Sunday, November 29, 2020

Late Thanksgiving

A different sort of Thanksgiving this year--just us and Justin and Claui  and Josie, and we postponed till Saturday so the young uns could spend Thursday with Claui's folks. 

All the traditional elements were there-- shrimp with cocktail sauce to start, roasted butternut squash, sweet potatoes, apples, and onions, Brussels sprouts, salad with pears and pomegranates, and the turkey and dressing--but this time the turkey  and dressing were wrapped in puff pastry-one package with white meat, one with dark. There was port wine gravy on the side and a pumpkin chiffon pie to follow. 

I have to say that it was excellent. And it produced (with the help of several bottles of cava) the traditional post-Thanksgiving stupor.

And there are leftovers!

Friday, November 27, 2020

We Have a Winner!

 Karen Larsen's name was drawn from those who left reviews and I'll be sending her the signed print as soon as she gives 
me her address.

Many thanks to all of you who left reviews--some at multiple locations. And of course, more would be welcome--especially at Amazon, Goodreads, and Barnes and Noble.

Josie Gets Ready for Christmas

Meema and I are making Christmas ornaments. There is a tree and two hearts. They are felt, glued on cardboard. Meema did that part. Now it is my job to choose the ornaments and point to where I want them to go. 

Then Meema puts a dot of glue down and I very carefully put down the ornament on the glue. 

This one is almost done. 

It is fun choosing just the right color button.

I think we will make some more on another day. There are lots more buttons.


Wednesday, November 25, 2020

A Sense of Calm


"And all shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of things shall be exceeding well." Julian of Norwich

Every since yesterday morning, when an NPR announcer's casual mention of President-elect Biden made me realize that this long nightmare is really almost over, I have been in a state of calm, semi-euphoric, well-being. 

That nagging existential dread is quiet for the moment and, though I don't expect miracles from a Biden administration, hamstrung as it may be by Mitch McConnell and the damage already done, I do look forward to complete, rational sentences, dignity, compassion, reality-based decisions, and a diverse and qualified set of appointees with no media celebrities among them.

I'm feeling good, too, about the book. A lovely email from a book club member noted that Crows had sparked a lively (and positive) discussion in their diverse group, all of whom seem to have understood what I was trying to do.

Then, while running errands, I stopped in at Penland's, the store in Marshall that's carrying my book, and she had additional books for me to sign plus, she said, another box on order. 

More reviews are showing up too, for which many thanks! 

Remember, I'll be drawing a name for the signed print on Thursday night so the time to get your name in the hat buy leaving a review is NOW.

And to add to that beautiful feeling of good things happening, John is making bread!

Life is good.


Tuesday, November 24, 2020

Josie Does Crafts

When I checked on my Castle People yesterday morning, there was a new lady there from Aunt Fay. She is very pretty and she is holding a mirror. Everyone had to meet her.

They had a parade and the Knight said, "Who's this new kid?"

Also I had a new High Five magazine. Meema and I read it. And guess what? At the end it had a castle to cut out and tape together. With a flag on top. Meema got tooth picks for the flag pole and she cut things out. I helped with the tape.

I put the flag on the red and yellow guard house I already had and Meema made a new flag that said JOSIE for the new castle.

I think they came out good.

I like to talk to Grumpy at lunch and tell him stuff.  He was busy going to the dump all morning and didn't get to see my castle.

After lunch I made ornaments with the leftover tooth picks. The toothpicks are all colors and I stuck them into little tangerines.  They looked like little suns and I made three of them. Meema said we could hang them on the Christmas tree but then I had a better idea and I took all the toothpicks back out and Meema and I ate the tangerines.

Then I had to decorate my scrubby critters that Nancy gave me. I had to concentrate very hard because I was making circles on the rhinoceros.

I think the blue circles look nice. And then I put pink stripes on the kitty. Meema said that on Wednesday, we will do more crafts.


