Cropped screenshot of Judy Garland from the tr...

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Since returning from Indiana, I have been lazy about posting my latest adventures here in the Verde Valley.

I am two weeks into an OLLI (Osher Lifelong Learning Institute) program here at Yavapai College. I am one of nine students in Carol Oveross’ pen and ink cross-hatching class. Yep, it’s a challenge for me.  My cross-hatching is sloppy and I can’t get the knack of it. Give me a pencil or piece of charcoal with an eraser and I would do much better. Pen & ink is unforgiving, since every stroke is on the paper permanently. But, I enjoy the opportunity to sketch en plein air. This week we will go to Riverside Park in Cottonwood to sketch the scenery of our choice, and the following week (and the final class) we will be in Jerome. I need to practice my drawing, but I also want to take some painting classes as well.

All you Chestertonians and others who are into the Wizard of Oz, take note: the Sedona Intl Film Festival people are hosting a “Singalong Wizard of Oz Tuesday evening. They will be passing out magic bubbles, wands and other goodies and will imitate the audience participation model started by the Rocky Horror Picture Show. Munchkin Margaret Pellegrini will be there as well as Karen Doll, Judy Garland’s stand-in. Should be fun.

I am enjoying walking around my neighborhood and hiking at Dead Horse Ranch State Park now that the weather is cooler. I find it much easier to move around without the hot sun beating down.  My roses are blooming, and here it is mid-October. My mums keep blooming, too.

I am part of a group who attends monthly gatherings at Alice Molter-Serrano’s home in Sedona. Alice is a medium, who developed her “ghost whispering” talent after her daughter, Hope, passed on. Alice is pretty amazing. And, what’s also pretty amazing is that she is from Freeport, IL, just a short drive from Galena, where I used to live (and yes, we have mutual acquaintances back there). Small world. The stories that can be woven from the readings our group has received would make a terrific novel. I won’t go into any more here because each reading is uber-personal.