December 31, 2008

Last day of the year

Snow a perfect way to end the year, running errands in snow boots, the yard frosting perfect; nothing better than being warm inside when the wind is brushing snow across a cold gray sky to make you feel grateful for your home and your warm life and all the people you love and have loved whether with you in mind, body, or only memory.
So let's "tak a cup o' kindness yet, for auld lang syne". Peace.

December 28, 2008

Sunday quote

You don't have a soul. You are a Soul. You have a body.
-C.S. Lewis

December 26, 2008

post Christmas post

Here and then gone, so long in coming, so quickly over. One moment I am thinking Dicken's thoughts of how I should hold Christmas in my heart year round, the next I am as cranky as old boots, unkind thoughts clunking through my sinus-miserable brain. Was it even here? Amid the rush and the wrapping, the cookies and the midnight mass, the anticipating child, the folded up receipts, the endless calls to shop more - doesn't anyone get weary of all this buying? Hold on to a winter's thought, something in the darkness, the ice and cold, the catch of breath in the star-graced night. I think there was a small bit of magic, somewhere.

December 21, 2008

Last minute Charity round-up

There's still time for the holidays (or for the end of the year if you are tax-write-off-minded) to give to some great charities. Some involve sending money - although buying goats is fun, some require little more than clicking on words (with helpful pronunciation aids) or a button to give a donation to those in need. You can help out a teacher or someone trying to start a business, help the animals, donate to a hospital or a religious charity helping the poor, give a child a book, help out some nice nuns, and if you are unsure of any charity, you can look them up here before you donate. Some of the easiest ways are community based - a lot of animal shelters welcome old towels and blankets and pet food (call first) besides money, check your local newspaper to see if there are toy or coat drives, schools and religious places often have charity events, and of course, they may be annoying at times, but when they are ringing that bell, drop in a buck or two (it really does go to the poor). I would like to think we can change the world - and even if it is just a little bit here or there, I think it matters.

Sunday quote

And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them; and they were sore afraid.
And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.
And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,
Glory to God in the highest,
and on earth peace,
good will toward men.

December 20, 2008

Christmas baking

and the house smells of ginger and cinnamon even after the cookies are packed up and ready to go. My car doors were frozen shut so my lovely daughter drove me to deliver cookies (leaving not so many in the house - a good thing as they are insanely fattening and incredibly addictive).

December 19, 2008


peth peth peth peth peth peth peth peth peth peth peth peth peth peth peth peth peth peth peth (to borrow from Lynne Rae Perkins' most wonderful book, Snow Music).

December 18, 2008

Storm moving in

or so the husband reports. I'll have to run out to the store tomorrow and get ingredients for the great cookie bake - ah, snow falling, house smelling of ginger, carols playing on the cd machine...hmmm...better make sure we have flashlights and batteries to boot and charge the cell phones - in our cul-de-sackish road graced by large and gorgeous trees, we get a ton of blackouts.
Submitted a bunch of poems and realized upon review so many of them mention dogs. White dogs. Old white dogs. Could they be Emmy? Hmmm. Here she is in an action pose under a "stained glass" summer camp creation by James the younger.
Happy snow, everybody.

December 15, 2008

The Christmas Tree Fetch

The Sunday afternoon trek to get the tree and wreaths - trees are looked at, branch widths discussed, shapes admired or scorned, and finally perfection or close to it.
On the way home, the youngest one told us to all look out of the car window for the holiday silhoutte of the tree riding home.

December 14, 2008

Sunday Quote

Patient Trust in Ourselves and in the Slow Work of God

Above all, trust in the slow work of God.
We are, quite naturally,
impatient in everything to reach the end
without delay.
We should like to skip
the intermediate stages.
We are impatient of being
on the way to something unknown,
something new.
And yet it is the law of all progress
that it is made by passing through
some stages of instability ---
and that may take a very long time.

As so I think it is with you.
Your ideas mature gradually –
let them grow,
let them shape themselves,
without undue haste.
Don’t try to force them on,
as though you could be today
what time (that is to say, grace and
circumstances acting
on your own good will)
will make you tomorrow.

Only God could say what this new spirit
gradually forming within you will be.
Give our Lord the benefit of believing
that his hand is leading you,
and accept the anxiety of
feeling yourself in suspense and incomplete.

-Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

December 13, 2008

Shop till you...

well not drop since that's silly. More shop until you wander into the kitchen and make tea. That's how to do it, people (said by the woman who went to a store to get gift cards, bought a shelf, had husband put together very nice shelf, and then remembered she forgot the gift cards). I love jewelery - this and this; lovely scents for the goth teen or dramatic friend, food lovers will applaud you (especially this maple spread), or chocolate yum. Green gifts here, creepy gift (skeletons?)(well not everyone wants L.L. Bean), my fave calendars, puppets, support crafters (buy their stuff!), frame these or a botany image, get this for your walking buddy, great children's books and more, and booky tees, my son loved everything he got from here last year, more children's sites, really silly joke gifts, I just sent off gifts from here and here, great books for all here, and more children's book suggestions since I love to give books. You aren't broke yet? There's always Amazon.

December 12, 2008

Shoot the moon

A giant moon, a freezing night, neighbor's Christmas lights, and a rather awful camera.

December 11, 2008

Woof if it's your birthday!

She may be 15 (!) today but she still won't stay still for her photo op.
Note her new blue jogging jacket - those old bones get mighty cold! (Especially here where we keep the house ice cube Arctic cold).
Happy Birthday to our craZy fluffy, barking, chicken lovin' , loyal, courageous, goofy, beautiful girl, Emily Pajamas.

December 10, 2008


A house I pass by on the way home from work.

Anyway, here's a little reminder to offer up some prayers for Dong Yun Yoon .

December 9, 2008

Nothing like New York City

Especially in the wintertime.
We went in to a friend's surprise birthday party (and she really was surprised!). I played tourist - I have lived/worked/gone into the city all my life and I never take a camera. So now to play tourist. The tower of tellies from Grand Central Station - as is the tree chandelier (at the far end of the market). Always love the outside view of GCS with a peek at the Chrysler building. Hope we have time to go in again this busy season to see the tree and the windows.

December 5, 2008

Riding with Earl

Cruising with Earl (the white plastic rat) and his lady friend (aka my daughter). Earl likes to dance, in fact, rumor has it he moves quite a lot.

December 1, 2008

Broken frogs and Mondays get me down

A post-holiday Monday at the library, sigh. Home, smell of burning, what is it? Could it possibly be the lack of oil in the engine? Even though nothing in my Honda suggested this was so?
Home, barely. Husband goes to gas station for two cans of oil. Daughter runs past me on way to vet, pausing long enough to grab my credit card. Mr. Grimshaw is hurt. Somehow Mr. G managed to break his pelvis. Swimming. Aren't frogs supposed to be good at that? The cure is let it self-knit (this sentence cost me fifty dollars from the exotic vet). A little depressed, I am beginning to wonder why I have eliminated most of my vices. They would come in so handy right about now.

November 29, 2008

pinch of this, dash of that

Some recent discoveries and delights - just saw this movie and loved it. A big fan of Amy Adams and Frances McDormand already and they are just terrific together. On a different film note, these little films (click on the various ones) are wonders - I especially loved the octopus. This history lesson seems to go with it (sort of) - I especially love Alexander's reaction to going underwater..."Alexander is quoted as observing, from what he had seen underwater, that "...the world is damned and lost. The large and powerful fish devour the small fry." Sort of surprised that upset him, considering the whole conquering the world career thing he had going on. This blog just wowed me - I took a book binding course years ago in New Haven and have always been smitten - one of those "when I get some time" things I would like to do again. There's a great place in NYC for it but the classes and I never have the same dance card free. Finally, this artist's work are so compelling - really like Time Horizon and Waste Man.

November 28, 2008

They're thankful they aren't turkeys

The husband was in his cooking glory, the house was perfumed with turkey, the waiting was intolerable, what to do?
Ride, baby, ride.
Cruising with the daughter down to the park where we froze to pieces not wearing warm enough jackets, but it was gorgeous out and the geese were tolerant.
And back home, like a good fairy tale ending, a feast and loved ones awaited :)
Hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving, too.

November 25, 2008

Just try and get this tiger, grrrrrrr.

Came home to find a box , inside a book, a reprinted essay in there, a nice surprise actually since I hadn't realized they were reprinting it. It's on Amazon but I think it's way more fun this way. Now if I could just get the YA back on track. Okay, onto more important things like the older son is home for the holiday, that I am declaring Thanksgiving to be a calorie free day - in fact mashed potatoes, stuffing, and gravy may actually help a person lose weight according to my calculations. Have a happy Thanksgiving one and all.

November 23, 2008

It's beginning to look a lot like...

Well, maybe just because I just came back from a bit of Christmas shopping - what a sense of satisfied hunter when you find just the right thing, huh? Anyway, I am jumping the gun, not even Thanksgiving yet, but I want the star twinkle lights hung, a wreath, and our tree dressed in our years of collected ornaments and that lovely pine smell, and the Christmas music on 24/7. We don't break out the Christmas cds until Thanksgiving Day, one of our family traditions, but here's a few for the blog (love that movie) and the lovely early gift of the son who will be home soon from college for a few days for Turkey Feasting and for that Dickens Bless us all everyone vibe. And on the shelf, a tiny year round tree.

