Archive for the ‘oh, for a bee’s experience’ Category


January 8, 2012

I took the Tree down yesterday. Now we miss it. We miss it and we miss festive holiday fashions like blue & silver ribbons worn round furry necks.

This was a Tree of historic importance. Quite possibly the sweetest, humblest most devoted Tree I’ve ever had. This lowly little $29 fraser fir from Home Depot, stood proudly in front of the window for 5 weeks and barely dropped a needle. It smelled wonderful and was the perfect size and companion.

I am ever the daughter of a forest ranger, so the Tree is now in the backyard leaning against a palm. The birds might want to sit in it. Or the squirrels. It still has so much elegance and dignity left to share.

I will visit when I can, and give it updates on Downton Abbey. I hope it enjoys the starlight.



July 5, 2010

The rain is the perfect accompaniment to my quiet summer weekend.

I hunker down in at home, making and baking. Tidying and shining. Reading and watching. There’s so much more to see and hear when the sun isn’t bullying my yard into submission.

Yesterday I watched a  big yellow butterfly  fluttering around my orange tree for 5 minutes. I’m pretty sure this butterfly shops in the plus size department. And the mockingbirds are mocking and frogs are chirping and the rain lilies are blooming.

The other night, I looked out the kitchen window to see a bobcat strolling through my yard. How amazing that so much nature can be seen in my little patch of Florida

A flashback is…

July 23, 2009

a narrative technique that allows a writer to present past events during current events, providing background for the current narration. By giving material that occurred prior to the present events, the writer provides the reader with insight into their motivation or background. Or lack of originality. Or mental acuity.

Jump rope contest and then let’s put our bathing suits on and take our inner tubes and walk down through the cornfield to the Blue Hole and swim. I’m wearing my old sneakers because I don’t want those big, ugly carp in there nibbling my toes. Let’s sit on the porch steps and eat our popsicles. We should  ride our bikes down to the school and jump off the swings. We can follow the creek up the gorge and maybe I’ll find an arrowhead or some interesting rocks. The moss is so soft. You wanna go down to the corner and throw sticks over the bridge and see which one comes out the other side first? Race ya’! Yours is stuck. I win. Let’s skip stones. Tonight let’s catch fireflies – just catch them and let them go. They’re like fairies.

Wednesday morning: I lie in bed listening to news on NPR, slither out of bed a little later – actually it gets a little later every morning. Whatever. Hydration, hygiene, attire. Feed cats, make coffee, feed self. Go to work. Work… should get a hair cut, should stop at dry cleaner and we might need milk. My thumb hurts. Hot, steamy car. Homeless guy makes me cry. Moron on cellphone makes me sigh. Check mail-junk. Listen as cat recites the day’s activities. Sounds like a lot – but really she slept all day. Make uninspiring dinner- something- anything, who cares. Dishes, laundry, putter in the yard, slap at mosquitoes. Stare into back yard, willing there to be  fireflies. Still staring. Nothing.  Where are all the fireflies?

What I really want

May 23, 2008

What I really want is an Austenish cottage with flower gardens and an apple orchard.  I want to be puttering in my garden while a gentle breeze blows. I want to glance up at the pony and sheep grazing in the meadow and see a gentleman approaching on horseback. I want the delicious thrill of realization that it’s My Mr. Darcy and he appears to have urgent business with me.

 I want him to be wearing a long riding coat. I want him to stroke my face with the back of his hands, the way Aragorn does to Arwen. Then I want him to kiss me tenderly, pledge his love by saying something proper like “You have my undying affection” at which time he will produce a basket containing a pie. Strawberry rhubarb if you please, although cherry or peach would work as well. We’ll have pie with fresh whipped cream and tea and admire each other and the flowers and pony and sheep and orchard beyond.

If all that is impossible then I would just like a funny, intelligent, artistic guy to show up at my door with some books, some music and a pie. He can forget the horse and the long coat and the cottage. We can get all that later. But the pie is imperative.


Hope is the thing with feathers

December 6, 2007


Motion on the front lawn caught my eye this morning. Robins! The first of the robins have arrived for their sunny winter vacation.

Robins are so much cooler than snowbirds. They don’t clog the roadways, restaurants, beaches and doctors offices. They don’t complain about property taxes. They don’t complain that the deli should do things they way they do up north. And they certainly don’t wear creepy speedos at the beach and lie in the sun until their hides are like tanned leather.

