Monday, April 30, 2007

A Herd of Dust Mites

from Britains's 2001 Science Photo Library Catalogue


Carina Nebula Dust Pillar

Wow. You think those microscopic bugs who live in our eyelashes, and the dust mites who live in our carpet and move around like tiny elephants or bears eating skin flakes look menacing -- take a look at this super-sized dust giant in Carina Nebula! This dust-monster is really a dust pillar a light year long (one light year being 9,500,000,000,000 kilometers).

Inside this monster's head is a star bursting out a tornado of gas and dust. And look: it has little arms like T Rex, and is whirling its head in some cosmic tantrum, spewing light from its terrible nostrils!

Credit: NASA, ESA, N. Smith (U of California, Berkeley) et al, and The Hubble Telescope Team.


Sunday, April 29, 2007

Happy Birthday Mr. D.

Happy 74! May we last forever....

Lost: Ambition.
Found: A good book,
an old sweater,
loose shoes.

(Ted Kooser, or Jim Harrison, BRAIDED CREEK)


Thursday, April 26, 2007

Carolyn Forche

I had the pleasure of meeting Carolyn Forche at a reading and workshop last week! What a gracious and interesting woman she is, and I will share what I learned from her in my Poetry Thursday column in a couple of weeks! Meanwhile, here's one of her poems.

In "Song Coming Toward Us," she writes:

I am spirit entering
the stomach of the stones.

Bowls of clay and water sing,
set on the fires to dry.
The mountain moves
like the spirit of southeast morning.

You walk where drums are buried.
Feel their skins tapping all night.
Snow flutes swell ahead of your life.
Listen to yourself.

I am spirit living
thin wooden years
around the aspen.

You live
like a brief wisp
in a giant place.



Wednesday, April 25, 2007

A Nice Boy!

Jacob picked a beautiful bouquet of yellow flowers and brought them to me. "Thank you," I said, giving him a hug and a kiss.

"How NICE I am!" he said.


It's nice to be surrounded by such NICE people!

(Who KNOW they are nice....)


Wednesday, April 18, 2007

PT: Guerrilla Poetry

Welcome to my corner of the world. This is my neighborhood book group (minus one or two), where last night we read a little poetry, talked a little poetry, had cupcakes and Sprite, and I left a poem (or two or three) with each of them. And here are the pictures to prove it.

Aren't they beautiful people?

My First Meme...!

Wendy, who is quiet about a lot of things, answered 5 questions sent to her by her friend Karl. Now she has given me five questions (of her choosing) to answer. I'll do my best, okay? Then, if YOU want to play, let me know in the comments and I will personally craft five questions for YOU!

1. Compare and contrast women now and then.

Women then were tougher than they are now. They wore hats and bustles and corsets and shoes that required a crochet-hook to button. They didn't have zippers and snaps and velcro, or cute Nikes. They had to go out and gather their own nuts and berries and grind it into pemmican, whereas now we can put on our Nikes and run down to the Safeway, or better, the Olive Garden. They looked funny. Just look at a photograph of your great grandmother, for instance. We look good--we pluck our eyebrows and Botox our wrinkles and color our grey hair.

Women were tougher then than they are now. There is no way in hell I could ever walk a thousand miles through the snow (in my high-buttoned shoes). Or lose most of my children to flu or diptheria (as my great grandmother did), or watch them die of hunger, or cold, and bury them and leave them on the plains. I just couldn't. My children had all their vaccinations, and parkas, and braces on their teeth.

Women were tougher then than they are now. They had to read penny dreadfuls, or the Bible, or nothing at all. We have Blogs!

2. I'd like to know a bit about your faith...

I am LDS (Mormon). I believe that "the Glory of God is Intelligence," and that I am a child of God, that I have a Heavenly Mother as well as a Heavenly Father. I believe that life is eternal, that I existed before my birth on this earth, and will continue to exist. I believe that the universe is filled with light, and with life, and that those are probably the same thing. I believe that "Families are Forever," and that "Man is that he might have Joy." (Joy: being loved, learning to love others, having free agency to make bad choices, learning things -- languages and histories and cultures, planets, stars, galaxies....) I believe that God speaks to men, that there are many 'holy' books, that Mohammed and the Buddha, and Black Elk were inspired with truth. I believe the Old Testament, and the New Testament are testaments of Jesus Christ. I believe the Book of Mormon is ANOTHER testament of Christ. I believe that Christ's Atonement was universal and applies to everyone, to all people, to animals, to "every blade of grass." So, yes, I kiss my dogs. But not on the LIPS. (Does this answer your bonus question, somewhat? --but, I didn't even talk Baby Talk to my babies!) I believe that animals have souls--if any of our lives are eternal, they all are. I believe that I will have the opportunity to hold the baby I lost, and kiss his neck, and raise him to a perfect adulthood as a part of our family. There it is. In a Nutshell.

