corn dolly

corn dolly
original art work circa 2008

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Happy Holidays

The holidays are upon me.  l ignored, l believe since Halloween the first sighting of Christmas decorations.  Back then l was just to busy wrapping up my wonderful visit for the month to Arizona.  November was one of the busiest months,  a very special Thanksgiving with family,  two days later an early Christmas celebration due to my son-in-laws deployment, getting settled in a new place, meeting strangers that a month later really turned out to be some new friends.  And now l find myself in December, my third month of traveling and another location.  l realize the more l visit Southern California, the more l enjoy discovering the hidden gems of where l am at.  l believe you just cannot have the quality of finding those hidden gems if you only do short visits and since l have visited this area over the last ten years, l still love the ol gypsy spirit of adventure that sometime surprises me and are priceless.

Take today, l drove two grandchildren to their school, ran a few errands, crossed the Coronado Bridge to my favorite coffee distributor.  l was greeted by one of the Ryan Brothers, l explained  to Tom that for the last four years l have always managed to get to their store to purchase their special  holiday Christmas coffee blend......and then he took the time to blend personally several more flavored coffees for me before l left with my coffee beans and two egg-nog lattes.......from  Ryan Brothers my daughter started driving and talking about a very, very special Mexican restaurant in Barrio Logan......l was excited to sample the food.......She drove us several blocks from Ryans (past mural artist on scaffolds  painting underneath the Coroando Bridge, where the murals are changing the look for the neighborhood from just huge cement structures providing the foundation for the Coronado Bridge) and parked the car in a strange neighborhood.  All around me l saw homeless men, (l have to admit l assumed they were homeless) and then she announced, " we are here"......good sport that l am, l decided to join her  and we started to walk toward the group of men.  l saw a half open door  in a no nonsense industrial type building with big tables, benches and more men standing in a line, but  my assumption about homeless men began because one man was sitting on the sidewalk......My daughter said, "this is it". l asked if she was joking?  She assured me she was not.....Honestly l thought we were at a Mission for the homeless and all the men were lined up for lunch.   Turns out the savvy, smart ones in construction and the Navy yards come early to beat the crowds........and the was the best, the best, the best.  There is absolutely no way l would ever have found my way to the restaurant, on the other hand, when all my friends come to visit me in this area, l am taking them for coffee at Ryan Brothers and lunch at the "Mission".

All of the communities around San Diego are celebrating the holiday season......Christmas parades, Christmas caroling, greetings of Merry Christmas, houses covered in lights, the communities, the city looks lovely.  One of my favorite for decorations is Balboa Park.......and later this week will enjoy a live ballet performance of the Nutcracker.  lt is cold at night, lovely during the day.  l hope to get over to Julian, a bit more inland and see their decorations  if and that is a big if........l have time..........the holidays are truly upon me and l am enjoying the gypsy spirit it brings.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Football, rainy weather and early sunsets

More adventures as this gypsy moves from the warmth of Arizona to the  most Southern city in California.  Today was warm, sunny in contrast to yesterday when it rained  most of the day. Driving west over the Coronado bridge,  the Pacific ocean  in front of you, San Diego waterfront to the right, and the Strand to the left all the way to Imperial Beach is why l have spent most of my life close to the coast of California. These breath taking views with the sun sparkling on the water just are not that rare, they happen all the time. 

l have become a football fan, college football on Saturdays, the pros on Sundays.  lt's  learning a new language, all the various teams, the players, the leagues,  who's who in for the sport, it was never my intention to become a football fan, but several years ago circumstances created the time for me to spend some mindless time and football became the pacifier............l even have a few favorites now that l sorta follow.

The time change, cuts  my lifestyle short.  Lately  as early as four-thirty in the afternoon the light is changing and by five-thirty  l  have missed the sunset.  By seven-thirty l start getting lazy and want to curl up with a good book.............but since l am powerless over time change and an adaptable gypsy, the solution is seeing the sunrise and this morning it was spectacular.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

On The Road

This will be my second attempt to write about leaving the Coast of California and driving to Arizona.  Life in Arizona has given the word appreciation a new meaning for me.  l have never been fond on the desert, respectful yes, but fond never.  l suppose one could say that with age comes a bit more wisdom or willingness to open ;your mind to what essentially has been closed about living in the desert.

l arrived here for a months stay and as l am fast approaching the end of the month l am finding myself very grateful for my time here.  The home where l am at has a beautifully landscaped desert first l thought it was rather bare and ugly.......but after a few mornings of watching the birds gather, the sunrise, coffee on the patio without a blanket.......l began to enjoy the beauty of what was before me.  Each plant is unique and surprising, some look almost dead, but can surprise you and flower......others look fragile or thorny but at second glance have a unique grace about  them....

