Saturday, December 31, 2016

2017 2017 2017 2017 2017 2017 (6WS)

practice, practice, practice

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Merry Christmas, Charlie

My husband's cousin gave us a lovely fleecy red and white throw for Christmas, and the first thing I did was add it to the blanket collection on the bed. 


Saturday, December 24, 2016

A Little Something For Your Holiday (6ws)

A Wexford Carol
Allison Krauss  and YoYo Ma

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Shortest day, longest night

I always think of this as the clock rewinding itself...

Farmer's Almanac

Saturday, December 17, 2016

It's Snowing Again It's Snowing Again (6WS)

--but at least it isn't -15  degrees anymore...which is the sort of pre-Christmas  present I can surely do without

Thursday, December 15, 2016

two fers (Thursday13)

They Call the Wind Maria von Trapp

Only Fools Fall in Love Under the Boardwalk  (ty to Ron)

Silent Night of the Iguana

Stand By Me and Bobby McGee

I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry Me a River

Swing Low Sweet Chariot(s) of Fire

Mister Roberts Rules of Order

A Thousand Kisses Deep In The Heart Of Texas

Tallahachie Bridge Over Troubled Water

Candle in the Wind Beneath My Wings

Stand By Your Man of La Mancha

Alice in Wonderland By Night

Subterranean Homesick Blues In The Night


Saturday, December 3, 2016

(6WS) The gift that keeps on giving

 The Thanksgiving day cold.  I figger this will clear up just in time for the Christmas cold.
But the fluffy Kleenex tissues are very nice

(deep shuddery sigh)

However.  Boredom sets in rapidly, and since I had all these cool bits of windchime material lolling about, I figgered, hey, why not put them to good use.  The trick will be transporting it from here to the front hall without turning it into last week's spaghetti fiasco. 

Friday, November 11, 2016

Leonard Cohen

His recordings traveled with me everytime I left home, until the CD in the car broke down for good.
The older he got, the darker and richer he got, with a voice like melting chocolate.

Waiting for the Miracle

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Thirteen advantages of aging T 13

1. You don't HAVE to remember stuff, no one expects you to, and you get points for what you do remember, even if it's only who sang "Stayin' Alive" or  your best friend's married name.

2. Personal dress code. There is none, unless you want there to be.

3.  Your choices on foods are only limited by what your innards can tolerate, not what your hostess thinks you should be eating.

4. Your diet, your way.

5.  You can get away with almost any snarky outrageous comment as long as you twinkle and laugh a bit, or as a parting line as  you head out the door

6.  One of my favorite lines when expressing an opinion, "in twenty years Im not going to be around anyway, and even if I am, I won't much care..."

7. You are not expected to run anywhere, for any reason.  If it's that important, someone will carry/drag you.

8.  Your hair is not as important to the world as it once was.  Wear it the way--and color--you like

9.  You can, if you are the right age and temperament,  remember every word to almost every song from the 50s, and  60s and probably 70s.  And "name that tune" within three notes.

10. Your makeup, your way.  Or none at all.

11. Socks are the new slippers

12. Senior discounts. Oh, yeah.

13. Shoes don't have to match anything any longer, except maybe each other.

Thursday 13

Monday, November 7, 2016

Oh, now Im really scared

Tomorrow we vote.

It has crept up on us like that impending operation, you can't avoid any of it, even if you don't vote or hide in the closet,  it will happen anyway.

At least they anesthetize you for most operations,  and when you wake up it's over.  This sort of thing, this voting thing, has to be done cold turkey, and when you wake up it's just beginning.

Saturday, November 5, 2016

I Finally Found the Diningroom Table (6WS)

it's been my go-to worktable all spring and summer, and piled high with everything.  Yesterday, praise the saints, I found the top of it.  Now I can begin making curtains--it's also my cutting table  (well-padded, of course. Mother would die if she knew (it was her table)  ).

Monday, October 31, 2016

Shampoo--it's not just for breakfast anymore

Shampoo. Plain old ordinary shampoo.  Turns out it's one of the best cleaners of almost anything I've found. Put a bit (about dime sized) on a squeezed-out wet facecloth and wipe down your refrigerator.  Not hard, just go over the surface the way you normally would.  take another  damp cloth and wipe off the shampoo, which, by the way, goes on like melted butter. No foam, just cleaning stuff.
Then take a fair sized paper towel hunk and wipe it dry.  when it finally dries completely it will be shineeeeyyyy

Soap scum in the shower stall, the high tide line on the bathtub.  porcelain or fiberglass sinks.  It does an elegant job on silver and brass, not so good on pewter. Windows, possibly but only if you can hose 'em down after, like patio glass doors.

Only takes a very little, and  you can use up all the junk shampoo in the house--you know, the kind someone gave you but you cant stand it, or the apple-banana stuff your daughter left behind...stainless steel, aluminum, pots, pans, countertops. however it will remove latex paint, so don't get carried away with the woodwork, lol.
Does a fair job on painted wood floors, and kitchen chair rungs...

And the best part is that your house does not smell like a Louisiana Pine Forest. The shampoo smell is a definite improvement, and you dont need to wear gloves or a face mask.

  it also is a whiz for getting burnt on food off the stove. I would love to know if it works on ovens. if so, thats a step forward, right there.

And now I'm thinking, we  use this stuff on our scalp??

Saturday, October 29, 2016

It's been raining for four days (6WS)

Not that I'm complaining, mind  you;  the wood is under cover,  the windows are all cleaned, puttied  and painted and sealed against winter, and it's supposed to rain later today. Again.  

I think this qualifies as the fall rains,  and while it won't alleviate the drought overnight, it goes a long way  to helping.  

Thursday, October 27, 2016

This is a trick question, right

Legitimate Survey Question:

Would the next computer or tablet you purchase be the first
computer or tablet your household will own?

