7/31: trail

...of the blue moon on the water.

7/30: unscheduled afternoon

It was my last unscheduled/unclaimed afternoon of the summer.  There were tasks I could have (should have) done.  But I drove myself to the creek instead.

7/29: evening rebound

Arthritis and sciatica got the better of me this afternoon, but my medicine made me feel good enough to go out to the creek at Woolly Hollow after dinner.  I love hearing the sound of the running water and watching it slip over the rocks.  I'm grateful to Chris, who drove me there and back and read and waited while I was clambering and taking pictures.

7/28: greek(ish) food

...for both lunch and dinner.  Feels like the right thing to eat in the heat.

7/27: mosaic

I was too achy (from arthritis and sciatica, alas) to go walking at the track or kayaking on the lake this evening, so after sweeping the house I spent some time making a paper mosaic of greens and yellows--the colors of the roadside grasses and flowers this time of year.

7/26: working on photos, close up and far away

I tried out some new-to-me editing software today by tinkering with some  photos I had taken earlier this month.  I'm trying to get better contrasts when I convert an image to black and white.

There's a community garden outside the indoor walking track, and the sunflowers are amazing.

 And this was from a flight with Chris one morning.

7/25: working on storage

The organization and stowing of stuff are ongoing challenges.  Today I made a little progress on a few counts.

I did some transferring of digital photos to a separate drive and started uploading them to an online back-up system, as well.

Chris and I sorted the food storage containers, a long overdue task.

I packed some boxes of books to take to the storage unit in town.  There, I set up three new shelving units, unpacked the boxes, and started organizing the books into categories.

7/24: white on white

I got a piece of mail today from someone at sendsomething.net.  I had sent something to her previously, and she was responding.  She sent me a collage she had made, and she said she had been waiting to send it until she found someone who would appreciate its being white on white.  And somehow, from what I sent her (which wasn't anything white on white), she supposed I was that someone.  Wow did she suppose correctly:  I love white on white.

7/23: my dentist

I've written about him on this blog before, but today again he was a definite good.  I am grateful that he is so kind and careful with his patients--and that I'm one of those patients.

7/22: no rain

It was the day for my almost-annual trip to Altus to meet up with a friend, and it looked like we might have been in for a repeat of last year's get-together, which included a rainstorm, thunder and lightning, and a power outage at the pub where we were convening.  But the rain stayed away, which made the drive there and back again less of a hassle, and which meant that my friend and I could spend part of our time in Altus talking outside in the town's central square.

7/21: titling

I'm still listening to Michel Faber's Book of Strange New Things, and I really like how he titles his chapters.  Each chapter's title is a phrase or clause that ends the last sentence of the chapter--so you know something about what you'll be moving toward, but you don't know exactly what's meant or the context in which it will apply.  And then when you finally arrive at it, it all clicks into place.  The effect is even better because I'm listening to the book rather than reading it, so I don't even have the usual visual clues that the end of a chapter is coming.

7/20: sunday morning at monday lunch

CBS Sunday Morning was a much-watched TV program in my house while I was growing up, and my mother and sister still watch it most weeks.  Chris and I don't have TV reception at home, but I'm usually drawn in if I happen to catch a snippet of the show when I'm out and about.  Then I realized I could probably watch it online, so yesterday's program kept me company during today's lunch.

7/19: italian fare

Panelle, attempted by us for the first time.  Chris had it last year in Sicily, and we finally decided to give it a go.

Pistachio gelato, an impulse buy because I couldn't resist its being named "Sicilian pistachio" since I knew we were having a Sicily-inspired dinner.

Italian bakery cookies, now offered (at long last!) at our grocery store.  I almost yelped with happiness when I saw them and enjoyed them right away with my afternoon tea.

7/18: garden and gallery

A walk in a garden flickering with bees and butterflies, followed by a morning in an art museum.

7/17: another response written

Today I wrote to another student whose lovely note from years ago I never answered.  I can have quite a phobia about correspondence that's not at all connected to any negative feelings about the other person involved, and in the cases today and yesterday it's felt good to bracket that phobia just long enough to acknowledge other people's thoughtfulness and care by thanking them and wishing them well.

7/16: responded

A former student wrote me a very nice note several years (yes, years) ago.  I felt like I didn't have the wherewithal to answer it then, so it's been sitting in my email (and lingering in my mind) ever since.  Today I wrote back.  A short note, but a note.

7/15: finishing

...MaddAddam by Margaret Atwood.  I loved Oryx and Crake, the first novel in the trilogy which MaddAddam concludes, and though I was disappointed that it wasn't a stand-alone novel (I think the ending of Oryx and Crake would have been sublime if it had been allowed to stand as the ending of the story), I wanted to see the tale through.  But--truth be told--I did not love MaddAddam; I'm pretty sure I didn't even like it.  And since my not warming to it was making me not want to read, I decided to power through and finish the second half of the novel in one sitting.  Now it's time to read something else, and that's a good thing.