Payson, Prescott, are in the mountains and completely different than the flatland around where l am at.  l am closer to Arizona State.  The town of Tempe is full of bikes and skateboards that the students use for getting around.  l rode the light rail and found it so easy to use when my amiga Sheila visited and we toured the Heard Museum.

Another week here and l will be driving around just like the locals......

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Getting down to business

O'K.....all right...........l have been on the Central Coast here in California and somehow after all the excitement and wonderful traveling in Mexico with friends, l thought this gypsy would slow down a bit.  The truth is when you have been out of the country half a year or more, you tend to want to see all the old amigos, want the new amigos to join you and the rest has been just a fabulous summer. l have to admit l love people and dear amigos honestly just become more dear to me.

After settling back into my little casita l started the summer with an amigo that convinced me we should be in Lake Tahoe to see the fireworks over the 4th of July.  Pretty  dramatic views of mountain ridges in the distance still snow capped......the casinos more than kept me entertained at night.  Everywhere we drove the views were magnificent, ahh summertime in Tahoe.......such magic.

Esalan on a sunny day and world music, beautiful people, organic food............aaahhhhhhhhh, but another highlight for the summer has been driving to and from San Francisco, staying with Utley, visiting museums, Picasso at the De Young, Stein Collection at MOMA,  excellent food, shopping in the Haight, refamiliarizing myself with the city just reminds me  how  stimulating San Francisco truly is.....Each neighborhood l visited  had eye catching  creative windows,  (like little red riding hood in the Haight) boutiques, wonderful ethnic restaurants..........this is the type of city one could kiss the ground with joy at just being wrapped in fog or being at one of the city's peaks with views that leave you breathless and oh the dim sum............yummy, yummy...........

Another adventure of a very different sort was a gift, from another dear amigo...........l was a guest of Brother Angelo at the Mission in Santa Barbara.........after all the tourist left for the day and there were hoards of them brought by buses............the grounds surrounding the mission quiet down, a big full moon lit the gardens casting shadows  surrounding  small cell size rooms.   One would never guess, ever how peaceful, quiet and spiritual the entire Mission can be..........and it was a  gift in more ways than a gypsy can write clearly about...........

Just to make sure l didn't get to emeshed with  California, (l crossed the state on the coast at least four or five times)  l packed my bags and headed to the badlands to visit some amigos who live in New Mexico, Santa Fe to be exact......Oh those clouds, those known for the best chili in the U.S.  was being roasted all over the city.......Missed all the thousands who come to the area, as Indian Week was over, but l was able to see my amigos jewelry work at Packard's on the square........l had to visit Chimayo and found it had changed buildings,  a bigger finished outside chapel.  Driving the high road to Toas, more homes but still very rural and historically still the center of ancient Hispanic traditional art............

Now as much of a gypsy as l am, l managed to have wonderful friends visit this summer, Fred from Arizona, Janet from Oregon, Utley from San Francisco, Joan, Charlie from La Ganitas, Jim, Dana and Kitty from Truckee...........running around with my local amigos, Sheila, Dena, Tasha, Laura, Julia, Fran,Charlotte, Dorothy, Doug, John, Frank .

Next, l leave this part of the coast, the Monterey Peninsula in another week, heading the migration with other amigos South for the winter........l will spend time in San Diego, onto Arizona  and eventually back in Mexico...........this gypsy is all ready planning a big trip once l get there...............

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

How the time flies

How the times flies, really the warm sunny days of July are sometimes only something l know listening to the weather channel on the news report.    Where l live, on the coast of California, more times the reality is that l begin my morning greeting the fog.  However, having written that and sounding a bit like a whiny feeling a bit sorry for myself, the misty spiritual covering of the fog layer is in its own familiar way comforting.  Today l am up early and the sun is all ready out, no fog here this morning.  Matches my mood...........My friend arrives today  by train and will begin a visit to this area.  l am looking forward to time with her since the last time a few years ago when l visited her my then life was so different. 

l recently traveled to the Sierras, the area known as the North Shore of Lake Tahoe.  l was in a very warm, cozy cabin with a deck and view of the lake.  The lake was about a hundred feet from the deck.  The very top of the mountains are still snow covered, the blues, purple, green, colors of the mountains, the ripples and riot of summer shades reflected in  color of the lake were what l have re discovered and felt blessed each moring l sat with nature.  l am so appreciating the light, reflection, shadows, and yes...............beautiful colors............Reminds me constantly of the trip my dear amigo and l took last year visiting Monet's garden and home in Giverney.