I'm still working this out:  it reminds me of  "is this the first time
you beat your wife?"

Hello Goodbye in 13 lines

we are always waving goodbye
with one hand, and waving hello
with the other
tarnished by memory
assailed by the brass ring of hope
for the future,
imprisoned between
fogbanks and the blurred forest
already a memory
before we even
make the turn
at the top of the hill--yet
somewhere we linger, we linger

Thursday 13

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Even in fog, the trees glow (6WS)

rained all day yesterday, we had thunder storms all night long, and it poured--I'm in hopes that 1) we still have a driveway left, and 2) the small rivers will start to run again.    With luck, not down the middle of the driveway.  It has been known to happen. 

Friday, October 21, 2016

Charlie and the Rainy Day

He hates snow, mistrusts grass most of the time, refuses to walk in the fields because it hurts his feet and gravel is what you leap over to get to the nice soft dirt...and forget woods walks. Pine needles?  You joke, surely. 

And yet every morning before dawn he insists that now he has to go out. (house rule #1: if I can't see the trees as trees, it's too dark...)  Right now it's pouring out and every time I let him out he sits here on the porch and stares.  

After about fifteen minutes he's paws up and peering in the window,  little mouth open-and-close, open-and-close, 'oh my god it's WET out here. let me IN..." Understand, there is no sound there. He rarely makes noise any louder than a muted squeak, but the soundless cry is just as effective.

Sometimes I see him sitting like this, at the edge of the porch, soundlessly berating the sky, the grass, something, because it isn't performing properly. He has a cat door, but to get to it requires a walk through grass that may have been rained on. The entire three foot walk from the porch to the covered culvert pipe that leads to the cat door tunnel...

How he made it up our driveway in late November without a hat or boots or even good gloves, is beyond me. 

forgive the sinner not the sin

One cannot help the way one is,
especially if you don't know any other way.
If  you manage to commit great distress
on someone else, the fault is in the sin
if the sinner hasn't a clue. You are the way you are.
An explanation, but not an excuse.
Nor does it excuse the willful desire
to maintain that calm pool at all costs,
never learning that 'at all costs"
really negates the idea of the calm pool.
What's left is rubble and broken wire
and you staring at it, wondering,
even before you put down the hammer,
how it came undone in your hands.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Forgiving ain't all its cracked up to be

1. It takes time to let go of what hurt you, what became a life-changer for you but hardly touched the person responsible.  In order to do that, at least for me,  I need to understand the why of all of  it. Im like that.

2. It isn't enough to just say "I forgive you" and walk away.  Partly, I think, because when someone has pulled your own rug out from under you for their own reasons, they tend to see nothing wrong in what they did. Justify, justify. They feel better, and that's all that mattered.

3. The fact that the innocent victims have been laid waste by those actions would have surprised them.

4. You might say it's a lot like an arsonist setting fire to the house across the street, his reasoning being, it blocked his view of the sunrise. Never mind that he displaced an entire family, cost the town a bloody fortune to put the fire out, and sent two firemen to the hospital.  He could now see the sunrise.

5. It's a very selfish, narcissistic POV,  and a true narcissist has learned from birth how to justify almost anything (at least internally) by placing blame in all directions.

6. My mother gave it away inadvertently, one day, when she said "grampa always told me  my mouth would get  me in trouble." and she looked a bit puzzled by that, and rueful.

7. Obviously she had no idea what he meant.  Grampa was  a smart, observant dude.

8. I wish I'd known him.   I think he could see how she always manipulated  people, playing one against the other in a manic game of 'she said/he said" and then backing away while the two of them duked it out verbally.

9. and to be fair, it's been a good life.  Not easy, not simple, but fulfilling.  I feel like I've made a difference in ways that will matter for a few generations to come.

10.  But (and this is important) it was not my choice.  When you remove the possiblity of choice from someone's list of things to do, it's no longer their choice, is it. It's yours.

11. Terry Pratchett has a phrase to describe it, he calls it the pantlegs of Time. Once you start down one you can't change your mind and try out the other one.

12. All you can do is wonder at the kind of life you would have had if you had chosen differently.

13, And since my choosing will always impact someone else's choices, in an ever spreading  ripple, no matter which pantleg I picked, the ripples would have been (and are) eternal and endless.

Thursday 13

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Saturday, October 15, 2016

October humming along right on schedule (6WS)

(there were supposed to be five others but Blogger insisted they all had to be viewed sideways.  sigh.)

Friday, October 14, 2016

Caveat Emptor (or, if you prefer, Empty Cave)

Anyone who runs Microsoft--this afternoon I got what is called a 'cold call" from Microsoft, telling me I had a virus that was running amok in my computer system.  Sakes alive, I thought.  He said Microsoft had been trying to contact me for days.

o, really.

Indian man, gave me his name which was something like pujnabbi mumble mumble...I played along, not really sure about all this.  He wanted me to delete something in the 'cmd" file,  and I said why and he got very angry with me and started shouting.  I quietly hung up.

It turns out this is a very well known scam, and apparently you are supposed to report them to the consumer protection people.  

Microsoft states categorically that they never cold call anyone without letting you know it's going to happen. And since I run a virus scan daily and a deep scan once a week, Im not too concerned.

If you do get an unannounced call from anyone who says they are with MS hang up.  Whatever they want you to do, it's either going to cost money or eat your computer.

Monday, October 3, 2016

The winds blow heavy on the borderline

mebbe, mebbe not.  We do need the rain.  Not sure if it's worth losing our driveway, however.

(This is, btw, a really neat map.  It updates steadily, and gives you the entire country at a quick glance. )

Saturday, October 1, 2016

It Was a Very Good Year (6ws)

It Was A Very Good Year (Kingston Trio)  earworms 'r' us

Since last I mentioned this I have been hearing, humming, and singing this on a steady basis. Daily. Hourly. I found myself singing it at the top of my lungs on the way to town yesterday.  Not pretty.  If I knew how to whistle I'd be doing that, too.

