Friday, July 31, 2009

Friday Foto and story

As my mother's first born I was a major disappointment to her. My hair would not curl. I was always fussing with dresses and petticoats. And I never stayed clean. Debbie, my kid sister, did her bit at being an adorable little girl - for a while. Mother would probably blame me for leading her astray. But it was Debbie that drove us into that huge mud hole to the right in this picture.

Dad would be proud. Mom would pretend she didn't know us. Though I am wearing pink. She always wanted me in pink.

My followers on Facebook have probably seen this photo of after we rescued the Rubicon from its muddy imprisonment. It was no average mud puddle. Parts, like just outside the passenger side door recommended as THE way to get out of the Jeep, were three feet deep. It took more than an hour to get the Jeep out. Now the rest of the story.

We had just begun accessing the situation when along came a group of ATV tourists. I say tourist because they were all wearing clean and ironed clothes and riding totally spotless all terrain vehicles. The leader of the pack, in jeans with a crease, seeing out situation drove over to "offer assistance." He was quick to add from 20 feet away (he would not want to get his white shirt dirty) that he doubted he could help at all. Frankly I thought a couple of the ATV's linked by tow strap to the jeep might just do the trick but I could see the fear in his eyes; it would mean getting dirty.

Debbie and I proceeded to see if we could push the jeep back the way we had come - Deb at the wheel and me at the front bumper. Mr. Pressed Jeans offered some Sunday Morning quarterbacking from the private box (he was still sitting on the idling ATV). As we had already tried his suggestions before he arrived we ignored him.

He offered to radio for our rescue. That alone set him off as from-some-other-where because who he thought would be available and where he thought he would tell them to come were major issues. We had already covered that ground before getting out of the jeep. We had cell phone service. And we knew our GPS coordinates. But we were off the map as it were and it would take another jeep (or ATV's) to get to where we were if they could find the path we took. ATV's take another path.

I thanked him nicely for his concern and told him we could manage. And if we could not get the Jeep out we knew which way was home and could walk.

We did get the jeep out and on the way down the mountain headed to the car wash we spotted the pristine white pickup with the ATV trailer parked illegally just outside the National Forest gates where he could avoid a string of mud puddles on the road. We briefly considered taking some of the mud from the jeep and applying it decoratively to all that white. We didn't.

I would like to say my good side won out on that debate, moral upbringing and all, but it was rather more a fear that he was the type to make a federal case out of it and pay for the forensics to match the mud to the puddle and then to us even if we avoided fingerprints.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Song Saturday on Tuesday

One of my 360 friends who is now on Facebook posted a link to a Youtube video by Celtic Thunder. I apologize for not knowing who they were until today. I am making up for lost time. And thought I would post one of their great harmonies here for all to enjoy.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Monday Morning Chat Over Coffee

July is a busy time in the highlands. Lots of tourists which also means lots of events various organizations what volunteers for and lots of things to do outside like gardening and mowing. To this mother nature adds the monsoon season which brings us afternoon and evening rains from the clouds created during the heat of the day.

It makes for spectacular sunsets as I posted on my Facebook wall. And if it rains through the night some very spectacular dawns like the one above. Yesterday we got it all - sunrise, sunset and a double rainbow. So I was constantly having to set aside what I was doing to grab the camera and record another awesome moment.

Sunday is my day off and I never plan to do much and yesterday I didn't. I played on the computer posting new blogs with slide shows I created at FlickR with some of the many pictures I took while four-wheeling with my sister this last week. I did manage some minor "putting to rights" about the house. Today I hope to get back to my studio to actually finish those paintings I have begun. And work on some sketches for new ones I have been considering.

How was your weekend?

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Wildflowers in July

Thought rather than bore you with endless photos I would just put these flower into a slide show. If I can remember how I did this the last time.

My sister and I were up off-roading this last week which was notable for the heavy rains every afternoon and evening. Some of the sunflowers look totally drenched but they do seem to be able to recover.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Saturday Sum Up

On the old Y360 Saturday was typically my day to sum up the week. This one was particularly fun as my sister arrived on Tuesday afternoon with her Jeep Rubicon and we went were people do not often go. One of those places yesterday was a high meadow balanced on the ridge between the Moreno Valley and the Taos Volcanic plateau. As we entered the meadow we saw an elk and then two.

