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|Sunday, April 20th, 2014|
Day one on holiday: ran 3 k, finished act 1 of my play. Today: walked four miles, swam laps. Ate lots of lamb, very tired now.
Last night’s dream started with me cleaning my sewing machine.. and the more I cleaned, the more dirt I found. Pretty soon I was cleaning the sewing table, which had all sorts of stuff – mostly not mine- scattered on it. Every time I cleaned one thing, something new turned up; sometimes what I’d already cleaned turned up dirty again. And I was being embarrassed because a bunch of people were watching me.
Then with my brain’s usual lack of segue the house was clean and it had expanded amazingly. Many rooms, many doors, many big windows.
So, I should not give up but keep plugging away at my brain? Get down through the layers?
This is weird. I don’t usually get a run of connected dreams like this.
On the non-psychology related side, I thought I would be done with the spring clean up on one job and be able to start the next job; instead I discovered that the rock area behind the garage has someone become infested with seeds, mostly grass and forget-me-nots. I have no idea where the FMNs came from. But they are solid under the rock in places. The rock is medium sized so it’s a real pain- literally- to scuffle around in them and get the baby weeds chopped or torn out. And I was not able to get it done yesterday- there is as much left to do as I got done. Bah. Will go tomorrow; in too much pain to go today. And I will sharpen a hoe and take it!
|Tuesday, April 22nd, 2014|
[ alib1149 ]
|Teen Book Search
I'm hoping for help with a book I'm looking for. The story is roughly...
A girl (a teenager) is living with her Aunt who announces that she is going to marry (I think this happens at the beginning of the summer holidays). The girl and the Aunt move in with the new husband who ends up being very strictly religious and already has at least two, possibly three, daughters. The house they all live in is large and locked up and the family is part of a secluded religious community.
The girl decides to escape from the house once she realises she won't get to leave at the end of the summer to go to school but will end up being home schooled. I distinctly remember that one of the other daughters goes with her and sees the stars at the end for the first time.
Any help with this would be great. Sadly I don't remember any names or where its set or published but I don't think it's set very long ago (I'd guess no earlier than the 80s).
|Sunday, April 20th, 2014|
|I wish Gordon were here
I'd like to go up to the canyon and bring not only the dogs food & water, but something for whatever person is up there with them. If there is.
Not knowing is unnerving. I mean I see myself out there with the two doggies, alone, while they come smiling and trotting toward me from..where? Is there a camp just behind the small ridge at the side of the road? Do they have a human who is hiding and watching me?
I may go up there with just a bowl of water for them, sometime later.
I'm curious to see what became of the bag of kibble I left. Did they ever eat it?
If I do holler, from inside the car, will someone answer? (I can keep the engine idling, in case someone runs at me or shoots or anything..)
[ nucleosides ]
|Children's book (FOUND)
I'm looking for a book that I read as an elementary schooler (which would put the time of me reading it in the early to mid-nineties). I'm not sure when it was written, though. It was about a little girl that had a doll house, and by looking into the windows of the doll house she could see into another world — I'm pretty sure it was another little girl's world. At the end, I remember her having to do something to save the little girl on the other side by managing to interact with her through that window.
I honestly wish I could remember more about the book, but it's been a long while. Current Mood: hopeful
The usual Sunday walk to listen to The Archers (and walk off all the beer consumed yesterday...)
Cowslips are beautiful, the bluebells are on the brink (they'll be at their best when I'm at PM next week), forget me nots are everywhere.
Saw a honking huge boar mink by the canal, I'd stopped to talk about walking and thumbsticks with a couple of old ladies and one of them said "What's that!" and there he was behind us, very brazen and wandering about, Up To No Good. I've reported it to the park rangers, hopefully they will trap it.
Home now to finish the cleaning not done on Friday, currently doing washing (well, currently typing this, but washing too). Tomorrow it's over to Mum's.
|Someone asked me what I thought it meant, being "grown up"
To me, it means taking responsibility for the things you can take responsibility for. We're not responsible for everything in our lives - we're surrounded by a whole sea of stuff we have very little control over - but there are things we can take responsibility for, and where we can, adults do.
