Heidi and I were having a grand old time at the Magic House in St. Louis, about 29 years ago! Today we are going to have another Mom/daughter day, but we'll have to figure out some other way to do "matching hair"... scarves maybe. We're heading into Austin for a little breakfast, then facials, then afternoon DimSum!! But mostly we'll just be celebrating the day we first met. Heidi turns 30 this week!
Favorite Mom/Daughter Times: I loved going to concerts with Heidi when she was young and had the inside scoop on all up and coming bands... Volunteering together at Sundance film festival... Laughing, while we play piano duets... Playing ANY game, even though she beats me at everything... sharing margaritas in Mexico and there is a bigger story there...
Don and I spent a week at Inks Lake State Park in Texas. It was peaceful in the fall, on a weekday. A sudden storm had us closing up chairs and pulling things inside. But after the storm there was such a lovely glow on the lake. By the weekend the park was swarming and we were surrounded by families. After all the quiet, the tricycles and balls and toddlers wandering onto our site, was downright amusing.
Favorite Trallers: Our sweet little Airstream, "Bambi"... Jennifer & Kate's, vintage "Tear Drop" trailer... The "Long, Long Trailer" in the silly '50's movie, starring Lucy and Ricky... The shiny Airstream topped with a cupcake, along with many food trailers in Austin... A vintage Cozy Coach we rented in Marta,TX...
I think this was taken about 1981. I can't remember why Don was kissing this fish. Maybe he was getting ready to release it. Maybe it was just a silly photo pose. But the photo makes me smile and reminds me of a few fishing memories in my past.
Fish Memories: Using cane pole and bread to catch a flounder off the dock in Sarasota, FL... In Missouri, my only time fishing for trout. I was yawning, before dawn, wearing waders and tangling my line with serious fishermen... Don, catching a small shark off the jetty in Galveston and needing some help from some old timer fishermen...
I love this purple door at our B & B in Marathon, Texas. The place was appropriately named, Eve's Garden. The guest rooms opened to the greenhouse/courtyard, but there were many doors and gates that I was not clear about. It was January and there was ice covering the ground and trees just outside. These flowers and bright colors made the world feel like spring!
Mystery Doors I recall: In Italy as a child, I was intrigued by so many tiny doors, within large doors... We had a bookcase in our Oklahoma home, that was really a door leading to a small storage/hiding space.... As a kid, I loved watching those mystery doors on "Let's Make a Deal"... My childhood playhouse (once a shed) had an extra door, too small for me to squeeze through. I'd never seen a pet door...
Disguise Adventures: My friend Diane and I wore a glasses, nose & mustache disguises at age 7, when we knocked on a neighbor's door announcing we were furnace repairmen... In the late '70's, my friend and I wore vintage cocktail dresses to distract the club bouncer so he'd forget to ask, since we didn't have I.D.s... Claire and I rode our roller skates with "roller derby" hard hats, through the drive through at Jack-in-the- Box... Every day that I go out in a wig, I feel a bit like I'm in disguise!
I drew this, early morning on Galveston Beach a few years ago. There's something so fun about making something temporary, that will be soon be removed by nature. I love that feeling of dragging a stick in the sand and watching it slice out a picture or design.
Sand Fun Memories: Making castles with the kids in Florida... Finding an elaborate structure all alone on the beach near Del Coranado Hotel... The kids scooping and pouring dry sand in the backyard sandbox... Digging as deep as we could in the sand... Scampering and screaming in bare feet, over burning hot sand...
This photo cracks me up... when you look at the feet. Last May, Scott and I decided to swap shoes for some reason. I'd been wearing uncomfortable shoes all day and evening during my nephew's graduation festivities. Scott's desert boots looked like clown shoes on my feet!
Shoe Memories: Go-Go boots and fishnet stocking at age 9... Wearing wooden Dutch shoes as a teen, even thought the tips were gnawed off by our dog... My Dr. Scholl's sandals, with soles worn thin so my heel touched the ground... dancing in my tap shoes in the kitchen... And Scott at 3, wearing his green rubber boots, daily!
