Friday, November 16, 2007

Georgeous Day

The weather for November 16 is wonderful. Sunny skies and warm breeze, kind of scarey wondering what the Thanksgiving weather will be, but oh well. Just got back from lunch with two of my favorite friends, much laughter and insults me being on the receiving end, as usual....
Really hard to get back into the swing of things this afternoon.

Busy weekend ahead, got to finish off a paper/project for school - have left it to last minute, hard to believe I know. Tonight's Lit class about poetry, yeesh - it sounds better if read out loud but not much.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

I'm Back

Have not posted anything for ages, love reading about the kids, but never seem to get around to doing it myself. So, have moved house into a still smaller house but with a bigger backyard. Alex loves it and as I type this is playing in the leaves throwing his chewy toy in the air and barking at it, I have a really smart dog, dont you know. LOL.
I love the little house although it does have some issues, dont we all, the foundations seem to be slipping. Now I would prefer none of you who know me make any snide comments about that.... The house is tiny but it has forced me to review all my possessions such as they are, not keep anything that I do not need - after all I can only sit in one chair at a time and drink out of one cup at a time. So I am working on living in a small house filled with exquisite stuff, including me.

Looking forward to decorating for Thanksgiving and Christmas, love that sort of thing. More later....

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Habitat for Humanity/Birthday Party

Had a marvellous day today. Volunteered to help at a Habitat for Humanity site with my church. Of course, when I volunteered I did not realise it would be 90 degrees in the shade, well actually there was no shade - it was hot. Got to the site - at last- as of course I get lost along the way, turned left instead of right, who would have thought it but arrived about 10 minutes after everyone else. Put on my work gloves and proceeded to hang around not sure of what to do next. Discovered I have absolutely no skills regarding building a house so ended up making sure everyone had enough water to drink and holding bits of wood and plastic while Wendell cut them to size. Apart from the heat and as everyone knows as an ex Brit if it gets over 75 I have serious warmth issues it was a great morning. The prospective homeowner was there putting in her sweat equity, very nice lady and so grateful to Habitat. So I have already decided to sign up for the next day in September. Back home for a long soak in a luke warm bath finally getting my temperature back to normal and then a nice nap. I love naps, I do them so well.

Finished off the day at Cheryl and Nick's place for a wonderful birthday/anniversary/what the heck party at their place. Sitting out on the deck next to the waterfall in the shade with a lovely breeze blowing eating delicious food and drink, you know it does not get a lot better than that. Met some extremely interesting not to say funny people, had a blast. Then home to see if the new airconditioner work, and yah it does so house much cooler, so was able to switch of a/c and open all doors and windows for the cool night air to filter through the house. Lovely.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007


Yesterday I went to my friend Renay's father's funeral. I went to support my friend and ended up feeling how very blessed I am in my life and how little we truly know of the people around us. Renay's dad was 85 when he died and although I had only met him a couple of times I enjoyed what I knew of him. Imagine my surprise when I get to the funeral chapel to discover he was during World War II a "hump" pilot which flew planes from India over the Himalyas into Burma and various parts. There was a wonderful scrapbook on the desk with pictures and stories about his life - fascinating. Anyway it was a lovely service leaving me with the impression of a man who was deeply loved not just by his family but my his friends and neighbors as well. After the service we went to the cemetary for the graveside service and for the first time I saw an Honor Guard ceremony. It was one of the most moving ceremonies I have ever been priveliged to participate in. His coffin was draped with the American flag and there was a lone bugler playing. After a word of prayer the other two honor guards folded the flag. These gentlemen consisted of an older man, sargeant I think, with the most amazing number of medals on his chest with another young soldier maybe 19 or 20. It was very clear the younger soldier was nervous and wanted to do everything just right and what was even clearer was the older man encouraged him all the time with just looking at him. As the younger man slowly folded the flag I could see him get more calm and confident as he worked his way along. After the flag was folded he saluted the older soldier who now held the flag and left the cover the of the tent. The soldier holding the flag knelt down in front of Renay's mother and very quietly said some things to her then he stood up saluted and left the tent. As the three soldiers moved quietly away they stopped about 20 feet from the tent and saluted one last time. A deeply fitting tribute to a man who did what he had to do at the time and who never made a fuss about it. As I was watching all of this I started to remember my maternal grandfather who I had not thought about in a long time and how interesting a man he was as well. He too served in the Far East during WWII in India and Burma in the British Army. A quiet, deliberate and modest man who I do not think about often enough.

It was a good day for me as well in the fact that I got to hang out with a friend of mine Carol, someone I had been distant from for a while and during this time of reflection which it is when death is around I was able to say how much of a blessing that she had been in my life. No matter where we are now in our friendship it does not negate the laughter and joy we have had in the past. She has been as close to me as a sister and it was a delight, given the circumstances, to see and talk with her again.

