Friday, June 27, 2008

my closet

(what you want I should publish a photo of my closet instead?)

I am still doing the same thing, now on day 3.
I have certainly bitten off more than I can chew, it is not so much the closet, but of course I am not just doing the closet, the closet is 99% done, no it is the drawers, and my son's room, and the game room, and the basement, stressing me. For some reason I decided everything needed a shift, and now I stand here mid-shift and wonder, what the H was I thinking? I have boxes of stuff from son's room in the hallway, that we will go through and stuff will be set up in the game room, I have started carrying stuff from the game room down to the basement (took bunch of board games, and puzzles, and old toys down yesterday), but I also have to clean and organize the basement for this to work. I should have just stuck to the closet, I am having a most unsummery feeling. ( and I may perhaps be...well I know I am, spreading my unsummer disease to those around me. Though Cheese and I did take a break yesterday to make coffee cake, and made quite a mess doing so).

Anyway I have not popped in to talk of that, no.
It is the closet, and the drawers that are talking to me
in a most unexpected way
you see now that I've tucked into boxes all that is too small, or wintery
and into bags, what is to be given away, or to go to recycle fabric place
I get to look at what is left
not that much, and nothing much in the way of anything I wish to wear
(except for those odd little golf shorts and skorts I was unable to talk myself out of buying at TJ Maxx)
On the shelf I have many a nicely folded pile of t-shirts that Bob has bought me, on sale, all in colors and styles not me
I expected to meet that reality
the surprise is my pajamas, as I go through the drawers, I find I have bought all the pj bottoms, in funny little prints, and girlie colors, but as I fold the tops, and the tanks, one after the other, I find I bought none of them, Bob bought them all, top after top in neon colors, and bizarre prints, the entire contents of a drawer.
It is a small thing on the one hand, but I find something lurking in it...a surrender, of not being responsible or present.
When did I decide this was okay? That this was how it was going to be? Why are any of my drawers and shelves filled with clothes I don't like? In colors that hurt my eyes? Why did I give him this power? He asked for it, or rather took it, telling me not to shop, bringing home whatever colors and styles he found on extreme sale.
I would like to trade in all my 99 cent tops for just three in the right colors. Three that I liked. And we are talking t-shirts (long and short sleeved) and tank tops here, not anything that costs big bucks. And we are not poverty stricken. Part of me just wants to dump the lot of it right now, and go buy three short sleeved t-shirts for day, (the long t's can wait till fall) and three tank tops for sleeping, in colors and styles that make me smile. Soft pink, pale purple...

It is sort of weird how you just go along not noticing/attending things, and then one day, you are suddenly faced with it, and finally see it. It is not a big deal certainly, but still I am struck by it, oddly, the when and the why of it. Time for me to attend to that which matters to me, no matter that it is a small thing, the beauty of it being a small thing, is it should be easier to shift it.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

no post, well you know, except for this no post post.

busy busy busy with housework.
why oh why did I start sorting through everything in the clothes closet?
Because it needed to be done.
Oh right.
But now it all seems messier than when I started, stuff piled here, and stuff piled there.
Depressing too, taking all my clothes that I have gotten too chunky to fit into (otherwise known as all my favorite clothes) and sticking them in some great plastic crate, so I can see what is left that I can wear.
Also getting rid of the worn out, and the never worn.
And putting the sweaters and winter stuff away.

Dishes, laundry, mopping, and other such activities are rounding out the day's fun.
Oh and I actually made two real meals. (got lots of pots and pans dirty)
I like things clean, but I do not like to clean, so I am the opposite of cheerful today.
But I am grateful for all that I have, well not exactly grateful for the 10 or so extra pounds that I have, but pleased that so far I can afford to buy and eat food.
Now where was I? Oh yes, I was striving for gratitude...
Yeah, right, okay, better do the self, mental pep talk while I am actually Doing stuff.

