Thursday, May 31, 2018

Fable (for our time too, probably) T13

1. There was a time, long ago, when people finally understood that Death happened.  They didn't necessarily understand what it was, or why it happened, and because this scared them, they began to make up stories about how it was.

2. The story tellers would talk about it around the fire late at night, making it up as they went along, to soothe the fearful.  They would say,  "A great beast came for Harry last night and took him away."
Someone might ask, "Why? Why did he take Harry, and will he be back for us?"  And the story teller, being wise, would ponder this and say, "well, I think the great beast comes for someone when they are old and tired or can't work anymore.  When we get like that, it will be our time too."

3. And they all went away and thought about this.

4.  The stories grew more elaborate, more detailed, as the centuries went by.  People began to see that this Death, this Great Beast, wasn't all that bad. If you got really sick, he took you somewhere and you got better, maybe, and came back as someone else. And they started honoring the dead, to make sure they wanted to come back.  Buried them, to keep the spirits safe and happy.

5. Soon they were finding spirits in everything: sour milk,  two headed calves,  a good crop,  tall daughters and sons.  Rain at the right time, or too much rain. Volcanoes that needed appeasing (there go your tall daughters).  Each culture had it's own.  pixies, gremlins, elves, leprechauns, Sasquatch, the Loch Ness monster, Santa Claus, the tooth fairy.  Hundreds of spirits, hundreds of events.  Lares and Penates, the household gods.   Small shrines kept  well lit to honor someone's memory. And there were the naughty spirits: Pan, the pukelman,  the tricksters, the rabbit, the fox, imps, goblins.

6. Festivals were constructed both to celebrate the harvest, spring, summer, the longest night, the longest day,  the changes in the year's cycles.  Some were in honor of harvest spirits. But along with all of this sterner minded folk were constructing their own festivals, and being lazy, began to take over other cultures celebrations--cleaned up the act, you might say.

7. The spring festival was no longer a bacchanalia, where couples would go off into the woods and celebrate their own rising sap, winter festivals of lights were no longer a time of wonder in the dark, chasing the evil darkness away on the longest night of the year;  easter became a month long descent into terror and grim death, with a resurrection at the end, and bunnies delivering eggs.

8. There were spirits to explain the mysterious--why the milk went sour,  how the frost covered the windows,  how to make pains disappear, what cured, what killed and how to appease all of them.

9. But Death was always just outside the door, and it became part of the fabric. No one really knew what it meant to die, to go still and cold. So they tried to call the spirit back,  they invented souls and angels,  and of course the angels had to have a leader, and gods appeared.  Great, terrifying, flaming gods that rode across the sky in chariots of flame, or arose from the sea to sink ships.

10. People began trying to appease the gods, to stave off disaster and death a bit longer.  When it happened they left offerings,  and when it didn't they prayed harder and left bigger offerings.

11.  The story tellers wrote about miracles, and magic, and winged creatures.  They wrote it all down to be told and retold, tinkered with here and there,  to bring it all up to date.  And somehow, somewhere along the long line,  some of the stories became real to their listeners. They began to imagine what those magical beings really looked like, and sometimes in the dark they would hear voices or cries which alternately soothed or scared the blazes out of them.

12.  Devils appeared in their dreams. And gods, warring with each other.  Thousands of years, thousands of stories and thousands of gods.   They still pray to their own particular god or gods, to cure sickness, to appease the weather spirits, to make the volcano stop.  When it happens, they leave offerings.  When it doesn't, they pray harder. 

13. Not a lot has changed.  💫


Sunday, May 27, 2018

One small wish -- or two

I do wish that people who no longer support a particular blog would, at the very least,  shut off the comments section.   I just chanced across a lovely (but apparently discontinued) blog, and realized there were about a dozen spam messages, most of them ads, or repetitions, or some such.   When I see that it feels like looking at a painting in a museum that someone has spray painted across.

The second part is, if you no longer keep the blog up, delete it.  'Specially the ones with your kids' baby pictures or your little girl's kindergarten play.   Equally  important; the ones that have your
full name and address (what were they THINKING) in the post somewhere, and a picture of  your house-- and family standing proudly by the mailbox. Oh, please.  You can just hear the burglars taking notes.  And the last message being, "well,  we're off to Disneyworld and Aunt Nan's for a month, we'll be back by Halloween!"

We have been invited...

--to one of those informational 'luncheons' to learn about the latest Senior Living Center place, thing.
This one bodes to be a whopper.  They will be discussing Money Management, Investment Procedures, and you are invited to bring along your Personal Estate Planner or Investment Broker...

Considering our particular living style, there would be a strong suggestion of New Clothes for both of us.  And we would have to contact Rent-a-Broker.

Friday, May 25, 2018


from last night

Ordinarily the cats are kept in at night, with outdoor privileges only during daylight    Charlie has discovered that if he leaps up and wraps himself around the door latch and jiggles it, it will swing open and he can 'escape'.   It's a heavy wooden door, but then, Charlie is 14 lbs of determination.


It is nearly 11 PM and I am waiting for him to return from his grounds patrol.  When he comes back in,  the latch will be blocked, and tomorrow I'll be putting a drop hook on the door, something  I should have done the last time he tried this. Sigh.

There does seem to be a bit of a turf war over the cat door, which is clear plastic, so they can see each other through it. Last night I noticed Toby, who has never learned to use it, was whapping away at it.  Turns out Charlie was on the other side, trying to get in. 

 Shakes head. staggers off.