(Another truth be told:  I really do admire Margaret Atwood, so I feel bad admitting that I was so let down by MaddAddam.  I'm a fan not only of Oryx and Crake but also of The Handmaid's Tale and The Edible Woman.)

7/14: first time

I used my super-sharp and heavy-duty paper cutter on a project for the first time.  It scares me a little, but it's the right tool for the job.

7/13: relatively quick recovery

We painted the floor of our screened-in porch this evening, and Tilde the Cat managed to slip out of the door and onto the wet paint.  I whisked her up and gave her paws a wash in the bathtub--she was not amused.  But after retreating for awhile she came out and was sociable, and so, I think, no lasting trauma.  (And no toxic paws!)

7/12: rothko & light restoration roundtable

This morning in Artforum I read the transcript of a roundtable discussion about the restoration of Rothko's Harvard murals by means of light projection.  Interesting concepts and questions to wrap my mind around, and it was fun to think about them as well as talk about them with Chris.

Plus, it's always a bonus to cross paths with Rothko:  not only do I love Rothko's works, but they also remind me of a dear friend from college who wrote her honor's thesis on Rothko and the sublime.

7/11: quartet

I read a somewhat puzzling book yesterday (Anders Nilsen's Rage of Poseidon), and writing about it this morning helped me start to be less puzzled.

I've rented a climate-controlled storage unit in town.  The goal is to move most of my books there gradually and sort out which ones will come back home and which ones need to be given away.  Today I started to move some of the books there.  It's a daunting project, but at least it's in progress now.

Chris went kayaking with me this evening, and the water and wind were really lovely.

It got dark quickly, so on the way back up the hill from the lake we used our flashlights.  And a good thing we did!  I spotted a snake on our driveway that I would have walked on (or at least definitely too close to for its comfort and mine) if I hadn't been scanning the big picture.  (I say "scanning the big picture" because it's a phrase I learned in driver's ed and it makes me smile.)

7/10: human geometries

I went flying with Chris in the morning.  Chris said it was the haziest morning he could recall--not great for my taking pictures.  I was (and still am) pretty vexed at my (not so successful) attempts to photograph the landscape below me from the plane.  But I think these two pictures of human construction turned out alright.  (The photos are blurry here but become less blurry--on my computer at least--if you click to view them larger.)

7/9: -ings

Working on Trollope glosses.

Sending out some water postcards.


Texting a friend, back and forth.

7/8: meeting

Today I met up with some local Latin teachers.  It's something I'd been meaning to do for quite some time, so I'm glad it finally happened--and maybe its having happened once will make it easier for it to happen again.

7/7: making decisions

...that are uncomfortable because, though they're right for me, I worry about how they may make others see me.  Still, it's good for the rightness-for-me to ring through and point the way.

7/6: new enthusiasm

Almost every time I start a new audiobook I seem to get a kind of crush on it.  This time it's for Michel Faber's Book of Strange New Things.  It's 21 hours long, so I hope the crush lasts and/or develops into a steady affection.

7/5: finishing x 2

We finished reading submissions for this reading period at Heron Tree.  We received almost 1,000 poems between February and May, so we've been at it for weeks and weeks!  I'm happy with the choices we made, and though I'll be excited when the new submission period opens in September, I'm also glad for a 2-month break in vetting (which will also give us some time to work on plans for the print volume).

And I finished (I think) tinkering with the project I started yesterday, a design for a quirky little booklet celebrating the sesquicentennial of the publication of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland.

7/4: following

...the train of a book-binding idea for hours and hours.  Enjoying the quick bursts forward in bringing something from idea to object, and trying to be okay with the small steps (and small setbacks) that vary the rhythm.

7/3: 3 goods

Finishing a little Emily Dickinson project I've been contemplating for a year now; it included doing some chapbook folding and sewing today, which was fun.

Eating cold red grapes cut in half and tossed with some lemon extract and olive oil--a trick I learned from my mother last week, and today I got to share it with Chris.

Walking along (or, mostly, in) the creek at Woolly Hollow, listening to the water that recent rains have made rush and watching the light along the ripples.

7/2: new exercises

I recently ordered a couple of books from Wave Press and received as a bonus gift New Exercises by Franck AndrĂ© Jamme, translated by Charles Borkhuis.  I read it this morning--and oh!  I love the idea of it, the carrying out of the idea, and the way it makes you tune to the reading of words differently.

7/1: power-washing

...my kayak, the porch furniture, the porch itself.  Dust, pollen, and drift of past seasons gone.