Saturday, June 21, 2008


Japanese Beetles

the war is starting
in the summer
beetle battlefield
of my yard
they lost three today
I will stand my ground, I will not surrender
I will be diligent in trying to protect my roses
but I will lose

if this year is anything like last year
soon each morning will great me with a hundred beetles covering the plants,
I will do my best to capture them all
but by the time I finish my first circle of the beds, another round of beetles will have descended
over and over, all day long, day after day.
It doesn't matter how many I kill, for reasons I can not fathom, God has made an unending supply.

So here I am. DAY 1.
I wish I had a good plan

The beetle traps do trap beetles, but they also call beetles to my yard, It seems an equal amount get trapped, as fly past the trap onto my flowers. (by my rough estimate, a trillion)

Milky spore is of great interest to me, but it would only work if everybody in the neighborhood used it, otherwise, beetles born in other's yards, would just fly over to my rosiest yard of all.

Seven, or however it is spelled, insecticide of some sort. Oh yeah, I would totally do that, except...I worry about the lady bugs, and the bees, et. cetera. Still I can't help thinking about it.

Just let them go. Surrender the plants, till about mid-August, when they naturally slow down for the year, and expect to have a lovely bloom by the end of August to enjoy. I can see the value in this, much more peaceful, acceptance, I however seem unable to feel anything less than rage, when I see the dainty blossom petals, transformed into a hard backed beetle orgy. I am amazed by the flowers though, blossom after blossom, bud after bud, are consumed, and still she makes more and more, forever trying, reaching, for that full bloom, and she will have it, eventually. She will be consumed in parts for a time, but in the end, she still stands, and will have time and space, to bloom freely and beautifully.

The last option, the one that I do, is the old bucket of soapy water thing, you knock the beetles off into a bucket or jar (though I do often forget to add the soap). This is why it is a battle, because every day it must be done, and every day I count their losses, and mine. And I hate having to kill things, or deciding to kill something, making each day, also, a moral dilemma.

I wonder if it would work, and if it is legal, and if there are any negative consequences to establishing winsome flies in my yard? I wish these beetles would just go back to Japan, where they are naturally controlled by those flies.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

a fine pink mess

Bee asked me for some photos of my pink roses, but this did not turn out well at all. Sideways shots, and blurry ones, and ones I am not sure who they are, and others who seem to be missing. Garden party isn't blooming at the moment, but I know I took photos of both Tiffany and Bliss, et. cetera, so where are...oh well anyway.

glamis castle - sometimes center leans toward pink, but not so in this photo

I don't know the name, also not sure which of my roses it is, it is one of 4, either one of two groundcover ones, or one of two teas.

shropshire lad (for a small peach bed, newly started this year/not yet matted or mulched, but it seems to be leaning to the pink) bedmates, include The shepherdess, Mary Magdalene, and St. Cecilia.)

some climber I bought for breast cancer (she needs something to climb on. Plus I think the photo is sideways :) )

memorial day


Geoff Hamilton ( I think, one is, the other should be Sharifa Asma) Both are still just wee lads, about a foot high.


Heritage ( I assume. I know them in their beds, but in photos get them mixed up)

Tiffany (or perhaps this photo is of Bliss)

whisper- white rose, sometimes pink in center, and splattered pink as time wears on)

eglantine (sideways photo)

Sceptre d' Isle and Queen of Sweden are not yet in bloom, as I just planted them this year, one from own root, the other bare root.
Oh and my flower garden is not big, mostly just planted in and around the landscaping (though I did gain a little more space last year when the juniper groundcover died). I'll see if I can find (take) a pleasing shot of the scope to show.

**must be Bliss, some Tiffany is blooming today, and they are quite vibrantly hued.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Father's Day

Went to Ocean City, NJ for Father's Day (actually we went on Saturday, as Bob had to work Sunday night).
In honor of the occasion, we let Bob, fill the car up with gas, drive us there, haul around much sand, and buy us pizza.
He also had to deal with much pleading from Cheese for french fries, which he did give in to, and one sad plea from me for a book about swans, which he did not. ( I admit $20 seems a bit high for a small paperback). And then we let him drive us back home again, paying several tolls along the way. We arrived about 12:30 AM. And being a sandy us we all had to shower before bed.
A good time was had by all.
just recalled other book I read, (not just started) this year
Tuck Everlasting

