Thursday, March 1, 2018
So a couple of days later I saw an orange disk on the green carpet behind the bedside table. Did not recognize it. Pulled it up with the grabber, recognized it. You will remember it had already been peeled. It was a bit desiccated (I think maybe that means dehydrated, hope so) and it was also somewhat dusty.
There are advantages to being old and living alone -- nobody, for instance, to tut tut -- so I ate it.
Tuesday, February 27, 2018
It came (I think) via Amazon , and after a brief effort to find the sender's name -- to no avail -- I sat down and read it. Not all that time-consuming. But by the time I'd finished, Companion had finished filling the bird feeders, taken out the trash, said goodbye and left.
so WHO SENT THIS?
Thursday, February 1, 2018
And then thought wouldn't it be cozy to eat it while reading in the bathtub (one nice thing about being old and living alone is that there's no one to be upset by unorthodox living habits) so I scooted the peels over to leave them in the kitchen sink -- cannot grind them up because of what I did back in the 1950s which I won't take your time to discuss as it's really off the subject (when our first disposal -- garbarator -- was installed, the electrician started to put the off-on switch in front of the sink, and I -- nervous and a bit afraid of this new device -- said "no, no, not where the children could play with it" so it's up on the wall where now I can't reach it) and scooted off down the hall to the bathtub. But then remembered the Handyman was coming and because it's below freezing out there today I'd written a sign that said "Door's unlocked, just come in" (these days it takes quite a while to get to the door -- and this is a ranch house and the bathroom door is at the end of the entrance hall, and I leave the door open when I take a bath because otherwise the room could get super-heated.) Never mind what the handyman was coming for -- it's off-topic (change furnace filters, drain hot water heater, fix dishwasher) so I decided instead to go back to bed and eat the clementine there while I read the morning paper (still
seven days a week and still defiantly in four sections even when sometimes now a section
is just a single sheet of folded newsprint) so I continued down the hall to the bedroom, dismounted, plugged in the scooter to re-charge while I was reading and getting dressed -- tossed the newspaper up near the pillows and pulled myself into bed and now we come to the mystery, which perhaps you can help me solve.
Where was the darling clementine?
I tottered back and unplugged the scooter, got in and searched. It was not in the kitchen. Not in the bathroom. Not in the bedroom. Not in the scooter.
Not in the bed. At least, I've looked as thoroughly as I could -- I have visions of it quietly rotting away between the sheets somewhere before Companion comes next week to change the bed.
Where is the darling clementine?
Thursday, January 11, 2018
I do have some Smith in-laws, over in Albany, but that rings no bells.
If I made some appointment for the totally impossible hour of 8 am, I'm sure I'd remember. This must be 8 pm.
I live in suspense.
p s Just noticed --I must have jotted IRS on the 15th -- so this will count as a cheerful reminder for those of us who withhold. Let's make America great again.
Maybe from now on I should print everything in CAPITAL LETTERS
Wednesday, January 3, 2018
Tuesday, January 2, 2018
Friday, December 22, 2017
"joined his wife Evangeline amongst the stars from whose dust they were made. Now reunited they explore the fields of Elysium. Together as they had almost always been they gaze down upon their children...grandchildren...and new baby Katherine with contentment, peace and love. From the heavens they reach One final time To bless us all, ...
I think I'll just let you read the rest of that for yourselves, if that's okay. Services, you won't be too surprised to note, at the
Monday, December 18, 2017
"Take a book -- $1
2 books --$.75
3 books --$.50
4 books -- $.25
5 books -- FREE"
At any rate, even with my few visitors that bookcase has a nice turnover. Someone even took, recently, the big two-volume textbook from the freshman Survey of English Literature, a work that that started with Beowulf and -- back in 1944 -- never even mentioned Jane Austen.
Every now and then, though, I find a book I'd like to re-read, and those go in a different bookcase. Looking it over recently, I discovered that the titles I can't quite part with aren't all that impressive. Not much there in the way of challenging classics.
But there was a copy of what I would have said was my favorite book (had anyone asked me) back when I was 11 or 12 -- The Lost Prince, by Frances Hodson Burnett. I'd borrowed some of her other books from the library -- The Secret Garden, Little Lord Fauntleroy, but The Lost Prince I'd taken out over and over. During the Depression I never dreamt of buying a book, but I set out, one day, to make my own copy. I must have given up after just a page or two, because all I remember is a notebook page filled with not very impressive penmanship.
