Saturday, December 31, 2011
Memories, like a swirl
in a family recipe,
written long ago
traditions on a collision course
with new experiences
like the whirlwind
of a tornado
pulling out the old
blending it with the new
and in the confusion
loud screams and terror
a deafening quiet
wondering what to do next
with changes in the physical
landscape, the economic
condition and fluttering
of renewed hope
next year’s promise
of another beginning
review last year’s resolutions
some hit, some missed
now with greater resolve
I’ll create a new list
to make this year worth living
and to cope with the disappointments
one day at a time
taking risks to discover
my own style
never too late
to learn again
to stretch out
for new horizons
redefining what is possible.
Happy New Year Everyone!
Friday, December 30, 2011
In early spring, when flowers start to bloom
ladies adorn themselves in pastel colors
shedding the dark woolen shades of winter
opting for the cooler fabrics of silk and lace
adorned with pretty dresses and large
colorful hats they emerge from their homes
ready to attract potential companions
in the warm days ahead.
The men are never able to resist their charms
often choosing women who look like their sisters
perpetuating the family name
drawn by the fluttering of the dazzling fans
like butterflies in the ritual dances of spring
tempted and reeled in
by the flicker of color, lace and mystery
quivering in the dance with a woman
holding a fancy fan.
Thursday, December 29, 2011
Tuesday, December 27, 2011
Three male monkeys,
cousins from the same line,
synchronize in time
to communicate beyond language
offering each other
their own special talents
and in the company on one another
are a phenomenon to behold
they jump from one place to the next
swing from branches to vines
scamper across open spaces
creating such a noise
escalating the frenetic energy
creating chaos inside and out
not harming each other
but scampering all about
their laughter infectious
others soon join in the fun
but when the day is done
they have to say so long.
Sunday, December 25, 2011
Wednesday, December 21, 2011
Photo by drice
Romantic novels abound
with tales of love
the pursuit then capture
followed by everlasting happiness
but that is the lie
love is something else entirely
beyond the passion
and the fairytales
that supersedes circumstance
a trust that transcends
the ability to rise to the challenge
and build a life together
beyond economic adversity
and physical infirmity
it includes conversations that are always
interesting even when no one is speaking
a synchronicity that finishes the other’s thought
and takes actions without being asked
conflict can be heated
yet resolved quickly
shared memories and shared
goals, however diverse,
allow each person to grow
through life experiences
when love bridges the gap
Tuesday, December 20, 2011
Picture by b/d rice
Clouds gather along the horizon
billowing and dark
above the mountain peaks
ladened with a cache of rain pellets
ready for release.
Arsenal includes lightning
thunder and hailstones,
strong winds and freezing cold.
The beach is almost deserted
with the onslaught of high tide,
white caps on dark waves of ever increasing
size, surrounded by a surrealistic quiet.
First a few drops then the build up,
rapid like machine gun fire,
with rumblings and flashes overhead
it goes like this for hours.
Afterwards, the house still standing,
and by morning the sky is clear again
the beach littered with debris from the storm
desire, hope and regret.
Sunday, December 18, 2011
After the bloom of spring
and the languishing days of summer
trees change their wardrobe
one more time.
They let each leaf fall
like a stripper on a burlesque
stage until they stand
in the winter sun.
as the temperatures plunge
but by morning
mother nature drapes them
in an elegant gown
of snowflakes and ice
from the night before.
Pictures by b & drice
Saturday, December 17, 2011
Friday, December 16, 2011
Thursday, December 15, 2011
In simpler times cloud formations
were summer entertainment
lying on the hillside in the city park.
Brothers, sisters and neighborhood kids
made out shapes and told stories
entertaining each other for an hour
or more, but times have changed
half a century later
a cloud is a virtual place
to store memory, post music videos
and make political commentaries.
The first hours are free but then
can be accessed with a fee
paid in monthly installments for eternity.
invented by a man who died recently.
Who says you can’t take it with you?
This phenomena is the new normal
like an electric light switch and instant
television. Kids don’t wonder how it all works
they just want it faster and quicker
everything is obsolete before the next generation.
The world changes so rapidly
those summer days of languishing
on the hillside are gone
can’t even see the sky anymore
buried in electronic media accessories
ipod, iphone, ipad
maybe the brain is growing with these changes
intuition accelerating at a similar pace.
