1.31.2008

winter snow

this morning woke to a layer of new snow.
after starting a pot of coffee, swept the snow from
my front porch.
and the silence outside was huge.
everything quieted by those few inches of snow.
the snow, drifting in soft mounds. in odd shapes.

the day has long since started, and the sounds of cars
crunching on
the snowy streets, has taken over.

dug into my 1979 Oxford Dictionary of Quotations.
and found Emerson's quote from The Snowstorm,
"The frolic architecture of the snow"

1.30.2008

great things list #5, faraway places
















about ten years ago, I had a trip to Turkey.
I'd gone to visit a best friend, Miss LMR. as she was living there, discovering the world by living all over it.
I arrived by Christmas and stayed through the first days of 1998.

at this point ten years ago, I was frantically writing in my journal about the smells, the colors and the sounds. words like pide, beze, merhaba, ak-deniz, l├╝tfen & kenz-i mahfi, are all over my journal. some of the words are in LMR's handwriting. (isn't it amazing how having another person's handwriting written somewhere can make it seem like you've got a part of them with you?)
















so I've been browsing it. my journal. on my last journal entry in Istanbul I wrote, "It will be frustrating to go home and want to relive this time--with people who can only imagine & not have actually lived. I really am not so sure that I'll be ready to leave. There is so much more to do--this whole world is full of pictures."

it changed my world. that smell of roasted sesame seeds. that language so magically different from mine. the sound of the early morning drums during Ramadan. hot apple tea after a cold boat ride on the sea.

can you believe it LMR? It was ten years ago. I'll visit again. I absolutely, must.


1.29.2008

great things list #4, Kansas

















"if I went west, I think I would go to Kansas."
(Abe Lincoln, 1860)

Happy Kansas Day.
A list of some things I adore about this place.

  1. bluest & biggest sky
  2. tallgrass prairie
  3. turkey red wheat
  4. ad astra per aspera – to the stars, through adversity
  5. it has been home to generations of farmers, that I call family
  6. the smell of the green air, after a spring rain
  7. harvest time
  8. fireflies in the summertime
  9. the South wind
  10. huge backyards
  11. Walnut Valley Festival
  12. cottonwood trees
  13. zwiebach
  14. the Kansan spirit.
  15. I get to call it my home.
(I do encourage you other Kansans, to contribute to this list)

1.23.2008

the thing with feathers

"Hope" is the thing with feathers --
That perches in the soul --
And sings the tune without words --
And never stops - at all --

And sweetest - in the Gale - is heard --
And sore must be the storm --
That could abash the little Bird
That kept so many warm --

I've heard it in the chillest land --
And on the strangest Sea --
Yet, never, in Extremity,
It asked a crumb - of Me.

--Emily Dickinson

1.21.2008

information age











The Library of Congress has a pilot project with Flickr. (The project is described, here) The hope is that by placing non-copyrighted images from the Library, up on Flickr, that they can actually learn more about the images. As some are missing information that would be valuable--like name of location etc...

I think it is a very clever and productive way for an "old" picture archive to be utilized by a "new" picture archive.

I did a search of the images for anything labelled Kansas. The above photo is "A church near Junction City, Kansas" -- and of course, now, I want to take a drive and see if I can find more about it.

1.20.2008

flour, salt, yeast & honey.















and warm water.
I know that at times a bread machine would be nice. At those times I just wanted fresh bread, without all the effort.
But as I stand in my 100-yr old kitchen, at a place where other women likely stood to do the same, and knead away. Everything is peaceful. No computer, no internet and nothing buzzing or whirring. It is simply, me, making bread.

Honey Whole Wheat, like last time.

1.18.2008

my desk is all a-fuffled

(first, may I state, hearing the words "arctic front", can't mean anything good. to anyone, truly? It seems like the whole world is just a still-life in freezing, right now)

kerfuffle (kuhr-FUHF-uhl) noun
A commotion.
[Of uncertain origin, perhaps from Scots curfuffle, from fuffle (to disorder).]

(Mostly, I like this word, because of its origin. And I plan on finding a way to bring back "fuffle")

1.16.2008

snowy















happy to be inside.

happy in 2 months, winter will be gone again.

happy for fleece pullovers, wool scarves and insulated coffee mugs.

1.15.2008

great things list #3



















visiting friends, in cities I've never seen.

just purchased a ticket for "sunny" LA, in February, a perfect time to get away from the Kansas winter-weather grays.

