Follow by Email

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

ho ho ho

Maybe I've lost my mind (always possible) but I swear this was the fastest Thanksgiving-Christmas slide ever in my lifetime. This Yuletide I was struck with an enormous amount of appreciation for all I have and all my memories. I've had some amazing people and things in my life. I also got to thank someone whose thank you has been 18 years owing. Friends and family gave me beautiful and meaningful tokens of love and I cried a lot And today is Christmas Day, all is calm, all is bright.


Sleep, Santa, Sleep.


I'm so completely exhausted that I can't care much about anything. It's been 4 days of get-togethers. I'm thinking it's much more tiring to have 2 or 3 peep in a day for several days than to have a dozen at once, and I think that's coming. Also, this was the last year I cook for any holiday. It's go out or takeaway from now on. I'd like to enjoy the holidays. Being too tired and too much in pain to do that is just stupid.

And it's not over. I'm the appointed caretaker of everyone in our crew's gifts for each other. So there's a new pile of presents under the tree that I must make sure get to their rightful boys and girls. A "This is the day we'll all see each other- be there or not, no leaving gifts behind" party may be called for going forward. Don't know if that'll be in my house, either. I'm getting too broken down for all this happy horseshit.
Methinks it's time to pass the orb and sceptre.

The magic of the season to me is expressing that we care for each other. I don't get on here nearly enough to tell you all that I do care. It may be weeks between posts, but you all cross my mind through the days. I hope everyone has had a lovely holiday time and that your hearts' desires become your realities in 2014. Love to you. xo

And p.s. Blogger won't let me post a comment anywhere, even on my own blog. It's always something.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Avec La Bete

Life is dense these days. Lotsa stuff, mostly good and happy to my eyes, but dense. And tiring. Whatever is actually going on physically is, in the end, really friggin tiring. I can go and go for so many hours and then there's nothing left to push. Maybe I should be hibernating. More sleep is called for, methinks. And this morning I realized that maybe I'm just sick. It's weird living alone. You don't realize things like not eating for a day or getting sick. There aren't other eyes on you. I have the Beest's eyes on me, of course. But you know how she is.



The cheesecake-like meeting of Strider and my brother Billy in the extremely dense Thanksgiving week he was here. Amazing. Family and strangers all at once, and our new addition, Strider's Beau. I think I'll call him Beau, cuz it means beautifulnicewonderfulgood, and he is. The Dog Formerly Known as Maisy, Olive, is a big puppy, longlegged and goofy. She looks more Dobie than Shepherd now, and maybe even some Rottie or BullTerrier. She's still joy.

Beest bit Billy. No blood, but it really upset him, hahahahah! Otherwise she spent every day hanging off him and the first morning he was gone she came out of the bedroom and walked right to the sofa, looking around for him. A little sad, that.

Family is good.

And so are friends. Stevil hosted Billy on his radio show. Paul stopped in, and Wendy and Glenn came by. We had a nice Thanksgiving with Special and Stevil, but everyone was too exhausted to do Pie Night. Billy was surprised at all the people in my life, which strikes me as silly because I feel like I'm a recluse, but it brought to my mind how very alone he really is. Or at least feels. I'd like him to move here but I don't think he will, at least for a while. A few years. I know how this place operates. You come up here to see someone you know. Then you come up for weeks at a time. Then you move here. It sucks you in, and you never get over it. The only ones to leave for good are those who were born here. I've seen it happen many times, including to me. He's fated now. He likes it here, he told me he's happy here. I get a kick out of him being among my friends, and he socialized with everyone and they were all so nice to him. Lotsa chattering for several days around here.



Writing? Well that dried up when my computer caught a virus and for over a week I did whatever I could to just keep it operating until I called Steve West to come rescue me. He ran scans and came by twice to clean it up. At one point everything came up in Swedish. I could at least function in my emails because the content wasn't translated and the basics were easy to figure out. Thanks Rita Larsen for that trimester of Norwegian in 1974. So I gave up on NaNoWriMo. It hadn't been going well anyway. I lost steam, interest, energy. Apathy set in. I've generally felt like I have nothing to say lately, so unlike me. Then I realized it was apathy and smacked my own damn face. You have to guard against these things or you end up miserable and unaware.

And with the computer scary-bizarreness, I haven't hooked up the camera. I think the computer is okay now, and I finally gave up IE for a better browser. Why am I so stubborn about such stupid things? Shit doesn't matter anymore. Everyone is spying and selling your info! It's like I live life in shock.

As for Beest... ass on desk, front paws on windowsill, she's focused. Tail tip tapping she watches it intently, barely breathing. It moves and her eyes follow it across the front garden, sun shining off her own yellow orbs. I follow her line of sight. There is nothing there.

And now here come The Big Holidays. With hope and a slight taste of sickness in my mouth, we move forward. I want to get the tree started this weekend. We had a landslide in the pantry (thanks Obama) and I'm afraid to look in the ornaments box.


So. I'm sneezing and coughing, things hurt (different things than usual) and foods all taste strange and give me indigestion. Yes, sick I'd say if someone described that to me. And now I'm talking to myself in print. Going to bed.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Boo!

Just got a note from Lawless saying Austanspace had disappeared! Well, whether that was a good way to get me here, catching me unawares in the morning, or a friendly poke that something had gone amiss, it's better now. It seems I have a godawful time writing anything but fiction lately. It's a sort of blockage up against all but the novel. There are rotten things going on. It sure seems like more rotten things than ever. And I hear about them and read some, I even post the memes on Fecebook, but I just can't let them in. Not while I'm living these other characters' lives.

I've joined NaNaWriMo. Don't know how much if any help that'll be in getting me to finish this off. Their website truly sucks tailpipe. But I've signed on and my pride will, I'm sure, make me do it. If you don't see me here you'll know I'm in my fictional world, at least til the end of November. Even if I don't leave a comment, I'm lurking. Boy that soumds rather creepy.

Anyhow, I wanted to wish you a very Happy Halloween, Happy Samhain to the broomstick crowd, and Happy New Year to the dead ancient Celts. xo




They're coming to get you, Barbara....


And hey! don't forget to turn your clocks back Saturday night!

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

33 Years Gone

On this day in 1980, John Henry Bonham died. And it's my firm belief that the world went to Hell after his passing.


Here we are nearing the end of September. Construction and deconstruction goes on in The Shire, with the worst being over for me and the worst yet to come for some neighbors. One of the buildings has a mold problem and the Hobbits there will be displaced for a week or more as that's sorted out in addition to all the 'flood mitigation' to be done. Only one pallet of bricks remains on my front yard. After the workers leave today I'll go see if my building is done (sans the floodgate, which is still to be installed).

I'm still ruminating on my column for Vermont Views. There's no dearth of subjects but I'm not inspired and frankly just don't want to think much. I'm tired. It's been busy and stressful. The things I do want to carry on about aren't things for public consumption. All excuses, but all true as well.

The situation in Congress is so disgusting I can barely stand to bring the subject up. Blackmailing the American people! How friggin dare they? These Teatards are the most despicable bunch of traitors, they should be arrested for treason, obstruction of government and terrorism. They so obviously belong to their corporate masters that they flaunt it now. Shame and damnation on them. I wish them on themselves, and hope their children are better, wiser people.

We had news (via the media) that the new building for the tenants here will be plopped in the middle of the town's southern shopping strip, Canal Street. A 3 story building is to be built next to a Walgreen's, where an autobody/junkyard/garage was. And it won't be owned by the BHA or HUD, but by a private nonprofit from up north. So it won't be subsidized housing and most of us can't afford unsubsidized housing. I don't know how this will shake out, there are 2 years before the doors will open. Perhaps I'll have moved away by then. Who knows?