Sunday, June 8, 2008


whispering, whispering, I am searching for sleep, but there is all this whispering,
I am walking in the garden
surrounded by whispering, whispering
all this whispering,
it goes on and on till I grab my pen, pulling part of it down to page,
thus lightened the rest floats away,
but then
another line of whispering begins.

over and over
I must capture part of it, to release it, to release me
We must fully touch, before we can part

I haven't been working on writing Echo, well not directly, indirectly I most definitely have been, every sight and sound in the garden clamours to be put in, and everything leads to something else, or means something else, so my notebook and I have gotten quite chummy once more. So while I am not working on the part I feel I should be working on in the draft (the Letters), still I am sneaking up on all parts of it, surely closing in on it, though making quite a large circle around it first.

Thursday night.....I read a post by Vesper, about blooming lilacs
and off my mind went happily floating along in a dream of wearing a lilac gown, but then some swans swam by, got out of the water, and pushed their beaks through the center of the lilac bushes and as they did, the swans transformed into maidens, and the lilacs lifted up and settled down around them as lovely white ballgowns.

Then I decided to visit Minx just for a moment (because I've scarcely visited her in months), but I was so tired I could barely make out the post, there was a beautiful sad sculpture, and words about love, and loss, and the importance of love ( at least I think so). And then I went to bed. Only I didn't go to sleep, because of all the whispering, on and on the whimsical idea morphed, turning into a story, and soon revealing itself to have tones of sadness, an unexpected fairytale, a love story with a sad but loving and hopeful ever-after. Friday night when I went to bed, I bid my surroundings to be quiet and let me fall asleep and they did, but I woke up very early, and though fully intending to roll over and sleep more, the whispering started again, spinning its web on and on, I got my notebook out and started writing stuff down, and when the flow stopped, I put it down and rolled over to go to sleep, but then more would come, and I would get the notebook again. On and on this scenario went on, till finally I said, I am not getting that notebook again, I'll remember and put stuff in later, if a whisper could roll its eyes and tap its foot at me, this whispering surely did, it would have none of that, "Oh no. I know you, you'll forget. You'll do it now". So I never fell back to sleep. I have a page and a half typed from first night. And from second night/morning, counting each side of page, handwritten, I now have added 15 and half pages, (so 17) where several days ago there were none, there was no hint, no idea, no searching for an idea, and then two blog visits, and now I know this story that didn't exist Friday before 10 PM. I know how it starts, I know what happens in the middle, I know how it ends, I know characters, and meanings, and some stretches of dialogue, and scenes.
I have title-Fountain of Swans
I have age group-I know it is a young adult story ( that is a big deal for me, for usually I am unclear on the age group)
But quite honestly I am not at all sure what to do about it. I don't know why it came and plunked itself right down in the middle of my working on Echo's draft. (or more precisely my working on my garden and thinking about working on Echo's draft)

Still I like the whispering. This winter was quite silent. I didn't like the silence, the emptiness, the nothingness. I like the company of the whispering. helps me to believe, in me, in the idea of a writer me, in the idea of me as a writer. Because the whispering comes from elsewhere and requires listening, which is quite different (for me) from daydreaming (which I believe everyone can and does do), there is of course much work with writing, but that comes later, in the beginning, and tucked here and there through-out the writing, it is about listening. And I like to believe people who don't write are not tuned in to this whispering, can't hear it. That they aren't told stories, floating in, through the air of an open window, to land like a shower of cherry blossom petals before them on their desks. I like to believe this, because it helps me to believe that I hear the whispering for a reason, and that the reason is because I am meant to write them down, that I am meant to write.

Whether or not that is true, it seems to me, it must be true that they come to me for some reason, and if it isn't to share with others, well then at least they are meant to be shared with me (Or told to me, or discovered by me, from whence they came) , so I look to the meanings behind the stories, and find it interesting, Echo, Fresh Oranges, Fountain of Swans, the stories are different but the themes over-lap. What am I being told over and over? What am I telling me?