It means knowing exactly where you really are in life - without lying to yourself about what you are really like - and then setting your directions from there, rather than from some idealised version of yourself that never really existed.
It means that rather than making decisions on the basis of wishful thinking, you work out what the cost will be of getting the thing you want and make a conscious decision as to whether that's a cost you're willing to pay.
It means putting in the effort to understand world around you as it really is, not as we wish it was, and doing what's necessary to cope with that. And, sure, trying to change it for the better - but from a place of knowledge, not assumptions and bias.
(None of this is easy, and nobody gets this right all of the time - I sure as hell don't. Adulthood is an ideal to strive for, not something you achieve. Oh, and it shouldn't stop you from having a damn good time and engaging in child-like fun
along the way.)
Original post on Dreamwidth
- there are
|Saturday, April 19th, 2014|
| No Book but the World, by Leah Hager Cohen. Riverhead Books 2014
Siblings Ava and Fred had a father, Neel, who believed in Rousseau’s saying “Let there be no book but the world”; he did not believe in conventional schooling but felt that children should be encouraged but not taught, allowing them to explore and learn on their own. He did not like books; learning from books was secondary rather than primary learning. Thus they were allowed to run free in the woods on the property of his former school, where they lived, with no instruction. When a new family moved into one of the former school buildings, Ava and the daughter, Kitty, became instant friends, and, when Kitty started to school, Ava insisted on enrolling as well. Given Neel’s insistence on children doing what they wanted, he was trapped into allowing her to do so. Fred followed, but didn’t last long before his behavior returned him to roaming the woods on his own. He showed signs of being on the autism spectrum and possibly developmentally delayed, but Neel refused to take him to a doctor to see what the problem was and if he could be helped. He was not non-verbal, but usually only Ava could understand him.
When as an adult Ava learns that Fred is being held on suspicion of murdering a boy, she attempts not just to find out what happened, but wonders about what obligations his family had to him. Were his parents wrong in how they brought him up? Should June, his mother, insisted on treatment instead of going along with her husband? With their parents dead, was Ava obligated to take care of him? Would Fred have led a better life had he been diagnosed and treated? What obligations does the family have to society?
The story is told in sections: Ava, her husband Dennis (who is also Kitty’s brother and has known Ava and Fred since they were kids), Kitty, Fred, and Ava again. They all have different takes on their childhoods and on Fred’s life. No one sees themselves as other see them. The book asks a lot of questions about responsibility and family ties. It’s engrossing and sensitive.
|Friday, April 18th, 2014|
|A shout-out to be shared, if anyone knows anyone in SoCal
Okay, time to bring this here:
For anyone local, who likes pit-bulls, or would like to rescue a pair of dogs:
(This is an actual rescue; the dogs are NOT in a shelter. They were abandoned in the foothills near east Highland, apparently over a week ago. They have no food nor water source)
My husband and I were out hiking on Alder Creek Road, a few days ago, in an attempt to get my still-cough-y lungs full of some fresher air.
This is an easy dirt road, built & maintained by the Army Corps of Engineers, and it eventually leads to the Santa Fe dam (I think that's the name of it?).
Off of Greenspot.
We heard some dogs barking. We looked up, to see a pair of pit bulls looking down at us from a ridge just above. We figured someone was up there with their dogs.
The road circles around as it climbs, so when we got to a better vantage point, we looked down on the spot where the dogs were.
There was no one there BUT the dogs.
We saw some old tire tracks, and an abandoned couch.
The dogs saw us and barked again. It was a "this is our yard", routine barking-at-passers-by sort of bark, not an aggressive-sounding warning or anything.
We called to them, and they wandered through bushes, in our direction, but then seemed to lose momentum and just stood there staring at us, from their distance.
We turned around and hiked back to our car, noting that the dogs seemed sort of tied to that spot. My hunch was that they were the pets of some homeless person who was "camping" there. But I also had a hunch that said person had run into trouble elsewhere, and was not coming back.
When we got to the car, Gordon & I both had the same thought: let's cut a plastic jug for a makeshift bowl, and bring the dogs some water.
So we did, driving up to that point instead of walking again.
The dogs again came and barked at us from the ridge just above the road.
