Friday, August 29, 2008
You should know that in the photo album my mother made of my early childhood, there is a card testifying that I was televised at the World's Fair in 1939. But I don't remember anything about that.
I made some progress on the postcards for the swap today. AND, I got a lot of other things finished while I was avoiding them. Wrote letters and postcards, went to the post office to mail a gift, and took the cardboard and newspaper to the recycling center. We had someone over to inspect the roof and he said we don't need a new one yet. A relief! So, today was not a total loss, just not heavy on the production of art.
Thursday, August 28, 2008
Woke up early and saw this from the window. There were four of them and I took 130 pictures before they left. This guy was the most splendid. I know I said I'd let up on the deer, but can't do it just yet. An artist who saw the pictures on Flickr said that the buck will become more elusive when the rutting season begins in a couple of months. So, I treasure this chance.
As I write this Obama is speaking. I loved the short speeches that came earlier in the program when people told about what had happened to them. I especially loved the converted former Republicans. Barack is making a great, great speech; it just gets better and better; it makes me hope (and fear) again. He is covering all the issues that I have been so terrified about in an intelligent manner. Can America work as hard and make the sacrifices that will be needed? This is a hopeful night. I fear it might prove too hard, and we have grown too soft, and too self-centered and too brainwashed by media foolishness. I pray I am just too discouraged; I pray I am wrong.
Wednesday, August 27, 2008
She hides in the cornstalk under the tassel. Of course, he is chasing her. I don't remember the rest of the story. These tassels are in my daughter's garden. Corn is a very striking plant, I think. I should try to draw one, just one. Singly, the leaves can look like arms expressing emotion.
We are having ears of corn for dinner every night in this best time garden of year, except for this year's strange failure of the tomatoes. Cassie (dachshund) caught a whiff of the bunny or the chipmunk and tried to spend all day in the northeast corner of the fence, willing the prey to appear. She seizes the chainlink in her teeth and yanks. We spent extra to get the vinyl-covered chainlink, and the result is that she can get a better tooth-grip. She's bent the fence quite severely. We can't let her play long in the yard. I know this is a dumb post, but I guess that's part of the process. Good night.
Tuesday, August 26, 2008
Monday, August 25, 2008
Now it is late at night, the dishwasher is making that slow, rhythmic sloshing. Tonight, the Internet has been off for two hours, but I thought I'd give it one more try. Sleep tight, although you will probably be reading this in the morning.
the deer lifts her ears
Sunday, August 24, 2008
I have spent the last two days reading about ship disasters. It really does make this open woodsy spot seem quite safe, not for deer, but for me and my kind, the reading kind . . .
Librarything has been getting multiple review copies from publishers--readers apply for the ones we want and LT applies an "algorithm" to see who gets a free copy. It is hoped that we will write a review. Magically, the algorithm selected for me the book I wanted most, (because I have always loved A High Wind in Jamaica) a republication of In Hazard by Richard Hughes, which came out originally in 1938 (check date.) I am working on the review now; it's a very unusual book. Hughes has combined the incredible factual details (from the case of a ship that was trashed when dragged many miles by hurricanes out of season) with people created out of whole cloth. I think he wanted to imagine the operation of extreme conditions and of fear on different sorts of people, older and younger, British seamen and Chinese stokers. Hughes visited this ship and travelled on a similar one with the captain. He worked for four years on this short book, which is really no longer than many novellas. And, in an afterward, he has some very interesting things to say about how the spirit of the times and other deeply unknown motives can work upon a writer, so that he expresses what he may not clearly understand at the time of the writing. I'll try to post the review when it is finished. So today, instead of finishing the review, I read anothe book: In Harm's Way, the story of the sinking of the cruiser Indianapolis in the Pacific. It was torpedoed by a Japanese submarine late in the war, and through a series of snafus the men had to float for days, mostly without rafts, using only life-preservers which became waterlogged and useless. Many died from injuries, or were attacked by sharks or went mad from hypothermia and/or drinking salt water.
Reading these books together made me think again about how pitiful man is on the open sea without supplies, and most especially without water. Most of the attempted provisioning systems didn't work, (water containers in the lifejackets imploded on impact with the water) and since the Indy was rushed to sea to carry west the secret bomb that fell on Hiroshima, and the Navy felt that the seas where it went after Little Boy was delivered were safe, even the lifeboats were not properly stocked. Most of them were lost anyway. I hope planners have figured out better systems and equipment now. A great deal can have been learned by studying this disaster.
