How I Named My Blog

Being a poet and an occasional pun-ster, the "Not on the Road" title is multi-layered. First, it was a response to old Jack K's "On the Road," since I'm definitely not he. Also, I've moved around a bit throughout my life (like in the last two and a half years!), and I'm sick of being ON the road. And of course, being an animal lover and very active in dog rescue work, I don't like seeing animals, wild or domestic ON the road, dead or alive.

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Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Insomnia!

I slept through the heat of the day. Ah, I love the concept of the siesta. But then went to bed at 10 p.m., slept for 2 hrs., and by midnight, BAM! I was awake. At least my being up has not yet awakened the dogs. I have to be up at 6 a.m., so this 2 hrs. of being awake in the middle of the night does not bode well.

My brain is in over drive. Too much to think about. Waaaaayyyy to much to think about. A romance that failed in 1973 and failed again recently, trying to figure out table weaving, trying to finish writing one of my novels-in-progres: Petros, trying to balance my budget, and then I decided to work on perfecting my naalbinding skills as well.

No wonder I can't sleep! Naalbinding would give anyone insomnia.

Heating up in several areas

Going to be 95 here today. Ugh. The house is already heating up. Need more fans!

And then there's the heat in Columbus, Ohio over the football coach. Now really . . . is he being used as a token example? Students I know at UK say the football and basketball players get all kinds of "gimmes," from leniency on academics to freebies. Yes, all violations to the NCAA rules, but like the IRS, you only deal with penalties if you get caught.

Haiku for the day

Yes, I know, Haiku aren't supposed to have titles, but since when have I cared about rules?


The Drunk Peasant

Put coins in my bowl.
Rice I can easily get,
with dimes I buy beer.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Choices via Tolkien

Sometimes in life we are given the opportunity to be knights, or sometimes we are given the opportunity to be Hobbits -- those wonderful creatures who understand that the purpose of life is the pursuit of joy yet within the cradle of nobility of spirit.

Unfortunately, sometimes people throw those opportunities to the wind and end up being orcs, so twisted on the inside that they insist on making those around them as unhappy as they themselves are.

It's all about the choices we make. Don't throw away your opportunities for joy. Don't allow yourself to become an orc, thinking you're role in life is to follow orders without question, to adhere to a rule of life that doesn't allow the pursuit of true joy.

Bernard Cornwell Sharpe Series

I'm conflicted about my enjoyment of the Sharpe series by Bernard Cornwell. OK, yes, I'm a history nut. Even majored in history in college. The fiction I write is usually historical fiction. But . . . I'm a Quaker and a pacifist, and yet I get such enjoyment out of the adventures of Lt. Dick Sharpe, he of the green coat, of the rifles and Napoleonic guts and gore. I'm also a Patrick O'Brian fiend. So I get to enjoy Dick Sharpe on land and Aubrey and Maturin at sea and in their occasional misadventures on land, where they do not belong at all.

I'm not reading them in order, because I can never find them in order, and I seem to do just fine with a flexible time line. Right now I'm finally getting to the book where he meets Astrid in Denmark. Ah, there's Astrid who I'd heard about in future adventures. Poor Astrid.

Cornwell has produced such an engaging character in the earthy Sharpe. A man up from the ranks (like my father, though I don't think my father enjoyed killing when he fought in WWII), an orphan from the back alleys of London, a murderer who escapes the gallows by joining the army which then encourages him to commit further murders. But he has such an aura of nobility about him. He rises above the aristocrats with whom he is destined to contend.

