Thursday, April 30, 2009

Happy Poem in Your Pocket Day!

Even without my reminder, a dear blogger, Wishy the Writer (isn't that a great whimsical blog title!?), remembered and left me a link so I could see the poem she selected for today. When I read her choice (a favorite of mine), I knew just which poem I would choose to share.

It's by a woman... I don't really know. The person is somewhat of a mystery to me. J. L. Stanley. All I know is that I'm ever so grateful that I stumbled upon this particular poem many years ago. For a long time I was under the impression that J. L. had passed away. I'm thrilled to say it appears I was mistaken. Before today I only knew of the Labyrinth poem collection. I will be spending time this evening reading this new cache of poems I discovered labeled "Collected Poems of J.L. Stanley (c) 1983-2009". See, still writing! Yay!

I dedicate this sharing (and not the poem itself since I didn't write it) to my grandchildren one and all, in hopes that they will lead magical lives where the wind and the faeries never stop singing to them and they never stop listening.



Catechism for a Witch's Child

When they ask to see your gods
your book of prayers
show them lines
drawn delicately with veins
on the underside of a bird's wing
tell them you believe
in giant sycamores mottled
and stark against a winter sky
and in nights so frozen
stars crack open spilling
streams of molten ice to earth
and tell them how you drink
a holy wine of honeysuckle
on a warm spring day
and of the softness
of your mother who never taught you
death was life's reward
but who believed in the earth
and the sun
and a million, million light years
of being

1986 J.L.Stanley


Poem in Your Pocket Day Reminder!

I can't believe I forgot to remind everyone! I even had it written on my calender. Right next to that two hour dental appointment. Uhm, I guess dentist phobia me was a wee bit distracted. But, better late than never - it's today! TODAY! So there's still time! My poem will be up later today. Now off to print it off and stick it in the pocket of my.... er, still wearing my leggings.

I better get dressed first.

Poem in Your Pocket Day. What's in your wallet?, pocket?

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Have You All Given Up on Me?

I've been ignoring my blog for a long time. Travel, busy, more travel, more busy. After a while, so much time passes that it feels like I should do something really good for my first post back. Intimidating.

And then there's Facebook. I've been sucked into Facebook life. It's so immediate! It's so easy! You should be my friend over on Facebook. You'll definitely hear from me more frequently. Not that you should stop reading my blog. Which I promise to be more attentive to from this point forward.

I also joined Twitter on the recommendation of a friend. Who, I notice, never Tweets. I can't quite figure out the appeal of Flicker. It doesn't seem as friendly as Facebook. It's not reciprocal. And it feels a bit voyeuristic, in a way reading someone's blog doesn't. I'm not sure why anyone would want to read my Tweets (when, ahem, they can read my updates on Facebook), but it's sort of become my "follow favorite authors" spot on the web and it's a fast way to get updates on blogs and other news. And it's not very time consuming (compared to sayyyyy, Facebook) so I'll keep at it for a bit.

I had two interesting dreams last night. In one, the family was all headed off for Faerieworlds when I suddenly realized I wasn't ready. Hadn't packed our costumes, didn't have our camping gear in the car. There was no time left to prepare. In the dream I was dashing about gathering necessities while simultaneously letting go of expectations. I think the dream reflects my whole life at the moment. I've got lots of pans in the fire and I'm determined to keep them all cooking but realistically it's too much. I'm not ready to give any of them up but I think I'm preparing myself for the point at which I'll have to accept my limitations.

The second part of the dream was set in one of a handful of recurring homes that I own or have lived in in my dreams. There's about three or four of them that I keep returning to over the years. They change or morph a bit, but the general style and geographic location stays the same. And although each of the homes are different from each other (one is a big Victorian (that doesn't exist in real life) on Main Street in a town I lived in as a small child, one is a rental house in a suburban neighborhood we used to live in as a family and return to (although this didn't ever happen in real life), one is my grandmother's old house (although it doesn't look like her real house did)and so on....) all of these "house dreams" have a similar quality to them that makes me categorize them together. I think of all these houses as representing me or my life, the dream allowing me to step aside and view myself or my situation from an outside perspective.