I adore robins (and Robin Hood). They rarely complain and always look happy. Whether they’re sitting on my gutter or my clothesline or skipping across my lawn. They’re  predictable and cheerful.

The Robin is the One
That speechless from her Nest
Submit that Home — and Certainty
And Sanctity, are best (Emily Dickinson)


drive by weekend

December 3, 2007

weekends. things I want to do vs. things that must get done.

what did you do this weekend? not much except groceries after work Friday…then I’m snug at home and the cats are wanting attention. I fix a salad and a grilled cheese  tomato sandwich on white mountain bread with oregano. Pride & Prejudice. Lizzy & Darcy argue. Darcy’s purposeful walk across the meadow. sigh. listening to Pink Moon. g comes home and makes macaroni & cheese. scoop litterbox. someone missed the box. lug box and tray outside and hose off. scold cats. read in bed.

saturday up early as always. incapable of sleeping late. shower & make coffee. feed the critters. the cinnamon scone is more of a cookie actually. cookies for breakfast. nice change of pace. every meal should include a cookie.

oil change. no to the 15,000 mile service. no to the tire rotation. just the oil change please. then waiting at the post office to mail prescreening/audition cd’s. today is the deadline.

bookstore across the street. book therapy. time to wander around, quite at my leisure. carry around Wreck this Journal even though I already have 2 copies to give as gifts. do I need a 3rd? put it back. can’t resist The Right to Write by Julia Cameron, not because I’m a writer but because I write and this is an endorsement for writing any where, any time. look at  The Braindead Megaphone and decide it’s ass-kicking enough to warrant buying for someone or maybe myself. also get another book by that mailman poet for someone’s collection.

home again, home again jiggety jig. throw in laundry. lunch and a little bit of reading. wash dishes. clean bathroom. listen to Modest Mouse. sink drain plug comes off its anchor. crawl under sink to figure it out. music is making me tense. find a leak. clean up mess. clean sudsy hairjam out of drain. filled with disgust. reattach plug. throw a bunch of useless stuff away that was under sink.

phonecall from sis. there’s much to bitch about. we talk about merits of not complaining and then enjoy  bitchfest 2007. make e and I grilled cheese with tomato sandwiches. grilled cheese with tomato marathon weekend. realize I’m a little obsessive-compulsive with certain foods, music, movies, books.

fold laundry. take out some Christmas decorations. put wreath on door. look at santas. arrange santas in casual groupings while cheesey Lifetime holiday movies play in background. peel a giant navel orange and eat half of it. read in bed.

sunday up early as always. finish book. shower & feed critters. make coffee. make french toast. do more laundry. decorate small artificial tree with fake birds and catnip mice for the cats. they ignore it. think about how clever I am and wonder why I don’t have a magazine like martha or mary engelbreit since I too bake, decorate and craft.

mom visits for a half hour. move blooming orchid to front porch. hang towels on clothesline. pick up more key limes. pull weeds in front garden. cut back rosemary. talk to a squirrel.

eat leftover spaghetti for lunch. wash dishes. clean my bathroom. go on computer. bake a cake. make pizza dough. watch ice skating on ESPN. men’s skaters have nice butts. get towels from clothesline.  eat pizza. yell at Stephane Lambiel on TV that he is adorably Swiss.

read retarded email from e’s exboyfriend. write funny limerick about him. ice the cake. shower – again. watch “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind”. eat some cake. read a little.

go to bed.

Pretty things vs. reality

August 9, 2007

A few weeks ago I was besotted with all the pretty blogs I discovered, (which reminds me of Bowie, “Oh you pretty [things]blogs…don’t you know you’re driving your mamas and papas insane.”)

All the young, crafty, stay at home blogger moms have pretty pictures of all the cool antique stuff they find “thrifting” and of their adorably clean and perfect kids and the tiny sweaters they knit for their perfect kids and the precious cupcakes they make and the hip aprons they wear when they bake them. They write about fabric and yarn and their newly organized craft rooms which are probably larger than my house – and their gardens full of fresh beans and tomatoes.

I really do love looking at and reading these blogs. If it sounds like I’m jealous that’s just because I am.

