Jan 31, 2013

aunt weese

once or maybe twice my mother said disapprovingly to my sister "you look like aunt weese."  of course it was said disapprovingly, as was just about everything my mother said to my sister (which oddly enough caused me some suffering as a child, and still does, my sister being my idol and my hero).

we puzzled over that for years.  we did know that aunt weese was one of daddy's mother's sisters, but other than that we knew nothing about her, not even what she looked like.  i'm pretty sure her name was Louise, as i have since met a woman named Louise who is called Weezy.

was mom referring to her manner of dress, or her hair, or was she stout, or buxom?  did she make funny faces?
it's a great joke now that there is nobody to explain it to us.  if my sister's hair is sticking up, or she's wearing something odd or she's feeling insecure, i'll tell her "you're just like aunt weese!"

Jan 29, 2013

hooray for the post office !

it's great to get internet greetings saying Happy Birthday -- email, FB, twitter, and even e-cards.  e-cards can be amazing. but you know what? my favorite is still snail mail cards.  i know, i know, they use up trees for paper, they cost money and need stamps, exhaust-spewing trucks and gas hogging planes have to transport them across the country. plastic pens are a blight upon the earth i'm sure.

but still...
i love the suspense of bringing them home from the p.o. and opening them.
i love that my friends went to all this trouble to choose one, write on it, lick it, stamp it, mail it.
i love that they are around the house for as long as you want them, and whisper to you "you have friends out there!" 
it's good to have that reminder lying around your house.
especially in cold January!

Jan 28, 2013

tea and film discussion

snowing like mad today. yay!
i love the bright sunny days, but more snow will be fun.

a friend and i met in a tibetan teahouse to discuss the movie SAMSARA, which he sent me a copy of.
a profoundly disturbing film.  has anyone else seen it?  we can find a teahouse with more pillows.  (maybe somewhere warmer, too)

Jan 27, 2013

for love of winter

sunny and 30 F today!  i took some more rugs out and broomed them...didn't bother with my jacket, and walked on the frozen snow in my sneakers.  w00t!

had some eggs to use up so i found a simple and delicious quesadilla recipe.  this used up all the eggs (so now am out of eggs) and have now to use up a bunch of cilantro, 1/2 can of black beans, and most of a jar of salsa, 2/3 a package of whole wheat tortillas. 
 there is also cheddar cheese left over but that won't be a problem!

for the book groups i am trying to read Pillars of the Earth, and for the other one, Founding Brothers.  omg they are both so bad.  xtian told me to read Geek Love and the library got it for me -- a paperback covered with tape and well used.  i'm already into it.

what are they thinking?  this looks like it must be popular, can't they spring for a new paperback at least?  but i know it's not that easy accessioning a book, lotta paperwork and stuff.  anyway, Geek Love will save me from death by ponderous tomes.

Jan 26, 2013

rug cleaning

it could almost be spring!
i love it after a spell of below 0 F weather how anything 20 degrees or higher feels balmy!
especially with the warm sun and longer days
and yesterday a woodpecker drummed a bit of flirting!

still the sun sits only a bit above the southern horizon at noon, and the shadows are loooong.
any wind takes things back to 0.

yesterday was perfect for rug cleaning.
i dragged the big braided rug and a small asian style rug out onto the snow.
once all the dirt and cooties had frozen off of them, i swept them, feeling like Strega Nona in my too-small plaid wool hunting jacket, the paisley neck 'buff' my sister gave me worn like a babushka, big clumsy work gloves, cords over heavy longjohns, and hiking boots!
after all it was sunny, but barely in the teens temperature wise.

(this is a common fashion look for vermont ladies when they are at home, brown is not advised lest you be mistaken for a bear)

and my broom was the old back porch broom which of course is worn and witchlike!  a good opportunity to practice my cackle.

Jan 25, 2013

heart's quilt

a friend of mine is working through a trauma in her life by making a quilt.
witnessing her progress, i understand something new about art.
she's only using patterns of one color, indigo, but shape and arrangement tell the story!
really it seems more like music composition than a visual tale --

long smooth shapes are her life before.  
then small sharp cornered shapes jumbled crazy-quilt style as everything is thrown into sorrow, confusion, shock, and uncertainty.
after that comes the orderly opening freedom of the new future!
it will look amazing. and meanwhile, she recovers and heals.

i wonder how many quilts that i have viewed and thought, "nice", "lovely", "gorgeous", "weird", were opening someone's deepest heart to me, and i had no idea!

