Wednesday, March 31, 2021

Introduction to Poetry by Billy Collins

I ask them to take a poem
and hold it up to the light
like a color slide

or press an ear against its hive.

I say drop a mouse into a poem
and watch him probe his way out,

or walk inside the poem’s room
and feel the walls for a light switch.

I want them to waterski
across the surface of a poem
waving at the author’s name on the shore.

But all they want to do
is tie the poem to a chair with rope
and torture a confession out of it.

They begin beating it with a hose
to find out what it really means.


                             BY BILLY COLLINS

Thursday, March 25, 2021

"I'm So Proud of You"


Today as I scrolled through my emails as I do every morning while drinking my coffee I came across that one email that put a smile on my face and made my heart feel full.

From an old and very dear friend.

It was a sweet and funny email full of "remember that time . . ." ,   "remember when we . . ." .

And ended with "I am SO proud of you."

Apparently, the email was prompted by nothing more than wanting to reach out, share some sweet memories, some " I cannot believe we did that! " memories because we have, over the years, shared some fairly crazy/maybe not too smart adventures.  

Just a little virtual hug.

And very much appreciated.

It reminded me that I always want to be, hope to be, a friend who remembers to say "I'm so proud of you."  Who finds it easy to give compliments.

To be the person my mom and dad taught me to be.

They were always quick to let me know they were proud of me.  

It makes me enormously sad that I know people who grew up with parents who did not, for whatever reason, say those words.  Who weren't great in the nurturing department .

Maybe that's why some people don't reach out to tell others they're proud of them.  They just don't know how.

I miss my mom and dad, but I am grateful that they were who they were and raised me to be who I am.

And today I'm grateful to an old friend who took the time to reach out and let me know that I am valued.

And now I'm going to pass it along by giving Donald a big hug and saying "I'm so proud of you."

Because I am.  I hope I've remembered to tell him so over all these long, (mostly  😊 ) lovely years we've shared.

Saturday, March 20, 2021

That Sunday Project continues


Paris books are now where they should be.  It makes me happy having them in the bedroom.  The bedroom is my favorite place to read, so it makes sense, to me, to have favorite books close by.

Books on writing are boxed up and ready to go . . . somewhere.

A box of books is ready to go to town to be divided among several local Little Free Libraries, including one which is a boy scout project - I love that!

A few books may go the our booth in the antique mall.

Next step in The Sunday Project is sorting through an overflowing box of books in the sunroom.

This box was, initially, my To Be Read pile. 

 It's morphed beyond reasonable.  

My plan is to sort, start over with my To Be Read pile, decide what stays, and what goes.  

Where they go will be a be a whole nother matter to consider.  But I just feel like it's time to give some of these books a new home.

I'm being a lot more careful with bringing so many into the house these days.

And, this will surprise some people, but I actually prefer some novels now be on my Kindle.  It's become my preferred way to read.  (Now, now - don't judge).

I have a weakness for big beautiful (and small beautiful!) coffee table books full of irresistible photography; I will continue collecting those, along with fun pop-up books.  

And I will continue keeping and collecting books by a few favorite authors.

There are many books here that I will never part with.

But some have served their purpose and it's time for them to go.

I won't know which they are until I see them.  This is a Sunday Project which will likely take years to complete.

Because we have these shelves in the sunroom . . .

Then this little section in the living room.

Then this shelf in the stairwell.

Eventually we'll get to the downstairs . . .

Stay tuned!


Monday, March 15, 2021

Sunday Project, Part Two

Thankfully, I was able to get the Paris books shelved Sunday evening, so we were able to sleep in our bed.  

Good thing!

Don Barley would have been a little confused, I think, about why I was asking him to find the air mattress.

And man, I really needed a comfy mattress after moving all those books.

As I suspected.  The books did not all fit into the small floor shelf

so several ended up in the little built-in.

The project is far from over.

The books from the bedroom are now piled on the dining table in the sunroom.

