Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Brought to you, in large part, by Henry David Thoreau


In going through my books, I unearthed the copy of Walden and Other Writings by Henry David Thoreau that I read & reread & underlined & circled while I was in high school. If I had to pick one book that made me who I am today, it could be this one. Fortunately, I don't have to pick one. I gulped down so many with my hungry eyes.

But Walden was special. I was going to be a poet & a hermit. I even had a place picked out, a cabin with green tarpaper on the walls, on the east side of the mountain. I was going to run a bucket down to the Stillwater River to haul up drinking water. Once my sisters & I swept about a billion dead flies off the floor.

The cabin no longer exists, being part of the tailings of the platinum & palladium mine. The house I grew up in was right where the main adit for the mine went in. Goodbye big front room. Goodbye patio. Goodbye Secret Garden. Goodbye Pete's house. Goodbye guest house outhouse & garage. The pink house still exists, in another location, but the others are only in our memories.

Blog alternative:
316. Think about the books (or movies or songs, if you're not so much of a book person) that created you, challenged you, blew the top of your head off. Reread if you dare. Some of them hold up & some of them, well, you had to be there, & you were, but you aren't any more...

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Closet versus Duffle Bag (the battle continues...)


I am back from the holidays in Montana. I packed super light going there & super heavy going back. Earlier this year, my mom & sister & some others got together & cleaned out my sister Shelly's closet, so I knew I was coming home with some very nice clothes. (Sister Shelly was one stylish chick.) I wore one shirt out here & a pair of (what turned out not to be very comfortable) jeans. Besides that I just did your basic socks & undies & black leggings/long johns. (A base layer, I believe, is the technical term.) The jeans did NOT come back with me, but a duffel bag full of other wonderful things did.

Except my closet was already pretty full, so---

--some of the results you see above have already been dropped off at GoodWill. Still more sorting to go, but I didn't get back until Monday night & it's only Wednesday, so I'm feeling productive. I took ALL my clothes out of the closet (I don't use dressers) & started with ginormous piles in the living room/dining room. Still some on & around my table, but the others to be evaluated are in one neat stack on the painting table, which is right next to the closet.

Had a really lovely time in Montana, part of which was caused by bad roads & nasty weather. I played a ton of pitch (a really good 3-person card game) with my folks. Dad ended up our lengthy series 9 games ahead of me & 4 games ahead of Mom. (But hey, we made serious progress. There were times when he was 25 games ahead of us...) He also finished 9 games ahead of me in cribbage, & absolutely slaughtered me & an aunt (first Aunt Juanita & then Aunt Carol) in pinochle, with the help of Uncle Will. Shoot! But so much fun.

We hunkered down over New Year's & held a belated party at my sister's farm, which was really delightful & didn't require staying up late, since the rest of the country didn't delay the holiday.

I also discovered that I hadn't properly scheduled my blogs to post while I was gone, so bing bang bong, here are 3 at once, even if a couple of them claim to be Decemberish.

Blog alternative:
315. Take something out of your closet & do something to get it into someone else's hands. Or throw it away, if it's no longer useful. My red leopard print tights will hit the trash, as I discovered (while wearing them Christmas Eve) that the waistband was shot & they had the unfortunate tendency to head for my knees. Fortunately, my dress was longish & I could hit the restroom & pull them up. Grin. What could you possibly get rid of? Things that were more appropriate to a past version of you.



Thursday, December 27, 2018

Here there be dragon...

My furniture is a little odd & eclectic. Instead of a regular couch, I have a green damask (with roses) chaise lounge from Home Decorator's Collection that I assembled myself. My dining room table is a turquoise bistro table from Target, which isn't big enough (not to mention that if you spill something it drips right down onto your cool octagon rug) so I got a big circle of tempered glass to put on top. The bad thing about that is that one tends to run into the edge that doesn't have a chair parked by it.

Solution?

A dragon, of course. It actually belongs to my son Nick, but he only has 99 (max) things not to mention my grandchildren Max & Clark, who could potentially be hard on a ceramic dragon that graced Nick's room in middle school & high school. So, I am guarding the dragon that is guarding the edge of the table.

Win, win.

Blog alternative:
314. Adopt a dragon. Or bring some keepsake that used to belong to a child out into the light of day.

Thursday, December 20, 2018

No prob taking the Senior discount...


