Thursday, December 5, 2013

Dec 2013

Portland, I'm told, is the place where young people go to retire.

I spent 5 days in Brooklyn with Kate and David, hanging, eating, exploring... including a day with Susan (she who helped me birth Kate 34 years ago). Then I joined Kate and David for a trip to Portland to celebrate American Thanksgiving with David's family and their friends and my friends and their family. It was an enormous and delicious dinner. There were dogs, too. These friends, both old and new, then celebrated my birthday with warmth and even more food... and chocolate.

And a trip to Powell's Books. Google it and you'll find out why that's important.

I stayed with Phoebe and Richard, she from my university days in Texas. Some of you might remember Phoebe from my October 2006 calendar, when she and Richard lived in San Francisco. Three years ago they moved to Portland and now have recently adopted this delightful terrier named Kobi, who also included me in his family circle. He is rotund. He is 11 years old. He gets very upset when people hug.

He spent entirely too much time being upset during my happy visit.
Thank you Kobi... et al. Virtual hugs to all of you... youse all... ya'll.
You know who you are.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Nov 2013

November is blowing in
On Halloween's heels...
Wind and total grey here,
Inside rain cloud.
But this is not that.
This is before...
Because I want to tell you 
About my sunrises.

On clear mornings the sun
First strikes the top of the tower,
Then creeps down
The rest of the buildings
Reflecting growing glare 
Into my windows,
And leaving the trees below
Still in Earth's own shadow.
Each day a different version
On glorious theme...
Now underscored
As sun slips south.

I see
The city...
The valley...
The lake...
The island.
Different light
Every morning. 

Have I mentioned?
I'm a lucky girl.

Have a great Mo/Movember and
Be sure to remember
To remember 
On the eleventh.
Et al. 
His birthday
And pleas
For humanity.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Oct 2013

Suprising sunrise
Quietly reveals
What's coming

Get out there and enjoy all the changes.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Sept 2013


Still unpacking, but I took a mo to sit and watch this from my new balcony. Every sunset is singular. I'm a lucky girl.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Aug 2013


In the last month we've had such a range of weather to complain about and even to rejoice in: oppressive heat, a flood with resulting electrical blackout, and supreme bouts of coolth. I found myself remembering the sweltering heat of Barbados AND how Bajan architecture welcomes the Sun and uses his own power to beat back the discomfort he can cause. 

In Bridgetown at the George Washington House... where George visited as a young man and developed his interest in becoming a soldier... I saw how people filtered water through a stack of coral stones situated under the dense shade of an old tree. Since the island is made of coral, this idea was probably obvious then. 

In Spightstown I visited Arlington House, home to the Skinner family for some 200 years... and where they operated a ship's chandlery on the ground floor. Generations of Skinners and their guests were able to escape the then-capital's hustle and bustle on this louvered second-floor balcony. Britishly, of course, they called it the first floor. I sat here relishing the cool quiet before venturing back out into the glare for more exploring. 

I meandered and visited a gallery featuring artist Bill Grace's sculpture, then I crossed the street and found a beach-front cafe. There I soaked up the shade of sweeping trees and a salt-tinged breeze and some refreshing coconut water with some local fish. 

It's really hard to complain about Nature's extreme heat, when she also provides such glorious respite. All we have to do is find it. After all, shade only works when there's a powerful sun to create it. 

Enjoy the rest of your summer, eh?

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

July 2013


Since I have this beedance fixation, when I first wanted to learn about eBay I decided to experiment with items about bees. I discovered little bee-jewelled bee brooches and bee pendants and bee earrings... and children's books about bees... and even a famous early 1900s bee-keeping volume by one John Lovell, whose last name is the same as that of my great-great-grandmother... and my own middle name. I also found this little hand-hooked bee rug from the newly-dubbed BeeBay. These little bees seem to be showing me their beedance directions to places only they can imagine. Or perhaps you know????

This past Monday we celebrated Canada Day... you'll notice the stamp here, proving Don Watt's flag still stands on guard for me. We're now hoping for some actual summer weather. Hope your summer is full of fireworks and bees dancing, pointing your way to refreshing victuals and nectars and more.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

June 2013

If I ever made a quilt...

One would include all the bee designs I've played with over the years.
Another would be cats at windows watching the seasons.
I don't think I'm the quilting kind, tho, so Illustrator gives me the
opportunity to experiment sans thimble and avec loads of un-dos.

My quiltly interest has recently resurfaced through Arlene Sachitano's delightful cozy mysteries. They're centred around the Puget Sound area in Washington State where my parents lived when I was born. That means I lived there, too, of course, but all I know are their stories and scrapbook pix. Fortunately both are rich sources.

Arlene's books focus on quilts and the community of people who make
them. You can find them at Amazon. The books, not the quilts.
You're on your own for those.

