Saturday, June 26, 2010

Missed Connections?

Computers have really taken over everything in this world. One thing that society had become accustomed to seeing in our daily newspaper was the personal ads where all sorts of people try to hook up with all sorts of other people who go by strange code names Now the computer appears to have taken over this task also. 

Craig's List has their version of these personal ads and one category provides quite interesting reading. When those odd moments occur that need to be filled with an activity, try reading these. Besides writing a catchy ad, the writer has to provide a catchy title. The ones below have been taken from the Missed Connections section and from several different cities (spelling is as found and response info is omitted):

Cute Navy boy at Save A Lot today
My Lord you were fine. :) You left before I had the chance to check you out a little more, but I know you totally saw me eying you. If you noticed, and you see this, tell me what kind of car I was in or what color it was. :) 
Cute Hippie Chick at Whole Foods
I saw you in the floral dept you helped me pick out the nicest boquet. You were so cute with your glasses and long brown hair pulled back in a low messy pony tail. I couldnt help but wonder if you were single, if so please let me know. Even if you arent, Id still really like the chance to chill with you, you seemed like a really rad chick.

Guy with scruff at Panera Bread

Friday afternoon was eating lunch at Panera Break in KOP with a friend, probably around 1:30PM. I was facing towards the register and you were waiting for your food. I think you may have had a green t-shirt on, great looking guy with some scruff. We caught eyes a few times, but I'm not sure if it was coincidence, or if you were as interested in me as I was in you. I was wearing a city sports shirt. Hit me up if it WAS you, and maybe we can grab a sandwich together and chat!
 Bald man...goatee.....dark blue shirt light khaki shorts

I saw you as I pulled into parking lot behind crickets in sayville....I think you went into Sayville Pizza....then saw you from the diner in a white convertible I passed you , you gave me a big smile.....I should have followed you, but was meeting someone....didnt think it was the right thing to I want to kick myself...I was driving a dark blue Dodge Durango. I have dark brown hair...was wearing a black V-neck tee....and black sunglasses.....the time was about 7:40-7:45 Friday evening June 18th. Please contact me....dont want to pass up on a missed opportunity.

You, with the bike, at the pier

I think you are the one. You have silvery hair, riding a black bike, asking about the 'FUV boat cruise. You told me you were from Alabama and Chappaqua. What color dress was I wearing?
So the moral of all of this is that you really should check Craig's List daily to see if you have missed that wonderful person OR at least for some entertaining reading!

Friday, June 25, 2010

Untitled Poem (1978, 1981)

In 1978, during a particular heart-breaking time in my life, I wrote a poem that was quite special to me. It was not difficult to write as the poem quickly wrote itself, but it was quite difficult to go through the experiences which would create the poem. In 1980/81 while taking a mixed media class, our assignment was to write or bring in a favorite poem or a story for children that cried out for "illustrations" to our next session. Given one hour, old magazines, cardboard stock, one marker, yarn, string, scissors, and tape, we were instructed to bind and illustrate our "book." I was pleased with my result and put it away to be saved. Though I thought about that poem many times over the ensuing years, I never saw the book again until I went through a box of things that my mother had saved that were mine. Behold, there was the book! The cover is  now gone and she sits in time-worn, faded agony, but she remains. The poem is below with carefully scanned original pictures: 

        to music,
 is to

time in life. 

No reason, 

tho' not abstract. 

 or do we know?

could be a key,
                 seen more than I,
                                                 for I too,
am truly without vision of the
or the setting. 

               No,  for
we both must bleed. 

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Memories and Hurricanes

For some reason while I was walking on the property today, I was swept back to about three days before Hurricane Hugo struck the SC coast. At that point, no one knew where it would hit, and I was not terribly concerned (after all, I grew up with hurricanes). But that morning taking my son to kindergarten, I noticed the beauty in the oak trees on our way. The SC low-country is blessed with many of these moss-laden treasures, but that morning they seemed especially beautiful. Nature is fragile and we never know when she will change. After Hugo struck, that particular view was gone forever. So as I walked, I noticed views that I would miss terribly if nature or life changed: 