Tomorrow Stevil is coming over for a pretty belated birthday dinner. Another friend, Maury, is in town from NYC and I haven't heard back on whether he'll join us but I hope so. It's been years since I saw him in person. Also can't wait to see Stevil's face when he opens his presents. ;)

Billy has no results from the docs yet. His motorcycle is in the shop because of a couple of recalls, which kinda gives me retro-willies. He made a long trip just before the recalls, and hallelujah nothing fell off or jammed. Like I said, we're being kept around to be tortured.

It's been another beautiful day. Cool, sunny, blue skies with puffy clouds. September seems as short as February seems long. I hope, in spite of whatever else may be going on, that you have sunny blue skies where you are.

And that Bonzo will still be playing when I finally get to the Great Gig in the Sky.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Happy Autumn... and Spring

Since I have a superstition about these things, I decided to be blogging when Autumn starts at 4:44 p today. A long time ago someone (I don't remember who) said whatever you're doing when the season changes is what you'll be doing for that season. This Fall I plan to be writing. The Summer put me in a daze and I wasn't very productive at all, writing-wise. Lots of other things, but not what I love best. Right now I have a large Tortie pestering me for attention, the smell of a peach/apple pie filling my Hobbithole and BBC radio playing. It'd be fine to spend the season this way. It's 4:44! Happy Autumn to those of us in the north, and Happy Spring to those of us Down Under.

Fall is the one I look forward to most. It's still mostly green, but cool and fresh today and we haven't been overrun by Leaf Peepers yet. It's also blessedly quiet in the Shire, and in a little while I'll start up "The Hobbit" (which I've had for weeks and weeks and still haven't watched) and have a yummy dinner of bangers and mash. Sometime while watching the movie I'll have tea with a bit o'whisky and pie. Life is good.

Well, I'll qualify that. Life is good so long as I don't think about things. One of the reasons I haven't written much is because I want to live in the bubble of No Bad Things that I created over the Summer. I needed a break. Though I kept up with what's been happening and shared the important points and news on my FB network, that's all I did. It's easy to just see a post, hit "share" and presumably those who care will see it. It doesn't require deep thought nor emotional investment and it makes the point. But it's the easy way out and I know that. Autumn is a good time to come back down to Earth and that's what I intend to do.

But not today. Today is one last escape, and that makes it even sweeter.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Bash! Boom! Bam!

This turned out to be a way busier week than I expected.

Bam! Monday morning my neighbors and I were greeted with sledgehammers and powersaws. The Shire authorities didn't bother to tell us there'd be deconstruction crews knocking out 3 feet of bricks (windowsills to the ground), some waterproofing done, and then masons to rebuild the walls. All we heard about were floodgates, with my building being done Sept. 30th. So the slamming and noise went on thru Thursday, when they put adhesive up for the water barriers and monoxide alarms went off. One of the workers had told me to close my windows cuz of the brick and concrete dust (which had already left a gritty haze all over my bathroom) and now we had monoxide. The maintenance guy came and changed out my alarm, cuz it wouldn't stop once it was activated. The stink was unbelievable, I got a headache and Beest has been sleeping a lot since all the hoohah. I think it's disgusting that we had no warning when this must've been planned for weeks. We're all just getting over the shellshock of Irene, we don't need shocks like sledgehammers on your wall at 8 a.m.. Not to mention it's so charming to use the facilities when there's someone standing right beside you, outside your window. I should've introduced myself. Where were my manners?

Today they blessedly started a little later, at 9. Only a couple of hours of sledge against my living room wall. Gal Friday and I watched the hanging pictures dance on the wall. They broke for lunch at 2, and I haven't seen any of them since. Their tools and things are all over the place, there are 2 huge pallets of bricks on my front yard, and the building's about halfway done. At this rate they'll be done by Mud Season. But I hope they don't work weekends.

Meanwhile, Billy had to see an oncologist today. He has the markers for multiple myeloma. She took a quick blood test and right now nothing's horribly wrong. There are more tests in the next weeks, and it could be that he has the form of myeloma that doesn't kill for decades. That's of course what I'm banking on. When we talked about it tonight, we agreed we aren't going to get the quick deaths; they're gonna keep us around to torture us for another ten or twenty years. The gods play with us, so why should we expect that to change?

He also sent me a surprise, a giant NYPD soup mug, which Fedex smashed to smithereens. I'm dealing with Fedex. The phone guy was great, but the claims dept. sent me a pdf I can't get into and I don't have a printer. 3 emails now, no response. The rat bastards.



With all that and some more, life is good and I'm happy. The weather's been beautiful, days so good you could eat em with a spoon. Billy and I didn't use half the food I'd laid in for his visit and I have a full freezer and have been able to share with people who need it. I have to bake things to keep up with the produce friends have dropped off. And the stone fruits this Summer were incredible. Strider is happy with a good fella and her adoring furfaces. She's almost done painting her house, a sharp but sweet and somehow homey blueberry color. Told you she's good with colors. Beest is fine, her Winter coat is coming in thick and she's itchy but otherwise all's well. She's asleep on the sofa right now, after inhaling a supper of 9 Lives chicken and salmon. First time I've seen her eat fish! She turns up her nose at real fish! She'll eat trash out of the bag, but not white tuna. Cats. Beest cats.

Before we know it the holidays will be here again. I really like buying presents. Yes, shopping has started. Matter of fact, I'm about a third of the way there already. We used to make fun of Mom for shopping in September, and here I am. Don't know who besides Stevil and myself will be around for this year's festivities, but I'm looking forward to them. And I've already scored some stomping hot presents. :)

It's all happening, and it's all good. I hope the same with you. I'll be back Sunday. xo

Friday, September 13, 2013

Friday the 13th is Lucky

There have been at least a dozen times in the last week when I've been starting a thought for a blog while doing something. Of course I don't do the reasonable thing and jot down the thought, I do what I'm doing, the thought goes away and is gone with the wind. It's been a while since I sat down and just wrote. There are things to do, people to see, and here we are facing Fall already and I'm out of the writing habit.



First, Billy was here. What a great visit. He looks good, all things considered. He's also much more tender than he ever was to me. We fell back into the kids we used to be, singing cartoon songs at each other and making references only we'd get. I can't tell you what it did for both of us. We also pieced together timeline holes that we had. We talked about what happened all the years we've been apart- even including his Army time when I was home alone with Mom. In 5 days we covered 45 years. Took the skeletons out of the closets and looked them in the teeth. And we laughed like lunatics. On Sunday friends came by to meet him and that was great. The whole visit went by so quickly and of course I cried. I started crying Monday night when I realized there'd be no more days together. But he'll be back.

The whole production tired me out and I still feel like I could sleep for days but it also somehow reenergized me. A week before he came I went into high gear and stayed there. I got used to cooking a real meal each night and doing all the things you do when you have company. Tuesday night I fell out and I've been sleeping like a rock since, but I'm up and at things again. It's like I'm younger or something. I'm no physically better (except the probiotics have me eating everything like a normal person again) but I'm attitudinally way better. Go figure.

I also purchased a digital camera and am in the throes of learning the deal. Yes, there are many pix of Billy's visit, his new motorcycle, the Sunday crowd. Now that the weekend's here I'll get around to hooking it up to the computer and posting them. Even the most Luddite among us has to get with the times.

We had a helluva thunderstorming day yesterday. It got a little worrisome. Downtown had some flooding but the Shire came through without a problem.

I owe about a dozen people phone calls. If you've called me and I haven't called back, I apologize. I'll get to the phone over the next week. I've been trying to keep up with everyone via Fecebook, especially since Comcast email is so unreliable these days, but I'm blocking time for phonebacks. It'll happen.

