Dec 31, 2010

used space ships available

A M Quar is my current favorite musician in second life, mostly because he's had 2 performances this week at times that worked for me!
my other faves play at inconvenient times mostly.
yesterday AM was playing at The Enchanted Forest of Dyfed on Cheonma.

so glad i got to see it -- looks like the good old second life before we got so sophisticated!

Dec 29, 2010

snow falls, sun shines, all is beauty

the low in florida was 35 F, which is 1.6 C.
my family moved to south florida when i was 10 years old.
that december, it was so cold there, my sister got pneumonia
my mother drove us around in the sun-heated car to keep us warm.
now houses there are better heated for the most part, but still, 
all glass and tile and cool surfaces, no cellar.
my neighbors are already in florida for the winter, and friends will be packing up to go soon.
last week, i was feeling a little jealous, until the sun came out,
and i realized what they will miss!
still some open water

but the falls look funny!

Dec 28, 2010


gators would have been smart in this powdery snow,
but i never got to try these snowshoes that i bought last spring and i couldn't be bothered.
my hope was that i could fasten myself into them without removing my oldest rawhide ones had actual buckles, and my newer light ones still needed some fiddling to put on.
and i did! no more frozen hands before i even get started!
these are really for trails, not deep snow, but i just wanted to see if i could get to the library
through my neighbor's back yard, then behind the abandoned stone house,
then skirting around the back yard of my nasty neighbor...and i'd be there! with very wet pants!
and then i would have a trail to the library.
across the neighbor's snow i went (they are in florida missing all this fun!), but had to stop at their stone wall.
i couldn't see where exactly the wall was, plus some severe looking blackberry canes were just peeking out of the snow...
next time maybe i'll take ski poles and attempt the wall and the berries, or find a way around.

Dec 27, 2010

it's going extinct because....

who would read this article through to the end? only someone avoiding washing the kitchen floor. (me).
obviously the scientists involved did not read the last paragraph of this article, or they may have re-thought their ideas on why this bird is so rare, or maybe why it may make a comeback!

read the entire article, or just the first and last paragraph i've pasted below. 
Rare Albatross Expands Its Breeding Grounds
Two pairs of the short-tailed albatross, thought to remain only on two Japanese islands, have been found nesting on Kure Atoll and on Midway Atoll, American wildlife refuges in the Hawaiian Islands.
...and the last paragraph...
The birds that were recently found include one male-female pair, with a fertilized egg, and one female-female pair with two eggs. It is still unclear whether the eggs of the same-sex pair are fertilized.

Dec 26, 2010

amid the snows of winter

the first guests arrived around 2:15. John's turkey was beautiful browned to perfection! and the wild rice dressing, no meat products, no dairy products, no bread, no nuts, in respect for our guests' various beliefs and physiology, to have something everyone could eat, was delicious.
each guest brought something, too.
the first guests brought - mead made from honey from their bees, and grape pie made from juice from their grapes - tastes of summer past in the midst of freezing temperatures and snow! we started right in on the mead!
then everyone was there, with all kinds of nourishing food and delicious treats and bottles of wine, and we ate and talked for the next...really!...7 hours!
i can only assume that meant we were all having a good time. not even once was i tempted to say my father's famous line "Lets go to bed so these people can go home."
why these 3 couples we invited, who didn't know each other, hit it off so well, i'm not sure.
among the 8 of us were 5 atheists (3 of them buddhists), 2 jews, and 1 undeclared, 2 poets, 1 artist, a pharmacist, a shoe-store owner, a writer, a carpenter, a muse (ie do-nothing layabout - me), 3 leos, 2 aquarians, a cancer, a sagittarius, a gemini.
must be a recipe for success!
mix all together with unlimited quantities of turkey, veggies, desserts, wine and black tea. set in front of a woodburning heat stove with glass front, add a few candles and lowering dark outside with sprinkles of snow...

Dec 22, 2010

ski raglan!

