Dec 27, 2011

for my sister

i'd thought we learn to mother
by how we are mothered
but when it came your turn to care for mom
i believe you were a better mother to her
than she had been to you
and she a better child than you had been.


Dec 26, 2011

boxing day cold with snowy ground and fluffy clouded blue sky

despite all the hard work i did in the last few days, making the house ready for christmas and a party, here on the morning after christmas i am up early and feel happy energy.
the house is still clean and in order, other than the mountains of dishes to be put away, the wrappings and paper hats strewn about, the tablecloths all rumpled by the kitties during the night.
we have so much food in the house! alas most of it is of the dessert kind, that everyone loves to make to give to someone else!  i think because nobody officially stated they were bringing dessert, everyone thought they'd better fill in the gap and bring several.
my libby's pumpkin pie in an excellent organic frozen crust was a big hit! perhaps libby's just defines pumpkin pie for us now. 
after the hours of talking and eating, drinking and laughing, berating politicians and corporations, wearing silly hats and reading stupid jokes from the crackers, everyone left in the dark night. and i felt so content, i sat by the fire for an hour reading my new book and drinking a little more wine. and i slept so well!

Dec 24, 2011

christmas is sticky

don't you think christmas is the most weird amazing thing ever?
you can't ignore it
i know, i've tried many times to do that
even changed my religion - but it's a national madness
you're gonna feel something one way or another
after all those years of good or bad 25ths
all those movies and shows of how it should be
all those times it was and it wasn't
best is to dive in headfirst and completely give in
don't fight it, shop, decorate, bake, sing,
invite in everyone you meet, cook a turkey or two.

it's sticky - grabs you up and drags you along anyway
not very pleasant, i can tell you
but you can lay low and endure
go to bed early and next day it's gone
like some one day flu thing
at the very least have some little plan
watch star wars movies all day
eat frozen turkey dinners, don't answer the phone
go to the movies, go to a church
volunteer somewhere - the old the mad the hungry
stay in bed with hot chocolate and your pets and read mysteries.

=============== ==================================

Dec 20, 2011

winter lightness

as the nights get colder and colder,
and we add yet another quilt from the closet
once winter sets in the pile gets heavy and then top heavy!

one night it all slides to the floor and has to be retrieved and sorted out.
finally we can barely move and it's time...
time to fold up and put away the blankets and quilts and get out the Real Winter Stuff...
the big down comforters and the flannel sheets!
oooo it's wonderful!

Dec 2, 2011

brilliant millions

after autumn fogs
winter's milliant stars stun my eyes
hello my old friends!



Nov 27, 2011

a long strange Sunday!

this morning i was the umdze and it was my first time leading the new long chants. 
then i had lunch with karen, always fun!
home in time to go to Raglan Shire's annual talent show - fun even tho i could not always get the audio to work.  i took no pictures, but i am sure there are hundreds posted by now!
then to Show and Tell in second life, my sunday ritual.  Barney and Flo have organized and hosted it for i think 6 years.  i've been going for almost 5 years.  this was the last one!  they want their sundays back after all this time.  very sad...i will miss being at the forefront of creativity and with the funnest audience anywhere! 
and then...Gianfar Peaks sims invited all dragons, & dracophiles, of whatever breed, genre, world, age or style, to a memorial service for Anne McCaffrey, beloved author of the Dragonriders of Pern stories, who passed away last week.
held at the Weyr Bowl at Shaula Weyr, dragons of all sizes, and other avatars of every stripe gathered to keen, as is the tradition in Pern. it was heartbreaking and perfect.  i did manage to take some crummy pictures of this awesome tribute: (click for youtube to see bigger)

Nov 19, 2011

omg news

mudpie reports she attended zayn & wynx's town hall meeting for tinies and was stunned by announcement that tinies and raglan shire are going to break out silly fun and friendliness to the world at large!  (and hopefully waffles too!)

here is a picture of the meeting
click to see bigger

...and here is a lnk to the next tiny thing - JAZZ PAWS
be sure to get a tshirt and send them all your spare change!


Nov 17, 2011

sky kine

in the morning mist
black cows fly through the trees
above the river

                            ~ mudpie

the problem with this haiku, dear mudpie, is that when you are famous and your haiku are in anthologies, this one will be corrected to say "black crows fly through the trees" by someone who assumes that "cows" is a typo.  and i suppose the title will be corrected to "sky king."


