Voices of Spring

I cannot hold them in any longer. I must put them down by pushing down on plastic keys to let them spill out, tumbling across the page on a carpet of red dots, like the tender toes of carelessly happy children prancing across the hot summer sands.

See what I mean? I have been going on like that, inside my head, for days now and it simply has to stop. One cannot think so convolutedly, as if their brain was awash in commas and dashes and every side an aside. That is, one can, I have at least, but one ought not to if they can help it. All I need to do, I think, is tell you about the first voices, and then maybe they will stop possessing me with their elegent and heavy prosery and leave me to return to thoughts more appropiate for plodding along in contentment. What were the first voices? They were what I heard Monday night, what I heard right before bed and in bed and doubtless all through my dreams, like a soundtrack on endless loop. I do not think the crickets were out in full force when I left for Gerogia on Thursday, but they were singing like the world had no beginning Monday evening. I can hardely belive that the sound I heard that evening was made from a tiny thing like a cricket. Even accounting for the echo on the lake, they’d have to at least be camel crickets before I could take you seriously. If you were to explain that the sound was made by a fwooper or Gullinkambi I wouldn’t even blink. “Oh, that’s what it is?” I’d say, and think myself a dunce for having to ask. But crickets? How could they make such a loud, deep, almost monotons mass of undulating sound, penetrated only by the rough bass of two or three rythmiclly inclined frogs? I think we have become too trusting, to believe that of a few spiney hind legs and the general silence of night.

So yes, since Monday night I have been a little insane. Of course, I did spend all of Monday making kimchi (and I have pictures, so you will be hearing of it soon). Wednesday I relaxed a little and rolled an old Jack Daniels half-barrell into what counts as my front lawn. I filled it with dirt and scattered in some seeds. Then I dug out one of the really sad azalea bushes that came with my house and planted my pots into the ground instead. The effect is much lovelier, but now that I’ve seen how rocky and full of clay the soil they had to put up with is, I feel sorry for being so mean spirited toward the azaleas.

The pot stacking went well, but the structure is rather wobbly. There’s a bit too much of the iron bar showing, and I’m unsure if I should ignore it or buy another pot. Of course, bribing an nice, slightly taller and stronger perons to pound the bar another three inches into the ground would fix both problems, but I feel I have very good reason to be cautious about driving iron into this ground. I live in a condo, and there are all kinds of mysterious boxes right behind my pot tree, boxes with cords undoubtably running under the very spot I’ve placed my creation. Any how, the pots have survived one night, though someone’s wind chime was going off last evening, sounding exactly like the tinkle of shattering pottery. I dreamt I opened my door and all the pots were scattered around the pole in shards. “Oh well,” I shrugged. “I kind of saw that coming.” I didn’t realize this was a dream until I’d been awake for about an hour, and it really didn’t seem important enough to get up from what I was doing and go check on them. Still, I was really pleased to find everything not broken and in shambles. Pleased enough to ruin all my previous attempts at blasé.

There. Silence. The crickets have worn themselves out. I‘ll add of picture of the pots in the morning if I can, until then good night!

Updated 3/28: Finally pictures!

Just the FactsDown the Rabbit Pole

First Snow


“. . . a gleaming carpet of faery was springing up everywhere.”

– The Wind in the Willows


It’s the first snow in my new house. I love the affect of snow, although sadly it does not show off my pond as well as ice does, or the still calm days that make it a dark mirror full of grass and tress and sky – a sky so much closer and personable than it’s distant original. Snow is just like faerie dust, sprinkled over the world to hide the slumbering limbs of the trees and make the brown plants sparkle. From my garret window the world was still and gray, but when I opened my door to take pictures with The Camera, I found a world full of light. I tried to master the “manual” focus:

Branch in Semi-focus

But crouching on my doorstep trying to get the focus wheel to spin got cold fast. I closed the door on the new world and turned to toastier pursuits. Fifteen minuets later, when my hands were finally wrapped round a warm mug of oatmeal, the sun poked its head above the tree line opposite my house. I have great windows for dawn, and so I couldn’t resist trying to take a picture through the plastic and screen.

It’s a pretty dramatic beginning, isn’t it?

Blueberry Morning

There’s a cereal out there called  “Blueberry Morning,” or “Blueberry delight,” or  “Eat Me, I’m Healthy and Taste Like Artificially Natural Dried Blueberries!

The cereal is good, and I wouldn’t say no to a bowl of it right now,  but I mention it only as a way of excusing myself incase I’ve accidentally used a copyrighted name as my title.