But as soon as Gordon started pouring the water, they became silent and ran to us, skidding downhill in the loose dust.
They slurped greedily.
It was then that we saw the real nature of their condition. They were starving to death. Very-skinny-bordering-on-emaciated. No idea how long they'd been out there, but I'd say at least a week.
We had some rain last week, but once the puddles dried up, the dogs would have been in trouble.
They were both very-short-haired pit bulls, with light eyes and apparently sun-burned noses. Very pink.
Aside from that, no signs of injury nor sickness. No scars, either, so I don't believe these were ever fighting dogs.
Besides, they are just too sweet.
Yes, sweet. They did not lift their hackles once, nor bark at us any more, nor lift their lips in a snarl, even for a second.
The smaller one growled faintly as she looked and sniffed at us, but it seemed a confused, anxious growl, more like a hum. When Gordon sternly told her "no", she stopped, and backed off with her tail tucked.
There is one male, with an old leather collar, fawn-tan with light blue eyes and a big grin. I think he's already neutered but I didn't make a point of checking.
The other is a female, tan & white, also with blue eyes and the grin.
It was late in the evening, so we left to go home, but I planned to go back up there with 99-cent-store bowls and some kibble. Gordon would be back in his truck; this was his last night at home for a while.
So the next day I did just that. I called "Puppy-puppy-puppies!" and was greeted with silence. No dogs.
So I drove up to the next wide spot in the road, so I could turn around, park, and fill the bowls. I wanted to be able to cruise by, open the door quickly, and leave the bowl on the ground without getting out of the car.
The dogs had seemed nice enough the day before, but that was when there were two of us and no food. I didn't want to be standing out there by myself with two pits whose history I don't know.
Suddenly they were right there. I didn't even hear them coming. I started the car, and called to them out the window, to have them follow me back down to the other place, where we'd left their water-bowl. They followed willingly, sniffing the air and smiling as they trotted after the car.
I got there ahead of them, quickly opened the door, and set down the bowls of food. Also poured more water into the makeshift bowl we'd already left.
Both dogs started right in, without hesitation. Soon had emptied both bowls, and then the water.
I felt bad for having made them trot in the hot sun, to follow me.
They both looked up at me, and leaned up against the car, on the shady side. They each had big, friendly and relaxed grins, which broke my heart. THEY just knew that everything would be all right now that a helpful human had finally arrived to save them.
We cannot take them.
1 - Landlord would not be happy
2 - I am now almost as allergic to dogs as I am to cats. visiting is tolerable, but to have them at home all the time would not be healthy for me.
3 - We cannot afford any kind of a vet bill, but I'd want to make sure they had their shots, and were spayed & neutered, respectively.
4 - We sometimes have very young visiting grandkids here, and we have no idea how these dogs are with children. Likely sweet & safe, but I'm not willing to take that chance. I didn't get to raise these dogs.
I wanted to refill the water bowl, but was afraid the dogs'd try to get in the car if I opened the door. They were leaning up against it, on the shady side. My side.
I pulled a beef stick out of my purse, broke it in half, and threw it out the other-side window.
They sniffed the air and slowly left their posts to investigate. I rolled down the window, leaned out, and filled all three then-empty bowls with water. They came back to it before I was finished pouring, getting their own heads wet.
I started the car and headed out of there. Both dogs looked up, still grinning, and trotted confidently after me, tails high and wagging.
I sped up so they wouldn't follow me to the highway.
|Saturday, April 19th, 2014|
|Regarding those poor abandoned pit-bulls:
I have contacted every pit-bull rescue group in this part of the state. As well as put up notices on local bulletin boards. As well as had many local people spread the word and repost to their dog-loving friends, via the Book of FAce.
So far, no takers, although one lady wanted to, but had puppies-with-distemper at home, and didn't want to expose possibly unvaccinated dogs just recovering from starvation. I don't blame her. She did say she'd put me in touch with another guy, who would likely drive all the way out to get the dogs out of there and foster them.
Most groups are full up, even just for fostering.
Here is my Facebook post on the subject, for today:
(there has been a minor but game-changing development)I have done all I can for now, for the dogs in Alder Creek Canyon.
