Thursday, May 26, 2022

Instead of a Josie Post


 All I can think of is the agony of the families in Uvalde and the murderous complicity of every politician and voter who rejects rational gun control. (By which I mean at least the kind of vetting one goes through for a driver's license.  And, for god's sake, a waiting period.) 

And then there's the hypocrisy of those who mouth "thoughts and prayers" and say "it's too soon after the tragedy to talk about a solution." It's always too soon because there's always another tragedy.

May all those who see school shootings as the price we pay for so-called gun rights rot in the hell of their own twisted souls. 

Wednesday, May 25, 2022

Towel Day


Today is Towel Day, honoring the late Douglas Adams, creator of the amazing Hitchhiker's Guide to the Universe, in which the hitchhiker is advised that a towel is the most massively useful thing a hitchhiker can carry, for many reasons but most importantly because if one has a towel, others will assume that one has other necessities and is a really together guy.

I always keep a towel in the car-- since I don't hitchhike, I don't actually carry one. But towels have been on my mind recently, particularly the supply of towels in our house.

Each of the two bathrooms has a towel bar with a nice clean, fluffy, relatively new towel and washcloth. The doors of the two bathrooms have hooks from which hang more towels, clean, but thin, frayed, and undeniably ratty. (See first photo.) These are the towels in actual use. The nice towels stay unused--except when Josie takes a bath. She is having none of the crummy towels.

Our linen closet has a stack of unused new towels. So why aren't we using them?

Beats me. But I remember that my grandparents were much the same--continuing to use threadbare towels when there were new ones on the shelf. Is this an old age thing? Inherited frugality? For what are we saving those new towels anyway?

Maybe in honor of Towel Day I'll gather up the ratty ones and put them on the shelf for utility/dog use and break out some new fluffies. Walk on the wild side! Live for the moment! Woo hoo!



Tuesday, May 24, 2022

Between the Rains










 

                                                                                     

Monday, May 23, 2022

Three Books


The Moons of Jupiter by Alice Munro is a collection of quietly unassuming powerful short stories, many of which were first published in the New Yorker--which is for me a recommendation of quality.  Set in contemporary (late 2oth century) small-town Canada, they delve into the human condition with unerring precision. I really enjoyed this and will look for more of her story collections.


More good reads from the Book Pusher's bag. Kristin Hannah seems to be immensely popular just now--NYT bestseller and all that. I often see her recommended on FB pages for readers. Both of these were enjoyable, almost un-put-downable.

The Great Alone is set in backwoods Alaska where a troubled Vietnam vet takes his wife and daughter to live off the land, away from the corruption of society (and the PTSD demons that pursue him.) The descriptions of life off the grid and the other homesteaders are vivid and the setting is awe-inspiring.

The Winter Garden is set in the Pacific Northwest and Alaska, with lengthy, beautifully done flashbacks to the Siege of Leningrad that seem all too relevant today with the war in Ukraine.  Again, the prose is beautiful, the descriptions fascinating,

And yet . . . both books left me annoyed with one or more of the characters and feeling manipulated by the author. (I know--that's what authors do, myself included.) But some of the characters' choices seemed really unlikely to me and the plots a bit soap-opera-ish. 

Several reviews described Winter Garden as a tear-jerker and I guess that's part of my problem with it. Both novels are squarely in the genre of Women's Fiction--relations between sisters, husbands and wives, mothers and daughter(s) are at the forefront in both books. 

Still, I enjoyed reading them and learned a lot about Alaska and the Siege of Leningrad. Good reads, just a little soppy for my taste.


 

Sunday, May 22, 2022

Hail, Yes!


A sudden hailstorm blew in and for a while, thanks to our metal roof, it was a great deal like being inside a popcorn popper.

 When it was all over, there was a welcome inch and seven-tenths in the rain gauge and the air was much cooler.



 Jenny is not a fan of rainy weather and especially not a fan of hail.


Hoping it didn't damage any gardens. Back when we grew tobacco, hail was a worry as a bad storm could destroy an entire just-planted crop.

 I don't know if there's any baccer grown in the county nowadays. It's a terrible, labor and chemical intensive crop that contributes to addiction and causes cancer--good riddance. 

But it was wonderful to have participated in the deep-rooted culture of our new home.  I wouldn't have missed the experience.


 

Saturday, May 21, 2022

Appetizing


Puff pastry (thank you, Pepperidge Farm) appetizers for a little birthday party. The recipe is HERE but I substituted Mexican mixed shredded cheese and feta, as well as Kalamata olives instead of ripe.



The honorees are on the downhill side of fifty, and I couldn't resist quoting another friend who made a toast at a fiftieth birthday party some years ago.


"Remember, the glass isn't half empty; it's one-third full!"


 

Friday, May 20, 2022

Wednesday, May 18, 2022

Josie the Photographer


Josie has discovered phone photography. I've loved seeing what catches her eye. (Everything, to some extent--she took almost 500 pictures once she got going. I have selected a few that caught my eye) 










Obviously, I took this one below. But she approved of it immensely. "Look at my hair!"

                                                                                   
 

Monday, May 16, 2022

Birthday Party


It was just parents and grandparents as there's going to be a kids' end-of-school party in a few weeks.  Her little self had a good time anyway



She scored big in the matter of fairy garden stuff to set up on the little patio.





There were lots of packages to open--books and games and fairy garden accessories and a Ladybug set . . .




A bed and a quilt and new nightgowns for Dolly and Margo





A beautiful shawl from Aunt Aileen . . .



More garden fairy stuff including a lake and a bridge

An ice cream cake covered in sprinkles


Candles to blow out. 
And a good time was had by all!