While patiently waiting for them to get closer for a better picture we heard the high pitched bugling of cows and calves and turning saw the ears of a huge herd going around behind us just over a low hill. Soon some appeared in a clearing in the forest on the edge of the meadow. They stopped a waited.

As their numbers increased they began to move off into the shelter of the trees twenty to fifty at a time while still calling to those behind us and out of sight.

I am told that such events in Celtic legend signal a lucky year ahead. Both my sister and I could use such a year after a not-so-great winter of our discontent behind us. And in truth there are some indications that my luck is indeed turning. The opening of the studio and the 3 T's Trail at last is only one mile post of better days ahead. As frequent readers know there was the Best of Show award at the Red River Fine Arts and Wine Festival coupled with good sales. And satisfactory sales at the Artsfest Show.

I just traded a painting for twin beds for the apartment which makes me one step closer to having that outfitted as a vacation rental. Getting really close to having that done. Still looking for a kitchen table and chairs. Won the battle with the electric utility co-op here. Seems I was right about my meter reading wrong. Not that they have gone back and readjusted any past bills, but the last one was more inline with previous years at least.

I am nearing the completion of my four years of debtor's prison - Chapter 13 - with three more payments to make. Then lo and behold they sent me a check for $87 with no explanation. Friends think that signals I am done with my obligation already and paperwork will follow.

The biggest thing of the last week as far as blogland is concerned is my reaching totally FED UP with Profiles. I am only posting links to my other blogs there in the status message. A friend tells me they are still working on improvements. If that is indeed the case I may go back but for now, friends, Blogger is where it is at for me.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Monday Morning Chat Over Coffee

Some scientist has probably already researched this but I found myself wondering this morning if flocks of birds of a certain species contain a stable membership during a season. Or when flock one meets flock two do they all become confused and fly off with the wrong flock? And do younger members of a flock lag and loose out on the direction everyone is heading? Do big storms forever break up a flock?

If the membership of Y360 was a flock then it certainly has been scattered to the four winds as it were. Some of us came at least temporarily to rest on the wires of Yahoo Profiles because our nests (blogs) were moved there. But more and more it seems we are reforming in other locations to become different flocks all be it smaller. And collecting lone birds from other flocks. Some are flying from flock to flock not knowing quite where they want to settle.

I am here. I love here. More and more I love here. And just yesterday I began to settle into Facebook beyond my previous five second rule. I've let the Twitter flock sail off into the horizon. Given the hacking going on there not sure I even want to return to close the account.

Beyond blogland I have been working on buffing and fluffing the studio and had three women stop in yesterday to see if I was open. Wasn't but did. I have my first student today. Bit nervous about that. I have my expectations and she has hers I am sure. Learned that when I was teaching skiing and dance and various self-actualization workshops.

My sister is coming up tomorrow so as soon as student is out the door time to buff and fluff other areas of the neglected residence. I am anxiously awaiting a delivery of art supplies ordered on line recently. I am going to begin stretching my own canvases again. I say again because I did that while getting my fine arts degree in college. Lately have celebrated that you can buy them pre-stretched these days. But the economy and that I am making my own frames is changing my perspective.

I am beginning to feel comfortable in my new flock here in Blogger. And the 360 strays I joined in Facebook are a happy bunch with a few new birds in that group too. So if I had to answer my opening question I would say flocks are always in a state of flux. What do you think?

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Sunday Sum Up for July 19,2009

I am not going totally away from Profiles. My Y360 archived blogs are there. But from now on (unless significant improvements are made and quickly) I will be posting most of my blogs on Blogger. And using the status message on Profiles for links to my new posts here for my Profile friends

I have been one of the longest supporters of Yahoo but I just cannot keep faith any more. I am tired of my modules having to be constantly re-arranged and not having any control over my site. Sick to death of Ice Blue. You can decorate IM and Twitter. Why not Profiles. But the most irritating thing is, since I was staying there to stay in contact with friends, is that I am not always getting the alerts that messages have been left. And lots of friends are moving.