Arlene (who quilts) and her family live in Portland, now home to
Phoebe (who weaves) and Richard (who keeps me posted
on all things internet)... Phoebe of my university days of lore
and whom Kate now calls "West Coast Mum."

Bonus: these peeps all now know each other. Arlene is mother
to David. You know, the one who has captured Kate's heart...
the one who visited here as my cherished Christmas surprise.

As Dirk Gently pointed out, it all serves to demonstrate the
fundamental interconnectedness of all phenomena in the universe.

Like quilts.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

May 2013

Meet Ashes.

When her human, Barbados artist Bill Grace
Moved to Isreal with his family,
Ashes took up residence with my son.
I met her when I visited Barbados in March.

She greeted me with a soft voice
And taught me how to scratch her ears
And how to rub her tummy...
And not to expect her to sit on my lap.

She loves to bask where a breeze can reach her.
Soon we'll be looking for our own chilling places again.
Remembering past baskings and discovering new coolths,

Today I complained about chill wind, rain and hail.
I pledge to remember and not to complain In the heat to come,
But to follow Ashes' lead and
Quietly bask.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

April 2013

Since I converted to white hair
I've noticed there are times
When I'm invisible.

Not just in stores waiting for service.
Not just on the subway wishing for a seat.
It happens on sidewalks:
People just walk into me.
I'm not talking about a little brush
Of the elbow or of the shoulder.
I'm talking about full head-on impact.

I see them coming,
And if I can't step aside,
I stop in my tracks.
Sometimes I say something
Like "Head's up!" or "Watch out!"
When they notice me
They look absolutely stunned
To find me there.

My bouts of invisibility seem to last
A couple of days at a time,
Then all returns to normal.
People seem warmly
Aware of my presence
And don't step on me
Or push me aside in their
Rush to board the subway.

Last week a shiny new
Chapter unfolded:
On my trip to work
People smiled, yes,
But several strangers
Smiled extra-big smiles and
Actually said "Hello!"
One young man waved
As we approached each other
On the sidewalk. He smiled and
Said "Hello," then as we passed
He said, "Have a great day!"
I will admit I loved the attention.

Once at work, my friends
Continued the trend.
They all greeted me
With their own extra-big smiles
And extra-exuberant hellos.

Seems all I need to do
To increase my visibility
Is wear my new bright green shoes.
No foolin'!

Friday, March 1, 2013

March 13

GPS or Buddhism?

Go there,
But wherever...

I'm at home learning epub.
I'm on my way to Barbados,
Reading epub books on my iPhone.
Now noticing distance
Below chapter headings 
To first paragraph.
And how is that first paragraph
Different from the rest?
And just how much indent
Do I deem best? 
I'm hanging with my son in B'dos.
We're having dins with Lisl.
And we're skype-ing with my daughter in CA.

Chris Hadfield, floating above us,
Keeps tweeting
Amazing and glorious pix from space,
And describes all with eyes and
Voice of a poet.

I digress.
And I reflect.
Maybe it's all the same, eh?
Is this about
One tiny letter 
And one almost optional period?

GPS vs. Buddhism?
GPS is Buddhism?

After all,

Friday, February 1, 2013

Feb 2013

Yes! Another New Year!

Traditionally the Chinese observe the lunar year, which means the new year falls on a different calendar day each year. It's the second new moon after the winter solstice. The Chinese celebrate for 15 days with different activities designated for each day. Wikipedia has it all. This year's new moon arrives on Feb. 10th and is the actual day that the Dragon's year is usurped by the Year of the Snake.

Famous people born in the Year of the Snake include Muhammad Ali, Tony Blair, Bob Dylan, Henry Fonda, Mahatma Gandhi, Greta Garbo, Dizzy Gillespie, JFK, Carole King, Mao Zedong, Pablo Picasso, Oprah Winfrey, Virginia Woolf. Anne Rice, Ann-Margret,  Audrey Hepburn, Christie Brinkley, Elizabeth Hurley, Grace Kelly, Jacqueline Kennedy, Kim Basinger, Linda McCartney, Liv Tyler,  Queen Elizabeth I, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Sarah Jessica Parker, Art Garfunkel, Audrey Hepburn, Dean Martin, Dorothy Parker, Paul Simon, Ben Stiller, Charlie Sheen, Charles Darwin, Martha Stewart, Pierce Brosnon, President Abraham Lincoln, Robert Downey Jr., Tim Allen, and Grace Kelly.

In Western Astrology we see any new moon as an opportunity to unlock our dreams. This Feb 10th new moon is in Aquarius. It's focus will be on innovative ideas, the future, humanitarianism, revelations and surprises... all to include the big picture, humour and warm friendships. I invite you to prepare a New Moon Wish List on the evening of the10th.