Feb 28, 2012

Sunshine on Enya's shoulders makes her happy

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There were many smiles today as we watched the dear sun appear from behind the clouds. Watching people frolic in waves, beach comb, hold hands, walk their dogs, and visit while we all enjoyed the beach.You just sense a touch of human kindness, compassion and interest in people and the world around them with a bit of sunshine. And, it certainly brings out the best of people when we see a happy pooch on someone's leash and arm... you just have to smile..
Yes, people have chased us down just to touch, smell and kiss Enya...today at the post office two gals (with big ass smiles and a bumper sticker that said "Where did all the hippies go", came over to visit and see Enya's beautiful eyes... new friends
She now runs into the ocean and runs back to the beach blankets happily barking with leaps of happiness and if she could tuck her tail she most certainly would. She has met many a friendly dog and some snarly ones, though she works her best magic to win them over.. show them my stomach, crawl slowly towards them with a happy smile and ears pointed forward..



She loved the kites that were out yesterday and she even tolerates all the birds that surround us daily and fly at her..and she's so impressed with our shell collection which we will be sharing with art students when we get home!!!


Feb 25, 2012

Rainy day at Corpus Christi

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Well we've had two days of severe winds and lots of rain (but I'm not complaining because we are still in the 55 degree temps :) so we decided to drive over to Corpus Christi!! Now mind you it's only about 20 miles away across the channels or ferries. Talk about a beautiful area downtown. It's tough as you enter Corpus Christi because the horizon line contains so many large oil company and refineries...ugh. But they have so much history here and so much old money that along the ocean side it takes your breath away. I did get the feeling as we drove down ocean blvd. that there is a huge pendulum affect between the haves and the have nots in this neck of the woods. The homes were huge, massive mansions of brick and stone work.
The area with the museums, visitor center, and old homes that had been restored was amazing. One begins to think about the fact that several Native tribes inhabited this land and then in the 1500's here came the ships form Spain and eventually around the world sailing the vast ocean and leaving their marks upon this land.. there are definite ghosts and spirits that inhabit this land.. you can feel it
The lush landscape, the horticulture is of the likes that one drools to know more about, to possess skills to duplicate it's beauty... ahh.
The museums are based on the Arts (of which I as in awe, need I say more), the Science and History end, the Asian culture, the wonderful Lexington from World War II, and they have the Aquarium in the same area.
We took in the Art and History (along with Science) museum and viewed the Lexington from the outside and our day was shot. We both want to go back to take in the rest. We ended up with some wonderful americanos with fresh made lemon cookies and for a late lunch we took in fantastic blackened catfish tacos and beef fajitas... fantastic!!!!!
We came home to an excited puppy for a walk on the beach and a homemade batch of margaritas.
Then Trace found a lovely cockroach on my side of the bed....bugs love me ya know....I''ve been scratching all night since....
I miss everyone and our time is slowly leaking away. I have soaked up so much knowledge and so much art that my head is swirling with ideas for teaching, for creating, for sharing..




The Port of Aransas art center is amazing and gives me hope of building a small art center for Lincoln where we can create, enjoy, and talk about the arts. I have picked Arlene Hughes brain a great deal for she is on the board of this wonderful art center and we have talked about the teaching part of it. I have been so worried about walking on any toes in Lincoln if I teach too much, step on toes with coffee too much, and just worrying way too much about every one's feelings in Lincoln. What it comes down to is I love Lincoln and I want to give back to this great community and anyone who knows me, knows that I'm not out to hurt anyone in this community that has backed my family for so many years...Perhaps I'm finally finding my way a wee bit, you know it takes us until we're old to grow up :)

Feb 22, 2012

Fat Tuesday served up Texas Island style!

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We've had a full week of wonderful music, meeting old friends (we all enjoy vacationing in this neck of the woods) and beach combing on an uninhabited island.  We were also treated to a fabulous start to mardi gras with an outrageous parade and good food!! On Fat Tuesday we ended up with sunshine (first full day) so we started the day with a full 6 mile bike ride (raced and I came close) and then headed to the beach. Yes even with sunscreen on (50) I burned a wee bit. Of course we spent 4 hours swimming and soaking up rays. Enya loved it and has become quite a nautical dog.. that is up to her waist....
The parade started up around five pm so beer in hand we headed downtown to find (like Lincoln but a couple hundred more people) a huge amount of people with chairs, beads, and drinks! The parade went on for at least 45 minutes with tons of people in their finery and throwing of beads constantly (no, I didn't have to flash them:)
We headed downtown to the Inferno. What a wondrous treat for our mouths. Dollar long necked beers with oysters on the half shell served up at the door as you entered (free I might add). We were treated to shrimp gumbo, a fried shrimp poor boy sandwich, and craw fish and cheddar.