So when did I buy this battered and much-mended copy? In college, when I finally discovered second-hand bookstores? This copy does contain the bookplate I'd made as an assignment in journalism school's printing course -- as close to attempting Art as I ever got. The linoleum block is supposed to be a view down Lake Keuka from my folks' porch.
But then I found, at the bottom of page 133, an imprint that said "Portland Psychology Assn". I must have already been teaching at a college in Maine when I found a second-hand bookshop with this copy. And why do you suppose that Assn owned it?
Well, I had some trouble, yesterday, keeping it in order on my bathtub reading rack. The pages kept falling out, and I can no longer read a book straight through. It took two days, but I'm here to tell you, The Lost Prince, with its 1916 copyright and 12-year-old protagonist, is still delightful. I'm keeping it.
Monday, November 6, 2017
How come I only noticed a few weeks ago? How long has this been going on? Did the Pope recently issue an edict saying you can't anchor a cable tv network unless your hair is below your shoulders...you can't make a commercial for this year's automobile unless your hair is long and almost -- but not quite entirely -- straight?
Women are ironing their hair again?...we might as well be back in the '80s.
And what's the word I'm trying to remember (I once heard that the nouns are the first to go, and that's true) -- aha! extensions! That's the word! I've been dealing with hair for more than nine decades now, and I happen to know it takes at least a couple of years to grow hair down to your shoulders, so we're talking hair extensions, right? or did everyone on TV suddenly decide to wear wigs? I can't tell just looking at them -- what do you think?
Maybe I haven't been paying enough attention. Maybe it's been happening over a period of a few years and I just never noticed?
And why does this whole thing irritate me so?
Monday, October 2, 2017
Monday, September 11, 2017
I was instructed to clip my stories if they appeared in the fat State editions of those dailies, paste them up (minus headlines, alas) in a long roll, and every week measure that roll with a long string. As a stringer (it would be years before I ever heard the word "free-lancer") I was paid --could it have been ten cents? --per column inch.
It occurs to me only now -- why the string? Why not just take the tape measure to that roll of clippings in the first place? Did I mail in that string or something?-- can't remember.
So just now, more than 70 years later, I googled "stringer" to see if I'd remembered right, and yes, there was the word. But when Wikipedia started to discuss the etymology of "stringer" it appeared nobody knows where the term came from. The possibility that stringers were considered second-string journalists was offered. There was no mention of measuring one's clippings with string.
So I typed in my contribution. First time I ever did that, ridiculously easy, and there it stands on Wikipedia!
I've forgotten so many things -- but I remember exactly where I was standing the day in August 1944 when I phoned (long-distance !! in the middle of the day !! before the rates changed !!) to tell the State Editor that I'd be leaving to return to college.
Just one telephone in our house, on a party line (our ring was one long one short) -- and as I stood there in the kitchen that unknown Editor said -- I've forgotten a lot now but I remember his seven words exactly --
"It's been a pleasure receiving your copy."
Wednesday, August 23, 2017
and I can't take a picture to show you because my camera is no longer working.
I don't feel capable of learning to use a new one.
My cell phone is a dumbphone -- if there's a way to take pictures with it and transmit them to you I don't know how and I no longer feel capable etc.
Maybe I can find a vintage Canon SD1100 IS on ebay -- stay tuned. Meanwhile, here with no illustration to dress up the post is what it says on those pieces of scrap paper. What do you suppose I was intending to write?
Sue Barton, Student Nurse
popsicle stick "free"
Red Fairy Book
Shirley Temple paper dolls
root beer barrels
Thursday, August 17, 2017
That was a long time ago and I forgot the whole thing.
Fast forward SEVENTY YEARS.
Saturday, July 29, 2017
hence the Quonset Huts. I wrote that the side near the coal stove was warm, and I was wearing a mitten on the other hand.
There were men in class! Not even boys -- men back from the South Pacific, from Europe, from the Battle of the Bulge -- and here's what I wrote --
"The smoke in here is pretty thick -- seven cigarettes, one cigar and two pipes all going at once."
The past certainly is a different country.
