Friday, December 26, 2014

In my next career move, I think I am going to be

From December 2014

a ninja.  Yep.  Not only did we whip WuFang's butt despite early expense of yin-yang tokens, but I have decided to embrace my superpower and go with it.  I can walk up to automatic-open doors without triggering an automatic opening.


Why did it take so long to figure this out?

Edited to add:  Kevin reminds me that we are playing CHINESE Ghost Story and, therefore, those are not ninjas.  Fair enough.  They are not ninjas but I AM.

Monday, December 15, 2014

We are having something of

From November 2014

a tea party revival here at Hibiscus Circuit.  No one is exempt - not bear, not doll, not mom, not dad.  Whether you can actually reach the table from the chair makes no never mind.

From November 2014

There will be plates and bowls and cups and lots of spoons.

From November 2014

You are invited.  Bring an appetite.

As we move ever closer to Christmas

From November 2014

it is time to wish you all a very Happy Thanksgiving!

A Cautionary Tale

From November 2014

There is so much going on here.  Consider what it might be saying about Australia...  about the rise of the mammals and the extinction of the dinosaurs...

Then, consider that a few minutes later while eating lunch, the stegosaurus toppled the koala off the high chair the ground with the marsupial! The fall was not good.  Two legs were lost.  A koala that doesn't stand isn't long for this world.  He was ushered into the rubbish bin.

 Consider what it might be saying about Australia...  about the rise of the mammals and the extinction of the dinosaurs... about the fall of mammalia...

Sunday, November 09, 2014

Ohio Part 4: The Stillwater River (Autumn)

From September 2014

From September 2014

From September 2014

From September 2014

Mirror, mirror….

From September 2014

This mirror hung at my Uncle Will and Aunt Jane's home.  (They raised my father - in Versailles.)  Uncle Will used it to shave with every day.  After he died and my mom hung it in our house, she used to expect to see his face looking out of it.  I don't think she ever did.  I haven't.

Now, it has hung in this spot at the bottom of our stairs for 40 years.  I am not a big mirror person myself, but I have looked into it before leaving for the homecoming dance, or trick-or-treating, or the prom.  And, wayyyy back when, I stood here and shot a selfie (before they had a name) to mail to my boyfriend (after waiting days or weeks to have the film processed) - because back then kids, there were no digital cameras and there was no internet…

I wanted to recreate it and I'd let you be the judge of my success, but my computer is developing Alzheimer's disease about some of my old photos, and while I can see the thumbnail in i-photo, I cannot open it, let alone upload it.

One day.

Ohio : Part 3 : Family

From September 2014

From September 2014

From September 2014

Ohio : Part 1 : Autumn color

From September 2014
Happy Fall from Bear's Mill, Arcanum, Ohio.

We were so lucky to be in the US during the peak (or part of the peak or a peak-ish period) of fall.  It rained, of course.  And, was gloomy and grey.  I felt so at home away from this dreadful, never-ending, mind-numbing sunshine that is Queensland…  And, I was very, very lucky that my mother is willing to drive me places or slow wayyy down or even stop when we are out so I can take a photo.  And, then, I borrowed the car for a brief drive around the outskirts of Versailles and Webster.  I wanted to drive out to Willowdell and take some shots ala Annie Leibowitz, but didn't have the time.

From September 2014

Pumpkins, gourds, and indian corn from Bear's Mill, Arcanum, Ohio.

From September 2014

Pumpkin patch, sincere, on State Route 121 between Versailles and Greenville, Ohio.

From September 2014

Stand of trees behind a field of dry soy beans, Versailles, Ohio.

From September 2014

Orange lining the street, Dayton, Ohio.

From September 2014

Yellow!  Bear's Mill, Arcanum, Ohio.

Tuesday, November 04, 2014

Ohio : Part 2 : Great Smoky Mountain Veterinary Conference

Because I didn't want to miss our flight (needing to leave for the airport about 5 AM) and because I was painfully jet lagged, I woke at 2:30 Thursday morning.  ARGHHHH.

We didn't miss our flight.  We arrived in Charlotte, original home of Zelda, picked up our rental car and drove to Asheville…where I stopped at a gas station/fast food joint and bought a map.  Fortunately, our hotel was easy to find and the wifi there was sufficient to allow me to get directions to the conference hotel.

