Showing posts from October, 2011

what do you get when you guzzle down sweets?

Well, if you couldn't figure it out--I was an Oompa Loompa from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (one from the old and ONLY movie, as far as I am concerned!)
B1 was Willy Wonka and Yannick the German was Violet Beauregard. So fun.

Clue #3

Clue #3:
I work (along with others like me) for a famous candy maker.

anticipation on a snowy day

We are under a snow advisory tonight, expecting 6-12 inches! Gah! Looks like I will be waking up to a white Christmas...errr...white birthday, which I guess is kinda cool--the only other snowy birthday I remember was when I turned 13 years old, so it's been a while. 
Working at the library, leaving in 45 minutes, just hoping the roads are ok since it's been snowing hard for the past 2 hours;  just want to get home and ready for the Farm's Halloween celebration. Actually I don't really care much about what's happening at the Farm, I am just really excited to have a party at B1 & B2's house! My little cabin is too small to host a party, so I was tickled pink when B1 offered up their house for my birthday/costume party. Looking forward to seeing the costumes which people come up with; anticipating chatting and watching the snow through B1 & B2's big window; almost tasting the surprise punch with Jay and RugbyGirl cooked up for the occasion! 

I just love …

clue #2

Yesterday I gave the following clue for my Halloween costume: Clue #1: My costume is a character from a children's book (and now movies)
Clue #2: My namesake likes to sing lyrical songs.

library stuff #594

mimicking winter

"The Snow Storm"

Announced by all the trumpets of the sky,Arrives the snow, and, driving o'er the fields,Seems nowhere to alight: the whited airHides hills and woods, the river, and the heaven,And veils the farmhouse at the garden's end.The sled and traveler stopped, the courier's feetDelayed, all friends shut out, the housemates sitIn a tumultuous privacy of storm.Around the radiant fireplace, enclosed Come see the north wind's masonry.Out of an unseen quarry evermoreFurnished with tile, the fierce artificerCurves his white bastions with projected roofRound every windward stake, or tree, or door.Speeding, the myriad-handed, his wild workSo fanciful, so savage, nought cares heFor number or proportion. Mockingly,On coop or kennel he hangs Parian wreaths;A swan-like form invests the hidden thorn;Fills up the farmer's lane from wall to wall,Maugre the farmer's sighs; and, at the gate,

cool library jobs

Saw this posting on my alumni listserv, thought this job sounded cool, worth sharing:

Barron Hilton Archivist for Flight and Space Exploration 
(Assistant or Associate Professor)

Purdue University Libraries seeks an energetic and user-centered professional archivist to manage and develop the Barron Hilton Flight and Space Exploration Archives of the Karnes Archives and Special Collections Research Center into an internationally renowned resource documenting and preserving the history of flight and space exploration.

Barron Hilton Archivist for Flight and Space Exploration
(Assistant or Associate Professor)

Purdue University Libraries seeks an energetic and user-centered professional archivist to manage and develop the Barron Hilton Flight and Space Exploration Archives of the Karnes Archives and Special Collections Research Center into an internationally renowned resource documenting and preserving the history of flight and space exploration.
The Hilton Archivist is responsible for coll…

a transitional season

Today when I walked home I was confronted by the sight of the little slice of woods near my house mauled; I knew that the Farm was to do some work with the septic system--putting some new piping in down our road--but still felt really surprised to see to see the bushes torn up and piled. It felt funny to mourn for this little slice of nature for a moment, but I did; I guess I was really just mourning the fall, and the quickening pace of the oncoming sleepy season. I wanted to sit on the ground and grab fistfuls of dirt and dead leaves, somehow cling to the earth and will it to stay this way for just a little longer; will the fluffy-tailed, apple carrying squirrels to play in the sun and not fear the steady cooling; will these last few cold and beautiful pink October mornings into staying forever.

Stumbled upon this poem, which just felt right.

"Outskirts" Men in overalls the same color as earth rise from a ditch. It's a transitional place, in stalemate, neither country n…

last chance!

