Thursday, March 26, 2015

Here Comes the Sun

Good Morning Sunshine (The sun is shining over Rae's shoulder)
Every summer I travel to New Mexico to attend a board meeting for Cuyamungue Institute.  I also sometimes teach a workshop.  This year our board meeting is in May, and I will be attending a wedding on one of the days of the meeting. It would be easier for me to skip the board meeting this years as I will miss most of it.  But I must go. The Land calls me.

Our meetings are usually two to three days...with enough free time to spend time in Santa  Fe or surrounding areas.  The land at Cuyamungue is some of the most beautiful on earth and I treasure the time I get to spend there. 

I am walking to the ridge.
One of our traditions is to walk to the ridge, one of the highest points, and greet the sun.  We all face east waiting for the sun to rise above the Sangre de Cristo Mountains .  Someone will say a morning verse.  My favorite is this.

Those in and around the mountains,
Those in and around the hills, 
Those in and around the earth:
Your gifts and blessings,
this day,
we return to you.

After greeting the sun we give hugs to everyone and then someone will break out in song...anything from "Morning Has Broken" to "This Little Light of Mine" to "You Are My Sunshine", and my favorite, "Here Comes the Sun"...anything that has the word 'sun' in it.   What a perfect way to begin the day.

The sun is rising.

The main reason I must go to Cuyamungue is to complete the circle of my friend, Rae's life. I know this is more for me than for her...but I need to do this.  I need to walk to the top of the ridge, open my arms, breath in the clean crisp morning air, and release my grief.  My friend, Stephanie, will join me.  She, Rae and I conducted many workshops at the Institute and our bond was and still is strong.

Stephanie, Rae and I at one of our workshops

In this collage, each one of us communicated to each of the other participants in our own way.  Stephanie was song, I am not sure if Rae's was a hug or if it was Duane's, mine was silence through the eyes.  In the one picture we have Rae in the center receiving healing and loving energy from us.

 I don't know how the grief will be expressed...tears, sobs, wails?  Will I shout out my grief or will it come out in song?  And after the grief...what?  Will releasing it be enough?  Will I hear that deep, hearty laugh of Rae's, echoing  through the wind?

I won't know until I go...until I am on the ridge...releasing my grief and feeling Rae's spirit riding the wind.  Riding the wind, free from pain, free from stress, and full of love for all of those she touched.

(...and aside....As I was typing this, tears in my fingers began to type this....'come down from the ridge and play $10 on the slots at Cities of Gold, and $10 at The Rock, and then $10 at Buffalo, love and this for me...) 

Thank you, Rae, my friend, I will follow your wise words.


Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Waning Winter

I know that those of us living where the winter was brutal feel that winter is refusing to quietly allow spring to begin her performance.  Yesterday I even got out my earmuffs again to wear while doing some errands.  It is the end of March and soon spring will take her place.  But before she are a few pictures I have taken of what I will miss about the winter.  Each season has its beauty.

A Squirrel Eating a Peanut Perched on a Tree Limb

A Swan in Swan Creek
Blue Jay Waiting for a Peanut

A Grackle Waiting His Turn

Shades of Green and White
Half Rack...from Last Winter

Looking from a Covered Bridge
Tufted Titmouse

Taken on a Winter's Walk

Last Year's First Flowers...It Won't Be Long

Yes, every season has its own beauty....and I am ready for the beauty of Spring.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Writing Helpers

My post today will be short.
Our new kitties seem to abort
My attempts at typing words to read
It's quite difficult, yes, indeed.

Molly is helping me write my post.

This was taken a couple of weeks ago when I was trying to put
a picture of my sister on the piece that she wrote.  Ary was helping.


Just let me type a few more words.
Look outside, watch some birds.
I'm finished now, let's have some fun....
Oh, but now you're napping in the sun.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Crossing the Sibling Line

My sister, Linda, and I did not fight much like a lot of siblings.  Two and a half years my senior, Linda welcomed me with open arms when I arrived one cold day in February, 1951.  Of course, I don't remember any of this...but stories told make me think Linda thought of me as hers, kind of like a live baby doll. 

Of course, we had the typical tiffs.  Usually I was the one who instigated any discord...but never to big fights with pinching, shoving, or punching.  I can not remember a physical fight.  Our verbal 'fights' would rate at a number one on a scale of 1-10.  Those were the usual 'turf war' arguments when we were on a long road trip.  This was before seatbelts and car seats.  Linda would be in the back seat behind my father (the driver...heaven forbid Maxine drove), and I behind my mother.  Anyone who has travelled in the back seat with a sibling knows that there is that imaginary line that divides the space.  Do not cross that line...respect the other's space. 

