Thursday, July 29, 2010

after new orleans

I have a lot to write about following my return a six day trip to New Orleans but this probably won't be where I will do it--I have a journal full of food notes, and photos, and bits and pieces of papers, maps, brochures, etc., that I want to try to put in an art journal. But since I haven't written at all, this is a good place to start.

I walked a lot on the trip--maybe pushed it to the edge on a couple of days but it's hard to be in a city like New Orleans and not walk a lot, especially if my travel partner likes to walk. But neither my doctor checkup yesterday (not with my surgeon but with my primary doc) nor my PT session proved to find any negative outcomes from my extended walking, so that's good. I have two tapes on my ankle now instead of one to try to encourage my ligaments to work properly again. It's a bit uncomfortable but I am keeping it on--I kept on the one tape for the whole trip and that seemed to be okay.

Today I had my first counseling session which was put off from April to now, due to the accident. The counselor, a woman, seems nice; we'll see how it goes. With the anniversary of mom's death 8/8 and other issues emerging, I have plenty to work through with a neutral party.

I didn't want to come home to the burden of some of my responsibilities, but I missed the desert, Mark, Aron and Lia--not in that order, or maybe, yes, in that order. I don't like to set priorities so it's the whole package of what I listed that I missed. I didn't miss work; not one bit. I didn't miss emails or websites; not one bit. I missed Star Trek which I couldn't find on the La. channels. Last night we watched it and it was so good--all about the ego and what we learn, even when we are as wise as Capt. Picard. His voice is what I imagine a masculine god's would be--. Not a bad way to go to sleep at night, i.e. listening to the voice of Patrick Stewart.

It's clouding up but I don't think we'll get rain tonight so I watered my plants. During my absence, my "wild" bird of paradise exploded with orange and red colors. A nice image to come home to.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

sunday glow

Even though we haven't been blitzed by the heavy monsoons yet, the sunsets have been spectacular. A combination of the dust and humidity, clouds and setting sun transform the skies into soft shades of blue, gold, pink and lavender. I love this time of evening.

It's been a good weekend with chores, errands but also time for reading, resting, exercise (swimming, Y bicycling and weights). Sort of a lazy summer time when the the 100 plus degrees totally justify, even demand, living a slow life.

I am looking forward to my trip to New Orleans for the NEH PrimeTime training. The humidity will match the heat, no doubt, but there will be music, beignets and new colleagues to meet. Rita and I are flying together, so I won't be alone in navigating the Dallas and New Orleans airports.

It's a good time to be leaving. Today's local newspaper had a blistering article on the road projects in Tucson and, of course, the one I have been working on, Grant Road ( is one of them. It's hard to read all the criticism and complaints about a project that has taken my energies and interests for 4 years and which, I know, used incredible skills and talents, commitment and trust to get this far. And now, amidst the recession's fall out, the fear and resentments, another attempt to move my community forward may bite the dust or, at the very least, become much less than its potential.

Mark and I went to look at some real estate today; mostly out of curiousity and I felt so disheartened between the disconnect of economic reality and what "the market" is asking for in small condo conversions or town homes. No wonder no one is buying right now--the market is too tight, prices too high and wages too low. We are grateful for our modest home and the mortgage that goes down bit by bi each month. So from there, we went to Borders and I ate up the pictures from a French magazine. No traveling over the ocean anytime soon. Even our hoped for trip to the West Coast for my aunt's 97th birthday may not happen this year. I just checked at and the airline and hotel packages are much higher than last year. Oh, well, we may just have to make a phone call this year and, again, be grateful for the opportunities we have had in the past.

Adjustments aren't easy to make but I won't let these facts darken the glow of Sunday's sunset.

Friday, July 16, 2010

end of the week

A full week for me with the following:

Monday: Swam in the neighborhood pool. Later, I met with Dr. C and she "signed me off" unless I a) have problems and/or b) want the harware removed after a year passes. It was kind of strange to have such a pivotal relationship just end, but that's modern medical care. I am grateful for her care and hope I don't have to return for more surgery, but we'll see how the healing goes.

Tuesday: Swam really early and then went to a very interesting Imagine Greater Tucson meeting and learned about techie-stuff that is not my usual professional interest. There are smart people in our town and, in particular, I enjoy listening to the younger generation share their knowledge. I also had phscial therap AND a Grant Road Task Force meeting, so it was a very full day for me and I was tired when I got home. I could only hang in for Star Trek for 15 minutes.

