Friday, January 11, 2013

Tennis Ladies Brunch at Tampa Wat Mongkolratanaram

We go to Florida in the fall and again in the spring to spend time with our snowbird and Florida friends.  Events get organized quickly.  One Friday afternoon while listening to the weekly musical jam session at the Butt Hutt, someone decided to organize a Sunday morning jaunt to the local Tampa Thai Buddhist Temple: Wat Mongkolratanaram for brunch.  It was ladies only.  Meet at the tennis courts at 10:30 for rides.

Seeing Wat Mongkolratanaram immediately took me back to Bangkok, Thailand. The first time I was there we spent a day riding the local ferry boats on the Chao Phraya River from Wat to Wat.  They were all so different and beautiful.  I especially remember the one with the long reclining Buddha and dropping coins into 99 bowls behind him.  This Thai Buddhist Temple is very much like those you would find in Bangkok.

This was Sunday December 2, 2012.  It was an incredibly beautiful day with temperatures in the high 70's.  It took us a while to wander under the pavilion to figure out what we wanted to eat.

We had great views of the Palm River as we ate our delicious Thai food at the picnic tables.

We were invited to see the inside of the temple.  There was a beautiful gong I wanted to strike three times.

It was a lovely brunch with great friends - thanks to Anice:

Friday, September 16, 2011

Project AWARE - Riverse

Project AWARE stands for A Watershed Awareness River Expedition.  It is volunteers cleaning up rivers, in this case, Iowa rivers.

Last summer I returned to Iowa for a high school reunion where I learned about Project Aware -Riverse.  I was privileged to experience part of the end results through classmate David Williamson.

My friend the poet, the sculptor, the musician was invited to participate by guiding people to create art through recycling, reusing, and reducing metal waste retrieved from Iowa rivers.  By linking to Riverse, you can see what has been accomplished so far.  Be sure to read some of the collaborative  poetry and song lyrics that have been produced over the last seven years as well.

Several of the sculptures were on display in a gallery in Ames, Iowa where I took several photos, which really do not do them justice.

A waterbug's presence denotes high quality water:

The three fingered glove shows the sign for water:

An Iowa river fish....

Two people can sit inside the drop:

Prototypes for sections of the gates at the Iowa State Fairgrounds in Des Moines, Iowa:

Under David's guidance I helped cast a canoe paddle grip that is now a part of the finished gates.

                                                                                David Williamson

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Sculpture in the Summer Sunshine

I was inspired by Sandy at Witterings to post some sculpture I saw this past summer in various places outside in the sunshine.

The first group of sculptures are found at the John and Mary Pappajohn Sculpture Park in Des Moines, Iowa.

Spider by Louise Bourgeois.  It is a symbol of her beloved mother.

Juno by Debora Butterfield:

    Ancient Forest by Debora Butterfield:

    Five Plate Pentagon by Richard Serra.  It resembles 5 playing cards set up on their sides.

    In the Morning by Anthony Caro:

The next sculpture is found at the Des Moines Art Center in Des Moines, Iowa:

Three Cairns by Andy Goldsworthy:

The last group of sculptures are currently found at the Sierra Azul Nursery in Watsonville, California.  Unfortunately, I was remiss in recording the titles and artists of most of these sculptures.  They are all local Santa Cruz County artists sponsored by the Pajaro Valley Arts Council.

This is a 5 panel glass mosaic that can be viewed from either side depending upon where the sun is at a particular time.  It honors the strawberry fields and workers.  It was created by Kathleen Crocetti.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Doreen Wilber: ...Shoot Only One Arrow at a Time

"Focus, believe in yourself, and shoot only one arrow at a time."
                                   Doreen Wilber
                                           -native Iowan, Gold Medal Olympian, Jefferson woman

A life sized statue and a target set at one of her competition distances was dedicated on June 11, 2011 in Jefferson, Iowa, my home town.

I am proud of my fellow Iowans.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Kitties and Reunions

When it is time to check in after being gone a while, a lot is blown in the door with you.  Such is the case with me.  I will be posting about several topics that make me taste sunshine on my tongue.

This post is about going home. Home in this sense is where I was born, Jefferson, Iowa.  My sister still lives there.  And my high school class is one that has great folks who organize class reunions because we like to go back for them. So it is a time for visiting; visiting lots and lots of relatives and friends.  Some I haven't seen for three years (the last time I was in Iowa), some for five years (our 40th class reunion), and some for many more years than I can remember (cousins, classmates, shirttail relatives).

The first time I went back home after moving to California, I found myself sliding broadside down a highway on a cliff above the Mississippi River.  That was when I firmly decided I was not going to go home to Iowa in the winter ever again. Consequently, I looked forward to the warm Iowa June.  Didn't happen:  cool, overcast, spotty rain.  Okay, just like home (California).

Maybe you have never attended a class reunion, but when you do, it is talk, talk, talk.  My friend Mary Jo has  graciously offered her home for the last two get-togethers.  We spend Friday night reacquainting ourselves.  Where is home, retirement, and grandchildren are big topics of conversation these days.  On Saturday morning we muster again at Mary Jo's for Marianne's prize winning cinnamon rolls and sticky buns and coffee before getting on our tractor pulled unit of the Bell Tower Festival Parade.  We wave and shout to people we know and don't know, and toss candy to the kids on the sidelines.  Lunch is usually a casual affair with close friends.  Supper is catered at the old Greene County Golf and Country Club.  We stay late, laugh a lot, do a cheer, maybe, twirl a baton, and are serenaded goodnight by one of the original Bushmen.

Living in a city of over 50,000 you rarely run into someone you know.  But in a city of 4500 you are more likely to see many people you know; or more precisely, knew you from when you were a kid or your parents.  I experienced that several times in the space of a few days.  I got to chat quickly with Phyl, spend a few hours with Jo, and have lunch with my Aunt Barbara, Uncle Dale, Uncle Lloyd, and several cousins.  Many of us had not seen each other in years.  I also got to have lunch with my cousin Judy and her husband Bob.  We practically grew up together less than a quarter mile away from each other.

Summer in Iowa also means new kitties to hold and cuddle; to shower them with love and attention and hope they come up to you again when they get a little older.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Friends, Food, and Fun in the Sunshine State

Our friends mean so much to us, and it is so hard to get together; only once a year for some of them and us.  So I just wanted to show us in the sunshine in front of Sue's beautiful pink azalea here in a special place in Florida in March 2011.

These are many of our California and Florida friends (but not all).  They are family. We play volleyball, tennis, scrabble, ping pong, and poker together, do puzzles and win trivia challenges, watch movies, go "dumpster diving", geocaching, and travelling with, but most of all, we spend quality time together with love and support that includes amazing food feasts and lots of laughter and fun.

Linda, Bill, Becky, Jim, Marge, Bill
Sue, Mick, Hovis, Jane, Dave
Elaine and Ron
Eyes Wide Shut Maggie and Tim

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Tastes Like Sunshine On Your Tongue Marmalade

Valentine's Day this year was the perfect time when my oranges were ripe and ready to be lovingly made into my Tastes Like Sunshine on My Tongue Marmalade.  There were plenty of lemons on the tree to use, too.  Neither the oranges nor the lemons are large, but they do have thick skins, and I have to use many more than the recipe indicates. Using the great ideas from:, I made 5 1/2 pints.  We like our marmalade with lots of both orange and lemon peel, and I make it with organic orange juice instead of water (so it isn't clear) and organic sugar.  Try it.  You'll love how it tastes like sunshine on your tongue.