Sunday, September 30, 2018

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Murphy Makes a New Friend

I know, this sounds like a fourth grader writing a 'What I Did on My Summer Vacation." Well, it sort of is exactly that, but it's about dogs. Sue me, I had fun.

After a few errands with Murphy in tow, we headed to Bark Park, a public park in the big park where dogs can run free. It's spacious and great for a little dog who tends to run so fast that sometimes he runs too far. There is a big dog side and a small dog side. We went to the small dog side but the small dogs there tended to be old and, like their owners, somewhat cliquish. So we headed to the big dog side, where the Great Dane Blue had already made some overtures through the fence. 

"Something tells me I'm into something good!" There is a song for everything. I'm annoying that way.

Blue and Murphy only took a minute to get to know each other. There were other dogs there but that came later.

Blue figured out right away that Murphy could and would hold his own
I hate to be judgmental (ok, if you know me, I really don't hate that at all), but the big dog side people were friendly and funny, whereas the small dog people...meh. There was a lot of laughter on the big dog side.

It's a dog sniff dog world

Everyone seemed to check out ok and Murphy was a bit the Alpha dog.
Weird. But hilarious.
For awhile, Murphy was the chasee, all of them running hard all over the area. Until the tables turned and suddenly Blue was being chased. I know, it sounds boringly mundane, unless you can imagine this little dog and mid-sized what looked like a pit and boxer mix chasing this pretty huge Great Dane. Fast. 

The Husky chose not to be involved in this game of chase
At last, little Murphy was tired. So was Blue, but they couldn't resist giving each other one last bit of dog hierarchy moments, Murphy getting in a bark or two. "I'm done, deal with it."

A kiss is just a kiss

Hey, I'm done! Blue got the message.

I loved this photo because Blue's legs were so elegant.
Then I saw the photo bomber. 
Nice people, nice park, nice time out for all of us. Bark Park. Yeah. I like it.

Okay, we're done. C'mon, two legged, time to go.
Have a welcoming Wednesday. Do something waywardly.

Monday, September 24, 2018

Celebrating the Autumn Equinox - in the Zone

You have to have island sensitivity to feel and see Autumn in the islands. In a sort of reverse way, flowers and trees bloom but leaves fall. The deep humidity of summer lifts a fraction or two. It just feels different to someone living out the seasons by the sea and ocean, but don't try to tell that to someone who experiences four seasons a year, even if those seasons are now whacked out of what used to be the norm by climate change. They usually won't buy what an islander is selling, regarding seasons. Spoiler alert - it's true, we do have seasons.

Here in the mid-west, and by mid I mean the middle of the country, Autumn came in with a perfect 10 on the 'what an early fall day should feel like' score. The sky was a brilliant blue, the sun was shining and the temperature was in the high 60's. I'd told my daughter the night before I was having a need to see water jones and she surprised me with a drive to Lake Shawnee, a 410 acre lake not far away from the house. 

Fishing for whatever is fished for here
There is bass and bluegill, catfish and trout. There are invasive zebra mussels as well, not the kind you want to see on a menu unfortunately. You can read all about them here

Once the picnic surprise was out of the bag (how odd, our grocery shopping seemed to include all that was needed for a simple picnic; we just had to add some hard lemonade and potato salad) we drove around the lake on a mini tour. 7 miles around, according to Michelle. I told her that was about the size of Culebra, so no more complaining that I keep being amazed (irritatingly out loud) about the space around these parts, the huge parking lots, the 'it's just there' meaning miles away seeming very far indeed to me. "Ok, we're at the ferry dock. Now we're in town. Now we're out of town. Now we're half-way to Punta Soldado. Etc." 

This is a very terrible photo for clarity, sorry
Because I didn't know our true destination, I didn't bring my camera. But in the above phone photo, where a flock of swans clustered on the far bank, Michelle told me that up in those trees, with the gap between them on the right, is the home of a pair of bald-headed eagles, who have had babies. They are very protected, fortunately. 

Yes, my love affair with limestone lives on in
another of my favorite things, a bridge.
But wait! There's more!

There are long hiking trails throughout the park, with dogs being walked and joggers jogging, enjoying the weather and space. 

A little sun and shade dappled walk led up to this gazebo.

This gazebo! Oh my. 

I laid on the floor to try to capture the whole thing but it wasn't happening
The supporting beams remind me of Caribbean architecture, except done in tree limbs. 

There are a few of these 'shelters' as they call them, scattered around the park. They can be rented out, like the wedding gardens. In fact, there was a wedding going on when we were there. Lucky for them, they had a truly perfect day for an outdoor wedding, as the day before was lowered grey skies and deep humidity. 

I wanted to go inside the shelter or at least peek inside to see the two fireplaces - or I guessed there were two fireplaces because of the two chimneys. That wasn't going to happen but the bonus in walking up to check it out was this door.

Do you want a closer look? I did.

We found our spot down by the water and spread our lunch out. Across the lake a flock of geese were enjoying the leftovers of another picnic. 

Boats ran back and forth farther out in the lake and then this fly fisherman with a trolling motor drifted close by. 

A large turtle lifted its head to check out the action, but it was gone too quickly to capture. 

Full and feeling the tranquilization that, for me, only being by or on water brings, we headed back home, the first day of Autumn a very good one indeed. 

Have a mildly majestic Monday. Do something mentally medicinal. 

Sunday, September 9, 2018

Saturday, September 8, 2018

A Little Art Walk ~ Emporia

Yesterday was the day! An art walk in Emporia, the little town where my granddaughter goes to college. She and her flatmate were the presenting artists, with other showings in various shops around the downtown area. 