With beads galore and wonderfully full stomachs we headed home. This morning we ended up with a boat ride and an uninhabited island to beach comb upon. The dolphins were everywhere playing around us and finally I found sand dollars galore. Now if I could just find a starfish...hmm. My dear friends from Faulkton South Dakota sent me a face book message and said they would be in the area this afternoon so we met up for beer and more wondrous food! What warm great folks, reminds me of the times spent in south dakota where I was treated like family. I love them all. Trace was introduced and he was impressed with all of them. Love to them.
Tonight I think we will dine in and relax..
Tomorrow who knows...

Feb 21, 2012

New Moon arising and the blues under our belt...

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I feel a new moon arising... tomorrow to be exact, it is the new moon in Pieces and holds purity in it's wake. Today was full of the blues from the blue ocean displaying it's depth of blues with the dancing dolphins at the surface, from the mother turtles surfacing to smile upon us, right down to the gentle white egret chasing bugs at our feet. I followed the blues to the local playhouse where the harmonica and acoustic guitar spilled forth some of the best blues since I was young. And yes the depth of my thoughts brought some melancholy into my world today also.. but mother earth always (and I do mean always) centers me and fills me with awe....



We are so blessed to be on this planet with all the opinions, beliefs, and love in every one's heart. We stopped at a local bar to partake in a beverage take in the salty sea air that drifted through the outdoor tiki bar....life is good on the island. The Port is a great deal like Lincoln, small quaint and very eclectic with it's mixture of people and opinions.. it is no wonder there are a few Lincoln people here..

Feb 19, 2012

The wonderful padre beach with it's highway the tales of the shark eye snail

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 We have some interesting tales to tell tonite. It starts with the fact that the north Padre beach is literally open to most pleasant activities or should I just say unpretentious ...Bicycling, running, walking dogs (preferably with leashes), beach combing, visiting with all who go there seems to be on the agenda. It's considered part of the Texas highway... that's right the highway. The sandy road next to the beach is (of course with speed limits) considered to have the same rules as the Texas highways. Friendly people of all kinds with happy children and pets hanging out of their jeeps, beach cars which resemble giant golf carts, motorcycles and of course bicycles of every make and manner. 
The locals hang with the visitors and enjoy tall tales, great story lines, and of course bullshit. 
We are slowly learning about the rhythms of the sea life that inhabit this place. On the south side (the jetty side) large sea going vessels come and go while the dolphins entertain us all day long with leaps out of the water and diving for food.( Pictures to come)
On the ocean side we have different makes and manners being washed ashore daily. As mentioned before we had one day of man of war jellyfish being swept up in great heaps on the beach, one day of crab shells littering the beach (the beautiful spotted kind called calico box crabs), one day of cabbage head jellyfish lined the beaches, and today partial sand dollars littered the beach (sadly enough I haven't encountered a whole one yet). But today I discovered the shark eye snail... talk about beautiful.. and no I don't take the shell when it's inhabited.. too much loved for the ocean life ya know. We played with them gently and watched them as they ate along the shore line. They are soft and gentle to the touch... 
Well more to come on our adventures.





Feb 18, 2012

Rain, rain... why did you drop jellyfish everywhere on the beach?

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We have a rainy blustery day, but still around 65 degrees. The weather with the stormy sea brought in gobs of jellyfish on the beaches, yes the deadly kind with their bright blue tendrils....ooftah.. yes the man of war...ugh... tons of them with long tentacles waiting to grab you ... :) One grabbed Trace today for at least 22 seconds.. lucky for him he had the the 38 special and he says he blasted the sob....but a massive blue heron saved the jellyfish.. Yes Trace is lost in his own world again as he rode his bike down the shoreline... that is why I love him..
As for me, I took on a four mile walk investigating this strange phenomena...Why did they all come ashore.. ???
They can continue to sting long after they die (or so they tell us).



Feb 15, 2012

Hmmm what do you do with a drunken sailor early in the morning

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You roll with the punches, feed him an egg and take him on a bike ride! Then throw his ass into the ocean :)

Ok, I'm full of the devil this morning. We very much enjoyed some sunshine yesterday and now await some more. One doesn't want to complain when you know at home they are getting hammered with snow and cold so our search through the rain clouds for those sunshine moments leads to some laughter on our parts!!
The bike rides have been fantastic and the walks on the beach talking of life and hope ... what more can I say. It is a big world we live in and it's so nice to know there are so many possibilities awaiting all who want them. Yes that's right you have to want them. ....so you pull yourself out of the drunken sailor mode and challenge life... pass through the doorway or gate and embrace the future!! Yahoo, how lucky are we as humans to be who and what we want to be. .. the only thing holding us back is ourselves and fear.

I created two pieces yesterday as I looked out upon the ocean... just little diddies that captured colors, emotions, a sense of place...  here by the gulf of mexico as birds scamper around us.

