Saturday, December 30, 2006
In preparation for the New Year's cleanup (garage, closets, bookshelves, 40 years of accumulation) we went out and bought some more boxes today. Those office boxes are a little small, but easier to lift when filled with books and papers. S was looking for a small pocket calendar, so we went to the second office supply store where the boxes were on sale. I bought some more. Now I have 50 boxes (ought to do it!) and a serious project ahead of me. I have 2500 books on librarything.com now. Serious fun!
Friday, December 29, 2006
Wednesday, December 27, 2006
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Friday, December 22, 2006
Thinking about overpopulation is a terrifying thing. Naturally, one likes having a big family; I particularly like to watch the traits of my parents re-emerge in their descendants. My mother has turned out to have a very persistant look; just today, I got a Christmas card from one of my brother John's daughters, who looks more and more like my mother. Still, I think that the world will really suffer from the excessive presence of so many human beings. I wish we could just slow down a little. Just slow down.
Happy Birthday, Dad! Youv'e been gone almost 20 years now, yet we still think of you every day.
at 6:36 PM
Saturday, December 16, 2006
Now, as I write a Barbra Streisand special has just turned up on TV. From the hairstyle, it looks to have been filmed on the cusp of the Seventies. Could it be new? She is wearing a simple, slender, long ivory-white dress. And she can really sing! The most beautiful, subtly altered notes, the power and emotion and delivery of the texts. Wow. Some guy in the audience is about to choke himself yelling, "Bravo, bravo, bravo!" The rest of the audience is screaming.
Now it is becoming clearer; the show is made of of clips from different shows. And the now-Barbra is talking about one of them.
This week I have been going through boxes of old papers. I have found many excellent traces of the past, like my daughter's kindergarten handprints in fingerpaint, and a picture of my son holding his first baby, who now is taking horseback riding lessons. This mixture of the past and the present is very appealing to me. But it also reminds me of the ones who are now gone, and how everything passes.
at 11:30 PM
Wednesday, December 13, 2006
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Thursday, December 07, 2006
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Tuesday, December 05, 2006
In this winter chill, it is nice to think about the warm long twilights of summer and the summer festivals, like Independence Day, half a year away. When I was a child our church group rented land and planted a "church garden" out in the country. When the corn, melons and tomatoes were ripe we had a Harvest Supper, a wonderful outdoor picnic with lots of fresh food, games and laughter. It is one of my most delightful repeated childhood memories. We had canning bees and canned food for ourselves and for families who might need food because of some catastrophe. We dried corn (cut from the cob) in the oven; I loved the chewy result. Tomorrow I'll tell you about our Victory Garden.
at 11:01 PM
Monday, December 04, 2006
I've been working all afternoon and evening on a big mess that I should have worked on sooner. I have it all boxed and about half sorted and the kitchen is finally reassembled. Nearly everything fit in, and S cleaned out some shelves in the garage for some of the rest. Big job, dragged out. In my usual manner. Good night.
at 11:22 PM
Sunday, December 03, 2006
Last night I found an old comment on this blog from someone who visited my blog after I had commented on his. I am so used to not getting comments that I haven't looked for any for a long time. So it was great to get one.
at 11:36 PM
Saturday, December 02, 2006
Here at home, I have all my books. Other comforts and art supplies surround me. But I do spend too much time indoors. It's chilly in December, and other excuses.
at 9:43 PM
Friday, December 01, 2006
I did go to the dentist today and now have TWO temporary crowns. One for the one that fell out on the way home and one for the one the dentist had been wanting to fix for two years. I was in the chair today for over two hours. I should feel grateful for being in a world where I can get dental care, but somehow, gratitude isn't the primary emotion. Here comes Christmas!
at 10:44 PM
Tuesday, November 21, 2006
Our daughter-in-law made us such generaous sandwiches for the drive that they served as both lunch and dinner. Good night.
at 10:13 PM
Wednesday, November 15, 2006
Wednesday, November 08, 2006
This election turned out better than I had hoped, except for some environmental protections for Santa Clara County. I don't know what the Democratic side will be able to do about Iraq, but at least the wholesale destruction of environmental protections will have to slow down. I'm hoping. But the White House's veto power will likely pevent any big changes in the status quo, or any sort of improvements for the lives of ordinary people. I am proud of Nancy Pelosi tonight. The first woman to hold that position.
