“They say I’m a bitch. Or witch. I’ve claimed the same and never winced.” ~ Sandra Cisneros, from “Loose Woman”
Tuesday afternoon, cloudy, 81 degrees.
I awoke this morning to Sarah Bear (named for Corey’s primary school girlfriend) jumping on me; as usual, she was muddy and wet. In the mornings when they first go out, several of the dogs run through the pasture, which is heavy with morning dew. Sarah always seems to be the one who winds up getting the dirtiest, and her favorite thing to do once she comes back inside is to jump on me. So I greet most days smelling of wet dog. It’s very sexy.
There’s so much that I want to do around the house today. Who knows how much of it I will actually be able to accomplish. Just cleaning up after the goats can be a twenty-four-hour chore (I so look forward to the day when the goat boys go outside once Zeke is weaned). One day I won’t have to worry about the constant influx of dirt and mud on the hardwood floors. One day we’ll have crushed shells or gravel on the driveway, and the horses and goats won’t have the front yard as their personal spaces. One day.
Corey comes home tomorrow. I hope that he gets a fairly early start so that he doesn’t get home as late as he did last time. The later it gets, the more that it stresses me out. I can’t wait for him to see how full the apple trees have become. We’re unsure as to what kind each tree is; I just know that the horses and goats are enjoying the apples that I’m giving them as treats, but truly there are way more than we thought we’d get this year as the trees really need to be pruned and fertilized properly.
Also, I made some homemade syrup for the hummingbird feeder, and they are flocking to it. We have about six regulars, including two male ruby-throated hummers. Anyway, that’s today’s news.
Today’s Two for Tuesday features two works, a passage and a poem, by multi-hyphenate Sandra Cisneros. She has won numerous awards, including NEA fellowships in poetry and fiction, and a National Medal of the Arts from President Obama. I have several of her books on my wishlist. If you would like to learn more about this incredibly talented writer, go here.
More later. Peace.
from “A House of My Own”
As a Latina, I don’t want to inherit certain legacies. I don’t want to inherit mothers laying down their lives like a Sir Raleigh cloak and asking everyone to step all over them. I don’t want to inherit my mother’s fear of doing anything alone or her self-destructive anger. I don’t want to inherit my paternal grandmother’s petty jealousies and possessiveness I don’t want to inherit my maternal grandmother’s silence and passivity I don’t want to quedar bien, be nice, with the men around me at the expense of my own dreams and happiness I don’t want to be the mother of twelve children, seven, five, even one, but I do want to write stories for one child, five, seven, twelve, a million children.
I do want to inherit the witch in my women ancestors—the willfullness, the passion, ay, the passion where all good art comes from as women, the perseverance, the survivor skills, the courage, the strength of las mujeres bravas, peleoneras, necias, berrinchudas. I want to be bad if bad means I must go against society—el Papá, el Pápa, the boyfriend, lover, husband, girlfriends, comadres—and listen to my own heart, that incredible witch’s broom that will take me where I need to go.
I’m convinced if we’re to be artists of any worth we must lock ourselves in a room and work. There are no two ways around this one, no shortcut, no magic word to save the day. Take it as a given, you’ll cry, despair, think you’ll die, that you can’t possibly do it, that it’s a lonely task, you’ll lose faith in yourself, especially at night. But when you finish crying and despairing, you can wipe your eyes and . . . the work is still there waiting. So you better roll up your sleeves and get moving, girl! Nobody’s going to do the work for you. If you’re serving others other than your art, then it just takes longer. In the words of Tillie Olsen, “Evil is whatever distracts.”
Night Madness Poem
There’s a poem in my head
like too many cups of coffee.
A pea under twenty eiderdowns.
A sadness in my heart like stone.
A telephone. And always my
night madness that outs like bats
across this Texas sky.
I’m the crazy lady they warned you about.
The she of rumor talked about –
and worse, who talks.
It’s no secret.
I’m here. Under a circle of light.
The light always on, resisting a glass,
an easy cigar. The kind
who reels the twilight sky.
I’m witch woman high
on tobacco and holy water.
I’m a woman delighted with her disasters.
They give me something to do.
A profession of sorts.
Keeps me industrious
and of some serviceable use.