For my own blueberry morning I woke earlier then I had too, a feat accomplished by bribing myself with Merlin episodes and, after that wore off, with a blueberry milkshake. The shake was really quite perfect – though I can’t promise it was the shake itself and not just the heady taste of huddling in a chair with a blanket, binging on TV before work. The base is blueberries (as promised) and almond milk, but it would not have been complete if I had not carelessly – rashly even – dumped two handfuls of oats into the blender, added a clump of flax seed,  and pulsed before pouring in the frozen berries and milk. You know those blue-box, blueberry muffin mixes? The ones with the little candied “blueberries”? It was like drinking that batter.

Only really, really, cold. At dawn. During the winter.

Somethings are worth suffering for.

Emboldened by this success,  I tried adding oats to a chocolate-avocado shake last night. The result was . . . edible, and probably fixable, but nothing I could actually serve to another person. Not even my mom. On days like these, when I take the time to play with my food a bit,  I just can’t fathom who would waste their lives on alchemy and turning one tasteless metal into another tasteless metal when, hello, there’s food to experiment with. Magic is all around us, but it’s in the near-and-daer things, not the lofty, far-off wonders.

Old as Dirt

The world is another year older now. It’s trees have shed leaves after leaves, lying down the components for a new layer of dirt even as the clouds atttempt to wash away the old. My house, young as it is, as already accumulated a quite unyeidling layer of Stuff and Things and General Mess, which sometimes I think I will never be able to budge. Thanks to my week of culinary excess{{1}} my kitchen looks something of a war zone, and I know I’ll have some scrubbing to do today if I’m ever going to get it clean between meals.

Becasue my kitchen is so dirty and I’m tired of washing pots I’ve suddenly developed a passion for cleaning my room. Now, my room has pretty much been untidy since the day I was born, except for a few remarkably well kept years at college. Lately I have been using my floors as an excuse for my “drop-it-and-leave-it” ways, the argument being that I can’t put in proper furniture until I have my carpet ripped out and the wood laid down. It’s a good excuse, but it has gone on too long. If I think my room is too messy, it sure-as-yolks is.

Part of my desire to clean is really just a desire to redo. My room plans are pretty ambitious and I want everything to be well thought out before they’ve been properly begun, so when I realized I might have found a flaw in the propsed layout of my sitting room area I just had to go and move my bed and desk to the ooposite side of the room. This meant shifting boxes, and paper, and what I must admit can really only be called junk, to new spots on the floor. So I woke up on a completely different side of the bed than I normally do,  a nice change for a new year.

So far I like the new layout, but the best part is having to redo my whole design inside my head. I had just decided that I wanted a sunset with telephone wire painted just so there, and now I find that whole wall is likely to be hidden completely by shelves. Do I flip the painting to the opposing wall, or keep it out? What about the full length mirror?


[[1]] Soup and fish Satuday, stew and pretzels Monday, and soup again Wednesday [[1]]

Week’s End: October 12th

Despite the title, I’m feeling very creative right now. I’ve had a wonderful day, and even though my office ate all two dozen cookies I brought in (and then washed the plate, effectively destroying all the precious chocolate crumbs), I’m perfectly content. It’s Friday, I have a new rosemary and mint scented shampoo, I’ve been fairly productive recently, and I have tomorrow all to myself.

I’m thinking some cooking is in order.

Particularly, I want to make things with squash. I saw a blue squash two weeks ago, and it was so beautiful and strange that now I can’t get squash off my mind. Simmered squash is supposed to freeze fairly well, and I’ve been wanting to make miso and pumpkin muffins for the past five years now. Also a freezer item, you’ll note. Well, yes, I’m trying to stock up  so I can start taking nicer lunches to work. This week has worked out pretty fine, because I made carrot-y beef stew on Monday, but today I just dumped some miso paste in a jar. Come lunch time I added water, nuked it for a minute, shook, and drank. Ah, nourishment. Besides, there’s something really magical about laying up. Maybe it’s because I’m a possessive hoarder, but knowing that there’s something of mine, just waiting in case I need it, makes me feel all “squee” inside.

Sorry, is this boring you? How about this?


Dark and cloudy? No problem, just crank up the exposure like so . . . .


Don't worry, the other side isn't as orderly



Yeah, thought you might like that. We can pretend that I’m not the kind of idiot who, without checking the rim, takes the wide angle lens off their borrowed camera to take pictures of a whole room. This, Dad, is why I stick to “artsy” over “informative.” It’s kind of like the messy argument.





The top for this shelf is amazing.  All shiny and black and Woah!

I’ve come to an almost stand still on decorating and design and house-stuff in general. My next step for the family room is some wall art for the space above the couch. And wall scones: we have no light near any of the sitting areas – go figure.




Anyway, plans, plans, plans. But today is October 12th, I’m listening to Emma Jacob’s “Futatsu No Kodou to Akai,” and I’m about to fix myself a bowl of milk toast. Have a nice weekend everyone!