Thursday, May 31, 2012

Tis the season

for blueberries. Thanks to Connie's cousin for the blueberry coffee cake recipe. Sure is good!

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

An Encounter with a Centenarian

As I was in the Fresh Market looking in the display of mangoes and trying to decide on the champagne or a red variety, I heard a voice say, as if she were reading my mind, “I’ve always preferred the yellow ones.” That began a conversation with a small delightful woman who soon told me she is one hundred years old and will be 101 if she lives until her birthday in July. I was stunned. Her voice was clear, her words were quick, and the skin on her face was so smooth she didn’t seem a day over eighty. I gave her a once over to look for other signs of proof of her stated age and saw them only in her porcelain hands. She said she had lived in Mexico where she learned to love mangoes, was an artist who specialized in pastels, and "I just kept living." With Ruth, as she introduced herself, was a pleasant capable caregiver, one of many who are always with her. Old people are so cool, that is if they are coherent and have interesting stories to tell. Sometimes they can simply be inspirational as this lady was to me.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Not judgin' Just sayin'

Last week I took my car to the car wash place I have used for years. When the young guy with the earphones started slowly vacuuming the inside, I thought something was different. Then after my VW ran through the cycle and was taken for its noticeably lackadaisical rubdown, I asked the attendant, "Where are all the Mexicans?" She said they were gone, vamoosed, outta there. "We have to use e-verify now. I really miss them," she let me know. Shaking her head, she also said they now must tell their customers not to leave anything of value in their cars.

Friday, May 25, 2012

A Downtown Happening

This evening there was a cute parade of the Scots. Several bagpipe bands and marching clans proudly carrying banners displaying their family name, Scottish dogs and Robert Burns reciting his poetry from the back of a convertible, military folks and Lords and Ladies from across the pond. It was great fun. The Scotsman with the painted face is wearing a Great Kilt. I hope none of these guys mind being in my blog.

Monday, May 21, 2012

It doesn't have to be raining...

for a rainy day activity. At five this afternoon I was one of a group of women employees who attended in a craft class at the hospital. We cut out metal and put the pieces together to make doodads to dangle from a necklace. They were all different. It was fun.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

@ home

We have been home almost twenty-four hours now and the cats are warming up to us, getting over their bad moods from being abandoned for a week. From Nora’s steady gaze, I could tell my slightly spoiled cat was wondering where the heck I had been. She isn’t used to fending for herself like outdoorsy Sandy who feasts on chipmunks and tall grasses and has little need of a full bowl of cat chow. I was glad to see them both. I was also glad to see the yard doing well probably due to at least one good rain over the past week. The day lilies were filled with yellow tops, the nasturtium seeds sprouted, my six tomato plants are inches taller and healthy, and the four figs on my young bush weren't eaten by birds. Life is good.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Soon to be a memory.

The hubby and I drove to Destin and stopped near this bridge at Harborwalk Village and had a delicious lunch at Crab Island Cantina. I had the Grouper Taquitos, pictured here.Yum! Then we walked the dock and looked at the array of boats, the people, and the herons of course. It was from here that the boys went deep sea fishing on Wednesday.

Later Paige and I drove to WaterColor, which I learned is not a beach or town but a resort, and did some shopping. Then on this day of perfect weather, I went to the beautiful Emerald Coast beach for the last time and watched the waves break and the children play. The colors are so beautiful here, not only in nature but in the buildings, the vehicles, and even the clothes people wear. Is it the light, I wondered. Whatever, everything is complementary. I hope to come back someday.

Blue Herons

I couldn't decide which one I liked better.
We drove about twenty-five miles along 30A and 98 to beautiful Destin. After a great lunch - pix to follow - we walked to the dock where the many boats were. One young fisherman was cleaning his catch and throwing an occasional bite to a waiting blue heron, and others flew and perched on signs.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Beautiful Water

It's seaweed.

