Pause

Feeling like this:

















and like this:
and this:
I always feel a bit out of sorts waiting for the seasons to officially change. The weather here has been a bit odd. It is not cold nor is the temperature too warm but the humidity is high and grey, dark mornings give way to partly cloudy days.  There is much to do but I find myself thinking of cool sheets, soft pillows and drawn curtains. In a week or so I'll have what I need to take me through spring and summer.

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West Texas

I have been itching to visit  Marathon, Alpine and Marfa. I'd like to get there by way of train sometime soon.  It seems to call me this time of year. I'd like to stay at the Antelope Lodge in Alpine because it seems so familiar. I'd like to visit and spend some time there because I need to see and feel all that empty space. I miss empty space. My Grandmother has said if she could, she would like to come along. She likes empty space too. She spent a great deal of her childhood outside of Rocksprings, TX. Yet another place where my thoughts often drift too.

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They made music together

Richard and Mimi Fariña were only together four years. Richard died in a motorcycle accident at the age of  29. When I read the David Hadju book, Positively 4th Street a few years ago, the death of Richard Farina haunted me for weeks.  As it turned out, when I read of his death in the book, it was April 30th and the 39th anniversary of his passing and what would have been  Mimi's 60th birthday. Talented and beautiful people, long gone from this earth but forever together in one of my favorite photographs by John Byrne Cooke. I like everything about this photo.

Pack Up Your Sorrows

Reno Nevada

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Admiration or Envy?

There is no year of the kitty except in Vietnam and in Al Stewart song lyrics.

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Yard things

We have a few weeks before the start of Spring but already I am excited and looking forward to yard work, new plants and starting up the garden again. Looking forward to mornings spent in a hammock and afternoons spent sipping on mint and hibiscus tea.


























We may have lost a lot of plants this winter and who knows what sort of freak freezes might be in store for March. With so many wonderful nurseries in the area, I console myself with the thought of weekend buying trips and opportunities for new plantings and designs.

We watched In a Lonely Place last night and I couldn't help but notice the little pots of plants in the background. Not only did I want one of those vintage, Spanish style California cottages but some of those little plants in terra cotta pots around the place. The latter is completely attainable.

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Riley's House

















For years and years this was one of my dream homes. Quite the modest mansion. It's the house from The Life of Riley. This somewhat ancient television show would run on a Christian channel that would come in really snowy sometimes, before cable. The house looked a lot like the homes in one of the post-war neighborhoods in my hometown.

I loved how these houses were usually painted white with black trim. The simplicity of this color scheme allowed the landscape to stand out more. They sat on perfectly green lawns with a tree situated in just the right spot. Rose bushes really stood out, flowers would pop and bushes were shaped into perfect rectangles under windows. The garages or carports were located behind the home and American flags would wave as you drove by.

These post war homes usually housed WWII veterans who had made it through the Great Depression and a war and now had a place of their own. These were modest homes, some better built than others. Not many of them stood the test of time.  Many became rentals and fell into disrepair or were razed years ago.  I am always happy to see one retro-renovated. As much as I try to like the new aesthetic, I have yet to see a contemporary home design that I can say I truly love. While there are many designs that adopt a vintage look, when they stand next to older homes they are still huge. I think I am one of those rare people who likes a small home, it's instant cozy. I love the idea of owning only what you need and use daily, keeping and storing only the most cherished of relics and personal artifacts.

While I love a small home I love a large lot. I crave space for fruit trees and gardens, comfy places under shade trees, spaces for meandering  beds of flowers.  Nothing makes me feel better than to look outside and see a large  yard.  Last I heard the trend was for smaller homes less than 2500 sqft. but  yards are  getting smaller and smaller. 


 I was a huge Lightening Seeds fan back in 1989. Thank you Ian for allowing fans to post!

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Visits

























He didn't know the out of work painter who was renting one of his upstairs apartments had invited a Chinese couple to live with him to help pay the rent. In fact, they were paying all the rent. Something to do with a misunderstanding and problem with the English language. Once the landlord found out what was going on, he kicked out the deadbeat and is pleased with his two new tenants.

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Wee bit of snow

This is all we need to get a day off from work.

That's all I need.

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Mexico on a cold day

On a cold, cold afternoon, right in the middle of the street I was crossing, I was hit with memories of Mexico. The day was grey but in my head I saw exactly how the sun would come through the large, unobstructed windows of my Abuelita's house and warm my back as I passed each one on my way to her kitchen. I was able to recall the smells of cut papaya, mango and lime. All this from that memory box in my mind that holds only the most vivid of memories. I began to miss that Mexico I once knew and would experience year after year and took for granted. There was a time I believed it would always remain as I left it. I grew out of that.

After walking for ten minutes in fifteen degree weather, with a windchill in the single digits, the wool and flannel I was bundled in began to give up the warmth.  I was headed home and my mind went over all the things I wanted to do so my mind left Mexico. Later  that evening we ate cookies and watched this Chick Strand film.

Fake Fruit Factory. By Chick Strand. 1986.

It was done in 1986 and I remember some of the music used being played at my Abuelita's house. She will be 94 this year and while I'd love to visit her, give her a big hug and sit and talk with her never taking my eyes off her face, sadly, Mexico has become a scary place and unfortunately where she lives has become quite dangerous. The last time I saw her was in 2007 and we made every moment count. I never wanted to leave her side the entire day and I rarely did. I call her but it's not the same.

There is a frustration and an anger that will come over me if I dwell to much on the situation in Mexico. There is also fear and worry because a good piece of my heart remains there. I think of her all the time, every day.  My Abuelita didn't want to leave her country and she doesn't leave her home much, hardly ever.

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I'd like to hunker down

I woke up at 3am to a blustery scene out our bedroom window. The wind chimes were screaming as the trees took turns bowing to each other. Poor squirrel and family. I could see her nest rocking in all directions and wondered how she was doing. How do those poor squirrels manage in weather like this? The temperature had dropped to 35, it was raining and the wind, I found out later, was at 50-60 miles per hour. Poor, poor squirrel and family. It's supposed to get down to 20 degrees while we are at work.

I went back to bed and woke up three hours later for work.  I wanted so much to remain at home, not just for the day but the rest of the week. What makes work pleasant on cold, cold days when I'd rather be home is waering a vintage, flannel shirt and this tiny, cozy corner in my cube where I keep my teapot. Today, Moroccan Mint and gingerbread cookies. Hmmmm maybe we'll finally get an ice day or two out of this. I'm dying to hunker down.

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