The way to love someone
is to lightly run your finger over that person's soul
until you find a crack,
and then gently pour your love into that crack.
~Keith Miller

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

what's up in Alabama

Brigitte Brüggemann
Now we are back in Auburn for a couple weeks.  I was surprised (aggravated might be a better word for the true feeling) to see another full U-haul load scattered around the house - The Cost of Discipleship (Bonhoeffer) lays forlorn in the middle of the den's floor, right under a ceiling fan that we can't possible part with.  I just finished grouting a bathroom floor.  Next, for me, I believe after this break I will take the ceiling fan down and replace it with the light fixture I ordered for this room more than a month ago.
The brown band is packing tape a
cross the doorway discouraging entry
while the grout cures

One friend asked, "How many States have y'all been in this summer?"  Nine (and Texas really should count as 5).  That's a lot of road and bunches of wear and tear (or fray) on the old telomeres.  I like looking out the window watching the travel channel up close and personal, I do not like hotels and trip food.  I think I've actually been very stressed out of late (beginning about a year and a half ago) and I am committing to myself to regain ground on looking after myself better.  I have found that frozen yogurt and the occasional exotic martini really don't help at all as a long term solution to managing the pain of life.  I am thinking now that while a lot of the grievous things which come our way are beyond our control, that maybe that idea of slowing things down enough to truly savor (or notice at least) all the delightful things may be the best path to balancing the load.
Some of that yucky stuff is entirely within ones control as far as exposure to and how to think about it.
The lady next door dwells on her dysfunctional relationship with an adult child.  They have had no contact in over seven years.  Yesterday  she came over (she misses me) and that was her main topic.  I am sad for them both.  It seems such a waste.  It seems like there might be a way towards reconciliation.  Her grief is palpable and honestly, it adversely affects every aspect of her life.  I told her that things that don't make sense ... just don't.  One can not make sense of a thing which is senseless.  I don't have any idea of how she can/best should handle that, but I do know for me, with stuff like that...senseless stuff, once it is massaged to the point of recognizing the senselessness of it... I make myself stop thinking about it.  None of my kids dislike me.  Maybe it's not possible to just stop dealing with something like that.  I do know that my mom didn't like me, it never made sense.  I didn't look for a replacement mom, I just dealt with it.  It did lead me to conclude that I was unlikeable to women (at least somewhat)  but it was just one of those things of which one must say "It is what it is."  Is that too pragmatic?
Yucky stuff.  My brother's widow is posting stuff on his Facebook page which I find odd and nonsensical.  She thinks he is communicating with her via cloud formations, dragonflies, electrical surges on a not charged light-up toy car.  As I polished grout in between those tiny floor tiles I realized I can't help her but I can help myself by not looking at the posts.  I don't have to experience the clutter of her journey.  I don't understand her process, but ... I don't have to.  If I do check in on the latest manifestation and find it "taxing" - it's on me.  I don't have to visit the shrines.  I miss him.  We all have our individual ways of dealing with our stuff.  I know it must be very difficult for her.

Here's the plan.
It's a good list.

whatever is


think on such things.

~Philippians 4:8

I used to have a plan for what I would think about when ever I had time to let my mind wander.  I have neglected that habit of late.  I am trying to get back to some of my basics.  Lately I have been reviewing "systems".  I'm pretty familiar with many aircraft systems.  I've "re-looked" at some of those just for fun.  Ummm, engines rock.  I think it is truly genius that mankind has devised so many productive systems.
I have been thinking about how each person (an absolutely marvelous multi system  entity) is part of a larger "thing".  I've been thinking about how important it is to show up in life and contribute your part. Just from having had plenty of opportunities to observe, I've noticed that seemingly inconsequential or totally unrelated "actions" can matter, can have significant positive impact.  Doing what you are supposed to do and of equal importance, not doing what you're not supposed to do.  Today a friend posted a little reminder which said:

so true

I didn't get a great picture of it, but it does look nice in the den.  I like that I know how to do that.  Installing a fixture is a lot easier then paying someone to come in and do it! (The floor job I'm not as certain about.)

