Friday, July 31, 2009
"Too many horror movies," I chuckled and entered into the welcoming relief of our air conditioned home.
Because I was drenched with sweat and the sky was turning dark, the first thing I did was peel off my clothes and take a shower. The water cooled my body temperature and began clearing my mind so I could process the events of my little adventure.
How do we know what's real and what's not? What our mind produces vs something else outside of us producing it? And like one of the characters points out in the novel "The Physick Book Of Deliverance Dane" by Katherine Howe, "Just because you don't believe in it, doesn't mean it isn't real." Sure the novel is a work of fiction, but the statement was true. There are always elements of truth in fiction.
I realized I was staring out the bathroom window up at the canopy of maple leaves coming from the huge tree on the other side of our back yard fence which, with all the rain this Spring, was nearly touching the roof again. A distant rumble of thunder had me finishing up my shower a moment later. I wrapped towels around myself and went to find my journal.
I sat at the kitchen table for a long time, pen in hand, hand against the side of my face, half in thought, half zoning out. Had the heat and humidity affected me too much while I was out there? Was I just spooking myself, which I was prone to doing.
Wednesday, July 29, 2009
Unlike most plants which wrapped themselves around a structure, these hadn't forced their ways into every nook & cranny of the surfaces they covered and weren't jeopardizing the barns' stability. No trees grew up and through what seemed to be a vine covered hole in the roof.
"Amazing!" I said aloud, standing in front of it, camera in hand, not moving.
I had wanted to come out and take pictures of this place since we moved here nearly 4 years ago and decided during breakfast that today was the day. With it being only a short distance up the road from our home, I set out on foot.
I quickly regretted walking because the humidity was over bearing even though it wasn't yet mid morning. The air was thick, filling my lungs with moisture that I quickly began sweating out with each step forward. It clouded the air, blotting out some of the summer sun's harshness.
Sweat rolled down my back, snapping me out of the zone I'd drifted into, back to my purpose for being here and I started taking pictures, walking slowly around to each side.
The barn itself seemed to be fully intact, even its' paint appeared preserved by the thick overgrowth. I felt compelled to reach out & touch the smooth grey bark. As my hand rested there, it grew warm and I felt tingling sensations start in the center of my palm, along with a throbbing pounding in my head & chest. I pulled my hand away, feeling a bit like I'd been shocked. Not the first time I'd experienced this, but it always surprised me.
Of course the vines were alive and therefore had energy. But why were they emiting such energy that I could feel it? I'd never had that experience with any kind of plant before. Suddenly being out here by myself no longer seemed like a good idea and I quickly moved away from the barn, on the verge of panick.
Back out on the sidewalk, I stopped to look back. What were those vines protecting?
Monday, July 27, 2009
I don't remember if it was late Winter or early Spring, but I remember it being warm & sunny, one of those first kinds of days after what seemed like a long, cold Winter. It was a Sunday morning. I had just watched an episode on PBS of a British TV version of Little Women. Before this, I'd only known of the book, which I bought at one of the school book fairs. (6th grade and I still have it!) I so adored watching it and seeing my favorite parts of the story, especially Jo, come to life.
The day before, my new desk from the used furniture store had been delivered and was still sitting in the living room in front of the large window because Mom hadn't taken apart the old desk to throw out yet. I vaguely remember the desk being brown, but I'm unsure if that memory is correct, and that I was wearing something purple. A sweatshirt?
I sat down at the desk and stared out that window, which was open wide. There was a hint of flowers in the air, like there is when everything starts coming to life again after their long slumbers. Looking off to the right was the huge Cross on top of the St. James Church steeple, darkened & green with time and weather. I was always amazed it never got struck by lightning since it was the tallest thing in the immediate area. To my left I could see trees, backs of houses, driveways, an alley and the street beyond ours. Back then, Mom and I lived on the third floor of a World War II era Brownstone style building, long divided into separate apartments. This was also the "view" from my room as well.
Suddenly, I wanted to write. Well, more accurately, I wanted to be like Jo March and write stories. I got up and rummaged in my old desk for an extra composition notebook (you remember, those thick black & white marble notebooks?) and my favorite pen of that moment. (I've always had a thing for pens and notebooks). My Aunt Judy had given me the pen along with many other great stocking stuffers that Christmas. It had a purple heart for a cap, wrote in purple ink and the ink smelled like grapes! Not like grape bubble gum or cough medicine (bleah!), but like real grapes. (Guess I also had a thing for purple too!) I took my findings back to my new desk and sat down again.
I opened the comp book and stared down at the blank, lined pages. The I stared out the window again. Why could I possibly write?! Well, Jo wrote stories. I can write stories. I can write stories about Jo! And Meg, Beth & Amy!
I have no idea what I actually wrote that late sunny Sunday morning. I know I made up my own Little Women story and I know I took it into the kitchen where Mom had been much of this time. I don't remember her reaction. She's never been a big fan of my writing anything, so who knows? I amy have been about 10 years old. 11? I'm sure she replied with something along the lines of, "That's nice dear" and I went happily back to my new desk to write more.
From that moment I first learned of Little Women's Jo March, I wanted to be a writer. From the moment I sat down that day to create my own story, I was a writer.
Friday, July 24, 2009
Monday, July 20, 2009
Friday, July 17, 2009
Friday, July 17, 2009
Recently I’ve been journaling a lot. (Notice how I haven’t been blogging a lot? Well, to me I'm not blogging a lot). Here are some excerpts, if you will:
I feel it today. My calling. To write about
My book, the one I proofed this Spring with all the blog posts, maybe I need to work other parts of my story into that, along with the blog posts. To make it a memoir of my life and blogging. Something like that anyway. Not sure if that’s the way to put it though.
I'm feeling off lately yet on the verge of something. Precarious regardless.
I’ve wondered before where the memoirs are from women before they have money and before they get all the “stuff” most think will make them happy & they find out it doesn’t, before they go to far and distant lands (aka travel)? Where are these books? Why can I not recall any at this moment, nor remember reading any?
Then I wondered this afternoon if anyone would read a book about those other times? Would they really? Would they like it? Or is the trend now to read these memoirs about women who “have it all” and aren’t happy despite “having it all” and for so many readers to dislike the author to the point of hatred & disgust for being selfish, unappreciative and whiney? Would a book about the times before the money or about an average woman who’s been through a lot and actually survived be read?
I wrote earlier (well, twittered actually) that I feel raw and wide open.
Not twittered: And I feel the pull of the seasons, feel in tune with things below the surface.
I wonder what's going on with me?!
Quote from Felicity, Season 1:
“…It’s something I really need to do. I guess we all have our own war stories, but they’re meant to be shared. They have to be. ‘Cause these stories are what brings us together and they keep us alive.” ~Sally, Felicity’s pen pal
I am 34. Thirty frickin’ four! When the hell did this happen?
And what is wrong with my emotions lately?
So, what am I? Seriously, what am I? Who am I?!
Back to the present.
Part of my problem lately, I believe, is what I’ve been reading, which is “The Unlikely Lavender Queen” by Jeannie Ralston. ***POSSIBLE SPOILERS IF YOU KEEP READING!*** I was enthralled with her writing from the first 2 paragraphs. It was beautiful and descriptive. I liked it through the Prologue. Then I became frustrated. Very frustrated. I felt as thought the writing changed some how. Maybe it was the tone or the subject matter? I’m still unsure. Maybe the writing hadn’t actually changed at all. Her husband Robb reminded me very much of an ex-boyfriend of mine, one I’d spent 6 years with, only thankfully, they’re unalike in one big way. (J was physically and sexually abusive to me along with all of his other lovely personality traits). Her allowing herself to get so swept up in his lack of consideration, fly by the seat of his pants, passive aggressive (domineering) ways just frustrated the hell out of me.
Her struggles with Post Partum Depression apparently brought back to the surface my own struggles with depression and I became agitated. I stayed agitated until that portion of the book was over, even when I wasn’t reading it and doing other things!
My reactions were unexpected. I haven’t had that happen in a very long time, where the emotions of the characters in what I’m reading (fictional or non) affect my own so much. But once I realized what I thought was going on, I’ve become more calm and settled again.
