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A Garden Stroll at Sunset

Garden Stroll 4Some years in mid-September Mother Nature provides a tantalizing hint of autumn with cool temps and a little rain for a few days.  This year it is still warm and dry so thank goodness for the Dallas Arboretum’s Garden of Music event a few days ago.  Such a perfect place to begin our stroll.  Would a little Al Di Meola playing acoustic guitar go well with your virtual garden stroll?  If yes, please click below.  .

Garden Stroll 1

As we walked from the parking lot to the entrance I noticed that everyone near us was smiling and relaxed as they greeted friends and chatted.  We had never been to the Arboretum in the evening so it was delightful to discover the charms of the gardens at the end of a day.  A talented harpist played just inside the entrance.   At the Pergola, Concert Stage and two other gardens there were artists playing guitar, saxaphone and drums.

Garden Stroll 3

One of our favorite places is Orchid Hollow near the great lawn.  Such a lovely place to sit on a bench and enjoy the tranquility of the little pond and sounds of water flowing over the rocks into the stream while birds sing in the trees.  When the misters start Bob and I snap lots of photos in our attempt to capture not only the beauty but also the soothing aah feeling of being there.   The Arboretum thoughtfully limited the number of members attending the event so there were plenty of places that were peaceful with sounds only from nature.

Garden Stroll 2

Restraint was definitely required because I wanted to sit down, take off my shoes and wiggle my toes in that refreshing stream.  It reminded me of a stream we sat beside in Steamboat Springs many autumns ago.

Garden Stroll 5

This vista captures everything I love about summer gardens with the combination of green lawn and trees, masses of blooms planted so that there was a sense of movement as our vision was carried from one bed to the next.

Garden Stroll 6

The Welcoming Water Wall is the last thing you see as you leave the Arboretum headed to the parking lots.  The sound of the trickling water and light breeze off White Rock Lake made for a pleasant end to the evening.

If you would like to make a comment please click on above title “A Garden Stroll at Sunset.”


A Little Chihuly From Yours Truly

Before looking at Bob’s photos, how about a little garden music?  When you click, it will play my favorite garden song.  On a crisp October morning last year Bob and I went to see Dale Chihuly’s fabulous exhibit at the Dallas Arboretum. 

Absolutely dazzling with the sunshine sparkling through the glass.

Absolutely dazzling with the sunshine sparkling through the glass.

We had a delightful time riding the tram with some fascinating fellow riders and the driver.  Kudos to Bob for grabbing terrific in-transit shots… quite a feat considering the crowd.  We were impressed with our driver’s ability to talk and drive while avoiding swarms of adults chatting and children giggling with little awareness of the trams.

Wish we could have been there to see the installation of these works of art.

Wish we could have been there to see the installation of these works of art because I have lots of questions.

If you have not heard of Dale Chihuly, here is an excerpt from his bio:  Born in 1941 in Tacoma, Washington, Dale Chihuly was introduced to glass while studying interior design at the University of Washington. After graduating in 1965, Chihuly enrolled in the first glass program in the country, at the University of Wisconsin. He continued his studies at the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD), where he later established the glass program and taught for more than a decade.

In 1968, after receiving a Fulbright Fellowship, he went to work at the Venini glass factory in Venice. There he observed the team approach to blowing glass, which is critical to the way he works today. In 1971, Chihuly cofounded Pilchuck Glass School in Washington State. With this international glass center, Chihuly has led the avant-garde in the development of glass as a fine art.

His work is included in more than 200 hundred museum collections worldwide. He has been the recipient of many awards, including twelve honorary doctorates and two fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts.

The Sun!

Bob and I have seen his work over the years and it never fails to take our breaths away.  It is astonishing that glass that looks so delicate can withstand outdoor garden conditions.  The strength of his art was put to the test last summer when a very damaging hail storm moved through parts of Dallas and only a small portion of Chihuly’s work was damaged by the hail and high winds.

Some of his art is astonishingly large and what makes it even more impressive is that each piece of every sculpture gets assembled on-site.  Can’t imagine what that would be like putting each piece in place without dropping it.  I’m afraid if I attempted that job it would be like an episode from I Love Lucy.

I think this one is Red Reeds.

I think this one is Red Reeds.

After our tour, walking out of the garden I stopped for a few minutes to take one last look at the vista of cheerful people, to feel the breeze, smile into the sunshine and see the beautiful gardens and artwork.  It was to my mind a perfect allegory of life.  Storms come and go through our lives and at the times of the storms they seem overwhelming and unending but then life continues on including beauty and enjoyment like that lovely day last October.

I want this in my garden... along with the stream.  Thanks Bob for discovering this one that I couldn't see from the tram.

I want this in my garden… along with the stream.  Thanks Bob for discovering this one that I couldn’t see from the tram.

If you would like to leave a comment, please click on title A Little Chihuly From Yours Truly above.

And… We Are Back

Henry Moore sculpture outside the entrance to the Dallas Museum of Art

Henry Moore sculpture outside the main entrance to the Dallas Museum of Art

We thought a little music would be nice to listen to while you read the post below, so here’s Fred Astaire singing A Foggy Day in London Town.  

