Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Trees Are Always Beautiful

This morning the sun came out for the first time in five days? I can't even remember when I last saw it. I hate when we have a long string of cold gray days. I'm a summer person. I like warm or even hot days and green leaves and flowers. But even in weather like we've been having lately I find that it lifts my spirits to get outside for just a little bit. I took these pictures yesterday.

Do you ever stop and take time to really look at bare trees?

I do miss the leaves in winter and oak trees leaf out so late. By March I am extremely impatient to see some green.

But for now, I'm satisfied to enjoy nature's winter art show.

And here's one of our neighbor's pond.

Monday, January 7, 2019

Forgotten Singer

In the late 1960s a young unknown singer named Vickie Jones was tricked into traveling to Florida and forced to impersonate Aretha Franklin. She was arrested and released with no charges filed, then had a brief career in her own name. I was going to post a video to go with this but I don't know if any exist. There are several Vickie Joneses on YouTube but I'm pretty sure none of them are her. Anyway, it's an interesting life story and it ended well, I think. Worthwhile reading.

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

Well, Here I Go Again

I'm going to try to start this thing again. I don't know why other than I used to enjoy it. But anyway, since it's January 2nd let's talk about the new year.

As I get older, the end of one year and the beginning of another is less and less of a big deal to me but I can't completely get away from the feeling that it's something since everyone else is talking about it. I don't make resolutions because I'm pretty satisfied with my life the way it is. I know I'm not perfect; I could strive to make a few self-improvements and I do think about eating less/eating healthy but I think that's mainly because I've been eating so much crap during the holidays and I'm ready to get back to what is for me normal eating.

I also think about things like reading more and sewing more and especially sewing from the stash and shopping less but I have never shopped beyond my means and there's actually a good reason for continuing to build the stash and that is that someday my income will not be what it is now and I will have to cut way back on self-indulgent shopping and then it will be nice to have a large stash.

Another thing I think about every year is having a little garden and actually continuing to take care of it instead of letting it go like I always do. I got my first seed catalog in the mail on New Years Eve and saw an interesting tomato variety that I want to try. Tomatoes at least are pretty easy.

A really good resolution for me would be to spend less time on Twitter but I probably won't. I have enjoyed it a lot in the past year. I have discovered several new authors on Twitter as well as seeing hundreds of cute cat pictures so I really can't see Twitter as being a bad thing. Nearly everything in your life is what you choose to make of it.

One thing that is pretty definitely going to happen this year is a major house cleaning and throwing out of stuff. I expect we will be done with the new house this year and moving, even though the back of the new house is only four feet away from the front of the old, is not is not going to be fun. The less you have to move the better and, having lived in the same place for more than twenty years, we have accumulated a lot of stuff and much of it is stuff that probably won't be all that hard to let go of. Well, at least that's what I'm telling myself right now. No doubt it will be a different story when I actually start going through all of it.

So that's my outlook for 2019. No resolutions, just moving forward.

Monday, November 19, 2018

Roy Clark 1933-2018

My dad listened to country music, exclusively, so I grew up watching Hee Haw. I even laughed at some of the corny jokes. Of course I did; I was a kid. Even then, most of the music I could take or leave. Roy Clark did sing and play guitar on the show but I mostly thought of him as "one of the funny ones". Then one episode he played this. It really appealed to me and suddenly I started to take him more seriously.

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Cat Update

We have confirmed that the cat (see previous post) belongs to our neighbors. He came back Friday and followed me around demanding pets and cuddles and after a while found a nice cardboard box to nap in.

Later we saw the kids next door playing with him. His name is Flash, which disappoints me because it doesn't fit him at all. He needs a name that is both sweeter and more dignified. Oh well.

I have to admit, for a while I was still feeling a little possessive and worrying that they might not take good care of him. Will they get him neutered and vaccinated? Probably not. Do they feed him a good quality grain-free cat food? Probably not. But I'm mostly over it now. And I expect he will still come to visit once in a while. I can deal with that.

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Friend For a Day

Some friends are with you for years or even a lifetime. But sometimes you meet a person and even though you only spend a short time with them and never see them again, they make an impression that lasts the rest of your life. In this case, I don't mean "person" in the strictly human sense though.

We were outside Sunday afternoon when we heard a kitten crying. I quickly spotted him near the fence between us and our neighbor to the south. I have had enough cats to be able to recognize the hunger cry but my first instinct was, "Don't feed it. If you feed it it's yours forever." He seemed inclined to follow me so I tried to lead him back toward the neighbor's yard where I thought he might have come from. The neighbor has a cat so it didn't seem too unlikely that he might have acquired a second one.

