Thursday, April 30, 2009

I am grateful for

the availability of interlibrary loans

Caterpillar Rocks!

Coming right along

I understand this is not just a "bar"
but will have some really good food.
It is located on Austin Street
(site of previous resaurant Guadalupe Grille)
across from Central Park.
It would be nice if this place is open on July 4th
that one could have snacks and drinks
on the balcony upstairs
while watching the parade!
What a deal!


Her Sister’s Dress
by Raymond A. Foss

She wore her sister’s dress again
this time to her graduation
the same dress, her sister wore
to start her school year
two years ago
marking milestones
on the digital frame
sisters walking together
in staccato steps
each growing
in their own time
their own ways
growing so fast
before our eyes

Wood ducks in Central Park

just dash in - and dash out

Handy Andy

Gimme an RC Cola and a Moon Pie . . .

moving dirt!!

CAT is back in town and on the ground running!
Equipment on site. Dirt being moved.
Drive by and take a look from Highway 90 and from IH-10.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Lost Boundaries

Before you learn what Albert Johnston, Jr., was told at the age of sixteen and why he was not told it before, you should know something of his background. It would be dull but accurate to say that, until he was told, we are dealing with a normal New England boy. He was born in Boston in 1925 while his father was still a medical student at the University of Chicago. When Albert was four, his first memories begin in the little town of Gorham, New Hampshire, where his father was now the leading country doctor serving its 2,500 people, who live at the foot of Mount Washington to which vacationists swarm for winter skiing and summer coolness, with special trains in the fall when the maple leaves turn red and gold.

license plate

We had stopped for gas while on a road trip and I just had to snap this picture of a Jeep parked next to us. Guess we all feel that way (sick) some days . . .

feeling under the weather?

In 1957, my entire family was struck with the Asian Flu when we lived in Farmington, New Mexico. We would stagger from bed to bathroom - from bed to kitchen. I was the only one who was able to stagger around long enough to prepare meals. We would have breakfast food at breakfast, soups for lunch, and quite likely breakfast food at dinner-time - with lots of water, hot lemonades and honeyed teas throughout the day.

We were wiped out! Not literally, of course or I would not be blogging about this experience. In 1957 who could fathom I would be blogging?? Who knew about blogging anyway??

Once a pandemic flu begins to spread (especially now with our ease of worldwide travel), millions of persons can be affected.

Dr. Nicole Talbot (my HERO-ine) eased my pain and discomfort caused by a regular common cold. We are quite fortunate in Guadalupe County to have excellent medical facilities and doctors.
We are also fortunate to have in place emergency preparations and training - proactive planning.
The Emergency Management Office of Guadalupe County has been training and educating for all types of emergencies and hundreds of local volunteers will help in various situations - such as an outbreak of flu.
On March 19, 2009, the Gazette Enterprise reported that emergency management and their counterparts in Guadalupe County, Texas, had prepared for a mass vaccination program in the event of a pandemic. “Local officials have 36 hours to treat their entire population — in Guadalupe County that would be 115,000 people,” Ron Maloney writes for the newspaper.
"(Ken) Kinsey and(Dan) Hays are preparing for a May 2 dress rehearsal of a pandemic disaster at the Navarro ISD. Volunteers will set up and operate a 'drive through' POD in which they will take a practice run at registering, screening and pretending to inoculate 100 volunteers so they can identify whatever problems might come up and prepare to meet them."
We count our blessings!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Moving Pictures!

I remember all of these old movie magazines and think that I bought every issue during the 1950s. Couldn't wait to read about the movies and the stars and get the scoop on everyone. I wrote to Elizabeth Taylor, Rock Hudson, Tab Hunter, Debbie Reynolds (forget some of the others) and received postcard photos with their signature. Wish I had them now.
Actress Natalie Portman and a Silicon Valley entrepreneur Christine Aylward have developed an online site (Making of) which purports to be behind the scenes about the movie making business.

Monday, April 27, 2009

so many books!

"When I was little, I was so girlie and ambitious, I was practically a drag queen. I wanted to be everything at once: a prima ballerina, an actress, a model, a famous artist, a nurse, an Ice Capades dancer, and Batgirl. I spent inordinate amounts of time waltzing around our living room with a doily on my head, imagining in great detail my promenade down the runway as the new Miss America, during which time I would also happen to receive a Nobel Prize for coloring.