If any budding novelists want to work on character development, read Cornwell and O'Brian. The popularity of the two series is most definitely the result of splendid character development. We know these men, and despite their flaws, we adore them.

country living

I have mowed THE LAWN. Now, THE LAWN here is not a lovely expanse of suburban green with the occasional shrub around which one must haul the mower. No, it is 20% grass, 10% not grass, and the rest is a Cooperative Extension Agent's field day of broadleaf and woody weeds, some of which probably originated in the Brazilian Rain Forest. On days when I mow THE LAWN, I don't worry whether or not I've gotten in my walking for the day.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

SCA Midrealm Arts and Sciences

With the coersion of Nora London and her husband, Tom Hughes (President of THE SCA, Inc. -- I still don't know how that happened ), I made it to the Middle Kingdom's Arts & Sciences Competition yesterday. Oh, no entries from this girl. My last entry was YEARS ago, the mega research and multiple test batches of olive oil soap. I still have my documentation somewhere, and every now and then I make another batch of soap.

It was awesome to catch up with old friends and make some new. Sat and chatted with Baron Christophe for a bit. He will always own a special corner in my heart. 8-) Grouchy gnome or not! And his woodworking keeps getting better and better. I've got my eye on a gorgeous wooden chest with a rose carved on the front of it. Oh, if I have a few thousand gilder on hand, I'll buy him out entirely. There's a lap desk with a little drawer that would be perfect for my calligraphy.

Nora and I had a great visit, and she blessed me with an early birthday gift of some pearl earrings one of the merchants had which I had been eyeing, but knew I could not afford them at the moment. They reminded me of a book and movie I like, The Girl with the Pearl Earring, with Colin Firth (sigh) as the Dutch painter, Ver Meer. So now I am The Girl with the Pear Earring(s).

There was a merchant with card/tablet weaving supplies and book, and yarns/threads to die for, but again, that ghastly issue of lack of shillings. What's a girl to do? My open excuse for not going to Pennsic is that I have no one to care for the animals for me to run off to The Past for a a week or two, much as I would love to. Last time I went was 1999.

The REAL reason I'm not going is that it would bankrupt me. The shopping there is like no where else in The Known World. But yesterday I did indulge in a couple of packs of the small cards for the tablet weaving. I tried it about 25 years ago, but never really had the time to pursue it properly, as Emz was a baby and I was in the midst of becoming a single parent WITH a baby, so things like tablet weaving went by the board. Now I'm an old lady with a house full of dogs and 2 horses to care for, so NOW I can find the time to diddle with things like table weaving.

The entries in the Arts and Sciences Competition were splendid, but of course this was at the kindgom level, and entrants must achieve a certain score at their regional levels in order to qualify for entering at the kingdom competition. The calligraphy and illumination, armoring, leatherwork, textile arts, cooking, brewing and vintning, you name it! Beautiful, wonderful things to see. And the level of costuming for the populace in general seems to have improved, though maybe it was just the type of event, but I think not. I think people in the SCA are moving up a notch in the images they want to present -- to one another as well as to the public. There were some lovely examples of costuming for multiple periods.

And Tom and Nora's son, Devin, became a squire, which brought tears to my eyes. Gosh, he just finished his freshman year of college, and I remember Nora waddling around Pennsic in the heat when she was pregnant with him. I also weighed 118 lbs. at the time, so yes, that was many years ago.

So, a huge THANK YOU to Nora and Tom (Dame Nicolaa Halden and Master Sean O'Seanesy, and I kown I spelled that wrong, Tom, so please forgive me!) And a big THANK YOU to the Barony of the Fenix for hosting this lovely event. I almost drove back up this morning for Crown Tourney, but the lawn is nearly knee high, I have plants to get into the garden, and I'm still giving the dogs each their spring cleanings.

Oh, and I sat down with the heralds and finally worked up the "device" (my coat of arms), since I got my Award of Arms back around 1989 and never registered my "device," or my name for that matter. And now I have to go hunting for that journal of Bishop David of Wales to document my stupid name, and heaven only knows what happened to that book in all the moves. Procrastination, thy name is frustration.