This sweet cat visited with Don and me when we stayed at the Shack Up Inn in Mississippi. We sat on the porch of our rental, a former sharecropper's house and patted the gray cat while rain poured on the tin roof. I do love kitties and they make me smile.
Favorite Cats: Storybook kitties, The Cat in the Hat & Cheshire Cat... Movie star cats from Milo and Otis & The Incredible Journey... My own cats from childhood on, Smokey, Simon, Garfunkel, Pasha, Milo...
This is as close as I've gotten to The Pleasure Pier in Galveston. They charge way too much to walk through the gates. But I still adore the sight of a carnival from a distance. Even the carnivals that pop up in sketchy shopping center lots, look magical when you spot them from the road at night. So many wonderful shapes squiggling like a scratchpad doodle, blinking and glowing with colorful lights!
Carnival Memories: My Scott at 2, freaking me out with his squirminess on a Ferris wheel... Applying (on a dare) for position of Snake Girl at a carnival in New Hampshire... Feeling battered with my sister, on the old wooden roller coaster at the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk... Getting reprimanded by attendant for standing on my carousel horse. I was 4 and just trying to do a trick to show Mom!
The first day of summer was yesterday, but Houston is still in the 90's. I need to see things that are cool and refreshing. This photo was taken at the park near our apartment building, in Staten Island. I was 6 and I loved this fancy sprinkler... so much more deluxe than playing with the hose!
Ways to Cool Off: Dipping bandanas into a mix of water, ice and some fragrant dashes of "Florida Water"... Wading in the spring-fed Eleven Point River in Missouri, to chill the body of 100-degree temps... Grandma "Daw's" attic fan, sucking cool night air, through the open windows... Paying my little brother a dollar, one summer night, to use a paper fan to cool me till I fell asleep... Running through sprinklers on the golf course...
I'm not a big shopper, but I actually do love little stores. The older the better. This great shop in Alpine, Texas specializes in Raspas, a Mexican shaved ice treat. They also have Mexican pottery and imported crafts for sale. And lots of chairs for hanging around while you eat or drink.
Favorite Small Stores: The "Little Store" down the street in Grinnell, where we turned in pop bottles to pay for our candy... The Hanneke Market, just a walk away from our home in Glendale, MO. I walked my kids in their wagon and you could still, "charge it". The Milkman's store, down the street from our apt in Italy. The sweet milkman delivered our bottles by bike in the morning and we stopped by for ice cream some afternoons...
My little bro and I were hamming for cameras in both photos. We were coming out of a bowling alley in the top photo and exploring Roman ruins in the bottom. I have way too many stories of laughing through interesting places with my brother. So I'll save those stories and let one of these 2 places inspire my list!
Columns I Remember: Somebody.... (not me) climbing up the columns inside our guest room, at Austin's Driskill Hotel. The marble and gold leaf columns in the lobby of Hotel Finlen in Butte, MT... The classic Greek columns surrounding Lincoln Memorial... The line-up of ancient stone columns at Chichen Itza... 20 iron columns, (painted in pastel colors) on a home, owned by my Great-Great Uncle Harry... A marble, pedestal column purchased by great grandparents at 1904 World's Fair...
I've loved towers since I was a kid, absorbed in fairytales. The Desert View Watchtower at The Grand Canyon's south rim puts a real smile on my face. Five years ago, we arrived early, but stayed through sunset. We climbed inside for spectacular views and we sat beside it to watch the sun sink into the canyon. Impressive to know that a woman, Mary Colter was the architect in 1932!
Towers I Love: Climbing Giotto's bell tower in Florence... The 3 grand, stone & brick water towers still standing tall in St. Louis... The vintage water tower beside old sugar mill in Sugar Land, TX... Shanghai's Oriental Pearl Tower... The Eiffel Tower and Pisa's Leaning Tower of course!
Scott was about 3 when he participated in a sack race at a company picnic in Oklahoma. I don't remember the outcome, but I know there were no tears, or injuries. He does seem to have a determined smile, in this photo that I love!