Against all desires I have wound up more and more on Facebook to stay in touch with friends I had originally made on 360. And quite a few of us are here on Blogger. Google has added some very nice new friendship features like following. Dashboard is now like the old 360 home page.

Don't look for me on Multiply. I do not trust that site and will not even visit you there. Sorry, but they done me wrong.

Hey, it has been a fun journey. And I will check Profiles for messages and post links in status message but it is no longer the first blog platform I tune into every morning. I generally log on to Blogger and catch up with updates on Dashboard.

So Sad! Look for me on Chats with Charley II for the old 360 type blogs.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Word Thursday - Dulcet

One of the many community based themes I got involved with on Y!360 was Word Thursday. There was a Word Thursday, an Art Sunday, Poetry Wednesday, Movie Monday, Friday Five, Book Tuesday and Song Saturday. It drove you nuts if you tried to participate in all of it.

Several of my 360 friends are here now that 360 is but a memory. Nicholas V is now Intelliblog. He generally has a blog up for many of the days of the week. Dangerous Meredith is the Adventures of Dangerous Meredith here and she has a post for Word Thursday. Bee at Bee's Blog posted for Poetry Wednesday as did I on Creative Journey where I have decided to keep alive Poetry Wednesday in its new Multi-blog form.

I used to be a fanatic about Word Thursday but I am realizing that was in part because I used it as a vehicle to slam GW Bush. And as Nixon said, "we don't have him to kick around any more." Though to be frank his V.P. is still very much a target. But I now have Travels With Charley for my political rants. So to do Word Thursday or no? I think I will.

My friend Lynn who is on Profiles and Blogger did a post this morning about the movie August Rush (now out on DVD and available on Netflix). She posted a video which fits into no particular theme but gave rise to the word Dulcet for me.


1. Pleasing to the ear; melodious; harmonious.
2. Generally pleasing, soothing, or agreeable.
3. (Archaic) Sweet to the taste.

If you want to catch up with our most famous songster, the nightingale, just visit Minsmere at the end of April, or early May, and stand on the edge of the car park. You'll soon hear the dulcet tones of the poets' favourite bird.
-- Stephen Moss, "Birdwatch", The Guardian, October 23, 2000

Amanda . . . rages at her young 'uns in a voice that may have been full of dulcet notes when she turned the heads of her gentleman callers in her youth, but has now grown hard-edged and ringing, like a cracked bell.
-- Hal Hinson, Washington Post, November 11, 1987

Just as my eyelids started to get heavy and my brain began to relax its hold on wakefulness -- bam! -- the less than dulcet tones of Britain's top breakfast DJ started to emanate from my radio alarm.
-- "Secs in the City", The Guardian, July 30, 2001

Dulcet comes from Old French doucet, diminutive of dous, "sweet," from Latin dulcis, "sweet."

Aaah, the dulcet tones of the morning birds here in Black Lake as the sun makes its appearance over the mountain to the east.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Just Chatter

I opened this particular blog to archive my 360 posts and then discovered that at this time that is not possible on Blogger. I transferred some significant ones about the studio progress which I thought I might need for litigation and a couple others that interested me. But with three other blogs do I really need this one I wonder.

And yet this morning after dedicating Profiles and Creative Journey to to Poetry Wednesday posts I found I just wanted to chatter like I used to do in the early days of Y360 when I just considered it my on line journal. I suppose I could be a nattering nabob on Sidetracked Charley but I seem to get derailed there with more purpose. And my thoughts today are not on anything political. They are on butter keepers and baking English Muffin bread later.

A long time pottery friend of mine makes these delightful ceramic butter keepers: You fill the container on the lid with butter and the bottom with cold water and it keeps your butter fresh and at spreadable temperature with no refrigeration. I spread some this morning on the last of the English Muffin toast and then topped it with slices of avocado. Yum.