Oh, and for future reference - today we stopped owning Vincent (Van Go).  The engine said, "no más". 

and this, because I know it will make me smile every time I see it (too bad I typo-ed):

Saturday, July 25, 2015

a couple of Artists I enjoyed seeing on the trip

Deborah Butterfield
Denver Botanic Gardens was one of my favorite stops on our recent road trip.  I always enjoy visiting public gardens and Denver offers one of the most diverse.  It's the sort of place I could visit again and again.  Boy was it a wonderful surprise to luck upon an exhibit of Deborah Butterfield work which is on display there.  I took this picture. Not the best, but it will have to serve as a reminder of a wonder-filled time. I'd estimate that this bonze is about seven foot high - maybe taller.  There was a film showing which explained her process.  It was interesting and I enjoyed becoming familiar with both her and her work.  Now I have looked at several example of her sculpture.  It's neat to see how her expressions evolve.  My husband may have taken "better" pictures - if so, I'll add them.

These, we did not see in Denver.  I scooped them up online as I became better acquainted with Ms. Butterfield's work:
Blue Lily (2014) ~ Deborah Butterfield

Red Head (2005) ~ Deborah Butterfield


A place in my heart ~ Brigitte Brüggemann
Deva ~Brigitte Brüggemann
Timeless #1 ~ Brigitte Brüggemann

V and I particularly enjoyed visiting the brigitte brüggemann studio in Santa Fe, seeing several of her works and chatting (too) briefly with Ms. Brüggeman.  I am certain that my daughter will remember our time there fondly.  Too bad these images (found online) do not adequately convey the dynamic energy and serene quality we experienced as we had time with the pieces currently housed in her studio.  I found the pieces to be soothing, a bit whimsical ... and just very good to be with.

Monday, July 20, 2015

wind farm

 The rotor is connected to the main shaft, which spins a generator to create electricity.

Palmer Carlin Senior Engineer at National Renewable Energy Laboratory

Very cool to see these towering over pasture land - the animals don't seem to mind at all.

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Road trip day 4 - in Denver

We are in Denver today.  Drove up from Santa Fe yesterday.  I like driving.  I like riding. I like seeing the sights from the car.  This is a beautiful country.  I enjoyed watching storms cook up in the distant West, de-energizing before they reached 25N.  My husband inadvertently re-routed us through a childhood memory of mine.  Raton, N.M. - I lived there as a very young child and recalled as we approached the little town, a sign on the mountain side, RATON, I guess it was one of the first words I recognized. The mind is an awesome thing.  We were miles South when I recalled, I think I remember... . I didn't look for it as we blurred through, my husband spotted it and pointed it out.  I don't particularly enjoy remembering what I alone may recall ... The aloneness of it makes the blur hurt.  
I wonder how much we forget to recall.  I wonder how that works.  

This morning the girls sleep-in  while I enjoy "free WIFI" downstairs in the breakfast area.  The hotspot is grateful for a break!  I'm the only one exercising what is called "unlimited data" but is, in fact, just another worm in the apple.  One can almost hear the clicking of $10 Gigs as we zoom along.  (Money don't spend itself! - Poor Daddy!)

The caverns at Carlsbad were magnificent.  I've wished to experience them for a long time.  It was cool to walk down ... stroll really ... and then ride the elevator (800') back up.  The elevator was installed there before I was born and moves lots faster then anticipated!  My pics from down there do a disservice to the scale and over all joy of the adventure.  It amazes me that "someone" came upon a big hole in the side of a rock and said "I think I'll just take a look in there..." .  I am going to study up on the history of the caverns.  I also didn't know anything about the Apache connection.  It's easy to see why the area is considered sacred.  

