Saturday, January 24, 2015

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Last week

Monday afternoon in the kitchen, and I could hear water gushing from somewhere and the well pump (which is in the cellar not in the well) running, but not the water tank. The gush was under the sink, where a pipe had come apart at a joint and was trying very hard to turn my kitchen floor into the next flood plain.  oh yes. all under the sink, the insulation, the dishes, the newspaper we used for insulation, the rugs...

Couldnt turn the water off, the levers are meant to be hammered, not turned, apparently.  and the pump  is running and running...couldnt close the  water faucets down cellar, they need superhuman strength or orangutan blood to operate...and the water is running and running...

Husband is out plowing, by the time he got back I'm on the porch in wet slippers waving at him.  Actually waving is really too mild: "gesticulating wildly" might be closer to the truth

He had all he could do to stop the Niagara Falls  under the sink, all he could do to turn the main switches off down cellar...

Some things you just know are going to happen. Last month for no particular reason I bought a new clothesline that I really didn't need yet , and earlier in the fall two good ten quart pails, of the sort suitable for carrying water from a well.  And I have had a 1 gallon jug of drinking water in the fridge, something i never do.

So while he figured out What Went Wrong and What To Do Until theDoctor Comes,  I  hunted down the two shiny new pails, the old blue well pail with the fishing sinker on it, and then made my knotted well rope. Old habits have a kind of muscle memory,  ain't it grand.  Got the dug well cover off and sure enough, there's water down there.                                                          

                                                     
makes you want to run right out and haul water, don't it

Half an hour later we have water in the house, if not in the faucets.  He's got his owner's manuals out, and I'm trying to adjust to the very real possiblity of no faucets for maybe a week or more.  I'm spoiled, that's what it is...and while he turned pages and made funny noises I mopped up the water on the floor, moved the wet papers and rugs and such to a place where they could drip silently,  and pulled all the stuff out of the cupboards.    By Tuesday  he had a new faucet in place, new piping, and i am in awe. 18 hours without water and it was as if a switch had been shut down.  I kept turning it on, watching the water flow, feeling  like Helen Keller in The Miracle Worker...



Saturday, January 17, 2015

The icicles on my mother's roof (6WS)



Harvey asked me a really good question today:  How has age changed you? How has your thinking changed?

Had to stop and think about that for a bit,  since time moves faster for all of us, as we discover there is less in front to discover and more in back to remember.

I seem to have stopped writing. Not totally, but it no longer seems to have a presence in my life. Now and then one gets away from me, but for the most part they don't dominate the way they did.  Yeah.

Some days its all  memory,  some days its 'where did I put the scissors" and by the time you find them you've forgotten why you needed them and when you do remember, you 've lost the scissors again

I make a sandwich, the phone rings and I wander away to answer it,  then off to start a project,  and an hour later come back to the kitchen to find that the cat has made himself a sandwich and is just now licking up the last of the crumbs...

Tell the doctor about the wandering memory and he goes straight into denial, "You do NOT have memory loss!"  and slams that door shut...

But getting older has forced me to move a bit more slowly, and in doing so I find a joy in pauses:  watching a flight of geese, walking through those trees, seeing  it  become something other, something that will outlast us.  And knowing that I have less time than I had, and that dark wall looms closer every year,  
I'm less willing to assign importance to things that I cant change.

Years ago we had one of those high snow winters,  and Mother was sliding into her dotage, but still  in her own home. One night she called me, terribly distraught, wanted me to come over and "do something" about the icicles that lined the front of the house like prison bars. She was afraid they'd break off and damage the windows.  The fact that we were having yet another storm and her front lawn was already four feet deep in snow wasn't important, and she started the "if you loved me' thing.  Finally she said, "at least you could help me worry!" and hung up.

  I refuse to worry about icicles I can't reach,  or events that will change whether I'm here or not.

Thanks,  Harvey.