(click picture to feel the cold air)
it's a long way up on the clanky ski lift! but the trip down goes very fast!!

the houses below look tiny!  
oh, because they are houses for tinies heehee.

Dec 21, 2010

take my money please

autumn in vermont is highly praised, 
but by late november it has me in tears.
lack of light may not really be the cause 
of seasonal affective disorder.
it's not just me 
perceiving the world through november-colored glasses
it is me perceiving the front page of the new york times 
huge photo of people trampling each other to death on a bridge, 
and piles of mail asking for help 
for the sick and dying and going-extinct humans and animals, 
the starving, opressed, tortured and enslaved men and mostly women, 
the homeless, the tsunamied, the cheated and lied to, the addicted. 
i want to give them all my money 
everything i own
all of it take it all if it will help. 
but i don't. 
i talk myself out of it 
and send money to the local food shelf, 
the local homeless shelter, 
the local environment and avian-recovery center,
the local library and of course 
the volunteer firemen. 
generosity, yes, sort of, but also in hopes 
that they will be there 
when i find an injured bird, 
or am hungry, homeless, wifiless and bookless 
and on fire.

Dec 18, 2010

The Wrong Alice

so did anyone like T Burton's Alice in Wonderland? 
i just saw it - wonderful characters and animations and scenery - but very sad about the story. 
i am an avid fan of the original tale and don't believe it can be improved upon, especially by stirring together narnia and avatar!
well i've always had mixed feelings about Burton's movies, there's something queasy-making to them similar to barton fink and faulty towers.
an underlying sense of eeeeeeeuuuuuuuuwwwwwwwww

Dec 16, 2010

ok i made this up

 christmas was coming soon. 
a woman came to the buddha and asked him to bless her plumbing so it didn't break down when she had house guests, especially in-laws.  
he told her to bring him a toilet brush from a family who had never had this happen. 
she emailed all her friends and finally even put a notice in the newspaper.
but no such family could be found!

so when it happens,
since you are already miserable,
you might as well breathe in the misery of everyone else in the world it is happening to!  
then breathe out a sense of humor and a jolly plumber to all of them!

Dec 12, 2010

Wootmas in Raglan!

it's wootmas in raglan again!
time to sing wootmas carols,
like waff-EL, waff-EL,
and we wish you a merry wootmas.
here's mudpie and a friend caroling

mud decided she'd better get a snowsuit - it was COLD!

then after a disorganized rehearsal we went caroling some biggie sims.

(Click to enlarge picture)
we sang wootmas carols (being critters, we sing about food) like ~*Waff-EL, Waff-EL,Waff-EL, Waff-EL...Born is the Breakfast Treat that is WAFF-EL!~*~
(definitely click this one to enlarge!)

and ~*~Here we come a waffling please feed us breakfast food, here we come a hungering so help our starving mood~*~
~*~Knives and forks come to me and a warm butter patty, and please serve us some syrup and chopped up pecans too~*~

Dec 11, 2010

Killing Mr Watson

after the war - the civil war - indians, settlers, fortune-hunters, mostly folks no longer welcome elsewhere, lived around the thousand islands of southwest florida.  over time they killed off the herons for the plume trade (yes all -- in hideous slaughter) most of the gators, and sometimes each other.  the difficulty of making a living, and finally, the hurricane of 1910, pretty much cleared everyone out.

last spring i went on a swamp walk in southwest florida - (read all about it here) - and then south past everglades city to visit the old trading post, store, post office built on an ancient indian mound (pile of shells) - the orginal building with lots of stuff still in it. fascinating to go through and read the history and imagine it all.

this book - Killing Mr Watson - takes place right where i stood on chokoloskee bay, and i can picture it all! the book is confusing with so many people and places, but as each person tells their story, the insights into life in those days is wonderful! mr watson is a legend in those parts, and this is the story pieced together from written accounts and interviews, and brought to life by peter mattheissen's imagination.

my sister has kayaked and camped this area of the everglades, and she reports first-hand that "There are remains on Watson's Place. There are cisterns, one with a huge alligator in it (alive), and a smaller cistern where you can't see thru the water. Back in the woods there are foundation remains and a big copper kettle. Unfortunately it is too accessible to motor boats so things are being carted off and the small camping spot is being trashed. You can follow the saga of his life as you kayak the Everglades channels."

