Thursday, June 28, 2007

Noni has a secret

Impatiently fiddling with her shoelaces, Noni looked up again and again, past the shed and the lumber trucks parked in the alley. Today was Wednesday and that was usually the day the Gypsies came to see Grandma. It seemed like visiting to her but Granny told her they came to buy old clothes and lumber from her. But it was a party when three women, two men and a little girl piled out of a large Cadillac, windows rolled down and she heard the familiar foreign language tossed from front to back seat. There was Sonya! Another brown eyed, dark haired girl her own age who wore mismatched clothes like she did.

While Granny bartered with the visitors Sonya and Noni grabbed hands and ran to the pole yard, nimbly climbing to the very top. Shyness and smiles, they smoothed their skirts and looked through the trees. Then they heard it, the soft scritch, scritch of little rodent feet moving quickly along the wood where they sat. Chipmunks! Striped little creatures that made them laugh out loud. Once they found Noni's grandmother's raspberry patch where they ate their fill until Sonya's family came looking for her. Not before, however, she and Sonya rubbed a ripe berry on each other's arm and decided with that gesture they were now sisters. Until next Wednesday.

Noni heard the news while Granny held her in her lap one afternoon. It seems Sonya had fallen out of the Gypsy's car while it was moving and a rear tire ran over her. Noni asked if her friend just got up after that and climbed back into the car. Granny shook her head.

Whenever Noni sees chipmunks, tall, dark, blue-eyed men, ladies' sling-back pumps or big jangly earrings she gets it, the real reason why she loves Cadillacs, raspberries and roaming the earth.
More secrets out in the open at Sunday Scribblings.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

read at your own risk: pouting & cuteness ahead

Its hotter than Hades here in Minnesota and I, for one, am wondering what July and August will bring. Our 3 rms, view apt has fans running at high speed, drying out our eyes and Pashka-dog is pacing from one room to another looking for a cool wall. Plus, I don't like to sweat if I don't have to. There, my rant is complete. Sorry you had to read this. . .
My mother's family is from Colby, Wisconsin -- home of that round, mild cheese. Her parents moved to Idaho in the 1920's and farmed in Rockland, where her dad sold milk to Kraft. Grandma never returned to Colby. Years later I took my mom on a trip to Wisconsin to visit relatives she'd only heard about. She was not surprised at the lovely rolling hills and lush farmland because her mother had continued to remember how beautiful it was in Wisconsin. Grandma was a school teacher before she married and moved to Idaho. We found the hillside where Clovernook School once sat. Walking up the hillside, my heart and my head were full to overflowing as I imagined young Esther Rosin teaching in a one room school house in that small farm community.

The reason for this history lesson is because I believe I've inherited dairy cow farmer's genes. My secret dream that I've always been cautious to share is that I've wanted to have a cow or two and learn to make cheese. Wouldn't that be lovely to travel on a grant to Europe and apprentice with a cheese maker? It hasn't worked out yet, but I'm not ruling out any future possibility. In the meantime I love to visit the Jersey and Guernsey cows at the state fair. So I was moved to tears when Dave showed me these photos he's taken especially for me at a dairy farm in, you guessed it, Wisconsin, where he worked at a motorcycle rally this weekend. And, these Jersey calves were for sale! No lie.
Sometimes grace comes with big brown eyes and wet noses.

Saturday, June 9, 2007

Sunday Scribblings

Spicy is as spicy does. . .

spicy food, spicy language, spicy gossip, spicy tea, spicy reading material, spicy fragrance, spicy colors, aftershave and sweetpeas, herbs and spices, too spicy for me!, Scoville spicy-hot levels, spice cake, spicey carnation scent, sweet, spicy little girls, Spice Islands, and atsa spicey meataball!

Try as I might, spicy always reminds me of comfort food, the clean colors of a glass Old Spice bottle, and the romantic sound of the Spice Islands from geography class. Mostly I see a witty, carefree, lively woman writing a screenplay at 40, learning to tango at 50, reading her poetry on open-mic at 60, climbing in the Himalayas at 70 and having the last (spicy) word as she leaves for parts unknown.

This is my Sunday Scribblings offering this week. Read more about 'spicy.'

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Sean Connery is the whole nine yards!

Nearly finished, here's the (Cascade 'Fixation') footie I've been making for Audrey's work clogs along with a nice shot of Beano's head. I'm usually too tired (a very early riser) to do too much of an evening and being shy it is always a struggle for me to do new things, but last night I grabbed my knitting, sans kitty, and attended a Tuesday night knitting circle at my favorite yarn shop, Borealis Yarns in St. Paul. It was one of those bright, late spring evenings perfect for a drive to a wonderful older part of the city. The group was a mixture of gender and ages, and all very proficient and prolific knitters. I knew it would be hard for me to concentrate for too long surrounded by all that beautiful yarn just waiting to be gathered and touched. Not to mention that the conversation was lively so that the toe I was knitting ended up on the side of the foot instead of the top. . .ribbit!

One of the knitters came from Cathedral Hill where Garrison Keillor lives and has his Common Good bookstore. She mentioned she's seen him at the Mississippi Market Co-Op on occasion looking rather somber. Then the conversation veered to kilts as one of the knitter's husband is a Scot and he and his brothers wear authentic kilts. Her funny story involved these men attending a wedding, arriving in one car and the looks on the wedding guests' faces when all these big guys jumped out, wearing 'skirts.' So this segued into a trivia question about the origin of the phrase 'the whole nine yards.' Turns out that it refers to the amount of yardage it takes to make a kilt: 6-7 yards for an average bloke, 8 yards for a bigger man and if he is really giant (in stature and reputation, I'd guess) he would need 'the whole 9 yards.'

One more turtle sighting yesterday. There are several swirling 'circles' in the rocky soil at the top of the hill leading down to the lake. These intrepid reptiles have been making this trek up and down the steep hill for over a week, apparently to lay eggs. Being more careful where I place my feet on that stretch of sidewalk I nearly walked past another big specimen with her shell just teetering on her back. She must have been in some sort of turtle ennui because all of her legs and belly were just sticking out of her shell and not moving, I wasn't sure if she was alive or not. Then she moved slightly, looked at me (You again?!) slowly folded up her body parts, and tucked in under her shell. The word on the street is that a snapping turtle can cause a curious dog a lot of pain. When the big wet canine nose gets too close the turtle snaps its jaw open and shut, clamping on tightly. All this 'water' sport is so new to me, having come from the dusty potato fields where rattlers are the ones to watch out for.