The Colors of My Life

Thursday is nearly over and this is the first quiet moment I've had to sit down and write today, so I'll make this week's Thursday Thirteen short and sweet - a list of the colors that paint my world, and what images each of them brings to mind...
1. Yellow - One of my favorite colors, representative of all things bright and sunny. I love yellow rosesand lemon meringue pie.
2. Red - Not a color I often choose or wear - too bold, too intense, too much blood and suffering. Red looks good on strawberries, geraniums and fire engines!
3. Blue - My husband's favorite color and the color of his eyes. Many of the walls in our house are painted a shade of sky blue and we love it - cool and calming.
4. Green - Speaks to me of growth and life, and lush green places that I'd rather be. Green is the color of living in harmony with the earth. It is also the color of money - the obsession of many.
5. Orange - When I was younger I loved this color paired with yellow - citrus and summery. Orange is beautiful on tiger lilies and of course on sweet juicy oranges themselves. It is also the color of autumn and Halloween pumpkins- John carves the most amazing jack o'lanterns!
6. Purple - My most favored color in it's deepest, royal hue. Amethyst is my birthstone, and I wear it every day. It is the color which most speaks to my soul. If purple is one of the options when I am shopping, it is most certainly the one I will choose. Purple is the color of lilacs (also my favorite scent), irises, and brightly painted pansies. I would love to own a purple truck! :-)
7. Turquoise - When I was young, my mother painted my bedroom this color at my request - a pastel shade of aqua that I loved. If I shut my eyes I can still see it. In this part of the country, turquoise stone is almost a jewelry staple, but not one of my favorites. Maybe if I was a native to the Southwest I would like it more.
8. Brown - Warm and comforting - another autumn color that hints of Thanksgiving and good things to eat! A lovely skin hue that I wish was mine. (What do they call this pukey pink/tan/white shade I am covered in anyway?) Of course for me, brown conjures up images, flavors and the scent of rich chocolate in any form - my addiction. :-)
9. Pink - For the most part too girlie for me, though pink roses and bright pink Stargazer lilies are an exception. My mother loved pink, it covered her kitchen walls and windows, and the hall bathroom tile and carpeting. This sink was pink, the commode was pink, the towels were pink. Pink peppermints were her favorite - enough said. I do occasionally buy something pastel pink to wear, because I like it with my brown (well used to be brown) hair.
10. White - The total sum of all colors, purity and light. White is the color of spirituality, angel wings, and clouds in the sky. White is the color of winter and soft, fluffy snow which we rarely see here. I miss it at Christmas time. My windows are all covered with gauzy white curtains that frost the view but permit the light. I love them!
11. Black - The absence of color, the darkness of night, distance from God, a place of despair. Black is a good color for rich earth to grown things in, for soft leather chairs, and for shiny cats with green eyes! Black and white mixed become gray the color of apathy and mediocrity.
12. Silver - Also not one of my favorites - too reserved and cool. I don't wear silver jewelry. Pewter and brushed nickel have a softer feel and use them in my home. Shiny silver is pretty in a pile of newly minted coins, or in tinsel reflecting colored light on a Christmas tree - which I still use it no matter how outdated it may be, as it brings back memories of childhood.
13. Gold - Warm and bright - the wealth of kings, the color of my wedding band! My son once sent me a dozen red roses, each stamped with Happy Birthday in gold - they were awesome!
There you have it, the colors that surround me and set the tone for my life. If any were to be removed from the palate my world would be less because of it. I love color, lots of it, and the brighter the better. I saw a double rainbow the other day, it made me smile!

Now head over to Thursday Thirteen and see what some other folks wrote about today!

Big Hands, Bigger Heart

"When you get home you might want to bring some cat food over here" my husband said when he called me as I was leaving work on a recent Saturday.

John is the general manager of a truck accessories store, and my first thought was that a hungry stray had found it's way there, as has happened before.

"I just saw the little orange kitten underneath the bed of my truck," he said. "It climbed up on top of the rear axle."

"Our kitten?" I asked, totally confused.

"Yes, that little stray one that showed up. He must have climbed up the wheel well of my truck and hitched a ride to work with me. I stopped for breakfast on my way and was parked there for about 45 minutes. I guess he was so scared that he stayed there the whole time."