I am desperate.  I may have to resort to Dock of the Bay or even something  from "Oklahoma":  "OhhhhhK-Lahoma where the winds blow heavy on the plains..."

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Cough Ough the Dough, Damn Ya (Thursday 13)














Saturday, September 24, 2016

Haiku For a Panic-Stricken Hour (6WS)

my password was lost,
locked out of my blog,  oh my
and now Im not. Why?

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Worth the watch

A montage of video and still life photography, animals, nature,
ten years in the compiling. The music can only enhance this.

Richard Sidey photography

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Once more but with puppets this time (Thursday 13)

1. Kukla
2. Ollie
3. Rootie Kazootie
4. Kermit
5. Miss Piggy
6. Farfel
7. Howdy Doody
8. Mr. Bluster
9. Mr. Moose
10.  Bunny Rabbit
11.  White Fang
12.  Pokey (Gumby's horse)
13. Gumby

new thursday 13

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

One of the perks

Dubious though it might be,  one of the perks of being a Google/Chrome person, is that on your birthday when you open up Google on That Day, there is Google spelled out (very loosely, I might add) with birthday cakes and muffins, and I thought, oh, damn...
and sure enough, under it, it said Happy Birthday...

And of course the mister got me a nice card, the kind you have to hunt for, the kind he is willing to dig to find--not mushy, not goofy, but exactly right.  =)

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Thursday, September 8, 2016

That's all, folks! (Thursday 13)

Bugs Bunny
Br'er Bear
Rocket J. Squirrel
Deputy Dawg
Donald Duck
Road Runner
Wile E. Coyote
Mighty Mouse

Thusday 13

Monday, September 5, 2016

The magic of sleep

From the time I was very small until maybe twenty years ago I was a difficult sleeper.  Once I went under, I was pretty much unwakeable until morning, but it was the process, the getting there, that caused the problem.
That hamster wheel in the brain would spin and spin, and when I finally reached the perilous edge of sleep, mental fists clenched,  my husband would suddenly vault out of bed or decide that Now would be a good time to come to bed, and FLING the covers back, and by the time he had settled himself I'd be wide awake and staring all over again.
Words would be spoken. Ugly words.

And then one day I decided to rearrange the bedroom one more time.  There is a fireplace in the room (called the "four oclock fireplace" because in the days of open fireplaces and bitter winters someone would venture upstairs in late afternoon to see if the rooms were chilly enough to warrant a small fire until bed time--I've done the same thing, in years past) and if you could see  your breath, you started a fire.  By this time, however,  we no longer needed a fire in the bedroom, thanks to three stoves downstairs and better insulation,  so I moved the bed across the room, blocking the fireplace, and thought no  more of it.

That night I climbed into bed, turned once or twice, and next thing I knew I was looking at the sun rising in the east window, which was now directly across the room from us in the new view.  Whoa. What. Just. Happened. Here.

If you've ever had bouts of insomnia, you can appreciate that feeling.  It happened again the next night, and the next, and twenty years later it is still happening. I never get over it.  All I can figure is it's some kind of Chinese placement, called F'eng Shui,  that directs you on bed placement, door and window positions, all of that,  and from what I've read, it seems I may have found it myself without realizing.   And in all my years of sleep problems, as I recall, I had never before slept facing east windows. East walls, yes. but never east windows themselves.

The downside is,  I'm afraid to move the bed.

Sunday, September 4, 2016

Testing testing

this will show you how fast your computer downloads and uploads stuff,  which is sometimes comforting, sometimes not.

just for fun.  Select a city nearest to  you and hit the button.  the test starts automatically, download and upload.  It's kinda neat.

Saturday, September 3, 2016

This old house keeps gettin' older (6WS)

And so do  I...

This summer's project (which started last January with the Mouse invasion) went from a new ceiling in the kitchen (which didnt have one at all) to "let's finally finish the walls in the kitchen and paint it" and that  segued into new window casings, a twotone grey color scheme, and about 9/10ths of it is done.
Also discovered a talent for putty-and-paint which, while limited, is amazingly satisfying.  We takes what we can get, here.

While we were painting and putting stuff up, I had this nearly uncontrollable urge to begin speaking in a bright cheery voice the way the lady on This Old House does when she and her husband are redoing a room somewhere.  "Gosh, Jack" she chirps, loudly, sorta like a kindegarten teacher, "this blue paint is REALLY going to make a huge difference in this family room, you think?"  "Yes, Mary", he responds, "And I really like the way this  paint (Can label prominently displayed)  just glides on, no brush marks, no roller skips."  and they both laugh delightedly.
He never once sighs resignedly when she slips and the loaded paint brush whaps into the newly installed  sliding door window glass...she never pokes fun at him when he cuts the last piece of lumber too short (probably because he doesn't cut it at all)...I tried that voice just once and my husband looked at me for about two seconds, shook his head, and turned on the sander.

I dont intend to do this again so I might as well make a good job of it now.  =)  And this winter, golly, I get to make curtains.  =)  =)

Saturday, August 27, 2016

At the Far End Of Summer (6WS)

Already the days are noticeably shorter and no matter the daytime temperature, the nights cool down rapidly.  By morning  one of us has pulled up the extra blanket.  Soon it will be too chilly for open windows.

Happens every year, and every year I'm always surprised at how it got here so fast.  It's all relative, of course, and as we age our sense of time and distance shifts noticeably. I wonder where the breakeven point would be?  If we lived to be 200 would time whip past us like a speeding train, or just settle down to a regular steady wind blowing in from the planets...

And after all, it's where you're standing on the platform  when the train pulls into the station, isnt it.

Where is Einstein when you need him.

