Monday, December 31, 2012

I and mr lee and katrina

Low key celebration of the New Year here! Chickens roosting in their house; we three on the sofa soon to be in bed. For 2013 I am adding a morning Qigong class on Fridays. I am thinking about, I most probably won't, cutting out dairy. It's just that I fear even the little I do imbibe (like a bit in my morning cup of tea) only compounds the stuffed nose I suffer in winter. I think I ought to at least try doing without, to test the hypothesis. I am learning to live without Art from the Lost Planet Blog; I am hoping very much that it will go up on their return from their annual winter travel. I know their readers are sad too. 
Efforts in the new year include: working for a ban on Ar-15s and on ammo clips holding more than 6 bullets; maintaining the ban on uranium mining in VA; electing Democratic Governor in VA; writing and art and Loose Threads; doing qigong and homeopathy. 
Here's to miracles and to the blessed world that houses us.

Monday, December 24, 2012


I never cease to be delighted by the thoughtfulness and humor of my children and their spouses! Ezra and Jen created a most apt mug and t-shirt for me after another of my impromptu homeopathic lectures. The mug reads: "Let's talk about homeopathy" and the t-shirt: "Trust me, I'm a homeopath!" I fill with giggles when I look at the mug and shirt and wonder if I am a bit like a used car salesman in my rants on homeopathy, trying to sell a discipline which has sadly been upstaged in America by glitzy pharmaceuticals. I've attempted to tone down my passion, failing mightily on occasion. At best I can recognize that I am getting carried away and apologize and even laugh! A very Merry Mary Christmas or whatever.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Following grand-daughter up the mountain

Well, we started innocently enough, playing soccer in the front of the house; then, carried away by the salubrious day, we followed a deer trail up the mountain a short way to take pictures of the house. Then P. got the notion that we'd hike all the way up and I followed, at times on all fours! It was a good trek to the top, dogs delighted to bound ahead of us. I did talk her down the more gentle slope!

Sharp-shinned hawk

Yesterday afternoon I was on the phone when I heard a thud and recognized the sound of a bird hitting the glass door. It was decimals higher than usual, no chickadee or gold finch. I looked out to see on my doorstep my cat, Katrina, staring into the face of a small hawk who was leaning back on his talons moving his head back and forth almost in a twitch. I opened the door quickly and quietly and scoped up bird, who did not fight my stealth. I kicked the door closed as I turned to my cabinet with Arnica and Aconite and other remedies for just such an occasion. Managing to hold this small beautiful raptor with his (or her) bright yellow legs (which I take as a sign of youth) with one hand, I unscrew the Arnica vial and touch the dropper to the beak. Then I look for a box to place him in for a rest. I see only the sky blue bucket which is a close fit. As he rests I put some water in a saucer so that I can add Aconite. But when I pick up the hawk, he opens his wings and it is all I can do to hold him from taking off inside. I walk to the door, open it, step onto the deck and lift the bird up, loosening my fingers. Hawk takes flight - makes a circle and is gone. 
I can't find a picture of the bird in my small guide, but on line I find him:

Monday, December 17, 2012

stones in memory

It is bleak this morning matching a pall that covers this nation after the absolutely senseless killing of 20 first graders and 6 adults at an elementary school in Newtown CT. I am with our President; we have GOT TO change. Guns with repetitive loads of ammunition do NOT need to be available to the public. Period. AK47s or weapons mimicking them should never be sold to the public. It is insane the amount of weaponry available in the United States. I am tired of the argument that guns don't kill people, people do. But people can't kill so many without a gun. I'm signing petitions. I want to raise money to buy back semi-automatic rifles and their accoutrements and see them destroyed - recycled into, if possible, beneficial items. 
The only way that I see that we can "stand" with the tragedy in Newton, is to pass legislation NOW. Really, we should have done more after VA Tech. The NRA is, indeed, a paper tiger which we need to dis-empower. ach...

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Irie's in the sky

The last puli in the hollow has gone on to where all good dear dogs pass and we miss her. Irie or E-ya lived the longest of all the pulik and even survived cancer in spite of being OCD  and having a rock fetish. She was my first grand child! Just crazy sad is what the state is of missing dog. I am bereft.
Mr Lee and I circumabulated Red Bud in Irie's honor; I kicked a few rocks on the narrow path in remembrance. It was my first hike about the mountain this fall, since the underbrush has allowed for an easy ascent.  We have now many more dogs buried than alive and this place such a fine spot for dog. The ticks, however, are making a dog's and, for that matter, a human's life a bit more difficult. Doesn't stop me from the land walk. I want to like, Irie, walk to the river the day before I die!

