Wednesday, April 30, 2008
Orange--one of my favorite colors--so much so, I used to have orange Formica countertops in my kitchen. Of course, that was the 1970's and wasn't so weird then. Said to prompt eating binges, orange is lively and hopeful, I like to think.
Today Mrs Nesbitt has chosen the letter O for ABC Wednesday. To join or enjoy fellow orangines, squeeze here.
Tuesday, April 29, 2008
Lifting the canvas I slip under the tent
And escape the refugee camp.
Like a fighter I leave the ring
But not on a stretcher.
By heart I follow the ruts to your house
And throw the pebbles I’ve collected
At your front window.
Youth only carries time.
Crossing the ditch flow to the gate
Grass stained and buoyant,
My feet come up short.
Will you remember me?
Past the gas pump under the alley light
Washtub hangs on a nail.
Shadows pasted to the upstairs windows
Like paper snowflakes.
Recollections, mortal and sublime,
Dusty with longing.
I loosen the laces, untying my gloves,
Afraid to enter, afraid to return.
You’ve been gone so long.
Monday, April 28, 2008
From the ridiculous to the sublime, a treat for me from Cupcake, a great--you guessed it--cupcake bakery/coffee shop in Minneapolis. Meet Betty Crocker:
A cat with a butterscotch belly goes bad :::
Bean pretends to ignore her favorite snacks. yeah. right.
Finally. . .to Monday's credit, while I was in line trying to make up my mind at Cupcake--not an easy job for a Libra--this postcard jumped off the turnstile and landed in front of me. An important question for my heart.
“Still round the corner there may wait,
A new road or a secret gate. ”
Sunday, April 27, 2008
Struggling at its full capacity, my camera got as close as possible to the always inspiring movement of birds, especially my favorite Red-Wing Blackbird. They are the first to appear around the marshy wetlands in the area after the long winter. We are fortunate enough to have a little marshland at the edge of our parking lot where I can look straight out my window and see--and hear--riotous activity in the spring.
I'm posting this this piece of heaven on Sunday's Camera Critters hosted by Misty Dawn. Stop by!
Friday, April 25, 2008
Fleet Foxes, my new fave.
“ Those who wish to sing, always find a song. ”
Happy Friday to us all! To see more Skywatch Friday views, and/or participate, go here. Tell Tom I sent you.
Thursday, April 24, 2008
Let us hope we are preceded in this world by a
from Of Time & Memory & Sweet Land-the movie
I spent a good part of the past winter haunting antique stores collecting vintage buttons to make magnets like these. Then I spent hours with many buttons spread out on the kitchen table, sorting, cataloging, ogling and then petting my cat, Bean, who had to lay herself in the middle of the whole thing. Each magnet was built with the giftee in mind, also time consuming. Love is like that. . .it takes time but is worth every minute.
See more stories of love at Shutter Sisters here as part of Love Thursday.
Zucchini Lemon Bread
Wednesday, April 23, 2008
Tuesday, April 22, 2008
Chief Luther Standing Bear (Oglala Sioux)
Monday, April 21, 2008
Wood Duck male and female.
The woodpeckers have been on the drum line for weeks.
The very idea of a bird is a symbol and a suggestion to the poet. A bird seems to be at the top of the scale, so vehement and intense his life. . . . The beautiful vagabonds, endowed with every grace, masters of all climes, and knowing no bounds -- how many human aspirations are realised in their free, holiday-lives -- and how many suggestions to the poet in their flight and song! ~~John Burroughs
Friday, April 18, 2008
“The grand show is eternal. It is always sunrise somewhere; the dew is never dried all at once; a shower is forever falling; vapor is ever rising. Eternal sunrise, eternal dawn and gloaming, on sea and continents and islands, each in its turn, as the round earth rolls.” ~ John Muir
More sky views from Sky Watchers here.
Thursday, April 17, 2008
I'm stepping out with my first offering for Love Thursday, a love-ly idea from Shutter Sisters.
What's not to ♥ about dreamy fresh, ripe strawberries (from Whole Foods) and my favorite creamy white heart mold from my collection of everything ♥'s ?
Wednesday, April 16, 2008
Today's ABC letter is 'M' and boy do I have an 'M' this time!
'M,' as in Maine Coon Cat. The cat in my photos is named Squirrel and belongs to my daughter Audrey. She and Squirrel stayed with us for several months and we fell in love with this fetching and rascally cat. Maine Coons are noted as intelligent and resourceful. So true.
First of all: her name. Squirrel was rescued from some neglectful owners by a guy named Pickle. He named her Squirrel because of her big, fluffy tail. [I don't invent these names, I just report them!] I might have named her Whiskers for the l-o-n-g ones she has.
At our house she started and ended each day with a rousing game of volleyball with her favorite sparkly ball. She'd jump on a table and wait for some poor, unsuspecting chump to throw the ball while she batted it back. Said pitcher then bent over and threw it again. Back and forth and eventually it became evident that the real workout was had by the pitcher. When I first met her she was trying to walk off with Scrabble pieces when no one was looking. She stole food whenever she could, including things too big to carry off like fried chicken or sweet rolls. Embarrassingly funny. Her favorite heist was eyeglasses. She'd rip them off, then leave them somewhere the owner would never expect to search. My glasses will forever have little Squirrel teeth marks on the sides.
