Sunday, March 31, 2024

Happy Easter/Spring! (with pics from Sat.)


(I found this post card in my mother's childhood scrapbook)


Brightening John's shop with borrowed quilts . . .

A baby quilt from long ago.

Some old: some new.

So many beauties.

                                   Herself is giving advice on the decor.


                                Now where to put the wreath?


                                            Making progress...


                    Time to gather for another meal that can't be beat.


The fire provides coals for the cooker where the Boston Butts are slow-cooking.

Cousin Jack took a bunch of kids for a ride.
                          And a good time was had by all.



Saturday, March 30, 2024

The Game's Afoot

Thursday night gathering at Justin and Claui's house as friend and relations roll in to help with Easter Party setup.

A spirited gathering. . .

A resourceful young un.

Justin and his buddy Josh have been friends since they were Josie's age. And their dads (and moms) have been friends too, for forty-some years.

Josie is thrilled to have her buddy Saxon (and his mom) here for the weekend.

It was a lively time, with cousins from Charlottesville, Josh's family, and all the grandparents. 

Onward to the pre-party Saturday, after most of the setup is done.


Friday, March 29, 2024

Bailey Says Welcome to Doggy Daycare


On the days their people go to work, my friends Otter and Domino bring themselves up for daycare.                                                                                     

They come trotting up the path, ready for treats and some rumpus time.


The Woman and the child are reading a book while roughhousing is happening on the leather sofa.

Jenny is singing the song of her people. Domino isn't impressed.

Otter likes to relax.

So does Domino.

Jenny is disappointed because she wants to go out and run and howl, and she was hoping for some pit bull backup. Not happening.

Certainly not with me. I'm your basic homebody. My previous life was outside in a pen, and now that I'm here, I like the inside--rugs and sofas and snacks and friends to play with. 

Life is good!

Thursday, March 28, 2024



Wednesday, March 27, 2024

Catcher in the Rye-- Sixty-some Years Later


It's been a while since I re-read Catcher, and, not surprisingly, the years have made a difference. I first encountered the book when I was a seventeen-year-old freshman in college, and I was totally hooked. I still find Holden and his goofy sincerity quite endearing. His professed hatred of phonies (almost everyone/old guys who pick their noses/young guys who pick their pimples/and a myriad of other denizens of his prep school/NYC upper middleclass world always see-saws with his innate empathy for almost everyone. 

"About all I know is, I sort of miss everybody I told about. Even old Stradlater and Ackley, for instance, I even think I miss that goddam Maurice. It's funny. Don't ever tell anybody anything. If you do, you start missing everybody."

As I re-read, I wondered how today's young people would react to Holden. Catcher is sometimes seen as a classic and required reading (possible the kiss of death) or it's banned.

Back in the Sixties, my mother-in-law and some of her friends got their panties in a wad because Catcher was assigned reading at University of South Florida (where said book critics were advisors to a sorority.) Had they read the book? No, not really, just the few pages toward the end where the f-word appears.

Never mind that the use of the word is because Holden is trying to wipe it off a school wall before any little kids see it.

Of course, we argued this point with my MIL. Didn't matter. She was convinced that she was saving the sorority girls from having to read the word.

(My MIL also had strong views about interracial marriage because, as she told us, 'Cardinals don't marry Bluejays.' )

 Some people, it's a waste of time to argue with.

But I digress.

I still would like to know if younger people read this book and what their reactions are. It's pretty much a period piece now, if not actual historical fiction. 

(Back in 2010 I blogged about Catcher and other books that had been important to me in my late teens. That post is HERE.)

Tuesday, March 26, 2024

In Progress


As I mentioned in an earlier post, I've always loved this conglomeration of rooflines at the Boyd place down the road. So finally, I decided to have a go at painting them.

This is in progress- a few shadows are missing, and some colors need deepening. Actually, I may scrap it and try again--trying to be more precise. a lot of the edges aren't as clean as I'd like.