"The one thing I did not want to be was a hippie."

"...'you're not a hippie,' said my mother, fanning incense around our living room with the sleeves of her dashiki. 'You're four years old. You run around in a tutu. You eat TV dinners and complain when the food doesn't look exactly like it does on the packages. Hippies don't do that,' she said. 'Hippies don't make a big production out of eating their Tater Tots.'

" 'Come to think of it, hippies don't torture their little brother by trying to sell him the silverware, either,' she added. "if I were you, I'd worry less about being a hippie and more about being an extortionist.' "

The Seattle Post-Intelligencer wrote about Susan Jane Gilman: "Publishers' frantic search for the 'female David Sedaris' may have finally come to an end."

David Foster Wallace

Chapter E Unibus Pluram
television and U.S. fiction

Fiction writers as a species tend to be oglers. They tend to lurk and to stare. They are born watchers. They are viewers. They are the ones on the subway about whose nonchalant stare there is something creepy, somehow. Almost predatory. This is because human situations are writers' food. Fiction writers watch other humans sort of the way gapers slow down for car wrecks: they covet a vision of themselves as witnesses.

But fiction writers tend at the same time to be terribly self-conscious. Devoting lots of productive time to studying closely how people come across to them, fiction writers also spend lots of less productive time wondering nervously how they come across to other people. How they appear, how they seem, whether their shirttail might be hanging out of their fly, whether there's maybe lipstick on their teeth, whether the people they're ogling can maybe size them up as somehow creepy, as lurkers and starers.

The result is that a majority of fiction writers, born watchers, tend to dislike being objects of people's attention. Dislike being watched. The exceptions to this rule -- Mailer, McInerney -- sometimes create the impression that most belletristic types covet people's attention. Most don't. The few who like attention just naturally get more attention. The rest of us watch.

Life before death

"I had a teacher I liked who used to say that good fiction's job was to comfort the disturbed and disturb the comforable."

readers, writers, book reviewers - and bloggers

"Books are humanity in print." ~ Barbara W. Tuchman

Never too young for Shakespeare

My oldest grandson and youngest granddaughter were in a Shakespeare production in Denver a few weeks ago. The grandson played the part of Tybalt from Romeo and Juliet and the granddaughter was Le Beau from As You Like It.
Another granddaughter will be at a Shakespeare Camp in Winedale, Texas this summer.
I know that I certainly didn't know much at all about Shakespeare when I was eight years old (as is youngest granddaughter) and not a great deal more when I was fourteen years old (as is oldest grandson).
My husband and I still remember with delight the twelve year old granddaughter (who will be at the Shakespeare Camp in Winedale) singing non-stop with her older sister on a trip from New York to Massachusetts - never missing a beat and remembering every word to every song. Now: Shakespeare! {This little prodigy also plays the guitar and writes her own songs - sometimes singing at "Open Mike" nights in The Berkshires.}
"And this, our life, exempt from public haunt, finds tongues in trees, books in the running brooks, sermons in stones, and good in everything. "
As You Like It (II.i.1–17)

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Oh, Shugga!

I have never tasted this beer. Snapped the license plate photo the other day on the way home. SHUGGA . . .

A Formation Prayer

O LORD, MY GOD. Form me more fully into your likeness.

Use the circumstances and interactions of this day to form your will in me.

From the formations of this day form peace.
From the joys of this day form strength.
From the struggles of this day form courage.
From the beauties of this day form love.

In the name of Jesus Christ who is all peace and strength and courage and love.

David Whyte

David Whyte says that "Poetry is a street fighter. It has sharp elbows. It can look after itself."

Saturday, April 25, 2009

my grandmother, my mother, me - and my husband

Every family has traditional recipes that are passed down through the generations: these tried and true recipes, with flavors that bring to the fore all of the marvelous Family Memories associated with the times you ate these dishes with loved ones.

My grandmother and my mother and I (after I married) made/make a very simple apple-celery-green onion salad. I know that some would call this a Waldorf Salad. However, we always asked: "Who is going to bring the apple-celery-green onion salad?" My children expect this salad on occasions such as Thanksgiving (goes so well with turkey) or Easter (delicious with ham) - or anytime I take a notion to add it to the menu.

