Friday, October 31, 2008

Thursday Theme altar

I have this little tableau set up, and I suppose you could say it is a kind of altar to my mother and to family connections. There are pictures of my mother and L (and me, actually . . .), with little icons from France and shells we collected together in England in a glass. The pottery is something I had given to her long ago, because she lived on a mountain with a view. The glass paperweight is there for stability.

I was going to post a ghost story (a true one, too; Reya knows . . .), but with the thinning of the barrier today between worlds, perhaps it's better to think about my mother, and where she is.

Ghosts may be for tomorrow . . .

Thursday, October 30, 2008


I'm completely, and I mean completely, swamped with projects. I bit off more than I can visually chew, as it were. Altar update tomorrow, though.

But I digress; I have a request. My UPS delivery man, Van, is a musician (stupendous, piano) who is putting out a Christmas album, and would like to know favorite carols, songs, music of the season. If you would, please put your favorites in Comments, and I will pass them along to him.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Thursday: work space

My workspace:

For some reason, I had much trouble both taking and uploading these. I'm not sure if the computer needs some assistance, the camera does, or both require some TLC.

I had to add Webster's Third New International Dictionary to my collection of reference books, as a new client uses that instead of the more usual Collegiate, 11th ed., so I was able to spend a lot of time at the used book store yesterday. There I found Brewer's Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, PLUS a 1970s copy of the UPI Stylebook. Yes, I am that nerdy that I could hardly wait to come home and spend an hour or two with them all. Three volumes for the Webster's!

A random look at the UPI book yields:

golf . . . PGA is acceptable in all references for Professional Golfers' Association (note the apostrophe); LPGA in all references for Ladies Professional Golf Association (no apostrophe).
I could go on. That apostrophe stuff kills me. But I'll spare you.

I spend a lot of time here, working away. Underneath are several plastic bins of photos awaiting affixing in an album. Some have been there over four years, so I'm doubtful if they'll ever make the transition.

The Big Computer, not to be confused with the laptop that D uses over at his desk. This is where all the editing I do electronically takes place, plus some radio station or other via iTunes usually wafts through the speakers.

Door at which cats are often scratching. Here, Bear waits to come in, only to be headlocked by a feisty Frank.

D and I share this space, so it can be quite a bit of a Little-Fur-Family-in-our-hollow-tree–ish at times.

Monday, October 20, 2008

just to keep up

Frank had another visit to the animal shelter, which is quite swank. It has a row of bronze cats out front, donated by the public art group, sculpted by a local artist. I guess this is their final home; I've seen them around town at other venues.

Here Frank recuperates from his car ride and various pokes, prods, and shots:

Every day, or most days, I watch the beginning of The View, just to see what the resident Far Right Base representative on the panel has to say. Sure enough, Ayers, Ayers, Ayers. I really don't know why I subject myself to this, but it's better than tuning in to several hours of Fox broadcasting to try to understand if they have a grasp on just what the citizens of the United States want. Just look at the sheer numbers of people at Obama's rallies in Missouri. Anyway.

I've started another knitting project, a sweater in Rowan Calmer (such a great name for a yarn, cotton with some acrylic, to help it keep its shape when knitted up). This is the Daily Sweater from the new Mason-Dixon book. I had a heck of a time interpreting the beginning, though. There is a mistake in the directions that I had to take time to solve. Once started, however, and the charts that they use are puzzled out (which didn't take very long), this is a breeze to knit. It's knitted from the neck down, too, so I'll be able to control body and sleeve length. And it's in the round: my favorite kind of knitting.

The color is not this oatmeal, but more a mossy gray.

I'm trying to remember to bring my camera with me when I go out, but so far it's not been at my usual departure point.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008


somebody stole all the Obama/Biden signs in my neighborhood! But, oddly, all the McCain-Palin signs are still standing. What can this mean? Does that idiot think by taking away the signs, he's taking away our votes?? Well, it gives me an excuse to go down to campaign headquarters to get more and maybe donate a bit extra.

Here are a couple, just because:

Barack Obama in '08

Barack Obama in '08

Sunday, October 12, 2008

I was gone

for a day to Nashville, to the twentieth annual Southern Festival of Books, held here:

where I enjoyed a highly entertaining presentation by Julia Reed, Newsweek writer and reporter, of her book Ham Biscuits. She actually made a very boozy milk punch and some crab mornay canapes and passed them out to the fifty or so of us in the audience. What a great raconteur. Later, I was assessing a copy of another of her books at the big tables holding books by all the participants (quite a list), when I felt a tap on my should and it was she. We had a nice little conversation.