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

50 Things I Look for in a Man

I wanted an easy-to-write topic this week, so I decided to tackle the first of this week's writing assignments from Mama Kat's Writing Workshop. My first thought was that this will be so simple, but it's not. It may be one of the hardest thing I have ever written. It is also apparent that an entire essay could be written about each one! I completed my list, Mama Kat, but fifty is extremely hard if the subject is taken seriously! Therefore I give you merely a list to contemplate:

    The ideal man (who would possess all of the things that I look for in a man) is someone who...
    1. has eyes that allow me to see deeply into his soul and he needs to have the courage to look deeply into mine 
    2. is honest to a fault; there is no excuse for dishonesty
    3. makes me feel secure emotionally
    4. makes me feel secure mentally
    5. makes me feel secure physically
    6. will stand up for me no matter who he has to stand up to or how much it costs him
    7. is thoughtful enough to remember birthdays, holidays, etc., and realizes that it is the thought that counts
    8. is capable of great laughter and the ability to make me smile and laugh even if there is no money for food or gas for the car
    9. I can trust enough to put my life in their hands
    10. does not mind sitting in a boring hospital room visiting me if needed
    11. respects me and whom I can respect
    12. values my opinion and whose opinion I value
    13. cares for animals; if you cannot care for an animal, then your heart is not big enough for me
    14. loves me with all his heart and soul and allows me to love him with all my heart and soul
    15. gives me the freedom to be who I am
    16. is both patient and kind
    17. believes in something greater than himself
    18. realizes that money and possessions are not everything
    19. will love me when I am old and gray and can only sit and rock in my chair
    20. is confident enough to express his own opinions 
    21. is willing to work out problems and not just ignore them.
    22. would drive miles just to see me
    23. is both gentle and strong
    24. will let me take care of him and will take care of me
    25. has a deep love for music
    26. makes me feel of value
    27. will always be able to talk to me and to whom I will always be able to talk
    28. does not make excuses for his actions and takes responsibility for his actions
    29. takes pride in his work and finishes what he starts
    30. pushes me when need be, holds me back when need be, and allows me to do the same for him
    31. understands that I am not perfect
    32. appreciates my intelligence
    33. genuinely listens to me and actually remembers what I've said
    34. will talk to me so that I can really listen to him
    35. loves his job no matter what that job is
    36. is not critical of others or judgmental
    37. does not laugh at the misfortunes, flaws,weight, or looks of others
    38. is capable of loving me and allowing me to love them
    39. can make my stomach do flip-flops even after I've known him for years
    40. appreciates reading and doesn't think I'm wasting my time
    41. feels free enough to cry in front of me or hold me while I cry
    42. is willing to take chances and risks on occasion
    43. can think creatively and understand my creativity
    44. allows me my idiosyncrasies, such as bottle and mandela trees and my "hippie" tendencies
    45. is willing to both give me my freedom and restrain me
    46. expects only the best from me and gives me only his best
    47. I can trust in all things
    48. shares his hopes and dreams with me and listens to mine
    49. knows how to put the toilet seat down and has a decent aim! (I had to say it; I had no choice; it's the worst thing about raising a boy!)
    50. will allow me to do all the above for him (except #49!)
    As usual, comments (both positive and negative) are always welcomed and encouraged. However, we bare our souls in some of our entries and don't wish those souls to freeze.

    Wednesday, June 16, 2010

    No Internet

    My satellite connection will be down for the next 5-10 days. I can't wait to get back.

    Tuesday, June 15, 2010

    Horses and Heat

    I was complaining yesterday about the heat (at 3 pm, it was 98.6 outside with a "real feel"of 107) and how much I hated summer, but the horses were really the ones suffering. After their morning breakfast, I turned the three beasties out into the pasture and kept a careful eye on their water supply all day. Now these horses are reasonably spoiled. When they are turned out to pasture, they still have access to their paddock and to their individual stalls. They have plenty of water. 

    The pasture area itself is about 50% straight sun and about 50% shade (under pine, evergreen, gum trees). Within minutes of being turned out, all three were dripping wet! And they stayed wet all day! 
     Immediately upon returning to the barn area for her evening meal, I shot this picture of my very "clean" horse. Haley hit the paddock soaking wet and went to her favorite spot to roll.

