Monday, January 31, 2011

I want to see green

Oh dear, the forecast for this week is a huge blizzard....and I have been counting the days until spring.
It is the only thing lately that has kept my spirits hoping...Spring!
But now the news is snow..snow..and more snow..
the blinding kind of snow with 50 mph winds to make those huge drifts.
This day I will be out buying provisions for my wards in the garden
..making sure the feeders are filled and that I have peanuts for the squirrels
 and enough food to share with Handsome who may or may not show up.
The thought of being snowbound is depressing. I was intending on going shopping this week...getting out
to browse,visiting my local thrifts and the library. Not to be.
Good thing I have been enjoying a book this weekend
...reading it slowly to preserve the pleasure:
The Physical Book of Deliverance Dane, by Katherine Howe.
It's just what I need for this long week.
...a journey to Salem and the finding of an ancient key in a 17th century Bible...whoo hoo....

But I'm keeping the cooking simple this week.
...real cottage cheese and fruit
the scale was up this morning....damn thing
why, when we eat over the weekend, a few pleasures,
 the scale shoots up?
but when we restrain our eating the reverse is not true?!?!?!
not fair

I dreamt about being on the Reformer...for those of you
who do not know what that's a device that you use to do Pilates....
Anyway, I dreamt I was on the Reformer
 and was doing everything with skill and with perfect form...
..think my mind is telling me something?
Like get your body back to moving-stretching-breathing
I could at least lift my weights while I'm stuck think
I'll let you know if I have been successful at kicking my own arse


Thursday, January 27, 2011

Magpie tale #50

I could not see beyond the bend,but the path before me was wide and bright, so I tarried on.
This trek through unfamiliar woods was not the way I had planned my day. It is my own fault,though, for not paying attention to where I was going. What started out as a brisk walk in the country to think things out, has now turned into a journey without a way. I thought I could and would remember the turns, but as I tried my way back I only became more confused. Was it this way or that? 
It is snowing now and the sky has become increasingly dark and the path is narrowing as it goes further into dense woods. I do not remember this denseness, but in the light of late afternoon it may have seemed less frightening. My feet are starting to get cold and my hands, though shoved into my pockets,are tingling that tingle before they start to get painful. It must be somewhere around 4pm; soon John will be wondering where I am, his dinner not made as he walks in the door. And to think this was the night I was going to tell him that I was leaving him, that I no longer could take his dark moods,his silent hostility,his meanness. I kept thinking if I just hang in there a bit more, it would change and he would change.
Now there is no path of any kind and I don't know which way I should go and I am tired and half frozen. Like in my life, I begin to think...half frozen..the life I am living has been like that, fear keeping me in place. I see the silhouette of an owl fly over, that silent messenger of the woods, and wonder what prey he has spotted. 
Why of all days do I have to get lost. Too cold and tired to go on, I sit on the ground next to a giant oak and lean against its bark looking up to the sky that is starless. In the darkness my eyes are getting heavy and I hear drumming and chanting, and the smell of smoke fills my nostrils and my eyes close to this world.
I enter a place of the ancients, and I am safe.


Who knows?... chicken soup

This is one of those gloomy winter days without blue skies or brilliant light. So-------
a good day to make soup. Soup is an art form without form to me.
Today I am making chicken soup...that I know.
But what it will eventually taste like I'm not sure.
To make the broth I am throwing almost everything I have left from the week:
Sort of a witch's brew
with potatoes
green pepper
onion (skins left on too get that yellow color)
and while I am reciting a charm or too
I'll throw in some celery salt
turmeric and paprika and peppercorns
in goes the old hen and in a few hours
I'll strain the broth, remove the chicken meat from the bones
return it to the pot, add fresh vegetables and noodles
simmer a bit more and we'll see

If only you could smell the house.....mmmmm
should I make bread?
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Tuesday, January 25, 2011

It's all in the light

We spent the weekend in Galena. The temperature was in the teens,
but the magic of a country winter day manifested itself before us.
I rose early anticipating seeing the deer,
but they were not there,neither were the turkeys.
The only thing present was wonder... the bright moon leaving, shining through the naked trees,
the moonlight glistening on the pure white snow,the horizon awakening with pink light.