Here is a description of a cloud today:
automatic and effortless
seamlessly integrated into your apps,
so you can access your content on all your devices
and it’s free.
Wednesday, December 14, 2011
What is it about virgin snow
unblemished powder hiding all the flaws
of an industrial world
covering lost memories from the day before
vulnerable and inviting
a new beginning?
Unlike the desert sand,
whose barren landscape
lacks the innocence
of the fresh snow.
To leap from the porch
and fall outstretched
like two large scissors
opening and closing to leave
an imprint of a heavenly angel
or to chase the dog to the top
of the hill then roll down
like a giant snowball
with the drops of blood
from a winter nosebleed,
crimson on ice dust,
off the surface making it difficult
to look but impossible to look away.
Tuesday, December 13, 2011
As the story goes
swans are mute their entire life
but before they die a song emerges
to say goodbye.
However quixotic the notion may seem
it is a lie, no such thing
they hiss and grunt like any dying being
unattractive, unromantic, and disgusting
nothing poetic about it.
Doesn’t matter what the truth is
the tender tale perpetuates.
“Leaning her breast against the reedy shore
thus sang her first and last and sang no more.” Gibbson
Coledridge perpetuated the myth when he scribed,
"Swans sing before they die t’were no bad thing."
Tennyson continued with,
“The wild swan’s death-hymn took the soul.”
Truth and fiction mix so often
it becomes real
so until the time of my demise
I will write my swan song so I am ready
when I die.
Sunday, December 11, 2011
Standing near the window
peering down the street
waiting for their car to pull into the driveway
and I don’t have to babysit
Standing by the sink
listening to the slow tick of the clock
waiting for my husband to come home
and I don’t have to be alone
Standing in the doorway
watching my children walk down the street
waiting for them to grow up
and then too soon they are gone
Standing on the highway bridge
feeling the river below my feet
waiting for the current to subside
and when the moment is right, jump in
Saturday, December 10, 2011
He talks about
those around him
people he knew growing up
dreams or specters
they all seem so real
content as they prattle about
gossiping and giving him advice.
He used to be a superman
lately he stumbles with this
ache then that sickness
doesn’t have the strength
to fight. Those he loved
don’t seem to love him anymore
doesn’t have the patience
for them anyway
too busy with old acquaintances
who now surround him
tempting him to leave it all behind.
Friday, December 9, 2011
The first time I saw snow
falling in the desert
I was in Joshua Tree.
sprinkled like confectioner’s
sugar, dusted barrel,
prickly pear and saguaro cacti.
This normally harsh environment
was suspended in wonderland
for a few minutes.
The snow didn’t last long
soon the area was soaked in rain
arroyos formed taking the water
out to the streets where flash floods
swept debris and automobiles
with the same force of a menopausal
woman rushing to clean house
before company arrived.
From wonder to terror in less than
sixty minutes. I hurried to higher
ground to get away from this temperamental
and harsh mistress of the barren sand.
Then just like that it was over,
no evidence of her tantrum
except for puddles in the parking lots
and debris piled haphazardly along the curb.
Thursday, December 8, 2011
Mother combed my hair smooth
pulling it back from my face
curling it in a bun, using black bobbi pins
to hold every hair in place, adorning
the look with silky yellow roses
to match my sisters, all dressed in ruffles
made from the same blue cotton,
highlighted with crimson ribbons,
offset with bright yellow sashes.
The music began and we grabbed our full skirts
swishing, kicking, and twirling
with our flurry of color releasing
the joy expressed in the dance.
Wednesday, December 7, 2011
Thursday, December 1, 2011
As long as I can remember
I’ve known the inside of Catholic churches
years of prayers already layered in the adobe walls
pictures of stations painted on white washed plaster
wooden statues primitively carved
saints who help intercede to god above
the large wooden crucifix
the son of god who opened the gates of heaven
for sinners like me
a reward so great it couldn’t be denied
but retribution for the original sin
was my only way in
and gratitude for his ultimate sacrifice
a life of good works and long suffering
constantly working to be worthy
of a love so great... the life of his only son
but as I age I truly wonder
if heaven is worth all this anguish
I want to be like the grasshopper
in Aesop’s tale
to play the day away
and let fate cost what it may
for at least in the moment I played,
I have firsthand knowledge of pleasure
Wouldn’t it be better
to celebrate the almighty
by basking in his creation
rejoicing and giving praise
to his almighty power
with all his creatures
dancing at the harvest
howling at the moon
glorifying his name
every single day?