Tonight my college grandsons are staying over. We plan to start the long trek back on Saturday morning.
at 8:56 PM
Thursday, November 02, 2006
The little dogs enjoyed the fire tonight, turning to toast the other side, when the first one got too warm. We have about a week now to batten down the hatches here and prepare for the trip.
I have been reading some books about Basquiat and looking at reproductions of his art. I think it makes me uncomfortable because of so much clear anger. I'm not comfortable around anger, since my family had a very controlled atmosphere and it seemed like there wasn't any need or room for the expression of anger. Perhaps anger is often the very most appropriate response. I guess it scares me.
at 8:22 PM
Wednesday, November 01, 2006
There was a beautiful Schubert program on the radio tonight. It was a rebroadcast of one of the George Jellinek shows. I hadn't listened to Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau for a long time. I hope I am spelling these names right. What a glorious voice for Schubert he had. Jellinek made quite a point of the information that so much of Schubert's work wasn't published until after his death at age 31. Jellinek also talked a lot about the poetry Schubert set his songs upon and the poets he responded to the most strongly. To me this program was very nourishing, like a nice suet cake. Good night.
Tuesday, October 31, 2006
I have been reading Rumor Verified, a book of Robert Penn Warren's poems from 1980. They are quite strong and quite emotional, almost too much so for my present mood. But the the language, sound, structure and vocablulary are peerless. I have finished getting all the books here into Librarything, and feel quite virtuous, as if it were much of an accomplishment. I enjoy playing with the data. Did I tell you about Listsofbests.com? It is a great site, too, and lets you check off lists of books you have read and make comparisons. I've read a lot of Newberry Medal winners, but by no means all of them. I'm pretty poor on the Pulitzers, though. Better on the classics. I also found a list of great blogs and will look at a couple each day. I want to improve this one, but not with sound, video or things that jiggle. It's a work in progress, and still in search of a purpose.
at 8:26 PM
Monday, October 30, 2006
Tonight I tried to explain to my daughter and grandson what Marie Curie actually did and why she was my childhood hero. Wikipedia imforms me that some recent forensics demonstrated that Marie probably got her excess radiation from running the World War I X-ray ambulances she set up with her daughter. Before the end of the war the two had trained 150 women to run the equipment and do the math to show where the bullet or shrapnel fragment was. The conclusion was that she was a careful scientist with the radium. Her clothes and notebooks will still set off Geiger counters after almost 100 years. She certainly had drive and focus.
I learned quite a bit by clicking on links and trying to explain to the others. My science education was a long time ago and not very thorough. At the same time we were trying to help my grandson study for his Beowulf test, when he had forgotten his text. Wikipedia is surprisingly good on kennings, too! It was a very pleasant family evening.
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Saturday, October 28, 2006
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Sunday, October 22, 2006
Today I entered more than 100 books in Librarything. I keep finding things I want to read and re-read. But now I am reading the books on Lorca. That overblown Spanish rhetoric sometimes is embarassing, but he really has a gift for image and metaphor. So I will have to look at the poetry some more, particularly the Cante Jondo and the Gypsy Ballads.
It continues wet, chilly and largely overcast. We will only be able to stay three weeks or less. I am sad. The woodpecker was back today at the suet. This one was, I think, a female Hairy Woodpecker, and most nimble.
Saturday, October 21, 2006
K. brought over some chicken and dumplings tonight; it was very good. The weather continues very overcast and I haven't had much luck with photographs. I discovered a list site tonight: listsof bests.com -- it could be another excellent timewaster. I have already started to work on the book lists. It is extrememly interesting how the site works. Once you check off a book you have read on one list, it is automatically checked on another list you may look at. There are movie lists and lots of other stuff, too.
Saturday, October 14, 2006
A dog is asleep in front of the fire, and it is very quiet tonight. Chamber music is playing on the radio.
When the rain lets up, I want to mount the bird nesting boxes I got at our historic hardware store. I got one for bluebirds and one for chickadees. The bluebird one has a copper sheathed roof. Pretty swell.
at 7:12 PM
Friday, October 13, 2006
It is also possible to see how deep Contractor D drove the deck screws in. It makes it almost impossible to remove them if you need to replace a board.
