Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Tuesday SOL: Traveling to Spain

Today I join my fellow bloggers in "serving up a slice" 
to the Tuesday Slice of Life (SOL) community.
Thanks to Stacey, Tara, Betsy, Dana, Beth, and Anna
for hosting this meeting place each Tuesday 
                                                      and nurturing our writing lives.

Yesterday I took a quick trip to one of my favorite spots in Spain via a picture book!  When books arrive on my holds shelf at the library, I try to remember how they end up in my hands.  Most of them arrive via recommendations from my blogger friends.  I have no idea how these friends manage to read and write so much, but I'm grateful.  They are my guides in the ever growing world of children's literature.   

Julie Paschkis had a quilt exhibit (which I wanted to attend, but missed) this past spring in a nearby town.  When I searched the library catalog for books she had illustrated, I was surprised to see a favorite book on the list:   Janet Wong's Night Garden.  Guess I should pay more attention to illustrators.  Another title illustrated by Julie caught my eye, Building On Nature:  The Life of Antoni Gaudiso I requested it.  And yesterday's reading of this book inspired today's slice.  


Here's one of Paschkis' whimsical illustrations from the book
                           showcasing the wonder of Park Guell, a spot we visited in Barcelona:  

And here are Rodriguez's descriptive lines that accompany Paschkis' delightful illustrations:

"Park Guell is a fantasyland set on hillside.
Gatehouses warp and wave hello.
A mosaic lizard stands guard.
A long bench snakes around a playground." 

These lines sent me in search of the photos I took at Park Guell when we visited Barcelona in 2006 after Sara's study abroad in Madrid.  

The long bench snaking around the playground
Sara and Lance on mosaic bench
Close-up of bench mosaics
Sun mosaic on the ceiling


Gatehouse waving hello!
I was captivated by Park Guell:  the bright colors, the wavy lines, the mosaics.  Reading this book opened my eyes to another reason why I love Gaudi's art - "...the colors and shapes of the natural world..."  which he thought of "...as The Great Book of Nature..." inspired his art.  And from the final pages of the book, these words:

"Gaudi leaves
behind few words or plans.
His daring creations speak for him.
They tell his stories.
They are Gaudi's poem to the world.
Gaudi's buildings curve and arch.  
They sparkle and glitter
and whisper with joy."

Isn't it fabulous when an author and illustrator weave the magic that transports us to a place?  Now I'm off to see if there's a children's book that celebrates another favorite spot in Spain, the Alhambra.  If I can't find one, maybe the team of Rodriguez and Paschkis are up to the challenge!

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Celebrate This Week - Writing from Home!

Join us each weekend for Celebrate This Week with Ruth Ayres.  
 When we pause to celebrate, we find the joy.
Discover. Play. Build.
  A week filled with moments to celebrate and remember!

Much to celebrate during my time in OK last week:

Morning walks with Kathy
Karl's willingness to chauffeur us wherever we wanted to go
Oldies from KTMC, hometown AM station
Afternoon naps with no scheduled wake-up time
Gratitude for AC since it was in the upper 90's and 100's
Lots of great meals with family and friends
BBQ, Chinese,  Mexican (3 times)
$5 senior prices at the movies for "Ant Man"
A visit from Sue Loch Walton on Sunday
Quick recipe retrievals from Kay and Sara 
Kara's arrival on Sunday afternoon
Playing 10's and 2's, with frequent calls 
to Sara and Will for ongoing "card" support
This cloud pic snapped from the car
on Indian Nation Turnpike as Jan & I headed to Tulsa 
Can you spot the raised fist?
A power strip in Topher's bedroom
A middle of the night thunderstorm
Lunch with Susan and Jan on Tuesday followed by
a visit with Susan's dad, who serenaded us with wonderful songs
Porter peaches

Arriving at DFW on Thursday with plenty of time
to read at the airport & on the flight home
 Finished two books:
Unusual Chickens for the Exceptional Poultry Farmer
 and Circus Mirandus
Absolutely thrilled to be home - 
enjoying cooler temps, an overcast sky, 
and even a smidgen of rain! 

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Tuesday SOL: Treasured Moments!

Today I join my fellow bloggers in "serving up a slice" 
to the Tuesday Slice of Life (SOL) community.
Thanks to Stacey, Tara, Betsy, Dana, Beth, and Anna
for hosting this meeting place each Tuesday 
                                                      and nurturing our writing lives.


