March 24, 2014

DSC03685 (Copy)

It is spring, seemingly everlasting at this point. My own yard has a forsythia, not nearly as beautiful as this one I snapped in Sonora.  In fact, the blossoms I have are puny this year, from lilacs to fruit trees. It doesn’t bode well for the fruit. But, I found a delightful old poem about spring that I really enjoyed. Hope you do too. It was written by Lucy Maud Montgomery. Jim and I leave early this morning for his eye appointment in Livermore.  Ciao

Hark, I hear a robin calling!
List, the wind is from the south! 
And the orchard-bloom is falling
Sweet as kisses on the mouth. 

In the dreamy vale of beeches
Fair and faint is woven mist, 
And the river’s orient reaches
Are the palest amethyst. 

Every limpid brook is singing
Of the lure of April days; 
Every piney glen is ringing
With the maddest roundelays. 

Come and let us seek together
Springtime lore of daffodils, 
Giving to the golden weather
Greeting on the sun-warm hills. 

Ours shall be the moonrise stealing
Through the birches ivory-white; 
Ours shall be the mystic healing
Of the velvet-footed night. 

Ours shall be the gypsy winding
Of the path with violets blue, 
Ours at last the wizard finding
Of the land where dreams come true.

This poem is in the public domain.


December 16, 2013

In October, my friend Monica Rose emailed she had a poem  accepted by http://www.yourdaily poem. I subscribed and now I get a poem in my mailbox every day. Most are copyrighted and not for republishing. I like copying those I find exceptional into a document file to read over for my own pleasure. Sometimes one will be in the public domain like this one by D.H. Lawrence:


Take off your cloak and your hat
And your shoes, and draw up at my hearth
Where never woman sat.

I have made the fire up bright;
Let us leave the rest in the dark
And sit by firelight.

The wine is warm in the hearth;
The flickers come and go.
I will warm your feet with kisses

Until they glow.
I didn’t know much about D.H. Lawrence. The site had a short biography I found interesting as well:
David Herbert Richards Lawrence (1885 – 1930) was an English novelist, poet, essayist, critic, playwright, and painter. The son of a miner and a school teacher, Bert (as he was called) grew up in extreme poverty and suffered from poor health. Although he loved to read, he was not a particularly good student. He did, however, manage to win a high school scholarship and became a teacher before success as a writer allowed him to pursue that career fulltime. Accused more than once of spying for the Germans, Bert eventually left his home country to travel the world with his wife. The Lawrences intended to settle in America, but problems with his health forced them to return to Europe; Lawrence died in France at the age of 45. A prolific writer who produced work in multiple genres, Lawrence is best known as a novelist, although he wrote more than 800 poems and was considered an extremely gifted travel writer. Public opinion during his lifetime and even till today paints him as either utterly profane and depraved or as a brilliant and creative genius.
I am hoping to get some Christmas cards out today.


November 20, 2013

I have more paperwork, unfinished from yesterday. It is always more complicated than we think.

I subscribe to a poem a day. If you like poetry, it is a nice way to start the day.  Some, like the one below, are in the public domain. Others not. Poetry soothes the soul. For me, anyway. You decide.  The link:



How beautiful is night!
A dewy freshness fills the silent air;
No mist obscures, nor cloud, nor speck, nor stain,
Breaks the serene of heaven;
In full-orb’d glory, yonder moon divine

Rolls through the dark blue depths.
Beneath her steady ray
The desert-circle spreads
Like the round ocean, girdled with the sky.
How beautiful is night!

By Robert Southey


April 5, 2012

April has been designated National Poetry Month. Don’t know why. I know I love poetry and I’m still mired in tax paperwork so this poem will have to do:

Tax his land,
Tax his bed,
Tax the table,
At which he’s fed.

Tax his tractor,
Tax his mule,
Teach him taxes
Are the rule.

Tax his work,
Tax his pay,
He works for
peanuts anyway!

Tax his cow,
Tax his goat,
Tax his pants,
Tax his coat.

Tax his ties,
Tax his shirt,
Tax his work,
Tax his dirt.

Tax his tobacco,
Tax his drink,
Tax him if he
Tries to think.

Tax his cigars,
Tax his beers,
If he cries
Tax his tears.

Tax his car,
Tax his gas,
Find other ways
To tax his ass.