On this cheerful note I say good night 'til it be morrow.
Saturday, August 23, 2008
Short, but very intense rainstorm this afternoon. The sandy soil soaked it up; it was very much needed. S. came home from town with gallon plants (Russian Sage, rust daylily) from the "hurt plant" sale rack at Lowe's.
I am relieved that the Obama campaign is at last putting up some ads, even though I am already tired of the election campaign that has hardly begun yet.
Still no progress on the postcards, but I have gotten a lot of other things done while I avoid. The senior water exercise leader has next week off, so that excuse will be gone . . .
Friday, August 22, 2008
Same field, same time of day, but soft overcast light and I am there with my 300mm lens! Yes! Aren't they beauties?? The feathers look watercolored in grays and burnt sienna. And that glorious red, red crown . . .
After an overcast morning, a downpour and a crack of lightning so near the house that I jumped from my chair. Around noon, I drove to the south end of our woods and spent quite a nice time in eye contact with a deer behind a scrim of trees. And photographed enough goldenrod and Joe Pye weed and green leaves and grasses and forest light to start a flower show!
This is my favorite short sandhill crane video and the way to memorize the call, so you can always recognize it
Ah, late summer as it moves into autumn. Sort of a downer, but a very rich one. Expect more of these photos in the days to come.
Thursday, August 21, 2008
Today has been a spectacular day at the feeder--all the regulars came--Blue Jay, Mourning Dove, the Six Chickadees, the Goldfinch family, Mrs. Cardinal, The Swamp Sparrow, Mrs. Hairy Woodpecker (she almost didn't marry him because of his horrible name!) and the White-Breasted Nuthatch. I didn't see the Downies, but day before yesterday I saw Mrs. Rose-Breasted Grosbeak for the first time this season.
The kigo, or season word for how I feel tonight is:
summer is ending. But I don't have the rest of the haiku. Good night.
Wednesday, August 20, 2008
Tuesday, August 19, 2008
I love the colors in this photo. Today I discovered another time-sink on the Internet, the Color Palette tool available at bighugelabs.com. (Be sure to type the s on labs, or you might get a nasty surprise.) One selects a photo, particularly one with striking, limited colors like this one, and one gets about 15 squares of isolated colors from that photo with color numbers and wonderful color names. Results from different photos are strikingly different.
I have been dragging my feet on the Postcard Exchange. . . I keep thinking that the ones I make aren't good enough. Or I am at a loss as to how to finish something without wrecking it, and making it look overworked. I have gotten four of the seven cards from the others but have only sent out two, which leaves me in deficit mode. But there's always, or at least often, tomorrow.
Monday, August 18, 2008
Saturday, August 16, 2008
Michael just got his medal and I think Speedo WILL have to pay him that million now. Then, he went over to kiss his mom and turned around to find himself surrounded by and practically MOBBED by photographers. It's enough to make me swear of taking photographs, which I love to do. And naturally, along with everyone else, I am watching this.
"You can really believe that this man was DESTINED to be in this position." direct quote from a commentator just now. Ah, destiny.
Well, it is bedtime; I guess I won't stay up for scantily-clad beach volleyball. I keep remembering times I got sand in my bathing suit!
Friday, August 15, 2008
There have just been two false starts in qualifying races, but now they are running strong. It is amazing to watch these athletes move, really beautiful. My daughter's having a garage sale in the morning, so I've got to go to bed, so I can get up to help. Good night, athletes and spectators.
Thursday, August 14, 2008
Tuesday, August 12, 2008
Sunday, August 10, 2008
This weekend, I had Thai food from a booth, and did not have fried potato slices (from another booth) although they looked divine. We met a woodcarver, who finds the animals hidden in burls and logs and carves them out with his klnife. My daughter bought a carved brown trout, like the one her husband caught when they were first married.
This used to be a railroad town, and had a lumber mill. Also, tourists came for river and lake cruises on the Inland Waterway. (The summers here are divine, with a touch of mosquito.) They have a museum about the Waterway (all the way to Lake Huron!) in the hundred-year-old former town hall. Drop on by.
Wednesday, August 06, 2008
The two cobalts. as expected, were more granular; the two permanent greens and especially the WN Winsor Green (yellow shade) gave a beautiful even wash of very attractive color.