The cat went through the fence but as soon as I started to walk away he followed me. So I fed him, he immediately demanded more, and I fed him again. And I petted him. He was very friendly and sweet and not at all afraid of the sound of power tools. He followed me around all afternoon and I petted him and picked him up and cuddled him a lot. For some reason the name Charlie came to mind. If I didn't think of something better I would name him Charlie.

Now I wish I had brought him into the house but for a couple of reasons I didn't. I was a little worried about how my two cats would react although they seemed fine with him hanging around outside but mainly I thought maybe he might belong to someone and would find his way back home if I left him outside. I fed him again just before 9 o'clock. That was the last time I saw him.

I keep looking for him every time I go outside, still hoping that he will come back, even though I'm pretty sure he won't. He was so beautiful and sweet. It was love at first cuddle. The selfie above is the best one of several pictures I tried to take. It's hard to take pictures of a cat who wants to cuddle. If he doesn't come back to me I hope he at least finds someone else to cuddle with.

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Books

Pandora's Star and Judas Unchained by Peter F. Hamilton

I love big books. I have even read books primarily because they are famous for being long. And I enjoyed them. So don't think I'm complaining about these two books by Peter F. Hamilton being long. (988 pages and 1008 pages in mass market paperback) But some parts of the books, especially the first one, were long and tedious, hundreds of pages of politicians and VIPs schmoozing and fornicating. But the more interesting parts, with strange aliens and time shifting paths through the woods and such were very brief.

I know some people say, "Why waste time on a book you're not enjoying? Just quit and move on to something else." It makes sense but most of the time I just can't, maybe because I've been rewarded for such patience again and again. I actually decided at one point that I would not buy Judas Unchained though, but before I got to the end of Pandora's Star I was hooked in spite of the the long, tedious passages and it ended on a cliffhanger so of course I had to continue.

Judas Unchained turned out to be increasingly interesting and finally brought the story to a satisfying conclusion. I really like Hamilton's world building and characters, two elements of a story that are especially important to me. And overall the story was excellent - about the fight against a truly terrifying race of aliens determined to exterminate humanity.

Now I'm sure I will read more by this author but probably not for quite a while. I have a lot of other books on my must read list and maybe even some re-reads that I want to get to first.

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Sing A Song... If You Can Remember It

It's funny how memory works, and often doesn't. I don't think we ever really forget anything once it's in "long term memory". It just gets filed away, sometimes in a bottom file drawer in the dusty back room of our mental archives, never to be recalled unless something occurs to bring it out. What's puzzling to me is how things that were once important and exciting can be filed away and "forgotten" in this manner.

Yesterday I found this video over at Keys and Reeds. Back in the 70s this was my song. As someone who didn't fit in, and by that point didn't really want to, this song was very exciting to me. And yet, I hadn't thought of it in years.

I was thrilled to rediscover this song but then I was left with a disturbing puzzle. Who sang the version I loved when I was in high school? I could have used the Internet and found it in a minute but I was determined to figure it out for myself. Well, after a day of mentally beating myself over the head for not being able to remember I gave up.

I went directly to Youtube and searched. The first video that comes up is Cass Elliot. Well that's a bit of a surprise but... could be? So I listened. I didn't think so but I couldn't completely rule it out. Scrolling down, the next video that leaped out at me was by Bobby Sherman. I was pretty sure I was looking for a female singer but I had a huge 13-year-old's crush on Bobby Sherman so I listened to the first 15 to 20 seconds. Nope, definitely not it. And The Carpenters. That seemed like a strong possibility but I was curious as to what else would turn up and kept scrolling, thinking I would come back to it.

And then I saw it! I didn't even have to listen to know that this was it. I have this album! (vinyl, which I no longer have any way to listen to) And I suddenly remembered knowing it as part of the Sing/Make Your Own Kind of Music medley and HOW IN THE HELL COULD I EVER FORGET THIS?!

Beginning in 1974, the year the movie The Way We Were came out, I worshiped Barbra Streisand, which was one of the things that made me weird in high school because everyone else hated her. (I didn't really like the movie, loved the song)

Well, anyway, that's my little memory journey. I'm happy to have been reminded of this and still bothered and annoyed to have forgotten it. Another thing that's strangely annoying is that I think I like the Paloma Faith version a little better. Oh well, either way it's still my song.