They'll get sorted.  Some placed on the vertical shelves, and some probably put in a box to take to the library or give away.

And then comes the really hard part.

Sorting a lot more books, starting here, to see what stays and what goes.

It's time for a serious book purge.

I'll keep you posted.


Sunday, March 14, 2021

A Sunday Project

You know those projects you think about doing?

And think about . . .

And think about some more . . . 

Until you FINALLY get around to doing them?

Well, that's me.


This little set of built-in shelves is in our bedroom.  And here lives books by my favorite authors.  

Can you read the titles?

I always try to read book titles in pictures and videos. 

They are all books by Anne Rivers Siddons, Pat Conroy, Margaret Maron, and Louise Penny.

Most are first editions.  Several are ARCs.

Most are autographed and/or personalized.


Books I will keep forever.

That empty shelf? 

Well, there were several books there that I love.  Old faves, and new.  More about them in a minute.

Sadly, there won't be new books from Anne Rivers Siddons, Pat Conroy, or Margaret Maron.

But that empty shelf is waiting for new books from Louise Penny.  

This little now empty bookcase lives in our bedroom as well.

It once held books on writing, along with some of my favorite books of poetry and essays.

But then they, along with those favorite books from the built-in shelves, ended up here.

Piled on our bed.

This project is taking longer than I thought, and if I don't get myself moving we're going to be sleeping on the floor tonight.

But while pulling books off shelves I found a few fun things, like this special little book.

Along with several notes and cards I've held on to from special friends.

But enough of all that.

I need to get back to work.

My plan is to move Paris books from here - - - 

(This is just some of them)

to the shelves in the bedroom.

The books piled on our bed are going to replace the Paris books on the vertical shelves in the sunroom.

And that, my friends, is my Sunday project, and I gotta get moving!

But first I think I'll have a fresh cup of coffee . . . 

(I'll let you know if we end up sleeping on the floor . . . )

Sunday, March 7, 2021

Moving forward . . .


After spending this past year doing all the things everyone SHOULD have been doing to get through a global pandemic, Donald and I are so ready to move forward.

But with baby steps

I'm one of those people who sort of needs future plans to entice me along the way.


Come September, hopefully, we'll be going to the beach.

To our much loved Topsail Island.

Oh, how we have missed the beach!

House is rented, and we've put it on our calendar in big red letters, circled with a heart.

We've also purchased travel insurance in case it doesn't work out.

But in the meantime, it's nice to feel hopeful again.

And, who knows, next year's carrot could be Paris . . .

Saturday, March 6, 2021

WTF, GOP - - WTF??

Graphic is from the Congressional Budget Office.

Anyone see anything here that upsets you?  Any reason why Republican members of congress refused to vote for it?

I'd love to hear what is so bad about this that not ONE Republican voted for it.

Thursday, March 4, 2021

Vaccinated and Happy, but . . .

 Just because Donald and I have received both our COVID vaccinations, that does not mean we're ready to jump right back into life as it once was.

Going into restaurants still sounds pretty crazy risky to us, truth be told.

We could still, after all, be carriers.

Thinking of other people is still a concern for us even if it isn't, sadly, for a lot of others.  

We're going to continue wearing our masks, and we're going to continue maintaining some distance.

As anxious as we both are to do some traveling, we think we need to wait awhile. 

While not given to panic attacks, the thought of getting on a crowded airplane sounds scary as all hell to me, truth be told.

And as long as there are ignorant politicians like the governor of Texas and other states removing COVID restrictions too early, I'm thankful for intelligent, caring people who will continue doing the right thing for themselves, their family and their friends and neighbors.  And for the health workers.

We both need haircuts, of course.  And we'll get that taken care of.  Soon.  Just not too soon.

I'm pretty excited to think I'll be able to have a manicure and a pedicure fairly soon.  Just not too soon.

I don't want this entire past year of sacrifices to be completely wiped out for lack of smarts and patience now.

stay safe, y'all!

As of yesterday, 518,079 Americans have died due to COVID-19.