Saturday, June 15, 2019

!@#$%^&*


I'm experiencing technological difficulties as I travel.
I couldn't get a good internet connection in downtown Vegas.


Replacing the Iconic Fremont Street Canopy
Las Vegas, Nevada, USA
June 12, 2019
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved


I thought I'd have better luck in Laughlin on the Colorado River.
No such luck!


Busy Weekend On the Colorado
Laughlin, Nevada, USA (this side)
Bullhead City, Arizona (other side)
June 15, 2019
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved




I'll be home shortly and will catch up with everyone then!



Wednesday, June 5, 2019

IWSG: Wednesday, June 5, 2019 ~ Searching for Meaning







It's the first Wednesday of the month,
the day that members of the
Insecure Writer's Support Group
share their writing struggles
and writing successes
and offer their encouragement
and support to fellow writers.






To visit the IWSG website, click here.

To become a member of the IWSG, click here.

Our wonderful co-hosts who are volunteering today,
along with IWSG founder Alex Cavanaugh are:
Diane Burton,  Kim Lajevardi, Sylvia Ney, Sarah Foster, Jennifer Hawes, and Madeline Mora-Summonte

I hope you have a chance to visit today's hosts and thank them for co-hosting.
I'm sure they would appreciate a visit and an encouraging comment.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Every month the IWSG that members can answer with advice, insight,
a personal experience, or a story in their IWSG posts.

Or, the question can inspire members
if they aren't sure what to write about on IWSG Day.

Remember the question is optional.
This month's featured question is:

Of all the genres you read and write, which is your favorite to write in and why?

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Happy IWSG Day, Everyone!

I hope May has been a good month for each of you!
We took a break from house hunting late in the month,
after a stressful couple of months of searching and bidding.
The right house will turn up when it turns up.
Meanwhile I am loving early summer  in Colorado.

Writing is going much better, 
because in the last couple of weeks I have been able to focus.
It is such a relief!

I finally made it to the end of The Mueller Report.
It was a slog, because I am not used to reading dense legal reports.
The documentation of Russian interference in the 2016 election
was really informative,
and I found the Russian inventiveness and reach chilling.
As for the rest of the book, this is not the time or place to delve into it.

I am thrilled to be on to reading more typical fare for me,
and I started Damien Larkin's Big Red last night.
Science fiction is much more my style, 
and I always enjoy stories set on the Red Planet.
The book has gotten off to an intriguing beginning.


I'm really looking forward to seeing how fellow IWSG members answer
this month's question about which writing genre is their favorite to write in and why.

I've been tearing my hair out trying to answer this question,
and I can't wait to see the brilliant, insightful, succinct answers
that I'm sure everyone else will have.

I primarily write narrative nonfiction/personal narrative,
with my memoir, blog, journal, and letters demanding most of my writing time.
This has been my consistent choice throughout my life.

Why? 
Since I spent twenty-five years in the company of second and third graders,
I'll borrow the answer a third grader used once
when I asked her to explain how she solved a challenging math problem:
"My brain did it."

How do you explain the path your creativity takes?
I'll go with the third grader! ~ It's what my brain does!

Seriously, I think the answer lies in C. G. Jung's theory of psychological types.

I gained a sudden and illuminating answer as to who I am and why decades ago.  
Shortly after we were married, my husband and I participated
in a well-attended workshop given by the priest at our Episcopal church.

Father Rick passed each of us a sharp pencil
and a Myers-Briggs Type Indicator personality inventory;
and our sanctuary was soon filled with chatter, laughter, and excitement as we worked,
our assessments supported on hymn books, pew seats, the floor,
whatever flat surface we could find.
And then, all of a sudden I found me, so to speak.


Our Wedding 
St. Matthew's Episcopal Church
Parker, Colorado
September 1, 1984
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved


After thirty plus years of wondering why I always felt like
a square peg being rammed into a round hole,
I had an answer that made sense:  I am an INFJ, a rare critter.

This is one of sixteen personality types defined by Isabel and Katherine Briggs, 
and based on Jung's theory of psychological types.
It's their effort to make his theory understandable and useful in people's lives.
myersbriggs.org  

Without getting lost in the weeds of the interactions of human preferences
among the four dichotomies in Jung's theory,
I'll just say that INFJ stands for Introversion, Intuition, Feeling, and Judging.

That means that I am energized by spending time alone
that I focus on ideas and concepts rather than facts and details,
that I make decisions based on feelings and values rather than logic and consistency,
and that I like having a plan and being organized
rather than keeping my options open and being spontaneous.
myersbriggs.org


INFJs
MBTI® Type Head




INFJs Distressed 
MBTI® Type Head



In short, I am drawn to writing narrative nonfiction/personal narrative
because I am constantly seeking meaning in my life
and looking for patterns and connections in my life and the world around me.

