Here There and Everywhere

Expat wanderer

Epiphany and The Star of the East at Christ Church in Pensacola

“Pay attention!” AdventureMan nudged me, hard. I was trying to find the Star of the East that Father Neal Goldsborough had just pointed out on our Christ Church dome, but I couldn’t find it. And I WAS listening, I was paying attention, I just also wanted to see the star, the special star on our dome, signifying the star that the wise men followed to find the child Christ.

I see a lot of other heads swiveled to look up, searching the dome for that special star. It’s one of my favorite feasts of the year, Epiphany; I can hear those camels grumbling and sputtering as they clop across the hard roads, I can feel the bite of the cold in the deserts (yes, in the winter deserts can be bone-freezing cold), and I can imagine the wise man consulting as to exactly where that star is leading.



Later after the service, a kind Christ Church parishoner shows us where the star is – painted with more gold, shining brightly just over the horizon in the dome of Christ Church. It is beautiful, subtle, and it makes me happy to know that one star is special.

In this photo, you can see the hanging lamp that obscured my view of the star during the sermon, and you can see a slightly brighter star in the center of the lower dome:


A little closer, and the star shines even more brightly:



January 6, 2013 Posted by | Arts & Handicrafts, Beauty, color, Cultural, ExPat Life, Faith, Pensacola, Photos, Public Art | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Sun Setting Over the Bayou

I love winter. I love the cool temperatures; I feel so much more energetic. I get things done.

I’m in my office, and I can smell tomatoes roasting downstairs; AdventureMan has found a new recipe for a Shrimp and Avocado Soup. He is using freshly picked tomatoes given us by our daughter-in-law’s Dad, so fresh, so tasty, and the roasting is intensifying the flavors. He is happy; he has found passion in cooking up new tastes; one night a week he does dinner and from time to time when he is inspired he also cooks up dinners to share with our son and his family.

I’ve gone off duty. I’ve been working all day, following my passion, listening to NPR and a guest talking about happiness. Happiness, she says, is enjoying the process, living in the right now. High points like Christmas and weddings are but a moment; the true secret of happiness is learning to appreciate the daily life.

For me, the right now is gathering colors. I love colors, and I can see minute differences in shades and colorings, so this is precise and demanding work, gathering the colors, sorting them so once I start using them I can find them quickly. This is just a fraction of the colors I will be using; the colors of the sea:


I have a good collection, but never enough. This time I especially need a good selection of the lighter shallow-water colors:


At this time of the year, I can see the bayou through gaps in the trees that have lost their leaves. The sun is setting; sparkling in through our windows, and it’s the most light we’ve had all day. Even so, the light is fading fast, and I can no longer reliably sort one shade too close to another. Time to go “off duty.” I’ve saved the newspaper as my reward for working hard all day. Time to enjoy the setting sun, sparkling off the glimpse of bayou.


January 3, 2013 Posted by | Aging, Arts & Handicrafts, color, Family Issues, Food, Pensacola, Relationships, Sunsets | 2 Comments

Pantone Fashion Color Forecast for Spring 2013

LOL, not even Christmas and I want to know what Spring will bring. Lucky me! Emerald, my favorite color!


More information directly from Pantone by clicking here.

November 17, 2012 Posted by | color, Cultural, Customer Service, Shopping | 1 Comment

Views from Pensacola Beach

We have the Happy Toddler at the beach this week, and we are having so much fun. The weather is changeable – we have sunshine every day, but most days we might also have a couple minutes to a half hour of pouring rain.

Yesterday, AdventureMan grumbled “There is nothing I love more than being all wet and needing to run the car air conditioning because it is also hot and sticky!” Being damp and cold is miserable, only slightly less miserable than being damp and hot and sticky . . .

Most of the time, the sun is shining. Yesterday, the surf was up, bringing a treasure of seashells and depositing them on the beach and giving us some scary waves to jump – scary if you are a two and a half year old; those waves look BIG, scary if you are a grandmother and don’t want to watch your daring little grandson be washed away!

