Wednesday, April 16, 2014

What Desire (the porcupine)





What Desire
(Porcupine)

All I ask is to be left alone
with my endless hungers;
axe handles rich with the savor
of sweaty hands, old tires stored
behind the barn; green lumber
oozing pitch; crates, leather gloves,
hoses, discarded boots. Last summer
there was a salt lick in the field;
even now my quills rise in pleasure
at the memory. My mate and I embraced
the salt, licked it down to the ground
while the cows, longing for a taste,
were forced to wait their turn.
Young maples, scored and girdled--
we feast on the sap quietly, at night,
while the cold air flows around us,
the silence broken only by the sound
of our own determined chewing.
And in early spring, compelled 
by I know not what desire,
I climb a small tree
and sing for love
into the dark, cold, sky






Saturday, April 12, 2014

Monday, April 7, 2014

Rant of a Personal kind

Sometimes there are places we go that we dont talk about much,  partly because it has a specialized language, or a specialized following.  In some groups computers are only touched upon briefly, no one has one, or they have a limited knowledge.  In some instances what is online important to one person barely touches another.

Games is such a pre-occupation.  I am an avowed games addict;  if it has dice, or cards, or a game board, move over,  honey, I want to play too.

For the past 16 or 17 years Yahoo has had, not only email, and Messenger, but a fairly extensive and well working set of games that covered everything from solitaire games to dominoes, pool, and gin.  Dozens of games, thousands of players.  I was there for  16 of those years, off and on.  They were (past tense deliberate),  I'm finding out, some of the best online games on the net, consistently.
Last week they closed the doors.  We were braced for upgrades, updates to what was familar, perhaps a new look to the game rooms. That was the implication.

It turns out that all the games, from Cribbage to Literati (the strange wildflower version of Scrabble), from Hearts to Spades, Chess and Checkers, have been closed out.  The administration is being quite cheery about this in the forums, in spite of the pitchfork and burning tar responses which most former players are exhibiting.  Oh, they say,  we KNOW you'll just love our new games. 

 No we won't

New games, new graphics, all bright and super fun

Not bloody likely. Where's my Spades?  Where's my Cribbage? What have you done with Gin? Who the hell washed the floor in  here?  Get those damn frilly curtains outta here--

Oh, they will be SO much fun to play, we just know you'll feel differently once you've seen them

No we won't.  All the games we spent all those years on,  and they're gone.  We dont want dancing bears or 'rewards' or adorable tutorials with cute pink borders.   Give us back our games

We can't.  They're gone.  

Then so am I

Friday, April 4, 2014

Poem



Pastel

"hope is the thing with feathers", she said
but love is the thing with wings
that keeps it aloft
long after need, or want, or time
has dimmed  the colors
to muted pastels
and the background
has receded into the fog

love is the destination
but hope is the heart
of the migrating  bird

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

The proof is sometimes in the not taking

Been taking Vitamin D now for three or four years,  to even out that winter depression thing.  It's always seemed to work,  and  yet you do always wonder if its not just the Idea that works rather than the real deal,  humans being what they are, placebo-wise.  

Ive been slogging through March with, it seems, one foot in a snowbank and one foot in a lead shoe, at least mentally.  After five months of relentless and almost unremitting cold and snow,  there's a tendency to blame that, as overload.    But this month  it seems to have been weighing down a bit heavier.   I even considered doubling my regular dose of  D to counteract that.

Then this morning I looked at the bottle,  and it turns out I've been  inadvertently  taking half the regular dose, for about a month.  Last time I bought this stuff I just grabbed it without checking the dosage on the label..

Aha, she said. aha.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Something is wrong, here

We are losing our freedoms, one by one.  When you add them up, it gets scary. I  had intended a long list of these things,  and at the end  realized that as thinking individuals,  you are all aware of all of these, one way or another, with your own opinions as to what constitutes personal freedom(s) and how much it bothers you, affects you, or makes you yawn and turn the page.

After awhile it becomes "natural" to be scoped and groped at an airport, or realize your phone could be quietly monitored, or that somewhere on the net your surfing habits might be raising eyebrows.

And one major thought suddenly drifted by:  When you lose your right to privacy, whether its read mail or net snoops or drones or laws dictating what and when and where you can do what you do--or deny you the right to do it,  for whatever reason,  when you lose that,  you have lost everything.  Your personal freedoms are now becoming fewer and fewer.  Laws and mandates and bans are  being quietly passed that invade your car, your home, your mail.   They tell you  what you can own,  smoke, eat, or read, how to raise your kids,  and how those kids will be treated in school,  to the point of stupidity.

