Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Season reminders

We drove around the valley on the evening of Christmas Day and saw this:

Santa flies an airplane.

The Mormon Temple.

The Mormon Temple.

Chandler Boulevard, Phoenix.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Things festive

Christmas week scenes.
A neighborhood house.

Milk and cookie for Santa, and a carrot for Rudolph.

A gift from work mates.

A fire in the backyard.

The fireplace.

Monday, December 29, 2008

It happened to me

My PC got a virus...

And someone here is getting really old trying to fix it...

Friday, December 26, 2008

Remembering who you are

To be nobody but myself -- in a world which is doing its best, night and day, to make you everybody else -- means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight, and never stop fighting.

-E.E. Cummings, poet (1894-1962)

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Sunday, December 21, 2008

The Myth of the Good Ol' Boy and The Nice Girl

One of my favorite authors, John Bradshaw, is a brilliant and inspiring guy who addresses the human condition and provides insight into what ails us. Here's a passage that I have been thinking about:
" We are taught to be nice and polite. We are taught that these behaviors (most often lies) are better than telling the truth. Our churches, schools and politics are rampant with teaching dishonesty (saying things we don't mean and pretending to feel ways we don't feel). Smile when we feel sad, laugh nervously when dealing with grief, laugh at jokes we don't think are funny, tell people things to be polite that we surely don't mean." This was from the titled Bradshaw On: The Family.

I must say I have worked hard for congruency between my inner and outward self. That means I have been accused of being mean.... a price one pays for clarity of mind and soul.
Grab some of his books... they will knock you off your socks.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Superior, AZ

I had to visit a local shipping location of a customer of my employer.
I got to see the facility in its glory.
I go to see some of Superior too. It looked so dormant at 8:30 am...
Final destination.

A building.

Boarded up.

On a street corner.

Early morning drive... rising with the sun.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

The Dad Man

He would have been 78 today.

Here, in his late 20s, he moved to Africa, first to Angola, then Mozambique.
Visit this Dad Man for an array of information on Father/Daughter relationships.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Celebrating Africa

In Art Masterpiece at school.

Tribal women in Namibia gather after the rains to repaint their mud houses using their fingers as brushes. They work in harmony and do not compete. I taught this lesson in a 5th grade class today and I asked most kids individually what they remembered. They remembered that the women worked as a group.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Sharing Peace

Ultimately, we have just one moral duty: to reclaim large areas of peace in ourselves, more and more peace, and to reflect it towards others. And the more peace there is in us, the more peace there will also be in our troubled world.

- Etty Hillesum,died in Auschwitz in 1943 at the age of 29.

From An Interrupted Life, a compilation of her diaries and letters.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

A little bit greener

It's official. We are now users of our very own recycle shopping bags.

It took me a while to get the groove but I have steadily worked on my system and now it is implemented.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

My Home

So let me tell you: I intend to protect my home.
Praying -- not a curse -- only the hope that my courage will not fail my love. But if by some miracle, and all our struggle, the Earth is spared, only justice to every living thing (and everything is alive) will save humankind.
- Alice Walker
The Impossible Will Take a Little While: A Citizen's Guide to Hope in a Time of Fear

Monday, December 08, 2008

Color changes

At the park on Sunday I saw pretty trees.

I'm beginning to feel that all this decorating going on everywhere is over the top. I wouldn't mind a blackout from all these lights. :-)

Sunday, December 07, 2008

It's a balancing act

Doesn't it feel that way sometimes? Best do it with friends.
It is no wonder that just the touch of another human being at a dark time can be enough to save the day.
- Frederick Buechner
Beyond Words

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Art Fest in Tempe

Passear... It means going on an outing and I was promised many of those as a kid, but only a few materialized. I suppose that explains my predilection with local and free activities.

Chalk art.

Made of wood.

Very fancy walking sticks which caught the eye of Snowden and Grasshopper.

Made of wood again.

The Art Festival on Mill Avenue in Tempe is full of art vendors. We didn't buy anything as we are practicing being smart shoppers. It was a happy outing after school.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Wednesday, December 03, 2008


I base most of my fashion tastes on what doesn't itch.
- Gilda Radner (1946-1989)

Sunday, November 30, 2008

The burning fire

The backyard resort is now equipped with a heat source for the evening movie watching on the big screen.

Opening ceremonies included making smores.

It is a beautiful thing.

Friday, November 28, 2008

What is sacred...

Prayer is an attitude toward life that sees everything as ultimately sacred, everything as potentially life-changing, everything as revelatory of life’s meaning. It is our link between dailiness and eternity.
- Joan Chittister

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Turning points

Thirty three years ago a decision to leave Mozambique was being made in the room below.

At 13, I had no idea what impact that would have on my life. I carry a bit of the country with me.

Monday, November 24, 2008

If you eat...

Again, pictures from MAC...

We are involved.

They have extensive cotton fields. I have not touched that stuff yet, but I really want to.

I lived in a house in Portugal where the water source was one of these.

Not sure what this guy is protecting. They have a research facility on site and test seeds and many growing conditions.

A shed in the play area.

Thursday, November 20, 2008


On a school trip to the Maricopa Agricultural Center, we learned all about corn.

This patch is planted just for the maze.

One of the maze corridors.

Grinding the corn as the natives would.

16 rows and 800 kernels.

Indian corn

Tuesday, November 18, 2008


It is not only the freedom of the oppressed that is at stake ... but also the liberation of the oppressor.
- Allan Boesak
African minister
This one is very much worth pondering...

Friday, November 14, 2008

Home grown

My peppers were sweet.

The tiny thing there was not so sweet. It burned Grasshopper's mouth. Hey, she insisted on eating it.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Portuguese Sweet Bread

Once again I traveled down memory lane to my Portuguese roots and smelled the scent of pastries and rich, sweet breads from all the Portuguese places I have lived in. Kelli made this recently and directed all us Africankelli groupies to her friend's blog for the recipe.

It was well worth the search. My two loaves.

I was afraid of the results as I watched it rest and rise. I don't have a history as a baker, you see.

This was way too much fun.

I kept watching the clock to see when the 10 minutes were up.
My taste buds were happy and my soul grateful for a piece of my history I could make myself. Obrigado cara amiga.