Colorado 2011

Sitting here on Mark's deck in my pink fleece at 9:30 in the morning.  The hummingbirds buzz around and fight for their territory around the feeders. "Flap" the resident deer eats clover, wandering across the meadow inside the fence.

Last night as I spread out my journals and books on the bed trying to decide what I wanted to do, a cool breeze blew through the open windows and the sound of the aspen leaves blowing was very magical.  I could hear rolling thunder in the distance and it began to rain.  My decision was made.  I packed up my writings, turned off the lights and sat on the bed mesmerized by the sounds and smell of the rain until I fell asleep.

This morning some very loud birds and cows were my alarm clock.  I was tired and wanted to sleep awhile longer, but it was kind of like my house in Texas in the winter -- with my windows wide open and the roosters down the hill continuously crowing.  It's better to just get up than shut the windows to silence them.

Oh my gosh, it is just so green here.  I am obsessed with the Texas drought and have been longing for someplace cool and wet and I am finally here.  Anna and I were laughing at the fact that there seemed to be a stark line from when we crossed from the dry New Mexico high desert and bad roads to the smooth new roads and bright green vegetation of Colorado.  I can't wrap my brain around how that is possible and I wonder if my mind was just playing tricks on me because I have such fond and loving memories of Colorado.

A bluebird lights on the deck rail. It is almost an unnatural shade of blue.  If I was an artist and could mix the colors and capture this on canvass, you would look at it and think I was embellishing the tint.  Bluebird sitting on the redwood deck, hummingbirds buzzing all around, greyish green sage, neon green grasses, sunflowers, white barked aspens with a backdrop of maroon mountains, snow capped and blanketed with gray storm clouds.  As much as I want to capture this place in words, it's simply impossible.  This is a place you have to see, hear and smell, all of which leave you breathless and with your heart skipping beats.  I guess it is possible to be in love with a place.

Mysterious New Mexico

You know how people view Texas?  Well some people have absolutely no clue about New Mexico.  I had someone ask me what other city was in New Mexico besides Santa Fe...'cuz she couldn't think of a single one.  I was asked what kind of work I would do and the kind of home I would be living in "out there"...So I wrote a little story...

Santa Fe or Bust!!!

Yes, actually I've been doing the Craigslist thing, a bit casually since the move is a little way out still.  Albuquerque is the next town over...45 minutes or so from Santa Fe.   Yes, there is running water in parts of the state.  The yurt that I'll be sharing with my sister and Charles has a rainwater collection system.  Problem is, it doesn't rain in Santa Fe very often, it being a high dessert and all, so they've been shoveling snow into the tank and waiting for it to thaw to in order to brush teeth and stuff.  They say though that the walk down to the river to rinse off is a nice way to get some exercise before work in the morning.  The Fed Ex guy had a a hard time trying to find their place the other day when I shipped a couple of things out there. The yurts outside Santa Fe tend to look alike and they aren't well sister's is marked with a rather large flying pig on a pole near the door.

The good news is that my nephew Chase is moving out of the yurt in early May, so I'll have his side of the dome.  He's promised to finish the labyrinth before he moves.  They've warned me that we might not always have bread, because its the windy season and it's hard to keep the fire going at this time of year. They say they have a neighbor a little ways away that's Anasazi and is good at keeping his fire they can go over there sometimes and bake the bread if they are desperate. Worse comes to worse, we'll make fry bread on the pit from time to time. Their friend also has a couple of goats, so sometimes we'll get milk and cabrito from him.  And, of course, my sister has her friends that she's learned the "raw food" method of preparation and is really quite good at it. Being off the grid lends itself quite well to the raw life.  I should send you pictures of the birthday cake she made Charles out of bulgar wheat and nopales.  It was spectacular!  It also lowered his cholesterol by 20 points in matter of days.  Nopales are the miracle vegetable and are abundant at different times of the year up there.  You know my sis has lost like 30 pounds since she's lived there for the past year and a half.  She says it's because of the HCG and acro-yoga she does...but I think it's the food.  She does make a mean kale smoothie that she serves with gin in martini glasses around the pit when her friends hike in to see her. 