Friday, November 30, 2012

the North Fund

My assignment is to find a picture to send Lexi at the Community Foundation which represents the North Fund. I am blank. So I am looking thru my pictures for something which might trap my imagination! With "Heavy Boots" and P.
or maybe this:
 Mostly the fund is my attempt to try to lighten the difficult load that single moms have, especially minority low income moms or fathers. This year we were able to help fund grants to the Hensel Eckman YMCA, It's All About Jesus Ministries Outreach and Help Center, Montgomery-Floyd Regional Library, Planned Parenthood Health Systems, and the Women's Resource Center! I do feel good being able to help, especially agencies which helped me when I was a single mom such at Planned Parenthood. I don't know much about the YMCA in Pulaski, but the grant is for their low to moderate income child care assistance program. I suspect that my cousin Emmy who no doubt occasionally prays for me (being her pagan cousin) influenced my choice in helping the All About Jesus ministries - they help lots of folk in Radford! The library was seeking a grant for their oral history projects. I really must credit my grandmothers and my mother for enabling me to give to my community.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Winter duty

On a rare occasion I sit on the floor of my room, my library/work room and randomly pull out old note books and files in the search of an old poem. Trouble is it always leads to reading and to remembering. I found what I was looking for today, a poem for Wick. I found other pieces and I threw away some stuff, not enough. I hate to think of dying with this mess. But I tend to ignore the shelves; I persuade myself to leave them alone. I'm not happy with that. This winter! ha! This winter cleaning out these old notebooks will be my main duty. I can take one notebook at a time and burn pages I don't want to keep. Fire up the wood stove to consume the past no one else needs to see.
I mailed a check to the Louisiana SPCA in memory of Wick; I've yet to write Philip - I know he doesn't even know of my blog and I am not sure of his email. It is important, I think, to note what death of a friend prompts in us. I will make a giant effort to sort through my writing!
I think the difficult part is having to go over my life again as if I haven't sufficiently rehashed the happenings and non-happenings. Of course, I have not sufficiently learned from my life, and in reading some of the poems, I find myself crying. I have to go slow. Sometimes I laugh. And there is occasion to celebrate a well said piece I had forgotten.Here's one:


Thursday morning and I think the forging process is damping down
I am a newly minted woman
an advertisement for reticence
last night I was the Hindenburg big and hot in the sky
the fire in my crotch dangerous but necessary to flight
the Earth below looked suffocating and cold
I couldn't see New York
but something told me I was there walking inside a bald man
who had flirted with my soul. 


Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Dear Philip

I started a note to Susan, but couldn't seem to write anything that didn't sound trite and worthless. But what would have "value" and what hasn't been said to someone grieving? And I only met her that one time at the 40th reunion. 
So I'm writing you because I know you have lost a dear close friend. And I am terribly sad to think of what a great loss this is.
I know why I loved Wick, it was no doubt selfish.  I loved being in his presence; I loved myself in his presence. He made me laugh, deep laugh. And I valued the rare times I did spend with him. I am sad up here in the mountains of Virginia, pretty far away. I am sad for you and for Susan and for his sister Mary and for all the nephews and nieces and other friends. 
I hope you are well as can be and that you will be inspired to paint or to write or to run marathons - or whatever. 
And, Philip, would he really want us to send donations to the Louisiana SPCA?


Saturday, November 10, 2012

oh, joy, O

I don't know that I really care to know the psychology of being brought to tears of pure joy, for it is just too wonderful and rare a happening that I am happy to savor the occasion and leave it alone. I remember being delighted, even clapping, dancing and screaming at the television when Bill Clinton was elected ("Let's Keep Thinking about Tomorrow"), but it was not the same deep joy I felt when Obama won. Chills and awe.
Election Day here in Southwest Virginia was cold; I know it could have been worse; no snow, no rain. But standing outside handing out sample ballots and making chit chat with the Repubican standing across from me for two hours was only redeemed by discovering Virginia BLUE late that evening. The 6-8 AM shift was the hardest and longest. By 6 PM, I was at the library with a mind numbed by the sight of voters of every size, shape and height. Privy to a vignette: two young Mexican Americans taking pictures of each other in front of an Obama/Biden sign - I figure it was their first time voting! I drove home after collecting yard signs with Bruce Springsteen, "We take care of our own" playing over and over.
Long hot Epsom salt bath before dinner. I fell asleep by 10 PM waking with a jolt at 2 AM and reached for my Nook to check the news. Oh, Joy, we won! And Tim Kaine won.

Saturday, November 3, 2012


First words to come into my head as I hung up the phone were, "diabolical pleasure!" The phone call was a short poll; I thought that they had said of three questions. Yet the call abruptly ended after I answered the first question which was a rather long paraphrase of words from Billy Graham, asking if I supported Billy's desire to keep America's family oriented marriage between a man and a woman, etc. I gleefully hit #2 for NO. 
Early morning duties so that Alma and I could attend the Democratic rally at the Government Center. Then to phone bank for a couple of hours and to pick up yard signs and sample ballots. Dear Terry Ellen filled in my last slot on my schedule of poll greeters for election day (well, except that I have a rather loose line up for Pilot). Many folk are up in Roanoke to hear Former President Bill Clinton tonight, almost went. Monday, I think, we are due to have VP Biden in Blacksburg - no one knows the location. 

Pearl meets cousin Sofia! Maybe by next year I can see my two grand daughters together here - Pearl can introduce Fia to the river.