"Oh no!" I thought to myself. He is my favorite of the outside cats, very friendly and with beautiful swirled orange markings on his sides. This is a feral cat, and not one you can just scoop up. I had no idea how we would catch him even if he could be lured out of hiding by some kitty food. I was terrified that he would take off running, and John's store is on one of the busiest streets in town. The kitten wouldn't have a chance. If it headed the other direction to the open lot behind the store, he would surely fall victim to other animals roaming there.

I sat in the drive-thru line at the bank with a heavy heart, impatiently waiting for my turn so that I could head home and grab some food, praying that somehow, someway we could catch him. Just as I completed my bank transaction, John called again. "I got him!" he said.

"You caught him?" I couldn't believe what I was hearing. "How?"

"I popped open the truck hood and there he was, sitting on the radiator. He must have climbed up there from the drive shaft. He was just getting ready to jump and I grabbed him. He was scared and bit my hand but I didn't let go. I was trying to hold him tight enough that he couldn't get away, but not so tight that I would strangle him. I walked back toward the store holding him with both my hands and yelled for one of the guys to let me in so I could put him in the cat trap cage we have."

I was amazed that his reactions were quick enough to nab a tiny wild kitten with his great big "bear paw" hands. I guess that comes from his years as a boy on the farm with all kinds of critters to catch. He suffered a couple of good puncture wounds from tiny kitten teeth chomping down on his hand, and also a bit of good-natured ribbing from his co-workers about his valiant efforts to rescue my kitten.

Once the wide-eyed kitten in the cage was safely loaded into my car for a return trip home, I asked John what possessed him to try to catch it. He said that he knew it was my favorite kitten, and that it wouldn't stand a chance of survival if it escaped. He couldn't bear the thought of this little guy becoming roadkill or being attacked by dogs.

Once again, my husband proves to me just how big his marshmallow heart is... and one sweet little kitten was very, very happy to be back home. I don't think he's planning any further hitchhiking adventures, in fact he is now a bit wary of both John and the truck. :-)

Guess Who's Coming to Dinner

This week's assignment for Sunday Scribblings is to invite seven guests - living or dead - to dine with you, explain why you chose them, and note what you'd serve them.

I am not one who loves crowds or groups of noisy people. I do not enjoy parties or social situations where one must be "on" and have a mastery of meaningless small talk. I do far better with one-on-one or small group encounters in situations that afford real conversation and discussion about meaningful issues and ideas. It can be fun and light, it can be serious and intellectual, but always I wish to share my time with people who challenge me and my own understandings.

If you first met me you might think I was either shy or standoffish, but if you took the time to get to know me a bit better, you would soon find that I can talk your head off, and ply you with dozens of questions in my eagerness to discover who you are and what you are all about. Age, sex, culture, or social status have little impact on my reactions, after all - we are just human, and far more alike inside than we are different.

That being said, I have opted to host two smaller dinner parties where more intimate conversation could take place. Rather than assemble an eclectic group of guests to entertain me I would first invite Jesus Christ, Mother Teresa and Mahatma Gandhi to join me for an evening of good food and conversation.

I choose them not because they are famous, or because they are the role models for my own spiritual journey, but because I would like to ask each of them about the difficulties of melding the human side of their nature with the spiritual. At what age did they realize they had a gift to share with the world, an "assignment" so to speak? What were the really difficult times? At what times did they feel like giving up? Did they ever resent their assumed roles or the people who flocked to them for guidance and just to touch them? What advice would they give to us living in the modern world where materialism and self-centeredness reign? What hope, if any, do they see for the future?

Obviously, this is going to be one of those evenings where conversation goes long into the night. Our dinner fare would be something simple and healthy but substantial, with plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables, and bread made from whole grains. We would partake of several small courses throughout the evening rather than a table laden with an array of rich foods right at the start. But of course I would have it catered, as I would want to spend the entire time focused on the sharing and interaction rather than the timing of soup and rolls!

For my second dinner party the guest list would be more personal. I would invite my mother and my two grandmothers. My mother passed into the spirit realm about fifteen years ago, my paternal grandmother a few years prior to that, and my maternal grandmother when I was very small, I have no memories of her at all other than visiting her bedside when she was terminally ill.