Nov 3, 2011

perfectlynormalbeasts detour past my house

grandma moses had the perspective nailed.
when i look across the back yard to the hill above the stream, it really does look like a flat 2 dimensional hill going straight up with black lines that are the tall riverbank trees.  
yesterday, while i was out doing mostly ineffectual bits of this and that to the mud left by Irene, i heard loud cow-calls and looked across at the hillside to see 4 large black muscular long horned cattle-things moving single file across the middle of the flat backdrop of the hill, right midway up in the trees. 
flying cows!  
and suddenly i remembered a dream from last week of huge black cattle flying through the trees, like some japanese movie.
one of them noticed me hunkering behind a tree trunk and flew down with bovine curiosity to close its muzzle over my hand.
i yelled as loud as i could to chase it off, and john shook me awake for my hollering.
in retrospect i think you are supposed to hit them on the nose.

click to enlarge

got camera barely in time to catch a straggler mooing after the others

Oct 31, 2011

goosing the poet

geese again!

what is it with the wild geese
here's yet another poem
telling how someone's heart lept
telling how new hope was born on their wings
but tell me, what kind of life is that
like rock stars, they bring us momentary joy,
excitement, forgetfulness of self
and then they are gone in the freezing sky
a damp and dangerous life of wandering, homeless
and what about the tame geese?
what's wrong with 3 square meals and a cozy shed?
a few responsibilities, guarding the house or bullying the sheep?
perhaps a swift death and an afterlife as a quilt
not the cruelty of a broken wing, a coyote family feast?


Oct 28, 2011

FIRST SNOW ~ Irene cleanup retrospective

here it is!  always sneaks in when we aren't looking.

and i found this on my camera from September 5, the brave crew of volunteers who chloroxed my cellar ~ too bad i didn't think "photo op" the week before when these folks and others as well shoveled a foot of muck and stone from the cellar into buckets and brigaded it up the stairs, across the dining room, and out to the road.  boy were they a mess by the end of the process!  what a wonderful bunch of folks, some from town, some from the Shambhala center, and some from other towns and states!

Oct 24, 2011

hard times

i never wanted to live in the woods or high up in the hills with a great view but no neighbors in sight, even though this is the dream of so many folks who move to Vermont.  i like to look out my window and see houses with lights in their windows, and kids on bikes, and dogs being walked.

my neighbor across the street - i'll bet i only had about 5 conversations with her, mostly just saying hello, nice day, but i knew her so well and she probably knew us just as well. i watched her toddlers play in mud puddles, learn to ride bikes, go off to school, have pool parties when they got a big above ground pool, learn to drive!  Their tiny dog always had something to say when I went out the front door.

likewise my neighbor to the south - 2 big dogs outside always greeted us from their tie-lines as we came and went. we talked to them and patted them, and worried that one would escape the line and come jump on me affectionately! these dogs were big! and friendly!  we did try to talk to those neighbors, but they were strangely private and mysterious.  i hope the dogs are ok wherever they have all disappeared to.

neither place will have xmas lights this year to brighten the winter darkness ...they stand empty.  one neighbor moved due to her health, the house is for sale. the other folks mysteriously vanished two months ago, and courteous strangers sent by a bank have been taking photos, asking questions, planning to spruce it up i hope.

the house behind ours will be dark soon, too, sold out to our local Very Rich Man who has a history of buying houses and removing them, gaining a prettier view while eliminating a decent family home. we will be like an island here!  perhaps we should consider putting up xmas lights.  do they make them shaped like little Buddhas?

Oct 23, 2011

Shocktober Thriller Dance time again!

yesterday Raglan Shire celebrated Shocktober with their annual Thriller dance!

click to enlarge

getting lined up and synchronized is...  it's alot like herding cats... and bunnehs and pups and otters and ferrets and and and everything else too! 

Oct 13, 2011


there are cobwebs on my blog!  is it neglect....or SHOCKTOBER!
it's shocktober in Raglan Shire and mudpie and friends went to the haunted house.
mudpie ("mud" to her friends) had this to say:
it wuz so skarey i 4got to take pitchurs until we sat down to catch our breaf!
rats chased us, a spider almost got us, we got roasted in da oven, and den
running from a tiny-eating plant got caught by a skeletenoid!
zombies cudn't eat our brains cuz we haz none.
mud & a friend wearing jack-o-lantern masks - don't be scared!

Sep 22, 2011

going away party


ever so carefully stepping
firmly on each narrow step
down our steep new-england stairway
i in my flip-flops
long bathrobe
reading glasses
practice total concentration
to carry a jar in one hand
the other hand steadily pressing an index card to the top
as i place each foot just so
one foot after the other
one eye on the spider in the jar
soon to learn that the world is a very big place


Sep 20, 2011

the song garden

yesterday T. (not just a pretty face) took me for tea in the morning to a place he'd just discovered in new hampshire, about 1/2 hour drive.

you turn onto a dirt road and drive and drive for what seems like it must surely be the wrong road, and then you come to a wide meadowy place
overlooking distant hills and the mts of vermont, and there is a very large flower garden consisting of rows of flowers arranged in rows by color.

at the entrance to the garden are scissors, baskets, sun hats, jars, ribbons, flower-preserver packets.
you can go in and cut whatever flowers you like to take home with you!
there is a box if you want to leave a donation.

if you walk up the hill there is a small one-room cabin with chairs on a tiny screened porch and a tiny deck on another side.
inside is a table and chairs, set with a lace cloth, china dishes and teacups, fresh flower arrangement.
along the sides are all kinds of interesting objects, plus a big electric container of hot water, all kinds of teas,
a little fridge with half and half, a little sink to leave your cup in, a daybed with lots of pillows, classical music playing. 

nobody is there.  you are invited by signs to have tea, have a scone or biscotti or granola bar, use the china, etc, wander around, and leave a donation.
you can buy or take some pot pourri and leave money in the box.

and up the hill a bit further is a pleasant outhouse!

isn't that amazing?  it was such a beautiful sunny day and so relaxing, that in the afternoon i dragged john over for afternoon tea and he loved it too!

