Love deeply. Laugh. Cry. Talk to God. Be realistic about the to-do list. Stay in touch. Hug. Dream. Smile. Break Bread often with Family. Spend Time with your Girlfriends. Shop til you Drop! Extend Grace. Be Quick to Forgive and Slow to Anger. Walk. Breathe. Sing. Dance. Read. Eat Chocolate. Savor a Good Glass of Wine. Wiggle your Toes. Sleep well. Life is Good!

Monday, June 28, 2010

Ode to the Pelican

Brown or white, you are the goofiest of birds. Bird of crash dives and the infinite wattle, creature most likely to be caricatured in blown glass,to be carved and clown-painted in Oaxaca.

Albatross of the Gulf, usherer in of fishing boats, even the
psalmist took note: I am like a pelican of the wilderness.
Oh, my soul,if I could shape shift, it would be you, pelican,
and I’d yawp from your roomiest of throats.

Pelican, Pelegrin: on lazy tongues our names alike.
Wing man of my father as he marathoned across
Lake Pontchartrain with blood in his shoes.

Portrayed prolifically in water colors, but rarely the topic of
a tribal tattoo. Selfless Pelican,in stained glass second only
to the dove, feeding your trinity of flightless young with
shreds of flesh and sips of your own blood. On the state flag they’ve sanitized your cannibal love, Louisiana bird.

What can we do for you, pelican? Oil spoiled,washing up on toxic
beaches. Marbled eggs unforming while pious, blackened pelicans sit.

I have been faithless, pelican. All my life I thought you were falling –
reckless, sprawled like Icarus–until you surfaced with a fish.

Blue-gloved hands hold you kindly in a tub, flush saline in your eyes,
give your feathers a toothbrush scrub. You fight by giving up,
unwilling or unable to be saved by us.

-Alison Pelegrin


Friday, June 18, 2010

Now, I need a Vacation!

My family returned from a week long trip to the Florida Keys a couple of weeks ago. After unpacking the trailer and all the bags and catching up with laundry I realize now, I need a vacation! We had a great time. Breaking up the drive with a stop off at Busch Gardens was worth it! Six adults and a baby in a Tahoe wasn't as bad as I'd feared it would be! My granbaby girl was awesome! She's a great traveler and she loves gramma's iphone/headphones! Along the way we all learned the words to an awful lot of Veggie Tales songs! After the kids rode all the roller coasters followed by a good night's sleep, we headed out on the last leg of the trip. Key West here we come!

We had a great time shopping and trying out all the restaurants on the foodie place list. It was HOT! Like walking around in a sauna all day. The first night we saw the sunset from the condo balcony. Beautiful, cept for the fact we didn't get to see the dip into the horizon cause of the mangroves everywhere. We vowed to see it from Mallory Square every night for the rest of the week. That's supposed to be the place to see the sunset. So after another long, hot day,chugging around the island in our little rented open-air, battery powered cars, we made our way to Mallory Square for a burger and what was supposed to be the most beautiful sunset in the world! The sunset was pretty....but there were the mangroves again blocking the dip! We later learned unless you were up really high in a building or out on a schooner, that's what you were gonna see. I'm here to this date, the prettiest sunset I've ever seen is on Dauphin Island. Next time we will take a schooner out past the mangroves and perhaps then I'll change my mind. But hey! The burgers were great!

We ate at some great places. Blue Heaven for breakfast (while the chickens walked around under the table and around our feet!), B.O.'s Fish Wagon, Margaritaville, Harry's Harpoon and several others. Oh, and we ate at the Columbia Restaurant in Tampa while we were was fabulous!!