Sandy and her husband, the potters, are getting up in age and it amazes me how well they do in setting up for fairs and taking down. I have known them for more than a dozen years and collected pieces of her pottery all that time. This year, out of boredom she says, she has exploded in a plethora of whimsical colors and themes after years of earth tones. My new butter keeper is sunny yellow and I bought a bowl in matching yellow and orange. I love ceramic mixing bowls especially for making bread.

As we broke down Sunday, Sandy gifted me with a platter that matched the bowl. I was so touched I almost cried. She gives me the chipped pieces so I can break them up and put them in a tea table I am planning on making. I want to have my potter friends represented. But the last two such pieces she has given me I cannot see the chips in. I am loathe to break them to pieces just yet. Every fair we are together I wonder if it will be this that is the last. None of us are getting any younger.

The platter and the bowl are in a place of honor for the moment. And I touch the butter keeper when I am in the kitchen even if there is not butter to be spread just then.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Farewell Y360

Since Wednesday my life has not been about blogging. It has been about getting ready for the big summer fair. It is not a huge fair but my involvement is huge in that I not only am exhibiting but I am on the board of the Arts Council that hosts this fair and I have been a volunteer bee as well. That means I am out of the house early and return late and like last night was too exhausted to even turn on the computer.

Meanwhile Y!360 is closing. Today being its last day. I had supposed when they first announced this I would be busy making sure of connections to all my friends on that failing blog platform. But alas I have been too busy with the "real word" to even check in on page comments there. When I did so today I noticed some Asian chick was still trying to sell me cellphones. I think I have mentioned how much made in China stuff I no longer buy on Travels with Charley so I don't think I will miss this aspect of the old blog home.

Many of my friends are already on Blogger or Profiles or Facebook and so I no longer dread the losing of people that matter. We have already connected. And my two years of blogs are on Profiles. So tomorrow when there is no longer any 360 it will almost be a relief: One less blog platform to keep abreast of. I can take it off my toolbar and out of bookmarks and off plug-ins on my IM window. And as a person that moved much I know once you leave the old neighborhood for the last time you truly start to settle in to the new one.

Only the whole long process of this last move has made me a bit of a ether nomad. I have multiple homes now (none of which are Multiply) and I enjoy each for what they offer that is unique. And that said I wave a fond farewell to 360. It will forever have a place in my heart as my first blog ever.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Chit Chat

What a week this has been! No trauma. All the big events have been on television and occurring to other people. Frankly I am sick of the whole Michael Jackson coverage and have stopped viewing news because there is no news beyond that. In the grand scheme of things his life is really very unimportant. And exceeded in unimportance only by his death.

Please don't send hate mail. And frankly I felt the same way about Elvis Presley. And now some football star (excuse me former football star) and his girl friend have been killed. There are seldom any former sports stars that do much with their lives after they leave the field. Some feel forced to re-enter the Tour de France way past their prime.

All that above coupled with the closing of Y!360 brings to mind a stanza from a poem or a song I heard long ago - for everything there is a season. All things in nature sprout or are birthed or formed and then they age and degenerate and go back to where they came in altered form.

I have been watching my poppies a lot this summer. They were a riot of buds which seem to take forever to burst open. The flowers, by flower standards, are huge. And they no sooner seem to get out the wrinkles (unlike some flowers they are scrunched up in their buds) then they fade. yesterday I took a picture of five of them - one was just bursting forth and one dropping color and petals. Three in all their glory.

That says so much about the process of life. If there is a fault in our culture greater than any other it is our inability to let go. We do not celebrate life's passages but hold entirely too tightly to the now. We spend billions and put our loved ones through great pain in our futile attempts to cheat death. We want to hold on to our youth forever and spend time and money to reduce wrinkles and delete gray, pop a pill for instant erections like teenage boys. And we elevate hollow heroes to legendary status and artificially try to keep them there. If we cannot do that in life we do it in death. We build pyramids of edited film strips.

We really need to learn to let go. In nature death is as important as birth. Enjoy this moment for it is life. And be prepared to decamp and move on.