Estate Piovoso

I have decided that “summer part II” shall be officially named “Estate Piovoso” which is Italian for rainy summer, because everything sounds better in Italian!

And boy has it been raining!  We had 14 consecutive afternoons/evening with rain.  And not just a sprinkle or quick downpour but hours of showers. I believe at my house we have had more rain this summer then in the previous six summers combined. Crazy!

I have not been spending much time on-line these days.  Just not in the mood I guess.  Instead I have been working on this in my sketchbook:

Listening to “The Island” by Elin Hilderbrand while working on my latest needlepoint project:

Getting close to finishing the ice cream puzzle:

Watching 50 years of Alfred Hitchcock on TCM Wednesday and Friday nights in July.

I took a trunk full of items to Goodwill and mailed off a bag of clothes to Thred Up.

And I tried to take a picture of the back of my hair to show how humid it is here in the desert.  Not easy to do and then I was quite shocked at all the gray!  And here I thought I just had a few strands in front.

On that note I am off to make popcorn and my son and I are going to watch  “House on Haunted Hill”.  (His choice, not mine!)

Instead of my hair here is a picture of our Cat’s Claw blooming which only happens after a lot of rain.

 Felice Estate Piovoso!!

*I hope I got that translation right!


A Sense of Purpose

“One of the standard-issue life lessons, which I’m sure I’ve posited along with everyone else who thinks about these things, is that one’s life is enriched immeasurably if you’re able to find an abiding passion. You don’t have to be good at it, it just has to be something that would consume every waking hour if you let it.” **

I, of course, am totally aware of the idea of finding one’s passion but the second sentence gave me pause.  You don’t have to be good at it?? I assumed that one would have an innate ability, a natural talent for one’s bliss.  Sure, maybe you take a class or two or read some books to polish up your gift. You practice, a lot.  But right from the get go you would do something, love it and be good at it.  You would know this was where your heart lies. Hence the reason I am so lacking a sense of purpose these days. I have been thinking about things all wrong!

I like to do lots of different things but I am not particularly good at any of them.  I dabble.  I brush the surface of various hobbies.  I try lots of things once or twice, find I am not exceptionally good at them, and figure they are not my heart’s content.  And I move on.

A cool plant I saw on my meander yesterday up at Summerhaven, AZ.

But now?  Well, I am in a quandary.  How do I know which hobby is the one I should truly focus on?   Which one will give me the sense of purpose I crave in the morning?  I have been doing some cogitating. Do I have to pick just one?  Can I rotate through a few choices?  Now that the pressure is off will my hobbies feel different?  Easier to enjoy now that I know I don’t have to be good at them?

As of this moment I do not have the answers.  But I will be looking at my old hobbies with new eyes and trying new ones with renewed enthusiasm.

I took this photo yesterday on my way down the mountain. (Perfectly safe, I was stopped at an overlook!) You can see Thimble Peak, center left in the distance.  From my house I can see the other side of Thimble Peak and for some reason this always thrills me.

**   From “Julia Child Rules, Lessons on Savoring Life”  by Karen Karbo.

I find it comforting to recognize that Julia Child wasn’t a natural cook.  She wasn’t even a good cook when she started.  And she didn’t find her bliss until she was a full fledged grown-up. I still have time!  I met a woman yesterday that took up sailing in her sixties. She joined a club and found she loved crewing for races.  So many possibilities in my future.

Two Summers

“You don’t need to have the life you want to enjoy the life you have.” *

This has been my motto the last few months. I am still missing my four seasons life terribly but I am learning to make the best of the life I have now.  As one can imagine summers in the desert southwest feel incredibly long but as the monsoon rains started I had an epiphany.  We actually have two summers here.

Summer Part One I like to think of as “normal” summer.  It lasts from sometime in May until sometime in July. The weather is hot and dry and sunny. The pool is warm and it is too hot to do much outdoors other than swim.  So we spend a lot of time in the pool. We usually have at least one camping trip and/or our big vacation during this time. It feels like a normal summer.

Then sometime in July the weather changes.  The monsoon part of summer starts. More clouds, less heat. It usually takes a few weeks after the initial appearance of clouds until we get rain at my house (except for this year) but late afternoon and evening thunder still keep us out of the pool. The temperature drops but the humidity rises. It feels like it has been summer forever, because it has.  Summer Part One, “normal” summer is over.  This is the start of Summer Part Two.

I actually pulled over to take this photo. How cool it is to see rain falling.

In addition to monsoon weather Summer Part Two includes getting ready to go back to school.  My son resumes school the second week of August so the end of July has us buying supplies and new clothes.  It always felt weird doing this in the middle of summer but this year we are doing it in Part II of summer.  A completely different season from Part I of summer!

Amazing how the mind can adapt.  If it takes me creating a whole new season to survive desert life so be it.  I do think I need to come up with a more creative name for Summer Part II, keeping Summer Part I as just “Summer”.  Any suggestions?


*  The quote is from “Julia Child Rules,  Lessons on Savoring Life”  by Karen Karbo.

Digesting News

Normally it feels like I am always writing blog posts in my head. But the past week or so I have been thinking about all my medical test results. In a nutshell here are the results: My colonoscopy via mail came back negative.  Yeah!  My mammogram showed nothing suspicious. Whew!

The x-rays of my hands showed nothing (except that I have hands of course).  My doctor’s response was to continue to monitor the situation.  How is that helpful for pain?  Does an x-ray rule out carpal tunnel?  I was trying to figure out exactly how to reply when the hands got moved to the back burner.

I got my pelvic ultrasound results and they revealed that I do indeed have two uterine fibroids.  After the initial wave of panic I did what everyone does, I looked for information on the internet.  It appears there are two options, ignore them and hope they shrink when I hit full blown menopause or surgery.  With surgery they could remove just the fibroids or they could remove the fibroids and uterus.

My gyn appointment isn’t until mid-August. Do I need to go sooner?  Since my symptoms aren’t too horrid I have decided to wait unless the doctor thinks I need to come in sooner.  (It is easier to do doctor appointments after school starts.)

So for now I wait and tell myself all the benefits of surgery.  No more crazy long, frequent periods. A day or two in the hospital can be thought of as a vacation from housework and laundry and cooking.  I promise myself a box of dark chocolate candy from See’s if I do need surgery.

There’s the plan, now I can put all this medical stuff out of my mind for the next month and get back to writing blog posts in my head.  What a relief!

Happy 4th of July!

The last few days of the red, white and blue decorations.  Then I switch to a beach theme!

Teeny bird houses.


Leading the parade.


All kinds of flags.                                                                                       

I would like to thank our founding fathers for all their wisdom, patience and effort in establishing our wonderful country.  Have a wonderful (and safe) 4th of July everyone!