Saturday, August 1, 2015

Right time, right place, no regrets (6WS)

My mother was a city woman, and the city held no terrors for her:  (this was also the 1950s, a very different animal)  when we moved there the year I was 9, I was stunned to realize that I was given almost complete physical freedom without the annoying mummy-daddy thing going on.

In the country,  where I started out, I was kept on a really tight lead:  my folks bought into the idea of lecherous truckers with candy and cute little girls at risk--it was drummed into me that you never never talked to strangers.   If I went anywhere, it was in the company of an adult.

The transition for a soon to be 9 year old girl was incredible. I must admit, I spent half my time lost in a school that had 1000 kids (four times as many kids as the pop. of the town I came from) or trying to find the Principal's office, or  learning city rules vs. country rules, but still...

In the city I acquired two bands of girlfriends, and I became a marauding, wide ranging kid, all over the streets, I had shortcuts to the library, the church, the school...god help people's lawns, lol--on Saturday I would disappear after breakfast and not surface until nearly supper time, just in time for Roy Rogers.  Never once did my mother quiz me (and a good thing too) about my day, she seemed blithely unconcerned.  Not speak to strangers?  my GFs and I spent all one summer making and selling potholders, door to door, 2 for a quarter.  We cleaned up.  If we'd had baby sisters or brothers we'd have peddled them too.

That was where I learned to ride a bike, and that, surprisingly, was limited to our parking lot (we lived in an apartment) and never on the street.

When we returned to NH the clamp came down again, but now I could ride the bike anywhere I wanted, even to school, 8 miles away.  Go figure.

I never had another bike and by the time I was 15 or 16 it was just too much effort to haul me and the bike up our steep hills so I became a walker. But the difference in attitude was stunning.

Those two years in the city were, as a kid, two of the happiest and scariest  years of my growing up. I wept when we moved back here...=)  sometimes I wonder what might have happened if we had stayed:  obviously there's no way of knowing,  or even guessing, but I would not be the me I am now. That much is clear.  What is also clear,  I have no regrets.  Right time, right place.  No regrets

Thursday, July 30, 2015

13 good things I remember as a kid [Thursday Thirteen]

1. Going to the beach and building sand castles
2. The Christmas I got the windup train and the track
3. Living for two years in a city environment
4. My first and only bike when I was 9
5. spending two weeks with my best friend and her folks at their summer camp in Maine
6. going to the library
7. endless cardgames with my mother on snowy winter days (no school today, yay)
8. learning to play cribbage
9. the Red Sox on the radio with Curt Gowdy announcing
10. Our first television (big old cabinet Dumont)
11. Reading and collecting "the Bobbsey Twins" series
12. My first job at 17
13.learning to write cursive

Thursday Thirteen

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Book Talk redux

One of the dubious glories of being a voracious reader is discovering books that you read years ago (or maybe, these days,  year) as old dimly remembered events; usually half way through 600 pages, when you begin to feel familiar with the plot line, and the character;  too far along to let it go,  not far enough along to remember how it ends.

 Luckily when I buy most books I buy them used,  from a thrift shop or used book store or a church sale, so the outlay is generally less than 50 cents a book, sometimes 3 for a quarter.   I'm not shy about rereading a book. If I liked it the first time, chances are I still do, although some are one-time reads, good enough in their own right but not something to be repeated anytime soon.

But now, with the proliferation of 'blockbuster'  novels with similar theme names ("The Bourne Ultimatum", "The Bourne Identity", etc)  and six or seven hundred page reads,  by the time I've reached the end of one I am so overwhelmed with plot lines and red herrings and possiblities that the brain just  quits.  It's like being on a fast moving train.  You can no longer appreciate the scenery, there's just too much to take in.

One of the other dubious glories of being a older voracious reader is, like meeting old classmates after 45 or 50years,  you spend half your time trying to figure out where you've seen them before, and the rest catching up on people neither of you can recall clearly or perfectly.

In my last swoop through the thrift shop a few weeks back I managed to find at least a dozen very large novels by Kellerman, Michael Crichton,  Robert Ludlum.  John Grisham.  It turns out that I actually had bought some  of the books earlier in the summer and ten pages in realized they were books  I had reread a few years back. sigh.  The only one in the current  pack that I can deal with is Grisham. The others are either too bloody or too complex or too plot heavy and they will go to book heaven come winter.

Thursday, July 23, 2015



1.  it's snowing
2.  the river is about to flood
3.  it's too hot to do more
4.  you're stuck in traffic and the A/C quit
5.  your best friend just called with good news
6.  your ex called to invite you to the wedding
7.  an old boyfriend took the time to look you up
8.  you just learned that it's not always about you
9.  you just got downsized out of a job and you dont care
10. you went to your 35th class reunion and no one knew you
11. the light is better over there
12. I said so
13. your 40 yr old daughter called from Arkansas, she's coming back home to live with you

Monday, July 20, 2015

Dreaming the book

I've mentioned before that now and then I will have a dream that is solid reportage,  starting with me reading (in the dream state) a newspaper article, which then turns to hearing a narration and then to a careful segue into being the article itself.

