Saturday, July 24, 2010

Limited apparel

There was a thing on TV and then on the Internet about a woman's book about limting one's wardrobe to 6 interchangeable pieces of clothing. Thank god she included a pair of blue jeans as I would never be able to imagine life without them. When I went to Australia to teach for six months, I took one suitcase of clothing and a footlocker of teaching materials and books. I lived out of that suitcase for six months. Only had to buy a heavier jacket and warmer socks (cold there in July) and a couple of T-shirts when it got warmer. But I will have to say I was pretty tired of the clothes when I got home and it was winter all over again.
The Australian faculty dressed a little nicer than we did in the States and I had one cab driver tell me he thought I was a student because I dressed like one. Oh well, I was a great lecturer and fortunately in the art department no one particularly cares what you wear. But I can say that after 6 months in the same clothes I was really tired of them and then having to continue wearing them because I came home to winter again was the pits.
Yes, I learned I can do with a lot less but Not for months...6 weeks easily but not months. And I do tend to hang on to favorites for a very long time. I am wearing a Blue Fish top that is 20 years old and have other Blue Fish pieces in my closet that old or older. I still love them and wear them. And they certainly mix and match...expensive to buy but when you spread the cost over 20 years, it isn't much per wearing. And I do have a basic jersey travel wardrobe that never wrinkles and will roll up in a ball to pack. Great stuff. It is the dress up stuff that I should eliminate from my closet...I never go anywhere that requires dressy stuff.
I've tried taking my beautiful Mother of the groom dress to the resale shop and they said it was out of style. But how does a simple straight blue dress with a beaded neckline ever go out of style? Oh well, it's been donated and now some lucky tall lady is going to have a beautiful blue dress to wear to a wedding.

Monday, July 19, 2010

What to Remember When Waking


In that first
hardly noticed
to which you wake,
coming back
to this life
from the other
more secret,
and frighteningly
where everything
there is a small
into the new day
which closes
the moment
you begin
your plans.

What you can plan
is too small
for you to live.
What you can live
will make plans
for the vitality
hidden in your sleep.

To be human
is to become visible
while carrying
what is hidden
as a gift to others.

To remember
the other world
in this world
is to live in your
true inheritance.
You are not
a troubled guest
on this earth,
you are not
an accident
amidst other accidents
you were invited
from another and greater
than the one
from which
you have just emerged.

Now, looking through
the slanting light
of the morning
window toward
the mountain
of everything
that can be,
what urgency
calls you to your
one love? What shape
waits in the seed
of you to grow
and spread
its branches
against a future sky?
Is it waiting
in the fertile sea?
In the trees
beyond the house?
In the life
you can imagine
for yourself?
In the open
and lovely
white page
on the waiting desk?

~ David Whyte ~

(The House of Belonging)

Thursday, July 15, 2010

This on the BP Oil Spill

This from the Daily OM and it carries me through the helpless feelings:

On the very bright side, never in peace time history has there been such a gallant effort, by so many people, spending so many billions of dollars with no end in sight, to rapidly clean up your environment.

Never before have numerous heads of state and representatives of a corporation as large as many smaller nations, pledged to work together, sharing expertise and resources to get a job done.

Never before have so many prayer and meditation groups suddenly formed, amongst and in between every religion and those belonging to none, to foster healing of your precious planet.

Never before have finger pointers, conspiracy theorists, and blame mongers been so idle and unnecessary in the face of such a tragedy.

Never before have industry titans across every sea chosen to reexamine their own safety procedures, revisit their own environmental safeguards, and expend their own fortunes to voluntarily reflect upon and demand that they do an even better job from this day forward.

And to top it all off, your planet has a loving, brilliant consciousness all her own, and of her countless balancing acts, healing herself is one in which she truly shines.

Of this, and so much more, you can be very, very proud.


The Universe

Monday, July 12, 2010


For years now I have had an ongoing relationship (I no longer call it a battle) with the squirrels that call our yard and those surrounding their home. I have tried several "squirrel proof" bird feeders, this being the latest. At least one of the six or seven that regularly visit attempt to grab what they can from the feeders, not satified with the spread of critter food that I put out on the table for them. This little guy made it into the feeder and was having quite a feast until he spied me. To reach this feeder he had to jump from an electric wire onto the roof of the garage, hang off the gutter and hopefully land on the top of the feeder. Don't tell me these guys are dumb and their acrobatics keep our cats very entertained as they stand on guard at our French doors to the patio.
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Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Here is more of Maggie Black...she really is a beautiful paint and Kate is such a happy camper having her own horse. It has boosted her confidence as a rider. This is our last day in Charlotte...tomorrow we leave for Birmingham...our son left this morning. Maybe we will take the kids to the movies today. Right now they are absorbed in books and Yugios.
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Sunday, July 04, 2010

Meeting Maggie Black

This is Maggie Black whom my granddaughter introduced me to.  She is 14 years old and an awesome mare and Kate is just thrilled to have her very own horse.  I am so happy for her.  She is living out the dream I had when I was her age.  What is it about little girls and horses?  Maggie trots, cantors and jumps which to Kate's delight and accomplished horsemanship.  So many afternoons are spent at the barn now that school is out.  How they plan to move Maggie to Birmingham I'm not sure but they have already found a nice barn for her.  Kate's cousin, Olivia, is visiting and she is a wonderful teacher for Kate and they share their love of horses.   The weather here has been the 50's at night.  Tonight we will go out on the boat to watch fireworks over the water.  Truly an American celebration complete with family, burgers, hot dogs and beer.