Jan 23, 2013

0 farenheit and falling

at 10 am the thermometer on the dashboard read 5 F.  the car started right up (Subaru, of course!) and i backed it out of the shed into the sun.  
5 minutes later i came back and it now read 3.
isn't it amazing that it worked at all?  that the tires don't freeze in, that the doors open, etc?
driving through sun and shade the temperature remained steady between 0 and 1.
i had a car for awhile that had to have boiling water poured on something under the hood, i forget what now, for it to start when it was 0 or thereabouts. 
of course by the time i carried the kettle out to the driveway, it was not boiling, but it worked.

Jan 22, 2013

mouse portal

there's a certain kind of toy mouse my cats like.
they have others of similar size, shape, covering, noise (a rattle sound) but they ignore them.

Barney will bring it to me to throw for him over and over when he's in the mood. Drop it on my foot or under my chair, then stand on hind legs with paws on my thigh and do the "i'm sending you a telepathic message" thing that cats do.  if that doesn't work, the claws go into my thigh.  THROW MY MOUSE!

after a bit the mouse disappears. totally! i've searched under furniture with a flashlight, used a stick under the fridge, cleaned the house (after my fashion).  gone. 

these mice are sold loose from a bowl in the pet supply store. lest they suddenly stop making them or stocking them, as so often happens, i bought a bunch of them to dole out on days when the cats are bored to crabbyness.  they are popular for awhile, then GONE. VANISHED from the earth.

recently john gave them a new orange one.  hank ate the tail right away. by the next morning the orange mouse was still in evidence, and a red mouse had appeared in the food dish. 
by that evening a green mouse had turned up on the rug behind the rocker.

it seems cats have access to some parallel universe.  perhaps our missing socks will begin to reappear now that the portal is open.

Jan 20, 2013

mudpie's unmeds

i mentioned briefly in a previous post that mudpie is making placebos for friends for such ailments as colds, anxiety, sleep problems, and even arthritis.  she is qualified to do this because she has a nurse outfit she sometimes wears in second life on hallowe'en.

turns out she's ahead of her time. a recent article in Harvard Magazine tells of the serious research being done with placebos...why they work so well!!  even when subjects know they are placebos! 
or do they?  it's WAY COMPLICATED and you can read it yourself if you wish to by clicking here .

one of my favorite parts is that they are also experimenting with the doctor side of things to see how different behaviors and attitudes affect the patient's recovery.  
in one experiment practitioners were "...required to touch the hands or shoulders of members of the third group (of subjects) and spend at least 20 seconds lost in thoughtful silence."

the lost in thoughtful silence part amuses me no end. next time i'm at the doctor and she becomes lost in thoughtful silence as she ponders my symptoms, i'm afraid i'll start laughing!
mudpie posing for her picture for the label of the pseudoceuticals and being photobombed by her pet mouse

Jan 19, 2013


there's this mail i got a long time ago -- maybe more than a year?  i don't remember exactly. to win a bunch of money.
i looked through it in an idle moment, and did the "paste this here" "scratch this off here" things, and sent it in. why not?
since then i've gotten lots more!  each time there's stuff you can order, but nothing i can't just go buy somewhere if i wanted it, which i don't, so i just paste and scratch and mail it back.
now they are telling me, a year or so later, that i am about to win $5,000. a week for life!
so i sent that one in. 
oh boy!  
maybe i'll win!
liz says i should send it in the name of a younger person, then it would be worth way more.
which started me thinking -- how long do the people who win these things live?
has anyone checked to see if they are dying young, or after a certain amount of time?
do they die mysteriously in small plane crashes like popular democrats?
after i win, should i change my name and move to another country?

Jan 18, 2013


eight turkeys went through our yard in the snow this morning. right under the window and crossed to the neighbors' garden 
then on over the ruined road and up the hill by the frozen falls.
they are huge!  birds big as dogs.
i want to toss some food to them. 

a universal human longing -- a powerful urge to interact with other animals.
for me it's toss them food. for small boys, scatter them with a rock.
for bigger boys fell them with a stone.

if nothing else, they should acknowledge me
it isn't acceptable that they go their way and i mine.
if i were very hungry i would follow them and kill them.

Jan 17, 2013

time for a change

it's been a month since my last post.  my life has changed quite a bit in the last 2 years, and just a note here to myself to change my blog. instead of telling stories, i'll try writing short bits about what i'm thinking about.  we'll see.