It was a beautiful weekend in Asheville…a bit overcast and occasionally drizzly - but I was locked inside (Friday through Sunday) learning important veterinary stuff like the flea tablet Capstar can be given rectally and it will also kill maggots.  (WOW! and you get this info for free!)

Now, I'm disappointed that I didn't play hooky on that sunny Thursday and take in the Biltmore Estate. Instead, we studied the local halloween shop and K-Mart….hmmmmm…. I was playing hooky on Thursday, ANYWAY.

The brief slide show (above) from Asheville notably lacking any of the endoscopic images that were "slide showing" during breakfasts at the meeting.  Hope that's OK with you.

Monday, November 03, 2014

Thoughts about home

From September 2014
You probably feel a bit like you know Versailles by now.  And, really, considering the population of the world, you ARE pretty much an expert.  (I did tell you that to sound like you are from Versailles you need to pronounce the "s" with an "s" sound and not a "z" sound - 'cause if you do that, everyone will think you are from "up north" - like Minster.)

So, here I wanted to share a few things that are meaningful and probably specific to me.

See the above landscape.  When I was growing up, we'd drive every Sunday 30 minutes to my grandparent's farm for dinner (lunch).  It was during these drives that I first became impressed by the way that when you'd look at the horizon, there was an unbroken line of forests.  It really helps to appreciate that Ohio was a wilderness not that long ago.  Trees, trees, trees…  And, how much work to clear all that to make the acres and acres of farmland!

From September 2014
This is the church at Webster (Scenic Webster on the Stillwater River or maybe it is Webster on the Scenic Stillwater River) - just outside of Versailles on SR 185.  Isn't it beautiful?  It is no less pretty in the middle of winter with everything covered in snow.

When I got my first 35mm camera with my first roll of film I headed out to Webster.  I don't think I've ever taken this shot, however.  It involves parking along the highway.  Thanks, Mom.

(My second roll of film was taken on a post-graduation trip to NYC…. )

From September 2014

I suppose everyone is imprinted with a love for their "home" waterway.  All around the world there are people who have left their hearts on an important coastline or a majestic river.  For kids from Versailles, it is the Stillwater River.  The Stillwater features in a post every time I'm home.  It is small and simple, but in my eyes it is beautiful.  Someday, I'll gather photos from the seasons on the Stillwater.  I am sure I can do spring, winter and fall from the same bridge.  This is the Stillwater taken from the bridge we'd cross going to the farm.

Finally, what feels more like being at home than looking out the front door?

From September 2014

Saturday, November 01, 2014

Review of October….

From September 2014
So, how did that rehabilitation of October go… exactly?

No one died or became critically ill. That's pretty darn good for October, I'd say.

On the other hand, the compressor for the car's air-conditioning needs to be replaced. And, oh yeah, Kevin needs a new job.

Wednesday, October 01, 2014

Exxopolis - at the Brisbane Festival

We finally took in some seasonal culture at the Brisbane Festival.  

Exxopolis is an large plastic tent-like installation that is illuminated only by natural light filtering through thin, colored plastic "windows".  It seemed to be inflated from within - sort of like a jumping castle - but there is no jumping!  The walls are very thin - can you tell yet that this was emphasized in the orientation?  No running!  No jumping!  Maybe there was some sort of hard skeletal structure... I remember there were cement blocks lining the outside throwing yourself at the wall - you could fall onto the cement block and crack your head open...

We didn't run...but someone scooted on his knees as quickly as he could.

"The Accidental Tourist" by Anne Tyler

From September 2014

 "I said to you the other day, I said, 'Macon, now that Ethan's dead I sometimes wonder if there's a point to life.' Do you remember what you answered?"
     "Well, not offhand," Macon said.
     "You said, 'Honey, to tell the truth, it never seemed to me there was all that much point to begin with.'  Those were your exact words."

But Macon had the feeling that school never went very well for Alexander.  He came out of it with his face more pinched than ever, his glasses thick with fingerprints.  Her reminded Macon of a homework paper that had been erased and rewritten too many times. 

