Saturday, December 30, 2006

Friday, December 29, 2006

Flower Photo Friday

The unseasonably warm temparatures have caused the English Daisies at Niagara to blossom out of season. Posted by Picasa

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Thankful Thursday

I am thankful for my sweet husband Keith and his loving nature AND also thankful that he's so talented fixing cars and making me happy in a variety of ways. Here he's working on the brakes. Posted by Picasa

Things I like that start with C (NOT!)

As seen at jo(e)’s blog, and several other places.

Curmudgeon. Why do I have to be difficult? I’m supposed to write things I like. I don’t like curmudgeons and I don’t want to be one, but sometimes Christmas makes me into one. Actually, I seem to be somewhat attracted to curmudgeonly men. I married one, after all. LOL!

Cantankerous: No, I don’t love being cantankerous, but I don’t seem to be able to help myself!

Christmas. I don’t like Christmas either. That’s because I’m a curmudgeon. Maybe I will like it on the actual day. Or when it’s over.

Cake. I like cake, but I can’t eat it. Most cake has milk in it. I’m allergic to milk.

Coffee. I LOVE coffee. But I can’t drink it. I’m allergic to coffee.

Chocolate. I LOVE chocolate. But I can’t eat it. I’m allergic to chocolate.

Candy. I LOVE candy. But I can’t eat it. I’m allergic to candy. Maybe not being able to eat many of the things I love contributes to my curmudgeonliness.

Caring. I love caring for people and being cared for by them.

Coping: I love being able to cope. Wish I could.

Careless. I hate being careless. I want to be careful.

Creativity: I LOVE being creative, doing creative work like poetry, writing, art and photography.

Concrastination. I love the IDEA of it, but with ADHD, it’s very difficult. Concrastination is NOT procrastinating, which is what I am doing right now, procrastinating getting down to work. In order to concrastinate, I need to commit to doing my work, NOW. “Crastinus” means tomorrow. (So what’s today? We need a word that is protoday—protodation? Prohodie? Prohodiation? (Hodie being today in Latin.) AK, here I go again!

But I’d rather be for today than against tomorrow!

OK, in the unlikely chance that this is the first place you’ve seen this meme and want to participate, count the number of letters in your name down this message and then that same number across that line and use that letter. Or pick one you like—who’d know? Or the first letter from the word verification screen.

Whine and Anti whine--a Note to Phantom

As seen over at Phantom's, here are a couple whines:

Whine: I have so many stupid presents to wrap. AK!

And I'm not good at it!

Anti-whine: At least I have a lot of my shopping done.

Whine: But then there are those things I couldn't find or acquire. People I have no gifts for. AK!

Anti whine: hmm, that one's a little harder. Ah, duh. DUH? (Help!)

(It's bad enough if they are grown-ups, but much worse if they are small children.)

{OK, I've been taking a break from my work, from stuff that bogs me down to stuff that lightnes me, LOL, but I'd better get back to work! Enough, already!}

Santa is swimming with the polar bears, or might soon be!

A light and not-so-light look at Christmas.  OK, so OUR CHOICES to create global warming by making car pollution and industrial pollution and not regulate it or stop it means the rain forest is moving up to the north pole and threatening Santa (never mind polar bears and at the South Pole, penguins!)  How come no one cares?  They are in the pocket of big business, that's why, caught in the rut of consumerism and wearing blinders.

Friday, December 15, 2006

Flower Photo Friday

It's been unseasonably warm where we live, but it still freezes nearly every night. There are no flowers still flowering, but the "flowering kale" is still going great guns! Yay! It looks really cheery. Posted by Picasa

Foot Photo Friday

I love the way the leaves stain the sidewalk with their tannin. Posted by Picasa

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Currently Reading

I am currently reading The Mineral Palace by Heidi Julavitz, so far so good, and we are reading Dragon Drums by Anne McCaffrey, Oliver Sachs, and Tagalong Tooloo. I only read at solo meals and we have been so busy we are missing most of our family reading. (WAHN!)