Give us enough pot to smoke, and we won't notice, or care.  Big Brother is alive and well.

Not only that, anyone with a smart phone can take your picture, or a video  of you--any survelillance camera can track you through a store, a hallway, a parking lot.

I'm lucky.  I have lived to hear  what the ending music of a 2,000 year old cutlure sounds like,  but too old to experience what follows, 20 or 30 years down the road.




Saturday, March 22, 2014

Poem for a Chilly Saturday morning (6WS)



Tree Men

They took the tree down limb by limb
the way doctors took my old friend's leg;
one  cut and then another, and a week later
back to take more until he finally said,
"Enough, take it all",  and they did.

Yesterday I watched the power company
hack away at a tree too close to their lines, 
then cart the pieces to the brush pile
until all that was left was a naked
stub 20 feet  high. Enough, I said.
And when they left at last I went out
with a chain saw
and took the rest down,
sat beside the stump and wept.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Frustration thy name is New Operating System


Okay, it was time. I've been running on fumes with XP for about two years,  getting those sniffy little messages saying,  "your computer needs updating..."  sorta like Mom warning you that you 'd better take an umbrella when you go out.  "Ohhhh MO-therrrrr..."

So last week the mister installed Win7 and IE11. Win7 is doable, on the surface.  However,  when you start to delve and sort of force it into a personalized workable critter you realize that it has six tails, two heads,  and the horse you bought  refuses to fit the harness you have.

I am slowly readjusting what I got to what I want,  but I begin to feel like one of those old "Can This Marriage Be Saved" topics in Ladies' Home Journal.





Saturday, March 15, 2014

Bucket List (a work in progress) (6WS)



The possible, the doable if I could get my act together, and the not bloody likely
(and after all, aren't all of us a Work in Progress)


lose that last ten pounds

publish a book

learn to understand if not forgive (sorry Mother, still working on that one)

refuse to give in to Old (surprise me!)

see my oldest friend one more time before one of us dies

Britain, anywhere,  with no strings of return attached

connect with at least one half-sibling before all of them are gone forever

spend my final years living in a hotel (in lieu of an elder hostel)

learn to let go gracefully










Thursday, March 13, 2014

Silly season


in my internet travels i am, on occasion, invited to take a survey.  I'm a sucker for these,  and there is one site that actually rewards you over time with point$ that can be converted into $$$$...
Most of the time the questions make sense.  But now and again  someone in the Question Composing category prefers  a bit more specificity in their questions,

"how old are you (a numeric answer, whole numbers only)"  apparently there are people out there who answer with things like "thirty seven and 3/4 as of January 19th"

"gender:  male    female (please select one)"  (what if i cant decide?  what if someone wants  to choose BOTH?) and what about "other", eh?

"zip code:  please be as specific as possible"  Im still working on this one.  How does one answer a zip code question vaguely?  "ohhhh,  somewhere in the 03000s,  you know, east coast..."

And what has to be the looniest question loop of all:
1) Do you work outside the home ?  "No"
2) Do you own a business?  "No."
3) How many employees do you have?  [10, 50,  100, 1000]  "please select one answer"
4) What category does your business fall into? (select one)  and no, 'other' is not an option...

and finally on the next page, "are you a)employed b) looking for work c) retired d) a stay at home spouse"

the minute you select "stay at home spouse"  you are booted to the main gate: "thank you for your time unfortunately..." and out the door.

The best part is the next day when you are asked to take a survey and it turns out to be the one you  took the day before and you are told, firmly, that this survey is now closed...

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

possibly a pantoum (experimental model)



No Moon Ever

You were wrong about the dark,  you know;
and about magic. You said there was no magic
in darkness, no sunset ever held you
in thrall, no moon inspired you to dream

about magic. you said there was no magic
only meaningless dreams.
In thrall, no moon ever inspired you to dream--
but then you never have danced under the stars

dreaming meaningless dreams
on damp grass, with dark eyes watching  you,
never have danced under the stars:
you were wrong about passion as well

you were wrong about the dark, you know,
no moon ever inspired you to dream
in darkness, no sunset ever held you.
you were wrong about passion as well

Saturday, March 8, 2014

This seems a better fit somehow (6WS)



Fisher

you go out with the tide
i wait on shore
tend a low burning fire
it would not do to start a blaze
just now

when the tide turns twice
i will rise, brush the sand from my hands
and meet you at the high tide line
accept your gifts of fish and shells
as another would accept roses
and a box of chocolates

for a little while
add driftwood to the flames
as we eat the fish
arrange shells in magical patterns
of hope and safe journey

wait together for the outgoing tide

Monday, March 3, 2014

Archive.com, the rat in the woodpile

I signed up a few days ago,  it was a 7 day free trial subscription,  and then you could unsubscribe if you didnt want to pay for more.