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Damage Control



Sometimes you will see a delicate piece of glassware slide off the table and out of reach, and all you can do is watch as, incredibly, it bounces when it hits the floor, and only on the second bounce actually shatters.
And you think, if only I had been there to catch it --although I've always wondered if it wasn't already broken but didn't know it yet, and possibly the damage was  already done, as it shattered in your hands.

There are also times when a friend does the same thing, slides out of his life imperceptibly,  and you work to save him, with nets and love and hands holding his--but he eludes your grasp, and like that glassware, hits the floor a second time, and shatters as thoroughly.

You knew the damage was already there;  saving him would  have been saving something that had broken but not yet shattered, a long time ago

Saturday, January 3, 2015

By The Side of The Road (6WS)


or sometimes on the other side 



 or over there where the rocks and ledges end, and (small) animals live in (possibly) small caves under the ledges there


if  you choose your morning with a bit of ground fog that rose before the sun did, and you come to a turn in the road...


                     or wait until late afternoon when the sun slides in under the branches



                             and realize that this is what you've been waitng for,  for a very long time
                                        and maybe just maybe  it was worth the wait

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Merry Christmas



from all of us to all of you


Sunday, December 21, 2014

Another Solstice Rears Its Ugly Head (6WS)

(so I'm a little late)


WINTERSONG--
     HARVESTING THE LIGHT

In winter we carry mirrors
to dark rooms,
harvesting the light;
December’s pale sun thus becomes
a multitude of suns.
We send candles into the darkness.
Nothing is wasted.

Seen from the proper angle
morning sun becomes an infinity of light
reaching back to the first sunrise
on the first day,
reaching ahead to the last.
Dark rooms are transformed
by prisms of clear light.


As winter moves into spring
we adjust the mirrors
in rhythm with the lengthened days,
tinkering with the available light;
harvesting, harvesting.

By March we nearly have it right.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Snow, Rain, Sleet, Snow, Snow, Cold (6WS)


What, no thunderstorms?  No hail?  No gale force winds?   Only one blizzard this month and that was two weeks ago...

Something is terribly wrong, the temps are actually above 0 F. (thats -17C, folks) and I may be able to go outside without fearing for my life, my bone structure, and my dignity.






Maybe tomorrow.  When I can no longer see my reflection in the surface of the driveway

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Suspended Animation

Over the past few weeks I've been reading into the "Next Blog" place;  its amazing the number of people who have just stopped posting,  usually just before a cliffhanger, like the birth of a child, or a trip, or a wedding.  Maybe they started up another, elsewhere, a year or two later, or just  never went back to take the old one down.

In a way its like finding an unfinished undated letter that begins,
"Dear Mom and Dad, 
things have been a bit rough here but  we seem to have gotten things back on track, 
now that both kids are home and safe now,  I promise to keep"

--and there's a photo of two cute kids,  boy and a girl, he has a leg cast and she has  a huge plaster across one side of the head.  you'll always wonder who these people were, what happened to the kids, and what happened to let that letter be abandoned.

Unfinished blogs are like that, too. They just hang in the air, some of them started years before, hundreds and hundreds of photos (and oh I do wish they had taken down the kids pictures first) and hundreds of posts. And for five years or longer those blogs have sat there while the parents aged,  the kids grew up, the dog died, and their  life moved away and down a different street;

The kind that started mostly as a kind of textual howl of rage or annoyance, page after page filled with self pity and really REALLY strange pictures, and then disappeared;

Bad poetry, mostly written by girls with too much green hair, fake tattoos and ugly glittery shoes. Or fan sites in another language which are little more than paeans to young rock stars or anime characters;

Now and then a serious connect with someone , in that way that happens when you least expect it,  you somehow collide in mid-blog with someone and keep going back.  You lurk. They lurk back. Its like a dance with one person and yet you're watching that other neat person across the dance floor, who is also looking back...

You wonder if anyone in those abandoned blogs even realizes--or cares--that they're here apparently forever, in suspended animation, part of a life preserved under glass.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Somehow...

this wasn't exactly how we had planned to spend Thanksgiving.  We got  a foot of snow yesterday, heavy, wet stuff that packed down as it fell,  with the shoveling consistency of wet cement.   Add to that,  the driveway was recovering from a half inch of warm rain,  meaning Mud;  So we have, basically, hot brownie with vanilla ice cream.  
Does not Plow Well.  Does not blow well.