Monday, July 24, 2017
It was dated 1941. Evidently mine would be the first revision -- first reprint -- since The War. Paper had been so scarce -- like most everything else. I have no memory of what guidelines I used, what changes I made, but anyhow, I wanted to show you the sentence that greeted me on the first page I just opened it to --
There is no dancing or card playing in the dormitory living rooms on Sunday.
Thursday, June 8, 2017
-- and I'm left with cash to re-invest.
*note: "to serve you better" my server has upgraded me and I can no longer figure out how to get pictures on this post. I used Google to find some lovely ones -- the Canadian flag with its maple leaf replaced with a sprig of marijuana, for example -- but I can't post it. If anyone out there feels helpful, it'd be much appreciated.
Wednesday, May 24, 2017
Tuesday, May 16, 2017
I hadn't seen either one for several days, and then just a few minutes ago there was the male alone, standing tall and absolutely still, watching the house. Just standing stock-still.
I couldn't figure out why -- and then, waddling back from the spilled birdseed under my window, came his mate. They're both still with us! and he'd been watching her.
By the time I got the camera out again, she'd made it almost all the way back -- and she's such a camouflaged dullness that you'll have trouble finding her. Try for that little grey spot above the center there. He, evidently reassured that she was obeying his summons, had already returned to the puddle--if there still is a puddle. Hard to tell from here, and I can no longer walk to find out.
If this actually results in ducklings, it'll be a first, in the more than 60 years I've been watching this backyard.
Monday, May 8, 2017
But anyhow, what I started to tell you is that he is survived by "his wife Mary Ellen...his daughter Melissa...his son Brian..., daughters Naomi...and Michele..." There's a story back of that, one suspects, but again I digress.
Nine grandchildren are listed, all with interesting names ----MacKenzie, Bethanie, Morgan, Cooper,... but anyhow, what I wanted to tell you is that
in addition to a long list of close friends, he is survived by
four dogs, a cat, and a rabbit.
Thursday, April 27, 2017
I think I told you they always move on, looking for a nice swamp to nest in, because that water dries up and disappears every year within a matter of days.
This afternoon, though, I found him still here, and what's more, chasing another male away, after which he flew out to the end of the back yard and landed with a --- omg!--- a splash.
Monday, April 24, 2017
TIME TO CALL THE COMPUTER HOSPITAL -- I CAN NO LONGER TAKE IT IN BUT THEY MAKE HOUSE CALLS.
I GIVE UP. RATHER THAN SPEND ANY MORE TIME ON THIS, I'LL JUST SKIP RIGHT TO THE POINT AND TELL YOU THAT THE TOPIC TO BE PRESENTED NEXT SEPTEMBER BY BILL HUTCHINGS IN BATH, ENGLAND CONCERNS ITSELF WITH
TRUTH AND FICTION: ALTERNATIVE FACTS IN JANE AUSTEN'S NORTHANGER ABBEY
and I finished the post off with a picture of Kellyann Conway, the originator of a phrase that's evidently made its way around the world at lightning speed. Wikipedia tells me she first pronounced it fewer than four months ago. Got to figure that invitation had to be printed in England, travel across the ocean, make its way to my house -- and it must have been some time earlier that Bill wrote the description of his talk, assuming even then that Brits reading it would recognize the phrase.
- - -- -- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
This morning's post brought a mailing from the Jane Austen Society, the original one, in
Nice picture of the
This year marks the 200th anniversary of Jane's death. Years ago I stood in the low-ceilinged room where she died -- yes, in
So -- Austen scholars are concentrating, right now, on the two of her novels published that same year, 1817 -- Northanger Abbey and Persuasion.
The list of speakers for this planned assemblage is impressive -- Bill Hutchings, for instance, is Honorary Research Fellow at the University of Manchester, co-editor of The Cowper and Newton Journal, a National Teaching Fellow (whatever that is), and the author most recently of Living Poetry and Living Fiction.
Here is the lecture you could hear him deliver, late morning next September 25
and finally, here is the bit that brought me up short:
YOU CAN EVEN FIND IT IN WIKIPEDIA!
Saturday, April 22, 2017
After skipping several monthly tests, yesterday I finally remembered to make a routine check of the panic button I wear around my neck.
Remembering how loud the other alarm -- the door/window thingie -- is,
I scooted not too close to that little speaker box in the living-room, pressed my button, and was rewarded with an immediate “EMERGENCY EMERGENCY” from the little box.