In this photo, as in so many others, there are layers of history and memory triggers. Goodnight.
at 8:02 PM
Thursday, October 12, 2006
The wet snow reminded me of the last time I shoveled snow with my father. He had just turned 80. "Wet snow is heavy, sticks to the blade," he told me. He liked shoveling the dry powdery snow of that mid-January in Shaker Heights, Ohio. He wore an orange zippered hooded sweatshirt, which I still have. I took his photograph, but don't yet have it in digital form. He died suddenly that April.
at 8:39 PM
Wednesday, October 11, 2006
Right now our grandson is doing his Spanish homework, with tutoring from his grandpa. But is is late, because he went for Bible Study first. Our dogs are ready to go to bed, but they don't get to for a while yet.
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Tuesday, October 10, 2006
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Monday, October 09, 2006
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Sunday, October 08, 2006
Today to a very nice Mozart concert with my grandson. The Great Lakes Chamber Orchestra. Symphony No. 36 and a concerto for violin and viola. Well performed in the First Presbyterian Church in Harbor Springs. The maestro had rhinstones on the collar and pocket rim of his black coat. It tickled me.
at 7:53 PM
Saturday, October 07, 2006
We went to the Northwoods for dinner to celebrate his visit and his brother's birthday. And to look at their father's wood sculpture, which is above the windows all around the dining room. He made these in the last year of his life more than fifteen years ago.
waters of autumn--
how quickly the time has gone
since he died so young
at 8:21 PM
Friday, October 06, 2006
the path curves through the dunes
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Wednesday, October 04, 2006
Wednesday, September 20, 2006
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Sunday, September 17, 2006
We have reserved a room in Marquette for tonight; the nice place we stayed before (with the small-scale Russian chapel and the lovely gardens) is full, but this one is supposed to have a view of Lake Superior. These views are often across a highway, making it impossible to walk there. The dogs are being pretty good and S is really enjoying their little quirks of behavior.
It's a waffle motel, now I'm going to go and bake one.
at 6:26 AM
Friday, September 15, 2006
Early in the day there were some even smaller sunflowers by the roadside; then they ceased. Soon thereafter we began to see fields of sunflowers as a crop.
The leaves are just beginning to turn gold on a few of the trees. The Theodore Roosevelt National Park (this is near the visitor center on Hwy 94) has some great scenic drives, which I hope to manage to see the next time through this way. The rocks in these badlands seem much more colorful than in the South Dakota Badlands; I hadn't known there were such extensive badlands in more than one place. The weather continues good, just some slight rain that we passed through. As always, there are strong winds here, which seem to buffet the car and make driving more noisy.
at 9:36 PM
Thursday, September 14, 2006
We saw a small herd of pronghorn this morning. A meadowlark veered away from our car at the last moment, narrowly missing being hit. Fields were either huge, from horizon to horizon, or varied and irregular, carved out of rock-strewn or eroded terrain. There were lots of odd-shaped pastures like this, too. For much of the day rivers or creeks were visible from the road, their verdure a relief in the dry landscape, which is colored in various pale ochres, ornamented with the dull greens of the junipers and small conifers.
Tonight we are in MIles City, Montana, named after General Nelson Miles, who came here to "control" the Indians, according to the AAA handbook. We are tired and the dogs are all asleep.
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Wednesday, September 13, 2006
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Tuesday, September 05, 2006
There are a lot of things I would like to have accomplished before I go, and not that much left of life to do them in. 1. A book of my poems. 2. A book of my haiku. 3. My mother's book: the illustrations chosen and published. 3. Best family photos chosen and arranged. Historic family photos all labeled. 4. 1500 mostly family slides scanned, arranged and named. 5. Pictures of my haiku group printed, labeled and sent to the Haiku Archives. 6. My best pictures assembled in a notebook. 7. All books listed in Librarything. 8. Number of total books cut in half. 10. Papers and notes gone through and thrown out. Notebooks indexed and labeled.
It's mostly about stuff, isn't it? Pretty terrifying just to write it down!Mother never painted the last dozen years of her life, because she wasn't ready and didn't think she had the space. Once when R. offered to set her studio up, she couldn't OK it and he almost cried in frustration. I'd like to leave things better organized than she did. Because there isn't anyone who will deal with it later, except hiring www.gotjunk.com to bear it away. And away. And away.
at 10:10 PM
Monday, September 04, 2006
at 11:48 PM
I'm up to almost 1300 books in Librarything.com. Downstairs will be done with one more shelf. Study is about half done. Then I still have the MIchigan place, the huge amount of poetry upstairs, and the spillover in the guest room. So, still not half done. It will be fun to see how this all comes out. Librarything seems to struggle sometimes to keep up with the need for computing power; I think they need some more machines.