Feb 12, 2012

Blustery Sunday

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Well here we are, waking up Sunday slowly, luxioursly...breathing into it... ahhhh
The wind is whipping (as it was yesterday too :). Rain and humidity are high today so we will take a break from bicycles and walks. Perhaps painting is in order I'm thinking. I have a head full of ideas and charged fully, so what the hell.
Yesterday was filled with long bike rides and walks on the beach. The wind was whipping but it was invigorating. I even think Enya enjoyed the walking on the beach, not only objects to sniff but many dogs to greet. After our long bike ride we ended up at Beaches... great spot for some good coffee and had a key lime crescent.
Tonite we have quesidillas (not sure if I spelled that right) and using up of many great veggies and pork from last night's feast. Laundry is a must.. we have many loads for this is the first time of cleaning clothes since we started out on our journey. Can you believe it ... February 12... wow
Missing everyone, and yet I know it's time to relax and catch my wind....
Seeing the art galleries and tourist centers fills my brain with ideas and thoughts..
We have decided to beachcomb over on an island that is uninhabited... we will catch a ferry over and hopefully see dolphins!!!
There are many treasures on the beach but many people out looking also...:)
ahhh here's to the day unfolding...

Feb 10, 2012

First two days of Port Aransas!!

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We are here ... it's almost surreal..
           We have been soaking every moment up and totally enjoying moving into a house (for a whole month), even Enya was excited!! She made one of the lovely couches her new bed instantly. The place is super cute and a true beach cottage. The owner is an artist and his artwork is in every room (comfortable and inviting). The kitchen is super (we love to cook) and there is a large screened in porch for relaxing and barbecuing. The first thing we did was to hit the local fish market and grocery store (then the liquor store of course)!! We bought large shrimp, blue crab, and ahi!!! We also bought some fresh papaya for margaritas!
It rained the first day and the next morning but by this afternoon it started to clear. The good news is that the rain is clearing off the red tide which has hammered the fish and aquatic life for two years now. We took some pics of dead jelly fish that had just rolled up on the  shoreline  (and of course granny Annie started collecting shells for everyone).
We hit two working galleries in town and had a blast buying gifts and visiting. The ceramic gallery owner had lived in Missoula for many years and we hit it off right away. She mentioned we should hit a local pub for live music and beer so off we went!! The little gal Carol Williams was from Nashville and what a wonderful voice and story teller. Tonite we sit here full of ahi tuna and spinach noodles... completely happy with life and thinking of our loved ones



wishing we could pack them all up and bring them here with us.

Feb 9, 2012

Thankful

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My big thought on this trip has been the need to reconnect with land and silence. Nature brings about a sense of solitude, peacefullness, and responsibility. Once we are in nature itself.. literally living upon the land we feel a sense of responsibility to keep the land as it is, to never take it for granted, and how to literally live off the land. Having grown up in a family that loved the outdoors, who fished, hunted, wandered, and used all our senses to be in tune to all that was around us allowed us to grow richly and deeply embedded into the land. When family members camp, and just plain be live as much as possible in the great outdoors there is great respect and enjoyment for all that surrounds us. There are so many times that young audiences are not introduced to the land around them. These same people will often be angry and searching for meaning. They often litter and abuse the land (and people) around them for there is no respect. TV video games and mindless activities do not provide stimulation for minds. Where as creativity and play come alive when we are in the woods, by an ocean, or daydream by a land parcel. Bugs, trees, birds, leaves, rocks ... on an on bring out the best in all of us.
I'm so honored to see my children play with their young children in the outdoors (even playing with other children). Teaching young adults how to hunt and fish with great respect for the animal or fish that they are relying upon for food and knowing that their is balance to life and all that surrounds us... treasures await us all. ...

Feb 7, 2012

Albuquerque

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There is a full moon in the sky and I am full of nostalgic notions... Albuquerque oh the memories you stir in me. I entered your city in the year 2006 near my birthday with my dear friend Lorinda... I was looking for wisdom, for feminine spirtuality, for the sense of who I truly was and was becoming. My children were growing into sparks of wonderous seeds ... true caring human beings that I was proud to be part of..
I also knew that my marriage of many years had become quite stagnant and I pondered this.

Meinrad Craighead.. called my name through one passage in a book called "The Feminine Face of God" with her words she brought my heart into a search for more. Who was this marvelous artist, this woman of history, and of deep love for family and land..the strand, the connection ran deep.
It took two years but I saved every penny to come to her retreat. I was in the presence of holiness.. I can not even speak of the wonder I felt at meeting this lady. The first thing she did was to wash our feet ....need I say more
Twelve wonderous women coming together to search out who they were, to share their stories through oral history, to find love and understandment amongst peers.
What a treasure.
Now I stay here at the Cinnamon Morning bed and breakfast with the owner Sue, remembering those times and sharing with this dear sweet soul .."Trace".. I listen to great music under a full moon and know in my heart that life has handed me so many sweet treasures. My children, my grandchildren, my precious parents who brought me into this world.... and now the Man in the Moon ... one who understands me and allows me to be me with his wonderous family, I am so blessed...

