December 28, 2012 § 7 Comments

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Christmas day “gifts” (chestnuts under the tree) for the little Archies (squirrels) that come around to eat underneath the bird feeder.
They did find these and went leaping joyfully into the backyard woods to stash them. (sorry, no pictures of their “shopping”and ultimate delight).

While yesterday it seemed a good idea to start de-decorating the house, today it has become impossible. In fact, instead, I’ve walked through the house, turning on all the holiday lights and candles to ramp up the “cheer”on this cold gloomy day.

And the question will soon become (after cleaning up the kitchen and a few other bits of chores), what to read? Pippa Middleton’s cookbook? Laurie R King’s 3rd book in the Mary Russell/Sherlock Holmes series? the current New Yorker magazine? more of Anna Karenina? The Discovery of Witches? or, more of Cloud Atlas?
The reading list gets curiouser and curiouser.

Holiday spread…

December 26, 2012 § 8 Comments

While “spread”might refer to one’s waistline, herein it does not! Rather it refers to those days around Christmas as we hover in the magic and meaning…
So while the birds are drinking from the nearly frozen birdbath and the squirrels are fiddling with the nuts I threw out there, deciding which ones they like best (and actually spurn some in favor of others – walnuts being the favorite), Christmas music plays very very softly in the background and staring into the winter fire brings some peaceful moments as the world rages on.  To all, everywhere, a hug and wishes for peace.

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Red and green…

December 22, 2012 § 4 Comments

There’s a bright cardinal in the bamboo forest just behind our house. He’s so like an ornament on a holiday tree.
I have a funny little fake tree and an extra red bow so today, I’ll put it outside on the back patio for the critters with some fruit and nuts and their beloved seeds in a bowl next to it.

Archie popped in earlier looking for a drink out of the little iron birdbath, but the water was frozen. I wondered if his tongue would get stuck to the ice as he tried to drink – it did not. He was delighted with the chestnuts I had tossed out there earlier while cleaning up the Christmasy kitchen counter.

There’s much to be done. And there’s no schedule!  Here’s to celebrating the season.

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Chiming in with warm holiday wishes…

December 21, 2012 § 13 Comments

DSC_0184 DSC_0182 DSC_0176 DSC_0177 DSC_0155 DSC_0156 DSC_0169 DSC_0166 DSC_0153 DSC_0150We attended our annual wreath-making class (where ARE those pictures?) at the Missouri Botanical Garden and then wandered through the Gallery to look at this year’s professionally done wreath-donations, always a delight.

Which ones make you say “ah?”

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another peek at Wedding World…

October 25, 2012 § 7 Comments

…and pictures will have to tell the story… according to the cover of the new Poets & Writers magazine, pictures ARE telling the story. More than graphic novels, these new picture novels have no dialogue or dialogue bubbles, either.

I’ve been to Wedding World…

October 20, 2012 § 7 Comments

A wedding has a way of changing time.
Time becomes non-chronological, non-linear.
A family’s wedding “season” is a huge colorful swath painted by a sweeping brush that pulls people and celebration and nature, food, flowers and love into it. It is an incredible melange in which people talk, dance, hug, hold hands, share, sing and say good wishes out loud.

For weeks prior, family (mostly the Bride’s grandmother) and friends (at the shower) made flowers that would decorate the reception.

The house needed decorations! Again, friends and family pitched in. Picture here:  a BFF who pitched in, unquestionably, to manage some details)

Guest gift bags took over the kitchen table eventually, for “assembly line” filling.  I meant to include postcards of St Louis, pre-stamped so that guests could write cards and send them home and to friends from STL while they were here. A great idea, but no time!!!! Instead, we packed ém full with water, aspirin, a WHERE magazine and map, personal packs of tissues (in case there were any weepers at the wedding!), locally made chocolate malt balls, a poporn pack (for in-room microwave in case of munchies during stay) and something else….???

And there was the trial run on the Bride’s hair and how it would be styled on the Wedding Day.

And there were moments of family discussion at the table on what-how-who-when…!
And in downtime, the FOB (father-of-the-bride) turned to his bass to play and fill the house with music.

and friends stopped by and ended up contributing to getting the house ready!

to be continued…

Anna Karenina….Part 1, almost

September 30, 2012 § 6 Comments

Sigh.

I joined this read-along with Arti and others about two weeks ago, that is, a bit late (OK, very late)  but I’m happy to have a reason and some friends with whom to travel the books hundreds of pages. I am still in Part 1 and while such a confession should have me blushing (as many characters in the novel do on a regular basis), I’m happy just to be in it, like a marathon runner who might end up walking, due to a sore knee or a distraction like a cloud or butterfly).

We are preparing for a wedding in the family. Somehow this involves readying the house, filling the kitchen cupboards, cleaning up the yard and taking inventory of sheets and towels to accommodate guests who are flying in. And finishing reception details. And keeping an eye on the Bride. And there a lot of questions and logistics. And lists. I have the MoB’s ultimate book of lists. It’s just they’re in different note”books” so far.

So…what better time to pick up the novel Anna Karenina as a bit of a “challenge?” I haven’t read Tolstoy in several decades. And following on the heels of some of the fiction and political reading I’ve done of late, Tolstoy shines.  I am interested in every detail he provide (even to the type/species of oyster they will have at dinner) especially since his details center on character more than story, though he takes his time with story and I love the pace.  It’s wonderful, lets you be there. Every look, every blink, every bite at the table, every step, every excitement, every plunge and rise of emotion with each character. And yet, so abrupt sometimes to the point of a phrase like “He walked out.” He gives the reader tie to draw a breath.

I offer no details or quotes at the moment; I have run to the store, right now. But I am compelled to mention that the book is a huge world, and a massive writerly undertaking to which I react more than to the story itself so far.  I’m nearly to the end of part 1. That’s ok; onward.

It is worth it. And I have the same Penguin edition that Arti is reading and I like it. (Often, but not always important that the book has an aesthetic appeal.)

Fines for big drinks? hmmm…

September 30, 2012 § 3 Comments

As little league baseball parents, we were required to work the ballpark snack bar from time to time.  There was a menu offering called “pepper bellies.” You scissored off the top  of a bag of Fritos (TM), spooned in some meat-n-beans chile, added yellow shredded cheese and ladled on (insidious) green peppers, then handed it over in the Frito bag itself, with a spoon.
I never ate it but I did expect the bag to go up in flames as I handed it over to the eager customer.

With some curiosity and raised eyebrow I digested this sign last week: Frito Pie.
Sounds  like it might go with one of those huge quart-sized soft drinks, except in NYC?

PS to prior post “Balloon Boulevard”

September 23, 2012 § 9 Comments

More pictures for more flavor of Balloon Glow.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Balloon boulevard…

September 22, 2012 § 8 Comments

The annual Balloon Glow in Forest Park was brilliant with the hot air beasties.

More than 3,000 attendees watched up close and personally as dozens of hot air balloons were “lighting up”when the siren signal was given every 8 minutes or so after dark last Friday night.
Music, camaraderie, highland pipers, neon vendors, dogs, babies in cadillac strollers, parents relaxed in the post-sunset dark, couples holding hands and conversatoins – all party-ers for an evening on the green of an urban park…where the World’s Fair once took place more than a hundred years ago.

The balloon race was the next day. A St. Louisan won it. Balloons represented “Curves,” “Wells Fargo,” Peabody,” “Wehrenberg Theatre,” “State Farm,” “Energize,” and many many more.