Thursday, April 17, 2014

The Beginning of The End of the Beginning... and Onto the New Beginning

What seemed like the beginning of a terrible, horrible weekend for the disciples of Jesus Christ...

                                                                                                                           by Jacopo Bassano

ended being the beginning of a whole new world for them.

For some believers today is called Maundy Thursday, the day of the Last Supper.

God be with you and be well.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Somewhere... Dare to Dream

Somewhere over the rainbow,
Skies are blue,
And the dreams that you dare to dream
Really do come true.

-Yip Harburg

This morning I was reminded of that song. When Sherilee was a wee girl her room was covered in wallpaper that had rainbows, clouds, trees and houses repeated over and over, all done in fun shades of pink and yellow and blue and green and purple... I suppose we never even took a photo of that room but it was very pleasant. Very 70's but pleasant...

Do you think that the wallpaper or paint or books or artwork chosen for a child's room helps to influence their person?

If so, could the same to true for those of us of a 'certain age'? Could we change our outlook on life by what we surround ourselves with?

My personal theory, held for 40+ years is that we are made up of what we gather around us. When I read a book about India I want to get out the travel gear and go there. When I look at fine watercolour paintings I want to understand more how that is accomplished. If I read a book that is uplifting and talks of courage and faith... then I find those things are in my mind all day. Our thoughts do shape our dreams and lives.

For you, today, I wish pleasant surroundings that will warm your heart and inspire you to great things.

I threw in this photo because it evokes warm memories and the colours are outstanding. A trip to Italy may not happen for me again but I always can look at the photos I took and remember with fondness.

Happy trails to you all.
God be with you and be well.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

To Our Son, Happy Birthday!!

Dear Shelby...

Every time April 2  comes around I reflect and remember those years ago when you were born. Hard to imagine you were a wee one, just the other day!

But now as I see you as a grown man it is so good that I can count you as one of my dearest friends besides my darling son. When I say you are beautiful it is not to detract from the fact that you are one handsome dude... you are a beautiful man in your heart.

My wish for you, in this new year:

Be glad.

Be good.

Be brave.

I love the way you move through the world, comfortable in your own skin and knowing you are making a contribution to a better place. You have a voice, a presence and a good influence.

Thank you for being you.

Love, Mama and Pa

Saturday, March 29, 2014

A Prayer in Spring... on Mayne Island

Oh, give us pleasure in the flowers today
And give us not to think so far away
As the uncertain harvest: keep us here
All simply in the springing of the year.
... Robert Frost 

(these daffys were on the hillside at 9:10 this morning but it was so windy I couldn't capture them on the camera, so at 9:11 this morning they were in a vase on the dining room table!)

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Children . . . Blink and They're Gone!

We are so fortunate... we had a visit this past week from daughter, Sherilee and son-in-law, Alan. It was so wonderful to see them. As we were driving to the airport to pick them up I couldn't contain myself, trying to will other drivers off the road in front of us.

Now they are gone to their home and there are a lot of sighs here and memory smiles.

But we did have good visits and a wee bit of touristing...

Friday afternoon we took the tram in Sabino Canyon all the way to the top and then walked most of the way down. This is one of our favourite places to hike.

It is a narrow road with lots of hikers, bikers and the occasional tram; hence the sign...

We looked at this...

and that...

and the other things common to the desert.

One day we headed out with a picnic to the Saguaro Park on the west side of town...

This may look bristly and yet soft but do not be fooled, it would not feel pleasant at all.

After our picnic in the park we headed off to the Desert Museum where Sherilee beetled off to the hummingbird house immediately.

Sometimes I get so excited watching my photo subject that I forget to even capture the pic... but here we have a little lady sitting on her nest. In this small hummingbird house I suppose the birds have actually gotten quite comfortable with all these humans staring at them, poking lenses in their habitat. The birds fly right by the people, enjoying buzzing us...

Sweet, sweet birdies...

Outside again we looked around and followed the trail down the hill. The next search was for a javelina...

This metal sculpture of a javelina is most likely not exactly what Sherilee and Alan had in mind on their search but it was very handsome, I thought... The javelinas we found later were lazing around and not looking at all ferocious and fearsome like they appear in the wild.

I love to look at the patterns in the desert, in the cactus and the succulents.

And, of course, we had to introduce our guests to the crested saguaro. We love to see these extraordinary tops on the lofty saguaro plants.

And out in the 'wild' I found another hummingbird to capture.

Who can say the desert is a dull, unattractive place to visit? Look at the details and patterns everywhere.

We enjoyed watching this fellow... king of the castle, well, his castle... there were two ladies in the same enclosure vying for his attention.

Not sure if the plant above is the Parry's Century Plant... looks similar to a drawing I have.

Sweet kitty...