Thursday, November 1, 2012

"holding my breath and praying for our President!"

Quote from David von Drehle who has written a new biography of Abe Lincoln (adding to the 1600+) and was interviewed by Diane Rehm this morning. A divided America, much as it is today, the author points out - I so wish it were not so. It as if the country and world were set on following the fundamentalists back into feudalism, or some form of paternalistic government. 

On the lighter side, Winder "Cappy" Lyons just caught me online on Skype and it was delightful to touch base after 20 years. The connection was too poor for Cappy to play a song - but he has sent an album. I have to email him a scan of the photograph i've had stuck in a corner of the medicine cabinet up stairs, I'll post it here too! (winter dress in New Orleans: gloves, socks, a sweater - but shorts!")

Monday, October 29, 2012


Cold with snow/rain from sky which is not sticking and which I pray will not stick, not today, not tonight, not tomorrow! May bring Mr T down from the Blue house this afternoon, just in case a 4 wheel drive is necessary. Looks like Sandy/Frankenstorm is pushing up big waves along the eastern shore, Long Island south to Norfolk. I'm planning on baking cookies to warm up the kitchen from the damp dread day.Tiny marigolds from the Blue House!
Just 200 feet or so higher than the hollar, at the Blue House, snow was sticking on the grass, ducks were inside early and I took Mr T down to my house just in case the morning wakes to inches of wet snow. The wind has made the above freezing 37 degrees feel like 20 something, the dogs are wet and wanting treats. I am happy to be snug and finished with my duties; all the fowl are accounted for! But I fear the gardens will have a rough night; the wind too much for my attempts to cover fig with plastic. At least the fig is surrounded by three bails of hay. The greens should be ok. Blizzard warnings for Charlottesville! I imagine that Sandy is going to be very destructive inland.
A witches brew of a storm.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Wet and dog cozy inside

Just lighting up in the hollow under gray skies that dramatically expose the still bright orange/yellow leaves left on limb. Time to don boots and coat for the hike up to open the ducks and to pick some fresh greens to add to my arugula in morning green smoothie. I am relieved that the latest weather reports indicate less snow chance here - we're only 2,000 feet.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Rain from Sandy

Up at the Blue House! It is wonderful to have another garden to raid for greens and flowers (mine are dead down in the hollow). Yesterday evening when I went into the chicken house to look for eggs, I had to step into the house to retrieve one egg on the floor. The khaki ducks alarmed at my step fluttered around the house in one smear of tan and quack. They are lovely to watch, these khakis. 

Watching news on the hurricane/nor'easter, Sandy, who is due to impact Virginia by Monday - although it is raining this morning either from Sandy or from the cold front. I do hope that we do not get any snow! Off to work for Obama this morning; later to Giles with Alma. I am sad to see the warm weather end and to have the vivid last bright leaves by the house fall. My small sourwood's leaves are lovely orange red, the golden rain tree more yellow orange.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Pink Sky

It was dramatically pink, the sky that is, that I tried for a picture - strangely unreal. Light changes everything. Or perhaps, light is everything.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

1968 - 1972

I was living on Audubon St, in one of the two second floor apartments of an old house in New Orleans; it was only a two block walk to get a nectar soda at the K&B on Broadway and St.Charles. My husband of 3 months was in basic training at Fort Polk (simulated Vietnam) and I had a friend staying with me to help with the rent. She was working for the McGovern campaign whom we both supported; weekends we joined anti-war marches. Barbara had a boy friend in San Francisco and had flown out to visit him one weekend as I drove up to Ft Polk to see Bryce. I'd left the 3 foot tall pot plant in the bathtub when I left. That weekend the downstairs neighbor said the FBI had knocked on doors looking for Barbara. It appeared that they were after files which she had of McGovern backers. Today George McGovern died at age 90.

I have so mixed up my memory of that incident; well, the FBI looking for Barbara's files is correct - BUT, it had to have been Humphrey. In my mind I have always chalked the event (or non-event as the FBI did not go in my apartment) up to Nixon paranoia.  By 1972, I was living in Charlottesville and that was the year McGovern ran. 

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Half a sun and wind

The Mexican petunia is now inside and happily blooming.  Today was Wednesday morning with Pearl and the contagious delight of unbridled imagination. She blows me away with her prowess, hitting the child softball over and over - no t-ball necessary for her. I love watching her think as she makes a list of her home-school friends, marking down the letters of their first names! When she wants me to help her write a new word, she does not want me to write the word first, just to tell her the letters as she knows her letters (we spell pretzel and popcorn). 
Just ordered an organic whole turkey for Thanksgiving; Baldwin reminds me that last year at Alma's suggestion, I cooked the bird breast down. It was delicious. 

Monday, October 8, 2012

cold rainy rainy

Went outside to fill the bird feeder and to take a picture of this best to huddle inside day. Debating a walk which is losing out because of the chill and the wet and the fact that I'll most probably go to Qigong this evening. So Mr. Lee sleeps and I think of napping. 

