Thursday, November 30, 2006

Dog Advent

Twenty-five bones for the 25 days in December before Christmas. Or if started on the secular/Pagan Nov. 28, the 25 days before the Winter Solstice. Got this at a church crafts fair, and was gonna send it off to friends, but everyone at work said, "That isn't for Bindi?!?!?!" in horror, as if she should get every interesting thing. So now it's on my office wall.

Had pizza and salad for lunch at the office to celebrate three December birthdays, and two October birthdays. Nice. Bindi chewed another hole in the sofa in our office library. Exact same cushion, different spot. Oy.

The Christian word "advent" is of pagan origin. Pagans observed a manifestation of a god who came to dwell in his temple at a certain time each year. The feast honoring this god was called "adventus." On this day the temple, normally closed, would be opened. At times a statue of a god would be moved to a place much larger than the small sanctuary where it usually resided. The adventus then was the god's return, an anniversary. In another context, the adventus referred to the celebration of the anniversary of the coming of the emperor. So this word was very convenient to use in another context—the coming of the Son of God in the temple of a human nature for His visit. The word gradually became limited to describe what was considered the only real coming—the coming of the Lord. -- Brother John Raymond

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Hardware Cookies

I mean, how cute is this? I walk into Page hardware store with Bindi and there is the overwhelming fragrance of baking chocolate chip cookies, which they were doing upstairs and then bringing them down to feed the customers. What a nice small town touch. Bindi and I walked on the Guilford Green for a few minutes but no doggies were out playing. Came back home and dug up most of the canna, calla, and gladiola corms/tubers/bulbs. What a chore. But better than spending money every year on them. Had nice nap, and calls from Jim and Scott and Yasmin. Cold out, clear night, bright crescent moon, shining stars.

Friday, November 24, 2006

Altered States

Been on "vacation" for the past week and haven't done the computer thing much. Very nice dinner yesterday with Rachel, Frances, Mihaela, Emma, and Kevin. The dinner was perfect and we played old 70s and 80s tunes from my new Time Life series (is $150 too much for all that music?). Critters are well, and it's been very nice to have the week off.

Native American Thanksgiving Prayer, by Rebecca Fortier

Now that I am about to eat, O Great Spirit, Give my thanks to the beasts and birds whom You have provided for my hunger; and pray deliver my sorrow that living things must make a sacrifice for my comfort and well-being. Let the feather of corn spring up in its time and let it not wither but make full grains for the fires of our cooking pots, now that I am about to eat.

“But what is denied actually does exist and eventually comes to the surface, just as any truth will eventually surface despite acts to hide it.” --Joy Harjo

Friday, November 17, 2006

Guilford WITH Manatees

Went to Robert Rattner's presentation on his underwater photography last night at the Guilford Library. It was so beautiful and informative, and the room was packed. I learned a lot and Rob's photos are stunning and unusual. One of his manatees is above. (Don't know how to make links yet.) Patricia Moehlman, "the jackal lady," was there with her husband and it's always nice to see her. She and Rob go way back.

Although I'm fighting a cold, I really wanted to go. Felt crummy all yesterday but had so much to do. Have been using Zicam which I think helps a lot. And drinking lots of water.

Had a working dinner with my boss Laura on Wednesday night at Scoozi. I had a wild boar sausage risotto which was very good. She has so many meetings during the day that it's hard to get work done with her in the office, so these dinner meetings are a nice alternative.

Have another crafting date with Annette tomorrow, after I go to a few more church crafts fairs. The weather has been ridiculously warm -- mid 60s yesterday. I think I saw a witch hazel bush in bloom, which is totally the wrong time of year for it to be doing this. I hope the daffodils don't start pushing up through the ground! Go back to sleep go back to sleep! It's not time to get up!! Oh, by the way, it's 5:37 am, so I think I'll take my own advice. Bye.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Lavern and War

Busy weekend. Fired Up with Frances on Friday. We both really enjoy it. Then took Frances into the office where we met Rachel, and went to Moderately Cheerful Hour for a while. Rachel finally met Dawn who had stopped by to pick up Nathan's backpack, and since Frances was there, the kids greeted one another and we all discovered that Nate and Francie go to the same after care program. Small world. After MCH, I went to an Edgerton Community Garden dinner for two people who were leaving the committee. Sat next to Jeff and two new young gardeners and had fun conversations.