And one of our favourite plants... the Ocotillo... is about to bloom throughout the land. It is an odd plant... Sherilee thought it looked like her rose bushes in winter in the north, but the canes slowly leaf out and get these striking orange/red blossoms on the tips. Striking plant.

Not sure of the name of this delightful little pink blossom but I had to snap it!

And to end the blog I captured this road runner yesterday at the golf course. Sherilee and Alan wanted to see one but we never did come across one as long as they were here.

This fellow came up very close to our cart while Doreen and I waited for Sherwin and Peter to tee off. I did not want to scare him by moving quickly for my real camera so I just quietly snapped him with my iPhone. He is losing one of his tail feathers... was hoping he would drop it before he left the scene but the guys came back from their tee box and he quickly scooted away.

Too soon over but very much appreciated.

Bye, adios, ciao...

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Wednesday Words . . .

"The problem with taking offence 
is that it's really hard to figure out 
what to do with it after you're done using it.

Better to leave it on the table and walk away.

Umbrage untaken quietly disappears."

- Seth Godin

Thursday, February 20, 2014

The Old West . . .

. . . as seen through the eyes of Hollywood. "Old Tucson" was built in 1939 as a movie set for the entertainment business. On a few acres of land west of the city of Tucson this town has been used thoroughly over the years. TV dramas, westerns and miscellaneous movies have had their beginning on this spot. We were told that just two weeks ago some film was shot here.

This past week our Photo Club set out for "Old Tucson" for our February photo shoot...

We were greeted by handsome cowboys and dance hall girls...

Once inside I looked up to the Arizona sky and predicted a lovely day...

In 1995 there was a fire that meant a rebuild of much of the 'town'...

Loved the desert ambience.

It would be great fun to stage a movie set, making it look as 'authentic' as possible.

Please obey the signs!

This school house was not very impressive. It made me very thankful for the big windows with natural light of the school rooms I remember.

But I can imagine the school children having a great time reading and writing and fooling around, just like their descendants!

Classroom looks a bit tight but the easier to pass notes, right?

Wending my way through the town I approached the Court House from the back...

past a murky pond...

through a lovely cacti garden...

over a bridge and pond...

and up against an Ocotillo fence. Not sure you can see the thorns on these branches but this in one fence you do not want to scale!

Before the fire of '95 this Mission was a full sized church but in the rebuild they only put up a facade. In the early days, "The Bells of St. Mary's" was filmed here.

I enjoyed the details attached to each of the buildings.

Easy to imagine the old movies staged here...

The front of the Court House where you can go in, set a spell and watch a quick overview of many of the movies and TV shows that were shot here.

Some of us had to be back by 3 for a class so we missed the dance hall girls doing the can-can later in the afternoon.

" A pioneer is not someone 
who makes her own soap. 
She is one who takes up her burdens 
and walks toward the future."
-Laurel Thatcher Ulrich

When I got to the cemetery I found that my official camera was out of battery... no problem, just put in the extra one in my purse... ooops! extra battery was still at home in the charger... !!

So this shot of the little church was my last official photo... the rest was shot with my iPhone.

This little chapel was used for weddings and funerals... the general business of life on the frontier.

Great view out the front of the church.

I was so taken with the old hymnal that I completely forgot to capture the old pump organ it was sitting on. But as a collector of old hymnals, I was forgiven.

Love this old coach.

Finally Laura and I decided we could use a sit-down so we got on the little train and took a tour of the entire property from the edges.

The train engineer/conductor said this old buggy was about one third size of the original it was patterned after, which was true of many objects. Some were there just for creating the ambience.

For those who remember this TV show... great set.

This TV show aired from 1966-1971.

Cannot forget the necessities when you put a set together...

Perfect timing for the stagecoach to show up.

Back in town we found the Chinatown of the day...

with the wandering alleys and crowded atmosphere.

There is no frontier town without a jail...

or a mine where you could get rich!

And a sweet Sweet Shoppe!

The list of movies and TV dramas filmed on this site is quite extensive. The first movie filmed here was appropriately named, "Arizona" with two of our favourite stars, Jean Arthur and William Holden.

Some titles you may recognize:

A number of episodes of "Little House on the Prairie"
The 1956 version of "3:10 to Yuma" starring Glenn Ford
Many episodes of "Bonanza"
"Cannonball II" with Burt Reynolds and his friends
"Love Among Thieves" with Audrey Hepburn and Robert Wagner
"Young Guns II" with Emilio Estevez and Kiefer Sutherland
"A Star is Born" with Barbra Streisand and Kris Kristoffersen
"The New Maverick" with James Garner
"The Gambler" with Kenny Rogers
A 1980 episode of "Hart to Hart" with Robert Wagner and Stephanie Powers
to name just a few.

It is a fun place to visit when you are in the south.

Too soon our time was up and we made our way back across town and home. Great day!

Be well and stay in touch.