Spending the week in different hotels, selected and "booked on the fly" has been interesting.  In Pecos, Texas we stayed at the Best Western where the bathtub was the biggest I've ever seen.  I thought to soak in soothing Epsom salts after a day of travel and (I'm really not exaggerating) the tub, half full of the nicest hot water floated me up.  Difficult to soak in a  float tank!  I enjoyed the funniness of a too big tub! The room in Santa Fe was pretty bad - clean, but tiny and worn out.  It definitely diminished the brand.  We had only the morning to spend exploring  Santa Fe ... at least a week too short!  I hadn't been there since the 70's and enjoyed seeing it through my daughter's eyes (two of the girls are making this trip up to Denver with L and I).  Here in Denver, we are at a hotel near the airport.  I didn't realize that this morning until I saw airline uniforms at the breakfast buffet.  Over my second cup of hot (free) coffee I observed a forty something blond pony tailed pilot.  She looked tense, stress has lined her almost pretty face.  She seemed alone, uncared for.  I like airplanes a lot.  I am grateful to not have chosen a life in the industry.  It would have worn hard on me.  Impersonal, mostly ugly art, impossibly loud carpets unsuccessfully trying to hide the stains from careless spills, noise and lots of it from the room down the hall or kids running in the halls, from construction outside and freeway traffic, noise from innumerable
 sources, torturing noise when quiet is so necessary.  And the drapes.  It seems most unkind to me to hang blackout curtains that don't quite close.  There's some ornery behind that somewhere.  I do love the shower curtains that snap loose from a little sheer top which doesn't detach from the rod.  That's genius.  Looking for those for home use is high on my to do list.  

This country is beautiful.  Just flat out gorgeous.  I hope I get to see more of it.  I am definitely a homebody, but seeing the countryside is a huge treat.  Except Raton.  It's a cute little town, but I really tried to miss it.  

wind farm in Texas

replica in Odessa Texas

near Carlsbad Park

in New Mexico looking at Texas

Look Out Mountain

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Lights, that iPhone camera, and very minimal action!

Finally things inside the house were almost good enough for me to start on the project I'm most interested in working at - the back porch. That porch is the home"s best feature.

I say that, but really it's probably the great air conditioner which like most invisible things, is too easily taken for granted.

Getting the lights how I wanted them was more difficult then I expected it to be.  Tossing lights up in to trees is tricky!  They tangle up with each other.

I really enjoy them.  They make the porch very festive at night.  My favorite time out here is in the early morning when the sun is still low, when the deer move through grazing without a care.

Sammy barks to no effect, they barely look up!

Coffee on the porch, listening to birds, watching insects glide here and there while the deer move about - great way to start a day.  And this guy, big as a serving platter!  

these eggs came from a neighbor who has chickens 

*(my husband thinks I should stop posting goofy pics of myself (with no hair and makeup - lol) but I want to save a image of the joy of the morning ... I'll try for one with the best foot forward pretty soon, right now it's just good to feel the air on my soul)

PS - a blue heron just landed down my the river!!!

Monday, July 6, 2015

I'd have never guessed how much I would enjoy having a river view from the house.  No idea how long we will be renting here, but the location rocks.

Deer graze right out there and birds travel the waterway as though it's their own secret airway.

Unpacking is tedious.  My hands hurt from handling cardboard boxes - that's a lot of box wrangling!  This house has a large cedar-lined storage building.  The previous family used it as a pool table room.  I'm stacking it with boxes of books that don't have to be unpacked, extra furniture and household assunder-y.  Everyone agrees that this house is ugly but now that our things are finding their places in it, it is looking better, and certainly more like home.  Today I'm going to unpack more boxes and hopefully hang a few pictures.  I am especially hoping to find my surge protectors so that the living room lamps can illuminate, the duplexes are in the weirdest places!

Anyway - if my eyes stay too long on something I don't like, all I have to do is look outside.  Outside is gorgeous.  Twinkle lights draped in the trees is high on my to do list!