In dreams the origami of the brain
opens like a fist, a pomegranate,
an expensive geometry.
I haven’t a clue
why I’m rumpled tonight.
Choose your weapon.
Mine – the telephone, my tongue.
Both black as a gun.
I have the magic of words,
the power to charm and kill at will.
To kill myself or to aim haphazardly.
And kill you.
“. . . I cannot remember a time when I was not in love with them—with the books themselves, cover and binding and the paper they were printed on, with their smell and their weight and with their possession in my arms, captured and carried off to myself.” ~ Eudora Welty, from “One Writer’s Beginnings”
Monday afternoon, sunny and mild, 82 degrees.
I thought that today I’d complete a survey that I found. I enjoy doing these once in a while. This one is perfect for me as it’s about books and reading. By the way, if you don’t know it, you can find great copies of hardback books from all genres at Ollie’s. I know, a surprise right? Usually the books are $3.99 or less. Whenever we go there, I look for copies of books that I lost with the storage unit.
Another great place to find books is in thrift stores. There were two in Norfolk that I loved to peruse; one of them used to have a bag of books option: as many books as you could fit in a bag for $5. They were very generous in not limiting bag sizes. I really miss that place.
That all for now. More later. Peace.
“A room without books is like a body without a soul.” ~ Marcus Tullius Cicero
What are you currently reading? I’m rereading Neil Gaiman’s American Gods.
How many books have you read this year? I’m behind in my goals, having only read 12.
How have your reading tastes changed from when you were a child? I wouldn’t say they’ve changed as much as they’ve broadened. As a child, I loved pretty much anything I could find in the young section of the library. Now, I still love books from all categories—science fiction/fantasy, mysteries, in particular British mysteries, poetry, action/adventure, sweeping historical fiction, biographies, actual histories, and memoirs. I also like that category known as Young Adult, although I’m not sure why it’s called that.
Physical book or e-book? Only paper for me. I love the way that books smell and feel. You cannot get that from an e-reader.
Where do you love to read? I love to read outside; if I had a hammock again, that would be my preferred place. I did see one of those hanging egg chairs at Sam’s Club that I would give anything to have as that would be ideal.
What is your ideal reading atmosphere? background noise or silent? alone or with others? I don’t want anything going on in the background if I’m reading, and I prefer to be alone. When I was a teen, I would watch TV with my boyfriend while reading. Don’t really know how I did that.
Are you a writer? I like to think so.
What was your very first baby book? The first book that I remember having was A Child’s Garden of Verses.
What was the first book you read on your own? I’m fairly certain that the first things that I read on my own were Superman comics, but the first book was probably The House at Pooh Corner.
How many books have you read in total? A conservative estimate would be about 2,000 books.
What has been the longest gap between books? I went through a really bad depression in which I couldn’t concentrate enough to read. It was almost a year without books.
What are your favorite genres? See number 3. My very favorite would probably be British mysteries. I’ve been reading those kinds of books the longest.
What books make you happy? This is a weird question. Reading in general makes me happy. Books that make me smile tend to be things like comic compilations such as Calvin & Hobbes or The Far Side.
What books have made you uncomfortable? Why? I don’t really like romances, mostly because they are so antithetical to real life, and the writing style tends to be formulaic.
Can you read anywhere? Moving vehicle? Roller coaster? I used to be able to read anywhere, but I can no longer read in a moving vehicle without getting carsick.
How do you bookmark books? I have a collection of bookmarks, but I rarely remember to use them. Usually I just use whatever piece of paper is closest to me.
Policy on book-lending? I only lend books to close friends or family. My other mother and I used to exchange books all of the time.
Do people know you’re a bookworm? If they know me, they do.
How well do you take care of your books? I cherish my books, and I prefer to purchase hardbacks. I hate it if they become damaged.
Can you read in other languages? I can read a bit in French.
What is a total book turn-off for you? I hate books that contain errors in grammar and syntax, and I get really upset if a book has a bad ending.
What is an essential element of a good book? For me, it needs to have good plot and character development, and it needs to be written well.
Genres you rarely read? I don’t read self-help books. They get on my nerves.
Do you read non-fiction? Yes, I like to read biographies, especially those of writers. I also like memoirs and collections of essays.
