Friday, March 30, 2007

“The Hanging End of a Very Long Rope”

I am slow with my reading these days, as I am very busy with the estate, the Memorial Service, the novel and more than I want to bore you with. I know everyone is busy, or nearly everyone.

That reminds me of a story. When I was working at the museum there was a secretary, a very nice lady, a little older. Let’s call her May. Every day during my lunch hour, for years, I ran out to do errands, to walk, to play, to read. I ‘d go to the bank and make transfers, I’d return books to the library or visit the bookstore or buy something I needed or talk a long walk or do T’ai Chi or meditate. I was always eager for lunch and would dash out the door to do whatever I’d decided to do. May, however, was bored and sat at her desk wishing she had somewhere to go and something to do. More than once, she asked me wistfully if she could run some of my errands for me. The first time she asked that, I was dumbfounded. I couldn’t imagine anyone so bored that they would offer to run my errands. Unfortunately, I was too stupid to give her some of my tasks, too impulsive to be that organized. It always seemed that the things I had set for myself where not things easily assigned to someone else, banking at the ATM, picking out a new book to read. I am very rarely bored as long as I can DO what I want to do. I only get bored when I am trapped somewhere (like at the doctor’s office) without a book or paper or computer and feel uncomfortable doing t’ai chi and too agitated to meditate. There’s always (almost always) something to do. I cannot even imagine being bored if left to my own devices and free.

I am always too busy with too much to do, too many ongoing projects. Novels, poetry manuscripts, art projects. Walking and reading and then there are meals to cook and laundry to do and beds to make and unpacking and all that and family things like piano lessons. Last night we went off to but new track shoes for Graham who is now in track. We went to Staples and so on (oh and didn’t I say I wouldn’t bore you with all this?) OK, stopping that now.

So anyway, I am reading, still, An American Childhood by Annie Dillard, which I am enjoying. She reminds me a lot of myself, but she is more musical and more focused. We’re both very curious and engaged and interested in biology and nature and writing and art. However, she’s famous and I’m not. LOL.

She says, on page 150, “Every least thing I picked up was proving to be the hanging end of a long rope.” That sentence stopped me crash. It’s my life, and it affects every aspect of my life. Learning. Projects. Tasks. Hobbies. Blogging. Google searches. Wikipedia.

Everything I start to learn, everything I start to do balloons and balloons. There is always more and more to learn, more and more to do. Investigations, curiosities. A sort of endlessness to everything, and such a finite day and life to do it all in! So I need to stop this and start doing it!!! (Of course writing is one of those endlessly expanding things!) Posted by Picasa

Thursday, March 29, 2007


Our new grandaughter, Sophie Tistephanie was born yesterday weighing 8 lbs. She was 21 inches long and the labor only lasted about an hour. We may see her on Saturday. YAY!

Kyle and Kylie, two monkeys traveling for a 4th grade school program in New Mexico, came to visit today and will be staying for a trip to Canada and NY. Then they will go to California and maybe even to England! I have to photograph them in various places and send the photos to the kids. Eventually, by May 11, they are supposed to arrive back in NM.

The top picture is Kyle and Kylie at my house, remembering their relative, Mr. Grim, who lived with us a long time ago. He was a cinnamon capuchian and wore diapers because he wasn't house broken.

The bottom two pictures Gayle took in Jackson at Cascades park with the dry cascades and the crocuses.

I may post more of Kyle and Kylie's visit and trip later.

I went to the doctor yesterday and he upped my dose of Provigil.Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

In my own yard

Nicole was so generous-hearted to thank me for sharing my flower images when hers are so fabulous. Thanks Nicole.

These are not here because they are great photography or art, but rather as a sort of documentation and phenology. For interest. In case you haven't figured this out, I love flowers. So I am interested.

These are what were flowering in my yard this morning. The crocus has since opened. The first two are Christmas Rose, Or Lentin Rose, Hellleborus niger. It's not so much a sign of spring as they often flower in the dead of winter. But they didn't this year, so it's the beginning of our spring.

The bottom one is miniscule, significantly smaller than my baby fingernail. That's the sum total of our spring flowering plants so far this year. Obviously, we need to plant more spring-flowering bulbs.

I also saw clouds of gnats (or some other tiny insect, to tell you the truth, I'm not sure what they were.) Lots of them!

I like spring and fall. I'm not fond of hot weather and I am not fond of dangerous driving, eg: ice storms and snowy roads. Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, March 27, 2007


Spring has Sprung. I'm a day behind in my downloading and a lot more than that in everything else--ugh! This was yesterday, on my daily walk. And there were lots more! YAY!

I am working on my children's novel, the Memorial for my Mom, my Mom's estate and various other things that seem to be eating all my time. Sometimes I wish that time were infinitely expandable so I could complete all the things that have fast approaching deadlines! And still have time to play and blog!Posted by Picasa

Monday, March 26, 2007


We were away most of the weekend. Yesterday it was sugaring and shearing, and we didn't get home 'til bedtime.