Some of the wonderful nearing-sunset blues I love so much:

And a picture of the little boy we love so much:

August 9, 2012 Posted by | Adventure, Beauty, color, Community, ExPat Life, Family Issues, Florida, Pensacola, Weather | Leave a comment

Pantone Fall Colors 2012

These are the wonderful colors Pantone says we will all be wearing this coming Fall and Winter. Some years there are NO colors I like; this year I like ’em all, but oh, especially the green:

July 31, 2012 Posted by | Arts & Handicrafts, Beauty, Bureaucracy, color, Cultural | 2 Comments

Riding Across the Wild West

We just figured this was going to be a rough boring stretch, driving I-10 across West Texas to New Mexico, but, as so often does, magic happened and the day changed totally.

AdventureMan had a little allergy, so I did the driving across the wilds of west Texas. It wasn’t anything like I had expected. I’ve read lots of books set in Texas, and seen movies. I expected No Country For Old Men. What I got was a long empty highway with hardly any fellow travelers, some spectacular scenery, hardly any speed limit at all, and lots of time to think and enjoy the ride. Wooo HOOOO on West Texas!

Turning north at Ft. Stockton, we entered Hackberry Holland country (James Lee Burke) with those long empty landscapes punctuated with endlessly pecking derricks, whirling dust, endless pick-ups and tankers, and not much else. The scenery went from those plateaus and arroyos to Qatar flat and white desert, from Texas wildflowers to succulents. Then, just around Pecos, Texas, as we are in the end stretch toward New Mexico, it turns more golden, like Kuwait, with some elevations. Across the border, I asked AdventureMan (now awake and feeling good again) “where is the red tint we see in all the ‘Visit New Mexico’ brochures?” Within half an hour, the iron-oxide tint shows up and we see the red glow start to appear.

We know we want to visit Carlsbad Caverns, so we spend the night in Carlsbad, and eat at Mi Casita. Here is what the desk clerk told us:

“I can’t eat at Mi Casita because the food is too spicy, but everyone who really loves Mexican food eats there.”

We loved it. I ordered things I don’t usually order, enchiladas and beans and rice, and it was so GOOD.

As we left, we went down to the city park and took pictures of the river, and AdventureMan fed the hissing geese some of his peanut-butter and crackers that we carry along in case we might starve or something ;-).

As soon as I can get these photos transferred from my iPad to my computer, I will put in the photos and this will be a much more interesting entry.

April 28, 2012 Posted by | Adventure, Beauty, color, Cultural, ExPat Life, Food, Jordan, Kuwait, Living Conditions, Qatar, Road Trips | Leave a comment

The Winner!

You’d think, now that we are ‘retired’ that we would have a lot of time, but we have plugged in to our community, and we are busy and scheduled! Before I left for Seattle, I was preparing for, and then helping with the Pensacola Quilt Show, held only every two years.

It was a lot of fun. Pensacola has amazing quilters, people who hand-piece and hand quilt, people who are amazingly skilled at machine quilting, and I am honored to know some of them, and delighted when I get a chance to work alongside them.

Whether or not I had won a ribbon, I would be honored just hanging my quilts in the same room with these talented women. Nevertheless, I did win an honorable mention in the theme quilt catagory, which was Snail’s Trail. I am only telling you this because I want to show you the ribbon, which is whimisical, clever and delightful:

I smile every time I look at it.

In addition, I won one of the offerings at the Chinese Auction. I have seen these auctions run different ways, but in this one, you get 25 chances for $5, and I put all my chances in the jar for these fabrics, I wanted them so badly. I took a class from the lady who made them, and I love the work she does. Winning this is like winning a pot of gold for a quilter ๐Ÿ™‚

When I look at these fabrics, I am ready to start quilting again!

