Tuesday, February 27, 2007

My Moral Code

From my journal; 10/7/68

Ø    I will not needlessly destroy any living thing.  Like the Hopi, I will take only what I need to live and be grateful.
Ø    I will pay bills on time.
Ø    Be reasonably generous and helpful (or at least give it the old college try!)
Ø    I will try as hard as possible not to infringe on the rights of others and will assert that my rights must not be infringed upon.
Ø    No drinking.  I am not an alcoholic.
Ø    No smoking.  I am not a tobacco addict.
Ø    No needles.  I've never used them and never will.
Ø    No marihuana, LSD, peyote, opiates, heroine, codeine, cocaine, morphine
Ø    No barbiturates
Ø    Amphetamines only for weight loss if required.
Ø    No stealing.  If I find money, I return it if possible (except very small amounts in unreturnable situations.)
Ø    No married men.  I have no respect for marriage as an institution; love is all that counts.  But with married men, someone will get hurt.
Ø    Sex for love or pleasure, but only if no one is likely to be hurt.
Ø    No selling sex.  I never have and I never will.
Ø    No censorship, with the exception of child pornography.
Ø    I will try desperately not to be greedy or overly selfish.

The above is a rendering of my moral code as of this day.  I believe that I am somewhat amoral, but not immoral.  I am sitting alone at a table by a window in the library.  I had better start to study soon.

Note, 2007:  This is not the moral code I adhere to today, or at least, not how I would phrase it.  Maybe I will attempt a more current one at some point.


“I love you, little Sweetness and Light,” my mother says.

“Whatever,” I answer, and keep on walking. My mother can be useful, but she’s pretty annoying. Just think about it. First of all, I’m not little. I’m a teenager, for God’s sake. Goodness sake, I mean. (Mom says never take the Lord’s name in vain, but you should hear what she says when she’s mad, or for no reason that I can tell.)

Anyway, I’m not little, I’m not sweet, and I don’t generate light, unless you’re one of those witches that can see auras. Mom might be; she’s that weird.

I walk a few steps, then turn back and give her a hug. “Okay, what do you want?” She’s right. I mostly only hug her when I want something. The rest of the time, she’s just part of the furniture. She’s right about that, too.

I do want something. I want a LOT. I want money. I want to stay up all night and sleep all day. I want to eat candy drink soda, play video games and watch TV. Hang out with my friends. I want to avoid school, practicing the piano, taking baths, wearing clean clothes, cleaning the bird cage and burying the compost.

I hug her again, stroke her hair. “Friend,” I say. “Milkshake,” I say. “Real friends make their friends milkshakes. You’re my friend, right Mom?”

“Oh,” she says, “you’re going to make me a milkshake, how nice.”

“Well, since you can’t . . .” but she’s already getting out the milk and the ice-cream.

“Chocolate,” I yell, as I dash upstairs. I can make a perfect milkshake, I just hate washing the blender. Now I can get onto Runescape and see if Simon or George are on yet. And she can wash the blender. Posted by Picasa

Monday, February 26, 2007

Reading Report

I'm reading The Writing Life, by Annie Dillard, borrowed from Gail. Annie Dillard is one of my favorite authors and I am really enjoying the book. Reading it only during meals, so far--meals alone, that is.

"When you write, you lay out a line of words. The line of words is a miner's pick, a woodcarver's gouge, a surgeon's probe. You wield it, and it digs a path you follow. Soon you find yourself deep in new territory. Is it a dead end, or have you located the real subject? You will know tomorrow or this time next year."

The language is lovely and the thoughts profound.

Oh, and by the way, I read all of World's End by Joan D. Vinge, my one penny book, yesterday, sitting on the couch with Keith while we were habving an ice storm. It never made it only my currently reading list.

Dunno if I should just buy the next one, too, it's so long until my birthday.

(scan of bookcover, obviously) Posted by Picasa

Sunday, February 25, 2007


Yesterday, Graham and his friends played 3 games of lasertag. That and the pizza that followed and then the overnight were his birthday party. Posted by Picasa

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Today's Activities

Graham's birthday is this week and we are having a party for him and six of his friends at Laserquest this afternoon. This morning will be dedicated to cupcakes and other arrangements. Then a sleepover tonight. We get to tag along like little lost grown-ups handing out money and attempting to keep order but no pizza, cupckes or lasertag (for me, anyway).

