Using what lies in front of you
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Using what lies in front of you

My parents and their parents were children of the Depression. They saved string, wore hand-me-down clothes, and ate left-overs–ALL of them! A favorite expression was “Making Do.” Native American families before the age of supermarkets and department stores did the same thing. In this picture you’ll see, on the right, a healthy agave cactus. Vivid…

Where everybody knows your name
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Where everybody knows your name

When I was researching the setting for the latest Pegasus Quincy novel, I wanted to include a scene where Silver Delaney and Rory Stevens meet in a bar. But just not any bar. This one had to be the local neighborhood hangout, where after work the lineup at the old wood bar is three deep….

Odd man out
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Odd man out

Two ducks deep in conversation. A third trying to horn in. The odd man out. I was delighted to see Google list so many variants for this term: oddity, nonconformist, maverick, misfit, fish out of water, square peg in a round hole. One by one I tried them on for this little duck. Definitely not…

Equilibrium for a planet of paradox
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Equilibrium for a planet of paradox

I’m a Weather Channel junkie, and this week I’ve been glued to the screen watching rivers overflow, highways flood, people rescued from rooftops and attics. Water at its most destructive. Yet I am reminded that it isn’t always this way. In the Arizona desert, water is precious, every single drop. On the trail around Courthouse…

Meet Silver Delaney, con artist extraordinaire
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Meet Silver Delaney, con artist extraordinaire

Silver Delaney, a major player in the mystery PERIL IN SILVER NIGHTSHADE, is special. Most foster homes are places of love and compassion. Silver had the bad luck to be raised in the other kind.┬áRather than what COULD BE, she lives by the truth of WHAT IS. She has three rules. #1–People don’t always do…

Keep your eye on the sky
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Keep your eye on the sky

I had just come out of the grocery store. My mind was filled with eggs and celery and pork cutlets. Then I turned around and saw this. I was transfixed, and so was everyone else in the parking lot. We stopped and stared. And then turned and nodded to each other, aware that what had…

Everything vanishes if you wait long enough
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Everything vanishes if you wait long enough

One of the most famous rock formations near Sedona, Arizona is called Coffee Pot Rock. It is shaped like one of those old-fashioned campfire coffee pots that the cowboy cooks always used to keep at the ready, of course. What could be more fitting for this Western town. I took this picture from an urban…

Happiness is a pink panther
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Happiness is a pink panther

In our neighborhood a house is being restored. Originally built in the 1900s and not much done to it since then, that meant the roof and windows needed to be replaced. The old siding was removed, and the walls patched where the wood had rotted away. Crews have been working on it continuously for weeks….

Book Review: Old in Art School by Nell Painter

Book Review: Old in Art School by Nell Painter

OLD IN ART SCHOOL by Nell Painter My rating: 5 stars What if you were ready to retire but not yet ready to devote your life to grand kids–or maybe there weren’t any. Your kids didn’t have any, or maybe you’d not had children yourself. What’s next? Become a full-time volunteer or a gardener or…

You can never have too much yarn
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You can never have too much yarn

I’m a crocheter rather than a knitter, but this exuberant bundle caught my eye when I visited a yarn shop in Jerome, Arizona. And then I realized if I bought it, I’d have to keep it that way forever, never made into a project. Because, can you imagining unraveling a piece of work if you…