December 24, 2009

December 18, 2009

Miles To Go

I love this poem...

Stopping By Woods on a Snowy Evening

Whose woods these are I think I know.
His house is in the village though;
He will not see me stopping here
To watch his woods fill up with snow.

My little horse must think it queer
To stop without a farmhouse near
Between the woods and frozen lake
The darkest evening of the year.

He gives his harness bells a shake
To ask if there is some mistake.
The only other sound's the sweep
Of easy wind and downy flake.

The woods are lovely, dark and deep.
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.

Robert Frost
New Hampshire

December 17, 2009

Igor and Snowflakes

I work in a hospital;

and a friend sent me a poem

after hearing me discuss

the ugly and beautiful

side of familes

in hospitals

during the holidays.

Her Long Illness

Daybreak until nightfall

he sat by his wife at the hospital

while chemotherapy dripped

through the catheter into her heart.

He drank coffee and read

the Globe.

He paced, he worked

on poems, he rubbed her back

and read aloud.

Overcome with dread

they wept and affirmed

their love for each other, witlessly,

over and over again.

When it snowed one morning Jane gazed

at the darkness blurred

with flakes.

They pushed the IV pump

which she called Igor

slowly past the nurses' pods,

as far

as the outside door

so that she could smell the snowy air.

(By Donald Hall

From a collection compiled by Garrison Keillor)

December 15, 2009



Christmas Memories
The Good, The Bad, The Ugly



December 10, 2009

Spirit of Christmas

Does an 8 year-old boy have the Spirit of Christmas?

My brother Pat, was 8.
I was 5.

He and I were always fascinated by my father's basement workroom;
his place of quiet
and wood dust
and exotic-colored paints and pungent varnishes
of fine and grand pieces and parts
of model airplanes
built of light-as-a-feather tissue-thin papers
and fine balsa wood
layers of paint and varnish
and hours and hours of tender ministrations.

A workshop also crowded by large-and- heavy tools-of-the-trade
sheet metal cutters
wrenches and sledge hammers
table-top vises
for the fire-filled furnaces
and boxy air conditioning units
that were the work behind the man.

And dust and cobwebs
and nails and screws and bolts
CB radios
old broken television sets
two to three ashtrays filled with gray powder
pipes and boards
and "projects" to be fixed for my mom;
lamp-of-no-light-and frayed-cord
broken bird house

And in early December
as Pat and I crept into
the dark and dusy cave
of my father's workroom;
there on the workbench

a wooden structure;
3' tall, 4' wide (!)
and yet
green exterior walls
a red roof
(looks like our house!)
and the front of this house
hinged and open
to expose internal
with blue walls
pink walls
yellow walls
red (!) walls
and soft-warm-and-sweet chocolate walls.

It was lovely
and I gasped with the beauty.
While my brother's eyes grew wide
(and frightened ?!)

"What IS it?", I asked.

He paused.

And thought.

And pondered.

(Remember the scene from "How the Grinch Stole Christmas",
when Grinch is questioned by Little Suzi-Who
about why he is taking the tree from their home?
And the look on the face of the Grinch as he
comes up with the whopping lie?)

My brother had the same look on his face...
(evil - or good?)

"Why, it is a BIRD HOUSE,
with separate rooms for each
little bird
to live and sleep in",
he proclaimed proudly;
and swore me to ultimate secrecy
not to tell Dad that we knew.
NOT to tell mom and ruin the wonderful surprise.

And I promised
and forgot about the
large bird house,
happy to be "old enough"
to be entrusted by my
older and wiser
with such a good secret.

Christmas morning:
We woke
crept downstairs from our bedrooms
to the tree and
all the wonderful sights.

(No birdhouse in sight?)

And as we completed unwrapping.
My father brought out the surprise
not to my mom -
but to ME!

a wonderful dollhouse.
A wonderful secret.

And an 8-year old's
Spirit of Christmas.


December 09, 2009

Time #2

Three Challenges to everyone:

Favorite Christmas Memory

Worst Christmas Memory

Spirit of Christmas

300 words or less per entry/per topic.

