Thursday, October 31, 2013

Going Up

18.  Looking down
I sort of wish this prompt were coming this weekend, as it is the WalkerStalker Convention and Hugh Laurie concert weekend, and there might be some nice pictures I could take from "up high," or some cool stories I could relate.

As it is. . .

Looking down from where I am right now, I see Finn curled up next to me on the couch, and, ummmm. . .

Am I allowed to look "across" and "over"?

Tuesday, October 29, 2013


16.  Floral
Hm.  This is a bit of a stumper.  One of those prompts that is much more easily tackled with a picture than with words.

"Floral" makes me think, first, of funerals.  Then of upholstery fabric.  Then of everyday fabric.  

My wardrobe has always leaned toward solid colors.  Easier to mix and match.  But I do love me some gingham and small polka dots. But I am drawn, moth-like to calico florals.  You know:

When and why I decided to go all Laura Ingalls Wilder, I cannot say.  But get me in a fabric store, and this is where you'll find me.  

That counts as "floral," doesn't it?

My ever-frugal/practical mother didn't like being sent flowers, as they are "too expensive," and they were "just going to die in a few days anyway."  Me?  Send me flowers all day.  (Late husband was not very good at this.)  And plants.  A whole bunch of things around us are going to "die anyway," but we can still enjoy them, can't we?

Monday, October 28, 2013


15.  Books
Books have been everywhere all my life. There was a floor-to-ceiling bookcase in one room of the house where I grew up, and in my parents' final home there was a library.  Mama was forever buying books.  I belonged to a through-the-mail book club when I was in elementary school.  When my children were little, I told them I wouldn't always buy them a toy, but I would always buy them a book.

They have always liked reading, except all those times in school when there were reading lists.  Neither of them appreciated being told what to read.  Granted, each of them found some favorite books during those periods, but, overall,  it was not their favorite academic exercise.

This is a tree I painted on one of the hall walls --- as each of us finished a book, we put its title and our initials on a construction paper leaf and put the leaf on the tree.  (Except around the nesting birds, which Hannah added.)  The tree's lain dormant for a while now, but I can't bring myself to take it down.

The tree's wall follows the steps upstairs;  you can see I've run out of conventional bookshelf space:

There is an old entertainment center in the dining room full of books, and the top half of my armoire is full of books.  They are both a little too, shall we say, untidy for photographs, but here is the chest that sits at the foot of my bed.  Yep.  Full of books.

I don't/can't read a book twice.  With two exceptions.  I read Charlotte's Web to both Briton and Hannah, and I had read it a couple of times before.  To Kill A Mockingbird never gets old.

Even my favorite book, Blindness by Jose Saramago, I dare not pick up again.  Besides, it made such an impression on me that I don't need to re-read it to remember it vividly.

The book I just finished, Brain on Fire, was a speed read.  It was so riveting, I got through it in barely over a day.  Before that, I read The Astronaut's Wives Club, which was very interesting.  Right now, I'm reading Mr. Penumbra's 24-hour Bookstore, and am thoroughly enjoying it.  There's scarcely anything worse than a bad book, is there?

Are you reading anything interesting?

Sunday, October 27, 2013


14.  Stillness
One of the most insidious aspects of depression is how it robs you of movement.  You are so drained of energy, so devoid of caring, that sitting becomes your norm.  Sitting or lying down.  And you don't do anything, because you don't care about anything.  You just sit still.

The best indicator of how deep my depression is is how much time I want to spend in bed.  Not the usual "I love naps" time in bed.  No, this is I can't think of anything to do but go to bed.  The only thing that comes into my mind to do is go to bed.  If all I want to do is be in the bed, I am in a very bad way.

Knitting, however, is being still and getting something accomplished.  It's one of  the best things about knitting to me --- that you can sit still and have something to show from your motionlessness.  And when your body is still, and the clicking of the needles and the movement of the yarn are in that glorious rhythm, you aren't only still, you're peaceful.  You're meditative.  Never say to a knitter that knitting isn't therapeutic.

Depression --- at least mine --- makes my mind race when I'm trying to rest.  I can't fall asleep without copious amounts of drugs, because racing through my head are all the things I didn't do that day, all the things I didn't do that week, all the things I haven't done since I've been out of a job.  Trying to keep up with those sprinters are all the pronouncements of what a failure I am, how hopeless my life is, how deeply and permanently I'm damaging my children.  Depression makes you look still, but your heart and mind are speeding along lonely, treacherous, unrealistic roads.

