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November 2014

Sundays . . . Are for Poetry

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Adage

When it's late at night and branches
are banging against the windows,
you might think that love is just a matter

of leaping out of the frying pan of yourself
into the fire of someone else,
but it's a little more complicated than that.

It's more like trading the two birds
who might be hiding in that bush
for the one you are not holding in your hand.

A wise man once said that love
was like forcing a horse to drink
but then everyone stopped thinking of him as wise.

Let us be clear about something.
Love is not as simple as getting up
on the wrong side of the bed wearing the emperor's clothes.

No, it's more like the way the pen 
feels after it has defeated the sword.
It's a little like the penny saved or the nine dropped stitches.

You look at me through the halo of the last candle
and tell me love is an ill wind
that has no turning, a road that blows no good,

but I am here to remind you,
as our shadows tremble on the walls,
that love is the early bird who is better late than never.

--- Billy Collins, Aimless Love


Somewhat Nuts V

Saturdays are for . . . 

Looking up.

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There was a lovely, rosy glow in the sky this morning when I woke up to let the dogs out.  It's cold - and clear.

Show and Tell.

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I bought this cheery bird painting many years ago, when we first moved into our current house.  (We're in our 12th year here, so it's been awhile.)  It hangs in my front entryway, over a little knick-knack shelf next to the front door.

The painting just charmed me from the first time I saw it!

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I used to think of it as a "family portrait."  I was the bird with the long legs, firmly planted on the ground.  Erin was the little one, hovering above the ground, and Brian was the little, squat bird.  Tom was the one coming in for a landing . . . meeting us after work!  It makes me smile every day.

Puppies.

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When my kids come home, the first thing they do is get down on the floor for Proper Dog Greetings.  They love coming home to for a little Dog Time.

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And, trust me . . . it's mutual!  The dogs are awfully lonely when their far-away-pack-members leave them behind once again.  (For us AND the dogs, that will be later today as Erin and Keith head back to Pittsburgh.)

Enjoy your Saturday (this last in November . . . and last in NaBloPoMo!).

 


Right Now . . . November 2014

November . . . You've just gone whizzing past.  Leaving a trail of . . . weather . . . in your path!  

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Here's what's happening for me. . . Right Now! 

Watching . . . Snow come. Snow go. Not much on the ground at the moment (it's really amazing how quickly 19 inches of snow can melt in the crazy-weather days of November), but I hear more is on the way.

Reading . . . I'm reading Small Blessings (Martha Woodroof) on my iPad, and I've just started listening to Some Luck (the new one by Jane Smiley).  It's too early for me to have an opinion on either of them.  But I just finished We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves by Karen Joy Fowler - and loved it. WARNING:  If you're thinking about reading that last one, don't click the link and don't bother to read ABOUT the book before you begin.  This is one that is best approached without any fore-knowledge. (And that's coming from someone who has no qualms about reading the ending first.)

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Knitting . . . You guessed it!  Still working on this shawl.  But.  I'm so close to finishing that I can taste it!  A couple of good hours this weekend and I'll be done!!

Listening to . . . The new Foo Fighters album.  (Of course.)

 

Planning . . .  I am in FULL Holiday Planning Mode.  I kind of hate this part of the holidays, but once I get myself completely organized, I'll be ready to sit back and just let it all unwind.

Feeling . . . Better now.  But I've been struggling with a nasty attack of diverticulitis this week.  (It happens.)  I'm hoping to be back on solid food in time for Thanksgiving dinner. . .

Humming . . . Papa was a Rolling Stone.  Temptations.  (Don't ask.  I never know why these songs pop into my head.)

 

Wondering . . . How folks DO the Black Friday thing.  Because I just . . . can't. 

Drinking . . . Liquids.  (See above.)

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Itching to . . . Just sit.  And knit.  (But not until the weekend.)

Needing to . . . Get to the grocery store for One.Last.Thing.  (Before the CRAZY really begins.)

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Organizing . . .  All Holiday All the Time!

Delighted by . . . My new fridge!  (Our old one died . . . thankfully, in the midst of the polar vortex.  So we could just use the garage as our ice box.)  (I'm so excited because a matching new stove/oven is coming, too.  But not until after Thanksgiving.)