We lost the power just after dark and spent the rest of the evening enjoying the ambience of oil lamps and the dulcet tones of an industrial strength generator in the shed,  so we could still use the computer, run water, and keep the freezer and fridge running properly.

Today I spent quality time on the kitchen roof getting reacquainted with the view up there.  While his relatives were happily sitting down to dinner 80 miles north of here I was shoveling the  roof off.  While they were swurping up deviled eggs and lemon meringue pie I was bringing in wood for the stoves  and shoveling off the porch.

The Bobcat got a serious workout today, working its way across hot brownie trying to remove the vanilla ice cream without digging  a six foot hole in the brownie.  Not a pretty sight.

All in all, a more productive day (if one must examine such things that way) than if we had gone a-visiting and stuffed ourselves full of turkey and ham and potatoes and lemon meringue pie (one must be polite, after all) if only to keep peace in the family.

I can hardly wait to see what the weather gods bring us for Christmas.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Land Trust Progress

At this stage we have finalized the paperwork; the two towns involved have futzed and convened and discussed, and agreed that this will happen.  two weeks ago we went to The Signing, amid small speeches and entirely too many photos  (and no you so do not need to see those) and papers signed in what seemed to be an endless number. Not unlike closing on a house, but with a  LOT more people involved.

So. It's done.  We learn to live with the rules we insisted on, and its just a damn nice thing to have done with.  And ironically, the people who border us seem to be intent on clear cutting with great resolve. It angers me, but its also nice to know we wont be part of THAT process.  Look on the bright side, as one neighbor said, maybe in a few years the undergrowth will come back and we'll have rabbits again.  And our view of the
ridge across the way will be clearer.

this was back in September, for anyone who wants to see where we were then.
http://mittens-stonesoup.blogspot.com/2014/09/how-i-spent-my-summer-vacation-land.html

Saturday, November 22, 2014

The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore



The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore

cold, cold, cold, damn its cold (6WS)




Three stoves running and its not even December yet.
sorta wonder just how long before  'too much wood" will 
turn into"almost enough" wood which may or may not be
the same as "not quite enough" but still conjures up
images of chopping up furniture ("well how many chairs 
can we sit in at once anyway"--or, "I never liked that
table, could never find a place for it...") or hauling wood
out of the forest  on a sledge in February, bundled to 
the eyes to keep out the gale force winds.


Pitiful, ain't it. 

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Google scary




Yesterday I had to clear the cache and cookies (for various reasons) and in the process must have upset Google.  This morning when I went in they told me quite firmly that I was not me, and I had better do something about it.
(This is when your blood pressure begins to inch above the danger mark)

I looked up the password and was told, nahh, you changed that four months ago.
No I didnt.
So I tried another.
Nope.
It has become almost impossible to find help at Google now, because, haha, if you're not signed in
you can't, and if your password isnt working anymore, you can't get help to find out what your password might be.
I finally found a teeny button that said "help" and I started rowing toward that.  Finally got my old password changed (no no they say, you already used all those,  find another.)  and then I had to give them an altenate address. None of which are acceptible because, golly, they are already being used by google. "YES THEY ARE,  one of them is being used by my old blogger account and it worked just fine yesterday..."


so several tantrums later I have a new account addy, no verification second addy (since they are all locked up as google account addresses in the seekrit vault), no thank you, I cannot give you the number of the cell phone I don't own, and I pushed the magic button and here I am.