I went there yesterday, with water and a bag of food.
As I rounded the corner, first thing I saw was that the dogs' food bowls, that I had just bought them two days prior, were gone.
(WHAT asshole stole my new dog-bowls?! was my reaction)
The dogs themselves were not in evidence, so I kept driving up the road, toward the place that's wide enough to turn around. I like to have the car situated so as to be able to barely open the car door, and put out the food, without getting out, which is why I always first drive up and then turn around.
Before I could get to that spot..there they were. Standing in the middle of the road, looking at me with anticipation, not barking at all this time.
They followed the car as I drove up to the turnaround point.
Then they had to follow me again, as I drove back down to where their water-bowl was. It was hot--again--and they wore themselves out a bit, happily following me at a trot. Again.
When I got to where I'd fed them before, I just sliced open the dogfood bag lengthwise, to make a sort of feeding trough. Then leaned out of the car window and dropped it. Not much spilled out.
They weren't interested.
I was pretty incredulous, I mean these were the same skinny, ribs-showing dogs who gobbled my offering of kibble so eagerly the other day.
Maybe they're too hot and thirsty to eat, I thought. So I poured water from my jug into their makeshift water bowl (no one had taken that, at least).
As before, they eagerly drank it all down, even lapping it from the stream of water as it exited the jug, before it hit the water-bowl.
I refilled said water bowl several times.
They still weren't interested in the food. I talked to them. On impulse, I told the large male to "sit". Smiling, he did.
See, they are formerly trained pets, not feral dogs!
Oh, and their eyes are not light blue after all, but a very light grayish tan. Looks kind of weird and cat-like, actually.
I wondered if they had reached that mythical stage of starvation where food could no longer be digested. I had a few scraps of chicken that I had saved for them, from a rare fast-food snack the day before. I tossed those out, on top of the opened bag of kibble.
Well they gobbled THAT right up! So no, apparently that was not the problem.
They just weren't hungry enough to want the kibble.
Something dawned on me: what if my hunch about them belonging to some homeless camper was correct, but only by half? What if their hypothetical homeless master wasn't gone at all, but just didn't have the resources to feed them properly? And what if it was HE who took the dogfood bowls, up to his camping spot? And what if he had been hiding, so as not to get arrested, which is why we hadn't seen him (or her)?
I got the eerie feeling that all of that might be true. Clearly SOMEONE had fed these dogs recently, besides me.
Gordon & I discussed this later, and he reasonably suggested going up there and calling out, that we don't want to "catch" him nor take his dogs away, that we just want to help, by bringing dog food & water.
But I really really don't want to go up there and face the unknown person alone.
So there it is.
If there is no one, well..I have contacted all the pit-bull rescue groups I can, and hopefully sooner or later the poor dogs will get rescued. I will still be happy to show where the dogs are.
If there is someone trying to keep the dogs as their own, up there, well..at least someone is looking out for them, so they won't quite let the dogs starve, if they can help it.
And if they can't take care of "their" dogs any better than that, then they deserve to have a rescue group come and take the dogs away.
If there is no "owner", but someone else who might have read one of my little signs (I put up notices on the local stores' bulletin boards, too), is taking food and water up there for them too, well..so much the better.
The dogs tried again to follow me out of the canyon when I drove away.
I was keenly aware that all that running in the hot sun is not good for them, and makes them more dehydrated than if I had not been there at all.
I'm not going up there again for a while, unless someone FINALLY calls me and says they can help.
I keep telling myself I have done what I can.
I don't know what kind of crazies might be up there, considering themselves the dogs' owners and possibly resenting my interference.
In order to rescue them, I need reinforcements, for my own safety.
AND that is all , for now. SOME of you said for me to "keep everyone posted".
[ joywillcome ]
|YA or Children's Fantasy/Horror - maybe 80s or 90s girl brings danger by playing music?
I think I read this book when I was in middle school, so around 2003-2005.
I don’t think it was a new book, if I remember correctly the cover looks
like something I would expect from the 80s or 90s, but I’m not sure. It was
either a children’s novel or a YA novel. I read it in the US. I think it was a fantasy novel. Maybe fantasy/horror.
