Saturday, February 28, 2009

Eerie pets

Our little gray cat, the one we call Freki, and sometimes Quantum Kitty, has official become eerie.

This morning I let her out front. She stood on the front porch sniffing the air. I said, "Are you sure you want to stay outside? It's cold." She answered by running under a nearby hedge.

I closed the door and waited, knowing she would be ready to come inside in just a minute. Then I opened the door and called. She didn't come. I closed the door and turned around to find her sitting behind me in the entryway looking at me.

Later in the morning, my dauhter let Freki and another cat out in the back yard. She watched them both through the sliding glass door as they sauntered off to the side yard, out of vision, and then she waited, knowing that they would want to come back in quickly (as I said, it's cold today).

In a minute or two, the other cat came running back to be let in, and when my daughter opened the sliding glass door to let it in, Freki came running from behind her to go outside. Which is not unusual, except for the fact that Freki was already outside.


Friday, February 27, 2009

Writer's block

I has it. Bad.

Must.... get... over.... blockage... Brew coffee.... black.


Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Spastic cats and fragile things...

Should never reside together:

Deceptively calm, yet still living up to her namesake:

Monday, February 23, 2009

I'd like to thank the Academy....

My family likes to watch the Academy Awards with ballots in hand. We mark who or what we think will win in each category and then see how well our predictions match the actual results. The winner - the family member who gets the most right - doesn't get anything, except a fleeting feeling of superiority.

Last year I didn't do very well, but this year... I won! I got to feel that sense of superiority - even though I was the only one who actually stayed up to watch the whole show. At least my dog was duly impressed when I informed him of my superiority before I went upstairs to sleep.

I would like to thank everyone who made this possible.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

The Illiad, Troy, and Brad Pitt

Last night I happened to turn on the TV and what should appear on the screen but my favorite fight/battle scene of any movie - the fight between Achilles and Hector in the movie Troy.

When the movie first came out I was so disappointed in the choice of Brad Pitt to play the legendary warrior Achilles, that I almost didn't go see the movie.

But, as you can see, Brad Pitt was a very nice choice indeed:

In fact, just about all of my favorite scenes in the movie have Brad Pitt in them. Not just because he happens to *ahem* look good, but because of the way the action plays out.

And I must say, too, that Eric Bana was a superb Hector, Hero of Troy:

In the scene where Achilles challenges Hector before the walls of Troy, the two actors didn't use stunt doubles. It was all them.

Now, I've never actually seen combat between two actual warriors before, but if I ever had, I think that it would go something like this:

Before I saw the movie, I got a hold of Robert Fagles' translation of The Illiad and read it. It reads almost like a regular book and not an epic poem written thousands of years ago. I would highly recommend this translation.

And I may be strung up by purists for saying this, but I think that the movie did a very good job of "modernizing" the tale. I think I like what the script writers did with the epic characters to bring some actual humanity to them instead of merely presenting them as iconic warriors, queens, kings, etc.

And lastly, but not leastly, I liked Brad Pitt's pronounciation of Patroclus, his cousin's name. It sounds almost like Patrick, with the emphasis on the 'a'. Somehow that was touching to me, that he pronounced it that way, and not in the grand way with the emphasis on the 'o'.

Anyway. That's my take on Troy and Robert Fagles' translation of The Illiad.

Friday, February 20, 2009

It matters to that one

You've all heard about the guy walking along a beach full of washed-up starfish.

He's picking up starfish and tossing them back into the water as he walks when a stranger says to him, "You can't possibly throw all of these starfish back into the water, what you're doing won't matter at all in the long run."

To which the man replies, pointing to where a starfish just plopped back into the water, "It matters to that one."

Don't let people who don't get it try to tell you what you're doing doesn't matter.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Embarrasing Moments

I've had a few.

Like the time when I was selling homemade candies at the farmer's market and accidentally drooled while pointing out my wares to a potential customer, saying, "And here is the fudge." (I really like my own fudge)

No, they didn't notice. They were busy looking at the fffuudge. And, no, I didn't drool on any of the candy.

Then there was the time I fell into the refrigerated egg case at the grocery store.

Yes. People noticed that one.

Please don't ask why these things have recently come to mind.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

I've opened an Etsy shop!

I recently participated in a worldwide giveaway event. The item which I gave away was a decorative bag containing two homemade herbal salves, one calendula and the other goldenrod.

When I made the batch up for the giveaway, I was left with enough to fill four more decorative bags with two herbal salves each.

