Welcome to my World

Welcome to the domain different--to paraphrase from New Mexico's capital city of Santa Fe which bills itself "The City Different." Perhaps this space is not completely unique but my world shapes what I write as well as many other facets of my life. The four Ds figure prominently but there are many other things as well. Here you will learn what makes me tick, what thrills and inspires me, experiences that impact my life and many other antidotes, vignettes and journal notes that set the paradigm for Dierdre O'Dare and her alter ego Gwynn Morgan and the fiction and poetry they write. I sell nothing here--just share with friends and others who may wander in. There will be pictures, poems, observations, rants on occasion and sometimes even jokes. Welcome to our world!

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Happy Easter

Photos don't get the color well
I hope everyone had a lovely peaceful day spent with family and friends.  Mine was very nice, quiet and with a welcome respite from the winds we have had lately although they are set to return tomorrow. By the way, while it was ugly and I did not get out much early this past week, the mesquites came out! It is always so miraculous to me that overnight those bumpy and ragged bare branches suddenly come alive with delicate little leaves in the most beautiful shade of green I can imagine. If spring is a color, that is it! So I know we are very unlikely now to have a frost as they almost never get caught.

Easter is rather early this year. My late husband's birthday was March 30 and I recall several times I was able to make his special birthday cake on Easter and for both celebrations. It would be a two layer white cake with lemon pudding in the filling and lemon frosting on top and sides. I'd scatter coconut on the top and maybe add a few candy eggs for decoration. After over twelve years it is a memory more pleasant than sad now.It was just one of those special little things in a family that you cherish.

As a child and teenager I didn't go to church a lot. My parents were both raised in the Methodist Church but Dad had gotten disillusioned and had no interest in attending anything except a rare wedding or funeral. Mom still held her faith a bit more and did take us some. In Clarkdale, AZ where we were living when I was about 12 to 16, the pastor of the small Methodist Church was a woman named Bertha Mae White. She was a lovely, warm and caring person and always tried to do special things for the youth. I sang in the choir for awhile and attended a few other activities. Then she left and we quit going.

Going through old pictures, I came across one that I am sure was an Easter Sunday. Mom, my brother Charlie and I were dressed up to go to church and Dad took a picture of us, several actually but this is my favorite. Another cherished memory. My dress was aqua polished cotton, and like so many I had was made by my maternal Grandmother. "Mama Witt" was very good at sewing and bless her heart, may she rest in total peace, she made me so many nice clothes. I loved them all.  I think she also made my coat but memory of it more vague. I passed my mother's height at about age eleven. She was about 5'5" and I once claimed 5'8" although I may have been a smidge shorter than that. I'm going to guess Charlie was about six here which would have made me fourteen. That would have been 1957,

No question I inherited my love for sewing from both my grandmothers as Grandma Morgan was also a fine seamstress and used the skill to keep her three daughters in nice clothes. Only one of them took after her in that habit but it certainly came down to me.It's only the last few years that I have quit making many clothes, mostly now doing quilts and such instead of wearables.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

March is nearly gone!

We are in the windy season now and so far it has been up to any dread or expectations--dust, allergies and the worst side of desert spring. I still try to get out and walk with my two red dogs whenever it is not too miserable and we see a lot more flowers each time. The fruit trees are about done and the mesquites are not out yet but it will not be long.

At home my lilacs are blooming. Three of the ones I planted the second spring here have at least a few blooms and even the old one that had not bloomed at all during my tenure has had three sprigs of sweet scented flowers! Next to roses, lilacs are my favorite flowers. I have a few sprigs in a glass in my room so the scent sweetens the air here. And one rose bush is literally covered with buds that will burst open any day. I can already get some scent from them too. The name of that particular rose is Heaven Scent and it lives up to that very well. I will try to get photos of both the rose and the lilacs if the wind dies down tomorrow.

