Monday, October 31, 2011


image source here


My father is writing a letter to the editor.
Erudite and logical as Spock, he rests his case.
Maybe this letter will be sent and published
or maybe it will remain in his head, an ode called
Thoughts While Mowing the Back Forty.
No issue is beneath his scrutiny, and I am
just as random and ruthless in my own head.
We do not suffer fools, my father and I.

I like this inherited trait much better than
the gift of hairy legs and a substantial backside.

This is a Magpie, and part of my ABCs of Gratitude series.

Sunday, October 30, 2011


Green is the color of this blog or recycling or being new or envious or the color of spring. And it’s the color of a Christmas tree. (Usually) 

From here

As we move through autumn and head toward those long cold dark nights I am thankful that I can anticipate Advent and the light that illuminates the dark cold long nights. And even as Advent moves through Christmas to Epiphany I jealously hoard the light and that green and gaudy tree. Last year’s tree stayed up (in an out-of-the-way corner) until March 18th. I wanted to keep it up until the time changed, to hang onto that light for just a while longer.

I know I should be posting Halloween stuff today, but instead, here is a fragment 1996's Christmas poem. Go here to read the whole thing. 

This green ritual!
This fragrant season!
I close my eyes.
Surrounded by a forest,

Now that's green to me!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

2011 Project 365 – Week Forty-Four

Dr. M took so many great pictures this week that he has done his own post. I’ve put a few on here, but to see the rest of the go here.
Sunday, October 23rd     
I’d say this squirrel is ready for winter – look how fat he is!

Dr. M got a present for me! It’s a bug for the Bug. I’ve named her Poly – which is short for Polyfill, which is the name of Alice’s rabbit in the Cul de Sac comic strip.

Monday, October 24th
It was late in the evening when I realized we didn’t have a picture yet – so here’s our house all ready for Halloween. It’s just waiting on a pirate and…a witch or a wench – I’m not sure how I’m dressing yet.

Tuesday, October 25th  
It’s the Tax Time Pig! Or The Scream.

Dr. M saw these great Ohio State skeletons – they’re doing O H I O – ha!

Wednesday, October 26th
Dr. M captured some fall color.

Thursday, October 27th        
The State of the Bug. So lately I’ve been going to work with my hair wet – like this:

And then by the time I get there it’s mostly dry, so I comb it with a wide toothed comb & spray it with salt spray & scrunch it. Voila! Big hair – Bug style anyway. I like the not having to mess with my hair part of the equation – we’ll see how much I like wet hair in 20 degree weather later this year.

On my way home from work I saw this.

Dr. M took a picture of the little maple tree that’s growing in our geranium pot. I love that its leaves are changing too.

Friday, October 28th
The rose is still gorgeous.

Dr. M took this picture – I LOVE LOVE LOVE the little green bug! Too cute!

And look who’s here again! I can’t decide if it’s a ghost walking Godzilla or Godzilla walking a ghost…

Saturday, October 22nd
It’s a frosty morning in Ohio. In the 20s overnight & currently 40 degrees (at 10:30 a.m.). Brr! And this is the tip of the iceberg – literally!

Go to Sara’s blog here to see the blogs of all the other Project 365 participants. Have a great week!

Most of our photos are taken with a 12 megapixel Nikon D5000 DSLR, using a 55-200mm zoom lens. This is the camera that Dr. M takes with him most days. We also take pictures with our old reliable 7 megapixel Canon Powershot A710. This is the camera that the Bug uses most of the time. If you’re interested in which camera was used for a particular shot, just ask!

Friday, October 28, 2011


Far used to be
my elderly self -
tiny on the
horizon at
world’s end.

That aged lady
is not so small
anymore as she
waves her hand
at me in greeting.

I amble, in no hurry
to take that hand
in my own hand -
glad of the walk
and the persistent
passage of time.

Thursday, October 27, 2011


Now why in the world did this word end up on a gratitude list? Why, just today I had two separate rants about the downfall of the written word. You know, I am not perfect. I make typos and errors in grammar & word usage all the time. I reread things I’ve written & just scratch my head. But…

One of my favorite comic strips used this phrase: “You complain…more often THEN anyone I have ever known.” [emphasis added] Gah!

And then I saw this gem from the (self-published) book I’m currently reading: “The shirt was almost completely soaked with blood. He crawled into the front and leaned over the back of the seat to work on her leg. He untied it and tossed it outside on the ground.”

Gah again! Really? Why is he flinging her leg around? I’m enjoying the plot and the characters, but the book is filled with little gems like this (as well as misplaced or missing commas and the incorrect forms of words). The author needed a much better editor.

And how could we forget this? Sigh.

As I wrote the previous paragraphs I began to grasp why “editor” is something that makes me happy. I love it! I love finding typos and correcting things in my head. It’s like working a puzzle of some kind. Sure I enjoy reading books that don’t require my nit-picky brain, but I like the so-so ones where I can indulge my inner Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis too. I think I need to wear a little pillbox hat when I read those books. Ha!