Just recieved an email from my alma mater's library listserv; if you feel like used-book-sale'ing-it tomorrow, check this out:

The Friends of the Detroit Public Library Fall used book and media sale will be at the main library (5201 Woodward) 10a.m.-5p.m. Saturday, October 22.  Lots of books, plus CDs, DVDs, and audio books.

in the country they call life

Today for many reasons I have Rilke on the brain. Just had to share this gem! Also, wanted to wish TSO a Happy 30th Birthday! I am so glad we met and so glad we're still friends! God speaks to each of us as he makes us,
then walks with us silently out of the night.
These are the words we dimly hear: You, sent out beyond your recall,
go to the limits of you longing.
Embody me.
Flare up like flame
and make big shadows I can move in.
Let everything happen to you: beauty and terror.
Just keep going. No feeling is final.
Don’t let yourself lose me.
Nearby is the country they call life.
You will know it by its seriousness.
Give me your hand. ~ Rainer Maria Rilke    

polar bears apply within

See these gorgeous, harmless looking waterfalls? Yes, they are gorgeous and they are generally harmless in the SUMMER, when a dip in these is refreshing, but in October?! Wow. I took Yannick the German and Ginger (two of the Farm's volunteers) to these waterfalls a few weeks back. It was a cold afternoon, and by the time we dared each other enough to get in and actually did it it began to rain. It was cold, but invigorating. We didn't stay in long, but we did it.

For some reason, doing this again, two weeks later seemed like a good idea, and a way to introduce (initiate?) a couple more of the volunteers, so this time Yannick the German and I took Magdalena and Rachel with us. It was cold a few weeks ago, so you can imagine what it was like the second time around! Even colder! But we did it, everyone forced themselves back against the pounding waterfall; climbed down big rocks and across rough pebbles to submerge in the wading pool at the bottom of the falls. I have dubbed this…

pictures of fall

These pictures were taken just over a week ago and already the horizon boasts a more muted palette. The more vivid colors of fall have shed themselves and each days finds a view that is more muted,  subdued grays and browns replacing the fire of falls' brightest blaze. The tree pictured above is already nearly bald, leaves underneath curling, arthritic fingers who've now longer a purpose.
I won't lie. I still love the fall, even after the finest and brightest colors have been spent. I love the brilliant and cold sunsets; love the deep dark, almost purple nights; love the smell of wood stoves warming houses, piles of leaves in yards cleared away by rakes and maintained fires; love the jeans and sweater weather.


“Our response to the world is essentially one of wonder, of confronting the mysterious with a sense, not of being small, or insignificant, but of being part of a rich and complex narrative.”
- John Burnside

Can you guess where we went last week? The Farm took a group of about 20 people to a local apple orchard where we then spent over an hour and a half gathering dropped apples, said apples are now being made into applesauce and apple cider with the Farm's own apple press. 
My boss Flava Flav let me go and I couldn't have been happier. The afternoon, one of those ridiculously bucolic New England ones with a  sky so baby blue, soft, downy clouds and a warm sun; air just hinting at cool, but comfortable enough to go sans sweaters; leaves vibrant with searingly vivid hues of orange, yellow and red EVERYWHERE; each New England curve in the road wrapped us around into another vista that was gorgeous. The newest German volunteer, Magdalena, and I kept exclaiming with joy at the wond…

breaking hearts

Many adventures to share and some pictures too, but this will have to suffice...for now.
Here is a story
to break your heart.
Are you willing?
This winter
the loons came to our harbor
and died, one by one,
of nothing we could see.
A friend told me
of one on the shore
that lifted its head and opened
the elegant beak and cried out
in the long, sweet savoring of its life
which, if you have heard it,
you know is a sacred thing,
and for which, if you have not heard it,
you had better hurry to where
they still sing.
And, believe me, tell no one
just where that is.
The next morning
this loon, speckled
and iridescent and with a plan
to fly home
to some hidden lake,
was dead on the shore.
I tell you this
to break your heart,
by which I mean only
that it break open and never close again
to the rest of the world.
--Mary Oliver

P.S. Welcome new follower: Cam G!

a shock that remains still

This poem felt appropriate today as we remember the death of my Dad, 4 years ago today. After a death we become silent somehow, shadowy, present but mute. I remember the first few days after my Dad died as a blur; the first few weeks as a haze; the first few months me as a mindless machine, sleepless, constantly working on papers--finishing grad school that semester was a blessing, so much to occupy my mind.
Though today I am no longer steeped in my grief, I find that loss is a cloak that is occasionally thrown over the shoulders, much to the surprise of the wearer. I still miss my Dad so much, so acutely some days that I feel sick to my stomach.
So, today I will listen for him: in my brothers' laugh, over a phone, hundreds of miles away; in the words of our song. I will see him in the fall leaves' brilliant colors and in the richness of the Farm at this time of year. I will think of him in the words my Auntie Louise sent to me after his death: "People say 'keep a st…

on Columbus Day



With all that is happening in the Occupy Wallstreet campaign, I am loving the photos and postings that are floating around the internet. These are a few of my favorites worth sharing:

the beauties we become

The other day I walked to gather what was left of my tomatillos before the frost set in. Along the way I saw many reminders of the summer; flowers preserving themselves: hydrangea drying, transforming from a creamy white to a blush; leggier flowers dropping petals and leaving seed pods to hang precariously, a promise of later heirs. Then there were those too small to make it, shocked by the cold, caught in a gasp; plants like the tomatillos, those not picked in time now dry, skeletal reminders--a ribcage with a heart still remaining.