I long ago realized that if I could have any single non-material thing in my life, it would be peace of mind.  Peace of mind and stillness go hand-in-hand to me.  And they are both powerful and powerfully healing.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Where the Heart Is

13.  Home
I have lived in Athens longer than I've lived anywhere else in my life.   Yet, when I hear or think of the word "home," it means Nashville.  I even go out of my way not to refer to Athens as "home," no matter what the context.  If returning from out of town, it's always "I'm going back to the house."  If someone here asks me if I'm a "local," I always say, "I live in Athens, but I'm from Nashville."  I did the same thing when I lived in Tuscaloosa.  "Home" = Nashville.  Where I'm living = "house."

I don't know if everyone feels this way about their birthplace.  I know Briton and Hannah aren't all that excited to claim Athens.  But I adore Nashville.  I love Tennessee.  I haven't been back since I finished up all the business with Mama's estate, which makes me so very sad.  But since she and Daddy aren't there anymore, there hasn't been the same pull.  In all truth, I think it would take a great deal of emotional energy to get back up there, and I simply haven't had any of that since. . .  well, well before I finished up all the business with Mama's estate.

The house that my parents lived in was not the house I grew up in.  I never felt the connection to it that, say, Briton and Hannah did, as that was the only place they ever knew for Granddad and Grandma.  This is where I grew up (although markedly different from back then.  The two windows on the right are my room.):

This is the house Mama and Daddy moved to:
Lots of trees, front yard and back.

Either way, either place, Nashville is HOME.

Friday, October 25, 2013

At A Distance

12.  Far Away
The ocean is too far away.  Nashville is too far away.  Hannah is too far away.  My best friends are too far away.  Happiness and peace of mind are impossibly far away.

Maybe I need a new pair of binoculars.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

The Play's the Thing

11.  Play
Okay, this is a word that has lots of uses in my life.
"Plays" which count Briton as one of their cast members.  "Plays" (in high school) which counted Briton AND Hannah among their casts.

"Play" a musical instrument.  In elementary school, I played clarinet.  Hannah played it in her middle school orchestra.  But I have always wanted to play drums.  Always.  Driving around a few weeks ago, I was suddenly and inexplicably seized with the idea that I should learn to play drums.  Or cello.  Where the cello came in, I have absolutely no idea.  Turns out drum kits are very expensive, and I really don't have any place to set one up.  So, cello it became.  I had my 4th lesson this week.  Not really far enough along to grade my proficiency.

Hannah named her "Adelaide."

"Play" as in games.  The three of us, plus most of Hannah and Briton's friends, really love games like Bezzerwizzer, Loaded Questions, UNO Scrabble, Apples to Apples, etc.  A couple of us (who shall go unnamed) can get, uhmmm, pretty competitive.

"Play" music --- If we're going somewhere, Hannah can't even get to the end of the driveway without plugging in her iPod.  Briton might wait a couple of blocks.  Which means the only time I listen to music is when I'm driving alone, or take a notion to turn some on when I'm just sitting around the house.  On shuffle, these are the first ten titles on my iPod:
1.  "Did I Shave My Legs for This?" by Deana Carter
2.  "Sweet Baby James" by James Taylor
3.  "My Love is as a Fever, Longing Still" a Shakespearean sonnet read by John Hurt
4.  "Cure for the Common Heartache" by Terri Clark
5.  "Stayin' Alive" by the Bee Gees
6.  "I Can See Clearly Now" by Johnny Nash
7,  "Sea of Heartbreak" by Rosanne Cash and Bruce Springsteen
8.  "High Sierra" by Linda Ronstadt
9.  "The Jealous Kind" by Delbert McClinton
10.  "Tusk" by Fleetwood Mac

What are you playing?

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Not Really in My Color Wheel

10.  Red
There isn't a lot of red stuff in my life.  Never has been.  I remember exactly three red tops I've had in my life, maybe a couple of skirts with red print.  My one red fashion statement has been my red cowboy boots, modeled after my Daddy's red patent leather ones with the gold toe tips.