But the delightful surprise--and what made the whole effort seem worth it--was the DS Cascade Green! The pigments here are old classics: Phthalo Green and Raw Sienna. If you look closely at the wash, you will see how they separate out into blue and yellow components. So then I did three more underpaintings before I went to bed.
Tuesday, August 05, 2008
Monday, August 04, 2008
I am more of a Preparer to Do Things than a Person who Actually Does Them; it is probably too late to change, but perhaps I can modify a bit. Hope for drastic change always reminds me of something a young woman who used to work with me said one time as we were riding in a car together to attend a meeting. Apropos of nothing, really, she suddenly said, "I need a face transplant."
There were two other women in the car, and all of us fell silent. We couldn't think of anything to say. It was true the young woman was unmarried and determinedly plain with uninteresting hair and a large nose. Yet, she was very smart, often funny, and petite and well-formed. We arrived at the meeting still silent, and with the miasma of terrifying self-hatred still in the car.
It's a funny thing, life. There was a long obituary in the New York Times for Solzhenitsyn. A lot of this I already knew, but it was also a sort of a trip down Memory Lane because I read the books as they became available, and it brought back all the Cold War incidents that I lived through on the periphery of my family and library life.
One shocking thing that I had not known. A. S. smuggled a "microfilm" (remember microfilm?) of The Gulag Archipelago and they were trying to publish it in New York, but he was still hoping for first publication in Russia (he remained a determined, not to say hard-nosed, Slavophile all his life and finally was able to go back to live in Russia for his last few years.). [My husband has explained to me whether to put the period inside or outside the parentheses, but the rule shifts and I haven't mastered it yet.]
Anyway, Solzhenitsyn changed his mind after the KGB found a "buried" copy of his manuscript and questioned his typist, Elizaveta Voronyanskaya. Shortly thereafter, she hanged herself. So it was published, in English first, to great acclaim in 1973. It made the most money of any of his books and he donated it ALL to a foundation to help refugees.
Sleep well, Elizaveta Voronyanskaya. I cannot imagine your life and your death, but it fills me with great sadness.
I clicked a button to do this, because I wanted to find it at Christmas time. I didn't know it wold make a post, but I decided to leave it, because you might like it, too. Make your own winter watercolor cards, fast!
Saturday, August 02, 2008
The biography, which is by Elizabeth Nowell, who was his agent when he died and knew him the last few years of his life, is balanced, clear and very nicely done. Many books of this vintage are no longer such a pleasure to read.
One of the most touching things about the way this is done is the very careful source attribution she makes in the text and in footnotes of quoted phrases, sentences and narratives. This information is right on the same page, the way it often used to be, simply and clearly expressed. The effect was to give the reader more faith in the accuracy of the work.
Thomas Wolfe was a very important author to me when I was eighteen. My freshman year in college was also the year when I was unable to continue my practice of finishing a book every day. I had to cut back to three or four a week, or when reading Wolfe. even less, so I could go to college. I wish I could tell you I got really good grades that year, but it wouldn't be true.
Friday, August 01, 2008
For some reason the round red fellow seems like a guy to me. And the oval yellow cutie seems like a woman or girl. I found them also, like yesterday's dollies, at the flea market section of the Flywheelers Club event in late July.
I copied the information below from the Boyne Area Chamber of Commerce site, because they will soon take if off since the event is over. I couldn't find a flywheeler's website to link to, but I think they need one.
"Northern Michigan Antique-Flywheelers Show
See Life in the Past Lane....Northern Michigan Antique-Flywheelers Show. July 24,25,26 & 27. Steam engines, tractors, vintage museum, farm museum, saw mill, old basket making factory, veneer mill, flea market, craft barn, petting farm. Lots of demostrations. Plenty of food and music. Music all day and evening. Square and round dancing."
I think it only costs $15 to join the Club and it would surely be worth it if you have any interest in this sort of thing. They have their own grounds here in Northern Michigan with facilities for people to camp the whole weekend for a very reasonable fee. I couldn't stay for the dancing.
Anyway, there were a lot of toys in the booths, and their cheerful smiles took my mind off of current events, if only briefly. I love these toys; they have a sort of innocent materiality. Not worried about the afterlife or sin. I think I will soon get back in the swing of blogging. I fell off the dailiness of it all a while back, but Joann's interest saved me. Thank you Flywheelers! Thank you Joann!
I had been anticipating reaching 400 posts and sailed right passed and missed the 400th one. I also wanted to reach 1000 on profile views, and passed it, too, in the night . . .
Good night, old friends and new!