We don't see this fluffball very much but even Dave, who maintains a stanch ambivalence toward cats, likes to reminisce about how she would sleep on the back of his desk chair whenever he was at the computer. I remember how she carried her sparkly ball around the house hanging from one tooth.
Maine Coon Cats, gotta love 'em!
Stop by Mrs Nesbitt's place for more 'M' words. You'll be glad you did.
Tuesday, April 15, 2008
On my last visit to the
Arctic zoo. . .sigh. . .,the polar bears were emoting and pacing in the cold and spewing their cold breath. Such beautiful creatures with those incredibly b.i.g. feet.
I only recently heard about Ben & Jerry's new ice cream flavor--Baked Alaska--which has marshmallow swirls and white chocolate polar bears. Marshmallow and chocolate bears can't be all bad. Up to par with their usually clever design, this carton has a polar bar leaning on a thermometer and the phrase: If its melted its ruined. I haven't tried it yet. Two reviews I found actually came from Sweden and England. . .hmmm. Anne's Food, a blog I frequent, has a photo and her take on the flavor. Also, more at Snackspot.
And speaking of our four-legged friends, we just picked up our dear Pashka's ashes and a little gift from the animal hospital.It seems they took this impression of her left paw (which was referred to in our house as her 'mush foot') after she passed and had it fired as a keepsake for us. Whew, this was almost more than I could handle at first. . .but now it has a place of prominence along with her (heavy) box of ashes. Our plan is to take her with us this summer to the Lake Superior area around Duluth and scatter her ashes somewhere along the trail used for the Beargrease Dog Races.
Monday, April 14, 2008
Breaking news--the sun came out in Minnesota today. And the temps are expected to reach to nearly 70 by Wednesday.** That means green shouldn't be far behind. In anticipation of said color, here are some shots I took at my last visit to the botanical garden, in particular, the Palm Dome and Fern Room. I don't have names for this collection mainly because I turn into a mouth breather (read: agog) when I enter this building but some are fairly recognizable. For added enjoyment, listen to Harry Belafonte's Banana Boat song.
In nature we never see anything isolated, but everything in connection with something else which is before it, beside it, under it and over it.
What a romantic city it was, full of believers, wrapped in pride and insecurity, those protons of provincial complacency We pulled the blanket of winter around us, we clicked shut the wood blinds of summer against the killing heat. But our drama was all just weather, the swatted mosquitoes of summer, the dripping ice dams of winter. Our lives were little, our weather big.
** I woke up one day recently and realized I'm way too invested in the mercurial weather here in the Twin Cities. Not only do I blame everything on not enough sun, or too much snow, it is now a unmistakable part of my conversational repertoire and I'm boring mySELF to death. Lately I've been devouring the book 'The Florist's Daughter' by Patricia Hampl-- a memoir of growing up in St. Paul. What a wonderful writer she is! If I could ever write as good as her I'd die a happy woman. Anyway, as she holds the hand of her dying mother, simultaneously writing the woman's obituary on a yellow legal pad, she's recalling the gentler time in St. Paul that her mother had lived in. . .
Saturday, April 12, 2008
In my 30’s I found myself in an eating disorder support group with three other women. One was anorexic, one bulimic and two of us with overeating issues. All of us had abuse in our past. The primary purpose of this group was to be available to listen to each other’s story.
Julie was a beautiful 20-something who could very easily have walked down a runway for a living. When she shared in our group she peppered her words with laughter that rang clear and contagious. She brought to the roundtable a history of incest and when reporting about her week trying to starve that demon out of her body, a new persona appeared—a blond, blue eyed little girl who needed someone to notice her pain. When our facilitator asked if she could touch her hand or put her arm around Julie, that’s when the tears would flow and the pain would ease. At that moment a calm would descend on our group.
Every week a fellow overeater named Catherine arrived with a 64 oz. Pepsi from the 7-11 and told many stories about the endless responsibilities of being a mother of five children. As she expressed her fatigue, boredom and her food binging, episodes of verbal abuse by her parents aimed at Catherine’s parenting skills would surface. She never cried in front of us.
We made Barb the matriarch of our little sisterhood because she was almost fifty and that seemed ancient to us at the time. She’d been practicing bingeing and purging since high school, through the years of her marriage, motherhood and a divorce. Her honesty about her disease and the laundry list of its effects on her body as she entered midlife were sobering. I’ve not forgotten her ability to cry and smile and rage all in one group session.
Each week we would drag our baggage into the session and back out again afterwards. That was before the advent of suitcases on wheels. When we left we had a heightened sense that things might work out. Looking back, I remember them as three imperfect, hurting women but unwilling to give up, fearless.
Sunday Scribblings' prompt this week is the word fearless. See more bravery here.
Friday, April 11, 2008
Now that we have a bike to ride we are both planning to join BACA (Bikers Against Child Abuse) which requires one year riding with them before starting the membership process. I'm impressed with these bikers who are willing to step out to offer protection and advocacy for abused children. Being a fair-weather rider, I enjoy cruising the winding back roads scouting out antique stores and roadside stands. This bike has an exceptionally comfortable back seat and foot boards instead of pegs, roomy side bags and there's plenty of room for both of us. For now, as long as we can, this will be the next chapter in our empty-nest, apartment, no pets-- life. . .actually how we started out 37 years ago.
So, here we go: