Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Christmas Eve

This morning when I awoke I had to gasp at the amount of leaves the rain and wind brought down last night! The back yard was aglow with yellow. My mind started thinking about the best strategy to tackle the chore of removal. While drinking my coffee and blankly staring into the yard, I thought about how sad things were. It didn’t feel like Christmas. I see very little smiles while I’m out running errands. The economy is bad. There’s no electric charge in the air. Life in general is gloomy for most folks. Then it occurred to me, that I too could be pulled into that abyss of bleak if I allow it. And if by magic, the yard danced alive with vibrant color. This is Christmas Eve. .....S.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008


They come out every year in December. The Snowmen. It’s Martha Stewart… meet South Park. Every year I try to quietly put them back into their box, and every time they announce, they’re baaaack. She’s had them for 35 years. What more can I say? ..... S.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Kitty Booty

Cole is a kleptomaniac. Alarmed by the birds he was bringing home, we put a bell on his collar. Solving a serious problem, inadvertently created an amusing one. We noticed it early on, when we started finding little baby socks inside the gate. Socks were his choice of theft; they could be balled up, inside out or sometimes knotted together… but definitely dirty. He was stealing laundry! Soon, we had adult gym and dress socks piling up at the back door. Last summer he stepped up his game; a suede gardening glove showed up, then its mate the next morning. In one month’s time, we had over 20 gloves. The early ones were leather, then later on, cloth. We surmised that the unhappy gardener was spending too much money replacing missing gloves so they started buying cheaper ones. One morning a red striped polo shirt was snagged inside the cat door as he tried dragging it through. Lately he's brought home baseball caps, bandanas, slippers, small toys and several children’s shoes; just one shoe each time, mind you, not the pair. We imagine the conversations going on inside these homes, the poor kids being scolded by their parents “well, they just don’t get up and walk away!” ...... S.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Shades of Green

I was on my own for dinner last night. Staring into the fridge, I let my taste buds creatively select a paring of flavors for my salad. I imagined biting into a forkful of cucumber with little lime wedgies, pepperoncini slivers with crisp romaine hearts, sprigs of broccoli and avocado chunks mingled with scallion dices in every mouthful. After everything was on the kitchen counter, I thought “hey, I’m eating green tonight!”… I tossed it all with Gerard’s champagne dressing.... S.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Flight 6285 11/25/08

‘In the event there’s a loss of cabin pressure, oxygen masks will be deployed. Pull the mask firmly towards you to release the flow of oxygen’…. That’s what ran through my head as I put on my mask. Two hours earlier we had left Denver for our final destination to Detroit. The small bombardier CRJ700 jet engines were so loud in the back rows that the flight attendants gave us earplugs. Suddenly the roar of the left engine stopped and I glanced out the window. Hmmm, the engine was still. The plane was bobbing strangely, and noticeably descending. The cabin felt eerily strange. We still had an hour of flight left. I leaned across Maggie’s lap and asked the passenger on the other side of the aisle if she could look out her window and tell me if that engine was running. Maggie scolded me and said I was frightening the passengers. I said again with quick nods “we’re losing altitude” and the jet started to drop some more. The Pilot’s voice came over “flight attendants, prepare the cabin for emergency landing” and I stared down at the miles of crop fields that we were preparing to land in. Suddenly, a loud clap as hatches swung open, masks dropped, and audible gasps from all the passengers. The plane was banking sharply to the left, then to the right. The woman that I had just asked about the state of the right engine, went into major panic mode. She was hysterically saying she didn’t know what to do with her mask. Her husband was in a quiet state of shock. I looked over to the flight attendant strapped into her own seat, wildly chewing her gum. Her eyes told me everything. Maggie reached over to the mother’s knee and sternly said, “Mam, you have to stay calm for your kids.” The two boys sat together and their masks were tangled above their heads. Instantly Maggie stood up, ignoring her own mask, crossed the aisle, untangled the mess, helped them put them on, turned to their mother behind them, helped her with her mask and her daughter’s. I kept asking Maggie to come back and put her mask back on. Finally, she sat down, strapped her seat buckle and we peacefully looked at each other acknowledging our goodbyes and held hands. I accepted our fate but thought the timing really sucked. The two flight attendants in the front of the cabin also held hands and one was gently crying. After we had dropped 20,000 feet, the pilot came on again and said the oxygen masks were no longer necessary...we would be in Cedar Rapids in about five minutes. I turned my head and smiled at Maggie...“that’s an airport” ......S.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Off White

We have an old weathered cow skull, with three bullet holes to the head, hanging on our fence. The other day, the sun was striking some great shadows, and I thought my cockatoo sitting on the horn, would create an interesting contrast. Try as hard as I could to get him to look at the camera… he was much more interested in what lay on the other side of the fence.... S.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

The Ball

We camped in Yosemite Valley last weekend. The family at the site next to us had a couple of young kids. They spent their afternoon laughing, and kicking around a very large ball. During the quiet dinner, I noticed how surreal and out-of-place the lonely ball looked in the setting sun. That night, a noisy bear trashed their campsite. It raked their folding chairs and pulled down their lantern. Several yards away, beneath the pines, lay the now flattened, punctured ball..... S.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008


We awoke to the fresh signs of the season’s first rains. Everything outside took on a rich hue from being wet. Sitting on the hot tub cover was a large katydid. From antenna to wing tip, he was a brilliant, lush shade of green. I was amazed that the insect posed for several camera shots. Later, as I was studying the photos, I noticed he was missing his left rear foot...... S.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Happy Halloween

One of our favorites videos, it's been around the globe several times. Watch closely as the car comes around the bend.... get even closer... you'll eventually see a light hazy ghost-like figure appear after the car passes behind the large tree. Very eerie.... closer now........... S.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Wolf Spider

Cole, our siamese, was pouncing on something in the dark the other night. He was tossing it into the air and batting it back and forth. Getting up to see what all the commotion was, I was sad to see that he had caught a very large wolf spider. In the darkened room, I nudged the spider with my foot. Nothing. Oh, such a fate, death at the paws of a cat. No doubt Cole was saving us, a face-to-face encounter with a scary spider. “Brave kitty” I sighed, petting him, and we wandered off to our beds. Next morning, armed with a tissue, I went to pick up the carcass. In the now lit room I had to smile as I picked up the green top from a strawberry........ S.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

We Begin

We’re all destined, fated… paint masterpieces or the kitchen wall, travel across the globe or to the grocery store, write a novel or a To-Do list… Initially this blog was created to follow Caitie’s adventures through Africa, but now I understand that it was fated to be more than just that. And so I begin. If you want your destiny to be great, then you must put in the extra work to make it happen. Caitie, ecstatic, with Mom, the night before departure...... S.