Saturday, May 31, 2008

Haitian Art Pieces

Thursday, May 29, 2008

The Dancing

In all these rotten shops, in all this broken furniture
and wrinkled ties and baseball trophies and coffee pots
I have never seen a post-war Philco
with the automatic eye
nor heard Ravel's "Bolero" the way I did
in 1945 in that tiny living room
on Beechwood Boulevard, nor danced as I did
then, my knives all flashing, my hair all streaming,
my mother red with laughter, my father cupping
his left hand under his armpit, doing the dance
of old Ukraine, the sound of his skin half drum,
half fart, the world at last a meadow,
the three of us whirling and singing, the three of us
screaming and falling, as if we were dying,
as if we could never stop--in 1945--
in Pittsburgh, beautiful filthy Pittsburgh, home
of the evil Mellons, 5,000 miles away
from the other dancing--in Poland and Germany--
oh God of mercy, oh wild God.

Gerald Stern


Who wants to do a roadtrip in September? Dodge Poetry
Festival? Just let me know. There are places to meet
that would be convenient.

I heard Stern read in 2006 and loved the work and him!
He was funny and cantankerous and filled with humor
and just the love of living.

If no one wants to do the road trip, than how about the meet
up? I am seriously saving my loose change and know I will
have enough. If I go alone, I do. Takers feel free to respond
here or email.

Maggie's been bitten--
she wants to hear the written
words spoken clearly
from those she loves dearly
at a little gathering in Waterloo
Village, never knowing who
will be there to open up the locked
corners of the mind, like a docked
boat set free from its tether,
let loose to roam, perhaps never
coming back to that marina, that dock--
the very act of loosening enough
to save her from the everyday fluff.

Aye, yi yi...bad bad lonely thing.

Strange. I didn't miss the computer at all
when I was gone. My daughter and her friend
checked their MySpace things and read their email,
but I could have cared less. Now, I care a whole
bunch. I hate being lonely!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Of islands and moments

No Man Is An Island

No man is an island, entire of itself
every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main
if a clod be washed away by the sea,
Europe is the less, as well as if a promontory were,
as well as if a manor of thy friends or of thine own were
any man's death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind
and therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls
it tolls for thee.

-- John Donne


I can see why Hemingway loved Key West and chose
to live there and work on some of his greatest books.
Though it was intolerably hot (to me) the day I was there,
the atmosphere was laid-back and jovial, people enjoying
their day of living on the fringes, far away from the mainland,
surrounded by water, thoughts of work to be done and
things to do left at home.

I was so terrified about the boat ride (or ferry ride,
I should say--it is a ferry--very large--incredibly smooth—
passengers only—no cars) that I had anxiety for weeks
about going, but I will do it again, when I can and if I can.
It was so relaxing to let someone else take you somewhere
hundreds of miles away, to a place you’ve never been,
surrounded by people you do not know, out there in the middle
of the water, no land in sight.

The water, oh my! I have never seen water like that--it truly
is emerald and so clear you can see the bottom even at 90
ft. or some such depth, and the sunset over the ocean (though
less spectacular than sunsets I have seen from shore) streaked
the sky with its pinks and corals and light greens and shots
of deep blue until there was nothing left of it and night
surrounded the ferry, which was making good speed
toward the mainland.

But that (the Key West trip) was just one very small part
of the entire trip, which has infected me, I'm afraid,
with an overwhelming sense of…hmmm, best not go where
my mind is wanting to go...some things are better left unsaid.


Started getting sick the first night of the trip. First cold
I've had in such a very long time. Still coughing and
stuffy but no worse. I think Isaac and I must be sharing
the same germ. He had to go to ER Sunday. Pneumonia
and an ear infection. I went to see him yesterday (what
a sweet smile for his GiGi!) and he seemed to be feeling
much better. I got him a cute shirt at Sloppy Joe's
in Key West (the Hemingway haunt bar--it was a cool
place (literally and figuratively!). We got home Monday
night. We spent 7 nights at my sister's in Naples
and then drove to Orlando and spent one night with
my husband's nephew and his family. It was all good--
all--the company, the food, the conversations, the drive,
the weather (well--it was a bit hotter than I like but
it was sunny the whole week and the beach was beautiful,
as always!).

Molly and the cats were fine. Son took care of them
for the most part. Hubby left for a race on Thursday
so youngest son was the only one here to take
care of things. He did a fine job, and he cleaned
the house up too! I was dumbfounded to walk in
and find everything so clean!