Being the younger sister, it was my duty to be the first to cross the line.  It was just too tempting.  On long trips Linda would try to fall asleep.  I think reading made her car sick, so she would close her eyes and try to sleep.  I'd spend my time looking out the window or reading...but that line would be nagging me...calling me to put my toe right at the edge.  I'd stretch, look at Linda, and slowly nudge her foot.  Sometimes it would take a number of nudges before she would open her eyes and tell me to stop. 

Stop?  Stop what?  I feigned innocence.  And then my fingers would somehow want to walk to the line and kick their legs like the Rockets.  One, two,, two, kick.  Linda would tell me to stop.  This would continue, with me finding a variety of ways to trespass on the edge of her property.
"Make her stop!" she would finally say.  And my father would say something like, "Now girls, let's get along."  Sometimes that was enough....but on a long road trip (our grandparents lived seven hours away) the temptation would be too much and I would be at it again.

"Girls, stop.  Get to your corners," my father would say.  Mother would turn around to try to see who the culprit was...but I was slick and she would see me looking out the window with great interest.  After some time my toe would want to visit Linda again.  The routine would repeat...sometimes the fingers would walk along the back window and slide down the seat 'accidently' touching Linda's shoulder.  "Girls, stop.  Do I have to pull over and stop the car?" My father's voice sounded serious.
Those dreaded words....even though we had no clue as to what that meant.  (My father rarely got angry and was a very gentle man.)

This was on one of our vacations...I think we were at the St. Louis Zoo.

Not to say that Linda never teased me.  The one thing she could do that would make me upset was to sing the "February Song" that she created.  She was born in October which has 31 days.  I was born in February with 28(9) days.  She would sing these words to the tune of "Oh Dear, What Can the Matter Be."

Poor, Poor, February
Poor, Poor, February
Poor, Poor, February
It only has 28 days.
Sometimes she would just hum the tune.  Then it would be my turn to say, "Make her stop!"
There was more to the song....maybe she will read this and remember the words and tell me.  I promise, I won't go into a rage.  Thinking back, I realize how lucky I am that Linda is my sister.  I am sure her patience with her little sister is the reason our little tiffs never developed into fights...and also why my father never had to 'pull over and stop the car.' 
I like this picture of Linda.  She has that classic beauty.  My mouth
is hanging open...let's say I was singing.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Pictures from "The Pictures"...or Magical Mystery Tour

At the beginning of March one of the bloggers, arjeha, wrote a post about Feeling Old by argeha.   If you have not read it, and have   He mentions about a site where you can type in your birthdate and find out what the number one song was on the day your were born.  The site is .  You can also find out the number one song on the day you were conceived.  Of course, I checked out the site...and like arjeha, I too, felt a bit old.

The number one song on my birthday was "The Tennessee Waltz" by Patti Page.  The number one song on the day I was conceived was "The Third Man Theme" by Anton Karas.  That made me smile.  Just last summer, Ray and I had taken the Third Man Walking tour in Vienna, Austria.  This tour takes you to many of the places where the film took place. 

Ray had found this tour.  He is more of a movie buff than I, but I always find it interesting.  We often like to get off the beaten path when we travel, as this tour was perfect.  Our tour guide would explain each stop in German first...and then switch to perfect English for those of us English speaking.  He was amazing when he answered questions and would switch from German to English, making sure all of us were satisfied before we headed to the next stop.

The movie is about a man, Holly Martins, played by Joseph Cotton, who travels to Vienna post WWII to meet up with an old school friend, Harry Lime, played by Orson Welles.  Harry had told Holly he could get him a job.  Before Holly got there, Harry was hit by a car and killed.  Holly was left to figure out what happened.  A "Third Man" was seen helping carry Harry's body to the morgue.  Holly is intrigued by who this 'third man' is...and finds out that it is really good old Harry.  Harry turns out to be a nefarious character...stealing penicillin from military hospitals, diluting it, and then selling it on the black market.  Many people, including children died from this tainted penicillin and the police were after him.

I won't tell is like a cult black and white check it out some time.  The rest of the blog will be of pictures from the movie next to some pictures that we took of the same places. 

