Sunday, September 30, 2012

Gray on the Wall

We have begun to wonder about Gray's daily (and nightly) exploits when he isn't lounging on the porch or under a shady bush.  This morning we can share proof of what we suspected he might be doing:  bounding up the western wall and peering into the farm-like property below.  We have heard a rooster crowing in the morning and the cluck of chickens from time to time, along with the occasional music from a flute and banjo.  But, beyond the wall, is another world for us and, apparently for Gray.  He makes the wall leap with a sprint across our road (we gasp--what about traffic that goes in and out of here with a sometimes speedy pace?) and either a) up the mesquite tree that is adjacent to the wall or b) up the wall itself.  Either way, he doesn't hesitate, and once there, he takes his time to walk along the edge and decide where to land.

I will carry these images with me into the day--thinking about walls I can leap across and the exciting land beyond.  Can you imagine such an escapade in your life?  What one action could you take today to start your sprint?

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

More photos from the Getty Villa

I promised you more photos from Mark and my trip to the Getty Villa and here they are: slow down and savor the loveliness in the lines of the columns, statues, flowered ceilings and more.

Venus Alcove
Replica of ancient fountain of the Large Fountain at Pompeii: tiles, shells and theatre masks
Several fountains had lilies in the water that encourage a lingering look
In the herb garden this grape arbor offered shady on a sunny late summer afternoon
In the same garden, this blooming pom tree
Even the ceilings on the porches are painted, which reminded me of Firenze/Florence Italy. I think this could make a serene computer screen wallpaper.
Finally, the interior pools and gardens lined with maidens, arms gracefully arched bidding us to be calm.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

roadside flowers

My husband, on a solo trip in Flagstaff (and then eastward to Pinetop), took this pic of roadside flowers outside of Flagstaff.  I stayed in the (too warm) Tucson valley, still "highwayed out" as I told him after the two hour journey from Huntington Beach to Malibu two weeks ago.  The bumper to bumper, shoulder to shoulder, shop to shop panorama continues to be a reflection of what hell would look and feel like to me.  Heaven, on the other hand, is open space such as this picture and what we continue to enjoy about living in the Tucson area.  Yesterday, finishing up chores, I savored the late afternoon light on UA Campus farms where cattle and horses leisurely chewed on green grass and a field of tassling corn in their background gave me a momentary time travel to Randall Road in Elgin, Illinois and my grandparents' farm.  Autumn's light is here even if the cooler daytime temps have not yet settled in but the nights are lovely.  Last night, I sat on the porch, watching Gray the cat's tail twitch to music we could both hear from the nearby Greek Festival.  The notes enthralled me so much I got up and did a little Zorba jig and then, as that music stilled for a moment, sang "Bella Notte" (from the movie, "Lady and the Tramp") to the half moon.  When you are lifted up by song, what childhood chorus comes to your heart?

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Gray Buddha

This photo captures, I think, Gray's Buddha-nature which I appreciate as I read my daily Tao.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Oh, you gotta have friends

That's a line from a very good song by Carole King.  And it's true, of course.  Mark and I enjoyed our weekend in Southern Cal and especially an evening in Pasadena with my former NIU grad school colleague, Michael.  We went through the Adult Education Program together and took different routes since then, professionally, geographically and personally, but have reconnected in the past couple of years.  That's a good thing and we hope it continues as we lean forward into our 60s.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Front Porch scene

One of the perks I have experienced since becoming a part-time "cat lady" is sitting on the front porch, enjoying the shade in the morning and the sunsets in the evening, along with chatting with neighbors walking their dogs or getting the mail. Of course, I also read and check in with my Nook, from time to time. Gray, the cat, is under the chair, enjoying the breeze from the fan. Our son's snowboard is propped in the open garage. What perk in life have you enjoyed in late summer?

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Beauty at the Getty Villa

Mark and I went to California this weekend to celebrate the 99th birthday of my Aunt Mollie.  We added a couple of other events to our schedule, and a second visit to the Getty Villa was on our short list.  He took many gorgeous photos but here is the first (yes, I am going to draw this out a bit, so you can savor the beauty as we did). This shot is of one of the several gardens, fashioned after a Roman Villa in Naples.  The upper class (comparable to our 1%, I suppose), spent much of their time in the gardens, maybe reading Cicero (or, even talking with Cicero if he was a guest of the Villa's owner), discussing the latest political events (instead of watching CNN) and savoring the leisure lifestyle they enjoyed, at the expense of slaves from the conquered Roman Empire.  But, the beauty endures, in spite of the events that created this culture--remembering, though, that nothing is permanent.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Very Slow Sunday

It's been that way today, taking time to experience just what happens in the moment.  Here is one example: the blue Morning Glory flowers that only appear for a short time on the wild vines growing around the oleanders in our backyard.  One vine covers the dead branches of an oleander killed (mostly) by Texas Root Rot; the other covers a second struggling oleander.  Both appear to be not only surviving the fungus but showing signs of renewal.  I don't know if the vines have a symbiotic relationship with the oleanders or not, but the deep green leaves, dotted (in August/September) with blue flowers, give me a morning gift.  Last year, when the frost came, the vines crumpled into brown dust and I thought "well, that's that."  But they came back again this spring.  I am hoping for a third year's visit, should they again crumble in December.  In addition to taking time to admire the Morning Glory, I sat on the front porch for two hours with Gray, reading, talking to neighbors and with a long-distance friend by phone.  Then, more reading (and writing) inside, and here it is almost 11 a.m. and I have yet to make the bed!!  Oh, well, that's the joy of a very slow Sunday.