I posted my Sidewalk Saturday pix for the day to The Invisible trail, since I'll prolly be too busy later. Posted by Picasa

Friday, February 23, 2007

Reading Report

I just finished reading Peter Pan in Scarlet by Geraldine McCaughrean. It was a slow starter, but got progressively better. Geraldine is empathetic with both children's and adult needs and desires, with inner darkness and inner good. I ended up enjoying it a lot. It was lent to me by my friend, Gail. She gave me a stack of books to read, but they will have to be interleaved with my own stack of books to read, LOL!

(This is {obviously} a scan of the cover and not my photo or art). Posted by Picasa

Thursday, February 22, 2007

The Body Knows

I published my new poem (brand new) for Poetry Thursday to AMARYPOEMs. It is called "The Body Knows."

There is also an art piece I made with the same title and this detail/variant on that. Click each to view larger.

(By the way, this is from a real photo I took of the moon in the branches of a tree, but of course, I fooled around with it as I am wont to do!)

I also just took the Slacker Mom Quiz with these results (I am not sure how accurate they are, though!):

Are You a Slacker Mom?

Take the Quiz
Your quiz score makes you: Smarty Pants Mom

Smart parents like you have smart kids. They need plenty of intellectual stimulation and you provide them with all they need, plus lots of love. You know how to help them with algebra homework, and you are superior at kissing boo-boos.

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Tuesday, February 20, 2007

The last of the Big Spenders

My new book arrived in the mail today. I bought it on Ebay for 1 cent. I haven't started reading it because I am currently reading Peter Pan in Scarlet, which I haven't had time to add to my reading list.

I bought the book because it is currently out of print and the next in the series I am reading. I'll put the next two on my wish list, LOL! Still reading Masterharper of Pern (and all the other books on my list), about halfway through, but not quite.

And yes, of course, I did pay more for the book--I paid $3.50 in postage and it cost $1.59 to mail (not counting gas to the post office etc). But I am still pleased to have it. Very pleased and eager to begin. Posted by Picasa

Hope you have LOVE

even when it's NOT valentine's day! Posted by Picasa

Monday, February 19, 2007

PINK: Shampoo

The house across the street viewed through a bubble in a bottle of shampoo, by Mary Stebbins Taitt.

For the Thursday Photo ChallengePosted by Picasa

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Wordless Wednesday

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Get Zapped: Six Weird things Meme

I got tagged by Hpy to do a Six-Weird-things-about-me Meme. She was tagged by Cergie (the English translation is lower down) who was tagged by Linda etc. So now it's my turn.

I've been tagged by Get Zapped

RULES: People who are tagged should write a blog post of 6 weird things about them as well as state this rule clearly. In the end, you need to choose 6 people to be tagged and list their names. Don't forget to leave a comment that says "you are tagged" in their comments and tell them to read your blog.

Six weird things about me:

1)I hate television. I know I said that in another recent meme, but it seems weird these days because everyone is always asking, did you see this program or that program. No I didn't, and most of the time, I don't even know what they are talking about because I've never seen them. We don't have a TV in the house except in Graham's room. I also said I dislike ice water, so I am adding that here since I recently said it so it doesn't get it's own new number. They always serve ice water at restaurants, so one would imagine most people like it. I also dislike junk food and fast food restaurants, which certainly seem popular.

2)I like to work--at least on the work that engages me. I like working on my novels, my art, my photography and I used to like working with the children at Martin Luther King School. I liked working at Second Home Nature Center.

3)I don't like watermelon. Everyone seems to like watermelon except me. I also don't like any other melons. Or cucumbers. (Cergie--I do like Valentine's Day, but I agree with you it should be every day!) I never liked hot dogs as a kid, or peanut butter and jelly, or any of the things they tend to give kids. I DO LIKE LIVER and SPINACH and rye with caraway seeds things lots of people don't like. This is not intentionally to be perverse, it's just what I really like. I don't like wine. I like to drink water.

4)I don't like perfume. In fact, I don't like receiving as a gift the most common things given to women on valentine's day or any other other holiday: candy, perfume, flowers, jewelry. None of those, please.

5)I like weird people who dispense hugs in public. LOL! I was at a big event where a man was dispensing hugs and people were avoiding him. I rushed right up to collect a hug! I like weird people in general. Weird people seem to be attracted to me, too. They pick me out in a crowd to talk to.

6)I am not afraid, or least, not very afraid of public speaking. I read that that was one of people's most common fears. I enjoy it, as long as I have time to prepare and am talking about something I know something about. On the other hand, I hate social events and parties, especially if there are lots of strangers--I am not good at all at making small talk.