I have the Hardcover version and the Cover is very different than this one. Posted by Picasa

One Down and 493,529 to go

It wasn’t the first thing on my to-do list for the day. But for two weeks, we’ve been trying to get time to get the Christmas tree up. I figured if I didn't push it up to the top of the list no matter how important the other things were, Christmas would come and go without a tree.

My friends Heidi and jo(e) have been waxing rhapsodic about getting their real trees. But here in the city, they are pretty expensive and since we own a fake one, I put it up this morning, before breakfast. (Which I still haven’t had because Blogger is being turdly and eating my posts again.)

It’s up, but not “arranged” yet (Where’s Erin when I need her?) The arranging, the tree skirt, the lights, the ornaments and the gifts will all have to wait. Posted by Picasa

The Dreaded Blogger strikes again!

I am so busy. So busy. I know, I know, we all are. And that doesn't make this any less frustrating.

I just sat and carefully composed a blog post and spell-checked it and added stuff to it and edited it and created links that required visiting several other blogs and then it disappeared into cyberspace—all that work for nothing. AGAIN. This has been happening all week. Not a good way to be spending time these hectic days! I know people who have switched, and I can see why.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Icon again

I am attempting to learn to work this icon program.

9/20/94 Headed West Alone

9:04 AM I just got my first glimpse of the mountains—mountains with snow on them. I saw my first oil well, my first magpie, and earlier, my first sagebrush! Sagebrush, cattle-lands, wide expanse of sky. Windmills at cattle waterers. A run-down look to the outbuildings, worn-weary in all that expanse of tan. Plains running up toward the still-distant mountains. 10:04 AM I stopped at an overlook where I saw the flatirons. I feel like I am coming home. I feel as if these mountains live in my heart even if I don’t live in them and probably never will—even though I’d like to.2:53 PM I am up in the mountains! YAY! It’s raining, not hard yet, but looks like it will. I am having nervous fits about where I will stay. Posted by Picasa

Quote Borrowed from Autunm

"The purpose of life is not to be happy - but to matter, to be productive, to be useful, to have it make some difference that you have lived at all."  I wish.
-Leo Rosten  from Autumn's Blog

I am certain of nothing but the Heart's affections and the truth of the Imagination- John Keats

A Sassy Hint of Danger: The Libertine

I didn't understand soem of the questions, maybe I did something wrong---or--maybe not! LOL!

Saturday, December 09, 2006

4 things

Four things I particularly enjoyed at the DIA besides the Leibovitz Exhibition were: an artist at work, the Diego Rivera murals, and the mother and child by Tilman Riemenschneider. I am sorry I did not get the names of the artist or the model. (If you know what they are let me know).

I also enjoyed the armor, other Madonnas, the art and spirituality, the art and nature, and lots more. See us at the DIA. Posted by Picasa

Thinking a la DIA

Keith, Gail and I went to the Detroit Institute of Arts today to see American Music by Annie Leibovitz. We couldn't take any pictures in the exhibit itself. Posted by Picasa

Friday, December 08, 2006

wheat wheat, crunch crunch

That's what Keith says, "Wheat wheat, crunch crunch." That's what he said yesterday, anyway. Wheat wheat is the sound the wind pants make brushing one leg past the other. Crunch crunch is the sound of the crampons on ice. It's winter here, never mind the calendar. It's very cold. The sidewalks--yes sidewalks --AK--are very icy. Yesterday, we walked together. Tonight, I walked alone. Some of the longest 45 minutes ever, as the wind literally whistled around me and I counted the minutes 'til I could turn around and go back and the blocks one by one to get home. Counting the schools and churches, watching for the rock at the corner that signifies just one block left before I can turn onto our road and go home. Walking used to be one of my favorite things in the whole world, but walking alone at night on icy winter sidewalks just isn't the same as a walk in the woods.

It is nice though, that this house is starting to feel like home to me, that I look forward not only to the warmth of the house, but better yet, the warmth of my husband. HUSBAND. I never thought I'd have another husband!

Yesterday we got our first Christmas card and today we got our second (thanks, Sam and Joan!). I haven't even started working on ours at all yet. We haven't decorated anything, but we have purchased some gifts. At least that's something. And I have already given away my very first Christmas gift today, but it wasn't wrapped because the person I gave it to arrived a little earlier than I expected (which was fine except no wrapping paper).

