accomodate their water and light needs. When I am done they almost perceptively vibrate with joy that the dead flowers and leaves have been taken off. "Whew, now I am so pretty and what a lot of dead weight has been removed!" Like the dog who wriggles with pleasure after I brush her.

*Sitting on the newly tidied balcony after I have taken the dog out in the early morning and listening to the neighbors come awake, seeing them freshly showered with coffee cup in hand getting into their cars or onto their bicycles beginning their days.

*Weather patterns roll so quickly through here. The day begins with a glaring, persistant sun and brilliant totally blue sky. At 2p hail and heavy rain is falling.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

swim, sleep, food

*We swim in the pool for the second time of the day in almost dark time. A father comes to the pool with his four young daughters who chatter away so that R and I play the "What language are they speaking game." The speech is so cute and chirpy that we are not sure until the father says a word and then we know--Arabic.

*Not being able to sleep, I go out on the balcony and breath in the early morning cool air.

*Our dog is very old but still frolics like a puppy when I give her food.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

bend, angerless, book

*As I round a bend I come upon a group of young boys with bikes. The adult leader is shooting an arc of water from his water bottle into the mouth of each boy. Laughter and chortles abound.

*Making a decision about how to handle something for which I feel anger and then experiencing the absence of anger.

*I buy a book that I used to read to my children at bedtime for a friend who has expressed interest in the subject.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

early rising, plants, swim

*Because of the heat which presses down by noon, getting up at 5a is marvelous--I get so much done before my glasses begin to slide down the sweat on my nose.

*Discovering which plants do well on the new balcony and thinking of what will be planted in the next season.

*Swimming in the pool before the heat of the day becomes too intense--gliding through the watery medium.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

seed, sign, seed

*Bereft of a garden to work in, I've planted the balcony and now I have my eyes on some open space nearby. I have hatched a plan to plant it. Twice a day I will walk through the open space and toss seeds. Updates to come.

*Sign, sign, sign. Over. Completed. Downsized. (1700 sq ft --->1000 sq ft)

*The downstairs neighbors don't like the bird seed which is kicked onto their deck with the resulting mice. We move the feeder. Crisis diverted.

Monday, May 4, 2009

sponge, tiptoe, it's back

*Walking in the early morning the turf is so saturated by the constant rain that it feels like a very wet sponge beneath my feet--quite unusual here.

*I have decided to walk instead of riding my bike and I am so relieved because worms cover the pavement and there would have been no way not to squash them with my bike but I can tiptoe around them with my feet.

*I keep being surprised by the gradual unfolding of spring and then wonder what did I expect? Did I think it would not come?

Friday, May 1, 2009

ride, wreck, neighbors

*Riding my bike early, through the mist to get to the cafe just as it opens. Droplets on my glasses. The air sucked into my lungs laboriously because it is so full of water. Then the welcoming glow of light coming from the cafe's windows. And warmth inside.

*Sitting down for breakfast, my hair is a wreck from the bicycle helmet. I am a pool of rumpletude amid perfectly (at this hour!!) coiffed and tidily dressed women.

*I hear car doors shut and know that our new neighbors have come to move in.

Thursday, April 30, 2009


*My books are in order in wooden boxes which are lined up along the wall. Books that have been packed away in boxes for a year because..

*we have finally sold the house, moved to an apt.

*I thought birds would not come to the new birdfeeder on the balcony but instead I work hard at keeping the feeder full of seed.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

tiny one, relief, Ramotswe

*I've just met the new nearest neighbors--and I am moving tomorrow. I give them gardening tools--they are just beginning to garden. S tries to give me something in return as I try to explain my philosophy of passing things along. Then Maia smiles and I see her healthiness,smooth skin, bright eyes, and two tiny pearl new teeth--a payment for everything.

*I finally break down and spray mucous liquifier into my nose and can breathe properly for the first time in weeks.

*Mme Ramotswe.

Monday, April 27, 2009

pins, Monday, bag

*I found the push pins under the kitchen sink where I put them so that I would remember where I put them (and then promptly forgot where I put them). I pin my maps to the wall and they are in plain sight for the first time since a year ago when the first realtor told me they must come down if we ever hope to sell the house.Ah..Paris.Ah..French kings.

*Monday morning. Snow again. Joints ache (pig flu or osteoarthy?). Dog has first accident (?) ever in new apt (in the bathroom where we keep her at night so it's not so bad).Really not an accident bec I got up early and tried to get some work done before hauling her down the cold steps and did not hear her scratch the plastic bucket.As I shop for zinc the realtor calls to tell me the closing is Friday at 10a. Monday morning is redeemed.

*Not in the habit of organizing shopping bags in our new apt, I had none when I pulled into the carpark but found a small handled bag from a lovely gifty store (Bliss) tucked away in the back seat. 10 cent refund (not for the "schools", thank you. Who knows what they teach these days.).

Sunday, January 25, 2009

snow, Mozart,yarn

*Writing at my desk early, I realize that light is filtering through the pink sheet I have pushpinned across the window. When I remove the sheet I see snow floating down diagonally from the sky. "How silently the wondrous gift is given."

*Mozart while writing.

*My yarn order has come in. Anticipation waiting through the weekend for the store to open.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

quietly, old, blogging

*I get satisfaction from quietly doing things, with no fanfare. However, when a grown up son notices what I have done a lovely calmness and gratitude envelopes me.

*I worried about getting old with no one to know of my decrepitude. A son reassures me that he will always be there for me.

*Accepting that someone wants to begin a "rant" blog but that forum is not me, not what I want.

Monday, January 19, 2009

kiss, wind, chickens

*A man and a woman on bikes pause at a stop sign ("Wow! They are stopping for the sign" I muse.)They precariously lean towards one another and kiss. Then the woman rides off forward while the man turns left.

*A black bag caught in a treetop dances in the wind.

*On the walk to the yarn in the carriage house I pass 6 healthy chickens in a pen, their feathers glossy in the sunshine.