It is simple. It is easy. And it is soooo good. Recently, my husband made this salad to take to his last Bible Study/Potluck meeting, sharing it with a group he has met with every Wednesday for 32 weeks in a Disciple IV class. And, as always: it was a hit. Class members were guessing at the 'special ingredients' and the special 'flavors' and asking Husband for the recipe.

Well, here 'tis (and it couldn't be simpler!).

My Family Apple-Celery-Green Onion Salad

2-3 large Delicious apples
5-6-8 stalks celery
1-2 bunches green onions (I use some of the green - according to how much salad I am making)
(I have been making this for so many years and never have written it down - just judging how many stalks of celery, how many apples, how many green onions - by 'sight'. It is one of those recipes you can 'play with' according to how many people will be served.)
Enough Miracle Whip dressing to moisten (I know! I know! Genteel people do not use Miracle Whip, right? Well - believe me - genteel folks will love this salad!)
Salt and pepper according to taste

See? It couldn't be simpler . . . however, it is a great salad!

We will miss the Golden Girl

1922 - 2009

Friday, April 24, 2009

So many books - so little time . . .


The memory starts here, in my apron pocket, with the gun. I remember holding it. It felt good, cold. And inside my body it was hot, blistering hot, and I took the gun out of my apron and started walking across the kitchen floor and it came to me that I had memorized every squeal in those old wood planks and I went to the cellar door, which was laughing blatantly in my face, and I got my hammer and I started whaling on that door thinking, . . .

Needing to Write
Why write? This is a question I often ask myself. I like to call writing my joyful affliction. I do think of it as something of a condition that I have figured out how to manage and live with. I think people idealize what it is to be a writer, conjuring up images of Hemingway on the African plains, or Jack Keroac at his typewriter with a cigarette and bottle of gin beside him. The truth is, though, that writing is hard work – it requires diligence and stamina and, mostly, a long term commitment. It’s one thing to put words down on paper, it is quite another to make words into art. On some days, your brain and fingertips are in perfect synch, but on others it’s like trying to dig your way out of prison with a spoon.

Care - Risk - Dream - Expect

for a beautiful granddaughter's
thirteenth birthday

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Must read the book before I see the movie

I've not yet read this book, but I'm thinking that I should read it before seeing the movie .

"The most fanciful of sci-fi authors could not match the reality of what transpires in the shadowy netherworld of military psychic intelligence. Ronson begins his book in a curious place: by researching the claim of famed Israeli huckster and pseudo-psychic Uri Geller that he'd once worked for U.S. military intelligence. From that unpromising starting point, Ronson manages to unearth a demented army subculture of would-be "warrior monks" dating from the early 1970s when fascination with the New Age, paranormal "science," and Eastern Mysticism, was rife even in military circles. "
The movie of The Men Who Stare at Goats should be released this year (if it hasn't been already). The movie, directed by Grant Heslov, stars George Clooney, Ewan McGregor, Kevin Spacey, Jeff Bridges, and is billed as a comedy.
The book is reportedly based on fact (perhaps! I have my doubts!) and is stranger than fiction. The movie was shot largely in Albuquerque.

I love a good mystery

Robert K. Tanenbaum is a trial lawer and teaches Advanced Criminal Procedure at the University of California at Berkeley, Boalt Hall School of Law.
Appomattox did not bring an end to the sniping and ambushes. Of the ten children, male and female, of Moses and Ransome, only two escaped murder long enough to survive into the twentieth century. Of the two, the report took particular notice of Ransome Cade (1864-1937), who brought a new level of ferocity and cunning to the feud. Devil Rance, as he was known, moved his clan away from his agricultural roots, replacing this as a source of income with a variety of criminal interprises. He ran moonshine; he stole horses and rustled cattle; he could break a limb or a head for cash up front. He also ran a primitive protection racket among the local illicit distilleries. Most significantly, he consolidated the tribal property into a single hollow around Canker Run on Burnt Creek. This settlement was approachable only by a narrow, winding road and was surrounded on three sides by nearly impenetrable growth. From this fortress, Devil Rance fell like a robber baron upon his enemies and retreated with impunity. He held to the theory that the secession of West Virginia had been an illegal act, and that the state had no authority over him or his. Moreover, neither had the United States, since Virginia had seceded from the Union and the part of it that comprised West Virginia had never been legally reincorporated.