My niece's graduation was a fun day. I can't believe
I didn't burst into tears (my eyes filled up a few times
but no major downpours). I am so proud
of her and excited as well. She will be going to Simmons--
it's an all-girl college in Boston. I don't know much
about it, but she's stoked about going.

Other niece and her family are doing well too. Her boys
(my great-nephews) are so cute! One will be 2 in June
and the other will be 1 in August. She's a busy gal!


Gotta get doing...still going through mail and papers.
Interview tomorrow--need to get prepared today.

It's good to get away, but it's good to be home.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

A good day

Today was a good day. To see my daughter
receive her master's (with honors--summa cum laude)
knowing all the hard work she's done and is yet
to do. If you go into social work thinking you'll
get some kind of cushy job somewhere, then first
of all, you've not entered that field for the right
reasons. Secondly, you will find that life outside
of school and curriculum is not what life is all about,
but she already knows these things. She is a children's
counselor in a domestic violence center and has been
for some time. She did the first internship in a women's
prison--the second in an HIV/AIDS center.

She has so much respect for the people she meets--
whether it be at work or elsewhere. I entertain
the idea that I may get a master's at some point
in social work, but when it comes down to the nitty-
gritty, I confess that I am not sure I could do that
work every day. I have to ask myself--do you think
you're better, or do you think you could not take
the emotional strain, the giving, the ability to be kind
but firm, the guts she has to do what she does.

She's one gutsy gal. She's more than alright.
She knows her own issues and takes them as they
come--some days not wanting to own them, most
days trying to figure out a plan. Above all, she's
full of life and energy and compassion and wisdom
that far exceeds her years.

It was such a blessing that grandma and grandpa
could be there too, today. They were so thrilled.

And the party her friends threw for her was such fun
and such an eye-opening experience for us, her family
who are not with her on a daily basis.

She will and can make a difference. She will and can.

Tomorrow morning, I leave here at 6 or so. Drive
to Nashville to rouse two sleepy-headed young women
for the long drive to Naples. I should go to sleep,
but I am thinking of today--the wind blowing hard,
the sun so bright, the smiles on all of the faces
at graduation and the party, the time spent
with my family, the time coming up this week
to spend with my sister and her daughters--
her youngest graduating from high school on Friday,
her oldest with her two beautiful sons, the boat ride
to Key West.

On we go.

Friday, May 16, 2008

The Big Day

Tomorrow, my daughter receives her master's--
my second child to do so. And it's not so much the degree
as it is the dedication, consideration, hard work, and conviction
that the oldest two have shown in choosing their professions--not
because of the money they could make (not much in the ministry
or in social work), but in choosing a path in which they can make
such a difference in the lives of others. I am proud and happy.

This is to to my daughter and to all my children. I love them so.

May they stay forever young.

Video coming. Perhaps two.


Thursday, May 15, 2008


Some days he wears his prosthetic
leg, on others he walks with crutches,
shirtless, in shorts, no mistaking the loss

of a limb. I want to talk to him, but the dirt
on my hands and knees, my hair plastered
to my face after a morning in the garden,

stops me, as if the indication of my wholeness
may be met with suspicion, my own guilt
for having two legs rendering me as useless

as the stone that sits atop my dead cat's grave.
I don't know what I would say to him, nor how
I could explain my interest, its roots perhaps

more shallow than the hosta I just transplanted,
the rain starting to fall lightly now. I just want to know
if he feels it sometimes, that missing leg, if there is life

still pulsating beneath the knee, if he's angry,
how it happened. I project a pain that he may
not own at all, this young man, lovely dark hair

framing his face, my heart pounding in my chest,
its own lost rhythm knowing why I won't stand
up and go inside where my own losses, complete

but still there, would ring hollow and small, no sense
at all of what it would be like, thinking all the while
about that missing limb that no rain or sun or snow--

nor even the soft wet earth--will ever touch again.
No Sun

Just the week when I really needed
to get a little sun (leaving for FL this Sunday)
and it's been overcast since Sunday. Mon.
and Tues. were nice days, but I was busy
all day and couldn't get outside.


Still feeling uninspired. No poems. No journal
entries. No music. No dancing. No crying.
No laughing. Just being.


