Thursday, April 30, 2009


It's raining--hard!

I am walking home from the Village Market with a backpack full of heavy groceries--a gallon of milk, jars of jelly etc, and a whole additional shoulder bag full of meat and fish and squash and tomatoes, rain seeping through my coat, in spite of the fact that it's supposed to be a raincoat.   And I hear the distress cry of a baby squirrel--I know that's what it is, because I have one that I'm rehabilitating.  But I don't see it anywhere, I look all around.  No nests in sight, big trucks backing through the alley, hard rain, puddles--if there's a baby squirrel out in the world without a mother, it will either be squashed or die of hypothermia.  But I go back to my own nameless baby squirrel, who soon will be hungry I'm sure.  In any case, I am!

Sunday, April 26, 2009

In my garden this morning

After mid 80s yesterday (and hail!) and snow two days ago, it was
fifty when I went out before breakfast and took these pictures. NICE
and COOL! Not cold, not hot. YAY!

We've been terribly busy and I haven't had much time for blogging.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Sighs of annoyance and gasps of relief

It was sunny and 83 degrees and we decided to ride our bikes
Cranbrook, doing some errands on the way there and back. When we got
to Cranbrook, it had clouded up a little, and we parked the bikes in
the lower level in case of rain. We'd only walked about 6 minutes
when the rain hit, and shortly after it started, it hit HARD. We ran
back to the parking garage and had to move the bikes into the center
because so much rain was blowing in through the windows. We sat on
the bikes grousing and complaining because it had been such a nice day
when we left home. And we had a lot to do and could have been working
at Rolandale instead of sitting there doing nothing.

When the rain dwindled, we walked again, but I left my cameras locked
in the saddlebags because it was still raining and very dark to the
west. But repeatedly throughout the walk, I wished I'd had the
camera. Darn--it got sunny again! And no cameras, except the stereos
and small digitals.

It started darkening up again on the way home--we got sprinkled on twice.

We decided to stop by S & J's, but they were not at home. By that
time the sky was BLACK and an alarm came on at the golf course to
clear the course--storm warning. It started sprinkling, then raining,
but we rode out of it on the way home. But it was following us. When
we got to the driveway, it was right behind us. BB was frantically
trying to get the bikes in the garage. The car windows were open
too--it had been so nice when we left--the rain hit HARD while BB was
trying to shut the car windows and he dashed into the garage where I
was cowering already. He was giving the rain a two-handed salute of
anger that it couldn't have held off 1 more minute, when it started
hailing--hard--first about 1/4 inch, then a half inch and more, it was
pinging off the car and BB shut the garage door because it was
bouncing on on us--richotcheting. Some was ice and some was like
snow, like wadded hunks of snow (softer than the ice pellets and
faster to melt when it hit.)

BB got wet--I got somewhat wet too, but instead of being angry at the
rain for catching us a minute too soon, I was relieved that the hail
didn't catch us out on the bikes!!!! it was only a minute or two
behind the rain and we barely made it.

Monday, April 20, 2009

It was an incredibly beautiful day, but

Saturday was an incredibly beautiful spring day, but I spent most or much of it indoors. Here, I was working outdoors, moving leaves from the gutter in front of the house to the compost pile in the far back. I wanted to be out in the woods, and I wrote a poem about that:


Fawn lilies, pale in the shadows of trees, open their throats
and call the bees. Bees, drunk with sleep and winter,
stagger from the hive. The hive hums with its own morning.
Spring caresses the forest lightly. If you hurry, you will see nothing
but the dark still-sleeping trunks of trees. But stop. Place your ear
to the trunk and listen. Sap thrums in its veins, singing
to the buds who hum softly as they gather their new leaves
to unfurl. And in a spot of branch-filtered sun, the first
mourning cloak butterfly fans slow wings among the fallen leaves.
You might mistake it for one of them if you didn't pause and look.
But I cannot look. Confined indoors, I miss the birthday
of the forest: the doe, licking her newborn, pressing
with her nose to balance it as it wobbles toward
its first breakfast. Picture me longing, aching; see me imagining
instead of watching, as, stepping among the white lilies
that bear its name, in a moment never to be repeated,
the newborn fawn takes its fleeting first steps.

Mary Stebbins Taitt
for BB

It's National Poetry Month, so I am going to put some poems in my blogs.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Monday, April 13, 2009

Nuthatch, coming in for a landing


I've been crazy busy.