     I don't even think I am going to try to brush her - I'll just turn the hose on her and give her a bath!

    Monday, June 14, 2010

    Hideous Kinky

    I bet that title got everybody's attention! Seriously, I just finished reading Esther Freud's Hideous Kinky, and I am disappointed. It was on the list of 1001 books to read before you die (which generally has not let me down), and the blurb on the back of the novel sounded like something I would really, really like, but it didn't work for me. The narrator is a five-year old English girl who is telling of trying to exist in a "semi-normal" life while traveling to Marrakech with her hippie mother and seven-year old sister. I did not find the mother realistic in actions or thought (whether drug-induced or not), and I did not find the abilities of these two children to be  probable. It was a cute book and I did not mind reading it, but one I needed to have read before I die...afraid not!  

    Sunday, June 13, 2010

    Hansel and Gretel and Richard

    Grimm's "Hansel and Gretel" has been interpreted in so many, many ways. Is it about child welfare, infanticide, the transformation from children to adults, a contrast between the peasants and the upper class, maternal cannibalism, child abandonment issues, and I could go on and on. BUT....
    maybe it is just about a very young child who merely pulled the stove open and sat down?

    Saturday, June 12, 2010


    Richard (not quite two) who will be 25 in November of this year. I've always liked this photograph.

    Thursday, June 10, 2010

    Kostova's The Swan Thieves

    I thought that Elizabeth Kostova had done an outstanding job with her novel The Historian until I read her second novel, The Swan Thieves.  Without even going into the plot, I can tell you that her descriptions of artists and their paintings and their feelings have caused me to wonder where my sketch book is and if I have any charcoal (and I am not an artist by any means). This novel deals with several kinds of obsession: an artist's with his subject, women with their lovers, a psychiatrist who must help his patient.
              Do not attempt to read this novel unless  you want to spend time thinking and lightly analyzing behaviors, thoughts, and new ideas. Kostova employs the flashback device of intermingling more than one time period and story, but unlike most, the flashbacks are not distracting, are fascinating, and are easily followed. I now am anxiously awaiting her next novel...

    Wednesday, June 9, 2010

    Farriers and Horses and Charles Dickens

    Isn't this a wonderfully unbecoming photo of my farrier trimming the unbroken beast's hooves? Last time Sunshine spent her time being absolutely horrible, but this time she was very good! Of course, as you can see, she does not have much room to move! 
     Sunshine was definitely not overjoyed at the prospect, but I was very proud of her.  She has also improved with "being caught." Now Sunny walks around when she spies the halter, while I walk along near her without paying her any attention. After about three minutes, she will turn around on her own, walk up to me, and put her head down to be haltered! So progress is being made!
              Thunder also behaved rearing this time, and of course, Haley was perfect!
    Oh, and before I forget, Charles Dickens died 140 years ago today (1870). Dickens has always been one of my favorite authors. Perhaps its time to revisit one of his novels...

    Tuesday, June 8, 2010

    Teaser Lines from The Swan Thieves

    Teaser lines:
    I can't really describe my first impression, except that it had made me give a little scream out loud before I could stop myself, because it was a vision of a woman everywhere, a woman spread across the surfaces of the attic in small parts and versions, repetitions - dissected, cut into pieces, although without blood. Her face I knew already, and I saw it dozens of times around the room, smiling, serious,  painted in different sizes and different moods.
          -taken from Elizabeth Kostova's The Swan Thieves, p.142-143.
    The Swan Thieves: A NovelTeaser Tuesday is sponsored by MizB of Should Be Reading. To participate, please click her link.

    Monday, June 7, 2010

    Dime Novels

     On June 7, 1860, Beadle and Company began a series of books that they called "Beadle's Dime Novels." They were printed on inexpensive paper with cardboard covers and usually cost a dime although some sold for a nickel. These novels were known for their shocking, bright covers and titillating content. Dime novels quickly became a bestseller with Beadle publishing approximately two novels per month for over ten years. The novels were numbered sequentially so that they could be mailed as "periodicals" at a much reduced rate. 
              Mrs. Ann Stevens' previously serialized tale of Malaeska, an Indian squaw, who had married a white man William Danforth, was chosen by Beadle to be this first novel. Malaeksa tells her tale of an inter-racial marriage and the problems with acceptance.