l painted while in Tahoe for several days, brought home what l had painted and realized sadly that my attempts at capturing what l was seeing may take the rest of my life to develop. When l  write of how the time flies, gypsy woman that l am, adventure for me is always just one step ahead. This summer has all ready re-nourished and filled me with joy.  l have to stop writing because it is time for me to leave to drive and meet the train my friend arrives on.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Gorgeous day in the neighborhood

What is it about nature that brings rest to your soul?  A few weeks ago l was shocked  by the cycle of the worms eating the oak leaves, leaving them bare and gray.......Today those oak leaf eatin worms have completed their cycle and are beauriful white moths floating through the air.  As for the trees, they to have recoverd and are once again green, lush and beautiful.......ah.......California oaks.........

Other  Creatures in nature that speak to my soul are the snake. l love the  cycle of knowing they can shed their skin.  Reminds me of how many times l have tried or needed to recreate myself.  Other lessons l have learned and respect for who they are is the sea horse.  Such little creatures surviving in the big ocean of water and reminding me of the depth we all must face internally .

The birds are everywhere, but l must wait till early evening before the red tail hawks fly over or perch in the top of the trees that l can  watch from the deck.  ln the meantime the many, many different sounds l am listening to as l write  are the different musical sounds of the birds that are now in the trees.  All this is such a gift and all l have had to do is open my windows to see, enjoy, listen, hear nature very finely tuned...........

Sunday, June 19, 2011


Tonight as l sit here thinking about living in two countries l am realizing it takes just a bit of adjusting when you are in one or the other.  Where does one begin?  Maybe it is with the food,  or the money, or  the language,  or the  clothes which brings me to the weather.  l seem to be very attached to warmer weather.  l feel healthier, lighter, maybe even a bit happier.

The other adjustment is leaving friends and  renewing relationships  with the friends in either country you left  a half year or more.  Everybody changes, ages, and either country you are in, life goes on whether you are there or not.

The bottom line is at this particular time l would not miss the adventure of living in either country.  Way to many adventures and readjusting  in either country is just one small bump in the life of a gypsy.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Mystery of the Oak Worms

My travels have brought me from one coast to another and l now find myself in  Central California. Driving the road  that hugs the Big Sur Coast from Carmel to Gorda is always a challenge.  The wild profusions of natures colors blend and contrast the sea,  mountains,  clouds,  sky on rare sunny days.
l found myself driving with another amiga on the coast recently soaking this beauty into my bones and being so grateful for  the sun showing me more richly the beauty of the Coast.

Whenever l return to this area l am flooded with years of memories of past parties, old friends, poets, drummers, singers, artists. As people have changed, moved on, died, the coast is still the coast and it is still as breathtaking as ever.

East  of the Big Sur Coast  mountain range is  an area known as Carmel Valley.  From Big Sur people hike into the upper Carmel Valley.  Along the way are small natural hot springs. Driving from the mountains of the upper valley  into the area known as the Carmel Valley village is another area known as Robles Del Rio.  This is where they mystery truly begins.

Crossing the Carmel River bridge, past Rosies Cracker Barrel, l was struck by the bare oak trees all over the mountainside...........Worms, worms, and more worms,   ate all the leaves off the stately old oak trees, leaving them bare. My first reaction was shock.  All the  stately old oaks bare......  Now, l join with others waiting as the worms after making their cocoons, the weather warms up hatch and become moths.  l will have to wait for another year to pass before the leaves will return, but so will the worms as they have for years...................

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Moving on

Back  on the Coast of  Southern California.  lt took several days of deciding what to leave behind, what to bring on this next leg of  moving between two countries.  l finally managed to pack two huge suitcases with what l think is necessary to just survive.  Southern California can be so lovely if the sun is out, otherwise, the foggy, windy weather chills to the nice suntan l came home with. lt is wonderful to have a car to drive around in is onto the 805, off the 54, back onto 5 and move with Lady Gaga  C D music blasting away.  California freeways that move you quickly around the city and valleys are another form of dancing as l weave myself to my destination.  Soon l leave and move north to another part of the coast........only now l take the two huge suitcases, boxes of dishes, linen, more clothes and reunion with other amigos l have not seen for awhile.  l promise myself everytime l move with all these "things", l am going to simplify my life from all these "things" but somehow still have not managed to do that.  Ah well, l am after all moving on........

