Architecture, Fashion and a Rabbit Hole of Research

 

IMG_5202 (1) black dress

Cloak by Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pierpaolo Piccioli for Valentino in the Saint Guilhem Cloister

During my recent trip to NYC, I was able to enjoy Fort Tryon Park on a daily basis. One of those days, I visited The Cloisters embedded in the park and managed by the Metropolitan Museum of Art. I noticed the sampling of architecture throughout and learned it was constructed using bits and pieces of Romanesque and Gothic structures from France and Italy. Each piece has its own elaborate history.  In addition, a portion of the Met’s feature exhibit “Heavenly Bodies” was integrated into it. Continue reading

Trying On NYC – Fort Tryon Park

 

IMG_5139 (1) Fort Tryon Marker

Battle field marker at Fort Tryon Park

Did you ever have a shirt or dress that fell out of favor, ending up in the back of your closet? Months or years later you find it, pull it on and suddenly it looks differently on you? That’s how I felt about NYC before retiring. I associated trips to NYC with work and travel related stress. Plowing my way through crowds and drug sniffing dogs in La Guardia. Stepping out into the heat wearing a suit. A scary cab ride into downtown. People everywhere. I had many creative excuses for not going to work in NYC. However my beloved niece lives there and I decided to try on NYC again. Continue reading

The Hole View – Retirement Pressures

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The guy who cuts my grass broke a window on May 17th. Two weeks later, I still don’t have a firm schedule for its repair – although I did finally get a price quoted. In my retirement transition, I’ve been focused on this hole and angry. It’s a symbol of everything that is broken and that I’ve been waiting to get fixed. Now that I am retired, that which used to be a nuisance, sometimes becomes an obsession. I retired from a  career in power where I worried about the scope of outages, when the next hurricane might come, and a myriad of daily decisions and administrative matters. Now, my decisions are like this: Continue reading

Somewhere On Route 66

 

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Getting my kicks

After celebrating the New Year in Southern California, Mark and I decided to take the long way home, venturing off the main highway to see as much of Route 66 as we could. Actually, it wasn’t that spontaneous. Mark had plotted the trip and made numerous reservations weeks in advance. The weather in some locations could be unpredictable, but we were lucky to have very mild conditions. We were able to execute our plan flawlessly. Continue reading

Boxer Tales Part 4 – Tia

 

IMG_4342 Tia with pink pillow

Tia relaxed (and slept) with her tongue out.

I set up my new lap top on the dining room table so I could look out the picture window when I write.  The sun is shining just right, and I can still see her nosey smudge marks on the glass.

You’ve probably noticed a pattern; I experience a life crisis – get a boxer. By 2014, both Buster and Tyson were gone, my Father had passed away and my Mother was seriously ill. Shaylea and I became best buds and I don’t think she missed those other boxers at all. That summer, my niece Tawny moved in with me, my long-term boyfriend moved to France, and Shaylea passed away suddenly from a bleeding tumor.  Too much life change at once.  I was a basket case. Tawny hinted at getting a cat, but told me what I really needed was another boxer. Continue reading

Boxer Tales Part 3 – Tyson

 

IMG_4229Tyson portrait

Palette knife portrait by Judy Mackey

 

Not all these tales are perfectly happy.  For starters, Tyson had no tail. A docking job gone poorly.  Good thing they left his soft floppy ears alone. Tyson was a stray, turned in to the boxer rescue still dragging a heavy chain around his neck. He’d probably been used as a guard dog. He had busted loose, looking for freedom and a better life at the age of 4-ish.

Meanwhile, my life was headed towards another rough patch. After enjoying my nice promotion for a few years, our company was going through a reorganization affecting me and my staff. What better way to take your mind off problems than to create new ones? Since I had no control over this situation, I decided to go save another boxer. It was a disastrous decision, but with a few heart warming and humorous moments. Continue reading

Boxer Tales Part 2 – Shaylea

 

IMG_4116 (002) Shaylea's portrait by Mark

Photo portrain of Shaylea by Mark Winslet

 

Within two years of divorce, I saved enough money to move myself and the dogs out of our little bungalow into a new home with a fenced in back yard and pool.  I got a promotion and a fresh start. I graduated from eating beanie weenies with boxed wine, or no wine, to fresh fish and a decent bottle every now and then. I still washed and reused baggies, though.  Being broke will make an environmentalist out of you. Life was good. Continue reading

Boxer Tales Part 1 – Buster

 

IMG_4146 (002) Buster Mom's portrait

Water Color of Buster, by Jacqueline Stubbs

 

(Having recently lost my 4th boxer, Tia, from cancer, I thought a blog would be good therapy and a way to honor her. Even better, I’ve decided to start from the beginning. This is Part 1 of “Boxer Tales”, in memory of my beloved Boxer dogs and to showcase the work of artists who captured their spirit.)

Thanksgiving weekend, 1999. My soon to be ex-husband (“X”) was pulling into the driveway in his consistently late fashion. Peeking outside, I noticed he had one of his “running buddies” with him. A dark, handsome stranger sat in the passenger seat of the sedan. I stepped away from the window, bracing myself for his latest excuse, when the front door opened and in bounded an excited 9 month old male boxer. No running buddies in sight.  The dog had been riding in the front seat like he belonged there.

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“Dad Romance” – A Valentine from Vietnam

Dad card 1I recently read more letters from my Dad to my Mom during the Vietnam War. They encompassed significant dates such as Valentines Day, their anniversary, and the birthday of my younger brother. Dad was notoriously frugal, yet generous. This Valentine’s Day card is a perfect example. In the enclosed letter he describes, with pride, how he procured a “good as new” wool pea coat for Mom from the ship’s store.  The sailor to which it had been assigned, never picked it up and it was on sale for $3.00! However, it will cost $15 to have it lined, so figured my Mom could “do that herself.”  Frugal. He also described how he was going to buy her a beaded “shell” for $25 (a lot of money then), and “I assume you are still a 38 and I dream about them.”  Generous and in love. Continue reading

The Art of Trees – Santa Fe

My holiday road trip on and off Route 66 took me to Santa Fe for a couple of days. It was a week into the new year and crowds were thin. We were able to wander the town square and other areas taking pictures without waiting on people and cars to exit the frame.  We stayed just off the square at La Posada de Santa Fe, also known as the art hotel of Santa Fe.  Filled with original works of art for sale, it was perfect. Also perfect, was the Georgia O’Keeffe museum.  Here are some “tree-full” memories from the Santa Fe art scene and landscape.

Trees in Santa Fee Hotel 2

Triptych in the lobby of the hotel by Kim Barrick.

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