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Inspired by . . .  Craft Friday!  I heard about it first on Beverly's blog, and I am so excited to participate.  I have my materials ready.  (Now I just need to dig out my sewing machine. . .)

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Celebrating . . . Thanksgiving!  With both kids, their significant others, and my parents.  It's going to be a great day!

How about YOU?  What's going on for you . . . Right Now?


Giving Thanks, Take 4

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I'm having a few technical difficulties with my blog today.  I think this is the fourth time I've written today's post -- and if it weren't NaBloPoMo, I might just give up.  But here I am . . . back at it for the fourth try!  (I guess I could say . . . I'm thankful for perserverance today. . .)

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With that mindset, my revised list today looks like this:  I'm thankful for. . . 

  1. A heart that can feel things deeply.
  2. An open mind.
  3. Having both of my kids at home right now, where I can give them hugs whenever I want.
  4. (And that they let me!)
  5. Tom.  (I'm so lucky to have found my soulmate, all those years ago.)
  6. (He lets me give him hugs whenever I want, too.)
  7. My dogs.  (Because wagging and wet noses go a long way to making any day better.)
  8. A warm and comfortable home.
  9. Plenty.  (Of everything.)
  10. Optimism and a sense of humor.

How about YOU?  What are you thankful for this Thanksgiving season?

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Sundays . . . Are for Poetry

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Lines Written in the Days of Growing Darkness

Every year we have been
witness to it: how the 
world descends

into a rich mash, in order that
it may resume.
And therefore
who would cry out

to the petals on the ground
to stay,
knowing as we must,
how the vivacity of what was is married

to the vitality of what will be?
I don't say
it's easy, but
what else will do

if the love one claims to have for the world
be true?
So let us go on, cheerfully enough,
this and every crisping day,

though the sun be swinging east,
and the ponds be cold and black,
and the sweets of the year be doomed.

--- Mary Oliver, A Thousand Mornings


Somewhat Nuts IV

Saturdays are for . . .

Looking Up.

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The snow has finally stopped, and we were greeted by a lovely sunrise on Friday morning.  Today, however . . . freezing rain.  (You can't win 'em all.)

Show-and-Tell.

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This painting . . . is the last thing I see every time I leave the house (placed right at the back door and all).  It makes me smile every time I see it.  The artist?  Brian.  Third grade.  Apparently, he didn't "follow directions" in art class that day.  His was a little different than all the other third grade art students.  His teacher (NOT one of my favorites) pointed this out to me.  

But.  Isn't that what ART CLASS should be about?  NOT following directions?  Making it your own?  Being a litte different?  Why should an elementary school art class be promoting cookie-cutter crafting projects?  I was highly annoyed.  But delighted with the painting.

So I framed it.

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Puppies.

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This is Jake, our dog-before-Jenny . . . and the dog of my children's childhoods.  (That's also high-school-Erin; she was a sophomore.)  Jake was a white German Shepherd, most likely mixed with a bit of lab.  His instincts, though, were pure Shepherd - protect and defend!  He was an incredible dog -- and we still miss him every day!

Jake was a "herder."  He was very clear about his boundaries -- and he never stepped outside of them without our permission.  He kept the kids inside the borders, too!  When Erin and Brian were in elementary school, their bus stop was directly across the street from our house.  Jake would wait for them every day.  He knew when it was time for them to come home (of course), and he would position himself at the very corner of our yard.  (Really.  He couldn't be any closer to the boundary and still be in it!)  And then he would wait.  He'd get a little fidgety when the bus was close.  But he would never step outside the boundary.  He'd wait as the bus pulled up to the stop.  He'd wait while they got off the bus.  He'd wait while they crossed the street.  And then . . . but not until they stepped into the yard . . . he'd go CRAZY with welcoming them home!  And, of course, he would herd them all the way into the house!  

Happy Saturday!


Bright Spot in the Snow

So.  It's been doing this . . . 

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All. Week. Long.

(Nothing like they got in Buffalo, mind you!  But still . . . lots of snow.)

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(I took the photos above on Tuesday.  It snowed for 2 more days.)

When winter makes such an early appearance, you really need to dig deep and find your own bright spots.  Here's mine:

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Lovely red Italian leather gloves, full of memories of sunny Rome.

Take THAT snow and ice!