Saturday, I went off to my church crafts fairs, and found two very interesting items. One is a gift for someone so can't mention it, but the other is a Christmas tree shaped light fashioned of golden safety pins and clear plastic beads with a small string of tiny lights inside. We've already set it up here as a 24/7 night light. Very pretty. Bindi was of course the hit everywhere we went, altho none of the knitters or sewers had any dog coats or garments. I told them all they needed to get on the ball! Sylvia was here when I got back and I hung out with her some.

Today Sam came over again and toted that barge and lifted that bale again, taking boxes of my stuff from the back porch up to the attic. Refound my baby fork and spoon, and noticed for the first time that each has a script "L" engraved on the end of the utensil. I finally made the connection that one of the reasons I must like script capital "L's" is that I probably remember them from being on those two implements from childhood. Those big "Ls" that Laverne always had on her clothes in the show "Lavern & Shirley?" Love 'em.

Am watching "Combat Hospital" on CNN while I am typing this. Real life MASH, about the Iraq and Afghanistan casualties. I'm proud of CNN for finally showing what war is about for the people who get wounded. It's brutal, terrifying, gory, and deeply disturbing. If this was shown on all the channels instead of the junk that's on TV, we'd be out of that war tomorrow. We've got to get our women and men out of there.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Dog Park

Frances and I took Bindi to the Hamden Dog Park today. It was the first time we had been there. Bindi was a bit intimidated I think, cause there were probably 20 dogs about. She took to a beautiful Basenji that looked a little like her. It's always nice to see all the other dogs.

I was thinking about one of my counseling clients this morning and found myself thinking, "I forgive my mother." I forgive her for how badly she treated me and all the damage it did. I could not forgive her when she was alive, but I seem to be able to forgive her, and me, now. I wonder why now, why today?

I went to get blood drawn this morning, too, and the tech hurt me. They almost always do cause they can't find my veins. I've got a painful bruise there.

Made fish dinner for Frances and me and Margaret and Mab. Good. And we ate a huge beautiful pomegranite with our dessert. Yum. The fruit is a stunning color, and rich with symbolism from many cultures.

Tomorrow Frances and I will go to "Fired Up," the paint your own pottery store.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006


Voting day. So many of us want this war in Iraq to end. Will see tomorrow morning what the shake up is. Have I written about my Wall of Perspective? Will have to read over old blogs to see.

The Women Faculty Forum Poster Exhibit was out on the Beinecke Plaza today, really empressive, all sorts of interesting posters folks had made about their work on gender. When they put the posters up on their website, I'll post a link so mine can be seen. I was proud to be part of it. Took photos.

Dog was popular today. She visited with Tommaso, Mihaela, Pamela, Aitch, Rachel, Megan, Emma, Tirza, and some student who reached down to pet her as we were walking thru the doorway. Took her to crafts fairs this weekend. Wasn't going to go to the Hadassah one on Sunday, but am glad I did. Met a woman who grabbed Bindi up and wouldn't let go of her, and we proceded to have a long talk about dogs and wolves and vets and pet health. I think she was a jeweler, but quite frankly I never looked at her work very closely. She will be a good animal contact for me. She had a great story about rescuing a dog from death row in the shelter cause the shelter people said the dog hated men and could not be socialized. She insisted on taking the dog and had to sign all sorts of waivers drawn up by the city. She had some experience working with wolves, so was not afraid of an aggressive dog. After working with the dog for a while, there occured a situation where the dog ran outside, saw a man across the street, pinned him against a tree, and began licking the man heartily. She said this man just gave off a golden glow of love which obviously the dog responded to and even tho the man was quite a bit older than she, they ended up married. I got a free hotdog at the fair since the fire had gone out under the serving dish, and ran into Rafael, with his own story of losing a dog of his when it ran out into the street and was hit. He said his wife wouldn't speak to him for six months. He said the dog looked like Bindi.