November 18, 2008

Tadpole no longer

A Mr. Grimshaw update for those who remember when he was a brown blob resentfully growing legs. He has grown into a strapping bullfrog with a yen for privacy and a look of contempt for his human keepers. He never did figure out that the many little fish in his tank are edible (very Dory "fish are friends, not food"). However he does seem to enjoy his crickets which keep escaping and are all over the house (speaking as one who was under her desk yesterday with flashlight, tissue, and a sense of trepidation as I followed the elusive and greatly annoying chirrups).
The daughter says he is going to get much larger. Much larger?

What's rather lovely is that he is not altogether "right" as one of his feet are not good. Which makes me feel good that he was rescued by us (found at bottom of large goldfish delivery bag at a petstore) as he would not fare well in the wild or with other critters...still, he does not care for us. Ah, well. We live but to serve.

November 16, 2008

Young at Heart

Watched that amazing documentary, Young at Heart, Saturday night and I had to post this.

November 15, 2008

A tick-lish subject

I hear the groans. Oh, pooh, I like a bad pun. Anyhoo, a spate of warmish rainy weather has brought the bugs back just when I thought the near frost had done them in - in the living room, a surprise mosquito trying to bite me, a tick finding its way onto the youngest one's back after a hike through the woods...and so because I feel like a nice practical and sturdy post, I will be offering advice on something on which I excel (thanks to my dogs) - tick removal.
Do not pour on gasoline. Do not use a spent match. Do not cover it in gels and goop to smother it. All of this is not useful and potentially harmful. Instead, take a tweezer (and this is where you should have invested in a decent tweezer for the house), grasp it firmly at the entry spot, and pull in a firm, steady motion. Don't freak out if you don't get the total head - don't believe me? Get Dr. Oz's take on the subject.

To get rid of the tick, I have found the best solution (since they seem notoriously hard to kill) is to drop the critter in a little bit of nail polish remover. That seems to do them in entirely. However, if you are concerned about saving it in case of Lyme disease or some other tick-related disease, just put the tick in a jar with a tight lid.

November 13, 2008

Dear Prudence

A song for the pudding queen, prayers and thoughts, it's a rainy night and I am thinking of you and that conversation you had on the phone with someone about a scary cat. Wish I had a phoneline tonight to you.

The daughter wants me to give a shout-out for "To Write Love on Her Arms" so here is their website, do read about it. A lot of heart and compassion.

A really lovely website for calligraphy and quote fans alike.

Personal religion.

Peace out, you know?

November 9, 2008

Food Nirvana

My daughter and I hit up Trader Joe's this afternoon and discovered serendipity. Slice and warm thin rounds of their garlic parmesan (Italian) bread. Spread on hummus. Top with olive tapenade. Oh, bliss. Really, bliss. I mean, we were moaning. She, like me, would rather eat this stuff than cake. Although I found her addition of feta overkill, she liked it (note her fab dark nail polish - silly fun doing the "food shoot"). Another fan of this tapenade was found on this blog as well as the great links to other veg blogs. Munch well!

November 6, 2008

Aliens among us

Our Halloween owl attracted a visitor. What you can't really tell is how absolutely ENORMOUS this Praying Mantis was...he later moved on to sitting (or was he merely biding his time, waiting for some innocent two-legged prey unaware of what lurked nearby?) by the front door forcing my nature-loving-except-bugs daughter to go out the garage door instead. Considering I only recently learned that they can fly really really fast, had I known what was by the front door, I may have opted for an alternate escape route as well....

November 5, 2008


"Yes, we can!"
-Barack Obama in his acceptance speech

Amen to that. I am so proud of my country tonight.

November 4, 2008

four different votes cast in all probability

My vote is probably different from my husband's and probably different from my son's and probably different from my daughter's obscure choices, but how absolutely amazing that we get to do this - choose to vote for someone who means something to us.

It's enough to barack my world :)

October 31, 2008

Underneath the stars

Underneath the stars I'll meet you and underneath the stars I'll greet you,
There beneath the stars I'll leave you...

October 29, 2008

Attention Cooks: Help!

Anyone know a way to salvage a perfectly lovely vegetable soup if too much fresh dill has been added? Was trying to finish up quick as sick nine year old wanted to watch Nim's Island - and I tossed in too much fresh dill - now the soup is just overwhelmingly dill (vegetable soup - onions, carrots, celery, turnip, parsnip with a tomato base). Anyway to neutralize the dill? I'm going to refrigerate it tonight and hope it improves a wee bit on its own, but any suggestions most welcome.