Baby Isaac has been sick. I took care of him for a little
while Tuesday while his mommy ran some errands, and I
spent some time with him yesterday while she went
to lunch with a friend. I called her on Mother's Day and asked
if she wanted to get out some this week so I could spend
some time with him. I am going to miss him while I'm away.


I post this often because I love it so. I feel it so strongly today.

My Grandmother's Love Letters

There are no stars to-night
But those of memory.
Yet how much room for memory there is
In the loose girdle of soft rain.

There is even room enough
For the letters of my mother's mother,
That have been pressed so long
Into a corner of the roof
That they are brown and soft,
And liable to melt as snow.

Over the greatness of such space
Steps must be gentle.
It is all hung by an invisible white hair.
It trembles as birch limbs webbing the air.

And I ask myself:

"Are your fingers long enough to play
Old keys that are but echoes:
Is the silence strong enough
To carry back the music to its source
And back to you again
As though to her?"

Yet I would lead my grandmother by the hand
Through much of what she would not understand;
And so I stumble. And the rain continues on the roof
With such a sound of gently pitying laughter.

Hart Crane


Going to take my unmotivated, sleepy self back to bed
on this dark and rainy morning.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Nina Simone / Lilac Wine

Don't give up on this or adjust the takes a little while for it to Nina Simone

Dorianne Laux selections for poetry circle

The Last Days of Pompeii

What if the ashes came down on us,
a black avalanche trapping our bodies
in their twenty-first century beds,
your spine buttressed with pillows,
wearing taped-up wire glasses,
an old book cracked open
against the knobs of your knees.
And me curled next to you, one hand
on your chest like a wind-blown
blossom, in socks and a T-shirt, asleep,
just beginning to dream.

Preserved for time without end
this end-of-day tableau, on view
in a glass room in the future’s
museum, two dragonflies sealed
in amber or ice. Or ruined statues,
arms and heads lopped off,
the painstaking calculations
of geometry and physics, reconstructing,
from whorled stumps, our inner lives:

the possum bent on a wet road in the blue
headlights of my dream, the marriage
of our bodies only moments before
the ash rushed in like the sea, sheathing
each small thing in cinders and shadows,
what we gave each other encased
in dust: the ring on the sink, a brass angel
with hammered wings, their meaning
a secret even from us, your eyes
seared blind for eternity, my hair
splayed against pillows of dirt
like a handful of dark straw.

Death Comes To Me Again, A Girl

Death comes to me again, a girl
in a cotton slip, barefoot, giggling.
It's not so terrible she tells me,
not like you think, all darkness
and silence. There are windchimes
and the smell of lemons, some days
it rains, but more often the air is dry
and sweet. I sit beneath the staircase
built from hair and bone and listen
to the voices of the living. I like it,
she says, shaking the dust from her hair,
especially when they fight, and when they sing.

Graveyard at Hurd's Gulch

His grave is strewn with litter again,
crumpled napkins, a plastic spoon, white
styrofoam cup tipped on its side, bright
half-moon of lipstick on the rim.
I want to scold her for the mess she's left,
the flattened grass and squashed grapes,
but I've seen her walking toward the trees,
her hollow body receding, her shadow
following behind. I'm the intruder,
come not to mourn a specific body
but to rest under a tree, my finger tracing
the rows of glowing marble,
the cloud-covered hips of the hills.
I always take the same spot,
next to the sunken stone that says MOTHER,
the carved dates with the little dash between them,
a brief, deep cut, like a metaphor for life.
Does she whisper, I wonder, to the one
she loves, or simply eat and sleep, content
for an hour above the bed of his bones?
I think she brings him oranges and secrets,
her day's torn and intricate lace.
I have no one on this hill to dine with.
I'm blessed. Everyone I love is still alive.
I know there is no God, no afterlife,
but there is this peace, the granite angel
with the moss-covered wings whose face
I have grown to love, her sad smile
like that sadness we feel after sex,
those few delirious hours when we needed nothing
but breath and flesh, after we've flown back
into ourselves, our imperfect heavy bodies,
just before that terrible hunger returns.