It's a 1.5-hour drive to Ella Sharpe, where the festivities occurred. On the way there and back, I did some behind the scenes work on my chidlren's novel, Frog Haven. It took me the whole hour and a half there to reconstruct the time-line for the novel, which was lost in the crash. Not something you'll see if you read the novel, but essential, and maybe still not done. At least it exists now, and can be used and modified!

I spent the whole hour and a half on the way back making minor adjustments to various scenes in the novel to accomodate the time-line, that is, simply to make sure that the timeline was working correctly in the novel. I may or may not have finished that task. It's hard to know, with something a big and bulky as a novel, until you and your readers reread it several times.

The part that was most difficult for me, besides how slow it is and how long it takes (made longer by attempting to work in a hurtling car), is the fact that I've already done all this before, and now I am redoing it. It seems like a waste, but it must be done. It's also tying up my time so I have little or no time left for blogging and commenting and keeping up with many little side activities that end up taking a lot of time. So if you happen to be reading this and I haven't stopped by lately, please forgive me.

I took several hundred pictures with three different cameras at the festival yesterday. This is just one of them. Whether or not I will be able to post more, I do not know. Posted by Picasa

Spring has Sprung!

I don't know how long it will last, but it was warm to the point of being summery outside, though little was open but a single daffodil, a few crocuses and a bunch of snowdrops. It got so warm you might call it hot--I was about to rollback to winter. Here snow, here snow? Posted by Picasa

Sunday, March 25, 2007

excuses, explanations, and reminders

It seems as if I've been working on Frog Haven for years.  That's because I have.  I first wrote it about 20 years ago.  It also seems as if I worked and worked on it, and made many drafts.  I did.  I did it on my old computer, The Grateful Dead.  Dead died.  It took all my drafts on Frog Haven, Over the Edge, and Counting Fingers, Smelting Light,  As well as poetry, pictures, and other stuff with it.  Into the grave, the hard drive grave.  I had to start all over with everything.  This new version of Frog Haven is the first new draft since the computer died and everything was lost. I am really starting over! 

Friday, March 23, 2007


The ice in Lake St. Clair broke up a few days ago and is now mostly gone. There is still a big pile of it on the lake wall, though.

What follows is not a poem yet, so I am not posting it to AMARYPOEM or two. It is just some thoughts about mortality as I consider my mother's passing and my own.


When we die, an entire universe dies with us, and no one
notices. They may see a change in their own universe. Perhaps
we are suddenly missing, a singularity of variable size.
Maybe large, maybe small, maybe shifting with time.
We could be a hole that so disrupts their universe
that it crumbles or implodes. But mostly not.
What is lost is one view, one set of memories, hopes,
dreams and fears that absolutely no one shares or can see.
Even if they were there, with us, every minute, their view
was different, their processing different, their whole universe

Also, I took the how green are you test that I saw over at In Blue Ink and got this for a result:

You Are Grass Green

Down to earth and a bit of a hippie, you are very into nature and the outdoors.
You accept the world and people as they are. You don't try to change things.
You are also very comfortable with yourself, flaws and all.
Optimistic about the future, you feel like life is always getting better.

To tell you the truth, I was a little disappointed in the test. (What should I expect?) It wasn't very comprehensive or deep. Which reminds me about how depressed I got yesterday walking around greater Detroit and thinking that we will NOT be able to save the world if people continue to behave the way they do--driving Huge ESCALADES and throwing their trash out the window. And more. I'm greener than the test gives me credit for, greener than most people around here, but not green enough to save the world.

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Thursday, March 22, 2007


Happy Spring. It was warm today, and sunny, and almost felt like summer, but it didn't look like it. There is still ice on the lake wall and ice in the canals at Belle Isle. But it's the beginning.

I had a doctor appointment today and if I have time, I'll write about it at The Unbearable Darkness of Being. I may not have time. I am working on my novel and a children's picture book and my mother's memorial service.

Graham had a doctor's appointment too. He's trying out for track. Basically, I was busy all day with doctoring, but between the two appointments and in the evening, I finished another complete draft of my children's novel, Frog Haven. I haven't had time to post any more chapters, though.

And no, it is NOT done yet, not ready to send out. There is a whole long list of additional tasks I have to do besides the proofing and revisions I just completed. I'm working on it. I'll let you know. I've kind of fallen off the radar. But I guess that's OK, I need to do my work. I MISS YOU ALL, though. Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Variations on a theme

For some unknown reason, I can't seem to leave this image alone, and keep playing with it, making variations. This one looks almost like a woodcut, but not quite.

I spent the entire morning working on Frog Haven, my children's novel. I redid three chapters--one took a really lot of work. I got through chapter 31. I ahev not had time to post today's or yesterday's work. It's very very slow work. And nothing else gets done when I am doing it. I sure hope to someday see it in print after all that. LOL! Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Novel Progress and New Poem

This morning, I worked on my children's novel, Frog Haven, and then on a brand new poem, Tangled Hair. I did not post the new versions of the novel chapters I worked on because that takes so long that it takes away from my actual writing time, but I did post the new poem. (The reason the novel takes long to post is building all the links to other chapters. I will post them at some point.)