Interesting Artist

This morning I visited the nearby studio of a wonderful artist, Gaffrey, whose gallery I had been to yesterday. The richly colored acrylic paint is applied thickly and dimensionally, and the finished product is gorgeous. The top photo is of one of his big pieces that is on an easel out in the sun. The other is looking into the room where he actually creates.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Such a cute place to stay

Sort of Early Morning

The sun comes up really early around here invading all the slats in the blinds of the bedroom windows. This morning I didn't put my eye mask on but chose instead to walk to the water to see what it looked like at 0745 CDT. There were a few other people with the same thought. A couple of men were on their decks drinking coffee or watching the way the changing light was playing off the peaceful blues and greens; one man was painting at an easel from the top of the steps that lead down to the ocean. I noticed that his picture was a larger version of the ones we did yesterday, beautiful no matter how it's interpreted. Out on the sea the eye can usually spot someone who appears to be standing on the skin of the water rowing. I learned it is a yolo board they are on.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012


A few weeks ago my cousin told me about a photo thing, some worldwide groups collecting pics of what was going on in people's lives on May 15 this year, and I signed up for it. I knew we were going to be here and figured I would take a nice photo of the kids at the beach. I didn't. So tonight when we went again to Seaside, my new favorite place, I got them eating at a cute restaurant, Pizza by the Sea. The entry was dated and timed by the digital camera.

Monday, May 14, 2012

As the Sun Sets

Jacob and friend waiting for a bite.

A Cool Place on 30 A

After a morning of hanging out at the pool and the beach, all eight of us drove about three miles over to adorable Seaside Beach, one of the many cute places along 30A. We easily found parking places in the Central Square, and the sidewalks, shops and restaurants were not crowded. A couple of locals we talked with said we are here at a good time, that during Spring Break and summertime, the place is packed. The area was filled with art! I loved it. Afterward we drove a few more miles down the road to tiny Alys Beach, known for its architecture, all white, and one enormous dwelling.

Ashley and I got chocolate dipped key lime pies on a stick. Yum!

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Magnolia Blossom

Hey Y'all,

What a nice way to spend Mother's Day not only with people I love but also in a little piece of paradise. Many thanks to Stuart and Paige for inviting us for a true vacation. We all got to Santa Rosa Beach - the Blue Mountain part as I understand it - yesterday afternoon before the storms that raged during the night and on into morning began. But now the skies are clear and blue, the sun is brightening everything, and I can see the emerald and turquoise sea from the deck. I love the picture-book, three story yellow house with pretty gardens that will be home for the week. The inside is both comfortable and pretty, mostly blue and sunny yellows with beautiful beachy motif and art. Here's a pic from the morning.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

My Day

This afternoon I paid to spend some time with one of my favorite people, my massage therapist. As he pulls and presses on my trouble spots, we talk and philosophize. We are in agreement about most things, therefore I find him remarkably wise! Earlier today I painted my way through my last watercolor class for now. It has been so much fun to have had three hours set aside once a week to play with paper, pencils, and paints. Lately I have even felt that I am getting the hang of it. I will be taking some art supplies with me when we go to the Gulf Coast next week.

Saturday, May 5, 2012


Hoverflies are cute little insects. In the bottom pic, it is stretching it legs and using its arms to gather pollen.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

In Remembrance

Sometimes it seems that most of the  topics I think of blogging about are all comparisons with the way things are now to the way things used to be. American society has changed dramatically over the course of my lifetime. The years afford me - and others who have lived to this ripe age - the ability to look back and pinpoint when, I believe, certain things started to change, things such as our values and the way we live our lives, things I could not have envisioned would have had such a profound impact on future generations. I cannot say that it is all to the better. As a child of the happy Fifties, I find the deterioration sad. People who were born a generation or more after me do not know what has been lost. They blithely accept the expectations that come with their generation, not knowing there have been better ways The list of societal changes is long and invades all aspects of our culture, and change is inevitable, but we have lost a lot of what worked well.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

To Our Health!

In a class given at Stanford, the last lecture was on the mind-body connection and the relationship between stress and disease. The speaker (head of psychiatry at Stanford) said, among other things, that one of the best things that a man could do for his health is to be married to a woman whereas for a woman, one of the best things she could do for her health was to nurture her relationships with her girlfriends. At first everyone laughed, but he was serious. Women connect with each other differently and provide support systems that help each other to deal with stress and difficult life experiences. Physically this quality "girlfriend time" helps us to create more serotonin, a neurotransmitter that helps combat depression and can create a general feeling of well being. Women share feelings whereas men often form relationships around activities. They rarely sit down with a buddy and talk about how they feel about certain things or how their personal lives are going. We share from our souls with our sisters, and evidently that is very good for our health. He said that spending time with a friend is just as important to our general health as jogging or working out at a gym.