OK, I tag: Berry Bird, Nadine, jo(e), Nicole, Bearuh, and Turtlebella. If you've already done one, how about 6 NEW weird things? It seems to me that after a while, everyone will have done it and there'll be no one left to tag. Posted by Picasa


I hope you have a LOVING and joyous day and life!

Happy Valentine's Day!!! XOX Posted by Picasa

YAY! Look what I woke up to!

A real homemade valentine from my sweetie! Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

My room and 25 things about me

Tuesday, February 13, 2007; 12:09 PM I’m sitting here in my cluttered study and I forgot to turn the light on. Instead of a warm yellow glow, there is a dim blue-grey light from outside. It’s overcast; they’re predicting snow and colder weather still, but the snow hasn’t started falling. There is just this dull sense of waiting. And waiting.

I am going to take a shower, but first I will just “pen” a few words, if you can call typing on a computer penning! It is my preferred way to write these days.

My desk is cluttered with my many projects and the floor around my desk is cluttered with books and more projects and the pull-out keyboard shelf has projects and notes to myself, do this, remember that, here are the DVDs to copy photos onto to back them up.

I want to expand every minute and every hour and every day and then fill those minutes and hours and days with all the things I want to do. Write, do photography, do art. Write poems, stories, novels. And I want to go out and play. I want to sleep well enough and feel well enough that I have the energy and motivation to do everything I want to do. And I want a fairy godmother to do the rest.

The windows are covered with frost, little featherlike and stick-like fingers of frost leaping out away from the main bland wash of it, though even in the mass of frost, there are individual feather-like crystals. I think of that mass of frost at the bottom as being all of humanity and I am one of the ones reaching up and away, feathering, expanding outward, being creative and different. But probably most people think of themselves that way, and for most of them, I am an unknown lost in the masses and they are the individual, striving to exist, the grow, to reach out, to create.

Yes, I know you are an individual, who like me, strives for excellence and often fails. And you, and you.

The room is red. Dark red, blood red. There are three quails in heavy gold frames. I didn’t paint the room or choose the color or hang the quails, but I like them. I’ve gotten used to them. There is a Museum of Science and Technology calendar hanging from the heavy green curtains. This month, a bunch of partygoers with conical hats stare out, with grins and cake. This month, Graham will have his birthday party at Laserquest, with friends.

25 things about me:

1. I am a writer, though I often write poorly and carelessly, or hurriedly, because I have too much else to do.
2. I am a photographer. A hobbyist, not a professional. But published, and I’ve sold pieces (does the fact that I’ve sold a few pieces make me a professional? I think not!)
3. I am an artist, though I cannot draw very well. I do Photoart and forms of art where drawing well is not essential.
4. I am happily married, hurrah. It is my third and hopefully my last marriage—that is—I hope to stay happily married to this husband.
5. I have three children, one of whom I did not give birth to. I also lost a baby.
6. I have a bird, a cockatiel named Rocky. I got him for my daughter. He talks quite a bit, and sits on my finger. He’s no longer allowed to fly free, poor Rocky.
7. I don’t hate and never kill spiders, not even poisonous ones.
8. I don’t hate insects. (I LIKE insects and spiders)
9. I like wildflowers, including ones most people consider weeds.
10. I think saving the planet is one of the most important things that need to be done at this time—before it is too late.
11. I’m a tree-hugger.
12. I hate granola.
13. I hate perfume and wish other people wouldn’t douse themselves with it and stand anywhere near me. It makes me sick.
14. I dislike and am allergic to cigarette smoke. (Please don’t smoke near me!)
15. I DO like lemon in my water. I prefer my water UN-iced.
16. NO, I do not want coffee with that.
17. NO, Do not supersize it. (In fact, I hate fast –food restaurants.)
19. I do like some movies. I prefer to see them at the theater. But I hate the fact that theaters charge so much now. I can still remember paying 25 cents to see a movie.
20. I’m old.
21. I’m procrastinating.
22. I used to be a hippie.
23. I’ve written a number of unpublished novels.
24. I hope to publish them.
25. I have published poems and short stories.

I want to stop now, but I have to say, I’m weird and abnormal. (Is anyone normal?) and I hope you don’t, as Erin over at In Blue Ink says, “hope you don’t hate me now” that you know the terrible truths.