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Thirteen Things to drive a burglar crazy

Just for fun, I like to dream up different ways to make a burglar very very nervous...use separately or in combination.

1.  Take two old spoons, and hang them by a string over a nail on the inside of the entry door.  Make sure the spoons can hit each other when the door opens.  They have a reverb that goes on forEVER.

2.  If you're going away for a few days spread a thin coat of marbles on the entryway floor

3.  Tiny bells on every door, way up high

4.  A tape recording of a small dog saying, "wuf" and then a voice upstairs saying, "did you hear something?"

5.  A switch that, when activated after dark, turns on the lights in the room for about 5 seconds, and then turns them out.  Lather, rinse, repeat at varying intervals.

6.  Open the door, close the door behind you, and it locks.  Then you hear the sound of a growly dog padding along...

7.  wind chimes. Everyone LOVES windchimes. Not.  Hang one of the more offensive ones (the kind with a huge reverb) directly on the inside of the door. Any door.

8.  strategically place squeaky toys in front of all the doors.  many many toys.

9. rig up a trip wire that, when hit or crossed, alerts the local police, and  releases a veritable blizzard of small bits of paper...

10. there is always the pail over the door filled with the beverage of your choice...

11.  A trip wire that activates a recording of Black Sabbath.  Loud.  Very very loud.  Neighbors tend to notice stuff like that.

12.  Big damp sponges on the floor. NO one likes to step on big damp Somethings in the dark.  "oh my god, was WAS that...yeeewww"

13. Coat all the doorknobs with vaseline

New Thursday13

Sunday, May 20, 2018

Maple Forest

If you look very closely at this, you can see a LOT of faint brownish reddish leaf pairs, all over the place.  This is what  a future Maple Forest looks like. On my front lawn.  (that's  Charlie, inspecting the lawn)

Two years ago we had the second year of a two year drought, the deep-down kind that no one really paid a lot of attention to, as far as weather pundits were concerned:  rivers dried up, everyone had brown lawns, and even (and most horrifying to me) 100 year old trees were wilting, literally wilting, by July. Very little snow cover, no fall rains, no spring rains.   Last  year was closer to normal, and the old Rock Maple in my front yard recovered, somewhat.  We had fall rains, lotta snow, spring rains. 

We never bothered, for two years, to mow the grass.  It went to seed and the birds loved it.

This year I decided it might be a good idea to start mowing again, since we seem to be having a normal if cold spring.  This is what I found, all over the yard where the maples are.  It's a patch maybe 50ft. by 50ft, and there's another on the other side of the driveway as well. 

I said to my husband, if we had had to go away from here for three or four years,  we would be coming back to a yard literally crammed with three foot high maples...

I think I figured it out.  When a mature tree is stressed, as these were,  they produce early seeds and drop them, Thousands.  It's a way of ensuring that this tree, by golly, will at least have babies.   Last year they sprouted into two-prong seedlings,  and I didnt see 'em because I didn't mow. 
Yesterday I hit this spot and I thought, oookay...what IS this.   It's quite pretty,  until you realize what they will turn into very quickly, lol. 

The big old maple survives, still.  I suspect it will outlast us.  I surely hope so.

Friday, May 18, 2018

Don't misunderstand me but...

I will be eternally grateful when this wedding tomorrow is truly over and the happy couple are safely off to wherever they are going to...

I love that Meghan and Harry thing,  they are adorable, and seem to always be having such a good time in each other's company. The main thing being, they are so far down the list to be future monarch material  they are pretty much off the hook, royal behavior-wise...but I just want it over,  so we can go back to where were.   Wherever that was.

Thursday, May 17, 2018

one is the loneliest number... T13

two step

two cents worth

two by two

two part  harmony

two of a kind

it takes two to tango



two left feet

two timer

goody two shoes

two bit

Tea for Two

Sunday, May 13, 2018

The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore

I've posted this before,  and now and then
(now, especially) it seems like a good idea
to repost it.  Just because.

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Look Closely (T13)

Not the blossom
but the leaf that opens
with the unborn fruit  inside

Monday, May 7, 2018

how much is that doggie in the window

Sometimes you go into a pet store,  and can successfully ignore all the barky waggy puppies, until at one point you hear a short sharp YIP and turn around to see a small dog boring holes into the back of your head.  he KNOWS he's got you. 
You walk away, all the way to the door, and you can still hear that one YIP, and see that face.  And you go home with a dog you didn't know you needed.

Today I was in the Salvation Army store;  not really looking to buy,  and I passed a rack of men's jackets.  Hanging on the very end of the rack was a well used, well kept  blue/purple/green plaid  (you know the color) work jacket, with a fleece lining.  Cuffs a bit worn, but when I put it on I realized they were too long and I'd probably have to cut them off.   Somewhere in the back of my head, I heard that puppy. YIP.

I put it back on the hanger.  Moved on and inspected the furniture, the curtains, the used books, the dresses, the shoes.  was working my way down the last aisle to the checkout counter,  and I heard that YIP again.  The tail was wagging, and oh, those eyes...

It's a bit narrow across the front, but I don't need to button it, and yeah, the sleeves will need to be shortened, badly.  But it isn't every day you can buy a well loved well used Abercrombie and Fitch work jacket for $6...

Saturday, May 5, 2018

It just keeps getting better and better

It appears that our fearless leader has reached a new level
 (I shall leave it up to you to decide which one) by selecting
 Dr. Oz, mr. snakeoil  personified,  to be his newest appointee.

Words fail me.  Then again I'm barely surprised, just frightened.  What's next?  Oprah as Supreme Court candidate?