Saturday, February 28, 2009

Dream World

"Drifting Aimlessly," an etching by Dan Mitchell Allison, from our collection.
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Do you ever have dreams of flying? Do you dream in color or black & white?

I haven't had flying dreams for years. Perhaps I stopped having them because they always ended with my being suddenly awakened by the sensation that I had just fallen from a great distance onto my bed, with my heart pounding in fear. I have always dreamed in color and was astounded to learn, as a child, that some people dream in black and white.

One recent morning when I awakened from my dreaming, I realized that I was always young in my dreams. At a point in my life I had stopped aging and was stuck somewhere in my late twenties. In my dreams, I had seamlessly transitioned myself from childhood into adulthood without the merest notice of having done so. But here I was frozen in perpetual youth in my dream world. When I mentioned this to Tall Husband, he reminded me that we are the authors of our own dreams.

So in the next few dreams, I seemed to be my actual age. But enough of that! Rewrite!  I am now back to being a mere slip of a girl. Whose dream is this anyway?

Friday, February 27, 2009

Pure Style

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I've been doing some heavy reading in autism and neurology lately, so I'm taking a break today. Here's one of the books I'll be perusing, an inexpensive paperback that's rich in ideas and beautiful photography.  Pure Style is by Jane Cumberbatch with photography by Henry Bourne and is published by Ryland Peters & Small of London and New York.  The simple, natural approach to living, as demonstrated in this book, while timeless in appearance, is certainly in touch with our situation today.

Visit Jane

Visit Henry

Click on photos to enlarge.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Missing Taddie

This Cala Lily is from my garden.
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As this season arrives each year a sweet sorrow takes over my mood and every season I ask, "What is this emotion?" and I remember, "Oh!  It's me missing Taddie, again."

Taddie was Tall Husband's mother, a wonderfully eccentric, second generation Brit, who was the personification of excess: too much red lipstick; too many bangles and rings; too many martinis; and throw in the fact that no one had to wonder what was on her mind.  Besides loving all those things about her, I loved her odd sayings and the way she told a story.

Taddie was wary of me at first, for as she said, sending a child out into the world is the most painful part of being a mother.  She learned to trust that I would always care for her son and we grew to be great friends.  We talked every day on the telephone.  At least once a month, I thanked her for entrusting me with her son.  In return she was my "Dear Abby," who gave sound advice on matters of finance, love and life. Over dinners at her home, she told wonderful family stories, often illustrated with family photos from her stash of old black and white photographs.  "Here he is when he was just a boy in his cowboy boots; you know, he used to piss in his boots."  "And here he is before his plastic surgery...yes, he had those Prince Charles ears."  "Here she is, back when she had her looks, with the help of a nip and tuck and gallons bleach to keep her blond.  If you ask me though, her legs were too far apart and her eyes too close together."  There were old photos of Taddie in that box also.  She had been a great beauty.

Early one spring, after Taddie's funeral, I sat alone in the garden crying. When I wiped my tears and looked up I saw one white lily standing tall among the foliage.  They had been planted years earlier and this was their first bloom.  Taddie often said, "I hate white flowers.  Why be a flower if you cannot have color?"

"Taddie, you remembered that I love them white," I whispered.

So this time of year I go to my garden and there is always a single white lily waiting for me. "Thank you...and again, thank you for giving me Tall Husband."  The garden and I fall silent, then I can just hear Taddie say, "It's damn so quiet around here, you could hear a cat piss in Egypt."  I smile and go about my life.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

The Misfit

This little antique chandelier came with our Arts & Crafts bungalow. I know it is a misfit but that is precisely why I love it. I've had to fend off an uncle who decided that it must be replaced with lighting to match the style of the house. I've held out against other members of the family who complained about the lack of real light.

But one should never challenge an old woman who has survived the Age of Hysterectomy with her original plumbing intact; for she is skilled in the defense of dear old things.

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Shine on little chandelier. I promise that another fixture shall never take your place and that fluorescence shall never touch your sockets.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Thank You!

Awww, thank you. I'm so happy, I'm dancing and we thought I couldn't dance. I just learned that Brittanie Shey of Houstonist wrote a great article today about my two blogs, The Bunny Bungalow and My Ranchburger. Thank you Brittanie. And thank you Gus of Swamplot, as your linking to my blogs brought them to Brittanie's attention.
Got to go find Tall Husband 'cause he's keeping his distance while I'm dancing...he's so persnickety about those toes of his.
Click on Image to enlarge.

Gifts of Spring

Spring has brought a few of her azaleas early this year.  Their soft fragrance fills the outdoors with intoxicating perfume.