Monday, August 15, 2016

Yahoo Messenger

I was warned, yep.  Everyone said it was dreadful,  but at some point I figgered, hey, they're gonna force me into it, I might as well get it over with now.
I read all the complaints.  There was not a word of praise for it.

I finally took a deep breath and pulled the lever, and now I have a brand new shiny Messenger.  Utterly, totally, worthless.
I only had three contacts over there, but about 30 new ones appeared, including people I had known years ago at Yahoo games. What. Is. This.  couldnt get rid of them.  No button for anything. No preferences, no choices.

"Delete your conversation history? " well,  yeah, it does stretch back about five  years, here.  Not only did it delete the conversation history but also the person who was involved at the other end of it.  yikes.  So now I have a hunk of junk that I don't dare delete in case it gets better.

I feel sorry for anyone who tries to run a business or a life from this thing.

Sunday, August 14, 2016

I let him live

I went into the paint store this afternoon to buy paint;
the youngish (maybe 30) male clerk said, do you want
to wait for your husband so he can check to see if
this is the right color

Thursday, August 11, 2016

It beats mowing =)

pink and white yarrow

pussy toes
queen anne's lace

the tall stuff in the background im not sure of, it may end up
being a kind of goldenrod
bit of everything

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Meadow by default

Haven't mowed the grass since the beginning of June, because of the drought.  what has happened, is wildflowers.  My side lawn beside the porch now has Queen Anne's Lace, daisies, frost flowers, evening primrose, little yellow star-like flowers, purple vetch,  pussytoes,  blue eyed grass,  yarrow in pink AND white, late dandelions, some stray pinkish-purple flowers (I want to call it ageratum but Im not sure), and black eyed susans.

my kind of lawn, yessir.

Saturday, August 6, 2016

Ladies with five names

This may seem a minor issue, but Ive been noticing a slow influx of "new' posters/commentors on my blog and other blogs as well,  who have pictures of very pretty ladies and five names. They rarely comment much beyond "wonderful" or "so true..."
just out of curiosity I took one of their photos and pasted it in Google Images to see who they really might be. Lol. Some of them are part of the Russian Bride contingency, some of them are actually someone else with a new strange name.

Anytime you see someone new in here commenting or posting on your blog,  check the name of the blogger--if it has a strange name like Michelle Hillary Douglas Adams Washington  or Susan Anthony Davis Obama Detroit,  I'd not let them into my blog.  I have no idea what they're up to,  but I want honest faces (even if its a puppy dog face) and honest resumes back there.  And most of them purport to be the owners of an amazing string of blogs, most of them to do with the fashion industry, or overseas imports, or design. I don't trust em.

First, the eyeglasses; then the scissors (6WS)

It's as predictable as phases of the moon; one by one the eyeglasses disappear from the kitchen table, from my purse, from pockets and computer spaces (which is an oxymoron in itself).   We find ourselves  saying, 'have  you seen my glasses'  and the hunt is on.  You can almost hear the snickering.

Then one morning you go downstairs and there, on the kitchen table, are two pairs of the things, looking innocent and a bit sweaty, not unlike 4 year old boys who have been out somewhere having forbidden adventures.  Back upstairs, aha, there's a pair on the bathroom sink. Two days later my husband says,  "I found my computer glasses".

Now it's becoming a conspiracy.  The scissors are joining the fun. I have sacrosanct cloth-only scissors that never leave the sewing machine area.  I have kitchen scissors that can barely cut butter.  This summer all of them have disappeared, one pair at a time, at about the same rate as the eyeglasses.  Aha, she says, a bit louder this time..   It is, I found out, virtually impossible to cut felt weatherstripping with a steak knife, nail clippers, or a utility knife, and lord knows I've tried.

Yesterday the first set of eyeglasses surfaced, "right where I left them" a week or more ago. At least, that's what they're implying. This morning, there was the first missing pair of scissors, idling away in the kitchen utensil holder.  "You just didn't look hard enough".  snrk snrk snrk

Friday, July 29, 2016


the sweetest sound
is the scrape
of wndows being shut
against an early
morning storm

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Words of one syllable dept.

This is in the local paper, in the announcement sections, "happenings";

under Senior Programs:

"Power Hour+, Tuesday and Thursday, 9-10 am, and 10-11 am.  Fitness geared for the 50+..."

do you leave your kids at home, bring them with you?  Do you take time off from work for this?  

Saturday, July 23, 2016

All Quiet On The Western Front (6WS)

Just finished this, it should be required reading for anyone who still believes that war is a glamorous event and will make a man outta that kid of yours.  Erich Maria Remarque writes powerfully,  sadly, and with a great deal of understanding and first-hand knowledge of what war really is--I think we all had our eyes opened during VietNam  which was the first time we actually saw soldiers in battle, not just in a canteen cleaned up for the newsreels,  leering at USO entertainers--

Someone (and possibly more than one Someone) once said, if you sent the Generals and the politicians into battle and let the kids stay home, there'd never be another war.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Thursday 13

One is the Loneliest Number
Tea for Two
Three Dog Night
Four Tops
Jackson Five
Six Degrees of Separation
Seven Days in May
Eight Days a Week
Nine Inch Nails
Ten Little Indians
Ocean's Eleven
Twelve Days of Christmas
Friday the 13th

New Thursday13

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Carrying the Rug You're Standing On

"Please use a computer to answer this survey.

Adobe flash Player is required to complete it."

Saturday, July 16, 2016

How'd It Get to Be Saturday (6WS)

here I was thinking oh, good, I have to think up something for Saturday I got all DAY for it, then I went to take my pills (which are now in what I think of as the days of the week underpants boxes) and the box marked Saturday was next in line and I thought, well...I must have taken the Friday ones by mistake...