Jumping Kids: My kids leaping about in bounce-houses, at kid parties over the years... Myself, jumping back & forth between hotel beds, when I was old enough to know better... At 14, I was on the school trampoline team for 1 week, before realizing I was the only one without experience... In P.E., doing the broad jump, (poorly) every year for the President's Fitness Award... Watching each of my kiddos, with arm-floaties, jump off the board for the first time!
MUST ADD: Scott read and reminded me of 2 good ones. The only time I jumped from a plane and watching my kids jump from a rock ledge into the waters of a Mexican cenote!
This merry-go-round, needs some weed trimming and some kids to cheer it up. But it was a fun thing to spot last spring, resting in the grass beside an old schoolhouse in Missouri. As a kid, I adored all the "dangerous equipment" that has since disappeared. (Swings are becoming scarce in schools, now) Some of the crazy stuff I remember playing on, was built at the Miracle Company, just outside of Grinnell, Iowa. Miracle introduced so much of the colorful, fiberglass equipment... whimsical elephant slides and horse swings with pumping bars!
Equipment I Loved: Cooper School's, circulating-Maypole-type structure where kids held hoops at the end of each chain... Teeter-totters, even though I was small and often got held up and teased... my friend Debbie's real jungle gym in her yard... Blackburn Park's human "hamster wheel", enclosed in a tiny house... Rocket Slides, made in Grinnell but still found many places... The Miracle Whirl that replaced the wooden merry-go-round, with metal platform and tubing handrails. "Hold the bar and and run, run, run in the grass, until it's time to jump on for the ride!!"
A lot of people are tail-gating today. It's the season. It was fall when this photo was taken in about 1990, but we weren't at a football game. We were enjoying Ted Drew's Frozen Custard, a St. Louis tradition! I love it that we could flip up the hatch of the old wagon and have our custard treat in the back of the car!
Cozy Car Memories: Playing Scrabble in the parked car with Heidi, as we waited out a storm on the Natchez Trail... My sister, burrowing back into our jam-packed, '60's Ford wagon and falling asleep. We thought we'd left her at the rest stop... I was tiny when I tried to hide on the floor of the backseat, to go along with Mom & Dad, instead of staying with a babysitter... We backed the same car, (pictured) into the Drive-In, so the kids could watch the movie out the back.
This sweet old gas station doesn't have a happy history, but the image is soothing for some reason. The Magnolia/Mobile Service station was built in the 1920's about the time when Little Rock High School was built across the street. It became a temporary office during the segregation crisis in 1957. Toady it looks peaceful and sweet, like stations I remember still serving our car when I was a kid. I loved hearing the car tires make the "ding" that called the attendant, who said, "Fill 'er up?" I loved watching the windows being washed and the oil being checked. I remember playing "gas station" with my little brother at home!
Gas Station Memories: The Sinclair dinosaur statue.... As a kid, pumping my Schwinn bike tires... Episodes of Andy Griffith with gas station scenes... And the modern Pop's Station on Route 66 in Arcadia, OK, with 700 kinds of pop and a 66-foot soda bottle!
I've been channeling my bootie-kicking donkey spirit for months now. I carry my tiny wooden mascot with me to chemo. But I've always loved the sweet and yes, stubborn reputation of my burro friends. Almost exactly a year ago, I got to rub the nose of Brighty in the lodge at Grand Canyon's North Rim. Great stories of this real fellow, who became more famous by the book "Brighty of the Grand Canyon".
Donkeys I Love: Pooh's friend, Eeyore of course.... "Donkey", in the movie Shrek... Prunes, the famous burro of Fairplay, CO.... The sweet burro I rode to cross the border to Mexico from Texas' Big Bend Park... Illustrations of The Virgin Mary riding a donkey...
I love how peaceful these Chilean horses look with some sun and breeze adding a little extra energy to the pose. But moments after clicking this photo, the surprise of 2 kayaks on the nearby river, sent them into a full gallop up the side of the mountain with 15 other horses. In a line, they zigzagged up the rugged terrain, with manes flowing and dirt billowing. The zoom lens made me feel close, but without the camera, the image was like a movie scene. It seemed too perfect to be real.