Red just doesn't suit my coloring.  Mama could wear it.  Hannah can wear it.  It's just never been a big part of any of my color selection life.  I gravitate toward purples and blues and grays, some green.  I avoid orange at all costs.  At least red doesn't awaken that kind of loathing in me.

Guess Free Association is our best plan, then.

blood cells
white and blue
(HA!  "hot wings"!)
Sails in the Sunset
Riding Hood

And you?  What does red do for you?

Tuesday, October 22, 2013


9.  Taste
My sense of touch aids in my love of knitting, as the feel of good yarn running through my fingers is a joy.  My sense of hearing helps me enjoy the beach, the rain, my children's laughter, good music.  My sense of sight (painfully, blindingly near as it is) allows me to see clear Fall skies, my children being happy, good movies and TV and books.  My sense of smell is easily my most powerful memory trigger.  So what's up with my sense of taste?

Taste doesn't jar remembrances.  Taste doesn't aid in knitting.  Taste is unneeded when enjoying people, places and things.

What taste does is let me appreciate wonderful flavors: pecans, caramel, sour cream, green onions, lobster, Dr Pepper, milk, toffee, potatoes, catfish, corn on the cob, scrambled eggs and toast, honey peanut butter, crab legs, corned beef, hot and sour soup, blue cheese, rare steak, biscuits, scalloped oysters, cabbage, broccoli, black-eyed peas, dry rub ribs, tomatoes. . .

You get the picture.

Oh, and answering one of those "Which Would You Choose?" questions, if I had to pick a single sense to lose, it would be taste.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Number Seven

7.  Skyline
Unless all buildings in a city are exactly the same height, every city has a skyline.  Still, there are only two places that come to mind when I hear that word: Manhattan and Chicago.

 But there is another usage:

I also think of Skyline Chili.  Chili and spaghetti is a lifelong favorite of mine.  Even a SuperFavorite, if one cares to go that far.  And a virtual mountain of shredded cheese is never a bad thing.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

On the Bias

6.  Diagonals
My mother made all my clothes until I got a job and was able to buy some of my own.  The phrase "Cutting on the bias" has rung in my ears for years, though it took me quite a while to finally grasp what it meant.

I have never been a doodler, but when I do doodle, it's almost always diagonal lines up against diagonal lines with maybe an arc or two, also on a diagonal.

The friend who's photography "project" inspired this series of prompts was brilliant in responding to "diagonals" --- she photographed a statue of a bishop.

Which can take the mind to another bishop:

The piece that, in chess, moves thusly:

I genuflect to the Diagonal Genius.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Near, Hard By

5.  Close Up
Photographs, intimacy, yeah, yeah, yeah.  First to mind, the toothpaste.  When it premiered, it was a gel.  And it was red.  Quite unheard of.

Close-up: I am a big fan of portraiture, particularly black and white, as it seems to show character that color sometimes misses.  There are several books of faces around here --- famous faces and not.  And one of my hobbies is collecting life masks, which requires an artist to get just about as close up to the subject as possible.  This is one I have, though this isn't it ---mine is bronze.
Katharine Hepburn

And a black-and-white of same:

Thursday, October 17, 2013


4.  Love
Well, this one is a bit of a task.  "Love" is far too big, and much too small.  Do I list all of the people and animals and places and things that I truly love?  (Not anything that I might say, in that off-handed way, "Oh, I love that!")

The beach, the sound and the smell of the waves, touch the deepest stocks of love in me.  They calm me and replenish me and just thinking about them soothes me.  I love that I have something to turn to when everything in my life is crumbling.

The more I read about Abraham Lincoln, the more I love him.  He's always been very prominent in my life --- I was born on his birthday, my Daddy always called me "Kimberly Lincoln."  I've read and read and gazed and wondered and measured and adored.  And the reservoir of my feelings deepens.

I love and miss my Mama and Daddy every day.

But I never knew the richest love until I became a mother.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

"I can't wear yellow."

Thank you, Mr. T Robot for your quote and such a nice introduction to today's prompt.

3.  Yellow
Growing up, the paint on my bedroom walls varied among four colors: lavender, pink, yellow and light blue.  (So did my Easter dresses, come to think of it.)  I never particularly cared for the yellow years;  my love affair with purple goes way, way back.

