Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Arbor Days

We all know that this summer (or really the whole year) has been a nightmare for most of Texas. So I've been digging through photos of the arbors at the Ladybird Johnson Wildflower Center, looking for good ideas on taking some of the nasty out of our blazing temperatures.  Shade gooood.  Before next summer comes I'd like to build something on our Wimberley property to help us spend and enjoy more time outdoors.  Here are the candidates: 

The simple "bus stop" look, practical and open enough to allow breezes from any direction.

"Strong Silent Type".  A but austere without any vines growing on it, but would be a great spot for a water feature. 

"Made in the Shade".  Great way to get from point to point without boiling along the way.

"Toddler hideout".  Only a one or two year old would view this as a shelter.

The "Road to nowhere". A semi-circle which would be good for viewing a focal point like a bird feeding & bathing area from the shade.

"Hide Away", the right hand side is solid vines.  Good for blocking the hot West sun or hiding an eyesore. 

Monday, September 05, 2011

Hot. Dry. Windy.

Our Central Texas drought has turned from nasty to downright deadly this week. We were shocked seeing the massive wildfire in Bastrop, even from a distance of about 30 miles, on our way back from Wimberley this weekend. About the only good thing I can say about the hot, dry, windy weather is that it makes for really quick laundry drying. We set up this makeshift clothes line on the back porch hammock hooks (too stink'n hot for much hammock action) and I think these sheets actually dried faster than in a clothes dryer. I wish we could find more ways to work with mother nature rather than doing battle with her...

Thursday, September 01, 2011

Ganesha, the multi-purpose deity

Ganesha is a Hindu deity that I've see a lot of in yoga rooms and certain types of restaurants. I thought he pretty cool looking as deities go, so when Vanessa and I came across this one for sale in Albuquerque (taken from an Indian temple being demolished) I snapped him up. Since then I've been researching the history and symbolism of Ganesha and all of his accompanying doodads. Most sources generally agree that he is:
1- The Lord of Success
2- Destroyer of vanity, selfishness and pride.
3- Remover of Obstacles
To my surprise there are many different interpretations about the symbolism. Here are a few interpretations from one of many sources:
Ganesha's head symbolizes the soul, which is the ultimate supreme reality of human existence, and his human body signifies earthly existence of human beings. The elephant head denotes wisdom. In his upper right hand Ganesha holds a goad, which helps him propel mankind forward on the eternal path and remove obstacles from the way. The noose in Ganesha's left hand is a gentle implement to capture all difficulties. The broken tusk that Ganesha holds like a pen in his lower right hand is a symbol of sacrifice. The rosary in his other hand suggests that the pursuit of knowledge should be continuous. His fan-like ears convey that he is all ears to our petition. The snake that runs round his waist represents energy in all forms. And he is humble enough to ride the lowest of creatures, a mouse.
So welcome to our home, Ganasha. I appreciate you removing any obstacles which may pop up. Perhaps you could do something about our current drought, which is an obstacle to all kinds of things...