Next Spring I'm going to the city. Old friends are throwing a huge gathering for Beltane, and I want to check on Billy in the house and see Kick and her family so I'm going. It'll make Billy get his ass in gear too.

There's lots of news to discuss. The Jersey Shore burning down right after they'd just rebuilt from Sandy was disheartening. Seaside was our Spring school trip, and I went there whenever possible in the late 70s Summers. I have dear memories of the place, young and sunburnt and laughing with friends. It's awful to think of those hardworking shopkeepers (who put up with crazed tourists and teenagers all the time) losing everything twice within a year. Just awful. I wish them strength and the money to do it all again.

Politics. Ugh. The Repos brought up cancelling Affordable Care for the 41st time. Each of those votes cost the taxpayers 1.45 MILLION dollars. You do the math. Then think of all the Congressional time lost to this stupidity when more important things could be done. Think they care?

I won't even discuss Syria. It's all too insane.

There's been no shortage of outrages lately. I'll spare you those that have happened and pick up what happens in future. You no doubt have heard enough already.

Okay, near 11p and I'm winding down. It's good to be back. I'll catch up with the rest over this weekend, as I expect to do some serious desk time. See you soon.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Helmet Head

Wow. A month's gone by since I last blogged! Labor Day is gone, the Summer's nearly over. It's all run by in a warm humid blur. Now we'll look forward to cool days and cooler nights. We have a frost warning for tonight, temps going down to 33-36F! Woohoo! Sleep weather! And we've gotten through the second anniversary of Irene. All's well in The Shire. In fact, the Flood Mitigation they'll start doing in two weeks won't displace me again after all. This building will only need floodgates, an outside job. Several other tenants will be moved out to do more extensive work in those apartments, but this is well-planned and they should only be out of their homes for 2-3 days. The whole thing will be over by mid-October.

Today will be marked in my personal history. After 18 years of living in Vermont, my brother Billy is coming to visit. Not a long visit, only til Tuesday, but still. I'm thrilled and excited, the house is full of food ( I have a lasagna setting up in the fridge), and throwing an Open House on Sunday so my closest dozen people can meet him. He called me an hour ago to let me know he was leaving. But he already had his helmet on and couldn't hear me. Typical. He's been riding again since April but this is the first long run he's done in over 30 years. I'm trying to not think too much about it. If all goes well he'll be here at 1ish. I have lunch fixings. Just a couple more things to do and I'm all ready.

It'll be a while before I catch up with my blogging family. Billy's here til Tuesday and I expect to sleep for a day after he leaves. But I will catch up! I feel like I should write an excuse note- "Please excuse Laura from writing, she's been busy living life." You've all been in my thoughts, even if I haven't been around. Summer's over, time to settle back in. There is much going on in the world, but we'll get to that. For now, I just wanted to say "Hey!" and let you know I'll be back.
xo

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

It's Gonna Be Alright

There's good news and relief today. Due to bad communication lines, those who won't be moved out of the Shire weren't and won't be told anything. Those who will be moved are getting notified this week by having a meeting with the PTB. I'm in the group of not having to move (HALLELUJAH!) but only found out the info from a neighbor an hour ago. So no, I won't be relocated (HALLELUJAH!) and Beery can visit without an issue.

My nephew is doing great. It looks like he'll be home for the weekend, as long as he can get started on solid food without a problem. Small miracles, but meaningful ones.

I'm going to go take a long hot shower, make something good to eat and watch a couple of movies. aaaaah.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Wake Me Up When September Ends

I could've lived without the last week.

The short version:
My Indy nephew's intestines twisted. He had emergency surgery Saturday and is coming around, hallelujah. Tonight they took out the NG tube and things are looking good. We'll all sleep well.

My brother Beery's niece (the late Mac's sister's daughter) was home with her newborn when her apppendix burst. It was touch and go for a couple of days but she's okay and came home today.

The Shire management is going to do Flood Abatement on our homes as per Fed Regs. All well and good. Most units will get floodgates and those inside won't be disrupted. But 10 units will be getting big disruption. They'll be raising the heating baseboards, some electrical outlets and the water heaters in those units. To do this, they'll require those 10 units' Hobbits to pack up, put their stuff in Pods (again! Just like when we were tossed out after Irene!) and go stay at a hotel for the duration of weeks while they do it. This was supposed to happen this Summer; we first heard about it in May. Now we're in August and there's about 6 weeks before Fall. Nobody knows which units will be vacated. Nobody knows what sort of accomodation we'll get, what we're supposed to do with our pets- and Leaf Peeper Season will start in 4 weeks, when there won't be a hotel room left empty in the state. Lovely.

And my brother is coming to visit Sept. 5th-10th which I'm very happy about (he hasn't been up in the 18 years I've lived here). However, the hotel told him he has to reserve that or not have a room because they're booked for Peepers from then on. And once he makes the reservation he can't cancel or he loses 500 bucks. So he made the reservation. Turns out it's the perfect week that Strider can't get any time off. That supersucks cuz I was looking forward to them meeting and so were they. And now I don't know if I'll even be in my home. He may be going from one hotel to another. And he'll be on his motorcycle, so I won't be going anywhere with him.
I don't know how this will work out.
Frank, I have a sick headache.
Maybe if I was younger or healthier I'd be taking this all in stride but my nerves are shot.

Years ago I said when I was retired I'd become a junkie. This may be time to do that.

Just kidding. I can't afford it.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

The Walking and Talking Dead

Just a stopover to say Happy Lammas/Lughnasadh and to share a silly laugh. Here's Bad Lip Reading's tribute to The Walking Dead:



Have a beer, toast the first harvest round and get some laughs in today.

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Here!

By some weird glitch I hit 'enter' when finishing the title saying "I can't post again" and was let into the body to post. I'm beyond figuring anything out. There is much too much going on and my hand isn't up to typing a lot after all the typing this morning. But I saw Arleen's comment and had to jump on to let you know I'm indeed alive and okay. Sorry I've been neglectful. When many things are going on there's not a lot of time to sit and gather thoughts. I expect to be as preoccupied as I have been until the end of August so my posting will be sporadic but I'm okay.
Til then, hang in there, enjoy as much as you can and I'll be reading your blogs and commenting as my hand will allow.
xo
Laura

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Enter At Own Risk

So it's back. I did nothing, just stayed off blogger for a few days and voila! like magick, all's straightened out. At least I think it is. We'll see if this posts. I suppose I should be celebrating but it's too hot for hip-hoorays. Frankly, this last week has been a festival of menopause in Hell's basement. Stifling, humid and not made any better by the worrying and terrible current events or the general bitchiness of the clime. I can't even work up a good rant. And today, Helen Thomas' death threw me down the stairs.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/obituaries/helen-thomas-feisty-scourge-of-presidents-dies-at-92/2013/07/20/82285f4e-f145-11e2-a1f9-ea873b7e0424_story.html

RIP, scourge of Presidents. You did well.

In honor of Carlos Santana's birthday and this miserable heat wave that's kept my apartment at a toasty 85-93 degrees F for the last week:



My new Jesus sandals that were living under my desk (because my feet are too swollen to wear them) are out on the porch because they were soaking wet and growing mold.

I discovered that the acrid smell in my bathroom was mold, too, on the underside of the sweating toilet cistern tank. Lovely.