This picture shows the kiosk where Harry climbed down to the sewers to escape the police.  His friend, Holly was chasing him too.  when they filmed the movie they moved the kiosk to a square with a big statue in the middle.  If you look carefully you can see the steps to the statue to the right of the kiosk.  When we saw the kiosk it had been moved back to its original spot.  The black and white pictures are from the movie and the one in color are ours.

The next pictures show where the chase scene in the sewers took place.  We were told that Orson Welles did not want to get his feet wet in the sewers so they used a double for him in these scenes.

Here is the grate where Harry tried to use as an escape...but failed.  I think the picture of his fingers poking out of the grate is kind of sad. 

There was a cat in the movie that belonged to Harry's girlfriend, Anna, played by Alida Valli.  We were told that Orson Welles put fish oil on his shoes so that the cat would come to him.  On the tour, our guide was texting...and later I realized he was texting the people who lived in the house where Anna and her cat lived.  When we got there...a cat, looking very much like the cat in the movie, was sitting in the window as if to greet us to this part of the tour.  I felt like I had stepped back in time.

One place the tour did not take us was the Riesenrad, a giant Ferris wheel.  This is where Harry met Holly to try to convince Harry to join him in the black market trade.  Ray and I visited the Riesenrad on our own and even took a ride on it.  It is said to be the oldest Ferris wheel in the world.  It was built in 1897 and at that time was thought to be the largest Ferris wheel in the world.  It was damaged in WWII, but repaired so that we can enjoy it today.

Holly and Harry meeting in a gondola in the Riesenrad.

Holly sitting in front of the Riesenrad.

These are our pictures of the Riesenrad.  Ray is looking out the window of the gondola in the lower left picture.


The Riesenrad reminds me of an antique London Eye.   Here are two pictures of the London Eye that we took a couple of years ago.  It is so cool to get to the top and see either Vienna or London.  I know other cities are building these big Ferris wheels, and I hope we can ride on more.  We missed the one in Paris, but might get there this summer.

Oh...and at the end of the tour we were entertained by a woman playing the zither..."The Third Man Theme."   Third Man Theme from bayareabert

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Here I Come to Save the Day....Mighty Mouse

This morning, after I fed the cats, after I cleaned their litter boxes, after I fed Monk, our stray cat...but before having breakfast...I sat at the computer to post my blog piece.  But something was wrong.  I had worked quite some time on this piece...mainly getting pictures and making collages and checking on facts...I just had a bit of editing to do and my post would be up before 8:00 am.  But something was wrong.  Where were the pictures?  There was one...but the others were gone.  Less than half of my blog piece was staring at me.  No matter how often I scrolled down...the cursor stopped at the same place.

I checked my piece from yesterday about Maxine and watching commercials.  (I don't know why, but something told me to check it.)  And there was the first half of today's writing attached to yesterday's!  By this time I had said many choice words....I imagine Rae would have been in shock at the colorful language coming from my mouth.  There was no way I would be able to rewrite and post today.  I had only 45 minutes before we had to leave for a memorial service.  I still had not figured out what I was wearing.  And, of course, Molly our new kitty wanted to help me by sitting in front of the computer.

So...taking a deep eyes again landed on the Animal Cards....ah yes....this would be a good time to pick a card for today.  I gently tossed Molly out of my office, shuffled the cards, and chose one.  Who would appear to help me today?

Focus, pay attention
Handle one thing at a time
Honor your perceptions
Well, I guess that does not take much interpretation, does it?  but do I have any pictures of mice?  The only ones I remember taking were at the Imperial War Museum in London, England.  I was taking pictures of birds outside, and noticed movement in a bush.  The little critters were moving so fast it was difficult to tell if they were mice or voles.  But for now...I will say they were mice...because I need a picture and I am running out of time.

Here is a few seconds video of the mice running through the bush.
Focus...I must focus...focus...I must focus......

Friday, March 20, 2015

Commercial Points

I read Cathy Mere's post about using the DVR and how she has found that it does have a purpose and now she can watch American Idol if she misses it at the original time.  I am somewhat ambivalent when it comes to recording shows.  I am glad that Ray has recorded all of the episodes of the Sopranos because I missed seeing any series that were on a premium cable station.  I still watch these shows while working on the computer.  But it is nice to be able to stop and repeat parts that I have missed.
Maxine is working at her drafting table at home.

Many people like to record shows because then they can fast forward through all of the commercials.  This was something we never did when my mother, Maxine, was watching with us.  She wanted to see the commercials.  In fact, she was often more interested in the commercials than the shows.  Does that seem odd?  Well, not for Maxine.  She was the media director for an advertising agency and commercials were her business.  At the agency she was the person who proofed everything before it was submitted to the client.  She had a gift at catching errors...especially continuity if someone's collar was buttoned in one scene but unbuttoned in another.