Fave Horse Movies: F.F. Coppola's, Black Stallion... 1994 version of Black Beauty... All the Pretty Little Horses... Sea Biscuit from 2003... As a kid my favorites were, National Velvet & Run Wild Run Free.
Last year Jenni and I sported some fine bonnets for our Oklahoma Land Run celebration.... tracking down property that had been in our family, practically since the land run. I love forcing Jenni to dress up in costumes and headgear. She's always willing. Today she is accompanying me to Chemo Round 3 and our heads will be festive!
Sister Head Decor From Past: Easter hats and boring church scarves... vintage lady hats when doing an improv for my 50th birthday... knit stocking caps covered in snow, back in Iowa... Heads wrapped in silk scarves for today's chemo... And we could have both been bald together, since Jenni offered to shave her head along with me...XOXO
Last year, I discovered this beautiful little library on a morning walk in Lewistown, Montana. I paused to stare at the ornate exterior of the 1905 building and wondered how a small town could have such a lovely library. I later enlightened myself on the internet. I had no idea that Andrew Carnegie donated funds to build 2,019 libraries between the years 1883 and 1929. It's a history worth looking into!
Favorite Libraries: The smell & cozy feel of the Grinnell, Iowa library... the grand Central Library in downtown St.Louis, built in 1912... Walking my kids to the Book Mobile that parked at the Glendale, MO Fire Station... Helmerich Library in Tulsa, where my kids went to story hour and did summer reading clubs...
This is one of my favorite photos of Heidi because it shows her character. I love the girl in motion, the hint of a smile, the sweet pastel & white outfit, with the sassy Cardinals hat. Best of all, I love how she swings that bunny along by the ear. Heidi has always been a "Let's go do it!" kind of person. Loved that about her then and l love it about her now!
Spunky Girls I Admired: I grew up loving books with spunky little girls. Yes Heidi (of the Alps) was pretty spunky. But there was also Dorothy in the Oz books... Madeline in Paris... Alice in Wonderland and my 2 goofy favorites, Eloise who lived at The Plaza Hotel and the zany, Pippi Longstocking!
I love the shapes and colors of these buildings in Curacao. It's fitting that an island in the "ABC Islands" should have playful, storybook-looking buildings! Don and I spent a couple evenings at a small restaurant with this scene as our view. As the sun set, we watched the ships cruise by and the ferry cross back and forth. The buildings were illuminated just enough, to still share a little of their colorful magic.
Colorful Buildings: My childhood yellow-painted house in Grinnell, Iowa... The pastel colors of retro Florida stucco motels... The newer, yet still pleasing pastels of Seaside, FL... The 245-year-old, Olde Pink House restaurant in Savannah, GA...
I'm smiling in this photo with a monkey in Honduras. But there was also a lot of giddy laughter, squealing, shrieking and cringing. I've always loved the little beasts and badly wanted one as a pet when I was young. But when Don and I entered the cage with sunflower seeds, these little guys freaked me out, as they leapt onto our heads and backs, eager for snacks!
Monkey Memories: We had neighbors who owned a monkey. The sign at their door read - "You are visiting, but the monkey lives here" or something like that... A Peach Farm near Tulsa had a pet monkey. When we went in the store for peach shakes, the monkey attacked shoelaces... I had a memorable conversation with man cleaning the St. Louis zoo monkey house years ago... Not a monkey, but I was knocked down by a chimp on skates when I was a tot. The roller rink owners had a chimp pet...
This blue-haired cutie has been making me smile since the 1960's. I always loved my trolls. They were so much more fun than Barbie and Ken. They did have clothing options like Barbie. My troll even had a pair of ice-skates. If there was no ice outside, I froze a bowl of water for his skating pleasure. Trolls liked trees and caves and stick houses. Their store-bought needs were few!
Dolls I Also Had: Chatty Cathy... An Actual Caroline Kennedy doll... Doctor Dolittle doll that I still have and call, Rex... Liddle Kiddle dolls... And recently I acquired a cloth "Dammit Doll" which I can fling across the room when I'm mad... not to be confused with a Voodoo doll!!