Also--I've decided to quite the Project 365 thing, for me, it's just absurd! I post many days anyway, but I am writing a novel and I am trying to tie up the loose ends after my mother's death and work on her memorial service and I just don't want to feel obligated to back post on a day I didn't have time or was traveling. Luckily, I never signed up for the Project 365 blogroll, so only you need to know I've quit.

I posted three variations of a new art piece on INSOMNIA at Unbearable Darkness, Self-portraits, and Imagik.

Posted by Picasa

Monday, February 12, 2007

Memphis Gets a New Leg

This is NOT my photo.

Please visit Memphis's website. If you can't afford to help him and his family, please sign the guestbook. Posted by Picasa

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Who are your heroes, and why?

This is not a meme (meme to rhyme with "theme"), at least, it did not start out as one, but I would be interested, Berrybird, Erin, Nicole, jo(e), Bearuh, and anyone else who’d like to join in, on what you think. Pam?

This is an exercise for writers, to give their protagonists heroic qualities, suggested by Donald Maas in his book, Writing the Breakout Novel. With some of the people I name below (like Robin Hood, George Washington) I give idealized versions of them, but it is that this idealized version that makes them heroic. Though a more fully-rounded and real person doing them would be even more heroic.

My heroes:

  • Jesus. I don’t consider myself “religious.” But I like who Jesus is and what he stands for: LOVE, forgiveness, understanding, morality, generosity, healing. Hey, he could even bring people back from the dead. I even like the saying, “What would Jesus do?” If I am in a difficult situation AND can remember to ask myself that question AND then have the strength of character to act on the answer, it’s very helpful, even though, like I said, I’m not religious.
  • Buddha. Compassion. Imperturbability (I’d be a lot better if I could be imperturbable!) Awareness. Being in the present moment. Love. Peace. Serenity.
  • Mother Teresa. WOW. Some people don’t like her. I could never be Mother Teresa, but I admire what she did.
  • Helen Keller. She overcame such odds.
  • Franklin D. Roosevelt. Love the way he overcame such odds.
  • Erin Brockovich. Taking on Big Business to save people and the environment.
  • Pat L and J DeB. Teaching kids about the environment and writing.
  • Philip Pullman. For The Golden Compass etc, Anne McCaffrey for the Pern books, Barbara Kingsolver for Pigs in Heaven (etc) and High Tide in Tucson, Annie Dillard for A Pilgrim at Tinker Creek and many many more authors for being important, for communicating and engaging.
  • Mozart. Incredible talent, beauty.
  • George Washington. “If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.” Fighting for freedom.
  • Robin Hood. Stole from the rich to give to the poor.
  • Leonardo DaVinci. Intelligence, Creativity.
  • Sir Isaac Newton. Madame Curie.
  • Georgia O’Keefe. Picasso. Magritte.
  • K.T. Continuously trying to do the good and right thing.

  • Erin Gruell and the Freedom Writers. For sacrificing to make a difference in someone’s life.

What characteristics make a hero in my mind?

  • Tenacity, Courage, fighting for what’s right, love, forgiveness. Doing the right thing against impossible odds. Stick-to-it-iveness. Avoiding doing what’s wrong even when coerced. Intelligence, Creativity, skill. Helping People and animals, the environment. No using bad means to reach good ends. Reliability, honesty. Creation of beauty, communication.

What makes a person likable?

  • Amiability. Friendliness. Willingness to listen and to give. Sharing. Openness, honesty, trustworthiness. Inclusiveness. Acceptance. Acceptance of diversity, differences.

Can a person be a hero and not be likable?

  • Yes. An unlikable person could save your life. But a heroic hero would be both heroic and likable. (I MUCH prefer likable protagonists. I like them to be well-rounded and have faults, but be likable. I dislike unlikable protagonists!! [I also dislike unlikable people!]

Am I likable?

  • Not always, unfortunately.

Should I mention some anti heroes—maybe not because I might get hate mail.

  • George Bush for lying, for starting wars, for killing babies, women, children, innocent people. For stealing from the poor to give to the rich, attempting to destroy the environment (a real antihero!)

OK, now I am supposed to pick ONE heroic characteristic to give to my protagonist in the opening scene. Can I cheat by going back to look at the opening scene?

Here’s the current opening scene:


Sissy listened for voices. She stretched her neck and turned her ears in each direction, but all she heard were robins and red-wings calling, the hum of flies, and a chorus of green and bull frogs in the pond. A faint breeze in the trees. The regular pond sounds. No boys. She let her breath out slowly in relief. She was glad to be alone.