Thursday, July 14, 2016

more or less

just a few
not too many
no, I'm done for now
a small bit
just a skosh
no no no that's way too much
whatever you can spare
just enough to cover it
a little more
not too short
less is sometimes more
half a teaspoon will do it


Saturday, July 9, 2016

Little Garden Epiphany (cue the music) (6WS)

This summer we've been busy with other things, including totally revamping the kitchen (to put it loosely), plus the start of the growing season was chilly and not entirely conducive to planting or anything else.  Snow in May can be a downer, for sure.

So.  The perennials grew, the grasses grew.  I did a bit of mowing at the start,  and flang mulch for as long as I had it to fling.  Then we got busy inside, and the garden was on its own.  (yes, this is heading somewhere)

Usually I'm out there deadheading the peonies and cutting back this, mulching that, fuss fuss fuss.  I noticed a small sparrow who had apparently taken up residence in the beebalm.   I started seeing the turkeys, the resident woodchuck, deer,  numerous small birds, all whipping about out there eating seed heads and big crunchy (yummy) weed leaves. Go, woodchuck.

Strolled out this afternoon to see how much ugliness was there, and was pleasantly surprised to find that everything was doing just fine without me. The lavender has never looked better, the beebalm looked surprised to see me,  and the day lilies went right ahead and started putting out buds without my permission.   Here and there a nice stand of grasses with really attractive seed heads...and suddenly it hit me.  All those birds, they are all seed eaters.  When I yank up the tall grasses, when I deadhead the flowers, I prevent them from setting SEED. And the birds that eat seeds go somewhere else.  Just now the garden is one ginormous evolving seed tray. How cool is that.

Aha, aha.

Thursday, July 7, 2016


I can get
through the days
but the nights
have become
another country


Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Johnny we hardly knew ye

Finally got myself to a bookstore and tracked down the last two Terry Pratchett books.  I had been warned that while they stand alone as reasonably interesting books, and by themselves are pretty good,  on the pyramid of the DiscWorld series they just don't quite make it.

I'm 50+ pages into "Snuff"  and so far it seems to be mostly a kind of catch up to what old fans already know.  In other words, if you're a fan, you don't need to be introduced to the cast,  and if you're not,  it doesnt matter.

I also know that with a lot of  the books in this series one needs to just plow forward and sooner than later it takes hold for the reader.  We shall see (she said bravely)

Addendum:  halfway through the first one, "Snuff" and it's good, it's thoughtful, a bit racier and more brutal than the others. Less humor, less slapstick, more sadness and anger;  Im afraid the jacket blurb (as if the publisher had to push to sell this stuff) sort of goes overboard on the "hilarious hijinx" thing...

Monday, June 27, 2016

Saturday, June 25, 2016

New buddies-- report

At least the cats are getting along

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Poem for June

At The Other End of the Journey

she wonders at the lack of inspiration
worries that she isn't worried more
somewhere the words have withered in their sleep
she worries that she isnt worried more
sometimes at night she wakes and feels the music
that comes from finding lines that cut her deep
but knows she'll never finish this one either
rolls over, sighs, and settles back to sleep
in the morning she remembers waking to the call
ponders what the words were that she lost
and even though she understands the bargain
would prefer to have the music, regardless of the cost

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Monday, June 13, 2016

Some Days are Better Than Others

--at least so far

We have two cats. One, Charlie, is the stray we found on the wall two years ago.

The other one, Toby, is half of the bonded males we got about five years ago.  When Charlie arrived there was a certain amount of huffing and puffing and my husband for some reason decided that we should keep them separated.

Soooo. the cat screen doors went back on, and Toby lived upstairs while Charlie was lord of the downstairs.  They eventually began having friendly little pawfights under the door, and stropping back and forth across the screening.  It bothered me.  I knew they were making friends.  No, no, he said. what if Toby (who is uncatchable) gets hurt?  I understood his reluctance;  we have never been able to catch Toby or even pat him.  He accepts us, but we can't touch him. god only knows what his previous owners did to him and  his buddy Sammy...

Today I got him in a weakened moment (My husband, not the cat)  and  said, let's try.  So I swung open the screen door across the bedroom, and the one downstairs in the hall.   no one seemed too excited, lol.   After about a half hour Charlie opened his eyes, wandered into the bedroom to see what was in the food dishes.  I looked in,  and he was washing Toby's head.  awwwwww

I think its going to be okay.

Addendum:  we found them in the front bedroom, side by side, sitting in the window.  I can't stop grinning.  Toby is used to snuggling with another cat,  and   I think it put Charlie off a bit at first, but apparently  he's getting used to the attention.   Im more pleased for Toby's sake, he was so lost after the other cats died, and he's really been totally alone (as far as cat buddies go) for two years.

Thursday, June 9, 2016

This old house in bits

this is why I gave up on scraping down the door:  the white paint went on, as they say, straight from the can, and heavy. under that is/was a dull flat grey with the tenacity of cement, and under that this original paint which the camera interprets as semi navy blue but in reality is more of a sapphire.  That the woodwork was a dull pale green seemed not to matter, lol.  by god someone got hold of a bit of blue paint and they wanted to use it. =)

This is a corner of the mantel in the dining room.  The dentils are all hand done, and whoever painted it used the same white paint and almost totally obscured the detail.  The paint used  had the holding power of putty;   I could go just so far before I felt like I was going to do more damage than good to it.  Its this color, truly, underneath.  You wonder why anyone felt the need to paint this at all

And this is the mantel in the parlor.  This part of the mantel is where I stopped trying to dig out the white paint that someone had slopped over the other three or four coats on the dentils.  the carving on this is just lovely.  the left hand upright molding on the side, you can see, has a remainder of the black paint all the fireplace wood was painted with at the time.  That silver looking band on the bottom is the front edge of the heavy aluminum flue cover, to keep the birds out and the smoke heading in the right direction.  

