June 28, 2011


Tucker is exhausted from doing a wild run all through the house - an occasional pre-bed insanity where he runs room to room snapping at the air, nipping at curtains and bed quilts, giving everyone wild eyes and a full view of his shiny white teeth. In a large dog this would be terrifying. In a ten pound fake poodle (mini poodle/bichon mix), it is amusing, usually drawing a small family crowd, all of us shaking our heads. Trying to get a decent photo of this dog is ridiculously hard, he is constant movement and black on black. I usually get a dark blur. So I am quite pleased with these despite the messy room backdrop - and I love the one that shows him at his loopy best - underbite and floppy ears. He can ricochet from handsome to downright goofy looking in a flash. Very silly, this Tucker pup.

June 26, 2011

Sunday Quote

How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives.

- Annie Dillard

June 24, 2011

Freaky Rabbit Candles Roundup

Going through the faves and recent finds again - just learned what a Glasgow kiss is from this rather terrifying article, and here are some pack your bag for the apocalypse suggestions..., a very good article actually on how to make your own zine if you are so inclined. Want to get Happy? New York Magazine has some suggestions. Want to teach someone something? Show them how on Tildee.
and no more for now as I must get back to the book I'm reading and enjoying a lot - Alice Hoffman's The Red Garden.

June 23, 2011

More NYBG photos

The Lillian Goldman Fountain of Life Statue - supposedly merpeople frolicking (in the pool below which you cannot see here but you can online) with these giant crabs in front of some mer-siege of some sort with water nymphs and dolphin things - however the merpeople in the pool have legs and the lady has quite a tush and all you see besides them are giant metal crab legs sticking out of the water - until we read online that they were merpeople, we thought they had been some weird morphed crab-people thing, a bit strange but then again, art, you know. All in all, quite compelling and dramatic in that tribute statue way but honestly, part of you does think when looking at it that it looks like a tribute to sci fi films of night of the crab people or something.
The house is the house I will have built if I win the lottery. In the children's section, it's ginormous, has huge spaces rooms with vaulted ceilings, a greenhouse that is taking forever to complete, artsy areas, big upstairs for the workers only (where I would have our sleeping lofts) and just solid and yet airy like the best boat ever. I love buildings that remind me of boats.
A complaint. My hostas do not look like their hostas. Ever.
And a nice leafy ladybug to say howdy as you meander down the greeny trails.

June 21, 2011

Peggy Rockefeller Rose Garden

The husband wanted to go to the NY Botanical Gardens for Father's Day, who am I to object to walking around in green wonder for an afternoon? I did request, however, that this time we see the rose garden as last time we skipped it, too long a hike across the place and we were there for the Emily Dickinson exhibit. The youngest came with us and enjoyed the cut-through the forest plants section as it reminded us all of beloved Vermont, and then the Rose Garden. Past what must have been magnificent -early June- the blooms were like aging divas, still stunners but a bit worn around the edges, still fragrant, still attracting bee suitors, still quite worth the visit.

June 19, 2011

Sunday Quote

You must teach your children that the ground beneath their feet is the ashes of your grandfathers. So that they will respect the land, tell your children that the earth is rich with the lives of our kin. Teach your children what we have taught our children, that the earth is our mother. Whatever befalls the earth befalls the sons of the earth. If men spit upon the ground, they spit upon themselves.

- Chief Seattle

June 17, 2011

a great cover of a favorite song

A vertical set of photographic moments before a night time horizontal turn as the hour is late. Take a listen to this very terrific cover of that great Van Morrison song, Carrying a Torch. Ann Arader, the singer, I was fortunate enough to first hear when she was first starting out - a compelling talent, I love the layers and emotions in her voice.

June 15, 2011

For Aunt Eileen

Above us, stars. Beneath us, constellations.
Five billion miles away, a galaxy dies
like a snowflake falling on water. Below us,
some farmer, feeling the chill of that distant death,
snaps on his yard light, drawing his sheds and barn
back into the little system of his care.
All night, the cities, like shimmering novas,
tug with bright streets at lonely lights like his.

-Ted Kooser, Flying at Night.