Early Sunday afternoon a new handyperson named Sam came over to help me lift that barge and tote that bale. Got things cleaned up in the garage, got stuff taken to the attic and the cellar, got help cleaning out heavy flower pots, moving fire wood, all sorts of things. She is young and strong and didn't charge very much, and was an enormous help. She'll be back next Sunday for more of the same.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Frosty Moon

Full Beaver Moon - November 5. This was the time to set beaver traps before the swamps froze, to ensure a supply of warm winter furs. Another interpretation suggests that the name Full Beaver Moon comes from the fact that the beavers are now actively preparing for winter. It is sometimes also referred to as the Frosty Moon. --Farmer's Almanac

This lovely watercolor is courtesy of I like it very much. It's cold here. Splurged and bought Bindi a $28 fleece coat at the new upscale Guilford pet store, but it fits her perfectly and it's attractive and it didn't cost THAT much. We had gone to two church craft fairs, where I didn't spend very much money, so I felt I could get her what she needed. I got a free lunch at one of the fairs, since everyone was given a ticket when they came in, but when time came to pull the three tickets for the free lunches, none of the people connected to the tickets were there. So I was standing next to one of the organizers, and she said, "Here, give me your ticket." She read off the numbers, I said, "That's mine!" and I got a grilled cheese, fruit cup, and pecan pie. Funny, and sweet. I got for three dollars a garden edger, something I had wanted for a long time. Now I need a pitch fork, and log splitter wedge.

Came home and watched Tarnation, an indie film by Jonathan Caouette, which Rachel and Mihaela said I should see. It was a well-done documentary about his dysfunctional, abusive family, and his attempt to rise above it. I found it devastating and beautiful, and would have been very happy not to have seen it. I hear so many of these stories in my counseling practice, that watching a film about such things is not my idea of entertainment.

Risa called and left a message, but when I called back she was off to a thrift shop sale and couldn't talk very long, but we'll talk another time. She did say how happy she is to be back at her teaching job with the 3-5 year olds, and the temperature in Berkeley was about 75 degrees. That sounds sooooo nice.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Culture Day

November 3 is Culture Day (bunkano-hi) and is one of the national holidays in Japan. It was the birthday of the Emperor Meiji. The celebration of his birthday was sustained as Culture Day when he passed away. It is also the day the present Japanese Constitution was officially announced in 1946. The Order of Culture Awards ceremony for people who are outstanding contributors to Japanese culture and society is held in the Imperial Palace in Tokyo on this day. The emperor himself presents the awards to the winners.

Ah, there's something important happening all the time in some part of the world. Today in my world -- not so much.
Was missing Dill this morning, and learned last night that my estranged friend R. in St. Augustine is moving away from there because, according to our mutual friend Jim, she has managed to alienate everyone where she currently lives. How sad. I fear she will repeat the same mistakes even with the geographical solution. It was nice to talk with Jim all the same, and catch up. He and T om seem to be doing pretty well, which I like to hear. And their children: Towanda, Boy, Oscar, and Sophie. Three cats and a dog.

Went swimming in the exhibition pool at the Yale gym with Rachel. The practice pool, the natatorium, is closed due to filth! An 18 billion dollar endowment and Yale can't even keep its own swimming pool clean! Shameful. The exhibition pool was warmer, and we sat in the sauna for a bit after. It helped my sad mood.

Halloween was uneventful. The house here is so far off the road that no kids come around to trick or treat. But that' s fine with me. Was going to go to the ABC Dog Training School costume party last night, but was too tired. The weather is getting colder, and everyone is more tired and not ready for the cold and the time change. I'm putting my garden to bed, and picking the last of the flowers, and fussy with the now indoor plants to make them all fit and debug them. Must remember to go to the community garden and dig up the lemon grass plant to winter it over as I have been doing for the past several years. Dill used to like to munch on the leaves. I miss that guy. Ouch.

Comcast came yesterday and replaced the wire from the street to the house, which it had been said was the cause of our infuriatingly intermittent service. I managed to blow the fuses on four kitchen plugs a couple of days ago so must experiment with changing fuses tomorrow. Never did fill the bird feeders. Sometimes when I get home it's all I can do to just throw one piece of paper away, if you know what I mean. I managed to bring in, wash out, and place under the plant a saucer that was grimy from being outside, and that seemed like a lot. All these details of life, take time time time time and effort effort effort. The trick is to do them consciously, while being wholly present, so that even those small seemingly trivial tasks have meaning and bring satisfaction. Almost bought a book on sale today called Awake at Work, something about Zen teachings applied to the work place. Don't know why I passed it up.

Looking forward to a massage with Dana tomorrow, then some crafts fairs over the weekend, and may have found someone to help me move and organize more of my stuff on Sunday. I still have a couple of things at Norton Street I have to get.