Bob and I had a delightful time yesterday at the fabulous exhibit “The Body Beautiful in Ancient Greece: Masterworks from the British Museum” at the Dallas Museum of Art.  This glorious marble statue of the discus-thrower is from the fifth century BC and looked to me to be about five feet tall.

Discus-thrower (Discobolus)

Discus-thrower (Discobolus)

Bob and I highly recommend a visit to this exhibit because it is stunningly beautiful and fascinating.  It runs until October 6, 2013 in the Chilton Gallery II and Focus Gallery I.  Here is the description from The Dallas Museum of Art:  “Masterworks from the British Museum, an internationally touring exhibition of more than 120 objects exploring the human form through exquisite artworks exclusively from the British Museum’s famed collection of Greek and Roman sculpture. Iconic marble and bronze sculptures, vessels, funerary objects, and jewelry are among the treasures that explore the human form, some dating back to the second millennium B.C. In addition to the objects from the British Museum, the exhibition will also present a model of Ancient Olympia as it would have appeared around 100 B.C., prior to the Roman additions and alterations.”

View from the DMA Cafe

View from the DMA Cafe

There were very few people in the exhibit so we had plenty of space and time to leisurely enjoy it.  Some of the depictions of the stories portrayed on the pottery gave us major cases of the giggles.  I’ll suffice to say that kinky and earthly delights were definitely enjoyed back in the day.  Also, just our opinion, not a great time for women and children.  The marble sculptures were dazzlingly beautiful.  At one point I sat down for a little while and just took it all in.  In a matter of months if we wanted to see these great works of art we would have to travel to London to view them.

After enjoying the exhibit we decided to have lunch in the DMA Café which faces the Klyde Warren Park.  When fall comes we will post photos of that wonderful new addition to our city.  Too hot now for us to enjoy.  We enjoy having lunch at the café because the food is yummy, they serve wine and beer, relaxing jazz to listen to and the perfect place to enjoy the scenery.

Dale Chihuly's Lily Pads

Dale Chihuly’s Lily Pads

We are huge fans of Dale Chihuly’s glass sculptures and the café is the perfect place to enjoy them.  The colors are more vibrant in person because of the light changing as the clouds drift by.  Such a pleasant place to enjoy our lunch and being together.

People have asked me if my painful recovery from double knee replacements was worth it and would I do it again.  The answer, without hesitation, is YES!  Being able to be out and about without any thought to my knees is a daily joy.  Bob and I are very glad to be sharing our delights on this blog and hope you enjoy our local adventures.

If you would like to leave a comment, please click on title And…We Are Back above.

Happy Valentine’s Day

Love is all we have, the only way that each can help the other.   -Eurpides

Bob and I would delight in giving each of you a beautiful bouquet and chocolates to celebrate this day of love.  Since we cannot do that in reality we are sending wishes to you for a lovely day and photos of past spring flowers!  To add to the spirit of the day, how about listening to a little music?  If your answer is yes, please click on the arrow below and you will hear Love is a Many Splendored Thing. 

From childhood I have looked forward to and loved Valentine’s Days.  A holiday devoted to expressions of love and friendship and, of course, delicious sweet treats always seemed perfect – never sappy, sentimental or commercial.  Some of the days were not all that I wanted them to be, of course, but I never wavered in my happy anticipation and enjoyment of at least parts of the days.  Unsurprisingly my most exciting and enjoyable Valentine’s Days came after Bob and I got together.  The first time he sent me two dozen long-stemmed red roses was not only thrilling but reassuring about our blossoming relationship.

On Valentine’s Day 1959 my parents gave my brother Bob and me the best gift ever.  We were awakened that morning by our grandparents rather than our parents and were told to go to the phone which was puzzling and intriguing.  My Dad told us that we had a baby brother.  Mark was the adored baby in the hospital nursery because of being born on that day with red hair.  Bob and I ran through the house giggling and squealing.  The start of many terrific times for our family.  Mark passed from our lives far too soon but the love he gave lives on in everyone who knew him.  Mark is always in my heart but each Valentine’s Day I remember his joie de vivre, bear hugs and his laugh that was so full of happiness it made everyone laugh who was within earshot.

Hope you devote a little or a lot of time to enjoying this day of love in your own special ways!


New Dawn rose bush climbing and blooming her way to top of the second story of our house.

If you would like to leave a comment, please click on title Happy Valentine’s Day above.

Garden in Winter

In a way, winter is the real spring, the time when the inner things happen, the resurgence of nature.   -Edna O’Brien

With the drenching rain that blessed us there was no need to water so Bob and I have not been in our garden in the last week. Gracie has been out many times but since she only speaks dog language we didn’t know the changes that had taken place. This morning I decided to do a winter photo update of the garden so Bob and I went out and WOW there is new life!  I admit to being easily wowed by nature so this is my disclaimer if you wonder how I could be wowed by what I asked Bob to shoot.