My little Hobbit hole has become a brick oven. We have no trees around this building. The Beest has taken to spending the days lying on the tile floor in the bedroom, the coolest spot in the house. She looks at me accusingly when I pass her. I comb and wipe her down with wet paper towels a couple of times a day. She will not use a litterbox that's more than 2 days old right now. I have to change her litter before she goes on strike and uses the floor. Hasn't affected her appetite any, and the vet said he's hearing of other cats going on litter strike in this heat wave. Should we run out and buy stock in litter companies? No of course not. None of us have money to gamble like rich people can.

For the past weeks the weatherbees have toyed with us. Touting cooler days to come like a carrot on a stick, they said it'd be over today. Then Sunday. Now it's Tuesday. At this rate I expect I'll be hanging Halloween decorations before the outdoors stops being like that Twilight Zone episode with Lois Nettleton.

Well. Aren't I the uplifting one? Strider recommended I put a sign on the door that says, "MENOPAUSE. ENTER AT OWN RISK AND WITH BOLD SENSE OF SELF." That sums it up. With things as they are, and all the awful that's gone on in the last weeks, I can do no better. There seem to be 3 speeds to me these days- weepy, bitchy and sardonic. I can't concentrate. I'm frustrated with my computer and my sudden problems typing. Facebook is a mindless distraction and a good place to commiserate with my fellow cranks. I haven't written my column in 3 weeks. Frankly, I can't even fake caring. All you can do when things are this miserable and discouraging is to hang on and hope things change.

Perhaps, if/when it cools, I'll be chipper-er. Not today.

Hang in there, everyone. x 

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Happy Independence Day

Well, this is the USA's 237th birthday. Not very old as countries go, and with much to learn, for sure. This experiment is still working it out. Whether our not we can keep the freedoms it was born with is a worrying question.

But today is about celebrating so let's celebrate all the silly things that make us what we are. We're very different individuals trying to live in one nation. Sometimes that results in fabulousness.

















                                      







And tonight...



Happy 4th of July!



 

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Surprise, Surprise!

In a puzzling show of intelligence and justice, a couple hours ago, the Supreme Court defeated DOMA and cleared the way for marriage for all. I'm cheered and more than a little surprised, and The Untrusting One in my head says there's something else coming. They only did this so what they did before and do after it won't seem so bad. It's an "at least" for the SCOTUS. "At least they sanctioned gay marriage, so they aren't that bad," can now be said. Times are hard when what should be a celebratory moment inspires suspicion in me. Congratulations to all who fought so long and hard for what should be a basic human friggin right- to marry who you want to marry.

And all hats are off to Senator Wendy Davis, who filibustered the Texas abortion restrictive bill for 11 hours, standing and speaking without even a bathroom break. Here's the story, but it's everywhere:
http://usnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/06/25/19140887-texas-abortion-bill-fails-to-pass-after-epic-filibuster?

Which goes to show that giving up isn't an option. As much as the bourgeois attitude of having a revolution while playing by rules and not offending anyone sincerely drives me out of my mind, there are ways to make the system work for you. Yes, it means stooping to "their" level. Yes, it means suffering and being victimized. No, it's not what I'll do. But it takes all kinds. I can rest assured that if we all do what we can, things won't go to hell entirely.

Speaking of people doing what they can to change things, I've always admired Mrs. Jane Elliot, who segregated her 3rd grade class in 1972 so they'd know what it was like to be discriminated against:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VeK759FF84s

Mrs. Elliot is still teaching this, though it was pretty clear to me that white people don't think racism exists anymore and it goes right over their heads, cuz they dismiss it. Racism still exists, it's just changed flavours:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XAv8JA_9uKI

So the beat goes on. At the moment my friend Cam is on the air with her tribute to Richard Rodgers and Mel Brooks at
http://wvew.org/
You can stream their programming anytime.

There's some fun television to be had- Stephen King's "Under the Dome" has started and there are 12 more parts to come, and "Perception" has returned with a new series for the Summer. Give them a lookie.

Thankfully it's not so damned hot today, still humid, but it's out of the 90s. We had some rain last night, though not nearly the storm that NJ, Maine and others had. I hope everyone gets their power back, the trees off their houses, their cars fixed... this happens all the time now, it seems. Or is it that we hear about everything these days?

Well, I'm off to do some housecleaning, then make a pizza for dinner and meanwhile wait for the HUD inspectors. Haven't seen hide nor hair of them yet...

Run and play- it's Summer!

Monday, June 24, 2013

SEVERE STUPIDITY ALERT

I have only myself to blame. I actually participated on Fecebook today, actually read the news feed until one story too many made me physically gag. Time to go away from FB for a while again.



You see, today was a Severely Stupid Day, even by American standards. When my fellow countrymen shine, they shine big and draw attention to it. Our Supreme Court may now hold the largest amount of stupid people that it's ever held. And Texas? Oh, Texas.

Is it the Full Rose Moon that's inspired the sudden precipitous drop in IQ points? Have they tampered with the water again? WTH happened that so much complete ignorance blanketed our nation today? Is this new low the way it'll stay now, or was this just a wobble in the usual execrable trudge to a selfish Idiocracy?



It certainly didn't help that it was 34'C here today. 96'F, for those of us using the old system. Damn hot and miserably humid, too. We just got some rain, but the weatherbees say we'll have hot and humid for the week. Oh joy! Still, weather is no excuse for idiocy.

And we have HUD inspection Weds & Thurs. And then the flood mitigation construction will start in our apartments.

Add to that -I don't know if it's Comcast or my computer but things are loading soooooooooooo slowly -if they load at all. If the pages don't freeze, if Windows doesn't say that I don't seem to be online, or if I don't have to reboot altogether, which I've done 6 times today in order to get into my email.

So yeah, I'm a bit on the fed up side. I want to leave. I want to live somewhere reasonable. Where kindness, fairness and science are more important than money and beliefs. Some place where you don't dread what tomorrow may bring because today was crap and the people in charge are what made it crap and they'll still be there tomorrow.



Well. Tomorrow is another day. And maybe it won't be so stupid.

Friday, June 21, 2013

'Cause It's Summer, Summertime is Here....

And a beautiful day it is. The last 3 days have been really lovely, not too hot, not humid. My front garden is full of life and color. Birds and bees are everywhere,  the tea rose bush has resurrected, putting out deep red blooms and there's one extraordinary long-stemmed pink and pale yellow rose that's been photographed 3 times that I've seen. Surprising volunteers too, kale- which a friend offhandedly planted before the flood 2 years ago but which never appeared last year- has grown in 3 spots. The wildflower seeds Strider planted in May are thriving (though not blooming yet), the hostas have shot up and Summer is just barely 14 hours old.

Days like this, you can almost forget the destruction the flood brought. But it's never far from mind:
http://www.vermontviews.org/vermontviews.org/Stones_of_Years.html

My publisher, Phil Innes (yes, we're related somehow) sent me a rose from his garden today:


Friends are planning camping trips, and I came across this handy bunch of tips (though the Mountain Dew lantern is wrong, seek the formula elsewhere)
http://www.buzzfeed.com/peggy/camping-hacks-that-are-borderline-genius

Black Sabbath put out a new album, but if you don't know from Sabbath, here's a cheat sheet
http://www.guardian.co.uk/music/musicblog/2013/jun/21/black-sabbath-beginners-guide

Here are some investment tips for those who'd like to make some $ from the obesity epidemic
http://www.fool.com/investing/general/2013/06/16/the-top-5-diseases-caused-by-obesity.aspx

We've got great uprisings in Brazil- in every city people fill the streets. It's heartening.
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887323893504578557772354195716.html

And in our town... well, our Town Manager is leaving to run a town in Missouri. She's seen a lot here, and I'm sure she'll do well. This will leave her successor to be appointed by the current Selectboard, which I'm sworn to ignore because the locals didn't bother to vote in the last election and we have another roster of the good old boys there now. Well, we'll see what happens...

