Friday, May 31, 2024

Summer Day at Meema's

Now that school is out, I spend all day with Meema or with Grandma. On Wednesday at Meema's, I did lots of things--seeing about the Castle People while Meema made the pancakes, watering the plants, and blowing bubbles.

I also brushed Bailey.

Her hair is very silky. I think she likes being pretty.

Then it was time to go up to my office (which is also Meema's work room.) I did some stuff while Meema did some ironing. She had four shirts and some napkins to iron. I helped with the napkins and with the shirts too. Shirts are hard. I don't have any clothes that that have to be ironed. My clothes are all nice and soft.

Downstairs in The Room, I had to see about the babies. It was Dolly's last day of school, and I had to get her up and fix her breakfast. Margo was acting like a brat as usual. She wanted pizza for breakfast and kept fussing because she couldn't go to the circus.

When Dolly got home, she wanted a puppet show. So I did that. Those babies are a lot of trouble, especially Margo.

Of course we read lots of books. I am really good at reading with expression. 

Then we made banana bread, using my great great grandmother's recipe. (I added some chocolate chips.)

It came out good!


Wednesday, May 29, 2024

This Time Tomorrow


I've always loved time travel fiction--the potential for changing the past, along with all the inherent dangers that might accompany such a change--the butterfly effect, as in Bradbury's iconic short story.

Straub's take on the genre is strangely compelling: a woman, with a dying father, herself almost forty, single and just passed over for promotion, wonders how things might have gone differently in her life. After an abortive birthday celebration and too much to drink, she awakens to find herself reliving her sixteenth birthday--in her sixteen-year-old body but with her almost forty-year memories. And now she has a chance to make some choices that will improve her future. Maybe.

It was a fast and most enjoyable read--and when I woke up early the next morning, I found myself in that half dreaming state and I began to think about my own past--potential life-altering moments and choices.

Most of this half-dream focused on my twenties--when I was teaching at a prep school on Tampa and wearing dresses and heels and stockings every day. I liked the school and the students well enough, but I remember, during my free period, often I would stand in the hall and look out the window at the nearby canal and the merchant ships moored there, thinking that there must be more to life than this.

That teaching interlude came to an end after several years and after another interlude at a different school, eventually we made the choice to move to where we are today.

Looking back, there are very few choices I'd change--because I'm so happy with where I am now.

But, back to Straub's excellent book-- highly recommended, both as a great read and as a springboard for meditation on the past and appreciation of the present.

Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Dancing Fuchsia

This fuchsia, a Mother's Day gift from Claui, is like a whole corps de ballet in fancy tutus.


Monday, May 27, 2024

We Saw Dolly!


On Saturday me and my mom and dad and a friend and her mom went to Dollywood! It is one of my favorite places EVER! And this time was extra special because there was a parade and DOLLY WAS IN IT!                                                  

(Of course, you know I'm talking about Dolly Parton. Everyone knows about her.)

We lined up to watch the parade. Everyone had signs about Dolly.


My mama loves Dolly too.

Daddy had a sign too.

And then here came DOLLY! In a carriage all covered with flowers! She is BEAUTIFUL! And she looked right at me and waved!

I have always loved Dolly because when I was little, she sent me a book every month till I was 5. She does that for lots of kids because when she was little, her family was poor, and she wished she could have books. So now she makes sure that lots of kids can have books. 

She is like the Fairy Godmother to all of us.

Sunday, May 26, 2024

Top of the World


One of our old students has recently had a beautiful house built here in Madison County and we went to see it yesterday.

Amazing views--pretty much in every direction.

It's a mile and a half to the  mailbox- up a winding 4WD road.

Winds up here can be fierce--but the house is built with that in mind.

Fine views everywhere.

Just imagine what it would be like on a clear, sunny day!

Saturday, May 25, 2024

Just One Azalea

This late-blooming azalea has surpassed itself this year. Not much bloom last year due to a late freeze but this year, WOW!

I planted it around thirty years ago, after purchasing it from Irene Lee--a transplant who'd become a grower of azaleas. 

The one bush produces pale pink, darker pink, and streaked blooms.

And it's a welcome sight after all the other azaleas and rhododendrons have called it quits.

What a super-bloomer!


Friday, May 24, 2024

A Must Read--Caste


Like many folks, I am really tired of having to think about the former guy, weary of seeing his scowling face every time I look at the news, and saddened at the number of fellow citizens who support him. It's a bit like "The Body Snatchers"--that classic horror flick where aliens had taken over ordinary people's bodies and you couldn't tell who was infected and who wasn't.

So when I opened my Kindle and began to read this highly recommended and praised book, I was kinda taken aback to find that the election of 2016 and the popularity of the orange one were the opening salvo in this discourse on how racism and caste shape our world.

It's something I've become increasingly aware of--the knowledge that I live in a country that was formed on the ruins of conquered civilizations, that was built with the labor of enslaved humans, and that has yet to come to terms with that ignoble history.

I am struck at how relevant this book is to this particular moment in history. Quoting Wilkerson; "The election (of 2016) would set the United States on a course towards isolationism, tribalism, the walling in and protecting of one's own, the worship of wealth and acquisition at the expense of others, even of the planet itself."

And here we are. Deja vu, all over again. 

This book came out in 2020 and I'm just now getting to it. I haven't yet finished it but wanted to post about it now while the Kindle price is low (under $3.)

An excellent review is HERE.

Thursday, May 23, 2024

Dawn Boy's Song (from the Navajo)


                       “In the house of long life, there I wander.

                        In the house of happiness there I wander.

Beauty before me, with it I wander.
Beauty behind me, with it I wander.

Beauty below me, with it I wander.
Beauty above me, with it I wander.

                            In old age traveling, with it I wander.
                           On the Beauty trail I am, with it I wander.”