I wanted to get a nice shot of the greeny grey paint but the camera insists its a lovely pale grey and I refuse to get in  a shouting match with a camera at this point.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Garden in the fog

still life with cart

elderberry bushes

the first poppy, purple alium,  solomon's seal

lol everything looks more intriguing in the fog

Saturday, June 4, 2016

This is just plain fun

Be warned, those of you who remember this game from years back, it's gotten more complicated, and I think more fun.

Ron., I know how you LOVE these things...


Thursday, June 2, 2016

Thursday 13 Book List

for once I've been keeping track of my reading through the entire year--so far, since  January,  I've managed to cull out 13 that are worthy of saving, and reading again.  Tried some new authors this year,  and some very old (as in classics I never got to yet) ones,  it's fairly eclectic.  It's always a bit disappointing to reread old favorites and find that, like the Campbell's Soup you loved as a kid, this too seems to have lost its flavor.  The Terry Pratchetts are rereads, as is The Samurai's Garden.  Some I've had around for years and never really got into:  Antonia Fraser,  Edwin O'Connor,  P.D. James...

1. The Night of 400 Rabbits   Elizabeth Peters 

2. The Attorney                    Steve Martin

3. The Samurai's Garden      Gail Tsukiyama

4. Everything She Ever Wanted   Ann Rule

5. Dorchester Terrace          Anne Perry

6. The Night Watch            TerryPratchett 

7. Family Man                   Calvin Trilling

8. All In The Family         Edwin O'Connor

9. The Lincoln Lawyer     Michael Connelly

10. Low Country              Anne Rivers Siddons

11. Thief of Time             Terry  Pratchett

12. Marie Antoinette         Antonia Fraser

13. Death In Holy Orders    P.D. James

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Just one Thing:

Over the years, both on message boards and now on blogs, Ive noticed a strange phenomenon--if someone happens on a temporarily unused topic, or discovers that this post has passed its sell-by date, they will not comment, no matter how much they want to.  "Oh bother," she'll say,  and leave.
I asked someone once why you DO that and she said, well, no one is using it...

Do you know how little sense that actually makes?

What I'm heading for here, is this;  if you stroll back through some of my posts (and  not just mine, but anyone's out there) and find something to comment on, for the lord's sweet sake do so.  If the blog is obviously current, there's a good chance the author will see the comment, and maybe even respond.

Now and then I find older posts by people that are just riveting, and if I do comment, sometimes I'll get an answer back very quickly.  People like to know that their older stuff gets read, too.  We've become too  much of a rip and read culture,  and that's kind of a shame.

Bloggers love comments. Even if its on a five  year old topic,  it still counts.  And I guarantee you, comment, and you'll probably get a response from me.

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Hot Humid Green Glowing Leaves Flowers (6WS)

not to mention ticks, black flies,  mosquitoes
and birds that never STOP, already.

 I've done everything but roll in the fresh cut grass and that may be next.

 I am not even complaining


Wednesday, May 25, 2016

sometimes I am such a stupid

that little search box up there just above and to the high left of  the post box...type in a word or phrase and it will magically take you (or me) to allll the posts with that word or phrase in it.

I spend two days  hunting for my old posts about when we bought the  new woodstove.  type in "wood" or "stove" and bob's your uncle, there it is,with all the other posts that reference it.

whacking myself on the forehead

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Setting the Goals Making Visible Progress (6WS)

Last fall was devoted, not to garden cleanup but to getting as much wood in the shed as we I could.   And of course we were drawing from outside, and didnt touch the shed wood until the day before Christmas.

I dont usually winterize the plants, they are all pretty hardy, and those that pretend to be, like the butterfly bush, will die in two years anyway,   Ordinarily i do give everything a final coat of mulch, but I never did get back to the lawn.  So I just leave what's there until spring. Which happened this week, with a roar and a nasty chuckle.

After a winter of relative idleness (apparently feeding stoves and napping doesnt count as work),  the muscles have turned, if not to jelly, but to old lady legs and arms.  it always takes about a week of bend-and-stoop-and-whine  to get the muscle memory awake and working.

The only way I've found to do that without causing too much damage, is to set narrow-edged goals that leave room in either direction for continuing or stopping.  The mental muscle memory appreciates this.   As I carve out a chunk of garden that has an incredible amount of witchgrass already, I tell myself,  "okay,  to that plant. Ill do all these and then stop when I get there..."  At first, it's a struggle to get to that point, but after a few days Im making bigger goals with tougher demands. It sounds complicated, but it's the only way I can force myself to keep going.  In a week or so Ill be out there half the day without even noticing.  Right now it's hell with a spading fork.

One of the few times I heartily wish for strong sons (or even grandsons)...

Monday, May 16, 2016

well it is only May, what can you expect

I won't put the picture up. It's too cruel.

This morning it was 28 deg. when I went out on the porch to pick over some wood for a morning fire. Then I looked at the roof of the shed, and thought, hey, I don't have white shingles up there...

And on the tarps covering the wood behind the house

It's snowing right now, ever so lightly. I'm trying not to look.

Saturday, May 7, 2016

Friday, May 6, 2016

The minefield called "Mother's Day"

I got email today from a site I visit regularly,  suggesting that if I want to send my mother a pretty gift, sign up here...

It sort of took me off balance,  I don't really remember ever getting this kind of email solicitation before,  and I found it disturbing and invasive.  Not sure why.   And later today nearly the same thing happened at another site, suddenly there's a big old drop down window covering the screen,  suggesting that I might like to do "something nice" for "mom".

Part of the disturbing aspect is the assumption on the part of what amounts to total strangers that 1), you have a mother, 2), you actually need to be reminded that you have one, and 3)., they are all too willing to let you spend your guilt money at their site.

My mother's been dead for 17 years.  I doubt if I need to send her a card, a gift, or a greeting.  We were not always on the best of terms anyway,  and it's the assumption that we are/were that scalds me.  I keep thinking of those people who are still struggling with loss, suddenly being smacked in the face with one of these guilt laden invitations.  ouch.