Tax all he has
Then let him know
That you won’t be done
Till he has no dough.

When he screams and hollers;
Then tax him some more,
Tax him till
He’s good and sore.

Then tax his coffin,
Tax his grave,
Tax the sod in
Which he’s laid…

Put these words
Upon his tomb,
‘Taxes drove me
to my doom…’

When he’s gone,
Do not relax,
Its time to apply
The inheritance tax.

I don’t know the author of this fun poem but it made me chuckle. I may be frustrated with the process, but unlike Pierpont Morgan, I don’t believe we can run a country without taxes.  I love my National and State Parks, my bridges, my roads, airports, trains and universities. I love my clean water, clean air, museums, vast wilderness, clean beaches and…I could go on and on. I once had a friend retired from the IRS. I used to tease him that he must have a hard time making friends. “Not in America,” he said.  For all the complaining I do about current political shenanigans, this is yet a great country.  The yet implies it may be getting worse,  worse than taxes.  Amen.


November 30, 2011

About nine a.m., Jim checked his tires…

…his tail and brake lights, a complete walk around the motor home and toad.  One thing I appreciate about Jim is his safety and his safety record. He always does a complete inspection before hitting the road and maintains the vehicles in tip-top condition. He will not return to Murphys for two years.

It is a long time,  and it was sad to see him drive away. However, I’ll be flying to meet him sometime in mid January to continue our ramblings together.

Together we wander through

The wooded ways.

Old beauties are green and new

Seen through your gaze.     By Anne Campbell

You are never alone with a poet in your pocket.


November 27, 2011

Time is:

Too slow for those who Wait,

Too Swift for those who Fear,

Too Long for those who Grieve,

Too short for those who Rejoice;

But for those who Love time is Eternity.  (By Anonymous)

I’m feeling poetic this morning.

Hope you enjoy this beautiful piece as much as I did.


Fittingly, the locals near Chiriaco Summit. Ca. have a war museum dedicated to the exploits of General George S. Patton. It was their aim to put Patton on the record in the area where he trained desert troops to go up against the Desert Fox, German General Erwin Rommel. Its all privately funded and includes other war materials, as well;  a Viet Nam Memorial Wall with those who died from the western states; some artifacts from Korea, and other branches of service, gathered by, and honoring locals.

Outside is a “garden” of tanks, about ten of them, located in the desert sands near where they once gave our  troops the experience needed to fight in desert conditions. The museum has a film about Patton that contains remembrances of people who served under him, clips from news reels and speeches he gave.

Patton was a relatively unknown general when he was tapped to take over the desert training detail in an area of 18,000 miles of desert. Afterward, he took his troops to Africa and not only defeated the Desert Fox, but he plunged headlong into major battles of his own strategy in Sicily, England, France, Belgium,  Holland and Germany. It is said that he saved more American Soldier’s lives than any other American General.  There are many books and colorful anecdotes about Patton, for he was a colorful and forceful general, not always popular but fearfully respected.

Besides the usual artifacts of war, this museum has more personal  pieces that drew my eye and interest. I remember having to save copper, and rags and tin, but bones? And paper?

War posters hung in every Post Office, but this one was hung where soldiers would see it, not the folks back home.

Individuals who lost a son or daughter submitted letters, medals, art and poetry to the museum.

And during training, boredom in the desert gave soldiers a chance for artistic expression by carving shell casings.

Patton and Eisenhower, both made the German people parade through the prisons and view the bodies of the tortured souls who died in them. Patton wrote a letter to his son explaining the reasoning for that and told him the local officials denied responsibility or knowledge of the death camps in this one town. The next morning after the tour and denial, the Burgermeister and his wife committed suicide.

This is the only museum I’ve seen in America that has scrapbooks on the Holocaust although there are 24 memorials or museums throughout the U.S. that tell the story in various ways; they have study centers and elementary education about hate and tolerance and man’s inhumanity to man.
While not as professionally done as a national museum with the money and access to materials, this museum is well worth the stop.


Yesterday,  Jim and I began loading the motor home for his departure on the 29th. It is necessary to have everything I need in the motor home that I cannot carry in my  luggage. My art work takes up a good bit of space, but its important to me.

