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Writer's Block: When I Was Young

What do you miss most about being a kid?

Summers at my aunt and uncle's place in Ogunquit, Maine. Spending the day at the beach, coming home hot and slippery with lotion, sticky with the salt water and sand. Sand on my feet, in my hair and in every crevice and skin fold. We'd be dumped together into the big claw-foot bathtub on the second floor -- the house was built in the 1880s and though it was large, it was also a little rough in a beautiful way -- and we were soaped up, giggling, towel-dried and draped in jammies. We'd navigate the twisting staircase down to the fireplace in the sitting room. My aunt would give us marshmallows to roast. The brick surrounding the fire would get so warm and the evening air would be cool. Flannel and warmth, toasted marshmallows and the smell of a wood fire, soapy scent of drying hair and freshly scrubbed bodies, and the night-time breeze sweeping in off the ocean. That's what I miss most about being a kid.

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thinking about spring

My wish list:

Moorpark apricot tree

Early Golden apricot tree

Triple Crown blackberry

"no bog" cranberry

Windsor cherry

Atlantic and Ivanhoe blueberries

Mock Orange

Heritage rose

I got my Miller nurseries catalog in the mail the other day (this is in addition to the Seeds of Change catalog I got a couple of weeks ago)... I love sitting with them late at night while the sleet and freezing rain is messing up the roads outside and I've got my mug of tea and my fuzzy blanket wrapped around me dreaming about digging holes and smelling blossoms :)

happy solstice and hanukkah too

it's winter and the days will start getting longer again. more sunshine! (any sunshine these days would be great -- it's been a while). A seed catalog arrived in the mail yesterday -- I spent last night and part of tonight looking at every page -- reading every description of the vegetables and fruits and flowers and imagining which ones I'll plant and if I can start seeds inside or not (enough light? enough room?) and soaking in the colors off the page as though it wasn't ink, but really springtime right there.

Dec. 18th, 2008

For those of us without Mr. Crowley's working vocabulary:

perspicuous: plain to the understanding... with clarity and precision of presentation (Merriam-Webster Online)

and thanks again to those writers who give me something new to learn every day.

Oct. 27th, 2008

I like seeing this in the news (though it isn't actually 'news' -- some of us already knew)


Humans are evolved to be acutely sensitive to our reputations as do-gooders in our social groups because this promotes strong cooperative bonds that help the species. This psychological mechanism was originally unrelated to religion, the authors write in the Oct. 3 issue of the journal Science.

The review also shoots down the idea that religion is necessary to make people choose to engage in altruistic behavior - or do something that benefits others at your own personal expense. Religion has no monopoly on good behavior today, Norenzayan said.

I was asked once by a religious friend of mine how it could be that Dylan would "be good" if he wasn't raised with the notion of "pleasing God". I explained at the time that ethical behavior has its own rewards within a social context and for the individual psyche and that a religious precept wasn't necessary. She wasn't able to imagine that because, having been brought up within a highly religious family with strict ground rules, her motivations were all based within the "fear of God" paradigm. I never was able to understand the concept of "fearing God" because in my upbringing God is the source of love and the instrument of peace and that fear has no place where there is love. But then I don't have a standard view, I guess.

just thinking about it


how much is $700 billion?

"NASA in fiscal year 2009 will launch several missions into space and pay for hundreds of people to operate a host of space telescopes and even remote robots on Mars and run a PR and media department that puts most large corporations to shame. The agency's budget: $17.6 billion, or 2.5 percent of the bailout sum."

for example. The other comparisons are even more astounding. Not saying it doesn't need to be done -- just saying it's worth thinking deeply about.

meme from girrlrockr


* Grab the nearest book.
* Open the book to page 56.
* Find the fifth sentence.
* Post the text of the next few sentences in your journal along with these instructions.
* Don't dig for your favorite book, the cool book, or the intellectual one: pick the CLOSEST.

"ooh, that's right! glad you remembered! I'll go get one!... don't we have any road maps of the Yukon, Mom?"

-- from Bill Watterson's Yukon Ho

i has a squirrel

i was sweeping the kitchen floor at an hour when i'm not usually home and i heard a chit-chit-chitting interspersed with squealing outside. i looked out and there was the visitor squirrel who has lately been pulling the heads off my sunflowers and sitting on the porch railing to eat them, leaving quite a mess behind. apparently the squirrel heard me sweeping and was upset that someone was in his noshing area at elevenses. i went out and reassured him that i was only sweeping and that he could go ahead and make his mess -- i mean, eat his snack. he didn't believe me. he was certain i would eat him if he gave me the opportunity. as a peace offering i tossed him a pizza crust. though it was tempting, he was not to be taken in by one tasty morsel. he continued to chide me. i went in and brought out pumpkin seeds. i tossed him a few. he found this interesting, though being a discerning squirrel and one intending to live a long life, he was still not convinced. so i sat down and ate a few, all the while extolling the virtues of pumpkin seeds -- the protein, fiber, magnesium content, the nutty warm flavor and healthy fat content. he watched me eat. finally, seeing that i had not keeled over dead from poisoning, nor having lunged to eat him, he tried one. he liked. he noted that he did not die from the effort. and so he grabbed for the prize -- he is a squirrel with a highly refined palate after all -- he went for the pizza crust. he ate and watched me and i watched him and i realized that the guy who drew the squirrel for "Ice Age" had a much better caricature of a squirrel than had been my first impression. their eyes really do bug out like that and they do have a little freaky, dope addict shiver as they munch on their tasty treats. hmm. what i learned on my day off.

in other forest creature news, the tufted titmice are again gleefully tossing seeds this way and that from the bird feeder and the blue jays are shaking the evergreens in the backyard. autumn has arrived.