Friday, December 13, 2019

Oh, Joy!

My good camera -- the Nikon D5300 -- has been at the camera repair shop shop since before Thanksgiving, waiting on a part for a broken thingamajig inside the lens.  I was delighted finally to be reunited with it yesterday and immediately started taking pictures right there in the parking lot. Which just happens to have a clear view of the iconic Mt. Pisgah and The Rat. 

I've made do with the little Sony but it's limited. It couldn't have caught the magical shimmer of this little beech glowing amid the dark bare trunks.

Or the sun and shadow on these rooftops.

It could surely have done justice to this pink mailbox that always makes me smile when I pass it, but yesterday was the first time I had had a clear road to stop on the perilous curve where it's perched.

Shapes and snow and shadows . . .

And despite my bitching and moaning about the deer that eat my garden, after the epidemic that killed so many this past summer, I was tickled to see not just one in our pasture . . .

 but two more!

One little orphan has been hanging around for months now and I've felt so sorry to see it lonely. Now, at least, it seems to have some friends. 

And I'll probably be bitching and moaning about what they're doing to my shrubbery all winter long.

Still, I'm glad to see them.

Wednesday, December 11, 2019

A Very Small Book Club

Oddly enough, in all my years as a voracious reader, I've never belonged to a book club. There was a time, early in my marriage when I read and reported on books for my mother-in-law who did belong to one and somehow rarely got around to reading the selected book when it was her turn to report on it.

But I've attended any number of book clubs as the speaker, when they were reading one of my books, and always enjoyed the lively discussions (and the food and the wine too.)

Now I find myself in a very select book club sort of a thing. My friend Allegra and I exchange piles of books  and have lunch and chat about this and that. Several months may pass between our 'meetings' and no one has to make a report on what she's read. If I'm particularly inspired by one of the books, I may email Allegra and tell her so but, so far at least, there's been no detailed analysis of any given book -- in spite of (or perhaps because of) the fact that she's a retired English teacher and I put in nine years as one.

You see in these two pictures the wealth she brought me yesterday. An interesting assortment in the top photo -- I'm looking forward especially to the Patchett and the Chevalier books. And in the bottom photo, the entire Shetland series. I loved the series on television but had never read any of them. I've already deep into the first (not pictured) Raven Black and am not disappointed.

Undoubtedly I'll be reporting on my reading here--in this online extension of our very small book club.

Any suggestions as to what I'm most likely to enjoy in the top photo?

Monday, December 9, 2019

Peer Pressure?

We won't put up a tree and greenery till around the 15th -- but the past weekend seemed a good time to change out the fall colors and bring in the red and green. And strings of lights. And all the old familiar Christmas stuff.

I think it was my DIL Aileen who posted a meme saying "Tradition is peer pressure from dead people" and I kinda have to agree. 

My family "did" Christmas but in a relatively restrained way. John's family, on the other hand, went all out, with bubble lights, clacking wind up toys, Christmas decorations everywhere, down to little decorative Yuletide covers for every doorknob.

And red suspenders and tartan trousers  for my father-in-law.

We don't go that far but every year I bring out the familiar family stuff -- the little Santa that John painted in Cub Scouts sits by the picture of his folks . . .

I hang up my great-grandmother's quilt . . .

... and the little Yule hanging John's grandparents bought on a trip to Scandinavia back in the Fifties ... and many, many more bits and bobs of Christmases past. It's all faded and time worn but then so are we.

I made this pillow cover (below) in 1984 -- and every year it looks a little sadder. And every year I think I should make a new one and every year, I don't.

 I hope when it come time for my sons and DILs to deal with all this stuff, they'll have the strength of their convictions and toss out whatever doesn't 'spark joy.'

I refuse to be the peer pressure from Beyond.