3. You said you travelled a bit...(from Home) as a young woman...How did your parents and peers feel about that?

I joined a theater repertory company when I was young and had decided to become a great was a lot of fun and I loved the people I travelled with, the people I met, and I wouldn't trade those experiences for anything. I have a lot of good memories. But, my parents weren't as enthusiastic about my "bumming around the country" with a bunch of actors. But they got over it. As for my peers...I was kind of a loner (not the kind that suddenly buys a gun and 50 rounds of ammunition and shoots people!) but I kept pretty much to I don't know what they thought. My folks were supportive, in spite of their misgivings.

4. Did your sons marry women like you...or not like you?

Um, probably not like me. THEY (my sons) are a lot like me, but their wives--not so much. One of my daughters-in-law is Japanese, is a wonderful housekeeper (which I am not) and a fantastic cook (which I am definitely not). She is tiny and beautiful, a good mother to Bookworm and Starfish. Another daughter-in-law is Filipina, also tiny and beautiful (which I am not), teaches school, is a good mother to Chime and Cake, and loves to eat stuff I think is hideous--like pig's blood over rice, balut (half-grown duck embryos in a half-boiled egg *shudder*) and fish heads; another is tall and fair-haired and beautiful, and Lutheran, and Swedish, (all good things!). She has a Master's of Social Work degree, is a family counselor, and is the mother of my two fair-haired, blue-eyed and hazel-eyed grandsons. And the most recent is a Baptist/Episcopalian, dark-haired, attorney (much smarter than I!), who is a victim's advocate and looks like she should be on TV in Law and Order... and is the mom of my littlest, so handsome grandson. So, no, they're not like me...They are all four of them beautiful and smart and kind-hearted, and I love them all ENORMOUSLY! We have really interesting Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners!

5. What food soothes you?

What food? ALL food (but not blood, balut or fish heads). I am like a vacuum cleaner, soothed by old crackers, stale cake, cold spaghetti, ...anything. Unfortunately.

Bonus question: Do you kiss your dogs? How about Baby Talk?

I love my dogs. See question/answer #2.

Directions for the Interview Meme:

1. Leave me a comment saying "Interview Me."

2. I will respond by asking you 5 questions. I get to pick the questions.

3. You will update your blog with the answers to the questions.

4. You will include this explanation and an offer to interview someone else in the same post.

5. When others comment asking to be interviewed, you will ask them 5 questions.

** Photo of my great grandmother, Laura Ann. Thanks, Wendy. That was fun!


Tuesday, April 17, 2007


Condolences to all the families and friends who lost loved ones at Virginia Tech yesterday.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

"So it goes....."

"When the last living thing has died on account of us, how poetical it would be if Earth could say, in a voice floating up perhaps from the floor of the Grand Canyon, 'It is done." People did not like it here."

"The world doesn't need more love. It needs more common decency."

"Freud said he didn't know what women wanted. I know what women want: a whole lot of people to talk to. What do they want to talk about? They want to talk about everything. What do men want? They want a lot of pals, and they wish people wouldn't get so mad at them."

"He finally stopped laughing at his own agony and that of those around him. He denounced life on this planet as a crock. He died."

"Everything was beautiful and nothing hurt."

"So it goes."

(Kurt Vonnegut died on Wednesday, April 11th. He was 84. RIP, Kurt. Yours was a literary voice that was irreplaceable. There will never be another like you!)

Picture credit to Ivory Tower at

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

PT: Borrowings


If you and I were inanimate things
to shine on after we are gone,
made suddenly vivid in a world of lucid dreams

(like stars in the quiet sleep of concrete), it seems
as if then, we -- the two of us-- are drawn
like stones, like comets, like all inanimate things

too soon made bright in fire, burnt offerings
still smoldering: our lives together stillborn and withdrawn
come suddenly vivid in a world of lucid dreams.

We listen, motionless, passive in our subtle schemes,
(like monk Merton, spending his life in stillness, whereupon
he learned the value of inanimate things).

We should be more serious about our mutterings
and such, of linens, needles, pins. And yet we've forged a bond
between us, muffling the silence of such inanimate things--

soundproofed walls! 'Quiet satisfies the soul,' and deep sleep sings,
and you and I, intimate, like stars and suns, like dark and dawn,
I and you are vigilant about inanimate things
like us, made suddenly vivid in a world of lucid dreams.

(Thanks to Megan, for"If you and I were inanimate things," to Michelle at another planet for "to shine on aftrer you are gone," and to moonmaid, for "suddenly vivid in a world of lucid dreams."
Sorry I don't know how to make links to the three of you! :(

The quote 'Quiet satisfies the soul' is attributed to Thomas Merton.)


Wednesday, April 04, 2007

PT: A Poem For...

Hey Nonny, Hi Nonny,
Wierd Science-Fantasy
Hasn't the wherewith
To buy this canard.

Try us again next year
If we're not bankrupt for
Remuneration, Dear
Orson Scott Card.

(This was written years ago in a SF class I took from Brother Card--a rejection slip as a specific form of poetry. I have forgotten the name of the form. If any of you out there know it, please advise...! It was a great class, and he is a terrific writer!)