I will have mine (and hopefully yours, too) posted before the 25th.

December 08, 2009



November 28, 2009

We Should Change The Name

The people of the United States
should consider the history behind
the Thanksgiving holiday,
and petition the courts for a name change.

Perhaps change the name to:
"Thank a Native American for Helping Strangers Survive-Day"

I don't see Hallmark picking up on that opportunity.

Maybe change the name to:
"Sharing Food With Friends-Day"

Yes; much less politically charged.

I'll call Hallmark and the courts,
right after you pass more turkey and dressing left-overs.

November 21, 2009

Lost in Iowa and Now?

I have had to post an advertisement on Craig's List:

Following a Yard Sale advertisement in an Iowa newspaper a few weeks ago:
A family member in Iowa had an estate sale in early November,
and accidently sold two items that were NOT to be in the sale.
This yard/estate sale was held on Brown Street in Davenport,
and at the nearby park pavillion behind the house.

I am hoping the two people who purchased these items will contact me;
so their money can be returned, and the items returned to me.

----A 1920-1930's style lamp with cloth cord.
The lamp is approximately 20-24" tall.
I have been advised that this lamp was re-sold
by the dealer who purchased it at a recent antique sale in Des Moines, Iowa.

----An Eastlake style small dresser with mirror.
The dresser and mirror was refinished 20 years ago,
has brass teardrop dresser pulls,
three obvious drawers and 1 "hidden" drawer at the bottom.
It is believed the dresser was purchased by a gentleman
who may live in a nearby Davenport neighborhood.

Both items belonged to my late grandmother;
the dresser was refinished by my late father,
and both were stored at my family member's home
until I could find safe transport to my new home.

They were both sold by mistake.
If you recognize either of these items,
please call me.

November 15, 2009

Celebration #2

A cosy spot to curl up and read a good book.
Just in time for the holidays.

November 08, 2009

Celebration #1 and Other Events

Celebration #1:
Consisted of some good tequila and triple sec,
fresh limes, crushed ice, and salt for the rims
of the margarita glasses;
purchased while in Guadalajara, Mexico.

We are celebrating the successful sale of our Illinois home.

Our Illinois house was in the need of
someone who could enjoy the warmth and comfort
on a more regular basis:
More than we were able to offer
the last few years.

In 2005-2006 we were in Chicago most weekends,
300 mile round-trips, which limited "home time".

In 2007 we were in France for 100 days;
also limiting "home time".

In 2008 we traveled to Santa Fe for 9 months;
also limiting "home time",
and within our first few months here;
realized we were destined to move to Santa Fe "for good"

Early 2009 we prepared our house for sale;
found a great realtor,
and a nice electrician,
chated with a cement flooring repairman,
painted and spackled in all the rooms,
and put in shiny new appliances,
and a shiny new furnace,
and a shiny new A/C system.
Paid someone else to climb the 30 feet up
to scrape and paint all outside wooden areas;
including all 30+ wood frames around each window,

and all other wooden touches found on our craftsman-style house.

And on the 2nd of November:
A new person took ownership
of a warm house with many happy memories.
I'm planning on sending him a Thank You card.

Other news of note:
Thanks to Deb & Wayne who shared the idea of "date night";
Wednesday is now our offical night.

We are still planning Celebration #2;
maybe by December.

November 02, 2009

October 31, 2009

Costuming Thoughts

Pixie, kobold, elf, and sprite,
All are on their rounds tonight;
In the wan moon's silver ray,
Thrives their helter-skelter play.
~Joel Benton

From ghoulies and ghosties
And long-leggedy beasties
And things that go bump in the night,
Good Lord, deliver us!
~Scottish Saying

Where there is no imagination there is no horror. ~Arthur Conan Doyle, Sr.

