Category Archives: every day life

Mystery Road

A dog walk is a great opportunity to attend to mystery. There is the mystery of nature, of course. Everywhere. The varieties of fungi, the open fresh faces of morning glories, the jewel-like dew hanging off a hosta stalk.

And then there are the other sorts of mystery. For instance, why an apartment building housing between 12 and 18 units never exhibits any signs of life. Never. I walk past it multiple times a week. Study the windows. Examine the balconies. It is sooo dead. There used to be a marmalade cat on the second floor who’d come out to the edge of the balcony and glare down at Finn. But she’s gone.

Then there’s the mystery of nostalgia. How, even after living in this part of Massachusetts for four times longer than I’ve lived anywhere else, the sight of the silver-toned wire clips on the electrical wires still has the power to remind me of childhood.

Driving from Pittsfield or Schenectady as a family, headed to our beloved rental in Rockport on the North Shore, we always knew we were close when we saw these clips. To our young, excited minds, they were seahorses! (there must be other clips more seahorse-like? Kinda spoils my point here).

Always the wonder of spiders, right?

The wonder of some people’s talent with plants.

But also the wonder of preoccupation. How reading a post about Grace’s encounter with a lizard yesterday informed how I saw a dead leaf today. Against all reason, for a flash, my brain told me that the brown form was a lizard. That counts as a mystery.

Always the wonder of money. How much of the world it drives. And, how do other people make such big piles of it? Here are two such simple examples from this morning’s walk.

This project, above, started with tearing down a respectable, well-constructed two family house. So much effort! So many supplies! I’m guessing the new town homes will go on the market for well north of 1.4 million. (That’s how ONE person makes a pile of money).

And then there’s this new grassy sward on Cypress Street formerly occupied by a house. It appears the neighbor and owner of the RV, bought the lot to create space. In other words, that new driveway cost over $600,000. Woosh!

Lastly, there is the wonder of conditioning. I still don’t consider myself a dog person (written about here), but Finn and I have learned a lot together. When I get to about the car, I drop the leash and say, “Go home!” He dashes to the door and turns expectantly for a treat.

I started this practice after he ran away from a dog walker one time. Finn made his way home over a span of about a half mile. I guess, he already knew how to go home, but I wanted to underscore the command.

Before this area turned into Rabbitville, I’d drop the leash back at the corner of the lot, but those little furry hoppers are too tempting. It’s too risky.

Tomorrow: white versus black slips for the Patron Chicken Saint of Delayed Success and a blue silk heart.

Post-Henri Errands

This open drapey robe would be suitable for a tall thin woman. Not me, in other words. I didn’t wear it on our bank errand yesterday because there are times when I feel that I ought to be semi-presentable.

We closed our Eastern account and moved the money to BOA, an institution seemingly committed to anti-service. Whaddya gonna do? I swear, though, if they make more of a stink about yesterday’s deposit, we’ll go in there and close THAT account and go back to Eastern. If your check blah blah. No charge if blah blah. DO YOU WANT OUR MONEY OR NOT?! Vengeance banking — it could be a thing.

We also went to the mall. I bought bath bombs and two disks of shampoo and conditioner (the reward mentioned two days ago). I was dumb struck when the cherubic curly-haired clerk asked me what I wanted from my conditioner. Ummm. My hair was a day-late for washing and haphazardly pulled on top of my head with a pair of clips. Do I look like I care?

K and I laughed in the car. You should have told her you do better with multiple choice. He’d seen me nodding with relief when she’d offered, “Add more volume?”

Meanwhile, the rain that I’d heard was pounding west of Boston seemed to be headed our way. The sky offered up a spectacular display.

That was Tuesday. Already, it’s Wednesday. We took another dunk at the lake. Hardly anyone was there, which was nice.

Henri — rain only

On Friday, K and I were up in Winchester buying clethra and oak leaf hydrangea for the shady corner of the new fence. The garden staff was sliding pots into dense rows. Puzzling. I wondered what was going on.

“We’re getting ready for the hurricane.”

“What hurricane?”

You mean to tell me I consult Twitter for two hours a day and heard not a blip about Henri?

Time to add WBZ to my timeline.

Anyway, we entertained Friday night (it’s been so long!) and planted on and off on Saturday, all while keeping a close eye on the weather reports. Upgraded to hurricane! Sliding west! Not getting a direct hit here in the Boston area, as it turns out. The eastern side passes over us now, delivering intermittent, heavy rain.

It’s a nice sound, the rain. A good day for: a lap blanket, crossword puzzles, and soup!

This happened BEFORE the storm, by the way. What can I say? Fence not even two weeks old and it’s the third time a neighbor’s branch has taken out a panel. Excuse me for being annoyed.

In happier news, Deb sent me a color treasure.

I don’t know what it says about me, but untying that crocheted ribbon was the most exciting thing I’ve done in a long time!

Already applied a speckled piece to a moon in progress. Immediate elevation of the surround. Reminds me of a traditional quilter who once opined that she included a few Kaffe Fassett squares in every composition because they reliably improved the piece as a whole.

I kind of love the blue shawl’s accidental contribution here. Windows are new.

Lastly, I am more than a little surprised that I’ve continued with the Paris Collage Collective’s weekly challenge. It’s almost September! Look at me! (I abandoned Roxane Gay’s monthly book selections way back in May. Found that keeping up had a way of turning reading into homework. Who needs that?).

I’ve bounced between purely digital compositions to purely paper to amalgams. The digital layering that includes quilt-photos and/or a paper collage seems to offer the most depth.

Also, it’s getting so that when I select photos for a double exposure, previous prompt responses come up. That’s fun. I notice other contributors including past-week elements as well.

Check out #pariscollagecollective on Instagram. Almost all of the contributions are impressive.

Made the above (not a prompt response) before I knew about the hurricane. But it must have been in the ether.

Enjoy your Sunday! If you’re in the northeast, hope the storm’s impact is minimal!

Avoidance and chores

Have other bloggers noticed that if you let a few too many days go by, it can be hard to step back in? Right now, I’m procrastinating.

I should be putting my recently printed manuscript into a binder for ease of editing. Instead, I vacuumed. To finish properly, I had to pull a big jam out of the tubing using forceps. Found a bic pen lodged in there (– perhaps a symbol about getting down to business today?) Then I knocked over a Christmas cactus and had to clean that up.

I rearranged papers under the desk to make room for my soothing noise maker, because leaf blowing season is upon us again. “I must be ready!” she said.

Then there was a little candle lighting (my brother hasn’t been feeling well; D lives in Boulder — AND IS OKAY — but shops at that grocery store).

Then, because it’s lovely today, I opened a bunch of windows and got a couple of fans going and in the process kept losing the cup of coffee which any writer can tell you is an essential element of GETTING ONE’s ASS BACK IN THE CHAIR. One screen got stuck. Par for the course.

It occurs to me that if one had a practice of praying for all the victims of gunfire in this country, and their families, there’d be little time for anything else.

It also occurs to me that keeping a catalogue of the sickening and vast difference in how Black and white bodies are treated by cops could be a full time job.

On that note, I’ll leave you with yesterday’s historical tidbit (think: a trump-corrupted CDC playing down the Covid numbers).

And now, off to work!

More snow

Last night:

Woke to snow this morning. It’s since turned to rain.

Watched a gripping movie.

Then, while making another set of collages for the Paris Collage Collective weekly challenge, a spooky combination [of an old fabric layout and an Assisi interior] popped up. Sometimes I forget to “lock” one of the pictures and the random generator button makes for welcome surprises.

A little spooky.