When I craft it’s with a rabid, messy intensity. There is no “craft” room. There is an old enamel-top table in my bedroom or the dining room table or the sofa in front of something mindless like “What Not to Wear”.

When I bake and wear my hip vintage apron, I look like a tired single mother wearing an old apron who likes to bake. And when I bake, Zelda usually sits close by listening to my Radiohead or Gypsy Kings, glaring at me for no apparent reason, hoping that there might be some butter or cream involved in the process. 

When I garden in Florida in the summer it’s ugly. There is a sweat worse than any sweat a northerner could imagine. I wear long pants to protect me from killer mosquitoes and ants that bite and leave angry welts that don’t go away for weeks. There are no dew drops collecting in the pleated leaves of  Lady’s Mantle…It often smells like rotting vegetation.

In an attempt to prove to myself that I too am a homey (not a homie,dawg) I put up some pictures of some of my little crafty things and I made a banner from one of my collages. I liked looking at it. Look everyone! I’m on the interweb. I do things. I read books. I know stuff.

Today I had to take care of a client transaction at the bank. I took out my little notebook and pretended to write something important, so I wouldn’t look foolish just sitting there. The people in the bank all seemed to be skanky. Hmmm, Skank + Bank. A portmanteau was born.

I am taking credit for the word skankbank. I made it up today at around 3:03 pm. Skankbank – n.  a cluster of skanks;  a number of skanks in one place.  

And this  is why I can never be like the creative, pleasant,  blogger moms…because I’m sarcastic, cynical and basically screwed up.

SKANKBANK. Use it, love it, and give me the credit.

Belden Hill

July 20, 2007

Today we had a nice lunch with my Kindred Spirit J at Whole in the Wall in Binghamton. I had a grilled cheese on a whole wheat bagel, with fresh tomato, mushrooms and mozzarella. It was a little drizzly out, but warm and cozy inside.

Since Whole in the Wall is close to the arena celebrities like Ani DiFranco, REM, Phish and George Winston have stopped in after concerts. It’s a cool, funky place with a healthier, all natural menu.

We spent the afternoon at J’s perfect house having a perfect visit. Her gardens were in full bloom, although the Japanese beetles are feasting. They built a new wrap-around deck which gives them  beautiful space to sit and enjoy looking out on their yard and garden. I really love her house! She is my  true Kindred Spirit and I so wish we could still pop in on each other for tea.

My old house on the corner of Belden Hill is an eyesore now. It isn’t maintained and needs painting, mowing and a general sprucing up. I loved that house and yard. I thought we’d live there forever. Yeah – we. Whatever.My writing is still on the mailbox after almost 20 years.  

We took a ride to see the kids at Cole Park. Somewhere at the park, on the left as you face the lake, I’m sure there is a tree trunk that has an old tool or farm implement embedded in it. The tree sort of grew around it. I’m pretty sure it’s there but then I’m not. Maybe I’m confusing it with some other place.  

You know a place and then you don’t. I used to drive that way a couple of times a week to take G to preschool and now I was a visitor. It left me feeling wistful.


July 16, 2007

I’m at my sister’s house in NY. What a change from FL! It’s so nice and cool. All the windows are open and I’ve been sitting out in her yard with Dewey the famous bassett hound who once pooped out a lego, and enjoying the flowers.

The flights were OK until we got on that little plane to Binghamton. I was in the very back and there was a lot of turbulence and I probably should have just done myself harm with scissors to the gut or something. Worrying about spilling your water and the possibly throwing up, and worrying further about throwing up in a bag in front of strangers is lame. The guy sitting next to me was concerned and tried to be jovial and attentive and had I not been on the verge of throwing up on him I might have even tried flirting just to see if I still could.  

We took  a ride to cutesy Owego this morning and went in the shops. Saw lots of cute things especially some  aprons. I was just reading about a woman who has a travelling exhibit of her vintage apron collection and her book about same. Personally I like the smock kind for baking, because I do tend to be a little messy and I like to feel all vintagey and Ma Waltonish.

Love the River Row book shop. The books are all inventoried and categorized nicely but they need a cat.

Sis made us a beautiful dinner of turkey cutlets with veggies & pasta, tomatoes with feta, & broccoli. We had strawberry/rhubarb cobbler for dessert, rhubarb being one of my favorite things in the world.