In last night's dream we (me, family, some friends) were going to do something, can't remember what now, and we were about to go off to find a place to do it when I suddenly remembered all this unused space in my house. All my dream houses have unfinished or unused spaces in them. Sometimes it's just empty space, sometimes it's scary space behind doors that frighten me and which I never willingly open. In this particular house it was just an entire second floor of living space we'd never finished off or used. I suggested we use this space and we all tromped upstairs and sat around a table talking about how this would work out fine and tossing out ideas on how to finish or decorate the space to work for our needs. Obviously the dream reflects my feeling that I'm finally working on parts of myself that I've left unused for a long time.

Thunderbirds Are Go is on the television. Does anyone else find these puppets mildly creepy? And the outfits they wear - uhm, at the very least, can we say "metrosexuals"?

I'm not sick (knock on wood) but I did feel under the weather all day. I spend several hours in the dentist chair yesterday and I've been pushing a full schedule lately. I think it just all caught up with me. Exhausted. Headache. Brain fog. I finally gave up and gave myself permission to have a day off. It's hard to let go of the need to be productive in any way.

Of course I didn't take off being a fashionista. My fluffy brown and white robe, black and gray skull leggings, and brightly striped slippers really pull off a look, doncha think? A look that says "That woman is sitting on her couch in the privacy of her own home."

That's about it for tonight. Time for tea, book, and bed. Tomorrow I hope I'm back up to speed as we've got fence posts to set. And blog posts to plan - lots of photos from my travels to share!

Monday, April 20, 2009

San Diego Gaslamp District

I've been so busy, and traveling, and busy, and traveling still. And you bloggy friends must feel so abandoned by me! I'll try to make it up to you while sitting here in the airport, and upload some more San Diego trip pics. Here's a little montage of the evening Hubby and I spent in the busy downtown Gaslamp District.

A chocolate shop next door to a margarita bar. I really don't know how you could improve on this scenario.

This was a hostel. I loved all the different colors lit up in all the windows, and the colorful flags.

More color at Horton Plaza, the big Escher style downtown mall.

And speaking of Escher, check out this cool stairwell.

I still can't quite figure out what number that's supposed to be. It was the reflection of a club flourescent sign on the pavement. The letters aren't backwards aren't backwards thought the numbers seem... upside down? Maybe it's a reflection of reflection?

Flowers for sale down below.

An entrance to something, probably the mall. Lights, traffic, people walking about. I love the energy in a big city.

Hubby has a big new friend.

What gorgeous old architecture!

The blue light in the photo kept changing - blue, then rose... purple.... green... blue again.

The lights in the fountain changed too, whenever the traffic lights or traffic itself changed.

I liked the big "O". I'll have to go see what it is someday -a bar? restaurant? club? shop?

What I was trying to take a photo of were the cool glass blown puffer fish lights. They didn't come out in focus, and they're overexposed, but I still liked the photo, there's so much too see in all the layers. And doesn't it seem like the Leaning Tower of Pisa there in the middle?

Old Mardi Gras type beads on the top of the Starbucks balcony. Don't know what sort of celebration they had at one time, but I bet they had fun!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Just Another Day in Paradise

More pictures of the Spanish Village Art Center in Balboa Park, San Diego, at Laume's Studio.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Cafe Coyote and a Stroll

We went to one of our favorite places in Olde Town San Diego. The cast of characters:

Joe and Lisa

William and Moi

Hubby (aka Papa) and Joli

Sam and Ashley

We've always sat outside, but this time we were ... well, we were still outside, but under the roof. I was facing the bar. I thought the colorful bottles were pretty.

And the motley shapes of all the taps.

This margarita drinking coyote doubled as a wall light sconce.

Afterwards we went for a walk. We saw this man sized bunny, which frightened both Ashley and Joli. Joli asked if the bunny would eat her. We assured her no, bunnies don't eat people. Lisa added that people could eat bunnies though. Joli decided she would very much like to eat a rabbit, plus, her daddy would be happy to cook one for her. Perhaps she's a Wednesday Adams in training.