Kathy and I walk the neighborhood.  Kara's car in the drive keeps us from driving to Kathy's favorite favorite walking spot in a small park.  I propose a walk to our old house.  On the way we pass Russell Clark's house, Kat and Karl's former home, Mike Billy's house, Dortha's Baptist church, and then a right turn down my favorite block . . . the Gattenby's house, Aunt Edna's house, the Des Jardin's house, our house, Peggy's house, the Davenport's, the England's, Mrs. Dowdy's place, Granny's house, Aunt Becky's house, and the Magdalena's house. Never mind, that other people occupy each and every home on the block now. For me, those homes on the block where I grew up will forever be occupied by the families and people I knew and loved.  

We continue another block down Tyler Street to the corner of D where I gaze at Dortha's house and the abbreviated front yard clipped off by the now paved road.  But the beautiful tree where we first met and spent endless summer days playing under still stands.  Then a right turn down D street to stroll by a building for sale, once the neighborhood store (remember those?).  We check out Aunt Ruby Dee's house, Dawn Russell's house, and then a left turn down Taylor to walk by Elaine Jarrett's house.  We retrace our steps on Taylor, glance down the block toward Carol's and Steve's house, and then head back to Rock Road. We make one more detour to swing by Aunt Jewell's and Uncle Burl's place and Mrs. Sorrells' house (still occupied by her).  Someday I'll do a post on Mrs. Long, our junior high health and PE teacher who became Mrs. Sorrells when we were in junior high.  

I've spent the past week in my hometown with my brother Karl, and his wife Kat.  I'm a master of the quick trip (usually four days).  Leave before they get tired of you is my motto.  

But this trip has been a leisurely, extended trip (thanks to Alaska Airlines and needing to fly out of Dallas instead of Tulsa and staying a few extra days since my brother's vacation begins on Thursday, and he can drop me at DFW airport on his way to San Antonio).  I arrived for the funeral of my best friend's mother, sat with several members of the class of '73 at the funeral,  attended church with extended family and friends on Sunday, relished a quick visit from my niece, Kara, (who just completed her first AVID conference as a trainer), and came to T-town (Tulsa) yesterday with my BFF, Jan.  She indulged me with a drive down E. 58th Place so I could see our first home and Mary and Pop's place.  

We ended a perfect day in her relaxing recliners, as she opened mail and caught up on Facebook while I plunged back into Circus Mirandus. We topped off our day of bliss with chocolate sheet cake and milk while we read side by side, comfortable in an old friendship that can meander through 48 shared years.  With udder mudder's passing, we've stood side by side through the funerals of four parents.  We are now the older generation, although in our hearts we'll forever be those 7th grade giggling girls who first met in junior high school.

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Celebrate This Week - Still On the Road!

Join us each weekend for Celebrate This Week with Ruth Ayres.  
 When we pause to celebrate, we find the joy.
Discover. Play. Build.
  A week filled with moments to celebrate and remember!

Last week I celebrated in KS.  This week I'm celebrating from OK.  Our time in KS was cut short a day when my BFF's mom, Patsy (Granny Pat), died this past Sunday.  We made some changes to our travel, and I headed to OK.  

Patsy's funeral was a celebration of a life well lived, with wonderful memories shared by her granddaughter, Sarah, and her son, Kirk.  She was a woman who gave her life in service to others, in her church community and the larger community.  She touched many lives through her card ministry.  Almost every person attending the funeral had received a card at one time or another from Patsy.  Her husband, Byron, used to tease her that she would need to stop by the post office on her way to the cemetery.  Her thoughtfulness and love for others was manifested when Jan (my BFF) found unmailed cards in her mom's room at the nursing home.  Jan requested the funeral director (who graduated with us) make a stop by the post office to mail Patsy's last cards as he left town
for the burial in another small town!

Yesterday I participated via Skype in our first summer book club meeting for middle schoolers.  You can read about our gathering at my other blog, 
Sweet Summer Reads.  

This week's celebrations come from KS and OK:
Hanging out with 8 of the 13 kitties on the farm
Girls in pink - everyone got the memo!
 Monday afternoon project - hats on a loom!
 
Summertime reading champs!

My brother, Karl, and his wife, Kathy
                                 Crepe myrtles frame our hometown church!

