Posts

Showing posts from November, 2011

Wordless Wednesday: Quiet Lady

Image

Our World Tuesday: Mystic Seaport

Image
Saturday morning, we headed with my nephews to Mystic Seaport, in Mystic, Connecticut. This is a maritime museum that focuses on New England's whaling past. Mystic is the annual field trip destination for just about every kid in Connecticut. When I was in elementary school, the 19th century seaport museum was a pretty modest affair. Now, though, the place offers all kinds of hands-on activities for kids and museum displays that include Connecticut's military maritime history as well as its commercial one.

From Mystic SeaportThe dimly-lit figurehead exhibit is, and has always been, my favorite.  The sculptures are romantic and dreamy, capturing a bit of the soft side of those old-time sailors.  (Of course, the stitchery decorating the Navy whites and the handmade doll furniture do that, too.) From Mystic SeaportThe rescue station was new to me,  That display included a life boat, an all-metal rescue capsule a la Jules Verne, and living quarters (below). From Mystic SeaportThe …

One Single Impression: A Fool's Paradise

Image
From Mystic Seaport


The world ends and begins
With light that has taken the shape
Of a swan gliding toward me
On a quiet autumn river.

The swan and I:
Everything.


One Single Impression

Today's Flowers: Color Goes, Color Comes

Image
From Mystic SeaportSaturday's adventure involved a trip to Mystic Seaport in Mystic, Connecticut, with my daughter and nephews. The weather was beautiful--which is to say a bit unseasonably warm--and made for happy tourists and happy photographers. (There's nothing quite like not being able to feel the shutter button under your finger.) We had a wonderful day. The Seaport was decked out with Christmas reds and greens, but Mother Nature was still happy enough to go about in her various shades of brown.
From Mystic SeaportToday's Flowers

Book Review: 'The Help' by Kathryn Stockett

Image
The Help by Kathryn Stockett

The Help by Kathryn Stockett is at heart a story about justice coming to the mean girl.
In the case of this story, mean girl Hilly Holbrook is the self-appointed empress of Mississippi society in the early 1960s. Like any other bully, she wields power because she nobody challenges her when she calls the shots. Hilly is as manipulative as she is selfish. The only area of her life in which Hilly does not distinguish between black and white is in her desire to run lives. She runs everybody’s—and woe betide anyone who crosses Hilly. She is merciless.
Stockett’s story looks at life in Jackson, Mississippi, through the eyes of black maids Aibileen Clark and Minny Jackson and the college-educated farmer’s daughter Skeeter Phelan, who moves in Hilly’s social circle. Stockett’s fictional women tell their stories at the same time they tell the story of the South during the dying days of the Jim Crow era.
The three women’s stories wrap round each other as they…

Blog Your Blessings: Making the Team

Life is so rich and beautiful that I often forget how rich and beautiful it is. The blessings come one after another, even when they put me back in the gym.
Which they do because my daughter made her school's basketball team. So did three of her friends--including her best friend, who is my favorite among her friends, who has been her friend forever, who is the very best and not just because she eats my cooking and says nice things about it.
Making the team puts me back in the gym with yet another opportunity to learn what off-sides looks like as my daughter does her thing on the team. In hear early Parks & Rec days, she was a little ball handler who moved up and down the court like a confederate runner so that the girls who were brawny enough to score did. Nobody expected her to do anything, but she caught them not expecting anything every time, and away she went. I had bleacher butt, but it was fun.
As she took up art and other things, I thought my butt would be spared the…

Skywatch Friday: A Fire Burns

Image
From Jun 27, 2011
This photo was an experiment in shooting through a screen.  The experiment consumed more time than taking the screen out would have.  Of course.  So there's a graph-paper effect sitting on top of this last lingering look at daylight one early summer day.  (It's the End of the Land.)

Skywatch Friday

Wordless Wednesday: Sleep, the Fragrance of Morning

Image

Our World Tuesday: Some of Main Street, Woobury

Image
We took Clyde for his Sunday constitutional along Main Street in Woodbury.  I figured that would be best for us after a walk in the woods and watching a few tree-sized tree limbs come crashing to the ground in the still air.  Just a little too scary.



