Friday, February 15, 2019

Home Again!

After six great nights in Las Vegas with my husband Terry,
brother Roy, and sister-in-law Sue, 
I crawled into our home and into my bed.
Many hours of sleep later, I feel human again.

I can't party quite as hardy as I used to,
but boy did we have fun!

Clowning Around with $1,000,000
Roy, Me (Louise), Terry, and Sue
Binion's Gambling Hall
Fremont Street, Las Vegas
February 6, 2019

I flew out of Denver in a snowstorm on IWSG Day
and quickly gave up on any idea of making the rounds to fellow members.
I'll be replying to comments and returning visits starting tomorrow.

A Southwest Airlines Jet
Heads for a Gate 
Denver, Colorado, USA
February 6, 2019
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved

Home is looking good, and I'll be here for a little while!
I can't wait to catch up with everyone.

Happy Valentine's Day! 

A Visual Delight
Jean Philippe Patisserie
Las Vegas, Nevada, USA
February 7, 2019
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

IWSG: Wednesday, February 6, 2019 ~ Other Creative Outlets

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:
Raimey Gallant,  Natalie Aguirre,  CV Grehan and Michelle Wallace.  

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 poses a question
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:

Besides writing what other creative outlets do you have?

Thanks goodness this month's IWSG question is straightforward,
because I am preoccupied with trying to pack
for a six night trip to Las Vegas, and I am most unhappy.

I've mentioned previously that my husband Terry is a budget traveler.
That's why I often flying on IWSG Day,
because the cheapest tickets are available on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.

But really, Terry has gone too far this time!
We're flying on Spirit Airlines, and I get to take a daypack
Not even a daypack and a purse ~ just a daypack ~ period.
I'm going to look like the Michelin Tyre Man heading down the jetway
because I'll be so layered up with clothes. 

He's happily sitting on the couch by the fire playing Words with Friends,
while I'm sitting here contemplating how I'm going to cram
everything I need into a daypack, including my computer and a power strip.
That is when I'm not contemplating strangling him and his budget tickets.

Optimism in Action 
Aurora, Colorado, USA
February 5, 2019
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved

It's been thirty-seven years since we met at a bus stop,
and he still doesn't grasp that I can't just toss
an extra pair of panties and a toothbrush into a briefcase
and jet off for six nights of celebrating in Vegas (or anywhere else) ... .

That was the beginning of my post which I started yesterday.
I planned to finish it today by highlighting my creative packing skills.

In the name of marital harmony,
I was going along with the cheap ticket
and tackled the Project Daypack bright and early.

Project Daypack 
Aurora, Colorado, USA
February 5, 2019
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved

And due to those creative packing skills,
I got everything inside that daypack,
right down to my father-in-law's St. Christopher's Medal
which he always carried in his wallet.
He died several years before I met Terry,
and I carry it with me always to feel a connection with him.
An odd choice for an agnostic Northern Baptist,
but it makes me happy.

And now to share my creative packing secrets!


This little fantasy did not end as I had hoped.
In fact, you might guess better than I did about how my evening would go.

After a long day of other responsibilities,
I was finally stuffing the daypack on top of the stove,
so I could watch the President's State of the Union Address
on my kitchen television.  Things were not going well.

The Ever-Patient Terry came by, hefted the daypack, and said,
"This is going to be too heavy, honey.
Let me take your computer and put it in my briefcase."

He wrestled the computer out and an assortment of belongings followed,
bursting out of the straightjacket confines of the daypack
and spilling off the stove onto the floor.

I lost it.
"There's no room for my books,
the ones I'm giving my brother and Sue.
I can't even take one for me.
I can't take the things I need.
I can't just throw an extra pair of panties and a toothbrush into a briefcase 
and fly off to Vegas for six nights!"

I burst into tears and started yanking everything else out,
tossing things on the stove and counter.
The President disappeared behind a heap of clothes and toiletries.

Most unsettling to Terry, I stomped over to the pantry
and grabbed a bottle of coconut rum,
stomped to the fridge and grabbed a half gallon of orange juice,
poured myself a good one, and took a big swig.
It was not my finest hour.
I had come undone.

As I sobbed, stomped, strew, and swigged, 
Terry contacted Spirit and paid for a carry-on bag,
an extra fee almost the cost of my ticket to Vegas.
Then he grabbed me and gave me a big hug, a tricky undertaking,
because I most definitely did not want to hug him.
"I get it," he said.  "I finally get it."

Such is life thirty-seven years into a relationship.
Shortly we were laughing and sharing some chocolate.

My carry-on bag is packed,
and he's taking the daypack instead of his briefcase.
I missed most of the President's speech,
but I can catch the highlights tomorrow morning.

Oh yes ~ other creative outlets.
I play with photography.

I'd share some favorites, but I'll have to save them for another day.
27,337 steps, a real estate appraisal, many errands, a meltdown, 
and a way-too-big coconut rum and orange, packing and repacking
have left me done in.

Happy writing in February.

Female Red-Winged Black Bird
Along Piney Creek 
Aurora, Colorado, USA
November 22, 2018
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved

Friday, February 1, 2019

Making a Connection

Florence, the capital of Italy's Tuscany region, is famous
for its art, architecture, culture, galleries, museums, and monuments.

UNESCO declared its Historic Center a World Heritage Site in 1982,
and the city is visited by millions of art and history loving visitors each year.

I was one of those millions in September, 2018,
roaming for days gobstruck at its wonders. 
At times the confusion of Florence's crowds, vendors, streets, plazas,
spires, towers, and cupolas left me footsore and weary,
and the roll call of its famous residents left me overwhelmed:
Galileo, Brunelleschi, Donatello, da Vinci, Dante, Michelangelo,
Giotto, Machiavelli, the Medici Family.

Looking Out Over Wonderful Confusion 
Florence's Historical Center from Giotto's Bell Tower
September 18, 2018
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved

Then, out of nowhere, an unexpected sight could collapse it all
into a small, personal moment that reminded me
of the meaning and wonder in ordinary lives.

Making a Connection
Piazza del Duomo
Florence, Italy
September 18, 2018
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved

Till next time ~
Fundy Blue

At the top of Giotto's Bell Tower
Florence, Italy
September 18, 2018
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved

Personal Note:
I will be without my computer and unable to post next Friday.
I will post on Wednesday for the IWSG, but I not be able to visit my blogging buddies.

For Map Lovers Like Me:
Location of Italy

Location of Venice