Years ago when my dear friend Brenda and I got into gardening we quickly became bedazzled by all the possibilities.  We took on gardening with a fervor that made her husband Steve roll his eyes and Bob shake his head. Thankfully, each of us had been married long enough for our unbridled enthusiasm over our new hobby not to shock either husband. Our lack of experience did not deter us from buying flowers in abundance. I remember one sunny early spring day when Bob took off from work and drove Brenda and me to Farmers Market during our lunch hour. We loaded our car with delicate and beautiful blooming flowers. What a disappointment it was when the blast of summer heat hit and killed just about every plant. We bought rose bushes like they were about to become extinct and tended them with great care. When spring came we rushed to the gardens each morning with the excitement of a child at Christmas to see the gifts of new blooms. During the early years we worried about late freezes, bugs, diseases, severe heat and other unexpected surprises from Mother Nature. Fast forward to the present and our gardens have only plants and shrubs that are resilient and can take whatever Mother Nature brings. We could have saved a lot of money if we would have started with hardy plants but the years filled with many funny, delightful and sometimes distressing experiences are invaluable to me. Thank you Brenda, Steve and Bob for the wonderful memories.

If you would like to leave a comment, please click on title Garden in Winter above.

Winter Musings

Next week it will be one year since Dallas had a major ice storm and in remembrance of the storm here are some photos Bob took that icy week.  A little music to muse by?  Please click below to hear Dreamer.

Back in the 1980’s I came to an awareness that generally there is good in every bad and bad in every good.  I know that there are life experiences that are all good or all bad so that’s why I said generally.  Over the years that belief has been helpful for me to have a broader understanding of life and the storm last year was a perfect example.  The morning after the ice storm Bob opened the door to get the newspaper and discovered that the screen door would not open.  The ice had formed a perfect seal.  There was no getting out the other doors either.  Bob posted a message online and within minutes our caring neighbors offered to dig us out, go to the grocery store for us and be of help in whatever way was needed.   Suddenly the concern and frustration of being trapped changed to an uplifting reminder of how fortunate we are to have our wonderful neighbors.  Thank you again Dale for chipping and digging away at the ice and setting us free.  The appreciation we felt changed our attitudes and we concentrated on enjoying being snug at home rather than having cabin fever.

If you have memories of the ice storm or times you found the good in an apparent bad situation please post them.  We would love to read your stories.

If you would like to leave a comment, please click on Winter Musings above.

Celebrate Today

When email first became popular I was one of many who received regular messages imploring us to live each day as if it were our last.  My reaction then as now is Yikes!  Arising each morning with the realization that today could be my last would fill me with dread. Whenever possible, Bob and I prefer to enjoy the gift of each new day with small pleasures.  If listening to music is a pleasure to you please click below. 

On a recent sunny cold day we enjoyed the crackle, warmth and beauty of a fire.  At some point we always go outside to enjoy the smell of woodsmoke wafting through the air.  In the afternoon on sunny days the dining room is flooded with light and it is the perfect place to sit with a hot cup of tea and WRR playing on the radio.  The aloe vera plant is the only plant in our garden that truly loved the heat this past summer.   It appears to be quite content wintering in front of the fireplace in the dining room.  It serves as a lovely reminder of the adaptability of nature.  From the beginning of our relationship Bob and I have read to each other and that ritual continues to be a delightful experience.  Gracie, of course, has to be part of the action.

Hope you have a day filled with small pleasures.

If you would like to leave a comment, please click on title Celebrate Today above.

Calatrava Bridge in Big D

For years Bob and I were envious of cities with Spanish architect and artist Santiago Calatrava’s sculptural bridges.  It has been fun watching the construction for 3 ½ years and eagerly looking forward to its completion.  Tonight the City of Dallas will light The Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge in advance of the bridge’s opening to vehicle traffic on March 5.  The lights will stay consistently lit for two weeks, and then be tested intermittently until the bridge opening celebration on March 2-4.  The celebration is described as a chance to run, walk and party on the bridge.

A couple of years ago an unnamed young member of our family who moved from Dallas to Denton got tired of explaining to his classmates what that thing was that was being built over the Trinity River.  He convinced them it was a giant swing.  In his defense it did look like it before the cables were attached.   There will be varying opinions about the bridge but one group who will love it are photographers.  Every time the Trinity River is full they will be lining the levee at sunset to get the perfect shot.  And I think I know at least one of the photographers who will be there.

If you would like to leave a comment, please click on title Calatrava Bridge above.

Happy New Year!

Best wishes for 2012.   Thank you to everyone who has read our blog and been supportive of us.  We are very grateful.  Some random thoughts for the start of a new year.  Every year that Bob and I have been together I ask him what his New Year’s resolution will be knowing that he will come up with something that makes me laugh because I know that he finds the idea foolish.  This year his resolution is he promises to think about it.  Yep, that’s it – promises to think about it.  I don’t have resolutions either but I have always liked the first day of the year because it is a reminder that all days start as new beginnings no matter what mistakes or errors of omission I have done the days, months and years before.   I’m smiling as I remember my Dad and his dry humor when he would say to me in a serious tone… well Linda, if it makes you happy to be happy, then be happy.


If you would like to leave a comment, please click on title Happy New Year above.

Merry Christmas Everyone!

If you would like to leave a comment, please click on title Merry Christmas Everyone above.

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