Thursday, June 5, 2008

a meme about various things

sent my way via Vanilla

1. What were you doing 10 years ago?

1998. My son was on the verge of turning 2. We had just gotten back from California, where Bob was considering moving to and going to art school. Bob decided to come back (to New Jersey, at that time). He STILL considers moving to CA on a regular basis. I think of 1998 as the last year of my childhood, by November my pop (grand-pop), who we were living with, had a heart attack, a bad flu that winter took us all down, and 1999 was the year of care-giving and saying goodbye. My Pop died in July and my Nana in February of 2000. 1999 was the hardest year of my life, thus 1998 is known to me as the time before, when I was still young, and those I loved would live forever. I miss that girl.

2. 5 things on your to-do list for today-

general stand-by list
(I scarcely ever do them all, but I try to make sure I attend to at least one of them each day)

things I tend to find I do often without their ever being on a list
eating, watching prime time TV, researching on net including real research/goofing off/and itunes, there also seem to be many things that I am uncertain what they are but I must be doing them (something) for they seem to take up time. Also running erands (grocery, library, gardening centers)

trying to parent in a positive way, and enjoying my child. These aren't really on the list, they aren't set activites, and would never be "done" and thus crossed off. But they are part of my life agenda, or process, or..whatever

I end each day with gratitude that I got to be here and have this day, and hope that I get another chance with another day

3. What would you do if you were a billionaire?

honestly.....I would find the spot of my heart, it's home echo on land, I would look out at green hills, and blue waves of water, and I would make my nest, planting flowers all around. I would paint, and read, I would garden and write, and I would stare at the sea and dream. I wouldn't stress about how much this jar of pasta sauce costs, or if I have bought too many David Austin roses. I would spend days watching birds twitter, and sea turtles swim. I would create myths to inhabit the water foutnains and ponds on my property.

honestly...I would pay someone to clean my house once a week, and perhaps have a part time cook. I would wear canvas sneakers, and faded blue jeans, with pale girly tops most days, and breezy light summer dresses the rest of the time with pink flip flops impersonating sandals. With an ever present sweater jacket to layer over or toss on a chair or in the grass.

I would like to have some money set up in a way to keep making more money to give to causes. I would like to make some garden libraries, books, plants, fish, birds. Like a little oasis found in unexpected places, in different parts of the country. (eccentric perhaps, that is what is good about being a billionaire, freedom to be eccentric).
I would like to do something with hospitals, probably with plants, and fish, and paint. Especially for the kids, but for the others as well. And set up some programs.

I would also do some things to help out family and friends, like help pay off their homes, et. cetera.
Bob worries so much about money, and I stress him out so, with my goceries, books, and plants, it would be so wonderful to have him be free of that, free to choose his own creative pursuits. I would love to be able to offer that to him.

4. What are three of your bad habits?

indicisiveness (wanting to make the right decision, or best decision whether it is which flavor of ice cream to have in a cone, which rose to buy,or something bigger like where to live), (wanting to know the end result of each decision before I make it, so I can choose)

also, I tend to do it (wahtever it may be, cooking, cleaning, garding, painting, shopping) not at all, or over-do it.
I've either made nothing for dinner or made three things. I either bought no shorts or I came home with five pairs.
I tend to shop in this odd sort of way, where I buy nothing for long streches, then buy quite a bit but keep it in its bag with tag, and then little by little take things back to the store, and perhaps buy one other item, and perhaps take that back later as well, I keep some of what I buy, but a small percentage. This does not hold true for plants, books, or food though, where I keep what I buy. And I can be pretty darn lusty with groceries, plants, and books, It feels like there are long stretches without much good, or with books and plants without any, and then suddenly I am ravenous, and buy lots of books, and lately my plant purchases have felt like a criminal addiction, no big deal if we had plenty of extra money, but there are plenty of other things that money could do toward. But...but, I love the flowers.

also a sort of laziness, a tendency to weigh out the pay-off of any exertion to the benefit of said activity.
I like puttering about, being idle, not motionless in mind and body, but slow and dreamy, swimming in a sense of expansive time.
I am indeed capable of working long and hard at something that strikes my passion, like digging hole after hole, after hole, running around comparing plants, and prices, and then buying, and planting, hauling around wheel barrows full of heavy dirt dug from the treeline, but even on this I will burn out soon.