There are a lot of towns and cities with these First or Last Friday's; shops stay open late, people are out and about enjoying art and wine and nibbles. I can think of a lot worse ways to spend a Friday evening.

L-R: Teddy, Sloane and Lexi,
with Lexi's beautiful new kitten
(who has the biggest feet I ever saw on a kitty)
The first thing you notice when entering Soul Ride (a donation based yoga studio that is also a store with a lot of very cool things) is the whole front window section is devoted to succulents of every sort. A couch, a chair and some wine while waiting for the show to officially open had my tranquil vibe in gear.

The money earned from selling plants, clothes, jewelry, etc. allows
the donation based yoga studio to carry on. Very cool.
The painting on the floor is of Sloane and Teddy, by Sloane
The owner, behind the desk, was as nice as everyone else we met.
Kansas has a lot of really friendly people, just so you know.
A good turn out from the opening bell.
Ok, there was no opening bell.
There was more to see down the street so with map in hand, we started following the numbers. These are a few of my favorites. Other favorites weren't really into photo op moments.

The works below were in Maud's Tattoo Company. You can read about why it's called Maud's here. You tat people might find it some interesting history. The space itself was full of antiques - old stoves, old lighting and a guillotine. For real. I could have photographed it but it sort of creeped me out, even though it was pretty intriguing, in a weird way I don't even want to try to explain.

I was given permission to take photos as long as the artist,
Brooke Drescher, was given credit, which I'm very happy to do.
 I love her work!

The installation below might be my very favorite. Such a whimsical piece, all four sides of each block change the face, torso and legs, a close to four foot tall toy. I could have played with it awhile before getting bored. Someone is going to have a great interactive conversation piece.

Humor in art is good!

Along the main drag, it wasn't raining, which it has been doing for days.  That was a good thing.

I love the limestone and design.
All I could discover history wise was that it was build in 1897.
I want more!!

There isn't a bad angle on this building

Too bad the Burnap Bros. have lousy taste in signage

A pigeon family gathering 

Just a cool thing

And another really cool thing! I'd love to have one of these at home.
Count your blessings. Then share them. 

Have a salutary Saturday. Do something savory.

Monday, September 3, 2018

Labor Day MishMash 2018

Tropical Storm Gordon drenching south Florida, is keeping family and friends on my mind. But with Ram Dass's advice to be here now, that's what I plan to do!

Maybe my favorite flag that I saw honoring John McCain
Labor Day 

As usual, I could go all political here about Labor Day. But dear readers pretty much get enough of that from me every other day, so never mind. But it IS important to remember why we have this three day weekend. Thank your fellow laborers of days gone by and days ahead. 

"As manufacturing increasingly supplanted agriculture as the wellspring of American employment, labor unions, which had first appeared in the late 18th century, grew more prominent and vocal. They began organizing strikes and rallies to protest poor conditions and compel employers to renegotiate hours and pay. 
Many of these events turned violent during this period, including the infamous Haymarket Riot of 1886, in which several Chicago policemen and workers were killed. Others gave rise to longstanding traditions: On September 5, 1882, 10,000 workers took unpaid time off to march from City Hall to Union Square in New York City, holding the first Labor Day parade in U.S. history." from
A different day -
We took some time off a couple of days ago from sorting and shifting moving things, which is good, because I still know where the propane torch is. Shhhh. 
Michelle took me to a wonderful little place in Lawrence call Bon Bon! A menu that made it difficult to choose (but as usual, we had already mentally picked the same two items), a very cool building that was an armory during the Civil War - 'the ceilings are so high because the ammunition would often blow up while they were making it' - and, maybe best of all, a very big garden across the street where they grow many of their ingredients. 

While waiting for drinks, I headed over to check out the beauty
A perpetually open gate
All the expected garden goods and sunflowers (see cut stalk) too. 

I don't know if this really was just removed or
if it's an arty bit. Either way, I like it. 

Another beckoning open gate


Some pretty adorable peppers

I just liked the color and light contrast
While I was chatting with the bartender about the aromatics from the garden used in various drinks, this bar mat (one of two there) caught my eye. Since it was about a foot wide and a foot and a half long, it would be hard to miss. I'd never seen one like it before and wanted very much to steal it to bring home to one of the bars. Even the bartender said she'd never seen one like it before. Super cool. Sorry it wouldn't fit in my bag...and sorry I didn't take a photo of the bar either!

Back from the garden, a VERY spicy Bloody Mary for me and 
Rose Vodka with Rose Lemonade for Michelle, the Thai bowl, and the dumplings awaited (you can check out the menu from the link above). Luckily, we didn't know the dumplings would be fried instead of steamed or we'd have not ordered them - and would have missed a really delicate, delicious dish.

A lot of yum and attention to details
On the way there and back -
Who knew there were wetlands in Kansas?
Or that they would build a road right through the middle of it?

A nice stop in a park, where I got a water fix


Limestone. I've always really liked it, maybe because it reminds me of coral.
I only caught the tail end of this car, one of three oldies but goodies

Zoom zoom!
The day had started out with morning on the porch with my Numero Uno granddaughter, who had come from college to spend the night. I want to grow up to be her. 
G'mornng, darling girl
And finally, for long time readers, here's Kobie, the Alien, who came along with Sloane. He's just as crazy as ever.
No, I'm not getting the ball AGAIN, Kobie!
For all you who are laboring today, I salute you! 
Have a motivating Monday! Do something multifarious.