Maybe a walk necessary to tug this sliding spirit, check out the hen house in case black snake back. I might even bag some watercress roots for Robin tonight which I have promised months ago. And I need to make reservations for my trip to Houston in December!



Friday, October 5, 2012

Invasion of privacy

Some person slipped a hand written note into my car parked at Krogers Thursday, accusing me of being a member of a party that "is destroying our country." The person asks if I remember "that Obama turned a 10.4 trillion dollar debt ceiling into one valued at 16 trillion."
So this is what I can expect from driving a sky blue Prius with an OBAMA magnet on the side, a LIBERAL sticker on the bumper along with a campaign sticker for FLACCAVENTO. Many friends have had their Obama yard signs pilfered in the night, or spray painted with a "N". 
I wonder just whose "country" this note writer lives in? Doesn't appear to be the same country I recognize. Of course, my fear for the country in which I live if Romney/Ryan were to come into power concerns a loss of women's choice, a loss of middle class, a loss of separation of church and state, a loss of regulations on water and air, a loss of the power of the EPA and so forth. The debt is great, but according to all the economists which I have read, it is manageable. But I can not write back to this anonymous invader of my car space.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Aunt Estelle amuses

We're not a family of horse whisperers, Aunt Estelle knows this. She speaks English and is sarcastic. She is glad to be home, but misses the view. Her take on "Loose Threads" was that for a half dozen old women, we rode hard and the wine didn't hurt. She's slightly jealous that Ms. Eek got to stay AND got a pair of tap shoes to boot.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

more canvassing

I've now canvassed 3 times and I think I can sniff a Republican domicile from the street; here in C'burg, the Republican leaning homes are tidy, often with early American paraphernalia, flag, and the face at the door is for the most part white. And maybe it is because I am wearing a shirt with Obama on it, that the Republican leaning faces seem prime, proper and cold - and say "NO."
I forgot the dog biscuits; this street had larger homes and two dogs or more instead of one. Catherine and I spoke to two undecided folks, but most of the people home were quite sure of their vote. 


Sunday, September 23, 2012

missing us

Susceptible to nostalgia in the Fall, I am double down to be alone in the hollow with no performance imminent! 

Elizabeth's hexagram

For awhile in the performance, Elizabeth unfurled the last hexagram in the I-Ching: BEFORE COMPLETION.  This image comes to mind this morning as I try to shrug the gray mood of performance done, over, fini! So I go with the I-Ching and figure today is just the day before the end (and so forth into infinity!). I read in The Book of Changes, "Things cannot exhaust themselves. Hence there follows, at the end, the hexagram of BEFORE COMPLETION. BEFORE COMPLETION is the exhaustion of the masculine."

Aunt Estelle is still strapped into the passenger seat of the Prius from the trip home last night; it was late and I had to let the dogs out of the house to accompany me on the trek to the blue house to close the chicken house. I am glad that we will see each other this afternoon at Ann's to gather together chairs and other items we brought for the play. Cool morning and a forecast low tonight of 38.

As I walked with the dogs to the river this late morning, I dwelt on the grounded/metaphysical mix in each of our works. From Elizabeth's wise and passionate earthiness to Diane's two feet into the other world albeit tugged earthward by family. How I seem as Joni so well painted, a poet with one foot in the world of living and one foot in the dead world. Pat who is so grounded building her house, by Tyree's Ashes is "jump started to the stars". Susan  breathing stars into her mother's spirit, then caretaker of her dad. Ann is keeper of memories and of the preciousness of life. I love the way our works touch each other, images mingle and transform - I want to dance more with this performance.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Gleaning Garden

Corn stalks rustle spooky
as I yank dried, some mildewed, ears
from their spindly poles,
tossing in the bucket what may be ground
or over the fence to the chickens' delight.

I fret my vigorous October bean plants
which have yet to bloom as forecasters
warn of frost within weeks. My fall crops,
chard, spinach, collard, broccoli, begin
to thrive in the cooler nights.

I throw slugs over my shoulder this
overcast morning attempting to repair
my neglect. I am too much the dreamer,
poor gardener, as happy with my volunteer
arugula as with plotted greens.

(work in progress!)
Today I work for Obama! Last night a fun occasion to dance at the benefit for Anthony Flaccavento in Blacksburg. Three of us wearing our THIS SLUT VOTES t-shirts and many people wanting to buy them - surprised to find that they originated here in Blacksburg!  

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Loose Threads

Diane just sent a picture of us in the space at Ann and Rick's house!


