Tuesday, April 27, 2010

I Break for Italy!

O.K., so I have been crazy busy getting ready for my trip and was slacking on doing much blog posting. I do this thing before I go on a trip. It's sort of a "cultural emersion" thing. For instance, I have been listening to Italian tapes (CDs rather!), reading books on Francis of Assisi and Rome, going on blogs (of course) and watching travel DVDs from Rick Steve's and the bald guy. I guess I just don't want to miss anything. I know I will be in my carbohydrate coma anyway but I at least feel the need to make an effort.

I also rented more Italian films (which I did a lot of before my last trip to Italy.) I think someone could have warned me about Rome Open City though. Sheesh! I actually sat up in bed, screamed and started weaping! I also watched Two Women and decided in my next life I want to be Sofia Loren. I think I have mentioned that before. For good measure I through in Fellini because I had never seen Amarcord. I have been listening to that soundtrack forever and figured it was about time. Great characters and beautiful images, as always but trippy Fellini, as usual.

These are photos from my last trip to Italy. I realized I don't think I have ever put up any Rome pictures! How is that possible? I am, after all, obsessed with Rome and trying to figure out how to live there part of the year.

Anyway, I will be in Rome, Assisi (for Calendimaggio!) and Positano and can't wait to share photos and adventures. I will try to control myself though!

Rome 2008

Assisi 2008

Back May 18th!! Enjoy spring everyone!
Sending hugs and love,

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Earth Day Lessons

Keep close to Nature's heart...
and break clear away,
once in awhile,
and climb a mountain or spend a week in the woods.
Wash your spirit clean.
~John Muir

Earth Day lessons from my nephew Benjamin
and his Labradoodle Lucy.

Play outside!

Hang in a flower bed!

Help in the veggie garden ...

And get seriously dirty!

Talk to the animals ...

And teach everyone to appreciate even the tiny
ones with 6 legs!

Make wishes on Dandelions

And enjoy the beautiful little moments on this
extraordinary planet.

And I would add ... give back and find new ways to leave as little footprint as possible on our beautiful planet.

I learned from my sister that you can use cloth napkins everyday and if you forget the reusable grocery bags in the car leave the cart and go get them! I also got a reverse osmosis water filter and the water tastes so much better than from plastic water bottles! I fill up my cute red stainless water bottle and I'm good to go! I recycle, buy used clothes and earth friendly cleaning products, eat as much locally grown food as I can, and I print on both sides of my recycled paper. Little by little I am adding to the list!

One of my favorite lines was by my friend Royce. He walked into my apartment and on seeing I had lights on in 3 rooms said in a deadpan voice, "Um, Al Gore called. Wants me to tell you to shut your lights off." Then he laughed, and so did I but I am much better now about shutting off my lights!

Some of my favorite places to give back and help the planet are World Wildlife Fund, Defenders of Wildlife, National Wildlife Federation and Surfrider Foundation. And to find out where to buy locally in your area ... check out Local Harvest. My favorite eco blog that has tons of cool creative inventions and ideas is INHABITAT. Definitely worth checking out these sites!

Everybody needs beauty as well as bread,
places to play in and pray in,
where nature may heal and give strength to body and soul alike.
John Muir

Happy Earth Day!
What are your favorite earth day ideas and lessons?

Friday, April 16, 2010

A Single Flower

If we could see the miracle

of a single



...our whole life would change.

~ Buddha

May we see the miracles around us clearly
may we all have a beautiful miraculous weekend!

... I was very inspired by Erin's flowers at Erin's Art an Gardens
If you haven't checked them out yet, it will brighten your day!

Blessings and Light!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

New Work

This piece is another in my series of new works. As I have said before, it has to do with the meanings of being a woman, what makes a woman and what lies beneath the surface. If it is not our female organs, what then do we imagine there in our symbolic places of creativity?

To see more from this series of "layered" pieces and what is behind it, click here.

The Nest 2010 Mixed Media, water color/colored pencil on drawing paper, acrylic ink on plastic film
Please click to enlarge

One is not born,

but rather becomes,

a woman.