Dear Lorena,

I want to express my most sincere appreciation for you and offer my support to you as your son Carlos serves our country.  I know that he has charted his own path in order to honor and defend our nation, sacrificing much personally, thinking and working for the freedom we sometimes take for granted .  In doing so, you and he both have become people that I can point out to my own children as people who are upstanding, brave and selfless.  Your loyalty, dedication and love of this nation is evident in so many of your actions whether you realize it or not and I have the utmost admiration for you and Carlos and all that you do. 

Again, on this Veteran's Day, I thank you both.



Thanks so much Nancy.  It brings tears to my eyes every time I think of Carlos going to Afghanistan but at the same time I am so very proud.  Let us all pray that Carlos along with all the other troops come back well.  I appreciate your beautiful thoughts and find comfort in your words.  We do love this country and consider ourselves incredibly blessed to live here.  You have a great Veteran’s Day too!

God bless America!


My coworker and new friend Lorena and her family came to work in the United States as migrant farm workers 50+ years ago.  She spoke no English when she first arrived and was educated in a vast series of migrant school classrooms around the country while working in the field with her family from the time she was five years old. She said to me recently that her dad was the hardest working man she ever knew. 

Several of her siblings served in the military...her sister retiring from the United States Airforce, defending the country that allowed them to work and essentially thrive as a family. Her son Carlos proudly carried that tradition on, attending a private military high school, being accepted to and attending the Citadel for several years, and is now being deployed to Afghanistan with the National Guard shortly after Thanksgiving of this year.

This is just one of many instances of my friends honoring, serving and protecting the people and country that we love so much.  There is really no way to express the depth of my gratitude for what they do. 


Breathing Is Good

I'm sitting in my fluffy white girlie bed in my apartment in the Hill Country Galleria. I have my windows open overlooking the walking trail. It's about 68 degrees out there and the sound of the cars whizzing down Bee Cave Parkway sounds strangely comforting.

Daddy's Crested Butte painting hangs above my bed as my headboard. Haji Baba the horse silhouettes my wall of windows. Phil's paintings surround me with their spirits watching over, looking forward and reaching up.

I realize I no longer have a heavy feeling in my chest. My head is not cluttered. My heart is not racing. I'm breathing normally and without thinking about it. Is this what they call "calm"? It's a very unfamiliar feeling and I like it a lot.

Wake Up! Part II

Last night I dreamed that some Southern judge and his wife visited me. There were other people with me and a bunch of noisy unruly little kids that were ignoring everything I said to them. The judge brought me this complicated bunch of settlement checks that I was supposed to send out to various parties. I understood the whole transaction but the checks kept getting mixed up and swept off the conference table ending up in a hodge podge of piles on the floor.

The whole time I'm trying to organize the checks and get the kids to behave, the judge was telling this long funny story and his wife kept interrupting him until he finally told her to "just be quiet!" I left in the middle of the story to go find a set of plans that I was supposed to be holding onto for someone. The plans blew out of my hands while I was on the top of a parking garage and I needed to go and find them. I had to race down a bunch of confusing stair wells in several office buildings to make my way to the side of the one building where I thought the tube of plans had maybe landed.

“Dreams are often most profound when they seem the most crazy.” Sigmund Freud


School Days

Yesterday I sorted through boxes and boxes of old school papers and artwork, trying to decide what to keep, what to photograph and what to just toss. It being the night before my youngest starts his Senior year, this keepsake I came across made my heart skip a beat. This is a letter from Anna's kindergarten teacher. We were blessed to have this introduction into the Lake Travis School system.

"Dear Parents,

I give you back your child, the same child you confidently entrusted to my care last fall. I give him back pounds heavier, inches taller, months wiser, more responsible, and more mature than he was then. Although he would have attaained this growth in spite of me, it has been my happy privilege to watch his personality unfold day by day and marvel at this splendid miracle of development. I have thrilled at each new achievement, each new success, each new expansion of self. I give him back reluctantly for having spent the nine months together in the narrow confines of a crowded classroom we have grown closer, have become a part of each other, and we shall retain a little of each other.

Ten years from now if we meet on the streeet, your child and I, a light will spring to our eyes, a smile to our lips, and we shall feel a bond of understanding once more. This bond we feel today. We have lived, loved, laughed, played, studied, learned, and enriched our lives together this year. I wish it could go on forever, but give him back I must. Take care of him for he is precious.

Remember that I shall always be interested in your child whoever he becomes. His joys and sorrows I'll be happy to share. Please call me if there is anything further I can ever do for him.

I shall always be your friend. "