     "It's my opinion that sex is overrated."
     Macon looked at him.
     "Oh, when I was in my teens I was as interested as anyone," Charles said.  "I mean it occupied my thoughts for every waking moment and all that, but that was just the idea of sex, you know.  Somehow, the real thing was less… Why, I don't mean I'm opposed to it, but it's just not all I expected.  For one thing, it's rather messy.  And, then the weather is such a problem."
     "Weather," Macon said.
     "When it's cold you hate to take your clothes off.  When it's hot you're both so sticky.  And, in Baltimore it does always seem to be either too cold or too hot."
     "Maybe you ought to consider a change of climate, " Macon said.  He was beginning to enjoy himself.  "Do you suppose anyone's done a survey - city by city?  Maybe the Businessman's Press could put out a pamphlet."

If Ethan hadn't died, Macon thought, wouldn't he have grown into such a person?  He would have turned to give the boy another look except that he couldn't manage the movement.
     The taxi bounced over the cobblestones.  The driver whistled a tune between his teeth.  Macon found that bracing himself on one arm protected his back somewhat from the jolts.  Every now and then a pothole caught him off guard.
     And if dead people aged, wouldn't that be a comfort?  To think of Ethan growing up in heaven, fourteen years old now instead of twelve eased the grief a little.  Oh, it was their immunity to time that made the dead so heartbreaking….
     He felt a kind of inner rush,  a racing forward.  The real adventure, he thought, is the flow of time.  It's as much adventure as anyone could wish.  And, if he pictured Ethan still part of that flow in some other place, however unreachable, he believed he might be able to bear it after all.  

I picked up "The Accidental Tourist" after finishing "The Beginner's Goodbye".  I had read the book years ago - I think when I was living in Wooster - and I had loved the movie.  I remembered Gina Davis's  quirky "Muriel" - an excellent rendition of a truly original woman from the movie (obviously) and I remembered from the book enjoying Macon's quiet but exceedingly odd family and boss.  I saw/see myself being a lot like Macon - who wants to feel like he's always at home and that things are stable and predictable.  I thought it would be good to go through his journey and remind myself of the gift of Muriel.

What I didn't remember was why Macon and his wife had separated.  And, so I found myself reading another story of death - in this case the death of a child.

Wow.  Painful.  And, so beautifully written.  You pretty much get that from the above excerpts.

Monday, September 29, 2014

The Cold Cold Ground: Book One of The Troubles Trilogy by Adrian McKinty

From September 2014

The riot had taken on a beauty of its own now.  Arcs of gasoline under a crescent moon.  Crimson tracer in mystical parabolas.  Phosphorescence from the barrels of plastic bullet guns.  A distant yelling like that of men below decks in a torpedoed prison ship.  The scarlet whoosh of Molotovs intersecting with exacting surfaces.  Helicopters everywhere: their spotlights finding one another like lovers in the Afterlife.

Beautiful start but these prose don't extend beyond the first paragraph.  I was hoping to find my next James Lee Burke or Ray Bradbury.  My search continues.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Breaking my cycle of bad luck

For years I've been not going to concerts.  If someone was coming that I wanted to see - Prince, Laurie Anderson, Joan Armatrading - we'd be out of town.  Or, we'd have the tickets - front row tickets - like to The Pretenders and Blondie - only to have the concert rained out.  But, I've got my ticket for December.  I'm going to make it.  It is going to be good - from this point on....

Well, that didn't last long.  Laurie Anderson is performing at OSU Oct 12 - while I'm away in NC becoming educated.

Rehabilitating October

From September 2014

Planning a short trip back to Ohio in October.  I am going to watch leaves turn, rake them in big piles, jump in them with Zupe.  I'm going to drink apple cider.  I am going to a pumpkin patch.  I am going to decorate for halloween and make a costume and party with my people.  I am going to study the clear blue sky.  I am going to love my family.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Odd Spots

#3 Starfish do not have brains. (That hardly makes them unique.)
#49 Giraffes cannot swim. (But, can they ice skate?)
#?? Oak trees are struck by lightning more than any other tree. (Note: should oak trees need to stop playing golf during storms!)
#19 Birds have the right of way on all Utah highways. (Yeah. Right.)
#23 There are around 61 trees per person in the world.  (Probably better than there are 61 trees around each person in the world.)

From 6/6/14 : Words to live by....

From September 2014

Hang on to your hat. Hang on to your hope. And wind the clock, for tomorrow is another day.


E. B. White

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Thoughts in my head

From September 2014

Are their words or phrases or questions that pop into your head repeatedly?  I hope so.  It happens to me all the time.

For the last couple of years its been either

"I don't know what to do"
"I've got to stop crying".