If for some reason I don't appear after a reasonable length of time it's because I can no longer access Google, yahoo, or the blog  and this blog will join the ranks of the thousands of blogs out there that were just fine until that last post and then WentAway.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Weather Report in Just Five Lines (6WS)



Perspective

You watch the east and say,
what a fine day
 its turning out to be
I watch the west
and prepare for rain

Saturday, November 1, 2014

For some reason this just fits--(6WS)





The Second Coming
                William Butler Yeats

Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.
Surely some  revelation is at hand;
Surely the Second Coming is at hand.
The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out
When a vast image out of Spiritus Mundi
Troubles my sight; a waste of desert sand;
A shape with lion body and the head of a man,
A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,
Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it
Wind shadows of the indignant desert birds.
The darkness drops again but now I know
That twenty centuries of stony sleep
Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,
And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Care Instructions, Syrup Cold Water Pot (6ws)

whatever it is, be careful with it 
(an unaccompanied warning sheet that was tucked inside a book someone gave me)


As it is made of glass,don't hit it with hard things

Don't put it directly on the fire

Don't clean it with metal brush, hand matters of caustic cleaner

Using sponge and plate cleanser to wash it.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

The Ultimate in Plane Spotting



http://www.flightradar24.com/AWE718/496aed1




you can zoom in or out with the mouse wheel,  you can move the image with the cursor,  and yes, those planes are moving.  you can identify individual planes,  and on the left find out what the schedule for that  plane is, landing and take off.

this is more fun than the earthquake map.

ive listed it in the interactive list >>>> over there


Saturday, October 11, 2014

oh I love AccuWeather


This just in:  AccuWeather is predicting a 7% chance of rain (at least only on Spring Street) which will last exactly 160 minutes, from 8:40 am to 10:40 AM  with a minute by minute breakdown of what's happening when...if I lived on Spring Street, I would be getting out the umbrella, the rain coat, and boots.

And  if there is only a 7% chance of rain,  how can they predict the times it might happen, if it does happen?

Its been that kind of week (6WS)

                                              Barred Owl in his Grumpy Phase

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

The New Toy

At the top of each page, just above the post box and to the left, is something called   "next blog>" and when you click on that, you get just that;  a random blog, good or bad,  amazing or terrible; some have been floating unused and abandoned for years, some are new, some will make you jump.  
No way of knowing what will come up next, but if you do find one you like, get the URL or something, because you may never find it again.
Yesterday I spent an hour playing Next Blog.

I think Im hooked on this.  =)

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Farmer Bear



                                                           ee-yi-ee-yi-ohhh

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Mine Mine Mine





Six Things I Miss (This Week) (6WS)



1. typewriters in all their clacky glory, including the futzing with the ribbon and Cleaning the Keys day, and using one my dad had (and I still own it), and teaching myself to type with the help of a touch type manual from the 40s...

2. the Social Security Death Index when it was out in public, and I used it to find family, friends, it was a valuable tool for everyone--until Ancestry.com put it behind a paywall and changed it around to point not at the info you wanted but the info they thought you wanted

3.  old computer games that were ascii symbols like Hack and NetHack, and floppies with text games ('you are standing in front of a house.  There is a mailbox there."), and box games for your old dos run computer...

4 Christmas cards that had sparkly snow and fuzzy touch-me santas or stand-up scenes-- and the week before Christmas when you got to Dress Up to go shopping in town.

5. The first day of school; a new grade, new shoes,  new clothes.  Getting used to the unfamiliar teacher and her funny voice,  until you  got used to it and then it was okay

6. my mother's barn with the 30 foot long rope swing



Tuesday, September 23, 2014

just for harvey

                                         is this better? =)

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

I think its going to be an early winter

sometimes it feels like one of those maddening puzzles where you have to move the rings, one at a time, from one of the three poles to the other side, but only so that the top ring is always smaller than the ones it sits on.


                                                                        Woodpile:
to shed:
                                                                                                                                                       

to stove:


one armload at a time...