May Jack-o-lanterns burning bright
Of soft and golden hue
Pierce through the future’s veil and show
What fate now holds for you.
~Author Unknown

Clothes make a statement. Costumes tell a story. ~Mason Cooley

When black cats prowl and pumpkins gleam,
May luck be yours on Halloween.
~Author Unknown

There is nothing that gives more assurance than a mask. ~Colette

We are what we pretend to be, so we must be careful about what we pretend to be. ~Kurt Vonnegut

What a strange power there is in clothing. ~Isaac Bashevis Singer

Know, first, who you are; and then adorn yourself accordingly. ~Epictetus

Souls wouldn't wear suits and ties, they'd wear blue jeans and sit cross-legged with a glass of red wine. ~Carrie Latet

If I were a cat, what would make me purr? A pair of really comfortable blue jeans, and massages. ~Cinnamon Stomberger

If you are a dog and your owner suggests that you wear a sweater... suggest that he wear a tail. ~Fran Lebowitz

Never wear anything that panics the cat. ~P.J. O'Rourke

October 29, 2009


Shidoni Bronze is a wonderful foundry in Tesuque, New Mexico.
The foundry offers tours, including observation of the bronze "pours"
two to three times per day on Saturdays.
Cost of the tour? $1.

Experience? Priceless.

October 17, 2009


Tent Rocks National Monument
at Cochiti Pueblo, New Mexico

Certain advantages to having a friend in town:
We get to explore


October 13, 2009


October 04, 2009

Anniversary Road Trip

To El Rito, New Mexico...

September 27, 2009

Go in Beauty

The other morning
while working with a patient,
I heard a quiet song being sung
in another patient's room, nearby.

There are several things I do not know:
Was the patient Navajo,
or from another tribe?
Were there several others in the room,
or only the patient and the singer?
Were there other sacred ceremonies
occurring between the songs?

What I do know
is that the singer
was preparing the patient.

The song was
of harmony
with all things
held sacred.

And of preparedness.

To go in beauty.

I can only hope
the patient found
before the final journey.

September 23, 2009

Cat-Faced Orb Weaver (a.k.a.) "Charlotte"

A note about our little "family member":
Charlotte, the Cat-Faced Orb Weaver spider
first appeared
building a web in our front window
this past spring.
she has more than doubled her size,
(and I believe her younger relative
is now working construction near our front door...)

She is helpful;
keeping our insect population
(including large flies)
to a minimum.

She is dependable;
if someone visits who has a fear of spiders
she waves from the other side of the window,
and if someone is curious to see her - she hides.

She is athletic;
springing from one side to another of her
3 foot wide web
in seconds.

She is NOT poisonous
and will not bite

And soon she will hibernate
and come to visit
next spring.

September 20, 2009

September 17, 2009

Joy of Travel - Answers (#1 and #2)

From Amy:
"With less than $5k apiece,
we are going to Thailand to work on the
Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter Work Project for Habitat for Humanity.
If Scott's work allowed, I suppose we could spend the rest of the $5k
to stay there a bit longer and site see.

With a bit less than $500, we went to MN over Labor Day,
saw an awesome "Bodies" exhibit,
went to Como Park Conservatory,
shopped and visited friends.

$50 and a full tank of gas and some maps,
I'd still like to see the Lincoln Library in Springfield".

From Lisa:
"$5,000 - I'd hit the gathering in Scotland
and retrace the steps of all those Lockhearts, Morrisons and Maitlands
who left home for the new hope of America.
I'd still have money for beer and scotch with that budget!

$500? Well, that's easy. Santa Fe is nice, I hear.

$50? Reexploring Highway 20,
or Highway 52 North to Decorah,
where all the autumn leaves will be blazing - that would be WAY cool.

Hmm. There are some wineries up north..."

September 15, 2009

Joy of Travel

if you had $5000
to spend on a spur-of-the-moment
Where would you go?
What would you do?
How long would you stay?

What about $500?

What about $50, 2-3 days,
a full tank of gas, and a couple of maps...

Imagine it,
and tell me about YOUR
travellers joy.


September 11, 2009

Zozobra #2

Old Man Gloom
burned last night...

Feel better now?

September 10, 2009

Zozobra #1

The fire?