Sep 15, 2011

a message from the west coast

you wouldn't think a greeting card would do much for someone still digging out from a hurricane and flooding, but this one has helped lots!  i have it posted right on my big kitchen window where i see it many times a day.  thank you Candy!

Sep 8, 2011

some things about hurrican irene's effects on the residents of my village

a truck went into the flooding river - did the road give way? ms O tied a cable to her car, other end to her husband (some say it was an extension cord) and in he went to pull the guy out of the truck.  once he had the guy, D. drove her car away pulling them from the river minutes before the flash flood of the jumped river came down and took the truck away.

during the storm we were evacuated at the fire station. nobody could get any information. that night we could get home to our house, after the rain let up and the flood stopped rising. still no way to get information. but then we started getting calls from friends (we have an old wired phone we hooked up) who were telling us what they saw on TV - where the storm was and what we could expect during the night.  we had calls from california, south carolina, ohio, and even ethiopia!

that night i looked down from the upstairs window into the wind tossed black-black electricityless night and saw for the first and probably last time in my life foxfire softly glowing on a rotten log below!

early in the morning after, mr A arrives at the village mom & pop store with a check for $1000 and the instruction that anyone needing food should be given it free.  food was free all day to all comers anyway.

partly because the store had no generator to keep the freezers going.  lots and lots of food was sent up to the volunteer fire dept, as was all the food from the school (it was to have been the first day of school) and a big cookout blowout town wide dinner was held at the fire dept for anyone who could get there.

later the store located a generator to use, but food remained free to all for the rest of the day. the streets were full of people all day, exchanging information and help, and the volunteer firemen were everywhere pumping out cellars and giving out whatever supplies they could. by the next day the national guard had arrived with bottled water, MRE meals, cleaning supplies and more. mr X who has his own helicopter went back and forth overhead taking arial photos for whatever use may come in the future.

early the morning after, old mr O started calling the government to get permission to volunteer to work on the flooding.  after many hours he got the OK and took his Great Big Yellow Machine to the flood where he spent all afternoon and half the night clearing under the bridge, digging the riverbed back to where it belonged, and when he was done the river was back in it's bed, altho of course everything it carried off, including the road, was still gone. i think he had the time of his life!

as the assessment and pumping continued all day, the street was like a party - no traffic could go, but everyone was out walking and talking. two of the firemen were catching 3 and 4 inch trout from sinkholes with their bare hands, and taking them back to the river.


Sep 4, 2011

tired and muddy!

less than a week and the road to the south is passable again!
i drive out to shower at kathe's, stupified by the new scenery,
the young who rioted in london were a puff of air
compared to the rioting of vermont brooks
let loose from their beds for a day to rearrange the landscape to their liking.
here and there i pass a house that looks solid and untouched
my heart leaps with the wish that i lived there.

Aug 29, 2011

something glowing

last night we slept fitfully waiting for the wind that follows the eye, listening even as we dozed off and on, still dressed and downstairs in case a tree, one of the many big big maples now rooted in nothing but soft deep mud should fall on the house. there was not a light in the village because there was no electricity and the stars THE STARS were a wonder beyond telling and as i gasped at a shooting star above i glanced down at the grass below the window and something was glowing.
what glows at 2 am? a wind-dropped solar light would not be still bright, reflective paint would have nothing to reflect, a rectangular glowing shape in the grass maybe 18" long and 2 or 3 wide. nothing in my experience could explain this.
the next morning on the back porch i remembered the glowing thing and looked over where i'd seen it.  and there it was.  an old rotten piece of tree branch.

Aug 21, 2011

making vinegar

friends used to talk about fruit flies - even get into animated conversations with strangers - it was some class i guess i didn't sign up for....breeding fruit flies.
my neighbor has given me a big bowl of blackberries from her bushes. 
or are they black raspberries?  the internet says: Black raspberries become hollow in the middle when picked from the main plant whereas the blackberries retain its stem.
must be black raspberries.
last year i froze much of what she gave me, then never knew what to do with them. 
so this year i am making vinegar. 

here's how:
cover berries with water.
mash them up.
pour into a sterilized jar (i boiled a large canning jar for a bit)
cover with cloth and a rubber band (i used a flowered handkerchief i found in my drawer - where/when did i ever get that?)
wait 3 months or so until the mother (gloop on top) falls to bottom and then pour off the vinegar!
sounds easier than the saurkraut i tried to make last year and ended up throwing away !
but what about the fruit flies?
they seem to like the idea, and gather on the top.  what are they doing?  
if they are sitting, ok, but if they are laying eggs or pooping, i'm not happy about that.
i can't see that they are leaving anything there...they just seem to like to gather in the vinegary atmosphere.
i guess i should have taken that class!