Lately, coming down off of that game intensive year of no reading at all beyond cereal boxes and soup can labels,  I've been reading a stack of 600 page monster novels from people like Michael Crichton, Lee Child, John Grisham--one every other day, cover to cover.  and now I've found that when I dream I dream as a narrator/writer of very similar novels, long winded, plain speech, in that very similar voice...

I keep thinking, if it were only possible to  type and dream at the same time, by now Id have at least the better part of a lawyer driven-deep south-highly complicated novel of murder and mess, written out and ready to be proofed.  I wake up drenched in sweat, and exhausted.

Maybe it would work with poetry. Hrm..

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Don't try this at home

This computer (Win 7) has a nice System Restore function, gives me a new restore point every day, for the days when Bone and Headed meet on the keyboard.

There is also  a nifty little tool called "Snip".  You can take the part of any image on the screen and plunk it in a photo managing setting.  a face, a bit of text,  anything.  
I've never been much of a fan of it,  but today I was messing around on the desktop with it and
suddenly I hit the wrong button and my entire screen image was upside down.

trying to read a computer screen upside down is hard enough, trying to work the cursor from a mirror-upside-down position  is an excercise in insanity.  I rebooted, back into the same upside down image and then opened a program to see if it just affected the wall paper. was all over everything.  

oh. my. god.

My whole computer.

I KNOW where the sys. restore function is, but trying to find it while reading upside down and the cursor seems to want to hide in the wrong corner, and then locating the right line...luckily I only lost a few hours of the day, and I have whipped the Snip tool soundly and put it to bed without its supper.  

Saturday, July 18, 2015

6 things that made a difference (6WS)

1. Learning to read (mother said, anything on the bookshelves. if you can reach it, you can read it)
2. Living for two years in the city (oy, the freedom)
3. A neighbor brought me my first kitten when I was twelve.  I told Mother, it could have been worse.     It could have been a pony.
4. Marrying the right guy
5. Seeing this house for the first time
6. Learning to drive (oy, the freedom)

[make your own list, public or private. It's funny, the things that really mattered, really changed you from who you were into who you are. ]

Thursday, July 9, 2015


1. Harry Langdon
2. Ben Turpin
3. Harold Lloyd
4. Charlie Chaplin
5. Marie Dressler
6. Francis X. Bushman
7. Lillian Gish
8. Rudolph Valentino
9. Greta Garbo
10. Clara Bow
11. Norma Talmadge
12. Lionel Barrymore
13. Lon Chaney

Thursday Thirteen

Thursday, July 2, 2015

I just saw him...

through the front door
over the back porch
out the window
beneath the window sill
up the chimney
around the corner
inside the cellar
under the stairs
behind the curtains
in back of the bureau
beyond the fence
up in the attic
out on the roof

Thursday 13

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Oh, please

It is nearly the 4th of July, and it is 57 degrees out and rainy.  I have a spirited fire in the kitchen stove.   The plants, of course love it,  and the two inches of rain we're getting tells me we might just have a good summer,  just not when

addendum:  it is now 47 degrees, and I am seriously considering a fire in the dining room stove.  The cat has been out once, looked at me as if  I were insane, and came back in, wind whipped and soggy.   =)

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Not a Trick of the Light (6WS)

In the winter, Charlie is a medium long haired grey/white/black leggings cat
In the summer, he is a medium short haired dark brown/medium brown. black leggings cat
I have  no idea why, except that he may have an 'overcoat' of white/grey that replaces the brown.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

In Brief

1. Dylan
2. Shakespeare
3. Cher
4. Marilyn
5. Garbo
6. Kennedy
7. Einstein
8. Gable
9. Lennon
10  Lincoln
11. Capote
12. Liberace
13. Streisand

New Thursday 13

Saturday, June 20, 2015

The Dark of the Moon Blues (6WS)

Spring Tides

when the light goes out up there
for a day or two, 
I feel the tug of nothing
like trying to sing in a vacuum
and no sounds come out

no song satisfies 
unless it's in a minor key
with that heavy beat behind it
like a steady blow
between the shoulder blades

and I begin to slosh in and out
like the spring tide,
retreating further and further from shore
exposing rocks and broken shells
that won't be seen again
for another year

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Color Spectrum Test

color spectrum test

aha I found it  

color is in the eye of the beholder

Blue Green

more lucky 13s at: Thursday 13

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Recovered from the old "6 sentences" site, now defunct

Oh, Let Me Count the Ways

After 30 years of longing and self-imposed madness, still gifted with a sixth sense about her, Jack took to counting pickup trucks; no idea why that particular item, except they were handy, numerous, and ubiquitous.  The goal was ten thousand even, but with an added handicap of no red or white ones, and no extended cabs.  When he added the last truck on I-81, he stopped for coffee in the next town as a kind of 'seal the deal' event, wondering with rock-solid certainty not "if" but "when"  'it' would happen.