The main protagonist was a girl. I think she was on the cover, looking
frightened at something in the background (but her front is facing us) with
another girl or a boy behind her. She lives with her grandmother or maybe her mother.
The society they lived in was very strict or controlled. Their way of
living was simple and the setting wasn’t in modern times, though I’m not
sure if it was supposed to resemble a time in the past or not. They seemed
to be afraid of something and I think that was the reason for all the
I remember that at one point the girl was admiring her mom/grandma’s hair,
I think because it was long and streaked with grey/ silver but she didn’t
say anything because she knew her mother/grandmother would not acknowledge
that she was beautiful. I don’t know if it was because of the rules or
The girl had a place she would go to be alone. A hole or a cave or
something. She had some kind of instrument there, pretty sure it was
against the rules. I think it may have been a violin, or something else
with strings. I believe the instrument, and her playing of it, had
something to do with the trouble that happened later in the book.
At some point—and this is where it gets confusing— there’s some kind of
weird transformation that starts happening. Or desire to do something? I
can’t remember if it was physical but some outside force was having an
affect on the girl and I think it was a result of breaking the rules. And
there was this other girl (or maybe it was a boy?) who told the girl that
if she feels it happening again to let her/him know.
Unfortunately that is where I stopped reading when I had it.
It is NOT the Giver, Gathering Blue, or Uglies. These have all been
suggested multiple times before. At one point, someone mentioned a book,
The Maestro, that was about the Pied Piper, and while that wasn’t the book
I remember, I do think it’s possible that this book may have had something
to do with the Pied Piper, but maybe not.
I hope this information is sufficient.
[ smokescr3am ]
|YA novel. Title? Author?
Girl receives letters from deceased family member. Female. Either mother, grandmother, or aunt. The letters tell her to travel to different places all over the world. Greece, amsterdam, etc. Throughout the journey the girl has to break a lot of boundaries she never dreamed of. She begins to find herself and returns home with the conclusion that not all experiences are meant to be had. She experienced a journey through someone else's eyes and tried to make it her own but was pushed beyond limits she was ready for. Each letter or postcard sent her to a person her writer had met allowed her to stay in their home while,endure she discovered her surroundings. It was a really cool book that I'd like to add to my collection.
My dreams have been changing, again. And again. First they veered towards seeming productive: I was back at the house I grew up it- no surprise there! – but I was moving in with the stuff I have now, and my parents *weren’t* there. I was figuring out the best view out the windows for setting up furniture. Then I was up on the roof, looking over the eaves, and telling Tim how I wanted to paint the outside in colors, and told him that any color on the house (in reality, the house was always all white with no trim color) was what I’d put there as a child- and the dream fascia was black.
The next night I was back there, doing some kind of renovations. Some people helping me (can’t even remember what they looked like) had dug out a hidden basement (the real house only had a crawl space). It was like an archeological dig; there were concrete walls dug out on the side yard that extended under the house, and they were two levels deep. One of the people said “They had no idea this was under here; people put these things here without them knowing”.
These make me wonder if I’m ready to start renovating my subconscious, my personality, and getting rid of things that don’t work for me. The black trim amused me; I don’t think it’s depression but just my gothy nature.
The second one seems tied to what I’m finding out about my father and his family and how screwed up his mother was. I also know how screwed up the relationship between my mother and her father was. My parent’s were the product of their parent’s and they didn’t know it or try and straighten out what it did to them. But this is no surprise to me; why dream about it? Is my subconscious telling me to look into my own deep dark places to see what’s been put there that I have never thought about?
Then night before the total mood changed. I was working in a house that was being painted, and it was just a bloody mess. There were paint dribbles everywhere. The paint all looked daubed on instead of brushed out. The paint overlapped on everything- the glass of the windows, on the carpet, the curtains, the telephone. My friend who was there (someone I’ve not seen in almost 30 years) with me was walking out and going home because I wasn’t getting the place done and I was making a mess of it. The owners of the home were furious with me. I kept trying to paint nicely, and kept failing.