Wednesday, November 30, 2011
My grandpa taught me
to watch where I was going
but keep an eye on the ground
watch for the glitter
in may be broken glass
from bottles of beer or wine
or maybe a dime or quarter
dropped from the pocket
of a nine year old
a piece of jewelry
washed through the sewer
with the last hard rain
fool’s gold or 14 caret
it all glitters just the same
but if I’m not watching
I’ll pass it by
leaving it behind for someone
else to find
So my eyes are always wide open
scanning the places I walk
collecting pieces of this and that
for a collage I’m planning to construct
different colored glass for a mosaic
depicting this cityscape
gathering glass along the beach
for a scene from the sea
aluminum and other metal scrapes
melted to make an alloy
for a unique piece of jewelry
My grandpa was a collector
for the hundred years he lived
little rusted coffee cans
filled with colors of amber, blue, and red
the only thing he left
I wanted just for me
transforming those throwaways
into pieces of art
shown at local art shows
and in galleries
returning to the world
written up in magazines
photographed and displayed
gathered up from city streets
redefined and restructured
from discards to art.
Tuesday, November 29, 2011
Some fear that space of time
always talking afraid
they will disappear
if the quiet surrounds
them wiping out their existence
Yet for me, those silent
moments are precious
gifts to be valued
I become protective
with anyone who would steal
that treasured stillness
to fill the void with idle chatter
ideas not fully formulated
musing of no relevance
or noise they call music
causing my head to ache.
Gives me time to think
a place of my own
take me to new destinations
solving problems without language
or the constant intrusion
of too many questions
let me unwrinkle my mind
letting it expand
creating new inventions
suitable for the future
beckoning me outside the door
where thoughts can be heard
the space where life is silent
the mind unhurried
the body at rest
then a rush
released by angels
ideas to be acted upon
stories to be written
music to be sung
given by god
let me have my moment
do not disturb
Sunday, November 27, 2011
They’ve known each other since they were small
get together some, but not often enough.
Now that they are school age they enjoy
new adventures, especially the three boys.
All are about the same height, they synchronize
and move as one from one activity to another
from creative play to croquet
a whir of energy fully expressed
no arguments or fights to interfere with play
laughter and shrieks fill the air
cheeks flush, eyes sparkle, minds race
rushing to be included in every conversation
making plans for their dinosaur attack
or why they need to change the rules
and how much they like the pumpkin pie
then complete silence while they paint.
The older two, a boy and a girl
take a little while longer to break the ice
drawn to each other yet repelled
but when they connect they disappear
having conversations only they can hear
sitting in the living room or at the computer
away from adult intrusion
when it’s time to go they’ve connected
and aren’t ready for their time to end
so they stand shoulder to shoulder
until it is time to go, a brief hug
then back to being strangers again.
The newly adopted little one,
flutters like a butterfly afraid to land
plays parallel to the boys heading back
to mom and dad then out again wanting to be included
but not quite able to make the leap
she went from foster home to foster home
sent away because she misbehaved
drugged to keep her in line
now she has to figure out how to self monitor
without pharmaceutical help
and like a butterfly after transformation
she’s delicate and beautiful
trying to figure out where she fits in.
She’s been a cousin for over a year
recognizes the others as her siblings
learning not to cry for the ones who let her go.
The sound of cousins playing in the yard
running through the house, gathering at a table
their different voices and personalities
coming together to make a family.
Saturday, November 26, 2011
I met Nancy at a weekly meeting
she asked me if I could take her home
conveniently located on route to my own
so I agreed to take her to her address
a friendship develop and we talked about
our lives she told me about the how the roads
to the grand canyon were made
from cut logs placed over miles of red dirt
the model T’s would wobble and bump
never traveled more than 25 miles an hour
but the spectacular sight made the trip worth it
the roads rebuilt still have only two lanes
always ready when I arrived
a small two bedroom home in Norwalk
she remembered when it was mostly farming town
and saw Cal Worthington, as a young man,
hawking cars at the side of the road
married one of the Oakies, an ambitious young man
named Russ, who pulled himself up by his bootstraps
after the war worked together to get an education
and buy their own business, selling furniture
to the post war crowd moving into California in the 50’s.