By the end of the first day I was done with what I needed to be doing, and realized Id better get out of this now before I forget.

oh yeah.  Three tries later I was still subscribed,  and everytime i went in to reunsubscribe they said "welcome BACK"  and we were off and running again.  Finally yesterday I found yet another place in there to unsubscribe so i thought, aha, lets try this one.   I got my letter of confirmation,  oh boy,  and i thought i was on my way.

an hour ago I got a survey from the good folks at Archive.com wanting to know how well they were doing.  I  told them.  Then I realized I was AT the site again, and went to look and sure enough Welcome BACK was all over the screen.

so I am now on the treadmill again, with unsubscribe and welcome back and confirmation letters  which i have yet to see, btw...

I would never ever recommend this place to anyone,  its confusing,  awkward to use, and impossible to get out from under.  If necessary Ill kill this card (its a  'net only" debit card) and start another.

But the good news is,  March 9 we switch the clocks back.  yay.

Postcard from Missouri


"Welcome to Missouri, a nice southern state. Woke up to this and 3 degrees this morning."


This is from Harvey,  who is still searching for his February daffodils  under his March blizzard.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

It's Warm, it's sunny, it's March (6WS)

The woodpile shrinks,  the days get longer, the sun is higher in the sky  We're a laconic folk, we don't get excited by much, nossah, but we do expand a bit around the first of March.   Go out on the porch,  brush the snow off the old porch glider, and sit for a bit in the sun.  Think about stuff.  

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

When good shovels lose their grip

All  I know,  I was up on the roof cleaning snow from under the windows;   looked away for a minute, and heard this noise...sort of a scrapey scratchy sound.  I looked around and there was the shovel,  throwing itself off the roof.  Seriously.   The last thing I heard was this muffled voice saying, "ssssnow angel. musssst...makkkke...ssssnow angel..."

And then silence.





Saturday, February 22, 2014

Yes, yes, I Know its late (6WS)

Finally hacked a workable path (don't ask) through the kitchen late last night and realized that I had yet to can any tomatoes this year.  Better do it now, the little voice said.  They won't last foreveah in that freezah... 


I hate that little voice, it's usually right.
 It also means that the tomatoes that have colonized my freezer like stubborn chinmey swallows will be gone, and i can actually use it without having to shoehorn other things in between the frozen tomatoes.


These are Romas,  and should boil down nicely into paste of varying thicknesses and varying amounts.   I know everyone is just  fascinated with this stuff, so I may add a few more process pictures to this post as it changes.

Since I can't locate my food mill, I had to resort to the more basic method of straining, and since roma tomatoes have much tinier seeds than regular tomatoes, straining was a two-part symphony;  one to get the larger bits and the skins removed, and one using a finer meshed strainer.   Now, we boil.  Tomorrow Ill can them.  (I'm sure  the food mill will show up as soon as the last jar has been sealed and labeled...)



surpised myself, 12 jars, all the tops popped, and it only took 36 hours start to finish. =)


Wednesday, February 19, 2014

The morning after





Monday, February 17, 2014

How cool is this--text resizing



was just over in the forums fussing about something or other and found someone asking how to make the too-small text larger.  I assume this is a temp fix, but thats all anyone needs, isnt it.  I  have visited blogs that are, at my age, almost unreadable because of either too-large text or way too small.    The solution, and its sooo simple;  hold the cursor over the offending page and hold down the Ctrl key:  slowly, one clicky thing at a time,  rotate the mousewheel either forward or backward.

This works on mine, and on others, as well.   Life just got a tad easier.

If only we could turn the mousewheel  on ourselves  now and then...

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Well I tried but you can only spread blame so far

This morning i noticed a drippy puddle place on the kitchen floor,  and my first thought was, oh my  a pipe has started leaking.  Then I noticed a corresponding drippy place on the ceiling and realized that the snow on the roof in that corner (this is a one story ell attachment on the north side) has been going through a periodic melt freeze melt thing for about three days,  and the ice has backed up under the shingles in that corner.