Who would want to give it up, the coal a cat's eye
in the dark room, no one there but you and your smoke,
the window cracked to street sounds, the distant cries
of living things. Alone, you are almost safe, smoke
slipping out between the sill and the glass, sucked
into the night you don't dare enter, its eyes drunk
and swimming with stars. Somewhere a dumpster
is ratcheted open by the claws of a black machine.
All down the block something inside you opens
and shuts. Sinister screech, pneumatic wheeze,
trash slams into the chute: leftovers, empties.
You don't flip on the TV or the radio, what might
muffle the sound of car engines backfiring,
and in the silence between, streetlights twitching
from green to red, scoff of footsteps, the rasp
of breath, your own, growing lighter and lighter
as you inhale. There's no music for this scarf
of smoke wrapped around your shoulders, its fingers
crawling the pale stem of your neck, no song
light enough, liquid enough, that climbs high enough,
then thins and disappears. Death's shovel scrapes
the sidewalk, critches across the man-made cracks,
slides on grease into rain-filled gutters, digs
its beveled nose among the ravaged leaves.
You can hear him weaving his way down the street,
sloshed on the last breath he swirled past his teeth
before swallowing: breath of the cat kicked
to the curb, a woman's sharp gasp, lung-filled wail
of the shaken child. You can't put it out, can't stamp out
the light and let the night enter you, let it burrow through
your smallest passages. So you listen and listen
and smoke and give thanks, suck deep with the grace
of the living, blowing halos and nooses and zeros
and rings, the blue chains linking around your head.
Then you pull it in again, the vein-colored smoke
and blow it up toward a ceiling you can't see
where it lingers like a sweetness you can never hold,
like the ghost the night will become.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Hole - Miss World

Neil Young Out on The Weekend

Monday morning ramble

I have so many things to do but don't know where to start. A house can keep you busy, and it's nice to have things done, but some days I think why bother, why do any of it? What is going to last about what I do in this house and to this house, who is going to care fifty years from now, who would care whether the walls in the hallway were painted sage green, the bedroom eggplant or red or chocolate, the yard filled with flower gardens? Why the endless toiling? Surely there is some greater endeavor I can be undertaking, something that would last forever or at least for a longer period of time than all these efforts--something like writing a book or painting or doing research in a lab and discovering the cure for some illness, or teaching, or volunteering somewhere like Hospice or the Animal Shelter, or taking the course to become a CASA volunteer (court appointed special advocate) since I can't afford to work on a master's in social work or anything else, I can at least go through the training and make a difference in a child's life.

I don't know. If working in my yard and making my house look nicer makes me feel better, what's wrong with that? And it does make me feel better, but it also leaves me feeling empty, thinking anyone can do that--anyone who wants to can do this. What's so important about it?

My neighbor says her yard is her therapy. Her yard is stunning. But my neighbor is also this incredibly talented concert pianist/part-time piano teacher/full-time Assistant Director of the Fine Arts Center/very involved in local musical productions/one of the most accomplished organists anywhere around/an exceptionally talented flutist/a simply stunningly-beautiful 60+ year old (who looks at least 10 years younger than she is and who happens to look very much like Ann-Margaret)/who has 4 children and 7 grandchildren and who is very involved in their lives even with all of the other things she does/who has this knack for designing floral arrangements and home decorating/who is an excellent cook/who travels often/who has played at Carnegie Hall/whose legacy will outlive her. She says she has to stay busy--it's just part of who she is. And I think I could stand to stay busy if my life included a job like hers, and if I had 1/8th of the talent she has, and if I felt I was doing something that mattered.

I don't know why I never got involved with music. I have my theories but guilt keeps me from expounding on them. My older two children took piano lessons and both of them still play. My oldest son also plays the organ and my daughter plays the drums as well. My youngest plays guitar. He also played the alto sax in middle school. They all know how to read music and how to play it. I took one year of piano when I was about 25, but I didn't have a piano then and had to go to my mom's to practice and that got old, so I gave it up.

I also have my theories about why I don't paint, but I can't expound on those either without getting too personal.

I think what I am missing, though, is the point that a person should just be happy in what they do. Find something that brings you joy (something that is not injurious to others! There are so many sickos who enjoy inflicting pain or death on others to get their kicks) and don't give a damn about what anyone can do that you can't or what they can do better or how much more important what they do is than what you do.

But what I am getting ready to do is something I don't want to do but it needs to be done. Laundry. Dishes. Cleaning off my desk (have a ton of paper that needs to be shredded!). Putting away the winter clothes and getting out the summer. Hauling some junk out of the basement. Going outside to pull weeds out of the flower gardens before they choke out the flowers.