The were rich in those days, an attractive couple
active in the community with one daughter with long red hair.
She bragged about the days her hair was also red
still wore in long, now all grey, tied in a bun
off set with antique combs she got from her mother
her nails were always polished although underneath
they were dirty, and she smelled of urine
and stale perfume, but in her mind she was still grand
like when she and Russ were young
met senators and presidents since they were active
in the Republican election committee all that ended
when Russ died, it was her birthday
she remembered in clearly, he he was out of town
they talked on the phone then a heart attack and it was over.
Went into shock, breast cancer followed
her lush beautiful locks fell out one by one,
and though she recovered her hair never returned
to the beautiful luster before all her trauma.
One day she called and said I needed to come over
her daughter wasn't home and she had to go
to the doctor. It was the first time I went into her house
overwhelmed by the smell, decayed food and human waste,
papers piled high, a small TV buzzed with static
one chair to sit on then a path in the carpet
from chair to kitchen, bathroom and bedroom
needed help to get her out the door she ended up in the hospital.
I talked to her daughter, describing the mess
she shrugged saying there was nothing to do
her mother was stubborn, wouldn’t let anyone inside
was surprised I had seen the mess
her mom was quite secretive, that is, before she got sick
and what was there to do about it anyway?
Social workers were called to visit her home
volunteers from the church came to remove the clutter
paint the walls replace the carpet, fix the plumbing
put in new toilet, sink and tub
and make the house comfortable when she returned.
Nancy cried when she came home
angry we had gone through her stuff
looking for her treasures from when she and Russ
were the envy of town, couldn’t find anything she loved
how could anyone come in without her permission
to rearrange her house and then she died soon afterwards.
The moral of the story is: just because a place
looks like hell and doesn’t seem a fit place to dwell
you’re better off leaving it alone, because stuff
is more than props, sometimes it holds the strings
that make sense of our lives, so in the future
don't touch just leave things alone.
Friday, November 25, 2011
Up before dawn
bolstered with ads and credit cards
a plan to gather treasures
for half price
pushing and shoving if needed
careful not to lose the prize
then back home again
call up friends
to compare success stories
and make trades if necessary
tired from the hunt
leftovers from Thanksgiving meal
but completely satisfied
taking the time to rest
and plan for next year.
Thursday, November 24, 2011
I don’t know how my mother did it,
she pulled together a meal
from a few beans, chili and flour.
She didn’t need extra hands
except if there were kids around
then we had beans to clean
stir and add water while they boiled.
Roll the tortillas, flip them on the grill
wash the dishes, take out the trash.
Like a head chef in a fancy restaurant
she gave out the orders no questions,
no idle conversation, ‘cause company was coming.
Those days are gone
people don’t visit like they used to
my kitchen has become a solitary affair
everything set up for a single cook.
If a larger group gathers they bring food from home
low salt, vegan and other diets self-managed.
Lately there is another woman in my kitchen.
I’m displaced in my own home
she prattles around quite content
chopping, and slicing, and adding her spices
positions herself in the corner, close to the cabinets
with sink and stove within reach to cook up a feast
while I sit displaced at my own kitchen table.
I could demand my place and push her aside
but she wants to help and I’m learning to abide
reminiscent of older days
when it was quite common to have more
than two women in a kitchen.
Happy Thanksgiving everyone.
Be grateful for blessings
and enjoy each other's company.
Wednesday, November 23, 2011
I’ve sat at deathbeds praying for miracles
only to have the ones I prayed for die anyway.
I’ve prayed to win the lottery
writing out how I would spend the money
but no windfall came for me.
I still believe in miracles going back to the promise
“If I have faith the size of a mustard seed
I can move mountains.”
Therein lies the problem,
it always comes down to a matter of faith.
Do I believe my prayers will be heard
but more than that will they be granted?
Something simple… I wanted a tattoo…
in the scheme of things not a big deal
didn’t require a miracle
but in my life I’ve never wanted anything
because, by wanting, I get the booby prize,
the brunt of a joke, not quite what I meant.
I end up wishing I didn’t get it
because what it brought was more
then I bargained for.
I wanted a tattoo and got more pain
than I imagined and it was not as beautiful
as when it was first done.
So when it comes to miracles or wanting anything
try to be satisfied with what you get
grateful for all blessings.