Can't say there is much mystery to why these might haunt me - though for the record, the latter never occurred while I was actually crying.  I just figure I was pretty much crying constantly inside.

Now, my inner voice asks,

"What am I going to do".

I think it is an improvement.

Work survey

From September 2014

Photo by my brother-in-law, Sam.  Thanks, Sam.

I'm guessing it is a project for The Office Facebook Page - a survey asking us to introduce ourselves, so to speak, by answering a series of questions.

What are your qualifications?
"I went to school for a long, long time and then went to school, again."   
This got shortened to DVM from The (of course) Ohio State University and PhD in Biopsychology from Duke University.  I left out the MA and the BS.... 

What is your background?

Fortunately, I had the advantage of seeing other people's answers to know that this meant, "Where are you from?"  On my own, I would think it was asking what I had done in the past.  Not all that different.  But now no one will know I was a corn detassler, a documenter of dragonfly behavior, a castrator of doves, or a catcher of radioactive horse pee.  You, dear friend, already knew all of this... so I guess I overstepped with the use of "no one".  

I am from the Poultry and Egg Hub of the Midwest.... or what at one time was the Poultry and Egg Hub of the Midwest ... like at the time I was actually becoming from there. 

 The questions got harder.

Your pets.

Hmmmm.  There is this gecko that lives behind the a/c unit in the bedroom.  Would he (please be a he an not a highly fecund female!) count?  
It seems sad, and possibly suspicious, for a vet to say "I have no pets" or "My pets are all dead."   
In the end, I went with sad.  "Still missing our bad girl, Zelda."

What animal would you like to be?

Sigh.  I don't want to be anything that has to run really fast to get her dinner.  I don't want to be an animal that has to run really fast to not be someone else's dinner.  I don't want to eat rotting animals.  I don't want to bite into a live animal and have my mouth filled with gushing blood.  I don't want to be a cow and constantly vomiting - even just a little - into my mouth.
I went with jelly fish.  They look so beautiful and so relaxed.

Feel free to comment with your own answers....

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

The Year of the Flood

From July / August  2014

Farewell is the song Time sings...

from 2/17/2013

"The Big Over-Easy: A Nursery Crime" - from May 2013

From July / August  2014

Oh my goodness!  What fun! I had grown tired of Thursday Next - though never of her name - but loved both this and "Shades of Grey: A Novel".  Pick up a copy.  You deserve it.  Meanwhile, off to order "The Fourth Bear" from Amazon.

"..Well, there's usually a rule of three somewhere.  Either quantitative, as in bears, billy goats, blind mice, little pigs, fiddlers, bags of wool or what-have-you, or qualitative, such as small, medium, large, stupid, stupider, stupidest.  If you come across any stepmothers, they're usually evil, woodcutters always come into fame and fortune, orphans are ten a penny, and pigs, cats, bears, and wolves frequently anthropomorphize."
"Do they know?"
"Do they know what?"
"Do they know they're nursery characters?"
"I think sometimes they suspect, but for the most part they have no idea at all.  To the Billy Goats, Jack and Jill and the Gingerbreadman, it's all business as normal.  Don't worry-- you'll get into the swing of it."

"What happened to your last DS?"
"His name was Alan Butcher.  A good man.  He died in a car accident."
"I'm sorry."
"Not as sorry as I was; I was the one that ran over him in my wife's Volvo.  But it wasn't my fault--he stepped out in front of me."
"Was he...tall?" asked Mary a bit recklessly.
Jack shook his head sadly.  "You've heard about the giant killing already?  Sometimes I think the station talks of almost nothing else.  Well, hear it from the horse's mouth: Aside from Butcher, they were all self-defense.  When someone that big comes at you with a knife, you don't stop to worry about using lethal force.  It was him or me.  Same as the other two.  Mind you, only one of them was technically a giant--the rest were just tall. .."


"...By the way, how many giants have you killed?  I ask only by way of curiosity and self-preservation, you understand."
"Technically speaking, only one," replied Jack with a sigh.  "The other three were just tall."
"To kill one giant might be regarded as a misfortune," said Brown-Horrocks slowly.  "To kill four looks very much like carelessness."

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Look what is new at our house!

From July / August 2014

He started last week Wednesday. I think it is because I dressed him in shorts and his little knees were tender after being covered all winter. (I'd insert evil laughter here if it had been even marginally foreseen.)