Word of the Day

You're forgiven for thinking this word means "an ability to rise." In fact it means "readiness to laugh." Its etymology is somewhat obscured by the conjugation of its Latin root (ridere), which also gives us deride and ridiculous.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009


Mischievous Imps Everywhere

I have a friend who does absolutely beautiful calligraphy and she clued me in about the imp who causes problems with scribes: Titivillus. This creature is referred to as "the patron demon of scribes."

The best modern study of Titivillus is a scholarly one: Margaret Jennings's article "Tutivillus: The Literary Career of the Recording Demon," in Studies in Philology 74, no. 5 (December 1977).
Note: "Tutivillus: The Literary . . ." is not a typo.

Titivillus was a demon said to work on behalf of Belphegor, Lucifer or Satan to introduce errors into the work of a scribe. The first reference to Titivillus by name occurred in Tractatus de Penitentia, c. 1285, by John of Wales. Titivillus has also been described as collecting idle chat that occurs during church service, and mispronounced, mumbled or skipped words of the service itself, to take to Hell to be counted against the offender.

This goes beyond mischief, I think. Although perhaps Titivillus foreshadows Shakespeare characters such as Puck and Petrucio.

Teaser Tuesdays

The Chinese, who seem to have spent thousands of years sitting around thinking up sage proverbs, have one that says, sagely, "If you would be happy for a week, take a wife; if you would be happy for a month, kill your pig, but if you would be happy all your life, plant a garden."
[page 74]


Read my own post yesterday about Kate Puzey, Peace Corps volunteer and the mis-spelled CORE jumped out at me.

Sometimes the brain and the fingers don't seem to connect. In newspaper lingo, we always knew these glaring errors were caused by the ever-present Gremlins.

GREMLINS! present in the composing room. The typesetter besieged with gremlins. Of course, the errors were not caught until the presses ran, the newspapers were delivered and at the news stands. Then a disgusted reporter would shudder to see his story not at all as he wrote it - or sometimes it was his mistake.

However, I am the writer as well as the typesetter and proofreader - so I am thrice to blame for such a glaring error.

Examples from newspapers: when Robert, a foreign correspondent at the time, was in Denmark covering the funeral of Dag Hammarskjöld, his carefully crafted story showed up in the Toronto Star, saying two-headed children lined the streets. He knew immediately he should have written blond children, instead of tow-headed. [extracted from article by Wilhelmine Estabrook]

One writer blew his stack when a story came out in the paper, under his byline, saying "The queen and her entourage pissed over the Firth of Forth." And another while covering the funeral of a self-important bigwig, was aghast to see that "mournful crows lined the sidewalk," when his copy could prove he'd written crowds.

  • IMPORTANT NOTICE: If you are one of hundreds of parachuting enthusiasts who bought our Easy Sky Diving book, please make the following correction: on page 8, line 7, the words "state zip code" should have read "pull rip cord."

  • It was incorrectly reported last Friday that today is T-shirt Appreciation Day. In fact, it is actually Teacher Appreciation Day.

  • From a California bar association's newsletter: Correction -- the following typo appeared in our last bulletin: "Lunch will be gin at 12:15 p.m." Please orrect to read "12 noon."

  • Just to keep the record straight, it was the famous Whistler's Mother, not Hitler's, that was exhibited. There is nothing to be gained in trying to explain how this error occurred.

  • Apology: I originally wrote, "Woodrow Wilson's wife grazed sheep on front lawn of the White House." I'm sorry that typesetting inadvertently left out the word "sheep."

In a cookbook - should have been: You will need larger bowls if you double the recipe. Instead: You will need larger bowels if you double the recipe.

On a restaurant menu: "fired rice"

Advertisements in newspaper:

Our experienced mother will care for your child. Fenced yards, meals and smacks included.

For Rent: 6-room hated apartment. Man, honest. Will take anything.

And now, the Superstore-unequaled in size, unmatched in variety, unrivaled inconvenience.


Once in awhile an e-mail chain letter will be circulated with Church Bulletin typos (which you now know are caused by gremlins) and provide some laughs.

Brigham Young U.'s Student Newspaper Is Pulled After Embarrassing Typo

On and on it goes . . .

