27 July 2010

As the Angels Give

If instead of a gem, or even a flower, we should cast the gift of a loving thought into the heart of a friend, that would be giving as the angels give. ~George MacDonald

"The stage is waiting for you."  That is what she said ~ my friend.  "Look around and you will find the greatest treasure of all: friendship." That is what it said ~ my fortune cookie.  The BEST of friends don't make you work for it.  That is what I said ~ about the latter.  My commentary.  (I am never at a loss of opinion, but you already know that.)  And so when my friend told me the stage is mine, I couldn't help but smile.  She gave me a gift I didn't ask for...but somehow needed (and she didn't even make me work for it). xoxo  "The greatest gift you can give another is the purity of your attention.” ~Richard Moss
*     *     *
This is an absolute first...a day of the triple-post.  I should be editing a paper but I cannot help myself.  Here are a few reasons why, compliments of a few more of my very fine friends:

It is necessary to write, if the days are not to slip emptily by. How else, indeed, to clap the net over the butterfly of the moment? For the moment passes, it is forgotten; the mood is gone; life itself is gone. That is where the writer scores over his fellows: he catches the changes of his mind on the hop. ~Vita Sackville-West
You write to communicate to the hearts and minds of others what's burning inside you. And we edit to let the fire show through the smoke. ~Arthur Polotnik

Words - so innocent and powerless as they are, as standing in a dictionary, how potent for good and evil they become in the hands of one who knows how to combine them. ~Nathaniel Hawthorne
To me, the greatest pleasure of writing is not what it's about, but the inner music the words make.
~Truman Capote, McCall's, November 1967

Ink on paper is as beautiful to me as flowers on the mountains; God composes, why shouldn't we?
~Terri Guillemets

There's nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and open a vein. ~Walter Wellesley "Red" Smith

Every word born of an inner necessity - writing must never be anything else. ~Etty Hillesum

The maker of a sentence launches out into the infinite and builds a road into Chaos and old Night, and is followed by those who hear him with something of wild, creative delight. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

A perfectly healthy sentence, it is true, is extremely rare. For the most part we miss the hue and fragrance of the thought; as if we could be satisfied with the dews of the morning or evening without their colors, or the heavens without their azure. ~Henry David Thoreau

Ink surrounds me all the time
On my bed sheets, recorded in rhyme
Quills ever scribbling in my head
Sometimes damnit I forget what they said.
Ink has settled into my fingerprints
But to keep the words I fear to rinse...
~Terri Guillemets

Find out the reason that commands you to write; see whether it has spread its roots into the very depth of your heart; confess to yourself you would have to die if you were forbidden to write. ~Rainer Maria Rilke

Writing became such a process of discovery that I couldn't wait to get to work in the morning: I wanted to know what I was going to say. ~Sharon O'Brien

*     *     *
And tonight, the frenzy...  It's true.

The only cure for writer's block is insomnia.
~Merit Antares  
(That explains my recurring "date" with 2:13 a.m.)

Writing is a socially acceptable form of schizophrenia. ~E.L. Doctorow

The most beautiful things are those that madness prompts and reason writes. ~André Gide, Journals, 1894

If I don't write to empty my mind, I go mad. ~Lord Byron

You said you needed a moment of my time.  Instead, I stole a moment of yours.  I hope you don't mind, my friend.  This one's for you.  Enjoy.  ~S.

My Moodswing

Quite some time ago I set forth a goal to count my blessings...1000 strong before summer's end.  While the season itself is still going strong, my summer respite is coming to a close.  School will begin very soon and I have other matters to tend to before my official return to duty.  I've neglected my Happilist...or at least the part where I share it with you.  I've simply been too busy enjoying myself ~ spending time outdoors in the sun...and along so many backroads (which have led to those places I've discovered in the recesses of my mind and heart)...and with people who truly care: about me.  I am a lucky girl. 

So once again, come take a ride on my moodwsing.

“On a bad day, I have mood swings - but on a good day, I have the whole mood playground.”
~Charles Rosenblum