Go, Zupe!  Go!

Oh, and it is MOSTLY just a function of the video - that Zombie gait that he's displaying.  He is, however, our son.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Thursday, July 24, 2014

The Bone Bed by Patricia Cornwell

…and I will dance this dance alone and it will be a dance I've danced before….

Monday, June 09, 2014

I'm cleaning house

From January 2, 2013

Well, so to speak.  You couldn't tell by actually visiting my house.  Of course, Kevin would tell you that cleaning is recognised by - damn this autocorrect - it refuses to allow me to use American spellings - an increase in mess.  There are piles of things where there once were none and paper spread over every flat surface.  The dead give-away, however, is that the vacuum is lying about.  Well, that used to be the dead give-away before Zupe.  Now, it might mean that he wanted to play with the vacuum and I was powerless to object.

But, while I am making a attack on the box of papers that need to be filed or followed-up-on or discarded (because the follow-up period has long since passed or my passion for them has waned below the file level), what I'm making an effort at lately has been to clear the draft folder in my blog.  I have an amazing number of draft entries - some of which are only titles many of which no longer stimulate me to remember the event I intended to chronicle.  I'm starting with the oldest.  Sometimes I post them "on" the date that I wrote the beginning of the blog and sometimes, not always on purpose, I am publishing them on the current date.  That's why I'm wishing my friend Diane a happy birthday in June for her January birthday….in 2008.  Yay for me.

Saturday, June 07, 2014

Be Mine

If I should I live forever
And all my dreams come true
My memories of love will be of you.

Happy Birthday, Diane!

From June 2014

Diane, you are another sister. I can't believe my good fortune to find you my roommate that first year at Ohio State. Such a big place to find a familiar and dear face. I treasure those years with you- and hope that this birthday was outrageously special. Maybe sometime we should get together again?

Originally written, and languishing since, January 2008.  Please tell Diane, if you see her, that I love her.

Friday, June 06, 2014

You can't get better than this!

The music! The costumes! The whistle!!

Wow, this was originally written in 2010.  I cannot figure out why it was still a draft.  I am feeling sad, however, that I don't think the link works and I am dying to know about the whistle!

Australian True Crime - draft from 2009

In the last week Kevin and I have finished "Underbelly" (the 13 part series about the Melbourne gangland murders of the 1990's and early 2000's) and "Chopper" (a movie about another Australian bad guy, Mark "Chopper" Reed.) We enjoyed both: "Underbelly" was both an excursion into Australian television (which, despite having lived here for over 2 years (over 3 for Kevin) we've never watched) and an OK story. "Chopper" was an excellent movie about a very unusual and disturbingly amusing character. You know. The kind of amusement you only feel when you are very far removed from the actual events and people.

So, Australian TV. I'm not sure I can put my finger on the exact difference(s), but (on the basis of watching a single progam series, mind you) there is a palpably obvious dinstiction between American and Australian TV. You can definately turn off the audio and still recognize that this is not a product of NBC or HBO. People are doing Australian things- like eating and DRINKING outdoors- around the barbie, hanging clothes out to dry and driving on the left side of the street. There is, also, something different about the editing - particularly scenes involving cars and car chases. And, in "Underbelly", at least, it takes lots and lots of bullets to kill a person. This may be historically accurate or it may be an artistic decision- or both. Maybe Australians are just really poor shots.

This one goes out to the ones I love

Happy Valentine's Day! to all my friends and family. I dearly love you and look forward to spending time with you.

This post was in draft form from 2008.  I am not sure why I never finalized it!  None-the-less, enjoy!

In my inbox today....

From June 2014

Send a Greeting Card for Queen's Birthday (not Western Australia) on Monday June 9th‏!

Who could resist?? But, where, exactly do you find a greeting card for the Queen's Birthday (not Western Australia)? Though, I suppose, there is a clue there - don't look in Western Australia. AND, once I have the card, to whom would I send it? To the Queen? But, it is a holiday for all of us - not Western Australia....

Since I don't know what to do and a search of Birthday Alarm cards fails to yield a "Queen's Birthday (not Western Australia)" card, I have decided that a short blog post- sending out to everyone -except you-know-who ...what? you don't like a party? - will have to suffice.

And, we will need JUST the RIGHT photo.

PS on the watch-thing

You probably don't want to be the one to buy me my next watch, because even though the watches have only lasted a few years, each watch has outlived the giver. Isn't that sad….