I left out the red truck in the picture below because the rooflines were what I wanted to concentrate on. And I left out that white rectangle behind the house--it's another roof of another building but doesn't really read as such. 

This is very much a learning exercise, and an enjoyable one. 

Sunday, March 24, 2024

Miss Birdie and Dor'thy Go to Water


(From The Day of Small Things)

They was a time when I had bad dreams . . . dreams of Old Spearfinger standing by my bed and I would wake crying and shivering and crawl in bed with Granny Beck for her to hold me and comfort me with her soft words. But when I got to crying out in my sleep two and three times every night, Granny said that we must get rid of the bad dreams for once and all. That was when she showed me what the Cherokees called Going to Water.

            And because I fear what will happen if Dorothy dreams that one last dream, I decide to break my promise to Luther.

                        “Dorothy,” I say, “let’s you and me drive down to the river. I believe that I can stop those dreams.”


“This here  is something my granny did for me when I was little and had real bad dreams,” I tell Dorothy as we are driving along the dirt road that runs from the bridge back up to the burying-place.

“It seems to me,” I say, trying to convince both of us that I am right in what I purpose to do, “it seems to me that if your prayers and your Bible ain’t helping against this Cherokee witch that has got into your dreams, then maybe a Cherokee spell will do the trick. Do you have a handkerchief or some such with you?”

            She looks at me, kind of doubting, but I know that she is past arguing. “I have a bandana there in the glove compartment,” she says, pointing to it. “A blue one.”

            ‘That’ll do just fine,” I tell her. “Now here at this wide place in the road, you can pull over and park. The riverbank ain’t too growed up and it’s easy to get to the water long about here.”

            She pulls over, cuts off the engine, and starts to get out but I say, “Now Dor’thy, I’m trying to remember the words my Granny said more than seventy years ago. So while I’m working this charm, I don’t want you to speak for fear I’ll get bumfuzzled and not be able to finish, do you understand?”

            Dorothy is wide-eyed but she presses her lips tight together and nods, then reaches over and pulls a folded blue bandana out of the glove compartment, She offers it to me but I tell her to hold on to it. And so we make our way to the water, just as Granny and I did so many years ago.

                        Me and Granny couldn’t get all the way down to the river, though she said that it would have been better. It was hard enough for her to hobble out the back way and to the little branch that bordered the field back of the house. But it had been a wet April and there was water enough . . .

                        “Now, Dorothy,” I say when we have reached the river’s edge and the water is lapping around the toes of our shoes. “You hold the bandana in your right hand and close your eyes. I’m going to dash some water over your head. When I’ve done it seven times, then you open your eyes and throw the bandana in the river. When it goes to floating away, I’ll say the charm that’ll end the bad dreams.”         

            She nods and squinches her eyes shut. I lean on my stick and bend over to catch some water in the jelly jar I have brought for the purpose. It ain’t much but it is enough that Dorothy jumps when I pour it on her head and it dribbles down her face.

            “No, leave it be.” I catch her hand as she is bringing the bandana to her face. “Let it work to wash away the bad memories and the fear the dreams has put into your mind.”

            I wonder what Dorothy would think was I to tell her how the Injuns used to do this spell. If we did it the old way, she would take off  every whipstitch of her clothes but her shirt and then she would wade out and dip herself all the way under seven times. Then she would take off the shirt and let it float away.

            It makes me smile to picture what folks would think was someone to pass by and see two old women, one standing naked in the river. Even as we are, I’m just as glad don’t no one travel this way but very seldom.  

Friday, March 22, 2024

Spring Beauties

I've long loved the cluster of roof lines at the Boyd place down the road. When the sun is on them, they look like something one of the Wyeths might have painted. 

It looks like the weeping cherry got nipped by the freezing temperatures a few nights ago. But the Oriental magnolia seems to be holding on.

As does the little red-leafed peach by the pond house. 

Such a beautiful season!