Saturday, April 27, 2013

Hitting the "pause" button

Well, the past two weeks haven't been slow with the launch and early promotion and distribution of my Talk UP^ Tucson... book.  Here I am with Kevin Jones from Alphagraphics, the local business I hired to print the book.

In between the "book stuff", Mark and I have kept up with our daily walks and muddled through the emotional morass of the terror in Boston.  I finally met with the Ex. Director of Ben's Bells which was interesting and had a lovely lunch with two professional colleagues.
We heard from our Illinois cousins this week that my Aunt Della, Dad's "younger" sister (at 92) died.  Here are two photos from Mark's 2011 trip to Dundee of her and the Fonte house, designated by the Dundee Historical Society as an example of 1850 era "immigrant housing."  It's been remodelled several times since then:) but my dad and his 7 siblings all grew up in this tiny home .
We are in the last days of Spring before the summer arrives, and with it, we need to reframe our exercise practices.  But before the four-month heat arrives, we can still savor Spring scenes, arriving with the diverse blooming of cactus in the area.  Here's a photo of such loveliness from our neighbor's front yard.
So, just for today, mirroring my message from the blooms here, I will be strong, steady and a bit slower to react but quicker to smile.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Gray Then and Now

It's been 8 months since Gray walked into our backyard and into our lives.  Here are two photos:  the first as Gray appeared in August and then this weekend, leisurely curled on the front walk.  Not only has he become healthier but more calm in demeanor which we notice daily and you might be able to see.


Saturday, April 13, 2013

Checking up on the horses at UA Campus Farms

Today we decided was a lovely morning to bicycle to the UA Campus Farms and see how the four mares and their foals were coming along.  They were gathered close to a green space, so we parked the bicycles and walked up to the fence.  The mountains and blue sky were at their panoramic best, and we took our time enjoying the rural scene, just over a mile from our home. 
Here are two of the mares and their babes.

Mark always asks me questions I can't answer, such as "how much does a foal weigh when it is born," how long do they nurse?", "how often are twins born?"  I tell him my experience is limited to one pony, Lightening, that my sister and I enjoyed, part-time, as kids.  My Grandparents Dice acquired the horse, belonging to a 12 year old girl who never visited him, through boarding it on their five-acre farm in Illinois.  My niece, Whitney, is the real horsewoman (so far) in the family.  But I have always had a fondness for horses, their warm, velvet noses, power and patience in their being who and what they are.  Look at this mom and babe--the photo suggests the gentle nuzzling that goes between them for a few sweet moments.

I try to guess the age of the four foals.  Sometimes I go by size or by the signs of dependence or independence each one displays.  This one is starting to go out on his/her own a bit more than the others.
Mark often gets the question, "what are you doing with your life these days?"  Between these photos and others I have shared on this blog and my other ( , whether it is intentional or not, Mark is evolving into an impressive photographer, I think.  It may be part of his "encore career."  As for me, writing this and the other blog is going to morph into a third book! 
At the end of today's ride, we stopped at Ghini's Bakery to buy two soft, fresh croissants for lunch.  We agreed that, walking 3 miles (yesterday we did 4 miles) a day and these occasional bicycle rides, we are in the best overall physical shape we have been for some time and enjoying our "slow life" to the maximum. 
What about you?  Is your life going in the direction you want?  I hope so--whatever time we have, it's too brief for this glorious journey.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Serene Sunday

Yesterday, I pushed myself (and my ankle) a bit too hard (and Friday night I got up from the couch and "danced" with Fred Astaire during a recorded replay of "Easter Parade").  So, today, I needed to slow it down, breath a bit more deeply and just be quiet.  I turned the sound off the Diamondbacks game (hooray for baseball season) and edited my short short stories for the upcoming summer book with the Paradise Writers' Group.  Then, Mark took a break from doing taxes and we went to the DeGrazia studio.  I wanted to DeGrazia's Stations of the Cross which were featured in last week's local paper and revisit the chapel.  We hadn't been back there since New Year's Day.

What struck me as we walked inside the Chapel was radiance of the light.  Because of the change of the season, the shift of the sun, the light pulled in the blue of the western windows, mixed with the color of the walls and, magically, lavendar shone near the altar.  I don't know if Mark's photo captures all that, but here it is.

Outside, the bursage (spelling?) is in bloom and its yellow flowers against the saguaro-ribbed fence led me to name this photo, "Flowers and Fence."
Since we were already in the foothills, we decided to dine early at El Charro and then go to Sabino Canyon for a late afternoon walk.  The shadows were just beginning to slide into the canyon.
By the time we had finished our walk, it was nearing 6 p.m. and we both agreed: this was a (surprisingly) serene Sunday.