Ashley's fear of oversized rabbits is a bit confusing, I thought perhaps it was the result of Frank, the cuddly bunny from Donnie Darko, but she said she'd never seen it. We assured her she'd love the movie and should watch it as soon as possible. To get over her fear of large rabbits.

I liked this window display.

Too bad the shop was closed.

We did go to our favorite shop - Miranda's. Here's part of our entourage looking at merchandise. Or just looking.... goofy.

Singing? Yawning? Yelling?

Saturday, April 04, 2009

A Long, Dirty Day's Work

Sam and his friend got up at 3 am and were on the road by 4 am, woke us up at 6 am. By 6:30 Sam and I were at the rental equipment place and by 7:15 we were unloading the equipment into the back yard. Jeff, Brian and William had already taken down the fences.

One cement cutter and Sam's friend Brian.

I couldn't stand to be there when they cut down my apple tree, so no photos. Here's a bit later, cutting it apart and clearing the alley.

William leaning on his shovel - working hard or barely working?

He actually worked very hard without complaint for twelve hours.

Sam behind the wheel....

...of this big ol' creature.

William and the head of the dragon.

Another photo of William and dragon - I liked the cool shadow between them.

Rub a dub dub, three men in a .... well, a ditch. This is about the time they discovered that the guy from the water company, that had decorated the edge of my fence with a cute little line of white flags designating the location of the water line, was full of crap. We'd been digging very carefully to avoid hitting the gas line, which was within a couple feet of the sewer line we were digging up. The water line was supposed to be about five feet away on the other side. Turns out the water line.... wasn't. It was closer to the sewer line than the gas line was. The little line of flags would have had to have traveled up the tree diagonally and across the roofline to be MORE wrong. So, unexpectedly, we got to replace two thirds of water line as well.

This photo only shows about half of the length. The ditch was about eighty feet from end to end. It started out at about three and a half feet deep at one end and finished out by the alley at almost five feet deep!

TWELVE HOURS LATER we called it a day. And went out for Mexican food.

All filled back in. Well, almost. There's more to do. Here's a photo I took today. Down at the far end, in dark shadow so it's hard to see, there's a lot more dirt to replace in the ditch. And there's "exra" dirt, as well as a pile of sand to deal with. A pile of apple tree to cut and stack. A dumpster to finish filling. Fence posts to reset and two fences to place. A ditch to ... well, I'll get to that in a second. Once that's all done then I can start figuring out how to put it all back together.

So, the ditch. I have cement to reset. This is about half of it, there are two more piles behind me. I had them break it into smaller "stone" pieces for me. I'll going to refill it more as a stone courtyard then as a slab. I hope to break up some of the other parts as well, some of it is already broken up. I don't think it will ever look professional, but if I'm lucky it will look funky - in the good "hippy" definition sort of way - not funky in the "dead skunk smell" use of the word. I have to get the rest of the dirt back in the ditch and give it some time to settle before I have to worry about whatever I'll do next.

We didn't move Green Mary but she seemed calm throughout the event. She survived, a bit dusty, but with her smile intact. She'll get a showering off a bit later.

Today I woke to perhaps the longest string of variations on the "f" word that I've ever heard, coming from Hubby's lips. We'd had a leak in the kitchen sink, small problem compared to the backyard. Hubby thought he'd surprise me by fixing it before he went to work today. Instead, it went from minor to major. We called a plumber who amazed us by being available this afternoon.

Long story short, I bought a brand new and much better quality (not to mention pretty and modern) faucet and had it installed. The plumber also helped check all the other faucets and hook ups in the house and helped clear a clog in one of the bathroom valves.

Expensive but I'm so happy to have plumbing, working plumbing, KNOCK ON WOOD, that it's all worth it. It's hard to explain how happy I am at the thought of washing, scrubbing, doing unlimited loads of laundry, and even flushing the toilet as often as I want! And showers! Long, hot, and did I mention LONNNNNGGGGGG showers - Nirvana!