Working on the NaPoWriMo challange for National Poetry month and posting nearly daily and more, poems and pictures here, if you are interested.

Hope you had a great Easter, those of you who celebrate.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Saving Fish from Drowning, By Amy Tan

Saving Fish from Drowning: A Novel (Ballantine Reader's Circle) Saving Fish from Drowning: A Novel by Amy Tan

My review

rating: 4 of 5 stars
By clicking the title, you can read about the book and read other reviews, so I am just going to say what I like.

I like that the characters, even the worst of them, and are very complex, and human and understandable.

I like that it is a departure from her other work, even though I liked her other work, and that it is very interesting and different.

I like that the plot is complex, thought-provoking and unusual. There is much to learn and consider.

View all my reviews.

The Worst Witch at School

The Worst Witch at School (Worst Witch) The Worst Witch at School by Jill Murphy

My review

rating: 3 of 5 stars
The Worst Witch at School and the Worst Witch Strikes Again, by Jill Murphy

Murphy's law reigns supreme in the life of student witch, Mildred Hubble--anything that can go wrong does. She still manages to save the day on multiple occasions. A light, fun read for children 8-11. I like children's books and this was fun, but very young and light. It was cute and children this age will enjoy it.

It's not an ambitious book like Harry Potter. This one, by the way, came first and is quite similar in some ways, it's a boarding school with classes in potions etc. and a big spooky castle. The difference is, there is no abiding force of evil against which to struggle. This may be appropriate for very young children, but makes the book seem a bit fluffy in comparison. The evil that does read its head is minor and brief.

I love children's literature. This book is good, but not great. I am interested in what makes a book superior, because I want to write superior books. LOL!

View all my reviews.

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Sunday, April 05, 2009

Saturday, April 04, 2009

Friday, April 03, 2009

NaPoWriMo: 30 Poems in 30 days

NaPoWriMo: 30 Poems in 30 days

OK, I found it, a little diligent clicking and there it is.  Thirty poems in 30 days for National poetry month at ReadWritePoem.  I'm not really sure I want to do it--I don't do my best writing when I write a new poem every day, I do my best work when I work on the SAME poem until I like it--for say a week at a time, and then start a new one and return to the old one later.  And of course, I'm starting at a disadvantage, because I missed the beginning.  Luckily, I wrote a poem yesterday anyway.  But not an official NaPoWriMo Poem.

I am not committing to commit, but hey, I might work on it.  Hmm.  You folks are inspiring me.  Happy National Poetry Month, by the way!  OK, I'm going to write down the challenges and see what I can do.  I'll try to get back to you--someday.  LOL!

The Nick Adams Stories

The Nick Adams Stories The Nick Adams Stories by Ernest Hemingway

My review

rating: 4 of 5 stars
The Nick Adams Stories, by Ernest Hemingway, was a worthwhile read and quite good. I enjoyed Nick Adam's adventures, but I do not like his overly macho attitude. It's a very male book, interesting and informative but annoying. I liked the outdoor stories. The war stories were upsetting and I didn't like his attitude about women and native Americans. I did like how carefully he explained everything. I did not really like the way he started things and left them unfinished without even a hint of how they might turn out. Still it was good. I may reread them at some time.

View all my reviews.

The River King

The River King The River King by Alice Hoffman

My review

rating: 4 of 5 stars
When I first started The River King, I set it down and abandoned it. I

decided to try it again because I loved the last two Alice Hoffman books I read, The Probable Future, and The Third Angel. But in the beginning, I didn't like it much better than I did last time--but I am glad I stuck with it--it improves. I liked it very much, but I HATED--DETESTED--what happened to Gus. I suppose things like that happen in real life, but it was just so gross, disturbing and horrible that I cannot give this book 5 stars in spite of the fact that once I got into it, it held me spellbound until the end. It was mostly an excellent book but I''d personally like to rewrite it a little. I'd also like to carefully study the beginning of the book and the later parts and see if I can discover why I disliked the beginning and how I can make my own books not be like that. I think likable characters and some connection to the reader are essential and were lacking in the beginning. I may reread this book, but if so, it won't be for a long time, until I recover from my grief.

View all my reviews.

Thursday, April 02, 2009

painting BB

I did this water color sketch of BB last night at dinner. (After my dinner, while he was drinking wine, listening to music, and looking things up in Grove. He did not have his glasses on when I started.) Click here to see a skan of the finished sketch.