Well its been a very quiet morning so far with me and Alex hanging out at the house. So far its not been too hot so hopefully we can enjoy this day of celebration.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Sunday Afternoon

I have all the doors and windows open with a lovely breeze flowing through the house. Alex and I sat on the porch which manages to catch the nicest flow of air. Alex is sprawled under the chair trying to keep cool. This house is surrounded by the most amazing trees just wish the neighborhood was better. I have an amazing willow tree in the backyard which Maintenance Mike did some pruning on and I am not sure what went wrong but it has started to sprout growth from its trunk, looks kind of scarey in the moonlight... Went walking around the lake this morning, damned runners everywhere, could not do our walk as usual managed to make it once around the lake but so packed with people ended up being irritating, but good to get out before it got too hot.
It is amazing but it is nearly three weeks since my trip to the UK. One of my favorite places was Kew Gardens, where George III and his family lived in a small palace in the Gardens, very lovely so I am reading about him and his siblings and how his actions and thoughts behind those actions changed the course of history. Rather a misunderstood man who thought of himself as father as well as king to his subjects. A hard life which has rather surprised me so far. I have always thought of the monarchy having money up the wahzoo and being able to do what they want. Not so, very constricted by people's expectations and their duties.

Still househunting - looking for a lovely cottage 2 bed and one bath. Have seen some lovely ones in Old Colorado City. Have to make a decision regarding which one to offer for.

Also have after many years decided to go back to school just for the sheer pleasure of learning. I did not attend college other than for my paralegel job and that was torture, I love my job but the degree was stultifyingly dull. So I am going to do Southwest Studies. I am fascinated by that area of the United States and am looking foward to studying and finding out more about both the Indian and Hispanic cultures. I had a marvellous time living in Mexico for nearly 2 years some 27 years ago and have never forgotten how fasinating I found that culture and I hope to get as much enjoyment out of my studies.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Last Day

Day dawned and of course the weather sucks. It is cold, rainey and just plain miserable. We decided to go into town anyway and take one of the bus tours however by the time we actually got into town poor Cheryl who is not used to this weather was already freezing so we went on the bus but on the lower covered level. Oh, nearly forgot we got off the Underground at Hyde Park corner where we took off over the park and got to Buckingham Palace just in time to see the changing of the guard, very colorful and quaint but freezing, which brings me back to the bus tour. It was quite excellent but too cold to actually get off the bus to see anything. People getting on the bus were literally chattering their teeth with the cold so we did the tour in the relative warmth of the bus then got off at the place we recognized was the same place we had started on the Jack the Ripper walk and found a hotel for a spot of lunch and of course the ubiquitous cup of tea. Nothing like a cuppa when you are frozen to the bone. We found our way back to the hotel after getting on the wrong train - cold messes with the brain as well for yet another cup of tea.

Relaxing tonight, my last night I have to be leaving the hotel at 5:00 a.m. Yuk, but its been a fabulous time and I have loved every minute of it.

Kew Gardens - Sunday

What an amazing place. 300 acres of marvellous horticulture. We got up late and took out time getting out to Kew Gardens. Got off the train in a tiny little village of Kew packed full of really lovely little quaint shops and old Victorian houses. Walked about 10 minutes from the station and entered at the Victoria Gate. It was rather cloudy when we got there so we decided to do the little tram ride that gives you an overall view of the gardens. After we did that stopped for tea which in iteself was a pleasure and then took off walking. Went into the magnificent Palm house with all the palms from all over the world, Princess conservatory, the Orangey, Nash's building and numerous small gardens like the rock garden, relecting garden. I did the tour of Kew Palace home of George III and his queen Charlotte, fascinating they have refurbished the house as it was at their time early 1800s and these guys might have been royalty but there was not much stuff in this place. It might of been because she had 15 children and all but two survived. Can you imagine....Anyhoo, at the back of the house was a marvellous garden with a nosegay garden included which meant that all kinds of plants used in the late 1700s were planted with their names as they were used then and then the use eg stomach pains, getting rid of boils you name it they had a plant for it.

Because the weather was overcast and a little on the chilly side there were not that many people around so Cheryl and I got to wander all over the gardens, she took lots of pictures, I unfortunately forgot to charge my battery so I will have to get pics from her. We stayed at Kew for hours and decided not to do anything else that day but make our way back to the hotel and sleep.


Sunday, May 27, 2007

Family Day

Had great day on Saturday my brother and his son came to pick me up from the hotel, getting lost of course apparently there are two A34s no of which means anything to me as I cant read a map to save my life. Anyhoo, he whisked me away to Romsey to hang out with his family and my Dad and his special friend, Ellie. Absolutely fabulous. Ellie is an absolute hoot and keeps my Dad in check, my Dad looked really good better than I have seen him in years and looks a good 10 years young that his 79 years young. My bru and his lovely wife, Andy, as normal just so much fun to be around, and theirs sons, Jon and his girlfriend Katie and David really enjoyed hanging out. In fact, we decided as it was a lovely day to head into Broadlands for the country show, which actually was like the village fete only bigger. Very interesting, got to see falcons fly and dive bomb something not sure what, owls fly really close to the ground, do you know that you cannot hear owls fly they are practically silent, well if you didnt you do now.... There was lawnmower races, cream teas, and all manner of totally useless stuff. Just goes to show how much England is changed when I lived here 27 years ago the village fete was all about cakes and jams, now it includes curry tasting and exotic foods from practially everywhere. Not a bad big of progress really.
Speaking of curry, my excellent brother got me an Indian meal from the local restaurant which was absolutely delicious and then he had to return me to the hotel.

I had a wonderful time and again was reminded of how much we underestimate how wonderful it is to be loved and belong to a family however far apart we are.