Can I cheat and add a new admired heroic quality to my list: independence and self-sufficiency? Because I surely admire those qualities and Sissy seems very independent, being alone at the pond and wanting to stay that way. She’s paying attention, she’s aware. Am I cheating to look for heroic qualities already present in what I wrote rather than trying to write some in? I think Sissy is already heroic, but I will look for ways to make her more so without compromising her. While doing this exercise, though, I decided that there is too much telling and not enough showing in the current first chapter, and that I probably need to rewrite it for that problem more than for a lack or heroism.

I think I have lots more “heroes,” but I am ready to move on. I may add more later.

So . . . who are your heroes, and why? What is it that you admire about them?

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Reading Report

I just finished reading The Snow Queen, by Joan D. Vinge, which I loved. I hope to order the second book in the 4-part series. Last time I checked, it was only available used.

Other books I have finished in 2007 include:

Tag-a-long Too-loo

Oaxaca Journal, Oliver Sachs

The Mineral Palace, Heidi Julavitz

Dragon Drums, Anne MacCaffrey

DragonSinger, Anne MacCaffrey

DragonSong, Anne McCaffrey

Psion, by Joan D. Vinge

I've begun reading The Masterharper of Pern, by Anne McCaffrey.


I hope your day today and your day on the 14th is wonderful and loving!

I worked a little on my children's novel, Frog Haven, and back-posted Chapter 20, Chapter 21, Chapter 22 and Chapter 23. I posted Sidewalk Saturday for today at The Invisible Trail. I posted about the robins we've been seeing at The Naturalist's Journal. Posted by Picasa

Friday, February 09, 2007


There are flocks of robins, but they aren't getting any worms. The windchill has been below zero, the temperature below freezing for days and days.

This is on Lakeshore. I was afraid the robin was injured, because it allowed me to get so close. But it did fly, and then I felt bad for disturbing it in this bitter cold when it was hunkered down trying to be warm.

I spent the morning working on another poem about my mother's death. I don't think it's done; it's sort of disjointed. So I posted it at Half-formed as a draft. Then, I continued to work on it and posted another, later draft here. That's all I've done so far today.

Sometimes I worry that writing poems is a waste of time. I'm not sure how it helps the world, does anyone any good or helps our family. It might help me sort out my feelings. Which I guess is good. But perhaps not if I spend a whole day at a single poem, and then more revising it later. I don't know. Wahn.Posted by Picasa

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Polenta AGAIN!

When I buy or make polenta, there is always enough for several meals! Here I am making another version of polenta for lunch at ML's. This is a vegetarian version. I fried up the polenta 'til it has crispy edges, I made a sauce with 2/3 spaghetti sauce with mushrooms and 1/3 salsa for heat (we were in a hurry, so no time for fancy home made cooking) and added fresh spinach. One with an one without cheese (I'm allergic to dairy products!) Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Wordless Wednesday

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Two Polenta Dishes

If you're a vegetarian and hate the sight of "bloody hunks of meat," don't leave yet. Let me explain further.

I've been having an "off-blog" conversation with two of my regular blog visitors about polenta. I've blogged about polenta before, which is how this came about. As it happens, I made two different (but similar) polenta dishes tonight.

I often, if not usually make them with no meat. These two happen to have meat. But hold on . . .

This polenta happpens to be the kind you buy in a tube--it's available at Wegman's, Giglio's and elsewhere. You slice it and fry it in olive oil, with garlic, onions, olives. Or whichever of those you like, until the edges turn brown. This takes quite a long time--a keep forgetting to notice how long, but longer than it seems it should. You can use homemade polenta just as well. This is quicker if you work or are otherwise busy.

Then, serve with bruscetta, salsa, marinara or your sauce of choice. Lots of cheese helps provide a whole prodein.

The top dish is made with grilled streak sliced in strips after grilling, bruscetta, freshly grated cheeses. Parmesean, Romano, cheddar and others. It is made in a pile with the fried polenta at the bottom, then a vegetable medley stirfry with asparagus and yellow squash, then the steak, then the bruscetta, then the cheese. You can buy fresh bruscetta already made, or make your own.

The second dish is a similar series only using grilled sliced lamb and peach-pinapple salsa instead of steak and bruscetta. Both of these dishes are yummy, delicious and wholesome with or without meat.

I am going on another store tour tomorrow (Thursday) with ML. Have a great day, be healthy and eat well! Posted by Picasa