They are perfect on the bush but no one could resist bringing some indoors... their perfume can waft through the bungalow.

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White Rabbit agrees!

Update: Blogger Problem:  If you and/or I have disappeared as a follower from a blog:  There is a Google glitch, according to Blogger Help Group at  About half of several bloggers' followers have disappeared from their blogs.  I do not know the corrective action at this moment.

Friday, February 20, 2009

A Tired Car

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Tall Husband and I are often together when I do photo shoots for this blog. He has a way of seeing the world from an interesting angle or seeing things I missed. But sometimes he simply cannot contain his left-of-normal humor. Like saying to me, "You're missing a great shot; there's a really tired car right behind you."

Sure enough...uh, thanks Tall Husband!

Stamp Francisco Giveaway

The little bunny in a roadster, which was used in the design of my blog card, is a rubber stamp from Stamp Francisco. Click on photo to enlarge.
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Hop over to Stamp Francisco's new blog. They are having their first great giveaway, Blog Candy, on their blog, Les Papotages de Stamp Francisco.  If you win, you will get wonderful rubber stamps, collage sheets and vintage labels, etc.  Hop!  Hop!  The giveaway ends 2-27-09.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Destination: Moon

Quick, tell me, when you were a child, what did you want to be when you grew up? The better question might be, "Who did you want to be?"  Did you have heroes who influenced you?  Were they people you knew or people from media, whom you thought you knew? 

Dan Mitchell Allison's Veronica Lake  in "Destination: Moon"  from our art collection.

Picture frames influenced me.  Yes picture frames.  You see when I was a pre-schooler, every five-and-dime store displayed picture frames in their windows. Within the frames were black and white photographs of movie stars.  That's where I first saw her, Veronica Lake, the sultry blond actress.  I wanted to be Veronica Lake.  I remember pulling my hair over my right eye and believing I looked exactly like her.  "Do I look like Veronica Lake, Mama?"

"No, your face is too round and your hair is too short."  I wanted to trade that mother for Veronica Lake!  

Photo of Shirley Temple courtesy of Wikipedia.
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Then one day there was a little round-faced girl in the picture frames.  "Who is she, Mama?"

"Shirley Temple, the little actress."

Summer nights, at our neighborhood park, a projectionist would show old movies on the side of a building.  One night, with fireflies glowing in the dark around us, we sat on our blankets and watched a curly-headed Shirley Temple dance and sing her heart out.  I was suddenly Shirley Temple!  Never mind that I couldn't dance and my voice would frighten other small children and large dogs.  I had the round face and the hair.

Later, my heroes would be a special teacher, a writer, a scientist, or often, one of my courageous patients.  Ever the optimist, I'm still trying to figure out who I will be.  Do you think I look like Isabel Allende, the writer?

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Architect's Chair

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This is a cool chair with table seen at the Zamore Open House .  I'm guessing that it was designed and built by an architect associated with that project.  There is a certain beauty in the simplicity of the design and its execution.  It's rather modern country.

Note:   The Zamore homes were designed by Brett Zamore and was a project of Mark and Jenny Johnson's company, Area 16.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

My Dream Car

This is my miniature 250 Isetta, a BMW redesign with traveling trailer, which is always parked on my bookshelf, next to my Frida Kahlo books. You've seen it before. Also, I did a photo shoot of a car show in June of 2008 which had a wonderful yellow Isetta.

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This Isetta is too cute for words. Just wish it were life size!

Added thought: Legend has it that the little Isetta saved BMW once; I believe the timing is such that it could do so again. The little car that could!

Monday, February 16, 2009

A Rose in the Rough

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Faith Rose.

Not every name comes to me, but I remember their faces and their voices, especially their voices.  Because a voice is often so difficult to find, that it requires the help of a therapist, like myself.

She was not my patient but a grandmother, raising a little boy who wasn't speaking; a tiny boy who found nothing to speak of in the backwoods of Texas in a old trailer house.  He did respond to his grandmother's slow, East Texas twang, though.  That was a start, I assured this worried grandmother.

We judge people by so many extraneous clues that we often do not see the real person in front of us.  If I had been asked to describe this grandmother, I would have summed her up in three words, "sweet white trash."  So when I parked outside her trailer house, arriving for the boy's therapy session, I was unprepared for what I heard.  Through the ripped screen door came a voice so sweet and pure, it brought tears to my eyes.  I sat in my car until that voice sang the last note of an aria from La Traviata.

I knocked at the door, expecting to see another person there.  Only the grandmother and the boy awaited me.  It was then that I realized the pure soprano came from this unlikely woman.  "You sing opera?"