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Checking in--yay it's stil raining

Not much going on around here, unless you consider the rain

I was thinking the other day,  if you take into account the seven month drought last summer that stretched from March to September here, and the lack of fall rains after that, and the appalling lack of snow in this region (maybe three or four inches all winter), that pretty much turns into a year long drought.
It is now raining, slowly, gently, and has been for over a week. It looks like we may get showers for another week, daily.  I am so not complaining.

Just found this weather/drought site,  it's really fascinating.  You can find your state, zip code, region, whatever, and it's pretty current.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

A Small Learning Experience

It once was, that if you hit "next blog" at the top of the page you would be given a random blog to view with pleasure, alarm, horror, or boredom.  There were times when I could be treated to all of the above and a few more emotions, in the space of ten blogs or so.  When I found one that appealed, I'd read into it, maybe bookmark it, maybe start to follow it.  And then on to the next.

Now, it seems, Blogger has decided if you seem even slightly interested (ten seconds seems to be a kind of bench mark, apparently) in a blog on, say, birds,  well, by gosh and by  golly that's what you get.  Hover too long over the marshes of a distant preserve, or read into a gardening blog or two, and suddenly you are seeing marsh birds, endless images of gardens,  and birds in gardens.  Where have the other blogs gone?

This morning I decided, as much as I wanted to read about bushtits and upland lakes,  I was going to try to wrestle my blog hunting away from Blogger.   Fifteen tries later I broke free of the bird lovers and plummeted into the gardening.  Undaunted, I kept moving.  More birds, more gardens. Aha, porn. oh, wait...

Fast forward to economics, a few political blogs, ducking the golden eagle swooping over the marshlands again,  dodging owls in their native habitat, and came up upon an unhappy mother and her unhappy life. One more click and I found myself staring at a Japanese entepreneur making and selling handbags.  I rested there for a bit, let Blogger catch up with me, and maybe tomorrow I can find a wider range.

Once I escape the Luis Vittons and the Coach bags.


Saturday, April 16, 2016

Statement of Policy concerning Early Spring (6WS)

I refuse to garden in a winter jacket

It is  my considered judgement that wooly hats and mittens clash with lawn mowers  and it's hard to pull the rip cord in mittens

Sunburn, yes. Frostbite, no.

I will wear rubber boots out there but do draw the line on wool socks and fleece-lined mukluks

If I have to shovel a path to the garden shed, maybe we should wait a week or two, ya t'ink?

It's also very hard to turn a compost heap when it's still a 4X4 block of ice with twigs embedded in it

Thursday, April 14, 2016

thirteen of them (Jaudo13) (Thursday 13)








E enjte


Dydd lau

thu nem




Wednesday, April 13, 2016


You go into a new forum, and are confronted with about five screens of sign-in 'security" code.   Your address, repeated.  your magic question.  your password (oops, it has to be 12 letters and numbers, no two consecutive, lower and upper case);  your date of birth.  your screen name (ohhh sorry, that one's been taken) --and so have all of these.

now comes the little box with the strange swirly looking letters, pink and yellow on a white background. No clue as to how many there really are, (is that a sideways number or part of the design...) or if you need to use upper and lower case...oops, sorry, try again.  (you have three more tries and then, sir, or madam, you will have to start over)   oops, sorry.  you have used up your tries.  Start over please.  e-mail address? no, that's been taken----

All this to enter a forum where you want to ask a single question about one item.  and by this time I have totally forgotten the question,  lost the site address,  and no longer care.

By contrast, all I have to do is go into my local bank and 'look familiar" and they will give me my savings account number.  No ID necessary.

(shakes head. wanders off)

Saturday, April 9, 2016

I miss the Five and Dime (6WS)

1. the narrow board squeaky hardwood floors

2. goldfish and turtles at the back of the store beside the potted plants

3. the snack bar with the red vinyl seats and a foot rail to hold your packages

4. the notions aisle

5. the popcorn machine at the entrance

6. the parrot

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Fast Forward

8 years ago today I started this blog, with trepidation
and not much hope of it going anywhere.  it's a small thing,
as these things go, but it's mine, and like Gollum, I cling
to the rocks and shoals of it, waiting for the shiny parts.

44K pageviews, 22 followers (several of whom have wandered
off), and a LOT of photos.  It's been fun.

Every day is the first day, and the last.

Then again, I guess it's that way anyway. These days I wake up
a little surprised that I woke up at all, and glad to be here.

and here. Thank you for taking the trip with me. It's a lot more fun
with company in the passenger seat.

13 cool things about bread

1.When it's done baking the smell fills the house
2. Making bread is great exercise
3. Always knead it longer than the recipe tells you to
4. It has to be truly awful to be inedible, sorta like cheesecake
5. Toast
6. More toast
7. If you're the bread baker in the group, people say, ooooo.  you bake BREAD?
8. If you're not, you wish you were
9. Yeast is magic
10. Once you get over the idea that yeast is a living organism...
11.  It rewards all the work when you open the oven and it smiles up at you
12. A sandwich wouldnt be a sandwich without it
13. Oh, have some more toast

Thursday 13

Sunday, April 3, 2016

A very long walk

100 years ago this part of New England was just recovering from almost total deforestation;  farmers had found new and more efficient ways to manage the land, sons and daughters were now working in towns,  and the once ubitquitous farm land was reverting back to fields, truck gardens, and forest.  In the late 1800s NH was 90% agricultural land,  by the end of this last century it had reversed itself, despite our sincere efforts to pave anything that didn't fight back.

Places like this took less of a direct hit because of the topography, and the trees crept back steadily as there was less and less need for grazing land and huge acreage for crops.  This particular bit of land was scraped down to bedrock by the glaciers, carving large tracks for the melt that followed.  I suspect that thousands of years ago there were serious rivers in each valley, all of them heading down to what would someday be towns, and lakes, and larger rivers.

` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `

The biggest concern was the rain: would it?

It started to rain the minute people began arriving for the walk;  35, more or less, amazingly enthusiastic people.  It continued to rain while the two tree guys introduced themselves and we huddled like refugees waiting for the walk to begin.  It rained harder as we marched off into the woods. Some people actually brought umbrellas =)

we had originally suggested splitting the group into two separate parties, one to go west and one to go east but the organizers felt we needed to stay together.  

This is one of the stone walls that divide one pasture from another deep in the woods at the bottom of the valley.  to the right you can see how steep it is.  

this is basically the same area, only looking the other way, up the side of the other valley.  At the bottom, one of our tree experts is showing us about a basswood tree,  one of only a few that we have. They LOVE finding stuff like that. =)

We decided to take the easy route (most of the people on the walk were  over 50, some I suspect were even over 80), through the admittedly sloppy valley.  At some point one of the wood fellas hopped a wall and we found ourselves trekking upward toward the beech ridge.  It was a lot like that part in the Hobbit where the  hobbits are inexorably shunted downward, toward the Evil Tree, only in this case we were being somehow propelled up.  Since snags and downed trees blocked the way down, over and over,   up seemed the way to go.  Suddenly we all agreed that since we were here, yes, yes, the beech ridge would be lovely.

this is the end of the beech ridge path, leading to the neighbor's field and the really cool view.  He's very generous about sharing the view, and it never disappoints.

 And this is one corner of the pasture, (yes, it was still raining.  endlessly)

Below that  photo is the overlook, on a good day you can see the ocean, 40 miles away.  

We turned back, to come back to the main house, all along the beech ridge but going the other way.  Once there my husband said, hey, let's take the OTHER walk too and everyone said, oboy and off they went.  My jacket was thoroughly soaked, and I was starting to forget what toes feel like, so I came in, stoked up the fire, and had one of my power naps in the rocker.

An hour later they all trooped back, having taken not only the scenic route but the long loop,  a complete journey of nearly three miles.  yikes.

As they left, the rain stopped.  The sun came out almost immediately.  Of course.  And last night, just to make sure we didnt get too excited about spring, we were given two inches of snow. Nature's answer to "spring? Can't last,  don't get used to it..."

Saturday, April 2, 2016

Before dawn, this morning, a woodcock (6WS)

One of the uglier birds out there, but for me, always a sign that the seasons are progressing the way they should.  I went out to get kindling for the morning fire, and sure enough, I heard the whistle and that nasal "peent peent peent" overhead.
They have a tendency to sit smack in the road or field (if I close my eyes you cant seee me) and only when you approach too closely do they fling themselves upward and fly away.   Once your heart stops pounding and settles back in your chest you realize you have just terrified a Woodcock.

Friday, April 1, 2016

Addendum /Link alert

this is a link to an earlier post that describes the process a bit more clearly:


At the moment everything is in stasis:  a bit of rain, a bit of snow,  a LOT of wind.  Not much to write about (and I so do not want to discuss Scary Politics here) and unless you are fascinated by the processes involved in de-mousing a closet,  I will draw a tasteful veil over that and promise I am still around, if not visible.
Tomorrow if it doesn't rain we are going on what is called a Site Walk with MMRG (Moose Mountain, our Land Trust people), with two very interesting tree experts and probably 30 people total.  This is what I wanted to have happen,  that it become a place to learn stuff about the way trees mature, the way forests mature and change, and why a messy 'natural' forest is the place where wildlife actually live, rather than just pass through to get to the good stuff.   This IS the good stuff.

I'll try to remember to take photos.

Last year we had 20 or so, that the sight of them winding their way across the land in a kind of careful conga line was both gratifying and hysterical at the same time.

And now I must go tidy up the porch. It's been a repository for wood and bits all winter, and it's begun to look as if there should be a wringer washing machine at one end and an old washtub at the other.  =(

Friday, March 25, 2016

They are calling this 'ice pellets" now

     I don't care what March came in as, but it's surely going out as a Yeti...

Monday, March 21, 2016

Words of one Syllable department

One of the coupons from my KMart purchases yesterday:

                                 5% OFF
                    APPAREL PURCHASE


Role Play??? is this now Kinky Mart?

On another front, my new microwave (in two languages and every other line is a safety warning) tells me that I  MUST keep my microwave clean and I MUST never clean the oven while it's plugged in --but as an alternative,  it says if you cannot access the plug, be sure to keep the door open while you clean it.  er.  Unless you are very very tiny, this is almost a given...

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Something is tugging at my sleeve (6WS)

1)  I now have one of those annoying little pill box strips that not only reminds you to take your pills but also tells you what day it is,  instead of staring at a blank calendar and realizing that in order to know what day it IS, you have to know what day it WAS...

2)  it took me three tries yesterday to figure out how to spell cupboard.  Two tries to get deciet deceit  right.

3)  I can still add, multiply and subtract,  but division is beginning to elude me;  this is not good.  I was never in the top forty when it came to math,  but at least I could handle division.

4)  My handwriting is now illegible enough to confuse even me. I would like to blame the computer for that, and do so frequently, but still...

5)  Last year my closest friend (who is 94 this year) called to tell me she had written me a real letter, and when it came I decided the least I could do was respond in kind.  After I found the paper, an envelope, and a pen.  It covered a full sheet and half the back side, and by the time I was done, a half hour later,  I was exhausted.

6)  I have mastered the 15 minute Chair/Book Nap and the instant Asleep at the Keyboard Nap which hints at  the  terrifying  possiblity of Supper Naps in the future...

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Looseleaf Notes, colleen, if you're out there...

It would seem that your blog has been taken over by
someone selling tea.  Im assuming this is not your doing,
and you have been visited by the Redirect Monster...
No matter where or how  I click, it comes up tea...