From Jun 7, 2011Wordless Wednesday Woodbury is known for its myriad antique stores.  This champagne-colored dress is a beauty, I think.  This headless woman has been standing in the window for a while now.  She'll find the right headless man someday, I hope.  From November 20, 2011This police officer moved with a muffled step as he was making his way from behind the police station.  He's so enthusiastic about what he does that he forgot to put his uniform on. From November 20, 2011Mr. Tacky the Hater lives right on Main Street in our town.  He's always got a painted sheet of plywood propped up on the lawn telling us he to depose or run out of town this week.  His hatred is such a part of who he is that he has actually draped Chri…

Today's Flowers: Vulnerable

Image

One Single Impression: Seeking

Image
From May 7, 2011
Now as then:

No hide-and-seek:

Too great

The fear of being

Found.

One Single Impression

Skywatch Friday: Moonlit

Image
From August 13, 2011

I came across this quote of Helen Hayes in mybirth year and liked it very much.  It made me think of the things I've come to realize the thousand and one times I have walked this beach in every kind of light.
Every human being on this earth is born with a tragedy, and it isn't original sin. He's born with the tragedy that he has to grow up. That he has to leave the nest, the security, and go out to do battle. He has to lose everything that is lovely and fight for a new loveliness of his own making, and it's a tragedy. A lot of people don't have the courage to do it. (Helen Hayes, in Roy Newquist, Showcase, 1966)

Skywatch Friday

Wordless Wednesday: About to be Satisfied

Image
From Late Summer Wildflowers, Connecticut

The policy of being too cautious is the greatest risk of all. (Jawaharlal Nehru)

Wordless Wednesday

Our World Tuesday: Got Your Back

Image
From November 13, 2011This time of year in Connecticut is (usually) a time I find myself betwixt and between staying outside as much as possible and enjoying the light and that fading summery warmth of autumn in New England and staying inside and enjoying a soft seat and a good book.  Last weekend, there wasn't much light to be found, and what little there was cast light on our catastrophe of a week ago.
From November 13, 2011Walking around with that much tree ready to fall to the ground will, as my dad says, make a believer out of you.  There are as yet many trees with limbs snapped and shredded and hanging by a thread. Some of our trees are so massive, it's hard to imagine anyone but Mother Nature taking care of the problem.  The way things go around here with our superlatively inept governor and power(less) company, it will likely be up to her to solve the problem.  She has her own way of making all things new--like this birch tree, for example. From November 13, 2011
Later in…

Today's Flowers: To Start Anew

Image
From August 21, 2011
I said to myself, I have things in my head that are not like what anyone has taught me - shapes and ideas so near to me - so natural to my way of being and thinking that it hasn't occurred to me to put them down. I decided to start anew, to strip away what I had been taught. (Georgia O'Keeffe)
Today's Flowers

One Single Impression: Hourglass

Hours pass

And pure white sand

(Once a ragged mountain)

Sifts soft and fine
Through your hands.

You whisper,
And it's gone.

One Sigle Impression

Blog Your Blessings: Veterans' Day

Image
From August 24, 2011
The other day my daughter's social studies teacher assigned the class the task of writing three questions for Viet Nam veterans who would be visiting her class on Thursday to mark Veterans' Day. That was cool except for a few obvious things: 1. They are studying the American Revolution, so Viet Nam was slightly out of context. Therefore, 2. they had no background information from which to generate the questions. This created 3. a lack of sensitivity toward and awareness of the kinds of questions that are appropriate as well as (Dare I say it?) logical.
I assured my daughter  we had the material on the bookshelf to help her understand something of the situation those veterans would have faced. We'd read up a bit, and she would not ask bozo questions and set the free world back by 60 years. 
This conversation took place on a hill in the dark as we walked Clyde for his evening constitutional. Apparently, the universe was listening in, because it deli…

Skywatch Friday: On Fire

Image
Some say the world will end in fire, Some say in ice. From what I've tasted of desire I hold with those who favor fire. But if it had to perish twice, I think I know enough of hate To say that for destruction ice Is also great And would suffice.  ("Fire and Ice" by Robert Frost)

Wordless Wednesday: Family Portrait

Image

What Was Connecticut Light and Power

Image
Connecticut Light and Power--commonly known as CL&P--has been renamed after Storm Alfred.  It left so many Connecticut residents fending for themselves for days upon days with the only resources available that, well, the public utility now reflects the public's resourcefulness.

