Archive | July, 2009

Green Gardens

23 Jul

There are lots of flowers blooming in Tucson and Austin, maybe more than here.  But we have those places beat for greenery.

July Garden

July flowers

The wild mullein is as outstanding as some cacti.


Home Again, Home Again: Notes

21 Jul

and boy am I tired. It was a blessing to be able to be with my brother, sister-in-law and their daughter through a difficult time: Jay went back into hospital and had yet another surgery–this one to put in a lumbar-peritoneal shunt to drain off spinal fluid from gathering near the site of his second surgery–after enduring way too much pain and going downhill neurologically.  He seems fine for now. Before that we went to a small farmer’s market, the mall , “UP”, the Texas Roadhouse restaurant, walks, rainstorms, thunders and lightenings galore, lots of wildlife, In and Out Burger, and a Vietnamese eatery.

And then a quick visit to Texas with Jeni and family.  Wonderful, wonderful!  Pork, poblano pesto and peaches, chimichurro sauce, chips and cherries, salsa and special ice cream dessert, dogs, a great Lutheran church service, and plants and the HP movie and seeing kids who have grown so much since I last visited.

An old housemate and her family stayed at our home last night and I made waffles for breakfast.  Jay picked blueberries to have with them.

There was a get-together for them at another home last night.

Laundry.  Started weeding.  Lack of sleep.

But wonderful to be back where everything is all colors of green, the humidity is high and the temperature is quite moderate.

Sugar snap peas, broccoli, the first Sungold tomatoes, speckled lettuce, the first potatoes, ground venison and garlic mayo made with the new garlic and eggs grown down the road for supper tonight.  Those eggs are from chickens that eat lots of greenstuff so the mayo is vibrant yellow.

While travelling I read Dune by Frank Herbert for the third time–but the last time was years ago, and Notes from the Tilt-a-Whirl by ND Wilson for the first time–but it will not be the last; books that are opposite of each other in many ways.  One is a fantastic made-up story about a made-up world in the far future, the other a collection of fantastic real stories and essays about the real world now.  The first is a materialists’  explaination of faith and fate, the second is by a faith-full man explaining what some might think of as fate in the material world.  Dune is ultimately serious, cynical and without hope, Notes is full of hope,  jovial, and optimistic– in a fun way.  Both books share great writing, though.  Herbert was obviously brilliant, thoughtful, lucid.  Wilson is thoughtful, meandering and I look forward to more of his writing.

More Storms

16 Jul

Tuesday night the lightening spread for at least 120 degrees around the horizon.  Whole hands with extended fingers of lightening extending from the sky.  I sat out in the back until I caught myself falling asleep in a chair so I missed what rain came later.  The intermittant sprinkles that had fallen dried up within a minute of hitting.  Temperatures have been between 100 and 115 degrees F.

Brother Jay had surgery yesterday evening: a lumbar-peritoneal drain was inserted to deal with spinal fluid collecting at the base of hie head.

There are no more surgical options remaining for him.  It was a long, long day at hospital.  He was chipper and very cold when he came back to the room.

The Desert

12 Jul

A dark metallic blue wasp was the first find during my first day’s walk with my brother.  A dead dark metallic blue wasp.  So it will be making the trip home with me.  Were the two coyotes I saw running into a development yesterday morning at about 5.30AM after a dark and slightly cooler hiding place among the paths lined with tall trees and bushes or after a jackrabbit breakfast?

Friday night’s thunder and lightening rainstorm led to humid (for here) morning so I started walking before it was light.  Jay says the frogs that were making noise are an endangered species.  Since the desert that was all around his home area is now covered with new homes and schools I do not doubt him.  A mile or so away I could get out into a little natural area–still a dirt road, but the desert had been circumscribed by fences and tattooed by power lines.  The wash out there was greener than anywhere else since it is full of native trees and shrubs rather than cactus replants in the washes around the housing developments are.

That desert rain storm was different: the clouds were not as distinct, the lightening seemed larger and closer to hand.  Maybe the lack of large trees accounts for it?  The wind was not steady from one direction.  The rain came in small separate fits and starts at first before resolving into a downpour full of electricity and percussion that kept me under the front overhang.  But I could hear little children a couple doors down running in the rain delightedly all through the storm.

The barrel cacti are blooming–salmon-orange blossoms.  And the heat is unlike anything I have ever experienced.  Friend Patti who drove with her husband Hugh up from Phoenix to visit yesterday says it is the reason Tucson and Phoenix were small until the advent of AC.

My brother and I were to have gone shooting this morning.  But side-effects from radiation surgery earlier this week interfered with our plans.

More Graduation and Party Pictures

6 Jul





2 Jul

The little girl bird is almost on her own now.  She slept outside the bunny hutch in the trees and was wise enough to hide underneath it when the large thunder and lightening storm came through.  That is where Jay found her ths morning.

She flies down to low branches or the picnic table for supplemental soaked cat food and earthworm feeding. Rimple is also a vocal communicator, especially when hungry.

Last week she visited inside until she got too hot riding on Isabelle’s shoulders  underneath Isabelle’s hair.

Rimple in hair

The two young girls also were taking naps under the fruit trees until the latest round of rain.  Rimple would use some of the time to preen.


Rimple does still like being coddled by one person.

Rimple late June2

Summer Recital

1 Jul

Last night we held a recital for the two piano students I teach and my own two.

The program:

Tarentella   — Bastien                                                             Brian

Prelude #5 in G Major – Vandall                                       Brian

Edelweiss – Rogers and Hammerstein                           Isaac and Isabelle

Prelude #3 in E minor – Vandall                                      Carrie

Gigue – F. M. Veracini                                                          Isabelle, with accompaniment

Flying Leaves – Carl Kolling                                               Isaac

Spanish Guitars  — Bastien                                                   Carrie

Prelude #1 in C Major – Vandall                                       Brian

Sonata No.3 2nd Mov’t Allegro – Handel                      Isabelle, with accompaniment

Prelude # 2 in D Major – Vandall                                      Carrie

Merriton Town Hall – Purcell, adapted                          Isaac

by Dario Marianelli and Williams Lyons

A fine time was had by all.  After the performances, cupcakes, cookies and cherries with punch.  Then badminton, garden walks and a general fun time.

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