The Play's the Thing

It is fun; oh, it's work - at this age, memory work that taxes brain and body - but the pure delight in doing something well is an unexpected gift. Our work for LOOSE THREADS cuts deep, asks of player and of audience - a crack into the heart of loss. We have all glimpsed the black hole within (perhaps not so unlike Bob Dylan's "the evil twin!"). Or just death. This is Pat's space, where she stays until the near end of the performance. She moves from one arm rest to the other as she reads excerpts from her journal, scribbling notes, changing head rags.  I love to watch her! Susan has a space of chair and desk and standing lamp - she too must stay within the confines of her space until I come to get her when Pat walks the room reading "Tyree's Ashes" and handing out cards with images written upon them. Susan is serene, beautiful in her spot. The rest of us have blocking to remember - and poems to memorize - and in the case of Elizabeth and Ann, stories to tell! Elizabeth's two songs are wonderful; we all wish that we could persuade her to sing another! I am inspired by Diane's saying, gifting, of her poems - she is real. And I love watching Elizabeth and Diane re-enact Diane's piece about her mother. Thank goodness for Ann, whose stories are delightful - and her poems, so finely written. I am hoping that I can become as smooth with my llama poem while doing qigong as I am with some of my other pieces so that I can lessen the worry! Oh, as Elizabeth says in "July,July;" just someone please tell us "well done!"


Saturday, September 8, 2012

Canvassing for OFA

"We're Army and we've got a lot of guns," said a woman holding back her hound from the screen door. "OK, I guess you're leaning Republican," I say and back away. Darla notes on our clip board the house is a 5 on the Obama scale, we move on. The day had begun well; house with a large picture of Obama in the glass by the front door. This neighborhood of planned development in Christians-burg which was not canvassed in 2008. There was a VT at home game and several driveways were vacant; we left brochures. The last house raised our spirits more than the first; a couple who were ready to volunteer for Obama. But oh, the in between houses were white and Republican - unfortunately no one said Goode. Almost every house had a dog and I thought that next time I canvass, I will pack dog biscuits.

Thursday, September 6, 2012


The election has me in roller coaster mode, working for Obama's re-election and  swinging between the poles of positive and negative polling data, all of which I would like to dismiss, but which is an insidious invasion into the airwaves. Elation was last night and night before last; Michelle Obama was spectacular in every way and so was Bill Clinton. In fact, the Democratic convention has been inspiring not only because of the speakers, but also because of its delegations, no bland white bread here. Hey, I am better off than I was 4 years ago. But I am NOT "better off" being a woman in Virginia.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Potatoes, buckets of

Yesterday before the rain, I dug the sweet potatoes. I first had to untangle shoots and weeds that had threaded through the bird netting which I had placed over the potatoes to protect them from rabbits and ground hogs. The soil was hard and dry, but the sweet potatoes were plentiful and unmarked by voles thanks to the hard clay soil. I tossed grubs over the fence to the chickens, not many of them. I still have potatoes to dig which I will when the winter squash plants die which have crept into the potato row. 
Last night rain from Isaac began as huge loud drops as DD and I were eating on the deck. We made a hasty retreat into the house as rain grew more intense. We garnered an inch and three quarters within a couple of hours; and it washed out the road and tainted my spring with muddy cow pie smelly water.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Isaac the now hurricane

Fortunately this wide tropical storm took a long time to fashion an eye when it entered the Gulf of Mexico and thus has not become stronger than a Cat 1 hurricane; nevertheless, the amount of rain that it may drop is substantial, especially considering that New Orleans and the Gulf Coast doesn't need any rain. Because there is a hurricane threatening the land of my childhood, I am near totally distracted by the event. I remember praying for hurricanes in the fall so that school might be closed much as children where I live now,pray for snow storms. The excitement of a hurricane is propelling; I wonder if a black hole is as attractive? The aftermath of a hurricane is not so attractive as the fury of its approach. I can recall finding little relief from the heat after Betsy; baby sitting my brother, helping to clean up our yard (a tree had come through the roof of our house into my room - I think, a Japanese plum). I left for my second year of college with much of the city roofless or worse. I was just married when Camile hit, with my husband at Fort Polk for basic training, I spent weekends at my parent's house in Ocean Springs helping them clean up the terrible mess of debris that a hurricane leaves, in an unremitting humid hot world of no electricity. 

But my month has mostly been about two projects, on the one hand to heal from a nasty virus and on the other to memorize my poems for our show in September. I seem to making more progress on the poems, learning the lines with understanding I trust. The healing has been slow. Helped today from wonderful body work by Alison who is a certified Feldenkrais practitioner. I am learning how to allow my skeleton do the work of movement, letting my muscles follow (i hope i have this correct!). How to hold myself without tension, especially in jaw and shoulders. loosening up!  

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Rainy Day Sunday

Only a half assed watering last night in the garden though without inkling that rain might come, delightedly waking to the sound of hard rain in the early  morning, I am tickled by the dreariness and thankful that a houseful of 4 year olds must have brought it on! I roasted two batches of tomatoes in an effort to rescue a too large to eat crop - and not a day left to wait or I could have brought them to qigong tomorrow. The roasted ones are so sweet and will be delicious in soup along with the beans I froze yesterday. I planted some small collard, broccoli, and chard seedlings yesterday - they look happy with the grey drizzle. I plan to enlarge my winter garden this year.
A New picture of Fia at 2 months old with mom in their back yard. I hope I can get down to see her before the new year or shortly afterwards.
When Mr. Lee and I walked to the river yesterday evening, Mr Lee crossed over to the island below the shelf falls (we call "continental shelf!") all by himself. Usually because of the current, I carry him. He was proud of himself.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Rehearsals, rehearsals

It feels like our show is pulling together delightfully - our energy is high; Bob is patient. I thought of an old line of mine, "truth and understanding are not simultaneous." I finally came to a grasp of one of my poems and feel I can better perform it. It is what an actor at best gives the audience, when he/she embodies the meaning of the lines - not just recites them. When we can get out of our own way! It will be interesting to see how we do tomorrow night with some few live audience members. We have only run thru the whole piece two times! 


