Saturday, September 15, 2007

The Sojourner

When I recall the summer about to pass, I may forget the year, but it will be known as Cross Creek Summer or the summer that I met Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings. I know that this is twice in not so many weeks that she's been mentioned, but I am thinking of her now as a dear friend. I want to sit down at her kitchen table and partake of her peach pie and sweet iced tea laced with something stronger. It doesn't matter that she died before I was even born...I can't part with her yet.

I was thrilled to learn that Rawlings had purchased a farm in the state of New York and had lived there in order to write about it. The result was The Sojourner. I was a bit concerned to learn that this book is a novel for reasons already stated — this need of mine to linger at her table. So I waffled about ordering (once again from Abe books) before finally placing my order and being done with it. Hope that I'll not be disappointed.

Now it's here; I'm very excited; I'll be reporting back. Off to tell my friend Skitten this news; she's the only one who really cares I suspect. :>

Friday, September 14, 2007

From the Pitiful to the Sublime

I am in the process of putting my garden to bed. My disappointing garden. It's a disappointment because gyspy moths attacked when I least suspected it and munched their way through my flowers before I even knew what was happening. They made nests in my lilac bushes that I was fortunate enough to discover before it was too late. Wish that I could say the same of my neighbor's lilac.

They took my beautiful deck pot from this

to this.

Granted, even the chomped version would look better with my little grandson Jake featured prominently front and center. Ha!

After some research, I discovered that even if it is a cold winter, gypsy moths will actually do better in the spring. They'll need less heat to wake up and be on the move. Isn't that just weird?

In the early 80s, gypsy moths chomped their way through acres and acres of forested areas. The sun shone down hot upon us in the middle of July because we lost our tree canopy. I shudder to even think about it. At its worst, the state sprayed the woods and that's the only thing that stopped them. I hope that spraying can happen again if these things stay on the move.

Okay, that's enough for the pitiful news, now I'd like to share a sublime blog from the UK. What I love about Ramblings From an English Garden are the photos of beautiful, lush gardens that enlarge when clicked upon. If you need a little down time, this is the spot for you.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

A Valentine in September

Everyone has a few claims to fame and one of mine is knowing Juanita. One of hers is knowing Rob. It's a two degrees of separation thing. Ha!

Rob Kelley is the leader of a band called Blue Mist that hails from Austin, Texas. If any of you ever have the opportunity to attend one of Blue Mist's performances, don't miss it!

Valentine Lady (no longer available) is a song written for Juanita. I listen to it a lot! Hope that you'll have a listen, too.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Does Great Disaster Equal Opportunity?

Recently, a friend and I were discussing some pretty terrible events in the lives of some of our mutual friends and acquaintances. We can never really be aware of all that others are dealing with. So many suffer in silence.

At one point my friend sighed, drained her coffee cup, and said, "Well, they say that in China the symbol for great disaster is the same as the one for opportunity."

Gee, I really liked the sound of that so I went off on a little Google search this morning. This is what I found...

So, what do you think? Do they look alike to you?

No? No. Not at all.

But just because the story about the symbols didn't exactly hold true doesn't mean that great disaster doesn't equal opportunity, does it? Because I'm counting on disaster equaling opportunity.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007


This morning, first thing, I lowered the flag to the half-mast position. September 11 will never come and go unremembered for as long as I live. This is true for most Americans, I am certain. There are those who still remember Pearl Harbor with the same devotion.

Six years ago, I was a preschool teacher on an excursion to the library with my students and other teachers. The hour 8:45 came and went without any particular notice as the class listened to the librarian read a story. This was followed by a craft time.

At 9:00, we were collected by our dear bus driver Gil who looked at each of us adults with pure terror in her eyes. I will never forget how pale and upset she looked. Gil had the radio on and the news was terrible. A plane had crashed into the north tower and all hell had broken loose.

One of the teacher's husbands was a construction worker in NYC at the time, and she began to weep softly. Just as news of the first jumpers came across the airwaves, I asked Gil to please turn off the radio. The little ones had become frightened, too, and were now asking questions. "Why are you crying, Mrs. M? What's wrong? Why are you all sad?"

By the time we had arrived back at school, the entire parking lot was filled with parents' cars and in less than 5 minutes, all the children had been scooped up and taken home. I was grateful for those concerned parents. I was grateful that the children would be home in the bosom of their families because, in my own fear, I had no idea how the day would end or if any of us would live to see the end of that day. It seems almost laughable today, but then it was my reality.

Today, another Tuesday, I think of all those who live in New York City who must rise again to the day despite their fears. May God bless them and all of us.

Monday, September 10, 2007


The rain is raining all around
It rains on field and tree
It rains on the umbrellas here
And on the ships at sea

Or something like that. Just remembering this off the top of my head...Stevenson, I think.

So, yup, it's raining. We need the rain. It matches my mood. I am hoping that in the same way that the plants need water despite being beaten down by it, that my spirit will be renewed even if I currently look a lot like this...drooping.

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Needed: A Good Laugh

All those whacky little forwards that friends email me can be really annoying, but every now and then I find a keeper. And, lucky for me, I can share it with you and all because of You Tube. It's called Remember.

Here's a fun blog from a gal who gives me a laugh almost every day. She says that she's menopausal, but she looks too young. Anyway, visit her blog and have a chuckle on me right here at Just Livin' Large.