I love you all
so very much...
Annie

Feb 6, 2012

Comb Ridge

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Bluff is full of old artifacts (including us :). Everyplace one walks, turns, moves there are discoveries to be made and earth to appreciate. Dinosaurs fill the crevices, 1200 bc native cultures fill the area (the first inhabitants of Bluff). The beautiful rock art is everywhere in every corner of this area. The most interesting part is that one is free to roam and enjoy. (Of course with great respect for the land). We visited with a very good artist (who originated from Baton Rouge and had lived in the area for years). He pointed us out on several very great hikes. The weather cooperated and the sun was shining with 50 degree temps. Storm clouds gathered as we hiked for around 4 hours. You could literally feel the age of the land under your feet. As I gently climbed one knob, to my gentle surprise I found a large shard of Native old pottery with a blue bird feather nearby... I was blessed. We encountered many agates, pertrified wood, and on and on. But the best part was soaking the grand earth up together... not rushing through.. pure enjoyment of each other and the land..

Feb 4, 2012

In the Bluff....

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We left Moab at 10:30 am and entered snow, ah this feels familiar. I've been on such a high for so many days that my stomach has been doing the wattotse (poor Trace, for those of you who know me that spells gas in a big way and yes you could run your car and a small town upon the gas that I normally expel and now this....). We headed out with bikes in tow prepared to ride at any cost. We got our wish at "looking glass rock" and headed up the red sand road with gloves and hats on... 31 degrees and a cool sun shining upon us! It was exhilirating. We did decide to leave the bosty in the toasty warm car though.. she would have froze her ass and other small parts off with these temps. Trace nicknamed me one gear Annie as I huffed and puffed my way back to the car!!
We then headed south to Bluff through the snow storm and finally entered Bluff at 50 degrees (we had only traveled 200 miles, what a wonderfully strange earth we live upon). Bluff is simply put amazing. The bluffs surround the town which is upon the San Juan creek bed... Cottonwoods float around the banks, old homes of stone, stick and adobe are around the landscape.. The history is in every breath you take (and I mean that literally). Indian ruins are everywhere from kivas (old pueblo housing from centuries ago) to rock art following the San Juan river. We skirted the banks of the river with Enya scampering in front of us, nose to the ground for delicious smells. Herons and geese filled the banks of red sand. We then hiked to the other side of town to discover the old Indian ruins and a very old cemetary on top of the hill that overlooks Bluff.. we were surrounded by ghosts and memories.. The town not only housed native culture from long ago but boasted in it's hay day of cattle barons and large glamorous homes of which some still stand in ghostly memory. It is as though the wild wild west rose from the red sand and resurrected itself here in Bluff. The streets are two tire tracks which wind through the red sand lined with washed out gaps from past rain soaks. Old missionaries rise up here and there along with morman historical landmarks (for we are in Utah).

I find it of interest that the western root factor seems to run from North to South when we travel these lands. Their is kinship in many scenarios ..but lets face it humans have all landed from one distant mother long ago..or so goes my thoughts
The death of several small children (many in fact) in the cemetary pushed forth the hardness of the land and survival in the 1800's .. One child whose last name was Rowley died at the age of 4... he called my name and I found a beautiful rock to perch on his gravesite. The graves were all surrounded with beautiful stones ... this spoke to both of us...I could live here..
My artistic nature is riding full swing, no shot gun here.. I am in overload.. I must expell and create




Feb 3, 2012

A snowy beautiful day on the islands in the sky

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 A beautiful snowy day here in Moab. As we climbed up the road to the Canyonlands to view the Islands in the Sky (literally you would think you were viewing islands in the sky) we encountered snow... a few good inches of the white stuff. Yes we thought of home with it's rain and snow and wished we could send some of the fluffy white stuff back home to all of you. The temperatures were a whopping 33 degrees with a bright sun which led to some great hiking but slippery slopes with the rocks. We traisped around on the hills viewing the spectacular cuts in this large land and marveled how the Canyonlands resembled the grand canyon.
I'm left to think about the fact that these great protruding mountain masses which follow North America from North to South seems to hold us in enchantment. It's no small wonder that many of us fellow Montana folks migrate to the Arizona lands which hold as many mysteries as our surrounding mountains with different climate agents. Mysterious formations live in all of these lands and I think it fair to say it is in our blood when we are born in the surrounding lands. Even coming from the eastern Montana plains I felt drawn to the badlands and knew that the land held great promise for my soul. The Native artifacts surrounded us and we felt their power.
I look forward to tomorrow with our bikes and our bosty in her perch as we bike through trails that lead us to Bluff Utah.