1.14.2008

butterflies on a blanket















fabric for the niece's first present, purchased this weekend.

butterflies in the making.

stacks of fabric. wonderful things. the colors, the prints, the combinations. I get dizzy in fabric stores.

great things list #2

oatmeal for breakfast.

i'm a person raised eating some form of cereal for breakfast. hot or cold. the importance of hot cereal to my dad, has led him to develop his own "blend" of a hot cereal combination. myself am quite happy with either Quaker Oats or McCann Irish Oats.

and though most days, breakfast for me is toast. on frosty mornings, I sometimes cook up some oats. warm, filling and just enough brown sugar for a little sweetness.

and, I hear-tell, that is is pretty good for you, too.

1.11.2008

magic words

cat's paw
noun

1. Someone used as a tool by another.
2. A kind of knot used to connect a rope to an object.

3. A breeze that ruffles the surface of the water over a small area.

wordsmith.org

1.10.2008

warm















the best (warmest) place in the house. while the cold winds swirl outside the windows.

pink in the drab




















the annual surprise. pink blooms. the cactus began blooming right before Christmas. I realise that the plant is called a Christmas cactus, but how did it know, really?
It didn't really, it was luck.
Last year it bloomed at Thanksgiving.

anyway. nice to see some color. cause these days, Kansas is bare, grey, blustery and just plain Winter.

1.09.2008

great things list #1

the inter-library loan service at my little hometown library. (or, any library, I suppose)

just about any book, if another library in the State has it, they'll find it, and have it sent to them, and then they call me, to let me know it is ready.

and it is free.

1.08.2008

the long days ahead

this morning decided I simply can't get up early, because of the darkness that sticks around so long.

finally, joy of joys, managed to drink some coffee this morning. after almost a week not able to without getting queasy.

last night watched Miss Potter, mostly out of my desire to watch a period-costume-historical-british-drama, of which, I have a weakness. the movies was, only okay. RZ's heavy makeup quite bothered me. was she supposed to be ruddy-faced? I just didn't get it. and had to stop looking at her. long ago, on my trip to the UK. we stopped at her "home". the area really was one of the most lush, beautiful places I'd ever seen.

on the brit-drama note, excited to see PBS devoting four months of Sunday nights to Jane Austen.

last weekend, while ill & bored, pulled from my DVD shelf, an old favorite. Hannah and her Sisters. loved every neurotic, woody-allen, pretentious, 80's NYC, minute of it. after this movie I always want to devote myself to reading my complete e.e.cummings, all 1,000 pgs of it. while listening to jazz.

and am looking forward to one of my favorite photo sites, as though they have ended their year of mornings, they will soon begin, a year of evenings (and yes d., they did get a book deal, as you so cynically predicted)

anyway, before the book deal. a quilt for my soon-to-be-born niece. I'm thinking....butterflies.

1.07.2008

xmas.feastival.new year's.















happy 2008.

christmases were had. my dad liked the scarf I knit him.
my nephew learned to "rip and tear", and enjoyed helping all of us do just that.
the "caribbean" colored stockpot I bought my mother, on a spontaneous it's-on-sale whim, was a bit hit.
and the "reuseable" grocery bags, which I made for my stepmother & mother--made from muslin & duckcloth, were enjoyed and I fully trust, will be used. I've grown to be quite a crank, when it comes to all those plastic bags floating around in the world.

and I happily received Last-Minute Patchwork & Quilted, as well as the Italian go-to, The Silver Spoon.

Feastival was excellent. much pumpkin bread was eaten. as well as empanadas. and many bloody marys, whiskey spritzers and coffee w/ liqueur was enjoyed. and once again, the Dutch Blitz came out. causing a lot of cursing, frantic card slapping and fun. The "christmas" holidays would mean very little any more, if it were not for Feastival. and my darling friends, who always make me laugh. and seem to think I'm funny sometimes, too.












By New Year's, I was feeling the holiday exhaustion . But, all dressed up, joined my brother and sis-in-law to go to a New Year's party. where fun was had. drinks were spilled. the new year, rung in.

I woke up the next day, with the stomach flu nastiness. and only today, am finally feeling like I can eat most things, without worry.

now, for 2008. am thinking, new job? or start a new program to get my that master's in library science that has been tempting me for so long? a trip to sunny LA to visit that mysterious city of palm trees. a new addition to the family in March. this summer, a trip up North for a birthday extravaganza. hopefully another visit to the windy City. and most definitely, more wallpaper removal, plastering, painting, & gutter repair on the house.
oh, and the ever so stressful, 2008 election.