Aug 17, 2011

another baby story

must be baby season!  everyone's having them recently!  
i admit i'm not up on the latest trends in childbirth and baby care, so when these pictures came via email of friends and their newborn, i was very surprised!  
decided i'd better disguise them, they might not want to be blogged.
you think there's people who object to women nursing in public, wait'll they see THIS on the subway!

Aug 14, 2011

it is too much to be too long anywhere*

we always moved before 4 years, and usually not that long when i was a kid.
but i've lived HERE many times that now.
now everywhere HERE tells me stories. where cats are buried, where we played softball, where houses stood, where my friend was killed in a car accident, where my baby learned to swim.

everything is impermanent.
when you move around you don't notice this.
when you stay still things change around you like a slow carousel or a fractal kaleidoscope.

now a new baby has been born to a village family, and i am one of the few in the village who might recall that once upon a time another baby was born to that house. 
that house has had a few owners since then.

the tiny years-ago baby died of crib death, so heart-breaking that now i irrationally fear for this new little boy.
i tried for days to remember the name of the other little boy, to assure myself they don't have the same name! finally i remembered -- and to my relief it is not the same. 
i'll never say anything about this to anyone if i can help it, but it's a hard thing to know.

* said gimme the ax in the rootabaga stories

Aug 13, 2011

Perseids answer the crickets - summer is ending

dark before 9 now
takes us by surprise - and lo!
meteor showers!

driving through the night
shooting stars distract our
watch for deer on the road


Aug 10, 2011

nothing gold can stay

summer's perfect day
until i heard the cricket
and knew all was lost


Aug 5, 2011

the biography of cancer

i never thought a book about cancer would hold my attention so completely. cancer is not a subject i want to even think about. but awhile back, the NYT had a fascinating article about The Emperor of All Maladies, and i suggested to the local librarian that he should purchase it. he said "sure, who's gonna read THAT!"  to my surprise, he did buy it -- even before it won the pulitzer prize! so then of course i had to at least sign it out and begin to read it. and something about the way it is written kept me reading. 

the author has a love for his profession and also for all of the great poetic scientist-writers. soon i was drawn into the stories of trials, theories, frustrations, successes, life and death, pride and battle, and enjoying the writer's vocabulary and use of words. over and over i was pleased and impressed by tangential quotes and references, the breadth of awareness beyond the medical world. i began stealing sly peeks at the author's photo and the brief bio on the back flyleaf.

that was it. i fell in love. if i were 13 i would put siddhartha mukerjee's picture on my wall and maybe write him a fan letter!  ironically, he totally looked like he should be dreamily holding a cigarette (smoking is one of the things in the book that gets him steamed).

400 pages and then another 100 of notes, index, bibliography, appendix. hard to believe i am sorry to have finished a book i would have expected to be gross and joyless.  and how does cancer's biography end? what's our prognosis?  well no spoilers, you'll have to read it for yourself!

Aug 4, 2011

more owl pellets - they do regurgitate most curiously!

often i've read that one cannot interpret the dreams of others, only the dreamer can say what it means.  to that i say "pish-tosh." i love to interpret other people's dreams!  just now i am puzzling over a friend's dream involving an aggressive scary nebulous thing in an attic.

we all know that the cellar can represent a trip into your darkest hidden self  eeeewwwwwwww!  and discovering new unsuspected rooms on your house...that's always fun!

but an attic?
(click to enlarge)

in this dream the dreamer is helping out a friend whose house is haunted. our dreamer climbs the stairs alone to the friend's attic to take a look around and perhaps help.  but instead of getting an idea of what sort of boggart was haunting his friend's house, he entered the attic and was immediately rushed by a formless threatening something-or-other -- it INSTANTLY RUSHED TOWARDS HIM!
(click to enlarge)

well of course he screamed and woke up.  too bad!! i'd be curious to know what happened next. was this cloud-like thing going to cloud his mind? or maybe envelope him entirely. or maybe just pass right through him in an escape down the stairs through the door he just opened!

maybe the attic's a place of dryness and reasonableness, the higher thoughts of humans. 

perhaps our dreamer tried to help his friend, using logic and reason, only to find himself attacked by something he can't grasp nor make no sense of?

and at the same time, the attic is the repository of someone's past.  all locked up in trunks and stored safely out of the way where it can be forgotten and ignored.

in which case he has entered his friend's past, which attacks and terrifies him, or he has entered his own past --  there's the fun of dreams, because in a dream, they say, you play all parts, and he is the friend, and the helper, and the house, and the SCARY THING too!
or is that more pish-tosh?