Looking at these things, I wondered at the beauty that is hidden in everything. What is special about us that we don't always notice?

boot scooting boogie

I have a sneaking suspicion that winter is going to find us early this year--it has already been dipping into the 40s (Farenheit) at night in early October...never a good sign---but this year I am prepared. Last year I had a terrible time finding winter boots, so I gave up; it's kinda hard when you have boats like my feet: size 11 wide in women's. So, I'd been hunting on and was so glad to find Sorrel Snowlions for $100 (the kind I originally wanted cost over $300...we have to make concessions sometimes, no!?) I put my new boots on yesterday and cleaned my house. These boots are Heaven! 

Where's Icabod?

Maybe it's because it's getting colder out, people shuffle around at night, heads hang-dogged against the brisk October winds; maybe it's the sounds of leaves skittering across roads, the sounds of defrocked bushes shaking hollowly; maybe it's the shorter days making long nights and the deep dark of this time of year...Whatever it is, I have always (yes, even as an adult) found October to be the creepy month. I love October, love the spookiness I still feel, love the ever-emptying trees even more, love the deep crispness of the air and the smell of dried leaves and bonfires. And as a child I loved and was terrified by Washington Irving's The Legend of Sleepy Hollow. So, wrap yourself in a blanket, sit back, put you feet up on your desk and listen to the whole tale here.  
Thanks Jenna at ColdAntlerFarm, hope you don't mind me borrowing your idea!

who gives a...?

Thank you Facebook, without you, how would I stumble upon funny things like this Oxford comma picture? Looking at that made me think of Vampire Weekend.

Vampire Weekend - Oxford Comma

love to autumn

Today was one of those ridiculously gorgeous fall days: blustery, wind sending leaves skittering across roads; a blue sky with wisps of cloud, a background to a warm sun; a just-cool-enough-for-sweaters-and jeans kind of day. And things are finally drying out after all the rain...and yet I found (and chose to walk) one of the soppiest cow paths through the woods, to my gardens. The path was glorious in its filthy, muckiness and solitary shade.

We seem to think of fall as the dying season, where things are packed up and put away, set aside to be rationed out in the winter; and yet today's walk was proof of all that is still thriving and present. While the gardens are sad shells of their former glory, I focused instead on the mossy hill, the scent of wild mountain thyme, crushed and almost palatable in the very aroma rising from under my feet. I snuffed at handfuls of it, interspersing the smell with deep draughts of the fresh farm fall air. I walked the hill--where months before bl…

hushed October mornings

"October" O hushed October morning mild,
Thy leaves have ripened to the fall;
Tomorrow's wind, if it be wild,
Should waste them all.
The crows above the forest call;
Tomorrow they may form and go.
O hushed October morning mild,
Begin the hours of this day slow.
Make the day seem to us less brief.
Hearts not averse to being beguiled,
Beguile us in the way you know.
Release one leaf at break of day;
At noon release another leaf;
One from our trees, one far away.
Retard the sun with gentle mist;
Enchant the land with amethyst.
Slow, slow!
For the grapes' sake, if they were all,
Whose leaves already are burnt with frost,
Whose clustered fruit must else be lost--
For the grapes' sake along the wall.
-- Robert Frost
Every October I think of Frost's "October;" I think of 11th grade English and my teacher, Mr. K.; a younger me memorizing this poem. I can see it so clearly; laying on my bed, "Mother Nature's Son," playing softly in the ba…

eaters of pie, Settlers of Catan

Last weekend I had dinner with B1 & B2 and Jay. I brought the dessert: homemade pumpkin pie. Mmm...right? Wrong. I was so dissapointed; not only was my "fast" crust terrible, but the pie itself was also flavorless. The three other diners were more than gracious.

For whatever reason (I think the excess of rain due to Irene and other coastal storms) has left the pumpkins less sweet this year than in years past--my pumpkin, my only one, rotted because of all of the rain! Anyway, I learned my lesson last weekend, so when I offered to bring dessert to a dinner at M & N's this week, I vowed the pies would turn out better. I again returned to Mark Bittman's How to cook everything--no longer blaming him for last weekend's failure--and decided to try doubling everything in the recipe. The recipe should be called, "How to double everything pumpkin pie," har har. Anyway, I literally doubled everything: the cream and the eggs, doing this made the pies even…


The Avett Brothers covering John Prine's "Spanish Pipedreams"