The picture here and the related one at AMARYPOEM or TWELVE is a sculpture from the Wayne State campus where we went to here Dawn McDuffie read her poetry (at the Scarab Club) on Sunday. Good reading, Dawn!

I've been so busy I haven't had much time for blogging lately. All my bloggy friends have mostly abandoned me. Understandably. Posted by Picasa

Sunday, March 18, 2007

My New Shop

I created a shop for merchandise made with my pine warbler painting at Cafe Press. There are T-shirts, tote bags, ornaments, cards, posters, postage and other items. I wanted to sell framed prints but you can't do that in a free shop and I don't want to pay for a shop until I see if anything will sell. I ordered a couple T-shirts for myself, anyway. I needed some new T-shirts, and why not wear something I created myself?

I'm a little depressed because there are 370,000 bird designs at Cafe Press and mine didn't show up in the first 1,000 (no surprise there) which means no one will ever find it unless they come through me and none of my friends or family have money to burn and I am not the type to push myself too hard. I don't have time to organize a website to push my "products." so this is probably just an exercise in futility. Why did I bother? Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Feeling Guilty

I said: I enjoy painting and writing. :-D Sometimes I feel like I am not doing enough productive work though! I wonder if my art and writing have any real value to anyone other than me and if I am being selfish to do this.

Susan said: I've concluded that the notions of productivity and selfishness are just so much blather. Do what you love. If you believe in God, why would she put people on Earth to do things that make them unhappy? And if you don't believe, then we're here on Earth as just one in a million species, destined to evolve into and perhaps out of being, each of us doing the best we can with the deck we're dealt, our only obligations to others being what we decide to undertake of our own free will. So why not do our best to enjoy and appreciate the gift of life while it lasts? (Just realized I'm talking to myself, by the way!)

I said: Thanks, I needed that! (But I still need to go to the bank and do some other work, LOL! Be a Mom.) Click image to view larger. Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

My "Intelligence"

I just took an intelligence test, trying to clean my inbox. I just wanted to get rid of it, but it was actually a little challenging and fun. And I did not cheat, but I am really embarrassed about the one question I did miss.

Here was the email I got:

Intelligence Test

You are going to hate yourself over this. It scores automatically, too. Take this advice . be sure and think before you answer.

Click here: How Smart Are You?

So I was duly warned and I DID think carefully about it and here are my results (HONEST!):

You GOT a score of 10 out of 11
You rating: Wow! Come to work for us!
This is based on the Simon Evans score rating system
answers below

Now Here's the Twist;), your answers not only can tell your current intelligence, but the combination can also forecast your upcoming love life:

Your Projected Love Life: Your love life is mediocre

I am actually pretty happy with my love life. And I don't hate myself for my results BUT I shouldn't have spent the time, LOL!!

Want to know which one I missed? It was the second from the last and I made the obvious error! DUH!

If you're reading this, I tag you to take the test and report back your results. Hope you do better than I did! Let me know if you post them so I can check it out. LOL!

Monday, March 12, 2007

Where I've been

create your own personalized map of the USA

create your own visited country map

Of course both of these maps are misleading in a way. I've visited or driven through and seen parts of every state in the continguous continental USA, but in some cases, like Georgia and Arkansas, I've only driven through a small corner of the state. So if I made a more realistic map, it would show lines so thin you could not (or barely) perceive them through most states but big areas in a few.

And I have been in the USA, Canada, Mexico and Slovenia, but the World map lights up Alaska and Hawaii and huge parts of Canada and Mexico, whereas I habe actually only been in fairly small areas of each. But it does represent that states and countries I've been to. :-)

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Flower Photo Friday: Camelia

Is it today or tomorrow? I guess it's tomorrow, but I'm still up at 1:49 AM from yesterday.

I worked on 2 poems which I posted to AMARYPOEM (I want to change the name now, because it seems sort of silly, but haven't thought of a good new name). I had a deadline for a Zine.


And I worked on a CNF piece (Creative Nonfiction) called On Ice.

And I worked on three new photoart pieces which I posted to IMAGIK--they are all digital flower "paintings" from photos. Orchid, Gardenia, Hibiscus. I desperately gotta go to bed.

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Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Power Plant from Belle Isle

Biker Buddy says he has never in his entire life seen the river this still and reflective. He thought it was frozen; it's not. Photo by me.

Here's one of the princess with a new magic wandPosted by Picasa

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Reading Report

I finished Annie Dillard's The Writing Life and really enjoyed it. The writing truly is "full of joy" and magnificent. The language is poetic and inspiring. There are striking and unusual anecdotes to give one courage in one's artistic endeavors.

This is not the one I read, this is the one I put on my wish list. The one I read is a little prettier than this. My friend Gail lent it to me and I will be returning her copy and putting it on my low priority wish list to add to my library and read again later. (Low priority only in that I just read it, so I won't need to reread it again for a while.) Posted by Picasa