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Rain on Tuesday /100 Degrees by Sunday. On the average, it's good weather.

 Hmm. Blog pix 2080  Not the best angle. Too late at night for a good light ....  but check out the shadow of the new tree by the window. Gnarly. I think the tree is going to get moved though - it looks way too close to the house.

At least it has branches that naturally point to the sky. The gardener has landscaped all our fruitless mulberries in the front yard into basically a cat's lion cut. Hate it. I like leafy overhanging branches, not trees that are manicured into a phallic symbol.

Cupcake Fiber KNITTING: After basking in the glow that was finishing Curve of Pursuit and I'm back to my bad old ways of finishing nothing, starting many and tweaking some sweaters that haven't really worked. Apparently this slows progress. Who knew?

Oh, and just to clarify, I begged the gorgeous picture of fibery goodness from The Cupcake Fiber Co  and was graciously granted the use of said photo by the Cupcake's Fairy Godknitter and it was spun up by Cookie.  One of these days I'm going to learn to spin, but I haven't yet. And I just wish I'll be that good.

BOOKS: Saturday I tore through Godmother: The Untold Cinderella Story by Carolyn Turgeon that Emily of Telecommuter Talk read and reviewed, not very favorably. I might have liked it more than she did.... but not by much.

I do love re-imagined/retold fairy tales but I was expecting more magical realism than realism. The book is told by Lil, Cinderella's Fairy Godmother, who for her sins, (she had fallen in love with the Prince herself) has been banished to human form. I suppose it could be a fable about dealing with loss of all kinds, youth, beauty, love, but in keeping Lil's secrets, her author has to keep the tale murky. More than likely I'll be reading Mermaid soon. She's got interesting ideas.

I was recently introduced to Alain de Botton via his lecture on Pessimism at The School of Life on Pessimism through Jodi of Caffeinated Yarn's link. (And not, say, at a tea, worse luck). I'll try not to quote too extensively from The Pleasures & Sorrows of Work, a photo-essay philosophical and physical exploration on various endeavors from biscuit manufacture Blog pix 004(English for cookies), cargo shipping to accountancy..... but it's going to be difficult. I was really enamoured of this book and Alain's dry wit.

Let's see..... "It seemed that one might squander one's life chances because of a high-handed disdain for books with titles such as The Will to Succeed, believing that one was above their shrill slogans of encouragement. One might be doomed not by a lack of talent, but by a species of pessimistic pride."

It does explain so much.

And my favorite: "Levels of commitment that in previous societies were devoted to military adventures and religious intoxication have been channelled into numerical needlework."

I'm reading his Architecture of Happiness.

Joy For Beginners was a quick cozy read. It was a bit simplistic - i was bristling by the end of it that Karen could come up with challenges for her friends that would change their lives - from learning to bake bread to traveling alone, but I suppose your friends really do know Blog pix 034 you better than you do yourself. She had survived cancer and her daughter wanted to take her on a white rafting trip. She agreed to go - if her friends would also meet a personal challenge. 

 Poor Hez. She was so annoyed at me for making her stay inside yesterday. I even stalked and trapped her at the neighbor's and carried her into the house - the indignity! the horror! She was NOT mollified by the all day rain. She probably thinks I made it rain on purpose to thwart her.


Cupcake Fiber The Cupcake Fiber Company. Soft. Drapey. Silken. I can't decide what to knit it into. Nupps? Cables? Lace? Any suggestions?

Also for some reason, I want some ice cream.

On the READING front, I finally managed to slog through Tim Weiner's "Legacy of Ashes: The HIstory of the CIA". Wow. While my conspiracy loving heart wants to believe that the CIA is populated by maverick whack-jobs (and the headlines occasionally bear witness to it), it seems impossible that they wouldn't have been dissolved and defunded if they were as befuddled and useless as he portrays. The book itself covers decades at just over 500 pages plus a hundred more give or take in endnotes. I'm left wishing that he'd covered just one of those decades in those pages. Five hundred wasn't enough, the narrative was confusing, other than the CIA sucks.

House on Durrow Street, the sequel to the Magicians and Mrs Quent. . Eh. At least this time I don't feel like he's rewriting Jane Eyre and Pride & Prejudice and mashing them in the most peculiar way.

Currently reading: Joy for Beginners.