Sunday, August 5, 2012

back, back back

At the surgeon's office on Tuesday, I opted for operating the next day, Wednesday, August 1. So I am here with less flesh and back spasms from the tighter flesh suit - not terrible spasms, more like ripples which seem prompted by certain activities, like washing dishes or hanging clothes on the line. Pain isn't really an issue, I can sleep on my back, at least for awhile. And I am relieved to have the black spot gone. Back to the mantra of my poems into the memory bank for our performance in September. Back Back! 

Ezra sent wonderful pictures of 6 week old Fia. This one I've printed for the new frame which Yoga Sharon brought. Now to choose from my many pictures of DD for the other frame. Wish I had taken my camera to Steppin OUt yesterday to get a shot of DD leading her gymnastics's class at their performance. She is amazing. She came down to play with Sharon and me on Friday and this morning, regaling us with her stories of myriad babies and friends in the animal world. And she danced!

Saturday, July 28, 2012


If there was ever any question in my mind about the use of profanity, which I doubt, there is not anymore. Fuck perfectly describes my feeling after talking to the dermatologist Thursday afternoon. He was kind, just the bearer of bad news, this THIRD time. Not a third "black hole," commonly called melanoma, but new dark mole of errant cells which has developed smack next to the long scar on my back from the excision of the second melanoma. So I am being forwarded to a surgeon, actually the capable surgeon who extracted the first melanoma, Jolene Henshaw, who graduated from U of Arizona, (Arizona being the capital of melanomas). I'll be in good hands, but what will be left of my back? And the future is peering glum. So Fuck. I am now in serious retreat from the afternoon sun and weary of any sunshine at all. I take a too quick swim in the river or just a wade in the shade. Could be worse, no doubt...and I have plenty of diversion from dwelling on this situation. I guess I'll add a turmeric bath to  my routine which already includes turmeric in most food! 

Thursday, July 19, 2012

precious new grand daughter

Little Fia with her grand Godma. We arrived in Houston on Tuesday, driving through heavy rain much of the way, relieved to find Hotel Zaza easily in downtown by the Museum of Art. It is a direct ride to the Heights where Fia and her people live and Kingsley. Ezra suggested that Sharon and I baby sit the next afternoon so that Jen and her mom (who had not had a chance to get out of the house) get facials. We jumped at the opportunity. Because Fia had had two overnights at two different hospitals, Jen was pumping breast milk - so we could feed her. What a joy, I had forgotten the flesh/heart connection, the joy of baby lying on my chest. We enjoyed the next afternoon baby sitting again. Not so easy to leave. Glad I have 4 year old P. next door. lucky me


Friday, July 6, 2012

Have a Heart - well...

Two varmints in one day; a record for the hollar. Not much heart in it, however, as rabbit was delicious curry dinner; this ground hog will just be buzzard food. Can't exactly relocate a groundhog; nobody wants one - at least I can't imagine. I will leave town a bit less anxious about the garden; although I know there are many more rabbits about.

I caught a rabbit

I had so given up on the Have a Heart trap that I had placed bird netting over the sweet potatoes and beans - but low this morning "Bunny Dinner" was in the trap! I stuck the carrot in to try to amuse him while waiting for death. He's going to be dinner thanks to Baldwin's careful execution, skinning and gutting.

What Was I Thinking

It was a bit cooler and certainly improved the peripheral vision, however, the cow head perched a bit high - besides it might have been better to be unrecognizable. Riner cow in Blacksburg parade! It is almost as if a separate part of me decided to join the Montgomery County Democrats for the 4th of July parade in this costume. That rooster segment, the one that just has to be different when everyone else wore the blue WOMEN FOR OBAMA t-shirts. I suspect that part of me is most likely to arise when seriousness veers towards the dull - and I am prompted to make fun. Nevertheless, it was a terribly HOT time - I poured a cold bottle of water over myself at the end - with little relief.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Squash Galore

Luckily my squash has come in relatively early and I distributed a bag full at Qigong this morning. I dare not complain and thanks to a phone call to Fred I have a back up plan for my newly planted beans to protect them from the rabbit/groundhog while I am in Houston, plastic bird netting. My thought is to cut it in generous size to place over the beans; Fred says that the critters dare not walk over it for fear of tangling their feet in the mesh. I hope this proves true. 
I have the notion, prompted by said referenced conversation above, that my blog is boring. No doubt this is the case as I have been prompted to account for items which I wish to remember. For instance, this morning I buried pennies by tomato plants in the garden - hoping that the copper might prove anti bacterial to the plant. It works for humans, why not plants, I thought! A penny held against in insect bite can take away the sting, for a tick bite, it can stop the infection that has caused an itch! It is an experiment. And here's a picture of two great souls of the hollar!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012


The garden is beyond its historical self and green tomatoes dangle amid the thickened tomato plants - all of which I have had to secure with stakes after the high winds. My summer squash has been bountiful - I eat one in my morning green smoothie and saute squash for dinner and I've brought a bag to qigong class to give away! This plants are huge mocking the pathetic plants last year which were eaten by stink bugs. I've an interloper however, a ground hog whom I have failed to trap in my save a heart. I suspect I need to try Pink's suggestion of baiting the trap with cantaloupe.