Then I went to hear Mason-Dixon Knitting's Ann Shayne and Kay Gardiner showing the ACTUAL GARMENTS from their new book

I also walked the block to the Nashville Public Library, which features this wonderful rooftop garden. It must be a hidden gem, because there were only two or three other people there:

A look from the outside, in to the Children's Room of the Library:

looking up, catching the sun's reflection:

Ubiquitous Cat in the Hat, mugging it up. It was almost 90 degrees F, so he/she must have been sweltering in there, but seemed very cool on the outside.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Thursday theme: hands

I'll tell you something
I think you'll understand,
Then I'll say that something,
I want to hold your hand.

-J. Lennon & P. McCartney (1963)

A very slight meditation on hands:

L has very expressive hands; indeed, she is famous for her flying hands to punctuate whatever she is saying. I love watching her use her hands when she plays the cello.

My mother's hands were always painful for her. Her rheumatoid arthritis was a constant companion. Originally misdiagnosed, she suffered needlessly, but nonetheless continued her handwork as best she could throughout her life.

I like to think about the power of hands, especially when I'm using my flat, firm hands in yoga to hold myself up.

I started to think of all the phrases: a hand up; hold your life in your hands; hand out; a hand to hold; hands to work, hearts to God.

As I am typing this, I'm listening to Orlando Gibbons' O Clap Your Hands, sung by the group Chanticleer . . . a coincidence?

here is different group, singing it:

And another group; Happy Birthday to you, John:

Monday, October 06, 2008

I couldn't resist

Frank, of a Sunday afternoon . . .

in repose . . .

Today he is off for his first round of shots. I weasled out of taking him. He went away without complaining or yowling or trying to escape or scratching—like some other characters I could mention.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Theme Thursday: Mailboxes

There is a post with some lovely mailboxes on it, and it brought back a flood of memories for me. These boxes are like the ones that I saw nearly every day in college, back when everything not spoken was typed, mimeoed, or hand written. The other day, I was looking at an old art history book, and out fluttered a little typed schedule of classes from my senior year, with my adviser's name in the upper right. I remember crisp fall days, angling across the green, headed for the old PO, whose downstairs was the domain of the Latin professor, with her ancient cat in her lap. The upstairs was, if I can recall correctly, atticy and dusty, not used for much. Or am I misremembering?

Remember what it was like in a world sans junk mail/catalogues/credit card offers/invitations to free estate planning dinners at the Outback . . . ? (Back then, there really weren't many credit cards at all. Remember Diners Club?? Does it still exist??)

We receive thank-yous from nieces, and Christmas cards, but not much personal, physical letters, handwritten. My great-aunt was a legendary letter-writer; she used a typewriter and, frugal person that she was, typed up to the very very edge of all margins. Actually, her letters were marginless. She was also a great card sender, especially with scenes of cats (not photos, drawn) dressed up and doing things like playing cards, or having a birthday party.

After my mother died, I found a big box, full of correspondence from my grandfather to my grandmother, letters, postcards, all kinds of things. He would write her everyday when he was away, doing county agent work for the state they lived in. There were letters from my mother, too.

Perhaps we should all send a card or letter out today, in honor of Theme Thursday . . . Who's on your list?

Wednesday, October 01, 2008


A few days ago, while reposing on this very table, Frank revealed an ugly truth about himself.

Or rather about his person. To be brief, Frank has brought along some baggage in the form of several fleas. The vet sold us something I'm not crazy about using, because these are some very harsh chemicals, but we put, as instructed, two drops on his skin at the back of his neck. He looks a bit chastened here.

The two other cats have received a similar treatment.

Many years ago, several states away now, we lived through a flea infestation. Not pleasant. Not at all. And difficult to deal with, let me tell you. It's better to nip this particular parasite in the bud sooner rather than later . . .

Other than that, though, Frank has adjusted without the bat of an eye. Bear is still in the throes of heartbreak, but is getting better. She can now stand to be in the same room with Frank, sort of, for a minute or so. Throughout the day, Frank enjoys many feedings of Fancy Feast, with a little milk in a bowl. He plays with some toy mice and enjoys a handknit or two to bite one when feeling frisky.