Jul 30, 2011

owl pellets

(click to enlarge)

my dear friend,
i am sorry i did not do a thorough serious job interpreting your dream, but sometimes it takes me awhile.
i'm the same with movies -- a day or so after seeing a movie, i'll suddenly say "oh NOW i get it!"
you were running through a field of lavender!  so wonderful! but i never asked you what lavender is to you. don't people use it to scent their linen closet? their bedsheets? or is it the scent that helps people sleep? i would like to know. 
in any case, you were moving energetically through a lovely free open bright unencumbered world!
and you tripped and fell.
well we all understand this on some level!  this is life. this is impermanence, yes, thank you Buddha, we get it.
notice, though, it was not a rainstorm, or a monster, or a thank you Freud snake, nor your parents appearing from behind a tree, that ended the bliss.  you did it yourself.
isn't this so very feminine....blame ourselves! i would advise you (and all of us) to watch for this. not to shake a finger and say bad girl, but to pat yourself indulgently, fondly, and say "silly there you go again."
you must tell me sometime, did you trip on a stone, or your own shoelace, or even worse did your own feet get tangled?  you see, it makes a difference in understanding.
the good news is, you were still in that lovely scented paradise.  you were down but not out. ready to lie there and enjoy or get up and run further.  and frankly, i don't believe it was a fall by your own clumsiness.  i think really, something over which you had no control, something that is actually someone else's problem, perhaps someone's thoughtlessly abandoned shoe lying hidden in the lavender, is what you tripped on.
i will have to give it some more thought. 

Jul 28, 2011

what IS a meadow for?

what IS a meadow for?

i'm sitting on my meditation cushion
and in the morning sunlight i can see
faint green diagonal lines
behind the strongly buttery yellow walls.
the old wallpaper.
i remember my cousin roger's room
years and years, paint after paint
i could still see the cowboys from his childhood wallpaper if i knew what i was looking for.
isn't it a wonderful metaphor?
open the gate and let the cows in to graze.


Jul 23, 2011

more hot hot hot

heatwave or not, we are fortunate that it cools off at night.
and we have the brook!
sprung up out of cold springs and tumbling down out of the foothills over rocks through deep shady ravines down and down to the falls and the swimming holes it can turn your feet numb in a matter of minutes!

yesterday afternoon, 90 degrees and rising, at the local store, the staff was putting a sign on the door "Gone Swimming Back in 1/2 Hour."
they explained "we have the best boss! he told us to go cool off in the brook!"

Jul 22, 2011

enjoying the heat wave!

hot hot hot!
the east coast heat wave has been in effect here for a couple of days!
being old fashioned, we did what folks did in the old days -- went to the movies!
("Come on in! It's COOL inside!")
not just The Movies, but we went to the brand new Springfield VT (home of Homer Simpson) movie theater, which after 3 years has risen -- just in time to open with the new Harry Potter -- phoenix-like, from the ashes of it's burnt down self.
not long after the town won the distinction of being named the official home of Homer Simpson, some rejected young lover in an apartment above the old downtown movie theater started a fire which burned the whole building down! we've missed having movies just 20 minutes away.
and now it's back!

the other way i've been keeping cool, with plenty of friendly funny companions, is at the ool in Raglan! 
and no UV to worry about either.
mudpie is sunning on the raft in her new bikini.
click to enlarge - dive in!

Jul 21, 2011

cat toy!

it's fun to invent new ways for the cats to amuse themselves. 
one cat finds an ice cube in the water dish fascinating, the other doesn't care, he's more of a jock than a philosopher.
recently i dropped a translucent sparkly marble into a quart size tonic bottle, and he played with it for a few days!  that's a success.
then after a few days of ignoring it, he's running it around the house again!
it's a winner!

i see u in there you marble!!!

Jul 17, 2011

W00tstock 2011

in Raglan Shire the tinies partied for 2 days of peace and waffles and great music! best band was CRASH, an all rhino band! (slide show is better full screen...the creative details of the costumes and setting are so much fun!)

TROLL! bwahahahahahaha?

watched Trollhunter last night and enjoyed it for what it was.
woke up this morning, slapped my forehead and thought "duh, it was supposed to be FUNNY!"
it's not that i have no sense of humor, just takes me 8 hours to get the joke?
or...maybe all those funny parts were meant to be serious?
guess i'll have to learn norwegian.

Jul 15, 2011

birth and death

at noon, six of us showed up for meditation practice. 
afterwards, we began our discussion with a chapter from Chogyam Trungpa's book, Smile at Fear and wound our way round fear to the subject of death.
a fine traditional Buddhist topic for a beautiful summer afternoon. 
awareness of one's fear of death, and appreciation of the impermanence of life, can have a beautiful effect on how you live.

the six of us, all women today, all know we are going to die, have been dying since we were born. 
as Buddhists, we are accustomed if not comfortable with that understanding, although knowing it and KNOWING it are not really the same.

only one of us has an actual doctor's assurance that she is dying... and barring some strange accident, she knows what she will die the near future.
she described for us what that is like, and how you can't comprehend that you are going to die in quite that mind-stopping way until a doctor tells you that this is it.  
she described some of what she has wrestled with; she said often people say they'd like to die in their sleep, but she wants to be there for her death -- she said "i missed my birth, but i want to be present for my death!"

another of the group said that giving birth, which 3 of us have done, seems similar to dying. 
for one thing, she said, we couldn't possibly convey a full understanding of what it is like to give birth.
those of us who've borne children agreed, it is an experience beyond transmission. the non-moms looked like maybe they thought they knew quite well what childbirth is like.

the moms smiled to themselves remembering how manners, poses, learned behaviors, modesty, ego, fall away and become irrelevant when you are aware and giving birth... and so also, can we assume?... when one is aware and meeting death.