And THAT means in a little while i will have to go out, shovel my way to the roof (violins and weepy guitars here please),  climb the ladder and shovel off the roof.  (Saxophones of Guilt at this point)  break up the ice dam (by that point damn would be closer)  with my trusty whatever-Im-carrying,  pull down the snow from the main roof (Violins again and a bit of snare drum), shovel THAT off,  break off the huge icicles and try not to step on them  (laughing ha ha ha sound from the trumpet) since they are like marbles underfoot--
All because yesterday and the day before I looked at that mess up there and thought, nahhhh,  its okay.  mea culpa, mea culpa. 

  (To be fair, this is an "after" from last year. why waste film)

Trying to blame the Mister here, but he has his own roof (porch) and this one is my responsibility.  Yes, he coulda said, we need to get those roofs (rooves?) cleaned off, he coulda said, the ice is gonna build up up there, I'll help you, (Saxophones of Guilt again) but he didnt.

 At least its warmer,  the sun is nice.  Yes it is.  And Charlie Underfoot is having a grand time studying the drips as they fall into the coffee cans. plink, plink, plink...

Saturday, February 15, 2014

In The Distance, A Dog Barks (6WS)




In The Distance, A Dog Barks 

she came out to retrieve the paper
from the porch
saw him drive by, stop;  
watched him watch her
he rolled down his window as if to speak
but no words came out
she never moved
as he slowly drove away;
feeling colder, she went inside
careful to latch the door behind her.
He came by later, the house was dark
the dog had been brought in for the night
there was a new cat sleeping on the porch
the door was a different color--
he knew he'd been away too long

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Friday, January 31, 2014

This Was the Month That Was (6WS)





oops lets just say I got over eager, lol.   TOMORROW is SATURDAY. YES IT IS. I knew that.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Grisham Redux

In my journeys through John Grisham I find that his writing is much less even than I realized--and while  he is not of the 'brains on the wall" genre,  some of his books do have entirely too many torture scenes (probably the ones with screams in the first chapter are the worst) and those I now close down quietly and put to one side.

Trouble is, once you've encountered this sort of awfulness it makes you cautious about the next book of his you find.   Just finshed "The Broker" which promises gore and grue but, thank allah,  never delivers.  

As my mother in law once said about books like this, "I just read those parts with my eyes closed".  

Saturday, January 25, 2014

ten suggestions for growing old gracefully (6WS)

1.  I shall not shuffle

2  Exercise, exercise, exercise

3.  I shall not wear green eyeshadow

4.  I will never agree  that 50 is synonymous with Senior anything

5.I will never allow anyone to make me wear a funny  hat

6. I will not go ON about ailments

7.  I will refrain from saying "when I was your age..."

8.  The doctor is not always right

9  What's 'best' for me  may not be 'right' for me.

10.  Turn up the radio and dance


Tuesday, January 21, 2014

official portrait -- Charlie at Rest

Now that he has settled down,  he is no longer a whirry fizz in the middle of the photo.




Saturday, January 18, 2014

"Only if I were starving" foods (6WS)

Feel free to hum along with your own list

1. Asparagus

2. Shell beans (baked, stuffed, scalloped, fried, chili'd)

3. Parsnips

4. Rhubarb (around here commonly called rootbarb)

5. Greens (mustard, dandelion, leafy, kale, collard, chard)

6. Squid

7. Coffee "flavored" anything (with the exception of Starbuck's ice cream)

8. Almond flavored coffee

9. Pea soup

10 Hummus

Thursday, January 16, 2014

How Time Flies When You're Not Watching the Clock

This has been two months (and counting) of doctor appointments, referrals,  exams, ultrasound this and xray that.  My calendar for December showed four empty week days.   It looks like January is shaping up much the same, after a slow start.  So far,  every referral has been a dead end , with no followups for Procedures.  Oh, yay.   The last time I had a spell like this was the year my mother died,  all major events--all the kind that those charts tell you are Life Changers and by rights you should come down with beri beri due to stress--this one is more a series of pings and maybes.   So far, so good.

Makes me wish I hadn't made fun of 5 Year Planners. Someone heard me.  She scorns 5 year planners?  We'll show her,  bwahahaha.  

Thursday, January 9, 2014

It does happen

one bit  at a time  (70 days to the first day of spring)