Monday, July 2, 2012

baby baby

It is hot and much of Montgomery County is still without electricity, needless to say, Giles County and much of West Virginia remain hot (without fans hot)! I know what that is like, but fortunately my power returned after 24 hours. On last Friday, June 29, a very wide front, furious from record heat, in the evening blackened the sky with 60 to 75 mile winds. We got no rain, mercifully no hail. Just direct wind which knocked out power from Maryland to DC and down throughout Virginia and West Virginia. The tops of trees nearly touched the ground, some stayed down. We were lucky, just branches in the yard. Stories at qigong this morning: a neighbor was lifted in the air attempting to close a deck umbrella, another neighbor spent the night at her sister's as trees fell across the road, someone else lost their heirloom apple trees. 

On a much cheerier note, I've pictures of baby baby!


Sunday, June 24, 2012


John died Saturday, June 23.

He wanted to hug and touch. I grew tired of that. I wanted compliments and talk. Twenty years we lived together, though the last five were more convenience than couple, longer a pair than we'd been with any others. My old farm house thrived, we built a studio and a shop. I stopped smoking 17 years ago egged on in part by his "old people can't stop!" He never did and it slowly conspired to bring him down. 
We split over care for my father. John moved to Ocean Springs without my input. It was past time to split, he was right. And it seemed a good plan for my dad, only John grew very ill, hardly able to leave his room. My father died; John has suffered over a year longer - fortunately under the dear care of his daughters. 
I learned how to kill a chicken. I learned about building from footers to roof beams. I learned to abide pintos and mashed potatoes in stead of red beans and rice. I grew fond of butter milk poured over corn bread. But I never liked his Thanksgiving stuffing! 
Enough, I want to go work in the garden before it grows too warm; I will come back to this! 
Walked to the swimming hole thinking of wild mushrooms, thinking of the fun John and I had in the fall looking for mushrooms. Found what I call a "red hairy", suillus pictus", and marked the spot so that I would find it on the way home. Walking home I found another and Baldwin found another - so I've a celebration dinner in John's memory tonight.

Furthermore, John set the standard for blackberry picking; I can see him in a flannel shirt, his old work pants, belt around his neck with a bucket cut from a milk jug - setting out early in the morning for the bottoms. He had pretty good nerves, drove a dynamite truck all over West Virginia for the mines (lots of two lane roads which consisted of one center paved lane and fairly wide gravel shoulders). I must have grown more volatile than dynamite. 
John could sit in a chair in the shade of a tree with his shot gun waiting for the ground hog to show. He was an amazing shot. He shot a wounded deer in the river, in the fog. Baldwin had run home to tell us that he had just been joined on the logging road by a limping deer who veered off into the river. John hustled fast and we got to the river in time to see the deer trying to cross. 
About the time that John's ashes were being interred in Beckley, Elizabeth sang "July, July" - a song she wrote which had us in tears at Ann's while reading through our show. Borrowing from Elizabeth's lyrics, John did a good job in his life. As Mindy said, "he taught Baldwin how to build." Ezra, tonight, added, "he was great to play golf with!" (He saved Fred's (my second x-husband) life on the golf course!). He was a fine masseuse. 
Need to toast him with some Jack!

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Baby Sofia home!

I've tried to send no worry, wearing my green locket with Sofia's picture, morning qigong dedicated to her, but it was a great relief to hear my son's voice this afternoon, "she's coming home!" Sofia, only one week old, has had a second hospital stay to check her respiration, which will suddenly fluctuate and speed up. Nothing has been found amiss. Her appetite is great her dad reports. Oh, happiness. 

Friday, June 15, 2012

Halcyon day

Rhododendron blooming and honeysuckle azalea along the river bank. A noisy hawk flies the water course beside me; Mr. Lee doesn't bark - too busy with the scents, I guess. Baby Sofia is due any minute and I have taken myself to the river to wait.
For two nights a deer has gotten into the garden. Yesterday it ate tops of bean plants and a few tops of corn - last night, merely the tops of a few okra plants and a leaf of fig. I fortunately sprayed with the deeraway last night just in case it was no accident that a deer ended up in the garden. I also added more rope to the opening to the garden from the chicken yard. I don't see how a deer could leap the fence?  Tempted to try to stay up all night just to see.