June 14, 2011

The Happiness Project

I nearly interlibrary-loaned the book, The Happiness Project, several times but each time put it off. While I am a fan of self-help books since, like Ben Franklin, I think trying to be a better person is a worthwhile endeavor - not to mention that setting little goals and meeting them can feel quite rewarding, the idea of it felt a little too kissing cousin to Eat, Pray, Love and a long list of change your life in a year books that vaguely annoy me.
I worried that it was going to be another book insisting I quit my job and move to some wild place and follow my bliss when in fact my job, which is being a children's librarian - is on the scale of don't you wish you could play with puppets and read to wee ones everyday, too? kind of awesome - also supports my family.
Sure, there are days I entertain the vision of being a writer by a wild sea, thank you very much, however, most of my self-help projects involve decluttering and being less cranky. And like that old Liza Minelli song (probably only I remember)- "say yes". Cause it is just too darn easy to say no and just watch Dancing with the stars (not that I am knocking that - go Kirsty was my motto for weeks).
I was pleasantly surprised when I finally broke down and took The Happiness Project out (and this is a link to her blog which I just looked at today having wanted to wait until I finish the book, don't ask me why) out of the library how useful it was. I found myself reminding myself of useful things like "cut people some slack" (helpful at work and at home, and also nice to apply to myself) and trying to choose a "happier" approach to situations - and saying yes more often - and these little actions made for little rewards made for little moments of increased happiness - which add up.
Have I thrown myself into it and made a chart and the whole shebang? No. But I might. Or at any rate, jotting down thoughts concerning her first splendid truth (read the book already) and starting to try to really figure out my good, bad, and rights and places of growth are interesting thoughts to ponder at the very least. So five stars to Gretchen Rubin and her very good idea.

June 12, 2011

Sunday Quote

You will find something more in woods than in books. Trees and stones will teach you that which you can never learn from masters.

- Saint Bernard, Epistle

June 11, 2011

Carl Sandburg's home in North Carolina

Some photos from the Carl Sandburg historic home in Flat Rock, NC. If you have a chance, don't miss it, it's lovely. We went there on a sad day for our family, my mother-in-law having passed away, and it was the perfect place to go to celebrate her life - she loved the outdoors fiercely, camping and hiking for years, canoeing and kayaking, never one to say no to an adventure, and she loved literature, evident in her career as a librarian. She loved the Sandburg place as well, one of the last times my husband spent with her was walking around the lake on the property.
Carl Sandburg's wife raised goats and there are still goats on the farm - these darling babies did not mind our honeying about them at all. The adult goats were all very calm, used to visitors, accepting a petting very graciously. Walking around the lake we spied all sorts of beautiful flowers - including a jack-in-the-pulpit plant, and turtles sunning on rocks, but my favorite sight was one my sister-in-law pointed out - the footprints on the wooden walkway of the wet dog who had been swimming in the lake.

June 10, 2011

Not so much honey

as molten lava. Is this really just June? I am becoming very emotionally attached to all forms of air-conditioning.

June 6, 2011

One brilliant night in Scotland...

my sister and I decided to eat in the room - fish and chips wheeled in on a lovely cart under silver domed trays, the view from our window this one, the Castle, spectacular day and night, and we turned on the telly and caught a BBC special that was so interesting - Dr. Alice Roberts talking about Wild Swimming. The show followed her swimming exploits across Great Britain while she refers back (a narrator's voice reads the work) of Roger Deakin, a writer and journalist, who wrote a lovely piece about wild swimming.
I wish we could get the whole of the special here, it was quite long, and we were fascinated watching her go from wild pool to stream to pond and bravely dip in the most freezing looking waters. In looking for more than just that first brief introductory post on Youtube, I have found some more amazing wild swimming. This one, with Kate Rew, another wild swimmer who swims through the fairy pools in the Isle of Skye is absolutely magical.
Here are some very fit ladies post swim with the most fun swim caps ever. I really do think I was born and am living on the wrong continent a good deal of the time, evidence in all this glorious silliness in the pursuit of the wild swim. I think my swimming father would have enjoyed the notion. Last but hardly least, I don't know who these people are but they are very brave, have no fear of the cold water, and share an apparent lack of melanin in their skin with me and my Scottish-Irish blooded children, and my lovely freckled man. Brrrr! Don't know if I'd actually go in, but I'd like to think I just might.

June 5, 2011

Sunday Quote

I've never quite figured out what I get from children's literature that I don't get from adult literature, but there's something. The diffence between novels for adults and novels for children isn't merely a matter of cover design, bookstore placement, and the age of the protagonist. It's a certain quality of atmosphere.

- Gretchen Rubin, The Happiness Project

June 2, 2011

loving the lions in NYC

Took some photos of the buildings and such while everyone was wandering around the American Girl store... especially love the lions - do you think they know
Patience and Fortitude? I love the statue above the skating rink in Rockefeller Center (although not a skating rink in warm weather, that is how I think of it)...

June 1, 2011

Definition of Crazy in New York...

is to go into Times Square on the Memorial Day weekend. That's like going to F.A.O Schwartz at Christmas or trying to see the fireworks on the fourth of July. But we had out of town visitors, two of whom were scrumptiously adorable nieces jonesing for the American Girl store. The girls had their AG dolls (wish I had gotten a pic of their very patient Daddy with dolls tucked into his backpack), and my son ducked into the Nintendo store rather than be seen among the doll-loving set. Just as well, he would have been traumatized. Lots of pink. When my oldest had one of the early Samantha dolls, they never had all that cool stuff. (note - they do have excellent books and movies for the doll-scoffing set). I only lasted fifteen minutes myself and wandered over to Anthropologie, but there too - wall to wall people. You will never feel alone in New York City on a holiday weekend.