Thursday, June 25, 2009

Home as Habitat

The article on Eagle's Nest House in Sedona is filed. Captions complete. The invoice sent. The next assignment was pulled from the folder, information to sculpt the next story was formed and is now in the hands of the customer for approval. Before I check to see what is next in the queue , I would like to take you on a special preview tour to show you why you want your very own copy of the 2009 Summer/ Fall edition of one of the most beautiful and inspirational magazines on the market, Western Art and Architecture.

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Be prepared. Gene Sasse's photography will transport you to Sedona. You will be awed at how he translates onto a flat image the brilliance of Design Group Architects, who took the dreams of a specific family and turned them into a home resonating with natural harmony.

Eagles Nest is a modern home. One filled with warmth and personality because of the knowledge and thoughtfulness of architects Mike Bower, Max Licher and designer Jennifer Aderhold.

You will marvel at the trinity of art, architecture and the natural world. Gene's images leap from the page with accuracy that make you "feel" the tactile textures which fill the home.

Marvel at this close up of a featured game cabinet as designed by Jennifer Aderhold and executed by John Arenskov. Study how the grains of the different woods in this carved top opens the imagination to visions of running water.

In this coming edition, you will get a rare glimpse of a serious private art collection, learn the names of artists and artisans. You will smile at the joyful celebration of nature.

Some day, I predict students of architecture will study the work of Design Group Architects with the same reverence reserved for the giants of their field, such as Frank Lloyd Wright.

While you can take a chance at finding the edition at fine booksellers, why not drop by the Western Art and Architecture website

While you are there, subscribe.

Top two images are by Gene Sasse.

Used with Permission

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Father's Day -When He's Gone

I hope you've all had a splendid Father's Day. We started ours about a week ago. No, this is not normal fo us. But some years events unfold that remind us of the frailty of life.

While pondering what to write, I received this note from my husband's dear former secretary and friend to both of us. Lolly Schienle. If you doubt love lasts beyond this life- I dare you to read this, then reconsider.

For those of you who don't know Lolly, Peggy was her Gary's dog.

June 16, 2009

Two years ago today as many of you know - my darling hubby passed away. As I reflect a bit on our life together and a bit on the last two years - I want to say it's been a helluva ride.

I still remember that long, tall, gangly "drink of water" I met as a young teenager. Actually when I graduated from Jr. High School - 7th grade. He was my oh so fun summer romance - in the late 40's that's all they were. We kissed and went to movies and met each other's families and had such fun. That summer ending - and the fact that we went to two different high schools - we became friends. Then Gary joined the service at age 17 and I corresponded with him. He was such a nice person and I even wrote back in those days and we enjoyed each others letters. I promised him a date when he came home on leave a few years after he joined and the rest is history. We eloped/married young and were told it would never work. Isn't it just like me to prove everybody wrong.

Well, the saint and I managed to have three kids, and my darling high school dropout husband managed to get a BSEE degree and graduated from college. We had a great life and both agreed that the best part of being married was our wonderful children. We missed practically nothing of their sports endeavors and/or whatever else they were involved in. We loved each and every child with all our hearts - even though they tested us often.

As the children, grew, married and provided us with six grandchildren our lives were only enhanced by the growth of our family and their families. The seeds of our love. We were proud parents and great grandparents. We loved mightily this wonderful family and hated when they spread their wings and moved away. Not fair.

As Gary and I retired we seemed to have the time of our lives. We traveled, we visited family, we cruised, we vacationed, we flew (argh) but life went on for us and in our case we were ecstatic with our lives. We were doing all we wanted with friends and family and couldn't wait to leap in that motor home and visit everyone. Go to g'kids games, visit in other states, just do our thing. Life was beautiful.

We would occasionally look at one another and ask "how in heck did we get this old?" It was so fun. We loved each other passionately and enjoyed our days and nights together. Often we held hands and just chatted. He told me he loved my feistiness and I loved his gentleness. He could still make the hair stand up on my arms when he stood behind me and kissed my neck. We made fun of each other ailments. As you all may remember Gary shook a "tad" and I use to pick up the newspaper when he ate breakfast and use it as armor from the food flying. We laughed and joked and chatted and loved one another so much. I was blessed for this kind, caring and "gentle giant" in my life.

As these last two years have rolled past and I have missed him each and every single day and wondered how I have made it through the years - I know. I've made it through family and friends, through God and through the blessings in life I've had to dwell on. Never will my life be the same, never will I ever love another person as I loved Gary and, to be quite honest, I would never want to. Not many have the love that he and I shared and my blessings are amazing. Children and grand children and great grand children that I love. I wonder what words of wisdom he would have given us all through our many trials and tribulations over the last two years. I guess we can all wonder forever.

To each child and grand and great grandchild - keep his memory alive. How could we not. He was such a special person in our lives. Oh my Lord, did I talk about Gary and not mention food? What is the matter with me. I figure he's in heaven organizing a huge cookout and party tonight for the family and friends up there with him.....let's see, what's on that menu - butter.....cream cheese.....bagels.....snack for Peggy...... Evan Williams..... wine.....BBQ ribs.....ummmmmm, gotta' have steak.....snack for Peggy......baked potatoes.....forget the vegetables - nobody needs those.......grilled onions and mushrooms.....cheese and crackers.........snack for Peggy......snack for Peggy......snack for Peggy......snack for Peggy......(where are you daddy?....she's starving me.....snack for Peggy......