My mother once said that whenever she thought of Briton, she pictured him at the back door of the house I grew up in.  He was waiting for his dad to bring something in from the car, and he was wearing a yellow button-shoulder one piece shorts thing with a train embroidered on the chest.  She said that was always the image that came to her mind.  I was in the kitchen with her, and I remember the moment vividly.  I can see him stretching up a little to open the door for Dale.  He looked good in yellow.

I've never had a lot of yellow in my wardrobe, nor a lot of yellow things.  I don't dislike it, in fact, I find it a sort of calming color.  Yellow falls around you like a soft day.  Too bad we don't see it more often.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013


Not gonna lie --- this song is the first thing that came into my mind when I saw the prompt was

2.  Circles
Circular needles.  Merry-go-rounds.  Rings when you drop a pebble into water.  Under my eyes.  Wrapping Briton's birthday presents today in wrapping paper with dots.  Which, after all, are just circles that are filled in. . . 

Monday, October 14, 2013

Words From Pictures

One of my oldest, and one of my sweetest, online friends is Emily,  who lives in England.  A couple of months ago, she took it upon herself to participate in something called "August Break 2013," where one was supposed to take (and post) a photo inspired by the day's prompt.  I came across the list this weekend, and decided to use it here.  Not for photos, but written posts.  My life is so bleak, and nothing much happens in it, so I can scarcely ever think of something to write here.  Hopefully, these prompts will help.  For 31 days.

1.  Breakfast
I've never been a breakfast eater.  Though I know my mother would have made something for me each morning while I was in school, I don't remember it.  In college, I would go for breakfast occasionally, because the dining hall nearest my dorm had delicious cheese omelettes.
I made something for Briton and Hannah each morning they were in school, but neither of them were big breakfast-eaters either.
The only time I'm willing and ready to eat breakfast is when I travel.  I've always gotten breakfast on the road.  Don't know what makes that different, but it really does.
The things I favor at every breakfast are scrambled eggs, biscuits, gravy.  Bacon and hash browns are close second.  Though I never miss a chance to order Eggs Benedict.

What about you?  Any knee-jerk reactions to the word "breakfast"?

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Good News, . . . You Know the Rest

Good News
All ABC Swap packages are on their way;  I'm anxious to see what everyone gets!
Bad News
Woke up yesterday with an aching head, was up three times overnight vomiting from it.

Good News
Have finished several small items for the store for Christmas.
Bad News
Have to block them all.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013


My son has a birthday coming up.  Since he's been in this world, I've used his birthday shopping to start up my Christmas shopping.  Granted, I do a little all year long, but this is the time of year ideas start sparking in my brain.

The Christmas shopping also starts Christmas planning and Christmas knitting.  Since some or all of these may be headed to someone particular as a gift, I won't/can't show identifiers. But this guy is going into the shop, so there isn't any spoiler.

This is Choob.  A friend to the gnomes and owner of a sort-of-spiky, sort-of-sad hair-do.

This is something green:

and this is something in jewel tones:

Groupon triggered an "I have GOT to get back to the ocean" response from me last week.  I counted up my pennies and decided I could manage a few days at Myrtle Beach.  My depression has not just reared, but has held its ugly head in place for several weeks now.  I've been stuck in a black, apparently bottomless, pit.  The last time I went to the beach, my therapist, my psychiatrist and I were all seriously discussing the possibility of ECT for me.  When I got back after a couple of days away, my therapist said that the beach had been my ECT.  That's what I'm hoping for this time.

Monday, October 7, 2013

And We're Off!

ABC swappers have been paired up --- all packages need to be out by this Friday (the 11th.)  Crossing my fingers that everyone has a good time.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Down to the Wire

Tomorrow's the last day you can sign up for the A, B, C Swap.  I'll do my dead-level best to have all the matches made and sent to the participants on Saturday.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013


Right now, three people have said they'll participate in the A,B,C Swap.  That's really not enough, you know?  But you have three more days to get involved;  sign-ups will close Friday.

The first of the hexipuffs arrived yesterday --- and the three are very pretty:
Thank you, IrishEyes.

I've gotten three job rejections this week --- finishing out all the applications from last week.  It will soon be three years since I've had a job.


For some reason, this year I am constantly moving Christmas stuff around the house.  I'm not sure why things are so unsettled, but they...