I guess I just miss feeling that I made a difference on a daily basis in the lives of others. I felt that in my previous two jobs. I felt what I was doing mattered and was important. I miss having conversations with people. I met so many interesting and intelligent people. And for as difficult as it was to work a full-time job, go to school either part-time or some semesters full-time, raise a family, make sure all the bills got paid and everyone had something to eat and wear and the yard and house work all got done, it was a challenge and it was an opportunity for me to be learning things I didn't know--most of them interesting to me (not macroeconomics--yuck!) and to have to think critically about the subject matter and to have make myself write papers and study for tests. I went from all of that to less than half of that. Job ended. School ended. Interaction with others outside of the home eneded.

I miss my dead friends. I miss my living friends. I miss days that have passed.

I thought I would like some alone time, but I am finding I don't do well with it. My youngest works often, so he's only home for less than an hour after school most days and then he's off to work. I am here with Molly, Dante, and Oreo. They can be nice enough company, and they certainly don't judge me when I go on a rant or get weepy and can't pick my ass up and get moving.

I guess I am lonely. I guess I may be for some time. I guess I could be for the rest of my life. I know I have been for most of my life.

I think the laundry has eyes. It's on the couch behind me and I feel like it's watching me. Guess I'll start folding clothes.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Prom 2008

Friday, May 09, 2008

Mr SandMan - The Chordettes

My Father's Room

She's moved downstairs now,
her reasons solid: it's warmer
in the winter and cooler in the summer,
and they are all still there, upstairs,
in his room, his jeans and dress pants,
his tennis shoes and funeral blacks,
his ties and clips. I ask her if she'd like
me to help her go through the closet,
to decide what to donate, what to keep,
what to just think about for a little while,
but she can't do it, not even now, two years
later. You can get what you want, she says,
go up there any time, the up there a place
she rarely goes now, a place I've been
very few times since his death. Grief
does not accept parameters, nor should it,
so the conversation turns to the loud neighbors,
the yellow climbing rose, the ornamental
peach in his garden, the hours spent planting
and planning a future in the twilight years
of their lives, and I have to leave, the stories
waiting to be told, my ears not wanting to hear,
the cleaning out not as hard as the listening
which I never did much of in all his days,
his big chair still sitting by the window
where he sat many days just looking
at the trees and thinking, perhaps marveling
and mourning at the many aspects of his
long life, so many friends gone, his children
grown with children of their own, his days
filled with wonder and fear, his sailor's heart
never far from home, sitting there alone,
the aroma from the kitchen filling his senses,
the love of his life downstairs laboring over a hot
stove, cooking his favorite meal, her days now
spent cooking for one, eating enough to survive,
no one upstairs to comment on how perfect
the roast is, how tender and sweet the carrots.

Kenny Rogers and the First Edition - Something's Burning

Shimmying Beneath the Pines

Kate’s mother was sure we were destined
to be juvenile delinquents, blasting the Archies
through the pines in the back yard, rock and roll
our demise, but oh how our bodies shined then,
shined and moved and loved every minute
of being a Sugar, Sugar. How were we to know
that songs like that denigrated our womanhood,
made us these subservient creatures incapable
of plotting our own course? Predictions being
what they are, Kate and her boyfriend stole
a taxi and drove it to Baltimore. Underage
and with no prior convictions in juvenile
court, they got by with probation, and I moved
away to a city where everyone enunciated
words to the point that I wanted to pull
out their damn tongues and cut off an inch
or two, as if that would make them sound the same
as the world I left, a universe all its own, tidal pools
and fossil pits, the breaking waves nearing ever closer
to the Norwegian woman, the gathering place
for my mother and her friends, who wore short skirts
and hot pants, that place where I saw my first and only solar
eclipse, the crowd gathered looking through negatives,
the imprint of memory still on my cornea all these years
later. And I miss those people and those days, the narrow
margin that divided me between delinquency and abuse
not enough to offer comfort, and I wonder what's become
of Kate and my mother's hot pants friends, in their
sixties and seventies now, and I wish I still had that need
to peer into the shallow waters of a tidal pool, like I did
at twelve, curious about the earth and life, animated
and progressive, filled with questions, not this disenchanted
woman who doesn't realize often enough that it's not
the answers that matter, it's the questions.

Tommy James And The Shondells - Crimson And Clover (1969)

makes me think of being a young girl, extension cord running from my bedroom window, my turntable sitting on the lawn, me stretched out on my back, listening to this over and over, all that clover beneath my young, strong body...