Postscripts are awkward on the blog, as they appear before the original post… Hmmmm.

Thursday, June 05, 2014

Out of time

From May 2014
This post title could mean so much. It could refer to the facets of my life that have kept me from updating the blog in months - despite birthdays and a fabulous trip to NZ to visit friends. It could refer to another musing of life and death and how every book I pick up lately confronts this theme. But, it is much more prosaic.

About two weeks ago now, I lost my watch. I love that watch - a Timex that is the third iteration of the perfect watch for work: not digital (can YOU count heart beats while watching digital numbers run past?) and with a second hand. Plus, it had "Indiglo" - push the crown (the once-upon-a-time-wind-me-up-button - I google the name for it, so don't give me any grief) and the face would glow in the dark. Perfect for checking the time in the middle of the night here where my on-the-bed clock only "glows" for a few minutes after the lights go out - and besides, I couldn't see it unless I pressed my face up to it or wore my glasses. My first such watch was a graduation gift from my Grandmother when I finished vet school. The "Indiglo" function died and I exchanged it for a "new one" - at Kohl's. (You can exchange ANYTHING at Kohl's. Take it from a former shoe department employee who accepted shoes in deplorable condition for exchange.) That watch eventually ran down and even a new battery wouldn't fix it. My third watch was a gift from my sister for my birthday a few years least 2 watch bands and a battery ago. This is the watch I lost.

I looked all over the house with Kevin's admonition echoing in my ear - "there are only so many places it could be". Where did I have it last? At work. And, where are my scrubs from work? In the laundry.

I found it. I had washed and dried it. It lost 10 minutes. Ten minutes. How does that happen? Alien abduction was the first solution that came to mind. I reset it and put it on. The band was a little brittle feeling, but …

I noticed it was losing time. One minute every hour. And then, after a couple more days, it just stopped working. It is 8 o'clock.

This is about the time I got sick. Zupe had a fever for two days and was waking at night unhappy for two more. But me? I've had a non-stop, no sleep cough for 2 weeks. It really sucks the SECOND week you have to go to work with such a cough! I woke up Friday morning early dreading a fatigue filled work day and listening to the garbage pick-up. I plastered my face to my bed clock and turned on the light of my Kindle. Four AM. Wow. Early. More sleep (potentially) for me. I lie awake willing for sleep to return and recognising that sometimes my thoughts were a bit too bizarre and must be dreams. I open my eyes again and the bedroom has a soft glow of early morning. Experience tells me it is about 6:00 AM. I grab the clock and hold it level with my nose. The time is 4 AM.

Or,maybe it is 4 PM.

Life lesson #422

A croissant ceases to be a thing of beauty after microwaving it for 50 seconds. How did I let that happen????!

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

I'm famous!!

From walk through West End
Check out this entry in Bored Panda. What is currently entry number 6 - submitted by Anonymous Panda - It's me! It was a beautiful day of wandering around the West End in Brisbane and being pregnant with Zupe. You won't see the pregnant, only the "mouse hole" and mice.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

"The Beginner's Goodbye" by Anne Tyler

My friend Luke told me once that he'd been considering my question about whether the dead ever visit. It was true that I had asked him back around the time I had asked Nate, but this was weeks and weeks later. Apparently, he had been deliberating the issue ever since. "I've decided," he said, "that they don't visit. But, I think if you knew them well enough, if you'd listened to them closely enough while they were still alive, you might be able to imagine what they would tell you even now. So, the smart thing to do is pay attention while they're living. But, that's only my opinion."

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

INGRID MICHAELSON - "The Way I Am" - (official music video)

Kevin is a wonder at getting things that one of us thinks we need or might enjoy. He recently found he had a discography of Ingrid Michaelson though neither of us knew WHO she might be - OK. Yeah, we knew she'd be a musician. This was NOT the song that he eventually figured out that had spurred his interest. Nor was it the song that was featured in the HBO program we both loved, "Enlightened". The special song was one about breathing. I should find it for you…. or maybe Kevin will.

From Kevin:

The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver

Being dead is not worse than being alive, it is different though. You could say the view is larger.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

"The Lacuna: A Novel" by Barbara Kingsolver

From February 24, 2014
"For any homeless wanderer, he is a miracle of instruction. Now that he is exiled from every place on earth except a desert wilderness, he declares a passion for cactus."