With a cup of coffee in hand I sat at the kitchen table and watched as the sun rose and
glistened the snow even more below the brilliant blue sky of the new day. The birds returned to the feeders on the deck
en mass...becoming a birders delight. We had Chickadees,Finches-both gold and purple,Downy and Hoary woodpeckers,Red bellied woodpeckers,Blue Jays,Cardinals,Tufted titmouse's,Juncos,Crows,and nuthatches. And the orange feral cat showed up to see what was going on...poor thing...I think it has lost its litter mate. This is the second time we have seen it alone. I left dry food out by the rocks for him,but he preferred and has come to rely on the neighbor's consistent food supply (bless her Swedish heart).

Earlier,when I woke up in the middle of the night to something making noise in the woods, I stood at the window
trying to see what it was...but became lost in the wonder of  light and shadows on the snow. There was a wonderful,dreamy blue cast to everything and I soon forgot why I was standing there. I wanted to wake my husband up, but he doesn't share my wonder sometimes...he tries...but

wonder,magic,joy and beauty are sometimes best partaken alone

I can say I felt Frost's poem that night...
.Whose woods these are I think I know...

...The magic was bewitching


Monday, January 24, 2011

Microfiction Monday #67

Microfiction,  hosted by Susan

Like the river,fog covered
Her a slicker, him an umbrella
Him a hybrid, her a guzzler
Lib vs right
Will love,like the sun,be enough?


Thursday, January 20, 2011


He's mine, but he belongs to no one
a vagabond, a cad, a feral cat
whose territory is who knows where
but home is where he knows he will find
a heated outside house,water bowl and food
Sometimes he stares in the window until he gets what he wants
me having to go through dry food,canned food and his favorite,
chicken from the Jewel
Another winter my friend ...I beckon you to come inside
your ear now permanently bent and your eye sore
but you want to be free or you fear not being free
I now how it is
Change is hard....don't worry I'll always be here for you
but tonight it is going to be 10 degrees
wind chill -35
I'll throw another blanket on your bed while you are away

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Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Magpie tale #49

I wanted to go downtown with Halley and her mother to watch the women light their bras and toss them into the Chicago river, but my mother said no like she always says to liberating ideas. So here I am alone,bored and snooping through my mother's photo album. I flip through a few pages and come upon the one and only photo of my grandmother. My mother never speaks of her, so why, I wonder, has she kept her photo.
I slide my fingernail along the edge and lift the glossy image from the decades old glue that has bound it there, and slip it into my pocket. I sneak off to my room, shut the door and lock it. And like some kind of contraband I lift the photo of my grandmother out of my pocket, and lay across my bed and stare at it. I stare at her in the middle of two other women,all of them wearing heavy coats, hats,and holding ice skates. She is a rather large woman with an almost irreverent smirk on her face. I turn the photo over and there, written in the most beautiful handwriting, were the words...three happy women
 My grandmother had the most bold of coats compared to the others,one with wide stripes that went all the way down, and her black hat was the biggest. I notice that she holds onto her skates in a very powerful manner.  I wish I had known her; all I know about her is that she caused a scandal in their little town by divorcing my grandfather, and leaving her children and going off to join the Universalists.
I guess in those days it was kind of like burning your bra, a strike of willful,shocking independence.
 I bet my grandmother would have been at the bridge downtown today if she were still alive. I bet she left my grandfather because she dared to speak her mind and dared to have her own thought on how things should be done. If only my mother were like her, I'd be at that bridge witnessing this history making act, but no, my mother is a traditional mother, cooking and cleaning.
As soon as I am old enough, I am going to leave this stifling environment and become a liberated woman, doing what I want to do. But as I flip the photo in my fingers I realize how much my mother looks like her mother and I could she leave her little daughter?  Three happy women, one lonely abandoned child.  
I take the photo and put it back into the album and realize how free my mother must be to keep it.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Wednesday Poem

a brushed off poem from the attic

 Winter  Day at the Market

Our hands touched as we reached
for the same cookbook while
standing in the checkout lane

We giggled, made small talk
about cold and warmth,admitted
that Winter aroused us,made us desire
to hole up in our houses

confessed that our fantasies existed
in simmering soups and hardy stews
luring our loved ones homeward
finding sanctuary in the smell of baking bread

I wondered as I stood stirring that night
if she too had cast our conversation
on the hearth, sprinkling it
into her family meal

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

microfiction #65

host a weekly meme

Really Mothman,I'm willing to convert.
I know we could make it,despite what your mother says.