These tea pots have remained unfinished since I met Jim. My medium is papier mache, decoupage and some metal, twig and fabric art.
Son Doug built new shelving in the motor home and we’ve changed things around a bit. Yesterday we worked on how to make the new space work.
Earlier this year, I carted a different papier mache project all across the U.S. and brought it home untouched.
This coming year, our pace will slow and we will spend more time at each stop, giving me a chance to do more than read and bike and enjoy nature. I’m looking forward to the relaxation, slower pace, and dedicating some time to soul saving sanity, my art work.
Wish me luck.

Things can take a great juxtaposition in your life. These two crows sat side by side eating a piece of meat of some sort. After reading about a “murder of crows” and why they are named such as a group, (my blog of Aug. 28, 09)  I’ve been fascinated by them. These two sat side by side and shared their find companionably.

The photo below, from my new favorite artist, Chester Arnold, who confronts the exploitation of earth in his work, also provided a poem about ravens to accompany his painting entitled Two Ravens.  His two ravens are present in a desolated, destroyed, defoliated landscape, directly contributed to by the hand of man. He may be suggesting that man and raven are similar predators? My photo was taken the morning before I visited his exhibit at the Nevada Museum of Art.

In any case, I thought this old English poem quite an appropriate accompaniment to his painting. This painting is still for sale from the Catharine Clark Gallery in San Francisco.


As I was walking all alane,
I heard two corbies making a mane:
The tane into the other say,
“Where sall we gang and dine today?”

“In behint yon auld fail dyke,
I wot there lies a new slain knight:
And naebody kens that he lies there,
But his hawk, his hound and lady fair.

“His Hound is to the hunting gane,
His hawk to fetch the wild-fowl hame,
His lady ta’en another mate,
So we may mak our dinner sweet.

“Ye’ll sit on his white hause-bane,
And I’ll pick out his bonny blue een:
Wi ae lock o’ his gowden hair
We’ll thick our nest when it grows bare.

“Mony a one for him makes mane,
But nane sall ken where he is gane:
O’er his white banes when they lie bare,
The wind sall blaw for evermair.”


One of the advantages of living on the road is less housework, no yard work and more time to read. And, I love it!  Even so, deciding to read a book like A Suitable Boy by Vikram Seth, takes a commitment.

Its physically bigger than a normal novel in size; thicker, as well, at slightly over two inches. And, the print is smaller than a regular novel with a whopping 1474 pages. (Compared below.)

Its the only book I’ve ever read that has the table of contents in poetic form. Also, his tribute and thank you is a delightful poem and I’m going to reprint it here.

To these I owe a debt past telling;
My several muses, harsh and kind;
My folks, who stood my sulks and yelling,
And (in the long run) did not mind;
Dead legislators, whose orations
I’ve filched to mix my own potations;
Indeed, all those whose brains I’ve pressed,
Unmerciful, because obsessed;
My own dumb soul, which on a pittance
Survived to weave this fictive spell;
And, gentle reader, you as well,
The fountainhead of all remittance.
Buy me before good sense insists
You’ll strain your purse and sprain your wrists.

I said commitment because even in the motor home where I can easily read a book or two a week, this wonderful story is not a light read. Its a novel surrounding four families, Hindi and Muslim. But more than a novel, it is history, imbued with real people we know. It is set during the 1950’s when India is experiencing Independence from British rule. You experience this book, the clash of generations, from the traditional ways to new ideas; both exciting and painful, exhilarating and difficult. It deals with the politics, religions, social hierarchy, and fascinating traditions of India with its biases, superstitions, varied religious beliefs, death, marriage, mixed marriage, money, laws, agriculture, food, clothing, manners, family relations, work, business, politics…in detail with great warmth and affection. Its a saga that is educational and exciting as you wonder who Lata will marry; the man she loves? Or the man her mother has chosen for her? Will India ever overcome the caste system? Will Muslim and Hindu live peaceably side by side in acceptance?  There is so much of the normal upper and middle class here that we never hear about. Its always the teeming slums of Calcutta, or the famous pacifist Mahatma Gandhi that we hear about.
I plan to visit India and I’m so glad I read this book first. Try it, to enhance your understanding and provide you with calamities, gossip, spectacles and excitement that will linger in the mind. Then watch The Slumdog Millionaire, which we did, last night.


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