    By today's standards, the dime novels are not so titillating, but in the 1860s and 1870s they were quite racy. These novels are not of great literary value, but their inexpensive cost was a godsend in that it allowed the average adult the opportunity to read and own a book. For others, the book would be simply tossed after reading.

    Sunday, June 6, 2010

    Necessary Sins

    Lynn Darling's Necessary Sins is the autobiography of a marriage through courtship and the death of the husband. Lynn Darling and Lee Lascaze, both of whom worked for the Washington Post, began their romance while he was married. He was much older and establishment, while she was a 1960s wild child. Darling's poignant story caused laughter and tears. Surely writing this novel was an exercise in catharsis, but the fact that she was willing to expose and share her soul with the reader is astounding. This book is very difficult to put down and difficult emotionally to read.

    Saturday, June 5, 2010

    The House on Tradd Street

    I decided to read Karen White's The House on Tradd Street for its local color and to see how a non-native would handle "my" Charleston. The story focuses on Melanie Middleton, a real estate agent, who inherits an historical house below Broad, two days after she meets its owner. The novel is a well-written mystery which I never quite figured out before the ending. I also kept waiting for a love story to develop, but it did not which was another surprise. She has an unusual sense of humor which I found refreshing. Take for example this excerpt from p.142-143:

    Jack didn't break eye contact as the two men sized each other up, standing closer as if they were in a boxing ring, and excluding me completely. I wondered if this was how the female lion felt during mating season -- unwanted and superfluous until the battle was won and it was time to get down to business. Although comparing myself to a lion in heat was as humiliating as it was accurate,

    Over all, I enjoyed her novel and will read more by this author. She has started a "Tradd Street" series with the next novel finished and the third to be published later this year. I will keep you posted.

    Friday, June 4, 2010

    Still Taking It Easy

    Well, so far I have been holding to my plans. I did curl up with a good book last night and fell asleep with the book open. I woke up this morning, fed the cats, dogs, and horses, moved to the living room, turned on the computer, and alternated between reading and computering (new word that I may have just coined). Yesterday, I bought the kitten a cat toy which has even get him busy! I did take time out to microwave a 5-min. Stouffer lunch, but I consumed it while reading! 

    I have just returned from bringing the largest beasties in from the pasture and giving them their evening feed. Now I need to fix myself another 5-minute microwave meal for supper. After that, I would really love to curl up in bed with my book, but it's only 6:00 p.m. I guess I will stay up and read awhile, and then I can go to bed with a good book!

    Thursday, June 3, 2010

    Reading and Relaxing

    John has gone out of town until Saturday evening leaving just me here. I have decided that I am going to do the bare minimum and spend my time reading (and writing and computer stuff, but mostly reading). Let's see...what do I have to do: quick trip to the grocery store, feed myself, feed dogs, cats, and horses. Oh, and sleep.
    I can handle that! 

    I've got fourteen books sitting here waiting to be read. Yes, the books are doing the sitting! Visualize that! Decisions, decisions, decisions. Should I go with "good" books or "junk" books? Shall I read in my chair, in bed, in the chaise lounge in the yard?  Shall I read while taking my bath? I think I can give up on exercise and meditation until Saturday. I may plan some time to work on a new mandela. More about that later. I'm getting ready to climb into bed with a good book, I think. 

    Wednesday, June 2, 2010

    James Ellroy's The Black Dahlia

    I checked out this novel from the library with trepidation. It had appeared on the list of 1000 books that we all should read before we die, but I kept telling myself that it was about Elizabeth Short, the Black Dahlia. I have read more than enough about this case and watched too many shows. But...the novel is only minimally about Short. The main focus is on the relationship between two policeman who become thoroughly engrossed with solving her murder. Toss in a few women who play primary roles and you have an entirely different angle on the Black Dahlia. I have to agree that it is well worth reading.

    Tuesday, June 1, 2010

    An Egret

    My son texted me yesterday to say that he was sending some pictures of a creature that he spied outside his window while taking a break from work.