Keith is asleep in bed. I can't go to bed because the turkey I am roasting for turkey soup and sandwiches for tomorrow still isn't done, for some odd reason. Hope it's not dried out. I'm going to go check it again--now.

The blogger post failed while I was downstairs checking the turkey. It was done, finally, now, hope this will post.

Consider . .

Consider Peace

Consider the alternativePosted by Picasa

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Colorado Sunflowers and Mountains

Colorado Sunflowers and Mountains, by Mary Stebbins Taitt. (to go with the Poem below. )Posted by Picasa

Poetry Tuesday

I've decided tentatively to make Tuesday my Poetry day, my day to work on poems, poetry manuscripts, sending out poems etc.

Here is my first poem for my first poetry Tuesday Day:

With and Without

I watch the mountains change, light
and shadow painting new lines on the rock faces,
ridges appearing where none were visible, others disappearing
into the bright.  Snow melts, stains the heath dark,
dries again and freezes shiny.  Poppies open and sway
in the breeze, sometimes bending double.
The air sweetens and softens, then hardens
again.  Magpies shadow the poppies and hawks circle.
Even an eagle.  My skin warms and cools; my hair blows
across my face and then hangs limp.  Aspens turn yellow,
orange and gold.  Leaves
drift down, snow falls, and the rock remains.
Sometime, I hurry best by going slowly,
but worry that my life is hurtling toward a day
without mountains.  As I lean to drink
from spring-fed pools, I watch
lines move into my face, lines that shadows deepen
and light cannot erase.

Mary Stebbins Taitt
For Keith and Pam
941003 Colorado, 061205Vc

Note on the poem (note that these notes are NOT to be part of the finished/completed poem):  This poem was handwritten in a journal that began 9/18/94 and ended 10/3/94 with a first draft variant of this poem.  If any further versions of this poem were made, they may have been on Dead (my old computer) whose hard drive died and is therefore inaccessible.  I searched Blue and Bella (my main desktop computer and its external hard drive) and it does not exist there.  The original title was, "Without Mountains."  I like that title but it's a "stealing-my-own-thunder" title.

I used to go to the mountains every year (multiple times), but now I am married and live in Detroit and rarely if ever go to the mountains.  And I am getting older.  I worried then, in this poem, that I would soon be too old to be in the mountains.  Now I worry that I will get too old before I get back—or perhaps I'm already too old.

Would I trade love for mountains?  No, probably not.  But I would like to have both love and mountains.  I want to drag my love into the mountains and somehow homestead it there (or at least camp.)  But I am not sure that that is the subject of this poem, which seems to examine the passage of time, in the mountains verses human time and aging and loss.

please comment--gently, but honestly.

Monday, December 04, 2006

A Global 2-minute Observance of Peace.

What If The Impossible Became Possible?

A Global Observance For Peace
December 30th, 2006 at 8 P.M.

Peter would like to see two minutes of peace. Me too. I would like to see two hours, two days, two weeks, two months, two years, two decades, two centuries, two millenniums of peace. Will you help? If so, please post and discuss this idea. I'm tagging you, yes YOU--please help.

More on this topic (by me) at Portraits.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

The not-fun Meme

Sara at Lake Loop posted that Scott Eric Kaufman is running a not-fun meme to see how fast memes travel. I'm not sure why he decided to make it not fun just because it's for a project. You can read about it here. Maybe you can help him. I'd rather go on to something more interesting like walking at Detroit Metrobeach which is what I am going to do next.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Childhood crushes

I got tagged by Erin to write about my childhood crushes.  I wonder if I have to do them in order.

I had a crush on someone, at least one someone, every year of school.  Andrew in Kindergarten, I think.  In 4th grade, one of my crushes was on Anthony Oshevsky.  I used to sit in his desk chair with him.  We had such skinny butts then that two of us could fit in the chair of his child-sized desk.

I also had a crush on my 4th grade teacher, Mr. Sharpe.  I think is name was Robert Sharpe.  It was his first year teaching, he was young and cute and friendly and nice.  I did NOT have a crush on my 6th grade teacher, Mr. Armstrong, who let us play the whole year.  He was nice but too old to have a crush on.  He was a grownup.  A grownup who liked to play.

