Monday, June 30, 2008

Sweet Years

This is the last set of pictures I took from Italy... our bus driver. He was a compelling person to observe. I loved his style and the way he put himself out in the world. It is almost a week later I am still contemplating what his life is like. Have you ever seen a person that made your imagination come alive. This man is bigger than life.
His watch band said Sweet on one side of the watch and Years on the other side.
I wonder what this statement means to him and why he chooses to wear it. His hands are beautiful and graceful and I wondered if he might be a poet, musician or painter. I would not be surprised to find out he was professional thief, a safe cracker or private detective. His name would be something like Taddeo, Luca, Santi, or Federigo.

Like all our bus drivers he talked on the cell phone while he was driving. This drove me nuts! Managing the traffic seemed like enough of a challenge to me without adding the extra distraction of a cell phone.
He picked the cheesiest station on the radio Italian disco music .. very fun!
I am certain he dances ...he whistled and tapped his fingers to every song...possibly a happy man?

I am a photo stalker I have to admit it but this guy was certainly great fuel for my imagination!
All for now.
Dance if you get the chance remember these are the Sweet Years.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Home Again

I am home and recovered from my trip. The first day back I felt like I had a head stuffed with cotton. 16 hours of sleep made all the difference. Now I am making plans for my upcoming shows and ruminating on some work in progress trying to get back in the routine of work.

My daughter Charlie treated me to the trip to Italy and Greece. With great pride I watched her interaction with her students. She is a great teacher and a lovely woman and I am proud of her. Her 14 students were really fun to spend the nine days with. I was so impressed with them ...what a great group. We were joined by 2 other groups of students one from San Antonio Texas and one from Virginia our group totaled 36 . Having 36 people traveling together was not without it's challenges especially when it came to meal time.

We were kept very busy this trip. I took 620 pictures... do you want to see them? I'll post the best of them over time so you don't get bored with them.

No dancing since my return but tomorrow is a new day!

Be well and dance if you get a moment.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Bye For Now

My hollyhocks are lovely today. I thought I'd share.

I am leaving for Greece this morning.

I'll return on the 25th be prepared for many pictures!

Be well... and don't forget to dance!


Sunday, June 15, 2008

Fathers Day

It is a hot and sunny morning in Southern Illinois... I am busy making last preparations for my first trip out of the country. Packing light is the challenge of the day. I leave tomorrow and will fly into Greece where I will meet my daughter and 12 high school students from Montana and 4 parents who will participate in the chaperoning of the group. We will be in Greece 3 days and then take a boat to Serronto Italy from there to Rome for 5 days. I am taking my camera and sketch book and leaving all hand work at home. I will also take my i pod loaded with dancing music .... just in case!

My son and I ventured out for his first driving experience last night it was fun to observe his confidence grow as we drove round and round a parking lot. I think he will be a great driver with some practice .... that is easy to say from the safety of an empty parking lot. By the time I get home from my trip he will be driving the roads this is where the real fun begins.

My husband gave my daughter a wonderful birthday present he took her to a 3 day music festival. They took my van, an air mattress, and a huge amount of snacks. I look forward to hearing their stories this afternoon when they return. I did get to hear some BB King over the phone last night. This trip has earned him father of the year in my daughters eyes. I am quite proud of him as well as this trip was not without it's challenges. Today we celebrate Father's Day with Lasagna and chocolate cake!

Be well and have a great week!

If you get a chance to dance... shake a hip!


Sunday, June 1, 2008

The Jungle Season

The woods around our house are getting thick and will be creeping closer to our house as the days get longer. Yesterday I pushed back the edges of the woods with the mower the first time this year to do so. My son took over my mowing job this year and is still working out the details so doing the edges is not in his skill set... yet. I love to mow so it was with a heavy heart that I relinquished the tractor to him watching the learning curve is a challenge for me I have to be patient and accept some ragged grass here missed patches here and there. He is getting a lot better and I hope the experience will help him when he gets behind the wheel of a car for the first time in a couple of weeks. Yes... driver's training begins!

The woods are loud with all the bird activity there so many new baby birds I can hear their mothers calling out to them teaching them to fly and the sounds of hungry birds still in the nest. It is interesting how I am beginning to recognize the difference in the bird calls.

Yesterday when I mowed I had to stop and let a mother bird get her baby out of the way not once but twice ...same birds even after I avoided the area for a long while to give them a chance to practice. I do love watching these lessons. Baby birds are so vulnerable and very cute. I wonder if mother birds get frustrated.

This spring I have also observed the fierceness of birds as they chase away the hawks from their babies and have to marvel at their courage and determination. I tell my kids this is a great indicator of how mothers can love their children.... fiercely! In my perfect world all mothers would be this way.

We have AC just in time as someone turned up the heat outside ! The repairmen left Friday about 5pm and they worked hard all day. I ended up with some unexpected holes in my closet and bedroom ceiling they will come patch and paint them next week.

I am looking for some good fiction to take on my trip to Italy .... any suggestions out there?
I would love to hear some.

Last week I bought a big book titled Amber Forever a book I have seen many times but avoided because I didn't like the name and it looked like a romance novel but a clerk handed it to me and said this is a great and very long historical fiction perfect for a long flight... a bestseller in 16 countries as well .... so I bought it and will save it for the trip. I'll let you know !

My daughter left on her band trip early Saturday morning she arrives in Boston today it will be fun to hear her adventures along the way! So far it has been a lot of bus travel.

My oldest daughter called at 1 am last night to tell me that she just met Bill Clinton's at the Mo Club ( Missoula Club) a pub I used to hang out at almost 30 years ago... GREAT burgers! She was surprised to see him there campaigning for Hilary my brave girl put her hand on his back to talk to him... the secret service men told her not to touch him. He turned around they spoke a few minutes and he thanked her for her work as a teacher and reached out and shook her hand. She called to tell me thinking it would be a fun message to wake up to. My phone is rarely at my bedside table so she was surprised when I answered. What an odd phone call! I was groggy and said something like... " Okay .... well thanks for letting me know"... Funny! I look forward to hearing the rest of the story today. I do think it is interesting that Bill Clinton was at the Mo club at midnight.

Yesterday I finished my piece for Tomme Fent's grab bag challenge.... well mostly finished ....I'll sew on the sleeve and label today during the baseball game. .. Go Cards! All the participants put together a bag of fabrics and other embellishments they wanted to see someone use in an art quilt. We sent the bags to Tomme who redistributed them to us. We had to design and then create a 20 x 20 art quilt for someone without knowing who they were. I look forward to seeing what someone did with the fabrics and embellishments I selected for my bag. This was fun and challenging! I really enjoyed not knowing who I was making a quilt for. After the quilts get distributed I will post a picture of the piece I made so you can see it but I can't do it before the new owner receives it.

Happy Sunday !

Be well and dance if you get a chance!