Monday, February 24, 2014

From November 6, 2013

When I was a kid walking home from school (35 miles, barefoot, through the snow), I had a lot of time to observe the world and ponder. On three or four days EVERY YEAR, the snow melted (spring) and the world leaped out of its monotone cloak into vibrant brown with greenish hues and on these days, as I left the empty lot and crossed into my friend Joyce's backyard, I was confronted by white dog poo. Yes, Snowflake the Alaskan Spitz was a white dog, but so was the poo that coloured (not the best choice of words here) the grass under the clothes line on which he was frequently chained. Even then I thought it was odd because my dog, Peanut, had brown poo.

I still think it is odd. I've now lived with dogs and picked up dog poo for close to twenty years. Poo is white only when it is stuffed with kleenex. What was Snowflake eating? Granted, I have figured out that it didn't leave his little white bottom as little white poo but aged and bleached into these calcified nuggets. Still, did he have a metabolic condition that over-mineralized his excrement?

Zelda has been dancing on the other side of the rainbow bridge for 4 months now and gross as it may seem to you, I have been watching the few and scattered fecal boluses in the back yard. I couldn't bring myself to scoop them up and dispose of them. They were what I had left of Zelda and maybe cloning technology would take a leap into easy affordability in the next few days and then I'd want that poo! Anyway, there's still a couple of pieces left - under the clothesline though she was never chained there - she just knew it would be a most inconvenient spot - and now they are white. I still don't understand Snowflake, but these, I've decided, must be angel-dog poo and it brings me a little explosion of joy to think she's still checking in on us.

I miss you my princess. Even though you had been confined to the kitchen for your incontinent ways for the last year, I expect to see the blinds stir and then you to meet me at the door when I come home. I keep the screen door closed when I close the sliding glass doors in the kitchen so you can see the closure and not run headlong into the glass. As the days then weeks roll by, in my heart you get younger and are once again in your prime. You tear through the house chasing a balloon. You dash around the backyard playing soccer with me. You pause for minutes to meditate with your peace lily. You leap over and over again at the table while we eat hoping to attract a scrap. Your chin is on my knee when I sit on the couch or lie in my bed. You never give me kisses. Zelda, there is SO MUCH FOOD on the floor these days. I am so sorry you aren't here to enjoy it - sometimes, it is even watermelon!

On occasion I try to think about having a dog again one day but my mind struggles. In my heart - having a dog again - means that somehow I open the door and Zelda is back. Where have you been, dear friend? I love you, so. How I have missed you!
From February 1, 2014
From February 1, 2014

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Happy Birthday Dear Renee- ee

 photo 1987-Renee-painted-face-4.jpg

Sunday is your birthday. You could be 51. You won't be. You'll always be 50 and, not really. Really 49. Why are you letting ME get older by myself? Isn't the little sister supposed to do that with you? Are you sure you read the fine print?

Sorry Renee. I'm still so angry about this. I'm angry about a lot of things. And, sad. Angry and sad. You name it: angry and sad. When will it stop? How will it stop? Damn it all.

And, I feel so bloody (salute to my new land) selfish about it all - because I want you to be there for me. I miss you. I have a list of projects I need your help with - not the least of which is raising a boy. A BOY, Renee. What do I know about a BOY. And, he doesn't make it easy by possessing a shared language with me. Doesn't he realize I don't know what I'm doing? That, I need some sort of break, here?

The most recent issue of BH&G (Australia) had the audacity to publish an article called "now Paint Your Own Art". HOLD IT. That was your job! I am surrounded by too many, too white walls. They taunt me.

And, who's going to laugh with me about this idea - cutting an Elvis image into your lawn? Laugh and then DO IT!

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Aloe Blacc - Wake Me Up (Acoustic)

This is here - not because I understand the lyrics, which has been established - but because the tune struck me as beautiful - and I didn't want to forget it.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014


My vacuum cleaner sucks! Which is to say, it no longer sucks. By that I mean, it USED to suck because it didn't suck but NOW it doesn't suck because it does!!! Woohoo! I feel like such a success! Thank you You Tube!