Wednesday: Did swimming routine at the Y. Picked up Dad to go to lunch--our first outing since my accident. He was depressed about some aches and pains and anxious about seeing his doctor the next day. Once he and I talk through politics a bit, Tiger Woods (he's more a fan of Tiger than I am) and the White Sox which we both follow, we have very little to talk about. That saddens me, but I am trying to practice acceptance about familial issues. Mark and I went to the Y in the eve and I biked, did weights but both were hard for me to do. I could feel a slight mental uplift afterward which I needed. I read a New Yorker mag article about double agency--a philosophical concept that attempts to explain God and humans' free will. Interesting. Here's a link I found to a short explanation of it:

Thursday: Swam before Imagine Greater Tucson meeting; both were invigorating in different ways. I also stopped by a nonprofit and realized how out of the mental practice I have become to talk about my work--I couldn't remember where my business cards were in my purse. Mark and I had lunch and then I had PT again. My therapist(s) said I am making remarkable progress and I can begin to see it, but it's a lot of work. I have about 10 exercises to do at home now, twice a day. Somedays I do two sets, sometimes only one, but I am doing the best I can. We watched Star Trek all the way to 11 p.m. Weird Klingon/exchange program story which, as usual, had undertows of moral reasoning.

Friday: I had ordered a cupcake/cake from Safeway as a thankyou treat to the Lighthouse Y guards and staff who helped me in my ankle recovery. I picked it up and took it to the Y early. It was very pretty, in a pool shape with water rafts and life preserver. I hope it tasted as good as it looked. I did a short bicycle
routine and weights before my swim and then I met my friend, Rita, for lunch. She and I are flying to New Orleans together next Thursday-Tuesday for a training with the National Endowment for the Humanities. I guess there are materials that I got in the mail that I better review this weekend, call the hotel, etc. Soon I need to go to the UA and have a couple of student workers help me move a few boxes from there into the car and, later, at home, move them into my office. I won't get to that reorganization task till after New Orleans.

It's very cloudy, "soupy" outside and I hope we get some rain but none so far. All of us desert dwellers get edgy by mid-July if the monsoons have been slow in starting. We need the shift of moisture, ions, smells and sensations that the summer rains bring.

I just heard from Aron who sounds gloomy, too. I guess he has to move again and just found out about it. Maybe at some point he will stop relying on "friends" who really aren't there for him and get to the point where he feels he deserves to be treated better. That's his journey, and I have mine, so, for today, this week, I confess this is the most writing I have done (tho I wrote a short poem about Aron earlier this week so I will give myself credit for that). I feel my eyelids drooping, time for a summer siesta.

Monday, July 12, 2010

surgeon's sign off

Just a quick note that Dr. C., my surgeon gave me the "heave ho" and I give the boot the "heave ho", too. She didn't say "heave ho," of course. More like, "we are done here; you are good to go." Some other brief comments about the xrays, my ankle movement (great, excellent), and reassurance about 3 more months of anticipated recovery with swelling and aches. But beyond that, I should be healing up--and no return visit planned unless the hardware (plate and screws) bother me and she has to surgically remove them a year or so from now. I am hoping to avoid that, but just grateful for good healing, good care, loving hubby, supportive friends/chauffeurs and the Grace of a Higher Power.

I read "Bird by Bird" today while in the waiting room and wrote my 300+ words while at Rincon Market, enjoying a cafe au lait and blueberry turnover. I also wrote a poem this morning and will post it later.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

from blogging to essays to art journaling

Well, my writing explorations are not ending but expanding. I guess that's what a "kick in the pants" can do--either cripple a person or get him/her turned into a new direction. So a couple of quick updates:

My writing friend/mentor has suggested I work on these entries for future essays (you can comment and let me know if you agree or disagree, have others to add):

6/27 "Poet who lost her words."
4/14 "Magical Moments"
4/26 "Getting Dressed"
5/27 "Effects of a Flower Moon"
6/24 "Midsummer Day"
She also identified the post ankle surgery "26 plus in 24 hours".

I bought the Art Journal magazine yesterday (and a 4x6 inch sketch book) and have several ideas for starting an art journal. I guess, when I went to Florence, I already had begun one, by combining text with bus tickets, receipts, etc. But I didn't know it was an art journal.

As I look at the title selected I think most of them, if not all, could be titles of poems, too. That would be an interesting exercise. So we'll see what happens. If I had a scanner (which I don't right now), I guess there's a way to scan visuals from an art journal onto a website, blog, etc. Since I also have a stories website, I might consider that. We'll "see."

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

next direction?

While I was sitting in the Tattered Cover Bookstore in Denver (this would be my place called "Heaven"), I saw a large magazine, Art Journal, and brought it over to the well-worn purple couch where I was sitting (legs up for ankle-care). I have googled the journal when I returned from Denver ( and found this link also: While I am already a bit intimidated by the visuals, the last link actually gives me some tips on what to do as a beginning for an art journal and there is no logical reason, except fear of failure, that keeps me from trying this. Since I am looking for a different direction for my morning writing, this might be it.

Also, I think, for now, instead of closing out the blog, I will take a hiatus and just see what comes onto my path.

So, just in case there are any readers still out there, I am sharing these links and, if I want to add anything to this blog at a future time, I will; if I don't want to reopen it, I won't!