As he was getting up to leave the door jangled open and three stout blowsy middle-aged women walked in,  brushing by as he shrugged awkwardly into his jacket.   One of the voices reached him, resonating for a very long moment before he threw down the tip with a clatter, getting just a glimpse of her as he passed their table--nahh,  he thought,  it couldn't be.  Back in the car again, he looked around the parking lot.  "One", he said, "two, three, four..."

Saturday, June 13, 2015

about the nature of game addiction (6WS)

I have an addictive personality--I am also highly competitive. This is a dynamite and dangerous combination when it comes to games in which you pit yourself against opponents, obstacles, or both. When the opponents are not computer generated, there is also a sense of community that springs up among people on one 'side' vs. the other 'side'.

You may maintain your "I"ness, your persona, but it gets subverted into a kind of group mode in order to succeed in quests, adventures, or goals that are group oriented.  The "I" is there, but it's now  involved in making decisions that affect the entire group, and the more independent you are, it is both harder and easier at the same time to devote your energies to that group and that goal.

I have just finished a year long stint with a game called RailNation.  There were four separate games played,  each lasting 12 weeks, with a slight space between each one.  It was played out on a map of the United States, and you settled (with your association) in one city and 'owned' it.  It is,  frankly, maddeningly, one of the best, hardest, and most interesting games I have ever played, one of the most addictive, and it required attention on a daily/hourly basis. Unlike many games, WoW most notably,  it continued on whether you were logged on or not.  That meant you were more or less forced to show up fairly regularly in order to be productive and useful to your Association.

I loved it, and hated it by the end of the last round, which ended last week.

 I'm gone.  The new game started today,  I went over and saw that I could log in,  and I fled. Seriously.  Took down the shortcut and the references to it.

Then I went out and mowed the lawn.

Thursday, June 11, 2015


                  One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest
             Two Happy People...
                 Three Men in a Boat
                                 Four Door Sedan
                 Five Finger Exercise
           Seven Days in May
                               Eight is Enough
                Nine Men's Morris
                    Ten Little Fingers Ten Little Toes
           Ocean's Eleven
                    Twelve O'clock and All's Well
                              THURSDAY THIRTEEN

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

sleeping beauty

I've always had trouble falling asleep.

For as long as I can remember, it's been a tussle to 'get there' no matter how tired, how dark, how late, the brain just kept on humming.  I lay a lot of the blame to being put to bed way too early as a kid, and in the summer being in bed while it was still light out.
Being a night person by nature, I hadnt shut down yet enough and spent probably an hour or more trying to get into sleep mode.

I used to count, sometimes into the tens of thousands, to bore myself to sleep.  As an adult I just waited it out.

Even after I got married, even after we came up here to live,  it was always a struggle to drift off, especially being married to a man who fell asleep almost instantly. That is SO annoying.

Then something magical happened, and Im still not sure what it was, but it worked.  One day I was rearranging the bedroom, and happened to place the bed on the west wall, covering an old bedroom fireplace that we didnt use and had sealed off.  That night I got into bed and the next thing I knew it was morning.

Whoa, I thought. That was amazing. Next night, same thing.  Every night.  No more toss-and-turn, no more waiting for the brain to stop stravaging through my entire life history,  I would lie down, toss and turn once, and wake up the next morning.

It may be part of the Feng Shui thing the Chinese use, where furniture placement is supposed to help or hinder your mood and temperament.  I've lived in many places, some of them with the bed facing east, but never facing a window that way. Always a wall.  It's been over 20 years since I moved that bed and only rarely do I have trouble sleeping, maybe once a year.

To anyone who has trouble sleeping, or falling asleep, this is a miracle every night.  However, Ill never be able to move the bed again  =)

Saturday, June 6, 2015

A Poem for Six Word Saturday (6WS)

          (by J. Sprat)

Last week we fixed the door.
Today you broke the floor.
Every time you take a bath
I fear for every lath
and every beam and timber.
I am no longer young or limber
and it’s really getting harder
to avoid your mammoth ardor--

I think we need to talk.
You can no longer safely walk
without causing mass destruction
to the sturdiest construction
from the kitchen to the basement.
This will be the fifth replacement
of the stairs.  When you cannot make it
through a door without a jimmy
then I can no longer take it.
I’ve seen you in your shimmy.
I’d love you more, turtledove,
if there were just a little less of you to love.

                                       (published, Melic Review, long ago)