Both of my grandmothers are of European heritage, my paternal grandmother of German parentage and my maternal grandmother emmigrating from Sweden with her family at the age of seven. Both grew up as farm children (as did my mother) and became farmer's wives as well. All three, including my mother, lived thru the "Dustbowl" days and The Great Depression, and made do with very little.

While I had my mother in my life for all of my growing up years and well into adulthood, and spent a good amount of time visiting my paternal grandmother as well, I realized only when I was older and they were gone, that there was so much about them as women, as people, and individuals that I didn't know. What were their favorite colors? What made them laugh? What made they cry? What were the hardest times of their lives and the happiest? How did they feel about their marriages and motherhood? How did they feel about themselves?

How much did my maternal grandmother remember of her early childhood in Sweden? What was it like to be raised in a German-speaking home and school when the World Wars broke out, as was my paternal grandmother? And of my mother I would like to ask, was she ever truly happy? What were her best memories? Her favorite boyfriend? Did she ever regret her choice? Does she understand now why I was so angry and rebellious and how I felt about my role as the middle child? I know this would be an evening of laughter and tears and many stories that I would want to record for my children and for future generations.

The menu for this dinner would have to be the hearty Sunday dinner fare that I grew up with. Could I talk my mother into making fried chicken, which somehow I am unable to duplicate to taste as good as hers? And of course boiled potatoes squeezed thu a ricer and covered with creamy chicken gravy thickened with flour, not cornstarch. Fresh vegetables from the garden, the inevitable Jello salad, and perhaps I could beg for my paternal grandmother's blueberry pie - my very favorite.

Oh! Now I am missing them so much! Memories of long ago flood my mind. Just one more dinner together would be priceless. But I believe that life is eternal and those we interact with in this life will be reunited with us in the spirit world and in future lives yet to come. They are not gone away, just a little distant. Perhaps they are with me now, summoned by my thoughts. I know they must be smiling to see my life at last happy and my spirit at last at peace.

Note: Head over to
Sunday Scribblings and see who other bloggers are inviting to dinner.

Vacation Notes

We are on the road home from the mountains. My Thursday Thirteen for today is a list of notes from our vacation...

1. My husband is more organized and efficient at packing than anyone I’ve ever known. It is wise to be ready to go, as your things will be packed and loaded regardless. :-)

2. Living without watches, alarm clocks and schedules feels great! Kicking back on the front porch is awesome!
3. Food eaten outside tastes twice as good, and even better if it is cooked over an open fire. Breakfast on the back deck under a canopy of tall pines is a wonderful way to start the day!

4. Deer, elk and moose lose their antlers every spring and regrow them in the fall. Each year their antlers grow larger.
5. Fort Stanton has been home to an incredible assortment of occupants thru the years… Col. Kit Carson, Buffalo Soldiers, German POW’s, merchant marines, tuberculosis patients, individuals with developmental disabilities, the Civilian Conservation Corps, and convicted felons. With over 80 buildings, most of them now in a state of disrepair, the grounds are still beautiful. The sense of spiritual presence is everywhere.

6. Visiting the local tribal casino is a sure way to support the tribal economy. It is not a fast road to fortune, but it is fun.

7. The tin cups and plates used for feeding cowboys on old-time cattle drives keep hot food incredibly hot and cold drinks amazingly cold! The Flying J Ranch chuck-wagon style barbeque we ate Wednesday night was delicious!

8. No matter how proud you are of your pistachio farm business, erecting a 30 foot statue of a pistachio, complete with lighting and a bronze plaque is just plain nuts. :-)

9. The road from Alamogordo to Cloudcroft increases over 5000 feet in elevation in under 20 miles. The view is breathtaking, but winding mountain roads make me dizzy.

10. Knotty pine floors and ceilings are warm and beautiful, every house should have them.

11. Whirlpool tubs are wonderful for relieving aches and pains. I want one at home.
12. Mountain village shops cater to tourists with money. While it is fun to look, I have no desire to buy. Instead I am coming home with a small Western style cross decorated with pheasant feathers, and a tiny carved stone box to hold my rings. My husband chose a new cowboy hat to wear at his Masonic Lodge meetings. It looks great on him!
13. My favorite vacation memory is of my husband picking a bouquet of brightly colored wildflowers for me, finding nine different varieties within a few feet of where we were sitting in the forest. He took the photo below so I can remember them always. Romance is not just for kids. :-)

Now head over to Thursday Thirteen and see what some other folks have to say!