5. What are some snacks you enjoy?
When you say snacks, I think carrot sticks, and carrot orange juice over lots of ice, I also think watermelon. I really enjoy these. But I try not to snack, because snacking makes me hungry, and results in my eating a meal. I love fruit, but I don't usually snack on it, I eat it for breakfast.
Salty snacks, like pretzels, popcorn, potato chips, nuts, just make me hungry, so I never eat them as snacks. Either as part of meals or desserts.

Desserts are a bit of a problem for me, and I am trying to stop thinking I should have dessert every day (mostly because my sugar glucose was 107, instead of under 100 like it should be. And then there is my weight). Oh I like all sorts of desserts, could go on and on...

So I don't snack, I EAT, but I am trying, really trying, to train myself to eat more often and eat small meals. And also to not give so many calories to dessert. Between the fruit for breakfast, and then the dessert, I think I am getting too much sugar.

6. What were the last five books you read?
I don't know,
I know I read Potter, the Deathly Hollows. ( I should say J.K. Rowling, not potter's)
I read The Secret Garden

since then I am hip deep in the half read
Eat, Pray, Love
memoirs of a geisha
$64 dollar tomato
Gone with the wind
A Little Princess
White Ghost Girls
I capture the castle
some of eckhart tolle's a new earth
Parts of many food/eating books, like In Defense of Food, et. cetera.
And started re-reading Jane Eyre.
I think there was some other book, this past year, that I did read all the way through but I can't remember what it was.
Plus lots or internet and book research for story and for my garden.
I tried to listen to Lolita on tape but couldn't stomach it, almost decked a man at grocery store for moving around too close to my child. Did listen to The Shop Girl on tape.
Oh sh*t I do recall something I did read all the way through The Bridge to Terrabithia. The swearing is because it was sad.

7. What are five jobs you have had?
Washed dishes (in grandmother's restaurant). Also did food prep.
Work study porgram at college, worked with security guard one year, another gave school tours, other two did clerical stuff for offices.
Retail, Macy's sales girl.

8. What are five places where you have lived?
Bethlehem, Pa
Philadelphia, Pa
Washington, NJ
Upper Macungie, Pa
and my current Pa residence.
(San Diego was once almost in my grasp, but like water slipped through my fingers)

What five people do you want to tag?
Vesper, chick with a quill
Paul, struggling writer
Amy, Med Views
Moon, though I doubt he will do it
Witnessing, assuming he is around.

Monday, June 2, 2008

I'm not around

but I'm nearby

in my garden
digging and planting
soon to be matting and mulching
I hope to be all done (except of course for up-keep) by the time Cheese is done with school
And to get back to writing, which has been lost to plant fever
but the farther I wander out into the garden the deeper back into story I seem to go
the darn notebook pages are getting full again, though I promised I wouldn't write one more thing in them, swore anything I thought of would go directly onto draft pages.
On the one hand I am frustrated as these notes make me feel farther away from finishing, more stuff I have to wade through and organize, and figure out the how and what, and where of. But another part of me is all smiles, I was empty in the winter, like my plants, asleep, nothing whispered, spoke, pulled at me. But now it does, and I am gratefull, to have my story voices back, in and amongst my flowers.

Bob told me he felt bad the other night, guilty, as he rode his skateboard down our driveway, while I was bent over a mound of dirt, digging and planting, "I feel so guilty having so much fun while you are working away". I said "but I am having fun", and he said "maybe, but not nearly as much fun as I am". He was wrong. Perhaps a different sort of fun, but I was happy. There is meditation in, a hum to, planting. I am on the task, I am in the music of my ipod, and I drift along on little currents of story. I am peaceful, easy, joyful, planting, dreaming.

Weeding is another matter, we wont talk about that.