I miss and love him so much. God bless my family and friends and the love we had for this incredible man in our lives.

Mom, Grandma, Great Grandma, Lolly

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Flag Day

Good Sunday Morning and Greetings on this Blessed Flag Day!

If you love America and Americana you MUST click on this link.

Trisha Bowler forwarded the original Smilebox greeting with me this note, "My friend Jeannie loves to make smile boxes. Check out this one and be sure to watch all the way through. She inserted a pic of her grandson in his Boy Scout uniform, her daughter removing her glasses, me in my r/w/b and herself in the end. Sooo cute!!"

My writer's gene kicked me. The one graced with insatiable curiosity that propels me both to hunt facts to cultivate into stories

First stop: Background- Permission to reprint both story and graphics. Trisha put Jeannie in touch. She was, of course, given time to change any photographs I do not have permission to print. I am not the paparazzi.

Second stop: historical background-
On June 14, 1777, the Continental Congress passed the first Flag Act: "Resolved, That the flag of the United States be made of thirteen stripes, alternate red and white; that the union be thirteen stars, white in a blue field, representing a new Constellation."

The Stars, in the original 'Betsy Ross' flag then lined up in the first official flag. Since then, thirty seven states have joined the Republic, represented in a series of more flags.

Jeannie is none other than Jeannie Gutierrez, previously was with Hallmark Escrow. After 35 years as an Escrow Officer, she is is taking some time to "smell the roses" and lovin' it! She also continues to facilitate document signing/notary public work.

Third Stop. This actual posting. I'm not quite sure how to upload directly from Smilebox onto this blog- but the link appears to work. So rather than waken my husband, who deserves to sleep in for all the hard work he performs at the office and here, I will stick to my technical ability and trust you want to smile enough to open that link up top.

To learn more about our flag and how to purchase any of the series of official flags, this is a GREAT LINK. The flag graphics were picked up there.

Photograph images of flag and the rose "In the Mood" are by Gene Sasse, used with permission. More of his work available

You can set up your own Smilebox account, to send personalized greetings, by logging onto

Thursday, June 11, 2009

L'Auberge de Sedona

What is it like to stay at L' Auberge de Sedona?

Opening the door to the balcony of my room in the lodge, fresh air streamed in. Ripe cherries begged me to pick them off the tree where they glistened in the early sunlight. Yummy.

L'Auberge is almost hidden from the main tourist drag in Sedona. Please share my morning walk.
Steaming coffee, a crisp apple and fresh scones in hand, I walked down to the lowest elevation of the property...Past the little waterfall by the cabins...

Past the Pomegranate tree, pregnant with fruit...

Around the corner with simple Shasta daisies...

Stopping to smell the roses...

To the pathway along Oak Creek where the ducks float in...

For a "Meet and Greet", Sedona Style.

L'Auberge is a hotel I have dreamed about. But I never thought I could afford. However, they are in the midst of a renovation-
The concern of the hotel for guests' during this time created an opportunity for my travel agent to upgrade my accommodations- to expand the range of experience- to elevate the creative gene that makes life such a wonder. Really- my
husband's workshop creates more of a fuss and distraction than the work crews did during my stay.
Ahh, the writer's life. It is more than deadlines and rejections. It is, at is core, sharing.

If I spent all day on the Internet, I might get as good a "deal"- but why? Patty Gee of Progressive Travel knows my taste. She knows my budget constraints. When plan "A" falls through- she is calmly ready to arrange a backup plan. The hotels and rates she has arranged- Patty is a goddess and a genius.
Patty Gee can be found at Progressive Travel 1 Industry Hills Pkwy, City Of Industry, CA 91744. 626-839-8009.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Assignment Sedona

"No house should ever be on a hill or on anything. It should be of the hill. Belonging to it. Hill and house should live together each the happier for the other.”
Frank Lloyd Wright

This home exudes the aura of having sprung from the loins of Sedona.Western Art and Architecture assigned me to pen the words for a feature in their next edition. They will accompany images by Gene Sasse of this creation by Design Group Architects of Sedona, Arizona.

Owned by local philanthropists who cherish their privacy, the owner-family will remain anonymous. This dwelling is a fascinating study of how art, architecture and the natural landscape can exist in seamless harmony.

The owners respect for the work of Design Group Architects, and a desire to share the artistic ethos their home exemplifies, must be why they generously granted Western Art and Architecture permission to share how joyful ecologically responsible living can be.

In 1945, a frontier town was built for the filming company at the base of Eagle Rock (aka Coffee Pot Rock) for the John Wayne classic, "Angel and the Badman". The geologic monolith casts a spell of wonder everywhere it is seen in Sedona. I was in a state of awe the entire time the architects, Mike Bower and Max Licher, and designer, Jennifer Aderhold, graciously explained details, such as how they used the painterly light of this specific site in Sedona to add real life to a still building.

The drive back to Diamond Bar, I thought of how fortunate I was to have just a glimpse of what it must feel like living with the scenery of the "ultimate master artist" as a mural. The good fortune to have the schedule flexible enough to experience, ponder and now write- I am truly blessed.

There is lots to share about this adventure. But that will have to wait until the story which is entrusted me is painted in words suitable for framing.

Until then- I wish you all God Speed

Image by Gene Sasse used with permission

Western Art and Architecture

Design Group Architects