Do you read reviews on a book before you read it? Not usually, but if I do read a review and it seems intriguing, I will probably order the book.
Do you judge a book by the cover? I try not to. I learned when pursuing my publishing degree that the cover design is not always as closely married to the text as it should be.
Do you read cover to cover or sometimes skim parts? I read cover to cover, and I often reread books I love, in particular series such as Harry Potter or Lord of the Rings, both of which I have read multiple times.
Do you always finish a book, even if it is dull? It’s hard for me to leave a book unfinished, and I can count on my hands the number of books that I’ve actually put down without finishing.
How do you organize your books? I organize by last name within genres.
Favorite book this year? This would have to be The Magicians trilogy. I really, really liked those books, and I wish that there were more in the series.
Music by Keane, “Somewhere Only We Know”
Burning of the Books
Typewriters wait at desks,
stories loiter outside hotels.
Far from the boiling pulp of Thunder Bay
starved spruces in wordless bogs
wait to be books.
You who leave the bookstore
will know how the snow waits
for the white fox to venture out
when hunger is spelled in his gut,
how his tracks end in a tuft of fur
and the asterisk of blood
which is the only color on this page;
the unwritten preface to your book.
It will speak to you in your study
like the claviforms on cavern walls
that have kept felling bison
for forty thousand years.
As you open the cover
an axe will strike in the north woods
and teams of draft horses will haul
great logs across the ice.
And if you read well when you read fire
the censor’s match will fail,
the heart of a pinecone will shine.
Incendiary slogans that sleep in libraries
will inspire arsons in the night.
Fireballs will crown the forests,
and in your book-walled room
the sweet smoke of a word’s entrails
will rise from ashes of the page.
A quiet day around here. I’ll be handling everything while Corey is gone to Ohio for his dad’s big birthday celebration. That means all of the dogs, the goats, and the horses. Woo hoo. My life is full. Seriously, though, it’s really nice to have Napoleon back; this morning I went out to let the goats out of their pen, and I turned around and found Napoleon right behind me, waiting to be nuzzled. Sassy was there, of course, but she’s still too skittish to be nuzzled. Now I just need a saddle.
One good thing about binge-watching The Americans is that I keep being treated to great songs from the 80s, as well as a few that I’ve never heard or heard and completely forgotten. I posted one the other day by Yazoo, who was completely new to me.
I only have one season left, and then I’ll probably start on either Deadwood or Justified. Kind of sad, huh, that the only real news that I have at the moment is the next television show that I’m going to watch . . .
Anyway, thought I’d share a passage that I found from Canadian philosopher and humanitarian Jean Vanier (go here to learn more about him):
If we try to prevent, or ignore, the movement of life, we run the risk of falling into the inevitable depression that must accompany an impossible goal. Life evolves; change is constant. When we try to prevent the forward movement of life, we may succeed for a while but, inevitably, there is an explosion; the groundswell of life’s constant movement, constant change, is too great to resist.
. . . To live well is to observe in today’s apparent order the tiny anomalies that are the seeds of change, the harbingers of the order of tomorrow. This means living in a state of certain insecurity, in anguish and loneliness, which, at its best, can push us towards the new. Too much security and the refusal to evolve, to embrace change, leads to a kind of death. Too much insecurity, however, can also mean death. To be human is to create sufficient order so that we can move on into insecurity and seeming disorder. In this way, we discover the new. ~ Jean Vanier, from Becoming Human
More later. Peace.
Note: Roland the goat knocked my laptop off the table once again, and for hours I was unable to finish this post and publish.
Music by Avi Kaplan (love this guy’s voice), “Change on the Rise”
“We are engaged in the search for progression. A story. But some lives do not make a coherent story, all they do is make a sound.” ~ Etel Adnan, from Paris, When It’s Naked
Friday afternoon, partly cloudy, 79 degrees.
So when the goats tried to destroy my laptop, they also killed my mouse. It’s always interesting here.
I’ve been on a British history binge lately, watching documentaries about the War of the Roses, the Plantagenets, Henry VII and VIII, and the time of Stonehenge. I already know a lot of this, but it’s a nice distraction. Whenever I watch things like this, it makes me regret not going into archaeology. I really, really enjoy learning about civilizations, and I think that I would have enjoyed the field.