On Tuesdays, I play 55+ cribbage at the Senior Center. One of my writer friends said he wouldn't go to a "Senior Center" because he doesn't want to be labeled a senior. I think he's a year older than I am. My theory: if being called a senior lets me save money at restaurants or at Goodwill or gets me in to play cribbage with a bunch of kick-ass players (One of my favorites is Earl, who is 93, unless he had a birthday I don't know about, & the sharpest tack on the bulletin board. Also cute. I told him if he wasn't too young for me, I'd go after him, & he said, "Back atcha.") then call me a senior. I know people who are younger than I am who don't have a youthful bone in their bodies. & I know that I adore this age that I am. I care so much less about what other people think about me, or about anything else. Why? Because we all get our own opinions. If I want to have mine, then I guess I'd better let everyone else have theirs.

Another mishmash of coolness, including a clock
(no batteries, cuz I can't stand the ticking sound)
from my deceased cousin Aeron & a pencil drawing
by moi, along with various found or purchased items.

Blog alternative:
313 . Do something youthful. Blow a straw wrapper at someone (you know) in a restaurant. Skip down a sidewalk. (I didn't learn to skip until I was 9...)

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Mapping Tomorrow

Here's a short post from my morning pages the other day after I realized I was just writing a description of the day before:

This doesn't need to be a diary of everything that has just happened in my life. How about a map (tentative, of course) of tomorrow, of next year? How about a map of my heart, a delineation of desire? I can feel my breath deepening, the expansion of my soul & my cells as I think these thoughts, write these thoughts. Yesterday? Done. Gone. Use the banked sparks from it to kindle today's fire. Use the memories to kindle new thoughts. Use the map you've walked to set you on the new new new path.

A path marker in the Arboretum,
Asheville, North Carolina
Blog alternative:
312.  Write a letter from an imagined future to you here & now.


Thursday, December 6, 2018

Make room for monsters...

The Face of the West Wind
watercolor & pen
Little Thing Thursday brings you another blog. I just spent a lovely long weekend in San Francisco, first hanging out with my son Nick & my daughter-in-law Chloe & my two grandsons, Max (3 & 1/2) & Clark (turned 1 at the end of July). Much fun was had. I helped decorate the Christmas tree, which is inside a baby corral to keep it away from toddler fingers. A very wise decision. I read lots of books with Max, including some from when my boys were little. I Spy Christmas was a huge hit with Max. He & I pored over the pages, looking for (some very hard to find) items. He had so much patience. Clark was only semi-convinced it was a good idea that Grammy was hanging around. I could only read to him when he was on Nick's lap beside me. We did have lots of fun at the playground, playing peekaboo in the play structures. I think it's really important to let kids guide the level of interaction. To an extent. When Max was being put down for a nap & didn't want a crying Clark outside his door, I picked Clark up & let him cry in the living room. Unhappy either place & that helped Max get settled...

Then I spent a couple lovely days with good friend Ellen Klages & her trusty cat Winston. Again, much fun was had. We took Madeline Robbins out for an early birthday dinner & played a bunch of poker & hot tubbed. I helped out with some errands & was rewarded by good food & great company.

Still, it's nice to get home, back to my routine. Easier to write & read. The well is fuller & we'll see what spills out of the bucket when I dip it in...

& tomorrow I'll set up my new bedframe, which came when I was away. 18 inches of storage underneath. Enough space for plastic bins of books & a medium-sized monster.

Blog alternative:

311. Look under a bed or in a closet. Make a little space for at least a tiny monster to have sanctuary.

Thursday, November 29, 2018

Lilies of the Pond

Here is a picture of a water lily in Asheville, North Carolina. Consider the lilies of the pond, they neither toil nor spin, but I defy anyone--Solomon included--to look purtier.

This reminded me of a short video I saw on Facebook recently, a nattily-attired gentleman who spoke of his rich aunt, with all her pretty things that she was saving for a special occasion. Then she died. He decided (age 9? I don't remember exactly) at that time to always dress for a party.

I like party clothes. Anyone who's seen me at science fiction conventions may remember my extensive collection of what I call "prom dresses." I've since trimmed my closet down, but I can still glam up with the best of them. (As long as I'm wearing comfortable shoes. No high heels for me!)

But over the years I started wearing mostly jeans & T-shirts, although I love silk & ruffles &--be still my heart!--fringe. So, in the last few weeks, I've been wearing more fun stuff. Leopard print bell bottom jeans. Silky green shirts. Necklaces. Fun clothes. A bit of glam, with the only event being "Hey, It's Today."

Blog alternative:

310. Finger through your closet. Pet some pretty clothes you haven't worn in a while. Don something fun. If the fun clothes don't fit, take them to a thrift store or a consignment store or give them to someone skinnier or fatter. Then pick up something fun for you. (My velvet black & zebra-print jacket was $6 at GoodWill...)