I posted an old photo on Facebook the other day and was surprised when my granddaughter said she loved it and wanted a copy. I was touched and thrilled so went though an old album and pulled out some prints to send to her, her sister and brother. I had no idea that these kids would have any interest in what Grandma did when she was a young girl but maybe my daughter spoke better of me than I guessed and they actually listened!

Here is the photo. It was taken when I was about 15 and riding the horse belonging to an old cowboy friend of ours named Charley Bryant. The horse's name was Stormy and he was a fine cow pony.  My dad and I were on a deer hunting trip up on Mingus Mountain, about  twenty five mile ride from our home down in the Verde Valley. As I told Rhiannon and Caitlynn, at the time I did not appreciate much of my life but those years taught me so much and now are very precious as memories. We may have been poor and had to work hard and my brothers and I were bullied at school for being different than everyone else but it made us stronger and maybe better people. At least I hope so. That awareness is why I am really trying to do my memoirs now to share a very throwback lifestyle that few my age and almost none younger ever experienced!

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Visit my Sled Dog racing blog!

Right now with the big race in progress,  my heart and spirit are out on the Iditarod trail with several favorite mushers. These gals are special heroes to me and I'm soaking up as much of the atmosphere as I can by long distance and nearly glued to my computer. That's set on Iditarod.com where I have an ultimate insider subscription and can watch videos, read reports, see photos and even get a live stream now and then. Everything but the cold, which is not too severe so far this year. It is almost too warm for the sled dogs to do well, really. Thirty two is hot to them!

Once this is all over, I'll be back on the memoir essays and sharing some poems and other things so stick with me. Or you can pop over to gwynnmorgalaska.blogspot.com  if you have any interest or curiosity about the sport of sled dog racing!

Here is a shot of my special favorite, Aliy Zirkle, with her team coming in to a checkpoint today. Yes, I borrowed it; I'm not that close, darn the luck! Aren't those handsome huskies?

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

False Spring returns--or maybe not false?

We had our chill spell and then it slowly warmed back up again. Today it was 81, very nearly summery feeling. My apricot tree has bloomed and is rapidly losing the blossoms. I'm not sure whether we;ll get a good crop or not.as last year was medium. Now the funky old Nectarine tree is starting to flower; its fruit are small, bitter and wrinkly so I leave them mostly for the birds.

If it stays warm for a few more days, I may have some lilacs blooming! Iris and lilies are coming up with lots of green leaves but no bloom stalks yet.  I have to remind myself it is still barely March for it feels like late April. However we're due for another cooler and maybe wetter blip next week. Everyone is a bit disappointed that El Nino has been kind of a bust an we have not had the good rains we need. The snow pack was good but is fading fast with heat and dry winds. The long term forecast still says cool and wetter than normal for March, April and May, especially April. Who knows??

With the Iditarod kicking off this coming weekend, I will be sticking close to my computer and following the action as much as I can from some 1500 miles away.  The annual rock and gem show is going on in Deming, NM from March 10-13 and I may try to run over that way one day, but we'll see. I'm still into playing with rocks and two years ago I did buy some crystals from up in the Huachuca Mountains, the site my late husband and kids and I got some back in the early 1970s and where we were heading when I broke my right ankle in 1999.  I gave the double one to a friend in exchange for a double he had given me but still kept two. I really like crystals, especially those with a history and a story behind them! And after that I may try for a week or so in Arizona again.

We've been talking a little bit about maybe wanting to go back to Arizona as the dust and wind here is really bad for my allergies and eyes and my brother's allergies too. By accident I stumbled on a place near Oracle, which is about 40 miles north of Tucson, around on the back or north side of the Catalinas. It is a manufactured home and a little bigger than our current house but it has a lovely 30x30 steel building that looks almost brand new and that is a huge temptation to a couple of people who always have projects going and need a lot of work space plus storage room for  things we cannot quite part with. However, the idea of moving again--we are still tired from the last time!-- is utterly daunting and this area is still mired in a bit of a recession and real estate is not selling like hotcakes. So for now it is more of a vague dream than a real plan but never say never, I guess. Oh well, what is life without a dream or two?