I'm quite content myself because I finally wrote Graham Kerr a fan email with my thanks for all his influence. To my now-forever-kvelling-over-it surprise he wrote back:

"My Dear Laura. You have a great gift of encouragement...keep it up when you
feel the prompt, there are many folks, who, like us, are so grateful for a
kind word in season. My love to your family, keep enjoying the kitchen!!
Graham."
Graham! I can call him Graham!
If by some strange fate you've never seen Graham in action, here:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=prhsJR8hEq8
He is a healthy cooking advocate nowadays and does good work, but I'd never have gone into cooking if he hadn't made it look so much fun.

So Happy Summer, fellow babies of the northern hemisphere. Happy Winter to our southern hemisphere family. I'm sure there's more but I've got people to go and places to see.



Rock on.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Man of the Year

By now I'm sure you've heard about the NSA, the mindblowing scope of surveillance being set up on We the People and the guy who blew the whistle.

Here's the guy who blew the whistle


His name is Ed Snowden.
Here's his explanation
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/video/2013/jun/09/nsa-whistleblower-edward-snowden-interview-video

And here's the surrounding story
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/jun/09/edward-snowden-nsa-whistleblower-surveillance?

He's given up everything he's ever had, to tell you the truth. Because he doesn't want to live in that kind of a world. Nor do I. Do you? And what should we do about it?

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Moooovement

A friend keeps saying we're "middle age". Middle? I suppose if you plan to live to 115, we're middle age. Me, I believe (and since both my parents died at 72 and the oldest-lived of my siblings is 63 now, I think it's right) that I passed middle age sometime in my 30s and am firmly in the winding up age. Not that it matters all that much. The middles I am in are the writing and the projects that never end around here. Everything in life has become that can of soda story now, and so nothing is ever done. Things get moved, things get added to or subtracted from, goals change, sometimes everything changes all at once, and nothing is ever finished. Personally, I think that's cause to lighten up. Because none of it matters anyway. All that matters is the ride. We all wind up at the same station and it doesn't end there either. We just move on. One thing leads to another.

Last night I saw this article,
http://www.guardian.co.uk/music/2013/jun/06/black-sabbath-cocaine-private-plane
which made me think of  the "Absolutely Fabulous" episode where Patsy says, "Who dies choking on their own vomit these days, darling?!!" Which led me to look up the old AbFab clips on YouTube, which led me to Joanna Lumley (Patsy) going in search of Noah's Ark.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uTAre7EcW9I

Which then led me to Rosslyn Chapel,
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2KKhOAghLeE

and from there to the Story of God
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2zBakH-6uiU
after which I sat and stared into space, thinking.
And suddenly it was 4 a.m.
That's how things go these days.


Our town once again turned out for the heifers, or as we call it, "the Cow Parade". http://www.vermontviews.org/vermontviews.org/Home.html

While I'm overcome with pride, let me slip in what my old grammar school has done. It's come a long way from the very very very white school it was in the '60s. Good on them.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sgEBpAL2ieA

Oh- I want to recommend this site for Amy's pennypinching smartness. She's a girl after my own thrifty heart. Skip among the product endorsements and find "How to make peanut butter" or "How to make cream cheese" or any number of make-it-yourself items for the household from fabric softener to cheese crackers to face toner..
http://pounds4pennies.com/

And if you're in the mood for some uplifting, "carry on" inspiration,
http://www.upworthy.com/stop-being-perfect-practice-gratitude-love-wholeheartedly-youll-be-so-glad-you-did-4?c=ufb1

There. That much is done. On to the next.




Thursday, June 6, 2013

A Dorkic Column

After a mix up involving 2 Lauras writing for the same magazine and a publisher who's annoyed and distracted today, things have straightened out. Here is this week's column, about Stephen Fry and bipolar disorder.

http://www.vermontviews.org/vermontviews.org/Stones_of_Years.html

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

The Cows are Coming

This is the big weekend in Bratt, the Strolling of the Heifers. I worked on the first one, back in the Dark Ages. That was a simple sweet parade of little cows and their proud, mostly child age, handlers. Now it's a huge deal with promotions and corporate sponsors and thousands of people showing up to eat dairy products. I'll watch the highlights on our community tv station.
http://www.strollingoftheheifers.com/

Speaking of dairy products, my old pal Wendy has gotten her cheese shop back up and running! Yay! She does do mail oder, and has the most incredible knowledge and selection of cheeses (local Vermont cheeses and worldwide). She's an old-fashioned cheesemonger:
http://www.brattleborocheese.com/

And my friend Susan's book is in paperback at last!
http://www.amazon.com/Flashes-Lemonade-Susan-Flett-Swiderski/dp/148489071X/ref=la_B00CX8191G_1_1_title_0_main?ie=UTF8&qid=1370313827&sr=1-1

In other news, there's a wondrous bunch of photos of the universe here:
http://www.rmg.co.uk/visit/events/visions-of-the-universe

If you click on the site button, you can feed a shelter animal here:
http://www.theanimalrescuesite.com/clickToGive/ars/home
and you can go click that every day!

It's Bilderberg Week
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/jun/02/week-ahead-bilderberg-2013-watford

Here's proof that the more things change the more they stay the same, in a musical way
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NwqPBlSxb-0

How come there are so few Maryanns and Donalds these days?
http://bigthink.com/strange-maps/610-would-smell-as-sweet-geo-popularity-of-given-names

I'm going to go nurse away the rest of this headcold. Please hold a thought for us that we don't get the flood they're threatening us with again, this weekend. The cows are waterproof, but they'll throw us out of here if there's any flooding at all and I'm just not up for all that again. Fingers and hooves crossed.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

And It Makes Me Wonder...

A judge rules something unConstitutional. Then turns about-face and orders it be done. I'd love to know the whole story...

http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2013/jun/01/google-ordered-hand-over-data-fbi

...but we never will.

Life in the Swamp

Since Wednesday, we went from living in the Shire to living in the Swamp. This is just disgusting. It's been over 90 for the last 2 days and 75% humidity. The walls are sweating. The Beest has done nothing but sleep and eat and I've done little more. I have got to get the fans out; there just wasn't Gal Friday time this week. Perhaps this will break with thunderstorms promised tomorrow. But I've heard that too many times to believe it. Bratt is a wet gully along the Connnecticut. What makes it somewhat sheltered and so green is what makes it a still steamtable room in Summer. The best I can say is that the wet has cut down on the allergies. I only sneezed a couple times today and the Beest hasn't sneezed at all.

Still, this is doodly compared to what the weather's doing out west.

Well, I hope it's comfortable where you are. Settle in and surf.

Maybe it's the wind?
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/may/31/ikaria-greece-longevity-secrets-age

Goodnight, Edith
http://www.washingtonpost.com/entertainment/tv/jean-stapleton-tvs-beloved-edith-bunker-from-all-in-the-family-dies-at-90-in-nyc/2013/06/01/

If only we had a news program like this in the States
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3oKxCDYgZIw

I agree with Bill Hicks, again
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qZqYV9KKOZQ

Meanwhile you're running out of places to smoke, even outdoors
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/05/31/starbucks-bans-smoking-june-1_n_3365544.html

"You would think the experience of seing your own penis on a movie screen might render you impervious to anything life might throw at you. But apparently not."
http://www.guardian.co.uk/tv-and-radio/2013/may/31/robert-webb-after-peep-show

Adrian Paul (The Highlander!) is asking everyone to chip in one dollar to the Peace Fund.
http://www.thepeacefund.org/donations.html

Stay safe, Amanda..
http://xfinity.comcast.net/articles/news-general/20130601/US--Western.Wildfires/

A serious bit about Monsanto and your garden
http://www.thehealthyhomeeconomist.com/the-four-steps-required-to-keep-monsanto-out-of-your-garden/

I never saw this Beatles video before
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RfQbDFMO9aA

Exponential Expansion and the Big Bang
http://bigthink.com/in-their-own-words/what-the-big-bang-can-teach-us-about-human-exponential-expansion

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Smelling Like Roses

Feeling like a sort of Cosmic Gigolette today. It sure seems that every time the spit hits the fan, I get to duck, and every time I'm down to nothing, something or somebody shows up to rescue my ass. This week, I was down to nothing- 4 bucks in the bank and some odd change around the house. Fine, I thought, I don't need anything. There's food in the house and the cat has backup supplies. Next week is payday, no big deal.