Bad luck comes with living
but you can minimize the surprises,
by not wanting too much in life.
Tuesday, November 22, 2011
Babies cry to get attention
for hunger pangs, dirty diapers,
fear and pain. We expect it,
and if we don’t hear their cry
we stir them from sleep
making sure they’re breathing.
Young children don’t cry as often
but when they fall down, don’t get what they want,
or get sick, they cry to let us know they need us
to attend to their discomfort whatever the cause.
Teenagers cry when they feel misunderstood,
angry, or left out. If they get physically hurt
they tend to suck it up and deal without
the profuse tears of early childhood.
Adults cry less often maybe at a sad movie
or a death of a loved one or the loss of true love.
Physical pain is usually accompanied with cursing
rather than tears. Women cry more often than men,
at least in our society. Other cultures accept
the expression of tears as a natural way for both sexes
to respond to great happiness or sadness.
We can shed tears until there are no more tears to shed
some faces have the trails of tears permanently etched
on their cheeks. Their lips and eyes turn down
wrinkles are the road maps to their suffering.
Most people go through life not knowing how
wonderful they are, nor receiving all the love
they deserve. Let’s cry for all our losses
not only for ourselves but for all of humankind.
Monday, November 21, 2011
I watched the evening news
a gruesome anniversary remembered
the day a large tornado ripped through Joplin
leaving homes destroyed and several dead.
Every person had their story to tell
where they were, and what they saw.
Some with scars, all with losses
but like Granny said,
“The devil roared into Joplin that day
but the angels were right behind him.”
Many reported seeing a fluttering of angles,
with bright flashes of color from monarchs
and other butterflies. This has become
the symbol of hope for survivors
rebuilding their lives.
Instead of being a flashpoint
for deep despair, many felt the hand of god
and their loved ones close by,
giving them strength amid the catastrophe.
From the darkness a light has risen
and praise for an ever present god.
There is no doubt the devil passed through
Joplin but didn’t stay because the angels
were at his heals and chased him away.
Sunday, November 20, 2011
See the cutout puppets
highlighted with bright light
their shadows cast upon a screen
stiff movements jerking up and down
and artificially acted voices,
but in the shadow land, appropriate.
These creatures without distinct faces
only silhouettes from make-believe.
A princess and her castle,
a brave knight fighting a dragon
can hold life in abeyance
for thirty minutes or more.
Love, humor, and high drama
all played out on the stage
while behind the scenes
puppeteers sweat and scramble
to maintain this fantasy world.
Saturday, November 19, 2011
Pictures of grannies on rockers
and crazy granddads
losing hold of reality
humorous anecdotes at best
none of which make
growing old attractive
the other alternative
is to hang on to youth
with the over-use of make-up
and getting involved in adolescent
shenanigans creating an image
of someone lost in life
trying to act out to show they still have life
but what if life has been satisfying
but the body is now wrecked from overuse
and future days are spread ahead?
Death seems a logical consequence
but with modern medicine
many of us will live to be 90
so from this point to that
there’s got to be more than eating and sleeping
even in these diminished bodies.
Active minds still want to learn
but more than that want to contribute
to life rather than be a burden
using up needed resources
that logically, belong to the youth
and future generations.
A woman I know shouted,
“I want to be young again,”
and actively pursued goals
similar to those she sought in her youth
only to become depressed
when most targets were missed.
Another tried to hold back the clock
by getting surgery but was overwhelmed
because the rest of her machinery
still needed overhauling.
The past generation
was surprised they lived so long.
My age group, on the other hand,
knows we might live past 100
but in the meantime
how do we approach aging
to be more than compromise
more than sitting by the window sill
watching life pass us by?
We must be willing to begin like a child
discovering the world all around
with enthusiasm and wonder
learning new things about our mind
and our bodies, learning more about love
and how to actively participate
in making a difference
creating circles of women
with children and grandchildren
having conversations as we sew quilts,
weave tapestries, paint, cook,
build, garden, teach and learn.
Casual conversations to impart wisdom
and to create a peaceful place
where the world is made better
because oldsters and youngsters
spend time with each other
building a more dynamic world
where love is the ideal
and happiness the outcome.
Friday, November 18, 2011
I recall Marie Antoinette and her court
and realize she was the 1% of her time
her affluence kept her away from the places
where peasants barely subsisted
she spent gold on her own pleasures
unaware of the suffering for the masses
until they revolted and demanded more than charity
wanting liberty from the ruling class.