My Happilist
Gratitude is the heart's memory. ~French proverb
Nos. 405 ~ 497

perfectly waxed brows
strawberry milkshakes
maple seed "helicopters"
reading the Sunday newspaper
sparkling grape juice
SmartBoard technology
The Lord's Prayer
the scent of a summer evening
a winning scratch-off ticket
cheddar herb biscuits
a saltwater pool
sweet dreams
The Serenity Prayer
the bluegrass sound of Alison Krause
the breath before the kiss
childhood days
lemon biscotti
black nylons
political cartoons of Jim Dyke
a 5:00 shadow on a handsome man (hey, I'm being honest)
beer battered chicken sandwiches from Ecco Lounge
a slice of lemon in my water
catching snowflakes on my tongue
The Statue of Liberty
80s music ~ yep.
morning dew on the grass
sincere compliments
 a deep, comforting voice
a turn on a turnpike
seeing my name in print
stamps from Primele
a package in my mailbox
penny wishes in a fountain
chocolate long johns ~ but only sometimes
literature studies with first graders ~ so smart
"Barnes and Noble time"
a lasting hug
porch conversations
Jane Iredale lipgloss in Wild Apple
childhood according to Ezra Jack Keats
hotel pens in medium point
the poetry of Robert Frost
the poetry of e.e. cummings
new school supplies
Van Halen's 1984 album
stories ~ to read, to write
the first slow dance
signet rings
the scent of memory
Lowenstein, Lowenstein
a full tank of gas and an open road
the blackest black mascara on my lashes
a special breakfast made just for me
my children's artwork
my children's writing
my children's singing
my children's laughter!
caves ~ God's tunnels ~ love them (okay, some of them)
old hymnals and the memory of grandma's singing voice at church
 an open-air restaurant in Charleston
napping in the sun on a Florida beach ~ for hours
architectural salvage
positive attitudes
best friends
antique hooked rugs
dill pickle chips
passport photos that actually look like you
peppermint ~ breath, a kiss, a face
suckers from the drive-thru window at the bank
catching a fish after a perfect cast
a cultivated mind ~ never stagnant
the sound of a baby's first cry
friendship that withstands the tests of time
Ralph Lauren bedding
"new car" scent
a healthy, cathartic cry
lesson plans completed ahead of schedule
Altoids mints
chicken chimichangas from el Jimador
chalk drawings on the sidewalk

watching the person you love shave
...and wearing his shirt

In the Lou'

Not what you're thinking, of course.  Rather, these are Adventures in Miscellany...Saint Louis, Missouri.

The family. We were a strange little band of characters trudging through life sharing sicknesses and toothpaste, coveting one another's desserts, hiding shampoo, borrowing money, locking each other out of our rooms, inflicting pain and kissing to heal it in the same instant, loving, laughing, defending, and trying to figure out the common thread that bound us all together. ~Erma Bombeck

Sharing food with another human being is an intimate act that should not be indulged in lightly. ~M. F. K. Fisher

Companion is a quaint establishment in downtown Clayton.  It has been listed by USAToday as one of the top ten places at which to enjoy Artisan bread, and St. Louis Magazine voted it a "Best Place to Brag About."  I didn't know any of this until recently.  Maybe that's why this cafe and bakery is such a treasure to me.  I stumbled upon it all by myself!  Anyway, the ambience is, well, indescribable.  I wish you could see the colors of the walls, the amazing artwork on the ceiling, and the "baking sheet" serving trays. I wish you could feel what I feel when I'm there.  I love the buzz of lunchtime conversation, the smells of truly fresh and creative foods (and the chef attire of those preparing it), and I can always count on a cold bottle of Naked Juice.  Mango, please.
“Time is a companion who reminds us to cherish every moment because it will never come again .”

"To Die For" Bakery Items.  Seriously.
Made to Order...while you watch.
Today's Special:  Chicken Pot Pie...
The seasonings on my palette ~ a love affair.
Spinach Salad with fresh (!) strawberries and a poppyseed vinaigrette...This pretzel roll is delicious too.
There are people who strictly deprive themselves of each and every eatable, drinkable, and smokable which has in any way acquired a shady reputation. They pay this price for health. And health is all they get for it. How strange it is. It is like paying out your whole fortune for a cow that has gone dry. ~Mark Twain (1835 - 1910)  
If you have even a singular creative bone in your body, you must pay a visit to this shop in Webster Groves...wallet in hand.  Red Lead is magical.  Take a look around and you'll see for yourself.  Inspiring.  I told you so. 

“The world is a looking-glass, and gives back to every man the reflection of his own face. Frown at it, and it will in turn look sourly upon you; laugh at it and with it, and it is a jolly kind companion.”
~William Makepeace Thackeray

26 July 2010


...an appropriate name for a town, I think, especially considering the historical stature of the man who tamed this wild land of "Spanish Louisiana."   I was born in this particular region (Kirkwood, actually), and spent my childhood in a town a few hours down the highway further west.  Despite the distance of miles, I might have once upon a time (perhaps) claimed Daniel Boone as a neighbor.  I like that thought. I particularly like the synonyms his name conjures up in my mind...strength, vitality, fortitude, courage, and always good judgment of others.  These traits are worthy of emulation, yet appear in short supply in modern times.  To do so ~ that is, to assume a character indicative of Boone's style ~ projects a sense of independent defiance.  Independently defiant.  I like that thought.  I've been called worse...
*     *     *  
 The Defiance Tavern..."bar food" at its best.  The pork tenderloin sandwich is worth every bite.