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Simon and Garfunkel - Old Friends

Old Friends

Sherry came by last night. First time she's been
by since Dad died two years ago. It was really good
to see her. She is such a voice of wisdom, and patience,
and kindness. She immediately makes me feel calm.

I remember when we first met. 1973. February or March.
She was the high-jumper on the track team. I ran the 880
and mile run. We spent so many days and nights together,
but then she married and moved away and then came back
home with her son, after splitting with her husband. She
went to school and received her RN degree, got remarried,
had another child and has been working as a home health nurse
for a number of years. Her schedule is insane--60 hours a week or so.

I was happy that she saw my car and decided to pull in the
driveway. I never left this town, and many of my former
high school friends are still here, but we rarely see one
another. The closest high school friend I have lives
in Birmingham, so it's hard for us to get to spend time
together, but we talk on the phone often.

Oh, old friends. How they do know so much about us,
but if they haven't been with us for a long time, how
little they know in other ways. I just know she made
my evening and we made some promises to try to stay
in touch and be together more often.


Have not looked over any Laux poems. Need to get my
rear in gear, but been kinda low-key today. Took Molly
for a two mile walk (oh the joys of walking Molly when
there are distractions! Several people were walking at
the track this morning and she tried to jump on all of them--
she has this idea that everyone wants to love on her--good
thing I have the pinch collar or I would not have been able
to control her), came home and finished planting the vinca
and impatiens. Talked to my neighbor and walked around
her yard with her to look at all the beautiful plant life--she
works so hard in that yard and it shows! Did a few loads
of clothes, washed dished, blah blah blah.



Teriyaki burgers with mushrooms and swiss cheese
Spicy fries


Terrible news about Myanmar--perhaps 200,000
people dead. Hard to conceive. Entire generations of people
gone. Just gone. What a joy it is to watch the news.


I think my bed is calling me. I rarely nap, but I am just so
sleepy. Maybe I'll just read for a little while. Find my Laux
books and make some decisions.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Tubthumping (I Get Knocked Down) Lyrics

The Star Wars/Spaceballs version...I love it, but I'm weird.

Poetry, Plants, and Planning

Another busy morning. Took Molly for a long
walk this morning after I got back from the grocery.

Bought enough for the next three nights. Tonight,
chicken tortilla soup. It's hot here, but I like soup.
And instead of tortilla strips for the soup, I am going
to serve a jalapeno cheese bread I bought and some
fresh fruit (watermelon, cantalope, and honeydew).

I bought some more plants today and worked on those.
Vinca and impatiens. Washing more clothes, as usual.

How did I ever get all of these things done when I worked
full-time? I really think I was better at time management
when I was working full-time and going to school.


Dorianne Laux. I chose her for this month's poetry
circle, but I haven't chosen the poems yet. Need to work
on that today.


Making plans for the upcoming trip to FL. This weekend
is prom weekend, and I am excited for Wes. Can't wait
to see him in his tux and his lovely girlfriend in the dress
she chose. Picture time (and me sans camera). Wes has
a digital camera that I have never used, but I am going
to start using it. That night.

The following weekend (the 17th) my daughter receives
her master's. She never ceases to amaze me. She works
full-time, goes to school full-time, and still performs
with The Mattoid, even though she and her guy have split.
She is an astounding, amazing, passionate, and giving
person. The social work field needs more people like her.
Needless to say, I am proud.

On the 18th, she and I leave for FL. We are going to Naples
for my niece's graduation from high school. We're driving
there all in one day on the 18th, and plan to have a beach
day on the 19th. On the 20th, we're going to Key West
for the day. We're taking a boat from Naples to Key West.
We'll get back about 9:30 that night, and though I have
terrible anxiety issues, I am excited to think I can go on the
deck at night and see the stars from that vantage point--
away from lights, the dark ocean all around us.

We'll stay in Naples until the 24th, the day after my niece
graduates, and then it's on to Orlando to visit some other
family. I think we're driving home on Memorial Day,
but we haven't decided for sure.

Last year, at the same time, my daughter's dearest
friend was killed in a car wreck and we drove to Naples
to get away for a little while. We came back home
on Memorial Day last year. I hope this is a better
trip for her. And I am honored that she wants
to take a trip with her old Ma. Not all adult children
want to spend that kind of time with their parents.


Time to do another load of clothes and get back outside
to dig in the earth some more.