Jul 12, 2011

the p in the ool

 if you look close here you can see the P, more than one P, someone has put in bottom of the ool. done i heard as a joke.
don't you think it is suspicious that Enjah knew all about it?
click to see larger

at the ool

mudpie is staying out of trouble at the Raglan ool.
lots of fun things to do there if you are energetic, or just loaf around with friends.
and no worries, there's no P in the ool.

Jul 11, 2011

Jul 10, 2011


my imposing cat
caught pawing the posies
pauses and poses


Jul 6, 2011

party on!

there must be a mathematical formula to figure out how long it takes 2 miles worth of cars to stop for an accident on the freeway (that's when we came along) and how many more cars will line up behind us over the next hour or so.
that many cars stood still, engines off, going nowhere for their holiday weekend, in the afternoon on July 3.
are vermonters nicer and smarter than other people, or is it only the horrible violent traffic snarls that make the news?
here's what happened.
people got out of their cars, walked around chatting with each other, meeting each others' dogs and kids. kids in front of us played volleyball with a beachball over their SUV. the breakdown lane became a promenade, young couples, old couples, teens on skateboards, cell phone yakkers, a kid with a guitar, and a nice lady who went car to car telling us satellite radio said it was a motorcycle accident (which i don't even really want to think about).
what could have been a miserable time of frustration trying to get to the party, actually became the party!

click to enlarge

Jul 3, 2011

if it's july, it must be summer!

just when we quit staying home because it was raining
stopped bothering with umbrellas
took rain as the natural condition of life
it stopped
and the sun came out

sorting out the garden's jungle mornings, evenings
(hatted --

against my dermatologist's anxiety)
i tear out thriving 'wrong' plants
leaving the 'right ones' to flourish.

these to discard these to keep what is the point of this
i ask myself,
enjoying the sun thru my shirt
the sweat under my hat.
a waste of time.

the garden will never be done year to year the weeds the thinning
wasting time,
wasting time...
the time i could be wasting
some other way.

Jul 1, 2011

the singularity will not be webcast

5 sends me a link with that as subject.
the link

i reply this looks good, but it's going to take awhile.

5 replies
I'm taking it slowly in bits, started it last night,
will get a bit further sometime today

also reading some very dense books on "jazz"
and apparently (according to the library) two novels
tho I had forgotten they existed

I believe they are on the coffee table under some
books of scale exercises, two rolls of tie-dye-colored duct tape, and a cowbell

Jun 30, 2011

chocolate mousse guacamole??

some saturdays i leave the radio on a while after "wait wait don't tell me" --  until it just becomes annoying.
a few weeks ago, a cooking show came on with guest cheryl crow. her recipe for chocolate mousse caught my ear, basically thick chocolate pudding, made with 2 avocados, agave nectar, cocoa powder, vanilla, and almond extract!
i got a couple of avocados and gave it a try. since john doesn't like avocados, it seemed like a perfect test!
it was simple to make and he loved it. 
deeeee-licious!  (it's not green either)
i didn't have almond extract, plus one of my friends is allergic to almonds, but i had just made coffee, so i put in that instead.  we ate it like pudding, in little bowls, not being the owners of martini glasses. 
hell i drink wine out of little juice glasses and john likes to drink water or juice from canning jars....martini glass? gimme a break.
here's the link to the's great stuff!
  chocolate mousse recipe
oh another thing...i didn't use a food processor, just an old blender i have.  worked fine!

Jun 18, 2011

Manta Whispering

see youtube for more details!  my first machinima!

Jun 16, 2011

the tea room gets a mysterious teapot

I closed my eyes and reached for a tart...I do a random taste test now and then. 

Usually it's pretty quiet here in my tea room, but there was some rattly racket down in the square, getting louder and closer.
I looked down on that side of the building, and along came a bag lady with a cart!  Never saw that before in Cowell!

click pics to see larger
She had a sign saying Free Kittens. She looked up at the tea room and beckoned to me.
I'm a sucker for kittens. I sure don't need one, but of course I wanted to see them. Then as I approached her, she rummaged around and brought out a pretty teapot that she set on the table. 

It seemed like she couldn't talk, or chose not to ...she pointed to the tea shop and pointed to the teapot and looked expectant. The kittens were cute, much as I knew I'd better not take one, so I gave her some Linden dollars for the pot, which was quite attractive. I wanted to ask her all about it, but she took off like she had somewhere to go with those $Lindens!

That's when I noticed the design on the pot was not just abstract, it looked like a moth. 
A moth!  That's one of those pre-erase thingees Sal is always on about. I wondered if this was an actual artifact!

I turned to call to the bag lady, but she was out of range. I wasn't going to run after her!
Curious now, I turned the pot round, and discovered a crack in the bottom. Not only a crack, but ...more moth designs! Very clear this time. 