I live in a different time, systems are in place
to disperse the wealth, unions organized for the workers
to get their fair share but since the downturn
the discrepancy of wealth has become skewed.
Once again a 1% has emerged with losses for the middle class,
burgeoning poverty and overburdened public troughs.
With fewer people working there is less cream to skim
everyone suffers and before the 1% lose their heads
it is time for our leaders to come up with a better plan
or a new leadership will emerge.
Thursday, November 17, 2011
Cracks form, then enlarge,
creating gapping crevasses
where the road once ran.
Houses overlooking the sea
become overhanging cliffs
threatening to fall
with the next earth movement.
Homeowners must decide,
to buffer their homes
with steel support beams
or give up and abandon
their beach view dream.
Remnants of other neighborhoods
can be found along the seashore
washed away with each new storm
but like coastlines everywhere
the waves eventually pound the sand
sufficiently to force it to give up
and grain by gain it falls into the sea.
The people who live along the coastline
know the arrangement is temporary
and like one owner said, “Everyday
by the sea is worth whatever
the cost is to me.”
Wednesday, November 16, 2011
The piercing cold cuts through the walls
ice forms on plants and windshields.
After the initial shock from this uninvited guest
who brings with it slush and other messes
comes the dark days and freezing nights.
For those of us who love the sunshine
the season becomes unbearably long.
The few moments of joy captured
in the snow or cuddled by the fire
doesn't make it any more inviting.
Tuesday, November 15, 2011
He stood outside the window
watching in the dark
her house vacant except for the light
shinning from her bedroom.
At the right angle he could see her dresses
lined up in the closet
her vanity, adorned with make-up
and hair products. A bottle
of her favorite perfume
reflected in the mirror,
her bed empty, waiting for her return.
He watched her arrive then walked away
a shadow in the darkness
someone who wanted to see her
but didn’t want to be seen.
Monday, November 14, 2011
All things once modern become obsolete
practices of tilling soil or curling hair
give way to newer ways of doing
things, or forgotten all together.
Some reemerge as an art form
using the ancient methods
of the grandmothers
when roles were clearly divided.
Men herded sheep and sheared wool
women washed the fleece and carded it then
spun the thread making it suitable for weaving.
Some bundles were placed in large pots
filled with rabbit bush, sunflowers, walnuts
or cactus bugs, boiled to create color or
dipped in orange chips and golden rod
carefully wrung out and dried in the sun.
Every woman who was wise
spun with her hands; and she brought
that which she wove of sky-blue and purple,
of scarlet and of fine white cloth.
All women whose hearts stirred them up
in wisdom spun fleece. (Exodus 35:25-26)
Yes, the grandmothers were weavers, their designs
handed down from generation to generation.
Tradition was the prayerful connection
to those who lived before.
The spindles were believed to be constructed
in the fourth world; the tip of the spindle
is the center of the zenith, the bottom
pointing to the nadir, with the disk
representing the earth.
An ancient art form given to humans
by the gods in the stars.
Sunday, November 13, 2011
I can see from your reflection
the confusion you feel
when you travel out of town.
We’ve been together for so long,
like lost children, we can’t live
without the other.
Even the dog lets out deep sighs.
Our home is disrupted when you’re gone.
I woke up several times
feeling you walk into the room
then reached out when I felt your weight
on the edge of the bed
called out your name
you were not there but
several miles away in a motel room.
Neither one of us slept while you were gone.
The next night was not much better
again the same routine. At 3:30
I heard your footsteps coming down the hall
felt your breath when you stood by the bed.
the weight of your body when you sat on the edge
but you were not there when I reached out to touch you.
You didn’t answer when I called out your name.
Everything is better now that you’ve returned.
I’m glad you're home 'cause I'm lonely without you.
Saturday, November 12, 2011
Here is the original bracelet I wore as a child.
Now an overview of the tattoo bracelet created by Jen Schichi/ sacred
tattooing, artist, The Mermaid's Tale Tattoo/ http://mermaidtale.net/
Finally a profile view.
There are ten crossed arrows that represent my siblings.
The silver bands on either side are my sons and their wives.
The turquoise, each of my grandchildren.
The other two circles are Crystal and Lisa, adopted into the family.
The solder at both points, my husband and me, holding family together.