Speaking of which, now I must go mow the lawn and get more plants into the soil. I received a gift of a huge mass of vegetable plants that were going to be pitched as they hadn't all sold in a fund raiser, and I am more than happy to give them a home. I'm going to be canning 'til the cows come home this summer, which will be a long time since I don't have any cows -- yet!

one of my old limericks

This one took a 2nd place in the limerick category for Green River Writers a few years ago. It always earns a grin or two.

A lively old Scot we call Hamish
requests we consider him blameless.
It seems that his kilt
was too frugally built,
and at first we all thought he was shameless.

;-)

Friday, May 27, 2011

Haiku for Today

the dogs all blow coat
hair floats and whispers in clumps
I love my Shop Vac

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

new poem: UPSIDE DOWN

Suddenly
the world has flipped
magnetic poles swapped places
and when you flush
everything swirls in the wrong direction.

You
had nothing to do with this,
yet the shabby overcoat of blame
dangles from your hook --the one
with your name scrawled
in third grade cursive over top.
Wasn't that label beneath the hook
yesterday?

Perhaps you did make a wish one year
snapping that annual turkey bone,
or tossed half-hearted prayers
skyward, with no conviction
that selfish prayers such as these get answered.

Apparently they do.

Now everything is backwards,
topsy-turvy,
whopper-jawed and catty-whompus.
And you must find the spell
to turn the world
right side up again.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Still wading through the morass

I'm still trying to perfect the "look and feel" of the blog, but BlogSpot and I are having our differences in how to communicate. Some of the text on labels still doesn't want to change to darker colors. Bear with me. I'm not unaware of how annoying it is. It's annoying the heck out of me!

blog format change

Due to the request of a follower, I changed the template on the blog, as she said the white characters on the burgundy background were too hard to read. I hope the black characters are easier for ya'll to read. I am always open to feedback to facilitate readership. I'm still fumbling around in the dark trying to figure out all the details for the "look and feel" of my blog. I have no idea what I'm doing!

Haiku for today

bay horse stands tip-toe
calling the storm through his nose
wind holds his passion

Monday, May 23, 2011

new poem: Grail Quest

Wow! I've got 5 followers! Believe me, I'm excited!!! 8-)

Now for my newest poem:

GRAIL QUEST

38 years
he sought her
his lost dove
the one with weak wings
the one would could not fly well.
At dusk his round calls
circled on winds
stirred by desire
and meek hope

But once he found her
what was to be done?
An obituary would have been simpler.
He holds her in his cupped palms
repeating well-rehearsed coos.
She cannot perch there forever
teetering upon his open hands,
mincing toward the tips of his fingers.

He wavers between
clutching her tightly to his own feathered breast
or tossing her back to that
vast and empty sky.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

To Walk in the Light

Yesterday, I spent my contemplative time focusting on what it means "to walk in the Light." As a Quaker, this is an important phrase and issue.

Walk in the Light: to be enlightened, enlightenment, to see our way out of darkness

In order to understand the Light, it helps enormously to have experienced and comprehended the darkness, whether we mean the darkeness of life's circumstances or the darkness that results from our own unwise, selfish, and/or short-sighted choices. When we chose to act without integrity, we are not walking in the Light.

Are there ever times when the lighted way is unclear? Of course! We Quakers use contemplation and the consensual process as means of discerning which path is the lighted path. Sometimes the way that is eventually revealed surprises us; it's not what we had originally assumed. It is too easy to jump to conclusions -- "This is the way things should be," we might think early in a situation or a decision-making process. This is why we Quakers use silence to leave ourselves open to the ultimate teacher, that which is of God within us, which is the best teacher of all.