Wow I will have to ask Sal about this.
Too bad about the crack tho. 

Since it was so pretty, I decided to keep it out for customers to see until I could let Sal have a look at it. He probably knows who the old biddy is, too, and we can ask her where she got it.
Stop by for a look, and some free pastries and tea.  

But come by the tea room before I submit the pot to Sal's ArcheoExpo2011 to see if it came from the ancient Moth People. The expo is June 25. Don't miss it!

Jun 13, 2011

Gorey was right they are going bonkers! 

Raglan Film Festival

Still raining, raining, raining! fortunately yesterday, as it rained and rained, mudpie was able to attend the tiny machinima festival awards (The Otters).  ten machinima were screened as over 50 tinies cheered, commented, nommed, a few biggies attended too. 
here are links to 2 of the best, one of which has a brief glimpse of mudpie singing wootmas carols, and the other is by my good friend enjah and lucy was playing piano in one scene but i think maybe it ended up on the editing floor :-(  
or is that lucy at the second tavern?
anyway, here you have some of the best of tiny machinima

and a documentary  Merry Wootmas

to see some more go here Raglan Shire Film Festival 2011

Jun 11, 2011

France was punished on Thursday for not taking proper care of its hamsters.

According to a New York Times article :
The Court of Justice in Luxembourg, the European Union’s highest court, ruled Thursday that France had failed to protect the Great Hamster of Alsace, sometimes known as the European hamster, the last wild hamster species in Western Europe. If France does not adjust its agricultural and urbanization policies sufficiently to protect it, the court said, the government will be subject to fines of as much as $24.6 million. 

mudpie is quite worried
lucy cheers her up, helping her build a new house & then they roast marshmallow.

Jun 7, 2011

good fences

between my back fence and the river is a narrow strip with a house,
a house right close by my fence, and a road.
the road is called Back Street.
that's not its name, it's just what it is called.

the house is ugly -- really. sometimes worse than others.
i've fantasized about buying it to tear down.
but it is a good house, it has sheltered a variety of people,
all related in some way, as people around here are.
you have to be careful what you say.
"who her? she's my cousin!"

when we first moved here, it was occupied by a man
and his high-school age daughter.
nice girl.
he had killed his wife -- caught her in bed with another man
shot her dead.
went to prison.
came out and raised his daughter.
the neighbors told us we were supposed to keep an eye on him
not good if he was drinking.
my hubby talked to him sometimes over the fence
said he seemed like a nice man.
he gave us some horseradish plants.

eventually daughter grew up and they moved out.
some other people lived there, dogs and kids and motorcycles.
then the old woman who owned the house came to live there
once after a big storm she called us to say part of our roof was gone.
we didn't know, but she could see it from her window.
we were very appreciative.
but still, when her visitor (son? grandson?) 's pit bull got into our yard
and chased john into his car
we called the police.

a young woman with 2 young kids,
one was the beautiful one of indeterminate gender,
lived there for awhile.
SJ ran into her when his band was playing at a bowling alley
and during the break he wandered into the next room
where some heavy duty exotic dancing was onstage.
it was our neighbor.
she recognized him and came over to his table after her act
he said they had a nice chat. she was a nice person.

last year m. moved in to care for his mom
who had been failing, as they say.
he was a retired man, happily living in florida,
but had to give it up to care for her.
not enjoying winter, tho he was born and raised here.
the Very Rich Man (see earlier post) has been trying to buy the house for a few years.
it is certainly a blight on the picturesque village he wants us to become.
the old lady and her son m. refused to sell.
it was her home.  who wants to move when you are old sick and dying?

now that she is gone, died in April, m. says they are after him again.
"they just don't know how to talk to new englanders" he says
and becomes more resistant.
i see him now as i sit on my back porch.
whatever he lost those years in florida has come back
with a vengeance.
like a true vermonter, he is digging, planting, making a garden.
he wants to fix the house up to be nice
like it was when he was young and his grandparents lived here.
getting him out is going to take something
that goes deep down into the roots.

May 22, 2011

ruth and the ticklewhiskers

we didn't know ruth at all when we knocked on her door.
the vet said she had kittens, and we were looking for a kitten..
he said her landlord told her some of her cats had to go.
she had 26 or was it 32?
her house was small, run-down, unmowed,
yard full of dandelions,
and ruth herself, when she came to the door looked run-down and unmowed.
she was sweet looking and slight -- boney slight -- like my aunt emma
but unlike emma she had a warmth and friendliness that lit up her face,
weathered more than aged.
she welcomed us and took us to meet her cats.
inside they were everywhere.
i tried not to look at her scratched up legs,
imagining it must be from the cats,
but was probably from berry-picking.
all sorts of cats came over to greet her when we sat down outside.
she greeted each by name, and they responded.
we looked at some kittens, all adorable,
trying to decide,
and then out came a tiny long haired white kitten with big blue eyes.
well, of course, that was the one!  Our Kitten!
""oh " said ruth -- were we not supposed to see that one?
"well " said ruth, possibly thinking of her landlord.
"you can't take that one -- unless you take her brother too."
out came the brother - bigger, short-haired, white, blue-eyed.
well ok then, i will get a kitten as well.  we'll take two.
and so we ended up with silky white ticklewhiskers
and sunny jim ticklewhiskers!
a year or so later ruth stopped in to see them.
she looked at grown-up sunny jim and said
"he is the spitting image of his grandmother lulabelle!! "

