Etchings in the Sand…

Thoughts and Photos from the Desert…

Monthly Archives: April 2011

My Lowbrow Ways…

Probably shouldn’t admit it, but my tastes sometimes run to early American redneck.

For instance, everybody seems quite taken with the big wedding over in England. This prince is marrying a girl who I must admit is pretty darned nice looking. Can’t quite think of either name but they are related to the Queen. Or the guy is. But she is really nice looking. I guess I already said that.

Anyway, I’ve been following the NFL draft. The second round is starting in an hour and 15 minutes. It’s on ESPN. No one seems to be interested in that. I can’t understand you people.

Old Fashioned Sights…

Something in us loves the unexpected sight of something out of the past. Especially when that something has a musky, familier smell, and a link to vaguely remembered things seen decades ago – related perhaps to folks we once knew and lost along the way.

Stacks of hay generally touch me in this way, though I just don’t see them much anymore.

Two Fine Dogs…

Except for the years of student living, I’ve never been without a dog. There’s something about a good dog friend that makes the world go round.

These days, living as we do in a life-care community, completely independent in lifestyle, we have two. They are both Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, the gentlest, most loving of the breeds I know. They are Oliver, an aging guy of 11…

and Amy a winsome, lively young girl of 4…

When they are off, being groomed or something, the house seems strangely vacant. When they are around, and they almost always are, life is richer and happiness is ever in full supply.

Yellow Bells…

The desert is deceptive. The amazing number and quality of flowers that grow profusely here is astonishing. Here is a photo of the Yellow Bells that grow in our back yard. I can gaze at them thoughtfully for lengthy moments. Oddly, it never occurred to me to pull out my IPhone, shoot and edit a few renditions of their beauty until this morning.

Ukulele – A Shot in the Dark…

I’m committed to the idea that old folks need to constantly stretch themselves, grow, expand their interests. While reflecting on this recently, I thought about learning to play a musical instrument. I never had. When in high school I was something of a jazz singer.

But that never amounted to much. I didn’t and don’t read music.

It occurred to me that a guitar might be a good place to start. After fishing around for encouragement, I thought this was, maybe, a blind alley. But was there something along that line simpler? A ukulele maybe? Found one on EBay and ordered it. It arrived the other day. Very pretty and after I finished photographing it and making it a bit more romantic with some apps, had to admit that it was something! I was really sailing along.

After that, I was left face to face with the little thing. I did the traditional “my dog has fleas” routine. All I had to do now was learn a few chords and strum it a bit. Maybe plan a concert of Mozart next week or so. Hire a manager. Who knows? Well, chords don’t come easily to me. Messing with your fingers – or worse – remembering WHERE you put your fingers.

I don’t know. Maybe I should stick to jazz singing. Only problem there is remembering the lyrics, which I can no longer do with any consistency.

I’ll think some more on this, but think a nice nap is in order.

Lamb for the Holidays…

As far back as I can remember, the Bourlands have made lamb a special treat at Eastertime. Long ago, and later, when our children were on board, Leg of Lamb was the special delight. On occasion, when in a weird mood, I would toss a few Lamb Shanks in the slow cooker and we would enjoy them. Yum!

Lately, with just the two of us, we have chosen especially delicious Lamb Patties, imported fresh by Butcher Bobs from Iowa. They are wrapped in bacon and I add some Santa Maria Seasoning and grill them in my little “Big Green Egg” in the back yard. A dab of mint jelly makes everything just right.

Here’s a little capture that catches the spirit of the whole thing.