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Now and then...this is just what's needed on a rainy Saturday night





Short poem for a Saturday morning (6WS)


porque te vas

sing of the coming dawn
weep for the passing night
cling to the moon as it rises
and sets with the faintest of light

cherish the night as it cradles us
keeps us close in the dark
remember the heart is fragile
when the arrow has found its mark

so let us huddle together
to keep the morning at bay
I will watch you in your dreaming
and know you are going away

Monday, September 8, 2014

Follow up to "Someone is not reading what they're writing"

Saturday I got this 'special' looking envelope that gives you instructions on how to open it,  fold here, tear carefully, step one, step two, etc.  When I opened it  I discovered that my bank had given me a new pin number for my debit card.
wasnt that nice of them, I thought. A kind of follow up to the phone call(s) I made last week about setting my pin by phone.

then I looked at the number.  ho ho  ho.  its a different number.  So now it gets interesting.

1. is this the real pin number, invalidating the old 'new'  number?
2. do they both work?
3. and no one on the phone last week said anything about my old card (the old old card) being automatically invalidated as soon as the new (now known as the "old new" number) number was given/used/validated...I could have two cards, three pin numbers, and none of them speaking to each other.  lol
4.  if I use this to try to validate the card, will my card be eaten by the ATM and armed guards arrive to beat me senseless?
5. will using this number cause both numbers to become illegal?
6. if I use the other number,  will that open a hidden trap in the floor and both I and the offending card be thrown in among wolves and spiders?
7. will neither of them work, forcing me to invent yet another pin number?  shoot, after four years I finally had the old one memorized,  this new one took two looks...
8. I believe this calls for shoes and  a trip to the Bank in the City, so that if I do go up in flames I will be doing it on their territory and it will be their mess to clean up.

Stay tuned.  Film at 11, with video.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

open the door, close the door (6WS)

I think we all have events that happen to us over which we have little or no control:  the loss of a friend, or a loved one, a misunderstanding that escalates into something way out of proportion to the original intent--a life-changer, perhaps.  You can't seem to get your balance back, and even years later you find yourself reliving bits of this and bits of that, perhaps even inventing a different ending.  Or a different beginning.

And then we get all embarrassed and worried, because we are "obsessing" and we tamp it down even harder.

I'm trying something  a bit different.  Im writing it out, the way I wanted it to be.  You imagine, perhaps, that an old buddy or an old flame has suddenly come back into your life twenty, thirty years later. Write it down from where the possiblities kick in,  and then play it as you want it to go.  I tried this a few days ago, working my way through a possible  if imaginary reunion, and somewhere near the end, something magical happened. I wasn't writing it anymore, it was writing itself.

The reason Im doing this, is when ordinarily I write something as a prose piece, once it gets said, typed out, and corrected,  it goes into a drawer and I forget about it. Ive said what I needed to say,  and its over.  I thought, why not do this with reality?  Granted, its a reality that will never happen, for whatever reason. But its a stab at a reality that could have happened, given a few shakes of the snow globe.

And now I have no more desire to write it again, to play it out, to invent.  To obsess.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

How I spent my summer vacation--Land Trust talk

this is part of the prperty we have in the Land Trust--we've been chipping away at access roads,  and the more I see these, the more excited I get about this. This particular road runs from behind our house for about a half mile back into the property, and ends at an old cellar hole that was, according to the deeds, abandoned around 1856.  Why, we have no idea. There was a fair sized barn and a small house, situated fairly close together, a well, and what might have been a privy.   

We are down now to small changes in the wording,  lawyers being fussy about loopholes, and all...another site visit, and we may have this nailed by winter.  








http://mittens-stonesoup.blogspot.com/2014_11_01_archive.html

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Someone is not reading what they are writing

Last week  I received a breathless letter from our bank informing me that my debit card was one of many that had been "compromised" when someone apparently hacked in to the computer system there.  oh, treats.
Now.  This is where it gets really interesting.

My card is apparently compromised.  They are going to send me a new one very very soon.  Until then, my old compromised card is still live, still out there like a dead fish on the dock.  They also state that the old card will remain active until the end of September (excuse me?) at which time it will be rendered inactive.
At that time, once its been wiped from their books and the password is history, they tell me I must then destroy the card so that no one can use it.

If the card is  deactivated, how can anyone use it?  Wouldnt it have been much simpler to just have me change my password?  Now?