Since the cable is out, I’ve been binge watching the show The Americans on Amazon Prime. I’m really enjoying it. I had always wanted to watch it, but it was one of those shows that requires dedicated watching so that you don’t miss anything, and at the time, I already had too many shows on my plate. I’m currently on season 5; season 6 is the last season, so I’ll have to find something else to watch after. I tend to watch a lot of TV whenever Corey is gone, just the animals and me . . .
Here’s today collection. Enjoy.
More later Peace.
I miss being near this:
What a great thing:
This whole thing is truly hilarious—it’s a military base; they have guns, bombs, you know, things to keep people out. It was a joke, people:
Nothing Tesla did surprises me any more:
No happily ever after here:
Dumpster obviously never watched Mr. Rogers. It explains a lot:
“Technology is a queer thing. It brings you great gifts with one hand, and it stabs you in the back with the other.” ~ Charles Percy Snow
Wednesday afternoon, sunny, 80 degrees.
So yesterday while I was in the kitchen, one of the goat boys knocked my laptop onto the floor, and now I have a major problem. I cannot get the mouse to work, and the screen keeps going in an out. I have to physically move it incrementally until it comes back. This is more fun than I can possibly express.
I had to complete an online form for my long-term disability coverage, and without a mouse, I had to rely on the touch screen. If the screen isn’t working correctly, using the touch screen to select a microscopic dot becomes an exercise in futility at best, and akin to pulling out eyelashes at worst.
So the only good thing about today is that it’s lovely outside. I’m inside. Sitting here at the only computer that I have access to . . . while the goats practice jumping on things, like my coffee table. Their banishment to the outside cannot come soon enough for me. They’re wonderfully cute when they are a week old, cuddly and quiet, needing only food and love. Give them a few weeks and they are pure hellions who want to have sex with anything vertical, including my legs.
“Never trust a computer you can’t throw out a window.” ~ Steve Wozniak, co-founder of Apple
I’ve had the Mueller hearings playing in the background all day as I was unable to watch them on TV. I don’t know why I do this to myself; it only makes my blood pressure rise.
I’ve thought for over a week that I had my mammogram appointment today, but guess what . . . it was on Tuesday. Now I need to reschedule. Again. I really don’t know how I keep doing this. I guess it’s a good thing that I missed it because Corey and I both thought that we had appointments that were only an hour apart, and it takes a frigging hour to get anywhere from here. Turns out his appointment was rescheduled as well. So no appointments today. Hooray?
I know. I know. I wanted to move away from the city. That doesn’t mean that I like the distance from convenience. Whatever.
Never trust anything that can think for itself if you can’t see where it keeps its brain.” ~ J. K. Rowling, from Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
I do have good news, though: Napoleon is back home, and he and Sassy are getting along just fine. He got out of the trailer and immediately walked to the gate for the pasture and walked down to the pond. It was as if he was making sure everything was where it was supposed to be. We had no problems getting him to get in or out of the trailer, even though the guy who had taken him from Dallas’s house said that they had a horrible problem getting him into their trailer. I told Corey that it was because Napoleon didn’t know them; the same thing happened when Dallas tried to get him in the trailer—he really didn’t want any part of it.
Apparently, several people had their eyes on Napoleon, trying to make claims on him. He really is quite a beautiful stallion, so I can understand that people wanted him, but he’s mine, all mine. He came to me as soon as I walked towards him in the pasture. Unlike Sassy, he has no problem with being nuzzled. I missed him so much. Wherever Dallas is now, I hope he sees that I got my horse back despite his best efforts to keep him from me.
Look Dallas! I got my horse, in spite of you! Ha. Ha.
Yes. I’m vindictive. Sometimes. So sue me. But I wouldn’t suggest crossing me today as I’m full of piss and vinegar. It’s a combination of having a broken computer that is working but not working and listening to stupid people pose impossibly stupid questions.
I’m not even going to try to include images with this post as it would be near impossible to do without my trusty mouse. One of these days, my desk will be set up, and I will have more control over my life. Maybe once Corey gets back from Ohio. Who knows. Certainly not I.