What to do with with these extras.....? Sell them on Etsy!

So I've opened an Etsy shop for these four items. You can access my shop through the Etsy shop logo in the right hand margins of my blog, or you can follow this link.

Blueberries and Chocolate

Happy Valentine's Day!

My hubby gave me four blueberry plants for my garden and a 3 pound box of Malley's chocoaltes.

I'm so happy!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Skulduggery Pleasant

I just finished listening to a wonderful little audio book, Skulduggery Pleasant.

Now, there are audio books and there are audio books. How the book is read is very important. I've listened to some which have put me to sleep simply because of the boring delivery. And I've listened to others which make my head hurt because grown-up readers seem to think that all children have whiny, screechy voices.

And then there are those which are perfectly read. Perfectly performed. This is one of those books. I doubt if I would have had as much fun with this book if I had read it myself instead of listening to it, but by all means, read away if you can't get a hold of the audio book version. You won't be disappointed. My kids would have loved this book when they were younger (they are both in college now). Actually, they might even like it now.

Stephanie's eccentric uncle dies and leaves her his house, his possessions, and one big fat problem involving a friend of his, who happens to be a skeleton. Oh, and the little, eensy feat of saving the world - with magic.

Stephanie's only twelve, but she's got enough spunk to face everything that rises against her with an open mind, and, when necessary, a closed fist and a well-placed kick. Can she and Skulduggery work together to retrieve the incredibly powerful Scepter of the Ancients from her uncle's hiding place? Or will the evil Nefarian Serpine get there first and use it to rule the world?

It's incredibly fun finding out which it will be.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

OWOH Giveaway Winners!

There are two winners in my One World, One Heart Giveaway. My prize was a little decorative bag containing two homemade herbal salves.

The winners are:

Deci and dreameyce - CONGRATULATIONS!

And a big thank you to the over 200 people who entered my drawing and the many more who came to visit my blog over the past few weeks. This was a terrific event and I had fun visiting as many of the over 800 participants' blogs as I could to see what they were giving away and to get to know new bloggers.

Think about joining the giveaway and the gypsy caravan next year!

And a big thanks to Lisa Swifka at The Whimsical Bohemian for sponsoring (and dreaming up) this event.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

The Girl Effect

Maybe we can save the world. Actually, it seems like a no-brainer. All it takes is passing out a little respect and dignity where it's sorely needed:

Learn more here.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Robert Plant is my Favorite

Favorite what?


He and Alison Krauss just won a grammy for Best Album of the Year for their album Raising Sand, which is, indeed, wonderful.

And by all means don't miss out on another of Robert Plant's albums which I love, Mighty Rearranger.

To the Writers Out There: Fears of Letting Go

I often pop over to author Kristin Cashor's blog (she wrote Graceling, which came out last fall). She has a post up that addresses this question which came to her from an aspiring writer:

I love to write, I need to write... but at the same time, I am afraid of publishers and editors and agents. Not so much about rejection letters or working with them, but sending my work to them. I know it must sound weird, or maybe not. How did you cope with it when you sent Graceling away? Was it really hard to let your creation out of your hands?

Her answer is here. Paraphrasing wouldn't do it justice. If you are a writer, you will want to read it.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Crash! Bang!

My computer crashed a few days ago. I'm trying not to think of all the things I might not have backed up recently. And I'm having to steal time on my son's or my daughter's computer if I need to do computer-type things.

But for some reason I'm not upset. I'm not anxious. A strange peace just lays there where panic should reside at the crashing of one's computer.

Don't know why, but I think it will all work out in the end. Somehow.

If I need to write, I have pen and paper. If I need to blog or email, I have the computers of my offspring. And If I'm bored, I guess I can always clean something.... nah. Why go to extremes?

Monday, February 2, 2009

Another Herbal

I received this package in the mail today:

It only came from Pennsylvania - right next door - but it looked like a steamer trunk that had made the rounds to all of the exotic locales.

What was in the mysterious package? This:

I loved her Blackberry Cove Herbal, and I'm very much looking forward to sitting down with Mugworts in May.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Here comes the sun!

Finally! The sun has come out!

And we can see a blue sky over our heads:

The temperature will be above freezing today, in the upper 30's. It feels like a warm spring day outside. The low-hanging boughs are starting to shrug off their burdens of snow:

Maybe someday we'll even be able to sit on our benches again!:

But there are a few thorns in the coming forecast. The warm-up won't last long. Back to bitter cold temps later this week.

But I'll take today and be happy.