Monday, June 11, 2012


Last night after midnight, I woke up to yipping and whistling like sounds. Mr Lee was growling by my ear. It seemed that the house was surrounded by a pack of coyotes having a party - no doubt, with rabbit dinner! I looked for any signs this morning as I walked to open the chickens - but no scat. 
A picture I took last week of DD when we were building a city with the blocks. 


Saturday, June 9, 2012

early garden mornings

After I open the chicken coop, I enter the garden to choose greens for my morning smoothie - the collards have been providing most of the mix of late - their large gray green leaves remaining tender and sweet. I now have lamb's quarters to add; this morning I added a few sugar snap peas as I have a good crop. I have been planting lettuce and arugula and beets every week in hopes of replacing the rabbit damage which left me bereft of these greens. Oh, delight this year I have squash plants on the edge of bloom, tomato plants with green baby orbs this soon. 
Watching Maria Sharapova and Sara Errani in the finals of the French Open with mr Lee on my lap. I hadn't planned to be inside when this is the best time for garden work, but I have missed watching tennis - this just a wee indulgence. Well, perhaps tomorrow morning for the men's final, I will again be sitting here. I am discouraged by the damage by deer this year around the house (which does not have fencing as does the vegetable garden). They have munched the buds of the purple and red day lilies. My deer away concoction doesn't seem to be thwarting their appetites. I'm making a stronger brew today to set in the sun. 

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

More pictures from trip

Mary Louise has emailed some more of her good pictures.  Here we five are waiting at the airport to begin our trek. I so remind myself of my mother in this picture in my white blouse with a collar, only mother would have buttoned the top button and instead of blue jeans, red jeans. Stephanie and Nayla vied for the most baggage; Stephenie had an old plastic soda bottle of bourbon checked in one of her two bags. Nayla who stands behind us, who initiated the trip, had a large suitcase filled with color coordinated outfits - many with bling. She was the youngest of our ground, still in her 50's; Clara (from Cuba) sitting on the right, is a hale 72 and much fun.  
The highest point of the trip, notice the glacier in the background (some 3,000 meters, about 11,000+ feet). Mary Louise found my green hat a helpful spot of recognizable color in the markets! This our last day of the trip took us through the Sacred Valley, beginning with a chilly walk up a series of terraces to the Temple of the Sun.

Friday, June 1, 2012

sitting in wall window

Mary Louise just sent me this picture which she took with either her camera or Iphone.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

eye glasses lost

I think it was on the plane to Cusco that I accidentally left my eyeglasses. Not so important as I only wear prescription lenses for driving and for movies; they were transition lenses though, nice. Now I, by Virginia state regulation, HAVE TO HAVE AN EYE EXAM in order to fill my prescription as the RX is over two years old. GRR. When the Wal-mart vision department informed me that they could not refill my RX and why, I sarcastically said, "well, isn't that capitalism at its best; you and the optometrists benifit!" - certainly NOT the consumer. I've had the same RX since I was a teenager.

Inca memories

I adore the Peruvian dress, the colorful full skirts, the intricate woven cloth from alpaca and llama. Small groups of inhabitants milled about every place we went asking for coins if we took their pictures or pet the baby alpaca. It touched me to see a red llama which reminded me of my llama, Crissy, at Machu Picchu. The town of Cusco is laid out in the form of a puma. Snake, puma and condor were the three main sacred animals of the Inka - well, I imagine llamas were also!
At the terraced site of the temple of the Sun the day after Machu Picchu, I was reminded of my small affinity to the Inca. There is a rock which juts out from Red Bud mountain on the path by the creek to the river which looks like a turtle head. I have over the years left rocks and wishes and gratitude on this cool rock face. For the Incas out crops of rocks on the mountains were worshiped as, in the case in the sacred valley, as the messenger to God. Our guide, Carlos, pointed out the nose and cheek bones, eyes and forehead and beard. Further up on the same mountain was an outcrop of rock in the image of a king - the constellation, Pleiades, moves during the year in the night sky adjacent to this face, telling of weather for the growing season. To the right of the messenger to God, is a stone storage building which is a passive refrigerator for potatoes and other vegetables. The Inca terraces are intricate, rocks on the bottom, then pebbles, then sand and last humus. They cultivated thousands of types of vegetables (especially potatoes). 

More Machu Picchu

Sitting here in my room with book cases to my back, further back my prosperous looking garden and red bud mountain in front of me - at all of 2,000 feet, I am awed that I took this picture just days ago (May 26th). I am still trying to find the words to describe this adventure. It will take time...a spiritual trip I can say. This high culture was so obviously dedicated to the civilization of man and the cultivation of potato (among many many other vegetables). On the last day in Cusco before bed, I happened to see an interview with a Peruvian artist - with a picture of large paintings (reminding me of Picasso's Guernica) AND a sculpture of a potato (i think in silver) with abstract figures holding it up.
This second picture from Machu Picchu shows our guide, Hamilton, on the left, with the red flag. the two guys to the right, obviously feeling the oxygen thin atmosphere, hands on their crotches! Oh, I used every mudra I knew in the climb as I felt as if there was a heavy brick pressing against my sternum.