Of course, we’re discussing this book from the 15th through the 31st at Chicks on Lit (I’m leading) and it’s not going well at all. I seriously want to bang my head against a wall. I've got an 'initial thoughts' thread for the book, which was going fairly well and a 'discussion questions' thread which isn't. I can't keep the discussion going when the other (3) people participating don't answer the questions (or answer questions they've made up for themselves but haven't indicated) or they just post one sentence replies (to a couple of answers?) and when they apparently want to whine about the author whining & how much they hate her husband and her for putting up with him! I was hoping this book would generate some good discussions alá Eat Pray Love (though very different books) but I feel as though they're being extremely judgmental to the brink of immaturity where they can't discuss the book as a result! And one participant has said she's not reading past page 50 but is staying in the discussion. It's over 270 pages! How do you do that? And now there hasn’t been any posts in either thread for a day. I thought if I answered the discussion questions I posted, that would get the others to do the same. Wrong. VERY frustrating. (There’s that word again!) I was really looking forward to this group read. Ah well. Sorry for the rant on that one. (I'm getting over it already, really).
That seems to be about it for me at this moment. I’ve got more journaling to do and hope to get a more coherent piece together by next week.
Thursday, July 16, 2009
Anyhoo, Summer Tomato's are finally coming off the vine. Yay! A little worried I don't see anymore tiny yellow flowers on the plants but I'm going to remain optimistic.
Now there is a rather large Robin playing the staring game with Pinky kitty through the screen door and what seems to be a heated arguement going on between a Carolina Wren and a Squirrel over on the back fence.
Monday, July 13, 2009
Thursday, July 09, 2009
cold mini pasta bow ties (half box)
chopped green olives
diced red onions
diced peppers (red, green, yellow, orange)
crunched up bacon (12 slices)
halved cherry tomato's
halved small mozz. cheese balls
diced roasted red peppers
a few healthy hand fulls of shredded parm. cheese
fresh ground pepper
a generous helping of grated parm. cheese
a couple of cap fulls of balsamic vinegar
a few heaping cap fulls of red wine vinegar with garlic
less than a cap full of extra virgin olive oil
2 tables spoons spicy brown mustard
Wisk until well blended, then pour over the salad and mix until everything's coated. Keep in the fridge until serving time.
Wednesday, July 08, 2009
I made a kick ass pasta salad, the best pasta salad I've ever made to go with left over fried chicken for dinner here on the beach. We've got some beers. I've got "The Unlikely Lavender Queen" to read and I've got a hot pretzel. I'm with Vic & a friend is stopping by. Life is good at the moment!
Tuesday, July 07, 2009
Some ways to get rid of Mealy bugs (also known as Woolly Aphids):
Use a mixture of warm water and dish soap and warm water. Mix approximately 1 tablespoon of soap per one pint of water. Use a spray bottle to apply the mixture while the water is still warm. The soap will help penetrate the waxy coating and will kill the mealy bugs. Some mealy bugs may be underground when you treat and kill the first batch of bugs, so it's important to retreat about one week after the first treatment.
Use jalapeno juice, Tabasco sauce, or a mixture of hot water and cayenne pepper. Parasites that infest plants in your garden can often be eradicated with simple pepper juices from your home. Woolly aphids can often be killed with garlic as well, so if you have any garlic extract in your home, put it in a spray bottle to use on the mealy bugs.
Rubbing alcohol and soap. Mix straight rubbing alcohol (no water), and 1/2 a teaspoon of dish soap. The dish soap, again, works to break down the waxy coating, and the rubbing alcohol will dehydrate the mealy bugs, killing them. (*I've used this and it seems to be working. I've seperated the veggies containers from the ones with the Aphids because they don't seem to have them and I don't want to use rubbing alcohol on my herbs & veggies. I hope the flowers survive*).
Other soaps, diluted 1 tablespoon to 1 pint water. Besides dish soap, you could mix water with the Murphy's Oil Soap or Dr. Bronner's organic peppermint soap. Not only will this kill mealy bugs, but it will keep other pests away, because parasitic insects don't like the strong scent of peppermint.
ICK, ICK, ICK double ICK!