[Edited because I put "wear those books" at the end instead of "read" - that made me laugh given the subject matter. Head. Desk.]

Wednesday, October 26, 2011


I don’t do mornings. Well, obviously, I do mornings, but I am never pulled willingly from that warm cocoon. Just five more minutes please…

So I haven’t greeted the dawn very many times. I remember one vacation when Dr. M would show me videos of the sunrise after I had finally awakened. They inspired me to get up earlier – until the next morning. Just five more minutes please…

But it’s there, you know? The dawn, I mean. Every morning I know that dawn has arrived whether I greeted it or not. Sometimes I am humbled and amazed at this world of ours. On those days I make sure to use a real spoon for my yogurt instead of a plastic one. Because one less plastic spoon might someday make a difference in the dawn.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011


In general, candid* is my default setting. Mostly because I either a) speak before I think, or b) can’t figure out why what I say shouldn’t be (brutally) truthful. Not surprisingly, this has led people to shake their heads or fists at me on a regular basis.

Actually, I should qualify that by saying that I’m candid when I feel comfortable in a situation. So if I’m speaking my mind – congratulations! You have set me at ease. Next time you’ll be more standoffish won’t you?

I’m sitting here trying to figure out why I put this word on a gratitude list – what about “candid” makes me thankful? Especially because being candid can be hurtful if I’m not careful.

I think that being candid frees me to not try to figure out who I’m going to be. I’ve never had a poker face anyway – why not go ahead & say what’s behind those alarmed, disgusted, amazed, exuberant eyes.

*can·did (kndd) KEY

  1. Free from prejudice; impartial.
  2. Characterized by openness and sincerity of expression; unreservedly straightforward: In private, I gave them my candid opinion.
  3. Not posed or rehearsed: a candid snapshot.

Sunday, October 23, 2011


Lee Friedlander, from America by Car


Do you remember when
we would swing as high
as high as gangly legs
could propel?
Then we’d jump jump jump
landing in soft grass
and the comfort
of a summer day.
I lost my gumball machine ring
in that grass.
We decided that the devil
had reached up his hand
That was when I started
the march toward
that far horizon.
I’m not there yet
here between the
lost ring
and the end of things,
glad and grateful
that the answer to the question
(are we there yet?)
is no,
not yet.

This is a Magpie Tale. And it’s letter B for my ABCs of Gratitude series. 

Saturday, October 22, 2011

2011 Project 365 – Week Forty-Three

We had cooler temps and a lot of rain this week, but the last couple of days have been gorgeous. Which is in keeping with the fall colors that are still showing up everywhere.

Sunday, October 16th    
Our peppers still think it’s summer!

Monday, October 17th
Dr. M took a couple of pictures of Ohio farming.

Remember last year we had some pictures of the buffalo and his goat? Now he has two goats!

Tuesday, October 18th  
Dr. M saw this doe on the railroad track – get off there girl, you’re making me nervous!

The State of the Bug. I had lunch with a friend from my old church. We were celebrating her 83rd birthday.

My sister-in-law (hey B!) told us that it was chocolate cupcake day, so I came home to mini-cupcakes. My hubby is the best!

Wednesday, October 19th
Dr. M took several pictures of gorgeous leaves this week. Here’s one.

The geese love the cornfield.

Thursday, October 20th        
The miniature rose that our neighbors gave me after my surgery has decided to start blooming again. :)

Friday, October 21st
More gorgeous trees.

I really tried to get a picture of the Tax Time Pig. But there was a car behind me and a UPS truck coming from the other direction, and as you can see my pointing & shooting just netted a picture of the post that stands directly between me and the silly pig. Sigh.

My youngest nephew turned 18 today. I thought it would be appropriate to post a picture from when he was a little kid. Happy birthday B2!

Saturday, October 22nd
Dr. M & I took a ramble today. We drove around a bit.

And then went to our favorite fen. I didn’t use my cane. I basically stopped using it last week when I pulled the muscle in my side because it hurt to press my hand down on the cane handle. Now my side is much improved, but I decided that I was done with the cane. Anyway, we had a nice short walk.

According to this woolly worm we’re going to have a mild winter. I’ll believe it when I see it!

How was your week?

Go to Sara’s blog here to see the blogs of all the other Project 365 participants. Have a great week!

Most of our photos are taken with a 12 megapixel Nikon D5000 DSLR, using a 55-200mm zoom lens. This is the camera that Dr. M takes with him most days. We also take pictures with our old reliable 7 megapixel Canon Powershot A710. This is the camera that the Bug uses most of the time. If you’re interested in which camera was used for a particular shot, just ask!

2024 Project 365 – Week Twenty

  Did you know that there are people everywhere? Work, church, parties, my dad’s house, my very own home ?? I don’t know man. That seems lik...