Then I scooted up next to it, waiting for a human voice to come on and ask what was the matter. And just at the instant when that happened, I had – for the first time in more than a year –
a sudden spasm of the larynx.
Tuesday, April 18, 2017
when I had the TIA.
Tomorrow I'll also have a visitor from the senior residence I applied to. Seems they require a "15-minute-cognitive test." I'll bet the first question will be "What year is it?" (I'll report to you) and I definitely know 1984 came and went. Even if I'm only operating with maybe 70%, that's still passing, right?
Aging in Place.
Sunday, April 16, 2017
I worried last week when the Passover Mallards failed to show up. But I guess they just got confused by those liturgical calendars -- some years Easter and Passover fall at the same time; this year they didn't.
At any rate, here's what's outside my desk window right now. This year they're evidently Easter Mallards.
As always, they'll plod hopefully around the soggy back yard for a few days, grazing under the birdfeeders on bits knocked down by the songbirds.
Then they'll face facts, accept that this place is drying up, and depart to find some nice gooey marsh for nesting.
Thursday, March 9, 2017
And thank heaven, I also received some decent old-fashioned run-of-the-mill Peeps -- they were even the yellow ones. I stabbed their cellophane and practiced restraint till they seasoned properly, and I can't show you a picture because they're all gone.
But the exciting news at Wegmans is that the Cadbury creme eggs are finally back -- been waiting months for them. Sugar sugar sugar in its most delightful configuration.
So Dannie, here's this year's very first effort. I know -- the red is a bit torn down there next to the chick, but I couldn't help that -- the creme had oozed a bit and it was stuck to the chocolate there.
I promise I'll practice diligently -- will try to do better right through to Easter.
Thursday, February 16, 2017
So I called the phone number, finally got to say "representative", which brought up a live person -- her name was Tiffany so we know she was young --
"Well, I always pay my bill promptly, but it looks like I forgot in January. There's a late fee and interest here. Do I really have to pay them?"
"No ma'am you certainly don't. I'll take those off right now."
I think (never sure about anything these days) that They are legally (?) required by law to give you one free slip-up a year or something like that.
I post this information as a public service.
Monday, January 30, 2017
Saturday, January 28, 2017
I guess if you live long enough (and I have) what goes around comes around.
At any rate, here's what the magazine from Cornell Ornithology looked like in the mailbox yesterday --
Tuesday, January 24, 2017
First, you drive up and order a "small cheeseburger". Right there is your dairy and your protein.
Then you ask for a "senior coke". (I know, I know, but I need the caffeine these days and I don't drink coffee.)
Besides, I want to alert those of a respectable age -- did you know you can get a full-size drink for 79 cents?... or even 69 cents? (read on) You just have to ask.
Then, because the chopped onions on that cheeseburger don't really provide enough fruit-and-vegetable component -- and because I've eliminated the pickle and the ketchup, which you may remember Reagan (was it?) classified as a school lunch vegetable...
...it's prudent to end the meal with a hot apple pie.
Yes, this nicely balanced meal can be had for just three dollars,
BUT WAIT! THERE'S MORE!!
If you go to store #32511 instead of store # 4789, you save a penny on the cheeseburger, the coke is ten cents less, the pie is a real bargain and the tax becomes only twenty cents.
A third MacDonald's had even different pricing, but I can't seem to find the check. At any rate -- here's your well-balanced meal for
LESS THAN THREE DOLLARS.
We're Lovin It!
Wednesday, January 11, 2017
Monday, January 9, 2017
Way past noon. I'm still in furry slippers and cozy bathrobe, with every intention of staying that way till bedtime.
The house is pretty well back to normal after the Holidays and the family Visitors, with just a couple of leftover mysteries:
Whose is the red apron? I suspect Maria.
Julie just finished a course that involved Greek drama, so I suspect her, but yet -- look at the price in the northeast corner of that cover:
-- that's got to be a generation or two earlier. Maybe Julie got it while they were visiting Anna, who has a nice collection of drama stuff from her Equity days.
But anyhow -- the big mystery is
What Ever Happened to the Bathmat That Got Soaked When the Fancy Shower Leaked?
I have looked high and low.
Come to think of it, that's a figure of speech.
I can no longer look either High or Low.
Any information will be appreciated.