Last night I was in the exact same dream, but escaped this time, into some very large conveyance; not sure if it was a motor home, a bus, or a plane. It was white inside with posh leather seats and all of us- the thing was full of people- were being served champagne and other things. I think my parents were there, and a lot of the people were famous, although I have no idea who they were. So, perhaps, I’ve made a mess of my life (a given) but I can escape. But who are the furious home owners, and who is walking away because I’ve screwed it all up and am taking too long? What’s with the famous people? And how do I get to that escape vehicle with the champagne!?!?
Then there was a steampunk adventure dream one night, but I don’t attach any import to the adventure dreams. I always feel that they are just entertainment. They leave no emotional impact, but they’re fun.
[ betawho ]
|National Poetry Month 2014: .. a few glass plates that echo ...
The Tangible, Intangible
By Susan Rich
after a photograph by Hannah Maynard
on the death of her child, c. 1887
Afterwards, she surveys the site:
the jostled cups, a buffalo rug
faded burlap of bookcase
overstuffed with tromp l’oeil painted spines.
The sound of the photograph
would be island rain
and the animal cry of the child gone—
In the darkroom she works alone
cajoles waterfalls, brings to light
the floating picture frame,
the doily’s difficult knowledge —
Commonplace days she survives
with a mirror trick, a few glass plates
that echo don’t let go; let go.
Hanging out with Arwen, enjoying the ocean air and Byzantine ruins. Getting some writing in. Making jokes about Aphrodite.
Here, have an Easter egg:
|[books 2014] More Game of Thrones
17. A Clash of Kings by George RR Martin
In parts as gripping as the second half of the first volume, not so much in others (but that could have been me). I'm not tired of this yet.
|[books 2014] London Falling (again)
16. London Falling by Paul Cornell
This month's book club selection. I liked it so much the first time I read it again. I wanted to see if it still works when you know [spoiler].
The answer is yes, it does. Found things that I missed the first time.
And realised right towards the end why I like it - it's about what happens when scary shit happens to smart people rather than the horror story trope of people behaving stupidly. Even when they make wrong moves here it's made from a position of scientific enquiry and logical deduction.
The sequel's out on the 22nd of May. The week before the new Dresden Files. I may be some time.
|[books 2014] Eat and Run
15. Eat and Run: my unlikely journey to ultramarathon greatness by Scott Jurek
Scott is the vegan ultramarathoner whose exploits I first became aware of when I read Born to Run
. So when I found out he has his own book, I had to buy it.
I'm so glad I did. It doesn't have the universal appeal of Born to Run
, but it is hands-down the most inspiring thing I've read since.
Jurek grew up in the Midwest and there was a lot in his childhood that struck a chord with me, particularly his dad's mantra, "sometimes you just do things". The more I think about it, the more glad I am that I grew up in that sort of environment - yes, some stuff is hard, and boring, but you don't go all special snowflake and go "I'm not doing that because it doesn't interest me", you just knuckle down and bloody do it because it needs to be done. While I'd never go back in a million years, I kind of hate that I have ever been close to being sucked into any other way of thinking.
He's all about running to be at one with nature and with yourself and to feel good, but also measures the shit out of it. When he got serious about ultra long distance running whilst being a vegan, he teamed up with physiological scientists at the local university to see just what was going on.
There's recipes. They all sound delicious, but way too much work, plus full of ingredients that are not easy for me to obtain (though it has made me realise I don't have access to a proper health food shop round here - there must be one and as soon as I get back from holiday I'm going to find out). Because I've never been one to make things easy for myself, if I get more serious about getting fit, I think I'd do it as a vegan. It's so much more hardcore. Also if I'm exercising and not taking in fat via dairy, I could eat all the nuts and seeds I like (which are the only protein sources I actually enjoy) without gaining weight.
Whether it's running or any other interest in life, he believes that everyone can do a hell of a lot more than they think they can, which is something I've always strongly believed too. It's just that for the first half of my life I was putting all my energy into doing that via intellectual pursuits. And then I just sat around in a world of pain and I really don't believe I'd have done that if I'd been surrounded by more "sometimes you just do things" people.
Even if running is not your thing, if you have any interest in thinking about how you live in the world, and achieving Stuff (TM) in general, this is a truly inspiring book. And it's short and easy to read.