Sunday, December 31, 2006

Voodoo Palm Tree

On our thrice a week trek to the dialysis clinic this palm tree is either standing perfectly still or waving in the wind. It first caught my eye on about the 4th trip from our new house to the clinic and it's become routine for me to salute it when passing by! I salute the humor I see in it and how it proudly stands looking so unkempt; it's as if it's defying the "way things should be" by being uniquely ugly. There are days when it looks like it's practicing Voodoo.

More New Year's quotes:

The Old Year has gone. Let the dead past bury its own dead. The New Year has taken possession of the clock of time. All hail the duties and possibilities of the coming twelve months! ~Edward Payson Powell

New Year's Day is every man's birthday. ~Charles Lamb

Saturday, December 30, 2006

Quotes To Help Ring in the New Year

When there are two blue eyed blonde boys in the family it's often best to photograph them when they're not looking at the camera! I must practice photographing blue eyes and using the PSE tools to remove the "red-eye" syndrome! I tuned the bottom photo into a B/W one so that my mistakes aren't too obvious.

I've given up making New Year's resolutions; just one more thing to drive myself crazy over! I couldn't resist posting a few New Year's quotes.

One resolution I have made, and try always to keep, is this: To rise above the little things. ~John Burroughs

Of all sound of all bells... most solemn and touching is the peal which rings out the Old Year. ~Charles Lamb

We spend January 1 walking through our lives, room by room, drawing up a list of work to be done, cracks to be patched. Maybe this year, to balance the list, we ought to walk through the rooms of our lives... not looking for flaws, but for potential. ~Ellen Goodman

May all your troubles last as long as your New Year's resolutions. ~Joey Adams

He who breaks a resolution is a weakling; He who makes one is a fool.~F.M. Knowles

I think in terms of the day's resolutions, not the year's. ~Henry Moore

Time has no divisions to mark its passage, there is never a thunder-storm or blare of trumpets to announce the beginning of a new month or year. Even when a new century begins it is only we mortals who ring bells and fire off pistols. ~Thomas Mann

I made no resolutions for the New Year. The habit of making plans, of criticizing, sanctioning and molding my life, is too much of a daily event for me. ~Anaïs Nin

New Year's is a harmless annual institution, of no particular use to anybody save as a scapegoat for promiscuous drunks, and friendly calls and humbug resolutions. ~Mark Twain

Every man regards his own life as the New Year's Eve of time. ~Jean Paul Richter

Friday, December 22, 2006


It's difficult to discern the snow on the mountains but it was there, for a few days at least! This particular mountain range is above Palm Springs, not the range directly behind our house that was devoid of snow dusting. I was driving west in the direction of Palm Springs and became so enthralled with the scenery that I drove past
my destination! Of course I had to photograph palm trees in the foreground!

By Wilfred A. Peterson, "The Art of Living" Christmas is not in tinsel and lights and outward show. The secret lies in an inner glow. It's lighting a fire inside the heart. Good will and joy a vital part. It's higher thought and a greater plan. It's glorious dream in the soul of man.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

No Storm!

A storm of epic proportions had been predicted for over a week. Like everyone else in the Coachella Valley I thought that the weather reports were right on target! Yesterday the sky was dark with ominous clouds, the humidity rose to uncomfortable levels, the wind knocked over plants on the patio and the cats started to look worried.

It was supposed to rain by 10pm so you can imagine how the weather report was announced on the 11pm news. "Well folks, the storm stalled on the other side of the mountains and we didn't even receive a drop of rain or a speck of snow."

The above photos were taken from my backyard an hour ago. What a beautiful day! I do hope that I remember the pleasant days we've had once the temps top 100 degrees for weeks on end.

The bottom right photo is of a section on the patio; yep, that's dirt in the background. The soil is in awful condition, so much so that I can't imagine anything growing in it. But the front yard looks pretty good so I guess I'll have to have faith that the backyard will someday be a paradise!

Friday, December 15, 2006


Back in 1976 when I moved to the Monterey Peninsula one of the first restuarants I ate at was Clint Eastwood's Hog Breath Inn. Not the best food in town, but the atmosphere more than made up for the menu.

Years later, in the mid 80's, when Clint ran for mayor of Carmel a friend and I interviewed him for a book we hoped to write on creativity. Clint was generous with his time and answered our questions as if he'd never been asked similar ones before. His hand shake when we finished the interview warmed my heart for years to come; I'll always have a soft-spot in my heart for him!

Clint and his ex-wife Maggie sold some land to a housing development company where mom ended up living for 10 years until our arrival in the desert. The view from Pacific Meadows was unbelievable! Mom had an apartment facing the pine forest; apartments on the other side overlooked Carmel Bay and Point Lobos.

The Clint story continues! Back in May my daughter and son-in-law attented a wedding in La Quinta and fell in love with the area. The night of the wedding they had dinner in Old Towne at Clint's restaurant in LQ, Hog's Breath, and Jack lost his first baby tooth at age 4.5. When my friend arrived for a visit last month we had lunch at the Hog's Breath and sat near the fireplace to keep warm. That was the only week so far that the temps have fallen below 70 degrees. We were surprised that Clint has a restaurant here in the desert and were told that it's been open about 2 years. Yesterday Stacy had a doctor's appointment with a new physician who immediately sent us to the lab for some extensive blood work and set up an appointment for a 3-part goiter/thyroid ultrasound on the 28th! I felt as if I'd been hit over the head again! What else?!?! Mom suggested that we go to lunch and try to enjoy ourselves. We ended up at the Hog's Breath, oh by the way, the food is fabulous, and instead of sitting indoors we chose to sit out on the terrace. It was 75 yesterday and the mountains, clouds, palm trees and Old Towne made our spirits soar! How could they not?! Thank you Clint for the memories!