Like Chicken LIttle, I am going along and going along. (Until I come to Ducky Lucky?) We plan now to leave Saturday morning. And we will try the regular car this time. The Bronco is a little rougher ride, and road-noisy for a long trip.But we love its roominess!
at 12:12 AM
Wednesday, August 30, 2006
The small dogs had a bath before they left the kennel. They can't visit the relatives with us because of allergies. But they still have a faint odor that I call Kennel Stench. It's a good kennel and I like the woman who runs it, but you can't help a smell in a kennel.
The leaves on the madrones and the red oaks in the Feather Canyon were pretty and very green this time of year. Wildflowers are over and most of the small waterfalls and seeps are dry. Still, it is a beautiful drive, until you get stopped waiting for roadwork (a crane on a bridge) for three-quarters of an hour.
The weather is still a little warm, just summery, really.
I got my computer back, the Norton protection made Windows unstable and then crashed. It wasn't rebootable even from the CD recue disk. I got the security the repair guy recommended: Kaspersky. So I'm back on the blog. It feels good.
at 10:37 PM
Thursday, August 24, 2006
I finished repotting and moving my cactus and succulents back onto the patio today. And there are only dribs and drabs, as S. would say, remaining of the kitchen to pack up. Last night I read an account by the military historian John Keegan about the battle of Agincourt. By any standards this is old news, but he makes it very fresh and fascinating. There were lots of things I never knew: about the low social status of archers, and how they each pounded a large sharpened stake into the ground where they took up a position before the battle. This stake could pierce the breast of a rapidly moving horse. Although, horses don't like to run into things and they particularly don't like to step on something living (or very recently dead) which factor was a problem in many battles, as soldiers fell wounded or dead. This the author makes very clear.
Apparently, at the time Keegan wrote the book, the countryside around Agincourt remained close to what it had been, with an irregularly-shaped plowed field separating two areas of woods. I am looking forward to the essays on Waterloo and the Somme, which complete the book, which begins with a fascinating essay on military history and historians. I found out about Keegan some time ago when he was interviewed on the C-Span program, In Depth, about all of his books. He was such an intelligent and articulate fellow that I ordered several of his titles. I have enjoyed and been impressed by all of them, but have not yet read the one on the Second World War.
Stay tuned, out there in blog-land, I will try to post updates during the drive across the middle of America.
at 11:52 PM
Tuesday, August 22, 2006
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Monday, August 21, 2006
Tonight we had our monthly poetry meeting. It is great to have a group like this to talk about writing with! It also means you work on your poems to get ready; it's a goof motivator.
Things are slowly coming together around here as we get ready to travel. I'm hoping to get Internet access along the way, so my readers, wherever you are, will know about the weather in the Dakotas. Good night.
at 11:35 PM
It's been a busy week. Every day I empty out a few shelves in the kitchen. I have found a crystal dish that was a wedding present 51 years ago and many other forgotten wonders.
Tonight we put together the anthology of haiku poems our Yuki Teikei Haiku Society publishes every year. We designed a black and white cover with purple end pages stamped with a copper spiral inside the front. It's very handsome. So that was fun.
I guess we will get to make our trip after all; we plan to leave on Saturday. It's after midnight and very quiet, a nice quiet, surprisingly, softly quiet.
Tuesday, August 15, 2006
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Monday, August 14, 2006
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Sunday, August 13, 2006
Today I entered books on Librarything up to 1004, so I've passed a big milestone. If I finish the job, I'm estimating the total at about 4000 including the books I keep in Michigan. I need to downsize, but have a very strong attachment to many of them. What to do? Nothing sensible, I suppose.
at 1:16 AM
Saturday, August 12, 2006
I've been playing with today's sun on hydrangea leaves. And that took me to the quiet jungle, where the lion sleeps.
Tonight we initiated the new press in the new Studio with a few monotypes. It's a beautiful press, a Whelan. Smooth and easy to print with. I'll be spending a lot of time there. I have to think about what I would like to work on and whether I want to print on whole or half sheets or continue to work on some of the partly finished monotypes I have left from the classes. I know I want to do some chine colle and work with Japanese papers. I'd also like to print some more copies of the small plates I made in the etching class. The weather is getting a little too warm again. How are you? I am fine. . .
at 12:24 AM