Magpie tales #48


The sun goes down on
 this hot, sultry, summer night
our bodies wet with heat
and almost remembered love
You reach your hand across unsure
Outside the robin sings a song
I know
the coming to an end blues

Friday, January 7, 2011

Magpie tale #47


There it was in the clearance section,the black soapstone sculpture
of a mother and her children. At least that's what I saw...motherhood.
I picked it up and as I held it in my hands it had a wonderful coolness about it and its smoothness was a tactile sensation that I was enjoying, until a young woman interrupted my lovemaking by her sudden and rude shoving of her cart, in haste, to get closer to the clearance shelf ,banging into my body causing the sculpture to slip through my fingers and fall to the floor. I watched as  the"children" broke off and skidded across the aisle. I stood there in shock, then turned to her,my eyes flaring flames of indignation.
"I'm sorry" she said halfheartedly, continuing on her hunt to the clearance.
I bent down and picked up the "kids" and held the pieces in my hand in front of her.
"I have been waiting for this to go on clearance since before Christmas,"I said ,my teeth clenched.
"Maybe you can glue it...they might even mark it down further,"she, actually, said.
I stood back,leaned my body away from her, hand on my hip and looked... at what kind of idiot would say that to me. She was about 25: fur coat, manicured nails,Coach purse in hand, her cart filled to the brim...that kind.
I put the broken sculpture pieces back on the clearance and pushed my cart away...but not before taking one last look at the idiot in the fur coat. And then I saw her pick up the pieces and put the sculpture into her cart while explaining to another woman that it was four naked people entwined...a dominant female with three submissive males at her feet. And she went on to say, that she had been waiting for it to go on clearance since before Christmas...and how wonderful it would look by her whirlpool tub... all it needed was a little glue.
I guess motherhood is not all that its cracked up to be anyway, I said to myself as I headed to the checkout.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Wednesday poem

A little ditty for

I thought of the child
smeared in joy
Bliss all over her hair
and I wondered
when did I bind her
snuff out her boldness
her free spirit
her easy giggles of play
her intuitive way of doing
that which brought her
joy with confidence
 And I wondered
when and why
did it happen
 that I traded her
for growing up?

Tuesday, January 4, 2011


Anyone who has written a book
  who has a fit and trim body
  who eats healthy
  who is an accomplished cook
anyone who is an artist
anyone who runs or walks everyday
anyone who teaches or learns
  who meditates
or quilts
anyone who does anything with skill
It is as simple as that

Monday, January 3, 2011

Microfiction #64

  Host Microfiction Monday
a story in 140 characters or less

Really,Ann,don't go near him, you can get grease at Hal's.
So you pay a little more, at lease you can be sure a "perv" won't come with it.




Journal jottings
January 3,2011
to myself
 Getting along is like stepping on the air hose of life
Without the oxygen of your own beliefs,wishes and thoughts expressed openly
-despite the risk of alienation
or ridicule or gasps-
you  face the day with little strength,weakened
half of who you are
Be true to yourself and what you believe
 and you will lift that heavy foot off of your life source
To be silent is swallowing poison drip by drip
before you even realize it your are dying inside of un-expression
Fill your vase with sunflowers
while they still bloom inside of you
place them in the open on your table of  life
and let your inside out
For the world needs more flowers
not fewer

Sunday, January 2, 2011

jottings in the journal

Jan 1,201l
To myself
Come each day as you are
Live it in true time
Set the table for two or more
Nourish body and soul
Move your body to awareness
Work on inflexibility
Breathe outside air, and feel the sun on your face, everyday
For there you will find Holiness
And when it rains,snows, or is freezing, feel that too
Touch the other senses of nature..for there you will find courage, fortitude,purpose and survival
Sit at the feet of the music,writings and art
for there you will find alternatives, you never knew existed
Sit still with what is uncomfortable
for there you will discover and unravel a knot that has bound you
Organize the chaos that holds you back
for there you will find more beauty and where there is beauty,you'll find joy
Bless every single day
For when you bless it, you will not waste it

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