One of my most embarrassing crushes was on Mike Sullivan.  My best friend, Dot, had a crush on him too.  We used to ride our bikes back and forth in front of his house for hours at a time every day.  How uncool.  He was really cute.  He had a buzz cut.  All the boys did, then.  Blue eyes, a roundish face.  And a sort of hip swagger.  I don't think he ever once looked my way.

Then, worse yet, I had a crush on Gary Sommers.  He was a friend of Mike Sullivan's, and he was mean to me.  He called me Horsehair.  I wore my hair in braids, and that was very uncool.  He was so persistent about it that Mike Sullivan and all his friends and finally everyone started calling me that.  I hated him for it, but I STILL had a crush on him.  He was a year ahead of me in school so I only saw him at the bus stop.  And on the bus, where he would pull my hair and throw things at me.

My most recent crush, before I met Keith, as an adult was on Bill H.  I still think he is really cute.  But not as cute as Keith.  It's nice to actually have a real man to love.

Monday, November 27, 2006

William Henry Channing quote

To live content with small means, to seek elegance rather than luxury, and refinement rather than fashion; to be worthy, not respectable, and wealthy, not rich;
To study hard, think quietly, talk gently, act frankly; to listen to stars and birds, to babes and sages, with open heart; to bear all cheerfully, do all bravely, await occasions, hurry never;
To let the spiritual, unbidden and unconscious, grow up through the common.
This is to be my symphony.

Wonderful  Wish I could do better at living my version of this.

(Quote sent by Sara.)

Friday, November 24, 2006

Thankful for

Gratefulness List, Thanksgiving, 2006

I am grateful for:

Ø    My beautiful intelligent, gifted and healthy children, Sara, Erin and Graham
Ø    My handsome, intelligent, loving husband Keith
Ø    All my wonderful loving and gifted friends
Ø    A nice house
Ø    Finally being moved
Ø    Relative good health
Ø    Trees
Ø    Birds
Ø    Beauty
Ø    The ability to love and appreciate beauty
Ø    Opportunities
Ø    Sleep, especially sweet relaxed sleep
Ø    My patient husband
Ø    Poetry
Ø    Art
Ø    Photography
Ø    Gear (to take photos, do art, write poems, go hiking)
Ø    My Chef husband who makes delicious breakfasts (like curried shrimp omelettes Thanksgiving morning!)
Ø    My sweet son who teaches me about doing animations
Ø    Fog, for its beauty

And lots, lots more!  :-D

I am certain of nothing but the Heart's affections and the truth of the Imagination- John Keats

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Two more from B'l'Isle

Posted by Picasa

Belle Isle by Bike

It had warmed up substantially by the time we left home for Belle Isle. I wore long johns, jeans and wind pants, a leather jacket with a fleece under it. It wasn't cold on the way there, but boy did it cool off when the sun went down! Brrr--I was cold coming back! Posted by Picasa


Keith's Mom's garage door was stuck down and Keith went over to help her.  She needed to get Paul and couldn't get her car out.  SO there's been a delay in getting out into the "nice" weather.

the sun and the ice

Keith just called to say that "since it is so nice out (huh?), we should go for a ride on our motorcycles.  Sunny, yes.  Nice?  Not.  Cold is  not "nice."  But I said OK.  We are leaving at 3, hopefully.

3 Women

I finished the book I've been reading, Three Women, by Marge Piercy. Phew. I had to sit and cry and cry and I felt a need for stillness. Such, love and struggle and pain. Such choices. My eyes hurt, but it was a worthy book. A good book. At least, I thought so. Not everyone agrees, but it was good for me. It would also be a good book to read and discuss with family. There are end of life issues that could be clarified by reading and discussing it. I feel as if I need to take a little break before I start my next book so this one can digest and settle. (Phew!) I feel a sense of deep grief as if the story had happened to me personally.

I read a hard cover version with a different picture.


It's sunny outside and looks like it might be warm so I run out in my shirtsleeves with a little treat for the squirrels.  But it's not warm!  There's a layer of ice, not a thin wafer, but a solid chunk of ice in the birdfeeder.  It's nippy, to say the least!