I started a charm bracelet for my granbaby while in Key West and bought a couple of pieces for my own bracelet back home. I set out that morning planning to start myself a Pandora bracelet but came across the Brighton's at Fast Buck Freddies! I fell in love with I'm already a Brighton fan! Of course, when we returned home my daughter gave me an early birthday present....Brighton charms.....a carousel (Keller and I had our first carousel ride at Busch Gardens) and a cupcake (Keller's first birthday is coming up)! I was hooked! Made a trip to the mall to fill up the remaining space! On our recent anniversary my husband also gave me some beautiful spacers, filling up another bracelet, as well as a necklace to start!! Wow! Love it!

On Tuesday while the rest of the family went fishing, I stayed in with Keller .... giving us both a rest from the heat. That evening we enjoyed a feast of yellowtail snapper and cheese grits!! Yum! The last afternoon, my youngest daughter and her friend went parasailing! It was awesome watching them dipping into the blue green waters as Keller dipped her feet into the water along the beach! What a beautiful afternoon!

The 17 hour trip home wasn't so bad! With frequent gas stops along the way we all had many, many opportunities to stretch our legs! We were getting around 6.7 miles to a gallon of yeah, we stopped often! It was a great family trip! I can hardly remember when we did it last.

Now, I am ready for a vacation ... you know the kind where you lie around, drinking umbrella drinks and listening to the waves lapping at the beach. Hammock gently swaying in the breeze while your hubby nibbles your ear......WAKE UP! Time for drive down to Dauphin Island! Hang the swing and fix me a cold drink. What time is that sunset?

Monday, June 7, 2010

Journal Entry 2007 (un-edited) Where has the time gone?

December 2007

Another year has nearly passed. A year-long, albeit sporadic, journey to figure out myself…again. I read a while back how we spend the first half of our lives trying to create heaven on earth, and the second half trying to define what heaven is supposed to be. By heaven, I mean life as we know it now. ~ Women tend to have an illusion that they can create perfection. Our canvas is our homes, our families, our jobs, our relationships, and whoa! throw in a celebration with food and decorations and we‘re like a party planner on steroids. We struggle to prove ourselves instead of improving ourselves. In doing so, we lose balance. ~ I’m trying to spend more time just being quiet. Sometimes just a silent drive. Sometimes just quietly observing. I’m learning that there is truly strength in silence. Life moves at such a pace. How can we hear that still, small voice with all the chatter going on around us? I’ve spent the last few months trying to get a hold on my physical and spiritual health. I’m thinking that calorie restriction, solitude and restoration of some relationships, and letting go of others, are the order of the new year. ~ Also, I want to grow as an artist. To develop my skill, perhaps test the waters and begin a marketing adventure to see if it will remain a hobby or become a business of sorts. Do I want a business? Hmmm. I suppose “fame” is what everyone wants to some extent. To be known for their craft or talent or their particular contribution to this life or simply their contribution to their circle or friends. I don’t want to lose the relaxing aspect of my painting by making it demanding. ~ I’d also like to research the scriptures I was raised on. There are a lot of questions in my mind that need to be quieted. I suppose these questions have risen from relationships with people of different faiths and we all seem to sincerely think we are right, the only way. I know the Bible is widely interpreted. I want to take the scriptures and allow the Holy Spirit to speak to my heart. ~ I want there to be no doubt in the hearts of my family and friends that I love them. I abhor conflict, mood-swings, stress that causes you to fly-off the handle - the effect of which is usually someone‘s heart closes to your message. I want to be an instrument of peace and restoration. My wish is that others can forgive any part I played in the past that contributed to their current sadness. I use the word current because that’s what it is if the memory still haunts you. It may have happened back then but if it still pricks your heart and mind, it’s current. Perhaps I got caught up in the moment and encouraged you or discouraged you and should have simply been observant and prayerful. ~ I lost a piece of myself this past year, yet I am realizing her presence daily. ~ If it makes any sense, I have spent this year and will for years to come piecing together the pieces of myself, like a jigsaw puzzle. My desire for myself is to walk through the second half of life a whole person, a woman with no doubts. Breathing deeper. Thinking clearer. More effective. More creative. Silently observant. Peaceful. Healthy. Joyful. Aware.