The Beatles - In My Life

Monday, May 05, 2008


Been a busy, and yes, productive morning. I took
Molly for a long walk at the cemetery (about two
miles, I am guessing--up and down hills). Got home
and divided the hostas, replanted them in other areas,
dug up and replanted some coral bells, dug up my lavender
because it was just lost behind my knock-out rose bush
that my mom and dad gave me one year (it's about 5 ft
tall and 7 ft wide and loaded with beautiful blooms)
and moved it to another place where it will have room
to grow even larger and thrive. Weeded the herb garden
and replaced all the landscaping bricks.

I mowed, took my stuff to the recycling center (we
don't have a recycling pick-up program, so I keep
the stuff in bins and take it when it gets full), cleaned
the kitchen, did two loads of clothes, and cleaned
bathrooms. I'm tired, but I have much more to do.

Cooking another Rachael Ray dish tonight--it is another
perfectly spiced, aromatic, and delicious dish. Oregon-Style
Pork Chops with Pinot Noir and Cranberries, served
with Oregon Hash with Wild Mushrooms, Greens, Beets,
Hazelnuts, and Blue Cheese. And, of course, the bread.

Some crusty charred whole grain bread with butter
and chives ( the chives fresh from my herb garden).

I cooked tacos one night last week and my youngest
son (the only one at home) said, Mom, I love all
the different things you cook, but your tacos
and spaghetti are still my favorite dishes. Gotta
love that, even though I thought why keep trying
all these other things. But, he wasn't saying he didn't
like those; he was saying I like your stuff better.

Dug up one of Libby's blue shells when I was working
in the herb garden. I think Libby deserves a poem.
Maybe one day I'll get around to writing it.

Oh, and wow, the rhododendron in the front yard
is blooming, and so are the coreopsis and dianthus.
And the pansies in one of the shade gardens are so beautiful--
purple, yellow, and burgundy. And the heirloom Irises
just started blooming--lilac colored (the deep purple Irises
bloomed a few weeks ago and some of them are still in bloom).

And the magenta and white azaleas are also in full
bloom, the pink dying out but still blooming.

These are the natural things that fill me today.



I read this today about Eight Belles and wondered if you had.

My husband is a race car driver. He makes the choice. I can't
say I am comfortable with his choice, but I have learned to live
with it. He says he's safer in his race car than he is in his personal
vehicle on any street or highway. He does it because he loves
the classic beauty of the sport--knowing what he's done to the engine
to make the car more efficient and what he knows, as a driver,
that gives him an edge. He doesn't win big money--just usually
breaks even, but he enjoys the sport. But he can choose, and I think
that's the big issue. Eight Belles could not--someone chose for her,
and perhaps she did love the competetive nature of the sport,
but who can say. I just found it an interesting assessment
of the sport and thought you might as well.

Julie Andrews - My Favorite Things

Saturday, May 03, 2008

Roberta Flack - Killing me softly with his song


I had forgotten how much goes into the care of a baby, but there is so much joy in being with one of them (especially when they are as good-natured as my little Isaac!). But there's no stopping at any time. If they're sleeping, you're cleaning up and getting things ready for the next meal or place you need to go.

My daughter arrived yesterday afternoon. I am always happy to have her home, but I was particularly glad that she came to see Isaac and to help. We had a great time together and alone. She had a present on her pillowcase from Isaac--an I love my aunt bib...she loved it!

I just got him down but he didn't take much of his bottle. He napped very little today and had a busy day. We had swim lessons at 10 and his GiGi (me) got in the pool with him. The instructor said he seemed much more involved and comfortable today. I am sure it's not because GiGi had him, but because he and mommy and daddy have been going for a few weeks now. I loved it! In the water with him, holding him lightly on his back so he could feel the sensation of floating. Directing him to splash and kick. It was fun!

I have a feeling, though, that he may be up more tonight because he crashed so early. His bedtime is between 7:30 and 8:00, but he crashed about 7:20. We may be up some tonight, but GiGi's good to go. What a blessing he is.

Last night it stormed and the basement was filling with water and the sump pump sounded like it was hung up, so I went down there about 3 and really didn't get back to sleep until 6 or so. Hubby's outta town racing. #1 qualifier in his class, but I sure as hell wished he'd have been here last night to take care of the basement thing. Guess I need to know this stuff regardless, so I did all I could do. Which was to make sure nothing was caught in the pump (and it wasn't). It just rained so hard so fast that the pump could not keep up with it, but things are better tonight.

Mommy and Daddy will be back tomorrow. Let's hope Isaac has a good night!