Friday, July 02, 2010

On the road with the old guy

We're old but not so old to tackle a long road trip.  I do the driving as DH doesn't see or hear very well and he can't remember shit. He's in the early stages of Alzheimer's and sometimes he seems altogether and right on but then there are times when he gets a little off the wall.  The plan was to go first to Birmingham, spend a night or two with our son and get up early and head to Charlotte.  And so far that part has worked, sorta. And I sometimes forget that he doesn't remember anything short term.  No remarks about that, okay?
So when I tell him something and expect him to follow through and nothing happens, I get frustrated.  When I get frustrated, he gets frustrated so picture hours in the car together.

I was super busy the weekend before our departure...two days of workshop, a critique group, church, arranging to be gone stuff, etc.  Saturday was filled with workshop and the movers at our friends, the Pannetts.  Ken volunteered to take Bob out of the house and off to lunch while the movers were going through the house.  Bob has Parkinson's and just isn't very mobile at this point. 
I made sure we were both got up on medications and clean clothes.  DH's clothes were selected...shirts hanging in the closet, pants, socks, underwear shoes piled on the floor next to his suitcase, his usual habit preparing for a trip.  My suitcase was filling up.  We were leaving about 7 in the morning and facing a 10 hour drive.  Ken announced the night before he was ready and loaded his suitcase in the car.  I waited until the next morning.  We loaded up suitcases, computers, and some iced down drinks.  Daughter had agreed to feed the cats and off we went.

The drive was totally uneventful.  I 10 to 59 and headed north. Clouds were rolling in the sky as we rolled along the countryside through lush green forest.  But about 30 miles south of Birmingham it started raining...I mean, pouring.  That is when I came to realize that my passenger was not going to function well as a navigator.  Duh!  So white-knuckled I made it and managed to call my son whom we managed to find in the traffic and followed him to his apartment.  I was exhausted.  Before dark Chris took us on a tour to some of the houses they had been looking at...gorgeous neighborhoods in Birmingham and then to dinner at The Fish Market...fried green tomatoes...yummm. We hadn't stopped for lunch and two glasses of wine later I was getting a bit tipsy.  But the clencher of the evening was when DH said he couldn't find his clothes.  A search of his suitcase and the car revealed no pants, no shirts.  What in the hell did he do with them between the time they were on the floor to go in his suitcase and when we got in the car?  Another big realization for me that the Alz is progressing.  Yikes!  But he shrugged it off saying, "I needed some new jeans anyway."  So after dinner I bought him some jeans and a shirt.

But wait, the story gets funnier.  While searching for his clothes in the car, DH found a bag of prescription drugs under the front passenger seat.  Not his, not mine but Bob Pannett's.  Oh geez, his wife must be frantic trying to figure out what happened to them in the move.  I called her as we drove out of Birm toward Charlotte  and agreed to ship them overnight at the first opportunity.

The first opportunity was some little town in Alabama where they had a Cracker Barrel.  We stopped for breakfast and asked the waitress if there was a postoffice nearby.  "Well, sure, honey, there's one just down the road on the left."  Yay!  So next stop the little bitty Post Office.  We walked in and started looking at boxes and a voice from behind called "I can do that for you, mam."  I could have kissed him...actually he was tall, very good looking with multiple interesting tatoos and an earring.  He was soooo nice....took the bag of drugs, created a box, taped it up and handed me a form to fill in.  About $30 bucks later, mission completed and we traveled on feeling good that we had taken care of that.  Small town America is still just so fine!

We stopped in Spartanburg for lunch with dear friend, DeAnne.  God but it was so good to see her again and catch up if even for an hour.  We went to high school together and lived next door to each other while starting UT.  She is doing well and still trying to sell her Colorado Springs house.  Dang, wish we could buy it for a summer is darling and in a great location close to downtown.

As we approached Charlotte on 85 the radio said there had been a terrible wreck on the Catawba River bridge between a tour bus and an 18 wheeler...all four lanes were shut down.  Holy shit again.  DH took out what maps we had to search for an alternative.  Clueless.  I'm white knuckled and stressed.  Traffic was at a stand still for miles and the radio said it would be hours before it would be cleared...multiple injuries, Life Flight, etc.  We inched and inched and finally made it to exit 22 where I saw the 18 wheelers headed.  I thought...FOLLOW THE TRUCKS! and I did and found an alternate route.  After several wrong turns we finally managed to find another route across the river and get back onto 85.  It had taken us 4 hours to go about 30 miles.  We missed the kids swim meet but found a beer, unloaded the car and collapsed.  What a trip so far!  Today we are just chilling!