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Links of interest.

I haven't posted "links of interest" in months!
I just read an article in the local LQ (La Quinta) magazine about author Elizabeth Adler and was immediately inspired. I'm not sure what inspired me but perhaps it's the fact that she's visited many of the same European places that I have and bought a house in La Quinta a few years ago.

One of the highlights of 2006 was meeting Raewyn and two of her kids! They visited Stacy and
me in August right after my return from visiting my daughter and making a life-changing
decision to move to the desert!
Meet Raewyn here:

A fun blog!

A friend's blog!

And a quote:
"A lovely thing about Christmas is that it's compulsory, like a thunderstorm, and we all go through it together."

Wednesday, December 13, 2006


Under certain lighting conditions the palm trees take on the appearance of objects such as windmills or feather dusters. At first glance this one shouted "windmill."

I photographed this tree on our walk yesterday just as the sun dropped below the mountain ridge. I'd had a frustrating day that had started out with great promise but went awry when electricians didn't do the work that had been scheduled. That was trying enough but then mom had a run-in with two calculators that "were broken" and became hysterical over the incident and darn it, but exhaustion got in the way of working on the collage I've just started. It seems that if one starts pushing buttons during moments of major confusion and then expects the calculators to figure out something they're not prepared to do it's hard to get the correct totals. Ever vigilent I fished the two defective calculators out of the trash. For the last few years I haven't been able to bear reading anything about Alzheimer's, it's as if I had a premonition that I would "see" it first hand.

Machines seem to be the enemy of someone who is in a confused state; there was also a run-in with mom's CD player last night that somehow ended up broken. I was asked to pick up a new one today while I was out running errands. I do wish that there stores allowed one to try out electronics before purchasing them! After a prolonged study of 4 players I chose what looked to be the easist one to use. I couldn't have been more wrong. In order to start the player one needs to press play twice and twice again to stop it. Isn't pressing a button once enough? Mom has already decided that the new CD player is defective.

After purchasing the CD player I decided to treat myself to an hour of exploring an area I had read about in the newspaper. The main street , Highway 111, runs through quite a few desert towns including La Quinta, Rancho Mirage and Palm Springs and is just one of the main areas for shopping. Turning off Hwy 111 onto Washington St. past gated communities suddenly shopping centers flanked both side of Washington St. I will definitely return to one of them. Many of the local stores I've frequented lately make me feel like a visitor to the desert but the Dollar Tree fit like an old pair of jeans! I hadn't realized that I've been searching for comfort or familarity.

I wonder how long it takes before a new town feels like home? After dropping mom and Stacy off at the dialysis clinic I spent 15 minutes looking for a doctor's office where Stacy has an appointment tomorrow morning. At least I now know where it is located, adjacent to the JFK hospital, where major parking problems can often occur. I always find parking though, so it shouldn't be a problem.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Feather Dusters?

Out of the corner of my eye I saw what looked to be rather large feather dusters. Nope, just more palm trees!

Throughout the gated community we live in there is a tree that I've grown quite fond of. The Chilean Mesquite has feathery leaves that change during the day from bright green to dark depending on the way the sun hits them. The trunks become beautiful with age and we're thrilled that one is growing in our front yard rather than a palm tree! The houses on both sides of us got the palm trees.

This evening we took a walk along the golf course even though we're not sure we're allowed to do so! We strolled on the golf cart path and looked at yards that overlook the course. Nice veiw, but not much privacy. Quite a number of the houses have outdoor kitchens set up along with spas or dipping pools. Our yard is still dirt. I have purchased 3 citrus trees and 15 hedge plants. We're supposed to submit a plan for approval in the next 2 months and then start work. The first thing I want to do is extend the patio roof over my bedroom window! Even if it's 60 degrees outside it's about 80 in my room. I've set my studio up in my bedroom and master bathroom and find that I need two fans on all day so that I'm comfortable.

I started a collage over the weekend that is based on the "A2Z" theme that a few members in ExpressionVillage group are working on. Talk about bliss! All I need to do is start putting paint down on just about any surface and my spirits are lifted!

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Palm Springs Christmas

My friend and I discovered the quaint shopping area of Palm Springs last week. The weather was a crisp 78 but Christmas was in the air! Christmas has always meant pine trees and cool weather so I couldn't resist taking a photo of the Rockin' santa with palm trees in the background.

I'm trying to get into the Christmas spirit. Two small trees have been decorated, two wreaths hung on doors, and two angels are sitting on the media chest. I have a feeling that the house is about as decorated as it's going to get.

Time to create new art is just slightly out of reach; lots of health matters to attend to lately leaving me in the energy deficit column. Any energy I have left over is used up with keeping the house in order.

The following quote fits like a glove!

You enter the forest at the darkest point, where there is no path. Where there is a way or path, it is someone else's path. You are not on your own path. If you follow someone else's way, you are not going to realize your potential. It takes courage to do what you want. Other people have a lot of plans for you. Nobody wants you to do what you want to do. They want you to go on their trip...- Joseph Campbell