Monday, November 23, 2020

Reading All Over the Place

My reading has been varied, of late. Which Witch? is a delightfully quirky young person's book. Not a person as young as Josie but I think she'll enjoy it in a few more years. It has a Roald Dahl-ish sort of humor that really appealed to me.

Then I bombed through a bunch of early Heinlein--paperbacks I bought over sixty years ago. They're corny and outdated--very sexist and non-PC and the folks piloting spaceships are still using slide rules. 

But I kept finding bits that jumped out at me. In The Puppet Masters, an alien race of slug-like parasites has landed and is taking over the minds of people across the country. In one scene, the good guys were looking at a map of the US and the red that denoted that the aliens had control of that area was in great swathes across the South and Midwest.

It seemed suddenly relevant. 

Then I picked up another old paperback, evidently from a college course. Washington Square and The Europeans by Henry James, and found myself enjoying James's leisurely prose and sharp eye for social nuances.  

Where shall I go next?


Sunday, November 22, 2020

Navajo Prayer


Walking in Beauty: Closing Prayer from the Navajo Blessing Way Ceremony

In beauty, I walk

With beauty before me, I walk

With beauty behind me, I walk

With beauty above me, I walk

With beauty around me, I walk

It has become beauty again.

Saturday, November 21, 2020

A Light in the Dark

Thursday afternoon John turned off the main breaker so that he could replace the over-the-sink kitchen light that had died. When he completed the task and went to throw the main breaker to restore power to the house. . .nothing happened. And continued not to happen. He put in a call to a retired electrician he knows.  The future looked dark.  Maybe till Monday. John headed for the store for more lamp oil and for kerosene for the generator. I took the lamps outside to await filling. And built a fire in the living room and the bedroom stoves.

No power. No water (we have a well with an electric pump.) No internet. And I had a Zoom meeting with my writing class at 6. 

No worries. I joined the meeting by phone and my laptop had enough battery left that I could read my notes on the two pieces under discussion. 

It's actually quite pleasant, sitting around with just the fire and the lamplight. Of course, the next morning, there was reality--what about the refrigerator and the two freezers?  We need to bring up water from the lower place for washing dishes and flushing. I need to charge my phone. How soon will the greenhouse need watering? What is Heather Cox Richardson saying today?

And then--a miracle! The retired electrician found a part in his barn that suited our antique fuse box and by noon on Friday, power was restored.

It's a good reminder, especially with winter coming, to try to be prepared.


Friday, November 20, 2020

A Moving Story

It was a cold, cold morning. Frost on the windshield.

The sun was just peeking over the ridge behind our neighbors' house.

It was time to move the cows from a pasture down the road back to our land. Three had gotten out the day before and headed for home.

Cold weather makes them antsy and ready to come back to where they know hay will be provided. John had a bucket of sweet feed and tolled them down the road to our pasture.

They were happy to comply.

Justin was behind them in the Kubota, to make sure none took a notion to do something crazy. And I was parked at our driveway, ready to wave a stick and turn back any who might head past the gate into their pasture.

There were three foolish calves who briefly had other ideas and had to be turned (me waving stick, Justin nipping quickly around them) but very soon, the herd was where they belonged and happily munching the still green grass.

There's a job done!


Thursday, November 19, 2020

Josie Helps Make Blueberry Mango Buckle and There Is a Bulldozer Hand

On Monday, Meema and I made Blueberry Mango Buckle. I helped very carefully.

It was yumptious. That is a word we made up. It means scrumptious.

There was a new horse. He is spotted all over.

On Wednesday the Castle People had a party and stood on things.

It was a party for the new people who are the King and  Queen of France.

Also, Meema and I played blocks. She was using the little blocks to tell about numbers. Did you know that 5 plus 7 is 12? And so is 6 plus 6. And 2 plus 10. And lots of others but then I got bored and we built towers.

Meema built a very tall one with the blocks I let her use and then my bulldozer hand got busy. I love to knock down things. That's the way I am. Meema makes a fuss but really she doesn't mind.  And that's the way she is.