October 25, 2008

Blast from the past mini-concert

Last night, some mention of an old Billie Gentry song and I had to look it is the way of the computer, one thing led to sister had his album and while I never liked him that much, I have always liked him doing this song (James Taylor has a new cover of it). Then there is this Petula Clark number that as a child made me yearn to be grown up enough to go "downtown". I could not believe I found this, remember it coming over the radio in our years ago kitchen. I remember singing this song before I was old enough to understand what I was singing about, her voice is so fab but those jumpsuits..., but I have to include the song that seemed wickedly sexy once upon a time. Oh, radio in the kitchen, Cousin Brucie and all the hits. I remember thinking this song was what "old people" must feel like. I also remember hearing about the guerilla fighting in Vietnam and asking my Mom how they trained gorillas to fight in the war, so color me naive back then. This eclectic selection was great fun to rediscover and post here. Hope you found an old fave.

October 24, 2008

Friday Round-up

Remember Andy of Mayberry? Opie? How about the Fonz and that show? A friend (hey Steph!) showed me this today at work, just too fantastic. Ron Howard is a brave man :)
And in the spirit of the upcoming holiday, couldn't resist including this either.
Had to include the monkey who looks spiffy in his costume, and I truly hope to see these curious thespians perform someday.
My son is about to go off to his school Halloween party looking quite smashing as a wizard, so must go, but first this only a former lit student could love offering from the most fabulous VSL site whose posts make my email perky.

October 20, 2008

We've been Ghosted!

What started and nearly ended as a very drag Monday at work, add to it the little one's cello lesson doublebooked and cancelled after we rushed dinner and showed up, totally bummed all the way around. And then...doorbell rings and ... no one is there! Dogs going beserk. We peek out peephole. Lantern broken, all dark, hmmm. Brave husband opens door and -we've been ghosted! A plastic mug of candy and a pass-it-on hand-out plus a ghost to mark that we got ghosted! We get to play, too? This is great fun. Can't wait to ghost some houses tomorrow night after we pick up some candy. Look out! We may be ringing your bell!

October 19, 2008

Day in the sort of country

An apple run up to Connecticut for Macouns and cider and the little farm thing in the back that all three kids have gone to over the years ( a ten year difference between the middle child and last child so, yes, we have been doing this forever). Emus remain the most terrifying creatures on earth to me (I am convinced they are direct descendents of these). The place has gotten a lot more "known" since we first ran up years ago (okay, not quite that bad), but still good fun and great apples.

October 16, 2008

Some favorite things

Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens, bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens, brown paper packages tied up with string, these are a few of my favorite things...
Thank you, Nan! This is so much more fun!

October 14, 2008

Goblin Fruit

The new poem, Midnight Streets, is up at Goblin Fruit

If you click on the little blue dot next to the title of the poem on the title page, you can hear an audio version of it (courtesy of my brilliant college son who set it up for me).

October 12, 2008


Just about to leave for work (on a glorious Sunday afternoon, so sad) and my son runs over with great excitement , wild turkeys in the yard. And there they were - I think they are so beautiful, I truly do. When they wearied of us following after them, even though we were clearly enamoured, they FLEW up into A TREE. We were amazed. My husband, son, and I did not know they could fly up into trees, did you? And then they flew down into the back woods which no one but skunks, deer, bad little dogs, and apparently turkeys can access. Just so cool. I drove to work far less grumpy than when I had started.

October 10, 2008

A lovely surprise... run across an unexpected review in New Pages.
They reviewed the literary journal, Feile-Festa, and made positive note of my poem (Susan Moorhead, "History"). I am, of course, quite pleased.

Here's a link to the journal if you want to read the poem:

and this is a promise to sit down on Monday when I am finally NOT working (I am working all weekend, sigh) and read Nan's tutorial on how to put in links without all this long, unattractive, word scrambles, and figure it out at long last).

October 8, 2008

Our version of cozy, I guess

Been cruising the other blogs and admiring all the lovely autumnal scenes of rocking chairs and knitting, autumn walks and colored leaves, apple pies and ... well yes. All of the deep sigh, it's autumn, warm loveliness.
And while we do have tea and afghans, we are without a rocker and the ability to knit (despite a class where I was a horrible failure at it and vaguely scarred for life), and we are without, to my great and ongoing dismay, a fireplace, however, we do have a rat named Caden who is loving that popcorn, snug as a ... well, I guess snug as a rat tucked up my daughter's sleeve.
So that's pretty cozy. I guess.
(I would prefer a fireplace, however).
As long as Caden stays in sleeve, I'm okay. I like my rodents in fictional picturebooks and at a safe distance.