~Simone de Beauvoir

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Road Trip ~ A Walk on the Beach

It was the last evening of our rather quick road trip to Santa Cruz. It felt so great to have my toes in the wet sand. Rachel walked ahead while I meandered behind taking pictures and picking up rocks and shells ... then I found one ... a whole one! A sand dollar!

I don't know when I have ever found a whole unbroken sand dollar! Maybe as a little kid when we used to camp at the beach. I was beside myself. It felt like a magical gift. The thing is, how do you know when it's still alive? When they are alive, do they have tentacles or something? This concerned me a bit. Just to be sure, after all the excitement and the photographing of it with the waves behind it, with sand behind it, and with a lovely sky backdrop, it was decided after a brief discussion with Rachel, that alive or not, I would throw it back to it's home in the sea.

And then I saw him. This beautiful little egret. (At least I think he was an egret. I'd make a terrible birder!) He was walking in the surf, looking for an appetizer and seemed to be only slightly annoyed to have become the principle model in my beach photo shoot. If he was anything like my parrot, I'm sure he got a kick of my getting slightly clocked by a wave as I tried to get down low to the sand to get the perfect shot. Don'tcha just love wet sandy jean bottoms? Anyway, he was worth it, even if I never did get the perfect shot. He is actually even in the last distance shot, barely visible, at the edge of the water, close to the cliff. I know he's hard to make out.

Oh yes, and by the way, I am now on my sisters computer and on my screen at home, my feet didn't look nearly as blinding white! I don't know what happened! Anyway, just in case you were wondering, no I am not albino. (Not that there's anything wrong with that.)

Rachel on the beach ...

my almost "zinc white" feet

The magical gift

Isn't he amazing?!

“Sponges grow in the ocean.
That just 'gets' me.
I wonder how much deeper the ocean would be if that didn't happen.”

~Stephen Wright

(He cracks me up.)

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Road Trip ~ Watsonville and Evensong Farm

This beautiful place was the original reason for my road trip with Rachel. Evensong Farm. Everything else turned out to be an amazing and wonderful bonus. My friend Rachel was to meet Mary Fenton who is one of less than 10 Senior Centered Riding instructors in the United States.

I am not a rider but watching a Centered Riding lesson reminded me of yoga, tai chi and buddhist meditation ... but with an amazingly beautiful animal companion and in a lovely and magical place! I am not going to try to explain it because I think that would be best left to someone who really understands it but if you are interested in learning about it or can get to Central California ...

Amazing Mary

"The essential joy of being with horses
is that it brings us in contact
with the rare elements
of grace,
and fire."

~Sharon Ralls Lemon

It was so inspiring. I guess it always is, when you are around people who are passionate about what they do, and all the more so when it's in such an incredible place.

I wish you all
inspiring adventures!

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Spring Blessings







Hope you are enjoying the many beautiful
and glorious gifts of spring.

Love and light
a blessed
Easter Sunday

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Road Trip ~ The Wharf ... Santa Cruz

On the second day of my friend Rachel's meetings with the horse people, I walked around Santa Cruz and started my day having breakfast on The Wharf at Gilda's, watching pelicans and sea lions and breathing in the ocean air.

This day was such a treat. That evening Rachel and I even went back to The Wharf to have a mexican seafood dinner at Olitas. It's amazing you can still get a reasonable meal right on the water! Hard to pass up.

I grew up near the ocean (in Ventura) and though I still live in Southern California, I miss the water ... the smell and the sounds especially. It's funny, sometimes I have to remind myself of the things that make me happy, like the ocean and the trees, bubble baths and chocolate and to not let so much time pass before I seek them out ... and enJOY. (Actually, I am pretty good about the chocolate.)

Santa Cruz Wharf, Spring 2010

Shot from my booth at Gilda's diner at Breakfast

How cute is this sea lion!?

Rachel at Olita's

What would make you happy?
Ask yourself often.
Think about your answer.
You may well find that the answer
is within reach.
~Melody Beattie