It's not enough for me to know a rock is a rock;
I want to understand why it is what it is.

It's not enough for me to know I had a father;
I want to understand why he was who he was
and how he impacted the person I am.


Tying me on with a harness and rope
during much of my early childhood
did not deter this serious seeker.
Smith's Cove, Nova Scotia, Canada
Summer 1952
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved




I'm going to stop now.
I feel like I'm getting lost in the weeds after all.

That's why I love that third grader's answer.
She solved that math problem because her brain did it.
I write what I write because my brain does it!





Happy Writing in June!
I'm looking forward to visiting around!


Me and My Beloved Scottie MacBeath
Westport, White Bay, Newfoundland 
March 26, 2019
Photo by Terry Barbour
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved











Friday, May 31, 2019

Buyer Beware!


The allure of a window display in a gelateria is hard to resist
when you're hot and tired from sightseeing in beautiful Florence, Italy.
Temptation is everywhere, because Florence is loaded with gelaterie.
That's not surprising, since the first "modern" gelato was created
in Renaissance Florence by alchemist Cosimo Ruggieri for the Medici family.
italymagazine.com

Gelato
Florence, Italy
September 17, 2018
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved



One look at a luscious array, and my mind is anticipating 
the silky mouthfeel of gelato and its intense burst of flavor.
Chocolate hazelnut cream?  Pineapple?  Coffee?  Mint?
What to pick?  What to pick?

Terry and I succumbed to the temptation of gelato at least once a day in Florence,
but our most memorable indulgence was not what we expected.

We had just walked across one of the most famous bridges in the world,
the Ponte Vecchio which spans the Arno River at its narrowest point in Florence.

"Ponte Vecchio" means "Old Bridge," and old it is. 
A bridge has likely stood at or near this spot since the second century B.C.
when the Romans built the Via Cassia to connect Florence and Rome,
and the bridge is documented as far back as 996 A.D. 
lifeinitaly.com  wikipedia


Ponte Vecchio
Spanning the Arno River
Florence, Italy
September 17, 2018
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved



The day we visited this Florentine icon, we had looked forward to
browsing through its famous jewelry, art, and antique shops 
and gazing at the Arno from scenic overlooks on each side of the bridge.

Shops have lined the bridge since the 13th century,
when butchers and fishmongers rented the first shops from the city.
The stench of these wares prompted Ferdinand I to decree in 1593
that only goldsmiths and jewelers could have shops on the Ponte Vecchio,
and so it has been since.

But on that hot, humid September day that we visited it,
the bridge was teeming with people
roaming back and forth and jockeying for the best selfie spots.
Forget viewing the Arno, we couldn't get close to an overlook,
and I actually gave up on taking photos and put my camera away. 


Crossing the Ponte Vecchio
Florence, Italy
September 17, 2018
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved


As I jostled my way through the mobs of people,
I completely forgot to look up at the Vasari Corridor,
a long passageway that runs above the shops on the Ponte Vecchio
and connects the Pitti Palace to the Uffizi Gallery.

Duke Cosimo I de' Medici had it constructed in 1565, so that he could move freely
between his residence in the Pitti Palace and the government palace, Palazzo Vecchio.


Palazzo Vecchio
Florence, Italy
September 17, 2018
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved


By the time we neared the left bank of the Arno and its Oltrarno district,
I was overheated and cranky.  Then we spotted a gelateria!

We should have known better, but all we could think of was getting off our feet
and creamy, cool, rejuvenating gelato sliding down our throats. 

"Dark chocolate and something with carmel," I said to Terry
as I chugged from a water bottle.


Terry (Right) Ponders
Florence, Italy
September 17, 2018
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved




Gelato
Florence, Italy
September 17, 2018
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved




And More Gelato
Florence, Italy
September 17, 2018
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved



Terry returned carrying two small cups of gelato and sank down on a seat.
Looking gobsmacked, he handed me the receipt.


The Receipt
Florence, Italy
September 17, 2018
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved



"Twenty euros?" I gasped.

"Twenty euros," he answered.  
"There were no prices posted,
and I didn't think of asking before he rang up the order."

He looked at his cone and groaned, 
"And to think we usually share."


My €10 Gelato
Florence, Italy
September 17, 2018
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved




We returned to the Ponte Vecchio again, 
and enjoyed this Old Bridge under less crowded conditions;
but guaranteed, we indulged in gelato elsewhere!


The Ponte Vecchio
from the left side of the Arno
Florence, Italy
September 17, 2018
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved







Till next time ~
Fundy Blue


Sidewalk Cafe
Florence, Italy
September 16,  2018
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved








Note:  €20 = about $23.40 on September 17, 2018


For Map Lovers Like Me:
Location of Italy




Location of Florence





Location of Ponte Vecchio


      Fun with Maps!