Is this not the most fabulous map? It's typography, from axismaps. It's a poster so I need to take it somewhere and get it framed, preferably really, really cheaply. They've done Boston, Washington DC, New York and Chicago so far. 

Blog pix 2073It's back to being scaldingly hot. Summer. Why can't summer be cooler? Usually it cools off at night but it was 80 degrees last night and it's supposed to hit 3 digits today.  I think I woke up with heat stroke. I keep craving ice cream. I'd indulge that a bit more if I didn't need to swear off ice cream forever and the most exercise I get is walking from the garage door to my car door.


Maybe I'll treat myself if I finish this one. Again.

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Father's Day

Blog pix 2078 Ransacking my office the other day for a prior year tax guide, I ran across my Dad's Living Bible. As long as I can remember, he started out every morning  reading the meditation of the day and the Bible passages cited.

Sure enough, there was a Portals of Prayer paperclipped at the last day he would have read them at work, tucked at the page of the Psalms.

How fitting that the header for that day was "Life Worth Living" (with "Be Prepared" presciently the following day's header).

But it's the meditation for the day that he died that brought tears to my eyes. My Dad was The Voice.  I had the proverbial "wait until your father gets home!" upbringing (although if I'd had any idea what a marshmallow he was..........).
Blog pix 2077 He once brought my brother and I to a screeching halt when we were running around the church sanctuary by snapping his fingers.
The only reason I remember that at all is because the kids we were running with stopped dead too and their parents were thunderstruck.
C'mon, no one told them that was wrong? In fact, I know for a fact that I did not do a number of bad behaviors, as witnessed by the fact that I'm alive and that if I had committed said behavior, my Dad would've killed me. Simple logic.
I miss hearing him singing in church. I miss his voice, but I also selfishly miss him because I could sing too without feeling like I'm killling the people around me with my tuneless voice. Yeah, I still sing loudly though. If you don't like it, drown me out. (While we were camping once, at one of those campground fire gatherings, he told me to sing so that everyone else would, if only to drown me out.) (We have a strange sense of humor in our family. And we believe in being a good audience, which also means participating. And I like to sing.)
Hmm, lot of church memories. Maybe because I found his Bible. Maybe because church was really important to him. He was probably (he was) a Right Wing Religious guy but he'd also been an Oakland Homicide cop before he became a CPA (death & taxes, he used to say), so he was pretty clear that everyone is a set of circumstances away from Doing Bad Things. He sounded so insanely prejudiced sometimes that it made me cringe but he had friends and acquaintances in all walks of life, creed, color, whatever. He might have lumped "Them" en masse but he took people one at a time at face value.
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Picture is of one of Dad's roses in tribute to our many, many, many six to eight week vacations where the only pictures were of flowers or mountains (unless we were in front of a sign) despite the fact that the four of us were piled into the station wagon, staying in campgrounds, pretty much inseparable. When we got to my grandparents house one year, I climbed trees. With a book.
(He once pitched the book I was reading out of the car into the river ranting that we "....were visiting beautiful and historic sites and by God, I was going to see them!"  And I did. Occasionally quite grumpily.
He bought me another copy of the book when we got home.)


So. Everyone who can, give their Dad a big hug and a kiss. For me, if not for you. And I would love to read some favorite stories about YOUR Dads, if you don't mind.

Life is Just a Tree of Cherries

If only I was participating in Project Spectrum.

Blog pix 2067 Our fruitless cherry tree! may not be named correctly. Kind of like Hezekiah being a girl.

Too bad I don't like cherries. At all. Probably stemming from a sickly childhood. Who thought putting cherry flavoring in medicine made it better tasting? It just ruined cherries proper.

We had quail visiting us too. They used to wander our street all the time but as the houses have been built in the hills, they came by less and less. Do quail lay eggs and then leave? Hopefully not. Hopefully she was just resting and Daddy Quail was merely being a lookout because the blue jays live in the oleanders she was resting under. I went out and advised them it would be injudicious but they ignored me. Birdbrains.

Poor Hez went to the vet on Thursday and currently hates me. It looked like her left front paw "thumb" had the claw growing into it - luckily not quite and she did need her annual shots but....she remains unconvinced it was for her own good. The vet tried amusing her with laser chase but she just stared back implacably. Like this.

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