At The Mongolian Grille

Soon to go out of business! :-( Posted by Picasa

Next installment of poem with John Bellinger

John Bellinger and I are writing a poem together.  :-)

It is still in progress.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

In the Hapgood Cottage and on the road home, 11/16&17/85


In the small cold room at the top of the back stairway of the Hapgood Summer Cottage where the Nilsons live, a cat is kneading my green down sleeping bag and purring loudly. I don't know if it's Middle Nerd or Baby Nerd. I guess it was Big Nerd that died or disappeared. I had Teber, too, for a while., but Teber went to Judy who is sleeping with Eowyn. The girls are in their bunk and Roy Strider is in his room. Marilyn has gone to Boston to get Big Roy in the snowstorm, which seems to have turned to sleet.

Judy read all 7 1/2 finished chapters of my latest book, Quest to Eowyn, Roy, Sara, Erin and me. I kept hearing mistakes, but Eowyn and Roy really liked it, I guess, from what they said. Tomorrow, we must go home. Monday, it's back to work.


7:40 AM It's been raining quite hard for a long time, but the snow is not all melted. Fog and mist hangs over the snow and the trees and bushes are wet black against the white and fading away. One of the Nerd cats slept on my pillow next to my face all night. It is black and white and purred constantly. The house is silent. The dog has been in to pee on the floor in the girls' room.

Now the children are all downstairs practicing and I've got almsot everything packed. Soon we will head out on the road. Hope the driving is better than it looks.

2:24 PM Erin threw up. She got out of the car and walked through the snow in her bare feet to barf into the ditch. The car smells terrible with exhaust fumes (I'd like to barf myself from the heat and fumes) and I opened the window but Sara screamed she was freezing. We are all tired and grouchy. I have a splitting headache.

3:15 PM I gave the girls the last of my money to get something to eat in Burger King in Adams Mass. I'm sitting in the car. I gave Judy $5 toward gas and have nothing left to get anything for myself. I said I wasn't hungry. I'm sitting alone in the car while they all eat. I am glad to be alone for a few minutes in the quiet car with the rain falling and sliding down the windshield and the window rolled down a little. I'll rummage in the fridge when I get home if I'm not too tired.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Happy Thanksgiving!

I hope you have a wonderful, loving, healthy and grateful day and have lots ot be grateful for. See my turkey hand Thankgiving card here! Mary :-D

Click that image to see a larger version. Posted by Picasa

Friday, November 17, 2006

reading report

I don't have time to go to Amazon and copy the cute little icons of the covers of books.  It's nearly noon and I haven't had breakfast and before I do, I have to do my sit--ups.  I've been trying to catch up on reading the blog posts I've missed by being off line in Pennsylvania.  There are so MANY!  They are fun, but it takes time.  I am also way behind on my email and my unpacking and even my snailmail!

I am reading one book:  Three Women by Marge Piercy.  I am loving it.  But it is very upsetting.  It was building to a huge confrontation for a long time and yesterday at lunch, I got to the confrontation, so instead of reading just the lunch's worth of pages, I read a lot more, until I got to the end of that longish section.  Then I read a little more while I was baking cookies.

Keith is also reading to us at reading time, just before bedtime.  He is reading Dragonsinger to Graham and I, by Anne McCaffrey (*wonderful!) and Oxaca Journal by Oliver Sacks to me.  We missed a great deal while I was away for almost two weeks.  By the way, the chapters in Dragonsinger are too long for reading aloud.  If you ever write a book (a novel), keep the chapters manageable for aloud reading, please.

I've been listening to books on tape while traveling.  Recent ones include:  One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest by Ken Kesey (I loved it!) and Song of Solomon, by Toni Morrison (excellent).  Now I am listening to Ciderhouse Rules by John Irving.  There are 17 tapes and 25 hours of listening and I am about halfway through and trying to figure out how I can listen in the house.  I may have to wait until my next trip.  It's wonderful so far, the characters are so well-drawn.

Foot Photo Friday

My new shoes (Keens) on my motocycle dashboard. Posted by Picasa