Edited: When push came to shove and I attacked the living room carpet, I was sadly surprised to find that my lack of suction had returned. Cleaned the filter again - and ta-da! - we were back in business. But, again for only a few strokes. It took an embarrassing amount of time and repetitions to figure out that there was a hole in the vacuum bag that was blowing debris around in the canister which was then obstructing the filter. I reserve judgement on my success and am still assessing the probability that I'll be buying a new vacuum cleaner.

Saturday, February 08, 2014

I think I needed to pull up the blanket…

From January 1, 2014

Last night I had another of my taking a long trip through Ohio dreams. Well, at least that was part of it and by long trip, I don't really mean great distances by car - but usually I"m on foot and I've found a new way to run and I think, "Why don't I do this when I am awake?! It is so easy!" This time I had a silver tricycle - a little silver tricycle and I was traveling between Columbus and Piqua (on small back roads as you would with a little silver tricycle - or when you are practicing your special new running style) through the dark and through the ice and snow. I had an appointment in Piqua. I had to be there early. By 6 AM. Oh, and Zelda was running along with me.

So, I go to this appointment. I was on time but I was not expected. I had failed to call ahead - alerting the medical team with my special toothbrush. And, I had a dog. What was I going to do with Zelda during this appointment. Then, again, I needed to get home and I was not going to be able to travel back on my tricycle.

I was feeling like it was a good thing that this needed to be postponed since I was obviously NOT READY when a nurse or doctor or technician came out carrying a tray on which sat three Easter eggs and three frozen embryos and I had to either make it work or walk away.

Zelda, meanwhile, was donning a white coat. She was fitting right in.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Moral Disorder by Margaret Atwood (9/9/2013)

From January 2014

What a marvellous, marvellous book… and wonderful, wise and witty prose. Drink it in. Some of my favourites!

(And, let it be know that this damn computer is an Aussie and corrects all my spelling. That last word up there, the one before the exclamation point, it didn't have a "u" when it came off my fingertips.)
The persistence of material objects is becoming an amazement to me. It's the same door. The one I used to go in through, out through, year after year in my daily clothing or in various outfits and disguises not thinking at all that I would one day be standing in front of this very same door with my grey-haired little sister... but all doors used regularly are doors to the afterlife.

As any bank robber can tell you, Nell would say, the best thing to do when running away is not to run. Just walk. Just stroll. A combination of ease and purposefulness is desirable then no one will notice you're running. In addition to which, don't carry heavy suitcases or canvas bags full of money or pack sacks with body parts in them. Leave everything behind you except what's in your pockets. Lightest is best.

"I am a cannibal", she thought with odd detachment.
Maybe she would grow cunning up here on the farm. Maybe she would absorb some of the darkness, which might not be darkness at all but only knowledge. She would turn into a woman others came to for advice. She would be called in emergencies. She would roll up her sleeves and dispense with sentimentality and do whatever blood soaked, bad smelling thing had to be done.

She would become adept with axes.

In the end we'll all become stories or else we'll become entities. Maybe, it's the same.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Batman eats a chip! (11-6-13)

From November 6, 2013

FRENCH FRY!! All the other kids were doing it - so after 30 min of intense peer pressure, he relinquished. And, as of today, Jan 29, 2014, he has had no more…though I would have stopped at McDonald's today if I had seen it.

Sushi! Sushi! Sushi!! (Mid November - I must look before I edit!)

Sure it was just an avocado roll and he didn't actually eat any avocado and not much rice, but he enjoyed the nori wrap and sucked down plenty of pickled ginger.  I'm so proud!  My big boy!!
Edited Jan 29 - He's doing much better with the rolls and will eat everything except the avocado. ?? What's wrong with the avocado, Zupe?
Anyway, I what I really wanted to add here is that I have no idea what   means or where it came from. Perhaps, it is code and something cool will happen when this is published. We shall see.
Hmmmm - it disappears. ( )

January is almost over

From January 2014

And, how go those fleeting-on-the-edge-of-consciousness resolutions? I've made myself ONE green smoothy - a chocolate/banana/almond butter smoothy with a mix of spinach and arugula… interesting combo. I would do it again. Maybe next year. I've managed to do my exercise maybe 3 times. That's close to weekly. And, on one day I didn't look like a slob - though I needed a haircut. That is coming. February 6. I just can't keep my hairdresser in the country! Oh, and the blogs. Could be worse. I wrote a series of twelve just to get to a one word punchline. And, despite my camera dying, I have managed to get a few photos published. I'd say, 2014 looks like it is on the road to success!