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Tuesday SOL: Airport Fun - How to While Away 5+ Hours at the Airport!

Today I join my fellow bloggers in "serving up a slice" 
to the Tuesday Slice of Life (SOL) community.
Thanks to Stacey, Tara, Betsy, Dana, Beth, and Anna
for hosting this meeting place each Tuesday 
                                                      and nurturing our writing lives.

We had a 4 1/2 hour drive to the airport this morning. We believe in arriving early and building in time for problems that could crop up.   Hubby's flight leaves two hours before my flight.  And yes, we were supposed to return home together, but the death of my best friend's mother (udder mudder) changed my travel plans.

Things to do when you arrive at the airport 5 1/2 hours before your flight departs:

1.  Check in rental car.  Get reduced rate for a one day earlier return.  Check once, twice, three times to be sure you didn't leave anything behind.  Hey, there's no rush to make a flight that is hours away.

2.  Take rental car shuttle to airport.

3.  Walk the entire terminal in search of food options.  Result - few choices.  Decide on light lunch - splitting a healthy sandwich and an unhealthy bag of chips with hubby.  Why is airport food so unappetizing?  And why are there no restaurants or gas stations in close proximity to airports?

4.  Call brother and share flight information with him.  He'll be driving three hours to pick me up and yes, it's three hours back to his house tonight.

5.  Call BFF to let her know that I can help out tomorrow, available for any task that she assigns to me.

6.  Call brother to secure guest room for udder mudder's granddaughters.

7.  Charge computer.

8.  Check bag.  You can't check it until four hours before flight time - bet you didn't know that.

9.  Walk laps in the airport.

10.  Compose Slice of Life.

11.  Charge phone.

12.  Walk some more.  I didn't walk much in KS.  It was too hot!  But I enjoyed great food.

13.  When I hit 10,000 steps, I'll stop to comment on blogs.

14.  Be grateful the AC in the airport terminal is working!

15.  Remember that Circus Mirandus is in my carry-on bag.  This may interfere with my planned activity of reading and commenting on blogs!

16.  Discover that I can't publish the post.  Silly airport WiFi!  Off to get in those steps.  Flight time is creeping closer.

17.  Stop to save this post in Word (in case it gets lost in blogger).

18.  Whew!  Different spot in airport allows me to save and publish.  Time to get back to those steps.

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Celebrate This Week!

Join us each weekend for Celebrate this week with Ruth Ayres.  
 When we pause to celebrate, we find the joy.
Discover. Play. Build.
  A week filled with moments to celebrate and remember!
1.  I was totally unable to capture the orange setting sun, but the reflection on the water at Slater Park shows that it was orange (probably related to smoke particles in the air).  

2.  We were only about 15 minutes away from the farm in Kansas where my husband grew up.  There's no way he would stop for me to take a picture.
I shot this from the passenger seat at 65 mph.  








3.  Are you smarter than a 5th grader?
Is this a frog or a toad? 
Merlyn and Terra (great nephew and great niece)
show off the cats, kitties, and chickens on the farm. 

Monday, July 6, 2015

Tuesday Slice of Life: On my tiptoes and stretching...

Today I join my fellow bloggers in "serving up a slice" 
to the Tuesday Slice of Life (SOL) community.
Thanks to Stacey, Tara, Betsy, Dana, Beth, and Anna
for hosting this meeting place each Tuesday 
                                                      and nurturing our writing lives.

I've been wondering about my shrinking stature.  Each time I latch the kitchen windows closed, I worry a bit about the stretch it takes to reach the latch.  I have to step on my tiptoes, something I don't remember doing in the past.  Uh-oh, another toll of my increasing age must be that I'm getting shorter.  This does NOT make me happy since I've always been too short anyway.  And when I speak of shrinking stature, it's definitely just the vertical kind.

I was growing accustomed to my fate of growing shorter as I age . . . until one day last week when I reach for the latch, and have an aha moment . . . my new countertops are thicker than my old ones and the edge is not flush with the cabinet.  Hallelujah!  I'm not shrinking after all.  It's just that my new countertops have added a bit of depth and height to the counters which leads me to s-t-r-e-t-c-h  (my OLW for this year) as I reach for the latch to lock the windows.  I'm content that I've found another way to stretch and happy that I'm not shrinking . . . yet!