March 28, 2012 Posted by | Adventure, Arts & Handicrafts, Beauty, color, Community, Events, ExPat Life, Friends & Friendship, Fund Raising, Local Lore | 7 Comments

Pantone Colors for Spring 2012

Pantone predicts the colors consumers will be buying in Spring 2012:

February 20, 2012 Posted by | Arts & Handicrafts, color, Shopping | Leave a comment

Baby’s Room

Our little grandson is old enough to start spending the night with us. First, AdventureMan had to install a gate, as the Baby room is at the top of stairs, and oh, he loves stairs. We can’t take a chance on him tackling the stairs without one of us present to ‘assist’ (i.e. supervise; make sure he is safe).

Back when I first got to Kuwait, I found these gorgeous turquoise panels at the Kuwait Thursday-Friday market for a song. They are a color I think of as Tuareg Blue; the men of the mountains in Algeria and parts of Morocco wear this gorgeous deep turquoise shade, and the dye rubs off and colors their skin, so some call them The Blue Men.

I’ve carted them around for six years now, waiting for the right use. I thought about parting with them when I left Qatar . . . but didn’t. I thought about parting with then here, as I went through a spree of paring down and packing things out to the Waterfront Mission . . . but I didn’t. All of a sudden, I knew how they were meant to be used, and what a wonderful blast of color they put in ‘Baby’s Room.’

I LOVE the patterns on the panels. Every one is different; I could not find any two panels the same. The vendor was Sudanese; I am tempted to think these might be Sudanese; I have never seen anything like them before or since in the fabric souks of Kuwait or Doha. They aren’t quite enough fabric to be saris, but they might be just enough for a sefsari, the cover worn by the women in Tunisia when we lived there – maybe 4.5 – 5 meters each, sold for less than $3.00 a panel. ๐Ÿ™‚

We needed to get black-out curtains up, as the Happy Toddler takes after me, up with first light. It’s better for all of us if he can sleep a little later ๐Ÿ™‚ But these panels attatched easily to the under curtains, and now his room is all ready for him – now he sleeps in a big boy bed and the crib has converted to a settee.

After all the wonderful days of family and friends, and eating meals back and forth, I was ready for a quiet projects day. I feel so good getting this project DONE! Don’t you love the color of these panels?

December 27, 2011 Posted by | Arts & Handicrafts, color, ExPat Life, Family Issues, Home Improvements, Kuwait, Living Conditions, Pensacola, Shopping | 4 Comments

Pantone Releases Fall Colors 2011

Each season, the Pantone Color Institute unveils the fashion industry’s primary color palette after a survey of the designers of New York Fashon Week. The top 10 colors selected for women this fall 2011 appeal to a vibrant, romantic ideal. Designers artfully combine the brighter colors with the subtle neutrals, setting the tone for a feminine fall reminiscent of glamorous Old Hollywood, enchanting Chinese operas, lively cityscapes and peaceful countrysides.

Fall 2011’s color palette consists of: Bamboo, Emberglow, Honeysuckle (the ‘it’ color of 2011), Phlox, Cedar, Deep Teal, Coffee Liqueรบr, Nougat, Orchid Hush and Quarry. Of course, all designers have their own trendy names for each of these colors — for example, Chris Benz refers to his Bamboo yellow as “Sponge” — and there are varying shades of these chosen core colors, but the use of this palette on the runways and in designer ready-to-wear collections in stores is unmistakable. Pantone is the color authority in fashion. Take a peek at how these top 10 colors have manifested across products and fashion labels this season, and see how you can best combine the colors for a chic fall 2011 look. These are the top 10 colors and these are some of our favorite combos.

Hmmmm. These may be the ‘newest colors’ but the ‘it’ color for Fall, Honeysuckle, was also one of the main choices for Pantone’s Spring 2011 Choices. The purple is a little red for my taste, and the green a little too yellow. I’m waiting for a deep emerald green to come back, and I will buy clothes to wear for the next twenty years. ๐Ÿ™‚

I found this on AOL’s Shopping News.

August 14, 2011 Posted by | Arts & Handicrafts, Beauty, color, Marketing, Shopping | 6 Comments