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Green flash and Special Events

What makes an event special?  Recently l experienced several special events.  Living and splitting my time between the coast of California and the coast of Mexico has this traveling gypsy always open for adventure.
l saw the green flash once at sunset years ago and have chased it over the years in hopes of experiencing it again.  Recently watching the sunset in a small coastal village in Mexico with an amigo oohing and aahing over the changing colors of the sky as the sun slid down closer to the horizon for an instant we both saw the green flash. l was speechless and thrilled at the same time.  The following evening watching the sunset again with the same ol amigo we saw the green flash again. l greedily anticipated seeing the green flash at sunset the following nights but it did not happen.  Surely magic like this had to have some significance and so l anticipated the next adventure.

Several nights later l attended an event at the nearby seaside resort that l fell in love with years ago, but  the story about the seaside resort is another story for another time.  Local restaurants competed in serving an array of specialties for the cast of at least a thousand.  Attending this event were some of the nicest hoochie mommas, divas, queens, kings with a generous heart and special spirit supporting all the non-profits up and down the coast.  The entertainment was truly entertaining and a joy to be experiencing.  The bonus to the event was the warmth of the evening temperature, the backdrop of the full moon and the finale of a firework display off the bay.  All this contributed to why my adventures just never, ever fail to amaze me.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Old Friends, New Friends

Having watched the sunsets now for a number of years l am constantly reminded of change.  l can say with absolute certainty that no two sunsets are the same.  Last night while watching the sunset with two very dear friends, we all commented on how the reflected light almost appeared to be another sunsrise, at the same time we were given the pleasure of seeing magenta, pink, orange, red, purple and the bluest, blue and white of the sky........As the light faded toward darkness another amigo joined us and commented that for a moment he thought he was experiencing the sunrise while watching the sunset...........we all laughed because it was the same subject l and my dear amigos had just discussed a few minutes before he joined us.

Good friends are darn hard to find and hard to keep........l have been so blessed and lucky to have a number of amigos in several countries........and thanks to the internet, we manage to all stay in contact. Today said good bye to another amiga as she heads north and hello to a new aquaintance, and later tonight will meet yet another amiga.  l have to say this gypsy life style brings such pleasure in my life and as long as l am here l will be enjoying the variety of sunsets as well as old and new amigos.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

A walk to the end of the lane overlooking the beach

Today was warm and a big muggy, but after visiting with another neighbor, l settled in to do some serious (or as serious as l can be) painting.  l set up my table, umbrella and chair.  l looked at the magnificent view in front of me............Out in the bay  a small fishing boat was making noise whirling by as the two men in the boat were finding a place to cut the motor and fish.  The palm trees above my head and other trees were filled with birds chirping making their special music.  The sun was all ready bright and sun bathers were busy putting their colorful umbrellas up for a day in the shade.  Swimmers along the beach were playing in the water and off in the distance the surfers waiting for a ride on the waves.

l started painting.........a little girl, front teeth missing,  stopped by to see what l was doing and told me proudly she was six.  She stuck her finger in my paint and then offered to let me draw and she would paint my pictures.  l mumbeled something back to her, l think the heat had all ready hit me.......she left and said she would come back but to think about her offer.  Next came a family of five, and before l knew what was happening...........the mother had a video camera out and somewhere someday in someones living room she can say she met an artist on her vacation.........

l decided l had enough interuptions and that l would avoid all other visitors..........act like l was alone.............and for the next five hours l painted to my hearts content.......l mixed yellow, then reds, a bit of blue and purple.........greens, brown, orange and when l finished (my goal had been three paintings) with one..........l was so pleased.............The serena l had painted and l decided to call it a day and head back up the lane for a very, very, late lunch.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

A day in Mexico

Woke up this morning to the sound of the waves in the bay pounding the sand.  Cool morning and a bit muggy.  Good day to escape a day at the beach and drive the jungle road to run some errands for much needed supplies............This only happens when l cannot possibly eat at another restaurant and l begin to long for salads, my own cooking and maybe a little cooking for amigos.........Tomorrow the plan is to paint, paint, paint.........from early morning to sunset............Oh yes, the sunset..........darn another gorgeous one that l walked down the lane and sat and watched, after just wearing myself out running those errands, back in the car and the haul along the jungle road, to my little sanctuary and that over due salad.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Today, l want to share  a piece of art work that l created and am naming "Hoochie Mama".  What do you think?

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Welcome to the Adventures of Gypsy Vero

Hola Amigos,
 Welcome  It has been a wild Semana Santa, beginning with the celebration starting on the coast of Mexico, warm weather, friendly people, tents, swimmers, surfers arriving by bus, foot, car, airplanes, etc. etc.,so escaping all the excitement of the coast.............amigos traveled to the mountains and high desert of Zacatecas to the celebration of the cultural festival.