 All you need for happiness is a good gun, a good horse, and a good wife. ~Daniel Boone

I'm glad it worked for him.  As for me, I have my own gun.  Wives and horses, however, are just not my thing. 

Back of the house...yes, the back.
Front of the house...four stories strong.
The view from the third story porch, looking out over Daniel's forest, now tamed...
Felicity, the companion of content, is rather found in our own breasts than in the enjoyment of external things; and I firmly believe it requires but a little philosophy to make a man happy in whatever state he is. ~Daniel Boone

A dwelling erected elsewhere by Nathan Boone and later moved to this site, built only to satisfy the Spanish Government...  Property obtained through land grants was to be improved upon or returned to government ownership.


Gutsy, rebellious, daring.

That's me.

19 July 2010

Cave Dwellers

It was a fabulous weekend and I'm excited about what lies ahead these next two days as well.  In a matter of hours I will be heading to St. Louis via the scenic route of Highway 94.  The Missouri River bluffs are incredibly beautiful and the twists and turns of this road always leave me breathless.  I will have much on my mind which, of course, means the words will find their way onto these pages.  But first, I have thoughts to post from Saturday.  I hope you enjoy. “Within this cave, there is an inexhaustible treasure. Within this cave, the Invisible and Infinite Lord abides. He Himself is hidden, and He Himself is revealed.” ~Sri Guru Granth Sahib

The journey begins...


“One just principle from the depths of a cave is more powerful than an army”
~Jose Marti

The picture above is of a formation known as Mother Mammoth.  Can  you see her?  Below documents the evidence of earthquakes. 
Soda Straws
Eagle's Wing

“What difference is there, do you think, between those in Plato's cave who can only marvel at the shadows and images of various objects, provided they are content and don't know what they miss, and the philosopher who has emerged from the cave and sees the real things?” ~Desiderius Erasmus

“You are also caught with the fact that man is a creature who walks in two worlds and traces upon the walls of his cave the wonders and the nightmare experiences of his spiritual pilgrimage.” ~Morris West

17 July 2010

Off to See the Wizard

One of the many advantages of teaching (albeit a superficial one) is having the luxury of beginning your summer weekends on whichever day you so choose.  This week the adventures began early Friday.  I have been blessed with a summer I've absolutely enjoyed.  For many, this is a given.  For me, I've just recently learned how to love summer again.  I walk without flinching through the burning cathedral of the summer. My bank of wild grass is majestic and full of music. It is a fire that solitude presses against my lips. ~Violette Leduc, Mad in Pursuit

Today was spent with my middle daughter, Ally.  She is smart and funny and we had a great time in this setting.  The water was fabulous...and could the day have been more beautiful?  I think not.  I spent the entire afternoon soaking up rays and perfecting my dive from the diving board.  I had forgotten how much I enjoy breaking the water from above.  As we prepared to leave (hours after our arrival), it became apparent that Puggles (the resident pooch) had carried off my sandal and enjoyed a bit of it as his snack.  Dang, that was a sweet pair of shoes!  I suppose this means I'll just have to go shopping for more.  I can't say I'm disappointed.
A woman with a child rediscovers the world. ~Pam Brown

For dinner, Ally and I enjoyed one of our favorite meals...Arris' pizza topped with Greek ausage, accompanied by a tall glass of ice water with a slice of lemon. There is no better pizza on earth. None. If you've ever visited this restaurant, you know I speak the truth (and I do so love to be right!).

A mother's love for her child is like nothing else in the world.  It kniows no law, no pity, it dares all things and crushes down remorselessly all that stands in its path.
~ Agatha Christie
As day journeyed slowly toward dusk...to darkness...Ally and I settled in with good friends and family to watch an outdoor movie on the Capitol lawn.  The movie is one of my favorites, The Wizard of Oz.  The beauty of the evening rivaled that of the afternoon.
The sun begins it descent...

...as the crowd settles in.

"Come out, come out, wherever you are, and meet the young lady who fell from a star." ~Glenda, the Good Witch of the North
Oh, the summer night
Has a smile of light
And she sits on a sapphire throne.
~Barry Cornwall
And then came the scene that always scared me as a child...
...the Wicked Witch appears along the Yellow Brick Road.

"A heart is not judged by how much you love; but by how much you are loved by others." ~the Wizard of Oz
The evening was incredible.  The transition of the sky was like a series of subordinate clauses reaching into the night.  The air carried a breeze which even the bats flying near the dome seemed to enjoy.  As Ally and I walked to the car following the movie, I turned for this farewell photo...and was reminded of this: 

What children take from us, they give.
We become people who feel more deeply,
question more deeply,
and love more deeply.
~ Sonia Taitz 

I love you, Ally. xoxo