Monday, May 31, 2021

Britches Winter?

No, no snow. That's our Kousa Dogwood. Not even frost. But it was right chilly--in the fifties all day Sunday. We went around closing windows and I hauled out some warmer clothes, but we resisted building a fire or turning on the heat.  I did make soup for supper and John made bread which heated up the kitchen for a while.

We've already had Blackberry Winter--a cold snap when the blackberries were booming. This (very) late May cold snap is called Britches Winter because you have to get your long britches on. Or, in my case, a turtleneck, a hoodie, and a fleece vest.  

And toward evening, John built a fire. Ahhhh!


Friday, May 28, 2021


As I was falling asleep a few nights ago, the word tergiversation floated into my semi-consciousness. I have no idea why--just some of the random debris that clutters my mind. I felt sure it had once been the Word of the Day or some such, but I couldn't remember its meaning and was too near sleep to try to find out. I just hoped I'd remember the word come morning.

And I did. And it means the act of equivocating or taking contradictory positions. Kellyanne Conway sprang to mind.

And when the GOP blocked a bi-partisan probe into the events at the Capitol on January 6, saying it was time to move on--the same GOP that was happy to back investigations into Benghazi world without end--I realized that tergiversation was alive and well in the Senate.

And I am beyond angry to think that these 50 Republican senators, who represent, as Heather Cox Richardson pointed out, 40.5 million fewer people that do the 50 Democrats, can ignore the attack on one of the fundamentals of our government--the peaceful transfer of power--while holding hostage the will of the majority.

Tergiversation lives.

Oops--I posted this by mistake instead of scheduling it for Saturday. Oh, well. Consider it Saturday's post.


Josie in the Attic

I am in the attic! It is a bedroom over the living room and it has FOUR beds and lots of books. When I am older, it will be my own room. But the stairs are very steep and Meema and I have to be very careful on them.

I bounce on the trundle bed and then I make a bed on the floor.

There is a desk where we do arts and crafts. I use a glue stick.

Then I decided to make a fort.

Meema stayed on one of the beds and I went in my fort. (She could not fit.) We both had books to read. We love to read.

Then it was time to do some painting.

Meema and I paint together, I did Red Riding Hood with her brown basket and her grandmother in an orange dress. And some trees and some water and a boat for the grandmother.

Also I painted an apple with an A and a banana with a B and an orange with an O. 

I am going to be a book writer like Meema and I will do the pictures for my books. 


Blogger Says No

 Blogger is refusing to load my photos, citing an unexpected error. 

Will try again tomorrow . . .

Wednesday, May 26, 2021

Anchorites, Contented Slaves, and Florida Crackers

My recent reading is, as usual, all over the place. New to me was Illuminations by Mary Sharratt, a novel about Hildegard von Bingen--the famous mystic. composer, theologian, nun, writer, and eventually, abbess of her own foundation.

It's a fascinating look at the religious politics and policies of Medieval Germany--from the horrifying practices of extreme asceticism (HvB was an anchorite for thirty years--walled into a little enclosure from an early age) to Hildegard's ecstatic visions of God and Nature and the Divine Female.  

Now I want to know more about Hildegard and her various works--a multi-talented woman in a time that wasn't ready for her.

I'm not sure what brought this book-Boy of the Pyramids by Ruth Fosdick Jones--to mind. One of my childhood favorites, I found myself remembering bits and pieces till I had to go chase it down. (It was upstairs where most of my childhood books are.) 

So, I settled in to re-read this gentle kid's mystery set in Ancient Egypt. And, as so often happens with books from my childhood, I saw things I'd not noticed back then.  

There are slaves-- the young hero of the book actually buys a young girl to prevent her being separated from her parents who are being purchased by his father. But all the slaves seem to be happy--from the Nubians carrying the father's litter to the girl's parents, originally from Sinai.  

This is a book designed to give kids a picture of life in Ancient Egypt. And, of course, it's well documented that there were slaves. Maybe those who had kind masters were content. I wonder.  ( And maybe I should be saying enslaved persons . . .)

While I was in pursuit of Boy of the Pyramids, I came across another favorite from back then--Lois Lenski's Strawberry Girl, a tale of life in the Florida backwoods in the early 1900s.

This was always close to my heart for, even though I lived in a Tampa suburb, there were still traces of Pioneer Florida to be found. My father's folks were early settlers--Crackers (from the whips used in herding cattle on the open range.) 

On this re-reading I noticed first that the family the story is about had come from "Caroliny" and that the way they speak and the way they live is so much like  the older folks we met when we moved to Western North Carolina, that it's no wonder I felt like I was coming home.


Tuesday, May 25, 2021

As the Sunrise Creeps Northwards

About a month to go till Summer Solstice when the sunrise will begin its journey back to the right(southwards.)

For reference, below is a pre-sunrise picture from the Winter Solstice--the sun is brightening the sky behind those trees on the right.

Such a journey! Growing up in the suburbs with no clear view of sunrise or sunset beyond an occasional trip to the beach, I had no idea of how the sunrise moves.  Sure, science teachers explained it, but it took living with it to really grasp the concept.


Monday, May 24, 2021


I had a playdate yesterday! Some friends of Meema's brought their little girl over. She is only two and a half but we had fun together.

The grownups sat around and talked while we colored.

I showed her how I do it. 

                            We also played in my sand pile. 

We brought water to make a pond.

I got wet.

The grownups talked and talked. I think they are becoming friends like me and the little girl.

She is good at getting water.

The waterfall is good for filling pails.

Meema says the little girl will come back another day. 
I can't wait!


Saturday, May 22, 2021

Magic Numbers 6 and 10?

Authors are advised not to obsess over book reviews and ratings--i.e. stop checking the numbers on Amazon and Goodreads all the time. But I'm pretty delighted that Crows has hit 90 ratings (the stars thingy) and 44 reviews on Amazon--much better than any of my previous books have done.

I'd like to think it was due to the quality of the book--but I suspect my nagging reminding has something to do with it.

I'm hoping for the magic number of 50 for the reviews--supposedly that's the number that makes Amazon's algorithms sit up and take notice and perhaps begin recommending--as in, 'If you liked X, have a look at Crows!'

So, 6 more reviews --and just because it would be nice to hit 100--10 more ratings are the magic numbers in my head. And then I could stop obsessively checking.