Dec 10, 2010

The Big Apple Circus

when i was childless in springfield, my sister came to visit and we went early one morning to see the elephants and people set up a circus.  my sister is so much fun - she gets right into it. once she went to see the tall ships setting up and got offered a job aboard!  and at dawn at the fairgrounds, she got offered a job traveling with and setting up the circus! (she turned down both offers)

that circus was the last "old style" one i ever went to; it was a real turn-off.
but  years later in hanover, along came The Big Apple Circus!  using the excuse of my child, i went, and it was all new and shiny, no mistreated wild animals, no scarred and wrinkled performers, one ring, a 'european style' circus as i later learned.  up close and personal!

want to know what it's like to be in the circus? (i once seriously considered going to clown school in florida). PBS just did a series on the inside story of the people and history of The Big Apple Circus. six episodes. i'm loving it. highly recommended -- better than a soap opera or mystery series!

i don't get TV reception, but i hook my laptop up to my big flatscreen and watch it online. hooray for PBS!  you can watch it too here
see Paul Binder and Grandma and the circus "family" in the subculture of the circus world!  do clowns cry? what becomes of an aerealist who falls 80 feet? do 8th generation circus people get along with noobs? suppose an act cancels the night before opening? and more!

Dec 9, 2010

only a cold

4:18 a.m.
the cough medicine's worn off.
the kitten pushes my cellphone
and coughdrops to the floor
then crawls between the quilts
down to where i fear he will smother.
do you notice when you smother?
you still breathe, just nothing with oxygen.
gently, i remove him,
trying to give no encouragement of play.
i wriggle under the pile of quilts
meant to warm me out of my coughing,
pull the flannel sheet over my cold ear
worry that i'll fall asleep
and choke to death on this cough drop.
a square of light races around the room
and is gone.
who is driving this road at 4:18?
someone who comes or goes to work
maybe at a hospital.
they arrive out of the dark
to hot coffee and people maybe donuts.
i smile to myself.
or maybe a breakfast cook
at the diner. or maybe a baker.
my breathing relaxes and deepens
at the thought of fresh baked bread.
oh it could be someone coming home
from making snow all night
for the ski trails on okemo or ascutney.
or a woman in labor! rushing through
the dark to the hospital!
i remember the strangeness of it all.
the kitten is back, curling by my knees.
i think of all the good cats we've had
sometimes three at once like warm sandbags
in the bed at night.
he will be a good one.
i can tell.


Dec 8, 2010

tiny snowflakes appear one at a time

two handfuls of snow
fell since last sunday
one flake at a time
lightly sifted
by a sleepy sifter
a dust of snowflakes
that cover nothing
floating and twinkling

Dec 3, 2010


a few months ago john started having dreams about an orange striped cat named hank.
he went around to some shelters looking, but no orange tabby.
then in october he found one, brought him home, named him hank, and he is one of the funniest cutest and luckiest shelter kittens in history i'm sure!

his favorite toys are 
a coiled up strip of paper
a rolled card tied to a long string
a ball of newspaper
a sock stuffed with 2 balls of newspaper
a paper bag with a few holes cut in it
everything else
he does scientific experiments with these, placing them in different locations and testing out various attack methods. stairs, doors, shoes, are great spots. 
flipping water and food out of his bowls is fascinating too, as is removing teabags from cups.
does he look slightly familiar?

Dec 2, 2010

web comics

the cartoon xkcd was suffering from illness in the family for which i was very sad, however, guest cartoonists rose to the occasion, so i'm discovered some new internet cartoons!
saturday morning breakfast cereal, overcompensating, buttercup festival, and questionable content so far! not sure i like them all but it's fun to find them.