Then I got an email. I'd won an ebay auction that I not only forgot about, but never thought I'd win because of the low bid I'd made. A 1974 UK Circus magazine. I bid the minimum, 4 dollars. And there was 4 dollars' shipping. Okay, so now I'm 4 bucks short.

This is when it's good to have a best friend with a few bucks available who lives within walking distance of the bank. Stevil covered me. Thank you Stevil. I'll leave you the mag in my Will and pay you back next week when you come to lunch.

Yesterday I realized I'd run out of coffee long before next Tuesday. Fine, I thought, I'll just have to cut down before then and drink tea when the coffee runs out. Then the mail came. And the Cosmos had my back in the form of a $25 card to Price Chopper, which I'd won for filling out a survey. So Friday, when Gal Friday comes, there will be coffee.

This has happened so many times in many ways over the years that I can't remember when it started. My dear late friend Kevin once said, "I dunno. The shit hits the fan but you always come up smelling like roses." I took that as my sort of personal motto.

For these Moments of Cosmic Grace, I am truly grateful.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Once You Go FB...

I have come to the conclusion that it's impossible to leave Fecebook altogether if one has family and friends that are pretty much FB-only types. These days FB-only types are legion, too. You may send them a regular email; they will answer it on FB. You may call and tell them you've been worried at not hearing from them; they will tell you they've "facebooked" you, as if that's a verb.

In short, once you go FB you can't go back.

And so, in order to maintain both connections and sanity, I limit FB exposure. Once or twice a day I'll go check- scan the "home" page, read the messages and my "wall". There are always memes to post, news to share, funnies. There are some FB pages that are just hilarious- "Awkward Bands and Musician Photos" has brought me to tears several times- and some that are informative, and some that are rather like a group meeting. I can too easily be drawn into the drama of the moment, so I avoid tsuris and breastbeaters. I don't lurk. I avoid commenting.

And most of all, I don't even try to keep up with everyone anymore. I think that's where the trouble comes from. There's too much going on, you just can't read everyone's page, comments and "shares". I figure if it's important enough it'll be brought to my attention. I don't need to see today's cat photo funnies (and ever since reading how a lot of them are done, with dead animals, it's taken the ha-ha away) or angst-ridden Hallmarkish quotes. But I do like the news (it really is the best way to get local news around here) and seeing friends' photos.

FB is something you can work out for your own means. For some, it fills their days. They're there anytime you log in, day or night, and ready to argue. I can't do that. It has its place in my life because I can't be in contact with some people any other way. That's how it'll stay. But as a steady diet, like sweets and chips, it's bad for you.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Memorial Day 2013



I only wish wars were things of the past and that humans would grow up so we wouldn't have Memorial Days anymore.

Rest in peace, all you victims of war.

Is That a Turd?

Those were the first words out of my mouth today. As it turned out, it wasn't a turd, just a gak from overeating by the Beest. I've never seen a cat eat like her. Do any of you have a cat who'll eat an entire bowl of food at once and then puke? She's bulemic! She doesn't do it all the time, but now and then, always in the night. Crazy cat.

It's been cold and windy, and it rained pretty good. But we didn't get the worst of anything and it's supposed to be really nice tomorrow. However, upstate from us looks like this:


It's not so unusual. I remember camping in the Berkshires on Memorial Day weekend and waking up to a few inches of snow... in '93? '94? It'll be gone in a couple of days. The weatherbees are calling for 80' by midweek. Welcome, sweet springtime, we greet thee in song....

Meanwhile, Leonardo DeCaprio is going to outer space:
http://theweek.com/article/index/244699/10-things-you-need-to-know-today-may-25-2013

The Sydney harbor is made a carousel of colour
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/video/2013/may/25/vivid-sydney-timelapse-video

Morality without religion?
http://bigthink.com/big-think-tv/an-experiment-thats-never-been-tried-morality-without-religion

Here's another Stones of Years
http://www.vermontviews.org/vermontviews.org/Stones_of_Years.html

My darling Stephen Fry is now a man of steel
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-norfolk-22644707

And the irrepressible Russell Brand has another good point or three:
http://www.russellbrand.tv/2013/05/3508/

Some people get strange lives.
http://www.guardian.co.uk/film/2013/may/26/liberace-scott-thorson-behind-candelabra

Happy Birthday, Miles Davis
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FEPFH-gz3wE

And just for Strider (well, and me), Stephen Fry and Craig Ferguson
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E79Bg7ebroc

Because I didn't blog yesterday, I missed both International Missing Children Day (and am horrified at how many children are missing at the present time) and Towel Day (we miss you, Douglas).

It's a chilly somewhat dark day, and tomorrow is the observance of Memorial Day, so I'm laying low and enjoying the quiet around here. I hope wherever you are, you have peace. x


Friday, May 24, 2013

Okay, Give It Up

This blog is a few years old now and I've had the pleasure of getting to know quite a few of you. And one thing we all talk about is food. So now I'm throwing a ball out there and hoping it gets caught and tossed back a few times.

What I want is your very favorite recipe. The one that says something about you, your background, your family and traditions- but that you still love. The one you'd pick to pass on to posterity if it could only be one. The one you'd have for sure at a last supper.



I think the one I'd pick would be Swedish Meatballs since nobody I've ever met disliked them. Even vegetarians have slipped on them. To this day there is someone who won't come to my parties because she ate a meatball and won't trust herself around them. And I love them maybe more than any other food there is. Even lasagna. They take me back to Brooklyn.

So yes, please give this a think if you would and tell us what that all-defining, all-beloved food recipe is. Perhaps we'll have a "cook someone else's love" weekend? That'd be fun!



Thursday, May 23, 2013

It's Still Raining

It started raining right after the expiration of the Severe Thunderstorm Watch on Tuesday night and it's been a soggy Shire since. So soggy that my sitting room clock swelled and stopped. So soggy that your steps make that squishy-ishy sound on the floor. So soggy that there's a Flash Flood Watch in the whole region. I hate when that happens. It's been 2 years almost since Irene, but it's still right there to come to mind in all its Technicolor glory.

There is lotsa growth going on. My African violet and geraniums are all flowering. I think the seedlings popping up out front are the wildflowers Strider planted a few weeks ago. This weekend I'll plant the planter for the front porch. With the flowers come the allergies and wow are allergies big time styley this Spring. I was talking to Muffinpants this morning and he told me of having such a sneezing fit during contract talks with the coop and union that he had to leave. Going outside I've been blinded twice by the flood and can't get thru any day without 3 sneezing fits myself. Right now I can still picture the gray, brown and white of all Winter too vividly to do much more than stare at the small riot of colours just outside my window. The way the sun shining through the clouds in the west dramatizes everything... It's quite stary-meditative.

And this week is proving a challenge. It was Positivity Day, the Oklahoma tornado and the crazy hacking murder in England in 2 days of it. 2 days. That's what life is like. I don't know if it was always like this and just now I'm paying attention or if this is the New World.

