Wednesday, December 30, 2009


Cheers to a new year and another chance for us to get it right.
-- Oprah Winfrey

Welcome 2010!

Thursday, December 10, 2009


. . . I'm not.

My office resembles chaos, bookshelves overflowing, not only with books but with a menagerie of small stuffed creatures that seem to multiply of their own accord. This is almost as bad as my Beanie Babies (remember those?) collection, who now occupy a box under the bed.

I look wistfully at the bookshelves. The books are roughly organized: novels, biographies, history, geography, dictionaries, Writers Market 1998! (time to recycle that one) At one time I planned to alphabetize everything.

Somehow that plan never bore fruit. I have ruined the overall effect by slotting paperback novels into any available space, whether it's among poetry, world history, Shakespeare... Time to give some of these intruders away to a good home.

It's tough for me to part with books. We once had a garage sale and sold a number of books I believed I'd never read again. I often regret having sold them--not that I'd probably read them again--but they were like precious caskets filled with drama, love, hate, laughter, tears that writers graciously shared.


A need to compartmentalize does, however, rear its head every now and then. I focus this urge on my computer where I create folders within folders within folders for my favorites or bookmarks, depending on which browser I'm on. If I don't sort these into aptly named folders the list grows huge and I can't find anything.

While I'm there, I also weed out those that I never visit, that have closed, or that I wonder why on earth did I save this?

Organizing bookmarks is small potatoes next to my writing files folders within folders etc. Does a cache of thousands sound too plentiful?

And yes, I have a real life filing cabinet with, you guessed it, green and blue folders holding manila folders filled with actual papers.

Actual papers have not yet declined, despite the computer age. Seems every day we take a stack to the recycle bin or the shredder.

These are not all bills, either.


Thursday, November 05, 2009

This and That

When researching the life of poet André Chenier I did some reading about the French Revolution and the Reign of Terror, a horrific time, in which massacre followed massacre; nobility, clergy, dissidents alike formed a steady stream toward the guillotine.

Reading how Chenier himself was affected gave me a narrow view of the events. I searched the internet and found an overview of the Revolution, the causes, issues, duration, effects, in Revolution and After .

Dickens aptly wrote of the age in A Tale of Two Cities :

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to heaven, we were all going direct the other way - in short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only.

The revolutionaries began with noble goals: an end to the tyranny and the outrageous privileges that aristocracy and clergy saw as their due, and liberty, equality, fraternity for all. Perhaps the idealists envisioned a peaceful transfer of power from the monarchy to the people.

It was not to be. The rest, as they say, is history.

As often happens, I continued reading about Napoleon, his rise, his glory, his fall. A couple of pages do not do him justice; I see further reading in my future. My father's library, which I inherited, has several fat books about Napoleon and his wars.

I'll add them to the TBR (To Be Read ) pile.


My mother, age 88, is devoted to following the news. From morning news radio, to newspapers which she reads from first page to last (even the sports), to local, national, and international news on tv, to the Letterman Show (hey, he presents news, doesn't he?) she is well-informed about it all. Opinionated, too, frequently venting at newscasters, politicians, and situations that parade past on the tube.

She is the master of the rhetorical "why": why would a man kill his small children; why would those thugs beat up a gay man; why spend billions to send rockets into the air when the economy is so bad; why is the government doing/not doing this, that, or the other...

I used to try to answer her questions. Then I realized she knows there are no answers, and this is her way of trying to make sense of a world that has changed so drastically over her lifetime, yet has also not changed at all.

Besides, I don't have any real answers. They're all blowing in the wind. (more on this coming)



Friday, October 09, 2009

Musical Interlude

Talented violin virtuoso David Garrett plays Czardas, a traditional Hungarian folk dance.

And simply because it's so very beautiful, Garrett playing Debussy's Clair de Lune.


Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Hottest Day

July 29, 2009

Air conditioner alert!

We aren't used to temperatures this high.
We don't like temperatures this high.

There's something oh so quiet about a hot-hot day. You can almost see the flowers wilt. Birds make liberal use of the birdbath -- wish I had a picture for they truly frolic in the water like exuberant children.

Birds being birds, they always return to the feeders.

Cute birds aside, too many more days like this and I'm going to Antarctica. I hear Antarctica is melting. (sigh)

Okay. But it's still cold on Mars.

Mind you, once it's colonized by humans and they carry on as is their habit, Mars is bound to heat up.
Martial Warming?


Adding PS: the heat wave is over for now (for the summer, we hope.)
Mars will have to wait.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

The moment I saw him ....

I had to have him!

Yes, a Teddy Bear. But not just any bear - this one had the exact face shape of the Teddy I had when I was very young.

My first Teddy had stiff brown "fur" and when turned upside down and righted again he grunted what I presumed was a bear-like sound.

Unlike the old one, this new Teddy is cuddly and soft and machine washable. But it was the face, that dear, fondly remembered face that tugged at my heart.

I don't recall what happened to my first Teddy bear; lost in transit, perhaps. Or the girl believed she had outgrown him and packed him away, along with her other childhood toys.

The trouble with packing things away is that they are seldom if ever seen again. And often forgotten, until fate bestows a reunion of sorts.

Now and then everyone, no matter what their age, needs a Teddy bear to hug.


Tuesday, April 14, 2009

The Weather Channel

Truly one of the more interesting channels...

Not merely for the weather reports, but for weather news and related tidbits.

Recently it was reported that because of global warming the snow packs enjoyed by skiers will gradually decline.

Seventy years from now the ski season will be half what it is now, and this will of course impact the future of the winter Olympics. No snow, no Olympics.

This got me thinking. Seventy years from now no one will remember how it was in 2009 or before. The winters of yesteryear will become a novelty. Quaint pictures, old movies and tv shows will be of passing interest to young people, much like when our studies took us to previous ice ages.

Seventy years from now my grandchildren will be in their seventies, eighties, and nineties. Perhaps they will reminisce about skiing, snowboarding, tobogganing in the olden days.

I might be a memory, the grandmother who sat at her computer and wrote things.

And after that I'll become a name on a genealogy list.

I need to stop projecting.

This really isn't about me.

I truly hope snow is abundant for Olympics into the year 5000.


Thursday, April 09, 2009

In search of the sweet stuff

And didn't "they" say Hummingbirds return in April?

My husband was coming out of the garage when he, literally, came face to face with a hummer.

Where's the juice, the little bird seemed to demand.

John hustled in and mixed the syrup, hung the feeders, and a short time later the customer arrived.

It's uncanny how they remember from year to year


Sunday, February 08, 2009

Musical Interlude

You know how some tunes stick in your mind and refuse to leave?

I had a flashback to a song by Roger Miller. (Jan 2, 1936 - Oct 25, 1992)

Namely: You Don't Want My Love - (In The Summertime When All The Trees And Leaves Are Green)

From 1960 (gulp) Was I even born then? Well, maybe, but I was very, very young.

I found it on You Tube but couldn't embed it, so here's the link

Here is a hilarious version by The Muppets (Oh, how I loved them!)