Ponte Vecchio
Spanning the Arno River
Florence, Italy
September 17, 2018
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved





Friday, May 24, 2019

Springtime in the Rockies


Tuesday morning we woke to fine snow and fog smothering our neighborhood,
the winding down of a late May snowstorm that surprised us with six inches of snow. 


Fine Snow and Fog
Aurora, Colorado, U.S.A.
May 21,  2019
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved




Wednesday morning we woke to the big meltdown
and the sight of deer foraging on grass pushing up through the snow. 


Foraging Mule Deer
May 22,  2019
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved





By late morning the snow had vanished, 
and by evening it was hard to imagine it had snowed at all.


Tough Baby Leaves, No Longer Cocooned in Snow
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved



Such is springtime in the Rockies!

Prior to the snowstorm, I had spent days wandering in our open space,
finding comfort in the greening of our world.
Here are some of my favorite sights.


A mallard drake swims on "my" middle pond.
Piney Creek Open Space
Aurora, Colorado, U.S.A.
Spring,  2019
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved






Ready for Occupancy
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved






Baby Cottonwood Leaves
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved







Flushing Green
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved






Grackle with Female Catkins
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved






Along Piney Creek
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved






New Leaves, Old Bark
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved







Drake Swimming on "My" Middle Pond
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved








Nature's Garden
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved






Mama Red-winged Blackbird 
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved






Cottonwood Stand
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved






A Male Grackle
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved






Greening Up Along Piney Creek
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved






Rabbitbrush: Dried Blossoms and New Leaves
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved







Mallard Drake
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue

All Rights Reserved







Till next time ~
Fundy Blue


Waiting for the Ferry to Tiverton
Grand Passage, Bay of Fundy, Nova Scotia, Canada
July, 2016
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved








For Map Lovers Like Me:


Location of Aurora, Colorado, USA




"My" Open Space Along Piney Creek
Where I Often Walk
Map Data © 2018 Google United States


Southern Aurora and Northern Parker
Map Data © 2019 Google United States





Adapted from a Sign in the Park
Red-Tailed Hawk Park
Aurora, Colorado, U.S.A.
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved






Tuesday, May 21, 2019

I Kid You Not!


On Monday afternoon big slobby raindrops, on the verge of turning to snow,
splatted my car as I drove home from an appointment.
As I climbed up Inspiration Drive, the rain thickened to snow,
huge fat flakes setting up for a heavy spring snowstorm.


East Rockinghorse Parkway
Near the Douglas and Arapahoe County Lines
May 20, 2019
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved




Give me a break, I silently groaned.  It's May 20th!
But no break was to be had;
by the time I arrived home and hustled into the warmth, the snow was pelting down.


Here It Comes!
Aurora, Colorado, USA
May 20, 2019
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved




By bedtime the wet heavy snow began to cover everything,
silent and surreal on this late May night.  


Winter Blanket on a May Night
Aurora, Colorado, U.S.A.
May 20, 2019
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved




A beautiful sight greeted me, when I opened the shades this morning.


Cocooned in White
May 21, 2019
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved





Burdened I
May 21, 2019
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved





Burdened II
May 21, 2019
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved





Nothing moved outside.  
My Doorstep Bunny had ventured out, looked around, 
and retreated back under the front steps.

Bunny Tracks
May 21, 2019
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved





I retreated quickly too.
This was a great day to be retired and hunkered down by the fire!

Springtime Cottonwood
May 21, 2019
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved






Repetition
May 21, 2019
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved





Our house sits on a ridge and is just shy of 6,000 feet (1829 meters) in elevation;
because of our elevation, we received a good six inches of snow.
So much for my theory that we were safe from snow after Mother's Day!

Curious, I checked the weather records for the Denver area.
This was the latest 3-inch-plus snowfall since May 29, 1975.
Furthermore, this is only the fifth time that three inches of snow or more
has fallen this late in the season since 1882 ~ 137 years!


May 21, 2019
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved





May 21, 2019
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved



As I write this, the trees have dropped their heavy shawls,
and green is poking through the melting snow.

Tomorrow the sun will come out and burn away whatever snow remains.
If we move to the Nevada desert, I shall miss the beauty of snow
and the craziness of springtime in the Rockies.


May 21, 2019
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved





Till next time ~
Fundy Blue


On the Chad and Sisters Two
On the Bay of Fundy
Out of Westport, Brier Island, Nova Scotia, Canada
July, 2018
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved





For Map Lovers Like Me:


Location of Aurora, Colorado, USA




"My" Open Space Along Piney Creek
Where I Often Walk
Map Data © 2018 Google United States




Southern Aurora and Northern Parker
Map Data © 2019 Google United States