So it'll be no surprise to tell you the news isn't so lift-me-up or dance barefoot today.

the UK Parliament's looking to give themselves a nice raise in pay
http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2013/may/19/mps-in-line-pay-rise

I know David Mitchell's written this as satire, but it runs a bit too close to cynicsm
http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2013/may/19/david-mitchell-amazon-tax-artwork

Monsanto may be why the State Legislature didn't finish passing our GMO labeling bill
http://rt.com/usa/monsanto-sue-gmo-vermont-478/

keeping Monsanto out of your garden
http://www.thehealthyhomeeconomist.com/the-four-steps-required-to-keep-monsanto-out-of-your-garden/

And for fun...
What's your union-made name?
http://www.labor411.org/411-blog/374-what-s-your-union-made-name

And this is my souvenir of time travel. Me, in 2040.


Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Soon It's Gonna Rain

Right now it feels like the proofing/rising room in a bakery in here, which is a lot like what it feels like outside. It's close, clammy and windless. Breathing is an effort. The towels from this morning's shower are still wet. And no surprise, we have a SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WATCH issued thru 9 p.m. Yes, it's gonna rain.

There's a myriad of ways to tell if rain's coming. When it's been dry, leaves on trees turn themselves to accept it. Birds "call for rain" when the pressure drops. Those of us with wavy, curly or fine hair will know by its annoying impossibility to manage. People will wash their cars. Or hang out laundry. And most of us with arthritis or of a certain age will know by how our joints feel.

But I find the surest way to know is to go outside and look. If there's no blue, it may rain. If there's blue, it may not. This has aided me abundantly in not watching the Weather Channel. Who knew the weather was right there, for your own observation?

Monday, May 20, 2013

Ack-centuate

Tomorrow is Positivity Day. I find it somewhat depressing that we've come to a point where we have to have a Day to remind us to lighten up but there it is.

I learned of this from fellow blogger and amazing example of being a good human Lenny of Lenny's World:
http://lennys-world.blogspot.com/2013/05/be-positive.html

Figured you maybe needed some advance warning of all the positive vibes running around tomorrow.

I'm going to actively commit myself to slapping on a happy grin and looking beyond everything to the humour of it. There is humour in everything. Well, there is if you have a cruel streak. For instance, I have been laughing like a freak at the Beest's allergy sneezes. The Beest is a natural performer and puts on a show like I've never seen a cat do in my life. Sneezing is an art form for her. She does the hitching intake beforehand and everything. She'll even do a half-sneeze in her sleep. The best sneezes are the surprise sneezes. When those strike, she may go for 4 or 5 in a row. They're the funniest, but I have to console her afterward because she seems so aggrieved that it's happened.

So go forth with a smile and look on the bright side. It's only one day, you can do it. :D

Saturday, May 18, 2013

You're Motoring?

Growing up when and where I did you couldn't avoid nuns. They were everywhere in the daytime, and roamed in gangs of four, correcting all children in their path through the Summer. And there were 2 kinds of nuns, the ones who scarred you for life and the ones you felt sorry for. Those you felt sorry for were the ones you and your friends speculated on as being "of the saintly type," an expression you grew up hearing the women around you say.

Your classic scary nun was the vast majority of their population, though. So to this day my guts grind just a bit at the sight of a nun. But this one's very cool:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/video/2013/may/17/teresa-forcades-radical-catalan-nun-video

That's a nun we need.

And about the title, since this song was made, I've never been able to have a thought of nuns without it running through my head like Cartman with "Come Sail Away". And what does "you're motoring" even mean?

Weekend Refreshment

Sssshhhhh I have a secret. There is a lot of good in the world that nobody pays much attention to, cuz it's not scary. Recently I've started skimming over news stories (and to be factual, most of it isn't even "news", it's opinion and conjecture inciting emotional response) and only picking out the good stuff. Here's some of it.

A cop and some regular people saved a little girl
http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/lookout/police-officer-good-samaritans-lift-suv-off-trapped-182618868.html

It may take a while, but you reap what you sow. And sometimes more than double what you sow.
http://www.kob.com/article/stories/S3028394.shtml

Who knows what benefits all sorts of herbs have? Here's one I didn't know
http://www.nydailynews.com/life-style/health/smoke-pot-thin-article-1.1345812

Everybody can use a big brother or big sister
http://www.commonsnews.org/site/site05/story.php?articleno=7304&page=1

The very worst in people can bring out the very best
http://www.kansascity.com/2013/05/17/4242221/good-samaritans-risk-their-own.html

Listen to your intuition when it speaks up
http://edmonton.ctvnews.ca/good-samaritans-tell-story-of-remarkable-rescue-of-elderly-couple-1.1283627

France has legalized gay marriage and you know what they call it? Mariage.
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/may/18/french-same-sex-marriage-francois-hollande

Dreams do come true
http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/2013/may/18/experience-i-dreamed-a-symphony

Look for the good, it's around. If you really wanna shake things up, go do something good for someone. Or make a dream come true/

Friday, May 17, 2013

Escape From Planet Earth

The last week I've been putting in a lot of time in escapist entertainment. Part of that is because I've fallen in love with a fictional character, Walter Bishop on "Fringe". So I've been obsessively watching that. And I think when I'm done with all five series I'll start over. There's also all the old Doctor Who to catch up on, as I didn't pay much attention the first times around and I adore David Tennant. Thank gods for catalogued series. David is my Doctor!!

The book-buying binge has come home to roost. The stack next to my bed rose to an alarming 14 'stories' high (hehe) so I'm spending all my "feet up" time with the many waiting my attention. I've just finished Carol Miller's autobio about being a NYC dj back in the day (way less informative than you'd think). Now I'm onto Shout, the Beatles' story, which Paul gave me for my birthday. That one starts tonight.

When I have more of a framework than I do, I've another story brewing in my head and that'll want writing. This story actually scares me, and for no good reason. It's not horror, it's not out of my nightmares. I don't know why it's giving me agita but it is.

Meanwhile, the children's mystery book that I lost in the last computer doesn't want to be rewritten. I've taken notes so that if it ever does want to be written again they're ready. Writing is a weird thing. I can't seem to make myself write the way they say you have to, not on the subject anyway. I can write anytime, but there's no guarantees 'cause it'll go off somewhere that I never planned and may have nothing at all to do with the material I was supposed to work on.

GRR Martin says he heard there are 2 kinds of writers, architects and gardeners. Architects plan things- like the way we're told Jo Rowling wrote Potter, by sketching out chapters and events all the way to conclusion before proceeding to write the story. Then there's the writers like him -and me- who just start writing and see where it goes. I love when events occur and characters do things out of nowhere, seemingly independent of my hand or mind altogether. That's the whole joyous adventure of writing fiction to me.

One thing I do know now is that writing fiction is what I want to do. We live in a very harsh and nasty world these days. As much as I watch and read stories, I like creating them, more. We all need some escape, and if I can escape in work, so much the better. Maybe someday it'll make my life better in a big way, rather than the distracting entertainment it gives me now.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

When the Garden Goes Monet

Spring happens. It was incredibly green today. So green it flooded your eyes. We've dealt with some humidity for this much green, but the ache is worth the beauty.

This isn't my front dooryard, but it could be. It's that green.

It's lovely chilly tonight.
The hyacinths and daffodils seem to have gone by, but the bleeding hearts and violets are running rampant and Paul is bringing me lilacs, which are among the best things on Earth. We lost the giant lilac that was out back to the flood in 2011. The world needs more lilacs.

So yes, stop and stick your face in the next bunch of lilacs you see. Spring doesn't last.