May 16, 2011

tea room gets tweeted - also Henrietta Lacks book

while researching info on Salazar's lands for the upcoming event in june, i stumbled across a tweet Sal sent about my tea room!
so here is a picture:
click to enlarge
oh and yes that is Lucy, who is a woman of color lately, perhaps because i am reading The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks.
highly recommended!  an amazing book!  be sure to read it if you haven't already.

May 15, 2011

left behind

barney: it's really dark in here. i hope the tall ones let us out soon.
hank:  it's your fault - you hit the door and made it snap shut.
barney: i'm getting hungry.
hank: i don't think they'll let us out.
barney: yes they will!
hank: i think they went on a trip like they did one time. only for longer.
barney: no they didn't!
hank: they're going to be gone a long long time. they probably left lots of food out for us.
barney: i'm hungry.
hank: but we can't get to it because YOU got us shut up in the bathroom and we can't get out!
barney: it's not my fault! you were jumping too! are we gonna die?
hank: one of us is.
barney: which one? me?
hank: with no food and water you'll die first 'cause i'm fatter and i can live longer.  then i'll eat you.

what to do with bin laden

my computer shut itself off
it had some important update thing going on for itself.
meanwhile, i'd left an unsaved note to myself
with a long poemy sort of thing 
asking have you found your inner bin laden
and that it's important to do so
but then what --
don't want to kill off part of yourself!
bin laden's a smart energetic dude
if you find where yours is hiding
best plan is to turn all that energy
to something beneficial!
anyway, i didn't say it just right
and it was too long anyway
and now it's gone.
but i like the idea.
you know -- bin laden lives on
in each of us.
but most of us don't know him.
he hides out in a cave or mansion
and ambushes us from time to time
and we say omg how could i do/say 
something like that!

May 6, 2011

mr & mrs phoebe get a new nest

mrs phoebe thinks they'd best be heading north to grab a good nest site.
mr phoebe says nah, nah, no hurry!
last year's nest was in good shape! we'll just fix up that nest.
piece of seedcake!

little did he know
last year's nest -- on top of the light fixture on my back porch -- is gone.
i did appreciate them eating up all the GIANT BARN SPIDERS we used to have BRRRRR!!!!
but not from atop our light fixture!

when the weather felt just like it does
just before we hear FEE-be!  FEE-be!
i cleaned away that old nest
and wrapped screening around that light.

all night i worried
those birds will come home place to live!
so i built them a little platform!

and HOORAY!  when they came back
well she gave him a hard time for a week or so
but then, she relented, and in no time at all 
had a nest on that little platform!

here's how to build one

Apr 26, 2011

april 23 easter in ogunquit

we look at each other and at the falling snow
should we go?
the crocuses vanished!

the car slides on the road even before we are out of the village.
we drive on eastward slowly! cautiously!
finally -- behind a salt and sand truck
slow but not slippery.
into new hampshire it is 33 degrees --
a slippery road temperature -- and snowing.
it lets up for a bit, but then before concord
even deeper snow. on we go.

finally it is 35 and a freezing rain.
gradually, gradually, the land is lower
the trees shorter, the ground flatter
"i smell the ocean" says john.

the bridge, the state of maine,
its motto "maine --cold, but damp"
the hotel, a good dinner.

next morning winter's fist unclenches
its open hand offers bright sunshine!

long rolling waves, the marginal way,
children in easter clothes go barefoot on the beach

coats are shucked in surprise!
a perfect day!  are we really in maine?
more fishy meals consumed
we sit with the coatless many --
where did they all come from?? --
click to enlarge!
in late afternoon sun watching the ocean

  and the next morning
in bitter wind and icy rain.
we start for home.
and along maine's shore road,
forsythia has bloomed!

Apr 19, 2011

mjane & lucy

it's nice that my alts get along. here mjane and lucy discuss a table and chairs lucy wants to borrow for her new cafe. mjane is happy to help out!

Apr 16, 2011

fire drill

when the smoke alarm earsplittingly clangs 
there's not much chance of finding cats.
they be gone!
when the fire engine pulls up to the house
and the firemen stomp in
clanking and clumping in their monstery gear and gadgetry
you'll never find a cat however hard you look.
and should you spy one under the bed
you'll never get it out and boxed.

i'm thinking of having fire drills for the cats.
put some of their very very favorite treat
in the cat carrier
which we'll keep open by the door
then turn on the fire alarm.

or maybe turn on the alarm first,
then turn it off and put treats in the carrier?
what do you think?
then if it sounds for real
will they run to the carrier?

Oh and you are probably wondering, but no, i'm sorry to say i didn't think of it until too late, to ask the firemen "would you like something to read?"