The grandmother nodded, then went on to tell me that she trained to be an opera singer but that life had other plans for her.  She pointed out her old turntable and an impressive collection of opera records.  My heart broke to hear of her unrealized life and a voice that only echoed through the backwoods.  She told her story in a matter of fact manner, making it obvious that she did not consider herself a victim.  "Life is jus' life."

As I drove away from her home that day, I had to reconcile all I had just heard.  Here's my reconciliation: She is still a singer; she doesn't need a stage to be that; her audience of one little boy who loves to hear her sing was enough for her.  I had to believe this or my heart would never mend.

Note: Her boy learned to talk.  We used grandmother's opera to do the trick.  I taught her the concept of imitative play therapy and the first imitations the boy attempted were Grandmother's operatic notes.  Later came his words, which Grandmother described as "...coming down like rain, making the sweetest music, like I ain't never heard before."

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Happy Valentine's Day

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May even hearts of stone melt like butter today.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Friday the Thirteenth

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Here's wishing you good luck today:  Just in the event that you're superstitious about Friday the 13th, I'm sending you this clover to counteract any bad luck that you think might be heading your way (here at The Bunny Bungalow we do not cut off rabbits' feet for good luck; so no animals were harmed in the making of this good luck wish.)

Note: When I was a child, I found a coin on the ground that had imprinted on it: "13-Your Lucky Number."  I carried it everyday in my pocket until I lost it, never considering that the loss of the coin diminished the luck of 13 for me.  Tall Husband and I were married on the, not Friday...however, our first anniversary was Friday the 13th.  Tall Son was born on the 13th (you remember him, he was the one who was almost born in an Army chopper over Germany.)  There have been other 13th lucks through the years.  So, I'm superstitious about the 13th but consider it my lucky number.  Though I've had courses in statistics and know how to calculate probability of events, proving this 13 thing to be all bunk, I still can't wait to see what today will bring!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Happy Feet

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After our long walk yesterday, Tall Husband took me to lunch for Mexican food.  Afterwards, he drove without saying where we were headed.  Then he parked in front of my favorite discount shoe store.  In we went and he found beautifully made sandals for me.  He knows how to cheer up an old girl.  Thong the label on the shoe box announced.  And you thought I was not the thong type!

Tall Husband's rationale for spending and buying multiples of items:
  1. They're a bargain.
  2. We're stimulating the economy and saving jobs.
  3. If one pair makes you happy, two will make you twice as happy.
  4. Besides, they are for Valentine's Day!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Go Away, Tennessee Williams

There is no ignoring it. Today I'm feeling antsy; I need a change. My teeth are on edge...


...and wild thoughts are flying around inside my head. I'm stuck in the past and future, mentally grinding away at them. Tennessee Williams is writing my life this week and has turned me into Maggie in his
Cat on a Hot Tin Roof. (Thank you, Tennessee, for not writing in her awful husband and for leaving me with my own Tall Husband.)

My Tuesday's to-do list isn't the key to this dilemma. A change of place? Shoe shopping? Change my hair color? Buy another book? Travel? Redo the bathroom? No this all takes money and in this economy, one must conserve.

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To stamp out these thoughts and straighten my head, I'll take a walk, holding hands with Tall Husband. Together we'll figure out something wild. Two wild thinkers are better than one dull head. No offence, Tennessee.

Note: "Effugio" (Latin for escape or elude) painting from our collection is by Linda Hickerson-Hofheinz. My Photos of same.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Tuesday's To-do List

  1. Make a wish. I know it's not four-leaf clover but these are hard times, so three will have to do!

2. Find winter color.

3. Smell the roses. A cliche...but one that really works.

4. Bring sprigs of Rosemary indoors.

5. Contemplate the most nearly perfect shape that Mother Nature has to offer.

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6. Find Mother Nature's tiniest offering that can be seen with the naked eye.

7. Close my eyes and smell my world.

The most influential people in my life have been teachers. I remember an important lesson taught by my fourth-grade teacher. She took the class out of doors, then gave each of us some string and instructed each student to find four twigs. We were to use the string and twigs to stake out a small square of ground and observe what was within the area of earth we had claimed. We were amazed at all we found. Then she told us, "Look again." And we found more. Then she told us to close our eyes and listen to sounds around us. Then, "Children, with your eyes still closed, what smells do you notice?" When we returned to the classroom, we had excited conversations about our discoveries.

On the way home from school that afternoon, I saw, heard and smelled my world through new, sharper senses. I have continued use my teacher's lesson to be a better observer; to center myself in the here and now; to stop myself from getting trapped in the past or future. And to imagine and wonder how others experience their environments.

Oh, I almost forgot number 8: "Really look into the eyes of everyone I meet today, memorize their faces, then give them a gentle smile."