Moms of All Sorts

We get Moms of all sorts in life. Teachers are stand-in Moms when the regular one isn't around. So are friends' Moms, neighbors, older siblings, family members, even people we meet along the way and adopt. I fall into the latter category, and am the luckiest of all Moms, the one that's chosen.

Happy Mother's Day to all who care for others.

Here are some bits to amuse, piss off and inform:

4 sisters take a portrait every year for 36 years
http://twentytwowords.com/2013/04/30/portraits-of-4-sisters-every-year-for-36-years-1975-2010-36-pictures/

what a disgrace
http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2013/apr/30/jobseekers-bogus-psychometric-tests-unemployed

A really good, unusual interview with Greg
http://www.songfacts.com/blog/interviews/greg_lake_of_emerson_lake_palmer/

I'd hate to think what mail GRR Martin gets
http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2013/may/10/charlaine-harris-sookie-stackhouse-true-blood

Not new news but I just read it
http://www.popsci.com/science/article/2011-01/can-our-dna-electromagnetically-teleport-itself-one-researcher-thinks-so

This guy is a real medical marijuana champion
http://irvinrosenfeld.com/

David Mitchell explains town planning
http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2013/may/12/david-mitchell-pickles-planning-laws

I love this show!!! And yes, David Mitchell's on it!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A5qgDQhfSnw

And lastly, my column is up
http://www.vermontviews.org/vermontviews.org/Stones_of_Years.html

It really is a beautiful day in the Shire. I hope it is where you are, too.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

There is No Dark Side of the Moon

WTH every week can leave you speechless lately. It's swampy, as Paul observed earlier. Just about a steam room area, not in the steam room itself, just around it. Soggy, ill-feeling. This is the sort of life pattern that leads to a night at Rudy's. And we all know that nothing good comes from going to Rudy's.

To add to the general outsized bizarrity of life, Stevil's playing his Recycled Radio Show right now
http://wvew.org/

and it's strangely synched up with our local television station's auction
http://www.brattleborotv.org/news/bctv-news/love-bctv-live-auction-band-jam

I've submutted my column to Vermont Views (late) but it's not online yet. When it is, I'll post it.

Meanwhile, eat comfort foods, wear comfort clothing, do comforting things. The world has sharp edges.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

On Their Way Back Home

Sunday driving, not arriving....

A Growth Spurt

Remembering back to when I was about 10 and the painful legs I had for months as I grew 3 inches in one year. Growth hurts. It's change, and change always hurts. Pain brings change. They're connected.

So the last few weeks have been a growth spurt. Growth meaning more self-awareness, getting new buttons that can be pushed, learning to not respond to things right away, and the ongoing reassessment of one's capabilities. And Boomer's moving away and then Mac's death hit me harder than I'd thought.

And losing the children's book in which I'd invested 4 months of work. I hoped against hope that it'd be retrievable, and when told it wasn't, that everything was gone from my hard drive, I went into a weird grief process. Not that it hadn't happened, but that it was no big deal, it was just a kid's book, I could rewrite it, it wasn't like Gatsby or anything. But it was 4 months of hard time, with your head always half-somewhere-else. It was close to finished, the end was near. It took space, it had a life, and is now gone. Poof!

And there was one of those "now it hits me" phases where I kept re-realizing that Mac was dead.

And realized Boomer had meant more to me than I'd thought.

I tipped from FB.

Then the computer died.

Then my brother didn't call or answer my calls on my birthday after I'd had a little visit from his wife the night before that shook the hell outta me. Yeah, no joke. That extent of somebody stopping in has only happened twice in my whole life. And I don't care how tough you are or how long you've been doing it, when you get someone from the other side in a close encounter it still shocks you, unless you're going cold turkey off massive amounts of drugs. Then, nothing really shocks you. But this one did spook me. Beery's okay, so I'll kill him when I see him. I kinda hope that's the last I see of Mac though.

There's a lot of ow!s in all that, btw.

Anyway, yeah, it was a big bag of bouchedaggery and I know a few more things about myself that maybe in my early senility I'd already known and forgotten in 1979. It was a couple of weeks of shittage, but it lifted and life goes on. No matter how old you are, there's always something new, even about yourself, to discover.
May we all be Growing Strong. ;)

Monday, May 6, 2013

Puppy Joy, Puppy Love

You forget what having a puppy around is. It's constant motion with staggered times of exhaustion. It's everything is new and a surprise to them. It's cuddling as a joy and a sport. It's moments of random hilarity that can leave you trying to breathe. It's enthusiastic affection. It's frustration if you're the owner. And now I have several moments in my mind's eye that make laugh pressure in my head (when your eyes start to tear and your nose runs a little, and you have to laugh) that I hope stay with me forever.

Thank you Strider and Olivia. XO

Life really should be more of that- laughing almost into hysteria now and then, cuddling a puppy struggling to lick your face, eating yummy stuff, talking about everything.

About the rice noodles. They were way better than wheat noodles. Way better. Lighter, not pasty (I never pre-boil lasagna noodles). There was a mishap in appearance when I assembled it and the rice noodles curled up on top before the mozzarella topped it and weighed them down. Which happened because I found I couldn't lift it before the mozzie would even be added so it waited til Allyson came back to be topped and go in the oven. I suspect they wouldn't have with the weight of the mozzie but it didn't matter. They crunched up a little with the cheese on them. All good. And no stomach issues for me. Rice products are the way to go methinks. I'm thrilled to be eating solids without too much ado.

The science experiment is leftover dumpling mix that I'm let drying out in the fridge. I need to know what it does before I can figure it out. Not green or fuzzy. But only 4 days old, too. :) I'm still a food experimenter at heart.

It's soooo quiet. All the Beestage has done since they left is eat and sleep. She comes outta the bedroom, bugs me for food, eats and goes back to bed. She's in constant purr mode, too. They almost got to the all-good stage but then Beest would wig out. Fargin Beestage.

Meanwhile, if you're taking the news in small doses, here's something you probably either knew or suspected, but now it seems confirmed true:
http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2013/may/04/telephone-calls-recorded-fbi-boston
Uncle Glenn old me this started in the 1950s when he was working for the old Ma Bell. It's just that technology is sharper now. And they'll refine it further for their uses, of course.

Secondly, this is an interesting piece about being disabled in the US. A quote: "....the human body can be impaired in an almost infinite number of ways, and people of all walks of life can become impaired. As with the population as a whole, disabled people are characterized by difference rather than normality...."
http://monthlyreview.org/2004/03/01/the-right-not-to-work-power-and-disability

There's a lot of bad news, a lot of good news you'll not hear about, and a lot of the same old crap that goes on and on. Take your puppy breaks when you can.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

The Beest and the Puppy

Having a blast with Strider and babydog here. Her name is now Olivia (she isn't the Maisie sort) and she's happy to be alive and discovering. Beest, however, is a cranky old Victorian spinster. Mexican standoffs galore, though I think Beest only "got" poor Livi twice. Livi has taken Strider for a walk (they did 5 miles yesterday).

Otherwise, I've been a vegetable and it's been really nice. Lasagna is soaking. I've never used rice-only flour to cook with, so that's all new. But I have to say the nongluten bread I got is fab. Rice flour is my next culinary frontier. I made dunplings over chicken soup and they have a curious almost pastry texture. Very easy on the stomach though, and I think with an egg added next time they'll be good. I have an experiment in the fridge, too.

This really was what I needed after the crazy weeks. Just hangin'. Lotsa laughs from the puppy and Strider, who carries on a running dog's-view (or Beest-view) commentary.

It's a very pretty budding-Spring day.

May the Fourth be with you too. :)