Monday, April 20, 2009


"...something special happens when a group starts to sing togther--something extraordinary from a cognitive (and dynamic complex systems) perspective, something you've probably experienced yourself in any place where people come together to sing: football games, church, campfires, or political rallies."


"Confucius reportedly said, 'Music produces a kind of pleasure which human nature cannot do without.'"

"Music and health are intimately related in human history, from shamanic healing to 'witch doctors,' from the Hebrews to current-day programs of music therapy. King David played the harp to relieve the stress of King Saul (Samuel I, 16:1-23), and the ancient Greeks (in particular Zenocrates, Sarpander, and Arien) used harp music to ease the outbursts of people with mental illnesses."


"The six types of songs that shaped human nature
--friendship, joy, comfort,
knowledge, religion,
and love songs--
I've come to think are obvious..."

Peace Corps Volunteer

Catherine "Kate" Puzey, Peace Corps volunteer, was found dead outside her home in a remote, rural village about a seven hour drive north of Cotonou, in West Africa.

Peace Corps volunteer’s killing devastates relatives in Cumming
by Kathy Jefcoats

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Monday, March 16, 2009

Kate Puzey settled into the West African nation Benin almost two years ago as a Peace Corps volunteer teaching English.

Relatives said she acclimated quickly, dining with local seamstresses and wise women, and attending a birthday party for a village child. Puzey, 24, wrote on her blog of witnessing a ritual circumcision and anticipating the start of mango season in April.

So her parents, Harry and Lois Puzey of Cumming, were devastated to learn last week that someone had killed their only daughter. Her body was found Thursday outside her home in Benin.

“We’ve been told they have a major suspect but we don’t know any details,” Harry Puzey said Sunday. “We don’t think her death was political or random but an individual act by one person.”
Lois Puzey said her daughter was a staunch defender of the “underdog.”

“She was whipsmart, articulate and honest with people,” Lois Puzey said. “She would always stand up for the underdog. That was a major part of her personality.”

Kate Puzey was born in Germany, where her parents were U.S. Department of Defense teachers. When she was 7, they moved to Okinawa, where Kate graduated high school at the top of her class. She graduated from the College of William & Mary in Williamsburg, Va.

“We taught her to be a citizen of the world,” he said.

Kate wrote about her experiences around the world on her blog, at

One entry about Benin begins:

“I realized some time ago my education here goes way beyond the local language and customs. I’ve become familiar with so many new sounds. I now know the sound of a chicken when it’s being killed, a goat when it’s giving birth, the baby next door when it’s hungry. … With all the noise I find myself listening more. That is, before I put in earplugs at night to try and get some sleep!”

Lois Puzey said she is devastated.

“She was an incredible person, gifted in people skills,” she said. “She would just light up a room. It’s hard to believe someone bigger than life is gone.”

Kate Puzey was comfortable in her adopted, albeit temporary, home, said her cousin, Emilie Jacobs-Finnegan.

“She always saw the positive in people,” Jacobs-Finnegan said. “But she was not naive. She was feisty, a real steel magnolia, but she had a way of soothing people. She was open-minded and compassionate.”

Lois Puzey said her daughter’s body will be accompanied back to Georgia in a few days by a Peace Corps official.

Services are set for 11 a.m. Saturday at Alpharetta’s Sanctuary at Birmingham United Methodist Church.

There are over 100 Peace Corps volunteers currently working in Benin.

Out of the Woods

When we travel by car, my husband does the driving and I read aloud. On one road trip, we were introduced to Chris Offutt's writings in his book of short stories Whiskey Straight and were both blown away by his writing.
The man can write.
His book The Same River Twice broke my heart, as did No Heroes.
I don't read short stories as much as I used to (recalling how I savored/devoured the stories by John O'Hara and his characters' perfect dialogue).

shadows and light

By a departing light
by Emily Dickinson

By a departing light
We see acuter, quite,
Than by a wick that stays.
There's something in the flight
That clarifies the sight
And decks the rays.

Habitat for Humanity

Didn't cook on Sunday (again!).

Seguin Habitat for Humanity served its special grilled chicken and pork loin lunches during its Square Meal for Habitat plate fundraiser on Sunday at Faith Lutheran Church.
Some of the funds from this lunch will be used for the 13th home being built on the corner of Ireland and Guadalupe.
A good cause. A good meal.