Odd as it may seem, sometimes being aware of personal boundaries is a huge manifestatin of the Light. What is and what is not in my personal domain? If I overstep, my integrity is compromised. Having my own way is not contiguous with walking in the Light.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Dressed to Serve Breakfast

I wrap my heavy robe over the flannel gown, and in my barn boots
trudge down Hwy 574 to feed the horses.
It's nearly 8 a.m., and they've been standing at the fence
eyeing me out with the dogs;
they wonder why room service is so slow.
My loose hair flies in this misty wind.
I cannot wonder what the neighbors think --
they say they love my fortitude.
That is enough, and the horses have been fed.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Karma: Payment for the Past

I just watched a video on Iraq Veterans Against the War. Everything those vets said confirmed what I had said before we invaded, but now more and more people are seeing The Big Picture, and saying that we cannot achieve peace through violence. Violence only begets more violence, and this is how the wealthy of our nation increase their incomes.


But on a more personal level, I've been haunted this week by how a decision I made 38 years ago affected more lives than my own. Can I write this off to the folly of youth? I did have my reasons at the time, good reasons. Even now, I can defend my decision to terminate a relationship that just wasn't working at the time. That doesn't mean that either of us were or are not good people, and re-connecting this last week has confirmed that. But we certainly are very different individuals. So would we have grown apart anyway, or would we have grown together? The great unanswerable questions of "what if" will always remain unanswered.

What if Leah's Jason hadn't ben a Marine who died horrifically on his 2nd deployment to Iraq? What if I hadn't already had plans for the evening that Sam Lehman asked me to attend the AGR Christmas Party in 1975? What if I hadn't broken up with Dan Bevan in January of 1973?

While I cannot change the decisions I or others made in the past, I do feel regret for those whom I have personally hurt. And I cannot help but wonder at times if the pain I deal with (physical and/or emotional) is not some sort of repayment for the harms I have done to others.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Seasonal Reminder

Had to get up and retrieve another quilt out of the closet last night before I could fall asleep. Yes, it was that cold! I have to remind myself that Kentucky's "frost free" date for gardening is May 9. I have to remind myself of freezing my fanny off in a mini skirt at a Derby Party in 1989 when we had sleet. (I weighed 118 lbs. then, so mini skirts were possible. These days at 58, I don't care what the weather is or what I weigh, mini skirts are not in my wardrobe anymore.)

And 2011 is now Kentucky's wettest year on record since record keeping began in the late 19th Century. We've had 29" in the Louisville area since January 1, and I'll bet the lion's share of that has been in the last 3 weeks. It's not the cold that's preventing me from getting my veggies in the ground, it's the soggy ground. Any attempt at cultivation would result in making bricks. I don't mind hauling horse manure up from the pasture, but soggy horse manure is heavier than dry. My barn boots are positively disreputable!

Of course one benefit of the cold is that it has kept the insect population at bay for the moment. I keep up with continual cootie checks on the dogs for fleas and ticks and haven't found either, which surprises me. I was sure I'd have seen a tick or two by now, even with my guys all on prevention. Heck, I usually find a tick or two ON ME since I love being outdoors. Gads, I hate those things. They give me the heebee jeebees.

Did have a slight ant invasion in the house. I think everyone I've talked to has. The ants are moving to higher ground! Ants aren't listed as marine life.

The ponds are full, the creeks are muddy and over their banks, but everything is a lovely green and the weeds are growing in great profusion. I have found the previous residents' plantings of lemon balm and spearmint. And I've found a grape vine that's going to receive some tender care and cultivation, even if it's just for the leaves for making dolmas.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Rural Quakers of North Central KY can now gather together!

Quakers (The Religious Society of Friends, aka "Friends") will be meeting for unprogrammed worship every Saturday afternoon at 4:00 p.m. beginning May 7, 2011 at the Port Royal Methodist Church, 8230 Port Royal Road (Hwy 193), Port Royal, KY (Henry County). This is an informal group that is under the guidance of the Lexington (Kentucky) Friends Meeting. I'm the contact.

We are open to participation by Conservative and Liberal Quakers and to anyone else who would like to attend. There aren't that many Quakers in this area. Let us join together! I am hoping we will have some participants from Owen, Trimble and Carroll Counties as well.