At our house we did not take a break to get a snack when a commercial came on.  No...we got to hear about how well this commercial was developed....or how it missed the point...or did you notice that the person had to speed up his speech at the end...probably because the timing was not proper.  Maxine continued such critiquing after she retired (She and the president of the agency retired the same day.).  Even when she developed macular degeneration, she seemed able to notice mistakes in commercials...and actually carried it on to news shows.  She told me that Jerry Revish on WBNS must have a great tailor because all of his suits fit perfectly and made from high quality fabric.  She said he always looked put together unlike another newscaster (I won't put his name) who did not button his suits properly and they did not fit his shoulders.

I found this picture of Jerry Revish that
belongs to the Columbus Dispatch.

I see that I began talking about the DVR and wandered into my mother and commercials.  Oh well, they are somewhat related.  I just cringe at the thought of if we had had DVRs when I was in high school and we would have to rewind to see the commercials. 

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Whale's Message

Ary checking out the squirrels

Sitting at my desk this morning, Ary next to me looking out of the window at the squirrels chasing each other, my eyes are drawn to my deck of Animal Medicine Cards.  They seem to be asking me to pick a card for everyone today.   I have had this deck of small cards for over twenty years.  Each card represents an animal and has a message from that animal.  I know that no matter what card I choose, the message will be appropriate.  It is just another way to focus on some positive advice.

 I remember another post where Humming Bird had a message for everyone.  So today I shuffled the cards and picked one.  Whale chose to send us all a message today.  I love her message (I really love all of the messages).

Acknowledge your mission
Trust your path
Become your chosen destiny
Card from Medicine Cards, Just for Today
Jamie Sams and David Carson
Illustrated by Angela Werneke
Just like the Whale, majestically swimming the oceans, we each have our own paths.  Some may be obvious and easy to follow.  Others may be more discrete, difficult to acknowledge, scary to follow.  Some paths will have detours taking us on unexpected adventures.  Some detours will bring great sadness and despair while others will bring joy.  Whatever the detours...allow yourselves to experience the scenic trails and grow strong from them.
Thank you, Whale, for reminding me to trust my path.
I took this picture last year while in Alaska.  I got dorsal fins, and tale pictures
but no breaching.  Maybe next time.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Classical Gas Museum

Yesterday I wrote about the glass dome that we purchased at The Classical Gas Museum in New Mexico.  Today I will tell you a little about this museum and the man who created it.  I hope that if you are ever in New Mexico and traveling from Santa Fe to Taos....take the low road...68...and near Embudo, NM you will find this unique museum.
We were traveling to Taos and the sign caught our eye.  Really, it was all of the antique gas pumps and shells of old cars that caught our eyes.  Why not stop and check it out.  We were greeted by Johnnie Meier...the man who collected all of these items and opened his collection of memorabilia to the public.  Johnnie Meier welcomed us and told us to look around....ask any questions...and if we saw something we'd like to buy...he could probably sell it...of course, not all items were for sale.

Johnnie Meier; Curator of Classical Gas Museum

Here's what we found out.  Johnnie Meier had retired from working as a scientist at Los Alamos, NM.  Now that is impressive!  He also did some technology work there.  He admits that he is a bit eccentric about his collection and looks at it as art...especially the old gas pumps.  They represent our culture and history.

He doesn't charge to go through his museum but there is a jar for donations for the local animal shelter.  Some of his items have been used in movies. "No Country for Old Men" and "Wild Hogs" are two of the movies.  Some of them have been in commercials too.

I will let the pictures tell the rest of the story. 

This is a diner that Johnnie renovated and has operating.

Not sure what kind of vehicles these are, but I am sure some one could tell me.

I liked these lady bugs.

 These plastic toy dinosaurs were in this toy dump truck.

Another old car with old gas pumps. Ray just told me it is an old Edsel.

Part of the Museum

Inside the Classical Gas Museum

Anyone who is interested in antique cars, gas stations, history of travel...and really anything (because this place has it all)...don't miss stopping for a visit with Johnnie Meier at the Classical Gas Museum.  This is a place packed full of history and art.  Who knows what stories are waiting to be discovered.
Check out these links for more information about the Classical Gas Museum.

Scenic USA New Mexico

Santa Fe Traveler

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