One Single Impression: Birdie

All day I watch the birds:
Ospreys feed their young
On thrashing fish I could not hold in two hands.
Great whites
Feed on whispers
They claim from the intracoastal waters
That rise and fall like the beats of a heart.
Pelicans take everything the waves offer
And leave me believing the world started
Yesterday.

I watch all of this from the front porch
And think of the adage,

A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush,

And though I realize the point of this
Is that what we have is worth more
Than what we have not,

That life is greater than any dream,

These birds show me
That the great life is a dream.

Birds know this.
They survive.

One Single Impression

Today's Flowers: Bittersweet and Then Some

Image
When I went for a walk this morning, I had the opportunity to enjoy frost. A November frost is a beautiful thing that glazes the world with evanescent diamonds that dissolve into dew as the sun rises and warms everything within its reach. Frost highlights the delicate lines as it follows the myriad curves that give shape to every unique wonder in the natural world. Frost slows the clock and bids the earth rest that it might flourish again.

From November 5, 2011
From November 5, 2011

The world is beautiful.

 Be well.

Today's Flowers

Blog Your Blessings: Ed at the Diner

We've had catastrophes around here that have left me waxing lyrical about the amazing ways nature heals its wounds and that people bridge the gaps that these catastrophes create with kindness and warmth.  And all that.
Not this time.  To wax lyrical now would be to paper over the yawning gaps in the story of why so much of Connecticut is shivering in the cold tonight, a week after a freak storm, because Connecticut Light and Power has failed to restore power.  To wax lyrical now is to forget that our governor, Dannel Malloy, who has the unfortunate habit of treating public employees as freeloaders and criminals (simultaneously), did not pull it together after Hurricane Irene and come up with a realistic and effective disaster relief plan that would keep the citizens of this state out of harm's way at the next natural turn of events.  
When the lights went out last Saturday, they stayed out for countless thousands of us because Connecticut Light and Power (CL&P) had not paid …

Is This Your Dog?

Image
Dear Two-Legged Living in Roxbury, Connecticut, or Thereabouts, and Missing Your Dog:
If the dog in the above picture is your gentle and loving Vizsla, you are no doubt wondering why he is on my couch snoring the evening away after an afternoon of exploring the countryside and not on yours.
He is here because my daughter and I came across him this afternoon loose on South Street in Roxbury, where he was flirting with an elderly, voiceless collie on the other side of one of those electronic gates bearing a Warning We Have a Dog (So There) signs meant to keep me and the Avon Lady away. The collie wasn't much interested in this debonair bachelor, but he persisted. We stopped the car and called to him, and he climbed right into the car like he was waiting for the chauffeur to finally show up. I pulled into the collie's driveway and called for a human, but none came.
There were utility trucks everywhere in this ridiculously gated, camera-laden Beware of Dog section of town, and…

Skywatch Friday: Dreamin' On (Dirty Lens and All)

Image
As soon as you trust yourself, you will know how to live.
(Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Faust)From August 17, 2011Only some people get what they want. Those are the people who show up to get it.
(Dianne Houston, Take The Lead, 2006)

Skywatch Friday

Wordless Wednesday: Baby It's Cold Outside

Image

Ditched by the Power Company

I have not been around this week because our part of Connecticut got whacked but good by Storm Alfred ( I think.)  We are prowling around the lower rungs of that heirarchy of needs, trying to maintain a body temperature of 98.6 degrees, finding warm food, staying warm at night....  We have been without power since Saturday because Connecticut and Connecticut Light and Power have seen fit to do very little about the situation.  It seems they sealed our fate when they did not pay the bill to the out-of-staters who helped with the last crisis.  So we got what we paid for.  Sad thing.  Be well and happy, one and all.  See you soon.